Keeping up with reading and writing a blog is taking a back seat to mentally and physically preparing myself for surgery in a few weeks. As DID thingies arise it’s been a little easier to handle and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to understand just how well my coping skills are working lately.

As okay as this has been going the past few weeks I have been triggered by my mother’s email-spamming (tons of stupid, usually christian, forwarded crap) and her personal emails to me. Following are her personal emails. I had thought about picking them apart and explaining the lies, stupidity, nonsense, etc., but I feel better simply posting them. It has been one year since I’ve spoken to my parents on the phone. I have never asked about them or any member of my family. I have never written them an email, only responded if necessary. So here goes the personal emails over the past month:

Apr. 18, 2011

Hi Lisa,

Just wanted you to know that we will be out of town today to wed , so if you need us for anything, you can call us on the tracfone.
We sent out the kids Easter baskets sat. Hope all is well with you and hope you two had a wonderful anniversary.

Love, mom and dad
—————————————————————
Apr. 21, 2011

We went to see your dad’s chest surgeon today and he had his CT scan of his chest before the appt and the doctor said that his chest now looks like that of a normal patient. No cancer and whatever it was that he had in the remaining lobes that the pulmonologist checked is no longer there. GOOD NEWS

Love mom and dad
—————————————————————
Apr. 30, 2011

 Good morning Lisa,

Today we are dropping you a line because you do not want us to call, to say we hope that [daughter] has a wonderful birthday and the day itself will be beautiful for her.
We were wondering also, how you made out with the storm, hope there was no damage. I was thinking about that area way in back of house that is like a swamp and if it filled up with water?  Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Love mom and dad

****NB****I have never said that I don’t want them to call****
————————————————————–
May 4, 2011

Hi honey,

Just wanted you to know that this weather craps the bed

Love, mom
—————————————————————–
May 5, 2011

Hi honey,

Dad went to dermatologist yesterday and had 3 biopsy’s of his head, they will let us know how they turn out. This man has had every part of his body biopsied.
How are you doing with your sugar and sleeping? Also your knee’s.
The sun was wonderful today.
[daughter] enjoy her birthday, did she have friends for a sleep over?

Talk to you later,
Love you, mom
————————————————————-
May 9, 2011

Howdy Lisa,

Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s day, I got thinking about it and I envisioned [daughter] and [daughter] making your dinner, since you taught them both to cook. Did they? If so , what did they make. Hope it was a day of rest for you, you need it.
Your Dad went to your grandma’s because I was sick. He got her a Jesus coffee cup that says Jesus saves and when you pour coffee in it , his beard comes off his face and it says Jesus shaves. She loved it.
Well , take care and I love you, Mom
————————————————————-
May 12, 2011

Hello my sweets,

Wanted to let you know that dad biopsies , none were cancer.
Also, we will be leaving town tomorrow morning till Sunday. It’s your dad’s once a year golf trip with the boys and so I’m going away with Sue till Sunday. You can always get a hold of me on the track phone if something happens.
This is the kind of weather I like and we have been getting a lot of outdoor work done and gardens are looking good. We really hope you can come down this summer. Have you started your vegetable garden yet?

Love, Mom
—————————————————————-
May 16, 2011

We got back yesterday. It was raining here when we left,raining where we went,raining where your dad went and raining when we came home, it’s unbelievable and it was pouring when we got up today. Unfortunately john and your dad got sick on their dinner Friday night, which curtailed their activity a little bit for rest of weekend. Sue and I had a very good time and everything went well.
Hope all is well with you. How are the girls and [son] doing?
I see your mother-in-law is having surgery, I sent her a note to let me know how she does.
Talk to you soon, Love Mom
—————————————————————

I was trying and working really hard, but these emails brought out two new alters, night terrors, panic attacks, and a sensation of being choked that keeps coming and going. My hallucinations were going away until now and my psychiatrist is scheduling a CT brain scan in July and has tweaked some medications.

