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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: mojay on January 05, 2021, 03:39:45 AM

Title: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 05, 2021, 03:39:45 AM
I've never been good at journaling. After reading some very inspiring recovery journals on OOTS and gaining a better understanding the format of "replies as entries" it seems less daunting to me. Maybe I don't need to write an essay every time, maybe I can just write a few lines when I need to and that will be okay???
Tonight will be more of an essay, i think :Idunno:

I had virtual therapy today after a really difficult weekend. I had three memories from childhood come back. The last time I had memories come back was about 3 years ago and I am so angry with myself for how I handled that. How I acted 3 years ago has been on my mind today. The differences between then and now are hugely important to my recovery but I want to talk about 3 years ago.

The memories back then were about the CSA/SSA and much scarier than what I've remembered over the weekend. I coped back then by inventing problems and bringing lies into my relationship. I think I did that (lying, manipulation, shame shame *shame*) to be comforted by my exes and friends without having to face the awful reality of why I needed comforting and why I was struggling. I feel like i tried to invent another world for myself so I had to focus on keeping up the lie and could ignore the truth.

I am grateful that I don't have to be that way anymore. I know that person was me, but I do not know who she was. I never want to be her again. Sometimes I will catch myself in a white lie. It is so embarrassing to have to say "that actually isn't the truth" or "I misspoke" but I feel so much better once I've realigned myself with the truth. My inner circle is very graceful about it. I try not to worry about what the outer circle  thinks, so long as I am careful to not hurt anyone.

I've discovered that a lot of my lies and hiding come from having to hide my emotions growing up and having to hide why I was so "out of control" aka distressed. I have felt so much shame and felt that I would be rejected if I was truthful about my intense need for compassion. I especially felt I'd be rejected by romantic partners (aka people who were supposed to care about me differently than my friends) if I was truthful about the CSA/SSA.

In 2019 when I was finally truthful with ex 2 about my FOO and the CSA/SSA... well... I was certainly shamed and rejected again. Funny enough, ex 2 had majored in psychology and had been in an LTR with an abusive narcissist so i thought they would understand at least some of my situation. There had been a lot of signs that my ex would not understand, but I had ignored those signs and hoped for understanding bc of their background. Wrong!! I can laugh about it now because I know that the shame is not mine, that their ignorance is not mine, and that my need for compassion is perfectly acceptable.

I've learned so much about myself over the past year of going to twice weekly therapy with a trauma-informed therapist. I also have really noticed a difference from rTMS treatment (I have had 18/36 sessions). I've always swung between left-brain dissociation and right-brain dissociation depending on where I was in a depressive episode. In the past I've felt like I was either disconnected and floating through life or I was obsessive and distracted - but rarely present. Excerpts from Pete Walker's CPTSD: From Surviving to Thriving have taught me so much about how and why I experience dissociation the ways that I do. I think that the rTMS has "connected" the two halves of my brain and given a noticeable improvement to the  left-brain tasks one sees a dysfunction in with MDD. Not sure if the rTMS has effected my right brain, because I am receiving it for MDD and therefore the stimulation occurs on my left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

I just wish I had started treatment earlier. I always had a feeling I should be in therapy, but never knew how to "do it." In 2019 I was hospitalized 3 times for SI and MDD and that's when it all "clicked". Actually, it "clicked" in the partial hospitalization program (PHP) because it was specifically a women's group and we regularly discussed trauma-related issues. Despite living in a major city with good health insurance, I just couldn't find good help once I graduated from the PHP! I was also juggling a new job (my dream job!! I hope to return in 2021), an unhealthy and invalidating relationship with ex 2, and the death of a lifelong friend. When I decided to move states to live with my sister and pursue therapy full time everything changed. I feel so much more authentically me now. I feel like I have a future. I think this is a good place to end my journal :)

Thank you to anyone who made it all the way through this! I really value having this space.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: Bluegem on January 05, 2021, 09:38:22 PM
Well done Mojay on starting your journal  :cheer:

I was very moved by what you wrote,  I think that you have great insight  on your trauma and have clearly completed a lot of work on it.  I am sorry that you feel so bad about your choices and actions in the past. This comment really struck me, maybe this was also an unconscious driver together with drink at the time.

Quote
i feel like i didn't deserve their love.
 

I think a lot of us feel that way I know I do sometimes and sometimes we can behave how we unconsciously feel.

Quote
I've discovered that a lot of my lies and hiding come from having to hide my emotions growing up and having to hide why I was so "out of control" aka distressed. I have felt so much shame and felt that I would be rejected if I was truthful about my intense need for compassion.
 
Quote
I especially felt I'd be rejected by romantic partners (aka people who were supposed to care about me differently than my friends) if I was truthful about the CSA/SSA.

I could have written this, I have never discussed the details of my trauma with my other half ..I cannot get the words out I just become instantly upset even thinking about it. I guess I also have the fear of rejections a huge feeling of shame even though I was only a child.

What is rTMS treatment I have never heard of this?
It certainly seems to be helpful

 
Quote
I just wish I had started treatment earlier. I always had a feeling I should be in therapy, but never knew how to "do it


I  tried to bury my thoughts/feelings for a long time but eventually this only caused depression and non stop flashbacks until I had to seek help. 

I hope your posts prove as helpful to you as mine do to me ..even though I have only done a few so far! :)
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 05, 2021, 10:41:02 PM
Bluegem, I could just hug you!! Thank you so much for reading and responding and encouraging me, it means so much to me!! I hope this e-hug is okay :grouphug:

I have been working really hard on my trauma (I've put in about 110 hours in 2020 into psychotherapy alone!) and I feel very proud of myself. I know I have a long way to go still, but I am so proud of how far I've come.

I could have written this, I have never discussed the details of my trauma with my other half ..I cannot get the words out I just become instantly upset even thinking about it. I guess I also have the fear of rejections a huge feeling of shame even though I was only a child.

