Being raised by therapists

Hi,

A very tricky part for me is to explain what trauma does to a developing brain. I’m really not good at it. I’m going to try to give it a shot.
The abuse has been in my childhood for as long as I can remember, and experiencing trauma creates a stagnation in emotional development. So basically, as I see it, I do grow up and learn to talk and stuff, but emotionally I was stuck at the age of trauma. (which also explains the big troubles with emotions, children can not deal with emotions > trauma happened to me at a very young age > stagnation > emotional child)

Anyway, what I wanted to talk about or actually write/type… I feel like I am being raised by therapists. I remember getting into a therapy group when I was 16 and leaving at 17, I was there for 13 months and they taught me some few minimal basic stuff. Like when I was feeling something, I really did not know what the word was, that went with the feeling. They learned me, it was disappointment. It took me 13 months to learn the word disappointment with the feeling (and I’m not even talking about mentioning it while I’m feeling it huh 😉 )

It’s all these kind of small things, that therapists are teaching me. And actually I’m going from therapist to therapist, just switching and hopping from one to another. Bonding and breaking the bond.. hop on, op off.. 😉

Today I had my final talk with Betty (which means I will never see her again) and she asked me what I learned in my 18 months at the treatment centre there, the question was referred to the contact between me and my mother. I told her that I learned to apologize for my behaviour to my mother.
It’s a known fact that my mother irritates me sometimes, mostly it relates to my youth and it’s triggering. Which makes me burst and scream at her.
It took me (yep…) 18 months to learn to communicate with her and to tell her later on (when I’m calm again) ‘sorry momma for yelling at you, I was upset because of ……… but I didn’t mean to yell’
They told my mother to tell me what my yelling does with her and how it makes her feel and to accept my apology.
After that, we’re good again.
(Side note; my age is 22)

I also learned that apologizing for my behaviour does not mean apologizing for my feelings, because that’s not necessary. It’s just feeling angry does not give me the right to yell at my mother and I need to take responsibility for my actions. (Wow, they taught me well 😉 )

So, my biological mother and father can’t give me the parenting I need. But I sometimes really feel like I’ve got a lot of mothers (because most of my therapists are women) and a few dads. They do parent me. I just don’t get to keep them. Which is a shame sometimes.

xoxo
Brianna

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Overload of tears

I can’t remember the last time I cried this much.
It can’t be that long ago, but I’ve been doing pretty ok, keeping myself pretty stable. Crying doesn’t mean I’m unstable, but it’s really a waterfall.

It started around 11.30 am at therapy. Got my ass whipped for speaking up. (basically > just speaking my point of view) Afterwards got all compliments from the girls for speaking up.
Anyway it didn’t help, tears came out. Unfair. No openness. Why would you kick my ass.

I don’t understand.

Right now, I’m still crying. Almost 10.30 pm.
I have periods of hyperventilating, although I do feel that’s more ‘Brenda crying’ because it’s very limitless. I completely drown in all sorrow and my own tears.

I can’t even grab Brenda’s hand and help her. I’m drowning myself. I’ve got my/our security blanket in my hand, all the time, and it brings comfort, a lot, but it doesn’t stop the tears from coming.

I feel completely broken. The road ahead feels shattered.
I feel like I’m standing alone, Brenda is shaking on her legs, trying to hold her own weight, standing behind me/hiding. And I don’t know what to do.

I really wish I had Abraham by my side right now. Not just because he gives the best advice ever. But because I’d like a hug. Brenda wants him around too.

I don’t think, well I’m pretty sure, I wont be going to therapy on Monday. I need the rest. I’ll go on Wednesday again, because 1. Brandon will be there (he’s the only half-save person there.) and 2. the ass-whipper is there as well. < Balance, right?

Right now you can really carry me away. My eyes are swollen. My head is about to burst. I am so upset, even the nap I had this afternoon (before the nap I cried, and after I woke, I started crying again!) didn’t regulate my feelings/state of mind.

What are my options?

