thirty years of therapy and what I have learned

Thirty years of therapy and what I learned

I’ve been in therapy since I was 15. After 30 years and 15 therapists, I’ve called it quits. Not because I was cured because I couldn’t get the care I needed. Not all therapists are the same. And even if someone has the credentials I am looking for, doesn’t mean it will work out. I have seen social workers, psychologists (PhDs and PsyD), psychiatrists, and psych RN. The first 10 I saw within the first 10 years of starting therapy. Each therapist I saw didn’t last more than a year. One resident I saw lasted three years, till the end of her residency, but she moved on and I didn’t see her again. I tried DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and the various psychodynamic therapies out there.

My suicidal career took up talk for the last 10 years of therapy, maybe more as it got more serious and I didn’t want to live anymore. I started researching into the different treatment options and found very little to help myself. The therapist I was seeing at the time was stuck in her ways didn’t want to adapt to what I wanted her to do in therapy to help me. It was frustrating. Then I saw a PsyD with the credentials and I thought yes! This is going to work out finally. But it didn’t because she didn’t have empathy and couldn’t give me validation when I needed it the most.

What I learned from my research into suicidology is that the person needs to tell their story of why they are suicidal. It needs to be heard by an empathic person who validates why they are suicidal. They also should appear eager to listen and to know more about the person, their pain and suffering. To find out where it hurts and to try and heal it the best they can. I can go on about things like perturbation, lethality, constriction, and psychache but those are just words no one uses anymore.

Living with pain— physical or emotional— for years is a traumatic stressor. The experience of living with pain evokes many of the same responses that being subjected to abuse or neglect does. — Dr. Glenn Patrick Doyle

I came across this quote while scrolling through Twitter. Dammit this guy always posts something when I am in the feels. He is correct. Pain does have the same responses as being abused or neglected. I have suffered physical pain consistently 24/7/365 for the past twelve years. Each time my foot or ankle flared up, I had flashbacks of when my back gave out ten years prior. I had to go through a series of checklists to make sure it wasn’t happening again, each time, nearly every single day. Once I had a diagnosis for the pain the checklist checking stopped but the feelings of the trauma didn’t.

My therapist who I just stopped seeing, asked me what I was looking for in therapy. But I didn’t have the words. As I am reading the book Building a Therapeutic Alliance with the suicidal Patient, I am figuring out what I need in therapy. I knew she wasn’t able to give me what I need. I am not really sure what I need. I know I want someone to talk to tell my story to. For them to listen, empathically and compassionately to what I have to say about why I am suicidal and why it has become my only option left to me.

a blog about being blah

A blog about being blah

I am feeling really depressed and blah today. I woke up late, around 1330. My neck has been hurting me since last night. I put some heat on it while I was having my coffee. It is really warm out today so I was sweating with the heat. I didn’t feel like going out. I don’t feel like doing anything today. I should shower but I don’t even have the energy for that. I still need to do my meds for the week. I’ll do that after I write this blog.

I put in my appointments for the month in my calendar. They are mostly PT appointments. I have a few sessions left and then I am done. She has done as much as she can do for me. I am glad I am not waking up in pain anymore with my shoulder anyway.

“rather die than live in fear”. I got this quote from somewhere, probably Twitter and it has been resonating with me the last few days. It has increased my suicidality. I would rather die than live in fear with my family. The resentment and disrespect is sometimes too much for me. The gender dysphoria sets in and I wonder why I am the way I am. I question who I am and wonder if it is worth it. I just feel so worthless at times that I wonder if it would be better if I was dead.

I see my therapist tomorrow and will be bringing this up to her. I don’t know if we are ever going to start work on the pain workbook or not. Seems to be always something in the way of us getting into it. I am having some serious pain right now in my leg. My ankle and shin hurt so bad. It is getting hard to write. I hate CRPS so much. All it does is take, take, take. I can’t remember the last time I had a day without pain. Now I got the shoulder and neck thing going on for god knows how long. Just something else I got to live with. Been living with this pain for five months now. I think it can be called chronic pain. Just add it to my list of why I should die.

