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About Fiona

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    To choose is also to begin. (Starhawk)

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  1. Thanks for the good wishes! It's hard to believe my partner and I will get to 16 years together next Tuesday (ok, so it took us 12 years to find a place/people that fit with our notion of getting married). I'm trying to just let mom's issues be her issues. I know my father will split the estate equally among us, though I don't know what he's going to do about my brother's wife, and it'll all be nice and legal and set up. And my brother (with the "good wife") will be stuck with the parts about seeing it all through when the time for that inevitably comes. Unlike a friend whose brother refused to speak to the rest of the family over something in her dad's will, I'm sure we'll still be talking to each other as much -- or as little -- as ever when it's done. Still telling myself that mom's issues are her (and dad's) problem. Not mine. Fiona
  2. Isn't dealing with mortality hard enough without bringing money and property into it? My mother's been having a lot of medical testing lately (from which we've learned nothing new). We've had some family changes since my father last did their will and so forth, mainly that one of my brother's and I both managed to get married. Here's the problem -- once we had a recognizable ceremony my parents took my (female) partner enthusiastically into the family. Unfortunately, it didn't work that way for my brother and they greatly dislike his wife. The drama? They want to leave something to my spouse and to my other brother's wife, but not to the wife they don't like. They keep asking me how my partner and I would feel if she were left out of the family beneficiaries, we keep telling them that she's not interested in inheriting anything from them and to toss it at my student loans or my niece and nephew's education. And they're concerned that if they leave us money, when we die it will all go to our spouses -- again the problem being with my brother's much disliked wife. Why can't my mother just leave well enough alone? I'm happy to see the money to my niece and nephew's education. Why, oh why, can't she stop calling and emailing me about this? And if this is what I'm hearing, what is my poor brother hearing? He must know our parents don't like his wife (can't say I think much of her either, but if she makes him happy -- it's all fine with me). Anyone need a slightly morbidly distressed mother? I'm having a hard enough time with the whole mortality thing, which somehow wasn't completely real until this round of testing, without tossing in the inheritance issues -- especially since that implies they're *both* dead. Sigh. I know to protest her updates will only make her more determined to provide them. And my therapist/pdoc is on vacation until the 15th. Ack! Sigh. Fiona
  3. I admit I'm coming a bit late to this, but I do have some anxiety about this. It's not about feeling less of a 'presence' but about looking better and possibly drawing more positive attention to my physical being. I haven't gained weight to avoid being sexual, and it certainly hasn't always worked that way, but I know that slimming down again will result in that. And I'm going to have to deal with it when it happens. Fiona
  4. Exercise is often a mood elevator, that's why depressed people are encouraged to exercise, so it's not surprising that the walk might improve your mood. I use exercise to try to jerk myself out of a bad mood regularly, with varying levels of success. Unlike the others here, I wonder if your change in mood as you approached home had to do with your feelings about home or about what you had to do next -- the rest of the day, whatever. I know that sometimes no matter how good I'm feeling in general, as I approach work I feel increasingly unhappy and depressed. It has nothing to do with my depression, just that I'm not too thrilled about work. Or about what I have to do once I get home. So maybe the question is: what is it about going home that you don't like? Maybe it's just the reentry to the 'real world' as opposed to being a little separate from the walk? Regardless, mention it to your pdoc. Fiona
  5. It's terrific that you've come so far without self-harm! Keep going! Nothing is worth going back to that. I know you said the mental health team wasn't all that useful, but it sounds like you should contact them again. If nothing else, let them know things are going badly in case you do need them more urgently soon. Ultimately, this will pass. Maybe you've just had a jolt and after a week or two or so it'll fade back to the level it was before this. A small setback, nothing more. Fiona
  6. It's ok -- a few days of carbs won't spoil your diet. And you'll probably lose those few pounds quite quickly too. Might want to consider the time of the month -- that makes a big difference to my cravings. You've had a little bit of a setback, turn yourself around toward the future and keep going. No one's perfect Libby, so you won't make the perfect choices every day (haven knows I don't!). Did you ever start an MAOI? I think I remember you mentioning that? Fiona
