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hsphaven

Haven for the living Princess and the Pea

Abandoholism

I keep asking myself why do I keep falling for mental health professionals? It always ends in heartbreak and trauma. These people are unavailable to me in any real life sense and I always lose the relationship altogether. That is when I discovered Susan Anderson’s podcast on “Abandoholism”. Basically, some people are attracted to the unavailable. The podcast goes for 48 minutes and explains how this can turn into an addiction. I have written about addiction to narcissists and emotionally unavailable partners before here. I talk about the variable/intermittent reinforcement schedule of these people which gets us hooked more than stable, predictable love. Susan mentions this in her podcast. She also includes some other interesting research. She explains that in the abandoholic brain, the amygdala associates love with insecurity/fear of loss. She then goes onto share some research which shows that separation in a relationship creates a stronger bond, and abandoholism and trauma bonds are basically opioid addictions. This research was with mother rats and their babies. Those rats who were separated formed a closer bond than the rats who were not separated. The rats were then given Naloxone, the drug used to block opiod drugs such as heroine (what a fucked up experiment, I know). When given Naloxone, there was no difference in the bond between the rats who were separated and those not. The Naloxone had blocked the opioids leading to the bond. I believe a similar addiction can happen with self-injury.

Susan Anderson’s podcast can be purchased here.

I’m still no further in actually healing this, but I learnt a fair bit in 48 minutes.

Responding to trauma: the “collapse”/”shutdown” response

There are at least four different ways the body can respond to highly traumatic or stressful situations. With my current trauma I have been taken into the “collapse”/”shutdown” state, which is when the nervous system decides it cannot escape the threat, cannot overpower it, and cannot make it lose interest. It is a state of complete helplessness where the only thing left is to disconnect from ourselves and our surroundings so we don’t feel as much pain. It is a response which looks extremely disturbing to onlookers, which is why somebody who saw me like this a few weeks ago called an ambulance. I looked as though I’d overdosed or something. I lay on the ground not speaking or responding. He turned me over and my muscles flopped meekly to the ground like a rag doll. Usually I’d be embarrassed to be causing such a scene, but I was so out of it and did not care about anything anymore. It all felt like a bad dream. Continue reading “Responding to trauma: the “collapse”/”shutdown” response”

Desperate and invisible

I feel myself slipping. Slipping into the underground world. When you are in this much pain you will accept relief anywhere. I want heroine, but I don’t know anyone or anywhere who has it. My friends are not part of this world which is enticing me like the deceptively calm waters of a rip, pulling me so far away from the shore that I barely know who I am anymore. I heard there is a man in the neighbourhood who does drugs. He works as a logger, frequently bringing wood home and chain sawing it or grinding it in his machine, subjecting the whole neighbourhood to his incessant noise. He has kids who are just as loud and obnoxious and love riding motor bikes around the yard. Apparently he even owns a gun and has threatened the neighbours with it before. I used to hate him, but now I think about knocking on the door and asking if he can help me. Continue reading “Desperate and invisible”

Someone to stay

My doctor said she would listen to me and include me in their decision to discharge me. Apparently they hadn’t made the decision yet. But somewhere amongst all the calls to Lifeline, ambulance calls, police calls, hospital admissions and hate letters I’ve written to them it seems like they’ve made their decision to discharge me. They probably made it before that appointment when they started talking about discharge. At the end of the day they will do what they like to me and the many others they “help”. They will replace me with another client and move on with their miserable lives while mine is destroyed. I wrote a letter telling them they can go fuck themselves. Then I called my case worker and begged him not to discharge me. Continue reading “Someone to stay”

There is a fine line between love and hate

I haven’t felt a part of the festive season for a long time. It is hard being surrounded by merry songs and celebrations when all you want is to die. I have suffered so much loss and painful goodbyes around this time. Right now another important therapeutic relationship is coming to an end. Even though I have been through this so many times before it doesn’t get any easier. It just gets worse. Continue reading “There is a fine line between love and hate”

“Insight”

insight

This page is from a book called “From Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories The Make Us” by Rachel Aviv.

The degree of  “insight” a person is seen to have is what determines their treatment. I am quite fortunate in that my mental health team think I usually have excellent insight. The flip side is that they equate insight with the degree of my distress and pain i.e. my pain isn’t great because I have excellent insight into it. So I don’t get help. You can’t win. They try to lock me up and force medication on me when I’m not asking for their help, but when I am severely depressed and suffering the worst pain and trauma imaginable, I am just left to deal with it alone.

Birthday

It is my birthday. I want to cry the minute I wake up. Mum is going to take me to Warburton but I can’t get moving. All I want to do is sleep through this day. I sit in the car with her and snap at her for making conversation with me and telling me twice that I should move my bag from my feet as I have no room. I don’t think I can last an hour stuck in a car with another person. I tell her I’d rather go somewhere closer. We drive to Olinda and wander round the shops. It is a sunny day yet a big black suffocating cloud follows me everywhere. The joyful Christmas songs playing in the shops make me want to puke. I pray that the shop keepers don’t talk to me and ask me how I am. Continue reading “Birthday”

Spiritual guidance and Life Blockage Release

It is often when I am at my lowest that I feel something is reaching out to me. Call it angels, guides, God, Spirit, our higher self, it is like a break in the clouds. Things happen that carry a message or lesson that is very clear to me. It is not always pleasant. Sometimes it is tough, like a distressing near death experience after being so suicidal. These experiences make me realise maybe I don’t actually want to die just yet and they give me a sense of gratitude for my life. Often, though, the communication is gentle and touching. A few months ago I had very traumatic night where I had a sudden panic attack and also became psychotic, dissociated, experienced intense feelings of Solipsism, or however you want to view the experience. I was admitted to hospital. Then when I was discharged I was still not right. My mental health team made it worse by trying to section me under the Mental Health Act and give me compulsory treatment. I fled my city and spent five weeks in my friend’s holiday house. Inside the house was the Footprints poem and all I can say is I felt protected spiritually. On the Monday, the night I first experienced the “attack”, the bedside lamp in the front bedroom mysteriously turned itself on. I was a little creeped out at first, but I took it as a sign that somebody on the other side wanted to make their presence known and remind me I am not alone and I am safe. I left the light on over night and fell asleep. The next day when I woke up it had turned itself off. It was like somebody was there with me that night holding my hand until I fell asleep. Continue reading “Spiritual guidance and Life Blockage Release”

Why

“This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I’ll never tread
These are the dreams I’ll dream instead
This is the joy that’s seldom spread
These are the tears
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head
And these are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
And this is how I feel
Do you know how I feel?
‘Cause I don’t think you know how I feel
I don’t think you know what I feel
I don’t think you know what I feel
You don’t know what I feel.”

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