Tag Archives: saddness

rollercoaster

moves can be such an upheaval, even if they are wanted and happy…

I go through bouts of panic, or intense sadness, or both.

I want to hide and cry, but I am trying to pack…

I want to break things (but I don’t really, just feeling very broken inside)… so I purge things and pack the rest.

progress is happening. slow, but happening.

“in tomorrow’s light, things will look a lot less frightening” – Lily Kershaw, Maybe

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(not so) brief update

I met with TM today. I had dragged myself out to an art journal class last night, so I was feeling a bit better when I met with her. We processed Thursday’s session a bit, and came up with a relatively solid plan for an ending. We will have 2 more sessions. I was able to express how much I really need a proper goodbye, then we commiserated on our mutual dislike of endings. We both have homework for next session: to write about/express what this ending means to us… That will be hard. I started mine, but it will be a process over the next few days.

We also chatted a bit more on a professional level about the therapy process and what’s been helpful or not. I asked her if my gut feeling around the gravity of Thursday’s appointment was accurate. She clarified that, while safety concerns were on her mind, she wasn’t having the conversation with the intention of forcing any action. We then had a short conversation around the added trauma caused by involuntary commitment. I joked that it also makes for a mountain of paperwork. I’m glad we are on the same page on the subject. We spoke about trust briefly…

She gently called me out on something that drives me nuts when it happens to me, and I was doing it to her (though that was not my intention). She was expressing concern over something, and I simply said “no” and shook my head. While I meant it in the sense of “you shouldn’t be wasting energy on me like that, I don’t deserve/warrant it”, she took it as a denial of the validity of her expression. She looked at me and said something along the lines of: “I’m telling you how I’m feeling. You don’t get to invalidate that”… and how right she is. It drives me nuts when I hear one of my parents say “no, you don’t feel that way; you feel this way.” Who are they to know how I feel?! Maybe they would not feel the same, or they don’t want me to feel like that, but the reality is that I do. Same with TM today. While I didn’t want her to be concerned, she was. I didn’t have either the knowledge or the right to tell her otherwise… I’m really gonna miss her. :/

Overall, a good session today. I’m really sad there’s only 2 left. There is still so much I want to tackle, but there isn’t time. She did ask how I wanted to work on the ending, and I reminded her I sucked at them, and had no real concrete ideas on the spot. I told her there were a few things I wanted to wrap up, but I wasn’t sure we could finish it. I definitely want to cover that one bit of homework I had given her several weeks ago, but we didn’t really address. I also want to wrap up some of the other csa stuff I had started to talk about but again couldn’t finish… There won’t be enough time though. It sucks.

The anxiety about the building being so reminiscent of a locked unit is slowly going down. More and more decor is showing up, and it’s looking friendlier. The obnoxious buzzer is still startling though.

I really clicked with TM. Yeah, I tried hard not to let myself get too attached, but that failed. Now I find myself missing her before we are finished. I laughingly told her that I would appreciate her making this termination easier by becoming a bitch so I could hate her… It won’t happen.

UGH! I hate endings. You would think after 18+ therapists in as many years I would have this figured out, but it’s still all a learning process. All I know is that proper endings are really important. I might go cry over this again now 😦


o_O

This move is so anxiety-inducing… and then the decision around whether or not the anxiety and depression warrant a check-in call to TM today is anxiety-inducing. I think I will ask that it’s either scheduled, or that there isn’t a call expected, but that it be decided before I leave session either way. I’m leaning towards “I’ll call and leave you a message if I need to” but not set a day and time for a check-in call that may or may not happen. Having to make that decision (even though she said either choice would be ok) is worse than having to make a decision to simply leave her a message. I keep landing on the side of “this isn’t important enough to warrant a check-in”. It feels like a check-in would only be ok if it was something hugely impossible to get through (kinda like last week). This week is difficult, but not as bad as last week…

The depression is still really bad, but it’s manageable at the moment. Going out for a bit yesterday helped (so did that nap). The flashbacks are once again just “background noise” in my body. Though I would love to get them to stop completely, as well as this newer pain that comes with them, I don’t think it’s enough to bug her today… I can still change my mind for the next 2.5 hours, but at this point, I’m settling on “not gonna be annoying and needy”.

