Psychodrama

This weekend I did a psychodrama workshop. Initially I was skeptical and didn’t want to get involved. I was with two of my friends, which really helped.

On the Saturday, a flash of inspiration struck me and I created my own psychodrama, which I let occur naturally. So many emotions came out. I cried a lot. It was very powerful. The audience was moved, and because of that, I was constantly chosen to appear in their dramas!

I found the workshop incredibly useful. It’s given me some closure on things and although I know I still need to work on it, I created alternate endings which gave me a sense of control.

After the workshop on Sunday afternoon, my friends came back to my house. And we drunk lots of wine!

Today is the first day that I missed my running. It’s been really hard but I stick with it. When I woke for my 5.30am start, I was still a bit drunk! So I knew I couldn’t drive. My body feels stodgy and sluggish and I miss the ache from the exercise.

I’m feeling a bit low still. My job is really draining and I’m constantly under a lot of stress. I just don’t enjoy it, but I won’t leave until I find something else. Preferably part time, my children really need me. We’ve had some issues with the 11 year old and I feel she’s just lost her way. I worry about her and would like to be around to spend more time with all of them. As it is, the nature of my job means they’ve been at Steve’s more – and I really miss them.

So there’s some more growth and things to process, but there’s a lot of guilt at the moment around the kids.

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Update

My job continues to tick along. I meet quite a few different people. Some are incredibly interesting and very humble. Others seem to be so entitled and obsess over the smallest of things. Not too dissimilar from me. I’ve always obsessed over the smallest of fractions. It makes me wonder just how happy I’ve been in my life to let somethings affect me so much.

I hate the separation. I hate missing the familiarity of Steve, the companionship and the affection and certainty that comes with a long term relationship. But I’m closer to the kids. I appreciate every second I spend with them – I can think of nothing better than spending the days and nights with my children. Of course it’s draining and stressful, especially when I’m juggling my job, but they are the absolute epicentre of my earth. Maybe I took them for granted before? Maybe I relied too heavily on Steve to look after them? I’m always there when he has his work commitments. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

I’m back at the gym – which was a huge feat for me. I was genuinely scared that I might bring on another convulsion. But I can’t keep living in fear. Admittedly I did join a different gym. Start fresh. And it’s not far from the office, so I’ve been going in before work, but if I have the kids, I can go in during the day. So far it’s worked out really well. It’s still a hard slog to go there. I think of a million different reasons not to go; but I put on my gym gear and force myself. I never regret it afterwards. In the spirit of my health and fitness, I’ve joined a ‘couch to 5km’ group. I’ve not told anyone except Steve because of the logistics. It’s a very early start Mon, Weds and Sat. So early in fact on the weekdays that I have to drive 40 minutes into the city, back home to shower and swap to my work car and back out again. It’s a huge commitment, not to mention cost, but I reason that it’s only 8 weeks. I can do it. Can I? I hope so. I’m very anxious about it. I start next week – and again, I’ve already thought of a million different reasons to get out of it. It’s sheer determination to change the rut that I’m in that encourages me.

My counsellor asked me the other day; am I pleased with myself? Am I happy with where I am. But I don’t feel I’ve done anything to warrant feeling proud. Each day is a grind that I survive. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly happy either. But was I ever? I can’t think back to a time in the last few years where I stopped and thought – I’m genuinely happy. It’s been about survival for me. And some days have been better than others, but there hasn’t been a defined period of contentment. That’s not because of the separation – it was before then. The benefit of losing everything is seeing the bigger picture. And I’d genuinely like to go to bed and smile. Sure, time with the kids is awesome, but at night I ruminate over everything little thing. Was I a good enough mum? I stress about work all the time. I wonder when I’m going to cop the next bad mood from Steve. Things still aren’t great between us. The reason being; it defies my expectations. I want a relationship of sorts with Steve, but he’s not willing to participate. Instead there’s this uncomfortable dialogue and unpredictability of sometimes getting along, sometimes having a slanging match. I try not to get sucked in, but old behaviours are hard to break. I can’t control his behaviour, like I want him to show me more respect, so I have to learn to control my reactions and change for myself the impact on me. It’s actually really hard to do that. It’s amazing how much power we can give people.

My medication has changed radically. Some things recently I changed (after seeing the GP). I’m really more in control of my medication. I’m seeing a new psychiatrist in a week, sleep is still an issue. My new exercise routine hasn’t changed that. I obviously need chemical input, I just need something that’s cost affect and works. My CPN has left which I’m quite gutted about. I had a lot of respect for him – even being a man! I’m supposed to see this new woman but I’ve put it off. I don’t feel able to establish trust with anyone else at the moment.

So life continues for me. Not particularly interesting. I’m trying to grow as a person and a lot of times I think I am. Usually it’s interaction with Steve where I end up doubting myself.

Maybe this new fitness program will bring about some positive change.

