Only Forever

It’s been a while since I’ve been here on WordPress, both in reading other’s posts and writing.

I’ve been absorbed in my business. Trying out different things, reaching out to people who I think might need a website or branding, creating, setting up “practice” websites. Because when I’m in design mode, the world doesn’t exist.

A couple of hours ago, I got hit with the realization that I’ve probably just been wasting my time. I’m doing all this work on my business, but for what? I haven’t had a client in so long that I’m not sure I’ll even know how to talk to them if any show up. It feels like things won’t ever change. So I’m just over it. Over everything.

My move to Sweden is still not happening. It was moving forward a little over a month ago, but it’s stalled again. It seems I’m blocked any which way I go. Limbo is a strange place to be in.

I saw the interim therapist twice again, even though I said I didn’t want to. The last session we had felt like we connected in a way we haven’t before. Haven’t seen her in a few weeks now though.

Am seeing my regular therapist next week Wednesday (which we booked a few weeks ago), for the first time in what seems like forever. I’m not even sure whether I still want to see her. I’ve been feeling indifferent towards her for a while now. I also don’t have my hopes set on that appointment. It might get canceled. So not placing any “bets” on it.

I promised her in an email more than a month ago that I wouldn’t bother her again. And I have this thing where if I make a promise, no matter how much it hurts, or how hard it is, I refuse to break it. I’ve been the victim of too many broken promises throughout my life and vowed to never do that to anyone. A part of me thinks I’m taking it to the extreme. But the other part won’t back down. She has a baby now anyway, so I’m not important anymore. If I ever really was, as far as the therapeutic relationship goes. Everyone has their own lives, that I just don’t feature in. And I’m not owed that. The world doesn’t owe us anything. So it’s fine I guess.

I haven’t seen any friends, or anyone for that matter, in weeks. I guess I’ve been numb for so long now that I don’t even know whether I’m capable of any genuine emotions anymore. But whatever.

Online “connection” feels so fake to me lately. I know it isn’t, not really, but to me lately it feels that way. It’s just not good enough. Social media, people “liking” and “commenting” on photos and video’s. It just seems so superficial. It’s like, what’s the point of anything, you know?

At least I’m not drowning anymore. I’ve learned to breathe under the water. It’s dark, no sunlight reaching the depths. It’s quiet. There’s no struggle. I’m just floating around. It’s not a bad feeling. It doesn’t feel like anything.

Wish I could write an inspirational post for a change (been meaning to for a while), but can’t seem to get there.

I don’t know what to do with myself. The hours are looming before me, so just going to take my meds now and go to sleep.

Light and Wilderness

Life is strange. I am strange. I had forgotten that there was a pandemic going on. And that it was the Easter weekend. How did that happen so quickly? Didn’t the year basically just start?

I had run out of food and some other necessities, and managed to return to the real world just in time to sort that out.

I had made an appointment with the interim therapist and only discovered it the next day. Way to go dissociation! But I think it was the right thing to do. So, my brain does have my back sometimes it seems.

The move? Didn’t happen. Two days before the time, I woke up to a message saying that due to unforeseen circumstances they had to cancel. For the first time in days I actually felt something. Not sure what that feeling was. But I couldn’t stop laughing. Weird. The place I was currently staying in had someone moving into it the day after I left, so couldn’t stay. I spent hours trying to find another place, but most of those I found within my budget were already booked. At some point during this process, panic showed up.

Funny thing is that up until then I had only managed to pack one big box, which was just less than half my stuff. So no need now to rush-pack after all.

I phoned M, because I knew she had a spare bedroom, and explained the situation to her. Asked if I could just stay for the month of April while I find another place or wait for one of them to have a room available again. I was going to pay her upfront for that month of course. She told me that it’s not a problem, but she’ll let me know for sure later that day. I was a bit worried because the guy who’s renting from her (and is like her surrogate son, subconsciously replacing her son who passed away, in my opinion) is rude to everyone but her. Even M’s friends don’t like him, saying he’s manipulative. I agree with that, but it’s her life. I was sure that she meant it when she said she was okay with it, but that the “I’ll let you know for sure later today” was so she could discuss it with him.

Late that evening I got a message from her with nothing but two links to places found on a local marketplace website (a website where dodgy people love hanging out). The places were old listings. Not helpful. When she didn’t reply to my message, I knew… that was her way of saying it wasn’t going to happen. So now I had that evening and one day to find another place. And you can’t call people at that time of the evening. I was pissed off. Hurt. Overwhelmed. Exhaustion hit me and all systems went offline again. Don’t tell me something is okay, and then change your mind, but not talk to me about it in a truthful and direct manner. Ignore me. Why do people play games like this? Just come straight out and say “no” or whatever it is you want to say. The worst part of it is that M knows that I need honesty and openness. Even if it hurts, I handle it.

