This is going to come in some weird chunks. Luckily for me you have no choice about format.

If I’m going to make some choices about what I want from therapy I need to think about my life and how different parts are working.

  • Marital
  • Parenting
  • Friendship
  • Giving back
  • Physical health
  • Emotional health
  • Spiritual health

I’m sure there is more.

I know that a big part of what I need to actively work on is my inability to perceive people as liking me or for perceiving that there is a place for me. I can be in a gathering of people who love me intensely and still feel like I am such a problem I should just burst into flames.

My psych wanted me to be “stable”. I find that to be an odd goal. Absence of strong emotions. I don’t think that is a goal for me. I want to be able to manage my strong feelings without screaming at anyone or hitting anything or kicking anything or saying things that make my friends feel they need a whole lot of space for me. I don’t want to stop having the feelings.

I believe that a function of growth mindset with regards to my particular life/case means that I will have an easier time existing in my body–not that I will get all the way to pleasant. But I’ll take the moments of good I can get.

I’m sure I’m going to write this down many times but I need to do so now: I walked out on my psych after she told me that we have to keep trying pills so we can find the one that will fix my PTSD damaged brain. She said I could go into remission.

That’s not exactly how it works. I can learn to feel safe. I can learn to overcome the learned deficiencies in my brain. That doesn’t mean a magic pill wipes away the damage. It’s work.

PTSD isn’t a death sentence. PTSD doesn’t signal the end of life. There are many cases where medications help make other therapies more effective. It is totally worth trying medications to treat PTSD. Then you get to the fact that I’m chemically weird. Is it right for me that I have to be on medication? I am really getting to the point where I think not.

I was there for sleeping pills, essentially. I will go back to over the counter. Maybe I’ll hurt myself by using them inappropriately. Ok.

I have 2-3 nights per month where I can’t get to sleep for love or money. I wanted help not completely losing those nights of sleep. I think I could increase my emotional stability if I could regulate my sleep better. Over the years I’ve gotten a lot better in this area but I still have work to do.

It’s ok that you don’t want to help me though. I’ll just lie to the next doctor. I understand that you need that from me in order for everyone to feel comfortable here. I just deeply wish it wasn’t true.

At this point in my life I pretty seriously see medical providers as gate keepers. They have access to helpful tools and they will make you jump through hoops before you are allowed access to the tools. I’m not very good at performing acquiescence. I’d be dead if I were so I have trouble seeing why it is something I should pick up.

I just had a funny moment where I realized with great clarity that if I had been capable of feeling like I “belonged” in my family I almost certainly wouldn’t have prosecuted my father. If I had been able to have that deep feeling of group loyalty that other people seem to have whether they like it or not… I’d be in a very different life place.

Maybe it is a protection mechanism that I never feel like I fit in. It keeps me from tolerating abusive behavior. I will walk on from anyone, no matter how much I like them, if I don’t feel like I belong. I basically never feel like I belong. So I walk away from most groups.

I miss the Merrie Pryanksters. I miss going and performing at Renaissance Faires. But I never felt like I fit in. So I stopped going. You know, every time I talk to someone from that group they are warm, welcoming, and express that they miss me? Why do I feel this inner resistance to going back and trying again?

Because it isn’t a place for me. I don’t know why. It is this keening anxiety inside of me.

Do you know when it stills? When I’m at the bottom of a puppy pile in my house. Every person here wants me around intensely. Even when they get mad at me (and they do get mad at me–I’m an asshole and I deserve it) they still love me and it will still be a maximum of a few hours until they want to love on me again.

Sometimes my children can be almost shaking with anger at me and I can say, “I know I am terrible and I deserve all the fury you feel in your body right now. But you look like a hug. I know I suck, but do you think a hug could help how you are feeling in your body right now?” Usually they melt into tears and cry and hug me with intensity. It hurts being so mad at someone you love.

It’s ok to be mad at me. I deserve it sometimes. I’ll accept that. It makes sense.

You know what else I was thinking about when I couldn’t sleep for most of last night? I was thinking about the fact that it is very select friendships that have ended over the years. And despite my desire to say that all of my problems are my fault because I’m always the common denominator…

The Godmama has basically never had a friendship last longer than ten years. I know because I’ve asked her about her life obsessively for nearly ten years. The Bonus Mama has a habit of breaking contact with people and saying that everything was all their fault. This isn’t her first time. A told me he would be my family forever… but he doesn’t have friends that I know of other than the dude he went shooting with a lot. I don’t know how he’s doing with his newer obligations but I don’t think he was ever a decent sibling to his actual sibling. Other A, she was wrapped up in her families crazy shit. That wasn’t really me.

I want to think that all of the break ups that happen in my life happen because good people get tired of dealing with a piece of shit like me. But I don’t actually think that is what is going on.

