Tag Archives: Health

Why I Blog…A Gentle Reminder

I started blogging to help others, and myself become stronger.  The last several months, I did not have it in me to carry myself, much less have any bright days to share and lift others.  My internal protector, who now goes by Gidget, not “the mean one”, isn’t mean at all.  She does have a temper.  She can swear like a sailor when she gets angry, but her goal has been to protect me and “squirt” and to make me have a little more fun in life.

What now seems eons ago, but was only weeks ago, she told me angrily, “Not everyone deserves to be forgiven.”  That statement lead to pandora’s box being opened, and discovering and recalling that my “original” abuser, was a pawn and victim himself in his father and step-mother’s sadistic game.  Who knows how long it went on with him, but Little Shanna endured about a year and a half of sexual abuse.  Holding tightly to the secret, the sadness, and the guilt, standing beside her, a valiant protector Gidget.

She is remembering that she did fight now, she let me know, I fought and begged to go home.  There is only so much a 4 and 5 year old child can do.  Especially when you have two adults there, who are holding you.  Holding you in a way that you do not bruise though.  Hugging you.  Adults you once trusted.  Adults you should still be able to trust.  Hearing my dog barking outside because she heard my cries.  Gidget, that is where she got her name from.  My faithful protector back then.

She has introduced herself to most of my family and friends.  I am not really comfortable with that, but I suppose she is making it so that I do not have to worry about it.  Fear of rejection is so high.  She gave my closest friends what for the other day, for absolutely no reason.  Of course I had to apologize profusely after I returned.  She seems to forget my life, our life, is not all that everyone has to deal with.

She and I have become almost like sisters.  Boy howdy can she get mad at me.  If I try to smooth something over when it is clearly not my fault, or heaven forbid I blame her for something that happens, and I do not know if she had anything to do with it or not.  My husband says I need to learn to chose my words more carefully.  I told him, I am not used to someone knowing my intimate thoughts, and responding to them.  This is a new ball game for me.

She has quite the sense of humor.  I hope she does not mind me sharing this.  First off, she is country.  Very country.  Several people have mentioned that she has a serious twang to her voice.  After therapy yesterday, I told my parents that I wanted to try to actually eat out at my favorite place.  Ole Times Country Buffet. I set up ground rules.  My back would be to the wall, and I would be able to see my parents at all times, even at the buffet.  I was getting a little nervous.  Mother said Gidget came out and said, “I ain’t gonna let her eat all this good food by herself.”  Mother laughed as she said some of the things Gidget said and did.  First apparently she ate so fast, afraid I would come out soon.  Mother asked her if I had put any fried squash on the plate.  I had not, only because I did not have room.  Gidget sad SHE does not like that stuff. She joked, “When she comes back she ain’t gonna know where her food went.”  Gidget, must be a messy eater because my napkin was all nasty when I returned, and she was right.  I had Mac’N’Cheese (because” it did not taste like Ms. Edith’s (my grandmother) or hers (Mothers)”, according to Gidget, I agree.), and a piece of dry chicken.  Thing is my mouth was still hungry, though my belly bloated.  I dared her in my mind to come out when I got my deserts.  I got two just in case, I hid them behind butter beans and collards.

If you are new to this life.  My advice is, take it slow, but try to become friends.  I find when I am scared or afraid when they come out, it wipes me out physically.  If I let them come have their peace, and not fight them, I am not nearly as exhausted when I return.  I  do not understand it, but that is how my body and mind works.  My doctor seemed to recognize the exhaustion, so I must not be too crazy.  Yeah, not too crazy, says the woman with two altar personalities.

I am not going to write as often as I did before, but I will check in every once and a while.  A pulse check  to let you know that I am still alive and kicking.

Thank you so much for reading.  Thank you Mental Health Bloggers for the gentle reminder as to why I began blogging.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Hope, Gidget, Little Shanna

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Three Faces of Me

 

The Three Faces of Eve
The Three Faces of Eve (Photo credit: junibears)

During therapy yesterday Dr. R mentioned the movie The Three Faces of Eve.  Since The Mean One has come out fighting this week,  I feel like I need to understand what is going on with me.

Watching the movie helped me understand somethings that I have been trying to understand, the way they communicate, among themselves, and with me. Having these awful headaches more frequently also, a similarity.

