Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I told the doc I'm not going back to the pain clinic again, because of their attitude over the morphine and their insistence on me reducing them, according to their schedule.

He was already not happy with the way the morphine's gone back up lately, even though it's still less than before.

I'm pretty sure he's going to cut me off soon. Then I can die, because I can't bear this pain with no relief at all. I half wish he'd just get on with it, and put me out of my misery

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I don't know why I'm stressing so much about getting a job, trying to find all sorts of ways to make money, trying to sort my phd. I already know how it's going to end. I've always known. The money will run out, I'll have nowhere to live and rather than live on the streets, in pain, without medication, I'll kill myself. I told the doctor today that I can think of little else. Since its going to happen anyway, I might just as well stop worrying. Live as long as the money lasts and at least be stress-free. Then die.

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

If I can't even get a second interview for what is essentially my old job, just a different company, then I have no hope.

I'm starting to think they've been slagging me off behind my back.

I can probably survive a year, then I'll be out on the streets. I can't cope with this pain in those conditions.

So, a year to live. I wish it would just hurry up and happen now.

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Monday, 5 November 2012

I feel utterly hated.

I can't get a job because no-one likes me enough to hire me; men on the Internet dating site just fuck off after a few questions; my solicitor and old employer are still fucking me around.

I don't understand why everyone hates me so much. I don't know what I ever did to deserve this. I'm trying so hard to do the right things - to get a job, to find a partner. And instead I'm still stuck at home, all by myself, in agony. My savings are draining away and then what?

I had to have blood tests last week to try and find out why my beautiful hair is falling out. I really really hope it comes back with something fatal. But even that's never going to fucking happen, I'll just get left here to rot. I want to die. Please.

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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Lightbulbs. Psychological lightbulbs. And suddenly it all makes sense.

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

I actually got a proper night's sleep - the first time in over a year!

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I think I made an important connection today. I need to test it more before I put it up here, but it could be pivotal.

That's the up-side. The down-side is that I couldn't remember whether I'd taken my bedtime dose of quick release morphine. I wasted half an hour convincing myself I must have taken it, worrying that I couldn't feel anything then counting every pill to find out (luckily I did an inventory last nite, so I could easily work it out).

By the time I was certain I hadn't taken it, I was 40 minutes late with it. Which meant the pain had had an extra 40 minutes to build up, which meant it now isn't doing much. And so I've just had to take a bigger top-up dose than I would've liked. And since my levels are already too high, I'm not happy.

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Sunday, 13 May 2012

The therapist says she didn't mean to suggest that she thinks there's nothing more she can do. I felt her saying last week that when we started, there used to be a slight uptick in how I felt straight after a session, then it would get worse again, and now it just constantly getting worse, meant she felt we were out of options.

She said that's not what she meant; she put some positive spin on it that I didn't understand. She said she still thinks therapy could help and as long as I'm willing to keep going - which must therefore mean I'm still hopeful - so is she. I said I'm not hopeful, I just have no other choice.

This session didn't reduce me to tears, only a bit of crying, and set me off thinking about some more useful stuff. But whether it will ever help the pain - whether I even have that much time - remains to be seen.

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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I've just realised something. I've recognised for a long time that my ex-long-term boyfriend, R, raped me. I woke up in the middle of the night to find him having sex with me (literally, he was already half way through).

I didn't see it as rape at the time because I thought rape only happened when you said 'no'. But my friend made me realise last year that 'rape' is the absence of saying yes. And I definitely didn't say yes. Just like I didn't say yes to the date rape (which was what I was actually talking to my friend about).

But I've just remembered - that wasn't the first time R did that to me. There was another, very early on. I didn't want to have sex and I'd said no several times, but he took no notice. I gave up saying no, because it wasn't getting me anywhere. And he carried on and did it anyway. I didn't keep fighting, but I didn't say yes. I never thought of it as rape before, because I'd stopped saying no, but really it was, I realise that now.

So that makes three - R twice, plus the date rape. They say that abuse victims are more likely to suffer subsequent sexual assaults. They're already conditioned to not be able to fight back, they feel they have no right to say no and that they deserve that kind of treatment. I case I'm a textbook case

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Monday, 7 May 2012


Well, it looks like the government is setting a deadline for my suicide.

The new drug driving laws announced today and due in force at the end of the year, will mark the end for me. They're going to arbitrarily set a limit of controlled drugs that you can have in your system, just like they do with drink.

Morphine is a controlled drug, so this will apply to me. I'm alone, I have noone to drive me around. And if there's no flexibility for chemical tolerance - ie if you take something everyday for years, it will take far more of it to have any effect on cognition or coordination - then I will be unable to drive. I'll be trapped at home, unable to get food, medication, unable to get to the doctor.

The current rules are that you can't drive if you feel impaired by the medication, and I never do. I do the sobriety tests every time before I get in the car, to be sure I'm as safe as possible. But that's not going to apply any more. Now it's going to be a flat how-much-have-you-taken.

With how badly the therapy has been going and how much worse everything has become, I've wondered just how long I should wait before taking the final step. Someone recently asked if I'd put a deadline on it, but I haven't. Hadn't.

It looks like the government now has. So if the pain is still so bad that I'm on shedloads of morphine when these rules come in, that's it. I'd have been doing this therapy for a year by then, and if it hasn't worked, it's probably not going to.

So. Seven months, give or take.

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Friday, 4 May 2012

I just had to have my therapy session in the car because the pain exploded and I couldn't move. Never mind getting upstairs to her consulting room, I couldn't get out of the car. it's taken me hours to get home and still I can't move for the pain.

I think the therapist is about ready to give up on me. She was talking about how things used to seem to improve a bit after each appointment and now they're just getting worse. I think she's going to tell me she can't help me any more.

I can't start with anyone else. If she couldn't help me, I don't believe anyone can. I think this is it. I don't want to die but I really think this is it.

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Friday, 27 April 2012

Today's therapy session was without question the worst one I've had.

All I can say about it is I didn't throw the box of tissues at her, I didn't start screaming and I didn't walk out or tell her to fuck it, all of which I wanted to do.

I also didn't come home and slit my wrists, which seemed the only possible outcome.

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Diary extract

This isn't going to end. I want to b dead. I hate myself for creating the pain. I hate the pain and I hate me for creating it. I should have just killed myself when when things first got really bad. When I first wanted to do it. I should have just done it then. I'm a coward that I didn't just do it right then. Or last year, when the anniversary was so bad. I said I wasn't going to be here for another anniversary, yet look what tommorrow is. WHY CAN'T I JUST FUCKING KILL MYSELF AND BE DONE WITH THIS FUCKING MISERY? I hate the pain and I hate myself for creating it. What kind of a fucking freak am I that THAT was the best thing my subconscious could come up with to deal with my problems. I want to die. Plz just make the pain stop. Please. I want to beat the fucking shit out of myself for creating this fucking pain. Punching myself over n over in the shoulder 'I fucking hate you. Let me go.'

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Saturday, 21 April 2012

I'm in hideous, excruciating agony and I have been for days. I have t slept since I don't-know-when. I drugged myself into insensibility yesterday and it still didn't help the pain. I'm a hair's breadth from ending it all.

The therapy session today was the worst one yet, because this time I felt like she had no idea what I was on about. And what she's suggesting I need to do - to basically change my whole fucking personality before there's any chance of the pain stopping - I don't have the strength. I don't even know where to start.

I want to sob my heart out but it hurts too fucking much. I can't do this and I don't want to. There's no point. Why go through all this, to still be in pain? I might just as well kill myself now. I really really want to. You have no idea how much I want to just slit my throat. Ear to ear, and that would be it. I don't know what I'm living for as it is - no job, no life. I want to die, right now. I just want to die. Please just fucking kill me now. I'd give anything for someone to just kill me right now.

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Monday, 16 April 2012

i feel an enormous sense of loss tonight. Loss of innocence, loss of carefreeness, loss of the confidence to trust the world. It was all taken away from me, and that feels unbearably sad.

It all goes back to the summer before I turned nine years old. Everything goes back to then. That's when the somatizing started, when the guilt and the blame started, when the anger and the need to punish myself started.

Because they all acted like it was my fault. Like all the terrible things that had happened and were still happening were all my fault. And I believed them; I was a child, they were the grownups, and I believed them. I believed that the reason my mother didn't love me was that there was something wrong with me. I believed that she pushed me away and wanted R instead because I was somehow defective - missing some critical component that R had. I believed that I had somehow done something that had 'made' my father molest and rape me.

Those were the messages I received, and I believed them. I didn't understand what was happening, I didn't understand how people could do those things - how parents could do those things - so I believed it must be because I did something wrong. Something terrible. That I WAS something terrible.

That feeling, thought, was too big and too awful for my tiny 8-year-old mind to fathom, so it hid. It blocked out the memories, and it created ways of coping with the feelings that wouldn't go away even when the memories did; punishing myself with illnesses and injuries and self-harm, denying myself sleep or any kind of true rest, filling my days with anger and self-recriminatioon, setting impossible standards so the only option was failure, plaguing myself with unattainable fantasies of being loved and wanted.

