Monthly Archives: June 2016

I Was a Flower Girl

I had a memory, actually a good memory, a few nights ago as I slept. I woke up in the the middle of the night with a picture of this little girl, 6 or 7 yrs. old, in a pretty dress, standing in this large room, wearing a white hat with a yellow ribbon around it and holding a small basket of flower petals. I recognized one person in this large room, my older cousin, who I called, Aunt Lolli (not her real name). She was 12 years older than me; that is why I called her my aunt. She would babysit for me, take me places with her friends and I always had FUN! Another great thing about my aunt was she would babysit on Saturday’s, which meant I didn’t have to go next door to the babysitter’s house. The babysitter’s home was where my abuse began at the age of 5.

The weird thing was, I’ve never been a flower girl, or so I thought.  If this memory was true, then why haven’t I seen a photo, or been told, or have a memory of the event. The only way I could get to this memory was to call someone. My family, of course, was not an option. Since I’ve broken off contact with my parents, my only other choice was to text my aunt. If the little bit I remembered was true, and she was there, then I would know for sure. I took a deep breath, weighed the pros and cons of contacting her, then sent this text, “Hey, this will probably sound strange…but was I ever a flower girl in a wedding, when I was little? I’m asking you because the only person I recognized was you. Thanks.” 

I had a few more details that I remembered, but I didn’t tell her those. I knew I was wearing a hat with a yellow ribbon and holding the basket of petals. Anyway, she responded quickly with this, “Hmmm, I don’t remember that you were. Maybe on your dad’s side of the family, but not ours. How old were you in the memory? I’ll think more and let you know if something comes up.” 

My response 15 minutes later was, “Ok, thanks. Maybe 7 yrs old and that I thought it was a friend of yours.” I hit send and that was all I needed to completely shut down internally! My thoughts began to spiral quickly; everything I’ve learned about myself through parts, memories, flashbacks…all false!  I guess nothing is true! Wow, that certainly didn’t take long to have such a negative response and completely lose control…

3 minutes later, she sent another text. It was clear she was talk texting because mid sentence she says, “Oh, wait, wait, wait! It was ________’s wedding, I was her maid of honor and you were the flower girl; you had a white hat with a yellow ribbon.”  ga0083be-2-73a6And just like that, I felt the internal machine kick back on, a huge smile develop on my face and I whispered to myself, “I was a flower girl.” It was sad and funny at the same time that I could so quickly dismiss my entire life, all the work I’ve done to get to this point, all because she couldn’t recall the memory either. Hmmmm

There seems to be other things attached to this memory. One thing that stood out immediately from her texts was she said it made sense I was in the wedding because she babysat for me, she took me out with her friends, and they all loved me. But that summer, after the wedding, she left for college and never came back. Yes, the one person I trusted, the one person who I thought loved and cared for me, the one person who saved me from abuse…moved to college and then to another state. Abandoned again!

Maybe that is why I have no memory of being a flower girl. It would have been the greatest thing EVER, to a 6yr old little girl. I was in a beautiful dress, hat, dropping petals, and everyone thinking how adorable I was (I hope). 🙂 But the loss was greater in the end, and therefore the fun memory faded away, like all the others.

Today, I’m feeling mixed emotions. This 6yr old part of me, that was the flower girl, experienced horrible abuse and we recently heard more during my last session. She is afraid, she thinks we are going to abandon her too. She doesn’t want to talk to my T on Friday because, like everyone else who says they care….they leave and never return. My T suggested I try and talk with her about this. Last night we tried to color and talk, but she stopped, wrote a note to my T and said she didn’t want to talk to her anymore. Makes me sad, but I’m going to try again to help her see the truth. NO one is leaving, we all care about her, we love her, she is safe and protected and my T cares for her like all the others inside.

….I was a flower girl!!

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The 5 Year Plan or Not

When I started therapy, August 29th 2011, I went in to get help for my bulimia. At the time it was out of control; I was out of control. My life was not going the way I anticipated. Sure, I heard God’s voice clearly, and followed His leading, but sadness and depression weren’t supposed to be part of this plan. I was working full time, doing very well in the work God called me to do, my family was happy and everything  outwardly seemed great!

