I’m going to make it.
I'm going to make it. I keep telling myself that. I'm back on the therapy wagon. I've been searching for someone who does EMDR therapy. And I found a person. While investigating different kinds of therapy, I found out there was something called "depression therapy." Depression therapy is something that I didn’t know existed. Over the years, I’ve talked about being depressed with my various therapists. I’ve gone through periods where I’ve felt low. But, I wouldn’t necessarily believe that there was therapy that specifically addressed depression. I guess there is. When I was growing up, I heard about the wondrous nature of therapy. My parents told me how it could help with your problems. I started seeing a therapist at age 15, and I was depressed. It wasn’t a fun time. Talking about depression in therapy helped me. It was difficult to talk about the vulnerable emotions that surrounded being depressed. I felt shame for not being able to function at an optimum level. I felt like I was different from my peers and that made me sad. It was difficult to relate to those around me when I was fixated on how down I felt about myself. It [...]
New Beginnings – My First EMDR Therapy Session
My first EMDR therapy session felt like going on a date. It was hard finding her office, and that made me even more nervous than I already was. It was as if I was trying to find a restaurant where my new date was waiting. I called her frantically trying to find the building, which was seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I was meeting my therapist for the first time - she’s a Capricorn. I’m a Libra. I asked her what her sign was in the middle of quizzing her about herself. I know that therapy isn’t about her, it’s about her helping me, but I like to know a little bit about a therapist before I open up and tell them everything about myself and my life. I’m well-versed in astrology, and knowing that she was a Capricorn made me feel that she must be a dedicated person; she’s committed to studying whatever topic she chooses. She picked EMDR, which means she’s going to be an EMDR expert; this made me happy. It was exhausting going through all of the different things I needed to tell her about my trauma, but I knew that in the end, it [...]
Do I have a sense of entitlement?
I’ve wondered if I might have entitlement issues. “Entitlement” is a buzzword, and it’s a quality that has bothered me in others, so I want to be conscious of if I may have a sense of entitlement myself. As the youngest child in my family, I wonder if I might be spoiled, which is part of a societal issue where we stereotype the youngest sibling as being doted, babied, and so on. To some extent, in my case, there’s truth to that. My parents doted on me and got excited when I did things like put my pants on by myself as a kid; that was actually a big joke in my family. My dad would exclaim “you put your pants on by yourself!” like it was astonishingly exciting. Now, as an adult, I use that as an analogy because I still get excited over the tiniest of things of things that people do for me. I’ll be like “wow! You got me a soda?! Awesome!” and in my experience, people find this to be strange because they don’t know why I’m excited over something as small as handing me a glass of water, etc., but I think that [...]
Repression caused me to have stomach problems
Repression caused me to have stomach problems Repression caused me to experience extreme physical pain. There was a time in my life where I was not honest with myself. That differs from how I am today, as I am very honest with myself these days, but it took me a long time to get here. How did I learn to do that? Well, I suffered the consequences of trying to push down my pain. In junior high, I hid my panic and my depression because I didn’t want people to know that I was suffering. In high school, my mental health got worse. I started experiencing acid reflux and stomach pains. I was fearful for people to find out that I was experiencing panic attacks because I didn’t want to seem like a freak, but I ended up harming my body by repressing my feelings. Repression caused me to have severe GI issues. Today, my stomach problems are still bad, but they are not as horrible as they used to be. In high school, I remember experiencing panic so severe that I would wake up and vomit bile because I could not eat. That continuous vomiting caused permanent damage to [...]
Do I Need Medication For Anger?
Do I need medication for anger? Sometimes, I think about my angry moments and how reactive I am. I do have Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), and my past trauma has left me with a fear of abandonment. It’s challenging to figure out what’s going on with me when I lash out at people. It is frustrating because I lose it at the people that I love and I hate that. I don’t want to do this anymore, but how do I stop? I don’t want to be angry, and struggle to control those feelings. Fighting with my man Just today, my boyfriend and I got into a disagreement because he didn’t pick up his phone. Due to my fear of abandonment, that truly freaked me out. I got scared. I lashed out and told him that he was ignoring me, but in reality, he was just cleaning his house. I got angry. Instead of responding, I reacted, which is something that people talk about in Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT. DBT is useful for emotional regulation and people that have anger management problems. It is commonly used as a treatment option for people with mood disorders such as Bipolar [...]
What is Asperger’s and Should I Get Evaluated?
