We usually write when we have something to say or if we want support. This post does not fulfill either of those. We are just writing so that people know what is going on in case they are interested.
Older Child will return to college in a few weeks. All classes are online. So why move back? To practice living on Child’s own. To renew and make friendships–even as social distancing and masking are required. To be sure, this is a strange time. Hiding at home does not further Older Child’s emerging adulthood.
We have spent much time together this summer. We will be sad when once again Older Child leaves home.
Younger Child is intending to try hybrid high school, which will entail two days per week in reduced-population classrooms that enforce 6-foot distance between people with masks required and three days per week at home distance learning with some synchronous engagement. Younger Child misses social interaction and extracurricular activities, which may or may not resume in a social-distancing format.
Both children continue to social distance, even as every single friend has ceased. They want to protect our health (immune compromised) and protect themselves.
We are not feeling mentally well and so have altered our meds with our psychiatrist. We have had little energy, high depression, little joy or interest in life. Psychiatrist wanted to keep increasing our meds. We said no. So we cut our anxiety meds in half, since they make us sleepy. Kept the anti-depressant constant even though psychiatrist wanted to increase them. That just makes it take longer to get off them.
If we are still not pleased with our mental and physical states in a month, we will get off these meds. Psychiatrist will want to try new meds, and we will probably decline that.
We continue work on compassion and trying to accept with a nonjudgmental stance. We feel some relief when we can authentically accept self where we are at a given moment. It is hard to notice our judgments. Some are silent. We just assume we are “doing life wrong.”
Family continues to discuss racial equality. Children continue to post on social media about unconditional statement that black lives matter. They are committed to engagement and can accept the fact that they have had white privilege. They would like to create more equality so that privilege disappears.
They both would like to see police removed of weapons and violent tactics. They both want to see punishment-based justice system reformed for education and social-emotional development.
We listen and learn and discuss.
We need to take breaks, though, because the talk of violence upsets us greatly.
Our focus and attention span have declined. We dissociate much of the day now. This makes the time fly, but that deprives us of living life. Mind and body are highly separate, too. Our physical ailments resulting from that divide are healing. We may lose a toenail from repeated accidental bashing. Shoulder is healing. Back and neck are still very sore, and we are not getting the consistent rehab we desire because we injure ourself.
T-2 wants us to see a sensorimotor therapist. We do not have the energy or resources to try adding treatment at this point.
We saw our GP a few weeks ago. As a result of the depression screening, GP asked us about suicidality. We admitted the increased levels. GP started asking if we should be hospitalized. That set us off. We told GP that sending us involuntarily to a hospital where we would be restrained and not helped just because we have thoughts sets a dangerous precedent in our life and health care. We said we were not intending to act on thoughts. They were just thoughts. GP eventually relented on hospitalization, but we will not return to this doctor again.
We may also be less honest in the future with how we feel because it takes a lot of energy to defend ourself on the spot from an involuntary hospitalization.
The meds might be making depression worse. Interest in sex has decreased from “very interested” to “hardly interested.” That robs us of a source of remaining joy. At first, we welcomed the loss of interest in sex because we have a lot of shame around sexual arousal from our trauma.
Now it feels like we are just sleepwalking through life.
We will try to be open to new ideas and to life’s experiences. We will try to be present and dissociate less. And we will try not to judge us for not being able to accomplish being present or not dissociating.