Allergies continue

I have been feeling rotten. I’m toying with the idea of going in for a session Monday, to discuss things. Ron offered me time, so his vacation would be less long (from my perspective 🙂 ). Tuesday I start the new contract.

I think I probably won’t go in Monday. I feel like I need containment, and Ron doesn’t generally help with that. I fear feeling even worse, and then not being able to start the new job. I wish I knew something that would help, but not open things up more, but I don’t.

I think I’m actually being triggered by the air. Which is not easy to escape. I’ve got the allergies under control with various supplements and diet, so at least I don’t have med side effects to bother me. But I still feel the pollen – the air feels thick and blanket-like to me. Which seems to remind parts of me of someone being too close, not being able to breathe. So I’ve been  having a bunch of distressing body memories.

Mostly I was pushing them aside, going out and about in order to be more adult. Today I seem to have given up. I did do some meditation, and allowed crap to be there. My legs started shaking, so after the meditation I put my legs up the wall for maybe twenty minutes. It all felt OK in a way – like I was trying to deal with what was there.

Now I don’t really know what to do. I tried reading a fantasy novel, so the kid might like it too. Reading seems to put the dissociative walls back up though, so then I feel spacey and strange. I went back to bed for a while, just breathing and  lying there.

OK. Reboot. I finally turned on my rickety AC, and it is really helping! The air is going back to just being air, I got some chores done. Wow. I should have turned it on yesterday also.

Yesterday I went to my ACA group. This is where I finally realized how triggered I’ve been by the pollen and breathing difficulties. I’d been feeling anxious/depressed/low energy, but pushing through, always doing something. In group, I ended up switching  to a child part. By accident of course. And it was maybe not that noticeable. But it completely shocked me. At break, I had had a small chat with one woman sitting beside me, so then I turned to the man sitting on my other side. He was talking to no one, seemed very intense and maybe was meditating? Or breathing or something. The combo of my difficulties all day, and then having this remote man sitting next to me seemed to call out B, who started talking to this guy in a child type voice.

I was so embarrassed. I think he responded with one word, and then the group got going again.

Then sharing, I was again in a child space – very shy, very nervous, but still wanting to share. It’s a hurt child space. My voice was soft and even shaking a bit. I mentioned something vague about switching, though I didn’t call it that, and how it embarrasses me when that happens. Then about starting a new job. And feeling anxious. Pretty short. And after I finished, I realized, wait, that’s not adult me. Darn.

So I felt ashamed altogether.

I’d say three quarters of the folks there share from a conversational type space, and always very adult. Some of it is self-help, how they’re trying to improve themselves. One woman shares pretty much always about some practical issue she is having. The one quarter are more emotional. Last time, one fellow was clearly in an emotional crisis, and was trying to work through his past in the group. I worry about people in crisis, for one thing, that being so dedicated to working through according to the program is going to push them further into crisis. There are different levels of trauma after all, and some types need to be approached really gently.

Anyway, one of the adult type people laughed at me when I spoke as a child. She probably didn’t mean to – even Ron has done it, before he understood what was happening. But, it did hurt. She is an extremely unemotional person, who likely hasn’t had to work through much emotional stuff, and of course, she wouldn’t understand.

After group, I just left without talking to anyone. I felt like a freak basically. I hate being in parts sometimes.

That’s how it solidified in my mind today that this pollen is actually not just uncomfortable, but it’s triggering memories held in parts. Two weeks to go with the pollen.

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15 comments
  1. leb105 said:

    ” I did do some meditation, and allowed crap to be there. My legs started shaking, so after the meditation I put my legs up the wall for maybe twenty minutes. It all felt OK in a way – like I was trying to deal with what was there.”

    I loved this!
    I liked hearing more about what people share, too. It might be good practice for a therapy group – just SAY ANYTHING – almost as if no one else was there, just you and your journey.
    You switched spontaneously, which shocked you? but you weren’t immediately aware that you’d switched?

