Tag Archives: relax

Beach pics

The sky was amazing yesterday, though my phone’s camera did it no justice… I spent a lot of time watching the clouds change. It never did rain despite their ominous look. They held on to their lightning, but it was cool to watch from below… the water was full of Sargassum sea weed.  It’s baby turtle season. There were over a dozen nests roped-off just in that half mile stretch I was in. While it’s a positive thing to see so many nests, they are often only 1 or 2 species of turtle. Our coasts should be getting 5 out of the 7 species of I remember correctly. Hoping the little guys do well ♡

Fear of going to bed

After yesterday’s conversation with TM, my fear of going to bed returned last night. I couldn’t move off the couch until 4:30am. I managed a few hours though.

A friend passed on some meditations for kids (in looking for the Relax Kids website before I knew what it was called, I also stumbled upon Magical Meditations 4 Kids), and having them on repeat allowed me to get past the anxiety enough to walk to bed. I have to find a way to make the “reality checks” around my current safety help me with this. I tried so much last night to get over it: grounding, reality checks, trying to reach out to the crisis chats (super busy and lagging last night), distraction, music, talking to friends… finally the meditations worked.

I haven’t had to deal with this fear for several months. I thought I had moved past it, but it seems to be making a re-appearance… Another thing to address with TM (time to make a list for all this stuff so I don’t forget).

This fear has been with me on and off at various intensities for many years. I finally think I know why, but it doesn’t seem to make it easier to overcome. I am better able to reality-check around it. I’ve got a semblance of a reason why the fear is there. I know the monster I’m scared of, and I know what to try to tell myself to refute the fear, but it’s old and huge. The anxiety can take a choke-hold at night. But now I have a new tool for that toolbox: the meditations. I also have a video of L reading a book to one of the kids in the family. Hearing her voice and losing myself in the story helps also…

sleep, finally

Sleep is so, so, so, so important… I hadn’t been able to sleep well for the last several weeks.  Last night, after a really rough day, I took Benadryl and it actually worked.  I slept about 8 hours!!!!  I feel so much better this morning.  I’m still having some body memories, but they are easier to deal with when I’m not also horrifically sleep-deprived.  It’s much easier to “get off the train” of spiraling thoughts.  It’s easier to breathe… Now I just have to keep up the sleep 😉

bits of progress

Today started out slow enough, but then L convinced me that we needed to start packing.  We got through a bunch of the stuff in the bedroom.  It doesn’t really look like a dent was made, but we did a lot of work.  There’s still a lot to be done though.  Tomorrow will be spent cleaning the house because a friend is coming for a few days.  Then we resume packing.

We were invited  over to one of Lisa’s co-worker’s house for dinner.  We introduced her family to the game “Apples to Apples” and a fun night was had by all.  I think as we were leaving they mentioned having to go buy it for themselves.  It’s a fun way to get to know people and still not have to talk too much (works amazing for those of us who get anxious talking to new people).  Then, if you already know your competitors, you can have a blast trying to convince them to pick your card.  (They also have a kids version. There is a second game with similar rules, but a bit more crude if you are into that.  I was shocked the first time I played it, but it really can be quite amusing if you remember to keep the humor).

Anyway, I’m off to try to sleep now.  Hope you all have a good night.


Emotional roller coaster

As distracted as I was able to get for a good chunk of the day, the night brings with it the return of the depression.  My chest is heavy and tight.  There’s a definite weight on my heart.  I’m tired, but having trouble sleeping. I’m worried about the weekend and anxious for Monday. 
I went to the orientation for IOP today.  I ended up arriving late because for whatever reason my head was convinced I needed to be there at 1, not 12. I realized my error when my phone alarm went off at the 10-minute mark (in the past, I used to set the notification to 15 or 30 minutes, but I got out of the habit for some reason). I called them asking if being that late was ok, then flew out the door.  It ended up being a quick overview of the rules and expectations.  It did serve to make me a bit more comfortable. I’m just still lost as to how I will get there.  I can take our car on Monday, but will need to arrange other transport after that (too far, too much gas,  and L needs the car for work). The place seems ok and the people seem nice.  I hope that first impression holds true… and I hope the program is actually helpful. I think some of tonight’s anxiety is a rush to get the first day over with.  The chest tightness I’m associating with anxiety, the same with the shortness of breath.  I need to dig up my inhaler, but I’m too lazy to move from bed just now. Maybe in a few more minutes?

I find my thoughts continually dipping to the darker side of things.  It shadows my entire world even when I’m supposed to be out and distracted. There was a restaurant giving away free food at their grand opening.  We went and enjoyed the food, but everything was tainted dark.  I tried to focus on the positives (the wrap was really yummy). I repeated over and over again that I was enjoying the time with my wife (which I was) but it was not enough to drown out the whispers.  I’m hoping tomorrow will bring more success: we have our second meditation group meeting at the Japanese gardens.  I really like the place, but I’ve sucked at the meditation exercises we were supposed to do.  I will put more effort into it tomorrow…

This struggle is so tiring.  I’m ready for the break.

making things meaningful

So, in an attempt to find a way to make money fast, and relieve some of the financial pressures on us, I stumbled upon a blog that is all about doing what you love, and making what you do meaningful (the guy makes money off of this, which is how it connected to making money fast), but his original idea is founded in doing what you love…

That got me thinking… I have this blog that, while mainly started for myself, I would really like it to also help others. I began thinking about my struggles to find treatment that works. What are the barriers to finding other helpful and effectual treatments for trauma? What are the instinctual defenses and coping strategies we turn to when we don’t know what we are supposed to turn to?

