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abuse

I’d been having a rough week. Every day after work, I felt so out of it, I had to lie down, so got nothing done all week. I’m often tired after work, but I was still getting out to return library books or go to the gym. Last week, no, I just couldn’t.

I tell Ron about this. It is a Thursday after work, and so I feel those feelings right there – that white fatigue, that need to lie down. I speculate as to what’s changed. I wonder if it’s because I stopped taking medication in order to sleep, so I’m simply more tired. Without medication, my sleep is interrupted a lot, so I don’t seem to sleep at all deeply the second part of the night.

At home, I realize what the change likely is. It’s that I’ve been doing sit-ups and pushups before work. Just a few. But as exercise triggers me, I’m pretty sure I push those feelings right down at the time so I can make it into work, and then by end of day, I’m completely shut down, so have no energy (since I’ve shut all my energy down).

It’s odd that I can’t make these connections in my session. I’ve noticed that a lot – it’s as if a bunch of fairly obvious things leave my mind entirely while I’m in Ron’s office.

I start the session by complaining about this dissociated feeling, how I had trouble writing out his cheque because first I couldn’t remember what year it was (of course not remembering I could simply look at my phone) and then I couldn’t remember his name…fun times. Of course, after a few minutes I did get it together and wrote the cheque, but I was running late, and it was frustrating.

I then talk about stuff I thought Ron missed last session. I mean to go into the anger at work scenario I wrote about here, but instead I talk about when I got angry with my mother. I’d felt Ron hadn’t really understood how difficult my mother is. At my session the week before, I had forgotten why I’d become angry – the whole story of trying to tell her about my dental surgery, then my brother arriving, being dropped. I had forgotten this whole reason for the anger, and Ron had seemed to focus on my mother’s hearing problems, which to me where completely beside the point.

So this time, Ron did empathize with me. When I said he didn’t seem to understand how difficult my mother is, he said it seems as if I am not taking on board how difficult the level of abandonment in my family towards me was for me. And i say that lately, I’ve been remembering the emotions of what that was like, and it is quite horrifying sometimes. I am realizing it, and I hate it.

A lot of the rest of the session was working with the greyness I had been feeling that week and was feeling now in his office. I thought it might be V’s feelings, which came up at the end of the previous session. She seems to carry the damage from my family from when I was in school.

I tried to let V talk, but it was difficult. That part is so depressed and so sad, at times it seems she cannot speak at all, just feel.

In the middle of the session, some kind of shadowy scenario came up. There were large people around (adults from my child perspective), we were in the apartment in European country, there was a crib, maybe on of my sibling’s.

I tried to get more clear on what was happening, but couldn’t. The scene was all shadowy.

Eventually I became extremely upset. It was as if some awful awful thing had happened, and I was totally alone with it, with no one to help me. To a child mind, help is expected. I knew someone should help me, yet there was no one to do so.

So I cry in this heartbroken way.

The session was almost over, and I know in a part of my mind I need to come back, but really can’t. Ron tries to do grounding, but I have absolutely zero interest in that. I kind of come back, but feel incredibly remote and withdrawn. I tell Ron I don’t want to do an emergency switch, as I have in the past, because it cuts those parts off entirely. He agrees, and keeps trying to help me come back enough to leave and drive.

I think I stay one or two minutes late, trying to breathe and get back. Then I leave, not really saying goodbye. I’m kind of shocked by what seems to have happened to me in the past.

Since the session, I’ve believed more that something really traumatic happened to me. The part that carries that is buried, but less buried than before. So I feel pretty bad – not very functional.

I did notice Ron did not offer a call or check in. He said I could write to him. I miss him offering check ins.

Overall though Ron was  great. He always wants to hear how it is, and hear from any parts that can speak. He doesn’t push, and he doesn’t shy away either. I do have the feeling that he was there in the experience with me somehow, which makes it more bearable.

 

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Today in therapy I talked about how ‘shutting down’ is a huge issue for me. This is more than numbed feelings – I end up basically immobile, lying in bed mostly. Therapy causes that effect many times, more often than not. Also other things – exercise, yoga class, holiday stress like Christmas….It’s by no means special to therapy, but because I restrict my life quite a bit to cope, therapy is my most consistent trigger. I’m not sure I’m actually processing the bad feelings when this happens – I think it may be too severe, and I just go into this numb state, and then finally make it out again, only to have the same thing happen next time.

