Tag Archives: sad

No sufficient distractions

Nothing occupies me sufficiently. Nothing keeps my attention. My head alternates between screaming and silence (and sometimes the silence screams).

We are watching G.o.T. to catch up. I can pay more attention to it than other things, but even that doesn’t mean much.

My usual social media distractions are frustrating me…

Went to L’s parents’ house earlier to celebrate a birthday. Part of me was excited to see the kids and have a cookout, but a bigger part of me didn’t know how to function. Even L’s mom commented on me looking sad. I brushed it off as being tired… how do you explain that your whole world is in flux? How do you admit that everything hurts so much you wish it would finally kill you? So I said nothing. I did my best to stay in the background. I sat in corners and helped man the grill…

Since getting home, I’ve wanted nothing to do with anything… I’m just so tired (so it wasn’t a total lie I told earlier).

When will that chest-crushing feeling be over?


Grief…

I find myself wanting to cry at the drop of a hat… I’m ok as long as the distractions are there, but as soon as they subside, giant tidal waves of emotion take over.

I’m grieving something I thought I had. It’s mixed with depression and hopelessness…

I’m not sure exactly how to handle it.

Dr C believes it will all be ok in the end.

Right now it just feels like I’m drowning.


Blergh… (ok, honestly, I dunno an adequate word for this feeling/sound… also **POTENTIALLY TRIGGERING – SH, SUI**

I had another session today. I have been feeling so crappy lately, I asked for some extra time after group yesterday…

It was productive (and long). We talked about what’s causing so much anxiety, and what I get stuck on. At one point, I mentioned some of the financial obligations causing stress. She asked if I wanted to take care of the most stressful one there, and she offered to take over the phone if it became too much for me to keep talking. My responsible side kept bugging me to say yes, but my scared little kid side couldn’t move. We talked a bit about that, then she talked me through the phone thing (literally starting with telling me to take my phone out and find the number). Before actually placing the call, I mentioned the correlation with making an arrangement with this company in particular, and a subsequent hospitalization (so far, it’s happened after every time, and I wasn’t sure if I only had the courage to call them in an effort to lessen anything L might have to take care of in my absence, or if calling them triggered a hard and fast spiral)… she said we’d make a plan after the call to get me through the weekend.

The call was uneventful as usual. The lady I spoke with on the phone was professional. An arrangement was made, and I hung up. Almost instantly, the berating voices started screaming in my head “I’m worthless. I’m a piece of shit. I should have my shit together. I’m a failure. Why can’t I amount to anything? What a waste of space!…” and many more unkind things. Tears started spilling from my eyes, and I managed to choke out that this is what always happens after calling them. About 30 different self-destruct plans flashed through my head. In an instant, I assessed each for viability. More tears flowing unchecked from my eyes. I don’t really remember what else was said, but I was able to communicate the self-hatred and hopelessness.

I guess I started demolishing my soda can because she asked if the pieces I was playing with were sharp enough to hurt myself with. I was a bit taken aback. I’d never consciously self-harm in front of anyone, let alone in her office (it’s a safe space… though I must admit she’s pointed it out to me in the past when I didn’t realize I was clawing my arms during session).  Anyway, we talked a bit more, and she started saying something about me not being bad, and being allowed to make mistakes and ask for leniency. I can’t remember exactly what the words were, but they triggered a flashback… I just cried on the couch and tried to become as small as possible. Part of me kept silently apologizing and begging her not to hate me or be mad at me. Another part of me tried to remind myself that she would not do what I was remembering at the moment, that she was not the person in my memory, and that she was safe. The two inner voices warred to drown each other out.

None of it was voiced till after she stopped taking and I had continued to silently cry for several seconds. I think I actually interrupted her to try to explain what had been going on in my head… I found safe-enough words with which to speak about it; saying how frustrating it was when seemingly innocuous/nice (and common) responses to emotional upheaval and intense self-hatred were such instant triggers… I’m not sure if she was angry or sad that things like that had become so twisted in my head (not angry or sad at me, but for having gone through situations that caused the perversion of those basic concepts), but at one point I think I saw her hands move to cover her face…

We wrapped up that conversation and moved on to a plan for the weekend. I rated my intent to “harm myself” upon leaving. I said a low number, and she was incredulous (that sounds more distrustful that she actually was… more like pleasantly shocked?). I clarified that I wasn’t going to off myself after leaving. She clarified by asking if I’d self-harm. That number was higher. We talked about that a bit, then she again said we’d make a plan for the weekend. I was expecting to have to come up with the standard “what are you doing when you go home today? How about tonight? Tomorrow? Sunday?”. Instead, she asked me to hold on while she checked on her weekend plans… :gulp!: I panicked for a half-second and asked if she truly was just calling her husband (she’s never hospitalized me without talking to me about it, but others have). She showed me her phone dialing out to her hubby. I tried telling her I’d be fine over the weekend; that I didn’t want to interrupt her time with him. She promised she wouldn’t schedule anything if it interrupted their time together. She also said that she had promised to be there for me if I was having a rough time, and this was her way of being there this weekend… a few phone calls later, and we are going to meet again tomorrow either at her office or at her home office (tbd)… I’m still trying to be ok with wasting so much of her time, but she insists it’s not wasting it…

The ride home was “interesting”… I had trouble paying attention to the drive. There were points of the drive where I struggled with myself to keep the car at a safe speed and away from stationary structures. The whole time I worried that if I did crash, even accidentally, she’d think I had lied to her when I rated my safety. I try to be as honest as possible with her about things like that; it’s what built and keeps the trust. I’m more likely to say nothing at all rather than lie about that… I’ve remained silent in response to the safety question before, and we arranged for me to go inpatient like that in the past. I need the trust to be there. I get so low sometimes, I need us both to know that I’ll be honest about my safety even at the lowest times so I’m not again in a revolving hospitalization cycle…

:/

Sorry, that was probably tmi…

I think I need a nap now… catch you on the flip side.


Verge of tears (what’s with March?)

They’re right there. I can feel them threatening to erupt at any moment. But they never get past the gatekeepers of my eyes…

Talked way too much in group today. I took up too much time. They didn’t seem to outwardly mind though…and it helped the overwhelm a bit.

I wish I could cry; either salty or red, but something would be an improvement over all this stuffing… I’m so tired…

Is this a pattern? Do I always start a descent around February/March? When I was going to school, the breakdown started around this time of year. When I was down south, it was about this time of year that things would get really difficult… what’s the significance though? There are no anniversaries or major life events that I can point to. July is an easy one: K’s death, my first suicide attempt… even October/November is understandable with the start of the full holiday push. But March I don’t get. There’s nothing going on this month. Nothing happened in March. Why do I seem to struggle more during this month? I’ll have to bring it up to Dr C and ask if she has any theories.

In the mean time, gotta keep fighting through the days. Hope it doesn’t put too much strain on L & I (we’re both struggling in our own right, and it’s starting to show wear on the relationship. Nothing huge and life-changing, but enough to have us both testy and snippy with each other… resentments abound on both sides, though I’m not sure how fair either is).

