The sound of my compassionate letter
Today is a calm day at work, maybe simply because it’s Friday and people are getting ready for the weekend. Who wants to be serious then? I am using the time diligently (almost) and have for example taken some phone calls and been to 2 hours of supervision. I`ve had one patient, and have read a little bit, also. The chapter I`m reading right now is about giving yourself as much compassion as everyone else. This is maybe one of the most central themes in my work, and something especially hard for
traumatized people. They`re so used to focusing on others, because they had to, before. If mother was in a good mood, then maybe that day would be okay. Maybe it would even be possible to do something nice together.
Right now I feel the need for comfort, myself. It’s 5 month after my big love left me, and my heart is healing so slowly. If I try to contact him, just in case he has changed his mind, I never get anything else than more disappointment, and the knowledge that he`ll never ever be with me again, is just so hard to take in. When I hear songs reminding me of the situation, I have to turn it off, and I still haven`t seen one romantic movie after the break-up. I don`t even like to be around couples. I have no problem connecting with my patients and their pain from rejection. So now I want to try to give myself crutches, myself a chance to stand upright even when I feel nothing is right.
First of all, it’s not the first time I`ve lost somebody. Like I`ve already written in my narrative, I lost my very best friend and my first real love while still struggling to grow up. I spent years trying to come to terms with loosing my first love, and I even thought about us while I was in new relationships. If I read books about people finding each other again after a long time, I hoped that would happen to me. After some time I felt better again, and tried to move on.
I have to remind myself of the struggles I`ve had, and how I always tried to continue fighting even when I just wanted to lay down, letting nature take me back to the earth. I`ve been in the rain countless times, and I managed to crawl back into a dry house after a while. These last months have been so difficult, and I am really proud that I got through Christmas, New Year and Valentine in one piece. Valentine was even a good day, because I treated myself so nicely; Ate something good, did scrapbooking, put on music and was proud that I could enjoy myself so much. It’s the first time I spent any of those big occasions without a boyfriend, and I feel stronger. Instead of finding some random person to soothe me, I soothed myself, and I am proud of myself.
I still see his face when I close my eyes, but now I work towards mixing the good things with the bad. How I felt when he was never there, how it hurt when he thought I was demanding too much, the way he never asked about my day or how he was restless when he finally was at home. I was always trying to make him, and still he only told me I was reacting the wrong way. He told me I was overreacting when I tried to talk about how I felt, and that I made it more uncomfortable for him to be home. I did many things wrong, because I felt neglected, and that made me feel even worse and more unstable. I know I`m to blame for a lot of things, but I ALSO have to remember I always did my best.
Another thing I must remember is how hard I have worked to be a better person. I have reproached myself, cried my frustrated tears without anyone to dry them, and gone to sleep alone most nights. I`ve had a warm shower when I really need it, and been social and active. I`ve not missed one day at work, and always focus 100 % at my patients, and I have been completely honest with people around me on how I`m doing. I`ve also been honest with people who liked me more than what I could return, and felt I have been able to not let anything go too far. I`ve also had my share of rejections from some people I’ve met, who I could have liked a bit more, without feeling too bad about it. I`ve told myself I have to take the time I need, and given myself some invisible hugs when the world is grey around me. I must remember that I need this time to heal, and that I obviously deserve it. I shouldn`t feel bad for using several hours on nothing, like staying on the internet or watching some tv-show. I`m much harder on myself than with anyone else, and always keep these unreasonable standards on what I have to accomplish.
To elevate my mood and take care of my body I have started swimming and running 2-3 times a week. Even when on vacation or at home, I try to put some exercise into the program. Today I walked to work for the first time in a long time, and it felt great! I am eating healthy most of the time, but still eat dessert, chocholate or drink chai caramel when I want to. I have met people I and prioritized spending time with them. I also have to learn to not feel bad if I say no to something, because I MUST have time on my own. It`s essential that I can just be with the bad feelings, that I see I can bear it and even learn more about how to control them.
And what about who I am? I have sometimes done bad things, but that doesn`t mean that I AM bad. I have hurt people because that`s easier than being hurt myself, but it still doesn`t make me a person unworthy of love. I struggle, and instead of dragging myself down, by thinking I’m horrible, I have to see that I also do good things, every day.
