Sadielady3's Diary

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Very happy to hear this good news Sadie. And as much as you won't give yourself any credit for progress, it is you who have continued to seek out answers!! I know it's been hard and confusing and causing your further self doubt, but you are finding your own way to do this. And that is very important and very empowering!!!

Happy you are going to get the care and help you so rightly deserve. You got this Sadie!!!
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Went to group tonight with X and it was amazing. I had planned to muster up the courage to ask a question- "Any advice on how to have hard conversations? Any strategies?" I want to get better at this because I suck at self-advocating (despite the fact that I coach kids on this for a living). Although it is definitely affecting therapy, it's a bigger issue across my whole life. I never got the chance. Two other people asked questions that were way more important to them than mine was to me. My question can wait until next week anyway.

The first person's question wasn't relevant to me a whole lot. I tried to help but I think my response missed the mark. The second person's question was super relevant to me. She talked about having a bipolar mom who has decided to stop taking her meds cold turkey. She has a good relationship with her dad and doesn't want to give him up but as her parents live together, she doesn't see how to keep dad and not mom. I talked about the boundaries I have set up with my own mom and how she is a narcissist and why I just keep the relationship pretty neutral. I don't tell my mom anything really anymore and I make sure when I talk to her that something will interrupt me within a reasonable amount of time. I talked about how when we've been caregivers for our parents with mental illnesses it's really hard to completely walk away. And when that last sentence came out of my mouth, I realized that that's really the struggles I have with cutting my mother off. As tempting as it is to make it an all or nothing situation, it can be very limited contact as long as it's not significantly affecting your mental health.

My current therapy goal of not talking to my mom until Christmas is hard on me. I am worried about her because I know she has real medical issues and I know she is mostly alone. Sure, my brother goes over there but she has no friends and no hobbies. Well, she loves politics but no other real hobbies. I don't know if I can completely cut my mother off but I do need to figure out what boundaries I can set and actually enforce. In other words, I need to find ways to keep that relationship largely within my locus of control. Not sure I'll make it all of the way to Christmas day without talking to her on the phone but it has been over two weeks since I conversed with her by phone. Technically that was the goal. But I also learned something from this experience anyway. I had always thought I didn't have a dependency on her but as long as she is still alive, I have this deep seeded impulse to take care of her that is hard to ignore.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Well, I lied to my husband tonight. I feel horrible about it but I sat in my basement and thought long and hard before coming upstairs after group tonight. My T told us tonight that in order to get registered for group each week now, we have to call for an appointment. I hate making phone calls. I have to work myself up pretty good to make most phone calls, in fact. It's rare for me to even call my friends. I will text them but they usually call me. I don't like bothering people. The idea of doing this weekly to go to a group I want to quit is beyond me. So I told my husband that group was cancelled until further notice. He questioned this but seemed to accept it in the end. Now I don't have to go anymore.

I realize that getting away from my T in group is a precursor to quitting therapy. I'm honestly not sure therapy can help me being so infrequent. It makes me feel like I'm taking matters into my own hands these days anyway. I'm not stable enough to be patient between sessions. I know I need to be in therapy and that this is all that is reasonably available. I joked with my husband about working over the summer to save up enough money to pay for therapy out of pocket so I could go weekly. I was actually talking to L earlier today about what we would do with a huge amount of money (we were talking about hundreds of millions here) and I said I would pay my T to meet with me weekly. Wave enough money under someone's nose and they'll usually bite. L joked that I should just have him move into my house and spend a few months really fixing me. My husband then joked that then my T would see "everything". Then I joked that I would need a second T to help me get over the fact that my original T saw "everything". But all humor aside, my current treatment options are not meeting my needs. Is a little work that leaves me in my feelings better than walking away for awhile? I don't know. Sometimes a little is better than nothing and somethings nothing is really better.

I want badly to commit to the process. I do want to get better. But my options are limited and really suck right now.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
This morning, the snow is coming down like crazy- a rare thing in Maryland. Most teachers like snow because of snow days but having grown up in Buffalo where snow did not equal a snow day, I just love it for itself. There's something beautiful and hypnotic about it. I almost moved to Alaska when I got my teaching license but decided to stay a bit closer to home.

