Category: DBT


Gosh, this having no internet business is hard! That being why I have not done much in the way of blog posts.

I do miss having the internet. Having data on mobile is rather limiting.

At times I do miss not being on Facebook. But it is also fine not being on there. I just have way too much spare time.

This week had some stressful days. On Monday I was called by the Wellington CYFS(child, youth & family) social worker and told the FGC(family group conference) review was going to be on Friday, as in the 7th November. Which I thought, ok, that could work, as I had received a letter from the hospital saying my tubal ligation is happening on the morning of Wednesday 19th November, which was 2 days before the FGC review had been booked on. By Wednesday I was starting to stress, as I had not been given any flight details. And on Tuesday night I was having major issues getting to sleep, due to not knowing the details regarding the FGC review and I did not manage to get to sleep until like 1:30am. So I chased things up with the Wellington CYFS social worker and eventually got a call back from her and the FGC coordinator and was told it has been changed back to the 21st November. And they had a long talk to me and said I need to spend the next few weeks until the FGC review really thinking about my argument for getting my oldest daughter back and why it is best for her to be returned to my care and what changes I have made. And I will be honest, that is a lot of pressure for me. Especially being I will have none of my family or even my fiancé physically present at the FGC review.

My fiancé has been sorting the budget out this week. Which, honestly creates some stress and anxiety for me. As it makes the reality of how much we are struggling, really set in and that is damn scary! It is not overly helpful that I also have PMS at present.

Good old PMS makes me rather easily irritated and rather sensitive and emotional.

Things have been causing me a sense of slight panic and anxiety. I have felt like, at times I just want to get away from my daily routine and be alone. And I think my fiancé is feeling a bit stressed, as he has been moody this week. And that tends to effect me a lot.

I had been feeling a bit miffed about the fact no one had been visiting. But thankfully my friend and his partner dropped in and spent the night here on Friday.

I hope the operation goes well for the tubal ligation. I have never had an operation before. So I have no idea what I am in for. I hope I am feeling ok after. As I have the FGC review 2 days after the operation.

Thinking about the FGC review. If I encounter resistance and/or difficultly from my oldest daughters fathers side of the family, I am quite prepared to bring their past into it. But I hope I do not need to.

I lightened my hair tonight. As a few weeks back I put a permanent colour in and it ended up being much darker then I wanted. As I had a really cool bright purple in before that. Live XXL Ultra Brights Purple. And I found a purple in a permanent colour and thought that would last longer. But sadly it was nothing like the Live colour. I ordered a really cool purple on http://www.fishpond.co.nz before I had put the permanent in, but that has not arrived yet. As it is coming from the UK. So since that will be here this coming week, I figured I should pre lighten in preparation.

I do not recall if I mentioned I got my lip pierced or not. I think it was about 2 months ago. It is on the bottom right. It looks very cool.

I was looking on my fishpond account and the hair colour is back up to the higher price, so I bought it at a good time, as I got it for $14.97 with free shipping and it is now $47.97. I think the brand is Jerome Russell maybe. Quite excited about it arriving.

I had a credit on http://www.mightyape.co.nz of $15 from this website I do surveys on. And I got a Tattoo Art set. It is just a set with 4 felt colours and a book and stencils. I will try add a photo of the 1 I drew on my arm.

My friends who recently became a couple mentioned the other night they are looking at becoming a piercer and tattooist and opening a business. Which sounds pretty cool.

One thing that I am looking forward to about going to Wellington is seeing my BFF in Wellington. I have not seen her since before I moved. I miss her so much. I have been trying to talk her into moving to Nelson. Well, why not?! She is my BFF and Nelson is gorgeous!

Recently I brought a stationery set for letter writing. They are damn hard to find! As most people just email or text these days. I wrote my grandma a nice long letter with it. At some point I will write to my Mum too.

I have had 2 sessions now with the Psychologist. In which we covered some more of the Emotional Regulation module. I also have to keep a daily DBT(dialectal behaviour therapy) diary. She gave me a good handout on worry the 1st session.

20141109-223252.jpg

I can not remember if I added a photo of my tattoo idea in a previous post or not. But in case I did not, I will add it in here.

20141109-223707.jpg

So, today has been a mix of a day.