It's bittersweet to know I'm not alone in this feeling. My therapist is the only person who i've ever been able to get it out to without having a panic attack or going away through dissociating. I did have a very healing experience telling my M and being comforted by her through my panic attack. I think that I will never again try to tell any romantic partners about what happened to me. It's just too hard to have those two worlds overlap  :stars:
The fear of rejection and feelings of shame are so immediate, I really feel for you.

What is rTMS treatment I have never heard of this?
It certainly seems to be helpful

rTMS is "repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation". It's similar to ECT but also very different. I'm awake during the procedure, experience no amnesia and one is allowed to drive or resume activities immediately after the procedure. A magnetic coil is placed over the left side of my head - it targets my left DLPFC region. The coil then repetitively sends a magnetic pulse, it sounds kind of like a woodpecker is knocking on my head. The whole thing takes about 20 minutes and I go every weekday for 30 sessions then will taper to twice a week for the remaining 6 sessions.

The procedure is FDA approved for treatment-resistant MDD and OCD. I think it is also approved for migraines? But there are studies proving it's efficacy for PTSD, epilepsy and some other conditions. The understanding is that people with MDD have reduced or badly-wired functioning in the left DLPFC region so the electromagnetic pulses cause temporary "virtual lesions" that disrupt those functions/wiring which are then re-wired by the brain's neuroplasticity. Pretty cool and confusing stuff in my humble opinion :)
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on January 05, 2021, 11:14:32 PM
Mojay,

Three memories, yikes.  :grouphug:

You have been working really hard. Glad you are proud of yourself.  :cheer:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 05, 2021, 11:34:54 PM
Mojay,

Three memories, yikes.  :grouphug:

You have been working really hard. Glad you are proud of yourself.  :cheer:

Thank you for the validation and the hug  :grouphug:

Two of the memories are part of "one" memory but there is still some time missing between the events even though it was all connected. The other memory that came back was a good one :) I feel bad about forgetting the nice thing, but I am glad I remembered it even though it makes me feel overwhelmed and strange. Nice to have a good memory in my memory box.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 06, 2021, 12:04:32 AM
1/5/2021 (had to laugh at myself for typing 2020 and not even realizing until I posted)
I had a hard day today.
Feeling a lot of hatred toward B today. Can't stop the anger and hatred whirling in my head. Fighting with myself over the hatred. As usual, feeling intense guilt about having any emotions at all towards B. What am I supposed to feel??? I just can't figure it out.

M is very stressed, does not know what to do with B. Does not know what to do with F. I wish they would both leave. I am fearful that the stress will kill M or seriously hurt her health. Had a good memory with M come back and am feeling very emotional towards her and this scares me.

I'm waiting for new insurance to approve my TMS to continue treatment. I am feeling very frustrated at living here. I am feeling very frustrated that I am dependent on anyone, including doctors and insurance. I am feeling very stuck in hopelessness. Self-doubt is creeping in. So many nightmares, I'm afraid to go to sleep. I haven't been able to cry today. Just angry, angry, angry.

No researching today. No reading today. Nothing is comforting. Scared to sleep. I miss going to TMS. Worried about therapy tomorrow. What if I'm too far away to talk? It will be expensive for nothing. I want to cry about it but I can't. I am feeling farther and farther away from myself the closer it gets to bed.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 06, 2021, 09:46:07 PM
1/6/2021

Was able to finally cry today! During therapy :)  It felt really good to be validated, especially about my anger. We talked a lot about my B. My therapist helped walk me through a lot of the confusion and guilt. I ended up agreeing that I do not have to forgive B and we can work towards other options for closure. Not sure what those are yet, but it feels like the right path.

Thumbs are healed from being picked at!! Did not pick at them last night due to feeling so depersonalized but I am trying really hard to not pick at them today and keep up the good streak. Finished a transcription and am very tired so I am going to reward myself with a nap or some TV time.


Night time. Learned what is going on in DC. Had a panic attack. My F is pro-Cheeto. Do not want to see him. Think I will be staying in my room for a while. I can't swallow my emotions anymore. I hate living in this country. I hate living in this house. I just want peace. I just want peace. I just want peace. Terrified of how my dreams/nightmares will be tonight.  :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 08, 2021, 05:19:07 PM
1/8/2021 - Possible TW

Yesterday was tough. Painted for a bit, tried to stay out of my own head about it but was pretty unsuccessful. At least I painted though. Had a lot of bad dreams so I woke up really early today. My therapist thinks the SSRI could cause the terrible nightmares, she has noticed that whenever I try a new SSRI I report really bad nightmares. I didn't notice this about myself, but think it's accurate.



Trigger Warning - SI

Experiencing SI again, ever since I got to the maintenance dose of the SSRI. So I'm going to stop taking it. I was doing much better on just the mirtazapine and rTMS, didn't have SI. It's exhausting to have to fight against myself. They're coming into my mind every few minutes and I am so exhausted from talking myself down. I keep coming back to the though that this will never change, I will never change, I will never get better and. will never know peace or stability. I feel so overwhelmed. I really hate my living situation. I really hate that my FOO is so messed up and I'm back in the thick of it. I don't want to witness this anymore. I wish I could fly away from this situation and end up somewhere happy instead of dealing with this. I know I will feel better when the SSRI is out of my system and when I am able to move out of this house. But it is still so hard. I feel so trapped.

End Trigger Warning



Have spent a lot of time today distracting myself, keep feeling like it's sunset but it's only noon D:> I don't feel up to going grocery shopping but will try to make a list today. I did get my stimulus check and was able to pay down some of my credit card debt, which felt really good. I think having a better credit score will really help me to find a new apartment when I am able to move out of here.

