Therapy today was frustrating. First I was (accidentally) locked out of the office and left standing out in the cold, which feels like a metaphor for something.
Then I just didn’t want to talk. About anything…but I made the mistake of telling A that I feel totally stuck and alone, and she zeroed in on the alone part. She kept naming people and asking if I felt connected to them and asking when I last felt connected and so on. And I just wanted to scream, “SHUT UP STOP TALKING CANT YOU TELL I DONT WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS YOU ARE JUST MAKING ME FEEL WORSE.” But of course I didn’t. I just shrugged a lot and said, “I don’t know!” With mounting frustration. It wasn’t quite true–if I’d looked I would’ve known, but I just can’t stand to look at myself right now.
The whole rest of the day, I’ve wanted to binge and purge. I’ve been wanting to do that for the last few days, actually, out of nowhere, and the urges just intensified after therapy. Everything just feels so wrong and sick and I’m way too full of all of it. I need to empty it all out because everything inside me is wrong.
It probably also doesn’t help that it’s a bad pain day and a bad poop day. I’ve been crapping orange for days, and I don’t know why. Is it bad that I hope something is wrong and I’ll just die? Lots of things are definitely wrong, they’re just not wrong enough to kill me yet.
But on the good new front, my old apartment complex finally returned my security deposit, so I have an extra $975. So tomorrow if I feel up to it, I’m going to the bank and then dress shopping. B and I are also planning a road trip to Alabama for my sister’s wedding–B is big on road trips. Last summer he wanted me to go on a cross-country road trip with a couple of his college buddies, but I wasn’t up for that. This’ll be more manageable, and it should be fun.
Today I’m realizing (yet again) how screwed up I am in regards to interactions with people. I assume that “grown-ups” (by which I mean people in authority positions) are always just waiting for me to screw up so they can get mad and yell at me.
Yesterday, my regional field director texted me to tell me my candidate had tried to call me. I didn’t pick up because I was in the bathroom and didn’t recognize the number. (I only do bathroom calls for some people.) No big deal, right? People miss phone calls all the time, right?
Except I can’t stop obsessing over it. It kept me up last night, and it’s been gnawing at me all day today. I don’t know if I should text my RDD again and ask if I need to call her back or something, but I’m afraid he’ll think I’m dumb. I mean, it’s not like the candidate would call me about anything important. I’m nobody, and she’s the state attorney general. I couldn’t even get myself elected as a delegate. Then I start worrying that she was calling to chew me out for not getting elected. I only lost by one vote, so if I’d just gotten a few more people to come vote for me, I would’ve won. She probably thinks I’m totally useless.
I know I’m being ridiculous. She was probably just calling to thank me for running and for working for her. Honestly, the lady is probably too busy to call failed delegates and yell at them, and besides, she’s always seemed to me like a nice person.
This is the legacy of emotional abuse, of growing up in a family where the adults really were waiting for me to screw up so they had an excuse to attack. It makes me really angry–I shouldn’t have to spend two days obsessing about a missed phone call and all the implications thereof. It shouldn’t be that big a deal. I want to be able to be pleased and flattered that the attorney general–and probably the next governor–of Massachusetts is calling me. I want that so much, and I don’t know how to have it.
Ended up cutting for the first time in I don’t even know how long. A very long time.
Called C, which just made me feel worse, but I couldn’t hang up or she’d call the cops on me. I couldn’t even explain to her why she was making me feel worse. She just makes me feel like she’s blaming me, like it’s my fault I’m in this place, like if I’d just try harder I could find some hope and feel better. She doesn’t mean to make me feel like that, but that’s how it is.
At least when I talk to A, I don’t feel worse. I don’t feel better, but right now nothing makes me feel better. (Well, her dog does. Her dog is fucking awesome.) But I didn’t feel like I could call A at 11:30 at night. She said I could call her if I didn’t feel safe, but it feels like a boundary violation to call her so late.
