Tag Archives: figure it out

It’s weird…

For the second week in a row, I’ve only had an individual session this week. It’s kinda weird. For the last 6 months, I’ve had at least group on top of the individual session every week. Many of the weeks lately have also included a second individual session… it’s weird not having all that additional contact. I really miss going to group, and I miss the opportunity to touch base with Dr C again during the week. It’s weird having to carry what’s in my head for a full 7 days. I’m not in dier need of the extra contact, but to apply a concept TL had pointed out: why wouldn’t I miss someone/something I see/have weekly for the past several months?

I’ve been working, so I’ve been distracted, but I still look at my phone at about the time I should be leaving for group… I missed it so much today that I ended up texting Dr C during group to say I missed it :/ 

I don’t think it helps that i’m feeling really exhausted with this new schedule. All the things I normally do to balance myself or relax have been pushed to the wayside. I haven’t done any art. I haven’t gone to group. I can’t focus on television much… I haven’t even paid much attention to the critters lately. I feel like all I’m doing is “going” until it’s time to go to bed. Even at that point, I feel pressure to get to sleep so I can get enough of it before I have to wake up and start again… I don’t know how L does it with her intense schedule. I can’t even remember how I had done it in the past…

I love this temp job. It’s super-fun and interesting. I’m just not adjusted to the schedule change yet. Sadly, it’ll probably be over before I can get used to it. Maybe I can talk to the boss and have her keep me in mind if they need help again down the line?

I dunno. I should probably get to bed now. I don’t have a good closing paragraph, sorry…

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5 am, we meet again.

It’s 5 am. I’ve been awake since 3:30 after having fallen asleep around midnight… this has been a trend for about 3 weeks now, interrupted only by me remembering to take benadryl a few nights here and there (when I don’t have to function at all the following day). This insomnia is certainly not helping my depression or functioning.

If we weren’t in the process of referring out and termination, I probably would have reached out to TM about the increasing lack of sleep. Now? I dunno. I can’t get over feeling like there’s a boundary there I need to keep to. We are ending. Reaching out for anything other than scheduling feels like a big “no-no”…

I keep coming back to frustrations around a lack of support. I’m guessing the IOP will not work out due to finances. I don’t want to ask TM to extend our sessions until I leave merely for support. She’s got limited availability as is, I don’t want to keep wasting her time… that leaves me with trying to muddle through on my own.

I’ve thought about reaching out to friends and family for support, but I feel like a huge bother. There were a few times I wanted to talk about stuff with L, but she’s got so much on her end, it’s not fair to bug her with it (and I’m not totally sure how to talk about it). I had tried to process Wednesday’s appointment with TM, but she quickly switched back to talking about whatever was going on for her that day. I didn’t attempt to revisit. I know, my fault. I should be more assertive in wanting to talk, but I feel so defeated and overwhelmed, I’m not going to beg anyone to sit through my struggle to articulate things; not TM, not L, not anyone. It’s just all pointless.

Part of me wants to call insurance today to see what can be done in terms of accessing additional support, but I really don’t like asking for favors. I don’t want the hospital program to do anything out of the norm for me. I don’t want to bother TM with anything. I don’t want to ask for more. I’ve taken plenty already, I should be good with all this… only I’m not. I’m coping on the outside and crumbling on the inside. My internal resources are running dry again. Bed is looking more and more inviting 24/7/365… there’s other things that are yet more inviting, but they are not an option despite being on my mind all the time…

I just have to get through this move, then I can worry about what to do up there again. I gotta get through this move…


That mythical move is actually set to happen

We found a place that will take all of our dogs. The move that was supposed to happen over a year ago is finally happening. As excited as I am to be back with my wife, the reality of the circumstances around the move are hitting hard.

Now comes crunch time. I have to pare down a lifetime of things to fit into 850sqft… and it will take our things 2 weeks to arrive. That means I have to figure out what we absolutely can’t live without for 2 weeks. That also means I have to get L to invest in some larger Tupperware up north because the critter homes will be in transit a lot longer than it will take us all to drive up… this should be “fun”, lol.

I’m still trying to figure out what to write to TM as my goodbye. I’ve not had this much trouble with expressing “thank you & goodbye” in a long time… I’ve started 4 times, and I’ve trashed each one. I’m supposed to have it for tomorrow. Dunno if that’s going to happen. Maybe by next week (our last session), I will have it down.


This!! This is what happens with all that emotional crap with me!

randomly stumbled upon a blog called The Girl Who Lived and started reading (I do that sometimes. I stumble upon something without any clue what it actually is, and I start reading…) and it hits home. THIS is what I cannot seem to actually explain to anyone, and why therapists often look at me like I have 5 heads when I tell them I have no idea what I’m feeling… (she was describing an occurrence of being triggered without actually knowing what triggered it, and then what came after for her).

