SPSM and Prezi and being a suicide attempt survivor

SPSM and Prezi and being a suicide attempt survivor

For the first time in a long time, I felt I was useful to the #SPSMChat that goes on every Sunday at 10 pm EST on Twitter. I learned about Prezi, which I am not sure what it is yet. I thought it was a video thingy but I couldn’t figure it out and I am much to tired to try. I did make a couple of layouts but it crashed my Chrome and internet so I think I will stick with IE.

What I was talking about with Prezi was being a suicide attempt survivor. Twenty-five years ago today marks the actual day I got help, or tried to. It was a very confusing time and my mother had a hard time accepting me as being suicidal. She was worried about me, as is understandable. But I had my own world to contend to that she didn’t know about. I will write that in another blog, but for now, just know that I was living between two worlds, one that I created internally to cope with the external world.

It wasn’t easy the first few days after my attempt, if you want to call it that. My wrist hurt from cutting and then I found out that cutting really released emotion better than talking did. So I started having my cutting kit. I had to be very secretive but then, I sort of was as I was living in two worlds. I had two facades, the one that school saw and the one my home life saw. It wasn’t much different except at home I didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t talk to my sisters and my father was not there after his violent outburst the day before. A week after all this suicide talk and me not getting any better, my sisters felt that he had to know. I had a large decorative knife outside my bedroom door. I swore he was going to tell me to kill myself by stabbing myself with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, he told me to jump off the Tobin bridge. He was giving me permission to kill myself essentially. Nice guy, huh?

I was a straight A student at school. I also had perfect attendance until that night. I think I had to skip school one day to meet with a counselor so that ended my perfect attendance record for the year. It didn’t matter, I lost interest in school. Nothing mattered to me except for dying. I was 15 years old. The school nurse helped me a lot for the rest of my years in high school. I don’t think I would have graduated if it wasn’t for her. She gave me hope every time I saw her and I knew that I couldn’t let her down by being depressed. She wanted me better so I saw the school counselor instead of going to a private therapist. Unfortunately, when the school year ended, so did therapy. I was deeply depressed, more so than I already was. The nurse got me in touch with a social worker at the community school. I saw her for about ten months before she got married and left. I had a breakdown. I skipped school for a week and then in April of 1992, I tried to kill myself again. I threw up the pills and thus saved my life. I lost all hope that I ever was going to die. I felt like more of a failure than I ever was. That summer, I had my first hospitalization and thus started the cycle. I was hospitalized every three months because my suicidality reached its peak and I couldn’t cope with life anymore. The third time I went into the hospital, I came out as being gay. I had dissociated while cutting because I felt an attraction toward a woman on the T (public transportation). I thought I was going nuts until I met someone in the hospital who was also gay. I came out with my treatment team and felt a huge burden off my shoulders. It wasn’t until two decades later I would come out as being transgender.

My teenage years were filled with hospitalizations and cutting. It was a vicious cycle that continued into my twenties. After graduation from high school, I had my longest hospitalization because I overdosed again on the antidepressant I was taking at the time. I was determined to die and no one was going to stop me. Except, a Jewish doctor that felt I had some hope. She told me the only way out of the hospital was if I were to see her. The outside therapist I saw didn’t want to see me anymore. She couldn’t handle my suicidality. So I started seeing her but my suicidality increased. I was in and out of the hospital from August of 1994 to Jan 1995. I felt like no one could love me. Until I met a boy from Nebraska. He was gay and he loved me unconditionally. He didn’t care about my past. He wanted to help me. And he did. I felt that if I had him, I could heal. It took a while to trust him and I did. We had long conversations about school and life and being gay. We joined BAGLY and met others like ourselves. I still felt like an outsider because I really felt like I was a man. I was too scared to tell anyone this. So I was called a lesbian or gay woman instead. My self hatred rose to new levels. But I always held it in check.

Amazingly, I graduated a two year school for medical assisting. I was still cutting. I changed therapists, again. This time I was seeing a male therapist. It wasn’t too long before I fired him. I had obtained the medication to overdose again and when I told him, he asked if I was suicidal. It was the most stupidest question I was ever asked. Do people obtain large quantities of medication just for the hell of it? Granted I didn’t tell him I was suicidal, but getting asked point blank was kind of silly.

After this therapist, I really didn’t want to see anyone else again. It was really tough because either they left me or I fired them. Most of them couldn’t deal with my suicidality as an outpatient. They just thought the hospital was the way to go. By the time I was 25, I had about as many hospitalizations in ten years time. I just figured that was the way life was going to be. I was going to be in and out of hospitals for the rest of my life and I didn’t like that option.

It took years for suffering till I was an undergraduate at a university where I was taking psychology classes. My cutting had stopped, least for now. I had met my current therapist and she wanted to help me. I was taking a class for psychometrics testing. I researched stuff about suicide and couldn’t find a damn one that dealt with pain. There was an overview of assessments, twenty-five in all, and not a single one dealt with psychological pain. Then I came across the works of Dr. Edwin Shneidman. He lead me to David Jobes and the world of suicidology was open before me. I still felt like a hypocrite when I became a member in 2007 but I learned so much. My hospitalization started to decrease. I was using Jobes’ work in my therapy. I was also using Holden’s work as well. My pain finally had a name, psychache. And with it I could finally stop the bleeding. I couldn’t control the bleeding because I still bleed to this day, but it’s much less now that it’s acknowledge and talked about.

