What is Self-Control?

I restricted, then I ate a few handfuls of gummy bears after work. Now I feel sick. I was going to purge at work, but stopped because I don’t want to be out of control.

I made a deal with myself. If I was alone in the house, I’d purge when I got home. I wasn’t alone, but now I am. Therefore, I want to purge. Blah, negative reinforcement is powerful! I want this sick feeling to go away. On the other hand, if I purge 2 days in a row, what does that say about my self-control? Maybe if I repeat to myself that REAL strength is eating and not purging, I’ll believe it eventually. In the back of my mind, I still believe the pro-ana ideas… Don’t be beaten by a cookie. You’re not a dog, don’t reward yourself with food. Empty is good. Empty is strong… okay, wrong train of thought!

…I could nap. I am sleepy, but that is also avoidance of the sick feeling from only eating gummy bears and a piece of popcorn today.

I promised my mom I would eat. If I don’t, she’ll be upset and we’ll argue about whether I am capable of moving and not relapsing. I can’t handle eating right now. Maybe later. No one will be back until 9 pm.¬†

I don’t like change. I’m going to miss everyone! My grandparents came over last night and gave me chocolate. My grandpa said, “Try not to eat it all at once.” as they left. Ha! I haven’t eaten it, but that isn’t the point. My point is they are extremely sweet to bring me chocolate! They’re 90 and 86 years old and they drove over at night to give me candy. I’m worried if I leave for a year, they’ll die. Also, my 14 year old dog could die. I told myself I’d be better about going to lunch with my grandparents on Sundays this semester. So far, I have not been better and I don’t have much time left!

 

I knew this would happen. My behavior is predictable. I am afraid I won’t measure up; I am scared my beliefs about myself are about to be confirmed. Plus, I’m already missing everyone! So, I binge, purge, and restrict. Why? I’m not sure exactly, to have an excuse if I fail or to stop myself from taking a chance that could end in failure in the first place?

I'm afraid to leave this place_Dr. Saunders_Dollhouse - Copy - Copy

 

I’m just rambling so I don’t bother other people and trying to distract myself. Apparently, I’m channeling Whiskey/ Dr. Saunders this week!

Work was fun. We’re trying something new with one of my kids. I always find that interesting. I trying to smile and talk to people more. I’m leaving soon, but I’m trying to practice opening up. Not enough for anyone new to know me, just enough that they think I’m not always serious… Although, I am usually serious! ūüėČ I want them to trust and listen to me. That means talking about non-work stuff. But NOT mental illness, oversharing is limited to people I actually trust. Once, I tried talking more to a co-worker and then he said he had feelings for me. That would be great! … If he wasn’t married.¬†

 

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Office Supplies and Good Byes

Feeling overwhelmed.

I’m checking out apartments this week, but I also have 3 exams and 10 hours of lecture to watch between now and when I return home.

I need to create and print my students’ work for the 2 days I am out.

Ginny is leaving and that means there is no BCBA for my students until a new one is hired. In the mean time, Claire and I are trying to fill the gaps. I don’t see how that is possible!

The thought of leaving my kiddos and my co-workers makes me sad. I’ll miss them.

Jessica moved a few weeks ago and I’m worried about her because she is struggling with eating disorder symptoms.

However, here I still have Ginny and Madison. Even though we don’t hang out much, I have the opportunity to and that option makes a difference in my mind. It won’t be an option soon.

I don’t want to be that person who lets their work slide when they decide they’re leaving, but I don’t have enough hours in the day to finish everything! I guess I need a new coping skill that involves problem solving instead of avoidance.¬†

 

was I my best - Copy NO!!

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I purged at work, for the first time in months or maybe even a year. However, I also took apart the tape dispenser, intending to cut, and did not. So, I suppose that is a minor win, sort of… The better option would have been asking to talk to Ginny, Ashley, or Claire again (we already talked as a group once in the morning, but I was still anxious) before getting to that point. Despite knowing that alternative was better, I didn’t want to bother anyone. They seemed annoyed or perplexed by my anxiety.

Mind Wipe

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Please?

My urge to join the Dollhouse has returned!

I’m not sure why I’m ruminating on this so much. It isn’t like these are “recovered” memories. I’ve always had them. Then again, I didn’t always know that student had the same types of memories and I’ve never told anyone. Now whenever I see either that student or the 2 people I told, that is the first thing that pops into my mind.

its wrong, I'm wrong buffy - Copy

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! ūüėÄ

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. ūüôā

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

Things I'd Rather Do than Go to Law School…

1. Join Division under Percy

2. Become a Doll                                  

(I DO!!!!!)

