the hubbub

The hubbub


Not sure if anyone of you remember the TV show (US) ER. The actor that played Dr. Green, Anthony Edwards is one of my favorite actors. When he left the show, I kind of stopped watching it because the story lines stunk. Anyways, today he wrote an article on about his sexual abuse by a pedophile. He wasn’t the only boy affected by this. His best friend was raped by the guy. He wrote about how pedophiles prey on their victims and often use the word “love” as a way of controlling the victims and their emotions.
It hit a deep nerve, something I have never talked about on here before. I was molested by a family member. Other family members knew this one did this. They warned me about them but they seemed like a nice person so I didn’t heed the warning. Even after they were jailed, I was blamed for the abuse because I was warned and that I should have known better. I was 12 when it started and didn’t end till I was 14, when the advances were more advanced (for lack of a better word). They were 12 years older than me. One day we were on their couch, and somehow we ended up on the floor. They pinned me down and I couldn’t break free. Their genitals were over mine. The only way for me to be free was by saying I loved this person and had to kiss them multiple times and to say it over again. I was really scared because they were at least 250 or more pounds and I was a mere 125. When I was free, we just sat on the couch but they sat close to me and they put their arm around me so it would touch my breast. I kept moving their hand but it didn’t matter.

Another time, we were in their pool and the pool’s ladder had injured their genitals but being a pre-pubescent kid, I didn’t know that. I just knew their groin hurt. After the pool, it was the same deal. They would lock their front door as we “watched” TV, careful to put the chain lock on so there wouldn’t be any interruptions. This time, I was messaging the area. I don’t know how they got me to do it but I did. Turns out after a little while I was messaging their privates while they were in their underwear. My hand was not on the underwear part. I refused to see what I was doing as it felt wrong. When I stopped the message, they continued and when I looked over at them, their privates were out in plain view. This asshole then asked me if I wanted that kind of message on me. I said no but had a few breast strokes and kisses, not intimate. I felt sick once I realized what I had done.

Years later when I accused this person of abuse, they denied it and even their partner denied it because they would have seen the “signs”. Yea, right. It all boiled down that the perpetrator loved me and that was why they did what they did, out of love. I was so sick by this. My mother blamed me because I went to the pedophile’s house a lot of the time. I couldn’t help it. It was better than my home life where I had an abusive father, though I would much rather have my father’s abuse over the pedophile’s. I am glad my father was never told what this pedophile did or they might not be alive today or worse, my father might have said that I deserved it in his narcissistic mind because the pedophile wronged him by “destroying his family”. My father would always blame someone else for his wrongdoings. But that is another issue for another day.

With all the sexual abuse accusations coming at high standing men, whether in politics or Hollywood, it has me triggered into remembering my abuse by the various people that abused me. It wasn’t only the pedophile. I don’t feel free to say who the other family member was, I probably will in therapy but not on this media. I was also raped and abused by an ex-girlfriend. Since then, I have not had a relationship, mostly because of my nerve injury but also because I am afraid of flashbacks.

Lots to talk to my therapist on Monday. I know a lot of women and men are coming out with their story of abuse, which they should. It’s important because it gives others the chance to come forward as well. I am not saying it is easy because when I told one of my therapists about an abuser, that abuser slapped me when I was near them as it was a “false” accusation. I have kept quiet about this for a long time and it’s being stirred up. Abusers don’t like confrontation or being exposed. They will deny it to their dying breath. There is no remorse with them. My ex was kind of remorseful when I talked to her about it but she also played it off. We never became friends as it was impossible. I was hurt too much, though she did reach out a few times. She had more problems than I ever had. But Karma will get these bastards, one way or another. I firmly believe that.

My Thoughts on Zero Suicide as a Person with Lived Experience

My thoughts about Zero Suicide as a person with Lived Experience

There has been a lot of talk on Twitter about Zero Suicide and it’s mission to reduce the suicide rate to zero, because 1 is just too many. At first, I was appalled that clinicians think that is possible. I for one think that it is outrageous because there is always going to be someone who dies by suicide. Maybe not in their organization but outside their organization. But then I learned that it’s not an individual’s practice but an organization or health system that strives to achieve this goal. They have trainings and meeting with those in the suicidology world.

Something kept bugging me about this. I kept quiet because I didn’t want to anger those that are for it, though I think there are a few blogs that I wrote about it before I understood the mission. While talking to a friend that is a suicide loss survivor, the bells went off. She said that it goes against Shneidman’s questions, where do you hurt and how can I help?

I am a big supporter of Dr. David Jobes work with his framework called CAMS (Collaborating, Assessment, and Management of Suicidality). I don’t know if Dr. Jobes trains these Zero Suicide clinicians. And even if they are trained, I am not sure it will be used. Most clinicians have the attitude that their skills on suicide risk are good enough when it could be faulty. Worse, they go through the training yet don’t use what they are taught. That drives me up the wall. Why bother going to a training (unless it’s a mandatory thing) if you aren’t going to take away from it?

