I'm feeling too negative

PRFL

Registrant
Hello,
To those of you that follow my ups and downs, here's an update.
I'm feeling very negative about this whole therapy thing. I've had plenty of therapy in my life, some of it helpful, but a lot of it worthless or, what's worse, a lot of mind f---ing, and looks like I'm still getting lots of the same.
When I started seeing my T, the idea was to get EMDR because talk therapy doesn't help my symptoms a whole lot and I thought I would like to try that treatment modality. So, several months later, finally we gave it a try, but it was only 5 minutes because I couldn't connect with a happy place. Fine. All during this time, I've been getting more and more depressed and almost paranoid, with full time transference issues with my T.
So, I'm being referred back to my original counselor to help me manage the symptoms. The rationale is that I'm getting in touch with some extremely powerful feelings and I need to be able to have coping skills, and that its best to back off from my T and go back to the original lady counselor. This does make sense and, on one level, I'm agreeable to it. They are following whatever guidelines and protocols they must, I get that.
But on the other hand, I'm feeling mind f--ed again. I simply fail to see how on earth more talk therapy is going to be of any help. I've read about "cognitive distortions" but to me that's like telling me that I'm wrong and they are right. Just like what happened with the whole "born this way" thing which caused me to throw my whole life away. I fail to see how doing cute little exercises are going to do any good. Been through a lot of that already, if it was effective I would't have needed come in to their offices a year ago. It feels like they want to put a band-aid with a cute smiley face on a gaping, hemorrhaging wound. Then I hear about this "emotional dysregulation" crap and it feels I'm being criticized for not expressing my emotions at the right volume. I keep feeling mind f--ed.
Being that I'm the one that's wrong, my choices seem to be to quit, with nowhere else to go, or to pretend to smile and go along their little happy exercises.
Such is my very foul mood today. If anybody can help me get a better perspective, I'm all ears. FWIW, I've been on the other side as I used to counsel chemical dependent clients, so much to my chagrin, I'm behaving the same way, even though I don't drink or drug. It's also very difficult for me to be angry at people that are trying to help me and supposedly have the training to help me.I'm not sure what's triggering me now because my T's session yesterday went very well, and it's only today that I sense myself exploding in anger. I can't really blame them for doing what they are supposed to be doing. So I'll try to take it one day at a time, in the meantime I'll journal. And vent. Sorry, guys, and thanks for listening and putting up with me. I miss my old, cheerful, more stable self...
 

newground

Chat Moderator
hi prfl
I'm not sure that i have anything earth shattering to offer. so often all we have is word of support, and a hope that it will help. I am sorry that you are feeling so strongly about this situation but at the same time it seems if they were trying to stir stronger feelings ... they have accomplished that. I have so often felt that lag in emotion after leaving T and sometimes felt like i was floundering for the whole week. I know the feeling of being the one that's wrong so well. Wounded, broken, different, all those words but now days I try hard to accept that IF I am those things, I am certainly MORE than just those things. when they speak to me of being dysthymic or talk about dysregulation it takes me back to the desire I had so strongly as a boy to be " normal" strangely, one of the things that therapy has helped me to see is that "normal" is just a setting on the dryer. and when they say that i am different in whatever way my filter says not normal... I already know that. but what I am is me. maybe i will always see things differently and feel things differently and maybe things will change yet again... i feel that is still likely. and I think in the mean time just now accepting all the labels is helpful. some labels are necessary I suppose and helpful but many are not. My T made it a point to not speak of diagnoses, and such and I think now maybe for me that was a good thing. it is hard to be me plenty hard enough without anyone reminding me how hard it is. mindfulness helps, and learning to be kinder to myself, ( that is a full time job) I hope the feelings mellow soon you are worth whatever it takes

jeff
 
Hello PRFL, Like newground I'm hoping sharing what's helped me, will be of some help. Newground also notes accepting who we are, where we are, which is a late 2018 to the present part that I've worked to grasp. That depression part can hit me very hard with certain triggers, and when reading "worth whatever it takes" is directed at me, when I'm depressed, I find it insurmountable to accept.

I understand what the therapist means to seek help for you to regulate, and deal with a "happy place". I wrote a lot about this in Male Survivor, and it's helped me in my reviews of how I work with things. What I did, and has continued to work, is I learned to put the EMDR focus for that session away. In my mind, before the sessions began, I created a mental storage, one I both visualized, and could see myself putting the ideas away. I had written a lot of my EMDR focus before starting. I decided that I could hold one of those pages in my hand, and I could put the page on a shelf in a room, then close that room as I left the page behind. That's how I managed the "happy place", because it's directly connected to my choice of topic for the session. I also had to deal with two very important issues to restart my EMDR, which we paused after 2 initial sessions. I worked on Dissociation, and the Window of Tolerance.

