Stressed to the Max

Today is my first day of field. I am sick and excited all at the same time. I am scared to be here for an entire day. Normally, I can only go about 4 hours and then I will begin to fall apart. Hopefully, I can keep it together.

I have PRN’s, yet I am worried about taking them because they make me sleepy. This is going to be such a challenge.

The kids were over this weekend. My oldest moved downstairs and my youngest got a bigger room. They were happy. Now they each have a tv and either an x-box or a blue ray.

I have had to increase therapy to twice a week. My psychiatrist had stated that he is not going to do parts work with me. I really wonder why he went into trauma to begin with if he wanted to keep a huge divide between him and his patients. My therapist was great about finding an extra time for me to come each week. I am going to need something with all of this stress.

This really is one hour at a time. Then onto class this evening. At least I have off tomorrow. That should help with the stress and the sleep. Now just to see how today goes!

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To Soon

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.

It Has Been a While!!

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!!

You Don’t Understand

“I understand.” I just want to scream that you do not understand. Maybe you have been through your own tough times and experiences, yet they were not mine and did not affect you exactly the same. Why can’t people just listen or say nothing. Please do not say I’m sorry, when you did nothing that you need to be sorry about.

A good listener may repeat what is said or even pick up some of the feeling and want to learn more. A person who is sorry makes me wonder if they even heard all of what was said.

I spoke about my experience with the mental health system the other day. After finishing, some of the audience came up and told me what a good job that I had done. Really, this was not a paper that I was trying to get an A on. This is my life. Was it a good job that I took the abuse, that I went through numerous hospitalizations, that I have seen others die from this same illness? Please stop pretending to understand something that you cannot.

No, those of us with PTSD do not have a society. No-one is part of a large group, yet when you meet someone else with PTSD you just know sometimes. Most likely they do not enjoy crowds either, they do not like loud noises, while in a room they will keep their back away from a wall, and most will talk about how their illness effects their life now. There is an understanding.

I wish there were times where I could just stay home and get the class notes online. I wish that I could have a sick day once in a while. Right now, I happen to be sick. I have a note that I do not need to attend class. Why can’t I have a note saying that I can be excused from disturbing situations or at least leave the room when it gets to be to much. Where is my note that I am equal to everyone else when writing papers or taking exams. I may just need more time. Please do not tell everyone in the room that I have to go to the testing center. If extra credit is offered, I would like it on my test as well.

Having an invisible illness is hard. People assume that you are like them. You are going through the work and family issues that most of them are. Sometimes it is hard to feel alone in a crowd. To not have anyone to talk to or understand that some days are really bad. Society does not like to hear about the bad. My Facebook page is filled with recipes, leggings, and photos that all depict smiling, happy people. Why can’t people be real. I would respect you more if you said that you felt like crap then if you only post what is good. Life is a mixture.

How Scary!!

I normally do not share any kind of political views on here. Warning: this is only my opinion. 

Our country was founded on differences. People have not always agreed about immigrants since we became a country, yet people were allowed in and eventually became accepted.

What is going on now is wrong. Innocent people who have done nothing wrong are being affected. They are experiencing additional trauma. 

When is it going to stop. With what group? I have a mental health diagnosis. Am I going to be a target of this president? Are the other people I know with an illness going to have resources taken away from them?

Where is this going to stop? That is what scares me. Once someone uses one group as a scapegoat it is easier to use another group. As for me, I am going to treat everyone the way that I want to be treated. People are who they are because of their differences!!

Another Waiting Room

It seems like I spend a large part of my week sitting in waiting rooms. That is not including the almost hour drive to get to the waiting room.

One waiting room has classical music playing, there is a machine where you can get coffee or tea, magazines, and mints for grounding. The other waiting room is in the middle of a hall. It has one chair and that is all.

The experiences inside of the office are night and day. One is sterile and uninviting. There are so many walls up that I feel I cannot get through. The other is welcoming and willing to talk about what is going on with life. One is willing to share a little of themselves and the other is closed off.

