Tag Archives: Dissociation

Happy 1yr Anniversary…to me

It’s been 1 year since I stumbled onto this world of blogging! I wasn’t sure what to think or even expect after my first couple posts. What I quickly found was so many wonderful people, who like us, needed a community to be real, honest, angry, sad, thankful, undone, safe, cared for, understood, encouraged, believed…I could go on and on, but we all know why we are here.

Personally, I am extremely humbled and grateful for you all! Somedays coming to this site and reading your words of encouragement was the only thing that kept me going. Reading your posts, seeing the strength you each possess and the continuous fight for freedom and health is inspiring! God has blessed me in many ways and I believe He wants us all to heal!

I quit blogging about a month ago because of the debilitating migraines I was having- at times they lasted a week. It was all I could do to get out of bed, take medicine or even go to the bathroom…tmi! I missed out on so much and wanted to lay down and never get up! I wish I could say they are gone, but at least I can say they are better. They have actually changed somewhat and we have been able to work with them better than before.

I apologize for my absence, I’ve missed reading and staying updated with each of you. It is exciting to see how things have changed for us all! While I’ve been gone, my newest young one, who we call Little Cathy, has made some great progress! She is like me in many ways, feeling responsible, thinking she isn’t good enough, desires to be perfect or something is wrong with her, afraid of making a mistake because that means she is bad….

These are the things we both need to change, to let go of and to believe we simply are good enough! She is not like any other part on the inside, she connects with me first, and that is strange and good all at the same time. She is 8 and full of life, yet has been hidden for so long. She has seen so much and endured, like others, horrible abuse.

I did learn that she loves horses! What?? I have never spent time around horses, unless you count taking my boys on pony rides when they were little. ūüôā She has spent lots of time on a horse and is looking forward to riding very soon. I, on the other hand, am scared to death! But I am willing to try and learn. I can only imagine how wonderful it would have been to feel the safety she felt of having a special friend, who she could trust, love and depend on…a horse named, Dusty!

285721491c5eb1744f3b658bd0c4c5ba

Therapy changed days, and change happens

My usual Friday, long session, was moved to Thursday, except I didn’t know how long it was going to last. ¬†She, my T, asked if I could come Thursday at 11am, but I didn’t ask her about the length of time. ¬†I guess it didn’t matter because we kept going until I shared along with 3 other parts. ¬†Whew! ¬†Those are very exhausting sessions, when I switch multiple times. ¬†It didn’t help that I walked into her office already crying…and continued for the next hour I was present and sharing the following…

I was able to share my feelings (yuck), my irrational thinking (which I was aware of), and my fears of being vulnerable and honest with her. ¬†It was painful, and she kept trying to reassure me that wasn’t accurate or true (which I knew) after each piece, which made it harder to stay focused. ¬†I was able to get through each one and then I thanked her for all the time and generosity she gives, above and beyond what I deserve. ¬†She allows me to contact her more than what I know to be normal for most clients. ¬†I also thanked her for caring about me and my parts.

She complimented me on the work I am doing, saying it’s the hardest thing I’ll ever do, and that I am the first client, with DID, she has had that worked¬†this hard. ¬†She said that my perseverance through the difficult things has been like none she has seen before. ¬†All of those kind words were extremely hard to hear, believe and hold as my own. ¬†I am someone who can immediately hear a compliment then throw it out or completely disregard it because I don’t believe it to be truth. So, making myself look straight at her, and say, “Thank you”, and believe her words was a big step for me.images

The session ended well, my teenage part, that has been the focus as of late, came and shared how the two of us are learning to work together. ¬†She is realizing her coping/numbing mechanisms are not healthy or a solution. I am thankful for how far she has come, the work she is doing, and her sincere love and concern for me. ¬†I’m learning that she has been closest to the surface, more than any other part.

