Tag Archives: talk

If I stop for too long, my head starts chattering away at me; my body picks up with a vengeance… 

I can’t slow my heart rate down with any reliability lately. It’s been in the 100’s for the past week straight. That hasn’t happened since the move (or, I haven’t noticed/kept track). It’s nowhere near the 140’s it used to be, but it’s also an increase from the 90’s it had been of late… I can feel it working. I wouldn’t call it pounding so much as quite noticeable. At least the “flopping fish” feeling isn’t back, and the tightness from last month is gone. 

I should just go take my sleep aid, but that’ll require a bit more conversation with myself. When I told Dr C that I knew it was only L and the cats in the bedroom, and that the dogs were lose in the apartment overnight, yet I still couldn’t bring myself to walk in there easily, she changed the perspective. She pointed out that L and all the animals are in the house with me. No one can come in or do anything without being noticed. Maybe getting to look at it that way will help. 

I still have to take the dogs out one last time before bed. As cute as he is, I’m hoping the little skunk isn’t back tonight. It makes taking them out a longer process (they are easier to handle one on one when there’s prey around, and the skunk is only prey if the little guy gets riled-up. The girls don’t much care about wildlife when they are on their own). 

The “hands” won’t leave me alone… they get quieter if I can be distracted enough, but then they return. 

I was trying to see if my insurance would cover a weighted blanket (something I’ve found to be helpful in feeling safe enough to sleep), but they were dodgy about it. I have to get the appropriate treatment code to bill under or its not even considered. They won’t tell me the treatment code though. I wonder if I asked Dr C about it, would she know? She has a fair amount of experience working with autistic clients and definitely trauma clients. Maybe she’s come across the code before? I wonder if her recommendation would be enough, or if it’d need it to come from an OT or a medical doctor. 

We’re still working on the “hall pass” idea, though I’m no closer at having something to try than I was last night. Maybe she’ll think of something to suggest? 

I feel weird going back every day this week. Originally it was to try to get some emdr in, but since that’s not been something I think I am ready for at this moment, we’ve just been talking… Maybe tomorrow we’ll get to the art… I’m not in crisis, but the pressure to keep talking about the memories is strong. I’ve opened them up recently, and now they are spilling out. I’m relieved I can spill them to Dr C rather than try to contain them till next week. I hope she doesn’t get too sick of me.


Note to self: it’s ok to need

Met with Dr C today… some things to remember:
-it’s ok to have needs.
-even if that need is simply to check that she is still there (it doesn’t bother her or significantly impact her time away from the office).
-keep trying coping skills, but she is also ok with reaching out. She will respond as she is able. If texting doesn’t work, it’s ok to call her too (or ask her to call).
-it’s ok to change the topic of conversation with a friend if it’s triggering.
-try to notice the dissociation before it’s happening or as it’s happening so the trigger can be dealt with and I don’t have to keep exposing myself to it.
-Dr C will not drop me or refer me out if I’m struggling (same as last time), so it’s ok to say if I am (preferably before a crisis point, and most certainly before I need to show up at my doctor’s office or the ER bleeding out).
-I’m still miles above where I was the last time I was hospitalized, and many more miles above where I was in 2010.
-it’s going to be tough, but it will be ok.


the safety of a doorknob disclosure

With the end looming for my therapy,¬†I find myself wanting to spill all sorts of info to TM. I’m not sure why. I suddenly have questions and thoughts and I want to ask her a whole bunch of stuff about my abuse and ptsd and self-harm… why can I only muster this resolve when I’m moving on to someone else? It’s like it only feels safe enough to bring all this up when the threat of having to see the person again is over. I am suddenly realizing I trusted her enough to express this stuff, but I kept freezing and getting scared before. I always worried she would hate me or use what I told her against me in some way. I didn’t think she would actually do those things, but I feared she might… Now I want to get as much support from her as possible, only it’s too late because there isn’t enough time.

These are the ultimate doorknob disclosures. They are all the big things I was scared to address, but now I desperately want to find support around… :sigh: Will I ever learn to do this while there’s still time to talk?

 


Wow, this turned long. and tangential. Sorry.

They say insight helps move you forward. But what if you have all this insight, and don’t know what to do with it? It doesn’t magically change things. It still takes a lot of work, and struggle, and… I’m tired of having insight and not knowing what to do with it.

I called TM and left a message because I realized that my pattern was to crash if I didn’t reach out. So I told her I needed to reach out, and I was hoping just leaving the message would help. It did in the moment, but now I want to crumble again… knowing the reason for the “crisis” isn’t helping to avoid it right now. And having alternate coping skills is not making much of a difference. I guess it’s the small victories: I made it out of the house for a bit. I put off crashing… I guess that’s a positive. And I called TM in hopes of heading off a bigger, harder crash (so far it’s working). Only what happens next week when she suggests an iop again? And what happens when she refers me out even though we have maybe a month left? ūüė¶

I hate that trust comes so hard. I hate that I need to find a paid someone to trust and reach out to. I hate that it always ends so soon. I’ve seen more therapists than I have been in years of therapy. There have only been 3 I was able to see for more than 10 months (and 3 out of the last 4 I only saw for about 4 months each)… JF was an intern when I started seeing her, but she got hired on to keep working at the clinic, so I saw her for 2.5 years (until I graduated). LKB was the first private-practice therapist I saw. She ditched me after 2 years because I was too acute… then Dr C I saw for 2.5 years until I moved. Everyone else was an intern, except De & TM, who were/are limited by agency policy.

There was JJ, DJ (saw her one year during two of the school breaks, so maybe 10 times total), B, CS, JF, TB, JG, LKB, SC (dbt), Dr C, BGR (iop), L (dbt), Dr GD (the center), D, JP, De, TL, and TM… I’m missing a few because last count TM was #18 or 19… who am I missing? I hadn’t included therapists I saw fewer than 5 times, or any psychiatrists, or clinicians associated with hospital programs who I would have only seen a very few times.

Anyway, yeah. Trust is hard, but I seem to have to get around to starting again every few months. It gets tiring. It makes it really difficult to get anywhere. I finally get through the “data dump” stage and it’s time to switch again. That’s why I’m so stubborn around trying to tackle more stuff with TM before our time is up. I need to get further in all this… and I am not sure I will find a therapist I trust would know how to handle the blowout from the sexual assault stuff. I know Dr C tried to get me to deal with it, but I couldn’t get over the shame. Maybe if I can get back in with her, it wouldn’t be so hard this time, but I don’t think she will be around… and I’m still not sure I trust her not to think horrible things of me. There’s some safety in TM working for the sexual assault clinic. She’s likely heard it all, or her colleagues have heard it all, and the judgement would be less… I still have trouble telling TM some things because of the shame involved, but I think the chances of her having heard the same thing before are higher than with Dr C… I dunno. I really miss Dr C though… and JF… and Dr GD… and De. They felt safe. TM feels safe when I’m not caught up in walls and transference… I miss TL, but more in a colleague sense than a therapist sense. She kept me in a more professional head-space during sessions. She was the first to be able to keep the more adult side of me present more times than not. I think it came from her expecting me to be more “professional” and aware. There was something about the transference with her that allowed me to be competent as an adult and a professional. I don’t really know how to explain it…

…I hate that the emotionally safest relationships are all paid ones. But I guess that contributes to the safety. If it wasn’t so one-sided and professional, I would be seeing the judgement and emotional reactions to my crazy, and I would be walking on eggshells with them to the same extent I do my friends and family. I still walk on eggshells with therapists, but it’s not as careful and distanced as it is with people who could really hurt me with their reactions…

Anyway, I digress again. Trying to avoid being the drama queen De saw me as. Trying to pull out of the crisis cycle that is threatening to come barreling in full force. Trying to put all this insight to use. Let’s hope it all works. o_O


defenses gone awry

I had started consciously distancing myself from my self-destructive thoughts maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago? It was very much on purpose, in an effort to respond to stress differently and not land myself in the hospital. This started as a good thing. It was helpful. I kept reminding myself that I needed to change my reactions to change the outcome. Great. Makes sense.

