Meg’s guide to sanity.

TRIGGER WARNING: PHYSICAL ABUSE WITH SEXUAL OVERTONES

I’m sort of in a funk, but mostly I’m just bored.

I’ve been reading my EMDR book, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have a lot of how-to stuff in it. Or if it does, it’s hidden somewhere in the middle. Mostly it just seems to be case studies and techniques for the clinician. This is because, the author tells us, we need a therapist to do it with us. But I’m at a point where I want to do EMDR with myself, because I no longer trust anyone who has a license to practice therapy.

I think I’ll be fine. The whole process of EMDR doesn’t make me emotional, and the main concern of doing self-EMDR is that I’d get distraught and have no one to console me. That seems unlikely.

I’m worried for a lot of reasons. I love Christmas, but I actually have neoannophobia. The new year always scares me. Something about the numbers turning and the numerology changing overnight just makes me worried and fearful. I never feel safe in the new year until enough time has passed without negative incident. But it’s just scary.

2018 was the worst recent year. That was when my mom fell down the stairs under mysterious circumstances. That happened on January 31, and it was all downhill from there; thus giving credence to my irrational belief that bad times are packaged in an annual calendar. Well, gee. Look at the coronavirus and everything that’s been packaged into 2020, the year from hell! See, the year seemed okay at the very start, but then… global disaster. Chaos. Ruin.

My flashbacks of abuse always get worse in January, February, and March. I’m feeling this internal pressure right now to do EMDR to nip it in the bud. Even though it was my dad who abused me, I feel the burden of “getting over it” on my own shoulders. I don’t want to keep going down this yearly pattern of falling apart in January, lashing out at people in a cruel way, and being irrational. Let’s look at the evidence, shall we?

Over the past several years, I’ve engaged in the following behaviors in January, February, or March:

  • Viciously bulling men who rejected me
  • Losing my cool and acting homicidal toward a young mother at the bookstore who was threatening to spank her son
  • Losing touch with reality because I tried to go off an antipsychotic (very poor planning)–that decision left me with voices in my head shrieking at me to end all my friendships and sabotage every relationship I had–I finally took some Seroquel and slept it off (that’s allowed)
  • Spending months wondering if my sister pushed my mom down the stairs and gathering evidence against her (the jury’s perpetually out, but Ellen’s more than capable of it–total [bleep])

It just scares me. And I’m not making this up: the problem starts on January 1st. I don’t mind celebrating new year’s eve by watching a television program (usually of the ball dropping in Times Square), but after that point, it’s game over. As soon as I go to bed and wake up on January 1st, everything’s off somehow, and I know I won’t feel good again until springtime comes. And worse, I always fear that I might lose control of my behavior and do something irreversible. It’s just complete irrationality.

I’ll be taking more Prozac, which treats irrationality (a symptom or presentation of my Pure-O from OCD) as well as depression. I’ll start taking extra on Christmas to get it in my system. But… guess what’s going to happen on January 1st? I’ll be getting my period that day! Terrifying. Just run. Save yourselves, loyal blog followers. There won’t be enough Prozac for a cure.

The EMDR book says that the free association is supposed to lead to insight. (You tell the therapist whatever’s on your mind after each round of eye movements.) I remember telling my last therapist that I felt like a prostitute and a discarded hooker, and she said (later), “You do realize your dad wasn’t trying to violate your sexuality by physically disciplining you, right?”

And she said it in a sort of… pejorative tone of voice. I didn’t like how she said “physically disciplining” rather than “physically abusing.” The term “physical discipline” implies that I deserved it, that any ever deserves it, and that my dad was in his right mind, as if he was meting out extra chores, or something. (I have no idea where his head was, but it was colossally the most idiotic thing he’s ever done.)

I replied thoughtfully, “I agree. I’ve never seen any evidence that my dad has a spanking fetish, so I’ve ruled that out.”

That response seemed to offend her. “What are you saying?! You think parents think AT ALL that their kids might be sexually turned on by getting spanked?! That’s an unreasonable expectation.”

She’s probably right, unfortunately; but I was just answering her question. And she didn’t have to get so defensive. (Who wants to wager she spanked her own kids and was miffed by my take on the issue?)

So we’re entering into that dark times of year when I get triggered and have horrific flashbacks of degradation and humiliation. Happy freaking new year. But if I survive it without getting myself arrested, it’ll all be okay.

I’ve enjoyed including my therapist in my memoir. (I identify her by first name, Dawn.) I think she’ll like how she’s portrayed, too. [Nods.] Ooohhhh, maybe I can send signed copies of my memoir to all my enemies! 😀 Okay, I see I’m still experiencing some Christmas cheer after all. It’s the season of miracles. I’m hoping to enjoy Christmas despite my fear of everything that comes after.

Oh! In good news (if we can see it that way), I have to see a state-appointed psychiatrist in early January. He’ll determine whether I’m still disabled. The timing couldn’t be better. Praise God!

3 thoughts on “Meg’s guide to sanity.

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