Febuary 9th Was a Long Day

February 10, 2011

Step 1. Ask therapist to PROMISE not to get mad at you before you even sit on the floor.

Step 2. Hand her suicide kit containing 40-50 narcotic pain killers, X-Acto knife, and alcohol pads along with note for her that reads “I’m really, really, really sorry”, etc., and expresses urge to self-harm while she watches.

Step 3. Let it all fall out. Don’t think about anything. Just let it fall, fall, fall, fall out.

Step 4. Buy a Caramel Mocha at McDonald’s, after she feels you can drive, with the window down, so that freezing cold keeps you aware all the way home.

Step 5. Don’t stop at the grocery store. That is a bad idea.

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Becoming more self-aware is a huge challenge. As I try to learn to be self-aware I am finding that:

*30 minutes has gone by

*My nails have been polished

*I made cookie dough and it tastes great

*The birds are beautiful against the white snow

*All of my clothes, and the kids clothes are put away
In other words I have dissociated and distracted myself in order to not be self-aware. So, what could I possibly be afraid of? I am afraid that the more aware I become:

*the more I will know about the ugly, horrible things

*the more ashamed I will be

*the more I’ll hate myself

*the more I will eat

*the more I will hurt myself

*the more I will want to kill myself

Is self-knowledge worth the possibility of experiencing these fears and having to deal with them? Yep. If I think about this logically I believe that what will really happen is that I will become depressed, and that’s part of what I pay my therapist and psychiatrist to help me with.

When I try to be self-aware about my feelings or experiences I sometimes become overwhelmed, experience flashbacks and usually turn to:

*masturbation

*cutting

*hitting

*overeating

Those actions make the bad feelings go away for the moment. Then I get to experience the shame of doing those actions later which compounds the problem and impedes my healing process.

I have gone around and around with this and these short-term, unhealthy behaviors. The only thing that has helped at all is saying out loud as the adult that I am, “This is not a healthy way to cope. We need to learn new, healthier ways to deal with the overwhelming feelings. If we do those old things then we can’t move forward and be a good mom or crochet things for our etsy shop.”. There have been only two times that saying this has not worked, and I say it A LOT.

A huge downside to learning to become more self-aware is that a part of me made a suicide kit. I was hoping to give it to my therapist yesterday but I had to cancel due to a snow day. The box is new, clean and well-prepared. It’s disconcerting, but I don’t believe it is a serious threat at the moment. It feels more like a “Ha-ha. Look what I did behind your back!” from an adolescent part.

I had hoped that after a year of therapy I would be past all this. Same therapist, same psychiatrist, and I just creep along. It’s not that I mind the creeping too much, I’m simply tired of it. I think a lot about becoming self-aware, but it’s hard work to do it. I firmly believe that where the mind goes, the body will follow, and vice versa, but it doesn’t hold up as well in DID Land.

This was written for me. I want to know where I am and where I think about going. I want to be strong and healthy and a good person. As many times as I say that, though, it feels almost unreachable.

We talked about why I felt I wasn’t using my time in therapy to a better advantage, and why I felt I couldn’t bring the emotions of the girls in my flashbacks together with the adult who is overwhelmed with what happened. My therapist asked me how I usually felt when I did that with her during our hour and I had no clue. I often say, “I think I’m good to drive.” at the end of the hour, but have little to no memory of what went on. This didn’t bother me before because I didn’t realize it. So how do you know if you’re making progress if you can’t remember?

If you can’t remember an hour with your therapist, which I feel is an important hour, or have no memory of any holidays prior to 1998, where is this healing going? 1968-1972 is gone. 1974-1977 is gone. 1979 is gone. 1983-1989 is gone. Much of 1994-1997 is gone, too. I’m slowly understanding the reasons those years are gone. My thought is that dissociating is such a natural response that it happens for any little stressful or emotional reason.

My therapist and I felt it might be a good idea not to read any books about DID or sexual abuse during this phase of treatment. We discussed that a couple of months ago. I’m not reading as many blogs, or I stop reading if it becomes a teeny bit triggering.

Suicidal ideation is at an all-time high. Self-injury continues. So, I’m not reading books or as many blog entries, I’m getting more exercise, eating better, pursuing hobbies, and trying to maintain some stability inside. Is it too much? Where the hell am I in healing? Which part of DID therapy is this called, the Try As You Might You’ll Still Fuck-Up?

I don’t want to rant. I want to be supportive and informative. I want people to say, “Thanks! That really helped.”. All I see is a chubby, short, middle-aged woman who constantly beats her head (literally) against the wall and cannot come together inside or outside.

Here.  Have a picture.

We made us a house

December 12, 2010

The people inside (who are NOT paying rent)  made a house all by themselves. I found it the other night while trying to make some sense of the chaos that’s been going on  inside lately. There are several large, brightly-lit rooms but very little furniture. The walls are almost pastel yellow with white moulding. In one corner there is a half-finished staircase leading upstairs, which hasn’t been built yet. There are two doors that I know of. One is in the living room and the other is a large, steel, locked and bolted door which leads to the Forbidden Basement (a young part’s name for it).

