Sadielady3's Diary

Sadielady3

Confident
Lots of positive things today. First, I've been really working on my calming box. It involves glitter and rhinestones. I forgot how much I enjoy crafting. Perhaps I should get some crafting kits to do when I start EMDR. I have paint by number kits (yes, plural) that I have never done and that's good but maybe some other things as well. I should think on this perhaps.

I went to my T's group. It was probably the best group I've ever gone to. Based on things he talked about, I know he read my letter. He didn't disclose things to the group but little things he mentioned and he was super supportive and positive about everything I said tonight. We also discussed coping strategies. I talked a lot about my calming box as a lot of people had questions about it. I will be doing show and tell with the box next week. Other people will now be making their own boxes. I may get new ideas from them as they create theirs. I view the box as being a living thing that will continue to grow. Things I put in it that I end up not finding helpful will eventually leave. I am hoping to have twenty to thirty useful things in there to help me keep from getting distressed. We also were planning a group field trip to go fishing. I'll go, I think, if it really happens (most things like this don't actually ever happen though so we'll see). I just felt really connected to the group tonight. I'm in a good place for the moment and I want to enjoy what that feels like. I think I might actually feel a little bit happy.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Another good day overall. I got nothing productive done today, which is not so good, but I continued to work on my calming box. I ordered more crafting supplies on Amazon to have the right tools for the job. I played Among Us with my students. It was fun but more importantly, some of the kids got to know each other a little bit. I told them I had to use the bathroom at one point to create a fake break where a lot of them exchanged contact information. I keep forgetting my ninth grade students don't necessarily know each other (we get kids primarily from two different middle schools but there are several total we consistently get them from). Maybe I helped some of them make some friends. Kids need friends and fun. Hopefully today was helpful to them on both accounts.

New temporary T loved my heart map. We talked a bit about some of my experiences. I think because I am thinking of her as temporary, I am able to be more open with her than my regular T. At any rate, she seems to think I am an artist of some sort and wants me to do three drawings this week. The first is how I see myself now, the second is what I think I need, and the third drawing is where I'd like to be someday. I know I need time but I'm unsure of what else will help me to get there. I can see a clear image of where I think I am now. Not sure I can draw that though. I really am not all that artistic, more crafty. I don't know if I know what a happy, healthy me really looks like. I do like expressing myself through art, even if I'm not good at it, more than trying to find words. Some words are still hard to find. Images come a lot easier. Hopefully, I can find a way to get something on the paper that I feel like represents the images in my mind.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Overall today was an okay day. My husband got me a 32 inch SMART TV to mount on my office wall so that I can have a fourth monitor hooked up to my computer but can also watch TV on it if I so choose to. I feel like it's too extravagant for me to have it. I'd like him to return it butt he wants me to wait and let it sit for a few days. I hate the commercial aspect of Christmas. Being Jewish, I don't really get all that into Christmas for religious reasons and I find the whole present buying, debt accruing aspect terrible. I don't really have any happy memories of Christmas so it's not a magical time of year for me. But at least it's basically over now for at least one more year.

I fulfilled my therapy goal. I made it until Christmas day without speaking to my mother. I did talk to her for about thirty minutes today but then her phone lost connection. They're expecting a big snowstorm up her way tonight and that's probably why she doesn't have service. She asked me how I was doing, if my school was staying with distance learning, and what I got for Christmas. Otherwise she went on and on about politics- who is being appointed to what cabinet positions, her fantasies about Trump being forcibly dragged out of the oval office, etc. She barely even mentioned my nieces and them opening presents today. I would have liked to have heard about that and did ask her about it but she blew off the question to talk about politics. I always thought that she adored my nieces but spending Christmas morning opening gifts was like nothing to her. She didn't seem to care about it. Maybe even with my brother and his family, it comes down to her level of interest in whatever is going on for her to care about even them. I always thought he was the golden child but now that he's grown with his own family and his own life, maybe she's just not as attached to him either. At one point she thought about moving down here to be close to me and my husband instead of moving to be near him. She chose him, she claimed, because he had kids and I don't. But she has seemed to regret moving closer to him because he's just "too busy for her" when in truth, he goes over there at least weekly with his kids to visit and have a meal with her. That's better than a lot of grown kids. She's just in this bad place because she has no one to control anymore.

I should try to connect with my brother's family tomorrow to chat with them, particularly my nieces.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Today should have been a good day. I spoke to my brother and his family. My niece was particularly sociable, which is rare when she speaks to me. My guitar lesson went better than expected since I didn't practice this past week. I played Among Us with friends for a few hours. Overall, it was a really nice day.

I'm starting to question my sanity though. So many crazy thoughts keep coming into my head. I have no idea why the past won't leave me alone. I feel rather haunted today. It should have been a good day.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Well, today was my fourth wedding anniversary. The husband creature went out and picked up some takeaway food for us. It was a subdued but lovely evening.

