Therapy Thursday

What a rough time today.  Going two days in a row is rough.  But I didn’t expect it to be this rough.  I pretty much picked up where I left off.  I know Dr. D is concerned.  It’s hard for me to understand why.  The same goes for Dr. W.  On Dr. D’s urging, I left a message for Dr. W.  The panic attacks.  The flashbacks.  They have gotten worse lately.  I think I didn’t share this with Dr. W for fear of ending up in the hospital.  I bet that isn’t a rational thought.  They don’t throw you butt in the hospital unless you’re a danger to yourself or others.  What I know, however, isn’t working to calm down what I feel.

For the first time in however many years I’ve been going, I admitted to Dr. D about the cutting.  People sometimes get the wrong idea.  For me, it was to externalize the pain I was feeling.  I talked about how long it’s been since I last cut.  I talked about the urges and how they’re getting stronger and stronger.  Dr. D took it in stride.  I had expected some sort of belittling.  I don’t know.  Scolding maybe.  But all she showed was compassion.  She asked the usual questions.  When did I start?  What made me stop?  Did I feel in danger?

Today was another day.  I couldn’t cry.  I thought I was going to.  I pinched my leg to try and keep it under control.  I hate tears.  I hear my mom’s voice.  “If you want to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about!”  It usually ended up with the belt.

She asked about how structure of childhood kept me functioning (although not in those words).  I was trying to respond that it was some sort of normality in life.  All of a sudden I was hit with flashbacks harder than ever.  I’m pretty sure I was having a panic attack too.  I vaguely remember hearing my name.  But I couldn’t snap out of it.  It was like I was in a film on a repetitive loop.  As I calmed down, I could only stare at the fish.  I couldn’t look Dr. D in the eyes.  We talked some about what I went through in those last 5 minutes.  It was all so overwhelming.  I went back to the thought of routine and only could say there was nothing normal about it.  But it was sort of a loose routine.  I went to bed.  He came in.  He molested me.  He left.  I went to sleep.  Every single night.

I tried to hide.  I don’t know why I bothered.  He always got me out.  Sometimes it was with extraordinary anger.  He almost ripped the closet door off once or twice.  I finally gave up on hiding.  There was no point.  There was no stopping the abuse.

All of this came out today.  Dr. D asked if there were any new memories.  Nope.  The same old ones.  The ones that still hurt so much.  I need to let her know I need her to be more aggressive in trying to get me out of that loop.  Like I said, I kind of heard her calling my name.  But it wasn’t enough.  It didn’t break though the images, sounds, feelings or panic.  The one thing she did try to get me to do after I calmed down was to keep my eyes open.  I totally understand that.  In my history of therapy, that was something I definitely learned.  It hard sometimes.  I really want to block out everything.  But by blocking out everything external, I get caught up in my head.

Dr. D asked me to come back on Monday morning so we can keep on top of everything.  What was I going to say?  I suppose I could have said no.  But that didn’t seem wise.  I know I need to keep working, especially through the radiation.  Speaking of which, I’m almost half way done.  Yay for me.  So, I’ll go back on Monday.  If I make it through the weekend that is.  Dr. D gave me her cell phone number so I can always call or shoot her a text if need be.



Today was a day of rest for me.  One of the cable channels was doing a Harry Potter marathon, so I left that one and slept on and off.  I did go out for dinner and then to a coffee shop to finish grading tests.  It’s  nice not having that hanging over me.  Tomorrow I have to see Dr. P and Dr. K.  I basically need med refills from both.  And I have PT too.

I have this sharp pain in a new place, right under my collar bone on the left side.  The same side on the right is tender but not painful like the other.  I hate this.  I finally get my neck and shoulders under control and something new pops up.  I know fibro isn’t fatal, but I can see how it could drive someone to suicide.