I wish I could cut. Baring that, I wish I could cry. I’m so glad I have tomorrow off and to myself. Maybe I’ll be able to recharge a bit. I wasn’t feeling totally social today, but I went to my friend’s anyway hoping to just be able to sit and “be” outside of the apartment… she didn’t tell me she had company over though, so that failed… L and I are still touchy and talking it out over text (we seem to do better that way), but she’s also not feeling well. Took nyquil tonight and was out like a light before I got back…

I’m just so tired…


Dear TM…

Dear TM,

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

not my image…

 

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

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

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

Trying to remember to breathe…

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

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

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

pieces,
sj


venting

I can’t seem to stop crying. This move is what my wife and I have been working towards for three years, but it still hurts. And it’s all right at the same time as a really crappy anniversary. It just sucks. I’m not sure where to turn for real-life support around any of it. I’m not even sure what I would want or need as support. No one seems to be able to understand that it sucks as much as it does (I’m not sure even I totally get why it hurts so much). Everyone thinks I should just be happy that I’m back with my wife (which I totally am!), but there’s also this anniversary of my aunt’s death (she was the safe place to go when my dad got out of control), and losing her house, and having to re-home one of my cats as well as say goodbye to my mom & her critters, and leaving my friends, and having to have said goodbye to TM… and I’m pms’ing, which ALWAYS makes everything a million times harder.

It’s weird, because my ptsd got so much worse when I moved here, but the thought of leaving the week after next is also really triggering. I feel like I’m leaving my mom to an abusive situation again (did that at 17 when I couldn’t stay at my home any longer b/c of my dad), though this time she lives alone – there isn’t any current abuse, but it still *feels* the same, and I don’t know how to shake that feeling. I was never good at protecting her or taking care of her as a kid, and I’m no better at it as an adult. I feel like a little kid again. Writing it out here though, I’m realizing it’s probably mostly the old stuff, and it’s kinda helping to recognize that.

Yesterday I gave in and went out with friends for our usual Wednesday night trivia at a local restaurant. I should not have gone out and spent money, but I want to get all the time in with them that I can. It took me 10 minutes to walk into the place though. I couldn’t stop crying in the car. On the way home, I tore out of the parking lot and cried again when I got back into my driveway. I know I won’t lose touch with my friend b/c we’ve been friends since middle school. We just keep finding each other and catching up, but it’s another loss at a time when so many are already very prominent.

I haven’t cried this much since ending with De this same time last year. I hate it. I don’t know how not to be overwhelmed by this. I have to keep it together though. I have to sort through all my crap and pack it up and wrap up loose ends. All I want to do is either hide in bed and cry, or go to the beach and ignore the move (still trying to figure out how to get more beach time in before I leave).

I’m really hating that I don’t have a therapist to talk to right now. I could call Dr. C, but I need to ask her if I can skip a payment on my old bill next month. I don’t want to have to simultaneously ask for extra help from her when I know I can’t pay for it in the moment… I’m kinda mad the stupid IOP was so triggering. It would have been nice to be able to process some of this stuff. It’s easier to be rambling and directionless in my whining in a setting like that where it’s somewhat expected. And it would be ok to whine and ask for support. I don’t know how to do that with people in my life. I’m supposed to know what I’m asking for, and how to ask for it, and how to do it on my own before even asking. That’s just what society expects. That way you are not really asking for anything, just acknowledging that you are stuck. People don’t have to be made uncomfortable by not knowing what to do (even if all you need is for them to listen and care so you can just get the jumbled mess out of your head)…

I’m really glad to be back with my wife soon, but I wish the change wasn’t happening on the stupid anniversary. A month earlier or later would have been a bit easier (later, I’m guessing, would have been easiest b/c things always get easier once the anniversary passes… and I might have had TM’s support through that day). July 7th has not been easy at all since being down here. At least up north, some years I wouldn’t even know it was coming up. Down here though, the distress over it hits hard more than a month before, and it just keeps getting worse as the day nears. For the past 2 years, it’s also been the time I have to say goodbye to my therapist, so there’s no reliable support around getting through it. ūüė¶

I’m so tired of all this. It needs to get better again up north. I don’t have the energy to keep going through this all the time.

Sorry. I don’t know how not to be so needy right now.


I wrote her a letter

I did not sleep much last night. I fell asleep around 3am, only to be awakened by cats breaking things at 5:30am. I went back to sleep around 6:30 after cleaning up all the broken glass, then was up again at 8… I was in no mood to pack boxes this a.m. I was going back and forth about leaving TM a message in hopes of expressing what I couldn’t yesterday. The thought of it made me feel too needy and clingy though.

Instead,¬†I wrote her a letter. It’s not great, but it’s got more in it that I had wanted to express. I also made her a mini-award with one of the “endings” quotes she had printed out for me on the back… the unicorn is supposed to resemble the one in her office. It’s not quite right either, but I suddenly can’t remember what her’s looked like (except for the crazy hair).

Awesome Counselor AwardJohn Irving quote

 

 

:shrugz: I’ll send it out tomorrow after the little card¬†is more fully dry… can’t think too much about the ending though, because my eyes will start leaking again.


When the lights go down

Tears keep spilling from my eyes. I can’t seem to get them under control.

When the lights go down and there’s nothing left to be
When the lights go down and truth is all you see
When you feel that hole inside your soul
And wonder what you’re made of
Well we all find out
When the lights go down
-Faith Hill

Been struggling with the slowing of the day for the past several days. When it gets quiet, the emotions hit. I’m tired, but I can’t seem to sleep till way late (or is it early?). I have weird dreams. I get exhausted during the day because of the crappy sleep. None of it helps my emotional experiencing.

Way too many changes. Way too much for one day to reasonably hold…


thoughts on today’s therapy

It was my second-to-last session with TM today. It ended up really good.

I remembered her wanting to get the assessments out-of-the-way (TSI-II & BDI2), so after the greeting, I mentioned them. She had them waiting next to my chair, along with some journal entries and my timeline to give back to me. I was glad she remembered.

We joked a bit, and kinda chatted while I did the assessments. She busied herself looking up some more quotes for an activity she wanted to do together either today or next session. As I handed the assessments in, I told her that some questions were answered with caveats, but then I suddenly forgot any of the examples (Now I remember that the question around feeling punished on the BDI2 I answered scoring low because it’s not so much that I feel I am punished, more so that I “should” be punished simply because it’s “right”… There was also a question on violence on the TSI-II that I answered high because it was vague, and I acknowledge responding violently towards myself… That one we kinda talked about and she knew why I responded like I did. I answered the suicide/death questions honestly: that I always think about dying, but don’t always have a plan or intent)… I told her I’d be interested in comparing the scores from the first time and now. I know I have a really skewed self-assessment much of the time so I wouldn’t mind seeing it on paper… that & I’m a huge dork around this kind of stuff, so it also holds great academic interest.

