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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » When you can't get over a pregnancy scare... (Page 1)

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Author Topic: When you can't get over a pregnancy scare...
Clara Taylor
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I'm a 21 year old and I come from a very strict family. I don't have a very serious relationship with my boyfriend and I know that if I accidentally got pregnant, it would be a tragedy and I would have to get an abortion. This said, I was always very careful with contraception even though we only used the birthcontrol pill.

Last month I took two tablets a few hours late and I read the efficacy could have been reduced. When I realized this, it was too late to take Plan B. I began to worry about the possibility of being pregnant so bad I couldn't eat for almost two weeks. I went to see five different doctors, got four blood tests, did more than fifteen HPTs and even got an ultrasound. All negative. The laste blood test, 21 days after intercourse, was a clear negative and the ultrasound also showed an empty womb. I took a ClearBlue HPT today and it was also negative (26 days after sex!=

I even had my period on the expected date! But since it was lighter, I was afraid I could still be pregnant. All doctors either said that pregnancy was just not the case or very unlikely. But the story is: I can't believe my own luck! I'm still as worried as if I'd never taken a single test. I keep taking HPTs everyday and browsing the web for stories of women who didn't positive until very later on. I'm afraid I might be one of those weird cases.

Plus, I'm very attentive to my body and freak out about every possible sign of pregnancy. I check my boobs for swelling and changes every hour and can't stop worrying. I booked another appointment with a GO for a second ultrasound even though I know it will show nothing. I'm going crazy over here.

Has anyone experienced this?

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Heather
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I hear you saying the following things:
• Your family likely wouldn't approve of you having sex, and/or you were raised with negative attitudes about sex in the context you're having it, or in general.
• You're not using condoms. You are using the birth control pill, but not backing it up. And if not using condoms is about your partner not sharing his part of the responsibility for safer sex and contraception, that's something else to note.
• You have been searching what we know are most often urban legends about women being pregnant for months and testing and seeing doctors but not having the pregnancy found.
• You feel becoming pregnant, even if you terminated the pregnancy, would be a tragedy.

Any of those things could be reasons why you're hanging unto anxiety about being pregnant despite not being pregnant. All of them combined could make that kind of pervasive fear and anxiety even more likely.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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Thanks for the reply, Heather. You got every single point right. I have no idea how my family would react but I know it would kill them and tear the family apart if I was pregnant. I have no idea what they think of premarital sex as we've never pronounced the word "sex" under our roof.

I just switched to the NuvaRing and I'll back it up with a spermicide as I don't want more scares like this. My partner won't pay his part on the contraception expenses, making me the one to take responsibility for everything. This makes me feel quite bad about it but whenever I suggest he'd pay 50% of my pill or bring the condoms, he changes subject.

And yes, those urban legends are killing me. Every page I read, there's some woman saying she only found out she was pregnant at 10+ weeks, with every HPT being negative before that. I did the math and even if sperm lived inside of me for 5 days - max. sperm live - and only conceived then, adding 12 days for implantation -max. window for an egg to implan-, I'd still have 4 days left for the HCG to build up and suggest a positive by 21 days. And I tested negative at <1.2 miu.

As for the Clearblue test 26 days after intercourse, it says it'll test a positive - if so- 19 days after sex -max. time-. I tested at 26 days - negative. Add this to a clear ultrasound and a period.

But I'm sitting here worrying like crazy. I'll go to see my GO again tomorrow for I'm getting some mild cramps - probably because I'm on the second week of the NuvaRing -. I'm afraid she'll call me crazy!

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Heather
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So, your partner won't contirbute at all to your birth control AND refuses to wear condoms? can I check in with you that this really feels like a healthy relationship to you, and a healthy sexual dynamic? It sounds like something isn't okay here, especially if he's even going so far as to refuse to have conversations about this stuff.

Are you sure you want to keep engaging in sex with this partner?

Do yourself a favor: stop reading that stuff, okay? You know it's not helpful to you, and you know it's only making you feel worse.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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He doesn't "refuse" to wear condoms, he just doesn't like them. I don't like them much myself as they kind of hurt when the lubricant's gone. I suggested we'd buy an actual lubricant to help with the condoms but it is expensive over here and he obviosuly didn't offer to buy it. Condoms here are expensive, too. I told him this, I don't think he refused to pay for a part of them but he kind of forgot about it or pretended to forget. I don't demand that he pays part of my pill because well, it's medication and I'm the one to take it so I'll pay for it myself though I know some couples who split the expense since it concerns the two of them.