I don’t delete these personal emails right away in case they are attempting to come to the house and sometimes it’s difficult to tell by her subject line.

The new alters are quite talkative and sometimes it feels like they are riding on my shoulders wherever I go, but they feel safe and comfortable. That’s what’s important, too. We need to feel safe, comfortable, aware, accepted, loved, respected and validated.

I’m not ranting really. Those little girls wouldn’t have come forward if they didn’t feel it was time, and while my coping techniques are useful for many situations I see now where I need some extra stuff.

Everything just keeps building upon the last step. I want it to reach a landing so I can take a break for a while before continuing on this healing journey.

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I wanted to write and rant but it’s sooo loud, loud, loud! Therapy left me more frustrated than ever. We talked about a million things and I cannot focus or finish a sentence or thought.

It’s hard to stop and prioritize. And I’m so tired. So much needs to be done.

I know what mom did. I see the look on her face and I hear what she said. That vindictive fucking bitch. And it’s playing over and over and over in my head.

Inside there is an alter who seems ageless and another one that feels older than me and is very nurturing and loving. I’m trying to give everything over to them so I can breathe. It’s just starting to feel a little better. It needs to feel better because I have:

* another surgery soon

* my daughter’s birthday

* my son’s preparing for college

* and basic running around for food, appointments, sports, concerts, life in general shit

Over the past week I have run out of two stores in a panic, I’m hiding in closets and behind doors in my house like I did as a kid, and continue to search for noises that turn out to be more hallucinations. I forgot my birthday (I don’t celebrate it, though), anniversary, and nearly forgot my kid’s birthday (she reminded me in time). Things are moving too fast inside and out. I cope during panic attacks, walk around the house after I wake up from increased nightmares, and load up on drugs to sleep. I look like I’ve been hit by a baseball bat and makeup doesn’t really smooth it out. On the plus side I’ve lost a dress size and bra size, but there’s more gray in my hair.

That’s my fucking rant I suppose. I’ll call the stupid psychiatrist about my stupid hallucinations and my stupid nightmares even though it’s stupid. Nyah.

DID is a busy disorder. So much to do, so little time. I feel like I am the leader of a small country with my citizens constantly clamoring to be heard.

I wanted to write about the last couple of weeks, but a few little girls need to express how they experienced mother-daughter sexual abuse.  **trigger** It goes something like this:

WHY? WHY?
I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!
STOP IT!
OKAY! OKAY!

Only she never got to say that out loud. Mom hurt her, belittled her, and made her believe what was happening was her fault. Mom stripped her essence and beat into her that she was an unworthy whore. She watched and she laughed and she did nothing. She still watches and she still laughs and she still belittles.

She hurt me and she let me be hurt. She put me in serious situations that no child should ever be in. She told me to shut up and stop faking when I said I hurt.

I have always remembered the way she treated (treats) me. I have always had little glimpses and funny feelings about other things she did to me. Now a few little girls are helping me understand what did happen and why I had those funny feelings. I’m trying very hard to accept and respect their experiences. These girls hurt so bad. I’m beginning to feel their rage, humiliation, and disgust and I keep pushing it down so I can get through the day.

Tomorrow is therapy and I hope I can bring these girls to the forefront and learn to work through these feelings safely.

I didn’t mean to trigger anyone.

Today in therapy I named names and began to graphically described what happened. I have been waiting all day for paranoia to set in, but it’s calm inside. Part of me wants to write my therapist a letter asking her to not accept large amounts of cash for giving me up to those people (in case they find out somehow). Sometimes I believe the office is bugged, but I don’t care right now.

I want to see my grandchildren someday so I hope I don’t get killed for telling her. It took me over one year to really trust her and I don’t want her to turn out to be a spy for those people. When I got home I closed all the curtains and stayed away from the doors.

Maybe these fears will go away someday.

