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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

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, October 3, 2008

My Week ~ defenses, rage, flashbacks & surgery!

I want to apologize to everyone because the past couple of weeks, I’ve been really inconsistent in reading blogs, making comments and responding to comments. I’ve been preoccupied with a tumor in my right underarm. Monday, I finally had my appointment with the surgeon in which I became very angry. I had my husband with me because with what I’m doing in therapy, I didn’t want anyone touching me. Makes it hard for one to do an examination. Anyway, when I made the appointment a week and a half previous to the appointment, I was told that they accept my insurance and that the doctor worked out of the hospital that I wanted to go to.

I had the new patient forms mailed to me, so that I could fill them out at home. First flag, they had the last page of a Notice of Privacy Policy (NPP) which was barely readable and obviously over copied and tilted about 45 degrees with no front pages. Second flag, NPP form is no longer valid as privacy policies need to adhere to HIIPA regulations which post dates all of their forms.

Arrived at the office, gave the front desk my forms and they asked for the co-pay. I told her that there is no co-pay for an out-of-network provider. So, I asked, “Is the doctor an in-network provider.” Answer, “Well, I don’t know if we accept your insurance?” Reply, “Can you check?” Answer, “No, that is what you should have done before your appointment.” Okay at this point my blood pressure is rising. For those of you who don’t know, the office is supposed to verify benefits prior to your appointment. After some lengthy conversations and my husband calling our insurance company who said the office should know and they would have more updated records. The office person basically kept saying that it was the patient’s responsibility to pay and that there was no way for her to check eligibility.

Second issue is the privacy policy. I asked for the first page and her face dropped (obviously it has been lost for sometime) and she referred me to a two page outdated letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I told her, “No I want the first part of what I was signing and this is just a letter. I want to see your HIIPA policies.” She became flustered and told the nurse that she could not deal with me. The “no personality” nurse with no interest in what I was saying, “just kept repeating that the letter is what they use.” I told her, “But, it is a letter giving you suggestions and does not meet HIIPA standards. I’m not even sure it is legal because it isn’t HIIPA.” Reply, “Well, that is all we have.”

In the meantime, while my husband was talking to the front desk. I called my doctor’s office and explained what was occurring and the office manager was appalled and gave me the name and telephone number of another surgeon who I called and made an appointment for Wednesday. I went back in at told her that since they cannot tell me whether they accept my insurance or not that I was going to go to another surgeon and that I wanted all of my file and that “you will not be charging me for this visit.” (24-hour cancellations fee thingy)

I basically did what I would have done for a client, but I was doing it for myself. My husband said that he was impressed because I was clear, to the point, and very calm…I was professional, but they were not. He was also angry. There was also a waiting room full of people who heard every word that we said. The moment the door closed and we were outside, I said, “Bitch!.” After all that, even though I know that the surgeon is excellent, it isn’t worth dealing with the front office and the “bitchy” nurse.

In the meantime, I’ve been dealing with my homicidal rage toward my step-father, flashbacks of what occurred in the garage, and flashbacks of the homicidal fantasies that I had during the abuse. And, I was not talking about it. So, basically I went into overwhelmed, fragmenting borderlineville and left a couple of really nasty messages on my therapist’s answering machine. He set some boundaries with me which were difficult and then, I had to deal with my reaction to that and him being slightly angry with me.

He said that he took care of his anger by expressing it to me as he felt that I could handle it now, so he was no longer angry. In my head, he was still angry and he was going to make me “pay.” Also, I still needed to do something because what he was telling me wasn’t the truth. Still not talking about the homicidal rage which is making my suicidal thoughts, wanting to injure myself, nightmares, waking up at 2am everyday, agitation, and hypervigilance increase (they are defenses against feeling the rage).

Then, I met with the new surgeon on Wednesday and everything was perfect even the parking. I really like the doctor and the front office and they are within HIIPA regulations. The tumor could be a lipoma, simply a fatty tissue mass, or another benign type of tumor or a cancerous one. After discussing the options, I decided that I want to have it completely removed. The surgeon then said, “Good, that is what I would have wanted to do.” So, I am having surgery on October 15 which is the main week that my therapist will be on vacation, so I’ll be focused on recuperating and sleeping lots. It works out good. (Oh, the new surgeon is going to discuss my experience with the other surgeon. This is good because I don’t want the doctor to get into trouble, but he needs to know what is going on.)

Today I have a 1 ½ hour session to talk about what I’ve been avoiding and we have a joint session with my husband scheduled for Tuesday to discuss what happened in the garage. This whole thing is beginning to really interfere in our relationship as I want to really hurt my husband (defense) and he doesn’t know what has happened in the garage. He respectfully doesn’t read my blog. I figured that instead of pushing him away and not talking about my flashbacks and what I want to do that I would have the joint session to hopefully open the way for me to let him be supportive and someone that I can talk to.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a really difficult time. I don’t feel scared about the surgery and wonder if God has given me some peace about it as normally I would be bouncing off the walls. Or, maybe I am and I’m not aware of it? Am I pushing it? Not really because I so need to talk. By not talking, I become more symptomatic and feel horrible. By talking, I might become more symptomatic, but feel relieved and increase my supports. Anyone want to trade places with me for a month or so? So, I hope you understand if I continue to be inconsistent for awhile as I am going up and down with what I can handle.

