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Now the hard work begins

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by Duckysmom » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:17 pm

Saw my tdoc today. And the hard work begins. We talked about the dreams I've been having that keep waking me up. She, like me, believes it is my PTSD and not my meds, but did suggest I mention it to my pdoc anyway, when I see him. But she was very astute at interpreting some of them even though she claimed to not be very good at dream analysis and sometimes dreams have no meaning and are just nonsensical.

The conversation turned to all the trauma I've experienced my entire life, some of which I am just remembering now. It's kind of rushing at me all at once, whole parts of my life that wete a blank slate in my mind. I disassociated so much for so long that I think I'm in shock. My tdoc believes that now that I am stable again, my subconscious is telling me it's time to deal with the damage.

The goal is to take it slow, one thing at a time, not rock my stability by pushing too hard. Homework assignment. Keep journalling my thoughts, my dreams that I remember and my moods. And I have to write a letter to one of my abusers to bring in to our next session. She told me not to think to hard about what I wanted to say, just say it. And no I'm not sending the letter out to the person. It's just an exercise for me to have my say and work through it. One thing at a time. This is the first and I'm scared to death of it. I don't want to bring back those feelings. I'd like to say it's over and done and move on. Problem is disassociating from it has made moving on from it impossible. I'm 53. I guess it's about time. I guess I have to face it. But I don't want to.

Don't know that I'm asking a question. Just some words of encouragement and support. We all do things we don't want to do, but make us better people, right?
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by Spm24 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:25 pm

Ducky I have no experience dealing with PTSD but I can imagine that it has to be very stressful to deal with. I am sure you will be able to handle this as long as you take it slowly and only work at it at a nice gentle pace. But you have handled coming back to stability very well so I am sure you will handle this just as well...Hug
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by hal » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:35 pm

You have a good therapist!

I had a lot of conflict with my dad, mostly kept within myself. The relationship improved after I grew up, but a lot was left unfinished (because we lived far apart) when he died fairly young. So a therapist asked to write down an imagined conversation if we could talk now. I found that very helpful.
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by AvantGarde » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:03 pm

Same thing happened to me a few months back, was having all the symptoms of CPTSD and both my pdoc and tdoc wanted me to focus on therapy, they even lowered my meds in May to subside the numbness of emotions in order for me to feel properly.

Weighing 20kg more than what I used to weigh 3 years ago wasn't helping either, I had a lot of self-loathing going on, couldn't even look at myself in the mirror. My tdoc asked me a few questions, and I realized that all my exs used to complain when I gained just a kilo or two, but I was so thin, I weighted 45kg to 47kg. That changed my perception about my body. I just can't seem to feel good about myself in any kind of weight. So, now I'm learning how to appreciate myself despite of what others think or say. In just three months, I'm able to look at myself in the mirror again. I think that's amazing. I'm eating well and healthy, exercising practically every day in order to feel well in my own body. I am my body too.

Emotionally, it's been a wild ride, I don't know if I'll ever get trully healed from this. I honestly think I won't completely, but maybe I'm just being pessimistic. It started just a few months ago and it takes years, so I should be more patient. Seems like I jump from one problem to the next and keep going in circles, despite having small strides. It's a slow project. But my tdoc reassures me there is progress, that things will get better for me and that I will be able to overcome the issues, even if not the problem itself since what's done is done. A great deal of it is not allowing myself to feel too sorry for myself, all in small quantities. There's is room to feel sorry for myself sometimes, but I can't allow myself to feel it all the time. I learned that in PTSD forums, had to leave them.

Then there's the anger. It's healthy to feel it, but I feel guilty about being angry. My tdoc wants me to get angrier, that I'm too passive. I keep telling him I spent half my life angry at people, and acting accordingly. I don't want that anymore. He says there's a healthy output of anger somewhere inside me. I'm starting to find it, so I guess that's progress. But sometimes the anger becomes unbearable. The more I remember the angrier I feel. Mindfulness helps a lot with this.

Then it seems like CPTSD is the root of all other issues and they all come out to play, like it happened recently. That part really sucks, we need all the strenght we can have.

Well, I'm just sharing how the last few months have been for me. This is all fairly common, that's why I'm sharing. It will certainly be different for you, but the symptoms I bet will be similar.

Word of advice, I wouldn't start any kind of trauma therapy without laying the foundation of coping mechanisms first. I don't know if your therapist did that, I hope he did, but it's very important and they sometimes think we're strong enough to take it because we deal with so much already. They forget we are more sensitive because of BP, it can trigger a serious depression if we don't know how to handle it, it's not their fault. My tdoc did that and then we had to wait for a while, just discussing coping mechanisms every week.