I did another video visit with my sister-in-law today and this time she was at my mom's house. My little niece was awake this time and kept trying to hand me things through the phone. It was really cute (she's two). My other niece showed my a shirt she crafted on today. Mom was rather stiff throughout the whole conversation. She got angry at me a couple of times for things I can't remember. She was also quite snippy with my nieces for not painting their paintings well enough. They weren't really making a mess or anything but they were painting like children paint. She kept criticizing their work and trying to get them to fix it. My six year old niece looked upset but her mom (my sister-in-law) told her how lovely it was and what a great job she did. She cheered back up and seemed okay. It made me both angry and sad. I was angry and sad for me though. No one came to tell me nice things when my mother was like that when I was a kid. Now I've seen it with my adult eyes looking in. My memories are not crazy or wrong. The things I keep reliving were real. Today showed me that. Hearing those same messages coming out was hard.

I talked to M today for awhile about a lot of things. She thinks I started going downhill when my dad died, when I lost that person who just genuinely loved me. I lost the good voice in my head over time. I still really miss my dad. She thinks that my T probably smiled when he read my letter because it's telling him that I want to tell him things and that I'm ready to dig into all of this, even if I can't speak, I'm finding a way. I haven't been too impressed with the new temp T so I'm hoping he'll stick around. What I really need right now is feeling like someone is with me with this. I'm ready to do the work. It's going to hurt like hell and I'm gearing up for that. I've got a lot of stuff for my calming box and I should have it done for now on Tuesday. I've been reading and researching. I'm trying to believe that my next therapy appointment will go well and help me to feel like my T is committed to helping me. Learning to trust him is a part of the therapy process for me and I need to show up every time and give him my trust and see that it's okay to let people in. M and I talked about why I can't let go of my mom. She knew that the reason was that I was still trying to earn her love but she is incapable of giving me the love I need. I need to learn to do it for myself.

I know there's some devastating memory coming when I'm ready. I keep getting this feeling of dread and terror out of nowhere and when I try to ground (sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't) I see this image of a large white crate made of something unbreakable with huge metal chains joined by locks. The locks don't have a keyhole or a dial or any discernable way to open them. I feel like I will be able to open that crate when I'm ready. I don't necessarily need to know every bad thing that ever happened to me but I feel like that one might be important. I've already been remembering things that make me feel like I'm going crazy. I'm terrified of what I might learn. But the only way to move now is forward. I'm going to do whatever I can to be okay. Right now I'm not okay. Not sure if I can do this but it's too soon to give up. I know just showing up to face my T after sending the letter is going to be hard but it's moving forward. I want to be hopeful that it will lead to a good conversation. I've got just over a week to find my bravery. I wonder if I could find it with a metal detector...
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Tonight's IOP group hit me hard. It was an excellent conversation but a really difficult one. Tonight's topic was on suicide attempts. One of the other people is coming up on her one year anniversary of her attempt and wasn't sure how to feel about it. I opened up a lot about my second attempt (I've never told anyone at all about the first one, save anyone who might have read about it here). The people who know me in real life now don't know about the second attempt. Not even my husband. It's not even shame that keeps me from telling people about it. It's more that I don't want to be looked at as delicate or broken, even though I know that I am.

X talked about how people who are suicidal fall into one of three categories. The first were the numb unfeeling people. The second were the people overwhelmed by their feelings. The third were the people who struggle with their core beliefs. I know my second suicide attempt was from feeling incredibly numb. Honestly, I think I've contemplated suicide while standing under all three umbrellas. My initial reaction was that I was a third umbrella type but I don't think that's true. While I do generally feel like I'm worthless, I also recognize that other people seem to find worth in me. I don't currently remain alive for my own sake but because I know it would hurt others for me to go. My core beliefs being messed up are not the main motivation for me to want a way out of this crazy game called life. I think I honestly vary between umbrellas one and two. Sometimes, when the numbness hits for a few days, I feel so disconnected from the world- like I'm no longer even a part of it. When I get overwhelmed by things, I feel hopeless. X said that the first umbrella is the dangerous one. I don't live there often and it's usually because I'm exhausted from feeling things.

The group also commented that I'm like a mentor of sorts to them. I shouldn't be the person anyone looks to as a role model or holder of wisdom. I'm barely holding it together most days. I'm just more honest about it when I'm in that group than I am even with my actual T. I feel safe there. And sometimes my comments inspire others to comment, which leads to real conversations. But a mentor? I have no idea what I'm doing.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Tonight was my T's group. He tried to get us to talk about SMART goals but the group wasn't having it. We ended up talking about our Christmas experiences and talking about family dysfunction. Basically, the whole group had something to say on this. One of the other members talked about how you don't realize how messed up your family is until you get out of it and start working on being healthier because the way your family always was was just normal to you. I knew when I graduated with my masters that I needed to get out and moved from western NY to MD to get some space. I didn't really realize that I was abused. I just knew that I needed out and wanted the freedom to build a life beyond my mom. Someone who rarely talks spoke at length tonight about getting out of his household. It was nice to hear from someone who normally doesn't really speak.

