May 12, 2007

Another Comment on a Comment (Forgive me Kate)

Today's, that is, yesterday's entry elicited the following comment from Kate, which I reproduce in full. I will follow it with my response.

Dear Pam,

You absolutely must get the door lock changed for your own peace of mind. I know you will be more on edge than you should because of that and that will interfere with one very important thing: sleeping! I know from my own psychotic episodes that sleeping was one of the first things to go. The more I didn't sleep, the more paranoid I got. LIttle details that I normally would overlook would start to loom large, everything would be intensified by the perpetual feeling of fear. Perhaps that's what Dr. O means when she says "The feeling is primary." If you're feeling fear then it's very real to you and must be taken seriously by working harder at self-care. So be sure to keep taking the Xyrem.

Two things I'm happy to hear about in your blog today: that Joe is financially secure and that you see Dr. O for a full hour each week. Will you continue to email her till your visit on Wednesday? The more information she has I think the better she can help you and it will give her a few days to think about it, so she'll be prepared in time for your session. Dr. O sounds a bit like my therapist. My therapist doesn't go into the past and try to figure it out, though I do sometimes. She's uses common sense as an ally. And she follows strict boundary setting. She doesn't talk about herself unless I ask and even then will not necessarily answer my questions because she may not think it appropriate. She's someone who I would choose as a friend if she weren't my therapist. She's a good listener and has an excellent memory. And she's kind hearted. It's a very good thing that you trust Dr. O (as far as you are able). She sounds like an excellent person to have for support.

I think telling Joe in a email was a good idea. This gives him a head's up and an opportunity to be considerate towards you. Isolating yourself with all your intense ideas and feelings is a mistake. That's another thing I learned when I was deep into psychosis that my tendency was to withdraw from others. The more I did that, the greater the intensity became. Being straightforward gives you access to several levels of potential support from others and this you need in order to recover.

The question of the nature of evil, that's a tough one. You believe you are evil and have believed this ever since John F. Kennedy was shot, that's over forty years of believing. I have read nothing evil in anything you've ever written publicly or in private email. In fact, you lean more towards the saintly (yes, you do) than towards the devilish. You are refreshingly honest and articulate and despite getting annoyed at people in your life (as all of us do Pam), you have a definitely kind heart. You are generous and supportive towards others. But my saying this probably does nothing to reverse your negative beliefs because you have lived with them so long that they feel like second nature. Only you can chip away at this stubborn delusion. I think part of the problem is you don't get enough feedback from other people telling you that your life is appreciated. Joe loves you, but he has trouble showing it. And I'm sure others appreciate you more than you know. I know I do and that's why I try to tell you this when I can. Pam, people get sick and people die and bad things happen in the world, they just do without anyone necessarily being responsible for it. We are each responsible for ourselves. I think you're guilty more of underappreciating yourself than you are of causing harm towards others. And if you could undo the harm you believe you've done, wouldn't you do so in a heartbeat? How evil is that??

Posted by Kate K. at May 11, 2007 11:52 PM

Dear Kate, and all my other Readers and Commenters,

I have had the lock changed. It cost me $60 but it was changed as well as my mailbox. They recycle locks here so I have somebody's old one, but with 250 rooms and no one knowing which lock is on which door at any given time, it would be pretty hard to guess where an old lock had ended up. You'd have to try your old key in each and every door. This lock came from someone who had left an apartment on the 8th floor, either by simply moving out or by dying. Likewise, my old lock was recycled somewhere as well, though it was likely not a reciprocal exchange, because then I'd know my old key -- they don't take back all the key copies -- would unlock one of the 8th floor doors, a much easier task. Not that I intend to find out, but they'd be stupid to take that sort of risk as a matter of policy (or at least stupid to tell the new key owner where the new lock came from!). WAIT a Gosh darn minute here! IS THAT THE PROBLEM????? Did they in fact do a reciprocal exchange? Does the person...But he left, or isn't there any longer, the apartment was "vacated." That's what B, the super, said! He may have died, for all I know. But can the new person with my old lock somehow also have a key to what used to be the room's lock, which is now on my door?! And was he told, by chance, which door it is on?! If all those things are so, then maybe HE, or she, is the culprit, guilty of breaking and entering and tormenting me with this lemon curd business. Okay, okay! I won't mention the lemon curd again, because it isn't about the food, it is about the violation, the rape of my mind and my peace of mind. If I ever find out who, I'll give them a piece of my mind!

