Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thanks "mom"

It would be easier to ignore her if she weren't always right.  I will never have a family because I am defective.  No one loves me for very long.  I'm not fixable. 

your brother told me that you tried to suicide last month.  i am sorry you are in pain.  i wish i could make you better.  i think you begining to understand that their is something wrong with your soul.  its not your falt.  you was born this way.  mabey now you can finaly get some help.  its so dificult to love you.  i'm the one who loves you the most in the world and that only becuse i created you.  i am saposed to love you and its hard for me so it will be imposable for other people not until you fix what is wrong with you.  my wish is you get help and then we can be a family, but i understand why you think dying is easier because it is.  there may not be any help for your soul.  maybe you are unfixiable.  please get some help becuse i don't want to barry a child unless i have to.  you will always be alone until you fix your self. 

Mom

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Today

Had a very hard time sleeping last night and getting up this morning.

Had horrible nightmares, one of them with a Harry Potter theme.  (I know... Stop laughing!)

Got up with 15 minutes to get ready.  Drove to my day program.  Paid 10 bucks to park.

Shared in group today.  I felt very cared about by the group but very misunderstood.  I like the people in my group, even the 73 year old nun who talks nonstop and repeats herself over and over again.  I feel like I'm starting to make some friends in the group which is nice.

Saw a doctor that's filling in while Dr. Patrick is on vacation.  He was very nice but not funny like Dr. Patrick.  He prescribed me an as needed medication for anxiety called Klonopin.   I didn't ask for it.  Apparently I just look super anxious all the time.  I asked about a strange metallic taste in my mouth and was told I would have to wait until Dr. Patrick comes back next week.

Found out the woman in my group who had her son taken away by CPS is named Chiji (chee gee).  Her son is named Shaka Zulu.  Seriously. 

Left day program early for a work meeting.

Work meeting was to reprimand me for calling in sick because of a migraine after coming back from medical leave April 4th.

Found out I am getting laid off in two weeks for taking medical leave for one month.  I've worked for this company for five years and have never had an extended leave before in my life.  I know they cannot legally do this, but I just kept my mouth shut.  The only thing I said was, "I don't know what you want me to say."  And "Where do I sign?" And, "Okay, take care."

Went to therapy with CT.  It was okay but I wasn't really able to process very much.  Too much is happening in my life.  I am overwhelmed.  My brain has turned my feelings off again.  I like it. 

But I am sad that I am missing a specially little guys birthday today.  I bought him some matchbox cars and left them on his porch.  Hope he likes them.  

Will drive my girlfriend to the airport tonight because she is going to the Midwest to collect data for her dissertation.

motivation

Monday, April 25, 2011

Written up

I'm getting written up at work for calling in sick today.  My supervisor has to look into how she can write me up but she is going to find anyway to do it because I took a month long leave when I went to the first hospital, waited for the day program to start, and then overdosed and went to the second hospital.  I don't think she can fairly or legally punish me for taking a medical leave, but then again my life has never been fair or legal.  I've never been written up at work before.  I guess this is what happens before they fire you.  I've worked at my job for five years and I have never taken a leave in five years.  In fact I had over 80 hours of sick days because I never used them.  If I get fired then I will lose my insurance and if I lose my insurance I lose my ability to get treatment.

I seriously think the universe is punishing me for something.  I wish I knew what I've done.

My whole life is falling apart.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Camel?

This is the third time the Baristas at Starbucks have written my name this way.  Are they trying to tell me something?

According to Wikipedia the word "camel" comes from Hebrew and is derived from the triconsonantal root signifying "beauty."  So maybe I should take it as a compliment.  :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today's group therapy and individual therapy

I shared in group today.  I cried in front of 15 strangers.  Well, some were strangers and some have been in the program the whole time I’ve been in it.  I told them that I aged out of foster care, that I lived in 42 homes.  I cried about a situation I’m in right now.  I told them that all I’ve ever wanted was family and how people keep promising me family and then going away.  I told them that I feel like there must be something wrong with me.  I was honest.  More honest than I wanted to be but once I started talking it all spilled out.  The group asked me questions and didn’t make me feel like a freak.  It was scary but I feel better for having done it.

I tiptoed out of the last group five minutes before it ended, so I was able to catch the earlier bus.  I made it to therapy on time today.  I was early actually.  I searched for a spot, parallel parked, and leisurely walked.  I walked into the building, and sat on the sofa in the waiting room and played on my phone while I waited for my therapist to call me back.  At exactly 3:00pm my therapist came out to call me back.   

Current Therapist: “You were early today.”
Me:  “Yeah, I left early.”

I flopped on the sofa and put the fluffy orange pillow in my lap like I always do.  My therapist sat on her chair and moved around until she was comfortable.  She crossed her  legs like she always does. 
CT:  “How was the program?”
Me: “It was okay.  One woman showed up today in leather pants, a camouflage hunting hat, and a 
         cape!  It was very entertaining.”
CT:  “Did you ask what inspired the outfit?”
Me:  “No.”