Only somewhere along the way, I lost control of it all.

While it started as something deliberate and beneficial, it has turned frustrating. I’m not connecting to anything on an emotional level. It feels very much like watching a bad b-movie from the main character’s perspective… Only I think movie characters have a better sense of connection than I do. It feels like nothing really transfers to longer-term memory. Everything feels far away both spatially and temporally. I met with TM today. I know I was physically there, but I was watching from a dark room somewhere in the back of my head. It wasn’t even a rough session. We went over the “positives” timeline. I told her stories around the listed events. I fleshed out the positive parts of my life. It was good to have that reminder, but I felt like I was reciting someone else’s life. I don’t recognize it as my own. I don’t recognize the session as an experience I had…

I’m not sure I’m explaining this well. It’s difficult enough to grasp, let alone explain.

I know I also met up with a friend for lunch afterwards. I know we met because I have a receipt from the restaurant. I have a vague sense of having spoken to him today, but again, it’s from a great distance and with no emotional connection.

It all feels like a dream. It all fades as fast as dreams do the longer you are “awake”…

I try to ground myself. I try to be mindful of the moment, and draw in the experience – will myself to remember it. It all feels so very far away though. I try to write about it, but pretty much the instant the moment is over, I’ve lost touch with it. If I’m not writing in the moment, it’s mostly gone in an hour or less.

I had written something to TM after last week’s session. At the time I wrote it, I instructed myself to print it out and give it to her this week. I wrote that I knew I would lose the connection to it and no longer understand why it was I wanted to give it to her. I titled it “Print this out and give to TM on Tuesday”… and yet I failed to give it to her. Once in the office, I worried that I would not know how to answer any questions she may have about what I had written. I didn’t relate to any of it anymore, so I wouldn’t be able to explain it… It’s still in my bag. I never gave it to her; never even hinted at having written anything. I wrote a bit again today, and did similar instructions to myself. Maybe I will manage to give it to her next week.

I think I left her a message today asking to find a way to effectively ground from this. It too feels like a dream, but there is a call to her number later in the day, so I must have followed through on it.

This was a decent defense-mechanism in theory, but it has gotten way out of hand. I need help reigning it back in. I have started and stopped to reach out for more help around it a bunch of times lately, but I always forget why it was I tried to call someone or write a post. It doesn’t make sense to me, or I forget what I was going to ask, so I hang up, or delete the post. I feel like my trains of thought de-rail quickly and easily. I get distracted at the slightest thing. Sometimes I can recognize it as that push to keep stress at bay, but other times I don’t notice the effort. I need to be able to make it a conscious and deliberate thing again.


distance = safety

I desperately want to talk to TM right now, in the moment. I know it’s only so strong because I have distance, and because I can’t actually talk to her in the moment. It’s safe to want to be vulnerable because it’s not a real possibility right now…

If I were to be seeing her later today, the walls would fly back into place. I would deem all this “stupid” and not be able to speak about it. But I’m not in danger of seeing her for another 6 days, so it’s ok to feel this need to spill to her. It’s ok to want to talk about details and impact and insights. It’s safe right now.

Only this pattern makes for difficult therapy. I throw other things at her. I create distractions and talk around things. I disappoint myself in my inability to move forward in therapy… I only want to be vulnerable because I can’t really be vulnerable right now. Even if I were to call her, I wouldn’t be able to voice any of this.

I want to commit to handing her what I wrote today, but I am predicting I will label it “stupid” at the appointment and not give it to her. Or maybe I’ll write too much other stuff this week and this will lose place to something that is more of a summary. I’m not sure. But I know so far every time I wrote something intense with the intent of giving it to her, I always find a reason not to. There’s always something more pressing, or I judge the important stuff too harshly, or I lose my nerve…

And the stuff I wrote today would count as trauma processing. I’m not sure she wants to go there right now. I think she still wants to gauge how well I cope, how far I will fall if I put too much on my plate…

Problem is, it’s on my plate regardless. The flashbacks are there whether or not I talk about them in therapy. The memories are there; the nightmares, the hopelessness, the confusion… It’s all there even if I don’t take it to her. I cope poorly or I cope well regardless of her knowledge of it. At least if I’m talking to her about it, I might find some support. (maybe if I print it out now and stick it in my art journal, I might be more inclined to show her?)


Monsters in the closet (art journal)

image

This journal page started out with an idea around trying to “find your voice”, but took a bunch of turns. Was kinda trying to both prompt myself to talk openly to TM about the monsters, but also convey the fear and desperation around trying to cram the monsters back into the closet as soon as they appear. There’s the shutting-down when faced with talking about them, the frantic push to keep the monsters out in the first place, and the knowledge that they lose their power when finally talked about. The key to talking about them feels just out of reach, but they threaten to burst through the door anyway (the locks are failing and the door will soon give way)… trying to keep it far away and disconnected, but build on what is already spoken about. All shrouded in darkness except when the flashlight gets turned on in therapy.

Cheesy! But whatever. Maybe I can lead with this tomorrow, because it kinda covers everything from the fear of talking about it to the fear of not taking about it, and the need for safety around it… also much more condensed than the 30+ pages worth of journaling I’ve done this week… hmm.