She was followed by my 8 yr old, Wendy, who had colored a page, with a frog, for my T. ¬†Frogs are her favorite, and she loves talking about them. ¬†A few minutes after she came, my 5 yr old, Sis, showed up to present her coloring page from the movie, “Inside Out”. ¬†She and my T talked about the movie and good memories they both experienced. ¬†It is always so precious and sweet to listen to the “littles” visit with my T. ¬†She is wonderful with my parts, but uniquely gifted when it comes to my “littles”. ¬†The ability to get on their level, speak to them, and engage in conversation that makes them feel completely at ease…is extraordinary.

My night went well, I actually slept for about 5 straight hours, and that is amazing. The two days of migraines were gone, and my community felt more at ease than it has for the last two weeks.  God is good and still in control.  His plans and purposes for my life are and will always be for good, always!  He loves me along with each and everyone of my parts.  The same God that gave me a way out of abuse, through dissociation, is the Creator of the universe and every living thing.  god-says-you-are-2

Being present, ugh!

Learning to ‘be present’ when it is easier to default to your dissociation, sometimes sucks! ¬†When I began to own my own anger and frustration, it felt very strange, and I didn’t know what to do with those emotions. ¬†It was effortless to let my part take the anger, while I dissociated. When it was felt by me, I usually found something to “DO”, because I could fix, clean, or sweep something into perfection. ¬†Then I wouldn’t have to feel. Now that I’m making progress in those areas, it still feels wrong or bad to have anger.

When anger arises, being present in it makes me feel bad, then guilty because I’m angry or shameful, or that maybe this whole thing is my fault. ¬†I am ultimately responsible for what happens, right?? ¬†Well those were lies I told myself, and I need to sit and be present with these feelings.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck¬†I’m talking about, right? ¬†Well, in my last post I shared that I wasn’t present for the session, and the information I received seemed inaccurate for the time I was there. ¬†My suspicions were correct. I was having some agitation yesterday and couldn’t figure it out. ¬†I was supposed to go the church this morning, where I used to work. ¬†They were celebrating being in a new building, and I thought I could go back. ¬†I haven’t been able to since I left, but I wanted to support them. ¬†As the day went on, I become more and more irritated.

I sent a text to my T and asked if this seemed odd or what I should do. ¬†She thought it could be my teenager, and I should ask her if she had a problem with going. ¬†We have had these issues before, and I would tell the particular part to stay in there room. ¬†They would not have to go or be apart of something they didn’t feel comfortable with. ¬†My T kept wanting me to talk to her, but of course she wouldn’t engage with me. ¬†Anyway, we sent some texts back and forth, and finally she responded with this: ¬†“Ok. She still has things to share with you when she’s ready.” ¬†At first I didn’t really get it, but then I read it again. ¬†My response back was, “Oh, you know?”¬†She texted back, “Yes.”

My immediate response was, “What the heck, really?” why wouldn’t she tell me? ¬†Why didn’t my teenager tell me? ¬†Then that feeling of betrayal set in quickly. ¬†I’m the client, I should know what is happening with me, right? ¬†Then all the confusion sets in- my teenager is a part of me, I am actually keeping a secret from myself, what is the reason for not telling me? ¬†What is she hiding?

In the past, this kind of ¬†thing would make me spiral quickly, I’d start that “stinkin’ thinkin'” cancel my next session, consider quitting therapy altogether, and letting my anger be projected onto my T. ¬†I have learned more now and understand, that in order for my parts to open up and share their trauma and abuse, they need to trust my T. ¬†They need to feel safe in talking to her, know that she cares and believes them, and that if they can’t share the things they have protected me from yet, she will help them. ¬†I know my T has my best interest at heart, and that all this is a process. I may not always like it, but I trust her in helping them grow and trust me.

I feel anger, but it’s okay to be angry. ¬†My anger is okay, I won’t feel this way forever. I want to know what is going on, but it doesn’t always work out when I say or when I want it too. ¬†This is where I have to trust God’s timing, and pray that she will feel safe enough to tell me what is going on with her. ¬†My T will help her and that makes me feel much better. We’ve been through this before, we made it, and we can do it again!

 

Another day, another migraine

Therapy Tuesday went something like this….

