Friday, July 12, 2013

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy: Stories and Stalking

I’m Back! My computer in up and running again. I have a new hard drive and operating system. I have a temporary but passable video card. I’m sourcing my next super high end vid card (I know which one I want, just need to afford it. Yes, I build my computers and it’s cheaper to just buy the bits I need then buy a whole new computer. I’m a gamer, I don’t use stock computers with crud vid cards.) I’m so sorry for my absence! In all truth I’ve been so burnt out with work and life I’ve really needed the break, but I’ve been thinking about you and it has made me quite anxious to be away from blogging for so long!  Especially after this week. So let’s get to it.

  

My life was going along so well, really well actually. I’ve been happy, and relatively calm. Surrounded by good friends. Remaining relatively stable in my brain spaces. Stressed from all my work pressure but balancing it with constructive outlets. I’ve been painting again. Painting like a mad woman really. I’ve created some really beautiful pieces. Shutting myself away from the world a bit actually. It’s been worth it.
I’ve been spending my social time with my usual close group of friends on the weekends: xRoommate, her Fiancé, K, Twiggy, Munroe, Doc, and a couple other friends. All very positive loving influences. K and Twiggy took me out to the Hamptons the other weekend and taught me how to ride a horse! I’ve never done that before. I was soooo nervous to spend the day with them; just us. I had stress dreams all night about waking up late and missing them when they came to pick me up.  So we made the VERY long drive out to the Hamptons where they have their horse (and the horse they train and give lessons). I had /such/ and amazing day. What amazingly beautiful, gorgeous, loving creatures. And the personalities! They taught me to ride English and Western styles. I also made sure to bring my camera so I could take lots of pictures for them. It was a really great day.

Then another friend of ours had a Luau the next day so we met up with xRoommate and her Fiancé and a bunch of our other friends for another great day of hanging out and having fun.

I’ve begun to notice a pattern though when it comes to drinking. Over the course of 7 hours at the party I had two glasses of wine and two elderflower beers. Only 4 drinks in 7 hours. Not much you might think, but the next day when I woke up I felt very wonky and my mind would not stop ruminating and going every single thing I said that could have been misconstrued or taken wrong, taken as badly, taken as inappropriate… and it made me feel very bad, very embarrassed, like I did things that were very wrong. I was feeling very bad about myself by the time I was able to pull myself out of bed. I didn’t want to be alone and miss hanging out with people, especially since K and Twiggy are moving soon and I want to see them as much as possible before they leave, but I was so embarrassed that maybe I might have done something wrong that I didn’t want anyone to see me.

So the pattern I’ve been noticing: Any more than 2 drinks really effects me mentally in a bad way. Very often I drink to help ease my anxiety, especially in social situations, but this often has the opposite effect in the longer run and makes things much, much worse for me. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that this is very common for people with BPD. I really need to be more conscious of this and stop myself, but it’s so hard especially in a party setting.



Fortunately, Twiggy responded to my wonkiness with a suggestion of sushi and they came over to keep me company while I painted and we watched Firefly and had sushi goodness (veggie sushi for me because I’m vegetarian). It turned out to be a perfectly mellow evening. I was even able to express to her about my wonky brain concerns and she was able to relate to my anxiety and told me that I didn’t seem out of character at all and didn’t do anything that was even a little odd so I didn’t need to worry. Big relief. I’m going to miss them so much. (more on this in a bit)




So the bit that has me all bothered.

I was at a store with Doc (he was off returning something so not actually with me at the time) when all of a sudden I hear "Wow!" startled I look around, quickly followed by a "sorry I didn't mean to say that out loud." I sort of laughed it off because I don't mind a well-intentioned non-demeaning compliment. A minute or two later he passes by again, "Just Wow, wow wow." Okay, obnoxious. He proceeds to follow me around the store and this continues about 4 more times.... until he apparently gathers the nerve to approach me and strike up a conversation about 'what I'm buying (rainbow napkins and wall stickies <~~~ thrilling, I know), my tattoos, my piercings, blah blah blah as I give short clipped stand offish answers... while continuing to walk away and move along with my shopping, but he just continues to follow me and goes on and on and on with the Wow, gorgeous, Wow, beautiful, EGADS,

"I'm sorry is this making you uncomfortable?"

