30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge- Master List

24 Sep

I decided to start this challenge first of all to help my readers learn more things specifically related to my mental illnesses.  My fellow bloggers are welcome to participate in any or all of the challenge prompts.  I I hope this will raise some awareness and give you insight to mental illness.  Here is the image to go with the challenge:

MIA challenge

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SPD and moving away

24 Sep

When I talk about my diagnoses, I always say my primary are schizoaffective and BPD because they affect my life the most my other two currently diagnosed are PTSD and SPD.  Most people don’t even know what SPD is and although I meet all the criteria for PTSD we don’t know my trauma, weird much.

 

Moving out of my parents house for the first time at age 33 has set off some sensory issues this week.  I took a shower for the first time in nearly two years.  I HATE SHOWERS! One of my sensory issues revolves around my hands getting wet, and wet hands touching things, at home I had a bath tub.  While in inpatient setting I was forced to take a shower so it is not like I have never taken a shower before but the longest I’ve been there is 13 days.  I will live in this place a year.  In a week period I got away with taking one shower and driving home to take one bath, but I know this is not a long term solution.  My hair was very dirty.  I can’t use dry shampoo because the smell also bothers me.  I got use to washing my hair in the bath tub with my hands so I assume I will get use to showers but man this is torture at first.  Lil sis has some sensory issues too, but is anti-psychiatry and thus undiagnosed and I am unsure if she meets criteria but gave me the tip of bringing a gym towel in the shower with me to wrap my hands in and keep them dry until I need to wash my hair then throw it out quick and wash my hair.  That won’t help issues like water pressure but it’s a start.

 

Last night I went to an event with my roommates on campus, I ended up taking a separate car because I wasn’t done with dinner by the time they left.  I kinda already feel a little left out by them, but maybe it’s my paranoia.  I was good for the first hour and a half and then the live band music got too loud for my sensory issues and I had to leave.  I felt lame and embarrassed.  I don’t really know how to explain it to my roommates, if I should, and this is really just the tip of the iceberg in regards to my mental illness.  All 5 of my roommates are either psychology or sociology students and one is taking abnormal psych this semester.  I mentioned my sensory processing disorder early on and of course no one knew what it was in adults.  When I described it was a common co-occuring disorder in children with autism like kids who have difficulties with certain textures of clothes and have tags cut off t-shirts a couple nodded. It was very simple.  So it’s not like they have no introduction.

Somewhere between anxiety and panic

16 Sep

I hadn’t thought about the ASD evaluation in awhile because right on it’s heels followed the gender issues. I was very upset that I didn’t get an autistic spectrum diagnosis pretty much because I didn’t meet all the symptoms when I was young and I was a helpful child; although I doubt my mom through in her drinking problem. But I was even helpful before then. It seems all my symptoms appeared in my teenage years and though they impair my functioning mostly social and like regular things since I wasn’t showing symptoms since a baby I’m not autistic. The evaluator said I should be happy, I think he’s an asshole. I’ve never prossessed how I really felt about it because of gender stuff pushing to the center. But when your body and mind don’t work like most of societies it’s hard.
Most the research in ASD is in children. I think that eventually there will be a delayed diagnosis or adult diagnosis ASD. Just like when society thought kids couldn’t have mood disorders and adults would grow out of their attention disorders. 
If any of my followers are on the spectrum or with mental illness in general. How do you cope with big transitions like moving out? Responsible for all your adult daily activities now (shower, teeth brushing, cooking, cleaning)? And scariest socializing?

Today… and no this will not take all the blame

15 Sep

Today I had a counseling appointment and even though my case manager doesn’t really want to address the gender identity issues she today said that my self harm was a result of gender identity and sexuality issues.  I was quick to point out I was self harming before those issues came to light and for other reasons.  I often worry about people taking my biological disorders and my situational life happenings and screwing them up and trying to put something where it doesn’t belong.   I did mention that yes I did self harm on my breasts because I hated them; but I self harmed for a slew of other reasons before I hit puberty (when gender issues came on) and before I met PK (when I started discovering my sexuality).

I’m thinking about using a new name with my new gender variant expression, when I start transitioning more, a nickname my sister has given me that is my initials.  Before I do that though, I want it to be okay with her as it is her nickname sort of and I don’t know how she will feel about being gender variant and I don’t feel right about taking a nickname she gave me and using it; if she takes the transition really badly.  I need to feel her out.  I’m not good at feeling people out.

Holding On

3 Sep

I wonder why I am so insistent (at least right now) to hanging on to some of my female gender identity. I don’t like being a girl.  Is it because it’s so familiar?  Because I’m so resistant to change in general and this will be a BIG change.  Scared of what people will think, especially how the family will react?  I’m not sure what it is in me, but it’s worth exploring.  I think that’s what I should talk to the therapist about in two weeks.  I also worry with what my gender identity is and how that will play out along with my sexuality and I’m trying to work them both out in my head at the same time.  I know this is bad for me and I should let the identity figure out first and then sexuality next but I feel like i’m losing time and like most people I want all the answers NOW, lol.

Therapy- Gender Identity

26 Aug

What I’ve been waiting for.  Since my case manager told me over a month ago that she wasn’t really qualified to handle the gender identity issues and to talk to the therapist I was angry.  It seems everyone defers to the therapist that I see once every 6 weeks.  (I see my case manager once a week.)  I had also just gotten my ASD evaluation back and we were suppose to go over that.  It seems everyone passes the buck to her and I have a harder time opening up to her as I don’t see her as often and haven’t developed as much trust.