  • Run at 5:30am, it’s 22 degrees, I’m with my friend, in the dark, fighting a slight headache, and pushing her to go 5.5 miles.
  • 8:30am-headed out for BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) where we are studying the book of Revelation. ¬†So much stuff, so deep, so much imagery, so much interpretation, so, so much…learning so much too!
  • Somewhere between point #2 and #3, I switched. My teenage part was triggered and now sitting there listening to the speaker share a personal story about being a rebellious teenager and talking to her Christian parents. ¬†I guess she was feeling uneasy about the entire content.
  • I “came back” for the last point- #3, only to find myself with an uneasy, was anyone watching me, could they tell, what just happened, kinda feeling. ¬†Switching in public is the worst, I tell ya! ¬†What’s even worser (I made that word up) is switching while in a church full of women (respectfully older than me) while learning about the bible!
  • On my drive home, I’m struggling to stay present. ¬†I want to smoke, but I hate to smoke! ¬†I want to cut, but I don’t cut. ¬†I want to drink, but I’m driving. ¬†Are you following the madness of it all?? I want to numb…
  • 2hours until therapy, I can make it. ¬†But for what? ¬†I am not sure what really happened. ¬†I guess I’ll figure it out when I get there.
  • Therapy starts at 1:30 and ends at 3:00….OMG it’s 3:00, I’m standing in the middle of my therapist’s office, coat on, migraine pounding, and I feel completely dissociated.
  • Do I go home, go to work (where I’m supposed to go), head to the bathroom to vomit because of the migraine, lay down on the floor because I can barely move or sit in the lobby until it “magically” goes away??
  • I decide to sit in the lobby and wait for it to pass, but I don’t make it there (prob 10 steps) because I have to throw up. ¬†I go back to the chairs in the lobby and, wait, wait, wait and then decide to head to my car….
  • Back to the bathroom to vomit again, then back to the chairs, then up to leave, back to the bathroom, back to the chairs….damn! ¬†I’m making my head spin just typing this!
  • Apparently I’m there doing this for a whole hour, because she (therapist) comes out to get another client, and I’m still there! ¬†She calls my “support team” so someone can take me home.
  • I just need to take my migraine pill, oh, but I left my purse in the car and that is where I keep the pills. ¬†NICE!
  • My friend comes, because my husband can’t get there, and she drags me to her truck, rolls me in the backseat, I curl up in a ball, and try and hold it in until I get home.
  • What the hell happened today? ¬†What took place between BSF and therapy? ¬†What was said in therapy? ¬†Why am I having a migraine again? WHHHHYYYYY?
  • After I take my “cocktail” of migraine meds, I feel numb, kind of paralyzed, awake- but not really. ¬†I hate and love the feeling, all at the same time.

cfb5b6e71f7635df42855a260bd4af55

T I R E D

tumblr_nun9tnZc6j1r1ekaro1_500Last night I slept for 1 hour!  I am exhausted, I feel hollow inside, and very tearful.  I hate feeling this way.  I want to curl up in a blanket and not come out.

Yesterday started with a migraine that I fought all day with meds….not much relief. ¬†I didn’t eat all day, so that me jittery and my heart was pounding out of my chest. ¬†I seemed vaguely present to my family, tried to eat a little, but I only wanted to lay down and slip away. ¬†Let another part of me be out instead.

When I decided to get ready for bed, my nose started bleeding out of nowhere, so I washed my face, took my anxiety pill and got into bed.

As I laid there, I said to myself, “I’m going to sleep all night, maybe even get 4-5 hours.” ¬†I feel my body relax, my mind slowing down, and I’m slowly falling asleep…and then BAM! ¬†I get this horrible vision of being sexually abused, and I’m wide awake. ¬†I try to block it, think of something else, pray, anything, but it keeps coming back.

After an hour of so, I find myself over the toilet, throwing up, blood streaming out my nose, and crying. ¬†However, I’m strangely aware that I am not the one doing do it, it’s like I’m hovering over the top. ¬†I can’t make it stop! ¬†It’s like I’m pounding on a glass window for anyone to hear me, “Make it stop!” I go back to bed and just lay there…awake.

