Monthly Archives: January 2016

…the day after

It’s the day after therapy, and I woke up in the middle of the night with a killer migraine.  Those are usually attached to a part of me on the inside.  K (part) is the one who has been going through these difficult memories and sharing them in therapy.  I shouldn’t be surprised about her getting a migraine, because she has gone through so much lately.

K is a fighter and I am so proud of the work she has done, and continues to do.  She is spunky, out-spoken, and does not like to talk about painful things…but who really does??  Since we figured out she has the migraines, we know that it is a body memory, and usually they can’t be fixed with meds.

I have a “cocktail” of meds to take when it comes on, since migraines are debilitating, but it knocks me out.  I sleep and give it time to dissipate.  The problem is, I don’t like taking meds, these particular ones make me groggy the rest of the day, and I sleep for 8-10 hours.  Now, that may sound awesome, since I only get 3-4 hours a night.  It’s the after effects of feeling drugged, that I don’t care for very much.

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often these days.  And I am glad I have a plan, with a way to combat the migraine.  K has spent all day wrapped up in her gray, soft, and warm blanket.  We feel so secure and safe inside our own private cave.  Somedays it’s okay to lay around, in your PJs, with a fire and warm cozy blanket.  It’s like being wrapped up in the arms of our heavenly Father, who says, “I will never leave you, or abandon you.”

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Grateful!

Today was my long therapy session, and it is safe to say, one of the worst to date!  By “the worst” I mean, emotionally devastating.  One of the hardest, heaviest, painful memories of sexual abuse from my father was revealed.  A part of me had these memories locked up inside for a very long time.  I had all week to think about it, prepare for it, pray about it, but nothing could quite prepare me for what I heard today.

It’s one thing to not have a loving and nurturing mom- a mom who was emotionally abusive, critical and judgmental.  Then to find out that your whole life has been tormented by abuse from the two people who are supposed to love you unconditionally-it SUCKS!

All of my thoughts around this so called, “normal family” came crashing down today.  I have spent this past year isolated from my family, and today has confirmed why I have had to stop communicating.  It’s like a this dream of wanting something I will never have, died today!

I walked out in the middle of my therapist discussing what happened, locked myself in the bathroom, and cried.  Why would this happen to me? What did I do that was so bad?  It felt unreal and I wanted to run away and hide.  Facing difficult memories, is all a part of having DID.  It’s coming to terms with your past, loving and accepting the parts that saved you, and walking through the pain to find healing and wholeness.

I went from crying for 2 hours afterwards, to anger, disbelief, and then finding comfort in my husband and close friends.  I don’t know what I would do without them, my therapist, and God’s love.  There will be up days, down days, and the “I just don’t know”days. I have to trust God and the work we are doing in therapy.  I have to believe, I am who He says I am.

Grateful that I am a survivor!

 

 

Sleepless nights & Emotional Hangovers

Tuesday was my first day back to therapy after a 2 week, Christmas break.  Things on the “inside” seemed to grow increasingly worse, and I wanted to “be done” with all of it!  Not show up for work, bible study, or therapy on Tuesday.  What was the point, too much, too many emotions, too many tears, too much pain, too much everything…

I managed to get up and run with my friend, which always, always helps get me somewhat focused.  Somedays, I just want to keep running and never stop.  Running for me, is a way of escape, getting my mind refocused, and even though I sleep 3-4hrs a night, it helps me physically.

After my run, and shower, I headed out for BSF and praying that God would show me something.  I realize He is always with me, never leaving me “out there hanging”, but on days like yesterday, I needed something.  He is faithful, and gave me comfort in another person’s answer to a question, “God intensely loves me, He is personal and intimate in how He cares for me.”  Wow!  Just what I needed to hear.  God is so Good!

From there I headed off to therapy, which I knew was going to be difficult, for two reasons:

  1. It had been 2 weeks since my last session, and we left things undone with one of my teenage parts.
  2. She did NOT want to share her trauma.

I was switched from the start of the session, until end, two hours later.  I hate when that happens, because I don’t get to say the things I’d like, but mostly, because I was blocked from hearing the conversation.  My teenage part, who is out-going, fun, aggressive, and an enigma at times, hates being trapped in any kind of pain-mentally, emotionally, or physically. She will do anything to numb those feelings.  Which is why, for the past 2 weeks, her behaviors have escalated:  cutting, binging and purging, drinking, prescription drug use, and thoughts of suicide.

She shared some extremely hard memories with my therapist, and at one point tried to leave the room.  She was brave and courageous!  She was able to trust D (therapist), and share her abuse,  or as much as she could handle for a session.  My therapist called later that evening to check on me, and see how I was doing. She had suggested I go home and sleep, instead of going to work.  We usually have a plan in place when there are difficult sessions, and yesterday, the plan actually worked!

