Avatar Therapy for Schizophrenia

This is extremely interesting but also triggered a panic attack for me. Hmm …
Still worth a look.

Out of a Great Need

I found this article to be worthwhile. I’ve been looking into avatar therapy since reading about it in SZ magazine) but it is not yet available in the U.S. I feel it has tremendous potential.
This additional article is worthwhile as well.

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It is what it is

Yeh. It’s been one of those days.

I cried. A LOT. Just bouts, or spells, of crying sporadically. Yes, like a crazy, hormonal woman. Just like that.

The first crying spell came in the car ride with my Dad to DBT this morning because it occurred to me that I had an appointment with Dr. Sue this afternoon and had no way to cover my co-pay because of the ongoing expense of DBT. That sucked.

Then I just couldn’t get it together from there. This led me to “call in reinforcements” for my emotional walls and I completely shut down and was unfocused for much of DBT. I was asked to “check-in” for the day and was evasive. I just would not. Even this small opening to utter words made the tears start again.

When getting in the car to head home with Mom, I was instantly agitated when she inquired if I “think this is working”. This being DBT. As if it were some magical wand that could be waved around and “POOF!” *all better*. Then, I snapped at the kids which made me feel horrible. So again, the tears came. I shoved headphones in my earholes and cranked some music which wasn’t meant for soothing. Obviously, that was unproductive. Oddly, no, not oddly at all food was the rescue. Gross but instantly gratifying, McDonald’s food. (Note to self: Back to food log, do the next right thing.) I definitely don’t want that to get out of control again.

The thing that actually did help, was sharing my new slideshow and music app on the iPad with Mom and the kids. There’s something about soaking in good memories.  (Side note: Mom seems more emotional lately too – this also made me snap back into emotional shape. That’s deep rooted, but not going there today.)

Talking with Dr. Sue also made me quite emotional, but it was a good conversation.

Dinner with the family at the table worked well at improving my mood, as well as working on a project together. I had the kids help me prepare a care package to my dear friend Darryl in Afghanistan. I was also to get some validation from therapist Lynn about my frustrations with DBT. Bottom line: I need to lower my expectations and just attempt to take away 1 new thing that works, for me, every session.

Here, at day’s end, I feel more at peace with the world that 12 hours ago when I was contemplating another inpatient stint. Really, its the last thing I want, well suicide would be the last I want and if it stops that, then I suppose it’s a very desirable thing when Im not feeling safe with myself.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I’m happy to have gotten through another day.

As Diva pointed out with a laugh the other day, I already have a life worth living because of my amazing kids and wonderful family, I just have to learn to LIVE it from moment to moment.

Turning bullshit into fertilizer

I was discharged from the intensive outpatient program (IOP) today. That was a step that followed the partial hospitalization (PHP) that I entered upon leaving my admission on the psych unit.

I realize now that I haven’t done much journalizing. There really was soooooooooo much processing in PHP & IOP everyday and mostly through group therapy that I could have noted, but it was heavy and uncomfortable. They say that’s how you know it’s working. Learning to sit with your discomfort, to acknowledge it and sit with it is one of the most unhinging experiences I have had. That’s tough stuff. Sure, there were emotions, sadness that brought me to tears and anger that made me want to storm out and away … anywhere else. But I’m glad I stuck with it though and didn’t throw something at Larry. Nicknaming him LarBear in my head definitely helped me cope. SEEEEEEE? Coping. Check.

I find a mentor in mindfulness in my psych nurse, Maureen. I love Maureen. What a calming presence she is. I took so much away from her lessons about the way thoughts can control you and how you can acknowledge, identify, process and actually release them. Fang v. Wise Mind.

Wow! Just so very much.

Tomorrow, I start Dialect Behavior Therapy (DBT) which supposedly changes the way you talk to yourself regarding your thoughts. I think personally that if you can change your thoughts,  you can change your world and it’s time to change my world.

Im also back in individual counseling. Lynn is someone I can respect. Im starting to identify and deal with my traumas. IT makes me feel like crying. The body reactionary things that still happen because of the traumas that El Chuba Douchebag caused … I need to deal. I don’t want him to still have any effect in my life now. That piece gets me very frustrated.

