Facing fears, allowing pain

We are in the quiet room at therapy. We forgot our pen in T’s office so we’re writing this way instead We have lots of confusion! Experience doesn’t make sense to us. The minutes aren’t stitched together as “one thing.” To us they aren’t an hour, a meal, a morning. We are just surviving a … Continue reading Facing fears, allowing pain

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?

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

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

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?

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

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