Monthly Archives: January 2012

Bean

I had my fourth therapy session last night. The more I see Bean, the more I respect her. She is patient, she listens, she asks good questions, she doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff, she doesn’t react emotionally when I talk of past traumas (although she does react compassionately), and overall I’m starting to feel safe with her.

She asked me how it was for me when I started going into adolescence and having bodily changes. I told her I had no idea, because I couldn’t remember. She tried digging deeper, but I told her quite simply that I had no memory of any it of it, I can’t even remember when I first got my period.

She seemed a bit surprised by this, and said, “Wow, you sure have blocked out a lot, haven’t you.”

I laughed and replied, “Yes, I have.”

She also helped me figure out that water is a trigger for me. Who knew! Of course, it makes sense, since I’ve had two very traumatic incidents that occurred in water. I told her about those.

Even though there were parts screaming at me for talking about the traumatic stuff after I left session, things were much calmer by the time I got home.

I also had a strange sensation come on as I began driving home from session. My scalp began feeling quite cold, and began to tingle. This cold/tingly sensation shifted and moved around my head and down my neck. At times it was stronger and at times it was weaker. But it continued the entire car rode home, approximately thirty minutes. I emailed Bean about it, and have yet to hear back. I’m still not sure what to think!

So far, Bean is winning in my book. One day at a time, right? One day at a time.

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Mind, quiet down, wont cha?

I wonder what it’s like to have a quiet mind. What I mean by that is, to have only my own thoughts and nothing else. To have space around my thoughts.

I wonder what it’s like to not have a mind that erupts into chaos when a part of me thinks I’ve done something wrong.

Whenever I do something that a part of me doesn’t agree with, my mind erupts into a cacophony of deafening shouts and noises. The music usually gets turned up to full volume. I can hardly hear myself think, and I can hardly make out what is being screamed over the rest of the noise.

And even with all this upheaval, it’s still extremely challenging to figure out what exactly I did wrong or why. There is no order in the chaos, or so it feels.

This happened earlier today at work. It had something to do with the way I was acting toward the woman I work for. Maybe I wasn’t being cheerful enough…? Maybe I was acting overly confidant?

I’ve noticed that distraction is good when this sort of thing happens, rather than to focus on my internal world. Reading helps to focus my mind and bring the volume down a bit. Although I have to say, I sure wish I could figure out why it happens and find ways to eliminate this sort of thing from happening in the first place. But for now, it’s simply damage control.

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Sorry partner

I’m sorry to my wonderful and kind partner. She got triggered last night. I was feeling young, she didn’t know that, she just knew I was being quiet. She lashed out. We all have bad moments, bad nights when things just get to us. I think last night was one of those nights for her.

I love you dear partner, I really do. Thank you for putting up with me and all of my fluctuations, that are often quite extreme, and for putting up with the daily chaos that has been my life lately. I know this wasn’t what you anticipated. Thank you for accepting and loving me for who I am. For loving all parts of me. You do a damn good job, better than most I think.

Thank you for being the best partner in the universe.

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I Have No Skin

Do not touch me, for I have no skin.

Stay away, for I have nothing to protect me.

Love, hate, fear, curiosity;

come at me with none of these – they all hurt.

 

Can’t you see I have no skin?

It was torn off long ago.

Not all at once, of course.

It took quite a while, in fact.

A bit here, a piece there.

Until there was nothing left.

Nothing to shield me any longer.

Nothing to protect me any more.

I have no skin.

And yet, where could it have gone?

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Terror

I was being attacked. Or so I thought. They were touching me, grabbing me, clawing at me. I couldn’t escape. I screamed louder. I had been fast asleep, and here I was, somewhere in between the world of dreams and the realm of wakefulness, screaming with such fear and terror and intensity that surely, surely, someone would come to my rescue before it was all over. Before they ended my life completely.

They were there. They had finally come. They had finally found me. My brutal death was imminent. I escalated my piercing screams.

Suddenly there was a light on. What was happening. I stopped screaming. I listened. I slowly emerged from the cave of covers under which I had buried myself. What had happened? Where was I? Was I safe?

Adrenalin was coursing through my veins and I could hardly catch my breath. I slowly pushed the covers down. There was my partner, sitting at the end of the bed, her face overcome with worry and concern.

What happened? I asked. I don’t know, she replied. I am so sorry, she said, I am so so sorry. What happened? I asked again. I don’t know, she replied again. I was fast asleep, she said. You started screaming. Why did you touch me? I asked. I don’t know, she said. I wasn’t thinking. I had been fast asleep. How long did I scream for? I asked. Maybe 30 seconds..? she answered, with a confused expression on her face. Do you think the neighbors heard? I asked. Yes, they probably did, she replied.

My partner was so shaken up that she could barely walk. Her knees were shaking, she said. Her heart was pounding out of her chest. All because of me. I’m so sorry, I said. It’s not your fault, she replied.

