Tag Archives: Triggers

New Medication/Friday Meltdown Part 1

This weekend I started a new medication to help keep me focused, hopefully from dissociating as much during the day, maybe help with night switching (so I can sleep), and even keep me from going down that path of depression.  I have been on it for 3days, it works immediately, meaning it doesn’t take 2 weeks to get into my system, and so far so good.  I noticed I didn’t have difficulty on Mother’s Day with dissociating or feeling sadness, like I usually do on those holidays. Everything with medications and DID are trial and error, so this is an experiment for the next 30 days.  Looking forward to more of these “focused” days, less sadness, and maybe, just maybe, more sleep!!

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On Friday, I had a shorter therapy session, and my little ones spent the entire time with my T. They had wanted a time to read books and give her some things they had made/colored. I was aware of the special session, but wasn’t sure if I would be “present” for any period of time. As it turned out, I didn’t even drive us there!  My teenage part, who loves to hang out with my T, drove to the session and then to my work afterwards. I was in the parking lot at my office, when I realized I missed the entire session. My teenager spent some time getting caught up with my T and the little ones had the final hour.  They had made her a Mother’s Day card, along with (there new love of) origami. My T filled me in later, so I would know what all took place.  She sent a picture of the card; it was so cute I wanted to share what they wrote:

Happy Mothers Day (front of card)

 

Flowers are beautiful just like you.
And even though you are not our mom…
We want to say Happy Mother’s Day to YOU!! (inside)

They all signed their names on the back, cut hearts out of construction paper, glued them all over the card, brought her flowers, and gave her strawberry Laffy Taffy (because who doesn’t love that??) LOL!  Honestly, it was very sweet and I’m glad she sent me some pictures. They think she is a “really nice friend who helps and prays for them” and I’m glad they see her that way. My T has done an incredible job helping them understand that I am a Mom to them, not her. It has prevented potential attachment issues along the way, which has made it less confusing for all of us.

When I arrived at the office, I felt a weird sense of not being at therapy, even though I was there for 90 minutes. Usually, what happens is, I get shut out because a part doesn’t want me to be there, or I choose not to hear due to the nature of the memories being shared. This was simply another part stepping in, taking them, and bringing me to work…no biggie, right??

I probably wouldn’t have put much thought into it, but one of those “damn therapist’s” asked me how therapy went…My response was, “I think it went well, I wasn’t there.” She looked at me a bit puzzled, then I explained how I knew today was different, and my little ones were going to have “their own time” in therapy. Now for the average person, they would have simply said, “Oh, okay.” But not that “damn therapist”, she went on to ask another question; what is the deal with therapist’s and asking a shit load of questions all the time?? Ha Ha!

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The next question was why didn’t I stay present to what was going on, don’t I usually listen/watch when I can? And then I felt the sharp pain! She wasn’t aware, but I certainly was, aware of how that question cut into the core of me. I blew it off quickly by saying I didn’t really want to be there for all that stuff. I’m a grown woman, and it’s hard to watch myself curl up on the couch, next to my therapist, to read children’s books (and that part was true). End of conversation….but not my swirling thoughts, sharp pain, tightness in chest, and a deep sadness welling up quickly!

By the time I began the drive home, the tears started streaming down my face, and I couldn’t shake the grief that was attached to the question, “Why wasn’t I present in therapy?” I believe I knew the answer and the answer was too painful.  When I arrived home, my husband greeted me as always, asked how my day went, and if I remembered it was Steak and Beer night?? Duh. *Every Friday my husband works half days, and makes the same meal for our family, or whomever decides to join. Steak, baked potatoes, marinated mushrooms, salad, corn, rolls… It is awesome!

It didn’t take long for him to notice that I had been crying, and then I literally lost it in the kitchen. I couldn’t stop crying! I was undone about it being Mother’s Day, not having communication with her (my mom) anymore, seeing cards and flowers at every store, listening to radio stations say all this sweet crap about mom’s, and now something about therapy set off triggers!  I had remembered I read my personality thought of the day, which said this…

Type One EnneaThought:  “It usually takes time to notice that you need something, especially in the area of emotional needs. But when you do realize what you really feel, by all means let others know.”

