Dreaded Potluck

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First of all, I worked with John and he was sweet. Additionally, he sat for about 30 minutes, after refusing work, without screaming!

The potluck was awful, but better than I expected. Most of the food genuinely looked unappetizing, which was stressful. I picked three things to try. I didn’t like 2 of the 3 things. I got seconds of that one though! I thought I did a good job of spreading my food out to look like a normal amount, but I failed. Heather made a big deal out of my food. I think she knows and judges me because she looked at me oddly. I was mad and on edge; I almost bolted, but I realized that would be worse. I felt miserable a lot of the meal, but eventually Iris sat with us and that helped a lot because she is funny and her loud personality makes staying out of my head easier. I sat through the whole meal even though it was tough.

I HATE Thanksgiving. It is more socially acceptable to talk about the evils of bad food. People’s conversations made it harder. They talked about wearing dresses or stretchy pants to Thanksgiving meals because they couldn’t button their pants after eating so much. They also talked about carbs’ badness. They discussed weight. Hell, the FOOD was labeled by diet, “paleo” this and “vegan” that…A few times I got a lump in my throat, but I didn’t cry in front of anyone! I was imagining that in my head. I did a good job controlling my facial expressions and overt expressions of emotion. I don’t think anyone noticed anything was wrong!

Once I finished eating, I felt sick. I wanted to purge; I was physically uncomfortable. I held out for a while, helping clean a little bit. Then I gave up. However, someone else walked into the bathroom on my way over. I went to the other bathroom and someone was in there too. So, I went to Ashley’s room. I started head banging because I was upset about the whole event, but I couldn’t do it hard enough to help without making too much noise. Therefore, I stopped. I sat in the room, with the lights off, and felt like crying. Only a tear escaped though. So, that wasn’t bad. About a half hour later, I felt together enough to face people again. My timing was perfect  because people started playing stupid team building games and so no one noticed that I was missing!

It was difficult and painful, but I am proud of myself.

Plus, I’m doing a wonderful job bugging Ginny less and letting her talk to me if she wants to, instead of bombarding her with messages. That means we aren’t talking much at the moment; despite feeling unwanted, I’m still staying safe.

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Decisions about Water Fasts

Successfully fasting at the moment, but I’m doubting my decisions.

First of all, I anticipate feeling upset tomorrow afternoon once I meet with Ginny. I remember not wanting to go to work the day after I got in trouble at work. Therefore, I’m afraid I’ll feel the same way about returning to work after Wednesday. Taking 4 days off prolongs and increases that anxiety. I don’t want to make going to work after our meeting more difficult.

Second, I know my mom will be furious and scared. I don’t want to either anger or scare her. I don’t want to hurt anyone. If I lose 7 pounds in 7 days, I will hurt her.

I could take only 2 days off. I want to take at least 2 days off because I’m stressed out. Perhaps I could take Friday and Monday off. I like that idea because it will make both this week and next week seem shorter. Plus, I won’t ditch work the day after I meet with Ginny. However, I won’t be able to beat a fasting record if I do that.

Also, one of the kids is transitioning soon and his last day might be any day from Thursday to Tuesday. I have no clue.

If I stay home Thursday and Friday, I can reach 6 days of water fasting before work on Monday. That beats my old record of 5 days. However, I’ll be ONE DAY short of a week long water fast. That seems like a waste.

I’m not sure why a week matters, but it sounds so much nicer than 6 days. If I want to make a week, I’d need to continue fasting, which means I’d either take Monday off or go to work having not eaten in 6 days. The latter seems like a horrible idea.

I feel like I need some behaviors! I wanted to cut all day today. I think I did a better job hiding my emotions, but feelings hurt. Technically, I did self-injure, but it was just scratching and only drew a little bit of blood.

My choices are take Thursday through Tuesday off, take Friday through Monday off, take no time off, or take Monday and Tuesday off. What should I do?

I Give Up

Fuck this. I’m sick of fighting the urges. Coping skills don’t work. I’m asking for Monday and Tuesday off. I WILL BEAT MY 5 DAY WATER FAST RECORD! At least, I’ll be happy for a few days. Plus, I think Ginny knows I messed up because she has feedback for both Heather and I. So, restricting will help me feel better after our meeting on Wednesday.

