Sadielady3's Diary

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I had X's group tonight. I didn't really want to go, not out of avoidance but because I'm on vacation and really not struggling with too much lately. However, I did go because I think it's important to stick to the routine. If it's not a thing I always do, a habit, on the weeks I need it, I'll be hesitant to go. We discussed how to not take ownership of other peoples' woes and communicating in relationships. I did participate but didn't get much out of it personally. I suspect tomorrow night's group will be much the same. On weeks like these I start thinking I don't need therapy anymore and I'm all better. Ah, if only that were true...
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I went to my T's group tonight. There were an awful lot of new people there. I did a fair amount of talking tonight. I mentioned that I didn't feel I strictly needed to be there but I felt it was important to stick with my routines. Other people mentioned that they enjoyed seeing me there when I'm feeling good because I am a friendly face and it's nice to see someone who is smiling.

I have also figured out my suicidality stuff. It's a control issue. Through a lot of my reading and just reflecting, a lot of people with traumatized parts become suicidal as a "fight" response. I've been feeling like I have no choice but to do therapy and no say in how things will happen for awhile now. I had even started pushing back against friends and my husband. Wanting to skip a session of group because I don't need it should 100% be my choice. Being able to take a break because I need one should be my choice. Sometimes taking that step back to think is not a bad thing. My husband and I discussed this tonight and he said his main concern is that it will take forever to get an appointment if I cancel one. As I make my own appointments, I did promise that I would continue to schedule myself but it has to be my choice to go to therapy. Feeling forced into being there and feeling like I'm not being treated like an adult sucks.

I think this epiphany came to me when I was in group last night. X said something along the lines of trying to explain mental health issues to people who don't have just can't get it while trying to explain it to people who are struggling is pointless since they already know. My friends and husband really love me. I'm lucky in this. But none of them have significant mental health issues so they really can't understand my struggles with this. Feeling like I'm being forced into treatment when they can't possibly understand what my deal is has been hard. I can't explain it to them sufficiently but I think X is right- this is something that they really can't understand. I'm not saying I'm quitting but if I just need a break from group one week, I should be able to take it.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
It's been a day of much reflection and conversation. I talked to M for a few hours today about everything that's going on with me (and her too, of course). I filled her in on the mom saga and she said that I absolutely can't go without wiping out a year's worth of therapy, if not leaving me more damaged than before I started working with my current T. I told her that I had already told my mom no without saying no.

She said that the therapy dilemma is a tough one. At this exact moment, I am feeling pretty good. I still am delusional enough on this feeling of calm to feel done with therapy. I went back and re-read some previous entries here. It wasn't that long ago that I felt dissatisfied with my current treatment structure. She also believes that a lot of people will be leaving therapy soon as the world is opening up again. She said that my current T might be more available and less scatter-brained when things lessen but that could also mean being able to find a good private therapist as well a lot easier (one of my major concerns). She also thinks that group therapy is a really important aspect to my treatment so I'd need to find a private group to join as well. She also felt it was important for me to do some kind of therapy, EMDR or otherwise, that is built to deal with trauma. She said that since my anxiety and depression were mostly under control these days, the trauma really does need to be addressed. She also agreed with me about the SI being a control issue. I've always struggled, for as long as I can remember, with SI but I hadn't been engaging in planning anything before October when the trauma hit. She asked me what made me feel so hopeless.

So I contemplated this and at first, the planning occurred because I felt flooded and overwhelmed by the trauma I was remembering. The nightmares. The struggling with this life-changing realization that I don't just have some anxiety and depression but instead am deeply wounded. It was so much pain in such a short amount of time. I was never afraid of facing the pain but was concerned my T was going to bolt and I'd have to face this issue that I had no clue how to face alone. That fear has greatly subsided. But because I was in such a bad place, my friends and husband rushed in to support. That level of support was needed and felt loving when I was in such a bad place but now feels restrictive. I don't like having my capability to make decisions questioned all of the time. I know they mean well and everything is happening out of love but I'm a grown-ass woman who needs agency in her own life.

She also asked me that if I had a month to live, what would I run out to do. Nothing. There is nothing on a bucket list. Nothing I feel like I should see or do before I go. I have no goals or dreams currently. I simply exist. She said that this is a major problem and that without having desires or something to work towards, life becomes pointless and long. But I think I don't really know who I am. I was force fed a lot of crap throughout my childhood. I need to get rid of the crap to figure out what I really want.

I went to my T's CBT group today. It was just me and one other participant. I spoke about my discussions with my husband about changing treatment plans. My T thought about this for a few minutes and responded that he didn't think anyone should decide treatment plans for anyone else. He said he would never tell a patient what to do with anything, let alone telling them what treatment option is best for them. He said he could advise and give input but ultimately the level of treatment is up to the patient.

