Posted by: Marie | December 28, 2012

(771) Sitting alone with myself

Post #771
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, January 26, 2012]

Whew. Yesterday was an intensely emotional day for me. Our therapy session was a doozey. I think I lost time in the really intense part – that hasn’t happened in a while.

After the therapy session, I drove home, got into my pajamas and curled up on my bed with my blankets tucked around my legs, flipped on the TV and ate my lunch. Then, I got on the computer and returned a few emails.

About 2pm, I called Edward and left a voicemail to let him know I was doing relatively okay, that I had gotten something to eat and was resting – that I was going to lie down and take a nap as soon as I hung up the phone. About 3pm, he called back and we had a quick conversation. He said he was glad to hear I was doing relatively okay and that, if things got tough, I could call him and he would do his best to help me through it. That was nice.

123) His Life

His Life by Martin Chen

I often binge eat as soon as I get home from therapy . . . but, not yesterday. I hadn’t been binging for several days, and I didn’t feel the need to binge yesterday, either. That was weird . . . but, I’m not complaining! Last night, in the quiet of the evening, I did go into the bathroom for a marathon skin-picking session . . .

And, trying to go to sleep last night was rough . . . lying in bed, I kept remembering how, as a kid, I was always wanting to die . . . I would hold my breath . . . I used to hold it and I would pray that the blackness would come . . . but, in order for me to die, the blackness would have had to come much faster than the need to breath would come . . . and the need to breath always came first . . . my body always took control. I hated that. I so wanted the blackness to come first. But, it would never come fast enough. I really wanted to die.

Concerning the part of the session when I said I wanted to die . . . it’s not something I thought about saying, it just came out . . . why would I say that? It seems like I didn’t really have control over going there or not. The whole thing is fuzzy and piecemeal – I can’t remember the conversation very well – just disjoined pieces of it – I must have been fading in and out. I was in a really dark place.

I know Edward believes all kinds of things are possible for me. It’s his job to have hope for me, but it is cruel for him to try to take me to a hopeful place. I’m not capable of making the changes that would make that fantasy possible. Instead of trying to get me to have hope for a romantic relationship and a joyful life, I want him to help me deal with the hand I’ve been dealt . . and part of the hand I’ve been dealt is that I will never be in a relationship and I will never experience sustained joy.

When I exploded at Edward (“How dare you”) . . . I think that is the first time in my life I have ever expressed my anger outwardly towards someone I care about and with whom I have a relationship I don’t want to lose. I’ve expressed anger with people I don’t care about . . . but, when I’ve expressed anger with people I care about, when I say what I really feel, they leave or they get violent. Because that is always what happens, I can’t say what is really happening inside of me . . . what I really feel . . . I can’t really express my anger unless I’m willing to let the relationship go, because that is what always happens. But yesterday, with Edward, it was different.

It felt like there was a laser beam coming from inside of me that I aimed right at Edward . . . I let the energy fly out, straight at him. What I normally do is keep the laser beam aimed off to the side. I tell myself I don’t really have a right to be angry, or I’m being immature because a mature person wouldn’t be angry about this, or it’s not the other person’s fault, it’s all my fault, I created the situation. I can never hold the other person responsible, so I have to hold myself responsible. I have to take the brunt of the anger – it has to go somewhere and I can’t hold the other person responsible because that would be the death of the relationship. So, I turn that laser beam on myself and tell myself it is my fault and therefore I can be – should be – angry with myself.

So, when Edward said, “Tell me what you really want to say,” I felt that laser beam turn around and go directly at him. I was fairly sure it was safe for me to say those things to him – I knew for absolute sure he wouldn’t get violent . . . I was sure he wouldn’t leave or push me away . . .

However, when I said those words, I still had this conversation going on in my head: I don’t have the right be angry, I’m can’t allow myself to be angry because he is just trying to help me . . . my anger isn’t justified, so I couldn’t really be angry because it is a stupid reason to be angry. Even turning the laser beam on him, I had to hold back and be nice and gentle in my words, even if I said what I meant, I had to say it nicely because I knew my anger towards Edward wasn’t justified.

I appreciate Edward saying he is willing to walk along side me during this process. I understand he is available for me to some degree. But, there is a limit on how much he can do for me. His time is limited . . . it’s not like he can sit with me and hold me through the night as I have nightmares . . . and professional ethics won’t allow him to REALLY be there for me outside the session time . . . in actuality, I’m really on my own. And, I’ve been feeling that aloneness very intensely yesterday and today.

I felt the same aloneness back when I was nine years old, when I going through the process of coming to the conclusion that I am disgusting. The process of coming to that conclusion way back then was trauma in and of itself . . . it wasn’t trauma from the direct actions of a person, but it was something I did to myself, a very private trauma I created for myself. I was so profoundly alone during that process . . . and I felt the same way yesterday in Edward’s office.

