Tag Archives: trust

Still panic with certain doctors

I’ve seen Dr F for going on 5 years now, yet I still panic sitting in her waiting room. 

I trust her, I like her as a doctor, but the triggers around gyn exams are still huge and scary. I’m trying to remind myself I trust her and like her and that she’s safe. I’m still shaking…

This sucks. 


Am I pushing myself too hard? 

The emdr stirred up a ton of stuff. It’s not settling much, just cycling through things. She called it progress, but not necessarily relief. I’m not sure how well I can handle this, though when I just unintentionally triggered myself intensley, I was able to sit through it.

I’m feeling this huge internal pressure to talk to someone other than just Dr C about what’s going on, but when I try (even anonymously or ambiguously) I trigger myself… I’m back to doubting if I can tackle trauma processing outside of an inpatient (or at least intensive out patient) setting. I guess I’m doing ok because I haven’t resorted to cutting. I’m just scared I might be pushing myself too hard without enough safety nets in place. I mostly trust Dr C, I’m just not sure I trust myself…


Write the saddest story you can in 4 words…

I saw this on fb…

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“I loved you once…”

it can have so many endings:

…but then I remembered.

…and you betrayed me.

…then you used me.

…and I saw your true colors.

…you broke my heart.

…I still love you (and I don’t know why)…


Trusting

Monday’s session brought up a lot. She played a song that she said made her think of me…

That was weird on a couple of levels. 1) why in the world should she waste her time thinking of me outside of session? I’m sure she had better things to do (today, she reflected back at me that she probably had “other” things to do, and deliberately omitted my use of the word “better”). 2) the gist of the lyrics communicated that I may have been hurt in the past, but I’m not going to be hurt again… ::shudders::

Don’t notice me. Don’t think of me outside of the paid hours… Don’t know I exist outside of the office.

Also, for the record, I was not hurt. I was not traumatized. Nothing happened. You are mistaken.

Then we talked about work, and if it’s a good environment… She’s not so convinced the pro’s outweigh the con’s. I’m undecided.

Anyway, I was going to work after session. I’m not sure when I dissociated in session, but I was a total flake for my whole shift.

Fast forward to today. Another session. I managed to bring up with Dr. C that both the concept of her thinking about me outside of session, and the reaction I seem to have when anyone not only acknowledges, but also reflects back to me that stuff happened (I’m having trouble even typing that right now) made me really uncomfortable… I’m not really sure what we talked about around that though. I think I checked out.

I also brought up the trouble I have with intimacy, but it was the last 5 minutes of session so we didn’t get anywhere with it… maybe next session…

It’s weird to suddenly not trust her even though I intellectually know I trust her. It’s the inner kid. She’s freaking out. I know Dr. C would uphold confidentiality. I know she would never tell anyone what I tell her unless I give her express permission. I know I have no reason to fear her, but my inner kid is shaking in her boots. :/


Finally showed her one of my art journals

I’ve been lugging some stuff back and forth to my appointments with Dr C since I stated seeing her again. Yesterday I was able to tell her about them. I ended up showing her one of the art journals & that icky timeline I had done for TM. She encouraged me to keep bringing in the art journals, and we made a tentative plan to show her the rest of the stuff I have been lugging around at the next session…

I was also able to voice that I’m still building trust again both with her and the group. She said it was normal and expected. Phew!

It was a good session. I’m glad to be back working with someone I know, and who knows me. While things have changed since the last time we worked together, there’s a lot less of the “getting to know you” stage and that’s a huge relief.

When I started writing this entry, I had the intention of covering more, but distractions happened and I no longer remember what I wanted to write… oh well. Next time (which may end up being another week, because life is pretty busy right now).

Hope you all are doing well. Catch ya later!

-sj


on trust

Someone on a forum asked about trusting people in life. I believe she meant it in terms of trusting someone to not hurt her, but I defined trust slightly differently. I took it in a more universal scope…

I don’t trust anyone 100%. I trust my wife the most, though I don’t burden her with most of my trauma stuff. I trust her to work on the relationship. I trust her to call me out on my crap. I trust her to tell me when something is bugging her… I trust my critters. They are easy to figure out and rarely have ulterior motives except maybe food and adventure… I can build trust with a therapist. I trusted TM to work with me on what I brought to therapy. I trusted her to be open to helping me figure out my reactions. I trusted her to help build that trust, and to work with my best interests in mind within the bounds of her expertise and ability. I’ve trusted the same with some past therapists… I trust other members of my family to live up to what I have experienced from them in the past. I trust my dad will continue to be an abusive *** who will never learn. I trust my mom will be distant and in denial but loving in her own way. I trust my brother to be a geek and creative and funny but not emotionally accessible. I trust my wife, my mom, and my brother will be there for me. I trust my dad will push the boundaries I put up and bulldoze them (or try his best to do so). I trust his oldest sister will forever be crazy, abusive, and a plight on society. I trust my best friends to be people I can always come back to regardless of the time and distance between us…
So I guess you can say I trust a bunch of people, just in different ways.
I wish I was able to trust someone completely in a positive way, but I don’t even trust myself completely. People will come and go. Critters will come and go. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but I trust certain people will do their best to be loving… I also trust everyone is imperfect…

Who do you trust? How do you define that trust?


Insights

In talking to TM today, something hit me. We were discussing my utter surprise any time someone actually likes me or wants to see me again. She asked if I’d heard it often growing up. I realized that the only person who ever told me I was worthless was bitch. Everyone else kept telling me how wonderful I was (but don’t let it go to my head). G always felt fake and over the top. Then I realized that hearing how good I was, and how smart I was is coupled with memories of some pretty shitty stuff. It felt like such a revelation when I was able to voice to her that I didn’t want to believe I was good because that would mean crappy stuff was going to happen, yet I don’t want confirmation that I’m as horrible as I believe I am…

Part of my shock when people like me comes from the incongruence of knowing those people won’t deliberately hurt me. How can I be good if that’s not coupled with abuse? That doesn’t compute in my brain, at least not in the emotional one. She was trying to ask if being aware of it made a difference. Sadly, the negative voice in my head is so loud and overpowering, I have trouble believing my rational side.

When I say people should hate me, I’m not looking to hear the opposite from them, I’m just mired in an old emotional/cognitive pattern. I’ve been aware for a while that I have a confusion around associating violation with “genuine care”, but I hadn’t put together that my emotional brain associates being liked and worthy and good with abuse…

Too bad this is coming at the end of working with TM… at least I heard back from Dr C this morning, and she is willing to work with me when I return. It’ll be much easier working with her. And I’m SO glad I don’t have to “start fresh” yet again. (Telling TM about returning to working with Dr C was what prompted the admission that I’m constantly surprised when someone wants to associate with me again).

Oh, and now TM and I are back to the original end date… we talked about it, I avoided making the decision. I attempted to distract her, then we returned to it at the end of the session. I told her that I was unsure, but that I needed to feel in control of the ending. In a moment of weakness, I admitted that I would really like to keep seeing her through the next 2 weeks if it was still an offer. I started to give voice to that negative stream of thought that said she was probably really just wanting me gone, then I stopped myself and let her tell me what she thought or felt about it. She said the offer still stood, but that it was also going to be accompanied by the plan to call her or the crisis line if I started to get overwhelmed. Check. I can promise that. I work really hard to keep my promises, especially to people I care about. Now I just have to keep from getting overwhelmed because I really don’t want to bug her between sessions, and I certainly don’t want to have to call their crisis line.

Now I’m off to the beach for some centering time. And I’m feeling good after talking to TM today, so hopefully no further planning will happen while there (like I said, don’t want to bug TM between sessions). I’m sure I’ll post pics later. It’s funny how I used to hate the beach, now I want to be there all the time.