My two best friends were also going to be moving the same day I was due to. I phoned them to ask if they could possibly help me out. But since it was a new place they didn’t want to ask the landlord whether it would be okay to have another person move in as well. They actually made the effort to have the open and honest discussion with me, so I have no ill-feelings towards them.

Thankfully my last shot was my saving grace. I went to speak to the owners of the place I’m currently staying in and explained the situation. Asked whether there was any other way. Or knew of any other places I could stay. The lady said that she’d see whether they could make a plan. Turns out that the guy that was going to be staying in my place was only going to be here for a week. The owners managed to sort it out with him, so I could stay. I can’t explain the relief and gratitude I felt. It worked out!

When I had first found that other place I was anxious (moving is stressful, no matter how great the move), but excited to be moving back to an area I knew and loved and was so close to the beach, bus service, M and doggy. That place was also dog friendly, so M’s precious little girl could stay with me for a few days and we could go for walks on the beach (which was only 5 minutes away). I was also planning on volunteering at the dog shelter again as I could actually get there by bus.

So yes, while I’m extremely grateful that I have a roof over my head, I’m also very disappointed that that place hadn’t worked out. But such is life and there’s nothing I can do about it. Oh, and I have to stay here now until I finally get to move to Sweden, as my dad doesn’t want anything like that happening again.

I’m still floating between here and nowhere. Some days I’m actually able to work and study for 10-30 minutes at a time here and there. So that’s good at least. Every little bit helps. When your executive functioning is in a state of disorder, you’ve got to take the small wins when they occur.

My uncle is still in hospital. But apparently there are some good signs for a change. Wish I could see him. Sent him a message and asked my aunt to let him listen to it. That’s better than nothing.

I don’t feel the connection with my therapist anymore. It’s like it just vanished. Like she never really existed. Yes, that again. But it doesn’t feel bad anymore. I’m thinking that it’s only temporary and a product of my self-protective mode. She said she’ll be back, and I want to believe that exclusively, but I don’t. I also don’t believe that she won’t come back. There’s not really any emotion going on with regards to this. We’ll see what happens.

It Just Is.

I’ve reached a point where I just can’t fight anymore. With anyone in my head or against anything. I don’t have the strength for that anymore. It’s also just a waste of time.

Decided that I need to let go of a friend who keeps hurting me and did something behind my back that felt like a huge slap in the face. I held on to that relationship because I’m so damn desperate for connection that I was willing to put up with her behaviour toward me and some other people in my life. I can’t do that anymore. I won’t.

I seem to have regressed to my childhood and adolescent ways of coping. Daydreaming and being content in my own world. I can control everything that happens there. And I’m actually okay with that. It feels like a good thing. It’s comfortable and warm being there. Familiar. It got me through rough times, so while some might think it’s not healthy, to me it is. I’ve realized that I’m better off by myself, and will just keep doing what I need to. Let the world go on around me. That’s how life works after all. We go with the flow. If someone wants to meet up for coffee or whatever, I’ll obviously go along with it. But no more reaching out myself. It’s been pointless 99% of the time after all.

Not sure when I’ll see my therapist again because of the maternity leave. But I’m okay with that now. I’ve also decided to not see the interim therapist again. Need a therapy break anyway. Managed fine without it for most of my life, so at the moment therapy feels kind of pointless. Don’t want to run the risk of forming an attachment with the interim therapist as well. Attachment is too complicated and painful.

Probably going to start packing today for yet another move on Thursday. Will be moving into a much cheaper place. I’m usually super anxious with moving, but been numb since yesterday afternoon when it seems I finally settled into this state of not really caring. It’s a comfortable numbness.

So I’m okay.

Thanks to all of you who read and comment on my posts. 🙂

A Lifeline

Last week my therapist cancelled our session due to a personal loss.

My heart went out to her.

It was a strange experience. Usually a cancellation would trigger my abandonment issues. But this time all I could think and feel was an intense sadness for her. What this cancellation means to me didn’t even enter my mind (at least not consciously). For the rest of that week I carried on with life as normal.

Of course, I thought about my therapist often, and experienced those same feelings of sadness for her situation. Along with a deep sense of care, and hoping for comfort for her.

Something inside me shifted on Monday. Certain frustrations in my life intensified, and I received some bad news regarding my emigration (a new plan has since been made however). I was feeling extra intense pressure from my dad and everything starting going haywire inside my head. I felt overwhelmed. To the extent where I just wanted to end it all, just wanted to make it stop.

