Monday, April 30, 2007

FEELing Life

I feel wonderful. Really, really good. I had so much crap thrown at me this weekend. A sick child. Unexpected houseguests. Expected houseguests. A performance by my preschool choir. Husband having church responsibilities. A mother-in-law and sister's birthdays. Huge trial this next week. And the usual housework and shopping and life in general stuff too. Despite all of that, I feel good.

This medication is indescribable. The side effects are manageable now and I'm back to driving. I feel happy. Back up a minute. Re-read that --- I ...FEEL.....get it? I feel, I FEEL. I FEEL ..followed by a positive word. This can't be me writing this? But I am. I really feel good. Happy. I've handled everything life has thrown at me. I've enjoyed the sunlight. Slept well with typical stupid dreams - not the night terrors, wake up screaming kind. My jaw is healing. My husband and I had some time alone to catch up and really talk. Life is good today - and it hasn't been in so long.

The MAP3 book I was working through for awhile explained that panic attacks are a vicious cycle. They consist of physical symptoms (rapid heart rate, dizziness, tingly feelings, etc) followed by mental symptoms (fear, world is ending, something is coming), round and round in a circle. Either can come first - the physical or mental, but once they start, it's hard to get off the merry go round. This weekend, the merry go round came to a halt.

Those of you familiar with the Bible may recall the story of Job. Satan kept trying to get at Job and kept saying to God, (my paraphrase) "but God, if you will just allow me to throw this adversity at Job, he'll fall." I felt that happening this weekend. Things that would normally send me reeling with a panic attack would register in my mind. But no physical symptoms followed. Then it was as if a little voice inside my head (that darn Voice B, I bet) would try to intensify those thoughts, or take them in an even worse direction, twist them every evil way possible. But the physical symptoms never kicked in. In church this Sunday, the preacher was talking about protecting children. He started talking about abuse. I took a xanax, got up and walked out - sure that I was going to launch into a vicious panic attack, and wanting to be out of the sanctuary before it hit. I walked out to the bathroom. Walked out the vestibule and sat down. Waited for it to start. My thoughts were going all over the place. But the physical symptoms never started. I even let my thoughts wander (though I think I could have controlled them) to the worse possible things - still no panic symptoms.

This is amazing. This is life. Experiencing Life. FEELing life. I love it.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Medication

I started a new medication on Friday. It's called Trileptal which is typically used for seizures/epilepsy. I'm taking a very low dose in hopes it will help with the panic attacks. So far it is going great. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but I can't help but be excited. Unlike anxiety/depression meds, this med works immediately. No 4-6 week wait to see if it will help.

Since Friday I've had a few very minor panic attacks. Unlike before Friday where I was at high anxiety all day with 3-4 intense panic attacks per day. I've enjoyed myself. Been very relaxed. My husband says I seem like "my old self." Things that would normally cause panic have not. It is really wonderful.

I've had a few side effects. I feel slightly drunk - a little off balance and uncoordinated. But those are easing too.

If there ever was a weekend I needed some good news, this was it. After a terrible jaw procedure on Wed, finding out I needed braces, a liquid diet since Wed, a sick daughter (complete with middle of the night vomiting), a service that I have to play a huge part in, and in-laws being here --- well I needed a panic-free weekend. And I got it.

(so fingers crossed, with lots of prayers and a whisper - I think this might actually be working..........)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Interview with Lynn at Spilling Ink

I've talked about Lynn at Spilling Ink - http://spillinginkinpublic.blogspot.com/ . I took her up on her interview offer/challenge. Here are her questions and my responses. If you'd like to get in on this blog interview circle, post a comment (more about that below).

1. Do you have a 'thing' for shoes? What type(s) of shoes do you most like wearing?
OMG yes. My husband can't understand why I could possibly need so many shoes. Thing is, I hate wearing shoes. But if I have to wear them, then by golly, they will be cute. I love sandals the most - ones I can kick off under my desk. I currently own 2 pairs of sneakers, 4 pairs of boots (high and ankle high in brown and black), high heels in black, brown, beige and blue and in each color I have open toed and close toed; sandals - in high heels and low heels, and in multi colors; and at least 6 pairs of flip flops.


2. What is your favorite memory from early childhood that makes you happy?
Going to the lake in the summer. I once spent an entire summer at the lake with my Nana and other relatives. It was supposed to be "punishment" - being sent away from my mom for the summer. But it was the best summer of my life. My 'safe place' that I escape to in my mind is lying on a raft in the middle of the lake with the sun beating down on me and the waves gently rocking me.

3. Do you watch television? If yes, what are your favorite shows?
I don't watch much TV but I do enjoy Survivor and Lost.

4. What is your favorite hot drink and when do you like to have it?
Coffee - any time day or night. Especially the flavored ones like caramel machiatto and white chocolate mocha. I also like hot chocolate with a ton of whipped cream and marshmallows

5. If you could have a special afternoon all to yourself and your only job was to do whatever you could to fill it with peace, happiness and tranquility, where would you want to be for that time and what would you do?
See #2 - I'd want to be on a huge floating raft in the middle of my lake, lying on my back with the sun beating down on me and waves rocking me, reading a really good book and napping.


Anyone who would like to be interviewed, let me know in comments. The rules are that I get to pick the questions and that you must offer to interview others on the same terms.

The Rubber Band is going to Break

I now have to wear rubber bands in my mouth. One snapped this morning. I won't repeat the words I said here, although it was more like a moan and garble, along with some hopping around the room until I collapsed on my bed.

My life is a rubber band today - stretched really really thin. I think today it might snap. If it goes in one direction, it will be an angry snap - usually directed toward my wonderful, dear husband who has been doing everything (and I mean everything) to keep our house and life running these last few weeks. Or the angry snap could be inward directed and make for a bad SI incident.

The other direction is sadness. I'd like to go in that direction because I think it would be good for me. But that's a more scary direction. Haven't been that way often. And right now crying would hurt like the dickens with my jaw - course the angry clenching isn't feeling so good either. And there there is the whole fact that DH is off today and home. Which means no retreating there to let loose either.

For right now, I'm trying to reign in the tension on this rubber band of life and get some work done.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Need to Cry

I need to cry but I can't. I leaked a few tears yesterday in the orthodontist's office but that was just because of the pain. I wanted to cry in the car driving to the store to get clothes, but I was driving so I couldn't. Wanted to cry in the shower at the YMCA but too many people around. I wanted to cry when J told me what the ob said in the written letter, which differed from what he had told me, but I couldn't (public place and all). Wanted to cry in Doc's office when he was telling me opposite of what others had told me, but I couldn't - not in front of him. So I let the anger take over. Wanted to cry in the car on the drive to pick up DD, but I was driving and then she was with me. Wanted to cry when I stopped by the coffee shop to get a smoothie for supper and DD kept wanting to share her cookie and I couldn't eat it. But it was a public place and DD was there. Wanted to cry at church, but couldn't - too many people. Wanted to cry at home when DH gave me a big hug, but DD was yelling from other room. By that time the tears had turned to anger and frustration. I planned to get in the shower and cry, but I cut instead. DH won't ask about that - but he would about the crying and I just had fought it back all day and was too tired to deal with things. So I took the easy way out. Cut, pain meds for the jaw and bed.

