Thursday, December 16, 2010

Telling the truth

My appointment last week was successful in that by the end of it, I was in enough a better state from when I went in.  Tricia talked with me for the hour, just walking me through the memories, thoughts and lies I was struggling with.

At the end, she looked a little bit relieved and said that I seemed to be doing better than when I came in.  She asked if that was wishful thinking, and I said no, I did feel better.

I went back to work this week, after a VERY snowy and cold weekend, and got through the first two days relatively well.  It feels like the memories have faded some to the background.  Not maybe that they have faded, but that I have been allowed to ignore them and live above them for the time being.

However, yesterday, I started having my anxiety ramp up.  It started with trying to help our pastor with a computer problem, then solving other problems, and by the end of the day, I was so frustrated.  As I was coming home, my anxiety was going higher.  I had to take the kids to their Wednesday night church activities, and by the time they were dropped off, I had to get out of the town, over the bridge to the nearest McDonald's.  Sounds weird, but I just needed a spot to park and breathe, and as I needed to eat, that was the first place I thought of.

I grabbed my phone and tried calling Cindy D. first, but we were able to talk for only a few minutes, long enough for me to tell her about the anxiety attacking me right then.  Then I tried calling my best friend, Cindy, but she was so sick, she wasn't even able to answer her phone.

I realized that God just wanted me. 

So I grabbed my bag and went inside McDonald's, got some food, and then settled down to eat, read and journal.  I had gotten a book from a friend, so I read through some of that and made notes about what hit me and what I felt like God was saying to me.

I am much more stable than I was last week.  Partially because, well, because I am being a better girl than I was last week.

You see, I had my appointment with Tricia last Monday, but the week before that I started fighting with myself about taking my anti-depressant.  I don't really know why, but I didn't want to take it.  I thought I was doing better, and as I had a counseling appointment coming up, I wanted to be able to "feel" the emotions (not that I can't now... but I think they can be much more intense - and painful as I learned) as I was going through the appointment.

So, I started slacking off on taking it.  Like skipping two days, taking it one, skipping 3 days and then having my Monday appointment.  Then I don't really remember when I took the next one, maybe Tuesday night after I got home from my friends house... after my day full of panic attacks. 

When I talked with Tricia on Thursday at my added in appointment, she said that she had brought up my case in her collaberation that morning because she was concerned that I was going backwards rather than forwards.  She said that two different people had asked if she knew if I was taking all my medications.  She told me she would have never thought to ask that, so asked me if I had been taking them all.  I said that I had missed a "couple" of the anti-depressant.  When she asked why, I froze, and then blurted that I had lapsed between refills.  When she asked again how many I had missed, I told her 2-3.

I out and out lied to her.

Why would I lie to someone that I profess to trust, who has walked with me through so much?  I have never lied to her that blatantly before!  I don't get it.

Once I started taking my meds again and started to think more clearly, I started asking myself this, but shying away from God just yet.

Yesterday, it really came to a head as I talked with a friend again on the phone.  No one knew about my not taking my medication, except for one friend and his wife whom I told through an email.  At one point, she asked me why I was having a hard time doing something else Tricia had asked me to do, and if I was going to tell her.  When I said I wasn't sure, she asked me why, because she knew that I was pretty brutally honest with her.

Then I just spit it out and told her that it was because I hadn't been honest about some other things.  There was some silence on the other end of the phone as she thought a minute and then she said that she wasn't going to ask if I didn't want to tell her.  So, I blurted it out about how much of the meds I had missed, and that I had purposely done it.

It was hard to say, but good I think, because I needed to say it to someone real, someone who knows me in real life, who can get right up to me, in my face, and find out if I am taking them or not... or at least, she won't mother me, but is someone I can go to if I am struggling with it.

Now though, she made me realize that I have to tell Tricia.
and I don't want to.
I don't want to disappoint her.

She asked me if I was punishing myself.  We had talked the previous day about the little things, like not eating well, or staying up too late, or not taking care of my hand well enough - and as random comments popped out of my mouth, it became apparent that I really didn't think highly enough of myself to take care of myself the way I should.  It's way better than it used to be, but still, not where it should be.... still lies there to be uncovered and dealt with.

So she asked me if I was punishing myself.  If I thought that I didn't deserve love (or I would insert here peace, joy or freedom) enough so I was delaying the healing process by not taking my medication correctly.

