New Therapist, DBT, and Crying again??

Well I met my new therapist this week.  She seems nice enough, definitely more relatable than the last one, and doesn’t seem too PollyAnna-ish.  I haven’t come up with a name for her yet, it will take time, but she will get one. It’s hard though, “breaking in” a new therapist.  She knows nothing about me, or my past, what I dream about – or don’t dream about….

She took notes, which I appreciated, I always feel like they are listening if they are taking notes… but then again maybe they are making grocery lists. There is just something comforting to me about someone with pen and paper Maybe it’s my own love of all things stationary.  Pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, notebooks, journals…. all of it. I don’t think she had an books though… I will have to ask her about that.

She asked if I had ever thought about DBT.  And I had to tell her I really didn’t know what it was.  I knew it was a type of group therapy but that’s all. Now my first reaction was no-way-no-how am I going to be in a room with other people.  There are so many things that cause my OCD to be on high alert about that. But she explained it, and I MAY give it a try if she thinks it will help- it also helps she runs it.

Today I finally got my cardiac halter taken off.  It was only 48 hours, but they were grueling. I think I am allergic to whatever is in the gooey stuff inside the sticky things because now I have a rash where they were.

The crying- over a book OF COURSE.  Anne of Green Gables.  There are so many parts of that book that make me openly weep.  The way she becomes a part of the Cuthbert’s lives, and how by the end of the book they can’t imagine their lives without Anne- the mistake that was exactly what they needed.

I have always been able to relate to Anne. Even as a child I remember reading the book, and watching the CBC mini-series.  I have also watched the newer series as they come out.  One with Martin Sheen as Matthew, and the one on Netflix. Anne has always been a “kindred spirit” of mine.

I am currently listening to the book on Audible and when she was leaving the little school and heading to Queens to become a teacher I saw that with new eyes.  First through the eyes of Marilla and Matthew.  Having a child who is in his last few years of schooling, and another that still has years to go, but who will to, as she should, leave the nest.  It broke my heart.

Only 45 minutes more of the book to listen to, and having read it before I know there is more heartache and tears in store.

A Year Already?

Yesterday when after I posted about the book, I saw the archived posts link on my front page, and I saw January 2017, my first thought was no way, I started this thing a year ago? And I clicked on it, and to my surprise yes- it had been a year today since I started this blog.

There hasn’t been much change in me in a year.  But I don’t know if I should expect there to be. It’s taken almost 40 years to get to this point, I can’t expect that in a short year I can undo all the damage that has been done.

My family has seen some changes- my husband closed his business and is unable to work, I stopped homeschooling and both of my kids are in public school and doing well.

But I have found a voice.  A place where I can lay it all out.  Sure I hide behind the screen.  I haven’t shared my name, or where I am from.  And only a few people I know in real life read this blog.

Well happy blogversary to me!

Memories

Memories- Things that sometimes remind me how lucky I am to have the life I have, problems and all.

I said a while back my goal for this year was to read 52 books. I am a little behind where I should be to meet my goal, but I am not really too concerned.

Today I finished Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  I cried at the end.  Holding back the ugly cry as best as I could because my little one was here and she always gets upset when I cry.  And I can’t honestly tell which tears were tears of sadness at the book, tears of happiness for how lucky I got, or tears of relief for the fact that I… that I got my cake and can eat it too.

Eleanor and Park is a book I assume set back in the 1980’s given the references they use and the words like “Walkman”, “mix tapes”, and so many other references .  Without spoiling the book for anyone who might want to check it out, Eleanor is a girl round the age of 16.  She lives in a house with her 4 siblings, her mom and her abusive step-father Richie.  She had been living away from them for about a year because Richie kicked her out, but she eventually was able to come home. She started back to school and immediately, on her first day, on the bus ride to school no less, people started picking on her- teasing her about her wild red hair, the way she dressed, because she wasn’t toothpick thin.