I really think CAMS is a tried and true framework to prevent suicide based on my experience of using it in my former therapy. I also used the Suicide Status Form. Unfortunately, my therapist did not want training in CAMS and we drifted apart, thus ending our relationship. We did, while we worked together, use the initial and tracking forms but unfortunately, we never got to the outcome form. She wasn’t committed enough to see it through and that kind of pissed me off. Every time I had a suicidal episode, she just wanted to know one question on the form, The one thing that would help me no longer feel suicidal. It is an open ended statement where the client fills in their thoughts on the matter. Unfortunately, I could never come up with a satisfactory answer as I really didn’t know the reason for my suicidality. I just wanted to die and that was that. I wrote a blog about CAMS if you would like more information about how it is formed and the use of the Suicide Status Form.

I went on the website for Zero Suicide but could not seem to find the specific training that they went through. From what I gathered on Twitter from their live tweets, some of it is CAMS and some of it is using risk factors for suicide. Unfortunately, risk factors alone are not predictive of a suicide attempt. CBT has been useful in reducing suicide attempts but not all clinicians are trained in this modality. The book by Craig Bryan on CBT for preventing suicide attempts is a good book to learn more about it. I also wrote a review on the book that you can see here.
The other thing that gets me is that no where among Zero Suicide is there talk of a person’s psychological pain. There are measures, if you look for it. Dr. Holden at Queen University in Canada has created a scale to measure what Dr. Shneidman calls psychache. See my review on the research article for more information. I think it is a good psychometric to gauge a person’s level of suicidality and pain, which ultimately leads to thoughts of suicide. This must be included in any talk of preventing or intervention of suicide and also postvention, should a suicide attempt occur.

My final thoughts of Zero Suicide is that it is a novel idea but as Dr. Shneidman says, “How many suicides do you want, and I say I don’t want any, but I want there to be the freedom to do it. I study suicide but I am not pro-suicide. I’m for suicide prevention.” I share his sentiments. I do not like the talk of “suicide is not an option”. To me, that is hindering free will. I do hope the rate of suicides goes down, but the way that health care and mental health are going, I think there will be more before it lowers, especially among the chronic pain patient population.

Eclipse 2017

Eclipse 2017

My sister was in the path of the eclipse as she was down in South Carolina. She got really cool photos, which were similar to those on Facebook and Twitter. I was in Starbucks and didn’t care much for it as there was overcast. I saw some guy in the foyer outside with the special glasses and did see things go dark for a little bit and then bright again. I stayed where I was inside the store.

I wrote in my journal as I was having my espresso. I didn’t leave as late as I wanted to as I got up around noon time. I caught the 1300 bus, which had some kind of idling or brake problem as it was making awful noises at each stop or red light. I had bumped into a family member while waiting for the bus. They are still contemplating therapy but is scared of being put in the hospital for “being crazy”. As much as I have tried to reassure this person that will not happen unless they are a threat to themselves or others, I still am not getting through. It hurts me so bad to see them suffering so much.

After I couldn’t write anymore in my journal and saw the loads of pics of the eclipse on Facebook and those my sister sent me, it was time to catch the train to see my therapist. He didn’t pick his nails as much today and was attentive to what I was saying. It kind of freaked me out a little because I was getting used to him being silent all the time. In the beginning of session, I had to hold back laughter as he was wearing cranberry pants. It looked totally ridiculous but whatever. Who am I to judge?

My ankle was getting sore on the way home. I caught the first train that came to the station and luckily, the bus had just pulled up. I didn’t have to wait for the 1730 one. I was looking forward to chicken cutlets but when I came home, I smelled stir fry. I was totally disappointed. I was a sweating mess and had to change. I made a dish and had supper. Then I took a much needed shower. I had wet myself and needed new underwear. I drank a lot of water when I came home as I was really thirsty and didn’t feel like making iced tea like I usually do. I’ll probably have to use the bathroom soon as water just goes right through me for some reason.

After the shower, my ankle was cramping on me while I was drying off. I was due my next dose of pain meds so I took them when I came to my room. Now an hour later, my ankle bone is being tortured. I fucking hate this shit. I need to be up in 12 hours, I’ll be lucky to get to sleep tonight. I’m glad I took a shower so I don’t need to in the morning as I have a feeling it is going to be rushed. I need to catch the bus in the opposite direction I usually take as I got to go to another train station to see my neurologist. It’s an appointment that I need to go to only for her to email my docs about her diagnosis of CRPS. I want her to do it in triplicate for my PCP so I don’t have to go to anymore new docs. I am just seeing the specialist and hopefully he won’t recommend me seeing anyone else because I’ve had it with the profession, except for my psychiatrist of course. I took a strong pain pill. Lord only knows when I will have a bowel movement. I thought it was going to be today but nothing so far. I really hope I don’t get hit tomorrow while I am out and about. I am about an hour and half away from home, 45 mins of which I am on a train the whole time. Just makes me nervous because my bowels can be unpredictable at times and when I need to go, I need to go NOW, there is no holding it in because of my nerve injury. I haven’t taken stuff to go because I am out and about. It is going to suck so bad when I do go. I am not looking forward to it.

