Too Serious?

I got a BCBA job!! I’ll have to try balancing  because I need rapport with parents and RBTs.

Ginny recently told me I need to be less intense. Her first suggestion was to smile more and then talk to co-workers about something other than work.

I need to move to season 3 😉

quicker with a smile

When I first arrived here for my practicum, I tried opening up in a positive way, but it waned over time. I struggle with balance. Ginny knows more than she really needs to! I’ve at least been successful on that front (not over sharing irl 😉 ). I’m participating in feeding training research. The point is to se which methods of training parents and caregivers is the most efficient. I told the PI I was fascinated by feeding treatment because I had an eating disorder in high school. However, I didn’t go into detail. That disclosure led to a neat conversation about current research on ARFID, AN, and BN.

How do you create positive working relationships with others?

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Successful Coping Skill for Self-Injury

Long time no see.

Grad school is stressful (duh) and living on my own, in a new state, means much less support. However, I’ve managed relatively well. I’ve caused some bumps along the way, but I still have my internship and I’ve passed 2 out of 3 semesters. I’m about 1/2 through with my last semester right now!

I haven’t forgotten about the peeps who are just here for the inspirational pic 😉

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However, this week, stress has come to a head. Long story short: I was battling severe Self-injurious behavior urges today.

Details: I hadn’t slept in almost 48 hours because I am overwhelmed with the workload this semester and anxious I won’t pass. Granted, I am always anxious I won’t measure up. To be fair, this semester, the concern is warranted. I am currently failing one class. Uh oh!!

Using the syllabus I calculated the remaining possible points in the course and I can still pass as long as I do well on the midterm and final exams. The midterm is next week! I am extremely behind in reading. The exam is essay based and the questions come from the reading. Of course, this is no ones fault, but my own…

Anyway, the urges were intense enough that I was unable to function. I did not go to work yesterday. I got nothing done for school or my practicum, even though (for once) I was awake all day. This morning, intrusive images made it tough to distract from the urges. When suicidal thoughts and a plan entered the picture, I decided riding out the urges was not a safe option.

Buffy_too much for me want it to be over

In treatment, people sometimes held ice as a coping skill because it causes pain, but no tissue damage (as long as you are careful to watch for frostbite and are able to curtail the SIB urges enough to take off the ice as needed, if tissue damage begins). I find that a little helpful. The pain works to elevate my mood. However, blood is a strong motivation for me as well. It is a discriminative stimulus for relief from overwhelming negative emotions. The sight of my own blood is so strongly paired with SIB that without it, the compulsion remains.

Therefore, I tried something new! I froze ice cubes made by mixing red food coloring with water.

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It worked wonderfully!!! 🙂

 

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Next time I’ll do a few things differently. I’ll put a towel down under my arm to avoid staining. I got the red  out of the counter tops, but it took a few seconds with a Brillo pad. Additionally, I’ll have paper towels within reach.

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Surprisingly, the red dye came out of the silicon ice cube tray without a hitch,

The important take away is I avoided self-injuring despite struggling with the urges for over 24 hours.

 

If seeing blood and feeling pain are part of your self-injury, are there other ways you sublimate the urge? What works for you? I hope this helps someone avoid SIB.

 

 

Sexuality Struggles Part 1

I recently reconnected with a previous Master (dominant) or rather, he reached out to me. Nonetheless, I’m struggling with myself again.

What kind of advice is be yourself when myself is a freak_Claudia_ Warehouse 13

I know my masochistic and submissive tendencies were formed at some point before accurate memory begins, including before any abuse. I don’t know whether they are inborn or created by other early experiences like my 6 month long NICU stay or childhood surgeries resulting in pain and restraints because I didn’t understand and tried pulling out tubes.

This matters to me because I don’t question my family’s or friends’ identifications as bi, homosexual, or another variation of attraction. They are who they are. If my masochism and submission is more akin to that because it is inborn, as opposed to environmental, perhaps it has more validity.

