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Normal Life?

(9 posts)
  1. stillscared

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 31 2011 12:10:04
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    So we are now about 6 month BB free; we threw most stuff away vikaned what we could and moved.

    Still I have yet to stop using the packtite and showering after every trip outside the house. I'm also afraid of anything that we had vikaned. Like all the clothes and the furniture. I don't touch any of the the "old stuff". I stand both ways every morning on the train while holding my almost 20 lb son. When in public areas I go out of my way to avoid people. I avoid stores with lenient return policies. I don't visit people's homes. No one is allowed to visit us. I won't even use the fancy stroller I have for my child because I can't figure out how to clean it when we get home. My life is suffering, my relationship with my husband is suffering. I know I should try therapy but the last therapist I saw told me "lots of her patients have BB", I'm too scared to go back lest I catch something from her office. I feel like if I give up on these rituals I'm opening my family up to the risk of catching bugs all over again. I'm overall unhappy and I really don't want my son to remember any of this I want him to have a normal childhood.

    From all the survivors out their how do I go back to living normally?

  2. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 31 2011 13:26:50
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    The last therapist you saw said that to comfort you, not frighten you. I would ask her if she would speak with you on the phone or via skype until you feel comfortable returning to her office.

    I believe:

    Life is risk. If you want your son to not remember or be impacted by your caution over BBs, you'll have to go out the front door and chance getting them again.

    But this time if you get them, you'll know better what to do to minimize the problem. You'll have some supplies and equipment already. You may even have a viable plan you can implement. Knowledge is power and power is control. You now have knowledge of BBs and that gives you some power and control over them if they happen again.

    Go out and live.

  3. AmbushBug

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 31 2011 19:20:17
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    I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. This article might help a bit, at least about catching them from public places (it did for me):
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2011/10/bedbugs_how_contagious_are_they_really_.single.html

  4. bedbugsuptown

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 31 2011 22:15:23
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    stillscared, AshamedandScratching posted the truth. Please do not do this to yourself. Don't give your power away for fear of another infestation.

    Who makes these rules about

    I don't visit people's homes. No one is allowed to visit us.
    [ ? Do both your husband and yourself agree on this policy?

    Please don't do this to yourself and your marriage; I know that you want normalcy for your child. I don't mean to be mean but what is normal? Just a very random word with a very wide range. I don't frequent the self help aisle in Barnes & Noble and I never took much notice of Oprah or Dr. Phil. What I believe is that over time and through life experience they grew confidant and self-empowered. Which is all that you need to realize. life is way bigger than the bug. Forgive me stillscared, but you are bigger than the bug. Right now the bugs are all in your head. Are they paying rent? No.....then kick these notions right out. May God protect you from all anxieties................

  5. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 31 2011 23:30:09
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    I can't tell you what will and won't work for you. I can tell you about my experience with bed bugs.

    I had an infestation in June of 2008. I had thermal treatment that killed them all. It was November of 2008 before I could convince myself to go back to sleeping in my bed.

    Now, I had insomnia before this all started. I was already in a place, in other words, where I required pretty careful management and rituals to make sure I slept as soundly as I can. I suspect that those pre-existing issues upped the ante, so to speak, in terms of why it took me so long.

    I also am a wee bit prone to anxiety to begin with.

    However, in the plus column, I am required to travel for work. I have to stay in hotels as part of that travel. I live on the west coast, but my family lives on the east coast.

    For all those reasons, very shortly after treatment, I was in a position to have to go and stay at hotels or to get on a plane.

    I won't lie; the first hotel stay was terrifying. I slept like crap even after a thorough inspection.

    Over time, however, with each day that went by without a reinfestation, I got more confident that I didn't have to live a life that mean sterilizing everything and viewing every piece of public upholstery as a threat of epic proportions.

    It took awhile, but with each bus or subway trip, with each plane flight, with each hotel stay, I felt like I had a slightly more logically detached view of the actual likelihood of exposure rather than the "OMG seal everything from any possibility" zero tolerance approach I had in the immediate aftermath.

    I know that's not much of an answer in terms of encouragement, but I figured that it might help a little to hear that the anxiety levels will get better over time. How quickly and how much better varies by person. I am also one of those people who gets cranky and angry when I feel like people (or situations or insects) are trying to use fear to manipulate me. I'm one of those weirdoes who wanted to get on a plane on Sept. 12, 2001 to prove that the terrorists couldn't frighten me into not flying.

    But even for people with higher levels of anxiety and fear, over time things get better.

    Therapy can be a great option if do it yourself strategies for dealing with anxiety aren't working. If you have a Packtite, there's no reason you can't go to therapy and then upon returning home Packtite whatever you took with you (that isn't electronics.) The electronics can stay in a ziplock while you're in therapy. In this case, if for no other reason than to have someone to listen to the things that are stressing you out, therapy might be a useful tool.

    But hang in there. Take care of yourself. Understand that returning a life closer to normal can happen. For some people, getting there will take some outside professional help, but we on the boards who've been through this understand why bed bugs can be so difficult to deal with emotionally--even after ht bugs are gone.

  6. i hate buggs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 1 2011 7:25:05
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    AmbushBug - 12 hours ago  » 
    I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. This article might help a bit, at least about catching them from public places (it did for me):
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2011/10/bedbugs_how_contagious_are_they_really_.single.html

    Thanks for posting this link the article help me a lot.

  7. lsdrg706

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 1 2011 7:48:11
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    Even though that post was not meant for me, thank you for your post, buggyinsocal. It helps to know that people understand how we feel.

  8. stillscared

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 1 2011 12:25:34
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    Thank you for your encouragement!

    I really needed to hear that it was possible to drop all of these rules and routines that you develop when you find you have BB. It's hard because I sometimes feel like if I stop doing these thing and we get them again I would be a terrible mother and would have to expose my son to the chemicals and treatments all over again. The article was nice as it made me feel like I could stop these routines and isn't going to change the likely hood of us getting infected again.

    I'm going to try this week coming home taking off my coat and shoes, and just living. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

    Wish me luck!

  9. AmbushBug

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 1 2011 19:28:03
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    Good luck stillscared! I'm really happy you're finding the strength to take those steps. Something else to remember is that even if god forbid you do get another infestation, that wouldn't be a reason to blame yourself: there's no way to be perfectly safe, and if you are just taking those basic steps that we all know about such as not picking up furniture from the curb and taking some care when travelling, you've reduced your risk to the point where it costs a whole lot more, in effort and worry, to reduce it just a tiny bit more. I'm sure you struggle with the same thing every day with your kid: you want to keep him safe, but you can never perfectly protect him. And you have to be careful not to go to extremes with safety measures and pay a big price in happiness (yours and maybe even his) for an almost insignificant gain in safety. At a certain point it's all up to random chance, and while that's really scary, it means that what happens is *not your fault*. Just by taking normal precautions you are a good mother no matter what occurs.

    It was good to hear your story too, buggyinsocial (this thread is very relevant to where I'm at). It reminds me of another thing I found very comforting, this video of bed bug guru David Cain inspecting his hotel room in 5 minutes flat:

    [+] Embed the videoGet the Flash Video
    I thought, if this guy who's seen a thousand infestations can satisfy himself and sleep like a baby in a hotel in New York City after just those few steps, then I definitely should be able to too.


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