Now the question becomes: do I warn her I have heavy stuff I need to dump somewhere and need help with dumping it safely? Or do I just go in and hope I get to it so I don’t torture myself all next week about it? (And maybe not waste time on the stress around G coming for a visit next week even though that might be easier to talk about)…


Feeling urgency

I’m not sure what it is. I’m trying to figure out the driving force behind this intense desire to see TM again and to try to talk about this again. It always kicks in. Once I open the door to starting to talk about anything vulnerable at all, I need to just be able to spill it. All of it. At one time.
I feel this desire to talk myself into exhaustion. It’s like all this stuff needs to come out of me and into… I don’t even know. Someone who can safely hold it? Someone who can throw it out? Someplace other than myself, but also someplace safe.
It’s not attachment related, because I have no attachment to TM at this point. (Actually, I think this need to divulge is stronger before I know the person… maybe. I’m not sure though, since I know this urgency is also there after I’ve grown to know and trust the therapist). Maybe it really is just related to a need to share this with another safe (neutral, non-judgemental, uninvested) human being, to not being alone with it all…

I find myself trying to think about history and diagnoses, and how this desire (though gods, does it ever feel like a need) fits into the puzzle. is it part of the ptsd, the bpd, the self esteem issues, the anxiety? What? Where does it fit? Is it legit to talk about and ask for? Is it just part of the human condition to need to be able to be completely honest with someone? I know there’s thoughts floating by that contradict one another right now. One questions if anyone would actually like me as a human being if they knew everything, every dark secret? Would I still be worthy of breath if they saw the real me? Another thought wonders if they may be more OK with the concept of me as a human being if they knew all the motivations and fears behind everything I think and do. One thought looks for validation while another thought is sure judgement will follow. Will I turn out to be the horrid person I’m afraid I am if you see everything that makes up “me”? Or will it give you a deeper understanding of all that appears to be random craziness and weirdness and awkwardness? Please don’t hate me, but please prove my fears right, and prove them wrong, and hate me, and…

There’s so much inner conflict around my self-worth. There’s all these years of that little voice saying I’m worthless and stupid, but it’s being countered by the voices of everyone who has tried to convince me I have value. It’s very loud and confusing. Sometimes one is winning, other times the other is. Right now, I think the voice that whispers “they will (should!) hate me if they knew everything” is the driving force behind the need for disclosure. I want validation that the voice is merely a fear, and not reality. And I need to find that validation. Right now, no one knows everything. No one has all the puzzle pieces with all the disconcerting revelations, so I’m not sure they wouldn’t hate me if they knew everything. But I’m also not sure I would believe they knew everything if they didn’t hate me (because how can you look at me, all my dark secrets and blackness and not hate me, not think I’m vile and disgusting and scary?)… I think I need people to prove I’m worth life, but I have a feeling I won’t believe them unless they say I’m worthless. It’s a wonderful little trap. “Please, please, please say I’m an OK human?” You’re an OK human being “Fuck you, you don’t really know me unless you hate me! (But gods, please know me and don’t hate me)”…


Happy Tofurkey Day!

1897012_10152868130329892_2569156459545851216_nHappy Thanksgiving to all my US readers. Happy Thursday to everyone else ūüėČ

I’m trying to not break down in tears. I pushed myself to hang with friends this morning for “Friendsgiving”, which was good. I was able to laugh and be social. I was very ready to head home after about 3 hours however… The best part though (aside of hanging with friends), was that they set out colored pencils with a paper table-cloth so we could doodle. They are big into the Wicked Queen from Snow White, so I drew them an apple… I figured it went with the theme of the day, and with their decor.

Now mom and I made some of our own dinner, so there’s take 2 on food for the day (I swear this is more food than I eat in a week, all crammed into 1 day. Gotta love the tradition of gluttony with the excuse of it being a holiday). Just have to wait for the last of it to be cooked and I sit down for another round of stuffing myself…

___________________________

It’s just after 9pm, and I find myself cruising Netflix and hulu+ for movies that might trigger tears. The feeling of needing to cry has not left, and now I just want to get it over with. I want the tears to flow and the relief to come. I know even with the growing depression, at least some pressure would be released by crying, but it’s not happening. I can’t seem to let my defenses down long enough or fully enough to let the tears escape¬†(though they threaten at every turn). I really need the relief. I need the break in the intensity of the emotion.

I suddenly don’t know how to cope with all this. I don’t know how to lessen the emotional experiencing right now. The more I think about the implications of some of the BPD diagnosis, the scarier it gets. I keep being reminded that individuals with BPD experience things much more intensely. I keep being reminded that it’s never a matter of lessening the emotional impact of things, but more so learning to deal with it. The prospect of that is terrifying. If I have to keep going through life feeling things this intensely, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to just learn to ride the crazy waves of emotion. I want to lessen the whole experience.

I’m not sure I can explain the intensity of the emotion. It’s more than just really sad, it’s debilitating. When anger hits hard, it’s more than just anger, it’s blow-out rage. When it’s really happy, it’s really incredibly happy. Yes, there are times when it’s not incredibly intense, but when it crosses that line, it leaps over the line and the next 10 lines after that. It’s like the difference between getting a paper cut and eviscerating yourself… Strong emotions for me are on the self-evisceration end of the spectrum, only I have no idea how to anesthetize myself for it. I know how to turn off the emotions completely, to block feeling them. I know how to put up walls and keep them at bay, but if they start to gush, I have no idea how to lessen the hurt. I have the theories and the intellectual skills, but it doesn’t help the emotions. All the learning in the world makes no sense to my emotional brain, the one that feels every emotion with the intensity of a burn victim. I know DBT and CBT are supposed to help with it all, but it doesn’t translate to the emotional side. It also doesn’t translate well to the kid inside who interprets everything as not doing good enough, not being good enough.

I’ve noticed the old “failure” tape has gotten louder and more insistent of late. It screams over everything. I’ve noticed that I need to apologize to TL when I write to her. I need to find a way to make up for being “less than”. I’ve noticed that I cannot bring myself to easily tell her that I need the weekly appointments even though I really feel like I need them. I feel this need to “be good” and muddle through the two weeks between sessions. I need to do this because I don’t want to disappoint TL. I need to manage within her boundaries, even if they are just my interpretations of her boundaries. I’m aware that a lot of this is a reflection of the transference I feel around her, only I’m not sure if I can or should try to talk to her about it. We have only about 3 sessions left at this point. If I wasn’t about to terminate with her, I might consider addressing all this, but I’m confused about the value of it if we are ending. I guess there would be value in talking about it at least in so much that then I could more easily talk to the new therapist about it (or it may be more easy to spot if I tell her about it? and easier to help navigate it?). I don’t know. I guess I should talk to TL about this. It’s really difficult though. It’s the battle between the old learning (the child inside) and the new learning. I struggle to quiet the child and make her feel safe so I can implement the new learning. It’s most certainly a struggle.

I’m realizing again that TL managed to afford me a measure of balance that I hadn’t found before. I can’t seem to allow myself to attribute the balance to any changes within myself, so I have to call it something with our interactions or how she relates to me… I don’t have enough faith in myself to believe I could accomplish something like that myself, it has to be the other person…


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.


“Surviving” (post link)

…why is it that we are shamed not only by those perpetrating the abuse, but also those that don’t want to bear witness to it? ¬†“Surviving” is so well-written in its brutal honesty… what happens to those of us who survive whatever degree of abuse we endure? ¬†We are labeled “impossible” and “worthless” by the system and by society that has made a choice to ignore the conditions of survival.

