Tag Archives: music therapy

How can I help you say goodbye – Patty Loveless


GREGORY AND THE HAWK –
“A Wish”

I wish to feel smaller
Under your sheets
I wish for the whole truth
Every time you speak
I’m thinkin’ about how you care half as much for me
As I watch you arrive, smoke cigarettes, sleep…

And I guess it doesn’t matter what I say or what I seem
You stuck what I felt for you in the pocket of your jeans
Ignoring me the morning after isn’t enough
And I swear I’m gonna cry
I’m sick of tryin’ to be tough

And my blood won’t stick
To the confines of my veins
And your heart
Is gonna tear mine away

And I wish to feel smaller under your hands
Though you seem satisfied
As you slip mine down your pants
And I’m thinkin’ about how you care half as much for me
As you lift up my shirt after asking politely

And I guess it doesn’t matter what I am or pretend to be
‘Cause it’s her you’ll always love and it’s her I’ll always envy
I want to end this now so dreams of you won’t keep me up
But I swear I’m gonna cry
I’m sick of tryin’ to be tough

And my blood won’t stick
To the confines of my veins
And your heart
Is gonna tear mine away

And it’s hard to find
What I want
When it’s buried beneath the biggest rock
I could pay lots of money
To help lift it with machines
But I’m not sure you’d cooperate
Not sure you’d come clean

And I wish to feel smaller
Under your sheets
I wish for the whole truth
Every time you speak
And I’m thinkin’ about how you care half as much for me
As I watch you arrive, smoke cigarettes, sleep…

And I guess it doesn’t matter what I say or what I seem
You stuck what I felt for you in the pocket of your jeans.
Ignoring me the morning after isn’t enough
And I swear I’m gonna cry
I’m sick of tryin’ to be tough

Yeah, I swear I’m gonna cry
I’m sick of tryin’ to be tough

And my blood won’t stick
To the confines of my veins
And your heart
Is gonna tear mine away

Is gonna tear mine away


Mourning by Tantric

I just love the sound of this song… and the lyrics, though not necessarily taking them in the context in which they were written…

Continue reading


Don’t Believe by Seether

I have this song on my iPod. The part about taking all you can take drew me in when it played the other day. I hadn’t really paid attention to the rest of the lyrics so I looked them up… “Don’t believe in anyone” is another one that resonates though it shouldn’t.

Your heart is carved in stone
And apathy flows in your veins
When flesh falls from the bone
You’ve taken all you can take

You can take
All you can take
You can take

Don’t believe in anyone
‘Cause they’ll feel you so much more
Deep inside the venom is burning
Love her

When stink fades into smell
The liquor has washed you away
When face cracks into smile
You’ve taken all you can take

You can take
All you can take
You can take

Don’t believe in anyone
‘Cause they’ll feel you so much more
Deep inside the venom is burning
Love her

You can’t take
I’ll give in
You can’t break
What’s broken
Your mistake
I’ll rest my body in the ground

Don’t believe in anyone
‘Cause they’ll feel you so much more
Deep inside the venom is burning
Love her

Don’t believe in anyone
‘Cause the day that you were born
Can’t deny the enemy’s taken over


Devil’s Thunder by Rachael Cantu

I heard this song on Private Practice recently, and fell in love with her music.

 

“Little bird” by her also. This one!


another song… conflicted about it though.

so, I cringe at religion, but these stupid-ass christian songs tend to have great messages of love… grr. (you have no idea how much this bothers me. it’s at once triggering and comforting: the lyrics are comforting, the belief behind the song is triggering). but I know I’ve heard this song before and liked it before I knew it was some stupid christian rock stuff (I have the same inner conflict with Plumb, Lifehouse, Creed… it’s all really relatable while being triggering)…

anyway, the song is good, so I wanted to share it…


Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper w/Sarah McLachlan

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)

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
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

[Chorus:]
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 –

[Chorus:]
If you’re lost…

You said go slow –
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds –

[Chorus:]
If you’re lost…
…Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time


More art journaling

Kinda drowning, so hey, why not do more art?

image

The writing is lyrics to Fall From Grace by Sarah McLachlan (b-side to Full of Grace)…

It started as a journal entry, but I didn’t want the writing in this book, so I covered it with a drawing of eyes. Then I added background with my water-soluble crayons and washed everything over with water. I tried to draw a skull, but failed miserably, so I painted over it. I thought the black blob looked like half a heart, so I added the other half. I thought it needed more, so I painted the heart over with bronze, which re-wet the black. I added the ink drops, but it still needed more. I added more watercolor crayon. Still plain. Dug around Sarah songs till I found the one with the right emotion behind it. I’m frustrated that I can’t find the actual song in my library, because I know I had it at one point (along with I Will Not Forget You, which I love but also cannot find)… Anyway. Lyrics were added. I tried to highlight the lyrics that conveyed today’s emotions, but that didn’t work out so well. Wiped off the watercolors and sealed one last time with matte medium. :shrugs: I know you don’t care about the process, but I didn’t want to explain all the emotion in the piece, so you got process instead.

