REPORT A PROBLEM
I wanted to start 100 words this month. Both DA and DM have done this before. Not sure why I havenít. Seemed scary maybe. They both were very honest and open or something. I forgot until now, 12:50 am on the third. I am not in the best, er, mental situation to be starting this. Iím watching SNL. Its not funny.
I work in a high school. I like my clients. I always like my clients. Iím overwhelmed there though. I donít know if Iíd be overwhelmed anywhere or if its because I have too many different things to do.
I am going to make myself do this everyday. Iíve been really depressed and itís hard to make myself do things. I hope, though, that I can make myself do this and it helps.
The fish died. We only had him for a week. I cried about the goldfish. DM was very nice about my crying. He said it was sweet that I cared about the fish. DMís fish is dying too. I donít know what to do for it. I hope it isnít suffering. Can a goldfish suffer? It looks like it is suffering. Poor thing. No more pets.
Iím not looking forward to going to work in the morning. I am dreading it. I seem to spend a lot of my time dreading things. I wonder why I canít focus on anticipating the good things. I have things to look forward to. Going to the east, the summer, falling asleep next to DM on Thursday, getting coffee with coworkers in the morning. But the negative things seem to stick in my head so much more strongly. They are persistent and huge. Maybe itís my depression. Or maybe thatís what makes me depressed. The map is not the territory.
I had a client today that accused his foster parents of abuse. He went home anyway. A client was hospitalized for suicidal ideation tonight. Iím taking on too much responsibility for this. I need to stop taking on these peopleís lives and problems. I wonít be effective if Iím blaming myself for their crises. Iím working hard to convince myself that Iím a bad counselor. I need a new job. I want to go back to FS, I felt supported and hopeful there. YC doesnít inspire hope for my clients or myself. I should tackle own problems instead of theirs.
I forgot to do this yesterday, the fifth. I came home and attempted to write a letter and couldnít handle it. I was too exhausted. I hadnít had any coffee that day (hello major headache!) and I had slept three hours the two nights before. I fell asleep about 6:30 and got up at six this morning. Sleeping has always been a huge issue for me. I have never been able to sleep in such a way where I feel refreshed. Only once or twice in my life can I remember waking up and feeling like my sleep was restorative.
Both DM and DA seemed to write profound or meaningful things in 100words. I havenít seemed to pull anything meaningful or important out of my head. I donít know that I ever do. Maybe important and meaningful is on extended vacation. I think we are moving back to New England. I am excited but ashamed. Before we went there, I was so sure that moving there would be so wonderful. It wasnít and I decided moving back would fix it. Neither was true. Moving back seems like a good idea but not transformative. Maybe that means we should do it.
It has been quite a long time since Iíve felt overwhelmed by my clientsí problems. I feel like I canít possibly hold anymore. And they just keep coming. New kids need help and old ones continue to spew out problems. I guess thatís what happens when you really get someone to trust you. Every problem theyíve ever had, every challenge, every bad thing just needs to come out somehow. And for teenagers whoíve never had someone to trust beforeÖwell, thereís a lot built up, a lot waiting for that trustworthy person. I wish that trustworthy person could be their parents.
They seem to be saying that you can be addicted to anything. To cigarettes, to food, to gaming, to a person, to blowing your nose. That seems a little silly to me, but so what? So what if you are addicted to watching porn while wearing an apron and high heels? If you can function, can afford to buy that porn and stuff and have a private place to engage in your addiction, why does it matter? Why do we assume that all addictions are bad and must be stopped, no matter what? Why canít there be a good addiction?
Iím constantly scared of things falling apart again. Of coming home and DM telling me heís going to kill me, of him not knowing where he is, of him being so out of it that he stares at the wall, not moving for 48 hours. Afraid of psychosis, depression, mania. I am hypervigilant. I am waiting. Thereís nothing I can do to prevent it. I am powerless. Iím waiting for the random waves in DMís head to decide that its time. That its time to work our way out of hell again. Iím not sure why, but its worth it.