I want to cry today but I'm at work and can't. And I have a dinner tonight and a guest staying at my house tonight so no crying later. I want to just go home for a few hours and nap and cry - but the razors are there and that's not safe right now. So I'll just sit here at work and try to be productive instead.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doctors Appt Update Part #2

So I go to my regular family doc this afternoon. He is reluctant to do anything with my thyroid, but he did finally consent to do the test. He also said that Class C drugs (like xanax and lexapro) carry some additional risks but he thought they were probably fine and OB doc was just covering his butt. He talked about the new med I'm trying and said NO getting pregnant on that. So we discussed the pros and cons. I decided ultimately to try the new med for now. If it doesn't work, then we'll do a different one - one that is safe on pregnancy. I've decided I'm giving this thing 3 months. If it's not stable by then, I'm chucking all the meds out the window and to hell with the consequences. I want my body back. I'll then try to get pregnant and deal with medication issues after the pregnancy.
That damn bastard stole my childhood and I'll be damned if I let him steal my dreams of having another child, or make me delay it much longer. Getting pregnant and being a mom is one of the few joys in life (besides DH of course) and I'm not willing to sacrifice it much longer. Damnittoallhell

Doctors Appt Update Part #1

For those of you who don't know - I have serious TMJ problems. Caused by stress, teeth clenching, a car accident, and adult thumb sucking (although I refuse to put that last piece of information on any doctor, dentist, surgeon, counseling or any other form). At first I was told just to go get braces. I didn't like that option and then I got pregnant so I did nothing. After my daughter was born, I had more problems and went back. Because I had waited so long, and things had gotten worse, I now had to go a longer route. I started with wisdom teeth out, followed by porcelain appliances. Then they told me I'd need jaw surgery - the break your jaw, wire nearly shut, can't talk 6 weeks type. So I went to the State School of Dentristy where they told me about this new bone anchor screw procedure. Takes a bit longer, but it is outpatient. Much less risky. So I go that route - even though insurance doesn't cover it. Around Thanksgiving I have two screws (like the type you buy at a hardware store) drilled into my upper jaw bone - they stick out my gums. Then I wore a porcelain/plastic appliance with wires and springs that looped around the screws. It slowly pulled my jaw into place. Worked good. Today (6 months later) they took the porcelain/plastic appliance out to make it removable.

I was so excited that we were removing my appliance. I was still going to have to wear it, but it would be a removable retainer type that I took out to brush, and I'd use rubber bands - not springs. So I get there expecting them to use some sort of solvent to dissolve the glue/cement/bond that is holding the appliance to my teeth. Nope, they just take pliers. The assistant I had was wonderful about explaining things before they did it. She said I would feel some powerful pressure, hear some awful cracking noises, but that it would only last 10 seconds. So the ortho comes over and starts. It hurts SO SO SO bad. As they are pulling, my head is coming up off the chair, so one dental asst on each side hold my shoulders down and head still. So not a good thing with me. I was sweating buckets.
So the thing pops off and I am gagging from the cement pieces. I'm trying to get up, they are holding me back saying "we'll get the suction." Finally they let me up to go rinse my mouth. So back into the chair where they say "good news, most of the glue/cement is still on your teeth instead of the appliance, so we'll have less grinding to do to the appliance." WTF - how is that good news? I'd rather you grind the appliance than scrape my teeth. So, they get pliers and other torture devices and start prying the cement from my teeth. The first asst is very nice and tries to be really gentle, takes breaks, suctions often and talks to me. It still was horrible. But I was surviving. Then she couldn't get some, so they bring over the other asst. who pulls harder. And again when my head comes up off the rest or I flinch in pain, or shake with panic, she holds her arm down over my forehead to hold my head still. I think I --- okay I know I --- dissociated there for awhile. Then they sat me up all of a sudden to go brush. Well, between the panic and all of a sudden being upright, I started to sway. A woman I know from the gym who works there noticed and asked if I was okay. I blamed it on low blood sugar (which I'm sure was part) and she sat me down and got me coffee with a ton of sugar. Also took me to a different room where the AC was on high.


So I am done with that. I then discover I do need braces for twenty six months at a cost of over five thousand dollars. My mouth is now worth about twelve thousand dollars -- seriously. So I leave there and grab a set of spare clothes at a store (hey shopping is cathartic right?) and go to the YMCA to shower because I stunk from all the sweating.

Then out to coffee with J where I find out my ob faxed her a report. I had asked him to confirm what medications were okay while trying to conceive with J and with my regular family doctor. BUT contrary to what he told me in his office, he wrote to her that xanax and lexapro are NOT okay to try to conceive. So he told me in the office they were okay, but now they are not. I was stunned. It shouldn't bother me considering DH & I haven't slept together in over two months. And I know that I'm not ready mentally (or hell financially at this point) for that. But dammitt that is the one freaking thing my body does right and I don't want that option taken from me right now. So I'm pissed and I just want to cry.

I've got an appt with regular doc at 3. I'll update again after that.

Fuck It --- and other Deliciously Defiant words

(Those of you with sensitive ears might want to avoid this one -- actually no "might" about it - you definitely want to avoid this one)

To quote a dear fellow blogger http://spillinginkinpublic.blogspot.com/ (this one is for you, Lynn) -- Fuck it, FUCK IT, just Fuck it.

Wow, that felt good, in an odd sort of way, because I do not usually say that word, let alone write it out, let alone in all caps, let alone three times in a row. But there is something deliciously defiant in saying that word. It's letting the "old" side of me out just a little bit. The pre-Christian me (because the post-Christian girl doesn't use 'those' types of words). It makes me wonder what some people would say if they heard that word come out of my mouth.

My husband has heard me say it before, rarely, but he has. The last time was recently when he said something really horrible and I said to him "Fuck You." Oops. I meant to say it though - paused and deliberately said it. And even now, I think he deserved the anger I felt when I said it. Actually, my wonderfully naive husband who grew up in a house where no one cursed (and "damn" was a bad word) thought that the middle finger stood for "go to hell." Boy did he have some things to learn when he started dating me. I think his vocabulary doubled the first time he met my relatives.

Work has never heard me say it. At least not that I can remember. Oh boy would it shock them. Heck, half of them apologize when they slip and curse in front of me! LOL. They'd really flip if they heard my foul mouth.

Church has never heard me say it. This I know for sure. I think the church members would fall over dead if they heard that word at all, let alone from me.

Friends - well some know me really well. Some know my prior propensity for the word. Others know I occasionally let it fly - usually when it is particularly appropriate. It's a word I save for "special occasions."

I used to let it fly when I dropped something or ran into something. But given my clumsiness I switched to "shit" or, now that I have a 3 year old that repeats everything I say, "sugar" or "Shoot."

One friend has something called MTHFR - it has caused/contributed to several miscarriages. Every time I read her blog and see it, I think "Mother Fucker" - to her it probably is. It's fucking with her dreams of being a mother to another child. Sometimes, like in that situation, the "F-bomb" is just so very appropriate. Nothing else will do. Sometimes you just have to rant and rave and vent about it, about anything.

When Lynn uses it on her blog, I sometimes laugh out loud. I do particularly like her disclaimer heading at the top of her blog. When another friend says WTF (short for "what the fuck" for those of you a little behind on shorthand) it makes me smile in a sarcastic sort of way. I know that she is about to vent on something - something extremely ventworthy. It's her way of saying AARRGGGHHH or What the Hell were you thinking?

My "favorite" and most commonly used "foul"expression is "damnittoallhell" - written out in all one word. It usually covers most situations. And it just suits me for some reason.

My least favorite, and one that causes me to cringe, is any foul word with God or Jesus attached to it. I mean, I do have some standards, be it a bit minimal at times. I'll actually turn off a show/movie quicker for some "GDs" thrown around before I will for some "F-bombs." While I believe "fuck" and other such words have their time, place, and appropriate use, there just isn't any situation worth of using God's name in vain.

