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Needing to reach out, wanting to help others.



I have some things going on that I am struggling with. Feel shy, not sure how my efforts to support others will do so, so have decided to just write my own experience here for anyone to see.

I'll start by sharing my DBT homework response. I feel quite crazy in my thinking, emotional, angry, reactive, but when I put it in words it kinda makes sense.

re: DBT Homework B


Sat, April 3, 2010 9:58:55 AM

What information is my (cognitive) filter stopping me from considering?

Have an injury I've been trying to get effective care for, a number of things have been said and written about me that were untrue. At the same time I've watched a friend go through the same channels, with injury far more severe than mine, to a totally ineffective end. I'm frightened, and angry. My view may be affecting my communications about myself and symptoms, and my emotional reactions to situations may be creating obstacles to receiving care. Have been aware of this, but am only who I am and have endeavored to stand up to bullying and misrepresentation not only for myself but the many others I see in similar situations. Am trying to be transparent, wanting nothing hidden to suddenly come up to justify others behavior towards me, and trusting that even though I don't believe it guidance will be appropriate to my situation. Also, am at last fully aware of the impact my mental illness has had on me, and my family, hoping I haven't reached a place where it's all downhill. I am hoping people in the medical community will look at me, and realize that my coping skills are what they are, and please stop judging it as character or values. Am tired of the stigma and go away messages that come with this, be it BPD, PTSD, BIpolar or what.There is a narrow mode people are supposed to fit in to and so many don't. By trying to make them fit, am thinking more about children and learning and expression, they are harming them irreparribly.. , and humans as a whole. Many of our beliefs as a race are self destructive. Children bring fresh insight when allowed self expression. The wounded child within me is healing. Coming out, reactive and frightened, but seeing truths in many places. The biggest being that people give words to trauma, but not having experienced it to a high degree have really no comprehension of what must be overcome to walk societies fine line of social behavior. The depth of my anger towards intimidation is real, and I think justified, however channeled at this point. That we as humans don't have an abiding respect towards one another is I think the biggest ill in our societies. Know it isn't going to change soon, but won't change at all, if we all mum up to the bullies, be they parents, politicians or spouses or caregivers. I recognize at least some of my filters, and know I enter experiences with past similarities, esp recent, looking for validation of my beliefs now. They are there. There are also people doing their best from their own perceptions and filters. And I need more practice seeing opportunity before I see the challenges. Also need to give the same respect I ask for. 'Social skills' after a lifetime of relying on others or hiding because of childhood abuse come hard.

But I am learning, and accepting that I am not perfect. And learning to accept that in others. Sure hope it's beneficial to someone...



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Hi Katleen

I wish you luck with the DBT. I hope you stick with it if it helps you..

I have my own issues an opinions with this therapy and the way it is presented to the patients who are already struggling cognitively and emotionally but I will leave it in my head.

I hope you have already seen that most of do use these skills already but not in the terms or titles they give it. So it can be challenging but talking and hearing about it can be helpful and hopefully not frustrating..

We have all been through so much and you being able to write about it is great. Any form of letting yourself heal is a wonderful thing and I wish you all the luck :P

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Hi Lindamom-

Thank you, for talking with me. Ii suspect I have much to learn from you, and others here.

