Sadielady3's Diary

Sadielady3

Confident
I felt a little guilty taking today off from work. We were given a free day off to recover from the vaccination. So far, so good. I've had some pain from the injection site and I may have been a little sleepier than usual (hard to say that was the vaccine though) but otherwise, I've been totally fine. But I took the day to just relax and it made my co-teacher have to show up and do his job.

I had X's group tonight. We mostly discussed the fear that comes from racial injustice. I've been indoctrinated into this from my experience working as a white woman in an inner city school. It's a difficult conversation to have and reminded me to be grateful that as a white woman, I don't have to worry about a lot of things that a lot of people of color do. It was a heavy conversation but it definitely was a good one to have. Not very impactful for me though.

My current goal is to quit this group first. I was thinking of quitting at the end of the summer but I think I may do it earlier. Not quite yet but I can always go back if I need to (very easy to rejoin) but I think as I continue to grow, this may be a thing to let go of in the near future.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Tonight's group with my T was good. We discussed how anxiety is not only not productive but also detrimental to fixing problems. It was a good discussion overall.

I am left with a quandary though. My T is starting a new group up. The new group's focus is CBT. Since being introduced to CBT last January through the IOP program, I've been interested in diving deeper into it. I don't think as a stand-alone therapy it would help me that much. But I am wondering as I work through the trauma in EMDR if it could help me to reframe my thoughts. I don't know that the thoughts are going to just go away. They may not have the root anchoring them down anymore but do they just disappear?

Honestly, if it was anyone but my T doing it, I'd jump on and give it a try. I don't want to burn my T out on me. I also feel like 3 groups may be too many. I don't know if maybe quitting X's group to do this group instead may be better for me. Maybe I should do 3 groups as I may like the support as EMDR gets rougher. I just don't know. I have no idea how to go about thinking about this either because I don't have enough information to really make a good choice, only feelings.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Good topic to bring to your T. Getting the information you need about EMDR. And any other questions you have, and being able to make an informed decision. That sounds workable.

I personally can tell you CBT is a great help with PTSD. It helps with the brain rewiring that we are doing. It also helps us to not feel we are floundering as much. I truly appreciated the time I spent doing CBT. I highly recommend it. Hugs to you Sadie. So nice to see you making plans for your future healing. I knew you could do this!!
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I think I've made my decision. Been circling around and around all day on whether or not to take on a third therapy group. I talked to my friend Y about it. I've actually talked to a lot of people about it but Y was the most helpful. Her response was that, yes, three groups and possibly doing therapy four times per week some weeks is a lot. She also said that with how willing to grow and change I've gotten in the past year, having more reliable information and fruitful discussions may be helpful to me. I do make efforts on my own and I'm not the patient sitting around waiting for my T to tell me what to do. She asked me if I had a student who was showing up all of the time asking for an education and was really working, would it annoy me? Of course my answer is no. If a student wants to work and grow and is doing so during offered scheduled times, I would never turn them away.

If this group was being offered by X, I'd go in a heartbeat. Heck, if I learned about it from X and he could refer me to the group with a stranger, I'd definitely go. I'm only really nervous about going because I feel like it will annoy my T to see me there. L pointed out that he's just starting this group and he may be happy to have warm bodies. A pointed out that I am an active participant in group therapy and he may be thrilled to have a student in the class that he knows will talk and interact with others.

I know I still believe down deep that my T hates me. I've been trying to work through that. I know it's the transference and not based on logic or reality. Yet, those feelings are still there. Y said that maybe more exposure to positive interactions with my T will help. When I'm with my T, I usually settle in and feel comfortable. But between sessions, I get ridiculously scared of this person who actually has limited power over me. EMDR is likely to make this worse. Maybe this is a good support right now.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
So I went to my T's new group and I was the only person who showed up. So we ended up talking about a bunch of things. We discussed EMDR and that it is not going to be a long term therapy for me as the HMO's therapy structure just won't allow it to be long term. I asked him when I should go back to scheduling just monthly instead of every other week and he said to just keep scheduling for now. He knew I was looking at May and not anything too near to today. He also said that if he had his way we'd be meeting twice weekly instead of every other week. I was quite honestly surprised to hear that.

We talked about how rough teachers have it these days and how I might be looking for a new career. I jokingly said that we should do a career aptitude test sometime to see what I should be when I grow up. He said that we could do that. I told him it wouldn't be necessary and explained how I take one every year with my students as part of the IEP process. Then I told him that I always get the same result and it's never teacher. He was curious about what my result is and I got very flustered. I did manage to tell him that it says that I should actually be a therapist. He said he wasn't at all surprised. He said that I was very empathic and sensitive to other people. He also said he sees me as highly intelligent and insightful. He said that my biggest strength would be my self-awareness when working with people that trigger counter-transference issues.

Between the conversation of him being willing to meet more often to work with me and his thoughts on me becoming a therapist, it was really helpful in combating the belief that he hates me. I would have never had the courage to ask him or tell him how I feel. And I'm writing it down so that I can look back and remember because I'm sure this one conversation didn't cancel out the transference or negative thoughts that drift through my head. I may need a reminder of the day that I could accept the idea that my T doesn't hate me.

