Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 913139

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Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger)

Posted by antigua3 on August 20, 2009, at 12:05:50

Be careful of what you wish for. Sometimes it isn't what you expected at all.

At least that's me.

I've been in therapy for 19 years, trying to figure out what the underyling fear and terror is that has been with me as long as I can remember and has kept me from leading a healthy, productive life. Why have I always been so afraid to even reach for my dreams?

I tried everything I could think of--psychotherapy (which I still do), CBT (which has been very helpful), EMDR (good for experiencing traumatic events in the moment, like flashbacks but calmer for me) and even hypnotism (only helped me to develop good mediation and self-soothing techniques, which was great).

I learned to recognize the two little girls inside of me and have worked to separate and understand the issues that made them become who they were and what purpose they have served in my life. Unfortunately, for the most part they are gone, which means that I've integrated them, but I miss the beautiful things they offered me. I'm glad to be rid of their pain and anger, but I feel like I've lost so much by integrating them. I recognize that they are a part of me, but all I really feel is loss. They were such a strong defense mechanism for me from knowing, and I understand why this has happened, but I don't feel like me anymore.

But as my T says, the mind will only let you know when you are ready. I was so frustrated because I've been thinking I was ready for years. I've always been in such a hurry.

The last six weeks have been h*ll. Over the years I've slowly learned about the things I experienced as a child, and it hasn't been pretty, but I still hadn't gotten to the bottom of what feels like an bottomless barrel.

In the last six weeks or so, I have been flooded by flashbacks that are unimaginable to me--I still find it very hard to believe that these things happened to me, but in my heart and body, I know that these things are true.

If I'm not at the bottom, I don't know what I'll do. Is there more to know? I have a vision of something that I keep pushing away because I can't handle knowing anything more right now.

I don't know who I am anymore. That's my problem. I've been stripped bare. All my defense mechanisms are gone, the ones I used to build a false life, a life of lies really, so that I could survive.

I've been shattered into a million pieces and don't know how to rebuild myself, when all I've known are faulty ways of thinking and I've never seen the world clearly. The mirror is in so many pieces and it's so easy for my therapist and psychiatrist to tell me I have to rebuild myself when I built my life on lies--about myself, about my parents and the life I've built.

Does anyone understand this? How can I rebuild when I feel so shattered? I don't have the energy.

My therapist reminded me that I do have two large pieces to start the rebuilding: I am a good mother and wife. That helps a bit, but I feel like a young child who has to learn to walk all over again. But I'm not a young child anymore. I don't feel that my time is really running out yet, but..

If there's anymore to learn, I'm just going to die. Have I found the answer I've been looking for? I think so, but I really don't know. I don't know if I've reached the end of what my mind can handle, but I'm not seeking it anymore. It's too hard. My T and pdoc think maybe we've been going too fast and that's why all these things burst forth, but as I've already said, I'm too impatient and I guess my mind felt safe enough for me to know. But it's so hard--so hard to get my mind around all of this.

I've already crumbled and don't have the energy to start over.

It's not that I'm depressed, really. My legs have been cut out from under me and I'm just floating, with no anchor anymore.

19 years and I'm really a child again. I don't regret what I know now; I'm glad to understand why so much of my thinking has been wrong over the years, and the insights have been extraordinary.

I guess I just didn't expect it to hurt so much, or to leave me feeling so hopeless.

antigua


 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger)

Posted by Daisym on August 20, 2009, at 12:47:18

In reply to Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger), posted by antigua3 on August 20, 2009, at 12:05:50

I think it is common to go from "I need to know what happened" to "I wish I didn't know what I now know is true." Shattered is a good word. But really what has been shattered are the lies and defenses, not you. YOU are still in there.

I think you have figured out a way to start. Look at those pieces of your life that feel good and whole. I believe that the seeds that will grow the "new" you are most likely planted in your children. You took your essence and allowed it to germinate and live in them. Now you need to take a cutting, and replant it in your own soul. Sounds like you have been weeding your garden and turning the soil - so that good things can grow.

I'm not sure you are going too fast. I think when the body decides to throw up this stuff and the brain provides the opening, it just comes up. And up. And up. It will ease off and then you can process what it all means and how it connects to who you are now. Because we become who we are from our experiences - or maybe, sometimes in spite of them. I think the best thing is to not try to process all this information at once but instead of take care of yourself. Just like if you had a big open wound, you wouldn't do rehab until the wound heals enough to bear the weight. So nurture yourself, cry, grieve and allow the anger. Understanding will come later.