For 30 years, those feelings persisted; it's only now that I'm even aware of why they're there. Twelve years after recovering those lost memories, uncovering what my father did while my mother sat there, and I'm only now getting to the real heart of it all.

I'm getting 30 years of suppressed feelings all at once. All the things I couldn't feel as a small child, I can now see and understand as my abusive parents' way of 'clearing' their own conscience by passing the blame on to me. Now, I can see that for what I was - further abuse - and I can reject it. But to do that, I have to feel those feelings that 8-year-old me couldn't cope with.

I would have lost my mind if I'd felt it all back then. I understand why my subconscious did what it did in burying the memories and coping with the feelings - it was making the best it could of a very bad situation. I have to praise the resourcefulness of that little girl really, that enabled me NOT to lose my mind - to be as stable and as well-functioning an adult as I am. It's pretty bloody miraclulous, under the circumstances. The surprising thing really is that it didn't turn me into a raging psychopath myself.

But recovering from it now, learning that those coping mechanisms are no longer necessary and can be stopped - including, crucially, the pain - that means feeling those feelings. All 30 years' of them. All at once.

Now you see why it's so overwhelming. Now you see why I feel like I'm drowning. Because there's no 'off' switch, there's no 'pause'. Having opened the door, it's now constant. And the depth and breadth of those feelings - it just makes me want to die. The sense of loss at everything that was taken away from me.

If I had my time again, I wouldn't do the therapy. It's too much pain.

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Friday, 13 April 2012

This should've been posted at 3am, but the internet was down...

I haven't been on for a while because there's nothing to say. Things continue to get worse and worse, mentally and physically, and increasingly, there seems to be only one way out of all this.

I don't want to, but if the therapy doesn't resolve the pain, I'll have no choice. I can't carry on like this. I desperately want to stop the therapy, because the feelings it's bringing up are infinitely worse than the pain (not that I would ever have thought that was possible). I daren't stop though, because I'd never know if I was on the cusp of change and things might've improved if I'd just held on for a few more days.

But if I keep going till things improve mentally, and there's no change in the pain, then that's the cut-off point.

It's been five years, I've tried every pharmacological option they've offered me, and by then I'll have exhausted every psychological possibility. At which point, I'm out.

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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Well my mother has just proved herself yet again.

She texted asking how I was - I said (and I quote) 'I'm extremely bad but I really don't want to talk about it. Thanks for asking tho.'

Any normal person (like every single one of my friends) would say something like 'I'm so sorry you're having such a bad time, I'm here if you need me.' Most of my friends would add that they love or care about me, that things will get better, or they'd talk about something else, to try and cheer me up.

My mother, though, said precisely nothing. Not a single word of love or support. Nothing. What kind of fucking mother does that?

I can't even say I'm disappointed, because it's not like it was a surprise. I'm not upset or anything, but I do hate her, and I feel vindicated in my decision to tell her we're done. She had her chance and she blew yet, yet again. She really is the most supreme waste of space. I just don't understand why I had to get such a bitch for a mother.

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Saturday, 7 April 2012

I don't want to feel this anymore. I would rather have the pain.

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Monday, 2 April 2012

I'm lying in bed, I'm not in pain and I have no neck pressure. None. Honest.

It's been a good pain-day all day. There's been only a very little pain or neck pressure, and what there was, felt very 'vague' and kind of distant. And totally acceptable. Now this, I could live with.

I am suffering some other somatizing symptoms, but they're bearable. I do hope it's not just that things are shifting.

I did have to take top-up pills just before midnight because I was getting quite a bit of muscular pain in my back (the 'morphine pains'), but they worked. I'm getting very minimal side effects, and nothing unpleasant - just feeling slightly 'floaty'.

And I am so loving lying here, revelling in the painless-ness. I can feel my arm and my shoulder and my neck and my back and NONE OF THEM HURT.

Do you have any idea how amazing it is to focus on your shoulder, and not feel pain? I do the meditation 'send your consciousness to the affected part of the body', and there's nothing there. It's just a fabulous soft nothingness.

The same with my eye. I can't remember the last time I didn't have at least some screwdriver-in-the-eye going on.

I think I might be in heaven.

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Friday, 30 March 2012

Today's therapy session has triggered something awful, I just don't know what yet.

The pain started off bad and has only got worse throughout the day. On top of that, I feel very strange and I don't know why. I can't work out what it is I'm feeling, but it's not good and not being able to deal with it is causing the pain to ramp up more and more.

Getting electrocuted by a light switch when I got home didn't help much either...

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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Better pill news

I've had a bit more luck with pills today.

Since the awfulness of last weekend, I've kept testing the pills, always as a last resort when the mental stuff fails. Objectively, I've judged that I'm getting at best 20% efficiency from the pills, and often 0%.

Today, the pain has been flaring more than since the weekend, and I could tell it was going to go big. So I had to take two top-up doses (6 hours apart though), plus two increased slow-release doses. The last two days I had to take one slow release and one top-up dose.

Yesterday, though, I focused heavily on the fact that I was taking the pills as a way to take care of myself - a loving, caring act, not one of punishment. Because as I mentioned last week, I think it's the idea of the pills being another way to punish myself that causes them to be so freakin' useless.

This new approach helped some yesterday; today even more so. Today I'd say I got 30% effectiveness out of the pills I took at 3pm, and as much as 50% from those at 9.

This is a massive improvement, and if I can keep it up, it means that I do have something to fall back on when the mental approach fails. Which it does, a lot. I can't even begin to tell you how important this could be. It will go some way to assuage the fear of the pain, and hopefully give me a tiny bit of confidence that I'll be able to cope with all this.

It might also mean I can put off thinking about coming off the pills till the pain is more consistently controlled by mental techniques (or has just gone down a lot). In other words, to when I wanted it to be in the first place.

The downside is that it means even the efficacy of the pills is dependant on me being able to adopt and maintain the right mental attitude. Which is unbelievably difficult when you're in blinding agony. It may require more preventative pill-taking, so my mind is clearer and I can better focus on those mental techniques.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I've tested the pills twice more since the awfulness of Saturday night. Both times they did next to nothing. But the pain is as bad as ever.

I'm trying really hard to tackle the pain mentally, but it's so exhausting, and when my resources run out before the pain does - like today - I'm fucked. Then, there's no respite from the pain, and nothing I can do about it.

I don't know what to do. I can't live like this. It's worse than the past few weeks, and they were worse than everything that's gone before. What's the answer? What am I supposed to do? I'm tearing my hair out here. God, I only see one end to this and it's not a good one.

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Saturday, 24 March 2012

I managed to control the pain mentally all day. Each time it flared, I addressed the issue of self-punishment, thinking about what I might be angry about, what I feel needs punishing. (I carried on with the basic slow-release dose, I just didn't take extras or take quick-release pills.)

It worked all day, but at 8pm a new level of pain started and nothing worked on it. I couldn't find what I might be angry about, I couldn't find what I might be punishing myself for.

So I had no choice but to take a pill - the pain was just too unbearable. This is where the real questions arrive with the pills, and with the question of stopping them.

It's been a good thing to address things mentally all day, and I do always try and do that, it's just that mental approaches tend to only work for a day or two, before the pain takes over again. But if I didn't have the pills to fall back on when the pain gets as bad as it is now, christ knows what I'd do.

Of course I still don't know if it's going to work, and if it doesn't, I'll be no better off than I was before. Worse, in fact, because I'll have nothing to fall back on.

The 15mg OxyNorm at 9.15pm did absolutely nothing, so I took 4 OxyContin at 10.15 instead of the usual 2. That did nothing either. I considered calling an ambulance, but what are they gonna do? If morphine's not helping, they won't be able to do anything. I've just taken another 20mg OxyNorm at 11.15pm.

If that doesn't work (75mg Oxy in 2 hours), I'm out of options. I'm left with paramedics who can't do anything, or suicide.

It's 4am. The extra pills made no difference whatsoever. The agony continued unabated. The only reason I'm still here (breathing, and not in hospital) is that I suddenly got really really angry.

I was utterly furious, beside myself with rage, screaming and beating the living shit out of my pillows. Unfortunately, it was 2am, so apart from the initial one, which kind of got away from me, the screaming was very muted - clenched jaws, that kind of thing.

I was furious with my mother and I've just spent 2 hours writing her a very long, very detailed letter about everything she's done to me, and why I never want to see her again.

It's the kind of letter you don't actually plan on sending (though a version of it will need to form the basis of whatever conversation we ultimately have about why I will no longer see her).

At first, all this seemed to help - the pain finally eased and the writing soothed the fury. But now I've stopped, I'm getting angry all over again, and the pain is coming back. I can't express my rage all the time, so what am I supposed to do?

I do think that the time has come to stop the pills though. The medication did absolutely nothing for the pain; it didn't go down till I expressed the anger I wasn't even aware I was feeling. If that's the case, then taking the pills has just become redundant.