I remember on one of my early morning runs with a friend, saying, “I think I need to go to counseling.” She asked me why and I said, “I feel out of control, unhappy, and I’m ready to face my ED head on.” I had been to therapy in the past and it was probably good…LOL! I say that because now I’m aware that therapy isn’t about the “thing” you go in for; it’s about the “things” that are hidden below, that cause you to do that “thing”.  In my early experience with therapy, the T went right to the hidden “things”, only I wasn’t aware or had much memory of them. Hmmmm, should have been a red flag, but I was young and dumb. Or maybe I thought I knew more about it than she did. Yikes!

So in 2011, I walked into my current T office, sat down, and for the next hour I told her everything about my life. I told her about my bulimia, alcohol use, short prescription drug use, my messed up home life (which I’ve since learned was much worse) and that I felt overwhelming sadness all the time.  And  with 5 minutes left I said, “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you my husband had an affair many years ago, but we are good now.” giphyBy then, smoke was surfacing from her notepad due to the nonstop writing of my life story! I’m sure she was thinking, “What the H E double hockey sticks have I gotten myself into??”

She too, didn’t spend much time talking to me about my bulimia. WT_??? How can this be happening again, I thought. She wanted to know about my childhood, hmmmm, this was sounding very familiar. I don’t know when she first realized I was dissociating or that I had dissociative identity disorder, but she was very careful to not “show those cards”, if you know what I mean. Many times I commented that I was feeling very strange, the feeling right before you pass out, without so much nausea. She never seemed shocked by hearing that, and would continue on with what we were doing.

chesterfield-queen-anne-high-back-wing-chair-uk-manufactured-leather-sofas-traditional-sofas-2I used to sit in this blue leather, Queen Anne, high back, chair. It had these rivets around the arm rest and I would start rubbing those rivets when I got that “strange” feeling (which I now know as switching). My thumbs would be raw and sometimes bloody by the time the session was over. It seemed to keep me present for awhile; then one day it stopped working and I was switching.

After quitting and coming back to therapy several times upon hearing her diagnosis, I slowly began to embrace this seemingly familiar way of life. It was comforting to know that I wasn’t crazy, but what do I do with DID?? I don’t know anyone with this. So I did what every good “Googler” does; I headed to the internet for answers! BAD, BAD idea…just saying’! After I got all that out of my system, I began to do real research, read books, ask questions and trust my T, because she was the expert in this field!giphy1

I read one day, early on, that the work in therapy for someone with DID takes 5-10 years. I realize that was written by some doctor of something, who is an expert in their field, so it must be accurate. However, it was a large gap and I wanted the fast track version, which is why I gave myself the 5 years or less time frame. I started out with about 5 parts, I could identify and felt like that wouldn’t take too much time. Of course, now I know that you never end with what you think you’ve started with. Oops!  My community has more than doubled since the beginning and I’m approaching the 5 year mark in August. But I love them all!

Sadness and grief feel very heavy today. I think it’s because I never dreamed this would be happening to me. When I read the book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, I never imagined this was what God had for me and my life. I do know He works for my good and he wants nothing but the best for my life. Trust! Faith! Hope!

As August 29th approaches, there’s a high probability that I will not be finished. What does being finished even look like?? I will have missed the 5 year plan for healing, but God will NOT leave me here. He has things I do not understand, know, or could possibly fathom.

 

Body Memories: Hard to Explain

Tuesday during therapy we addressed the bruises on the back of my calves. I was still having pain and they weren’t going away, which means K was not done talking about the memories. She was present for my 90 minute session and I got the 20 minutes that my T allowed me to go over (she didn’t have a client after). I’m truly grateful for my T, for many things, but for her generosity, especially in situations like this one.

K did the usual deflecting before she was ready to talk about what was left of this memory. It came down to her fear of sharing it with my husband. She shares in our relationship and was certain he would send us back to my family- dad! She didn’t want him to know, have a feeling about it, which makes her have a feeling too. K is one who loves a good time and for everyone to be “happy”…all the time!

That evening I was able to share with my husband about the events surrounding the memories and what had happened to K (and me). It was a time, many years ago, while we were back living with my parents; my husband and I had separated. I had thought he wanted some time to “think”, but I quickly learned he was having an affair. Two days after I moved out, my world came crashing down. It was easier to take my boys and move in with my parents, for what I was thinking was two weeks. It was one of those feelings you get when something doesn’t quite add up; I had tried to find him on the second day after we moved out because he wasn’t where he said he would be. That was when I learned about the affair and caught them together. My two week stay turned into 7 months (of hell) and I fought for 6 of those months to reconcile with him.  I won’t bore you with all the details…

I will say this: God is GOOD, He is so GOOD! He restored my marriage, and was able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.