(not so) brief update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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? 😦

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


wondering

I feel ok today despite the heavy things that were talked about in therapy yesterday. It has me wondering if I should keep my appointment with TM tomorrow… But then I also wonder if it’s not easier to handle and contain that stuff because I know I am seeing her again tomorrow. I alternate between wanting to cry my eyes out, and being fine, but it’s not overwhelming right now.

I’m not sure. I don’t want to cancel the appointment only to realize that seeing her again to talk more about that stuff is what is allowing me to contain the emotions around it. I definitely have points of really needing to talk about it more with someone, but not knowing how to do that. I tried to explain that urge to L last night. The stuff I want to talk about is super heavy. I’m not done trying to re-frame my own world view because of it, I’m not sure I’m ready to help someone else have to re-frame theirs. Also, I’m not sure if talking about it outside ofthe relative safety of TM’s office won’t make the current flashbacks more intense. At least with TM, we work on grounding before I leave. I wouldn’t have that with L or mom.

I guess I will keep this appointment, and just not make a second one next week if it’s still offered (or I will talk to TM about my worries around it all). I know there are times I do better with more sessions in a week, but I don’t want to push my luck.  I don’t want to get comfortable with something I shouldn’t bet getting regularly.

On another note, starting to process some of this stuff has me wondering if I should try a residential program for it. I guess I can answer that question in a bit when I figure out if I can handle processing stuff at once a week. There’s a program I looked into that is relatively local, but I can’t find info on it besides what is said on their website. It is also advertised as a “luxury treatment center” which has me guessing insurance would not cover much of it at all (though my soon-to-be insurance is listed as one they accept)… They claim to work with trauma (though most of their programs revolve around substance abuse). They also have a “women’s mood disorders” program with all female clients and treatment providers. It looks like it overlaps with the trauma program… The pro’s: it’s only an hour from home, so if anything happens like insurance refusing to continue to pay, or the program doesn’t click with me, or something like that, I can come home relatively easily. It’s not a locked program, so I’m assuming they work with people not in immediate crisis… The con’s: I’ve never heard of them before, I don’t know how good they are in dealing with trauma, they will probably cost a ton and insurance will not cover most of it.

Whenever we get closer to dealing with the various traumas on an outpatient basis, my anxiety kicks in. So far, every time I have tried to deal with it outpatient, it was too triggering and I needed a higher level of care. There’s lots of fear around it. I don’t want to get to a point of needing inpatient because I am too mired in my PTSD reactions. But at the same time, I’m starting to trust TM and be more open with her. I think if I can keep my coping in check, we can get somewhere in the next month or so… It’s just a matter of maintaining my coping.


hit the transference motherload…

So, I was able to ask TM if she hated me today. I was also able to explain why I needed to ask, despite intellectually knowing I didn’t experience her as hateful in the moment (only after I left, and after over-thinking kicked in)…

We talked about the roots of it (or started to). She pointed out a bunch of stuff that made total sense.

I got lost a few times though. There were points of the conversation where she brought up ideas that scared the crap out of me. I struggled to “come back” to the room and the moment and recognize it as safe. I had trouble seeing her genuine reactions to it because I was so lost in fearing she was mad at me for checking out. I finally was able to tell her that I was scared of her reaction, and being able to give voice to that fact helped me come back a bit more.

I’m hazy on so much of the session. The fog comes and goes around it.

She offered another additional session this week. My hesitancy was two-fold around it. On the one hand, I really wanted to take the time. On the other however, I worried not only that it was a “trap” to test my neediness (she would be mad at me for wasting so much of her time), but also that I would get too used to the safety of knowing I can go back. If I get too comfortable with it, it will suck a whole lot when I have to wait a week again… She left it open for me to call back about the extra time if I needed it. After getting more grounded and getting some distance from the triggered fears, I was able to call her and set up another appointment. Some things are easier to only have to contain by myself for a few days vs. a whole week… A ton was triggered today, and I’m glad I get to go back and address it again before I put too many walls between it and myself. I definitely don’t want to get too used to it though. I don’t want to wear her out, or be too much. I also need to know for myself that I can hold myself together between sessions…

Anyway, my brain is shot at the moment. I hope this post makes sense. I still feel like I’m in a fog, but it’s more because I am tired from the effort of holding it together in session while revealing some stuff that took great effort. I think I need a nap…


speaking of containment…

At the end of session today, TM asked if I had done anything around developing containment strategies for stuff that comes up in session. I described what I do after session to help balance again. She described that as more “discharge” rather than containment. I couldn’t think of anything that would qualify in the moment, but after I left I thought of the closet analogy. It’s not the best, or even very refined, but it’s my metaphorical containment strategy. Stuff is tossed in there haphazardly though, and it’s no longer as effective as it used to be. I need to work on cleaning up my mental closet as much as I need to work on cleaning up my actual closet. Both used to have neatly arranged containers that held things in check. Now both are bursting at the seams. Oops…

She tried some guided imagery grounding with me before we wrapped up. Unfortunately, the one she picked happened to be really triggering. I managed to ask her to switch it. A specific word made me involuntarily startle and shudder. The second one she put on was a bit better. I couldn’t tell her why it bothered me (would have taken too long), but will next session. I’m ok with guided imagery generally, but this one combined three triggers from what we had talked about/around in session. I wrote out some ideas for what works better so I can give it to her next week (nature sounds are good, beach and other nature imagery is good, but concentrating on my breathing or body are not so good).

Ultimately, I managed some containment before leaving her office by leaving my homework from last session with her. I also asked her to read one part of the homework that we had not covered in session. I originally hoped that she would read it after I was gone, but she did it while I was still there. It turned out ok though. She said we would go over it next session. I’m kinda glad I know she knows for sure now (not just wondering when/if she will read it). It helped me leave that there with her. My container right now is TM and her office. Pretty effective at the moment, and relatively safe.

I think I need to ask her to remind me to color during session. It helps me stay more grounded, and to speak easier…


“50 shades” controversy, & the lasting effects of childhood trauma

So, after first writing this up almost a month ago, I have yet to put more effort into it. I had contacted a few people claiming to be connected to the BDSM community in an effort to get “honest” perspectives. Publically, they strongly supported the notion that the community is respectful and vigilant of “safety”. Privately however, some denounced the community as seedy and very unsafe. I was warned to “stay far away” from anything even remotely having to do with BDSM, including looking further into the different aspects of it. The few people I know personally and trust, and who also have some experience with the community express otherwise: that their experiences have been safe and respectful… This has me confused. I am more apt to believe the people I know in real life, so I guess I will go with that… Continue reading


Hesitation around Tuesday

I find myself looking forward to finally being able to speak to TM again, but also not holding out hope for it to actually happen. Part of me is worried either she will cancel again last-minute, or my back will still be hurting too much to make the drive and sit for an hour… I tried to go out yesterday and even a 5 minute drive hurt so badly that I turned around and came home.

I’m not sure at this point I even know what to talk about with her. I think I need to find a box of crayons and just plan on coloring. I need to figure this trust thing out with her, because right now there isn’t much. I’m not trusting there will be any consistency in our sessions, I’m not trusting that we will accomplish any of the goals I went in there with, I’m not trusting she hasn’t shoved me into a diagnosis box… I’m also not trusting that I will open up to her, or want to talk much about anything of substance. I’m not trusting that I will be able to come out from behind my walls far enough or long enough to make any of this work. She says I have disengaged from therapy, but it’s not only that; I’ve disengaged from myself. It’s still been forever since I’ve done any art (besides the journal class this past week, and even that was a struggle). There’s no connection to my emotions. It’s all nicely sealed away. Even the flashbacks are only playing out behind a wall. I get snippets of them in dreams, I get a sense that they are occurring in the back of my head, but nothing is coming forward except vague body sensations. I feel very disconnected from everything right now.

