Monthly Archives: April 2012

On life and love

I want to be able to feel the full extent of love. I wonder… What is it like to really feel love. And have I felt this before? I know I’ve felt gratitude for people in my life. Like my amazing UK friend and my partner. This gratitude comes in waves and is gone just as quickly. Are gratitude and love the same thing? I wonder.

Because so many of my feelings are dissociated – the anger, the rage, the sadness, the fear – I think good feelings are dissociated too. Including love. Which isn’t to say I don’t feel love at all. I do. Just in a very limited way. Or at least that’s how it feels.

Most of the time, when I think about people I know I love – friends, partner, family members, I feel nothing. I think of them, and can rationally understand what they mean to me, but as far as feelings go, I don’t actually feel anything most of the time. No warmth. No affection. No love. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some cold, unfeeling bitch. It’s as though these feelings are stored in a place I don’t have access to. And when they do come, they come unexpectedly and out of the blue, only to be gone moments later.

I’m curious what other people’s experience of love is. Is it a constant feeling that they have toward someone? Is it the equivalent of gratitude? Or is it different. Does it come and go unexpectantly in the way it does for me? Do other people feel as though their ability to love is limited as I do? I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on love, however different or similar their experience might be to mine.

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My last therapy session

I went into my last therapy session horribly worried and nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to feel connected to her. For the first thirty minutes or so, I sat there, unable to speak, trapped inside myself. I was able to give short answers like yes or no, but other than that couldn’t get a word out.

Bean asked me what I was feeling and I shrugged my shoulders. She said, “Is that because you don’t know? Or because you can’t say.” I told her it was because I didn’t know. She then asked me if what I was feeling was numb, shut down, or blank. She said that it may not seem like it, but there’s a subtle difference between these. I told her blank. She asked if it would be alright if we move out of that blank space for a moment, and then we will go right back into it. I began to feel panicky. I asked her what was going to happen, what was I going to feel when we moved out of the blank. She said that whatever it is is okay, since we will be able to move right back into the blank. That it will only be for a few seconds. I said okay.

She told me to start imagining words in my head, and start spelling them out. I did that. I can’t remember the words I chose but there were several. As I was spelling them out in my mind, the feelings that I hadn’t had access to came rushing in, like a dam being opened up in my mind. Pure panic, anxiety, and overwhelm. I told her, “Too much, too much.”

She tried getting me to go back into that blank space but it didn’t work. I was left to sit amidst the storm of overwhelming feelings. It was excruciating. I scrunched up my face, trying to shut it all out, but I couldn’t. She asked me if I was feeling a lot of pressure. I nodded, my eyes closed. She asked if there was pressure in my chest. I nodded. She asked if there was pressure in my head. I nodded.

I put my hands to my head, wanting to disappear. I held my forehead and felt myself slowly slip, slipping away.

From the observer position, I watch myself begin to speak cheerfully to Bean. Asking her if she’d seen this one Robin Williams movie. Her and cheerful me chatted for a bit, until she asked me a question (I can’t remember what) that brought me right back up front, with all the pressure and panic and overwhelm. Unable to speak. Hands immediately go to my head.

Is your head hurting you right now?,” Bean asked. I shake my head. “Just a lot of pressure?” she asked. I nodded, slowly feeling myself fading away again. The okay, cheerful part of myself starts in, chatting away as I observe from a safe, far away place.

The rest of the session proceeds like this. Any time Bean asks me a difficult question my “okay” part isn’t able to immediately answer, I’m sucked back into the body with all the overwhelming feelings and pressure. Then I go away again, and watch myself carry on a light-hearted conversation. The “okay” part tells Bean all about these old school transcripts and written evaluations that my mom had given me from seventh and eighth grade. She also tells Bean the story of my vice principle calling my mom and telling her I’d been raped at a party (see prior post). Bean was (appropriately) shocked and appalled.

Then, just like that, our session was over.

