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pocono

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I'm going through one of those times in therapy that my therapist refers to as a "crunch time". Things get really hard for me and they get really hard for our relationship.

There is always a pattern to these times. We dig deeply into one of the traumatic things I've never talked about before. Emotions in me get deeply stirred up. I start to want, need, demand more from my therapist than he can reasonably give me. He works hard to help me contain the emotions and symptoms than ensue -- anxiety, dissociation, depression.....deep, deep depression.....and I get angry, even furious with him for what feels to me like distance -- aloofness, not caring.

Writing this is, at least, in part my attempt to reassure myself...also, in part, a request for reassurance.

What feels different, or perhaps more pronounced, this time is my awareness of the anger. In the past I've felt like I do now -- like I want to hurt myself (in any number of ways)......now I want to do that as revenge....to make him hurt, to get back at him for his indifference and boundaries. The hate in me is boiling up and hard to hold back.

Am I allowed to say this much on this forum? In general I am feeling out of control right now -- certainly of my emotions, if not my actions.....I feel like I am in trouble and need some help.
 
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Re: "crunch time"

I am so sorry you're hurting so much. Would it possibly help to write out the anger and hurt? You may have already tried that. Maybe just sit down and type it out free flowing.

My thoughts are with you.
 

braveheart

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Re: "crunch time"

..just letting you know that I can relate.

that anger can be a healthy thing. just take care how you express it.

I have a very angry and vengeful aspect to my personality, and through therapy I/we are learning to know her better, and 'tame' her so I feel safer.
 

pocono

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Thanks for the kind words folks. I've managed my anger pretty well over the years.....it is just kind of boiling over with my therapist at this crucial moment....which feels so counter-productive when I so desperately want his support. I feel like I'm organizing against myself somehow, which feels stupid to say the least.

Can anyone tell me why I am not getting email alerts anymore when someone replies to my posting? I used to get them, but it is not happening anymore.....
 

pocono

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What an awful day and session with my therapist. I just seemed to get more depressed as the session wore on. I could not actually decide, by the end of the session, if I felt like I could leave safely. I was worried about hurting myself on the way home.

My therapist offered the hospital as an option. I anguished about what to do....cried and stormed my way out of the office finally (after sitting in the waiting room while he was with another person).

I feel so alone, so angry, so confused. He is going to call tonight to see how I am. I just can't stand to feel this way; it really is intoralerable.
 

braveheart

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I've so been there. [without the hospital option, and my therapist would never check up on me. though I would occasionally email her.]

Would it help to talk about some of the traumatic memories here?

And, I'm going to recommend a book. Its "The body remembers" by Babette Rothschild. Its all about, basically, safe trauma therapy. In fact, reading anything about PTSD might help. Anger is part of the whole package. As it were.

The fact is, in therapy with anything PTSD related, it feels worse before it gets better. But, it does start to get better. Really it does.

The sense that you're going against yourself is also something I can relate to. I have an internalisation of my 'totalitarian' father and the bullies. I call it 'The Dictator'. Separating it out like that helped/s me to figure out what's going on in my head and why. I hate myself less.
 

David Baxter

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I'm going to recommend a book. Its "The body remembers" by Babette Rothschild. Its all about, basically, safe trauma therapy.

US:
Babette Rothschild - The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton, 2000).

Canada:
Babette Rothschild - The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton, 2000).

UK:
Babette Rothschild - The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (Norton, 2000).
 

pocono

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I ordered the book. Thanks for the recommendation and the link. I've tried to read as much as possible over the past few years to help me contextualize and understand what I'm going through. It does help. I do well with books that are more about trauma in general and therapy in general, rather than those that are specifically about sexual abuse......(clearly part of the trauma I endured). For whatever reason, those books make me kind of sick to my stomache. I can't stand the whole 'survivor genre'. I don't want to be a survivor.....I don't want to have been a victim. I want to be a full human being; I want a rich and rewarding life; I want to live. I've had that kind of drive in me from childhood....

But, of course, here in lies the problem. The clearer I get about the things that happened to me, the more sure I am of the narrative and the role I played, the more confused I get about the story I've always believed to be true about myself.

