What you don’t know can scare you

When I saw Doc near the end of the week I was not doing well at all. I arrived at his office all twitchy and jerky. He took one look at me and said, “Oh no, you’re short-circuiting.” Doc’s the witty one alright.

We decided that the best thing for me was a neurofeedback session, and I did feel calmer after that. However, somehow, I got tangled up in the sensor wires without noticing. When Doc went to take the sensors off my head he picked up my hand to disentangle me from the wires. And that was all she wrote when he did that. I started twitching and jerking and freaking out. He started apologizing, and then the world went foggy.

Next thing I know Doc is asking me if I remember saying “I’m sorry” to him in this little girl voice. I was just incredulous, and I asked him, “Are you serious?” He was very serious. I asked him what he did when that happened, and he said he asked the little girl if he could have Beatriz back, and I came back to the session.

I managed to take myself to the little town cafe that I like so much after our session. I started texting my sister, Cate, asking her how things were with her. Somehow we got on the topic of our mother. She started talking about how the therapist she started seeing thinks our mother has schizophrenia. I thought Cate must be mistaken. I started asking her if she understood what schizophrenia was, and I could tell I was vexing her a bit. She started talking about how our mother saw and heard things that weren’t there. Apparently, Cate did not think this was news to me. According to her, I was present for many of these moments when my mother was experiencing psychosis.

I have absolutely no recollection of such behavior from my mother. There are plenty of negative memories associated with my mother, but none like this. Dumbstruck is an understatement for how I feel. I asked Cate what I did when these things were happening. She said I did nothing, that I never said anything about it or acted as if anything was wrong. I said to her, “I’m sorry, none of it is in my memory bank.” Cate replied, “I wish it wasn’t in my memory bank.”

I can only wonder if this is when my dissociation began. I feel betrayed by own brain, like I cannot trust myself.

Neurofeedback, Take Two

I woke up to the sound of workmen right outside my bedroom window at my apartment complex clattering away on whatever they were doing. It was jolting and triggering as all the racket made me all twitchy right out of the gate. I missed my appointment at the gym with my trainer because I was having trouble getting out of the dissociative state.

I hit the alarm at 8:40, and rushed out the door by 9:00 for the hour long drive to my neurofeedback appointment.

When I got to Doc’s office I was in a mood as I had a horrible headache from Tuesday’s session that took several hours to squash, and I drove an hour to this appointment in a less than ideal state of twitchiness. In short, I was in no mood for what seemed to be a waste of time.

I hate how when I open Doc’s door I am hit with a cold blast of air conditioning, along with a bevy of annoying door chimes announcing my arrival. It’s jarring to anyone, but especially me in my anxious state. It’s like a gust of sensory overload.

Doc then comes out, and waves his arms in that wildly expressive way of his, and says, “Come on in!”

He wants to know how I’m doing, and I tell him I’m not feeling great, as I didn’t sleep well. I also tell him about the headache.

It’ turns out that I should not have gone to acupuncture on the same day that I had neurofeedback. He had told me it was okay to go to acupuncture, but he did not realize I went to acupuncture for my PTSD. Apparently, both forms of therapy were too much for my brain, and that is likely why I had a headache.

Today I played EEG Chomper, which looked like a generic version of Pac-Man. Well, to be precise, my brainwaves played Chomper. I just watched. I am surprised at how hard it is for me to sit still for 30 minutes. It is very, very hard for me.

The good news is that I started at a 27 today, and got as low as a 5.5. Doc says I got lower faster than I did on Tuesday. Even though he annoys me at times, he is endearing. As soon as I was done he said, “Wow! Even better than last time!” It is sweet how he gets genuinely excited with good results. He is not a prim and proper doctor, which I appreciate. I’ve always preferred people who are a bit offbeat.

So far no headache today. I am so thankful for being pain-free today. I was actually humming at work, and singing along to music in the car. I almost don’t recognize myself. Doc did say that I will start to have different thoughts about myself, good thoughts. I can’t wait.

What the heart wants, the head can’t have

One of my supervisors, Dena, reminds me so much of the me before I became so broken by PTSD. She even has my old body style, as she can rock A-line dresses. I look at her wistfully as she bounces into my office cube to ask me a question with that girl-next door charm of hers.

Meanwhile, the A-line dresses I have no longer fit me very well, and I seriously doubt that I exude much charm these days. While Dena confidently glides around the office, I sit in my cube with a cardigan wrapped around me as I twitch with anxiety.

Today I struggled with intense headaches, and I am not sure if they were caused by yesterday’s neurofeedback. Interestingly, I didn’t have a lot of anxiety and triggers today. Those were traded in for headaches, unbeknownst to me until they took over my head in pain.

I wanted to cook today, but I was too tired and in too much pain to do so. So, with a refrigerator full of food to cook, I picked up a sub to eat instead. Ugh, what a waste.

I miss doing investigations in my last job. The work was so fun that it didn’t feel like work. Today I found myself holding my head in pain as I struggled to edit a voluminous policy document. I have a good job, but it’s not the job my heart wants. My heart wants to go back to human resources doing employee misconduct investigations, but my head isn’t ready to do that work again. The heart gets impatient with this predicament. It didn’t help that I received a canvass letter for a promotional position doing the kind of work I used to do. With a heavy, heavy heart here’s the reply I sent in:

Yep, I declined being considered for the position. It was in my own agency, and the secretary in human resources only sits four office cubes down from me. Before I could change my mind I filled it out, and rushed it over to her desk. I even made myself rush back to my desk so that I would have less chance of changing the form.

I have to hang on with the off chance that I may get to do what I love again some day. If that’s not the case, I would rather not know because I don’t know if I can bear that knowledge.