I also spoke to my high school sweetheart today. I messaged him awhile back to see what he remembered of those years since he was around a lot. He finally responded today. He told me that my mother was a straight up bitch. He said she was a miserable person who liked to spread her misery around to others. He said that every positive change I tried to make was sabotaged by her from trying to lose weight and exercise to just taking even an ounce of pride in things I accomplished. He said that he remembered when there was a contest at school to solve a really complicated math problem. Any student in the school could solve it and enter in their solution to compete. I loved math (still do) and decided to try it. I had spent a lot of time creating a tri-fold presentation of my very detailed solution. I won the contest! My math teacher told my mom that it was one of the best solutions to any of the yearly problems he'd ever seen. She told me in the car that she saw a better way to solve the problem and she could have done it much easier and with a more efficient method than I did. I was in ninth grade and beat out the seniors in my gifted math program. She spent time once we got home picking apart what I did wrong and how my work was subpar and embarrassing to her. I had won the contest but it felt like I lost. I never entered it again. My high school boyfriend remembered that and he said that from that moment on, she was his enemy. He said he couldn't understand how any parent who had such an amazingly gifted child could be so cruel. He's now a parent with a four year old little girl and he said that he can't imagine ever being disappointed in her if she did her best work on something, even if she didn't win.

The things I'm starting to remember are real. They line up with what other people remember. I need to keep accepting that these things are true.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
It makes me sad and angry at how she treated you Sadie. But to have someone that was there validate how cruel and soul stomping she was must really help you to accept how cruel she was. And still is for that matter.

You do have to give yourself a lot of credit for succeeding in life, in spite of her. Not to spite her, but you rose above and accomplished a lot. She didn't take it all from you!!!

Glad the exchange between you and T was so positive and glad you put it here so you can go back and read what he thinks of you. Just the opposite of what your mother tried to convince you of.

Funny how things work out sometimes. You got to have that one on one with your T in a different setting and it was very productive.

You got this Sadie. You just needed someone to believe in you. And you will begin to believe in yourself. Sending high fives and hugs!!
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I feel genuinely calm and happy today. I've been this way most of the time for the past week. It's been nice.

Yesterday's conversation with my T was such a gift to me. It's the conversation I've needed to have for awhile. I didn't ask my questions directly, for the most part, but I go the answers anyway. I wish I could schedule check-ins with my T more often. Perhaps after the EMDR, I can work them into normal sessions once in awhile. That conversation gave me what I needed to maybe find the courage to ask the hard questions.

I have my second EMDR session later today. I know the happy feelings are going to go away as a result. But I can also see the bigger picture here. I have to keep doing this work in order to make the calm happiness become a more permanent way of life.

For the past year, I've really been questioning whether or not I really want to be a teacher. I've had countless discussions about this with friends. It would be hard to leave a stable career where I've been building a pension to go back to school and start over, especially now that I'm over 40. I know people do it and life is too short to stay at a job that I'm not happy in. I think L's advice is best on this. I should try to switch over to general education, as that job is much easier. I should keep working in therapy to achieve more stability and when that happens, the little petty stuff that gets to me might not get to me as much. She said that if I could get to a place where I can really focus on the part of my job that I do love, the actual teaching, and let the other stuff go, I might enjoy it much more. This is also a bad year to base a decision like that on with all of the virtual learning going on. Still, this has been a recurring theme for years now. Many people have overcome far more substantial obstacles to change careers or even bigger things in their lives than I would be. I could do this if it's what I really want.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I feel dizzy. I feel detached from my body somehow. My stomach is not happy either- nauseous and hurting. My chest hurts. After this entry, I'm going to go lay down. But I wanted to write things down while they're fresh in my mind.

Today was session number two for EMDR. Today was brutal. Really glad I moved my sessions to Fridays. We started with the suicide memory. This led to the memory of my step dad and the shot gun. My T asked me what I would say to my mom if I could talk to her in that moment. I would ask her how she could marry a man that shot a gun aiming anywhere near her child? How could she blame the child for it? What could a child have possibly done that excused that? I went back to the dresses and being locked in my room when I was little. I remembered my mom's conversation with my teacher about how I was almost human, almost likeable. I remembered being body checked and being told I ruined her life. I remembered being forgotten at the school and a teacher bringing me home and my mom going out to the driveway to scream at the teacher for daring to drive me home.

My T asked me what I thought that said about my mother. I told him that she seemed to care more about how she looked to other people than she did about my well-being. He commented that to him it seemed like maybe she was incapable of loving another person. I disagreed with that assessment because she was capable of loving my brother and not me. He thought about this for a moment and said he'd like to work on processing the relationship with my brother as it seems like it's a block for me with working on the concept that I'm unlovable. By this time, I just nodded. I was fighting the tears pretty hard.

