Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

I just wanted to wish you a a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! I'm spending this evening and tomorrow with family, and then heading out for about 2 1/2 weeks of traveling. Not sure how much time I'll get to blog, but I'll try to at least check in. Hope each of you are blessed with peace over the next few weeks.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

To laugh or cry hysterically?

Yes, that is the type of day I've had today, and why I'm just now blogging at 12:01am. Just because I'm now finding my day rather hysterical now that it's over I'm going to share. Thank you for indulging me.

*Oh, before I go futher. There is mention of women's health issues and possible treatments, so proceed with caution if that is a concern for you.*

So, fiancee went with me to my mother's family's Christmas yesterday b/c his flight to Maine was cancelled b/c of snow in Newark, NJ. We were able to get him a flight out early this morning, but rather than leaving him all alone where we live, I drug him with me to my grandmother's house to meet all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. He's never met my mom's family. It was rather entertaining.

Anyways, we had to get up at 5am today to get back to the airport he was flying out of in time for fiancee to catch his flight to ME. (He's spending Christmas there and meeting me and my family on Dec. 26 for a ski trip) So, as you may or may not know, I'm NOT a morning person and accidentally took my sleepy meds (Klonopin) this morning instead of my anti-depressant (Prozac). That should have been my sign to crawl back in bed and stay all day. I had to ask fiancee to drive to the airport b/c I was already glossy-eyed. He got a good laugh out of it.

After I dropped him off at the airport, I went to American Laser Center (my last splurge on myself before I quit my job was to purchase laser hair removal for my underarms - I used a coupon I got from a Women's Show and some money I'd been saving as "splurge money") for a treatment. Well, their coolant machine that goes along with the laser was broken. They said it might hurt more, but it wouldn't burn me. Riiiiight.... I don't think I've ever screamed in a doctors office before and I now have one nicely red, tender underarm. :P I said I'd come back when they fix the cooling machine.

From there I saw therapist, and it was probably the least stressful portion of my day. Too bad i couldn't have seen her tonight when I really had stuff to talk about.

After therapist, I went to my PCP, I've had a lingering women's issue(gotta love antibiotics for that) for over a month that I want gone before I start my travels on Sunday. Lucky for me they could work me in for today, bad for me, I have the worst yeast infection my doctors ever seen. I have to take a diflucan everyday for 3 days and then douche on Thursday if it's not better. Anyone ever douched??? I'm really not wanting to figure out what that's like. From there I went to the pharmacy where I was informed that my insurance will not pay for my diflucan Rx because I already had one filled this month.. Well, duh, I've been fighting this infection since the beginning of November!!!! Grrrr. Individual insurance stinks majorly!!!! But what can I do? I need the meds.

From there I finally make it back home and started a load of laundry b/c my plan tonight was to pack and clean my apartment since the family who owns the house that my apartment is in will be using my bed for a couple of their married children while I'm away. About 10 minutes after I started the washer, I went into the kitchen to fix some dinner. The kitchen floor was covered in water. The dishwasher wasn't running so I was confused. Stepping back out into the living room, I noticed the carpet in front of both bathroom doors was soaked. Running to the bathroom I saw standing water covering the entire bathroom floor about an inch thick. Yes, the washer broke. Apparently it no longer fills right and it somehow managed to overflow and gush water out the bottom of the washing machine. I wonder what I looked like splashing through the water to the washer to turn it off and turn the water off at the valve and then scrounging around trying to pick things up off the floor that didn't need to get wet (like my hair dryer and flat iron. I think the hair dryer is a loss). The family wasn't home, and towels made no dent in soaking up the water, so I called Mr. homeowner. He was out at the hospital visiting a church member, but he sent a neighbor over who was a plumber and he brought his shop vac and soaked up all the water. Then the carpet cleaner guys came and soaked the water out of the carpet, sprayed some anti-mildew stuff, and set up two huge fans and a dehumidifier in my apt. It's like a VERY LOUD white noise machine.

Now I sit here on my bed with suitcases packed for my trip. I have no idea what is in them. Hopefully stuff I'll want to wear. At this point, my day sounds rather comical, but I shed several tears through the course of the day as well. Now I am praying Murphy's law will not strike 2 days in a row.

If I'm going to draw a therapeutic note from all of this, I must say we are proud of ourselves for handling everything in stride and never feeling tempted to self-injure or anything else unhealthy........ and even finding a sense of humor about part of it.

Friday, December 18, 2009


The more I think about telling fiancee that I am actually a we, the more I don't want to do it. My cognitive mind knows I still need to tell him, but no other parts come out when I'm around him, and it doesn't feel near as pressing. Plus, even though he's being great, he doesn't understand much, and something he told me when he talked last weekend is that there have been moments of hesitations on his part based on the little information he has - which is basically that I was sexually abused as a child. After talking with therapist this week, I know I need to find out what his fears and hesitations were that he "worked through". That information may help me know how to proceed when I'm ready and will hopefully alleviate some fears on my part when I understand what his fears are. I never thought someone seeing you genuinely doing well, would actually inhibit your ability to help them understand that there is more than one facet to you. I always thought the better I was doing when I did tell my future husband, the easier it would be because it would seem less scary. Seems this is not the case at least with my fiancee. He is confused by the few things I've told him b/c he can't see that stuff in me.

I know a lot of it is just going to take time. I am in such a different place than I was a few months before we met, but he was also gone for a year and not interacting with me day in and day out. Maybe the longer he's home, the easier it will become to talk to him and tell him about this part of my life b/c he will see it naturally with us being together a lot more.

I just can't help the thoughts right now going through my head of "what if we do scare him off???" What if he decides he doesn't want to marry me/us? We're far from crazy, and we know that, but he's so naive, I'm not sure he'll be able to distinguish the difference.

I'm trying to tell myself that it doesn't matter right now. The plan for the next month is just to spend time with him, enjoying the holidays, and getting reacquainted with one another. A lot of my fears may naturally subside during this period or talking to him and explaining things may become easier.

Blah. I hate feeling like I'm complaining over 2 great blessings in my life: 1. continuing healing 2. a man that I love and loves me back.

Just need to relax and enjoy the holidays and pick the fear back up in January sometime.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Good Talk

Fiancee and I had a really good talk yesterday afternoon after I got my nice vent out here on my blog. I was able to figure out what I really wanted from him and how I wanted to say it. The conversation went really well, and while he was aware of some things, he really was clueless about some of the things that had been hurting my feelings. Hopefully he also understands now that I need periodic reassurance that he is still happy he chose me and he wants to marry me over continuing to be a bachelor. I don't want to take him away from his friends totally, but I needed to know we were on the same page as far as what our engagement meant to each of us and how we see things after we're married.

We also laid the groundwork for us to continue talks about therapy and why it is helpful for me and will hopefully naturally lead into explaining DID at the right time. Yesterday we spent time mostly just explaining to him why I'm in therapy "still" and how it is helpful. Because he came into my life after I stopped self-injuring and was no longer having suicidal ideations, he's not seen a lot of things that I/we've dealt with, and as a result, he struggles to understand why I'm in therapy at all. I love that he sees me as one of the strongest women he's ever met, but I also want him to see that I am vulnerable and not near as self-assured as I appear. I also began to explain PTSD to him in the sense how everyday "normal life" events can at times be more overwhelming for me than other people because they trigger old memories, flashbacks, or messages from the abuser and things feel compounded. I talked about how at these times it's hard to seperate past from present, and that these issues are things I'm still currently working on in therapy. I summed things up by saying that therapy now is not crisis therapy to help me stay alive. It is now therapy to help me live the life I want to live and not be inhibited by a past that wants to cling to me like an old tattoo you wish you'd never gotten.

I know there is much more to tell him and help him understand. However, he's only been home for a week and he's still struggling with sleep deprivation and adjusting to life being home. We have plenty of time. Plus, letting him process what I've told him so far will help him take in more info later.

It feels so much better to feel on the same page with him again and to have my feelings validated and some questions answered. I also hope our conversation will help him feel able to come to me if/when he has issues with me. As much as I try to be, I know I am far from perfect, so I hope he will return the favor when necessary.

Whew! It's nice to just feel happy for a bit again.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Patience + Ignoring old belifs = Difficult!!!!

The first week of fiancee being home has been such a mixed blessing. It is so wonderful to see him everyday and get to talk to him and hold his hand and feel safe in his arms. On the other hand, it's requiring an immense amount of patience on my part. I believe most of the things he does that hurt my feelings are the result of major jet lag and working everyday in an intense setting surrounded mostly by men for the entire year.

I have to keep telling myself that I really am the most important thing in his life like he told me when he proposed - that he'd rather walk through this life with me than anyone else because most of his actions over the past week, tend to make me think differently. I feel second place to his roommates (2 of whom he was deployed with). I feel second place to his friends he left behind. Last night we watched a movie at his place with his roommates. After it was over, he was exhausted so I told him I'd go and he could go to bed. He said "okay" and went to bed leaving me in the living room by myself. I waited a few minutes and he didn't come back out so I just let myself out of the house. Before, he would have at least walked me to the door and made sure I got in my care safely. A few minutes ago he called and I asked him what his plans for the day were. He said to straighten up his room (no issue here. I know he wants to feel settled), run a few errands, and then he was going to a Christmas party tonight and needed to pick up a White Elephant gift. As an after thought, he said, "Oh you can come too if you want to." I guess it was very naive of me to think he'd want to spend time just him and me. I've barely gotten him to myself since he got home, and the only times I do are when I specifically ask for it. I do believe a lot of things will get better with time when he's less tired. At least I hope the considerateness he had before will return.