Maybe it’s better that way? Maybe it’s safer to go through the days without any connection to anything. I have no energy, but I’m also not thinking. My body doesn’t want to do anything; my brain doesn’t want to do anything. Maybe this is ok? Maybe when I go in Tuesday, I will keep the detachment and be able to tell her about the things she wants to know without drifting further?

I dunno…


Therapy Challenges: I’m giving the wrong impression

Saw TM today. We talked a lot about the disconnection from last week, and what was the same or different about it vs. other times. We also talked about the self-harm and went into a bit of an over-view of the narrative I had done. I had been present most of the session until we talked more about the narrative, maybe? I’m really not sure. I know she asked me to track something, but for the life of me right now I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was dissociation? or triggers? or moods? I would call her to ask, but I’ve already spoken to her about a schedule change, and then called and left her a message asking her not to read the narrative I had left with her… I think that calling her another time would be pushing my boundaries a lot.

Boundaries. Oh yeah, we had kinda talked about reaching out and having that be ok. She had mentioned that sometimes it’s still necessary to reach out when we are struggling because we are all human. She says humans sometimes need other humans when we are in a tough spot… I’m not sure I can justify calling in general, but maybe…

Still not sure what she had wanted me to track… maybe it will come to me later. I know she wants me to work on coming up with other coping skills since the ones I have are getting quite worn. I dunno. It was so hard to find ones that worked even a bit, I’m not quite sure what else to put on my list. She’s focusing on finding a “pattern interrupt”, but I’m not sure how to create one. Things are already different from even a year ago. I find myself at a loss for new suggestions.

TM called just now in response to my message. I think I put her on alert more than I mean to. I know she doesn’t know me all too well, but I have a feeling she thinks I’m more of a risk to myself than I actually am. I’m not sure how to put her mind at ease. She wanted to make sure that the narrative didn’t contain anything that may hint at me being unsafe. I’m not sure how I gave her the impression that it might, but it certainly doesn’t. It’s only a description of what happened 3 years ago. I think I will need to have a conversation around safety. The only issues we have talked about have been in the past. I did admit to the ever-present suicidal ideation, but nothing about any immanent threat. Maybe I should take in that likert scale outline I came up with and flesh it out with her to help find a quantifiable and qualifiable way of talking about safety. It might also help with communicating about the self-harm urges and the flashbacks… I dislike being seen as such a liability when I’m not actually there. I get that it was appropriate at one time, but I’m not in that place anymore. It’s kinda bringing up that feeling of her having pegged me into a certain diagnosis. I don’t like it. There’s too little room for growth if I’m always battling the stereotypes. :sigh: I dunno. Guess I will need to wrap that into the safety conversation. I get conflicting readings from TM. In one moment, I feel like she gets where I’m coming from and is willing to work with what might be helpful. In another moment, I get the impression that she is waiting for me to fall into a specific pattern… Maybe that’s why she keeps using the term “pattern interrupt” when I would say “stepping out of my comfort zone”…  I’m not sure what her field of study was to get her LPC credentials, but her vocabulary is very different from what I am used to for a bunch of stuff…

De felt I was too dramatic. I never intended to be, but I guess I came off that way. Maybe being so worried about coming off as dramatic to TM makes things look worse to her than they actually are. Maybe me insisting that I don’t want to be too focused on the “distractions” of the self-harm thoughts and the suicidal thinking makes it look like I’m trying to hide the level of severity. The truth is, I know that stuff is just distraction when dealing with the trauma gets too overwhelming. I know how to keep it in check, and how to reach out when it gets too dangerous… I know she has no reason to belive that. I have to figure out how to build that trust with her.


“Disgustingly happy art” was approved (and thoughts on today)

disgustingly happy artMet with TM again today and showed her the finished Unicorn Pegasus picture. She really liked it. We talked about how difficult it was to do, and how it didn’t really meet my standards, but that it was growing on me. I had intended to explain that trying to do the happier piece in my art journal was very triggering, but I forgot to bring it up. I wanted to explain that the art journal needed to be where I could be genuine with the expression, but we ended up talking about how taking the art journal classes was helping me be less critical of my work.

I also mentioned that the Unicorn Pegasus piece may or may not find a way to go up in flames after session, so she asked if she could keep it. :shrugs: All good. I had to think I was making it for her to keep anyway in order to be able to finish it, so I was ok with her actually keeping it. At first she had said she wouldn’t hang it up because she knew how uncomfortable having my other piece up had made me. I came to the conclusion that the piece in the hallway was too vulnerable, which made me feel exposed. We kinda talked about that a bit. While I know a lot of my art expresses stuff, the more vulnerable and “dark” a piece is, the harder it is to have it seen by random people. It’s kinda like having my journal hanging up in the hallway for anyone to read; just too personal. The Unicorn Pegasus was a piece done “on commission” so it doesn’t make me feel as exposed.

I showed her my art journal that I had started in May. I told her how it was an easier way to express things than in writing, and it was safer in many respects. I have had my written journals read by too many uninvited people to have that feel like a safe way to get things out of me. At least with the art journal, a lot is left up to interpretation. Unless I tell you exactly what I was trying to express, you either interpret it correctly or you don’t. And if you happen to guess it but I don’t want you to know that, I can explain it as something else…

She used the title of “counselor” today and I was able to correct her in real-time about it. I told her how and why it made me uncomfortable. I joked with her that I “get stupid” as soon as I walk through the door to the building anyway, so even if I had gotten my degree, I doubt I could come up with anything intelligent. She kinda laughed at that, then agreed to change her wording to “former intern”. On the heels of that discussion going well, I took a breath and asked for a reality check around whether or not she had believed me the last session when I told her I cut my finger by accident. She admitted that she didn’t know me well yet, but was going on the assumption that I was being honest. I told her that I do my best to be as honest as possible in therapy. If there’s something I don’t want to answer, I will stay quiet rather than lie about it. I was relieved that she didn’t think I was lying, and told her so. We talked a bit more about working in therapy and trying to get out of the rut I seem to be in. I think she may have been generalizing a bit about noticing that I am trying (because really, she’s seen me 3 times. Yes I put forth effort, but I don’t think it’s as obvious as she made it sound… though maybe it is and I just don’t notice it). I may have to bring that up with her, because I don’t believe people when they say nice things about me, especially if I don’t think they would have the knowledge to make a particular statement. It feels fake and forced and like something G would do (either right before or right after harshly criticizing someone else), so it makes me wonder. I know she is not G. I am pretty sure she would not act like he did, however positive stuff towards me always makes me cringe (I know I felt this same way towards TL, and it brough up a lot of transference. I hope TM will be able to tackle it a bit more if it comes up with her also)…

This week’s homework is a bit different: I’m supposed to “practice” doing a trauma narrative. I’m supposed to pick a stressful memory and write about it more formally (beginning, middle, end). I could also do art around it if it’s easier. I may end up doing both… We talked about my desire to be pushed on the trauma work. She mentioned that she normally would not move this quickly, but I seem to have coping skills at my disposal. She is trusting that I will manage myself safely. We reviewed how I have been trying to cope when triggered. She wanted to add to it calling the office hotline. I told her how uncomfortable I was speaking on the phone, and how I often trip over my words or minimize things if I actually get to the point of speaking to a human being (normally I hang up before that can happen).  I told her I will sometimes contact the crisis chats and she seemed ok with that compromise. I guess if it ever gets to her really wanting me to speak with someone at the office, then I can ask her to warn them that I have a difficult time on the phone and it may take more effort on their end to get me to talk… Anyway, this homework is only practice because we are trying to keep triggering to a minimum. She doesn’t even want me to pick a trauma memory, just something more stressful. I’m supposed to describe the event in detail and add as much of both the emotions and thoughts surrounding it as I can recall. I’m also supposed to stop if I get too triggered or stressed. I tried to explain that I am triggered regardless, but she still wants me to take it slower. I’m still trying to figure out what to go with. One thought is the whole incident around Dr. Ass-Wipe wanting to force me into ECT. It’s something I have yet to really process, and I actually remember most of it. It’s also something that reinforces my desire to stay away from psych hospitalizations. Even if I am triggered and freaking out, it will be a very loud reminder to stay safe at all costs.