I think at about this point TM told me something that blew me away… She reminded me of one of our first sessions, where I refused the descriptor of “therapist” when she had mentioned it. She said she understood where I was coming from (because I never did finish my MA or internship), but that I seemed more insightful, compassionate, and understanding of the therapeutic process than a lot of therapists she has known… ???!!!!???? I think I was in shock and trying to digest that for a good 5 minutes afterwards. I have no idea what topic we moved on to, because I was still reeling (in a good way) from that huge compliment. I was actually so shocked, I didn’t even deny what she was saying… Maybe I could then go back at some point and be a real clinician? That could be cool… It might have been just before she said this that we talked a bit more about my last hospitalization at IOL. She had mentioned the PDoc incident where he threw a stapler or hole puncher at me, and how that was something she never expected to hear happening in a hospital. I brought up that yeah, while it sucked, I’ve had time to process it more. He may have been triggered, or feeling really helpless, or scared, or frustrated (or all of the above) when he did that. It certainly does not excuse his actions, but it would make them understandable. After all, G behaved much the same way: always angry, yelling, violent, abusive… For a lot of years, I had no clue why he was so awful. Then one day we had a more in-depth conversation. He revealed some of his own abuses and traumas. He also said he did not recall being as abusive and horrible as we remember him being… It didn;t excuse his behavior, but it brought an understanding of his motivations. I could empathize. While I am trying my hardest to break that cycle, he was just repeating what he knew…

Anyway… Oh, another thing that I was kinda blown away by from TM was her opinion that I do not fit a bpd diagnosis. She started out asking me why I had self-reported that dx when I first started therapy with her. I honestly don’t know. She is the first therapist I’ve ever volunteered that dx to. Others have either come to it on their own, or been told by a referring therapist and then decided it did not fit. Part of my reasoning was that it had been relatively soon after I had read through my disability records. Most of those had bpd as one of the diagnoses (of course, they also said I was hopeless & bound to live in residential care for the rest of my life unless of course I killed myself first. One PDoc went so far as to say I he did not expect me to survive the next 6 months… and that was oh… 5 years ago now? So I guess I have to take all of that with a grain of salt. TM reminded me that hospital records reflect the worst of my recent history. She also reminded me that they will often pad dx so that insurance companies will continue to pay (I’ve been witness to some “creative billing” in my professional experiences). I’m not sure why I was surprised that TM would say she disagrees with the bpd diagnosis, but I was. She said the “cornerstone” of a bpd dx is unstable relationships (and according to what she read to me from the DSM-V, this is accurate to their wording), which neither of us see in my life. Yes, there’s a fear of losing people, but only because I actually¬†have¬†lost a lot of important and close people in my life. It’s not so much a fear anymore as an expectation… It’s also something I was overtly taught while growing up. And sometimes the people closest to you will hurt you the most, so a difficulty with trust is understandable… She reminded me that while I may be able to check off some of the bpd traits, it makes a lot of sense given my history… Maybe now I can hold on to that longer. I know Dr. C is of the opinion that I do not fit a bpd diagnosis. We had talked about it a long time ago because of my experience with LKB and her insistence that I was bpd & just needed to learn to accept that fact. Aside of Dr C though, no one else had openly and pointedly spoken to me about bpd vs. trauma. I know even D eventually saddled me with that diagnosis. I’m not sure De agreed, though I never asked her. TL and I never spoke about diagnoses either. It was kinda nice to get confirmation from TM as well that my resistance to the bpd label has merit… Personally, I think the whole disorder should be removed completely. I’ve yet to meet someone with a bpd dx who does not also have a trauma history. Bpd comes with SUCH a stigma (which can also lead to an excuse for not working to change the thoughts & behaviors both on the therapist’s end and the clients… think of how you would feel if even the professionals felt you were hopeless) that it’s more a detriment to any person with the dx. I don’t see how it helps the understanding of behavior or attitudes, it simply labels them. I would much rather have an understanding and hope than a mere label… Kinda like labeling someone an alcoholic without taking into account what it’s used to cope with.

Ok, sorry, went off on a soap-box tangent there. So, yeah. Session with TM was good. We laughed and also talked about heavy stuff… Part of me wonders if TM has found me online somewhere. She sometimes brings up things that I have only ever mentioned online either here or in one of the support forums I use. I might have to ask her that next week. At this point, I don’t think I would care since I won’t be seeing her after next week anyway, but if I had found out something like that sooner, I would be censoring more. I already catch myself being careful what I post if I know someone in real life will see it. This blog is written with sensitivity to my wife and my mom having access… There’s something to be said for anonymity and honesty. I’m very careful in what I reveal to others because I have had it twisted and used against me. I’m careful what I write both online and in a physical, paper journal… I actually no longer keep a paper journal because too many have gotten their hands on them and read them without permission… But whatever. I would be interested in how TM thinks to bring some of the stuff up that she does if she hasn’t found me online. Maybe I talk around it enough, or I mention it without realizing it? It’s too much of a coincidence with a lot of the stuff in timing and wording for her to just come up with it out of the blue. Maybe I’m leaving her more messages than I realize? I know a few times I had thought of leaving her a message, but don’t recall doing it, then she mentions the next session that she got my message(s)… Hmm.

I had meant to ask her today if it would be ok if I call once I am settled after the move. It feels less needed now that I know I will be seeing Dr. C again, but I rarely get the chance to update a therapist on how something went after a termination. I get the boundaries of the relationship. I know it won’t go beyond this termination, but I’m hoping to be able to let her know that things went well, and my idea that I will do better back up north and away from the constant triggers is one founded in reality… I know I would love updates on some of my past clients, though that is me. I’m not sure if she would want one… Dunno though unless I ask.


Goodbyes suck

They really do.
That is all…

image


Fake it till you (don’t) make it

I’ve been a good little girl. I’ve been trying to keep myself distracted and balanced and breathing and everything else positive that should be helping. I’ve even done some cleaning and organizing in prep for the move… only I still feel like I’m breaking apart.

The second the distractions slow down, I’m overwhelmingly tearful and hopeless. I’m so tired of this…


Art Journal – Never Measure Up

Playing around a bit tonight with spray inks and newer washi tape (hadn’t used the tape measure one yet).

I really like the subtle effect you get when water is applied through a stencil over dried spray ink. It gives the pattern of the stencil without overpowering the piece.

image

I kinda stalled for a moment at this point. I wasn’t exactly sure where to go next for this one, so I dug through my washi tapes. The tape measure one jumped out at me, as did the caution. I applied those two and scrawled out something about never measuring up around the tapes. I liked the red pen, but didn’t think it would show over the background too well… and I didn’t know what else to write.

Then the song Hurt (by NIN, but covered by Johnny Cash – one of the few times I like both the original and the cover) came on my playlist. I know I’ve used some of the lyrics in another piece, but I wrote out all of it for this one… In white, so it again doesn’t overpower the piece but also doesn’t get totally lost (this gel pen absorbs some of the background pigment so it blends relatively well, mimicking the changes in background color and intensity while still remaining lighter than the background).

I also wanted to practice figure drawing a bit more, so I did a quick sketch inspired by a magazine ad for that famous little blue pill… I took some artistic license with the sketch and omitted the fact that she was mostly naked and quite airbrushed… she’s also crying in my version.

image

Still need to practice my faces and hands and overall figures, but this is okay for what it is.

Who knew I’d find a use for those “mistake” flower stamps from last night? I thought I would just end up covering over them completely. I like how they work with this piece though. I’m glad I picked this page to play on tonight.


