I drove to DBT today, too exhausted to cycle. Too exhausted to shower in fact; I’ve not done that in a few days. Don’t care. I did, however, make the effort to be early as Monica had told me that one of my group facilitators would speak to me beforehand about dealing with the accent thing from last session. I’ve been sick with nerves about this all week. I even practiced a little speech in my head about how I was going to explain why mimicking my accent is so upsetting to me.
I needn’t have fucking bothered.
Nothing was said.
No, instead Sally blathered on about the group should be a safe place where everyone feels they can speak. Did anyone want to add anything? I just couldn’t speak up out of nowhere and say “hey, you know when you put on my accent it really upsets me?” I just couldn’t. And because I said nothing the lady did it again: she did my fucking accent again. I actually asked how to pronounce her name, it’s unusual and I wanted to get it right. So she told me whilst imitating my accent and saying “I don’t know how you’ll say it in your language”. What?! My language – English?! Anyway I just accepted that I was going to have to shrug it off. Fuck it.
I spent the whole of the first session staring at the bubbles in my bottle of sparkling water. Just look at the bubbles. Nothing else matters, only the bubbles. It was homework feedback and I just kept on staring, mouth firmly closed shut. I will not speak I vowed. Eventually though I was asked about my homework – had I done it? I nodded now staring at the desk. I began to speak slowly, trying to choose the words carefully. “I did the STOP skill thing. I spoke to my dad. That was a big deal. My low got worse. On Monday I was sat on the sofa and I could feel my usual cycle of behaviour beginning. I couldn’t self-harm because I get in trouble here for doing that. Well, the feelings don’t pass so I knew that I’d have to do something and that’s when I come up with plans – not to kill myself, no. Just to hurt myself in a way that might cause me to die by accident”. I looked up from the desk. I certainly had everyone’s attention. I got this feeling that I had kind of nailed it, that the others in the group knew what I meant although no one had been quite so frank about it. That’s my style – blunt. Holding Sally’s gaze I continued “so I used STOP and instead of making dangerous plans I proceeded mindfully and tried to distract myself. I cleaned and it worked until I stopped. Then all of this came back”. Ah fuck she looks worried. Best reassure her I thought “I have not made any dangerous plans”. I felt her relief. A bit more chat and we moved on. Then it was break.
I made some pretty inappropriate suicide jokes at break. The people I was speaking to seemed to like them, they were cracking up. I apologised for my dark sense of humour and hoped it wasn’t triggering for anyone.
Back in and we learned of TIP skills. I’d already done of all this months ago with Nora. I didn’t want to rain on anyone’s parade so I tried to look interested. Inside I was thinking yeah, ok, whatever. Some people were quite enthused about TIP skills and felt they would be helpful to them. I hope they are. When I’ve tried TIP skills they haven’t done anything for me particularly. I stay just as deranged and obsessed with whatever crazy life threatening scheme I’ve dreamt up. Sigh. I can’t help but wonder if this DBT is right for me.
Oh well. Ups and downs. Peaks and troughs. Knives and ice cubes.