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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No title again

I've been thinking a lot lately--reflecting on whether or not five years of therapy have done me any good. The obvious answer is yes, but the less obvious answer is that the question is moot because I had no choice--I would not be here writing this if I had not sought help.

There is such security in living in a world of one's own creation--being a person without pain or sadness in one's past. It's easy to interact with people, knowing they have no desire to become close, to learn about who I am, and understanding they just need a place to talk. Life is well-ordered, serene, and logical. The times when I recognized that I was alone were rare. And I will be completely honest: sometimes I miss my former life rather passionately.

I believe under normal circumstances I would have been able to complete all the therapeutic tasks I set for myself without the complications I now experience. I'm fairly strong and resourceful. I'm think, though, most people would not be able to cope with the stresses I've experienced and continued therapy without developing similar insecurities and having difficulty managing stress. Therapist suggested I make a list of the less than joyful things I've experienced since I began therapy in 2006:
1. Unfortunate choice of first therapist which led me to not disclose much of what needed to be discussed. Therapy sessions ultimately became a place where I felt threatened and unsafe.
2. Acceptance of Samantha who was molested and raped (not just-a-little-bit-sexually-abused) more than once as a young girl and abused by her mother.
3. Hospitalization to help with suicidal thoughts and desires, during which time I was diagnosed with PTSD.
4. Recognition of some dissociation and subsequent integration.
5. Attempts to connect socially with people other than Darrin which, while delightful and beautiful were also frightening and stressful.
6. Lunch with my rapist.
7. Conversations with my mother, during which I learned of her desire to remain disconnected from me--ultimately letting me know of her need to have a friendship with me, but nothing closer.
8. My friend's six-year-old son was killed in a tragic accident.
9. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
10. I became pregnant and miscarried after 15 weeks.
11. Darrin lost his job.
12. My father was hospitalized with a devastating illness which became complicated and nearly killed him.
13. My mother suffered a stroke, leading doctors to discover multiple places in her brain which have become "dead spots", notably located in the places responsible for memory and logical/realistic thinking.
14. I became addicted to pain killers after developing a pinched nerve in my back--and went through serious withdrawal while weaning myself from them.
15. I became a workaholic which, previous to this time, I believed was a myth or an exaggerated term for someone very dedicated to working.

There's more--but that's long enough.

When I last talked with Therapist about this, I pointed out that my life is mostly filled with good things. He agreed, then said that most people don't experience the number of negative things I've listed within two or three years. I said I've been able to stop having flashbacks in spite of the setbacks. He said he has no idea how. I don't know either.

Therapist asked me what causes me the most stress in my life now. I said, "People."

Even now, after years of trying, I'm not sure I'm cut out to have relationships. DJ stopped by today. I miss him terribly--but I want him to enjoy being on his own and not worry about me or what's happening in our home. So I try not to spend lots of time with him. DJ told Adam later that sometimes he feels like I'm glad he moved out which was not the message I wanted to send. I'm very bad at this...whatever it is.

My siblings have accused me of becoming distant, businesslike. Lila alone, continues to communicate with me--commenting on my Facebook, sending emails and calling me on the phone. My siblings and parents are together this week. I have work commitments and couldn't join them, but I'm not sure I would if I could. It's stressful and I'm tired.

I can't quite figure out if the stress I'm feeling now is related to PTSD or if it's something different. For awhile now I've felt unable to talk about what I'm feeling to real people--only here on this blog can I say that I'm feeling overwhelmed and panic attacks are common and intense. There was a time when I would try to call people or find them online or in person. Now I just feel like I'm imposing if I even think about doing such a thing. This is my problem--no one else's.

I did try to talk with a few people in the past couple of weeks. I ended up listening instead. They have real difficulties--not imagined ones such as mine--real reasons to panic or cry--not some insane disorder which crops up when my life is slightly out of kilter. Needless to say, there wasn't really any relief to be found in those conversations.

I feel a bit lost at this point. We've had lots of clouds and rain lately. Perhaps when the sun comes out again, I'll feel better.


  1. Dang! You're strong. I'll tell ya, I don't think anyone could do what you've done with half the grace. Everytime I've had the chance to be around you I've always felt loved and accepted. Thanks for that. You've had a very positive effect on my life. Wish I could return the favor. Unfortunately I would probably end up being one of those people that you end up listening to. Life is
    tough and I feel really worn right now so I can at least sympathize with feeling lost part. I just believe that there are better things to come and that this (whatever it is) is not permanent. Then I wonder what on earth I did to deserve it. haha. fighting back all that wrong thinking is exhaustive! :)

  2. It's good to know someone "gets" what I'm feeling sometimes. I hope you get the rest you need, and someone helps you carry the burden you're feeling right now--because you deserve that.

    Thank you for your words. I'm blessed to have you as a friend. :-)