Monday, February 27, 2012

Tuesday's Trust - Time for Some Major Weed Killing… - Agitation Amidst Grief's Identity Crisis

Tuesday's Trust

Time for Some Major Weed Killing…

Agitation Amidst Grief's Identity Crisis

Yes, it's time for some major weed killing… not only in my gardens, but Sunday morning revealed to me the horrific need for some major weed killing… in my heart. I am so ANGRY!!! (Is anyone else angry in their grief? Aaaagh!)

First of all, I don't know who I am these days...

Who am I physically?

With all the grief, I don't even know what size clothes I wear! It's hard to buy clothes when you don't know who you are physically any more. I have dwindled down to almost nothing, and have to make sure I even remember to eat. (For example, today is Sunday, it is right now 4:39 in the afternoon, and I have eaten NOTHING so far! I forget to eat!!!) And I have to work out daily with aerobic exercise to help my poor brain that is trying to overcome this intensive trauma we've all experienced…

Who am I spiritually?

Grief has sent me into plumbing the depths of The Person of God, so I feel that I am much deeper spiritually as Child-Loss Grief really requires a deeper faith and trust. But how does God put up with me on a day like today when I've just about thrown everything out the window that He has diligently taught me? He is so loving and so patient, and I am so unworthy, but as He said, He doesn't come to call the righteous, but to call sinners unto Him… (Thank You God for Your undying love and grace!!!)

Who am I emotionally?

And what is my life's work now that I have been severely traumatized?

I am spent emotionally. My heart is just broken. I am easily triggered. I am easily offended (grief does a great job of exposing who our genuine friends and loved ones are, because we CANNOT tolerate hard hearts around us… AT ALL! If you're mean-spirited, in the least, SCRAM!).

And what is my life's work? What work can I actually do? I am a psychotherapist, specially trained in intensive trauma cases, THE most difficult to treat, THE most dangerous to treat, THE most harrowing to treat, THE most arduous to treat. Have you ever heard of the diagnostic term, "Borderline Personality Disorder" (BPD)? Severe trauma cases include this disorder, and the diagnosis itself causes most therapists, even the kindest of souls, to REFUSE to render treatment to such individuals; these clients will test you and try you and manipulate you and lie to you and threaten you, even worse-- threaten to harm themselves if they're upset with you, etc. etc. etc. (Actually, it makes perfect sense for them to test their therapist so adamantly, as life has treated them horribly, so why should they expect to be able to trust a therapist? Why should they take the risk to let anyone else get close to them? Why should they think the therapist will be any different from all of the abusers in their life? But still…) It is treacherous territory for the therapist, and I have to ask myself, do I really have the emotional stamina for this any more? Who knows?

But I have called around, and all of the other Christian psychotherapists in this city REFUSE to take on another borderline, ever. I even called a psychiatrist this week who very graciously taught me to work with such cases many many years ago, (he admitted to me at the time that no graduate schools teach us how to do this work because they think it is so rare (it actually is NOT), so for those of us who dare to walk the arduous journey with these hurting clients, we all have had to learn to do this work by 'on-the-job' training). But then the psychiatrist admitted to me when I tracked him down this week,

"Angie, I gave up on these people a long time ago; they just seemed to get worse and worse, and there is no medication to 'fix' the disorder."

(Of course there isn't, he agreed; it is only treatable with psychotherapy, and psychiatrists don't do psychotherapy!) But he does at least does try to treat some of their symptoms, and I'll take that. It was just majorly disappointing that the one mental health professional I have found in this town who understands these precious souls better than any others, really, has given up on them!!! (I feel like the Annie Sullivan (Macy) who worked so closely with Helen Keller when things often felt impossible; the disorder is as volatile a situation as that, but more!) So BPD is my specialty as well as its counterpart DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) - picture Sybil… Very heavy duty emotional work, but now I am trying to do it as a Grieving Mother???? Can that even be done???

And then, I have to tangle with the insurance companies who really don't like the idea of intensive treatment for anyone, and IF they will allow the intensive treatment (which is certainly what these disorders require), they will barely pay you anything for it… Aaagh. (And as you know, it is hard enough for us to make a living these days with our own grief forcing us to pound out a different way of working than before the death of our child.)

{After writing the rough draft of this post yesterday -- and before posting it publicly -- today my client's insurance company graciously rose to the challenge they see that is involved in this young woman's life, and are assisting me in a much more gracious manner. God does move mountains when we submit to Him! (He had quite a few things to point out to me yesterday to get me off my "high horse" before I called the insurance company today to see if we could negotiate a more equitable arrangement...) And then, it seems to me, HE moved a mighty big mountain on mine and my client's behalf!!! (Thank You, God!!!)}

Well, back to yesterday, at the height of my angst, I totally took all of this pent-up frustration out on the one person who would take it from me… which happens to be the same person who least deserves to catch it from me, and that is… my loving husband. Wow. Ain't grief fun? Let's just dump this animosity on another grieving parent - way to go, Ang! Fortunately he loves me, and we are making our way through it, but ouch. What is this antagonizing anger that is overtaking my heart??? Time to find the weed kill spray! And quick!

Pictures, thanks to "Grandma's Laughs and Tid Bits" on Facebook, and for grieving mother, M. H. for sharing them with me :0)


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