Smile though your heart is aching

I’ll do what you expect me to
I’ll smile as you want me to
At home I’m still crying as I used to
& I promise, I wont show you

Yesterday I had therapy, and a talk with Brandon. It was very confronting, Brenda was very upset, I was tired. Brandon was asking me if I recognized myself in Stockholm syndrome. Questions about my father and the whole ‘hierarchy’ at home. It’s really blurry.

At one point, I don’t even remember how we got there, the thought came in to my mind… Brandon is telling me I’m a whore.. I’m my dad’s whore.

So Brandon was talking about something.. (God knows what)

Brandon; ……………………..
Me *while looking down*; So you’re saying I am his whore?
Brandon; That’s not what I’m saying.

Of course, I could believe him. And of course, that’s not what I did. I think I decided to test him. YET AGAIN. I knew, what I was expecting, I knew, the old Brandon, would respond like ‘plan A’ for instance, but there came Peter screaming in my head that he’s not saying it, but he’s thinking it.

So suspicious Brianna suddenly made direct eye contact with Brandon

Me; But that’s what you’re thinking? 

My voice was freakishly calm, without judgement in it.
Of course I made the eye contact to see the look on Brandons face, to really see if he was lying or not. But Brandon being who he is, plan A won, he kinda looked surprised at me for asking that and a little confused.

Brandon; no

I could see he really did not think I was a whore. I trust him. It’s save and ok now. In fact, it was save and ok all along. He passed the test.
And it’s weird to think of why would you test someone.
It’s not something I decide to do, of course, I’m doing it! I know that, because I learn to look at myself and my behaviour. But in that moment I am not aware of me testing him. I think it’s something in me that’s automatically doing that. Seeing if it’s still ok to ‘hang out’ or ‘talk with’ Brandon, is he still save.

xoxo
Brianna

I didn’t sign up for this!

Hi,

It’s almost  6 am. I am sitting on the couch typing this, and I am actually ready to go to therapy. However, I am still tired.
First of all, I didn’t go for the legal advice yesterday, I figured I’m just too tired.

But.. the reason why I’m writing, I had a nightmare. (Which isn’t weird when you suffer from ptsd but..) I am going back and forth between ‘adult’ thinking ‘ah well.. sucks..’ (< to be continued though) and child thinking ‘what the hell? what about this medication I’m taking against nightmares? I want to ring the psychiatrist right now!’

This child part of me is really upset and indignant.
It wasn’t just any nightmare to be honest. It was a nightmare like I had when I was little. The same characters (a witch, a leopard, a spider).  Now that I’m awake I don’t recall knowing the people, but in my dream I knew the people who I was with. But they just didn’t care about me.
Now this might be triggering. The point is, the same thing happened. The witch chased me away (in my childhood dream she chased me away from my house) from this weird big-ass home. Which made me flee, I decided to jump into the water, which magically made me invisible for the which, but unfortunately, as usual, there was the leopard (the witch ALWAYS chased me away, INTO the arms of the leopard?!) and he was petrified underwater, but I just knew, if I looked at him too long, he’d wake up (the leopard always did abusive stuff to me and I knew this in my dream). So I kept on swimming, I felt like I was drowning, no air, still terrified. And I did this weird thing with my legs to wake my body up.

And then I woke up thinking ‘what the hell just happened?’
Although the environment in the dream was totally different every symbol in it, was exactly the same as my childhood nightmares.

So, back to the ‘adult’ thinking, although I’m doubting if I can even call it adult thinking. How am I ever gonna sleep again right?
My head is like; how about never?
But right now I’m already dog tired. So I got a plan.
Tonight! I will take my crisis medication it will knock me out into a dreamless sleep.
Thursday a friend will come over and stay the night (hurray for me, because he will be my security blanket for the night)

However! Thursday the psychiatrist is mine. No seriously, I’m calling him. And I want to up the dose of my topomax. I am scared to death of nightmares.

xoxo
Brianna

Recovery; where am I?

Hi,

The last few days have been pretty good actually! I was quite busy but in a good way. Meeting up with people and just socializing 🙂 felt real good!

Today I talked to Justy (who I met up with yesterday as well!) about therapy and something Brandon and I are ‘argue-ing’ about sometimes.
And it gave me some insights, well, she gave me some insights.

