Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘Posttraumatic stress disorder’

Some Things Done, Some Left to Do; About the Same as Usual

So, I finally have got a replacement car.  Spent several days going to dealerships for cars I saw the night before, but when I got there, they were already sold.  So I didn’t end up with a Toyota or a Honda, but I did manage to get a silver Ford Taurus (2003) that is almost immaculate inside and out.  Seems to run well-no weird sounds, or feels, or sights.  Hopefully its in as good shape under the hood as it seems.

And I have also finally squared away where we will be moving to later this month.  The lease hasn’t been signed yet, have to wait til the unit becomes actually available.  But I have put down the deposit and hold money, and my application was accepted.  The next big task will be carrying off the move and cleaning out the old apartment.  Right after that school will start again.  Whew!  Then, back to the strict routines, getting up early, going to bed early (for me)

But as good as it feels to have these two big jobs completed, there are already more on the horizon, starting with school resuming.  In therapy, every time I think I have finished something, and let it go, it seems it comes up in the context of something I am just starting on again.  So, I kinda thought I had moved past my friend, B, and past lots of things with my ‘mom’.  But in one way or another, they both keep popping up again when I start on something new.  And others do too.

My daughter, who sees the same therapist that I see, has been working on focus.  I’ve always known she is always flighty, always distracted, forever leaving bits of herself all around everywhere she goes.  And I’ve known she’s got a big, wonderful heart, infectious joie d’vivre, more compassion, more loyalty, more feelings in her little toe than anyone else has in their entire being.  And I’ve known she’s smart, and clever and funny and kind and loving.  But always slipping up and down in her grades, and struggling to get things done.  Well, it turns out that our therapist wanted to try EMDR with her, but her lack of focus and concentration has made it impossible to do any EMDR at all.  The therapist, A, has tried all the various methods of EMDR, and my daughter can’t focus on it long enough to make it work.  So, A has talked with both of us that my daughter should probably be tested for ADHD/ADD.  Which I am totally fine with.  I just can’t afford all the co-pays (R, her dad, is supposed to pay 85% of them, but I have to pay for it up front and he reimburses me sometime later).  I am going to see about having her school request the testing, which they will then pay for.  But the process takes longer and involves more paperwork.  Part of feels like I must be the one responsible for my daughter having problems, having PTSD, having ADHD, having depression.  I know I know it is not  my fault, and yet I can’t get past the fact that if she needs all this help, then I must have done something really wrong somewhere along the way.

Meanwhile, my Emotional Service Animal, aka my dog, Sunshine, is losing a little more ground every few weeks.  It started with her left front leg becoming weak and unable to support her fully when walking.  She subsequently adapted by developing a pronounced limp to accommodate that leg.  I took her to the vet, we tried several different meds, all of which worked somewhat, but whose side effects were simply intolerable.  So, I decided as long as she was still happy and healthy and excited to walk, that a limp was ok.  However recently, she has also become weak in her hind legs, moreso in the right.  This changes her gait to a kind of stagger+limp, and when something as simple as her back toenails hitting the ground a bit unevenly, she just kind of slowly crumples to the ground in a laying position, and then can’t quite figure what happened or how to get up.  Sometimes, all she needs is verbal prodding to get ‘up’, but others, I have to actually lift her hind end up and place it in a standing position and then she can start again.  Sometimes, she seems to be in another world and no matter what I do, I can’t make her move again.  Then, I have to carry her like a barrel.

And, just to top things off, apparently the ’78 T-Bird I bought my son for his first car, is about to bite the dust as well.  I knew it wasn’t any peach when I got it, but I did expect it to last at least year or so.  After dumping money into it repeatedly to fix this and then that, it turns out that now there is something wrong in the actual heart of the engine.  Diagnosing this would mean they would have to tear down and then rebuild the engine, or, pull the engine and drop in another.  Either way, the job is way too big for the car.  We’ll be better off buying a different junker than putting anymore into this one.  I really got screwed on this car.  And because of that, I’m gonna be letting my son down just as soon as the car stops running.

All in all, despite the tasks, the difficulties, some end up completed, some never are or will be, and I guess this is just life.  Right now, at this moment, with these challenges, things aren’t too bad.  I’m feeling ok, I’m managing to do what I need to and still be ok at the end of the day.  Despite my kids’ issues and problems, desires and needs, I think they are mostly ok.  And late at night, when the day is done, I think things are ok right now for all of us.


Safe: What It Means To Me

This post may be *Triggering*

This post may be *Triggering*

I think, most of the time, my ideas on Safety are not the same as most ‘normal’ people.

I finally realized, with a jolt, that to me safety means not being treated badly by the people in my life.  I realized that my late Dad was the only one in my life who never treated me badly.  Safety also means not being in fear of something that could happen.  When I am afraid of the power being shut off, I am not safe.  When I don’t feel safe, either of something or someone, I am under so much stress that I am triggered.  I am triggered in my Bipolar sense, and in my PTSD sense and sometimes in my DID sense.  When I am not safe, those are the results/actions/consequences.  I am working on learning to react appropriately, to not be triggered.

