Tag Archives: PTSD

World Mental Health Day

This is going to be negative but I don’t care as it is my lived experience: I’ve been in therapy since I was 15 because I self-harmed. Seen a wide range of therapists from social workers to psychologists to psychiatrists. Most have ended treatment with me for various reasons. I am now on therapist number 14. First 6 months I didn’t think I was going to stay with him. He is a psychologist with supposed experience with trauma and suicidal ideation. He took me on knowing this. Now since the MeToo, I’ve been having intrusive memories. I tell him about it and he shrugs. Seriously? Why am I seeing you if you don’t know how to deal with trauma when you said you had training? I feel like the system has let me down, yet again.

Before I even saw him, I must have talked to at least 5 different therapists. None would take me on because of my suicidal history. I thought I could shove it aside and just have this guy because he returned my call and wanted to work with me. Now it is a year later and I am finding it so difficult to deal with him. I am once again looking for therapists and I am wondering why. I live in a large city. There shouldn’t be just 1 therapist in my 5 mile radius that deals with suicidal histories. Suicide is its own can of worms. I understand from a suicidologist standpoint. Not everyone is cut out to deal, it isn’t taught in school yada yada. I get it. But where is the compassion in therapy? Are too many good therapists burned out? Am I ever going to find someone to help me through suicidal crisis and chronic pain and all the other shit I deal with? Or is that too much because I don’t follow god or help myself?

About Therapists

About therapists

I have been thinking about writing this for a while, just an overview about the many therapists I have had from all different degrees and orientations. I started off seeing a school counselor. She was getting her degree in counseling, though I am not sure if it was as a school counselor or a social worker. We only saw each other for a few months and then when school started again, I started seeing a social worker that worked at another school. She was good. Had the idea that I shouldn’t use drugs or alcohol. We had a “safety contract”, which my first 10 or so did. It mostly said I wouldn’t kill myself until the next meeting and if I did feel like acting to go to the emergency room or call 911. I only saw her for about 10 months. She left and I saw someone new, a person who was also seeking their degree. I basically feel like she took advantage of me and was only interested in collecting my insurance. Nothing got worked on. I was hospitalized every three months, the last one was when I came out as “gay”. Transgender was never talked about with any therapist until the one I saw prior to my current therapist.

As I had state insurance, therapists were coming and going. By the 10th one, I was tired of them leaving so I left the system for private as I then had private insurance. Only problem was that this therapist didn’t take my insurance. When I switched in 2001, we saw each other for a month before my disc blew and then I didn’t see her again for another three months. We kept in touch by phone. It was a lot to go through. I didn’t talk about my psych issues as I just had my physical health jeopardized. We worked together for sixteen years. All throughout, I was suicidal. But I had the odd hospitalization because we worked on stabilizing using frequent contact. We saw each other sometimes three times a week when I was bad. Then we saw each other twice a week. She moved offices until she moved 30 miles away from Boston. It was tough because I didn’t have a car. I did but it broke down. We just had phone therapy. This went on for about five years. I would get a zipcar once a month to see her but that took some planning around my pain and weather.

The suicidal ideation I had made my therapist nervous. We tried different things, but she never consistently held me to them. I chided away from it because I knew what she was looking for or rather had an idea. I knew it wasn’t going to change. During the last year of therapy we had, we were constantly fighting over my suicidality. She just wasn’t listening to me anymore. I couldn’t explain why I was suicidal. I just mentioned it and she would “hog” the rest of the session with her endless talk, which I just took as her anxiety. It was interfering. I found out she was seeking consultation over me and I felt threatened by that. Eventually we just called it quits. I didn’t see anyone for few months. I had to collect myself. She gave me a few therapists but they weren’t taking on new clients.
Enter my current therapist. He had called back within a few hours of me leaving a message and we had set a time up with in a few days. He sent me his paperwork and other insurance stuff. All throughout seeing the previous therapist, we had tried different suicidal safety planning and scales and whatnots. This guy was not for it. I think the less paperwork, the better. And it bugs me! He just wants to talk things out. For the first six months I didn’t know if this was going to work out. But I had no where else to go. I was tired of searching for therapists only to be told no when I revealed I had a suicidal history. He wasn’t afraid of me talking about suicide and I ease up. Even when I told him I had a plan, he didn’t freak out on me. He understood why I felt that way and we talked it out. It decreased my feelings so I didn’t feel like no one was on my side. I often felt better after sessions but there were a few where I was more frustrated. I texted him a few times and got supportive responses, something my previous therapist did not do, at all. She only responded if we had to change appointment times.