I’m spent. And so tired. And TL’s voice mail is still full. And it’s only Wednesday (aka: Saturday is still far away)… the flashbacks and their implications have taken a huge toll on me. I’m trying to keep my head above water, but it’s hard… wasted money we don’t have on something that made me feel better, but now I just feel guilty about it (and yet I want more because it was an incredible high, not simply the release I get from other stuff… no, not substances).

I feel like crying, but the tears would somehow mean that I’m accepting the flashbacks as true and accurate. I’m not sure I’m ready to do that just yet. I really wish I could talk to TL. I feel so small over this; so vulnerable and shaken… and I’m so tired…

Fall From Grace by Sarah McLachlan

the winter here’s cold, and bitter
it’s chilled us to the bone
i haven’t seen the sun for weeks
too long too far from home
i feel just like i’m sinking
and I claw for solid ground
i’m pulled down by the undertow
i never thought I can feel so low
but oh darkness I feel like letting go

but all of the strength all of the courage
couldn’t lift me from this place
i know I can love you much better than this
i fall from grace
fall from grace

it’s better this way, I said
having seen this place before
where everything we say and do
hurts us all the more

its just that we stayed, too long
in the same old sickly skin
i’m pulled down by the undertow
i never thought I can feel so low
but oh darkness I feel like letting go

but all of the strength
all of the courage
couldn’t lift me from this place
together we crumble and stumble and fall
i fall from grace
fall from grace

i know I can love you much better than this
so it’s better this way


Fix You by Coldplay

One of my latest obsessions in music. Every now and then I put it on continuous repeat… (though I have to admit this is not what I was expecting from the video…)

“Fix You”

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I…

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I…

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you


Imagine dragons – demons

Love this song. Specifically the chorus. Fits me.
Don’t get too close, they bite.

(Emphasis added)

IMAGINE DRAGONS
“Demons”

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you

But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

At the curtain’s call
It’s the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don’t wanna let you down
But I am hell bound

Though this is all for you
Don’t wanna hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul

I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can’t escape this now

Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide


What is your fantasy, idealized treatment?

If you could design your own “treatment center”, with no regard to limits on finances or what seems “impossible”, what would find most helpful to you?

I am not sure how this topic came up this morning, but I ended up having a long discussion with my mom about what my ideal treatment would look like. It does not exist at this time, but it is based on my experiences both professionally and personally. A lot of it sounds impossible with today’s treatment models and financial limitations, but I think, at least for me, it would be hugely beneficial.

I have found I need a certain level of intensity to safely and effectively get through my issues, so I would want something that is residential, however I would want to keep my freedoms (access to my music, animals, nature, ability to leave if I need a change of scenery even if it means going with someone, access to my positive coping skills, access to my social supports and the community). I would want access to supportive and trained people at all hours of the day and night (because let’s be honest, most crises don’t keep themselves to a schedule, so if one arises, I want to be able to deal with it appropriately in the moment); a holistic treatment team (medical, psych, yoga, animal therapy, arts and expressive therapies, CAM) that takes my input into account and helps me implement my ideas (as appropriate and available); a safe environment where added supervision is available, but personal choice is also a key component; staff that maintains a level of compassion even if I get super annoying and needy; availability for staff to decompress and engage in self-care as needed; down-time for myself to regroup from dealing with something very heavy without the threat of having all the support taken away just because I seem better in the moment; people who are open to challenging me on my trouble points but also understanding of places I may be stuck; flexibility in treatment plans; openness to new ideas and new ways of doing things; limited judgements on how I present and a willingness to look at what may be underlying my symptoms/presentation; freedom from stigma around any particular symptom, behavior, or mood-state; people who listen to and hear what I have to say; people with patience around helping me figure stuff out; people to help me build a vocabulary and a method of expression for things I cannot adequately express; people who are willing to sit with me through challenging times, and gently insist that I get through the triggered symptom to find out what’s “on the other side” of it (not simply implement grounding at the first sign of distress, because I have recently found that there’s important stuff on the other side of a dissociative episode or a flashback); catering my treatment to me as an individual, and respecting me as an individual with certain likes and dislikes; going at treatment with “kid gloves” knowing that sometimes things will get way worse and way more challenging before they get better; having a treatment team that is ok taking over when my judgement goes south, but still open and receptive to what I am trying to communicate… Also an openness to “thinking outside the box” and coming up with new treatment ideas if the current ones do not work. Also I would include a transparency in all treatment methods, with access to everything by the client, and ultimate veto powers by the client.

