Needing to Believe

A homework assignment I was given by A on that horrible emergency session I had a couple of weeks ago was given back to me with a new extension. It's been in the back of my mind since Tuesday, but came racing up to the forefront today when I was driving home from one of countless errands I ran today.

The original assignment was to fill in the blanks from a popular 80's song, "When I'm Back on My Feet Again" by Michael Bolton. I've heard it many times before, in fact I think I even have it on my iPod, but never really listened to the lyrics. Given the dark place I was in a couple of weeks ago, A thought it only fitting to give me this assignment. I spent a lot of time on it, trying to figure out what I needed to get out on paper.

My title reads: "When I'm Able to Believe Again." 8 times I pose that hope.

My chorus:
When I'm able to believe again,
I'll walk determined down this path again
And you'll look at a smile again
And you'll see that I'm free.

Gonna hear the voice of reason,
Gonna hear the words of God
Won't be loud, won't be loud,
'Til I open my heart to Him.

When I'm able to believe again
Gonna feel this shame diminish,
Gonna pray for God's grace to fall on me,
One sweet day, one sweet day
I will deserve it,
When I'm able to believe again.

So A poses the somewhat obvious question for me to work on this week. What do I want to/need to believe? It was as if God delivered this answer to me as I was driving, because out of nowhere I stopped singing to the radio and it was just there.

I need to believe that someone can love me, as damaged as I am. Somewhere in the back of my mind I've decided that I am not worthy of anyone's love because of how I feel inside. I know my family loves me, but they "have" to. Part of me has even convinced myself that they loved the pre-abused, pre-messed up me and are obligated to keep doing the same.

But deep down I know that I won't let anyone love me until I can figure out how to love myself. Somehow that seems like the much harder thing to do.

Feeling Like Myself

I'm finally starting to feel like myself again.

Two weeks ago I had the carpet pulled out from underneath me and had a horrible recurrence of the PTSD and depression. I have never felt as inclined to hurt myself as I did a couple of weeks ago. I ended up going to my doctor and telling her what was going on (she had no clue that I was even abused, let alone suffering from panic attacks, nightmares, etc). I've been on medication now to help lessen the PTSD symptoms for about 10 days. Too early to really do anything, but we'll see. It didn't help that last week I was confronted by A about my cutting. Given that I was exhibiting signs of being suicidal, she took the fact that I cut that weekend as an escalation because I didn't attempt to try any other methods or reach out for help. It was a misunderstanding. I don't view my actions at all as an escalation, but rather me being lazy and wanting to feel better using the only quick way I had at my disposal.

We discussed this in depth on Tuesday. I told her how hurt and angry I was that she gave me this ultimatum, especially given my state of mind at the time. I told her how it made me want to hold back on things that I'd be afraid she would use against me, even if it was in the best interest of my health. Now that I've had some time and distance from it, I understand why she had to do what she did, but I am still upset. I'm worried about the "finality" of the situation. The fact that I have to be perfect and can't ever slip up. If I were to ever tell her that I cut again, she'd refer me to in-patient counseling; which I will not do. I flat out told her that. It took me a long time to trust her enough to be as open as I am. There is no way I could do that with a complete stranger or a room full of complete strangers. It just wouldn't work. I'd shut down. She made sure to tell me that even if I do end up doing in-patient for a couple of weeks, that it didn't mean I couldn't come back and continue to see her, but the problem with that is that I won't ever do it. I can't see her letting me "come back" if I don't comply with her referral. So I feel this pressure to be perfect. It's going to be hard for me to delve into the depths of the reasons why I cut without triggering my need to actually do it. I have a feeling it's a thin line. Thankfully I have summer break ahead of me to minimize my stress levels and hopefully help me tackle this head on.


I don't even know how to express the unbridled anger I feel right now.

I am so upset I'm not even sure how to react.

I was broadsided today with a consequence of breaking part of the contract A put together for me to stay safe over the weekend. I cut, which I told her I didn't think I was strong enough to keep from doing, but I signed the contract anyway.

Basically, if I cut myself again, I'm going to have to pursue alternative/more intensive avenues of therapy since she's obviously not meeting my needs enough with us meeting once a week and with the work we have been doing. Translation, if you cut yourself again, you are also cutting our relationship.

I don't even have words to describe what I am feeling right now. I never realized I could be so angry with her.

The Knock at the Door

I haven’t felt such anxiety in a very long time.

I was shaking.

The knock at the door might as well have been a gunshot. It triggered an even deeper anxiety.