I have been seeing this guy for 16 months. I still find it totally weird that we have an understanding of why I am suicidal yet there is no plan in place, so to speak. He is okay if I live and okay if I die, as long as I don’t do it in his office. He hasn’t taught me things I don’t already know. He would like me to be more social, but that is kind of hard with my physical pain. I like being alone anyway as noise can irritate me, like it is today. Hell, just being in Starbucks when their music is loud is enough to have me leave after I finish eating or when I am ready to write. He doesn’t try to pin things down and my biggest annoyance is when he says we will work on something but doesn’t go further than that. And then when I bring it up next session (I have to bring things up, he won’t), it still doesn’t go anywhere. But I have had that happen with the last therapist I saw, too. She would say we need to work on this and we never did.

I don’t mean to write this to defer you from seeking therapy, that isn’t my goal. I just wanted to write about my experiences with therapists and how they react to suicidal thoughts. Everyone is different. And maybe you started seeing a therapist and then the suicide thoughts started happening. The therapist freaks out and you are then forced to see someone else. Or you attempted and now the therapist doesn’t want to work with you anymore. That is sad and unfortunate but I know it does happen. Suicide is like an elephant (or hippo as someone called it that the other day) in the room that you both know is there but don’t want to face. Or maybe your therapist is trained and does work with you on the issues as long as there is a safety plan in place first with contact numbers and you collaborate on what will work and what will not work. The focus has to be on YOU not the therapist’s comfort level. While my therapist does that and gives me the time to try and work things out as well as support me in any way he can, I still sometimes feel like he just doesn’t get it or dropped the ball on an issue that is never going to see light of day again. I know they are busy people. They have lives outside the office. They see so many patients per day and then deal with the wonderful insurance that can or cannot accept their claims. I don’t know. I am not making excuses for them but if you have a therapist that cares about you and takes your suicidal thoughts seriously, works with you on keeping you safe, and the chronicity of the matter, great. I just am still trying to work with someone and cope with a therapist that says you can kill yourself as long as it isn’t in my office.

18 8 18

18 8 18

I decided to put the numbers of the date rather than the date, month spelled, year. I think the numbers of today are cool. I didn’t write a blog yesterday. I wanted to but I was in so much pain and had so many meltdowns that I just was too exhausted to write.

My sister came over yesterday after I asked her for help. I didn’t know my mother had made dinner, which is what I was afraid of, so she brought a rotisserie chicken, which we had for tonight’s dinner. We were talking and I told her of the fight I had with my aunt the lunatic on Monday. Apparently, there is shit being said and no one is telling me what the fuck it is. I brought it up to my mother, as she expects me to go to her house on Monday as she needs to do something at the bank with me. I told her I am not going over her house and she said I should apologize as she was visiting her. I don’t give a fuck. She should apologize to me for giving me a damn heart attack for nothing! I am not talking to her and frankly, I don’t know who to trust so I am not talking to anyone on my mother’s side of the family. I don’t need them. I do my own thing, get around to do things without them. The only person I trust is my bipolar cousin, who does help me out sometimes with rides to the station and stuff, if I need it. I don’t ask. Usually I am at the bus stop when he drives by. I don’t call him for a ride unless I can’t do it myself. But I am being reserved in talking to him as I am just paranoid about what is being said right now.

I’ve been busy with doing the dreaded laundry. There were only three loads but I after I fixed dinner and cleaned up afterwards. I just put the last load in the washer and will put it in the dryer when the dryer is free. I figure around maybe 9pm I will go downstairs again. I have no idea when the washer will be done. It takes around 1-2 hours depending on how big the load is. I have a big load in there now as it is all towels. I took my pain med early as when I got back to my room, my ankle pain went up. I don’t care. It is only an hour early. I didn’t want to take a BT med when it was so close to my next dose.

I have been listening to the country radio station most of the day. I found that if I play something on FB or Twitter, it stops on my phone. But won’t resume when it stops. Annoying. I like having it on my Kindle so I don’t run into this problem. My sister is on the booze cruise I was suppose to go to tonight. There was no way as I would be wearing two braces and going up the stairs would be difficult. I never made my bacon sandwich today. I will have to make it tomorrow. The bacon that I got was not the best quality. It was stringy and fatty. I wish you could look at what you are getting before buying but there is no way to see as the package is vacuumed sealed. It is annoying. Still tastes good but I rather have some meat than more fat. I need more bacon, LOL.

day 5 and a flare

Day 5 and a flare (warning, long post)

Last night, I had to go to the bathroom kind of late, around 2300 or so. I was also hungry so went downstairs. I must have went down four steps and my ankle went out on me. It became really painful. I stopped and hung on the bannister to prevent falling. Pain subsided a little and I went down a few more steps only for it to happen again. Shit. I held on again to the bannister and waited for my ankle to calm down a bit. I knew the downward motion of my ankle was causing it to get annoyed. I finally went down the rest of the stairs and did my business.