The abusers stopped by on Sunday. Mom is playing a “Let’s pretend we’re a great, big, healthy, happy family” game, but not my dad, and that won’t last long anyhow, and my kids didn’t fall for it. They are fading away and are miserable, disgusting, ugly creatures. I’m glad for that.

No triggers, no nightmares, nothing. We are in total control with them. When we motioned for them to leave they did. No kind words and hardly a goodbye. It was nice.

We have a plan in place should they want to stop by again.

It’s good to feel above and beyond them right now.

The week before my mom sent me a box in the mail. There was no note, just a photo album. The pictures were ones she had told us were missing nearly fifteen years ago. I didn’t look at all of the pictures, but the few I did see were of me naked (as a toddler) or in sexy poses. I remember  that some of those pictures had been in a certain album which had disappeared, but I have no memory of the pictures being taken. She wrote something either on the photos or ripped off pieces of paper, wrote on them, and put them with the pictures. It’s just crazy. I did ask my therapist to look at them last week and she suggested a couple of things: Place them carefully in a box and save them for much later to look at (right again, Meredith!), or take one picture at a time and journal about how I feel when I look at them.

I didn’t acknowledge that I received the photos and mom didn’t ask about them when she was here.

It feels good to get bored with their desperate tactics to try and regain some control over me.

It’s a relief that I don’t need to pop Xanax at the mention of them.

I still wish they would explode or fall into a whirling vortex of Chaos (hmmm….like “Event Horizon” maybe?), but I and my family can deal with their shit and they can’t hurt us.

Ahem. The Committee of the System would like to express their heartfelt appreciation for your existence (that being anyone who stops by to read this crap). Your words, your experiences, and your support help us move through life.

Sometimes I imagine that those who are further along the healing path have access to great wisdom and insight. And when you step away from the computer flowers sprout from beneath your feet and faeries toss rose petals on your path. Don’t tell me this doesn’t really happen, or my illusions will be shattered forever.

I know that when I get up from the computer I’ll drag my ass to the kitchen and get to work, but the sky won’t open up and a rainbow won’t light my path (I KNOW that’s how it happens with some of you).

My life is boring. The only excitement comes from battling and bargaining with my inner demons and demonettes, working through new memories, and figuring out which sounds are real and which are hallucinations.

I think my life would make a great movie…….. There’s drama, tragedy, sudden plot twists, action, adventure, travel, life-altering moments…….

So I remembered some scary, filthy stuff, but the little girls who experienced it didn’t think it was scary or filthy. It just was. That is simply what happened. They were so relieved to share what they went through, and I need to feel relieved also.

I’m also hearing things several times a day and it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s a real sound and what’s not. My therapist wants me to call the psychiatrist but I’m afraid to. One sound in particular confounds me. It’s a record player and the needle is all the way at the end of the record, making that sound over and over. The strange thing about it is that I can actually walk around the sound. It’s as though the record player is right in front of me, invisible, and I can move around it. It makes me feel crazy. Maybe it’s a ghost. I’ve asked inside if anyone can help me learn where this record player is from but I have no answer yet. I did tell my therapist about it, though.

Many of the sounds are triggering and I won’t write about them here. I would rather have the “usual” flashbacks. My husband said it must be similar to what some Vietnam soldiers experienced and people thought they were crazy. I’d like to know what they are from so I can help and work through it.

One thing that does help is playing non-English radio stations loudly on the Sirius/XM radio. That and trying to crochet and watch a subtitled movie at the same time.

Everyone is gone now and I’ve rambled on enough. Time to make it less quiet here.

From what I have read over the past years a high pain tolerance may be an aftereffect of child abuse. I think I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and I compare most pain to labor, which was the most pain I ever experienced, but dammit I was going to deliver that baby naturally! I did, and now I have a threshold with which every other pain in the Universe is compared to. (N.B. The other two kids were c-section, but I think I would have asked for the meds.)

