Tag Archives: fears

working helped

I was still struggling with dissociation and being stuck in my head most of Wednesday. Nothing i was trying helped to bring me out of it.

Luckily, I had work that afternoon.

I pleaded with the universe to make it an easy, but distracting shift. She came through for me.

I ended up training a new hire, so I had to constantly think of what I was doing, why, and explain it to her. The dogs were also relatively mellow (though the look on the girl’s face when I mentioned that it was an easier day makes me wonder if I’m not just habituating to a higher level of chaos).

In the end, spending time with the dogs, and having to interact with another human for the whole shift helped ground me for the evening.

I did wake up to some intrusive, uncomfortable thoughts, but overall, today has been much more “present” (Though let me not jinx that at 9am)…

I had some bloodwork to get done this morning, and I was supposed to get a CT scan done at 8, but I messed up the directions, so it’s been pushed to 1pm. I could have gone through with the 8am thing, but it wouldn’t have given the greatest results. I’m having ongoing gi issues, so I want to make the scan worth the effort. I already feel like most of this stuff is “in my head” since previous testing hasn’t shown anything… but then again, my aunt had gi issues for over a decade before the testing finally showed the real problem. I don’t want things to get that advanced in my case…

I hate having to balance worrying that I’m just experiencing psychosomatic stuff with legit medical issues. Dr C says it’s all valid, and even if it does stem from past trauma, there’s still likely a physical reason as well, it’ll just take more time to figure it out…

More loss

Tuesday evening, L’s dad passed away quite suddenly. We don’t normally stop by on Tuesdays (it’s usually a day spent being at home after I return from work), but this week, L wanted to go hang with her mom. I’m so glad she chose to do that…

A short while after we left, she got a call from her mother that she thought her dad had died. I was taking the dogs out at the time L ran past me in a panic, yelling that she thought her dad died. It took me a minute to process what she said as she was running towards the car. I dragged the dogs to the car (I’m pretty sure one was pooping at the time I yanked them with me). I drove us the 5 minutes to their house. It was the longest, slowest 5 minutes I’ve felt in a long time. It seemed like every car was going 30 miles an hour too slow. 

We turned on to their street, and you could see fire trucks and police lights on both sides at the end of their drive. The truck driving in front of us had to slow down to figure out where/how to get past them. It took everything in me not to lay on the horn and fly up their driveway (their house is set back quite a way). I know he was just being safe, but I really wanted to get L there to be with her mother. 

Up the driveway, there were yet more police cars and ambulances. I’m not sure how many first responders were there, but there were easily a dozen or more emergency vehicles. L’s mother was sitting in her car watching them work on her father… 

They worked on him there at the house for a good 30 minutes to an hour, then took him to the er. I had L and her mom ride to the hospital with one of the officers. My car had been blocked in by one of L’s brothers, so I stayed till after they took her father away,  and the rest of the family went to the hospital. I ran home to drop off the dogs and pick up a few things for L. By the time I got back (maybe 40 minutes later… I kinda got lost on the way to the hospital…), he had been pronounced dead…

We were all kinda in shock. We knew he wasn’t feeling well, but he wasn’t one to let on how sick he really was, not even to his doctors. Heck, he had even been to the doctor that morning and they bs’d about country living… 

The hours and days since then have been spent with L’s family making funeral arrangements and just hanging around. It’s not totally sunk in yet. Tears and sadness comes in waves… the worst part for me had been seeing the emergency vehicles every time I turn down their street. I can’t get the image out of my head even away from there, but it’s most intense there. 

I wasn’t very close to her dad, but way closer to him than my own father. I wrestle internally with feeling like i’m intruding on their sadness. I know to a large degree that’s old family values leaking through on my part, and not much basis in reality (her family has been nothing but loving and welcoming). It’s still difficult to shake though. I’m sure I’ve driven L nuts with my constant checking and asking if they’d rather I be away… I’m trying to do most of the reality checking within myself…

I have to work tonight, so that will be weird. Hopefully I can get lost a bit there… I’m sad for L. I’m really sad for her mother, who had to find her husband. I’m sad for L’s family. We’re all going to miss her dad. He was the kinda guy that might talk a lot of shit about people, but he also wouldn’t hesitate to drop everything and go help someone out if they asked… I’m pretty positive he knew most of the town. Almost everywhere we’d go, we could find someone who knew L’s family through him (it’s not exactly a small town. I know I keep saying “town”, but it’s actually, technically a city)…

I dunno… there’s been so much loss lately. I’ve become even more paranoid about the dogs. I worry about L’s mom. I worry about my own mom. I worry about Dr C… 

These recent deaths bring up stuff from decades ago when my aunt and uncle died a few months apart. I start to worry that similar things will happen. I worry we will lose Sadie & Alex a few short months after Chow died (it happened that way with my last pair of dogs also, and even with my favorite snakes. We had to euthanize Sandy, then Gizmo got really sick less than a year later. Sugar Cane died suddenly, then Almond Joy had to be put down several months later…). I worry something may happen to L’s mom (she’s talking already like she’s going to be gone soon. I get some of that is grief. They would have been married 60 years this year, but given the patterns I’ve experienced, I worry)… I really don’t want more loss right now. 

Like Dr C said, grief is complicated…


I want to rip my insides out. The body memories are back… 

Between the new group, added work days, recent attempts at contact from my dad’s sister, and other stressor, I’m feeling really triggered lately. 

I told Dr C. I also voiced that I was afraid she might tell me group was not a good idea, since it was contributing to the triggering. She didn’t say I’d have to leave though, so that’s good. I hope she doesn’t change her mind. Yeah, group is triggering, but it’s also nice to know some other people who can relate. I’ve never sat in a room with other people who understood (and voiced their understanding) my symptoms. They understand what it’s like to dissociate, to jump at triggers, to feel things in their bodies that were over decades ago… there’s a sad relief in knowing I’m not alone. 

Am I pushing myself too hard? 

The emdr stirred up a ton of stuff. It’s not settling much, just cycling through things. She called it progress, but not necessarily relief. I’m not sure how well I can handle this, though when I just unintentionally triggered myself intensley, I was able to sit through it.

I’m feeling this huge internal pressure to talk to someone other than just Dr C about what’s going on, but when I try (even anonymously or ambiguously) I trigger myself… I’m back to doubting if I can tackle trauma processing outside of an inpatient (or at least intensive out patient) setting. I guess I’m doing ok because I haven’t resorted to cutting. I’m just scared I might be pushing myself too hard without enough safety nets in place. I mostly trust Dr C, I’m just not sure I trust myself…

Dear TM (things I doubt I can tell you)

Dear TM,

I want to spend the day in bed again and just cry my eyes out. I know I need to ride the depression out because there is nothing that will fix it, but it’s so difficult.

I haven’t cried again yet, though I have wanted to every day for the past week. I keep thinking if I can let go and cry in front of you, maybe it will feel more useful than simply sobbing into my pillow, but… I can’t let anyone see me cry. I can barely cry when I’m by myself.

I’m still afraid Tuesday will be a conversation around how I’m in need of more services than you can provide, how you need to refer me out. And I will want to get up and walk away and never return or even finish the conversation, but I won’t be able to move because tears will finally spill out of my eyes (though I won’t admit to crying) and I can’t walk out through the building looking like that (and I doubt my legs would carry me very far at that point. I’ll want to crumple up and melt into the floor. It hurts so much because my safe places and people always disappear. I will want to disappear myself, but won’t want to leave your office because I’ll want to get as much you time in as possible before I never see you again).

I’m so so so scared I won’t be able to keep seeing you the next few weeks before the move. I’m scared that I’m falling apart too much to continue seeing you, and your supervisor and you will determine I need to move on… I really don’t want to lose you right now because I actually trust you enough to feel safe with you. Please, please, please don’t kick me out before I leave. It’s just 5 weeks max… (again, a huge change that lands right before that huge anniversary). I know I’m going “back”, but my supports will not be available (L will be busy working and I don’t even think I have the others anymore) so it will feel lonelier than here. Why is it that everyone leaves around July? K, De, N, D, you, the house, everything and everyone…

So much for leaving the panic around possible termination for after Tuesday…



what a difference a night of sleep can make

I feel so much better after finally getting a full night of sleep. Thanks to the sleep cocktail I took last night, I was out for 12 hours ❤

I checked in with TM today, though I was still really “fozzy” at the time because the benadryl had not totally worn off. We talked about the message I had left her asking if she knew of any additional support resources. I was able to clarify that it didn’t need to be therapeutic so much as help with structure. We will both brainstorm individually and re-visit it on Tuesday.

At the end of the conversation, I admitted to her that I didn’t want to lose her right before the move. Her only response was “Mmm…” o_O I hope I didn’t do or say something to prompt the “refer out” conversation. After the phone call, I wished I had asked if that was an Mmm that meant “I know you’re hurting and scared of so many changes” or one that meant “Yeah, we already had that conversation, and I’m waiting to spring it on you next session.” I guess I will find out on Tuesday. My panic has me thinking it’s the second one. It’s the same response I had gotten from De when I asked if she would be referring me before the move, then upon her return from vacation she told me she was leaving the agency (back when I thought I was moving in 2 months time). I dunno. If Tuesday comes and she mentions referring out or terminating before late June, I need to put on my big girl panties and walk away. SO not what I want, but that’s rarely been taken into account anyway, so what’s the difference? I will hold out on panicking till I see her again. I need to remember to ask her about it directly at that time. Till then, just breathing. (I wish this happened at a time I could contact her to alleviate some of the worry from the weekend. Even as we were talking though, their phone system went down. She called me back from an unavailable number that I’m assuming was her personal cell. Tomorrow and Saturday their office will be busy moving to another location, and she wasn’t sure if their voice mails would be functioning normally). Just gotta wait till Tuesday. Not that long. It’s do-able, right?