I’ve been reading Besel Van der Kolk’s book, The Body Keeps the Score. He describes PTSD so exactly, and it’s validating to see it written out like this. He writes about how trauma memories are encoded differently, how they are processed as these fragments that come back in that fragmented form. And how your central nervous system is hijacked, so to speak – it’s changed. Instead of a normal resting baseline of arousal, with PTSD, you never relax and feel safe. He says you can either be in a hyper aroused state, which is an anxious, speedy state, or a hypo state, which is a slowed down state of arousal, complete with lowered blood pressure and slower breathing.

I mostly get into this hypo type slowed down state – freeze, or shut down. Though I have anxiety at other times. But in response to triggers, I most often freeze.

Van der Kolk recommends various body therapies to help stabilize the nervous system, before trying to process memories.

In therapy today, I explained these theories to Ron. He was interested. I did admit that VDK doesn’t seem to address the relationship piece of trauma – how with early trauma, trust goes out the window, and relationships can be very disturbed. I feel that Ron is helping me with that part – learning to trust, learning about relationships, and how to be there for other people. My ideas about relationships now are so different from what they were. However, I don’t think the PTSD piece of this is getting better. I think maybe I’m just getting triggered by therapy, but it’s not helping.

Ron listened to all this very seriously, and then asked me if I want him to adjust what he’s doing in therapy. What can you do? I ask. He says he can intervene if I seem to be getting overwhelmed (which he has never ever done), he can do breathing and grounding with me.

I’m surprised he’s interested in trying this. I agree. Then, as the session is half over, I want to talk about some of my holidays.

I talk about the family dinner, and what my family is like. I tell Ron my family is like a cult – they aren’t even allowed to think differently from my father. They don’t just have to do what he wants, they have to not have separate desires. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but my family has that flavour, where no one speaks their own truth.

Then I talk about my ex and son coming over on the 25th. And I make a slip of the tongue – I call my ex ‘M’ apparently. I don’t remember doing that, even right away when Ron asks me why I said ‘M’. I don’t believe him when he says it actually. Then I just say that M is someone important in my life but I don’t want to talk about it.

I talk some more about my Christmas, and have entirely forgotten this ‘M’ situation, when Ron interrupts me and says he thinks it might be important – who was M?

M was the name of the relative who abused me, I say quickly. Then I talk about a movie I just watched, which featured a Paris apartment, furnished in that old European style.That was the style of this relative’s apartment, I tell Ron. And I loved being there. I loved the way it looked, and I felt loved by these relatives. They were kind, they paid me attention, they were lovely. I mean….shouldn’t I hate being reminded of that apartment, when the abuse that I seem to remember was so awful?

They were kind to  you….and M abused you, Ron says.

And at this point, I’m emotional, I want to cry….

It’s ten minutes to the end of session, so Ron says this might be a good time to do the breathing. Oh….I’m surprised. I’m really not feeling that bad….but OK.

So Ron has me feel my feet, breathe, feel my body. I actually feel more emotional doing this. He tells me the feelings are from the past, but I’m here, safe with him. He’s here too.

That makes a huge difference to me. In a way, I hadn’t been realizing that he’s here also, and it’s ‘the future’. I’m getting a bit more upset, so he has me look at him, instead of avoiding his gaze.

So I do feel grounded somewhat. I leave feeling quite together. I’m surprised I got so upset at just the mention of the abuse and thinking about the apartment. Maybe I hope it’s not true – that if I feel so positive about the apartment, maybe the abuse wasn’t that bad, or something.

At home, at first all is good. Then I end up needing to lie down for a while. I’m worried I’m going into shut down mode. But now I’ve gotten up, warmed up some dinner, and am watching a movie. I feel bad, but I’m moving around. That’s what I want. I need to process the abuse – make it real, so to speak, and to do that, I can’t shut down.

I’m hoping going really slowly in therapy is going to help me do that. I kind of think what happens in therapy is I panic. I don’t realize the feelings are from the past, and second, that Ron is there on my side. So I need to not panic, and I need to let him in, so I can feel his support.

I hope this therapy is going somewhere, because it sure is painful. I still deeply feel that communicating is impossible, yet here I am again.

I spent the weekend alone, though I did have therapy on Saturday. I’ll try and be more social next weekend.

I can’t remember the details, but we had two main sections in my session. It’s stupid, because there were actually issues I wanted to get Ron’s input on, but everything flew out of my mind that morning.

One other thing – Ron was no longer especially cheerful. Thank God. He was neutral I’d say.

