Nightmares & Truth

May 30, 2010

Each night for just over one month I have been awakened one to three hours after going to bed. It’s usually the same thing that wakes me up – everything is black and I can’t see and I can’t breathe. Every night the reason becomes clearer, the emotions get stronger, and I wake up in a worse way – covered in sweat, actually not breathing as if I’ve forgotten how, and unable to move or save myself.

It’s happened again tonight, one hour after I went to bed. It doesn’t matter if I take a sleep aid or listen to my relaxation sounds and music.

I think that DID therapy is akin to Sherlock Holmes-style detection. The more I learn about my past through body memories, visual and auditory memories, and the resounding “Yes! You are figuring it out!” from my alters the more I am reminded of Holmes’ most oft-quoted principle:

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth“.

This is just as true for figuring out where you left your car keys as to what happened in your childhood that caused you to fragment and compartmentalize.

So I see what I see, hear what I hear, know what I feel, and am left with the truth of my childhood, or lack thereof. I don’t want to believe it. I still hope my brain is making this up, but what little I remember of my childhood before I re-entered therapy was just a teeny glimpse of what horrible things actually happened.

This week my husband is home on vacation. We have already talked about giving me some space when I need it, not expecting to be intimate just because the kids are in school unless I want to, and being there for me if flashbacks/memories, etc., become intense. At least he is supportive even if he doesn’t completely understand.

All of these memories returning is paradoxical. It is quite a relief and I hardly need any Xanax, and on the other hand I am tormented by nightmares. I suppose it should even itself out somewhat eventually, but I would love some middle ground as the host of this body. It’s not easy, but I really didn’t expect it to be. I only hoped it would be easy.

Yesterday I remembered a big thing. I relaxed, as Dawn suggested, and asked by name who would like to share something. A younger part did and it wasa big thing. It was horrible and unbelievable and my entire body shouted “It’s true!” like a chorus. When I asked inside why at least a part of it wasn’t shown before they answered as one, “You would never have believed us until now.”

The other parts have never sounded so unified. Many memories and bodily sensations accompanied the big thing, but no emotions or pain. I had to get out of the house after that came through, so I walked one of the dogs, and I felt sooooo relieved. A huge weight was lifted, I know it happened, and I can place it in a certain time period because I know the alter (that seems like such an odd thing to say).

So, I remembered the big thing and the world did not end, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse did not show up, and New York State is still on the map. Remembering is one thing. Actually processing and working with that entire episode is going to hurt a lot.

I think internal communication will be better for the time being and I’m looking forward to being a better host.

Forgot I had sewing class today

Forgot I had to cook dinner yesterday (kids reminded me)

Forgot to walk dogs

Forgot daughter had a concert a couple of nights ago

Forgot it was a holiday weekend

Forgot I had to volunteer at school

Forgot to eat again

Forgot to feed animals

Forgot to do my hair

Forgot I purchased several items at stores and on eBay until I came across receipts and items arrived in the mail

Remembered all the words to “Comfortably Numb”, “Call Me Irresponsible”, and “Artificial Flowers” while listening to my MP3 player (think there’s a connection?)

Remembered to take care of the birds

I’m trying to work with my various parts, but the resistance is very strong. I’ve tried writing, speaking out loud, speaking internally, having meetings, but it’s not working. It feels like a belligerent alter army is building inside to overthrow me. Two (or 4 or 10) can play at this game! My host army shall rise against them!

In other news I am doing better controlling my sexual self-injury, but it’s hard. I also received a call this morning from my GYN and I do have an infection, so that could be contributing to the itchy, painful feelings. So, if you do sexually self-injure, be sure it is not connected with an infection. It can be a physical as well as a psychological problem.

I am secluding myself again, too. One person I had hoped to get to know better is just using me as a sounding board to tell me her problems. So much for trying to reach out a little again. No more.

Hubby isn’t listening to me, either. Last night I was able to have a serious conversation with him and his full attention, but that was the first time in many, many days. He (and the kids) just tune me out and interrupt me most of the time. I thought I was being hypersensitive, so I kept track and they really are doing it a lot.

I was wondering………I feel I don’t have as much internal control lately and go from being very depressed to running around like a freakazoid, to crying during movies or shows, to singing and dancing along with my MP3 player, to disappointment and apathy with everything, etc.. Could that be a result of alters popping up and my not having the control over it that I felt I had a couple of weeks ago? The more difficult work we do in therapy the worse this gets. I don’t understand how I can live while trying to manage everything. I don’t understand how some of you do it. It feels overwhelming. Too much stuff. I don’t understand how I made it this far.

I’m going to try and so some work with my rebellious alter army for a bit.