I realize now that these traumas have been resurrected because of control issues. Me losing control to the medical mishaps led to me mentally reattaching to the last place where I lost control. Unfortunately, that all revolves a very abusive relationship.

BOOM! I got this shit down.

Tales from the psych unit

I definitely woke up on the wrong side of my hospital bed this morning.

I slept well, but I woke up with really bad eye pain, the all consuming kind, and it just set me off. Everything was aggravating to me… noise, people. I tend to get really ballsy when I’m irritated. I’m a lot less likely to bite my tongue. Today was no exception. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s pretty much fuel to everyone’s fire on a psych unit.

Most of what led me here was suppression of my thoughts, feelings and emotions. Obviously that needs to change. Can we call this progress, doc? Can I be discharged now? Although I’m not sure how everyone is going to handle that outside.

Jer has told me that I need to find my “fuck it” button and stop putting up a front for everyone, himself included. As much as I hate to admit it, he’s right.

Having said that I approached the Heroin Bear (another patient) about his shit ass attitude and child like antics. As suspected, his shit had everything to do with withdrawal and not me and we moved on after a few choice words. It seems crazy in the moment, but it more people were as honest as we all are here, there’d be a lot less problems in the world.

I’m realizing more and more that if it’s uncomfortable, its working.

Also, sometimes validation and self-worth does not come from the places we want it to.

The End.


when i finally got a hold of him last saturday morning, he told me he was at work. he had had to much to drink and didn’t want to drive home. when i asked why he didn’t answer my calls he said his phone was on vibrate in his pocket and he didn’t feel it. this is his work phone. the same phone he jumps half way across the room to answer no matter what we’re doing. whatever. why didn’t he call. he didn’t have an answer for that. he was just sorry he didn’t call. whatever. i took the kids to go play in the fountain at the park like i promised them i would. imagine that- keeping promises. hmpf.

when we got home, he was setting up the pool in the backyard for the kids. nevermind that he couldn’t have done this the whole week prior when it was 100+ outside. but now when he wants to look good in front of the kids, he does it. im not stupid and neither are they. my oldest son looks at me and says “he must be really sorry.” how freakin pathetic is that, that he even recognizes it, that he knows this isn’t a normal dad thing? unbelievable.

he immediately is all up in my face and is all apologies…

ive been neglectful of a lot of things and i’m sorry, babe. things are going to change.”


so that DAY was different. he was different. he was an active participant in our marriage and family. his mom even called him and laid into him about how what he did was totally uncalled for and inexcusable. and this i thought….might make a difference. she told us we should sit down and write out a list of things we needed to change and then write down how we would compromise on those things and that if we couldn’t do it, we should split up, because she didn’t want the kids dealing with this kind of crap. i concur. so she took the kids overnight to give us some alone time to deal with these things. after we dropped them off, husband was all about us having a night to relax, watch a movie, spend time together to reconnect and i really tried to move forward, which was really, really hard considering how i felt inside about everything going on. so we spent our time together, we held hands, we had sex…twice, he made brownies, we watched a movie, we cuddled in bed. i couldn’t say what happened but the next day everything seemed to go right back to the way they always are…about him.

we had to get up and rush around to get out of the house. he said we would make our list in the car. i grabbed a pen and paper and we rushed out the door. we stopped and got a bagel and coffee and he started listing his changes, which were actually things he thought I needed to change. i needed to cook more meals so we could be “healthy” and have a good “foundation” for our family. but he would need $20 a week to eat lunches out at work.  i needed to give him more affection and sex. i let him talk and wrote down notes about questions i wanted to ask him regarding his “changes”. we got to his mom’s, we picked up the kids, went home and it wasn’t brought up again. he bitched and complained about everything. he even complained about being horny. i pointed out that we had had sex twice within the last 24hours and he kept playing with himself. so i said “fine, let’s go fuck.” and upstairs we went. i can’t tell you how shitty it makes me feel that he treats me like this, i hate it. and it’s like being stuck between a rock and hard place…no pun intended, cause if i don’t have sex, he’s an ass to me and if i’m like, (sigh) ok, let’s go….he says i act like it’s a chore. i didn’t act that way the two times the night before. and my god, who the hell complains about sex after getting it twice already? i swear to god, its like hes dependent on everyone and everything else to make him happy, because he, all by himself, is miserable. he was short with the kids. he was completely negative about everything. it was awful.

