Tag Archives: freaking out

Hell is…

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Went to a figure drawing thing at a local gallery tonight. The model was supposed to be a woman, but she was unable to make it at the last minute. One of the guys that had come to draw offered to model…

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I made it through the first 30 minute pose, but just barely. I focused on the light and the dark trying to draw the model. It was the only reason I was able to do it at all…

At the end of the first pose, I packed up my stuff and left. Tears started forming in my eyes as I walked out… sometime during the first pose, I had text Dr C about it. I was looking for permission to leave. She hadn’t responded at the point that I left, but I had no faith in being able to remain “together” for the other 4 poses. I lucked out with the first one – he had his back to me and I couldn’t see too much. I wasn’t about to push my luck with the other poses.

I fought tears the whole drive home. I couldn’t get the image of the model out of my head, but it wasn’t really the model… I cried harder when the body in my mind’s eye changed…

Dr C finally responded as I was pulling off my exit from the highway… “No, you need to know that you’re free to leave any room with an exposed penis in it.” (I had asked if it was a failure to leave after the first pose)…

L asked why I was home so early (the text that I was leaving early didn’t get to her). I clarified my initial text about the model not being able to make it. She asked if I was ok, and she saw through my fake answer… I wish I could explain what happened internally, but there are no words…

I poured myself a triple glass of whiskey. It’s helped to stifle my triggered reactions and the impulse to shred myself… idgaf that it’s not the greatest coping skill in the world, but I’m not bleeding, so whatever.


Dear TM…

Dear TM,

Everything inside is collapsing, but I’m pushing through. I keep remembering you telling me to just power through these next few days and everything will settle more after the move. I wish I had recorded that conversation, because I could really use actually hearing it again right now.

not my image…

 

I want to cry and scream and break things. And I want to jump for joy. And I want to hide in your office and find comfort in your presence. And I want to go to the beach & take it in again before leaving. And I want to destroy myself. I want all these very opposite things all at once. I hate that I feel things so strongly, with very little idea of how to moderate them. I wish the feelings were not so intense. I swear I never grew out of that little kid stage where every negative emotion feels like it will kill me. It’s all so intense right now. If I’m not walling it off and numbing it out, it’s eating me alive.

I’m doing it though. I’m powering through without totally self-destructing. I’m keeping the sh in check. I’m reaching out to friends and family… Just have to make it through this weekend and the move.

I go back to see Dr. C¬†on the 13th. I have to figure out how to catch her up on everything that’s happened in the last 2.5 years. I almost want to ask her for a longer session so I can get it all out at once (because I don’t think I’ll be able to see her again till August due to finances). I’m really hoping she will be around for a while. I think she is planning on retiring this year. I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t want to have to keep saying goodbye… :/ At least I know her and trust her. That will be good to go back to. I’m sure there will be an adjustment period, and I’ll have to refresh her memory on stuff, but it won’t be as bad as totally starting fresh.

Trying to remember to breathe…

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to maintain contact so badly when I’m leaving (but not being able to). I have not wanted to be friends with an ex-t in SO long… well, not friends, but I want you to still be in my life. Only I know even if I were staying we would have ended b/c I was crashing. This sucks. If I win the lottery ever, I will donate some to you guys with the suggestion that you work with clients for longer once again, and be able to provide more supportive services. Trust is SO hard. To have to build it time and time again in short order just keeps replaying all those childhood hurts. But you said you understood that, so I don’t really need to tell you so much as I need to tell the county… ūüė¶

Anyway, I’ll shut up now. It’s not like you will ever see this. I hope you have a good weekend, and enjoy margaritas on your patio (did we ever talk about my margarita obsession? because when you mentioned it I did a double-take… fresh Lime in the Coconut margaritas are my favorites… another thing I will miss about here). L comes down Sunday, and we have already slated in margarita nights before leaving… I wish you could have met her (and she you)…

Anyway, yeah… I miss you a lot, but that call the other day helped a ton. Gonna keep reminding myself of all you said. Thank you for being so nice…

pieces,
sj


Sundowning is not just an institutional thing

As soon as the sun goes down, my panic skyrockets and my flashbacks pick up stronger. They build each other up cyclically. The panic increases the flashbacks which increases the panic which increases the flashbacks and around it goes… add into the mix that the flashbacks trigger the self harm urges, which also feed into the loop, and I’m a mess shortly after dark.

The anxiety and terror around going to bed are back again too. If I’m in bed before the sun goes down, it’s not so bad (even if I’m up afterwards). It’s when the sun goes down and I’m not in the bedroom that the panic hits really hard about returning to the room… and the flashbacks, and the terror, and the self harm urges…

I’m really hoping it will ease up once L is here, and again once the move is over.

On a cute note, our great niece is already packing for a sleepover at our new apartment… L tried to tell her we won’t even be there for another week, but she’s getting prepared anyway. Once she’s got her mind set on something, there’s no stopping her.  Gotta love kids ‚̧


Therapy in T-4 hours 5 minutes

And I haven’t slept well. Insomnia kicking in again this past week, though not as bad as it could be. 4 hours is still double what my average is when things get really bad.

