Another Birthday

As a kid, birthdays were supposed to be fun. Kids in my class would have parties and invite almost the entire class. I did not get an invitation. I soon learned that I was never going to be invited to a party.

This started the years when I was just quiet and tried as much as I could to be invisible. This continued pretty much through high school and college. I did not make friends and through the years the number of friends that I have I can count on one hand.

This year with COVID, I actually feel normal for the first time. No one is having parties. People are having small dinners and get togethers. For once i I fit into the norm. A small dinner and cake with a few people is just right .

There is No Such Thing as a Simple Doctors Visit

Why does a person need all of these tests if they have any symptoms of an illness??? I really do not want nursing staff asking personal questions and then giving me the look.

We all know that look. How many medications we are taking or how many hospitals we have been in. Then there are the coexisting health issues that each doctor has to double and triple check. Why would I need to make up anything else and why would I want too?

Then there are the questions that they think they know the answers too. Substance use. Again, why? In fact I would get better inpatient treatment if I had that issue!! At least they disscuss the reasons that one has become reliant on self-medication.

By the time the doctor actually comes into the room, they go through a big sigh and make a big deal of sitting down. Don’t they know that I can tell they are not my therapist. I want to talk about the problem that brought me to this person. My psychiatric problems are handled by others, et they insist on asking about personal issues. I have learned to stay quiet. Normally, there is only a 15 minute time slot anyway.

Maybe if you read this, you will be able to laugh the next time at the doctors 🙂

Another Waste of Time

After 3 kids and getting other issues fixed over time, I went to see a urologist today for the issues that I am having. Things started off well. The normal questions and the normal exams.

Then the doctor came in and talked to me. He left the room and came back saying that he needed to an exam to see where my organs were and if there were issues. Obviously, there are issues or I would not be there!!

Because, of the trauma I have been through, I could not go through with the procedures that he wanted and was sent away. I guess I just have to live with this problem. Why can’t all doctors understand about trauma?

I have one doctor that will use a twilight sedation to make her patients remain comfortable. Here, there is no help. Just a doctor who completely dismissed me. Why after going through so much do I have to constantly battle for understanding and compassion from those in the medical field.

When Even the Smallest Tasks are Difficult

Depression and PTSD have taken a part of me away. I am not even sure what that part is anymore. I know that I do not seem to have any energy, I remember the details of my traumas daily, and I struggle with things that others can do easily. I do not leave the house with the exception of therapy.

For some reason there are those that equate depression with sadness. It is so much more than that. It is like someone has completely darkened the space around you and then confined you into an even smaller space.

Cooking, laundry, showering, talking, and many other small things become absolutely earth shattering chores. With PTSD it is hard to hear triggers and try to do anything remotely easy. My cats are my support. As long as I pet them, they still like me. In fact, one of my cat’s is my emotional support animal.

There is not any medicine left to try at this point. I just need to work on my skills and try to do a little at a time. Sometimes it is very little at this point.

A Savior and a Monster?? **May Trigger**

This is my first Father’s Day without my dad and I am conflicted. My dad was the person who took me to have surgeries. He was the person to buy me ice cream. As I got older, he was the one who would defend me to my teachers and make sure that I was being treated fairly. We often joked about who would have the last of the custard or bread pudding. When I was in high school, we went to the same junior college. People around us took half of the semester to realize that we were related.

Then there was the other side of my dad. The side that seemed to not be able to reign in his anger. The one who beat me beyond a spanking. He often told me that he could not stand the sight of me and to go to my room. At times he put me up against a door or a wall by my neck. There were other things that he also did when he was angry that made me feel like he hated me and wished that I would just go away.

Then there was the frail man in the hospital bed. The one that was in so much pain that he could not even pay in the same position for a few minutes. At times, I would need to ask the nurses if he could have anything more for the pain. I was there for the last days.