I couldnít come up with anything to write about so I asked DM. He said that I should write about stuff and things. I contend that thatís not a useful suggestion so then he said I should write about my attention span. Iím incapable of doing just one thing at once. I need to be listening to music, watching tv, playing solitaire, doing something else. When I talk on the phone at work, Iím playing solitaire. When Iím watching tv, Iím stumbling and playing tetris. This doesnít generally bother me. Iím used to it. It seems to bother DM. Hmm.
I didnít want to do this tonight. I fell asleep about six. Now its 11 and Iím scared that Iím not going to get back to sleep. Staying awake to write this makes it less likely that Iím going to be able to sleep again. My sleeping is just too weird, too random. So is my eating.
I picked the scab off my thumb, the place where I sliced off a chunk of it. I shouldnít have done that but it was irresistible. I will have a misshapen thumb from now on, I think. It is flat on one side.
I want to be helpful so much that I disregard my own health. A teacher gave one of my kids my cell phone number. This is not ok. Besides the disrespect of the teacher giving out my personal information without my permission, it is violating appropriate client-therapist boundaries. I have given my cell phone to clients before with the understanding that I would not necessarily answer the phone when they called and they should use the appropriate channels in case of emergency. Only to a few, trusted clients. But I want them to call; I want them to need me.
Itís not really that I want them to need me. Itís more that I want them to trust me and to have faith that I will do something to help.
DM said that living in Tacoma wouldnít be so bad after all. I thought he was totally against it and that that was where I really want to be. Iím not so sure anymore. I was getting used to the idea of moving back to NH but now we could live in Tacoma? I want someone to decide this for me. I really donít want this responsibility. I am lost.
Valentineís Day! I havenít had such a wonderful V-Day ever. DMís a wonderful husband. Iíve been complaining quite a bit lately about him not doing things like putting his dishes in the dishwasher, doing laundry, etc. I come home today, after a detour to New Seasons, and he has spent all day cleaning the apartment. He vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, picked up all the messes. He bought a card and chocolate and made the bed. He drew a bath and now heís making a fancy dinner. I feel special and listened to and loved. I needed this, we needed this.
I want to feel like I have a community again. Like I have someone other than DM who is going to notice that Iíve sequestered myself in my pjs in the apartment for two weeks. People who notice when somethingís wrong, people who want to help me do something about it. People who I am willing to emerge from my depression to help. I miss feeling like I belong. I felt that way at PLU and then in my last year in New Hampshire. I need to make sure that I really do understand that it wouldnít be the same.
It feels good to connect with nature in some way. To get out of asphalt and houses. Iíve never felt connected to the desert or the forest. But the water: ocean, sound, rivers. Water is somehow safe. I belong near the water. Itís rare that I feel I belong. When I was little, I dreamt of building a house in the ocean, under the water. The fish would be my family and the seaweed would be my garden. The life I created under the ocean was a happy one. The scary things out in the world could not touch me.
Iím bored. Restless bored. I felt like this a lot in high school but not really since then. Itís just a feeling of needing to get out, needing some excitement, needing something to happen. DM ďwants to spend time together.Ē Thatís wonderful and great and I want to spend time with him. I think heís hurt, though, that I donít want that to mean sitting around and cuddling or watching a movie. I think he takes that as him not being enough for me. Thatís not true at all; Iíd just like to do something different. He is annoying currently.
I like to cook. Cooking makes me feel accomplished and like I am taking care of my family (just DM and I, still a family). Unfortunately, cooking is one of the first things that go when Iím depressed. The idea of eating anything but what sounds good in the moment is overwhelming just like actually having to do something. I made a casserole tonight. Nothing big but it felt good to cook and then eat. I wish I could get the energy and patience up to cook most nights. It makes me sad that I canít do what is fun.
A client told me today that I should have at least a dozen kids. She said Iíd be the perfect parent. Hmm. Iím good at my job. I know Iím a good therapist. That really doesnít translate into being a good parent. Iím excellent at gaining peopleís trust, being an observer of the cycle and process that a system uses, and figuring out what they need to do to change. I am not so good at changing that process in myself. Somehow the feeling that I would make an awful parent has translated to a desire to medicate myself again.