I told him I've spent a fortune on pregnancy tests and doctor's appointments but he only answered that I was paranoid about pregnancy and that I was spending all that money because I was rather crazy and that he knew perfectly that I couldn't be pregnant. I spent over 250 euros on this by now. That's about 300 dollars. I won't ask him to pay, especially since appearently I'm not pregnant indeed but I'd appreciate if he offered to - or at least to have attended those appointments with me.

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Heather
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For sure, condoms don't tend to feel good when not used with an additional lubricant: that's pretty much something that doesn't feel good to anyone.

But really, condoms and lube (which cost about the same stateside) aren't big expenses if and when we're doing something like having sex, which can, of course, incur way bigger costs. And it sounds like what this stuff costs isn't his issue if he won't even have a real discussion with you about it.

It also sounds like he's dismissing your fears around this, so again, I'm wondering why you're in a sexual relationship with this person when it sounds like when it comes to the grownup parts of it, it's all on you?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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Yup. This scare made me realize how not viable our relationship is. I think before this I was madly in love with him and dreamed of marrying him and having a perfect life beside him... now it's gone.

I have no doubts that he wouldn't be mature enough to play his role if I were indeed pregnant and had to abort. I don't think he'd run but I know how he wouldn't be able to give me proper support. Especially when he's the only one I could count on. I guess he thinks pregnancy is something that only happens to some unlucky few far away. But is something that can actually happen to anyone with a womb! I was starving for three weeks until I started losing my hair due to malnutrition, shaking in fear and unable to sleep, spending a fortune on doctors and tests while he enjoyed his holidays in his hometown, never coming to see me as we live miles apart and he doesn't want to pay for the train ride.

I still can't sleep as of this day and I'm probably failing a college exam I have tomorrow because I can't focus. I'm never having sex again unless we use a spermicide or condom in addition to the nuvaring. But you can be sure I'll make him pay his part this time.

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Heather
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I think with the way you're feeling, the best route is to usually take charge of the things you can control, and to start with the things you can change straightaway.

Religious guilt or fear, for instance, isn't something anyone can shake off in anything close to a short amount of time. On the other hand, if and when we're going to be engaging in sex, we certainly can only choose to do so with partners who have the maturity to handle all that entails, who are sensitive around what we need and want (including, by all means, with safety and health), and who really feel like partners, not people we're parenting. And we also can choose only to stay in sexual relationships that are actually mutually beneficial, and it really don't sound like this one is at all. In fact, it sounds like this might be one of the biggest causes of your stresses around this.

It's really pretty amazing how a substandard-at-best sexual relationship can really do a number on us, and I'd say that one of the most common threads we see amoung users with pervasive pregnancy fears is that the sex they're having is in the context of a crummy relationship or where the dynamics, sexually or otherwise, are simply not the stuff of happy and healthy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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So it's been 27 days after intercourse, about 4 weeks, and I did another HPT. I used First Response, the most sensitive available. It detects hormone levels in the urine as low as 12.5 mIU. It was negative.

I also say my doctor and had an ultrasound done, a week after the last one. She said my womb was unchanged, not pregnant and completely empty.

I was relieved as I know at this point I'd be about 6 weeks pregnant (as most doctors count it) and it would certainly show up on the ultrasound. But because I'm paranoid, I'll probably retest in a week. Even my doctor told me there was no need but I *need* to.

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Robin Lee
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What other measures are you taking to help yourself with this fear and anxiety?

Are you able to get support around this from other folks besides your doctor and us?

How about your relationship? What steps are you taking with that?

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Robin

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Clara Taylor
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Dear Robin, unfortunately I don't know what other measures I can take. I've got a diagnosed anxiety disorder but I currently have no money for therapy as over here a 1 hour talk with a therapist/counselor is very expensive.

To make it worse, I have no friends (too shy and rather new in town) and my family's just me and my parents. I can't talk to them, as I explained.

I talk to my boyfriend but I can't really seem to open up. He already thinks I'm crazy for thinking I might be pregnant after all those tests. Plus, he lives many miles away and rarely comes to see me. So for support I've only got myself and the internet.

As for the relationship, I'm not taking it as seriously as I used to since I came to realize my boyfriend is very immature for his age and can't really be serious about "adult" situations.

Any advice on coping would help. I saw my doctor today, she was very nice and attentive and patient and I felt a million times better after I talked to her but I know that in a few days I might be obssessing about this again.