People are moving about rather freely within the house, though some seem to prefer staying in separate areas, and not all are aware of each other.

Some of the hellish images and chaotic noise has been coming from the area of the Forbidden Basement. The insanity that I felt was a combination of whatever is in the basement mixed with younger parts pushing against the door to close it. Once I realized that I made sure that door was closed and locked. I don’t know what triggered those images and noises yet, and I don’t want to dwell on it, either.

I have no conscious memory of helping to create this home and I was confused and impressed when I discovered it. It also makes me feel shitty, because I have been neglectful in this area. Sometimes things happen so fast that I can only cope and forget to check in on everyone inside.

I didn’t think I would create a house, because this house is similar to the one I grew up in, structurally. I was planning on a cozy cave, like some of the ones I’ve seen pictures of in Australia. Everything inside is different, though. I didn’t think I had any deep, dark, evil stuff either. Some are holding secrets and had experiences that made them feel that way, but I’m not prepared to deal with that now.

Between my husband, my therapist, the few things that have arrived in the mail that I bought unaware, the drawings, and the journal entries it appears that I am losing time, switching, and just zoning out. You know that feeling you get when you become so dizzy and tingly, and then it feels like you are being wiped off of your own face? I’m fighting that every day lately. Not the entire day, since I seem to be losing that particular fight every so often. However, I did buy some really nice Hanes shirts and sweats for everyone but me, and got free shipping! Even when I dissociate I’m a good shopper.

Last Friday, during therapy, she told me to call whenever I need to during the holiday if I need to talk. I hate that. What did she see during our session to tell me that? I have another appointment this Wednesday and then I’m on my own for a little bit before I see her again.

This was supposed to be a ho-hum holiday. I think that if I’m doing much of the work in the body I should have more say in what goes on, but noooooo……..

 

remembering

November 5, 2010

I don’t want to feel like a little girl anymore. Sometimes it felt good and she can’t understand why the rest of the System is reeling.  When it was scary it was very scary. I used to be two years old, and I know what it felt like to live in that little body. Names and faces of people I haven’t thought about in years are back. I felt funny about them back then and I’m learning why. I know why some people disappeared from my life so completely and no one ever mentioned their name again. I’ve learned why I behaved certain ways when I was with certain people, even if we weren’t alone. I know why certain people stayed away from me. I know that some people suspected something bad was happening and were so very nice to me. I was a very strong, strange girl.

 

This flood gates are open, but that’s the way I work in general. Get it out, get it over with and deal with it. So it’s coming up and out. I’m very good in emergency situations. I react quickly, seek help and provide immediate first aid. It’s just odd applying such skills internally.

So I switch frequently, even in therapy sometimes. I’m dizzy most of the time, I vomit nearly every day, and my vision is often blurry. On the up side, the house stays moderately clean, my System is communicating better, people get where they need to go, and there is food on the table. If I can maintain that I think I can stay safe.

Be good to yourselves.

Fun with flashbacks

October 26, 2010

It’s fun with flashbacks again. All day, all night! Straight from my brain. No middlewoman necessary.

There are many things in this world that I am skeptical of. It may be that I simply don’t want to believe that people are capable of horrific acts against each other. I want to believe in the power of love for children. I want everyone to support each other and help their fellow humans.

My flashbacks tell me a different story, and it is mentally and physically excruciating to even type this little post about it. It reminds me of the movie Howl’s Moving Castle when the Witch of the Waste put a spell on Sofie so she would not be able to tell who put the curse on her. During each flashback I need to constantly reassure the alter holding the memory that she is safe and she doesn’t have to hold this secret any longer. It hurts my chest, it makes me panic, I start sweating profusely, and I fight hard not to dissociate. I’m not forcing the memory, just supporting the alter and letting her know that it is okay if she wants to share it now. Sometimes I only get a glimpse of the memory, sometimes I get quite a bit. Either way I am in shock. I never judge the alter’s experience. I let it come through and then support the alter in our safe space.

There is a lot to take in, and while the alter firmly believes it is the truth, I feel skeptical and I don’t really know what to think. So much of what I believed has already gone kablooey that I am trying to take these memories seriously. I want my alters to trust me and have faith in me. Eventually I would like us to come together, or work together.

Therapy was very intense last week and I know that is one of the reasons for these flashbacks. At the end of my session I showed my therapist pictures of my children. I think that after one year with her I feel that she is an important part of my family and many of my defenses are coming down. My next appointment is Thursday and I just keep writing down these flashbacks to go over with her. I am coping okay, but it takes all day to cope!

I was going to delete my blog because it is becoming so painful, but I know I’m not the only one who has experienced times like these. Well, back to Coping Land!

