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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Entry: June 10, 2005 ~ 6:00 pm - waiting for session

Geoffrey,

It has been a rough day. Beginning with this morning and bruising myself. I feel badly that I did it and that I didn't keep my promise to you that I wouldn't. I don't know. I guess I didn't fight hard enough against the impulse. Three days in a row now. Seems to help calm me down feel less anxious, overwhelmed and angry.

I wonder what is going on...some of it relieves my tension, my anger...maybe, my way of saying how hard it has been for me...maybe saying how bad or how angry I feel...or maybe how much I hurt inside...maybe all of the above.

Kind of scared because I feel a bit out of control like I can't stop. Sort of feels like I need you to tell me that you don't want me to bruise myself and that you want me to stop. There is a part of me that doesn't want to because it has a calming effect. But, I wouldn't be telling you if I didn't want to stop.

The suicidal thoughts were stronger today. I really wanted to purchase the alcohol and thought about jumping. Feeling hopeless and scared. Maybe, it would have helped to take the morning off work...the afternoon just seemed too difficult to so so...too many people involved. Kept waking up last night either tearful or panicked. Feels like I really need some sleep.

Leaving you messages today helped, so did finger painting. Still, feels like I just want to curl up and die. I've been thinking about how self-destructive my defenses are. Everything is self-attacking like you said. It is like I turn everything inward, but I've been trying to do the opposite by talking to you, leaving messages, writing, finger painting, and destroying your pillow.

Growing up everything was turned inward most of the time. Didn't let anyone know how bad it was or how angry, scared, overwhelmed, anxious, confused, alone, self-destructive, suicidal or how sad I was. I guess things were not just sad, but painful. Feels like I really defend against the painful part; however, some of my defenses are physically painful. Maybe, part of what I'm trying to say is how painful things were.

Okay, now I'm getting really buzzy and faint. Feels so much like I need to keep talking to you...in many forms. Feeling tearful...just really feels good to have you just be available and listen and understand and care about what I say and do. Sometimes, I feel like I have so much to share with you. Sometimes, I want to, but I'm always afraid to do so. Sometimes, I just want to go away. Sometimes, I just want to be able to cry with you. Feeling tearful all week. Maybe, that is some of the pressure and tension.

I feel out of control with the bruising. I can't seem to stop. I'm afraid that you will be angry. Sometimes, I wonder if I am more afraid that you'll be accepting, comforting and will stay with me. Maybe, afraid of both. Seems all so confusing. But, I think I need your help to set some limits since I seem to be having so much difficulty.

Finger painting completed during this day, 6/10/05, two picture out of three. More of the same feelings just being more focused and the rage increasing which is part of the bruising. However, finger painting is not helping me to stop from bruising.

Color Legend:

Red=pain/anger
Orange=rage
Purple=terror
Blue/light bluish/lavender/grey=sadness, crying, tears, hopelessness



Observations: I was obviously seriously out of control with my bruising specifically. I really could not stop. I didn't say this before, but it is assumed that during this whole time I was continuing to have flashbacks, panic attacks and disrupted sleeping even though I was taking more medication than many of my clients...and they took a lot. At this point, I still was working full time as a social worker. I was starting to fall behind a little bit at a time because I couldn't seem to focus and concentrate to complete my reports. Visits, id notes, returning calls and other forms of documentation were okay. Sometimes, my whole goal was just to be present and not "go away" during the day or panic.

Calls to Geoffrey helped as did a couple of good friends at work, but at this point most people did not know or were not supportive. I felt like I was going crazy. My supervisor was supportive and accommodating, but I was not telling her how badly things were going. I still thought that I could pull a couple of good weekends working and catch up, but I couldn't due that due to my lack of concentration and fatigue. That particular month was extremely difficult as it was the busiest month of the entire year.

I was still in therapy five days per week. If I left the from the office, it took from an hour to an hour and a half or more. If I left from the field it took an hour or so. The return trip is 45 minutes to an hour. The days were very long, but I don't know what I would have done without therapy daily. It was what helped me get through the day. Flashbacks of emotional, physical and sexual abuse continued to be intrusive and I was super hypervigilant.

This is a bit strange because as I am typing my journal entries, I am realizing how compromised I was. Yet, at the time, I thought I was handling things okay. I guess I was barely managing. It was so important to me that I be able to work because then I was "okay."

Doesn't everyone feel overwhelmed, panicked, awful, have panic attacks, inability to concentrate, injure themselves and fight suicidal thoughts all day while working full time? It was normal to me because this is how I felt most of the time growing up!! And that was without medications, this is on medications!! I'm reading what I wrote and going I was really in serious trouble and should not have been working! But, I'll deny it, if you ask!!! Even now!! I was/am just fine!!!

3 comments:

Shiv said...

Tag, you're it :)

~Shiv

Shiv said...

I had a similar struggle in my life with not knowing what is "normal". Even today I second guess every emotional response, every reaction, and every action because of this.

~Shiv

Clueless said...

Yes, it is difficult. However, you are not much different because I've seen the encouragement, support and advice that you give. Somewhere inside both you and I know what is "normal" most of the time, but our brain can't access it when we are in that small, defenseless child mode, questioning everything.

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