    • Ellen said:

      12 step groups are very structured, and there is a lot of philosophy – readings, steps, meditations – that are done also. In some ways, it’s more like a religious service than a therapy group. The sharing portion is just a part of it. Because there’s no cross talk, it’s a completely different experience than a therapy group is. Then you connect more with people at break or after the group. But I’d say it’s more like church than like group therapy. Not sure if you’d like it, but it has it’s really good points.

      Yeah – switching is a defense which happens outside of my awareness. To know about it, someone has to be there to do the knowing, and that part of me has gone offline. If I was aware, I’d make efforts to switch back, or just be quiet for a while. Then after, I realize, and I feel a lot of shame. When really, it’s not my fault, it’s just the way I function at the moment. I don’t hurt anyone afterall.

      Glad you found the post interesting. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Awareness of switching takes time to getting used to it. May I suggest another possibility of the unemotional woman that laughed? Ok to disagree with me. She may be dissociated and unable to feel emotions. I learned that sometimes people that are cut off from their emotions they laugh at emotions since they are afraid of them. I don’t believe you need to feel ashamed about the child parts. They held pain for you so you could move forward to being an adult. Now you can extend to the child parts the opportunity to express their pain that they held for so long. I know I shocked a few coworkers when I switched to child parts. I had to explain that they couldn’t come to work with me. Worked most of the time.

    • Ellen said:

      Switching in public doesn’t happen to me often – I hope I don’t have to get used to it actually. But when I switch in therapy, or at home, I am aware of what’s happening, thank goodness. Yeah, I guess in therapy the child parts do have the chance to express themselves. Or at home. I understand I don’t need to be ashamed, thanks, but emotionally I always am. Especially when this happens by accident, because of triggers. But I am telling myself it’s actually OK.

      Switching at work happened a few times for me, always when I was under a ton of stress. I really don’t want that happening again. Co-workers just thought I was eccentric, I suppose. Parts know very clearly that work is for me to take care of. Interesting you had a similar problem.

      I agree about the unemotional woman.

      Thank you Ruth.

  3. Rachel said:

    Sorry you’re feeling so bad. I think you are brave for sharing, and anyone laughing is revealing their own insecurities and fears, not a commentary on your worth. Your worth is already more than good enough for that crowd or any crowd, for that matter.

  4. Cat said:

    Hi Ellen… Coping with summer allergies can be draining. Have you ever tried ionizers indoors?

    I’m wondering if you went to see Ron today. I understand your reservations, but it is difficult to know what way the sessions will swing. I imagine you’re nervous about first day tomorrow and none of this is helping. I’ll be hoping everything runs smoothly

    • Ellen said:

      I have tried an ionizer/air purifier and it helps. Actually just keeping the doors and windows closed helps a lot, just it’s too hot in my apartment to do that without AC.

      I didn’t go to see Ron – it was hard to turn down his offer, and I’d like to have seen him, however I was too concerned with the aftermath and having to show up at my first day tomorrow being really sad or some such thing.

      Thanks!

  5. It’s weird how such a small thing can be such a huge trigger, and then how long it can take to identify that it is a trigger and something can be done about it. I guess the trigger itself pushes a person into powerlessness and despair so that you don’t think, “Oh, the AC…” At least not until you’re a bit more okay again.

    I suppose it’s good some part of you could express how you felt in your ACA group, but it must feel so bad to be the “weird one” like that. I’m so sorry.

    • Ellen said:

      That’s just it — it’s hard to believe at first that this could be a trigger, and anyway, triggered, I can’t think. Yep. I am amazed at how you have been able to work with triggers, like your bathroom floor. I find them so debilitating.

      Of course, the feeling of looking ‘weird’ is mainly in my mind. Could be no one paid that much attention or thought much about it really. It’s hard to assess. But that is how I feel – just being a very strange person with a bizarre disorder. This group is not really a place where I want to work on parts.

      Thanks for understanding Ash.

  6. cardamone5 said:

    You’re doing great. It sounds like you are trying to find ways to manage your feelings on your own, which is necessary whether you are in therapy or not. Awesome. Don’t dwell on one idiot.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

  7. i hate humid muggy weather. sorry you’ve been so triggered. it was mean of that woman to laugh. some people will never get it. try to not feel ashamed of your parts. you cant help how you act. and you were triggered so…yeah. XX

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