Saturday, 31 December 2011

I don't think I can go to the New Year's Eve party tomorrow. I don't want to start another year. I would much rather stay home and die. Really and truly die.

Why would I want to start another year? Each of the last five years has been worse than the one before. Each year has got worse and worse and worse.

I can't go and sit round a table with a bunch of people all looking forward to the next year. All full of hope and promise and anticipation. I can't look them in the eye. I just want to jump up and down on the table and scream at them. Why do they get to be happy and have lives, and I get this? I can't do it.

It was bad enough having to sit through Christmas. Which I already hate. Without having to watch New Year - which I love - get destroyed too.

But if I don't go, there's a very good chance I'll finally go through with the suicide plans. At least at the party, I wouldn't have space to think about it. And it's been filling my mind for days. And if I'm here, alone, there'll be nothing to stop me.

There's nothing to live for. I can't make it through enough therapy to get rid of the pain. And I can't live like this. The pain never stops, the meds don't work, the doctor won't give me enough of them and I would be so much better off dead

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Somatic illness

I said I would put something up here about 'somatizing', so here it is.

I've gone into this new therapy because I'm convinced the pain is rooted in psychological trauma. More specifically, I believe it's all about feeling abandoned - now sacrificed (see this post) - by my mother.

I told the therapist this, and we talked a bit about 'somatic illness'. Somatic illness is where a physical illness is actually caused by emotional trauma. The mind can't cope with the trauma, it can't express it, so it turns on itself and attacks the body. It reduces blood flow (hence the new sling worked by increasing bloodflow to my shoulder), it constricts nerves and it makes other changes, like disrupting nerves so they send pain signals when they shouldn't.

It's very common, and the illness - all the symptoms etc - is completely real. Although it's created by the mind, there is nothing 'made up' about it. It is not 'all in the head', it's not hypochondria, the patient isn't doing it all on purpose. It's real symptoms of a real illness - it's just that rather than a pathogen or a virus causing the physiological changes, it's the brain doing it, essentially because there is something that the brain feels it can't cope with in any other way.

All of these things are happening subconsciously, and so the patient has no idea it's going on, and is equally powerless to stop it. Even when you do know it's happening, it's still not possible simply to turn it off; you have to work out and understand what it is the brain can't cope with, and resolve that underlying conflict. Only then will the illness go away - because the brain no longer needs it: it can now cope with the trauma itself.

Any stress-related illness is essentially somatic e.g. headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Somatic illness commonly hits the digestive and genitourinary tracts, so you get ulcers, IBS, cystitis, thrush etc. Also eating disorders - when someone who's never really shown an interest in dieting, develops an eating disorder (like me 12 years ago), you'll often hear doctors say it's because they are trying to exert control over their life, and the only thing they feel able to control is their food . The point, though, is that there is something else in the patient's life or their past that they couldn't control, and the eating disorder is the brain's way of compensating for that. You may also hear of paralysis that has no physical cause and which later resolves itself (this, unhelpfully, used to be called 'hysterical paralysis', once again making it sound like something you intentionally do to yourself).

Tangentially, it's also not uncommon to hear of sexual abusers later developing testicular cancer; all the guilt from what they've done with that part of their body gets returned there, by the mind. I'm still waiting and hoping to hear that about my father, though I do know he's had quite a lot of medical problems down there, including, I think, surgery. (Yes, it's wrong to wish that on someone else, but think about what he did to me - really think about it - then tell me I'm wrong.)

In talking to the therapist, and reading the book, I realised that I have suffered somatic illnesses since I was about 14, ranging from joint pain, IBS and anorexia, to cystitis, excema and skin allergies. Although I recovered from the knee injury caused by the motorbike accident accident (it was a slow recovery, as soft tissue injuries generally are, but there was no hint of long-term fallout), by the time the car accident happened 15 months later, something had changed,

Something in my psyche had reached crisis point, and the trauma(s) that had caused 25 years of often overlapping somatic illnesses, came together in one life-altering, disability-inducing condition - chronic pain.

It all started with my shoulder. When that didn't help (i.e. it didn't achieve what my brain needed it to, in order to resolve the conflict), things got worse, with the addition of the neck pressure. My brain was not only inducing my nerves to send faulty signals, now it was constricting nerves, so that I developed neurological problems, like numbness, twitching, explosive headaches, migraines and back pain. Each deterioration since then can be seen as another attempt by my brain to resolve an unresolveable conflict.