I hate being like this.  I have always been the person to take care of everything.  I handled our bills, dealing with any and all business for us.  Now if the slightest ripple in the plans or transactions happen, that rock my boat, that cause me any negative emotion The Mean One thinks of it as an open invitation to take over.

In therapy we discussed acknowledging her and her anger.  Last night when she came out at something so minor and stupid, I did just that.  I tried to acknowledge her anger.  I begged her to tell me why she was so angry.  That seemed to make her more angry.  Little Shanna then pushed her way forward, and was so scared.  She asked for Mother.  I am proud of her for doing that.  Tracy called Mother for her and Mother was able to calm her enough for me to push back forward.

Something needs to give.  I hate this.

Thanks for reading.  ~Hope

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Busy Hands Trying To Silence My Mind

Mentally busy today updating my OS on my Macbook and then trying to figure out how to get Zemanta on my blog.  Oh how I have missed Zemanta.

Really the goal has been to keep my mind off of my doctors appointments tomorrow.  When I go to therapy and my psychiatrist, the waiting room is generally not too crowded, but my internist and my pulminologist, oftentimes it is standing room only.  So my anxiety as already started, go figure.

Wow I did not realize what time it was, it is already time for me to cook dinner for the hubs.  Where is he?  Hmmmm…Yeah, that is a phone call to make, wish I had not noticed the time.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great evening! ~Hope

Enhanced by Zemanta

Doctor Visit 3 & 4, Only 2 More…This Week

Hump Day! I picture the camel in the Geico commercial dancing his way down my hall.

Hump Day held doctor visits 3 and 4 of this week…only two more to go.

Visit 4 was a routine check up. Gratefully. Visit 3 follow-up on my nerve conduction studies.

I found out that the pain is not all in my head. Bilateral, okay just use the normal words, moderate to severe carpal tunnel in both hands. Then I watched way too much Harry Potter, or at least that is how I remember how to say the next thing they found in my neck–Cervical Radiculitis. Sounds just like one of the spells. My Mother reminders the name by saying everything that happens to me is ridiculous. True statement. So I suppose a spell has been cast that truly ridiculous things happen to me. They said once I am finished with all the testing, I am going to be tired of tests. I am passes that point already. They are going to figure out what is compressing the nerve root and also figure out what is going on in my lumbar region.

Mother and I were blessed with the opportunity to spend a few moments with our dear friend in ICU. She is such a sweet dear lady. I ask for prayers for her, she surely needs them. She was so very restless when we went in her room. As we talked to her Mother suggested we sing to her. We sang hymns, she calmed and started to relax. When we would stop she would raise her arm over her head, anxiously. When we did, she let her arm rest beside her. I know she is in there. I know she is. You could see it in her eyes today. I cannot imagine what she is feeling and not being able to express what she feels. I can only imagine how she felt knowing that we understood that she wanted us to keep singing.

I am grateful to have been able to share those moments with my amazing Mother and my sweet friend.

Lillie’s Pain Analogy

20130719-181750.jpg

I love this girl. Though she is my parents pup, her little heart beats in unison with mine. I suppose there are several reasons. I was the one who found her on Craigslist. My Daddy and I picked her up on a really rotten day for me. When her little toothless piglet looking self was handed to me it was instant love. During her first vet appointment the vet was very concerned for her survival. Between the dishonest breeder pulling her away from her mom too soon, to the genetic issues that she has from inbreeding, TLC was what it would take to make the cutest girl from Lakeland, Georgia thrive.

Thriving she is. She has gain two pounds, weighing in at a whooping 2.6 lbs. Today she went to have her second set of Parvo and Distemper Shots. Poor poor angel girl.

About two hours after the shots she started hurting really bad. Crying out when she was put down. crying if my Daddy held her. Crying when Heidi licked her. I called my Mother to she how her appointment went and I could hear my girl crying. I wanted to cry. Mother was trying to cook lunch, but every move she made Lillie Pie would cry out. I could not stand it. I told Mother I come down and relieve her to so she could cook.

When I walked in Lillie saw me and immediately tried to get to me, crying loudly the whole time. broke my heart into a thousand pieces. She didn’t know why moving hurt. Wrapped in her pink blankie, she finally relaxed in my arms and went to sleep.

So where is the analogy?