Have a safe and pleasant holiday weekend you Americans. Anything special going on down under?

My Super Coping Techniques Extraordinaire (SCTE) have not been working as of late. A logical part of me says, “Duh. That’s why you can’t sleep well and you don’t stop moving or working.”. Yesterday was Therapy Day (TD) and we went over my inability to calm down, relax, sleep, eat, etc., and she had some good, obvious (to anyone but me) ideas.

* Try different imagery or coping strategies when the others are not working. An example of one is visualizing a funnel to carry away, diminish, or channel intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, etc.

* Think of food as fuel. When I don’t eat my parts will break down, wear out, fail, or become exhausted.

* Create a relaxation room inside and ask the others to be quiet. I tried this last night and it did not work. The response I got was, “You’re just another alter like us, so why should we listen to you?”. Daft bastards. When I get my hands on them………..

* Visualize creating a toolbox with tools to help me cope, eat, rest, chastise rebellious alters, etc.

I thought these were good ideas. That’s why she makes the big bucks. Since Wednesday I have tried to implement some of these with little success. I’m not sure if I’m at some weird point inside and need to take care of something else first, or if I’m too damn tired. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I know what a flashback is.

I know what a body memory is.

I’m not entirely clear about switching. It happens/happened to me, but I don’t completely understand it the way longer-term DID folk speak of it.

I have a lot of trouble saying/writing the words “alter”, “littles”, “out”, “in”, “multiple”, “system”, “host”, “core”, “we”, “integration”. I know what they mean, but it’s difficult to assign those words to me.

I know what co-consciousness is because since I’ve learned what it means I realize that is the way I have lived much of my life.

I believe (for the most part) my DID diagnosis but I don’t feel like I fit in with other DIDer’s yet.

I used to laugh off Multiple Personality Disorder years ago. I thought the people were just acting. I no longer believe that, but I’m not sure what I truly believe. I also never believed I could have severe osteoarthritis at my age, but the x-rays show it. I wish x-rays could show DID.

I never dreamed that what I went through was severe, prolonged abuse which could have made me this way.

I am afraid that when I start confronting what made me DID the world will end as I know it, but that may be a good thing.

One little, two little, three little Xanax

Four little, five little, six little Trileptal

Seven little, eight little, nine little Abilify

Ten little psychiatric drugs!

Everybody sing!

One little, two little, three little Wellbutrin

Four little, five little, six little more Xanax

Seven little, Eight little, nine little coping techniques to help with flasbacks

Ten little things I never expected I’d need after being diagnosed DID!

+++++Keep moving…..nothing to see here….+++++

Hubby inherited a little money from his grandmother, so what do we buy? Underwear and gloves. We are so exciting. Maybe we will move on to the exciting world of pencils and erasers next.

+++++Please ma’am, let the professionals do their job….+++++

Tomorrow morning I have a GYN appointment. I’m going to make sure the younger ones are safe and secure and hope my sexual self-injuries are healed. Maybe I won’t need an exam since it is a follow-up. I hope, I hope. I’m scared. If she sees it will she want me hospitalized? I already rescheduled once because of my sexual self-injurious behavior, but she is busy and I need a new prescription for my endo.

I don’t relax anymore. Pace, pace, pace….. I have sewed 6 curtains, one pair of capris, a mixer cover, two oven mitts, 2 aprons, a hot pad, and crocheted a shawl, coasters, and decorative hangings over the past week. I have cooked up a storm and cleaned a lot, too. If I relax they will all start talking and I’ll just cry and cry. If I fall asleep the nightmares will start and I can’t wake myself up from them. I’m stuck. The therapist asked me to take it easy and look what happened. At least I’m productive and not taking it out on myself or drinking anymore.

Meds are making me sleepy. Hello nightmares. Good night you lovely people.

They’re heeere…

May 24, 2010

There are little to no memories of the first university I attended. I was enrolled for two years and eventually failed, and the only memories I have are of my best friend and myself, relaxing and having a nice time. Even those memories feel scattered and I can’t say what month or year it was.

On Saturday evening a new person came through and she is holding many memories from that time. It’s shocking what I did, what happened, etc., and my mind is reeling. I expect abuse memories and the alters that saved me, but I was not expecting this wild creature. She showed me memories and feelings that I suspected, but I didn’t know where they came from. I was originally going to dismiss her and her memories because she came through while hubby and I were looking online at riding mowers and I just didn’t want to be bothered. It turned out I really didn’t have a choice.

Lothlorien has an insightful post about what is going through my head lately :

After this person came through (with a vengeance) I don’t doubt my diagnosis as strongly as I did. The memories she brought with her filled in some important gaps and explained several things. It was scary and satisfying at the same time.