I just feel so alone and hopeless. I want somebody to save me, but I know that wouldn’t be enough because what I really want is for someone to go back in time and save child-me before she was so irreparably broken.
No one ever saved me. People could’ve, but they didn’t, and that grief is more than I can bear.
I look around and I just HATE people. Everyone who didn’t save me back when I could still be saved. Families that love their kids. People who have any measure of financial security. I look at these people and I hate them so much I want to hurt them. At least then I wouldn’t be alone with this unendurable pain.
Had the meeting with Social Security this morning. I may have to pay them back for the four months I was at Sheppard Pratt last year–apparently you’re only entitled to a small stipend if you’re hospitalized for more than 30 days, which no one tells you. I don’t know how they think you’re supposed to keep paying the rent–it’s not like the property management company cares that I was in the hospital. I don’t know how I’ll afford to pay back the money if they demand that. I’m already overdrawn by the third week of every month as it is.
I did get my non-working debit card replaced at the bank–not that it matters much, since I don’t have any money and am probably about to have a lot less.
Then therapy. A decided we should play drums to release my anger, which is not even something I feel at this point. I don’t know why, but the sound of her banging on the drum was really triggering, so that idea didn’t last long.
Came home to find the pellet stove is broken. Again. We’ve had a guy out here four times to fix it in the 6 weeks we’ve lived here, but it still won’t work.
So I thought I’d go take a hot shower to warm up. Oh wait, no hot water. We’re completely out of oil. Partly that’s my fault–the gauge is in the basement by the washing machine, and I haven’t cared enough to do laundry in weeks. But my housemates knew it was low and didn’t say anything. Of course, I don’t have the money to fill it, and even if we did, it would be a few days until they could come anyway.
So there’s 2+ feet of snow, it’s below freezing, and I have no heat or hot water. I can’t afford it.
I should go back to Sheppard Pratt. I realize that at this point. But I’m fighting it.
See, I went to a caucus today. Not my town’s–I was just helping out at this one, compiling slates, getting petition signatures, bossing volunteers around (erm, organizing volunteers). For six hours, I was important and competent. I was NEEDED. I was meeting delegates and calling in numbers and making important decisions that actually affect this campaign. I felt good. (Admittedly, the oxycodone probably helped with that. I’m much happier when I’m on opiates, although somewhat stupider.)
If I go back to Sheppard Pratt, I lose out on that. First, I’ll have to lie to my RFD (regional field director), probably tell him I’m going out of state to get surgery for my UC or something. I hate lying, especially since I work for a candidate who’s strong on reducing stigma and increasing access to mental health care, but I will lie. I’m just too afraid it’ll come back to bite me in the butt someday if I’m honest about it.
And once I’m at Sheppard Pratt, I’ll be cut off completely. No computer, no cell phone, no radio. There’s a TV, but you’re not allowed to watch news. There are three phones for 22 patients, and the hours you can use them are very limited. I won’t be able to organize caucuses or phone banks or house parties. Hell, the last time I was there, i got “redirected” just for using Obama’s name because you’re not allowed to discuss politics. I won’t be allowed to go outside. I won’t even be allowed to use the bathroom without someone coming in to check. I understand the reason for all the restrictions, but they make me feel like less than a person. I lose almost all agency in my life. Not forever, but it feels like forever when you’re 500 miles from home, all alone and isolated.
The two things that have kept me hanging on through these last couple weeks are my sister’s wedding and this campaign. What if I go to Sheppard Pratt and lose the things that I’m still hanging onto? What if it makes me more hopeless?
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. If you believe you have bipolar disorder or another medical illness, please contact your primary health care professional. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of death or suicide, please call (or encourage them to call) the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to your nearest Emergency Room immediately.
If you have been diagnosed with Complex PTSD, therapy with a therapist experienced in helping trauma victims can help you get back part of your life taken from you by abuse. These posts tell you my experience as I heal. If you find yourself being triggered by any of my writng, please contact a mental health clinic or call 911. For more information, please see www.jfairgrieve.com. You are never too old to heal! I know, for I’m 74!