Surviving The Crises

I made it through once again.

While in the throes of crises mode, it feels as though I won’t survive. The world seems to cave in on me, and I feel powerless, hopeless and utterly lost. Like there’s no way out. I’m sure a lot of you can relate.

In my therapy session on Thursday, my therapist and I determined that I’m over the suicidal ideation for now and there’s no need to be admitted anymore. What helped me through this time? A combination of things. My therapist telling me that she sees me as resilient (her belief in my strength) and knowing that she cares what happens to me, a great blogger friend’s support, you my beautiful followers, and of course, my own strength.

My last therapy session was really good. My therapist taught me a new technique for dealing with my black and white thinking pattern. It’s a lot of work, and seems like such a long process to have to go through each time. But it will become easier and an automatic process in the future, as long as I continue to practice it whenever I notice myself in that mode of thinking.

We also spoke about a few other things that have been on my mind. I’ve always been convinced that my therapist finds me annoying at times, but she’s reassured me that she’s never been irritated with me. Since Monday’s session I had been very insecure, thinking that she doesn’t like working with me anymore, but she turned that thought on it’s head too, by saying that she enjoys working with me and we still work well together. The insecure inner child has been reassured once again.

On Wednesday I decided to speak to my stepmom about the way I’d been feeling, and about the BPD. I also gave her a book to read, Loving Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder (which I’ll post a review of soon in the new Book Reviews section). She was shocked by my confessions, but extremely supportive. I now have one more person in my support system. She’s assured me that she won’t tell my dad about our conversations, as she also knows he’s not the easiest person to speak to. I don’t really talk to my dad about my emotional world as he’s uncomfortable with feelings and is one of the reasons I’ve grown up learning to keep any thoughts and feelings to myself. I’m also pretty sure he’s a Narcissist (seems to fit all the criteria).

The blogging world has changed my life more than I thought it would. Having a space where I can share my thoughts and feelings have served as another form of therapy. I have also connected with some truly wonderful people, and the supportive and caring comments I’ve been receiving have meant the world to me, and also helped bring me though the hard times. Thank you to all of you.

I want to send a special shout out to a spectacular person. My new friend (and soul twin), who I met through this blog, my Queenie B. She’s been sending me video messages and emails, and been so supportive and caring, especially during this hard time. Her positive energy has radiated from the other side of the world and wrapped me up in a beautiful embrace. I’m not religious, not even sure whether I’m spiritual, but I do believe in energy, and the power of it.

My friend posted this song on her own blog a while ago, and I had it on repeat whenever I felt those awful feelings. It’s powerful, and somehow helped me bring my resilience to the forefront again.

One last thought before I end this post. For anyone going through a hard time right now, please try to remember this: Things may look dark and hopeless, but the light will shine again. There’ll always be at least one person who can support you. If you feel like you don’t have anyone, please feel free to get into contact with me. Hold on. Be strong. You can get through this. We always do. We’re survivors.

Hope Quotes.jpg

Living Black & White

Woke up this morning and got started on my day, thinking I’d enjoy my day off work. I didn’t have any plans besides reading and catching up on the blogs I follow religiously, and get some needed study time in.

I did that a little bit (except for the studying part), but couldn’t help noticing that I was feeling really strange. Like I don’t exist. Like I don’t even have a name. I tried saying my name a few times, hoping to feel some recognition or “togetherness”, but it just didn’t sound right. It was as though the name didn’t belong to me. Like I’m no one. Not part of this world. Just floating somewhere, and I don’t even know where. How am I? I don’t even know if I am. There’s nothing. Just emptiness.

That continued on for most of the day. I attempted to study, but just couldn’t focus, no matter how hard I tried. So once again, I put my book aside. I can’t remember anything else from the day up until my therapy session. It’s been a long 2 weeks between sessions. Way too long.

It didn’t quite go the way I had planned. Not that I plan my sessions, but I at least know more or less what I want to talk about or what issues to address. I was surprised by the direction it ended up going in. We spoke about my excessive suicidal ideation over the past two weeks. She told me she was worried about me, and the truth is, I’m worried too. It just seems to be getting worse. We agreed that I would consider admission to hospital for a small amount of time (maybe a few days), which is something I never seriously considered before. I had thought about it once or twice in the past, but for the briefest few minutes. This time though, I think it might just be necessary and a good thing.