Last-Minute Cancellation

TM called as I was out the door, only I missed the phone call. I got her message though. She had to cancel as she was leaving the office for a personal emergency. Either whatever was going on last week carried over to this week, or she has really shitty luck right now… Either way, I hope things turn out ok for her. :/

So all my anxiety over this session, and all my hopes at resolving my impressions of last session are on hold at the moment. I felt myself starting to shut down even before I listened to the message. I had guessed it was going to be a cancellation because she doesn’t just call me to chat. I was right… I felt a mixture of sadness for her, and a wiping of hope that we could get on to the same page any time soon. I wasn’t very trusting of her before, but now the walls have really gone up. I get it though. I understand that life happens and things get in the way. I also know that for myself, I need those walls up right now…

She’s supposed to call to reschedule. She had mentioned calling tomorrow, but I’m putting no hope in hearing from her this week, let alone tomorrow. I’m guessing also that I won’t be seeing her till next week.

I’m better at planned breaks, not this sudden stuff (though I know sudden stuff happens). I’m less on the mental track of “worst case scenarios” when it’s a planned break.

I’m also finding I have shit timing in the grand scheme of the universe. I open up about needing consistency and about fearing that people hate me, and suddenly the person I’ve opened up to is out of the picture for one reason or another. I know it’s not always something in their control, or that I am the reason for their absence, it’s just shitty timing in the grand scheme of things. (I’m also terrible around social niceties. I worry so much about saying the¬†right thing that I rehearse what to say several times before opening my mouth. Then once I do speak, all the rehearsal is pointless because I end up saying something really awkward or stupid… I should just stop trying).


RIP Leonard Nimoy :(

As a life-long geek and ST fan, I’m saddened by the news that Mr. Nimoy has passed away…

Check out this Little Things blog entry in honor of the life and work of an icon.


distractions happen

So… yeah. Didn’t talk about any of the stuff I had intended to talk about today.

She was asking questions about more background stuff, so the session was spent on that. All good info to have, and probably helpful in understanding things, but I had really hoped to at least broach the “neediness” topic. As it was, I got to throw it in as a request for next time (in hopes of keeping myself accountable, and letting her know I really wanted to talk about it). She added brainstorming about it to my homework (though at the moment I can’t remember what the original homework was. oops. I’m sure it will come back to me at some point).

I guess I’m not the only one who can get distracted in therapy.

She looked really sad at points as I was telling her stuff. Again, I’m not sure if it was the lighting or me interpreting things wrong, or she genuinely was sad, but I felt bad for telling her the stuff I told her. I don’t want to make her sad. That would suck. I just want to deal with my shit and move on. I don’t want to contribute to another person’s nightmares again… I guess with her being relatively new to the agency, I could hazard that she was not as prepared for dealing exclusively with trauma day in and day out. I will assume that the cumulative effect of the stories from her clients makes the sadness easier to touch. I also know that I have developed quite a bit of distance and detachment from the stuff I told her about today, so maybe it really is more sad than I think it would be. I still have this paranoid fear of breaking my therapists though, so maybe I need to check in with her around this. I don’t want to do the trauma work with her if it ends up helping to break her. It’s not a nice feeling knowing my monsters have branched out to haunt others as well. I’m on speaking terms with most of them. I can figure out how to quiet many of them relatively successfully. But I’ve also had more years of dealing with them…

On a completely unrelated note (but very much on my mind at the moment. apologies for the tmi to follow). I think I figured out why most woman hate bras: they buy them too tight. I recently purchased a bra in the size they measured me at. HUGE mistake. It’s SO TIGHT!!!! I thought it would be ok, though I normally go one size up from what the FOH person says. I was wrong. I can generally wear my bras all day (like 16 hours). This one I can barely manage 4 hours in. Ugh! Not great for top-heavy people… Time to put this one away and find one of the old ones I can still wear…


can’t drag myself out of this…

The break from the heaviness is so fleeting. Today there was about an hour after I woke up where I wasn’t trying to battle tears or thoughts of suicide. It’s relentless. I try the positivity stuff, I try getting out of the house, I try reminding myself that all things change in life so this will have to change also (though with my depressed brain, it’s translated to the knowledge that the relief will always be replaced by the heaviness)… nothing is working and stresses are pilling up. The full mortgage payment comes due next month which is a $900/month bill I cannot meaningfully contribute towards. The house taxes will again come due in March, and we again are so far behind that there is no way to pay. If the bank doesn’t take the house, the county will. I still don’t have money to move back up north with my wife…

The body memories are coming more frequently than they have in a few months. The desire to self harm because of them is through the roof. L and I have frequent arguments about any time I drink (which admittedly is often, but better than cutting or OD’ing). I’m in that limbo between therapists still. It kinda sucks, though I wouldn’t know what a therapist could do at this point. The depression is too oppressive. I’m not sure what can change it. Medications are kinda tempting to try again, if for no other reason then to give me a way out at some point… I can’t really afford any more intensive therapy or any meaningful hospitalization, so it’s pointless.

I’m tired. I’m so tired of this struggle. I just want it done. I want the sadness to stop and I want to be able to move on with my life… not even art or music is bringing any relief at this point.


merry f*cking christmas

I woke up and checked my fb. Scrolling down, 2 of my friends had wished everyone a “merry christmas”… for a second I panicked: I thought I had lost more time (last I knew, it was only the 22nd). I backed my phone up to check the date. phew! ok, only the 23rd still…

then the panic came again. the holiday is almost here…

I hate it. I hate the thought of christmas and everywhere being closed and annoying music and so many reminders that I’m nowhere near where I want to be with my life. I’m spending the holiday without my wife (I miss her a lot). I can’t afford presents or entertainment or food I would like to eat that day… I don’t want to think about another year gone with mostly struggles to show for it. I have not learned responsibility yet. I haven’t learned how to move through all the baggage I can’t seem to put down. I can’t snap out of this depression vortex…

I want out. I’m tired. I don’t want to spend every day fighting tears or self-destructive thoughts. I don’t want to have to keep learning to trust someone just so that relationship can be lost in short order. I don’t want to remember the really shitty things I think I remember (the stories my brain attaches to the physical feelings that allows the emotional and physical memories to make sense, only they potentially shatter even the few shreds of happy memories from growing up)… I’m just done. I’m done begging for support and relief…

bed is calling. going to go hide under the blankets and blast music into my ears so I can forget this fucking stupid time of year and everything it shoves into my face… or maybe I’ll shower for the first time since seeing TL on Thursday, and head to the beach or the Everglades and forget what time of year it is (and going to stay off social media for a while)…


a love/hate relationship with therapy

(sorry this is not a very cohesive post. I’m rambling a lot…)

I hate the therapeutic relationship… I love the benefits of therapy, but the nature of the relationship makes it hell and like a bad break-up when it’s over. I mean, when else do we risk/tolerate getting incredibly emotionally intimate with someone who doesn’t open up in the same way? All the while knowing full well that they never will, and that the relationship will end with a near-complete severance? While many people are able to find one good therapist and work through their issues with that one person and feel natural with the break in the relationship, many people will bounce from clinician to clinician. Trust will need to be built with each new person, and will likely break before things are resolved in the person’s life. For me, it comes as a bi-product of having limited finances which necessitates seeing students or seeking community resources. This pretty much guarantees me a break in the relationship within several weeks at worst, and several months at best. Having been on both sides of the therapeutic relationship, I am acutely aware that a change in the relationship after termination is unlikely to go well. It’s not to say that becoming friends is impossible after (I am still friends with my h.s. guidance counselor), but chances are it will not work out nicely (it took us quite a while to settle into our routine, and even now it’s more of a mentor/mentee relationship than a truly reciprocal friendship). In therapy, we (as clients) are somewhat lulled into the one-sidedness of the whole thing. We “take” and “take” without ever having to “give”. We have a relatively neutral picture of the clinician, and we are expecting a lack of moral judgement around anything we bring up in therapy. We expect (and pay for) an ally who will at least “have our backs”, if not be totally in agreement with us. We pay them to have our best interests in mind when interacting with and reacting to us. We pay for “professionalism” in situations they may otherwise be wholly opposed to when outside of the office environment…