Ugh!  I went into my closet, changed my clothes, sat on the floor, cried, and thought about what “I needed emotionally”!! What did I need to do to get answers to what was happening to me?  I will share what I finally decided in my next post.

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Body Memories Suck!

Today was my 3hr session, and it always amazes me how emotionally exhausting it can be. Tonight the emotional hangover sets in and I begin the process of dissecting what took place.  My teenager arrived first thing, which means she drives us there and starts the session. We discovered she had a relapse this morning, which makes me sad for her.  After doing so well for the past 2 weeks, it was a struggle to cope with the things she had shared during Tuesday’s session.

I certainly was not upset with her, she did what she felt was necessary.  I wasn’t sure what was going to take place in today’s session, but once again, I was blindsided. I had noticed a bruise on the upper part of my leg this morning, in the shower. Surprisingly, I seemed puzzled by how it happened.  My teenager talked about how difficult it was to see me so upset and feel responsible after Tuesday. My T spent quality time talking with her about forgiveness, grace, and that letting go of the things, we try so hard to hide, only hurts us in the end. She responded very well.

….enter the blindside….                    ****TRIGGER WARNING****

She said that I noticed a bruise and she wanted to tell me what had happened to cause it to appear.  She began to shake, almost to the point that seemed uncontrollable.  I could feel it as well, and hear what she was saying.  I was thankful for her allowing me to listen from the beginning, but I knew it was going to be difficult.  My T moved beside her, covered her with a blanket, and reassured her that she was safe. She began sharing about the night I got engaged (college boyfriend, who raped me and later on I returned to the relationship unaware, because of my DID, that he was abusive) to a guy who I didn’t really love.  It was the worst proposal ever!  He was at my family home, waiting for me to return from a conference.  He handed the ring to me while I was opening the cabinet to get a glass, and said, “I thought you may want this so we could make it official.”  Really?? Not even on one knee?  No expression of your love and dedication?  Nope, none, zilch, nada!

My equally abusive parents were in the next room, sitting in their usual chairs, watching TV, when I walked in to say, “I’m engaged.”  They didn’t move, hug me, take a picture, congratulate us, nothing!  They said, “Ya, we heard.”  What??? I’m I in some sort of freaking nightmare?  Wow, could it get any worse?  Oh ya!

At some point I dissociated and headed to bed.  Apparently, I was unaware that he had to stay at our home, since he lived 4 hours away.  My teenage part began to share that he forced her/me to have sex and caused the bruising on my legs.  As she shared more, she continued to shake the entire time, wondering why she couldn’t “go away” and why he was so rough and mean.  The automatic body responses followed and she began to cry and asking for my T to explain what happened.

I wanted to wrap my arms around her, hold her tight, and tell her everything was going to be okay. My T was so good at calming her down, making her feel safe and cared for in that very moment. When I returned to the present, I broke down and sobbed. I asked if I was ever going to be normal again, if this was ever going to end, and why did my parts and myself, have to go through all this suffering.  My T must have been crying as well, which is so comforting and validating (in a caring way).

Honestly, I don’t know how any T could hear these kinds of events in clients’  lives  and not have some type of reaction.  They are strong and courageous people, who have a unique and special gift to work with trauma victims. May God bless them and the work they do!

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After about 20 minutes of tears, hugs, and prayer, I was able to gather my thoughts  and talk through what I had just heard.  I took a break and went to the bathroom, and noticed that my other leg had a bruise in about the same location as my other leg.  I knew that it had happened during my teenager reliving a traumatic event and going through the emotions associated with them to hopefully heal and move forward. My T had explained to her before I was present, that it is a process called abreaction. This process gives clients a way to release their unconscious pain and escape from the memories and feelings that have kept them from moving forward.