First I started talking about work. I’m having real trouble determining if I’m acting appropriately. I feel really critical of the way this project is being managed, and am trying to change this. I seem to have no trouble speaking up. My client E doesn’t scare me at all. But then, I second guess myself afterwards – am I being too outspoken? Will there be repercussions?

I actually went into a deep depression last weekend, after the emailing the director incident. I couldn’t work out whether I’d been out of line or not. If I thought back to exactly what I’d written, it seemed OK. On the other hand, the whole thing freaked me out.

I don’t know why it hit me so hard, I tell Ron. But….I think it must have to do with my father and my family. There were such severe repercussions to speaking my mind as a child – I was basically shunned by my family. My father stopped speaking with me.

Ron looks serious. I don’t think you need to look much further than that, he says. That is severe.

So maybe I was feeling the feelings last weekend that were too scary to feel at that time when I was young.

I feel so critical of this client, E, but at the same time, I do like him. He doesn’t seem to take my comments super personally. I know he’s the type who just couldn’t give someone the silent treatment. He can be accepting and cheerful, and I crave that acceptance.

I mention a dream about a wedding dress, but the discussion doesn’t go anywhere much. I talk a bit about how it was when I got together with my ex (we never officially married), how things ere not great right from the start, how trapped I’d felt.

After about half an hour, I feel so torn. The talk doesn’t seem to be helping me, or getting at what’s really going on. I say this to Ron.

He says a bunch of stuff I can’t remember. The gist is he thinks I’m struggling with parts, and that’s hindering me from doing things I need to do, like going out and being with people.

Sure, I say. So what do I do?

Well, bringing them in here directly seems to be helpful.

So, I let parts speak. They have been clamouring for attention anyway. In a way, therapy is for them, or so they feel, so if I the adult take a lot of time, to them, it’s a complete waste.

So B comes forward and very quickly tells Ron about all the things important to her – the bakery she wants to go to, the wooden angel we bought….

Then behind B comes another part. This part is full of pain. She feels things pressing down on her, she can’t see….

Then I see this image of being very small, and alone in an underground cave. I’m seeing it from outside and above, so I am not actually the child. I feel really bad. I cry a bit, and am just stunned by the amount of sorrow.

The good thing about this experience is I no longer feel split – this experience completely takes over, so while it’s difficult, I no longer have that freaked out split in half feeling.

I’m not sure if Ron says anything. It’s already time to go, so I spend some time trying to ground. I’m feeling as if I literally can’t move, so it takes a few minutes to come back.

So I leave. I’ve felt sad this weekend, and everything has been difficult. I didn’t feel particularly close to Ron, but I know if he hadn’t been there, I would not have felt safe enough to let those feelings come up.

Bit of a lonely long weekend. But then, I’m not really taking steps to ease loneliness either. Part of me likes being alone. I can feel as I wish, I don’t have to perform for anyone.

I wanted to write about my session.

One of the main things for me is that I’m going after work. In order to work and function, I batten everything down very securely. So when I go to therapy, I’m going in that battened down state. I can feel all the stuff, but it’s behind walls. So the conversation felt a bit superficial – I didn’t get into any deep feelings. I worried I’d feel lonely and unheard afterwards as a result, but that didn’t happen. Somehow, I still felt a connection.

One main topic was switching. I’ve been switching into child modes by mistake. I told him about what happened in group last week. Then I’ve had a similar trouble at work. I was meeting with a manager there who will be working with me, pretty well every day. I ended up talking from a child like place. Not as young as in the group luckily. But a really uncertain place, complete with really soft voice and quavering, and looking overwhelmed.

I wish so much this wouldn’t happen. We talk about why I might be doing this. I’m in a new job, I don’t know anything about the subject they’re dealing with (probabilities, future scenarios, all kinds of testing). I’ve been trying to read their reports and documents and none of it is making much sense. So it’s easy to feel like a child who doesn’t know what all the grown-ups understand. I think that’s probably it. So what I need to realize is that anyone would feel the way I do. It’s normal to not know things when beginning a job. In fact, that’s why most people don’t switch jobs over and over the way I do.

Ron comments that I need to find the mechanism of when I switch. I agree, but it’s not that easy. I think if I could feel the emotions, that would help. I think I’m switching before I feel them. So hopefully, forewarned is forearmed – if I know I’m liable to do this, I’ll be able to prevent it.

Ron also says that I seem to feel ashamed of this. And I say I do – it’s worse, the younger the part is. So at the group, I felt shame like a physical pain that stayed with me long after. At work, it’s an older part, and the shame isn’t as severe.