i went to lunch with my girlfriend sunday and told her about everything that was going on. and something she said really resignation with me. she said that even if all the things he had on his list were truly things that i did wrong…it still wasn’t an excuse for the way he treats me and disrespects our family. very true. and she also pointed out that he only brings things up when i confront him about something he is TRULY wrong about and needs to take accountability for and, he uses it as he way to divert attention. it’s like a trap…if he can even get me to start thinking about how it’s my fault…then i will let go of the real issue. i saw the point.

 i shut down….again. i didn’t lay into him. in fact, i didn’t say anything to him. i just did the motions to get by til tuesday…counseling…and i just let it rip. i told the counselor that i was sick and tired of my husband and everyone else trying to find MY FAULT in HIS actions. hello? he’s a grown man, making his own decisions. and while it was true that it took two people to make a relationship work, i wasn’t going to do the politically correct thing and get myself in the trap of placing blame on myself where it wasn’t due, because the truth is that it can be only one person that totally ruins a marriage no matter what the other partner is trying to do to make it work. his response was to say that he thought we had never taken the time to really address our issues and that we shouldn’t give up until we do that. i told him that it was pretty much impossible because he was in denial about what the issues were. he said that i never returned his love. when the counselor intejected that he had a really odd way of showing love and what he says he wants and his actions were in total contrast on that…he didn’t get it. he never does.  he told him again that he needed to concentrate more on what he could change instead of what he wanted me to change.

his cousin was visiting from out of town this week and im rather close with her. so she came over tuesday night. he totally kissed my ass in front of her. he even made us biscuits and sliced off butter and brought it to us. he covered us up with blankets. and it wasn’t cute…it was kinda….scary…psycho scary.

friday we were supposed to spend time alone with the two little ones while the oldest is away for the weekend. he says he had a side job which he then ended up having to go out and finish saturday because of a problem. im not saying its not true, but his track record isn’t so great lately. regardless, i spent the time with the little ones without him and then i made arrangements for them to go to my parents, so we could have some time alone and talk things out. we went to dinner at jillian’s downtown. we had a good time. we had drinks, we shot pool, we played video games, we left holding hands and smiling, cracking jokes. since he had pushed about 6 drinks on me, i was feeling pretty uninhibited and started putting the moves on him in the car. i asked him to drive somewhere secluded. i had to keep stopping because he wasn’t taking secluded roads and there was traffic. look…im all for having some fun and being adventurous, but i really dont want people to see all my business like that. so i was getting a little frustrated because at this point all the problems are rising up in my foggy head. I say maybe he should pull off the road and climb in the back with me and get it on. then i think, i don’t want to do this. im trying to please him. why? but i do like a little spontaneity, right? why does it feel so wrong?

 i have to direct him to a secluded road. then he tells me to stop because he wants to pull off and have sex. he pulls behind a freakin movie theater where they have these bright spot lights out back, to ward off people like this, nevermind the fact that we are within 5 mins of two very secluded metro parks. then he actually gets out of the car and comes around and opens my door because he wants me to bend over the front of the car. ummm, no. im looking around, im totally uncomfortable and i say this is not a good place, not no, just not here. and he looks at me and says, im going soft. he was really expecting me to do this…THERE! i just slumped in the seat and told him just to take me home. he started telling me on the way that he wanted to be romantic with me but that i didn’t seem interested, or seem to WANT him and he was pretty desirable. I looked at him and said, “i’m not interested? hello? wtf?!?” i mean seriously, who complains about getting a blow job? i swear he’s bipolar sometimes. then the whole way home, he’s talking about me not being affectionate and that i don’t love him and how i treat sex like its a chore. when i told him we had sex three times last weekend and i had only acted that way once because he had bullied me into it and he says, yeh and the other two times, i had to do all the work. so i turn to him and said so let me get this straight, you get to stay out all night the night before drinking, without even calling me and then when you come home not only am i not supposed to say anything and move on but im supposed to be totally into and excited about having sex with you? then i tried explaining that i frustrated about not having any privacy not giving him head, because if i didn’t want to do it, why would i have even initiated it? by the time we got home, i was fuming. i just couldn’t believe this was happening. and then he says to me,