1443478247I put on my running clothes, it’s 5:30am, my friend arrives and we run. ¬†I don’t want to stop, I feel in control, I don’t even know how I have any strength- to run. ¬†It helps me, somehow, and for that hour, I tell myself, “I can do this!” When I return, I’m exhausted, dizzy, nauseated, and I want to sleep. ¬†So, I get in the shower, get dressed and head to work.

I don’t feel safe right now. ¬†I can’t fix how I’m feeling or the part of me who is struggling so much on the inside. ¬†It feels out of control.

 

 

Just another Tuesday or was it?

Today started out like most, up at 5:00 (officially), drop by 7-Eleven for a 20 oz., hot coffee with french vanilla creamer, drive to my destination, run 5 miles in the dark, disclose the night activities of my parts, if any, listen to my friend, and solve all the problems necessary, prior to returning. Ha!  If it were only that easy.

I do love to run, it helps me emotionally, and gets me motivated for the upcoming day. ¬†Tuesday is bible study day, and we are studying Revelation. It has never been a desire for me study this book, but I am learning a plethora of information. ¬†And I’m really liking it, while learning a plethora (my new word for today). It is overwhelming, at times, to fathom how much Satan wants to kill, steal, and destroy us. ¬†However, as a believer, I am on God’s team, and He wins in the end! ¬†And that, is GREAT NEWS!

After that I head to therapy, which has been fairly difficult on Tuesday’s. ¬†I have ended up sleeping in my car in the parking lot, drinking in the park, smoking outside on the steps, to simply being MIA (missing in action). Maybe I should call it MID (missing in dissociation). ¬† It is a shorter session, and there is always much to discuss after the weekend.

We started the session talking about Christmas…this is a difficult time for me, and maybe most of us with DID. ¬†For the past two years I haven’t been able to decorate my home, even forgoing a tree. ¬†One year, my friend and her daughter came to help, but it was undoing for me. ¬†We are also expecting my husband’s family after Christmas, I am already anxious about their arrival. ¬†This past year, we have converted our spare bedroom into a play, drawing, art, room for the insiders. ¬†They absolutely love to go in there and create, play, watch movies, and sing. ¬†Cindy, my artist, shares her space well, but dislikes when her things are out of place.

We aren’t sure¬†it’s a good idea to clean it out for guests….maybe tinspirational-quotes-4hat is me being selfish or simply taking care of my parts and what is important to them. ¬†They feel safe in our home, I don’t want to send the message that they have to go into hiding or shut them down. ¬†¬†Besides, I fear the in-laws will encounter the parts of me and not know what to do or say. ¬†My husband and boys are comfortable, and go with it, when that happens. ¬†Not sure the in-laws will be able to handle that. Either way, my sweet, loving husband took care of the arrangements- no one is staying with us!

Until next time…blessings to all!

I Hate Sunday’s

I realize this sounds terrible, as a believer and follower of Jesus. ¬†I also realize that Sunday’s and being a Christian doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand. ¬†To most, it’s a day to go to church and worship. ¬†It doesn’t make me a bad person for hating Sunday’s. For me, it is a day of sadness, tears and not wanting to deal with having DID.

Going to church on Sunday mornings,¬†have typically been, my whole life, a requirement. ¬†I either felt like, as a child, I would go to hell if I didn’t go, or as an adult, I needed to be an active servant. ¬†I’m finally realizing I’ve never really learned to “go to church” and just “be”. ¬†This saying I learned years ago, “We are human BEings, not human DOings” has been eye opening this past month.

I am a DOer, I am not ashamed to say it! ¬†I’m a type A personality, ISTJ, or Type 1-Perfectionist on the Enneagram . Things are right or wrong, black or white, up or down, hot or cold, in or out, my way or the highway…you get the point. ¬†However, I have been making great strides towards seeing both sides to things, letting go of perfection, and accepting that things are GOOD enough! ¬†After all, God created each day and it says in¬†Genesis 1:31, “Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!”

