I saw Angela on Wednesday. And last Wednesday, and the Wednesday before that, every Wednesday this year, and last, save maybe one where we changed it to Friday instead. I am not blaming Angela. In fact, I think there has been progress there and I can’t blame her for how I am currently feeling. But the fact is, that I am depressed, feeling hopeless and doing all the things I shouldn’t do, all the things that will spiral me deeper into my private Hell. I see myself doing it. And I am doing it anyway.
I watched a seminar today for therapists working with trauma victims. This lady, Dr. Janina Fisher, was talking about how trauma plays into fragmentation. How dissociation has a lot of negative connotations, and that we should be happy that we can fragment because it helped us to survive. She says that we have two main sections of our brains: the part that lets us move along and do what is necessary for normal life; and the part that holds the emotions and memories associated with the trauma. She talks about 5 responses, fight, flight, freeze, submit, and cry out. This is only a synopsis, but she talks about what each of them looks like in therapy.
Fight holds the anger and the wanting to be in control, the suspicion and inability to trust and stuff like that. Flight is when we use drugs or food to numb out the feelings and emotions of our body, and when clients come to therapy once or twice and then skip. Freeze — shoot my brain must have frozen during that one because I cannot remember it. Submit is when we continue to feel the shame, and we feel helpless and hopeless, a lot of depression here. And then cry out is when we are asking for help, need the connection with the therapist. She kind of explained it a lot better. The freeze, I think was when we come in terrified, afraid of the emotions, afraid of loss.
One of the things she said was that we are the clients that have been largely ignored or considered unhelpable (is that even a word?), or that we are difficult to work with because of the way the fragments are constantly fighting with each other. We want to trust and have a connection, but we won’t allow ourselves to trust. One week we seem to want to live, and the next we want to die. But she said we must remember that we are there, we are coming in, the normal side is getting us there, so it is only a fragment of ourselves that wants to die.
In the Q&A portion of the hour-long seminar, someone said that we should separate further the clients from the therapists, because therapists are also clients. And she said that in her seminars over the years, she would ask a group of 200 or so, therapists, if anyone of them grew up with secure attachment and still chose to become a therapist, to please see her at the break, and invariably 1 person would show up. So yes, so many of the folks doing the helping are actually people who have also had trauma themselves or at least grew up in an environment that did not support a healthy attachment.
Someone also asked about psychosis and trauma, and she said that a lot of people are misdiagnosed who have had trauma with personality disorders and psychosis.
The seminar did not make me feel depressed. I have been working on this depression for weeks, maybe months. I mean, I have been chronically depressed forever, but then I have dips in that, and I’ve been dipping for quite a while. Being in pain and on medication is part of it. All I want to do is sleep. I have puppies. And that is good. I have a very old bitch, Odessa (Odie) who is failing. She is over 13 and it is to be expected, but it is still hard. I cleaned my house for four days so my sister, her roommates, and her kids could come over and see the puppies, and they had dinner, which is good. I wasn’t able to do just the little job I had set up for this weekend, which is bad.
Much of the depression is that I am really accepting that it was really that bad, what happened. I used to think it didn’t affect my life, because I am not dead and I am not addicted to drugs or alcohol. But I do have all kinds of negative symptoms, that have taken on a life of their own and will have to be dealt with on their own, just like a drug addict won’t be cured of their addiction just because one of the driving forces to escape, say is no longer there, they will still have to manage the physical addiction to drugs to become and stay sober. Well, I have kept myself a good hundred and fifty pounds overweight, and just giving up the reasons for carrying the extra weight, isn’t going to quiet all those fat cells from demanding to be fed. And all the physical issues that I have caused due to over-eating. Today I hefted a 40 pound sack of dog food across the snow and squeezed myself and it through the gate to my front door (the frozen snow preventing the gate from opening wide). And I thought, that is what I choose to carry around with me, three or four times that, everywhere I go, of course I am tired, and putting a strain on every organ and system in my body. And the anger comes in, why should I have to fix this!?! But nobody but I can.
When I think about all the things that I must address and work on, and yes, the injustice of it all, it’s overwhelming, it’s depressing.
I think I mentioned I hung up on my pastor a few weeks ago, because he started attacking the former president in our discussion. So I hung up on him. I kind of expected him to call and apologize for overstepping himself. He hasn’t and that has also made me rather disappointed. We are having something called, zoom church, and for Lent, we are doing a study. Only he says people can only do 45 minutes at a time, so we are having a 45 minute service/study on Sunday, and 45minutes on Wednesday evening. Of course with my work schedule Sunday at 10am, I should be fast asleep, and wednesday evening I am at work. And they have a gathering time prior to the 10AM service, but afterwards they cut it off. So I feel totally removed from the service, and from the gathering. I can’t do this from home, so I have to get up, take care of the critters, get dressed, get the car out of the driveway in the snow, drive to my parents’, and boot up this computer which takes for ever. So, I am lucky to get here 10-15 minutes late. Before, we had church and then a coffee hour of about 15 minutes before the adult SS class, where we actually had some connection with people as it is interactive. Now, there it is, 30 minutes with limited anything. Just the liberal pastor using his pulpit to slip in his liberal ideas into the prayers and stuff. Everyone tells me to find a church that is more in line with where I am, and it is all so hopeless, I am still going to miss anything that happens during the evenings. I am still going to miss Sunday services when I don’t get up. And I’ll have to learn a whole new group of people. I’ve been associated with this church on and off for 30 years, so it is damn hard to think about putting myself into a group of folks I do not know at all. It would be a loss. Perhaps a necessary loss. But another loss. I think he should apologize for trying interject his political views onto me, and I am guessing he thinks I should apologize for hanging up in his ear.
Well, there it is. I am depressed. I am depressed because my family really isn’t what it still claims to be. Because I continue to be affected by trauma that ended nearly forty years ago. Because I am facing massive hurdles that if I clear them all, I will still have massive debris that needs to be pulled together and put back into some sort of shape. Because I still love my family and I can’t stand the anger and frustration that I continue to have. Because the trauma started so early that it is hard to know who I was/would be without it, and without it I will somehow be diminished to nothing. Because there was so much learning that just happens for normal folks that I didn’t get at all, like, I am socially retarded when it comes to relationships with men. I see no way that will change, and I foresee a terribly lonely existence. Can I manage it? I really don’t know.
And the side that must get on with normal life, plods on and on and on.
I said in someone’s post that there are things that we do that we can find meaning or joy in, that we must grasp and hold on to. The pup I bred is a K9, got his first bite and did great. He is cleaning up the streets of drugs. Another of my pups is making an old couple so happy. Another is being trained to alert if their little boy has trouble breathing in the night. That’s scary. What if he fails? But, what if he succeeds? A lady is using my dogs to help developmentally challenged people. A young teenaged girl didn’t commit suicide because she had one of my dogs and didn’t want to leave her for others to take care of. My little nieces will have their own GSD in another 4 weeks. Two, maybe three of the others are going to repeat customers, and another is going to a lady, my age, a nurse. It is worth it. It gives me some meaning. And I help folks with their dog-problems.
Well, thanks for reading my long, long story.