***religious trigger***

I used to love Jesus. He was my brother and loving friend. Sometimes I dreamed that he was having sex with me, and that bothered me so much that I asked my priest about it in the confessional. The priest told me it was okay and my dreams symbolized Jesus’ ultimate love for me and that it was nothing to be ashamed of. Often at night I could feel Jesus lying next to me in bed and I felt safe. Later, and before therapy, I realized it was actually my father lying next to me, molesting me, and I was using  Jesus so I wouldn’t have to deal with what was really happening to me in my bed.

By the time I was 18 I completely lost my Catholic faith, and it’s very difficult for me to read or hear about abuse survivors finding their strength to recover from abuse through their Christian faith. I am very glad that it is helping them, but I get tired of reading about it. I honestly mean no offense whatsoever. I used to believe too, and quite fervently.

At this time I have no faith in anything whatsoever. I feel that I used Jesus, God, whatever to blind me and protect myself from what was actually happening. I used them just as my brain used different personalities to protect me. Using Jesus and God was a conscious decision that I remember. The alter personalities were an unconscious decision, I feel.

I cannot relate to those who have found solace and hope and strength in their faith of choice. I often come across blogs or articles written by survivors and whose stories I can understand until it gets near the end and I read something to the effect of, “And I would not have gotten this far without the help of Jesus (God, deity of choice).”. That means nothing to me. I have NEVER responded negatively to anyone who feels that way. I have NEVER responded negatively to anyone who has written “I will pray for you”, or “I will keep you in my prayers”. I truly appreciate those considerations. That means a lot to me. Anyone who would ever think of me, wish me well, or consider me in a positive way is super-duper in my book. I feel the same for others as well.

I would never try to undermine anyone’s faith. It simply doesn’t make sense to me and is not part of my present makeup. I know that in a large part this is a reaction to my abuse and the fact that my family were strict Irish Catholics. I also attended Catholic school K-12. I did everything I thought I was supposed to and still ended up here. I’m no Job, nor do I want to be.

This rant may also be a reaction to my surgery last week and inability to do many of the things I normally do. Perhaps my mind is wandering around looking for other things to be upset about instead of just looking at my belly all cut up.

***Sexual Trigger***

Part of the surgery involved 4 vaginal incisions. I didn’t know about that part of the surgery until the next day. I was aware that part of the surgery was vaginal, but not that it meant incisions there. This triggered some nasty memories/personalities and I’ve been working overtime to soothe them. When I am completely healed I will never have to worry about my original problem ever, so I’m trying to focus on the positive outcome of  it.

***end trigger***

Maybe I’ll create my own deity this week, or look around the house for one. I use spatulas a lot….The Supreme Spatula of Domestic Goodness…The Plunger of Perpetual Light…The Sponge of Sanctity…maybe not….

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.

Since at least April I have trying to organize my System by building a safe space internally. There would be a safe space for younger parts to play, eat, watch movies, etc., a conservatory of sorts, arboretum, kitchen, and central meeting area. At first it was working well, but only for a few weeks, so I tried different types of places. I visualized a house with different levels, a home built into the earth, and so on, but it always ended up falling apart and everyone scattered about. Recently I tried again and I felt a seething, disgusting pit, way in the back and nearly in the dark. When I tried to see and feel it there were muck-covered young girls trying to crawl out, but they were stuck. It was horrifying. They were just screaming and crying and I didn’t know what to do, so I tried very hard to send safe, loving feelings their way. I also lost my appetite for the rest of the day.

If a younger one comes through with a memory, or feeling there are always  a couple of older ones who quickly surround them with safety and love. They do that even when I’m not completely aware of what is happening, or before I can consciously realize what they are holding. I asked the older ones to help with such younger girls and they take this responsibility very seriously.

Time has been passing quite oddly this summer. My husband has been asking me to “Please pick a personality and stick with it.” (I think he’s accepted the DID diagnosis). Often I wake up and shortly after the day is over. I guess that may mean I’m dissociating a lot, or switching?

One of my books, The Dissociative Identity Disorder Soucebook, mentions that some Systems are very fluid. Last week I asked my therapist if perhaps my System was fluid, and that is why I am having trouble attempting any sort of organization. She agreed that it may very well be.

**Trigger** Over the past week I have learned two important things about my past. First, I remembered the first time my father had actual intercourse with me and it felt like the pain, anguish, and confusion of that flashback would shatter me. Second, the recurring dream of a particular street (my previous post) is an actual street. Two days after I learned that the street was real I felt and saw the young girls way back there stuck in the disgusting muck.

I believe that over the next several days or weeks I need to soothe those memories and those little girls and try to remain focused and aware. I’m not sure how to accomplish that if I’m losing all of this time, however. In other news, my husband is having minor surgery next week and the kids start school soon. I see my psychiatrist tomorrow, but he primarily deals with my medications. I feel I should tell him at least some of this, though.

Well, I’ve rambled on enough. I need to start my day and try to remain aware and calm. I’m going to keep my goals simple for a bit.