It reminded me of the way EMDR came about. The woman who developed it noticed that she would go for a walk thinking about her problem, noticed that she unconsciously looked from side to side during her walk, and noticed that she felt better when she returned from her walk. So I began thinking about what my instincts are when I’m stressed. I thought about what others do. People around me are constantly talking and talking about the things that bother them. I do the same thing, I need to get it out and tell someone (or more than one person) what happened or what is bothering me. I think it is not only the telling, but also the audience. So I have 2 ideas that I need to flesh out.

The first is to actually tell the details of the trauma. This poses some dilemmas. One is that it triggers the hell out of me to think about or tell my trauma, so I will need to have support after the telling (that, or I am rendered speechless by the pure force of the emotion and the events in my head, which makes the telling piece difficult). The other is that it has the potential to overwhelm the other person… Clinicians and treaters are just people. They are people with their own troubles, fears, and vulnerabilities. To come up with a viable treatment model that utilizes this spilling of trauma, I’d have to develop (or utilize) a really good support system for the treaters as well as the clients. I would want someone to be able to talk to whenever I needed them, either in person or over the phone. I would want to provide this, or something similar, for the treaters also. I would want to ensure that talk about suicidal thoughts or self-injury would prompt support, and not automatic hospitalization. This somewhat builds on the DBT concepts of riding the wave of emotions, but this time with support and someone “holding your hand” through it all.  While I see the value in learning to handle your triggers and urges on your own, there is also something very powerful about having someone there with you to witness it.  I have always felt this want for someone to be there through the experience; to help keep me safe when I can’t do it anymore.  I turned that desire into action one day while I was working with a particularly difficult adolescent.  She was bent on destroying the house, and pushing the limits of all the staff present (and her house-mates),  At one point, she managed to turn on the stove and was about to put her hands on it to burn herself.  None of what we were saying was getting through to her, so I stepped in front of the stove and took her hands.  I held them as she tried to push past me (she was about a foot taller and a good 80lbs heavier than me, and I’m not small).  I told her again and again that I would keep her safe and I would keep the house safe.  In that moment that I held her wrists, she looked at me and something clicked.  She moved away from the stove after several minutes (and a few half-assed attempts to pull her hands free of mine) and stopped pushing my buttons for the rest of the day.  It only lasted like that for the rest of the shift, but it made a difference for that time.  I think it’s a very powerful thing to have someone there with you in a non-threatening way to help keep you safe when you cannot do it yourself…

The other idea is a spin-off of having witnesses to the journey.  It also builds on a theory I saw on a PBS special.  That theory advocated the telling and re-telling of the trauma until it lost its impact.  They did not flesh out all the points of the treatment plan, but from what they showed, I think it has some merits.  Anyway, and please tell me if this is a horrible idea, I think it might be helpful to do this in an intensive group setting.  Wait! you may say, this will cause a huge domino effect of triggering… Well, that’s kind of the point.  I noticed in groups, the most benefit I got from many of them was when someone’s experiences triggered something in me and I got a chance to deal with it.  This would be tricky as a group where the point is to tell triggering things, and not just walk on eggshells around topics.  But I think with the proper support available (MANY treaters on hand, at least 1.5+ per person in group, because some people need more than one person to bring them back), this could be a viable path to dealing with all the crap we don’t always think of accessing during treatment.  The groups could start with a topic and go from there.  Forget necessarily censoring the details of the event… While I understand that ambiguity of the event to another may help them access their own demons, I find it tends to limit me in the telling of the event.

There are definitely details to flesh out, and many, many conversations with other professionals to figure out the viability of these theories… But I’m determined to figure out a treatment option that works for me… and hopefully I can come up with something that may help others too…

Bring on the firestorm of criticism for this horrible idea! (It goes against all convention and current thinking and insurance company standards…)

On Suicide

I think this is an interesting and important conversation that needs to happen more often. I think suicide is an elephant in the room that so many are afraid to talk about because of the taboos around it, and the knee-jerk reactions even some providers have to it… I have been privileged enough to have many thought-provoking conversations with my former therapist…


Writing on suicide is dangerous because suicide is deemed unthinkable. To think about it, then, and here syntax betrays what I’m going to claim, is understood as thinking about how to do it or when to do it. To think about it is to contemplate it. Thus, one says that one is not thinking about it, but even raising the prospect elicits concern and paranoia: why would one think about it if one were not thinking about it? I want to stay with this formulation, because I think its unthinkability is a problem, albeit a problem tied to the unthinkability of death, and the political and aesthetic imperative to think through life and to cultivate thriving life.

Because suicide always elicits confession, let me tell someone else’s story.