But alas I digress..........I started out venting about something. Ah yes. I was thinking about my abuser. Sister and I won't use his real name. We debated calling him "that Mother Fucker" ("MF" for short) but decided that we really didn't want to use the word "mother" in referring to him, or the word "fuck" for that matter. So with that option out, we called him "Asshole." That stuck for a very long time. Up until my sister's oldest learned to repeat things. Now we call him "Toilet" - it just doesn't have the same ring, but then again no one is going to call the law on me when my daughter repeats it someday in public.

And today, my word for the day, is damnittoallhell - because, I have both an orthdontist (assume turtle on its back position) and a regular doctor (no I don't want to talk about why I'm here, thank you very much) appt. Thus far I'm being a "good girl." I went to the gym and had a great work out (nothing like a little pent up anger, frustration and anxiety to get those legs pumping). I then stopped and got a REAL breakfast - bread, protein (eggs and bacon and cheese) and coffee. I even took all my meds. So I hope my lapse into foul language will be overlooked for today.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Winning the Fight only to Lose the War

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. This site here talks about the staggering statistics of sexual assault, child sexual abuse and more http://realitytesting.wordpress.com/2007/04/23/speak-out/ . The writer also talks about her own abuse and how she told her mother, but her mother lived in denial. My mother did the same thing. I was given a choice - to go live with my father (whom Mom left for being physically abusive) or stay and be quiet. She did make my abuser (her then-boyfriend, later husband) get some "counseling" - about 2 sessions worth and he didn't lay a hand on me again, although the other inappropriate conduct continued.

My parents had a pretty nasty divorce. There were domestic violence reports, restraining orders, nasty phone calls, "mediation" sessions we had to attend, counseling sessions we kids had to go to, and even some talk about our speaking with a judge. If the abuse had come to light, my mom would have lost a lot. She would have lost custody, for sure. She would have lost her boyfriend, her monthly child support check, her lifestyle, and her dignity. She liked to wear the label of "mom" even if she did nothing to earn it. So in convincing me to stay quiet, she won the Fight.

The writer on the link (above), says, "My mother had a lot to lose, if the things that seemed to be happening to me were really happening to me. Ironically? It’s thirty years later now, and it seems she lost everything anyway…including every ounce of self-respect she might have ever possessed. Odd, how it worked out that way." It is the same for my mother.

My Mom may have won the Fight, but she lost the War. She is pitiful now. She has no self-respect. She lives with a husband that she can't take anywhere. At family gatherings and reunions, she has to make up excuses as to where he is (if we kids attend) or where we are (if he attends) because Sister & I refuse to go if he is there. Mom lives with an alcoholic who does little to support her financially, emotionally or in any way. They've lived like roommates, in separate ends of the house, for years. When Sister asked why she stayed, Mom said because "she's comfortable." Mom doesn't often get phone calls from Sister and I - we're concerned Toilet might answer the phone. She'll never get a phone call from her grandkids. Pictures of the kids are restricted - no naked baby shots ever get sent to her. She isn't allowed to be left alone with her grandkids. No babysitting for her. She gets to visit so infrequently that the younger grandkids don't even really know who she is, or care about seeing her.

Mom fought so hard to keep things "hush" because she was afraid of losing her family. Well, guess what mom - you did.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Just Jump

The 2 voices in my head usually talk amongst themselves. But every once in awhile, one of them wants to talk more to me. Usually the other one catches on and chimes in. Makes me feel a bit crazy. I mean, I know most people talk to themselves, but what is that saying, "You know there is a problem when you answer yourself" ..........what happens when you answer two of yourselves......and debate them too?

Voice A - psst, Hey.

Me - what? Quit intruding on my thoughts. I need to be getting work done.

Voice A - you forget I know your thoughts already. You're not thinking of work. You're thinking of jumping.

Me - jumping? What are you talking about?

Voice A - quit being so stubborn. You remember - what the pastor talked about in Sunday school?

Me - I was not thinking about that. I'm thinking about work.... or trying to.

Voice A - Liar. You've been thinking about it ever since yesterday. And deep down, you really want to do it.

(background - yesterday in Sunday School, the pastor of the church we visited talked about the difference between religion and Christianity. He talked about a conversation with a woman who said she believed God and Jesus existed, but didn't feel them. The pastor said, 'that's because you don't KNOW them; don't TRUST them.' He asked the woman to imagine her little girl standing on the edge of a bed and the woman waiting a few steps away with outstretched arms, telling the little girl to jump. The little girl knows/sees her mom there. Believes she exists. Is that why she jumps? No, otherwise she would jump to just anyone, and we know that is not something she would do. The little girl jumps because she TRUSTS her mother to catch her. Same with God. We can know He exists. But we have to trust Him to catch us. We have to be willing to jump).

Me - I was not thinking about that. I don't have time to think about that. I have to work.

Voice A - liar. You're really doing a good job of working, aren't you? And how come your morning prayers were so short this morning? You're struggling. And like usual, you are trying to do it all yourself. Why won't you just jump?

Me - I am NOT thinking of jumping. I don't want to jump.

Voice A - Liar. Look at your leg. Look

Me - No, I don't want too.

Voice A - (in an unusually fierce voice) LOOK - DO IT NOW.

Me - {looking....whispering} yeah, I see it

Voice A - why would it say "jump" if you weren't thinking about it?

Me - Look, I didn't know what I was doing. I just did it. It doesn't mean anything.

Voice A - yes it does, you need to think more about this.

Me - {whispering} I can't

Voice A - yes you can. Just trust.

Voice B - {interrupting Loudly} HEY, what is going on here? Don't tell her to trust. That's preposterous. Remember what happened last time she tried that?

Voice A - just be quiet, B. Not everyone is like that.

Voice B - sure, okay. So she's just supposed to jump and trust God to catch her?

Voice A - Yes

Voice B - sure, just like He "caught" her when she was 12.

Voice A - yes, He did. It could have been worse you know.

Voice B - don't give me that "could have been worse" or "there's a purpose in everything" or "bad things happen to good people" crap. Heard it all before.

Me - hey you two, quiet down I need to work.

Voice B - yeah you work. Just stop thinking about all this and go back to what you are supposed to be doing. Just forget about all this trust nonsense.

Voice A - no.........don't. Don't ignore this. Don't numb out...... {voice fades as "Me" shoves her back out of my way}


Changes - Inside and Out

Blog changes - I am going to try really hard to start labelling my posts - categorizing them. So that those of you who want to sort that way will have that ability. I know I've found it helpful in reading others blogs. It may take me awhile to figure out how to do all that.

Outer changes - I stepped on the scale today. Ouch. What a way to start a Monday morning. My weight has always been an up and down battle. My sister is the skinny, pretty one. I'm the brainy one. Always been that way.

I battled weight problems starting in 6th grade. Luckily (sarcasm here) food was scarce at our house growing up (junk food was for adults only and us kids were not allowed to touch it) and I was very active (that 1.5 mile walk to and from work every day was a good thing). Plus when you are saving money to pay your own expenses (like shaving cream) and for a car and college, you don't spend money on eating at work. So that helped keep my weight manageable. Anyway, I got to college and start putting on some weight. But I also started exercising. So it evened out some. I even had a growth spurt in college - my last one. I stayed relatively thin until law school. There was no time to work out then. But I also had no time to cook and had to share a kitchenette with 5 girls. So rice and broccoli was a staple of mine. When I got married, I was very much underweight (although I never would have admitted it then).

Last year of law school I got married. I cooked every night. I stopped working out. And the pounds came and came. I graduated 20 pounds heavier. Then I started work. Long hours, no time to work out, and meals on the fly. The pounds came on again. When I was 60 lbs above my ideal (at that time) weight, I started dieting. And soon joined weight watchers. I lost all the weight in May 2004. Now when you join WW, they ask your height and age and sex. Then they give you a range of where you should be pound-wise. Of course I wanted to be at the lowest number. I made it. Took a ton of pictures of me at the beach that summer. Came home and discovered I was pregnant. Off the weight watchers I went. And on came the pounds. FAR MORE than I needed to or should have gained. Let's just say when I had gained over 65 lbs, I stopped looking at the scale -- hell it wasn't like I could see it at that point anyway.

