Getting Closer

Good (extra) session with the therapist tonight. I felt like I was more open and honest with her than I’ve ever been. I shared the things that scare me and frustrate me and hurt me about our interactions. She was very receptive and supportive. She said she often notices that she has a way of “shutting me down” mid-sentence and she wasn’t sure why/how that was happening, so this session gave her a lot more understanding of how to help facilitate the conversation in a way that helps me feel that the space is always open for me to share whatever I’d like.

She also shared that she isn’t exactly sure what to do when another part is out and in distress. I told her she can just ask for me by name and I’ll usually end up in the front somehow. I asked her if she wanted to know more about the system and she gave an enthusiastic “yes”. I mostly just told her how many parts there are. I only know that number because Julia drew a system map for Zooey last year. There are circles for each part and then various lines that indicate communication and relationships and such.

The therapist asked if there was anyway she could see the map so I told her I’d print off the picture I have of it (Zooey has the original copy…damn).  I’ll bring it to session tomorrow morning so she can see it. I think it will be good for her to start to learn more about the system.

I told her that it gets very hard for me to contain all of this mess when various parts are in and out of crisis. She mentioned that part of her thought process was to add more support in the form of brief phone calls, phone sessions, or an extra office session during particularly challenging times. Which…is fine. But it’s also going to be limited by financial means. And, also, I am wary of investing in her anymore.

All I want is for someone to help me contain all of this shit. She is offering me that. But now I just feel terrified that I will hand this over to her and then she’ll walk away and dump it all right back on me when I least expect it (and least capable of handling it).

I want to trust her so badly. With everything I am, I want to believe she will do right by me. But … I just can’t. Not yet.

I think I’m getting closer though.

Last Night

Last night turned out okay. That was last night, right? Seems so long ago…

Anyway. The therapist called me again around 9pm just to check in, which I thought was really wonderful of her to do. She’d said I could call her back after we spoke at 6:30, but I didn’t. So…it was cool that she took the initiative to call me again anyway.

We talked for about 20 minutes. I don’t remember much, but I know that at one point I told her I felt a very strong pull to just back out of this whole idea of therapy altogether. I said I was pondering the benefit of cutting my losses and just trying this alone again since I don’t seem to be responding very well to treatment anyway.

She acknowledged that it must be so difficult to forge ahead when it feels like everything is just getting gradually worse, but she sincerely believes that it’s the kind of “getting worse” that happens when things have the potential to eventually get better.

She admitted that she might not get this right. She might fail. She might end up being incompetent or negligent. She might end up abandoning me in some capacity. As much as that is terrifying to hear, I really appreciate that she at least knows and acknowledges that these are all real possibilities and very real fears of mine. She also said that she knows she cannot see the future. She doesn’t know what will happen anymore than I do, but she doesn’t think it’s time to throw in the towel just yet.

She didn’t outright ask me to trust her, but I sensed that was her underlying message.

Although I have absolutely no reason to trust her, the fact that she leaned into a crisis instead of pulling away from it makes me curious, if nothing else. She also seemed oddly comfortable with a situation in which she had no solid solution. I think I felt a lot of frustration and helplessness, but when I really think about the conversation, I don’t think she ever felt either of those things.

And she asks really great questions. We were able to piece together some important information about the system right now that I think will help her help us a little more.

Then, to my astonishment, she offered me an extra session tomorrow evening. She told me to think about it before I made a decision, so I did. I called her back today and I took the appointment.

I hope I can find a way to push through all of this fear and anxiety because it would be really lovely to walk out of that session feeling like I connected with her again. I’m so tired of feeling defensive and combative and…terrified. It sucks. I hate this chaos. I hate the noise and the darkness. I hate how utterly exhausted I always feel because we’re switching all the time and everyone’s fighting everyone, which takes so much damn energy.

I don’t need a miracle. But I do need…something. I need to believe she can do this, even if only for right now. Because this is awful and I don’t want to do it anymore.

When Things Get Worse

*Trigger warning for mild talk of self-inury.

Today has been…interesting.

I had class this morning, where I found out I got a 97 on my Kinesiology practical (yay!). I also got another grade yesterday (95), so now I’m just waiting on the third. Hopefully I’ll get that grade tomorrow and hopefully it will be within the same ballpark as the others.

Class went well. Fun stuff to learn and practice. Then I had to tutor for an hour, so my friend came and hung out with me so we could study together for Thursday’s exam.

Then…therapy.

I don’t remember getting there. I don’t remember leaving. I do, however, remember “coming to” at what was clearly a distressing moment near the end of session. I can  recall about 3-4 minutes of time, but the rest is a blurry mess.