Surprisingly things went very well.  She has training regarding gender identity issues and is seeing other people with in Kaiser (my insurance.)  My fears about not being taken seriously because I don’t fully identify as a trans person were unfounded.  She let me know what my insurance covered and was okay with what I said I wanted to pursue, didn’t want to, and was unknown at this time.  We talked a little about why it is coming up now, pretty much because I have the independence to be out of my parents house and I don’t plan on moving back.  I don’t see my dad taking this well and knowing I won’t have to be around him while doing this transition and adjusting myself makes me able to pursue it.  Also now being in the LGBT community I have names and real things attached to feelings and thoughts I’ve had for a long time, since puberty.  The therapist is going to see me in a little over two weeks instead of the typical 6 weeks, which is much of an improvement and practically unheard of wishing psychotherapy in my insurance.  She also suggested I check out a support group for trans and gender non conforming people and a local gender center.  My first step is to e-mail them and find out times and dates.  I hate group things and with my social and awkward problems this will be hard.  At least for now it’s just finding out when they meet.

Abandonment sneaking back in

22 Aug

Honestly, I’m surprised it waited until now.  It’ll less than a month till I’ll be moving out and officially starting UC Davis in the Fall Quarter which means that it is also less than a month until 20 something’s friend will be moving to San Diego.  It’s starting to feel real, I’m starting to get sad, and I’m beginning to get overwhelmed.  It started about a week and a half ago when he went there for a week long program at UCSD.  One of the first days I just kinda lost it, and in front of my mom of all people.  And for some reason I was seeking sympathy from her, talking about barking up the wrong tree and I should know better.  I guess I was desperate.  I tried my DBT skills all week.  I FB messaged him a couple times but he was so busy with workshops and not and I didn’t want to be that person.  After he got back I got a sweet postcard, I wish I had gotten it while he was gone, but since I was wrapped up in emotion mind a couple times I’m not sure it would have helped.  I tried making plans with other friends, but my other blogger friends with BPD probably know how it is they are not 20 somethings friend; and it isn’t the same.  It won’t be the same.  It’s not the end of the world.  But I’m losing my best friend.  I have trouble making friends because of all my other issues and there won’t be anyone else in the world like him.

The struggle

17 Aug

Today was stressful.  I had a dream I was back working in Sunday school, I miss working with kids and the community church provided feeling like I finally fit in somewhere.  I woke up kinda sad.  Then I had a text from 20 somethings friend saying the time I picked him up changed from 5:30 to 7:30 so we’d get less hang out time and another bill from my health insurance for my case manager that we have been messing with since the beginning of the year.  I wanted to just go back to bed and skip school.  I did go back to bed, but set an alarm for 9am and just threw some clothes on to go to school, unfortunately the shirt I picked out was tight on the arms and the chest which made me really feel my breasts.  Tat had me thinking about how I felt I was getting the run around from my health insurance regarding the gender identity issues though they claim I’m not and I guess I really won’t know till I see the therapist.  I just know I can’t go on like this if it’s just addressing it with her once a month.  I thought about pk and moving to the private christian university and starting over and how I will be moving to UC Davis and kinda starting over again. I’m not sure I can do it.  Other people think I can, maybe I can fool them they don’t bother seeing my struggle.

Poem: You don’t see inside me

30 Jul

You don’t see inside me

The pain and confusion

The questions and doubts I have

Me trying to keep it together

 

You don’t see inside me

I hate who I am

But I have to be this for now

So i push and push

I push it away

and do what I have to do

whatever that means

 

But you can only push so much

and then a crack shows

and you may catch a glimpse

But you don’t see inside me

I’m not even sure what’s there

That’s what happens when you push and push

I can’t see inside me.

Illegitimate 

29 Jul

Do you sometimes feel illegitimate or your diagnosis means less than because it isn’t paired with the typical diagnosis. Than your case manager tells you that you weren’t washing your hair just to act out and you know distinctly it was because of the sensory issues. If it was to act out, why would you allow family members to wash it in the sink. Would those be the people you were acting out against?

I feel without the comirbid ASD diagnosis my SPD is less legitimate especially as an adult. I know there are few adults with SPD. And I know I meet the symptoms and criteria. I just don’t have melt downs, I do shut down. I’ve found coping strategies. And I feel I have to ignore my issues and sensitivities because people will now say they are less legitimate. Family always has, except for knife sharpening; cuz they can see how that would bother almost anyone.

Another day in the life of a complexly mentally ill person.

Excited new opportunities

27 Jul

I feel like I’m beginning to start a new life coming up soon when I transfer to UC Davis.  Just today I got e-mailed my course syllabus for my summer session class that starts Monday.  Yesterday I selected my student housing apartment and found out who would likely be my housemates.  I’m looking into other therapists to see for the gender dysphoria and other blogs to follow, of people who might be like me.  I picked up my child and adolescent psych records yesterday and will bring them to my counseling appointment tomorrow.  I need to talk to someone about my social functioning and how to deal with that and transitioning at Davis especially since apparently I don’t have ASD, I’m suppose to broach the gender identity topic with the therapist but she will get the ASD evaluation, either way I don’t see her until August 28th.  I will see if my case manager can read the ASD eval and maybe that will help things; I know she doesn’t want to or doesn’t feel qualified to work on the gender identity stuff.  i wonder if the therapist will just refer to another person within Kaiser.  Sometimes A lot of times my health insurance is a joke.