Standing On The Threshold

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Liminality

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Standing On The Threshold
« on: September 14, 2017, 07:29:04 PM »
:spooked:

Index


I've learned the hard way that a lot of people can't handle me when I'm deep in depression, and I desperately need a place where I can free myself of the darkness inside. As such, I won't go out of my way to describe graphic events and be deliberately triggering to others, but I will not censure myself -- I've done too much of that already.

So please, please stay safe. I promise I won't be hurt if you can't read or comment my posts, for now or at all. Thank you. :disappear:
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 03:16:50 AM by Liminality »

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Three Roses

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Re: Standing On The Threshold (Triggers)
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 08:11:26 PM »
 :thumbup:

It's your journal - we have fair warning! :D

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Liminality

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Re: Standing On The Threshold (Triggers)
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 09:04:05 PM »
Thank you Three Roses! :))


September 14, 2017
Triggers for this post: Medical Abuse, Child Sexual Grooming/Brainwash

Where to start.

I was proud of myself this morning. Despite my irritable bowel syndrome acting up in the middle of the night and leading to pain and insomnia, I gathered enough courage to call my family doctor first thing in the morning and got an appointment. I've been meaning to for about a week now, but using the phone is hard and extremely anxiety-inducing, so I kept pushing it back.

Not this morning though. I'm seeing her September 20 in the morning.

The reason I wanted an appointment is two-fold. First, I've been out of medication for a little over a year. I used to take a whole cocktail of antidepressant pills and such, but stopped because it didn't make any difference except messing with my thought process. Writing replaced my meds, and for a while the sheer exhilaration of being creative again made me feel a lot better than anything else did since my 2010 meltdown. However, I've been worse lately and I'm running out of PRN anxiety medication, so I need to ask for a refill.

The second reason is because I think it's time for me to ask for a second psychiatric evaluation.

The first one was done late 2010 when I got admitted in the mental ward of my local hospital, and it was nightmarish. I used to SI a lot at the time, and the psychiatrist there latched on that one thing to try and fit me into the BPD box despite me only having a max of 4 symptoms from the DSM IV category (now reduced to a max of 3 because I'm SI-free since 2011). She dosed me with heavy medication, pushed me over the edge deliberately to "prove" I wasn't in control of my emotions, and completely ignored my other, way more important claims of debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, invasive visual flashbacks, severe dissociation (derealisation/depersonalisation), and what I shyly tried to describe as "screams sometimes echoing in my head". And that was before I even heard about emotional flashbacks.

Nope. I was self-injuring, I couldn't possibly be anything else than BPD, which means that everything else was either imagination (aka, I was the bad guy) or somatisation (an excuse she legit used on me to gaslight me/dismiss my claims of harmful side-effects once after dosing me with anti-psychotic medication -- thankfully I was validated later with a basic google research).

I'm not ashamed to call it one of the worst experiences of my life, and like most of us here, I've been through a lot to put that one into perspective. It literally burned my sense of self to the ground, and made my Inner/Outer Critics so much stronger.

I got out of there after six weeks, following which I was passed along from therapist to group therapy to new therapist, none of them staying with me more than a year, none of them being able to provide any help at all. From March 2011 to December 2015 I saw 7 different therapists and was part of... 3 or 4 different support groups, can't remember anymore, it's all a blur honestly. With each new therapist/group, I was a little less able to trust, and of course was shamed because of it ("if you're hiding things from me, how am I supposed to help you?" and "If you can't trust me, why are you here at all?"). I quit early January 2016 because the program I was in at the time used a very "sink or swim" approach, and clearly I was drowning.

But now I've been out of therapy for a year and a half, and I realise the longer it goes on, the more I'm scared to try again. The least I trust people, and the more I hate humanity in general because of my Inner/Outer Critics. And I desperately need help, now more than ever since I'm starting to come to terms with the fact I may not be alone in my own mind. Those "echoes of screams" I tried to describe without having the words for it so long ago? They're a lot clearer now, and I can "see" some of them when I close my eyes. Children. Teens. A tree. A cat. They don't talk to me in words, but they communicate with screams, bursts of emotion and abstract colours/forms. And some of them have names.

I don't have amnesia (as far as I know). But I used to as a child. A few times (at least two that I remember of) people came to me and told me about things I did or said, which I still can't remember saying or doing. And my mother is very fond of talking about how I used to go berserk at times, screaming and crying and throwing things around before calming down and going on as if nothing happened. And this is textbook one of the kids in my head, this is Kaylee, and she needs help. We both need help. And I think I owe it to myself to get that help. Try again, one last time at least.