She managed to go back to sleep, but there was no sleep to be had for my body which was now in an overly anxious and high-alert state. I was up for several hours until exhaustion finally consumed me. The next thing I know my alarm clock was going off. Too soon, way too soon.

I think I may know what this relates to. A traumatic event that happened years ago while I was traveling. Where I had been attacked. Where I couldn’t get away. I have had many screaming fits of terror, but none have come close to being this bad, or have lasted this long.

And I was hoping to finally get a good night sleep…

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Drained

Can’t someone else do the work, just for once? Can’t my mind just stop working, just for once? Can’t I not care about things, just for once?

It would be so nice to be swallowed up by simplicity and and a wholehearted lack of caring. Can’t I just go on autopilot for a while?

Alas autopilot is not my fate. The cogs are constantly turning, whether I want them to or not. I want so much to better myself, to better my life. I am not happy with complacency. Maybe that is my downfall.

What this means is that I’m totally and utterly exhausted, all the time. Physically… Mentally… Emotionally… On every level imaginable. I am being tried and tested constantly. Flung into the throws of numbness, anxiety, panic, anger, sadness, confusion, restlessness, emptiness, the list can go on. They say, “pick your battles wisely.” Well… In my life it feels as though the battles pick me. And a lot of them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. It’s just… exhausting. Isn’t there a fairy tale where the princess goes to sleep for a thousand years? Can I be that princess? Please?

 

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What Is Real For Me?

I am starting to question, yet again, what is real and what is unreal.

Yes, I’m back on the old pendulum. I’ve swung all the way back up to the other side of questioning everything. That’s just the way of things I guess.

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Why do I have the tendency to want to name and categorize? The very first time I heard about dissociative identity disorder seven years ago, and had someone with DID tell me they thought I had DID, I became convinced of it. I created an elaborate “system” with a whole list of names and ages. I had been in and out of psych hospitals and I was desperate for an answer to my difficulties. To map out my entire “system”, which consisted of something like ten or more alters, took a matter of days. I literally went from having no alters, with no names or ages or anything, to having a whole handful, ready at my beckoning call.

This is the power of suggestion.

However… this notion and the repercussions of this self-given diagnosis have haunted me. I can’t seem to be able to extricate myself from it. Every time I go into a different state where I don’t feel like “myself”, I automatically go into the mindset, well if it’s not me, then who is it?

How utterly ridiculous. Of course it’s me. It’s all me.

I know there are people out there with genuine DID. I do not believe, however, that I am one of them. The symptoms just don’t fit. Do I struggle with dissociation? Yes. Do I have strong bouts of depersonalization and derealization? Yes. Do I go into numbed states… foggy states… far away states? Yes. Angry states? Yes.

This then begs the question: Who/What is R? Is R something/someone I imagined? Invented?

The state that I call “R” is real. I can see myself becoming another person. I can feel myself becoming another person. A person almost unrecognizable from myself. And yet… it is still me. In a dissociated state. But it is still me. Just a different aspect of myself.

I have to stop making assumptions about what this is. I have to stop making assumptions about who/what “R” is. I have to stop making assumptions about who/what “Coraline” is. Because assuming that they are alternate personalities, with her own minds and her own thoughts and feelings is… well… dangerous. It’s a slippery slope. When my previous therapist diagnosed me as having DID, alters started coming out of the woodwork. The majority of parts/alters who “made themselves known” during that time have what – disappeared? Gone away? No. “They” were never there in the first place. I was trying to make sense of my experience, and I took it too far. I listened and trusted my therapist, who was absolutely convinced at the time that I had DID. She even took it back at the end and said she believes she was wrong, that I don’t have DID after all.

Whether my previous therapist was right or wrong really isn’t the point. The point is, I need to start over. I need a clean slate. I need to start off with this new therapist free from assumptions and old baggage. If “R” and “Coraline” do in fact have their own identities, that will emerge at some point. And then they will just have to forgive me.

I have to stop making this my default belief. I can’t keep falling back on this as an explanation for the states I get into. There is a chance that these states are something other than alternate identities/personalities. In which case I’ve already ruined my chances of discovering what is really going on with me. What I am left with is an explanation of fabrications.


It is all just me. I have to remember that. The thought that another “person” resides in my head was kind of nice, kind of comforting. Not so lonely. And maybe it’s not so wrong to think of R (especially) as having a distinct identity other than me. However, it’s not what I need to do right now. What I need to do is start fresh. Wipe the slate clean. Discover what’s really going on, get to the root of what’s causing me such distress and chaos on a daily basis.

For those of you who felt like you were just getting to know R, I apologize. This may feel like a loss of sorts to you as well. But it is what needs to happen at the moment. It’s what I need to do for myself. Me as a whole.

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