One good thing that came out of this session was the realization that I have these two main parts of myself that operate on a daily basis. The part that I think of as “me” – the one in touch with all my feelings, emotions, inner workings, and then the “okay part” who comes on when I get too overwhelmed, or when I need to act “okay” (around my family, for example).

Another thing I just remembered about session was that Bean told cheerful me to try to watch and become aware of what happens when I “switch states.” Cheerful me asked what the point of that was. Bean said that the more aware you can become of the process of switching, the more control you can have over the process, and you can actually get to a point where you can move “in and out of states at will.” I have yet to have mastered that. I’ll let you know when I do.

And that, in a nutshell, was my last therapy session. I see Bean tonight, and I’m sure will be updating you all with how it goes.

[Oh and for the record, I felt connected to Bean again after this last session ūüôā ]

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Break from world

I need a break from the world. I need to retreat within myself. It’s not safe at the moment. Feelings are too big. They overwhelm me. I can’t numb them. I can’t make them go away. So I must go away. I must go away from the world. I must go away. I must go away. I go.

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Done + What I Want

Done complaining

Done feeling sorry for myself

Done driving myself crazy

Done whining

Done thinking life is so hard

(It IS but what’s the use dwelling on it)

Done with the back and forth in my head

Done thinking

Done ruminating

Done analyzing

Done punishing (myself)

Done forcing what’s not there (ie memories)

Done jumping to conclusions (my therapist hates me)

Done dwelling on diagnosis (so I dissociate, so what)

Done making problems worse in my head

Done trying to over-assess myself

Done with the (constant) obsession of my mental state

Done worrying

Done arguing (with myself)

DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE

 

 

They say focus on what you WANT:

 

I will begin,

Accepting my experience without over-thinking and over-analyzing

Be open to whatever state I’m in without determining “what is happening” or “what part am I right now” (This is truly driving me crazy) –> ALLOW MYSELF TO BE MYSELF.

Be open to other possibilities other than your mind’s assumptions. (Don’t assume that when you haven’t heard back from your therapist it’s because you are overwhelming her, she hates you, or she has completely forgotten about you.)

Give your mind breaks from thinking about your mental health. IT IS OKAY TO DO THIS. You are not going to win an award for constantly thinking about your mental health. Sorry.

Allow yourself some fun and relaxation every once in a while. Get on your bike. Take a walk outside without being on psychforums on your damn phone. GET OFF YOUR PHONE. GET OFF THE INTERNET.

Breathe. You are allowed to relax. You don’t have to feel so imprisoned ¬†all the time by external circumstances.

Allow others to see you. You are not going to die by making eye contact. Avoiding contact with others is actually worsening your social anxiety. You must be willing to step out of your comfort zone in order to get better. By catering to your anxiety you are actually worsening it.

Allow yourself to go to bed early.¬† You don’t have to punish yourself by staying up late all the time. Try being kind and gentle with yourself one night by getting in bed extra early.

Slow down. You don’t have to have everything figured out RIGHT NOW.

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Burden, burdened

I feel like I’m a burden to everyone at the moment. How could I not be. I am constantly overwhelming myself, how is it that I am not overwhelming other people as well. What’s the point in reaching out, really? What’s the point in relying on people when all they ever do is let you down. What’s the point in reaching out to my therapist when she doesn’t even bother responding.

What’s the point in connection when all it does is ultimately hurt and betrayed you?

I’m feeling sad, and heavy, and weighted down, and so very alone. Will the day ever come when this loneliness will subside and I get to feel a contentment with being with myself; with being myself. Well the day ever come when I don’t feel like such a burden on others and instead just allow myself to be myself around them. To be myself without judgment, without shame, without ridicule. And if so, when will that day be?