After delivery, I worked hard to lose the weight. But in doing my daughter's scrapbook I ran across those beach pictures and realized I had been a bit too skinny there. So I upped my goal weight 5 lbs. Got there within a year. But I also started anti-depressants for post-partum blues. And winter came which is always a bad time for me. So back on came the pounds. About 30 that time.

I went to the doctor and he commented about my weight fluctuation. So I asked him what an ideal weight range would be. At that time I was in the "new" (read - older) weight division, so I was "allowed" to be heavier. We settled on a healthy weight number. I set out to make it. And I did. After that I allowed myself to fluctuate up or down about 3 pounds or so. I ate fairly healthy with occasional splurges, but also exercised. I also went on and off the medications, some of which added to the weight gain, some of which helped it go the other way.

Well, with everything that has gone on, I've let my weight get out of hand again. I go for a day or two eating minimally. Then I binge and eat everything in sight. I stopped drinking diet and now drink regular sodas. I've stopped doing black coffee with sugar free sweetener and am drinking the mocha lattes and caramel machiattos. I also suspect my current medications are contributing, somewhat, to a few of the extra pounds.

So, since none of my clothes fit, and because I am 21.4 (to be exact) over my goal weight, it is back to eating healthy and exercising. Because goodness knows I don't need to add any additional health concerns to my plate. And, more importantly (LOL) I don't have the money to buy an entirely new wardrobe in a bigger size.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Inner Battle

Sometimes it's like I these parts of me that split off and have conversations -- more like debates -- between themselves. I usually just sit back and observe. (note - I don't have DID, this is just my way of trying to sort things out). I find myself doing it a lot lately when I have the urge to do something I know I shouldn't - skip a meal, skip a med, SI, etc. One voice is the "good girl" - the "follow the rule" girl. The other argues back, finds the loopholes, thinks she is stronger.

Voice A - Don't even think about it. Just go do something else. You're stronger than this. You're just stressed and overwhelmed. Just hang in there and this will all be over soon.

Voice B - What's wrong with thinking about it? Besides, you're the one who didn't plan ahead, who waited until the last minute to do all this stuff. You can not even get motivated anymore. What is wrong with you? You can't do anything right anymore.

Voice A - You know the rules. You can't just do it.

Voice B - Those stupid rules. Yeah, well you "tried your best" not to SI. But the urge is still there. And you took your meds and ate. So it's okay now. Just do it. It's easier. Besides you've procrastinated about everything. You don't have time for these distraction techniques. It's just a waste of more time you don't have.

Voice A - No, that's not the way it works. You have to do the other things first. You need to try to distract yourself first. Take another 1/2 a pill. Go do something productive.

Voice B - distraction? oh Phoey. That's just stupid. You can spend all that time and effort and exhaust yourself trying to distract yourself. You won't succeed. You can't focus on anything lately. Or have you forgotten that your unfocus is the reason you are in this mess. You can't do anything right any more - you're way behind on your "to do list." Just get on with it already. Quit wasting time and do it and feel better sooner. Cut out all that wasted time.

Voice A - what wasted time? You need a nap anyway. Go take a nap. It will be good for you. You deserve a nap.

Voice B - sure, a nap. Like you have time for a nap. Did you forget that you are BEHIND on your To Do list. Way Behind. Have you forgotten that your husband has done everything around the house all weekend long, while you've sat on your butt. Yea, go nap. Why not? Just like the other day. You napped for over 2 hours on Friday trying to avoid the urge. It didn't help, did it? But cutting ---- now that helped. That made you feel good. That gave you energy. Just what you needed to get everything done you needed to accomplish.

Voice A - Shut up, B. There's nothing that needs to be accomplished tonight. Just go take a nap. You'll feel better.

Me ..............deciding nap feels good............lays down............with meds.............sleeps well.

Voice A - See, you feel better.

Voice B - no you don't - you're groggy. Look at you. You are in a fog. Napping 6 plus hours over the weekend. You lazy wench. What are you going to do? Sleep your life away. All you've done is sleep. You've not spent any time with your daughter - just napped for hours each day. Get up and go do something. What about the garden you were supposed to work in? The weeds you were going to pull? Fixing dinner for this week so your daughter can have a real meal for once, instead of chicken nuggets and Kraft macaroni. What about the laundry, ironing, making the bed? You're just lazy. Get up and do something.

Me ................... takes daughter to library..................cramps get worse..................triggers

Voice A - take some ibuprofen and go snuggle with your daughter. Try to take some deep breaths. Curl up with the heating pad.

Voice B - just do it. You can't even get past a few cramps. Suck it up and deal with it. It's part of being a female. Just get over it. Weakling - look at you - down and out with a few cramps. Just get up for heavens sake. You'll feel better if you're moving around. Stop being so lazy.

Voice A - just take it easy. Eat some food and snuggle and read books to your daughter. You deserve to spend time with her.

Voice B - deserve? You don't deserve anything. You're weak. You're pathetic. Can't deal with anything.

Me.................feeling guilty................can not resist..............not strong enough.................gives in................feels instant relief, calm, better...

Voice B - See, I told you that you couldn't resist. You weakling.

Voice A - it's okay. There's always next time. You'll do better next time..............

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tug of War

I have fallen in love with this blog - Spilling Ink - http://spillinginkinpublic.blogspot.com/ . It is gut-wrenchingly honest and the author has a fabulous way with words. Today's post hit home. Not just because I'm a Pepsi drinker myself (yum) but because I have the same up/down issues. The anti-anxiety meds make me sleepy -- the Pepsi keeps me up. It's a vicious cycle. I fight taking the anti-anxiety meds, except at night when I crave them, need them, so that I can sleep without the nightmares. I find it difficult to pray during the day, but every night before bed I find myself pleading to God to help me sleep and make it through the night without a horrible dream.

EDITED TO ADD - Check out the Spilling Ink "Fence Sitting" posts - http://spillinginkinpublic.blogspot.com/search/label/Fence-sitting - they are awesome. So well written. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment. I am a fence sitter and the blog author amazingly describes exactly how I feel.

Tug of War -
I find myself in a tug of war with the SI. Today I fought against it all day. It took all my energy - just sucked the energy out of me. I was so exhausted. I came home and just collapsed into bed. I wanted to SI so bad but I made a deal with myself that I would try to nap first. I fell asleep immediately and slept 2 hours. No nightmares, no panicky feelings, no racing thoughts, no repeating words/sounds. Just blissful sleep. I woke up to my husband and daughter coming home. I had told DH I would have dinner ready when he got home. He was not at all upset, disappointed or anything - it was just my feelings. Then we took a walk and hung out in the back yard. DD wanted to play Hide & Seek and I had to tell her no. Then I was anxious about the fact that I can't do that with her. I exert so much energy trying not to SI, when afterwards I am so calm, relaxed and feeling good. That makes it so hard to fight the urges.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Letter to that Girl - I am Sorry

In college, I was a Resident Assistant. That means I was in charge of an entire hall of freshmen girls. Freshmen have their own unique set of problems as they adapt to being away from home and the rules/regulations of their parents. I, myself, had rebelled my freshman year and used my experiences to help the girls on my hall. Or at least I tried.....