Have no idea if it will amount to anything, and I'm terrified. I'm having panic attack over panic attack since I called. But if I keep doing nothing, I'll waste my whole life away.

My father brainwashed me into thinking that my whole worth was embodied by the fact I was a child. That when I reached adulthood, I could as well just go and die, because I would have reached my "expiration date". I'm extremely aware of how toxic it is, I haven't seen the man since I was six, and still I can't shake that thought away because something, maybe someone, is holding on to that false belief desperately.

It's been seven years since my meltdown, and I'm in my 30s already. If I don't get help, it's like letting him win, and I can't do that. I just can't.

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Blueberry

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Re: Standing On The Threshold (Triggers)
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2017, 09:47:28 PM »
Hi Liminality,

Thanks for all the TWs at the top of your thread. First I skimmed your post and now I've read it in more detail.

Good on you for making that phone call :cheer: I often struggle with that sort of small thing too, so can understand how you feel proud.

Yeah, I've been in the SI = BPD box before but was relieved when a BPD specialist said that I am definitely not BPD. There are some symptoms of mine which look a bit BPD but some other key symptoms are missing (according to this specialist). I know that in the country I'm in BPD is often diagnosed after about 5 minutes to mean 'patient = difficult'. The other reason I was put in the BPD box was that I criticised a previous therapist. With real reason! But it took a long time to find another T willing to look at that and not just say "You're obviously BPD". So I can empathise with you on this point. I hope you manage to keep going looking for a T you can work with, who takes you seriously and helps you move on from where you are (and not from where T thinks you are or should be).

I don't feel able to comment on what you mention your parents having done to you. I'm just kind of speechless.

I know about screams in my head too. And that in the past they occasionally came out. I seem to have had amnesia in my late teens. Apparently I used to start screaming with no apparent provocation, at least according to FOO. If it's true then undoubtedly the amnesia is there (and was there when I was much younger) to protect me. Maybe for you too?

I like the fact that you are taking yourself and e.g. Kaylee seriously and wanting to get help.  :thumbup: I wish you all the best! And hope you keep posting as you're able.

Re: Standing On The Threshold (Triggers)
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2017, 06:26:33 AM »
Sorry to hear about all that Liminality. I feel rather privileged - like I've struck gold when I tell people my second (and current) therapist has been the most helpful and kind therapist I know of. I can't imagine what it's like to go from therapist to therapist all the time, :( That must be so tiring, not being able to find professional help.
I hope your upcoming doctor appointment goes smoothly.
I don't really have much else to add other than I hear you. And thank you for being quite organised and neat with the 'trigger warning' system you got going on. It is quite helpful. ^^

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Liminality

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Re: Standing On The Threshold (Triggers)
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2017, 04:07:11 PM »
Thank you, Blueberry and Aphotic! I'm sorry I didn't answer before, these last few days have been difficult. Lots of dissociation and anxiety, confusion and lack of focus up to the point of sometimes being unable to understand the meaning of everyday words, insomnia and nightmares. Anyway. It's a little better right now, so I'll try and answer before it starts again.

I know that in the country I'm in BPD is often diagnosed after about 5 minutes to mean 'patient = difficult'.
Same for where I live. There's also a tradition of being very self-deprecating and sarcastic in my culture, which doesn't help as a lot of people (including professionals supposed to help you) feel entitled to joke about lack of self-worth as if being laughingstock material is something normal in everyday life, and having a sense of humour means being able to "take jokes", aka laugh when people are making fun of them no matter how mean the "joke" is. (Not sure if that sentence was as clear on paper as it is in my head. If it's not, I'm very sorry, my brain currently seems to be wired in my mother tongue instead of English.) Since I've been really sensitive to any jokes made at my expense since I was very young, I've often been labelled as prickly and difficult, something that no doubt came up when the doctors were interviewing my mother after I was admitted to the ward. (That, and the fact that my mum -- the main person they interviewed to corroborate what I was saying -- seems chronically unable to make a difference between "acting rashly/on impulse" and "verbally lashing out when triggered". Seeing as the first one is a criteria of BPD and the second one is not...)

Anyway. I just hope my doctor will agree when I ask for a new evaluation. She's been known to dismiss my concerns very quickly in the past, so I'm a little worried she'll do it again.