The room gets uncomfortably quiet.  I picked at the orange fluffy pillow and fought with my anxiety so I can tell my therapist what I’m really feeling about our relationship.  I shift in my seat and look down as I talk to her.

Me:  “I don’t feel very comfortable with you anymore.”
CT:  “Why not?”
Me:  “Because I don’t know what’s happening with us.”
CT:  “Uh huh.  Is there anything I can say that will clarify things for you?”
Me:  “No because one week you’re my therapist and the next week it feels like you can’t handle me.”
CT:  “And that makes you feel unsafe.”
Me:  “Yeah and it makes me angry because it took me a long time to feel safe with you and now I
           don’t anymore.”

We grew quiet again.  I kept starring at this black art on the wall that was basically a framed piece of wood with leaf cutouts.  Without looking away from the art I continued to talk.

Me: “Sometimes I feel like you don’t really want to be my therapist.”
CT:  “What makes you think that?”
ME:  “The things you say and I guess the things you don’t say.”
CT:  “Uh huh.  When do you feel that way?”
Me:  “I guess when you are freaked out about something.”
CT: “That makes sense.  Maybe it feels like I am more distant when you think things freak me out.   
          Maybe I am not as warm.” 
Me:  “Sometimes I feel like you don’t like me very much.”
CT:  “Did I say something that made you feel that way?”
Me:  “Would you feel very cared about if someone told you they couldn’t hold your spot while you 
           were in the hospital?”
CT:  “No.  I wouldn’t.” 
Me:  “I think I’m too screwed up for you.  I’m too much for you to deal with.”
CT:  “I think that’s the space you always go to.”
Me:  “You basically said that to me.” 
CT:  “What did I say?”
Me:  “That you thought I needed to see someone else for therapy.  You pushed and pushed me to talk
           about my feelings and then when I finally did you freaked out.” 

CT:  “Here is where I am coming from.  Sometimes I feel like I care about you more than you care
          about you.  You went through so much.  You were abused for a long time by a lot of people and
          now you are abusing yourself.  It’s like watching someone you care about being abused and the 
          person abusing them is themselves.  I can’t sit here and watch you do that.  I want to be your 
         therapist but only if you want to be here.  I can’t be your therapist if you’re going to kill 
         yourself.  I can’t be the only one doing the work.  You have to be willing to do the work with
         me.  You have to want to find a way to live.” 

Me:  “I started coming to therapy because I wanted to find a way to live.”
CT:  “I know you did but then you tried to kill yourself.  I can’t help you if you are just going to give 
         up. 
Me:  “I’m going to group therapy all day two days a week.”
CT:  “I know you are and I’m so proud of you for that.” 
Me:  “How do I know that you won’t change your mind next week?”
CT:  “I think I didn’t articulate things correctly before.  I didn’t handle things very well.  It took me a 
          long time to know what to do and I said and did a lot of things that made you feel unsafe and 
          like you weren’t cared about and I’m really sorry about that.  But I want to be your therapist if 
          that’s what you want but you cannot kill yourself.”

We sat in silence for a few moments before we talked about other things in my life right now.  We talked about the day program and my feelings about a few friends not finding time for me since I left the hospital.  I tried to change the subject a few times but my therapist wouldn’t let me. 

(There are a couple of people who might think this is about them.  It probably isn’t, but if it is, then it’s just my feelings.  Don’t take it personally).

CT:  “Well maybe she is just scared.”
Me:  “I don’t think so.  She said she just can’t find time for me.”

I began to cry, just a little at first but pretty hard by the end of the session.

CT:  “Well let’s try to figure this out.  How do you think she feels?”
Me:  “Like I’m too screwed up to be in her life.”
CT:  “No.  Really think about it.  How would you feel if someone you care about tried to kill 
          themselves?”
Me:  “I don’t know.  I always fuck everything up in my life.”
CT:  “No.  I’m not talking about blame.  I’m talking about feelings.”
Me:  “I always do something that makes people leave.”
CT:  “No.  You’re skipping a step here.  What do you think she is feeling?”
Me:  "Maybe she just doesn't want to be around me anymore."
CT:  "You tried to kill yourself multiple times."
Me:  "I didn't try to kill myself multiple times with her."
CT:  "I know, but think about how that might make her feel."
Me:  "Obviously I'm not very good at it."
CT:  "I'm glad that you aren't."
Me:  “I really don’t know what you want me to say.”
CT:  “I want to think about how you hurting yourself affects other people too.  I think she’s scared,
          maybe angry, and confused.  She’s pushing you away and it sucks but I don’t think that means
         she’s going away.” 
Me:  “I don’t have anyone in my life that’s in my life unconditionally.  Right now I need someone the 
          most and she said she can’t find time for me.”
CT:  “And that makes you feel like you’re not important or cared about.”
Me:  “How can I be important when everything else comes before me?  And I mean everything else. 
          Even now.  There is something wrong with me. “
CT:  “No there isn’t.”
 Me:  “Then how come I can do something huge for someone.  I can give them a huge part of myself 
            and it’s still not enough.  It still doesn’t make me very important.  It still doesn’t make me 
            family.  People keep telling me that I’m family, but then they don’t treat me like it.  They tell 
            me I’m family and they go away anyway.  I’m such a fuck up in life.  Something is WRONG 
            with me.  What’s wrong with me?  Why do people keep leaving me?”
CT: “You have had a lot of people promise to be your family and then leave but I don’t think that’s 
         what’s happening here.  I think she’s scared and keeping her distance from you.  People deal 
         with things in different ways.  Even family can be disappointing.” 
Me:  “She said she doesn’t have time for me.  I think people are always more important to me than I
           am to them.”
CT:  “I know but I don’t think that was completely honest.  We have to stop in a minute but I think 
         what happens for you is that it takes a long time for you to trust that people care about you and 
         then when there is any kind of tension you think Uh oh! They are going to leave me.” 
Me:  “Uh oh! hahaha."  I imitated the way my therapist said Uh oh.