No lunch with people on Wednesday because someone has a baby shower (to which I’m not invited – which,  surprisingly, doesn’t bother me too much). Therefore, I’m not eating from now until Wednesday, November 16th. I planned to eat tomorrow because I’d have to eat on Wednesday anyway, but now I have no reason to eat tomorrow.

 

Edit: More failure, YAY!!! Binging. My inpatient dietician called it “the last meal syndrome” when you plan to restrict starting tomorrow, you try to eat everything you’ll ever want to eat because you’ll never get to eat it again. To purge or not to purge? Depends on how guilty and angry I feel. At the moment, I feel a lot of both.

Edit 2: I did not purge and I am not asleep. My mom got home and I realized I had laundry to do for being away for a week.

At least Monday is almost OVER

Today started off bad and got worse.

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First, my mom asked to weigh me and I’ve lost weight since she last weighed me. She didn’t yell; she just said, “Don’t die on me.” Consequently, I felt guilty. I blasted music and air conditioning on my way to work. By the time I arrived, I felt better.

When I got to work one of the HR women was upset about her sister’s hospitalization from being beaten. That made me want to cut. I’m not sure why.

It took about 10 minutes for that urge to go away. However, once the kids arrived, my mood darkened. I was not with John, but I watched him all day. Apparently, they’re only blocking attempted aggression and neither taking him to the Quiet Room, nor taking away his all access break or end of the day treat. For every other kid, 1 attempt towards another student = QR, 1 attempt toward staff = prompt to use a coping skill or ask for help, and a 2nd attempt towards staff in the same episode = QR. Therefore, Ashley blocked him from attempted aggression ALL DAY without consequence, until he FINALLY succeeded in hitting someone. I understand that his aggression is often escape motivated because he wants to get out of class. However, I still feel there should be a consequence!!!! AT LEAST take one of his break checks away!! Also, how many times are you going to block him from the same student?? It was ridiculous!!!!

Ginny will argue his increase in attempted aggression is an extinction burst, but I think he realizes he can get away with it! I’m frustrated with Ginny, the new BCBA, and my boss.

Then during Music, Gage sat on a staff’s lap, which is not okay. First of all, he should ask. Second, he is 12. Lastly, it is unacceptable for a kid with inappropriate touch issues to be that affectionate with staff. Oh, AND he had aggression and no one reacted. Although, his plan is different. They might have been active ignoring, but somehow I doubt it wound up on his data sheet.

We switched students after lunch. I was with Cory. I knew he’d been to the Quiet Room in the morning, but I didn’t know if he walked on his own. He did not. However, it took me 5 minutes to locate someone who was there in the morning. Additionally, the person I finally located didn’t know whether he lost his treat or not! I had to go find the new BCBA. He did lose it. You know why?!??!! He threw pencils across the hallway (property destruction) and then refused to walk to the QR. So, staff had to help him. That doesn’t bother me; that is the plan. What DOES bother me is that John attempted at least 10 times to hit or kick someone else and there was no consequence. He did lose his end of the day treat, but only because Ashley failed to block one attempt, whereas Cory lost his because of some pencils?!?? I understand that different kids need different behavior modification plans, but John’s new plan infuriates me. I hope the new BCBA’s idea is right and this is an extinction burst because he is no longer escaping class with aggression, but I doubt it. I’m actually okay with the plan, in theory. We used to do it with Cory (but only for attempts towards staff. 2 attempts towards students still resulted in the QR). In my opinion, you have to draw the line somewhere! It was the complete lack of consequence that bothered me. Cory at least still lost a check at the end of the work period, even if we never had to prompt him to the QR.

Finally, I went to my psychiatrist appointment. It was okay, but I worried him because of my weight and now I feel guilty. AGAIN.

I also feel guilty about my plan to fast while house sitting because I know Ginny will worry and I know my family and psychiatrist will be angry when they realize what happened.

I had cutting urges basically all day and urges to binge and purge. I acted on none of them, but I let my annoyance show in front of my boss (twice) and the new BCBA. Worse still, I complained to someone else about the new plan!!!! That is unprofessional and unacceptable! I failed. I feel additional guilt about that.

It seems I NEED behaviors to keep my emotions in check. I still haven’t acted on my urges, even though I am still upset and I still want to hurt myself. But these feelings suck.

Moreover, I’m alone tonight. My mom is out. Plus, Ginny is busy with out of town family. My inpatient friend is still inpatient and really, really struggling.

