Dear Dr C,
I don’t want to bother you, but I kinda just want to hide in your pillow fort…
Just about 90 minutes left of the work day. I’m so tired. I’m impressed I made it without crying and breaking down. No guarantees that won’t yet happen next week, but it didn’t Happen yet today.
Would it be ok if I asked for more sessions again next week? The black hole in my chest is still collapsing. My throat hurts. I’m tired. I’m feeling impulsive… this is hard.
I don’t want to break you with my neediness.
I hope I don’t break you. I’ve broken enough therapists…
Can I bring cow with me Monday to sit in your pillow fort? I got her groomed today, so she shouldn’t shed all over the place now.
Tag Archives: hurt
Dear Dr C,
I’m supposed to work on loving my kid self. She wants me to use art to show my kid self being a care-free kid. She had originally said to show her being hugged or cuddled, but I’m nowhere near that point. The closest I can come right now is passing her Beary… it will have to do.
We were talking about childhood, and what it meant to get in trouble. I could only access the stuff I’ve known all along. The new memories didn’t make it to my descriptions. Another check in the “they’re fake” column…
But then there’s the stuff I feel in my body. It feels so real… check in the “they’re real” column.
I just don’t know…
I was mad at her today, though I’m not sure why. She didn’t do or say anything insulting or mean… but every time she brought up loving my inner kid or younger self, I just got more and more frustrated. I think I was stuck trying to convey how scary that would be, yet she kept insisting. The concept of (care-giver/person in power/parent/adult:kid) love and care is so messed up in my head. For some reason it translates to hurt and violation, and that’s all my inner kid could hear today. She didn’t hear that Dr C was advocating actual care, she heard am adult planning for her to be hurt…
One thing I never thought about, but which Dr C brought up today: where does that hurt I dissociate from end up? She thinks some part of me is holding it but out of my awareness. I guess technically, self harm should hurt. It should trigger pain. Only I’ve stopped if it ever does… I’ve gotten so adept at dissociating pain that I don’t even know where the sensations end up being felt. It just feels like comfort to me… (it branched from a combination of trying to explain that care was confused with hurt; and that I hadn’t cut in a while now).
I dunno. Guess I will have to think about that one some more. She seems to believe the pain had to go somewhere. I’ve never given it much thought. I’m certainly not aware of carrying it around.
Monday’s session brought up a lot. She played a song that she said made her think of me…
That was weird on a couple of levels. 1) why in the world should she waste her time thinking of me outside of session? I’m sure she had better things to do (today, she reflected back at me that she probably had “other” things to do, and deliberately omitted my use of the word “better”). 2) the gist of the lyrics communicated that I may have been hurt in the past, but I’m not going to be hurt again… ::shudders::
Don’t notice me. Don’t think of me outside of the paid hours… Don’t know I exist outside of the office.
Also, for the record, I was not hurt. I was not traumatized. Nothing happened. You are mistaken.
Then we talked about work, and if it’s a good environment… She’s not so convinced the pro’s outweigh the con’s. I’m undecided.
Anyway, I was going to work after session. I’m not sure when I dissociated in session, but I was a total flake for my whole shift.
Fast forward to today. Another session. I managed to bring up with Dr. C that both the concept of her thinking about me outside of session, and the reaction I seem to have when anyone not only acknowledges, but also reflects back to me that stuff happened (I’m having trouble even typing that right now) made me really uncomfortable… I’m not really sure what we talked about around that though. I think I checked out.
I also brought up the trouble I have with intimacy, but it was the last 5 minutes of session so we didn’t get anywhere with it… maybe next session…
It’s weird to suddenly not trust her even though I intellectually know I trust her. It’s the inner kid. She’s freaking out. I know Dr. C would uphold confidentiality. I know she would never tell anyone what I tell her unless I give her express permission. I know I have no reason to fear her, but my inner kid is shaking in her boots.