Dinner fail

Failed at not making passive aggressive comments. It seems entrenched in me. Definitely something I inherited from my mother. As usual I felt like shit during the meal. Steve made me feel like an idiot, or rather I let Steve make me feel like an idiot. I’d spent the day battling traffic, I don’t feel well, I’m tired, I just wanted to crawl into bed but made a show for my daughter. I made the passive aggressive comments, Steve made the outright comments about not giving a shit about me. Then my 14 year old made the remark that everything I say is pointless. So in all, I should have just rain checked dinner and taken my daughter out for breakfast or something over the weekend. I think this family dinner thing is past it’s use by date – it simply isn’t working. I dread to think what Xmas will be like. Although neither Steve nor I will be willing to relinquish any time with the kids. Anyway luckily there’s some before that.

My counselling session was a bit disappointing. But again, I’m supposed to lead that, so it’s a fail on my part. It ended up just being a superficial chat. I didn’t get anything out of it. I had mentioned the dinner afterwards, so perhaps my counsellor was avoiding anything heavy.

Tomorrow I have my ‘formal support’ where my boss identifies any weaknesses and areas where I need training or support. That should be fun! And as the name suggests, it’s formal so it’s all documented and passed to HR. What a week!

Visual representation in therapy

My therapist today told me that I’ve worked incredibly hard, particularly over the last few months and I’ve achieved a lot. The way I talk about things is different. And she sees us moving forward onto the ‘next level’ of things. I didn’t understand what any of this meant and asked her what that might look like. She actually did a visual representation for me which was really helpful and unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

She took a bunch of toys and books from the box and laid them out on the floor in different spots. Each item represented some aspect of my life. The abuse I’ve experienced, Steve, the kids, my home, my job, my friends. She showed me how it was all a jumble when I started counselling. But things have separated and I no longer mix them all up. She showed what things are my priority (kids) how my home has moved closer to me (it feels more like home) and how my past has less power over me. How my friends are of great value to me, and how, despite a Baptism by fire, I have continued to stick it out with my job – and who knows where that might lead for me in terms of a career. Seeing my life laid out in an external format was really enlightening. I couldn’t identify the emotional connections, but I know I felt some contentment that it wasn’t as overwhelming as I always think of my life to be. My therapist explained that I would, in my own time, work through the different dynamics and discover new feelings, identify things I hadn’t worked through or considered before. Carefully unraveling layers, but ultimately consolidating foundations with the ultimate goal of becoming stronger, more aware, healing.

I’d really like to be handed a manual and told exactly what the processes are and rush through to the end. I find all this work very painful and often wonder if I’ll ever truly be at peace. But I guess I just have to trust the process.

This session certainly wasn’t like last session which was incredibly intense and I felt the pain for days. I didn’t think I’d stop hurting but obviously I did because at some point normal life resumed. The weekend was pretty tough but that’s because the kids didn’t want to stay with me so I was pretty gutted. I felt the familiar tug to wallow in bed the whole time; and I pretty much did. But on Sunday I went out to watch a movie – The Wife. I enjoyed it immensely. I like watching movies alone. I cried during the movie, it was really just an excuse to release some emotions.

I’ve had the kids the last couple of nights and I feel so much better for it. And Steve is away for most of next week, so I’m looking forward to next week with them. Time with the kids means everything to me – even though they’re messy and noisy! They make my house a home, they’re my whole world.

I feel a bit numb from this afternoon. I tend to after a therapy session, unless it’s been particularly intense, in which case it’s harder to control, I have to seal it off as I’m looking after the kids. But I’ll be thinking about that visual representation a lot. I can move things around in my head and think about what issues are requiring my attention sooner.

Pain

Yesterday was really tough.

I had a really intense therapy session. I knew I’d been feeling sad, but I’d not been able to really let myself ‘feel’ it which I’ve learnt is integral to healing. I told my counsellor what I’d felt, but I never expected the depth at which it came flowing. I uncovered so much that I’ve not said before. I felt really ripped raw. Don’t get me wrong, although it was incredibly painful, I knew it was incredibly powerful. I could have curled up right there and sobbed the night away. I had unpicked a scab and the pain was unbearable. But the tears flowed freely. The pain was being released that had been trapped inside.

When I left I felt raw, but I was going to Steve’s as he was away and I was looking forward to spending time with the kids. It was my focus. I called him on the way back and asked him where he was, no reason it was just by chance, this turned into a saga in which it was pretty clear he was lying. He back peddled, lied, stumbled and fucked his way through an awkward conversation in which I sounded like a paranoid insecure wife and he sounded like lying, cheating scum caught out. Of course, he’s not cheating – we’re not together anymore. And I’m not his wife. But my god, it was like a white hot knife to the heart. I’ve had my suspicions with his travel but this has just confirmed it. And the bumbling lying has just made it a hundred times worse. I knew it was inevitable, I’m not an idiot, I knew he wouldn’t stay single forever. I just didn’t expect to find out this way – although any way would have hurt to be honest. It really felt like salt to a tender wound. I broke down and cried more. The kids of course saw this. But I was tired, and I couldn’t hide my sadness. I explained I was sad with their dad. We hugged and moved on. Although of course at night while they slept I sobbed quietly. All the pain of the day washing over me.