  7. Don't get too caught up on a label here -- especially not at first. Sexuality is a spectrum, few if any people fall all the way to one end or the other. All the labels are for making is easier to describe ourselves and each other without having to go through a detailed description of what we do or don't find interesting. When I say I'm lesbian, people know that I'm interested in women -- physically, intellectually, emotionally -- and that I'm not similarly interested in men. You can be lesbian without being all the way to the far end of the scale, my partner is as are quite a number of our friends. If you want to explore this, I actually do suggest visiting the local women's bar/club. If they have a meal service, go for dinner -- sit so that you can see as much of the area as possible and observe what's going on. You might want to have a magazine or something to pretend to read if they don't have a bar tv to watch. You'll have a chance to see women interacting and that might help you figure out if you want that kind of interaction. Try karaoke night if they have one (you don't have to sing). Go dancing! That might be a particularly good way of figuring out how sexually interested in women you are. Go ahead and meet someone, just be clear that you aren't interested in an actual relationship. Be very very clear. I know this is likely to be intimidating, if you have some lesbian/bi/familiar with the place friends go with them. (I've taken an unsure woman to a women's bar so she could see what she thought. She decided she was mainly interested in men after all.) Don't get hung up on labels, they're just shorthand -- artificial human-made categories. When you speak to your pdoc/therapist about this stuff avoid using the labels, let them evaluate everything you have to say and then use their professional opinion to put you into a category if they can. And remember even categories are spectrums not absolutes. Be yourself, whoever that is and never mind the label/category -- if you need/fit one, it'll become clear over time. Fiona
  8. My opinion (from a Catholic background, but not strict practice): You can be a 'solitary Christian' in the sense of not belonging to any particular Church. You can practice Christianity -- do good works and so forth on your own. Ultimately, we are all "on our own" to do these things. We don't do them only when in the company of other Church members. If you wish additional ritual, or ritual prayer, I suggest looking into some of the (admittedly mostly Catholic) prayer books modeled on the Hours. I can suggest if you're interested. I do suggest you look up the Benedictine Sisters of Erie eriebenedictines.org/ They're a surprisingly feminist order (Catholic, but frequently on the edge of what Rome allows), and produce some wonderful materials to use for prayer/ritual at home -- look at Joan Chittister's stuff. As far as taking Communion within a community feeling -- why not just go to a Church without signing up? This is what my partner and I do. When we want to attend services, and for holidays, we go to a particular Church however we've never given them our names, address, anything like that. So why not pick out a place you like and when you want Communion, once a month or whatever, go there and participate. Just don't give any information, they're not going to refuse to let you attend if you don't provide your personal details. Or, if you know other like-minded people you could get together once a month to have a meal. Fundamentally, Communion is a meal taken in community -- form your own without rules and such, just friends sharing a meal "in memory of." Fiona
  9. As far as talking about sex with your therapist, it can be hard. I've known mine a long time, and I trust him absolutely and implicitly, but it can still be a hard topic. I think some of it is that in my background (yes, American) we didn't talk too much about sex. I don't remember specifically learning about it, aside from school (Catholic school, the learning was a bit biased), but I know I could always ask my mom various questions. That's still not the same as discussing the matter. I can think of two ways, one is to write it down and then give it to your therapist to read. The other is to talk about it, but with your eyes closed or looking at something (anything!) else in the room. I've various used all of these -- sometimes all at once. As hard as it is, try to stay relaxed. Your therapist wants to help you with this. As for making your therapist uncomfortable -- that's not your job to worry about. That's his problem. You are there to deal with your issues, not his. He should be professional enough to deal with whatever you bring out, and to remain focused on you. It sounds like you need to talk about this to heal. So talk, if you trust your therapist enough to talk about things, you can trust him enough to tell you when he's out of his depth as well. Fiona
