Probably "sort-of-well-adjusted" is a better descriptor.
Regardless, I've been doing a great deal of mental and emotional work so that the changes which take place do not undermine the persona that is me.
I know. That sounds crazy. I suppose it is, technically. Most people do things to adapt, adjust, accept, which do not compromise who they are, but rather, enhance their "selves". A few of us, however, get lost when those things happen in our lives. We forget who we are, or (as in my case) we create a new persona in order to avoid facing the things that cause the need for change in the first place. I've done that three times.
And then I had to put myself back together again. I don't recommend that process to anyone. It's very important--and very yucky.
Stress is a catalyst which causes me to want to invent a new person. I've had a lot of stress in my life lately.
Therapist has suggested that I do the work he assigned so that I can remain whole and healthy while dealing with the large amounts of stress. I don't want to; and I'm really tired.
I told him of the relief I feel when I lean in the direction of not being healthy and whole. He reminded me that this is the first time this has happened when I've been conscious of the symptoms and desires. He said that, alone, means I'm still in control--I still have a choice. He reminded me that if I give into that relief, I'll lose much of my desire for current relationships and probably more than just a few memories. He told me the person I am--the fully-integrated, multi-faceted, whole person I am--is well-equipped to handle the things that are causing me pain right now. I can work through them. He believes in me.
I don't expect anyone to understand. I'm talking craziness. And I really am very tired. I find that right now I'm completely unable to do the following:
1. Manage PTSD symptoms--which means I spend my days wondering how to interpret intent behind words, fighting past voices, and unable to understand if people care about me--and if they do care about me, WHY? I am unable to figure this out.
2. Sleep--I do sleep, just not well. I'm up every 30-60 minutes, wandering around my house, checking to make sure the doors are locked, trying to get the stupid dreams out of my head, reminding myself that things I dream are not real. I'm very grateful when 4:30 rolls around and I can dress in my workout clothes, drive to the rec center, and wait for it to open.
3. Think logically--I can't even fool myself into believing I'm logical right now. This is something I've always felt I could control. I want it back.
I have a friend who wants to take me away for a few nights. We would go to a condo in the mountains. I would be given a great deal of space to gather myself and learn how to think again. I need to do this, but the thought of not working, leaving my family, changing my routine, terrifies me a lot.
It's weird, but admitting this here, on my blog, makes me feel less panicked about everything.
There are two assignments on my list that make me more stressed than the others. One is that I have to learn to see myself as I am. I have to recognize that I'm not invisible. I have to decide if I'm attractive or plain, obese or not--I have to look at my flaws and my assets--I have to learn how to recognize myself when I appear in a picture--I have to know who I am physically. I don't want to do this. It scares me.
The other is that I have to allow the people who love me to help me remain "me". I don't even know how to go about doing this. I'm pretty sure Therapist outlined a plan replete with suggestions, but when he said that "help" word, I had a panic attack and forgot to keep listening. What if they don't want to help? Who has time for that? How can I allow help without becoming dependent? What if they say they'll help, but then they don't? What if no one loves me? Who will I ask then?
Panic inspires illogicality.
So, instead of working on my assignments yesterday, I went to rehearsals for nearly the entire day, then I went to Walmart where I saw a doppelganger of AtP's boyfriend--except it was the version of him that wears gym shorts with black dress socks and brown leather walking shoes and a too-large-striped t-shirt. And Doppelganger needed some grooming of facial hair--but still--change the dress habits, and trim the facial hair and it would be difficult to tell Doppel-g from the original.
Also, I was very happy because our resident Oompa-Loompa (translation: a Walmart employee in her early sixties who must bathe in self-tanning lotion because she is orange) was helping with the self-checkout department. I love seeing our Oompa-Loompa. She makes me smile. When I am in my sixties I'm not sure I'll be able to pull off the white hair and orange skin, but I'm going to try. Then when Therapist asks me if I see me as I am, I'll say, "Yes. I'm an Oompa-Loompa. It took 16,000 bottles of self-tan to achieve this, but it was worth every penny." And then I plan to dance for him.