Therapy sessions would be daily, and for maybe 90+ minutes to be able to tackle the harder stuff, then have the therapist available later in the day as needed to address what comes up. Arts/expressive therapies would be daily, animal therapy daily, visitors allowed daily with housing for family either on-site or nearby as needed, assessments to figure out what is helpful, and what might be helpful, organic treatment plan that evolves with new developments. “Family” therapy available (with whomever is involved in the person’s life), ability to return to treatment as needed, creation of “safe spaces” to help with processing things, personal choice around negative coping skills until the person is in a place to change them, but with the stipulation that they must be reported immediately and checked out as necessary, and taken on an individual basis, with constant monitoring and revaluation. I understand this is a huge liability and highly controversial, but it’s something I feel strongly that an element of personal freedom makes a huge difference in getting over it in the long run. Teaching accountability and responsibility around choices would be a huge component. I know I can walk away from something much easier if I have a choice around it than it I am simply told I cannot have it or cannot engage in it. It’s like the concept of thinking about a yellow school bus when someone tells you not to think about it; you will think about it more, and likely obsess over it. If negative coping can happen in a safe environment with buffers to ensure overall safety, I think it would go a long way to helping a person turn away from those negative coping skills in the long run.

It would also be standard of care to always look at every symptom, no matter how un-related it seems, and not discount any “medical” issues that may arise simply because I am there to work on psych issues.

I would prefer this to be with easy access to secluded nature and the beach, because that just makes me happy, but I guess anywhere with access to nature and water would be good…

It would be incredibly expensive, and incredibly intensive, but I think it would work for me. A girl can dream, right?

So, if you could design your ideal treatment based on what has and has not worked for you in the past, or what you have seen work or not work for others, what would it be?


therapy today (really long-winded… sorry)

As much as I was dreading today’s session, it actually went ok.  I was able to tell TL that I seemed to have developed a lot of anxiety around therapy. I was able to tell her that I was in no way shape or form interested in having to be the one to continue to seek out additional services for myself (she pictured it as being “empowering” while I simply see it as a chore.  People here don’t like to return calls, answer their phones, or generally be helpful in any way when it comes to a client securing services for herself. I was a bit snotty about it, for which I feel like an ass, but I was able to let TL know that I was really tired of phone calls and playing tag with people. I was tired of begging for help for myself, and I just had zero energy or motivation to do any of it.  She seems ok with being the one to make the calls after we each explained our positions on the subject… I just wish I hadn’t been such a jerk about it)… I had hoped for some more structured and therapeutic groups, but apparently she is ok with simply having social things going on.  I told her I was not likely to go to many of them, as I had done that search myself and come up with little that seemed interesting.  I was not able to tell her that I really need something with more accountability, someplace I would be missed if I didn’t show, and someplace I could be more genuine (less “smiley-happy-normal-chick” and more of the “I-really-hate-the-world-and-myself-right-now-chick”), and find more support… She even asked if this was the kind of “extra help” I had asked about, but I wasn’t able to be honest about it.  I think part of me is still really scared about what that may lead to.  I’m still really bent on not wanting any reason to be inpatient here, especially when all they do is trap you and drug you. There’s no therapy, no support, and they treat you like you know nothing about anything.  Currently, I need more therapy, not less…

We then switched gears and TL plowed through the rest of the intake packet that I am assuming she is under pressure to have finished asap. Most agencies give therapists a month in which to complete them, and this would be the end of said month.  I say this not only because she was pretty bent on finishing it, but also because she was willing to stay nearly an additional hour to make sure she got through it all.  I’m really hoping she did not have another client in that time slot (I doubt it, because she was aware of when and how far we were going over time).  She tried to get some goals out of me, but I think I spaced. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have identified wanting to deal with the loss of De (and other losses) as one of my goals.  I would have also told her that I need help keeping afloat at this point. She suggested animal therapy, and we covered the expressive arts therapies possibilities too.  She is open to focusing on some art therapy activities next session. She also asked about music therapy (which I said I was open to, though not all that sure what it entails).  We talked about my personal goals in life, which brought up a way to try to convey how hopeless things feel at the moment.  She also asked about how things had gone in school, and when I felt that things changed.  I realized that (at least in the moment I was speaking about it), I did not feel any connection to any of my accomplishments.  I had originally said I did not remember them, but that wasn’t accurate. They simply did not feel like my accomplishments.  I told her about promotions at work, excelling in school even while I was falling apart. She countered that I clearly had remembered them, because I spoke about them to her.  I had to clear up that they did not feel like things I had done, though I know of them because of my resume, my transcripts, and people’s stories about my successes.  I wasn’t able to pinpoint the emotion behind it at the time, but now I recognize it as feeling like a fraud.  Looking back, I feel like I must have cheated, or had someone take pity on me to be able to move ahead.  I don’t see how any of that could have come on merit…