I really struggle with not being able to speak about what I endured. ¬†There is so much to the foundations of my shame. ¬†One phrase that always echos in my head is one my dad said often: “what happens in the family stays in the family” ¬†It screamed in my head as I was telling De about some things yesterday. ¬†His voice thundered in my memory as I was suddenly hiding under the bed again, terrified that he was coming into my room… The memory drowned out De’s voice. ¬†The memories to follow sent shudders through me, and yet I couldn’t tell De how loud my head was in the moment. ¬†I couldn’t give voice to the full-on virtual reality playing behind my eyes. I couldn’t even tell her I was lost in the memory. I noticed my mouth moving and speaking to her, but I was hiding under my bed again. G had just had a huge blow-out with mom, and I had run to hide. ¬†I tried to take the dog with me, but she stayed with mom… I don;t know how long I was hiding, but I do remember my brother coming into my room looking for me because the house was so quiet. ¬†I screamed and jumped when I saw his feet from under the bed, I thought he was G… I scared my poor brother. ¬†He had been at a friend’s house while hell broke out that night. ¬†He was spared. ¬†Mom got most of it… and the dog, she got a lot of it… G would kick her just because he could, because he was mad and needed to hurt the thing that everyone loved more than they loved him… and she just took it… :(…

Why is it that society underscores what our abusers tell us?

(With the way some of this stuff slams me, I do not know how my mom survived… I just watched my dad, but she was on the receiving end of so much more… I don’t know how it hasn’t crushed her. ¬†She has some incredible strength…)


that black hole that is depression

It feels like depression has been swallowing me lately. ¬†I wasn’t really up to talking yesterday, and L picked up on that.¬†I felt bad. ¬†I had nothing to say. ¬†I couldn’t formulate words around anything. ¬†Everyone I spoke with yesterday noticed it. ¬†Today is a bit better… Between last night and today, the lovely people at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center have sat on chat and the phone with me for over 3 1/2 hours. ¬†I totally appreciate their patience as they struggled to get me to communicate. ¬†They are one of the few centers that answer the chat and don’t rush you off right away. ¬†They are ok speaking even when I’m just overwhelmed and needing someone to “sit with” over the chat or phone. ¬†Most chat operators shoo me off if I am not in immediate crisis. ¬†These people are so nice… and they are one of the few places that will also offer a follow-up call if you agree to it. ¬†Apparently I agreed to it last night because I got a call this morning…

Anyway, yeah. ¬†Struggling and trying to keep my head above water (figuratively). ¬†I know something’s got to give. I’m trying to hold on to the hope others have for me, as I don’t have much of my own. Taking things one day at a time, one moment at a time. ¬†And making agreements to stay safe, because there is no other choice. I had left a message for De about that. I hoped she would call, but I guess I didn’t specifically ask for it, or my message was unintelligible. ¬†I have not heard back from her. ¬†I guess she is just busy and counting on me being able to ask for a call-back if I really need one.


muddling through

It’s a rough transition. ¬†Both L and I are struggling with the concept of being separated. ¬†Both of us are struggling with our environments and our inner demons. ¬†But both of us also seem to be finding a way through. ¬†I wrote a really long but honest blog to De today. ¬†It helped a lot to simply know that she will know all of that, to know that I was honest and putting things out there in hopes of getting support. ¬†It’ll be an uncomfortable session on Friday (because a lot of it is surrounded by huge amounts of shame), but at least I’m being honest and trying to figure things out.

I’m very aware of my neediness and my mal-adaptive thought patterns, but I am having trouble changing them all by myself. ¬†Awareness is the first step though. ¬†I am hoping she can help me with the changing piece. ¬†I was able to ask for some specific things directly for probably the first time ever. ¬†I was able to identify specific things, how they would help, and what I would like to ask from her around them. ¬†That’s not an easy thing for me. ¬†I often have trouble identifying and admitting to my needs. ¬†I think it comes from a combination of having them either flat-out denied (by being told that they are not actually my needs, and my needs are something else), or having serious consequences for voicing them. ¬†I can remember a number of times when my opinions were denied and corrected (some as recent as a few weeks ago). It’s an interesting dynamic that happens in my family. ¬†I will say something along the lines of “I need to talk to someone about X” only to get the response: “No. That won’t help. You need to do Y” ¬†Even if I give concrete examples of how Y has been counter-productive, it is insisted that I really do want Y, just afraid to say it. When someone hears things like that often enough (and the person is forceful enough), they learn to change their desires to fit what is being insisted upon. ¬†I guess this doesn’t happen so much if you have no history of abuse, but it certainly happens with me. ¬†I lose the drive to argue when no argument in the world would help my case.

 

 


“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, …”

I like this. we are so often told to be mindful of the moment, but remain silent in our pain. It’s in our pain that we need to speak out and have someone share it. I even struggle with this in therapy lately. De isn’t big on talking about what’s eating me, just how to cope with it. Sometimes that’s helpful, but a lot of the time I need to be able to give voice to what’s inside. It took me so long to be able to talk about things, then I get a therapist who focuses on the distractions and coping skills without much energy devoted to just being in the moment of the struggle. I know she has helped me learn some invaluable skills, but at the same time, I feel more alone than I ever have much of the time. My family does not hold a culture of speaking about what bothers you. L tries, but I resist much of the time. It’s so easy to fall back into pushing things away. We need to pay more attention to opening ourselves, to feeling and being less alone in our hurt…

I Dont Want To Talk About It

wolf-howl-silhouette1 ‚Äú‚Ķbut by making the darkness conscious.‚ÄĚ I went to my Men‚Äôs meeting the other morning.¬†¬† As usual it was an interesting place to be.¬†¬† One of my issues with AA is the unwillingness to making the darkness conscious at the meeting level.¬†¬† My wonderful friends who are suffering from the effects of PTSD and other ‚Äúmental health,‚ÄĚ issues express confusion that when they are in meetings and they struggling, most of the other people in the rooms are speaking of gratitude, acceptance and/or tolerance.¬† They ask me and I question also whether the people speaking of gratitude etc. aren‚Äôt just ‚Äúimagining figures of light,‚Ä̬† because they can‚Äôt/won‚Äôt deal with the darkness that they carry.

When I am struggling, and much of the time my depression makes me feel like I am searching for a life raft in the middle of this sea of hopelessness, I have a hard time with…

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midnight ramblings

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?


Emotional flashbacks

Session with De today went pretty well. We talked about the legal definition of assault and rape. We compared notes and she validated my hesitation to discuss anything about Duckboy for the last 17 years. We discussed the power dynamics of relationships. We talked about how that can effect whether a person leaves; whether they fight back.¬† Things were going good.¬† I was able to see things both intellectually and emotionally without it overwhelming me. I recognized the negative thoughts and she helped refute them (or start to). Then something changed. I started drifting away. De noticed and asked about it. I suddenly wasn’t able to talk to her about anything.¬† I couldn’t tell her what was going on because I couldn’t figure out in myself what was happening. Emotional memories sometimes overtake me and I have no idea until long after… De helped me ground a bit.¬† She asked about my recent art. I wanted to show her, but I wasn’t in a place to explain it, so I just handed her the book. She looked through things and asked about them.¬† Some were easier to talk about than others, but it worked to help ground me (at least long enough to be able to walk out of the building. I was shaking inside and was surprised I didn’t bump into every wall on the way out). I got in the car and blasted my music. The air from the open windows and the loud noise helped me ground more.¬† I wasn’t ready to be home yet though, so I asked L if she’d go to the beach with me.