That 'conflict' lies in my feelings about my mother abandoning me both to and for my father (again, back to that earlier post). I'm not going to go into it in any more detail, because some things really are just too personal. The difficuly, though, is that none of this is going to get any better until I have resolved those issues. And there are all sorts of other issues tied in to that, like issues of control, feeling unsafe, anger; until all of these are dealt with, I don't have a chance of the pain getting any better. My brain is doing all this in a misguided attempt to help me; it's not going to stop until it perceives that help is no longer needed. And that means that physically, things could get a lot worse, before they get better.

Which perhaps explains why today has been such a shitty day, and why popping to Tesco to get nibbles for a New Year's Eve party I'm starting to doubt I'll ever make it to, triggered hideous pain and left me stuck in bed all day. It also explains why increasingly the meds are having zero impact on the pain, even when I'm swimming in side effects; my brain is desperately hanging on to it's coping mechanism, despite my best efforts to unpick it, because it fears the world will fall apart without it.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Taken less morph today because of the time I got up, yet it's absolutely hammering me today. I feel completely flattened. I can't breathe, I don't have the strength to even open my eye, let alone sit up. It's bloody awful.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Finally, I found myself able to listen to someone else's problems today. It didn't leave me feeling hurt or angry that the focus was being taken away from me, or that she had no right to complain because her problems were nothing compared to mine.

I was just able to listen, to sympathise and to offer what little advice I had. I could see and understand that her problems were as valid and as important as mine.

At last. I've waited so long to get to this point.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Unexpectedly bad day.

I was woken by a text from a friend cancelling her visit to see me today. She was my only visitor for this whole Xmas period, because for some reason everyone has said they don't have time for metill the New Year.

So I was already feeling unwanted and unappreciated. When igot that text though, I lost the plot.

I was in hysterical tears for an hour. Things got even worse when I asked my sister if she was free and she said no. I'd originally intended to invite her over today, but didn't because of my friend coming round. So when she cancelled, I felt like I'd missed out in time with my sis for no good reason.

My sister kept trying to cheer me up, but I was inconsolable. All I could see was days and weeks of loneliness, and I just couldn't bear it. I was desperately fighting the urge to just go and slice open my wrists. I really and truly wanted to die. it wasn't just the loneliness though; it was the loneliness filled with the endless pain. I just don't know how to cope with this never-ending pain.

After a couple of hours, I knew I had to reply to my friend. I didn't want to make her feel worse, but I felt I had to explain why it had taken me so long to respond. So I told her how upset I'd been. I was stunned to then receive a text saying she was on her way.

Despite the fact that she was having her own meltdown, she obviously decided she couldn't leave me like that.

I was very grateful, though I felt really guilty when I saw how rough she looked. But I hadn't asked her to change her mind and it had genuinely never occurred to me that she might.

So we spent the afternoon sharing whinges; at least I felt a bit better concentrating on her problems instead of mine (which is actually a really good sign - I haven't been able to do that for months). The pain was - and still is - bad, just like the neck pressure, and I've been stuck in bed all day because I just didn't feel able to sit up.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

The pain has been quite bad this evening, especially tonight, and the pills are doing nothing to help.

It's bizarre; the pills are affecting me - I feel stoned and floaty - but it's like they're completely by-passing the pain.

If you follow the logic of 'somatic illness' through to it's logical conclusion, I guess it could be that the stress of Christmas and having to see my family is causing the pain to get worse.

More so, it could be that the stress of seeing my mum has intensified the conflicted feelings I have about her abandonment of me. My mind is making the pain worse, because this is the only way it has of expressing those conflicted feelings.

So no matter how many pills I take, they won't work. Because the real pain isn't in my shoulder, it's in my soul. And it's the pain of see her and being reminded of all the ways she let me down.

That makes sense, but it means I'm in an even more hopeless state than ever.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Monday, 26 December 2011

24 hours of the TENS machine on my shoulder has burnt holes through my skin. I've got several bleeding sores from it, yet using it was the only thing I could do; without it I'd still be stuck on L's sofa, unable to get up.