I mostly have relationships with troubled people. I search for them. My friends have physical and emotional and mental disabilities. Some have all of the above and some have one and not the others. I’m sure I have a few people somewhere in my life who are completely mentally and physically healthy but I can probably count those people on my fingers and have some left over. I gravitate towards people who struggle.

We can understand each other. We can validate each other. Life is hard.

If I’m picking people who already have their own spree of trauma behind them… big issues aren’t going to be only about me. That’s not how relationships work. There are two sides to problems.

I offered the Godmama help. Her wife wouldn’t let me. I tried to help the Bonus Family in a way that didn’t offend the Bonus Mama but at some point there’s stuff I have to say about the kids. A&A? I don’t feel bad about the fact that things ended. That happens.

Life involves a lot of endings. I tell my kids that endings are necessary because they create space in your life for a new beginning.

Why do I feel like the ending of a relationship is such a failure then?

Because I love you and I wish I knew how to hold on to you forever. But I don’t know how. Sometimes I’m afraid I can’t.

The funny thing about my psych having a conniption fit about my stability is… I am actually in the most stable period of my life. I think I’m doing great. She thinks I’m a never ending train wreck.


But lack of sleep is totes going to help. Thanks.

I don’t think it is my psych’s fault I have my problems. It is her fault that she is unwilling to give me the help I want to receive because it isn’t how she likes helping people. I get that she is covering her ass. I get that. I don’t even think she is bad to do so. She has Standards of Care for a reason. It helps a large chunk of people.

Just like large chunks of people are helped by government cheese. And then you give it to someone with a severe dairy allergy. BUT I’M TRYING TO HELP. GEEZ WHY ARE YOU COMPLAINING?!

I guess I’m just selfish.

Someone who will give me a gene test that shows that a whole bunch of medications are essentially not able to help me but I have to try them anyway “just to be sure”…

Med trials aren’t fun. They are hell. They feel horrible and my experience of many psych meds is that it dramatically increases my suicidality. Oh how perfect! But if I want to stop playing this game of Russian Roulette, clearly I have a fixed mindset and I am unwilling to grow beyond my trauma.

Oh fuck you with a pogo stick.

I have made more progress than people believed possible. How dare you tell me I am incapable of more. How the fuck do you know? Medical people told my brother he would never walk again either. Guess what he motherfucking did? That bitch walked. Ok, he looked funny as hell but he got around without anyone’s damn help when doctors swore up and down that would never happen.

Fuck doctors.

Western medicine is really quite young. Psychiatry is an even younger discipline. And a great many people follow it like it is a religion. The way that people “believe in science”. Ok dipshit, you know what? Science is a process of asking questions. If you “believe in the results” you are just as silly as the people who follow religion whom you believe you are better than. So fuck right off. The results of studies are directly conflicting all the damn time. If you believe in those results you are stupid.


I care about studies. They influence my thinking. I read them obsessively. But I don’t believe in them any more than I believe in the Norse or Egyptian or Hindi or Christian mythology I read to the kids.

It’s good to know what other people believe in. It makes it easier to figure out life. That doesn’t mean I have to agree.

It’s like the vaccine schedule. It is designed with the belief that the vast majority of children will be in day care from approximately six weeks of age. If a child is going to be exposed to day care then they really do need to be vaccinated as early as possible to ensure their protection and the protection of the people around them. But if all children stayed at home with a parent/family care giver until five or six years of age… we wouldn’t need the same vaccine schedule. It is different in different countries and it works out ok. The US has (I might be remembering this wrong or it may have changed in eight years) one of the most extreme vaccination schedules: meaning more shots and earlier. We are scared to death of under vaccinating.

But countries that vaccinate later and less often don’t have raging rates of disease epidemics compared to us. They just have an entirely different culture and the children are exposed at different rates. That’s not right or wrong. It’s just different.

My first child was vaccinated late. My second child was vaccinated early. There were different things going on in their lives. With my first child I barely left the house to grocery shop. She genuinely wasn’t exposed. My second child was exposed so they were vaccinated as early as possible. I don’t feel bad for making different decisions. The circumstances were different.

I don’t feel there is any value in blindly conforming for the sake of blindly conforming. If I had to work and my kids had to go to day care they’d probably follow the normal vaccination schedule. It isn’t my favorite but it would make sense.

I feel like my situational ethics is going through the rough lately and I’m not sure I like it. For most of my adult life I’ve refused to lie to doctors and as a result I’ve had a lot of fights. I’m to the point where I’m ready to lie with a big smile on my face. I don’t care. You don’t want to hear the truth. You want to hear what you want to hear and I need the support I need so I need to manipulate you into giving me what I need because I can’t get it honestly. Cheers.

Because being honest means doing without and I’m kinda frustrated with that bullshit. I will never be properly, completely under the control of a doctor. That’s not an option in this life. Get over it.

