Posted by: Marie | June 25, 2009

(95) In search of a way through

Post #95
[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, February 10, 2009]

Hi, Self –

(I’m writing to myself because . . . well, who else would I be writing to?)

In the last week, my accountability group has responded to my emails by dissolving the group. They felt the structured accountability wasn’t working for them. Instead, they will just check up with each other periodically, as friends would do anyway.

I probably handled the issue poorly – I was just trying to point out the inconsistency between what they said they wanted and how they behaved. I was trying to be a good accountability partner – and I blew it by communicating with harsh and judgmental words. So, that support system is now gone.

On Friday evening, I attended a professional networking event . . .

I’ve been teaching piano lessons to a handful of students since last fall . . . the job I had until last August provided enough income to pay my bills. The job I got after that (after I got laid off in August) only pays for some of my bills because it is about half the hours. So, I put an ad in the paper to teach piano lessons – on the piano my housemates bought at a garage sale last summer – as a way to bring in a little extra money. To help build my business, I’ve been attending networking events . . .

Anyway, on Friday evening, I was in a great mood in the hours before the networking event – I even got dressed up a bit – put on a little make-up, curled my hair a bit. Then, as I saw everyone coming and going, talking and laughing, excited about their businesses, cuddled up with spouses . . . . I started to feel very alone and disenfranchised. Instead of drinking just one beer, I drank two beers so I wouldn’t have to feel my feelings. That started me into a downward emotional spiral (as alcohol often can).

Blooming by Martin Chen

Blooming by Martin Chen

On Saturday night, I attended a Valentine’s Day party hosted by one of the ladies in my now-defunct accountability group – and all the group members were at the party. I felt very uncomfortable – they were nice enough to me, but I could feel the tension. So, I chatted with some other people I hadn’t met before and then left early so I could “get to bed early”. Driving home, I was feeling really bummed out and alone. I didn’t sleep much that night or the next because my emotions were spinning out of control. I was really wishing I could just go to sleep and not wake up.

On Sunday, I went to the gym to work out as part of my involvement in a weight-loss challenge at work. (We kicked off the nine-week challenge a week ago.) I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by an injury — I jumped directly from very little exercise to walking on an inclined treadmill an hour at a time without giving my body an opportunity to get used to it. So, Sunday evening was spent nursing a severely strained calf muscle/tendon.

On Monday morning (yesterday), my boss jumped on my case for something really stupid – he didn’t like the way I was doing a routine task. I had been doing it fine for weeks, but he got a bee up his ass and decided he wanted to have it done a different way – the result was the same, either way. I got really pissed off and defensive – not to his face, but in private. What a great way to start the week.

This morning (Tuesday), my boss checked up on me to make sure I was doing the task the way he had told me to do it. I was doing it the way he wanted – but it pissed me off – being micromanaged, I mean.

During the day today, I had some free time so I stopped by the office of one of our local “shrinks” to see if she was around and available for a chat. I had not met her (Dr. Barb) before, but I had seen her advertisements around town. I really need to be in therapy – I am overwhelmed by the emotional roller coaster I’m experiencing as I’m attempting to make sense of the truth about my personal history. It seems that, for every step forward I take, I take two steps backward.

Dr. Barb was available because a client had just cancelled at the last minute. So, we visited for a few minutes – well, actuality, I broke down into a mess of tears and she just listened. We set up an appointment for next week and she gave me some homework — she asked me to start tracking everything I eat and drink and tracking my physical activity. She also asked me to fill out an intake form and bring it with me to the appointment.

Dr. Barb specializes in sports performance and overall health/wellness. She said her philosophy is to focus on moving forward and leaving the past in the past. That sounds good to me because I do want to move beyond all this anger. I want to move on to bigger and better things.

So, this evening, I’m feeling hopeful – maybe she can help me find my way through all of this.

Quotes 008


Responses

  1. Today I also feel hopeful- maybe is the rain and the clouds. I’ts smell to rain! I hope with this message I could sheer you up a bit! We all need some time to think and some people to talk.

    Take care,
    M

    • Hi, Marisol –

      Thank you so much for your words of cheer! Actually, I am in good cheer tonight (could be the rain we just had, also, LOL), which is different from what this post might indicate.

