This is a hard post to write. My life was touched by the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church this week. While my faith remains intact, the religious foundation of my youth has taken a fatal blow. The priest who was suspended from the priesthood for sexual abuse was at one time my therapist and at another time my co-worker. I feel many things and part of me is grateful that while I was in therapy, I did not discuss my trauma back ground – my gut told me that I shouldn’t and it wasn’t okay to do so. I usually am not good at following my intuition though it is usually spot on but I did and can’t imagine how much worse I would feel if I had divulged my story to him. Church and organized religion is such a difficult thing for me with many, many unhealed wounds. It’s going to be awhile before I can trust to rejoin a church again.
I feel like every side of me is pushing in with expectations. Add on top my own needs and beliefs about how I should be performing at work, at home, in my relationships, etc., and I am feeling like a pressure cooker on high heat. There is only so much pressure one can take before exploding or imploding every where. The question arises on how to let go of all of the expectations and pressure and not fall totally apart especially when others are depending upon you daily. Do I just surrender myself to all that is going on and ask for help or keep trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps?
I gave in and cancelled as many of my commitments as I could today before I reached a total and complete meltdown. I was terrified of doing that and the consequences but I was no space to handle anyone else’s issues let alone attempt to manage my own this morning. Sometimes saying I can’t is a strength rather than a sign of weakness.
This was the best choice for me today. I needed a stained glass kind of day where I picked up the broken pieces to put some semblance of order back into my life. I had my significant other come over at 5 a.m. this morning to be with me as I was starting to fall apart and have a complete and total meltdown. I only kept my appointment with my therapist for this afternoon. I figured it was necessary at this point. Tried taking a nap and even took meds to calm down to facilitate this and I am still wife awake but the feelings of panic and depression have subsided some since I did. I’m grateful my partner came here after arriving home late last night. I think it was good for me not to be alone and have the extra support. I needed it and was heading into dire straits in terms of both my physical and emotional health. I cannot say enough about good self care…eating, drinking water, getting sleep, taking meds consistently, and not bottling up problems. I forgot some of these this week and paid dearly yesterday and today for it. When life is feeling like it is reaching a breaking point, remember to step back, sweep up the pieces and create stained glass my friends. There is only one you.
Asking for help is something I am personally terrible at doing. I am wondering if it is a learned art form that we acquire as we grow up which we should learn from healthy parents. My parents were not ones to ask for help from others. Ever. We were discouraged from acknowledging we needed assistance or help from others. I needed help this week and couldn’t bring myself to ask others for it. Luckily others saw that I needed it before something happened and helped me get the medical assistance that I couldn’t seem to get on my own. I was asked a number of times in a number of ways about getting help this week until I ended up in the ER tonight after being at the doctor’s office today. I don’t know how to ask others for help because I have never been around others who ask for help in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming and intrusive when you do. I feel like the response from others when I do ask for help is scary and unpredictable and tends to make me feel very anxious bordering on panic. Because I panic, I tend to be even more reluctant to allow others to know I am struggling with anything whether it be physical, emotional, or something else like vocational. I feel like the child I was who used to have to go it alone and was punished for reaching out to others while growing up in an abusive household. Today I am back at Step one admitting my life is unmanageable and I am wondering if I will ever get past the unmanagability some days. I wonder if my life has purpose and meaning or if I am just a huge screw up. I wonder if I hurt more people than I help. I wonder if I can get it together right now and put my feet back on solid ground. Some part of me knows that I am going through this because I have been on steroids too much lately for my mood disorder. And yet I still suffer from the black dog of depression shadowing me and not helping my physical health recover. Why does recovery have to be so darn hard to constantly pursue?! I wish it could be a linear line progress that I did not falter upon.
Resiliency comes in many forms and choices. While I have been under an enormous amount of stress the last few weeks, I still have choices on how to live my life in a way that that allows for more joy to enter in. The above quote is actually a Swedish proverb though some people accredited the quote to writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson; and actor Johnny Depp, on most web sites. It reminds me not to take life too seriously and endorphin releasing a good heat belly laugh is. One o my co-workers has the most infectious laughs to be around. It’s contagious. She brings joy to our whole team just by being present with her humour and fun- loving spirit. This proverb helped to remind me that I am usually good at using the love passage from 1 Corinthians as a mantra throughout my work day and I haven’t been doing that and it shows. I am not as patient; I am not letting go of wrong doings, I am not other-centered vs. self-centered, etc. I could go on but I think you get the point. I needed to be reminded that I am in need of more laughter and love in my life especially at work.
Send me your best attempts at humor…try to keep it fairly so I can retell the jokes without incident to my clients who could use a laugh with me. I love mental health jokes by the way.
Finding balance between my work and personal life feels totally out of whack. Not only is it impacting me but my relationship with my significant other. Last night I brought work home and ended up spending time with a friend who needed my time before my significant other got home. The result was an all nighter in part due to needing to talk some things through with my significant other and spend time with them after a conversation that raised some emotions due to what was probably being overly sensitive on my part. I lost it last night emotionally and felt like running from our relationship for the first time in two months. I felt scared of being judged which is a leftover issue from my perfectionist father. I cried and cried because I felt teased and like I wasn’t measuring up.
Work has been a fiasco with several of my clients in crisis daily that I can’t accomplish anything. Add on top that balancing work and personal life isn’t going well and I am starting to have high levels of anxiety to the point where I was shaking at work today when things fell apart. This scares me. I usually have a John Wayne approach to work and it is not working. I am falling apart internally and questioning again whether or not I can be in relationships with others. I am afraid of being harmful to my significant other due to watching them struggle lately. I wonder if it is possible to do my job and have a healthy relationship. I just want to be happy.
While I feel better able to breathe tonight, I cannot get any sleep which leads me to wonder if maniac isn’t starting to set in due to too many sleepless nights because of the pneumonia. It is the very last thing I need to have happen right now.
I managed to work 11.5 hours yesterday despite feeling crappy. I felt spent afterward.
I just kept plugging away though because I knew it would be seeing my significant other after work for the first time in days and we had plans to go to the local festival last night. We went to enjoy some of the activities and by the time we finished dinner and bsat down we we’re both spent. I was just glad to be with them after a few days apart. Due to my pFSD issues, I don’t handle our time apart very wey well. Hopefully it will be a quiet w3ekemdso I can recuperate.