Where I’ve Been…

My last post was quite a bit darker than I would normally care to share. I thought about doing a little damage control by rewriting it or completely removing it, but that post is an accurate description of how I was feeling at the time. The following week of July 12th through 18th is difficult for me to describe. None of my usual distraction methods or self-soothing practices were making a difference. The panic/fear I felt escalated to a point of feeling so out of control that I didn’t think I could trust my judgment. I was suicidal and paranoid. I went back to the crisis stabilization unit (CSU) Thursday, July 16th, and allowed them to admit me for 5 days.

I’m glad I did. Regardless of anything I’ve said in the past, I do feel a certain amount of safety and trust in the facility where I chose to get treatment. Trust is not so easily secured in my mind, so even the slightest amount of trust is something for me to celebrate.

Thankfully, medication wasn’t forced. That’s a huge relief. An attempt at a bedtime anxiety med was made; but after only one night’s dose and an incredibly groggy day followed, I needed no other reminder of what “my medicated days” were like. Medication causes me more anxiety than it helps. Period.

Like last time, this visit to CSU was a chance to STOP, catch my breath, and calm down a bit — something I was struggling to accomplish (incapable of accomplishing) at home. As it was an impulsive decision to drive myself to CSU that day, I didn’t discuss it with KR first. I feared his reaction, knowing his disapproval of mental health services, let alone being hospitalized. I left him a note telling him where I had gone and called him from CSU the following Saturday to “gauge” his reaction. As I predicted, he was angry, telling me that this, me going to CSU, was the reason he couldn’t talk to me about anything because I choose to run away.

During that phone call, I found myself apologizing again and again. I couldn’t hold back the tears as he reprimanded me for not dealing with my problems. Me crying only seemed to infuriate him more. It didn’t take long for KR’s criticisms of mental health services and me, in general, to turn to the topic of sex and how his “needs” are not being met. As I sat listening to this all too familiar tirade, while on a telephone at a crisis stabilization unit, my only thoughts were, “It’s always about sex. It’s always about sex. IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT SEX!!” I couldn’t defend myself. All I could do was cry and apologize. After I finally managed to get off of the phone, using the excuse that we were limited to brief phone calls (he had already kept me on the phone for more than 15 minutes), I recounted as much of the conversation as I could remember to the med nurse who offered an ear and gently encouraged me to talk through my panicked sobbing. I kept repeating (keep repeating even now), “It’s always about sex,” like some kind of screwed up mantra, because honestly, I feel like sex is all KR cares about — whether or not he is getting laid.

Last week, July 19th through 25th, was tense. After I returned home on the 20th, I half expected KR to kick me out; but he simply ignored me for the most part. Other than casual conversation about the garden, work, the video game he’s playing, or the latest depressing factoid going around on Facebook, we didn’t have any “meaningful” conversations. He’s still sleeping on the couch, refusing to touch me or show any form of affection. Finally, yesterday morning after KR woke up, I asked him, “Are we ever going to talk?” He agreed that we needed to; so we discussed several of the issues we’ve been having for a little over an hour, prior to him leaving for work.

Other than the common theme of sex (seriously, he’s got a one-track mind and obsesses over it), we did manage to talk about a couple of other things. For the past month, I felt like I was being punished for no other reason than being who I am. I kept asking myself, “What did I do to deserve this silence, lack of affection, and coldness?” This treatment triggered a lot of the same emotions and reactions in me as so much of the childhood confusion I experienced from my family when they did the exact same thing. That same thought, “I must deserve this,” continually filtered through my mind and thoughts. How is it possible to feel so lonely, so alone, around someone you love, who says he loves you? I have cried more in the past month than I think I have in the past 10 years. The pain is excruciating.

I told KR that I felt like I was being punished for something, but I didn’t know what. His response was, “This past month I’ve been basically… you. This past month I have been you. Doing the bare minimum to keep going.” I broke down in tears, sobbing, apologizing profusely to him because I never meant to make KR feel the way I’ve felt for the past month. And the truth is, I don’t even realize I’m doing that; but he’s right. I get stuck on auto-pilot, coasting through life, hoping for a few moments of happiness along the way. Otherwise, I’m merely surviving because I don’t know how else to “be.”