Can someone remind me to talk to her next week about the difficulty of doing a trauma narrative around something that comes splotchy and fragmented? I don’t really know how to do a “beginning, middle, end” when all I can remember is flashes of various “middles”…


Monsters in the closet (art journal)

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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)…


thoughts on who has the control in therapy

A comment from Patricia on my previous entry mentioned that having the control around when she attended therapy gave her a sense of ease around building the relationship. That got me thinking. I don’t think I’ve ever felt in control in therapy. It’s not given me a sense of having any power in the relationship lately until this termination with TL. The first ever official therapist I saw (not counting my guidance counselor in high school) was 1) a requirement of the work-study program at school, 2) was assigned to me, and 3) refered me to another therapist in the program by the 2nd session because of countertransference. 18 therapists later and I’ve only voluntarily initiated termination with 2. All others were either time-limited by school terms (internship guidelines), or I was terminated for “liability”… Oh, and one was ill for an extended period so I saw someone else in the interim. When the original therapist returned, I took the option to stick with the one I had been seeing while she was out… so really only felt in control of major decisions a small handful of times. I guess you could also count the two therapists I never got past the intake with. One was atrocious in first five minutes of the first session, and the other took 3 sessions to cement that we were not going to click (neither handled self-harm or suicidal thinking well).

Aside of not feeling in control of the relationship all that often, I rarely feel like I dictate the path of the sessions (though in reality I do that almost every session. I wonder what keeps me feeling not in control of it?). I constantly defer to the clinician’s focus after an initial overview of what’s bothering me. If they narrow in on something that I don’t necessarily think is more pressing than something else, I don’t often try too hard to change the focus back to what I consider important. Yes, there are times I will insist on addressing something, but it usually takes a huge amount of effort and time to attempt to assert myself. I don’t feel like I am the expert in my life. It’s weird…

On the flip side, I have never felt the need to dictate where a client’s session should go or what they should address. In my professional role, I had aways believed the client was the expert in what needs addressing, and what direction therapy should take. They are paying me to be a sounding board and to offer support through difficult times, but what we addressed was always totally up to the client. Also, aside of scheduling logistics, the frequency of contact was pretty much up to the client. They controlled when and how often they showed up for appointments, and would have controlled when they terminated (for the most part… until I fell apart and ran away. Then they were S.O.L… and I still feel pretty shitty about that).

How can I hold those both true? How can I as client feel the therapist has all the control, and as therapist always feel the client has the control? Maybe it has been my experiencing of the therapeutic relationship early on. Maybe being indoctrinated into having no real control over choice in therapist or choice in termination time perpetuates my inability to feel in control over it all. As a clinician, I could not and would not force my clients to see me. As a client, I could not dictate the end of therapy until relatively recently. Things with JG didn’t click well, so I was ok with my then-wife insisting I stop therapy. I hadn’t become attached to JG, so walking away was easy. I simply did not reschedule one time after having to cancel because of weather… With Dr. C, I was moving across the country so I was the one to say I’m leaving. The termination with TL did not start out in my control (because I had not planned on switching therapists again so soon if I wasn’t moving again), but I ultimately took control. I know it was her intent to have me feeling like I had a choice in it, like it wasn’t a forced and sudden termination happening on her time-line. At the start of therapy with her, I had talked about how difficult it had been to terminate with De. I had also brought up that D before her had sprung immediate termination on me about a month earlier than planned. TL had the flexibility, so she did her best to allow me to set the pace of our termination… It’s been the easiest ending to a therapy relationship in a long time. It certainly has not been easy, but it has also not been as devastating as the others have been of late. I’ll have to remember to mention that to the new therapist, so they can get a message to TL to say “thanks”…

There’s definitely something to be said for feeling in control of your therapy. I keep trying to remind myself that I hire a therapist, so in that respect, I am more of a “boss”. My client self has only recently remembered that I can hire them or fire them as I see fit. It’s not necessarily that simple, but I need to remind myself I have more control than I think. When you grow up with others always in control (and no safe way for you to gain any), you forget that it is even a possibility. (attachment can also make it feel like there’s no control, but that will be a topic for another post some day…)

Anyway, that’s not exactly where I wanted to go with this post, but I have lost my original direction… Maybe I need to start creating outlines like I used to do for major papers in school. That way, when I go off on a tangent, I have something to refer back to in order to keep on track. Who knew my h.s. writing courses would come in so handy later in life?

Oh, I know. I meant to touch on having trust issues, which makes it difficult to open up in therapy. Lately, by the time I acknowledge trusting the person I am talking to, they are headed out the door for new adventures. I never really pictured opening up to someone because I could choose to never see then again if I wanted to. I know that there’s a measure of safety in speaking with someone you don’t see daily (their judgements won’t impact your life as strongly as those of the people around you day in and out), but I never realized I could walk away from therapy. Aside of feeling that the clinician is in control, my desperate need to have a safe person/place for all the ugliness keeps me feeling a slave to it. There’s something very validating and comforting in knowing someone is professionally required to be accepting and trust-worthy…


Ellie Goulding love & some ramblings

Recently got my hands on 2 Ellie Goulding albums and I must say I am in love with Halcyon Days!!! I think there are about 7 or so tracks that I absolutely can’t stop listening to. At the moment, I’m loving on Explosions. “on the day you wake up/Needing somebody and you’ve learned/It’s okay to be afraid/But it will never be the same/It will never be the same//You left my soul bleeding in the dark/…/And I’ve lost my faith in everything”… the tone of it matches my mood today (though I am interpreting it to be about her leaving due to domestic violence now that I read the lyrics. eh, whatever. the way she sings it still very much fits my mood right now)…

I’m also really loving Dead in the Water (apparently from the Divergent soundtrack)

 

and How Long Will I Love You

I see TL tomorrow. Still thinking I want it to be our last session… I’m finding I’m obsessing way too much about it/her so best to just walk away. I do that when I’m about to lose someone out of my life, I need a stranglehold on them before they slip away, and it’s never been a healthy thing. So I’ll take the painting (which today I am concluding it stupid and I hate it, though I may feel different tomorrow about it) and give it to her and tell her it needs to be the last session, and can we talk about whether or not I will be seeing someone at the agency (and hopefully not have to switch again) after her. I know she had said that was the plan, but it doesn’t feel like it right now. And I’m not sure I want to go through this again (I know, I say this every time). It just sucks to learn to trust someone only to know that you have to figure it out again with someone else down the line. Also, I had visited with Dr. C for a bit while up north. She will be retiring in the coming year, so unless I get back up there soon, I will be looking for yet another new therapist. It’s an exhausting process. I just don’t want to keep doing it… (though at the same time, know the neediness is worse when I don’t have that support)… I don’t know. I wonder what the point of it all is sometimes. Why bother trying to trust someone with the heaviness if I never do get around to talking about the really heavy stuff before I have to switch again and start it all over again. I’m tired. I’m spent on building trust and trying to figure things out every few months. I’m tired of finally getting to a comfort point of being able to bring up the ickier stuff only to find out that the person is leaving and all that vulnerability was for nothing…

 

Explosions

You trembled like you’d seen a ghost/And I gave in/I lacked the things you need the most,/You said where have you been?//You wasted all that sweetness to run and hide/I wonder why/I remind you of the days you poured your heart into/But you never tried//I’ve fallen from grace/Took a blow to my face/I’ve loved and I’ve lost/I’ve loved and I’ve lost//Explosions…on the day you wake up/Needing somebody and you’ve learned/It’s okay to be afraid/But it will never be the same/It will never be the same//You left my soul bleeding in the dark/So you could be king/The rules you set are still untold to me/And I’ve lost my faith in everything//The nights you could cope,/Your intentions were gold/But the mountains will shake/I need to know I can still make//Explosions…on the day you wake up/Needing somebody and you’ve learned/It’s okay to be afraid/But it will never be the same//And as the floods move in/And your body starts to sink/I was the last thing on your mind/I know you better than you think/’Cause it’s simple darling, I gave you warning/Now everything you own is falling from the sky in pieces/So watch them fall with you, in slow motion/I pray that you’ll find peace of mind/And I’ll find you another time/I’ll love you, another time//Explosions…on the day you wake up/Needing somebody and you’ve learned/It’s okay to be afraid/But it will never be the same.