Overall a pretty good group. At the end, my T had us do this visualization exercise where we were supposed to picture something that's coming up in the future that we're worried about and visualize it with a good ending while doing bilateral stimulation. Well, I'm on vacation so the only thing coming up for me that's on my mind is my next therapy appointment. I couldn't quite visualize it having a happy ending because I'm not even sure what a happy ending would look like. I like the exercise and think it could be really helpful for me with the things that I typically struggle with but I need to pick something a little less anxiety inducing to build up the skill on first I think. Maybe a work thing I'm a little stressed about or when I get anxious about meeting new people. Something easier to define success with.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Was determined to get things done today but accomplished nothing. I woke up really late and was super lazy. Hopefully I will do better over the weekend. Tomorrow I am going to go to visit L and then play games with friends to ring in the new year. Winter break went by quickly this year. Hopefully the rest of the school year will as well.

I've been trying not to think about my appointment next week. The ball is already rolling and decisions already underway that I can do nothing to undo. I have to have faith that doing something is better than doing nothing. I definitely contemplated cancelling my appointment on Tuesday but I know that piper must be paid. At least writing the letter gave me almost two weeks off from worrying. Luckily, tomorrow I have plans and I am hoping to find my motivation to be productive by Friday.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I drove over to L's house yesterday and visited with her for awhile. I got to pet all three of her dogs. I brought her a container of cookies and she sent me home with an even bigger one. It was good to see her.

I played games with friends last night. It started out okay but eventually more people joined. I think we had 11 or 12 people on Zoom. It was too many people for me to feel comfortable. Also, because everyone else was drinking heavily, I imbibed a little. I slipped about a shot's worth of rum into my drink. This was a mistake. I drink so infrequently that I didn't realize that gabapentin and alcohol don't mix, despite being on gabapentin since September. I not only got way more influenced from one shot of rum than I had any right to be but I also woke up sick. My stomach really hurt last night as well but I didn't really know why. It was probably the drug interaction. Also, prazosin doesn't do well with alcohol either. Maybe it's the combination of the two drugs. But I feel awful today.

I'm willing to admit now that my trepidation with my therapy appointment isn't about getting dropped. I think a part of me is secretly hoping for that because this T is getting to know too much. It's amazing how many feelings can come up when you're under the influence. I was both simultaneously ready and not ready to let him in and that letter really let him in. It's likely going to open some hard discussions that I am unsure that I am ready to have with anyone. I'm far more comfortable hiding from the world and living in my little bubble but that comfort comes at the price of never being happy. I know that I can't live there anymore but I desperately want to. I think it would be helpful to figure out where exactly I am trying to go with all of this. What do I look like, feel like at the end of therapy when the work is primarily done? What is a realistic outcome that is actually worth all of this stress and pain? In many ways, I am very lucky to have survived my childhood. There were multiple incidents where my death was a somewhat likely outcome of the events. I can survive hard. I can survive this work. It might be helpful to have a picture of where this journey is taking me so that on the hard days, I can remember why I am doing this. I don't yet know what that looks like for me.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
It's Sunday night and, although I did get some schoolwork done today, I am not at all prepared to go back to work tomorrow. Ugh. No snow days this year either. Luckily there is at least a long weekend coming up soon. Yay! But this is heading into that awful time of the school year where there are few days off and I pray for snow days. I may not be religious but I sure do pray fervently to those snow gods. But again, no snow days this year.

I'm still more than a little bit nervous about my appointment with my T on Tuesday. I've been thinking about what a good outcome looks like. Honestly, I want to work with him. I need to work on learning how to trust him enough to really open up. I rationally believe he can help me and that he is a good person to work with. I do believe I can trust him. But that difficult irrational side of me doesn't like trusting anyone. But I need to start trying to see the bigger picture and if trusting him is the work I need to do to heal (or at least part of it), then I need to find a way. I need to allow myself to get attached to him. I think I need to view him like a pet. I really want to get a dog because I enjoy dogs and truly love them. With any luck, whatever dog I get will live a long time but will not outlive me. There will come an awful day when I have to say goodbye to this beloved creature and then go on to mourn its death. Is that mourning and loss a good enough reason to miss out on the joys of having a dog? Is the idea that getting attached to my therapist, who is a temporary person (although I do think it's more long term temporary) will bring me joy and healing in the greater picture of my life worth whatever sense of loss I may feel at the end? Looking at the bigger picture, I have to say yes. Maybe it's part healing to lose someone who means a great deal to you through nothing you did wrong and learn to cope with that loss. I've lost a lot of people over my lifetime through no fault of my own and, although painful, was manageable in time. I think it may be time to wade a little deeper into the water and just see what happens. Much like the flow of the river, time is ever marching forward. How much time do I want to waste in fear?

I want to be a person at the end of therapy who is in touch with her emotions, at least significantly more than I am now. I want to be able to really enjoy things instead of eventually overthinking them. But most of all, I want to learn how to love myself, to believe that I deserve good things enough not to sabotage them or push them away. I want to be able to be comfortable enough with life to not constantly always worry that something bad is about to happen because things are too good in the moment. I think it's entirely possible (haven't decided for sure) that my core beliefs cause me to worry about good things. It might not be the whole story but I really do think that it might be a part of it. I've been with this T for about a year. It's strange to think that in many ways, we're just getting started.
 
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