Hell, the suicidal thoughts I’ve been having haven’t gone away, nor have the SI ones.  I’m just trying to take things one at a time.  Doing art has helped some.  But right now I feel blocked.  I feel like there’s a brick wall between my brain and my hand.  We all know most of my work is abstract, so why not just put some color on paper?  Because it has to mean something to me.  I could do that, but it would be nothing more than colors.

SI Urges *Trigger Warning*

Right now I want to cut.  I want to take a knife and filet my arms down to the bone.  Then I want to do the same to my legs.  I can’t stand the physical pain of the fibro anymore.  I can’t stand the mental pain of losing my grandmother.  She was the only one in my fucked up family that didn’t hurt me.

I want to see the blood rushing out of my body.  I feel like my soul has been ripped to shreds.

I’m a useless human being.  My idea of a lesson for the kindergarteners yesterday was basically coloring.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t be happy teacher.

I want to stab the muscles in my neck and back.  I want them to have a real reason to hurt.

I want to go back to where I was in the late 90s.  Completely emotionless.  Spock and Data had nothing on me.  I felt nothing.  All those years of therapy to learn how to feel.  I’d give anything to go back to robot Kathryn.

I suck as a person.  I should be cut up into bits and fed to some big wild animal.

What a Day

Woke up early because I had so much to do today.  Saw an email that said call home.  My Grandmother died.  The one person in my family who wasn’t completely psycho is now gone.  Well, she’s been gone for a couple of year.  Alzheimer’s had robbed her of her memory and in the end, took her body too.

Went to see Dr. P.  Just as I was walking in the office, my left ankle rolled and I ended up on the floor.  Yes, I was a blubbering mess.  He put me in the treatment room so I didn’t have to be around people.  I was so anxious and upset about everything, he decided to do an IV of Valium.  Yay for benzos.  Actually, it’s just a saline (maybe with other stuff, I don’t know) IV and then they inject the Valium through the IV port.  I don’t know why but after about a half hour, I was freezing.  They gave me a blanket.  I kept shivering.  They put another blanket on.  By this time they were concerned I was running a fever.  Nope.  I was just shivering for no reason.  On went blanket number three.  It was not cold in there.  I swear.  When they finally took the IV out and I sat up, the room started to spin.  I held onto the bed for dear life.  So, after roughly two hours I got out of there.

Next stop, Dr. K.  He upped the gabapentin to 1800 mg a day.  Tomorrow I get another round of the trigger point injections.  My neck is killing me.  They concentrated the TENS and the massage on my neck and I was almost crying while she did the massage.    It hurts to have anyone even touch my neck and shoulders.  My pain level is up to about a 7.  Thankfully, the gabapentin makes me sleepy, so combined with Dr. P’s meds I should be able to sleep.

Speaking of Dr. P, he’s got me on Imipramine (as the only antidepressant), Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin.  I don’t have much trouble with anxiety.  And I guess Klonopin can be prescribed as a muscle relaxer because Dr. P told me it can no longer be prescribed for anxiety.  And goodness knows my muscles need relaxed.  I really think I need something else for the depression.  It isn’t doing jack for the fibro and it isn’t doing anything for the depression.  He originally put me on it because it was supposed to help with nightmares.  I have no idea why he took me off the Paxil.  I think I’ll ask him about that next week.  I know I’m charting my moods with a web app, and hitting 30% is indicative of a good day for me.

Then I went to the bank to take care of some stuff.  That was easy enough.

Then I get to work.  Today I had 5 classes, 3 were taking tests, 1 was making ice cream sandwiches and one was basically going to color the whole period because I couldn’t get my brain together enough to actually do a real lesson.  As I’m copying tests, the copier starts making weird noises.  Ugh, the bloody thing is running out of toner.  Why?  Why today of all day?  With some kind words and a bit of shaking of the toner cartridge, I got everything printed out.

