Medical Delay

glacier2

Well the holidays have passed.  Winter has settled into a deep freeze.  The sun, though shining, has not much warmth to share.  My mood is low.  I’m recovering as best as I can from the roller coaster that always seems to describe the holidays.  I’ve been seeking extra support and receiving it.  But there are some things that all the support in the world can’t take away.  One such thing is a medical problem.  I’m undergoing testing for something that could turn out to be a blip or could turn out to be quite serious.  The uncertainty, the unknowing, the waiting is where the distress lies.  I have few words to share with you at this time.  But wanted you to know I will be writing more soon when my mood brightens just a bit.  Thank you for your patience.  I’ll keep updating.

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Update Continued (part 2)

new-beginnings

I was on my own for a while.  I moved to a new place that was more affordable on my own.  It was a nice apartment.  I sought the advice of a lawyer through legal aid.  He was a nice young man who wanted to help.  The divorce was simple really.  We did not have much to split up.  My ex had taken the time while I was in the hospital to divide up our things into what was hers and what was mine.  We divied up the furniture and the stuff.  It’s amazing how you can dismantle a life so easily.  We lived together for nearly 6 months after she told me she was leaving so she could get herself settled in her new life.  It was hell.  I would often cry and she would just roll her eyes and berate me.  We learned to ignore each other to the best of our abilities.  Most of our interactions consisted of her telling me she was NOT going to pay support as I had not earned it.  I said nothing.  I took the abuse and said nothing.  It was a terrible place to be.

My friends were supportive of me.  They tried to cheer me up as much as was possible.  I learned how to live life on my own.  I helped to support a friend who went through a life threatening illness.  Later I found myself a job.  It was the kind of job I had never done before and I was excelling.  I started to feel a little more human.  All the while I was in therapy.  I was dealing with grief over the loss of my marriage.  I was dealing with self harm thoughts.  I was dealing with insiders that didn’t really know what was going on.  But I was dealing.

I decided a year later that it was time for me to start meeting people and crawling out of my hole a bit.  But how to do this?  So I started online.  I found a chat room for lesbians and went in there.  I met some nice people.  I met some crazy people too.  Eventually I met the woman I’m going to marry.  At first it was a casual friendship.  Then it became a friendship with attraction.  Then a relationship based on trust, friendship and attraction.  Here we are 3 years later, and I’m engaged to be married to a wonderful woman.

Two years ago I started having health issues.  Just little things here and there.  None of it turned out to be too serious but it involved invasive medical tests that were quite triggering for me.  I started to miss work.  I started having more and more anxiety.  When I’m anxious I tend to switch more often.  This was not a good recipe for my work life.  The office was in upheaval as well with people leaving and being stressed out.  After taking a leave and going back for a brief time I decided that the office was too toxic for me to return.

I didn’t work for about 8 months when I decided to get back into the workforce with the support of my partner.  I thought I’d get back into retail because I thought it would be easy and mindless.  Boy was I wrong!  My anxiety reflexes kicked in big time and made it very difficult to attend.  I managed to scrape by for three months until I needed to take some time off.  Which is where I’m at now.  On leave and supposed to be considering going back in a few weeks.  I’m not sure what to do.  But that’s for another post.

I think I’m done updating in a general way.  I’m going to post this as it is.  I hope you are doing well on your own journey and if you aren’t…. well…. I offer you a place to sit a while.

-Peoplepuzzlepieces

 

 

Compartmentalization and Containment

So we talked today in therapy about the loss of connection I’ve been experiencing with my emotions.  If you remember in my last post Icky Sticky Feelings, I was talking about how to sit with your feelings.  reading back I guess I never really completed my thoughts on that.  I AM indeed trying to sit with those feelings and it’s true that I want to lessen the burden of my insiders, but it seems in this endeavor I’ve managed to shut down my emotions completely  instead.  I am in a state of non-feeling.  That is aside from the anxiety I’ve been feeling about a volunteering opportunity that’s come up.

This means that yes, there are words of the day.  Compartmentalization and containment.  We followed the trail of breadcrumbs, my therapist and I .  It turns out the non-feeling is my way of working the skills I’ve been trying to learn.  Emotion regulation, check…  no emotion at all.  Distress tolerance, check…  no emotion at all.