My cousin killed himself when I was a freshman. I was in Kenya during my first (and only) summer vacation, and, as…

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I ditched the job I accepted earlier in the week… it sounded sketchy. They wanted me to do “creative billing” and tack on extra charges… I just don’t feel comfortable with that. So now I feel lost. I gave up the only work prospect because my gut gave me an uneasy feeling about it. I have learned to go with my gut. The only reason I regret it is that now I have to start over again with the job search. I have no leads, and there are no hopes of any money coming in soon. It’s frustrating. I want to have some resources, but there are none… and its making me feel depressed and hopeless. Everything I used to do to make money is unavailable to me right now. That leads to wanting to hide from the world. Luckily, it hasn’t triggered my self-harm urges. Oh, and I need to cancel next week’s appointment with D because I don’t have the $8 to see him. It just all sucks…

My comfort with him blew my mind

I’ve always had difficulty trusting men in positions of power (real or perceived). I was very,  very cautious about the thought of seeing a male clinician,  but since the rest of my visits so far have been less-than-productive, I decided to try. 
I met with D for the first time today.  He is a doctoral student at a local university,  and supervised by the psychologist I had hoped to work with.  He was calm and affirming and in no way intimidating.  I found myself easily taking to him,  and spilling more than I intended.  I was also more honest than I have been since I got down here.  Yes,  he used the textbook responses,  and I could pinpoint what technique he was using and when… but as much as he seems very inexperienced,  he had a very calming presence.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  I just hope I’m not too much for him and he runs screaming from the building one day…
I see the new EAP lady again tomorrow. It will be my last session. While she was nice,  I just didn’t feel like we clicked.  Our focus lays in different spots… and today was too late to cancel. Maybe she can get me hooked up with other services to see if we can get out of this hole we are in.

Early morning pre-coffee thoughts

Why is it that certain words trigger such a strong reaction in me?  There are sentiments that,  when expressed to me, make my blood boil and take away filters for kindness and respect.  I’m specifically thinking about all the references to god and how people have a need to tell me that their god will make it all better if I just believed… The truth about that is that, yes,  your beliefs can improve or deteriorate a situation. But it doesn’t mean that if I don’t believe in your god,  things will stay the same or get worse for me.  Faith can be very helpful,  or very crippling depending on your beliefs,  but it won’t change an abusive situation,  or help your finances. 

As I was trying to figure out why religion is such a triggering issue for me, I remembered the first time I disclosed my abuse to someone that should have been able to help.  I was told to “pray about it and God will make it all better.”  That was the sentiment that was supposed to help keep me and the people I cared about safe. There was no follow up requesting details.  There was no mention of other possible help on the way.  “Just pray about it” and all the physical and emotional anguish will disappear.  Bullshit.  Things don’t work that way.  No amount of prayer healed my aunt. It didn’t stop my dad from being a huge jerk. It didn’t stop his sister from doing all the shit she did.  It didn’t stop my then-boyfriend from assaulting me.  And it didn’t bring me any solace in the least.  So bullshit. Prayer,  gods, and religion don’t make anything better.  Standing up for yourself does. Reaching out to the right people does.  Fighting like hell does.  But religion?  It brings guilt, resentment, and learned helplessness. 
That’s why those stupid posts about bringing god back to schools, and those about trusting god make my blood boil.  I had religion in my schools and it didn’t stop, or even lessen, the violence and abuse.  It didn’t make kids more tolerant of others (quite the opposite actually).  It didn’t prevent students from making bad choices, and it didn’t make the campus safer…  Don’t force your belief system on me or anyone.  You are free to believe whatever you want,  but please stop acting like it’s the only valid belief system in the universe.

i was used to it, and now it’s different

I was all comfortable in my blog page being the way it was when I first came onto wordpress, but now they have gone and changed it… I love blue and all, don’t get me wrong, but the black and grey felt so much more appropriate… and what’s with changing the titles of the functions… now they have me all confused.

On another note, I got a job offer. The pay sucks, but the potential for advancement is great. I also get no benefits (which sucks because I will be losing the ones through my wife as her company continues to drop the ball with her transfer), no paid time off… but I set my own schedule, and work as much or as little as I want (and clients need me) in a given week. It will be tough, as I like having the security of knowing I will at least be getting X number of dollars every paycheck, but again, this is better than nothing, and the learning opportunities are HUGE. I have to formally accept the position on Monday, then meet with my only other co-worker in the state for shadowing, training, and meet-and-greets with my new clients. I will start out with 5, so that guarantees me 5 hours a week… now to get up to the other 35… There will be meetings, calls, and paperwork, so hopefully I can turn that 5 clients into at least 20 hours every week. Here’s to hoping… and hopefully soon I will get a bigger case-load. This will also help me in getting my wife signed up for state services (and possibly myself), as this state does not recognize my marriage, so she’s technically below the poverty level even if I’m working.

Now, I will have to pull it together and function at my best to make this all work, but it sounds cool. Case Managers here have more responsibilities and authority than they did in my last state… That will be cool. While I won’t be doing therapy, I will have more therapeutic contact with my clients and gain the skills I have been dying to get and use since graduating with my BA… And maybe we will be able to save enough money to get our credits out of the endless pit they are in and be able to buy a house… We need our own space.

I can’t win against my defenses

When I have no support,  I’m falling apart. When I finally get someone to talk to,  I suddenly can’t remember why it was that I needed it so badly just a few days ago. 

That’s the story of my defenses.  I freak out when I don’t have the support,  but can manage to hold it together when I do. Great.  When the clinician asked me today what I hoped to get out of our remaining 2 sessions together, I couldn’t think of a single thing other then support… 4 days ago,  I couldn’t see past the huge black cloud surrounding me.  Today I can’t remember the look of it. 

Maybe part of it comes from knowing that I will likely not see her after these 3 sessions.  I don’t think I will have insurance again any time soon,  and I can’t afford a self-pay if it’s not a sliding scale.