I think she’s crazy… (and a metaphor for recovery)

Ok, so aside of kicking myself for not saying what I needed to in session today, I think TL is smoking something. She again said she could picture my art selling… I dunno. I guess I don’t believe anyone would actually like it enough to buy it. I suppose I could make some to try to sell and see how that goes… I also think I will try to make her something. I have a tradition of making “thank you & goodbye” gifts for therapists. Maybe I’ll do that for her too (though I’m not sure she can accept it, I may just leave it with her anyway). The idea I have for the piece would be kinda costly, but cool at least in terms of mounting. I’m still not sure what to do for the actual piece. I have an idea of what colors to use (she keeps saying she likes the colors on one of my journal pages), but beyond that I’m stumped…

As for therapy today, I’m realizing I have a lot of resistance to dealing with the body memory stuff. I get trapped in a vortex of my own judgement and the shame that goes along with it. The words catch in my throat. Then it’s too easy to go another route and not talk about it yet again…

I can’t remember exactly what prompted the conversation, but TL explained a great metaphor for recovery. She asked me to visualize a mountain. She then went on to explain that recovery and healing is a lot like climbing a mountain range. You struggle, you climb, you hit plateaus. You have to go down a bit on your way across the range on the to the tallest peak, but you are always higher up than when you started… It makes sense. I know that even with all my crashes, I’m still not losing every gain I’ve made up until that point. It’s easier to control the skitter down the incline. It’s a softer landing and the “bottom” is still further up than it has been in the past. It’s easier to start climbing again. I need to remember this metaphor. Maybe it will work its way into an art piece soon… maybe TL’s art piece. (Everest complete with prayer flags and snow and clouds… hmm…)

Regardless, I think I want to work on transitioning to a new therapist. I’m pretty sure it was all wishful thinking about being able to follow TL to a new agency because today she mentioned not wanting to have to work there long… so much for consistency. I did ask her if she thought I’d have to switch therapists again soon if I stayed with the current agency. She only said she hoped not, but she didn’t sound too sure. I hate the idea of keeping her coming back now that I’m either one of a very few clients she still sees there, or the only one. It feels like an inconvenience not because I get that vibe from her, but because I don’t like the special consideration. I don’t feel worthy of it… we also hugely ran over on time today, and it makes me feel guilty. It’s another thing I feel inconveniences her and is disrespectful to her time. I know it’s ultimately her responsibility to keep us to time, but I still feel to blame. I don’t want her to resent me for any reason…
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In an attempt to believe that TL is telling the truth about my art, I started on a larger piece today. It’s quite intimidating because I had gotten used to working small in my journal (most prior works had been larger). I’m figuring things out, trying new media and techniques. So far, I’ve gotten one layer of the bg done. I think this one will have the mountains I had mentioned earlier, though I’m not sure if they will be a focal point or simply in there as info. I think this will also be the piece I end up giving to TL (depending on how it turns out). I need a few more supplies for this however, because working on suck a larger scale would use too much of certain supplies. I think I will also need to go get a picture of mountains printed on a larger-scale of I get too lazy to paint them… then comes the frame idea. I think I can fabricate the frame on my own of I try hard enough, though it would be much easier to purchase even a custom frame for it (but really expensive I’m sure)… Anyway, here’s step one of the bg.
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falling into the stereotypes (some of my internal processing)

I’m trying to figure something out, sorry if this post doesn’t make much sense…

Since TL mentioned termination last week, I’ve gone back and forth between putting up huge walls, and desperately wanting to talk to her again. As tomorrow’s appointment gets closer, I find myself having that regular anticipation of talking to her and happy to be seeing her because she represents a safe place and has been a relatively safe person to talk to until now. At the same time though, I’m wondering if tomorrow should be the last session because termination sucks and I don’t want to draw it out. Then I’m again bouncing back to ignoring that she brought up termination at all.

I’m confusing myself and not explaining that well… I think I’m stuck between pushing her away and denial of the termination conversation… :/

I want to go see her because she represents a safer person. I want to talk about what this all brought up, but at the same time I feel like trust has been lost and it’s no longer ok to look to her for support with anything beyond logistics of possibly being hooked up with a new therapist. I don’t know how to straighten that out in my head. Not sure how to proceed… I think my hesitation with looking to her for more support comes from knowing that it’s opening myself up again to that horrid feeling of loss and being lost. I don’t like it, I don’t want it. It’s overwhelming and (again) way out of proportion for the relationship. I have so much trouble with changes like this. I really don’t know how to handle it, and I have not been able to address it in therapy yet with any meaningful results (even after so many therapists and so many attempts at tackling all the issues)…

TL wasn’t clear on what exactly the time-frame is. She refused to answer when I asked how long she had left, and she again asked me how long I thought therapy should take… I don’t know for sure if she meant she was leaving next month, or within the next six months. I’m assuming she meant the next month because she had given one month as a reference point twice when asking how much longer I thought therapy should take.

I have a LOT of trouble with loss. She knows this, so I don’t know if she’s trying to ease into the termination conversation, or if we are just trying to tackle the loss issue. The thing is, my thinking went immediately to “f-this. she’s leaving so why bother dragging it out. no more talking, no more trusting. I’m done”. I know this is a cognitive leap, and that I’m throwing up walls without really knowing exactly what’s going on. Sometimes I can recognize this and think more rationally about it. Other times the emotions take over and I’m totally lost. I think that’s playing a huge role in the back-and-forth I have about wanting to talk to her about this more, and wanting to run away. I’m recognizing the diagnoses and history this all plays into/off-of.

I just can’t consistently figure it all out though. I don’t know how to be ok with it. I am not sure I want to take down any of the walls to open myself up to talking about this just to find out that I am right and she is leaving next month. My head goes SO dark if I try to let myself feel anything more or not take this total detachment right now. I don’t want to land back in the hospital. I don’t want to be the stereotype of my diagnoses, but at the same time, I’m finding I’m nothing but that stereotype…

Years ago, my records indicated I was hopeless and will struggle with this forever. As much as I hate the thought of that, I’m afraid they may be right. I think I live in a fantasy world that I can move out of this behavior when this stuff isn’t actively triggering me, but as soon as it’s triggered, I don’t know how else to react. I’m ashamed by it and frustrated beyond belief that I can’t seem to figure this out once and for all. I wish I could find a therapist that I could stick with, and that was consistent with the “you’re not hopeless” stance so they could remind me once in a while, but the way I fall back into all this every time loss comes up I doubt that will ever happen. It’s really crappy. I don’t want to be hopeless, but I think they are right. I think I really am. If I can’t learn to navigate losses, how the hell can I learn anything else? I think some things are just too broken to fix…


Another transition on the horizon

So, TL reminded me that she was leaving the agency eventually. She asked how long I thought therapy should take with one therapist. I didn’t have an answer for her. She reminded me that the agency generally worked with people for 3 months then reassessed, and that I had been there longer than 3 months. She again asked how long I generally expected to stay with one therapist. She seemed to be thinking a month more, as she gave that as a reference point before asking if I thought I would need longer or shorter.