And I don't say that lightly. I know the persistence of the question WHY? And WHERE WAS EVERYONE? But if you can, for now, set them aside and just tell the stories.

Tuesday I spent the whole session sobbing - most of it with my sweatshirt over my head. I was triggered by group the night before and I just needed to retell some stuff, and feel it and be there with my therapist and cry. I told him that it didn't feel like I was working - just crying. He said this is the deepest kind of work - letting it up and out and accepting his caring as I did that. And while I felt raw and tired after, I did feel better.

And if there is more - it won't kill you. It hasn't yet. It will hurt and be awful again, but you keep proving over and over how strong you are. Don't borrow anxiety - just know that you aren't alone with any of it.

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) Daisym

Posted by antigua3 on August 20, 2009, at 13:26:35

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger), posted by Daisym on August 20, 2009, at 12:47:18

Thanks for all of your supportive comments, and I'm sorry your session on Tuesday was so hard. I wish I could do that--sob and let it all out, but I still feel like I have to maintain control even in the face of knowing that keeping control led me to repress so many things. Aaah, there's one last unhealthy coping mechanism.

I have cried a little, but I want to let it out all out and it won't come.

It's funny, but I don't ask Why? or Where was everyone? anymore. It just was the way it was, but I realize I'm not dealing with the anger that these questions bring forth that I keep denying.

So I guess I'm not at the bottom of my faulty defense mechanisms. Thanks for pointing that out!

You sound like my psychiatrist :). He says to let it go, to not obsess over it, which is good advice, but it's still hard to do until I can really process it.

I don't think about it as much anymore even though it is still all so new. I do find that I'm living more in the present now, although I still have to consciously work on it and recognize when I'm triggered. For example, I was in an art gallery last week and while it was crowded and that bothered me, I almost went into a full-blown panic attack. I was able to stop it, but I have no idea what triggered it. Maybe it was just sensory overload.

The good thing is that there are no more secrets. I've even told my husband (and my mother), but not the details; he doesn't need to know that, but being able to just tell him I'm having a bad day has made a huge difference.

You're right about how I feel about my children. (Hmm, just got back from a trip visiting the oldest; wonder if that has anything to do with this). I couldn't have raised them without my T and I'm forever grateful--raising them is what we did between all the other important stuff that took years to dribble out.

I am still here, but I don't know WHO I am anymore, but if I can gather the strength, I can do this, I know that. It's just so painful. I doubt everything about the world that I thought to be true, although I quickly recognize that's black and white thinking, which I'm a master at.

I wish I was a gardener, but maybe if I look at it from a writer's point of view--of sculpting new words and images--than maybe I can do it. Now that I know things, I want to go back and rewrite so much, but that would be wrong, really; it's more interesting to see things as they were, how I viewed things, before I knew.

The funniest thing I've discovered is that some of my writing foretold of things to come. I can see it now, but when writing I had absolutely no idea where these thoughts/images, etc. came from, but I can see it so clearly now.

Hang in there, Daisy, you're doing great work.
antigua

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3

Posted by sunnydays on August 20, 2009, at 23:10:59

In reply to Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger), posted by antigua3 on August 20, 2009, at 12:05:50

I can't imagine what that must feel like, antigua. You are very strong and brave, and you WILL get through this. I would urge you to keep going. Take it easy, let your T help you, learn to accept the caring and gentleness in the world. Because you deserve it, and you should have had that safety and gentleness and caring before, and didn't. It's natural to try to protect yourself from further hurt after experiences like the ones you have just remembered, so of course you have built up massive defenses. It doesn't mean your life has been a lie. It just means that your life is changing now and that it's going in a different direction. Who you are now is going to be different than who you were before. That is a very scary place to be - I'm kind of at the same place, but for a different reason, and it's terrifying. But you can do it. Take care of yourself, let your T help you, be gentle, and hang in there. We'll help you. Your room at Camp Comfort is ready whenever you want to visit - we've added a teleporter so you can even pop in for five or ten minutes if you just need a mental break and then feel ready to go back to the world.

sunnydays

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3

Posted by Garnet71 on August 21, 2009, at 12:39:56

In reply to Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger), posted by antigua3 on August 20, 2009, at 12:05:50

Hi Antigua,

It seems perfectly normal to grieve the lost you's. Sometimes I think for disassociation, they were never separate-they were actually part of the total self--so you are actually grieving losing a part of your self....now you are going through the grieving process and have to get through the steps of grief before you can rebuild?

