Reflections: Part II

Yesterday I wrote a happy shiny summary on 2010.  It was accurate, and covered many of the positive things that had happened last year, but it wasn’t an accurate reflection.  The purpose of a reflective exercise is to put the past into a learning framework, and that’s what I failed to do.  By looking only at the positives, I sidelined and ignored the struggles I faced, and how those struggles influenced the positives.

When looking at the overall themes of last year, it’s easy to see that I was concentrating on safety and consistency.  To me, these issues are intertwined.  I’m at a stage in my healing where I need a consistent structure in order to find safety.  If this structure is absent, as it was when my therapeutic relationship with Liz disintegrated, and my friendship with Matthew fell apart; there were serious consequences for my safety.  I lost an anchor that I had relied on – no matter how dysfunctional it was, and I allowed it to push me into a downward spiral.  This was even more evident, when my cynical work friend started having an affair with a married man.  The triggers associated with the relationship were too close to my parents relationship, that I was unable to relax around her like I used to.  Unlike the rupture with Liz and Matthew, I was able to maintain an altered friendship with my work friend.  The key difference, was that with Liz and Matthew there was hurt in the present, whereas I had the awareness to realise that my work friend wasn’t hurting me directly in the past or present.  I may not agree with her moral choices, but the friendship was maintained, if somewhat modified.

Throughout the year, I’ve had ACC decisions hanging over my head.  This was one of the drivers which lead to my suicide attempt, and to my withdrawal from life.  The thought of a faceless case manager deciding my therapeutic fate, without having ever met me, basically did my head in.  This is a fairly consistent story across many sensitive claims clients.  The power imbalance in favour of ACC, is such a trigger to the old abusive situations, that it’s difficult to work your way through to a rational interaction with them.  Despite my fears, the assessing psychiatrist was incredibly supportive and gentle.  He gave me a significant impairment which should hopefully allow me to access therapeutic care for awhile yet.

This leads onto the therapeutic relationship with Allison.  I’ve avoided talking about her and what happens in therapy, mainly because I want to protect the relationship.  As with any human relationship, there are ups and downs, but the strength of Allison, is her ability to encourage me to slow down.  My default coping mechanism is to dissociate and rush through anything that feels scary; but Allison is helping me to realise that this doesn’t have to happen.  I can tolerate the emotions that are a part of living.  They may scare me, and I may not understand what I hear within sessions; but what is said and felt, is me.  It’s that simple, and that complicated.

I still struggle with denial, minimisation, comparisons and other circular thinking.  But, Allison helps me to work through this through validation and acceptance.  She doesn’t encourage blind faith, and is open to questioning about the validity of what is being said, and her experience with dealing with what I present.  Not that I challenge her on a regular basis or anything… well, actually I don’t as much as I did.  There is a sense of respect towards Allison, even if there isn’t consistent trust.

Last year, I also briefly saw WPT and an occupational therapist.  They were at opposite ends of the helpful spectrum… WPT helped me realise that by saying how strong the young ones within the system were, I was re-enforcing the idea that they were meant to stay strong and protect me.  This was so obvious, but yet, I thought I was showing respect by mentioning their strength.  But the young ones need care, not more pressure.  In contrast, the occupational therapist was not a good therapeutic match.  She reminded me of a cross between a cheerleader and an unskilled kindergarten teacher – lots of loud enthusiastic talk, with very little substance or experience.  Thankfully she discharged me after meeting one of the three goals we’d established.

One of the things that worried me about seeing these other therapists, was that I wondered if my life would revolve around therapy and healing.  Considering my work commitments; this would be unlikely, and it would probably have been helpful if they had worked out.  But, there was that nagging fear that I would start to define myself and my life through my mental health.  Which when I consider that I spent so much time this year caught up in self injury, the change of focus to healing, might have been a good thing!