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Robin Lee
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When you have worried about things (about anything) in the past, what did you find helpful to either stop worrying or to keep yourself from getting too stressed by it?

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Robin

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Clara Taylor
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Good question. Talking to people usually used to help a lot. That and going out, going to class, etc... too bad I have no people around and no classes until March.

Other than that, only time has helped. It's incredibly painful and debilitating but I guess I'll have no other choice but to wait it out.

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Robin Lee
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It sounds like it might be worth, in general, talking about building up your support system.

First of all, even though you don't have local friends right now, do you have friends you've known in the past that you could renew contact with by phone, email, or other web presence?

Also, do you want to talk about how to connect with people where you're living now? I know this doesn't help you with your current fears, but may be something for you to focus your energy and attention on and could benefit you in the long-run.

What do you think?

Do you want to also talk about what you see for your relationship down the road? That is, I hear you voicing that you're taking the relationship much less seriously than you were. What do you feel you're getting from the relationship now? That is, how do you feel about being in a relationship with your boyfriend?

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Robin

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Clara Taylor
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Well, as terrible as this might sound, I have absolutely no friends in the world. I moved many times since I was 15, lived in at least three different cities, changed schools every year... and because I'm very shy/socially anxious, I can't really get close to anyone. When I meet somebody I find cool, I always feel really stupid everytime I try to talk to them and can't get any closer. The more contact we have, the more I wonder whether or nor they think I'm ridiculous/weird/needy/creepy... so I usually just save myself from that awkward situation and keep the distance. I guess people thus think I am alone because I *want* to be alone but the truth is that I really don't, I just have no social skills!

Right now I'm in college and even though it was supposed to be easy to be close to people, I get the feeling people are really into their own business, same old friends and I guess they'd find it weird if I suddenly tried to reach them.

My boyfriend isn't a good source of personal connections, either. I'm quite unlucky. He has very few friends, only guys, and he lives quite a few miles away from here. Even though we attend the same college, he has no friends here neither so I can0t count on him to connect to people. Our relationship's never been easy. He's very immature for his age and his family clashes with mine.

He's not a bad character but his immaturity makes him do things that really show me how much I can't trust him when he comes to serious aspects. I almost caught him cheating on me this summer and forgave him. Back then I already knew he wasn't "charming prince", it was a good wake-up call. He doesn't have career prospects, despite being in college, and turns down job offers because he's too lazy to work and his family can support him for as long as he wants. The quote that decribes him best is "don't worry" or "if you turn away, it sure will be gone".

If I had dreams of us aging together and always being there for each other in a wonderful love story, they're now quite shattered. He'll never really grow up and I don't want to live forever with an adult-sized child. I don't think I even "love" him anymore. I haven't seen him in a full month. He's too lazy to travel to come and see me. I won't get mad at him for I don't want to bother but he's no longer someone I'm in love with.

If my situation was different, I'd break up. However, having no friends and only my parents who live very, very far from where I live now, I'm afraid I'd be devastated by loneliness. So I'll keep him for a while but I'll also keep my hopes down.

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Heather
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Hey Clara: have you by any chance looked into the option of any peer support groups per anxiety in London or at your college? Or, for that matter, in a more general way, into youth groups or community groups?

Personally, I don't think that sticking with a partner you know is a bad fit for you -- and especially one who's got you taking risks you don't want to that can impact your whole life -- to avoid loneliness is a good call. I hear you that you feel lacking in the social skills to meet other people and co-create other relationships, but it strikes me that staying with this guy when it's not a good thing from you only a) helps keep you from learning those skills and developing that comfort with others, and b) puts more anxiety and stress on your plate.

In a word, that strategy sounds to me like some serious self-sabotage.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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OOps, my autocomplete thing probably made me write london there but I'm not actually in london. I'm in Lisbon, Portugal, in southern europe.

Right here we don't really have the concept of support groups, just therapists... and they're very expensive. Anyway, I know of some in the area that only charge 30e per hour so I'll see if I can afford to see one every now and then. I know I probably need a professional to help me with the social anxiety thing as I've been like this for 21 years and pretty much gave up to connect with others by now.

What you say about keeping a relationship like this is very right. But I don't feel like I'm ready to break up. At least not yet. It'd be a very big change and I don't know how I'd react to it. After all, we've been together for over a year . And there it is again: I know nobody else I can go to for support.