I’m anxious about session. I brought up the concept of this negative transference via message, and now I want to run from it (and TL). I keep thinking she is mad at me and disapproving. I don’t know how to shake the feeling. I’m pretty sure it’s all related to the past, but knowing that isn’t helping ease it. I just want it to be 10 am already. I want to face this and see if I can figure out if it’s as bad as I fear… at the same time, I want to run and hide. I’m desperately seeking this safe place that doesn’t end up feeling safe because of the triggers. Then I spend the next week trying to get over all the stuff brought up but not adequately addressed in the hour…

I don’t know how to effectively do this right now. I don’t like the “getting to know you” phase, and I like it even less when it drags on for months.


“How do you experience dissociation?”

This question came up in an online support forum, so I thought I may as well put my response here too.

Most often when I dissociate, I space-out and feel like I’m either miles away behind my eyes, or in a dark space that is safe. I speak much slower (or at least it feels that way) and I have trouble responding to people and things around me. My processing slows down, and I often will ask someone to repeat whatever they said. Sometimes I get lost in a memory. Other times I watch things happening from a corner of the ceiling. Occasionally (more often when I’m under a lot of stress and feeling overwhelmed), I completely lose time. I appear to act and function normally to the people around me (even my wife had no idea I was “gone”), but may be more clingy than usual. I tend to seek out help when that happens, but I have no memory of anything. Recently, I lost 2-3 hours that way, but in the past it has been days or weeks. Grounding is very difficult for me whenever I dissociate, and I almost always need help with it. When I dissociate in therapy, I guess it’s mostly the spacing out kind because my therapists have been able to notice and ask me about it. I can generally answer their questions, but I feel really separate from my body. The things I am saying don’t feel like they are coming from the part of me that has drifted off, but the part of me that knows what I “should” be doing or saying, kinda like being on autopilot as the “good, smart girl”. If they ask about where I am though, I don’t necessarily know how to answer them. ¬†On rare occasions, I can admit to my therapists that I am on auto-pilot and not necessarily connected to what I may be saying to them. The last 2 (D and De) were able to get me to speak more honestly with them at times like that, but that’s relatively new (I’ve only noticed that in the past 2 years, it’s like an aware dissociation… I’m not sure how to describe it)…¬†~SJ

I’d like to open it up to others if you are interested, please comment on how you experience it. I’m finding from the responses on the forum that while there are some similarities, everyone seems to be a bit different.


Loss in any form is difficult, especially when you have not dealt with the past ones yet.

So I’ve had a few hours to sit with the concept of De leaving the agency. ¬†I had cried about it (yup, actual tears spilling down my face. Not just tearing up, but real crying complete with gross boogers). ¬†I was somewhat able to “talk” to L about it. ¬†I have thought about it, and processed it, and moved past the anger (it was fleeting). ¬†I’m in a weird flat place right now. If I think too hard or too long about it, I will cry again (have I mentioned I hate crying?). ¬†So I’m concentrating on little things. ¬†I’m concentrating on typing my words correctly (I’m sure there will be many mistakes, and I suck at proof-reading, always have). ¬†I’m concentrating on keeping the dogs from going nuts because they are tired and want to get to bed. ¬†I am taking breaks to take them outside one by one so I can finally put the boys to sleep. ¬†I was concentrating on listening to my mom as she talked about how we may go about fixing the fridge. ¬†I’m concentrating on the decision-making process of whether or not to start into Game of Thrones again tonight, or go with something easier, like Orange is the New Black, or Grey’s Anatomy or Dexter. ¬†I’m concentrating on wanting to find a way to express myself either through art or writing, but certainly no more crying.

I’ve been able to formulate and articulate to L that this overwhelming loss I feel at the termination with De is really the compilation of losses that I have yet to deal with. ¬†It goes back decades. ¬†It’s disproportionate to the relationship because it is so much more than just this one relationship. It’s the loss of friends and family and memories and innocence. ¬†It’s the loss of supports and home-bases. ¬†It’s the loss of a sense of security. ¬†And it’s the premature loss of someone I had expected to lose, but managed to trust anyway. ¬†I am not good with loss. ¬†I never have been. ¬†Sure I can smile through changes, but the tears always glisten in my eyes. ¬†This time they broke free. ¬†I don’t know if was because of how worn-down I feel lately, the creeping depression, or the fact that De was the first (only) person to hear some really heavy stuff. I was prepared to walk away from this relationship at the time of my move. ¬†I was expecting it to help keep me balanced as my stress rose. ¬†Just last week I had asked her for more support. ¬†This week it’s all going away much faster than I had thought. ¬†It’s pointless to try to find another therapist for those last 6 weeks, so I guess I will have to just figure it out on my own (though I am toying with the idea of trying to get a referral to someone for those 6 weeks)… I know it will be ok, because it always is in the end, but right now it feels really shitty.