I see the intern guy for the first time next week.  I’m hoping I am comfortable enough to work with him.  I can afford his fee ($8) once in a while until I get a job… and maybe I can work on my distrust of men with him.  I was able to connect with a male clinician at the trauma program.  Maybe I can do it again…

Hanging by a thread

The universe is conspiring to screw us… I swear,  someone up there hates me.  Things go ok for a moment, then everything crashes again.  Our phones are shut off again. We had paid enough to just get it back on, and now it was apparently only for 2 weeks.  It went offat noon today… all my applications for work have my number on it, but it is useless.  And I still can’t find a therapist to see… I had to cancel my Friday appointment because I will not have the copay… I’m so on my last thread… maybe that EAP lady was right… maybe I’m just a lost cause… hoplessly doomed to this shit for the rest of my life.

Simple Steps to Save A Borderline from Suicide

Simple Steps to Save A Borderline from Suicide.

I kinda like this in a dark comedy kind of way… I resent that I was ever diagnosed bpd, and I wholly resent the way I was treated by several clinicians & psychiatrists because of the diagnosis, but she puts it well… and I guess I can see myself in the diagnosis the way she describes it (some of it… the abuse history, the fear of abandonment, the preoccupation with death as a means of escape, the self injury, the lack of identity…)

hiding inside the wall

I’ve retreated into my shell. That experience with the EAP clinician triggered a fear deep inside me that has sent my mind scurrying into the wall. This is quite unusual, but happens from time to time. It happens when I’m terrified for my life, or my sanity. It’s that moment when even my analytical side hides, and I shut down. I neither ask for help, not do I have access to the part of me that is crumbling. I fly below the radar. My heart breaks, and I feel the weight in my chest, but I’m suddenly too terrified to even recognize that. The insanity in me takes a back burner…

It’s helpful in a way. I can function again, though every fiber in my being is shaking and pulsing with fear. It keeps the urges at bay (to an extent… i know they are still there and screaming, but they are isolated inside a sound-insulated room). It enables me to move about my day. My only worry is when it will burst free again. It always comes back louder and stronger after it hides for a while.


4:36pm – I had a horrible experience with the clinician recommended by the EAP.  Just about as soon as my butt hit her couch, she strongly insisted I see a psychiatrist for meds. I am strongly opposed to medications for myself.  They make me a million times worse than I ever was without them. In the 4 years I was on meds,  I was hospitalized upwards of 30 times.  Before and after,  not once.  She didn’t want to hear that I do not want to entertain the idea.  I thought at one point she may commit me for my refusal.  It was the biggest waste of my time,  and caused way more anxiety that I could ever have dreamed of it alleviating… my heart is still pounding nearly 2 hours later… this sucks.

(9:10pm) In talking to my wife about the whole experience, we noted several other ways in which she judged me and lumped me in a “hopeless” category… She suggested I go to a day program to “help [me] deal with everything” (not that she knew what exactly I was dealing with, but she assumed my history of depression, PTSD, SI, etc were all current and looming).  She asked if I was employed, and when I said “not yet, but I’m looking, since we just moved across the country…” her response was: “I figured”  Really?! WTF?!  She continued to insist that I see a psychiatrist for “at least a full and proper diagnosis” Um, Lady… I HAVE one!  I just listed it to you… She then implied that she had no reason to trust me, and stated I had no reason to trust her… Hmm… great! She also wanted copies of my recent hospital records and seemed put-off when I said I did not have them.  I told her I thought my old therapist did, though, and offered to pass on her number so that EAP lady could get in contact with her.  EAP’s response: “I don’t have a release to talk to her”.  I just looked at her with that one.  I was already in flight-or-flight mode (flight being my instinct), and had little energy to retort that I was sitting right there, she could easily get one… She then proceeded to tell me that she is “a straight shooter” and doesn’t “play games”… Like I was looking for someone to play games with?! I took a shaky breath and thanked her for her “honesty”.  I told her I had worked with someone in the past that did not know what they were doing, and it just messed everything up.  I did not want to repeat that… I sat through the rest of her little speeches, and then launched into one of my own.  I told her of my experiences with medications, doctors and hospitals.  I told her about the work I had done with my old therapist, and the work I hoped to continue.  I explained my dissociative symptoms to her (dumbed it down for her, since she wasn’t getting the more clinical terms), and my reasoning for not wanting meds, DBT, or ECT… to which she tried to interject that I should really give it a second thought, but I cut her off.  I told her that the topic of ECT was a hot-button one with me, and came with it’s own mess of trauma.  She seemed to get the hint and moved away from that topic.  She then spent some time trying to convince me that the local university’s psych clinic was wonderful, with students “experienced in dealing with this sort of stuff”.  I cut her off again and told her that I had called the clinic now 8 times in the last 2 months and have yet to receive a return call.  She suggested I just show up… to which I replied: “I’m not interested in begging for what I need when they don’t respond to me over the phone”.  She suggested I “give it a try”

In the end I left her office with no intention of ever talking to her again.  She did the obligatory “call me if you need anything” and actually wanted to hug me as I left… I don’t know her.  I dislike her.  Why the hell does she want to hug me?!  I’m not big on being touched by people I don’t know, let alone don’t like… Don’t hug me.  I’ll take hugs from people I’ve built a relationship with, and only if I feel comfortable with them, but perfect strangers creep me out…

My wife looked at me as I walked out the door and commented “How was it? you’re smiling” to which I was able to respond through clenched teeth: “I just need to make it out of the office…”  I told her all the things this lady said, and she wished she had gone in with me… I kinda wish she had also… Whatever.  I won’t be seeing her ever again that’s for sure.

