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.