I think writting letters is extremelly benefitial, I already wrote some myself. One to my mom another to myself as a child. It helped a lot, hopefully it will help you too. Good luck :)

You're really strong, Ducky. It's natural to feel afraid, but I bet you're feeling that itch to get on with it and solve the problem. Just don't rush it. Patience is the mother of all virtues in trauma therapy :lol: That's what I heard anyway :lol:

It will certainly help us, and indeed make us better people.

I also want to remind you that you already do so much in putting boundaries to others intreference of your well being, from your daughter to Auntie, you've been handling things extremelly well. I am and I'm sure all of us that have been with you in this journey are all very proud of you. You've grown a lot and that's amazing.

Love you, girl.
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by libellula » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:45 am

[quote="Duckysmom"] I disassociated so much for so long that I think I'm in shock. My tdoc believes that now that I am stable again, my subconscious is telling me it's time to deal with the damage.

Duckysmom, by reading this post, I felt like struck by lightning. Through your experience I understand now that my present dissociation to all my problems has its roots in that far period of my life that I'm not ablte to deal with. I prefert to run away...I have to face it but I don't want.

All my support and understanding
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by Duckysmom » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:05 am

Thank you all for the support and understanding. Yes, AG, we have been wofking on coping skills while I was working my way back to stability and with Bill's help, I have been practicing them successfullt without reverting back to old habits.
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by AvantGarde » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:49 am

That's great, I'm sure you'll do just fine :)
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by Mocha » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:57 am

Ducky, I honestly thought I had already posted on your thread.... :oops:

I just love it when I do the hard work in therapy even though it can be painful and scary as hell. I know that sounds weird, but that's when we can grow the most. I agree with everyone else who has posted and am so proud of you, especially after the year you've had.


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by Duckysmom » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:21 am

Thank you, Mocha, for the words of encouragement. I have really been blessed with all the support I have in my life now, including BPS.

I was thinking last night that this really is the right time. I couldn't have done the trauma therapy before. I just didn't have the support system I have now. Before my dx, I was still being victimized. My daughter's father was (is?) an alcoholic, verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive. Only got physical once, but the police were called and that never happened again. My next marriage was just about the same. I was dx during that marriage and fought my way to stability on my own. He was very controlling and narcissistic, even hid my meds once, to set me back, which was the last straw and I left him. (I was easier to control when I was unstable. He hated me going to therapy, which was mostly centered around why I was putting up with his shit and how to handle my rebellious daughter.

I started my homework assignment last night. Bill is out of town and Auntie went to bed, so I had the quiet and privacy to delve into a very difficult task. Don't know if I'm done yet. I have to go back and read what I wrote to see if I forgot anything. Is that a bad idea? I'm afraid I might change things to not sound so bad. You know, that old disassociation thing. Old coping mechanism that I need to throw out now. It was a tough letter to write, but I found some small measure of peace. Hard to get to sleep with those memories and feelings floating around in my head and my heart. Really felt like my heart was breaking in a million pieces. I meditated for longer than usual, eventually fell asleep, and amazingly slept through the night with no bad dreams (that I remember anyway). Feeling rested this morning, if a bit sad. But still stable. It didn't rock my world like I was afraid it would.

Sitting outside with my coffee, cigarettes and dogs waiting for Auntie to wake up. It's peaceful, looking out at the forest behind my house, listening to the birds chatter. Calming, relaxing, the world feels like a safe place right now. And there's a part of me missing, a part I didn't need that weighed me down. Does that sound odd?
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by Spm24 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:43 am

No it does not sound odd. It sounds like your getting rid of some negativity that you don't need in your life. Seems that this is the right time to do this. Keep up the good work. Hope that Auntie behaves herself while Bill is away.
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by Pancake » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:34 am

Kicking goals there DM. Hard task, glad you are feeling rested afterward.

I'm afraid I might change things to not sound so bad.

You can't now, even if you do you'll know you've done it. Insight goes and messes that up :D
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by Duckysmom » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:15 pm

I did go back and read what I wrote. And added to it. Didn't change anything except the college English major in me corrected all my punctuation and grammatical errors. A little OCD maybe? :lol:

Bill came home early. He said he was worried about me because he knew I wasn't doing well when he left. It was so good to feel his hug. I let him read the letter. Other than wanting to kick someone's ass, he was very sensitive and supportive. It gave him a glimpse of my PTSD - where it comes from and why I shut down sometimes.

