Life

EMDR

What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.


Before my diagnosis of PTSD, I had never heard of EMDR. My then therapist felt it would work well for me, and I was eager to try it. I was hoping it was the answer I’d been searching for. She explained that it would get worse before things got better, and I understood that. It would get worse either way, right?

We moved before we could begin, and I am in the process of getting a referral for a therapist. Because that’s how things are done with TriCare. I need a referral from my doctor, then the therapist needs to contact me to get an appointment. Kinda blows when I’m terrified of answering the damn phone.

Anyways!

Knowing that this time of year, on top of the need for such things, that it may be a bit before things get into play (and that I have to go through the anxiety of a new therapist, etc, etc…), I googled it. I googled ‘at home EMDR’. Out of curiosity.

I was honestly surprised with how much came up. I skimmed it mainly for now, before I delve into what people have written. I save a video, in case I find it’s something I’d like to try.

Have any of you ever done EMDR? Either with a therapist, or at home? If you have, what were your experiences like? Positive, or negative? I’d like to hear from y’all!

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Life

An Open Letter to my Abuser’s New Family

Dear new family of his,

I’ve been thinking of writing this for months. Words tumbled in my mind over what I could possibly say. What words could even begin to encompass the feelings and thoughts that I wish to convey. And, honestly, I’m still not entirely sure.

I had given up on the hope of writing this. At first, this was meant to be private, sent to only his new girlfriend. At first, this was meant to be a private plea for her to save her girls from his vicious warpath.

And then, I watched a two part autobiography on Elizabeth Smart. I’m sure that you’ve heard of her. But, if you haven’t, google her. Read about her strength, and about the hell she went through. She gave me the words needed, and the courage to not hide away.

I know that you have an inkling of what he’s truly like. Don’t pretend that you don’t. Don’t pretend that you haven’t felt the fear that he’d lash out at you. Don’t pretend that you havne’t felt that shiver of dread when you hear his voice. I’m sure that you’ve also seen the side that he shows most people. The side that makes it so you don’t think people would believe you. The side that makes him seem like a great guy, and so easy going.

He’s not.

And, I believe you.

I wish I could say I simply suffered underneath the fear, the depression, and more for just 17 years years. I wish that finally getting away from him ended it. That I moved on, and let it stay in my past. The truth is, that’s not how my life went.

My 29th birthday is 2 days from now, and I’m still suffering, all these years later. His actions, his lack of compassion, and his words will haunt me for the rest of my life. I will never escape the consequences of a lifetime of knowing him.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with PTSD, something that I’d been suffering with for years, it seems. I was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, OCD tendencies, and severe anxiety. Fast forward, and I had a near break down. I was almost to the point of checking myself into a hospital. I went to group therapy, and had binge eating disorder added on to my ever growing list.

Every single one of them can be tied back to him. His voice echoes in my head to this day.

I had my potential stolen from me. I had my life taken. I had my dreams dashed before I even knew what I’d be missing. I wanted to go to Duke University. Instead, I dropped out of high school. I wanted to live a full, fun, outgoing life. Instead, I’m terrified of going out, I’ve never been to a club, I’ve never done things that most people my age have. I missed out on so much happiness because of him.

“You haven’t seen him in almost 12 years, move on.” Oh, I wish I could. I wish I could move on. You have no idea what that would mean to me. When you are raised around someone who devalues everything about you, who is controlling, vile, cruel, and is there all the time? That’s your inner voice.

There’s the nightmares.

There’s the medication to be able to function.

There’s the fear of crying in front of people.

There’s the anger that comes with the memories.

There’s the mourning for a life you never had the chance to live.

There’s the mourning for your dreams.

There’s the lost hope.

There’s the lost faith.

There’s the lack of trust.

You still have a chance, I hope. You still have the chance to get far, far away from him. There’s hope for the innocent lives that he touches. I barely survived to this point, and it’s only a matter of time until he’s responsible for someone’s death. Either by murder, or driving them to suicide.

He has shaped every aspect of my life, and some days I don’t know why I bother trying to reshape it. It’s so hard. It’s incredibly difficult, and painful to try to fight the memories, to try to make it through the day. When the main thing you feel is pain, you wonder what the point is.

My kids push me through.

Save yours from a fate that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Save them from years of pain. Save them from years of self-loathing, from possibly bad coping skills, from searching for the acceptance they’d crave.

