Ok… so, the big stuff… the stuff I’ve been studiously avoiding for the last probably two to three weeks… maybe even that last couple of months. I can’t analyse or reflect on them yet, but I need to write them down so that they lessen their hold over me.
Probably the most obvious, is the therapeutic rupture with Liz. It destabilised me. It re-enforced all the old messages about me being too difficult to cope with, and made me feel as if I would never heal. I still don’t think that the new therapist will cope… She says she’s one of the top therapists in the small city where we live; but then, Bob was one of the top clinical psychologists, and that didn’t turn out well. We’re still not sure if ACC will fund us to see her; so until funding is established, we’re seeing her fortnightly. I know that isn’t often enough, but we can’t afford weekly therapy.
Once you get past the obvious of therapy, there’s the other given… work. We recently had a change to our union negotiated employment agreement. The new agreement meant that we ended up with a negative sick leave balance. We’d used up so much sick leave in the short time we’ve been there, that we’d used the equivalent of an extra years allowance. This basically meant that we were going to have to go for over a year, with any sick leave being unpaid. There’s no way we could afford that. Our union is incredibly weak and unable to fight for the rights of the worker – if you wonder why I’m in such a weak union, librarians are traditionally left wing, socialists who believe in unions, and so there’s a great deal of pressure to join.
So, ignoring the union, we researched the law and questioned work on the validity of the negative balance, when according the the Holidays Act, each employee must have five days paid sick leave per year. We sent through an email outlining the law, and asking what that meant in regards to our negative balance. This resulted in a meeting with HR (hence the entry about the panic attack). The meeting was mercifully quick and resulted in HR apologising to me for any distress caused. They also gave me five sick days immediately, and another five in six months time.
We had been expecting a written warning about our excessive sick leave. During the negotiations, our employer had been talking about “sick leave abusers”. When we saw that negative balance, we immediately knew that we were one of the people being targeted. We doubted all of the work we’ve been doing. We don’t feel as if we’ve been performing to an even half descent standard lately. So again, all our fears and inadequacies were thrown into the spot light.
The other obvious stress has been the divorce. We got the papers served on the ex-husband, and immediately started to get hang up phone calls. They were at odds times of the day and lasted for a week, ending only when we picked up the phone once and asked who was there. This led to all sorts of flashbacks and activation of parts who used to deal with the ex-husband.
Which probably leads into the other issue I’ve been facing… increasing amounts and severity of self injury. It’s been a really tough few weeks, lots of lost time and negative coping mechanisms being used. I know I’m going to have to tell the new therapist about this, but it’s so shame inducing that I don’t know how. I keep thinking that I should be “strong enough” or “healed enough” not to do those old coping mechanisms… but yet fall back into them when the going gets really bad.
Then there’s the last big thing which feels so awful and… just yuck. I’m friends with the younger of my two brothers on FaceBook. A few months ago, a photo was added to his profile. It’s not an awful photo, it’s actually a really good one, which shows his body language as I remember it. The thing that sends the system into chaos however, is that the lower half of his face is almost exactly the same as the fathers. The mouth is the same… as is the chin. It drives some in the system crazy. My brother is now the age that the father would have been when we were in our early teens. As I write this, I feel the dissociation coming. I know this is a huge trigger. I know that sometimes one of us looks at this photo of our brother as a punishment.
Far out… that’s all I can write… sorry, I know this doesn’t make much sense. But I needed to get it out in some way.
In all the craziness, I’m reminded of the lines from Hymn to Her…
She will always carry on
Something is lost
But something is found