There was a period of time where the fire alarm would go off every single night in the middle of the night. No one could figure out who was pulling the alarm. Every night we would be awakened by that awful shrieking sound. I became accustomed to sleeping in clothes with shoes by the door. I would jump out of bed and start my rounds. Bang on each hall door, yell "Fire alarm, wake up" and enter the room. Do a quick check to make sure the girls were up and out and move on down the hall. Usually I'd just be finishing my check and exiting the building myself when we'd get the "all clear" signal.

One weekend night, the alarm went off as usual. Halfway down the hall, I opened the door, saw 2 shapes under the covers and realized there were naked body parts sticking out. My floor was an all-girls floor and all men were to be out of the rooms and off the halls by a specific time. This was in the middle of the night. The young man jumped out of bed, stark naked, grabbed clothes and ran past me. I stood there in shock. The female occupant was obviously quite intoxicated. By the time I got her covered in a blanket and awake enough to move, the all clear had been sounded. I told her to go back to bed and we'd talk in the morning.

The next morning I summoned her to my room to talk. She had no recollection of my coming into the room or of what had happened. I told her I'd have to write it up. I may have suggested she speak with the college counselor, but I'm not sure. I heard later that there was an open "date rape" case pending. I never heard anything else.

I don't remember this girl's name, but her face haunts me. This is to her.

Dear Girl:

I am sorry. I am sorry that I didn't realize the full implications of what I saw when I opened your door that night. I am sorry I assumed the worst - that you were just a drunk college girl whose boyfriend was breaking the rules. I am sorry I simply sent you back to sleep off the alcohol. I am sorry that I didn't realize the impact of your telling me that you had no memory of what had happened, when we talked the next morning. I am sorry that I didn't catch on when you asked me a lot of questions about the guy I found in your room - if I had gotten his ID, a good look at him, knew him. I should have realized then that you had no idea who this man was.

I am sorry I wrote you up for being intoxicated and for having a man in your room after hours. I am sorry you were disciplined for that.

I am sorry I didn't stand up for you and defend you when the rumors started. I am sorry I laughed in residence life meetings when people joked about my encounter with the "naked man" and how I "must be looking forward to future fire alarms in hopes of catching more glimpses of hot naked men."

I am sorry I didn't check back with you upon hearing the rumors that what happened was "date rape." I am sorry I wasn't there for you.

I know you left college after that year. I often wonder what happened to you - where you went - what you are doing. I don't remember your name. But I see your face - sitting up in bed with that look of confusion. Standing in the entrance of my dorm door crying because I was writing you up. I wish I could turn back time and do things over again. I often wonder if you are one of the many people who post on the rape/sexual abuse site I visit. I often wish I would find you, so that I could tell you all of this in person.

I hope and pray that you are doing well - that you are a survivor. I pray that you can forgive me. Please forgive me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Remember that Tightrope ......

That tightrope I wrote about earlier ---- it's swaying wildly in the wind now. Bad panic attack. Very dizzy, seeing spots, everything blurry and spinning. Not sure what caused it. I was just walking down the hall when BAM. I have slightly more sugar than usual and not a lot of anything else today -- smoothie for breakfast (natural sugar); coffee (black - with sugar free hot chocolate mix in it); jellybeans for snack; kit kat blizzard from Dairy Queen for lunch (hey, I'm PMS-ing, leave me alone - I needed chocolate) and about 2 sips of a Pepsi when I took my xanax about 15 minutes ago. I have drunk my usual amount of water - about 36 oz so far today. I do have a orthodontist appt coming up. That's always good for a panic attack as I assume the "turtle on my back" position with men in masks leaning over me (shudder). So it could be any number of things.

So distraction technique, right? Hmm, writing here counts, I think. Let's see, I just received an email from a friend who had her first therapy session today to address her own childhood SA for the first time. She said it was tough. But she seemed upbeat about having started the process. I was very supportive and encouraging. Although part of me wanted to yell "RUN NOW - before it is too late and you get sucked into this process." She does know that I've been going for 1 year now. She wanted to know if it would take her that long too. Ha, little does she know. I didn't tell her what I had found out about the timing on this mess. Wouldn't want to deprive her of the fun and shock of finding out for herself (insert sarcasm smiley here). Seriously, she was given the same book I had been given awhile back. The Wounded Heart - great book (link on side of main blog page) and workbook. I told her I had read it and offered to discuss it with her if she wants. Would be good, I think, to talk in person with another survivor - not that I don't love all my online friends, but a real life survivor friend might be good for me. But I don't want to overwhelm her either since she is just starting this process.

Second half of xanax coming up. Cheers (holds glass up). I'm going to have to get DH to cut some more of my xanax up. Because you know what is in a pill cutter ----- a razor!

La da di da di da - I'm outta things to say. No one is on yahoo IM, MSN isn't working, and my stupid hotmail email account won't open. I ~could~ call someone......well not really. I mean that's just not me. Second half of xanax not working........

So I'm feeling the urge -
how will this situation or feeling change if i hurt myself? the panic will end; I'll feel better now; worse late

what will hurting myself bring to the situation? what will it take away from the situation? calm, peace, temporary control --- take away, pride in resisting??? I don't know really what it will take away. Something maybe?

how do i want to feel about this in the long run? is hurting myself likely to get me closer to or farther from feeling that way? I want to stop feeling this way. If I knew how to do that, I'd do it.

if hurting myself seems like my best option right now, how long will the relief it brings last? what will i do then? through the dentist appt; then I'll come back and be busy, but the appt will be over and I'll be okay

what is something i could do now instead of hurting myself? how will it change the situation I'm in? how long will that change last, and what will i do then? I've already taken the xanax - twice, and written, and walked around, and gotten a drink. And tried deep breathing. It's not working

how will i feel tomorrow if i hurt myself? how will i feel tomorrow if i do the other thing i came up with? guilty maybe - but I've tried everything else

what do i really want to do right now? how can i best honor the self-protective instinct that has me wanting to self-injure right now? I really want to cut. But I think I can limit it to pinning - I don't have a choice since it's the only thing here. I don't know what happened to my self-protective instinct, I think it's dead.

Why do I feel I need to hurt myself? What has brought me to this point? dentist appt, I think

Have I been here before? What did I do to deal with it? How did I feel then? loaded up on xanax, took a book and deep breaths, SI-ed before or after appt

What I have done to ease this discomfort so far? What else can I do that won't hurt me? see above

How do I feel right now? panicky, dizzy, but ironically a sense of calmness as I think about SI

How will I feel when I am hurting myself? Calm and peaceful

How will I feel after hurting myself? How will I feel tomorrow morning? calm and peaceful, ready to face appt -- tomorrow, guilty and weak

Can I avoid this stressor, or deal with it better in the future? can't avoid the ortho appts

Do I need to hurt myself? yes, I think

Walking the Tightrope

Frozen in fear - inch one way, scoot another. Back and forth. Slowly. Holding my breath with each agonizing movement. Afraid that going too far or too fast will cause me to slip and tumble, head first, into that black deep pit below. At one end of this tightrope are emotions - all of them. Waiting to be experienced, acknowledged and even enjoyed. But to get there I have to go around the panic and anxiety and fear that the emotions cause. On the other end of the tightrope is numbness, blissful numbness. But to get there I have to shed pieces of myself along the way so that by the time I reach the platform at the end, I am no one.

Today I am about 2 steps over toward the emotional side. It was an agonizingly slow process to get here. Days of minuscule movements. At times I fell off the rope, dangling by a fingernail, over the abyss below. I've wanted to let go. Let the darkness take over. The pit is deep with many levels. Self-hatred, self-injury, and if you plunge all the way down, death.