I dunno what to do about emailing Dr O. I don't want to inundate her with things to read as she gets hundreds of emails a week. What do you think about this -- giving her permission to read this blog from May 9 through the present, or from sometime in the past -- I dunno how far back to go -- up to the present. I already printed out and showed her May 8th MOODY, so...It seems the easiest way to inform her of what is going on. I just don't want to be a burden! And in general I do not want her reading it, as I consider this my private space and it is bad enough that some people keep tabs on me here, but I do not want her doing so, not ordinarily.

That's something people might weigh in on, by the way, even if very briefly, should I or shouldn't I? just this once.

After I finish writing this entry, I will be inserting something about trust into the comment section that belongs here. so feel free to check it out now or later. If you happen to be Dr O, please refrain.

I'm far from isolating myself! In fact, though, I need some isolated time by myself without interruption, and it shouldn't have to be after midnight the way it is now...Damn, I had no idea it was after 2 am! There goes the chance to squeeze in both Xyrem, as I have to get up early tomorrow morning, 7:30am to be precise. As for isolation, I have too much to do and not enough time by myself! I have been running around like a headless chicken for weeks, for months. I never could tolerate such a pace, never had to, always avoided a lifestyle where that was even necessary. Now if someone doesn't need me to do something or be somewhere at a certain time for a more or less lengthy chunk of time, I have somewhere I have to go or something I must do myself -- Dr O for instance, which trip both ways takes from 10am-1:45pm every Wednesday.

I don't get support from other people. I don't talk to them, even when they know something is going on. I won't talk with Joe or even look at him and I won't talk with Karen ditto. I will put on a good face for company and try to behave in a way that conceals my distress, especially this Sunday, Mother's Day. But I won't talk about "it" even when asked, because I do not want to burden anyone whose job it is not. If I feel I'm too much for Dr O, then most assuredly I'm too mu9ch for others. And if I ever feel that I'm a burden on Dr O again, and wearing her out involuntarily, I will leave her. I will have to, as I cannot help being me, but I can help where I allow my miasma and noxious influence to penetrate. Eventually, it will probably have to be done, maybe sooner rather than later, but I'm still in a wait and see mode. If she can protect herself from me, it will go a long way in staving off the end...but I have my doubts about her ability to do that.

Kate, as to your paragraph on the nature of evil and your statements about who and what I "am" all I can say is that to every item listed I could only and honestly say, I am not! Because, much as I call myself an atheist, there is a part of me who believes/ KNOWS that God reads my heart and mind and knows everything that is there, all the evil of my being, and prepares the punishment of hell for me. He has no forgiveness for me, except insofar as I give my life, my fully living, in service to Joe, cheerfully and in good will, out of my own free will.

Posted by pamwagg at May 12, 2007 12:25 AM


Dear Pam,

Dr. O is a grown woman who knows plenty about handling her responsibilities. SHE's not the one suffering from schizophrenia, YOU are. Let her decide what's best for her. As it stands she is your doctor and she's done well by you, let her continue to do so. You need her right now. As to whether you should let her read your blog, I'm afraid that is your call. When I went back into therapy a couple of months ago I gave my therapist my blog address so she could catch up on where I was at. Personally, I think being open with your doctor is a good idea. On the other hand, I understand the need to have some privacy. For instance, I haven't given my blog address out to my family. But your idea of having her read only the most recent entries could be a good compromise which I'm sure she would respect.

When I said don't isolate yourself I meant be open about your symptoms with Joe and Karen and Lynnie and Dr. O. Putting on a good face when you are suffering so can lead to a meltdown. Also, being so busy has obviously been detrimental to you. You need to slow the pace down and being open about your illness will help others to either support you or give you the breathing space you need.

