Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Validation and invalidation

It was so bloody cold today. I woke up and was freezing, even whilst I was still in bed. I put the heating on but I never really warmed up. Then I had to go off to ballet, and I did warm up a little whilst I was dancing, but then I went to a sing through for one of the musicals I have been considering auditioning for, and it was absolutely freezing there - it was barely any warmer than outside, and so I spent the entire 2 and a half hours with icy cold hands, and that was with leaving my coat on! I am in bed now in my pyjamas and bed socks and dressing gown, with a hot water bottle, and underneath a duvet and blanket, but I am still quite cold. I hate having such awful circulation! Tomorrow I don't have to leave the house at all, which is going to be really nice, as it looks like it will be freezing again. I usually see L Tuesday morning, but this week she is doing a home visit in the afternoon, which is good for two reasons - firstly I get to sleep in, and secondly I don't have to go out in the cold and wet!

I am still really shitty, and struggling with everything. My weight has stayed fairly stable over the last few days, after a period of losing. It has gone down slightly, but not much. But I did lose 2lbs between last Monday and this Monday, and another 2 the week before. I have no idea where they went from though, as I don't seem to be any smaller at all. My waist may be slightly smaller, but my hips and thighs are typically not budging. I really need the numbers to start going down again, and I am terrified that I will have gained tomorrow. I ate more today than I wanted to, or feel that I should have. My dinner had about 150kcals more in than I thought it had (as I looked up the figure online a little while ago), and I had some other things I shouldn't have had. The frustrating thing is that dinner was so long ago that I am already feeling hungry - I had to eat sooner after half 4, as I was out from 5 until half 10, whereas I usually eat about 7, and despite normally eating far fewer calories than I had today, I don't usually get hungry again. So I am feeling quite frustrated. I suppose I did dance for an hour, so that will have had to burn some calories, but I am worried it won't be enough. I am going to go and weigh myself in a moment to check my middle of the night weight, so that I am not too horrified when I weigh myself tomorrow, but I am already petrified that it is going to be a number that means I will have gained weight, and I don't know what I will do if it is. Mood wise I am still struggling a lot. I am thinking a lot about suicide, and when I could do it. I think I have it worked out when I could do it. It isn't any time this week, so I suppose I will have to see how things go over the next few days, but I am just finding everything so hard, and I keep thinking that if I don't do it really soon, then it will be January before I could do anything due to my rules on suicide, and the thought of living until January is really, really scary.

I spoke to my friend A via text earlier. She said she is still feeling bad. She saw her social worker earlier, who suggested admission, but she said she would rather stay at home, so she is being seen daily by the crisis team, hospital is remaining an option, and she is seeing her social worker again in a couple of days. I spent some time wondering why the treatment that she, and other people, gets bothers me, and what it is that makes me jealous about it. I know from experience that hospital is crap - that it isn't therapeutic, and isn't a nice environment to be in, and yet I still feel envious that she is always given that as an option. And I think there are two reasons. Firstly, I think it is just about having the chance to have that complete break and not having to be responsible for anything or take care of yourself when you are really struggling. I find it so hard to keep going on my own sometimes when I feel really awful, and even though I know hospital would be shit in many ways, and achieve absolutely nothing in the long term, it would be a break in the short term, and when things are so bad that I can only think in the very short term (and mostly because I don't feel that there will be a long term as the suicidal thoughts get so strong) that seems like a reasonable option. And then I think the other thing is to do with validation. If you are feeling really dreadful, and you are offered more support, in whatever form - whether it be more appointments, or being seen by the crisis team, or hospital - it is validation of how you are feeling. Obviously people can say they know that you are feeling really bad etc, but I actually never feel like that means much when I am at my worst. Although I know rationally that options are very limited, when I am feeling that bad it just feels like if people really believed that I was feeling as desperate and suicidal as I was saying I was, then surely they would try to do something. I suppose it can feel quite invalidating to say that you feel suicidal and are planning to kill yourself and for no further support to be offered, as it then feels like people either don't believe what you are saying, which is why they aren't arranging more support, or that they don't really care whether you kill yourself or not. Whilst logically I am aware that it doesn't necessarily mean that, that is how it feels, and I think that is why I get quite jealous of other people when they are offered a lot of help when they are feeling bad. Whether the help is actually helpful or not is almost irrelevant - I think that just the offer or arrangement of it makes it seem like people have listened to what you have said, taken you seriously, and are giving you support to stay safe. I am not sure if that sounds attention seeking. Maybe it does, but it isn't supposed to. I would never say that I was planning to kill myself or didn't think that I could keep myself safe unless I was genuinely thinking that, and very strongly. I am not referring to the general discussion or mention of suicidal thoughts, as that is often a different matter - I just mean when things really are at rock bottom and I have planned when and how I am going to kill myself, or I am feeling so desperate and unsafe that I might act on impulse. As demonstrated by recent events, I am unlikely to receive much support or validation from my family at these times, which is why I rarely talk about how I am feeling with them, and so I suppose I primarily look to professionals for validation of my feelings, and whilst I do feel like I get that the majority of the time from L, I do find it incredibly difficult when I feel like I am in crisis, and that is why I feel envious of other people getting more help than I do in similar circumstances. I do understand the rationale behind decisions like that (for eg hospital is shit and doesn't actually help at all long, or even medium term) feelings and emotions don't generally follow reason, however much you try to force them to. And I think I needed to work out what it was that caused those feelings of hurt and jealousy when friends receive help, as it tends to make me feel guilty for being jealous when they are obviously having such a difficult time, but I do think it is a combination of just being desperate for a break when things get that bad, and needing to feel validated. And I am not sure what the answer is, or even if there is one, but at least now I think I know where the thoughts stem from.


  1. *hugs* Yes, it is horrible to feel like people do not even believe you.

  2. I get cold easily too and there is nothing worse than taking a ballet class in a too cool studio and never really warming up. I hate that!

    I can understand how you would envy your friend in the hospital, for she's being cared for... and that's something I long for too. Who doesn't?

    It was good to eat a little extra today. Remember, you do need to mix it up a little bit. If you have lost 4 lbs in 2 weeks, then most of that is not real weight loss anyway. That is why you will see fluctuations. I think that's great that you've lost that much, but try not to restrict too much or your body will start to fight you and will slow down your metabolic rate even further. Slow and steady works best and 150 extra calories will not make you gain REAL weight. That is impossible. Remember that one lb equals about 3,500 calories.


  3. I agree completely on the validation/invalidation thing. I feel the same way - if I'm offered more support or treatment, in whatever form, I feel my distress is being validated. But if I'm not, even in situations where rationally I know there's not much they could do that would be helpful, one some level it feels like I'm not being taken seriously.

    For me personally it does help a little to know that this is what's going on. It's not that I'm a jealous cow with Munchausen's who actually wants to be on a shitty NHS psych ward (I don't!) It's more about the fact that I was invalidated a lot as a child and again when I first tried to seek help for my mental health issues. It sounds as though your family are very invalidating too? That can't help matters.


    Res x

  4. I know what you mean about the validation. Personally I am always paranoid that I'm not actually ill that I'm just attention seeking so when a professional agrees that I am ill/need help it eases my mind a little.
    Sending you lots of love and strength *hugs*

  5. I can relate a lot about what you said about hospital- how it gives you a break from real life, even if it isn't the nicest place to be in.

    The validation thing rings true with me a lot too. It always feels like other people are validated more than me- it feels like they get offered hospital when they're going through a tough time but when I'm going through a tough time too, I feel ignored.

    Take care,
    Cassie x