We have been having a very difficult time lately but can’t concentrate long enough to blog about it, which is the homework assignment given to us by our psychiatrist on Friday. She asked me at our last session to start keeping a diary and bring it in to our sessions; instead, I brought an old diary from 2004, which was written in various states of consciousness, often while we were dissociating. There was so much I wanted to tell her, to read to her from the diary, to explain to her-but I just couldn’t stop crying long enough to get the words out, and I didn’t have the energy to talk to her anyway.
It was all I could do just to get to the appointment. On the way there, in the car, I pounded on the steering wheel and screamed and yelled curse words, tears streaming down my cheeks. I was shaking and hyperventilating and my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. I took 1 mg Xanax- thankfully there was part of a bottle of water still in the cup holder from a couple of days earlier. It was difficult to see through my tears as I drove to my doctor’s office. Not only that, but once I got close-within a few blocks-I got confused and forgot which way to go and I took a wrong turn…sigh…I got lost on the way to a psychiatrist’s office which I’ve been visiting regularly for 2 years. I figured this would make us late but as it turned out there was another patient ahead of us.
Whew~what a relief to get to her office safely, to park the car, to look around frantically and find no other people in the parking lot. I cursed out loud to no one. I took another drink of water and looked at myself in the visor mirror. I was a wreck, an absolute mess. My hair was all wind-blown and I had sweat pouring down my face, mixing with the tears pouring from my eyes…I was wearing black sunglasses but you could still see the tears running down my cheeks. My bangs were sweaty and stuck to our forehead. I had on no makeup, not even lipstick, and the sunlight accentuated each blemish, scar, and bump on our face. My cheeks were flushed red from crying and I was huffing and puffing and I looked like I might explode or something. I searched the car desperately for a napkin or tissue, to wipe my forehead and face, but I found nothing, so I pulled my shirt up and used it to dry my eyes and cheeks and forehead. I didn’t have a brush with me, so I finger-styled my hair and longed for a hat. Thought about taking another Xanax, but can’t remember now if I did or not. I was quite unsteady on my feet as I got out of the car and walked to the door.
Inside, I found a couple sitting in my usual spot (the corner) so I was upset about that on top of already having to hold my breath to keep from crying. I watched my hands trembling as I tried to sign my name but for a minute I was unable to remember how to write it. I had to think really hard, and even then it seemed foreign to me as I wrote out my first and last names; I don’t think I used my typical handwriting-it looked unfamiliar to me. I sat down and took out my phone to Tweet. (I Tweet when I’m nervous or upset.) Pretty much immediately I started having a serious freakout, but luckily at that moment the doctor called for the couple in the corner, and realizing I had some precious time to spare, I somehow found a voice with which to squeak out to the receptionist, “Do I have time to go smoke a cigarette?” That’s funny because I quit smoking 2 years ago, although we have been known to cheat now and then. At that time, Friday morning, I would’ve given just about anything to smoke a cigarette, but we had none. She told us the doctor would be a few minutes, so I practically sprinted out of the office.
I got into my car and locked the doors, looking around me, all paranoid. I suppose I could’ve turned on some music but at the time it was so loud in my head that I couldn’t stand any more noise around me. The noise on the inside was louder than the noise on the outside, and it was nearly unbearable. I did the only thing I knew to do to quiet the voices, the yelling, my screams–I dug around in the car until I found a small stash, and I smoked a couple of hits of marijuana. Sometimes it really is the only thing that will help calm me down. So I took a couple of tokes-not enough to get me stoned, just enough to take the edge off- and tried to talk myself down from this state of panic and sense of being overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it through a therapy session, and I pondered driving away, but part of us knew that we desperately needed to see the psychiatrist and so we stayed. Didn’t get out of our car until we saw the couple from before come out of the office.
