Tag Archives: uncomfortable

Rough day

Yesterday was stressful. Today’s filled with anxiety and restlessness and neediness. It doesn’t help that I got my period, which always manages to mess with my emotions. It’s also heavily triggering flashbacks and body memories…

I filled out job paperwork yesterday and ended up dissociative. I also went to visit my sister in law. The visit was at once grounding and triggering. She’s pregnant. I’m both super excited about having another niece (first on my side of the family) and also freaking out about it… hanging out with her was grounding, but the concept of another baby in the family (and certain people having access to her) is scary. At least both my brother and sister in law are super paranoid first time parents; they won’t let the kid too far out of their sight.

I hate the sensations in my body. They are uncomfortable. They are taking forever getting to the cognitive memory stage of the flashback (probably because the sensations have a physical reason behind them, and are not purely body memories). It’s all really triggering. Dr C is on vacation till Monday… come on Monday…

In the mean time, I start back at work tomorrow. She wants to get me re-trained by the time she’s on vacation in 2 weeks. Gulp! I hope once I get started and into the groove there again, it will no longer be as triggering. I really like the people I work with, I just dislike the entitled customers (which isn’t all of them, so that’s good) and the secret shops. The extra cash will be really good. We desperately need the money. I just need to be able to hold it together. I don’t want to screw up the job and mess up my reputation with them. I need an unbiased outside source acknowledging I have competency in at least something. I feel so fake and lost these last few years…

Think Monday I will take some stuff I had given to TM in with me when I see Dr C. I’m hoping it will help get communication going again. I’m again feeling that internal pressure to talk about the memories, to dump it all out on someone who can help with it.

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the rollercoaster continues

Yesterday was horrid, today was better. Hung out with a friend. Though I was pretty distracted, I managed to make some headway on holiday cards.

The whole time I was swinging from ok to really sad and distant. I felt bad because my friend picked up on it. She asked me a few times what I was stuck on… There’s only so many times you can say “I’m not quite sure where to go with this”. I landed on “I’m just tired”. She took it at face value. I was ok with it. I didn’t feel like explaining it all.

The sadness hit again pretty fast after I left her house. It made it hard to concentrate on driving home. I intended to stop at the grocery store, but found myself at walmart for some reason. I know I wanted cookies, but I also know walmart doesn’t have the yummy cookies I was hoping for. I went in, walked around, and it took me several minutes to realize I was at the wrong store. I wasn’t dissociating, because I knew which store I was in, but I didn’t seem to register that it wasn’t the store at which I had intended to stop. I left and headed to the grocery store (and proceeded to spend way more money on comfort food than I care to admit).

The sadness keeps coming in waves. I’m ok, then I’m drowning in sadness, then I’m ok, then I’m drowning again… I caved and left a message for TL. When I left the message (or tried to), the receptionist was confused. I had to explain that TL was still seeing me through the end of the year, and that in the past either the clinical director, the office manager, or the receptionist had gotten a message to her for me. His confusion underscored to me how uncomfortable I am with this arrangement. Either way, next time I see her, I need to talk to her about this. I need to not be her only client there anymore. It makes me so uncomfortable to be different. I really like TL. I don’t want to lose her as a therapist, but if she’s not there anymore for anyone but me, I don’t want to be the reason she’s coming back. I don’t like considerations. I don’t like feeling “special”. I don’t like anything that makes me stick out. I want to blend in. I want to be the same as everyone else. I don’t want to be seen, or have the chance to be seen… I really need to talk to her about this. I think I want the next session to be our last… It’s that uncomfortable.

That realization is making me more sad. I think I need to tell her over the phone that the next session needs to be the last… 😦 No matter how bad the depression gets, I can’t handle this being the support structure. I’ll deal through the end of the year. I’ll figure shit out, and if I have to find support elsewhere, I will. I can’t do this though. It triggers too much. I already have strong emotional reactions to her because something about her reminds me of the past. This just complicates things… 😦


Trying to distract

I’ve really been struggling with flashbacks the last 3 or so days. Yesterday was really bad. Today I’m exhausted but they are still dancing at the periphery of my awareness. I feel like, if I let my guard down for a moment, they will burst through.

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In hopes of giving my brain other stuff to focus on, I thought I’d try drawing again. I have not done much realistic sketching for quite a while, and I’ve done even less with portraits. I feel like that part of my brain has been sleeping, and now it’s pissed I’m making it work: I have a headache from forcing the gears to turn…

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Anyway, I’ve been drawing and erasing for about 2 hours on this. The expression is wrong, and it’s frustrating. He doesn’t look as harsh in the reference pic but I can’t seem to get the eyes and mouth correct for the softer, lighter look.

I’m putting it down for now to avoid ripping it to shreds. It doesn’t help that I still want to cry hysterically over the stupid flashbacks. Part of me wants to reach out to TL, but her voice mail is full. I also have no idea what I would say to her. I could tell her about the flashbacks and how overwhelming they are, but that would only lead her to ask if I need to go to the ER. She misses that middle-ground of sometimes just needing to feel supported in this. The stuff we talked about the last two weeks is relatively new to me. The contents of the flashbacks are that new stuff, and I’m not sure how to handle them. It’s also not something I’m comfortable talking to anyone else about. I’m not sure they are accurate as memories. They are very disturbing, and they would be met with extreme prejudice… I wish TL had more availability… 😦


Waking up can be hard to do…

I woke this morning to a very specific body memory. I couldn’t place it right away. It was physically uncomfortable, and initially emotionally uncomfortable. Once I started thinking about how it felt and what it felt like though, the emotional discomfort faded. It took me about 20 minutes, but I was able to place it as a “safe” memory.

This happens more often than I’d like. It’s probably related to dreams I don’t remember (though there are plenty I do remember). Some mornings it’s an ok body memory, like it was this morning. Other times it’s the kind I never want to remember. Both throw me off for hours though. The body sensations linger long after I can pin them to specific memories, but they definitely stay longer if I can’t…

So yeah, waking up can be hard. Here’s hoping that’s the worst of it for the day (Though I did set up my coffee and sit here waiting for it to brew for about 15 minutes before I realized I forgot to turn it on. That may just be the worst thing that happens today regardless of what else goes on because coffee is the most important beverage in the morning ;)).


The trouble with reaching out…

… to someone you don’t know too well is that they make judgements… I feel like such a tool. Really want to cancel with this new t and never return…
I know she has no idea how difficult it was for me to reach out and call, but… ugh. Back to not feeling safe in interacting with her… I’m feeling very judged. I don’t like that feeling. It’s very uncomfortable. :/


moving through

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

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

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

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

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

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


muddling through

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

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