Tonight, about an hour ago, I decided to deactivate my Facebook profile.  As I feel I can be quite preoccupied by it and I would say I am a tad obsessed/addicted to it.  And when you are feeling a sense of anxiety about keeping up with all the newsfeeds and get annoyed when the page feed crashes, it is becoming a problem.

Also tonight, I stood on the scales.  And let’s just say, the number was a wake up call.  I have in all honesty, been eating a lot of junk food and just not caring about the consequences.  Though in the back of my mind, I did have this nagging thought about the fact there will be consequences.  I mean just looking at the size of my stomach should have been a big wake up call. But I just tried not to pay attention.  As paying attention meant acknowledging the problem, therefore prompting me to make changes.  I knew the scales would possibly not be so kind.  But I did not expect my weight gain to be as much as it was.  So I really need to stop making excuses and start eating healthy again.  You see the problem is this.  I know I can lose weight and I know I can lose all that I have gained.  But, that fact is part of my excuse.  As I have this attitude that I can lose the weight if I am strict with myself and persist with it.  So I just put off taking the appropriate action. It is actual quite arrogant of me.  And if I am to be brutally honest, the size of my stomach is nearly overtaking the size of my boobs.  Granted I do have small boobs, but still.

I had my first appointment with my Psychologist today and I actually got a lot out of it.  Which I did not expect.  She gave me a handout on worrying which was quite helpful.  And she has given me some printouts for keeping a DBT(dialectical behaviour therapy) mood diary.  So I have to fill that out each day.  These 6 sessions I have been given will be working on the DBT technique called ‘Emotional Regulation’.

I do not know what was going on with me earlier today, but I found myself feeling quite shaky and possibly anxious.

Oh and guess what?!  The FGC(family group conference) review that was meant to be definitely booked for Friday 31st October, is not now.  In fact it had been changed to Friday 7th November without me being in any way informed.  But it turns out that date does not suit my oldest daughters carers.  So it is now this date next month.  So Friday 21st November. I only found this all out for sure this afternoon.  As since the Wellington CYFS(child, youth and family) social worker had not been very forthcoming with contact or replying to my emails, I made a point of emailing the FGC coordinator.  They had not even thought about the issue of how I would get there.  As clearly we do not have the income to fund the flights there and back.  So now I have talked with the coordinator, I know what is going on for sure now.  So I know the date, time and location.  Initially I was not too impressed about the change of date.  As I knew from my email yesterday from the FGC coordinator, that they were looking at Friday 7th November, but that did not suit my oldest daughters carers.  But I was initially annoyed about other things too.  Such as not knowing the time or location or anything about travel arrangements. Now that I have been completely informed about all this, I am quite happy with the changes.  You see, when the previous FGC coordinator handed over to the current one, she gave the new one the same date for a whole bunch of FGC reviews. Which seems pretty unfair on the new FGC coordinator.  I actually know they new FGC coordinator.  She used to be our CYFS social worker back when my 2nd daughter was a baby.  I really like her and have a lot of respect for her.

My good friend got some good news yesterday.  He has been given a new Psychologist and by the sounds of their first meeting, she is exactly the right therapist for him.  So I am really happy and relieved to hear that.  As having the right therapist does a great deal for recovery.

Hmm.  I do not think having a coffee this evening was particularly helpful for the preparation for bedtime.  As I am feeling still quite alert and it is nearly 11pm.  So I really need to stop having coffee’s in the evening I feel.  I need to find some way to wind down.

Anyway, that is all for tonight.  Thanks for reading.

Yes, my title does have undertones of sarcasm in it, if you were wondering.

So it has been 9 days since my last significant post. Apart from the one earlier today about Postpartum Anxiety.

A few things have been happening since 9 days ago. The Gateway Assessment for my 2 younger kids was mostly ok. Though they 2 people doing the assessment did mention that they felt my 4 year old may be delayed. Not significantly, but still, she is not where she is expected to be in certain areas. They would like to do a baseline assessment on her. Which is around hearing and eye sight.