Yes, my old nemesis… self injury.  It also bumped into my suicidal ideation and intent this year, which wasn’t a pretty sight or feeling.  But a shock can sometimes be good for the system, and near the end of last year, I got one.  It wasn’t the suicide attempt, but instead the health of a friend bringing up all sorts of memories.  Consequences, accountability, fears and reality all collided.  Repercussions were felt throughout the system, and as a result, one dangerous form of self injury has been largely controlled.  There is yet to be any sense of accomplishment about this, and there is a fear that the triggering presence of the mother is going to release a tidal wave of self injury this weekend.  All I can do is plan for it not to happen…

So much of my life now, is about trying to live from moment to moment.  I had hoped to be further along in my healing than this by now, but I’m not.  This isn’t to take away from the accomplishments that I have achieved, but rather a sense of “not again”.  This Christmas, I did cope better than the previous year; but then I had hayfever, so could barely speak or raise my head.  The hayfever has eased, and with that, the triggering memories and intolerance of the mother has returned.  The mother has been here two weeks, and that’s about three weeks too long.  Wish me luck for the rest of the week…

As so much of my year has been on exploring the creative arts, I thought I’d do the following summaries of the positive, and difficult work that I’ve been doing.  As a warning, the second (Polyvore) video may trigger.

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Now playing: The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun
via FoxyTunes

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Now playing: Yo-Yo Ma – Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011: IV. Sarabande
via FoxyTunes

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44 thoughts on “Reflections: Part II

  1. These are great posts, Castorgirl, I continue to be impressed by your courage and openness – not just in posting, but in reflecting on this stuff so honestly.

    I’m so so pleased you can (finally) see your progress – even in the darker times. You are now taking control, realising when the dark stuff might come forth, and planning to ward it off. That’s amazing!

    What’s also amazing is your creative work – I love it! (Can you teach me how to do the vid clips?)

    ((hugs)) my friend.

    • I admit that today it was really difficult to see any progress. I was at the maximum safe dosages for all my medication, and still struggling. But I made it through the day, with just a medication headache.

      I’ve had a bit of encouragement to see my progress lately, so that’s helped – thank you 🙂

      Sure, I can teach you how to do the clips… you’ll just need a Mac, iMovie, some photos and music 🙂 I can show you on Windows Movie Maker, but it’s easier on a Mac (yes, I can get some salt to rub it in as well, if needed). I did those clips really quickly as I was trying to sort out the DVD driver on the mothers laptop – I’m going to install PSE on her computer so she can edit her photos… wish me luck!!

      Take care my friend (((hugs)))
      CG

  2. I understand these issues. All of them. I know how difficult they are. And I admire your ability to keep a job in all of this. I really do. I wish you the very best in the coming year.

    • Hi Anon,

      Thank you for your understanding, although there’s always that awful pull of sadness when someone understands, as it usually means that they are experiencing something similar. I’m sorry if that is the case with you.

      At times work is the only thing that keeps me sane, at other times it’s the last thing I’m capable of. It gives me structure, and I need that. But it also piles stress onto me when I’m often already struggling to keep my head above water, so it’s a mixed blessing. I know I wouldn’t be able to cope without it, although I’d love to be able to afford to go down to part time work. That’s just not possible for me.

      Thank you for your support.

      Take care,
      CG

  3. Hi CG,

    I love this post! Because I’m fairly new to your blog it’s nice to get this chance to know you a little better.

    Like you, I’ve learned this year how important structure and consistency is to my overall safety.

    “So much of my life now, is about trying to live from moment to moment. I had hoped to be further along in my healing than this by now, but I’m not.”

    I can really relate to this. You told me to “grab those calm moments when you can and make the most of them.” That’s been my mantra lately along with my therapist’s advice to “dial down the intensity.” Both of those things remind me to stay in the moment.

    I also thought I’d be farther along in my healing than this by now. Making peace with where you are and letting go of focus on where you wanted to be is hard. I like your simple, “But I’m not.” It’s just the way it is.

    I’m sorry you’re struggling, what with your mother visiting and all that such visits bring up. Sometime there’s a dry spell of calm moments – things get pretty sketchy then. So my wish for you is enough calm moments, enough beauty here and there, to get you through the week, and safely through the weekend.

    2010’s in the can! Whew.

    • Hi Holly,

      I did have a fairly extensive “About” page, but when I was writing the pieces about Felicity Goodyear-Smith, I saw that there were hits on it from Facebook. That freaked me out a little bit, so I slashed and burned it down to a bare minimum.

