Feelings: how to feel them

Trigger warnings: violence We have lost our ability to feel our emotions in a way that meets our needs for order, self-care, safety, movement. What we think is happening is this: as soon as a feeling begins to be felt, protective us's dissociate us from the reality that has the feelings. We think we are … Continue reading Feelings: how to feel them

Considering options amidst our stuckness

Trigger warning: this post discusses lots of stressful, scary shit. We are in one of those cycles of building stress, panic, and urges to do something big to change the channel on our experience. We learn about ourself a lot based on what other people reflect back to us. We do this because we don't … Continue reading Considering options amidst our stuckness

Mental illness stigma: action request

Minneapolis Star Tribune sports writer Jim Souhan today (July 17, 2022) published a column in which he wrote: “In early July the Timberwolves, ignoring Minnesota PTSD (Player Trades Spurring Depression), traded five players and four first round picks to Utah…”Jim Souhan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) This makes us angry, sad, and worried about stigma. We sent … Continue reading Mental illness stigma: action request

Petition to sign: Stop environmental-based racial oppression

No matter where you live, your action can help! From the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy: The East Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis is one of the most diverse communities in Minnesota. It is also one of the most overburdened by industrial pollution, with some of the worst air quality in the state, leading to high … Continue reading Petition to sign: Stop environmental-based racial oppression

Getting harmful, preventable chemicals out of US food supply

From Earthjustice: A well-established and growing body of scientific studies links phthalate exposure through food and drinks to serious health harms. FDA ruled with petrochemical makers to allow phthalates in US food packaging and production. The dangers fall disproportionately on children and all economically disadvantaged Americans. Through centuries of systemic racism, BIPOC individuals suffer disproportionately … Continue reading Getting harmful, preventable chemicals out of US food supply

The past is context. Now is now.

When we feel sad and lonely and depressed, we often blame ourself and want to escape (avoid, dissociate). We feel this way upon waking up. If we contextual it—we’ve experienced trauma—then we hope that context removes blame and creates understanding. One barrier is that it’s hard to stop there. When we’re triggered, we often flash … Continue reading The past is context. Now is now.

How to turn judgment into understanding

Nonviolent Communication views all humans as sharing the same universal needs. While the lists of needs may vary from one organization or adherent to the next, the point is that humans are human—so their needs are the same. The differences in human behavior can be accounted for by differences in strategies used to meet those … Continue reading How to turn judgment into understanding

Why does Dissociative Identity Disorder exist?

On the way to session, someone reminded us why we had DID. The diagnosis made sense with losing time and discontinuous experience. But the revealing evidence to us of the in-brain divisions was in the hospital circa summer of 2018. Our therapist there assigned us homework to document all the trauma we’d ever experienced. We … Continue reading Why does Dissociative Identity Disorder exist?

Connection and the link with Authenticity

What is our status of connecting with ourselves and with outside people? What is our nature? What are our needs? Status: we might feel so scared of being vulnerable and being hurt that we ensure a level of disconnection. We have felt wounded via interactions with outside people. It started when we were young. We … Continue reading Connection and the link with Authenticity

How it’s different when we are missing some of the us’s

Yesterday, we were with our surviving parent (other parent passed away two months ago). This parent had surgery yesterday. Our only sibling provided pre-dawn transportation and was planning to spend the recommended 24 hours with parent to ensure safe recovery (it was a brief, low-invasiveness procedure but of a very serious nature). We were asked … Continue reading How it’s different when we are missing some of the us’s

Advice for challenging times, like the death of a loved one

This morning, one of our therapists emailed to support us. New T advised us to endure this experience with patience, to show up, and to fall back on our values This may be among the most useful advice we ever received. Spouse kept reminding us of it during the funeral today, and it did help … Continue reading Advice for challenging times, like the death of a loved one

We don’t have to love ourself?

When we went in-patient for the first time almost five years ago, we wanted goals. Context (short version): We were drowning in shame from childhood trauma memories. Being productive while away from home for five weeks seemed important. Maybe from authors we read and therapists we had, we got the idea that we must love … Continue reading We don’t have to love ourself?