Trying to be really future-focused today. Staying away from social media, the DC situation scares me too much. Lots of worry for my friends in the DMV. Just feeling so tired today. Tired, tired, tired. But of course I can't fall asleep for a nap. Oh well.


It's later in the day now. I was able to message my therapist and talk through some of the SI thanks to helpful comment reminding me how great my therapist has been. Had some trouble with dissociation, M found me in the kitchen trying to wash dishes... Luckily the sink didn't overflow while I was zoned out!!! Doing some meditation and stretches tonight. Anxiety is setting in about sleep... scared of the nightmares. Hopefully meditation & stretching will help. Trying to remain hopeful!
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: Bluegem on January 08, 2021, 09:16:43 PM
Mojay I am so sorry that you are having a really hard time right now. Sending you a hug  :hug: I hope it helps even just a little.

Things will change, they always do eventually but I understand your feelings of being stuck right now especially in the current situation & lack of sleep really doesn't help either.

I had to return to my FOO home after leaving a traumatic situation ( thankfully the only one in my adult life) and it was truly awful, I was sleeping on the sofa for 6 months and I tried to be there as little as I possibly could but eventually I was able to find a new home & a new life.

You seem to have a good therapist who picks up on things like changing SRRI & your nightmares and you can talk through things with them. Its not much but At least its something.

Take care and I hope you feel a little better now & that you get good rested sleep this evening :hug:

Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on January 08, 2021, 09:40:34 PM
Feeling a lot of hatred toward B today. Can't stop the anger and hatred whirling in my head. Fighting with myself over the hatred. As usual, feeling intense guilt about having any emotions at all towards B. What am I supposed to feel???

There are reasons for what your are feeling and whatever you are feeling is okay.

Been there with the nightmares and SSRIs.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 08, 2021, 10:57:54 PM
Hi Bluegem & NotAlone,
Thank you for the kind words and validation  :grouphug:

NotAlone, you do a wonderful job to help me feel less alone!!! The perfect username :) Truly. I think the SSRIs really do cause a lot of problems for me. Nightmares and SI being the biggest two. Fortunately it gets so much less intense when I'm off of them, so I'm just holding on until then.


Bluegem, you're absolutely right, my therapist is a really good part of my life right now!! I feel like I can really trust her and that she genuinely cares about me. It's been a very healing relationship, thank you for bringing this to the forefront of my focus. I feel like it's help redirect some of the negative energy I've had swirling around in my head. Thank you  :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on January 08, 2021, 10:59:58 PM
NotAlone, you do a wonderful job to help me feel less alone!!! The perfect username :) Truly.

I'm so glad.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 10, 2021, 12:33:53 AM
1/9/2021
Possible TW - Feeling pretty negative


Nightmares about trauma all night. Woke up disoriented and afraid. Spent too much time today ruminating over F's behavior and did myself a disservice by looking at his twitter. Talked with M about him leaving - we are aiming for spring. I think I can make it another few months here but I'm still holding out hope for returning to my dream job (and moving out of state) before spring. Returning to work will probably be another bad decision in just another string of bad decisions that have made up my life. I wish I could feel better about myself. I wish I didn't hate myself so much  :'(
I feel like I was robbed of so much and I have to remember it and deal with it every. single. day. in this house. Why couldn't I have been stronger?? Why did I wait so long and deny myself so much?? Why couldn't anyone see how much help I needed?? Why did I let these terrible people break me down?? Why did no one help me when I was little?? Why couldn't I help myself as an adult?? Why was I failed so many times?? How do I escape this?? I just want to feel better  :'(

Having a good cry as I write this. Feeling grateful that I am able to cry today. Feeling grateful that my therapist and I noticed the SSRI making me feel worse and I am tapering off it. Feeling grateful for having OOTS as a place to write these things and to feel less alone.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: dollyvee on January 10, 2021, 11:01:57 AM
I hear you Mojay - it's hard to be in proximity to your FOO when there's so much going on and it brings all of the past up.

 
1/9/2021
Returning to work will probably be another bad decision in just another string of bad decisions that have made up my life. I wish I could feel better about myself. I wish I didn't hate myself so much  :'(
I feel like I was robbed of so much and I have to remember it and deal with it every. single. day. in this house. Why couldn't I have been stronger?? Why did I wait so long and deny myself so much?? Why couldn't anyone see how much help I needed?? Why did I let these terrible people break me down?? Why did no one help me when I was little?? Why couldn't I help myself as an adult?? Why was I failed so many times?? How do I escape this?? I just want to feel better  :'(

Remember at the time that you were doing the best that you could for yourself and you had (and have) good intent.

I read your post as well about the twitter & your f&m. There were so many times that I tried to get my mom to realize how bad my stepfather was for her and each time I failed, or she chose him, I was devastated. I had to back away and let it play out and it was awful - why is this happening, what's wrong with me that she is choosing this person. She didn't choose herself or to take care of herself (and ultimately destroyed herself in the process) and I had to watch it and there wasn't anything I could do. Little by little I came to realize that she wasn't the mom I needed her to be. I don't want to put too much of my experience on yours just that I hear you and I'm sorry that it's so painful  :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 11, 2021, 08:41:40 PM
Remember at the time that you were doing the best that you could for yourself and you had (and have) good intent.
Dollyvee, thank you for this reminder! I think you're right, I really was trying the best that I could. Will be writing this on my whiteboard for when I start to be too critical of myself, thank you so much  :hug: 

Little by little I came to realize that she wasn't the mom I needed her to be. I don't want to put too much of my experience on yours just that I hear you and I'm sorry that it's so painful  :hug:
I don't think you put too much of your experience onto me, I actually really appreciate that you shared because it has helped me to examine my situation. I think that my mom also wasn't who I needed her to be when I was young, but she has started to become that person now. I think she has made a lot of realizations through her own therapy journey... one of my treatment goals was to talk with my mom about what happened to me and how it has effected me and we are able to do that. She even gave me a very good apology for not being there for me and (so far) has kept her word to not be that person again. Sometimes I forgot the progress we have made, so typing it out here was really helpful  :bighug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 11, 2021, 08:57:09 PM
01/11/2021
rTMS was finally approved by the new insurance!! Returned to rTMS today but have a wicked headache from it. Unfortunately the clinic is shutting down in 5 weeks so that will be another hurdle - trying not to worry about it too much right now. And a dentist appointment tomorrow...yikes!!