When I'm over this scare and I feel stronger I might reconsider things, though. I feel like I really need to have new people in my life before I take this step. But I don't know where to go!

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Heather
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Doing a quick Google search, I'm not finding that there aren't any support groups in Portugal as a whole or in Lisbon. have you ever looked into this, or asked your general healthcare provider for a resource to see what's out there in this respect?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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If your general doctor can't help you with that, btw, this helpline -- which is one you can call for support, period, it's a general mental health helpline -- might be able to give you some places to start looking: SOS Voz Amiga - Tel: 800 202 669 / 213 544 545

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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Thank you so much for bothering and doing some research Heather - I feel conforted and humbled to know you care! Yup, I've also done research before, that line is helpful when one's going through a crisis but they can't do a lot more than listening as they're not allowed to do by-phone therapy. They always recommend a therapist.

My college has a therapy department, I just found out, but again, they charge 30euros per session. It's expensive for me but I guess I'll have no choice. This nagging fear keeps coming back and I'm going nuts. Everytime I take a test or have a doctor tell me he didn't find any sings of pregnancy, I go home and rest for a few hours. Then it comes back and the next day I'm back in the drugstore to buy an HPT. Again, massive anxiety - a negative result - relief - back to anxiety a few hours later. I know I would get my mind off of this if I had classes to attend or people to see but there's none of that. I keep coming back home, alone, and the fears have all the doors open.

But thanks to your support, I have come to realise that a HUGE part of my problem is indeed the lack of a supportive group of people/friends/family/ wahtever. It would be SO MUCH easier if there were people I could go cry to or people who would take me out of the house if they realized how bad I was feeling. They could not take the pain from my shoulders but it would all be easier. When you're going through something thi scary and you have no one to talk to, you feel so alone in the world, it's like there's no way out...

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Heather
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Have you ever asked them if they could refer you to any local support groups? If not, maybe give them a call just to see?

30 euro isn't bad at all for therapy, but I of course understand that 30 euros isn't good if you don't have it.

But if you do have it, what about maybe just starting by seeing if you can't save for say, four sessions, and consider it an investment in your quality of life? If nothing else, you'll probably wind up spending no more than you have on pregnancy tests, you know?

I agree, having no support, save for a partner who doesn't really seem like a partner and also doesn't seem at all supportive in any real way, is likely a big part of all of this.

So, if you want to talk about some other steps you can take to try and start to create those relationships, we can do that. Ultimately, it sounds like a big part of it is just pushing through and accepting those feelings of awkwardness you've been having, but we might be able to help you fine-tune that if you like, or at least find some ways to try and initiate some friendships.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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Now that is totally true: what I've already spent on pregnancy tests and doctors would be enough to pay no less than 10 weeks of sessions with a terapist. You've just made me make that decision: I need to get out of here through help - otherwise I know everything will remain unchanged. Even when I'm 100% assured I'm not pregnant, I know some other problem will show up and I'll be back to step one. I'm emailing the college therapists right after I send you this message.

As for overcoming social anxiety... do you think you can give me some lights on where to start? I'm afraid I might never be able to have friends and live a normal non-isolated life as I've been like this for so long. And while in the past I used to struggle to get out of my shell, right now I seem to have given up and resorted to avoiding people on purpose as I know in advance I won't be able to establish a relationship. No wonder I'm anxious and often depressed! Friends are something so important to keep one sane.

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Heather
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Rock on, you! That's great you're being so proactive.

In terms of making friends, I'm one of those people who is pretty introverted, so I can get gregarious, but it tends to require the right people and the right environment. Otherwise, I just want to kind of crawl under a rock. I also have an alarmingly low threshold for chit-chat, rather than talk of some depth, but as I have grown older, I've at least learned not to roll my eyes about it. [Razz]

Personally, I find that good first steps to connecting with people and finding people to create deeper relationships with are starting with environments I'm comfortable with, which usually means starting with my interests and places where I'm engaging in them. Then I'm already in something I feel comfortable and competent with and am engaged with.

if that sounds good to you, maybe you can give me a rundown on your own interests and talents, and we can see if we can't brainstorm some ways to engage in them that is in more social contexts?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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Just emailed them! Hopefully I'll have an appointment for this week or the next one. I'm really hopeful right now that this might be the first step to get out of this limbo. I'm tired of living my life anxious and unhappy and angry with myself for being that way.

The right environment you talked about is indeed the key thing. From my experience I can indeed get out of the shell in the very right circunstances. It's not easy to find them, though!