It was a nice change from the house.¬† The winds were strong so the seas were choppy.¬† It was sunny but pleasant. Birds were out in force. I have a “slight”obsession with birds and birds in flight. I brought my camera (the good one, not just the phone. I’ll have to add those pics later because I’m posting from my phone) and was able to get some decent shots. There was a pelican that was particularly bold. He sat still as I took pictures about a foot away from his face. He tolerated me for a good 5 minutes before he flew off.

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Because of the rough seas, there were also several man-o-war washed up on shore.¬† I normally see blue ones, but these ones had purplish pink on them also. I had to stifle the urge to play with them (I’m sure the sting would not have been all that painful, especially with the head-space I occupied earlier in the day)… regardless, they were really pretty.

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There was a rather large flock of birds I have never seen before. They kept their faces to the wind even when resting. They had relatively large beaks (long) for birds their size. I also had trouble finding their eyes. They were pretty cool when they took off (sadly that pic is only on the computer)… but here’s a pic of them chilling on the beach all facing the wind.

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and finally, some pictures from the “real” camera (Canon Rebel xTi with kit lens)


Updated “no words” and adding #53 Turmoil

I worked some more on the painting.  I think this is a bit closer to what I want the feel of the painting to be:

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And then I did this several days ago. It’s also a work in progress, but I have not figured out what else I want to do with it. It started as just an eye doodle, and grew from there… (2014 100 Theme Challenge #53: Turmoil).

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sorry…

sorry I have not been around so much. ¬†or reading. ¬†or contributing. I find I do this less when I am more occupied with real life and less with my inner dialogue. ¬†Have (no?) fear, I will be back more often. ¬†I am trying to do more about my art, and to process some stuff with De (well, I hope to), then be able to write a bit about it. ¬†I have to admit, I have been trapped in my head more today for a few reasons; #1 is that monthly emotional roller coaster that comes with being a woman. There’s something that has been on my mind that I would love to get more outside feedback on eventually, but I need to overcome the shame attached to it and be able to talk to De about it more before I do that. ¬†In the mean time, keep an eye out for more art… and hopefully I will be able to pay more attention to everyone else too. ¬†Sorry I havn’t been keeping up with you all… I suck…


finally off the ride

The vertigo has finally subsided. A friend clued me in to the Epley Maneuver, which is simple and effective to help vertigo pack its bags and leave. I have a much greater appreciation for the lack of awareness of the earth’s perpetual motion…

I’ve been doing a ton of art the last few weeks. I hope I’ll get around to finally editing and publishing the post that has much of it (been sitting in draft form for a while now). I’ve been ahead of the week for the last few days, I’m always thinking it’s a day later than it actually is. My mom has had the same problem. I feel like I have a ton to say to De when I see her on Thursday and I think that plays into things. I don’t actually have much to tell her, but there’s an anxious anticipation to meet. When this has happened in the past, there had always been something to tell her. I have no idea what that is this time… Maybe it’s just that I want to show her what I’ve done with art? I don’t know. It’s a little kid excitement. I also feel like I have more money than I actually do. It’s very weird. Everything is off and surrounded by excitement. Am I missing something?
The insomnia is back, but it’s due to this unexplained excitement. Nothing but art had kept my attention lately. Even that is done while watching tv, being online, and playing the games on my phone. I think I need to consciously slow myself down. Time to reinstate the 5 minutes of silence again… Maybe I can get myself up to twice a day,or even 15 minutes in one stretch?


Art dump

This is stuff from the last 2 weeks or so. Most recent is first. I’ve been obsessed with spirals lately. And watercolors.¬† Tonight’s (Monday’s) is the bug-thing, which is a huge departure from my normal style. It started as an eye and grew from there.¬† The frog does not do the reference photo justice…


hit hard

Depression’s hitting today, like a ton of bricks. ¬†I don’t want to do anything, be anywhere… I want to cry my eyes out because everything feels hopeless. ¬†I don’t want to put effort into things. ¬†I want to run away. ¬†Family is coming at the end of the week. ¬†I don’t want to deal with it. ¬†They will only be here for about 24 hours but I am desperately trying to find a way out. ¬†I don’t want to have to feel this way and put on a happy face. ¬†I really wish today was Thursday and I could talk to De. ¬†Maybe she would have something useful or helpful to say… I just don’t want to be anywhere right now. ¬†Maybe I should take some of the dogs for a walk.


I’m not quite sure what to call this, so for the moment, the title is blank.

I left both individual and couple’s therapy wanting to cry, but for different reasons. ¬†De and I covered a lot fo stuff; hard stuff. ¬†I realized after I left that I didn’t want to think too hard about my eating because it’s replacing the self-injury. ¬†When she was talking about coming up with a healthier, more regular eating schedule, the little voice inside me begged her not to “take that away too”… I think the fear of relapse is playing heavy on my mind lately. ¬†It’s almost been too good to be true to finally be free of the constant and debilitating depression. ¬†I don’t want to lose that momentum. ¬†If the weird (though not an eating disorder) food schedule keeps me away from the cutting. ¬†It’s also a function of being frustrated with food choices, and coffee filling me up. ¬†Anyway, I left De’s office wanting to cry my eyes out. ¬†I told her that before I left, and she asked if I wanted to “sit with that for a few minutes”. ¬†I declined saying I was more in the mood to ignore it all when inside I was sarcastically remarking that it would take more than a few minutes to address… Oh, she also mentioned wanting me to do a sleep study to figure out when I sleep best, and maybe how to get me back to a better sleep schedule. ¬†I’m not sure how she expects that to happen, but I guess we can talk about it again later.

20140131_140209I also showed her my progress on the piece I want to give her for the display. ¬†I will be re-doing it a third time beccuase I feel like I messed up too much stuff on this second one also. She said that even the “crappy” versions were really good. ¬†I don’t see what she sees. ¬†I see all the little flaws and places where I meant to do it differently. ¬†My mind blacks out any “good” aspects to it and focuses on all that is wrong. ¬†In this second one I messed up the little girl’s face and arms and hands. ¬†It bothers me too much to hand it in. ¬†She went from looking 7 to 97… I did add an element the first one did not have though: the adult cut her hands on the shards that she was picking up. ¬†De asked how I felt about that, what I thought that adult was feeling. ¬†I said she was scared because she didn’t want ot keep getting hurt. ¬†De pointed out that she’s still continuing to do it despite the fear and being hurt by it. ¬†I guess she’s got a point… Still working on picking up the pieces even though it’s scary and painful.

I left couple’s therapy on Friday a bit pissed, but also quite defeated. ¬†J had called us “lazy”. ¬†I felt like that was a huge slap in the face despite all the progress I feel we have been making. ¬†No, it’s not the progress she wants to see us make, but it’s progress none-the-less. ¬†L and I talked a lot about it on the way home. ¬†I think it’s something we need to address with J; we are on very different pages about what L & I’s goals should be. ¬†J is focused on the financial and work piece, while L and I are focused on the personal growth & growth-as-a-couple pieces… She wants us to come up with goals (didn’t we just do this a few months ago in the form of a treatment plan?) and start making steps towards them by next week. ¬†I think she’s smoking crack. ¬†We did take a large step and lower our cell phone bill by switching carriers (ok, so the new carrier is rated as one of the absolute worst companies by some influential ranking source, but we needed out of our seemingly never-ending contract loop with the old carrier). ¬†We have new phones (really the same as our old ones, but new handsets that work on said new carrier) and 4 lines and we still are saving about $100 a month without any long-term contracts involved. ¬†The only catch is that we have to stay with them for at least 6 months with all 4 lines which is really quite do-able. ¬†So there J, how do you like them apples?!