I buried my head in my hands. I spent almost the whole appointment like this, crying, hyperventilating or shaking. I looked up on occasion to read her face. To make sure she wasn’t disgusted with what she was hearing.

“Hey sweetie. What’s going on?”

“I… I… “

“Is everything OK?”

“No. It’s not OK.”

“OK, tell me what’s going on.”

“I don’t think I can do this.”

“Do what?”

“Tell you what has been going on. The only reason I’m here is because it kept my counselor from putting me in the hospital.”

“Was she afraid you were going to hurt yourself?


“Did you want to?”


“Did you have a plan?”

“Yes. I had to leave work Friday because things had gotten so bad so fast. I don’t know why this is happening again.”

“When did you start feeling this way?”

“It started getting worse on Wednesday.”

“Was there something specific that triggered it?

“Surgery. When I found out in March that I was going to need surgery, it was a blessing. It gave me the chance to stop focusing on what I was doing in counseling and focus on that instead. Then when surgery was over I just didn’t want to go back to all that hard work. Before all of this things were getting better and now I feel like I’m slipping back to where I was 18 months ago. The panic attacks have come back, I’ve been having nightmares and these awful things that feel like dreams that I cannot wake up from, but I’m awake during them. I just want it to stop.”

“Hun, we need to see about getting you some more help. You aren’t safe this way. This is eating you up. I can see it right in front of me. Your body can't handle much more of this.”

“No. I don’t want any more help. I’m already going to counseling. That’s enough. I’m not going to the hospital. I won’t do anything else.”

“What does your counselor say?”

“She wants me to take medication. But I don’t want to do that. I just can’t.”

“Why can’t you? It will make you feel better. I know you can’t see it now, but anything you can do to help yourself feel better is going to be worth it.”

“I don’t want to have to rely on medication. I took Lexapro last year when this happened the first time and it worked fine, I guess. It made me very numb. Everything was always fine. No emotions. It made it harder for me to focus on the work I needed to in counseling because I wasn’t able to feel as much. I saw a psychiatrist once and it was awful. I won’t do that again.”

“What was awful?”

“I don’t know this person. I don’t trust them. I’ve been coming to you for over 4 years and haven’t ever been able to tell you what’s happened. I’ve tried before, but I just couldn’t do it.”

“Why can’t you?”

“Because it’s too awful. I don’t want people to know.”

“Sweetie, you need to tell me what happened. I’ve heard everything. I promise it is not going to surprise or shock me. I’m here to help you. That’s my job is to take care of you. You can trust me.”

“After my grandpa died something inside of me “snapped”. I just couldn’t hide anymore.”

“What were you trying to hide from?”

“My childhood.”

“It’s OK. You can tell me what happened.”

(insert sobbing, shaking, hideous quiet here)

“My dad’s friend sexually abused me.”

“How long did this go on?”

“I was 13. He was living with my dad after my parents divorced. I told my parents what he did to me.”

“What happened to him?”

“He didn’t go to jail. I just couldn’t testify against him. He got probation. But after that my parents pretended it didn’t happen. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it.”

“So you never got any support or counseling afterwards?”


“Honey, I am so sorry that happened. So you said this was first triggered by your grandfather’s death? That is very common. I’ve seen it quite a bit with a few of my other patients. It’s not surprising that the surgery triggered this again for you. Your body has been through a lot lately. Please, will you let me help you?”

“Help how? I don’t want to be put on medication. I don’t want to rely on that for the rest of my life.”

“No. Not for the rest of your life. Lots of people come off of their medication. We just need to get you better now. You can’t stay in the state you are at. I can see how much this is eating away at you. I won’t let it do that. Will you let me prescribe you something just to help you through this? I promise it’ll be so small you probably won’t even notice you’re taking anything. Will you do that for me?”

(defeated nod)

“Just promise me that you’ll take it for the next two weeks. I want to see you back here then and we’ll talk again. Seriously. I’m going to hunt you down in two weeks. (laugh) We’ll get you past this. Things will go back to how they were before. I promise I’ll get you there.”

All in all, my doctor spent almost 30 minutes with me. I couldn’t have asked for this appointment to go any better. Every time I got the courage to look up at her, I was met with a face that showed concern, caring and sympathy. I couldn’t have confided in her if she wasn’t someone who had those qualities. Part of me is glad she knows now, because she’ll really be able to understand the stressors in my life and how it affects my overall health. The other part of me wishes she still didn’t know. It already feels like this has taken over my entire life. Having another person monitor me feels like more pressure.