I nearly wet myself there as it was, it took so long for me to be able to get up the stairs to the toilet. And now I have days or even weeks of broken skin, burning, itching and bleeding. All from 'the cure'.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Sunday, 25 December 2011


I love that my friends know me so well.

One of my best friends one year gave me a DVD of a comedy show I'd never seen before, and which is now my total fave!

Another friend is developing a real knack for picking out brilliant books for me. She did it again for Christmas - she found fab books that are sooo me. So much so, in fact, that another friend got me one of them as well! Oops.

My book-buying friend also got me a calendar of antique maps. I've never mentioned I have a thing for old maps, she just figured since I love travel, I'd like maps. Spot on!

It's so nice that my friends know me that well - it makes me feel all cosy and loved. To be known so well, it makes me feel 'visible' and 'there' - the exact opposite of all those times when I feel I'm fading away before my very eyes.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

I've just made a note in next year's diary not to go to my family's for Xmas. It's too depressing, too pain-filled and just not worth the drive.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

I really thought things would feel better once the family visit was over; I thought it was just that making me feel so shit.

But on the way back from there - during the endless, pain-infested drive home - I started to feel even more crap. I just wanted to get home, get into the kitchen and start carving up my wrists.

I just feel so lonely and empty and hopeless. I was relieved my mum didn't leap up to hug me when I walked in yesterday, and gutted she just sat there. All the niceness of the day was ruined by the hideous pain episode that had me trapped on L's sofa till 1am and kept me awake all night at A's. I didn't feel able to sit and chat with her this morning but I didn't want to feel so ill and pain-ridden that I had to go back to bed. The drive home was like some kind of torture session. I really wanted L to come over while the kids are at their dad's, but instead she's off with her mate that she spends all her time with, and I'm consumed with jealousy.

It's yet another Xmas of hideous pain, feeling trapped into seeing people I don't want to see. I stopped that years ago and carved out the Xmas I wanted. But I can't have the Xmas I want because of the pain, so I'm forced into someone else's, like a pathetic add-on.

And I'm faced with starting yet another year of pain. I want to die.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Friday, 23 December 2011

I would happily swap this Christmas for any of those where I was cramming for exams and working in the restaurant. Anything would be better than this.

I fucking HATE Christmas.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone


The therapist asked me last week what happened in my life around the age of 13-14 that caused me to start somatizing (my subconscious producing very real and difficult illnesses in order to express an inexpressible trauma).

I couldn't think of anything; the sexual abuse had stopped by then, I'd changed schools, my disabled sister was already at her 'special' school with her 'special transport. There was nothing particular that happened around that time. It struck me last night though. It was my little sister's near miss.

She was about 5 and was cycling with my mum. They were coming down a steep hill leading to a very busy road, when my sister suddenly forgot how to use the brakes on her bike. She was flying down the hill towards certain death, so my mum powered past her and knocked her off. It was the only way to prevent her crashing into a bus or fast-moving car, and quite probably saved her life.

I was always stunned and amazed at my mum doing something so heroic. I was proud of her. But I was also completely confused: how could the woman who would go to those lengths for her daughter, be the same woman who was never, ever there for me? Even at that time I had already blocked out the sexual abuse, so I couldn't put the betrayal I felt into words - I didn't know what I felt so abandoned about, I just knew that I did.

And I think it was that, the 'heroic' event and the conflict it caused in me, that tipped me over the edge. I think that's what started the somatizing - I desperately needed to know she cared that much for me.

It's so weird though - all this time I've been convinced it was about the attention my middle sister got; turns out, it's my baby sister.


I'm aware I haven't put a post up here yet about the somatizing; I'll try to, but it's not easy to talk about it.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

It's taken a huge effort of will not to down every morphine pill in the house at realising this...

She didn't just abandon me, she didn't even just abandon me to him. That would have been s breeze, by comparison. No, it's not just about abandonment. It's not just about turning her back, walking away and leaving me to my fate. It's about sacrifice.

She sacrificed me. She sacrificed me to him and she sacrificed me for him.

She stood by and did nothing when she discovered his abuse of me, both times. When she found him in bed with me - which she has conveniently blocked out - she accepted his excuses, stood by and let him get away with it. Then when I outed him, 30-odd years later, she stayed with him.