I didn’t get home from therapy until much later than I normally would and when I realized I was home (and in my body again), I also realized there were new cuts on my left thigh.

Fuck.

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I Will Keep Fighting

*Trigger warning for language*

I called the therapist on Friday night because it was utter chaos inside. Andi generally can’t seem to understand (or maybe she can’t tell) what is going on, but for those of us who mainly exist inside – it really sucks.

We have these “teams” that are split and we basically hate each other. I like to think I’m the leader of my team, which mainly consists of me, River, and some younger parts. Shadow-Man (SM) and Laura are sorta co-captains of the other team, which has some older, some younger parts. Rachel, who is team SM, is usually older than the body age. For some reason, she age slid back to 19 on Friday which really fucking pissed me off because I know she’s doing it to challenge me and I know SM is behind it. Rain, who is River’s twin, is “Switzerland”. She is always 100% neutral. She provides no more or less support to any particular part and sometimes that drives me fucking insane because I’m like, “Yo, help your sister!” Ugh. There are also parts that aren’t on teams, but only come out at certain times. Like 911. She only comes out when we’re in an emergency and need emergency help (hence her name).

Anyway. Whenever any of us on Team J (yes, I’m naming my team after myself) start to get closer to literally ANYONE, Team SM starts to go apeshit. Doesn’t matter if it’s a therapist, friend, coworker, classmate, random fucking stranger on the train, whatever… If SM senses that any of us might trust someone or “disclose” any secrets, the sirens start blaring and shit gets locked down.

It’s not pleasant. It’s torture. It’s hell. It’s war.

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Sunday

Today was a little better. Still foggy. The Others are very close to the surface lately. Perceived threats tend to do that. Still no cutting. Less suicidal thoughts.

Wife and I went to a birthday party today. It was for our friends’ daughter. It was in a nice little park. The weather was sorta weird. It was quite warm in the sun, but then it was cold and windy under clouds. After about two hours or so, I was at my max of social interaction so we headed back home. I actually really like this family, but overall we do better in smaller, more contained environments.

Back to class tomorrow. Pop quiz first thing in the morning. Then an exam on Thursday. Looking forward to getting my grades for last week’s practicals though.

I’m kinda nervous about session on Tuesday now. The therapist seemed to handle our mini-crisis fairly well. She calmed Julia down, which is impressive. But…I can’t shake the feeling that it’s all too much. Maybe she’s thinking about that now – about how perhaps this is all more than she imagined. Even though I explained what happened with Zooey, it’s still very different to experience it in real life. And it’s very different to be the therapist responsible for treating us.

*Sigh*

I guess we’ll see what she says on Tuesday.

I’m going to go watch “Game of Thrones” with the wife and (hopefully) get some sleep. The last several nights have been hard for sleeping. Lots of fears and anxieties pushing through. When my sleep goes, everything else tends to fall apart. I need tonight to be restful…

Today

So done with today. Called the therapist around 11pm last night to leave a voicemail. She called back early this morning. Andi didn’t pick up, but she called her back and left a voicemail mentioning a good time to call again. She did call back. 

Andi talked to her for about 15 minutes later this morning, then she called back this afternoon and I talked to her for about 35 minutes. They were mostly good conversations, I think. Crying. Yelling. Frustration. Confusion. (The usual). But she’s tough and not a whiny baby like Zooey, so that’s a refreshing change. 

She also said I could call her back if I needed to check in again. I thought that was cool of her, but I will leave her alone. I can make it until Tuesday. Right?

Too effing tired to write about it more now. Maybe tomorrow. All of this switching and internal fuckery is exhausting. 

-Julia

Post-Midterms Crash

Wow. I am beat. I think I am facing a bit of a “post midterms crash”. I got up early for therapy this morning. It was a good but exhausting and somewhat triggering session. Came home and took a nap. Then went to work until 5pm and went to an Ashtanga yoga class at 6pm. Felt pretty tired (in the best way) from that so Wife drew us a lovely bath and then gave a massage to help calm the nervous system. 

Lots of internal activity right now. Thinking maybe resistance from non-traumatized/introject parts. There’s a sense of threatening and thoughts of self-injury. Maybe planted, maybe from threatened Parts. 

Probably due to increased trust in the therapist. We talked a little more about abuse stuff today. Certain parts don’t like that. Say we don’t know better or how to protect ourselves. Reminders of Zooey. But she is not Zooey. 