I talked things over with my husband again. He said that if I can start being more honest with my T that he'd be less nervous about the structure of therapy. His whole thing is that if I saw someone weekly that I might open up more. I tried to explain to him that this whole therapy thing is a process and that for people like me this is a slow process and will have growth and setbacks. We agreed that if I backslid to the point I was at right before I had to go to IOP or if I went back to where I was in October, or in other words actually in crisis, that he could interject and have more say. He still wants me to keep scheduling appointments so that they are available in case I need them. I am currently scheduled through June.

Tomorrow I have individual therapy scheduled. I don't strictly need to go but I think I probably should go and have some sort of conversation with my T since I am in a good head space. I definitely want to be brave enough to tell him the whole story on the SI, the near attempts that he doesn't know about. I might be able to pull that off right now. I am trying to think of what else I should tell him, what he needs to know, that I might actually have the mental fortitude to tell him right now. I need to think on this. If I'm going to take up an appointment when I don't strictly need it, I need to make it count.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I went to my therapy session today. It has to be the most intense session I've ever been through.

I jumped straight into the suicidality stuff. I told him pretty clearly about December. He looked at me and told me that I should have been committed. We discussed a stay in the hospital and what that would be like. He told me that if my husband really wants to fix things, times like these are when he does need to take control and push the issue of a hospital visit. I spoke to my husband about this and he asked me directly if I would tell him the truth. I told him that I would. He also wanted to get some questions to ask or guidance on how to know when to get that involved from my therapist. I told him I would ask my T for that on Monday. My T seemed pretty fired up about this conversation and even muttered under his breath that he had a lot of feelings regarding this incident. I am unsure if he was angry at me or angry that those around me didn't act. I also told him about the ineffectiveness of the Urgent Care therapists. He then got a lot more insistent about me going to the hospital if I need to. He said my safety comes before all else.

We discussed the treatment plan. I told him that I think that I have to deal with the trauma now and that my coping skills are about as good as they are going to get with my anxiety and depression issues. I told him that I'm not dead set on EMDR but I do want to do some sort of therapy designed to address trauma. He said that the only trauma therapy he practices is EMDR so if I wanted to go another route, I'd need to be referred out.

We discussed my need for control and where that stems from. He asked me what happened that made me so afraid to give other people control. I'm sure it stems from a number of childhood incidents as well but I know the big event it really stems from. It's the worst trauma of my life, at least as far as I am aware. We decided to proceed with some EMDR processing on the memory. It went well, according to my T, but was really difficult. Now I feel light and slightly out of it but not too bad. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
Last night I played D&D with a friend and her friends. I had a good time and I think I fit in with the group pretty well. We're playing again next Friday. It would be nice to have a fun, light hearted socialization thing to do at the end of my weeks so hopefully this will work out for me.

I slept for twelve hours last night and still feel pretty tired today. I feel really light though. I think because the memory we were working on has haunted me consciously for so long and is so present in my mind regularly, it's not bothering me psychologically as much as the memories previously processed. Or, it just didn't go deep enough yet.

Actually, today I am more concerned with feeling like I upset my T. I talked to L about it last night and she said it's because he knew I needed help and I didn't give him a chance to help. Maybe. My husband thinks it alarmed him because he now realizes that I might not tell him things that I really need to tell him. While that's still true, the relationship has grown a fair amount since then. I still definitely have my doubts on whether or not he actually cares but I do trust him more than I used to. I honestly don't know if I'd tell him if I was actively suicidal. But it has a lot more to do with not wanting to go to the hospital than it does about trusting him. Sometimes I know I should go but am terrified to actually go. And, in those mind spaces, I don't want to go because I honestly don't want help. I don't know how to fix that exactly. I am missing the will to live. I'm still at the point where I would press the button that erases me from time and space, given the choice. I'm just not actively suicidal at the moment.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Are you wanting any feedback on this Sadie or do you want the time to answer your questions and search for your answers?

I'm asking because I'm often not clear about what that boundary is. Don't want to step on your toes.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Honestly, I know I had something to share yesterday, but it's gone to the abyss of nonsense by now. But thanks for the ok to throw my two cents in now and again.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I've been doing some major thinking since my therapy appointment on Friday and I've realized some things.

I've known for awhile now that I am not my trauma. Those events were things that happened to me. However, they shaped me and made me into who I am today. I realized that a part of me fragmented off at some of these worst moments of my life. A part of me still lives there. I compare them to Horcruxes like in the Harry Potter series. The only way I can move on is to get rid of those parts. I can't grow a healthy soul, mind, or heart as long as those parts of me are still connected and keeping me anchored to the past.

I need to let go of the past. I think people can just let go when something bad happened to them if it didn't change who they are. My events changed and shaped me. I need to vanquish these ghosts. The truth really is very simple: I'm so connected to a horrible, painful past that I can't really live and enjoy the present. Some part of me always thinks I'm going to wind up going back there because some part of me never left.

So, we're doing EMDR. I'm hopeful that in time it will help me to genuinely let go. If it works, then I think my next step is one of growth. Figuring out what my purpose is, what things I truly enjoy, and living enough in the here and now to be an active participant in my life.

