Peds is still kicking my affective ass. After the shower-sobbing reaction to my shifts in the PICU and NICU, I then had a series of less intense but recurrent crying jags last week after my first 12 hour shift on the unit. I am SO good at dissociating that I can't even really tell you what triggered them - but it was akin to the med-surg crying, based loosely around the idea that during those 12 hours, I could have done something or not done something to hurt someone and would never ever know it.
Therapeutic interventions recently employed:
- massage. wow. I said to the nice LMBT, "I feel like I can't breathe a full deep breath, like there's a little ball of silly putty right *there* in my spine and if I could just bend the right way, it would crack open and I'd be able to breathe again. I've also been doing a lot of crying, and I don't want any of that sadness to get stuck in any crevices of fascia and fester". She said, "I can handle that." And she did. She did something under the edge of my rib cage that made me think of my ribs as completely detachable. And she did a controlled version of a sternal rub that warmed me up for hours. No surprise, I cried on the table. But not out of control, not like I wouldn't be able to stop crying - more like the way you might cry when someone you love tells you a very sad story and you hold their hand while they talk. It was good. I felt so guilty picking up my backpack after she'd just spent an hour integrating my upper body bilaterally.
- tea. I don't know why, but I seem to only think of tea when it's chilly outside. I can drink hot coffee through the summer - though with admittedly less enjoyment, I do have to shoulder through it. But it's been a journey through the Stash Herbal Tea Sampler Box lately. The colors of the little packages are almost as soothing to me as the tea itself. And I had enough honey and didn't feel like I had to skimp or be judicious.
- art. went walking around a historic neighborhood with an artist friend yesterday, looking at amazing pieces of art. It was a Winnie-the-Pooh sort of sky and blustery wind, I woke up in a good mood and so did the kid, it was good all over.
- a productive-feeling new notecard system for Psych and Peds exams upcoming this week. I'll sign off in about five minutes to do more of these. I'm really hopeful that they will help me turn around the Bs from the second exams back to the As from the first exams of the semester.
- journalling. Psych instructor, who I have a complete identity crush on (I love her hair, her shoes, her style of speaking, her humor) mentioned it the other day in class, and I have meaning to get started again. I stopped at some point around the time I left my husband, catastrophisizing about supeonas and whatnot. It was intensely helpful Saturday night when all of a sudden, I was going to turn myself inside out with feeling alone and sad and completely helpless to fix either of those things.
- write-ups. I know, it's counter-intuitive that school-work would help me feel less overwhelmed. But what's happened is that I'm less afraid to include this emotional response in my weekly reflections. I think that my experience in Psych a few weeks ago (jesus, it seems like a year ago) helped me get a point of comfort, that yes, I am usually able to judge what's appropriate to disclose, and what's inappropriate. And yes, when I say something, and someone looks uncomfortable, it doesn't necessarily mean that I shouldn't have said it - it may mean that they are simply uncomfortable. And no, I shouldn't avoid writing the story about how the nurse said that some parents should be sterilized to me in the break room because I'm scared of getting her in trouble. It's good information for my instructor to have that this is the kind of thing that I'm trying to integrate on a weekly basis. This is an accurate reflection of the level of emotional processing that I am personally doing. Sure, not everyone is having this reaction; who would expect them to? But I am, and that's okay, and I want the prof to know it.
Smitten Kitchen is feeding me lately with images of amazing food, and reminders that food is something that I love, not just something that means dirty dishes and rotten potatoes. (though rotten potatoes are hands down the most disgusting thing that can happen in a kitchen, I think. You reach in and it looks okay and then you pull it back and it's... not okay. not not not okay.) I've purchased pumpkin and french bread. I cooked a mini pumpkin for dessert last night for the love of pete! I'm considering stuffing some onions! Come on!
speaking of amazing images, these pictures at deputydog are broadening my horizons and making me sit up and drop my shoulders. love love love them. We already talked about the 7 amazing holes list that he has, right?! wow.
Things that are not getting written about this morning - the upcoming parent-principal meeting regarding the kid and his second grade class (still not going well), the fact that I hurt myself with my menstrual cup and feel really annoyed about it, my continual brokeness and the recent crisis proportions, the chance to do an hourlong interview with a grad student doing research on single moms who went to community college and then a four year school, and the upcoming trip for the ANS Mid-Year Convention.