Friday, January 17, 2014

Lucid Analysis - Trials in Therapy: Where Have I Been

I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life. Too much. Things seemed to have been going very well. Until they weren’t. 

Actually it is you. 
New Girl and I broke up. Nothing really traumatic, more disappointing than anything. Little things started to build up. The more I got to know her, the more self-centered and callous she appeared to be. Which honestly doesn’t bother me much until it’s really inappropriate.

I had the cops show up at my home, and then have to locate me at a convention, to notify me that I may have a violent stalker. They had received an anonymous tip with some rather disturbing details. Quite frankly it’s probably my Evil-Ex attempting to be a manipulative asshat, but it has all of my friends on edge and it was very disturbing for a day or two. When I went to tell New Girl about it, she immediately made it about her. Instead of asking me how I was, she told me how I was bumming her out and didn’t want to talk about her good weekend. This in turn made me feel guilty for making her feel bad.

In therapeutic form though I took a couple deep breaths, I told her this was hurtful, instead of bottling it up and we talked it out. However she continued to refuse to tell me about her weekend.

A week or two later after a lovely evening of drinking and sex I found out she was lying to me. She had given me the very distinct impression that she was “out” to her mother and step-father. I knew she wasn’t out to her community (her family are immigrants though she was born here), but she had always talked very clearly as if her mom and stepfather were open to her being with women. Apparently her mom had asked her if I was her girlfriend. She responded with “No we’re JUST FRIENDS”. Her mom asked her again with “Really, she’s not your girlfriend?” And she said, “No, really, we’re just friends.” And then looks at me and laughs and says, “So I dodged that bullet!” I was much more hurt by that than I thought I would be. Her mom clearly knew something was up (she had taken me to a family wedding), and if she had told me from the start that she was closeted that would have been fine with me I get it, but she told me all kinds of stories where it seemed like she was very out. The way she handled it, and handled it with me was so insensitive it just hurt. Something that had been happening quite a bit. It really made me reevaluate how seriously she was ever going to take our relationship and whether or not I could trust her word.

Let’s fast forward.

I went back home to see my family and friends over Christmas/Winter break for a week. This was an exceptionally unusual trip for me because everyday I was back I was very social. Usually I go home, make cookies, see family, Zoe (and her wife of course), and that’s it. This year I’ve been feeling so good that I felt able to overcome my body dysmorphia and my social anxiety and go out and see friends every night (except the first night b/c after an 8.5 hour drive including gridlock traffic through Manhattan who can socialize after that?). I got in on Friday and went shopping with my parents and slept the sleep of champions in my old room.

Saturday I woke up and made cookies. Did a little Christmas shopping. Then made my way to Zoe’s new house! (I want to include a separate small post about some of the tribulations she’s been dealing with because she’s also BPD/depression, doing extremely well on medication, therapy, and preparing to get pregnant and probably a good thing for some of us to know! Not me.)  I missed her so much. There are so few people in this world that I relate to the way that I relate to her. She’s such a beautiful, strong woman. No matter what I’m going through, or not, I can talk to her about everything or nothing at all.

Sunday I baked more cookies. Then met up with some high school friends for “pizza” (Yes, I’m putting in quotes b/c after you’ve lived in New York for 7 years nothing else is real pizza). These weren’t my core group of highschool friends, or anything. Thankfully! This is a guy I was buds with and his fiancé (and her roller derby team) and another guy I knew. We had a blast, drank craft beer, and ate something resembling pizza. It was a fun filled evening of laughs and blissfully lacking in high school recollection.

Monday I baked more cookies. Then I took a two hour drive south to visit my sister and her fiancé, and pick up my brother at the airport. I wasn’t originally going to do this but no one had told me that my sister wasn’t going to come up for Xmas until the day after Xmas which was when I was originally going to be leaving, so I rearranged my trip a lot. We had some of the best Thai food ever and fabulous family fun time. I love that as I’ve gotten older my siblings and I have only grown closer and closer.

Tuesday my brother and I woke up early to drive back. I baked more cookies (sensing a theme yet?) Every Christmas Eve the parents, my siblings and I go to see a movie.  We chose an earlier showing of The Desolation of Smaug b/c my brother and I had plans that evening to hang out with some of my oldest friends from growing up. Before we even got to the movie I was already starting to drink. I love my mother, but man, she just knows how to step on my every nerve. After the movie though, the fun really got to start.

Brother and I went to my Friend Romans’ parent’s house (He was visiting for the holidays as well). I’ve known Roman since I was 8 years old. They always have a big Christmas Eve party. Along with Roman was one of my best childhood friends whom I’ve known since I was 7, Rory, and his younger brother (who is one of Brothers best friends). Seriously I’ve know these guys through elementary school, middle school, high school, hanging out through college, coming home on holidays, we’ve known each other practically our entire lives.  So it was a ridiculous good time. Roman is the friend that had come to visit me a few weeks prior in New York. We’ve always had a fair amount of flirtatious chemistry, but he’s been engaged for as long as I can remember (despite some heavy flirting last year). Well, he’s apparently no longer engaged. He ended it with his fiancé. I knew things were on the rocks with them when he came to visit in New York and it was done by Christmas.  We talked a lot that night. We drank even more. By the time my brother and I left we were texting and flirting even more…. With promises to hang out the next night for party part 2.