As for my interests... well. They're vast. I love art, drawing, painting, sculpting, cinema, anything visual arts-related. I'm currently studying philosophy in college. I love animals and I thought of volunteering at a shelter but seeing the sick/dying animals would kill me. I love photography as well. Reading, doing research on rather weird things like sociologic phenomena, the paranormal, psychology, religions and supersticions (though I'm not religious myself). In short: everything library-based.

As for the things I don't like; I'm a zero at sports, I hate the gym, I can't sing or play an instrument, I can't act nor dance...

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Heather
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That's awesome. [Smile]

So, looking at this list, I've a few ideas to start with, not sure if you've tried them or not, so just throwing them out there:

• A figure-drawing class or group
• A film group
• A no-kill animal shelter
• A photography group or class

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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So they just called me to say I'm on the waiting list for an appointment with a therapist. Hopefully they won't make me wait too long and we'll start next week.

Thank you again, Heather, for your support and suggestions. I have tried a few of those options and I'm glad I did. For instance, I'm already on a film-group (more lika film-studies class). It's amazing and I've learned a lot since I'm there. However, there are only two other students there, both much older than me. One is a teacher, the other's a doctor.

The problem with those groups and classes here in Portugal is that none are free. Actually they're all pretty expensive, that's why we don't really have the cult of joining clubs/groups or classes to meet other people. A semester of figure-drawing costs between 200 and 400 euro. My film class costed 300 and it's ending this semester. Still, I'll try to convince my dad to pay me another semester. After all, we're going through the big recession, everything and everyone charges big money for anything that is. I keep contact with several animal shelters but they say they don't really need volunteers, just donations. Damn! I'll keep looking, though. There must be something I can join that's free of charge!

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Heather
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How great is that? [Smile]

I don't suppose you have any community or civic centers in your area? I ask because community spaces like that are often where we can find out about local free things in our community.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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I'm looking into that. For example, tomorrow they'll show a german film in the school where I'm learning German and I'm going. I think I should start going to these little free events and learn to take pleasure in them.

As for not-so-good news; I'm taking another pregnancy test tomorrow as I haven't taken one in three days. And I'm sitting worrying it might *finally* show a positive. Hello, obsessive-compulsion. I know it'll be negative and I'll rest for a day, then I'll retest. At this point I can tell how silly I am for doing this yet can't act rational yet. How many more days will this last? When will I finally rest? In 9 months, maybe, when I see at last that no baby has come out of me. Or, to use some humour, I'll start compulsively watching that "I didn't know I was pregnant" series and I'll wait for a baby to come out of me at any given moment. Silly, silly, crazy anxious me. (well, at least now I can joke about it, it might be start...?)

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Heather
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DO NOT TOUCH THAT SHOW.

Seriously. Don't do that to you. Heck, don't do that to ME! [Smile]

You know, when someone is dealing with a compulsion with something, they're likely going to keep being compulsive until they can get some help. I don't think there's any shame in any of this, it's just that obviously, spending this money and staying so scared isn't a healthy, happymaking thing for you and really messes with your quality of life.

But you've taken steps to get that help, so in the meantime, you just have to get yourself TO it.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Clara Taylor
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Don't worry, I won't even get closed to that show! I only saw one episode, a long time ago. Enough to make me understand my mental health won't really improve were I to watch more!

I ended up doing that HPT this morning. First Response test, sensitive to as little as 12.5 hcg. They even say it detects pregnancy 4 days before a missed period. I used first-morning urine. This was exactly 30 days after I last had sex and 18 days after I actually DID get my period. But even if it wasn't a real period, I'd now be two weeks late. The test was negative. Obviosuly I was relieved to see that lonely red line on the control window and a very blank space on the test window. I still compulsively checked out the result under different lights - bathroom light, bedroom light, day light... - and waited 15 minutes and there was no such thing as a line on that merciful little window. I had to run throw the test away as I realised that if I didn't, I'd spent the next hour checking that window with magnifying glass. Until an evaporation line actually showed up and I'd have an heart attack.

I hadn't slept the night before at all, just waiting to run to the drugstore to buy that test as soon as the store opened. It's like I *knew* it would be negative but still wanted to do it for the sake of seeing a negative.

I know that at this point my chances of undetected pregnancy are close to zero - or actually zero. It's been a full month now, there HAD to be something, if not in the 4 blood tests at least in two ultrasounds I did, the last one just three days ago. Add this to period and a not-that-serious mistake with the birthcontrol pills, making ovulation in that cycle very unlikely.