Even though I think I’ve put forth every effort in my available resources to work through many of my fears and insecurities, nothing has helped, according to KR. He sees everything I do on a daily basis as trivial and insignificant. I clean the house. I take care of the cats. I take care of all the finances — writing out monthly checks, making sure all the bills are paid, keeping a budget, and keeping track of everything we spend money on. I do all of the shopping, sometimes having to go to as many as 3 to 5 different stores just to find everything he wants or needs. I run all of the household errands. I keep up with my appointments. I do all the laundry. I run the garbage off in the trunk of my car rather than bother him to take it off in his truck. I help out with the yard work. I’ve even been cooking more to try to lighten his load some.

All of this while still trying to run 2 blogs, practice my photography and drawing skills to keep them up to par, get a few minutes of piano time in, journal daily, research topics of interest and read, practice self-care whenever I’m feeling overly anxious and triggered, and if I’m lucky, go for a much-needed hike every once in a while.

Long story, short and what I told KR — I don’t feel appreciated. I don’t feel any appreciation for all of the efforts that I do put in. I don’t feel like anything I actually do makes a difference because I constantly feel criticized. After bringing up this issue and adding how much I crave even the smallest amount of appreciation, just a simple thank you, or a hug — right there, with the mention of a hug, he stopped me, interrupted me, saying, “I’m afraid to touch you anymore,” without so much as an acknowledgment of what I was telling him I needed.

It’s the last 5 or so minutes of this conversation — which I’m choosing not to write out — that has me most upset, triggered, and wondering if perhaps, it is time to let this relationship go, not only for my own sanity but for KR’s as well. I’m not sure if two emotionally unhealthy people can have a healthy relationship. I’m not convinced that KR even wants to work any of this out. Maybe it’s too late. Maybe too much damage has been done. Or maybe these are echoes of my past that I’m projecting onto this relationship. The fact is, I don’t know; and I don’t know what else to do. Neither KR nor I know how to fix this.


 

In an attempt to figure out exactly when all of this began, the obvious answer is KR’s meltdown a month ago triggered the current wave of panic, anxiety, helplessness, and despair. But this has been going on for years. Losing SSDI most certainly threw me for a loop. Reapplying for SSDI is literally reliving that experience all over again — all of the uncertainties, the insecurities, the stress of having no financial means to support myself, feeling like a burden, not only to KR but to society as a whole, and the pressure to get over the traumas I lived through yet struggle every single day to process and recover from. The upcoming hearing date precisely one week prior to the anniversary of one of those traumas is just icing on the cake.

Excuse me while I have a complete nervous break down!


A few helpful links about PTSD:

Until this last visit to CSU, I don’t think I quite understood the impact that PTSD has had on my life or in my relationships. Prior to now, I thought, “I’ve already talked about that, dealt with it.” I had no idea that this shit would continue to affect my life so adversely, possibly for the rest of my life. Yeah, I’m becoming a bit bitter. If I ever get in touch with my anger, I’m going to ask her, “Where in the hell have you been?!

Rape. The gift that just keeps on giving!

 

 

 

 

Better Off Resolved

If anyone dared to truly listen, their horror would be as great as my own….

I wrote 3 or 4 different posts this week. I shared none. Deleted all but this one, deciding to rework it and try to make sense of how I’ve been feeling this past week. I’ve been too caught up in the negativity of my mind to gain any insight from writing lately. I rationalized, “I would only be repeating myself if I shared these thoughts and criticisms of myself with the world yet again. Complaining doesn’t change anything.” Living in constant fear and paranoia doesn’t either.

It was another very strange week. Something happened on Tuesday that I cannot write about online. It has nothing to do with me or KR; but it triggered something in me that left me filled with a fear I cannot describe — on top of all the uncertainties I’m facing in my relationship with KR right now. Terror? Horror? Not only for myself, but for a family I know only as an acquaintance, who is obviously struggling, yet making all the wrong decisions. I don’t feel safe enough to write about the details of Tuesday’s events here. I fear for my safety should I disclose any of what I witnessed, and I fear for my freedom for not having reported what I unwittingly walked into.