I do see the "dbt" skills used here frequently, it doesn't matter what they.re called. And I've had issues with it as well. Maybe we can compare notes, Lindamom, if you want. When I took the class ten years ago, I felt like I'd stepped into some kindergarten, didn't do homework as I 'should', etc., but did start using mindfulness, and recognized how good I felt, and functioned, there. Other skills use followed. Most of the time I've seemed worse than better but am finally recognizing the deepest needs are for validation, from somewhere deep inside me. And space and safety to feel all the horrid things I never had. Sometimes it comes screaming out of me. Am not trying to preach anything, please tell me if that seems to be happening. I've been preached to. Ick. just know the only thing I really have to offer is transparency, am stepping out of the shame. The guilt. What is, is. We're all real, good as any one, people. I've given what I can. The things I did in response to abuses often weren't "appropriate" but, were from where I'd been previously, beyond my control. All of my life there are things I, and other people, haven't liked, that we're even a more difficult journey than our own. Youth slavery, advantage of the poor by corporate power , abuse of women and girls, all over the world people are hurting. We talk amongst ourselves, but feel powerless to change anything when we count only ourselves. One thing I 'm learning is that when one speaks out, other's follow. We each do have a voice, given we care more about what we see as wrong, than we do our own lives. In giving our lives this way, they have value in a way far beyond our expectations for ourselves.. It's in our numbers that we can become strong. If my children have Mental Illness, I pray they don't meet the stigma and rejections we.ve had to suffer.

I so appreciate all of you here, and in DBT, for the transparency you offer, for your courage. Am hoping for lots and lots of feedback. Chances for conversation. Am not sure whether I'm manic, or just tired of hiding. My voice got shoved down my throat when very young, and very needing, and now it's coming out..

You all have helped me feel real. Am here for healing, and support, and supporting.



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You are not preaching Katleen. You are saying what you feel and tht is ALWAYS Ok!!!

It seems you you feel this is new I suspect in terms of the time here finding your voice? That is excellent!!! Have you tried using your voice and find an outlet to help other women like a womens trauma support group or volunteering on a phone line or even a job in the field in a shelter?

Your need to advocate can also help you as well just as this forum allows us to vent, share and support each other.

I am starting a new womens depression/bipolar support group in our area. I feel this is something I want to do and I see a need for it. I also attend a womens trauma support group and that has helped me tremndousley with my PTSD stuff and since in is connected to my Bipolar, they are always willing to listen to my cycling issues. It is all so intertwined...

I found the DBT to be kind of a cookie cutter franchised therapy that is not presented in a patient friendly manner. I obviousley didn't fit in our new program and I told them they will see a normal Linda who already uses and could teach these skills and I told them I will come in depressed and suicidal and then I can't tap into anything because I am so flat and cant process.

Well I seemed to be a little to difficult for them and we had an issue with something and I reversed the skills back onto them and told them how they didn't use the skills they are teaching onto me and the issue. Well they thought about it and ended up agreeing and apologised to me.

So, then after a bad day and a trip to be evaluated at the hospital they told me I was not appropriate for their program. I was fine but that validation is an issue with me as well. My therapist and pdoc we kind of chuckled over the whole thing and I guess there is no other PHP or IOP program for me to go to anymore.

I tried to be honest and tell them how I get and I need help with it and all they did was ask me to leave. I know I am a complex person and with meds not helping me..And thats helping me????

I guess when we feel fine we can function but the flat, dead feeling really makes me wonder why i keep doing all of this... It is really getting on my nerves and I am sure my therapist and pdocs as well.....

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Yeah. I used to not go when depressed, then to my therapist when all I could do was sob my heart out. She finally gave up on me. I pretended a lot back then, fearing the rejection you experienced out of experiences with others when depressed telling me I just wasn't trying hard enough. I'm sorry that happened to you, I'm sure Marsha Linnehan would be appalled.

