Tag Archives: too much

Exhausted

A lot of factors are playing into my mood, mostly the effects of insomnia and a packed schedule…

I’m starting to notice that any time I don’t wholeheartedly agree with Dr C, I feel like I need to apologize profusely and agree to think about what she’s saying in an effort to agree with her. I’m starting to become aware that this is a pattern in the entirety of my life. I worry that the person will be mad at me and I will get in trouble (especially if the person is perceived to have any power over me). With Dr C, I’m hearing echos of not only my dad, but also all the previous providers that have admonished me for not simply acquiescing to whatever suggestions they make. It’s not that Dr C has ever acted like that, but all the past experiences push in on me and I panic that I will get in trouble…

I’m also still really struggling with the effects of last Monday’s therapy session. This Monday, she went over some of it with me. I still couldn’t really connect to the experience. I feel like I wasn’t that present at all this past session. I can’t really remember much of it other than the medication conversation we had (where I disagreed  with her suggestion to try them again). I feel like I should go against my gut and try them again. Maybe this time there would be something that would work? Or maybe this time the impulses would finally become too overwhelming and I’d succeed in the self destruction. I’m not suicidal, but part of me is really tired of the constant struggle. If something happens, then something happens…

Depression is a bitch. It permeates every aspect of my life all the time. A lot of times it’s more quiet about it, but a lot of times it’s also overwhelming. Ideally, I would like to leave it behind and be able to enjoy my life without that constant shadow. The trauma work Dr C and I are doing is helping (so much of the depression is driven by the past). I’m just not sure it’s possible to leave it behind forever. I know people say the depression doesn’t stay horrible forever. I get that it moves in waves, but I wonder how many people can comprehend how utterly unbearable it is when it hits. It’s not simply a lull in life, it’s a loss of all hope and all ability to see any glimmer of true joy. I can smile. I can see happiness in tiny moments. It just hurts so much when it hits. It’s like living with horrific burns all over and knowing you have to live in excruciating pain indefinitely… it sucks, and that’s an immense understatement…

On the plus side, I don’t have much time to myself this week. Dr C suggested I not spend time alone. By coincidence, I work 4 days at the kennel, and we have plans all weekend. I’m also helping my niece with some work over the weekend. The most I’ll be alone all week is Friday when I get a day off from everything… I’m exhausted, but having expectations prevents the self-destruct urges from getting too overwhelming.

Dr C had suggested the triggering and overwhelm are because we are moving too fast in therapy. I’m not really sure how to slow down. The memories and flashbacks come whether or not we cover them in therapy. At least it’s safer to be triggered there than it is randomly at home or at work. At least in session we can talk about what’s coming up. Between sessions, it’s so much more overwhelming…

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don’t know how to allow myself to feel

I was talking to L today for our usual daily chat (coz what else are you going to do when you’ve been 1500 miles apart for the past year and some weeks?), and I managed to get out (without my voice catching, and without having to go silent) that I was trying to come to terms with having to find one of the cats a new home… The words came, then the emotion hit, and that was all I could say about it without tears welling up in my eyes… even just writing it here they are threatening to burst forth, but I’m frantically blinking them away.

We also mentioned that Monday will be my last session with TM. More tears sprung to my eyes, but behaved themselves…

I don’t know how to allow myself to feel this. It’s too heavy and too scary. I still can’t think of leaving mom here by herself without the tears escaping from the confines of my eyes… So I stop the thoughts or the conversations. I switch the topic quickly and efficiently. And I still don’t release any of it. It’s safer to feel bad about losing TM because the level of emotional investment in her is not as great as it is with everything and everyone else. I care about her, she’s safe, I will miss her a lot, but it’s nowhere near the level of overwhelming hurt that comes with everything else.

It all feels like K & T dying again. It’s that huge. It hurts that much (only maybe more, because it’s them being gone, and worry over mom and the dog and cats and house and future and everything…). The safety net that was supposed to always be there is again going away. I feel like that poor bee I tried to rescue from drowning in the ocean several weeks ago. It was so windy & choppy, every time I fished him out, the wind caught him and threw him back into the water. Eventually the waves carried him away and I am assuming he perished… I feel like that little bee after I had fished him out a second time, and before the wind whipped him away again. There’s a sense of relief in knowing I’m getting out of the waves, but I also know it’s pretty windy. I’m holding my breath for the last time I get knocked in and the waves finally take me away from all hope of getting out of the water. I’m afraid it’s going to happen like that. I’m afraid something will finally knock me so far that all the means of finding safety are too far to get to.