I’m not doing this consciously mind you.  It also has to do with the phase of treatment I’m in.  We aren’t dealing with yucky trauma stuff right now.  Not until we can be reasonably sure I have a grasp of grounding skills.  Things like staying in the moment, being present within myself and also being able to tolerate intense emotion.

This is where the containment conundrum comes in to play.  If I practice feeling a little more intensity than what I can currently tolerate I slip away and an insider takes over for me.  which ok, hey I’m used to that.  But with most of my insiders comes trauma content and very intense emotions.  Flooding, a bunch of past events rushing to the surface, they start to spill over into everything.  It’s not a pretty sight or a comfortable place to be.  So in essence I’ve compartmentalized each emotion into a different insider.  Shitty job they have right?

In the back of my mind I carry around this containment field that automatically switches into action any time I reach my tolerance level.  So how does one practice feeling a little more, a little more, a little more when the switch is not under your control?  Any ideas on that would be great.

The whole thing becomes an inescapable loop.  Feel–>Switch–>Trauma–>Shut Down.  Maybe it’s not so much a loop as it is a squiggly line.  Unless, of course, the containment field is somehow breached so that the feeling comes roaring back, then it does become a loop. Ugh!

Coincidentally on a final note for the night, we went through a list of feelings I can tolerate and how much of each.  Anxiety is something I tolerate quite well.  Which yuck! Why would I choose that one to be MY job?

A Broader Introduction

I am living in a very cold place.  I don’t mean that figuratively.  I mean literally a cold place.  It’s currently -14 degrees Celsius with a windchill of -25.  It has warmed up a little.  This place is not my original home, though I have managed to make it feel like home now.  I have been here for a little over two years.  My wife and I moved here with 5 days notice.  We packed up our lovely 2 bedroom apartment in a 19′ moving truck and put the fur babies (2 cats, 1 dog) in the car and hit the open road for two days. it sounds like an interesting adventure doesn’t it?  The truth was, we were scared out of our freaking minds. Neither of us knew what the hell we were getting ourselves into.  No job lined up, no home, no friends or family.  What would become of us? But we were running for our safety, running for our well being, running for our lives!

I was abused by my uncle since the age of 3 or 4.  He belonged to a group of men that exchanged children to be used as play things.  We were objects, pawns in a game meant only to satisfy whatever twisted, sadistic needs they had.  There were some women involved too, though they weren’t major contributors.  Women were beneath them.

When I went into counselling at the end of 2007 it was to deal with anxiety and depression that were interfering with my work life and personal life.  It was through the process of self discovery that memories bagan to emerge.  It’s a long ongoing saga but the point is that once it became clear to my uncle and his freinds that I was talking they began to apply pressure. My abuse was ongoing unbeknownst to me in the beginning of counselling.  eventually I was able to connect to those parts of me that held the abusive content.  As a customer service specialist in a big box store I had to deal with people all the time.  These men began to harass me at work on a weekly basis.  This escalated to the point in which I was sexually assaulted in a locked bathroom at work and also being attacked in my own home.  Numerous threats were made against my wife as well. These assaults were revealed to my wife in a counselling session where the social worker said enough is enough.  We need to get you out of here and safe now.  So the planning began and 5 days later I was living in a homeless shelter in a new city.

I guess I don’t really have a point in telling you all of this.  I just felt that I’d let you all get to know me a little better. What my history involves.  I’m not really telling it right.  You see,, this is the problem.  I rattle on about things while I’m completely devoid of human emotion.  This was a very big deal and it affected my life greatly.  I don’t think that’s getting across.  I can feel that my writing doesn’t contain any feeling.  Perhaps I’ll just leave you with a little piece of writing.

Have a good night.

Mind is racing, child’s bracing for the night to come.

She try’s to think of things up a-bove so she doesn’t see.

Heart is pounding, thoughts are founding members of a club.

Stairs are creaking, life force leaking further from her grasp.

Memories forming.  All is storming.  Never will forget.

Though she hides it, ignores this one bit, she will soon grow up.

When this happens she will tell friends. Don’t believe a word.

My whole brain is stuck on all his crimes against this world.