I'm edgy, anxious and panicky. I've given up standing straight and am sitting on the rope, legs locked around it, fingers gripped tightly. Trying to stay here, resist the urge to back up into the safety zone - the middle area.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

No Trouble Naming Emotions Tonight

I'm mad ! Pissed ! Angry ! Irate ! Aggravated ! UGH And for once I am (gasp) (1) actually feeling something; (2) KNOW what I'm feeling; and (3) can actually NAME it.

I had T appt today. It was very interesting and informative. Looked at where in the brain the anxiety is coming from and how to deal with that. Talked about adding some vitamin supplements. All well and good. I need to go back and read some of it, since science was never my strong point and a lot is Greek to me. I was always quite satisfied with having a brain - had no desire or need to know how it worked or why - LOL.

So I was driving home and I got so mad. This process is long and hard, and frankly, I am pissed off that I am having to do this. I'm having to take time away from my family, my work, my friends, my walk with God, my Self -- to deal with this shit. I have to go to doctors to figure out meds, adjust my diet, adjust my way of life. I shouldn't be doing this. I should be enjoying myself. I should be waking up each morning thanking God for the day ahead, not praying for the strength to make it through without carving my legs up. I should be snuggling with my daughter, not curled up on my bed in a ball trying to survive a panic attack. I should be enjoying intimacy with my husband, not flinching every time he touches me. I should be advancing at work, instead of watching my numbers become worse and worse each month and fearful about job repercussions.

I'm mad as hell - and for the first time I started out being mad at the right person - not me, but him -- Toilet -- that asshole stole my child hood. And now I feel like he is stealing my adulthood too. Because I'm having to spend so much damn time dealing with the shit he created.

I'm mad at my mom too. How dare she make this worse? If she had just acted like a mother, this would have been so much easier. I tried to explain to mom once a long time ago how I felt my life was being consumed by dealing with this, and got cut off. She told me, "Well it's only doing that if you let it." Well, F**K you. I'm not LETTING anything happen. I don't WANT to be like this. Saying to just stop "letting it affect me" is bullshit. If it were that easy, I'd have been done therapy before I started. No one wants to be abused. But frankly, some days dealing with the after-effects of the abuse is far worse than the actual abuse was. And somedays going back and reliving the abuse seems preferable than living with the afteraffects, and especially with my mom's betrayal.

So I'm mad and sad (how's that for labelling feelings? I'm on a roll tonight). The feeling of wanting to hit something or throw something has passed. Now I just want to cry. Curl up and cry. And that makes me mad and sad too. That I've "let" this get to me. Enough to make tears come down my face - damn it I hate crying. And I hate letting "him" make me cry.

So I went from mad and sad to mad again. Mad at myself for being sad. And conflicted. Feeling all these emotions is supposed to be a good thing. I'm supposed to "let them out" or whatever. Not bottle them up. But letting them out makes me panicky, which isn't a good thing because being panicky makes the SI urge worse. And it's such a damn vicious circle I'm getting dizzy. Someone stop this spin cycle - I want OUT.

Itchy

From yesterday's post - "before you start cutting ..... Get ready to itch. Because you will itch and itch ...so much you will look like you have fleas or a skin disease." That's me today. I did cover up with a bandaid so I couldn't itch. Because itching a wound that hasn't healed is .....well, just more self-injury. But it's hard. And it makes the temptation to SI really intense. But I've got my contract here and I've eaten breakfast and taken my normal morning meds. I'm typing here as my distraction technique. And I just took another 1/2 xanax. So....we'll see how this goes.

One forum I post on has this section called "Before and After" with questions to answer before (while you are having urges) and after (if you SI). Maybe this will help -

Before You Self-Harm write down the shadow that's hiding behind the urge. look at it. ask yourself:
how will this situation or feeling change if i hurt myself? The intensity will go away and I'll be calmer, the underlying situation will still be there, but I'll be calm enough to deal with it in the short term.

what will hurting myself bring to the situation? what will it take away from the situation? it will bring physical calmness and take away panic. In the short term.

how do i want to feel about this in the long run? is hurting myself likely to get me closer to or farther from feeling that way? In the long run I want this to be over. I want to stop feeling like this. I want to have energy again. I want to stop being so anxious and tense all the time. I want to be "normal." I want to stop having this urge.

if hurting myself seems like my best option right now, how long will the relief it brings last? what will i do then? depends - could be 1/2 day - could be 20 minutes

what is something i could do now instead of hurting myself? how will it change the situation I'm in? how long will that change last, and what will i do then? follow my contract; type here; avoid the bathroom; get immersed in a project - it will last a little while. If I can hold out until noon, then I have a meeting the rest of the afternoon.

how will i feel tomorrow if i hurt myself? how will i feel tomorrow if i do the other thing i came up with? Guilty, mad, upset, self-loathing, if I hurt myself; satisfied if I do the alternative

what do i really want to do right now? how can i best honor the self-protective instinct that has me wanting to self-injure right now? I really want to go home, crawl back into bed, under the covers and stay safe. Stop being so jumpy. I don't know how to accomplish that at work. I could close my door and take 5 minutes but I know closing my door and being "alone" is not a good idea right now.

Why do I feel I need to hurt myself? What has brought me to this point? Panic; annoyance at assistant's persistent bothering of me; overwhelming work load; inability to concentrate; recruit for new job wanting too much money; leg itching terribly; irritable at myself for wanting to do it

Have I been here before? What did I do to deal with it? How did I feel then?
What I have done to ease this discomfort so far? What else can I do that won't hurt me? Yes, been here before. I've pinned or cut to deal with it. It felt good at first and during. But bad after. I've done other things like write, get on chat, IM a friend.

How do I feel right now? pathetic, stupid; weak; panicky; irritated

How will I feel when I am hurting myself? calm, blissfully calm

Can I avoid this stressor, or deal with it better in the future? I'm trying to get someone hired to help at work. I am taking my medications.

I'm going to go on an answer the After questions too while I wait (lad did da) for this xanax to kick in, and because keeping my fingers busy is a good thing -- NOTE this is based on after this weekend - NOT today.

Questions to Answer After A Slip slips are chances to learn. you figure out what stresses are still too hard for you and you can work on how you'll deal with them next time you run into them. so instead of beating yourself up, take action.

have you taken care of your physical wounds? if not, go do that now. we'll wait. Yes - neosporin antibiotic cream and big bandages

what had happened just before? panicky all day; running late; no time to nap but needed to nap; didn't get done all I needed to do at work

what were you thinking and feeling? overwhelmed; totally out of control; panicked; stressed; worthless

why did you end up hurting yourself then instead of some other time? was there an event that was the final straw? what was it? I was at home; alone; I had no time to deal with my feelings; I felt rushed to move onto the next step and stage

how did the situation get to the final straw stage? trace it back through the events that led up to the last event. look for some point at which you could have made a different decision and not arrived at the final straw. See prior posts - I could have not made that purchase at the pharmacy.

were there outside factors like drugs, alcohol, being off your meds, lack of sleep, etc? can you address those in the future? how? being off meds; lack of sleep; lack of food - I'm working on getting better.

what other ways of coping did you try besides self-harm? how well did they work?
in retrospect, are there coping methods that you now realize might have helped? what were they? I didn't try much else - I should have taken my meds.

name at least two things you will do to help yourself remember those coping methods if you end up in this situation again. Carry written contract on paper; take meds and be accountable in regular intervals

how do you feel about the situation that led to self-harm now? is it resolved? if not, what are some steps you might take toward resolution? I feel self-loathing and like a failure now. I'm still overwhelmed and tired. I have tried to get someone hired. I'm trying to sleep; although sleep never seems to be enough.

are you likely to be in that emotional place again? how will you recognize it when you're in that situation? Yes, I'm still there. Feel like I live there.

what will you try before you resort to self-harm if you're in that situation again? list three specific things you will commit to trying. Make sure I've eaten; take my medications, try a distraction technique (reading, writing here, deep breathing, surf web, play online game, write, get up and move around)

What made that opportunity more appealing than any other? Quick and easy. I knew it would work. It didn't involve anyone else or require being vulnerable to anyone or asking anyone for help.

