I feel like I’m wading through a swamp in heavy fog. My head is useless, has been for a few days now. Have therapy tomorrow, and hoping the fog will lift a bit before then. Not sure how useful/helpful/worthwhile it will be if my head is still like this tomorrow.
There’s stuff I want to talk to her about, but not sure I will be able to bring it up. Last session left me feeling like she will be critical of it… maybe that’s why the fog is getting heavier as the appointment gets closer. I dunno. I feel stupid and inept and unable to understand much right now
I don’t know how to do it. I can’t pull myself away from continually tripping on my own emotional mess. I can’t decide if I want to talk to anyone about it, or just ignore the world and stay in bed. I think ignoring the world would be best at this point…
My stomach hurts (from an infection due to an antibiotic), my head hurts… and my heart hurts. And I can’t seem to alleviate any of it. The medicine doesn’t take away the stomach or head pain, and I don’t think there’s a medicine for the heartache (at least none that would be “healthy”). So I’m trying to drown it all out. I’m sitting here bingeing on Grey’s Anatomy hoping that their story will make me forget my own for a bit… It only works half-way.
Friday De asked me to help her help me figure stuff out. She said that she was willing to work on stuff, but I had to point her in the right direction. She wanted me to tell her what I need… Great, if only I knew. This all has eluded me for 2 decades, how the hell am I supposed to come up with insight now? I tried to express what I mean when I say I “get stupid” about things, but I don’t think I did a good job. What I mean when I say it is that I cannot apply any of my learning to myself, nor can I figure out a helpful strategy for any hypothetical client that may be going through any of what I am. I get lost and I don’t know how to help anyone else or myself. I’m at that stage now. I have no clue what else needs to happen to allow me to move on from things. The only thing I do know is that the flashbacks, unwanted memories, body memories, and nightmares don’t go away… I don’t know how to alleviate them or make them less of a problem. I just don’t know what to do next. She had said she could just ask me questions, but that it would not be helpful, more along the lines of torture. I can handle torture. I know what to do with that. I don’t know how to deal with all this though. I know how to run or numb or cut, but I don’t know how to simply move on. Apparently, neither does she. I tried to tell her that the time she sprung talking about Duckboy on me was good, but she doesn’t want to over-do that. I have no answers for her. I have no insight or ideas. I just don’t know what to do (if I did, I probably wouldn’t need as much of her help).
So what do you do? How do you move on? What makes things like this better?
Why is it that something genuinely supportive and helpful comes off as condescending and invalidating? What lens do I put on that turns all the nice into hate? I know my stress is skyrocketing, and that the depression is creeping back in. I guess that’s the lens right there: depression. I had reached out to someone in hopes of finding support, but all I read from their response was how wrong I was doing things, how deliberately miserable I am, and how inadequate I am. In actuality, their response was uplifting, supportive, positive, and understanding. My head instantly turned that positive into disparaging. Even as I recognize this, my head is battling itself. There’s the side that is berating me for being inadequate and stupid. Then there’s the side of me that is taking the response at face value and trying to convince that other side that it’s reading into things. Depression will do that to you. Self – doubt and self – loathing become a way of life.
So my eyes will read “you’ve had so much success until now, you need to focus on that” and my brain will understand “you worthless piece of shit, you can’t even get recovery right. I told you you’d never amount to anything more that a useless waste of space. People tell you all the time to focus on the positive, but all you do is choose to be miserable. You’re a horrid person. You deserve everything you get and then some” (note here that a simple line of text has been translated into a tirade of the self…).
I’m writing this and the voice in my head is reminding me how stupid I have become. This is all stuff I should already know. It’s not supposed to be such a revelation… when I try to change the voice, it gets louder, then more sly when the loud doesn’t work. It rationalizes the negative self-talk and starts whispering little doubts “you have been really off lately,” “you’re such a flake , the driving is getting bad,” “pretty soon you’ll be completely worthless in everything”… it makes the negative sound like logical conclusions. It plants seeds of doubt “everyone can see you’re crazy. It’s written all over you. Why do you think you can’t get a job?” “Even if you did land one, they’d notice the crazy and find a reason to fire you if you don’t end up walking out first because you can’t take it”
We went to a volunteer meeting tonight at the nature center. We got hugs from people we hadn’t seen in a while, and all I could think was that they were pity hugs. Like they knew I was crazy and wanted to pat me on the head for making it out anyway but figured a hug would be less condescending… I know they are all about the hugs anyway, but my head screamed at me that they knew and just felt sorry for me.
Mental illness, self-doubt, and self loathing have a way of turning even the most positive interactions into something terrible. I wonder how much of my therapy is viewed this way. I know the obvious ones, but what about the things that don’t necessarily hit my awareness? What about everyday encounters? What if everyone is really a wonderful person and it’s all just me that views them as hating me? I know I really dislike spending time with G. L pointed it out that my disdain for him was very evident earlier today. I tried to be nicer when we got back home, but I have a lot of work to do on that front. He may be a perfectly wonderful person these days (ok, that’s an exaggeration. He may be at least tolerable), but I only see him through these angry glasses. Everything he says and does I interpret to be mean and hateful so I respond in kind. Then I feel bad for being an asshole. The cycle begins again. I’m once again battling the translation of simple words. I’m twisting what I’m saying to prove to myself how worthless and horrid I am. I just don’t know how to stop it. There’s only so much arguing one can do with oneself before a splitting headache ensues. I think it’s once again time for sleep.
It’s finally rubbed off on me today, I am as angry/cranky as my mom was all day. I hate when I let her mood get to me, but some days it’s SO hard to keep her negativity at bay. This morning, it took her less than 15 minutes to start yelling at the dogs. She didn’t stop yelling at them (or something else, or nothing) except when she was out of the house briefly to do some shopping. She’s also really mean to them. I’m glad they don’t understand her words too well. She’s just cruel with some of the things she says, and I really don’t think she puts it together (how awfully mean she sounds)… Hearing it all day gets to me. It makes me feel worthless (because I’m sure she would say the same things to me if I were around to pester her), and it reinforces that even the smallest needs are a burden and huge inconvenience. She curses them when they want attention, or food, or to go outside. She ignores the puppy’s signals that he needs to go out to pee, then she blows up when he pees in the house. When I spend too much time around her like that, I absorb all her spewing negativity. I wish I knew how to turn that off…
I try hard not to be angry. I try to stifle it as best I can because I NEVER want to be my father (or my mother apparently). I never want to instill fear in people, or worthlessness, or shame, or any number of other things. When I catch myself angry, the self-deprecating tapes start. I know I should be challenging them, but I find little compassion for myself (and it’s really difficult to dig it up when I’m this moody). All I can think of is how awful I felt and feel when I am around people who seep anger. I feel bad about being one of those people, and I start to call myself stupid and worthless and hurtful and any number of other negative, hateful terms… It’s so hard to turn that off.
Have you ever noticed how some topics span different occasions? Writing about the negative tapes in my head, I was reminded that both De and J mentioned challenging those voices. J wants L & I to try to keep a tally of how many times we start being mean to ourselves. She also wants us to call each other out on it. De had said that I need to start changing what I tell myself with those voices. I know neither talked to the other, but both are on the same page. I guess it goes along with the topics we bring up in therapy. Apparently my negative self-talk (and L’s) was brought up in sessions this week (I think L even talked to her therapist about it)…
Another thing that comes up when I am angry is the urge to self-harm. It’s a release for it, and dissipates it faster than anything else. I know I can’t, but the urges are there…