So when I experience pain, say pain that feels like a lightning bolt ripping through the lower left side of my abdomen, I think…”Well I can still make dinner and I’m not incapacitated, and I got through labor, so this should go away and be fine.” and I get on with life. La-la-la… When the pain moves across my back and I need to lay down for a bit I think…”Oh, maybe my period is coming.” La-la-la… If the pain is still there when I wake up and roll over in the morning I think… “Either there really is a sharp, hot metal pipe in me that I seem to have missed or perhaps it should be checked out.”.

Physical pain is nothing. I’m proud that I can put my head through a television and still shop for groceries. I can still drive with a pitchfork in my ears, too. That is also why I miss warning signs.

I almost missed this warning sign, but hubby helped me decide to go to my gynecologist. It was a good idea, maybe he really does care about me, and it’s fucked-up in there. Not an emergency, but I’m on hormones to do this-and-that and there will be surgery soon. (and I was gently chastised about comparing my pain to others or labor) After all, if I don’t have at least one surgery a year I simply don’t know what to do with myself!

I did the same thing with my gall bladder, arthritis, and pleurisy.

I’m curious to know if other survivors, DIDer’s, C-PTSDer’s, etc. also have a high pain tolerance, or are afraid to show pain in front of others. Now I feel stupid for not listening to my body.

Note to Self

March 22, 2011

There are many things I need to keep reminding myself of. Things such as:

*My opinion is not important

*I enjoy being interrupted mid-sentence since I couldn’t possibly have anything relevant or interesting to say

*I really do only exist to serve others (Bene Gesserit maybe? If you get this reference I’ll love you forever.)

*It’s not necessary that I have time to myself

*I must always be at the beck and call of others, and always within hearing range

*If anything should happen to me I must deal with it alone and unsupported

*Anything medical-related is my own problem and cannot inconvenience anyone else

*I am responsible for any and all negative happenings to anyone

*The only hobbies I need to have are those that benefit others in any way I can

*There is nothing I can do or say that have any worthwhile contribution in human society

If all you knew for years and years and years was abuse then you make decisions based on that experience. Can changes be made? Yes. Is it worth the pain, agony, misunderstanding, confusion, and anger to make those changes? Maybe. Do you need to reinforce those changes constantly? Yes. Does it ever end? I doubt it. Will you die frustrated and unfulfilled? Probably. Is this what life is all about? I have no fucking idea.

When I was young I used to pray and talk to god and I could feel his love as a warm blanket, wrapping me up. Now I know it was dissociation.

I could feel Jesus laying down next to me in bed and I loved him like an older, protective brother. But I was dissociating.

When I received the sacraments I felt the holy spirit blessing me. I was dissociating.
When I was eighteen and found Wicca I knew that was the goddess spilling into me and encircling me. It was really dissociation.

During Ceremonial Magick rituals I felt I was a conduit between worlds. But I was dissociated.

This is absolutely not meant to mock anyone’s spiritual experiences. It is my story of what happened when I received my DID diagnosis. When I left the office that day I tried to find solace and understanding in my pagan faith. There was nothing. No “whoosh” like I had felt before, no connection when I prayed or did a ritual. It felt like a switch turned off. It felt like my spiritual life was a lie and I was abandoned. The new knowledge of these other parts protecting me and existing within me made me feel naked and stupid.

A few months later I boxed up all of my personal tools, clothes, books, and supplies. My kids still believe, and when they talk about gods, goddesses, faeries, and invisible connections I sometimes want to scream how it’s all a lie. I know it’s not a lie for them, and I’m glad they have faith. My husband still practices and he feels sorry for me because I’ve lost faith in anything beyond the physical.

Layer after layer is revealed until I’m just a naked, unwanted child. It makes me feel cold and cynical. It makes me want to stop everything – eating, walking, waking up, talking… It makes me angry. It makes me feel stupid for espousing my beliefs and practicing so openly.

