Afraid of Growing Up Stereotype


I fit so many stereotypes for eating disordered people; it hurts.

  • White
  • High socioeconomic status
  • Afraid of growing up
  • Female
  • Relapse-Recovery-Relapse-Recovery-Relapse
  • Emotionally dysregulated
  • Cutter
  • Selfish
  • Emotionally immature and childish
  • Co-morbid mood and personality disorders (I remember joking with a friend that once we turned 18, if we still had an ED we’d be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder because it seemed like everyone we knew from treatment over 18 had that Dx. Surprise! We both have that diagnosis. My most recent treatment team disagrees, but nonetheless, one person diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder)
  • Distorted body image
  • Control issue
  • Perfectionist

Today I argued with my mom about doing my fair share of the chores around the house. Perhaps argued is not the right word. We weren’t yelling. My mom was perfectly nice about it, until I started getting defensive. I cried. The argument I had with my dad yesterday was about taking responsibility for myself (Ex. getting my headlight fixed, making doctor appointments, waking up at reasonable hours). I’m avoiding all those things for specific reasons. The headlight- money, doctor’s appointments – I’m afraid of the results, and sleeping is just more peaceful than being awake.

There was no reason for me to cry while talking to my mom. As I said, she was nice and reasonable. She didn’t understand why I started crying and I didn’t want to admit the real reason. So, I was just a jerk.

I cried because I am afraid of growing  up. That entails so much. I’m afraid I can’t handle living on my own. I’m afraid my depression and eating disorder will consume me so completely that I won’t function at all and I’ll lose my job. Losing my job means losing health insurance and income. If I’m not making money, I can’t pay bills. All the responsibilities of living on my own and financial independence seem overwhelming. I don’t want to try and then fail. I’d rather let my ED handicap me, so that I never have to try. If I never have to try, I never have to face failure.

Yesterday, my first inclination was to dive so far into my ED that no one expects anything from me. Today, I wanted to cut enough to wind up in the ER. If I’m in the ER for psychiatric reasons, no one would pressure me about school or being a fully functional adult.

Clearly I'm not handling this well_Xander_Buffy

I feel like a pathetic, weak piece of shit admitting this function of my ED and I don’t know how to get over it.

 

Half-Price Cheesecake!


Today and tomorrow there is half price cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory! I think this is the case for Cheesecake Factories nationwide. I went with 2 friends to one near my house. We enjoyed cheesecake and conversation. It was fun! No ED talk because my 2nd friend doesn’t know about ED. It was nice to be normal for a few hours.

This morning I was 114, my weight restoration weight from inpatient treatment in high school.

Happy Dance_Charlie_ Felicia Day_ Supernatural

At the time I was happy to reach the goal. However, it was more triggering than I realized. I purged for the first time in a while. To be honest, I lost track of the last time I purged; it was more than a month ago. The cheesecake was heavy and calorie-laden. I probably would have resisted purging, but while driving home I involuntarily regurgitated some of the cheesecake. I swallowed it again, but it was like a sign my body was unhappy.

My dad was home. At first, I thought I wouldn’t because of the chance of being caught, but then he was sitting downstairs. So,  I purged in the sink upstairs to avoid flushing the toilet. I haven’t done that in years. I don’t feel disappointed, sad, or happy; I feel comfortably numb, but that is what purging does to me.

I also think fighting with my dad this morning was a factor. I slept more than he deemed acceptable because I have phone calls and errands to run. He woke me up and I said I was getting up, but then I went back to sleep. An hour and a half later he woke me up again and this time he was mad. We argued; I cried. However, it was lucky that he woke me up because my friends changed our lunch to earlier and I barely made it to the Cheesecake Factory!

Oh well. At least I’ll stay 114 and hopefully I’ll be below weight restoration next time anyone from work sees me! :

Now on Break


Today was a much better day. We had Water Day. I didn’t plan on getting wet and trusted my “don’t – touch – me” vibe to keep  me safe. It worked too. I walked among the kids and staff tossing water on each other and using water squirts *cough* water guns *cough* and stayed dry. However, I started overheating and asked a student to spray me. He did, but then another student picked up a sprinkler and pointed it towards me! After that, all bets were off! I was completely soaked. It was a lot of fun and I’m so happy I got to be there today.

I ate a giant piece of pizza for the first time in months. On Thursdays during the summer and Fridays during the rest of the school year, staff and students can order a giant slice of pizza. It was pretty good, but not as good as I remembered. I started feeling anxious about it soon after I ordered it.

