Frustrated With Myself (Again)

Yesterday was a weird day.

It all started when my therapist sent me a message confirming our appointment for later that morning. I felt emotionally cut off from her. It had been too long between sessions. I thought to myself “I don’t need therapy (or her) anymore”, but another part still wanted her (and I know I will always want her, even when I don’t “need” her anymore). The part that was indifferent had a far more active role in my mind though.

It continued during the session. I could hear myself saying all these good and positive things, but I lacked emotion. I was fully present and attentive when my therapist was mentioning some stuff about her and answered the questions I asked her, but when it came to ME and MY stuff, I felt disconnected from my feelings. I felt like I was “on the surface” instead of “down deep”. I couldn’t connect to ME. There were a couple of moments where I got really angry at technology and felt I was going to throw something, but that’s it. No other emotions.

Then it was time for work. My final training shift. Sunday we skipped training as the manager wasn’t there. Walking into the store I felt tired and not too well. All I wanted to do was go back home and sleep (I woke up this morning with a cold/flu so that’s probably why I felt so crap last night). But being so new I didn’t want to take any chances. The store was way too noisy. There was too much stimulation around me, and I felt triggered. The lights were too bright. There were too many people. Too many voices. I felt myself starting to lose control, and I was about to go tell the manager that I’m quitting, but then someone close by dropped a book and I almost jumped out of my skin. That quickly zapped that thought out of my head. But I started feeling claustrophobic and anxiety ripped through me. I was trying to remember all the tools I have learned up until this point, but I just couldn’t focus. I hit a blank. I felt tears well up, and I walked to the back office, to the furthest corner I could find and tried to get the tears to just not come, but come, they did. But I managed to stop the majority of it. I felt so overwhelmed. I forced myself to stay busy with the new books that had come in that I saw lying on the table, and proceeded to pick them up one by one and read the back (just like my therapist had suggested in our session). My shift was starting in a few minutes so I wasn’t neglecting my job at least. I really didn’t want to go back out there. It felt like my inner child was kicking and screaming, begging me to stay where it was safe, but I told her it would be alright and went out anyway.

It was much the same. Too many people, which I find intimidating. The smallest noise (the sound of someone typing on the keyboard for example) made me want to yell “stop it, just stop it” and cover my ears. I was still so jumpy (yet anyone that knows me will tell you I’m always quick to startle anyway) and my senses were on extra high alert. I’m naturally sensitive to my external environment (even as a baby apparently), but most of the time I can deal with it. But in moments like these, I find it especially difficult. It’s times like this when even the texture of my clothing bothers me and I just want to rip it all off. I don’t know exactly what it is that sometimes takes this sensitivity up beyond what is even normal for me, all I know is that it happens.

At one point, I had to help a customer, with my manager standing there watching. I didn’t trust myself. I felt panic and anxiety rise up. I looked at my manager and I think she could see it, as she smiled and said “you can do it”. But I didn’t feel like I could. The pressure was just too much. I wanted to run out and not look back. But I forced a smile and greeted the customer, painfully aware that I was visibly shaking. I then suddenly took on “robot mode”, and can’t remember the rest of that interaction. It was as if I had just shut down. When I was “back” the first thing I remember is the manager telling me “good job”. I can only hope I was friendly with the customer and didn’t come across as a complete idiot. But the manager looked happy, so I guess it’s safe to say that I didn’t mess up.

I know I should be kind to myself. But how can I be when this shit happens? Just when I think I’ve taken 1 or 2 steps forward, it’s like I take 20 steps back. It’s frustrating.

“It Isn’t Real”

Sitting on the beach this afternoon, it suddenly hit me.

The theme of my life seems to be “it isn’t real”. Another piece of my puzzle put into place.

It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who experiences the sense of being unreal. Like a ghost wandering through this world, while everything goes on around us as normal. It’s part and parcel of our Borderline world. Knowing this makes it a little easier to understand and deal with. But it’s certainly something I could do without.

A few weeks ago my therapist went on leave, and it caused havoc in my head. Especially when in our last session she wouldn’t tell me where she was going, which is obviously a necessary boundary. Yet I couldn’t help feeling how I was feeling in that moment. The tone in her voice suggested to me that I had just put her in a tough spot. But that’s when I feel I knew, just knew that she was going to be in the city I’m currently living in. I was convinced. At the time (and during the course of the week) I didn’t care whether what I was convinced of was actually real or not. Was it a case of projection, transference? Possibly. Instinct, or just my own fears? Because I know I tend to confuse the two sometimes. When she got back, and in our next session, I didn’t tell her the biggest reason for my desperate emails. Why didn’t I tell her? I don’t know. Maybe because I was afraid she would tell me she really had been close by. Maybe because I didn’t want to put her in an awkward position again. Maybe I was afraid of counter transference. Maybe it’s a little bit of all those things. I can’t explain it. I just felt her presence close by, yet at the same time distant from her emotionally, if that makes sense? Constantly wondering, what if she is here? It felt like the biggest rejection when she wouldn’t tell me. The first email I sent her while she was on leave (I know, I’m terrible), I had written these words:

“Now I’m also wondering whether you’re even real.”

Little did I know back then just how profound that statement actually is with regards to my view of the world and the people who occupy it. Or at least, my life and those in it.

Which is why I think when I can’t see my therapist, or hear her voice (though the note she wrote me helps a lot), I wonder whether she exists at all. It seems to happen with people I look up to, people I love or really like. As though I’ll wake up one day and realize they were just a figment of my overactive imagination.

“It wasn’t real.”
“It isn’t real.”

Both past and present.

Words from special relationships that cut deep, and left a permanent scar on my heart. I suspect hearing these words have served to perpetuate my fears of rejection and abandonment, as well as lead me to question everything even more.

Is it real?

Lovers and “family” that were real. But not.

My uncle that recently took his life. It doesn’t yet feel real. But apparently it is. Maybe if I were going to the funeral today, it would hit me.

Something that may or may not have happened. Something that may have only been a dream unlike any dream I’ve ever had before, or since. But a dream nonetheless?

The world and events. Is this really happening?

Me. The shadow. Do I exist?

Still, I wonder… Maybe it wasn’t or isn’t real after all.

But it was, and is, real for me.

I apologize for the somewhat (at times) cryptic (and all over the place) post. I’m still sorting through everything in my head. Still battling to open up and truly face things. It’s a scary place… The internet, this world, my mind.

One thing I know is real right now though… I feel utterly and completely alone.