How’s it?

Well, I don’t really know at the moment… can that be my answer? I’m still suicidal, self harm helps with this, but I’m trying to not do that, I got close tonight but managed to abstain; I’m still psychotic, just not as bad; I’m still having flashbacks and body memories galore, every day, at least once a day; sleep is a crapshoot, it may happen, it may not, tonight it did not.

The PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) are really messing with me right now. I have been having a really hard time with memories of something that happened in September of 2000. These memories are causing a lot of problems, including crying spells, isolation, withdrawal, dissociation, self injury, and increasing suicidal thoughts. Basically, all of the signs of a severe episode of clinical depression. One that a psychiatrist would encourage possibly going back into the hospital to treat. Which is NOT going to happen.

I have school that I need to take care of. I cannot fall behind. Not this semester. I really have to make it through the semester this time. I cannot do the in-out crap again… I have got to stay out of the hospital.

It’s been almost 2 months now since I got out. The suicide attempt was on the 11th of December. I got out of the hospital on the 19th of December. Now, if I can just stay out… that is all I have to do.

The particular incident that is bothering me the most, that I am working on in IOP, is extremely traumatic. Even writing that sentence brought up enough thought of the event that I’m on the verge of tears already… The IOP that I am in is trauma focused, so everyone in the room is there because they have experienced something traumatic and are wanting to work on it and be able to better handle the memories when they come up.

When I was finally able to tell the group about the trauma that I am there for, the group was just quiet. I was fighting tears, I didn’t want to cry in front of people, not because it was IOP or them or anything, just because it was people. At some point in the course of the conversation, the group therapist started saying “it wasn’t your fault” repeatedly. Over and over and over. The first time she said it, I could feel the tears move higher up in my throat. The second time, I could feel them welling in my eyes. The third, I couldn’t fight it anymore. I started shaking with every breath, and I was balling my eyes out. I could hear that one of the other group members came over by me, and she put a tissue next to my hand. Then she asked if she could touch me… I nodded. She rubbed the back of my shoulder while I cried. I was glad she asked before touching me, that helped a lot. That was the main reason I said yes in the first place… because she asked permission, I felt like I could trust her. Honestly, at the time that I was crying, I couldn’t even tell which group member she was. All I had to go on was her voice, and I just couldn’t tell… it was only the end of my first week.

And now, at this very moment, my eyes are welling up, and I can feel the tears in my throat. I am trying to fight them, I don’t want to cry before I even get to IOP. I don’t want it to be that kind of day. I don’t want the day to start with crying. I don’t want to show up to IOP with puffy eyes, looking like I have been crying, before we have even started.

I haven’t slept. At all. I had a sleep study night before last, at the doctor’s office, and had to be there for part of the day so they could test me during several naps, a couple hours apart each. I was able to leave a little after 2 pm. They woke me up at about 6:30 am yesterday morning, and had me try to nap 3 times, but I don’t think I ever fell asleep during the naps, although I may have. So I have been awake since 6:30 am yesterday, with the possibility of a 30 minute nap. It is currently 7:42 am, so I have been awake over 24 hours already. Which means I am in an extra vulnerable state. I have class tonight as well, but I should be able to sleep a little between IOP and class. IOP is over at 1 pm and class starts at 6 pm, so sleep is a possibility. I was hoping to work on my speech class but then had insomnia. Oh, well…

But, really, I was going somewhere… where was I going with that train of thought?

I’ve just gotten to the point that the flashbacks and body memories are becoming too much. I can’t handle them anymore. I want them to stop, but the only way to really make them stop right away is to make me stop right away. Making them end means making me end. That is honestly where my head is at right now. My head is telling me suicide is the logical answer to getting away from reliving the event multiple times a day. (Don’t worry, I am being honest with the therapist at IOP. She knows that I am having suicidal thoughts and we check in about safety at the end of the day, every day.)

