Hello again, and again, and again, the never-ending story…

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I did see Angela on Wednesday.  She’s the only therapist in the group showing up for appts. in person.  So the receptionist was only coming in on Mondays, and working from home the rest of the time.  She was there last Wednesday.  And yesterday.  I guess she turned my therapist in for not wearing a mask.  And the group owner, boss, whatever, corporate, came down and told her she has to make all her patients wear masks.  

I know I should be glad that I can see her at all.  But I cannot do this mask thing.  She put the thing on, and I turned away and wouldn’t look at her.   I got to thinking about why I am so averse to the masks.  In public they increase the hysteria.  They make me nervous where I am really not nervous about the bug itself.  But all these masks are definitely increasing my anxiety.  

Long before Caronavirus, I told Angela that I have that white coat syndrome.  So I am not just making excuses.  I can walk into a doctor’s office with a broken arm and the moment I am there, all the pain goes away.  All of it.  I can literally not tell them where it hurts.  I know I am afraid and that is trumping the pain.  But what am I afraid of?   I told my doctor what happened to me, so it is not like I am afraid that if they see me they will know.  Or maybe it is.  It is a phobia which is a unreasonable fear.  I may have let her know from an adult perspective, but my inner-brat is functioning on its own level.  I don’t know if it stems from the hospital stay when I was 4.  I mean it was traumatic.  I can remember a lot of it, but not the surgery at all.  You might say, good, you aren’t supposed to remember surgeries.  You are supposed to be under for surgeries.  But, I have this habit of being very aware when I am supposed to be very much under.  I can feel and hear what is going on, even if I cannot see or speak.  It sucks.  I wonder if that happened when I was four.  It was an eye surgery, and I am deathly afraid of anything hurting my eyes.  I don’t like going to eye doctors either.  And I am diabetic, which means I am supposed to do that yearly.  I don’t even though I should. 

And a week or so ago, my regular doctor’s office reminded me of an appt. and told me to bring my card and list of meds, and that I would have to wear a face mask.  I canceled my appt.  My blood pressure soars waiting in the waiting room.  I cannot imagine waiting in there in a mask. 

I am trying to figure out this therapist relationship crap.  I mean.  We have to have a certain amount of safety/trust.  And it isn’t a equal give/take of a friendship.  The therapist is more on a parent/child or employer/employee or teacher/student type status. though it is none of those exactly.   I mean, I care about her, but not like I would a friend or parent.  But the fact of the matter is that she is a health care worker.  But for me, I HAVE to block that thought in order to do anything at all.  It is not like someone who is concerned with my diabetes, or my gall bladder.  They are concerned with my brain, my emotions, my thoughts — how the core of me works.  Which is damn intimidating when you think about it.  You aren’t just having a conversation with your friend, you’re being analyzed.  When I refused to look at her with her mask on, what is she thinking about me?  What does this mean?  Am I testing her?  Am I reacting to something that happened decades ago? 

If I think of her as a health care worker, than the idea that she is in it for the money, that is it.  But it is not all of it.  I have to believe she cares about me in order to share and work on the nitty gritty stuff.  And yet, the hospital masks makes me, I dunno, just completely sterile and unconnected. 

Covid is standing in the way of my healing.  It’s pissing me off.  I come home and Dad says, “2 more deaths today, in the county.”  Well, hot damn!  People die in this county every day from all kinds of crap.  But he has to prove to me that this is such a big deal.  I really don’t think it is.  Not to the extent that we are acting about it. 

Cujo2 got his death sentence.  His blood work came back all good, no tick disease, no problem with his normal bloodwork, no heartworm, but he is obviously sick.  The vet said in his 40 years of experience and in the other vet’s almost that, they agree that bloodwork like that and an obviously sick 7 year old shepherd, and it is cancer.  Odessa is acting about the same, but she is 12.5 years.  If she drops dead tomorrow, I’ll feel bad, but I won’t be surprised.  Joy is going to be 11 in the end of July if she makes it that long.  She is losing her back end bad, and well, I can see the end coming for her too.  And I can’t take them in to put them down, I have to stay outside.  This sucks.  I want to be there for them.  I don’t know how aware they are when they are under.  If they are like me, it is very aware.  Poor Cujo was so scared going into the office without me.  That has never happened before.  I hate, hate, hate, this bug!!!