The whole way home I was worried about the meds issue with the other therapist I’m supposed to meet next week… The anxiety was enough to prompt me to call her.  She was very nice when she called back.  She said that the clinic had no prescribers, but if I was interested, we could always talk about it.  She said she never refused to see a client just because they refused to take medications…  She did mention though that she prefers if her colleagues do the intake session, and it would be good if I could manage to come in earlier in the week to do it… I told her of my money concerns for 2 copays in one week.  She again suggested the non-profit aspect of the office, and I reminded her that I was very uncomfortable seeing a male clinician in the long-term.  She said it was always an option… The more I think about it, the more it may be my only option, as I’m not having any luck with call-backs… and it looks like my wife’s company is totally screwing her over and she will be timed out of their system by the end of the month. That means I lose my insurance, and would have to start all over again looking for a new therapist… This is just way too difficult.


So, I found out today I have insurance for at least a while… I also got a call back from the clinician from the EAP program… but that happened after I made an appointment with the original therapist I had contacted down here… The EAP appointment is free, but the psychologist will cost me the copay… I kinda want to see both to figure out who I click better with, but I also don’t have the $25 for tomorrow’s intake with the psychologist.  And, I don’t know when I would be able to get in with the EAP lady… i don’t know.  I feel like I should at least call the EAP lady back because the likelihood of continuing with her is greater if I lose the insurance… I’m so confused.


I called the EAP lady.  She seems nice, and had time tomorrow, so I decided to make the appointment.  It’s free.  What is there to lose?

I also called the psychologist’s office and told them I did not have the money for tomorrow’s intake.  They kept me on to see her next Friday.  If I don’t call them back before then, she will just do the intake at that time (I hope to have some money to be able to see her by then).  I’ll let both the EAP clinician and the psychologist know I am interviewing both… then I will make a decision after having met both of them.  I’m hoping the psychologist works out, because I know she does EMDR.  I really want to keep up with that.  It helps immensely.

Striking a balance.

The trouble with the new year is that everyone expects things to just change.  Life does not know the difference,  it’s only marked on a calendar.  The days will continue to be the same if you let them;  if you don’t work to change them… the same is true for every day.  We need to put forth effort to improve or change the way things are.  Life is not something that simply happens to you. You make big and little choices daily that help steer it in the direction you go.  Even not doing anything is a choice…

So I choose to keep persevering in the direction I want my life to go,  bumps and all.  And maybe I will stop kicking myself for not reaching out. I might actually stop worrying about bothering people on their day off and reach out (or at least try) so I can stop feeling like so much crap.

Wanting to cry

I know it’s a new year, but it’s changed nothing.  My hands brush against my thigh, and I crave a blade.  I’m ready for this struggle to be over for good. The thoughts need to go away. I need to be finally happy again.


Trying to figure what it is about me that tries to trigger myself,  not so that I will cut, but because I need that feeling to come and go.  I watch movies with a very prominent self-injury or abuse component to them.  I listen to music that  is at once triggering and comforting.  I battle with myself about reaching out.  I want to give voice to all the dysfunction in my head, but I’m afraid of the consequences.  I want to let people in, but I’m scared.  So I crave that feeling to have a definite end to it with the change in song or the end of the movie.  It gives the wave of emotion a forced, set path to follow.  It gives me somewhat of a sense of control; and I desperately need that when I start to feel out of control.

I had written earlier that I was kicking myself for not taking the opportunity to talk earlier on today.   I still am.  I toy with calling back and trying to talk to her again.  I toy with calling a hotline and being upfront that I am not suicidal, but I want to self-harm.  I’m scared because I don’t know what that will bring from a stranger in a new state.  I just know I need to reach out some more and I need more support than I can give myself.  I could talk to my wife more, but I don’t want to scare her.  I could talk to my mom, but the same is true… I need someone to talk to that will have a certain level of detachment that can hear me out… I need someone that is strong enough to listen to what I have to say and hear it all, and tell me how fucked-up I am…  And I don’t want to end up in the hospital… But I’m afraid that the knee-jerk reaction would be to send me there.  It’s a holiday, I don’t want to waste their time…  and I really just want someone I can take the risk of talking to without having to see the disgust on their face and the horror in their eyes as I spill the contents of my head… I don’t want them to see me either.  I don’t want them to notice the smile play across my lips at the thought of hurting myself and the thought of the relief it would bring, even if just for a moment, since shame and guilt set in pretty much immediately after I realize that someone may find out… and think of how messed-up I am…  But the thoughts are supremely comforting, even if the act would bring ridiculous consequences that I know I don’t want or need…

I guess I was on the right track…

Managed to talk to my old therapist a bit today.  She said that my symptoms fit the diagnosis of Dissociative Disorder NOS.  The split is there,  but not full-fledged people.  And I have a very difficult time connecting the two sides when I’m in either (hence this blog).  It’s more pronounced here.  It’s a physical feeling when I switch from one to the other.  It’s a feeling of falling through ice into freezing water when I get to the “dark” side (strangely comforting, not necessarily a panic, but a relief because I know what comes next); and the feeling of patching a wall when I come back here.  It’s relatively sudden (a matter of minutes) and I lose touch with what was before… it’s a weird feeling,  and quite strong since I moved back to where I grew up.  Someone plugged in the amp… I don’t want it to progress like it has been.   That would lead to some scary shit…