The doctor was waiting for me inside, and as soon as she told me to sit down, I collapsed into a chair and started sobbing. There was just too much to tell her, too many thoughts, too many feelings, I had too many questions for her and didn’t even know where to start. I was having trouble getting words out at all, so she paged the receptionist and asked her to bring me a glass of water. With it in my hand, I took another 1.5 mg Xanax. Tried to take slow, deep breaths and finally, after what seemed a really long time, I was able to speak. I couldn’t sort my thoughts and found it quite difficult to express myself with words. Pictures would have been better–I’ll have to remember to take a sketchbook and pencil next week. Every time it seemed I was going to get my point across, I’d forget what I was talking about and start stammering, searching for the end of a sentence which no longer made sense to me. God it was frustrating! And the tears kept interfering, and the gasping for breath…
It’s a terribly inconvenient time for me to be this depressed. Mom doesn’t know; well, she knows we’re blue and not eating and wearing my pj’s a lot. But she has no idea that I’ve given up on my personal care altogether. I’m not eating or drinking anything but caffeine and alcohol. I’m self-harming. Two weeks ago I was binging and purging, now I’m just purging. I don’t have enough energy to shower or get dressed. I haven’t washed my hair in over a week, probably longer. I don’t know, and frankly, I don’t care right now. It’s hard to care about shit like flossing your teeth when you’re searching for a reason to exist, just one more day. I told her I’d been sleeping for about 15 hours a day, sometimes more.
I can NOT do this right now–my mother needs me. She’s very sick-she has shingles-and is physically suffering a great deal; she cries out in pain often, and it tears at my heart. I can do nothing to help her, and the doctor tells us she could be sick with these shingles for 3 weeks. Sigh. I just don’t have time to be depressed right now! There’s so much work to be done at home and in therapy.
I told my psych, Dr. H, that I absolutely had to see her more than every other week. I tried to explain to her that I was too sick to be left alone for 2 weeks at a time. I tried to tell her that there were different people all living in my head, and that some of them were very ill and needed intense psychiatric care. I tried to briefly explain about the K’s, and how I desperately needed the “strong one” to come out and take control of my life. I can’t understand why she hasn’t come to my rescue this time, like she has before. Usually when things get really bad, when there is just more stress than I can handle, then she comes out and takes over my life and sees to it that everything gets done, everything gets taken care of. She’s the Smart One. She’s quite productive and can multitask and is very capable of handling stressful situations. She needs to be here taking care of Mom, and taking care of K. She’d fix things. I just don’t know how to force her out; I haven’t learned how to control things like that yet. I don’t have any control over who comes out of my mind when, but usually, say in a social situation, the right K will automatically appear and handle things until she’s no longer needed. And no one ever notices that there are different K’s because generally, no one sees different K’s, just the one that they know. Each friend knows their own version of K.
But I’ve gotten way off topic. I was talking about my therapy session. I can’t remember everything that we talked about, I mainly just remember getting very upset and worrying that she was going to put us in a hospital. I tried to tell her that in the 2 years we’d been seeing her, we’d not had the courage to be honest with her about what was in our head. I’m always afraid that if they find out how sick K really is, they’ll lock her away. That, and the fact that I just do NOT trust people, makes it difficult to open up and be honest in therapy. I fear my thoughts and feelings. If they scare me, I figure they’ll scare the doctor too. And I don’t want another label, I want an accurate diagnosis. But she told me at one point during the session that it would take more than a couple of sessions to make a clear diagnosis; since I’ve only just now started to talk to her, really, we had a way to go to get to proper diagnosis and treatment.
One more thing I just remembered…. she asked me if I remembered any abuse from my childhood. I told her I couldn’t remember the actual abuse (I’ve blocked those memories) but I had little clips of memories of things which seem suspicious or not normal. So I told her about the 3 or 4 things that I recall from childhood that I find to be inappropriate memories for a little kid She asked me again to write in my diary and bring it with me next week. Incidentally, I guess I got my point across about needing to see her more frequently–I saw her Friday morning and she wants to see me again Monday afternoon. That’s as quickly as is possible. (She also gave me a prescription for yet another medication. Abilify.) Or maybe I just scared her and she’s keeping a close eye on me lest I become suicidal. So far, that’s not been a problem. Self-harm is not at all the same as suicidal actions. I can’t kill myself right now-not only is it bad karma, but my mother needs me to take care of her. I have too much to do to die right now.