My therapist pointed out my black and white thinking during our conversation. I didn’t recognize that’s what was happening. After our session though I realized that I had been in “all or nothing” mode during our entire session. If she hadn’t mentioned that thinking pattern I wouldn’t have even known I was in it, and I wouldn’t have realized that I’d been doing it the whole time. I really should start noticing it from now on. I’ve never paid much attention to it. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this thought process:

Splitting (also called black-and-white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person’s thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism used by many people. The individual tends to think in extremes (i.e., an individual’s actions and motivations are all good or all bad with no middle ground).

I feel really horrible. I feel like the worst client ever (did I just do it again?). Replaying the session back in my head and trying to see things from another perspective other than my own, I realize that the things I said could possibly have made her feel like I was “attacking” her and her skills as a Psychologist. Which wasn’t my intention at all. I think she’s the most amazing therapist. I told her in the beginning when she asked me about my suicide plan, that I didn’t want to talk to her about it, because I always feel invalidated by her, and that she doesn’t take me seriously when talking about that topic. She explained why she says what she says during those times, and I finally get it. She wasn’t invalidating me, she wasn’t careless about it, she was encouraging me to see my own strength and resilience. And now that I understand, I’m grateful for it and to her.

She pushed me today and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all. But she knows what she’s doing, and like she says, therapy isn’t always easy.

I’m feeling really shitty, embarrassed and weird about it. Shitty, weird, embarrassed, and exhausted. I just want to crawl into a hole and hide away for a while. My bed will have to do instead.

Missing…

Today I hate you. I hate how angry I’m feeling at you. I hate that I can’t send you a message and tell you just how much I miss you. I hate that it’s so agonizingly painful to feel this attachment, but I can’t imagine not having it anymore. I hate how since yesterday this longing for you just builds with every hour that passes, and even when I distract myself, the thought never goes away for long. I hate how it seems you don’t understand how hard this is for me. I hate that I feel you’ve forgotten me. I hate that I’m not able to trust you completely when you say you won’t abandon me… Because right now I feel abandoned. I hate that you haven’t sent me any indication that you’re still here for me. I hate how afraid I am of telling you these things. I hate how scared and alone I feel. But most of all I hate how I don’t hate you, *”not even close… Not even a little bit… not even at all.”

miss-you-best-high-defination-hd-wallpaper-free

*Borrowed this part from “10 Things I Hate About You”.

The Calm…

The past couple of weeks I was in a bit of a “crisis mode”. You only need to look at my last few posts to know that.

But yesterday that slowly started to change. And today… Well, today is different.

I had a few moments of reflection yesterday and earlier today, and learned a few things about myself which I might post about at a later stage. I’ve been working on something from my past, as well as deciding that it was time to let go of my last relationship completely. A weight seems to have lifted. The darkness, the negative energy I had been holding with regards to that, has dissipated. I can breathe…

I indulged in some self care this morning, which is something I desperately needed. I just didn’t know how much.

My mind has slowed down. No more racing thoughts tumbling over one another. Complete peace. I can’t remember the last time I felt so… Calm.

No overwhelming emotions. No anxiety. Not happy. But not sad. An inner stillness…

Decided to go sit outside on the balcony for a little while. The sun was veiled behind what looked like mist that had taken over the sky. It was pleasantly warm. Not a breathe of wind. Just still. Quiet. Is my environment reflecting me, or am I reflecting it? Maybe it’s both. I feel at one with the world. I smiled at a stranger walking down the street. She smiled back and waved, and I felt a warmth deep inside. I could hear her singing as she continued walking past. Connection. Moments. That’s what life’s about.

I would love to just hug someone right now. And have them hug me back. But not just anyone. Someone I have a connection with. I’m having a “spread the love moment”. Maybe you can do that. If you’re near to someone who you have a special connection with, and even if you’re angry at that person, go give them a hug. No talking, just being mindful of the moment. It’s about pure, genuine connection. Take it in completely. It might just change something.