Next day
I finally got some sleep after what has to be the worst night I've ever had. I guess I'll have to test the theory again, to be certain, but if it happens repeatedly that the meds do nothing like they did last night, then I'm coming off them - I'm not putting myself through the side effects if I'm still getting pain like that.

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Friday, 23 March 2012

The problem with my ears has been getting worse and worse. As I told the therapist, this was one of the first somatic conditions I ever figured out, and I know it's all about anger.

When I'm angry but can't express it, the eczema I always get in my ear canal becomes acute; the whole area swells up until its completely closed up and I can't hear a thing. Sometimes the whole of that side of my face also swells up like a cricket ball, I can't open or close my jaw, can't chew and am left drinking my meals through a straw.

The therapist suggested the anger was about not wanting to hear something - since I wind up temporarily deaf. I couldn't think of anything. Then she said that somatic conditions can represent something about you, or it can be something about others that affects you. So she asked if I felt someone wasn't listening to me.

That made much more sense; I've been concerned for ages about how I'm ever going to get my mother to understand any of this. How am I ever going to get her to see what it is she's done wrong, when she can't even admit that she favours my middle sister over me and L? I know it's going to be one of those conversations where I feel like I'm talking to a brick walk. She won't hear a word I'm saying, and instead will blame me for being overly dramatic and demanding. She'll turn herself into the victim and once again force me into the role of the 'adult' in this relationship.

My concern over this also explains the terrible sore throat I've had for the past four weeks. When there's something you need to say out loud to someone specific, but for whatever reason you can't, the words get 'stuck' in your throat and cause pain. It's happened before, and I've also read about it in various books on somatic illness.

It's all shaping up to be a very uncomfortable, unsatisfying - and, ultimately fruitless - conversation. Yet if I don't go through with it, I'm likely to be stuck with these symptoms ad infinitum

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Punishing myself

I confirmed to the therapist today that she's right, punishing myself does trigger the pain.

I was able to definitively prove it yesterday; for the first time in a week the pain was bearable, I'd been able to lift the laptop; things were looking up. Then out of the blue, I suddenly realised that I'd forgotten to pay my credit card bill a couple of days earlier. This is very rare for me - normally I'm Mrs Über-Organised - and would mean a late payment fee and interest charges.

I was really annoyed with myself. I called the company to find out what my error was going to cost me (after first paying the offending bill). By the time I'd done all that, I was in raging agony, none of the mental approaches would work and I had to resort to pills. They were bloody useless too, and I had to take multiple doses and go back to bed before I got any relief.

At first, I figured it was just the stress of if all that had kicked off the pain, but the more I thought about it, the more certain I was that actually the problem was that I was really annoyed at myself for being so careless. And I was punishing myself with pain.

Unfortunately, working that out does nothing to stop the agony. I came back from therapy today all chuffed with myself for having worked out such a key trigger for the pain, but within a couple of hours, I was in the same situation again. This time the cause was less clear - I think something I saw on TV triggered memories that then made me angry with myself.

The pain has been out of control ever since and the pills are doing next to nothing about it. I desperately need to find a way to turn the pain off, once it's been triggered, and how to not set it off in the first place. And of course I can't be sure there aren't other triggers too.

I'm convinced the reason the pills have been doing nothing / actively making the pain worse lately is that I'm punishing myself for needing / taking this stuff that I hate so much. If that's true, I'd be better off without them.

I spoke to the therapist a few weeks ago about coming off the morphine. I felt (and still do) that if the pain is a construct of my mind, then every time I take a pill, I'm feeding the delusion. I didn't see how I could possibly get rid of the pain whilst I was taking the meds.

She said that although she felt that if anyone could come off the morphine and manage without, it would be me, because I'm so determined, it would make things unnecessarily difficult for me. Given how bad the pain was with the meds, she felt it would be too unbearable without them; she convinced me to stay on them.

All of that is still true, but now I'm regularly finding that the pills either do nothing unless the dosage is ridiculously high (and even then it doesn't last long) or they actually seem to make the pain worse. I haven't taken a pill and had relief FROM THAT SINGLE DOSE in a least a week.

I think I need to do a day with no top-ups and see if things are any more bearable than recent days where I'm constantly chasing an effective dosage.

I still don't know if coming off it would be feasible, but things have been so bad lately on the stuff, it's hard to imagine how much worse it could be without it. That said, several times in the past week it's been bad enough that I've seriously contemplated ending it all, because I simply couldn't bear the pain anymore.

I don't want to do anything that might tip me over that edge, and I feel frighteningly close to it already. But if the pain is me punishing myself, then half of it could just disappear if I no longer had 'morphine' to punish myself for.

I wish there was someone who could tell me what to do.

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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

At last

Finally managed to get out the house and get petrol and a couple things in Tesco.

Based on the past three days, I went out first thing, before the pain had chance to really ramp up. Even so, it kicked off shortly after I got there, I had to take pills, and I was worried I wouldn't get back.

It was a real struggle, but I did it, and I beat the pain this time. I'm scared to do anything else, though, because I need to be able to drive to therapy on Friday. It's hard to feel great about managing to do something so mundane and ordinary but the therapist keeps telling me I have to reward myself for the victories.

So I'm trying to feel good about it, rather than feeling shit about the fact that I now can't do anything else all day.

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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The pain's been so bad for the past two days, I've been stuck in bed.

I've got a list of things I need to do this week (as every other week!), and I sat down on Sunday and carefully spread them out across the week, so no one day would be overloaded. We're not talking big jobs here, it's your basic put-the-washing-on, fuel-up-the-car, buy-bagels-and-tomatoes type stuff, plus the less common sort, arrange-car-insurance.

I haven't been able to do any of it though, so each day's jobs get pushed back to the next day, giving me twice as much to do, then three times, and so on.

It's a nightmare. So far, over the past two days, the best I've managed is toasting and buttering a bagel - I can't even cook chips because that means standing too long in the kitchen, plus lifting the grill pan. The reason I can't sort my insurance is that I can't lift the laptop.

I'm taking massive amounts of morphine and all it's doing is occasionally taking the edge off the pain so I can rest if I stay still. I can't move, and the rest of the time, all of that medication doesn't even touch the pain. But i daren't not take it, for fear that the pain would go even higher without it.

When things eased slightly a little while ago, I tried to get something done - buying the bagels is most urgent, but I didn't even make it out of the bedroom before the pain started again. As much as it infuriated me, I knew it would be stupid to try and go any further, so I quit. And now the pain is ramping up again, and even lying totally still, I'm in agony.

This two-day episode comes on the back of the longest-highest pain episode to date. Previously, once a week I had to take around 175mg of morphine. Of the past 10 days, 8 of them have been 180-190mg days. And there's no end in sight.

It's all because of the therapy. I don't know what I'm supposed to do now.

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Monday, 19 March 2012

Unbelievable pain all day, morphine is fucking useless. The only way out I can see is suicide. The therapy is all well and good but it's making the pain so much worse and I can't take it anymore

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I'm too scared to go to bed because I know that's when the worst of the feelings come up. So each night I sit up later and later, avoiding trying to sleep and avoiding the drowning feelings.

I've been upset all day about my mum. It's been over a year since her last abandonment of me; afterwards, when she apologised, she asked if we were ok and I said we would be. It upsets me that, despite such a long time having passed, she's never asked again. She's never checked how things are going on that score, she's never tried to convince me to let her back in, she's never asked when she can come back over.

My sister says she wants to see me, and part of me is glad that she's never pushed it, because it's saved me having to tell her how I really feel. But it breaks my heart that she accepts being pushed away without a fight. She'll lay her life down in front of a bus for L, but she won't fight to see to me.

It was Mother's Day yesterday. I thought long and hard about whether to send her a card, and finally did. She texted thank you and later put a thank you up in L's Facebook page. It upset me that I was last in the list though. She thanked both my sisters first.

In every way I come last to her. I want to not care, I want it not to hurt, but I do and it does. It breaks my heart. And at the same time, I blame myself; I can't help thinking there must be something wrong with me, for her to treat me that way.

I guess it's because I can't conceive of a mother not loving their child, not putting that child first. It seems to me that it's a natural instinct; I feel it to my pets, for gods sake! Even in agony, I make sure they get fed - I may not be able to feed myself, but I won't let them go hungry. So why can't she do that for me? The only answer I can find is that there's something wrong with me, something that makes me inherently unloveable. I don't know what it is, and I'd fix it if I could. But there's nothing I can do.

The therapist keeps telling me I have to stop believing it's my fault; it's hers, and there's nothing wrong with me. She says the pain won't go away till I stop blaming myself. I'm sure she's right, but I don't know how to do that.

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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Making pain worse

The morphine is now not only not helping, it's actively making things worse.

For a week now I've been getting just 30-60 minutes' relief out of 40, 60 even 75mg of morphine. That's a ridiculously bad return, when you consider all the side effects I have to put up with.