What makes this more difficult than just having my feelings hurt is those old messages about how I'll never be good enough to be anyone's top priority; how I don't deserve to be treated nicely; how it's my job to just give and give and never expect anything back; and the some voice inside is screaming that he only wants us for his physical pleasure (even though we've never had s*x with him). It's as though I feel my mind is using these situations to put me back in "my place" after working so hard to get out of underneath all of the lies abuser had us believe. Now my mind is thinking maybe they weren't lies afterall. Crap! We gotta get a hold on this before it gets out of control. Why does it take so long to make progress and feel like I could slip back so quickly???

How do you decipher out the truth? How do I not fall back into the pattern of just being grateful for whatever niceness anyone chooses to throw my way? How do I remember I deserve respect if for no other reason than I am a human being?How do I remember that fiancee is probably just adjusting after being gone for a year? Ugh. I just need this adjustment time over and I need my fiancee to pay attention to me long enough for us to be able to have a real conversation without him getting distracted or falling asleep.

I know most of you don't know me or him, and I was hesitant to post this because fiancee really is a good man and the only way he's ever hurt me is by hurting my feelings - which all of us do to the people we care about sometimes. And I truly believe he's not hurting my feelings on purpose. Unfortunately, this isn't helping me keep the old tapes in my head at bay.

Maybe I'll get to talk to him this afternoon or tomorrow. I hope so anyways.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

He's home!!!!!

Fiancee is home!!!! He got in very early this morning (just after midnight). The welcome home ceremony was actually pretty cool, and we made it back to my place by around 2:30am. Finally fell asleep somewhere around 4am. We spent today moving him into a place to live and just hanging out. It is so nice to go to sleep tonight knowing he's just on the other side of town and not on the other side of the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I'm beginning to think I am not cut out to deal with the flexibility that is required with being an Army wife. At the beginning of the week, I was told fiancee would be arriving home from his year deployment in Afghanistan, very early on the morning of Dec. 4 (actually about 6 hours from right now). The early hour killed me, as I am not a morning person, but this was such an excellent notice because, tomorrow, Dec. 4 is my birthday. What better birthday present could I ask for??????

Over the past 72 hours, they've changed his arrival time at least 4 times. The latest change happened around 4pm today. Now he won't be home until 8:30pm on Saturday. Blah. Still an excellent add to my b-day weekend, but sadness he won't be here on my birthday. Also, I'm doubting his set time to come home will actually be when he gets home. Considering the time changed by more than 12 hours in a less than 4 hour period today, I expect it to continue to change. It's leaving parts of us wondering if he'll ever make it home. Granted, we know that he will, but b/c the end is in sight but not graspable (is that a word?) it feels almost torturous. Hanging the one thing we want more than anything right now out in front of us but never in reach.

Things at work were a bit better this week but not because my supervisor actually stepped up and did anything. In fact, on Tuesday I realized he was never going to, so unless I wanted to lose my GA position, I realized it was up to me to figure something out. After lots of thought and prayer the past 2 days, I proposed in our team meeting that I work 2 1/2 days a week and horrible co-worker work the other 2 1/2 days out of the week. This way we would never overlap and it will eliminate my issues with co-worker. I do feel sorry for co-workers I like though b/c this does not address horrible co-worker's inappropriate behaviors last week or in previous weeks or the name calling that I had to endure. It just means I won't have to run into him anymore. Whatever. Monday is my last day at work and then I'm off for Christmas until Jan. If more stuff needs to be changed, I'll figure it out then.

You know, it's good to know we're finding ways to stand up for ourselves as an adult and find solutions to bad situations and protect ourselves, but at the same time, it's so frustrating to realize how many times we've (and lots of people for that matter) gone unheard as an adult when asking for help from the ones who are supposed to be able to give it. If it's hard to be heard as an adult when an injustice is going on, it makes perfect sense that kids who ask for help go just as unheard if not more so.... and people wonder why we gave up trying to tell what was going on when we were a kid....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Why is it that when I'm exhuasted, I find myself staying up later playing on the internet instead of getting up and going to bed? Wouldn't sleep be so much easier and more beneficial?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Highlights

I feel so much has happened in the last few days, and I'm too tired to blog about it all. I've decided to hit the highlights tonight and come back and blog in more detail later the things I decide I want/need to.
  • Friend that was in the ICU came through surgery well and will hopefully discharge tomorrow. Still going to be on oxygen for awhile and has a long road, but he's slowly improving.
  • All of my dad's family was in town for Thanksgiving, and it was awesome!! We rarely all get together anymore, and it was so much fun, not to mention all of the good food!!!!
  • My wedding dress came in this week, so my mom, sister, and female cousins came with me to my first fitting on Friday. It should have been an exciting event.
  • Wedding dress looked nothing like it was supposed to. The coloring was wrong and it was 2 sizes too big. Plus, there was a big black spot on the train that the store owner swears she didn't do. I was crushed! I hated the dress, but we've already paid for 1/2 of it, and it's non-returnable according to the manufacturer, so now I have to fight it out with the store owner.
  • Mom knew how upset I was about the dress despite me trying to hide it, so she got me up early Saturday morning and we went wedding dress shopping again. I fell in LOVE with a dress at the store we went to on Saturday and my amazing mother bought that dress for me. So for the time being, I have 2 wedding dresses. The new dress was made for me though. I love it and am no longer distraught but am excited to walk down the aisle in a few months knowing I will look like a princess.
  • Saturday night got a phone call from the Army. Fiancee will be home on Friday (my birthday) very early in the morning!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Tonight at church, a good friend of mine told me a friend of her's committed suicide yesterday (I didn't know the girl). Losing 2 friends, a professor, and an uncle to suicide in the last 5 years, I know the pain she's feeling right now.... and that thought pattern of.... if I'd only known, maybe I could have done something....

All of this on top of the crazy week with co-worker has left me exhausted and emotionally drained. I really do not enjoy going from high to low to high to low, etc.. with my emotions. Seems I learned some emotion regulation skills along the way, but they're not really working in my current setting. It's amazing how much even positive stuff can drain you.

This upcoming week there's likely to be confrontation at work with co-worker (thankfully it's my last week at work til after Christmas) and fiancee coming home on Friday is going to be completely awesome and incredibly emotionally exhausting at the same time. I have been so blessed in so many ways over the past week despite some of the rough spots. My current stressors are "normal people" stressors, so that helps me not beat myself up over them for possibly overreacting, but it does make me want a day or two break from life so I can recouperate.

Life is crazy!!!! I think Phil Collins sums up my life best right now with a line from one of his songs - " I love this awful, beautiful life!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Talked to Supervisor

First of all, thanks TheSameSky for being willing to fly across the pond and put my co-worker in his place. :D Thankfully, we have been able to handle this one ourselves.

Talked to supervisor this morning. Think talk went really well. I don't think co-worker is going to be an issue much longer - or so my supervisor says. He went so far to ask me if I had experience as an A&D counselor. Oh how I wish I did right now. Co-worker is the A&D counselor for our university. All in all the talk went well though. I feel like (at least for now) supervisor really heard what I was saying and I didn't have to throw down any ultimatums or threaten to file a harrassment claim with Human Resources. Next week will be my last week until after the holidays. I am thinking there will be some major adjustments made before or when I come back to work in mid-January. Whew!

Of course, I'm feeling a bit guilty right now b/c co-worker has been as good as gold today and gone out of his way to be nice to me. I keep reminding myself it's b/c he knows how bad he messed up yesterday, so he's compensating..... and that there's a very good chance his nice behavior today is manipulative. Still the thought of "getting someone in trouble" if I didn't have to makes me feel so guilty. In fact, it's one of the reasons as a teen I refused to tell my parents about the abuse or seek counseling until I was 18 and a legal adult. It would have had to have been reported to the authorties if I said something while I was still a minor. My biggest fear at that point was that at trial, I might find out I made it all up and then ruin "a good man's reputation". And here I sit, in a very different situation, with different issues on the line, at a different time in my life with basically the same fears.

Sometimes I wonder, with as much progress as I make, if some things will ever change?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rough Day

I've had it with co-worker!!! I've done my best to be a team player since his explosion a few weeks ago, but today..... Well, enough's enough! Apparently he's not going to get over his issues of having to share an office with me 2 hours out of the day 3 days a week, and I'm not willing to take his crap anymore. I'm tired of ignoring his name calling and responding to all of his snide remarks with sarcasm and blowing him off. Technically I have enough on him that I could file a grievance/harrassment charge with Human Resources. Another co-worker thinks I should, but first I'm talking to our supervisor tomorrow and giving him one final chance to handle it in house. I don't want to make a scene. Anyone who knows me knows how much I HATE drama!!

Today's final straw: He pounded on the door and attempted to walk into the office while I was meeting with a client because he forgot his umbrella. That was just wrong on so many levels!!!! Not to mention there wasn't a cloud in the sky today. Rather than going into all of the reasons why what he was doing was ethically wrong and confidentially violating to my client, I'd like to focus this post on how this is another blatant example of his disrespect for me as a therapist, as a co-worker, and as a human being.