If the EMDR does not work, it will be time to move on to a different therapist and a different approach. I've always known this was a possibility and a part of me has always known that it was unlikely that my current T would be the last T I ever work with. I think therapy might be a lifelong thing for me, at least in cycles or on and off again. And honestly, for the first time since I started working with my T, I don't find this idea distressing. That relationship has grown enough to where I can accept that I have grown from the work we've done. I'm not at all where I was a year ago or even four months ago. I learned how to sit with someone who has no reason to accept or care about me and accept that they do. That maybe there is something inside of me worth saving, even if I can't usually see it.

I teach math and am certified and licensed to teach any math class at my school. However, I would be a very poor choice to teach the higher levels of math. Algebra and geometry are my wheelhouse. I occasionally get a student who wants me to teach something more advanced like calculus because they enjoy working with me. It's never the lack of wanting to continue the journey with these students but it does come down to my professional comfort with trying to teach that material. I may be qualified by the state but I am lacking the experience and knowledge to do so. I understand now that my journey may require a different set of skills. I've always rationally known this but now I am more at peace with understanding it. I now really understand that the time to move on might be coming and that it doesn't mean that there's something wrong with me or that my T doesn't give a crap. I understand that it means I need something that he just can't give me. I've resolved that relationship, for the most part, and, although I really would miss him if ultimately I shift gears, it may have reached a more natural conclusion now. That in and of itself may be a sign. But time will tell and for the first time in awhile, I feel like I have clarity and a direction to move in.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I went to X's group Monday night. I didn't get a lot out of it personally but enjoyed being there. I've begun to realize that the topic doesn't always speak to me but being with other people who struggle helps me to feel like I'm not a freak and not alone.

I went to my T's Tuesday night group last night. I had a great time there until the end. One of the other participants asked about what to do with her treatment and how to cope with only seeing her T once per month. I took the question wrong and thought she was complaining about her T not letting her talk about what she wants to talk about. I feel awful about the feedback I gave her when I realized it later. I genuinely understand all too well the struggle of not getting enough time with T. I feel like an asshole, even though I didn't say anything too awful.

I realize that I am lucky. I have access to healthcare that would allow me to see a T weekly, if I choose to go that route in the fall. Not everyone can make that choice. I am going to make that decision at the end of EMDR. I may be at a point where once per month is sufficient. I feel like my T would be excellent at helping me grow in the areas I need to grow in. But I need to go Horcrux hunting first. If he can't provide enough to me to move enough past the trauma to be ready to grow and become a person who wants to be here, then I will elect to start moving in another direction. If nothing else, her concerns with her level of treatment reminded me that it wasn't that long ago that I was near the point of ending my life due to a lack of support. But I don't want the switch in providers to be one of giving up quality for quantity. But I have faith that my current T will actually help me to get where I need to be, whether I continue working with him or not. Things are going to be okay.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
A few weeks ago, I went back to Betterhelp to try to find a weekly counselor again. I had been starting to think it was a bad, impulsive idea until Tuesday when I was reminded that monthly therapy wasn't really going all that well not that long ago. It's amazing how short the memories of humans can be. Anyway, I met my new therapist tonight and I really love her. She is also a survivor of childhood trauma from a narcissistic mother and completely gets it. She knows about my other T and that I'm doing EMDR at the moment with him. Honestly, I think having someone to talk to during this time is a really good thing. It was also important to find out that, yes, there are other therapists I can connect to that aren't my current T.

As she and I spoke, she was dazzled by my knowledge and openness. She looked at me at one point and asked me if I'd ever thought about becoming a therapist myself. I told her I had dabbled with the idea but ultimately decided that I couldn't justify spending the money on a lateral career move. She blinked and said that therapists make a lot more money than public school teachers do. We actually discussed what the whole thing would look like for me and I got to ask her questions about the internship and the years of supervision that I was unclear about. She told me that I could make double what I make now within a few years of practicing and that I'd have a lot more freedom to do what I wanted. In truth, the idea of doing something else where I could help people but not have my job be so politicized is extremely appealing. And for the first time in forever, I actually got really excited about something. It's not that I don't love my students but the part where I get to help them and really dig in with individual students is the part that I love. I hate the endless meetings and bullshit that comes from parents who demand ridiculous things for their precious little darlings. I'm not saying that it doesn't have its bad parts (every job does) but they might be things that aren't quite as rough on me. If I can find some scholarships or other free money to do this to pay for at least part of it, I think I'm going to go for it. It's not like mental health services are in low demand, even without the pandemic going on. I honestly just don't see me doing another 22 years of public education. The longer I stay without starting to move forward, the harder it will be. I'm tired of working 10+ hours a day, giving up my weekends, and never feeling like I've done enough. All the other crap that comes with my job that isn't teaching just weighs me down so much.

Maybe what it comes down to is that I traded one set of impossible standards from my mother for another one at my job. And maybe, because my job is the absolute center of my world, as much as I do value my marriage more, I can't really find that spark inside of me that gives a crap anymore. There's a reason more and more teachers are leaving the profession in droves and far fewer people are willing to get into it.
 
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