“You are ONE pound away from your weight restored weight. WHY are you sabotaging your weight loss?! You don’t deserve food. You don’t even need food, [student] won’t elope or need transporting to the Quiet Room. You have no excuse for eating. Everyone will judge you. You disgust me!” And on and on…

Then I noticed I was eating during the kids’ lunch. Usually, I work during their lunch and eat during their recess. That made me more anxious because I planned to eat pizza with a friend and that adds positive social pressure. She usually eats second lunch. Initially, I thought I’d ditch the pizza, but I made the healthy choice and got my piece of pizza. Then when I walked into the room where we usually eat, she was there! That was a nice surprise and made eating it easier.

OH, speaking of eating… My boss brought in pastries this morning. Usually I avoid them because of restricting. Today I felt like eating them. When I walked in she said, “Oh, [I] can’t resist the sweet stuff!” I almost put my plate down and left! I’ll SHOW you self-control, bitch! I did not. However, in the afternoon, after everyone cleaned up and changed out of their soaking wet clothes, we  had ice cream. I put toppings on for a student and my boss joined us and commented, to everyone, that I love sweets! Note: I did NOT have ice cream.

She knows about ED. I think she is jealous because she is trying to lose weight and isn’t losing much. On the other hand, I lost 20 lbs in a month and a half. Therefore, I believe she is taking pleasure in seeing me eat “bad” food.

Now we have 2 weeks off.

 

Got to Work


Yay! I finally got back to work!!

The Good: I was giddy driving in to work today! 🙂 I really missed everyone. I was bored at home. That feeling confirmed that I love my job even though I’ve felt inept and disliked lately. When I got there someone who isn’t in my program asked about my absence and then my health. That made me feel noticed. Next, a co-worker gave me notes the kids and staff wrote for me. Every single staff person in my program said they were happy to see me and asked how I was, etc. Many of the kids had heartwarming reactions too. There is one kid that I worked with for a year straight and when he saw me, he ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. 😀 People kept asking about me all day. Therefore, I felt noticed and missed.

Also, I advocated for myself and asked for a day to be put back in my paid time off account because school was unexpectedly closed one day last week when the air conditioning broke. Everyone got paid for it as if it were a snow day. First of all, I hate asking for things. Second of all, I felt guilty for taking Monday and Tuesday off and I’d decided not to ask for it back because I felt like I didn’t deserve it after taking more time than I originally said.

The Bad: I self-injured on the clock. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done that. There were 4 distinct times I had urges. Oddly, it wasn’t during one of those times that I self-harmed.

1. A student said he hated me and he wasn’t in crisis. Usually that stuff doesn’t bother me. Idk if it was my anxiety about being back or something else. It occurred to me that maybe I feel like I’m always doing the wrong thing with him and somehow that transferred over. Perhaps I feel he should hate  me if I’m always messing up? I worked with a different student for a year straight (mentioned above) and there were months when every time he’d see me come to the bus he’d say he hated me, why can’t he work with someone else, etc. That never bothered me. In fact, the student who said he hated me today has said similar things in the past and it hasn’t bugged me. Later he said more insults and it didn’t matter as much. *shrug* I feel bad about feeling triggered because we’re not supposed to be bother by that type of thing. I feel like a childish baby.

2. I disagreed with my boss on data. I’m a perfectionist, so I hate being wrong. However, in this case, I think I was frustrated because I still think I’m right. I worry because if we’re all operating on different definitions of eloping, property destruction, etc., then the students’ behavior data is meaningless.We track how many times each behavior occurs per hour so we can see if our interventions are causing a decrease in behavior, but if we’re using different definitions, the data isn’t showing us anything because we’re tracking different things!

3. Then it was lunch time. I already toyed with the idea of restricting, even though I’ve been super good up until this point because of healing from surgery. I was a little late (like 1 minute) because only 1 out of the 6 kids had data filled out, even though there were 5 staff working during their lunch period. So, I filled out all of their data. However, as I walked to get my lunch, I saw friends leaving without a word to me. Yay, rejection. I know it was likely unintentional, but despite the probability it was unintentional, that is not how I think about it. Then I said screw it to food and napped in my car.

It was on my students’ 1st break after lunch that I started self-injuring (scratching, plausible deniability). That break was an hour and a half after I saw my friends leaving for lunch. I wasn’t emotionally overwhelmed. I had the skills to deal with my distress; after the 3rd trigger, I guess I gave up because low grade distress all day wears your defenses down? I knew I could sit with the feelings and survive, but I decided sitting with feelings was stupid. I was sick of feeling crappy. I think boredom was also a factor because the kid I worked with today had no behaviors and didn’t interact on breaks. I like working with challenging kids. I have self-injured purely out of boredom in the past. So maybe that was an unconscious trigger.