The conversation with Brandon sort of goes like this. (btw, remember me wanting my topomax from the pharmacy, because it helps against nightmare’s?)

Brandon; You need to take responsibility for your life
Me; No! This life is not my responsibility. I’ll accept my past and move on from here, see what I can do with the things that are left.
Brandon; Your nightmares are your responsibility.
Me; No, I don’t like that word. I’ll accept them, but they’re not my responsibility, I didn’t choose them.
Brandon; Whose responsibility are they then? The women from the pharmacy?
Me; Well… they’re OUR responsibility

Justy immediately said he was testing me. I asked her, testing me for what?…… Testing me on how far along I probably am in coming to terms with my past. I don’t think it’s a secret that I can be stubborn. Especially not on this blog 😉 At this moment, I refuse to call my past, and the things I’m stuck with, my responsiblity. But as I was talking with Justy about this, I felt and just knew it was a matter of time before I would be able to replace the word accept to responsiblity.

I do think refusing to take responsibility is a little ‘childish’ of me, and not in a particularly negative way. It just seems to me that I’m not ready yet to accept that it’s really true what happened. And it really can’t be changed, by no-one. I really can’t get my childhood back. I really won’t get a father and a mother, the way I want to. I really won’t be able to turn back time, or be able to erase the memories. 

But untill then, I seem to cover it up with ‘acceptance’, untill I am ready to take the acceptance blanket off. I already know what’s lying underneath. It’s responsibility.

xoxo
Brianna

A full day with PTSD

Hi,

Yesterday was a real long day for me. I guess fora lot of people it can be seen as a normal day, but to me it was exhausting.
It started out with therapy, and afterwards I had an introduction at my volunteer work.

Therapy was rough. Wednesday always seems to get to me. I wanted to take it slow because I knew, I had to spread my energy up until 10 pm at least, because then I am able to go home (from the volunteers work).

Lately, I have been having good night’s rest. I do sleep well, no nightmares, but I don’t sleep long. I used to have a lot of trouble falling a sleep, I don’t anymore. But I wake up incredibly early, and then I can’t fall asleep anymore.
Creative therapy was quite ok, but I got tired after already.
Grouptherapy, was heavy. I got a laugh-kick with another group member, which maybe was me laughing away some tension, I don’t know.
Lunch –
Training in social kills was intense as well. A lot of practise and just took a lot of energy. (We practice with setting boundaries, and making sure other people can’t cross them, due to trauma in the past (it was boundary crossing) it’s hard to know where you boundaries are etc)

After that a individual talk with Brandon, but I already noticed my body was shocking sometimes. I don’t even know what that really means, I do know I’m full of tension. It’s really ridiculous and I am ashamed of it, but it just shocks. We cut the talk short.

When I was in the taxi on my way home, I already felt the whole day being too much. I was either about to cry (in the taxi, yup) or about to dissociate (felt myself floating away). I remember how a part of me was telling myself to keep focussing on the things around me but another part of me was so scared it was just petrified and didn’t want to move or even look or focus on the stuff around.
Somehow I managed the way home. With some encouragement of Justy I got into bed for a short time, with my security blanket, in total Brenda mode (crying, feeling unsafe), I crawled under the blankets, stuffed the security blanket against my mouth and kinda fell asleep.

My mum came to my house to take me to the volunteers work for the first time. When I woke up I felt a lot better, back to Brianna-mode. I was very scared of meeting the new people and stuff, but I knew I wanted to do this because it was a great opportunity.

Let’s just say it was intense. It started at 7 pm. I did my very best. I was smiling, introducing myself. Using my voice. Coming of normal (hopefully 😉 ). But despite that, I felt a lot of derealization. I did feel myself, a bit weird though, but the whole environment was just a big haze. I kept on pushing myself through the whole evening, which was exhausting. Suddenly about 20 other people came. And again, smiling, introducing myself in front of the whole group. After that there was a sort of gathering for all the people and of course it’s normal to stay. Although I desperately wanted to go home, I did stay.