However, the 7 months were not only an emotional roller coaster for me, my boys and our marriage; it was also more abuse at the hands of my dad. I had no idea until K had shared this a few sessions ago. My T suggested I share it with my husband, so he would know what took place. UGH! She was right; I needed to share it with my husband. This becomes a double-edged sword for me, as I have always chosen to not “rehearse the hurt”. Meaning, I have decided to not use what has happened as leverage to “get back at” or “throw it back in his face”, the past. I have forgiven him and we have worked incredibly hard to get through that horrible time. Of course there will always be consequences and sometimes life brings things back around, which is where we were this week.

My husband had no idea, was shocked, sick and angry about what I was sharing. We sat on the bed together, cried and he comforted not only me but K as well. It was a sweet moment to experience his reactions as a godly, humbled and remorseful man. Even though the abuse was not his fault, he felt absolutely horrible that we had to be there. I reminded him that it was news to me just recently. These are the difficult days of having DID; the days when you hear something so heinous, pernicious, and ungodly! I am grateful that my husband is my best friend, strongest support, and loves me unconditionally! His love for my community goes far beyond what I could have ever imagined. My T constantly comments that she rarely sees the love and support, like he shows me, with her other DID clients. Truly blessed and thankful for the way he has accepted all of this.

The next day, I was pain-free and the bruises began fading. I’ve been experiencing low level migraines, but none that have taken me out. Praying for healing and that K would feel comforted and free from the nightmares. I feel like we are turning a HUGE corner in this journey. That we (my parts and me) are merging together, healing, and finding freedom from the past. We are working together, listening to each other and growing in so many ways. I am learning about talents and abilities I had no idea I possessed. I am a better person because of each precious part of me; it is exciting stuff!

 

Migraine: Takes Me Out Again

Had my long session yesterday and my part teen part, K, shared another memory. I had woken up with a huge bruise on my right calf, Tuesday, then on Thursday had another bruise on my left calf- both in the same place. I could tell I had lost some time prior to therapy and figured K didn’t want to share this information. She didn’t want to talk about the memory, but my T was so helpful and encouraging to her. I’m grateful for the relationship my T has with not only me, but each part of me! giphyDuring my session I had a migraine develop, my T helped K by walking her through the pain, but it came back after the session.

I sat in my car, like usual, debating whether to take a chance and head to work knowing I was getting a migraine or going home and getting into bed. The tears began to run down my face as I started to think about what I had heard for the past 2.5 hrs. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out the memory or why I developed the bruising. But hearing it out loud, well that’s a whole other deal! One more thing to try and wrap my mind around, how could a parent do this to their child??

Just when I think I am getting close to the end, memories like this surface and take me out! My drive home was emotional and I hoped the migraine wouldn’t get worse before I could take my meds. I notified my husband and “damn therapist friends” to say I was headed home. Being alone after therapy, especially difficult sessions like this one, is never a good idea. My husband had the day off, and that made going home an easy choice. When I get a migraine, the best thing is to be in my own bed…that is the only good thing about it!

Considering more EMDR regarding my issues of canceling therapy because I feel like $$ is an issue, trying to fix myself before I get to therapy (seriously), and being responsible, or at least feeling like I need to be responsible for everything. My therapist suggested doing this, but I wasn’t sure. I have to ask for help from another person, to do EMDR, and that makes it harder. Of course, my therapist jumped all over that too, saying she didn’t have any issues asking the therapist to come back again. Ugh! I know it will be a good idea, and very helpful for me in the long run…

Today I’m feeling tired and worn out from the long session, the migraine, and all the meds it takes to knock me out. I have felt very emotional and have cried off and on most of the day. It’s all normal, but I’m ready to move to another season of life. Trusting that God has this and me, and will never leave or abandon me in this place!!

 

Emotional

Ha! What a dumb title for a blog post about a girl with DID! So original, right? Is that the best choice of verbiage? Probs not, but it’s all I can provide at this given time. It’s all I got peeps! Anything else I say may ensue nonstop tears-that ugly cry!giphy

Why so emotional you ask? Good question. I have been sleeping for the past month, due to a new medication. Yay! But wait… last Sunday that all came to a complete halt; now I’m back to 2-4 hours and it sucks. Doing more memory work involving my husband, greeeaaat! * *insert sarcasm. The last conversation we had about the memories with him, didn’t go so well. Although it was my fault, due to the timing and transition of the conversation.

