Outcasted at IOP

Last night I felt attacked at IOP.

Like verbally attacked, judged, misunderstood, alone, and invalidated.

Newsflash: I hate feelings. They make me HIGHLY uncomfortable, I don’t feel like it is acceptable to showcase them in front of others and I have spent the majority of my life since I was 8 hiding them, numbing them, burying them. In essence I am hypercontrolling my emotions. Like to the extreme. Like didn’t cry in front of anyone for over a decade.

Here’s the cliff notes version:

  • Ate dinner, felt like I had to eat too much, took plate to kitchen, really urged to purge into the trash or the sink because no one was watching
  • Went back into group, therapist asked if anyone needed to say anything.
  • FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER went out on a limb and just said “I really want to purge like now, like almost just did”
  • Therapist and the other girl who needed to process something (we’ll call her B) were like let’s process that first. Which I thought was really nice of B because I didn’t feel like I deserved to be able to do that and felt like I had robbed her of getting help (even though we still processed her thing too).
  • I say I just needed to say it out loud to give it less power (keep in mind our entire first group was about purging because a girl that has now been moved out of IOP purged the previous night during dinner)
  • Therapist asked questions about my feelings (which I hate) and this is what came out:
    • I felt guilty, like I was harming my body, like I was failing, ashamed of what I ate and how much, ashamed of how my body looks, afraid of what others thought of me and what I ate, and like a fraud.
  • Another person we’ll call them, L, then said we should all want to feel like frauds because we had gotten so much better and didn’t need to be at IOP. I explained that’s not what I meant, that I felt like I was both not sick enough and too sick for IOP and that I was a fraud within my own self– I really don’t know how to explain that part any better but it’s like I feel like there are two parts of me and I get really conflicted when they are at such odds with each other.
  • L then said that she thinks I should want to get better more, and I’ve been in treatment for a long time, and it doesn’t seem like I want to get better and how can I have all these downright delusional thoughts about caloric needs and food (which is actually a problem I have and I am on medication for it because even my dietitian and treatment team realized they are automatic and not made up) and that she thinks I “revel” (and yes, that is the word she used) and just went ON AND ON.
  • Another girl then chimed in about how I never used to (which is a lie because I ALWAYS do this except when my depression is so bad I can barely function) smile when talking about my behaviors and all this stuff.
  • Our therapist (THANK GOODNESS) realized what was happening and has known me long enough – she was a therapist of mine in another outside group m before I started at this program and she became our therapist at this program after I had been there for about a month or two- to know that I have INCONGRUENT FEELINGS. So she started to talk about those.
  • Another girl, P, then came to my defense and was like yeah that’s what was happening with me earlier (because it did, she laughed when talking about something really painful for her).
  • But honestly, I just felt completely alone, judged, invalidated, outcasted, tormented, lied to, like a failure, a disappointment, unsafe, unlikeable, ugly, evil and worthless. 
  • Our therapist brought up that the group doesn’t really know everything that has happened in the last month with me- which has been A LOT. And asked me to share, which at this point I was like EFF NO because I just been attacked for sharing my feelings in the first place but I trust our therapist so I did.
  • Fun Fact: I automatically numb out to feelings that are hard for me. Like kind of disassociate in a way. It’s like I am almost talking about someone who isn’t me. I get quiet and monotone and I don’t look people in the eye when I talk about these things.
  • So that’s what I did. And even though P and B felt way closer to me after I shared, I felt like L and the other person and everyone else were still just judging me.
  • When asked if I was okay I said “yeah” but inside I was like “OKAY? AM I EFFING OKAY? NOT A CHANCE!!! My biggest fear is being rejected and people making fun of me and judging me for how I act,what I look like, how I handle things, my life, etc. And now i am in a “SAFE” place and it happens here WORSE than ANYWHERE else in my life!??!?!! NO I DON’T FEEL OKAY, I FEEL LIKE I WANT TO CRAWL OUT OF MY SKIN, NEVER COME BACK AND JUST GO BACK INTO THE ISOLATED SHELL WITH THE FACADE OF BEING OKAY LIKE I USED TO.” but I still said “yeah”.

