Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Thursday, September 24, 2009

And then....

I had a very stressful morning dealing with a patient situation and a very concerned (rightfully) assistant. Then I was under huge amounts of stress to get through the rest of my day in time to see Dr. Mind. I ate lunch in the car; thank God I had an apple in there. It wasn't a very good apple, but it was lunch. And I made it to Dr. Mind a bit early. Unfortunately he was running a few minutes late, so I had a lot of time to watch a squirrel outside the window of the waiting room. I always sit in the same chair, so I have spent a lot of the last 3.5 years watching the seasons change through that window while waiting. Usually I don't really mind the wait because it gives me a few minutes to change gears, which used to be a big issue with my visits after work, which was part of the decision to work part-time for the last few years. Now I don't seem to have that issue; since I started this job we've been working on some of the hardest stuff ever.

So I brought up the gun thing again at the beginning of treatment. I explained that the hint of a memory is really annoying me. After much discussion I have been convinced to try not remembering. If I do remember I remember, and if not, well I think the point is that it is obvious something very traumatic happened involving a gun and that since there aren't a ton of choices in what happened it's safe to assume that I saw someone threatened by a gun. I think that's what he meant anyway, and we proceeded with a discussion that had a lot to do with what I probably saw. Which is weird, I much prefer to deal with facts, but I've known all along with this that my brain says not knowing is better for me.

I also realized for the first time that some of the fear is that I do not trust myself. Most of my time now I'm far from suicidal. But I also have been there enough to know that when I feel that way and also feel impulsive I can be pretty dangerous to myself. Which means that I have learned to take action to keep myself safe all the time, regardless of how well I feel at that time. I am careful to not wind up with huge accumulations of pills I'm not using. When I have bad times we switch to 30 day supplies of meds (which is how they come now anyway with this insurance). I have been told I can give pills to Dr. Mind to lock away. I have a glasstop stove that needs a razor blade to clean it if something gets burned. I keep only what I have to have available and will throw them out if needed. I'm glad that I cannot legally purchase a gun because of mental illness. Even if I weren't terrified of them that would be true. I understand too well the reasoning. Yet while I was a suicidal teenager, which is a volatile combination, there were guns in my house I could get into without even looking up. They were loaded too, and even I know it's pretty reasonable to have been afraid of that. One impulsive moment and something very bad might have happened. Dr. Mind tells me that the finality of that kind of act may have kept me safe from it too, but I am so angry right now that I wasn't allowed to have tylenol in my room because when my mother found out I was suicidal I was collecting pills slowly, but I could have picked up a gun simply by walking downstairs.

I also realized I'm angry because I can't even ask my mother what happened to scare me. She remembers almost nothing bad. I don't know that I would if I could, but it is frustrating that the one person who could answer that question can't be asked. And not only does my mother not remember many things and freely admits to that, she was told by a very, very stupid mental health professional that if I didn't talk about being molested (which my mother knew about because I told her at age 2) that I didn't remember and it should never be brought up. I never forgot. In fact, it did not stop. My mother refuses to believe this, and has no idea that my sister who wasn't even born until later remembers being molested as well, and that I was present with her, which proves that my memory isn't made up. I don't remember my sister being there, and from what we know it seems that it was much, much worse for me, but she doesn't have clear memories.

So, there it stands. I still have a lot more work to do on this one. And just to make it all the worse, after I left Dr. Mind I was driving along when either a stone somehow hit my passenger window or a car backfired, and scared me half to death. 60 minutes of working on believing that just because someone has a gun doesn't mean they plan to shoot has been totally lost.

I'm sure lots more is coming on this. It's not one I'm good at putting away even though I really need to do that.


Julia said...

I am with the camp that you don't need to work to remember it and stress out about it, but if you remember you remember.

otgirl said...

I'm glad you have a helpful human like Dr. Mind in your life.

Just Me said...


Since I finally slept like a log last night, from 6 pm until 5 am in fact, I think you're probably right. Finally no nightmares.

I am too. He is exactly the right person to help with this. I used to get so frustrated with him because he was always so reasonable, but now it's what I need. It's amazing how he came along exactly when I needed him. Right up until when I met him I would have hated him and refused to continue with him. But when I had to change therapists he was precisely what I needed, even though I chose him based on some things my prior therapist thought that were not really true about his style. I would have avoided him had I known this, but it turned out to be what I needed.