PTSD and Depression is like what Lillie experienced today. She went through the traumatic experience, but the pain did not hit, really hit until hours later. Then every time she thought about it, even in her dreams she would scream out in pain. I am sure she is sore, do not get me wrong, but the screams coming from this baby were so horrible. Unbearable agony. She did not know why she was in pain, she did not associate it with the shot anymore. As a matter of fact, at one point I noticed that she shied away from her blanket. I think she thought that her blanket was her tormentor. Often with PTSD we see those that are trying to comfort us as tormentors because we do not understand what we are feeling and experiencing and on what side of reality we stand during the experience. Nor do those that are trying to help use, and in helping us they sometimes bring us pain.Another thing that I thought about, and I recently talked to a dear friend about this as I tried to help them validate their feelings of childhood sexual abuse. You sometimes have very intense emotions that you cannot put your finger on a reason, I have always told my husband that. I am mad, sad, upset, or whatever, but I do not know why. My way of describing this to my friend was amputee victims having fathom feelings itches or pains in the limb that is no longer there. Phantom emotions cause similar experiences. Being detached whether it be time or geographically from the abuse and abuser, yet still experiencing the phantom emotions. You have them without thinking about your abuse, the feelings are just there, and much like the amputee, learning how to deal with phantom emotions is a key to healing and it is a journey. They will never go away completely as we will learn coping skills, we can begin to feel whole again.

Daily Prompt: I Don’t Wanna, But I Know Need To

Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!
Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.

Earlier this year my Internist and I sat having lengthy a conversation about my anxiety and depression. Both had gone of for years and years, and I have been through so many medications requiring to change them about every two years. He said in his wisdom that I needed to go to someone specialized in mental health and to get counseling.

My heart and my mind immediately went…EEEEERRRRRKKKKK!!! (That would be the sound effect of brakes stopping racing tires on the pavement.) My voice however said, “My husband goes to Dr. X, a psychiatrist and I will see if I can get in to see him.” My doctor had another psychiatrist that he had referred patients to in the past, if I could not get into Dr. X. I will always remember his words, “Choosing your mental health doctor needs to be a personal decision.” I did not quite understand the full impact and emotion behind that until later in my journey.

For the life of me I do not remember if it was that day or a week or several weeks before I made an appointment with Dr. X, nonetheless, I did. I cried on the way to the appointment, realizing that I needed it but still sad that I had to go. Even thought about cancelling, after all I had asthmatic bronchitis and was coughing constantly. I would not be able to talk, yes, that would be my excuse. I knew if I cancelled, though, I would not reschedule.

I had sat in his office a couple of times before with my husband, this time was different. I was the one under the microscope and being mentally interrogated. He started throwing possible diagnosis at me. MS, ADD, Asbergers, PTSD, Major Depression, and Anxiety. Woah, what are you talking about Doc? My mind raced. He sent me for a gallon of lab work, which was good. I needed several of them for my other doctor too. Before I left he said “I want you to make and appointment to meet with this therapist, she does EMDR.” I will never forget his words either, “I really feel she can help you.”

So off I went to call the therapist, she was able to see me that day. You often hear the cliché today is the first day of the rest of your life. Well, that day truly was, and not in a good way.

You can read about that experience here.

That is one call I wish I had never made, truth be known, I wish I could rewind the clock and see another psychiatrist. I think it is a bad idea for spouses to see the same psychiatrist, especially when one or the other is really close with the psychiatrist. My husband has been in with Dr. X for two years now. I am not saying Dr. X is not a good doctor, he has helped my husband, but I think because of the friendship he has with my husband it is hard for him to be objective about me, or at least that is how I feel. Trust is key in a mental health doctor patient relationship, as in any doctor patient relationship.

When I started going to the EMDR therapist Dr. X said he would “hover” over my care and see me every three months. He never changed my mental medications, but wanted to remove me from the medications for my other health problems, or rather wanted my other doctors to remove me from them. When things went so horribly wrong with EMDR, I felt betrayed by the EMDR therapist and Dr. X for recommending her so highly when she clearly was not going by EMDR protocol. My husband still goes to both, so as my internist puts it, mental health is an individual choice. I really think Dr. X is a genuinely nice person, and am so grateful for what he has done to help my husband.

I have now found the right therapist for me. She talks to and with me. When I explain how I am feeling she makes sure she understands she heard what I meant and felt behind my words. I appreciate that. I have an appointment to see a new psychiatrist soon. She is highly recommended by my therapist.