I'm so thrilled that my therapist is taking vacation this whole week. She doesn't take enough time off. But right about now, I'm thinking... Seriously??? Her vacation had to be this week?????

I talked to 2 of my co-workers today - not to gossip but to make sure I wasn't over or under reacting to the situation and to get ideas on the best way to talk to my supervisor. I would have loved to talk to supervisor today but he was booked solid towards the end of the day, and I had class tonight. So I couldn't stay late. He's booked solid tomorrow, but I don't have class, so I'll stay after hours to talk to him if I have to.

Basically, my other co-workers said it's time I tell supervisor that I'm not putting up with it anymore. Being a therapist is draining enough and I don't deserve to use any spare energy I have fighting off offensive jabs from a co-worker. One wants me to do an ultimatum... Ask supervisor to choose co-worker or me. Not sure I'm brave enough to do that, but I will mention that I can file a harrassment suit if I need to, and I can also go to those that hired me and ask for another assignment. Either of those take the situation out of house and will make other powers that be on campus aware of the issue. I know that wouldn't make my supervisor look good. My last day for this semsester is Dec. 9, and I don't start back at work til Jan. 14. I plan to tell him he has until Jan. 14 to figure out how things are going to be different (as in getting me my own office or making sure we don't overlap work times at all) or I will be taking more drastic measures.

I haven't worked this hard and this long in therapy for some grouchy old man who barely does anything at work to slowly pick away at my self-esteem and energy reserve. I feel so burnt out right now and the sad thing is that it has nothing to do with the clients or amount of clients I've been seeing.

Christmas break can't get here soon enough!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And I thought I was a planner..

I was on the phone with fiance' last night. At first the talk was going great. He'll be home in 2 weeks and said things should be settled down enough that we can plan and book our honeymoon in February. As of now there's no reason we won't be able to take it right after our wedding, but in Feb. we'll know for sure when we can go and can actually book the trip!!

This is where the conversation turned. The reason we won't know for sure until Feb. is because in March his unit will be 12 months out from their next deployment, and that's when they'll start gearing up for training again. It kills me that he already knows his next deployment date before he's even home from this deployment. I know he's telling me these things to explain that our wedding and honeymoon should fall at a good time as far as the military's concerned, but right now I just feel worse. He said he probably won't start traveling for training until July or Aug. - another way to say our honeymoon should be approved. The summer before his last deployment, he had to take 2 one month long training missions with the Army. So, in essence, he was telling me that less than 2 months after we're married, he'll be gone for a month and this probably won't be his only trip before he deploys again March 2011.

I did stop him and say, "Babe, can we just get through this deployment before you start talking about the next?" He was sweet and said of course. We talked about other things and then he had to go. Unfortunately, while I was able to get him to stop talking about it, we haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I've cried off and on last night and all day today about it. I love him so much, and I know he is the man I want to marry, but I don't know if I can handle military life. How long will we be together before we're actually together longer than we've been apart? I feel so selfish wanting a husband who will actually be around and be a support. I am so proud of what he does, and I know he doesn't enjoy being away from me all the time either. Also, it will just be the first 5 years of our marriage, and praying we get to be married for a long time to come, I know that can be a drop in the bucket.

But right now I'm feeling scared and unsure. I don't feel I can talk to anyone about this though because I'm so afraid it will be misconstrued as doubt about marrying fiance'. And I feel selfish for saying I don't like what fiance' can offer me right now. It's not his fault when he had to deploy or when he has to go to training. I've been aware this went a long with him since our 3rd date.

And then I tell myself, this doesn't even matter right now, and I need to stick to the same thing that I told him. Get through this deployment, enjoy his time home, our wedding, and then start worrying about his next deployment.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two down, two to go

2 projects turned in, 2 more to go and then all I'll have left is finals!!! That's incredibly exciting, but my last 2 projects still have a lot of work left to be done on them. On another positive, yet stressful note, fiance' is scheduled to arrive home in 2 weeks (the week these projects and presentations are due). I CANNOT wait for him to get home, but seriously, I don't think the Army could have picked a worse week to send him home. If he could come home one week earlier or one week later, then I wouldn't be forced to choose between him and school. Obviously, he will win, but I'm running close to getting a 4.0 this semester, and it destroys a part in me who takes our job and academics seriously to think that I would jeopardize a whole semester for "a boy".

I know her reaction shouldn't make me laugh, but I wonder if she'll ever understand how he is so much more to me and other parts than just some boy. I also know a 'B' in a class won't kill us either or prevent us from getting a good job once we graduate.

Ahh, the pros and cons of being a multiple...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lyrics That Touched Me

A guy I go to church with by the name of Nate Hale wrote this song while he was in college and we recently started singing it in some services. The lyrics to this song touch me greatly everytime I hear/sing it b/c the beginning reminds me where I was 18 months ago and then 2nd half reminds me of all God is doing for me now and how He is faithful in his blessings. The song is based on Psalm 13.

Psalm 13
How long, oh Lord,
Will you forget me forever?
How long, oh Lord,
Will you hide your face from me?

Long enough, long enough
Have I carried this load of sorrow.
Long enough, long enough
Have I lived with this heart full of pain.

I want to look life in the eyes
I'm tired of falling down on my face
I'm throwing myself into your loving arms
And now it's time to celebrate
Your rescue

(clap, clap, clap)

So I will sing at the top of my lungs
I will sing of your unfailing love
For you have delivered me
From the worst of my enemies.

I will sing to the Lord
For He has been good to me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Still at the ICU

My friend is still in the ICU. He's off the ventilator now and seems to be functioning okay on a bipap machine. His carbon dioxide levels did get a big high overnight, but they seem to be in an okay place again today. They're working dilligently to move his surgery that was scheduled for December up to sometime this next week, but it requires getting a number of different specialists to coordinate their schedules. No one thinks this surgery will be as helpful as they originally thought it would be, but I know they must still think it will make a difference or they wouldn't be proceeding. My biggest fear is whether he's strong enough to withstand the surgery.

All the while, the rest of life goes on. Saw therapist yesterday. Our sessions lately are very helpful but are typically embarrassing and push my comfort zones. It's a mixed feeling going places that you know you need to go in therapy and wanting so much to continue just to avoid that part of your life at the same time. Making the choice to do the therapy adds an interesting dynamic to the situation as well, b/c now we can't blame anyone for "triggering" us or making us go there. We're choosing to go there. Ugh!

Fiance' will be home from Afghanistan in about 3 weeks. We are so ready for him to be home. This past week and especially the past few days, we've wished for his support so badly more than through e-mails or phone calls. A hug of comfort would be so nice!!!!

This afternoon I'm supposed to meet up with a good friend for coffee and then meet up with another great friend for the night. It feels weird to go and have fun when others that I care about so much are struggling so hard and fighting just to hang on.

Such is life, though, I guess.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Prayers for a friend

My best friend from childhood's husband (who is only 34ish) is in the ICU right now on a ventillator. He had to be taken by ambulance last night. He's been struggling with some major health issues over the past year and they only seem to be getting worse. He's such a fighter, but I believe he's starting to give up. He can't give up yet! My best friend still needs him. They have two kids, 5 and 4. He has an upcoming surgery in Dec. to get a diaphragmatic pacemaker that has the potential to fix the majority of his symptoms/problems.

His family is asking for a miracle, which makes me think things are even more bleak than I realize. I can't get over to the city he's in until this evening, so for now praying is my only tool. But why do I say it like that? Prayer is my strongest tool. God has more power than any of the doctors working on him.

Those of you that believe in the power of prayer, please pray too. It's not his time to go. He is still very much needed on this planet!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Water Works

So the tears started falling earlier today and they've barely stopped. Right now it feels as though I may never stop crying, but rationality tells me that's not true. I don't know all of the reasons I'm crying. Part of it I'm sure is hormonal. Another part is stress and anxiety related to upcoming events and conversations to be had. Another part is frustration-not at friends-but at myself for feeling like I can't be there for a few of my friends who are really struggling despite how badly I'd like to help them. I'm mad at myself too. In my efforts to help one friend, I think I may have inadvertently made things worse, and I have no idea how to fix it. I don't know yet if my efforts will result in a negative outcome, and I won't for a few days, but I so wish I would think before I act sometimes. Even if things work out better than I could hope, I still think it was a stupid move on my part.

Stupid emotions! I was always so careful, so calculated in every decision I made before they came into the picture. I would always think things through, make the logical choice, and know 99% of the time I was making the right and/or best decision. Now I find myself making decisions based upon what I feel is right. I HATE IT! You make potential stupid mistakes when you decide things based upon what you feel without thinking everything all of the way through. I've had feelings long enough to experience good feelings and bad feeling, and I still would give them all back in a heartbeat if I could. Even the great feelings I've had aren't enough to make up for the bad feelings or the ones that cloud my mind and cause me to do things without thinking.

If the situation doesn't work as I hope, I can only pray that my friend will understand that my heart was in the right place, and when I "tried to help" it was because I want so much better for her than what she has now. I don't expect her not to be mad. I only pray that she will forgive me with time.

Wondering if maybe I should just go back to only focusing on myself. At least then I'm only screwing up my own life.

Tears, tears, tears. Maybe this is all one big pity party and I need to grow up and get it together. Everyone makes mistakes. The majority of the human race has feelings. The majority of the human race deals with it. We just need to deal with it too.