I had decided to sit in the lobby for a few minutes, allowing myself to somehow move forward from something I knew nothing of, but felt so sad and heavy inside.  The tears began to roll down my cheeks, on after another, until they seemed to have no end.  This is when I leave, because the idea that someone would see me this way, is not acceptable.  When I felt steady enough, I stood up, walked slowly toward the door, and out to my car. I knew I was going to require help getting home, I called my employer, who is a therapist as well, and she talked me all the way home.  She was a true blessing!

When I arrived, I took a scalding hot shower (which was odd for me), put my PJs on and got into bed at 4:30pm.  I didn’t get out until my husband arrived home at 6:30pm.  Not sure how much I slept, spent lots of time staring at the wall and crying.  But what was so terrible?  I can only speculate, and you know what they say about speculating…..Don’t do it!

So today, I am exhausted from all the emotions, the tears, the headache from crying and 1 hour of sleep.  Selfishly, I want my therapist to tell me what happened, but I know she cannot betray trust.  I’m trying to block it out, but like waves crashing against the rocks, it seems to never end.  My therapist, husband, friends, and myself are all praying and asking God for peace and comfort in the waiting, for me and my teenage part to know she is loved and cared about too.

We go back Friday for our long (3hr) session.  I hope I can make it until then!

 

 

Selfish or Not?

FullSizeRenderI have been experiencing some difficult and very painful feelings, emotions, memories, triggers…the past few weeks.  I find myself, or parts of me, wanting to “go away” or “be done”or “end it all”.  Dissociating seems to be stronger than ever.  And as much as I hate feeling this way, it seems to take up so much of my head space.  I have always felt a strong, personal, and “moral conviction” to not think or even act out those thoughts.  Sometimes, I think it’s the only thing that keeps me in a safe place. But somedays I struggle with thoughts of suicide.

I read this article a few years back, after my very close friend’s, son, committed suicide.  She said that it was comforting to read. The pain and anguish that a person must feel, seems overwhelming to me, and yet, I can completely understand.

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”
― David Foster Wallace

I was also reading a WordPress blogger’s post, who attached this article about suicide.  I don’t believe in coincidences or fate.  I am sure that this blog came to me for a reason.  Maybe God simply wanted my attention, or He needed me to read these articles.  Either way, I did what “they” say to do, and that was reach out to people who care about me!  I’m grateful I did, and that their are people in my life that love and support me along this journey with a mental illness:  Dissociative Identity Disorder.

How sad that we would say and/or believe this about someone, who we may or may not know.  Is suicide Selfish or a Call for Help?

“There’s no questioning that suicide is catastrophic. It’s absolutely incomprehensible to me and most others that a person would feel so terrible, so trapped, so desolate that she would want to end her own life. 

Yet, it seems every time the topic of suicide comes up, someone attacks suicide victims by calling them “selfish.” I’ve heard it in real life; I’ve read it in articles; I’ve seen it on Facebook. But this attitude is disgusting and abhorrent, and completely misunderstands what it means to be suicidal.

According to a poll conducted in May 2013 by Gallup, only 16 percent of the country finds suicide to be “morally acceptable.” But the moral acceptability is not an issue. Suicide is the tragic, distressing result of severe mental illness. By definition, it takes lives. We don’t question the moral acceptability of other often fatal diseases such as cancer; we accept that they’re awful and terrible and search for ways to cure and prevent them. We certainly don’t attack cancer victims for getting sick. Suicide should be looked at in the same way — we shouldn’t be arguing the justifiability of the victim’s actions or the ethics of ending one’s own life — we should be looking for ways to stop it.

But every time a suicide occurs, some little self-assured voice is going to attack the victim. The same victim who felt inadequate enough to end his or her own life. The same victim who found solace in death. The same victim who assumed the world would be better off without them. This smug character will go out of his way to insult a suicide victim, calling them “selfish,” and “attention-seeking,” asserting that “everyone faces obstacles, they should have sucked it up like the rest of us.” I’ve seen it happen countless times. 

What kind of arrogant, insensitive mindset causes a person to believe that he knows what is going on in a suicide victim’s head, to assume because that he sometimes feels sad, he knows what it’s like to actually want to kill himself? It’s a baffling attitude. A person just died because that seemed like a better option than living. I really can’t, and no non-suicidal person can, imagine feeling that completely hopeless and worthless and out of options. 

I’ve felt sad before, yes. I’ve felt bad about myself before, yes. But I haven’t actively wanted to die, so why should I pretend to know what that’s like? I’ve had the flu before, too, yet I don’t know what cancer is like.

I’m tired of the victim blaming that makes light of one of the most tragic and upsetting scenarios imaginable. This attitude is shameful and does absolutely nothing to prevent suicides in the future; it merely diminishes mental illness and disrespects the deceased.”

—Madeline Ruoff

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Please reach out to someone, you are NOT alone!  You are a survivor, and there is healing from the woundedness you are experiencing!

What happens on runs, stays on runs.

 

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I love to run in the dark.  Somehow it feels a bit safer to share things when it’s dark.  Maybe it’s me, maybe there is some truth to it as well.