On another note, I have been messing around more with my art. ¬†I’m really happy I have the time to do this… now, to maybe be happy with something I produce…


Aside: I think I know another component to why I can’t seem to listen anymore

Reading through my “reader” (or trying to), I was struck with the thought “I can’t read all this. There’s just too much going on inside my head to allow any of this to sink in!” ¬†So I backed out of the reader. ¬†I want to read other people’s blogs when I can devote enough brain-power to absorb what they are saying… I don’t like skimming just to pick out the main points (what I see as the main points). ¬†I like to know that I can actually devote attention to soaking up all that is contained in the words (and between them).

My head is full and empty at the same time. ¬†I know I have thoughts and ideas bouncing around in there, but they are going at a break-neck speed (or way too slow) and I cannot grasp them. ¬†The more I try to focus on any one thing, the faster it escapes me. ¬†We are going on a mini-vacation in a few days. ¬†My head is working out the details because I want to make sure to show L all my favorite stops there. I know I need to re-do my drawing from the other day. ¬†I have to shower and get ready for the day (I still smell like wood-smoke from the fire pit last night). ¬†I want to listen to music and nap and… yeah. ¬†too much, but at the same time too slow to actually do anything. ¬†Part of me wants to talk to De more but I’m not sure why or about what. ¬†I think it’s just that I had gotten into a groove of seeing her on Fridays. ¬†I saw her yesterday though.

Anyway, my head is too full of things that spill over to really allow me to pay attention to any one thing at the moment. ¬†I can manage to be still in De’s office. ¬†I think I need to pull that out into the real world again. ¬†I need to be able to be still within myself. ¬†Don;t get me wrong, I’m not racing, but more of just overwhelmed with too much input (what’s the correct term for information coming from within? input doesn;t sound correct in this sense).


Listening is a lost art

Globally, we have forgotten how to listen. On a smaller scale, my family has forgotten how to listen (did we ever even know?). Tonight was another night spent around the fire pit (with significantly less alcohol however). I watched and tried to listen as everyone attempted to out-compete everyone else (I admit I joined in a few times, desperately trying to find one thing I could be heard on). People were poised at the edge of their seats plotting the half millisecond of pause needed to throw out their next nugget before someone else snagged the spotlight. It went on for a few hours.  The more desperate the attempts to be heard, the louder the decibels. I know where I get my annoying habit of cutting people off.  It’s a culture here (globally and on a more micro scale). We are so bombarded with information and attempts at swaying our opinions (and wallets) that we lose the ability to listen, really listen, to what the other has to say.  We want to be heard (or at last be able to voice our thoughts and opinions) so we spend all our time thinking about what we will say next.  We comprehend only enough of the other’s message to speak a response.  We miss the totality of what they are saying. It’s more pronounced when there’s competition to have the “meatiest” nugget to which everyone clutches.  I know I participate in this more often since moving back in with my family.  My wife reminds me regularly how I keep cutting her off and not letting her finish her thought/story/anecdote. It’s not a bad thing though.  I want to be called out when I do it.  I hate when others do it to me, so I want to be made aware of when I do it to others. I want to remember how to listen. I want to remember how to participate fully in being there for another to hear them. I know I have a lot of issues around being heard. I think that is some of what drives this blog (and what makes therapy so rewarding and vital); I want my story heard.  I want my experience and my burden shared.  While De often says the healing does not come from the details and the telling, I’d like to counter that a huge amount of healing is tied in to being heard, especially if you spent your life being silenced (as most abuse survivors have). The experience of being heard is hugely powerful and affirming.  It reminds us that we are not, in fact, inconsequential. It tells us we are not alone…
Some of the worst days for me are ones in which I feel alone in my pain. I may be surrounded by bodies, but I carry what I do in solitude.  Part of that is learning/conditioning (“you can’t trust anyone else”, “people will always let you down”…) so I make every attempt to hide what’s happening.  But part of it is also the fact that people just don’t care to listen. Why bother wasting the little energy I have in trying to speak when it will only fall on deaf ears, ears that are too busy working-up a retort to really let sink-in the meaning of what I’m saying…
I need to learn how to listen. I used to know how to do that once, but I have since forgotten. Never underestimate the power of truly listening to another person. Stories need to be heard as much as they need to be told.


The appropriateness of tears

I was journaling to De, and the topic of crying snuck its way in. ¬†I don’t remember if I have talked about it here yet. ¬†It’s not an easy thing for me (crying). ¬†There has to be a really damn good reason to cry “legit” tears (not the ones that seem to spill uncontrollably from my eyes at random commercials or sappy stories, but tears that are backed by deeper emotion, tears that actually mean something or are connected to something). ¬†It’s never appropriate in front of another human being.

Crying was not accepted growing up. ¬†It was never soothed, only discouraged (and in some cases punished). ¬†The only exception to this was when K died; then it was ok to legitimately cry (though only up until the funeral and burial in my recollection). ¬†It wasn’t ok to cry for T though, “because he wasn’t real family” (G hated T and refused to consider him a relative because he “wasn’t blood”… I think love makes a family, not genetic material. ¬†I will never consider Bitch family though she is my father’s biological sister). ¬†T married K. ¬†He was kind to her (mostly), and to us. ¬†He will always be family to me and I have a right to cry when I miss him… But I digress. G never allowed crying. ¬†Mom looks down on it also, though she was more consoling about it than G ever was. ¬†Regardless, crying was like a sick day: hell froze over before it was allowed (or the school kicked us out because we were contagious).

Despite new learning and a cognitive understanding of the benefits of crying, I still have a lot of trouble allowing myself to cry in front of anyone else. That rarely happens. ¬†It has taken me over a decade to learn to talk myself into crying when I need it, not just when it falls under the “ok” column set by my early experiences. ¬†I have to have a drawn-out conversation with myself to convince that gate-keeper to let the tears fall. ¬†Sometimes I can’t convince her to let go, but a few times every few years, I can actually manage to cry as an emotional release. ¬†Most of the time, blood had taken the place of tears… I haven’t cut in months, but I haven’t cried either (except maybe twice in the ER or the hospital). ¬†Tears tumble forth at stupid sappy stories, or emotional moments in movies, but there’s nothing really behind them. ¬†It’s not a full-fledged cry, but just leaking eyes. ¬†I wish I could bring myself to release through crying more often. ¬†I think it might do me some good, but the keys needed to open that gate are stashed away somewhere “safe” from my prying.