The last two days though, I've taken top-up pills because the pain has been ramping up, and within half an hour it's actually been twice as bad! It happened last night going to bed, both on the quick- and the slow-release pills. I take them an hour apart, which meant an hour and a half after I started, I was in bloody agony.

Then today it happened with both the slow- and quick-release pills, at both lunch and tea. So four doses each made the pain worse, plus the dose I took an hour ago - same thing.

When that's happened, I'm stuck - it's the meds that have made the pain worse, so there's nothing I can take to try and ease it.

As a consequence of all this, I've taken less tonight than normally - if it's not going to help, I'm not taking the bloody stuff. So I've taken at least 30mg less than I usually do going to bed. The pain isn't great, but I'm sure if I took something, it would just get worse. And I can do without that.

Woke up with bad back and shoulder pain at 2am. Left it for half hour but no good and was keeping me awake do finally risked quick-release pills. It worked - the pain eased. So it's not that the morph always makes it worse, just sometimes. Maybe because of what's going on in my head. Which of course makes it way more complicated - I can't just go 'fuck it, I'll stop taking it'. Typical.

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Empty road

I know why the pain happened when it did. The therapist raised the question a while ago why the car accident left me with chronic pain, but the bike accident, only 15 months earlier and causing arguably more 'identifiable' injuries, didn't.

The reason is nothing to do with the accident itself; it's all about what happened next, coupled with what was already going on elsewhere in my life.

Immediately after the crash, there was a line of traffic coming the other way, headed by a gravel truck. Coincidentally, it was exactly the type of truck my father drives. And the driver seemed just like him: he got really stroppy that he couldn't get past. He was yelling and cursing that he was being inconvenienced, apparently oblivious to the two wrecked cars in front of him, or the injuries afflicting their drivers. All he cared about was himself.

I remember after the first guy came to see if I was OK, and stabilised my neck, after the ambulance arrived, before the fire brigade started smashing windows and chopping off the roof, there was a moment when I looked out down the road.

The stroppy truck driver was gone, and so was the line of traffic. The paramedic said something about 'that helicopter' being for me, and the road having been cleared for it to land. I could hear an engine somewhere up above.

Looking down that empty road, even then, in that confusing, terrifying situation, it felt like I was looking into an abyss. Like I was peering back through time, and seeing the years stretch back before me. Like that empty road somehow WAS the endless, all-encompassing emptiness I felt inside me.

I felt an incredible sense of loneliness and abandonment and betrayal looking down that empty stretch of asphalt. I'd never felt anything like it before, and it terrified me. I desperately wanted it to stop, and the relief that washed over me when the helicopter landed and filled up that space had nothing whatsoever to do with being rescued.

The emptiness I felt looking out at that road, although I didn't know it at the time, connected on a deep subconscious level to feelings I was having - but hadn't yet registered - my mother. In fact, it would take another four years, and a new abandonment - last March - before those feelings started to surface.

My relationship with my mum was on my mind because I was now back in a work environment which meant we couldn't chat on a Tuesday morning any more. And that meant we couldn't talk at all, because I refused to chat with her when he was in the house overhearing her phone call; the fact that she had stayed with him, despite what he did, angered me. I didn't realise then how much it also hurt me, how betrayed and abandoned and re-abused it made me feel. It's only over the past year that those feelings have crystallised, but they were clearly there long before.

There was also the fact that I was now back in an office situation - something I had found unbearably claustrophobic the last time I'd been in that position - 5 years earlier - and which I'd run away from when I quit my job and went to Uni. I was worried nothing had changed and I still wouldn't be able to cope with those feelings. And there was the fact that for the first time in years, I was back living close enough to my family to see them regularly. And close enough to risk getting pulled back into the ridiculous, hurtful family politics. To be reminded of what they'd done before, and to risk it happening again.

So although I didn't know it, my father's abuse and my mother's neglect were very front-of-mind when the accident happened. That empty road, with everyone having gone off and left me (even the gobby truck driver who reminded me of my even-gobbier father) - it was just a very graphic, very real representation of my family.

Tie that in to the worldview I'd come out of childhood with - that the only time people will love and care for you is if you're ill, and suddenly, developing a chronic pain condition is not at all surprising.

Everything I was seeing and thinking and feeling about my family was too much to bear. There was already too much pain and hurt and fear, and there was the sense that there was so so much more to come - that I'd barely even scratched the surface so far.

It was all just too much, my mind couldn't cope with it; it needed a distraction, something to hide behind. So it retreated to that skewed worldview - illness=love - and came up with the perfect 'solution'. Fill me with pain so that I won't have the time or the energy of the capacity to look at the scary feelings. Fill me with pain, so people will love and care for me. Fill me with pain to make me pay for all the terrible things that have happened, because surely they must be my fault - what other explanation could there be?

The accident had left me with whiplash, including torn tendons in my shoulder and clavicle: the perfect vehicle for the pain.

Job done, and suddenly my life is over.

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Friday, 16 March 2012

The therapist told me today that I'm doing really well and making big progress.

I can't see it myself. All I can see is that the pain is significantly worse; the morphine is much less effective and hence I'm having to take a LOT more of it just to get a tiny bit of relief; and the emotional turmoil is more painful, more out of control, and more unbearable than I could ever have imagined.

The getting-worse-before-it-gets-better thing hasn't been a surprise - I expected it to happen - but the degree of the physical deterioration, the extent of the emotional trauma - that I never expected.

I just hope I can keep going, and it's worth it in the end. The doctor was very keen that I carry on, when I saw him earlier in the week. I was expecting a bollocking for how much morphine I've been taking, but the fact that I'm taking it because of all the fallout from the therapy seemed to satisfy him. It won't last forever though.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

More 'new' memories

Hideous revelations tonight - more new memories I'd suppressed because they were too awful to acknowledge.

Being offered around like a plate of hors d'oeuvres. The disgust and humiliation of someone else doing those terrible things to me. The confusion of knowing I always have to do what grownups tell me, yet surely I'm not supposed to be doing this? Then the blind terror that dad will blame me for letting someone else 'play' with his 'special possession' - me - never knowing it was his idea all along. And the ever-present fear of being banished to the empty desert of mum's 'affections' if I don't get it 'right' for him. But what's 'right'?

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Saturday, 10 March 2012

The punishment is continuing at breakneck speed. I've taken more morphine today than ever before and I'm in freaking agony. If I take more, will it even make any difference? What else can I do?

My doctor's going to kill me on Tuesday as it is, I've gone through the damn stuff so fast. But this therapy is making things so so much worse.

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Friday, 9 March 2012

What I'm up against

The therapist was very good today. She helped me to better understand my reaction to the show last night, as well as decoding my current obsession with certain songs, and why music in general is so important at the moment. Oh, and she helped me to crystallise exactly what it is that's going on in my head, and why.

One of the songs I can't stop listening to is Jar of Hearts, by Christina Perri. Whilst some say the song is just about a relationship breakup, I think there's much more to it than that; to me, it's about a woman who has escaped an abusive relationship, her ex has found her and she's telling him that she's found her strength and self esteem, and she'll never let him hurt her - physically or emotionally - again.

The therapist commented  that I have suffered a number of abusive relationships (my mum, my dad, my ex-boyfriend, my ex-best mate at uni), but that the worst one at the moment is with the pain. She said the pain is acting like an abuser, dominating my life, trying to control me, trying to keep me down, cutting me off from outside influences and support. (NB when reading this, keep in mind my 13th Feb post about the pain being a separate, parasitic entity.)

If I was in an abusive relationship, I would leave - I've done it before. I left my parents and later outed and rejected my father. I left my ex-boyfriend, I ended the friendship with that particular 'best' mate. But with the abuser being internal, I don't have the option of leaving; I have to find a way to make it leave. And that feels much harder.

People like me, who were abused as children, often wind up in abusive relationships later in life. It's because that's the only template for 'love' you had during your vital formative years. In order to feel 'normal', you're compelled to be in the same type of relationship, with the same dynamics at play. That's why I ended up with R for 11 years, letting him bully and emotionally abuse me, and why I developed certain friendships like that one at uni. The therapist believes the pain is serving the same function; it's giving me all the feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, inability to cope etc, that an abuser would.

The other thing some abuse victims do, is become abusers themselves. It's frighteningly common. They repeat the pattern they experienced as children on others - because it felt 'normal' to them, or because they're trying to the blank out the powerlessness they felt then. I've never done that and I never would. To anyone else, at least. But apparently I'm doing it to myself, through the pain.

The difference lies in the conscious/subconscious divide. Abusing someone else requires conscious action, and there's nothing that could ever make me do that. You can consciously abuse yourself through addictive behaviour - drink, drugs, etc, but I've never had a problem with any of that, despite being on such strong medication for so long. You can abuse yourself subconsciously, though, through somatic illness; like chronic pain. And that's what she says is happening. I am being 'abused' by chronic pain which I have subconsciously 'created'.