She said more but I couldn’t concentrate because I was laughing through my tears at her “uh oh.”  She laughed too but continues talking on the subject.

CT:  "We have to stop now.”

 I begin to get up. 

CT:  “Do you want to take some tissue?”
 I pull one from the box.

CT:  “Just one?”

I grab the whole box and walk out.  My therapist laughs.  I go back in and put the box of tissue back on the table and leave.  My therapist continues to laugh as I walk away. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drugs for Dreams

I love my new psychiatrist.  He’s so warm, empathetic, hilarious, and really freaking brilliant.  It's funny because I always thought I would be uncomfortable working with a man but I have really liked the male doctors I have seen recently.  Today he cracked a joke about the program being like Hogwarts School. “Sorry that was a really nerdy joke,” he said, but I was too busy laughing because the way he said it and his timing were hilarious.  “It’s so good to see you laugh,” he said.  He seems to know more about me than I do and I never feel rushed when I talk to him.  He talks to me for about half an hour or more each week and he actually really genuinely seems to listen and care.  Like REALLY care.  He asks questions and gently nudges me to be honest about where I’m at if I give him a generic or less than honest answer.  He never seems shocked or seems to judge me for my feelings.  Today he asked me if I have any feelings of suicide or hurting myself.  I told him that I don’t have any plans or feelings of actively wanting to end my life but sometimes I wish I wasn’t here.  Sometimes I wish I’d get hit by a bus or be in some kind of lethal freak accident.  I would never tell my therapist that because she basically told me she doesn’t want to hear about my suicidal thoughts anymore.  He explained to me that those kinds of feeling are called passive suicidal ideation.    

One thing that makes me a little uncomfortable about Dr. Patrick, but I also kind of like it, is that he seems to get angry when he feels that I am being or was treated badly.  He doesn’t hide his feelings about it and even says that he’s sorry that certain things happened or are currently happening.  He makes me feel like my feelings are normal and valid and that I shouldn’t be ashamed of them, which is something I struggle with.  I’m always ashamed of my feelings and my behavior.  Sometimes he explains to me why my feelings are valid and normal.  Today he told me that I must feel so bottled up (with feelings).  “My whole life,” I said.  Dr. Patrick is going on vacation this week and next week but when he comes back he wants to put me on a new medication that treats nightmares related to PTSD.  Did you know that you can medically treat nightmares?  I didn’t.  That’s so bizarre, exciting, and a little scary.  I’m not sure how I feel about taking ANOTHER medication with more potential side effects but the thought of not having nightmares is seductive.  It's an old drug that was meant to treat high blood pressure but it wasn't really all that effective.  Scientists recently discovered that it cured the nightmares of soldiers with PTSD and Dr. Patrick knows about this new use of the drug because he used to work with veterans at the VA.  I might not be able to take it because I already have somewhat low blood pressure, which is why I have to wait until he comes back from vacation to try it.

Most nights that I’m able to sleep, I am woken up by nightmares.  I often wake up screaming, crying, sweating, with my heart racing.  I often wake up, run to another room and have a panic attack.  I feel bad because I wake up my girlfriend often and sometimes multiple times a night.  I'm sure my neighbors don't really appreciate my screaming either.  Sometimes my nightmares are just flashbacks to a painful time in my life, kind of like hitting rewind and repeat on the DVD remote.  Sometimes my nightmares are not so obviously about my past but they are scary anyway.  I had this horrible dream the other night.  It felt so real that I was terrified to go back to sleep.

In the beginning of the dream I was a little girl and my parents were murdered, chopped up, and their bodies put in the refrigerator.  This really poor woman took me in and I grew up in her trailer in the forest.  She was amazing and sweet and wonderful and I loved her very much.  We didn’t have any money but we had each other and that was all that mattered.  As I grew up with her, I went to this school in the middle of the forest.  The school was beautiful and earthy and right beside a little creek.  I always had to be very careful not to tell anyone who I really was because the person who killed my parents was still out there.   I was very happy and made a lot of friends despite never being able to tell them who I really was.  After a while my friends began to disappear one by one.  I didn’t know why but later in my dream I discovered that they were all murdered and chopped into pieces like my parents were.  When I grew up, I went to work on a train for some reason.  I have no idea why.  I was the only girl working there and the work was extremely hard.  The men did not want me to be there and were always trying to get me to quit and leave. 

