So. New blog.
Today I found out that while I was away, my whole treatment team read my blog. Apparently another employee who’s not on my team found it, recognized whose it was, and told my team.
I don’t even know how to react to that.
My immediate reaction was anger and fear. It was MY space, and they invaded it. They wouldn’t dream of reading my hard-copy journal, so why would they think it was okay to read my blog?
Then there was a little bit of guilt. I’m not always the nicest person, especially when I’m struggling. I get irritable and bitchy. I don’t recall saying anything particularly vicious about them, but I know I vented sometimes, particularly about my frustrations with P. When she was telling me all this, she made a point of saying, several times, that she wasn’t offended by any of it. I tend to think that’s a sign that the other person was hurt or offended, but I probably shouldn’t make assumptions.
And being mean on my blog is better than being mean out loud, right?
For years, my mother secretly read my journals. I didn’t figure it out until 8th or 9th grade. I was having emotional flashbacks to that and simultaneously trying to stay calm and in control.
Blogs and journals aren’t quite the same thing: a blog, after all, assumes an audience. I put it out there in the public domain. There’s not that expectation of privacy you have with a journal. And I didn’t really attempt to disguise my identity or anyone else’s.
Still, it feels like my space isn’t mine anymore. I thought about making it password-protected, but I still wouldn’t feel safe there. Now I have to carve out a new space for myself.
I know that, as a person who dissociates, I put a lot of walls around parts of myself and parts of my life. Everyone does that to some extent; exempli gratia, you probably don’t talk about your sex life with your boss. But I don’t know when it crosses a line from a normal, healthy boundary like that to a pathological wall.
There are parts of my life I want to keep separate. I don’t want people I know in real life reading my blog. It functions for me like a support group, and I need that. I need an audience, just not my treatment team. I assume they wouldn’t follow me to a support group and eavesdrop outside the door. I know that’s not quite an equivalent situation, but that’s how it feels to me. Also, benign voyeurism is human nature, I think
As a result of my parents’ total disrespect for my boundaries, I’m overly boundaried. (That’s not a word. Oh well.) But I can’t tell whether that’s what’s going on now. My mother introject part is telling me I’m being crazy and overreacting, but part(s) of me also feel like its legitimate to be upset. Just because something in the present brings up bad memories from the past doesn’t necessarily mean my reactions to the present event are invalid.
I just wish I could tell when I was overreacting to the present.
P did say that A, my trauma therapist from outside the program, declined to read it. I appreciate that she gets it. A little while before I went to the trauma unit, I mentioned to her that I have a blog. She asked if she could read it, and I said no. I was really proud of myself for that–I have a LOT of trouble saying no. I don’t know if she was remembering that conversation or just felt generally that reading it would violate my privacy and trust. Either way, I’m glad she didn’t read it.
Apparently Dr. M, my therapist at the trauma unit, knew all of this, although I’m not sure if she actually read the blog. But from what P told me, she advised my team not to tell me while I was in the hospital. That pisses me off, and I’m not quite sure why. Something about lack of autonomy and for-your-own-good dictatorship.
A week and a half before I left, there was a fire alarm on the unit. After the alarm, a therapist’s phone was missing. They went though everyone’s rooms, ransacked all our stuff, and strip-searched all of us. Dr. M didn’t understand when I told her it wasn’t my space anymore and didn’t feel safe. I got frustrated because I couldn’t find any other language to describe it differently. Maybe it’s a concept you can’t understand without a trauma history.
This feels like a similar situation in terms of space and perceived safety.
P kept trying to get me to react while she was telling me all this. I told her I didn’t know how I felt about it yet. Actually, it was that I was having too many reactions at once, and that’s hard for me to sort through until things calm down internally, and I usually need time alone.
I also didn’t want to get mad at my team. Not sure what that’s about. God knows I usually have NO problem getting mad. I had no trouble getting mad at Dr. M for not telling me. Maybe it’s a proximity thing–I feel safe getting mad at Dr. M because she’s not her and I’ll probably never see her again. But I’ve gotten mad at my team here before, so I don’t know why I want to avoid anger at them now. I will confess I was glad P felt guilty.
P asked if I would share my reactions once I figure them out. I told her probably not. I don’t want to talk about it with them–makes me squirmy. It’s like they saw me naked, but worse. I’m not ashamed of what they saw, nothing is wrong with it, but I’d rather keep it private and well-covered.
So that’s why I have a new blog. No names this time: mine, my team’s, the program’s, nothing. It’s what I need to do to feel safe again.