Ron comments at some point that he is reading the book I lent him. I’m so pleased and tell him so. That he would go to that trouble in order to help me. He says they’re trying to be very ‘medical’. Which is true I suppose. The authors are doctors I think, and are trying to speak in very scientific language. Plus they’re not very good writers, so the book is a little stodgy. I just say that’s true and leave it at that. Later, I think, well, Freud was trying to be medical also, and he’s the father of psychodynamic therapy. Just Freud was also a good writer and a genius, which the authors of this book just aren’t. But it has solid information. And being part of the establishment, the writers have funding and have worked with many patients with dissociative disorders, so I think they have good stuff to say.

What else. I tell Ron about my mother’s phone call. She told me my brother is separating from his long-time girlfriend. She’s upset about this. I sympathize with her, but I don’t feel much. I have had minimal contact with both of them.

We talk a bit about love. Ron tells me a bit about his opinion – that sometimes, finding a healthy partner is just luck. I was saying how my family is really dysfunctional, so if any problems come up, they’d never be discussed, and so relationships will flounder. None of us (siblings) are married – all of our relationships ended. I say I know I’m not one to talk, since I have no relationships. By the time I get healthier, I’ll be too old. Ron says he’s worked with clients who have the same relationship, over and over, then suddenly, they have one that’s different. Luck. And he’s worked with couples where one person is significantly more mature than another, and the partnership still works. The immature person lucked out and met someone healthier.

We talk a bit more about my family. Ron says again how severe he considers my dad’s abuse to be, not talking to me for several years when I was a child. I don’t like to think about this very much. We talk about how it’s less clearly abuse than physical – if there’s blood all over the floor, you know something bad happened. It could be there are witnesses to confirm it too. With what happened to me, my family can simply deny that ever happened. Reality is what they wish it to be.

Then B talks a bit with Ron. She tells him about wanting to buy curtains and a rug. Then Ron asks me what I think about it. That’s new – that he’d ask me my views about what another part said. Probably comes from reading the book. I tell him I get stuck on which to choose. Ron thinks it would be a good idea to support B by buying curtains, taking care of myself in that way.

B is drawing during her time talking, and after.  It really seems to help her feel present and accounted for.

That’s about it. I’m super tired from work, and walk quickly back to my car and drive straight home. It wasn’t an emotional session, but it was a bit of connection. Also being able to discuss the switching problem was good. I feel so alone with everything – it’s good just to be able to talk.

I did go down to the beach yesterday. It was OK. I mean, the weather and the scenery were lovely. I guess you take along your mental state wherever you go though. If I could have gone with a different head, that would have been good.

At one point I was enjoying a shady bench, when an older man sat on the next part of it (it was like two benches melded together). I didn’t pay much attention – I was reading my mystery. Next time I glanced up, I saw he had carefully screwed together a metal instrument – maybe a clarinet, but metal? He started to play – he was pretty good – sounded professional actually. He played old fashioned jazz standards, it sounded like. It was a bit too loud for me, but I stayed anyway. How often do I get to hear a professional play live?

Later, I saw his music case standing open – he was busking. I didn’t have any change. After, I thought I could have given him the five bucks I did have. Usually I give dollars or toonies. But I can afford a fiver. Sometimes I feel just mean.

So, that happened.

Today I think I’ll stay home. I thought I’d be better than I am today, but I’m not. I suspect that, while being at the beach was nice, I blocked out feelings I need to let happen, in order to be there. That’s the joy of dissociation. I think that’s why I’m not doing well today.

At least if I let the feelings happen, they do shift and change.

This morning, after a failed attempt to get going and do stuff, I started thinking about one of the things I talked about in therapy. I talked about a number of painful topics, not exploring any of them in depth – something I want to work on changing, I need to stay with something long enough to get into it, because although I think at the time, it’s too painful, actually, hitting on multiple painful things seems to be just as bad if not worse.

One of the things I talked about was one of the few social engagements I had – I was invited to a restaurant dinner to celebrate an old friend’s birthday. The whole situation is a little problematic, because this friend and I had a falling out a few years ago, and don’t see each other anymore. However, because we were in each other’s lives for so many years, and have friends in common, I’m still invited to things like this from time to time.

The dinner went OK. I actually felt socially more competent than I had been when we were friends years ago, which was a good feeling. I no longer take most things personally, and I know how to try and include people in conversations. It was OK.

The other part of this was that my ex was also there. He also was friends with this friend. Not friends like she and I were, but friendly, and they hadn’t had a falling out.