After a truncated Christmas Day family gathering (because we were having our real gathering the next day) my brother decided to stay home and I went back to Romans to hang out with the guys again, especially because another of our friends (again that I’ve known since I was 8) was coming in from the West Coast to visit). These are seriously some of the funniest, most fun people I know. There were many an adult beverages, laughs, and shenanigans, mixed in with some actual serious bonding and catching up with each other’s lives.  

Rory left around midnight, his brother left a little later. Around 2 our last friend decided to leave as well. I had put my coat on to leave but as we were walking up the stairs Roman asked me to stay a while….

What followed was some of the most mind blowing first time chemistry laden sex I have ever had with someone ever. It was seriously ridiculous. Hours.  We made plans for him to come visit in New York soon. Eventually I went home, very happy.

So we’re about caught up. Now don’t get wrong. I know Roman just broke up with his fiancé and he lives in a different state so I’m not actually expecting anything of this. We’re friends. We’ve been friends most of our lives. There was a deep attraction and we’ve both been through a lot lately and we acted on that. I don’t usually bring my personal politics into this blog, but I deeply believe that sex between consenting adults should and can be a healthy mutually enjoyable experience.

That being said he is someone I actually am extremely attracted to and could really like. A lot.

I went back to New York on Friday because I had to be in the Hamptons for the weekend. By this point my social reserves were utterly depleted. I barely had it in me to keep up a façade of happiness at having to be social all weekend. I was becoming more stressed out and more and more short tempered. I know I’m not supposed to bottle my feelings and keep on a mask for show, but it was a party without a safe place for me to retreat to and recharge so I didn’t have much choice. At one point one of the guests (who idolizes me beyond reason and is beyond aggravating) kept poking at me and I did snap at her verbally to stop. At that point I went to bed. I saw my limits were being reached and I could no longer control them so I removed myself from the situation. Good on me.

I’ve been thinking about Roman a lot. Too much. Honestly I’ve been idealizing him quite a bit. Making myself a little sick too because we weren’t really talking at all. We don’t usually unless one of us is in town. I was worried I might be starting to obsess about the whole situation. I kept trying to keep it in perspective. Trying and failing. I kept imagining wonderful scenarios and great adventures the two of us might take. Regardless of my idealizing I was still in a rather happy place.

Then I did something stupid. 

I hadn’t seen xRoommate much except briefly in the Hamptons when I wasn’t up to being very social. On New Years I told her about Roman and her response was not what I was expecting.

“Just remember, he did just break up with his fiancé and he’s on the rebound.”

It was like a punch in the gut. I knew we were just having fun and it wasn’t anything serious, but I hadn’t felt USED until that moment. I managed to keep my smile on and continue with my night, but something shattered in me. She’s never said anything that callous to me before. She’s my best friend. I’ve had so much sexual violence and so many problems with men using, and trying to use me in the past, the last thing I needed is for my best friend to throw it in my face and turn one of the – what I felt was a nice normal healthy experience – into something tainted and horrible. It was extremely triggering. I started drinking a lot more than I had intended to.

I didn’t stop until a couple days ago. I fell into a seriously dark depression. I felt utterly worthless.  My mood hasn’t fluxuated so badly through such highs and lows in longer than I can remember. Every maladaptive coping mechanism that I’ve fought so hard to overcome came crashing in on me. Excessive drinking, binging purging… for the first time in almost 3 years I lost control and picked up a knife and cut… It wasn’t bad, nothing that won’t heal, but I haven’t felt so low or so hopeless. I just needed the pain to stop. I couldn’t see my way out of it. I was in so much pain. For hours at a time I couldn’t stop my thoughts from remembering all the emotional pain I’ve ever been through. Or ruminating on scenarios of tragedy and devastation. My mind had gone dark and I could no longer find the light.

I would start crying at the oddest times. It felt like that was all I was doing. There were days I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. You know me. I don’t stay in bed. Even when I’m depressed I do things: I go to work, I go to the gym, I get stuff done. Not this time. I didn’t feel like I could leave the safety and comfort of my bed. It came to a head the other day. I didn’t leave my bed at all except to get a bit of food, which I forced myself to eat because I knew I should. I’ve had zero appetite.

Thank goodness  I had my Therapist. She thinks it actually has nothing to do with Roman at all. It really is all about xRoommate and what she said to me. Sometimes friends can be hurtful, even if they don’t mean to be. She triggered me, unintentionally as it may have been, but she did. Therapist says friends can do that sometimes. Especially if they’re maybe insecure about losing you. We haven’t been hanging out quite as much. She’s living with her fiancé now, planning for her wedding, moving on with her life. I’ve honestly been thinking about moving either back to my home state or towards the West Coast to pursue my career (even though this isn’t something I would do for a while) though I haven’t actually talked to her about this. Therapist said, she may have sensed all my good cheer about being back home with my other friend group, away from our friend group, and there could be some sadness or feelings of abandonment or unexpressed sense of jealousy that I may not need her as much, and she threw a barb into my good cheer that brought me back down to earth. It certainly did do that.

