Thank you for the well wishes! That was sweet.

My surgery wasn’t what anyone expected. Sometimes I think that doctors don’t tell you everything because then you would never have the surgery done in the first place. Anyhoo…what happened was extremely triggering and I can’t write about it, but it was necessary and I’ll work through it. I’m trying to focus on healing from this physical present trauma so we can be healthy enough to move on mentally and psychologically.

Yesterday I was resting and playing with my Netflix-streaming PS3 and I found a show called “Obsessed”. Has anyone heard of this or watched it? I watched one episode and I liked it, but I felt the 3-month super-intervention-now-you’re-healed was too good to be true. I was very happy for the people it helped, but I wish they could have said whether or not these people continued with therapy or had a relapse.

Hmmm…what else……narcotic painkillers rock. Sometimes Saltine crackers are the greatest food on Earth. Chocolate and peanut butter ice cream could quite possibly bring about world peace and stop global warming.

Tai recommended a web site: http://www.hystersisters.com and I posted a question concerning the outcome of my surgery. I’d like to post it here as well, and if anyone has information, or can point me in the right direction that would be great. So far my searches have brought up very technical information, and I can’t get to a library for some time.  the title of my post is “Surprise uterine suspension” and here is my question:

“Tuesday (Sept. 28, 2010) I had a 2-for-1 surgery. A lap for what we thought was more endo and/or ovarian cysts, and a TVTO for incontinence. I came home with a uterine suspension and I feel a little lost. It wasn’t expected, and I know the surgeon wouldn’t know exactly what was going on until he got in there, but I don’t even know what questions to ask about it.

I can already feel a difference (back pain virtually gone, no more running to the bathroom and no accidents yet), but the 3-6 month recovery really caught me by surprise. I’m a SAHM, 43 years old, and do most of the housework. We are assigning new chores to the kids and rearranging the kitchen quick so I can cook.

I did a search on this site for “uterine suspension” and “prolapsed uterus” but found just a smidgen of info, which was helpful, but several of the recommended links no longer exist and the last post was from 2002.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Are there specific questions I should be asking my doctor? Is there anyone who could tell me about the long-term effects?

Any information is greatly appreciated. Thanks.”

Back to bed to rest for a bit.

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This is a copy of a letter I wrote to my therapist. I’ll give it to her at my next appointment. It feels much better since I wrote it, but I don’t really understand why yet.

##Trigger – please be careful-##
*I really want to be better inside. Sometimes it’s hard for me to put my trust in you and let my real feelings come out. I don’t even know what those feelings would be. I want to do more than I am and sometimes I am afraid to do the work necessary. I’m embarrassed to walk in your office, I feel like everyone is watching and everyone knows there is something horribly wrong with me. I’m afraid to walk out of your office for the same reason, but in your office I feel okay.

Some days I don’t believe I have DID and I argue with myself until I realize I’m arguing with another part inside. They come out of nowhere with their responses, ideas, memories, feelings, and questions. They don’t often feel like a part of me. It’s difficult to connect with them. Some have names, some don’t. This morning I recovered a memory and thought to myself, “Oh, okay.”, and tried to go on with my day. It didn’t just go away. It never really does. In response to the memory a part of me was urging me to masturbate and the good feeling will make the bad ones go away. This time I told the whole System that I felt we needed to find a more mature method of handling this. I actually felt a conversation between parts. It was so odd. There was an agreement to find different solutions and I tried to help the younger part that suggested masturbation understand why that decision was reached.

I used to think I was strong and smart, but I don’t anymore. I used to have a large vocabulary and now I can’t find those words anymore. I write like a kid.

I just needed to write this out.*

The masturbation is sexual self-injury because it doesn’t often end well. The memory was of being orally raped and seeing baby blocks and pre-school toys on a changing table across the room. That, at least, gives me a time frame.

##End trigger##

I didn’t copy my letter here to trigger anyone, rather, I don’t believe I am the only one that has ever felt like this. I feel empty, alone, useless and stupid. It probably means something because I am actually feeling. Huzzah.

It has been a very difficult week so far and next Tuesday I’m having surgery. I’m finding it nearly impossible to prepare for recovering, but everything usually works out.

I am expecting lots and lots of well wishes next Tuesday! So, don’t forget! I probably won’t read them until Wednesday or Thursday so you have an extra day or two. As far as prezzies go……buy yourselves something special because I think all of you are so very special.

poem

September 20, 2010

Not here, nor there
or anywhere

Up, up, up she goes

Silly girl
you can’t fly

So down, down, down
and a great big thud

Deep, deep, deep she tries
the dark, dark sees
and the dark knows

And the dark puts her
here or there
or anywhere

Where she is nobody knows

Nap time….or is it?