I've always accepted responsibility for the things that happened to me. They were my fault, or at least, I played a clear role in enabling them to happen. There were choices I made (bad ones, but at least mine) that led to terrible things happening to me.

This story at least has given me some agency, some control, some power. I can detest myself, but at least respect myself for having been an actor in my life from day 1. I've used this story to incredible advantage. I have built a wonderful marriage and family life (who would have thought that possible knowing my history....not anything I deserve or should have, certainly...but I do). I have a rich and meaningful career doing important and challenging public work. (Feel like a fraud, but manage, nonetheless to carry one). I am loved and admired by people I could never have imagined would love or care about me.

And then, almost without warning at all -- 2 1/2 years ago, it all came crashing down. I was sure I would lose it all, could lose it all. The memories were deadly, terrifying, too awful to be true. And I've struggled to put them in order, on a time line, in some perspective, and to understand my role inside each one and the all of them combined.

Last week (yes, only last week) I admitted out loud that the worst of what happened to me I did not want, did not asked for, can not be held responsible for. I supposed that should be a relief. But it isn't. It is devastating.

First of all I am so furious I can hardly contain myself. Secondly, who am I now? Who was I then? How do I get here, to my current life, if that was the reality then? My whole identify feels in question. How can I be me if I was her then?

I sort of get the depression, I think. This morning lying in bed awake and not wanting to get up, my mind had an image come to it. Me slamming on the car brakes before crashing into a tracktor trailor....me ejecting myself from the cockpit of an airplane before the plane crashes.....I can't integrate anymore right now. Stop. Danger. Get out.

I sort of get the loneliness and anger with my therapist too. The work we do together has built this connection, this sense of being in something together, of not being alone. The depression puts an end to the work. We can't really keep working things through when the job of the day becomes helping me get out of bed and go to work the next day, or not hurting myself. And then the connection disappears. We aren't connected anymore. I'm by myself....alone again. He is on the outside trying to help, but I've put up the walls and said 'I'm not home....go away'.

I've been reading through all the posts on this forum related to suicide most of the morning. A way to try to help myself, I suppose....to take some solace in other people's struggles, other peoples' support, etc. I hate myself for being in this space again....I really do.
 

pocono

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I feel worse again this morning. I went with my family to a birthday party yesterday and tried to distract myself with the kiddie chaos and small talk with relatives.

It didn't work. I had too much to drink, which brought the depression out in full relief. I tried to talk with my sister-in-law and tell her how bad things were. As it turns out, today she is going to box up her mother's apartment. Her father died two years ago, and her mom has just recently agreed to move, but for emotional reasons can't do the 'boxing up". Nothing has been thrown out of the father's yet....so a tough task, to be sure.

I listened sympathetically to this and then suddenly other's joined us in the room we were in and I lost my chance to talk. I was angry and frustrated, but also feel like that is kind of how it goes when I do muster the courage (not often) to try to share with someone how I am feeling.

My husband, I am quite sure, is sick of this depression. It leaves him with too much responsibility and not a lot of humor in is life.

My real brain knows that it is not true that nobody cares, but right now that is kind of how it feels. I was disappointed that no one responded to my post from yesterday afternoon. Did I say too much? Was I offensive in saying i don't like the whole "survivor genre"? Did I just not communicate clearly that I need some help? Oh, the anger is boiling up again.....I don't want that to deal with today....I really don't.
 
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pocono, you didn't write the wrong things, or not communicate well enough. i find that the activity on the forum decreases quite a bit on the weekends. usually a lull seems to start friday evening and lasts until monday morning. i usually have time to read but not always time to respond on the weekends.

i have not been in your shoes with regard to your traumas, so i do not know what it is like for you. the only thing i have experience with is depression and how terribly painful and difficult it is. i guess that was initially a reason why i didn't respond yesterday, because i cannot relate to all of what you are going through.

from what i understand it is quite a normal reaction for people who have suffered those kinds of traumas to blame themselves, because somehow blaming themselves in a way gives them control - if you it is your fault, then at least it was something within your control. if it's not your fault, then you lose control, something happened to you that you could do nothing about, and this is something that is very difficult to accept, it's frightening, because it could happen again, right? again i am not speaking from experience, this is just my understanding of it, and if i am way off, please do let me know. i know when i was depressed i felt like i had no control of my life anymore, and that led to hopelessness. not a good place to be.