I keep trying to reach out,  but fear prevents me from opening up too much… I’ve had the chance again today,  but when asked that crucial question,  I said no.  I am not suicidal,  but I do sometimes want to hurt myself… not to die,  but to let the emotion bleed out with the injury… Only I’m afraid if I said that, they would be obligated to send me to the emergency room… because I said I want to hurt myself… so they are legally obligated to act on that… and it’s nowhere near what I want to do, but they may get sued, so I would be sent to sit in an er waiting room for hours on end just to try to convince them that I will not hurt myself… I’ve played that game before because most places don’t understand self-injury even though it’s become a hot-button topic in the last decade or so.  Legalities and all… and I don’t know the total scope of the laws in this state that could get me committed against my will.  I know it is fairly easy to get at least a 72-hour hold by anyone that suspects you to be even a remote danger to yourself… self-injury would fall under that category to someone who is not familiar with it’s stress-release capabilities…  So I stay quiet…  and I fight it on my own hoping that the dissociation won’t get as bad as it was last year when I “spaced out” for 2 days and ended up being hospitalized…

This is that point

Where I need to remember the light side… the chaos is fast and furious in my head. .. not really sure how to slow it down…

I pull out my analytical side to combat the chaos, but it doesn’t work that well. The dissociation of one from the other is huge… the rift can be so severe… my panic mode is kicking in, and the other side of me desperately tries to take the reins to keep me on track… No falling apart. Patchwork going on to cover the cracks and keep things in check for another few hours. It’s amazing what our brains can do to to keep us functioning when we fear the outcome of our current trajectory…

Maybe I am DID in some respects, just not as disconnected with fully formed personalities… maybe I’m just more integrated than the average DID person. The change can come on so fast in the way my brain thinks. The analytical, disconnected side can take over to hold things together until the last possible moment… there definitely are two very distinct sides to me… this one steps in and calms me down when I’m about to break… it’s the more adult, mature side that needs to be proper and collected at all times. The other side feels more frazzled and fragile… and smaller. She feels more vulnerable and young… is that where Samantha Jane went?


It just hit me: I was never young. Let me clarify that… when asked about my inner child, there is no young version of me that I identify with… my inner child was always Samantha Jane (in that he or she was always 6 or younger). When my therapist asked me where the young me was, I mentally freaked and could not identify with a young me. All memories carry with them varying degrees of dissociation, but never have I been able to connect my name with a younger me… the image in my head of a young me is also very different than the actual me… it’s weird and I don’t think I’m explaining it well… I was there watching, but never really fully part of the memories… most of them any way. The person I am today for most of the time is far from that terrified little girl. That part never integrated…

I don’t have a good title for this

I’m feeling really overwhelmed by all this.  I don’t know what to do next,  but at least that clinician calling me so many times with different options made me feel a bit better… maybe I’m not so worthless afterall. If a perfect stranger cares enough to work so hard to figure out a solution,  there must be some value to me… maybe?

I don’t have my hopes up about the clinic getting back to me any time soon though… just going to have to struggle through this myself for a while and hope I don’t crack along the way…

feeling so defeated…

ever have those times?… It just doesn’t feel like I can make forward strides at this moment… One thing goes really well, and 3 things fall apart… I just don’t know how to change it. I’m only going backwards. It sucks.

I got a call back from one of the clinicians to set me up in their system… turns out that the only clinician that is part of the non-profit piece is a guy… I have trouble enough talking to a female therapist, forget about trying to talk to a guy… The lady that called me back was really nice tho, and she gave me a ton of other options… I totally appreciate that she called back 3 times with different ideas… I just wish I had money so it wouldn’t matter… but I have no job, and even if anyone is calling me back at the moment, my phone is shut off because we didn’t have the cash for the bill… I’m using my mom’s phone to try to find someone to see… All the places I applied to work have my phone number, not hers… This sucks. I just want to ball up and cry and hide from the world. I’m trying so hard not to crack under all this pressure, but I don’t know how well I can keep that up… When I got off the phone with her the first time, my legs ached with the memory of a cut… those aches have just been getting stronger. The part of me that wants to give in is screaming so loud right now…

I really could use someone to talk to… or: connections

there’s so much that goes on in my head that I don’t voice. I need an outlet for it. Even my old T didn’t hear half of what went on. I tried to tell her, but sometimes the words just wouldn’t form. It was a combination of fear, shame, and guilt for indulging the thoughts and “fantasies” that kept me silent. There were many times when I tried to talk, but literally couldn’t… the air was stuck in my throat and words refused to form. My mouth would open, and shut, but nothing would come out, not even a wisp of breath. I can feel that coming on… this time brought on by fear of someone over-reacting. The words don’t even form in my brain; they just fizzle at the synapses before a full thought can be formed to explain the pictures and feelings in my head. I don’t know why I have such a hard time talking… but then again, maybe I do. I’m not sure where it started, when I lost my voice (in the feminist, allegorical use of the term), but it’s been gone a long time. Once in a while I find what it is that I want to say, and once in a while I can make myself heard, but for the most part, I play alone in the scenes in my head. Samantha Jane used to be there… She used to keep me company, but she’s run off now, and I’m left to my own devices. She was a good little stand-in. She always listened, and I could always protect her (I think… at least… that’s my memory of my inner child… it’s the only memory of her I choose to acknowledge at this time). What happened to her? I’m not quite sure. She never looked the same through the years. She was always young, but her face and her hair changed… The one constant in all my years was the woman with the dark, long hair… She always showed up when I needed to be rescued. She always meant that things were coming to a close, and the horrible nightmare would be over. Her face was never really the same, but I always knew she was the same person. Maybe just the same soul… I’ve met her many times in real life… always someone else, but always the same role… the rescuer… she’s always meant an end to whatever the current drama/trauma was… funny how she has always been there since I was a child. Maybe I remember more than I think I do, I just keep it in the back of a dark closet. She was a neighbor, my friend’s mom, my guidance counselor, my teacher, my therapist, a nurse at the hospital, my doctor… That one presence that was in a different person each time, but always the same presence behind her… I miss her in my dreams. She was always infinitely more comforting in my dreams… or maybe that’s just where I choose to remember her that way… She always made sure I was ok… If I try to put a real face to her, I lose it, but I know her when I meet her… Just like I know Samantha Jane is not anywhere near me lately… she skipped town. I miss her, but I can’t feel her. I feel the lady with the dark hair though. Maybe she will visit me tonight in my sleep… I really could use her presence with me right now…