And then the panic set in. The desperation. I wanted my therapist. She would understand. She always does. She was the only one I feel safe with emotionally. Our session was a couple of days away, but what if she cancels again? What if she doesn’t come back? What if our relationship changes due to her loss? Yes, now the attachment demon had arrived. Now it was about me again.

I felt ashamed by these new thoughts and feelings. How could I be so selfish? That’s when the self-hatred kicked in.

On Tuesday came the message I feared. My therapist was cancelling our session this week too. This brought back the memory of another attachment figure, my OT, cancelling two of our sessions back to back, and then sending an email weeks later terminating our work. The reason for the new cancellation was also a trigger. The memorial service was on the day my session was supposed to be. My therapist had said that she would be back in the office this week. So the thought that she was going to be seeing some other clients this week, but not me, felt devastating.

In panic mode all I wanted to do was beg her for a time, any time this week, even just a 10 minute call, which we had done before. I wanted her to know how badly I was taking this. The effect it was having on me. I felt like I had been on the edge of a cliff since the previous day, and now I was slipping. But despite the frame of mind I was in, I resisted my urges. Because I didn’t want to make things harder for her than they already were. Because I care about her.

But I knew I needed to do something because at that moment I didn’t trust myself with myself. I knew I needed to talk to someone. A professional. I thought of the therapist who I had two sessions with when my therapist was on leave. While I had been comfortable with her, I wasn’t comfortable enough in this situation. I didn’t want anyone that was even remotely connected to my therapist. I wanted A. Other than my current therapist, A knows me best and knows how to work (and deal) with me. We worked together for more than two years after all.

I reached out to her and asked whether we could schedule an appointment for sometime this week. I was worried that she wouldn’t have time available. But thankfully, she did. So we scheduled a video session for the next day. And even though I was in a horrible place for the rest of that day and evening, there was that little sliver of hope peeking through. Keeping me going. Keeping me safe.

Still, leading up to our session, fears that she would cancel as well, kept showing up. But she didn’t cancel. She showed up. It was like coming up for air.

We’ve had contact since we stopped working together when I moved over to my current therapist in 2018, but they were just text messages here and there. She still reads my blog. This has all been enough to keep our connection strong.

I didn’t know what to expect after such a long time of not seeing her. I thought I’d be nervous. That it might be weird. But it wasn’t. It was as though no time had passed. It felt familiar. Comfortable.

For some reason, my distress of the past few days and hours fizzled out as soon as I saw her. We caught up a bit. Some nice moments.

It was easy to open up about everything going on. And it felt so good to be able to talk to someone about this situation with my therapist. Especially with someone who is a therapist herself, and at the same time, knows me well. She provided different perspectives. Possibilities. Got me to list the evidence for why I can trust my therapist and know she cares about me. This exercise was extremely helpful, and not something I had been able to do, or see, in my distressed state.

What was also helpful was when A told that I’ve grown since we worked together, and pointed some of it out. It helped because I’d been feeling like a failure. A therapy and personal failure. Like I had regressed completely. It also felt really good when she said that it was nice to see me again. A much-needed boost to my self-esteem.

Ever the ethical professional, she asked whether I would be okay with her contacting my therapist to let her know that we had a “emergency” session. I actually really appreciated this because like she said, she doesn’t want to interfere in my work with my current therapist. Feeling protective though, I asked her to rather send her that message next Monday. I want to give therapist some “space” this week. She doesn’t need to be thinking of me right now. I’m seeing her on Monday (still struggling with the fear of yet another cancellation), so then we can discuss it as well.

This session was exactly what I needed. It felt like a warm, comforting hug. It was as though I had been stuck in a pit of despair and negativity, but had been pulled out of it. Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m completely okay. I’m still struggling. But I’m coping.

We do what we have to in order to survive.

In Two Minds

I’ve never really cared about politics. At least not international politics.

That changed as soon as Trump became president of the US. It just never sat right with me. His attitude and disturbing personality grated at me. The way he treated people. Not caring about the environment (something I’m deeply passionate about). And yes, even though he wasn’t my president, the US affects other countries too. I absolutely hated the man. I still do.

Election week saw my anxiety increase to unbearable levels. Think insomnia, waking up at random times to check the status of the results and presidency. It was in one word, agony. And I don’t even live there!

Finally, it’s over. But is it really? There’s still too much crap going on, and a part of me feels like I can only relax come January 20th. I’ve learned valuable lessons as well. People can become unpredictable and down right nasty when it comes to politics. Stay away from social media, and don’t talk to anyone else about it. It doesn’t always end well, especially if you’re on opposite sides of the fence.