My initial interpretation was that she will be leaving the agency by the new year. A friend suggested that it may just be supervisor pressure to switch up her caseload because of a waiting list they likely have.

I’m not good with change or loss. Granted I expected to only be seeing TL for about 6 weeks before I planned to move, but I didn’t want to have to change again before the move (something I had specifically mentioned both before and during the intake). Now though, that move looks like it is postponed indefinitely…

I had a bit of liquid courage and was able to leave TL a message. I told her I had hoped to find someone that could see me through till I moved, but I understood that, since it was now an open-ended time frame, she would likely not be the person to see me through that. I reminded her trust is really difficult for me, and I asked if she could help me find someone who could provide more consistent support until I finally moved… I also may have admitted that the only reason I was telling her that was because I was tipsy (file that under things you probably should leave out of a voicemail to your therapist…).

Anyway. I again asked her to shred the reading material I had given her before I left. There’s no sense in getting started with it (or revealing any of that to her) if I will not be continuing to work with her. Too vulnerable… I’m also contemplating simply not returning to therapy at all anymore. Financially, I can’t afford a more consistent therapist (aka: not a student), and emotionally I can’t keep switching, so I should just give up till I can get back to Dr C… it’s not the smartest move with all the rampant triggers here, but it may just be the only self-preserving move I can make.

I was very tempted to cancel on TL when I left her the messages. It’s too raw. But I also know I would regret not at least saying goodbye in person, so I guess I’ll just go next week with the intention of not returning anymore after that. I know I asked TL to help me get hooked up with a more consistent source of support, but I don’t want to have to open myself up to that again. Losses are way too hard…

It’s weird, I was just thinking yesterday that so far this thing with TL was going ok, and maybe she proved my theory wrong of people letting you down just as soon as you got around to trusting them (be it leaving, or a betrayal of trust, or whatever). Guess I jinxed it right then…

There’s really been only a handful of people that hadn’t fallen into the “let me down” category (L being one)… To the rest, thanks for proving my need for distance and walls correct.


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 :/


therapy today (really long-winded… sorry)

As much as I was dreading today’s session, it actually went ok.  I was able to tell TL that I seemed to have developed a lot of anxiety around therapy. I was able to tell her that I was in no way shape or form interested in having to be the one to continue to seek out additional services for myself (she pictured it as being “empowering” while I simply see it as a chore.  People here don’t like to return calls, answer their phones, or generally be helpful in any way when it comes to a client securing services for herself. I was a bit snotty about it, for which I feel like an ass, but I was able to let TL know that I was really tired of phone calls and playing tag with people. I was tired of begging for help for myself, and I just had zero energy or motivation to do any of it.  She seems ok with being the one to make the calls after we each explained our positions on the subject… I just wish I hadn’t been such a jerk about it)… I had hoped for some more structured and therapeutic groups, but apparently she is ok with simply having social things going on.  I told her I was not likely to go to many of them, as I had done that search myself and come up with little that seemed interesting.  I was not able to tell her that I really need something with more accountability, someplace I would be missed if I didn’t show, and someplace I could be more genuine (less “smiley-happy-normal-chick” and more of the “I-really-hate-the-world-and-myself-right-now-chick”), and find more support… She even asked if this was the kind of “extra help” I had asked about, but I wasn’t able to be honest about it.  I think part of me is still really scared about what that may lead to.  I’m still really bent on not wanting any reason to be inpatient here, especially when all they do is trap you and drug you. There’s no therapy, no support, and they treat you like you know nothing about anything.  Currently, I need more therapy, not less…

We then switched gears and TL plowed through the rest of the intake packet that I am assuming she is under pressure to have finished asap. Most agencies give therapists a month in which to complete them, and this would be the end of said month.  I say this not only because she was pretty bent on finishing it, but also because she was willing to stay nearly an additional hour to make sure she got through it all.  I’m really hoping she did not have another client in that time slot (I doubt it, because she was aware of when and how far we were going over time).  She tried to get some goals out of me, but I think I spaced. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have identified wanting to deal with the loss of De (and other losses) as one of my goals.  I would have also told her that I need help keeping afloat at this point. She suggested animal therapy, and we covered the expressive arts therapies possibilities too.  She is open to focusing on some art therapy activities next session. She also asked about music therapy (which I said I was open to, though not all that sure what it entails).  We talked about my personal goals in life, which brought up a way to try to convey how hopeless things feel at the moment.  She also asked about how things had gone in school, and when I felt that things changed.  I realized that (at least in the moment I was speaking about it), I did not feel any connection to any of my accomplishments.  I had originally said I did not remember them, but that wasn’t accurate. They simply did not feel like my accomplishments.  I told her about promotions at work, excelling in school even while I was falling apart. She countered that I clearly had remembered them, because I spoke about them to her.  I had to clear up that they did not feel like things I had done, though I know of them because of my resume, my transcripts, and people’s stories about my successes.  I wasn’t able to pinpoint the emotion behind it at the time, but now I recognize it as feeling like a fraud.  Looking back, I feel like I must have cheated, or had someone take pity on me to be able to move ahead.  I don’t see how any of that could have come on merit…

We talked about a bunch of other stuff too, but I don’t totally remember all of it… too mundane I guess.  We ended with her reminding me she needs to ask about my safety (I had disclosed suicidal thinking and planning in our first meeting, and since then she does a safety check-in each time).  I felt like I was watching myself talk to her from behind a curtain.  Words spilled out of my mouth that I had no intention of uttering in her presence… It was very disconcerting (actually, it happens a lot with her. I tend to say more than I mean to say, and feel like I have little control over what comes out). I not only admitted to a plan, but told her what it was(?!). She checked in on the barriers to that plan, and I was honest about them. They are some very real barriers, and likely will not disappear any time soon.  I admitted that since I came up with the more solid plan, the urgency to follow-through had dissipated.  I think it’s just a “security blanket” of sorts at the moment. I know as long as the option is there, any overwhelming situation can be escaped.  If that option is gone, everything feels a whole lot bleaker and more hopeless… We ended with an appointment made for next week, and a plan to try to get me to that Yoga class on Wednesday… I’m currently feeling very resistant to the idea, but things may change by Wednesday.