On a lighter/happier note; something in the way she phrased things the last two times we talked made me feel cared-about (in more than that obligatory therapst-y care, but genuine “I care about you as a human being that I’ve come to know” kinda way). It triggered the memory of a bunch of genuine sentiments I’ve heard over the years but wasn’t necessarily able to internalize at the time. It’s actually a really nice feeling. I’m going to work at carrying it through the weekend.

The self-harm urges have been present today, but they were easier to resist. And it was easier to stay out of bed more of the day also. Quite amazing what a night of quality sleep can do. Can someone forcefully remind me of this the next time I start to spiral down? Thanks 😉

Do You have Athazagoraphobia?

An interesting concept to think about.

I used to chalk my belief up to a weird perversion of object permanence. I guess this kind of is exactly that. I tend to believe if people don’t see me and interact with me regularly, they forget me. I get the impression it actually happens. I also fear that people find me really annoying and distasteful to be around. I have trouble reaching out to friends and family because I worry that 1) they hate me, and because of that, they 2) consciously try to forget me or remain away from me.

Lemme tell you, it frustrates my friends. I can’t tell you how often I get asked why I didn’t call or come by… How do you explain that you feel like people would rather gouge their eyes out than have to spend a moment with me?

There was another part that stuck out to me: the fear of forgetting. I often hoard memorabilia, and I journal incessantly in an effort not to forget more than I already have. People call it materialistic or anal, but I keep hoping an object connected to a memory will keep the memory alive. When so much of my past is a huge blank, I grasp at anything that may help me to not forget… Sadly, it doesn’t really work. I go back and read journals but cannot connect to them or remember accurately what I was talking about. I look at items from my past, and have no clue what they were from, or who gave them to me. I take pictures all the time hoping photographic evidence will trigger a memory, yet so much is still lost. It’s not as bad as it had been before college, but it’s still there. One of the worst memories to have lost is my first date with my wife. I know what she has recited to me over the years, but the rest is super foggy. I have snippets of moments from the night, but most of it is gone. It’s no reflection on her or the night (because I’m still with her, and we went on a second date relatively soon at my initiation). It’s just “the story of my life”…

But I digress. This is an interesting blog on a phobia I had not heard of before, but one that makes perfect sense to me.


Discussing Dissociation

Drawn by ... On deviant Art. Drawn by rhyme-my-name.deviantart.com


I have learned a new word today.


Athazagoraphobia is the fear of being forgotten, ignored, or being replaced.


Ooooh boy, what a powerful word that relates to intense feelings held by soooo many dissociative trauma survivors. And since abandonment and neglect is often a huge and prominent part of the trauma history, is there any wonder?

First, let’s learn more about athazagoraphobia.

Here is a quote from http://www.fearof.net :

“Athazagoraphobia is a rarely discussed phobia. It means the fear of forgetting or the fear of being forgotten or ignored. Thus, Athazagoraphobia is of two types or has dual components: it might be seen in dementia patients in their early stages (or patients suffering from other medical conditions where memory loss occurs) where they fear forgetting their own identity and other things. Alternatively, it may be seen in spouses or caregivers of Alzheimer’s/dementia patients…

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stuck inside myself

I want to talk or journal or something, but I find myself starting and stopping before anything materializes. I’m not sure what to say or how to say it. My responses to people are short and substance-less. I dunno. This whole uncertainty about therapy combined with flow is fucking with me today. I just want to cry and sleep.

Those walls that go up are good at keeping emotions at bay, but they also make me blank and stuck.

I have a feeling TM’s not back yet, nor will she be any time soon (or I fear that). I’m not sure what to do with it, how to process that right now. Because I worried about her dropping me based on the direction of the last session, I feel like we are done, and I need closure on this. Only I don’t know how to get it. There’s no closure if she’s out and we can’t meet. There’s also no correcting/confirming my assumption that she wants me out.

I’m also worried about her. I hope she is ok… I don’t want to think she’s really hurting, or worried about a loved one or herself, or sick. I want her to be ok. She seems really nice. I don’t want anything bad happening to her. :/

Getting my feet wet once again

Today I took a leap and went to an orientation session for a new volunteer position.

I’m a bit up in the air about the whole thing… It’s right up my alley (working with farm animals in a therapeutic setting to help facilitate healing), but the prospect of it is also kinda scary.

What if it’s triggering?

What if I creep the horses out?

What if I fail again?

What if I let more people down again?


I’m going to keep doing the training, and see how it goes…

falling into the stereotypes (some of my internal processing)

I’m trying to figure something out, sorry if this post doesn’t make much sense…

Since TL mentioned termination last week, I’ve gone back and forth between putting up huge walls, and desperately wanting to talk to her again. As tomorrow’s appointment gets closer, I find myself having that regular anticipation of talking to her and happy to be seeing her because she represents a safe place and has been a relatively safe person to talk to until now. At the same time though, I’m wondering if tomorrow should be the last session because termination sucks and I don’t want to draw it out. Then I’m again bouncing back to ignoring that she brought up termination at all.

I’m confusing myself and not explaining that well… I think I’m stuck between pushing her away and denial of the termination conversation… :/

I want to go see her because she represents a safer person. I want to talk about what this all brought up, but at the same time I feel like trust has been lost and it’s no longer ok to look to her for support with anything beyond logistics of possibly being hooked up with a new therapist. I don’t know how to straighten that out in my head. Not sure how to proceed… I think my hesitation with looking to her for more support comes from knowing that it’s opening myself up again to that horrid feeling of loss and being lost. I don’t like it, I don’t want it. It’s overwhelming and (again) way out of proportion for the relationship. I have so much trouble with changes like this. I really don’t know how to handle it, and I have not been able to address it in therapy yet with any meaningful results (even after so many therapists and so many attempts at tackling all the issues)…

TL wasn’t clear on what exactly the time-frame is. She refused to answer when I asked how long she had left, and she again asked me how long I thought therapy should take… I don’t know for sure if she meant she was leaving next month, or within the next six months. I’m assuming she meant the next month because she had given one month as a reference point twice when asking how much longer I thought therapy should take.

I have a LOT of trouble with loss. She knows this, so I don’t know if she’s trying to ease into the termination conversation, or if we are just trying to tackle the loss issue. The thing is, my thinking went immediately to “f-this. she’s leaving so why bother dragging it out. no more talking, no more trusting. I’m done”. I know this is a cognitive leap, and that I’m throwing up walls without really knowing exactly what’s going on. Sometimes I can recognize this and think more rationally about it. Other times the emotions take over and I’m totally lost. I think that’s playing a huge role in the back-and-forth I have about wanting to talk to her about this more, and wanting to run away. I’m recognizing the diagnoses and history this all plays into/off-of.

I just can’t consistently figure it all out though. I don’t know how to be ok with it. I am not sure I want to take down any of the walls to open myself up to talking about this just to find out that I am right and she is leaving next month. My head goes SO dark if I try to let myself feel anything more or not take this total detachment right now. I don’t want to land back in the hospital. I don’t want to be the stereotype of my diagnoses, but at the same time, I’m finding I’m nothing but that stereotype…

Years ago, my records indicated I was hopeless and will struggle with this forever. As much as I hate the thought of that, I’m afraid they may be right. I think I live in a fantasy world that I can move out of this behavior when this stuff isn’t actively triggering me, but as soon as it’s triggered, I don’t know how else to react. I’m ashamed by it and frustrated beyond belief that I can’t seem to figure this out once and for all. I wish I could find a therapist that I could stick with, and that was consistent with the “you’re not hopeless” stance so they could remind me once in a while, but the way I fall back into all this every time loss comes up I doubt that will ever happen. It’s really crappy. I don’t want to be hopeless, but I think they are right. I think I really am. If I can’t learn to navigate losses, how the hell can I learn anything else? I think some things are just too broken to fix…

a fear of reaching out

So, last session TL offered that I can call and leave her voice messages if there’s ever anything I want to pass along to her between sessions, or even just to “vent or whatever”.  As much as this is a huge relief (I think it was offered without me asking, though I am not totally sure anymore), the thought of actually leaving her a message about something scares me. This weekend I had wanted to tell her I was unsure about continuing therapy, but that I definitely need to slow down on stuff. I think the fact that I am asking for something that may make her angry (I totally recognize this is a triggered thing from the past) is making me balk. I also worry that she will find my messages annoying and rescind the offer as fast as it materialized (again, likely triggered from the past, as when I told her my worry, she said the offer still stands and that she maintains that she will not necessarily respond to the message, but will listen to it and we can talk about it the next session)… I still can’t shake the fear around leaving her a message. :/

I dunno. I will probably make an attempt later today… o_O

bit of anxiety

I have to admit, as relieved as I was to get the call yesterday from this new therapist, I’m starting to get a bit anxious over tonight’s appointment.  Will I be able to talk? Will I say what I need to (or communicate it in some way)? Will she really be nice, or as judgemental and scary as that one lady I interviewed with when I first moved back here – the one who wanted me committed based on my history alone?  Will I be misunderstood because I have such trouble articulating what I mean? Will she have patience for me as I struggle to say things “right” on the first try?

I keep reminding myself to breathe.  I’ve done this before, and even when things didn’t go great, I made it through each time.  I think part of my fear is rooted in my desperation for support at this time.  I feel hopelessly alone despite having my mom around, and my wife over the phone.  I worry about judgement from everyone, and I worry about worrying them.