“Unconditional positive regard” is something we will likely only ever find in therapy. It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s warm & fuzzy. It’s nurturing… and it’s contrived. Not to say it’s not genuine, because in that environment it is. When training and working with clients, I was acutely aware of the factors motivating behavior, even if it would be considered “deviant” or “immoral”. I would not judge my clients, but try to help them resolve the turmoil in their lives. Every demon has it’s reasons… This has somewhat spilled over into my personal life, but I still have a very visceral response to things in my personal life where I would genuinely not react in the same way in a professional role… It’s not hypocrisy as much as it is a different mind-set. When working with a client, I try to look at their past experiences and how those have shaped everything they do or experience in the moment. I can work with a sexual offender without judgement. I can work with a domestic violence offender without judgement. I can hold their truths without harshness or anger. In my personal life, I can look at the past, understand it and how it shapes the person, and still hold anger and judgement around their behaviors (though, I generally dislike the concept of judging anyone except myself and a very few select people. Judgement about actions and behaviors comes easier). In my personal life, my own emotions and thoughts on things get in the way. I react out of anger or hurt or sadness or judgement when I would not do so in my professional life… I mean, where outside of therapy can you be guaranteed (I use that word loosely as there are some very judgemental and/or unprofessional therapists out there) a genuine acceptance of all the “crud”?

But I digress. I hate the emotional experience of therapy. It’s like asking you to strip naked (while the other remains totally clothed), jump around in thorn bushes for a while, then leave (often times, still naked and now sore and raw). It’s totally shitty for someone who feels emotions so strongly on top of everything. I admire (and am envious of) those people who can walk into therapy and walk out relatively unscathed. It takes me ages to trust anyone, let alone feel any attachment. It’s risky and scary and I dislike doing it. I prefer to keep everyone at arm’s length because it lessens the inevitable roller-coaster. Once I get attached though, I cling for dear life. You could run me over, smiling and laughing maniacally as you do it, and I would come back giving you chance after chance to apologize or change the behavior. It’s not so much a sense of masochism as it is a disbelief that I could have misjudged someone so badly that I finally grew to trust them… I know this is counter-productive to healthy relationships, but it enables me to return to therapy despite the emotional toll it takes. I focus on the positives (one of the few times I am able to tenaciously hold onto something positive despite all the negatives; it’s usually quite the opposite to when I focus on the negative despite mountains of positives). I convince myself that all the struggle and pain is worth it. Yes, my emotional experiencing seems very much out-of-proportion to the relationship, however if I go with the theory that I generally experience emotions either out-of-proportion to the situation or not at all, then it makes sense. Considering the amount of effort it takes to open up and trust a therapist, it makes sense that there would be a tidal wave of emotion surrounding the relationship… So yeah, I hate it. Yet I continue to subject myself to it time and again…

:sigh:

Tears have snuck out of my eyes more times than I’d like to admit today… It sucks. Also because I hate crying. I mean really, truly, emphatically HATE it. It’s messy and uncomfortable and slimy… I get the benefits, but I still hate it. And I hate admitting to crying…

:sigh:

I’m told it gets better. The professional me is trying desperately to convince me of this. I’m told there’s hope… The emotional me is saying a big “fuck you” to the professional side right now. The teenager is throwing a hissy fit in her own sulking and brooding way. She’s reminding the rest of me about all the times it’s gotten worse. She’s throwing out all the negatives and the hopelessness because that’s what she does the best. I can’t have lied to TL though, so she’s just going to have to deal… One day the teenager will admit some of the tears are her’s also…

Oh, and just so I can keep track of it somewhere: distraction need is set to super-high today. I was playing on the computer, listening to music, watching tv, and messing around on the phone all at the same time earlier. At the moment, I’ve got music pumping into my ear, typing here, on a forum, and playing on the phone… need to find some way to ride this wave of emotions without a self-destruct creeping in.


:gulp: I did it…

All my defenses were up and I had my opening lines rehearsed going into session today.

Before we even sat down, I told TL that all my defenses were up and asked if we could please not poke any holes in them today. After some clarification and checking, she agreed. We talked a bit about my trip up north and how I had been doing recently. We talked some about future plans and the possibility of me volunteering. I totally forgot to ask her for the number that she had mentioned the session before… Then I think she noticed me keep glancing at the clock. She asked what the papers were that I had stashed under my leg, and suddenly they felt stupid. I told her so, then looked at the clock one more time and blurted out that I needed today to be our last session. She looked sad; a bit like she might cry. I really hoped she wouldn’t because I would not have been able to keep it together at that point. She recovered quickly and asked why I thought it would be good to end. I was able to tell her it was mostly the transference stuff, and how it brough up really negative feelings between sessions. I also mentioned that the bi-weekly thing wasn’t working for me (which she acknowledged and said that she had planned to address it today had I not asked for it to be the last session. She agreed that my walls went up enough between weekly sessions, and that every other week seemed to really wear on me). I tried to explain the transference piece to her (what part felt bad, and how I didn’t think it was fair to her because she was nice and I wanted to not feel scared of her), but I didn’t really explain it well. We joked a bit about it and the ending. Then we talked about what would be helpful in my next therapist, and what I thought had worked; what positives I was taking from therapy with her. Ok, we tried to talk about it, but I went blank (this wasn’t something I had rehearsed talking about so the anxiety took over). I tried to explain how the dissociation had been different, and how I wasn’t sure exactly why it was, but there was something about working with her that allowed me to be more aware of the present even when I checked out on her. It often felt like I was still there sitting next to another part of myself that was doing the emotional experiencing, but I was able to translate some of it to her and be honest in the moment even when I was dissociating. It was difficult to explain even with my clinical knowledge, and she agreed that there wasn’t much vocabulary out there for what I was trying to convey. I think she ended up understanding what I meant though… She asked her routine questions checking in around the safety piece. Then time was up.