On another note, I don’t know why I thought that the happy memories timeline would be emotionally easier than the aversive memories one. There’s no real emotion attached to the happy memories, but they trigger more aversive memories that are connected to them in one way or another. Those negative memories definitely come with some serious emotions. :/

I keep telling myself I need to handle all this differently. I need to not be so triggered by it. I need to be able to deal with it without contacting TM. And then I cycle around to wondering what use trying to deal with all this is with only a few sessions left. I want to hide and put up walls and push TM away (or, push myself away). I don’t want to feel a need to talk to her about anything. I don’t want to find myself looking to her for support. I don’t want to feel like she is a safe person. I don’t want to trust her. I want to be able to walk away without looking back. I’m trying to prepare for this loss that will be huge when it shouldn’t be… Attachment and trust and safety are sticky and messy things for me. I’m not sure how to navigate them as easily as I should. It plants a lump squarely in my throat, and a huge weight into my chest.

The other day I had a lightbulb moment around why I cling so desperately to anyone I care about right before an immanent ending. I’m not really sure why didn’t realize this sooner. I was journaling when it suddenly jumped out of the screen at me: I pulled away from my aunt before she died. I didn’t spend much time with her in that last year she was sick. It was hard. She was cranky and mean from the chemo. I didn’t want to be around that, so I stopped going to see her. I stopped spending time with her. She was one of my favorite people, and I abandoned her because I couldn’t handle her being sick. Then one day, my parents tell me I should go see her because “she doesn’t have much time left”… I think I might have seen her 2 or 3 more times before she lost consciousness in her final week. Then the hospice nurse told us she was likely going to pass that night. Her body was giving up, it was out of fight. She was out of fight. So we spent several hours with her. We would talk to her, and hold her hand. And then it got late, so my mom, brother, and I left. She died later that night…

I felt cheated. And I was angry at myself for not having been there for her. I was mad that I had let my fear and anxiety win to push me away from “my other mother”… I think because of that regret, my reflex is to cling desperately to any relationship right before it’s over. Be it romantic or therapeutic, if I know it’s ending, I become annoying and needy and ever-present… I’m trying not to do that with TM. The only alternate though seems to be building huge walls and lots of distance. It’s another thing I can’t find a middle-ground with. I don’t know how to take an impending loss and not feel giant emotions around it. It was easy to recognize in the termination timing with De, but it’s been harder to put together when it wasn’t so obviously entangled. With De, termination came 6 days before the anniversary of K’s death. I would trip up and use K’s name with her. It was painfully obvious much of the gravity of emotion came from the first loss (and from the coinciding anniversary of my first suicide attempt, thought that came 13 years after K’s death)… Other losses have felt as huge, but never were that easy to put together. I’m not sure what prompted me connecting the dots with the impending loss of TM, but it finally clicked. I am well aware that most of the emotions going on right now are transference. Yes, I will miss TM. It was a good fit for the most part. I know though, that most of my issues with loss go further back… I know losing people I trust and feel safe with just picks at an old wound that never truly healed. 😦


a safe space for shame

I really miss De sometimes. I miss having someone I trust to talk to (even if it was frustrating at times).  I miss feeling safe with her, knowing that even the really shameful stuff hadn’t changed her opinion of me (she said it hadn’t and I believed her despite what my head was saying at the time).  I miss having a safe space to let out the shameful stuff, because so much is surrounded in shame… I miss being able to write about what was bothering me, and know that she would read it.  We would address stuff as needed, but I was able to communicate in ways other than simply speaking (where I often get tripped-up).  I think I can bring myself to ask for that with TL, but not sure she can accommodate it…

De & I had gotten past the awkward “getting to know you” stage.  We actually did some work.  She heard, read, and held stuff that I had not ever told anyone else.  I felt safe enough with her to take an honest look at what I was getting out of the crisis cycle I tend to fall into. I felt safe enough not only to write it out, but to share it with her.  I learned something from all that shameful sharing… and I got some measure of relief from it.  There’s some weakness with secrets that saps their power when they are shared.

Stuff definitely came up that we didn’t get a chance to cover, or that I didn’t feel finished with, but at least it was safe enough to start on it.  I’m not sure how long it will take to get to a similar point with TL.  I wish I could say that all that shameful and difficult stuff could be set aside until after the move, but it still haunts me.  It’s itching to be addressed. It floats through my head, and comes back as incredibly strong tidal waves of emotion. I don’t know what to do with it at first. It catches me off-guard, and I don’t know what it is while it’s happening.  I’m getting better at identifying it in hindsight though.  Sadly, that doesn’t help in the moment. I still get bowled over and sent flailing when it happens (case in point, last night with TL).

So yeah, I miss De a lot. I wonder how she is doing, and if she likes her new job, or if she regrets her change in focus. I wonder if I’ll ever bump into her before I leave the state (doubtful, since I don’t often go downtown). I wonder if she’s happy to not have to deal with me anymore.  I feel like such a bother so much of the time.  I’m sure there’s a measure of relief for her.