The therapist believes that of all the reasons we've unearthed for 'creating' the pain, the most important, most telling, most destructive, and most influential one, is self-punishment. I've 'created' the pain because I believe I am a terrible person who needs to be punished. I think this, because my mother taught me every day through her rejection and refusal/inability to love me, that I am simply unloveable. This was reinforced by the boyfriend who used to taunt me with the phrase 'I love you', then go on to clarify that he meant the wood, Yew, and think the pain and upset it caused me was hysterically funny. My father told me every day that I was too stupid and too worthless to be loved. Then he punished me for that fact by sexually violating me, physically striking and emotionally traumatising me. And she just sat there and let him. Subsequent rape by someone I thought was my friend, and by that same boyfriend, plus his years of 'stealth bullying', all cemented the belief that this was precisely what I deserved.

The effect of all this on my psyche was catastrophic. By withholding her affection and attention, my mother made me desperate for love, and convinced me that I would never get it. My father made me certain that the lack of love and the inability to get it, were both fundamentally my fault. Then he taught me to punish myself for those failings - by attacking both my body and my mind - whilst she gave him the space and the opportunity to do it. As a child craving her mother's love and attention, I created fantasies about being loved and cared for. The only difference I could discern at that time between me and my sister was her disability, and so I became convinced that that was why my mother loved my sister and not me. I believed that to get love, you had to be ill. And so, years later, unbeknownst to me, my subconscious created something that would get me the love and attention I needed, and at the same time punish me for being so fundamentally unloveable. All those terrible lessons came together into the chronic pain that has destroyed my life. 

The pain is firmly entrenched now. It had 36 years to develop and it's been here, controlling everything, for five more; it doesn't want to leave, and every time I make progress towards ousting it, it fights back (again, see that 13th Feb post). That's what happened last night.

I defied the pain by going to the gig. All day, it was trying to stop me going - that's why it was flaring up so badly, why I had to take so many more pills, why I needed the sling when I haven't used it for weeks. It's also why I was feeling so scared about going out on my own, and why, all week, I'd been suffering feelings of foreboding and impending doom. I felt like I'd done something terribly, teerribly wrong, and that punishment was just around the corner. The therapist says that the 'impending doom' is the voice of the pain-as-abuser, keeping me down, convincing me it's all my fault. My recent certainty that my judgement is inherently flawed - why else would I have picked such a lousy boyfriend, such a terrible best mate in uni etc - is the same thing. I've internalized all of those negative childhood voices and their messages, and I'm continuing to beat myself with them.

So the feeling last night that going to the gig had been a huge mistake was just another manifestation of that. I have to find ways to shut off the negative voices and turn up the positive ones: my Nan, my friends, my baby sister - the people who love me and are there for me. I also have to concentrate on my achievements - however minor they might seem - and on rewarding myself for them.

So the fact that I took the decision to book tickets for last night, even though it was supposed to be something to do 'post-pain', is reason to celebrate. So is the way I successfully got the message across to the booking office of what I would need, so that they provided it; that I refused to let the fear stop me going out - or the hideous traffic jam on the way; that I thought ahead and took a cushion with me, to make an unbearable chair bearable (I'd never even have made it through the first half otherwise!); that I was able to enjoy the show and laughed non-stop for two hours; that I had half-time-ice-cream, just like everyone else, even though it meant accosting the seller when she was all cleared up and finished. (The therapist also repeated that she thinks the lactose-intolerance is a subconscious rejection of my mother, by my body treating milk products - inherently 'maternal' - as poison. I didn't really go for the theory last time, but the 'poison' analogy clinched it for me.)

I didn't let the pain win. But then it fought back later that night. It was basically saying, 'you can't have a good time like that without paying a price'. And it's a high one - feeling I got it wrong, feeling I've cheated by trying to rush the process, feeling it's my own fault it backfired, feeling I'm just getting what I deserve, feeling that going back to the status quo a year ago would be a bad thing.

But the reality is that yesterday, I went to the theatre for the first time since the accident. I beat the fear and the pain and the self-doubt and I did what I wanted to do. Getting back to that staus quo would allow me to get back to work and would be a stepping stone to full recovery - that has to be a good thing.

I have to keep on doing things like this, I have to keep on recognising the positives, rewarding myself for my achievements - like all the work I've done over the past few days on finding new speakers so I can continue to use and enjoy music. I have to grind and grind at that negative voice that's punishing me, until the pain just gives up and fucks off.
I can totally see why most people wouldn't want to go down the therapy route to try and resolve their pain.

The therapy is a gruelling, harrowing, horrifying experience and most people would much rather just stick with the pain and the pills. Especially when there's no guarantee the therapy will do any good.

I agree with them. The only reason I'm keeping going is the fact that I already know I have major issues, I know I have a history of somatic illness, so the link between pain and psychology is clear.

For someone who hasn't been through therapy before, and who doesn't realise or understand how fucked up they already are, it could be very difficult to see that link, and hence very difficult to find any justification for putting themselves through such a hellish psychological process.

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I went to see Dara O'Briain this evening. It was the comedy show that I booked a couple of months ago, to give me something tangible to be working towards.

It was supposed to be a mark of how well I'm doing, how much things have improved. It was meant to be the first thing I did off my list of post-pain goals. Going to see him was on the list, then I started researching some of things on the list, so I had them right there. But it turned out he was coming to town before I was ready - should I leave it and wait however-long for his next tour, or book it in the hope I'd be better by then?

So I booked it. I thought if I booked it now, I could force myself into being better. That I could somehow make the reality fit the fantasy, just by setting it up that way. That if I made everything else look like my dream, the pain would have no choice but to comply.

It didn't work. The show was good, he was very funny, but I'd been in pain all day, I had to wear the big sling and take a cushion for the bad seats. I was in the way of all the people wanting to squeeze past, but I couldn't stand up, so they had to go around. Unfortunately, all the laughing aggravated the pain, so I had to take a lot of pills there, I was in agony driving home and I've had to take another 60mg since.

But worse than that, is the way I feel now. I was really scared beforehand about the driving, the parking, the walking from the car. I was scared of being attacked on the way back afterwards. Yet I'm the one who used to regularly jet off abroad on my own. I went wandering around Mexico by myself. And there I was scared to go into town.

My friends said going to the show would be good for me, that it would give me a sense of achievement. It didn't. All I feel is incredibly lonely that all these years later, I'm still going to these things alone. And I feel empty, blank. Dead inside.

I cheated, by doing something off the post-pain list before the pain was gone. And I'm being punished for it. I I feel like things are never going to get properly better - that I'm never going to get back to the life I had before the accident. That the best I can hope for is a return to how things were before I was off sick for a whole year.

I don't want to go back to that life. I want my real life back. I want the life where I go jetting off abroad at the drop of a hat. Where I constantly do things that are scary - like deciding to start over in a new town, living abroad, trying out extreme sports. I want to be that me again, but the pain won't let me.

If the only improvement I can have is to go back to being the person in the room everyone had to look out for, the one needing special attention and special consideration, I don't want it. I'd rather be dead than go back to that half a life. And I'd rather be dead than carry on the phantom life that came that came afterwards.

If I can't have a whole, real, proper life - one where I get to be a full, functioning member of society - then I'm done.

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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A whole year

As of today, I've been off sick for a year. A whole bloody year.

It's also a year since my mother proved she'd learnt absolutely nothing over the last decade, and turned her back on me for what will be the last time. Not that she knows that yet.

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Monday, 5 March 2012

It's horrible at the moment - I can't trust my own reactions. I keep being overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and worry about punishment, yet I haven't done anything.

I was sitting down earlier, doing nothing, not emailing or blogging or talking on the phone. Then suddenly I felt like I'd done something really naughty and I was going to get in big trouble.

I knew logically that I hadn't done anything, but the feeling just wouldn't go away. It's just happened again after being in with the chins.

I know I've done nothing, I know I haven't hurt them or done anything to cause them harm, but I can't shake this feeling. It such a horrible feeling - so unsettling and upsetting

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60mg of morphine this afternoon and all it got me was half an hour's pain relief 4hrs after dose one, 2hrs after dose two and an hour after dose three.

And now the pain is ramping up again. I don't know why I bother. But I was scared if I didn't take anything at the beginning, it would get even worse. But it got worse anyway.

What am I going to do? I can't live like this. But I'm scared of the alternative

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Sunday, 4 March 2012

It's 5am and sleep is still nowhere in sight. I've had enough. I want out. Now

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My tolerance level for morphine is really high now. I take so much of it, and I have done for so long, my body is totally used to it. Which effectively takes it out of the running as a suicide option. Which is a shame, because if this doesn't stop soon, I'm going to need one.

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Linguistic shortage

I need more words.

There simply aren't enough negative adjectives to go around. 'Awful', 'hideous', 'terrible'. 'Mind-numbing', 'eye-watering', 'toe-curling'; I use them all, with such disturbing frequency that they begin to lose all meaning. Like when you're hunting for a number in the phone book (remember phone books, before the whole world was available on the Internet!), and the place name morphs into something totally alien, the more you look at it.