But... as I previously said, I also keep checking my breasts compulsively for changes but I guess they're pretty much the same. The other day I'd carried a heavy bag and my underarm/chest muscles hurt and I went CRAZY thinking it could be a pregnancy symptom. But it went away and I was lucky enough to find out a good article online on telling actual breast-pain from muscle-pain around the breasts.

Sooooo... I should be calm by now but I'm still rather fussy about this. No doubt I'm compulsive at this point. If by any chance today's test had turned positive, I guess I wouldn't believe it myself. As I waited those dreadul five minutes for the control line to show up, I realized I wasn't expecting nor fearing a positive. Again, I was *compusively* waiting for a negative. Like an old friend I really needed to see.

I can't wait to get that email and start therapy. My physical health is beginning to deteorate. Even though I eat a lot better now, as I've also been calmer for a few days now, I still don't have regular meals. And even though I have no diagnosed physical conditions, I'm afraid for my blood pressure. Today at 8am, as I jumped from bed to run to go get the test my heart was beating so abnormally out of compass I felt dizzy and sick and seriously felt like I was about to have an heart attack or stroke.

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Robin Lee
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Go you for recognizing a trigger for compulsion and throwing that test away.

It's not uncommon for people to experience that racing heart sort of thing if they jump up really quickly from lying down to standing. Added to that you've been really stressed and anxious. Of course, if you feel that you're physically unwell, seeing a healthcare practitioner would be a sound thing to do.

Sounds like, for now, just figuring out some stress reduction strategies might be a good move for you.

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Robin

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Clara Taylor
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Yup, I know that if I had kept it in the house I'd come back, dig it up and recheck like crazy. It was already silly enough that I spent about twenty minutes walking around with that little test in my hands switching lights on and off and trying to *see* an evil line that wasn't there at all. I felt much better after I threw it in the dispensers downstairs where I couldn't dig it back or look at it anymore.

Thanks for the concern, Robin, but I'm close to 100% sure there's nothing wrong with my physical health - it's all the anxiety! It does crazy things to me. I usually have orthostatic hypotension and low blood pressure. However, when I'm extremely anxious, it'll go up and cause those symptoms. Similar to panic attack symptoms which I've also experienced in the past. This was before the test, evidently, afterwards I was fine.

Must try to get some sleep tonight as last night I didn't close my eyes for a single second. The weekend's coming, let's hope I won't have the urge to run somewhere to buy HPTs.

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Robin Lee
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It sounds like you could really use some sleep. Do you have anything you do that you finds helps you sleep? Some people find things like taking a warm bath or shower, doing some deep breathing or meditation, or having a warm drink before bed to be helpful.

Maybe it would also help to think ahead of time of ways to distract yourself if you feel the urge to buy another test?

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Robin

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Clara Taylor
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So I managed to make it through the weekend. This morning (monday), though, I went to buy another HPT. The good news is that I was a lot more relaxed about it than the last time and all I thought was "hey, let's see another negative". And yup, it was another blunt negative on Early Response. I stared at the test for so long, though, I *think* an evap line actually showed up! That must have been after 45 minutes of taking the test. It was colourless, not pink at all, like it should be, just an almost invisible grey shadow if you twisted the test into a certain position and even so, you'd only see it if you *really* were looking for it. Actually, I'm not even sure if it was there at all or if I hallucinated.

Well, but that 40+ minutes evap line sent me back to bed shaking in fear. It's been 32 days since I last had intercourse and this is an Early Response test. It should show a clear positive if it was the case. It measures hCG as low as 12mIU.

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Robin Lee
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I'm glad to hear you got through the weekend. That's a positive step. [Smile]

It would be helpful to remember that instructions on taking and reading the HPT are there for a reason. The instructions don't say to watch it for 45 minutes (I know you didn't do that just for the heck of it) or even to leave it for 45 minutes then go back and look at it, so anything that the test might or might not show after that amount of time isn't an accurate reflection of the test.

Do you think it would be helpful to make a plan for how to not get into that situation again? For example, one thing I can think of is to set an alarm, and when that alarm goes off, you absolutely must throw that test out. Do you think that would work for you?

While we can't account for everything we might do or think, if we know that we tend to behave a certain way, often making plans ahead of time for what to do in those situations can be helpful, since we're often not in a state of mind at the time to be able to think rationally.

How are you feeling now?

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Robin

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