So, I have been going to church on Saturday nights instead, for the past 5 weeks. ¬†Since being diagnosed with DID, I haven’t been able to go to any type of church without crying. ¬†I don’t know why that is; I guess that could be a great question for my therapist. ¬†It doesn’t make sense why I would cry every Sunday, but I do, and it would be helpful to understand why.

This is my typical ‘Sunday Spiral’, as I have officially named it. ¬†I don’t sleep well, so I’m up very early, start the coffee brewing,¬†do my bible study or work outside in the yard. ¬†Then the tears come at some point, early on, out of nowhere. ¬†As I’m crying, I feel a deep sense of loss and disconnection with the people in my life- either good or bad. ¬†I feel very alone, although, I am surrounded by a great support system who care and love me very much. ¬†My thoughts then turn to questioning whether I have DID or if I’m just crazy, which I know is false (the ‘I’m just crazy’part). I start thinking if I didn’t have DID, I wouldn’t be such a burden on family and friends, have my full time job back, getting my masters degree, not feeling so overwhelmed, losing time, not having flashbacks, painful memories, struggling with my parts and their trauma, I would be visiting my hometown and seeing family and friends…But the truth is, I have DID, and I am on a journey of healing. ¬†It takes a long time, hard work, perseverance, being gentle on myself, hearing painful events, and walking through them each week in therapy. ¬†God gave me a gift (dissociation) to survive the things I have been through, and I can’t let the negative thoughts take over…

But the tears keep flowing! ¬†Then I hit rock bottom, start contemplating canceling all my therapy sessions, not taking my meds, quit letting my parts have “out time” and start telling myself that it is safe to contact my family of origin. ¬†I start thinking¬†they were not at fault and I should get¬†over it. ¬†Now that would be a big fat lie, but this is¬†how my ‘Sunday Spiral’ plays out in my mind.

My parents are some of my abusers. And they couldn’t figure out why I quit communicating with them. ¬†So, I decided to send “the letter” explaining my diagnosis/DID, my abuse, their lack of ownership, belief, and support- it was a total back fire. ¬†My oldest sibling was outraged, told me I made it all up, even after he admitted to the same treatment from our parents, he told me I was going to hell, said he tore up the letter and didn’t want to discuss it ever again. ¬†He added that “everyone” is sick of this, mental illness is not real and I needed to just get over it! ¬†It was shocking to say the least.

By noon, I’m a mess, unable to function, and I want to completely isolate from the world! ¬†Needless to say, unlike most of America, I cannot wait until Monday morning arrives!!

That was a major vent, and probably didn’t make much sense…but somehow it feels good to get it out.

Blessings!

9ecd8653925475214982ea32924edeae

 

Thoughts for Today

Good Morning!

As I sit here, in a quiet home (because the boys are all sleeping), watching the fall leaves blow around in my back yard, I am reminded of the changing of seasons‚Ķand that I have come to despise the word ‚Äúseason‚ÄĚ. However, God created all things for a purpose, even the changing of the seasons. So, why shouldn‚Äôt I embrace the word season? Maybe because the word season, means change, something is about to happen, things aren‚Äôt going to be the same as before, it feels and looks different…Then I thought, Wow! Perhaps the word ‚Äúseason‚ÄĚ isn‚Äôt so bad after all.

Summer: It’s a time of warmth, sunshine, growth, and light. Nothing hidden, no secrets, and less darkness. Fall: Things change, we see the beauty in various colors, blessings and a sense of transition into a time of rest. Winter: This is a place of silence, being still, turning inward, and regaining a new focus. Spring: Finding new life, new meaning, a renewal and new beginnings.

I have never really thought about the changing of seasons in this way before, and yet it is necessary. Solomon speaks from his own experience in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ‚ÄúThere is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven‚Ä̂Ķ Timing is important, and all the experiences that are listed in the those verses are appropriate for each time. Being able to discover, accept, and appreciate God‚Äôs timing, His perfect timing, is the secret to peace that only He can give. If we doubt or even resent God‚Äô timing, we are in danger of feeling despair or stepping out ahead of His plan.

