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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.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Withdrawn and quiet ~ flashback?


First of all, I just need to tell you that I bruised on Tuesday. I know that I’ve been fragmenting with the same thoughts and emotions, but this time like we talked about I’m more withdrawn and quiet. I’ve also been noticing that I’m going away more throughout the day. I had mentioned it is sort of like a flashback of how and how frequently I did that growing up. I actually can’t remember not doing it. Makes me a bit sad.

Along with it comes some feeling and tearing up and then I can feel myself automatically shut it down. I know that I am defending. I also want to cry, but it just gets so stuck. I am remembering more how that used to be and how difficult it was and how awful it felt…I know, I used the word “awful” which doesn’t say much.

I know that I need to talk about it with you, but I defend so much against feeling…just being which is what I used to do. Also, I know, I need to talk about the continually tactile and visual flashback of the bugs crawling on me. But, I just don’t want to talk about the garage stuff and I do want to talk. Okay, I'm ambivalent.

I also wanted to discuss L with you because I keep fragmenting with her calling. I know that it is triggering my stuff with my mother. I’m getting angry and feeling trapped about it.
[L and I have known each other since 6th grade and we were friends who just had fun together, nothing ever deep on my part. She has had a mess of a life and lives with her parents, her daughter, her son and her new grandson. Anyway, I realized that she was just like my mother in so many ways and that she would only contact me when she needed help. If I talked about me or if she asked, she really didn't hear or would say, "but your okay, right" and continue the conversation.

Three years ago or so, she went through this period where she was really suicidal and has no insurance (despite my continual prompts for her to apply for her whole family). I assisted in finding her a psychiatric placement and outpatient therapy. She didn't follow through three times, but kept calling daily and while I was at work. Well, I wasn't going to tell my suicidal friend that I couldn't talk because I was at work. I almost 5150'd (involuntary psychiatric hold) her, but she would have lied. (I would do the same also.) I finally told her that I can't be a therapist for her and I will not have any contact with her until she has been receiving therapy.

Well, within the month I've received four telephone calls from her. Three were within this past week. I know the pattern. The first call is some sort of crisis and very manipulative. I don't call back. The second one is even more manipulative and usually angry and demanding or crying hysterically with manipulative statements that try to make me feel guilty. It has been working some.]

I also want to talk about the woman that my pastor would like me to talk with. I so far, know that I want to help and that email and the telephone will work. Face-to-face, I think I can handle if I time it right and make sure that I have support afterward. I actually think that it might be good for me to just talk with someone face-to-face. [My pastor asked if I would be willing to talk with a woman at my church who has been going through a really rough time. She is in therapy and is just now starting to have flashbacks and urges to cut.]

Yesterday, I realized how really isolated I’ve become and how fearful I am about going out. I’ve been emailing and talking on the telephone though. The telephone is new, so I feel like that is a step forward.

I feel a bit scattered, disconnected and foggy. I'm also on my monthly and it has been hot and all of these factors just increase my symptoms.


Tamara (TC) Staples said...


My heart goes out to you! I am very sorry that you are having such a difficult time. I know how the isolation goes. Sometimes it just sneaks up on you and you realize you have been isolating more than you intended. I hope that you can get out more if that makes you feel better. It is too bad that your friend is so much like your mother and only wanting you to be there for her yet not caring how YOU are really doing. It is very difficult to deal with manipulative people!

Hang in there and know that you are not alone.


Ana said...

I've tried to visit you yesterday but it was impossible to download your blog. My computer has frozen twice.
You're totally right about only speaking with your friend when she is in therapy.
You already know the manipulative way she does. She wants you to save her and we know that it's impossible and even if you tried it would only be worse for her - and for you. You don't have to feel guilty towards her. The kind of aid she is demanding you will not help her. She must be part of her way on this process and cannot leave others do it.
Why are you feeling guilty about not talking about something on therapy?
In my experience - 20 years on therapy - sometimes I thought I wanted to talk about something but ended up talking about some other stuff that I didn't even knew was in my mind.
I believe that we only talk about something when we can handle facing it.
Reading your post I don't know why you're feeling angry at yourself because you're not talking about an specific topic.
Don't do it to yourself!
There's not an agenda you must follow.
I know you know all that but perhaps listening from another person can be helpful.
Take good care!
Stay blessed!

PS If you see on the sitemeter that I came here but left no comment is because I could not download. It's easy to notice my visit: the green and yellow flag. lol

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this honest and searching post...I have sent you an award as a small token of appreciation for the power of your writing and how much I have learning from it.

Anonymous said...

Hello, it's your very own stalker, I don't think I have wise words to add but I would urge you to look after you. I do find it incredibly reassuring to meet people with a history of self harm, so reassuring & unailenating (I think I made that word up) I think of you often & kind of feel I am doing well in therapy beacuse of you, because I know it's not just me. Wheen I say doing well, I mean talking about the really difficult things not that it's fun etc, remember take care of you,

Clueless said...


Thank you! With my friend, it has been that way for over 30 years, I'm done!! Now, if she would just get it...I know she is feeling that borderline abandonment because I literally was her only friend.

Isolation feel kind of comforting right now. I know it isn't good for me.

@ana, my being in therapy for 18 years, I've had the same experience. But, I know that I need to talk because the flashbacks are continuing and getting worse.

Clueless said...

@john, thank you for the kind words here in the comments and on your blog. I'll will pick up my award next week. Thank you.

@stalker :-), It makes me feel good to know that I am helping you in some way. Yes, when you are doing "well" in therapy, it actually "sucks!!" But, it also feels a little good which is better than just feeling sucky! Take care!!

JC said...

Dear Clueless,
Today I visited your blog and got to know you for awhile. My emotional reaction to what you have been through is just so strong-I was literally in tears, but despite not having history of abuse. I am angry and sad and shocked and so many other things about your story... anyway, you've been sharing your journals and journey for long time now and I only have a tiny idea of what's happening for you then, and now. But I will come back. I'm so glad you're alive and that Jesus was and is your Saviour! You call yourself clueless but I think that you have probably developed amazing and profound strength through your journey. Take care, Jena

Catatonic Kid said...

*Hugs!* So sorry things are so rough for you right now, Clueless.

I know how easy it is to fall into the pattern of isolation, especially when you've got anxiety ringing all your bells. It's hard not to fall into, really hard so I think you're doing really well to even be considering reaching out and helping folks. Though that's your way, I know =)

Clueless said...

@Jena, thank you for visiting and your comments were so sweet. Yes, I know that I am alive today because of God and who he made me to be. I know that He also had guided my entire healing process. I've never lost a sense of His presence.


LOL!! You know me so well!! Thanks for the hugs and support.

Immi said...

Helping folks can help yourself. Just don't try to do more than you can handle. Piece by piece, eh? Hang in there. And hang up on manipulative "friend". *hugs*

Unknown said...

Clueless, I truly feel for you and the pain you are going through. Please don't be so hard on yourself, You have to worry about you, and not anyone else. Your friend needs to realize that and not make you feel guilty for not helping her..Take care of you first..hugss.Mary

Clueless said...

Thanks Imma, I really do need to carefully gauge what I can realistically take on.

Mary, welcome back! Thank you for the hugs. Yea, relationships can be tough. I'm trying to remember to take care of me...my husband is a great support in this area.

Unknown said...

Hey there, thanks for visiting my blog and yes you can use any pictures you would like to..take care.hugss Mary

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