Sadielady3's Diary

Sadielady3

Confident
In terms of my job, today went far better than I expected. I had expected to get yelled at for something I legitimately screwed up back in December. Instead, I was able to fix it enough that I escaped the cruel grasp of punishment. I even got thanked by my boss for my hard work and that hard work was fixing my own mistake. I need to get some work done tonight but things are in a state of much less chaos now than they were yesterday.

However, I feel awful. I don't really understand why. I woke up feeling empowered. It's probably why I charged ahead and focused on my professional responsibilities today. It was a good day to do that too- so many meetings! I was on Zoom nearly the entire work day. But at some point in the day I asked myself what I should read next. I know I could get great advice by asking here on the forums or even just doing my own research. It occurred to me that maybe I should ask my T about it. Maybe there's a book he has read (he never finished "The Body Keeps the Score") that he thinks would be good for me to read. I thought maybe there would be things I could then talk to him about in the book if something niggled at me and it could be a great place to have a conversation from. I figured it would help me keep him on this journey with me instead of me going down paths that are either wrong or totally different than what he is seeing. It took me months to utter the acronym PTSD in front of him. I still haven't been able to work up the courage to mention the complex part of that. Mentally, I think I see myself differently than he does and I don't know if I'm right or if he just doesn't know me well enough to see the things that I see. Maybe it could even make it easier to talk to him about some things that I've been avoiding. I debated asking him for a few hours because I hate bothering him between sessions but ultimately decided that asking him seemed to have benefits and should take maybe five minutes out of his day to respond to and that shouldn't be a super big deal.

So, I asked. He responded a few hours later with telling me that he is polling his colleagues and will get back to me about it. I feel terrible about this for two main reasons. First, it may or may not be a book that he is familiar with. So I probably can't talk to him about it. Second, this is a lot more work on his part than I had planned to ask him for. Maybe I'm just a weirdo who reads too much. Maybe it was an inappropriate question to ask. I don't always feel like I know what the rules of therapy are.

I know I won't ever ask again. I could always ask in my IOP grad group- there are some readers in there. And of course I could ask here. It's not about the book. It was so hard to ask for the little thing, worrying about being a bother. It turned into a bigger ask than I intended.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Be easier on yourself Sadie. Yes, you could have come here and asked for suggestions. But it's his job to help you. Maybe one day you will realize he is a human first then a T. He was helping in the way he knew how.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
@ladee , I know he is human. He chuckled at me in my last session when I mentioned things that I had seen on my after care report that I knew weren't correct. He said that I seem to catch all of his mistakes. This conversation was not at all accusatory or demeaning but related to something else I was trying to explain. He also admitted in our last session that he has not read the neurological research on EMDR because the words look like Arabic to him. He has limits and weaknesses. I still think he is intelligent and insightful but definitely limited and flawed.

No, my issue is guilt for imposing on him. My instinct is to push him away. This was my feeble attempt to try to include him. It failed. I am not angry at him for this. Just feeling guilty for bothering him and sadness that I will continue to take this journey alone.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
It is not going to be this way forever Sadie. And I know you have no reason other than my own experience to prove that things do not stay the same. It is very lonely to be where you are. But it will change and it will get different. Maybe not better for a while, but you are going to like you one day. And, not be so hard on yourself.

I do understand how you feel about thinking or feeling that you 'bothered ' someone. It's a crappy feeling. But you took a risk about contacting him. Would you believe that one day you are going to look back and laugh that you were so upset about this???

Not dismissing how you feel now, not what I'm saying. But things are going to change for you. I know the loneliness you are talking about. And it's a horrible place to be. But you do keep trying. You are still showing up for your life.

I know you don't believe me and that's ok. It really is. But I see something starting to spark with you. Keep doing what you are doing and don't let that spark die. Hope you get some good rest tonight.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
It's been an awful day. My boss went back to her old ways of blaming everyone and everything for her mistakes (nothing is ever her fault) and kept creating extra work for me. As if I didn't have enough to do. I'm already so far behind.

