One of my biggest challenges has been taking showers. There were countless times where my father fondled me while washing my hair. I came to hate showers and associated them with pain and anxiety. And the fear and anxiety led to what I call the 3 minute shower. In and out just as fast as you can.
I’ve been struggling with shower issues for years. I finally buckled down and got my fears under control. It took a lot of time. I started by just standing in the shower, fully clothed, for increasing amounts of time. Once I felt comfortable there, I moved to standing in the showers with no clothes on. That was really hard. But with time, I was able to be in the shower for increasing amounts of time.
Then it came time for actual showers. This brought back the panic full force. I just had to power through it. Now, I was doing all this in the daylight. Nighttime was nearly impossible. So once I finally got comfortable with showers longer than three minutes I started back at the beginning, but after dark.
It feels like the entire process took f0rever. Now it’s to the point where there isn’t any anxiety surrounding the shower.
Creating a Dialogue With Your Inner Young Child
From: Cathryn L. Taylor M.A. The Inner Child Workbook
1. What is her favorite food?
Fried chicken. But only her grandmother’s chicken.
2. What is the activity she would most like to do?
Read. She could read all day and all night.
3. Has she done this before? Is so , what happened? If not, ask why.
She reads all the time. Her favorite book is still Green Eggs and Ham. But now she can read it on her own.
4. Ask her to tell you about her fear of being blamed and criticized or of doing or saying something wrong.
She is always afraid of doing something wrong. She’s terrified she’ll bring home a bad mark on a school paper even though she’s only in Kindergarten. She’s terrified that she’ll be taken to the orphanage for real this time. She’s afraid of messing up her dances. She doesn’t want to disappoint Miss R.
5. Does she feel overly responsible? Why?
Always. B was just born. She’s supposed to take care of him when mom is drunk.
6. What does she need most from you?
She needs me to understand that she wasn’t a bad kid. She was a good kid in a bad situation.
I’m exhausted now. I’ll try to finish the remaining questions in the near future.
I don’t know what to do anymore. I tried to get into the agency that I saw before. They take Medicaid. Just not my version of Medicaid. Then don ‘t advertise that you take Medicaid. That pisses me off more than anything. If I had known that I could have put the energy into finding someone who does.
It seriously took all my mental energy to call this place. I’m sitting here shaking like a leaf, about ready to throw up. I want to cry, but I’m determined not to.
Maybe I’m taking this all too seriously and personally. But I can’t help it. I know I need this. It’s just disheartening.
I should just go jump off a bridge.
Or maybe just some of it. OK, probably none of it.
My brain is utterly fried. I don’t know what to blame it on… constant stress, depression, anxiety, fibro. All of the above, maybe?
I guess if you want to look on the plus side, my PTSD symptoms are pretty much nonexistent aside from anxiety and a wicked startle response. But I’m bone tired. Like stay in bed all day bone tired. And my bones hurt from the cold. Spring can’t come soon enough for me.
My doc started me on a muscle relaxant at night. While that’s a good thing (I think since I’m not waking up with spasms in my back and legs) my muscles seem to clamp down even harder during the day. I could barely straiten my back yesterday.
I’ve applied for my state’s medicaid program. I’m trying to figure out what the next step with them is. The website isn’t exactly clear. I guess I need to go in person. Luckily for me, there’s an office in the city I live in. It’s just a depressing place to go. I’ve already found out that my current PCP doesn’t take medicaid. Bad because I hate getting established with a new doctor. Good because, well, to be honest, I didn’t really like my PCP to begin with. On the other hand, who knows. The new one could be worse. And all this is stressing me out too.
I think the only thing keeping me sane is my kitties. I’m house/cat sitting for someone this week. Their kitty loves me. He always wants to be on top of me, kneading me. And damn it. It hurts. I can only put him down so many times before he gets more insistent. Oh well. It’s only for a few more days and then I’ll be back with my mostly non cuddly kitties.
Today has been one of those days where I just don’t want to exist. Dr. P was slightly assholish for the first time. He told me to look up ACT which, by the paper he showed me, looks like a combo of CBT and DBT. I seriously didn’t need that today.
I went grocery shopping which almost pushed me over the edge. At least it was pretty empty as it was only 9:30.
For some reason I wanted pancakes, so I bought the stuff to make them. But making them left me so exhausted that I couldn’t really enjoy them.
On the way home on the bus, I spotted a furniture store and got off there. I managed to order the platform for my bed using my broken Korean and a lot of pointing. Unfortunately I ordered the wrong size.
I came home and took a nap. I could barely get out of bed because I had spams in my lower back. And of course it was too late to go see Dr. K, the ortho.
The delivery people came and as I was trying to clear stuff out, I tripped on the bed frame and banged up my leg pretty damn well. I also did something to my left shoulder.
Now I sit here crying. I have no desire to even contemplate dinner. I’d go get a hamburger or something but walking three flights of steps again doesn’t seem like a really good idea.
I’m just so tired of all of this. I wish I had a magic wand to take it all away. And it looks like it’s going to rain the next couple of days. Just wonderful.
I’m going to take my meds now and hopefully sleep. Because I really am tired to the bone.