At one of the train stops I saw these older biker guys with my cat, Zealie.  I ran up to them and demanded to know why they had my cat.  They told me they bought her from some lady in the forest.  I took my cat and went back home to ask my adopted mom why she was sold to them.  When I got home my mom was not there.  The trailer looked abandoned with dirt and spider webs everywhere.  I searched all over for my mom, calling her name.  When I opened the fridge I saw her body all chopped up.  I began to sob and a group of friends came out of nowhere to comfort me but one by one they disappeared throughout the night.  Someone was killing the people I loved and I didn’t know who it was.  One of my friends said to me right before I woke up, “Don’t you know that it’s you?  Don’t you know that you’re the one killing us?  You are the reason people keep disappearing.  You are destroying our lives!”  I woke up sobbing and choking and terrified to go back to sleep.  I was not able to sleep after that dream.  I just laid in bed thinking about how awful it would be to find out I was some kind of horrible monster that was responsible for the brutal deaths of people I love.  I have a lot of dreams like that one that are not a direct correlation to my life but totally make sense after my therapist or someone analyzes them.  If a pill can make these dreams go away, I would be insane not to try it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Funny Bones

Despite being shy, I was always a very goofy kid.  When my bio mom was in a good mood, usually when she was high, she would tell me that I was born with an extra funny bone in each arm, although it wasn’t always meant as a compliment.  Despite being a very shy little girl I loved to make people laugh.  I would put on these elaborate comedy shows complete with costume changes and stage makeup for anyone who would watch them:  my foster parents, kids at school, my foster siblings, teachers, my case worker, anyone.  I would do impressions, tell jokes, do crazy interpretive dances; pretty much anything I could to get my audience to chuckle and usually I was pretty successful.  From a very early age I learned that humor makes everything easier.  Humor makes people laugh.  Laughing feels better than crying even if crying is what you really want to do.  Laughter can make the tears disappear for a little while.  If I couldn’t feel good, the next best thing was making others feel good.  And if you can make people feel good, they will like you and people usually stick around when they like you, for a little while at least.  

When I was in elementary school I dreamed of being a comedian and making people laugh for a living.  Of course I also dreamed I could be a “Diving Girl” like Sonora in “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” an old movie about a girl in the 1920’s who runs away from a foster home and joins the circus.  She would jump onto the bare back of a galloping horse and together they would jump off a high dive into a swimming pool below.  My dreams weren’t always very rational or well thought out.  Still, I always loved making other people feel good.  I loved making people laugh.  I even joined Improv comedy clubs in high school and my freshman year of college.  I was a pretty goofy kid and I’m still a pretty goofy person despite how dark, sad, and melodramatic my blog can be.  My doctor in the psych hospital thought I was hilarious.  Maybe that’s why I liked him so much.  

My humor has changed a lot over the years.  I’ve always had a pretty dark sense of humor, but it has gotten considerably darker as I got older.  I’m not sure why.  I’m still always cracking jokes or teasing people to be funny.  My humor often gets me into trouble.  I’ll tease the wrong person or I’ll crack a joke that someone doesn’t appreciate which in turn makes me feel awful  and  my social anxiety becomes unbearable to the point where I either want to run away or I take myself to the bathroom to cry for a moment.  I’m still a very shy person and anyone who knows me can vouch for that.  People scare me.  I question every move I make around new people and I’m usually pretty quiet when I first meet someone.  I used to be so scared of people that I wouldn’t answer my door if someone knocked on it.   Sometimes I would watch the person knocking on my door through the peephole being very quiet so they wouldn’t know I was there.  It always reminded me of watching feet walk by from under the door when I was locked in closets.  Even today my heart races when there is a knock on my door and I usually won't answer my phone unless I know the number that is calling me.  I am self-conscious about everything I do around people, but if I can make someone laugh, my anxiety drops considerably.  One of the reasons my little South African psychiatrist intimidates me so much is because I can’t make her laugh.  I can’t even get her to smile.  She doesn’t think I’m funny and I really don’t know how to handle that.   
  
