Posted in Girl blogger, health, journal, lifestyle, mental health, mental health awareness, therapy, trauma, Uncategorized, Wellbeing

BRB – Healing.

I_m so sick of myself. I despise every single thing, body and soul. I am sick of not being able to pick myself up. I have turned into my worst nightmare; a weak pathetic piece of crap.The above was written in November 2004. I was 25 years old. I should have been in the prime of my life – young and vibrant and full of hope and possibility.

Instead I was isolated, alone, severely depressed, self-harming and highly suicidal. And I didn’t even know why. I thought I was just weak, flawed, broken. The excerpt above wasn’t just a bad day. I have screeds of journal pages where I just beg to die, and feel trapped in living.

I had never had therapy, it didn’t even occur to me at that age that it was something I could get outwith the National Health Service. And I had tried and failed to get any help through them.

It would be another 6 years before I entered the world of therapy and began my healing journey. It’s a miracle I even survived that long to be honest, because there were times I was hanging on by a thread. I truly did not expect to make it to 27 years old.

The reason I am sharing this with you all is because it’s important. It’s important to see where I came from, started from ; a place of deep self-hate. A place of blackest depression and hopeless, confused pit of despair.

And it’s only reading back my old diaries, that I realise how far I’ve truly come. How much I’ve healed already, because I am glad and proud to say that I don’t feel that way anymore.

Something occurred this week that made me realise just how far I’d come. I follow a positive thinking career type account on Instagram that encourages women to support one another and realise their dreams. One of their posts encouraged us to write down three things we love about ourselves.

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The girl who wrote the journal page above couldn’t find even one thing to love about herself. But this woman I have become today….. she couldn’t decide what 3 to use!

I actually thought to myself seriously ” We can only choose 3???? This is hard.”  

I can’t believe it. I laughed to myself as I realised what I’d just said.

I can’t believe that I finally have gotten to a place where I have so many things about myself that I love. I really do have some really lovely qualities. I like myself. I am a half-decent human being!

I am not perfect. I have a shadow side, as we all do. I have annoying traits too – like everyone does. And I have days where I don’t like myself much or have much self-confidence. I have teen parts who are still stuck in that pit of self-loathing. But they will catch up with time and they will realise they are worthy and lovable and that they are allowed to live. They are allowed to take up space in the world.

But the woman I am today. I love her and she is good enough.

And that my friends, is the value of (lots of) therapy. It’s a hard road. It’s the most painful journey we’ll ever undertake and it feels slow… it is slow I suppose. But it is so worth it when you look back and see where you started and how far you’ve come.

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Posted in attachment, journal, mental health, therapy, trauma, Uncategorized

Things Change.

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I’m struggling to maintain this blog and I’ve been questioning whether I should keep it or not and more accurately, do I want to keep it?

And I don’t know. This blog has been a place for me to vent and process my therapy journey and has been invaluable to me. I loved my blog for the support and containment it provided me with and I still love it because it helped me so much. So, the idea of giving up on it makes me sad.

Yet, I find myself changing and in less need of it and my therapy has moved to a place where I either don’t want or don’t need to process things through my writing. I don’t need or want to listen to my sessions afterwards anymore. Partly it’s a healthy avoidance thing, sometimes listening back would just be painful or maybe I just don’t want to re-experience it, I want to live my life, do things that will contribute to my own life and not sit pining after my therapist. And some of it is perhaps a more avoidant tactic of just not wanting to deal with any of it or what it brings up for me if I think or feel too much about it all.

Partly it’s a survival thing ; I don’t want to be triggered by anything I hear or was said in the session. And partly it’s a progress thing. Like I said, I no longer feel the need to hear the session, to hear my therapist’s voice again. I can hold onto her better now than I used to. She feels more solid to me – a real person. And I feel our connection (most of the time) and know we are connected even though we are apart or going through rough times. I feel the relationship, I know it exists, I feel it’s solid, tangible foundations. I know my therapist remembers me and thinks about me often during the week. I have evidence of it throughout the 3 years as she tells me anecdotally something she saw or heard that reminded her of me. Or something she’d thought about one day pertaining to me or my therapy.

I think I’ve only grown that object constancy in the past 6 months or so. And it’s amazing. It feels so good to not languish in attachment Hell for the entire week, each minute agonisingly dragging by until I can see her or speak to her again.

I can’t say it doesn’t still happen. It does, I still get needy and clingy at times. I still lose the object constancy in stressful times or when other trauma parts are more at the front.

And part of me wonders/worries that some of this ” wellness” and “adult place” and ” object constancy” isn’t more about the disorganised attachment and me sort of pulling away from Sienna and that distance is more stabilising? It’s a distinct possibility. It feels like both things are true though? There’s growth and some object constancy at times, AND there’s a pulling away from her because I’m still deeply affected by our ruptures.

And I think partly I used this blog as a way of experiencing my relationship with Sienna from afar.

I only really realised that this month. That all this time, I’ve used the blog as a blank projection screen to throw everything that happened in that room onto it and from there I could view what happened, process it, feel about it and internalise it all.

I think I found therapy and the relationship specifically, so distressing and confusing and enraging that it was too scary to feel it all in real time. To experience it as it happened and deal with it there and then.

I mean, I did deal with it there and then a lot of the time? I think the blog has been like a safe wall I can sit behind and just splurge to. Sometimes I’ve used it to vent my anger and hurt and to work out whether it’s okay to feel what I feel, or sometimes to process my feelings without involving Sienna – which really isn’t the point of therapy is it? 😀

I’ve avoided showing Sienna my true and real feelings and thoughts about certain things because those things simply hurt me too much and I don’t trust her with it. So I return to my hidey hole and blog it until I feel better, instead of taking it to my therapist. Not good.