It can be the small things like holding the door when I see someone coming towards me, and bigger things, like saying to my supervisor today that it`s not okay that my patient is treated bad by her mother. It can be to give my brother a hug and a heartfelt compliment, and it can be to validate someone else`s pain. I think about the environment, and don`t use my money on fancy and expensive stuff. I want to be real, and am proud that I actually can show that it`s okay to do mistakes. We all do, and we will probably do them again. Most of us don`t have energy or time enough to really work on our issues, and there are so many expectations the whole time, that we just have to fail once in a while. I can be creative, get new ideas from diverse bits of information and try to keep updated on what`s going on in the world. I also try to be open to meet new people, and to let the unknown rest where it should be: In the future that no one can see.
Taking all this together, I`ve done a considerable amount of work, and that shows my strength. It shows that I can Survive and thrive, and when I get through this I will surely grasp the opportunities that I deserve. I will take my time, mull it over, and really feel if its right or not, when I go into a new relationship, and I will be honest anout my past and what I hope for. I want to give myself this letter, because I have felt a unhappy the last days, and I need to remind myself that what I`m trying to do is hard work. I am allowed to hope that things will turn around again. I can choose which path I choose, and no one can stop me.
Enjoy your time while waiting for the last scraps of sorrow to fade away, because there is no reason not to.
I want to ask everyone who’s reading this: How would your letter be? What is good about you? Do you give yourself enough comfort? Could you give even more? What would be really great for you, and why do you deserve it in the first place? If you don’t feel like writing a whole letter, is it possible to think about those questions? It`s far too common to forget oneself in a hectic life.
Hugs to myself and to all my readers
reblogged from: brokenbutbeingrepaired
**Trigger Warning-Descriptions of Self injury**
Why is D.I.D a controversial diagnosis???
we/me do not exist in the eyes of many and it hurts
Why aren’t diabetes or asthma controversial?
In the area of the UK I live in, it is impossible to find an NHS psychiatrist who believes in D.I.D or other Dissociative Disorders. Eh? Believes in? It is not a doctors job to believe in a symptom / illness, surely?
Isn’t it their job to asses symptoms and use their findings to make a diagnosis before offering appropriate treatment?
I mean, imagine your Dr doesn’t believe in diabetes, or asthma. Then, imagine you are hypoglycaemic or in the midst of an asthma attack and the medical professionals there to help tell you they don’t believe in the symptoms you are displaying.
Is a diabetic or asthmatic meant to just curl up and die in the corner?
This pi**es us off so much.
To have had to pay privately to be assessed and diagnosed, to be unable to rely on services our taxes pay for in order to be supported, to look online for information and find “controversy” and D.I.D intertwined amongst the “D.I.D does not exist” in all search engines.
Yes, there are people who are wrongly diagnosed with D.I.D. In my view, many with D.I.D are incorrectly diagnosed with various other disorders and made to endure ‘help’ that is damaging.
When diagnosed with D.I.D, it is down to the individual (you know what I mean, hopefully) to research terms like attachment theory, structural dissociation, and so much more.
It is down to that individual to track down a therapist who is willing to a)believe in D.I.D b)be prepared to work with a D.I.D client for years.
I don’t know of anywhere that is available in the UK on the NHS. I know that where I live there is absolutely no such support available.
Why should I have to spell ‘d i s s o c i a t i v e i d e n t i t y d i s o r d e r ‘ before giving the ICD10 codes and DSMIV codes to health professionals?
Why should I then be told that “I’ve never heard of it” and “Oh, we don’t believe in that”.
When looking through my local NHS trusts website, I put Dissociative Disorders into their search box and came up with nothing, except a leaflet on personality disorders which mentioned D.I.D being a personality disorder.I emailed them regarding this and apparently it will be changed when they update their leaflet. Who knows if/when the leaflet will be updated.
I cannot access support from the agencies we’re supposed to rely on.
Yes, I am very fortunate to have a fantastic therapist and really good back up from the Dr who asessed and diagnosed me (privately) . What if K was no longer able to work with me? There is no plan B since I asked all the right places and the only recommendation I got was K which on one hand is reassuring but it fills me with fear over what we’d do without her.
Why should going past the buildings where I accessed the CMHT (community mental health team) trigger panic attacks? Why should I have the fear that if one time, the self injury goes too far, I can’t go to A+E (which would result in either admittance to the Psych ward or referral to the CMHT). Wounds that need sutures don’t get sutured since my local A+E is such a frightening place where dignity, respect and care have been forgotten about. The last time I was there, requiring treatment for selfinjury wounds, the curtains around the bay were open at all times so other patients and their visitors saw and heard things that every part of me works so hard in hiding. What if a wound were arterial, though? let’s not think about that
Sometimes, my life has been like living in the slum. I`ve taken baths in muddy thoughts, surrounded myself with filth and made acquaintance with infectious rats gnawing at what they found.