When I came back up to my room, my ankle felt okay. The game was late as it was on the west coast and I couldn’t stay up as I needed to be up at 6. Around midnight, I turned in, or tried to. My body pillow was a mess and was not making me comfortable. I must have flung it off the bed as when I came up to my room today, the whole side of it was on the floor. It collected all the dust that surrounded it. Great. I used a lint roller to get it off. I just decided to use a regular pillow and somehow fell asleep. I woke up about three hours later in pain. It was too early to take the 12 hr pill so I took the immediate release. Two hours later I was still in pain so took the longer acting med. I was early but oh well. I then slept for about an hour until my alarm went off.

I took my morning meds and then went downstairs to brush my teeth and wash my face. I was deciding on what to wear. I thought I could wear shorts but it was too cold and it was kind of rainy. I decided sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt were in order. Except, I couldn’t find the one I wanted to wear. I scrounged my bed and it was nowhere. Oh well, just go with the one I usually sleep in. I left to catch the bus. As I got to the corner, the bus I was to take rolled by. Luckily, another one soon followed so I didn’t have to wait long.

I brought my Dostoevsky book with me. I had 45 minutes before PT. I got coffee at the lower end coffee shop and a coffee roll. When I finished the roll, I got to reading until it was time to leave for PT. PT was not so great. She gave me a few new exercises but I think I am going to have trouble doing it on my left side due to moving my damn ankle/foot. I might have to wear the AFO (ankle foot orthotic) to keep it stable. We just did the right side and she explained what muscles were moving. Then she massaged my hip. She said my muscles were hard as a rock. I said like a tennis ball and she said yes. Some parts of where she was touching was bothersome to my thigh muscle. I had to remind her that my L2/L3 surgery fucked it up. We talked about the PTSD and stuff that surrounded my pain issues and she offered some concrete grounding techniques which I will try as the ones I were using were not working. I chiefly use distraction and music. She had me laying on my back under some kind of box thing. As we were ending, she moved my knee to my chest and my back cramped up badly. It hurt so much. I was able to walk out of there but I was hurting. I came home because my next appointment wasn’t until 1500. I made a fried egg that I kind of overcooked the yolk. Then I went upstairs and was hoping to catch a nap. Well my ankle said no to that soon as I laid down. I left an hour early than I wanted to. I went to Starbucks for espresso and a Danish.

I read my book as I brought that with me. I was going to get some serious reading done. But my god, did Dostoevsky talk and talk and talk. It was about 4 chapters of the prosecutor giving his closing argument. When he was finished, so was I. I have about 8 chapters left in the book and I should be able to finish the book this weekend. Progress. I promised one of my suicidologists that I would read her book so I will. It should be somewhat easy reading once I remember where I put it. HA. Don’t know if it is buried on my bed or I put it somewhere else.

I went to my psychiatrist appt. I gave her the run down of being hypomanic without euphoria and the cycle I seem to be in. She didn’t read anything I sent her but she said she would read it as she always does. I felt kind of deflated because I really wanted to talk about the article I sent her. I couldn’t bring it up if she didn’t read it. I actually was not really present. I just glossed over things and she accepted it. I told her my therapist wanted to meet with me twice a week but I am not sure if I can do it physically, especially with physical therapy sessions going on as well. I had told him I would think about it and get back to him. She thought it was good to be seen twice a week. Then we made an appt for two weeks and I left.

My ankle was kind of giving me grief but it wasn’t bad until I got within two blocks of home. Before the Walgreens by my house, there is this dead end street that leads to some houses. The sidewalk has a little handicapped ramp that, to me, is very inclined. I walked down it and it brought me almost to my knees. Pain was so fricken bad. I had to stand in place until it settle down. It was the same as last night when I was going down the stairs but 10 times worse. I didn’t know what to do. My sister was away (or so I thought) and there wasn’t anyone else I could call for a ride. I took my blessed time limping home. The block that lead to the final block to my street was hilly and downward. OMG did it hurt to walk downhill. I had to stop a few times to catch myself. I finally made it home and my sister’s apartment door was wide open as well as my door. I called for my niece but there was no answer. I stuck my head in my sister’s apartment and called for her again. My sister was home making dinner. My other sister was there as well eating some kind of cheese plate. I had some cheese and pepperoni and chatted with my sisters. I then went upstairs. I took my things up the stairs carefully. I took a seat in the kitchen and my ankle just went berserk. I had no idea how I was going to walk down the hallway to my room. I was in a serious flare. I have been on the new med for five fucking days. I have no idea if CRPS doesn’t care if you take meds or not. I posted the question in my support group. I am still waiting for an answer or support. I had to take the med when I finally got to my room. It was two hours early but I didn’t care. After I made dinner with a boot on, my ankle still flared again. I took the breakthrough med. It is going to be a long night and I have been up for 15 hours so far. I cried in pain while I was in the kitchen. My mother was oblivious.