"Yes I'm not used to that it's really weird."

"Really I can't imagine that."

"I'm just a nerdy engineer."

And on and on and on and on... Seriously he wouldn’t stop... until he honestly wraps this up with, "Can I touch you?" I was actually stunned into silence as he slow motion poked me in the arm. Fortunately at that point my phone rang. It was Doc trying to find me ready to leave - he asked me if I'm ready to go or if I need help with anything. I respond, "Yes, and Yes." He was a bit flumoxed at first, but then I said yes again and directed him to where I was. Hung up the phone. Told this creepy 40yr old bleach blond 90's burn out band guy that I had to take my friend to make his train and bolted. By the way, the entire time he was holding a bat. I have no idea what the bat was for. I didn’t ask. 

Seriously. How is this acceptable? Short of yelling GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME? Which admittedly I probably should have done but I was paralyzed by awkwardness and social anxiety, what makes people think this is okay? I was so flustered and thrown off from the whole encounter. I’m not sure what’s happened to me. 5 years ago I would have told him off and bitched him out. I completely retreated inwards. Therapist thinks I was smart to not get too confrontational because who knows what he would have done holding that bat. I’ve been angry at myself for not yelling at him and being so semi-passive. I mean I told him I was uncomfortable, everything about my body language was close off and turned away, and I kept trying to walk away and eventually I made an excuse and got out of there but still. I don’t know. This guys was violating my boundaries and somehow I’m disappointed in myself. How screwed up is that? ::sigh::


The whole thing has made we so anxious I’ve felt physically ill. I went into work the next day and a the top of one of my tattoos was poking out of my shirt. One of the workers on site asked if he could see it. I got overly defensive telling him no and backed away quickly. (It would have required pulling the back of my shirt all the way down, ew no). He asked why and I simply told him it was inappropriate at work which he seemed to accept. I couldn’t get my mind to refocus after that. I was ruminating endlessly and I felt physically ill with anxiety. I ended up taking half a day and going home at lunch. I got straight in my pajamas, snuggled with my cats, and set straight to painting until it was time to go to bed; about 9 hours.

Painting seriously helps me calm my anxiety and my mind. It helps push out the bad thoughts for a while at least. When I woke up in the morning though I almost wasn’t able to come into work though. It took every bit of strength I had to force myself to face coming in. Even then all I could do was my desk work and talk to people via the phone and e-mail. I couldn’t handle going out on site.

It really bothered me too that when I explained this to my coworker he sympathized but then a couple minutes later when he switched subjects to the topic of the Going Away party I’m throwing for K and Twiggy… they’re moving to work on they’re Graduate Degrees… I didn’t instantly perk up and be happy. He completely didn’t understand that this incident would remain with me and affect my mood for awhile. I’ve since explained to him that this was a significant issue but that really bothered me.

This whole thing has just triggered all sorts of other things though. It wasn’t /that/ bad. He didn’t really DO anything other than waste a bunch of my time and make me wildly uncomfortable but now I just keep think about The One and Evil-Ex and all of the other things that I tolerated and didn’t stomp my foot down on before they got out of hand. Therapist thinks it’s because I haven’t really processed those things very well and fully integrated them. I’ve had so many instances of violated boundaries that I haven’t fully integrated that it’s probably time that I start working through them. 

She was also totally outraged at the store for not having better security. She’s absolutely going to go there and file a complaint on my behalf. I was actually really comforted by her level of outrage. I’m glad she’s willing to do that, because I’m definitely never going back there.

And to top it off, I woke up this morning with an elbow the swollen to the size of a tennis ball! I elbowed my wall in my sleep during a bad dream. It hurts so bad. What a week.