I still don’t have supportive parents. My sisters try to be supportive around my transgender issues but I can tell they would just like me to be my birth name and gender. They don’t know how much my suicidality surrounds me not being in the correct body. I hope in time they will.

Self-Harm Recovery

This is a story I wrote for a website.

Self-Harm Recovery

I started self-harm (cutting) when I was 15. It happened after a traumatic night in my house. I snapped and was looking for a way to channel the pain that I was feeling. I really wanted to die but didn’t know how to. So I decided to “dig” for a vein hoping it would kill me. I never got that far.

Over the years I changed methods, from scissors to razors. I found that razors worked best to alleviate my pain that I was feeling. I remember when I was 17 that I dissociated while I was cutting. It was the only time I lost time while doing self-harm.

During one distressing December, my therapist was on vacation and I cut to the point of needing stitches. I was a trained medical assistant at the time so soon after I got home from the hospital (which was my shortest hospital stay ever), I took the stitches out. I kept the wound open for a good month or so, cutting it every day. This was in 1997. By the time the New Year rolled around, I was getting tired of leaving the wound opened so I made new cuts. This went on for another month or so. I had changed therapists. The new social worker that I met was a DBT therapist and we talked about cutting in detail, such as why I did it, and the like. She told me something that no one had told me before: You can feel but not act on your feelings. That stayed with me.

Around this time, cutting lost its appeal to me. It no longer was the “drug” I was craving. Since then, I haven’t cut, though the urges are sometimes there when I am having a difficult time. I still have my “kit” but I hardly know it’s there. I suppose I could get rid of it as I no longer need it.

update and other things

We had a death in the extended family a couple of days ago and today is the wake. I wasn’t planning on going to the wake because I don’t like them. I knew my mother wouldn’t be watching TV so I took the opportunity to binge watch Bones. I had, or thought I had, the last 6 episodes of the season’s finale. The 2 hour show turned out to be about Tom Brady and Deflategate. I go to the episode where Cam is in the Middle East, and it’s a partial recording. UGH!!!! I did watch the episode where Brennan lets Booth stay for the night. I am glad they are working things out and he is doing his best to not be a gambler anymore. It still sucks not having them together but at least it hasn’t affected their work. I really love the show. The next episode was going to be about a serial killer that haunts Brennan and I couldn’t watch it so I am done with the TV for now. I might watch Rizzoli and Isles next. Thing that sucks about Rizzoli is that they live tweet the episode. I try not to be around that time but then they go all west coast and I am like AAAGGHHHHH. I don’t want to hear it because I haven’t watch it yet!! I like to watch it in my own time and binge watch the episodes.

After I had my breakfast and coffee, I didn’t go back to sleep like I planned on doing. I was able to borrow my sister’s car and get my prescription as well as do some shopping. I got my burgers and buns so I can have them to eat. I like them better than ordinary hamburger. My mother was asking whether it was cheaper just to buy the hamburger and I said it’s about the same. I like getting the pre-made burgers whereas she gets the ground beef. It’s the same just already made for cooking burgers, if that is what you are using it for. Like if I am making manwich, I will buy the ground beef. But if I want burgers, I will get the pre-made stuff. It costs about the same so it’s not like it’s costing me a fortune. But if I go to the meat market, I get more burgers than at Stop and Shop for the same price.

I am feeling a little bit better than I was this morning. I still feel down, but not like a ton of bricks down. I hope this morning was a one time thing. I can’t remember a morning where I ever woke up so depressed in the last three years since I have been on disability. Sure, I would when I had to go to work. I remember waking up and wanting to call out because I just couldn’t face the day. Or my therapist made me call out because I was too depressed to work. One time I refused to call out, so she called out for me. It’s funny now but it wasn’t back then. She was giving the line of if I call out now it will benefit my future or some shit like that. My therapist is whacked. I miss her though. I will be seeing her in a few days. I am sure she can’t wait to get back to her office tomorrow.

***Trigger warning***

I have been bitten by a mosquito in my room. The sucker bit me four times in one night so it was hungry. I didn’t wake with new bites this morning so I think it left my room. But the bites are so damn itchy it’s making me want to cut them off. Like if I cut them open, it will go away. The center of the bite looks pussy like so I am thinking if I cut that out, it will stop the itch. I did that with one of the bites and it helped. But now I have another bite that is just so damn itchy. I have been putting hydrocortisone cream on to calm it down. Unfortunately, the cream is not near me at the moment, but the razors are. I am trying my best to distract myself from the itch and the urges to cut. It is so difficult. I don’t want to cut to self-harm, per se, I just want the itch to stop. I hate bug bites. One of the bites are on top of old scars that I have (all the bites are on my cutting arm). So scratching the old scars is triggering me more than anything.