      Structure and consistency are musts for me… absolute musts. I can do change if I have control over it. Yet, in contrast, I work on a public desk every work day, dealing with potentially stressed students about topics that I might not be familiar. I think this uncertainty, means that I need the consistency in other areas of my life.

      Calm is good… dialing it down is good… the knack is to take those moments and draw them out for as long as possible. I’m not so good at doing that.

      I know that as long as I’m working and motivated, then I will make progress… I still get frustrated sometimes, but then, that’s being human.

      Thanks for the good wishes Holly, I appreciate it.

      2010 is done and dusted… now for 2011!

  4. I have to follow Kerros sentiments and say I am also impressed by your courage and openness… in fact I am impressed by all the survivors I have come across with their courage and openness. These blogs seem to have created a great community and hopefully provide a course of healing as well.

    I have to say for me it has been an amazing experience to run across a couple of survivors and follow their own experiences, perspectives and paths to healing. I know it is difficult and sometimes seems impossible to get where you want to be, but considering the circumstances I do enjoy helping out where I can.

    Although I am not a ‘survivor’, I have had my own mental health problems which in part emanated from bullying which I suppose is a form of abuse. (Where am I going with this?) Initially I would say I was somewhat ignorant of what happens to a survivor, but I am now not and I thank you all for sharing. Strange to think all this started from a newspaper article about another survivor in NZ and deciding to find her blog and twitter account and offer support… not something I would normally do.

    Well all the best for this year, last year has gone and you can only improve as the days go by. Some are going to be horribly difficult, but others are going to hopefully make you think all the effort to get through the pain was well worth it.

    Although I will admit I fail to understand everything I am more than willing to help out.

    Take care.

    • Hi ya,

      The healing community, like any, has good and bad bits. But, I’m incredibly lucky to have found a great group of people who are intelligent, empathetic and honest.

      I hope this experience is helping you too. Bullying is at the very least psychological abuse, and it affected you. I’m really sorry you were subjected to that. No one deserves it. I hope you don’t see this blog as a club for survivors only. Your comments often give a totally different perspective that I would never have thought of. I need to be challenged sometimes too 🙂

      There needs to be some mutual benefit in any sort of relationship – including blog comments. So while I appreciate all the comments I get here, I’m also don’t want to take advantage of anyone’s good nature; so I’m glad you get a benefit from helping others.

      It’s a cliche, but healing is a journey. Some people have a short journey, others have a long and winding journey that takes them places that are rarely heard of.

      Life is a journey, it’s amazing what one newspaper article can lead too…

      Take care,
      CG

      • Well being challenged is part of healing, if we weren’t we will be stuck with the status quo and that won’t go far.

        I read somewhere that to help someone helps you to understand and heal. I would say in terms of how I interact with my surroundings I have healed, but I still remember the past and with all mental health issues it is complicated. It is not a simple ‘this factor caused it”. But looking back I wonder why certain things affected me and why I took that path. I know the answer, but hindsight is strange sometimes.

        I don’t see this or any of the other blogs linked to yours as a “survivors club”. I am just the odd one out, but there is no problem with that. The black sheep gives a different perspective to the flock??

        Don’t be afraid to “take advantage of anyone’s good nature”. We would not have offered help if we did not want you to take advantage of it. The pay back is the goodness of helping someone. Some people are legends for selflessly helping others.

        Healing and life is a journey and sometimes the long, windy and difficult journeys are the most rewarding. They are just at times no fun when you are in the middle of the journey.

        Well take care.

        • Too true… it can be easy to fall into a rut, and then become so comfortable there that you start to bring in the decorators – wall to wall carpeting, surround sound systems and a comfy chair are all hallmarks of a good rut 🙂

          I’m a believer in helping others as a way of helping yourself too. Thank you for the offer… I feel I may need some propping up this weekend.

          I’ve always considered myself a black sheep, so welcome… lol.

          As long as you learn from that hindsight, and don’t beat yourself up about it. It can be easy to beat yourself up, but more valuable to learn from what happened so that it will be less likely to happen again.

