Medication withdrawal

Bodily functions warning ⚠️ Have been tapering down Xanax for more than a month. Stepped down to zero last night. This was not the plan. We were having withdrawal symptoms already. We needed several more days at current dosage. We didn’t crave it as much and thought we’d just get it over with. Slept very … Continue reading Medication withdrawal

If social distancing ends

We have been in COVID long enough for Younger Child to exclaim last week, “I just got upset because the people on the show [“The Office—US version] weren’t social distancing!” We all had a laugh and we were all a little fearful. In about 90 days, Younger Child has an adapted worldview that now recognizes … Continue reading If social distancing ends

Love as a guide during civil unrest

A message today to our neighbors, near and online: Some People feel unequal and some are resorting to violence. These are two separate things. We acknowledge feelings of inequality. Remember: Hatred never ends hatred but by love alone is healed. Gandhi learned it, Mandela learned it, MLK learned it. Peace alone doesn’t necessarily increase people’s … Continue reading Love as a guide during civil unrest

Declining teletherapy before it was cool, and now the risks to life

At one of Dr. Ross’s hospitals, we had the opportunity to have a public (in front of all patients and staff on the Trauma Ward), one-hour therapy session We had seen this session before starting in 2017. Dr. Ross would fly into town, visit the ward, and hold a public therapy session once per week. … Continue reading Declining teletherapy before it was cool, and now the risks to life

Stop waiting for the rescuer

Dr. Colin Ross* uses a triangle to show the roles that trauma survivors tend to replay in their lives. At each point of the triangle is one of these roles: VictimRescuerPerpetrator Sometimes, we were a victim in real life, as with abuse. Sometimes, we suffer a medical emergency that is no one’s “fault,” and still … Continue reading Stop waiting for the rescuer

Update on needs: therapy and meds

Some of our needs for therapy session needs are starting to get met. When shelter-in-place began, we had four therapists whom we were seeing 4-5 days per week total. We terminated our relationship with T-4 after one teletherapy session (we saw T-4 at least twice in person after other therapists stopped meeting in-person, so the … Continue reading Update on needs: therapy and meds

Socially distanced mental health therapy

T-1 agreed to our first socially distanced mental health therapy appointment. We have had two such sessions with T-3. T-1 had many concerns and objections that were voiced to us. Spouse was not thrilled with this level of sharing. Spouse worried about how much T-1’s objections were stressing us out. We accepted the specific objections … Continue reading Socially distanced mental health therapy

Liberate us while we are young, or now

It’s getting close to our worst right now We tried to help Younger Child. We see the suffering. And Younger Child thinks that fulfillment lies outside us This is what society teaches Young People: Your value is assigned by teachers as grades, by the number of followers and likes Do what adults say to you, … Continue reading Liberate us while we are young, or now

Toileting and hygiene with trauma and OCD

This is not an easy post to write, because it feels embarrassing and triggering. And we feel isolated around these issues and wonder if other survivors and those with OCD might also share some of these struggles. If not, it was worth a try. Urinating is highly triggering for us because of sexual trauma. There … Continue reading Toileting and hygiene with trauma and OCD

We must get to compassion

If we cultivate compassion within us, we can learn that our contentment is accessible anywhere and even under difficult circumstances For this to be true, we must practice states of mind that allow compassion Honestly, this feels almost impossible for us. Almost. Little wants compassion. So we seek it. Our cup has been empty for … Continue reading We must get to compassion

Free nature journaling and field sketching course

Cornell Lab of Ornithology just sent us an email saying we can gift their Nature Journaling and Field Sketching course for free. It’s normally $100 It includes 4.5 hours of video instruction spread over 6 lessons. They will probably hit you up for membership or something after, but there is no obligation. They protect birds, … Continue reading Free nature journaling and field sketching course

Practices to calm frazzled nerves

Hypervigilance, as most experiences, has shades, gradations. Many people feel a heightened sense of fear in times of high stress. If you have experienced Trauma, that increase can push you out of your window of tolerance. We are finding our baseline is now out of the window of tolerance. Practices to get back into our … Continue reading Practices to calm frazzled nerves