But not only that. All the years of my childhood, his state of mind, his mood, his happiness, was my responsibility. If he was angry, it was because I (or we) had done something to make him that way. The admonishment 'not to annoy dad' paved my childhood.

So important was his contentment to her, that I was disposable in pursuit of it. It didn't matter that keeping him happy - or bearing the blame for failure to do so - made me unhappy. He was more important than me and she would drop me in a heartbeat if it meant favour from him.

Not only that, though. Not only was I currency redeemable against his mood. I was her buffer from him. I was the perfect substitute, the ideal proxy, to protect her from him.

He wanted someone in the garage bleeding brakes or holding welding panels. She didn't want to be out there, getting yelled at, damaging his mood, risking the tranquility of the next few days to an endless petulant sulk; perfect, send the daughter. An ideal stand-in, someone who could complete the tasks, listen to the endless narcissistic preening, with no right to complain or refuse. Keeping him away from the mother for as long as possible, and until all the unpleasantness was done. They could even bond over lamenting and bemoaning the inadequacy of the understudy's performance.


Over and over again that bitch sacrificed me to him, to make her own miserable little life more comfortable. And she's still doing it. Still acting like he's the only one that matters, and the rest of us are just here for his convenience.

Well she can go to hell. I never want to see that bitch again. I'm done.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Weird day today. I got no sleep - my sleeping is especially shit at the moment - so I've been tired all day.

I had to talk to Personnel this morning, and wound up getting quite upset at the thought that struck me last night; about things getting worse before they can get any better.

I cheered up a bit, but when the neck pressure once again forced me to take to my bed after lunch, with my arm in extreme and very painful traction, I just felt I couldn't bear to keep on like this; I started planning a pre-Christmas suicide.

It gradually wore off, then just now I suddenly found myself - for a very brief moment - feeling very positive and almost elated.

It lasted at most about five minutes though, and now I'm back to how I was before. Wondering how the hell I'm going to find the strength to get through months more of pain and neck pressure and no sleep. And that's without factoring in the toll the therapy is going to take. Really, I think it would be better not to even bother putting myself through it. I should just get the big knife out right now. You have no idea how much I want to.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

I think it's possible things could get a lot worse with this new therapy, before they get any better. And that thought terrifies me.

Already tonight I've had to take 35mg of OxyNorm, on top of the usual 20mg of OxyContin. The pain has exploded due to the extreme traction I've had to have my arm in all day, but that was the only way to ease the neck pressure. I'm still having to keep some traction, or the NP is too bad to sleep. But it's causing terrible shoulder pain, and the morphine is doing absolute nothing to help it.

I'm scared that, as my brain perceives its coping mechanism being taken apart, it will go all out to protect the ruse. Which will result in unbearable pain that the morphine is powerless over.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

'Unfairness reflex'

I'm having an odd reaction to the therapy; my 'unfairness reflex' - the part of me that always overreacts to any perceived injustice - has gone into overdrive.

I always get very angry and upset whenever I feel someone is treating me unfairly. I also get angry at unfairness to others, e.g. an able-bodied person using a disabled space. It doesn't affect me directly - I've already got a space, for example - but I'm annoyed in others' behalf.

At the moment though, I'm becoming utterly incensed, beside myself with rage at injustice to people completely removed from myself - on TV for example.

I was watching something on TV today where a labouring woman couldn't get an epidural because the only anaesthetist in duty was in theatre. I felt so furious on behalf of this poor woman forced to endure the pain of labour without relief simply because of the hospital's failure to provide enough staff.

I was crying with fury and I had to stop watching. Then later, I was watching something else, a comedy, where one character was taking advantage of another, and she was letting him get away with it. I was overcome with fury and had to change channels.

I've never been this bad before. It must be because the therapy is bringing things to the surface. It has me worried though; if I can get that upset at injustice on a fictional TV show, how am I going to react if someone does something 'unfair' to me?

It's especially worrying given that I have to see my mother in four days time. My mother whose abandonment and neglect of me is one of the root causes of that same 'unfairness reflex'. I'm now dreading going over there, and seeing her. Totally dreading it.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

I've managed no OxyNorm today (so far - Im expecting to take some in about an hour). That sounds better than it is, because the reason for that is that the neck pressure has been so bad that drugs have been useless - the only option has been to put my arm into extreme traction to try and get some relief.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Monday, 19 December 2011

I'm conscious that I'm not putting as much up here at the moment as I usually do.

