Tag Archives: therapy

Life decisions

I feel I’ve come to a major crossroads in my life. Should I stay or should I go. Such a cliché, isn’t it? And yet I wish it were a simple thing.

Here I am, having built a life with someone, having given my all to someone, and having someone who loves me wholly and unconditionally. Sounds picture perfect, right? The sad reality is though that I’m not happy. And there’s a part of me that has never been happy in the relationship. And there’s a way that I haven’t gotten certain essential needs met in the relationship.

I’m not one to give up on things; especially someone’s heart. But when it’s been my heart that’s been hurting, what do you do? I think the biggest question is this: is there a way that I can stay in the relationship and be happy? And get my essential needs met? Okay that’s two questions really but I hope you will let that one slide.

She’s told me she’d willing to do whatever it takes to make me happy. She’s said that my happiness is the most important, whether it be with her or with someone else. It’s hard to walk away from that isn’t it? So we have our first therapy session tomorrow.

Things are quite muddy and complicated at the moment. As you can probably ascertain from my prior writings. I’ve felt the highest highs and the lowest lows during these last fees weeks than perhaps I’ve ever felt. But you wanna hear something I’m kinda proud of myself for? That despite all the turmoil and shit and complicated-ness (because I know that’s a word) that’s reared its dear little head as a result of these trying times, I’m holding my shit together. I’m not having a full-on breakdown. I’m not spending weekends in a psych ward or even nights in the emergency room for fear of wanting to off myself. Apologies for the morbidity, that’s how I roll. I don’t even have a therapist to obsessively call or text or email at the moment. (Note to self: find a therapist.) Somehow, by some crazy turn of luck, or perhaps as a result of tons of hard-ass work, I’m able to hold myself reasonably together through all this. I actually feel like a semi-normal person. Wait, did someone say normal? Okay perhaps not normal, cause normal I will never be, but functional. My head has remained securely on top of my shoulders instead of the dumps somewhere. That’s something to be proud of, right?

So back to the issue at hand. What do I do? Well I have a feeling I’m not going to be able to answer that question tonight. And actually, I can sit back and wait until our therapy session tomorrow, and remind myself that things will get figured out, whatever those things might be. I’ve always been one to want immediate answers, especially from myself. I hate feeling in limbo. But sometimes, limbo is there and you just have to deal with it.

I know one thing is for certain. I can’t continue my relationship the way it’s been. And I honestly can’t see it going forward at all, at least in a way that is truly rewarding and satisfying and honoring of me and my fundamental needs. But I can’t run away and say that it’s impossible for things to change, that my partner isn’t capable of the things I’m needing, without at least exhausting all outlets and possibilities. Without at least airing it all out in therapy.

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Updates

As some of you know, yesterday was an extremely hard day for me. What probably most of you don’t know is that I was having the strongest suicidal thoughts that I’ve had in years. So that scared me a bit. I’m glad to be out of that storm. There are also other personal issues that have arisen that have caused me grief, but sometimes you just have to know when to let go of something and not let it bring you down. So that’s what I’m choosing to do.

I’m feeling in a bit of a vulnerable place, and I’m not exactly sure why that is. I feel like my “outer shell” if you will is quite thin, so that if someone really wanted to hurt me right now, they could. I suppose I just need to be gentle with myself and ask others around me that they be gentle with me as well…

 

Travel

I will be traveling for almost an entire month with the family I work for, starting on Oct 1. When I say traveling, I mean we will be staying in one place, but that place is very far from home. A six hour plane ride to be exact. And it’s in a very remote place that is quite expensive to fly into, otherwise my partner would consider flying out to visit. This will be the longest I will be without my dear partner since we met. It also means that I will be going several weeks without seeing my therapist. Also, because my hours are completely unknown at this moment – I’m going to be working very long hours most likely – it’s not possible to schedule phone sessions while I’m away. I’m sure I will have time to blog though – especially when Little Guy is sleeping. I will probably have nothing else to do to keep me occupied!

