Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Experiences

Therapist has been working on helping to orient a part to the present who we've learned over the past several months has very little knowledge of the world outside of the actual abuse we suffered. Recently it came to light that this part had never been outside. So, today therapist and this part took a walk outside in a neighborhood near her office.

I'm pleasantly surprised to report that overall, it was a good experience. She seemed to have the worst time in the hallway and lobby in therapist's office leading to the outdoors than she actually did outside. It was the craziest experience!!!! Everything was new to her. The smell of the outdoor air, flowers, the feel of a light rain on her skin. Lots of motion scared her, so they had to stay away from streets with many cars and people other than therapist really scared her. She questioned everyone's motives whether they were looking her way or not. She didn't run though. She didn't freak out. She didn't cry. She was just incredibly skiddish. When they got on the roads where there were no people or moving cars, I think she actually even enjoyed herself a bit. I didn't even know that was possible.

Therapist brought me back out when they got back to the office so we could wrap things up, and I could drive us home. I found a little bit of the skiddishness was left behind as I exited therapist's office. I was really jumpy in the parking lot, and even felt cautious when the guy at the drive through window asked for my order and gave me my food. Feeling safe again now that we're home. Hoping it will wear off by the morning. I'm only used to feeling that skiddish for a few hours right after I get out of inpatient treatment that I've been in for a month or longer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

If You Want Me To

Ginny Owens: If You Want Me To - Live Version lyrics

The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

No I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will go through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'll never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering
Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

When I cross over Jordan,
I'm gonna sing, gonna shout
Gonna look into your eyes and see you never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to you
And I will walk through the valley if you want me to

Yes, I will walk through the valley if you want me to

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just saying hi...

Not much to write about. I'm not complaining for sure. Just wanted to check in. I know my last few posts have been pretty intense, so I wanted to write a short little entry to say I'm still hanging in there. I actually even managed to have a decent weekend this weekend. Fingers crossed that it will continue into the week.

On a positive note, I bought a plane ticket tonight to meet my boyfriend in Denver on June 11!!! That's where he's flying into for his R&R. I'll get to spend two whole weeks with him before he has to go back to Afghanistan!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Is there some force out there whose sole purpose is to continue to try to push every button I have until I end up back inpatient???? My latest "crisis" isn't urgent or anything that can't be worked through, but the timing really sucks, and I am pissed about it. For those of you who have read my blog from the beginning, you'll remember the February entry where I give the quick rundown of my 10 years in therapy.

Anyways, I just found out this evening (on my way to the funeral home) that Dr. M. and her husband both got jobs at the local christian university here. It's the same denomination as the one I attended for undergrad and grad school on the other side of the state where they were my professors and she was my therapist for almost 2 years. Fantastic! We've spent 5 years healing from her ditching us, and 3 years in this new city building our own life here. She's the reason it's taken us so long to trust current therapist and for so many of our fears regarding trust and our "neediness".

Instead of her being 3 hours away where we never saw her, by August at the latest, she will be working less than 10 minutes from where I live and possibly living nearby as well. I know a lot of people aren't going to understand why this is a major issue for me. It was a different type of trauma but the pain we went through after she abandoned us was real. I don't want to try to compare it to my childhood trauma or any abuse, but it was one of the hardest things we've lived through in our adult life. Maybe the hardest thing I've ever been through, considering 'I' wasn't around for the abuse.

Hopefully this will turn out to be nothing. This is just my overreaction to not happy news that is at very bad timing!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Trying to understand

I don't have much more info than I had last night, but I have a little. Unfortunately, it's not helping me understand dad's cousin's suicide any better. It's something like 80-90% of suicides don't leave a note behind. Cousin was one of the few that did. I haven't seen the letter. Probably never will. I do know that he wrote a paragraph to his wife telling her he did love her and how sorry he was. He wrote a paragraph to his son, one to his daughter, and one to his parents. He also specified that there was to be no funeral and where he wanted to be buried. Obviously he thought this through, and still saw suicide as his best option.

As of now, it seems his immediate family is just as shocked that he committed suicide as those of us in his extended family are. No one is coping well. Visitation is tomorrow and we'll have a graveside service on Wednesday for family. I want to be with my family right now and not mourn alone anymore. At the same time, I'm dreading the drive home tomorrow and the service on Wednesday. The overwhelming sadness that will be present is not inviting.

I also found out that a passerby found him lying on the side of the road and called 911. He shot himself once in the temple and died immediately. This is just so much to process. Parts are having all different reactions. Yet, I feel the need to keep my life going as normal b/c no one in my family knows about my suicide attempt last year. I want to keep it that way, but I think a lot of my reactions won't make sense to them, so we'll do our best to internalize them until we can blog, journal, or talk to therapist. I see lovely therapy sessions in my near future. :P

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Suicide hurts. There's no way around that. The person who commits suicide is in so much pain nothing else but death (at least in the moment) will alleviate the pain enough. Having been suicidal multiple times in my life, I truly understand that wall that seems to come up where you can't see any other option and you are completely unable to see outside of yourself to begin to even think how your actions will affect those you leave behind. Some people call suicide selfish. I disagree. At least for me, when I've been suicidal, I haven't had the mental capacity to choose to be selfish or not. I am in sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much pain, the only thing I can think of is that I need 'out' I need 'a break' right now!!!!! In those specific times, I cannot think rational or future-oriented even if I want to.

