Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mindfulness in a nutshell

After two mammograms and two ultrasounds (one done by the tech and another done by the radiologist "just to be sure"), it seems like I have a large nonmalignant lump in my right breast. "It doesn't look malignant," said the polite radiologist (before she sonogrammed she delicately asked, "May I examine...?" and then palpated me very apologetically). But I'm having a biopsy next week just to be sure.

So it looks like I don't have a Get Out Of Life Free card, and I'll have to find ways to make my life tolerable.

Therapy is helping. I've broken down the mindfulness process into three steps: notice, acknowledge, distract.

First, you notice what you're feeling and where you're feeling it. Anxiety in the belly. Anger in the shoulders and chest. Heat, tension, burning -- any sensations and emotions.

Second, you acknowledge: "I'm feeling really angry about X." "I feel anxious and I'm not sure why." "I'm sad and there's a heaviness on my shoulders." Recognizing the emotion and how/where you feel it can attenuate the intensity of feeling.

Third, distract. With something comforting or just different. Touch a piece of soft velvet. Grip an ice cube in your hand. Smell some perfume. Suck on a lemon, like I did in grad school.

I need to put together a comfort drawer. With perfume to smell, lotion to put on my hands, and something very tactile -- maybe a child's spiky rubber toy to grip. Because I got a job offer, so I might soon be back at work.

It's not the job offer I was dreaming of, but that job interview is scheduled for more than two weeks from now. I'll keep it, just like I'll keep another I have in a few days. I'm looking out for what's best for me; even though I've provisionally accepted another offer, I'm still keeping my options open.

Still, I do have an official job offer in hand, in part because a friend of mine from the methadone program came through with a reference.

After I was bullied and harrassed but before I was fired, I asked several co-workers if they'd give me a reference. They all said they would, and then they all stopped answering my calls and emails. I can't entirely blame them -- they work under my former boss, and they know what a vindictive bitch she is. Still hurt, though. But my good friend Vic didn't let me down:

It is not that easy for me to be brief about my friend, co-worker and colleague but I will do my best.

As a person she is very personable, very easy to be with due to her fast wit, good nature and engaging attitude.

As a colleague, when working together on an individual project or seeking her opinion or advise with our patients she has a tendency to really digest the information before giving me her thoughts on the subject. I liked that.

And I always admired her good knowledge of medication, mental health and mental health issues.

When working with Ayelet she demonstrated a high level of clinical and administrative skill as evidenced by some of the presentations and solutions to staffing concerns that our office had prior to her coming on board. We had to deal with a lot of inefficiency until she created some substantive solutions to the problem. Ayelet is detail oriented and a problem solver.

I heartily endorse not only her work but the person for the position. Knowing her, If she is seeking the position with you, it is probably because she has already researched and concluded that she could be an asset to the position.

Please feel free to call me with any questions or additional information that you may need

I don't have a lot. But I do have some good friends. They support me when I'm feeling low, they always believe in me, and they help as much as they can, which is a decent amount.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How was the bar mitzvah? Horrible.

I went to my nephew's bar mitzvah. He did great, I did not. I forgot my lithium, so I missed a few doses and then got a few doses fromr a different manufacturer, so I was physically sick, and the whole event was just miserable for me. Largely because I really can't stand being around my mother and my sister.

My cousin Yaffa has been trying to support me, but ultimately I don't want her support if she's going to act like I've imagined all the harm and insults my sister and mother infliected on me. It's easy to say "forgive" or "accept" when you're not suffering physical pain and tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs..The easiest way for me to not be constantly angry and resentful is not to be reminded of them.

If I were feeling better, I'd try to describe the interactions I had with Yaffa, Jerusha, and my mother that upset me so much. But I'm not. I'm feeling lower than I've felt in a long time. I can't say I'm depressed, because I don't think I cry this much when I'm actually clinically depressed. I'm just miserable. To top it all off, my doctor found a mass in my right breast and my insurance won't pay for the imagining until I meet a $4000 deductible. Good old Aetna. I'm fighting with them over it but I doubt they'll concede.

Whether I've screwed up my life on my own or whether I've had help, I don't see it getting much better. Especially now that I'm 45 and wanted only as a sex object by boys under 25. I'm tired of the pain. I'm tired of the loneliness.

Here is the email I want to send my cousin:

Yaffa, it's great that you're able to forgive my mother and my sister for the harm they've caused me and the pain I endure every day, but I guess I'm just not as serene as you are. Not that Jerusha thinks she ever did anything wrong, because it's always all my fault. Even though she promised to pay for gym membership and personal training and then left me on the hook for thousands of dollars, on top of the injury and continued pain for 10 years. Not to mention the thousands and thousands of dollars I've spent on treatment and pain medication, and will most likely have to continue to spend as long as I live. None of this is her fault, of course.

Neither of them has apologized or tried to make it up to me in any way. So it's just too difficult for me to be around them and around people who don't think they've done anything wrong. Thus, I need a break from you. I'll let you know the results of the scan and biopsy, if there is one. But if you're going to act like Jerusha  hasn't done awful things to me, and say she's "afraid" of how I "irrationally" react to the pain she helped put me in, then I don't want to be in contact with you.

Sorry if this sounds petty or small-minded, but it was also pretty small-minded for Jerusha to delete my friend requests instead of just saying she didn't want to be connected on Facebook. And it's too painful to watch her be actually nice to other people while struggling to be even polite to me, so I'm done with family events.

The same goes for my mother. I realize that I am an adult and responsible for my own life, but I can't help but wonder how different my life would have been had I not been exposed to so much pornography at such an impressionable age. I have no doubt I would have been messed up somehow, but I don't think I would have been messed up as badly. And I'm alone while that disgusting pervert has a comfortable retirement in her house. I refuse to forgive and say it's okay, because it's not. I have to live with the consequences: I'm alone and I will probably always be alone. So I don't want to be around people who act like my mother hasn't done anything wrong, when she let him sexually traumatize and warp me. Even now, she has more compassion for him than for me. So I am done with her.

I don't want to be around anyone who acts like my mother and my sister haven't hurt me. Acceptance is difficult when you're in constant pain and the unrepentant source is in your face. So I think for my own health I need to distance myself from them and the people who love them.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"