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.

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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.

No one nurtures Lisa except Lisa. No one asks if I need help or could use a break. No one offers to scratch my back, rub my feet, or play with my hair. No one asks about all of the band-aids on my body. They just come home and eat, mess up rooms while playing, and have their fun. No one asks if I had a good day.

I know they are happy, secure, loved, and comfortable with themselves. I know they feel safe and self-confident. I know that they feel that way because of me.

There is never a break. When I’m home alone it’s a flashback fiasco and a fight to stay aware (There’s this new “twitching” thing going on all the time, like my hands are moving independently. What’s that mean?). Out in public I’m suffering through anxiety attacks in stores, doctor’s offices, and store bathrooms. Last Wednesday I thought I was having a heart attack and asked to go to a hospital, but my therapist talked me down and I was okay. I’m not thinking straight and my vision is blurry.

I feel a little sorry for myself, a bit whiny, semi-suicidal and very confused. It’s this “first year after being diagnosed” stuff, I think, in large part.

On the up side all of the shopping and wrapping is finished. My best friend bought me an Affirmation Ball (“You Can Do It!”, “Nice Outfit!”) which is hysterical, as well as an Emergency Yodel Button. I have baked 4 million cookies, 12,000 loaves of different breads, convinced the kids that Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and decorated the house.

Only one thing left……..the Christmas Eve Chinese dinner while watching Father Ted’s – A Christmassy Ted.

So, what have we learned? Lisa is a whiny, needy bitch, she has some strange “twitchy” thing going on, DID sucks sometimes, the kids are just fine, Christmas shit is done, and Father Ted is epic, so go buy it and watch it.

Have at the very least, an acceptable holiday, however you may or may not celebrate it. I’ll be reading, and in lieu of a complete breakdown I hope to be writing again next week. Huzzah!

Note to self: Never, ever, ever schedule therapy and a breast care center appointment on the same day again!

Since this past Febuary I have been seeing a nurse practitioner for a breast problem. It’s not cancer, there are no cysts, and everything is normal except for my nipples. For nearly a year-and-a-half they have not relaxed and are constantly irritated. I have tried vitamin E, vaseline, warm compresses, cool compresses, different detergents and fabric softeners, bought new bras and new clothing. Vaseline helps the most, but it’s not fun or comfortable to put it on and then cover it with a bandage or skin tape at night.

It was nearly six months before I made an appointment with my GYN to ask what is wrong with them. Then I had to go to the breast care center where I was naked from the waist up (with a front-opening robe) for two hours while my breasts were poked and prodded and sqished and examined. I tried everything she recommended and nothing seemed to help. It wasn’t until I broke down in her office and said I’d had enough that some progress was made.

Before my nurse practitioner began working at the breast care center she worked with sexual abuse victims, children and adults. I hadn’t told her about my abuse history before, but as soon as I did she gave me a completely different list of options to help ease the pain and irritation. She suggested I ask my nipples to tell me why they felt so irritated, and I did, and I broke down again, but it really helped.

My breast problems began as I started to collect narcotic pain killers and blades for my suicide plan. While I felt suicide was the answer at that time, my body (and part of my brain) was screaming to reconsider. It just happened to focus more in my breasts. I think that’s weird, but I am weird, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise. Knowing me, it could have been my left pinky fingernail.

I have been using this “ask the body part what it would say” idea on other body parts since then. If I have a headache, I’ll ask my forehead why it hurts. The week before last the answer was, “Because you have a sinus infection, dummy.”.

While this technique does help, it also brings up feelings or memories I am not prepared for sometimes, so I don’t recommend this to everyone. Then I have to work through those feelings or memories, which has made therapy much more interesting lately.

Asking my body why it hurts or why it’s irritated is helping me to reconnect with it. Along with that comes actual emotions that I don’t completely understand. Feeling emotions in my body where the damage was physically done is helping me to forgive or understand my body little by little. As of yet I haven’t made any incredible strides, but little-bitty ones, and that’s okay for me. My brain still feels like an alien entity, but very slowly my body is becoming more real. It is also frightening at times, but I feel it’s necessary for me to become the person I want to be eventually.

This is just a different technique that I have found to be helpful, but I do not use it too often, because it can be overwhelming. When I know I’m in a safe space I may ask a body part why they feel shaky, irritated, or just plain bad. I never ask that when I have been triggered or have trouble coping at the time. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone, and I asked my therapist before I tried it at home, but it has made a positive difference for me inside and outside of therapy.

So, I wanted to share that today before I go outside and do damage control. The winds were so strong yesterday that they picked up our shed, spun it 90 degrees and set it down across the yard. Only the door came off and a few things on the shelves fell down. The weird stuff always happens to me.

Holiday happenings…or not

November 23, 2010

We’re staying home for holidays for the rest of our lives. It’s no longer important to visit with people who trigger us (hubby and I), behave like idiots in front of everyone, upset the kids, and just depress us in general. Most are very upset with our decision. Fuck them. I’m no longer wasting my time, life, etc. because it’s “expected”. I take enough Xanax already. And this was all hubby’s idea, too. The holidays are just another day to us, anyway, but we try to fake through them for the kids.

– We’re smoking our turkey this year and it will take 14 hours to cook! We thought a horror movie marathon would help us stay awake.