Apparently I used to start screaming with no apparent provocation, at least according to FOO. If it's true then undoubtedly the amnesia is there (and was there when I was much younger) to protect me. Maybe for you too?
I relate a lot to this, yes. Apparently my "screaming" episodes used to be triggered by having to go outside the house, something that is still extremely difficult for me today. I have no memory of this, except for one really strange upside-down and red/yellow-tinted image of rice crispies flying in the air (my mum said I grabbed a box and flung it in the air the very last time I had an episode, so at least I know it happened).
Those episodes occurred between the ages of 14 months and 6 years old, and stopped when my mum grabbed my shirt and held me against the wall, telling me "that's enough". She says it was done firmly but not violently and I believe her, but still I can't help thinking how absolutely terrifying it must have been for six years old me, used to see adults as looming monsters always on the brink of causing harm.

I feel rather privileged - like I've struck gold when I tell people my second (and current) therapist has been the most helpful and kind therapist I know of.
Actually the first T I saw as an adult (discounting all those I've seen as a child and teen) was great. A fantastic no-nonsense woman who had some experience dealing with trauma victims, just the right amount of both warmth and clinical distance, and was patient enough to avoid rushing me, but still called me out a few times when she noticed my mind was going in circles. She wasn't perfect, but she probably was the most helpful T I saw since I was diagnosed. Unfortunately she had to take a sabbatical year -- the few Ts that followed weren't so great, felt completely helpless before my problems, kept dropping me on other Ts, and in the end pushed me to agree to a transfer (from the public system to a BPD-specialised centre). By the time my first T came back, I was two weeks away from being officially transferred and couldn't stop the process anymore.

Sometimes I regret agreeing to the move, but at the same time when she came back I couldn't trust her anymore (as a small part of me feels she left me alone to fend for myself). It's very possible I could have rebuilt trust with her after a while, but at the time I felt it would be easier to start over with someone new who didn't carry that kind of baggage.

Thank you both for hearing me out. It helps a lot.

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Liminality

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Re: Standing On The Threshold (Triggers)
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2017, 07:39:18 PM »
September 17, 2017
Triggers for this post: Mention of self-hatred toward the end.

This morning I gave Kaylee a blanket.

I never tried interacting with my "others"/"inner children" -- something in me refused to even think about it until now, refused to even acknowledge them, because if I do it means they're real, it means I'm really not alone in my own mind. The idea of not being in complete control of my own body and mind (because I can't control the whole world, isn't it? so at least I thought I could control myself) is nightmare-inducing. But I've been hearing screams in my head for days now, and everything I read about DID and OSDD says "communication between parts" is the key to healing. I still don't know if I'm multiple or it's just that I have very strong mental representations of inner children, but I'm exhausted and ready to try anything right now.

So I closed my eyes, tried to see her in my mind. She had crawled under the last shelve of a small cupboard, one I remember from my childhood home that used to hold towels and linen, but in my mindscape was empty. She was naked and dirty, with huge dark eyes focussed intently on me, obviously scared out of her mind. So I just pictured myself leaving a soft blanket there, beside the door. She latched on it so quickly I nearly didn't see it happen, wrapped herself in it until only the top of her head was visible, then went to sleep.

Blessed silence.

It's an extremely alien sensation to feel tenderness for any part of myself. But as I watch over her, the only thing I can think of is how scared and helpless and hurt she is, and that the last thing I want is for her to keep feeling that way. My level of self-hate reaches unmeasurable heights, but when I look over Kaylee -- well, she's cute. Endearing. I'm not quite sure how I feel yet about parts of myself not being completely horrible and disgusting. (Please don't offer positive validation that I'm not, I don't react well to kind words about this and get triggered easily.)

I've been unable to do what needed to be done these last few days, so now that she's sleeping again, hopefully I'll be able to gather a little fortitude (or at least a few spoons) and get back to "work" (aka, writing the next chapter of my ongoing online publication). Despite hating being "hooked" on antidepressants, I can't wait to have a new prescription and get back on my own two feet.

Re: Standing On The Threshold (Triggers)
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 08:44:05 AM »
It's nice to see you taking care of that little inner child of yours, Liminality. We all need to remember to treat ourselves well, to find some compassion and tenderness for our broken parts.

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Blueberry

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Re: Standing On The Threshold (Triggers)
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2017, 08:51:07 PM »
Liminality, just wanted to let you know I've read your post but can't formulate an answer. Which is my problem. I should go to bed actually.

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Liminality

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Re: Standing On The Threshold
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 06:06:44 PM »
Thank you, Aphotic and Blueberry.


September 22, 2017
Triggers for this post: Non-descriptive mention of CSA and grooming/brainwashing toward the end, and a rant about the actions of my non-abusive parent.

Wednesday morning I had my appointment. It has caused some mixed feelings inside and I needed some time to process before being able to put them in words. Still not completely sure how to express the upset I feel, but I'll try.