  10. It sounds like you're auditioning these other therapists. You don't have to open up to them right away, especially if you're not sure it's the person you're going to work with. Rather, you're trying to decide if you can trust the person enough to open up, if you'll be able to do it with that individual. As for the last appointment with the current -- write down a list of the things you want to talk about. As soon as your session starts hand it to her and tell her you want to be sure to address all those things. This way she'll know how much you need to talk about and may be able to find some way to make things flow from one topic to the next. Isn't there anyway you can continue to see Jane since you like her? Fiona
  11. As far as making a scene goes -- quiet, calm, to the point, rational is the way to go. Making a big, loud, nasty scene will only undermine your ability to get what you want. They won't do something just to make you stop yelling, except maybe call security and have you removed (or worse, the police). The more rational you can be about it, the better. (Although I know it's damned hard!) Go outside and come back in if you have to. Rehearse in advance. It is better to do this in person than by the phone. Call your doctor yourself, explain the problem, ask that a new prescription be called in. As well as trying to get the pharmacy to call. Remember -- you need these people. If this is a pharmacy you use/plan to use regularly, then you want the pharmacy staff on your side. Don't try to cast individual blame, unless you have some facts to back it up with, and even then remain reasonable. Look at it as a problem for you and the pharmacy to solve together. The point of the exercise is not to get them to find and fill that old prescription -- that doesn't matter. The point is to get a prescription filled, and there's no reason that can't be a shiny new one from your doctor. And yes, I know exactly how difficult this is. Been there, done that. Both ways. It's true -- you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Fiona
  12. Interesting results, any particular reason for pursuing this? Antidepressant prescriptions are not always the solution, especially if they are not monitored as I suspect is the case with many elderly. There has to be a balance about diagnosing and treating depression, without overmedicating people at the same time. I suspect that some of the overmedication is really behavior control -- make them too tired and/or spacey to do anything else. Fiona
  13. I'm at 300mg/Lamictal and I don't think I'm losing any more brain cells due to it that the other meds aren't taking care of. I've been at this for a long time so I don't recall the increase side effects, but I must have found them tolerable. I managed to write most of my dissertation on 300mg Lamictal among other things, so your brain won't completely disappear. Fiona
  14. I've sometimes dissociated pretty effectively, but not so much in the genuine flashback department. It sounds like you might be struggling a bit with the fluid nature of diagnosis. There are not really hard lines drawn between one diagnosis and another -- ultimately many blend together on the edges and overlap. Different pdocs might give a different diagnosis and both may be 'correct.' There's no external reality to diagnosis -- they're groups of symptoms, a kind of shorthand. By gathering symptoms that seem to go together and labeling them as a category it's easier to talk about them, and sometimes easier to treat them. Each "diagnosis" is just a group of symptoms that seem to occur together and seem to respond to particular treatments. Verbal shorthand. The "diagnosis" doesn't matter. What matters is finding treatment that works for you. Don't worry about what to call it, focus on what things help you and don't and pursue effective treatment. Don't get hung up on diagnosis. Fiona
  15. I know how bad the only-wanting-to-die stuff is. I never want to go there again, although it's all too likely. I remember your last trip through these things, and I'm wishing I could make it different for you. Alas wishing doesn't get either of us anywhere, if it did none of us would ever feel this lousy. You need to find someone you can confide in -- I know you don't trust your doctor but you've got to at least communicate how bad things are. You sound like a stay in the local hospital might not be a bad thing, and there you will probably come into contact with some different doctors. Maybe you'll find one you can trust. On the scale of things, you needing to be hospitalized or 'breaking down' is far less traumatic for your family and boyfriend than if you kill yourself or keep hurting yourself. They'd rather know to get you help, than watch you cut and burn. You aren't doing them any favors by trying to suppress things into other kinds of self-destructive behaviors. Sooner or later things are going to come apart completely, when that happens the people who care about you will probably feel guilty and upset that they didn't know how bad things were getting. You're not doing them or yourself any favors here. Please get help. Please at least let the people in your life know that you are needing additional help. And keep posting here! We're here. We understand. Fiona
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