I still do that to an extent. I know I have lots I’m just not approaching with her. I am avoiding a lot of things. Things aren’t amazingly smooth, although I bet Sienna thinks they are because I’ve had a long period of apparent stability.

I am nowhere near the end of therapy. I am not cured or magically healed from all the attachment crap. I don’t know why I’m handling it better.

I think it’s very multi-layered. Being fragmented, I suppose it’s to be expected that some parts will grow more quickly than others.

So all the work Sienna and I have done in the past 3 years has somehow managed to forge a very competent, happy, calm-ish, adult self. I think that adult IS the core me, or at least that will be the one who moves forward in my life, and who will be most present. If all my young parts grow up and integrate then this adult is who will be left. And if the young parts don’t want to integrate, but agree to co-conscious management, then the Adult will be the person who fronts most of the time.

And I’m good with that.

I, the adult, like myself. I like who I am, I like who I am becoming, I am excited for life. I feel confident in my abilities as an adult woman.

I never thought I’d be able to say any of that. It’s a minor miracle that I’ve got to this stage!

As a result of forging and cultivating a pretty awesome adult, my life has felt calmer, safer, more even-keeled. I am managing to cope with therapy better for the most part. Nothing is perfect of course and there’s still flare ups and heartbreaks. And because the attachment stuff isn’t as acute right now, I am finding that I want to experience Sienna and my sessions in person.

Not through my blog, or my recordings. I want to feel my feelings, process things whilst there and of course at home too.

I think I also have more capacity to hold the sessions for myself. I hold them within me, there’s a place for them now that never used to exist. This blog was like the overflow car park for experiences I literally could not hold for myself.

I find myself feeling more protective of the work and of myself and of Sienna. Maybe it’s a side-effect of having my own boundaries now or just feeling like I want to keep things more private or maybe just being sick of some of the crap that gets thrown my way when I share the details of ruptures or my darker feelings and tantrums.

I don’t have the same need to splurge to the entire world, the entire details of each session.

I don’t want to. Or at least, like I said, I feel very protective of my story now. And I’m not sure why. For some reason I feel more exposed and vulnerable to be writing it all down and not knowing who is reading, not having control over that. It never used to bother me. I didn’t care who read it or what they thought or felt about me. I still don’t care what names on the internet think about me, they don’t know me and never will but I also don’t feel like sharing my most profound and intimate moments in therapy with people who don’t value or care about me or my experiences.

I felt at the time like it was more important to document my journey and I wanted it to help others not feel so alone. I wanted them to know that all the embarrassing feelings, the lovesick, obsessive pining for the therapist, the tantrums and the rage and the avoidance and the ruptures and all of it, is totally normal in the context of therapy. It’s humiliating but normal.

I wanted professionals, therapists and Dr’s and social workers, to know how they really affected us or why us adults with attachment trauma did the things we did or felt or reacted why do, because I think unless you’ve been through attachment trauma, and emotional neglect, you can never fully understand a person who has. Not really. We come from different worlds and we have different emotional languages. We hear things differently.

I want to emphasise to readers that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with splurging every detail to the world if you want to. I don’t really hold with the view that therapy is “ sacred” and writing so publicly and in-depth about it cheapens that sacred space. Ultimately, you have to do what you feel is right and be guided by your own intuition on it. There’s no judgement from me- I’ve loved vomiting my therapy all over you guys for the past 4 plus years! Hahahahah!

I find myself losing interest in all things therapy related. I struggle to read other blogs, particularly about painful ruptures or if the person is at a very different stage from me in their therapy/mental health journey. It feels painful to re-visit those hard places and of course I’ve been there already and resolved a lot of those stages and so there isn’t so much interest in going back there or reading others journey. I hope that doesn’t sound mean, It isn’t meant that way.

I suppose the best way to describe it is if you were an 8 year old watching little 5 year olds playing games you used to with your friends. You’re not interesting in being 5 again and their games don’t hold interest to you anymore because you’ve already played them a million times.

Another healthy outcome for me from writing this blog is the contacts and friendships I’ve made.

I have one very special person whom I consider a really close friend now. We speak most days and I always smile and feel so happy after a phonecall. She makes me laugh so much. And although we both have mental health struggles, good days and bad, we can be mutually supportive of one another, and we can also just laugh and have fun. I like that. It’s not all doom and gloom, not at all. And it’s not just one person supporting the other, or one giving and the other taking. It’s an equal friendship, it’s support and listening and empathy without drama or an expectation of the other to take responsibility for ones own issues.

I want more of those real friendships. They feed the soul. I want to grow a tribe of women around me whom I can really count on whether it’s for a laugh, a hug, a kick up the arse, whatever. It’s so important.

And having found at least one friend like that has also probably influenced my reducing need for blogging.

I am living in the real world with real people, real relationships. And the blog doesn’t give me as much of what I need anymore. I get real-time support, I hear real voices on the phone and I really need that.

So, yeah…. There’s lots of things going on that are affecting my ability or need to blog.

I don’t want to lose my blog because it’s a special place for me. And I do like to write sometimes. And when there’s another inevitable rupture (cue eye-roll and sigh from me) then I will probably need this space more.

I have no intentions of shutting it down- for now anyway. But I do feel like I need to take stock and find what I feel comfortable with sharing. It might be that the way I write changes a bit – less in depth dialogue about the sessions and a more global overview. Or maybe just writing less often? OR less in depth??

Or maybe just going private and keeping the followers I currently have. I don’t know.

I do have things I want to write about but only discuss with readers I have interacted with and know of. So, there may be some passworded posts with a new password….

I don’t know…..

I just feel more protective of myself and my therapy. And less need to publicize the very intimate moments of my relationship with Sienna.

So that’s where I am at.