I hate days when we do things where we feel like a total idiot and know there's no way to remedy the situation.... You just gotta wait it out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Text Message

I received a text message this evening from my crazy ex-roommate. I went back through blog entries b/c I was going to link to the blog that explained about crazy roommate for those who are newer to reading my blog and realized I started this blog right after I moved out of her house, so she never made a blog entry. So before I explain tonight's text, I need to give a little background.

I lived with (let's call her B) from May 2008 - Jan 2009. We went to church together and she seemed cool. My previous roommate's sister was moving to town and they wanted to live together, so I was desperately looking for another place to live. My job didn't pay enough for me to get a place of my own. Plus, at this time, I hadn't had the best track record of staying safe when I was alone. B had just bought a 3 bedroom townhome and was looking for roommates to share the bills. Seemed liked perfect timing, so I moved in with B. Of course, her boyfriend (who was a friend of mine from college) broke up with her the week before I moved in because that's my luck. Now, before you think I'm taking an awful situation about her and making it about me, I was very sad for her and supportive. For several months I didn't talk to my college friend b/c I was being her friend and roommate. The problem developed when I realized how obsessive she was about this guy and how many times a day she called him, drove by his house, sent him text messages, and anything else she could think of to still be in contact with him. She was also constantly accusing him of having a new girlfriend and cheating on her. I don't know how you cheat on someone you've broken up with, but she was a wreck. In all honesty, I don't think I would have lasted as long as I did, except I met my fiance' about 2 weeks after moving in with her, and he was a huge support and distraction for me.

Anyways, the longer I lived with B, the more "issues" I realized she had. Now, I'm not one to move out on someone b/c of issues. Heavens knows I have tons on my own, and I truly do have compassion for people and their struggles. The problem is that she had/has no desire to overcome or even acknowledge her major issues and instead uses them to manipulate situations and people to get her way and always be the center of attention. There are several examples, but one is how she somehow guilted me into throwing her a surprise birthday party for her birthday in October. The main issue B liked to focus on was her eating disorder. She did have a legit eating disorder. The ED itself didn't bother me. The fact that she told everyone under the sun who would listen to her that she had one and how hard it was and how she was working to overcome it, and then at home would come into my room to tell me she just took a box of laxitives. After a few ER trips, it became apparent that her ED was out of control, and I was tired of taking off of work to take her to and/or pick her up from the ER if I was unable to stay with her the whole time.

In November, she finally admitted she needed help and left for a 3 month inpatient ED program in California. At the time, I was so proud of her for finally wanting to live healthy and being willing to take the necessary steps to do so - meaning she would miss Thanksgiving and Christmas with her family, plus risk losing her job. I didn't understand why she invited 30 people over to our place the night before she left. Everytime I've been IP, it's been hard enough for me to tell my family and closest friends, and most of the time I've only told those it was necessary to tell b/c my absence would be noticed - like at work or a roommate. But at this point, I still thought - to each his own.

The events that pushed me over the edge actually occurred during the 3 months that she was gone. She was constantly texting me trying to get me to pay her portion of our bills b/c she had no money b/c she wasn't working and was in treatment. I didn't have money to pay her portion and she wouldn't give me her parents info so I could ask them to help me pay her part of the bills. One day towards the end of her stay in California, I received a text from her asking for prayers b/c she'd done something wrong and gotten in trouble at the Ranch. That evening she texted me again and asked me to purchase her a plane ticket home b/c she couldn't take it there anymore. She was too upset to talk to me on the phone and tell me why she needed to come home but wanted me to shell out the money for a plane ticket for her. When I kept asking questions, she quit responding to me, and I didn't hear anything for 2 days.

At this point, I'm really struggling with my own issues. Fiance had recently deployed to Afghanistan and I was in the process of trying to survive a Christmas and January that didn't end in a hospitalization of my own. I didn't have the resources to deal with my roommates issues as well, especially since she was hundreds of miles away. Finally, I decided we needed some boundaries in place before she came home, so I texted her and asked to have a conference call with her and her counselor or social worker before she came home. She responded by telling me she'd already left the Ranch and was at her parents' place in Indiana. She would be coming home tomorrow. I asked her what happened, and the actual story was nothing like what she led me to believe had happened or was going on. I was livid! She'd been manipulating me the whole time. After we hung up, I thought about the entire 9 months we'd lived together and began to see that she carries a lot of traits of someone with borderline personality disorder and all of the ways that she had manipulated me and those around me.

Even before this last conversation with her, my family, close friends, and therapist had been encouraging me to find a new place to live b/c my own mental/emotional health was going downhill rapidly - so rapidly I couldn't even fake things. The conversation on the phone that Sunday night was the final straw. I found another friend I could move in with, called my parents and asked them to come over and help me move the following weekend, and I texted B and told her we needed to have a serious conversation when she came to town the next day. When she arrived home, I told her I was moving out and that I would continue to pay the rent that I owed her, but I would not be living in the same house with her or be part of her support system now that she was back home. She spent the next week using her grandparents, parents, prayer, and any other method she could think of to guilt me into stay and to convince me she had changed. Sadly for her, she didn't realize that everything she was doing only reinforced that she had not changed at all, still put her interests before anyone else, and was as manipulative as ever.

In the end, this entire situation ended up being very triggering for me and parts inside. Typically we're not good at moving, but everyone was happy and felt safer the day we moved out of that place and have not regretted the decision once. We still have to interact with her some, but thankfully it's less and less. I know this is a long entry, but sadly it doesn't do the situation near the justice or explain the torment she put my system through.

All of this to say, I guess I forgot that she still has my cell number and she sent out a mass text this evening. She included me on the text, as she does on most even though I've asked her not to. The text said " My dear friends, tomorrow is a celebration.... it marks 1 year since I've abused laxitives and left 2 go 2 treatment! Praise God! Thx 4 the prayers and support!" In and of itself, I guess this isn't a horrible text. Other than I KNOW she probably sent this to everyone in her address book.... and we were NEVER dear friends! I think what bothered me most is how many awful memories this one text brought up for us. Sadly this text was a pretty large trigger for us this evening. We felt a lot of anger, pain, sadness, and hurt... So many of her manipulative behaviors were linked to manipulative behaviors of our ab*ser b/c of similarities in tactics, so after the horrible memories associated with her, I got hit with a wave of childhood memories. Amazing the small things that will throw your system for a loop when you least expect it!

One positive thing is that we have been able to recognize that we were able to get ourselves out of the unhealthy situation with B and that we can look around and see that we're in a different home now and safe and that we continue to move through time further and further away from our time with B.

For those of you who made it all the way through this post, thank you for reading. I tried to reach my therapist tonight, but she didn't respond. We're not in crisis and this isn't near an emergency, so we're just going to wait and talk to her at our session tomorrow. Her reassurance and support would have been nice tonight, but maybe handling this on our own and just blogging about it will prove to be better for us in the long run.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Client With an Ab*se History - TW

I made it about 9 weeks into my job as a counselor dealing with about everything under the sun with my clients except abuse issues. Today I met with a sweet girl for the second time and she revealed that she was physically, emotionally, and verbally abused by her father for most of her life. She presented to me originally with signs of depression and trouble focusing on school work. After much discussion and probing as to why this is the first semester she's struggled with these issues in college, she shared that she's in her mental health rotation for her nursing degree and finds a lot of the topics hit really close to home. In other words, her classes this semester are constantly triggering the mess out of her. She's spent the past 4 years since she left home stuffing emotions and as many memories as she could. As many of you know, that works well for awhile, but eventually the walls come crashing down and you feel as though you whole world is falling apart.

On one hand, I'm glad to be the counselor she was assigned to. Sometimes I wonder if another counselor would have just treated her symptoms rather than trying to find the root of them to hopefully get rid of them or would have taken many more sessions to get to the real reason for her struggles. Also, I know a lot about how to walk through, handle, deal with memories at this point in my journey. I have a large knowledge base and repetoire to draw from to help her find what is best for her. One thing I will definitely have to keep in check is that what worked for me may not work for her, and I'll need to remember to keep my mind very open.

On the other hand, I'm scared to death to have this girl as a client. What if she shares a memory I can relate to too much, and I forget that I'm the therapist in the room? There is no need for her to know my struggles or history at this point. That's why I have my own therapist. What if I get triggered? What if I keep my stuff together while I'm in session with her, but then pay for it for the rest of the day/week internally like I did 4 years ago when I thought we could be a crisis counselor?

Somewhere inside there is this feeling and resolution that this is not too much for us to handle. We can take this case, offer support to this girl, and help her deal with her painful past. I really want to believe this feeling is accurate, but there's a small part of me that thinks it may be pride or an over-eagerness to prove just how far we've come in our own walk.

I let my supervisor know some of her issues hit close to home to me, so it may be an issue in the future, but I wanted to keep her on my caseload for now. He said he was fine with that and he trusts me to let him know if I get overwhelmed. I appreciate that because I haven't told him anything about my history or current therapy or diagnoses and I really don't want to.

I guess we'll just take things one session at a time and see how they go.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just saying hi...

I was down with the flu all last week. At one point I thought it'd be a good opportunity to catch up on a few blog entries I've been wanting to type. However, I turned out being too sick to even sit up with my computer and type. Then once I was well enough to type, the need to get caught up on school work seemed more pressing than endulging in my blog.