September 15, 2010

It’s chilly here. The temperature starts in the 40’s and slowly drifts way up in to the 60’s, but not until late afternoon. The pellet stove is on and my handspun silk and onion-dyed wool, and alpaca wristwarmers are on (Yes, they are lovely. That’s why they are mine and not for sale.). Even the dogs are in front of the pellet stove.

A short time ago I woke up from a four-hour “nap”. It was originally intended to be a nap but it turned into a System classroom/board meeting/rally/conference, interrupted with actual napping. For several days I have had Earthquake Headaches and could not find any relief for them. If they lasted through the weekend I was going to schedule an appointment because no pain reliever, allergy medicine, or muscle relaxant could relieve them. I assumed it was a result of the kids back at school and my husband back at work after nine days or so of caring for him. However, I now believe the headaches were caused by those on the inside needing to give me information, their points of view, or needing to be recognized within the System.

When I read other people’s blogs and they describe, or know that they have switched, I’m almost jealous. Here I have this DID diagnosis, my therapist sees it, my husband sees it, all of the signs are there, but I often don’t believe it. Well, I go back-and-forth, I guess. I have lost several months of time, so I read over my posts here to see what I was doing or thinking, and usually I can access those memories afterward, but I don’t have a name for whomever it was running the show at that time. Several months ago I did have several alter’s names, but only two have stayed by me, accessible at all times. I know that’s normal for alters to come and go.

Back to my nap. I laid down with the headache and tried to sleep. Then, like a classroom, questions, suggestions, and answers started. The alters asked questions, I asked questions, they showed me the memories and emotions they held, back-and-forth, little nap, back to questions and answers and memories……… I feel it was a backlog. Before summer started and I was home with the kids I was writing questions to my alters in a special journal, writing their information on index cards, and having daily meetings. Then I stopped for three-and-a-half months. Then the Earthquake Headache hit. Coincidence? I think not, sir!

I could have stayed in bed all day. It was warm and a warm, fuzzy thing was purring next to my head. I feel funky but much of the headache is gone. Someone in this group wrote about headaches being a signal to ask what’s going on inside if nothing else worked, but I can’t remember who. I need to bake lemon bars and get my strength back.

Scream

September 13, 2010

Has your throat ever hurt terribly because you cannot scream?

Meredith  (http://healingminds.wordpress.com/ ) recently wrote about silent screams, and I have been holding my screams in for days. It just burns. I cannot scream until tomorrow. I’m afraid that once it starts it will escalate into self-injury if I feel I cannot control it.

I suppose I will find out tomorrow.

…shhh…they’re gone…

September 9, 2010

…..shhhhh……..they are all out of the house right now……..kids in school, hubby at a dentist appointment…..I am all alone and it’s GREAT!!! Damn, I hope that wasn’t too loud………

One whole fucking week! Twenty-four fucking hours a day! For the next hour I have the computer, kitchen, television, living room, and Sirius/XM radio all to myself. There will not be another time like this until next Monday. Hubby has had a rough time since his wisdom teeth came out and I took good care of him. It was his first operation and his first experience with narcotic painkillers.

I think everyone inside handled it fairly well, except for some sexual self-injury which I felt unable to control. Lots and lots of nightmares and only one panic attack. One phone call and psycho email from my mother which threw me for a loop and I’m never going out in public in this town again because I just say embarrassing things. I was triggered by an invitation to a 25+ year high school reunion, my youngest playing with Barbies, and the show “Masterchef” which I don’t watch but was on when I walked in the room. So… not too bad. It’s not like I’m keeping track or anything.

Today is therapy, which is always sheer delight, and then I am making Scotch eggs which should result in a heart attack later this evening. But it will be worth it. I only make them once or twice a year because it takes that long for our bodies too digest all of it.

Be good to yourself, people!

Panic attack (Taken from Anxiety Disorders Association of America: http://www.adaa.org)

“A panic attack is defined as the abrupt onset of intense fear that reaches a peak within a few minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

  • a feeling of imminent danger or doom
  • the need to escape
  • heart palpitations
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • shortness of breath or a smothering feeling
  • a feeling of choking
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • nausea or abdominal discomfort
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • a sense of things being unreal, depersonalization
  • a fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • a fear of dying
  • tingling sensation
  • chills or heat flush

Since many of the symptoms of panic disorder mimic those of illnesses such as heart disease, thyroid problems, and breathing disorders, people with panic disorder often make many visits to emergency rooms or doctors’ offices, convinced they have a life-threatening illness. It often takes months or years and a great deal of frustration before receiving the correct diagnosis.” – Hell yeah!

I know that many of us have experienced this, or parts of us have. What I don’t always understand is why, or what is triggering it. The more I think about it, the worse the symptoms become. If I’m alone it can be excruciating trying to decide whether or not I should call the EMT’s. If someone I trust is around they usually know how to help me understand what’s happening and how to bring me back down. That would be only one person and doctors that I’d trust.