One of the few things I remember from my childhood is a recurring nightmare. ¬†I would be crying, and Skeletor would yell at me to stop. ¬†He would tell me that if I didn’t stop right then, he would kill me. ¬†He would grab me and physically threaten until the dream me stopped crying… I think the dream me, conditioned by Skeletor, is the gate-keeper to allowing the adult me to cry. ¬†She’s terrified though, and repeats Skeletor’s words over and over again even when I try to tell her it’s ok to cry.

The other fear of crying comes from the fear of being overwhelmed by it. ¬†If I start to cry, will I ever be able to stop? ¬†I’m reminded of one day in 2007 when I cried hysterically for about 8 hours straight. ¬†I would stop only long enough to catch my breath for a few seconds, then the choking sobs would start again. ¬†I remember calling 211 because I hoped talking to someone would help me stop. ¬†They sent out an ambulance without telling me and I was hospitalized (I cried hysterically the whole time until they drugged me up enough to put me to sleep for a few hours before they admitted me upstairs)… Kinda shitty experience. ¬†Similar in “turn-off” factor as the Skeletor dream.

Anyway, I’m not really sure what the purpose of this post is… We all learn different things growing up (many of us learn really warped stuff), and it tends to affect us into adulthood even when we try our best to shake the lessons. ¬†I look forward to the day that I can cry “as needed” without having to go through a 30 minute back-and-forth with the old tapes.


your daily moment of zen

Well, after looking forward really badly to seeing De today, my defenses were up and we talked about a whole lot of nothing. ¬†I told her how I had basically just shut down after my disclosure to her back before the holidays. ¬†She tried to get me thinking, but my brain was like a little kid not wanting to leave the beach – he dug his heels in and refused to budge. ¬†Pictures of planning for my “new to me” fish tank came flying through my brain. ¬†I told her, so we talked more about the fear of re-hashing things. ¬†She emphasized again that the worst is behind me. ¬†Still, all I could picture between visions of planting ideas for the tank was this scrawny little boy with huge dark circles under his eyes, digging his heels into the wet sand, and screaming in protest. ¬†(I think that will end up being an art project). ¬†Every time I saw him, fear coursed through me and “his” thinking of not wanting to go back to that abuse flashed through my head. ¬†I told her about the idea of a kid digging their heels in and not wanting to go (in my head, I was pulling his arm and shoving him forward). ¬†De reminded me to try walking him gently along the sand, staying on the wetter sand so our feet don’t burn. ¬†I still wanted to shove him forward, and no amount of rationalizing that it would probably make him feel safer if I was more gentle worked to change the picture in my brain. ¬†Maybe next week I’ll have worked up to coaxing him along instead of forcing him. ¬†De seems to be ok just doing the “process” piece of things (talking about the feelings and the concept of talking or thinking about things). ¬†She said we can work towards more content down the line. ¬†This week, she wants me to try to talk to L about the fears and what talking about all this stuff to De would be like. ¬†She doesn’t want me to worry about the details of things, but the emotions behind it (sometimes that can be scarier but I guess she is hoping L is a safe-enough person for me to start opening up to). ¬†She also wants me to work up to maybe telling her (or expressing in some way) the stuff I had on my list to talk about but that I tabled for the time being. ¬†She thinks it may be a good place to start. ¬†I’m not sure how well I will be able to talk about it, it’s not something I really like to bring up because it tends to be a taboo topic in most cultures. ¬†I guess I will give it a try throughout the week and see what comes of it.

20140109_170149_zpsypjw6zmeAnyway, after leaving De, I dragged L out to the pet store to get some plants for the above-mentioned tank. ¬†I found 2 that I liked and was able to purchase. ¬†I’m still looking for moss with which to cover the back wall, but these will do for now. ¬†I’m not sure what the bottle-brush looking thing is, but I know the one with the broader leaves is a java fern. ¬†I also have a waterlily bulb in there, and a red mangrove seed. ¬†The waterlily bulb is from the canal out back, and the red mangrove seed is from the beach. ¬†I split the bunch of the mystery plant into individual stalks, and I separated the 2 java ferns. ¬†I hope they take root well and grow in nicely. ¬†I’m hoping to get some christmas tree moss for the driftwood, and some other type of blanketing moss for the back wall. ¬†I’m also thinking of making a “river” out of the blue gravel from Mighty Mouse’s (the betta)¬†old tank. ¬†I’m just not sure how well it will stay in place when I vacuum. (since originally writing this, I was reminded that java fern needs to have the rhizome in the light, so one is now tied to the front branch of the driftwood, and one is tied to a lava rock).

There’s a single betta and 10 ghost shrimp (oh, and the tiny snail that hitched a ride on the bottle-brush looking plant)


ugh! forgot to put an f-ing title

I don’t know… I’m cranky. ¬†I got cranky all of a sudden, and for no reason.

Yesterday, I wanted to cry, but had no idea why. ¬†Today I am cranky on top of wanting to cry over the stupidest things. Again, no insight as to why. ¬†I could guess at a whole host of reasons, but I won’t. ¬† I just feel like drinking. ¬†Only problem is, if I drink, I have to drink one fo the big beers we bought to review for the blog. ¬†That means that I then have to write out a thoughtful synopsis of my opinion. ¬†I have no desire to do that right now (damn my “d” key keeps not registering that I strike it as I write. GRRR!).

I don’t know. ¬†I have all this stuff built up inside, and I managed to ignore it for a few short weeks. ¬†Now I see De again tomorrow and it’s all tumbling back at me. ¬†I have financial obligations I just cannot meet (my account is already in the negatives 4 days after I got paid… and the next pay check is not until Feb… ¬†I am trying to sell off some unused reptile tanks in hopes of gaining some money for our trip at the end of this month, but everyone seems to change their mind at the last-minute. ¬†So now I went through all that work of emptying the tanks only to have them consume valuable garage space (at least in the reptile room, they had their space and it wasn’t so awkward). ¬†The body memories are coming back for no discernible reason. ¬†They make me want to demolish myself to get rid of them. ¬†It’s all just way too uncomfortable. ¬†L made dinner tonight, but there was no meat-less sauce left, and I just wanted to cry. ¬†Then I got all excited about a dessert my mom made only to find out she made it differently than she normally does. ¬†I wanted to cry even more. ¬†WTF?! ¬†I’m not supposed to be so moody right now.

This just all sucks. ¬†I have no access to that happier state right now where I can rationalize everything and make myself feel better… maybe I should try some art.


Friday Night on Repeat

I was organizing our art stuff and started playing the music on my phone in shuffle. ¬†I hit Miranda Lambert’s “Over You” and it has gotten stuck on infinite repeat. ¬†There are just some songs that are worth the incessant playing. ¬†I’m not 100% sure what I like about it. ¬†I think it’s a combination of the lyrics and the way she sings parts of it. There’s a desperation and… “something” in her voice at times that just triggers something in my brain. ¬†It latches on and holds it.