 

Edited to add: I did one thing right today. Maybe. It doesn’t feel right. I planned to restrict today. I knew Ginny wouldn’t be at lunch. There goes my motivation. However, then I saw her on my way to grab diet coke and I felt guilty again, thinking of my mom this morning. So, I ate lunch and did not purge. Even though I wanted to not eat and purge when I did eat.

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Another Friend Bites the Dust

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Ginny said she is leaving our workplace! Oh NO! This is a disaster!! If she leaves, she can’t supervise me. I need 1,500 hours of supervision. I can only get 30 hours/week. That takes longer than a year based on the school’s schedule.

If she leaves, I have no reason not to apply to a Master’s program that requires an intensive practicum. All of the online Master’s degrees, except one, require that you obtain your supervision hours through a practicum that they supervise. I didn’t want to do any of those because I love my job and Ginny is supervising me. If she is no longer able to supervise me, I have less incentive to stay. I can just do a regular Master’s program and move somewhere to do the practicum. The school I’m currently taking the course at, has a practicum site one state away.

I’m freaking out right now. I want to cut, really badly.

Also, I asked for Thursday and Friday off because I am house sitting. That means I have no one expecting me to eat for a week. I can take those days off and water fast without endangering anyone at work. I told her my plan (I think I told her in an attempt to guilt myself into going to work. My plan was successful because until she told me she might leave, I resigned myself to working next week.) Once she told me she might leave, I panicked and felt abandoned. Abandonment is a huge trigger. After the initial panic and then some logical thoughts about school, my next thought was, “Screw this, I’m NOT working next week. I am going to fast.”

Now, is this an attempt to escape my feelings of anger, abandonment, and fear? Or is it an attempt to communicate those feelings to her? If I hadn’t told her my plan in the first place, I could more confidently say I simply wanted to escape my feelings. Since I already told her, I am not sure. Perhaps it is both. After all, staying home and water fasting will accomplish both goals of escaping my feelings and communicating my anger.

 

Edited to Add: 3 hours later and I still have SIB urges. 😦 I started an application, but I’m still anxious and upset.

Attention Seeking: Part 3

Oh no! I found out I want that same concern/caring reaction from my parents that I want from friends. Damn it! I thought it was just with friends because I was insecure about my attachment to them. However, tonight I caught myself wondering why my parents have mentioned my weight loss even though I’m below weight restoration, and no one called me to eat tonight. I wondered if they loved me and considered dropping even faster. WTF, brain?! At the same time, I had a nightmare where they took the keys to the car and refused to let me go to work until I ate enough to gain the weight back.

I don’t know what to do. On one hand, I am self-aware enough to know what is happening. On the other hand, I can’t think of what I could do instead to garner the same reaction. Today we brainstormed about Cory wanting negative attention and ways we could give similar attention without making him resort to bullying to control others’ emotions. Tangent: Once, when I purged frequently, he looked at me oddly and asked who my bully was. Anyway, I completely understand being picky about the type of attention you receive.

What can I do instead?

Screaming Kids and a Good Lunch

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Today was a good day. I worked with John. It is always a treat to get him off the bus these days. We worked together every day for a year. For months, every time he saw me come down the aisle he screamed and said, “I HATE you! Why can’t I work with Barb?!? You’re the worst teacher ever! I wish you were dead.” etc. However, now when he sees me he smiles and gives me a big hug. While we waited for Cory and David, we chatted about his Halloween and talent show plans. I got that warm fuzzy feeling and realized, I love this kid. He did well, no aggression and he worked almost the entire Math class without screaming!! It sucked that he had 3 episodes of screaming, so I had to take away his check (the kids earn break by getting all 3 checks for safety, following direction/ respectful words, and doing their work). Therefore, he had to stay in class on break. He cried and wanted a hug. He cried all of break and did nothing fun, but he stayed safe and used coping skills to turn things around.

I ate a normal lunch and didn’t purge it, even though I was tempted to purge.

Ginny did a presentation on reinforcement and the functions of behavior. When she said SIB can be automatically reinforcing (the act alone is reinforcing, nothing external like attention or escape is needed to keep the behavior going), the person behind me said, “That is WEIRD.” Her comment bothered me. Something isn’t weird, just because YOU don’t understand it. I think I’m being overly sensitive because I wouldn’t be (as) mad if someone said licking walls was weird.

So far, so good handling Ginny’s online absence and not telling her about my weight loss. I’m extremely proud of my coping last night.