Shitty cold day but no snow yet

I slept like every hour until I had to get up to send my niece off to school, starting at 3! I was so tired. My mother called me twice and I told her I was sleeping. Then she left the stupid kettle on and the noise woke me up. She went to the bathroom after she turned it on. Pisses me off when she does this because there usually is hardly any water in it. She doesn’t fill it like I do. So I was grumpy and she got mad. I made a burrito, just one as I was hungry and wanted to go back to sleep.

While I was sleeping my phone kept going off. The LGBT doc office called to remind me of my appt. I don’t know Why they have to call when they text and email me. Might be a settings thing. Then my mother called again to say dinner was ready. I wasn’t hungry, I wanted sleep dammit.

My ankle and foot have been going back and forth all day as to who is going to hurt me more. Snow hasn’t started yet. I wish it would. Maybe I would get some pain relief. I hope I will be able to go to the pharmacy to get my meds filled. Depends on how bad the snow is and if it is walkable. Some places have already called off school.

In my painsomnia state, I post a pic of my scars on IG. I have no idea why I did it. I might delete the pic. I had started self harm 27 yrs ago this month. I started when I was 15 and stopped around the age of 24, when I met my ex therapist. I was slowly stopping it before I saw her but the urges are tough to go away. I still have them but I cope better with them. It is not frequent. I sometimes think I traded self harm for being suicidal all the time.

I bought a new book called Helping the Suicidal person. I was supposed to start it last week but never did. I’d like to review it. We’ll see.

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.

25 years of mental illness: the beginning

25 years of Mental Illness

Twenty-five years ago, I started the world into therapy and madness. It was my aunt’s birthday. I stayed home because I didn’t want to go to the party. My father called me a liar and I lost it. I needed an escape so I started scraping myself with a pair of scissors, hoping to dig into a vein to end my life. The deeper the scrape was, the more it hurt. I barely exposed the adipose tissue but had scraped away most of the dermis. If I had continued, I probably would have reached the fatty layer. I didn’t plan ahead so I didn’t have a bandage to cover up my wound. It was burning as air hit it so I just covered it with my long sleeves. The next day, I went to school and carefully kept the wound concealed. I have no idea how I kept things together and just went on as if nothing had happened. The next night, my cousin had come over the house. He wasn’t supposed to be there. My father had banned talking to him because he lied to him, too. It was scary because I knew there was going to be a fight when my father came home for dinner.

And he came home. All was calm at first. Both men were civil towards one another and then my father’s explosive temper exploded. He wanted my cousin to leave. He refused. My father got really angry, threatening him. All I could think was that this is bad. Then my brilliant father thought of shooting my cousin with his rifle. I dissociated and was hearing bullets being fired. I felt like I was in a war zone but no gun had gone off. My father kept threatening my cousin and my cousin became indignant, refusing to leave. So my father got his gun. He loaded it and then threatened my cousin one last time. I snapped. I got between my father’s aim and my cousin and told my cousin to just fucking leave. I was so terrified that something bad was going to happen that night. My cousin threw me in my room so forcefully that I have a mark on my nose where I hit my heavy bureau and moved with it. He closed my bedroom door so forcefully, that I couldn’t open it. My mother then, I think, told my cousin to leave. He left. My father was still ape shit. Never had I seen him so mad before. My mother was in her bedroom and I think she may have had a hypoglycemic attack, I am not sure. I was in my room. I was fighting the voices who were going ape shit at me. They wanted me to talk to them, to ally with them. I couldn’t think straight. The voices wanted me to kill myself. The leader of the voices ordered me to kill myself. So I got out the pair of scissors from the night before and started over again until I felt no pain.

My father had taken the phone off the hook. My idiot cousin kept calling to see how we were doing. Asshole. He started the whole fiasco. How do you think it was doing?? I was so terrified that his brothers and my uncle were going to come to the house to kill my father it wasn’t funny. I barely slept that night. I was in pain, both physically from what I did to my wrist and mentally. I wanted to die so bad that night and prayed for death that never came. The voices were hounding me left and right. But I kept my mouth shut. Something told me that if I escaped to their world, I was never going to leave it. I had to stay in my century as bad it was. I lost faith in my father that night. He tried to kill a man for no reason except because he was defying him. He made no physical attack toward my father and my father didn’t do it either. But the damage was done that night. I had started cutting to save my life and I liked it. I was hearing voices on a continual basis, telling me what to do and no one knew this at all.

The next morning, it was just like the previous morning. Everything went on as if nothing happened. I got dressed for school, wore long sleeved sweatshirt, and left the house like I normally did. I got to the corner of the end of the street and lost it. I started crying. The events of the night before came flooding back. The voices were still trying to get me to talk. I was a bubbling idiot. The more I tried to control my tears, the more I cried. I don’t know how, but I finally got some composure and went for breakfast. Kids always copied my homework because I was the smart one in school. I gave it up and didn’t care if I got it back. I barely said two words for fear of crying again. I made it through my first period ok. But during homeroom, I lost it again. Someone asked me something and when I bubbled an answer, I lost control of the tears I was fighting back. My best friend noticed and asked what was wrong. I said nothing. My wrist was throbbing with pain. Thankfully because I wasn’t alone, the voices were just hiding out, just waiting to attack me when I was alone. I went to my second period and there my best friend told my teacher something was wrong with me. I wasn’t upset with her. I must have looked a mess from crying and keeping my emotions together. The teacher pulled me aside once she started a movie for the class. I thought I would be able to sleep with the movie going but she wanted to talk to me. I told her I was fine. Nothing was wrong. Then she rolled up my sleeves and I was caught. She said to wait for her after class. I felt like I was in trouble and I was never in trouble with a teacher before. I was always the nice one, the goody two shoes.

She took me to the nurse and they talked for a bit and then it was my turn. I think I told her I tried to kill myself last night, that I wanted to die. My father had a big fight. I didn’t tell them about the gun or my father trying to kill someone. I didn’t want the police involved. My father would kill me. My mother knew I had problems. When I was ten I told her I was going to kill myself but she didn’t believe me. Now, five years later, it took the word of the school nurse to believe me. We went to the county mental health center where I was evaluated. I was tired of going over my story again and again. I didn’t tell them about the voices and they didn’t ask. They just wanted to know if I was suicidal and I lied. Told them I was fine.

I kept in contact with the school nurse for the weeks following this traumatic night. Eventually, the nurse convinced me that I needed to see a school counselor and so I agreed to talk to her. I told her about my abuse, all of it. The sexual abuse at the hands of my cousin (same one that instigated my father) and my mother, the physical and emotional abuse of my father, and the neglect of my mother as well.

In my mind, I had killed my parents when I was 12 and had been an orphan since I was 10 when they died. It was the only way I could survive. I was tossed around between family members and no one wanted me because I was unloveable. Eventually, I started talking to the voices again. They didn’t want me to and were still telling me that I had to kill myself so that I could live with them, to start a new life. I never believed them. I must have had at least a half dozen voices in my head and most of the time they were all talking together, among themselves, about what to do with me. They knew I had to die. I knew I had to die. And so my path to the world of psych began and still continues to this day.

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.