Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On quitting and giving up

I am feeling pretty conflicted about what to do about therapy.  I don't want to start over with a new therapist.  That would just be too hard.  It takes a very long time for me to trust and open up to people, so starting over would really be a difficult process and set back for me.  I also like my therapist for whatever that's worth.  Having said all of that, I don't know how to continue to work with her.  I realize that therapy is a job for her.  Our relationship is work for her and therefore the attachment and relationship is totally one-sided.  I get that, although I think it sucks.  I mostly think all the rules of therapy are kind of stupid and a little too rigid.  Like, why is she so afraid to touch my hand?  Handing her stuff is always awkward.  We twists our hands in unnatural ways just to make sure she doesn't accidentally touch me.  Is touching my hand really that weird because she's my therapist?  I don't get it.  Anyway, the point is, I don't know how I am supposed to trust someone I don't know and will never know.  Therapy is excruciatingly difficult for me, especially in the beginning, so it's especially hard for me now that I'm feeling really insecure about the "relationship."  There was a small window when I was feeling safe and trusting but I don't know if I can feel that way again.  Maybe I am wrong, but I thought as my therapist, she was supposed to provide a secure base for me to feel safe, secure, accepted.  Once I opened up about how I was really feeling and felt safe enough to continue to tell her about those feelings despite me anxiety about the possible reaction, she pulled away from me, kind of freaked out (although she won't use that word) and then began to "explore" if she could be my therapist or not.  She wasn't sure she could help me, but really I think it was really more about her not being able to handle what I brought to therapy.  The things she did and said when I was really struggling are not things I would do to other people.  I would never promise to visit someone in the hospital to make them feel better about going into the hospital and then not show up.  I would never tell a patient that I couldn't hold their spot for them for the time they were in the hospital, especially when the patient was begging me not to drop them as a client and in a place where they were obviously unable to be rational, very drugged, and just a few hours out of the ER.  That left me feeling pretty insecure and not very safe in our relationship.

After I overdosed and went to the hospital I felt like her reactions to me were pretty hostile and cold.  I actually feel they were a little mean, especially to someone with my history.  I get that she is not my friend.  I get that I am a job for her so she doesn't really care about me.  It's just her job, but I was seriously in a fragile place and her reactions felt very rejecting.  It still feels very rejecting, but now that I am a little removed from the crisis and someone more important in my life has left me, I'm angry about how I was treated and don't care about being dumped by her anymore.  If she didn't want to or couldn't work with me, she should have ended it instead of leaving me in limbo, a place I have spent the majority of my life, a place that I fear.  It feels rejecting, cold, and makes me feel like she doesn't really care about me.  I don't think I can trust someone that I don't think cares about me.  How am I supposed to trust that she has my best interest if during a crisis she freaks out, rejects and abandons me instead of being a secure base for me?  I don't want to start over with a new therapist, but I don't know if I can keep this therapist because we just end up talking about this stuff and not working on anything else.

Not my arm
This weekend I cut up my arm without even knowing or remembering I did it until after I saw my bloody sleeve in the morning.  I don't usually cut on my arms but I cut up almost my entire forearm without even knowing I was doing it!  This is the first time this has happened to me and it really freaked me out.  What if this happens again and I end up cutting up my face?  On Monday I told my social worker and Dr. Patrick.  Dr. Patrick helped me explain why this happened to me.  He even drew little stick figure drawings of people and brains and spinal cords.  He explained that there are four levels of anxiety and dissociation is the forth level.  That's why people who are in horrible accidents almost never remember the accident.  He explained that my brain is pretty creative and smart because it's learned to protect itself by shutting the thinking part off.  I still feel the anxiety and experience the flashbacks but my brain protects me from them.
 He didn't make me feel like a freak or crazy.  He told me that I'm probably not going to cut up my face without knowing it like I'm afraid might happen.  Dr. Patrick always calms me down and makes me feel normal and cared about. He's the first doctor in my life I have ever trusted or felt cared about me as a person and not just another brain to experiment with.  Dr. Patrick is the only doctor who sat down with me and listened to me for over an hour.  He never rushes me.  He always wants to know how I feel, about everything.  He is the only doctor that has worked and researched medications and programs specifically for me.  He is the only doctor that found a medication that seems to have made any difference despite the itchiness.  Dr. Patrick seems very concerned about the itchiness but listens to me when I say that I want to stick it out a little longer to see if it works.  He cares about my opinions.  The itch has really gotten better, but now it's time to increase my meds again which Dr. Patrick wants to hold off on until my body gets more adjusted to the med.  Dr. Patrick listens to me and has genuine human reactions to my feelings and stories.  He makes me laugh and I always leave our meeting feeling heard and understood.

Today my day program called a community meeting after lunch.  In this meeting Dr. Patrick announced he will be leaving.  He is going to work with military families suffering with PTSD

This year has been a very hard year for me.  Very hard.  Since I started getting treatment and "help" I've seen so many different doctors, social workers, therapists, nurses, etc...  I'm so tired of being bounced around from care taker to care taker.  It's kind of mimicking my childhood a little bit and that
doesn't really feel very good.  Maybe it's stupid but I feel kind of abandoned by Dr. Patrick after I let myself trust him.  I felt abandoned by my therapist when I was really in a bad place and I'm so tired of starting over with someone new.  My whole life has been about beginnings with new people.  I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of feeling bad and I'm tired of working so hard for nothing.  That's why I quit.  I don't want anymore doctors, therapists, socials workers, nurses, or pills.