I take the elevator to the mental health clinic, even though it is on the second floor. I'm generally a little bit stressed on the way in, and being out of breath doesn't help. I'm not in the same physical condition as I was a couple of years ago. The interesting part is getting on the elevator and pushing "2". Sometimes, but not always, I notice people taking a step back when I do that. Or, maybe I'm just hypersensitive. Or both.
Normally, things go pretty smooth once I check in at the clinic. This time I checked in, and didn't see my therapist until 30 minutes later. Seems he wasn't notified that I was there. It's not unusual that the schedule slips during the day, so I wasn't raging about it-- but the reception staff are usually pretty good. Something went wrong somewhere, so whatever. --Insert deity here-- knows I've been late to, and missed appointments, so perhaps it's just karma?
It's been a long time since a session didn't go well. On Tuesday that streak ended.
We didn't talk much about the time I spent on the street. I talked a little about where I stayed and what I did, and that's it. I do have the thought bouncing around that maybe I deserve a little bit of credit for those two and a half months of staying alive, clean and sober, and out of trouble with the law. It didn't seem to be a big deal at all during the session. I got the impression that my therapist wasn't quite sure what I was doing there. I wanted to talk about dreams-- the places and people and events, and especially the common threads: being back in the military after some serious/catastrophic event happens is one of the most frequent. There are cities, or parts of cities, that I return to in dreams again and again. Unfortunately. They don't make sense. There's a military base with a flightline somewhere in the world where I won't need a map if I ever visit.
There was one dream where I mailed an envelope, and then received it in another dream. WTFO?
My therapist didn't want to talk about my bad dreams, he wanted to talk about replacing the bad memories with newer and better ones. Dude, I've been trying to do that for a long time, and it's not a guaranteed process. There's maybe more distance between me and some of the things I've seen, and done, and had happen to me, than there was before.
Then someone makes a loud and unexpected noise, and I damn near fall over jumping out of my chair. I jump inches off my chair when the phone rings at work. I will walk blocks out of my way to avoid trucks backing up because of the (loud) beeping.
Sometimes, lately, I feel depressed. Late at night especially, when the building at home is quiet and the city is settling down, I feel very alone. How does a person feel alone in a city? Same way I felt alone when I was off duty in Riyadh-- with that sense of dread that I could be dead tomorrow and the world would still go on without me. The world is a dangerous place. I try to tell myself otherwise, that the likelihood of something catastrophic happening here is low. Sometimes I almost believe myself. Most times I don't.
There are dreams and feelings and thoughts that I never write about here. They are terrible and disturbing and sometimes violent in certain ways. I'd never hurt anyone unless I had a really good reason, such as I'm defending myself-- but sometimes my dreams are so nightmarish that I'm afraid to talk to anyone about them. Some things, if you admit that you dream about them, the world's opinion of you changes quickly and negatively. I don't trust anyone, not even my closest and oldest friends, with those thoughts and dreams and feelings.
I'm already on several medications for PTSD and depression, been in therapy for years, living in a transitional assistance housing program because I couldn't make having my own place work. If I let all of my demons out, then what? Does my therapist see me going through a catharsis, or does he see me as more of a danger and a threat than he thought and refer me to somewhere I don't want to go?
My appointment on Tuesday didn't even get into talking about my