Stand up to him, and show him he isn’t the all mighty lord he sees himself as.

Show him that people are willing to put a stop to his abuse.

I used to pray to a God I no longer believe in that a heart attack would kill him. Clearly, I never got my wish. So, give me this. Don’t let anyone else suffer because of him.

Don’t let Robert win.

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About Me, Life

Having BPD and (not so) last friendships

I know, I know.

I’ve been MIA. I suck. It happens.

Basic updates: Been at damn near rock bottom, had a relapse, was in a crazy good mood, crashed, burned, and now I’m somewhere in limbo.

When I was a kid, I had 3 solid friends I’d see all the time outside of school. My best friends. Who were always there. Brandy, Danny, and Josh. Then I had a ton at school that I’d see all the time. I thought that would always be the case. I was so very wrong.

5th grade was when life pretty much went to hell. I had some friends, but they were conditional. Something I didn’t realize at the time. Now, I’m not claiming that you should stay friends with volatile people. I, however dark, was not. I try to be a good friend, even when I know I’m being a shitty person.

People talk about turnovers at fast food places. Mine’s worse. I get attached quickly, which I know is a BPD thing. Which, I hate saying. People say don’t make excuses. I’m not. I’m making a statement.

If I were to say something is because of my mental illness, I’m making excuses.

If anyone else were, they’re making a claim. It’s okay for them to do, but not okay for me.

I know I’m a bit fucked. There’s no getting around that. I know that I have my issues. I know that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I know that not everyone will stick around. But, what happens when no one sticks around?

There’s so many things that go through my head when it comes to friendship. And it always lands on the same one.

“One day this person will walk away, and I’ll see the second it starts.” It’s a pattern that I loathe. And I’m helpless to stop it. I try so hard to cling to someone, to hold them close.

Then? Then the switch is hit. Fuck them. Fuck them for walking away. And it’s in that moment I go from being heartbroken over the loss of someone I loved so deeply…to wishing I had never met them.

People wonder why when they start talking to me, I’m reserved. And I keep a wall up. I know they’re only passing through. I know that within 2 years time if I’m lucky, they’ll be gone. I’ll just be another bad memory.

And when those times happen when I tell them I understand when they walk away, that I can’t even stand myself, and they tell me they aren’t going anywhere, that I break. I fight that urge to believe them, and fail. Everyone leaves. I get that. And I try to remind myself to not get so attached.

And then I do. My therapist is in awe that I’ve been with my husband 9 years. He’s impressed.

While that may be impressive, not knowing how to be a friend isn’t. Not knowing boundaries, not knowing how to not get attached, how to not make them push you away…that’s just sad.

Seeing names of people that were once so caring, that barely even bother with you hurts.

I don’t think people can ever understand the impact that friendship has on me. Both the hope that maybe the one has walked into my life that won’t walk out. And the fear for the day they do.

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Life

Healthier Living

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If you know me, then you know me and energy drinks. They’re my security blanket so to speak. I don’t want to fathom how much I’ve spent on them in the last year alone, let alone from the time that I started drinking them (at 17!). Many times you can find me with a Monster or a Rockstar in hand.

It’s a habit. Every shopping day, we get gas, grab us energy drinks and a snack, get the kids their drinks, and their snacks. I have a bad day, and we have a few extra dollars, he’ll stop on the way home and get me one.

They don’t even give me energy, to be honest. I just like the flavors.

We are working on getting healthier now that his garnishment is over. Many times we would buy what was cheap (and unhealthy) to get as much as we could. Now we can focus more on health.

I know there are things that I shouldn’t eat because of anxiety, I just learned there are foods to avoid for PTSD, and there are foods I should avoid because of my hypothyroidism. There are also foods I should eat. Yet, those lists have been largely avoided. “Life is short!” I would say “I want to enjoy this!” I would cry. Yet, I feel like shit. My mental health hasn’t been improved by this mindset, and neither has my weight.

He’s 52 as of this year, as well. We both want to be strong and healthy for our kids. I sat down and made a list of foods to avoid, and foods to avoid. We’ll work on eating the foods in the house, but only buying limited amounts again for the kids. Anakin is thin, and needs the calorie rich foods, so we don’t really limit him. We do try to focus on ‘hidden nutrients’ in foods, though.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Coffee and other caffeinated drinks
  • Candy
  • Alcohol
  • Hot dogs
  • Sausage
  • Processed foods
  • Fast foods
  • Refined sugars
  • Refined flour

Now, I know saying I’ll never touch these foods again is laughable. I will try, though. I quit smoking, and I haven’t touched cigarettes since. What’s so different about this? Having my husband’s support is a huge help.