I got productive after I posted my last blog post. I printed off some suicide research articles. It made for interesting reading. But I stupidly got O’Connor confused with O’Carroll in my thoughts. I am glad I didn’t write to O’Connor telling him how great I thought his article was when he didn’t publish it. It would have been such a blunder. I was checking his citations last night (O’Connor’s) and I couldn’t find the “Babel” one. It really shaped the way suicidology should be moving forward to get rid of the ambiguity of what is meant by a suicide attempter. But it was really O’Carroll that wrote the article. I felt so stupid. But at least I didn’t write something publicly stupid! I did read what O’Connor has written over the last 10 years. He has a couple of paper about suicide and rumination. Maybe it can help me understand why I ruminate so much about suicide so much and also help me try and stop it. I think that if I try that, maybe I won’t get so suicidal anymore? It is just a theory that I have about it. I have read somewhere about how rumination can be damaging. I don’t know if it was his articles or someone else’s. The analysis that he did in one of the articles was about how the studies of rumination scales different with each study he found. No two studies used the same scale items because of various reasons, which stinks because if they did, it would have given “power” to the analysis. You always want a little of that to validate a study. I am not familiar with the scale they were talking about so I can’t really comment on it, but I do know a little about statistical analyses. I took Stats three times so I should know something!

Random 286

I woke up in pain this morning so took some pain pills. If I had known they were going to make me drowsy all day, I wouldn’t have taken the two. I have been asleep on and off for most of the day. I slept so much that it’s too late now to have a cup of coffee. I was looking forward to making it. I will tomorrow.

While I was waiting for the meds to work, I started writing a letter to my therapist. I don’t think I wrote very much as the meds worked faster than I thought it would. I will go back to it sometime later this evening to finish it off. I am almost up to ten pages and I think that is enough for one envelope. I didn’t write all in one sitting. It is an accumulation of the last several days. I figured I would just have it all in one document rather than have several documents and then print each one. When I do get up to ten pages, I will then print and mail it out. This is the second packet of letters she will be getting. She is gone this week so will have another packet sent sometime next weekend. She will have a lot of reading to do when she is back, but she wanted it. I warned her there would be a lot of writing. I just wish the writing was useful so I could use it for my book. I wanted to do some of that kind of writing today but it didn’t happen. I need Hyde to write and he has gone underground or something. He is my muse as well as an “alter”.

It is wicked humid, so humid that my room is barely cool. I have the AC on medium and at 62. It’s fighting to keep the room at this temp. The whole house is so hot, I don’t know how my mother can stand it. But she refuses to have an AC because she doesn’t like the cold and the electric bill that follows. Weirdo she is.

Baseball game isn’t on until eight. I have no idea what to do with my time. I just have been on Twitter and FB. Neither have been really interesting. I missed the BPD chat on Twitter. I always forget because I have dinner the same time as the chat so I miss it. Tonight’s topic was on friendships and it was interesting with lots of discussion. I like this chat because it’s my one time during the week I get to socialize with people with similar issues. I don’t have BPD, but I used to have the traits (meaning I met some of the criteria for the disorder but not quite).

I read on Twitter that a mother was arrested at a food court with her children 30 feet away while doing a job interview. What bothers me is that this mother is black. If she was white, I doubt anyone would have batted an eye. Now this woman has a criminal record, which no employer wants, and how is she supposed to care for her kids now? Child services most like will be on her tail and she may not even have custody anymore. It’s just sad. I don’t agree with what she did but 30 feet is not far, in my opinion. It wasn’t like what that other mother did, leaving the kids in a hot car while going on an interview. That was terrible.

Because I have been so sleepy the last few days, I haven’t been reading much. I finished Uncle Tom’s Cabin finally early last week. I have been trying to get into Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” but the book is very weird and strange. I have to put the book down after I read a chapter. Since the last time I read it, I haven’t been able to pick it up. I have the “Game of Thrones” book but that one is more scary than strange. I really want to read Harry Potter but I don’t have the books with me and I don’t know where they are. I want to buy the paperback collection on Amazon but I don’t think I will be able to afford it this month. It is my “being alive” reward to myself. I probably will be able to get it next month, if my finances cooperate. I have to get a BP monitor so I can watch my heart rate and check my blood pressure when I have pain spikes. My old machine died and I really need to get it replaced. Walgreens had the machine for $90 but the same model on Amazon was less than half price. Score for me! It is a wrist monitor so I don’t have to struggle with getting the thing on my upper arm. I don’t know how reliable these things are as who takes the blood pressure from the wrist? But it must be accurate as my friend, who also has high blood pressure, uses the model I am getting. I just hope I am not wasting my money on it.

I had a friend that I had to cut ties with because she always and only calls on me when she is in crisis. The last time we talked, I was trying to get her not to cut. She cut anyway despite my attempts to tell her that if she did, our friendship was over. I had to do something DBT like to get her to stop the cutting impulse and I failed. She recently tried to contact me again, not understanding why I was so upset with her. I haven’t responded to her messages because I just can’t handle her right now. I am struggling with my demons and it would be foolish to try and help her when I can’t even help myself. I feel really bad about not helping her but I won’t stand for someone injuring themselves while trying to help them. That’s just wrong in my book.