No one would let her sit with them on the bus, until finally a boy name Park told her to sit with him. It took a while for them to become friends, and even longer for them to be more than that.  Eleanor had so many walls up inside of her from being mistreated and unloved her entire life.

The book chronicles their journey in first love.  But this book also reminded me of my story.

I lived with my mom, my dad, my little sister, and my half brother (from time to time). My dad was a mean, cruel, controlling man.  He physically, mentally and emotionally abused all of us.  Even my poor brother when he would visit.

I also didn’t have many friends at school.  I was picked on through elementary school, junior high and high school.  I don’t look back on the times spent in school with fond memories.  Most of the time I think of the worst days of my life.  The days I would cry myself to sleep, the days I would try to make myself invisible- because if I was invisible they wouldn’t pick on me mercilessly.  I think of the fact I became anorexic and lost a huge amount of weight because maybe if I wasn’t “the fat girl” they would like me (they didn’t).  Maybe if I lost weight my dad would stop making fun of my size – he didn’t. It drove me into depression.  Into even worse anxiety, and into self harm.  I had a couple friends in high school, but I didn’t talk to them about my life at home.  There was one friend, I spent most weekends at her house for years.  For years I wished her parents would adopt me.  I wanted her life.  Her house was my safe haven.

Until I saw him.  Somehow I knew the evening I saw him in my high school cafeteria, that it would all be ok, somehow. We became friends, then more. I was desperate for him.  I craved his love.  I couldn’t breathe without thinking of him.  He made my life worth it.  He loved me, unconditionally.  I had never had that before.  He saved me from my father, from my tormentors, from myself.  People still made fun of me, be sure of that, but it didn’t matter so much.  I had someone who loved me, all of me, battle scars, bruises and all.

We were almost immediately inseparable. The friends we each had felt displaced, but we just couldn’t stand to be apart.  It didn’t help we went to different schools, but we saw each other as much as humanly possible.  We talked about everything.  He knew everything about my past, things I had never told anyone.  I shared my hopes and dreams with him- dreams that somehow included him the minute we met.

People thought we were too much.  Too obsessed. Spent too much time together.  We were just “infatuated”.  But we knew; we knew even then that we would be together till death do us part.

And now, almost 23 years later, I still have all those scars, all those bruises, and some new ones, but he still loves me.  I loves me 100+ pounds heavier, when I’m sometimes broken, when I’m sometimes angry (at life really), when I am envious of others and their apparent lack of bruises and brokenness. He loves me with the purest, most unconditional life I have ever experienced in my life.

I still need him.  I am still desperate for him.  I still crave his constant companionship. And while our life hasn’t turned out exactly as we planned I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  He is my best friend, he is my first real love, the first person who really SAW, the real me, not the person I show the world I am.

Sometimes I think back to the nights we were teenagers making plans for our future, despite everyone telling us we would never last.  Telling us we were just kids. Yes, we were just kids, only a couple years older than our oldest is now, but the minute we saw each other we realized we completed each other.

What does all this have to do with the book?  There were so many similarities between Eleanor and Park and my husband and I.  Reading through it, brought up so many memories and feelings. I don’t think I have related to a character in a book like I related to Eleanor- ever.

This book definitely gets four stars from me. How could it not?

Catching Up

Another week has passed and I haven’t had the….. motivation to write. It’s been a really long week.  Monday was uneventful I think, I can’t even remember it.  But Tuesday was horrific.  Tuesday we had a snow day because of the impending weather- snow, ice, freezing rain…fun fun fun.  I had an appointment to meet my new counselor, who I am already trying to come up with a name for… I also had a PT appointment, YES I am STILL in PT for my ankle sprains. So ridiculous how long this is taking to heal.