But first, the good news: I was given a prescription for small doses of Welbutrin, an antidepressant that used to energise me, so hopefully I'll stop feeling so listless all the time. My doctor also gave me Ativan to fight anxiety, so that's good. With a bit of luck it'll help me get back on my feet enough to do the work that needs to be done.

She also put me back on the waiting list of the mental health public system. Depending how it turns out, it'll take six months to two years to be assigned either a therapist or a social worker (neither trauma-informed, unless a miracle happens), and from there I'll be able to discuss my options. I'm of two minds about that -- some parts of me say "this will be a disaster and amount to nothing and I don't wanna goooo", other parts remind me this is how I met the only T. that ever managed to help me a little. So we'll see. It's going to be a long time before it happens, anyway.

So that's good. More or less.

However, and this is the part I have trouble processing, when I talked to my doctor about "the voices in my head" (couldn't find a better way to quickly explain what's going on) she answered with "but you already told me about that about five years ago, I remember that perfectly".

First, what?

Second, if I told you there's people living in my head, why the #@Łą€!"/$%?&* am I still alone to deal with this?!

Third, what?!

I have no memory of telling her or anyone else about this. Zero, niet, nada. I did manage to figure out Kaylee waking up and screaming then going back to sleep again is a cyclical thing, something I seem to forget every time it happens. Following this realisation, I guess it makes sense in a way that I would forget everything pertaining to those events. It makes sense, but it terrifies me. Feeling out of control triggers me something fierce.

From what I gathered off the conversation we had afterwards, my doctor basically confirmed that my self-diagnosis of OSDD is right, but also told me (not in so many words) that I'll probably never get it on paper because of the way they run the mental health system where I live. They just clump it on with "normal" symptoms of BPD. I can live with that. Honest. I can, as long as I'm taken seriously when I talk about my symptoms and troubles next time I see a therapist. Wait and see. I'm getting good at that.

I'm still angry though. Angry and scared and helpless. Actually, I'm probably having an EF, because I'm feeling the exact same way as when my mum told me that she saw something weird in the way my father was with me when I was three, and decided to do nothing because (in her words) "you were too young, nobody would believe you in court, better wait until you were older". :doh: So I spent nearly three more years being groomed and brainwashed, the abuse escalating of course as the years passed, and so what? So I would "be believed in court"? Except there were still no proof acceptable in court three years later, when he finally was arrested! Then her lawyer convinced her to let him escape the country so he didn't even do time for it and I'm left without closure. Urgh.

I'm probably being unfair to my mum, because she did have him arrested in the end. She protected me the best she could, considering she was a victim of child emotional abuse and neglect in the first place, and I'm not even sure "NPD" describes everything my father was. Being married to him nine years wrecked havoc on her mental health and it's a miracle she's still functional today. And mostly her parenting was okay. It just wasn't enough.

Anyway.

So I'm feeling the same way with my doctor right now. If I talked about Kaylee's screams, why did nobody help me then? Or even make me feel heard? Except, maybe they did, and I don't remember. This is so confusing. How am I supposed to make sense of anything now?

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Liminality

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Re: Standing On The Threshold
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2017, 03:49:06 PM »
September 28, 2017
Triggers for this post: Happy mood, so if you feel like people are plastering their happiness in your face, please avoid this post.

Pfffeeeewwwww. A week later, things are finally starting to look up. Honestly I can't remember having being in such a funk for years now. I probably have though, but my memory is so patchy at times there's no way to know. I've had hard days, but despair lasting this long? As far as I remember, the last time I slipped that deep into my own personal mud pit was about five years ago, and I didn't miss it one little bit! :fallingbricks:

As I wrote in this post earlier this week, I hadn't been able to write since sometime early-to-mid September. After more than two weeks I was starting to be afraid it would never come back.

Well, as you can guess I was wrong. :rofl:

Yesterday I managed to add about 500 words to my next chapter. 500 words isn't that much, a good day will see me fly over twice that amount, but it's not what I call a bad day either. All in all, it's a respectable start and if I keep this up every day, I should even be able to finish this chapter for my self-imposed deadline next week.

That, more than anything else, takes a huge weight off my shoulders.

The meds also seem to be working. I've been taking them for 8 days now and already feel more like myself, able to better regulate my emotions and look up to the bright side of life. It helps that the heat wave is over, and also that despite the occasional bowels twinge still rearing its head when I move, I'm not in constant, acute IBS pain anymore.