Last weekend, my fiance tried to make me feel stupid at the supermarket, due to something that was actually not my fault, it was the checkout operators mistake. And my 4 year old was being difficult, as while I’d been out that day, my fiance had let her play on the PS3(playstation 3) the whole time. And once we all got out of the house, she was all hypo and misbehaving. We were trying to leave the mall, but she wouldn’t get off the electronic rides there. My fiance decided to walk off and be of no help, leaving me there to deal with her. And due to the fact I have been experiencing a lot of stresses in my life lately and I was experiencing PMS, I could only handle so much stress, before I ended up just sitting on a seat having a quiet cry. This made me feel really unsupported, him leaving me there to deal with my 4 year old. And then my insensitive and overreacting fiance said “well you’re clearly not coping if you have a breakdown at the mall”. Hmm, I would hardly call having a little cry, because I felt stressed and unsupported, not coping. I would call that, being hormonal, having a lot of stresses in life and having emotions. I mean I had dealt pretty well with it all I felt. As, after my fiance embarrassed me at the supermarket and was being a bit of a dick to me, I did feel like kicking a few things out of frustration. But decided that wouldn’t be a good idea, as it would draw negative attention to me, would scare my child and might result in getting in trouble with the mall security. Not to mention, it’s kind of acting like a child and having a public tantrum.

Then as we were driving home, I said to my fiance, that I felt it was his fault that she was behaving that way and said to him, has he not learned from this whole situation of having involvement with CYFS(child, youth & family). As we are supposed to take on-board their observations and concerns and change our behaviour and parenting as a result. As that is something I have whole heartedly done. I have taken away exactly what I was supposed to from this experience and become a better and more involved parent as a result. And he responded by yelling at me and saying “I’m the only one here supporting you! And you repay me by insulting me!” and then punched the dashboard a few times. Which I, with having violent relationships in the past, felt very intimidated and scared by.

Eventually once he calmed down he talked to me. And he told me something interesting about his parents and why they appear to not like me so much. He said it’s because I am opinionated, confident and intelligent and they prefer people who are push overs, who they can control and who don’t challenge their ideas. As they think they know it all and are always right.

Regarding our intention to move to Nelson at some point. I do get annoyed with the fact that his parents always talk like they expect we will leave here long term. Which is not the reality. But my fiance doesn’t do much to tell them otherwise. And I find many people involved with us, think it’s all my idea, not a joint decision. When in fact it is a joint decision. But my fiance doesn’t tend to speak up much, which doesn’t help.

The latest stress I have had is receiving several letters from IRD(inland revenue department) saying I am expected to pay child support for my oldest daughter and they have already given me a bill for this month and are expecting me to pay $73 a month. Which I found a real slap in the face. As my oldest daughter not living with me is a temporary thing, not a permanent thing and I already feel punished enough in so many other ways, for becoming so unwell with my mental health last August. And, not to mention the fact I have brought her up for the past 10 years and we are struggling so much financially, that it is impossible to contribute anything. I feel they should be seeking child support from her father. As he doesn’t have my expenses and 2 young kids at home. And neither my fiance or myself are working. So I have sent a Notice of objection to the IRD regarding that.

I am also finding it hard, that she spends more of her weekends with her Dad’s parents or her Dad, then she does with me. As I am supposed to see her weekly and that is not often happening. And it has a bigger effect on my family, not seeing her very often. Especially with regards to her younger sister.

So, we managed to have sorted things a little to improve our financial situation. I have finally convinced my fiance to change internet and phone provider. Though it took our phone being disconnected for him to agree. And we now have a debt of nearly $500 to Telecom. We found out the company who my fiance has the loan with, has a clause for financial hardship, so we applied for that help and were approved mid this week. So that means no payments needed for a couple of months.

We went to WINZ(work and income) to apply for help with the Telecom bill, but they will only pay the phone portion of it and we applied for assistance for buying a car seat and they declined that too.

The frustrating thing is, it all gets left up to me organizing the majority of this stuff. And relationships involve 2 people, so I get annoyed at how much of this is put on me.