My dad's 1st cousin committed suicide this evening. He drove out to a river nearby in his truck and shot himself in the head. I'm not that close to him, but his kids are around my age and I'm pretty good friends with them. I didn't even know there were issues. It's so recent that there still aren't many details. I'm sure I will know more tomorrow. All I know for now is that it just recently came out that he had an affair a few years ago while he was preaching at a church the next county over. His wife just found out about it, and asked for a separation. At this point, I have no idea if he was still engaged in the affair or if it ended when he stopped preaching at that church. He only started moving his things out of the house this past week. So much of this was shocking b/c they were married 30+ years, and the larger family didn't even know there were problems yet.

There are so many questions. Did something push him over the edge today? What happened that he decided he couldn't live one more minute. His son is getting married next month, so I know he must have been in a place where he couldn't even recognize what he is now going to miss or how this would hurt his family. The reason I feel I can say this with confidence is b/c 2 years ago, I was in a chronic suicidal state. The thing that kept those serious thoughts and actions in check for months was the fact that I was to be the maid of honor in my sister's wedding. I didn't want to ruin her wedding, so we forced ourselves to take suicide off the table as an option for a few months. It was so hard at times, but keeping that perspective that my actions would mess up what should be the best day in my sister's life was enough to make me push through.

I think dad's cousin would have been the same way, so what happened tonight? What happened to cause this to be the only answer for him? My mom just sent me a text saying he left a note. I don't know what it said yet, but that confuses me even more. Someone who takes the time to write and leave a note isn't acting quite as rashly. To some extent they are thinking through what they're doing.

My family is devastated. He is not the first person in my life to commit suicide. Personally, I've lost friends that I was closer to than him, but this is the first suicide in my family that I'm aware of. I have no idea how everyone's going to handle this and what the next week with visitation and a funeral will bring. I can't even imagine what his wife is feeling right now.... furious at him for having an affair, devastated b/c he's dead, maybe furious at him for committing suicide?

And my cousins... to lose their dad that way..... I can't begin to imagine. Most of my family will be mad at my dad's cousin for committing suicide. I won't be. Mostly I'm just sad and confused. I want to know what was so awful that he saw no other option. Unless you've been there, you can't understand how it's not about anyone else in your life. If you could think about anyone else, you might find another coping option.

God, please grant his family comfort and peace. I pray he is resting with you in heaven now. So many conflicting beliefs on whether you can even go to heaven if you commit suicide, but it's hard for me to believe you can be held accountable for that "sin" b/c your mental state is so altered, that you are unable to distinguish right from wrong.

It's going to be a long week...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I have been blessed to have a pretty easy past 5 days. No major stressors. I enjoyed Easter with my family. Therapy did not send me into a tailspin yesterday. All in all I can't complain.

Tonight I'm sitting in a hospital room with my best friend and her husband watching American Idol. My best friend's husband has been in and out of the hospital a lot over the past 3 months. Frustratingly, doctors are having a difficult time figuring out what the problem(s) are so they can treat and/or fix them. He is the main provider for their family. They have two small children and have medical bills that are piling, not to mention practically no income for the past 3 months. God is blessing them through gifts from family and friends and all of their needs are being met. Their children are being well cared for, and they are at the best hospital in the region. However, 9 days into this particular hospital stay, they're still trying to figure out how to help him. Right now, it's a wait and see kind of thing.

Their current situation doesn't make me feel guilty about my struggles over the past week with my mostly non life-threatening situations, however it does help me put things into perspective. I am holding down a steady job, taking a grad class, keeping up with my boyfriend, and still managing to have mostly good days. I am so blessed!!!

Yes, I still have a long way to go in my healing process. Lots of parts still have issues to work through. Feelings and emotions need to be better handled so they're not always overwhelming. Plenty to do to keep us in therapy for awhile, but ya know, I am still a very blessed person.

Occasionally I think I forget how many things I have going for me, and it's good to be reminded how blessed I really am.... not to feel guilty for when I feel bad but to help remind me of all the things I have positive in my life and all of the reasons I want to keep living and keep healing.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Today's strong emotion was : anxiety. It was just as overwhelming as the depression/suicide thoughts/feelings were on Monday and Tuesday and the happy/excited feelings were yesterday. By the time I made it to therapist's office this evening, I had just enough energy to lie on the couch in her office and cry.

Thankfully today's session helped rather than making things more intense. When I walked out of her office after our session, I felt like I could breathe again for the first time in days. Some of that was due to being able to cry and share whatever knowing I wouldn't be judged for it. A lot of it I think was talk about ways that we can still make significant steps in therapy without requiring a lot of memory work or arguing the purpose of parts. Spending time orienting Angel and other parts to 2009, in our opinion, will help make doing memory work easier (not easy, just easier) because more parts will be vested in the present and hopefully less likely to get caught up in flashbacks. In the meantime, I'm hoping to learn how to handle feelings better - allow them to be present but not overwhelming.