Shame on you_Willow_Buffy

4. At the end of the day, after the kids left, we had a meeting. The girl who got all those accolades on Facebook came to our meeting. Then I asked a (stupid) question because I’m stupid, lol. The worst part is people started expanding on the topic as if I was doing something wrong (which I’m not). I asked a question about data, unrelated to the earlier data issue, and it was answered. Then they (my boss and behaviorists) said something else about his behavior and our reaction to it, but it was directed at me.

Writing the 2nd and 3rd reasons makes me want to SI again, so I’m clearly still not over it. I made it through the way home though. I still feel guilty for SIing at work…Yet, after going back and adding the “good” part of the post, my current SI urge decreased to a manageable level. Emotional reactivity is awesome. -.-

THANK YOU


did i fall asleep1_Echo_Dollhouse - Copy

YES!! I finally got a good stretch of sleep in! At 44 hours, I finally got to sleep for 3 hours! 😀

It was a good thing I preemptively texted work last night to call off again because my mom came in why I wasn’t awake, a few minutes after I usually leave for work! Okay, going to try to go back to sleep. 🙂

No Hallucinations, Bored


Ugh, I’m bored. Maybe I should clean or something useful, but I can’t because that would wake my parents.

In the past 42 hours, I’ve had 30 minutes of sleep.

Started hallucinating (minor, people moving the periphery of my vision, hearing drills and hammers when the construction people had already left) around hour 29, I successfully napped around hour 31. Since then no more hallucinations, but also no more sleep. Sometimes I feel tired, sometimes I don’t, but I’m not motivated to do anything and I’m not happy.

Bored Now_Willow_ Buffy

I was paranoid I was going into a manic episode, but then I realized that wasn’t the problem because I WANT to rest (except the hours I’m not tired at all like when I woke up from my nap). Right now, I don’t care about sleep. I don’t feel like it.

Theoretically, I had hypomanic episodes in the past. Various professionals say Borderline, others say Bipolar II. Borderline makes more sense to me because my mood swings are most often caused by minor external events and my cognitive reaction to them, as opposed to purely biological mood swings in Bipolar. However, the first doc to Dx me with Bipolar also put me on a mood stabilizer and I’ve been on it for almost 10 years because it helped so much. Anyway, I was worried because if the I-have-Bipolar II camp is right, I am at high risk for a manic episode. I was reading the DSM 5 today and it was some huge proportion of Bipolar II patients eventually have a full blown manic episode.

*shrug* I don’t think that is the case. I’m rambling. I might also be repeating myself. I’m going to go check.

Jealousy


A co-worker, in another program, posted some PECs (pictures non-verbal kids point to in order to communicate) she made online and the speech therapist, occupational therapist, and my boss all *liked* her picture and commented. Granted we don’t report to the therapists and my boss isn’t her boss… but I’m still jealous and angry and paranoid because she is coming over to our program soon.

…AND I sound like a petty bitch again. The funny thing is I like the girl. I’m just so damn insecure that any “threat” to what little I do feel I contribute to the team is a huge deal to  me. I remember when the assistant behaviorist was hired I was jealous before I even knew her because I felt listened to and I felt that my opinions were valued because my boss and others asked for my opinions on potential behavioral interventions. I feared my opinions and ideas wouldn’t matter anymore because someone more qualified was joining us. It turned out OKAY. I like her and I feel like people, including her, still care about my ideas and thoughts…I used to feel more needed and wanted for other reasons too.

Damn that voice in my head. I can’t turn it off. “No one likes you. No one cares about the tokens or coping skill crap you make. She is better at crafty things and she is in school. You can’t hack school. She is better than you. You don’t belong there. You’re useless.”

Idk how to explain the feelings I get when I’m jealous (which is honestly fear). It is like… Buffy_Dawn rejection so obvious you don't want me around

I can see the future and I can see I’ll be unwanted.

I am a FAILURE


Supernatural_Dean_90 percent crap - Copy

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! I didn’t make it to work. 😥 I’m furious at myself and sad and disappointed. I haven’t slept in almost 24 hours. I don’t know why I’ve been up this long. I just couldn’t sleep. I hate myself. I hate myself, so fucking much! I feel like I’m letting everyone down (even though I simultaneously feel like they don’t need me, lol). However, even if I am not important, they were counting on me as a staff person today. FUCK ME.

 

EDIT:

It is officially over 24 hours. I’ve never had this problem before. The only times I’ve stayed up this long was pulling all-nighters in college. I have some sleeping issues; occasionally, I struggle falling asleep. Usually my sleeping problems are more like this:

pretend I have insomnia inadequate respect for tomorrow

AND SO it has come to a pathetic point indeed… I am about to log off and play Brahms’ Lullaby, hoping it will lull me to sleep.