And there’s something else surrounding me too…
Hope.

The calm before the storm? No. The storm has passed.

(Decided to do some quote searching and found these gems. Click on them for the full image)

Therapy, Connection, And Knowing She Cares

This past week was the worst I’ve ever had with regards to my feelings toward my therapist. I’ve had my moments in the past where I would feel the desire to push her away, and then try to pull her close again. But this past week and a half it seemed to happen nearly every day. I was more scared to lose her than ever before. The desire to push her away and just quit therapy was excruciatingly intense. And the desire to feel connected to her again was a whole different kind of pain and longing. During and after our session last week, and through no fault of hers, I had felt as though she had jumped from the “therapist” to the “best friend” box in my head. And maybe in a way that is what caused the insecurity. By her reiterating our therapeutic relationship, I had grown to trust in it as just that… A therapy relationship. But when the change in my head occurred, it might have upset the delicate tapestry. Maybe this is why a therapist needs such clear boundaries with regards to friendship and sexual relationships with clients. And even though I hate these boundaries, I’m grateful to my therapist for being so consistent in keeping them. It’s just one of the ways in which she shows that she truly cares. I found this post by Dr. Gerald Stein particularly interesting:

How Would a Friendship with Your Therapist Work?

Even though I know she’s only human, and that if we had a friendship outside of our therapy relationship, there might be things that annoy me or that I don’t like, in our current relationship it’s good that I see her as something of a superhero.

I’ve had a hard time trusting that she can care. Both because of past experiences and because I’m a client. A client, who I feel causes her to experience negative emotions at times, and because I care deeply about her, I believe it’s unacceptable for me to cause her any distress. And sure, it might be the work that she has chosen to do. But as she mentioned before, just because there’s a financial transaction, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care.

I received a note from her last Thursday. It was as if she had read my mind. I was missing her incredibly and feeling insecure and totally insignificant. I was fighting against the urge to contact her. So it was a beautiful surprise. I mentioned to her in our session yesterday that it was a particularly bad day for me and how timely her note was, and she said that it shows we do have that connection. I found those words from her very reassuring and special.

She told me that she thinks of me even in between sessions and tries to find ways to benefit me and our sessions together and make things easier and better. I loved hearing her say that. Somehow, it’s as if she knew all the right words. She seemed to know exactly what I needed to hear and she said it. She also said things that I didn’t even know I needed and wanted to hear. My favourite moments are those where she reassures me that she won’t abandon me. She won’t walk away. And once again, I experienced that moment yesterday. I’ve never felt this connected to her. This incredible bond. It feels like our relationship is deepening. Which I didn’t know was even possible. But it’s an amazing feeling. I feel more secure in her and in our relationship now than I ever had before. There may still be moments where I feel the opposite, but I’m going to try to hold onto this feeling and remember it when things feel dark again.

She makes me feel and experience things I’ve never had with anyone else. The sense of stability she provides is one which I had never known before. Her patience with me continues to take my breath away. The way she seems to believe in me. She doesn’t give up on me, even when I give up on myself and it seems everyone else has too. The way she seems to accept me just the way I am, but gently guides me in becoming the person I can be. The best version of myself. I feel such a deep respect for her. More than I’ve ever felt for anyone.

It’s the little things I appreciate the most. The little notes she wrote me, the way she helped me apply for extra sessions. The way she speaks to me. The way she often tells me she’s proud of the progress I’m making. I always just think I have nothing to be proud of. But I’m beginning to see it differently. To other people these may seem like small things, but to me, they’re huge, and mean the absolute world. It’s these things that show me that she really does care, even though she may never say “I care about you” in that direct way. She doesn’t need to. She shows me instead. And that’s beautiful and extremely powerful.

I heard this song again last night and it made me think of her. Of our relationship. Sure, it might be a love song, but for me it rather represents our therapeutic relationship. In her eyes… I am more than I believe. She sees me. She sees what I can become. She sees the good when I just can’t. This song, to me, represents having someone in your life who truly understands you, and those parts of yourself that you don’t allow others to see. Someone who reaches into your soul and doesn’t run away, or abandon you. She helps give me strength when I can’t find my own. More importantly, she helps me bring my own strength to the forefront. She helps me feel better about myself. She makes me feel like I deserve to be alive and part of this universe.