DBT has become the catch all therapy of the ?decade? and it's administraators can be young and dumb. Excuse me for saying. Started one recently, it was more of a diet club than anything. So found the one online, and this forum, and found I could work with it, because everyone's homework assignments are visible, and the moderator's responses. All the files are available to download.When I go into an emotional tailspin, am helpless to do anything but go to bed and spare those around me. But I think, a lot, obsessively sometimes, about what I've learned when up. And I come back fighting. I have so many triggers, so many years of trying to be who or what I'm not, denying the pain and terror inside, that sometimes it just comes ripping out of me now. Anger that terrifies me, that I don't know how to direct. I feel robbed, at times, of the joys I hear people talk about, esp around children and family. We had so much trauma, I had so much shame and depression, just trying to meet needs of my children was an issue. My husband , when not traveling, was supportive of the kids, and me, insurance paid for my counseling, but he was always pretty upset with me. And wouldn't get involved in my care. I went through many jobs, was diagnosed bipolar, but really was afraid of people getting to know me, who I wasn't. So much history around sexual abuse and the shame that comes out of it, and feeling as if I was a failure at life all along, and not knowing what to do different. I felt I was bad for my kids, my family believed I was a drug addict and didn't try hard enough. It was horrible. Then I found out two of our children at least had been sexually abused while in our home, and following that information came so much more trauma and drama that when I finally landed where I am ten years ago there was no way for me to be, let alone be happy and enjoy. My friend here has nurtured me, and it's the child in me that is finding, some hope, in some of the DBT skills, because given a validating environment I would have learned many of those thingsas a child. I recognize my meltdowns as child like temper tantrums at times, not something done on purpose to get my way, but a storm of thoughts and feeelings that so overwhelm me I have behaviors I've seen and not liked yet it's a desparate measure to stop the storm. Things like spending money that's needed elsewhere in the budget. Or just going to bed for two or three days. I so have the ability to check out on my reality, ending up making things worse for myself and those around me. I see it after it happens. A counselor is trying to help me not get to the point of overwhelmed, to see it coming and care for myself appropiately. Which requires decision, acting opposite to emotion, and willingness to make mistakes, Can't do any of this when flat, or very depressed. But when I'm up am learning what I can. I've stopped blaming myself, thrown out the shame, and engage, When I feel bad I say so and allow myself comfort. I'm learning not to hide my pain. And to not let people keep hurting me without saying ouch don't do that. Don't like so much what I have to deal with now, know that mistakes can cost, but also know now new windows can open from a new perspective. I'm older, have chronic pain, have adult children with Mental Health issues, a lot learned from me. Can't change what's gone, still feel the pain but somehow it's made my life real, am understanding, I think, the biology part. We do have to grow new brain channels, but the old ones fight like hell for acknowledgement and control, because in their own way have kept us safe for many years. I want my children to not have the stigma and isolation we.ve experienced, Am hoping their lives will be happier ones.

Anyway, I keep writing books. Probably nothing to help you as I'm sure circumstance differ, but love dialogue with people. I like seeing others, and am practising letting people see me. It's who I am and where I've been and I am indeed a part of lifes tapestry, no less important than anyone. Entitled to nothing, but still hoping for good. And finding it in unusual places. Except when I'm depressed, or over medicated, or I've quit on life. Have two close suicides in my family. It is so not an answer.

Cheers, Linda,

Don't despair, nothing's forever.


Love yourself.


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Hi Katleen..

It seems you have been through alot and "life" is allowing you to find something in yourself to keep on moving forward to a positive and tolerable place.

I am enjoying reading your positive side. It is normally me but feeling like this right now, it is not me so your positive kick ass move forward attitude really helps me... so Thank You!!! :o

Your right nothing is forever but when feeling like this it is so depressing and frustrating. I'm suppose to go to my pdoc tomorrow and I dont want to. I always think about the hospital I usually go to where my pdoc is and I often wonder if I should go back. I sometimes miss it although that might seem odd but I can be "me" there. The "me" that is just flat and doesn't want to do anything annd it is OK to be like that there. But each time I come out to reality the cycling isn't as comfortable anymore.

I don't even want a name for the diagnosis. I don't want to be a patient anymore either. I want to be a person who can be moody and crabby or ecstatic at times and not have it be called something. I don't want an excuse for being stubborn or defiant or one who throws the walls up from PTSD. My reactions should be "normal" and normal to others without it having a name.

I guess once a mental health patient always a mental health patient so it will never change unless I change it and yes biologically it is there but the everyday mood or reaction should be just as it is...

I hope this makes some kind of sense...

Love Linda

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