That doesn't mean there's nothing going on - actually, quite the contrary. There's a huge amount going on, but it's all so personal that I'm just not comfortable sharing it.

I can say that the latest therapy session went well, and it's already clear that she does know what she's on about. She came up with some very useful suggestions and interpretations that I hadn't thought of, and which have made me think, which is exactly what I need her to do.

After a week of good pain levels, as a direct result of the first therapy session, I then had a really bad week, coinciding with my latest visit to the doctor. The therapist had a different perspective on why that happened the way it did, and also set my mind at ease that it wasn't me 'making things worse' again - that I'm not consciously in control of this.

As a result, things got a bit better, but then I had an awful night last night and I feel terrible now. If it hadn't been for a visit from some friends I rarely get to see, today would probably have been horrible too.

I'm aware that I'm once again taking a lot of morphine - more than I'd like - but I feel I have no choice. A lot of the time it's not even really helping that much, yet the chance that it might, and my desperation for some relief, make me feel I have to try.

I'm worried I'll run out over Xmas, especially as the doc gave me less, because I'd asked for higher denomination pills. I know he's probably right they I'll this will mean they'll last longer, but the fear of pain with no pills to attack it, terrifies me.

And then there's my mum hassling me about seeing her at Xmas, when she's really the last person I want to spend time with, given all the stuff the therapy is bringing up about how she abandoned md as a child, and has kept on abandoning me ever since.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Friday, 16 December 2011

I can't do this therapy stuff. It's too hard, it hurts too much to remember.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

I seem to be doing a lot of 'fresh start' stuff at the moment - like getting new specs, cutting my hair etc.

I'm getting a really positive feeling and I think it's coming from that, as tho a new start means things will somehow be different. Maybe they will.

I've also been getting rid of stuff that's been hanging around for ages, and replacing it with new; like I'm throwing out the past, even the recent past, and starting over. And I've got on and tried or bought things I've been ruminating on for literally years.

And I've been able to do some things that haven't been possible since the accident, notably paint fingernails, instead of having to wear ore-painted stick-on ones. It's because I've never been able to sit with my arm in a position to let the polish dry, without it getting all over me or the furniture.

Thanks to the new sling, now I can - I've just done it for the first time. I'll be back on my fuck-off heels one day, you wait and see.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Morphine dose

I tried reducing the number of OxyContin doses yesterday, as part of my attempts to cut back - and eventually cut out - the morphine.

I've already managed to go from double doses to single, so it seemed possible. I also had no pain after therapy yesterday, so thought maybe it was done, and I wouldn't need the pills.

Unfortunately, I did need them; the pain ramped up this afternoon, and I couldn't subdue it mentally, so I wound up having to take extra Oxynorm. My heating failing didn't help either; faffing about with the boiler, getting stressed, rushing about making phone calls etc all made the pain worse.

This is no good. The doc prefers I take the oxyc., it's more efficient (because it's slow release - more benefit per pill), and anyway, I'm running out of Oxynorm. I've just had to take even more; I took a bedtime dose at 10.30, but then I got caught up trying to design a mindmap to represent all the therapy stuff that I'm working on, and suddenly, it's 2am, the pain is worse, and I need more pills because I can't sublimate the pain when I'm trying to sleep.

So anyway, back to normal OxyContin levels tomorrow - 70mg spread over five doses, and hopefully keeping emergency Oxynorm to a minimum.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Things I'm going to do when I'm better

There are so many things I want to do, and that I will do when the pain stops. Here's some of them, in no particular order

Wear really high-heeled shoes
Go to Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica
Become a volunteer magistrate
Learn Sign Language
Wear all my funky clothes
Join Rock Choir
Go to a chinchilla show
Work with the campaign to legalise suicide
Go back to salsa dancing
Wear funky tights
Go kickboxing
Climb a volcano
Learn Latin
Visit the manatees in Florida
Do my embroidery
Go to a circus (no animals)
Do knitting
Go to the spa
Do WiiFit

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

The first full session with the new therapist went well. I'd had no sleep the night before, but instead a series of 'lightbulb' moments that meant I had tons to discuss with her.