So many of my days and nights are so unbearably bad, that I've run out of words to describe them. Normal adverbs like 'very' and 'extremely' aren't good enough - they simply don't have the force I'm seeking. I need to find new words, ones that are strong enough to express the depth of 'badness' I so often experience, and varied enough to avoid repetition.

For most bloggers, it probably wouldn't matter, but I'm a writer by nature, and it matters enormously to me.

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Shit night, following shit day

I'm so itchy, I just can't stop scratching. It happens when I have to take a lot of morphine, and today's was a lot.

I took 70mg over the course of two hours (on top of the 115mg I'd already taken during the day). Another two hours later, I feel totally shit-faced - I can't see straight, I'm breathless, I'm having panic attacks and there's no strength in my muscles - yet I'm still in pain, and I have been throughout.

I'm getting eye-wateringly bad pain explosions every few minutes. And I can't sleep - the pain and the side effects are making it impossible. I keep sort of half dropping off as I lie here writing this, but that sensation of falling that we all get as we fall asleep is ten times worse because of the morphine, so it wakes me up each time.

And on top of that, I'm desperately struggling to hold on to each thought; as fast as I think something, the thought is gone again, leaving behind a niggling feeling that I've forgotten something really, really important.

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Saturday, 3 March 2012

I wish I could just die.

The pain started to go up a couple of hours ago, at the same time as my mood started to plummet. I felt incredibly sad, like a child desperate for a mother to come and give me love and cuddles. It was like the other day, and I couldn't stop crying. Finally I did, and was listening to my favourite songs.

Them I started getting angry. I tried writing it out - that's been working a bit lately - but it was useless. I still want to rip my mother's face off, the pain is going up and up despite taking a load of pills. Now I feel furious and overwhelmed by sadness.

I just wish I could die - this all hurts too much. I'm in fucking agony, I feel bereft and abandoned and hopeless and I want to die.

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I'm not in pain this morning.

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Friday, 2 March 2012

Drowning feelings explain pain

I was talking to the therapist about how come this process is so much worse than any of the other times I've had counselling.

I told her about the feelings that keep overwhelming me, how huge they are and how awful. The unbearable sadness that seems to have replaced the anger and the terror (which she also says is possibly the natural progression through these emotions - we're angry over something first, then scared of the implications, then just sad). These feelings are like an endless ocean and it's drowning me and I really don't know if I can keep doing this. The therapy is bringing up so much awful stuff and I just don't know if I can keep going with it because it hurts so much.

She pointed out that it explains why I've got the pain and why it's so bad and why it won't stop. If the feelings are SO terrible, it's going to take something pretty bloody awful to mask them: and that's what the pain is. Which means that despite all the revolting, hideous things my dad did, the real problem, the most hurtful, upsetting, damaging influence on my childhood was my actually mum.

I still feel like shit, but it sort of helps to know that - to understand why I'm stuck with such hideous, unending pain. And to understand why things got so much worse, emotionally, the more the spotlight fell on her. It also explains why I often feel I would rather go back to the pain, than keep feeling this.

But I still don't know if I can keep going with the therapy.

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Die, bitch

If someone abused my child, I'd kill them. It's as simple as that. I'd take my punishment, but you hurt my baby, and you die. End of.

Yet my mother somehow manages to keep on living with him. Spending Christmas and birthdays, going on holidays.

She gives me all this bullshit about 'deserving' to live out her life in purgatory, but that's crap. She's a coward, and how ever much of a victim she may be herself, it's still no excuse.

But it turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg. I thought that was the worst of it, but it wasn't. She didn't just let him get away with it, she didn't just stick her head in the sand and pretend it hadn't happened. She laid the groundwork for the whole ugly thing.

She created a child so starved of love and attention, so lacking in basic emotional resources, that when he - and every other predatory, exploitative personality since - swooped in, I didn't have a chance. I was completely and utterly vulnerable - even more so than any other child.

I was the perfect target - desperate for love and attention, craving approval, unlikely ever to blow the whistle for fear of jeopardising what tiny chance I precieved of getting that. He could do whatever he wanted to me, I had no basis for comparison - I couldn't event even think 'mummy doesn't love me this way', because mummy didn't love me at all - I had no power to stop it, no-one to turn to to tell about it, and he could terrorise me into submission at a moment's notice, simply by the threat of a return to the invisibility offered by my mother. Not to mention the much more concrete threat of violence and harm.

A child so starved of love will accept even abusive, shameful, perverted 'love', in preference to the nothingness of being ignored. Especially if she has no way of knowing it's abusive and perverted, especially when what feels somehow wrong and squalid is insisted on as being normal and even 'special', especially when she's terrorised into silence and acceptance by threats both explicit and implied.

So you see, not only did my mother let him get away with it, she set me up for it in the first place. She probably welcomed his attentions on me, because it meant she didn't have to feel guilty about ignoring me; I was getting attention, after all.

If someone did any of that to my child, I'd kill the pair of them. no question, no vacillation, no remorse. Parents are supposed to protect their children; it's that simple.

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Thursday, 1 March 2012

The chins are very attached to me - it was obvious from the vet visit yesterday. They'd really miss me if I wasn't here. They need me.

I'm trying to convince myself not to just finish it all off. I'm trying really hard, I am. But I just don't know how to keep going. I especially can't bear the thought of yet more therapy tomorrow.

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Couldn't talk to Personnel this morning - had to cancel the phone meeting - because just feeling too upset and fragile. Can't stop crying half the time.

Got the long-awaited letter from that awful Pain Clinic appointment, but can't open it. Can't read the Personnel Manager's email about the cancelled meeting, and an email from a friend reduced me to a gibbering wreck.

I'm scared to go to bed tonight because of the feelings that keep bubbling up, and I don't know if I can take another therapy session tomorrow.

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It's never going to get any better.

The pain in my body represents all the pain in my soul. And that's never going to heal. There are no pills for that pain. I'm never going to be free of this. It was cruel to suggest I would. I can't live like this any more.

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I'm in agony. Absolute mind-blowing agony, and the pills are doing completely fuck-all. There's no point taking any more, so what do I do?

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That 'pulled muscle' in my back was actually a muscle spasm, I realise now. Doesn't help the agony it's caused, or the fact that it still has me bent double like an old crone, but I just thought I'd keep you up to date.

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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Very very low tonight. Feel like the little two-year-old me, sitting in my cot, desperate for someone - specifically a parent - to come and pick me up. I want to be held and cuddled and made to feel safe. I want someone to do for me what I did for my pet today - take care of me, love me, worry about me, hold me and stroke me and make me feel safe. I want them to put themselves through hell to make sure I'm alright, just like I did for my pet today. If I can do it for my chinchilla, why couldn't my mum and dad do it for their first-born child? I don't get it.

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Of all the therapy I've had, over the past 12 years - all the difficult and horrible topics I've explored - it's never been this hard.

I've never hated the process and the sessions so much. I've never struggled to meet the therapist's eye, I've never dreaded each appointment so much, and I've never had to force myself to climb the stairs and knock on the door.

And I've never been so desperate to leave so many sessions that it's taken a physical act of will to stay there

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Twice as much morphine

Assuming that for the rest of the day, I ONLY take an additional slow release pill with each of the remaining doses, I'll still have take twice as much morphine today as yesterday.

Because I had to drive to the vet's, and because I woke up in agony due to the pulled muscle in my back, I started taking top-up pills immediately. The driving meant I needed enormous dosages. I've spent all afternoon in bed, trying to relax and ease the pain.

But all of that has still only reduced the pain, not stopped it. I still can't stand up straight, never mind walk, due to my back, and I'm still getting horrible flashes of shoulder pain, just lying here.

There have been a lot of 'empty SEs', and I suspect some of the lack of relief today is because of the increasing ineffectiveness of the morphine. But what other option do I have?

Yesterday, I kept my morphine intake to 80mg, by tackling the pain mentally; that doesn't work at high pain levels, or when I'm out of the house. If I don't take any more top-ups after the ones I took half an hour ago, today will be 170mg.

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Pulled muscle

I pulled something in my back getting out of the shower last night and it's agony.

I don't even know what I did, I must've twisted funny or something, but I just suddenly had a huge twinge that felt like a pulled muscle. It was really painful all evening, despite lots of heat, stretching etc and I slept flat; I was trying to minimise any problems, because I knew I needed to drive this morning.

When the pill alarm went off at 6am I was in agony, but I didn't know if it was morphine pain (because last night's dose was running low), or the pulled muscle. By 7.30 I was sure it was the muscle; I had to leave to take one of the chinchillas to the vet before 9, so I had to take top-up pills. Without them, I wouldn't even have been able to get out of bed.

I managed the drive there, but I could hardly stand up when I got out of the car after the hour drive. Standing around in the consultation room, I was getting really bad twinges in my shoulder (it was painful yesterday, but I'd managed to avoid pills).

Getting back to the car was bad back- and shoulder-wise. I had to stop after 20 minutes to take more top-up pills because the pain was so bad. By the time I got home, it was agonising. I had terrible trouble getting me and my baby into the house; I had to take more pills less than an hour after the first lot.