Does anyone know what happens to us when we die? I’m a firm believer in connecting once again with all we have lost… connecting to the world again in a deeper way. I remember that connection from when I was a child. I could close my eyes and feel the earth breathing… I could see the colors floating and the energy flowing… I would hear horses thundering by the house, and my parents would swear it was the highway… but I believed with all my heart that it was the horses that traveled that land before… A large white stallion that would wait under the window, making noise and breathing heavily after his run… Later that week I found a horse shoe in our yard… It was a neighborhood established for a while, with no livestock anywhere near… He was another comforting presence…

Earlier this week, I was feeling really sad and indulging that sadness when, all of a sudden, the scent of her perfume was in the air… She’s been gone for ages, but she was there at that moment. They are both here… my mom says she smells cigarette smoke in the house… no one smokes, but he used to… Right after she died (3 years after), I moved here and the dog would play fetch with someone, but I was the only one in the house… she would perk up as if being called, and run over to another spot, wag her tail, and lay down as if she was getting a tummy rub… I did not imagine it…


2:45pm – one of the therapists that I had contacted prior to my move was supposed to call today to get me into the system at a non-profit associated with her clinic… she did not.  I know she is likely busy with her actual clients and her life, but please don’t give me a specific time that you say you will call me and then not do it.  it makes me anxious and brings back all sorts of crap… I had simply asked her for the name and number to the clinic… she gave me the name, but not the number, and I can’t find their number online.  she also said she would call me this morning to set me up… I know I’m not at the breaking point, and this is not an emergency (far from it) but I would like to know I have something in place to help me keep from ever getting to the breaking point.  holidays are tough, for a lot of people.  they are triggering and highly charged with all sorts of emotions.  please don’t leave me in the dark at this time… I was quite anxious making the call to her in the first place to see about finding someone else with this move.  the thought of having to trust a whole other person is scary.  the thought of having to build up a therapeutic relationship is scary.  I just want to get it started so I can alleviate at least that bit of anxiety from my life.  is that too much to ask? am i being too pushy? too needy? am I over-reacting? I don’t want to call her because I don’t want to bother her.  I know I’m not her client, and at this point won’t be.  I know I have no priority there.  So I don’t want to be over-bearing… I just don’t want to crash either.  Things come up, and I package them away neatly once again, but I wouldn’t mind help in that department… and I really just want the anxiety of getting this all started to be behind me… I want someone I can talk to about all those thoughts in my head who won’t over-react and won’t get all worked up over just thoughts that come and go… and memories…

::sigh:: to steal a line from an Ani Difranco song: “the English translation is…”

I’m just anxious and unsure of where to turn to next… I could call my old therapist, she left that option on the table.  but again, I don’t want to bother her.  I don’t like bothering people.  I don’t like coming off as too needy… I am terrified of pushing people away… I don’t want to do that.  I don’t want them mad at me or frustrated with me.  I just want to be quietly liked…

It’s hard to hear my wife get texts and calls from friends and family… It reminds me again and again that I am not memorable. I don’t have very many friends, and even those people want to forget me… It’s hard to battle these negative ideas when I have no real strength to push them away and refute them… and I don’t see any evidence to the contrary in front of me… Either I chose not to see it, or it’s not there, but I can’t grasp it when I start to feel so doubtful of myself.  All the old, negative voices and mantras come back, screaming in my ears.  Everything I thought of myself growing up (because I can easily recall so much of the fears and doubts) comes flooding back, and it takes everything I have not to get carried away by it.  I start to think that people only talk to me out of obligation… they only see me when they want to (like the ghost girl in the series we just started watching)… I could easily disappear and very few would notice…

and there it is again, that screaming voice of doubt… I need to find a good way to drown it all out… music maybe, the park, nature… I need something positive to take it’s place…

5:22pm – still spinning.  trying to motivate to find a job and a volunteer opportunity, but it goes as fast as it hits me… I found the contact info for that clinic she told me about, so I sent an email.  I’m hoping they call me back sooner rather than later… You know that feeling you get when you know things are tipping in the wrong direction, but they haven’t fallen yet?  I have that feeling… I don’t know how far things will fall if I don’t figure it out, but I know they will fall to some degree.  I can’t afford the “craziness” of the past, so I need to keep it all together and fight like hell to do so.