      I know my blog is a bit confusing — I am posting my journal entries a few months after writing them . . . so, this post was actually written on February 10th of this year . . . it is not reflective of my current place . . .

      Either way, I appreciate your comment and your kind words — thanks for stopping by!
      – Marie

  2. Marisol says it so perfectly! I think, tho that you shouldn’t feel bad about losing the members affiliation – maybe the “support group”, but not that particular group’s members. You called it a support group and they, obviously, were NOT supportive of you, or of the group’s agreed upon goal and rules.

    I think they wanted you to be like them. Hhmmm. Not.

    Hope your new T worked out!

    • Hey, Ivory –

      In answer to your last sentence . . . um, it depends on how you define “worked out”, LOL.

      – Marie

  3. Hi Maagna,

    I’m sorry you had a lousy week. This kind of thing throws me for a loop too.

    I wanted you to know I had a red flag come up from your description of the psychiatrist when she said “her philosophy is to focus on moving forward and leaving the past in the past”.

    Now, it’s possible she didn’t know you were a survivor, but still, it does seem sketchy to me.

    Ignoring the past is not a good strategy for dealing with childhood sexual assault and is not supported by the research that shows what works for healing childhood sexual assualt /PTSD.

    The fact that she would say that in reference to you (unless she didn’t know your history) means to me that she doesn’t know her stuff.

    I’ve had several therapists over the past 20 years, almost all good and helpful ones, and they were all therapists who had had iether a masters or phd of social work or psychology. Except for two art therapists who also has masters-level training. I’ve never seen a psychiatrist, but have heard from other survivors (except those who need them for mental illness medical treatment) that they’re not as good as a competent social worker or psychologist since they are not as empowering.

    The most important thing about a good therapist to me is that she has experience working with sexual abuse survivors, that she shows no signs of discomfort or avoidance when I tell her something about the abuse (she’s heard it before and it doesn’t freak her out) and she is empowering (ie: Is my equal, doesn’t try to fix me, helps me fix myself. ) If the therapist is uncomfortable with my past, she will try and shut me up about it, subtly or unsubtly and what survivor needs that again?

    I know me writing all this is a bit pushy, and I apologize for it. It’s certainly not meant to imply that you aren’t the best person to know what’s best for you and what you need. I’m also basing my response on a little bit of text, so you of course have more information to evaluate what’s best for than I do. I know you’ve had some trouble with your last therapist, and I wanted you to know about the red flag I got about your new therapist.

    SDW.

    • Hi SDW –

      Thanks for the kind words about my “lousy week” . . . however, I wrote this journal entry several months ago . . . so, my lousy week (and the start of my relationship with Dr. Barb) was back then, not now . . . I still appreciate the thoughtful words, though!

      It is interesting to me that you picked up on the potential conflict between my history and Dr. Barb’s philosophy . . . yes, I did mention to her that I was a survivor during that first brief meeting on February 10th – while I didn’t go into a lot of detail, I made the point that it was a huge part of my struggle.

      Before I met with her for our first scheduled session, I paid her to read over my journal entries (what I now have in my blog through the end of October 2008) just so she could be up-to-speed on the work I had already done. By the time we got to our first full-fledged therapy session, she was fully aware of my history.

      And, yes, my idea of “moving forward” turned out to be very different from her idea of “moving forward” and it created a huge problem. So, your instinct is accurate . . . . my experience played out just like you are describing – you’ll see more about it in future posts.

      So, while it is too late for me to benefit from your insight, it may help others . . .

      Thanks for writing!
      – Marie

  4. Like SDW I want to be a bit pushy too.

    I think it is important to listen to our anger. If we are angry it means that we care. And we have nothing to lose by finding out what we care about and/or why. For me, listening to my anger has been enormously beneficial – this doesn’t mean necessarily expressing it; certainly not in a violent way (unless life is at risk – I’m glad to say that I have never been in this situation). But for me listening to my anger has been very important.

    Looking forward to hearing more of the story.

    • Hi, Evan –

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Yes, I agree with you about anger . . . which is not what I was taught growing up, but it is what I am learning as an adult . . . .

      – Marie


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