i was thinking about the anger you feel towards your therapist about the emotional distance. i know it's been discussed here previously, but it's probably worth repeating. this distance is required for therapy to work. if your therapist didn't keep that distance, he would no longer be able to be objective, and he would lose his ability to guide you. you need someone who's able to stand 10 feet back to so what's happening. you're too close to the problems you're facing to be able to see clearly. let him do his job and don't fault him for it. let him be your guide. he does care, very much so, from what you have written about him. but for this therapy to work he can't get any closer than he is now. he knows it, and that is what makes him a good therapist.

i don't know if any of this is helping you with what you are feeling. the thing is, you've been through this before in therapy, to the point where you recognize what happens, and you know what to expect. you know you get angry, depressed, etc. you've gone through this before and you got through it. you can do it again. i know it's terribly difficult, and that depression just seems to erase any past accomplishments. but try, try to hang on to this thought. this will pass. you got through this before, and you can do it again. you are slowly making progress, even if it doesn't feel that way now. :hug:
 

sidony

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Hi pocono,

I wanted to respond but had no idea how to be helpful. :-( I have not suffered from depression or trauma myself though I feel sad for your pain. I think the best idea is to tell the therapist as many specifics as you can about how you feel. Family events are typically stressful too. I find making small talk to be particularly difficult if I'm mentally distracted. So no doubt that didn't help at all.

Just do the best you can and hang on. Don't beat yourself up about the times when it doesn't seem to be improving. Just concentrate on the present and what you can work on.

Sidony
 

pocono

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Thanks ladybug and Sidony for responding. I'm really having a tough day. I'm yet to get out of bed (it is 1:50 p.m.....I'm on my lap top.)

Pretty soon I need to make a decision about my responsibilities at work this week. If I'm not going to be able to function, I need to let someone know and make arrangements for things to move without me. Doing that may well be the most responsible course of action at this point, but it will only erode my self-esteem further. Of course, screwing up at work won't help matters either.

I'm not really trusting myself right now either. My short term decision making skills are not good -- evidenced by drinking too much last night, staying in bed today....not doing the 2 hours of work I usually do on Sun. morning to set myself up for a successful week at work, ignoring my kids, etc.....

I had a dream last night which was scary. I was on a tv show called "Special Victims Unit". Elliot and Olivia walked into a room to find I had been shot dead in the head. The next scene cuts to the autopsy room. They ask the woman doing the autopsy if it was murder or suicide. She says "neither"; she wasn't alive to begin with. What do you mean? ask Elliot and Olivia. "See for yourself", she says. I am cut open on the table and inside my torso is the remains of a young girl. The girl is decayed to the point of crumbling to dust when you touch her. "She has been dead a long time", points out the woman. Olivia asks "How did she come to have such an exquisit shell of a beautiful woman on top of a child's corpse?" "I don't know" says the woman, but your case load just got lighter. "This girl has been dead a long, long time and this woman, in my book, was never really alive."

Writing it out, I'm kind of amazed at how grim it is.
 

David Baxter

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I'm wondering about the imagery of a child that hasn't existed in a long time trapped inside an adult who never fully emerged into life.

I'm certainly not going to attempt to analyze or comment on the significance anyone's dreams in an online forum, but that struck me as potentially revealing. Perhaps this is something worth talking to your therapist about.
 
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Doing that may well be the most responsible course of action at this point, but it will only erode my self-esteem further. Of course, screwing up at work won't help matters either.
it will only erode your self-esteem if you let it. if you can look at it as doing the right thing, the responsible thing, rather than a failure on your part, you can maybe give yourself a small boost in the self-esteem department.
 

ThatLady

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If I were you, pocono, I'd call my therapist for an appointment right away. I think it's important that you discuss your feelings, the dream, and the difficulty you're having with activities of daily living with your therapist as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more the stress has the opportunity to grow, and the more depressed you may become. I hope you'll consider talking to your therapist as soon as you can. :hug:
 

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