Not Going To Happen This Year Either

This was going to be the year where I finally start my Psychology degree.

For the past couple of years, from the beginning, I kept coming up against roadblocks. Even so, every semester, and each year, I’ve tried to make it work.

Last Saturday I was able to finally start the registration process. I really thought this was it. I was so excited. After hitting “submit”, I got a message telling me that my registration couldn’t be processed due to outstanding documents.

I know what documents they were talking about. Only, here’s the thing. I had already sent those documents through in early December, and had a generic confirmation of my email having been received. In early January I had sent through another email to confirm that the documents were in order, but haven’t received a reply as yet. I tried calling a few times too, but, as I’ve learned (both from personal experience and talking with others about this specific university), they never answer their phones.

Their admin is crap. I’ve also heard of other unacceptable issues by people who have studied there, or are busy studying, but wanting to continue at another institution.

Do I really want to study with such an institution? One that’s in any case on its way down? They’ve apparently already lost some accreditation for certain subjects. Their fees are very low for a university, so I guess you get what you pay for. I’ve been looking into other universities, and found one that I have my heart set on now. It’s more expensive, but everything looks good. I’ll just have to save up more and wait longer. But it will be worth it.

I know I’m doing the right thing. But it still sucks, and is highly disappointing. The situation sucks, and it doesn’t feel good. But it’s not as discouraging as it would have been in the past. I’m not the same person I was a year ago. Or even a few months ago. I find I can handle situations in a more mature way.

Maybe the time wasn’t right. Maybe this wasn’t where I was supposed to study. So I’m willing to wait and continue doing what I can to make my dream come true.

Sometimes we have to let go of one thing, to make way for something even better.

It’s not the end.

Advertisements

Now I’m Ready

I’m glad I went to group tonight.

It was lovely seeing so many familiar faces. Despite it all, I still feel at home at the clinic, which surprised me tonight. My favourite OT, D was leading the group tonight. I shut myself off from her in the beginning. I didn’t even look at her. In those moments I couldn’t even remember why I liked her, and attached to her in the first place. But as time went on, and with every word she said, I felt my heart start to thaw. And when I caught her eye and she smiled, all the negative feelings I had toward her just melted away. In that moment, she was perfect again. A classic case of devaluation and idealization. That’s one aspect of myself that I can’t stand.

After the break the OT brought up the ‘new plan’ for the group again. Especially for the three new people who were there… Explaining how the group works. I decided to speak up. Sometime during group I had realized that I’m okay with it coming to an end. That I was going to be okay. But I knew the other two regular ladies were still having a hard time with it, and didn’t agree with the decision. So when I spoke up, I shared how the news had affected me, and how I have been feeling about the team’s decision. I was at peace after that. I felt I had been assertive and spoken clearly. Trying to advocate not for myself anymore at one point, but for the other two ladies who are still struggling. I felt heard and respected by the OT. And I feel empowered.

She told us how hard the decision had been, and that they had taken into account those things we had mentioned and explained their decision a little better than the psychologist had. There’s nothing I can do to change their decision. All I can do is accept it, which I now have done. I also made a decision, and have spoken to the other two ladies about it, and also mentioned it to D. I’m going to start a new group for the three of us. My therapist had actually once suggested I start my own group. It will start off with only us three “regulars”, but that’s fine. They’re on board and happy with the idea, so the only thing that remains is to find a safe and confidential space to meet every week. Or maybe we’ll just start off with twice a month for now, starting middle February, once our time at current group is up.

D reminded me how during the first few months of group, I had barely said a word, and now I was talking and opening up confidently. This group has been really good for me. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown. Now it’s time to enter the next stage of life.

I’m ready…

I Wasn’t Ready

Group starts up again tonight. I’ve been going back and forth on whether I’ll be going back since the evening I found out that I won’t be able to go from February onward. I’ve decided that I’ll go tonight, only because one of the ladies I’ve been speaking to regularly is going and would like me to be there too.

I feel let down by the entire team (there are other reasons too), and also that the option to check myself into the clinic if I ever feel myself spiralling down too far is gone. And there’s no other place I’ll go. This was it.

Is it wrong to feel abandoned?

While I understand why they’re changing things, to me, the logic doesn’t make complete sense. The program is there to help prevent relapse and further admission into the clinic. But with the change, it feels like it’s not going to serve that purpose. The psychologist who told us the news could see how it affected some of us. One of the other regulars was telling me how hopeless she feels now. That this group was the only support system she had.

“Get a therapist.” Those words, uttered by the psychologist to her that night, are etched in my mind. He doesn’t get it. It’s not about having a therapist. The value of the group lies in feeling like part of a group of people who understand those parts of us that others in our lives just never will. In an environment that’s protected and led by someone who knows what they’re doing. This lady I’ve been talking to, really needs these Tuesday’s. And she can’t afford a therapist.

A lot of the regulars have left over the past few months. They were ready to move on. Those few of us who are still there aren’t ready to move on just yet. I was slowly starting to get ready, as I didn’t feel the need to go every Tuesday anymore. I’ve skipped a few over the past couple of months. I would have liked to have had the option to continue going as long as I felt the need to, and not have a time limit suddenly thrown at me.

It feels like one of my support systems has crashed and burned. Sounds dramatic, I know. But it feels dramatic to me right now.

Anyway, I guess they don’t owe us anything.