Foods to Eat:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Bananas
  • Milk
  • Oats
  • Cheese
  • Soy (limit for thyroid)
  • Nuts (especially Brazil nuts)
  • Peanut butter
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Leafy greens
  • Legumes
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Brown rice
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain bread
  • Tuna
  • Greek yogurt
  • Beans
  • Seaweed
  • Shellfish
  • Berries
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Broccoli

Changing from an unhealthy lifestyle, to a much healthier one is hard. Sugar is addicting, for one. However, bettering our lives is more important. And how can I want my kids living healthy lives if we can’t do the same?

I’ll still allow myself alcohol for like my birthday, or New Years, but that’s about it.

I just took the last sip of my last Redbull.

Wish me luck, my fellow bloggers.

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Life

Trying

Impulse is something that has always been an issue with me. Not even gonna go into detail on how that’s gotten me into shit in the past. No need.

I’m not the best with money. I didn’t even know ‘excessive spending’ was something that was common along people with borderline personality disorder. Apparently, it is. I do try. I really do. I try to be smart about things. And the truth is, I’m not. I want to spoil everyone around me. I know it’s a flaw.

I’m trying to work on it even more now. I’m trying to be smarter. However, coming face to face on how I fuck up constantly isn’t fun. I put myself down daily. Always have. Then when something comes up that just adds to that, I feel worse. I know that no one is perfect, and that people make mistakes. I totally get that.

When you’re raised with things drilled into your head, they stick with you. For example, needing to do things perfectly, or not making problems. Shit I am pretty good at.

Now I need to suffer the consequences of a shitty coping mechanism that I started who knows when. I need to be an adult and give up on things I really want in order to pay for my mistakes. I want 2 tattoos after I graduate group, and I have to put them off now. I fucked up, and now I have to deal with the negative reactions.

I’m not saying that I won’t whine about it. I’m not saying I won’t get pissy. I will. Part of me never aged past being a child. And that part comes out at times. I whine. I pout. *shrugs*

Tackling all your problems at once is hard. I can’t turn to another ‘unhealthy’ habit to deal with the strong emotions of fixing another.

I can’t eat to deal with money shit.

I can’t shop to deal with facing my binge eating.

I can’t drink to deal with everything. More like shouldn’t.

I can’t cut to deal with strong emotions that I never learned to process.

I can’t get high just to not care.

When you finally come clean and admit that you know that you shouldn’t be doing things, and that you want to get better…you feel guilty for even wanting it for a split second. You feel like a failure for just wishing for one of them for a moment. And then you want one because you feel like a failure.

It’s a vicious cycle.

I know that I’m making progress, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have my bad days. Fuck, I have more of those than I’d like to admit. My mind is constantly going, and it’s exhausting.

I’m always scared of not doing things right. I’m scared of fucking things up, because that’s just what I do.

I go to bed and the house isn’t as clean as I’d like it, I feel lazy. I go to bed and the dishes aren’t done, I beat myself up. I could go on, and on.

I know there’s no ‘quick fix’ for the shit that’s wrong with me. I know that I can’t just snap my fingers and magically be a little bit more okay. I know I can’t avoid things forever. It’ll beat me down more than it has already.

For so long I hid how bad things really were. I was terrified to be honest. I was scared to admit how scared I was. I never told people when I was suicidal. I never told people when I was breaking inside. I never told people when I wanted to throw up because I was so disgusted with myself. I never told people about how I don’t know how to process emotions. Do you have any idea how tiring that is? Having everything on your shoulders, watching everyone smile around you, and you faking it? You smile because you should be happy. You smile because that’s what expected.

People always question what people have to be depressed about. What do they have to be anxious about. Why can’t they just move on from some event. Why do they let memories effect you now?

I wish I could turn off depression. I wish I wasn’t so fucking anxious all the time. About everything. I wish I didn’t let shit from the past bother me. There’s no off switch. There’s no goddamn erase button.

When a neurotypical person tries to tell someone with a mental illness how they should feel, it’s disrespectful. We’d love to be able to be ‘normal’. We’d love to function without medication, or therapy. Some of us can, and that’s fucking awesome! Some of us can’t, and we don’t deserve any less respect than anyone else.