Anyway, my med doctor A.K.A. Mary Poppins had asked me to call on Monday with how I felt after her upping my Amitriptyline, at that point I had a 200mg bedtime dose and a 50mg dose in the A.M. I told her that I thought maybe I wasn’t quite so depressed, but I also couldn’t stay awake and that my heart rate was still through the roof (it was 129 at my last appointment with her).  Her nurse called me on Tuesday AM and said Mary Poppins wants you to cut out my morning dose, and call my PCP about the heart rate, and to callback on Friday telling her how I felt. So I called my PCP and explained what was going on.  They had me come in immediately. My resting pulse when I got there was 130 beats per minute. Then they did an EKG and they tell me that was normal except for the heart rate- and though I am not a doctor, they were comparing my EKG I had for surgery clearance a couple months ago to the one that day and to my non-doctor eyes thinks it looks much different but I have to trust they wouldn’t tell me it was fine when it wasn’t.  The next step was blood work, CBC and complete metabolic panel.  They called me Wednesday, blood work all came back fine- so it’s not an underlying illness causing this.

The next step is that I have to wear a cardiac halter for a couple days, they want to measure my heart activity day and night and see the trends. I go for that on Monday. Once those results come back? Who knows.  Am I scared? Definitely.  I have other symptoms, tightness in my chest, light headedness, breathlessness.

I let Mary Poppins know yesterday since I was in her office for something else yesterday, I also gave her a copy of my lab work. She told me to cut my nighttime 200mg dose down to 150mg and call Monday to tell her how I am feeling.  I just took my pulse before I started writing this and it was 136- Just sitting here in my recliner. It’s concerning to me. They were trying to give me information but all they did was successfully make me even more anxious- they said the danger of my heart being this time all the time is that my heart muscle will wear our and I will be at increased risk for heart attack and stroke.  Great! Tell the woman with severe anxiety that she might drop dead.

Needless to say I missed my appointment to meet my new counselor(way to make a first impression). Of course I called twice keeping them updated where I was at with my PCP.  And I cancelled my PT for that day.  The weather was horid and I didn’t feel much like going out again.

So what’s causing my heart to race like this?  Well there are three possibilities- 1. a reaction to my amitriptyline.  That would be a simple fix, stop that medication- however I have exhausted the search for a med that helps with the depression, this marginally did something, but we were working on upping the dose so it could help with the anxiety and hopefully kick this depression out. So it would stink to go off this medication.  But hopefully Mary Poppins has more stuff in her never-ending bag. 2.  Anxiety.  This would be a simple and my preference.  We can medicate the anxiety- I have been feeling anxous – no panicked- constantly, except that my heartt symptoms could be giving me a false sense that I am panicked. The 3rd option is my least favorite, that there is something wrong with my heart. THAT scares me, A LOT. Between this, and my oldest having a cold, my OCD is in overdrive.  Yesterday hubby touched my hand when he was handing me something and I had to wash my hands…I stripped our bed, showered twice, I just couldn’t stop.  It was a forceI couldn’t stop.  I was panicked and jumpy all day. It was NOT fun.

I just took my pulse after I finished that paragraph it was 152.  Sitting here, in my recliner typing and listening to Christian music. But I could feel a tightness in my chesst so I wanted to check it. And it was just as I feared- WAY too high. I hope we have answers soon.

And as if all of that wasn’t enough- hubby hurt his back AGAIN, his herniation still isn’t better, and he was walking our daughter home from school, he stepped in a hole and now his back hurts where it consistenly hurt, but now it also hurts higher up- he went for an MRI yesterday and we will see what the results of that are.

Our family just can’t seem to catch a break.  We are definitely facing trials in all parts of our life, but we have faith God will hear our prayers and give us peace with it all, because God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Until next time….

What’s New?

Let’s recap the last week…

Last week was… I don’t even think there is a word to describe the last week.

I feel like I spent the entire week going from one appointment to the next. Little one started counseling, which gives me anxiety. I hate not being in control of what’s going on with my kiddos. I know that sounds ridiculous. I have to admit that I am a control freak. I know it comes from my past. I had to always be prepared for any situation that might arise. If I wasn’t prepared, if I wasn’t three steps ahead of dad there was “hell to pay”.