I stood with my back against the wall and watched the other people while fighting the derealization, suddenly a girl came up to me to introduce herself personally. Of course I had to take the chance again and focus with all my head on what she was saying, smiling, coming of normal. Another guy came… and they were playing tablefootbal, the girl asked me to join. I didn’t want to! But I knew… this was my chance, so I did. I joined (lost with another guy 😉 ) but it was fun. After that, another girl came and introduced herself to me. Again a lot of focussing and to be honest I was ready to drop down on the floor.
It sounds intense, but this ‘all’ happened in 60 minutes, I asked the girl ‘when are we allowed to leave?’ (probably not very smart of me, but ok) she said ‘oh youre welcome to leave anytime you want!’ and I told her I had a long day, but I wanted to be here to meet everyone, but I thought it might be time for me to go home. Said goodbye to her and went. (10.40 pm)

When I got outside, it was raining. Didn’t care. I just walked in the rain. Which was lovely!!! No coat, the cold wind, the rain.. my mum picked me up from the bus station.

Just a full day with PTSD 😉

xoxo
Brianna

Seroquel/Quetiapine – My caretaker

Hi,

Obsessive as I am, or maybe it’s a little bit nicer to say ‘observing’ as I am ( 😉 ), I think I know why I tend to take my crisis medication (which is seroquel XR (also known as quetiapine)) sometimes and sometimes I really DON’T want it, although I can feel really horrible.

I’ve talked about me (Brianna) and the other me part, who is like a child part of me (Brenda). Well.. I think, and to be clear, this is what I think, that when I’m mainly thinking like Brianna, I will not take my crisis medication. Because I want to deal with this on my own. I don’t want to numb out, I don’t want the medication to knock me out into a sleep (which it does), I want do this on my own. Even if it means me losing something (like, self harm or something like that).

When I’m thinking more like Brenda, I long for the medication. The medication is my ‘mother’ who takes care of me. Who calms me down. Who puts me to bed and makes sure, everything will be ok for now.

Brenda-thinking only happens when I’m very triggered. Like saturday with the police, it was absolutely no problem to take the crisis medication.
However, before the police came, I was feeling like shit and suicidal as well… But there wasn’t a part of me thinking about taking the medication, I wanted to take care of this on my own! I don’t want to be knocked out! It doesn’t solve a thing! I get angry at people telling me ‘go get your seroquel’….. like; NO. That’s easy, because I’ll be off your back for a while. But the problem will still be here when I wake up.

But when I’m in a total Brenda modus.. Seroquel? Yes please!!!! *happy face*

Seroquel is the caretaker, for Brenda.
But definitely NOT for me.

Right now (today) I’m doing pretty ok actually. I’m keeping myself busy with working on my poem book (I’m making a book of my poems, and decorating each page with something! It’s distracting and calms me down. So I guess it’s a win-win!)

xoxo
Brianna

Cause and effect

Hi,

I see where they get the ‘stress’ from post traumatic STRESS disorder 😉
It’s very simple, without blaming anyone, because I really don’t neither him nor myself, it’s a simple cause and effect.

Cause; feeling unsafe (trigger). Losing control in my save place (police entered my house). Triggers to a past situation which was very intense, a situation that still troubles me to this day, even though it was 6 years ago (involved a crisis intervention and people coming to my house without me knowing, and trying to take me away (only thing is, they succeeded)).

Effect; I don’t feel save anymore. I am very alert.

People ask me how I’m doing? I’m ok. I truly am. Am I suicidal? No, honestly , I’m not. Am I depressed? Nope, I’m no depressed either.

I am busy.

With what?

Busy with watching everything around me. My house isn’t my save place anymore. I am scared in my own livingroom. I have to be alert 24/7. I don’t have time to focus or even to take a minute and think about how I am feeling. NO, no time left. Got to stay alert.

Of course the word ‘okay’ as in ‘being okay’  can be discussed, but I am not suicidal nor depressed. Nor do I feel the need to act harmful to myself. I am 100% focussed on my environment.