The FGC(family group conference) review is in a few days. On Monday 31st March. So the CYFS social worker came over yesterday afternoon to discuss the upcoming review with us. I think she got a bit of a shock from all that I had to say. And was stuck at times for an appropriate answer to my many questions. I made her explain all their concerns and expressed that I felt frustrated that so little of the focus is on how I can get back to having more of the day to day care of my children and how the younger 2 being in childcare makes it extremely difficult to prove my capabilities and the lack of visits to observe me with my child, by them, makes it hard for them to see how I have improved and how capable I am. Eventually she softened her approach and agreed that I can have more opportunities to be with my younger 2 unsupervised. I also brought up, that it doesn’t help, me not being able to actually do things with my baby by myself and that we as Mother and Son, miss out on a lot of opportunities due to these restrictions put on me by CYFS. I also talked to her about how I felt the original FGC did not go by the exact protocol that it is supposed to and that I am quite sure there were some breaches of how FGC’s are supposed to be run, on that occasion. She had some trouble explaining her way out of that one. My approach and attitude and confidence has changed a lot from the original FGC, which likely came as a shock to her. As when the original FGC happened, I was still struggling and felt quite defeated and wasn’t as prepared as I would like to have been. Plus, I do agree, it was the right decision at that time the plan that was formulated. I just felt quite disrespected in the fact that CYFS still seemed to view me as too mentally unwell, even after the fact and all my improvements. And it really sucks how hard it is to get your role back due to all of this process. I said to her, it is actually a trauma in itself, my role been taken so significantly and that it has not helped the bonding process with my baby, how much of my role was taken away. I felt, I could have had started developing my bond with him sooner, if part of the original FGC plan, had something in there to support this and some tasks for me that helped me regain my bond with him. Rather then the only task being “get therapy when offered”.

I had week 5, or the 6 weeks of DBT Resiliency ‘Distress Tolerance’ course, this Wednesday. Next week will be the last one. I shared some pretty personal stuff about what I go through when I am quite distressed, which wasn’t easy, but at least I was real about it and myself. I talked about a distressing situation and having feelings of rage and wanting to self-harm. As the subject for the homework was to give examples of pro’s and con’s to either not tolerating or tolerating distress in a situation. So my view was, not tolerating the distress, would have meant the consequences could have been, me self-harming and therefore having a scar to remind me, acting on the feelings of rage, would have meant, potentially getting in trouble with the law, drawing negative attention to myself, scaring my children and those are definite con’s. And there are of course no pro’s to not tolerating distress, nor are there any con’s to tolerating distress. The pro’s of tolerating distress were, not harming myself, therefore not having a scar to remind me, not scaring my children or getting in trouble with the law. The last week is on ‘Radical Acceptance’. Which I already practice. All these tools are drawn from DBT(dialectal behaviour therapy).

The quetiapine has been helping with sleep, so that’s good.

I’m pretty sure that all I wanted to post about today. Thanks for reading.

20th March 2014

I knew I had something on my mind to blog about the other day, but it was too late at night and I never got around to posting. Annoying thing, of course I have forgotten what I was planning to post about the other day. Ah well. Got to love my unreliable short term memory aye…

Since I haven’t posted for over a week, I’ll just try and give an update on anything that has been happening in that time.

So, last week we didn’t have enough money for food or petrol, so we had to miss our loan payment in order to feed ourselves and get a tiny amount of petrol. The budget adviser we saw a few weeks ago was really no help out all. Just agreed we were in a terrible place with lack of money and a deficit of $90 per week. And I am damn sure budget advisers are supposed to help come up with solutions, not tell us what we already know.

I don’t find it particularly helpful when people like WINZ and other agencies ask me what we are going to do about this lack of money. Um, gee, if I knew how to fix the situation, do you not think I would be fixing it already. Plus, thinking about being in a position with money that you have no way to fix, isn’t very fruitful and is quite overwhelming and distressing. As it’s not like you can ignore the situation.

I find it very hard that I feel my fiance expects me to come up with all the solutions to our every problem. I remind him, I can only suggest so much and it’s solutions we as a couple have to talk about together to try and find a solution. As saying, “what are we going to do about this situation?” and getting all paranoid and thinking the car will be repossessed and our property will be taken to pay our debts, is kind of thinking worse case scenario and catastrophizing. And I thought I was the one who worried too much! I wasn’t even worried about those things. As I reminded him, we have missed only 1 loan payment and because it’s the first time ever, we may even be in credit for that amount, so just talk to the finance company about it. As they are more likely to try work with you to find a solution if you communicate with them. It’s when you don’t talk with them and miss many payments and are unwilling to find a solution, when they would repossess your vehicle. But they certainly wouldn’t take our property. I mean talking him into missing that 1 payment was hard enough. I reminded him of the reality that we have no money for food, so it is the only option.