I sent my therapist an email. Here, I’ll just copy and paste it because I have no shame. I sent this with the title “I feel I need to say something”

So today was festive. I then went and fired (redacted psych name). I’m comfortable with this decision.

I’m going to spend a lot of the next two weeks thinking hard (and writing too much; I’m sure) about how I’m going to need to talk about some of my medical stuff going forward. I believe that I still have things I can learn from you, but I feel that I need to put some thought into what I want that to be.

It’s probably time for me to look around and take more stock of my life and make decisions about what I’m trying to change. That will make it a lot easier to figure out what kind of help is actually useful.

I didn’t sign it and I didn’t give any more detail than that. I am not ending my relationship with you but I’m going to dictate the terms of it. Not you.

I feel like part of what I am going to say to her when I see her again is that it is not ok for her to call me with “Something she wants to say but she doesn’t want to get into a response.” If you want to say something at me outside of session you may send me an email and I’ll read it whenever the fuck I feel like. You are not entitled to my time whenever you want it. Do not call me and tell me that I am not to respond again. That’s not ok. We don’t have that kind of relationship.

We talk when I want to talk to you. I listen to you talk when I pay for time. I do not listen to you at your discretion. We do not have that sort of relationship and I do not want that sort of relationship with you. Hello: boundaries.

I am intensely conscious that medical providers are here to meet my needs at great expense to me. Guess what motherfucker? I’m not paying to be here for you. That’s bullshit. Pay me.

Talk about entitled.

I’ve dealt with a number of doctors who think I’m paying for them to decide if they want to acknowledge me. Oh I don’t god damn think so.

Psych’s line was: “I don’t want you on more than one mind altering drug”. Oh horse shit. You are going to put me on more than one mind altering drug. That’s your plan.

You don’t want me on any drug that you do not dole out. I get it. War on Drugs. Marijuana is the devil. Ok, whatever. You haven’t sufficiently studied it so you don’t know you can trust it. Whatever. What I know is that every other medication you make me try makes my life hell and this one drug is practically a miracle. I’m just going to have to live with you not liking my choices.

My shrink’s comment was, “She’s not as anti-pot as most psychiatrists. You shouldn’t judge so harshly.” The entire profession sucking is not a reason for me to be happy about a particular person not being the shittiest one in the bunch. For fuck’s sake.

VICTORY IS MINE *cough* I just managed to hear the gardener outside. I haven’t heard him in a year. I want the grass mowed for Easter. I’m so excited. *cough* Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The psych wanted me to try up to 30 other drugs because “eventually” I will find my magic pill. What I hear when she says that is over a year, perhaps two years of drug trials. Most of which are going to put my body through the wringer and make me feel like I should die. All in the name of “stability”.

I do not believe that path will lead to greater stability and happiness for me. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe there is a path to greater stability and happiness. Just that I don’t think it’ll be paved by big pharma.

I believe with all my heart that I have the potential to grow and change. I do it over and over again. I do very little but change and grow.

That’s just how I roll.

2 thoughts on “This is going to come in some weird chunks. Luckily for me you have no choice about format.

  1. Michelle

    I had a shrink who decided i couldn’t be her patient anymore to treat my PTSD until I was “stable for at least 6 months with an ability to predict my life for the following 6 months. So I couldnt get mental health treatment until I fixed my mental health on my own? She made me want to punch bricks and I was pretty much a seething rageball whenever I saw her.

    God meds are complicated. I went through about two years of drug trials, maybe 3. The ones I outlined in one of my earlier replies on here? And that was when my neurologists approach was “im not sure if you have migraines or epilepsy but lets throw heavy duty drugs at you and see what sticks.” Turns out i had neither? But some of the meds im on really were these magical life altering things for me so i dont know. I dont regret doing it but it was an incredibly shitty time.

    I hear you on science. I am obviously more of a science person but most people dont seem to know how the scientific method works, the politics amd history of science, and most dont have the scientific literacy to interpret how to apply the results of a study or be critical of its methodology.

    My favorite description of ptsd i ever saw was that soldiers blog you linked to, about how it is a forever altered perspective. Its not….a thing you just fix? I dont think we know how to unmethylate DNA and the cortisol system is so complicated. But for me my approach has been to focus on individual symptoms, e.g. how can i make this one trigger more manageable, what strategies can i use to build trust safely, etc.

    Sleep is so important. How the fuck can your doctors not see that?

    The whole dynamic of carefully telling doctors what they want to hear is such a fresh and painful one for me. People act like i am being paranoid but all it would take is one suspicious doctor to take my meds away and then i could lose my brain again or die. Gatekeepers indeed.

    I am feeling keenly right now the pain of the loss of very long term friendships and the bewildering bits of human nature. I like your take on it.

    I am going to do my best to keep up with your journal without the feed. 🙁

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