At times I embraced this way of life, thinking I had no choice. I invited tornado’s into our rooms, destroying the little we had left. Sometimes I didn`t even try to wash myself since normal hygiene took too much energy. At other times, though, I desperately tried to protest and do something about our situation. I tried little things, like tidying inside, walking miles for clean water or rebelled against dirty toilets filled with reminders of how bad it can get. I`ve felt strong, capable and optimistic,
until I felt the draft of air when someone shut my personal door to Narnia . I must admit I even slammed it shut myself, in moment of bitter resentment.
The emotional moments when I could see freedom shining behind that threshold, I often met with my personal Slumdog God of Guilt. He was a stern-looking fellow, who liked to point out the obvious:”I did not deserve that freedom. Could I not see that?” He told me to stay in the slum and to not dream of a better life. How could I continue over the threshold when many poor would be left behind? How could I leave when others were dying, starving and dirty? Shouldn`t I stay there to protect them? I discussed this thoroughly with my friend Shame, who worshipped got Guilt as much as me.
Sometimes, coincidences happen. I was walking through my muddy environment in feverish hunger. My inner GPS broke down, and let me to unknown territory. When my head cleared enough to register my surroundings, I discovered the most beautiful lake I´ve ever seen. Sitting solemnly on a rock, was a calm and serene man. He turned his head and looked at me with the most talkative eyes I´ve ever said. He stretched out his hand while telling me his name: The God of Compassion. The meeting changed my life. He started to follow me everywhere, no matter what I thought about it. He came into my tent, sat down with me and our bugs, put clean sheets on my soiled bed, and gave me warm cups of energy. He told me that thinking about my needs, was also thinking about others. That by turning the energy-switch from 0 to 10 too fast, my ability to help went up in flames. He also said that by punishing myself, by hating and feeling bad for all I did not do, I only made it worse.
The little girl in the slum, God Guilt and my friend Worry were sceptic to the constant presence of him everywhere we went. Our whole lives we were told that Worry and Hard work was the only way to cope. They worshipped Shame and Guilt, and would probably have built a statue of pride for them if they would have time between the constant tasks of worrying about the state of our food ration, our deadly diseases or what we could do to prevent it from killing us kill us. God Guilt always reminded us of the work left, and when the little princess tried to sit down after scrubbing our plates and souls, God Guilt and Shame came with their whips.
God Compassion kept arriving at the little princess`s tent. He let his caramel-flavored words drizzle over
them and promised that nothing would happen if we started to relax more, or think about ourselves. His deep, soothing voice said we were not egoists, and slowly, we started to listen. His words were so sweet, like mint chocolate in our mouths. We could not resist.
To our surprise, this did not lead to punishment. By having less time for God Worry, who some still followed in thick and thin, I saw that the others must have misunderstood what God Worry meant. Maybe the transmission of God´s signal get`s warbled in the slum?
Years later, when I fought my way out of the slum by doing what felt right (no matter if my still present friends Shame and Guilt told me I must think more of others), I met more people who also knew about God Compassion, and were worshipping him instead of Worry, Shame and Doubt. This did not lead to destruction or bad things for others around them. It seemed that the more they followed G. Compassion`s way of life, the more they did for others AND for themselves.
Time and again I`ve tried to show others the truth of God Compassion, but some are always too busy to listen. They have to work, think about what might go wrong, even after everything is better and they have more of what they need. They insist on telling you what`s really important: “My car made this funny sound, so what if it breaks down tomorrow?“. Panic often fill their eyes, fogging out the beauty in plain view. When I was younger, I felt like that, too, but my God of Compassion let me rest. With his soft smile and words he told me: “Everything will be okay. If you just enjoy things now, I`m sure you`ll be able to do whatever you must when the time comes”
Today, I feel like the luckiest person on earth. I feel like a princess, even if I grew up in the slum. And do you know what the best thing is? I`ve met so many fellow slum dogs at my journey. They were also princesses, kings or little queens, but didn`t always realize it, either. All of them were kind, warm and wonderful if you let them show it, no matter how dirty they were before
In the Background: Life in a Delhi Slum (thirdeyemom.com)
What is Faith without Action? (now1040.com)