I got some sleep last night. I woke up a bit groggy but I actually got at least six hours of sleep. Not having nightmare flashbacks too much today either. Hopefully this new med will be helpful long term.

More and more lately, my mind drifts off to suicide. I was supposed to be working on a big project with my department today (still got my part done before other people were able to finish) and I just kept googling things about PTSD and suicide. Today I wanted to know the effects of suicide of a patient on a therapist. Looks like it really affects them pretty negatively. I'm trying to find reasons to stick around these days. It's getting harder. I feel really lost and hopeless. I keep thinking that I could go for a drive with a bottle of pills so that someone who is not my husband can find me. I keep thinking that I could stop being a burden to everyone. Something is not working. I need to figure out something because I'm just drowning. It would be easier if I could just be alone and that way no one would care what I do. But unfortunately, people do care and would be affected. I may be grateful for that someday. But not today.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I did a couple of things today that I may come to regret but I needed to do something. I was sinking further and further into a pit of despair and at some point, any action, even if it's wrong, is better than just drowning. The first thing that I did was wrote my T a letter. It took hours and I probably would have kept editing it and adding to it and obsessing over it but after five or six hours of working on it, I decided enough is enough. I was going to snail mail it now that I know my T goes into the office on Mondays and Wednesdays but my husband convinced me to make it into a PDF and email it to him. He argued that the snail mail is extremely slow these days and what if I actually get an appointment off of the waiting list. It would be awkward for my T to not have the letter and then I would be sitting there still not able to resolve what's going on. Although I highly doubt that this will end up happening, I would feel like an idiot if it did. This also involved a lot less effort thus not giving me an excuse to procrastinate. I could just send it off before I talked myself out of it. I don't love that someone else could potentially read it but they'd actually have to open the PDF instead of just glancing through emails. There's no guarantee that someone else wouldn't read it if I sent it by snail mail anyway. If I thought I could read it out loud at my next session, I would have done that but courage is not my strong suit. I'd just end up swallowing my thoughts and feelings again. I told him not to read it until my next appointment as I don't want to waste his time between sessions. I have to trust that he'll wait. I'm pretty nervous about getting an email or phone call tomorrow. We will see.

I also spent money that I probably shouldn't have spent. I saw a new T and had an appointment with her this evening. I can't afford this long term but maybe I can at least work on some coping skills to make it between sessions. A month is too long for me right now. I needed to talk to someone. She seems nice but possibly too saccharine for me. I've already paid for the next two sessions so I might as well do them. I can't replace my T with her because I definitely can't afford over 5 grand a year for therapy. We just don't have it. But if it can help me get on my feet enough to survive on my own a lot better, it's worth it for a short time. I definitely word vomited all over this poor woman but she said she appreciated how upfront I was about everything. She knows about my original T. Original T doesn't know about her but maybe he doesn't need to yet. At some point, if I end up staying with him, I will tell him about it. She is trauma-informed and wants to explore the idea that I have C-PTSD. She thinks it sounds realistic based on the history she took. Never did a history with original T. She also sent me some podcasts to listen to and more books to read. My homework for this week is to create a heart map. She told me that I could be as creative as I'd like to with it. I have some thinking to do about this. It's nice to have something productive to do, some direction. I've been trying to do this alone for awhile.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Well, I heard back from my T and he said he would honor my request and read my letter at the beginning of my next session. Here's what I wrote:


I keep trying to work up the courage to tell you some things but that doesn’t seem to be working. There’s a lot going on with me that you don’t know. It would be better to tell you and I apologize for doing this by letter. Hopefully you are just reading this in my next session and not wasting your time outside of my session.

As you already know, I realized and started reliving 20 years' worth of trauma back in October. The memories themselves are intrusive and difficult (the container exercise does help). I can be doing other things and just wind up accomplishing nothing because I’m stuck in the past. Sometimes it hits out of nowhere. This can go on for hours some days. This is a hard place to live. So, I started on a journey to figure out what exactly is going on. It feels like an outright war in my head. The problem is, the emotional side of my brain, as I’m realizing, is very stuck in the past. I never realized that at some point in my life I mostly stopped feeling things.