Before session (we had taken the elevator up together, which was a first), I had mentioned having something for her in my car that I wanted to give her, but that I left it in my car because the varnish fumes were very strong. After session, she walked down with me and I gave her the painting. She seemed really touched (mentioned that I was going to make her cry and she wasn’t supposed to cry… later I thought that I could have used one of her lines on her; that crying would be “modeling healthy expression” since I had earlier mentioned that I was ashamed to cry in front of others, but I didn’t think of that in time), and I got all flustered. I managed to thank her for working with me, and I kinda explained some of the painting to her. I told her I was bad at goodbyes, but that they were really important to me. She offered up that I could contact her again (via telephone tag at the agency) if the referral didn’t work out, or if I needed to touch base before the referral went through. Then she gave me a hug. I kinda freaked out a bit at that. I was afraid I’d contaminate her and cringed involuntarily when she hugged me. I think she kinda misinterpreted that though, because it ended up being a super short half-hug thing… Then we got in our cars and went our separate ways. Well, she pulled out and I sat in the parking lot for a moment…

I really hate goodbyes, and I really kinda wish she had asked if I was sure I wanted to end after today (though I also kinda set it up for her not to ask when I asked that she not poke holes in my defenses and not push me on stuff today. Maybe I should have been clearer about being ok talking more in-depth about why I wanted out)… I’m a bit intimidated with the prospect of having no additional support for the next month or so. I was a wreck with the bi-weekly thing, what really makes me think a month will be any easier (especially a month of uncertainty combined with the holidays)? But I really needed to wrap things up. I really needed to halt some of the intense neediness and the uncomfortable transference-related stuff… Honestly, I really wish I could have just followed her to the other agency, but it would be pointless since she is planning on leaving there too (and I’d have to figure out how to pay out-of-pocket at ten times my current session rate). :(…

I took a detour to the beach on the way home (seems to be an after-termination-session tradition lately)… I walked about a mile, and did a bunch of sitting watching the birds and the water. I even waded in the water (though not until after a few false-starts with getting my feet wet. Water in December is cold – not for the tourists, but for us “natives” it is… some kids playing in the water laughed as I jumped backwards when my toes first hit the waves). Also, do not tempt mother nature (I should know this by now from L’s adventures with her). I was sitting at the edge of the dry sand watching the waves come up to my feet. No sooner had I completed my thought about moving higher up before the next wave hits my butt than the water washed up around me… Now, not only was my bottom chilly, but I looked like I peed myself :/ Oops… Don’t tempt mother nature because she finds shit like this hilarious ūüėČ

 

 


Just breathe

I had tried to leave a message for TL, but I don’t think she received it. She’s normally pretty good about at least calling back even if she doesn’t have time. I really was hoping to have a session this week, and having it be the last one. It’s a crazy rollercoaster with what this arrangement triggers in me. I want it over with.

I was also hoping to figure out what happens next for me at the agency. Something tells me that they want me elsewhere. I’m not quite sure where I’m reading that, but I think it’s a combination of briefly speaking with the clinical director, some of TL’s word choices, their 12 week “reassessment” policy, and TL’s responses to my questions around it (she seemed evasive)… there’s a chance I’m reading into all of it, but there are times my “gut suspicions” are accurate…

I’m emotionally wiped. I’m really excited about this weekend, but I’m also apprehensive. We have so much planned, but I fear we will just both be depressed lumps. I’m still on the verge of tears every other minute… as L said though, at least we’d be depressed together instead of 1500 miles apart.

I think mother nature is trying to get me ready for the drop in temp up north. We are having January weather here in early December. I boxed up the more mobile tropical plants and took them into the garage. It’s already in the low 40’s out there, and it’s supposed to get close to freezing overnight. I have to catch the two outdoor cats and bring them inside. They are used to 50’s, not freezing…

Anyway. I guess I won’t see TL before my trip. That means more time sitting with this triggered anxiety. Whatever. Maybe it’s time I learn to deal with it without therapeutic supports. I used to cope without additional support. Time I learned again.


crying

woke up crying today. it’s lasted all day. crying at the slightest thing.

the depression is harming others now too. killed one of my snakes without meaning to. didn’t check on her enough. missed signs that something was wrong. found her dead today. she’s always been a difficult feeder (refused food for the first 9 months I had her. she’d also regularly miss 3 or 4 feedings in a row) so I didn’t really think too much of it that she refused food the last 2 times… should have realized something was wrong this time. hadn’t been weighing her, so didn’t notice she was losing weight… so I put out feelers to two people about possibly taking on most of the snakes and the rest of the lizards. they deserve better. and I hope that having only 4 will be easier than the (now) 9… ūüė¶

if i still feel like this tomorrow, i will call TL and ask for another session this week (and hope I can hold it together for my trip coming up)…

supposed to get creative with the journal class teacher tomorrow. hoping I can at least fake it to get to her house and get some art time in. can fall apart again when I get home, but need to keep faking it for that. TL wants me to keep making plans and sticking to them. already let one friend down this weekend…

not sure why the depression hits so hard in the fall/winter lately. hate it. though maybe it always has and I just can’t remember… my memory is not the most reliable thing…


Depression colors everything

I woke this morning wanting to cry my eyes out. Depression sucks. It’s a gorgeous day. There was a quick shower, and a pretty rainbow, and I want to cry harder.
L reminded me there are only 12 days till my visit, and I was overwhelmed with a heaviness. How is it that such a happy experience should make me so sad? because I know the sadness at leaving will be heavy and wet and incredibly intense. I know, I shouldn’t focus on the ending before it even begins. That’s the fun part of depression though; it doesn’t give a shit…
An acquaintance made the move to initiate friendship, and that made me want to cry also. People shouldn’t be nice to me. They shouldn’t put forth the effort, they’ll just be infected by this black sludge that invisibly oozes from every pore. I admit, I do my best to hide it if you see me out and about, but it’s there. It’s sticky and heavy and traps everything in its path…
I wanted to cry when I read an account of someone’s snakes living well into their 50’s. I wanted to cry because I was both happy that mine may be with me for a much longer time, and sad that the hurt would be huge when they do finally pass… I know, you are thinking “but they’re snakes!? They’re icky and slithery and snakes!?” But they have their personalities and they are not icky at all… and I will miss them when they move out of my life, like I miss every pet I have ever shared my life with…
So yeah, depression is loud and very present this morning despite my best efforts to smile and decide to be happy. It’s coloring everything with those dark storm clouds… I can see the rainbow, but it’s very faint and fading fast, leaving only the gray clouds.

image


hormones + depression + changes + holidays = holy f***ing rollercoaster!

My moods have been all over the place for the past several days. I go from being fine, to uncontrollably tearful, to angry, to really sad, back to fine all without warning. I know it’s a combination of a lot of stuff, but it’s kicking my butt. Add to that some random little disappointments, and then stress over one of the dogs’ health and I’m a hot mess.

I’ve been trying to remain social. This weekend I went with mom to a gallery opening. I went despite really losing motivation as the time wore on that day. I went because TL had urged me to force myself to follow through on plans even if I didn’t want to in an effort to stave off a crash (or at least lessen the blow of it). I went because mom was actually excited to go, and I went to support a friend who has work at the gallery… It was good. My friend ended up selling a piece (at the point that we left, I believe it was the only sale of night. There was still about hour to go, so I’m sure other sales were had). I met up with someone I knew from one of the journal classes and we exchanged info to be able to keep in touch. Then, on the way home, I was able to pick up some quality frames someone was throwing out after a move (yes, I went “dumpster diving” because when you are broke, you do stuff like that, especially when it’s nice stuff that will just end up in a landfill). There were 5 in all, one of which is a nice Rembrandt reproduction that my mom is in love with. So, happy friend, happy mom, and new acquaintance all added up to a positive night. I’m glad I made the choice to still go out that night.