My last couple posts have been weighing heavily on my mind, which led to a difficult conversation with my friend. It went well, for the most part, but those types of “talks” leave me emotionally drained. I always feel as though I’ve blown things out of proportion and it doesn’t help that I don’t always have memories to fall back on for information. Seems as though it’s easy for me to take responsibility for the wrong things that happen, mistakes that are made, etc.

Then there’s the ol’, I canceled my therapy sessions for the week piece. Now why would I do that? Well, it’s because I’ve had so many weekly sessions the past 2 months, live on a small budget, and I’ve blown that budget right outta the water! Yep, pretty sad when you have to ask your husband for $20 bucks. Now don’t get all undone; we don’t have a “his and hers” kinda marriage.giphy3

When I resigned from my full time, great paying, position, I took a part-time job and needed to know exactly what I would be responsible for “budget wise”. It works for me/us to know what I have to pay each month. It isn’t much, actually 4 things, but when you add sessions on each week, you get off track fast! Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, grateful for everyday I can get to work and make a difference, and they treat me so incredibly well.

Today I just seem to cry for no apparent reason and out of nowhere. I sent a text to my therapist saying I wouldn’t be in this week and because I’ve seen her for almost 5 years, I guess she has the right to say, “Tell me why?” And I hesitated for a moment, thinking, “Now what can I say for a reason, hmmm.” Then I realized I’m kinda way past lying to my T, so I told her the truth. Ouch!

Why do those “damn therapist’s” make it so hard to cancel?? She offered solutions, but I declined. She called me and I cried, geesh, I’m such an emotional mess. I cried because I’m scared of not going in right now. I cried because I’m afraid I need to go, but can’t say what I need. I cried because, shit, I don’t want to cancel. Wow, it’s only Monday and I’m on the edge, an emotional mess, and I canceled my therapy because I don’t have the $$. Nice!

How do I get to this place so quickly?? My anxiety takes over and I start to berate myself for canceling in the first place. Pretty stupid reason to cancel? Maybe, but I fear not having enough to pay for things.

 

 

Therapy Tuesday, Wednesday and…

It seems as though 3 sessions a week is becoming a norm in my life, ugh! Actually, the past couple weeks I have been there 4x a week, seriously?? giphyI know I’m on a fast track, but this need s to stop. For one, I can’t afford to keep going this often. Money is a huge stressor for me, since I resigned from my full time job in 2014.  The past 3-4 weeks has been difficult to manage my weekly budget. Taking time off right now would not be productive, yet I can’t keep using money I don’t have to go to therapy. The other part of this is my current, part-time job. The job is awesome, I have great bosses- who are exceptionally patient and understanding of my disorder and schedule. Although when I have difficult sessions, several times a week; I miss several hours of work on a weekly basis. Those two things combined, make for anxiety levels that get rather uncomfortable. There is no solution, that I know of, at this point. I have often thought about filling out paperwork for disability, but that seems wrong somehow…

When I resigned, I committed to therapy 2x a week, and my T is extremely generous with her time and rates. Honestly, I wouldn’t be this far along if that was not happening. I am truly grateful for her willingness to be flexible and generous. My prayers are always that God would bless her and her family abundantly more than she could ask or dare imagine. No doubt He sees her heart and how she is such a huge blessing to her clients. She always reminds us of what God is doing; for our good and His glory- He uses everything! Nothing is wasted, not one thing.

I guess I’m venting about things I can’t fix and that makes me frustrated. I know this isn’t going to last forever, but it feels like I’m drowning and getting deeper and further from the shore, so to speak. I don’t want to stop or slow down therapy when things are really working and going well. I tend to hit things hard and suffer that emotional hangovers later, but it works for me and my therapist. 🙂 I feel comforted that others, I read about, also suffer from shutting down after therapy. Or in my case unable to go back to work or even go the next day. Some days, it’s all I can do to get out of bed. I think if I didn’t like my job or the people I work for, I would have been fired or quit long ago. Blessed they still want me there.

I feel exhausted emotionally, after two days of therapy in a row. But I should be used to this by now, right?? Tomorrow I go back to the doctor to discuss how my new medication is working; it is working great and I’m thankful to have it. Guess I’ll miss more work, but these things have to happen. Enough already! Geeshgiphy1

Attachment…shit!