Tuesday we had an IEP meeting for big one. I spent the entire meeting pinching the skin of my left hand, because I was anxious about the meeting, anxious I would say the wrong thing, or… I don’t know. It was the only coping skill I had at that moment. It had already been a day filled with anxiety, what’s a little more… apparently a lot. The meeting itself went well, though, I will believe the plan when they actually do it, when they do what they promised to make his life at school what he is entitled to as a special education student.

Earlier in the day I fired my new counselor. Did I mention Polly Anna left and left me in the “capable hands” of the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. I hadn’t come up with a name for her until just now. I don’t know why that is the first thing I thought of, but she and I just didn’t click. It was SO HARD for me to do. I was worried, and still am, that she was upset with me, or thought bad of me. I still get knots in my stomach thinking about it.

And then I had med management. My resting pulse was 129, too high. So she increased my antidepressant and if that doesn’t stop this constant anxiety she will add another med. I have noticed two distinct times that my anxiety goes through the roof.

1. When I have to leave the house.

2. Around 4 or 5pm.

I can guess why leaving the house would cause me anxiety. Having to be around other people, germs, etc. Today when I was at church, and then at the movies with a friend, I think I used an entire bottle of santizer. But as for the 4pm/5pm timeframe, the only thing I can think of is the dinner/bedtime rush. But I get shaky, my pulse races, and I feel like I want to throw up. Heck right now I am feeling sick.

I feel like so much of our lives is at a stand still because of other people, we are waiting on other people, our lives are in their hands so to speak. We are STILL dealing with the foreclosure of our old house. It’s been over 3 years now. My husband is still waiting to hear about his disability case. We are so tight with money. We haven’t yet gotten to the point of robbing Peter to pay Paul but we are headed that way. We have racked up some credit card debt wait let me rephrase that. I have racked up credit card debt.. I have 3 coping skills- shopping, overeating, and self harm. All of them are bad, but which one is worse? The cuts fade, but debt and fat haunt you for years. I am currently the biggest I have ever been- even when I was pregnant.

This week I meet up with my new therapist, I might ask hubby to come with me, I am really quite nervous. I have to start all over, she won’t know anything about me. And the final thing? I have been diagnosed with an “unspecified personality disorder”. I am just full of diagnoses now- Major depressive disorder, recurrent episode, severe. Generalized anxiety disorder, Post traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Fun fun fun.

Did I mention that I have a case manager now? I am not sure what she is supposed to do for me, I mean both my kids have them, but I have no idea what she will do for me. I asked her to look into a weighted blanket for me, and where I could get one that isn’t too expensive, but I don’t know is she will/can. I haven’t heard back from her.

Well I need to go to bed, another week starts tomorrow. Bleh.

One of those days….

Today is one of those days.  You know the one, where you feel like nothing you do is right, where you feel humongous, and just all around unhappy?

Tonight as I sit here in my recliner, I feel so fat.  I am the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. That’s doing wonders for my self esteem.  I hate myself. I am sick of being in my own skin.  And yet, I don’t have the energy, or motivation to make even small changes.  And because of injuries, I am not cleared to exercise.  So yeah.  I am a beached whale.

I do my best to avoid having to leave the house, between the germs of flu season, the possibility that I might see someone I know and have to do that song and dance of “hi, how are you?” “Fine, you?”  When you really want to say, Im not fine, in fact life is pretty sucky right now.

I was lucky that last week I had an escape from reality with my brother, because without that I really don’t know how I would feel.

Tomorrow, I have to fire my therapist, I found one closer to home, and I never really liked the one I have- but I still have major anxiety. Im worried she will be upset with me. Thats my biggest fear with everyone pretty much. Comes from an abusive parent.