I miss my former psychiatrist. She was interested in my art. She would laugh and she would be empathetic. She was willing to work with a patient and see where they needed to go, then gently guide them there. I feel lost without her. She would have celebrated my accomplishments and been there through the rough times.

The waiting rooms now have me hoping for something more. Some kind of reaction. Some kind of person. Boundaries are a good thing, yet to many keep you separated to the point where there cannot even be a therapeutic relationship. 

I keep hoping that something will change, yet maybe it won’t. Maybe this feeling of loneliness will persist. 

The Reality of My PTSD

PTSD can be caused by many different types of traumas. Triggers can be different for everyone. My PTSD came from years if mistreatment as a child. The people around me were not always safe and did not always say the most encouraging things. Then there was a bad marriage and more instances as an adult.

Life today is hard. I live in the same neighborhood as my abusers. In fact, I often see them. I have no choice but to pass and to see the same places where things occurred. 

I have scars on my body from self-harm. I am reluctant to trust people and therefore have a hard time making and keeping friends. I keep people at a distance.

The pain is often overwhelming. I did not choose this. Sometimes I wish that I could just make myself ok. That I could just be like everyone else, yet I cannot. To many things have happened. 

People do not see the struggles that go on inside of me. The struggle to tell what happened to me and to deal with all of the emotions behind it. The internal feelings in my body. All of that is invisible. None of that is acceptable to share in our society.

So, I try to go on, yet sometimes I cannot. Sometimes, I slide backwards and need extra help and support. Right now is one of those times. Being honest with my treatment team is hard. I just want to tell them that everything is alright and work on what happened. Yet safety comes first. 

A New Start

My psychiatrist changed jobs in April. I have not had a psychiatrist since then. It has been hard. I know I need a medication ajustment and have been struggling. 

My new psychiatrist just called me the other day to let me know that he had started. I have to go through a bunch of steps for the insurance.

I do not know how I feel about starting over again. Having to tell everything again and having to establish a treatment relationship. It is so hard for me to trust anyone. The only reason I even halfway trust him is because he was recommended by my former psychiatrist.

I just wonder if he is going to understand. If he is going to be supportive and if he is going to put me in my place when I tend to go off with a topic.

It is scary. At least I have a doctor now. I have someone who can maybe do something about how bad I have been feeling.

Symptoms Suck!!!

Having PTSD can really stop life in its tracks at times. The flashbacks can be debilitating. Not only do I vividly experience what went on with me, but I am also going through it with my kids. 

Then there is trying to do anything. There is a sports event this weekend with a lot of people and noise. All I want to do is run away and never come back. Yet, somehow I have to be here and try to use my coping skills to get through the day.

Sometimes, I feel like things are just getting worse. Like I cannot cope any longer. Then I remember my kids and the fact that I have to fight for them and use every skill that I have for them.

All of the crap I went through as a kid taught me what not to do as a parent. It just seems that every stage the kids go through, more stuff comes up.

Another Challenge

The other day, I was triggered in a class. It was yet another moment of “If I would have known this I would not have done it.” The class started off ok. We were lying on the floor breathing. I just thought about mindfulness and listened to the internal meeting that was going on about how much to open up to my therapist and how to start.

Anyway, class starts to progress and we are supposed to feel our limbs getting lighter and floating. Again, I am not very comfortable, yet I can take myself out of the room.

Then IT happens!! We are told that we are going to be doing contact exercises. Bring on the panic attack and the flashbacks. Does she really mean touching someone else and them touching me. All I could think was”I am not prepared for this”.  I did the exercise and then that day when I got home I regretted it because it brought up so much that I was not ready for.

Now, I do not want to go back to class. I do not like people touching me. I do not want to fail the class either. The problem is that there is goI got to be more contact.

This is something that I need to address in therapy, yet I do not have enough time to do so. It seems like the traumatic memories just come. I can journal and I take my journal with me to school. Touching me is just something that brings up to much!