Edward may have been in the room with me, but he wasn’t really with me. I was alone, in solitude. I was locked up in my head . . . so much inside my head . . . just like I was way back then. I’m aware I can choose to open up that private world and allow Edward to come in, which is kinda a weird concept because it is such a private hell – the fantasies . . . especially the fantasies I had after I figured things out . . . and all the dark, dark shame . . . I keep thinking that the word that best describes the conclusion I came to about myself is “disgusting” . . . that’s the word that has become my identity. I can’t imagine being anything else.

When I think back on the session, and on the thinking I’ve done in the 24 hours since, I realize my thinking is that of an un-well mind . . .

The way I see myself as disgusting doesn’t make sense . . . but it is what I really believe. I know it is not reasonable to think Edward should be able to see how disgusting I am. I kind of assumed he could see it; then when he said he can’t, I had to find a way to explain that to myself. The explanation my sick brain came up with is that he hasn’t had to take me home and live with me day-by-day. I can logically see that is sick thinking, but I really believe that. That is how I believe . . . all the way down to my toes. That is how I believe. I can’t imagine how I would shift that to a healthy place . . . because I believe it so absolutely. I think that is the sick part of me . . . permanently sick, I think. It is also the sick part of my brain that allows me to think that holding my breath will allow me to die.

So . . . that’s what is spinning around in my head . . . compulsive thoughts . . . overwhelming thoughts . . . I hope things settle down soon.

Quotes 681


  1. oh i wish we lived in the same city, i would love to go for coffee with you. there’s so much i want to say, and this comment format is so limiting….

    i am also scared to death of anger, since it was used against me so much as a child and in an abusive relationship i had as an adult. i have been intensely angry at sharon, went away and was suicidal about it for a week, and then went back and talked it through. i found i couldn’t talk about it in the moment, i wasn’t even sure that what i was feeling was in fact anger, that’s how disconnected i am from it…

    i think it’s awesome that you recognize that this feeling “disgusting” is part of an unwell mind… but in some ways that’s still blaming yourself (i have these thoughts… i generated them… my brain produces them…) but they are a direct result of the abuse you (and i) experienced. it’s not some chemical thing… it’s not something you decided to think… it was a way of coping, emotionally, with something really overwhelming and horrible that was done to you.

    i wonder if you still feel alone, a year later. i sometimes feel that way, when i am suicidal, but mostly i carry sharon’s caring with me during the week. sure, she isn’t always available to me 24/7, but she has told me that she is as attached to me as i am to her… which was quite a shock at the time (i thought it was a one way relationship)… i am seriously bonded to her. i don’t feel dependent, just connected, held, loved, and respected. and she knows all my “ugly” parts, my self-hatred, my self-destructive coping mechanisms, the ways i have hurt myself and others.

    come to toronto and have coffee with me!!

    • Hi, Catherine –

      You’re on! I’d love to have coffee with you!

      I can so relate to what you have written . . . including the part of not even recognizing anger as anger . . .

      I would have to say I am feeling less alone now, almost a year later . . . mainly because people keep investing time and energy into me when they have no reason to do so except that they like me and want to spend time with me. I’m still getting used to that.

      The anger is still very much a challenge for me . . . yikes!

      Thank you for such great input!

      – Marie

  2. I hope you and Edward have walked farther down the road of you expressing your anger by now.

    I do think the professionalised therapy model has its limitations. It would be far better if we had someone to support through times of crisis. Perhaps one day the profession will address its problems (I’m not holding my breath).

    • Hey, Evan –

      Thanks for your positive hopeful thoughts . . . the anger thing is still really a struggle for me . . . it feels like a deadly emotion for me.

      I wonder how much our world would change if we had the kind of support you reference as part of our day-to-day interactions with each other . . . then, the professional mental health folks could be more effective with their resources!

      – Maire

      • Hi Marie, in my view there are no technical impediments to utopia. We have enough for all to thrive.

        And our anger is an extraordinarily valuable resource when used correctly – to change those things which desperately need changing (more strictly to begin initiating the change – to sustain it I think we need to add hope and fun and other stuff too).

        How much would our world change if we got the support we needed?

        In brief: LOTS!

  3. hi evan, depends where you live. where i am we have a drop-in house where you can go and stay if you need extra support, but aren’t so much in crisis that you need to go to the hospital. we also have “warm lines” where you can call and have a friendly chat with a volunteer. actually, there’s warm lines all over the world. my T takes the approach that we honour our time together by not interacting too much between sessions, and i respect that. crisis situations are exempt, of course. but we don’t try and do counseling by phone or email between sessions.

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