Things are going along okay here. Fiance' will be home in approximately 30 days! 95% of us are so excited about his return. I'm sure therapy will help us with the 5 percent that have gotten used to and comfortable with not pushing the envelope with a romantic relationship over the past year.

Still struggling with lonliness in our new city, but it's getting a bit better. We make plans for every weekend and have made more of an effort to be social at least one night during the week. Also, feeling like the depression is back in check has allowed us to focus on school work better and be more productive in the evening rather than sitting around and feeling sorry for ourselves.

We have our first face to face session with therapist on Friday. We're slightly nervous because we haven't met face to face in 2 weeks. Web sessions are good but are not near as intense and we don't feel near as connected to her. Something about that connection seems to help open things up. I appreciate that most days, but some days it does make things more challenging.

Anyways, back to school work. One more month and this semester will almost be over with! Yay!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Being healthy is good, right? *TW not spoiled*

I had what has mostly been a good experience happen this weekend. Wait... My mind knows that it is a good thing and that being healthy is what we want, but there are feelings of sadness in giving up things from our past that represent a time when we were very unhealthy and unhappy. It's hard to explain.

We are not fat. We are 5'8" and weigh 140lbs. According to all those charts, we are a perfect weight for our height and build. We exercise regularly except when school gets too crazy and do our best to eat healthy (well, most of the time). We are healthy.

A year and a half ago I weighed 113lbs and wore a size 0 or 2. We stayed around that size for about 2 years. It wasn't about wanting to be thin - at least at first. We've always been on the thin side. We were in an ongoing major depressive episode for approximately 5 years. Even during our "happy" times we were still depressed. When we get depressed, we lose our appetite and even the thought of eating makes us sick. For several years the weight loss was slow and we stayed around 125lbs. with fluctuations in the level of the depression causing the weight to drop a few pounds.

In the Fall of 2007 a part came forward struggling with some memories involving oral sex and a huge aversion to swallowing anything. Despite therapist working with her on the issue, things only seemed to get worse. By Jan. 2008, we weren't eating anything or drinking much of anything before 6pm (apparently things felt safe after 6pm b/c as a child we were always home by then and no more abuse would occur for the rest of the evening). We worked with this part during our inpatient stay in Feb.-Mar. 2008 and made a lot of progress. I am happy to say being triggered by eating is not something we've struggled with since that stay.

I'm not conviced I do or ever really had an eating disorder, but I do believe a side effect of me being so incredibly thin for so long and getting compliments about my looks from everyone other than my family, made it very challenging for me internally as I began to naturally put weight back on because I was eating regularly again. Giving up my 0 sized clothing wasn't too hard b/c I actually could get back into some of my size 4 clothing that I was sad had become too baggy to wear. Giving up my size 2 clothes was a bit harder. Over the summer and early Fall, I've given up my size 4s for size 6s. I know the average American wears either a size 12 or a size 14, so I'm still well under average, but it's been a hard adjustment.

Until this weekend, I've been holding on to all of my old pants and skirts thinking that one day, I'd fit back into them again.... that maybe this is just a phase and that my "real" weight is skinnier. That I really am a size 4 or a 2.... I must admit that I did not take the initiative to part with my smaller sized clothing and thus commit myself to staying at least at this size. My mother has a friend whose daughter is a size 2-4 and she just landed her first professional job. First jobs don't pay much and she has to dress professionally everyday. Since my mom just helped me purchase enough dress pants in a size 6 for me to wear to work, she thought it was a perfect idea for me to sell my smaller pants that I can no longer wear to this girl for a discounted rate. Makes sense right? I mean, the pants really are too nice to just take to Goodwill. When I started adding it up, I put a lot of money into that wardrobe over the past 3-4 years.

The girl and her mom came over and bought 4 pairs of pants. They looked great on her..... almost made me jealous... Okay, I had to fight the jealously I was feeling inside... She ended up with some nice pants for work, and I ended up with almost $100. I should be excited, right? So, as they were leaving, why did I want to run after them, give them the money, and take my pants back? It's not like I don't still have about 10 more pairs of pants left that I need to sell/give away.... or as the unhealthy side of me thinks - fit back into in a few months.

Please, we don't need more issues! Fiance' doesn't think we're fat. He likes the way we look. If he thinks we look good and our family isn't on our case anymore, shouldn't that help to make being healthy feel more "acceptable" to us? I don't know. It just seems kind of rediculous to me to develop weight issues at this point in my life. I'm only a little bit heavier than I was when I graduated high school and I am wear the same size clothing I did in high school. I didn't have any issues with my weight then.

Don't think I'm going to solve this tonight, and think I could ramble on this topic forever right now. Night folks!

Friday, October 23, 2009

maybe not all old coping skills are bad

So due to all of the drama/chaos at work this week with the A&D counselor in our office, we consciously or unconsciously (I'm not sure) employed a very old coping skill that had worked very well for us in the past. I didn't really even think about the fact that we'd done that until talking in therapy today. Most of the coping skills from my childhood and life before therapy, we've basically thrown out the window b/c while they may have been helpful then, they're not so helpful now.

This week we implemented our "calm, cool, and collected approach during the actual crisis". This is typically followed by an "after the crisis is resolved meltdown". Once defensive walls go down and the reality of the situation sinks in, typically we get overwhelmed and have all or more of the feelings you would have expected us to have in the moment. It's not that this has ever been a "bad" coping mechanism. It's more that the feelings and emotions that follow when we feel "safe" again are rather overwhelming and can be debilitating.

This time, I'm thinking this approach may have actually helped to prevent some additional crises. I still think as things slow down over the weekend and we begin to let our defenses down, some feelings of events from this past week will surface, and while they will probably be uncomfortable, I don't think they'll be overwhelming. I think our laid back approach that voids all emotions in the situations may have helped b/c it did not give my co-worker any ammo from me to allow another excuse for an escalation on his part or for me to have to endure the personal attack that he poured onto another co-worker in our office earlier this week (the attack that I expected would have been targeted at me). The laid back, clear head, no feelings approach helped us lie low the rest of the week at work and avoid any more conflicts, while at the same time allowing us the ability to talk to our supervisor about the problems and use our words well because the mind stayed clear.

We were also blessed to have 2 evenings this week of social interaction unrelated to school. Maybe some of the people we met at these events will become friends down the road and we won't always feel so utterly alone in this town.

It's interesting for me to note that as stressful and horrific as parts of this past week have been, I'd rather do this week over again than the one before. This week was stressful, frustrating, and draining, but no part of it was debilitating. Last week the depression was so debilitating, not only did I feel awful, but I was unable to get anything accomplished.... and there was a huge fear of the unknown of when the depression would lift. The stress this week will probably continue into next week at work, but I see solutions to those issues. Amazing how that one little thing makes a situation feel reasonably easy to bounce back from or like an obstacle that's completely too big to overcome.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Too exhausted tonight to write as much about this topic as I feel we need to. Just really felt to need to say that I never thought the hardest part of working as a therapist would be my co-workers. I really assumed it would be my clients issues overwhelming me or me relating too much to my clients to be able to help them like they deserved. Instead, my main struggles have been with the A&D counselor in our office. This week he's made all of our lives a living hell. I can't begin to go into all of it right now... All of my energy this week has been going into surviving work, school, and trying not to get a cold. Maybe I can write a full entry tomorrow evening after our meeting and I'll have good news to share.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shout out to therapist

Not up to a full blog entry, but really felt the need to say how blessed I am to have such an excellent therapist. She continues to go above and beyond what she has to for me while at the same time maintaining such good boundaries that our issues don't become her issues so much that she gets pulled down with us. She's seen us through our worst periods and our best and put up with a lot of crap from us b/c of being burned by previous therapists and a HUGE lack of real trust in anyone's dependability/reliability. She is undertaking current tasks with me and we talk about ways to handle upcoming tasks. 3 1/2 years into our working relationship and she seems no less committed than that first day when I asked her if she thought she could handle us and help us. Actually, I believe these days she's even more committed to seeing us through whatever this road we're on brings. At the beginning, I thought she was too naive to know better. Now I realize she is just that awesome, and I am so happy to say she proved me (all of us) wrong! Even in all the lonliness and depression we've been dealing with the past couple of weeks, she has been a constant. It's amazing how much a reminder from her that she's only a phone call or e-mail away, relieves our anxiety and makes us feel less alone.

We are so blessed!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Emotional Rollercoaster

Today has been a crazy emotional rollercoaster and it's only 5pm. We woke up feeling blah. Last night was full of crazy dreams and today is the 4th day in a row of cool, cloudy, drizzly weather. If I wanted to live in a place where it rained all the time, I'd move to the west coast or to Great Brittain. This is supposed to be our dry season when we're praying for a certain amount of rain, so things don't get so dry that the state bans bonfires. Camping, bonfires, and s'mores are what you're supposed to be doing this time of year.