Or maybe your feelings come from fear of facing life from the view of that vulnerable little girl? Of course that scary. You've used those defenses for years to block out pain-now you know you have to face your day to day life as the vulnerable girl you were way back when...but it also seems like an opportunity--the appropriate time to learn to build healthy defenses while you rebuild. That's key-learning to build healthy defenses and ways of coping while you are in this process. Perhaps this process is just beginning for you but you have not yet realize it has already started?

I've read one of the most prominent sources of therapy failure is the removal of defenses w/o building new ones timely and appropriately. Perhaps your T recognizes this by wanting to slow down? It seems you've recognized the need to slow down as well. Please be cautious - it seems the flood of memories/emotions are overwhelming to you, which is more than understandable.

Not too long ago, a T I tried out dismantled my defenses in 45 minutes, much like Davanloos S/T psychodynamic techniques. I feel I amalgalated with my pre-disassociated state--which was traumatic and scary. I cannot say I know how you feel, but I can relate...I've had to cope with no defenses, lost and helpless and feeling all the deep despair that I never realized existed because I blocked it out so long ago. It took me 2 months to find an appropriate T. I recognize that energy depletion you speak of, and my energy has just started to come back now 2 months later...to enable me to face this. But hey, I survived that 2 months w/little to no support. And you will survive too. It sounds like you are in good hands.

I don't know but it seems to me you do have to go through a grieving process and that you may be just at the beginning stages of rebuilding, which seems scary and unpredictable and beyond your control (for right now). I think the depletion of your energy is from being overwhelmed by emotions, but I have a feeling it's temporary and that you will get stronger. If you slow down a bit, grieve, take some time to work on ways to cope, I bet you are at the rebuilding stage and the energy you need to build new defenses will come back. I guess too that you are already starting to do this-but don't recognize it yet.

New beginnings, while painful and scary, are an opportunity and can be beautiful--this is your new beginning.

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) sunnydays

Posted by antigua3 on August 21, 2009, at 12:59:54

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3, posted by sunnydays on August 20, 2009, at 23:10:59

That was really nice. Thank you.

It does seem like a scary world out there, but I'll find my way. I've been feeling vulnerable, I guess, and that feeling has flooded me with doubt.

I don't want to go back to therapy anymore. I will, of course, but it's hard to feel safe after all this. Maybe panic is a better choice of words about how I feel.

Camp Comfort? Teleport me in for the weekend. I prefer a cool, mountain retreat with trails to walk on and a spa to relax in.

Thanks again,
antigua

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) Garnet71

Posted by antigua3 on August 21, 2009, at 13:17:50

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3, posted by Garnet71 on August 21, 2009, at 12:39:56

Thanks Garnet. You're right. Disassociation is at the core of this. In tearing down my defenses, my psychiatrist destroyed a pocket of disassociation that had been a main defense of mine since I was a child. He said that when that pocket integrated with the adult me (through the integration of the young girls), that it dissolved and left me with the memories I'd kept at bay through disassociation. If that makes any sense. It was/is very painful.

Maybe I do have to grieve, but I never want to. It makes me feel like I'm giving in to pity, and I hate pity!

> >Perhaps this process is just beginning for you but you have not yet realize it has already started?

From the responses I've received, yes, I guess I've already started on this new journey. But I have to do it as an adult now and not fall back on feeling like a child anymore. I'm not sure I can do it...

>> I've read one of the most prominent sources of therapy failure is the removal of defenses w/o building new ones timely and appropriately.

Great point. This is exactly the way I feel, but when I discuss this w/my psychiatrist and T, they both point out that I have built new ones already. But, I don't recognize or feel them yet. Maybe because they're so foreign to me?

>> Perhaps your T recognizes this by wanting to slow down? It seems you've recognized the need to slow down as well. Please be cautious - it seems the flood of memories/emotions are overwhelming to you, which is more than understandable.

They both say we should probably slow down because of the overload, but as Daisy says, we can't control how our minds operate. It happens when it happens. And I do understand how my psychiatrist burst the dam to let these things out. I'm not sure he was ready for it either!