(Oh, for those of you that I usually correspond with via email. I'm sorry that I did not email you, but I am kinda pushing people that are close to me away right now...I'll get it together soon. I think? I hope you understand.)

30 comments:

Mary said...

Hi CC. I'm so sorry for all that you are going through. I'm glad you changed surgeons. I'm sure everything will go well. Boy I'm sure glad we don't have that problem here in Canada. Ours is paid for so we are really lucky. I know how you are feeling with the flashbacks and all, I am having the same problem as of late, and it is so hard. You take care my friend...I'm thinking of you and praying for you...Mary

Anonymous said...

Hi there, simon here.

I believe my dad when he says he didnt know anything, and hes offered to take lie detector tests etc etc. Also he worked in the armed services and was away alot working. Theres so many things that fit in with this being the truth.
My therapist advised me that trusting someone isnt just based on ther intentions but whther they were a strong person aswell. If i dont trust him its because i dont believe him to be a strong person, i dnt doubt that hes a good person.

But this i feel makes it very complicated. (sorry if im repeating myself) , but he isnt to blmae but is responsible. I know he feels guilty and is doing everything he can to get me better, like paying for therapy, putting a roof over my head, buying me anything i want etc etc. In a sense hes spoiliing me and trying to make up for the past.
Im just finding it hard to forgive him. Ive lost 33 years of my life, so far to this!

SImon

Clueless said...

Thank you Mary. I'm really, really happy that I changed surgeons. Our health care systems in so messed up...I won't even start.

The flashbacks are tough especially if I don't talk about them in therapy.

Thank you for the wonderful thoughts and prayers.

Clueless said...

Hi Simon,

I'm so glad that you found me and brought the discussion over here. Welcome to my blog.

The trust thing with your Dad makes sense now. All I know is that my therapist encourages me to express/talk about my anger just because it is there. And, then I can let go and let other feelings be there. Basically, feel whatever is there because I am feeling and thinking like that child that was abuse. My mother was supposed to take care of me.

I think that it is great that he is helping you with recovery by paying for therapy. Sometimes, I wish I could just send her a huge bill for my hospitalizations, being out of work and all the therapy (17 years worth). Sorry to digress.

It is difficult when you to have such mixed feeling, but they are all there. And, to me forgiveness doesn't happen until I've worked through and felt and expressed all of them. The hardest being rage and pain. I am finding that I keep returning to the same places only each time it is different a little deeper or more integrated. It is being able to integrate all of those feeling that I believe leads to forgiveness.

Ash said...

BRAVO, my friend! Bravo. Really, I'm so proud of you, I'm grinning ear to freakin ear!!!


Okay, so you did exactly what was right at that doctor's office, and the surgeon DESERVES to know how his staff and nurses handled it.

Not 'deserves' like he's a bad person, but 'deserves' like he is running a business and his co-horts are FAILING him big time. HIIPA is a big freakin deal, and enough non-compliance = fines and possibly worse!

So that was SO awesome of you to go in there and then leave. I'm so proud of you for being firm.

As for the boundaries with your therapist, that's also something I'm proud of you for-- learning, accepting, and understanding boundaries set for us is a good way to establish our OWN boundaries.

As for the homicidal rage... well, first, I believe that anger is a good counterpart to fear. You know what? I'M angry for you. It is a natural step in the process, and feeling angry tends to take the edge off of feeling fearful. Like a dog that bites because they're cornered, anger can be very protecting.

I think it's awesome, too, that you're ready to share some of these things with your husband. I'm totally certain he will be very supportive and non-judging because he loves you SO much.

Anyway, I'm sending *high fives* all over the place for you today. I know it's rough, but CC, you are handling things so beautifully.
Much love,
Ash

Anonymous said...

Hi CC,
Thanks for the welcome and for the reply. 17 years is alot of therapy. Wow i feel like a novice. I know we are all different though, and we all heal differently.
Sometimes i dont know how to reply because words never seem to do any of it justice do they?
Have you ever had EMDR CC? Just wondered because it was that that unlocked the memories for me.
Simon

Clueless said...

Ash,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. That office had no idea who they were dealing with and I showed up for it. Hooray. Although it is extremely difficult, it is worth it. Anyway what do I have to lose with my symptoms anyway.

Anonymous Drifter said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through a rough time right now. I pray that you find some peace of mind and I also pray that your tumor turns out to be benign.

Clueless said...

Simon,

Yes, sometimes words just fail to communicate what you want or sometimes there isn't anything to say because I just want to make it better, but I can't.