I already asked L and she said that I am in fact too old to run away from home. Damn. But as much as I want to go into super avoidance mode at the moment, at least I'm not suicidal. I guess that's a plus.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about therapy today. I'm trying to use some logic here. My HMO doesn't have a lot of therapists that do EMDR. I think X said that there are two that he knows of. I happened to be lucky enough to get one of them. A part of me feels like I am forcing my T into doing EMDR with me. He has seemed a lot less enthused about the whole thing lately. My fear levels have been off the charts regarding him all week, first about the letter and then about how he interacted with me. If my perception of his attitude towards me is the product of projection or transference, I'd like to think that the EMDR will help with that, at least a little. Either my core beliefs will improve or possibly the relationship with my mother won't impact me so greatly and the transference will weaken. I have no idea if that's how any of this works but it seems like it could work.

Especially after the book debacle yesterday, I feel bad being somewhat demanding. He's not making sure I have the right appointments to proceed but I am. Technically, I am not supposed to schedule more than one appointment per month. He knows I have a second appointment this month and he knows I have two in February and didn't cancel either of them. I wouldn't have known about EMDR at all if it wasn't for him. He originally suggested it. I genuinely work hard at learning and trying to get better. I do all of my homework (which usually he assigns based on what I'm already doing). He would totally be the teacher who never gives real homework, much like myself, lol. I think what I'm really considering is to "use him" to get the EMDR and re-evaluate. And I felt somewhat guilty about this, using someone. But I'm just asking him to continue to get paid for doing a job he offered to do and hasn't actually refused. It would be wrong to stay friends with someone just to gain some sort of benefit beyond normal friendship. But I know I need trauma therapy and EMDR is a form of that. Really talking to him about big things has gotten too hard. I keep consistently screwing it up. I'm just so damn afraid of him. And it's going to be the same for me with any T that's a good fit for me. I need something designed to help with trauma. Talk therapy is hit and miss, statistically speaking. I'm just not used to advocating for what I need, always worrying about other people's wants and feelings. Maybe even the act of pushing for this will be therapeutic for me as it's never been something that I've done before.

It has also occurred to me that my T is a human living through a pandemic too. His caseload has increased tremendously during the pandemic. He's working harder than ever. Perhaps some of his less than friendly demeanor is a bit of well earned burn out. I honestly hope for everyone's sake that this vaccine rolls out smoothly and quickly and lives can start to return to normal.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I spent some time last night reading more about EMDR. I probably saw a lot of the information I cam across before but wasn't ready to absorb it. It was the same with the idea of having trauma. I couldn't see that word when I first looked into EMDR and didn't yet understand that my issues were tied to trauma. I originally thought that my T wanted to do EMDR to help with my anxiety but the very first word in the article he sent me was trauma. I have no idea if this is a normal thing on this journey- to not see what we're not ready to see but it's mine.

I was reading about other peoples' experiences with EMDR and saw that many people with significant early childhood trauma reached a place where they themselves became a blank slate. So much of their personalities, wants, desires, and characteristics were formed by trauma that as the effects of it went away, they were left without knowing who they are. This is slightly frightening to me but I think it makes some sense. I have been wondering for awhile now who I would have grown up to be without the effects of trauma. One thing I've talked about with my T is my teaching career. He stated back in early October that I probably became a teacher to save a kid like me. At the time we were discussing this in terms of me having ADHD because that's the diagnosis that we were both leaning to. The process of being tested for ADHD and really believing by the end of that process that I had ADHD is what led me to discover that I have trauma instead. So if this trauma is actually what led me to wanting to be a teacher, when it's being healed, will I want to teach anymore?

In a way, this whole concept is scary. If these people are accurate and I'm about to be reborn as a different person, the person I might have been without the trauma, my whole life might change. In a way it's really exciting to finally get to meet the person I really am when all of the crap and pain is stripped away. These people also talked about how much lighter their hearts feel. I would love to be in a place where I'm not in constant pain. Maybe that's a lot of the lasting pain of trauma- not being your true self. If trauma really integrates into who we become, it makes a lot of sense of why we can't just get over it. Maybe it's why when I look in the mirror I hate what I see back- it's not my true self. Maybe all I see is the trauma and the pain. I don't honestly know.

