Tag Archives: talking

Weird dreams

I woke again this morning from a weird dream. It wasn’t bad, just weird. It’s leaving me feeling “off”…

In the dream, I was at the doctors getting checked out for something. There was my doctor, another student, and their supervisor. They were taking candidly about what their thoughts were. Both the students said they didn’t see anything wrong, but the supervisor commented for them to check again, because “if [he] gave [them their] reviews right there, [I] would be crying…

totally not sure what the dream means, though it’s likely nothing. I know I’m waiting on my doctor to say something about a consult she sought for my recent back/side pain, but everyone seems on the same page about it so far: it’s merely muscle pain which will eventually go away (assuming I’m able to either consciously relax the muscle, or have enough days where I can take a muscle relaxer).

Anyway, the dream has me feeling weird. It did give me an idea for grounding though: engage my academic side if I start to check out… easy enough to ask my doctor next time.

The apartment is still a wreck. I started working again, and is draining all my energy. I want to just come home and be able to relax. Instead, I come home feeling guilty for not engaging more with the dogs, and for not cleaning or organizing the place. There was supposed to be time to do it today, but we agreed earlier in the week to go to the lake with family. That means the whole day is again useless… I might just send L and stay home myself to organize and do laundry. I want to see the family, but I’m also very burnt out on the apartment remaining a mess. We have been here 2 weeks and is still mostly boxes everywhere. I want it settled. I want space to be able to come home and feel relaxed (well, at least about my environment)…

Speaking of wanting to relax, I’m quite anxious about setting Dr C again. She is back from vacation. I get to ask her if my feeling about our interaction 2 weeks ago are correct, and I can ask her more about what she meant when she called my inner kid a personality… and maybe I’ll be brave enough to give her some of the stuff I wrote out for TM. I know I don’t have to tackle that right now, but the internal push is still really huge.

Anyway, hoping today shapes up as more productive than I anticipate. Either that, or maybe we can take the dogs with and I don’t have to feel so guilty leaving them alone again all day. I’ll ask L once she wakes up.

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who is easier to talk to?

This whole new therapist thing has me wondering: who is easier to talk to? I know face-to-face is really difficult for me. Strangers are difficult. Family & friends are pretty much impossible to talk to. I worry a lot about judgements. I worry about people’s opinion of me, so the things I bring to therapy are really difficult to talk about with anyone. But I have figured out that speaking with professionals who specialize in certain things are easier to talk to about their specialty… like with De, I was able to tell her things because I knew she was a sexual assault counselor. I knew she would have likely heard most anything I was going to tell her from another client or from other clients in the agency via clinical meetings. I had a reasonable assumption that she would not judge me for anything I opened up about. I have a similar assumption about T, even though she has only been with the agency since De left the agency (4 months? 5?). But she’s been there, and she’s heard some stuff in her experience at the agency…

Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion that I find it easier to speak to a specialist about the subjects they specialize in. Second to that, it’s easier to speak to a stranger, and only after those is it then easier to speak to a therapist I trust… It’s never easy to speak with family and friends about anything vulnerable. They see me more often and know more details. They can use anything and everything they know against me… and they can judge me without the professional courtesy of not telling me… At least people I see in a professional capacity would only judge me behind my back, and I will not know (hopefully… though as my med records from precious treatment show, that’s not always the case)…

So, who do you find it easier to talk to about all this crap?  Why?


Interesting session yesterday

After last week’s termination conversation, my anxiety was through the roof about yesterday’s session. I don’t do well with the loss of significant people, and TL has become a significant person in my life. She kinda brought it into perspective a bit yesterday though (and it made me feel a bit better about it). She asked why I wouldn’t expect to miss someone I’ve seen weekly for 4 months, and been relatively emotionally intimate with… I don’t think I explained the magnitude of the emotions I feel around this loss, but I guess I feel a bit better about the thought of missing her.
She still didn’t give me a definite time frame for the ending, but she explained the process a bit better. She said she wants me to have more control over the situation, and that she’s not on any specific restriction on ending at the agency, so I really do have more control over it than I would if she were simply ending her hours. I guess she’s slowly transitioning to another job that offers more hours from one agency (instead of her current multiple jobs), but it’s not forcing her to leave completely. It sounds like she will be offering a few of her clients more flexibility around ending.

We also talked about how I was taking things. I was able to admit that I threw up huge walls, and that I wasn’t sure what the point was in trying to tackle other stuff in therapy if I had to end soon anyway. I know part of my trouble with endings lately comes from the association I have with talking about some of the stuff from the past, and never getting beyond a certain point in dealing with it. I think the walls I put up helped me be able to admit so much to TL yesterday. Had I not had so many defenses up, I think I would have gotten lost in the overwhelming emotion around the topics we covered… it’s interesting how sometimes shutting off the emotions is actually more freeing than letting them out (at least it can be if you don’t know how to keep them in check)…