Anyways, I make it to work only to be informed by the counselor I share an office with that I can't use our office today because he has lots of work to do, and I need to use an office of one of the counselors away at a conference today. First of all, the fact that two counselors have to share an office isn't right. Secondly, this counselor has been on vacation the past 2 weeks and expects to just walk back in and own the office again. We're both contract, and technically equal. He has no more right to that office than I do. I have no problem being a team player, but since at least some parts inside have learned we don't deserve to be walked all over, we don't take people's crap like we used to. I learned last week that he made the girl who had position last year cry several times. He will not be making me cry. I did use another office for one of my sessions today b/c I got permission to, and I didn't trust us to not totally go off on co-counselor today. The combination of the weather, lonliness, and the fact that we're on our period seemed like a bad combination to have it out with someone today. Part of me feels sorry for this co-worker. He's in his mid-50s, bitter, alone (he's good at running people off), and never has anything positive to say. I'm easy bait when he's looking to assert his power or get someone to feel as bad as he does. I share an office with him. I'm 30 years younger than him. I'm female. I could go on. I informed my supervisor when we met today that I didn't need anyone to handle this situation for us, but I did want him to have a heads up. I was not putting up with co-worker's bull-shit for the entire school year, and to not be surprised if we had it out at some point in the near future.

Then, we stop and think.... We're standing up for ourselves? We're willing to put someone in their place rather than just allowing them to squash us? Wow! This is weird but kind of cool. Want to make sure we can be assertive without be disrespectful though. Still want to show Christ to co-worker even when he does get under our skin.

So, it felt good for a bit standing up for ourselves. Saw clients all afternoon. The sessions went pretty well. Supervisor thinks I'm doing a good job, and I'm still just amazed our job hasn't overwhelmed us yet.... even this week when we've been feeling so poorly.

Class was cancelled for tonight. First time a class has been cancelled all semester. At first I was so excited!!!!! I got to go home right after work. I have more time to do homework, meaning I don't have to stress to get it all done. However, this means 3 hours more of alone/lonely time tonight. I've been home less than an hour and already the depression sitting on my chest is getting heavier and heavier. Tears will come soon. At this rate, we probably won't get any school work done tonight. The desire to just lie on the couch and blankly stare at the TV until it's a late enough hour to go to bed is growing by the minute. Blah.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Outside myself?

Does anyone know a way I can live outside of myself forever???? The only parts of today that have been okay are the parts when I've had to be totally focused on other people. So, that was about 2 hours out of today. It's not anywhere near bedtime, but I just want today to be over with.

We're tired of the rain and cloudiness. I locked myself out of my apt. today and had to call a locksmith. Started today, so that never helps anything. Want to reach out to someone, but don't even know what to say. Cried at work today for the first time on this job, and none of it was related to work. I did actually try reaching out to fiance' when I got to talk to him online today. I typically don't share major things with him b/c I'm more concerned that he not be distracted with my stuff and focus on getting home to me safely. I will give him an "A" for effort in his attempt to be comforting, but he responded with typical guy responses and is way to far away for me to just ask for a hug. He was very sweet, but not helpful. I was upset, not anxious, but all he could say was that he thought I was worrying too much about lots of little things, and that I was strong and could handle it....... Thanks honey, but that wasn't helpful.

Depression sucks! I don't believe this episode will last long, but I do know it's strong enough that I can't snap out of it. Gonna have to get it together. We have three article critiques due for class tomorrow night and this evening is the only time we have to work on them. I just want to crawl in bed and disappear for a few days and then try coming back out and dealing with things. Shit!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alone vs. Lonely

This topic has been on my mind a lot over the past several days. For the purpose of explaining my post, I'm going to give you my current working definitions for each word.

Alone: by oneself. no one else is around.

Lonely: feelings of being isolated or like no one is really around whether people are actually present or not.

Being alone is not necessarily a bad thing for us. In fact, because there are so many of us internally, we need 'alone' time from other external people to recouperate, relax, work through things we're not comfortable working on with others present, and to just be us whatever that may look like.

On the other hand, we're learning we don't handle lonely very well at all, and for us, lonely has nothing to do with how many people are around. Lonely does typically start with too much alone time, but for us, can and has persisted even into time periods when we're surrounded by many people we know. Looking back over the past several years, we can see where lonliness has been a contributing factor to some of our mental/emotional declines. It seems the feelings accompanying the lonliness (the depression and anxiety) tend to weaken the effectiveness of our coping skills, thus making it harder for us to cope with and bounce back from life challenges.

This topic has been on my mind a lot the past several days because we have become aware that we are lonely in our new city. We know several people at work and in classes, but we have no friends to do stuff with outside of work or class. This has been compounded by the fact that we have had very little time to work on developing friendships because most freetime is taken up by homework and writing papers. Typically we survive this okay during the week because free time is very limited. Bedtime and the weekends are when we struggle most. This past weekend was a prime example of this. We had no real weekend plans other than working on homework, studying for a test, and cheering on our favorite football team on TV. We ended up going to visit a cousin and spending the night with her family Saturday night. At first, it was decided just because we had some freetime and we wanted to hang out with her. By the time, it was actually time to make the trip to her house, it was a needed visit. We actually started feeling so depressed and anxious Saturday afternoon (even though we were preparing to go to cousin's house for the night and the next day) that we text therapist to see if she was busy. She did text us back but said she wasn't in a place to talk. Since we weren't in crisis at that moment, we told her it was okay. We'd just catch her up on the situation either by e-mail or at our next session.

Once we actually got to cousin's house (a place where we are known as a "we" and have only been show support and unconditional love) all of the bad feelings disappeared and we had an enjoyable evening and and enjoyable Sunday. On the car ride back to our place Sunday night, all of those awful feelings began to creep back in. Heading back to our apt (while it feels safe) meant starting another week of lonliness. We realized we are living for the weekends right now and now want to make plans to be somewhere other than here every weekend from now until December. Fiance' will be home in December. He is great at taking away our lonliness, plus he knows tons of people here that he can introduce me to and help me begin to build my own friendships with people he's already deemed safe and trustworthy.

On one hand, this is great insight for us. To learn something that is a major trigger for our emotional health is a great way for us to figure out ways to compensate, avoid for the moment, and work on overcoming so it may not always be a major issue. On the other hand, this reality scares us. We are very aware that we are going to have to take proactive steps over the next several weeks to make sure things don't get worse than they are now. Right now they are NOT FUN, but they are manageable. We are not feeling urges to self harm or do anything drastic. We are not struggling with work or classes. Our depressive feelings are not consistent. They fluctuate - which is good for us. As long as we know we can continue to come out of the low periods, then fighting through them is not near as challenging.

It feels good being aware of this struggle we have right now soon enough that we can do things to help before it's too late, but at the same time, it really sucks that we're having to choose to take proactive measures again to avoid a really bad place. Praise God, we are not doing this alone. We talked about all of this with therapist today, and she is willing to step things up with us and be available as we may need her to. This alone has helped to ease fears of what the next few weeks may bring, and my hope is that a couple of months from now I will be writing a blog entry stating how long and inconsequential this post ended up being.... that my fears of what may happen were WAY bigger than what actually occurred. I will be okay with admitting I was off on this one though. ;)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Planning for the future

Fiance' called last night. It was the first time we've talked on the phone in over 2 weeks!! We got to talk for a whole 30 minutes. It was awesome!!! He's exhausted, but he's getting excited b/c in 6 weeks, he'll get to start the process of coming home. It will probably still be closer to 2 months before he's actually home, but at least 10 days of that time will be traveling, so that helps. It looks like his unit is set to deploy again Spring 2011, so at least I'll have him home for over a year before he deploys again, and we'll get to be together the first 8 months of our marriage. I know that's more than alot of newlyweds get when one of them is in the Army. I hate to think about him having to go back to Afghanistan again, but for now it's really fun to focus on all of the things that will happen and that we get to do together while he's home.

Also, in planning for the future, we're at the point in therapy where we're going to have to start addressing some majorly uncomfortable issues so that my marriage in a little less than 8 months won't send some parts into a tailspin and put my marriage in jeopardy before it even has a chance. These issues aren't even related to helping fiance' understand what he may need to in order to live with us well. They're more issues with parts and memories so that we can fulfill the role of 'wife' well without freaking out.... and dare I say some of us actually enjoying it without that being "wrong". I want to be married right now, but knowing where other parts are in accepting all of this and in their healing, I am glad we still have several months to prepare everyone and work through some things. We don't adjust to anything quickly, so it will probably take us right up to the wedding for enough parts to be okay with things that everything will go as smoothly as possible.

Did I mention that I'm working and going to school full-time to? Everything I'm doing are things I want to be doing, but sometimes I can't help but wonder if I really am just trading out certain types of 'punishment' for others. At least everything I'm doing now is considered productive from the world's standards.

Speaking of school, I gotta get back to it. Will probably be spelling things from this post out in more detail as they unfold, but for now, this is a start.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Deployment sucks!

So, I don't know how many of you watch the news or keep up with what's going on in Afghanistan, but for those of you that do, my fiance was one of the soldiers fighting in that deadly battle in Northern Afghanistan this weekend. Praise God he is safe, but they lost one of their own this weekend. First one of their guys lost in the 10 months they've been deployed. They are very blessed to have all stayed so far, but it just brings this war so much closer to home for me. Only 2 months left in his deployment. I've done really well so far, but maybe because things are getting worse over there and because the end is in sight, my fears for fiance's safety are growing.

I'm so afraid he's not going to come home to me. This isn't an unrealistic fear, but I do believe it is an unlikely fear. I really just want him home RIGHT NOW!!!! I don't want to wait 2 more months. But I need to stay strong and I need to be upbeat and positive when talking to him. I feel keeping his morale up is the best way I can support him right now. But it's getting hard, and I'm tired of being strong.

