Friday, October 12, 2012

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – Slow and Steady

I was so exhausted, and so worn down yesterday. It probably didn’t help that my dinner was a handful of goldfish crackers and a bottle of wine. Bleh.

I had an appointment with Psychiatrist and Therapist yesterday. Double the mental health day! I got to my appointment with Psychiatrist on time, as usual, but had to wait almost 50 minutes before I was seen. I was falling asleep in the waiting room.  At the end of our session he made a remark about it being okay to be a few minutes late. Excuse me? I was there on time. I’m compulsive about being on time. Anyways. Pristiq Rx is holding steady. I’ve been really good about taking my meds and I still have an extra 5 pills in my bottle when I should be out, which means I’ve missed a couple days even though I’ve been extra vigilant and I don’t even know how this happened. ::sigh::. Last time I saw Psychiatrist he prescribed me Tenex for my heightened anxiety. Except it’s specifically designed for ADHD (which I don’t have) and lowering blood pressure. I already have very low end of normal blood pressure, so it was making me light headed all the time. No to that. So this time he prescribed me: 

25 mg. of Vistaril (Hydroxyzine/Atarax/ Atazine) to be taken as needed.

Psychiatrist is very against prescribing Benzos. They’re addictive, I get it. Being addicted to Benzos also deteriorates your brain, which I can’t have. But whatever: Hydroxyzine is used to relieve the itching caused by allergies and to control the nausea and vomiting caused by various conditions, including motion sickness. It is also used for anxiety and to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

So we’ll give this a chance and see how it goes.

Next, straight to Therapist.

Again, not a super eventful session, but I think that’s kind of good.

We talked about Tech Boy a bit. I’ve been missing him. But in smaller ways that I think are actually pretty normal. We were together for a year and it does feel weird to not have him around. But at the same time, I’m not devastated at his absence. And that is a change. A big change.

It kind of affirms that while I had all of these reasons that I KNOW we weren’t right together, the fact that I’m not devastatingly heartbroken and overwrought with doubt at my decision, affirms that I made a decision that was right for me.

I was getting angry at Therapist a lot. She does think I ended things too soon. She’s done a lot of couples therapy and counseling, and there’s a very standard sort of relationship evolution.

Year 1: First 6 months are that honeymoon lovey times. Second 6 months are when the little problems start to crop up but people don’t really want to talk about them and problems start to build up. More importantly it’s the crucial time when trust, opening up, and sharing should solidify.

Year 2: Is when couples really learn to face those challenges and learn to develop the skills they need to communicate effectively. And fall into that comfort zone.

Therapist said that once people fall into that nice comfort zone they think that’s where the work ends. But they’d be wrong.

Year 3: Is about pushing out of that comfort zone. Digging deeper into the problems you experience as a couple, not settling into the comfort which makes people avoid bigger issues, and in digging deeper moving forward together as a more complete unit.

Tech Boy and I, while we were together for a year, didn’t even really get past that Year 1 ability to really open up and trust each other. There were moments where the sharing and emotional connection were apparent, but there wasn’t enough dedication to make that work. He would start to gain my trust and form a connection a with me, and then something big would happen and that would crash. Over and over. Until the last time and I just couldn’t get comfortable again. With him, he still clearly has trouble expressing himself, opening up. Therapist doesn’t really want to analyze him because she’s never met him, but she thinks there’s still a lot of connection problems from his parents getting divorced so early and not having him in the picture. So he never really learned to connect in a loving way without that threat of inevitable loss. I recognize that.

Therapist wishes we had spent more time together, really working on things, getting into that Year 2 of relationship development. This is where I was getting frustrated and I think Therapist loses her ability to be realistic with me. The last major incident I had with Tech Boy, something broke with me and our connection. I was never able to reform that connection, in large part to the fact that he was never around. Working on his truck was more of a priority for him than spending time with me. Also, anytime I mentioned that I something was going on and we should talk about it, he flat out said he preferred to avoid.

He also tried to defend his decision to “let me settle in on my own” at the new place as a way of displaying a functional interdependence. He wants to be with me, but doesn’t need to be codependent. Is comfortable enough with us that he’s okay giving me space. …. Space I didn’t ask for, and in fact, told him was making it harder for me to hold a connection with him. The way she presented it sounds lovely. Except it’s not what his motivation really was. He told me that me being stressed out, was stressing him out, so he figured he’d give me time to settle in, so we could just get back to the fun stuff. In that time he worked on his own projects, got his stress levels back to their usual non-existent level, and said he’d prefer to keep them that way, so he it was fine for me to take the time I needed to get myself in order.

This was after that “epiphany” where he stated he should try less to fix things, and just be more supportive instead.

And by the way: his epiphany of not trying to fix everything translated to: avoiding situations when I might not want to have sex. Thanks for that.

All I took from that was that he said one thing, but would rather act in the opposite way. Avoidance.

Therapist wanted to see us get to that Year 2 stage where we can really work on our issues, but I couldn’t even get him to talk about little things. Yeah, I’ve been stressed out, but it hasn’t even been panic inducing, can’t pick myself up off the floor stress. It’s been standard life stress. And I’ve still been functional, still going out with friends, still making an effort to focus on other people.

How do you get to a stage of opening up and trust with someone you don’t see? And won’t talk to you?

Therapist reminded me that different people have difference communication styles. I know. I am very much a communicator. I write, I talk, I discuss. In case you haven’t noticed, at any point in these last 540 blog posts or so, haha. His is obviously very different. He’s not comfortable talking about his feelings. No surprise, most men aren’t. Hell, it wasn’t until this last year or two that I was really able to start attaching to my feelings enough to express them in a way that actually made sense. I get it. He’s more expressive in other ways. He communicates more physically I guess, like he’s not very affectionate in public, but when it’s just us he’s super cuddly, which is adorable. I do notice that. But it’s not a whole lot of comfort when the only affirmation I get is when we’re together alone, but I don’t actually see him. So, I don’t know what to do.

