A love story

“Screw you!”, she said again and again

and he laughed as the words shed

all of their meaning

“Take my hand”, he replied

as he walked to the end

and they both leapt- together-

to prove their union.

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Followed

I want to feel beautiful in myself. I like to look nice, when I can. I appreciate if people see beauty in me, although I may not believe it. I do not want to feel objectified and I do not want to be seen as sexy by anyone whom I am not dating.

I do not want to be whistled at or called out to. I don’t know anyone who likes this sort of attention. It’s degrading and makes me want to make myself look uglier.

Yesterday some stray pigs followed me home. I ignored them as they whistled and called out to me. When I got to my building I turned around and they appeared to be gone so I went inside. A few minutes later I could hear them outside our building, calling out to me. I was terrified. They couldn’t see me but when a clueless neighbour let them into the building I watched them through the spy hole in my front door. They were erratic and they knocked on several of my neighbours doors. One guy was still outside and I could hear as he buzzed several apartments on the intercom.

I crouched down in a corner with a racing heart for quite a while, even after they had left. When I felt safe enough, I called my mum and she told me to call the police but I didn’t.

I was scared of having to talk to the police and scared that they might come to my apartment but I was more scared that the police might find the guys because those bastards know where I live and I don’t want them coming back.

It is one thing to be a disgusting male who calls out to a woman and makes her feel uncomfortable but to follow her to her home is so fucked up. What was their intention? Why did they follow me? Did they expect that I would let them into my apartment? What the hell was going through their minds that would make them think that it was okay to do what they were doing?

I already have so many problems going out into the world. Stuff like this reinforces how unsafe it can be and I know I am okay and that it could have been much worse but that doesn’t stop me from feeling afraid. My biggest challenge now is not falling into victim mode (because it is so familiar) and instead letting my anger take over and empower me.

 

 

P.S- I know this sort of thing doesn’t only happen to females and I also know that there are lots of kind and respectful men around so please don’t think I am a man hater.

 

 

The slug life

Phase one is getting out of bed. My body moves slowly and my mind wants to stay wrapped up in the warmth of my blankets forever. Phase two is finding something to do. I blob along from room to room. It takes me hours to get ready for the “day” to start. I feast on cornflakes and water because I am too lazy and tired to get milk. I like how it doesn’t taste very good. It seems appropriate. I am deserving of this food. It also lays a base for the ibuprofen I take because I have headaches every day.

This IS what I got up to today and most of the days lately. Getting out of my pyjamas, into the shower and then into clean clothes IS what I have done. God forbid I have to wash my hair or go outside and be around others.

Phase three is getting back into my pyjamas. I lounge around in layers and layers of clothes because it is so cold. When I decide it is time to go to bed I am suddenly very awake, however fatigued I feel. I find myself hula hooping in my living room or watching videos online because I know that the final part of my day is always the hardest.

I lie in bed with my eyes watering because I am exhausted but I cannot get to sleep. Everything I hate, all of the memories which haunt me and all of my inadequacies lie in bed with me. I draw on every skill and visualisation exercise I have acquired over the years but all I can do is toss and turn for hours until it is time for phase one again.

We are scary, you guys

Before my brother and his girlfriend had fully moved into their new apartment, his girlfriend spent one night there alone and there was an incident. Apparently one of the neighbours had a “psych episode” and was running through the hallways screaming. Eventually he stopped, or the police came or something but my brother’s girlfriend was left terrified.

She refused to be alone in their apartment after that. If my brother was out then she was out. If she had a day off work then she would visit family. I asked my brother if the neighbour had done anything else since that night and he said that they hadn’t seen him or heard him.

One night and one “episode”where a neighbour might have forgotten to take his medication or might have just had a really shitty day but he was to be feared always. My brother’s girlfriend took it further though. She contacted the real estate agent and wanted to get out of their lease because it wasn’t disclosed that someone like that was in the building.

Um, what?

I got really offended. I understood being scared by someone who is being loud, disruptive and unpredictable. I would have been scared too and had it been a frequent occurrence then I might have considered contacting the agent but I wouldn’t have expected to get out of a lease. I was offended because I’ve had “episodes” too, although I haven’t been out in the hallways screaming. What if my neighbours had complained about me? Should people who have “episodes” not be able to live with everyone else?

The fact is ANYONE could have a meltdown at ANY moment. Everyone has the potential to be unpredictable. You can’t really control who lives in your building and even if everyone seems okay, that could easily change.

How and when

The dramatic moments make me think of it as an easy way out. My lonely and free hours make me think of it because what am I going to do with my life? When I have time to actually consider things properly and lay everything out in my mind then possibly I can keep going but when I reach the end of existing as a being who is only very slightly still human in a general sense, then I start to wonder how and when.