in the pit of despair

In the pit of despair

I have been in severe pain since 1500, so basically the last 12 hours because it is now 0315. My foot and ankle have been playing the divide and conquer game, giving me different pain in different parts of my ankle and foot, all at once. I don’t like this game at all. I can’t keep up with the pain and I don’t know what medicine to use to alleviate it. It is very frustrating.

My jaw/face was swollen so I put ice on it. It brought down some of the swelling. It is still giving me a hard time though when I eat as it feels like food is stuck there but it’s not. It’s just inflamed gums. It is so annoying. Tomorrow I go back to using the yucky rinse that causes my tongue to tingle. Fun stuff. The dentist wanted me to use the toothpaste that he gave me but I told him that it hurts to brush just once, let alone twice. He said not to use it on the hurt area. I was like, that area is where you WANT me to use it, which is why you prescribed it to me, ya Schmuck. I am not using the special toothpaste until my mouth is healed. My mouth, my choice.

I am trying not to get depressed but that is easier said than done. I feel my heart imploding and there is nothing I can do about it. It hurts and no amount of pain meds can take it away, as if it were that easy. Matters of the heart are never solved by medication. What it is solved by remains a mystery. The internal hurt that never goes away.

I was thinking of my father today. I have been flooded with memories of how he treated me, not all good. For some reason, while trying to organize the pics on my phone, his pics from when I got them loaded on my phone, including the one of him in his casket, are first in the order rather than the most recent ones that I have taken. I never thought I would forgive my father for his wrongdoings because he would never admit that he did something wrong. We were the ones that “made him” do the things to hurt us. As time is going by, and he is no longer here, I am finding a sense of peace from him knowing he can’t hurt me anymore. No more calls, no more threats, no more vengeance to the people he hated. Most people would say that my father is in heaven but I know better. He is either in Hell or purgatory. He never apologized for his sins before he died and he never would because “he did no wrong”. Asshole. But the bastard is on my mind these past few days. I got to put the pics of him in some kind of folder so I don’t come across them so frequently or it is going to drive me mad, well, madder than I already am.

I joined a suicide attempt survivor group on Facebook and a depression support group. Both are very busy and take up a lot of my feed. I’m not sure if I am going to stay in the depression group. People there are really rock bottom depressed and it doesn’t make me feel hopeful that things will be better. The other group, I am not sure about either. There is a lot of talk about suicide and suicide attempts though the rules state you can’t be talking about it. I have posted my story and someone there thinks I have season affective disorder because for three months I am depressed and suicidal. Being suicidal is not part of the SAD criteria. I have no other symptoms of being depressed other than being in despair and wanting to end my life, and of course, psychache. Those three symptoms are no where near the SAD criteria so I do not have SAD. It is part of the bipolar cycle. Most people with bipolar disorder will have this downfall about now through the fall. Studies have confirmed it. I think it is in the book Night falls fast or maybe touched with fire both by Kay Redfield Jamison. I am always good at remembering shit like this but not the source. It is my downfall.

Even though I feel despair, I really just feel nothing. I am numb. My heart is so heavy I can’t feel anything. I just want to be done with this. Being in pain sucks every day. One of the groups thought being in physical pain would be better than psychache. I said I thought the same until I had chronic pain and now it just makes me want to end my life all the more. I wonder what keeps me here, from not acting on my feelings and thoughts of suicide. They are frequent but more tolerable. Sometimes it is a passing thought, but tonight it is on my mind a lot. I haven’t picked a date or anything. I haven’t done that in months. In some ways, I think not seeing my ex-therapist has helped me be calmer about my suicidality rather than keep it heightened.

My psychiatrist has been trying to get me into a pain support group for months now and every time we get in touch with the coordinator, we are met with red tape. I really don’t care for this group. It can go to hell. But my psych really wants me to go to it. She thinks it can help me. I rather just not exist anymore. I mean, what is the point? I stay in my room most days and only go out when I have an appointment or feel like getting an espresso. Some days when I don’t leave the house, I don’t even make coffee. It has been having the opposite effect on me lately, making me tired rather than awake. I sleep. I have no friends outside of social media to talk to or hang out with. I am alone. I kind of like it but being in severe pain lately has really spun me around. I have been thinking of the plan that I came up with while in the hospital. I am just too cowardly to do it, I think. I just want to be gone. Away, permanently. Why is that so hard to understand??