I worked some more on my painting :)

Hallucinated voices before falling sleep again, I hate when this happens. At least this time the voices were nice and not creepy. I can't remember what they were talking about but I kept coming out of the shallow sleep because I thought it was my mom talking to me or the TV was turned on.
I had stressful dreams but no nightmares and no nightmares about my trauma.

My head is really hurting from looking at the computer, hoping to be more active on here later this week when I get used to the rTMS again.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 15, 2021, 03:43:52 AM
Having a lot of trouble accessing my emotions. Still feeling the effects of Lexapro, I think. Really felt useless in therapy sessions this week since I could hardly access anything worthwhile. I know I'm not wasting my therapist's time but I still worry she will grow tired of me if this continues. Tears coming to my eyes at this thought, maybe I am frustrated over wasted time? I have been criticizing myself a lot lately because I have wasted so much time thanks to the CPTSD. I wish I could've just been normal and I could just be normal. Oh now I'm crying again.

Not knowing how I feel has left me slipping into depersonalization. Hands and arms still feel like different sized plastic objects... salt and pepper shakers or vintage plastic dolls always come to mind. Maybe this is also causing the feeling like I will swallow my tongue or that my tongue is a plastic object. Actually, after writing that, I think that is definitely the reason.

I think that maybe my psychiatrist does not understand how to treat CPTSD. Have our 2 week appt tomorrow morning and will try to stand up for myself. She will not be pleased that I stopped the Lexapro. But maybe she should expect it at this point because under her care I have tried 3 different medicines all with the same debilitating side effects.

I have been able to stay sober despite intense cravings for escape.

Still having trouble relaxing for sleep. I don't want to hallucinate during lighter sleep. Been hearing and feeling something sinister talk to me and press on/sit on my legs. Not sure how to get rid of it. Maybe I will sleep with a stuffed animal cat that my dearest friends gifted me. It reminds me of my old family cat that I would let into my room when I was having a hard time as a kid. Maybe the cat can help keep the sinister dream-hallucination away?? Worth a try.

Uhhhh what do I want to write????!!? I don't know. Maybe this is a good place to end the journal. Thank you if you read this, I know it's a mess  :stars:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: dollyvee on January 15, 2021, 09:28:49 AM
Sending you some relaxing thoughts Mojay  :grouphug:

According to IFS, the exiles hold our emotions which the protectors try so hard to cover up. I think they're doing there best to keep you safe and functioning in the world. I'm not sure if it would be helpful for your p. but came across this article last week -

https://elemental.medium.com/inside-the-revolutionary-treatment-that-could-change-psychotherapy-forever-8be035d54770

You're doing well going through it and remember it won't last forever.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 15, 2021, 11:57:46 PM
Dollyvee, thank you for the article! It was very insightful. I did not see your response in time for my appointment but I think I will bring this up next visit.


1/15/2021
The appointment went pretty well. She listened to me and did not pressure me into taking a new medicine. We did agree to check back in 2 weeks to evaluate if I want to take the new medicine. A little confused because I am doing well on the Mirtazapine, rTMS and therapy so I feel like I don't really need another medicine, but I guess psychiatrists are gonna want to prescribe meds.

More turmoil at home. F is finally sober and wants to be friendly towards me but I have no interest. B is going to lose his job and cause even more stress on M. I think I will be sleeping early tonight to try and escape some of this.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 16, 2021, 04:52:01 AM
hey, mojay,

first, a huge congratulations on resisting those cravings :applause:  as a recovering alc/addict, i know whereof you speak.  squeeze my hand when a craving hits you - we can fight them together.

second, good for you for speaking up for yourself with your psych.  well done! :thumbup:

very sorry to hear about increased turmoil.  sending love and a hug filled with strength and restful sleep :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: dollyvee on January 16, 2021, 02:42:56 PM
You're welcome mojay - hope it helps you 

Sorry to hear things are more challenging at home.  Hope you find some rest  :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 18, 2021, 08:38:48 AM
Sanmagic, I really like the idea of squeezing your hand, thank you so so much. No one has ever given me a tool like that before. It helps me to feel less alone  :hug:
Dollyvee, thank you so much for the warm hug and understanding about challenges at home  :hug:


1/18/2021
Called the suicide hotline tonight. It's been about 1.5 years since I last called. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I'm glad I called. I really needed to talk to someone. Really anxious that police will show up at my door (this is what happened in the past). Have therapy in a few hours, hopefully will be able to sleep. I'm ravenous now. I know it's the cortisol. Maybe eating will help me feel sleepy. Feeling pretty bleak and hopeless. I don't want to hurt myself, but I am having intrusive thoughts and passive thoughts about suicide/how hard life is/if my life will ever be good. Not sure I am actually recovering or if I am just tricking myself. Gonna go eat though and try to sleep. No sleep-hallucinations last night so I am cautiously hopeful for tonight.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on January 18, 2021, 03:14:21 PM
Mojay,

Glad you reached out to suicide hotline. I know that is a hard decision to make, and in my experience, a long time on hold before talking to someone. Also, yea for standing up for yourself with the psychiatrist.

Several years ago I slowly took myself off the generic version of Lexapro. The side affects were horrible and lasted for months. It would probably be hard to distinguish, but I'm wondering if some of what you are going through is because of that.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 18, 2021, 03:50:28 PM
NotAlone, reaching to the hotlines can always be so scary. Especially the hold times! Last time I reached out I was on hold for about 30 minutes D:> Fortunately this time I was able to get through in 5ish.

