The Honeymoon

It has been weeks since my last post. This month has been super busy. I just got back from helping on the farm a few days (no internet), to a 5 day honeymoon and then to a wedding in a different state. WHEW! Busy busy. I have to say with this medication so far- I have been sleeping better, less anxiety (not completely gone but still less), no nightmares, and I am not as dopey. I still am a bit unemotional but it’s nothing like it was.

In fact, I am due for my follow up appointment with my Psych Doc and a refill on my meds. I am thinking about also reducing my weekly counseling sessions to only every other week. I am feeling that much better.

My Diagnosis

I went to the doctor today and filled out a whole bunch of paperwork about my symptoms. Since I have never gotten help before- I had no idea what to expect. I arrived early to fill out the paperwork. My husband was by my side and so supportive, I knew I was safe, but I still couldn’t help the tightness in my throat. My hands were fidgety, my chest was tight and my eyes were shifty.

Finally, my name was called. I followed the woman to get my blood pressure taken, my weight (yay) and then followed her down a hallway. I hate hallways. It had a lot of doors too which is so stressful. I half expected someone to jump out at me. No one did though.

I sat down in her office and she began the hour long process of asking me questions. Normally I do not mind questions about my life- but these questions were the questions I always try and avoid. I immediately began to feel my air get cold in my throat, my hands wouldn’t stop moving and I kept holding my breath.

We went through all the paperwork and questions at a nice pace. It wasn’t too overwhelming. Once she was done entering all my answers into the computer- she called for the doctor to come see me.

He came in and was very friendly. He got right to the point and even printed out my medications that I will have to take from now on. I had no idea what I had been diagnosed with. I didn’t know if I would be at all. I had my guesses but I wasn’t exactly sure. I thought I would get just an occasional dose of meds for when my panic attacks were really bad.

Nope. I have 2 different medications to take daily and then another one for when my anxiety really spikes. Thankfully when we filled them, all 3 only totaled up to under $10. I really hope they work. I won’t say what they are just because I don’t want to.

The doctor said I am suffering from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Moderate Major Depression because of the PTSD and I have General Anxiety Disorder because of the PTSD too. I wasn’t expecting Depression. I mean I know when I feel down or sad I “feel depressed” but major depression. Wow. Now I kinda know how Robin Williams felt. You can hide depression and most people are shocked to find out that you have it because you “seem happy”.

My chest and throat are still so tight and I notice I hold my breath a lot. I don’t know why but I always do. My therapist said I have PTSD but it is nice to have it on paper and Doctor diagnosed that in fact I do suffer from these 3 things.

It is really hard to open up about this face to face with someone, a friend, or a family member because I don’t look hurt. If I had a broken arm or foot, people would better understand. I really hope this works and my PTSD won’t be so bad.

My Condescending Mother

Do you have one of these? If so, I feel your pain! I was on the phone with my therapist today and I uncovered something valuable. I have been converting vhs tapes into dvds for my family. So I have been seeing how my life was when I was just a few months old,  a toddler and then as a 6 year old. And let me tell ya- subconsciously I had not idea how much this stuff was bothering me.

I went into work and had a huge panic attack just because my schedule changed. I felt like I had no control over my emotions, my home, my job- ugh it was horrible. But anyways- back to the original story…

I ALWAYS swore up and down my mother was the best thing out there before she remarried my step dad. I associated all her changes then. Soooo NOT TRUE. Her outwards changes, moving around and abuse started to take shape more and become more outwardly noticeable but not her condescending attitude.

I also realize I am the same age as she was in the videos. And not to toot my own horn- but I am way more mature than her. She was not ready to have children. Emotionally she couldn’t handle it. I am so surprised I have turned out the way I have. It is only by the grace of God that I am the complete opposite of her. I am nurturing, passionate and caring. Granted I got some of her in me too, stubborn, opinionated, judgmental & unforgiving (I am trying to break those last two).

So here I am editing these videos and I hear her comments- her attitude towards me being a little kid. She was so mean! Instead of nurturing me- she cuts me down for others to laugh, belittles hurtful situations, doesn’t console me but makes fun of me, never gives me complements or encouragement. In the videos I struggled to really speak because I believe of her attitude towards me. I always felt stupid.

When I was older it was more noticeable that I couldn’t ever please her. She wanted me to be smart, I wasn’t. I have dyslexia and I used to stutter. I would shut down with stressful situations because I didn’t want to be judged, yelled at or criticized. She wanted me to sew, cook, clean, have the Bible memorized, have a  4.0 GPA, skinnier, less busty- this list goes on.

I understand wanting the best for your child and giving them life skills. I will do the same. But HOW she went about it was all completely wrong. I never got any love, any support, any meaningful conversation that I recall. I feel more like a trophy than a daughter. And believe me I struggled so when I didn’t deliver being a “trophy” I was cut out and cut off. Hello exile!