I feel like I should only be preserving the good memories, yet there were both and I feel like my life is flat without both. He was my greatest advocate who also happened to be one of the people who hurt me the most. Luckily, I have my therapist to help me work through all of this because I know that I could not do any of this by myself.

So on this first Father’s Day without him, I gruels that’s I need to begin to accept that he was both. That is the problem with working through childhood abuse. Often the abuser is someone who is also a caregiver. In my case one that I just wanted to please.

Will I be Able to Deal with the Inside?!

New therapist. Nothing like opening up old wounds again. At least I am being encouraged to work with parts and not rush this work. It just seems to take everything out of me. I am mentally and physically exhausted.

My system has so many roadblocks up. How am I going to get through them all? Are my parts going to cooperate? What if I cannot handle things and melt down? Maybe I need some meltdowns. They would allow me to get through all of the emotions that have been held in for so long.

Coping Skills

When I am in the hospital, all I hear about are coping skills and being able to use them. I understand that they are important, however;’in the real world they are not always effective. For example, I journal as a coping skill, yet I cannot carry my journal around everywhere I go.

Part of what the hospital wants is for us to go to staff if we are having issues. Again, that is great in the hospital,yet who do I go to in the real world outside of the hospital. It is just me for most of the day.

I wish that they would teach coping skills that could easily be used in public. Maybe then we would have more success.

Out of the Hospital

This past hospitalization was extremely helpful. I made safety nets and step by step plans for everything that makes me nervous to leave the house.

I learned the steps to have a complete memory. I am starting with neutral memories and will move on from there. It is hard, yet it seems to bring a clear picture into my head.

I was as honest as I could be this hospitalization. When I could not finish something I got help from my therapist.

Now to continue this work outpatient that I started inpatient. It is not going to be easy.

Trying to Cope

I really do not want to go into the hospital, so I have been trying to use my coping skills. One activity I have been doing is to color. Whether the app on my phone or a color by number, it helps me to calm down. Deep breathing also seems to working. Spending time with my cats is relaxing. I am very lucky to have three sweet lap cats and they love to snuggle.

Sometimes the days are harder than others. Some days have more memories associated with them. On those days I have to make sure that I do something like journal to attempt to process those negative feelings. I am trying one day, sometimes one hour at a time.

Resources for PTSD *Trigger Warning**

There are very few resources for people who have childhood trauma. First, there are few groups where people can gather to get assistance and support if they are struggling with symptoms. More outpatient groups are needed in order for those with symptoms to not have to turn to the hospital.

Then, very few doctors know how to treat someone with trauma. The symptoms can change depending on the time of year or if a client is triggered. Most psychiatrists do not know how to handle a patient in which suicidal thoughts run like background noise and self harm is pervasive. They cannot prescribe a pill to take the memories away or decrease the intrusive thoughts.

The cost of childhood trauma is far worse than what happened. Therapists are scarce and often do not accept insurance. For those on a limited income, therapy becomes out of reach. Unless one has a name brand insurance many hospitals that treat trauma are not accessible or affordable. A stay at a specialty hospital where all of the staff are trained on the techniques to help a client can start at $30,000. Again, for someone struggling with the outcome of childhood trauma, this is impossible to come up with.

General units do not seem to help with PTSD and trauma symptoms. Often, they are only acute care designed to just get someone out of a crisis. The problem is that a patient who is having and increase in nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, or other symptoms is discharged and has no where to go. General units do not have staff trained to handle trauma or they are so short staffed that there are few around to help.

It seems to me, as a patient, that there is a big hole in the mental health system for those who have experienced childhood trauma. We need more doctors and affordable care. Insurance companies need to be aware that just because a client is not symptomatic one day does not mean that the symptoms will not increase in the following days.

Childhood trauma needs to be addressed from the doctors and therapists to the insurance companies. Once a week therapy is not enough. Limiting the number the number of sessions only increases stress and could mean that there is not any help when memories come up. The huge gap in the system needs to be fixed. Those with childhood trauma and PTSD should not have to hang on by a thread because there is no affordable help.