I’m not sure where I’m going with any of this.  I’ve just been thinking a lot about who I am today.  I guess I have been missing who I used to be.  I miss the funny, successful, strong person I used to be.  I miss making people laugh without much effort.  Being with people right now is exhausting because trying to be funny is exhausting.  I guess my funny went away.  Maybe it’s hard for people to find dark humor funny when you’re obviously in a very dark place.  I know people are worried about me right now, my girlfriend especially.  She’s always asking me how I am, if I took my meds, if I want to find a new therapist.  Seeing her freak out about me doesn’t feel too good.  It makes me feel like I have to put on a happy face to make her feel better.  It’s all a bit too much for me.   I don’t really know how to deal with their worries because I have felt so lost for so long.  I’m just more honest about it now.  I write about it now.  I post my inner secrets and neurosis in a public blog for everyone to see because I’m tired of pretending to be the funny girl who survived the middle east, my mother, foster care, my foster father, 42 placements, and everything else without a scratch.  I didn’t survive.  I’m more than scratched; I’m covered in deep infected scabbed over wounds that won’t heal.  My funny bone is broken.  I’m having a hard time just being.    I totally get it.  I really do.  Who wants to hang around some loser that used to make them laugh but is nothing but a downer today?  Not me, but unfortunately I am stuck with me.   No matter how funny I’ve tried to be, I’ve always been very good at driving people away.  I could teach a class on it, so I’m sure I’m extra good at it right now.  I’m in my twenties and I still have NO idea who I am, who I want to be, or what I’m going to do with my life. 

How do I become likable again?  Was I ever likable?  Maybe I’ve never been funny and it has all been in my head.  Maybe that’s who I am.  I’m the obnoxious girl who thinks she’s funny.  How do I get my funny bone back or grow one if I never had one in the first place?  How do I make people stick around?  How do I make people want me?  How do I make people like me?  How do I make me like me?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

crazy count down


I am slowly going crazy 
1
2
3
4
5
6
switch.

Crazy going slowly am
6
5
4
3
2
1
switch.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Defective Priority

Writing has been difficult for me since I left the hospital.  My words feel useless.  I feel useless.  The day program on Tuesdays and Wednesdays feels useless.  Sitting in a group of people that are supposedly in the same boat as me is hard when you feel like such an outsider.  How do I relate to these people?  The age range of the group is huge and the people are different each day that I go.  What do I have in common with a 72 year old man except anxiety?  What do I have in common with an 18 or 19 year old whose parents are paying for her college, her car, her apartment, her entire life and yet her biggest complaint in life is her parents.  They are too involved in her life.  I told my therapist about her on Wednesday and my therapist went into this long explanation about how parents who are too involved can actually be harmful, etc…  It doesn’t matter.  I still can’t relate to it.  To me if feels like she is complaining that her parents love her too much and my only reactions to that are anger and utter sadness.  I want to tell her to fuck off.  I want to leave the group.  I don’t want to share when it’s my turn.  I feel like a freak.  I’m the foster kid.  I’m the girl who lived in 42 foster placements.  I’m the girl nobody wanted.  I’m the girl nobody could love for very long.  I’m the girl that had nobody involved in her life for most of her life.  That girl’s parents make her a very high priority in their lives.  I have never been a high priority is someone's life.  I’ve never felt very important to anyone.  I’ve never felt confident that I am loved.  Never!  And I probably never will.   

I feel like the freak of the group.  I feel like I don’t belong with these people.  When I am able to open up and share minor things about my life everyone becomes silent and then someone will launch into this well-meaning lecture about how I should give back to foster children because I would make a huge difference.  This isn’t new.  Everyone does this to me.  Everyone has always done this time me.  I don’t want to seem like a jerk but it really upsets me that people pigeon hole me this way because I’ve had a crappy life.  Why do I have to give back just because I was dealt a horrible hand in life?  Why?  I do want to help foster children and I do want to make a difference but I hate it when people tell me what I should do with my life because of my history.  What if I don’t want to do that with my life?  What if I want to be a film maker or a veterinarian?  Those were both dreams of mine at one point.  Most people don’t have strangers tell them what they should do with their life, but I do.  Everyone tells me what I should do with my life. Everyone.  Strangers and close friends.  People have been telling me what I should do with my life my entire life.  I should be a case worker, I should be a foster mom, I should adopt.  I should do SOMETHING with foster care.  For a very long time I rebelled against it, not because I didn’t want to but because I resented people telling me what I should do with my life instead of asking me what I want to do with my life.

I was late to therapy on Wednesday because I had to take the bus to my car.  Being late to things really stresses me out.  I asked my therapist if I can move my start time to 3:10 or the next hour so I won’t be late and she said she can’t do it.  Before the hospital I saw my therapist three times a week.  I saw her right after I got out of the hospital and then she was out of town for a week.  This week I only saw her on Wednesday because she doesn’t want to see me more than once a week.  “I think seeing me three times a week was triggering your abandonment issues.”  She said.  I really don’t think that’s what was triggering my issues!  The things she would say to me and avoid saying to me were very triggering however.  One minute she can’t be my therapist and the next she is my therapist.  The only conversation I remember having with her in the hospital was asking her if she will stay my therapist and she told me, “I can’t hold your spot for you.”  That seriously hurt my feelings.  I felt brave enough to tell her that on Wednesday, probably because I’m thinking about giving up on her right now.  I said, “Something you said when I was in the hospital really sucked and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.”  She nodded, encouraging me to continue.  “It was when you said that you couldn’t hold my spot.”  She asked me how it felt for me and I told her it felt passive aggressive and mean.  “It made you feel like you weren’t cared about,” she said.  How could it not?  She told me that she was glad I was sharing this with her but she didn’t really apologize or offer anything that would make me feel better about it. 