Why can't this stupid war just be over? Don't get me wrong. I am SO PROUD of fiance and everything he is doing and what he is fighting for, but I'm tired. I just want him home and I just want things to be normal, and I HATE already talking about plans for his next deployment!

What a week!

I don't even know where to begin. There is so much I would have blogged about over the past week, but my computer screen died on Tuesday evening, and I didn't have frequent enough Internet access to post on my blog. Thankfully, I got my laptop fixed today, and we're up and running again.

I met with my psychiatrist last Wednesday. I maybe naively assumed that he would have no issue with lowering my meds again this month, since he's had no issue about lowering them over the past year. When I asked to drop my Prozac from 40mg to 20mg last week, at first he gave me an 'absolute' no! He said with my history, it wasn't a matter of if I have another major depressive episode, it was a matter of when. Even though all of my severe depression episodes have been linked to specific abuse events or to parts struggling with memories, he still said I would have another major depressive episode, and he thought lowering the Prozac anymore was a bad idea. We talked about it, and agreed to lower my Prozac to 30mg for a couple of months and see how I handle that.

The hardest thing about this encounter is not the fact that I may have to go back up to 40mg of Prozac. I will take whatever level of meds I need to feel well. I just don't want to take more than I have to take. Since I've been on some type and level of an anti-depressant for over 10 years, how am I supposed to know how much I need to be okay without testing the waters a bit? I know my pdoc has my best interest at heart, and I really am okay with our plan. What knocked my feet out from under me was the fact that my progress and coping ability felt as though they were being questioned.

For the past year, I have been blessed with a treatment team, family, and friends who have been supportive of anything I've wanted to do and felt capable of doing. Pdoc has seen me through a lot and I do trust his opinion. I do see him as an expert, so his words carried a lot of weight. I/we started questioning the trust we'd begun to develop in ourselves about our ability to know what we can/can't do and need or don't need. Also, it gave some parts the ammo they've been looking for to add weight to their view that the work we're doing is pointless and we'll never heal enough to make it worth all of this. Also, it gave ammunition to the thoughts that we will cycle through a really low point again. The last thing we want is to be majorly depressed and suicidal again! If pdoc is right, then we still can't trust our internal meeter about what we need and what is good for us.

Lately we've been feeling very confident in our ability to cope and make smart life choices. We're still talking to therapist at least twice a week, but it's more like she's been walking a step or two behind us in case we do fall, but we're living our life. After the conversation with psychiatrist, we became very uncertain of our footing, and needed reassurance from therapist, friends, and family for a few days before making any type of decision or doing much of anything.

Today was a better day. I was able to do things like normal and didn't feel the need to check in with anyone before every move I made. This gives me hope that things really are as I see them. We basically took a direct blow last Tuesday and a week later we've recovered enough to go on with life. I'm very happy yet surprised at how well our coping skills still seem to be working.

I really don't know whether it's good or naive to think we are healing enough to not have another major depressive episode and that we really can lower our meds even more. I guess only time will answer these questions.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just checking in

Don't have time to report anything new. Just felt like checking in. School and work are still consuming most of my time but both are going well. Fiance is doing as good as can be expected in Afghanistan. He has a redeployment date set. For now it's Nov. 29. If that date sticks, he'll be home sometime the first week of December. Yay!!!!! I will be so happy when he is home to stay. Feeling a lot better about talking to him and just being open with him. We got to spend some real time talking on the phone this weekend. We didn't talk about anything really important, but I felt connected to him again, and that connection is what makes me know he can know all about me/us and everything will still be fine. It's awesome to be back to feeling nothing but utter excitement about him coming home!

I talk to therapist in the morning. I need to remember to ask her what coping skills she uses to keep her stamina and sanity on the days that she has therapy and then goes on to see a full day of clients herself. Last week, I was completely drained by the end of the day. It's a good drained, but I don't see it being healthy for us in the long run.

I also see Psychiatrist on Wednesday. We've been lowering my Prozac dosage every 3 months for the last 9 months. Hoping I can convince him to lower the dosage again this week. If he will then I'll only be taking 20mg of Prozac in the morning, and 1mg of Klonopin at night for sleep. I can't remember the last time, I was on that few medications, and on their practically lowest dosages, and still felt good for the most part. It's very exciting! Maybe one day I won't have to be on any meds at all. I know that's a big maybe, but it's still nice to be in a place to even contemplate it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Fall. ugh!

It's oficially Fall, and my generalized anxiety that kicks in this time of year has made it's appearance. It isn't as bad this year as it has been in years past. Typically, Fall signals the beginning of a steady decline in my well-being that ends with an IP stay in a Psych hospital for a few weeks sometime in the winter. Last winter was the first winter I/we stayed stable enough to not need IP help. Currently, we are not seeing that there will be a need for IP treatment this winter either, so the anxiety is less, but alas, it is still present. I think this has made me more sensitive to things recently. Because I'm constantly battling a low level of anxiety right now, it makes it easy to cause a drastic spike in my anxiety. I think this definitely played into my past few posts, but at the same time I don't see my posts as true overreactions either.

I want to address a question Shen left in my comment section because I think it's a very valid question. Below is my response.


You ask a good question, and there is a good chance you may be right. My history tells me that sharing these labels with others can have long term disasterous results even with those who love me 'unconditionally'. As a result, my response is to not want to put a label to anything or feel categorized in any way. This is probably an extreme in the other direction. It should just be a name, an identifier to a set of symptoms and/or behaviors. Unfortunately, in my world of family and friends it carries much more of a stigma than that. Their opinions and pressure over how I should handle things has been getting to me, especially over the past few weeks. I know that my perceptions have become somewhat skewed, and I really do need to take a step back, re-evaluate, and re-decide what I believe about me.

Therapist and I talked today. It was helpful. She validated my feelings and helped me see that more of my emotions are coming from feelings of hurt and frustration I'm feeling towards family and friends who I deem should understand or at least accept me where I'm at right now than there really is fear of talking to fiance' and continuing to share all of me with him.

So, other than the general anxiety I struggle with this time of year every year, I think I will be sleeping much more at ease tonight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A good conversation with a friend

So, I've been thinking about last night's blog entry all day. So much so that I didn't think I could wait until tomorrow to talk to therapist. A good non-DID friend of mine was on Google talk today, and she let me pick her brain. Our conversation was really beneficial to me. Still have a ways to go with processing things, but she did help to alleviate some of my anxieties. Anyways, rather than trying to summarize what she said, I just copied and pasted our chat, changing names so that everything continues to stay anonymous for my benefit. Thanks to all of you for reading, and Shen, thank you for your response and encouragment. It is greatly appreciated!

me: So, I told you at retreat that I talked to Don and Susan and they helped me a lot in feeling confident about opeing up to fiance' more about therapy and the way my mind works....
ES: yep
me: So last week, I was really excited about fiance' coming home and not having any anxiety over it or anything. Then this weekend, a dear friend of mine whose known me since I was 12 and my parents both felt needs at different times to chime in on how, when, if, how much, where I was going to tell fiance.. like the longer I go w/o telling him is a big deception on my part
ES: ok
me: They all agree that waiting til he gets home is fine but I told them the things I talked about with Don... that I wasn't going to give fiance' the names of my diagnoses b/c my diagnoses aren't who I am. I was just going to tell him how my head works and what my symptoms are and what i need from him and answer any questions he may have. Well, they all see this as lying b/c I'm still "withholding information" from him... I don't see how giving him the name DID is going to do anything except allow him to develop misconceptions of what life is like for me, but I don't want any secrets with him.
I think when I told you I told you the diagnosis first. In all honesty, did I freak you out that night we talked? Obviously, I know you've gotten over it if I did, but was what I told you a major deal that I am just trying to play down?
ES: wow, ok.
me: sorry.... I think I tried to warn you... maybe I didn't do a good job. Need to chat later?
ES: no no sorry that was only the first portion of my statement
me: oh. haha
ES: the wow was only b/c you've got a lot going on in your head
me: yeah, you could say that. I guess I just don't feel like I'm dropping a huge bomb on him like other seem to think I am... but maybe that's just b/c I'm used to me and the way we work. but I'm really second guessing everything again... maybe this is a HUGE deal like my family and a few of my friends think it is.
ES: ok. stop. breathe. first of all, it didn't really freak me out. i think you should definitely approach it the way don and susan suggested, explain your head and your thinking let him get his responses and then tell him that you've been diagnosed with DID at the end and be honest tell him you know it's a scary name, but all that it means is exactly what you've told him up to that point. To be honest, it helped explain A LOT to me cause there were times where i felt like i was getting "different bravehearts" and so it was interesting and really informative to know why
me: seriously? I mean, I'm not surprised, but I work so hard for that not to happen... haha that does help. i want it to make me make more sense.. not to make me look like a freak....
ES: well and he knows you very well by now
me: I think my family and my friend just scared me this weekend
ES: and it will only help explain you HE LOVES YOU he KNOWS you
me: yeah.. he does.. :D
ES: you are NOT this diagnosis. you are you
me: and this is why you are one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world! You haven't known me as long, but you get me way better than so many of my friends - even the ones with Psych degrees.
ES: :) i love you
me: i love you.
ES: and let fiance' know that it's not that he has to DO anything or CHANGE anything but you wanted him to know to help him understand you you were great about that with me
me: yeah, that's a good point... all I want from him is for him to know and understand... I don't "need" anything from him regarding this stuff. Good, I'm glad I was able to explain that part of it to you.
ES: dont' stress about telling fiance' it will be wonderful
me: you really already put my mind at ease a lot
ES: God brought him into your life for a reason. he's been totally understanding up to this point do you really see him changing b/c of some label you've been given?
me: no, you're right. I start second guessing most when he's not around for me to be reassured by interacting with him and when those that I"m typically around a lot that have their own misconceptions start telling me what I need to do. but, if i think back, I felt confident about telling him in June when he was home and I know I will again once he's home in December. You're so awesome!!
ES: no problem

Monday, September 21, 2009

You think I haven't thought of that?