I called my pastor the other day and asked when they are going to open the church up.  He says 21 days after we have no new cases.  That can be forever.  My church family is gone.  No connection there at all anymore.  Now this crap with masks, I really don’t know.  Things are supposed to be opening up, and I am just seeing more and more restrictions.  What will the next week bring?   


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18 comments

  1. Turnschaosintoart Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    Unfortunately the masks are the new norm. And for a lot of us it is uncomfortable and annoying. I am sorry that these masks are making you feel this way but they are supposed to help us. I do believe your therapist cares about you. Relationships can be tricky when it comes to that tho. I am sure she has your best interest at hand. It sucks that your dogs are sick and I know that has to be hard for you. We are here for you. Thanks for the update.

    Kristin

  2. Rustin Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    When we were required to start wearing masks, it was a whole new experience for everyone. It’s not the social norm in America and it is incredibly strange to see individuals wearing masks. My friend told me that it reminds her of the one scene on E.T. And that movie scared her when she was a child. It will take a lot to get used to and having conversations with people wearing masks seems to be even more difficult than just seeing people with the masks. As for the therapist relationship, I can’t speak for her but I can say that when I am in therapy with a client I’m not constantly analyzing them. Sure, I want what is best for them but I understand their reactions to different situations and triggers. Some individuals don’t know why they have specific triggers that make them uncomfortable and that is why the individuals come to therapy. All humans are a work in progress and all therapists can do is help with that process. I know COVID19 is interfering with your treatment and that sucks, but hopefully things will become more normalized (whatever that looks like) and you will be able to continue your healing.

  3. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Welcome back! Glad to hear that you have been able to see Angela! Unfortunately it’s super important that everyone wears masks so that we can prevent spreading this horrible virus! It’s really tough but it’s super important that everyone try and do their part to keep other people safe. I’m sorry to hear that the masks are increasing your anxiety. Hopefully if we keep flattening the curve people won’t have to wear them in a couple of months. A therapist is probably the most important kind of help since they care about more than just your physical health. It’s really great to have someone else looking out for you in that way. I feel that she would understand you don’t like masks and thus don’t want to look when she is wearing one, sadly she still has to wear it. Is your church trying to do virtual meetings? That might be a good way to see at least some of your friends!

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Hi Tyler. Actually the cloth masks everyone is wearing increases the risk of spreading the virus rather than the other way around. Folks are touching the masks and their faces much more, and they are then touching everything else. It gives a false sense of security. So folks are being less careful because they have a mask. And, most of us should just get the virus. There is over a 98% recovery rate. It really isn’t much worse than the flu, if it is worse than the flu. We lose 65k to the flu every year, and we do not stop the country or wear masks. Wearing masks increases the hysteria surrounding this bug. I STILL do not know one person who has the bug. I mean, I know someone who died of AIDS. And I know several folks who committed suicide. And one of my brothers friends went into the hospital, dead that night with meningitis. No masks or shutting down the world for any of these. I have asthma, and I can’t wear a mask nor should I. I have already cancelled a doctor’s appt. because of their policy on masks. At the end of the day, washing hands, and social distancing, and wearing masks is just us trying to be in control of something. It makes some of us feel better. I have an auto immune disease, asthma, a lung obstruction, high blood pressure, diabetes and a vitamin D deficiency — all of which are really bad if you get the Covid. But I am not going to hide in my house or wear a mask or stop seeing my parents because I might get it and die. Chances are, even I won’t die. Even my parents probably won’t die. The damage this has done to my sister’s business though — that will require serious recovery. All these things they have done to prevent it, have made me more at risk, and has removed my support system, and now it is trying to remove my therapist.