We talked about a bunch of other stuff too, but I don’t totally remember all of it… too mundane I guess.  We ended with her reminding me she needs to ask about my safety (I had disclosed suicidal thinking and planning in our first meeting, and since then she does a safety check-in each time).  I felt like I was watching myself talk to her from behind a curtain.  Words spilled out of my mouth that I had no intention of uttering in her presence… It was very disconcerting (actually, it happens a lot with her. I tend to say more than I mean to say, and feel like I have little control over what comes out). I not only admitted to a plan, but told her what it was(?!). She checked in on the barriers to that plan, and I was honest about them. They are some very real barriers, and likely will not disappear any time soon.  I admitted that since I came up with the more solid plan, the urgency to follow-through had dissipated.  I think it’s just a “security blanket” of sorts at the moment. I know as long as the option is there, any overwhelming situation can be escaped.  If that option is gone, everything feels a whole lot bleaker and more hopeless… We ended with an appointment made for next week, and a plan to try to get me to that Yoga class on Wednesday… I’m currently feeling very resistant to the idea, but things may change by Wednesday.

I really miss having the ability to write after session and have my therapist read it before the next time we meet.  I keep thinking I want to bring it up to her, but it’s another thing I am writing in a reaction to on her part, and it will be rejection (mostly because I know that there is little out-of-session contact allowed/encouraged at the agency, and I know all written communication must be filtered through the supervisor. I’m not sure I want 2 people having access to what I write, especially since I don’t know the supervisor). It made things easier with De though.  It gave me a way to be able to express things I wouldn’t have been able to speak, and to process things at my own pace rather than within the hurried hour.  I might bring it up to TL at some point, but I fully expect to first hear “I will have to talk to my supervisor” and then hear “it would not be appropriate, see if you can bring the important stuff in with you the next session”… :/  …back to really missing De again.  I had told TL that I did not think there had been one day in the past 2+ months where I had not cried. It came up in response to something that made her try to tell me crying was ok, and can be healing… She seemed a bit incredulous about the statement, as if it was impossible for me to be that depressed (because I didn’t present that way to her most of the time? because that level of depression for that long is pretty uncommon? I don’t know)… At the end of the session, she brought up the fact that I had mentioned Ativan was the only thing that seemed to really help (especially lately). She asked if I would be interested in meeting with the psychiatrist at any point in case I was interested in getting a “more thorough evaluation”. I had told her that I had met with the guy once, and I was under the impression that he either could not or would not prescribe the Ativan to me, and that he hadn’t really been helpful in coming up with anything else.  She pushed a bit, but seemed ok at leaving the idea to marinate for later.  I had told her early on that meds and I do not get along very well (much like DBT and I). I reminded her that even the Ativan only worked because I had not taken it with any real regularity over the past 3 years.  I would like to have more on hand because it helps immensely with the flashbacks and impulsiveness, but I highly doubt that the ARNP (he’s not actually a psychiatrist, but a psych nurse with prescribing privileges) would give it to me. Most doctors will not prescribe benzo’s unless they know you, and know you do not have a drug problem.  Even on the inpatient unit, the psychiatrist initially refused to prescribe me any while I was there.  I had to beg him and underscore that I was ok with him not prescribing anything for after discharge, but that I really needed it at the time to help make my stay more manageable… It’s not a drug often used to calm flashbacks or impulsiveness, but it is one of the only fast-acting meds that can dull all of that for me.  I wouldn’t mind talking to this guy if  I thought I could get a script from him for it, but I doubt it. And I really don’t want to have to go through the hassle of trying to remember all the meds I have tried over the years, and all their out-comes.  TL suggested that he may be able to suggest something I have not yet tried, and that it may work wonders.  I stifled a laugh… I had tried every drug and class of drug that they even remotely thought might work to stabilize me back when I was in the hospital more than I was out of it.  They had come to the conclusion that I was hopeless and the only course of action left to take was ECT… I refuse to go down that road again…


today is a new day

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.