Therapist says sometimes it’s a good idea to keep things that make you happy to yourself sometimes. Friends don’t mean to bring you down, but they can get jealous too. That may not actually be the case but it makes sense. While they may not mean to hurt you they can say careless things because friends are only human. Unfortunately for people like me, I’m easily triggered and highly sensitive. Regardless what she said hurt and it was triggering.  

I rarely cry in therapy. I cried most of the time yesterday. I hadn’t been able to talk to anyone about this and it was killing me.

I woke up today feeling worlds better. More stable than I’ve felt in weeks.

To top it off. I made plans to potentially see my sister for my birthday and Roman texted me wanting to see me as well.

It’s so hard not to let other people get into my head. Scratch that. It’s so hard not to let people I love get into my head. People I don’t care about rarely affect me like that.  It’s only the people that I’m close to the affect me. They’re the ones that are able to inflict that kind of hurt. Even when they don’t mean to. It sucks so much.

I've also been having a ton of dreams with The One in it. Because I've been so triggered of my history of sexual violence he's been popping up in my dreams. This also always happens whenever I have a new love interest. I have terrible trust issues because of him. He was the first person I ever loved and he betrayed me tragically. It may be even worse this time because Roman is someone I knew at the same time that I was actively involved with him. I've been having flashbacks very violent stress scenarios because of this.  Therapist gave me some very specific techniques to work on in order to help me deal with this. The Vault technique I think is one that should be very helpful and I will subsequently, share with you!

I know this post is super long, but to wrap it up, this is something I had written when I was bottoming out. I couldn’t see that things have changed… but now it’s been only a week later, post therapy, and things have already begun to change for the better. Things never stay bad.

I’m lonely and I’m in pain.
I’m seriously thinking of cutting for the first time in years.
I’ve been impulsive. Sexually and drinking too much. Way too much. I’m hurting myself. I don’t feel well.
I’m not taking very good care of myself. I don’t know how to stop these thoughts.
I want to fall madly in love. I’m idealizing someone that is completely unavailable. I’m starting to obsess. It’s driving me mad. I shouldn’t have slept with him. I always do that. The same mistake over and over. I never learn. I want to believe that this one will be different. That I’ll be something different to him. Not just someone to fuck and forget. I never learn.
This world is too hard for me.  I can’t bear it. I’m so tired. The good never lasts and the bad always returns. I don’t know how to keep the past buried. It always comes back. I make bad choices.
Things need to change. I can’t go on like this.
I need to remove myself. I have such a hard time letting go.
I want to be seen as beautiful. Warm. Loving. Someone worth keeping. I want someone to stay. I need someone to stay.
It’s a sad sort of irony that the thing I probably need most right now is to be alone, left alone, but my loneliness is the thing that’s killing me.
I feel worthless.
Things feel good in the moment, and devastating in the aftermath. Why can’t I remember this?

At the end of my therapy session Therapist hugged me and told me she loved me. She told me again how I’m always such a joy to work with and that she’s grateful to have me as a client. I never get angry or yell at her if she says something I don’t agree with. She genuinely appreciates working with me. I really appreciate her too. 

I'm actually very embarrassed that I relapsed in this way. I feel like a failure even though cognitively I know that relapse is a part of healing. I feel like I let myself down. And because I make my life so public I feel like I've let you down as well. I know I need to silence these thoughts though. I'm working on it. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hello, I'm Back!

Hello Dear Readers,
Some just take the scenic route to find themselves.

I’ve been gone for a long while. For this I deeply apologize. For a long while I didn’t feel I could write. I didn’t feel I had anything left to write about. My therapy and my medication and my personal life was so streamlined, in most areas, that I didn’t really have much to deal with. My therapist has been exceptionally proud of me. What I did have to deal with I haven’t felt capable of discussing because I did not want to violate the trust of people I value.  

I’d been researching more and feeling less traumatized. So little I really felt like almost a fraud for writing about Borderline, which I know is silly, because the point of being in therapy is to heal so you specifically don’t feel so traumatized and learn to cope constructively. Which is exactly what I was doing.

Someone had also made me very paranoid about my writing. So paranoid that I wasn’t sure I could continue to be open about myself. This has been incredibly detrimental to my healing process. What I realized though, was that the problem was ultimately not about me, it was about them. I need to do what is healthy for me. What is healthy for me, is to continue writing and to continue to research, because I do still have a lot to say and lot to contribute.

Things have taken a decided down turn as of late. This happens. I will update a lot. I will be bringing a lot of new therapeutic techniques to the table.

I’m sorry I needed some time to get my head together and regroup. I’ve missed you. I am back now.


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