I'm afraid I'm not putting it all up here, because some things are just toooo personal. But the therapist was very impressed with my week's work, and things are continuing to go well today.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Fucking incredible

The shrink rang the other day, as arranged, to see how I felt about her suggestion of three-more-appointments-then-out-on-your-arse.

I told her what I thought about it (I kept it polite). I reminded her she was the one who'd said I needed psychodynamic therapy, and I was pursuing that. At which point, she told me about an NHS service I could self-refer to.

The question is, why did she not tell me about that six months ago, when she started trying to kick me out? Stupid fucking cow.

I didn't tell her - cos she doesn't bloody well deserve to know - that I've found a very good therapist, and I'm sticking with her.

The shrink can fucking go to hell!

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

I went for an eye test on Thursday, because the world's been looking pretty blurry lately.

I didn't see how my eyes could've changed so soon, and thought it was probably the meds. But it turned out they had changed, quite a lot. So new specs are on the way.

I did OK during the trip, but I found I can only keep the pain at bay mentally when there's nothing else going on. Even just walking around town took my focus away to the extent that the pain flared. So - going back to work may be a while off yet.

In the evening I went to a friend's for an informal birthday party. It was really nice, especially as it was the first time in a year I've been able to socialise.

I didn't use the sling or my stick, and I even managed to lay the table, well, most of it, before the pain forced me to stop. I had a bit of a lie down and was OK. I made it through the whole party - just - by the end I was desperate to lie down.

I didn't, and I should've, because the pain then exploded as I was going to bed, and I was in agony. I couldn't even get to bed myself, my friend had to help me.

Despite that, though, it felt like a very successful day. I'd managed much more that day than for months - the eye test trip, carrying stuff and laying the table and using both arms to give M and J a hug. I'd also been able to admit I was having a few better days, something which I find very hard to admit, because I'm always afraid people then won't be sympathetic if the pain comes back. But this time I was OK.

The pain the next day was also fairly OK, though it needed extra pills to get me through the first therapy session, again because being out and talking meant I couldn't give my whole attention to rejecting the pain.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Do you have any idea how many pairs of heels I'm going to buy, after five years (as it will probably nearly be) of not being able to wear them?

Fucking shedloads!

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Still can't bloody sleep though.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Guess what...

I feel the best I've felt since the accident.

I also feel the least suicidal I've felt since the accident.

I haven't had any serious pain since Friday. That's four days.

Four days in a row of feeling OK - limited shoulder pain, limited neck pressure, limited back pain. No migraines, only slight poking sensations in my eye.

I've had to lie down a fair bit the last two days, mostly because I can't keep my eyes open, and I've still been taking a lot of morphine (hence the sleepy).

That's partly due to fear of the pain, partly my body's dependence on it, meaning I get muscle cramps if I reduce it too fast, partly because the techniques I'm using to fight the pain aren't sustainable when I'm trying to go to sleep. But the morphine levels are less than previously, and they're coming down every day - the safe way to come off opiates.

The improvement in my condition isn't just spontaneous, and it's taking work and concentration to maintain it. I'm willing to put in the effort - as much as it takes - I just hope it continues to pay off.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Sunday, 4 December 2011

You'll not believe this, but I feel good today.

Partly it's mental; I've managed to do the six-monthly spring clean of the chin cage and it's environs, all by myself. The last time I tried that was three years ago, and it resulted in evil neck pressure for weeks.

My friends have all offered to help me do this job, and I've relied on that ever since. But though they've done it, as hard as they've tried, none of them have been able to hide how much they hate the job, and how disgusting they find it.

I guess it's the same as kids; parents don't mind dealing with their children's various bodily excretions, but anyone else would find it utterly disgusting, as I did, years ago, when the 5-year-old girl I was baby sitting demanded I wipe her bottom after she'd taken a dump. I'd heard her asking her mum and dad to do it, so knew it was normal, but I found it revolting - especially when I discovered she had a seriously bad aim...

My friends, asked to scrub away months of wee, and gather up all the poos hidden behind the cage, clearly feel the same way, whereas it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

I don't blame them for not being keen on the job and I'm really grateful for their help, but this time I felt it was down to me. So I set out to do it myself.