At the end of the evening, we went to my friend’s place for tea and to sit outside. And my ex launched into a story about my son, where my son was incompetent and at fault. And I do agree he was at fault. However, this was something that had happened some years ago, and I’d discussed it in detail with my ex. My friend has always hated my son. I never bring him up when she’s around. I became so angry that my ex would bring up this story about my son. Of course, my friend would come down on my son like a ton of bricks – she doesn’t like him even when he does nothing.

I raised my voice, and asked my ex firmly to not go over that old story again. My voice was definitely angry. I did not want to sit there while my friend tore into my son.

I left shortly after, because another friend wanted to go, and I was driving her.

I explain all this to Ron. It’s a little involved. At first he doesn’t get that my ex was also at this dinner, and when he does, he is surprised, though he doesn’t say anything directly.

What I started thinking about was that none of my friends at the time I was living with my ex, ever expressed that he was in fact abusive. When we separated, the belief was simply that things ‘hadn’t worked out’. And I accepted this. Why should they take sides?

But now I am seeing it differently. I was being terrorized by this man and his uncontrollable rages. Couldn’t someone have stood up for me, declared that this was not OK? My friends treated what was happening like it was ‘fighting’…..it was more than that. It was one person being victimized by another.

I know things aren’t black and white. I accept a lot of the blame here. I was unable to be an adult. I was unable to support myself, I was afraid, I didn’t know if I was being sensitive.

But now, I feel angry. I wish someone could have been at my side and been angry with my ex when I so needed someone. And being with these friends, I suspect I became angry at more than the way they were discussing my son.

This weekend I feel more sad than depressed. It’s more like a feeling, instead of an overwhelming stress state. So that’s maybe good.

Therapy was Thursday evening this time, as I’d already worked from home Monday, so couldn’t Friday. So I got to therapy pretty tired from my workday.

I want to write out the session, but I can’t remember it well through all this sadness. I wanted to know why I’m feeling all this depression after therapy. Ron said I’d emailed him some good reasons. But those were just everything I remembered discussing last session I say. I don’t know what caused this.

I tell him work is better, with this new boss. Even relating to the manager I don’t like, S, is better. My main difficulty in the past week was the huge depression I fell into. Oh, and I went for a cancer check up – it turned out I’m fine, most likely entirely cured. That was a relief, but I was so depressed, I didn’t feel it emotionally much. I felt bad going to the clinic so depressed. Some people who actually had cancer looked at me with kind of fellow feeling – but it was under false pretences – I was lucky, I didn’t have cancer, it was this other thing. Anyway.

I tell Ron the surgeon congratulated me on my great scan results – as if I’d done something special. I told him it was pure blind luck – nothing to do with me. He’d said something like ‘you did great, good for you’. Ron comments that sometimes doctors condescend to patients like that – treat them like children – because it’s a way of avoiding connection. They have to communicate these life and death types of news, and to avoid the emotion of that, they start condescending.

I tell Ron it was maybe something like that, but that overall, this doctor had been great. He seemed genuinely happy for me. Another person there though, a researcher, was completely condescending….I’d agreed to fill out his survey. Man, he treated me like someone who was child-like. I tell Ron, my colon is a long way from my brain – my brain is fine. My colon is actually fine also, thank you God.

I talk about my ex, about how it was when we lived together. How he is a mess of anxiety, and if everything doesn’t go exactly how he needs it to go, he would explode with rage. Everything was always all about him in the end, him and his rages. How I basically spent my thirties afraid of him, and trying to avoid him. And that I feel I completely wasted my thirties, being with this man whom I was afraid of. And how I thought a lot of my predicament was about money – I’d tried to get jobs, but people didn’t wish to hire me. I had no specific experience or skills. I guess I’d get so nervous at interviews, it made everyone uncomfortable, and I’d never get the job.

If I’d had money, I would have left. I wonder. I guess I didn’t really figure my parents into the equation – that they were well of by this point, and would likely have helped me. I never felt I deserved help. There wasn’t blood or broken bones – just broken furniture, and a lot of anger and fear. I think my PTSD was just set off by living with my ex, over and over, and so I’d shut down, and just concentrate on surviving.

So at least I’m out of there. It’s actually good – I’m earning money, working consistently, have my own place.

I don’t say this, but I think I had an inner abuser – that’s why I couldn’t deal with the external one. I couldn’t see how inappropriate my ex’s behaviour was, really, because he was mirroring some kind of inner situation.