Call to action: petition

The USA needs compassionate first responders trained to deescalate mental health crises so that a call for help doesn’t become a death sentence, as it can especially for people of color. This is a call for reform to public health so that police trained to incarcerate or enact violence are not deployed in mental health … Continue reading Call to action: petition

Rock song emoji game, part 1

Each emoji combination makes a song title. Most are classic rock. Some combinations are literal; some are more conceptual. Words like a/an, the, of, in, on, with are implied. Feel free to list your guesses in the comments. Hope it’s fun! 🔥 ⬇️ 🏠🇺🇸 🥧👁 👧✈️✊ 👼🏽 🚪👋🏻 👋🏻 💕🎟 🎟 🏝🃏👎🏻 💊🚕👁 🚫 🚘 … Continue reading Rock song emoji game, part 1

Fourth of July celebrates violence, genocide

We are in the US living on stolen land from Indigenous peoples. White people stole black and brown people from other lands to be our slaves, killed the Bison, dug up the prairies, cut down the trees, and genocided the original inhabitants of the current USA. The oppression of non-whites continues today, this minute. What … Continue reading Fourth of July celebrates violence, genocide

Mental health disorders and police reform in the US

Being mentally ill or experiencing a mental health crisis can increase your chances of death by police in the US, especially if you do not have access to supportive crisis resources and particularly if you are non-white. As published on The Hill, according to authors of newly proposed US federal legislation, people with untreated mental … Continue reading Mental health disorders and police reform in the US

Practicing skills when “calm”

Coping with big emotions is a challenge. For us, big emotions feel urgent and overwhelming. When we struggle to catch our breath, many of our traumas are triggered. Breath is so underrated. A deep inhale followed by a big sigh or prolonged exhale can feel so restorative. In fact, catching our breath is the goal … Continue reading Practicing skills when “calm”

Updates on life events

Spouse rode along with us to get our second vaccine dose. We recognize that the privileges of technology access, mobility, and family support allowed us to schedule this appointment and drive an hour to a rural pharmacy. Spouse has been reporting vaccine openings on a Facebook group in order to maximize people’s access to information. … Continue reading Updates on life events

Responsibility as a goal

If we do not attempt to meet our needs, who will? If we wait to be rescued, we are putting our agency on hold, staking our life’s fulfillment on others. If they are well-adjusted, they know they cannot be responsible for our existence or even our contentment. Thus, we will wait in anger. We can … Continue reading Responsibility as a goal

What to expect from COVID-19 rapid test at CVS

(We/us pronouns) We had a Covid-19 rapid test today at CVS Pharmacy. We signed up for it online, which included insurance information and a photo of the insurance card (both sides). We got a same-day appointment (on a Sunday) very close to our home. Rapid test gives results in 15 minutes! The other test via … Continue reading What to expect from COVID-19 rapid test at CVS

Limbo: mental health provider shortage

IOP hospital wants to discharge Younger Child but Outpatient Hospital will not accept YC because they say YC is too sick. Not sick enough for Provider A and too sick for Provider B. Sounds like Goldilocks. So Provider A referred us to yet another potential provider. They have a 16-week waitlist for Eating Disorders treatment! … Continue reading Limbo: mental health provider shortage

Pandemic: prolonged mental health crises

Both children are in distress. Older Child has reached the point of 100% stress, 100% of the time. This is the point Younger Child reached last Fall. We are beside ourself with worry for them. We are recommending that Older Child consider mental health support. Spouse wonders if Older Child might move back home (classes … Continue reading Pandemic: prolonged mental health crises

In Now we must trust

(We use plural pronouns) We are working with New T on sitting with powerful emotions. Feeling hopeless and despair is uncomfortable. We normally dissociate instead of ride it out. New T had us use bilateral stimulation to activate both sides of brain. Having T with us allowed us to just be in pain for a … Continue reading In Now we must trust

Messy life (redundant)

Older Child returned to college yesterday. We are bewildered and morose, funereal, weepy. First Covid case in our extended family, a niece. She and her friends tested (negative) before going to a resort together. Niece is the only one so far with Covid. So far very sore throat, taste and smell gone, fever. We hardly … Continue reading Messy life (redundant)

Churning mind, tired Us

There is so much uncertainty regarding Younger Child’s mental health, especially since this child has shut us out. Because our tolerance of uncertainty is low, we risk guaranteeing the worst outcome in our relationship—withdrawing, getting angry, using power-over—just to meet our need for order. Finally got to see New-T after T’s two-week holiday. T did … Continue reading Churning mind, tired Us