I wrote out a huge list of stuff I wanted to make sure to tell this new clinician at some point. It was originally going to be a list of stuff to cover today, but it’s too big, too much.  I’m pretty sure I know how this first meeting will go in terms of what we cover.  The intake was pretty sparse, so I am sure she will want to fill in some gaps.  There will be the usual paperwork and confidentiality covered again.  Hopefully she will cover boundaries if I can’t ask about them (I worry a lot about crossing them, and I worry about being bothersome to people)… we won’t have time to cover everything, especially if I get off-track with something (I’m really good at changing topics when something makes me nervous or ashamed). I think I should probably warn her about that, and the huge amounts of shame around everything…

Ok, breathe. It will be ok.  And if I don’t click with her, it’s not the end of the world (even if it feels like it)…

Therapy today

I saw De this afternoon,  and it was a good session. I was able to talk about some stuff (well, acknowledge some stuff, we didn’t talk in-depth about too much). I was able to tell her that I was having trouble with writing my story as hers, and that I thought I needed to talk more about my story. She confirmed that it wasn’t the same story. She was really gentle about it, and I’m really glad she didn’t make me feel like an ass for admitting that I felt like I burnt her out. She talked about the turn-over rate at the agency, and how long she had been there. She reassured me I was not the reason she was leaving, but that the cumulative effect of working there for the last handful of years has taken its toll. We compared notes on burn-out rates for various concentrations in the field. I noticed again the weight was gone from her. I told her I thought it would be a good idea for me to find another therapist for the gap between our termination and my move. She agreed. We brainstormed a few ideas, and she asked how likely I was to be able to make some calls between today and Friday. We agreed that proactive is good, and that what I’m looking for is pretty restrictive in terms of choices (someone who either can take my useless state insurance, or someone who has a sliding scale; someone without a huge waiting list; someone who can be consistent through the time I move; someone with more availability than once a week). She brought up the idea of a php again, which I would totally be open to,  but I don’t qualify for either of the two that take my insurance. We even contemplated me lying about taking meds just so I could get the support I need.  She said she will think more about it, but that maybe we can create a “php-type” structure that involved frequent contact with a professional, but also gave me some structure. I hope we can come up with something. I know that type of stuff helps me a lot.
The session was over before I knew it. There’s still a lot weighing on me, but at least this one felt productive on more than one front. I see her again on Friday.  On the way home,  I placed the two requests for information she had asked me to make. Now it’s just a matter of hearing back from them… I would feel better knowing I’m not totally on my own when we are done.
Changes are hard.  Goodbyes are really hard, and loss feels like an enormous black hole in my heart…  I wish I knew how to work through it.  I guess that’ll be a topic for another therapist…

identity crisis

It’s come back to me again recently that I have lost my identity with this disability determination.  I used to be a youth worker, a domestic violence counselor, a substance abuse counselor, an educator… now I’m just… nothing.  I know De and L and J would all argue against that, but much like L struggled with work being a huge part of her identity last year, I’m struggling with it now.  I’m not even a good mom to my “kids”, I fail them regularly. It’s underscored with this impending move and all it means.  I have to try to hold a job again when I move back up north.  I have to be productive and live up to all those expectations, but I also have to do it within the bounds of disability.  I can’t afford to screw up.  I can’t afford to lose this determination and then screw up life again.  Finances scare the crap out of me.  Screwing up scares the crap out of me.  I know I have a lot to prove during this time that L and I are apart.  She has her fears about the pressures, and I have mine.  I know I have been doing really well (comparatively) these last few months, but that nagging fear of screwing up is always in the back of my mind (and L’s, and everyone’s…).  When you lose trust from those closest to you, it’s very difficult to build it back.  When you lose trust in yourself, it’s just as hard.  I know I tell L that everything will be fine (and for the most part I believe it), but there’s that little voice in my head that says I will never be a real human being.  I will never get through struggles in life without major meltdowns. I will never be “safe” from myself… I know these are only doubts, but I need to give voice to them.  I can’t carry them all alone right now.  I saw De today, but I was too busy trying to avoid tears and fear to acknowledge any of this.  Now that things have slowed (I’m just sitting watching TV with L), my head is filling with all the things I’ve been frantically pushing away (and then some).

I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what I’m good at.  I have no way to make money or to help alleviate the pressure on L.  I have no useful skills.  De was trying to get me to come up with some way to structure my days, but even that instills trepidation.  I don’t want to commit to volunteering because I don’t think I can keep up with the gas commitment even if I can manage to keep my emotions in check to allow me to go in every day.  Everything is far here, everything requires driving, which requires money, which I don’t have.  Hobbies require money. Hanging with friends requires money (and friends)…  All of this I don’t have.  So whatever.  I have to suck it up and just deal with crap.  I have to ignore it, or breathe through it, or something.  Back to running through the fog trying to avoid all the road blocks.


absence makes the heart grow fonder

… or something like that (with blogging at least), right?

Anyway, sorry I have not been around much.  Life has gotten in the way.  There’s too much to do, and too little time in which to do it.  We had planned this Saturday to be a “wallpaper removal party” complete with friends and festivities.  It ended up being just us… and the festivities… and it took us all weekend just to get the paper off in 3 areas (we still have most of the house to go, plus the glue left on the walls).  I think we may have been a tad delusional at thinking it would have all been done this weekend, even with more help.  It kept the dogs quiet though (they were too confused by all the moving, scraping, and fabric softener).  The house still smells like the generic stuff we got, and the snuggle we broke into later on when we ran through 2 bottles of the generic.  The floor is a greasy-waxy mess, and none of us have the desire (or energy) to clean it.  It makes for fun times watching the dogs trying to stand in place as their feet slip in 4 separate directions (think of Bambi on the ice). We really should clean it all up, but that takes more effort, and we are all wiped out.

L and I got into a tiff this morning… well, I was in a mood, and she happened to be the recipient of the frustrations.  I felt bad afterwards, but at the time I thought she would be better off without me since we disagree on some key points.  We’ve since kissed and made up.  I’m also trying to keep my frustrations on the objects and situations to which they belong.  It wasn’t fair to take it out on L.  We’ve talked about this, and I think we are ok right now, just both stressing a ton.  This move will be more involved and more expensive than we had thought.  The break will likely be a roller-coaster, but we will make it and get back to living our lives in relative harmony.  All couples fight, and we are no different except maybe in that we do it silently and with distance until one or the other is willing to talk about things.  Then, we have hopefully thought things through enough before we open our mouths (not always the case on my end) and say things out of displaced anger… I did realize again that (recently) it’s easier to be angry than sad.  I don;t exactly know when this shift happened, but it did.  I used to have an easier time being sad as opposed to angry, but something switched.  I dislike this new turn of events, because anger spurs more stupid words/actions on my part.  At least I know how to handle sadness (mostly… ok, not really, but maybe I have a better and less-harmful-to-others approach with sadness).  I dunno.  Anyway, I’m just glad she doesn;t hate m and want to divorce me (and she is glad the same is true on my end).  Funny how talking clears up so much… I was all worried that she hated me and my animals obsession enough to divorce me, and she thought my animal obsession would cause me to divorce her.  We were both really just scared of losing the other, but we were pinning the withdrawal on the other though they made no move to actually do so… gotta love communication.

I’m tired but I’m not, and the worry about going to bed is back.  I have the iPod tonight though. It had spent 2 nights in the car between Thursday and Saturday because I had forgotten to bring it in.  Last night I finally broke down and went out to get it.  I slept much better with my music (ok, I’m sure the Benadryl also helped some).  I just like having it to sleep with… I need to go switch the laundry now before I forget again.  Twigs has been peeing in her sleep more often than not, and we need to wash her diaper every time.  We forgot till later tonight, but I think it’s all done now.  Also, L is bored in there (also can’t sleep) so someone needs to keep her occupied 😉


No bombs were dropped by De in session today, though I did have a few panicked seconds when she started out a sentence with “my supervisor is all over me about…” (heart stalled and breath caught mid-exhale) “…asking you if we can keep your piece for further use” (resume breathing and pumping blood). I didn’t know what to say. I guess they really liked it. I asked if I could get back to her about it. De said that it will be displayed for the month of April, but that they would like to keep it to put up in the building. I’m not opposed to that, but I’m also really attached to the piece. I think if I leave it there, I will ask that my real name be used. Might as well get credit for it.  I also told De that I had been toying with asking for it back so I could tweak it because I had a million other ideas since I handed it in. She laughed and reminded me that was why I had given it to her when I did, so I wouldn’t mess with it and end up getting frustrated when it didn’t turn out how I pictured. She’s right, because I would over-work it and feel that I need to start all over again.  I don’t think I would have a fourth rendition in me before the beginning of April. It’s good I don’t have my hands on it anymore.
We spent the rest of the session talking about the pending move and how I will need to grieve the loss of the house and such, but that the overall result will be positive (the house does hold many negatives, as does this state. But it also was a “home base” for so long, a safety net if I need it. Hope I can get some sort of other safety net from it. I’m not going to hold my breath for that though).
I’m still adamant about not crying in front of others. She was trying to convince me that it would be ok, but all the judgements and fears around crying screamed in my head. I did tear up a few times with her today but refused to cry. I really don’t think I would have been able to stop if I had actually started. So I moved the conversation along (much like I keep my head moving all day and night so I don’t crack with tears). I had wanted to ask her to focus our work on the assaults and history with DuckBoy. I just didn’t find an appropriate way to slip it in to the flow. I needed more time to explain the rest of the week. I don’t think I expressed my distaste for loss in any meaningful way. I don’t think she gets how hard that is for me. I tend to stuff it all down, so it’s easy for people to miss the little hints. I just don’t do well with loss. A whole lot of loss is coming up real soon. It’s panicking me a bit, but I’m sure it will all be ok in the end (isn’t it always?). There’s always loss. There’s always change. Just gotta learn to go with it… don’t open your heart too much to prevent excessive pain with the withdrawal of whatever it was that you let worm its way inside.
The session flew by before I knew it. On the way out I asked if they had a shredder so I could get rid of the last pictures I found of DuckBoy yesterday. She suggested “making a moment of it” and that we could do it next week. I gave her the pictures to hold on to till then (I certainly don’t want them)…
(Strangely appropriate song just came on my playlist: Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt… covers the feel of all this.  It works for the house, the history, and everything else).
Is it weird that I miss my best friend from high school so much lately? I found some pics of her and of us the same time I found the DuckBoy pictures… one relationship I’d rather forget, and one I wish was still going. But I guess loss and grief are the themes of the moment (sadly there’s only the loss of DuckBoy for which I’m relieved, the other losses just hurt). I wish I had the gumption to track her down and show up at her door. I wish I had been a better friend. I wish I had fought harder when she ran away. But what do you do when a friend ceases wanting to be your friend? …I still have the mug she gave me for Christmas one year. It’s my favorite one. I really miss her.
The loss of this house means the loss of that last connection to a bunch of positive stuff. There will no longer be a safety net here… it sucks…