I think that every single time before now was some sort of build up or a rehearsal. My intentions were genuine most of the time but not every tiny part of my self was ready for such a huge change.

Maybe I can go on for a while and a while longer but eventually I’ll see myself out and that will be the only thing I will still be in control of.

God, you’re so miserable!

I’m beating myself up over this but at the same time it felt kind of good and that makes me a terrible person, right?

Today as I walked into a shop I was greeted by a woman who was waaaaay too perky. She basically pounced on me and said, “Hi! How are you today?”

I don’t know why I had to be so rude, normally I am pretty great at pretending to be a polite sort of person but not today. I answered in the most sarcastic voice I have, “GREAT”, with a deadpan expression on my face. I kept walking as I said it so she could clearly see that I was a miserable human being.

I did a circle of the shop and slipped out quickly without buying anything. I felt so embarrassed by my behaviour. As I walked around some other shops I started to feel a bit empowered. I thought that maybe this is how I will interact with people now. Why should I pretend to be actually great or fine or okay?

Such miserable thoughts!

Counterfiet

When we were teenagers one of my friends proudly showed off the fake designer handbag her brother had brought back for her from china and it really bothered me. I didn’t care that it wasn’t genuine nor was I on a moral high horse about the counterfeiting industry. What really got under my skin was the fact that this particular bag didn’t even try to be passable as the real thing. The materials were crappy, it was sewn poorly and I’m pretty sure it broke fairly quickly. I know it’s a bit of touristy fun to buy fake designer stuff but I hated how sneaky it was. I felt like the bag had no shame. It wasn’t just cheap and inferior but it was thinly disguised as something better and it’s pretense made a mockery of my own attempts to disguise my crappier side.

If a bag could be put together so poorly and still be bought and appreciated, I worried that people could also easily tell that I was flawed and that I was just attempting to be passable as “normal.” If people could see through my deception then why the hell were they keeping me around? Was I a joke just like that stupid bag? Was I just a tacky souvenir?

Some counterfeit products are almost identical to the real thing and this is what I wanted my life to be like. I knew I wasn’t like everyone else but I tried my hardest to keep up appearances so that only an expert might be able to tell the difference. Living this way proved problematic though because if people can’t see your weaknesses, they start to expect more from you.

When “I’m sorry, I just can’t”, takes over and you show your real value then people realise how expendable you are and how easily you can be replaced, just like a cheap and horrible handbag.

 

 

 

 

Waving Puppet

If you have been following me for a while then it will come as no surprise when I tell you that the appointments with my latest therapist have come to a dramatic end. Surprisingly though, I do not blame myself for my inability to sustain therapeutic relationships. I’m starting to hate what I am more than who I am, which is something the therapist couldn’t seem to do in our last appointment.

Our session started out just like the previous few. It seems the therapist doesn’t review her notes before appointments and coupled with her shockingly bad memory, makes every session feel like the first. I did my absolute best to tolerate this. It’s very hard not to snap when someone is asking the same questions they asked in previous sessions. Last time we had spent a while talking about a safe place and this week she had no memory of it. When she asked me to think of a safe place, I told her that I already had one. She hurriedly looked through her chicken scratch notes. “I think it would be best if you told me about it.”, she said. I told her I was happy to wait while she looked through the notes but either she hadn’t written it down or she couldn’t find what she was looking for. “How about you tell me?”, she said. So I told her.

“I just want to show you a video on PTSD.”, She said and she started to head towards her computer.

“Is it okay if we just get started with the EMDR? I am feeling too anxious to sit and watch a video right now.”, I said.

“But this will help you.”

“I’m sorry. Maybe if you give me the link I can watch it later when I am at home.”

No, you can’t. It’s only for members!”

She sat down at the computer and got angry. I told her once more that I didn’t want to look at the video. “Fine!”, she snapped. “Sit there!”, she gestured towards a cane chair about a metre in front of her and slightly to the left. I did as I was told but I shuffled the chair back a few centimetres as I sat. “No! It won’t work if you move far away!”, she said and I shifted the chair back to where it was.

“What would you like to work on?”,she asked. We had had this conversation many times before and I was starting to get annoyed by her attitude. “Oh, just what we talked about before. Where do you think we should start?”, I was testing her a little, I admit. “I can’t answer that. You’re supposed to be in control.”, she replied. “Just what we talked about last time, I guess.”, I didn’t give her enough information and once again she fumbled through her notes. She pulled out the tests she made me do in session one. “Your extreme depression and your extreme anxiety?” She asked.

“Yes, exactly.”

Now as far as I know, EMDR isn’t suitable for multiple traumas, nor is it typically used to treat illnesses apart from PTSD. The therapist made no mention of any of the traumas we had talked about in previous sessions and instead started waving her hand around and told me to follow it with my eyes whilst thinking about anxiety and depression. I honestly really tried to do what she said but when she asked if any thoughts came up, I told her she looked like a puppet.