So here I sit.  Tomorrow is destined to be crazy as well.  I have to take Gidgette to the vet for her kitty birth control shot so we can get her out of heat.  Yes, she was spayed, but apparently they missed some ovarian tissue.  So I have to take her to the vet, get food and litter while I’m there.  Come home, dump everything and let Gidgette out of her carrier.  Clean myself up as necessary, and go see Dr. K so he can stick needles in me and then go to PT.  Then I get to go to work, grade tests, give more tests and have my boss sit in on a private lesson I do with her son.  Crap.  I guess I should prep something for that.

I’m tired.  I can barely keep my eyes open.  And I just want the whole world to leave me alone for a day.  From 1 to 7 I have to be in control.  I walked in the door tonight and just lost it.  Doesn’t help those damn suicidal and Si thoughts are creeping into the back of my mind.

Aggressive, Assertive, What?

Am I aggressive?  Is telling Dr. P I don’t want to take the risperidone anymomre aggressive?  I don’t know if it’s a language thing (he looked aggressive up in his E>-K dictionary) or what.  For me, being able to say I don’t want to do this, it makes me feel bad, is hard.  Aggressive?  Assertive?  In two weeks I had gained about 5 pounds.  I don’t need that.  I’m still seriously obese even losing those 45-50 pounds.  I can’t afford to gain weight.  And it never really helped with the nightmares.  It made me sleepy, but I didn’t sleep well and often was up with the birds.

The only way I can describe my behavior in his office was completely dejected.  I hadn’t slept well in weeks (part of that I think was the risperdone).  I was anxious.  My pain levels were though the  roof.  Passive aggressive?  That wasn’t my intent.  It really upset me and I left in tears.  I don’t even think he believes the pain is as bad as I say.  I don’t know what my options for changing doctors are.  Psychiatrists aren’t a dime a dozen around here.  Ones that speak excellent English are even more rare.

At least the orthopedist does believe me on the pain.  He’s felt the muscles in my neck and shoulders and can see what a mess they are.  He changed to a finer needle to do the injections and they’re still making me wince and cry out in pain.  I gave him Dr. P’s number and he’s going to talk to him.

I just don’t know what to do anymore…  I feel like a failure as a human and as a teacher.  I totally snapped at my 5th and 6th graders for not listening yesterday.  It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for them.  But I was so exhausted with teaching the 3 classes before them (including a class of 6 year olds which ended up coloring the last 15 minutes).  I did apologize to them.
I think about cutting all the damn time now.  It’s been more than 10 years since the last time, and when I made my vow never to do it again.  It’s getting harder to resist.  I want some pain I can control.  I want anything I can control.  I can encourage my kids to do their homework and practice for their speaking tests, but I can’t make them.  They do poorly and it reflects poorly on me.  I’m not their mothers and I don’t want to be.  But the mother’s bitch at us when their precious little darlings come home with 60s on their monthly tests.

General Health & ETC

Aside from being crazy, I’m generally healthy, despite my weight (which is still going down).  Had a full checkup with blood work and all.  Kidneys and liver both checked out fine.  Thyroid is back in the normal range with medication.  Blood pressure and heart rate are fine.  No diabetes or anemia.  Cholesterol is slightly elevated, which I’ll be treating with diet and exercise.  Doctor feels no need for medication yet.  Some blood test showed evidence of inflammation in my body.  Well duh, tendonitis in my wrist.  Doctor agrees that’s probably it.

So all in all, I’m just crazy.  I haven’t been sleeping as well, despite medication.  Same with the anxiety.   Terrible nightmares where I’m being raped or tortured.  Afterwards when doctors try to help me (usually involving giving me something like IV benzos to help me calm down so they can treat the injuries) I beg them to stop.  Strangely enough, the doctor in the dream is usually “Ducky” from NCIS.  I have no idea why, outside of the fact I’ve been watching a lot of NCIS lately.

Two weeks ago, my shrink gave me some IV compazine to combat the nausea I was having.  I can definitely say having an IV placed at the base of your wrist, palm side is probably the most painful site.  For some reasons, the nice veins in my hands went diving for cover.  I was so tired and felt so sick and overwhelmed, I just lay there silently crying.  The following week the doc asked why I had been crying.  I explained and added that I was tired of feeling crazy and I was mad at my parents for contributing to my craziness (both genetically and environmentally).