Scarcity obsessions and associated compulsions (OCD)

We are trying to name and notice some of our obsessions and associated rituals. We might try ERP (exposure/response prevention) on our own to free us from some shackles. Here are some: Cleaning The bath towels fit in two piles (side-by-side) in the drawer. We arrange them so that no similar colors come up side … Continue reading Scarcity obsessions and associated compulsions (OCD)

Be gentle and survive

Trigger warning: we are feeling oppressed and want to say painful things that may trigger those with ptsd We sense that the childhood sexual abuse ruined life for us. Spoiled us like freshly killed meat left to rot. We learned too much, felt sensations too overwhelming for our precious Little selves. It was overload right … Continue reading Be gentle and survive

Brave enough to cook a turkey?

Lots of energy in our house. Feels crowded. At night, we feel oppressed by it, threatened because we think people are scheming against us. They are absolutely not. This is delusion and trauma. It is morning. We are preparing the turkey before we cook it. We can see our lack of compassion to self and … Continue reading Brave enough to cook a turkey?

Disorders, thought distortions, and new therapists

Super depressed. Younger Child’s health struggles are hitting us hard. We are paralyzed with resisting and craving. We continue to feel responsible for most things that happen—especially everything others in our life find unpleasant As Younger Child struggles, our cognitive distortion’s mount: YC will be unhappy forever. We can’t live like this. We have to … Continue reading Disorders, thought distortions, and new therapists

White privilege: Established by force. End date TBD

We use we/us pronouns. When trying to grasp the concept of white privilege in the United States and Canada, and even anti-racism as we see it, it might help to consider the colonization of the land and genocide against the indigenous inhabitants. So much of colonial perspective is taken for granted by the colonizer, in … Continue reading White privilege: Established by force. End date TBD

Nerves. Practicing flexibility

Younger Child started php for mental health. This could improve all of our lives. We have been saying life has many paths: school can wait, college isn’t required for living. Focus on health and well-being. Relieve suffering. Now, there is a chance to relieve suffering. You know us: we feel other people’s feelings, especially pain. … Continue reading Nerves. Practicing flexibility

Planting seeds in life’s autumn

Withdrawal spiked yesterday and we were crying and inviting death. Spouse was attentive. That really helped us to survive. Spouse kept saying this is not permanent. It will pass. That is one fear: that it is permanent and won’t pass. We slept a lot during the day. Nausea and dizziness walloped us. We tried to … Continue reading Planting seeds in life’s autumn

Eyes closed until the ride stops

Is “try harder” possible? We are feeling trapped. OCD might play av party because we like rules. Breaking rules—or seeing with fresh eyes—helps get new ideas. Energetically, we cannot seem to keep boundaries. We feel other’s feelings. We aren’t sure how not to. That is why we like being alone. To recharge. Practice. Be free. … Continue reading Eyes closed until the ride stops

We want to slow it down

These are forecasted to be the final warm days of the year here. Autumn has often been a melancholy time for us. Suicidal ideation often spikes as the leaves fall. We think the trigger was the annual return to school as a child, which augured suffering because we could not sleep at night. Summer allowed … Continue reading We want to slow it down

Is the pandemic over or continuing?

COVID-19 pandemic is not over in our house. We are still social distancing. Some people act like it is over, and we do not want to judge a view as right or wrong. We walked with Spouse this weekend and saw elementary school kids playing organized American football—close contact among players, coaches, and parents with … Continue reading Is the pandemic over or continuing?

Start (resume) where you are

We have lost much ground in: Being in our bodyMeditating Feeling any contentment Physical strength Therapeutic relationshipsHealing our traumas Cooperating internally Having friendships Expressing our gender We have gained ground in: Being compassionate to Younger ChildGetting off benzosAdjusting to new normals Things may not go back to the old normal. There is no knowing. Even … Continue reading Start (resume) where you are

Still going

We have been doing the work of survival. It makes sense we haven’t been in our body. Perspective is hard to find. We don’t recognize our experience because the meds are new and withdrawal is ongoing So we injured the body twice. This fragile container is healing. We haven’t gone birdwatching for a few weeks. … Continue reading Still going