A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Monday, 20 May 2013


It's a ridiculous length of time since I last posted, for which I apologise, but I really don't know what to say.  I'm sort of shuffling along, and I guess things are a little better than they were, but it's hard to see it day-to-day.

I'm not getting very much from the CPN, and have given up any expectations I had.  It's not that she isn't coming to visit, but more a difference in personalities, a clash of ideas of what might be helpful, and ... hmm ... how do I phrase this? ... I don't feel respected.  She obviously isn't a Christian, which shouldn't matter, and hasn't mattered in the past with other clinicians, and actually it shouldn't impact at all on the patient-CPN relationship, but it does because she dismisses my beliefs as unimportant at best, and as a sign of mental illness at worst.  I don't necessarily expect her to share my Christian beliefs, but I do expect her to respect them and not treat me as a nutter simply because I have a Christian faith.  I don't have extremist beliefs.  I'm not part of some strange cult or sect.  I am part of an Anglican Church community in the neighbouring parish to where I live, and within that community, some of my views are quite liberal.  All of it is far removed from anything that could be considered even remotely crazy.  So yes, it's tricky with her.  I feel as though I have to seem willing to try and at least give it a go, but I no longer have any expectations of helpfulness.

It's not just the thing about her response to my faith, there are other things too.  I suppose most significantly is that a lot of the time she makes me feel like I'm just a case study for her student.  I'm 'good experience' for her; I'm 'something interesting to look up' when they get back to the office; I'm a 'good example of a high functioning, intelligent depressive'; I'm 'a complex and interesting case' for the student to follow through, and 'Oh, wouldn't it be good if the student could see [me] get well, although she's only on this placement for another three week.'  No pressure then!

Thankfully I still have the psychologist who continues to be helpful.  The sessions are hard work, but I trust the psychologist and feel able to tell her anything, even if it's sometimes difficult to say the words.  The difficulty is in expressing myself or trusting myself with the words (which, I am aware, sounds odd), rather than difficulty with trusting the psychologist.

There's still a degree of crisis management being needed in the psychology sessions, and when it's not quite crisis management it's kind of one step removed from that - maybe day to day management rather than minute to minute.  Eventually I will be doing some specific work on the flashback aspect of the PTSD, but the psychologist wants me to be a lot more stable and feeling much more robust than I currently am because it's very demanding.  I know this from previous CBT I've had for totally different reasons, so in many ways I'm in no hurry to start this work, but on the other hand, 'life' with PTSD is crushing.

Between appointments with the psychologist and the CPN I do feel like I'm just shuffling.  I keep trying to write, but it keeps not happening - you have born witness to my lack of writing even on my blog - although I have managed to do some editing last week for an acquaintance's End of Module Assessment for their current Open University course.  My brain wasn't in the best place for doing it, because concentrating is still difficult, but it did make me feel useful and it was productive, so the hard work was worth it.  The other thing I have been doing is playing the violin a bit.  I used to play a lot.  At one time in the past it felt as though my violin was an extension of me, and although I'm not back to that stage, it does feel good to have that creative outlet again.  I started off with playing the piano again a few weeks ago, and I'm still doing a bit of that, but I get different things from the piano and violin, and it kind of feels like the bit of brain that does the violin playing is perhaps next to the bit of brain that does writing.  I'm hoping that the violin-playing bit might nudge awake the writing bit and get it working again.  I've mostly been playing one piece of music - Bach's Concerto for Violin and Oboe in D minor, although I've been playing the oboe part on the violin as this is the part my old violin teacher had me play.  It may only be three movements long, but I can spend a couple of hours playing, replaying, and taking this piece apart.  I play along to a CD recording so that I get the experience of playing the whole piece with an orchestra.  I'm not sure my neighbours appreciate it, but I try to ignore that and instead get absorbed in the music.  Even though I'm not able to do it every day, I think the fact that I can do it at all is progress, and maybe, just maybe it'll even help me progress further.

I'm sure there was something else I was going to say, but my mind seems to have turned to mush and suddenly I can't think where this post was going.  I guess it's part of the shuffle - it's a bit directionless, but with a general hope that it might be vaguely forwards.  Um, yes, so er, I've completely forgotten where this was going so I'll stop, but I'm hoping to get back well before the time between this post and the previous one.


bryony said...