That was an hour and a half ago; I feel stoned off my face, the shoulder pain has eased but it's still hard to walk. Looks like another afternoon in bed.

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Monday, 27 February 2012

Empty SEs

I haven't been on here lately because I've still been too shell-shocked from Friday's therapy appointment.

This is just a quick post, though, to say that I'm coining a new phrase - 'empty side effects' or 'empty SEs'. That's when the morphine you take gives no pain relief, but you do get the side effects.

That's been the case today - none of the pills I've taken (slow- or quick-release) have had any effect on the pain whatsoever (except on the withdrawal-type pains when I left too long a gap between doses - because it wasn't working, so why bother taking it), but I've had all the side effects.

Like 'empty' calories to a malnourished person, 'empty SEs' are just a raging waste of time - and indeed an insult - to someone in pain. I'm not taking the bloody stuff if it doesn't help - there's no fucking point.

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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Therapy today was so far beyond harrowing. I have no words for how bad it was and how awful it made me feel.

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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Morphine now useless

Things are going from bad to worse; I don't want to live like this anymore.

About four days ago, I started finding that not only was I in terrible pain, but the feelings that the pain is supposedly masking, were now right there on the surface. I was being forced to deal with both the pain and the feelings, all at once, and that was triggering the worst insomnia I've ever had.

Now, not only am I facing pain and feelings and sleep deprivation, but the medication has stopped working.

I took a 15mg top-up at 9.45, to little effect, but that's not all that unusual for night-time. I took 30mg slow-release at 10.45; normally I take 20, but to try and limit the amount of top-ups I take (because the doctor is on holiday, so I can't get more), I increased the basic dose. It worked fine yesterday.

Today, I was still getting really bad pain two hours later. I was still worried about running out of OxyNorm, so I crunched up another 20mg of slow release morphine (to make it quick release). Nothing. I feel stoned and high, but there was no pain relief. Two hours later, there still isn't.

I was afraid this might happen; if you take deconstruction of the delusion - the pain - far enough, it makes sense that chemicals will no longer have any effect. It's a natural extension of the way the pain invariably breaks through any new medication or dosage.

My brain is gradually beginning to accept the fact that the pain is simply a construct designed to distract attention from difficult feelings. As realisation dawns that the pain is not 'real', so 'real' treatments lose effectiveness.

I talked to the therapist a couple of weeks ago about wanting to come off the morphine. It seemed to me that deconstructing the delusion could never fully work whilst I was feeding it by taking pills. Taking the pills tells the brain you believe the pain is real, which just reinforces it, when what you're trying to do is unpick it. So I wanted to stop taking the morphine.

The therapist said she thought that would be incredibly difficult though, and I should instead work towards making the pain redundant by dealing with the feelings behind it. I decided she was right, especially when the pain started flaring up even more. But if the morphine is goint to stop working, then I'm going to be completely fucked.

Rising pain levels, enormous emotional trauma and nothing - nothing - to ease any of it.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I've been feeling really weird all day and I don't understand why.

I feel scared and angry and very very sad. I'm feel confused and threatened and lost. I feel like I'm looking at a world I don't understand, through a filter of confusion and loss. It's like I'm hearing the words, but they make no sense. I'm watching lips move, but the end result is meaningless. It's scary and unsettling and I hate it.

I think how I'm feeling is probably the underlying feeling of my childhood; if I'd been aware of my feelings back then - which I never was - I think this is what they would've been.

That, in itself, is a terrifying thought; that my childhood was such a dark, forbidding, empty place, that this is how it made me feel.

I suppose it makes sense - as a child unable to understand or interpret what was happening to me, my impression of the world was as confused and scary as the world itself seemed to be.

The confusion, the fear, the threatened - that all comes from the shifting sands of my fathers mercurial moods. The sadness and the lost comes from being left so alone, sacrificed for her and by her.

I'm also having particular trouble with anger; not anger now, but anger in the past. Several of my precious somatic conditions have been recurring, and the ones that have come back and stayed, are those relating to anger.

My insomnia, which I worked out years ago, is an indication of unexpressed anger, is at an all-time high. And my ears - the eczema and swelling - is also bad, and that's also always been anger.

I don't feel angry at all; in fact, I don't 'feel' anything. I keep trying to work out what's behind the pain - and there's been a lot of pain today, stubbornly resistant to the soothing effect of the meds - but I can't get at it. I know there's something there, but whatever it is, it makes no sense to me.

All day, I've been fighting off desperate urges to stuff myself insensible - urges that I recognise as ways of distracting myself from feelings that are too difficult or painful to deal with.

So in summation: I'm experiencing the confused, frightening mishmash of emotions generated by a threatening, unsafe, insecure childhood. My body is yelling right, left and centre that I'm angry, yet I can't feel anger, or anything else - I can't feel anything at all. The pain is stubbornly masking a welter of emotions that I can't even identify, never mind decode.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I have had insomnia all my life, but it's never, ever been as bad as this before. I just want to sleep.

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Friday, 17 February 2012

Blogging the last two posts has triggered unbelievable pain. I can't breathe. I want to die.

Three-and-a-half hours and 65mg of morphine. That's what it's taken for me to get from the lounge to the bedroom. Not to be pain-free - that still hasn't happened - but just to be able to get up and go to bed.

Addendum 2
Awake till 5am in terrible pain and battling terror and flashbacks. I'm drowning in memories, none of them good.

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Frightening truth

The therapist told me today that the sexual abuse I suffered as a child was made much worse and much more damaging by the neglect I'd already experienced.

I was desperate for the love and attention I couldn't get from my mother, and then my father came along and exploited that, giving me the very worst kind of 'attention'.

And that terrible attention was all I got. No wonder, years later when I thought my parents were going to divorce, I decided I'd rather live with my dad. I'd already blocked out the worst of what he'd done to me - the sexual stuff - but the threat of violence persisted and he continued to beat me down mentally.

He terrified me, but at least he 'saw' me. At least I felt like I was 'there' with him; with her, I felt like a ghost, an invisible cloud that would be forever overlooked.

It tells you something, that I would choose fear and ridicule, emotional battery and explosive rage, over the blank nothingness of indifference.

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Therapy meltdown

It was an incredibly difficult therapy appointment today - by far the hardest and the worst. And I'm aware that I've been 'medicating' ever since, mostly with food.

I've eaten probably twice as many calories as I normally would, as well as taking morphine for pain levels that I would usually manage mentally. But I feel so fragile after the appointment that I have no strength whatsoever to stand up to the pain on my own.

The appointment was going fine till about halfway through, when I mentioned that the neck pressure symptoms seem to have changed. Rather than the usual screwdriver-in-the-eye sensation, for the past few days, I've been getting a tight band of pain across my forehead.

The therapist asked what I thought that might represent; I couldn't answer, and she asked if perhaps it might be someone's hand on my head. I suddenly went all hot and shakey and started to cry. I said that it hadn't occurred to me, but based on how I felt at hearing her say that, I guess the answer is yes.

Then I totally went to pieces. I was having terrible flashbacks right there, of my father physically restraining me by holding my head down against the pillow. I don't think I can adequately describe the horror of it. It was visceral, I couldn't speak, I was in floods of tears and all I wanted was to get up and run away. In that moment I hated the therapist for taking me to that point.

Most of the rest of the appointment was me just sitting there shaking and crying. She said that when you're being abused, often the brain redirects attention to a different part of the body, so you're not aware of what's really happening.

I guess that must be it; I've never had any memories of being held like that before (it was always being pushed down by the chest), but the severity of my own reaction leaves me in no doubt of the veracity of it. And it's not like she suggested the images or feelings that swept over me.

And although I've spent all afternoon medicating the feelings, at least I'm not actually having to feel them.

When the appointment finally came to an end, it just slipped out: 'Thank God, I've been wanting to run away for the past half an hour'. I felt really rude afterwards - she's trying to help me after all - but I can't tell you the effort it took to stay in that goddam room. She said I did really well to stay there (and I did apologise).

I'm terrified now about what's going to come up next; every time you think you've remembered everything, something else comes up.

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Thursday, 16 February 2012

I'm having a hideous night, with zero chance of getting any sleep.

The pain started to spike just as I was settling down for the night. Like so many times in the past, it went from zero to a hundred in no-seconds-flat. One minute I was fine, the next, I couldn't breathe for the pain.

It was both my shoulder and the neck pressure, and it was excruciating. I tried looking behind it and found that the blankness from earlier on had gone, but I couldn't really tell what was in its place.

I took 20mg top-up morphine; an hour later the pain was still rising, so I took another 20. Normally I would only take 10, but the pain was so bad, and the meds have been so ineffective today, that I knew that wouldn't be enough. Still, it did nothing. Then 40 minutes later my world exploded in terror.

I'd kept looking in on behind the pain, and I knew it was fear there, but I couldn't get any more than that, and the pain was so bad, I couldn't even begin to address it. I still couldn't even breathe.