And I sat on the couch and folded laundry and but on some mindless television. The American Idol auditions, in fact: something dumb and non-taxing, but which occasionally provokes an emotional response in me through some manipulative back story. The perfect outlet for the emotionally-crippled, who tend to take our tears where we can find them.
I found some there, that day. Only once they started, they were hard to stop. A little desperate, those tears. A little scary. Something big seemed to be threatening to happen.
It’s happening, I found myself thinking, wildly. It’s happening.
 
What’s happening? the Sherlock part of my brain barged in and asked. What’s going on here?! Have I authorized this?!
 
Oh. Hmmmm. Tears immediately ceased. Trying to analyze what was happening seemed to be the quickest way to stop it from happening.
then a short ways down:
My husband came down from his office around then to see how things were going, and I told him what had happened with the tears, and he asked what I was feeling.
“I’m not,” I said.
“No, I mean, what feelings is this bringing up for you?”
“I’m not having feelings,” I said. “I’m having an emotional reaction.”
 
He looked at me. “Um.”
“Yes, I realize that those technically mean the same thing.”
Raised eyebrow.
“They do not necessarily mean the same thing for me. My body is having the reaction. My intellectual brain is not involved, and if my intellectual brain tries to get involved, it makes the reaction stop, so I’m just staying out of it and letting the reaction happen without trying to figure out what’s causing it, you know?”
I might need to show this to TM at some point… It may be effective in heading off the “you seriously have 5 heads right now” stare at least in regards to emotion-labeling. (I think this phenomenon is also what tripped up De and I: I was in an intellectual rather than emotional space when we worked on identifying my emotions. Intellectually, I knew the emotions I should be having, and what they would be called, but I couldn’t necessarily tell her what they actually felt like. Had I been stuck in my emotions, I would have gone round and round without being able to tell her anything. She would have suggested things, and I would have blindly picked a few because that is what would have been expected of me). Maybe I need to specify that I have no concept of what the emotions are when I am actively lost in them. I lose the capacity to understand what labels go with what feelings, and what I’m currently feeling actually is… I can grasp the concept of confusion, terror, relief, and happiness, but the subtle nuances that would separate out other emotions elude me at times like those. I can recall several times I have been asked “what [am I] feeling? what’s going on for [me] right now?” and I have no answer. Heck, when De announced her resignation from the agency, tears spilled from my eyes, but I couldn’t tell her what I was actually feeling. I still have no real idea what it was; sadness? anger? fear? loss? grief? I don’t know. Maybe all of those, maybe none of those. Maybe it was resignation? Anyway, yeah, I have no intellectual grasp of the emotions I tend to feel when I am feeling them. I can hazard a guess based on what I someone suggests I should be feeling, but I have no real concept of what the particular emotion actually feels like. A lot of the time, my intellectual understanding of an emotion does not match the emotional experiencing… And if I ever really try to examine and label an emotional experience, I lose touch with it and switch to the intellectual side of things.
I’m not the only one who experiences this?? This is awesome. Not in the “yeah! another screwed up person in the world!” but in the sense of “Yeah! I finally have a description and someone else gets it!” kinda way.

Honesty in treatment

I’m a believer (most of the time) that honesty in treatment is the key to making any progress.  I say “most of the time” because sometimes my fear gets the better of me and I want to hide the ugly or scary parts of myself.

In an attempt to “just breathe” and get through the weekend, I tried to take a step back from myself for a moment.  I opened up my journal and started to write a list of what I get from my behaviors and actions.  I wanted to be as brutally honest as I could be with myself, so I resolved not to show it to anyone.  I wrote all the contributing factors down no matter how shameful or embarrassing they may be.  I was originally going to make it a cbt/dbt-style exercise with pros & cons, and some challenges to the reasons, but I eventually decided to stick to simply listing the reasons.  I am not necessarily in a place to objectively challenge any of those thoughts or beliefs, so I didn’t want to torture myself further by trying (honesty can be scary, especially with all the judgements flying around in my head).  I came up with a pretty comprehensive list.  I think I covered everything I get from my behaviors. I even managed to cover some stuff I do not like to admit to myself that I get, but I wrote them down in an attempt to be brutally honest with myself.  I find myself very stuck in therapy partly because I cannot get past the shame and embarrassment of a lot of things.  I’ve made some progress with De on some of the shameful stuff, but there’s heaps more back there still.