Two Sides

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately.

On the one hand I’m okay. On the other, I’m suffering. It’s like I’m two different people in different moments during the day and night. Each person with her own unique feelings and experiences. I don’t know which one is the real me. Which are the true emotions and thoughts. I can say I’m happy, but that deep inside I’m actually sad. But that doesn’t feel true. It doesn’t feel like I’m hiding parts of myself. It feels like I’m literally fragmented into two totally different people. With different memories and moods. The same memories I’ve always had (and some I can’t “see” but there’s something there), but depending on who I am in a specific moment is what memories I’m dealing with. I don’t know if this makes sense?

I also find that I can’t talk about it. I can’t tell Elizabeth what’s going on. There just aren’t words. One part of me feels loved and supported (by my therapist and Elizabeth for example), while the other feels utterly alone, damaged, and unstable. It’s complicated. I don’t understand it, so how can I expect anyone else to?

Maybe tomorrow when I wake up things will be back to “normal”. This is horrible.

Losing Control

I’m fed up. The year has only begun, yet it feels like December all over again.

I’m tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. January is a terrible time financially for most people. I’m feeling the pain of being broke right about now, and having debit orders bounce. I’m also having some family issues, and on the verge of just taking my shit and getting the hell out of here. Right now, Elizabeth is the only reason I haven’t given up on life.

My therapist is only back on the 8th, and we hadn’t set up a session before she left. I’m so pissed off with myself over that. I was so fucking stupid!

I’m struggling like hell to just get through today in one piece. I can feel certain parts stirring, wanting to get out and be let loose. Don’t know if I can control one of them in particular, who is dangerously close.

Boundaries

About a week or so ago, I came across a video on Facebook from an interview with Brené Brown. As usual, I was captivated by what she had to say.

In this interview she talks about the importance of boundaries, and how empathy and compassion go hand in hand with having good boundaries, which is something I haven’t realized until now.

Then, a couple of days ago, I also came across an article on the topic of boundaries. It felt like the universe giving me a sign. So since then, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

I’m sensitive to other people’s energies, and tend to take their feelings on as my own. If someone is stressed and overwhelmed, even if I was in a peaceful mood, I suddenly become just as agitated as they are.

This leads to me feeling as though I need to “fix” them. That it’s my responsibility to make them feel better. Could this perhaps be a selfish thing? By making them feel better, or doing things that I think would make them feel better in such a situation, isn’t that just an attempt at making myself feel better? Almost like saying “I don’t like that you’re feeling this way, it’s making me uncomfortable because what you’re feeling, I’m also experiencing.”

When I look at it this way, then in this interview, when Brené says that some of the most compassionate people she knows are also some of the most boundaried, then her words make sense. If I have good boundaries, I won’t be taking on the other person’s emotions, but will rather be able to keep a healthy distance. And that will help me better support that person. Does this make sense?

I’ve realized that because I don’t have firm boundaries when it comes to what I let in, I’m almost constantly emotionally exhausted. I can’t, and don’t want to, do this anymore. It’s not healthy.

I got to practice this just yesterday. Elizabeth was upset with someone who had crossed one of her boundaries and was being rude and disrespectful. She had walked away from this person in order to get some distance, because she was feeling overwhelmed and didn’t want to say something she might regret. I listened to her, and really focused on what she was saying and the feelings she was expressing.

Just being present with her there in that moment, but mentally picturing a bubble around each of us, helped me gain that necessary distance between her emotions and mine. I could still empathize with her, and offer compassion, but her emotions didn’t affect me negatively. I wasn’t able to keep it up for very long though, but I think this is one of those things that we become better at with continued practice. The little bit I managed to do already helped quite a lot.

When she was feeling calmer, I told her I’m going to go do my own thing for a while, while she speaks to the person who had upset her. I went to the room, put on some music, and worked on some photo’s. I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed, like I would have and managed to let go of the little bits of negative emotions that she had expressed. Knowing that those emotions weren’t mine, I was able to more easily return to my own equilibrium.

Boundaries are so important. And they aren’t selfish. After all, you can’t be there for someone if you’re so overwhelmed yourself due to having weak boundaries. In 2018 I’m going to focus on strengthening my own, and implementing them more effectively. I only realized, after watching the video, and reading the article, just how much I’ve been negatively affected by other people and situations. Unnecessarily so, because I haven’t had proper boundaries established. It’s my responsibility to look after my mental and physical well-being. Not having the right boundaries in place, has made me give my power over to situations and other people. My goal is to work on that. I’ve already started, and I know I can do this.

Here’s the video for anyone who’s interested:

You can find the article here:

10 Great Things That Happen When You Set Boundaries

Wishing you all a wonderful 2018. Thanks for all your support this year.

Let Me Disappear

Right now I just want to disappear. I’m feeling overwhelmed, which is strange, since there isn’t actually anything that justifies having this feeling. I’m on leave until early January. I’ve finished up all the client projects I’ve been working on. Done and dusted. Yet, I feel this sense of dread. Impending doom. Why? I can’t consciously find a reason for this one either.

Things just don’t feel right. I want to take my whole batch of Quetiapine and just sleep for as long as it will allow. I’m at that place again where I don’t want to live, but I don’t want to die either. I don’t know what I want.

I just don’t want… this. Whatever the hell “this” is.