 

Therapy

Therapy is going well. When I say well, I mean excruciatingly painful, but I feel like we are finally starting to get somewhere. I know I haven’t been writing about my therapy much lately. I suppose it’s because it’s been so intense that I just needed to set it aside and focus my mind on other things so as not to overwhelm myself.

I don’t remember much of my last therapy session, except that I revealed something that I had done that I felt extremely guilty about and told her that I deserved to die. I had been triggered earlier that day by an event that I was angry at myself for and felt bad about. This event led to feelings of extreme self loathing and self hatred. At some point, I switched, and a very angry part took over. I assumed that it was R, but when my therapist asked if they were R, they didn’t answer back. So perhaps it was and perhaps it wasn’t. And perhaps if it wasn’t, then I’ve been thinking that this angry part who spouts off about hating the world and everyone and everything has been R when it really hasn’t. DID is so confusing sometimes…

 

Thoughts about my DID

I’ve also had some revelations about myself, my dissociation, and my DID lately that I’ve been wanting to share on here, but haven’t seemed to have the chance – I am a bit distractable aren’t I! (Is that a word? It seems like it should be…)

I’ve realized that my DID is different than many others with DID in the sense that my parts aren’t that separate from myself (they don’t have their own names, physical traits, etc) and yet they are separate enough so that I am still considered to be DID. Does that make any sense? R has the name R, simply because I forced her to pick a name (other than “my” name), and the name stuck. Same with Coraline, although I don’t call her by that name anymore. She is just “the difficult younger part” or something to that effect. But for the most part, these different parts of me don’t have that strongly developed senses of self. Most of them know that they are not me (and get quite upset when our therapist calls them “brandic”), but they also don’t know who they are.

 

My therapist is under the impression that the trauma is wanting to reveal itself. That that is the reason behind all the unexplained uncomfortable body sensation, the panic, the anger pushing up, etc that I’ve been experiencing very strongly in the last month or so. I don’t know what I think about this, other than that I hope she is right. I want to know what was so awful that caused me to have such severe PTSD and dissociation. Because truly, besides some emotional difficulties with my FOO, and a few uncomfortable sexual experiences, I can’t quite think of anything that would be traumatic enough to cause me to have the severe symptoms that I have. But most especially the PTSD. Because I can deny the DID at times, but I can’t deny that the PTSD is there. And for there to be PTSD, there needs to be trauma. So… what is the trauma*?

Hope all of you are well. I extend warm thoughts to all those out there reading, near and far. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Next up: My next Truth from 30 Days of Truth!

 

* That’s the million dollar question

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Miss sickie and other updates

Hello everyone. I know I’ve been a bit out of it lately, with writing and sharing and all that. These past couple weeks have been hard to say the least, but I’m hanging in there.

I’m miss sickie at the moment. Sore throat… congestion… I think all the emotional upheaval has finally worn me down physically. I wish I could take time off work but I can’t. So fingers crossed that Little Guy doesn’t get it.

I have gone ten full days without smoking. Each and every day is so hard. But I’ve been doing it and I continue to keep doing it. I just truly can’t wait for the day where I don’t have overwhelming cravings for them.

I had my therapy appointment with Bean yesterday. All that I said about therapy being a waste of time and going nowhere and not helping? Yeah, I take that all back.

Yesterday we talked how “up” my defenses are. Especially when we get even the slightest bit close to talking about anything serious, trauma related, etc. That my system either shuts me down or brings forward another part to prevent “us” from having to face anything uncomfortable, whether they be feelings, memories, etc. It makes therapy hard to say the least.

One day at a time and one step at a time. I hope to get to the point where my defenses aren’t so high as we can actually start doing the “work” that is needed to heal. Bean tells me that I have lived in this torment for so long, that I deserve to be free from it. That I shouldn’t have to live in it any more.

My apologies for not reading/commenting on others blogs lately. I’ve just been feeling too overwhelmed to do much of anything.

I also have thoughts about my DID, my parts, and my dissociation that I want to share, but it will have to wait for another post. I’m already feeling exhausted just having written what I have. Miss sickie gets tired out easily!

Sending smiles and hugs to all of out there in cyberland. xx

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Not even close to okay

I’m trying to cling with all my might to okay, even though I know I’m far from okay. I’m nowhere near okay.

