Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Meeting Madness

At work today I attended an in-service training on autistic spectrum disorders. During the presentation my ‘terror’ part was screaming on the inside and repeating in a panic, his usual mantra “please don’t kill me, I’m just a little boy!” and I felt ‘terror’s’ desperate need to hide under the conference table in the fetal position, (of course I didn’t scream or hide, but I just sat there).  At other times, I had to suppress an urge to gently poke my arm w/ my pen – not because of any major rage driven self-harmful gesture, it was more like a grounding attempt (which I didn't do that either).  So I ended up blinking really hard every so often as a way to keep myself together and not ruin my career by becoming a screaming, under-the-desk-hiding-arm-poker-with-a-pen. And at other times I was 'Dr-J' who was following along the w/ the speaker’s slides, making logical notes on my handout and understood every bit about the diagnostic markers, best practice treatment considerations and family supports needed for children w/ autistic spectrum disorders – I recognized 'Little-J' felt very sad and wanted to cry about how limited the services are for children w/ autistic spectrum disorders and I was aware of 'Jeff' who was very angry and cynical  about how it seems to him that only wealthy families of autistic children could ever get the support their children needed.  And still at other times, I had to squeeze my pen really hard bc I noticed my hands were shaking. All this cycling and switching back-&-forth during a 90 minute presentation. [WTF is happening to my life?]

Even though this kind of multiplicity during my everyday life is not unusual for me. I felt a sense of fear and sadness (especially about the pen-arm-poking thing) bc that IS unusual. I do not entertain thoughts of self-harm, I Love my wife and family and yes, even myself too much for that. But "where the hell did that come from?" was the unanswered question which un-nerves me. 

Minutes after the meeting, I got a phone call from my upset-wifey who is struggling in her job, too (bc nurse assistants everywhere are asked to carry unethical patient loads) – so I didn’t mention any of my own stuff to her; instead I listened to wifey and gave her boatloads of empathy & reassurance. Then I had to find time for a few deep breaths and to try and stop shaking and focus enough to try to accomplish enough productivity to keep my own job.  I NEED A MIRACLE !!! ... Living with the unending financial stressors of not having enough ... Working with the fear of not being productive enough ... Struggling to keep my parts from making it all come crashing down ... and losing my career, and further financially burdening my family ...  And knowing damn well what I need as far as treatment, but not being able to afford it, SUX !!!

Baking a frozen pizza for dinner. And since there's a thunderstorm outside I knew the pool at the YMCA would be closed, so I didn't even bother trying to swim when I drove home, after a 10.5 hour day bc it took me that long to make my productivity numbers.  

Does this story sound familiar to anyone else coping with a trauma history through dissociative symptoms?

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