Fiance' will be home from Afghanistan in about 2 1/2 months. We are so excited that his year of deployment is almost over!!! On the other hand, his coming home means we're finally going to have the time and the setting to tell him I am actually a "we". I truly believe he can handle it or I wouldn't have agreed to marry him without making sure he knew first. Timing has just not been as I'd hoped as far as sharing my past and internal world with his deployment, but I know I want to marry him, so there was NO WAY I was saying "no" when he asked me to marry him.

Anyways, with him coming soon, family and close friends seem to feel the need to weigh in on what I need to tell him, when I need to tell him, and how I need to tell him about my "secret life." I know they're just trying to be helpful but this just flies all over me!!!!! First of all, I haven't been living a secret around him. I/we've just been us. The only thing we haven't done is distinguish ourselves and make sure he calls each of us by our respective names. Second, I've been thinking about how I would tell the man I marry about what life is like as a multiple since I realized I was one. Third, therapist and I have been working for over a year on how we would specifically tell fiance' when the time was right, and we've really been focusing on what, how, when, etc. since we got engaged.

Also, I know it's a big thing to tell someone, but does it really have to be a big deal? Everyone acts like I'm about to drop a huge bomb on him. Is my perception wrong because I don't see it that way? Am I trying to downplay my symptoms and what living with DID is like b/c I am afraid I might scare him off? Why is having a coping skill that saved our lives seem like such a bad thing to those around me. I'm still the same person I've always been, just as genuine as I've always been with him. How does filling him in on how my mind works have to equal a huge ordeal that requires tons of input from people, even when I'm not asking for their opinion?

Maybe we are playing this down. The fact that we refer to ourselves in the plural tense alone may be enough to freak someone out. I don't know. I just know that I wish everyone would stay out of it unless I ask for their opinion. I don't think I can run through any more different scenarios or come up with any more different ways to present things. I've been and will continue to play different scenarios of this conversation(s) in my head until they actually take place sometime in January.

I asked for some advice from a very wise person about 10 days ago and he really gave me some good advice and lots of peace about my decision. Since then, family and friends have decided to chime in again (are they afraid I'm going to forget fiance' and I need to have this talk before we're married?) and remind me how I don't need to do anything to make fiance' think I'm deceiving him by not telling him everything.... how important trust is in a relationship.. I'm getting a lecture on the importance of trust in a relationship??????? What in the world????? Anyways, now I'm second guessing things again and wondering if the way we've decided to tell him is the right way. Is there even a right way? And the anxiety returns. At least for a few short days, I felt confident in my ability to talk to him and was feeling nothing but excitement about him coming home so we could start the rest of our lives together.

I'll talk to therapist on Wednesday. Maybe she can help me regain some of that peace and excitement instead of dread that I'm going to disappoint or scare off the person I love more than anyone else on the planet.

I think times like these are what trigger posts like yesterday.... feelings that where I am still isn't enough progress or far enough and difficulty feeling content with where I am despite being able to see the immense amount of progress I've made over the past 2 years. I'm still not good enough or sane enough or whatever enough to just be accepted as I am where I am by anyone other than therapist.

God please help me to see myself the way you see me and the way I believe fiance' sees me and not the way satan is telling me I should be seen or the way I believe others to perceive me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Therapy break is over

Good or bad, we got back into therapy full-swing on Friday. We're not really doing memory work at the moment, but I switched probably 4 times during the session and all of the parts were younger and crying and really looking for comfort from therapist. We are so blessed that our move wasn't so far that we can't make the hour drive to still see her in person once a week. Parts are having a really hard time adjusting to us being in her office once a week even though we still have sessions twice a week.... Friday we reconnected with therapist and I believe parts were reassured that she's not going anywhere and I didn't move us away from her.

I see lots of stuff that's been on hold for the past 6 weeks coming to the front in the next few weeks. I know this is good b/c all the work we do leads to progress, but I can't help but be slightly sad about facing more struggles. I know they are all past struggles that have been held internally by parts for so many years, but to me, they are mostly new.

I didn't take over being forward all of the time until after the abuse ended. It's like I'm learning everything and experiencing it all for the first time. Is it crazy to think that parts of me are stronger than I am? I don't know how they survived what they did, and the more I learn the more I understand why some parts wish they didn't.

Reconciling this world with my past world is sooooooooooooo hard. I don't often let myself have 'pity parties'. I can't see how they do much good. Tonight I just feel like whining though. Tomorrow we'll probably pick things back up and carry on. One more day, one more memory, one more fight. We are doing really well for us, and I am so grateful! We're doing things in our life that 18 months ago seemed impossible. It's amazing. So, why am I still wondering if this will ever end? and will we ever run out of new memories to process or new triggers to uncover? We've made so much progress. Why can't I be happy with that tonight?

Grr. I'm frustrating myself. Think I'm just going to go to bed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Tonight we're in class learning how to blog. hee hee!

So, I decided since I already have a few different blogs, I'd post a blog entry rather than practice embedding Youtube videos.

Sorry I've been out of touch. School has keeping me crazy busy, and I haven't done a good job of being in touch with things internally. We've been in our new city about a month and I noticed yesterday that internal stuff is creeping back in. I know this is good. I've been ignoring my internal world for too long, but it was oh so nice to just feel "normal" and not have any major internal issues going on.

I also am in my 3rd week officially working as a counselor and seeing clients again. I haven't seen clients in 4 years. Ack! I'm nervous before each session starts, but I'm really loving the job! A couple of my clients, I have no idea how I'm going to help, but they seem so grateful just to have someone to listen. One I think I can relate to a lot, and I'm working on making sure I stay in therapist role and not - a friend with "ooh ooh, let me tell you what worked for me and try this."  That's not my role in this relationship. I must admit that I am very relieved, at least at this point, that I am loving seeing clients rather than feeling stressed out or being triggered.

Oh, we're moving onto discussing our article critiques. Better get back to class. Will try to get back into a routine of posting regularly.

Take care all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Irony at its best

So, I got to work today after the long weekend to find out from the counselor I share an office with that his 31 year old son died over the weekend. Apparently he's had a lot of drug and alcohol issues for years. He recently just got out of a 3 month inpatient program. Cause of death hasn't been released, but it looks like a drug overdose of sorts. Co-worker was at work today because there's nothing he can do right now, and he said it's better than sitting at home. His son lived in another town but will be buried here on Saturday, so co-worker said he might as well be here and be distracted. It's so heartbreaking!

What kills me more than anything is that co-worker is a licensed drug and alcohol addictions counselor and has been in practice for over 25 years. Talk about ironic. To lose your own child to the thing you've spent your life fighting, helping those struggling to overcome, and educating others about seems so cruel.

God never said life would make sense, but I can only imagine the pain co-worker is feeling knowing he was never able to help his own flesh and blood. It's definitely not co-worker's fault that his son overdosed, but it is still extremely sad to think that he has helped so many others but was unable to help his own son.

I'm not even going to try to understand this one.

Monday, September 7, 2009

checking in

Just wanted to say hi! Getting settled in with school and a new job took up a lot of my time last week and was away from my computer this weekend.

I went to my 10 year High School reunion this weekend. It was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I was forward the whole time b/c no one else inside remembers anyone from high school. Parts began re-emerging my last semester of high school and over the summer before beginning college. It was weird to be back somewhere that was all about me. Parts still had comments about people from my past, but I actually just got to have my memories for a night. It was pretty cool. It was fun seeing some old friends I hadn't seen in 10 years too.

I spent the rest of the weekend at the lake. I got slightly sunburnt, but it was totally worth it!

While back in my hometown, I drove by my old house. I don't know why I had this compulsion. I think it's only the 2nd time I've been there since my parents moved out 6 years ago. Usually I avoid going by there at all cost. My abuser lived in the house next door, and that's where all of the abuse that I know of took place. It was weird driving by. The old neighborhood looks so different than the way we remember it from our childhood. The owners of the houses don't take as good care of them. My house and abuser's house are both overgrown with trees and plants. Someone bought the small lot between our houses. My parents owned that when we were growing up. It was just a wooded lot and I had a path carved through the "woods" to get to abuser's house.... not so much to see him, but to play with his son who was my age, and his son used the path to walk over to my house to play. Now that wooded lot is a 2 story house with a fence, and a grassy front yard. It was pretty surreal. No one was with me, so I just kept driving and got on with my day. So many different thoughts and feelings seeing the old place looking so different. We should probably process this at some point, but feel numb to it now, and think that's probably a really good place to stay since it's bedtime.

Holiday weekend is over, so I need to get ready for the work week again. Night all!