I always strived for attention and love because I never got it. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to do in life. I never had the opportunity because she was so concerned with how I made her look. I get so incredibly angry at her, even still with no contact. I just want to make her pay and owe up to how she treated me.

Lord help me when I have my babies and she wants to come around. If she isn’t careful I will be out for blood. (Not literally)

On another note though, I am trying to see how my other family members love me, even though they are all kinda condescending to me. I guess that gene runs in the family. Ugh how I hate it. Why can’t you just be nice?

PS This thursday I have an appointment at the local Psych Center. I might have another post coming this week depending on how I feel. Thank you to all who follow this blog, like my posts, comment and support me. ❤

The Job Promotion

Getting a promotion is always exciting. It reenforces that fact that someone notices your hard work. I was offered a job promotion and took it. I have been there almost a week now at this new location. The new location however is more in the city and not in the country. There is crime nearby and there have been a lot of theft and armed robberies at this location.

I really prayed about it and realized this is a great opportunity for me and I shouldn’t let crime stop me from advancing my career. Theft, I have dealt with, it is annoying but nothing dangerous. The gunpoint robberies have only happened a few times in the past year or two.

The place I worked at before got robbed but not when I was employed there and so did the bank across the street. Crime can happen anywhere. But anyways- that isn’t the point of this blog.

The point is I can’t stop thinking about what will happen if I do get held up at gunpoint. Then just this morning it dawned on me, I am not trusting God. I am worried about “what if”s and that means I am not focusing my trust on God. He will keep me safe. He will look after me.

Fear gets to me so easily. We have these huge windows in the front of the store which are so nice but at night it is hard to see out of. They’re tinted so you cannot see out of them at night at all. Well I can’t, maybe once I have been there awhile I will be able to. Anyways- that part has my anxiety kicked up a couple notches. I hate parking lots, dark and not being able to see. I feel so vulnerable in a parking lot. Probably because my rape happened in a parking lot, at dark, alone and I couldn’t see what was coming.

I am so thankful for this job. Because it is allowing me to face my fears and overcome them. I don’t want to cower away from triggers anymore. I want to overcome them. Just like Mandisa says, “I am an overcomer”. (That’s a great song, btw, Overcomer by Mandisa)

I don’t want to be a victim anymore and I don’t want to imagine things going wrong.

The Second Visit

Getting to know someone new is always a bit of a slow process. Today was my 2nd appointment with my new therapist. It went so incredibly well. I feel so relaxed and things just kinda flow out of me. I think going to therapy has increased my happiness and decreased my depression. I have been depressed because I have felt alone. I don’t really have anyone to talk to day in and day out about my struggles because even the most faithful friend or family member doesn’t want to hear about my issues all the time. It’s like my dad has told me. He is so happy that he is finally getting to talk to “me” and not my problems or my anxiety triggers. I can understand that too about my friends. I felt like I was scraping out of a deeper and deeper hole when I had no one to talk to. I was scrambling to get a footing without a therapist to help me. Now that I have someone I can count on and depend on- my “fix” has been met. I still get very terrible migraines and headaches during and after an appointment. But I know that is to be expected. I also know that once an appointment is over- I need about a 2 hr nap if not more. I am not saying everything is perfect. I am still pretty tired actually. I am starting to feel a whole let better. 🙂

The First Day Back

Seeing a new counselor is unnerving for anyone. I was so nervous I wouldn’t like this new person or what if their advice was a bit out there?! lol But that is (thank goodness) not the case here. Sure this one is different than the last. Everyone has different animations, thinking processes, reactions and quirks. It will take time adjusting but I really hope this works out. I am a a little reserved because I am testing out the waters.

I do notice that when I speak about things that happen to me. It is a record playing feeling. I don’t process what I say- I just speak it. I don’t feel, I don’t think- it just comes out of my mouth plain as day just like if you asked me about the weather.

My new counselor has a very easy schedule, which is nice because of my work. I know I am blessed because I can still work full time and get the counseling I need. I already feel better just knowing I have an outlet. Someone who will always listen and who will try and help me.

She asked me to rate how my condition is and I was surprised myself to just see how much my anxiety and avoidance has taken over again. Instead of just occasionally happening, it is everyday, avoidance type thing. Plus sleep disturbances, flashbacks, nightmares, and instead of flashing back all the time, my mind constantly makes up new trauma that could possibly happen before my very eyes. Like robberies, car accidents, shootings, my own death, rape again, violence and more.

I did have a bad headache when meeting with her, and whenever I talk or think about these things. I am starting to get one now and I also get extremely tired. Alright sorry to end so abruptly but there is only so much I can talk about in one sitting before it becomes too much.

Going Back to Move Forward

Today is my first appointment to go back to see a counselor. I am pretty nervous considering it is a new person and that I will have to open up all over again. It feels like I have a pretty good handle on my feelings when there aren’t triggers around. But there seems to be always small triggers.