“It’s like you’re a puppet waving at me. It’s like it’s a movie. A horror movie! And you’re a puppet sitting there in a creepy house just waving at me. I tried though. I mean at least I am being honest, right?”

She didn’t like this. “You don’t think I am real?”, she asked. I told her I knew she was real but it just seemed like a movie. We tried a few more times. I had to think of things like being anxious as a baby and wanting to die. At one point she stopped the hand gestures and made me talk about self-harm and suicide. She wanted every detail even though I had already told her about this in earlier sessions. Actually, it was similar to when I told her about the friends I have lost to suicide. She didn’t care much about how I felt, she wanted to know the methods they used to kill themselves.

She kept looking at her watch. I might add now that she had seen me 10 minutes after our scheduled time and she had no patients before me. (After the appointment there was no one waiting either.) With about 10 minutes left she told me our session was over. She did nothing to help me get grounded (as I have read is a part of EMDR) and instead said she saw no point in us continuing our sessions. She told me I was uncooperative. I asked her how I was being uncooperative and she said, “You wouldn’t watch the video.” I apologised again but said that sometimes people have restrictions and if I were in a wheelchair, she wouldn’t expect me to be able to jump. She told me I should have compromised but I didn’t even think to do that. There seemed to be no other options. Watch the video or piss her off. Then she added that I have a bad attitude.

There I was looking like a “Twilight” vampire because I’d put on way too much highlighter and bronzer to try to avoid looking like an actual vampire. Tiny sparkles were running down my face as I started to cry. “How is my attitude bad?”, I asked.

“There’s just something about you…”, she replied and she stood up to signal I should leave.

“I try. I come here. I sit and I tried EMDR. I really did try. Now you’ve done something to my eyes and my brain and you’re just going to send me on my way?”, I said.

“Okay. Yes. Our time is up.”, she opened the door and I walked out sobbing. I stood near the exit of the building for a good ten minutes or so, frozen. I wasn’t sure what I should do. I heard her moving around but she never came to see if I was okay. When I had calmed down enough I got into my car, forgot to put it into reverse and almost ran into the fence.

So that’s the story of how I got rejected and crushed by another health professional. I’m interested to hear if anyone else has tried EMDR and what your experiences were like.

 

Is it normal to hate your therapist?

Trauma, trauma, trauma… I feel like she is really trying to pin everything on the traumatic events in my life. I admit that they have definitely made me more fucked up than I was beforehand but I don’t think they are the cause of EVERYTHING.

“But I had anxiety and depression before that.”

“I had those symptoms before that happened.”

I kept repeating this and then we had to go back further… My teens, my childhood and when I stopped being able to remember things, she told me to ask my mother about my first couple of years of life.

Before we started intensively searching, she asked me to think of a safe place. I  told her I didn’t really have one but then decided that I feel pretty safe/calm when listening to my cat purr. “I can rest my head on her body and listen. Except sometimes she might hit me.”, I told the therapist.

“That’s not a safe place then.”, She replied.

“Oh I trust her. I mean she will let me listen to her purr but when she has had enough she will let me know!”

Towards the end of the session she told me to work on my safe place. My cat would be so offended! I’m offended, I did the best I could.

I asked her if she felt intimidated by the fact that I’ve “seen every mental health professional in the area” and she said she didn’t.

She told me that I have never had the right treatment before and I got really angry. “My whole life has been a waste then! All of those appointments, medications, all of that money, wasted!” I felt like the biggest moron in the world.

When I drove far enough away from that place, I started to cry. I hated her then.

If you can’t handle what you find, don’t look

I was standing in my kitchen cooking pasta and thinking about going to visit one of my friends when suddenly I thought of another. I decided to google her because it’s been a few years since we talked and I wanted to know what she has been up to.

I wondered if she finished her degree and how her dogs are. I imagined she must have eased off contact with me because I was dragging her down. Maybe I reminded her of a younger version of herself. She was so supportive and so kind but I figured, for her own sanity, she had to let me go.

It didn’t take me long to find her death notice. Fuck. It hit me hard. I instantly felt cold and weak.  She died a couple of years ago and I never knew. We didn’t have anyone in common really, we’d met in hospital and I didn’t know her family. We hadn’t been in contact so I suppose that’s why no one let me know.

My eyes are stinging.

This doesn’t make sense because she was really getting her life together. She struggled a lot but she was determined and focused. I feel so shit. I wish I could have been there for her. I hate myself so much for isolating myself and pushing friends away.

I feel like there is no hope for me.

People can be out of your life for years and you barely even notice until they are actually, totally gone.

I really miss her. I don’t know what to do.