      The church has some zoom classes going on, but they are on Wednesday nights when I am working. And, I can’t zoom with my flip phone. And, I don’t have internet at home, so, I just am disconnected from church. Our congregation is elderly though, so I can’t say much about it. If our median age wasn’t something like 80, it would be a different story.

  4. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I am sorry to hear that you have had to deal with several frustrating events this week. The continued uncertainty seems to add extra difficulty to already challenging situations. I am glad to hear that you’ve still been meeting with Angela and I hope the sessions are still productive for you as they have been in the past. You mentioned you questioned the relationship you have with her and how much you can trust her, but I think to be able to answer that question you need to think back to each session and how you felt coming out of it along with other improvements you may have noticed in between the sessions. I’m wondering if she were able to do a session with you over Zoom so she wouldn’t have to wear a mask if that would help your anxiety at all? If so and as a suggestion, you could ask about the possibility of switching the session to that format. I’m sorry to hear about everything going on with the dogs as well – that cannot be easy to have more than one not doing well at a time. It’s good that we can still take our pets to the vet to get the care they need, but not being able to go in with them to their appointments causes not only us stress, but our pets as well as we hand them off to someone they are no familiar with. I hope that this upcoming week goes better and that you will continue to reach out here as you need to.

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      aegardiner, Thank you. No, I can’t use Zoom. I have a stupid phone, not a smart phone. It is a little flip phone, and I cannot see even a picture on it. It won’t work. As for the internet, I do that at my parents, I do not have the internet at my house. Only dial-up is available and the phone service constantly sucks, so I don’t have it, nor can I afford it anyway. And with my mom’s aversion to therapy, and my dad not knowing a lot of it, I couldn’t sit here in their living room and talk to my therapist. Also, we cannot do EMDR without being there with the buzzers. But it was a good thought.

  5. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. I’m sorry there has been what feels to be a barrier to your recovery. This virus is definitely adding some difficulties into everyone’s life and it testing the patience of most. Regarding your therapeutic relationship, I think it would be best to reflect on what all it has done for you over the past few months rather than focusing all your energy on the now. Of course, right now, everything is different and has impacted the way you view the relationship but based on your previous posts, it seems like your this relationship has benefitted you and given you light when you felt dark. Perhaps just revisiting those past moments can help you reframe your perspective on the now because it is difficult to see past the new regulations and the extra stress everyone has to deal with. In addition, I would like to add that your therapist is committed to you. They wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to be there to encourage and support you and understand why those kinds of relationships are different.
    Stay strong <3

  6. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey Solongago,

    Thanks for updating us. I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time. The uncertainty is driving the world up a wall! I completely understand your aversion to masks, but I do hope you’re staying safe, even if you don’t believe it’s a big deal! Hopefully everyone being extra precautious will just help COVID go away sooner rather than later so we can get back to normal.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your doggies! It’s always tough to lose an animal, especially one that you raised from a pup. It’s good that you’re being realistic, but it’s sad that you can’t be there for them in their last few minutes. Could a vet come to your house when the time comes? I know more and more offices are doing that, but I’m not sure if they would now, given the current circumstances.

    Have you told doctors that you can feel surgeries, even when you’re supposed to be way under? I’ve actually heard about that happening before – a friend of a friend of my mom’s felt an open heart surgery! Maybe it’s as simple as giving you a bit of a stronger dose? I’m not sure, I’m not a doctor, haha! But I think that’s definitely something to bring up! Hopefully it would be an easy fix and you could be a little more at ease.

    Please let us know if we can help you in any way. You know we’re here for you 🙂
    Marissa

  7. haesol Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    It’s nice to hear from you again! I’m glad you’re keeping up your appointments. The thing with the masks–I get it, it’s realy bothersome and a big change. I do hope you get to wear them, though, it’s for the best.

    I’m sorry to hear about your dogs, it’s really hard to let go of pets you’ve loved for so long. For what it’s worth, they’ve lived a long life all thanks to you taking an amazingly good care of them.