Do I have Asperger’s? I often wonder if I am on the Autism spectrum. I ponder if I have many different conditions, but ASD is something I think about a lot. I think it’s because I struggle to make friends as an adult. I consistently believe that I’m offending people simply by being myself. I don’t know who else to be other than me. Hey, that rhymed! But it’s true, I can only be myself, and sometimes that person doesn’t understand how to act appropriately. It feels like I missed the unknown lecture on how to behave in different adult settings. That’s why I wonder if I’m on the spectrum. The only way to find out is be evaluated, but that frightens me. What if I have autism? Then what? I don’t know the answer to that question, and as someone who struggles with anxiety I don’t like the unknown. What is Asperger’s? What is Asperger’s? When I first had my kids, I heard a lot about Autism and the spectrum. Doctors warned me to look out for symptoms of Autism as if it was something “bad.” That’s one thing that really bothers me about society. We characterize people on [...]
I’m not good enough and I don’t know why
I’m not good enough and I don’t know why I have a continual thought, I would go so far as to say it’s obsessive, that I’m not good enough...and I don’t know why! Where did it come from? Why is it that I think that I don’t deserve good things? I’m asking myself these questions and I’m asking you, but I don’t expect you to answer because, well, this is just a blog. Rather, a blog post, if you want to get technical. I don’t know why I’m not good enough. I’m not sure where this idea came from. Maybe I was born with it, but that brings up another existential question. Do babies ever come with this idea that they’re not good enough? I don’t think so. I think that human beings are good. I think that we’re fundamentally morally sound, and that people fuck us up. So, if the truth is that I am fundamentally good, why don’t I believe it? I don’t know whether it’s low self-esteem, what people have told me about myself that I have internalized as true, trauma, depression, anxiety or any of my mental illnesses that like to usurp my brain. Regardless of [...]
How to stop thinking about someone that stopped talking to you
Dear You, I'm angry at you. But, I also love you. It's complicated. I know you're sick, and I want to help you. I tried hard to get you the help you wanted, needed, couldn't ask for, and I wanted that for you. I wanted you to be okay. I saw myself in you, and I sincerely tried to help you. Now, you think I'm a terrible person, and it hurts. Yes, I said some horrible things about you. But you hurt me. I'm sorry for my part in what happened. You won't talk to me unless you want to insult me, and that fucking hurts. I never tried to harm you intentionally, and I mean emotionally. I didn't lie to you, even though you keep calling me names, saying I'm a liar, spewing hatred on me. If you figure out this letter is about you, please know this: I love you. I miss you; I want to be friends, sisters again. I don't have a biological sister, but I had you for that brief moment in time. And now, that grain of sand in the proverbial hourglass is gone. I wish I'd done things differently. I'm angry at myself, [...]
I was friends with a sociopath vs. a psychopath
Sociopaths are humans Sociopaths are first and foremost human beings. Antisocial Personality Disorder is listed in the DSM-V as an Axis II diagnosis. That means that it falls under the heading of personality disorders, which are typically treatment resistant. Okay, have I bored you yet? Sorry, I’m a psychology nerd. Anyway, the point is, sociopaths are stereotyped by society as being creepy and potentially dangerous, and some of them certainly can be, but not all of them. First of all, let’s get this straight: it’s not a sociopath’s fault that they suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder. They developed their disorder as a result of nurture rather than nature, and typically people with sociopathy were neglected as children or suffered severe abuse as a child. A psychopath, on the other hand, is born with their disorder. They don’t have empathy, like a sociopath; however, they’re able to mimic the behaviors of others who do. I get it. I have mental illness too I have a mental illness, and not your garden variety of it. I have four mental illnesses - OCD, ADHD, C-PTSD, and Bipolar Disorder. Through my trials, I’ve learned to own my experiences. I have these conditions, but they [...]
“I set fires to feel joy.” I didn’t know Pyromaniacs were a real thing
Pitch Perfect - "I set fires to feel joy." In the movie Pitch Perfect, there's a character who barely speaks. She mumbled nonsequiturs, and one of them is "I set fires to feel joy." Upon hearing this, I rolled with laughter. I laughed out loud. It was funny and seemed improbable, but some people set fire to things to feel something. It isn't necessarily joy, but they find a sense of release in the act of making things blow up into flames. I know this isn’t supposed to be humorous, but all I can think about is Beavis & Butthead or the girl and pitch perfect. I did some research into pyromania, and I found out that it is a serious impulse control disorder. In some ways, it’s similar to my issues with OCD. People who set fires have trouble controlling their impulsivity. Until they act as setting things on fire, they feel extremely on edge, anxious or uncomfortable. But, they know that there will be a relief when they set something on fire. Pyromania is dangerous It is a severe condition. A pyromaniac's actions can lead to dangerous consequences. For one thing, the person is engaging in risky behavior. They are [...]