I've started reading the book "Trauma and Recovery". Definitely not as good as "The Body Keeps the Score" but there have been a few things that I have stood out to me that were hard to absorb. The books talks about how many survivors of trauma believe that they will die young. I remember always thinking I wouldn't make it to the next big birthday. I remember feeling astounded at the idea of being thirty when I was in my twenties. This was never a vanity thing. I will tell you straight up that I am forty years old now. It's just a number. This was always a thing where I just never thought I'd live that long. It also talked about feeling like you were cursed, not as much for yourself but for others. I have definitely had conversations with people where I outright stated that I ruin other people's lives.

I think it helps me to read and understand more about the symptoms of trauma because there is this part of me that feels like I am wrong somehow. It doesn't feel like I should have been anything other than what I am. I spend so much time trying to do enough to justify my existence. It feels like, "Oh hey, I know I'm actually a horrible worthless sack of meat but look, I also do a lot of good things in the world so that gives me enough value that I'm not a complete waste of space, right?" There are two really big problems with living this way. The first is that you can theoretically always be doing more for others. I could sleep less or waste less time on leisure activities. I could work harder and therefore be a better person. So it will never be enough. The second is that it leaves no space for finding happiness that's solely for me. I will always be defined by how much I do for others and therefore doing anything that doesn't revolve around others is guilt inducing. I don't deserve to do things for my own personal happiness.

The pandemic might be the best thing that ever happened to me. My job no longer has the joy it used to without the human connections that usually come with teaching. I can't hide in those relationships this year. I can't hide from my life by staying endless hours at work. There's nothing to get that wrapped up in. It's amazing sometimes the things we can see when everything else gets stripped away.

I sincerely hope that the EMDR works. I hope that if the person I think I am isn't really me that I can meet the person I was meant to be and learn how to be her. I hope it really will lighten my heart. I hope that, no matter what, this helps me to heal and become more whole.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I got a lot of work done between yesterday and today. I'm still really behind. But at least I did do a little bit of the grading that I promised the kids I would do. I also wrote four IEPs and completed other paperwork for upcoming meetings. It's just so hard to focus these days. I need the normalcy of my life back. I do a lot better staying on task with things at work but now my leisure time and work time occur in the same space. Makes it harder to have a clear divide between the two. I didn't used to work weekends when I went to work. Now I feel like I'm always working and always playing. Definitely miss having more structure that I am just not disciplined enough to create for myself.

Had my guitar lesson yesterday. Just ended up chatting for the first fifteen minutes but I am okay with that. Heck, I was doing a lot of the chatting. As long as guitar lessons are fun, I'm good with whatever. Eventually if all we did was chat, I'd cancel but once in awhile after the week I had last week, I was totally okay with it.

Did sneak out of my house today for a couple of hours to go over to my in-laws house to celebrate my husband's birthday. Got doggy snuggles. Even those this weekend was filled with too much work, at least there were some good highlights.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Had the IOP group tonight. I inspired the theme accidentally. I was talking about how I'm trying to wrap my head around not being perfect with playing the guitar and we ended up talking about perfectionism. The talk on perfectionism, which very much applies to me, turned to negative self talk, which also very much applies to me but is a much harder topic for me to think about. I like X's approach though- be a little less negative about things. It feels realistic. The trouble is, in my heart of hearts, I still don't believe that I deserve to be gentler with myself. There's a deeper issue yet. Fingers still crossed that the EMDR is going to help.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I'm at a breaking point. I don't know if this is a sign of growth or weakness. I don't really know anything.

My day was a chaotic and awful one. My new co-teacher is upset with me for not getting more grading done. I understand where he is coming from and all I can say is that I'm absolutely buried in work and doing the best I can to keep digging.

The IEP meeting I had today got contentious. Not with the parent, mind you, but with my boss. She went through and changed the IEP I wrote. I would be okay with this except that she filled in a lot of erroneous information. So I got to spend an hour fixing what she put in there. She even criticized me for having the errors. I didn't. She replaced the correct things I had done with her errors and then accused me of making mistakes.