But anyway. This post isn’t really about politics.

Things are slowly moving ahead with regards to my emigration. I still don’t have a set date, and the process can still take a couple of months. During that election week, I was so obsessed with what was going on in the US that I didn’t even think of my move. Not once. But once it was over, and I received a simple email the next day regarding the emigration, I was overcome with the most intense rage. Not at the email, at least I don’t think so. I’m still not sure where the rage came from or what it was about. A few minutes later, I just collapsed into a sobbing heap.

It was then that I realized I had partly been using the election as a way to distract myself from the move. And now that it was over, I was once again forced to face it head on.

I don’t know what I want. My entire life I wanted to leave this “Third World” country. That was until I moved to my current city. While I still don’t like the country I was born and raised in, I do like this specific part of it. It’s beautiful here. Yes, our politics is a mess, and of course it’s still part of this place, but it feels a tiny bit better here. Besides, all my friends are here. My therapist is here.

I have people telling me that this move will be a positive and good thing for me. A better future. And for someone with a trauma history, living in such a violent and scary country doesn’t help matters. But it’s what I know. I don’t know what it’s like to not be scared every time I leave the house. To not sleep with a weapon in the bed next to me. In my defense, growing up, we had a few break-in’s and one while we were in the house, sleeping. Also, a close call when I was still living with M. So yeah, I feel better knowing I have my trusty Tazer next to me.

Then there are a couple of people, like my mom and best friend, who agree that while I’ll have a better and safer life on the other side of the world, they don’t want me to move. I feel that pressure to stay. But of course, I can’t.

So I’m in two minds. Part of me longs to just get out of this country. The other part is terrified, and doesn’t want to leave this beautiful place. It’s a war zone in my head. And I guess that’s why it’s easier to latch onto things that distract me from having to think about it. It doesn’t help though when the distraction also causes so much anxiety.

Life is a confusing mess at the moment. They say that we need to look toward the future. But what if you’re not able to? What if it’s all just one big, dark mass? I can only hope that there will come a time when I will look back and see this as having been a stepping stone to a better life and but another chapter in my story.

Healing Isn’t A One Time Thing

As my recent posts have shown, I haven’t been in a good place emotionally. My issues and demons have re-surfaced in a huge way, causing me to doubt all the healing that I thought had taken place within me over the past few years.

The other evening I stumbled upon a performance (which you can find at the end of this post) from Demi Lovato. It was a case of the right place, the right time. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the night. I just felt utterly and completely broken. This video is the most powerful live performance I’ve ever seen. I felt it down to my core and have never connected as deeply to any other song as I did this one, and with the emotion channeled into it.

My therapy session on Wednesday was a raw, emotional one. From the beginning my therapist pointed out that I seem very emotional. I just didn’t want to hold anything back. I didn’t have the strength to either. Turns out the emotions I’m feeling around her pregnancy are partly jealousy that this little baby is going to have her as a mommy, and the situation has also opened up all those old wounds around my own childhood. Memories and emotions I just couldn’t hide or run from.

This performance wasn’t just relatable to me now, but fit as the anthem to my childhood and adolescent years too. The words are almost identical to my own countless pleas, especially when I was a teen. If I hadn’t burned all the pages of my diary back then, it would be littered with it. “Please send me anyone.” “Is there anyone?”, “No-one’s listening”, “can anyone hear me?” So that evening, the lyrics went down deep into my soul. It perfectly captured what I was feeling. I completely broke down. The story behind the song is just as powerful. She wrote it a few days before her overdose. Her story is actually very inspiring.

We all have demons that we are battling. We have relapses. That doesn’t make us weak. It doesn’t mean healing hasn’t taken place. It means we’re human. And even when it seems like we won’t be okay, that we won’t make it through, we can and we do. She’s still here. I’m still here. You’re still here.

“Reach out to somebody”. We see and hear that message so often. But it isn’t that easy. Sometimes we don’t want to burden others. Other times when we do reach out, we get hurt, or end up feeling worse or made to feel guilty for our feelings and thoughts. But we all need and deserve to have someone truly listen to us. To hear us. And it’s okay to reach out. It’s also okay that sometimes we reach out to the wrong people. It doesn’t mean we made a mistake. It just means that the other person maybe doesn’t have the ability/capacity to be a support. That’s something that I still struggle with. Blaming myself, feeling ashamed, feeling like I’m the entire problem when a cry for help goes unanswered or ends badly.

The suicidal ideation is still there. The darkness still huge. I’m not out of the woods. But I wanted to write this post anyway. For me, and for others also struggling right now who may be reading this.