Saturday on my 5 mile run, I experienced an episode that hasn’t happened in a long time. My friend, who I’ve ran with the past 5 years, has gone through many of these episodes with me.  She has been a great friend throughout my DID journey, and has been a huge support, even when we had no idea I had DID (officially).  She was observing my switching before we really knew what was happening.  Now a therapist, she understands, along with myself, all the things that take place when I get triggered.

However, as we ran Saturday we came upon 2 german shepherds along with their owner.  He has taking the trash down the driveway, when the 2 full grown dogs came running to meet us.  Lots of barking, showing of teeth, mean faces, and nips too close for comfort.  We didn’t get bit, my friend may have gotten nipped in the ankle. We made it through without any real danger….or did we?

What my friend didn’t know, and what I wasn’t prepared for was a major trigger and switch.  Those 2 german shepherd dogs were part of my past and a very scary experience.  During the ages 11-12, I took piano lessons, and had to ride my bike to my weekly lesson.  My mom would give me my money, I would put it in my piano book, and head out on my bike.  I didn’t have a bag, so I held the book for the 4 mile trip, down country roads.

At mile 2, I came upon a german shepherd, who always seem be waiting for me. As it ran out of the woods, it would run up along side me and bite at my feet and legs as I rode by the house.  One time, I was almost hit by a car trying to swerve away from the dog.  I also lost my money for the lesson on occasion.  It was terrifying as a young girl.

As my friend and I made it past those 2 dogs and through her neighborhood, my young 12 yr. old, Mary, came out to talk. She spoke to my friend about how she was feeling, she broke down and cried, and wanted to get away.  She shared how she cried every week on her way to the lesson.  She also shared about how the piano teacher would breast feed her child during my lesson.  She remembered having to play the song Scarborough Fair, and not having any idea how it went.  The piano teacher gave her a hard time, for not knowing the song.  She said it was hard to listen to her, because she was feeding her baby that way.

I was able to hear most of what she shared, and it was  difficult to listen to her talk about how scared she was feeling.  It’s hard to hear each part describe events of their past, because I want to do something.

This was new information for me, and even though it doesn’t sound horrible, I hate it for her and that she had to be triggered.  I have always been afraid of german shepherd’s, but I never knew exactly why.  Any dog that even looks like one, makes me completely panicked inside.  I now know why, and I will be more alert in the future.

Later that afternoon, I became instantly sick, out of nowhere!  I was sitting typing this blog and suddenly felt like throwing up.  I had to lay down for a few hours before getting up, but not before I finally threw up!  Trying to put all this information together, but nothing seems to really make sense.  Somedays, I feel like DID takes over and I’m left going along with it all.

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the Small Stuff

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Today I am celebrating, what I would call, a small victory!  It has been a whole day since I’ve binged/purged or cut.

Whew!  I said it, that wasn’t so bad, right?  I hate admitting to things, because it makes me feel bad, corrupt, or not good.  Especially when I’m not fully aware of them happening.

I have learned many things along this journey with DID, PTSD, Depression, Eating Disorder, Addictions, and a Survivor of Abuse…

  • Don’t Quit-Keep Going
  • Persevere
  • Fight
  • Rest
  • Pray
  • Trust
  • Laugh
  • Cry
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Love
  • Believe in Yourself

I am sure there are many more, but you get the idea.  This reminds me of the verses in Philippians 3:12-14:

 12″I have not yet received all these things. I have not yet reached my goal. Christ Jesus took hold of me so that I could reach that goal. So I keep pushing myself forward to reach it. 13 Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider that I have taken hold of it yet. But here is the one thing I do. I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me. 14 I push myself forward toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.

Now, before anyone gets upset about the line that says, “I forget what is behind me.”  Paul, is talking about his own past that God had forgiven.  He had done horrible things, and was washed clean, forgiven, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

I, however, look it from my own perspective and think of the verse this way… I do not want to be controlled by my past! I won’t forget, I can forgive, but I don’t want any of it to have control over me any longer. So, I push forward toward what is ahead…healing, freedom, wholeness.

God no longer holds my sins against me, because His Son paid for that on the cross.  He has forgotten all my transgressions, when I accepted the gift of His Son.  So, then why should I continue to beat myself up over the wrong things I’ve done?  He doesn’t want me to be controlled by my past wrongs. And I believe, equally, He doesn’t want me to be controlled by the things that were done to me.  He wants me to learn from my own personal mistakes. Also, He has taught me that the wrongs, sins, mistakes, and abuse of others was NOT my fault.

This is a new year, fresh start, new beginnings, whatever you want to call it in 2016.  I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead!  God is making all things new and I am following Him forward in 2016!

Thank you- to ALL of you- who have shown me so much in this short time while on this blog.  Your courage, strength, honesty, perseverance and encouragement has been a true blessing to me.  I am grateful to each of you, even though we have never met.  We share so much in common, and yet we are different at the same time.  I count it all JOY to be supported and encouraged by such wonderful people!

I have had a hard time allowing people to comfort me, give me hugs, etc., but I couldn’t help but send this…

 

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