It’s embarrassing for me when it happens in public and I have to leave, or I’m near some doctor’s office and I run in there. I feel like I can’t ever return to that store or office. It’s not quite as embarrassing when it happens in front of my family, but I am ashamed when it’s over.

What can help to manage these attacks? Well, many of the same techniques many of us use when we are triggered might help.  Again from http://www.adaa.org:

“When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, these strategies will help you cope:

  • Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
  • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
  • Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
  • Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
  • Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
  • Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
  • Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
  • Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
  • Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
  • Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.

Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress

For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity (such as jogging or swimming laps), or a combination of the two.

  • 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
  • Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
  • Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find it’s more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
  • Recruit an “exercise buddy.” It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
  • Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.”

I look at that list and see that I just might be able to do 10-20% of the ideas on that list. First of all, I am not often aware that I’m having a panic or anxiety attack. I cannot imagine being in the middle of one and suddenly thinking, “Golly. Why can’t I simply accept that I cannot control everything?”, and then finding some relief. That sounds ludicrous. Exercise buddy? Fuck you. I’m lucky if I can get to the mailbox, or make it through the grocery store in one piece, much less try to find someone I trust to exercise with. I don’t want to find anyone anyhow.

I wonder if these techniques ever really help anyone. Many of you have repeatedly written that we need to find what works for us, and that it may take some time. Is that specific to those of us with DID (or my previous diagnosis of schitzotypal personality disorder)? We have to weed through well-proven ways of coping to not-quite-as-well-known ways to help an entire System.

At this point in my life I cope (or at least try to) with frequent panic attacks by utilizing the following:

*ice cream

*Star Trek

*very funny and intelligent movies or t.v. shows

*cleaning gross things like toilets, frog tanks, dog poop, and litter boxes

*brushing my hair really hard

*Twizzlers

*singing classic New Wave songs really loud

*attacking unsuspecting, fluffy, cute kitties

None of those coping techniques are on any list I’ve seen yet. Right now that often works for me. Oh yeah, and sometimes a Xanax.

I hate writing a post like yesterday’s because I know it’s not going to last even if I really, really do not think about it. Yes, I know someone inside is thinking that, too, and they may have something to do with sabotaging those “feel good” times.

Well, I have finished my mint chocolate chip ice cream, written this out, and feel better for it. Thanks for reading.

Unnaturally nice

September 4, 2010

It’s been four days of straight what-I-would-consider normal. Laughter, food, kids, watching the birds, walking the dogs, cooking together, movie marathons, video games, painting pictures……..it feels like it’s too good to be true. It feels…….dare I say………….nice. I remember everything, my smile is natural, and I think I’ve been happy. I’m afraid I’ve been happy. Hugs and kisses don’t feel funny. Dogs sleeping with me isn’t uncomfortable. I know the face in the mirror and it hasn’t changed. I feel good in these clothes and I didn’t lose it at the grocery store, bank, drug store or restaurant.

This is so unnatural. I feel and it isn’t hurting. I’m scared. But for now I also feel good! Hope it lasts a little longer or else I won’t have anything to talk about in therapy! 🙂

Respect your alters, part 2

September 1, 2010

So, Seroquel sucks. I’d rather continue to experience psychotic symptoms than deal with that crap (Hello shadow people whom I don’t recognize and voices just behind and to the right of me!).  The Seroquel allergic reaction sent me spinning into Nearly Unbearable Anxiety Land, but it felt like it was getting out of control in comparison to the swallowing of the one pill. This is how I have been feeling:

*potential medical trigger*

This past week I have been trying self-soothing, blah-blah-blah and I keep reminding myself that we must get it together before tomorrow because my husband is having his wisdom teeth removed. The more I remind myself, the worse the anxiety becomes. So, as I’m putting the groceries away this morning I say to myself, “What’s the problem? You went through the same thing 25 years ago!”. And that’s when the memories exploded. I was 19, my mother took me to the oral surgeon on the bus, the actual procedure was never explained to me, and when I walked into a nearly empty room with sharp instruments about, the technician made me sit in the chair and promptly strapped my arms down, shoved a needle in my arm and began counting, “100, 99, 98…”. It was terrifying. That poor 19 year-old has been trying to tell me all this time how it really felt for her that day.

I feel so much better now. I’m pretty calm, ready to take care of hubby and very hungry. It never occurred to me to dig deeper and understand why I’ve been so anxious and thinking I would end up in the hospital for a while with either a stroke, heart attack, or breakdown.

What happened after my wisdom teeth were removed was nearly as traumatic, but I can use those memories to give my family what I didn’t get when I needed it. Awww…..that’s almost poetic…but not quite……