When she first told me, I couldn’t exactly speak. I was too busy trying to hold back the tears and the sobbing because I knew it was disproportionate to the situation. ¬†My tears didn’t listen to my insistence. ¬†They spilled down my cheeks anyway. ¬†When she asked me to articulate what was going through my head at the moment, all I could muster was a half-whispered “whatever” through clenched teeth. ¬†I was afraid that if I opened my mouth more than that to speak, I would either sob uncontrollably and loudly, or I would speak out of my fear-driven (and old) anger. ¬†She challenged my “whatever” by saying that she knew this was hard for me, and she knew it wasn’t “whatever”. ¬†All I could do was shake my head as more tears streamed down my face. ¬†I couldn’t look at her, so I looked everywhere else in the office and just repeated “whatever” one more time. ¬†We sat in silence for a bit longer as I looked everywhere but where she was sitting. ¬†More rogue tears. ¬†She asked if I could tell her what I was thinking, if self-harm urges came up. ¬†I realised then that my head was frantically backpedaling in an attempt to halt all thought (much like pedaling backward on a BMX bike to brake). ¬†There was a forced-stillness in my head. ¬†Conscious thoughts had stopped. ¬†All efforts were being diverted¬†to stave off any melt-down beyond what had happened. ¬†It struck me as odd that there were no self-harm thoughts or suicidal thoughts. ¬†There just were no thoughts. ¬†She eased into a verbal safety contract, and was able to joke around it, which helped pull me back into the room and back to functioning. When I stumbled over concepts as I tried to agree to what she was asking, she helped out by saying “Whatever you need to agree to to get back here in one piece next week is what we are going to agree to”. ¬†In the past, she had always wanted specifics, but I don’t think I could have given those to her in the moment. ¬†I think I recognized a bit of freedom in that change (and I think I just now recognized how the weight was off her this session. ¬†It was familiar in that I had felt it after I had given notice at the group home, but still had to deal with the kids for 2 more weeks. I no longer cared about the strict rules of etiquette because I was leaving soon. I was able to be more genuine, and the girls had picked up on it with me. ¬†I¬†think that’s what I felt from De today. ¬†It was a¬†freedom from the pressure to be “perfect” in the role… It’s funny how some guidelines are in place to help us do our jobs better, but in the end we are burdened with the pressure to stay within the boundaries – we lose our genuineness…) but I digress. ¬†We chatted about other things for the remainder of the session. She had asked something about letting “us” know if I ever figured out a way to apply my knowledge-base in psych to myself. ¬†I think she was going to go somewhere else with that, but she stopped herself. ¬†I talked about my complete inability to have access to both my emotional and intellectual sides at the same moment. ¬†We talked about this blog, and how it had been born of the idea of being able to look at all of it over time (the more professional side of me when I am in a more emotional space, and the more emotional side of me when I am locked in professional mode). ¬†I told her about an early entry on the concept of ¬†“attention-seeking” and how it is not always as sinister-ly manipulative as the field makes it out to be… ¬†I kept a close eye on the clock because I had brought my Wreck This Journal with me to show her. ¬†With about 5 minutes left, I changed the topic to that. ¬†She always seems genuinely interested in what I bring in, but this time there was something else again. ¬†I showed her the piece with the prompt to “make a paper chain“. ¬†She seemed excited about it. ¬†It was weird because the excitement was different… I’m not sure how to describe it. ¬†She said something along the lines of wishing she could show it to other people because it conveyed so much more than just words could. The way she said it made me feel like she was trying to make a point to someone. ¬†I had wanted to tell her she could (I may have imagined it, but it looked like she was ready to get up and walk out of her office with the book. She scootched forward in her chair as she had said that about showing it to others), but I was caught off guard. ¬†The words “you could” spun around in circles in my brain, but never made it to my tongue… We moved on to scheduling after she looked a bit more at my book. ¬†She pondered the best way to fit in the second appointment. ¬†I put my vote in for Tuesday & Friday citing my “OCD-ish tendencies” for wanting to space out the days a bit more. She actually laughed and said she prefered that for the same reason (more genuine-ness). ¬†So I will be seeing her twice a week for the next few weeks until she leaves. ¬†We will be figuring out the content of our sessions as we go. ¬†She checked-in about the possibility of doing more Duckboy work on Tuesday, and would I be ok if she sprung it on me that day. ¬†I told her I was open to whatever, but that I needed her to lead if it was the Duckboy stuff because I feel totally lost on what to do with it. ¬†I think she was still deciding on how to approach Tuesday. ¬†There are a lot of days between now and Tuesday, so my opinion may change, but for now I’m ok with pushing the assault topics. ¬†I guess it depends on how far I get with this internal processing of her leaving instead of me leaving. ¬†I may decide by Tuesday tha I really need to talk to her about some of this stuff and whatever else it will bring up.


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.