It’s weird, because I have never really missed a therapist this much.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt this type of transference, and to this degree… well, scrap that, maybe with JJ & JF way back in the day… but that was easily 15 years ago.  I haven’t felt this way about a therapist in a long, long time.  J (couple’s therapist) was different. There was a very definite sexual attraction (on both L & I’s ends) because she’s a really attractive, confident, and personable woman.  I know that even L’s therapist had said that most people were attracted to J not only for her looks but her personality.  She has this air about her that draws people in, and they want to spend time with her.  So yeah, the transference with J was very different.  The stuff with De was more parental, then changed to younger sibling.  I went from her feeling like a safe care-taker, to feeling like a safe person I wanted to take care of. And it has not faded yet. I’m desperately searching for that safe base again. I wish it was easier to find.  I wish the places I looked for it didn’t trigger me so heavily… ugh! it’s all so frustrating.

I really want to be ok trusting TL.  I want her to turn out to be someone I can work with while I’m still here. I’m tired of simply biding my time.  I hate the flashbacks and the anxiety and the depression. I hate the struggles with the urges to self-destruct.  I need to get over them.  I’m sure it won’t happen completely in the time I have with her (it hadn’t happened in all these years of therapy, why would now be different?), but I need to try.  I think opening the door on some of that stuff with De increased the urgency I feel in needing to address it.  I was looking through my entries to De, and I think there’s a more recent one that I really want to share with TL because it explains so much of what’s going on right now for me (or at least the motivations behind all of this).  I just hope I can gather the courage to not only go back, but to also read it to her.  It’s a giant package of embarrassment wrapped in shame and padded with guilt.  If I can get past all the defenses around it, I think it would be really good to attend to it.  I just need to find the courage to face it with TL (again, that urgency to talk about all this stuff.  I don’t know if it comes from the deadline to our work together, or from knowing that I have carried it for so long). I really need to share it and look at it for a change.  I had shared it with De, but we didn’t exactly do anything with it other than me answer a few of the questions she had… and then we got into some details about where the roots of those feelings might lay, and it morphed into dealing with the memories and feelings admitting all that stuff brought up, instead of addressing what was written).

I feel like if I could find the courage to tell TL that stuff also, we could look at it, and maybe help me break out of this really self-defeating spiral I tend to get caught in.  I’m a believer in the idea that stuff comes up when you are finally ready to deal with it (well, at least when it comes to insight into behaviors).  I think I’m ready to deal with this, but I need to do it now, immediately, or I will lose the motivation.  At least, that’s the way it feels.  And I really need to know I can share it with another human being, talk about it openly, and not be overtly judged for it.  I know even the best clinicians have initial judgements, but it’s what they do with them, and how they deal with them that allows for a feeling of safety.  I know I jump to conclusions and judgements about others, but I am able to talk myself into a point of greater understanding and empathy after that impulse thought… would be great if I could put that to work for myself also.  Someone recently reminded me that we can be our worst enemies much of the time.  I know I certainly am one of my biggest critics at this point, and I judge myself infinitely harder that I would any other person on this planet.  It’s not because I have to be held to higher standers out of any inkling of “betterness”, but because I am so far below every other being on the planet that I must have higher standards if I am ever to even remotely get close to “normal, deserving human being” status… it’s something I hope to one day be able to work on successfully in therapy.  I know there have been times in the past that I was not this hard on myself, but those are hard to come by.  My default always seems to be self-deprecation and worthlessness to an intense degree.  De had pointed it out to me one session. She reminded me that I tend to get to a point of such all-encompassing worthlessness when I hit bumps in the road, it will take a lot of work to leave it behind.  She’s right.  I get there hard and fast at the slightest sign of stress.  I’m sure it hinders therapy often…

Anyway, I totally got side-tracked here.  My brain is slowly turning to mush at the moment, so I need to sign off.  I’m wholly impressed if you made it through all that.  I may have to come up with an award for that accomplishment. Maybe the “I can follow SJ’s rambling and tiresome posts” award… hmm…


time passing

7 years. 20 years. 5 days… time passing incredibly slow, and incredibly fast.  20 years with a loss of a safety net.  7 years to the loss of all hope.  5 days… :/  none of this was supposed to happen. it’s all borrowed time.

20 years feels like 2 minutes. 5 days feels like 5 lifetimes.  the 7 years just marks the passage of borrowed time. it all just marks the passage of time.  none of it matters, yet it matters so much…


Safe & Sound

This song makes me cry… I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics till it came on my playlist last night, and I couldn’t stop crying…

I long for that feeling of safety again.  I briefly had it with De… Never had told anyone a lot of what she heard/witnessed, and she did so safely and supportively when I really needed it from her (though not all of the time, but she did the best she could)…


updates

sorry I have not been around in a while.  things have been very overwhelming, and I have not had the energy to censor what I write enough to make it ok for the blog.

