After a year and six months of waiting and two screws ups the hospital finally placed me in my skills based group.
I'm very well aware that I have problems with hospitals, that I over think and that I am probably bias.
I wonder if I am getting stuck on semantics or if they are really terrible at explaining things.
But I'm not sure if I'm in the right group. I was placed in ERPS (Emotional regulation and interpersonal skills.) I was told basically if I was good they put me in to DBT, and the finally into a trauma based group.
I had my orientation months ago and even then I didn't feel right about it. I wrote it off as me avoiding my problems and my distrust of medical professions. I was angered by some of the questions in particular "Do you attract chaos in life you?" - No I don't, bad shit has happened to me and I've let stuff go for a really long time, but I don't bring it on myself. I was better at leaving it when I was younger, but my ex groomed me to stay in it. Also certain situations like my hospital problems I had to stay because the other choice was to risk damaging my body and possibly death. Unfortunately by staying I ruined my brain.
I was also angry at my evaluation because they ignored what to me seemed like my biggest problem. I am terrified of all medical situations to the point that I cannot see a doctor and openly avoid and ignore all my symptoms because I know that no one will believe me, that I'll be humiliated and abused again by medical staff. I'd rather die or be in horrible pain and risk permanent injury to my body than seek medical attention. I also often re-live these traumatic medical events over and over. I generally wish I had just died. The last time I tried to seek medical attention, just for a regular check up, I basically raised up my arms in a defensive position and openly sobbed telling my doctor "No one believes me." I was terrified.
They focused on the fact I just left my emotionally abusive ex and that I have been bullied consistently throughout my life. That was more important to them. I am 100% aware my ex was shit. I have a problem with narcissists, and when I dated the second one I left in months rather than years. I know I have self esteem and confidence problems because of this and need to remedy those. However, it doesn't affect me as harshly as the other stuff. I've been away from him for a year now, and I can tell that I am getting better and that parts of myself that he took are starting to regrow.
Yes, I understand that these things are connected in some manner. The first part is more troubling to me, and it's annoys me that it's kinda written off as nothing. That's where I don't question my emotional dis-regulation, when people don't listen to me or believe me I react strongly. Because for me it becomes a life or death scenario because not believing me almost killed me. And now even though I know I am right about things in my body, I am reluctant to say them because I know when I am not being listened too I will freak the fuck out or shut down completely. I can't even risk the possibility, because it hurts to much and I become too sensitive to body language.
At the introduction we had more of these kinds of question that I found to be black and white reasoning.
What do you control in yourself?
Group: What I wear, eat, relationships, time, work
Me: This is difficult because control is an illusion, often the choices that me make are products of our environment. Control is something that's not a constant. I could lie and tell you that I control my body, but I don't, if it breaks I'm at it's mercy and it controls me. We go to work because we need money. We show up on time because if you don't you get fired. Sometimes we can't even control where we work. I wear certain types of clothes because it's they are acceptable at work places or because it's currently in fashion and I like that outfit. Even though I like it, I am also aware that advertising has probably groomed me to think that. I have the ability to leave certain relationships, but cultural conditioning also makes me feel responsible. And sometimes you just can't leave.
What can't you control in others?
Group: What they do. Laws and Legislation.
Me: You can't and can control others. In certain positions I have the ability to influence opinion, meaning I have the potential to control what people think. I occasionally teach, so I am able to influence minds. I can change laws if I become active in government. I can change the way that people think of me by acting or dressing differently. I can't control them, but I can influence them.
I brought up my difficultly in thinking about control, and I was kinda brushed off and told to try to think of it in a therapeutic setting. I guess in therapy the thing I can control is I can leave, but if I leave I risk not getting better, so can I really control that? I could refuse to do the work, but the only person that harms is me. So yes, I can in theory control that, but practically I can't. In therapy I can control what my therapist thinks of me, by leaving out information, but I don't because it's not useful. I have because it takes time to build trust. When I have, I often go back add in the information that I previously left out.
We moved onto validation, I just found it to be so basic? And confusing. Like one example the students were made to take a really hard test, and they were told invalidating things like "This is super hard." and validating things like "this test is super easy." And I thought, well to me what you are saying is invalidating is validating. If I felt the test was hard and someone agreed and said 'That's really hard" that would make me feel validated. If I thought it was hard and you told me it was easy, I'd feel terrible about myself because it's not easy for me.
For example, I prefer when people say to me "Fuck that's awful" rather then 'I'm sorry you went through that." "Fuck that's awful" validates that it was fucking awful, and often tells me that the person behind that sentiment is empathizing with me and thus trying to connect with me. "I'm sorry you went through that" feels invalidating and distancing to me, because, yes, it's sympathetic, by sympathy is a power position that can be condescending and doesn't require the other person to connect with the experience. I've also heard "I'm sorry" so many times, that I know for the most part when people say it (depending on who they are) they often want out of the conversation because it's uncomfortable for them.
I was wondering if they just gave a really bad example and then lost me on it.
I can see that mindfulness is useful. I can see that validation is useful. But the whole thing seems so black and white. I'm struggling with that. Everything on the booklet I keep wanting to add exceptions. Or ask for further explanation. Or I underline it and write 'That's problematic" or "Yes with balance."
Then I wonder, oh maybe this is my problem. Maybe I'm suppose to see the world as binary. Or maybe I've misunderstood what they were saying because it took so DAMN long for them to explain and the explanation was a contradiction. They seemed to explain that dialectics meant looking at things from different perspectives and then went on to explaining things in absolutes.
Also the blanket statements of "You are all here because the smallest things set you off for no reason." Umm No. Things set me off for very SPECIFIC reasons because they remind me of other things and I can't seem to disconnect those traumas from every day life.
"You'll really want to avoid sessions because it will be emotionally difficult. We find that a lot of our patients just don't feel like showing up because they are ruled by their feelings" Umm No. I hate this hospital, because I'm afraid of it and anger helps me get through the fear. I will come here because I need to get better. I can separate this building from the other buildings. I hate knowing that I could run into those doctors and their staff. But I've made a commitment and I very rarely go back on my word. If anything I try hard to pretend I don't have feelings because I was raised to be stoic and having emotions makes you weak. It would be more helpful if I was assured that expressing my feelings was okay rather than I blow up at any given moment. If anything that makes me want to repress them more.
I'll try hard to understand you don't mean me specifically.
Then I wonder if I'm avoiding something.
... Too many thoughts.
You know that dream when you get sent back to high school and you keep telling everyone "But I have a Masters degree?" You get super upset about it and decide to fuck it and not do any of your homework or go to class, and then half way through the dream you decide "Okay, maybe there's a reason why I am here. Maybe I have missed something basic." And you go to class (I usually decide to give it my all) and then wake up.
That's kinda how I feel right now. I don't understand what it is I'm suppose to get out of this. I don't conceptually understand how this gonna help me. I can see that there are some potentially useful tools amid really crappy explanations and reasoning. Maybe I've missed something basic.
I've wait so long to get help. I'm gonna try to listen. I'll do my homework. But wow, this is gonna be really hard, when it feels so binary. I can't think that way. I don't want too. I can't be a binary thinker.
If I still feel just as misplaced this week by the end of next week I'll mention it.