I hope it goes well today and that time doesn’t seem to go too fast like it normally does. Thankfully I have the day off to then relax afterwards. I normally try and have the day off because it makes it so much easier. I don’t worry about having to suck it all back in to make it to go to work.

Well see how it goes. I hope to keep this appointment and go for awhile. I know God is in control and I believe he made this happen. Hopefully it will continue.

Stuck

I don’t know what I want to talk about today. I wanted to avoid blogging but I decided it is best. This past Sunday was an ugly one for me. I can’t even say the word Sunday sometimes. I know I need to work on my trigger words- I haven’t yet.

But anyways… My husband really wants to be involved in our church. I do too at some point, but I can’t now. As soon as I go into church, around smiling, happy faces I feel like I have to be smiling and happy too. It is annoying and stressful- to pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t.

But let’s say I make it through that part. The part that really chokes me up is seeing everyone with their families, all sitting together. Babies, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, grandparents and so forth. It reminds me how for most of my life I truly felt rejected by one side of my family and of how my own mother doesn’t want me in her life.

I am too much of a trigger for her. I can’t see or spend time alone with my sisters. They are growing up without me. And not by my choice. It wouldn’t matter if I was the most perfect daughter in the world- she still wouldn’t want me there. I look like my dad. I am close to my dad. I went to live with him when I was 14. So in her mind I chose him over her. Which in reality I didn’t. I didn’t feel wanted or loved with her. I wanted to go somewhere where I was loved.

That part- I can never make it through because if I try- I can’t pretend I am happy at that point. I start to cry or frown, get jealous, mad, lonely, anxious. I then feel that pain of rejection for the rest of the week.

I decided I am going to try and go back to therapy. It won’t happen till probably next year because of my job but I will try. I have no idea how to face this. This past Sunday was ugly because I didn’t want to go and when someone pushes me to go- I get extremely hateful, snappy, depressed and angry.

I feel like a frightened dog that is cornered and afraid of confronting it head on. It also feels like no one understands. Sure they understand it for a little while, how I can struggle with this for a little while. But to struggle with this for 13+ years, people start to get less understanding and more pushy.

Even my own father says it’s like I am still 13 and stuck.

“Declined” a Trigger Word of Mine

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile. Lots of changes have been happening. I got promoted and have been so super busy. I wanted to talk about another trigger word that I have come across.

My husband and I were applying for a card to build some credit. I have never had credit before so getting a credit card could be a task. I maybe declined or not approved.

Anyways, sitting in the chair hearing the man say, “You maybe declined” or “You maybe not approved”, made me feel so trashy. He didn’t say it in any mean tone or with an additional meaning. He was just explaining what might happen and why. He doesn’t know me personally.

But just to think that I am not “approved” was devastating. Why wouldn’t the credit card company want me? Am I not good enough? Smart enough? Why wouldn’t I be approved?

I was sitting there just thinking of all these things. I realized just how much those two phrases really hurts my self esteem. I get depressed and sad just thinking about it now. Why am I not good enough? Why do I feel not good enough?

The same thing happens when I see a bigger woman than myself wearing tighter clothes. She looks nice, the clothes flatter her body shape and I think she looks perfectly fine and pretty. But if I wear something remotely the same or tight- I feel like a tub of fat ugly lard that no one should look at.

Just the other day I got my picture taken. I stood up straight, smiled and felt confident. I looked at the picture and all I saw was how small my head was compared to my large chest, my fat arms, and not so flat midsection. I felt like Beetlejuice when his head was shrunk.

I want to work out to become skinnier and I feel like that will truly help all my problems. My chest will go from a DD to a B/C, my muffin top will go away and I will finally have abs. I will finally feel good enough, worthy enough to enjoy life. But at the same time I am so torn- I want to love myself for who I am and where I am.

The Changed Relationship

Have you ever been really good friends with someone and then BAM it just changes? I have always thought too much or looked into things too much. But I really wonder why some people intimidate me one day and the next everything is fine. What is the deal?

I am intimidated by groups of people, loud people, abrasive people and people that look angry. It sounds silly but no matter how accomplished or self confident- I dwindle back into a puddle of insecurity. I feel like a dog exposing it’s belly to the alpha.

I have been doing some research and I guess I feel this way because subconsciously I feel threatened and in danger. They compared it to seeing s grizzly bear. And also an interesting fact is I subconsciously believe fear that I am not “deserving”.

I am going to try and practice 3 steps.

1. Seeing myself for who I am and accurately. I need to see myself as a strong independent person and  that no one can hurt me.

2. I need to see the other person accurately. They could be battling a fear that they aren’t good enough. Just because someone thinks I am the bad guy doesn’t mean I am. What is driving them? I shouldn’t take it so personally.

I have to un-train my mind that people do things for a personal attack towards me. My mother, everything she did to me was personal. When I see the people for who they are I will grow more compassionate and wise.

3. Forgive them and choose to validate them.

Focusing on love will diminish my fear, or at least I hope.