In verse 11 it says, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God‚Äôs work from beginning to end.‚ÄĚ And in verse 14, “And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it.‚ÄĚ

We get a glimpse, through each season of God’s creation. The beauty that we see and experience here on earth is only a small picture of what lies ahead for us in heaven. He wants us to enjoy the things He has given to us, to be happy and do well- it is a gift from Him. But we should never loose sight of who He is and His purpose for us. His plan is perfect, and good. It is not to bring disaster, but hope and a future.

I am slowly learning that in each season, to be kind to myself and not beat myself up for not being able to do what “other people” seem to do. And as I face my past and walk through the painful memories, I need to remember that it does not define me- I am not my past. It is amazing to me, how at a young age, I learned to dissociate in order to survive. Dissociating saved my life. It truly is/was a gift from God. The mind He created in me is amazing, mysterious and wonderful all at the same time.

I have heard and read many times that having¬†DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) is like a blessing and a curse. It was puzzling to me that the people writing such things did not have DID. ¬†I’m not going to speak ill of psychiatrists, therapists, mental health organizations and those working with DID clients, because they are trained in the field of dissociation. They also are the ones who have walked us through this journey, providing care, guidance, acceptance, encouragement and support. ¬†For those reasons, I am truly grateful!

¬† ¬†Soap Box…

However, the word “curse” has a strong meaning that is inappropriate for me, and I would assume others. ¬†As a noun, it is defined as, “the¬†expression¬†of¬†a¬†wish¬†that¬†misfortune,¬†evil,¬†doom,¬†etc.,¬†befall¬†aperson,¬†group,¬†etc. And as a verb, “to¬†wish¬†or¬†invoke¬†evil,¬†calamity,¬†injury,¬†or¬†destruction¬†upon.” ¬†

I don’t know about you, but that is the very last thing I want in my life!! ¬†Yes, it is a blessing! ¬†It provided a way for us to survive horrific trauma and abuse. ¬†There is no shame in being DID, ¬†It in fact is a testimony of an individuals courage, strength, creativity, and faith.

A curse? ¬†No way! ¬†There are indeed down sides to having DID, because it is hard, grueling and painful work. ¬†At times you feel like you are crazy- but you’re not! ¬†You wonder if you will be cured of DID, you won’t. ¬†You learn to manage, work with your system and achieve integration and wholeness. ¬†So, believe this about yourself: ¬†You are good, you are important, and you are worthy of love and belonging. ¬†What happened to you was not your fault and it in no way makes you a bad person or cursed!

DID can get in the way of everyday life with the inability to engage in daily activities and that is normal. However, some of us have held highly responsible jobs, contributed to society, and able to function normally with coworkers, neighbors and others.

At times it isn’t possible to work, especially if you are in the early stages of healing and integration with your system/community. ¬†DO NOT be hard on yourself, it is all part of the process. ¬†There may be a time when you can slowly add things back into your life. ¬†Be patient with yourself, ask for what you need, seek progress, not perfection, breathe, and choose healing!

End Soap Box!

So, today I am embracing this new season (although tomorrow may be different, Ha Ha). It is important to realize that healing and integration are a process in the journey. ¬†Trauma work comes in layers, so be careful not to get discouraged and feel like you’re starting over. ¬†You may need to revisit certain events, and that is normal. Keep moving forward, being forthcoming and honest, with yourself and your therapist.

I cannot begin to understand, fathom or know God’s plan for me….but I do know it is GOOD, and so am I.

**I want to be clear that I am choosing integration for myself and all the parts of me. I understand that it is a choice we all make and that okay.  It may not be the goal for everyone, but it is for me.

Integration is a process, as opposed to an actual event, that begins as soon as DID therapy begins. Integration is fully embracing each and every part of myself, while learning and accepting new information. ¬†Parts don’t go away or disappear, they are part of you. ¬†It occurs throughout therapy as dissociated parts of one‚Äôs self become known, accepted and integrated into normal awareness. It is a natural process in the recovery from trauma to combine, blend, fuse, or merge parts to create a unified whole.

Dissociative Identity Disorder quilt original ribbon, licnsed for reuse and modification http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/