Thursday, September 3, 2009

Like Speaks to Like

I had a panic attack, and to get through it I tried to focus on writing what I was feeling, in an effort to NOT hurt myself. I wrote this to DT, and she did respond to my email. By the time I received her email I had already successfully talked myself in from the ledge…all by myself… YEA ME! DT was so helpful and I should probably print her email and keep it with me to re-read when it happens again. It helps me so much to be able to come here and to write and to know that there are people out in cyberspace who understand and can relate to how I feel because they’ve experienced the same thing. It makes me feel accepted…and less alone. It’s like walking through the desert alone for years, discouraged because you cannot find another person and suddenly you find others walking in the same desert, experiencing the same struggles…and there’s solidarity and encouragement there.

THANK YOU to all who read and comment….There are no words to express my gratitude…

Grace, I hear the multitude of emotions and physical sensations that you are experiencing. See if you can take you mind and imagination to a place that is soothing (like the time that you described a soothing where you feel someone stroking your head, comforting you and talking to you in a manner that is comforting.) Remember that you are safe and that you are in a place where you do not have to worry about someone hurting you!! Take yourself to a place where you feel safe, contained and comfortable. Perhaps a place where there are angels, soothing music, soothing things to the touch and sound. It is important that you can have some control over directing your feelings of safety and self regulation when you feel overwhelmed with physical sensations and anxiety. You don't have to hurt yourself, you do not deserve to be punished for anger you are feeling. You have done nothing to deserve self hatred. If you still are angry, perhaps breathing through this while writing to the person (not you) who really deserves your anger. Listen to what I would say to you about this. I respect your desire here to do something different to take care of yourself, esp. in a manner that has fewer negative "aftereffects" etc. Look around you and see that there many things in your surroundings that can be comforting, familiar and even maybe distracting... Write a story to your kids. Look at pictures of your kids when they were little and when you had fun times with them. If you think it will help, you can call me tonight, I am available till 10, as you know.

Dear DT:
What I really needed last night was reassurance that I will be ok, that I will eventually talk, and trust, and heal – LIVE! I didn’t need you to calm me down an hour after I panic. By the time an hour is passed I’ve either:
1. completely dissociated so I can be numb
2. had enough to drink so that I no longer care
3. Taken an abundant amount of ativan – again – so I no longer care
4. SI’d in some form – helps to calm me – even though that makes no sense to you, I’m sure
5. Killed myself – if you’re not breathing you don’t feel pain.
OR – some combination of the above.

Of course how the hell would you know that since I don’t tell you – but NO way I would call. No way! Trust me – by the time an hour is up – it’s too late to “imagine I’m lying on a bean bag chair” or “having someone hold me” – hello! At that point, the last thing I want is for someone to touch me, AT ALL!

I know you were just being a “therapist” – and I know that you’re not a ‘mind-reader’ – and I realize that I SUCK at communicating my “needs”…so I have only myself to blame for that.

I can write on my blog and no one will tell me I should go to DBT, or the crazy ward, or call 911.
"Write here, Grace – …let her speak here, Gracie…"
and so all of ‘us’ can write on the blog and share our feelings.

These women know so much about me and they don’t even know my name, they have never seen my face. But they understand, and they listen…and they care. And I appreciate them so much. Some pray for you, some cuss with you, and those that pray don’t judge those of us who don’t – and those who are not *spiritual* admire those who can keep their faith in spite of all they’ve been through. Like speaks to like.

I try to use that as an outlet when I can – for myself – and for you, too – so you don’t freak out and think I’m going to kill myself – as you’ve said, if it gets to that point, there’s nothing you can do anyway, so better you don’t know. And I’m not saying you don’t say some of those things, and I’m not saying you judge, and I’m not saying you don’t hear me (most of the time), and I’m SSOOO not saying I don’t appreciate what you do for me – or the time you spend helping me, emailing me, talking to me--- and EVERYTHING ELSE you do (most recently: “the rock”) I’m just saying there’s a whole other world out there that, until recently, I didn’t even know existed! And I don’t feel like an outcast, or a fake, or a freak there. And when I sign in, I take off my mask because they don’t care what I look like, or what I’ve been through, or what I say. (I’m not implying anything about “our TR”.) It’s just different – I find comfort in your voice, your words…your care and help…its just different in that world. Different because they’ve BEEN there, and they know what it feels like.

For the record, I didn’t utilize any of my “skills” above (1-5) last night– it helped just to write out my “FEELINGS” – which happened before the hour was up. Before you graciously (no sarcasm) emailed me and tried to help.

Anyway, thanks for doing your job – and being here “In the limited ways that you can be.” And thanks for doing what you say you’ll do, and being dependable – and all the other things you have done, and continue to do, for me. I’ve always said writing helps me, I can write what I cannot speak (most of the time). Even if I don’t write it, or say it to you, I can still write.

And even when I’m mad as hell at you, I still love you…
~ Grace

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