Tag Archives: worthlessness

worthlessness

More questions for y’all:

How do you overcome worthlessness? If you’ve always felt like you had miles extra to make you worth basic human considerations, how do you inch up that gargantuan ladder?

Intrinsic worthlessness has been a topic of conversation lately, in both therapy, and the rest of my life.

The biggest obstacle I’m hitting is my lack of ability to make any part of this service dog thing happen. Every time I get even a hint of savings towards a prospect, something comes along to wipe it out. At this rate, I’ll be dead before I have enough money for an appropriate pure-bred prospect… and I’m not sure I’ll have the energy to follow through on the level of training needed for a successful and bomb-proof service dog.

My inability to save makes me second guess if I’d really actually benefit from one enough to put in this much effort. I only have so much energy, and mine’s fast running out. The holidays have been a huge drain this year. I barely have enough energy to be politely social with people, forget trying to figure out how to make a service dog work.

So, yeah. How do you overcome intrinsic worthlessness? How do you trick yourself into being ok with having needs, or asking for something, or feeling ok with extra effort to make something work?

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Today in therapy…

Today in therapy, we covered the origins of my worthlessness, and the concept of feeling like an asshole simply for stating my preferences/needs/desires.

Dr C was still trying to wrap her head around the concept of me feeling intrinsically worthless compared to others at the point we had to wrap up. I just couldn’t explain my reasoning to her in a way she understood (read: agreed)…

Despite our conversation about not being an asshole for having preferences, I still wasn’t able to tell her that I wanted to keep my individual appointment as is when she asked if I’d be ok with making group at that time (since I would potentially be missing group this week due to a doctor’s appointment). It’s shaping up to be an emotionally rough week so I’d really like to have that added individual time, but I agreed to group at that time anyway… maybe I will ask her tomorrow if she has more time this week… I want a chance to process the things that are being brought up by both the domestic violence fundraiser and the doctor’s appointment… I had hoped to talk about more of it today, but time ran out trying to cover what we did open up…


Labeling yourself as “needy” is shaming (or: bear with me as I write out a reality-check)

The concept of being “needy” has been a topic of conversation for me these last few days with various people.

A friend passed along wisdom from her professor: labeling yourself as “needy” is shaming, and Dr C said pretty much the same thing in different words.

Why is attempting to get needs met in the ways we know a shameful thing? Why do not only we shame ourselves for it, but others do as well?

Why is it ok to recognize labeling ourselves (as clients) as being shameful, yet (in class and behind closed doors) it’s acceptable to label a client as such? Are we (as professionals) above the concept of shaming? Or is it not shaming unless the client finds out? Is it merely a professional label until the client feels bad about it? Is this not a double standard? Why is it okay to teach stereotypes in class, yet expect those same therapists-in-training to magically shed them and gain a more empathic understanding once they work with their clients? Is it a function of the quality of the program? Or the professor? What happened to teaching non-judgemental understanding?

Is this why it’s so difficult to find good therapists (not to say they are not out there, because I’ve certainly worked with several)? Is this why clients continue to shame themselves with labels and harsh judgements when they are simply doing the best they can in any given moment? Or am I looking at all this through the lens of a scared kid and shamed client? I know I often fall back into old scripts. Is this one of those times? In reality, my last therapists have been awesomely empathic and caring. It’s been my judgements ascribed to them that have tripped me up. TM, TL, De, D, and Dr. C have all actively challenged my judgements. Why can’t I believe them? Dr C actually pretty much paraphrased one of my early posts about clients doing things “for attention” yesterday. Why do I see them as outliers? Why am I taking the judgements of mental health staff as judgements held by clinicians? I know there’s a difference most of the time…

Sorry. I’m digressing… I think I’m trying to give myself a reality check. The little kid in me (and maybe the unstable adult too) sees only the negative. The professional side of me knows better. The professional side knows competent therapists understand that their clients are doing the best they can in any given moment (even when they are backsliding or seemingly stuck). They understand re-learning (or simply learning for the first time) takes time and effort and mistakes… but that voice inside (g’s voice and the hospital staffs’ voices, and the burnt-out professionals’ voices) screams that having needs, or being vulnerable, or being hurt, or “acting out” (another shaming label) is all simply done to make their lives harder. There is no such thing as legitimate distress… and suddenly I’m hearing m’s voice screaming at the cat for throwing up (because she can’t just be sick, it’s only done to piss her off…). How strong a hold early learning and experiences have on us…

I’m triggered this morning by more nightmares and body memories. I know I could probably text Dr C, but I’m not sure what I would want from her if I did that. It’s not like she can help with any of it in the moment. I think this post is an attempt to convince myself it would be ok to reach out, but I didn’t cover how to do that without knowing what’s needed when reaching out… I just want to stop feeling everything. I can distance relatively effectively from the emotional piece, but the physical sensations are much more difficult to control. I’m not sure how to explain them. They are the precursor to the full-on flashbacks that include the cognitive memories, but they have not hit that point yet. Right now it’s just feeling things in my body again despite knowing it’s not currently happening (and being really frustrated with myself as my body responds to things as it had at the time)… :/ where the hell in all the skills they throw at you do they tell you how to rid yourself of the body memories? Concentrating on breathing only makes them worse (controlling my breathing was what I did to make him think I was asleep so he’d get it over with). Physical activity also greatly intensifies the sensations… I can tolerate them to a point, but they are approaching the intolerable point. No one ever has an effective method for getting rid of them. Well, that’s not true. I have one but it’s frowned upon. Really just wishing they were gone now, or wishing I had someone safe to sit with through them so if they do hit that intolerable point, I’m not so alone and desperate. I have to work this afternoon, but that’s not a safe place to sit through them. At least there will be dogs to cuddle if I need some immediate comfort. I’ve noticed lately I will jump and shudder if the sensations startle me with a sudden increase in intensity. I hope that doesn’t happen at work again today. I don’t want to have to explain that away… I could call it a “chill” again, but I know it doesn’t look like one as I jump up and try to rub the sensations away (boss-lady looked skeptically at me last time it happened)… Hoping if it [i]does[/i] happen today, no one is around to witness it.