          I’ve always thought that the Tikki Tour route is more interesting…

          Take care of yourself,
          CG

  5. In a way, I think you have “processed” your way thu some of the bumps you encountered last year, by just discussing them here. This is a very touching post and so heartfelt that it drew me into it and helped me realize that this year I’ve overcome some similar things.

    • Hi Ivory,

      I think you’re right, I did process quite a bit by writing it here. I also put a great deal many things into context…

      Thank you. I was worried that I had written too much, or had gone in too many circles. I’m glad it helped you see some of your accomplishments too. They’re there, we just need to have the right framework.

      Take care,
      CG

  6. It sounds like it has been a hard year but you have gained so much from it. You are strong to acknowledge these things. Thank you for sharing, I am glad that you were able to find something to say in your reflections. It can be hard to do so but rewarding to see what you have accomplished throughout the year.

    Your video of polyvore artwork is amazing – so deep and expressive. I am glad you have found a way to express and explore how you feel.

    Good luck for 2011 and I hope it is filled with hope, love and positive things.

    Take gentle care of yourself.

    • Hi Kylie,

      Thanks, it’s been an “interesting” year 🙂 There were many times when I didn’t think I would make it to see the end of the year. But, if nothing else, I’m stubborn.

      I didn’t think that I would have anything to say, let alone anything positive. But, I did. It’s amazing how this healing thing can creep up on you and suddenly show why we do all of this difficult work.

      Thank you for the comment about my artwork, having seen your work, I appreciate the compliment.

      I hope 2011 improves for you and your family.
      Wishing you all the best,
      CG

      • I am starting to think being stubborn is something all of us survivors have in common. I know that I have only just managed to get through difficult times and a large part of that was me being stubborn.

        It always feels wonderful when you suddenly realise that all this work you are putting into healing is actually making a difference. I am glad you have felt that.

        Thank you for your remark about my own artwork – I think we are always our own biggest critics, I struggle to be proud of the artwork I produce at times.

        Thank you for the wishes for 2011

        Take gentle care
        Kylie

        • I think you’re right, the amount of times that I’ve seen survivors pull through due to stubbornness is amazing. Whether it be described as stubbornness, or strength, I don’t mind – as long as it works for the individual!

          I’ve just had a similar discussion about each of us being our own worst art critics… it’s sad to know that people I consider to be incredible artists, are be filled with such self-doubt.

          Take care,
          CG

  7. You are just amazing CG. I’m so impressed with you, with your determination, your courage, your ability to keep hoping. And your artwork is so expressive and just … I have no words.

    I do hope that your relationship with Allison is consistent thru’ 2011, that you can build trust with her, and that you make great strides in your healing in 2011.

    All the best,
    Dawn

    • Hi Dawn,

      Thank you so much 🙂

      As with all relationships, my one with Allison is a work in progress. I know there will be mistakes made by both of us, our reactions to those is what will determine how it develops. So far, so good.

      Wishing you and your family all the best for the future,
      CG

  8. You’ve written an excellent reflection. It’s an achievement to write such a reflection, to be able to write one.I know survivors, who are caught in their illness. They define themselves about her illness. It’s something I can’t understand and sometimes it’s a bit of irritating. They never could make a reflection like you, but without reflection there is no progress. Isn’t it?

    It was a very rough year for you and I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooo glad that you have survived the suicide attempt!!! 🙂
    Please stay strong, so nobody of you try it again. You have survived so many terrible things. Don’t let them win. We know this standing on the edge very well (I always call it “Dancing on the Edge”) and therefore I can estimate quite well, how difficult it’s sometimes to survive . But we can do it. We must do it (especially for the little ones).

    It’s sad, because I couldn’t watch the second movie. It contains a song from Sony and due copyright quarrel between youtube and the licensing company in my country it is blocked 😦

    I’m always impressed by the creative work from you all. Not only the videos also the polyvore sets. They are outstanding in their meaningfulness. Oh, and btw. I’m still a little jealous about the Mac you have mentioned :-))

    All the best for 2011 my friend (and I absolutely believe that the ACC will fund your therapy further)
    LSC

    • Hi LSC,

      It’s so good to see you blogging and commenting again 🙂

      Thank you. I know it can be easy to get caught in this craziness. It takes inner strength, determination, work and (for me) the help of someone who can help me with this journey – whether that be my fellow bloggers, or Allison.