I left her office in a complete daze. I’m surprised I could remember so much of this appointment. Normally when I am this ramped up, I don’t remember what happened. My anxiety right now is maxed out. I’m sluggish, but yet my body is one door slam away from jumping out of its skin. I just want this to go away. I have to go back to work tomorrow and it’d be nice if I don’t feel so worn down. Counseling is going to do enough of that.

I sent A an email on Saturday pleading with her to understand why I broke one of the parameters of the contract she put together for me (cutting). I didn’t want to sign it because I didn’t think I could live up to that part. I also didn’t feel I had a choice. It was either sign her contract or go to the hospital. And I wasn’t about to do the latter. I don’t know what type of reply I was expecting back from her, but I ended up lashing out at her. I was so frustrated with her, with myself, with this entire god-forsaken situation that instead of appreciating the one person who is there to help me, I took it out on her. And now I have to face her Tuesday. Fantastic. Someone tell me how a little pill is supposed to help with that.

Black Hole

Things are getting progressively worse.

Left work at the recommendation of A. I was told to either leave work and come see her for an emergency session or end up at the ER. Neither choice is something I want to do. I just want to wither away until I'm completely gone. That would be so much easier. Instead I'm on my way to torture myself. Great.

Waiting for Relief

Horrible, no good, very bad week.

Complications with recovery. One trip to my general doctor and will be back to the surgeon on Thursday. Hoping for something positive.

Little sleep because of so much stress. Combined 8 hrs in the last 3 nights. I am exhausted.

Heading to see A in about an hour. Should be a fabulous train wreck.

Dirty Thoughts

Last night was awful. I think I cried the whole time. Then I went home and cried myself to sleep.

I was having trouble verbalizing what was making me so upset, which then made me even more upset. I ventured off into an area (my weight) that I don't often talk about and turned that into a huge deal when it really wasn't what I was trying to convey. Is it a problem for me? Yes. Do I need to work through the issues I still have with food and my body image? Yes. But was it what was setting me off? No.

It then ventured into self-worth, rather than self-perception. We were getting a little closer there. I have been having a very hard time lately being kind to myself. Whether physically or emotionally. I just feel like I am such a failure for not being 20 lbs lighter or for being so fearful of relationships. I am alone = LOSER. It's very hard to think so negatively of yourself and expect others to view you in a positive light. More belittling. If you thought more of yourself, people would like you. If you weren't such a loser, you'd have a boyfriend. If you weren't so afraid of everything, you'd be able to have the life you want. Ugh.

There is a lot of work that needs to go into the lies I am feeding myself on a daily basis. My desire to change is there, but these dirty thoughts are holding me back. These dirty thoughts are polluting my spirit and convincing me I am worthless. It's going to be a rough few weeks, I feel.

What a blur!

The last 4 weeks have been an absolute blur.

Work was absolute madness with trying to prep our kids for state testing. I worked at least 60 hrs each week during the month of April. Add on top of that trying to deal with the anniversary of Tayler's death, preparing for surgery, the loss of my support group at church and all other things that normally affect you day to day, it's a wonder I survived!

Surgery was last Thursday and even though I have little experience with invasive procedures, I knew recovery for me wouldn't be a problem. Friday was the roughest, as the 2nd day normally is (or so I hear!). By Saturday I was up and moving around with ease, and by Sunday I was back at home. I tried a half-day at work today to see how tired I'd be and man, I wasn't expecting to be as tired as I am! I didn't even have to do anything but sit there and listen (today was staff development, I didn't even have to teach anything!) but 4 hrs of that and I was exhausted! So I decided to take tomorrow off and get another full day of rest before I go back full-time.

I've been living on such an adrenaline high for the past 4 weeks that my body is all over the place now. Now that surgery is over, I think it has thrown my body into a "natural" low point, to allow the ability to heal and rest. That has thrown me into a pretty bad depression. I have been so weepy over the past 3 days and I have absolutely no reason why. I am just sad. I put in a call to my surgeon to ask if that was normal to have such a "down" reaction and if there was anything I could do to improve that. Should hear back from her tomorrow.

I've got counseling tomorrow and will be staying 90 mins instead of 60. I'm hoping that if there is some underlying cause to this depression (whether triggered by surgery or the fact that I no longer can hide behind surgery) that I'll have the time to work through some of it with A. I really thing some of it is the latter. My focus for most of April was how to get through the anniversary of Tayler's death and surgery. Now that both of those are over, I have nothing to throw in front of a topic or subject that scares me. Not having that back up plan scares me.

I'm expecting a tearful session tomorrow. I think it's exactly what I need.