Mental illness has been something that’s been hush-hush. You don’t talk about that. You don’t admit to it. You smile. You fake it. And you deal with it in private. That’s a big part of the problem. The stigma surrounding this. Hollywood gladly uses mental illnesses for a plot point, they gladly make a star anorexic to add drama. The news uses it to explain why white men commit acts of terror.

And then we’re seen as dangerous. We’re seen as unstable. We’re seen as lunatics. We should be locked up. We shouldn’t be parents. We shouldn’t do this. We shouldn’t do that.

It makes people like me afraid to come forward. I could have been dealing with this years ago, but everything I saw around me warned me not to. Told me to push it down, and to keep quiet.

I couldn’t anymore. There was so much pressure building inside me that I exploded. I couldn’t add anymore pain or lies to what I was already holding on to. I couldn’t keep secrets that were only doing more harm than good.

In high school, I could walk all over town. Crossing streets, walking in neighborhoods I didn’t know, and hanging out at the park after dark.

I’m 28 years old. I cannot cross the street myself. I cannot be outside my house in my own backyard at night without panicking. I can barely walk in my own neighborhood.

As I get older, the worse I get. The worse I get, the worse I feel. It’s got to stop somewhere.

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Life

I Don’t Know

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Today in group, I knew no one. I had a different therapist, and different people. And still, I opened up. That’s a major improvement for me.

I talked about where my PTSD came from.

I talked about shit I want to forget.

I told them something only a handful of people know.

I gave advice. I spoke without being asked to. The therapist even noted it was excellent advice that he’d never thought of. That made me feel really good.

I’m the only one with borderline personality disorder in either group. So, every time if comes up, doc refers to me. I’m by no means an expert, and I make sure to always add ‘for me’ when I start. I have insight that he doesn’t, as I live it, but man. It’s draining. Thankfully, it doesn’t come up all that often.

Once doc asked why I don’t like going outside. I told him simply ‘there are people out there’.

When the female therapist took over, we worked on some techniques to get us through rough spots. She asked how I deal with being in public.

Her:  When you’re out, what do you do if it’s busy?

Me: I cling to my husband.

Her: What’s your thought process?

Me: I don’t want him to go far…?

Her: But there’s more to it, what is it? Why keep him close?

Me: Because if he goes to far people get close?

Her: Keep going.

Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Her: Why don’t you want people close?

Me: I don’t like people being close to me?

Her: But why? What do you think about in that moment?

Me: I don’t? There’s no thoughts going through my head. I just do it. I don’t like people being close.

Her: Why?

Me: ….Because I don’t like people in my personal space?

Like. I get what she was trying to do. But wording things differently won’t change my answer. I want to work through my shit. I want to be a halfway normally function human. I do, but that’s not gonna do me much good. Help me work on the issues we know I have, and I’m pretty damn sure other things will get worked on in the process.

Teach me how to not focus on the shit from my childhood. Teach me how to deal with my anxiety at the core. All my issues are connected- I know that.

I just want to be able to function. I want to have a life. I don’t know what it’s like to not worry. I don’t know what it’s like to be able to just live. That’s all I want.

I start Viibryd on Saturday, and I hope that it helps. Have any of you tried that? If you have, what were your experiences?

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Life

Out of Left Field

Last night, just as my daughter fell asleep in my arms, I broke. I had a complete meltdown. No warning, no signs it was coming. It was like a truck of emotions hitting me.

In the following hour and a half, I would have another. I thought maybe writing would help, so I started one of the fics on my list. I wrote 3 sentences before I just couldn’t focus anymore. I took my meds, texted my husband, crawled into bed, and cried myself to sleep.

I nearly had a 3rd breakdown because all I wanted to do was eat, and drink. We have no alcohol in the house, and no junk food. I wound up making a pan of cookies that I ate 2 of. Didn’t even care for those.

When I came out to the living room to tell my son it was bedtime after getting my daughter to sleep, there was next to no signs of my breakdown.

This morning I went right to cleaning. I put the clean dishes away, loaded the dishwasher, started a load of laundry, and cleared off the counters. I tried to play some World of Warcraft, but just quit.

All I want to do is shower, and crawl back into bed. But, I can’t. Anakin has a doctor’s appointment this morning, and I have shit around the house that I need to do.

Here’s to another long day.

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