I wrote this entry on March 16, 2012. Today is the 18th. I am going to go through this and write in responses that I imagine come from the "wise woman" within me. (These will be in blue italics.) This is a technique that my group therapist came up with, herself. To me, I imagine my wise woman to be myself, only older, perhaps at the end of my life, with all the wisdom of having lived through the life I am struggling with right now. The key is not to give advice, but to be accepting and present with the feelings of your present self, to soothe and comfort yourself as you might a good friend or young child. I find it comforting to do. This can also be done with drawings, where you draw one drawing about something you are struggling with. Then with a different color or pen or whatever, you see what the wise woman would add or change about the picture. It can be very interesting.
I have been upset this evening about turning 40 on Monday (I can see how that might be an intimidating milestone for you) and not being able to feel acceptable. (That must have been pretty rough, huh?) My husband took the day off (How nice of him!) and I stayed in bed until 4 or so as if it were a Saturday. (Maybe he felt good to be able to give you some extra rest.)
It was so lovely! No kids, no one needing me, listening to the birds, snoozing if I wanted. Dan entertained the kids. (This was a good opportunity for him to spend extra time with the kids. I'm sure he enjoyed that.) We got dinner at The Nautillus Diner. I felt so good about not having eaten or drunk anything up to that point (Really? That's not very healthy for your body or mood, to be dropping your blood sugar like that...), but then blew it by eating a real meal. (Blew it? It is perfectly natural and expected for you to want to eat during the day, even if it were a day of sanctioned bed rest.)
We drove separately to Target to get a birthday present for a friend. (Hm. Did you want the opportunity for a quick or separate exit? It must have been nice driving without the kids racket in the back seat.) Functioning on that level was about the best I could do. Afterwards I had a little breakdown in my car (I know your car is your safe place, and I bet your mood was out of wack after being snoozy so much of the day, huh? You probably had all kinds of chemicals in there that aren't usually there at that time of day/night.) and then my husband pulled up with the kids in his, asking if I was OK. Obviously, no, and I hadn''t wanted the kids seeing it, which is why I was driving myself, but never mind. (Oh, honey. That must have felt like an awful surprise and then a violation of your safe place. I'm so sorry you had to feel that. That can never feel good. Looks like you got through it though. That was good. You got home safe. That was the most important thing.) The kids are in bed, the birthday presents are wrapped. (Yes, you could've been a little nicer to your daughter as you two worked on that, but you were doing the best that you could do at the time and you accomplished the task. Of all the things to remember about you in her life, it is highly unlikely that this moment will make the cut.) I took 4 ativan in hopes of just being wiped into oblivion until tomorrow or so. (I can understand your feeling that way. Our first thoughts are often of escaping from a threat rather than facing it. And I know you knew it wasn't going to actually hurt you. Still, it was abusive to your body. I hope next time you will remember this and maybe make a different choice.) I feel like I need 2 more. I think it was 6 I took the other night this week. Somehow I have to have my house unembarrassing before my dad gets here on Sunday. (Actually, you don't HAVE to. But I of course can understand feeling this way. You remember how Mom used to get completely neurotic about the house before relatives visited? Monkey see, monkey do, huh? I wish you didn't hang such importance on this. We know that Dad doesn't care about that. He cares about YOU. But it's still embarrassing, I know, I know. Not a good feeling. So you wanted to escape. Problem is, it was still there the next day and not helped one bit, wasn't it?) I can't even think about it. I don't deserve my life (And who does...?), my husband (I think that one's up to him.), or my beautiful children (Not many people do feel that they do. We the lucky usually know how lucky we are. That doesn't mean you deserve them any less than any parent of a whole and healthy child deserves that child.). I am just too lazy and selfish. (Many people are both lazy and selfish and you don't realize who they are and even if you did, I doubt you'd judge them this harshly.) I really want to add those 2 more pills. (I bet. With this kind of self talk, it's not a wonder that you do.) OK done. As usual, short term beats long term. (Watch out... OMG, you're HUMAN! OK, not the best choice with the Ativan but we know it's not going to hurt you. And that it didn't. This is why you gave the bottle to your husband and that was a RIGHT choice. A GOOD choice! I know you did not want to do it and that you'd been hanging onto it for months now since the time you wanted to down the bottle and didn't. Now it will be doubly more inconvenient because you'd have to get a refill, and inconvenience gives you time to feel better enough to make a different choice. Good for YOU/me! I am proud of you. Now go to bed and get some good sleep just like Daddy told you to do today. Tomorrow you can enjoy your special day. We'll worry about working on your body from Tuesday forward and see what we can do in a year. For now, put it out of your mind and have some good dreams. You are a good girl. You try to do the right things or at least you want to. We'll get there. Now let it go. Go to sleep. xxoo WW)
Thanks to Jill Penaloza for the "Wise Woman" technique. I hope I did it right!