I really miss having the ability to write after session and have my therapist read it before the next time we meet.  I keep thinking I want to bring it up to her, but it’s another thing I am writing in a reaction to on her part, and it will be rejection (mostly because I know that there is little out-of-session contact allowed/encouraged at the agency, and I know all written communication must be filtered through the supervisor. I’m not sure I want 2 people having access to what I write, especially since I don’t know the supervisor). It made things easier with De though.  It gave me a way to be able to express things I wouldn’t have been able to speak, and to process things at my own pace rather than within the hurried hour.  I might bring it up to TL at some point, but I fully expect to first hear “I will have to talk to my supervisor” and then hear “it would not be appropriate, see if you can bring the important stuff in with you the next session”… :/  …back to really missing De again.  I had told TL that I did not think there had been one day in the past 2+ months where I had not cried. It came up in response to something that made her try to tell me crying was ok, and can be healing… She seemed a bit incredulous about the statement, as if it was impossible for me to be that depressed (because I didn’t present that way to her most of the time? because that level of depression for that long is pretty uncommon? I don’t know)… At the end of the session, she brought up the fact that I had mentioned Ativan was the only thing that seemed to really help (especially lately). She asked if I would be interested in meeting with the psychiatrist at any point in case I was interested in getting a “more thorough evaluation”. I had told her that I had met with the guy once, and I was under the impression that he either could not or would not prescribe the Ativan to me, and that he hadn’t really been helpful in coming up with anything else.  She pushed a bit, but seemed ok at leaving the idea to marinate for later.  I had told her early on that meds and I do not get along very well (much like DBT and I). I reminded her that even the Ativan only worked because I had not taken it with any real regularity over the past 3 years.  I would like to have more on hand because it helps immensely with the flashbacks and impulsiveness, but I highly doubt that the ARNP (he’s not actually a psychiatrist, but a psych nurse with prescribing privileges) would give it to me. Most doctors will not prescribe benzo’s unless they know you, and know you do not have a drug problem.  Even on the inpatient unit, the psychiatrist initially refused to prescribe me any while I was there.  I had to beg him and underscore that I was ok with him not prescribing anything for after discharge, but that I really needed it at the time to help make my stay more manageable… It’s not a drug often used to calm flashbacks or impulsiveness, but it is one of the only fast-acting meds that can dull all of that for me.  I wouldn’t mind talking to this guy if  I thought I could get a script from him for it, but I doubt it. And I really don’t want to have to go through the hassle of trying to remember all the meds I have tried over the years, and all their out-comes.  TL suggested that he may be able to suggest something I have not yet tried, and that it may work wonders.  I stifled a laugh… I had tried every drug and class of drug that they even remotely thought might work to stabilize me back when I was in the hospital more than I was out of it.  They had come to the conclusion that I was hopeless and the only course of action left to take was ECT… I refuse to go down that road again…


Not much to say of late

Been quiet lately as I have nothing much to say… waiting for Friday to roll around in hopes that this time I will find some connection with TL. I think I may bring it up to her (the lack of connection) and see what she makes of it. I’m half-heartedly trying to find another therapist, but it’s difficult in these parts. Finances limit me to an agency with a 6 month waiting list (where I had seen De), the agency through which I see TL, and one with a 5 week waiting list (where I had seen D)… I could go to the agency-which-shall-not-be-named, but it’s horrible and I’d rather stick it out with TL, or take the huge wait lists before I try there. Heck, I’d even rather be inpatient then go there (which is saying a lot because inpatient down here is pretty horrible)… so TL it is for the moment. Here’s hoping Friday comes fast, and I get something more out of it. I figured out that the thing that really bothers me about TL is the way her questioning and probing comes of as accusatory. It feels like an attack, though I’m guessing it is not meant as one. Maybe if I tell her it feels like that, we can get somewhere? Maybe some connection will happen, and maybe I’ll start to like her more? I dunno. I might just ask to switch if it doesn’t work with her.


a safe space for shame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


well, that was… triggering.

Went to meet with new therapist, L (not to be confused with wife L, but since I don’t know L’s last name, I can’t think of any way to differentiate her… maybe TL for “therapist L”?). Anyway, met with her last night.  It was pretty uncomfortable in terms of room set-up (gotta love the ironically closet-like therapy rooms at the LGBTQI services center… and the awkward chair placement in that particular room: face to face and only about 2 feet apart). Aside of feeling like my personal space was being invaded, I felt like we were all over the place in terms of what we talked about.  I spilled a lot more than I had intended, and about things I hadn’t really wanted to focus on, but I was unable to lead the conversation (too anxious) so we went where she took it.  I’m not sure how much of the info from De’s conversation with the Clinical Supervisor got passed to TL, but she didn’t really seem to know much.  I know the intake I had done was very bare-bones in terms of info, so even if she had that to read, she didn’t get much from it.

It wasn’t a very chronological or organized first session.  I think I would have liked it better if it were, more like a second intake where I could have gone over more of the basics before getting lost in all the other stuff.  I wish I would have said more about the termination with De, and all the loss that is wrapped up in it, but we got side-tracked on my mention of the huge multiple-anniversary date that had been the previous day (Monday).  We talked a bit about the self harm stuff, and the suicidal thinking. I tried to explain that it’s a reflex reaction for me, that there are almost always thoughts and a plan, but rarely ever intent.  She asked about previous attempts: how many, when, methods… all the basics they always ask around that stuff.

We got a bit off onto the topic of previous hospitalizations and how they were experienced.  It all started to stir more negative feelings in me, but it was still manageable.  Then she brought up safety contracts.  I’m not 100% sure why I react really badly to the signed paper contracts, but I think it has to do with previous experiences of them leading to involuntary hospitalizations (or maybe that they were only really ever done around the times I had to go inpatient, and I don’t feel like this is one of those times). I tried to explain my anxiety.  I tried to explain that I would be fine talking about safety planning; that the paper version really hikes my anxiety, but I was my usual, verbally inarticulate self.  It felt as if everything I said was coming out wrong.  I felt like I was speaking a different language.  I knew why she was likely going to push the topic (being an intern, there’s lots of paperwork that must be done, and stuff that needs to happen because of liability issues), but I couldn’t get out of my own way to get past the anxiety around it.  She had asked if I cared if she left the room to go get the paper, or if I had wanted to write one up there.  I thought nothing of her leaving the room to get it, so I said it didn’t matter to me.  I made sure to tell her that when I say “it doesn’t matter”, I truly have no preference in the moment.  She asked again before she stepped out.  I should have taken that as the universe giving me a chance to bypass a hugely anxiety-inducing experience, but my awareness wasn’t there at the time. Live and learn I guess…

She returned shortly, and we began to fill out the paperwork.  I was having difficulty concentrating on what she was trying to ask me. Had I been more in-tune with myself, I would have been able to notice I was starting to get really triggered.  I should have said something to her, but I didn’t realize the beginnings of the emotional flashback that was about to hit hard.  I just knew I was uncomfortable with the paper form of the safety contract, and we had already talked about that.  Anyway, there was a piece of information she needed for the paper, but we were unable to find it on my phone. She stepped out a second time.  This time it was longer… My panic started going up again.  She popped her head back in and said it would be a moment longer, but she was coming back (at this point, I thought I was just anxious about how long I was keeping her over our hour scheduled time.  We were running into 35 minutes over, and we still had most of the paper to fill in).  Again, I wish I had seen it earlier and simply asked her to return to the room at that time.  If I had, I may have been able to give voice to the real anxiety behind everything that was going on.  Unfortunately, I didn’t figure it out for several hours after I left.  In the end, we filled out the paperwork and she reviewed it with me verbally.  She (unknowingly) mentioned a community resource that I have had really crummy experiences with, and I think that tipped me into full-on panic.  I wanted to bolt from the building and never return.  I held my impulse to run in check though, because I was afraid she would call the police if I left before I was given permission to do so (again, emotional flashback to past situations, but I didn’t realize it at the time).  I made another appointment for next Tuesday for the same time.  I hurried myself out of the building (just about running down the stairs after I was sure she couldn’t see me anymore).  I got to the car shaking and wanting out of there fast.  I drove home in a panic.  It took everything in me not to want to call and cancel immediately after I left.  We had been there 2 hours, and it ended with me in full-on “flight” mode.

Prior to leaving, the really broken part of me apologized to her.  She seemed to think it was for going over by so much time (which she didn’t seem to mind and kept saying the first session often times goes over). I didn’t know how to tell her I was apologizing for not only taking so much of her time, but for presenting how I did; for simply existing… I wanted to ask her not to hate me, not to think badly of me.  The angry, defensive teenager in me was briefly replaced by the scared little 5-year-old…  but then the teenager came back and stayed for a while.

In talking to L, I was able to realize that most of my reaction to the session was emotional garbage from the past.  The memories were not immediately apparent, but the emotions were very much present and coursing.