Those are likely very similar to "transference" and "dysregulation". I don't want to seem like a trained therapist, so I'm just talking to you, I want to relate transference as a part of what dissociation can be, which seems like how I managed to relive my child trauma, and avoid dealing with it as an adult; and then "dysregulation" to me looks exactly like the Window of Tolerance". What I learned about Survival Mode, are placed above a line, and below a line, the cycle line can run a swing up and then curve down low, and then back up again. the swings go above the line, and then below the line. The "Tolerance is a zone in between the lines. It's where we regulate and process what's happening. If we're agitated and ready to fight, well be way above the line, if we're sick-of-it and depressed, we're below the line.

When I learned those things during the pause in EMDR, and mine was with the same therapist (I'm sorry that seems not to be in your case, I don't understand why?) The therapist could see how I had progressed and we restarted EMDR. If the two therapists you're to deal with, are in the same clinic or connected that way in different locations, they will be able to share what progress you've made. So, in theory it will work. My therapist is trained to do all of what you're describing and I've not heard that an EMDR specialist exists? Is he a psychiatrist? That would make sense that he's sending you to a therapist to gain the skills mentioned? I don't want to stir up more emotions about it, I had hoped that it can make sense to have two therapists makes as much sense and to have one.

I know that gaining the skill to put my topic of an EMDR session away after the session, and to recognize my body reactions, I could see the EMDR worked in real time. That was not the case for about 3-4 after the pause and into the restart. I gained calm into about 5-6 and I think we did about 8 total after the pause. I don't think I should count the first 2. I wasn't ready to manage the very deep physical and with physical comes a huge wave of emotions. I could manage the physical after I could put the topic away, and better comes later. I was able to have less physical reaction after about 6 sessions. I could recognize what was going to happen, and I could pause a moment to let the physical senses process, and then continue. It's the beginning that takes the most effort and strains both physical and emotional capabilities.

I'm hoping that my experiences show that what's considered to help you, will in practice offer help?

Please ask for clarification, I have worked on these with a lot of effort and am willing to share.

Best wishes.
 

KMCINVA

Registrant
PRFL

I believe many of us have gone or are going through the roller coast ride you are experiencing. It is a very unsettling ride that leaves us exhausted, questioning who we are and why we feel so alone with such pain and misdirection. I lived it, I struggled, I dissociated, I had fugues, I suffered syncope, I lived heard words that a survivor should never hear. I was on medication and body could not handle--I would sleep and once slept for over 24 hours and was accused on being on illegal drugs--so false. I went to therapy, I went to a psychiatrists, I went to support groups. I would find relief temporarily and then I was hospitalized due to dissociative fugues--I would disappear for time, sometimes hours and sometimes days--I have no memory of those times. I began to write in a journal and met some wonderful people, who believed in me, in what I lived. I focused on the therapy and then I told the Church of the abuse--this was good in some ways for healing and in others damaging. I had to tell because my mother passed and she was to be buried from the Church--whose cellar the abuse took place. I was strong at first, believing I faced the demon. I was wrong there was so much I failed to tell. More importantly, I never could accept I was good or that I could love myself. I slowly, and yes it was very slowly, I learned the reasons why--I blamed myself for the abuse--the guilt and shame controlled my life. I needed to accept it was not my fault despite what some people implied by their words and actions. I struggled, I cried and through support and new found friends and old friends from years ago I was able to begin to heal. MS and my other support were invaluable on this journey.

Please do not give up, it was not your fault. We all heal differently and at different paces. What seems to work for one may not be right for someone else. EMDR has been helpful to many, others talk therapy and others medications that supplemented therapy was helpful. It takes time, remember it is important to reach out, because I will say most people have compassion and want you to be well. I was you and today I have a sense of happiness that was long gone. You will have it back!

Words that helped me, be kind to yourself, once you accept kindness from you inner self the easier it will be for you to accept the kindness of others.