I guess since all this has happened I realize that my attachment to people comes on the basis of dependence. I depend on people to tell me “I’m good enough”, “I’m not bad”, and “I’m worth it”.  I hate this about my personality because doing this work in therapy with DID has made me feel worthless, bad, defective, broken and a mistake! It’s hard to combat those words on a daily basis, so it’s comforting when people come into our lives and say the opposite. They remind me of how God sees me, and that is the complete opposite from what I’m berating myself with, constantly!

This is my fault; I allowed people to get too close, to share in my life, to depend on them, to let them support me. I have always maintained strong boundaries, but I blew it here! People feel like they get a “say” in our life, have to explain or need defend us to others if need be- because they’re only “trying to help”! Maybe they think they are protecting us. That is all enabling, controlling, codependent, blah, blah, blah! People have good intentions, I get it, but when it doesn’t go the way they want…shit hits the fan!

I’m in this place because I chose to trust! But I can promise you this….not anymore!

When Helping Hurts

**Trigger Warning: Mention of rape

I have stopped and started this email everyday since my Friday session, almost 2 wks ago.  I feel as though I can’t post because of the things that happened during EMDR…but why?? This community has been a huge gift from God. It is a place for me to openly share what is happening in my life, with DID, in therapy, how this journey looks in regards to how God sees me and how I’ve learned to trust Him along the way. You all have been such an incredible source of encouragement, support, care and insight.  You get me, we get each other, we believe each other, we don’t have to explain ourselves, just be ourselves, and that is absolutely awe-inspiring. What a blessing you have all been…thank you!

With all that said, I want to finish what I’ve attempted since my last post. This information that was shared by my teenage part, B, was something new for me. One of the most difficult things about having DID is that, “you’re the last one to hear information”.  Not always, but it seems to be the norm. I’m okay with that, but this information affects my current day relationships. It was shocking news, and at first I was incredibly angry, followed closely by deep sadness. I couldn’t understand why.

My close friend, and someone who has been a huge support for me from the beginning of my journey with DID, had (several years ago), looked up my college fiancé on Facebook. This guy had raped me in college, but because of my dissociation, I didn’t realize it until a part shared it in 2011 (23 years later). B shared it with this friend and at some point, she felt the need to look him up, request friendship, and apparently he accepted. I don’t know how long it lasted or what, if anything transpired between them. Why would anyone do such a thing? What could possibly be gained by contacting him. It’s not like he was going to say, “Oh, yes, I did rape her and do horrible, sexually abusive things to her while we were  engaged. You have a problem with that?” * insert high sarcasm*

B shared during the EMDR session that this had happened and wanted me to be aware. It seems like it should be no big deal, it was in the past, it’s over, and no one really knew….right?? But now I do! It was a huge deal. I have tried to talk to this friend, recently, about some other boundary issues and ways she has hurt me by not believing me. It didn’t go well, it was dismissed, swept under the rug and responded “it was good I shared my feelings”??? Not a real, “I’m sorry for…”; but one that said, “I’m sorry, I thought you wouldn’t mind. I didn’t realize it was a big deal.”  You know those backward apologies, we have heard our entire lives.

I asked this friend for some time and space to sort all this out. No explanation, since the previous conversations didn’t go well. Under the advisement of my T, support from my sweet husband, and many prayers; I sent a brief text stating I needed time and to respect my boundaries because I was going through some difficult things. This friend has been so very supportive and I just needed time. My friend also has been the kind of person who doesn’t back stab or intentionally try to hurt people; a trait I have been extremely  grateful for, since it’s not what I grew up with. However, the response I received immediately after the text was just that…a stab! Then the texts to my other friends, questioning my whereabouts (as if I was lying to her), wanting to talk to them about me, and being very inappropriate with her words and texts. This was completely shocking to me! This “need to know” of information and seeking out others, not involved was hurtful, and made me angry. I guess you never really know how someone is going to respond to things, and this was contradictory of this friend’s personality.

What I’ve learned in the past week and a half is that the emotional attachment for this friend has been very strong. I’ve read a great deal of information about the personality type, which I knew quite a bit about anyway. The aggressive behavior, need to know, contacting others in my life for information, and intentionally stabbing is unsettling to me.

I don’t know why this has taken so long to blog about…I guess I’m in shock or not sure what to do with this. I have missed blogging and being connected to this community. You have all been an incredible source of encouragement in my life! Thank you!!

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