I turn the television on to not feel alone, most of the time. DM is here now and I like the noise but heís watching Everyone Loves Raymond intently. I hate this show. It is annoying and boring. He laughs frequently. Like really laughs, laughs hard. He thinks this show is amazingly funny. Such an odd boy. Currently it really annoys me. I told him that I worry about him since I didnít think it was possible that anyone found Raymond that funny. Somehow I find this whole situation, him sitting laughing uncontrollably at Raymond and me being annoying endearing.
How the earth got here is not important to me. Creator or creation or evolution: it is an irrelevant question. I fail to see how it has any relevance to my life. It doesnít matter how I got to be so much that I am or that I, at least, perceive myself to be. It would not change anything to know.
It baffles me that Christians attempt to sell their religion using this argument. Why would that win anyone over? It must though. Someone must really need to cling to a creation story. Why? What good does that do them?
I am good at my job. Very good. Supervisor Kathy said I was talented. Knowing this and not being able to deny it is really terrifying. If Iím good at this, then maybe I canít live in my reality that I am a horrible, pathetic human being. I think that knowing I am good at this makes me dissatisfied doing it. Being in a job that doesnít make me feel incapable doesnít fit with my reality, my sense of self. I keep waiting to screw up, to really fuck something up. Itís inevitable. I canít actually be good at something.
DM has been incredibly productive, ambitious and happy lately. This should be a happy, good thing. It really just serves to make me worried. It signals impending doom or it has in the past. I want to be excited that the kitchen is clean, the laundry is put away and heís going out to volunteer with the Democrats. I canít. Any sign of normality is a sign of his illness, sign of mania. For once, I want my life to be ruled by the decisions I make. I want to rule my life. Not bipolar disorder, depression, alcoholism, anorexia, abuse.
This weekend was not as fun as I intended. Weekends rarely ever are what I intended. I didnít get to sleep in, have fun or get really, really drunk. And I didnít get to go to the zoo. DM and TB decided it was a bad idea. I was upset. I donít think it was so much that I missed the zoo, but that I spend most of my time sitting around doing nothing. I had finally thought of something outside of the house that I was excited about and they tell me, no, you arenít going to have fun.
I was walking to my apartment, there was a man who was putting advertisements on apartment doors. He walked down to the doors on the first level and stuck his advertisement there. I walked to my door. He waited until I was in the house to walk up the stairs. He probably just wanted to avoid me, but I appreciated that he was staying far away from me and my open door. It seemed like he was cognizant of how that would threaten my safety.
Then it struck me that I should be sad that he needed to do that.
DM had a hard day at work yesterday so I went to visit him on my way home. I walked in and one of my clients is standing there. A grandmother. We have a fabulous therapist/client relationship. We greeted each other. I introduced her to DM (without explaining how I knew her). She said something like, ďYou didnít tell me you had such an adorable husband!Ē I think DM was uncomfortable with the whole thing. She showed me pictures of their new motor home and then left. It was weird not because I saw her but because she met DM.
I hate the word douchebag. I donít understand why it is used as an insult so prevalently (at least in high school). When girls say it, it feels like they are insulting themselves more than they are insulting the intended target. I donít know why this makes me so mad and compelled to ask people not to say it (my kids are allowed to use whatever words they want while in my office). Other than that the idea of douche itself is awful. I guess douchebag doesnít really mean anything. It doesnít tell me what you donít like about them.
I feel so old. Iíve always felt old. People frequently tell me that I should enjoy the energy and excitement of being young. I donít have energy, I donít feel excited. If Iím going to get more tired as I grow up, I really just donít want to get old. Iíd rather die. If Iím going to feel worse in ten years than I do now, I donít want to be there. Ever. At all. I canít imagine feeling worse than I do now. Iíve always felt so old, older than everyone around me. Too old to get any older.
It is the end of my first batch of 100words. At least I hope itís my first batch and not my last. I feel oddly accomplished. I did something for an entire month, stuck with it. Normally I am not that good at remembering or being persistent. I wonít do it next month so I donít have to write while Iím in New Hampshire with DM. I am so excited about visiting. I miss DM and everyone. Iím also really, really glad to be getting out of Oregon. I need a vacation from suburban hell. I want to move again.
The Tip Jar