I Am (Alive)

I don’t want to be alive in a world where our sexuality, gender, religion, race, disABILITY, is a source of division rather than curiosity and acceptance.

Where wars are never ending and threats of war constantly hang over us like the clouds in a dark sky.

I don’t want to be alive in a world where fear and uncertainty, hatred and greed, replace security, belonging, and love.

Where instead of embracing and working in harmony with the natural world, we destroy and turn against it, wondering “why?” when it turns on us too.

But I am.

I am alive in that world.

And it’s hard.

It’s hard to be alive in a world where little makes sense. Where the beauty of a sunset illuminating and colouring the landscape below it, is just as real as the blood of innocent lives tragically taken.

This world is also filled with beauty and grace. With hope and joy.

Focus on this good, they say.

But the good and the bad are equally real.

You can’t have one without the other. That’s the world we live in.

We’re alive. And we have to play our part in helping to make a difference. To being a beacon of light among an endless sea of darkness and despair.

We’re all human. We ultimately all come from the same place.

The difference is what each of us do with our humanity.

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.