So I saw Dr. D yesterday. It was tough, complete with a panic attack. She encouraged me to call Dr. W. Since I seen her earlier this week, I didn’t think it was a good idea. But Dr. D gently explained that Dr. W would be concerned that I let myself continue to suffer needlessly. So I called. I got a call back that evening, which surprised me because she’s on vacation. She asked what was going on and I told her everything. Well almost everything. I didn’t tell her how long things have been going on. She gave me hydroxyzine, which she has given me before. Dr. W said she’s hesitant to prescribe a benzo at this point. Not because she’s worried about addiction. But rather given the amount of medication I’m on. I understand her point of view, and I respect it. What it says to me is that she’s being conservative, but is willing to go with something more powerful if I need it.
Dr. D wants me to come back on Monday. I don’t really know how I feel about that. I do have somethings I want to talk about related to the physical abuse. But I’m not completely confident that I can get through it without losing myself in the flashback loop. It makes me scared just thinking about it. I’m going to copy/paste it in here so I can just read it if need be.
It was my grandfather. The summer after kindergarten, my parents made me stay there while they took my grandmother out of town. I don’t remember what I did that was so bad, but I got punished but good. He took off all of my clothes and made me lie on the bed. He put my arms over my head with my hands together and told me to stay that way. If I moved or cried, he hit me with a leather belt.
I don’t know how long I stayed in that position. It was so cold in there. He had the air conditioner on as cold as it would go. It felt like it was forever. I had almost fallen asleep when he came back into the room. I laid there while he felt my whole body, from top to bottom. He was on the bed with me. Then he left and told me not to move or I’d get it with the belt again.
I tried not to cry, but I did. As soon as he heard me, he came back and punished me for disturbing his baseball game. He told me that I better not move again. So I didn’t. I laid there and counted the cracks in the ceiling, over and over, and over again. But I couldn’t help but listen for him. I was terrified he would come into the room again.
After what seemed like forever, he came back into the room. And he got on the bed again. I was so afraid he’d get the belt out again. He wasn’t touching me anymore. He was on top of me. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. He was so big and heavy. The penetration was extremely painful. I wanted to scream and yell, but I couldn’t. It hurt too bad.
All of a sudden, he jumped off of me and the bed. I put my arms down. He started to scream at me. He told me that he had said not to move. He told me I was an evil child filled with the devil. He was right. He got the belt again and told me to put my hands back up or he’d punish me again. I begged him not to, but that made him really angry. He took me by my shoulders and shook me. He kept yelling how little girls should obey their elders. He put my hands back over my head and made me stay like that.
I laid on that bed for hours. It was so cold in that room. I really had to go to the bathroom, but he told me not to move or say anything. I had to go so bad, I ended up wetting the bed. When he found out I had wet the bed, he beat me again. And then he was on top of me again. It must have gone on like that for hours. I remember watching it go from day to night.
I hurt right now just thinking about it. I think I’m going to sign off, take some hydroxyzine, and eat. Toast for breakfast and not eating anything else doesn’t cut it anymore.
So today’s prompt is “Precipice”. How fitting. I seem to be teetering on one myself. Even with the med changes (and un-changes), I’m still really struggling with depression and anxiety and voices. I realized how bad things were when Dr. W spent 40 minutes with me rather than the usual 30. I love going to UH because they book med checks as 30 minutes. I once say a psychiatrist who a) always ran late, b) tried to hoist me off on his NP when insurance was paying for him and c) was lucky to spend 5 minutes with me. I have no idea why I stayed with him so long. Another plus side to UH is that they are on the same electronic medical records system so all my doctors can keep up with my (very) long med list and conditions.
Back to precipice. I wrote last time that I was hearing voices and it had gotten worse. I started hearing them again back in February. I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid to. I just kept saying I was getting better as I walked toward the cliff. Even though I was having suicidal thoughts, I kept covering everything up. I guess I still am. I haven’t been totally honest with what the voices are saying. They’re getting quite nasty and telling me that I should kill myself for various reasons. I don’t know why I don’t want to tell Dr. W and Dr. D. I think it might be because I’m in the middle of radiation and I don’t want to be hospitalized right now. Do I need it? Maybe. I’m looking at a long way down off the precipice.
Most of all, I’m scared. When I was having symptoms like this before, I did end up in the hospital. Twice. I don’t know if I can do that again. The second time was useless. No med changes. Not that I wanted them to change meds. But seeing a psychiatrist more than once in 6 days would have been useful. No therapy to speak of. You were basically left to fend for yourself all day. It didn’t help they didn’t get my med list and I was off things for almost a week. Although I was a UH hospital, their EMR wasn’t hooked up with the central EMR. Looking back, I was safe from falling off the precipice, but it didn’t do much to pull me back from it. I pretty much lied to get out of there. I though I could make more progress with Dr. D and Dr. W than I could just hanging around all day.
I don’t like this brink of the precipice thing. The voices keep getting worse despite how much Haldol Dr. W adds. I was up to 10 mg before, so it’s not surprising the 1/2/4 mg dosage wasn’t working. I’m up to 6 mg now in a divided dose. I think once I get the voices under control, I’ll be able to step back from that ledge.
