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Friday, January 2, 2009

An Email: Mine--with responses in red from Therapist

Sam: My thoughts in Red below:

I know you're online, and I could just chat with you, but it's New Year's, so you're at home and I don't want to disturb family time. So there's no hurry to answer my questions, I just want to send them now, while I'm thinking about them.

But before my questions, some background info:

First--as you knew I would, because I'm too desperate not to try every possible venue, I allowed Tolkien Boy to stay with me on Monday while I went through the nastiness I save up after each flashback. He sat with me and held my hand while my stupid body shook and I cried and I felt like a complete idiot. By the way--notice I let him hold my hand and I didn't even throw up, or feel like I was going to which is my usual reaction when people touch my skin following a flashback. Weird. And after everything was over I was too tired to care about feeling like an idiot, so I took him home, drove to a friend's house and went to sleep.

Second--I talked with Darrin about ways he can help me in similar circumstances. He suggests that even though he'll be gone this month, I should still call him after a flashback. He can talk to me when I'm not able to talk, and at least I'll have some connection to him. So we'll try that. I think I've been very angry that he'll be gone when I need him. I don't feel as angry about that today. Darrin also suggests that if he can't talk to me when I need him, I call someone else. I said I'd think about it.

Third--On Sunday I allowed a friend (female) to do that thing girls do constantly when they're together (except I never do)--I let her "scratch my back" during Relief Society, which in girl talk translates to just a very nice caress over the shoulders, upper, and middle back. And I wasn't afraid or threatened or nauseated by the touch. Granted, it was a very good friend who understands my silly phobias, and she asked permission first, but I would normally have said no--but I didn't. And some odd emotions manifested themselves. I felt triumphant that I was allowing normal "girl" touch and actually enjoying it in the way it should be enjoyed. I felt really sad that I've spent so much of my life not being able to participate in this part of female interaction without the sexual component getting in the way. I felt "normal."

So now the questions:
1. Is it too much to hope for to believe that some of the nastiness I've been carrying around is finally subsiding to the point where it no longer colors all my interactions with others--Nope, not too much to hope for or believe. It's actually what I expected to see happen as you started to break through some of this. especially interactions which involve casual physical touch? ESPECIALLY these interactions. Casual physical touch is something I know you have been terrified about for some time. When you start making break-throughs with it (doesn't have to be good EVERY time, but at least from time to time), then your gonna feel and experience lots that you haven't felt before. It DOES mean electively allowing some of the nastiness, but the difference is this - you will begin to feel more in control of those experiences. That's what diminishes the flashbacks and the intensity of the physical experience of them.
2. Why, after the things I've experienced this week, do I still feel crazy stressed and all mixed up? It's all about too much emotional / sensory overload. You've been all over the spectrum from pleasant physical touch (new) to the same old horrible crap (old) and a body can only handle so much of that at one time. I think you are still feeling the exhaustion of it all. I think it would be wise to find time to "take a break" - get your mind and senses off the issue for however long it takes to disengage. I know you want to get through this quick ( :-) ) but it would be wise to take breathers from it from time to time. The more you will be able to pick and choose where / when, the more control you will feel, the better it will become.
3. In addition to the above question, why do I feel absolutely peaceful about everything--especially my relationships with others? It makes sense there would be a lot of peace right now. It's headed in the right direction and I think God's tender mercies are those pleasant physical touch experiences that happen from time to time. It's a reflection about the direction things are headed. This feeling began on Monday, when I allowed Tolkien Boy to stay with me, and has increased daily from that point. Cool.

Okay--I actually have a million more questions, but I want to think about them some more before I actually ask them. Welcome to my bizarre life. :-) When you have time, please share your thoughts about the things I've discussed.

Thanks so much! and Happy New Year!! Happy New Year to you too!