Regardless, it was making me angry that she kept telling me she wished I’d given it more time because people grow as they get older, and letting the relationship grow over a few years would really let you know.

?!#$%@?!?!?!asdf?!?!#@#?!?!??!&!!!!! < ------- Not a typo.

 I agree with everything she said…. For the right person. I liked Tech Boy. He’s nice. Just because we were dating doesn’t mean we were right for each other in the long run. Especially if he had no real inclination to figure things out. He liked me, but it’s kind of obvious to me that he couldn’t have been that into me either. < ---- Okay, this is what Therapist calls me internalizing perceptions that may not technically be true. Projecting my own fears where they might not be real. Maybe? Or is it just being perceptive? It doesn’t matter.

By the same note, I’m not really overly distraught. I miss him a little, but not overly so. I don’t feel like I’m grieving at ton. I’m not sure if this is good or bad.

I’m still hanging out with my friends. Not holing up. Planning parties. Excited about our Halloween party. Working on what I actually need to do for Samhain. Excited about Comic-con.

Meh. Idk. At the same time I’m just kind of down.

Therapist says seem much more grounded. More grounded than she’s ever seen me.

It’s a really weird feeling. I don’t feel completely balanced. That’s no surprise. But I do feel pretty steady.
I do feel like I’m waiting for something though. I’m not sure what. This whole feeling steady, is oddly disconcerting. How strange. I’m used to having something about to fall apart. Waiting for something to come crashing down. But right now there’s nothing in my life posed to do that. Work is going really well. I have very solid, caring friendships. I’m in a beautiful condo. It’s just weird.

I don’t know how to handle my life not having some kind of strange turbulence. I feel like I’m stagnating a bit, because everything is normal?

Oh the lesser known tribulations of healing from a personality disorder… not knowing how to acclimate to life without your head filled with a bunch of crazy. It’s like learning a foreign language after being dropped into a country that doesn’t use that language, or your own. ::headdesk::

Really though, everything is pretty stable, and I’m just kind of being successful. Like a grown up. Ugh. =P


  1. Why does all of the text after "Next, straight to Therapist" have a white background?

    1. Because Blogger hates me. I'll fix it. Thanks for letting me know.

    2. I thought it was some form of spoiler tag.

      Like "FAMILY DON'T READ" or "REALLY PERSONAL RAMBLINGS" or some kind of "TRIGGER WARNING" thing. None of them really made sense. Good to know it wasn't. :p

    3. Hahaha, "REally personal ramblings", how much more personal can I get after I've talked about rape, suicide, self-harm, and every other minute detail of my life hahahaha.

      I think the real shocker would be if I started spouting love poems or something =)

  2. Wow, I just wandered onto here yesterday and have since devoured a bunch of immensely identifiable posts. This one resonates a lot, particularly the section on stability being uncomfortable and scary. This year I've crawled my way to a relatively crisis-free place in my life while receiving the most effective mental health care I've ever had. So naturally, I'm starting to feel like it's all slipping away again (because I'm too incompetent to keep moving forward, of course).

    Thanks for expressing and working through so many complicated issues in a way that's both illuminating and comforting. Especially now that I'm frozen in terror and can't even text the new friends who made me feel so much better about myself. Feels like a good time to have found your blog.

  3. Hi Haven,

    I ran into your blog today and it is really encouraging I would love your recommendation on how I can get my girlfriend to see a therapist. We've been dating about 1.5 years - she is unbelievably gorgeous and intelligent, and I really think she has an opportunity to enhance the rest of her life given that she is so young (27 yo). I began noticing the push/pull cycle and emotional volatility after about 7-8 months. At first, I thought it was her stressful work environment leaking into our relationship. Over time, I got clues that it may be more than work hampering her feelings. She has said things such as "I feel worthless," "you could do better," and would openly admit to forgetting about people if they weren't physically around. I talked to a psychologist after one of her push cycles this morning and she believes it is BPD. I was really fortunate to have supportive parents so I'm pretty relaxed and always try to understand her context and not take any rage personally. We are in a good state right now, but I know that something could change her attitude in a split second. That said, I am really hopeful about DBT techniques and the amazing long-term recovery rate for BPD. Do you have any suggestions for how I should suggest treatment or get her to a therapist? She has admitted to feeling symptoms of depression and when I suggested we find someone to talk to about it she seemed a little offended. Granted, depression alone doesn't hit the gamut of symptoms she has. Should I ask her if she thinks she may have BPD (perhaps send her wiki article and a link from one of your blog posts?) and tell her that there is a really good recovery rate without relapse (86% over 6 yrs)? If she gets upset at me and doesn't want to see me should I email her with resources?

    It's difficult because she is fairly high functioning (massive revenue responsibility for a fashion company, degree from a top school) but her tumultuous relationships have left her without many close friends. I appreciate the blog and your support! Keep up the awesome work.


  4. Hi Haven, Ive been gone a while and missed you, so Ive been catching up on everything I have not seen. I am a little annoyed at Therapist for this. I personally did not see him working for you with the information I had from the beginning, as I have noticed others in here did too. Now that you feel that way also and since you are the one in the relationship I wish she had been more supportive of the break-up. Geez I hope im not going to read ahead and find you are back together. oh well we work with the information we have right? oh and by the way I cannot wait for your book. The work you do here is amazing.


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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