Why does my therapist keep saying that things are “shifting”? I don’t think anything is shifting. I’m not learning anything about myself. I’m not feeling any forward movement. The only thing I feel is as though I were stuck in mental purgatory with no escape. Is that “progress”? Is that “things shifting”? And if things were shifting, wouldn’t it shift into something else besides this pure and utter hell I’ve been living in for these last couple weeks? How does she see what I’m going through as progress. I really don’t get it. I just don’t. I’ve felt these things before, it’s not like it’s anything new. Sadly, I thought my days of feeling this awful were over. I was sadly wrong. Perhaps her thinking these are “good signs” is just a way for herself to feel better, to not feel like she’s totally helpless or that our therapy is not benefitting me in the slightest but could in fact be making me worse.

How the hell is therapy helping? It’s gotten to the point where I spend most of the session with her dissociated and unable to speak. How is that progress??????

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Holding my pieces together

I just got out of therapy a little bit ago. I feel as though I am hanging on by a very thin thread. I told her about the weekend, about the dissociation, about the depersonalization, the disconnection. About the crying. I spent most of the session moving in and out of these states that I can’t even identify. Some more familiar than others. Angry and glaring, terrified and hiding, unable to speak, feeling as though I was wading through mud, feeling as though I were lost in a thick fog, disorientation to where I kept having to remind myself where I was and what Bean had just asked me. Or I wouldn’t be able to remember and would just sit there arguing in my head about whether we should say something or not. [Most times the part who didn’t want us to speak won out.]

Bean thinks that stuff is pushing up. Memories. She thinks that the feeling states for the memories are starting to surface, and that they don’t have a “narrative” yet but that they will come. She said not to be afraid of the dissociation (because to be completely honest, I was feeling very afraid of all the dissociation I’ve been experiencing over the last several days). She said the dissociation is actually is there “to protect.”

I said, “Protect who?”

She said, “Protect you.”

She said the role she sees dissociation playing at the moment is to titrate* the memories so they don’t come at me all at once and overwhelm me. She says, however, that things are loosening up and shifting, and she sees this as a really good thing. She reminded me again not to be afraid of what’s happening: of either the memories or the dissociation. Although I have to say, both are a bit difficult at the moment. The memories, because I’m afraid of what’s there and what I don’t know, and the dissociation, because it’s making me feel crazy and all over the place and not tied to this earth.

I told her that over the course of the weekend, when the dissociation would get really bad, I would think to myself,

I’m not well. I’m not well.”

She told me that I am, in fact, quite well, and doing quite well, I’m just in the midst of processing some big stuff. I suppose I’m a little bit relieved to hear that, but on the other hand I’m not sure if that makes it any easier. All I know is that it feels like I’m coming undone, and it’s all I can do to simply hold the pieces of me together.

She said that the answers (and memories) will come when they are ready. I do also wonder just how long I will have to wait. And if there’s even anything there at all…

Ugh why is healing so hard?!

*I had to look up this word, and here is the definition that seemed most fitting:

Titrate: Continuously measure and adjust the balance of (a physiological function or drug dosage).

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Birthday reflections

So today is my birthday. It’s been a great day so far. I got to spend the whole day with Little Guy. I can’t imagine anyone else I’d rather spend the day with – well except for my partner of course. Soon I’ll have my therapy session. Then I’ll go home and my partner and I are going to order a roasted chicken from our favorite Mediterranean place. Yummm. Then tomorrow the big adventure – jet packing! I have no idea if people actually say that but I like the way it sounds. 🙂

I also want to acknowledge how far I’ve come in the past year. One year ago exactly, on my birthday, I spent the entire weekend in bed. A very depressed part of me, who was mourning the death of my grandmother (which occurred almost ten years ago) was very present, and it was near impossible to function.

