A very light DBT post this week.
Updates: I’m off the steroids, which has been quite painful. It’s basically like getting the freezing needle from the dentist over and over mixed with an icicle jammed in my ear.
I of course, still can’t move the right side of my face. People love to assure me that they see me move it, but I think it’s an illusion and they just want to see it move. But I did find some great lipstick. I have a key lime green coming to me from the states. They sell NYX cosmetics in Canada, just not the cool colours (wicked lippies or macaroons). I did get an orange and a purple though. I got cruella from NARS as a gift from Sephora (bday present) and bought some black lipstick. Also, I swung by Toronto and got silver from Malabar. (Thanks for all the tips GT). All of that has made me feel pretty good. It’s mostly the slurring of my speech that upsets me rather than the expressionless side of my face. I’m trying to treat the experience as an experiment, to see how people treat me with this voice and face. Generally people have been good, I just get a little embarrassed when I speak. I’m working on it, because I have to lecture again in September.
Also, sorted things out with my best friend. I didn’t call anyone to take me to the ER because it was 2am, and I didn’t want to wake anyone and I was using all my resources to take care of me. Apparently, you just don’t walk yourself into an ER. She pointed out that you are allowed to wake people up if your face is frozen, and she’s taken people to ER for less interesting injuries. Asking for help is not my strong suit. Also, I often feel the need to take care of people over myself, it means that I will lie and minimize my symptoms in order to psychological protect people, which is not good.
Because of my bad cold which ended in Bell’s Palsy, I skipped group last week and this week was spent re-hashing how I got to the ER. I didn’t go over any new skills, most of it was going over the experience. I even had to do some trauma work about going to the ER.
In trauma work, you have to go into your body and feel the experience. Understandably, it’s very difficult because no one really wants to remember what something felt like. As practice for when I get to do this for my traumatic hospital visits, we did trauma work for the good trip to the ER (This is in private rather than in group). I closed my eyes, and re-experienced going through the doors to the ER and giving my name. There wasn’t pain. New Therapist asked if I was scared.
I opened my eyes and said “No, I just keep hearing ‘It’s gonna be different.’ I was scared, but I was also so excited. I was there. I made it there. That kinda overrided everything. I know that I should be upset about my face and I’m not. I hate the slurring, but that’s because I’m a public speaker, so a lot of my confidence is tied to how I speak, but I can learn how to talk again if it stays frozen for longer than expected. I know normally I’d think ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ and I’m not thinking that at all. I really accepted it. I’m surprisingly okay with it. Of course, if it was something about abdominal pain that would be different. It would be harder. But I just knew it wasn’t going to be the same. It was going to be different. Of course, there’s the part of me that says ‘See, you are an overacting attention seeking sissy. If you actually had PTSD or were scared it would have been harder. It was too easy, you liar.’”
“And that’s your father talking and not you.”
“I know, I’ve tried to tell it to shut up, but it a nasty little voice.”
“You climbed a mountain.”
The realization of what I did dawned on me. I teared up “I did. Didn’t I?”