Then I have med management, get to tell her that my meds are doing diddly.  I really don’t feel like I am getting better, ever since getting back from vaca I have been sad, mad, irritable, angry, or exhausted.  I am sleeping like crap, unless I sleep during the day.  I feel like I am back to the way I was a few months ago.

And finally I have to go to an IEP meeting for my son. He has been homeschooled the past 5 years, but before that he went to school in a different district, and we fought and fought for what he needed, and I am still freaking out about it even though it’s a different district, it’s giving me major PTSD trigger.  The last time he was in public school it was a horror story.  IEP violations, mediation, a formal complaint against the district (they were found guilty of 7 counts), attending an IEP meeting the day that I got out of the hospital from having my appendix and gall bladder out and the special education director screaming at me because we were disagreeing.  After that, I took him out of school and homeschooled him for five years. This year AB (what I call after breakdown) I had to send them to school, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was too irritable, too exhausted, too depressed.  I hate that I made that decision.  I hate that I couldn’t do what I wanted. Even though it’s been wonderful for my little one, she is thriving and has made so much progress.  But big one, he’s suffering.  And I already have ill will towards the current school.  Big one’s case manager at school has done nothing to help him with this transition. He has dropped the ball in so many ways. My son’s therapist is so angry about the whole situation.  He works at the school two days a week so he sees what’s going on there. I already feel like I am on the defensive.  If I am honest, I don’t think we will “win”.  They already lied to me at our first meeting when I said his diagnosis automatically qualifies him for an IEP, and they said that wasn’t true.  I went through this with the last school, and finally brought a copy of the statute in with me and they admitted it was true. I don’t know what will happen if they don’t do anything.  I don’t have the same fight in me I had 5 years ago.  And what REALLY sucks, is even IF we get everything we are asking for, which is very reasonable, they have 45 SCHOOL days to implement it. That’s the end of March/beginning of April. Well woohoo they won’t HAVE to do anything until the IEP is written, meaning the year will be almost over. Whole lot of good that will do. I am sick of bureaucracy, and paper trails and documenting every single thing.  

My dad is back in the hospital AGAIN, he is very cagy as to why he is there, probably to make me worry more. He calls me multiple times a day, sometimes sweet as pie, and sometimes raving and ranting about his medical care etc.  Like tonight he kept me on the phone for an hour while he ranted on and on about how the people at dialysis avoid him like the plague, they get upset when he has to use the toilet while he’s being treated.  But if you knew my dad, you would understand why they do that.  One minute he is the most charming man you would ever meet and then he turns on you unexpectedly.  He’s a narcissist, textbook case. I never know which dad I will get when I answer the phone.

And the icing on the cake?  One of my closest friends seems to have dropped me. I don’t know if it’s because I am not homeschooling, or if it’s because she’s tired of me being depressed/anxious etc. When I message with her she is short, when I saw her today she barely said two words to me.  She hasn’t said anything, it’s just a vibe I am getting.  Hubby says it’s all in my head, that I only see the worst in everything, and while that’s true, I also know my friend.  And I know I need to stop thinking about it, and obsessing about it, because there’s nothing I can do about it. And I do have a really good friend who loves me, no matter what, she is supermom.  She is raising eight kids, homeschooling them, taking them to all their activities.  She always seems so calm and chill. I want to be her when I grow up.

I know this was a downer of a post, but I can’t help it.  I am literally sick to my stomach over all of this, and mostly tomorrow.  I am having a hard time seeing past tomorrow, I am not sure how I will make it through the day. 

If you read all this – thank you, and you’re amazing.

Until next time.

Wordless…

I have no words these days.  So many things running through my head, racing thoughts, feelings of insecurity, wavering between anxiety and depression.  Perseverating on certain thoughts, unable to let go of things that hubby says are “all in my head”.

I want to write, but I just can’t find the words, there are too many thoughts- jumbled together like the roots of a plant in the earth.

So until I can come up with something to say I have this.

I found this on Facebook a couple days ago, and it struck a cord, it’s how I’ve been feeling. Left out.