The Semester Has Not Even Started and I am Already Having Panic Attacks!!

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Today, I went to school to pick up my parking permit. According to the orientation packet I was supposed to go in person. First, I do not like driving in the area and I do not like to park in a parking garage. Then I have to walk through traffic and people to get to the building. My anxiety is already through the roof and my heart is pounding. Then, I get into the building and need to interact with a security guard. I have a fear with police. After that, I went to the office to get a parking permit as the orientation letter stated.

When I asked about the permit for the semester, I was told that I needed to complete the form on the computer and come back to pick up the permit. Umm, let me see, I drove here, walked to the building, came through security, and now I am being told to go home and fill out the form online so I can come back another day and pick up the permit. I became irate and had a meltdown in the office. If a parking permit is this hard, how is the rest of the semester going to go??

My anxiety is so bad at this point. I am scared that I am not going to fit in or say the wrong thing. Words tend to come out and then I think. It needs to be the other way around. I sent my disability letter to my professors. Are they going to think anything different about me? What about field? My instructor knows about my diagnosis. Is that going to be used against me or will that not matter? How am I going to get all of this done. What is bad is that the semester has not even started and I am freaking out.

How is This Supposed to Work??

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I have one more week until school begins. Luckily, I was able to get all of the accommodations for my disability. That makes me feel better about class. I am still skeptical about parking. So me of the areas near the school are sketchy. I think the anxiety about parking is worse than my anxiety about clinical at this time.

The kids are back with their dad for right now. I am going to try to complete some me prep work for this semester. We had a good time over their visit. I like having time with them. I get to see how they are during the day and what they really do all day. 

Today, I have my appointment with my psychiatrist. We do not see things the same way. I think I am more upset after the visit them before I go in. This person tries, they just do not seem to get it. Even when I say how I am doing I am not believed. There is no trust there!

To Soon

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I met with the liaison from the student disabilities office today. She was nice and seemed to think that all of my accommodations could be met next semester. There is still so much doubt that even with the modifications I may not be able to do this. There was a question about extended support. I do not have any. The best that I can do is to email my therapist.

Today, I took a chance and showed my therapist my artwork. He was able to see the maps that we had done and drawings that we have made. We feel like we are on the cusp of a breakthrough. We have been holding so much in for so long. Those that say that we cannot talk or that what we have to say is stupid or will not be believed. Our therapist ensured us again that anything that we say is confidential and acceptable.

I hate driving to this campus. Two years and it will be over. Two years which seem like I surmountable mountains ahead of me. I took a step today and I will take more over the next few weeks.

What a Busy Summer!!

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I cannot believe that it is already August. School is going to start for me in less than a month. I am so nervous about my memory issues and my social fears. As I always write, I will take it one day at a time and keep the blog up to date.

We just returned from a camping trip with the kids. We had an air conditioned cabin and it was only a short walk to the bathroom, store, and pool. That was good for me since I cannot walk very far without pain and fatigue. The kids liked playing in the pool, building campfires, and using the porch swing. This was the first time that we have all been away together.

Therapy is going ok. I wish that I could get more accomplished in one hour than I do. Somehow I feel like there is so much more to say. I am worried that there are issues that are going to arise in field placement this fall. I guess that is why I have weekly appointments. I am going to need them to deal with all of the personal issues that will arise. Funny, social workers always discuss secondary trauma. What if you already have PTSD? Is the experience different?

July was a good month to relax. This month I am attempting to make social, biological, and social charts for each stage of development. I want something to refer to to write reports for clinical and papers for class. I am taking it slowly and should be finished by the beginning of the semester.

Just a question for anyone to respond too. Are there any books that anyone would recommend for teens who are having a rough time. It would be great if the books referenced an oppressed or minority population. I want to have some suggestions to run past my field supervisor for the kids that I will be working with.

My husband graduated with his Master’s in math and is going to begin teaching this semester. I am so excited that his dream of becoming a college professor is coming true. I saw how hard he worked and what it is going to take to get my Masters degree. I hope I have the mental stamina to keep up with the pace!!