I also told her that I can’t handle feeling like she’s going to dump me at any moment and that maybe I need to find a new therapist if this is how our relationship is going to continue to be.  Instead of offering me anything that would make me feel better about this, she just pointed out that I’ve felt this way a lot in my life.  I’ve been on the edge of a lot of relationships in life.  Why do therapists always feel the need to point out the obvious?  At the end of the session she said, “I don’t really know what to tell you.  I am your therapist.  I’m going to be calling Dr. Patrick from the program back.”  The problem is not that she’s my therapist right now.  The problem is that one week she’s my therapist and the next week she says that she thinks that she’s not helping me and that I need to see someone else.  I can’t handle that. 

Is it time to give up on my therapist?  I don’t know if I really feel attached to her because I feel attached to HER or if I’m just afraid of being dumped again.  She triggers all of my issues and sometimes she’s downright mean to me.  She’s really cold at times.  When we have a good session it’s really awesome, but it’s hasn’t been very awesome or helpful lately.  I feel like she kind of forced me to talk about my suicidal feelings.  She pushed and pushed until I opened up about them and then she couldn’t handle it.  Why would she push me to talk about something she can’t handle?  Now I feel like I can’t be completely honest with her about me feelings.  Actually I feel like I can’t really be honest with anyone.  Everything I do and say seems to mean more than it really does right now.  I feel a bit over analyzed which only makes me paranoid about how I should and shouldn’t behave around people.  I can't be too funny.  I can't be too serious.  I can't appear too distant.  I can't appear too needy.  I can't appear too sad.  I can't appear too happy.  I can't figure out how I should be.

I was feeling better right after the hospital.  I was feeling a little more hopeful and a little more determined to change my life but now it all feels a bit useless.  I'm completely useless.  Trying is pointless.  I’m not sure anything will make me feel better anymore.  I’m so tired of life being so hard.  I’m so tired of feeling so alone.  I don’t fit in with the normal people and I don’t fit in with the foster kids.  I don’t fit anywhere.  Neither group wants me.  Normal people view me as a freak and foster kids view me as a freak.  I’m not good enough to fit in with one group and don’t appear to be messed up enough to fit in with the other.  I feel so broken and defective.  I feel so unimportant and unwanted.  I feel so pointless. 

My entire life people have been promising me family and then deciding they don't want me.  I need a family to continue to survive.  I need a family that is too involved in my life.  I need a family that loves me and supports me.  I need a family that makes me a priority and smothers me.  I need a family that I can take for granted.  I need a family like that girl in my program.  I give up.  I know that I am the problem in my life.  I am the reason no one ever wanted me including my biological parents.  There is something completely and utterly wrong with me.  I came out wrong.  I am a mistake.  My life is a mistake.  I thought it would get better when I grew up but it didn’t.  What kept me going when I was a kid was the hope that it would get better when I grew up.  It gave me courage and drive to keep going.  To persevere.  To survive.  But it didn’t get better when I grew up.  I don't want to just survive anymore, but what do I have to keep me going now?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unadoptable CBT

I was going to write more about my stay in the hospital, but honestly it wasn't that different from the first hospital I was in except the nurses, doctors, and the social worker actually seemed to care.  The building was a little older and more run down, the food was disgusting, and the patients were crazier than the rehab unit I was in, but not the first unit.  Other than that it was fine.  I really liked my doctor in the hospital and the nurses were actually involved with the patients.  

I am in a day program on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9-3.  Today was my second day.  Group therapy is extremely difficult for me, but I’m trying as hard as I can to participate as much as I can.  The dynamics of the group is a bit bizarre.  Most of the people in the group are in the adult partial program, so they are there every day, but I am in the intensive outpatient program which means I just go for 11 hours a week.  Most of the people there are either super young, like barely 18, or very old, like 73.  There are a few middle aged people too, but there is no one in the group that is my age.  For the most part, everyone is really nice and supportive of each other though.  

My psychiatrist in the day program is awesome.  He looks like he’s fresh out of medical school.  He talked to me for over an hour on Thursday and for about half an hour today.  I’ve never had a psychiatrist talk to me for more than ten minutes before so it was a little weird at first.  He’s really warm and very funny.  He asked me questions and listened attentively to my answers about my history.  He kept making comments like “I’m really sorry about that,” when we got to the parts about abuse in my life.  It was a sweet sentiment but it felt a little awkward to me.  What are you supposed to say to someone who says they are sorry you were raped as a child?  “Thanks?” or “Don’t worry about it?”  What is the appropriate response to that?  I seriously don’t know.  Besides little awkward moments like that he was very funny.  He told me that he would totally get it if I wanted to stand on top of a building and shoot people.  I had been taking a drink of my orange juice at the moment he said that and nearly choked to death because I started laughing mid gulp.
 
He also said some really supportive things too like he hopes that I am able to find someone, in this program or not, that can hear my story and accept it no matter how I want to tell it and no matter what feelings come with it.  I like him a lot.  I wish I could keep him as my doctor outside of the program too.  My little South African doctor is scary compared to the last two doctors I’ve seen recently. 