Today I put my game face on for work, but alone I’ve felt the tears welling. I’ve felt tired and at times numb. The temptation to crawl into bed overwhelming but somehow I’ve managed to plod on.

I feel I’ve reached yet another junction in my life where I can either choose to give in or drag myself together and keep going. Things never seem to happen at once for me, or I never seem able to coast. I always feel like I’m surviving.

I feel sick about everything from yesterday. The feelings I experienced from the past, my ex husband moving on with another woman and blatantly lying about it. I just have to hope that the pay off is that I get stronger from this.

All work, no play

I’ve been to so many support groups recently – I’m feeling pretty drained! Not to mention my boss has got me driving constantly as a resident ‘leaflet distributor.’ – I’ve come to realise that she’s so threatened by me, she’s keeping me busy in other ways. Unfortunately for her it’s backfiring because people are talking to me and wanting to sit and chat with me which is going to get me in a whole new load of trouble. She’s been off the last couple of days. But I’m already in trouble because the groups she’s sent me to have resulted in connections – which you’d think would be the point, but I think it unnerves her that I’m able to establish a rapport with people so quickly. I’m trying my best to just keep my head down and stick at it. But it’s a really unpleasant work environment.

The other night I was invited to a ‘Realities’ group – a group for people with distorted realities. My company have been trying to get in there for months, to effectively market to the participants. But were told not to go by the people that run it. I was invited, which my boss was happy about and pushed me to go, even though I can’t relate to the content of the group. It was late at night in the city too, and the weather was shocking. But I thought I might garner brownie points. That, and a few others, plus I had my own survivors group on Sunday. I’ve been pretty tired.

The group on Sunday was good though. I did talk about the job and the difficulties I’m facing. It’s good to get a fresh perspective and get reassurance that I’m not just paranoid. I can also hear new coping strategies. I do want to make this work. I’d much rather be working than doing nothing all day. Although I’m missing the kids terribly.

My weekend was busy. I caught up with a good friend on Saturday although I was late because I slept in (unusual for me, but my sleep has been shocking) and caught up with another friend before group on Sunday (which I was also late for because I slept in!). Sleep is really off the charts. And my psychiatrist is being really anal about zopiclone which is having a big impact on me. She’s irritated the hell out of me, so I’d rather just not see her at the moment and pick up what basic prescription she gives me. I don’t have the energy to argue or ironically, advocate for myself.

I’m still really enjoying my home! I’ve realised that I’ve completely stopped looking at other houses. That may change eventually. I miss having a garden – but it helps coming up to Steve’s periodically, and I know the kids get plenty of room up here.

Things between Steve and I remain mostly civil. It’s hard to capture! It changes so often. My feelings can be excruciating at times. I miss him terribly and get hit by tidal waves of grief. Anything can trigger it and there’s a lot I avoid (songs, movies, places, etc). Memories can suddenly overwhelm me and make me feel like my guts are falling out. But I’m not sobbing everyday. I’m not texting everyday looking for some kind of response. Small steps, maybe progress? I think it’s taken a long time to accept it’s really over. And before that happened I was never really going to grieve. I miss his friendship more than anything else. It’s weird to have lived in a bubble with someone for so long only to find yourself having new experiences alone. And these experiences keep happening and therefore this realisation keeps happening.

Team meeting tomorrow. Dreading it.

Therapy, medication

Counselling was really good again. I got to off load and work through some triggers that had been bothering me. I felt much lighter from the session. I really get a lot from these regular sessions.

I went to the mood disorder group as well. There were only a few people there. But they seemed friendly and welcoming. I particularly clicked with the falicitator that seems well connected and she’s keen to introduce me to some interesting people next week. It was really nice to be regarded so highly.

I’m not sure if the boss will let me go though. She doesn’t like me doing stuff off my own back. She’s been off Thursday and Friday, so I’ve felt more relaxed. Come Monday she’ll be back to have a go. I’m still going to ride it out though.

I’ve seen the GP about my ear and have been referred to audiology to check there’s no nerve damage following my ear infection.

I’ve made a huge mess of my medication. Which I admitted to, but found the psychiatrist really patronising about. I’m not an idiot – I just made a mistake. She’s American, newly graduated, keen to treat me as a textbook not a person. I find that quite hard. I find it especially hard at the moment while being treated badly by my boss. I’m just too sensitive to being treated badly by anyone at the moment. She’s also restricted my zopiclone which I use for sleep. Even though I don’t use much I tend to use it a bit during periods of poor sleep. That I am annoyed about. She didn’t listen to me.

I’m dreading Monday, team meeting, which is usually when I get it in the neck! But hopefully for the week I can be busy and get on with my own stuff and not have much to do with the boss.