Therapist’s choice or fear?

Therapist’s choice or fear?

My therapist of sixteen years had decided sometime while on our three week break that she couldn’t work with me anymore for what reasons are still not quite clear. We had been arguing over various things the last several months, including my suicidality and it was becoming apparent that she refused to seek the given evidence based practices I was telling her about to deal with my suicidality. I was becoming more and more frustrated and wrote a blog about it that “opened her eyes”. Our engagement ended in February of this year. I was gutted. I had no choice but to end things with her if she had no idea how to work with me any more. So the hunt for a new therapist began, once I could manage it.

It is very difficult to find someone willing to work with a high risk suicidal patient, such as myself. When my therapist moved to her office thirty miles away and I had no means of getting there, I called ten therapists in a five mile radius of my house. I kept getting the run around. I couldn’t be seen by them because I was high risk and so they referred me to someone else. That someone else then referred me to someone else. I became distraught and just stayed with my therapist event though it meant more phone sessions and text messages.

Now I had the same problem, except I had no back up. There was no one. I had asked some therapist friends on Twitter in my area if they knew anyone seeking new clients. One responded and gave me a name. That therapist never returned my calls. After three weeks (one call a week), I gave up and moved to therapist number two. Same deal. It took me until April to find someone that a) took my insurance and b) wasn’t afraid of suicide. I’ve been seeing this guy for about three months now and it is getting obvious to me that we just aren’t clicking. You need a certain chemistry to work with someone is this guy is lacking. I thought I could work with him but he is my back up right now. I am looking for someone else.

The day that I had my first meeting with him back in April, two therapists returned my phone calls. One had taken three weeks to call me back so I was not in a rush to call her back even though her qualifications seemed like it would match what I was looking for. The other organization I didn’t know too much about but knew they offered CBT, a therapy modality known to work with some people but didn’t for me. I kindly told them I was not looking at this time but if that changed (I hadn’t met the guy yet so it could be possible not to work out), I’d be in touch.

So when I was hospitalized a few weeks ago and my current therapist told the social worker that I was there because of “family conflict” instead of a psychotic episode that happened that weekend, I got pissed off and realized I wasn’t going to waste 16 years with this guy to know it was wrong. I called the other therapist and she never called me back. Then I got in touch with the organization. I had a phone interview with them last week. He first went over my insurance as he didn’t take one of them. OK, but he took the other so I was okay with that. Then we talked about clinical stuff. He asked when was the last time I was hospitalized and I truthfully told him a few weeks ago. He ended the conversation saying his group would be unable to help me as I needed “intensive outpatient” treatment after a hospitalization. He basically said I was “too sick” to work with one of his therapists.

I was floored this happens in 2017. I have been studying suicidology since 2007, reading countless articles about how clinicians, particularly psychiatrists, are more prone to have a suicide during their career than any other profession. Psychologists are second to that. Yet despite the advancements in evidence based practices (EBP), there is still the fear of losing someone to suicide. I can’t make that go away and if I ever become a therapist, I too will have that fear. But there are measures you can take to decrease that risk in the high risk client, if there is a willingness to work with one. That opportunity is lost if you slam the door like countless therapists have done to me. Suicide is inherent in any psychotherapy, regardless of risk factors. It can “appear out of the blue” or not noticed until an attempt is made or a death occurs. The suicide rate keeps climbing. And one of these days, I will become part of that yearly statistic.

I look for help and get denied because of my risk factors, which are history of previous attempts, history of abuse, history of hospitalizations, and history of self harm. These factors I deem “high risk” can also be viewed as severe mental illness or “being too sick”. It was the director of the organization’s choice not to take me on as a client. Pissed me off but his choice regardless. But was it also his fear that I would take on a certain liability because I was chronically suicidal and mentally ill? I will never know but my gut says fear altered his choice. I understand that therapist want to have the kind of practice where things go smoothly and stuff like suicide is dusted under the rug. Suicide is a dirty word. I get that. I have lived it since I was eight, when I first thought of ending my life. No one wants to touch it with a ten foot pole. But excluding these people from these practices, what the hell did you enter the field for?? I have to wonder.

The therapist I work with now doesn’t follow a lick of EBP. I still don’t know what kind of therapist he is. Frankly, he just lets me ramble for 45 mins then it’s see you next week. He has explained what he does but he has yet to actually do it, which is why I want to see someone else, if I can find that person. I live in the hub of academia where there are thousands of therapists. The biggest problem I come across, other than their fear of suicide, is not taking new clients. OK. I get it but can you refer me to someone who IS taking them? No answer or try Susie Q who isn’t within my area of accessibility.

Anyways, these are my thoughts on the matter. Getting screwed by those that are supposed to help mental health patients but don’t want to deal with mental health patients that fit a certain criteria. I think that sums it up nicely.