The people in the program are pretty nice and everyone is pretty normal.  Everyone is there because they want help.  I also like that there are all kinds of people in the program, lawyers, home-makes, retired people, police officers, fitness instructors, students, nurses, etc...  

One of the groups I had today was Cognitive behavior therapy.  For this group everyone had to list:
(A) An activating event
(B)Your beliefs about the event
(C)How it made you feel

At first I passed when I was called.  I didn’t want to talk about the only thing I could think of, but eventually I forced myself to go. 

I read my answers as I wrote them.
(A)  I was never adopted
(B) Nobody ever wanted me.  There is something wrong with me.
(C) I feel defective and unlovable

One girl in the group who wore a yellow shirt and a black beanie hat tried to help me when I couldn’t answer the questions the therapist asked me.   She also kept telling me all these things I should feel proud of about myself, but then she tried to make me feel better about the fact that I was never adopted.  She said, “At least you weren’t stuck in a bad family for years.”  But I was stuck in a bad family for years.  Just because I wasn’t adopted doesn’t mean that I just floated in bubble with no one around to hurt me.  Yeah, at least I wasn’t adopted by a bad family.  I get where she is coming from, but the truth is, I would have given anything to be adopted by any family.  I really would.  I would have done anything for any family that wanted me, even if they weren’t exactly healthy.  I would have done anything to stay with Maggie and Tim despite what happened to me there.  I would have put up with anything to be somebody’s daughter.  At the end of the session she said, “It’s really sucks that you never got adopted but at least it’s over now.”  It’s over now?  I don’t know how to process that.  It’s not over.  It’s not over that no one wanted me as a child.  It’s not over that I never got a family.  I still need a family.  I still dream about someone adopting me.  I still yearn for it.    It’ll never be over for me. 

I parked my car a few miles away from the program and took a bus the rest of the way because I didn’t want to pay 10 bucks for parking.  After the program I had to take the bus back, but as soon as I got to my car I broke down.  I don’t know what it is about my car that I keep crying in it.  I guess it just feels safer to fall apart in my little private bubble in my car.  I wish there was a support group for former foster children that aged out at 18 that I could join because I feel like no one can truly understand what it’s like to be rejected by family after family until you turn 18 and then have absolutely no one in the world while you try to go to college and create a life for yourself.  I don’t know anyone in real life that grew up and aged out of foster care.  I don’t know anyone who can relate to me.  I yearn for someone who understands.  I just want someone that understands me because I’m so tired of feeling so different from everyone else.  I’m tired of feeling so defective and broken.  I'm tired of feeling so alone.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The space in my head, changing my mind, and memory loss

Part 1
Overdosing on sleeping pills really complicates your life.  There is so much information and so much emotion floating between my ears and not enough brain power to sort it enough to put it down on paper, or on screen in this case.  Two weeks ago tomorrow I took 80+ sleeping pills and sedatives hoping to go to sleep and never wake up.  I probably would have succeeded except I changed my mind and text messaged my girlfriend in the next room.  I wish I had some great reason why I did what I did.  I wish I could write about this dramatic event that put me over the edge, but the reality is nothing that big happened to me that day.  It was an ordinary day for me.  I had therapy in the afternoon and the rest of it was spent leisurely. 

It was Friday night but I didn’t feel like going out, so my girlfriend and I watched a weird movie about people who are raised to be organ donors when they turn 30.  We drank Mimosas as we watched this strange movie that kind of reminded me of the book, A Brave New World.  I drank my mimosa and tried to concentrate on the show on the TV and not the one in my head.  After that strange depressing movie my girlfriend put on an animation to lighten the mood.  For most of Friday, I had been stuck in my head.  My thoughts were on a cycle of bad memories and self-hatred.  Sometimes I get flooded with these intense feelings, the same feelings I experienced when I was living through the things I lived through.  I get lost in these feelings and memories and thoughts.  I get lost and it’s so hard to come back.  I couldn’t watch the movies, hold a conversation, or enjoy anything on Friday.  I don’t even know what happened in Therapy that day.  I had this email exchange with my therapist Friday evening.  I don’t even remember writing my emails but I remember reading my therapists a few hours before I did what I did. 
“Do you think I will always be this screwed up?  Do you think it’s possible for anyone to help me?  Can people like me ever change? I was born screwed up, so maybe this is just who I will always be.  I will never have a happy life full of people that love me.  Everyone runs away from me.  I will never be decent enough to deserve anything more.”
She responded with this:
“I think these questions that you're asking indicate a desire to lead a more connected and fulfilling life and that you're struggling to figure out a way to make that happen.