Did you make an opportunity or was it there for the taking? The opportunity was there; I made the opportunity bigger by purchasing blades at the store.

What would you have done if there was no opportunity, how would you have handled your urge? I would have dug my fingernail into my finger (what I do in public) or played with a paperclip, digging it into my nail; taken a bathroom break and used a safety pin; had a panic attack.

If there had been no opportunity would your urge to self-harm have increased or decreased? increased and the panic would have been overwhelming

What constitutes opportunity for you? Being alone? having new tools? waiting for the right feeling? alone, being alone

If your opportunities were taken away, how would you feel? mad; overwhelmed; panicky; out of control; resentful

Okay - it's been 20 minutes - still panicky and VERY dizzy. Taking second 1/2 of xanax and praying I don't fall asleep at my desk. Going to try to do one project I can bill for and then work 1 hour on the project I can't bill for.

Monday, April 16, 2007

If you want to Start Cutting

This is from http://www.psyke.org/ Psyke.Org - a website for Self-Injury. I'm posting it here so I'll see it often and can read it often.

Warning ....before you make that first cut remember.

  • You will enjoy this.
  • You will find the blood and pain release addictive.
  • Even though you think you can make a few tiny cuts that aren't deep and will heal easily... They will get deeper. They will scar. They will take sometimes months to heal. And years for the scars to fade.
  • IF you think you can limit the cutting to one area of your body think again... it will spread when you run out of skin.
  • Be prepared to withdraw from others and live in a constant state of shame. Even if you are the most honest person ever to live... you will find yourself lying to the people you love. You will jerk back from your friends when they touch you as if their hands were dipped in poison. You will be terrified that they will feel something under the cloth of your shirt or because it just plain hurts so much to be touched.
  • Be prepared to get so out of control you fear your next cut because you don't know how bad it will be. Just wait for 10 cuts to turn into 100....Be prepared for your entire life to revolve around thinking about cutting ..cutting and covering up cutting.
  • And just wait till that first time you cut "too deep." And you freak out because the blood won't stop... and you are gaping.... and you feel yourself shaking all over. You are having a panic attack and you are terrified but you can't tell anyone. So you sit there alone... Praying it will be ok, swearing you'll never let it go this far again... But you will, and further.
  • Don't worry, you will learn how to take care of your cuts so that you can go deeper and deeper and avoid the ER. And the better you get at treating your cuts the deeper they get.
  • You will lie to yourself and justify it when you find yourself spending 20 , 30 or 50 dollars every time you go the pharmacy. You will feel the flutter of your heartbeat everytime you go to the counter to ring up your order. Butterfly strips... 3 or four different kinds of dressings... betadine... antibiotic cream... medical tape... scar reducers... You will tap your foot impatiently hoping the line will just move and no one will stare at you or wonder why you need all these things. And at the same time secretly hope someone will notice... someone who is standing in line with an armful of the same supplies... someone who understands but of course that never happens.
  • Medical supplies won't be the only thing you spend all your money on. Be prepared to buy a new wardrobe... longsleeve shirts in summer colors, bracelets, wristbands , boots... gloves..the list goes on and on.
  • You will start looking at everyone in a different way... Scanning their bodies for any signs of SI... just hoping that you might meet someone like you so you don't feel so terribly alone. You wont even think about it .. as your eyes scan their wrists & arms... hoping just hoping they will be like you.... But they are not. You will see their clean arms and feel terribly ashamed and alone.
  • You will start doing a lot of things alone. You will always have to wash your laundry in private so know one sees the blood stains on your clothes and towels. You will always be cleaning up the blood.. Scrubbing your bathroom floor... wiping the blood of your keyboard...
  • You won't be able to make it through a day without cutting.... Next thing you know you are in a public bathroom somewhere breaking open a scab with a sewing needle that you keep in your wallet for emergencies. When you get really desperate anything will be a cutting tool ...scissors...a car key...a needle ... a paperclip..even a pen. Doesn't matter what it is if you need to cut bad enough you will find something.
  • Say goodbye to things you took for granted. Like wearing shorts or sandals...pedicures...sleeveless tops. A normal summer day at the beach or in a swimming pool will become a far off memory for you.
  • Get ready to itch. Because you will itch and itch ..."so much you will look like you have fleas or a skin disease."
  • You will become an expert on your body as you destroy it carefully..
  • You will dream about cutting... you will dream about being exposed. It will haunt you day and night and take over your life. You will wish you never made that first cut because while you absolutely HATE cutting... at the same time you love it and can not live with out it... "

Not a Good Weekend

Let me start out by saying that I have taken steps to keep myself safe for the moment. With that said - this weekend sucked. Actually all of last week was bad. I wasn't taking my meds or eating like I needed too. So I know that contributed.

Awhile back J asked me to promise two things. First, to not use any other SI methods except pinning. Second, not to do it so as to cause bleeding. I promised the first but told her I couldn't the second. I take my word seriously and don't promise things that I don't intend to keep. Which is why I wouldn't promise the second request.

I thought I could keep my word on the first. For years I have done nothing but pin. I've not had the urge to do anything else. I had no intent of doing anything else. I said yes right way, intending to keep that promise. I broke my word. I didn't intend too. It just kind of happened.
I never wanted to be on medication. But things got too bad and I reluctantly gave in. When I went to the doctor recently I was almost hoping there would be some answer - my thyroid was off, sugar levels off, or whatever. Some medical answer as to why I was feeling panic symptoms. Something that would explain anxiety/PAs without it being "me" and my "mental baggage." That wasn't the case and I was disappointed.

Then I go to the ob/gyn and find out that I can conceive on this medication. I'm happy - that is what I wanted.

Then J and I talked and while I'm positive I do not understand all of what she said, I think the jist of it is that my norepinephrine levels may be high. So we adjust some meds to fix that, I think? In any event, it actually is something in my brain chemistry. So there is a medical answer, other than just my "mental baggage."

So I've got all I want — only to find out I don't want it anymore. I feel pressure to ttc now. I don't want that. Now not only do I have mental/background issue crap to deal with, but some hormonal/chemical imbalance too. In a nutshell, I'm messed up all around and every which way.

It's too much - I can't handle dealing with my past, the anxiety, the depression, can't focus at work, managing meds, managing eating, managing life. It's too overwhelming and I just want to crawl into bed and wake up when it is all better.

I went to the pharmacy after work Friday. I needed to pick up a snack to take on my girls night out. I was really panicky but didn't want to take a xanax and be zoned during the drive home or during my night out (or too tired) so I just walked around the store for awhile looking at their buy one-get one deals – trying to walk off the panic, because I didn't want to drive just yet. Found some stuff I needed. Walked by the shaving cream/razors aisle and was debating disposables or sucking it up and buying a good one and then just getting replacement blades. Their razors (the expensive ones) are behind these plastic overhangs that you have to lift up. I was looking and found myself starting at a box of disposable razors - straight edge/double blade razors. I picked it up and looked at it. Stared at it. Then this electronic beep sounds and this voice says something about "shopping at [store]." So I feel like everyone is now staring at me and I move on, carrying the box with me. I check out. I drive home in a total fog.

I get home and am going to shower so I can shave my legs and wear capris out. As I am getting ready to get in the shower I look at the box of razors. I stare at it. I open it. These things are flimsy. They look like plastic. I figure it has to be the cover of the box and pick it up. I don't realize it is the razor until I realize my finger is bleeding. I press my finger tip to it and it doesn't feel real sharp but it cuts quickly.