My therapy is more psychodynamic and heavily object relations and much CBT.

My therapist and I were both in agreement during my first twelve years go around that I had all the signs of sexual abuse and more, but I did not have any memories. We both believe in not pushing for them that as I am able to handle them that I would naturally let them happen. My grandfather with whom I had the most significant positive attachment to passed away which lead to this unleashing of a tidal wave of memories. As I am strong, I remember just a bit more.

Clueless said...

Thank you Drifter. I am at peace with the surgery because I really feel God's presence. It is the other stuff that I'm having difficulty with.

Thank you for the support. I'm not worried about the outcome; however, I am concerned. This is different for me.

Anonymous said...

Just read on someones reply that you have a tumour.
Sorry to hear. Im sure you will be more than strong enough to beat it if it turns out to be something sinister.
Simob

svasti said...

Hi CC,
I'm so glad you wrote this post to express how you're doing and explain what's happening.

Good for you in standing up for yourself! That would demonstrate some progress for you, right? Yay!!

I've had a mini dealing with US hospitals, and it wasn't too bad. But it was definitely not cheap and I was glad for my comprehensive travel insurance. I think I was lucky it wasn't a big city hospital.

Flashbacks suck, as do violent fantasties. I don't think I've written about mine too much but I find the strain caused in my body by the desire to cause Andre physical pain... its hard to deal with.

Its awesome that you're going to let your hubby in on more of your stuff. He really needs to know to be in a position to support you more. I fully get how hard it is to tell people though, even people that are close to you. So bravo to you!

Good luck with the surgery but I'm sure it will be just fine.

Can't wait to hear more from you when you're ready.

*hugs*

~Svasti

Mary said...

Hi CC. yes you can use any of my poems..I find it an honour that I can help in any way possible. thanks..take care Mary

Clueless said...

Thank you Simon

Clueless said...

(((Savasti)))

Thank you for your support and encouragement. In terms of being that assertive, it would be normal for me if I were advocating for someone else. However, showing up for myself was different. Yea!!

The flashbacks are horrendous and sometimes I just want to hurt my husband and there are times that I'm afraid I will. I am so fearful of letting him in more, but I know that it is the healthy thing to do.

I really like your participation at GSTF...I think it is a great site.

Wandering Coyote said...

Crap on a cracker, this sounds like a nightmare. You will never convince me that the US health care system is better than the Canadian one. Your experience sounds perfectly awful, but good for you for handling it so calmly and professionally. That deserves a serious pat on the back!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Wishing you peace.

Bradley said...

You really are going through a major roller coaster ride right now, yet, you were able to keep your composure and deal with the doctors office in a professional way. Give yourself a big hug and a pat on the back.

Clueless said...

Wandering Coyote~ LOL!! I would never try to convince anyone that the US healthcare system is better than the Canadian one.

Thank you...I scared them when I mentioned HIIPA regulations.

Clueless said...

Real live lesbian ~ thank you. And thank you for visiting. I wonder how you found my blog?

Bradley~ thank you. What I give myself a hug...not one from you? Anyway, I deserve it both the hug and the pat.

Taylor Blue said...

Hi CC...I wondered where you disappeared too. I really am glad that you finally talked about it. Now just take a deep breath and now there are people around to help. :) I'm thinking of you lots!

Clueless said...

I tend to withdraw when something serious comes up and push everyone away when I need them the most. So, actually posting this was a big step.

Catatonic Kid said...

Glad you stood up for your rights! w00t!

But terribly sorry to hear about all you're going through! You'll be in my thoughts/prayers for your surgery and recovery. I have all fingers and toes crossed everything goes as well as possible for you. If there's anything I can do to help please let me know. *Big Hugs*

Clueless said...

Thanks CK,

I felt like I was in my "work" mode in dealing with the first office, but it was for me and I was present.

Anything you can do? I want a baby wallaby. Don't stay crossed too long...Ya look funny, eh!!

Thank you for your support.

Catatonic Kid said...

LOL A baby wallaby 'eh? Hrm, well I don't think it'd make it passed quarantine but I might be able to swing something anyway ;)

How about a stuffed one? I actually have a friend who sells them for charity.

Clueless said...

CK ~ Really a stuffed one. I'll pay for it and all. I like that it is for charity. What type of charity? A former co-worker is from Australia and had this small really cute stuffed wallaby on her desk. I kept threatening to take it from her!

Immi said...

Good job sticking up for yourself CC. Woo hoo!
Flashbacks are enough to spin most anyone's brain. Be nice to you about them.
I hope the joint session goes well. I'd love to see you feeling better and feeling better about marriage is a big one.

Clueless said...

Immi~ Thank you. It felt good to stand up for myself. Thanks for the reminder about being good to myself with the flashbacks. I am anxious about the joint session. One good thing is that the session is 8-9:30 pm and then, I see my therapist at 11 am the next day.

jumpinginpuddles said...

sending gentle healing thoughts

Clueless said...

Thank you JIP!!

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