100-theme challenge 2014

I have participated in 100-theme challenges twice now, and I really liked some of what I produced because of them.  This year however, I wanted to put my own spin on things.  I wanted to come up with one myself.  A lot of my list can be interpreted in therapeutic ways (though admittedly, some were inspired by objects/events in the living room at the time of its creation), so I thought I would post it here in case anyone wants to participate.  The rules are simple: interpret the prompt however you see fit.  You can choose to post your work publicly somewhere, or keep it to yourself.  It can be in any form you wish as long as it can be considered creative in some way (drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, music, sounds, pictures, words, collages, performance, anything).  It’s really just supposed to give you topics you may not have thought of on your own to help spark creativity… I have liked the challenges in the past because I did things I never expected to do.  It forced me to take time out for creativity and story-telling.  Since I have been focusing more on my own art therapy of late, I figured this next one could be a way to help me express to De what I need to get out.  I will try to post anything I do of relevance.  I must warn you however, I go in spurts with these things.  Sometimes a whole bunch of work will show up at once, other times, there will be months without anything.  What I’m trying to say is: don’t hold your breathe for me to get the list finished in a timely manner.  I have had 2013’s list for the past year and only this past month have I started it…  I really liked that list though, so I will continue working on that one as well (rather than incorporate stuff from that list into this one).

Without further adieu, here’s my 2014 100-theme challenge:

1) candlelight
2) magnified
3) left standing
4) aftermath
5) breaking ground or ground breaking?
6) reaching out
7) trust
8) broken
9) in the daylight (everything is different)
10) rats in the walls
11) shattered
12) open to interpretation
13) flashbacks
14) heaviness
15) lighter than air
16) combustion
17) lights
18) hope/hopeless
19) under pressure
20) disclosure
21) history
22) presence
23) disappearing from…
24) gone away
25) at the dinner table
26) unbalanced
27) highlights
28) even snakes get the blues
29) enlightenment
30) despair
31) rave with me
32) the itch you can’t scratch
33) slippery slope
34) in my travels
35) it’s the end of the world
36) here there be dragons
37) firefight
38) spirals/spiraling
39) a blank canvas
40) just a thought
41) reflections
42) big trouble
43) happiness
44) wrath
45) associations
46) to the world
47) on the inside
48) truth in advertising
49) memory
50) deception
51) hollow
52) survival
53) turmoil
54) bad choices
55) comfort
56) falling (is like this)
57) open up
58) feety pajamas
59) what would you do?
60) superpowers
61) once upon a time
62) AWOL
63) hunger
64) the light’s gone out
65) running
66) awareness
67) transition
68) humility
69) conscience
70) memorable
71) convergence
72) destroy
73) buildings and bridges
74) the last time
75) vision
76) burning bridges
77) why
78) the first time
79) meditation
80) technology
81) walls
82) containment
83) distraction
84) anxiety
85) heart
86) it hurts like this
87) play it again
88) talk to me
89) open book
90) animals
91) brutality
92) nature
93) family
94) obsession
95) release
96) skeletons
97) peak performance
98) water
99) drowning
100) rescue
In case anyone is interested, the list I’m working on for 2013 is this (I think I have pieces to cover 7 of the topics… I’m seriously slacking!):
1. Break Away 2. Bites the Dust 3. Innocence 4. Drive 5. Sound of Settling 6. Mother Nature 7. No Time 8. Standing Still 9. Two Roads 10. Foreign 11. Breaking the Silence 12. Keeping a Secret 13. Blind Man’s Bluff 14. Waltzing 15. Traps 16. Mischief Managed 17. Lazy Days 18. Hot/Cold 19. Anyone Out There? 20. Seeing Red 21. Through the Fire 22. Between the Raindrops 23. Safety First 24. Puzzle 25. Gateway 26. Fantasia 27. Everyday Magic 28. Irregular Orbit 29. Change in the Weather 30. Nowhere and Nothing 31. Charge 32. Turn the Car Around 33. Colorless 34. Assassin 35. Daughters 36. Instant 37. Don’t Be a Hero 38. Born Without Time 39. Sound Effect 40. Little Bombs 41. Freak 42. American Boys 43. Clue 44. True Believers 45. Portable 46. Caption 47. So Close 48. Under the Red Hood 49. Dragon 50. Making History 51. Rivalry 52. Death 53. Excuses 54. Colors 55. Family 56. Music 57. Off Topic 58. Black and White 59. Memories 60. Song Title 61. Fighting Chance 62. Childhood 63. Shenanigans 64. Elements 65. First Time 66. Lost 67. Strangers 68. Insanity 69. Mirror 70. Silhouette 71. Zodiac 72. Dreams 73. Hope 74. Misunderstanding 75. Relationship 76. Stay Gold 77. Beauty 78. Alice in Wonderland 79. Runaway 80. Our Own World 81. Kiss 82. Little Things 83. Secret Admirer 84. Sweet Dreams 85. Past 86. Present 87. Future 88. Forgotten 89. Human 90. Silence 91. Breathe Again 92. Breaking the Rules 93. Fairy Tale 94. Death 95. Umbrella 96. Pattern 97. Season 98. Clothing 99. Animal 100. The Ones We Left Alive

The Hunger Games trilogy is great, albeit a bit triggering…

L and I went to the movies today.  It ended up being a bit of a bumble.  First, we went to the wrong theater, then got to the right one too late – our original movie was sold out.  We also wanted to see the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, so she got tickets for that.  It started an hour later, and lasted an hour longer, but it was REALLY good!  I was a bit on edge most of the movie, but it was an “ok” on-edge feeling.  The first several scenes involve her going through various PTSD symptoms, and I picked up on the others throughout the movie too.  Either this movie did better presenting the symptoms, or I read a whole bunch more into it than I did the first one.  I could feel her fear, anger, hyper-vigilance… I know it all too well.  But anyway, it was good.  And it leaves you hanging.  Fuckers.

Most of the way through the movie, I remembered that mom had expected us home around 4pm… oops!  It was now 5:30 and the movie still had 30 minutes.  I knew she wouldn’t check her texts, but I shot her one anyway.  I called her as soon as we got outside, and apologized for not showing on time.  Normally, this isn’t a big deal, but being Christmas and all, she was a bit miffed.  We got home in time to watch her down more wine and finish the last bites of her chicken.  We will have to atone for this with a gift of more alcohol sometime in the near future.  We really didn’t mean to get to off-track, but we rarely do.  After apologizing and chatting for a while, the tension eased and we enjoyed our dinner.  L even tried to translate some words into Hungarian through the internet, and we found the weirdest translation for cheesecake yet: “pictures of naked women’s legs to look at”… we laughed at that for a good 20 minutes.  I think either slang has gotten really wacky, or someone is trying to screw up poor, unsuspecting English speakers when they try to translate stuff to a language they don’t know…

Anyway, I’m again renewed in my desire to read The Hunger Games books, but I have to find them in hard-copy ( there’s just something “not right” about reading books on a tablet… I guess I’m old-fashioned that way.  I really like the feel and smell of a book, and they never run out of charge just as you get to the good part).  I wish we had paid better attention to the books my landlord had  left us before we donated them.  I know we had the whole trilogy, but I managed to keep only the second book… then that was donated when we moved out of the place.  oops! I should have known better, I liked most of the books C had left behind…

mostly-finished Inside-out Box & WIP painting that I have also given up on for the time being

ok, so I lied about updating that post… It’s been about 3 weeks since I declared it finished and showed it to De.  Sitting there looking at it in session, I realized how much I hated the ribbon around the outside lid and ripped it off as I walked back out of the building.  I felt much better.  i replaced the ribbon with black sand, but i still want to make a wall of small river stones or gravel along the curtain-line. To do that, i will have to buy some stones though.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my lack of supplies, or expertise in technique, or ideas, and just let the project rest indefinitely until I either get what I need, inspiration strikes, or I scrap it and change it all together.  This box has been sitting “mostly finished” since the beginning of the month.  It will likely stay like that for another several weeks as I have mentally moved on from it.

So, to keep from leaving too much suspense over the mostly-finished product, here are some pics.  I don’t know where the pics of the outside of the box went, apologies.

And here’s the WIP painting I mentioned.  It was born of an in-session assignment.  I got frustrated with the way I was painting the chair as well as my lack of definition/direction with the person in the chair, so I moved on to other things (specifically, a shadow-puppet piece based off the same image – also stalled due to my lack of knowledge about where to take the performance of it, and technical know-how to accomplish what I am picturing in my head).  I will finish this painting some day, but I doubt it will be any time soon.  All my current energy is focused on making that shadow-puppet piece work out.  I really miss puppetry.  I’m having a blast trying to figure stuff out for it, and it’s getting me in contact with puppet-arts people to help get things correct.  It has also renewed my interest in puppetry in general.