I just hope this is the path to healing for me. Today was brutal.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I woke up congested this morning and with a bit of a headache. I did a lot of sleeping. I also did a lot of crying. I cry a lot generally but it's nearly always out of frustration or anger. It's rare for me to feel sad enough to cry. Last night I was deeply sad. It felt like I was in mourning. I'm not sure for what exactly. Am I mourning for that child I once was? Maybe for my childhood? It seems strange to mourn these things though because it was a long time ago and I've been aware for a long time that my childhood was pretty awful, even if I couldn't remember all of the specifics.

Something I forgot to write down yesterday was the discussion my T had with me about parts. He's wondering if maybe this lost little girl from my past is a part of me. I know a little bit about parts theory but not a whole lot. I remember it was talked about in "The Body Keeps the Score". I remember thinking that I might have a reporter that shows up to therapy to give a run down of what's going on with me but that I keep the irrational emotional side of me from showing up at all. I don't have many reactions in therapy that are not logic based. Usually the things my T says to me are processed after the session. I should definitely look more into this. The one page I saw this morning when I was starting to poke around at this said that there are five common signals that you might have parts showing up. They are perfectionism, self-aggression, regression, self-sabotage, and pervasive shame. I know I have significant issues with perfectionism, self-aggression, and pervasive shame. I think I might have some self-sabotage. Not really sure about the regression though. It also sounded like you don't need all five to have parts. My T said that everyone has parts to some extent. That made sense to me. This might really be worth exploring in therapy once we finish EMDR.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Today has been a day. I still have a headache from Friday's EMDR session. One of my students went into full-blown crisis today. He'd been reaching out to crisis hotlines over the weekend and he had reached a breaking point this afternoon. He was having a lot of thoughts about self-harm. I got his guidance counselor on Zoom with us and eventually the parent. He has wonderful supportive parents and the meeting went really well. Afterwards, I was talking to the guidance counselor and she thanked me profusely for helping him. She asked me if I'd ever considered becoming a therapist or guidance counselor. The truth is, if money wasn't an issue, I would do it in a heartbeat. I think I'd find the career rewarding. Based on what my own T said last week and what other friends and even my husband has said, I'd be good at it based on my nature. But unfortunately, I think I'm just too old and too confined by finances to ever do something like that. Luckily, I work in a career where I do get to scratch that itch and help students with their problems. But my main strength as a teacher is, and will likely always be, my ability to build good relationships with students. I've always been that teacher that students go to with their problems. It's not the same but it's more than most people get to do.

The whole incident with the student today was a bit triggering. I remembered when I was fifteen and threatening suicide and my mom got informed. I was so severely judged and punished for asking for help. I knew that things were going to play out differently as I had already had mental health conversations about this student with them. But I couldn't help but remember when I was in his seat. It made me sad that my mom didn't take it as a sign that I needed help. Instead, she was worried about me embarrassing her. I was shamed for attention seeking behavior. I didn't do anything wrong. My student absolutely did the right thing. So did I all of those years ago. I just wish someone had loved me enough back then to help me. Maybe I wouldn't even be in therapy now at 40 years old had that been the case.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I had X's group tonight and it was good. The thing is, I tend to have more fun at the group these days than anything else. However, someone asked my question: how do you re-enter society when you don't really want to. Most people are looking forward to getting back to normal but I'm not. I can look around and see all of the ways that it benefits me to be alone. I sometimes even wonder if the isolation has allowed me to remain calm enough to get to my deeper issues. I'm not constantly preoccupied with the daily stressors that normally trigger me like crazy. Maybe that's why a part of me dreams of a new career. Sure, therapists interact with their patients but it's one person at a time and I'm not under the microscope. I also could probably set myself up as a virtual therapist only. That's getting to be in pretty high demand these days. I've also daydreamed about being a writer. I think I could do that one while still teaching though, or at least get started with it. But I'd be missing that aspect of helping others and I think I would ultimately get bored with it or feel unfulfilled.

However, I know down deep that finding a way to remain isolated indefinitely (and I probably could figure out a way to do this), isn't really what I'm supposed to be doing in life. I actually really love other people. I might even be a secret extrovert with weird isolation tendencies. Maybe right now is as good as life gets for me- lots of people doing virtual socializing so I can interact without having to be in the same room. Might be worth considering anyway.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I had my T's group tonight. We talked about radical acceptance. During the conversation, I started talking about locus of control stuff and how I try to use radical acceptance after I've determined that something is outside of my locus of control. Through the discussion I ended up talking about how I micromanage most stressors that come my way. I got a compassionate but negative reaction to the word "micromanage". The I realized that, yes, I do in fact micromanage the stressors in my life. On some level, I don't trust myself to react appropriately or acceptably to things and so I jump right to assessing them intellectually. Not sure how I feel about this.

I've been reading about parts through the book "Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation" by Janina Fisher. I think my T is definitely on to something with this. I've finished the introduction and it seems like the information will be relevant to me. It's awfully hard to process this information, not because it's intellectually challenging, but because it takes away a curtain and reveals a way in which my childhood damaged me. It makes it harder to accept the idea that my childhood wasn't that bad.
 
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