[Trigger][Description of Abuse]

I just cannot keep seeing the moment that *he* figures out that I’m pregnant, and the pure rage that comes over his face with the realization. He asks how far along I am. I tell him about 14 weeks, if I’m calculating right, and he gets even more furious which I didn’t think was possible. The fear I felt in that moment was absolutely daunting. I had never been that afraid of him during our entire relationship. During the flashbacks, I feel that fear, at that level, just like I am back in that moment, seeing the fury wash over his face… Next thing I know, I am on the ground and he is kicking me, aiming for my stomach. I do my best to stay in a ball and protect my child, but he keeps managing to get me out of the ball by grabbing my hair, kicking me in the back, or picking me up and throwing me onto the ground again. I didn’t know he was capable to lifting me. I mean, I wasn’t a tiny girl… at the time, I weighed around 185 lbs, maybe more. He jsut kept going and going for what felt like forever. I don’t know how long it really went on, I just know it seemed to go on for a really long time. After a couple of days, I started showing signs of a miscarriage. The symptoms kept getting worse as time went on and eventually I found myself just on my bed in the fetal position. My son eventually left my body, and the image of him is forever burned into my brain. He was so tiny, but he looked like a baby and he was a boy. I named him Michael and I cried for hours and buried him by myself. I hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant, because of the abuse and the fear of what would happen.

That is what I relive on a daily basis. The beating that caused me to lose my son, the sensations of the miscarriage itself and the images of my son once he was outside of my body. It’s torture.

[/Trigger]

Well, I need to get ready to go… I have to leave for IOP in a little bit and I’m not even dressed yet. Plus, I’m on the verge of tears again, and I need to find something to distract myself to keep me from all-out ugly-crying.

I hope y’all have a great day, and I will talk with you soon!

Bad few days, or…

I feel like I’m crashing again… I don’t want to be crashing again… I want it to be just a few bad days. I want it to just be my shot of Abilify wearing off early, since it was the first one. I want to miraculously feel better after I get the next shot on Friday. Abilify is an antipsychotic that can be used as a mood stabilizer as well. Since the demons are more present in addition to my mood being crappy, I’m hoping that it’s just that the Abilify has worn off. I’m still on a small oral dose daily, until I get the next shot, which may be the only reason that I am even surviving at the moment.

The flashbacks and body memories are horrible right now. They are a daily thing; multiple times a day, sometimes multiple times an hour. They make it nearly impossible to speak, or even move, for a while. They make me tear up, and want to hide, curl up into a ball, and cry. But I can’t… I have to keep going, keep doing the things that are expected of me, keep going to appointments, keep going to PHP, prepare to start school again next week, deal with things that have been coming up, and appear to be okay to the people around me. At times, it’s too much to pretend to be okay. I just can’t do it. I’ll shut down.

The only place that is really safe to shut down, for me, is at PHP. I can’t shut down at home… mom doesn’t leave me alone long enough to just be by myself and hide in my room, on my bed, doing nothing. I can’t shut down around my friends… we usually get together at public places with other people around that I’m not as familiar with and don’t want to see me in “shut down” mode. Plus, my friends are more likely to force me into a car and drive me to the hospital if they see me in complete shut down. But at PHP, I can literally sit there the entire 5 hours and not say a word, staring at the table, barely moving or responding to anything… the therapist there doesn’t really say anything or push me to participate. At the end of the first 3 groups, he does ask the same question every day… in the same words, every day. “Is anybody having any suicidal or homicidal thoughts that they feel they need to speak with someone about before they leave to stay safe?” That’s the only time out of the entire day that he really requires a response. And if that response isn’t satisfactory, in one way or another, he’s gonna will grab that person before the end of the day for a private conversation. Mostly to go over a crisis plan and check if they feel they can be safe going home having a crisis plan or if they need to check into the hospital.

