I am better than this.

Day 1 of self punishment via method of self starvation. Lunch: one cup of soup. Dinner will be half a sweet potato. Breakfast was a protein powder with water shake. I am going to eat the minimum amount possible to still be able to survive. I’m already so hungry because over the weekend I ate once a day and slept the rest of the time. Saturday I had a bowl of cereal. Sunday I had… I don’t remember. Something and some tortilla chips. Oh yes, hummus and chips. Am I trying to lose weight? No. But that might be a side effect. The fact of the matter is that I am pissed and this is my way of getting back at people who hurt me, by hurting myself. If I’m not allowed to cut myself then I am going to starve myself. This is about control. Self control. Control over my body and my life and my self. I have to fight to make this happen. I haven’t done this in over a year so I have no idea how long I’ll be able to keep it up. But I am not telling my therapist. I usually tell him everything, but this, this is mine.

I feel broken inside. I feel like my precious walls of support have crumbled down upon me, leaving me sobbing amid the ruins of fragile eternity. It’s the middle of the day and I am crying at work at my desk trying to not let anyone notice. I got really good at silent tears when I was a kid so that when my mother hurt me emotionally she wouldn’t know that I was crying. My rationale was, at the age of six, I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that I was hurt. Then there were the fights with my brother but I love them both.

I hadn’t seen my psychotherapist for three weeks. A lot can happen in that amount of time. By then my grandmother had died, I had self-harmed, and by the end of it all I was happily hanging on to the threads of my day-to-day existence. Until Saturday. He held me accountable for cutting myself. I had even sent him a picture of my cuts. The whole session was about this topic. We didn’t get to talk about anything else. Why did I do it? I don’t know. I wasn’t coping well. Cutting is a coping strategy for those who have become mentally ill, but it’s not a healthy way of coping. That’s what he said. The biggest thing was that I had broken my promise to him. Four years ago I signed an agreement that I would not self harm and if I did I would call the crisis line to be assessed by a mental health team, and if need be, hospitalized. I was hospitalized a lot over the last four years.

I wanted him to feel my pain. I wanted him to see my pain. I wanted him to walk in my shoes with me, as he does every week, and know that I was hurting. But I got over that. It has been several weeks since then. At least I thought I got over it until two days ago when it was brought up again. There were no smiles in that 50-minute session. I was sobbing most of the time. I didn’t want to talk to my therapist and I didn’t want to answer his questions. His biggest question was whether I wanted to get better or not. Because I am stuck and my most recent hospitalization was a huge step back. But how can he even question whether I want to get better? I take my medications as prescribed. I sleep, I eat, I’ve even picked up exercising a couple times a week. I go to work every day of the week. I am on time. I fulfill my obligations. I have no social life but that’s not the most important thing to focus on right now. I feel as if I’m too depressed to have any semblance of a social life. I talk with my mother and my brother once a week on the phone. I am now not fighting the process, and have agreed to see my psychiatrist regularly (otherwise he insinuated that he won’t work with me). I got the blood test done that he ordered, even though I hate taking off time from work to do these things. I don’t want anyone at work to know about my mental illness, and if I’m constantly going to “doctor’s appointments” my boss might start to question the validity of these “appointments”. I haven’t even seen a primary care physician… I forgot about that one and the time passed. I have to schedule a new appointment.

The point is, I’m trying. I am trying really hard. And psychotherapy is really difficult. I told him, “you always ask the difficult questions” and he replied, “that’s my job”. Sometimes I can’t emotionally handle the difficult questions and I break down or I go numb and silent. I’m not very good at working well with interpersonal relationships. The relationships I have at work are superficial, and it should stay that way for now. When things go wrong in my personal life, like this nagging disruption of trust and communication with my therapist, I don’t handle it well. I don’t react in a mature way, the way someone in their 30’s would react. I revert back to my teenage self and respond in a manner that I would have done at the age of 16. “You broke a promise,” he said. “It was a long time ago,” I replied. “Does that mean it shouldn’t count?” he responded. Me: Silence. Of course it still counts, I’m just trying to get out of taking responsibility for my actions. Does this mean he won’t trust me going forward? I broke a trust agreement and he meant business: he wanted to let me know that that is not okay.

My self worth is shattered because my relationship with my therapist is broken. I saw him as an ally, and a friend, as well as a therapist. Wrong! One should never think of their therapist as a friend. He is not my friend. He is my therapist and he will never be anything more or less than that. The problem with my personality disorder (meaning I didn’t develop a proper sense of “self” as a child growing up) is that I place heavy weight of my self worth attached to other people that I become close to. When I was 16 and my mom told me I was a failure, I went to my bedroom immediately and cut an “F” for failure on my arm. I can still see that scar mark faintly to this day. It’s a constant reminder. When my ex-husband divorced me, I had no idea who I was and I had to start building a completely new life from scratch. Everything I had known for the previous 12 years was negated.

I feel tired. I feel tired of fighting myself. I feel tired of self punishment, of not eating, of taking pills, of doing therapy. Is there any hope? How long have I been battling depression and will I win this battle? People do get better. I have gotten better but that’s hard to see. Right now I am without help, and my support person at youcanendure.com is helping me through my pain, trying to get me to see my therapists’ perspective. He believes in me and wants me to heal and to get better and to have a life worth living. I’m no longer suicidal but it comes back to haunt me every once in awhile and it seems to be all I know. It’s my default reaction to extreme anger, is to occupy my mind with suicide and self harm thoughts. I know I need to get away from that, and that will be the work ahead of me.

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