On the other hand, I believe sexuality can be conditioned by experience. For example, IMHO, if someone identifies as bisexual and their first few sexual experiences are with women, I think it is possible, they would begin to favor women as partners because women are now paired with sexual pleasure, whereas men are not. This is a controversial belief because it is uncomfortably close to some fundamentalist Christian beliefs that same-sex child abuse can create homosexual urges. 

Although, my mom used to counsel childhood victims of sexual abuse and she says a common theme was fear or disgust at arousal reactions to abuse. Kids worried they invited the abuse and sometimes they became attracted to older people whereas before the abuse, they did not recall such attraction. I am not saying this happens to everyone, or ever a majority.

Do you think sexuality is always innate or can it be learned? 

I’m afraid I’ll get backlash for these thoughts. So, even though I have more concerns related to my own sexual preferences, I’m going to stop here and post Part 2 later.

ETA: I’m really sorry if this offends or hurts anyone. That is absolutely not my intent!!

Evolution or Reinvention

I’m moving to a state where no one knows me. I could be anyone. Other than my stupid scars, I don’t have to have a past. I know I can pretend to be bubbly and extroverted because I was as a camp counselor. I also know I can make small talk because I managed to be the talkative one at a high school friend’s baby shower, where I knew no one.

Ginny told me a while ago that I’m too intense and it is off-putting to some people at work because I’m always serious. On one hand, I’ll be surrounded by other graduate students and they may be more serious as well. On the other hand, I could try being less Olivia Dunham Season 1 and more Olivia Dunham Season 5. ;p

quicker with a smile

 

In the meantime, I’m sad that I have less than 9 days of work left. I’m avoiding packing. As I feel more sad, I’m withdrawing from friends. I’m not sure if I’m isolating to decrease the pain of leaving or if I’m isolating because that is my MO when I’m sad.

 

Have you ever moved states? If so, how did it feel and how did you handle it?

Alexithymia Annoyance

Annoyance is the feeling, but I’m not actually feeling it. I just liked alliteration.

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I want to cut right now and I don’t know why. I’m not thinking about anything upsetting. I’m not dissociating. I don’t feel depressed. I can’t identify any negative feelings, other than, “I-want-to-self-injure”. Lame.

I told my boss’ boss on Friday that I was leaving. That made me want to cut. I think I felt sad because I also felt like crying, but maybe it was anxiety. I’m not sure.

dean supernatural facepalm

Mind Games: Can I Forfeit?

Not matter what happens I manage to find a way I am not good enough or a scenario where I’ll mess up.

I get a student from another program: It is because my boss thinks I am too inept to handle an entirely new student.

I don’t get the student from another program: My boss thinks I am too weak and emotionally vulnerable to handle their trauma history.

LotS_Cara's WTF face

Ginny leaves and invites me to the Going Away party: My boss, my boss’s boss, my boss’s boss’s boss, and maybe even her boss will all attend. It is over the lunch hour. There will be expectations of eating and intimidating people. I’m too pathetic to act normal. They will realize I’m a freak.

Ginny leaves and does not invite me: No one likes me. Ginny is glad she never has to see me again.

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I am working on assuming (if I’m mind reading) or acknowledging the positive.

For example, Ashley thinks I’d be good for the student with a trauma history. When I advocate for myself, she still thinks I’d be good for the student with the trauma history, but believes more strongly that I shouldn’t have to deal with the uncomfortable parallels. This means she cares about me as a human being, not that she thinks I am weak.

Today: No one else pays attention to your food intake. People will be focusing on Ginny, I don’t envy her that! If someone makes an asinine comment, you can redirect them by asking how they’ll deal without her around.

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I ended up getting the student from a public school. His first day is later this week. I’m excited!

Random note: Vomiting when sick is vastly different from purging. Ugh. However, I am NOT missing my new student’s first day or Ginny’s last day, which are both this week.