Last year, as some of you who’ve been following my blog may know, I was in an extremely unhealthy therapy situation. My therapist, who I do admit was trying to help, was making me much much worse. I was spiraling downward into chaos and dysfunction. My life felt unmanageable and completely out of control. I’m amazed, looking back, that I was able to function at all and to continue working. She finally ended the relationship, saying that it would be “unprofessional” of her to continue treating me. Even though at the time it felt like my heart was being ripped out – I was extremely attached to her… and I mean all of me – I now see it as a huge blessing. I probably would have ended up in an in-patient facility, and would have had to build my life up all over again. Fortunately it never got to that point.

I feel, more or less, like I’m now on steady ground. The relationship with my therapist has very much aided in this. So has going back on psych meds. I am no longer being flung this way and that, on a daily basis, or being constantly flooded with painful and unbearable emotions and constant, out-of-control switching. I know I have a ways to go in my healing process, but I feel more steady and more grounded than I have in several years.

I have a feeling this upcoming year is going to be a good one.

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I am not okay, and that is okay. (Thank you WeeGee)

Lovely WeeGee over at How do you eat an elephant wisely told me that I can be “not okay” and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I must fall apart. It’s funny isn’t it the beliefs that are so engrained in your head? I always thought that if I allow myself to not be okay, or perhaps more appropriately if I admit that I am not okay, that falling apart is the obligatory next step. This friend helped me to realize that this isn’t true. Not being okay is just that; you are not okay.

I am not okay. And I’ve realized that I don’t think I’ve ever been okay. My life has been a fluctuation between the two extremes of acting okay (or pretending to be okay) and then really not being okay and falling apart, during which time it’s nearly impossible to keep up the act of being okay. But I’ve never just admitted that I’m not okay, and allowed that to be okay. Is everyone still with me? 🙂

For most of my life, I’ve known that something is really really wrong, I’ve just always had a hard time pinpointing what that “thing” is. I had a “good” life after all, with loving parents and a happy family; what possibly could be not okay?

What wasn’t okay was that I was overlooked and ignored for much of my life by my family. I was the “compliant” baby of the family. Never complaining, never causing waves, always happy, always agreeable, always successful. Well… I had to be. That’s the only way I got noticed.

As a young child, if I cried or threw a fit, I was put in my room and told I can’t come out until I had stopped crying. I learned at an early age to ignore and suppress my own needs and my own feelings. Other people’s needs and feelings were what I paid attention to, not my own. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t have needs, nor did I have feelings. And that set the stage for the later abuse.

Fast forward to later abuse ***trigger warning: sexual and emotional abuse***

When I was twelve, I met someone who was sixteen. Little did I know at the time, this person was controlling, manipulative, and… well… an abuser. I remember small snippets of our time together, but I know he sexually abused me and humiliated me in front of his friends. Forced me to get drunk. If I didn’t drink the alcohol that he had so “kindly” bought for me, I was ungrateful. If I didn’t perform sexual acts on him, I was unloving. I knew nothing about boundaries or limits. I had never been taught to look at my own feelings about things and to trust them. And after years of thinking my parents were in the dark about this whole thing, I’ve learned that they weren’t. They just looked the other way. Until it was too late.

Fast forward to years my early twenties

Things began pushing up in the form of anxiety. I began having debilitating fear and unexplained panic attacks. When it all came to a boiling point, I broke down and cried in front of a group of people. It was the first time I had cried since I was a little girl. My mom was present, and she walked out of the room. Everyone else stayed to comfort me. What a strange feeling: to be comforted while crying. Strange; foreign; uncomfortable; strangely comforting. That was about ten years ago.

I have spent the last ten years trying to solve the mystery that is me. Trying to solve the mystery that is my anxiety, that is my panic, that is my PTSD, that is my dissociation, that is my fragmentation, that is my DID. I’m finally with a therapist who gets it. Who knows her shit. Who supports me. Who doesn’t push me too hard to try and access the trauma.

I am still trying to solve the mystery, but I know one thing: there are reasons I am not okay. I may know only a fraction of those reasons at the moment, but just knowing there are reasons behind it, that I’m not just broken for no reason, that I’m not just crazy for no reason, is more than reassuring. One step at a time, one feeling at a time, one memory at a time. I will get there. And in the meantime, I am admitting that I, in fact, am not okay. And I’m trying to be okay with that.

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