– The chocolate pudding and pumpkin pies, as well as the cranberry bread were made in partnership with a 22-month old I’ve been babysitting the past two days. They are messy, probably unsanitary, but yummy, and I send home bread and pies to her mom, too.

– Each kid picked out a side dish, so we have mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, sausage stuffing, chicken fingers, french fries, cheesy quesidillas, and cocktail meatballs. The table should look quite interesting if everything fits.

– Everyone also picked out what to watch over vacation. We have “Mork and Mindy”, “Happy Tree Friends”, “The Tick” (live version), and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” so far.

I don’t make a list of things to be thankful for. I just try to make it through a day. If I didn’t have a little-bitty to watch this week I’d be carving up myself as well as a turkey. Any contact with the abusers will be terminated as of January, but hopefully they will die in some freakish, painful accident before then.

Life is okay here in the house, but not in my head, or in my body and I can’t disengage. I don’t know why. Having little-bitty-Mia-Monster is a big help, though. I’m so glad I kept all of these toys. It’s fun to play with her. I half-wish her mom had asked me to watch her more often. At least she knows I can do it in a pinch.

That’s all. The kids will be home Wednesday through Monday. That should keep me safe.

Mia just finished lunch (I think. If it’s on the couch I think that means she’s done.) and we have two more pie crusts to roll out. Huzzah!

love & disappointments

November 17, 2010

Parents can be such an amazing disappointment sometimes. Most people are capable of being vile, careless, baseless creatures. It’s there, somewhere in our genetic makeup. I always figured that the biological urge to reproduce accompanied the urge to nurture and protect. It doesn’t work that way so naturally sometimes, and (many moons ago) I also used to be quite optimistic in general. To make the choice to warp and twist a life is inconceivable to me. How strong must a person’s will be to overcome the natural urge to comfort and nurture their child and instead disregard or experiment with it. Choose to bring them into the world and then choose to exploit and abuse them. I think it takes a mighty strong will.

My father is a vile creature. From what I have heard he has been vile most of his life. My mother was already screwed up by the time they met and I think it was easy to manipulate her, but she also had choices.

I know my parents do not love me. I know I was not wanted. If I were to “love” as they taught me growing up then I would most likely be in jail for abusing my own children, or dead.

When I look at my own children I know I love them but I often hold back on feeling that love. Seeing them interact with me, their father, each other, pets, or even stuffed animals demonstrates to me that they really do understand love. I don’t recall making a choice to love them, but at some point there must have been a spark in me and I passed it on to them. I don’t think I love appropriately sometimes, though. I still wade through the waters, trying to find the right current.

I believe that love is inexplicable and difficult, if not impossible, to define. I know it can be found and shared. It can be held and released, but it’s form eludes me. I know I can see love, feel it, hear it or touch it, but I can’t describe it. I’m pretty sure I’ve found it, but I don’t know exactly what to do with it.

If love is everywhere and accessible what is the point of trying to twist it and use it as a weapon, as punishment, or a sick kind of reward? I’m no longer sure what I’m even writing about. The closer I get to my hate and anger, the louder a small voice inside cries, “I love mommy and daddy!”, and the greater the urge is to stop everything.

 

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

It’s hard to be an adult and take new steps in DID Land.

It’s really difficult when you realize that your life is a result of survival techniques.

It’s discouraging to look in the mirror and see someone all grown up and no clue about who or what you are.

It’s scary to think about how you need to make new pathways, inside and out, when half of your life is already over.

It’s depressing when you know you need to learn all over again what it means to be a human being.

It makes me want to hurt myself and break things.

It makes me want to end everything for good.

It makes me want to hide.

It does not revitalize me.

I do not want to live life to the fullest because I have no concept of what life is.

I know now I’ve been surviving day-to-day and thinking about the future is very abstract and difficult to comprehend. I’m not even sure if I’ve taken any productive steps in this process yet. All I know is that I’m scared, I feel defenseless, I’m disconnected, and I don’t know what to say or do. I wish someone would tell me what to do. Why does DID have no clear paths? Make my own path? What the fuck is that all about? I’ve never heard of such a thing! I have no fucking idea what to do right now. Try new coping skills? I’ve worked really hard and practiced that and it isn’t working. I’m committed to getting better and I’m going nowhere. I don’t understand how this gets better. I’m supposed to give it time, time, time and what? Wait for a magical moment?

I won’t even write about the shit that’s going on around me. This is how I feel now and how I’ve been feeling for some time. This is so fucked up. I don’t expect comments on this stupid rant. I just wanted to write something out while I have a few minutes.

Perhaps unwise…

July 27, 2010

I have been trying to trigger myself until I finally feel something. Then perhaps I will have something interesting to post.

Therapy was this morning and we discussed:

*safety when feeling suicidal

*what would happen if I needed to go to the hospital

*which hospital I would go to

*other things along those lines

Some important things to consider:

*my aunt is the director of nursing at the hospital and an RN

*my other aunt (her sister) is an administrator and an RN

*my cousin is the floor nurse on the floor beneath the psych floor

I don’t feel this hospital would be conducive to my healing process and that makes me feel worse. The next hospital is 1&1/2 hours away, but I would consider that if I had a choice.

That sucks.

My place is not a good place at the moment, but I gave her the blades I bought to off myself mainly because of my kids. She seemed happy about that.

Back to housework.