      We’ve all survived terrible things. I’m not minimising my own experiences, but paying respect to all of us. We’ve seen and experienced things that we shouldn’t have.

      I know that dance well. It’s scary. I really hope to one day be able to say “I won’t hurt myself because I don’t deserve it”, rather than still give the abusers the power by being any part of my decision making. I’m not at that point yet, but it’s where I’d like to be.

      I had an awful feeling that you might not be able to see the second clip – I used music that wasn’t my own. It’s an awfully large file, but I could put it on a file sharing site or another video hosting site if you want to see it. Let me see what I can do. It is just my Polyvore work, so you would have seen most of it before 🙂

      I love the Mac, it makes things so much easier. I find it difficult to go back to the PC’s at work, and the mothers laptop is AWFUL!!! I’m glad we brought it.

      I have no doubt that you are strong, none at all. Please stay safe.

      Take care by friend,
      CG

      • Thanks CG,
        unfortunately I’m still very limited when writing. The hurt shoulder and arm are a big handicap and I have to spare them.
        I will find a solution for the video. Thank you. You really have enough work to do. I have given up hope, that Youtube and the licensing company find a solution like in other countries. Meanwhile they are fighting at the court *sigh*
        and the video…. please don’t minimize it 🙂 It’s not just your polyvore work, it’s the choice you have made from the polyvore sets, the composition. I like your videos a lot.
        Warm safe hugs to all who want them
        Take care
        LSC

  9. hi castor~ wow, these posts are really great! i think it’s so healthy that you reflected on both the hope as well as the struggles you faced. i don’t think becoming mentally healthy means we only focus on the positive or no longer struggle. i think we always have difficulties in life, and it’s a sign of health when you are able to focus on all of it. people who only see the positive i think are more in denial-land. your videos are incredible too. and i didn’t find the second video triggering. i found it moving and very meaningful. i loved them both.

    wishing you continued better times and more feelings of security and comfort this year. and this week especially i will be sending you wishes that your time with your mother passes with no upsetting events or triggers. then, if you do happen to have something upsetting or triggering happen, that you’re able to feel safe and learn from it, and feel protected throughout.

    • Hi katie,

      To me, the previous post was an indication that I was losing my balance or perspective. I was focusing on one part of the system, to the exclusion of the rest. That has a tendency to get me into trouble. So while both of these posts are accurate, they are written from different places. This one is a little more holistic in it’s approach. I still wanted to concentrate on the possibility of hope, but show why that hope is so important to me.

      Thank you for the compliment 🙂 I was worried that there might be too much pain in the second one… while the first one I took the risk of including a photo of my six year old self. It’s odd to see her in there amongst the modern photos. I thought that it was blurry enough, that no one (apart from some family) would be able to recognise it.

      You’re more optimistic than I with regards to my mothers visit. It’s been a rough week. There is only a few more days to go though… oh, that makes me feel like a bad, ungrateful daughter.

      Take care of yourself,
      CG

      • dear castor, you’ve made me realize something today. i believe truly that there is no such thing as a bad daughter. i’ve always heard that phrase thrown around, but i firmly believe, especially now having a daughter of my own, that there is no such thing.

        i think we all have every right to be upset at how we are treated by our parents. when parents or anyone is harmful or dysfunctional, i don’t think it makes us bad to want to talk about it. it may make that person say we are bad or ungrateful, but i think that is only because of their own denial and wish to have you help uphold the illusion of them not having flaws.

        i think it is actually “good” to talk about how things “really are” with your mom. and if things are not going well, it’s just the way things are. and it’s healthy of you to be aware of it and able to be honest about it.

        about your second video, i really did love it. (the first one too – and i liked that you included a fuzzy image of yourself. i thought that was very moving and i thought it was actually a great metaphor that it was so blurry). but about the second one, i’ve seen many things around the blogosphere that are too triggering and upsetting for me. and sometimes i have to stop watching something instantly. but i didn’t feel that way about your video. it just felt true and real. and the music you chose i thought was perfect. so quiet and thoughtful.