Tomorrow begins the first official on campus step of the semester. I need to go to the disability office to meet with an advisor to determine what modifications that I will need for the upcoming semester. I am scared, yet I know that they will assist me in being able to do my best in all of my classes. It will be the first time that I have driven to the campus on my own as well. I am nervous about driving in the area and easily get lost. I am hoping that I find parking and get to the building without incident.

Here’s to a new beginning this year. Thanks for following. I will try to blog at least every other day until school starts. Then it will most likely be everyday!

It Has Been a While!!

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So much has happened in the pst few weeks. I am sorry for those who follow my blog. The big news is that I have a file placement for the fall semester. The field supervisor must have seen something in me that I did not see myself. I am looking forward to working with someone who is as passionate about mental health and will assist me in channeling my passions in the direction that is accepted in the field.

The other big news is the my husband got his Master’s degree. He is now eligible to do what he has always wanted which is to be a college professor. His graduation and the end of the semester were all stressful. I was not sure if I was going to make it through the last few days and actually missed my classes for the first time because my anxiety level was to high and I was having to many flashbacks. Also, I was not able to sleep.

Since school has ended, I have only gone to my appointments and tried to relax as much as I could. Being off of most devices and email helped. We also went to Florida for a weekend to just be in the sun and watch the sunset. I was able to catch up on some reading by the pool and dinner was right at the same place that we stayed. Florida always seems to calm me down. I swear that the sky and clouds are so different there from where I live.

This week, I have my kids for their summer visit. It has all gone pretty well so far. We invested in a pool membership and that is the best investment of the summer. The kids love the pool and there are other kids their age to play with and have fun with. Not to mention a diving board and a slide. We also went to see a movie together and have just played board games and relaxed.

I am trying to connect more to my feelings in therapy. It is not easy and I have to watch how much I let out in order to not overwhelm myself. My abusers birthdays fell within two weeks of each other which is not easy, yet with each passing year that i do not speak to them, it seems to get a little easier. They are not healthy for me to be around.

Recently the nightmares and flashbacks have become worse. I am seeing my psychiatrist more frequently. I feel like they are not going to end anytime soon. They are something that I am going to have to learn to deal with.

Bathing suit season is upon us and my eating disorder is amped up. Luckily the people at the pool are all sizes which make me feel a little less like everyone is looking at me and staring. Still, the scale seems to be my worst enemy even though I should not follow that, yet make sure that I am healthy.

This weekend should be fun. A birthday and a pool day await. The kids should have fun and we can have fun as a family. The reality is that I am also already reading for next semester. The prospect of a Masters scares me. Am i even good enough to get a Master’s? How will my illness impact my studies? Am I going to be able to keep up? I will find out over the next few months and keep posting how the adventure is unfolding. Warning: Some may be very negative. Ok , to be realistic, all of them may be negative. Life is not always a bed of roses!!

What a Nightmare **May Trigger**

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I had to go for a mandatory test yesterday with a doctor that I did not know. The test was administered in an area where I grew up. Everything came flooding back to me as I sat in the damp waiting room with a tiny air conditioner which had seen better days.

I remembered my mother leaving me in the car as she would go shopping in businesses that were gone long ago or going to the dentist in the same buildings. Just down the street was the church where I had made all of my sacraments and was glad to get away from as soon as I could.

This was an area that I choose not to go into because it was a dark hole in my past. This was an area of living nightmares and haunting experiences. I intentionally avoid the area when at all possible. Yesterday, I did not have a choice. I was mandated to go into a little building with a dark staircase and a mildewy smell.

This caused all of my symptoms to become active. I was having flashbacks, I was hyper vigilant, I began to shake, and I had impulses to self harm to feel better. The examiner asked if I was like this all the time and I replied that I was uncomfortable and the shaking was not unusual.

The examiner actually followed me out to my car after the test to make sure I was ok. The first thing that I did was to email my therapist and then call my psychiatrist. The next thing that I remember was that I called my husband to tell him that I was not safe to drive home. My hands and feet were going numb and I was in and out of the present.

I felt violated. Someone who did not know me or my condition was asking me questions that I had a hard time answering. I did not want to discuss my abuse in detail and only gave who and the years that it occurred. She wanted to know details about my illness that I have not shared with those who have been treating me for years.

