Feeling Separated

Having complex PTSD is so hard. I feel like every program that I have been is focuses on safety and stabilization. That is where the programs that most insurances pay for end. Now, I am supposed to go home by myself and work with my therapist.

Why are there not support groups for us? There are not enough therapists who understand this diagnosis. The result is that there are not enough treatment centers. All I want is to be with other people who need to learn to express themselves. To have a safe way of processing my story and share other’s experiences of life with this diagnosis.

I just want to be able to feel normal. I want to meet others who share these feelings and experiences.

What the Doctors Don’t Tell You! * May Trigger*

Asking for help in itself is hard for most of us. Asking for help with the symptoms of a mental illness seems impossible. There is the stereotype that still runs through our society that somehow a person with a mental illness is weak or damaged. That they cannot take care of themselves or have chosen to have this. They are just not fighting enough.

Then a person goes to the doctor. For me, I was told that within 3-5 years that I would feel better. It has been 16 years and I still feel as horrible as on day one. Even to get to the right medications took months. Sometimes the side effects would make me feel worse or cause new symptoms to creep in over the first few weeks. Give the medication time the doctor would say. I do no need time when I know that I feel worse.

My body was no longer my own. It began with the medications. Then came the sleep routines, the mediation, the ECT, and with that the memory loss. My brain was now trapped behind a barrier. I was no longer in the drivers seat. Just a passenger in a car that did not have a final destination.

The doctors do not say that your friends will feel so confused about how to treat you, that many of them will politely bow out of the friendship. They do not say that your spouse will be overwhelmed and feel like they are helpless, causing them to leave. If there are kids and the mental illness is severe enough, the system will make sure that you lose them unless you have 10’s of 1,000’s of dollars. Divorce, loss of children, loss of friends, loss of self, and a constant pressure that just gets worse over time because you are expected to be well. Somehow all of these things miss what the doctor says. Reducing symptoms is sometimes not possible and some people are treatment resistant, causing them to live in limbo.

For me, the doctors missed a lot that I wish that I had known. Maybe I could have prepared myself or at least knew the reality of the future that I was facing. B

I am Learning to Say No

For so many years, I have done what other people wanted or what I thought would make the other person happy. This past hospitalization changed some things. One was that I had to learn to be honest when I am overwhelmed.

A death in the family and a holiday was just enough to deal with. I had to opt out of going to my husband’s nephews religious ceremony. It was just to much. I was to amped up to go anywhere.

There are just some things that I do not have the ability to do right now. I am out of the hospital, yet recovery is going to take a while. I need to do what is best for my recovery.

Physically Healing Mentally Declining

My surgical wounds are almost entirely healed. I am finally able to do the things around the house like laundry. Tomorrow is my post operative appointment. Hopefully everything is fine and I will not have to go back.

I was supposed to have another procedure next month, yet I am putting it off until June. I am still trying to get used to the life changes after this procedure.

Mentally, I am not doing as well. It is hard to have to cut out so many foods from my diet. Cooking is triggering for me. I may have to start though. There are some easy recipes out there.

I still wake up in the morning with the cats and feed them. Then I cannot seem to keep my eyes open. I know that I should try to go for a walk or to the gym, yet I cannot seem to find the motivation. I also seem to be remembering more lately. Combined with the verification from my mother that I was really not wanted I think I just need some time to get my head around everything.

Part of me just needs to accept life as it is and stop worrying about everything that I have lost. I also need to stop worrying about if the kids will decide not to come over. That is not something that I can control.

Recovery

At least I can write about recovery regarding my surgery last week. This week the pain is at least tolerable during the day. At night I still need to take Advil and Tylenol. The incisions are healing well and there are no issues there.

The hardest part has been the diet change. Who knew removing a gallbladder would change my entire way of eating. Cookies and cakes are out of the question. I had problems with dairy before, yet now it makes me so sick. And then there is candy. Easter is so hard!!! No peanut butter eggs or anything that contains fat.

I know that I will get used to all of this and that it could be so much worse than it has been. Now just to rest and heal. I want to do things that I know I cannot do yet. I keep having to look at the doctors instructions to remind myself that this is going to take some time.

At least I am home an the weather has been nice enough to be able to go out on the sun porch. That is for another post.

Where Do You Want to Go?

The above question was asked by my therapist. I loved nursing school and caring for others, yet my body would not let me finish. When I am out and hear someone speak negatively about someone who may be struggling I get upset and often say something.

I would like to work with addicts. People with addiction, often have trauma backgrounds and often need more than one round of treatment to recover. Recovery can be a life long struggle and can follow them so that they have problems with custody or employment.