 

When you feel like no one cares


buffy_faith_no one wants to be alone we all want someone who cares

I feel hurt because my friend read my message and has ignored it for over a day. It was an unimportant message… I guess I’m hurt because I was trying to be normal, ya know? NOT go to her in an emotional crisis. So, I just asked how her trip was… This is beyond stupid and petty. I know. I’m still anxious about work tomorrow and I don’t deal well with rejection. Part of me doesn’t want to go to work.

I wish I could make this part of my brain shut up! I take any insignificant thing and latch onto it as proof that the voice in my head is right. “See?? She doesn’t like you! No one likes you! You’re useless. No one needs you at work. No one wants you. You’re pointless. They’ be better off without you, the kids would be too.”

All anyone says is that I”m being stupid, which I know is true, but that doesn’t help. 😦

 

EDIT: YAY! My persistence paid off! She replied and we talked about normal stuff, also she noticed my drop off in negative emotional communication and appreciates it. I pointed it out and explained that I was consciously making an effort to be less emotionally draining because I wanted her to know I was trying. *does happy calorie burning dance* 😀

Success!


Last night I posted about self-injury urges and honestly, I didn’t plan on fighting them much longer after I posted. However, I didn’t cut! Behaviorism helped. I’ve been cutting for 14 years now…Wow, that is more than half my life, sad… Anyway, cutting implements (razors, box cutters, etc.) are conditioned reinforcers for me. Simply seeing a tool makes me feel a little bit better. I held the box cutters for a while, set them next to me, and then drifted off to sleep. Yay, classical conditioning!

A reinforcer is anything that increases the likelihood of a behavior occurring again. That could be positive reinforcement, giving something a person wants (Ex. When a student answers a question correctly, giving them a piece of candy), or  negative reinforcement, taking away something they dislike (Ex. The car obnoxiously beeps at you. Once you put it on, the beeping stops).

Primary reinforcers inherently make people happy like water, food, or lack of pain. Other things are neutral (Ex. Money, grades in school), but they can be paired with a primary reinforcer. If a neutral stimulus is paired with a primary reinforcer enough times, the neutral stimulus starts to elicit the same response as the primary reinforcer. In Pavlov’s  famous dog experiment he rang bells while presenting food. Eventually, the dogs salivated when they heard the bell, without the presence of food. Before the experiment, hearing  a bell did nothing, but seeing food automatically made them salivate.

Dollhouse_everybody's programmed

If you’re wondering how pain can be an automatic-primary reinforcer… Some people don’t feel pain when they self-injure. I do. For me, pain distracts and obliterates my negative emotional state. I believe the pain distracts me and the neurotransmitters’ responses replace the fear/ worry/ anger/ sadness/ etc. with positive emotions.

Conditioned Reinforcement and Response Strength

Characteristics and Functions of non-suicidal self-injury in a community sample of adolescents

Perils of Room Cleaning


I just realized I missed a fun day with the kids at work. Everyone seemed so happy. I’m disappointed I missed a good chance at bonding with the students. I work with autistic and behaviorally challenged kids. So, sometimes our interactions aren’t positive from a relationship building standpoint. Therefore, it is important to be there for the special events and field trips.

I also feel like I’m not needed there, like I don’t make a difference.

What does this have to do with cleaning my room?

I found a bunch of old box cutters. Bad timing. I haven’t cut in months. I’ve only scratched lately. I found them again. Idk if I’ll bother trying to resist much longer. I’m trying to resist burdening my friends by continually reaching out for emotional support. This solution is easier. Perhaps, in time, journaling will help. But for the moment, it isn’t good enough.

Going Back to Work Post-Surgery


Monday (it is currently 2:45 am on Sunday) I’m going back to work after a little over a week off for surgery. I am worried because I’ve gained a few pounds and I’m self-conscious about that. Because of my eating disorder relapse, I recently lost of bunch of weight and people are commenting. I feel like a failure for gaining weight and I’m afraid people will judge me or at least, secretly be happy that I’m not strong enough to maintain or continue losing.

Logically, I know I am projecting my own thoughts and fears on my co-workers. I also know i can easily lose again. Most importantly, I know I needed to take care of myself by eating enough in order to heal.

Moreover, I’m worried I won’t be as good at my job for the next week or so because I’m not 100% better. That wouldn’t worry me too much except that I’ve felt inept at work lately. I’ll explain that later. For now, I’m going to try to sleep again.