I am learning so much about myself in therapy. Just this week, right before session ended I recognized something pivotal. Anytime anything negative happens in my life, I do not just live that negative event. I relive every negative event. That is why I get so, so upset and so,so down and discouraged feeling like there is nothing good in the world. I guess misery loves company, so does my own misery, it brings its own memories. She mentioned this is a symptom of PTSD and grief.

A light bulb just went on in my head as I typed that. My Mother mentions that I get very very angry lately. I do not realize how intensely angry I get because I am trying so hard not to let my emotions take control of me. I wonder if this too could be part of that same picture. For example last Friday being denied by disability, I knew I was intensely sad, but I do not recall anger. Mother recalls anger. Do all of my suppressed emotions bubble over at once without me realizing it? Over something relatively small in the scheme of things, I knew I would be denied the first time. I became so depressed by the belittling terminology used in the letter.

I am learning that though I feel weak, in the same breath I am very strong. I have dealt with many trials in my life, and continue to do so every day. I am a fighter. Some moments I think that fight is gone, but it is clearly still there. I am a survivor.

I am learning and relearning talents that I would not have if I had been brought to this low point in my life. I once loved to write, and I promised I would write to help people. One day I stopped. I thought I lost the talent.

Blogging is not the same as the poetry that I once wrote, but is writing. I am grateful for the outlet. Also my new joy, I would say my one real joy is photography. I am grateful that I am learning to take pictures and see things differently. Something that is interesting to me, is that things that are normally ugly, can be absolutely gorgeous when taken with macro.

I think that is what I am learning through therapy. Take a closer look at yourself, study yourself, get to know yourself, and love yourself. One day, those things that are you think hideous, will be blessings and beautiful. Other people already see that beauty and hold that love for you close until you are ready to accept it, one day I will be ready.

20130628-113704.jpg

Daily Post: Strength, Love, Courage, Faith, and Hope

Today’s prompt was about artists. If you read my last post you saw a beautiful painting by Simon Dewey that offers me a great strength and hope.

The artwork I am about to share brings me great courage strength and hope also. I look at it often. It was created just for me when I was going through my trials being diagnosed uterine cancer. That amazing friend Bec you hear so much about created it for me and my support team.

279833_10150254749757416_3506480_o

The words: Strength, Love, Courage, Faith, and Hope. Those words mean so much to me these days as I struggle more than ever with anxiety and depression. I truly thought cancer would be one of the most difficult things I faced. Cancer was a breeze to me. I was able to keep a pretty positive attitude through it. Bec, had no idea, how much I would lean on this art and the words the rest of my life. This is my most treasured piece of art.

The last picture I want to show is one from earlier today from my walk to Narnia. As I mentioned I could not find the wisteria, but I found these tiny flowers. They are so pretty. I think it was appropriate that I needed to look for them, it kept me engaged in the now.

I debated whether or not to post the image because I want to hide behind “Hope” but there are dual purposes for sharing. One to share the art that I love so much, and two to let “Little Shanna” have her day that I show our real name. I will continue to go by Hope on the blog. That is what I am comfortable with. But I am giving her a voice for a moment, to say our name is Shanna.

Flowers of Narnia 6-27

 

Wide Awake Megaphone of Negativity in My Mind

Insomnia

 

The thoughts are so loud.
Each nerve in my body
a pinnacle of aniexty,
ready to catch the next thought,
and amplify it,
and make me hurt all over.
Piercing, agonizing pain.

Nowhere to escape.
Nowhere to run.
You cannot run from your thoughts.
Others have tried to drown them
Or cut them
Or smoke them
Or…
Or…
Or…
All ways to try to feel something else,
or not feel at all.

I did not do any of those, ever.
Self respect, faith, pride, fear,
Whatever the reason I didn’t.
Sometimes, I envy those
With those outlets.
An emotional checkout would be
Amazing.
But at what cost.

I laid here tonight wondering,
How much Xanax would it take to
Give me a vacation, but not kill me?
Irrational I know, so I took one.
Hopefully soon the nerves will relax,
and I can sleep.
As fitful as it is, I need sleep.

My husband says each night
I fight unseen demons in my sleep.
Very fitful, very restless.
No wonder I stay exhausted.
A warrior cannot fight all night and all day,
and still function 100%.
I need something.

Whether I wave the flag of surrender,
or collapse in defeat.
I do not see the fight in me anymore.
Hopefully the Xanax kicks in soon,
And I can sleep.

I pray that when the sun rises on the new day,
I will have renewed strength and fortitude to meet the day.
Until then, I still breathe
and that means I am winning.