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3. Become¬†stranded¬†in an Alternate Universe (Assuming survival was possible…I wouldn’t want to go to a Hell dimension that was completely incompatible with human life)

4. Contribute to Manticore’s Scientific Exploration

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5. Marry a Celebrity

….Okay, fine, those last two are exaggerations. I¬†already elucidated¬†my position on knowing celebrities. I hope none of the theater girls from treatment ever make it big… In terms of Manticore: Surrogacy is awesome! Science experiments¬†are awesome! Giving away the child I carried to a secret government organization who intended to torture him/her into a child-super-soldier…not so awesome. I wouldn’t really do that.

*sigh* Obviously my complaints aren’t the whole picture or I’d quit law school. Nonetheless, I am not looking forward to today.

*edit* I wrote this last night and scheduled it to post this morning. Right now I am sitting in Legal Research and Writing waiting for it to start in about an hour. I’m in a surprisingly good mood. I have no idea why…perhaps sleep deprivation? I managed to get at most 3 hours of sleep, even though I went to bed at a reasonable hour. I guess I’m anxious about the semester, even though I’m not sure staying in school is the right thing to do, I still want to do well. I want to prove I am smart and I can do well!

I Am Not a Victim

“And every time someone calls me a victim, I feel like I’m the biggest liar in the world.”¬† Echo in Dollhouse, “Briar Rose”, 1×11

“Do you think they sexually abused you?”

No, Trisha, stfu.

That is not actually what I said to the group therapist from inpatient (“IP”) after I shared my “Life Story”, but that is what I thought. Everyone interprets things in the worst light!

Another example from my personal therapist from IP, “Have you ever been abused?”

“No.”

“Are you sure? You said that too quickly and emphatically.”

Or my IOP therapist:

“You act like someone who was sexually abused as a child.”

*sigh* Looking back on instances from my youth I’ve concluded there are¬†events that could be considered abusive, but my family was/is not abusive. I feel there is an important difference. Parents are fallible human beings, just like the rest of us.

I am not saying it is ever ok to hit a child, or call him/her a bitch, whore, slut, or a monster. However, parents are people and they have limits. I don’t think either of my parents have anger issues. On the contrary, I believe they were faced with an extraordinarily difficult child. As far as I know, they never hit or called my brother names. I remember a conversation with my IP therapist,

“…He called me an unfeeling monster and then he threatened to break my dog’s legs if I didn’t do what he wanted because he said I loved the dog more than I loved them.”

*therapist gives me a disapproving look*

“No, you don’t understand! I deserved it! I was a bad kid.”

My therapist answered, “What could an 11 year old possibly do to deserve that?”

“I was rude and refused to talk to them.”

I did not explain things adequately to her, that sounds like normal annoying kid behavior. Yet, she nor any one outside the 3 of us (except perhaps my brother), could understand what hell I put them through.

For example, the time my mom threw a pot at my head? I refused to eat and she was extremely stressed for other reasons. The time my dad called me a bitch, slapped my face hard enough to stun me, told me to leave and never come back for being surly when he asked me to empty the dishwasher? 13 year old me recently IM’ed a half dozen men explicit sexual content.

These memories make me feel sad, but I hate it when people suggest anyone in my life abused me! IT IS NOT TRUE! There is a vast difference between beating a child black and blue with a belt and slapping a stupid teenager in the face a few times.

I reiterate, I do not plan on physically disciplining my children or calling them names because I know even words said in understandable anger can leave a lasting mark on a child’s mind. However, I fricking brought it upon myself. Yes, even at 11 years old, my actions were beyond the pale.

How would you react to your 11 year old child cutting her arms so deeply she caused scars, throwing up her food, crying for no reason, refusing to eat, and refusing to talk about what is going on? I’m sure you would be afraid, even terrified. You probably wouldn’t have that reaction the first time, but what about the 10th incident?

They love me; they would do anything for me. I’ve put them through hell for 23 years and they still put up with my actions. I think they’re heroes. The fact that my brother never encountered the same treatment shows it was my actions that created their responses, not a lack of empathy or self-control on their part.

If I ever have a child like myself I have no doubt I will react better, but I’ve been there! I know what that child is feeling and thinking. They were lost in a new world of mental illness and confusing actions.

Hahaha, I can hear my IOP therapist¬† saying, “You can’t apply rules only
to yourself. If it is never okay to hit a child or call him/her names,
why is it okay to hit or call child-you names?” Maybe this entire post is a cop-out, but it is my story and I’m sticking to it!