I’m tired too. The fibro makes me tired. Fatigue has always been part of my depressive symptoms. And now I have the fatigue from radiation. I’m sleeping at least 10 hours at night with a couple hour nap during the day. I’m asleep more than I’m awake. I wonder if this is anyway to live.
I’m tired of telling people I’m tired. They don’t understand. My family doesn’t understand mental illness. And even if they did, they wouldn’t care. That much I’m certain of. And part of me doesn’t care anymore too. I’m too tired to care.
Standing on the precipice looking down. What to do? What to do? Closer. Closer. Closer.
I live my life behind a mask. My mask is happy. My mask is confident. I’m good at wearing this. Despite how I feel inside, I don’t reveal my honest feelings and fears.
I don’t really let people see the “true me”. Hell, sometimes I don’t even know what the “true me” is. I’ve hidden behind a mask for so long that maybe that is the “true me”.
There’s an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where a character has a bunch of laws to live by. Her law number one was “You always have to rely on yourself”. I totally agree with that. But my law zero is “Trust no one”. If you can’t trust, it’s hard to show your “true self”. It’s hard to take off that mask.
I’m slowly learning to trust Dr. D and Dr. W. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. Last week, I tried to cancel my appointment with Dr. D and quit therapy all together. I made a deal to come that one time. Ordinarily, I would have hidden how bad things were and just tiptoed around the issues. But I didn’t. I sat there and talked through the flashbacks. Making myself that vulnerable was extremely scary. And although nothing bad happened, I still want to put that mask on.
Maybe this is a turning point for me. Maybe it’s okay to drop the mask and let safe people see what’s underneath.
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’m so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. I started the day with the psychiatrist. Initial sessions are always long. Having to go through my history is beyond demanding. Fighting back tears (and failing miserably) left me drained after the first 30 minutes. Then she drops the little bomb shell that she thinks I’m psychotics. I basically told her I respectfully disagree. Hearing the voice of one of my abusers is more likely a PTSD symptom (PDF) rather than a psychosis symptom. She wanted to put me on one of the newer antipsychotics. I told her no. I absolutely and positively wouldn’t go down that route again. I gained so much weight on them and they sent my cholesterol sky high. I don’t need that crap again. She didn’t seem pleased with my refusal, but it’s my body. Honestly, it’s not causing me that much distress that I think it needs to be medicated. I’m quite aware the voice isn’t real and what the origin of it is. I’m not putting those drugs in my body unless I’m going crazy. I think they’re overused for things like bipolar, PTSD, ADHD (!) and Autism (!!!). So, in the end, she upped one of my meds and put me back on Cymbalta for the depression and chronic pain. Once I’m doing somewhat better, she wants me to get back into therapy. I’m not against that. I just need to find
someone the energy to find someone.
Then it was to the hospital side to register for blood work and an EKG. I’m still not 100% certain why she feels she needs the EKG, but whatever. The nice man filling in from another department was trying to register me into the ER, which is why he couldn’t find the doctors name. Once that was fixed, I got to the lab where the paperwork was screwed up because my age ended up getting entered as 103. I don’t even know how that happened. I got stabbed in the hand, leaving me with a nice little lump and a big old bruise.
Then the fun really began. Gynecologist time. I kid you not… when the nurse took my BP, I almost had a stroke right there given how high it was (190/130) after it being normal (120/80) earlier in the day. She was pretty alarmed until I told her I was basically sitting there having a panic attack. The doctor was really nice. She tried to be as gentle as she could. It isn’t that easy since my body is a bit weird and I was, well, freaking out. At least I don’t have to go back for a year, and then only for a quick check, not the full thing.
I’m about to take my meds and go to bed. I’ve finally gotten myself mostly calmed down. But I’m exhausted.
I have a appointment with a GYN on Friday because my shitty ass PCP won’t prescribe birth control. Really? Why the hell did you go into primary care. Prescribing BC sort of falls into primary care these days since you don’t need to see a GYN if you’re not sexually active (or at least not more than once every three years). I tried to explain my history to him, but he didn’t give a rats ass. He doesn’t do birth control. He conveniently doesn’t do psych meds or pain meds either, though these are a bit more understandable. I have a psychiatrist appointment for Friday and I hate those. I hate going into my past. But that’ll be a walk in the park compared to seeing the GYN. Luckily this person came highly recommended by the referral line.
I also know I need to get back into therapy. But I’m too scared to even call and make an appointment. There’s a place in town that used to serve abuse survivors. It’s been folded into another agency but from their website it seems like maybe they still specialize in survivors. Nothings going to change, but I’m such a chicken that even thinking about calling them is freaking me out. I had a good experience with them before. I don’t know what’s up with me.
Right now, I’m so anxious, I’m nauseated. I don’t want to eat. I haven’t eaten all day, which is probably why my stomach is hating me. I tend to get really nauseous when my blood sugar falls. I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on now. It’s a crappy spiral. My stomach isn’t happy so I don’t eat which screws with my blood sugar which makes me more nauseous. We’ve got some nice French bread, maybe I’ll try to eat a piece of that and see if it doesn’t settle my stomach.
Long story short, I’m a coward.
I hate thunderstorms. I’m fighting serious dissociation and regression. I am afraid and I’m embarrassed.
I did the dentist thing once, so I can do it again. So tell that to the butterflies making cream in the pit of my stomach (just had some chocolate milk).