The last few days have been ok. ¬†I don’t think I wrote much recently, but that may be because a lot of effort is being exerted on visual expression. ¬†I wish I was better at it, but I need to practice again to get back to my drawing level from several years ago. ¬†It’s definitely something you lose if you don’t use… I’m also playing a lot with mediums I’ve never worked with (or did so only a very few times). ¬†I really want to work more with water colors. ¬†They have a feel to them that other paints can’t quite achieve. ¬†I just seriously need more practice. ¬†I would like to take a class, but we don’t really have the extra cash. ¬†I could try learning on my own through videos, but there’s something about being able to ask questions that makes it work better for me. One day…

In the mean time, I will be fooling around with other random stuff. ¬†There’s a lot I want to be able to put on paper, but I’m not quite sure how. ¬†I guess it will take a lot of trial and error.

Random “weird” thought of the moment: I was getting gas and checking a stack of lottery tickets from the last few weeks. ¬†The guy asked if I had felt lucky. ¬†I responded with “No, life hates me…” ¬†The woman at the next register said that I was still alive and breathing, so life must not hate me that much. ¬†My automatic response was “Exactly! Life hates me.” ¬†I didn’t realize what I had said until I saw the look on his face (combination of pity and disgust I think). ¬†It wasn’t even like I have been depressed all that much lately. ¬†I think all those years of living in the dark makes dark things a habit. ¬†I’m not suicidal right now. ¬†I have no desire to die right now. ¬†I might even go so far as to say I have been “happy” lately (ok, maybe that’s more of just “disconnected and slightly hypo-manic” but since I don’t really have bipolar, I will just call it happy and disconnected). ¬†The words just tumbled out of my mouth without me realizing. ¬†I said them laughingly and with a smile on my face that had been there when I walked into the store… It’s weird how “habits” can carry through even the good times.


I love the way this guy writes…

I may be a bit biased (and would love to have him as my individual T), but I really like the way he explains things… Check out Becoming Superman and Dr. Doyle’s latest blog entry on flashbacks.

These things can be scary. In addition to the fact that they seem to come out of nowhere, sometimes with very little rhyme or reason, they also seem to take advantage of every sense modality in our brains in order to recreate those old experiences as vividly as possible. It’s not just that you’re “thinking about” or “remembering” something from the past; it’s like you’ve been thrown into a 3D IMAX theater with THX surround sound, and they’re pumping in the proper scents and odors through the ventilation system, and they’ve also hijacked every nerve in your body so you actually feel the experience in your muscles and on your skin. Oh, and you feel like you’re fucking strapped into your seat. There’s that.
It’s not always exactly like that, of course. Just like any symptom, there’s a spectrum of intensity to flashbacks. But flashbacks have an added dimension that make them extra special and fun: there are times we may not even know we’re experiencing a flashback until, you know, we’re curled up in a little ball, either emotionally or physically. A flashback is often not like a sneeze, where it immediately, obviously interrupts what you’re doing. It can creep up on you, begin in your gut, or in your visual cortex, or in your limbic system. By the time we realize we’re disconnected from the present (a symptom we psychology types call “dissociation,” because we’ve temporarily lost our clear connection or association to the people, things, and context around us), we’re sometimes so far down the rabbit hole that we don’t immediately remember how to think our way out.
And good luck explaining all of the above to someone who’s never had flashbacks, of course. “It’s just a memory! It’s in the past! Why are you so upset about it?” Yeah. Kiss my ass.
He thinks a lot like I do, but explains so much better than I ever could!

I admitted something I never expected…

… and it’s not what you may think: I told my wife that I had actually seriously considered giving up our little dog on more than one occasion. ¬†The people who know me in real life would know how incredibly out of character this admission is, but the rest of you may not quite get the full impact. ¬†My animals are my children, and my dogs are held highest of all of them. ¬†My little dog (we shall call him “Fred” to protect his real identity) is joined at the hip to my lab. ¬†He would not know how to survive without her (he is a totally different dog when he is separated from her, shaking and moping even when it’s just for a few hours). ¬†When he’s near her though, he is a little punk. ¬†He has been known to kill cats, and will try for the kill any chance he gets. ¬†We had managed to get that under a measure of control a while ago, but he’s back to his antics again (totally our fault). ¬†Recently, out large male cat has decided to move in with a couple at the other end of the neighborhood. ¬†We think this is because a few weeks ago, Fred managed to slip between my legs and chase the cat, most likely cornering him and hurting him in some way. ¬†After that incident, the cat refused to return to the house. ¬†Today, we had to go pick him up after the couple trapped him in their garage. ¬†I feel bad for him (and our other cats). ¬†They are social. ¬†They miss spending time with us. ¬†They miss the cuddles, and so do I. ¬†I really love Fred, but he’s such a pain in the butt. ¬†I won’t actually move to give him up (I would also be forced to give up the lab who happens to be my favorite dog), but I just need to remind myself that consistency matters a lot, especially with Fred. ¬†There are some dogs you can be more lax with, but then there are the ones that will become a menace if allowed to take any hint of leadership. ¬†Sadly, we give Fred a lot of room to walk all over us. ¬†I need to remember what my trainer friend told me and keep him on a short leash (figuratively).

Knowing that I admitted out loud that I have considered re-homing Fred has messed with my head a bit. ¬†Like I said, my dogs are my kids. ¬†To seriously think of giving one up has only ever been admitted when I was suicidal. ¬†I have moved more times than I can count to be able to keep my pets. ¬†I have bent over backwards and given up a lot to have them in my life. ¬†To know I actually thought of re-homing that little punk because he upsets the rest of the family dynamic has my head spinning…There’s a voice in my head screaming at me; telling me I’m worthless and useless and I just don’t care. ¬†There’s judgement beyond belief for even having the thoughts. ¬†There’s fear and resentment, and there’s anger. ¬†The anger comes not only from what other people think of all the animals, but also from my changing attitudes. ¬†They still fill a void, but I’m finding that they also create a whole lot of drama. ¬†My depression makes it hard to motivate to do anything beyond the basics for them. ¬†They are going stir-crazy, and we are all slacking on the training (especially for the puppy). ¬†I find myself becoming angry at them for misbehaving when it’s all my fault for not being consistent and giving them what they need. ¬†I’m turning more and more into my father, and I hate myself for it…

I look around myself and see all this material crap that I really don’t want anymore. ¬†It feels like all of this is weighing me/us down. ¬†I wish I didn’t waste money on a lot of this crap. ¬†I wish I didn’t have piles and piles of “junk” lying around… I wish I had motivation to take care of things. ¬†And I wish I knew how to remember to save money. ¬†The animals need more flea stuff, and they need to get out of the house. ¬†If I had the money, I would have gotten the puppy training also. ¬†There are a bunch of behaviors I just don’t know how to tackle anymore, nor do I have the energy to try. ¬†The same with Fred. ¬†And I hate myself a lot. ¬†I know I made this commitment to them, but I’m not following through… ¬†I know the steps to take for some of it, but the energy and motivation disappear quickly. ¬†The more I fall into the cycle of wanting to do things but failing, then being hard on myself for it, the more I just feel like crap about everything. I start spiraling down a litany of things that I see wrong with myself: my weight, my social life, my motivation, my lack of working, my self-worth, my worth to others… De is right that I get trapped in my thinking and it just makes everything worse. ¬†But then there’s that tiny voice in my head that whispers possible solutions… Maybe it’s time to start with baby steps to fix things…