I’m also incredibly sad that K and Twiggy are leaving soon. I’ve been fighting the urge to spontaneously cry whenever I think about it. I’m happy for them because it’s an amazing opportunity for them and I know it’s something they really want. At the same time I feel like I just got them back into my life so it feels like a loss for me. I recognize this is a selfish feeling, but it’s my feeling and I’m sad that they’ll be so far away (thousands of miles) and I care about them terribly so I’m going to be sad. I’m trying to put on a brave, happy face though. I don’t want them to feel bad that I’m sad. So we’re throwing them a Send Off to Bigger and Brighter Adventures party tomorrow. I’ve stocked up on all manner of rainbow colored decorations, invited all their favorite people,  and I’m planning on making their favorite foods: Red Wine Beef Stew, Hawaiian Sweet Bread, Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Macaroons, Mimosa Fudge, and Nutella Rice Krispy Treats (Okay that last one is just for fun).  It should be a lot of fun at the very least even if it will be sad. I’m gonna try and hold it together and not cry at all which means I need to not drink even a little bit. If I drink, I’m going to cry. I get sappy and lovey when I’m drunk. Here’s hoping all things go well.

So how have you all been Dear Readers? What have I missed? 


5 comments:

  1. Hey again :) it's great that you're blogging again, I love your blog.
    It's cool that you paint. Creative outlets are so rewarding. Time can pass much quicker when you're obsorbed in something like that.
    I'm so sorry to hear about that horrible experience in the store. I can see how that would really upset you especially if you've felt violated in the past. It probably did trigger unresolved issues. But yikes, what a creep! I've met someone who was very creepy in a similar way and I totally felt my boundaries were being violated. He wouldn't leave me alone and kept jumping on me and trying to kiss me. It was horrifying. I'm a very passive person so I didn't have the balls to tell him to fuck off, but that was a whole ago now. Some people are absolute creeps.
    I hope the party will be better than you expected and that you are able to stay composed. Change is always difficult.
    Anyway, I'm glad you're back and I'm sure many others are too! :)

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  2. the blond dude following you in the store sounds excruciating.

    i hear you on the guilt. harassment is so complicated for me. i can stand up for myself in MANY situations but when a man's flirtations turn into really scary harassment i just giggle and try to run away. it genuinely terrifies me but i cant be assertive. its not just that I'm afraid of them, its like i want their approval...or something. i dont know WHY :(

    (this is a bit tangential but...i walk around the city a lot, and sometimes if not one stranger says anything flirty to me all day my self-esteem sorta takes a nose-dive. which is sick and humiliating and urgh.)

    re drinking- YES. even one beer alters my behavior and i always wince when i remember myself on any alcohol. sober-me is always conscious of the person I'm projecting myself to be but when i drink i dunno who the fuck comes out. so i try to never drink, even though it (temporarily) makes everything better...

    im so happy to hear you were able to paint through chaotic feelings! i find that incredibly inspiring.

    and it isnt selfish to be sad your friends are leaving. it's really brave to feel your sadness fully (and probably other complicated abandonment feelings) and not run away from it.

    so glad you're blogging again.

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  3. same here on the alcohol bit. it takes some of the social anxiety off, but then you're left with your impulsive and reactive self that says everything without a second thought.

    the next day everything that you can remember is just too embarassing, because you only remember half of what you said and weren't even alert at the time to the other person's response - verbal or non verbal. so you doubt you were appropriate, accepted and so on.

    that's why i try never to drink. it's hard work to make a distinction between real and imaginary without alcohol already.

    on the bleached blond stalker... i feel once you begin therapy and start to see beyond your defense mechanisms, you really try to grow out of them.

    so if one of them is to overreact at the slightest sign of threat, it's a good thing to try and see if the threat/offense was real or just an inocent remark you are overreacting to.

    of course, when you realise it wasn't inocent, you just want to go back and slap them. because you tried to be rational and understanding, and they've taken advantage of it.

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  4. your posts give me comfort

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  5. Same here with the drinking. Even just 2 drinks and I will feel intense fear/depressin/guilt for a few days. Fine-tooth combing the whole event and following my boyfriend around like a puppy cradling my head and panicking that something awful has/will happen[ed]. The way it feels is as if I did something REALLY BAD. Doesn't matter if I didn't. The feeling is quite intense. It's only gotten worse with time. Try to only drink alone.

    Thanks for sharing, your articles are great.

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

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