I am having a difficult time sharing my healing process right now, so I’ll share with you the photos from my outdoor to me today. I’m sitting in the middle of the woods and all I hear are geese honking at a nearby pond and birds chirping. I’m peaceful for the first time in 48 hours. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and panic. Things today are looking up.
And I know I don’t like it the bloggers I follow just disappear without a word. Honestly, I can’t even put into words wh ere I’ve been for 2 months. It seems that lots of stuff in my life just went haywire for awhile. So, let me try to explain. First, my oldest child is diagnosed with Conduct Disorder. He does lots of wild and dangerous and crazy-making stuff. He steals, lies, causes conflict, tries to act out sexually with his brothers, runs away. He gets services that help to maintain his placement on the home instead of needing a higher level of care. At the end of February, his caseworker told me he probably would not qualify for those services anymore. My wife immediately started talking about an out of home placement for him and this totally stressed me out. We do basically watch him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Eyes on supervision unless he is in his room with a door alarm on. The saving grace has been that those services give us one entire weekend a month of respite, and it was difficult to conceive of life without that respite. The uncertainty of his services continuing went on for 7 weeks. Then oldesst son’s therapist came through and wrote a letter stating that without these services, there was a very high risk of an out of home placement. Phew. Services are continued for another year.
Then, my wife and I are not getting along well. Now that I’m pretty thin, any suggestion from me about taking care of her health is taken as an insult. Ugh. I make healthy meals and she won’t eat them. I think we had an entire 6 weeks where not a fruit or vegetable passed her lips. She would turn down my healthy meals, criticize them in front of the kids, and eat toast or Lucky Charms for dinner. We started couple’s counseling, I confronted her about trying to kill herself, and things seem to be on an upswing.
My best friend (I’m pretty sure that I’m not her best friend anymore) is sick. I’ve been pretty absent from her long term treatment…mostly because of my children’s needs, but also because we had a mutual friend, who is no longer my friend, but who is, along with her family, involved in my best friend’s life. The ex mutual friend really lambasted me for my treatment of my children and told me that I was not a worthy enough friend for her. I have been avoiding my best friend due to the fact that I cannot stand the idea of running into this ex friend of mine. But, then, my best friend’s son was hit by a car, catastrophically injured, and 2 weeks later she and her husband had to make the heart breaking decision to turn off their son’s life support machines. I was at the hospital the first night and the second day and thhen the night before the son died. I ran into the ex friend and her family at the hospital in the family lounge. I did smile at them and received nasty looks in return. They would walk right by me and not even acknowledge me as their bodies brushed mine. It was horrible and I felt totally humiliated. Oh, well. I was there for my friend.
I’ve been struggling with my fibromyalgia and ptsd. I think my son’s lying and stealing triggers me. My stress around his future triggers me. My stress with my wife around his issues triggers me. I’ve had lots of flashbacks. One we’ve been working on with the exposure techniques doesn’t seem to be responding to the exposure. I’m thinking it’s because we hadn’t spent the amount of time talking about the memory we are working on that we had spent on the cat memory.
My therapist has started Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with me and also Corrective Attachment Therapy. Something about these two things plus the fact that my therapist has come up with different supplemental approaches gives me hope.
I’m having a feeling day. I’m not sure that I like it. I feel like my heart might be ripped up in little pieces and spread throughout my body because I’m feeling all of my feelings everywhere. My therapist and I are doing some exposure work with a set of flashbacks I’ve been having. I’m not being able to complete much of the process in one session. I’m having to stop the process before session time is up, otherwise, I know I’m going to end up in a soggy mess on the floor and have all sorts of trouble scraping myself up when I’m done. Do today, we did the part where my therapist tells me the story using stick figure pictures that I drew. I could feel myself trying g to dissociate and disappear and I managed to not do that. I kept trying to sit on my hands as that restrains me and silences me. I had to work really hard not to do that. I cried big gulping cries at one point. At one point I felt so sick that I was weighing my options of bolting to the ladies room or grabbing a trashcan, but that feeling subsided as quickly as it came on. I got angry at one point. I was incredulous that this stuff could have happened to me. I was amazed that the capable woman I see in the mirror every morning lived through that and turned out to be me. And now, I feel wrung out and like I’m dying. I’m sure that the dying part is an old feeling left over from that incident, but it’s still scaring me….to the point where I actually left a message about it on my therapist’s voice-mail. I’m not sure she’ll respond, and she doesn’t have to. I just wanted her to hear what is going on now that my session has been over for a couple of hours. I’d really like to curl up and sleep, but I have to pick one boy up from Scouts, meet with another boy’s service provider, and then get all three boys to a Friday night pizza party and Mine Minecraft night. While they are there, my wife and I are going out for dinner…with just adults and no tomfoolery. Then, later this evening, I’ll get the chance to tend to these feelings and this body again. I’m looking forward to the couch, the cats, and some tea.