During this contentious meeting, mom was repeatedly messaging me over Facebook. She claimed it was an emergency but I was in the middle of my meeting. The meetings cut off after an hour and we were 45 minutes in. It's also a legal procedure in that the document produced is a legally binding document that I am legally responsible for and can be taken to court if it's wrong (rare, but today could have happened with the meddling of my boss). I told my mom I could help her in fifteen minutes. She was crazed though and kept messaging me, claiming I didn't care if she lived or died and that my job is more important. What was the emergency that I could help with from two states away that might kill her, you might ask? Well, her car wouldn't start and her phone wasn't working. She needed someone to come and tow her car to get fixed. She missed her hair appointment and needed someone to call her hairdresser. She has no other places to go anytime soon. So now, between the many meetings I had today, I had to call AAA to get her car towed. Then I called her hairdresser. Then, when AAA didn't actually tow her car, I got to call again and arrange for them to come back. Then the garage called to get specifics from me. My husband tried to help her but she refused his help. My brother and sister-in-law tried to help her but she refused their help. Why, you might ask? Because they are busy with their jobs and she doesn't want to bother them. Now, I have no idea what my brother and sister-in-law were up to today but I know for a fact that my husband had all of the time in the world to help her. I lost hours of time with AAA today between the time on hold and the several phone calls it took. Oh, and they didn't take her car the first time because she wasn't out there to give them the keys, despite the fact that I had told her that they would be there in fifteen minutes during one of the calls.

But the kicker of all of this was that on Facebook, she thanked my sister-in-law, brother, and husband for helping her today. I saw it and got really angry. I didn't used to get angry with her, I would just feel sad and dejected when she pulled crap like this. Now, I'm just angry. I didn't need recognition but to recognize people who didn't do anything while inconveniencing the hell out of me today was a whole different story.

Then I went downstairs and actually practiced my guitar. This helped me to ground a little and let go of the anger I felt in that moment. Then, I went to group. Tonight's group was intense. Really intense. This group is not usually the intense one. We had a new member and she spoke about childhood trauma and some of the fallout she has been experiencing from that. I talked about a past relationship from college and how angry I was when that person died and everyone thought he was some sort of saint. This refueled the anger ten fold. My head started to pound as a result of the conversation.

Now I'm sitting here angry. I'm just so angry at the people who should have treated me better, should have loved me for causing me to be this now in the present. Even if I get better, the residual damage is always going to be there. From what I've read about, I'm extremely lucky to have found a kind, nurturing soul to marry. For years I dated men who were not kind. I tolerated so much abuse and mistreatment from so many people over the years. It was what was comfortable, familiar. My husband never speaks to me unkindly nor would he ever raise a hand to me. I am so grateful for him. He's not perfect but he's a really good man with a really good, gentle, kind heart. I got so incredibly lucky with him.

But in the meantime, I am left with so much anger that it feels like it's streaming out of my ears. I don't know if that means I'm growing enough to be angry at things I should be or if it means that I'm getting more anchored in the past. But I'm going to go eat my dinner and try to relax and have fun with my friends this evening. Maybe the distraction will help.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
I see it as healthy Sadie. What she did was shitty. But her normal. And it used to be your normal to be hurt by it. Which I know you were. But the anger is healthy.

You aren't internalizing it to make you feel worthLESS this time. You are pointing a finger at the one who hurt you. Took up hours of your day. Caused you to be further behind in your work.

I know it made you chuckle the last time I told you I was proud of you. But this is grown woman to grown woman saying, 'I'm proud of your growth to be handing back what is not yours to carry'

This is a major part of our healing. To stop owning what isn't ours. So yes, you are growing. I'm sorry she's so selfish and doesn't see the person that we know here.

Hope today is better for you. Gentle hugs.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I woke up angry this morning. My jaw hurts because I was clenching my teeth through the night. This is a new experience for me. I don't really like being angry but usually emotions hit me like a truck and fade out pretty quickly. Instead, I'm still angry. Hopefully it's a good sign that my emotions are starting to be more present. I realized that my emotions have been very disconnected to me for a long time. For a long time, I was just a bundle of anxiety and that was pretty much all I ever felt. I learned how to act appropriately in many social situations but never really felt happy at happy events. I've just been so shut down and never really knew that. So much I don't know about myself.

I may not be able to really use my voice yet but I guess it seems like I'm starting to have something to say.
 
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