>> Not too long ago, a T I tried out dismantled my defenses in 45 minutes, much like Davanloos S/T psychodynamic techniques. I feel I amalgalated with my pre-disassociated state--which was traumatic and scary.

45 minutes? Wow, you're a trusting person. Took me years and years, but I do know that you feel like you were tricked in a way to let everything out. I'm sorry about that and hope your new T will be much more helpful.


>>I bet you are at the rebuilding stage and the energy you need to build new defenses will come back. I guess too that you are already starting to do this-but don't recognize it yet.

You're right.

>> New beginnings, while painful and scary, are an opportunity and can be beautiful--this is your new beginning.

I'm trying to look at it that way--it's a new beginning and an opportunity to be the person I was meant to be. I guess the idea of making changes in my life is the scariest thought of all, but I'm not going to make any major changes until I've been rewired and my new defenses have been reinforced through the care of my T.

Thank you so much,
antigua

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3

Posted by rskontos on August 21, 2009, at 17:05:54

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) Daisym, posted by antigua3 on August 20, 2009, at 13:26:35

Antigua,

I am not sure I can offer much. I am in much of the same place as you, perhaps I haven't remembered as much. It is, in my flashbacks, more vague and I tried desparately to stop some of the flashbacks because it was just too painful.

I all too well understand the angst you have experienced. I am not sure I can comfort you except to say I admire your progress and your determination. It is so (sigh) hard isn't it.

I understand the before I knew phase and the after I know phase. I feel caught between two worlds.

I was angry too and sometimes those angry parts come out. Recently it happened and it made me sad because I hurt someone close to me, without being able to stop myself. I viewed the incident from above myself if you will.

I haven't integrated all my parts and I worry about feeling how you do.

I do feel intuitively that you will reach a place of peace over the loss of those parts that helped you survive. I can hear it in your words.

take care my friend you are making REAL progress

rsk

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) rskontos

Posted by antigua3 on August 21, 2009, at 21:37:13

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3, posted by rskontos on August 21, 2009, at 17:05:54

Thank you so much. You did offer help. Just knowing I'm not alone--although you know none of us wish this on anyone else--helps a lot.

You will be OK. The integration for me went very easily, really. For me, it's really how different I feel afterwards. It's just a very weird feeling.

I know how much energy is takes to push or try to stop the flashbacks from happening. It can be exhausting.

I must admit that it's nice to no longer be hounded by my fears. I still have nightmares, but nowhere near as many. (Now I've probably jinxed myself!)

So take care of yourself. It's important.

I'm sorry you hurt someone close to you. I know how that feels, for the anger to overtake us. It can be so very strong at times. I recognize that feeling of watching from above, as if it's happening to someone else.

I guess that's what therapy is for--in an ideal world, that's where we let it out. I know I was just vicious toward my psychiatrist for so long and it's only now that I can see what I was doing. But he always told me he could handle my anger, and he has done a good job doing so. I'm just glad he hung in there with me for us to have a better relationship.

Be nice to yourself. YOU are making real progress too, please know that.
antigua

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3

Posted by muffled on August 21, 2009, at 22:34:36

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) rskontos, posted by antigua3 on August 21, 2009, at 21:37:13

Sorry its hard :(
Please take care.
For me.
my theory is.
I just gonna try and live.
and DO.
When I am paralyzed or too many thots.
then I DO.
Fix a fence.
Dig a hole.
Repair something.
DO.
Something w/visible results so I can see and feel good.
I gonna try and be ok'ish and heal thru helping others.
LOL.
This is my THEORY.
Oh well.
Ya, take care OK?
M

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3

Posted by rskontos on August 21, 2009, at 22:53:02

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) rskontos, posted by antigua3 on August 21, 2009, at 21:37:13

Thanks for the kinds words.

My t says I am making progress, I had a three week absence from him and lots of crap happened. He said today that this is the longest we'd been separated since we started therapy almost three years ago.

I in my denial state of being, got so sick during this time by not recognizing I was having a hard time not seeing him. It was because one week I went on vacation and that interferred with two sessions, and then my FIL got sick and I had to go up to see him and that stopped the third session. Today was the first time back to a session in over three weeks.

