Tag Archives: reaching out

:/… I flubbed my other opportunity

I’m not sure exactly what I was hoping to get out of talking to Dr F about my memories, but I don’t feel like I got what I needed… I wish I knew what it was I needed. I know part of it was wanting to talk to her about her experiences with her other patient who self harmed like I did (without breaking confidentiality of course), but I didn’t know what to ask or how to ask about it. Other than that, I’m at a loss for what I needed from the interaction. 

She was wonderful about it, but I felt like it was a waste of her time (nothing at all she did, all my own judgements about setting an appointment just to talk about history). I know she was trying to make me feel better, but she kept underscoring that everyone has something they don’t talk about. It worked to help me feel more isolated (everyone else seems to be able to handle their shit, but I cut to within inches of my life because I can’t handle some stupid physical sensations)… 

She was really great about things though, and offered to have me come in again in 6 months or so to check in. I declined as much for financial reasons as for not wanting to be a thorn in her side. She laughed and said that insurance will cover “problem” appointments, even if they only cover one annual ever 2 years… I guess she’s not pissed at me if she offered to have me come in more often just to touch base. Maybe next time I will find a way to talk to her about her experiences with that other patient.

Advertisements

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…


holy links batman!

Ok, so in a (seemingly futile) effort to find an article on parenting to the emotional needs of your child that my brother wanted to read, I keep stumbling across a bunch of other stuff I want to read. I have no time at the moment to devote to the tons of articles I’m finding, however I do want to save them for later. If I simply bookmark them, I’ll never look at them again…

So, in case anyone else is also interested, here’s a dump of some of the stuff I came across today. I have not read any of them yet, so I dunno how useful or interesting they are, but either the topic or title piqued my interest:

now that I have those written down, time to hurry my butt up and get to work – doggie play day!!!! 😀 I love when my boss puts me into camp.

Oh, also, if anyone finds any articles on parenting to the emotional needs of your kids, could you link me to them? a week later and I still can’t find the article I’m looking for. The wealth of info available on the internet is amazing, but quite overwhelming at times!


believing myself

I find myself struggling with the believability of my memories once again.

In the moment of re-experiencing them, I know they are true. They feel very real on every level when I’m actually remembering them. It’s the times between the flashbacks and body memories that have me doubting. They don’t make sense when looked at in terms of other memories. They actually feel contradictory at times.

We covered the doubts a bit in session. Dr. C isn’t so worried about the validity of them. She keeps reminding me there’s no one she would tell, so even if they are all a story in my head, then we can address that too without hurting anyone’s reputation. She asks about the concept of “doing it all for attention”, and as soon as that concept hits my awareness, there’s a panic: No! DON’T pay attention to me. Let me hide and melt away. PLEASE don’t see me or hear me or even know I exist… It’s a little-kid fear. It’s in a little kid’s voice in my head.

I’m not sure why I’m so worried about the validity of the memories all over again. I had gotten to a place with TM where we were just addressing the concept of the memories & how they impact me. I was “talking” about them & getting them out. All of a sudden, I feel like I’ve taken several steps backwards with Dr. C. I feel the need to figure out if they are real. I need to justify voicing them once again. I’m not totally sure why. Part of it may be that I have to re-tell her the stuff I had already told TM (even if it’s just the existence of the memories, not necessarily the details of them). It may also be that Dr. C is an older woman. There was that parental transference with TM and there’s definitely some going on with Dr. C also, but maybe I’m feeling that as well as what I might have with a grandparent this time… The disapproving voices in my head that are louder are from the older women in my family this time around.

Working on containment since the session. I keep visualizing the pensieve holding everything, and hiding in a pillow fort in Dr. C’s office for most of the day. Keeping the desire to bug the heck out of Dr. C and/or TM in check. I know I’m looking for a sense of safety and comfort, so I’m trying to find that around here. Music is playing, doggies are cuddling. I even had one of the snakes out for a while (really wish I could train him to do deep pressure on command).

Anyway, how’s everyone else doing?


Finally showed her one of my art journals

I’ve been lugging some stuff back and forth to my appointments with Dr C since I stated seeing her again. Yesterday I was able to tell her about them. I ended up showing her one of the art journals & that icky timeline I had done for TM. She encouraged me to keep bringing in the art journals, and we made a tentative plan to show her the rest of the stuff I have been lugging around at the next session…

I was also able to voice that I’m still building trust again both with her and the group. She said it was normal and expected. Phew!

It was a good session. I’m glad to be back working with someone I know, and who knows me. While things have changed since the last time we worked together, there’s a lot less of the “getting to know you” stage and that’s a huge relief.

When I started writing this entry, I had the intention of covering more, but distractions happened and I no longer remember what I wanted to write… oh well. Next time (which may end up being another week, because life is pretty busy right now).

Hope you all are doing well. Catch ya later!

-sj


Labeling yourself as “needy” is shaming (or: bear with me as I write out a reality-check)

The concept of being “needy” has been a topic of conversation for me these last few days with various people.