The therapist has said before that he’s not going to force someone to go inpatient. Strongly suggest, probably… spend as much time as needed to get someone to a point where all parties involved are comfortable with the client going home, yep… but *he* will not take the decision of going to the inpatient hospital away from the client. He has stated that he won’t take that power away from anyone. There may be an unspoken statement in there that he may have to defer to someone higher than him, who would make that decision for the client, if safety cannot be contracted and the client will not agree to the hospital. Obviously, there are legal requirements in the US and in my state that if someone is a danger to themselves or others, certain professionals are required to get that person treatment, or at least get them assessed for treatment by a psychiatrist or mental health police officer. Here, at least, mental health officers are able to put someone under orders of emergency commitment (POEC). I’ve been in the hospital under a police order 3 times, but signed the papers to stay when the orders ended each time.

Right now, it’s 12:30 am, and I am out on the front porch, listening to a podcast and writing this blog. I’m kind of just typing… not really even paying much attention to what is going from my brain out into the computer. I don’t want to go to bed yet… I’m not really tired. I want to wait until I am exhausted, so that I will just crash and hopefully just sleep all the way to morning, without waking up from any nightmares. Which may mean that I don’t go to bed for a few more hours… less hours of sleep but uninterrupted is better than waking up in terror multiple times. So now, what to do until then? I can’t just sit outside forever… it’s misting and I’m out here on my Chromebook, which probably isn’t the best idea. It’s also a little chilly out; it’s in the 60s (farhenheit). Not too cold, just chilly. I’m wearing socks and a hoodie with my PJs, just the breeze gets me a bit.

I don’t want to go to PHP tomorrow. I want to stay home and lie in bed all day. I had to miss today, because I had two doctor’s appointments, and I have to miss Friday for the same reason. With my insurance, I can only miss 5 groups a week, unless I have notes from the doctor. I have notes from both doctors today, and plan on getting notes for Friday also, but I don’t want to risk anything that would make my insurance discharge me prematurely. Friday, I see my psychiatrist, after seeing the psychiatrist at PHP on Thursday… but they can’t do the shot at PHP, so I have to go to my doctor. I’m kind of think I’m getting burnt out on psych treatment, but I’m scared if I give up on it, that I’ll just end up right where I was, in the depths of depression, having flashbacks and trauma lead me to the brink of suicide and without having some sort of more intense treatment than just my psychiatrist and my regular, once a week therapist, I wouldn’t have anything to prevent me from doing it or get in the way of completing if I went through with it. The only reason the second attempt wasn’t successful was because the therapist at PHP called the police for a welfare check. I was supposed to be there, and I didn’t answer the phone when he called. Knowing that I was suicidal, the clinic requires certain action, and that is what he did.

Now, I’ll admit, I’m having suicidal thoughts now, and I kind of always have a plan of how I would do it in the back of my mind that comes forefront when the thoughts pick back up. The question is always whether there is intent or not. That is where the PHP therapist and I make the distinction of safety. He’s okay with me having thoughts, and he’s relatively okay with me having a plan, and even a small amount of intent. As long as I can contract for safety for that night, until the next morning or until the next day of group, he’s okay with me going home. Okay and comfortable may be two different things, however. He lets me leave, but I don’t know what is going through his head, if he’s worried about whether I’ll be there the next day, if he made the right decision, if he should have trusted me again. Twice now, he’s trusted me, and I betrayed that trust and attempted suicide instead of going to group. I could have gone to group; I could have called the PHP clinic, or my individual therapist or psychiatrist, or even simply answered the phone when he called me; I could have gone to the emergency room and told them what I was planning or just gone to the psych hospital and walked in for an assessment; I could have done a lot of things. Instead, I attempted suicide twice, when he trusted my word that I was okay to go home and would be back the next day. The first time, I didn’t know I was going to attempt, but I knew it was only going to take a feather to knock me over the edge. The second time, I had been planning it for days, so when he outright asked me if I was safe to leave or if I needed to go to the hospital, I lied to his face. Straight up lied. Monday, when he asked his safety question at the end of the third group, I admitted to active thoughts with a plan, and he asked if I was going to attempt that night or this morning. I said no, and he asked “what about Friday?” because I had already told him I had to be out Friday too, for appointments. I said no again, and he kind of laughed and said that he was making jokes, with the Friday comment, although I kind of think he really wasn’t joking, since I had already told him that I had planned the December attempt out several days ahead and didn’t tell anyone and lied to him about it. It makes me think that every time I admit to having suicidal thoughts, it worries him. And probably the whole staff at the clinic.