Anyways, I just wanted to update that hopefully things will be calming down soon and every thing that happens won't feel like the end of the world, like they have every other day this week. And maybe just maybe we'll get a decent night's sleep tonight.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

hold on and fasten your seat belts!

So, why does no one tell you what a rollercoaster ride life is once you finally reach a place to have ups and downs? It might have been nice to expect major ups and downs in such short periods of time. I don't know. Maybe this isn't normal yet. Hopefully they won't always be this extreme!

After therapy Monday and all day yesterday, I bottomed out. I was soooooo depressed. Parts were really wanting to self-injure and having suicidal impulses. We were able to stay safe, but it was a really low place to be in. Tempy helped me some last night by reminding me of things I know and better ways to cope. I think that let me get a decent night's sleep which helped.

Today I wake up to a package from my boyfriend - a tank top and a shirt that both read "Soldier's Easter bunny." They're very cute. There was a note in the package saying how much he missed me and loved me and how he couldn't resist getting me the shirts. Anything he sends me feels like winning the lottery inside. I actually got to talk to him on google chat this morning too. He told me he's 99% sure his 2 weeks of R&R are going to be in early-mid June now instead of mid-July. That's a whole month earlier I'll get to see him!!!!!!!! It's warm and sunny today. Everything feels great. I feel on top of the world.

Actually, I feel so happy and excited, it's almost uncomfortable. I don't know if this is how everyone experiences it, but excitement and anxiety feel virtually the same to me. The only way I can distinguish is by the situation I'm in. I mean, excitement is good and all, but I sure would pop an Ativan right now to get it to chill out some if I had any.

I'm not complaining for feeling good again (other than it's a bit uncomfortable), but the major swing from wanting to die to being excited about being alive in the past 48 hours is rather draining. Surely this isn't how everyone experiences life. I think everyone would be exhausted all the time! I have therapy tomorrow evening, so I expect to be down in the dumps again by tomorrow evening. Blah!

Think I'm really going to have to learn better how to just live in the moment.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


So we made it a year and a month with almost no major self-injury impulses. We're really proud of that, and we're still SI free, but I'm not sure how much longer that will last. Therapist talked to a part yesterday who is really struggling. This part has been struggling for a long time, but this is a different kind of struggle because the beliefs she's held about herself and the whole world her entire life are being challenged by therapist. Sifting through truth and lies trying to find out what reality really is is kind of pushing her over the edge. So far, we're managing as a system, but it hasn't been this hard in over a year. This is the first time that I'm not sure we can keep a safety contract. In the past, I've not wanted to keep them, but I knew we could. This feels a little out of control.

The only way therapist got this part to make a short-term safety contract was to mention police if we ignored safety check-ins. We all understood, calling the police would not be a punishment. It would be done out of fear that we were not safe and needed help b/c we were not checking in or answering calls from therapist to affirm we were still safe. The fear of causing a scene was enough to get a safety contract, so I guess it worked. We checked in with therapist three times last night and then once this morning, just to say we're still keeping our safety contract. I don't really know if we're supposed to check in anymore between now and our Thursday appointment. I'm sure we can if we want to, but therapist didn't say we had to. We did promise to call her before self-injuring, so I guess if things do get worse, we will be checking in whether we want to or not.

Not convinced we're on the precipice of another downward spiral yet, but still finding the place we're in right now frustrating and disheartening. We haven't been here in a year. I was hoping this part was behind us. Now I think maybe things are just cyclical. Maybe they'll get better again when we work through this next wave of crap, and they'll stay good until it's time to deal with the next level. Are there always going to be levels and layers of stuff to get through? I don't think we have anything left to remember. I thought that would be the biggest part, but now it seems as remembering was just the beginning and now the real work is starting.

I don't know. Hopefully I'm just being a pessimist today and I'll feel differently in a day or two. Really really not wanting to go back into that dark place! Not sure how to avoid it and still do the work that needs to be done though. *Sigh*

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm an idiot!

My sweet boyfriend sent me a gift package from Bath & Body Works today. It's this incredibly cute canvas tote an inside was a set of four Bath & Body works products all scented Japanese Blossom. Now, I struggle with strong fragrances and some flower scents in the sense that they can be very triggering smells for me. I'd never smelled Japanese Blossom, so rather than doing the smart thing and spraying the body spray into the air and smelling it, I go ahead and spray it on my wrists to smell it. It is a wonderful smell, but it is triggering the mess out of me at the same time. Boyfriend is not aware of my sensitivity to perfumes/colognes b/c the kind he wears wasn't triggering to me, so I never said anything. I don't blame him at all, and I think I can go to B &B Works and exchange the items for a non-triggering scent. He is so good to me.

Here's the deal. Since I had to try something on, why didn't I try the lotion or the body gel? They would have been easier to wash off. Then I would be sitting here at my desk 2 hours later trying to keep my hands as far away from my face as possible. I'm my own walking trigger today. Smart.... real smart!