i think you were right when you said you can’t make me happy. you can’t and you’re not happy either, so we should just talk about how we’re going to split up….” after that i just didn’t want to hear anything else, and when he started talking shit about me again, i remember screaming, shut-up! i don’t want to talk about what you think about me anymore. so he started saying that he probably shouldn’t go stay with his mom because he would get spoiled there. he said he could go stay with his brother but would probably end up in a fight with him because he’s a cocky shit who can’t back it up. (wtf?) and then he starts telling me that he would need some money for gas, chew, and food…so i got up and got the money he had given me earlier from his side job and put it on the table. he said well that’s really subtle, so basically you’re telling me to fuckin go. i just sat there not knowing what to say…so i said i don’t know what to say, im not going to say anything cause no matter what i do or say, you turn it into something else. he says well we just need a break and maybe it will only take a week and we’ll realize whats’ really important. then it was like a switch flipped and he says well i’ll have to make some arrangements. the kids aren’t here we should chill out and watch a movie. after replacing my jaw, i told him i didn’t want to watch a movie and that i was just going to go to bed. i got up and went to the bathroom and stood in the hallway upstairs for a few minutes, crying silently….looking at our kids empty beds and thinking how much all of this would hurt them and how badly i didn’t want to see them hurt. when i came back down we went back and forth about watching a movie and then he was going to go to bed and i told him i would just sleep on the couch. he started talking about how he couldn’t even feel loved in his own home and that he just wanted me to love him. i didn’t say anything. he got up and made phone calls and told me to go up to bed, that he would sleep on the couch. i told him i would wait up to know what he was going to do. and finally, he got in touch with his brother and got up and started putting his shoes on and gathering his keys and stuff to leave.

bye.” he says.

 i finally ask what im supposed to tell the kids and he said he would come home the next day and we would talk to them together. i told him it didn’t even make sense for him to leave then. he said to just tell them that he was at work. i told him i wouldn’t lie to them. so he told me just to tell them he was at uncle jbob’s because he was miserable. i started to put my shoes on and he asked me where i was going. quite defensively… where i was going…like he thought i was going out or something. i told him i was going to move my car out of his way. so i got in my car and moved it and he left.

 i came inside the house and sunk down the door and cried for a good half hour. i called my girlfriend and talked and cried with her for nearly an hour. really, thank-god for my friends cause i don’t know where i’d be without them. and then i cried myself to sleep.

this morning, i got up and started focusing on my school work, cause im way behind. ive got to stop shoving my stuff to the back burner like this. obviously efforts in other areas, really don’t matter anyways. and there was no word from him until around 5:30pm, when he just showed up to spend some time with the kids and get some stuff he said. this involved checking the caller id and writing down numbers off of it, questioning me about why our daughter was still asleep at 5:30 and then hovering over my laptop. completely freakin weird. then he started asking me if i had said anything to the kids, asked if i thought we should talk to them. i told him i thought we should wait til after our counseling appointment this week and ask for advice on the subject. then i asked him what was going on, were we separated and trying to work out or was it over? he told me that we were taking a break. i think ross gellar. so i say, what does that mean exactly, i want to be very clear…does that mean that you’ll be going out drinking and sleeping with other people? he says no that he intends to be responsible and safe? so i ask what the hell that means…that he’ll wear a condom? he said no, and something to the effect that he hoped it would just be for a week or so and that we would realize what really mattered and then he added, “i don’t know what it matters…you don’t want me anyways“. i didn’t give him the pleasure of a response. i just got the kids ready to go with him and started making dinner. he asked what i was making, and wasn’t pleased to hear hamburger helper. i reminded him he has shrimp scampi in the freezer so he calls me from the park to ask me if i’ll heat it up for him. i didn’t think it was a big deal, so i did and then he and the kids came back and ate, he got his stuff together, didn’t say shit about dinner and he left. again.