So I stood there staring at my legs. I thought, well I will try it - it will hurt like hell and the blood will cause me to feel faint and that will be the end of it. Instead of panicking over trying to fight this urge off - let's just do it, it won't work and it will be done. So I do - only my legs. Four times. It doesn't hurt. It does bleed but I'm fine with it. But the calmness is intense - way more than with pinning. I shower and get out and clean and bandage my leg.

Then I break down crying. Not because of doing it - because I'm not sorry I did it. But because it wasn't a bad experience. It felt good - it was a total calming experience. It was better than pinning. And that scared me.

I did it again Saturday - bad that time. More than once Saturday. And again Sunday too. It's out of control.

It took me 15 times, but I did finally send J an email about it - late late Sat night.
Then ironically my DH, DD & I sit down to eat lunch and see J at the restaurant. Guess God's timing is good sometimes. She had ready my email. So we met for coffee late yesterday.

Then I came home and talked to DH a lot. Told him what was going on - he had no idea. I told him he couldn't ask questions but I needed him to do something for me. I went in and grabbed our gun safe keys and the one unlocked gun we kept in the closet and handed them to him. Told him to go put them somewhere else; somewhere I wouldn't find them. He handled that pretty good. So I told him about the SI. He handled that okay until he saw my leg. I think the marks weren't so shocking as the words were. Course who expects their wife to be carving ugly words in their skin?

So DH wanted to do something to keep me safe. I think he wanted to be the "policeman." He asked me for my razor but I wouldn't give it to him. He wanted me to tell him when I did it but I told him "No" on that too. I can't have DH being the enforcer. I'd resent him. Right now I'm tracking my anxiety, depression, eating, SI-ing, meds and panic attacks. I sent it regularly to J. I get resentful when pushed. J pushes and I do get resentful, just a little bit. But I know she has my best interests at heart, and by the time I see her again, I'm well over it. With DH, I'd not get over it - because he can be selfish at times and push for his good, not mine. And because I'd have to live with him. So it's best that he back off and let me work on this with J. We'll see how he does on that. I do feel relief that I told him though.

So I'm at work. Have taken my meds as agreed. Have eaten fairly well. And no SI. 1/2 day down, a zillion more to go.......

Friday, April 13, 2007

Shot by the Trigger Gun

It got me last night. I was expecting it. I was not prepared for how bad it would be. I haven't been eating well. I haven't been taking my xanax regularly and have been avoiding taking it at all except when needed for sleep at night. I haven't been sleeping well either. I have been exposed (some through my own doing and some not) to triggering situations more frequently lately. I know better than to do this to myself, to allow this to continue, but I feel stuck in this downward spiral and can't find enough energy to make it stop.

Wednesday I was anxious all day. Panicky off and on. Didn't take the xanax all day - not until I went to bed at midnight, and found myself still awake at 1:30 am with racing thoughts. I took one then.

Yesterday (Thursday) I was anxious and jittery all day. Pinned which helped me survive morning (somehow I thought that was better than xanax???). Convinced myself it was lack of food and did feel better after some lunch. Then came home.

DD wanted to walk up our street to feed the goats. We had a great walk. Laughed at the dog. Chased our shadows. Had fun. Then she wanted to play in the backyard on her new swingset. So we did that too. I had eaten way too much pizza for supper (another bad tendency is to skip food all day and then eat WAY too much at supper) and it wasn't sitting great on my stomach with all the running around. She wanted to play hide and seek - her favorite game. She really gets into it with DH. I usually don't play much. But DH was gone so I agreed. She hid first. I thought she was behind our line of trees but wasn't sure. Walked up and looked all around and didn't see her. Then she jumped out from underneath one and scared me to death. My turn to hide, and stupidly, I chose to hide in the corner of our two fences with the sandbox lid propped up blocking me from view. Too tight and dark. The dog thought I was a wild animal and was barking - DD thought that was funny. We went inside soon after and I ran DD some bath water. Couldn't hear much over running water, so she snuck up behind me and scared me again. She now thinks it is quite funny to scare Mommy and watch me jump a mile high.

I immediately panicked. I put her in the bathtub - she's old enough to play in there for a few moments by herself. I went into the adjacent room to lie down. Could hear her splashing and talking to herself and would periodically yell out to make sure she was okay.

It was the worst and scariest attack ever. My heart felt like it was going to explode but when I took my pulse it was normal. At one point I really thought about going to the hospital because the chest pains were so bad. But I knew there wasn't anything wrong and I'd just be laughed at. Plus I couldn't move. I was worried about DD in the bath by herself, even though I could hear her and knew she was fine. But I couldn't move. I got sick and used every fiber of my being not to collapse/pass out/sleep. I started thinking horrible thoughts about passing out and DD drowning. Those runaway thoughts actually helped in a weird way - I was so busy obsessing about those thoughts, that I didn't focus on my dizziness, nausea, racing heart, lack of breath, etc. So I began to unknowingly breathe deeper and calm down. Finally, when DD was quiet I was able to pull myself up and go get her out. Got her to bed and collapsed on the couch.

So you'd think that I'd wake up this morning and take the xanax at the first sign of panic. Nope. They are right here in my purse beside my computer. I did get up and work out super hard. Did drink a fruit smoothie with my coffee. And did pick up a sandwich for later when I picked up coffee - so I will eat some lunch today. I wish I had an answer to why I'm doing this to myself...but I don't. Just being stupid I guess.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case

The Duke Lacrosse Rape case is all across the news wires. (some links to the full stories are http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/04/11/duke.lacrosse/index.html;
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/11727630/detail.html; http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,265688,00.html; http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,265187,00.html)

The three were charged after an escort-service dancer accused them of raping her at a team party in March 2006. All charges against Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty were dismissed yesterday.

The North Carolina state bar filed ethics complaints against Nifong (the prosecuting DA in this case) in December and January, accusing him of withholding DNA evidence from the players' defense attorneys and of "making misrepresentations to the presiding judge."

Certain news sources have now released the name of the "victim" since the charges were dropped and she is no longer a "victim."

Other news sources quoted the AG - Asked if she had lied about the attack, Cooper said that investigators think that she "may actually believe" the many different stories she has told. As for charging [Victim] in connection with her claims, Cooper said it was "not in the best interest of justice" to file charges against her. He then made reference to "sealed" records--which apparently regard her mental health--about the woman that convinced prosecutors not to pursue charges against her.

This case has burned me up from the very beginning. These poor innocent boys' reputations have been tarnished. This woman, apparently with serious mental-health issues, has been manipulated by a district attorney to suit his own quest for personal fame (and his pursuit of re-election).

On another board I post on, one poster says her DH was an investigator and she knows that 75% of reported cases are proven false - "many times it was the female who regretted it later after a night of drinking or just not thinking it all the way through" (I personally suspect her figure is much too high). Another mom said "as a mother of boys, I can't tell you how much this case sickens me."

The case sickens me too. Women who are indeed sexually assaulted or raped are going to find themselves subjected to intense scrutiny in the wake of this case. Rapists everywhere will use this case as evidence of a "system gone crazy."

This case is a travesty of justice. I am a firm believer in our system of justice and in insuring everyone's constitutional rights are protected. Some people point to the dismissal as evidence that our system works .... in the end.

It is horrifically sad to read about the toll these charges have taken on these young men. Their lives, I imagine, are forever changed.

As far as the woman, if it can be proven that she intentionally perpetuated this hoax, then I pray she is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But if she is an innocent victim, whose mental health status was taken advantage of by a manipulative district attorney, then I pray she finds peace in the wake of this mess as well.