But I don’t know if I can keep going on like I have been.  I am always afraid.  I am never safe.  And with my special brand of bad luck, things never work out.  I really really believe that something has to change to make life tolerable.  Every day is such torture.  I want to just be safe.

For me, this means I really want be put in a mental health group home, or assisted living for mental health.  I just need to feel, to know, that I am safe.  Safe from people treating my abusively, safe from things that could happen (realistic fears, especially with my kind of bad luck).  I want to know my residence won’t be taken from me, or my food.  I want to know the people around me (staff, other residents) won’t hurt me.  I just want so badly to be safe for once in my life.  No matter how hard I have tried, I have never been safe.

And I feel such a relief thinking that I could be safe.  But I also feel like I am ‘a loser’ for wanting that, or ‘lazy’ for wanting that, or just worthless if I can’t manage to take care of myself  and meet my own needs.  I had a therapist 5 years ago (when I was going thru a major meltdown, divorce and custody battle, and job loss) who told me I would regret being placed in a group home, because I am too well.  I was really really not well when he said this.  And it just made me think I was being a baby, being lazy, wanting to be in a group home.  But I recently told  my current therapist that this is still what I think would be best.  And this time, I got agreement.  She agrees that it would be best for me and she said she will talk with my mental health clinic case manager (who is the one who would put in motion and follow it until the clinic made a decision) to see if she can recommend that I be placed.   I feel so relieved just after this conversation–even tho nothing has even been initiated yet.  And I also still feel that I must be lazy, a failure as a human being, to even think about wanting this.

So, kinda, safe means to me to be in a place where I know physically, financially, and emotionally, I will be safe.  Maybe, if I do this thing, move into a group home, I will finally be safe for the first time in my life.  Maybe, it will be the first time since I was 8, that I won’t have to consider dying every day, as the only way to be safe.  Maybe I’m wrong, and I really am a failure as a person, a parent.  But it still seems that this would be the right place even if that’s true.

Feelings? What Feelings?

why cant i feel?  all through EMDR so far i have never once made a connection with emotion appearing and connecting with the issue i was thinking of during the EMDR.  it has always been a very dry, clean, process.  i think of something, we do EMDR, and i come to a new (for me) conclusion, then another and another, until i reel that the issue is resolved, where i dont have any negative or bad feelings when thinking of it.  when i dont feel regret anymore, or revulsion, of hurt or when my body stops being tense or tight or painful.

apparently part of why i sabotage myself has to do with the fact that i dont feel.  i mean, i guess i probably feel somewhere, but its so deep, so removed, mostly i just have only minute and superficial dealings with it.  the kinds of interaction like where you smile when your kid hugs you, or when you see something on a tv show, or look at a birthday or friendship card.  not the deep, real, true feelings.  those kinds of interactions are so buried they are for all intents and purposes, nonexistent.

i guess i am supposed to figure out how to find them.  then find out how to make sense of what i find.  i mean, to me, thats like finding a book in a foreign language or in glyphs and you dont know the topics or where one part ends and another begins.  so supposing i ever find the real emotions, what do i do then?  how do i make it connect with me like it should?  will interpreting these buried emotions really lead to less dissociation?  to less self-sabotage?  will it really help me live, not stagnate?  this seems like a really big job, especially without a map.  i could spend forever looking for them, and still never understand or connect to them.  i am overwhelmed just pondering this new journey.

What Do I Do Now?

This post is not about any problems or troubles, or anything of the usual sort.  It seems today I find myself in the position of not knowing what to do now that I have dealt with a lot of my issues.  Now, I am not sure what to do or how to incorporate these resolved issues into the person who has been ill and not feeling well because of them.  I kind of had it in the back of my head that I would spontaneously or magically feel better when the problems had been dealt with.  Apparently, that is not how it works.  I still feel the same as I did before I worked through these issues.  But shouldn’t I feel, oh, I don’t know, happier?  lighter? relieved?  And shouldn’t I no longer be triggered?  or reactive? to things I always have been that are related to the issues now solved?  But the triggers aren’t gone, I am still reacting to them.  So, what do I need to do to cause myself to be changed in some way (positively, I hope!) that will reflect my new truimphs and victories over these issues?  To make myself be in some way different than the self that has always been, the self that has been traumatized and abused and triggered?  I want to feel better, feel more positive, have more energy, and enjoy life.  So now, what do I do to reap the benefits of working through my issues?  How do I apply this success and change how I feel?

I have been in therapy, mostly just processing therapy, for over 10 years.  The last year has been much more productive therapy as I’ve been using EMDR to work through my memories and issues.  I’m about done with the EMDR, which should mean that I feel better somehow.  But I just seem stuck and unable to incorporate or apply the new information into my brain.  I’m still feeling the same depressed, still occassionally thinking about suicide, still tired and lethargic, still not able to cope with doing any kind of thing full time, like a job or school.  When do I start improving?  When do I get well?

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