I understand that. Having a mental illness has given me a different perspective. I have been in the hospital many times. Every time for a different reason. I have had to fight for my children because of my diagnosis. I have scars that I cannot erase and show even when it is not the best time. I have been asked to leave a graduate program because of my illness. I know about stereotypes and can empathize.

So, now I have to complete my research and see what I need to do to complete training and get a license to practice. This is what I wanted to do prior to moving. So, how do I get well enough to leave the house and move forward? That would be the new question.

Ebb and Flow

I keep going back and forth between feeling ok and feeling like crap. There has always been the trouble with sleep. Now it is to the point where the medications are not helping.

For the past few days I have felt well enough to read, go to therapy, and finish a diamond painting. Today, l cannot seem to get off the couch.

I do have goals today, yet they are slipping through my grasp as quickly as a stream of water. I feel like I am enveloped by a never ending and growing darkness. I realize that I have felt this bad before and have pulled out of it, yet this time feels different. I cannot see a future for me. I am to scared and to damaged to be of use to anyone.

I have supposed to have the kids this weekend. I can barely find the energy to even get a glass of water. I long for the days when I had a goal and enough courage to even take one step forward.

I Think I Scared the Resident

I went to the new doctor yesterday. I think that she thought it would be an easy appointment. It was anything but easy. She saw all of the evidence of my self harm and of course the typical questions followed. I told her the truth and said that I have had a plan since I was around 10 years old.

Why aren’t doctors taught about patients who have experienced trauma? Instead they are put into situations where they are overwhelmed by the patient. Not only do I have a list of diagnoses, i also have a lot of medical issues. The doctor did not seem to know where to start.

Tests were ordered and I have to return in a couple of months. I am glad the doctor is being careful, yet I am scared that the doctor is in over her head. Maybe she will turn out to be one of the best doctors that I have had, if not at least she will gain some experience.

On another front, therapy is not going well. My parts do not feel heard or even like they have a place in therapy. We have had one doctor who could handle us and she is gone. At least she acknowledged that multiple parts could experience an event completely differently. Right now we feel unheard. We feel like the therapist is trying to sweep us away instead of making us part of the therapy. We are hopeless that things will change at this point and are considering options where we may have a chance to participate.

Right now, we are lost. We do not belong anywhere except for hidden on the inside. We have had to many years of that to keep doing it, it does not work and eventually leads to self harm as a way of expressing that those parts are there. We are hoping that something gets resolved soon.

A Good Christmas

For years I have been wanting to get out of the neighborhood that I lived in. That neighborhood was the same one where my abuse took place. It held so many bad memories for me. Along with the memories, there was so much crime that I had trouble sleeping. My husband and I had talked for years about getting out of there.

This summer we were able to have everything fall into place. We were able to buy a house in a safe neighborhood that did not carry any memories. My husband has allowed me to feel safe and to have new experiences. He gave me the best present that I could ever have. The gift of love and understanding.

In addition, I get to have my kids for the holiday this year. Last year, I was not even able to see them because I had been in the hospital. This year we are having them over along with some family.

Christmas is all about love and kindness. We have so much Christmas spirit in our home this year.

Can I Overcome My Thoughts? *May Trigger*

My opinion of myself has been influenced by years of abuse. I feel damaged and defeated. No matter what I try, it has not worked out and I am back at the start. I have tried taking one step at a time, yet right now I seem to be going backwards.

I am struggling with thoughts of self harm. That would at least make me feel better if only for a little while. Then there are the even darker thoughts of suicide. There are times when I actually think that people would be better off if I was not around anymore. There are those that would be relieved that they did not need to deal with me any longer and there would be those that truly do not care in the first place.

I feel like I am damaged. My oldest son does not talk to me, I cannot work at this point, and I am scared to leave the house even to get the mail. I am worried what people think about me and if they already realize that I am damaged just by looking at me.

The scars on my body tell a story of fighting and defeat. Of pain that is so intolerable that I can think of nothing but getting out of it.

Most of all I am lost. I am not sure which direction to go in or what path to follow. Do I start over with trying to be a social worker or do I find something else to do? Do I participate in a book club or stay in the house? Am I ready for people to know me or should I still hide?

This weekend is a family get together. I am lost going there. They do not know who I am. I wish that I knew who they were. I was kept away from them for years and being socially awkward does not help. What should I talk to them about?

So, my thoughts turn to suicide. To end all of the pain. To not have to worry what anyone thinks of me any longer. To not have to try and fail at something else.

Trying to overcome these thoughts is hard. I think that even my therapist is stuck. I do not know where to begin to get better, I need to figure it out. I need to push through all of these horrible thoughts and start to think about what I do have in my life. Maybe today I can spend some time trying to think about what I have instead of what I am missing.