I did not really think I was bothered by the absence yet when he called saying he had a cancellation and we could meet I started crying when I heard his voice. Wow. It is something just to say that.

anyway, thanks for listening and thanks for the kind response.

rsk

I don't thin k you have jinxed yourself. You are getting stronger. It is evident.

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) muffled

Posted by rskontos on August 21, 2009, at 22:53:44

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3, posted by muffled on August 21, 2009, at 22:34:36

That is good advice Muffled. Nice to see you.

rsk

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger)

Posted by antigua3 on August 22, 2009, at 9:48:38

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3, posted by muffled on August 21, 2009, at 22:34:36

I have noticed that I'm a little more motivated to do things--laundry, cleaning, cooking and emptying the dishwasher, which I really hate to do--than I have been in recent months. I was so consumed by my thoughts that I had no energy left over to live life, if that makes any sense.

You sound like my psychiatrist. He always says, "Keep Moving," and although it's almost impossible when I'm felled by obsessiveness, I do find I actually want to do some of these things now.

take care muffled. It's so nice to hear from you. Hope you're doing OK.
antigua

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) rskontos

Posted by antigua3 on August 22, 2009, at 9:54:52

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3, posted by rskontos on August 21, 2009, at 22:53:02

Sorry you had such a long absence from your T. It can be so very hard.

I hadn't seen my psychiatrist in a month, which was a really long time since so much had burst forth. But I was so determined to make it that month, to prove I could do it, I guess. This was in the middle of telling my mother what happened and I was probably shooting myself in the foot.

But it's so difficult for me to ask for help. I'm at that place where I recognize that I have to do this alone. While my T and pdoc can help, at the end of the day, at the end of my life, I am alone. I know that sounds distressing, and they both keep pointing out that this is wrong, but I'm so used to doing things on my own. I believed them for a while, and so many things came forth, that I've retreated back into my shell. I'm stronger, though, and I have internalized both of them pretty well.

But then my knees can go weak when I hear their voices on the phone, so I'm not there yet.

You are making progress. Hold onto your T as long as you need to, and trust him. Trust is so important for working through these things.

I hope you feel better and can get back on track with your T. It sounds like it has been difficult for you, and you're too nice of a person to feel so overloaded.
antigua

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) antigua3

Posted by rskontos on August 22, 2009, at 23:52:48

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) rskontos, posted by antigua3 on August 22, 2009, at 9:54:52

>>>It sounds like it has been difficult for you, and you're too nice of a person to feel so overloaded.>>>>>>>


:), thanks for that. It is difficult for all of us, so I hesitate to voice my difficulties but thanks again.

rsk

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger)

Posted by Dinah on August 23, 2009, at 10:20:46

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) rskontos, posted by antigua3 on August 22, 2009, at 9:54:52

> But it's so difficult for me to ask for help. I'm at that place where I recognize that I have to do this alone. While my T and pdoc can help, at the end of the day, at the end of my life, I am alone.

In my opinion this is both completely true, yet not complete. It's one of those dialectics, I think.

On the one hand, it is our lives, and it is up to us to do those things that we need to do. In ourselves, we are alone.

But we're a communal species. We may be born alone in the sense that the connection between our mothers and ourselves are broken, and we're alone within our own skins. But we're also (hopefully) surrounded by people who love us and are connected in a less concrete, but still very real, way. We may die alone, in that each of us will be alone in our skins with our pain and our experiences. But (hopefully) we'll also be surrounded by others who are connected in a less concrete way.

You are alone, yes. You do need to find some way within yourself to do the things you need to do, and to survive and tolerate the things you feel and experience.

You are not alone. The many connections in your life, including those with your therapist and pdoc, can sustain and support you in your efforts.

By fully embracing the truth of your aloneness, maybe you can also embrace the truth of your lack of aloneness?

Just my two cents.

 

Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger) Dinah

Posted by antigua3 on August 23, 2009, at 11:43:44

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger), posted by Dinah on August 23, 2009, at 10:20:46

You're absolutely right, Dinah. You've pointed out a distinctive difference and I need to think that way.

It's just sad, really, but I have to pull myself out of this place.

Thanks,
antigua

 

Re:very well said/ so true, somthng to think about (nm) Dinah

Posted by rskontos on August 23, 2009, at 16:21:39

In reply to Re: Feeling kind of blue (**csa trigger), posted by Dinah on August 23, 2009, at 10:20:46


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