I would ask how you are doing. I’d want to know if you’re having a rough time. I’d want to know if you needed anything from me. I’d want to know what was bringing you joy these days. I’d want To know if you had any travel plans or if you’ve eaten new food or seen movies. I’d want to know what you’ve been creating lately. I’d want to hear anything you wanted to tell me.
I’d tell you about all of the work I’ve done lately with Maya Angelou’s poem, And Still I Rise. My therapist introduced that poem into our work a few weeks ago, and we’ve gotten lots of milage out of it. Maya’s words bring me great strength lately.
I’d tell you about how glad I am that my therapist does such a good job of containing our work. I’d tell you how good it feels to be able to soothe myself and to bring all of my meditation and yoga skills into that soothing. I’d tell you how much stronger I am lately….mentally and physically. I’d tell you how glad I am that my therapist encouraged me to find strength and soothing from things like massage, acupuncture, and Reiki. I’d tell you that I know that my therapist is doing a great job of not engaging with me and getting in a power struggle when I flash to anger. I’m thinking it might behoove me to learn to use my brain to think about what is happening before I allow myself to react with anger to what she says or suggests. I’ve been really appreciating her ability to redirect the conversation.
I’d tell you that I hung out with Mary, my priest today. She meets me where I am and sometimes she’s my friend, my mother, or my priest. Today she was definitely my friend. We talked about kids and clothes and haircuts. It was fun and insightful. She gave me a book to read with reflections by all sorts of people like Maya Angelou, Marianne Williamson, Joyce Rupp, Pope Francis, and Oscar Romeo.
I’d also tell you that I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t fit in anywhere these days. I’m way older than a couple of friends, way younger than another friend. I’m into fitness, but not as fervently as people who have a trainer, run, or do Cross fit. I’m into art, but I’m not so good. I’m old enough to be a grandma, but I have little kids. I’m a lesbian, but I actually hang out with no lesbian people…well, besides my wife. I’m into bettering myself, but I’m pretty damned healthy these days. My friends who started this kind of journey around the same time I did are in much different places. I’m interested in spirituality, but not Church so much. I feel kind of out of whack with most people. I really wish I lived near a bunch of my WordPress friends. How does one go about finding friends when one is 50 years old?
I’d also tell you that I’m kind of out of whack with my wife. I guess that happens when a person goes from weighing a hundred lbs more than her wife to weighing 100 lbs less than her wife. Yes, people, I have lost 200 lbs. My wife can’t be as active as I am. When I try to arrange any kind of physical activity for our family, taking into consideration her limitations, she still declines to join me and our sons. Also, I have so much energy, that all of the housework falls to me these days. She used to clean up after I cooked and I cook every single night, but now she doesn’t. I go out two nights a week to the gym when the boys go to bed, and one night I didn’t get to clean the kitchen before I left. I came home to all of the leftover food still out. We are not rich, and I cried when I got home 3 hours later to see a whole other meal just left out to go bad. I get that it’s hard for her to stand at the sink doing dishes. Her knees and back hurt. I’d not mind doing the dishes so much if she would interact with the kids while I clean up, but she doesn’t do that either. She goes from the dining room to the living room to watch television. The whole thing makes me so sad.
So, anyway. That’s what I would tell you about today.
I can’t find anything about this on Google, so I’m wondering if anybody has given thought to this. If you already have PTSD, and experience more traumas, what is the prognosis for healing?