The sinner/saint dichotomy is also hurting you and if you keep this up it will hurt those you care about. You may not be perfect (who is?) but you are not evil and you may not be a saint but you are essentially good. Fine, I understand that you don't believe this but I'll keep saying it because I think you need to hear it. Early in my psychosis the voices first told me I was Jesus and then that I was the Devil incarnate. But I fought back. I told them I wasn't Jesus and I wasn't the devil but was somewhere in the middle like most people. I lived with the belief that I was telepathically connected to a serial killer, so I, in a sense, lived with evil and knew it wasn't me. I know what evil feels like and you don't feel like it to me. You don't torture anyone, you don't murder anyone, you don't take what isn't yours, you don't compulsively lie. You WORRY about being a burden to others. You try to do your best every day.

So, continue to try to get some sleep, take your meds, keep writing, slow the pace down, try to take your mind off your negative beliefs and find something positive to latch onto. If you want to share your blog with Dr. O. that's great. Hold out till you see her on Wednesday and be very honest with her when you see her. You will get through this Pam.

Posted by: Kate K. at May 12, 2007 02:58 PM

This is the rest of my blog entry that I didn't want quite out in public.

The thing about trust and Dr O is that I need to trust her to take care of herself vis a vis me. I need to know that she will not let me burden her or wear her down. For example, and this is really painful to report, last year when I was in the hospital with what turned out to be relapsing CNS Lyme disease, I must have seemed impossible to deal with. I was out of control, on one to one almost the entire 4 weeks, I attempted suicide, refused half my medications an hour after agreeing to take all of them...BUT still I knew that when she said she would see me even during her August vacation that it was a poor decision, and I did not want her to do it. I just didn't know how to tell her, nor if anyone would see me in her place. Well, she made some rotten decisions and got furious with me over things that she ordinarily would have handled better and differently...and finally, to my great relief, took her vacation and got another doc to see me in her stead. But I felt terrible, because she left abruptly and in anger, and it needn't have happened in the first place if she had taken care of herself and gone on vacation the way any other doctor would have. So I spent the next week and a half in her absence thinking I would not continue to see her. I was too dangerous to her. Because I had not taken proper care to NOT be "too much" even for it was time to leave. Finally, I was discharged by my demand, no longer committed on the 14 day paper I'd been signed in on in the middle of my stay, not wanting to be still there when she got back. I'd see her in 6 days and for 6 days I deliberated whether or not I would return or find someone new. It wasn't rancor on my part at all, it was purely fear that I could so misjudge a situation and my effect on things that I'd accidentally ALLOWED myself to over-burden someone BEFORE walking away, BEFORE saying, Never mind, I'm okay, relieving them of any responsibility or worries. I hadn't meant to. I hadn't meant ANYTHING by refusing the meds except that I wanted to take only one pill of each category, not two or three of each category, and I figured that if I did so while she was away on a long weekend, and was fine when she returned, then I'd have proved it was okay to do so. My memory is SO bad that I simply did not remember that just an hour before I had agreed to take ALL the meds, including 3 Haldol. This sort of crazy lapse happens to me all the time. The memory simply wasn't there to hold onto.

In any event, much as I wish it didn't, that incident haunts me even now. I want to talk about it with Dr O but am afraid to bring it up lest she get angry all over again or refuse to hear my side. And besides, it is not the incident itself that bothers me so much as the fact that I did not protect her from me! I did not protect her from me! And so she was harmed by me, worn out, wearied to the point of exhaustion. True also is that fact that I worry as well that I cannot trust her to protect HERSELF from me! And if she can't or won't, and I must, then there's no point in my seeing her. The only way I can protect anyone is by getting out of the way. ONLY if I know that someone WILL protect themselves, take care of themselves vis a vis me and NOT do things in any special way for me, can I trust them to help me. Otherwise, it ALWAYS backfires to my detriment!

Thanks for listening,

Pam W

Posted by: Pam W at May 12, 2007 02:22 AM

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