Unable to read others’ blogs today, and some blathering

I’m not sure what is up with my WordPress reader today, but when I click on a blog to read it, the application stalls and I’m forced to back out completely.  I apologize for not being able to keep up with everyone tonight :/ Hopefully it’s just a one-night bug that is only happening on my phone… sorry all!

Today was an ok day.  De called and we scheduled something for Tuesday. I hope I still am connected to the stuff that came up yesterday. She did not sound mad or frustrated that I asked for extra time.  I hope I can keep reminding myself of that when the fear of pissing her off comes up.  I obsess over boundaries not only because I fear rejection/anger, but also because sometimes I have trouble reigning myself in. I wind up relying too much on someone and it works to push them away.  I’m trying to find a happy middle ground (it’s harder than it looks). Most of the time when I was growing up, getting emotional needs met was nearly impossible in the chaos of all the domestic violence. Asking for support was often responded to with anger, frustration, or simply ignored (mostly anger tho).  I have trouble stepping back and knowing that I am allowed to ask for things, and that the response will not being a hugely disproportionate display of anger. The old hyper-vigilance to anger is made stronger when I feel more vulnerable.  I know I drive L nuts when I constantly check in to see if she’s mad at me.  I know I’ve driven others nuts with it also.  I’m sure De is getting frustrated with my constant checking and fear, but she has not said anything yet. It’s just difficult to step out of when so much is the same as my childhood once again (physical environment, and displays of anger or frustration all the time from those around me). I have trouble remembering that I am an adult who does not have to fear anger all the time from my dad or other adults. Once again I find myself stuck as both a small child and an adult.  I have more autonomy now, but I’m still very much a little kid emotionally… it’s quite frustrating (especially when the flashbacks or really strong memories hit. There’s not much I have found that lets me ground into the present because I get confused about what the present actually is. The people around me begin to look like those I grew up with, so I struggle to notice that I am no longer a kid.  Once again, my dog is mistaken for my dog growing up.  My wife is mistaken for my best friend in high school. It gets very confusing). It hits harder when other memories start to surface.  It feels like a domino effect of memories that come spilling at me. I can look at L, know she is L, then something gets triggered and she suddenly looks like C. I’ve noticed it more today and yesterday since the memories of DuckBoy bubbled up again.  When we are out of the house it’s not so difficult to recognize it as the past rather than the present. But when we are home, I forget and get lost quite easily. It doesn’t help that the energy in the house is still very much the same as it had been growing up. There’s anger and frustration busting at the seams. I hate it…

Anyway, yeah.  Asking De for some more support next week.  I’m hoping I can find something to get me through the two weeks she will be out between Christmas and New Year’s.  This program hasn’t called me back, and I don’t want to be left floundering for that long.  I know we meant to hold off on trauma processing until after the new year, but my brain has its own ideas. I’m partly worried about losing trust completely with her, so I think my head has kicked remembering into high gear (that, and holidays are always hard for me. Triggers get more frequent and varied while my ability to cope with them gets severely tested).

I seem to have an inability to leave an art project solely for work with De, even when I consciously choose to leave the piece at her office.  I have started drawing (and re-drawing) the image started with her on Friday. It’s in its third incarnation since yesterday morning.  I’m hoping I will be happy enough with one finally.  There’s still a few days till Tuesday when I go back to work on the one she is holding.  I’m hoping I will be able to get it right by then… one day, I will leave the work purely for there, but I have trouble reigning in the creative perfectionism to just one hour a week. If I end up happy with one of the versions, I will post it here.

Defenses and how they can be a real pain in the butt sometimes

So, I had therapy today.  It started out Ok.  I took my box project in and we talked about it.  It was a perfect segway for her topic, so it worked out.  Only part way through, my mind went blank. I couldn’t remember what the elements of the box meant.  I could not give her any specifics or tell her even the ball-park of what they represented.  We then moved on to her topic: tell her what some of that stuff is that I never manage to talk about.  My brain panicked further and I suddenly couldn’t think about anything at all. We were in the art room, and she asked if I could draw it out. I sat staring at the paper.  She nailed my emotion when she called it “freaking out.” So we changed the assignment to what it felt like in the moment, and what would be needed to feel safe enough to talk about that stuff. That was also difficult, but we talked through it. I managed to start drawing stuff. Part-way through the drawing, I paused.  She took that time to wrap up.  I felt lost and totally vulnerable, as we had not talked about the rest of the stuff that came up.  I didn’t have the courage to bring up what came popping into my head, and time was up.  I left feeling really vulnerable and small.  I sat in the parking lot journaling for an hour… I toyed with going back in, or calling her for support (or at least have help putting some of the vulnerability away). I ended up going home without asking for more support, but agonized over all of it the whole  rest of the day.  I wrote some stuff to De, and more came out than I intended.  It actually made things a bit easier, as I think that was the stuff struggling to surface in session today. I left her a message tonight telling her of it, and asking if she had extra time to talk about it, or at least help me box it back up till next Friday. She won’t get it till tomorrow, but that’s ok.  I really didn’t want to speak with her because I knew I would lose what it was I intended to say (she had answered the last few times I had called when I only wanted to leave a message). I’m kinda hoping she at least has time to talk a bit over the phone tomorrow so I don’t completely lose my connection to what came up today. I dunno.  We will see.


I have found a few resources on life with mental health issues without meds since I have chosen to stop taking those prescribed to me, and refuse to return to them for anything more than the occasional PRN (as needed).  I feel lucky that I have a family that supports my decision (backed by my continued over-all improvement).  I know that even if doctors or the courts were to try to force me into it, my family would stand up and fight for my right to refuse any treatment I disagree with… Some people don’t have that support.

I was reading a blog on the coercive and abusive nature of the psychiatric industry here in the US.  While I experienced some of that living up north, I see more of it down here.  When I had sought help last week in the form of a brief inpatient stay, I was told by the psychiatrist that “people can’t be in the hospital without meds!”  I agreed to let him prescribe something for sleep and something for anxiety (though he only wrote the sleep script, and I refused it 2 out of the 4 nights I was there).  Meds can have a time and a place, as I really needed something to help with the flashbacks Saturday night after they had restricted all my other coping skills while there (I was unable to talk to anyone without being blamed or preached at, I was not allowed to watch TV as they had “closed” the day room for the night, I could not call my wife before they closed the day room because I could not make a long-distance outgoing call, and no one was willing to make it for me, I had no access to music, I was not allowed to draw or write because it was “too late”… that left my option at: continue to escalate my discomfort with the flashbacks or take something to knock me out… I opted for the meds.  I’m pretty sure they do this on purpose to keep people reaching for the pills).  I watched more than one patient get drugged to the hilt because they were agitated or annoying (one man was on 100mg of Haldol shots every 4 hours because he was mischievous (just to give you an idea of how much that is, the guy was similar build to me, but if I were to take 5mg pill of Haldol, I would be out for 3 days… they gave him 20x’s that every 4 hours), but really, what do you expect us to do when you only provide entertainment/engagement for max 4 hours out of a day.  There is 1 TV for 18 people, and if you don’t happen to like what’s on when someone else picks the channel, you are stuck being bored).  There are 3 phones, but you can’t really call out (and how much time can one person spend on the phone anyway, especially when 17 other people are also trying to communicate with people).  Access to books, art supplies, music, and supportive others is severely limited.   Staff are short-tempered because they are burnt out and working with limited resources… So yeah, they medicate people to shut them up.  It’s easier to deal with a unit full of drooling, asleep patients than it is to try to provide even brief therapy.   Psychiatrists admit that most meds do not take full effect for several weeks, but they discharge patients after a few days of “stabilization”… So how are those meds really helpful at that point?

Once again, I’m saying our mental health system needs an over-haul. I think we need more focus on therapy and providing social supports for people.  We need less focus on lining pharmaceutical companies’ pockets with cash.  We need to listen to people.  We need to hear their stories and help them work through whatever it is that is causing this pain.  Meds can be used primarily as short-term interventions, but ultimately leave it up to the patient to decide.  I hate when a provider asks “Do you think the benefits out-weigh the side-effects?”  because they never want to hear “no”.  They only say that to make us feel like we have a choice, and are choosing to feel better by taking meds.  The truth is, most of the side-effects are not less hazardous or annoying even when weighed against the “benefits.”  Is feeling numb or drugged or insatiably hungry all the time really better than feeling waves of incredible depression?  To this day, I maintain that I have more control over myself and my impulses without medication.  The years since coming off them have proven that.  I no longer move to OD or attempt before I ask for more support.  I can think clearly through problems, and easier identify poor lines of thinking (even if I don’t necessarily work to change them at the time).   The few times I have taken even sleep or anxiety meds this past year, I have found my mood is exponentially more labile and uncontrolled.  I get irritable and lash out without a thought to the consequences of my actions.  A few days after having taken my pill, I find I blow up without provocation.  Once the meds have been processed from my system, I am back to my “normal” self – able to control my temper, which I had never had a problem with before starting meds. That processing time by the way, it’s much longer than they tell you.  Doctors will say many of the meds leave your system in a few days after stopping.  The truth for me is that they affect me much longer.  Trazodone, when used for sleep, is supposed to wear off within a day (according to numerous psychiatrists and a few of my therapists).  It takes my body up to a week to get rid of the effects of having taken it only once.  The longer I take it, the longer the effects last in my system.  The last “regular” med I took caused my body to withdraw from it for months even though I had only taken the med for about 3 weeks.  The over-all expected effect may wear off faster, but the side-effects and withdrawals can last much longer than they tell people.