pushing through

trying not to let my emotions get the best of me today and cause a total melt-down (though I do agree a release of emotion would be beneficial). I let myself tear up a bit earlier (thanks SG for the pep-talk/butt kicking!), but I have not let other things allow me to fall apart.

there are quite a few barriers to this move still, and trying to get them resolved serves to remind me how much I’ve screwed up in life… but I’m working on it. I kept making calls (after a brief pause to collect myself), and I didn’t let that voice that told me over and over again how hopeless and worthless I am win out.

sure, I want to head out to the store, buy a 12-pack of beer, some limes and coconut water, and drown myself in margaritas and beer, but… well, I don’t have the funds. so going to “drown” myself in my art shortly. plugging in my headset, cranking my ipod, and going to breathe through the rest of the day.


o_O

This move is so anxiety-inducing… and then the decision around whether or not the anxiety and depression warrant a check-in call to TM today is anxiety-inducing. I think I will ask that it’s either scheduled, or that there isn’t a call expected, but that it be decided before I leave session either way. I’m leaning towards “I’ll call and leave you a message if I need to” but not set a day and time for a check-in call that may or may not happen. Having to make that decision (even though she said either choice would be ok) is worse than having to make a decision to simply leave her a message. I keep landing on the side of “this isn’t important enough to warrant a check-in”. It feels like a check-in would only be ok if it was something hugely impossible to get through (kinda like last week). This week is difficult, but not as bad as last week…

The depression is still really bad, but it’s manageable at the moment. Going out for a bit yesterday helped (so did that nap). The flashbacks are once again just “background noise” in my body. Though I would love to get them to stop completely, as well as this newer pain that comes with them, I don’t think it’s enough to bug her today… I can still change my mind for the next 2.5 hours, but at this point, I’m settling on “not gonna be annoying and needy”.

On another note, I don’t know why I thought that the happy memories timeline would be emotionally easier than the aversive memories one. There’s no real emotion attached to the happy memories, but they trigger more aversive memories that are connected to them in one way or another. Those negative memories definitely come with some serious emotions. :/

I keep telling myself I need to handle all this differently. I need to not be so triggered by it. I need to be able to deal with it without contacting TM. And then I cycle around to wondering what use trying to deal with all this is with only a few sessions left. I want to hide and put up walls and push TM away (or, push myself away). I don’t want to feel a need to talk to her about anything. I don’t want to find myself looking to her for support. I don’t want to feel like she is a safe person. I don’t want to trust her. I want to be able to walk away without looking back. I’m trying to prepare for this loss that will be huge when it shouldn’t be… Attachment and trust and safety are sticky and messy things for me. I’m not sure how to navigate them as easily as I should. It plants a lump squarely in my throat, and a huge weight into my chest.

The other day I had a lightbulb moment around why I cling so desperately to anyone I care about right before an immanent ending. I’m not really sure why didn’t realize this sooner. I was journaling when it suddenly jumped out of the screen at me: I pulled away from my aunt before she died. I didn’t spend much time with her in that last year she was sick. It was hard. She was cranky and mean from the chemo. I didn’t want to be around that, so I stopped going to see her. I stopped spending time with her. She was one of my favorite people, and I abandoned her because I couldn’t handle her being sick. Then one day, my parents tell me I should go see her because “she doesn’t have much time left”… I think I might have seen her 2 or 3 more times before she lost consciousness in her final week. Then the hospice nurse told us she was likely going to pass that night. Her body was giving up, it was out of fight. She was out of fight. So we spent several hours with her. We would talk to her, and hold her hand. And then it got late, so my mom, brother, and I left. She died later that night…

I felt cheated. And I was angry at myself for not having been there for her. I was mad that I had let my fear and anxiety win to push me away from “my other mother”… I think because of that regret, my reflex is to cling desperately to any relationship right before it’s over. Be it romantic or therapeutic, if I know it’s ending, I become annoying and needy and ever-present… I’m trying not to do that with TM. The only alternate though seems to be building huge walls and lots of distance. It’s another thing I can’t find a middle-ground with. I don’t know how to take an impending loss and not feel giant emotions around it. It was easy to recognize in the termination timing with De, but it’s been harder to put together when it wasn’t so obviously entangled. With De, termination came 6 days before the anniversary of K’s death. I would trip up and use K’s name with her. It was painfully obvious much of the gravity of emotion came from the first loss (and from the coinciding anniversary of my first suicide attempt, thought that came 13 years after K’s death)… Other losses have felt as huge, but never were that easy to put together. I’m not sure what prompted me connecting the dots with the impending loss of TM, but it finally clicked. I am well aware that most of the emotions going on right now are transference. Yes, I will miss TM. It was a good fit for the most part. I know though, that most of my issues with loss go further back… I know losing people I trust and feel safe with just picks at an old wound that never truly healed. 😦