I spread it over two days, and took lots of long breaks. And I did it! Not only that, I don't feel any worse as a result. Even the neck pressure didn't kick off, which given the twisting and turning, reaching and lifting, is a bloody miracle.

The pain did kick off some, but a combination of top-up pills and a new mental approach stemming from my conversation with the new therapist, was enough to deal with it.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Polar opposites

I saw the second of the prospective therapists today. It was a thoroughly unpleasant process and it left me feeling traumatised and violated.

It's bizarre. The minute she walked in the room, I disliked her. I don't know what it was, I just disliked her. And things went downhill from there.

The contrast between her and the first one couldn't have been stronger. She was so structured, disturbingly so. Yesterday's woman looked quite hippy-ish, and she took a much more relaxed approach.

Today was all 'what 3 words describe the space between you and your father', 'what phrase describes your mother'. And everything I said was met with 'can you give me an example of that', even when I'd just given her an example.

She also filled up those annoying 'therapy silences' - where they pause to give you time to think of something to add - by saying 'Mmm', 'Mmm,, 'Mmm', over and over, like she was slowly digesting what I'd said. Like it got more interesting with every passing second. It was so annoying. It was like the osteopath I saw in Liverpool who got round the problem of needing to see patients stripped down to their underwear by squinting his eyes so hard his lashes fluttered manically, like he was having af fit.

Yesterday, when I couldn't remember how old I was when the abuse started, that woman said 'how old do you feel when you think of that time'. The answer came instantly, I got tearful and we moved on.

Today, this one stopped me halfway through the session and said she was getting the facts, but no sense of 'me', and why did I think that was? But when I told her that I was very uncomfortable and was finding her questioning proscribed and confrontational; that she was phrasing for facts and getting facts, she had a go at me. She basically told me - without actually saying do - that I was a bad patient. Then she went on to accuse me of being like my father.

At one point, she even seemed to be suggesting that I'd be better off without therapy; she kept going in about if it was worth the awful unstable times when it feels like you're drowning in memories, like last night, when everything came flooding back at me just like when I tried working through the book on pain-as-childhood-trauma. Just from one appointment. But she seemed to think the healing that follows isn't worth that cost.

Or maybe it's just they she's such a shit therapist that she can't get you there.

She said she had experience working with people with chronic pain, but it didn't seem like she had any knowledge of somatic illness, or that she even recognised its existence. She'd never even heard of the book.

I think her therapy would've been very superficial. It would've been as close to the CBT-coping-strategies as a psychodynamic approach could get. She certainly shared the psychologist's inability to listen and unwillingness to accept I might have any insights to offer. Whereas the first one said I clearly had a lot of insight already, and was very keen to come at this from the somatic perspective - exactly as I am.

Today was a truly horrible experience, the absolute opposite to the day before, and I will never, ever go near that place again.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Thursday, 1 December 2011

New therapist

Saw a potential new therapist today.

I have been forced into finding a new one, by my psychologist refusing to offer me any more than three more appointments, and admitting she would kick me to the kerb regardless of my mental state at the end of those three sessions. (We had a huge row about it that took up the entirety of my last appointment.)

The new woman seems very good. She came across as very approachable and a good listener. Vitally, she has experience working with victims of abuse, people who have repressed anger, and those suffering from somatic illness (i.e. physical illness rooted in psychological trauma). She said it's unsurprising I have so many somatic problems, given how much trauma I've experienced and which I've never been able to express to the perpetrators. She even seemed to be familiar with the book that started all this, and said it had obviously been a bad idea to try and work through those issues alone.

She seems perfect for me, and I'm quite excited at the prospect of working with her. I firmly believe it could put an end to the pain.

She got to see what happens with the pain, because it kicked off as I got up to leave, and it was 10-15 mins before I could leave. I'm not sorry it happened, though, because it gave her an idea of what I'm dealing with.

My only problems with her are that she's on the opposite side of town to me, meaning a busy drive on roads I find very frightening. And her treatment room is up a steep flight of stairs, which I struggled to get down today. But I think she's worth fighting through those obstacles.

I'm due to 'interview' another prospective therapist tomorrow; I will still go, if only to prove that today's woman is the better choice.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone