One of the most troubling problems I face daily is the jumbled swirl of disorganized thoughts in my sorry excuse for a brain. I know, be nice to myself. But I have to use my back button more then I can type to fix these errors because when I re read it -it makes no sense. Words are misspelled, out of order, and simply not the correct word for the context. Some of this is due to me thinking about so many topics at once. I have always done this, but used to be able to dip into the swirling loveliness, pull out what I needed, focus on that a bit, and move on. I seem to have lost my shield and now all the intrusive thoughts are mixed in and attacking the swirling overlapping thoughts, like a traffic jam of the future with 3-d flying cars everywhere.
I have identified a large amount of paranoia also. Not sure when mistrust crosses the line into paranoia but I think I have. I did something dangerous to my health and found and fell in love with a new, well actually old but new to me tv show called Perception about a neuroscientist with schizophrenia that assisted FBI. I obsessively watched all 3 seasons last week. Hey I don’t sleep much so whatever. But watching him as a paranoid schizophrenic made me think of some of my own thoughts and actions. Hmm.
OKay. So my brother has schizophrenia. I am always worried that I might actually have it too and no one knows. That my flashbacks are really hallucinations. I wrote about it before at least being related on a spectrum if not the same thing.
I have had delusions before. I have crashed hard when reality hit me. Not going into that right now. I didn’t lose my touch on reality completely but I definitely held onto some fantasy or magical thinking type things for many many years. Not sure they are totally gone.
I hear horrible voices all of the time. These have been explained to me as my own inner critic, my own inner negative tape running, or as flashbacks. I am not always sure about this, but never wanting to appear ‘crazy’ or an unfit mother I accept those explanations.
But I do worry. I obsess. I distort reality? Don’t we all to some extent? So how much is acceptable? Am I within tolerable limits?
So once in a while I take screener tests to see how I am doing. I find them difficult to answer though, each one is “well it depends . . . ”
Anyhow I found a site with several personality disorder screener tests. They are of course not meant to be used as diagnosis, but as a tool, a speaking point to use with a therapist or doctor. Take the tests yourself here at PDCHAT if you want. I have no idea how accurate these are, so take with a grain a salt too I suppose.
But here are my results:
Your Antisocial Test Results.40%
Your Avoidant Test Results.98.3%
Your Borderline Test Results.51.7%
Your Dependent Test Results.53.3%
Your Histrionic Test Results.36.7%
Your Narcissism Test Results.31.7%
Your Obsessive-Compulsive Test Results.86.7%
Your Paranoid Test Results.95%
Your Schizoid Test Results.86.7%
Your Schizotypal Test Results.76.7%
So that was fun and likely did not prove anything at all, except that I avoid most social interactions, mistrust most people, have control issues…wait what were the PTSD areas? safety, trust, control, power, intimacy…yes this sounds about right. Except PTSD might not explain why I get angry and clench my teeth when hubby does not put the coffee scoop back in the ‘right’ place and grounds get on the table. Or my racing heart, avoidance, fear of germs, not using water fountains, touching doorknobs, hearing people cough around me can cause me to move or even leave a waiting room. My disorganized, intrusive thoughts may not all be trauma related, but some OCD. Or my sadness when someone does not ‘hear’ me and I feel invisible and give up, hiding in my room.
I feel intense anger, and it scares me. I hate people sometimes for slight mistakes. I control myself though. I don’t yell, rarely raise my voice above a whisper actually, and retreat to another room until the anger subsides. It is scarier when I am angry with myself, that is when I really hear the voices.
I made a parenting mistake last night. Not a big one, but one that made youngest kiddo cry because I said something without thinking it through, and it was not fair. I was already struggling because the other kiddo kept invading my space, touching me, singing loudly near me, and was not stopping when I asked her to stop. I tried telling hubby and he made no response, no help at all as usual, I was on my own. So while triggered, I had to made kiddo 1 show respect, which always puts me in a dark place, and then was harsh to kiddo 2 because I wanted to rush dinner prep and hide. All this while hubby was in the room on the couch, ignoring all of us. He always says he is there for me, but he never is. Another trigger. I am spiraling. I make it through dinner quickly and retreat to my room. Kiddo 2 is still crying but I thought hubby could handle it. He comes up in just moments and announces he is getting a bath. ??? Seriously? I ask him why he needs it right now, and he says something about a heat rash bothering him. So ok. I am on my own again. I have to get my crap together and help kiddo calm down. But I am shaking. I am thinking dark thoughts. I am afraid to scream or hit him or over punish if I go down like this. So I turn up my tv, really loud so I can’t hear him crying downstairs. I start counting and breathing. I put hubby out of my mind. I think grounding lists and then I think of sweet thoughts and helpful phrases. Then I head downstairs where my 8 year old is now red faced and hyperventilating he is so upset. I get him an ice pack to hold and ask him to breathe slowly with me. I ask the others why he is screaming since he is unable to talk yet. First it is because we were out of soup for dinner. But then, as I suspected, it was because I made him stop playing his game abruptly to come to dinner. I am usually more respectful of their time. I apologized – however – I said his behavior now was completely inappropriate and that while it is okay to be upset, angry, sad, etc, it is not okay to scream as loud as possible and carry on like that. I said I would help him calm down, but if he chose to continue screaming instead I would have to ground him. Please understand, he was not simply crying or whimpering, this was a manipulative tactic gone too far out of his control now. I have seen him at funerals, and in fights with his brother. This was not authentic. I do not punish authentic displays of emotions, but I do punish attempts at manipulation and temper tantrums from a third grader that would have three year old going – dude, what was that? So we made it through. But it drained me of everything I had in me. I went directly to bed, hating hubby for being an a$$ that abandons us all when he doesn’t like our emotions. I feel bad for needing a moment to myself. I wonder how hubby feels completely avoiding all of us. I wonder how his personality tests would turn out, but he would never take them.
This gave me some things to think about, a different perspective as I wrap up my trauma recovery program. I have learned a great deal from this counselor, but I am stuck now, and feeling worse than ever. I am ready to take a break. I want to go into the stressful holidays without looking into my past. In fact, I am not sure I ever want to look back again, not at the level of detail this counselor asked of me. I still don’t see the point of it, to drudge it all up. I think exposure therapy might help people that had avoided thinking about their abuse, but that wasn’t me, I wrote about it all the time. So all this is doing is making these memories more intense, not helping them to fade.
I am not well. I don’t know or care with label gets applied. I don’t expect to ever be well, not on the same scale as other people. I will find something tolerable for me. I have not yet found that. Still resting. Still searching.