It has been a year since my diagnosis and there is still nothing. The less I dissociate the more I see how dumb I am. Now I can see my real face in the mirror and it’s wrinkled and looks like my parents.

I was hoping that by now I would feel something. If I felt that connection again, if I could see faeries again, or marvel at nature, or be amazed at anything outside (or inside) myself I think I would know there is a reason for anything.

It has been difficult finding my voice, but it was behind the couch the whole time. (c’mon…laugh…it was cute…)

Hubby and I made a decision last year about how to end contact with my parents. We chose to do it step-by-step and thus far it is working. We also knew that my parents would work very hard to regain some control over me and that it would be difficult to ride through in the short term. I told him that they would, at least through their words, play a pseudo-legal game as a threat, even if they just hint at it. And so they have already. It’s just their game, and it is only words from desperate people, and we’re handling it okay. They like to threaten (even if it’s a subtle threat) and manipulate. They’re special that way.

A few therapy sessions ago my therapist said that we could consider legal avenues if we feel it necessary and I would have her support.

So anyway…I know many people don’t agree with the way we are handling this, but we feel it is the best way at this time. We know how my parents think and so far have been ahead of their games, remained safe and in control, and have support. Those issues alone are so very important. Had we suddenly ended contact it would have created far more complicated problems. Situations are different and this is working best for our situation.

This is the email we received last weekend:

> To: “Lisa”
> Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2011 1:17:32 PM
> Subject: VISITATION RIGHTS
>
>
> As grandparents, we hereby insist that you pick a day, Saturday or Sunday, between now and March 31st, to allow us to visit with your family.  If you’re lucky, we may bring a ‘token’ for you, as a recognition of your birth.
>
> Please consider, and reply at your earliest.
>
> Dad

My response:

> April 3rd or April 10th is best for us. No need to bring a ‘token’ for anything, we’re fine.

And then:

>Hi honey,

>We will see you on April 3rd, what time is good for you? We will not bring any ‘token’, we are just bringing the birthday presents we got you, so if you do not get a card on your birthday, please do not think we forgot. We would not forget your birthday Let us know a good time.>Love you, Mom

I don’t acknowledge my parent’s birthdays and my mom recently had one. That’s what her condescending little jab is about. The subject “VISITATION RIGHTS” is a pseudo-legal threat from them. Writing the words out is supposed to slip into my subconscious and bend me to their will. I’m serious. That’s how they think. As if they’re spies or something.

My therapist agrees with our approach and the way I am keeping boundaries and control.

An important realization over the past week is the fact that my parents gaslighted me. By constantly telling me, as well as family and friends, I am a liar and a faker and threatening me besides made it impossible to accept the belief in my own existence. If what I went through happened, and yet I’m being barraged with “You’re always making things up.”, “You never tell the truth.”, “No one can ever trust what you say.”, “Stop faking it. You’re not really hurt.”, it’s no surprise I can’t tell what is real. One incident in particular stands out. My parents took the day off work to meet with my 2nd grade teacher and tell her how I constantly lie, so anything I may have told her is unbelieveable. I don’t remember what I told my teacher, just the meeting. Accepting this truth also brought with it sensations of being choked and dry heaves. No anxiety though, and only a single thought of self-harming.

No one else in my life has not believed me or told me to shut up and stop lying. No one else has questioned what I believed happened in any circumstance. My parents constantly played these head games to the point where I question my own exsitence.

It is such a relief to understand this. I feel like “Yay! I’m not totally nuts, just broken!”. Broken I think I can work with. Being insane means “Why bother?” to me.

For the most part, life sucks, but it’s workable. I’m not in my happy space yet and these understandings and other crap are extremely tiring. I don’t know if this is a good post, but I am curious if anyone else went through something similar with their parents. I am also very nervous about what the next phase of healing will be like. Today I feel like I took a big step forward and banished some of my negative ways of thinking. Ways of thinking that were not even mine to begin with.