I don’t know how to be ok feeling this emotion. Maybe if I felt support around it; maybe if there was a cushion of safety in attempting to deal with the emotion, I might be ok trying it in bits… but there’s no cushion. I will have 2 weeks after my last session with TM to keep it together and keep moving. There won’t be that neutral party to bring me back to a level-head. So I have to maintain it for myself. The only way I know how to do it and still function is to stuff it all away.

So I stuff. I fight the tears and the sadness and the fear. I fight the panic… I’m not sure how well I will manage that on the last drive out of the driveway, but at least I won’t be the one behind the wheel.

This sucks.


5 am, we meet again.

It’s 5 am. I’ve been awake since 3:30 after having fallen asleep around midnight… this has been a trend for about 3 weeks now, interrupted only by me remembering to take benadryl a few nights here and there (when I don’t have to function at all the following day). This insomnia is certainly not helping my depression or functioning.

If we weren’t in the process of referring out and termination, I probably would have reached out to TM about the increasing lack of sleep. Now? I dunno. I can’t get over feeling like there’s a boundary there I need to keep to. We are ending. Reaching out for anything other than scheduling feels like a big “no-no”…

I keep coming back to frustrations around a lack of support. I’m guessing the IOP will not work out due to finances. I don’t want to ask TM to extend our sessions until I leave merely for support. She’s got limited availability as is, I don’t want to keep wasting her time… that leaves me with trying to muddle through on my own.

I’ve thought about reaching out to friends and family for support, but I feel like a huge bother. There were a few times I wanted to talk about stuff with L, but she’s got so much on her end, it’s not fair to bug her with it (and I’m not totally sure how to talk about it). I had tried to process Wednesday’s appointment with TM, but she quickly switched back to talking about whatever was going on for her that day. I didn’t attempt to revisit. I know, my fault. I should be more assertive in wanting to talk, but I feel so defeated and overwhelmed, I’m not going to beg anyone to sit through my struggle to articulate things; not TM, not L, not anyone. It’s just all pointless.

Part of me wants to call insurance today to see what can be done in terms of accessing additional support, but I really don’t like asking for favors. I don’t want the hospital program to do anything out of the norm for me. I don’t want to bother TM with anything. I don’t want to ask for more. I’ve taken plenty already, I should be good with all this… only I’m not. I’m coping on the outside and crumbling on the inside. My internal resources are running dry again. Bed is looking more and more inviting 24/7/365… there’s other things that are yet more inviting, but they are not an option despite being on my mind all the time…

I just have to get through this move, then I can worry about what to do up there again. I gotta get through this move…


Depression sucks donkey balls… or Hot sauce hot enough to take out an army

Seriously. The air is so oppressive sometimes… I wish it would smoother me. I wish something would alleviate the heaviness. I wanted to cry both on the way to journal class and on the way home. Tears escaped my eyes both times.

The only thing that helped once home was a poor hot sauce decision… it wasn’t totally intended that way, though I admit I put more of this really hot sauce on my dinner in hopes of self harming without causing visible damage. It certainly accomplished that. I’ve never had such an intense and painful reaction to hot sauce. I can normally handle really spicy stuff, but apparently this pushed my body to the limit. I had eaten a ghost pepper once on a dare and it barely tingled my tongue. This ghost pepper hot sauce though… I can’t even describe the pain. It was hot enough on my mouth, but that was relatively easily remedied with several spoonfuls of sour cream. A few minutes later though, my stomach felt like it was being dissolved from the inside. I actually got sick from it. I was doubled over on the bathroom floor for several minutes. I could barely crawl to the bedroom for the tums. I took one, but it made no difference. 2 more, still no relief… I think I took 5 total before I finally threw up. :/ I curled back onto the floor willing my stomach to stop the pain. When I could finally stand again, I crawled to the couch and curled up. If I tried to straighten out, the burning and pain intensified. A few seconds later, the tums wore off. I actually then resorted to drinking a glass of milk (I HATE milk. I think it’s gross to drink, and will only use it to wet my cereal, or to cook with). My stomach finally started to slow is death rolls…

I wanted acceptable pain tonight, and boy did I ever get it. 4 hours, 5 tums, a glass of milk, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and a prescription acid reducer later there’s still burning. That might have been some of the worst physical pain I’ve felt yet. I think I’m good.

It also worked to lift the depression a bit. I’m was no longer curled in a ball begging to die because of the emotional pain, I was doing it purely for the physical hurt.

I used to laugh at the concept of eating spicy food to curb self harm urges. I will no longer laugh at that thought. It definitely worked tonight. Holy cow. Prior to this, the worst reaction I had was to “Mayan Death” hot sauce. It felt as if I’d been kicked in the chest by a horse. And that was some decently hot sauce… this ghost pepper stuff though… ouch. It truly kicked my ass.

But again, I’m not crying and willing the universe to kill me already, so… yeah.