Is this the best situation? No, probably not. But right now, the best way to get through my sunday.

xoxo
Brianna

No police for me please

Hi,

I think it’s save to say I haven’t been in the best place lately.
I was talking to my friend Saturday morning about how I was feeling. To me, it was nothing new. Nothing weird, I didn’t say anything different. Or suspicious. Nothing I might not have said the day before for instance. Of course, I talked to him about how miserable I was feeling, and how I didn’t really see how it could get any better, and to be frank; how I wanted to die.
But to be honest? I said that to him Friday aswell.

Suddenly he didn’t answer anymore. Although I could see he had been online since then (Whatsapp). Well ok, I figured he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. I was a little hurt but I can understand it can be a burden to talk about heavy stuff like that. So I just let it go.

50 minutes later the doorbell rang.. I opened and TADAA, the police.

‘Somebody phoned us, saying they were worried about you’

Well just to paint a picture. My heart as racing, I was beyond scared. Brenda SCREAMED terror in my head ‘ABRAHAM!!’, I couldn’t stop shaking, I couldn’t even talk to the police. I just politely gave them my hand as a ‘Hi my name is……’ except, I couldn’t even say that. They asked me if they were allowed to come in. I couldn’t answer, all I could do was shake, and tears escaped from my eyes. I could notice one of them looking around and the other one focussing on my face (and my arm which is full of scars + a few fresh cuts). I was standing there in my pyjama’s, which means a tank top, and a short boxer pants. They were two huge men in uniform. Right in front of me. Very intimidating.

‘Can we go further?’
Brianna was still shaking and crying.
‘We’ll just go to the living room?’
Brianna was still shaking and looked at the living room.

I can’t even describe it. I know I texted my mum; Police is here. Get here now. < That I could do! Wow.
They started to ask me all kinds of questions. A part of me was still being smart, although Brenda was screaming, I knew… they’d put me in a cell if they take me.

One of the cops was real hard and not nice at all, he was very intimidating and scary to be honest. The other one was friendly actually, but unfortunately he didn’t say much. He did try to squeeze a sentence in when the other one was being so harsh and made me cry bad.

It all turned out ok.
My mum came, they left. I was ‘ok enough to not be taken away. I was not a danger to myself and/or others’.

But then I collapsed. I started crying like crazy. Shaking like crazy. I actually cried to my mum straight in her face saying ‘I need Abraham, mummy’.
I was sitting on the couch, she put a blanket over me and got me glass of water and my crisis medication.

Now, the day after…. I slept good thanks to the medication.
My house does not feel save. It’s like the police men are still sitting on the couch. Watching my every move. I don’t know what else to say except; my house isn’t save anymore right now.

xoxo
Brianna

Walking in circles

Hi,

I called the psychiatrist today because I’ve been taking oxazepam for quite a while now (daily). He suggested a type of heart medication, that lowers my heart rate and blood pressure, I wont be able to get scared because my heart just can’t beat faster. I’m sorry, but am I the only one who thinks this is freaky?
I already refused a lot of medication he suggested due to my overweight (I weigh more than 100 kg/15 stone/220 pounds). I really don’t want to gain more kilo’s 😦 ! Food is so complicated for me. He doesn’t seem to get that.

I am getting really frustrated and hopeless. I feel everyone (Brandon, Polly, psychiatrist, myself) is trying to fix a little part of me, and in the end it’s just not working. Because I stumble on other things and I shove them forward to (for instance) Brandon, and then something comes up which I shove towards Polly (because it fits her workfield) etc.

Right now I am angry with the psychiatrist. I asked him for some time to think about it, though I already know I don’t want the heart medication. And I can feel myself in a  ‘fuck you/whatever’ mode. I don’t care anymore. WELL, fuck my sleep then. I’ll just cut my way through the night. And don’t they dare say anything about that! I’ll do it in my own way. THEY DON’T CARE ANYWAYS. Freaking heart medication. That’s ridiculous. I am not too difficult, in my opinion. I have antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics etc. But I just don’t want anything influencing my heart.

My urge to self-harm is real big right now. I feel I’m not worth it. He told me he’d fax a recipe for oxazepam to my pharmacy (while I was thinking about the heart medication, so a recipe for 2 weeks maximum). He never did!!!!! It’s the 3rd time he told me he’d do something for me, but never did.

xoxo
Brianna