Reviews of backyard bird feeder and lounge

(We are pretending that birds are posting reviews of our bird feeders and small, homemade pond on Yelp or Google. Please post your review as a comment.) Backyard Feeder & Lounge (2.7 ⭐️)(Driving directions)This .007-acre avian outdoor restaurant and lounge includes as few as six bird feeders in the winter and as many as seven … Continue reading Reviews of backyard bird feeder and lounge

The hardest changes to make

Many people reading and writing blogs, and many people living human lives in relation with other humans, want to change things about themselves and their lives. Can we agree that this is a normal behavior? For us personally, in order for changes to occur, big things must eventually shift. We want to treat people with … Continue reading The hardest changes to make

New Therapist (Intake Part I)

We had our initial intake for a new therapist today. This therapist's specialty is Somatic Experiencing. Our goal in adding this fourth therapist to our lineup is to extend the mind-body connecting we started in the hospital last fall. Since fall, we tried contacting five other therapists with some sort of specialty in movement, mind-body, … Continue reading New Therapist (Intake Part I)

We let ourselves be swallowed up this weekend. Swallowed up by the space between sessions. The silence from them. The desperation from us. We forget they are still there and still want us. And now, with new boundaries, we cannot confirm they are still out there--living their lives and still connected to us. "We are … Continue reading

Empathy for those who piss us off

Everyone and everything and all experiences are teachers if and when we are receptive to the lessons. We spent much of our working career in a college, which means we spent most of our life at school. This was by choice because we like learning and teaching. Here is what Nonviolent Communication (NVC) teaches about … Continue reading Empathy for those who piss us off

Is this email factual, ambiguous, or not factual?

Please be honest about how you think/feel. Gauging our perception is useful. Also, we can handle being wrong and can respect opinions/perceptions that do not mirror our own. Younger Child's school sent out a mass email that reads: We want to remind you of State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines to use when determining if … Continue reading Is this email factual, ambiguous, or not factual?

What change feels like

We are practicing in therapy sitting with and surviving distressing emotions. Five days. Five therapy appointments. Four consecutive days of distress. (Mondays are usually just committing up the weekend.) Change feels like getting ill. Like influenza. People often recover from influenza. We have. DID Trauma therapist says, "What if more resourced parts of you give … Continue reading What change feels like

Live Updates: College Student Washes Clothes

In a remarkable turn of events reminiscent of the Moon Landing and the first circumnavigations of the globe by sea and air, local college student Older Child reportedly washed a pile of dirty laundry last night for the first time since beginning college more than four months ago. "Well, yah, I was running pretty low … Continue reading Live Updates: College Student Washes Clothes

Our original stories

Until we were a young adult, we could not solve the mystery of realistic paintings hanging in art museums. People would stand in front of a painting that depicted throngs of people frozen in time, and the observers would study the painting and talk about details in specific, knowing ways, as though they were watching … Continue reading Our original stories

Changing Established Patterns of Behavior

Older Child returned to college this week. This house is filled with people grieving. When our body and mind experience pain, Punisher--one of our protectors--begins a long-establishes process of self-harm. Punisher ranges from a newborn to age 3. Punisher often initiates chaos and then becomes an infant, with whom you cannot plead, bargain, reason. Punisher's … Continue reading Changing Established Patterns of Behavior

Small steps are most effective for making changes

It can be healthy to set goals for a new year. It can be unhealthy, too. To make it healthy, make small, sustainable changes. For example, if you want to start meditating, revive a meditation practice, or extend a meditation practice, try what feels achievable and realistic. Five minutes twice a day is a useful … Continue reading Small steps are most effective for making changes

Reframing thoughts without judgment

Negative thoughts are setting us up for a negative outlook. If we think, "We didn't do a good enough job," then we feel like a failure. We don't want to replace the negative with a positive, though, which might sound counterintuitive. Positive would probably help our outlook more than negative. And what would help the … Continue reading Reframing thoughts without judgment