Several years ago I slowly took myself off the generic version of Lexapro. The side affects were horrible and lasted for months. It would probably be hard to distinguish, but I'm wondering if some of what you are going through is because of that.
I think the Lexapro (I am also on the generic version, I can just never spell it right haha) is responsible for the intensity of what I'm feeling. It feels distinctly different to me than when I experience these things without medication in the mix. In 2020 I tried 3 SSRIs and each has given me the same awful emotional side effects peaking in intensity at around 4 weeks of the maintenance dose - they have never subsided like my psychiatrist said they would  :pissed:
Fortunately, I had only been on the generic Lexapro for around 6 weeks so I am hopeful that the withdrawal phase will not last too long.

I am glad I'm not alone with the side effects, but I feel bad that you've had to go through this too, sending warm hugs if that's okay  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 18, 2021, 05:46:20 PM
hey, mojay,

nope, you're not alone in this.  and, i hear you about having similar terrible side effects with different ssri's - same thing's happened to me.  we're not all the same, and those types of meds are attaching themselves to specific parts of our brains.  for some, it's just the right kind of attachment.  for others, no.  there's nothing wrong with you, either.  that's just the way meds hit different people.  just this past year i had a similar experience, till i got to the point where i became scared to take the newest med prescribed cuz of fear of the side effects.  happily, my shrink told me not to take anything i'm afraid of.  we tried an older ned, which helped me 20 yrs. ago, and that's been working just fine.

i hope you eventually find something that helps you, rather than hurts you.  sending love and a hug filled with hope for the future :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on January 18, 2021, 05:52:03 PM
I was on Lexapro for a long time, so hopefully your withdrawal side affects will be a much shorter time period.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 18, 2021, 10:22:32 PM
It's late afternoon and I'm having a really hard time now. My therapist had to reschedule to tomorrow which is okay, it was an emergency for her. rTMS went okay.
Then i got home and had to interact with my F. Also just really tired of living with my B. Every thing about him reminds me of the CSA/SSA and we share a bathroom which has just made me more acutely aware of everything. Intrusive memories keep coming to my mind every single day. I become really overwhelmed by this.

I am frustrated that this is my life right now. All of my friends are moving along and have good lives and are happy and I'm just mired in this miserable pit. I feel like I can't trust anyone right now. My family has betrayed me so many times and I feel like my friends have betrayed me because they don't do anything to try to help me. I can't even talk to the group chat about how I'm feeling without them changing the subject.

I cant stop thinking about how disappointed I am with myself and I feel very unhappy with how my life is currently. I feel like such a loser sometimes. I spent all this money on my education and was too ill to do anything with my degree, got stuck in underemployment, got too sick to work but not sick enough for disability (says the govt) then had my S betray me and now have to live with my abusers again. I just really hate this feeling!!!

I don't even have anywhere to go to feel safe and escape this. I want to just curl up in bed but I'm still in this house with these people who I don't trust and don't want to be  breathing the same air as. I don't want them to be able to knock on my door or know where I am. I just want this situation to change for the better  :'( :'( :'( going to curl up in bed and try to ride this out. maybe i can fall asleep even though sleep has been just as excruciating as being awake.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 18, 2021, 11:41:06 PM
hang on, mojay - my hand's still available.  you're not alone.  breathe, be, just for the next minute, then the next. we're here for you with your own private safety net, able to catch you if you need us.  much love and many hugs - we're building a fortress around you for protection :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 19, 2021, 06:35:41 AM
hang on, mojay - my hand's still available.  you're not alone.  breathe, be, just for the next minute, then the next. we're here for you with your own private safety net, able to catch you if you need us.  much love and many hugs - we're building a fortress around you for protection :grouphug:
thank you so much Sanmagic, this means a lot to me. Taking things minute by minute and squeezing your hand has helped. I have been trying to construct a mind palace or some place that I can retreat to when I am overwhelmed, I like the idea of a fortress. I think mine would be covered in ivy, I really like plants. I have found some solace tonight in tending to my plants.

i hope you eventually find something that helps you, rather than hurts you.
I have been doing well with Mirtazapine which is a relatively older drug. I have noticed it helps considerably with sleep, appetite and panic attacks. It's the only medicine that I've felt has helped me and would like to stay on it, hoping I can convince my psychiatrist.

Thank you for the warm hug and encouragement  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: marta1234 on January 19, 2021, 07:39:09 AM
Mojay, my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain, and everything youre going through, and just like San said, Im here too and am like a safety net. I always read your posts, and although Im not doing well with mental energy these days to reply, I always wish you well.
Remember, one foot in front of the other, even if its a small step, like going to bed, or drinking water before sleeping. But if this is all too hard, its ok to take a short break from going forward, and just stay where you are for some time. Sending you my support and care, Mojay, and know that we here on the forum will always cheer you on. You can picture us in the audience of whatever hurdle/struggle you face, and we will be the ones cheering you on, saying, Yes, you can do it Mojay! or Were here for you!. I have done this many times, imagining my support here as an audience when times are tough.

Heres a big hug, and am also adding to the fortress for your protection :bighug:
:bighug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: Kizzie on January 19, 2021, 04:27:35 PM
Sending as much comfort and support is possible MoJay  :hug:  :hug:  :hug: 

Living in the same house with those who caused your CPTSD is incredibly difficult, it's why many of us move away and go no contact. Feeling/being trapped in ongoing relational trauma is one of the things that led us to develop CPTSD in the first place and then exacerbates it. 

I hope when you do get to talk with your T you will tell her how badly you're feeling and maybe strategize on what you can do about it. For example, I was thinking as I read about how you enjoy your plants about whether there is a nursery/greenhouse nearby or indoor gardens you could go to to give your nervous system a daily break? (We do have a lovely thread called The Potting Shed you may find soothing/helpful - https://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=13543.msg102378#msg102378.) 