9:00pm – the anxiety is building.  little tingles are playing under the scars… I need to keep my head above water for this.  No losing it here… I think I’m making it worse in my head, but I don’t really know how to stop it.  Does everyone experience the same disconnect of intellect and “head” when things start to crack?  Intellectually I know SO much about how to keep this all at bay, but emotionally, that’s a whole different story.  Maybe I should just call my old therapist to get some support until I can find someone new…

the legitemacy of tears

“I know I need to cry… but I don’t have a reason.”

“You do have a reason! We are far away from everyone we love, except your mother.  We have no jobs, no money, and it’s Christmas…”

Why, despite knowing better, can I not let myself cry without “reason”?  Why do I feel like I have to… I don’t know… like I can’t justify being sad without something huge and “legitimate” to be sad about… I can’t just have a bad day or a bad moment.  I can’t just cry.  I need to justify every emotion, every tear… I know better, intellectually.  I know that people can just cry without real reason.  I encourage my clients to cry when they feel like it… but I can’t seem to do that for myself.  How can I ask of others what I can’t (won’t) do myself?

Merry Christmas

No tree,  no decorations,  no presents.  But being with people I love,  so that makes up for it. I truely hate this time of year.  I can’t wait till it’s all over with.  Then life can go back to the normal stresses without the added crap brought up by all this… peace to all…

Flashback or spirits?

I was sitting at the computer, feeling down and sad, wanting to cry.  All of a sudden the air smells like my aunt’s perfume… I know we do not have it in the house anymore, not even anything that smells like it… the part of me that believes our loved ones are with us even after they die jumps to it being her here… my mom had been smelling cigarette smoke in the house lately.  None of us smoke, but my uncle used to.  We live in their house now. They have been gone for 18 years… my heart believes it’s them… my head says it’s a flashback brought on by the intensity of the emotions from being back here,  and from the season.  I prefer to go with my heart…

i feel like i should write something…

…but i have no idea what to write. i hate the holidays. they were never happy for me. they always meant forced get-togethers that ended in vicious fights… It’s been better since I moved out, and better still since I met my wife, but the old days haunt me this year. Being back home is weird. The memories are around most corners… and the lack of distractions facilitates more thinking. I’ve been trying to get out of the house. I’ve been trying to keep occupied. It works for the most part. I go window shopping, I occupy myself with my hobbies… I try not to think.

It’s been weird not having a therapist. I had made contact with one before the move so I would have someone to touch base with once I got here, but finances have prevented me from following through.

What is it about the holidays that brings back all this crap…?  I guess the fact that they’ve commercialized the hell out of it doesn’t help… nor does the fact that they start throwing Christmas at you in August… There’s no way to escape it.  They start triggering memories before the end of the summer, and they don’t let it up until after all the returns have happened.  The movies, the music, the religion… it all makes me cringe.  I am scrooge around the holidays… I don’t want others to not enjoy it, but I want nothing to do with it all.  I like the thought of giving to others, but I do that anyways…

The one good thing Catholic school taught me: give to others until you have nothing left to give, then find it in yourself to give more… be it monetary or emotional, I give until I’m in the negatives… It doesn’t work out all that well in practicality tho.  If you have nothing left for yourself, it’s hard to give to others.  It’s hard to smile when you are a void… It’s hard.

It’s hard to miss people… losses suck.  This time of year always reminds me of them.  This year we are surrounded by images, thoughts, and well-wishes to those effected by the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings… I’m glad I knew no one in the school at the time, but I wonder how their families are coping now.  I think of those people and my heart breaks… and I feel somewhat selfish in that heartbreak.  I’m not really crying for them (tho my empathy for them triggers the tears) so much as I cry for all my losses. That’s one thing I was never good at.  Processing loss is something that eludes me.  My greatest losses happened more than a decade ago.  Any little thing brings them up though.  Big things really bring them up.  The Newtown shootings were a big thing… I feel particularly connected because… well, because I do.  It hit too close to home.  It makes me cry every time I see something about it, and the news is flooded with it all still.  Facebook posts ask you to pray for the victims and families.   Gun-control is a hotly debated topic.  When it’s not a blurb directly about Newtown, it’s a debate about how to fix things like that from ever happening again… How about talking about mental health?  How about making it accessible and not stigmatized?  How about… how about help?

I keep this anonymous because I don’t want my family and friends identified.  But I also don’t want more of those looks than I already get.  I have a bunch of things stacked against me when it comes to judgments and hate.  I don’t want to add a full-disclosure to those very obvious ones.  I especially don’t want it now, when mental health issues are brought into the limelight by one very unbalanced and sick individual’s horrid actions.  It’s tough that I still have very visible scars on my arms.  I don’t want to have to explain that away whenever any little kid asks (they have no filter) or whenever any adult looks at me with either disgust or pity after seeing my arm.  I’m glad most everyone says nothing.  It makes it easier to forget about that point in life… even if for just a few moments.

Why is it that I have such a fog around so much of my life, but I can’t forget the trauma totally?  Why does that have to come back?  I know the psychological answer, but I want to know the purpose of it in our lives… Aside of the evolutionary benefits of remembering dangerous situations so we can avoid them, how does remembering the actual event, and not necessarily what lead up to it, help us survive?  It does just the opposite.  It takes away your will to see another day.  It makes you live in darkness and eventually crave fading away.  So how does that help the species as a whole?  What scientific purpose does it serve?  What survival purpose does it serve?  How does it help humans live longer as a collective?