I did forget to point out to her that I don’t think she got my messages though. I had left her one specifically asking her to shred the journal entries I had given her to read last week. She clearly didn’t get it (or chose to ignore it) because she brought them out to go over later in the session. I don’t really mind because part of me had hoped she’d ignore my request. It really is all stuff I need to talk about, I’m just hesitant to talk about it with someone that’s not going to be able to follow up on it again later… Anyway, we kinda addressed it, but I was also really adept at getting her off onto a related tangent so I didn’t need to confirm exactly what we were talking about (I had left it vague in the journals, though I think she may have pieced things together)… we ended up talking shop for a good portion of the session (I swear, it really did connect to the journal stuff. We were trying to figure out what prompted the change in self-harm association and we were trying to narrow it down in time. It happened to change right around the time I went back for my masters, so we talked about that a bit)… Anyway, I didn’t end up having to tell her too much about the shameful parts of the journal… there was also a point when we were talking about something unrelated to much else, but I was hit with a very intense body memory. I couldn’t talk about it though beyond acknowledging that I was very uncomfortable.  I kinda feel bad because I think I startled her. We were talking and suddenly I jumped in my chair because it felt like someone was caressing my side. When she asked what happened, it felt really wrong to talk about it, so I didn’t say anything. I also really just wanted the feeling to stop…  we moved on to other things. I did call her and leave a message on my way home though. I hoped that saying out loud what happened and why I couldn’t talk about it in the moment would lessen the impact of it for the rest of the week. We’ll see if it actually helps (so far the feeling has only come back a few times in the last 18 hours)…

I’m again torn between really wanting to address this stuff in therapy, and wondering what the point of it all is if I’ll only get to talk about it once before moving on to a new therapist. I really wish I had the money to switch agencies (TL mentioned the name of the agency she is moving to, and I might be able to follow her if only I could afford the rates they charge – 10 times what I pay monthly now). I wish I could afford a therapist that I could stick with until I move :/ maybe I’ll ask TL if I could follow her to the new agency, and then figure out how to pay for it all. She totally deserves to get paid for her work, and I really don’t want to switch clinicians again…


fog

yesterday’s appointment with TL was much better than the first.  There was a ton of anxiety leading up to it, but I sat it through and met with her (albeit about 30 minutes late because there was a miscommunication amongst office staff).  I was able to give her the stuff I had meant to read her that first time around, and then we talked about some more history (specifically, the brief, cliff-notes version of the stories behind the flashbacks).  She was able to make me feel a bit more comfortable in sitting with her.  I can see her being a bit intense at times, but hopefully we will fall into a balance there.  She was quick to tell me that we didn’t have to talk about what it was that was bothering me, but I found my voice enough to ask for a few more minutes to build up to talking. She seemed to take it in stride.

The hour went by too quickly again, but I let her keep the list.  I hope it helps some. We also switched up the schedule some.  I was going to ask if she had anything earlier in the day (because waiting all day builds too much anxiety), and she was hoping for something earlier also, and on a different day.  We settled on middle-of-the-day Thursday, though that will mean a week and a half between session at a time I should be asking for shorter times between session… Oh well.

I left there emotionally raw and super tired.  I came home with enough energy to fix the bed (had started washing the sheets earlier in the day) and collapse into it.  I took something to help me calm down and sleep, and I am still feeling the effects at 1:30 the next afternoon… I guess this is ok for now.  I guess being drugged-up and only partially feeling the flashbacks is better than the alternative of full-on flashbacks all day… I really need things to change though.  I really need something helpful to get me through all this because it’s exhausting in so many ways…


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

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

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

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


dusty tracks in front of rusted bars

I feel like a caged leopard who has given up on trying to escape and just wishes she could hide back up in the trees where it’s dark and safe.

Or not.  That’s too dramatic.  What I am feeling is much less dramatic than that.  There’s no desperation or urgency. It’s flat. It’s resigned. It has no energy behind it.

I have no motivation. I have no energy.  I had a bit this morning, but it has since left me.  I’m torn between the urge to hide away and to seek out someone to sit with. I want to sit at the beach and watch the water, but that would require changing, then driving there, then walking to the water…  I want it to be dark outside.  I thought of calling someone, but I’m not really in the mood to talk, just sit.  I’m searching for that proximity.

I think writing to De between sessions diminishes what we accomplish in session, so I’m trying out not writing this week.  I had written something that night after our most recent appointment, but nothing since.  I’m not sure I even want to cover that stuff this week.  I think I will take in my art, and we can distract with that on Friday… It’s so far away.  I feel so trapped in the house.  It’s those imaginary bars my head has placed on the windows and doors.  They always show up eventually.  They are heavy and dark and strong, and they take away my desire to do anything (or maybe my lack of desire puts them there?).

I’m trying not to drift into depression again.  I’m trying to have a schedule and social activities planned, but everything takes time and energy and money.  I have the time, but not the money or the energy.  Nothing is free here. Nothing is close. As much as I am not feeling social at the moment, I’m also not into being alone.


spent

I know De and I met today, and we talked about a lot of stuff, but I’ve already lost the specifics.  I had gone in feeling spent, and the session just intensified the feeling.  I remember playing with playdoh and what I made, but I don’t really remember the content.  I know when we talked about remembering things, I made an elephant without realizing it.  When we switched the topic to moods, I ended up with a creature face that matched the mood we happened to be talking about at the moment… I noticed all these things because I was not really making them on purpose, just ended up with them as we were talking.  I made sure to take mental note of the connections, but I am not totally sure she noticed them.

I returned home spent and tired.  I took a 2 hour nap, then had a heavy conversation with mom.  I remain spent all day.  I just feel drained and out of “fight”.  There’s only so long I can go defending myself and standing up for myself before I lose steam.  Today took everything out of me.  I don’t even want these stupid beers I opened and inherited (L did not like hers, so now I have 2)…