Perhaps a walk would help, the a nature show, a gardening group, somewhere or something that helps you to feel safer and have a break from triggering?  Extra sessions with your T might also be helpful if you can cover it. 

Reaching out and talking here as you have may also help to bring some of that sense of being overwhelmed and hopeless down.   :grouphug:




Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: dollyvee on January 19, 2021, 05:27:30 PM
Hey Mojay - sorry that it's such a difficult time rn. For me, I can only be back at with some of my family in very small doses. So, you're doing really well! During the first lockdown here, I was having a really hard time with my neighbours and started going on a walk for an hour a day in nature with not a lot of ppl around. I don't know if there's something like that where you are, but it was so helpful and gave me a lot of strength.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 20, 2021, 07:37:28 AM
Marta, Kizzie & Dollyvee, thank you all so much for your support. You have all given me such wonderful suggestions and I have taken them to heart. I feel so validated and heard on OOTS and very much appreciate everyone, the last journal entry was a doozy (edited it to make it less triggering!!) so I really appreciate everyone coming together to help me  :grouphug:

I am feeling better today after therapy and spending time out of the house. Still not "out of the woods" (even though I spent most of the day in the woods haha) but I am certainly feeling less turmoil. I have also felt some restored hope for my future that, strangely enough, came from making mistakes. I feel like I have made some mistakes or backslid a bit, but I was able to get myself back on track - especially with the help of others. I feel less alone and I am grateful for the compassion I've received.

I feel like I can't trust anyone right now. My family has betrayed me so many times and I feel like my friends have betrayed me because they don't do anything to try to help me. I can't even talk to the group chat about how I'm feeling without them changing the subject.
I was able to talk through my feelings with my friends more, we came to the solution of me letting them know what I'd like from the conversation. For example, if I just needed to vent, wanted suggestions or just wanted an e-hug. I feel very ashamed because I feel like I may have hurt their feelings or overwhelmed them with my intense emotions :/ I also feel ashamed that I felt so betrayed by them (even though that feeling didn't last). Regardless, it still felt good to talk it through and come up with a plan so I do not feel so abandoned in the future.

I am going to ask my therapist tomorrow for three sessions this week. Seeing a therapist three times a week is more than I've ever done!! Our session today was very helpful though, I was able to talk about my SI and feel validated. We also revisited/reworked my safety plan, so that was very helpful to me. I definitely feel less scared of having "no options" and am seeing the light again. I decided to start a physical journal specifically for writing down those intense SI that I wrote about in my last journal entry - I really don't want to trigger anyone on OOTS but it was helpful to write it down.

Today I spent a lot of time in the state park's trails and then tended to my air plants - it was bath day for them! I also worked on my resume, a job alert came in this morning which is very exciting!!  Maybe the universe heard me asking for a positive way out of my situation  :Idunno:

This evening I watched a movie with M. I did not want to talk to her about how I have been feeling except for saying "I'm having bad side effects from the Lexapro" but I think that was okay. It was nice to enjoy each other's company and watch a cute movie. I pulled a muscle in my neck so she was very helpful and got me an ice pack and helped me position the pads for the TENS unit so I did not have to keep moving around. It felt really nice to be cared for by my M. I think this helped shift my attitude from feeling only betrayed by my FOO to seeing that there was still someone I could count on. Our relationship has had it's ups and downs but it has really strengthened over the last year which I am grateful for.

All in all, feeling much better than I was on Monday. Like Marta said, one step at a time!
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: marta1234 on January 20, 2021, 12:06:29 PM
Mojay, Im happy that youre feeling better and finding some (even minuscule) light, it can be very scary when you go into these periods of SI. I also wanted to add that youre not alone in feeling ashamed or unsure whether you should be laying out your intense emotions to your friends, Ive been on that train a lot of times, and occasionally I still do. I find that its a balance, but remember, nothing is perfect so its okay if there are bumps on the road.
I also wanted to congratulate you on putting your needs first and taking the step of asking for therapy sessions 3x a week, it takes lots of courage to ask and be there for yourself  :cheer:
Sending you lots of love and care, Mojay, and remember, were always here for you, to listen, show empathy and be a place where you are understood  :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: Blueberry on January 21, 2021, 06:37:58 AM
Seconding everything marta says!

 :hug: :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: dollyvee on January 22, 2021, 11:37:31 AM
I feel like I have made some mistakes or backslid a bit, but I was able to get myself back on track - especially with the help of others. I feel less alone and I am grateful for the compassion I've received.

Congrats  :cheer: sounds like you've come out the other side and saw it with some distance. For me, EFs have gotten "easier" over time in the sense that I can start to recognize when I'm spinning out and take steps to ground myself, looking at what might be causing the triggering.

Excellent news about the job application - I hope it goes well.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on January 26, 2021, 08:08:58 AM
1/26/2021
I had an interview today!! For an art consulting role, which I've been trying to get back to. I don't feel very confident about the interview because on Sunday I was asked to schedule the interview for Monday afternoon. I said yes, but it left me with little time to prepare. I'm happy that I interviewed though, I think I'd like working at the company and I think I could be a good consultant for them, too.

I've been having an issue with my eye, I think because of the rTMS. Seeing the optometrist on Wednesday to rule out anything else more serious than muscle spasms & fatigue.

Had some really triggering interactions with my B today. I've mentioned before that we share a bathroom - I don't want to share too many specifics but I've been realizing that bathrooms & my B are very triggering for me. I can't stand when people push my boundaries (especially him!!!!) and I feel like he is pushing my boundaries again as it relates to privacy in the bathroom. I don't know if it's purposeful, I don't think I will ever know if any of my suffering at his hand was "purposeful". It's very frustrating.

Sometimes I really feel like my FOO was designed to make me fail.

Keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for this job because it would be a chance to escape this situation. I really don't like feeling this way!! I just want to move on with my life. Looking forward to therapy tomorrow to talk more about what happened with B.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: Alter-eg0 on January 26, 2021, 02:25:10 PM
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, too, mojay.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on February 08, 2021, 06:53:52 AM
Thank you Alter-Ego, I really appreciate that!!



Having a hard time lately. I've been triggered all the time living here. My F has been verbally attacking my about being LGBT. He's been drunk almost every day. On Saturday he got arrested for firing a gun in the house. He has been in jail since Saturday and is seeing the judge on Monday at 1:30 pm. The police took all of his guns which is good imho.
I'm really upset about the whole situation. I've been feeling like something like this was going to happen. He was not aiming the gun at any of us, perhaps was aiming it at himself? But it was after arguing with myself and M, I was shutting him out because of how hateful he was being towards my identity and he did not like that I was refusing to talk to him.
I was video chatting with a friend & having a hulu watch party w/ my headphones in when the gunshot happened. I heard it but I thought that my M had dropped part of the dresser she was putting together. No one was injured but the police were called by M, I didn't know. It was pretty scary. None of the cops were wearing masks either which really sucked because now I'm worried about catching covid from those interactions. When they arrived to try and secure the house, I had to leave my room through my window, they did not want me to walk through the house in case D was going to hurt someone. I've had a feeling for a long time that this would happen and my plan was always to leave through my window, so it felt weird to actually be doing it.
I'm glad that all the guns are confiscated. That has been really worrying me if he decides to hurt my M or anyone else with a gun. He has pointed one at my B before and this is the second time he has fired one in the house. M is determined for divorce ASAP. The police gave us domestic violence packets and there are resources in there that I think can be helpful.
I'm worried that the judge will put F on parole and he will have to stay at home & not be allowed to leave the state to stay at his cabin - which is originally what M wanted him to do regarding the divorce. I'm worried that him returning home after this incident will cause more violence.

I did have a second interview for the job via zoom. It didn't go so well. F found a way to interrupt that even though I explained beforehand that I had an interview and needed to not be interrupted. It really distracted me and threw me off and the interviewer did not like the interruption. Aside from that, I found a place to live in the same state as the job. I have been considering moving regardless of having the job or not. I can survive for a few months on savings and I might be able to start work as a temp with a company I used to work for in that area. The commute would be long for the temp roles, but maybe I could find something closer?? ??

I want to leave here so badly but now I'm scared to leave M alone with F.

TMS has been a mess. The only technician left at the clinic got Covid, he is doing okay. I do not think I will be returning though. The clinic could only get someone to cover 2 days last week and on the second day I felt the substitute tech did not set up the machine correctly and it was targeting the wrong part of my brain- it was causing unusual muscle spasms which usually points to the target being the motor cortex. Also none of the usual precautions were followed and she also walked out of the room while the machine was going, so I called her back in and stopped the treatment. The original tech has been in touch and said he hopes to return Wednesday, but that will only have been 10 days from when he got a positive covid result. I feel like that's too soon. I'm just getting more and more uncomfortable with the clinic's practices.

I think I am going to donate blood to the Red Cross so I have have the Covid serology test done, I know there is more than one strain of Covid but I'd like to know if I've at least had it, that way I can stop worrying so much about catching it.

I'm so stressed out right now in light of all this commotion in my life. I wish I could be more active on here but I've just been hiding.  :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: dollyvee on February 08, 2021, 10:27:36 AM
I felt like living around my family always resulted in me having chaos in my life and disorganised thinking. I put an ocean between us and even though it was a struggle, and still is at times, it was probably the best thing I've done for myself. It's forced me to grow so much and brought a lot of good opportunities in my life (despite still having that voice inside that says it will crash and burn but we're dealing with that  ;D). It's probably a different life than what I might have envisioned but I know deep down it's my life.

I'm sorry things are so complicated and difficult at home rn  :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on February 09, 2021, 12:53:31 AM
Mojay, you are dealing with so much in your life. I just want to sent you my support and care.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on February 14, 2021, 09:15:00 PM
Thank you for the support NotAlone & DollyVee.

I'm still having a really awful time. I'm feeling so stressed and upset. I haven't signed a lease but I found a place to live in another state but i don't have a job yet so I don't want to move. At the same time I can't imagine staying here any longer. The art consulting position has so many interview steps and I'm losing steam. We had a 2 hour zoom interview on Friday and I was told there would be ANOTHER interview after that. Before the next interview I have to answer a huge document full of questions (like, 22 pages) and I just don't have the energy to do it. It's a lot of situation questions and I don't have the emotional energy or physical energy to complete it but they expect it by EOD Tuesday. I think I will have to pull my application because I just can't do it.

My F is trying to be allowed back home and I agreed but it's making me so stressed.
I just wish I had someone who would put my needs first. I feel like that's what family is for but obviously not my family. I just wish I had someone I could count on. I'm feeling really upset with myself.
There was another art consulting position that I saw advertised and I messed up my application by applying to two positions. I knew I should just hold off and do more research but I feel so desperate to get out of here that I just applied to both positions. After doing some research I discovered that this is not a good move and will most likely disqualify me. I'm really really really upset about this.
I feel like I'm always running away because I can never just be in a secure position in my life. I feel like I've never had security and it's making me so miserable.
I just wish I had somewhere to go that felt safe but I've never had anywhere that felt like "home" and I have no way of improving my life. My work history is so spotty because of the CPTSD/break downs that have always resulted in losing jobs and having no references or consistency.
I just want something good to happen without it having all of these huge negative drawbacks. I'm just so exhausted by all of this and my inability to be stable and move my life forward. I'm slipping back into feeling suicidal because I just want to escape the pain.  I think that feeling of wanting to escape the pain is what drives a lot of my decisions without thinking through them and that just causes me more distress.
I don't know how I'm going to get these questions done for the art consulting application and now I've ruined my only chance at finding another job soon. I really hate myself rn. I'm in so much pain and feel so much inner turmoil and there's nowhere I can go and nothing I can do to escape this feeling except to keep trying to find a job and leave here, but I messed up that too. Ugh.  Sorry this is so much rambling I just needed to get some thoughts out.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on February 22, 2021, 11:32:38 PM
A happy update: I'm moving out!!!  ;D
I've been busy with part of the consulting job application which is still ongoing so I'll be leaving here before knowing if I have a job with them!
But I decided to move out anyways. I'm feeling anxious bc I'll be moving without a job, but I can be comfortable living on savings for 3 months (and less comfortable for 6 months). I feel confident that I can get a job in 3 months but I'm still anxious.