I’ve also been trying to remain occupied. I’m working hard on TL’s piece as frustrating as it is. I’m trying to keep my hands busy with jewelry-making¬†when not working on her piece (TL suggested constructing something instead of just painting or drawing as flowing motions are supposedly more prone to keep you in an emotion where as shorter, halting ones are supposed to help release emotion… I will have to look into this further, though it makes sense and I want to say I’ve heard it before TL mentioned it to me). I have my music on when I can. I’m trying to stay out of bed (yesterday doesn’t count. The vertigo hit hard and fast Saturday night and lasted almost all of yesterday so most of the day was spent in bed). I’m trying to do productive things around the house… I’ve been putting off the cat litter for WAY TOO LONG, but it takes so much energy. Hopefully when mom returns from shopping, she will have brought disposable gloves so I have one less excuse to not do it. My one task for the day is to clean the litter boxes… just one (ginormously, monumentally, hugely, immense) task. I can do this (I will repeat these 4 words until I finally finish the task).

TL had given the option of a session this week, and I was going to be good and try to not ask for it, but the roller coaster is wearing on me. I left a message with the agency asking if they could pass along my request for a session. Turns out that the office is closing early on Wed and will be closed through the weekend until Monday. Hoping TL has time, but I’m not holding my breath for it. She had mentioned Wed or Fri as session options, so I guess she didn’t realize the office would be closed for the holiday. It’s not an emergency, but it would be really helpful to at least find out from her if I need to look elsewhere for therapy, or if I will be switching to someone else in the office. I need to be able to plan around that some more. It’s causing way too much anxiety the way it is…

______________________________

I ended up doing the cat litter (go me!) And finishing TL’s piece. It’s not quite what I had hoped, but if I keep messing with it, I’m really going to hate it, so I’m calling it done. It’s ok if she ends up hating it because I really don’t like it myself. But I’m not going to make another one at this point. It’s too much work and frustration. And I’d need more of the supplies I used for it… I wish I had made the mountains smaller, and I dislike the climber, and I think I went overboard with the drips. I do like the embossed background, the image transfer of the woman, and the text effect (so basically I like the left side and hate the right side)… Oh well. At least it’s done. I wish it was better, but maybe next time. :(… (doing art for someone when I’m on an emotional rollercoaster is probably not the best idea in the world, especially when the perfectionism jumps up at me because I want it to be “just right” and it likely never will be. I hope it’s not to disappointing for her when she sees the finished product…
image


Another transition on the horizon

So, TL reminded me that she was leaving the agency eventually. She asked how long I thought therapy should take with one therapist. I didn’t have an answer for her. She reminded me that the agency generally worked with people for 3 months then reassessed, and that I had been there longer than 3 months. She again asked how long I generally expected to stay with one therapist. She seemed to be thinking a month more, as she gave that as a reference point before asking if I thought I would need longer or shorter.

My initial interpretation was that she will be leaving the agency by the new year. A friend suggested that it may just be supervisor pressure to switch up her caseload because of a waiting list they likely have.

I’m not good with change or loss. Granted I expected to only be seeing TL for about 6 weeks before I planned to move, but I didn’t want to have to change again before the move (something I had specifically mentioned both before and during the intake). Now though, that move looks like it is postponed indefinitely…

I had a bit of liquid courage and was able to leave TL a message. I told her I had hoped to find someone that could see me through till I moved, but I understood that, since it was now an open-ended time frame, she would likely not be the person to see me through that. I reminded her trust is really difficult for me, and I asked if she could help me find someone who could provide more consistent support until I finally moved… I also may have admitted that the only reason I was telling her that was because I was tipsy (file that under things you probably should leave out of a voicemail to your therapist…).

Anyway. I again asked her to shred the reading material I had given her before I left. There’s no sense in getting started with it (or revealing any of that to her) if I will not be continuing to work with her. Too vulnerable… I’m also contemplating simply not returning to therapy at all anymore. Financially, I can’t afford a more consistent therapist (aka: not a student), and emotionally I can’t keep switching, so I should just give up till I can get back to Dr C… it’s not the smartest move with all the rampant triggers here, but it may just be the only self-preserving move I can make.

I was very tempted to cancel on TL when I left her the messages. It’s too raw. But I also know I would regret not at least saying goodbye in person, so I guess I’ll just go next week with the intention of not returning anymore after that. I know I asked TL to help me get hooked up with a more consistent source of support, but I don’t want to have to open myself up to that again. Losses are way too hard…

It’s weird, I was just thinking yesterday that so far this thing with TL was going ok, and maybe she proved my theory wrong of people letting you down just as soon as you got around to trusting them (be it leaving, or a betrayal of trust, or whatever). Guess I jinxed it right then…

There’s really been only a handful of people that hadn’t fallen into the “let me down” category (L being one)… To the rest, thanks for proving my need for distance and walls correct.


Responsibility and guilt

There’s a memory of happenings that I feel totally responsible for and guilty over (well, ok, there’s a bunch, but one in particular I can’t seem to get out of my head right now). It’s an easy one to see and know that I should not be feeling guilty over it. It’s relatively easy to see I had zero say and zero participation in. It’s something I witnessed. It’s something I had no clue at the time was traumatic for the other person. It’s something I know I only realized how awful it was in hindsight, as an adult. Yet I can’t shake the guilt over it. I feel incredibly sad over it. I feel like I should have had the (adult) presence of mind to stop, to protest, to voice concern over, but I was little. I think back on it and think I must have known it was wrong on some level. I want to think that I knew I should have stopped it and told the adults why they were wrong. But in reality, I couldn’t have had much say, even if I had the knowledge (which I highly doubt I did because it’s not developmentally appropriate for that age). While I was lead to believe I had power I truly didn’t have for so much of my life, I couldn’t have known better at the time. The culture was that fear and aversion are the best teachers; they bring the best results. The voice in my head says I should have known better because I knew personally that those are horrid ways of learning (even if I couldn’t think of it in those terms at the time,  I knew that pain was unpleasant, and pain there was worse). I should have known… but how could I have? I was not one of the 3+ adults in the situation. I wasn’t even 6 yet. How could a kid, even armed with the knowledge that pain is a traumatizing teaching tool, have more say over a situation than the adults?
So I stood by and watched. I didn’t understand the implications at the time. I understand it in hindsight, and only with my adult learning, so why can’t I shake the guilt? Why do I still feel responsible? No matter how many times I tell myself it wasn’t my fault, I can’t help but feel horrible for standing by and simply watching. I had no control over the situation. I had no influence. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t my fault, but I can’t shake feeling like I should have done something.
I know it has to do with earlier teaching that I should have more power. I know it’s because my mere presence was expected to stop other abuse, but ultimately didn’t. I know that wasn’t a fair expectation. I can hear De and Dr. C telling me it wasn’t my fault, that it was an expectation no one should place on a child. I can even picture TL saying the same thing if I told her all this. I can hear my professional self understanding this and saying it to the clients I worked with, but for some reason I can’t swallow it for myself. I can’t shake the guilt…
the guilt doesn’t feel as bad around the things that happened to me because others are always worth more. I was expected to protect this other person in other situations though (even as a kid), so the expectation is there around this all that much more (I was expected to have power I didn’t have, and I was expected to be protector). And I failed. It was an unfair expectation, but I failed. Over and over again in life, I failed. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s the combination of compounded failures and the unreal expectations that makes this harder to leave behind. That, and that failure to protect myself was ok because others were always worth more than myself. Sacrificing myself, my wellbeing and safety, was ok and expected for the safety of others… and I failed miserably at it…

How do I get the emotions to match the intellectual knowledge that the guilt isn’t mine to bear? How do I get the feeling of failure to abate? How can I let go of the responsibility?