She seemed to believe I was ok because I white knuckled it to stay out of the hospital to see my children. Even though I told her I was needing to call my treatment team more than once a week to check in with my safety.

Yesterday night was hard. I have flashes of my husband asking me about my PRN’s and what I needed. I do not know what I would do without him. Today, I just want to isolate. I do not want to see or speak to anyone. I am questioning if this brought up to much and if I should go into the hospital and am trying weigh the pros and cons of inpatient vs outpatient treatment. Inpatient would at least make me feel safe and allow me to have staff there, yet I need to work on things in outpatient treatment in order to function outside of the hospital’s protective walls.

Being to Truthful can have Negative Consequences *May Trigger*

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I have been accepted into a graduate program. As part of the program, I have to complete an internship. That meant that I had to write a current resume and two pieces about myself and why I wanted to go into the field of my choice. I wrote from my heart and I gave an honest answer. I would not have been interested in this field prior to my diagnosis and hospitalizations in the early 2000’s. That changed the course of my life. I struggled to find myself as I slowly lost my family.

For me, coming through that horrible time and wanting to assist others in getting better is why I want to go into this field. Apparently, writing that was big mistake. People do not want to know about adversity or overcoming the worst parts of life to find something good. The real motivation of my own abuse and trauma and my experiences with the system were not accepted by those who controlled my fate.

As I write this this morning, I do not have an internship. No-one wants to take a chance on a person with a mental illness who admits to having that as a inspiration to learn how to treat others with the same struggles. I am not going to tell my story to those that I am helping. yet I feel that I bring a unique perspective to the situation. One that makes me just a little different from those who have only read about these experiences in a textbook.

I was asked to rewrite my essays to include less personal details of my experiences. I know that I may have to extend the original program because no one at this time is interested in having me intern. At least not the person that has been through the experiences that I have. I am left feeling like I have to hide who I am. That I cannot be genuine about why I want to go into this field and why I choose this field out of all others. I have to struggle not to say to much and to keep my past locked up.

 

Am I Ready??

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If asked even three months ago I would have said that I was nervous, yet apprehensive regarding graduate school. Today, I sit her pondering if it is going to even work out for me. 

One large issue seems to be my status as someone with a mental illness. Where the school is attempting to place me feels that it is a hinderance to getting tasks accomplished. I am still in shock that this could be happening.

I was accepted like everyone else and filled out the same forms as everyone else. To me, by accepting me they made a contract with me to assist in finding a field placement.

On one interview I was actually told that “I wear my mental illness as a badge.” Maybe that is somewhat true. I have been through a lot and have taken classes and learned techniques on how to assist others. I know I have a different perspective. I did not think that would prevent me from finding a field placement. 

I know that this is what I want to do. I know that I would be decent at the task and maybe help to change the paths of a couple of people along the way. I am looking at where I need to take this. I am not going to stop fighting to try and get a field placement. Having a mental illness should not be a reason to be turned away or treated differently.

What Does that Even Mean?

I have now been told so many things about my mental illness that I am not sure if anyone will ever understand. The fact that I volunteer for a mental health organization and have spoken apparently makes me to outspoken for people.

Today I was told that in my writing it comes across as a badge. In some ways maybe it is a badge. A way to know that all that I went through did not stop me. A way to know that there was something to look forward to and would have missed had I taken my life. What I have been through with my mental health has made me stronger. 

I feel that people think that it is to much. That in order to get an internship I am going to have to rework things to not show my views on how the system has helped me. I hope that I will get a field placement and that someone will accept me.

It is Always a Struggle

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I thought that things were finalized. Then, out of the blue they were ripped out from underneath me. One placement was not possible because I am a non-custodial parent. The other is not going to work because of my PTSD.

I am going to fight to get a field placement. There has to be a place that will be able to see my history as an asset not a hinderance. Today, I have to start what I believe will be many phone calls to make sure that everything works out. I do not want to go above anyone else, yet that seems to be the only course of action right now.

I cannot let anyone define me or tell me what I can or cannot do because I have experienced trauma. I am aware that the field that I want to go into is challenging. I just cannot believed that someone called me out on my illness and took a potential field placement away due to a diagnosis.