I’m paranoid.

I’m wondering, now, if I have good reason to feel this paranoid or if I’ve seriously nose-dived off the deep end into psychosis.

It wouldn’t be the first time.

How do I know if what I’m feeling is real? My counselor said that sometimes “feelings” lie. Is that true? How do I know if everything I’ve been feeling and experiencing for the last 2 weeks isn’t just some really screwed up flashback, triggered by KR’s meltdown? The better question is what do I do if it is?

“Maybe I should be medicated.” That thought has crossed my mind more times over the past two weeks than I care to admit. In addition to fearing KR’s reaction, I chose not to stay at the local crisis stabilization unit because the person I spoke with told me that medication would most likely be a requirement of me this time. She went on and on about how the “right” medication could make all the difference in the world. I tried finding that “right” medication for 13 years (Medications I have tried so that no one thinks I’m exaggerating here. This may not even be a complete list. These are the ones I specifically mentioned in my journals: Prozac, Paxil, Trazadone, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Lorazepam, Effexor, Seroquel, Celexa, Abilify, Lexapro, Remeron, Risperdal, Adderall, Lamictal). It was sheer hell! None helped. My counselor and I also discussed this a bit on Monday. He asked if I would be willing to at least consider speaking with one of their psychiatrists.

I don’t know anymore. 

I feel like I am in crisis.

History feels like it’s repeating itself. I feel like I’m stuck in a never-ending loop that has me questioning reality again. “Am I already dead and stuck in purgatory? When did I die? What if there is no reality at all? What is this then?” Time feels like it’s moving backwards, like my adult experiences are what influenced my childhood fears. A Benjamin Button moment. I know, it’s a “crazy” thought; but I have a hundred flavors of “crazy” in my head — all as plausible, in my mind, as the next. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I feel so lost and confused. If I’m not ruminating, I’m completely disconnected from my thoughts, an eerie silence that is truly maddening.

When I’m around KR, I’m disconnected from him, too. We’re not communicating. He’s still sleeping on the couch. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around him. I feel like a ghost in this house, so far displaced from my mind that I feel beside myself, out of my mind — literally — watching “me” close as a hawk, go through the motions of daily routines, whispering, “Get up. Let’s get a shower. You’ve been sitting a while; let’s move around. Time to start dinner. Careful with that knife. Watch the oven door; it’s hot.” Or I simply sit, doing nothing. This is more than the inability to feel pleasure and lost interest in usual pleasurable activities. It’s like being frozen in time, completely numb to my emotions and surroundings.

need peace and quiet. I need safety and stability. I need to feel secure in my surroundings and relationships with other people. This depression has offered very little relief over the past 3 and a half years. The anxiety is relentless. Last night, I tried to make myself attend a free movie night at one of our local history museums; but somewhere between here and there, panic took over. I parked my car outside the ER, waited 15 minutes sitting in my car, then turned around and went back home! WHY do I do this crap?!

All the times I’ve ever considered taking my own life, I thought, “This world would be better off without me.” Somehow, that thought has changed to, “I would be better off without this world.” I can change nothing. Maybe I am in the midst of psychosis and not thinking clearly; but I’m resolved. I have nothing left to give. I am emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. I cannot continue expressing my despair and hopelessness with the expectation that someone, anyone, might save me from myself. Ultimately, I am the only person who can save me. I just don’t want to. I want to give up, relinquish my right to live. The emotional pain is too unbearable. I’m numb from fear and terror. I’m out of my mind with loss and grief. I’m imploding in anger and rage. And isolation holds me captive in despair. There’s no escaping this cyclone of emotion that drowns me, suffocates the life right out of me. This physical body is all that’s left to purge….

And yet, I continue to hold on despite it all.

I think I may need to be hospitalized.

I think for the remainder of the night, or at least until KR gets home (if he comes home tonight) I will learn to play this song on the piano. I desperately need a fight song.