Even this line in the song has a somewhat different meaning for me:

I don’t count my possessions
But all I call mine
I will give her completely
‘Til the end of all time

I trust in her so completely that I allow her access to my thoughts, every dark corner of myself, the good and bad – Things that once given, can’t be taken or given back.

This perhaps sounds like something of a love letter. And in a way, it is. It’s just a different kind of “love letter”.

Because for the first time since I’ve started seeing her, the reality that this is a healing relationship isn’t just head knowledge, but heart knowledge as well.

The Age Game

My ex and I had this ‘game’.

Depending on how I was acting, she would assign an age to me. The oldest I got to was 60. The wise old lady. But that was always accompanied a few hours later or earlier by a downgrade to any age between 2-16 years old.

Well, today I was the toddler throwing a tantrum. So, I guess that makes me 2 or 3 years old. Take your pick.

They say a symptom of BPD is impulsive behaviour. Does posting something in the heat of an intense emotional meltdown count as being impulsive? What about sending your therapist an email while in that same emotional state? I did both. And once the storm had passed, I was left feeling like a complete idiot. Again. Why do I keep doing this to myself?

I had a therapy session today, and for the first time since we started seeing one another I just wasn’t feeling the connection. Something was off. In hindsight, I was feeling very exposed and vulnerable. I also felt a wall at times. One I had most probably constructed in my own mind.

Near the end of our session, I turned the conversation to a personal matter. And obviously I was approaching a boundary. Naturally, my therapist wouldn’t give me the information I wanted. Then, the whole one-sided relationship feeling washed over me. I might have pushed a little, knowing that boundary would be there. But pushing anyway. Wanting, needing to feel ‘special’. But of course, I’m not.

After the meltdown, but still in ‘danger zone’ I decided to take a drive down to the beach. I needed to get rid of all the energy coursing through my body, and get my mind to shut up. I chose the healthier and safer option of release, which I can hear my therapist say I should be proud of. So I’ll go with that.

ocean - Copy

There was no one else around. I walked, concentrating on listening to the sound of the waves breaking, the feel of the sand beneath my feet, the smells and sounds in the air. Things got calm. I felt utterly alone. Yet I basked in this sense of solitude. Just me and nature. I didn’t need anyone. I didn’t want anyone. Sitting on the soft, white sand, my mind started wandering.

I came to the conclusion that yes, I actually do need people in my life. We all do. And I already have a wonderful support group of two.

So why then, if I knew I had someone I really need in my life, did I just realize that I’d been trying to push her away? To distance myself from her? Is it because she’s going on holiday? But I’ve gone two weeks between sessions before. Besides, she needs the break. She deserves more than a week actually. It’s not like she’s leaving forever. Or is it the fear that our application for more sessions would be rejected and it would be longer than just a couple of weeks before we could resume our work together?

Is it because she’s getting too close? I’ve let her in on so many secrets already. She knows too much. No one can know so much about me and still choose to stay. Yes, she said she’s committed, but I thought the same about other people in the past, and they ended up leaving. Maybe I’m trying to see how far I can push. Maybe it’s easier to do the rejecting than being rejected.

Or perhaps, with my recent revelation in another post about the way I feel for her, did I subconsciously create the drama at the end of our session on purpose to find a reason to hate her?

I don’t have the answer. I won’t pretend to understand. Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe it’s something else entirely.

As is the usual case with me, while I was trying to push her away, I was also panicking at other times that she would leave. I don’t want to lose her. I want her close. See, there’s that walking contradiction thing again. I’m still feeling a little insecure, but I need to deal with it.

I can now understand why some professionals don’t want to work with us. But I think it’s their loss… Because I’m sure once we’ve gone through the healing process and arrived on the other side, it’s the biggest compliment to the therapist who chose to commit.

The saying goes “one day at a time”. But that feels overwhelming sometimes, so I’ve broken it down even further. One hour at a time. Like a baby learning to walk. Little steps at a time. Slowly. We can do this.

Now to work myself up to my actual age.