I'm really hoping that I'll feel better when I'm out of this toxic environment. Right now I mostly feel anxiety about not having an income and moving during a pandemic... Then some other emotions that are all tangled up about my family. For now I want to focus on moving and preparing for my next interview with the consulting company, I think this would be the final interview ?? Fingers crossed!
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: Blueberry on February 23, 2021, 10:39:46 AM
A happy update: I'm moving out!!!  ;D
:cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on February 23, 2021, 02:12:26 PM
A happy update: I'm moving out!!!  ;D

 :cheer:       :applause:
A brave and healthy decision.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: Snowdrop on February 23, 2021, 02:18:01 PM
Great news, Mojay! :cheer:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: dollyvee on March 02, 2021, 11:25:32 AM
A happy update: I'm moving out!!!  ;D

Such good news! I hope the interview goes well and you can get a little rest now  :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on March 05, 2021, 05:16:04 PM
I'm settling into my new apartment. like my roommates, generally I think it's a good fit. The younger roomie isn't very covid-cautious though so that's been bothering me but I think it's a valid thing to bring up so I'm going to try to do that eventually. The other issue is my allergies with the dogs. I'd really like to live alone but I just can't afford it.

I was offered the job with a start date of 3/29/21 and am waiting for them to send me the contracts. I'm feeling really anxious about it because they want me to sign a non-compete agreement but I don't make enough money with them to sign away my right to work for someone else. I'll have to read the fine print and maybe get an employment attorney to look over it. I'm also worried because I did something bad and lied on my application by putting a graphic that wasn't mine into my portfolio. I really don't know why I did that other than I wasn't thinking clearly because of what happened with my F and I felt like I wasn't good enough. I spent the next few days being really unstable and feeling really suicidal and was so angry with myself for doing something (lying) I promised myself I would never do again. After I sent the portfolio with the stolen work, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire. When I finished the questionnaire I sent it back with my resume and an honest portfolio. I'm really hoping that they do not notice but i have so much anxiety over the fact that this could cause me to be fired at any time and if I sign a non-compete I won't be able to work in my field.

I feel pretty bad about everything to be honest. I'm feeling more and more hopeless and feel especially vulnerable because of everything that's happened with my FOO. I guess I just feel really alone and it's paralyzing me. I need to get more stuff done but I haven't been able to do a lot because I feel so paralyzed. I don't know how I'm going to work like this.

I've been feeling so angry with my FOO. I don't know how anyone could ever move past being betrayed so thoroughly by the people who are supposed to care for you and nurture you. Maybe I will make a post on the FOO board, there's a lot I want to say because there's a lot I've realized about those people after everything that's happened.

Maybe it's natural that I feel so unstable right now? I feel like I've been conditioned to think of my FOO as the rock that my life is built around, like a foundation of sorts. I've never really "felt" that but it's how society is supposed to be structured right? So maybe now that I'm really coming to terms with not having that foundation and seeing how negatively they've effected my life I feel unstable as a result.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on March 05, 2021, 08:53:53 PM
You've been in a very stressful situation, living with your FOO. You just moved out of that situation and into an apartment with roommates. You are starting a new job. All those things are really big. Your feelings make sense.
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: dollyvee on March 06, 2021, 09:54:16 AM
That's great progress Mojay - congrats on the job. You sought to rectify the situation and take responsibility for your actions. This is big and separates you from your FOO.

Second what notalone has written - that you've gone through a lot and all these emotions will take time to settle. It's understandable that you are worried about making enough to survive. Perhaps there's terms under which the non-compete clause allows you to work for another company?
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: Blueberry on March 06, 2021, 12:28:41 PM
Mojay, I 'third' what notalone said.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: mojay on March 23, 2021, 09:50:28 PM
Quick good news everyone!
I got my old job back with the company that I really like!! Currently I'm an independent contractor and not a regular employee, but it's the company that I was employed with in 2019 before taking medical leave/moving. I decided not to move forward with the other job I accepted, which lead to a really difficult & unexpected phone call. I had emailed the company and they followed up with a call which I wasn't expecting. In therapy we discussed the severe anxiety (shakes, breathing fast, heart racing) from the phone call and came to the conclusion that it was yet another trauma response. I'm finding it easier to pinpoint these reponses and see how often I'm actually reacting to things in this way... it's really troubling to me that I react this way so I'm glad that I'm gaining more of a hold over it.
I'm finding myself having these trauma responses to stressful interpersonal situations. Usually the response is black/white thinking, catastrophizing, rigid "solutions" & severe anxiety afterwards.

This really bothers me, it's funny because I can pinpoint this being an issue throughout much of my life by memories... even though I don't have many memories! This has been a huge detriment to my interpersonal relationships and is *maybe* a symptom of BPD??  In any case, I'm feeling more confident and hopeful now that I can work towards controlling these responses.

Feeling glad to be here :)
Title: Re: MoJay's Journal Attempt
Post by: notalone on March 25, 2021, 10:02:09 PM
Congratulations on your job.