I didn’t get a decent pic of my journal background from the class tonight and I have since ruined it by trying a different technique. And now I have to wait at least 72 hours for the new paint to dry (pebeo’s oil based fantasy series)… oh well. Learning experience.

Anyway. Hope the hot sauce experience will continue to work on the depression tomorrow too. I was very close to following through on a call to TM’s agency’s crisis line… I really don’t want to do that, so I’m glad this helped… 


the concept of neediness

I’m feeling very “needy” today. I crave interaction and talking about some of this stuff. I desperately want to talk to TL and address the transference piece because it’s making such a huge impact on things. And I want to talk to her about it today; right now

The flip side of all this is the judgement that goes along with my neediness. I see it in all the negative light that’s been cast on the concept by everyone ever. I’ve got the dialogue in my head repeating every negative judgement I have ever heard about it playing loud and clear in my brain: immature, too much trouble, you should know how to get through all this on your own, never grew up, never learned to do things on her own, bothersome, troublesome, frustrating, pain in the ass… It plays in the voices of people I have known, and the random voices of people I have heard speak of neediness in negative terms. It plays in TL’s voice (though she has never said anything even hinting at it being negative)…

So what’s the balance? When is neediness ok? and when is it too much? (and no, I don’t have any proposed answers to this right now, just raising the questions) As I’m told (and as I can intellectually gather), everyone has needs. They range from physical to emotional, but everyone has them. So how do we determine that a need is invalid or inappropriate? The clinician side of me would offer up support around anything a client found pressing (within the limitations of my expertise). I would be ok with calls about fears or worries or symptoms until we worked out an appropriately healthy way to deal with them. But the kid side of me worries about becoming annoying. I worry that my very “kid” needs would be inappropriate and unwelcome. Despite TL having reiterated that I can call simply to “vent” on her voicemail, I can’t bring myself to do it around this. I feel like it would be pushing the limits of her tolerance, and she would revoke the privilege… Of course, I can’t know this for certain if I don’t ask about it, but I figure I can ask next session. In the mean time, I am left struggling with it…

Now that I have recognized these needs as “kid” needs, what do I do with them? How do I handle them? The judgement of them being “inappropriate” is still very loud in my head, which makes me feel bad about even having them (I’m not a kid after all). But I don’t know how to suppress them or quiet them or deal with them.  I don’t know how to make them go away so they don’t interfere with life. Not only do the needs now feel “wrong” to have, but I feel wrong for having them. It feels like I’m intrinsically flawed, and that it can never be “fixed”. I’m back to feeling defective and unworthy at the core. I should know how to deal with this stuff myself, I should know how to handle my own needs, I shouldn’t have needs in the first place

On an intellectual level, I can see the flaw in that line of thinking. It doesn’t penetrate to the emotional level though. I can’t seem to talk myself out of feeling so wrong at my core. I should be able to, but it’s too deep and I can’t do it on my own… which comes back to being needy and having needs that I can’t fulfill myself at the moment, but I also don’t feel right asking for help in handling. It’s a nice little Catch 22…


Trepidation around tomorrow’s session

This week has been awful. I’ve been triggered incessantly and having a really difficult time dealing with it. Tomorrow is my appointment with TL, and I don’t know what to expect. I have stuff I want to tell her relating to last week, but I’m not sure how much depth I want to go into. There are the body memories, and the actual memories that go with them. There’s the stuff that was triggered by talk of the different sides, there’s the neediness, and there’s the fear of trusting her with so little connection. I keep wondering if I should continue therapy since I can’t seem to keep trauma work out of sessions right now. But I also am not sure I could just quit… it’s really difficult opening up the trauma stuff then having to close it as fast as it was opened. I know I need more support around that work if I choose to go there, but she is unable to provide that. I just don’t know how to not open that stuff up again when we talk; it’s so intertwined in absolutely everything in my head (especially down here). So the question becomes, do I try to continue therapy workout touching the trauma work? Do I try to do the trauma work and hope I can cope on my own with whatever comes up? Or do I attempt to quit therapy and see what happens? (That last one scares me a lot. I’d have to have other supports in place if that were to happen, as well as a specific end date for living here)…

So I have a ton of stuff to cover in a short hour tomorrow. I’m not sure what to address first. Maybe the conversation around additional supports needs to happen again… definitely need to have the conversation about how to maintain connection and trust from session to session. I have most everything written down, I just have I get to it. I also desperately want her to look at the rest of my art journal. I don’t think the hour will be enough to get to everything I need to address :/


moving through

I’m still in a fog, and not quite sure what to do about it.  I can finally talk about ending therapy with De without bursting into tears immediately.  Remembering that it’s the emotions from more than one loss is helpful.  It doesn’t make it all better, but the mantra tones it down some.  I’m trying to reign in the feelings that equate this to a death.  I know where those stem from, and I’m reminding myself of that every moment…