Then suddenly I'm in the midst of a child's terror, the like of which most adults would be glad to have forgotten. There aren't really words for the depth of the fear that suddenly swept over me. As endless as the sadness was this morning, the fear was easily as bad. I was sobbing with terror, shaking, utterly consumed by it.

The child this time was slightly older again than the 'sad' one - there were more words, and a more developed interpretation of the situation. But still very very young: under two, I'm sure.

All that filled my head was 'monsters' and 'scared in the dark', 'mummy don't leave me', 'mummy help' - begging and pleading with her to come and save me. I could sense that small child lying in the dark, terrified, crying and crying for someone to come, and no-one ever coming. At one point, I sensed my mother having been there, and then leaving - not able to interpret her child's cry as one of sheer terror.

This 'panic attack' went on for what seemed like forever. I was powerless to stop it; I couldn't help the terrified child in me, because of the incredible pain my brain was creating for exactly that reason - to distract me from the feelings. It was awful. every time I tried to do anything about the feelings, the pain exploded just a little bit more.

Eventually, gradually, telling myself I was safe, 'I've got you', 'there are no monsters', etc, I managed to calm down, to calm that child down. When I finally had her convinced she was safe, the pain stopped.

Since then I've had a burst of anger - resolved through thumb sucking - and repeated waves of fear. I got up to get something to eat and had to constantly chant to myself that I was safe, just to go into the kitchen.

Right now (two hours after the initial terror), the pain is ramping up again. Which probably means more panic some time soon. And there's absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

It might sound weird, but I actually found myself feeling grateful to the pain today, because I never would've addressed any of this without it, because I didn't know it was there.

I know it affects every part of my life though, and it would be so nice to not have to go through life constantly riddled with misdirected anger and resentment.

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The pain, the 'baby' and me

So, how do I connect with this 'pre-speech baby' part of me that's behind the pain? The therapist and I talked about using touch, but what else?

Well, I'm finding that just stroking my own skin can be quite soothing, on the hand and wrist. The palm of my hand and the inside of my wrist (i.e. just below the pam) is particularly sensitive, and hence effective.

I also have a small teddy bear that my best friend gave me last year when she came to visit; it has very soft fur, and I find gently rubbing that around my face, especially the cheeks and lips, is comforting. Because of the softness of the fur, the teddy is more comforting than just my hand, so that tends to be the next step up in soothing that 'baby'. And I talk to 'her'; I find that constantly reassuring her that she's safe, is effective - 'You're OK, I've got you', that kind of thing. The kind of thing that no-one ever told me in my whole childhood.

The soothing and comforting is really the easy part, though - it's the anger that's the hardest to address. I spent quite a lot of time yesterday thinking about how a small baby might express anger. I wanted to kick and thrash and flail about like a toddler having a tantrum; I think it would work, but it would be just too painful, so that's no good. I could try screaming, but it doesn't feel like that would be very effective. It's always worked fairly well for venting my adult anger (or rather, the anger I feel that I now realise is actually rooted in the feelings of that tiny child), but it doesn't feel right for this.

I tried scratching at things, but that didn't help. I thought about 'stabbing' at something with my finger, but that didn't feel right either.I tried making 'baby screaming' noises - the sort of 'mewling' scream that babies do - it felt better than the last two, but not right. The only other thing I could think of that I did as a baby, was suck my thumb. That didn't seem likely, because you do it to comfort yourself, but I tried it anyway. And it worked! Bizarrely, agressively sucking my thumb seemed to serve to vent the anger, though I don't really understand why.

But all day yesterday, when the pain spiked and I sensed anger behind it, I sucked at my thumb, and each time it worked - it reduced the density of the pain, till it stopped all together. In fact, having been stuck in bed all afternoon in agony, with none of the medication working, as soon as I hit on the thumb sucking, I was able to get up. I followed the thumb sucking with soothing touch, when the anger had eased, and it actually left me feeling quite sleepy and relaxed. And not in pain.

Of course all of this is only any good when I'm at home on my own. It takes enormous concentration and a lot of time; it's no good when there are other people around, or when I'm having to concentrate on other things (e.g. walking!).

The reason I was stuck in bed at all was that I'd tried going into town for a couple of things; I knew when I did it that the pain was likely to flare badly, but I didn't want to be a prisoner to the pain, so I decided to do it anyway. I had to queue for about 10 minutes in the first shop, and nearly ended up collapsing on the floor. There followed over an hour stuck in a nearby coffee shop, waiting for the pills to go down enough to move. None of the mental stuff was of any use in these circumstances; I couldn't concentrate enough with people around, unable to lie down or even sit really comfortably. So it's only any good at home, for now at least.

Today, I tried going out to Tesco to get the rest of the stuff I couldn't get yesterday. Once again, it felt like things were going to flare up, but I had to go. As expected, it was a bad trip; I got everything and made it home, but it was a close call, and I was then stuck for several hours. What was behind the pain this time was different though.

Yesterday, it had been anger - an enormous, inexpressible, mute anger. Today there was just sadness and loneliness. The depth of the sadness shocked me though - it was just this unfathomable, bottomless sadness.It felt like it went on forever. Interestingly, the 'me' that was feeling this sadness was slightly older; there was language now - not big or complex, but words nontheless. And the really heart-wrenchingly sad thing was that this 'me' - slightly older, but still unmistakeably a baby - has given up on being held or comforted or loved. That was what struck me the most - the sense of defeat. That there was no point hoping for someone to come, because they never would. And she actually doesn't believe that it's real - that there's suddenly someone there who does care.

Every time I tried to 'comfort' this version of myself, I broke down. That awful sadness just hurt so so much, I couldn't bear it. I couldn't bear it - as an adult; how was a baby supposed to deal with it? I spent most of the morning in a cycle of the pain spiking, looking 'behind' it and finding this sadness, being overwhelmed by it and crying my heart out, then calming down for a bit, then the whole thing starting all over again. I couldn't stay with those feeings for very long, because they were just too enormous and too painful. So painful, in fact that later on, after the Tesco trip, when the pain started spiking again and I tried to look 'behind' it and see what was going on, there was nothing. It was blank, completely blank and empty, like everything had shut down.

Initially I thought it was that the 'baby' had shut down, because it was all so painful, but then I wondered if actually it was 'me'. If the adult me just couldn't bear to feel that sadness any more, because it hurt too much, and so I was stopping myself even feeling it.

That sort of thing has happened before, in therapy-type situations. I'll be dealing with incredibly intense feelings and then my mind clearly decides it's all just too much, and it switches everything off. It's quite scary, because you go from being awash with emotions, to feeling competely numb. This is different, because I'm feeling normal emotions just fine, but that well-spring of emotions behind the pain is blank. I'm going to have to talk to the therapist about what it means, and what I should do next.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Parasitic psychological pain

Over the past few weeks, my conviction that the pain is psychological has been utterly cemented. I now have absolutely no doubt that it is.

That certainty comes from the way the pain has been responding to the enormous amount of psychological work I've been doing (It's pretty much my full-time job now).

I've had a number of good pain days as a direct consequence of psychological revelations, or in response to things I've tried, like mantras or affirmations.

It's obviously a good thing that I now know this, and it means I'm doing entirely the right thing concentrating on therapy. But it gives me an idea of how hard it's going to be to rid myself of the pain (and the therapist told me today she doesn't think it will ever stop, which really upset me, but I'm choosing not to accept or believe that).

I'm already finding this process incredibly hard. It's the shift from a good day, back to a bad one that undoes me.

When you get a good day, you have to commit to it, or you just 'think' yourself into pain. But with 'committing' to the day - getting on and doing things, trying to enjoy the respite - comes the inevitable hope-slash-expectation that things are going to stay better. Then when they don't - when the next day is crap again - you crash again. And the disappointment hits you harder each time.

Yesterday it was so bad, I was on the verge of quitting therapy. It would be so much less distressing to go back to pain-every-day, then to have to cope with this constant hope-disappointment-hope-disappointment cycle. I desperately want the pain to stop, but this mid-way point is unbearable.

Luckily, so far I've always managed to pick myself back up again after the disappointments, but I don't know how long I'll be able to do that.

The other development in the field of pain-as-physical-manifestation-of-emotional-pain, is that I'm increasingly seeing the pain as something separate to myself, something almost parasitic in nature.

This is because of the way I've watched it shift, over and over. Every time I start to get a handle on the pain, it starts to fight back. It's like it knows I'm trying to oust it, and it wants to protect itself, and it does that by attacking me.

Looking back, I can see endless examples of this before I was aware of it. Like the way the pain has always ramped up to match the amount of medication I take, however much that is. Or the way it got worse again as soon as I started doing more, like swimming and so on, a couple of years ago.

What I need to do, is to make the pain redundant by addressing the issues that it's trying to mask from me (see the previous post). I have to make it so that my brain doesn't have any need to hide from scary, awful, difficult feelings, because I've already dealt with them head-on.

That's my 'job' at the moment, and it's taking every once of concentration and energy I can find.

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