        how about instead of wishing things go smoothly with your mom, if that feels off-base, i’ll wish for you feelings of strength and confidence in yourself no matter how things are going with her~~~

        and safe warm hugs, if wanted~

        • Hi katie,

          I can’t quite get my head around the idea of me not being a bad daughter. I don’t want her here, surely that makes me a bad daughter? If nothing else, a good daughter would speak up, or stop the problem from happening to start with. I’m not sure, it’s all very confusing today. Tomorrow I might understand it all.

          That fuzzy image is the only one I have left of me as a child. I wondered if anyone would say anything about it 🙂 I’m glad that the second clip wasn’t triggering. I tried to find music that would suit the pain and sadness, so I’m glad you found it fitting.

          Thank you katie… sending warn safe hugs your way,
          CG

          • hi castor 🙂 thank you for the hugs~ i think it is totally fine to not want to be around your mother. i don’t think it makes you a bad daughter at all. i think we all have our limits when it comes to our parents, and being able to be around them. we can care about them and still need to have that distance. some people need to cut off from their parents altogether to be happy. i did that with one parent, but with the other that didn’t feel necessary, so i’ve tried to work it out. but i think even the most functional families still need space from each other. it doesn’t make us bad people to need space. and i don’t think you are a bad person for not speaking up. it can be really hard and even scary to speak up or do anything outside of the usual dynamic. even if the dynamic feels harmful. i believe all we can ask of ourselves is to try to do our best to take care of ourselves, and that may or may not make others happy, but that’s not our fault. we can’t control them or live our lives only to please them. it’s their job to care for their own happiness. that’s what i believe anyway 🙂

            i’m wishing you peace and good feelings about yourself in all this, castor~ will keep sending positive thoughts your way~~~

            • Thank you for your support and validation katie.

              I’m still trying to process things from a very intense therapy session yesterday, so it’s one thing at a time… today I will take her on a drive and try to keep things light. She goes home tomorrow.

              Take care,
              CG

  10. Both of your reflective posts were great CG! I know what you mean about the kind of happy-go-lucky type post and this one which is very honest. I found this post to be very balanced. You look at both sides, good and bad and you reflected that in your videos. The way you expressed yourself here was…remarkable, beautiful, soulful…there aren’t enough words to describe how wonderful this post is to me. I was really caught up in everything you said. I think your point about thinking you’d be further along than you are was a big one for me too. I thought my therapy would be done in six months and we are SO very past that 🙂

    Being patient and taking time can be very difficult. I’m so very proud of you and I’m so happy that I met you! I’m not going to lie, I’m worried about your mom still being there because I’m worried about you, so I will echo Holly’s wishes for you this week: calm moments, beauty and safety.

    • Thank you tai 🙂

      I’m glad I wasn’t imagining that there was a difference between the two posts.

      With you on the patience being difficult. I went to a therapist in October, expecting to be “healed” by Christmas. That was five years ago. That’s one of the reasons why I keep asking you to go gently on yourself and your desire to know things NOW. I’m not saying that your journey will look like mine, or take the same length of time; but rather, it’s easy to rush things and get overwhelmed in the process. That’s what happened to me for the first year. I was so desperate to find some magical answer, that I ran around in circles.

      I’m sort of coping with the mother. It’s easier when she’s watching tv and I’m distracting on the computer. Tomorrows session with Allison will be focused mainly on the mother and staying safe. I’ll be ok.