It feels like I’m in a PTSD flare-up right now.  They physical pain in my wrist doesn’t help.  I think the touching, while helping on one level is making me more jumpy and anxious and flashbacky than usual.  I guess I’ll try to explain that to Dr. P when I see him on Monday.  It’s a good thing that he only gives me a week of meds at a time.  I’ve got some niggling suicidal and Si urges going on as well.

Holy crap.  I didn’t realize all this was going on until I started typing (sans splint, I’ll be a good girl and put it on as soon as I finish).  I don’t want to feel like this.  That’s different from 10 years ago.  Then I thought I deserved to suffer and be punished.  Now I just want to be happy.  And I want it to be real.  I don’t want it to be the forced happy mask I’ve been putting on at work.

And I guess I should clean up the apartment.  The general level of pain and exhaustion has led to a mess of a living space.  Doesn’t help that my washer is slightly unbalanced and it takes about 10x longer to do laundry than it should.

And damn it.  I’m not going to cry!  No.  Stop it Kathryn  Crap.  Not working.



Rough Night

It’s 1:15 AM.  I’m awake.  I’m not happy with this little fact.  I’m stressed with trying to get my visa transfer taken care of, moving and all the other crap that goes along with changing jobs.  I got the guilt trip from my grandmother the other day when I called to wish her happy birthday.  I get she wants me to come home.  She doesn’t get I don’t want to.

It’s stuffy in here and my stupid air conditioner isn’t working.  My toilet has been plugged up for 3 days and calls to the landlord go unanswered.  I’m pissed at the world, in general.

I’ve been tapering down off the Zoloft on my docs reccomendation because it’s giving me RLS like symptoms at night.  I can feel the dark clouds closing in along with the anxiety.  He’s not a psychiatrist so he doesn’t want to prescribe something else.  Hell, he didn’t want to prescribe Zoloft in the first place.  He had only ever used Prozac.  Trust me, Prozac and me didn’t get along.  I refuse to even try it again.  I’d rather not repeat the insanity of weeks with little to no sleep culminating in a trip to the loony bin.

Is it even worth trying to get into a psychiatrist here?  I’m moving in 3 weeks.  I feel like banging my head against the wall.  For the first time in quite a long time, I’ve been having SI urges.  That’s why I’m here typing this.  It’s been too long for me to go back to that particular coping mechanism.

I feel like a whiny little brat right now.  So I guess I’ll just stick my head under the shower to cool off.  Hopefully it won’t set up a trigger cascade.

*thinks positive thoughts*

Then I’ll go grab a kitty and get her to snuggle for a while.

I Love My Job…

…No, really, I do.

But there are points where I want to kill every last one of my coworkers, all the students and every mother in the city.  Oh yeah, the fathers too if they get in the way.

Why, you ask?  I’m borderline (heh, that too) exhausted.  I’ve been living in migraine city for the last couple weeks.  People are acting beyond crazy at school.  We have an open house coming up and everyone, including the students, is stressed out.  I have a student who is about 6 and I asked her if she was OK today.  I asked if she was sad or tired or angry.  H just answered “No teacher”.  I finally asked if she was worried about something.  She nodded and looked down at some of the open house material that she had to learn.  So I said “H, are you worried about open house?” and she just nodded.  I mean seriously, it can’t be healthy for a 6 year old to be that stressed out about school.

And to make things more fun, I have one of two extremely annoying songs going through my head almost constantly.  There’s “Telly’s Lunch” and “The Butterfly Song“.  I want to shoot myself in the head every time I press play on my mp3 player.

Open house is coming up in about 2 weeks.  And the kids literally have like 6 pages of material plus two songs to learn before then.  No wonder poor little H is stressed out of her mind.  I’d be stressed too.  The youngest kids are barely 4.  Sometimes I think the educational system in this country is nuts.  Not that the US system is any better.