Tired. Going to bed now. And it feels like I will have a good sleep.

Oh, and Auntie was very polite and actually sweet to me while he was gone. A turn around maybe?
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by Spm24 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:28 pm

Must have felt wonderful when Bill came home early because he was worried about you.

I go back and look at my posts and correct spelling. So is no big deal that you did. I hate seeing mistakes that I have made.

Glad Auntie was good for you today.
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by Duckysmom » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:22 pm

Wow! I just have to say, Wow, I have the world's greatest boss! I had to leave work early on Friday because I could not focus. Just memories and feelings overwhelming me. He is aware of my BP and PTSD so I was comfortable telling him what was going on, that my PTSD was kicking in and I couldn't focus at all. He told me to go take care of myself.

This morning I went into his office to thank him for his understanding and tell him I would make up my time by working from home in the evenings. I not only got a comforting hug, but told to bring my journal in to write in when I felt the inability to focus because getting the thoughts rolling around in my head out might ease it and help me get back to focusing on my work. He asked if there was anything else he could do to help me learn to cope at work because I do a great job and he wants very much for me to succeed and feel good about my abilities.

He has a daughter with developmental and mental health issues so he understands more than any other boss I ever had. He's just a really caring person and a great cheerleader. And he doesn't hold back on giving me projects, even difficult ones, becsuse he knows I am capable. He gave me three today!

So all I can say is Wow! I feel like I won the lottery!
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by Pancake » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:57 pm

You go girl (:
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by hal » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:25 pm

That is really touching. It might even make you feel reluctant to be promoted away from this boss! There are worse things than not being promoted, a truth I never learned.
. . . all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone.
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by papillon » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:33 am

Hi Duckysmom, I am new to this forum and just wanted to let you know I was touched by the chapter of your story I walked into. Such a brave woman you are, surviving these powers you couldn’t possibly control, and fighting your way back now, even to the point that you’re able to let the loving people around you carry you. I hope you can feel proud of yourself, because I know it takes a great deal of strength to try and trust again. Hope to speak to you soon.
I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that won't work. (Edison)
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by Spm24 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:35 am

You have a wonderful boss one in a million. Not many would understand or even care about what you have to deal with..
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by Duckysmom » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:17 pm

Saw my tdoc today and turned in my homework. The letter I had to write. She read it out loud because she wanted me to hear my own words coming from someone else, to see my reactions and to stop and discuss points along the way, giving me both comfort and her points of view, explaining certain things to me, like my disassociation and ambivalence about this particular person. It was a tough session.

We have now set weekly appointments for the next month to work on this. But then she gave me another assignment, another letter, same person, focusing on the anger I'm still resisting. Don't know if I can do that. Trying to not think about it really. But I'll work on it this weekend to hand in on Monday.

Funny thing was, when she finished the letter, I'm crying my eyes out and she says, "So eloquent, so articulate. You should be a writer." And I laughed and told her that I used to make up stories and write stories and poems and prose. But I lost that somewhere along the way. She said, "Well, we're going to help you find it again. We just have to get through all this muck first, and we'll do that together."

If your still with me, I have to add that something amazing happened tonight. I came home all puffy eyed and feeling broken in two. Sat down for dinner with Auntie and Bill with my best mask on, talking about work and chit chatting, pretending everything was fine. Bill got up to start clearing the table. Typically, Auntie would retire to her recliner in the living room and I would have made some excuse to go upstairs to be alone. But Auntie reached out her hand to mine and asked me if my therapy helps or hurts because she could see I had been crying and my eyes looked sad (besides puffy and red). I was a bit taken aback. Stunned for a moment. Then, I said, "Both." And then we had an hour long conversation about PTSD and the healing process and she asked very gentle, non-prying questions. At the end, she said it was none of her business but if I ever needed to talk or just cry on someone, she would be there for me. I'm still stunned. This woman has made my life miserable for over a year, gotten better, been polite lately, even sweet sometimes, but I never expected her to open her heart to me that way. WOW!
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by Spm24 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:43 pm

Sounds like a very productive session for you.

You can do your next letter. You thought you couldn't do this letter but you did.

People can change for the better which it sounds like Auntie is doing. So hope it continues for the better. Never underestimate human compassion...
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by AvantGarde » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:56 pm

That's great Ducky, on the session and Auntie. Kinda surprised about Auntie too, but trauma is more relatable than bp, so maybe she has had her own traumas as well.

Hang tight for the feelings that will come up writing this next letter.
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