I’m trying not to write my experience over hers.  I’m trying not to create a story around why she is leaving without knowing the full details.  But my head has other ideas.  It’s playing my story over her’s. It’s making me feel guilty, which amplifies my feelings of abandonment, which makes me feel more guilty, which intensifies the loss… and it’s an ever-faster circle of thoughts of which I’m trying to rationalize my way out. I can hear De saying this is a train of thought I need to get off.  The problem is, I’m having trouble catching my breath long enough to talk my way out of it.  I worry that this is how I made my clients feel (or I made them feel worse, which would really, really suck) when I disappeared on them without warning.  At the beginning of my crash in 2010 (which lasted through 2011), I was still seeing individual clients at the domestic violence shelter.  One week (with no notice), I simply did not show up for them.  I had landed myself in the hospital for self harm or severe depression, or something like that, and had my wife call me out of work (or maybe I called myself out from the emergency room, I don’t quite remember).  My supervisor was only told that I was at the emergency room, and not expected back for at least a week, but I would let them know.  It must have been me that called out, because I had to give them my list of appointments for the week so that they could cancel them.  I don’t think I went back right away upon discharge, but maybe I did.  I did not see any clients though, because they had been cancelled pending my return to be able to re-schedule them.  I lasted maybe a day and a half before I walked into my clinical director’s office for spontaneous supervision (I think I scared her because I remember being quite blank and subdued, much different from my presentation prior to my spiral).  I admitted to her I was overwhelmed and highly triggered by one client in particular, but also the whole concept of working in domestic violence.  We agreed that my clients would get transferred to another clinician, and I would concentrate on office work.  I left messages for my clients with instructions to call my supervisor for their new contacts. I did not tell them my real reasons for transferring them, but I did not offer a termination session either.  I feel like I cheated them out of closure (something I value very highly), but I would not have been effective even for that last session.  So the guilt weighs heavy on me.  In the moment, I know how shitty it feels with appropriate termination, it must have felt much worse without it (actually, I know it feels much worse without it.  I didn’t have that opportunity with D and with some other therapists in the past).

The more I sit with it, the more things I can pinpoint as playing a part in my reaction this time around.  I feel guilt at my failures as a provider and support for my clients.  I feel the loss of closure-less endings from both the side of a clinician and a client.  I’m feeling the shock of a sudden loss.  I’m reminded of all the other losses from the past (deaths, endings to relationships, moves, loss of sentimental objects, my failure as a human being… Yeah, I know that last one seems like a huge leap, and it likely is, but my head goes there.  I fail at finances, at life, at caring for people and animals, at all my dreams. I have not found anything that I enjoy but am also good at.  The critical part of me denies even “being” anything at all).  I have trouble pulling out of this right now.  I know I’m being harsh, but it’s the only thing that is keeping me from crumbling under the weight of all this compiled loss.  I can handle criticism.  I know what to do with it.  I can’t handle the loss, so I take the lesser of the two evils.

My fear of sobbing in front of De yesterday brought up the memory of being as disproportionately crushed by the sudden death of a classmate in high school.  He actually no longer attended my school at the time of his death during sophomore year, but we were a small incoming class the year before (maybe 100 students in the whole freshman class) and had all grown at least familiar with each other. The news of his death hit our class hard.  It hit me harder because I had lost my aunt a few months ago at the start of the summer. I wailed at his memorial service. I made everyone uncomfortable, but I couldn’t will my legs to move when my teacher suggested my friend accompany me to the bathroom or guidance office.  I just shook my head and cried uncontrollably.  I didn’t think I could have walked without collapsing to the floor.  I heard my classmates comment and disapprove.  I saw my teacher’s reaction, but I could do nothing except cry hysterically in my seat.  I think that experience plays loudly into my shame at crying right now, at my overly intense reaction to De’s departure… Crying is bad enough when Skeletor threatens death if you don’t stop; add to it humiliation and disapproval of everyone around you and it cements that experience into your soul…

Anyway, yeah, I’m trying to gain more insight around all this in an effort to move through it.  I’m trying to decide how much of this I should try to process with De, and how much I need to just deal with myself.  I’m at once trying to balance pulling away so I can convince myself I will be fine after she is gone (to keep the hurt a step removed), and processing what I can so I am not left hypothesizing.  I want to know that (maybe) I’m just reading too much into all this, and maybe her story is not as close to mine as I think (I hope it’s not as close to mine as I think, because it means someone else is hurting like this)…

Ok, time to take a breath and step away from this for now because it’s getting overwhelming again. Need to keep moving through this without getting trapped…