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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

The practice is to be human

We injured ourselves again via inattention. Walked home from mental health therapy without being grounded in our body. A child operating a heavy machine. Twist. Foot ligaments damaged again. This is our most common injury: twisting foot ligaments. Two years ago we injured the left foot at least 5 times. We strengthened both feet's ligaments … Continue reading The practice is to be human

Your hobby or your life?

[This blog may use we/us and I/me pronouns interchangeably] We used to write fiction for fun. We wrote a humorous novel. It took us, like, twelve years to finish it. Maybe longer. We worked diligently on it for the last five or six years. It was among our primary hobbies and consumed many a weekend. … Continue reading Your hobby or your life?