Sadly, the mental health system is coercive in more ways than simply pushing meds.  In FL, you can be Baker Acted for simply “appearing to have a mental health problem”.  This means that a person can be held in a locked psychiatric facility for up to 72 hours while professionals decide if you actually are a danger to yourself or others.  Many times, they will medicate first, and make the decisions later.  If you refuse meds, you are considered “resistant to treatment” or “non-compliant” and can be deemed “problematic”.  Those labels will then increase your chances of being held longer.   The doctor at my most recent hospitalization made it clear that if I chose to refuse even the prescription of medication, I would be held under the Baker Act until I “accepted the help.”  Prior to my voluntary hospitalizations in SFL, I was involuntarily hospitalized several times (a few without merit, but since the psychiatrist was not on the DBT bandwagon, she deemed me a danger to myself and I was hospitalized for 7 days.  Had she bothered to look into the DBT goals, she would have realized that I had accomplished a lot that weekend and not actually been a danger to myself because I held things in check).  I was also threatened with being forced into ECT treatment after I refused to undergo the procedure voluntarily.  The doctor bullied me and threatened me (while I was involuntarily hospitalized under his care) for 5 days before he could not find other psychiatrists to concede I was incapable of making my own decisions.  Had I not felt as strongly, and not been as educated about my current condition and the uses of ECT, I would likely have given into his tactics just to shut him up (I guess being terrified of my dad for all those years, then learning to stand up to him, helped me stand up to this jerk).  There were times during his tirades that made me wonder about his own sanity.  When asked to provide studies and evidence that proved ECT was effective in treating addictions, or actually recommended for abuse/child sexual abuse trauma survivors, he told me it was my responsibility to look that up myself (please keep in mind he knew I had no access to journals, the internet, or any research information while on this locked unit, but still felt I should be the one looking it up).  It made me wonder if there was any evidence at all to back his claims.  I asked my family to look it up for me, and then I continued my search once out of the hospital.  I have yet to find any articles (peer-reviewed case studies or scientific research) proving that he was correct.  I had found several articles saying that ECT was in fact contraindicated for abuse survivors, but not a single one saying it was more help than hurt.  I had to fight this battle against a “professional”.

I think a huge problem today is that we, as providers, have fallen into a rut with our available treatments.  Money talks, and no insurance company is willing to pay for novel treatments.  There are very few funding sources for research into any new treatments, and large-scale studies need funding.  Students and researchers need to live after all.  They need to support themselves, their families, and their work.  They need people to take risks in backing the trial-and-error needed to come up with viable alternative solutions.

My idea for a competent and flexible treatment center is ever-evolving.  The more I learn about treatments that don’t work, the more I wish I had the knowledge, funding, and resources to provide options to others (and myself).  I know I need to work on my own stuff before I can initiate such an under-taking, but I don’t have the funds to find and hire people I think could actually help me.  Ideally, I would want a safe place to intensively work through all the crap in my head.  I want that safe place to allow me to utilize my known positive coping skills, but also help me develop new ones.  I want to have the option of talking about, communicating about, and sorting through everything that comes up when we open the topic of my traumas.  I want to be able to do that daily, or even several times a day.  I want to be able to take a break from it for a few days if it gets overwhelming, and not be deemed “stable enough” to be discharged.  I want to be able to have someone gently guide me back to dealing with things after a break.  I want to be able to face my triggers and work on coming through them safely on my own, but I also want to know there’s support there if I can’t accomplish that.  I want access to music and my social network.  I want access to my animals.  I want to be able to get out into nature (on my own or with someone else, depending on the situation).  I want to be allowed to cry, and learn that I can safely do that in front of another person.  I want to have people challenge me to get through things without resorting to self harm, OD, suicide, or PRN medications, but I also want them to support me if I do slip up and cut or need to take something for anxiety.  I want to have access to art therapy, music therapy, “alternative” therapies (basically anything that is not the western medical model), meditation, and holistic options.  There are places out there that offer much of this, but don’t accept insurance or payment plans.  That limits their treatment to the independently wealthy… and even then they limit what you can listen to, read, watch, or get support with…  If you happen to disagree with a “core” part of their philosophy, you might as well not show.  The place that looked best on paper had two major draw-backs: 1) it was self-pay only and very expensive ($16,000/wk and you are expected to stay a minimum of 4 weeks), and 2) you could only engage in recovery-oriented activities.  No music outside of meditation chants, no reading if it wasn’t directly related to recovery and treatment, and no TV or movies.  I’m a big proponent of diving head-on into your recovery, but every now and then your brain needs a break.  Even if I end up triggered or craving, it helps in the long run.  After all, I want to know how to handle those triggers once I leave the program.  Totally cutting me off from anything that may or may not cause a bump in my road to recovery only serves to disadvantage me once I leave the padded safety of the treatment center… but it’s a moot point anyway, I could never afford the place…

So yeah, we need to seriously re-think mental health care in this country.  Everyone is different.  Everyone responds differently to treatments, so let’s start catering to individuals… I just wish I had the resources and the voice to start the process.

Say Something, I’m Giving up on You…

My wife asked why I liked this song so much.  At first I wasn’t able to put an answer into words.  I knew it in my head, but a combination of embarrassment and fear kept me from being able to say it… that, and it wasn’t totally cohesive in my head at the time.  I was able to give her a hurried explanation later on, but it still feels inaccurate or incomplete.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’ll be the one, if you want me to.
Anywhere I would’ve followed you.
Say something, I’m giving up on you.

And I am feeling so small.
It was over my head
I know nothing at all.

And I will stumble and fall.
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawl.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you.
Say something I’m giving up on you.

And I will swallow my pride.
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.
And anywhere I would have followed you.
Oh-oh-oh-oh say something, I’m giving up on you.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
Say something…

I think it hits close to home, not with what I would say, but what I would hear.  I’ve lost so many in my life because my mental illness is too much for them to handle.  And each time I swallowed the news from that person without a word.  I cried to myself, or behind closed doors, or after they left, but not to their face.  In their presence, at the sound of the news, I shut down.  I switched my brain off, because it was too much of a loss (it had always been significant people in my life, never just an acquaintance, because acquaintances never knew)…

I first heard this song last week on the unit (I rarely listen to mainstream radio).  It struck me because L had just mentioned the night before that she was getting burnt-out on all this.  It brought the fears elicited by that statement into focus, and put words to it.  It put words to the other losses that had happened under similar circumstances.  It spoke my fears of losing De to being “too unstable”… and then seeing the video piece with the little girl… it just struck a cord.  I can relate to this song on so many levels.

Listening to it on incessant repeat lately helps me move through that emotion in measured waves.  It helps work through the (still stubborn) fears of losing both my T and my wife to this latest bout of decompensation (though both have told me that, as of the moment, they are still around).  I worry about how much more L can take of this.  I worry that she has no real supports down here.  I worry that the added stress of having to deal with the tension in the house will push her to the point of giving up.  I worry that another hospitalization will mean the loss of De as my therapist (2 hospitalizations would hint to more instability than she feels comfortable moving along with).  And with my luck, that would also be L’s breaking point… I know these are just fears, but they are real and present.  I know how taxing all of this can be.  I understand the impact, even if I don’t like it.  And I would understand if she were to choose to leave… I would hate it, but it would make sense.  I think that is why I fear it so much: because I can picture my own limits when placed under the same stressors.  I could see myself no longer being emotionally able to handle it, and needing to walk away.  It terrifies me that she will come to the same conclusion and leave to spare herself more pain.  It scares me a lot.

I know De’s limits, so it’s a bit easier, and a bit more real to think of losing her as my therapist.  I’m constantly reminding myself that I understand her stance.  I know the training that states that trauma work should not proceed without a stable emotional base – for safety reasons.  De reiterated all that yesterday.  She said she would not want to open something up, only to have me without support afterwards and have me become a safety risk… I know I also don’t necessarily want to do it without extra support because I know my own limits.  I have learned that I often need to process things a few hours later, and that the flashbacks kick in when the added safety of being around someone trained to help me process things disappears.  I know how I react to the telling of certain events.  I know it opens a flood-gate of emotions that I don’t often know how to control.  De keeps saying the worst part is behind me: the actual event.  But that’s not the part that scares me.  I am afraid of the onslaught of negative emotions that seep out after the box is opened.  Part of me is scared to tackle all this outpatient, but I also don’t have the option of a competent residential trauma treatment center at my disposal (most accept only private insurance if they accept insurance at all.  So many of the places I looked into are self-pay only).  So, I’m limited to trying this with an outpatient therapist, and I happen to feel comfortable with De.  She knows more of the “dirty” stuff than even Dr. C knew.  She may not have the full picture of it all, but I was at least able to open up around the concept of some of that stuff with her (I think because a lot of it is more common with assault/csa survivors than with the “general” trauma population as evidenced by some of the questions during the intake interview.  Some of the fear of talking about it dissolves when direct questions are asked about the possibility of it being a reality for me)… Even with all my trauma-awareness training and all my intellectual knowledge of the existence of it does not make it easier to accept in myself.  And even knowing it’s just thoughts, and never actions (especially after it was pointed out that my learning experiences until that time could warrant such a line of thinking.  I confirmed that it was abusive thinking and should never be carried out in action, which I had already known in my gut because it had felt wrong.  I’m consciously breaking those cycles), I feel wrong in having had those thoughts.  So anyway, yeah.  De knows more about the possibility of that stuff than anyone else.  If I want to continue working through all this, I would prefer to do it with her.  I know I need to continue to work on it because it’s very much in my face and present down here.  If I don’t work on it, I’m afraid I’d lose myself completely…

But I digress… This song has so much meaning, and serves such a purpose for me right now.  I apologize in advance to L for the obsessive nature by which I will be listening to it for the foreseeable future.  Just bear with me hon, I’ll use my headphones as much as I can 😉

Did this Sunday (11/14/13)… rough sketch, but I need to figure out how to use this program better before I can call anything finished… I’m better with traditional media…

Image (3)

damn therapy…

Our session with J was rough, as expected, but in a different way.  I came away feeling angry and invalidated.  I think I need to tell her to let up on the grilling about whether or not I feel like I am getting anywhere in individual therapy.  It’s a process… Trust is a process.  It takes time.  We’ve been seeing J for several months, but I have only been with De since mid-August.  She also said to call the IOP back and ask them for their reasoning behind not letting me back (after all, I did not act on my thoughts/urges, but I sought out help).  She thinks that the rule is stupid.  IOP is supposed to be for the added support, and supposed to be there as a step-down from an inpatient stay.  I was up-front with them about the suicidal thinking when I did my intake.  They knew that was an issue.  I did not make a move to act on the feelings, but I’m suddenly too much of a risk for having to have gone inpatient… J says she would go to bat for me about it with them, but she’s guessing it would be better coming from my individual T instead.  I told her I wasn’t sure I wanted to bother… I don’t like having to beg for help and having to convince someone to provide services.  Yeah, they are the only local place that takes my insurance, but… I dunno.  I’ll see what De thinks. I Just don’t get why I should have to fight for something 1)when I feel like crap and have no motivation, and 2)that I don’t feel worthy of.