Kevin
 
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PRFL

Registrant
Thanks, to all. I'm feeling a bit better, been trying to stay busy.
A lot of the issue is that I was seeing a counselor for several months but was getting triggered by the Supreme Court hearings. I inquired about EMDR and was told that it was offered at he center, so I was referred to the T that offers it. So, in my mind, I was going to this new T to get EMDR treatment. So I go to the initial visit, give my history, sign the typical new patient forms, and we start doing weekly sessions. I was assuming, because it was reasonable, that he needed to get to know me before proceeding, but it seemed to drag on, until one day I got triggered by something he said, he told me EMDR was on the table and will be happening soon. After a miscomunication because I thought that he was going to start it the next session (it wasn't), I eventually got my first session, which was supposed to be about establishing a happy place. It happens that I had just got triggered during the session by something he said, but towards the end he said let's try to shift gears, and although I wasn't in a great mood, I said OK, so he tried to work with me in establishing the happy place, did the light a few times but I couldn't connect, so the session ended. That night I got the most horrific anxiety, I was extremely triggered and couldn't get the damn light out of my mind, and worse, I was re-experiencing the same feeling I had during a traumatic episode, the "happy" place was now a hot, stuffy room where I was beaten. It was a horrible week, I had to call the hotline in tears several times, the following Monday I burst into my original counselor's office in tears, and she said he would take it to the supervisor, which I didn't want because although I felt he made a mistake in proceeding, I wanted the chance to talk to him first. Eventually I did meet with him, but he feels that the EMDR had nothing to do with my reaction, because it was so brief and I didn't get a full session, and that I was being triggered by getting in touch with deep issues. That may be true, I'm willing to believe that, but I still feel he could have communicated better. I saw him again one more week, I did a lot of my own processing, and I do understand that we need to back off because of the intensity of my feelings. EMDR is off the table for now, which is fine with me. I'm tearing myself apart because, on the one side, the T is doing everything correctly, by the book, and I know he's trying to hear me and to do the right thing. So I'm fine with not getting the EMDR I thought I was going to get, because, from what I've read, I could have some major flare ups and I'm probably not ready for it. Fine. Yet, going back to my friendly first counselor feels demoralizing, because I feel I've wasted the last several months in a wild goose chase for nothing. It would have been better if he'd told me upfront that he waits as long as needed before EMDR is considered because I needed to be ready. But I guess I'm crying over spilled milk. As for going back to the first counselor (they work at the same center), she is fine, but I dont' know what she'll do different than what she did before, because it wasn't helping which is why I went to the other T, and I feel I've been taken for a ride. Since I'm the sick, dysregulated one, I don't feel I'm being taken seriously, and I'm in no mood to make happy drawings or make positive affirmations or gratitude lists or any of that stuff. For now, all I can do is journal (extensively) and try to stay busy.
One more thing: I see my eye doctor tomorrow, I got off the eye drops that were causing my depression, and I do feel better from that. No telling how long the psychiatric effects last in the system, so far it's been a week and I do feel better, but there's no telling how much of this is from the meds and how much is my own stuff.
I'll admit that I don't know if I'll actually get CBT so I'm trying to keep an open mind, but my attitude is that I'm fed up with psychobabble and I need to find a treatment that works for me instead of making me crazier.
I'll also say, from my experience with substance users, that sometimes when the patient is getting more symptomatic is because they are getting healthy enough to get in touch with deep core issues. Maybe I'm one of those.
It does tear me apart to know that these are fine, good people and are not being cavalier about anything, this is not about running a business (it's a state funded agency), so I'm torn by the conflict between my cognitive brain and my gut.
Thanks to all for listening, I truly appreciate your feedback and reality check. It helps me process better the interactions and feelings I have about my T. and yes, I feel foolish and like an idiot because I'm aware I'm kind of over the top here, or so it seems. I do need my dysregulation addressed, the question is whether anything the counselor tries will work or not.
Thanks for your wisdom and encouragement!
(gee, I was doing so much better yesterday!)
 

PRFL

Registrant
Addendum,
I've been feeling triggery so I tried using the 1in6 chat, but they point blank told me that it was for crisis and emergencies and not for therapy. Fine. so I made another mistake. I can't talk to my T for the next 5 weeks, I'm waiting for an appointment with the counselor, I can't talk to a hotline, so what do I do?
You guys are great and have been very helpful, but right now there's nobody in the chat room. I'm afraid it's going to be a long night...
 
Had a similar situation with the VA call line. The SSGt on the other end took down our number and said he would call us back montha go.
 

PRFL

Registrant
Good morning,
I’m feeling better this morning, so far, but I’ve been awake only for a few minutes. So, I might be feeling better, but “this too shall pass”.
Seriously, it seems that I was having an emotional storm yesterday, I’m not sure what triggered it. I was working on a woodworking project and it was a bit frustrating, nothing unusual about that, but instead of the woodworking helping me take my mind off my issues, I noticed I was thinking about the, getting angrier and angrier.
It helped that I got a good night’s sleep, even with some interesting dreams that I’ll journal about. I’ve been wondering if I’ve been having nightmares because I tend to wake up with palpitations and anxiety, I’m aware that I’ve been dreaming but have no idea on what. Last night it was a “movie” type dream, I was in a train, it was cloudy and gloomy but there was gorgeous scenery, the attendants at the train knew me. I was a lot heavier and had a very brash persona, it was autumn and I was wearing a sweater. The only possibly disturbing part of the dream was telling my former boss that my mother would be dying any moment soon and she said she needed me to be available to work so I reminded her that I’m retired, while looking out of the window to a beautiful scenery of rivers and cascades. Not sure if there’s any meaning to any of this, but I woke up and I feel much better.
It seems to me that really, my T is right. For me to go deep into my stuff I need to cope with the intensity of my feelings, and he is very, VERY patiently, carefully, and delicately trying to convey this point. He’s told me several times that it’s OK for me to get angry, but the dysregulation does need to be addressed, and certainly don’t disagree. I wonder if my amygdala has been causing all of these emotions and fears, while my rational brain has been desperately trying to make sense of all of this.
Like they say in 12 step recovery...more shall be revealed.
 
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