My neck is acting up again. I just took some Zanaflex to calm it down. All my muscles are tense in my shoulder and neck. Stretching my neck from side to side is still hard to do. It hurts so much. I have been trying to keep off my phone so I don’t aggravate it further but it has been hard. I don’t know why the neck has flared up. It takes so much to calm it down and I don’t see my PT till later this week. I have been working really hard with the exercises and stretching that have been given to me. I just can’t seem to calm down the tension in my neck and shoulders. The pain is so bad it depresses me every time because I can’t do much when I hurt. All I do is lay down and stay as still as possible.

sneeze attack

Sneeze attack

I woke up this morning with a strong urge to pee around 745 so got up and did my business. I was thankful no one was in the bathroom because I don’t think I would have been able to hold it. I came back to my room and took my morning meds. I then went to lay down to go back to sleep when I got a sneeze attack. I must have sneezed like 10 times in a row. It really woke me up so I decided to have coffee. I had my belVita biscuits and my mother called them cookies. I don’t care. I have been eating them nearly every day for weeks now. I have bought different flavors and really love the Golden Oat. They keep me full for a couple of hours before lunch anyway.

Yesterday I didn’t want to do a damn thing but that was not meant to be. I had an early morning bowel accident which caused me to have to shower to get clean. I felt really bad but I just couldn’t hold it as it was such soft stool. I then was in charge of making sure my mother took her walks around the house. She didn’t no matter how much I threatened her. She had her sewing to do and that is all she did.

Today my mother is expecting the home RN and PT to come. I will stay so I know what she hears is what is said. Her blood pressure was on the low side. I hope it improves by the time the nurse gets here. I really don’t want to have her in the hospital again.

I can’t wait to get my haircut next week. The top of my head of hair is so uneven. I want to have it short and spikey. I am hoping to get my haircut after all my appointments next week. I have to go for urodynamic testing and then go for an EKG. I just messaged my psychiatrist to make sure it is ordered so there won’t be a problem. I don’t see it on my upcoming procedures.

I still have not gotten my stimulus money. I wonder if I will get it next week with my SSD payment. I can finally order my groceries from Stop and Shop. Still haven’t decided if I am going to get a new mattress or not. I bought a new foam topper and it works wonderfully. It stays on the bed like it is supposed to.

I am so tired today. All I did was have coffee. I am in pain so that is probably why. My back started hurting while I was taking my mother’s blood pressure. I can’t stand hunched over for too long. My leg is bothering right now. Damn hamstring. I wish I could find a stretch that worked for the pain. I have a couple of tennis balls under my leg right now and that seems to be helping the pain some. I can’t roll it because of the foam topper. I am just glad I have some relief. It is cold today and windy so my room is like 66 degrees. I should shut off the ceiling fan…

ceiling fan

Ceiling fan

It is really cold with the wind and it is coming in through my AC so I have my ceiling fan off. I should dust it while it isn’t in use. It’s got some serious dust bunnies on the blades, but only on one side of the blade. Weird. I want to clear off the things on my bureau too. Just throw them in a box and I will go through it later. I also need to empty my bedside trash can. It is filled. I have to find the trash bag that I had. It has become buried under some clothes due to an avalanche fall of one of my bins. I just can’t deal so left it like it is.

I had therapy today. I wish it helped but all it did was frustrate me more and all we agreed on was getting a bat and beating a pillow up. We talked about how my mother is treating me with the transgender. I told her I wanted to go into hiding. She said that would be a bad idea. She understood how much I was hurting. I told her I wanted to cry but there were no tears. I won’t be seeing her a second time this week. She doesn’t have any openings. I said that was fine. I am not in dire straits. I wills see her next week.

I didn’t brush my teeth this morning because the post nasal drip was bad. I was gagging up a storm. Once it settles down, I will brush. It has been working out better in the afternoon than morning. I still need to shave my head again. I have been trying to keep my hair as short as possible. I found out today while I was combing it that it isn’t even on top like I want it to be. I just asked my cousin who is a hair dresser if this is ok or not. Now I can’t decide if I want to grow it out or cut it to be all one length. My barber is very good but I don’t think he is great with scissors. He is very good with clippers. I like him a lot so I will stay with him. No one else will touch my hair.

I had two cups of coffee today and I am still tired. I want to nap so bad. I have been up since five this morning because I had to pee. It was hard getting back to sleep. I wanted to stay up but my therapy appointment was at 11 and I knew I would start to feel drowsy around that time. I sent a message to my psychiatrist about why I am tired and he hasn’t responded. I don’t think he will because I was kind of flip in my message.

I finally brought a notepad to my bed “office” area so I will write the essays I want to write. I think it will be better written out than typed. Less distraction. I wish I could do it in a coffee shop. I so miss going to Starbucks for coffee and writing. I feel trapped sometimes because I have no where else to go. I could go food shopping. I think I will go to the butcher shop today to get a steak. And maybe some burgers.