It's not something I can adequately address over email, so let's talk and explore more together when we see each other next week.”
And then I wrote this very shortly before taking the pills:
“It’s okay L. I already know the answers to the questions. I am not sure why I felt the need to ask them. Thank you for everything.”
A few weeks ago I discovered that my foster father had passed away, the same foster father that told me if I ever told anyone about the things he did to me at night they would take me away and lock me up for being crazy, that I would never be adopted.  He was right.  That’s exactly what happened.  I’ve told people that he died and they have responded positively about his death.  They are happy he died.  I don’t feel that way.  I feel like I shouldn’t have any feelings about it or I should feel relieved that he’s dead, but I don’t really know what I feel.  I had been spending a lot of time on his memorial website reading and rereading all the sweet positive comments about this man that is responsible for so much pain in my life.  No one will ever know who he really was, what he was capable of.  No one will ever know what he really did.  No one.  If I hadn’t been Nobody’s kid, he would have died in prison.  If I hadn’t been nobody’s child, someone would have connected the dots.  Someone would have protected me.  Instead he died surrounded by family that loved him.  I doubt he ever thought about me again and I think about him every day.   

I was stuck in this space when I got up from the sofa and went to the bathroom.  I stared at my reflection in the mirror for a few moments.  “Who is this hideous creature staring back at me?” I asked myself out loud.  Suddenly I notice my three pill bottles on the counter, two sleeping pills and a sedative for anxiety.  I looked at the pills for a while before I picked one up, opened it and poured it into my hand.  I opened the second bottle and poured it into my hand, amazed by how so many pills fit so easily into my hand.  I opened the third bottle and poured its contents into my hand as well.  My palm was overflowing with tiny blue pills and white pills.  I looked at them in my hand and thought how easy it would be to take them and go to sleep.  How easy it would be to take them and feel nothing.  Without much thought I poured half of the handful in my mouth, drank some water and swallowed.  The second handful followed right immediately after the first.  I went back to the living room and sat on the sofa to watch the movie.  I began to feel flushed after a few minutes so I decided to go lie down in my bed.  I left the light on.  I stared at the ceiling fan going around and around.  While watching the fan my head began to spin.  I began to think about my childhood, my girlfriend, my dogs, my DNA baby, and then I began to panic.  I thought about how much I would miss, how much I would lose, how much I wouldn’t do with my life.  I changed my mind.  I didn't want to die, but I wasn’t able to call out to my girlfriend.  I wasn’t able to get up.  Next to me on the bed sat my cell phone.  I picked it up and texted my girlfriend in the next room.  I texted her that I was sorry and that it wasn’t her fault.  I didn’t want to text her something that would leave her feeling guilty if she didn’t get the message and found me when it was too late.  I sent the text message and then I passed out.  I don’t have much memory for the next three days. 

The next three days are filled with only small flashes of memory here and there.  Everything else is blank.  I don’t know most of what happened or what I did or said for most of three Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I’ve been told things about what happened and what I did, but mostly I don’t remember.
My first memory of the ER is of pulling out my IV.  I’m not sure why I kept doing it, but I did.  I kept disconnecting everything over and over.  I think I just didn’t like the tape on my body.  My next memory is of smelling salts offending my nostrils over and over again.  The next is of having to pee really badly and nobody or caring.  I was really worried about wetting the bed.  Somehow I managed to free myself from the leather handcuffs around my wrists.  I do not understand how I did it, but I remember doing it.  Somehow I used one of my feet to push the handcuffs from one hand, and then freed my other hand with my other hand.  I can’t figure out how I got my foot that high up, but I did.  I got up and told a nurse I had to pee.  He called me Houdini.  Apparently this nickname stuck and that’s what all the nurses called me.  My next memory is falling in the bathroom and landing directly on my toes.  I didn’t trip on anything.  I just fell.  I remember saying, “I think I broke my foot.”  The next memory is drinking charcoal and gagging, totally unable to swallow once it was in my mouth.  I gag when I drink Pepto-Bismol and this was like extra thick, extra strong pepto.  The next memory is being given socks for my feet and the next I am in the hospital sobbing and demanding a lawyer.  I am not sure what I thought a lawyer could do for me, but I was very angry that no one got me one.  I remember pulling my hoodie over my face and sobbing, thinking no one would notice me with the hood over my head.  I remember being extremely angry with my girlfriend, though I really don’t know why.  I still don’t know why. 

I remember a couple of the conversations I had with my therapist, but I don’t remember why she was calling me.  I remember begging her not to drop me as a client and asking her if she was afraid to be my therapist.   I remember her telling me that she couldn’t save my spot for me for when I was done with treatment.  My heart literally stood still for a few beats.  It was the most hurtful thing she could ever say to me.  I would rather she tell me she just didn’t like me or thought I was too crazy. 

I was told that I was raging at the hospital, that I was very hostile.  I’m a quiet person.  A shy person.  I’m not a hostile person.  I really don’t understand what my problem was but I was extremely angry with the whole world the first couple of days in the hospital.  I didn’t eat.  I refused visitors.  I refused all blood tests and urine tests.  I refused my medication.    

I have a few more memories here and there, but mostly everything is blank.  I have almost no memory until Sunday evening when my girlfriend and my friend, the mother of my little man came to visit me.  That’s where my memory picks up and stays up.