I have been trying to convince him to change to a cheaper plan with the internet provider, to save us more money. As wherever we can save money, we should be. But with his love of his computer, the internet and online games, he’s being pretty stubborn there. But reality is, neither of us work, so being on a $108 a month, 150GB is a luxury, not a necessity.

I was being a bit sarcastic to him about him computer the other day. Saying about it and his attachment to it “my precious, I love you my precious” hehe! I mean choosing to go back on the computer instead of having fun times(sex) is a bit sad. And he complains about the lack of action in that department. And I keep reminding him, to be fair, it’s his computer and addiction to it that makes that area of our relationship lack. He has no-one to blame but himself.

Right, now onto the children. The CYFS(child, youth and family) social worker said to me when she rang the other week, that she was a bit concerned about how many times I have had my oldest daughter stay the night. I was like, um what, 3 times since December, that’s hardly a lot! And she was going on about how I am allowed to be alone with her, but only if my fiance is home. I was like, excuse me?! No, there was never any worries about me being alone with her and there was nothing in the FGC(family group conference) plan that stated that either.

I have been feeling a little worried about my youngest daughter and Kindy, she’s 4. She never wants to go or be left there and she is always desperate to leave. Also, she wears pull-ups training pants, as we are trying to encourage her to try using the toilet. And she has come home several times, from a 10 hour day at Kindy, in a pull up that has not been changed all day and has been rather red and sore down below. I also worry with some of the things she says, that she might be getting bullied. I have also noticed that every day she comes home from Kindy she has new bruises or scrapes and she is not a clumsy kid. I mean every day, that is a lot. I get concerned with the behaviour from some of the other children at the Kindy and the fact the Kindy teachers are not seeing some of these things. As I noticed 2 boys, hitting each other very hard in the stomach and not in a playful way and it seemed like for them, that kind of thing was normal. Also my daughter has started pushing other children, which is something she never used to do. I mean, when someone else is caring for your child, you shouldn’t have all these things to worry about. They are responsible for the care and safety of your child while the child is in their care.

My 2 youngest have their Gateway Assessment tomorrow and we were only told on Monday, which is only 5 days notice. It’s to assess how they are doing in all areas and observe how we all interact together as a family. I am rather unimpressed that the CYFS social worker gave us so little notice. And they hadn’t even given us a date for the FGC review and weren’t planning to, til tomorrow. But I chased her up about that, as I need to try get my support people along to it and they need sufficient notice. And so far, we only have CMH coming as our support people. And it seems CYFS aren’t being very helpful in accommodating anyone else’s schedule, except their own. Making it harder for us to get all our support people along on the date. We still haven’t been given the location or time either. 11 days notice is not a lot of notice for people who work. I feel CYFS think because it’s a review, it will all be a very fast process. But what they want, is not the same as what they want. They want to keep things as they are and what my support people and my family want, is for me to have my role back as a Mum. It is very evident by the FGC outcome ‘plan’ that CYFS see me as too mentally unstable to function at all. Quite a disrespectful attitude and so inaccurate. And they don’t like to acknowledge all my progress. I mean the only thing for Kelly to do in the plan is “get therapy when offered” and that is not at all geared towards me having my role back. I fully acknowledge at the time of the FGC I was not coping and that the decision that was made, was the right decision at the time. But it is no longer the right decision. All those who know me and support me, acknowledge and agree, I have come a damn long way and made huge progress, considering everything I have been through, the fact I have had zero therapy and all I have on-board is antidepressants, which we all know is not a total fix and it’s just the chemical imbalance being addressed.

It was my birthday yesterday. I’m now 35. It wasn’t a very exciting birthday. I didn’t get any presents. But my Mum has brought me a book that I wanted and will be sending it over for my present. It’s this book: http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Selfharm-Overcoming-Self-Injury-Treatments/dp/1572246162
And my grandma gave me some money. So I brought some jeans, a hoody and some togs for $30. My fiance cooked dinner, which was a plus and we brought a birthday cake from the supermarket.