This journey I’ve been on has involved a lot of reading and watching YouTube. I think I’ve been sticking to mostly credible sources of information. I’ve also been reading the book “The Body Keeps the Score”. I can only read it in small doses because it’s a lot to take in. There are definitely parts of that book that apply to me. I’ve spent a lot of time on a forum for PTSD trying to figure out if that’s really what’s going on. I’m not one to suggest diagnoses and honestly don’t care what I officially have (don’t need the label) but I did feel this need to know what was going on, to try to explain some things and know how to handle things. It seemed worth exploring and it was a place to start. At the very least I have a lot in common with some of those people and the conversations have been helpful. If you have any suggestions of things I should be reading or doing instead, I am all ears. I feel really guilty just going my own way on everything because I respect that you know far more about where to go but have been afraid to have this conversation. I’ve been stuck in crisis after crisis and have essentially turned you into a firefighter.

Here’s the list of things that I think you should know (I may be missing things):
• I keep people at a distance and look for reasons to reject new relationships.
• I dislike nearly everyone when I meet them. I’ve been aware of this for years and will generally give people a chance but will likely reject and distance myself from people at some point anyway.
• I have significant avoidance behaviors. If I think someone is going to get angry with me (doesn’t have to be founded in reality), I will physically hide. I have literally worked in my car so that I can’t be found at work. I will ignore emails or phone calls. I quit a past job to avoid getting a performance review that I was concerned would be bad.
• I can’t reach out for help with simple things. I will spend hours looking for answers when a simple email to someone with the question would save me a lot of time. I feel like I’m bothering people by asking for help. It has to be dire for me to ask.
• I get really angry when people are nice to me. I have learned how to smile and say thank you when people are nice but I get angry or at least sad. My impulse is to argue with people and try to convince them that they’re wrong about me.
• I can’t go anywhere with a crowd. I freak out pretty badly most of the time. If I have to go to the grocery store, I’m going to go late at night.
• Nightmares are not uncommon for me. They’re one of the primary reasons for my insomnia. This many really intense nightmares was a new experience though.

In our last session, I didn’t tell you about the nightmares because they are hard to talk about. I am willing to describe them in detail if needed but basically, they are always about you and me. In every single one of them, by the end, you betray me in some way, usually involving my death or complete abandonment somewhere. At first, I thought this was just my fear of abandonment coming up. When I paid more attention to the details, I always had a way to change the outcome. I couldn’t do my part in any of the storylines and it ended the same way every single time. It was always my fault.

The topic of mom was an important one as well. Right now, there are a lot of important topics (most of which are mentioned somewhere in this email) and I never really know what I should be telling you. It’s like there are a whole lot of trains at the station and I have no idea which one needs to go first. Some of the trains are on fire and the station keeps catching on fire. The homework you gave me (no mom conversations until Christmas) has been a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. It’s day 6 out of two weeks but I started struggling with it immediately. When you asked me what I thought the challenges would be, I should have told you that I have a hard time not taking care of her. I’ve been taking care of her since I was a young child. I have spent my whole life being relatively invisible and worrying about taking care of everyone but myself. I have trouble existing without it being in relation to taking care of someone else. My entire value exists in my taking care of others.

I’ve never been in any kind of relationship that exists to help me. You’ve done and said a number of things that have shown me you’re committed to helping me. I have no value to you whatsoever. If I disappeared tomorrow, it would be one less patient for you to deal with and therefore less stress and work for you. Based on your Kaiser bio, I’m not even the type of patient you typically work with. My doubts come from this place that doesn’t understand why anyone/you would want to help someone like me. What could possibly be the reasons? I have friends that are therapists and I know they are much like teachers in the sense that they want to help people. Therapists certainly don’t get into it for the money or the prestige. They tell me that they like their clients/patients but that doesn’t work with me because I’m pretty damn unlikeable. Maybe then the fulfillment of helping someone? I’m not really sure I can get better. I feel like a lost cause. On top of that, I’m pretty high maintenance. I started out in crisis. I feel like I eased up over the summer a bit but in October, I got a lot worse. I hate dealing with myself and I hide most of what I am from other people because I know how messed up I really am. Some people can’t get better. At what point do you give up?