Honestly, I don't know.  I guess maybe I have been in a way.  I think I knew that my body/emotions were going to react that way because of not taking the meds.  And I didn't care.  It isn't too hard for me to do something that will inflict emotional pain on myself.  Leave some issue unresolved, and then stop taking medications, and self sabotage.

At one point yesterday I said to myself, and to God that I really didn't want to live with that 19-20 year old that did those things, and that was subjected to those things back in college.  I blurted out (I was alone in the sanctuary) that she really should just die. 

I heard those words echo through the sanctuary, and I looked to the front, at the cross. 
Then said, "She really doesn't deserve to die, because neither does anyone else I have talked to, that I know who have been abused or made bad decisions."

Then I left a question hanging in the air and walked out of the sanctuary.

"Now that we are all forgiven and covered by Your blood, do we still deserve to die, anyway?"

The obvious answer is that by God's mercy and grace, He wants to heal us from those things in our past that have hurt us so.  I know that.  But there is part of me that just wants to crush that girl who was, and grind her out of existence so I don't have to think about her anymore.

What God really wants me to do is to embrace her... go back to her as the adult I am now and embrace her and give her the love that she wasn't getting from another human being, and through that, point her to God.  Point her to the truth.  In so doing, I will open the door (with God's help) to Him coming in and healing her, healing me and there will be no more "her" and "me" but there will be "I."  I will be more whole, more integrated, more healed, and more able to deal with other pains, or resolve other conflicts and grow up some more.

One of the most effective ways for me to go back and embrace that little girl that needs love so much is through the process of EMDR, as Tricia guides me through it.  God has healed me so much, and so quickly many times, and so effectively, using that process. 

But from experience, I have learned that it doesn't work very well when there are barriers between you and your therapist.  Whether she knows of it or not.  I have had times where we have gotten blocked and when God finally led me to tell her something, as we started the EMDR God met me in a powerful way.

If I want to have Tricia help me and guide me through the process of EMDR dealing with these past memories that have become so current and fresh, I need to be honest with her.  Which means, I have to tell her about the medication and how I purposely stopped taking it.  I need to be able to let go and let down all the barriers.  If something is keeping me from telling her the full truth, then it means I don't trust her fully for one reason or another.

At least, I think so.  I don't know.  Maybe it isn't that I don't trust her fully.  Maybe it's that I am afraid that she is going to be disappointed with me.  I look up to her.  I don't want to disappoint her, or cause disapproval.  I think I'm afraid that she is going to just dismiss last week as all about the lack of medication.  I know the lack of medication intensified everything, every emotion, but there was more behind it than that.  I couldn't think very clearly or claim the truth for myself, but I was experiencing (probably too closely) the things that had happened in my past and I wasn't able to shut it down, I didn't have control.  The inability to control what was going on emotionally, or to think clearly was from the medication.

Maybe the desire I have to not take the anti-depressant is because I am scared of what this time from January to March will look like if I were more healed and whole and on my meds and more stable.  I mean, that's whole new territory for me.  And it's scary.  This is my familiar.  This is what I know.  The ups and downs, the anxiety and depression, the fear and darkness.  To have a possibility of walking in the light again is scary.

But as I read in Psalm 139 today, even if I want the darkness to cover me and the light to become night around me, even the darkness is like light to God, and it shines like the noonday.  No matter what I do, God sees, He knows the motives of my heart, He understands, and He still loves.  Even this fearful, trembling girl who's afraid to walk forward and this fearful, angry adult who wants to crush out the past.

He still loves.

Oh God, help me cling to Your truth!


Clay Feet said...

Honesty keeps relationships healthy and the mind clear. But sometimes it is painful to be willing to be that vulnerable, especially when we are afraid of our value diminishing from what someone will think about us. It all seems to end back up at our sense of value and where it really comes from at the heart level.

Karibou said...

Isn't it beautiful that, while we can lie to our loved ones, we can lie to our friends, and we can even lie to ourselves... we can't lie to God? He never lies to us, either. I wish I had your courage, dear.

Unknown said...

Hey sweetie,

I get it.

Love you, Lee

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Merry Christmas, Heather. I know this must be a hard season for you, so I will pray as the Lord prompts. Rest when you can; laugh a lot; eat well; pray more. You are God's precious daughter, and his love for you was never more evident than on the night of his Son's birth!