Either way, many are activated and I struggle to figure out why. Wife suggests asking inside, but that seems scary. Sometimes I just don’t want to know. 

I will try to sleep now and work on this more tomorrow. Had a dream today about being sued by the parents for slander and libel. We are not liars! Inside parts sometimes say we are. Scare us with jail or prison or locked psych ward. Hoping for better dreams tonight. Or dreams to help better understand what is going on. 

We must rest. 

Us

Done! (For Now…)

*NOTE: this is not a picture of me, but it’s a good example of a goniometry test*

I made it. All three midterm practicals are DONE!!!! Woohoo!

Today’s practical went very well, definitely the best of the three. I actually think I did everything perfect (and my partner agreed). Not sure the professor will give me a 100, but I know I didn’t make any errors. She just might take points for “finesse” or whatever. There was a moment when the lab tech interrupted to “fix my form”. He must have noticed the look of confusion on my face (since I knew I was doing the test properly) so he quickly said, “This is a teaching moment…this is not for grading. I just want to show you something.” Which, phew, that was a relief! But I sorta wish he’d waited for open lab to teach me that particular adjustment.

Anyway. These tests were not as bad as I’d originally though they’d be. Partly, I think, because I’m much calmer than I used to be. But also because I was incredibly prepared, both in knowledge and in practice. I’ve clocked many, many hours doing the same tests, procedures, interviews, movements over and over and over. If nothing else, muscle memory kicked in to save my butt. But also, I just knew it. I knew it well. And that allowed me to walk into each room with confidence.

I’m very proud of myself. And I rewarded myself by taking a nice long nap.

Now I need to go study for the three exams I have coming up and begin writing the three papers due next month. Never a dull moment!

Thanks for all your support this week 🙂

Two Down

Okay, so my second practical exam was this morning. Turns out my professor fractured his arm to the point of requiring surgery, so a different professor proctored the exam with our lab tech. She’s the same woman who proctored the exam I took on Monday. She’s nice (and definitely rooting for her students), but she’s admittedly intimidating.

I went into the exam wearing my fancy white coat and acted as calm, cool, and confident as possible. My partner went first (which turned out to be a blessing because the case I randomly selected threw me for a spin and I needed that extra 15 minutes to think it through completely) and did a great job. Then I had a few moments to collect myself before my clock started (we each get 20 minutes total).

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 8.33.42 PM

I went through the interview and treatment very calmly. I asked all the appropriate questions and completed all the necessary steps, including critical safety measures (if you mess those up, it’s an automatic failure). The only thing that I didn’t love about my performance was that I removed the patient’s shirt and palpated the affected area AFTER I did a sensory test. Technically I probably should have removed his shirt, palpated, and then done the sensory test. The grading paper doesn’t have those things in any specific order – it just says you need to DO them, so hopefully I won’t lose too many points for that. The most important piece is that I know I appeared to be quite confident in all of the decisions I made and that is very important in a practical exam.

Unfortunately, a good friend made a critical safety error so the professor stopped her on the spot and said, “I’m sorry, but you’ve failed.” It sucks because my friend is a truly incredible student and she KNOWS this stuff. It was just a simple matter of forgetting something basic, but vitally important. Honestly, it could have been any of us to make that exact error. She’ll be fine overall, but now she’s under more pressure since she needs to do well on the final practical in order to pass the class.

Anyway…two down, one to go. By 12:30pm EST tomorrow, I should be done with all midterm practical exams. Phew! Almost there!

Dr. White

imagesToday I had a consultation with a potential new psychiatrist.

(What happened with Dr. Bird? Good question. She literally just never responded to me again. Even though she changed my medication, I guess she never felt the need to follow up on that. Or even send me a bill for the consult.).

The therapist I’m seeing now found this woman’s name through colleagues or something. She’s both a shrink and a psychologist, so I think she generally does both therapy and medication management, but she also charges nearly twice what I pay right now per session, so no thanks. Also, I like the therapist I’m seeing right now so I want to stay with her.

The shrink (I shall call her Dr. White) said that she wanted me to know she’s never met the therapist. I was confused, but I said, “Yeah…I mean, I assumed as much.” and she responded, “Well, I don’t generally work with clients unless I know their therapists.” I just rolled my eyes and said, “Well whatever then!” Because, honestly, if you don’t want to work with clients unless you know their therapist, and you just admitted you don’t know this therapist, WHY DID YOU SCHEDULE A CONSULT WITH ME?! Ugh!

I think she sensed my disgust because she quickly said, “But we’ll just have to get to know each other.” Fine, lady. Whatever floats your boat.

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