Later on that night, I left a message on the agency’s general voice mail asking if TL could call me back. I had the intention of telling her my reaction and my fears about going back for next week, but I am not sure I want to have that conversation at this time.  I go back and forth between letting her in on my experience of yesterday, and asking for either additional support from her if she has the availability, or a referral out to some other type of additional support.  I don’t really want to lose the option of an individual therapist at this point, but I think I need more than once-a-week sessions.  All these transitions are very difficult. I’m having trouble even getting out of bed in the mornings.  I didn’t “get up” until almost 2pm today, and I am already tempted to return to the comfort of my little nest a mere hour and a half later.  I’m exhausted. I’m emotionally tired, and it’s making physically doing anything equally tiring.  I don’t even really want to talk to anyone at this point.  I have no energy to find words to communicate with others.  I’m stalled on any art. I’m actually surprised I was able to write this blog entry (though I have to admit I was interrupted a number of times while writing it).  I’m cooked.  And I am not sure I actually want this lady to call back, or if I’d rather just slink away from therapy (right, coz that would be a good idea after admitting I would benefit from more support, not less.. brilliant SJ, brilliant…). I think I’m afraid I left a bad first impression.  I’m afraid she is currently asking her supervisor to transfer me to someone else.  I’m afraid she thinks of me with the same judgement I think of myself… She gave me no indication of it in session (in fact she challenged some of the judgements I voiced about myself, but I wasn’t really in a place to take that in when she did)…

So that’s where I am with that.  Part of me really wants her to call back, part of me hopes she doesn’t so I can use that as an excuse not to have to open up to trusting someone else; an excuse to run away… ::sigh:: I’m a pain in my own ass so much of the time. :/


I don’t want it

For the first time in forever, I don’t want therapy to happen tomorrow.  I don’t want to say goodbye.  This isn’t the right time.  I can’t get the feeling that she is dying out of my chest.  I know the feeling is not her, it’s K, but right now it feels like her.  And I hate it.  I spent the better part of today in bed; the better part of the last few weeks triggered and startling at everything.  I don’t want to go to sleep because that means tomorrow is closer.  I want to slow down time.  I want to stop it in that moment before she goes away.  So many I have trusted have left my life.  It sucks.  And it’s terrifying.

I don’t have plans for tomorrow after session’s up, but I may go to the beach if I get paid by then.  I have plans for Wednesday evening because I know it will be difficult knowing the time she leaves the office for good.  I have plans for Thursday & Friday because I know I will need the support.  I wish the MeetUp group that had a meetup on Sunday wasn’t holding it at a nude/clothing optional beach.  Maybe if I wasn’t so triggered I could go, but right now it wouldn’t be a good idea even though all the guys in the group are safe… I would need to carpool, and that would mean no escape when I get triggered, no safe place to hide and ground and escape from it all.

I really hope the new clinician calls soon…


Smiling for the outside world, and all it’s drawbacks

Many of us are taught to “smile” and “put on a brave face” when dealing with the outside world.  We are taught this by our family of origin, by friends, heck, by the internet (I can’t even count the number of “inspirational” posts I came across this morning on Facebook that mentioned something along the lines of smiling on the outside even when you’re breaking on the inside).  Even clinicians will tell you to focus on the positive.  There is merit to this.  It can be helpful to pull one out of a depressive plunge, it can balance some of the more negative concepts that may be floating around the murky waters of our thoughts.  The problem comes however, when we are so worried about showing any hints of cracks in our armor that we wall it off without ever showing anyone our weakness.

I know this is a big problem for me much of the time.  I function with a smile on my face and genuine concern for others even when there’s an enormous black hole in my chest.  I do it so much, I have a lot of trouble showing that “weakness” even when I am supposed to be allowed to do so.  I don’t know how to express the level of emotions I feel because I am so used to suppressing them.  When I do attempt expressing the intense level of chaos going on inside, no one gets it because they rarely see me in that place (some people have never seen me in that head-space before, so they are confused by my seemingly “together” presentation as I tell them I’m falling apart. I also get a very big grin when truly nervous, something I have no control over. If my anxiety is high, and I need to say something disturbing, it is said with a stupid, huge, and anxiety-filled smile that tends to throw people off, making them think I am lying or being manipulative. In reality, it’s just a weird reaction to anxiety).  I have yet to figure out how to be able to tell people that despite the calm I may be exuding in the moment, when I fall, I fall hard, fast, and completely. I can say those words to a clinician, but unless they have seen the drop off the cliff, they don’t quite understand what I mean. Even when my wife or former clinicians try to express it, no one gets it unless they have seen it in person (and then they get scared).  My perfection at appearing competent while crumbling really throws people for a loop.

Of course, my ability to express myself also gets hindered when overwhelming emotions hit.  I’m very used to pushing things down and keeping a lid on the limit of what I allow myself to feel.  When any of that spills over the quota, it gets incredibly overwhelming.  I suddenly become helpless without any access to my knowledge of how to handle it all.  I say I don’t have access to it because, when I am not overwhelmed, I have a pretty good theoretical grasp on how to handle said emotions.  The problem with them being overwhelming is that I suddenly find all my effective and safe coping skills are buried under miles of turmoil.  I lose the ability to effectively ask for help. I lose the ability to speak in the moment about what my needs may be (I’m horrifically ashamed at having any needs at all, and I was finally able to figure out with De why some of that is).  I desperately seek safety in any form, even if it ends up being outrageously uncomfortable.  There’s a level of comfort in certain uncomfortable things (another thing I was able to figure out with De this past week).  I’m slowly practicing finding safety in truly safe situations that are not also at once very traumatic in their imposition of safety (ie: an inpatient stay at a “regular” psych unit).  I’m learning to keep breathing.  I’m learning to reach out before things hit crisis levels.  They are difficult lessons.  I still stumble sometimes, but I’m learning it.  One part of that is not always smiling for the outside world.  I think that may be that hardest lesson of all…


Distance and early a.m. ramblings

L had called yesterday and we talked. I was able to be a bit more present with her for a while,  then my head was “off to the races”. I find that it happens a lot lately.

I was explaining the dissociation to someone, and I tried to explain why simple grounding techniques don’t work. I’m so adept at functioning outwardly sometimes that I can speak and act as if I were present, but my head is a whirlwind. I can walk through basic grounding exercises that should bring me back to a room, but they don’t.  I can hold conversations and tell you all about the objects in the room, or how the chair feels on my body. The whole while, I’m speaking from miles away. The first time I was able to articulate the distance was to D last year.  I had just started seeing him, and something panicked me.  He tried the grounding. I told him it wasn’t working. I was afraid he’d be mad, but he asked me to describe it. It felt like my mouth and body were on autopilot. I was able to try to describe remaining disconnected. It felt like my brain and my eyes were very far away. It felt like I was just doing what he asked because I felt like I had to. It was very weird. I was at once terrified of him but feeling safe with him.  I felt like I had to be honest, but I couldn’t pull myself back into the room out of fear. I remember hearing myself tell him that everything my body and my mouth were doing in that moment was because someone thought it was appropriate in the moment, but I wasn’t connected to it. “I” remained floating and hiding in the background somewhere.

It had been a new experience then. Prior to that, I had not been aware of any split.  I wonder how much of it had to do with starting to trust him, but still having a huge fear of him simply based on the fact that he was a man. I think part of it was based on prior experiences of having to do what I was told, but recognizing that it still didn’t feel totally safe… I wish I had this insight back then.  Maybe we could have worked through it a bit…

Some of the disconnect is similar even now, but I think I’m less aware of it. I don’t feel compelled to admit to De the extent of the disconnect when we work on grounding. I can tell her whether I’m back or not sometimes when she asks, but I don’t feel the fear of coming back completely, I simply don’t all come back… hmm… stuff to address at some point with someone…