just want to cry

Flashbacks are returning hard. Got really triggered in therapy last time and I can’t seem to pull out of it. I want to bawl my eyes out, but there’s no place to do that; no safe person to do it with… the flashbacks bring more complete memories, and they are unrelenting. I’ve been rehearsing my mantra that is supposed to remind me I’m in the here and now, not the past. The words are starting to blend together and not make sense because I’ve said them so often recently.
Every little thing makes me jump again. I thought that it had finally calmed down a few weeks ago, but it’s back. None of my usual coping skills are helping. I hate this so much. I just want to be able to get through the days without feeling so terrified and alone…

I keep going back to wanting to run from therapy because it’s so triggering. Maybe if there were more resources during the down-time, or I had more in-person support around what we talk about, I wouldn’t feel so lost. But there’s nothing else. Nothing that TL can offer or suggest. Nothing I can afford in terms of additional supports. And I just want to isolate from everyone and everything ūüė¶

Is it Saturday yet? Does it really matter anyway when the hour flies by so fast leaving me feeling raw and triggered? My neediness is through the roof today, but it’s very specific: I don’t want to have to talk. I just want to sit and feel supported. I want that closeness without the pressure of being “on”… I want to be understood and have all this figuratively held for me so I am not so alone in it. I don’t know how to do that with what I have in the moment. I can’t talk about what was triggered with anyone close to me because I need to still process it first with someone objective (translate that to: safe & non-judgemental & relatively unaffected).

The a/c was fixed yesterday, so I moved my art supplies back out of the bedroom, but I don’t want to sit out there to do anything. I like my little cave at the moment, even though mom is shopping and the house is empty. Feeling very vulnerable, so the tighter space is welcomed. The comfort of the bed and the dogs and the music through the speakers helps… Fuck, really miss De right now. SJ is very much here and very much out and very much missing her comforts and safety…


it’s almost here

Today was my second to last appointment with De. ¬†I’m glad I wrote stuff for her to read before, because I couldn’t figure out how to say what I needed to while I was there. ¬†She walked me through some ideas on how to deal with the down time (though it wasn’t quite what I had hoped. I had wanted to make up a schedule and things that I am expected to do, but she just left it at a coping skills list and I wasn’t able to say that I had hoped for more). ¬†Then she indulged me by showing me my chart. ¬†I pretty much knew what would be in there, but I needed to hear it from her. ¬†My head sometimes comes up with things even though I know that it would be unlikely. ¬†She showed me the intake, copies of the handouts she had given to me, the checklists she had to complete, the assessments we had done, and she read some examples of the notes she had written. ¬†She asked if it was what I had expected. I told her I figured it was that kind of stuff, and that the notes would be as vague as they were because it’s pretty much standard across agencies for confidentiality reasons. ¬†It gave enough info to convey what we had done, but not enough to give away too much information should any records be summoned to court (they are the county sexual assault services center as well as a child protective services branch, so records often go to court, lawyers, police, etc). ¬†They are also audited by the national accreditation agency, and supervisors see the files. ¬†I knew there would be no judgement either way, just objective statements, but I needed to hear that. ¬†My head had been getting too loud with the negative judgements I have towards myself. ¬†It was getting mixed up with what I knew she would be writing…

She also told me that she had spoken with the clinical director at the new agency. She was able to give a better picture than just the intake would, and she said she advocated for me getting someone who “is not scared of self-harm” and someone who would not switch over again before I moved. ¬†From what she told me, she gave a pretty accurate picture of what we had done, what has been helpful, and what some of my obstacles are. ¬†Because I have been so caught up on “I should know better” lately, she made it a point to convey that, while I have a background in all this and I can be pretty insightful, it does not mean I necessarily know how to apply it to myself. ¬†I’m really appreciative of that, because it’s so hard to explain to a clinician that yes, I can spout all this theory, insight, and planning, but I can’t always implement it… and it makes me feel like crap. If I’m so good at this with others, why the heck can’t I figure shit out for myself?! ¬†De was gentle in reminding me all clinicians are actually human also. We have our struggles and weaknesses. ¬†We have our bad days (or in my case, bad decades). And we all reach out for help at some point either because we are stumped about a client or about our own lives. ¬†I guess it’s along the same lines of MD’s sometimes needing to seek out medical attention from someone else. :sigh: If I could figure out/remember how to fix myself in the moment, I certainly would…

Anyway, she asked if there was anything else I wanted to cover. ¬†I told her I had “wanted to show her some more art, but…” She offered to go the full hour, and I was able to say that I didn’t necessarily want to talk about any or all of it. ¬†She still expressed interest, so I handed her the newer art journal. ¬†It wasn’t as full as the WTJ, but still had stuff I wanted her to see. ¬†I wished we had time to talk about it because some of it came up after a difficult session last week. ¬†I guess that will have to wait to be talked about with someone down the line, I’m just not sure who and when because it’s still very raw and vulnerable and very much wrapped up in the past. ¬†I’m not sure I can go into some of that stuff with someone else anytime soon (though it is something that is with me daily). ¬†I just don’t know if I want to take that risk again knowing that whomever I end up seeing at this agency will definitely be time-limited to only a few months. ¬†It’s too raw to be able to trust enough to go into in such a short time-frame…

We wrapped up… she reminded me Tuesday will be our last session… I know. ¬†trust me, I know. ¬†Part of me wishes she had asked why my answer was what it was when she asked how I felt about the upcoming break in services. Part of me is happy I didn’t have to go there with her… I really need to be able to figure out how to say goodbye by Tuesday. ¬†I had written something out, but I don’t think it says what I want it to. I at least have the weekend to mull it over and try to come up with something better. ¬†I did write to her asking to not let me leave on Tuesday without being able to say goodbye though…


A day in bed

I had called De earlier today. I was a mess and wanted her to read something on my blog to her.¬† I’m glad she had time to read it with me still on the phone. We talked a bit and she was so nice.¬† I give her no reason to be nice to me. In fact I give her every reason to hate me, yet she says she won’t hate me. She talked to me as I cried, and I could do nothing but whisper my answers to her (I’m surprised she could make out what I was saying)… Talking to her made me feel a bit better.¬† She encouraged me to do specific things to help get through the day. And she made me promise to show up to tomorrow’s appointment… I had asked that it be our last (because I feel like I’m just crumbling and it would be easier to do without the expectation to show up to her office twice a week).¬† I think she may have figured that out because she said she still wants me to come until our last appointment. She also wants me to follow-through on the intake I got at another agency for Monday… I just don’t want to bother anyone else with the mess that is me at the moment. I know this is just me feeling very worthless at the moment. I know this will pass, but it has a weight anchored in my chest today. And I want to just stay in bed (and maybe cry if I could find the courage to do it again).
The flashbacks have slowed to just intrusive memories today, without the full virtual reality effect. I still feel the body memories, but they are not as strong as yesterday.¬† I’m quite ready to be done with all this ptsd and trauma crap, I’m cooked on it.


It’s so heavy

It’s unrelenting and crushing. The only break I get is maybe an hour after I wake up, but that is only if I have peaceful sleep (rare these days). The more I’m awake, the worse it gets.

I need to get through these next 2.5 weeks so I can properly say goodbye to De. Then I need a new plan…


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

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

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

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