I hope your week starts out well, moves on into okay, and ends on a nice note.

early morning poem

May 22, 2010

You go-go-go, can’t stop thinking/doing/moving all day

You shove/stuff it down-down-down where it seethes/writhes/wriggles

Clean-cook-shop-phone-laundry-kids and the day is done

You have avoided dealing with feelings/memories/alters/truth/yourself

You slip into unconsciousness

And it throws images/facts/people/places/symbols

And you toss-turn-moan-flail-awake

And it never went away

Because you cannot not know/remember it

Because you must see it and look at it and feel it

Again and again

Until it exhausts itself

There are some younger parts inside who feel as though they are constantly assaulted. I understand that they took the abuse and now feel safe to tell me. It can be a real pain when it happens at school, in the store, at the bank, etc., so, in the event of these experiences happening in public I have created the “Emergency Traumatic Memory Response Team” (hereafter referred to as the ETMRT) inside. When the body memories or flashbacks become too much to handle, and I cannot safely keep them quieter, two amazing women gently take the memory/flashback/alter, surround her with love, acceptance, and safety and lead her to a room where she can relax and chill out.

I bet one million bucks (American or Australian) that most of you already have a system like that in place.

I wanted it to be more dramatic, like the television show “Emergency!”, but it was too scary and dramatic so I had to tone it down. It works very well and I can have a conversation with someone outside while tackling the inner troubles. The two women seem to actually enjoy having this responsibility, too.

Anyway, it happened again today and the response team did a wonderful job. That got me wondering about how many parts there are inside. I know some are incomplete, memory fragments, or created during one specific event. I am keeping track of any names I get and the information they can give me. Stupid me…..I thought of a number that I felt was appropriate and of course I was wrong.

This week (until my next therapy appointment) is supposed to be a mentally relaxing one DID-wise. The more relaxed I am, however, the more people on the inside want to communicate. That’s fine. I write down how they feel if I am near my journals, reassure them, and ask them to move into our safe space. If I’m out in public I call on my ETMRT. I’m trying to be la-la-la, easy-going, and not pushing myself to find immediate answers. And lo! Some of the answers come to me. Who would have thought…….. I am so pathetic. I should have learned that by now. Silly me.

A few days ago I wrote about wrinkles and how old and ugly I seem in the mirror. Yesterday my daughter came home with an Avon order I placed a few weeks ago and it was chock-full of Anew 40+ items. Last night I applied them 3 times each before bed, instead of just the twice a day as recommended. So now my eyelashes will be fuller, my eyes will have an eye lift, my skin will be smooth and wrinkle-free, and my face will be firm and lovely. My hands will regain their youthful appearance as well. I really didn’t know I ordered those. I know I had ordered big hair rollers and something for the youngest, but that’s it.

Someone inside is disgusted with our physical appearance. I don’t think I’m pretty, but I don’t want to vomit over me, either. My hair is thick, straight, and past my butt, and my legs stayed fairly shapely after having 3 kids, but I am overweight. (Only 25 pounds to go!)

I wonder when I got ugly. Last year I saw the little wrinkles and the white hair and thought “Battle scars” and I was fine with them. Once I colored my hair, got some compliments, but it wasn’t me.


This morning (1:30am) I awoke in the middle of sexually self-injuring myself and in a sweat. My dreams were nightmares and I came downstairs here to start cutting. I thought what a stupid, worthless, piece-of-shit I am, and who do I think I am walking around like I’m special. Screw this. I was walking around (actually stomping) and I saw the shawl I’m crocheting.

That pattern is not too bad. Bad picture, though. Seeing that I had a talent for something made me feel a little better, but that’s the only good thing I can think of now.

One week ago I placed another Avon order and I can’t remember what I ordered besides lip gloss. I know the girls and I picked out lip glosses, but I don’t know what else. I started ordering Avon products when I was 14, so maybe it’s a younger part around that age buying some of these products.

I didn’t know I was DID until March this year. So many of you have been diagnosed for years and it’s new for me. I didn’t even know they had changed the name from MPD. Many of you talk about your Systems and how they experience your daily lives and I’m still figuring out what’s going on inside. A new person came through Tuesday afternoon. It’s amazing to me that they are separate personalities and have their own likes and dislikes. This is not what I imagined it could be like. At least I have friends now, though.

I want to be okay and I do not feel I am, or will be.

One thing that brings me pleasure is my birds. I have several feeders outside the kitchen window and a very happy (and fat) bird community. The humming birds returned 3 days ago and the grosbeaks came back as well. I feel joy when I watch them, but I can’t feel that for my own children. Man, I’m all over the place this morning.

It’s 2:30am now and I’m going to try and get back to sleep.