Just saw this float through my fb feed… I loved the original song, but I also really like this version (very unusual for me, because I rarely like the new version if I am used to the original. The only exception to this is Hurt. I like both the NIN version & the Johnny Cash version a lot)… It might help that Sarah is one of my all-time favorite artists…
Anyway, for your acoustic enjoyment:
“Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper)
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion –
Is nothing new
Flashback – warm nights –
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after -Sometimes you picture me –
I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear
What you’ve said –
Then you say – go slow –
I fall behind –
The second hand unwinds
If you’re lost you can look – and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting
Time after time
After my picture fades and darkness has
Turned to gray
Watching through windows – you’re wondering
If I’m OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time –
If you’re lost…
You said go slow –
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds –
If you’re lost…
…Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
I ended up at the beach last night. It was nice. I will really miss the beach after the move (it’s a mere 20 minutes from here, but will be about an hour from where we will be living… and there will be no palm trees or wading in the winter months). I really needed the time away. I needed to think and drown in my music.
I can’t remember which blog turned me on to Angel Haze, but I am in love. She’s inspirational, positive, and kicks ass. I can’t pick a favorite song because I like almost all of them. Dirty Gold is my current obsession, but there’s also Battle Cry (ft. Sia), Angels and Airwaves, A Tribe Called Red, Same Love (remake)… and ok, just about all of them…
I have been fighting strong self-harm urges since the TSA line back up north. I guess it’s a good thing they no longer allow sharps in the airport because I would have shredded my arm and leg in the airport bathroom before boarding, they were that intense (and I had that little resolve at the moment). Music has been my centering tool. I have not picked my art up again yet, but the iPod is glued to my side, with earbuds wedged into at least one ear. If I don’t have my iPod on, I am playing music through the computer or my phone. I am sure I will run through the gamut of coping skills in my repertoire before De returns from vacation. This weekend is a long weekend and most people already have plans. M and I will be spending more quality time together. It’s not a bad thing, but we have forgotten how to interact. We don’t have simple casual conversations, it’s only ever stuff that lights one of us on fire (if not both). I wish I remembered how to talk to her. I wish I knew how to rekindle that close relationship we had back in the day (or at least I think we had). We are both lost in our own drama. When we meet, we tend to collide because the spinning arms of the drama hit before we meet causing sparks to fly and fires to light.
I volunteered for a research project on reporting sexual violence. I’m not 100% sure what they are looking into, but I believe De had said they are looking into how to improve the reporting experience, and what causes barriers to reporting. I was supposed to meet the lady tomorrow at De’s office, but they will be closing early for the long weekend. The lady will be coming here later on this afternoon. I hope the dogs don’t maul her while trying to get her attention (they LOVE people SO MUCH they are not quite sure how to contain themselves. I also suck at keeping up with their training, and they don’t get out as much down here. They do better when they have seen other humans recently). The questionnaire should take no longer than 15 minutes she says, so it shouldn’t be too painful. I don’t think it will be too triggering either, so it should be well worth the money I get from it… I miss research opportunities. While I was never a fan of writing the papers, I did enjoy coming up with the ideas for the papers. I love expanding the knowledge base on things that we don’t quite know too much about. I love education, and helping people understand things. I wish someone would do more research on the after-effects of sexual violence. There’s so much anecdotal stuff out there, but so little “official” understanding of a lot of it. I recently found a blog entry on a topic I have never really seen discussed in print. I know I have been told that it is not uncommon for assault/abuse survivors, but I had not seen anything even remotely close to educational about it anywhere before. It is also one of the few places to write about it as a function of coping with the abuse vs a pathology simply deemed psychotic. I wish medical professionals had access to that information. I think I may have gotten some more effective treatment earlier on had the doctors seen it as something that makes sense in the context of my trauma. I’m fighting with the thought of posting a link to it here because I don’t think it’s something I’m ready to admit to anyone outside of a few select people. I know it would have helped me immensely seeing it before now. It helps ease some of the shame to know (other than just hear one or two professionals tell me it is not uncommon and it makes sense) that others struggle with it. I was surprised to see the number of comments on that post (well over 200?!) from people all struggling with it in one form or another. I’m just not ready to go public with that aspect of my struggle. I guess I could post a link to the blog itself, and let you wade through the posts to find the one I’m talking about… I just… I can’t say it right now. Not yet. It’s still something I’m working on with De (and eventually with whomever I see up north)… Anyway, the blog is called Blooming Lotus. She has not written recently, but there’s a ton of good stuff on there (at least stuff that can help you feel less alone). I hope, if you struggle with anything she speaks about, you will find some peace in knowing that it really is something others struggle with… and that’s coming from people who know it first-hand, not just through trainings or clients…