I don’t express much emotion about any of this. Writing it out feels disturbing though. I wonder if I’d feel less awful if I’d expressed some emotion about all this. Ron doesn’t ask about that, he just listens, so I move on to something else. I’d expect Ron to show more interest in this, but he doesn’t seem to, though he does listen. I wonder if I seem like such a passive victim, it’s hard to deal with. At this point I was an adult, not a child who merits sympathy just for that fact. As an adult, I acted like a complete victim. Maybe it’s hard to comment on that.

I’ll write the rest of the session in the next post.

I’m going to whine, and the purpose is to get a grip.

I hate work. Though it has good things about it. But I hate it. I talked a bit about it with Ron last session, because one day, I’d ended up partially switched into a kid part, and it scared me that that happened. It was just my voice. A manager called me up, and I answered and talked like a shy child.

What I don’t like. I am by myself. I am in a cubicle, and no one talks to me all day long, for the most part. I’ve got lots of internal documents to read, but not much else to do. My task is uncertain – I am to create a large document, but how it’s all going to work isn’t clear.

So I’ve struck up this tiny relationship with the very young woman in the next cubicle, who is very quiet, and also very new to her job. I believe she still lives with her parents, out in a suburb somewhere. She’s a little frustrating to deal with, just because she doesn’t respond much to my chat. She doesn’t ignore me, but she never initiates a conversation, beyond saying hello, she never seems to get up, while I go for tea four times a day, plus lunch, plus restroom stops. She literally sits quietly all day. But she’s important to me, because I talk to no one else all day – I’m a stranger in a strange land.

I sympathize with her also – at her age, I was also super shy, and didn’t see the need for chat with anyone unless we were best friends. It’s not her job to help me feel better, after all. She’s perfectly pleasant, and quiet is restful also.

I tell Ron I think that’s one reason I switched – no one to remind me that I’m grown up now and working.

I’m supposed to figure things out on my own it seems. Not easy, in a complex organization like this one. In fact, impossible. Unless I talk to people about this work, I will not be able to do it. An outsider can’t walk in and produce an important document on her own.

Yesterday I finally did meet with one of the managers there, at my request. In a way, it was a good meeting, as she was able to clear up a lot of puzzles for me. In another way, not so good. She seemed almost angry, or impatient, and I really don’t know why. It was as if she’d expected me to get things more clearly on my own. But I don’t report to her, and I hadn’t looked at our meeting as a test of what I’d done. Afterwards, I was puzzled about her, but put that aside as I was able to move forward with my project a bit.

This morning, my manager came by, and mentioned that this manager had told him my outline needed a lot of tweaking, that I had to go back and do a lot of work on it. Well, not really. Sure, it had changed, but it was no disaster. So.

I got a bad feeling about this – that she would actually go to him and say negative things about me. Why?

Then on a coffee break, I passed my manager on the escalator, him with coffee cup in hand, with someone else. He saw me, then pretended he hadn’t. Which made me feel like a complete loser.

I’m pretty paranoid now. I’m spending a lot of time at work spinning my wheels – not sure how to proceed. The manager has simply said to read and become acquainted with the organization. Plus I’m producing this outline. I feel that he somehow expects magic – that I’ll be able to produce without taking up his or his staff’s time. I fear this. And of course, I won’t be able to do that. What I basically do is facilitate a documentation process. I can ask questions, I can write, but I can’t provide the work in a vacuum.

Sorry, I bet this is boring.

Today I came home, and just felt devastated. One of my suicidal parts is foremost again also.

I’ve realized why I get so down when no one talks to me. Besides the practical reasons. This was one of the tortures of my childhood. My father wouldn’t talk to me for a few years, and the rest of the family followed suit, though less spectacularly. When I’m again surrounded by people who seem to be ignoring me, I think all my feelings from this childhood experience are stirred up. I become afraid I don’t exist, somehow. Then I panic, I stuff the panic down, then I feel uneasy and more and more depressed. And when I’m struggling with these kinds of feelings, it gets more and more difficult to relate to anyone in any natural way.

This is not something we came up with in therapy. I had a lot I wanted to talk about in the session, not related to work. But since I’ve thought about it, this realization seems big to me.

So, I have to go to bed at nine, as I wake up during the night and it takes me over an hour sometimes to get back to sleep. So I guess I’m off to bed. I hope tomorrow is better. I think about taking a day off, or an afternoon, if I can’t stand it. Because I’m making a good rate, I’ll lose quite a bit of money if I do that. But I have to take care of myself, overall. The main thing is not to get too depressed, too anxious. I need to keep working.