And surprisingly, I've also regained interest in small things I used to love but left aside for... well, no reason really, I just kind of lost interest, some of them for years. Knitting for example, other small crafts, or just tea drinking. I used to be a major tea nerd interested in tea culture all over the world, with a whole cabinet to hold my teapots and various types of tea, but for the last few years that cabinet has been sitting in my living room untouched and I've been drinking herbal tea instead of the puerh I love. It's understandable in a way I guess, seeing as it seems depression has a way to change how the taste buds work, less sensitive to sweet things, less able to taste complex flavours, and a lot more sensitive to bitterness. Some kinds of puerh can be really bitter when over brewed (and even when it's prepared properly, bitterness is one of its many charms), but it never bothers me much except when I'm feeling down, then it attacks my tongue and sends really nasty aftershocks to my brain. Anyway this isn't a treatise on tea, my point is that I haven't enjoyed a cup of puerh for at least two years (I did drink some, but hated it every time), and now I've been drinking it for the last two days and wow, had forgotten how much I love it.

Things aren't perfect. I don't yet have the energy to carry on most of my interests, and focussing more than five minutes in a row is still hard, and I'm guilty of a lot of self-neglect too (really need to clean my apartment and take that shower). My sleeping patterns are still off and I can feel my insiders being restless, it's not quiet in my head by any stretch.

But I'm writing again, and knitting, and drinking tea. The weather is cool outside and I'm not in acute physical pain anymore.

And that makes all the difference in the world.

Re: Standing On The Threshold
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 01:04:24 AM »
It makes me so happy to hear about this, Liminality. :) I'm so glad things have been a bit more positive for you.
And you're right, 500 added words may not seem much but it's something!
Also happy the meds are working! I know it doesn't work for some people, so it's really great they work for you!

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Happy mood, so if you feel like people are plastering their happiness in your face, please avoid this post.
I find that interestingly fellow CPTSD victims' happiness doesn't bother me at all and makes me feel a little better even, but those without any complications who are happy all the time make me envious or just mad. :Idunno:

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Liminality

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Re: Standing On The Threshold
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2017, 02:44:54 AM »
Thank you Aphotic! ^^ Another 500 words today, I'm keeping it up! With a bit of luck I'll manage to pick up speed and be ready for NaNoWriMo this November.

I find that interestingly fellow CPTSD victims' happiness doesn't bother me at all and makes me feel a little better even, but those without any complications who are happy all the time make me envious or just mad. :Idunno:
For me it depends on my mood. Most of the time I don't mind and will be happy for happy people, but sometimes I wake up grumpy and the mad kind of sad, and everything irritates me. :doh:
And sometimes when I try to open up to happy people they unwillingly shut me down because they're too caught up in their happiness to hear me, and that makes me pick up a grudge against happy people until the feeling passes. :snort: So yeah. I'd rather not do the same to others. ^^

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Liminality

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Re: Standing On The Threshold
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2017, 02:50:43 AM »
(By the way, Aphotic, you might be interested to know I currently have a bunch of insiders telling you: "You're super kind and we like you very much and thank you for always answering our posts thank you thank you thank you we like you a whole lot." I think that comes from those I call/they call themselves 'Princess' and 'Caroline', but I'm not completely sure. Anyway, there you go. I kind of agree, too.)

Re: Standing On The Threshold
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 09:15:55 AM »
Thank you Aphotic! ^^ Another 500 words today, I'm keeping it up! With a bit of luck I'll manage to pick up speed and be ready for NaNoWriMo this November.
Awesome! :D Really good to hear. Hope it keeps up.

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For me it depends on my mood. Most of the time I don't mind and will be happy for happy people, but sometimes I wake up grumpy and the mad kind of sad, and everything irritates me. :doh:
And sometimes when I try to open up to happy people they unwillingly shut me down because they're too caught up in their happiness to hear me, and that makes me pick up a grudge against happy people until the feeling passes. :snort: So yeah. I'd rather not do the same to others. ^^
That's fair enough. :) Very understandable. Interesting to hear how others see it and feel.

(By the way, Aphotic, you might be interested to know I currently have a bunch of insiders telling you: "You're super kind and we like you very much and thank you for always answering our posts thank you thank you thank you we like you a whole lot." I think that comes from those I call/they call themselves 'Princess' and 'Caroline', but I'm not completely sure. Anyway, there you go. I kind of agree, too.)
Awh, wow. Thank you so much, I'm really flattered.  ;D I try my best to respond to people or at least let them know I've read their stuff. I can't always read endless walls of text and respond lol but I have the occasional day where I can and it's nice. :) Send your inners my cheers.