As far as I can remember, I haven’t willfully lied to you. I’ve given partial answers and left stuff out, which is not good, but in the past, with other practitioners, I’ve either refused to answer or straight up lied. I don’t know if it’s because you had the opportunity early on to prove you were committed or if I was just ready to start trying to dig my way out of this hole that I’m in (possibly both?) but this experience has been very different. It’s made me realize how deeply I struggle with my feelings. I keep trying to give you this analytical report of what I think is going on instead of letting you in. This is totally new for me and I’m not doing a very good job. I finally found someone who is enough of a masochist to put up with me and I’m screwing this up. I don’t know if I even have the ability to actually do any of this right. I’m trying and the only thing I can say is that I’m sorry.

Thank you for reading this. Hopefully it was enlightening in some way. This took me many hours to write and despite the amount of effort, I’m certain it’s still not right. I’m sorry for how long it is- I tried to keep it brief and relevant. Also, it’s okay if you have no response or if you now realize that I am wasting your time. I don’t have a lot of choices in all of this but you do and I respect that.


I highly suspect that he's already read the letter. In a way I hope he has- it will give him time to think. If he doesn't bail on me after this, I guess he's really in it. If he does bail, hopefully he'll send me to someone who can handle me. Honestly, I probably won't feel secure with anyone based on who I am at this point in my journey but if he isn't equipped for trauma, hopefully the next person will be and will be able to handle my insecurity. I probably didn't say everything I should have said but I said an awful lot of things and at least I got some of the trains out of the station. Hopefully it will give him or whoever works with me moving forward a clue on where to really start with me. I hope, as much as I am sitting here shaking over sending this letter, that it will end up having been a great choice to put me into a better position to heal and grow how I need to.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I slept really well last night. I got up this morning and was going to do some schoolwork but the internet went out so I went back to sleep. I went to bed around 11 last night, got up around 8, went back to sleep by 9, and slept until almost 3. Not sure if it's the new med or if it's the sleep debt I accrued but I feel physically more well today.

I just finished my guitar lesson. It went okay. My guitar teacher broke down the song further, which I think is really helpful. Hopefully with vacation starting later this week I'll get some real practice time in. My teacher says that he sees progress so far. I reiterated that I know I will only get out of this what I put into it between lessons and am just having fun. I don't want too much guilt on the weeks like this one when I couldn't practice as much as I'd like to. This week, I've been so sleepy since starting the meds. The whole guitar thing should be fun, not a stressor.

I'm playing a game with friends tonight. It's starting to be a more regular thing. Hanging out with friendly people is probably the most important thing I can do. When I get super isolated, I dwell on things like all of the schoolwork I'm behind on or how badly therapy is going. Hopefully it will continue. Dwelling on the bad isn't helpful and I know that and distractions help keep me from going into the red with my feelings.

I was really sad about losing my T last night. I'm pretty sure that's going to be the result of my letter. But I need to stay focused on the larger picture. And I'm pretty sure that he's legally or ethically obligated to send me to someone else. Hopefully the new person will work out. I also plan to work on making my calming box tomorrow. At least pick one of the many storage containers we have in the house and start decorating it. I plan on becoming a 13 year old girl with this. Sparkles everywhere! I also need to work on my therapy homework for the new temporary T. Oh, and of course, I have a bunch of schoolwork to do since I didn't have internet and spent the chunk of the day sleeping. Hopefully I will stay focused on these things and stay busy. Staying busy is a good thing these days.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Feeling inspired by you sharing that you are taking guitar lessons. I think I should. Been singing a long time. It was one of my main stims for years as well as my lifestyle/"career".
It helps with oxyticin production that us autis have a deficiency in.

It sounds like things are picking up for you, a little.

Your struggles with therapy/your therapist sound very valid to me. I hope is resolves one way or another soon.

I really applaud your reaching out and connecting with friendly other's, soooooo repairative, doing anything like that, I've found.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
@mumstheword , the therapy thing won't resolve until January 5. A part of me feels like I blew it by writing the letter but I also know that I was just trying to use my voice. So as much as I feel like I screwed everything up, the truth is that therapy is not meeting my needs currently and, as much as I like my T, I'm not there to make a friend, I'm there to heal and grow.