On a totally random note (random because I’m not 100% sure what train of thought led to this) but how can you hold two completely opposite and contradictory ideas as true at one time? I know DBT covers some of this, but I am allergic to DBT, so I don’t really remember the concept behind the “dialectics”. I’m talking about such opposing ideas that they should not be able to be held as true at the same time because they virtually cancel each other out. If I tweak one idea, it’s a little easier to understand how I can hold them both true and correct at the same time, but they are not tweaked, nor do I wish to tweak them. One is the concept of “never, ever give up.” The other is the right to “bow out” as each individual sees fit. Suicide is seen as giving up, so how can I hold that sentiment with the belief that everyone has a right to give up if they choose to do so? How can I advocate for life at any cost in one breath, and the freedom of choice to end your own life in the next? I am not currently suicidal, though the freedom to have that “escape route” is calming to me. I hold at once the obligation to fight any and all demons, and the option to give in to the desire for peace and an ending. How is that even possible? Maybe it’s that I understand the pain on both sides. I have felt the desperate need for relief, and I have felt the devastating black hole born of the death of someone I care for deeply. I grew up with the women in my family (and possibly even the men, but I don’t remember that as explicitly) lamenting about death being around the corner. My grandmother said that she would die soon (should die soon, needed to die soon) since before I was born. My mom would always say she wanted the right to kill herself should she ever be incapacitated (she wanted to make sure we all understood and agreed with her right to choose to end her life if she could no longer live it the way she was used to living, be it physical or mental). I think I recall my father saying similar things. No one ever expected to “get old”, yet the only person who did not speak regularly of death died at a young age. My grandmother was 94. Both my parents are still alive (despite saying neither of them wished to reach the age they are currently). Bitch is still alive in her late 70’s (all of us wish she wasn’t). But K is gone, and has been for 20 years this year. She was 52 when she died, but she was the only one who wanted to grow old… I was indoctrinated to believe that every human has the right to decide to end their own lives. But I’ve also felt the loss, and had the training that ingrained in me the instinct to preserve the life of others (and maybe even my own)… so I hold those opposing truths at once. Sometimes it’s a mind-fuck.
pass almost 2 hours: The lady for the research study came and it took me an hour and a half to complete the survey. Her computer was slow, but I also think I kinda spaced on some of it. it was only supposed to take 15-30 minutes. Clearly, I did not fit that time frame. It was ok. I thought it would ask more about any history, but most of the questions revolved around the last 12 months. I remembered an incident I had not thought anything of because of where it happened and the circumstances surrounding it. It was during a hospitalization last year. It happened on a locked unit, by another patient, and in front of staff. It wasn’t anything major, he was having a psychotic episode (or so they said) and tried to grope me after another patient mentioned that I was a lesbian. I pulled away. I was able to re-direct him in no uncertain terms, and staff told him to stay away from me (and really everyone). Despite the fact that I was in there due to my PTSD reactions over past assaults, I was never spoken to about the incident, no one asked if I was ok. I simply stayed out of the common areas for a while, and later had some really bad body memories that ended in an uncomfortable verbal incident with another staff member. The thing is, you lose all rights when you are hospitalized for psych issues. You lose your personhood. You become a thing without feelings, needs, or any control over anything. They treat you like prisoners (though I tend to think prisoners may be better off in some respects). If you don’t do what you are told, you are lectured and called “defiant”. Things slide that would never slide outside those locked doors. People (other patients as well as staff) can treat you like crap, violate all sorts of boundaries, order you to do things, and you just have to accept it. You have no rights, you have no decision-making capabilities, and anything you say is clearly an exaggeration due to your mental instability. I was expected to have no real reaction to this man invading my space and trying to invade my body because he was a patient and so was I. It’s counter-intuitive that a patient’s reactions and feelings are not taken into account on a psych unit, but it’s true way too often. The minute you step foot onto that floor, you are no longer a functioning, reasonable human being who is simply having a difficult time, you are a crazy person that needs containment (even if you are there for depression or anxiety). With or without a psychotic diagnosis, you are treated as if you are actively psychotic. At least, that is how the hospitals in this state are. Up north, I felt a bit more human, a bit more sane.
Anyway, I digress… the survey took longer than I had expected, but I did get paid, so that’s good.