After IOP I just left. I didn’t talk to anyone on the way out, didn’t say goodnight. Didn’t anything. Just left. I got in my  car, got on the interstate and was so mad and ashamed and insecure and alone that I quietly cried the whole 40 minutes home.

Our IOP therapist texted me later and I was honest (for once) about what I was feeling so she called (DBT therapists for the win!) and we talked it out so that I didn’t have to wait almost a week to hash it out and I felt better but today I just hate myself again. I feel like everyone hates me too and I want to give up.

I see my outpatient therapist tonight and also the dietitian from IOP (who is also my outside dietitian) Saturday and she was filled in on everything after group on Wednesday by the IOP therapist but idk, I still want to discharge. Leave and not go back.

I’m a failure.

 

 

 

 

 

The REAL feelings I hide

My therapist is back in town (thank goodness) and I saw her today for the first time in 3 weeks which was a longgggg time considering I see her at least once a week typically.

I have a hard time with feelings. Like a really  hard time, in fact it is nothing short of hate toward feelings. Today, Dr. B asked me what feelings I am trying to avoid so much. After attempting to get around that conversation I reluctantly answered with two (of the many) feelings I try and avoid sadness and anger.

The truth is, those are only two of the feelings I am trying to avoid. And not even the top 2. The real emotions I hate, the ones that I am so embarrassed to really say out loud, I have yet to tell her, to tell anyone. Why? I don’t know. I guess it’s because I am so incredibly ashamed of the feelings and thoughts I have that I have a hard time bearing the idea of actually saying them out loud. I mean they are bad, really bad. Like think of the worst thing you’ve ever thought about yourself and then repeat that in your head 24/7 for dozens of years in a row.

The truth is, I have hated myself since I was 9.

The truth is, the feelings I harbor for myself are horrendous. I am self-loathing, hateful, spiteful, ashamed, embarrassed, appalled, disgusted, angry, sad, depressed, uncomfortable and anxious about my body.

When I was 9 I began picking on myself, self-bullying I guess it can be called, the first thing was about my epilepsy. I hated myself for it. I felt defective, like a freak and convinced that people would make fun of me at school if they ever found out. I wanted to keep it a secret, I was so ashamed of it I didn’t even want my teachers to know, couldn’t look them in the eye because they knew and refused to go to meetings with them and my mom where it was discussed.

Things only got worse when the medication I was on caused weight gain, a lot of it. Couple that with the changes of puberty and it was a firestorm for a disaster. I was shy, uncomfortable, insecure, self-hating and refused to acknowledge my true feelings about myself.

Time continued. The hate grew. Even after I was taken off the epilepsy medication and told my seizures and resolved and medication was no longer needed I still was highly insecure and mortified, disgusted and appalled at what I looked like, weighed, my personality, style, everything. Nothing escaped my self-hate. College brought tremendous growth in my personality. I became extremely outgoing, friends with everyone, involved in everything, willing to try new things and put myself out there. But the hate I harbored for my body and my intense shame about my past, my weight and my entire self was still there.

Festering. Growing. Being buried by myself. Forcing itself into every crevice of my soul.

And then came life, my eating disorder and everything finally had an outlet. But even in treatment, those 3+ months I spent with 24/7 care I couldn’t bring myself to really truly, honestly express how absolutely deep and bad my self-hate is.

Treatment now, at IOP, has touched on it recently. Forced it out of me. It makes me want to quit. It makes me feel SO awfully insecure and embarrassed. But maybe they are right. Maybe it’s time to deal with it. It is after all, as I identified it, the one thing that I know will 100% cause me to relapse.

The thing is, sometimes I am not sure I want to recover.

Still, after months and months of treatment. I am still ambivalent. And that, that just makes this self-hate infinitely worse.

So when my therapist asked me what feelings I want to hide from I said saddness and anger. I have other reasons why I don’t like those but I don’t know how to say it out loud. How to tell her how BAD it really is, what I am REALLY afraid of. I feel like a failure, an idiot, someone who is weak, can’t handle emotions, is overly conceited and like a loser. A loser. Something I have always considered myself to be. How do I admit that? How do I tell someone that out loud and not expect them to judge me. Or for me to judge myself so bad that it becomes unbearable. The truth is I can’t, which I guess is why I haven’t.

Just add that to the reasons why I hate myself.