All My Friends Are Crazy
You're crazy! I'm going to use the word "crazy" 24 times, including once in the title of this post. Some people think that crazy is a bad word. I’ve written about this topic, crazy being derogatory; the word "crazy" doesn’t necessarily have to be hateful. In fact, it can be uplifting. If you self-identify as "crazy" in a colloquial sense, you’re taking the word back. Calling someone crazy can make them feel like less than. There's a fun kind of crazy, and there is the crazy where you probably need to seek medical attention. I have a list of mental illnesses that I manage each day. There are times when I don't feel like "myself," because one of my illnesses is taking over and being extremely loud. I can point to moments when I certainly feel “crazy." Fortunately, I have a lot of friends who feel similarly. We can relate to one another about coping with the symptoms of mental illness. I have friends who have a multitude of different mental illnesses, from personality disorders to mood disorders. Fun Crazy Crazy can be a fun thing. If you are eccentric, people might refer to you with this word. Maybe you're [...]
I was a hypervigilant child
From the time I was ten years old, I walked home by myself from school. My apartment was only half a mile from my school, yet the entire way home I was scared that something would happen to me. What if somebody attacked me? I didn’t have an actual reason why I'd be attacked. Yes, I lived in New York City which wasn’t necessarily the safest place in the world in the 1990s, but I had no evidence that something terrible was going to happen to me as a 10-year-old walking home in one of the most normal middle-class neighborhoods. There were streets at my parents wouldn't let me walk down, but the most part, living in New York wasn’t dangerous in my personal experience. But still, I walked with my keys in my fist, so if anybody tried to jump out at me, I would be able to defend myself against them. I know that sounds pretty crazy, but I needed to think of something creative to feel safe. So there I was walking down the street, a 10-year-old child with keys in my hand, it was the only thing that I could do that was in my power. [...]
When Things Weren’t Real
When Things Weren’t Real When I was in my senior year of NYU I took 22 credits. I almost had a nervous break down. I was under so much stress I could not think straight. I remember that it’s being up until 3 AM finishing papers, and my stomach was hurting me. I remember running to the bathroom, anc barely making it. Racing thoughts kept me up at night. I was terrified of failing. I was under a lot of stress, and it kept getting worse. I could barely eat and I dreaded every moment of the day. Eating was just the beginning. I started having all kinds of physical symptoms. It was difficult to stay present in my body. Panic stationed itself in my chest. I was incredibly anxious all the time. I felt myself floating above my body looking at myself walking down the New York street. It was a creepy feeling, and I called my psychiatrist at the time. I told him that I felt like I was “hovering above my body.” He must’ve misunderstood what I was saying, because he prescribed me an anti-psychotic. What I needed was something for my anxiety, and all the antipsychotic did was [...]
My Therapist Seemed Like A Friend
I once had a therapist who I related to as if I'd known her for a long time. It wasn't an ideal situation because I started to treat her like a friend. I couldn't figure out why I thought of her in a friendly way. Then I realized what was happening here. I was experiencing issues of transference. She reminded me of one of my close friends. She seemed like somebody that I went to college with, and also like a childhood friend, which one might think was a good thing. Was it me? I thought, maybe I was responsible for this friendly dynamic. There was no way to know for sure. Transference means a client projects how they feel about someone else in their life onto their therapist. Was my therapist feeling the same way? In addition to transference, there’s also the phenomenon of countertransference. That phenomenon happens when the clinician starts viewing their client as someone they've known in their life. I thought it's possible my therapist saw me as someone she might have been friends with too. Perhaps that's why our relationship morphed into a friendship type of situation rather than a therapist and client. I’ve had [...]
Tell Me A Lie
You can't handle the truth! People say they want to hear the truth. Then, there's that line that Jack Nicholson yells from A Few Good Men "You can't handle the truth!" And it's true; sometimes the truth hurts. Nobody likes it when people lie to them or do they? I would say the majority of the time the answer is yes; if someone directly asks you a question, be honest. However, there are times when people don't need to know every single detail about your life. Does that mean you need to lie? No, but you don't have an obligation to disclose everything about yourself. Some information is private, and it's okay to keep those facts to yourself. Lie to me There's an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer where Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) tells David Boreanaz (Angel) to lie to her. She knows that the truth will be painful and she doesn't feel she can handle it. Let's go back to the Jack Nicholson example. She can't handle the truth. Is it healthy for her to ask Angel to lie? Probably not, however, if she can't deal with what he has to say, maybe it's not the right time [...]