A friend passed along wisdom from her professor: labeling yourself as “needy” is shaming, and Dr C said pretty much the same thing in different words.

Why is attempting to get needs met in the ways we know a shameful thing? Why do not only we shame ourselves for it, but others do as well?

Why is it ok to recognize labeling ourselves (as clients) as being shameful, yet (in class and behind closed doors) it’s acceptable to label a client as such? Are we (as professionals) above the concept of shaming? Or is it not shaming unless the client finds out? Is it merely a professional label until the client feels bad about it? Is this not a double standard? Why is it okay to teach stereotypes in class, yet expect those same therapists-in-training to magically shed them and gain a more empathic understanding once they work with their clients? Is it a function of the quality of the program? Or the professor? What happened to teaching non-judgemental understanding?

Is this why it’s so difficult to find good therapists (not to say they are not out there, because I’ve certainly worked with several)? Is this why clients continue to shame themselves with labels and harsh judgements when they are simply doing the best they can in any given moment? Or am I looking at all this through the lens of a scared kid and shamed client? I know I often fall back into old scripts. Is this one of those times? In reality, my last therapists have been awesomely empathic and caring. It’s been my judgements ascribed to them that have tripped me up. TM, TL, De, D, and Dr. C have all actively challenged my judgements. Why can’t I believe them? Dr C actually pretty much paraphrased one of my early posts about clients doing things “for attention” yesterday. Why do I see them as outliers? Why am I taking the judgements of mental health staff as judgements held by clinicians? I know there’s a difference most of the time…

Sorry. I’m digressing… I think I’m trying to give myself a reality check. The little kid in me (and maybe the unstable adult too) sees only the negative. The professional side of me knows better. The professional side knows competent therapists understand that their clients are doing the best they can in any given moment (even when they are backsliding or seemingly stuck). They understand re-learning (or simply learning for the first time) takes time and effort and mistakes… but that voice inside (g’s voice and the hospital staffs’ voices, and the burnt-out professionals’ voices) screams that having needs, or being vulnerable, or being hurt, or “acting out” (another shaming label) is all simply done to make their lives harder. There is no such thing as legitimate distress… and suddenly I’m hearing m’s voice screaming at the cat for throwing up (because she can’t just be sick, it’s only done to piss her off…). How strong a hold early learning and experiences have on us…

I’m triggered this morning by more nightmares and body memories. I know I could probably text Dr C, but I’m not sure what I would want from her if I did that. It’s not like she can help with any of it in the moment. I think this post is an attempt to convince myself it would be ok to reach out, but I didn’t cover how to do that without knowing what’s needed when reaching out… I just want to stop feeling everything. I can distance relatively effectively from the emotional piece, but the physical sensations are much more difficult to control. I’m not sure how to explain them. They are the precursor to the full-on flashbacks that include the cognitive memories, but they have not hit that point yet. Right now it’s just feeling things in my body again despite knowing it’s not currently happening (and being really frustrated with myself as my body responds to things as it had at the time)… :/ where the hell in all the skills they throw at you do they tell you how to rid yourself of the body memories? Concentrating on breathing only makes them worse (controlling my breathing was what I did to make him think I was asleep so he’d get it over with). Physical activity also greatly intensifies the sensations… I can tolerate them to a point, but they are approaching the intolerable point. No one ever has an effective method for getting rid of them. Well, that’s not true. I have one but it’s frowned upon. Really just wishing they were gone now, or wishing I had someone safe to sit with through them so if they do hit that intolerable point, I’m not so alone and desperate. I have to work this afternoon, but that’s not a safe place to sit through them. At least there will be dogs to cuddle if I need some immediate comfort. I’ve noticed lately I will jump and shudder if the sensations startle me with a sudden increase in intensity. I hope that doesn’t happen at work again today. I don’t want to have to explain that away… I could call it a “chill” again, but I know it doesn’t look like one as I jump up and try to rub the sensations away (boss-lady looked skeptically at me last time it happened)… Hoping if it [i]does[/i] happen today, no one is around to witness it.


Exhausted

I’m exhausted almost all of the time. Once I’m in motion, I can keep a semblance of continuing that motion, but if I slow for even a moment, it all hits me. After Dr C today, I came home with the intention of working on ordering the apartment. I zonked out instead. Lately, when I sleep during the day, I sleep so hard I drool. It’s kinda gross… no, it’s really gross. I don’t like it. It’s up there with boogers while crying. Icky!

But I think I’m ok to attempt more with the apartment now. I need to switch up where the art area is so that we can use the front door again…

I also have to figure out a safe way to store the art supplies so one of the dogs won’t keep eating them. I know it’s her because she chose to eat the black litho crayons… she’s white. It’s glaringly obvious when her mouth and paws are suddenly smudged with black. I was going to send these crayons to L’s godson. Guess he will be getting a much smaller box now (she ate about 2/3 of them. Punk)…

I need to keep ahead of this depression. The only reason I ended up being able to avoid iop before the move was because of the move. Now I need to keep from getting back to needing it. I want my “together and competent” life back. I’m tired of this.