Overwhelmed, and Lack of Resources

I am having a very hard time.  My brain doesn’t seem to be working very well.  I keep being badly thrown off by very little things.  It’s true that my left knee hurts, not a lot but it’s obvious that something’s wrong.  I have an appointment with my chiropractor tomorrow, but I just saw him for this same knee.  I’m worried about the fact that it seemed to happen again so soon, and without any aggravating circumstances.  And I have to drive an hour and a half to see Dr. Dean.

This post from 2017 seemed to speak to how I feel today.  I quote the parts that are relevant:

Complex situation     I am overwhelmed — can’t tell I’m overwhelmed.  It’s false for me to take ownership of this whole thing.  “This is all my fault” that’s 12 yr old or younger Jenny

Overwhelmed and under-resourced.  Can’t ask for help.  “I’m fine” is denial of overwhelm & lack of resource.  Nobody to turn to and say “This is too much for me, I need help.”

Erica says I should answer these two questions:
“What is my responsibility in this?”
“What is true?”

I came back from the therapy session feeling upset and confused, not seeing any way to make things work out.  Slept badly, woke up early, feeling tangled pain.  Wrote about it in my journal.       …

What is my responsibility in this?  To take care of myself adequately so that I can function, so that I can make good decisions.  Especially about resisting pressure (from myself and others) and giving myself enough time.  To recognize how easily I go into denial about how hard things are for me to do.  To have enough self-knowledge, and grounding in myself, to be able to see when something is too much for me.  Or to say “I don’t know what to do.  I need more time.”

What is true?  That I have to move to a place where I feel contained enough because I have no “calmly abiding center,” and I don’t know how long it will take to create one, with Erica’s help — can’t do this alone — or if it’s even possible to create such a thing.  I think again how Kendal can be an ashram for me, with Erica as my guide and teacher.

What is my responsibility in this now?  To take care of myself adequately…  I’m finding that enormously hard to do if not impossible.  Somehow I have to find help.  I don’t know who can help besides Erica. I know I don’t have enough human contact in my life because of the pandemic, and I’m too scared to ask for help.

What is true?  I know that it’s possible to ask the Quaker Meeting for help.  They can set up a support group.  Maybe that would help.  I wish I could manage a real breakdown, so that they would have to put me in the Health Center and fill me full of tranquilizers, and then there would be people around all the time taking care of me.  I need to collapse and be taken care of.  I can pay someone to take care of Mocha, or send her to Fiona.

I had gotten this far, typing directly into the blog, and I realized that I was in real trouble, and had better not post “I wish I could manage a real breakdown…”  This was on Tuesday, March 30.  Fortunately I had a talk with my therapist soon after I typed this.

Notes from therapy session: I was really worried about what I said about a “real breakdown.”  So I read what I had written to Erica. “This is a little one who’s overwhelmed and doesn’t know what to do. She’s feeling responsible for something that she never should have been asked to do. How do we help the one that’s overwhelmed, that feels responsible.”

The main problem is that the little one is only a baby, she can’t realistically take care of me. But it’s too easy for me to get stuck in her, and dissociated from Adult Jenny.  This has been especially problematic during the pandemic, where social distancing triggers the feelings and helplessness of a baby who’s been left all alone.

I did manage to get to my chiropractor, who worked on my left leg.  We both agreed that what was going on was more complex than just the knee.  I have been trying to pay attention to how I use my left leg and movements that might be affecting it.  I realized that this whole last year I have been eating most of my meals at my counter, sitting on a stool, and resting my left foot on a big plastic storage box that’s out to the left.  Before the pandemic, I had been eating both lunch and dinner at a table with both feet on the ground. So I managed to find a box the right size to fit right in front of the stool and rest my feet on it.  that seems to be helping.

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