On Tuesday I said goodbye to De.  It was anti-climactic. I didn’t say all I had wanted to say to her in person, and when I left, it was the same as every other exit, only this time she didn’t say “see you in a few days” or “see you next week”.  She just said “goodbye”.  I really hate goodbyes.  I hate the finality of it, and how it feels like a part of me is ripping out when it’s someone I have grown to trust.  Of course, this goodbye has been infinitely more difficult than many other ones.  It’s been compounded by other losses, by impending changes, and looming anniversaries.  And it has become totally entangled in a 20-year-old loss that was apparently never sufficiently addressed.  It still has not been addressed, nor will it necessarily be looked at any time soon.  I had hoped not to have to find another therapist before the move, but I can’t be in this limbo state without support.  I had gotten an intake at the agency we saw J though.  That was 2 weeks ago.  I called the intake coordinator on Wed of last week for an update.  He had said that I was going to be assigned to someone that day, and they will call by the end of the following week.  I wish I could have asked if it could be sooner than that time, but I was having enough time forming an acknowledgement of what he said that I didn’t feel like pushing my luck with being able to talk without crying again.  I really need to connect with someone.  I need to have that place where it’s ok to not be together all the time… and I need to process this loss and some of the stuff that came up right before I ended with De.  I don’t necessarily want to process those memories with someone I will only be seeing for a few weeks, but they are nudging at me in my dreams.  When I do manage to sleep, I wake anxious and in a sweat.  I don’t remember my dreams, but I know they are frightening.  My heart is still racing and I gasp awake.  It’s really not a fun feeling.

In hopes of getting myself active this weekend, I had made some plans.  The only thing I followed through on was the art journaling workshop on Thursday evening.  It was really fun, and the place is amazing.  I wish we had found it before making the decision to leave the state.  Yesterday, I was supposed to hit up two separate BBQ’s for the 4th.  One was over at one of L’s former co-worker’s place, the other was supposed to be with a childhood friend.  I couldn’t stop crying yesterday though, so I opted out of both.  My friend called me on it, but gave me a pass for the day. I have a feeling L may have called her and asked her to bug me about going out, because she had no reason not to belive I wasn’t feeling well yesterday… L denies it, but I dunno… she has done it in the past. Anyway, I stayed home from both.  I tried to do something productive, but I couldn’t do anything.  I stayed in bed for the night. Luckily, we live in a neighborhood of firework-happy households, so I caught a good portion of one neighbor’s display from my bed.  I went outside to the back and just turned in circles watching all the other ones people were setting off. There was also the fireworks from 2 towns visible from the backyard, so I had a 360* fireworks spectacular.  I know a lot of people with PTSD find this to be a really difficult time because of the noise.  I guess I’m lucky that mine is not triggered by this.  Start yelling around me or suddenly walk into a room and I will jump out of my skin, but set off fireworks and I will watch in awe…

Today was much the same lazing around, spent bouncing around from one un-started project to another, and generally being lost.  I should have returned some of the stuff I purchased on Thursday and Friday, but I didn’t have the energy to go out.  I fixed a bracelet I had strung wrong the first 3 times, and that took a good 2 hours.  It pretty much wiped me out.  I feel like a slacker, but I just don’t have the mental energy to do much.  I’m hoping I will get myself out tomorrow to return that stuff, because I really should not have spent all our money.  I also kinda want to go to a beach, but it’s weird by myself.  I don’t like to just sit there, and it’s weird to just float out in the water by myself.  At the same time, there’s no one I want to go there with.  One of the MeetUp groups I am a part of will be heading out to a local clothing optional beach.  I think I would have tried that if I was not so triggered these last few weeks.  I would certainly wear clothes, but I don’t think I can handle seeing a bunch of man-parts everywhere around me (most of the people going are gay guys, as none of the lesbians in the group seem to be going).  I know most of them will be baring all… I really wish they would have picked a clothed beach for this party.

Anyway, so I’ve been overwhelmed and sad and a hot mess, and simply without energy to read or write.  I’m sorry.  I hope it lightens soon and I can pay more attention to everyone.  I really hope the new clinician calls in time to get me in next week for an appointment… I’m really feeling like I need to connect with someone on all this stuff. I don’t want to hit my breaking point again down here.

(and I really miss De disproportionately to the relationship we had.  I know it’s blown up, and I know why, but it’s not making the break easier.  L had said it was similar with J for her… I wish I had understood how it felt for her, because this really sucks, and I wasn’t a good wife around it all… :(…)