I had a few things on yesterday. I had the Open Home Foundation lady come over to observe us in the morning with the kids. Then I had an appointment with CMH(community mental health), with the nurse, social worker and psychiatrist. I talked to them about the whole CYFS situation and my desire to have my role back as a Mum and they are fully behind recommending that. So if they are all available on the date of the FGC review, they will be there to state that to CYFS. Which is awesome. They fully acknowledge my progress and capabilities and actually feel I am coping better then my fiance. Also, because they work as a team at CMH and with the family, they will be checking in with my fiance regularly and seeing how he is doing and seeing if they can support him in any way. As they acknowledge how much is put on him as the primary caregiver and they see that no-one else is looking out for him and how he might be doing, except me. So they want to be of a support for him too. Which is excellent. Psychiatrist has prescribed me Quetiapine to help with sleep. So I can finally come off the Zopiclone. Which is great. I had the 4th of 6 DBT(dialectal behaviour therapy) Resiliency Distress Tolerance group yesterday as well. Only 2 left! I will miss that group! Though I talked to the psychiatrist and psychologist about the possibility of PTSD(post-traumatic stress disorder) and they agreed I may possibly have it and have recommended when the next Anxiety Support Group starts, that I go to that. Just as at least something, until I can have one to one therapy. As the waiting list is still quite long for the therapy.

I am finding the DBT group and all I am learning extremely helpful. I highly recommend DBT.

I recently started reading this book and highly recommend it for those who self-harm.

It’s using DBT techniques to help stop the self-harming and it covers why we self-harm.

Extremely relate-able book, which takes the stigma and shame out of self-harm and explains it SO well.

http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=1FL_oa_ZjeYC&pg=PA194&lpg=PA194&dq=Freedom+from+Self-Harm:+Overcoming+Self-Injury&source=bl&ots=wcDwr0pDzm&sig=jDhJCpMdhy53Aj0KUAILgHidKHY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jz4VU7DHL4mtkAWktIG4AQ&ved=0CGoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false

So I don’t know if what I’m going to write is something I have written about before. The downside to having a crap short term memory. But anyway, I will write about it either way. As it is on my mind a lot.

I personally do not want my suffering to be for nothing. So, no matter how unpleasant, how uncomfortable, how scary, how unfair and how horrible this journey has been or is, regarding my mental health. I will always try to turn it into something positive, useful and purposeful. So that way my suffering has a purpose.

I will always be honest and open about my suffering and not be ashamed of it. I will always share my experience and blog about it. As I want others to know the real me, I want others who are suffering to know they are not alone in their suffering and I want to encourage others to share and be open about their suffering, if they feel they can be. And I want to help give others the strength to reach out, ask for help, hopefully inspire others and help reduce the stigma of mental illness, as well as any shame felt.

So, even though at times I may feel broken, no matter what, this journey will not break me.

Now I want to touch on a really good DBT(dialectal behavioural therapy) technique called ‘Radical Acceptance’. It is a technique I learnt about last year some time, but have only really put it into practice since mid-December. And more so lately.

Radical Acceptance, as I would describe it is, accepting your reality, feelings and emotions, no matter how unpleasant those feelings and experiences are. It’s about saying to yourself “hey, this feeling, situation or emotion might suck and may be unfair, but I will accept that this is where I am at and how I feel and that’s ok. And I don’t have to like what this feels like and that is ok too.”

Using this technique has been a life saver, literally and has helped me get through everything I have been through since August last year.

And another part of DBT is accepting your emotions and letting them come and sit with you and eventually pass. As emotions ARE healthy and are definitely necessary. I believe this technique is referred to in DBT as ‘Emotional Regulation’.

I found this website, which covers the DBT techniques and explains them more: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/dbt_lessons.html

‘Distress Tolerance’ is another DBT technique that I know a small amount about and will being learning more about in the next 5 weeks. As I am attending a DBT based Resiliency course through Lower Hutt Community Mental Health, that goes for 6 weeks and covers the technique of ‘Distress Tolerance’. Last week was the 1st week of this course.

I definitely acknowledge my need for one to one therapy though. As it is really difficult having been through what I have been through and am going through without having any therapy at all. And I really do need something that is just for me and about me, where I can go and be totally honest and start to work through things. This reality was making me feel quite upset last night and I was crying for some time about it. As I desperately need some therapy. And I definitely do feel frustrated that only half the fix has been addressed. That being the chemical imbalance component, which is managed with antidepressants.

Pretty sure that’s all I had on my mind to share today. If not, I’ll come back and write another post.