My Week in Review

Determination took over yesterday. I called the mental health center back to schedule an appointment with a counselor. I ended up calling several times because the first time, I got the answering service again. The second and third times, they dropped the call. The fourth time they told me since it hadn’t been a year, I didn’t need a first time appointment, just to call the front desk. They transferred the call there. The woman at the front desk told me I had to see my previous therapist again because he was the last person I saw there. If he chooses to refer me to someone else, that’s up to him; but I have to see him first! Why didn’t my case manager tell me this? I panicked, remembering my last visit with this therapist in January and the email I sent him back in April. I told her, “I’ll pass,” and hung up.

Again, the panic sent me reeling as I ran through my options and how I’ve been feeling over and over again in my head. I broke down and sent my previous therapist an email telling him what the front desk told me. I honestly didn’t expect him to respond, let alone schedule an appointment with me; but he did. He said he would set aside some time for me on Monday morning.

It’s going to be a long weekend.

KR has tomorrow off of work due to the holiday. Even after a week of this, he’s still in an awfully foul mood. He’s still sleeping on the couch. I never told him to sleep on the couch. He chose to himself. Last Saturday, he left the house around 1:30 pm (with the remainder of his 24 pack of beer he bought the night before) and didn’t bother coming home until sometime Sunday morning. I have no idea where he spent the night. I thought it best not to ask out of fear of another episode. I didn’t know whether I should be worried, pissed, or indifferent. I chose to express indifference, yet I felt incredibly sad.

I’m more hurt than angry over everything KR said and did last Wednesday night and worried over the extreme changes in his behavior. He’s drinking far more alcohol than I am comfortable with. For a solid year, now, he’s had alcohol in the house every weekend. That can’t possibly be good for him, physically or emotionally. His despair about his life and the hopelessness that he expressed during his meltdown make me wonder just how bad his depression actually is. The main points I remember about the issues he brought up during his meltdown were the usual — he’s not getting enough sex and he wants a child of his own to raise. In regard to the sex issue, KR literally said to me:

“It makes it harder on me when I do run into somebody that shows some kind of interest in that way and I can’t do anything about it. I don’t want to do anything about it because I shouldn’t have to go out there to get something that I should be getting here.”

When I hear him say things like this, I feel like sex is all I’m good for to him. That my only worth is as a whore, especially with the “things” he expects me to do that I’m not comfortable with. When I hear him say things like this, I feel like his misery is my fault. He said I make him feel unattractive due to my lack of affection. I wasn’t raised with much affection; so I’m not good at showing it, especially when feeling as triggered and stressed as I have over the last 2 or 3 years. It’s really hard to show love when I feel like if I even touch him, he expects sex. This has been an issue for so long that the pressure is overwhelming.

All week, he has barely acknowledged my presence, let alone speak to me or show any type of affection. Maybe that’s a mirrored reaction. It’s been more than tense. We’re simply not communicating. WHY?? My guess is he’s still mad at me for being me. I don’t know what else to do other than “fake it” and pretend everything is okay while in his presence. I’ve gotten so good at this that I can even fool myself for brief periods of time. I wonder if that’s what leads to dissociation? In addition to dissociating, my startle reflex is completely exaggerated. I’ve had a few nightmares and the flashbacks are intense. I feel like a complete basket case — cycling between suicidal thoughts, delusions, and paranoia. This goes far beyond simply feeling overly sensitive and insecure. I’m a mess.


 

Today, I was determined to give myself a break, if only for a couple of hours. I went to see a movie at the local movie theater, Inside OutI had heard nothing about this movie until this afternoon when I read an article about it on Newsweek’s website and watched the trailer (below). First, let me say, I haven’t been to a movie theater since the summer of 2005 — 10 years ago! This was truly a very special treat for me. I don’t want to give away anything about the film, but I definitely have to recommend it to anyone who struggles with their emotions. It’s an exceptional film! Maybe I was just overly emotional today; but I cried during the Pixar short, Lava, at the beginning of the movie. It reminded me of Hawaii and triggered “lost love” in me rather than “finding love” as the short depicted. I couldn’t help myself as the tears streamed down my face. Maybe I just needed a good cry because I also cried during the film.


With it being a long weekend, I doubt I’ll be back on here until Monday or Tuesday. I don’t get much time for doing things like blogging while KR is home….