J also said that L & I needed to be more direct and say things in the moment more often.  I disagree.  I think that leads to misunderstandings, needless fights, and a lot of hurt feelings.  So F-you J!  Grrr!!!  I’m kinda glad we don’t have her next week…

I see De tomorrow.  Hope it goes well.  I know my walls are up out of fear.  I don’t want to be referred out, but I have a feeling I will be (though that just may be the fear talking).  I’m trying not to get my hopes up, or to want to be too open.  I had mentioned that to J earlier, and that’s when she launched into her lecture on therapy being what you make of it.  

Anyway, came home today and tried my hand at sculpture again.  I haven’t done it in YEARS, so it came out pretty crappy.  Also, the Original Sculpey is super-soft and sticky, which makes it harder to work with (at least at this temp).  My piece ended up flopping over a bit, and it took forever to cure (tho I’m pretty sure somewhere the directions say not to do it in the toaster over, but I didn’t want to have to unpack the big oven for a few small pieces).  I left the sculpture really rough in hopes of being able to add more detail with the Dremel tomorrow.  I have never carved anything.  It will definitely be an adventure.  I took some pics of it tonight just in case I screw it up badly tomorrow.  I’ll only post it when it’s done though (or if I mess it up really badly).  There’s just something about some works that you can’t them show off before they are completed…


I will be seeing De on Friday.  She did not say she was referring me out over the phone, so I’m hopeful to still be able to see her.

I made it to a walk-in clinic today for my ear.  The breaking point was when it hurt a lot to try to listen to music this morning (without even trying my headphones). I have infections in both ears, as well as some gunk going on in my chest – fun times.  My insurance has not totally kicked in yet, so I can’t get any of the scripts filed.  The state told me to call back Friday and see if I met my deductible.  I hope so, because I could really use those ear drops.

We go to see J tomorrow for couple’s therapy.  I’m thinking it will be an emotionally tough session.  L resents when I chose to go inpatient.  Intellectually, she knows it’s better than the alternative, but she still feels left alone.  Intellectually, I know that she’s more mad at the situation than at me, but emotionally I feel like I again cannot get things right… my hospitalizations are turmoil on so many levels.  I’m glad we have J to talk it over with in a way that feels more safe.  Both L and I retreat into our intense emotions when talking about this stuff.  And I’m scared that this time she said she was getting burnt out on my depression.  I totally get where she is coming from, but I also fear the consequences. 

Losses (and the threat of losses) from my break-downs make it difficult to follow through on asking for help, let alone asking before it’s too late.  That, and I go very quickly from “managing” to “complete mess”. There’s not often much time for me to realize I need help.  Pair that with not really knowing what I need in terms of help, and I end up waiting until things are at the “drama” stage.  My emotional meltdowns pick up speed faster than a luxury sports car let loose on the Autobahn (sp?).  I need to figure out how to change that…

Anyway.  As long as I keep moving (and can sleep through sunrise), the hopelessness stays at a slight distance.  If I wake up before the sun, or stop occupying my brain, or if I’m reminded how useless my insurance is, the sadness and hopelessness starts to seep back in.  I can’t allow that right now.  The holidays are approaching.  I want to be here for that.  Also, De will be less available at that time, so I need to keep it together if I want to stay out of the hospital for New Year’s…

speaking to SJ’s panic

I saw De today.  It was good.  She helped ease some of my fears.  She spoke to the scared little kid in me who was terrified of losing the connection with her.   She did most of the talking, but it was stuff I needed to hear (SJ busied herself coloring a minion).  I was able to ask the main questions weighing on me.  She was able to explain that a discharge for being unstable would be looked at case-by-case.  We will be playing the next few weeks by ear.  She underscored that my safety was her top concern, and she wanted me to feel comfortable asking for help as needed without the fear of immediately losing the relationship.  She was very careful not to make any promises she would not be able to keep, but she was able to promise a termination session if it came down to it.  She explained a bit better what the bounds of that decision would approximate, which gave me a bit better idea of the whole process.  She also agreed we could do more art either in the art room, or her office if the art room is not available… I found out today she has play dough in her office… We may need to break that out next session.

De also seemed relieved that I am willing to go to the IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program – 9am-1pm, three days a week for about 8 weeks) and give it a shot even though it’s not exactly what I’m looking for.  The holidays will be dicey for scheduling, and she will be away for 2 weeks between Christmas and New Year.  She was quite up-front about being relieved that I will have the added support of the program during the time she will be gone.  I kinda feel bad.  I never meant to worry her like that.

Because of our conversation, I was able to admit that the hopelessness is still very heavy.  She encouraged me to ask for whatever help I think I need. She wants me to be able to ask for inpatient if that is something I feel I need at any time.  I’m going to give this IOP a try, and see how it works out.  I hope it will provide the safety net I am so desperately seeking.  I am a bit hesitant about trusting anyone there with my hopelessness.  I have been misunderstood/over-reacted to in the past by people at IOP’s which lead to multiple involuntary hospitalizations (and that was in a state that had stricter guidelines for involuntary commitment.  here, you just have to “appear to have a mental illness” in order to be able to be involuntarily held for up to 72 hours for psychiatric evaluation.  That’s a really broad phrase open to much interpretation… SCARY!).  I worry about saying things the wrong way (as is often the case) or confessing to my hopelessness and being hospitalized because of it.  To help with those fears, I am filling out paperwork that gives my wife power to make decisions for me (and if she is unable/unwilling, my mom gets the honor) in case they declare me “incompetent to make decisions” for any length of time.  I know both L and my mom are on the same page as I in terms of my mental health treatment.  I am confident they would support any decision I ask for.  It’s scary how paranoid that makes me sound.  However, having been in battles regarding my mental/emotional competence in the past, I want to make sure all my bases are covered.  One of my greatest fears is being forced into a treatment I do not want.

Jealousy and ::gasp!:: sex!

The topic of jealousy was addressed in couple’s therapy last week.  We talked about my lack of jealousy in intimate relationships.  It has a lot to do with how I see that reaction/set of emotions: as anger (and I have a huge aversion to anger).  Its not only that though.  It’s that I feel that jealousy is useless.  It causes a whole bunch of issues if it’s unfounded (which it often is), so I don’t expend much energy on it in relationships in the first place.  Yes, I’ll admit to jealousy of people who seem to have it together, of people who can keep their lives on track, or people who can make it through a day without thinking that the world would be better off if they just ceased to exist.  That I’m jealous of… but of someone choosing to leave me in a relationship?  No.  I’m difficult to live with, depressed, selfish, needy, lazy, and take way more than I give.  And this is not just my poor self-esteem.  This is the truth of the moment.  And it’s a truth I am not sure I am ready to change right now, not because I don’t care, but because I have not given myself permission to be any of these things until relatively recently in my life.  My history has consisted of doing nothing but giving to others and bending over backwards to please others even when I had nothing to give and was completely spent.  I have a history of ignoring my own needs and desires in order to make others happy (or keep them appeased).  So in the last 7 or so years (more so in the last 3), I have swung to the other extreme.  I take time for myself.  I throw little-kid tantrums to to get my needs met.  I am utterly selfish most of the time… and I feel incredibly guilty about it.  I’m at constant war with my “training” from my childhood, and the new information I’m given on a daily basis.  I have yet to find a happy medium.

The whole topic came about surrounding the concept of L’s crush on J.  J asked if I was jealous of L’s energy being put into someone else (or the concept of someone else).  I asserted that jealousy (at least the anger portion of it) was not something I ever really felt in any relationship.  It’s not that the relationship means so little, or that I feel so secure in the relationship that I have no reason to feel jealous.  It’s that I don’t feel I deserve to fight for it.  If someone chooses to move on from me, who am I to stop them?  I wasn’t worth the relationship in the first place.  I’ll be sad about it, but I don’t feel myself worth sticking around for.  J brought up a good point though.  She said that L was the one “disadvantaged” at the start of the relationship because she was the one pursuing me.  I was standoff-ish and non-committal (I had just come out of a 5-year relationship and my ex had been the one to get me the subscription to Match.com.  I did not yet feel ready to jump back into something serious, so I dated other people for the first 6 months I knew L).  She also brought up that a wandering eye in a relationship can often mean some needs are going unmet (to that I say: Duh! I’m still surprised that L has chosen to stay in this relationship, as it seems to be me doing all the taking while I battle my demons.  I would hate being in a relationship with myself…).  Jealousy is supposed to help signal that something is going unmet, and supposed to motivate me to work to meet those needs…  The thing is, I feel incapable at this time of meeting some of those needs.   How do you make emotional space for something you battle another aspect of daily?  How do you balance caring for others and caring for yourself if your needs happen to be on opposite ends of the spectrum.