I don’t know what to do to make this pain go the fuck away. I thought the new meds would work and they did for a bit. Until I walked that handicap ramp, which I will never fucking do again. I wish I could say the same of the stupid stairs but I live in a two floor house so that isn’t possible. Even wearing the boot didn’t help. More than a few weeks till my date. I wasn’t going to go through with it. But I change my mind. I could still change it, again. I haven’t told anyone about this because people keep saying they need me and that makes me feel guilty. Someone also reminded me of the ripple effect and I told her to stop talking to me. I don’t want to hear it. I just want to be left alone in my misery that no one understands. I am so done with explaining about how suicidal I am and not getting any understanding about it. Not that I want support for it. That would be ridiculous. But to know at least where I am coming from rather than have supposed opinions. I just have become callous to anyone that thinks they know me.

I did ask my psychiatrist if she thought I was “treatable”. She said yes. But that is all she said without any elaboration. I am in too much pain, both mentally and physically, to tell her what I am thinking. I am also afraid of telling her what I am thinking for fear of another hospitalization. I won’t go this time, not unless I make an attempt. That is the only way I will go back. I just hope to be successful. Things will be really bad if I don’t succeed. I am scared though. I’ve never tried this method before. And if I don’t get it right on the first try, I am kind of screwed. I am just messed up.

Anxiety, pain, and PTSD. What a mix

I am having moving pain, going up half way my leg and back down to the bones in my foot. I’m kind of freaking out because my nerve injury started that way. It is setting off PTSD for me. Have had nightmares all night so not sleeping well. Took some ativan, neurontin and fiber because my bowels are stuck again. I am fearful of what is going to happen when I change my meds. PT said take the laxatives before dose. Great. Also if pain doc for some reason doesn’t prescribe me my meds, I am screwed. I need a refill of meds this week and don’t see him till late Friday afternoon. Emailed my pcp this concern. I don’t want to be out of meds on a weekend. Just a little more anxiety this week.

I went to PT yesterday. She said I have one of two muscles pulled that affect the groin but not sure which one. The good news it is not coming from my back and I don’t have bursitis or arthritis in my hip. If I did, she would send me back to my doc.

It was good seeing her. She is still recovering from a little major surgery. A muscle in her thigh popped out. Yikes! Even while she was examining me, her leg started to fatigue. She had the surgery last month. I feel for her.

Because it was my groin, she started moving her hand feeling about and when she got to a certain point, I started to get uncomfortable because of my sexual abuse history. I felt uncomfortable telling her but she quickly stopped and I was grateful. That area has always made me tense, even with female doctors. I didn’t see my male pcp on this issue because I didn’t want him touching me there. I know they need to and they are professionals so aren’t going to hurt me but it still makes me uncomfortable and tense.

I didn’t write a blog yesterday because I couldn’t think of a title. That is usually the first order of business. Then I can write. I had stuff to talk about but without a title, I couldn’t write. I tried for 2 hours and then gave up.

Most of the night, I’ve been having nightmares. I don’t know why. I am not prone to them. Usually i just have weird or bad dreams but nothing that wakes me feeling scared and have to turn on the light to know it was a dream. Just felt like people we out to get me. I am sure the anxiety i am having this week hasn’t helped.

Not sure what I’ll be doing today. Probably sleeping but I’ve been up since 330 and despite taking my meds, I don’t feel tired 2 hours later. I had a fluffernutter. It is a sandwich made with peanut butter and Fluff, a marshmallow spread. It is a New England staple as Fluff was invented in a town nearby Boston. They recently celebrated the 100 year Anniversary of the patent being sold to a factory in Lynn, which is north of Boston.

My ankle bone is being hammered like it was when I woke up two hours ago. Guess I’ll have to add the strong pain pill to the mix. I hate bone pain more than any other CRPS pain.