    I hope to hear more from you soon, we are always here for you !!

    -sol

  8. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m sorry that you’re having a difficult time right now. I understand. I don’t like masks either. It’s been a huge adjustment. I’m sorry to hear about your pups and their ailing health. That would be so hard to drop them off and not be able to give them a proper goodbye. I’m glad that you were able to keep your appointments with Angela. Especially since your other in person support networks are all in a funk with the virus. It is very frustrating. We’re here for you. Please don’t hesitate to post when you need to.

    All the best,
    Becca

  9. tolleytn Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sick puppy, I wish nothing but the best for you two. I’ve read in some of your other updates about them and I know how much you deeply love and care for them

    I’ve worried in the past of what my therapist/doctors think of me as well and I completely understand where you are coming from. Sometimes it is best to take a step back and think about what their motives are in a positive light. Your therapist is there to help and support you. The whole mask situation can make that very difficult, I understand. Sometimes it may feel a bit impersonal. Before you know it this whole mess will be over and you’ll be back to talking to your therapist face-to-face with no barrier between you two.

    I’m so sorry that coronavirus has added some extra anxiety to your life. If you think it may help, I find it easiest to tune out of social media and news broadcasts from time to time to just take a break. Remember that we are all here for you and you’ll be in my thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

    – Tiffany

  10. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,

    It’s great to have you back for another update! I’m thankful you’re here. I agree, the therapeutic relationship is difficult to figure out! I know you are doing a great job though and have made great progress so far.

    I’m sorry to hear about how the pandemic is affecting your life. It’s difficult to deal with not having connection as well as some of the anxiety that it can bring. I’ve personally found solace in the fact that while we may not be connected to the people we care about right now, this pandemic is something we are all experiencing together. I hope that can make you feel some of that connection that we’re missing out on right now.

    I’m also sorry to hear about your dogs! I know how much you care for them and how you do such a good job taking care of them. This must also be tough to deal with. With all this going on it sounds like this was a hard week. We are here to support you any way we can. Thank you for coming by and I hope you stay safe and healthy this upcoming week!

  11. musicislove

    Hi solongago,

    I’m sorry you’re struggling right now. Quarantine is causing so many disruptions and stress it’s hard not to be frustrated with everything. I understand being mad about not being able to be in with your dogs at the vet, I’d be worried the whole time as well. I hate that you might not be able to be with them when they go through something so hard. I am glad you’re still able to see Angela with things still the way they are, I know it’s hard with masks being mandatory but still, I’m glad you can see her. I hope you have a good week and that your pups do okay, sending you all support and strength!

    Delaney

  12. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey Friend

    I am so sorry you had a tough week. I know exactly how you feel seeing your dog. I know the feeling just hang in their. we are here for you!

  13. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,

    I’m sorry it has been a tough week. I know how hard it must be to have your dogs suffering health issues, on top of everything else. It’s a hard time for everyone, so know you’re not alone. This is just temporary – I hope next week will be better. Hang in there.

    KatherineL

  14. colton95 Volunteer

    I’m sorry for all that you’re going through. I really hope that things will get better for you and that you will be able to find a new church family or just a family in general who will unconditionally love and care for you! Stay safe and positive!

  15. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    I’m sorry things were hard this week. I know corona is taking a toll on a lot of people, but because this is a new disease and we don’t know anything about it, it is important to take precaution. I don’t like masks either because they affect my asthma, but they will help people not catch the virus because we do not know who has it or not.
    I’m sorry about your church not opening up any time soon. Maybe try to read the bible on your own. I hope your dogs also get better. I know how hard it can be to have a sick pet. Thank you for updating us. Hopefully next week will be better.
    -Alyssa

  16. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I’m sorry this week was a tougher week. I know this is such a difficult time for all of us, and it is really hard that so many things are changing and that we feel out of control a lot. Thank you for coming back to share, and I hope continuing to go to therapy is helpful.

    Erin