I’m so tired because I haven’t been sleeping.  I’m so tired, I can’t sleep.  I just lay on the bed curled up in a fetal position and rock back and forth.  It’s the burning eye, sore muscle, stomachache kind of exhaustion.  Banging my head on the desk would probably be a blessed relief, but I’m not going to do that.  I know cutting would bring a whole lot of, albeit temporary, relief.  But I’m not going to do that.  It won’t solve any problems.  Honestly, because it’s getting to be warm, it would cause a whole lot of extra problems.  So yeah, I’m not going to go down that road.

I’m also trying to get stuff for portfolios ready.  Even though we have about 6 weeks to do them, I feel like I’m really behind.  Approximately 10 pieces of work to do and grade * 9 classes * approximately 13 students/class + report cards for all those kids + an additional class worth of report cards.  Yeah.  You can see why 6 weeks doesn’t seem all that long.

I also had to make up packets of work for 4 different classes today.  I have at least 1 more packet to put together in the next week or so.  I haven’t had a proper lunch all week.  I’ve basically been working 9-6 straight through.

Yes, I’m an idiot.  But if I didn’t get it all done, I’d stress even more.  And I’d get less sleep.  And I’d eat even less.  Yeah, I’m not doing so great on the eating front.  I don’t even want to look at food.  And the gym?  Ha! I need to renew my monthly membership.  I haven’t gone in almost 3 weeks.  Two weeks ago I was sick.  Last week, I tripped over my two big, left feet as I was getting ready and twisted the living crap out of my weaker ankle.

I need a vacation.  Big time.  So many national holidays have falled on the weekend this year.  And if the holiday is on the weekend, we don’t get any days off.  It’s not like back home where you’d get the Monday following off.

I’m tired.  I’m anxious.  I’m depressed.  I’m in pain.  That pretty much sums it up.


Unconditional Love

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about my post from the other day.  It’s a weird thing.  I don’t really understand it.  But I think it has something to do with unconditional love.  I guess I still think that love = pain.

I was on the bed with Ivory this morning.  I spent the morning in bed trying to finish recovering from this stupid sinus infection/bronchitis.  Thankfully I feel human again and my voice is almost back.  But I digress.  I’m in bed and Ivory is next to me, curled up in a little ball.  She’s purring away.  I slightly shift positions.  She comes and lays on my stomach and looks at me with those beautiful hazel/gray eyes of her.  She was just happy to lie there and be scratched behind the ears.  She didn’t want anything more than to be loved.  And she was happy to give me the same unconditional love back.  She doesn’t have to hurt me to love me.

We can play however we want.  If she scratches, it’s just in play.  I need to see it that way.  I need to know she’s not trying to hurt me.  It’s just play.

Sorry that this doesn’t make much sense.  I’m still trying to sort it all out in my head.

SI by proxy?

OK, that sounds weird. I’ve been SI free since February of 2001. That’s 8 very long years. That hasn’t changed the urges. When they hit, they hit strong and they hit fast. I’ve always been able to fight them off. No cutting was a pledge that I made to myself a long time ago. I don’t want to go back there. I can’t go back there. It’s just not an option. I have better coping strategies.

But… and it’s a big but…

Is letting Ivory scratch me while playing a form of SI? I know my emotional response should be able to answer the question. But I’m having trouble understanding the whole emotion thing right now. Part of it is because my brain is horribly fuzzy from being sick. Part of it is general stress and craziness at work.

Sometimes it feels good when she scratches. Sometimes it pisses me off. Sometimes I understand she’s just playing. I don’t want to get into the habit of letting her play rough. I don’t want to make her do my emotional dirty work.

Does this make any sense? I dunno. Part of me says it’s wrong. Part of me tells me I should start over from Day 1. And I guess that would be OK.

Anyone else gone through a similar situation? Anyone have any advice for me?