I hate body memories, reactions, and overwhelming emotions…and this week has been record breaking in all those areas.  Ugh!  This is the time where I would want someone to walk in, give me a plane ticket for two, to a beach, on an island, where my hubby and me would be catered to for a whole week. Ahhhhh sounds perfect!  But for now, I’m going to bed, asking God for at least 4 solid hours of sleep, and trusting that tomorrow will be a new and better day!

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Lost

You know that feeling deep inside that you have misplaced or lost something?  I have felt that this week, but couldn’t put my finger on what was happening.  I had some major triggering events happen, unexpectedly during that time, which didn’t help. Then on Friday I learned that the most recent part we have been working with, left.

By left, I mean she wrote a note saying she needed to go away for awhile.  What?? I know that parts don’t die or disappear forever, but going away.  We were so close to getting through her things.  It makes me sad, and confused, and wondering if I pushed her too hard.  This has never happened before, and I hate it.

What do I do?  I have been so triggered lately and then losing her at the same time has pushed me into isolation.  I don’t want to leave the house, go to work, bible study or therapy.  I actually have canceled all those things…but what if that was a mistake too.

I feel like those little ones and my other teenager, on the inside, need to go to talk, but I’m afraid.  Not really even sure of what.

Well, dang!

Yesterday was therapy, and I am beginning to wonder if I’m ever going to have a normal Tuesday therapy day?? Geesh, it’s like everyone on the inside are planning some type of coup d’état.  Actually it’s more like one in particular, but difficult nonetheless.

Got up at 5am, ran my 5.5 miles with my friend, drank some coffee, showered, and headed off to BSF. The week before, I was triggered during the bible study small group time.  We are studying Revelation and the lesson the past 2 weeks has been on suffering….ugh!  I understand that all too well.  However, it has been very helpful to understand that we live in a fallen world, full of sin, and that pain and suffering are going to be apart of it all.  God allows suffering, but will not give us more than we can handle with HIS help.

Anyway, last week the lady next to me, I swear, out of nowhere, says, “I wonder if mental illness is from Satan.”  What?!?!  This began the following dialogue in my head from anger to sadness/tears:

Anger:  Is she crazy?  How does she know I have a mental illness?  Why did she just say that?  Did she say that on purpose? What the f……!

Sadness:  Oh my gosh, I am from Satan.  Why would she hurt me like that?  Does everyone in here know I have DID?  I am a horribly bad person.  I can never come back here. 

The good thing was I had therapy a few hours after that.  My therapist, who also attends the same BSF, just not in my small group, had a different take on the whole thing….of course she did, right? LOL  She suggested that I look at why mental illness, in my case DID, occurs.  I was sexually, physically and emotionally abused for many years, and abuse is pure evil, it is from Satan.  My abusers acted with evil intentions to purposely harm me, and as a result, God saved me through dissociating those horrible events.

She wasn’t letting the lady off the hook, but simply giving me another way to look at it all. Perhaps she has some experience with mental illness, who knows, but for me it was a huge trigger.  There is always something to learn from being triggered, since there is no way to protect yourself at all times, we need to learn from them.

With all that said, I’m sure I was on high alert when arriving yesterday to my small group. And that would explain the drinking and smoking afterwards.  Going to therapy sick and not knowing what happened before getting there.  I hate when this happens because it means a part is coping and not dealing with present issues.  It puts us all at risk for so many problems….and I need to find a way to communicate that with her.  This is dangerous!

To make matters worse, I decided to go home instead of going to work, I took an anti-nausea pill and then a valium.  I hadn’t slept well in several days, was sick and wanted to go to sleep.  So today, I’m obviously suffering from a hangover, but learned that mixing alcohol and valium is one of the most dangerous combinations of drugs.  I had no idea, since I wasn’t aware of how much alcohol was consumed. Thankful for a God that has protected me from so many dangerous situations.

So, I’m hitting the Restart Button, going to have a conversation with this part, and moving forward…

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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!