My problem comes now in the sense of urgency I feel at needing to talk about this stuff.  I’m afraid that if I don’t talk about it right now, in the moment, and to someone who can follow-up with me on it, I will lose my drive.  I will find ways to talk myself out of the reasons.  The thick walls of shame will fly back up in a flash, and I’ll be stuck again.  My hope is to be able to talk to De about all this, but there are boundaries in place over extra contact (boundaries that I desperately need right now).  I have to wait until Tuesday to talk about it.  Intellectually (and from a professional perspective), I totally get this and know I should wait.  The little kid in me is having an emotional shit-fit however.  She’s stomping her feet and dying to beg for a chance to address this in the moment.  I’m trying to calm her down.  I know I cringe at admitting most of the list to De (a professional I have grown to trust), let alone anyone else I may not know or that may not have the professional perspective.  I know this needs to wait to be addressed in an emotionally safe environment, but damn I wish it was now.  I am trying to compromise with the emotional side of myself.  I wrote it out where De will be able to see it and know it exists, but I have asked her not to read it.  I am trying to commit to myself to leave it up where she can see it, and to trust that she will not read it before Tuesday (I have no reason to believe she would not do as I ask).  I know I need to address this stuff to be able to move past it, but I also know shame can cripple me in it.

On one hand, it’s really good that I have the freedom to show or hide from De whatever entry I need to.  It helps me censor myself and practice self-containment.  On the other hand, it allows me to hide things I may need to address but am too ashamed of  admitting.  My ability to communicate is ever-evolving.  I am still learning balance.  I’m hoping the blog helps with that.  I know if it were something I could not edit (like an email after it is sent), I would drive her and myself nuts more than I already do. I think honesty is incredibly important in treatment, but so is self-control on my behalf.  With the blog I am learning that I can be more honest when writing, but I am also learning that there are some things I need to learn to reign in.  I am able to spill a lot to her, but also go back and hide things or reveal things after the initial emotional spillage.  As L reminded me this morning, sometimes things need to “marinate” before being addressed. I’m grateful De puts up with me and my alternating emotional explosions and implosions (sometimes she gets way too much info, other times I am unable to give her anything at all).  I’m learning the balance with honesty also.  Right now, I am at the stage of needing to be able to tell her everything and be taught what needs immediate addressing vs. what can wait… I hope she doesn’t hate me for this learning process. She only has to put up with me for another 2.5 weeks anyway (I know, not an excuse to completely lose my shit right now)…

::deep breath:: the process of learning things as an adult that I never learned as a kid is incredibly trying and painful… and way more difficult because as a kid, it was expected that I didn’t know this stuff.  As an adult, I should know better by now and be past these little hissy-fits.


And so begins the three months

I’m headed back down south after our “vacation” up north, where I’m leaving L to get us settled before I come up with the zoo. This is the first time we have voluntarily spent time apart for longer than a week, and definitely the longest we have been apart since meeting 6 years ago.  This will be a test of our relationship, but it will hopefully help us ease out of our intense co-dependence…
I’m a bit nervous about my eventual relocation. I was hoping to get back to being able to see Dr C, but she has not responded to any calls or messages since I mentioned we were coming back.  I know I have time yet, but I like to plan when it comes to this stuff. I like to know I have support through transitions. We’ll see.  She may return a call when it’s finally closer to the move. If not, I will have to find someone else that can take state insurance and has expertise in trauma, sexual assault, and “bat-shit crazy” (lol)…


midnight ramblings

My stomach hurts (from an infection due to an antibiotic), my head hurts… and my heart hurts.  And I can’t seem to alleviate any of it.  The medicine doesn’t take away the stomach or head pain, and I don’t think there’s a medicine for the heartache (at least none that would be “healthy”).  So I’m trying to drown it all out.  I’m sitting here bingeing on Grey’s Anatomy hoping that their story will make me forget my own for a bit… It only works half-way.

Friday De asked me to help her help me figure stuff out.  She said that she was willing to work on stuff, but I had to point her in the right direction.  She wanted me to tell her what I need… Great, if only I knew.  This all has eluded me for 2 decades, how the hell am I supposed to come up with insight now? I tried to express what I mean when I say I “get stupid” about things, but I don’t think I did a good job.  What I mean when I say it is that I cannot apply any of my learning to myself, nor can I figure out a helpful strategy for any hypothetical client that may be going through any of what I am. I get lost and I don’t know how to help anyone else or myself.  I’m at that stage now.  I have no clue what else needs to happen to allow me to move on from things.  The only thing I do know is that the flashbacks, unwanted memories, body memories, and nightmares don’t go away… I don’t know how to alleviate them or make them less of a problem.  I just don’t know what to do next.  She had said she could just ask me questions, but that it would not be helpful, more along the lines of torture.  I can handle torture.  I know what to do with that.  I don’t know how to deal with all this though.  I know how to run or numb or cut, but I don’t know how to simply move on.  Apparently, neither does she.  I tried to tell her that the time she sprung talking about Duckboy on me was good, but she doesn’t want to over-do that.  I have no answers for her.  I have no insight or ideas.  I just don’t know what to do (if I did, I probably wouldn’t need as much of her help).

So what do you do?  How do you move on? What makes things like this better?