You probably don't have the energy to object having to put up with such a dreadful CPN but she cannot be helping!! Praying for a complete change - either of her attitude or of her person. You deserve to be treated well. If you find you are able please do let someone else on the team know what is going on. Praying regularly for you and sending lots of love
B x

Sal A said...

I think one on one therapy/support is very difficult if you don't 'click' with the other person. She sounds very thoughtless - especially the way she's putting pressure on you through her student! Given she acknowledges your intelligence it seems ridiculous that she thinks she can treat you like that! As regards your faith, she should acknowledge that as part of you - an important part! Even if she's as atheist as I am, her belief system is irrelevant - it's yours that counts in this scenario! If I can see that, then she should!
I honestly think it's harder dealing with psych services if you're intelligent! I was told that I can't possibly be having panic attacks cos I have a very high IQ! What utter nonsense! Oh and you're doing brilliantly to write anything at all so don't feel like you have to apologise for not posting often - your posts are worth the wait! xx

Anonymous said...

Just a couple of thoughts. Depression often produces 'splitting' of thought, so that you tend to think of people and situations in black and white terms and not see the shades in between. Also, it's all too easy to think what another person might be thinking and then imagine it IS what they think/say. Severe depression interferes with distinguishing between the two and messes with your memory of what happens versus what you fear might happen (though I'm sure the CPN has not yet hit the right note with you!) It's all too easy to think negatively of others when you are being negative with yourself. Also, your CPN has got a tough job because you have said in a previous blog that only God can heal you, but most theologians would argue that the individual has some responsibility for their own healing, otherwise we would all simple be little automata, wouldn't we? If it were ONLY up to God, why bother with doctors, nurses, CPNs, psychologists etc? Have a little ponder about that. When you have recovered before, I bet there were things that you started to do which, in retrospect, helped you before you actually realised that you were better. You've done it before, so why not this time? Good luck with the on-going work, it is hard, but take courage from your past achievements!

BeckyG said...

I haven't said that only God can heal me. I have said that my previous experience of coming out of depression is through healing from God. That is not the same thing as saying that God is the only path to mental health, and that isn't a stance I take. I do also know as fact my CPN considers my beliefs to be part of mental ill health, not because of any presumption I have made or think may have been implied, but rather because she has said as much! I do have enough insight to be able to apply theories of depression to my own situation, and I am able to rationally (and correctly) assess which are applicable to me. Also, I consider these things when writing my blog posts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky, Re-reading your previous blog, you write about the miraculous healing you received from God. That doesn't seem to allow any room for human endeavour. Your CPN hasn't got much room for manoeuvre has she? I suspect that the CATT team could see you were getting better and that's why they moved you on to the CPN. Who was it who said "The impossible I can do right now. Miracles take a little longer!"?

BeckyG said...

Anonymous, again, in my previous post I was talking about a previous experience of depression. Yes, at that time the healing was miraculous and wasn't due to human endeavour, but that was then. I have never said that I expect that to happen again. I have never said that healing from God is the only way to get better from depression. I have never said that human endeavour cannot help me this time. Of course it can, and of course I don't expect another miraculous healing, though neither does that lack of expectation remove the reality of the miracle ten years ago. I wish you would understand that I'm not holding out for the same again, and that my response to my CPN isn't because I don't think she can help because only God can heal. That's a load of rubbish, and not at all what I believe. My response to my CPN is simply because of the response she has had to me.

BeckyG said...

Bryony, Thank you for your support and prayers, and for understanding the situation that some seem unable to grasp. I'm trying to work out how to approach the problem with my CPN, which is really difficult simply because I don't have a lot of mental energy for such things at the moment. I kind of feel like I have to give it chance and see if the CPN improves at all, but I have already spoken about her to the psychologist. She's in a completely different department and can't actually do anything about it, but she might be able to help me work out how I best approach the situation.

Sal, Thanks for your support too. The CPN isn't actually doing any specific therapeutic work with me. In fact it's a little unclear exactly what her purpose is with me. My therapist is my psychologist who, thankfully, I get on with very well. I agree entirely with what you say about how my CPN should integrate my faith in to the whole package of me, regardless of her own position on such things. I don't understand her approach/attitude, and don't feel supported by her at all.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you posting on here Becky, was getting a little worried with your quietness. I am glad things are a little better. I continue to remember you in my thoughts and prayers and pray that the tools that God provides us with will help you. What a witness you are to others, enduring so much, but remaining so faithful. Take care, Rachael xx