On preview, I don’t know how much weight I lost, but when I got up to go to the bathroom I just pulled my jeans down. I thought I had unbuttoned them when I took a nap. Nope. They just pull right down over my hips. And these are jeans that were slightly tight when I bought them in September. Not that I’m complaining about that or anything.
Blah is the only word to describe it. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the job hunt or what. I’m tired. All I want to do is veg in bed. My infectious disease doc gave me permission to do just that. But I feel guilty if I’m not up and around.
I don’t want to cuddle with the kitties, I just want to put a shell up around myself. My knee still hurts and walking any great distance leads to pain. I know I should get on top of the PT stuff but it seems like it will just take too much energy.
At this point I’m babbling because I have no real reason for feeling like this.
I’m gonna take my meds and head off to bed. I’m definitely anxious right now so the Klonopin will help.
Yeah. Not my favorite day of the year. But it’s not as bad this year as in the past, even though I’m home rather than on the other side of the globe. I don’t have the energy for the symptoms. It’s like my brain and body have made a truce. My brain will leave me alone so my body can finish healing.
You know, even having finished counseling years ago, I feel closer to making peace with my past. I can’t change it. It’s always going to be there, but that was then and this is now. I don’t mean to say things will always be peachy keen. But I can keep moving forward.
I’m looking forward to moving to Hong Kong, but part of me wants a regular old job here in the states. One that will give me health insurance so I don’t have this stress I’m going through right now. I love teaching, but with my student loan debt going back to school isn’t an option. I don’t know. I get more confused as I think about it.
I just don’t know. I think I’m going through some PTSD regression stuff. I’m having shower and bed issues. I’ve been sleeping on the couch downstairs. I say it’s because it’s too hot in my room, but really, I don’t want anything to do with my room.
I’m having trouble staying med compliant. I rarely take my sleep meds. I still sleep, but with so much REM it’s not refreshing. Pain meds… not the best at taking them either. I feel like I deserve to be in pain.
It’s not easy to sit here and write this. I can’t put things into words right now. I can’t concentrate on anything, in fact I’ve lost interest in my Fortran course and learning the ins and outs of XCode (I’m back on a Mac).
I wish I could throw up. It would make me feel better I think. My stomach is all churned up again, probably because I’m not taking those meds like I should be. I’m not sure how long I’m going to last in the states. It’s been a month and I feel like I’m losing my marbles.
The face in the mirror (both physical and mental) is obviously distorted. I got my recommendation letter from my old old boss this evening. I laughed aloud when I read it. I mean no disrespect to C, but the way she saw me is not the way I saw myself. I remember this happening once before when getting letters for grad school. Even though I checked the box on the form waiving my right to read them, every single one of my professors put a copy in my hand and said read it, but not now. When you’re home. I laughed myself silly. How could these people that I respected, and even worked with on research think this way of me.
I thought I had put that behind me. I thought I had grown a bit of self esteem. But all I can think is who is this letter about? Can’t be me. I’m just you’re average everyday run of the mill teacher. There’s nothing excellent or outstanding about it. Part of me wants to edit it to make it reflect the real me. But at the moment, I don’t know who the real me is. Is the woman in the letter or is the woman I look at in the mirror every day?
Speaking of which, I do see changes, especially with the dental work. But I wouldn’t describe myself as pretty. It always bugged me when my last boss pointed out I had a pretty face. Or, pretty by Korean standards (pale skin and blue eyes). I printed out one of my hanbok pictures and gave it to my dentist because it’s the first picture I’m smiling in. He and his wife think I look like Renee Zellweger. I don’t know what to think.
All I know is I was at the dentist 3 hours today and the Novocaine is wearing off leaving my mouth and body screaming in pain (yay for sunny and 55 to 40 and rainy overnight). My dentist loaned me a Robin Cook book that I haven’t read yet (Chromosome 6) so I’m going to climb in bed with two fuzzy body warmers.
I’ve been having urinary retention issues. Why? Who knows. Could have something to do with the handful of pills every day.
So after not going to the bathroom for 12 hours and getting a liter of saline, I was an unhappy camper. The resident told the nurse to drain my bladder with a catheter. Not fun, but I had it done before (side effect of anesthesia for me when I had back surgery). It was unpleasant and brought back memories loud and clear. I kept my eyes open and that helped keep me grounded. After three or four times of doing this, and it getting harder for me each time to keep myself in the present, the resident decided on a catheter that would stay in. I thought I could deal with it. I didn’t realize that my body wasn’t going to habituate to this thing inside of me. I could feel it constantly and it hurt. I was on the edge of panic when the nurse came to check and I begged her to take it out. I couldn’t explain in Korean why. I felt crazy. Finally she did take it out. I huddled under my blanket and cried for a good while. It’s been a long time since I was triggered like that.
What makes me the most upset is that I let it get to me. I couldn’t shut the memories in a box or any of those other things they tell people with PTSD to do.
Even worse is I don’t have to words to describe what’s going on in my head. And I wonder if I’ll ever be free of this. I go for months and I’m fine. Then everything goes to hell in a hand-basket.
Just writing it makes me tired.