Yeah, guitar gives me something consistent to look forward to every week. My husband wanted me to just use some YouTube videos and not spend the money but I think having a commitment helps me more. You should go for it!
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Went over to my in-law's house tonight. It was okay for the most part. I got doggy snuggles, so that's always a win.

Made some progress in listening to "The Body Keeps the Score" today. It's hard to hear the information in the book but it also explains some of my behaviors and thought patterns. As horrifying as it is to hear, at least I can hear that there have been people like me and some of them got better. It also means that I'm "normal" (whatever that is) based on the childhood I had. In a strange way, it makes me feel less lost, even though I'm still somewhere out in the woods without a breadcrumb trail to find my way back.

Didn't make as much progress with schoolwork but I am at least ready to teach tomorrow. Oh well. I got sleep this weekend and that was something that I desperately needed. Hopefully being rested will help me to stay focused on the many, many tasks I need to complete before break.

But I supposed, more than anything else, I've found peace with sending the letter. What's done is done. Having read through some things today, I know I am having some angst about this whole thing because I'm very unused to having a voice. I'm not used to saying, "Hey, there's this thing that I need from you. Tell me if you can deliver." It feels the same as being confrontational and it's not. In the letter, I didn't accuse my T of anything negative. I expressed my concerns. I laid out what I think are my primary issues. I didn't do anything wrong. It's just alien to me. I am attached to my T but not so much so that I couldn't move on. I think I felt the need to say something now because I am reaching the point where it would get harder and harder to move on without losing it. Nothing is ever a guarantee and the next person could jump ship on me but if they were at least informed and committed to what the work entails, hopefully it will have a happy ending. And who knows, maybe my T and I will have a hard conversation but continue down the path.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Went to the IOP group tonight. I'm a little shaky from it. We talked about journaling and different ways to journal. I think I do a combination of a brain/heart dump and just stream of consciousness on here. Sometimes I'm just typing and things come out that I wasn't even aware were circling through my brain. It can be interesting to see what comes out sometimes.

We discussed having to make hard choices. One of the other people has a dog that is biting people/other dogs. She understands that it's because of his PTSD/anxiety but isn't sure what to do. She doesn't want to re-home him but is concerned that she doesn't have the resources to properly care for him. I feel really bad for her because I can understand how hard that choice is, even though I've never made it. Pets can become like our children and the love we feel for them is very real.

I asked about how to have a hard conversation with someone. I talked about my significant avoidance tendencies. I told the group about my letter to my T and how I thought it didn't go over well. X said that he's had to go that route with patients before that just can't find the spoken words and that most therapists would be open to any modality that got the stuff out into the space to be discussed and worked on. He went on to talk about the bios each of the therapists have created and that's how you know what they specialize in. I mentioned that I have read my therapist's bio and that he doesn't mention trauma. I asked why my T would keep me if it's not what he is looking to attract to his office. X said that the therapists get one shot to write their bio and sometimes they don't include everything that they have experience working with. He went on to talk about how if my T can't handle me, he will find someone that he thinks can. I had faith that my T would be ethical about sending me out of the room but it's really hard to tell someone the deepest darkest parts of yourself when you know you might get punished and sent away. Even though it's logically and ethically the right thing to do. And yes, I know that it's not personal and in fact he's doing it because he does care and wants the very best care for me. But he's been the only T that can seemingly tolerate me enough to do anything to help me. What if the new person can't actually help either because it's a bad fit or I'm even worse off than my T thought? What if no one can actually help me?

Honestly, I'm just scared these days. I'm scared that I can't find a safe enough space to really deal with what I need to deal with. I'm scared that in the end, I'll have to try to heal myself and that I can't. In a way, I wish I'd never gone back to therapy because it brought back all of these horrible memories. It forced me to really look in the mirror and see myself for what I am. I wish I had a crystal ball to just take a peek five years into the future to see if I ever get anywhere with all of this. I just don't want to face this beast alone and I have the feeling that in the end that's exactly what I'm going to have to do.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
My new temporary T challenged me to an artistic project as my homework. I was supposed to create a heart map. I have no idea if I did this right but I feel like, with my limited artistic capabilities, this is a reasonable representation of what I feel like my heart looks like.
 

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