Both attempts scared the staff at the clinic, my psychiatrist and individual therapist. Obviously, no mental health professional wants to lose a client. I can’t even imagine what that would be like on them. Family has one relationship with the person, friends have another type of relationship, but the relationship with the professionals that have been trying to help is a different kind. All to often, they know more about what has been going on with the person than friends and family do. There are things in my life that I’ve talked about with my psychiatrist and therapist and the people at PHP that I haven’t been able to say to most of my friends and definitely can’t say to my family. Sometimes, it feels like the professionals know me better than my friends or family do… that sounds weird, probably. Some things are nearly impossible to talk about. At least, it seems that way. It takes a lot of building up courage to get the words to come out of my mouth and then as soon as they do, I wish I could take them back immediately… even though, most of the time, everyone responds well to whatever I tell them that I’ve been afraid to say, thinking that I’ll be judged. Family and friends, when someone dies, will obviously have to grieve that loss. Most people don’t even consider that the mental health professionals, who have been trying to help someone, will also have to deal with the loss of the patient that commits suicide. There are bound to be a lot of complicated thoughts and feelings that would come up for them. What could they have done differently? Did they miss something? Could they have done more? Inadequecy, fear, grief, guilt, but in the midst of all of this, they have other patients that they have to treat, and they have to keep working.

But, speaking from my own experience, that doesn’t even cross my mind when I’m in that dark place. Friends, family… no one else really matters to me. Nothing matters except ending the pain. Escaping from this endless torture… If I can still think about how it affects other people, and use that as a deterrent, then I’m less likely to act on the thoughts. My friends, and how my death would affect them, has always been the one thing that has kept me going… it is when that doesn’t matter anymore that I am in the most danger. When ending the pain and torture is more important to me than any other thing… those are the times I have tried to die.

Well, I think I have rambled long enough. It is 2 am, and this blog has become a massive, jumbled mess of thoughts… if you made it this far, congratulations and thank you! I hope to see you again soon!

Rough Day…

Today has been rough… just an all around hard day. I’ve had several flashbacks that kind of threw me for a loop and brought up the traumatic loss that I’ve been dealing with the most lately… and that led to the two recent suicide attempts. The memories of this loss are what really brought me to the point of wanting to die so much that I actually attempted to do just that. Then, in the last group at PHP, the nurse was discussing the difference between sadness, grieving, and depression. We only go to sadness and grieving today before we ran out of time, so we’ll get to depression tomorrow. But basically because of the topic, I left group in a not so good headspace. By an hour later, I was having serious thoughts of hurting myself.

Yesterday, I gave my self harm tools to the therapist at PHP to dispose of for me, so I don’t have my preferred method without going to the store. There are other methods, though, that would work, but I’m trying to not do anything. I haven’t self harmed since December 11th. I want to keep it that way. The thoughts I was having earlier, though, were worse than just self harm. They were scary. I was actually tempted to call the PHP therapist, but I hesitated too long and now they are closed. I haven’t gone home yet, however.

I’m meeting with my sponsor tonight. In about an hour. I “can” talk to him, but I just recently switched sponsors, because I want to try working the steps through Narcotics Anonymous instead of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I don’t want to scare or worry the new one to the point that he calls someone. He works in mental health, so he knows a little more, but he also has a little more responsibility than the normal person, if someone says that they are going to hurt themselves. I’m worried if I bring up the thoughts I had, he’ll move into work mode or something…

I’m also not sure how much I’m going to say tomorrow during check in… these thoughts were strong, but they are fading now. I don’t know what will happen with them when I leave where I am, right now, and head home… or when I get home. That kind of worries me a bit, actually. I don’t know how strong I can be when I’m on my own. I know I’m not going to drink or use anything, but self harming is a distinct possibility tonight. I hate to say that… but that is honestly how it feels. I am going to do my best to not do anything. I am going to try very hard. I just have to make it through the night. That’s it.