And now comes up the topic of sex… This is a tough one for me.  I am torn between the teaching/learning that sex is a taboo topic, and society’s push to sexualize just about everything.  I’m embarrassed by it, and my struggles with it.  In a culture where sex is freely bragged about, all over TV, and “expected”  once you hit a certain age, I am hindered by the shame brought on from abuse.  Don’t get me wrong, it can be incredibly wonderful (especially with a partner to whom you are connected).  But it can also be scary as sin.  I have a history of molestation and rape… and the memories have come back with a vengeance since I moved back “home”… I don’t talk about it much.  I talk around it, but not about it.  It has always effected me, but it became a much larger obstacle in this environment.  I’m back in the same place where a lot of it happened.  I’m back in the same neighborhood, the same house, the same room… The memories and flashbacks came much harder and more often when we first moved back here, but they still linger.  I have put up walls around myself to stay out of that head-space.  I try my best not to think of any of it, but that means I avoid it with my wife also (talk about frustrating on her end).  The act of having sex still very much triggers me. I get lost in the memories, and I suddenly can’t tell if I’m with my wife, or with Duckboy. Time warps. I’m at once very young and 16 and 34. My body confuses the physical sensations. My head launches into the past… The use of names during sex creeps me out, but I’m not quite sure why (that may go back to me having trouble associating with my name at times).  I try my hand at changing the associations sometimes, but it’s difficult to do and does not always work.  So how do I explain it to my wife without making her feel unloved and unwanted?  I’m not sure… which leads to resentments and unmet needs.  It leads to her desperately searching for a way to get those needs met within the bounds of our relationship (toys are wonderful inventions)…  And it leads to a lot of fights.  Neither of us likes to make the other feel bad, so we walk on eggshells in our fighting.  We simply don’t talk much.  We distance ourselves and cry and feel abandoned… I hate it.  I wish I could change this about myself.  I wish I could be ok with having sex all the times it comes up.  I wish I could take those horrible memories and wipe them from my head.  I wish I didn’t confuse her touch with the memory of his… I wish I could be normal!  And I wish society did not place such emphasis on sex and sexualized behavior.  I’m glad we can talk about it more openly, but at the same time, we are barred from talking about the scarier side of everything, the uncomfortable stuff, and the issues surrounding any negative experiences.  Victims are still very stigmatized, and perpetrators are still somewhat exulted…

So I started working with De back in late August.  She is a therapist at the local sexual assault crisis counseling center.  Only, as much as I want to focus on the assaults and getting over the associations I have with sex, all the other stuff also crowds the exits and we are again left doing crisis stabilization instead of any meaningful trauma work.  I don’t know how to change that…  On Friday, De had mentioned trying a to start processing the traumas that I have experienced.  I had desperately wanted to jump into everything and start right there, but my fears got the best of me. While I want to share the details of the past, I wish that no one else would ever have to experience it or hear it. And I worry that, in the telling, I will come to the realization that my reactions are over-blown, I will be invalidated in my pain (It really wasn’t that bad. Others have had it worse. You call that trauma? You’re just a whiney little child! <–all things I have heard in the past at one time or another). Also, I have a history of falling apart completely when facing my past.  I have always lost complete control and become a huge liability.  I tried telling her this, but I am not very good at expressing things a lot of the time (and people seem to have a difficult time grasping the extent of my decompensation unless they witness it for themselves.  It's such a huge departure from my presentation when I'm "together" that it's difficult to imagine).  I tried to tell her that I am willing to try it as long as we can guarantee it can be done safely, but that my fears make me believe that I should do it while inpatient.  I came off sounding like I did not want to try it, which is completely wrong.  I want nothing more than to tackle all of this once and for all… but I'm terrified.  I don't trust myself.  I don't want to put my wife through that level of "crazy" again.  I don't want to cause De to resent ever having taken me on as a client.  I don't want people to think less of me (I have a desperate desire to be liked while still feeling completely unworthy of that positive association).

My fear of falling comes not only from my past, but also from the ever-present thoughts of suicide that haunt the back of my head.  Even if I don't have an active plan or desire to kill myself, the thoughts are always there.  To have that so close, and to think of tackling trauma issues outpatient (which can be incredibly triggering) is very scary… but then why am I seeing De?

(in proof-reading this post, I find I have not touched on what it was that I originally wanted to say, but I also have lost whatever that was… humpf.)

Can’t shake feeling awful

Called to get info on services for a friend, and they filed a report.  Hoping she can get the help she needs tho.  Feeling shitty.

today – therapy & the beach

Today’s session with De was interesting. I didn’t quite talk about all of the stuff I wanted to talk about, but we did spend the session on something really important. She helped normalize some of the things I have been stressing over. She also said it was important to “honor where [I’m] at” before trying to get past it. I told her I felt like I had been stuck here forever, but she reminded me that things like that take time to “get over” and there have been a lot of recent triggers that are just that: triggers. They don;t necessarily have to come from some known place, but can be something as simple as a smell or a phrase. This past week, “triggers” had been all around, so it’s understandable that I would be falling back into a more vulnerable space. She also reminded me that what I had been worried about was inherently a vulnerable position, but especially so because of my history. I guess I see that, but I’m still frustrated by it. I wish I could make it all better already. I feel like I need to do this for not only myself, but also the others around me. So what that the house is the same and the room is the same and a lot of the people are the same… I should be habituated by now. We’ve been here for 10 months already, the triggers should not be as “loud” as they are… De reminded me that one huge factor had not been present the whole time (G), and that it changes things. She also wanted me to remember that everyone deals with things on their own time. Others may think I should be “over it” but they are not in my head… I guess she’s right. I just can’t help but feel pressure from them (either created by me or actually there, I’m not quite sure) to be better already.

As I talked about all this stuff with her, I proceeded to peel the color off my coffee mug. She mentioned that it seemed easier for me to talk about emotions if I had some kind of distraction (art, peeling the mug). Yeah. It is. A measure of dissociation is good to help me skim the surface of the emotions without getting lost in them. At least, it’s working most of the time.

We set another appointment for Tuesday. I’m glad she just kinda went with offering it, because I don;t think I would have done too hot waiting for a whole week, but I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to ask for it.

After therapy, I didn’t really want to be home. Some days (especially if they are emotionally charged) it feels like there are huge iron bars on the windows and doors as if it were a jail cell. It has felt this way since I was a child. L was ok with going out again. I had wanted to hit up the Everglades, but she suggested the beach. We came home long enough to use the bathroom, change, eat, and head out. It was nice to be out there. While I hated the beach growing up, I am totally in love with it now. The water and sky is so relaxing. We played around for a few hours. Most of the time was spent in the water. There were small fish near shore and they scared the crap out of me every time they touched my feet. I took to trying to float most of the time, until one fresh little fish decided it would be fun to swim up my shorts. I would have shot straight out of the water if my feet had something to push off of. I ran right to shore cursing the fish the whole time. I think he won the bet with his fishy friends about who dared to swim up the girl’s shorts… ugh! Anyway, I got some nice pics. I really love the beach. I love the water the most. Tomorrow will probably be the Everglades though… Nature is definitely my Zen place.



I woke to the sounds of a storm around 12:30 a.m. and have not been able to fall back asleep.  I did go out to round up the outdoor kitties (they hate storms and getting wet), but now I’m wide awake still and it’s 2 a.m. my wife gets up in 2 hours and I take her to work. I normally would just let her take the car, but I want an escape option with G here visiting. I normally can’t fall asleep again after that until about another 2 hours later.  Then 3 hours after that I have to pick her up again. 
We have a full day ahead of us once she gets home.  (We planned it that way to minimize time with G to avoid conflict).  I’m glad we will be it,  but the thought of yet another long day on very little sleep is frustrating. 

I even saw the med guy yesterday, but he was not really any help.  He lowered my dose of sleep meds and of the anxiety meds.  I had hoped to change the anxiety med to something that did not make me so cranky, but we could not agree on an alternative.  I would prefer someone less flakey to prescribe them, but I will take what I can get for right now.  I still have no insurance or benefits of any kind, and no hope of getting any for at least a month. 

I called the state to find out what I need to do to apply for Medicaid, but she did not tell me It would be so complicated (they want me to do it online, but they have merged my mom’s case with my wife and I’s. The way to apply suddenly got way more confusing. It gets filled under my mom’s name, but with my info…) I have to call them again later today to get clarification on the proper way to do it. I wish they had done their job the first time and not just closed the application. Ugh.

De and I kinda touched upon the need for some higher level of care (php or iop), but I still don’t have benefits, so it’s a moot point at the moment. Also, I think I’m functioning ok right this second.  It may change in 2 weeks, but right now I’m ok. I do wish we could have more sessions regularly, but I’m not going to push it at the moment.  I don’t want to have to find another therapist all over again, and I’m not sure of her willingness/availability/ability to do more than one session a week outside of special circumstances…

My head won’t stop running.  :/ I know I need sleep, but my brain has other ideas (penguins don’t have knees right? What is the air speed velocity of an un-ladened swallow – African and European? Did i just spell swollow correctly if writing about the bird? Why do we call millipedes that when they only have a few hundred pairs of legs? Will the dog be able to get comfy and sleep on the floor if i kick her out of my spot? Or will she whine and complain? Can I find a massage place that will take me today to try to get the kinks out of my neck and back? Does any of this really matter at 2:15 a.m.?)… ugh!

Someone hit me over the head with something so I pass out already, please?!