      Take care,
      CG

  11. CG your awareness is incredible. I admire the way you can talk about it….I am not there yet. I can’t go into this kind of detail most of the time cuz I still push it away in my head. It scares me too much at this point. But it does sound like you and your psychiatrist set up a good avenue for you to access help in a smoother fashion? You’ve had to face so many challenges just getting good help…Hard to believe it’s that way but good for you for hanging in there with it and getting it straightened out. So has your mother been with you visiting?
    I am sad for your struggles with self injury and suicide. Do you have an alter that you can call on to help get the system under control when things are real bad? I am working on exploring that…I have a part that’s an intense martyr and she stands on the cliffs over the ocean waiting to go…it’s awful when she’s around. She sees self injury as below her…she wants death and romantisizes it like it’s a lover callng to her in the night. But then I have other parts that are into self injury…go figure. I told my T yesterday that I hope she jumps…I’m sick of her. haha He looked at me very intently on that one. He didn’t think it was funny I guess.
    When chaos breaks loose in my head there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel or a new realization if I can hang in there thru it. Do you have any GOOD meds that help break the cycle when it comes?
    I do see progress here with all that you’ve experienced and learned about yourself. AND your dealing with it too. I am so sorry for all of your pain..I wouldn’t wish this stuff on my worst enemy but hang in there and we’re all here for you! We’re not cheesy cheerleaders either! I’m sending you warm strong thoughts and prayers. Please hang in there with all of us cuz we need you. BIG HUGS!!

    • Hi Nansie,

      Thanks 🙂 I’m the first to admit that my awareness changes often. This was also awareness about a fairly easy, pre-defined time period. I didn’t write about any of the scary stuff from the past, but it was present in the artwork. So, I set nice boundaries for myself and worked within them.

      I’m hoping that my access to care will continue. My file is yet again being reviewed. I should find out the latest round of results by the end of the month.

      Yes, my mother has been here for a couple of weeks now, but goes home on Saturday. I’ll be glad when she’s gone. There’s so much confusion around her.

      I’m lucky in that there are a few who can step into help when things are getting scary. The problem can be when they are swamped as well. There are a few who see suicide as the only option available for any number of reasons.

      We all struggle, it’s how that pain presents that is the challenge. I’m sorry there is one in your system who visits the cliff. I’m glad you’re all still here. I’m glad you can talk to your T about it all. Being able to talk about the struggles have helped me immensely.

      I’m lucky to have any access to medication 🙂 I’ve found that I have seriously bad side effects with most of the medications. I’m on anxiety meds prn, but they don’t help so much with the ideation.

      Thanks for the validation Nansie, it means a great deal to me.

      I’m sure that one day soon you will be able to talk about it. I’ve seen you show great progress over the last year.

      Take care,
      CG

  12. First, I didn’t think your last post was all rosy and shiny. I’m glad you acknowledged it was accurate. Because it was. It’s all true.

    But, as you know, there are two sides to everything. And it has to be good that you reflect on what the other side is about.

    The healing, nice language we use (like you used in your previous post) helps us deal with the things you wrote about in this post. They are not mutually exclusive. Those nice words and sentiments provide hope.

    Yes, you have had to deal with so much. More than a person should have to deal with. But, as I always tell you, I think deep down you are determined to heal. And that will get you very far my friend.

    For what it’s worth, I cried when I viewed both your videos… That was really special you were able to do them.

    • Hi Paul,

      Yes, there are two sides to everything – often more than two. It’s difficult to bring all of those inputs and perspectives together into a balanced approach. But I need to keep trying. I know this will help my health overall, and especially help with the catastrophic/overwhelming thinking.

      I know the nice language is important, just as is the pain in some of the Polyvore sets. They’re both valid and both help me learn.

      I’m trying to integrate hope into my life more often. Yesterday I got a beautiful trinket box for my dresser, which I’m going to use in a similar way to LSC’s Sun-Book. At the moment it has got two items in it, but there’s room for much more 🙂

      All of us have had to deal with too much…

      The Arts Carnival entries that you put to music was the inspiration for the clips. One of my favourite pieces of positive music is “Here comes the Sun”, so that was easy; it was more difficult getting the Polyvore selection.

      You, and the others in the blogosphere, have helped me so much this past year. You helped me climb out of the deep holes I was in, thank you.

      Take care,
      CG

  13. CG….thanks for mentioning that you see my progress. I don’t see it yet…I feel like I am in a maze. Paul said I have made progress too and if feels good to hear that even when I don’t see it. Hang in there!

    • Hi Nansie,

      Have you thought of doing a progress refection with your therapist? Sometimes you need that outside perspective to help you put the changes into context.

      Take care of yourself,
      CG

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