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It’s only rape after all…

**This title is meant to question people’s attitude toward rape (ie my mother – see below). I am not in any way implying that rape is something to take lightly. In fact, I am saying quite the contrary. It is something that should be taken very, very seriously.**

****Also, if you are particularly sensitive to the topic of rape, please proceed cautiously. There are no details of rape included in this post, however there is frequent discussion of the possibility of it occurring.****

 

Let me start off by saying that rape has been a theme that has presented itself numerous times in my life, although I’m not exactly sure why. What I mean by that is, it has come up in different, mysterious ways, and yet I have no memory or recollection of ever having been raped. It could be coincidence. ¬†Or it could be that I was raped and I have no conscious memory of it. My mind perhaps put it away in a place where I didn’t have access. At this time, either one seems just as likely a possibility.

There are a couple different strange and unexplained events that occurred when I was twelve and thirteen years of age that point to the possibility of me being raped. Both of these events I was unaware of until the past year, when my mom shared about each of them (at different times). Her sharing was prompted by me trying to dig deeper into my past by asking questions. My life is filled with so many holes and unexplained things, and since I was diagnosed with DID last year, I have been on a quest to figure out what exactly has happened in my life to get me to be as split as I am.

One event that (apparently) happened, that my mom told me about, was related to M (see previous blog post). My mom told me that I had begged her to let me to see him, even though he was someone who she had never met, and that she had finally given in. She said that I went to see him, and when I came back, it was obvious that something had happened. She said I had left a happy, cheerful girl, and had come back looking like a different person. She said I climbed into bed, got under my covers, and moaned for three days.

Keep in mind, she did not mention this to me until about a year ago, when I began asking her questions about that time period. I have no memory of this. I don’t remember going to see M. I don’t remember what happened. I don’t remember spending days in bed.

When I asked my mom why she didn’t do anything, or why she had continued letting me see M after that, she simply replied, “Because, Brandic, after those three days you got up and seemed fine, and were acting like your old self again. You seemed fine.”

I seemed fine. Yeah Mom, I spent three days in bed, moaning, under my covers. I was fine. Just fine.

 

Another strange thing that happened was something I literally heard for the first time about a month ago, and then promptly forgot until a week ago. Again, I was asking my mom questions relating to that time period, and she shared with me this story:

She said that when I was in either seventh or eighth grade, the vice principle of the school called her on the phone. He told her that I had been at a party with other students, outside the school premises (at another student’s house), and that there had been drinking involved. According to my mom, toward the end of the conversation¬†he said, “AND, she was RAPED.”

My mom’s response to him at this point in the conversation turned quite bizarre. She said she got very angry, and began yelling at him, saying, “How dare you call our home and make such crazy, absurd statements! You have no right! I am going to report you!” And promptly hung up on him.

As she was telling me this story, she was laughing. Apparently she thought the whole thing was so ridiculous that it was funny. Yeah Mom, so funny you should use it in a stand-up comedy routine.

 

Her reaction to very serious events – specifically the possibility of me getting raped – is mind boggling. Even now, she doesn’t take any of this seriously.

One other piece of the puzzle that I should include here is that during high school, I told several close friends that I had been raped. This I do remember. However, even at the time, I believe I was making it up. I think I was trying to create an explanation for all the crazy symptoms I was displaying that my friends were questioning me about: my extreme depression, my severe and abrupt changes in moods, the fact that I would suddenly and inexplicably be unable to speak for hours at a time… I think I was looking for a reason that I was the way I was. Because it didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to have a concrete thing I could point my finger at and say, “This happened. And that is why I am the way I am.”

Still, the pieces don’t seem to add up. If I was raped, they by who? I don’t believe it could have been M, because I have fragmented memories that indicate the contrary. Also, if this had happened at a junior high party, then it couldn’t have been M…

I suppose I will just have to wait until the memories come, if the memories ever come. To some of you it might seem strange that I would want to remember traumatic events such as this, but I just want to make sense of my life. I want to know why I am as fragmented as I am. I want to know why I have PTSD, why any¬†single little unexpected sound or movement¬†makes me jump and scream. I want my life to make sense. Because right now, it doesn’t. There are too many gaps, too many things unexplained, too many questions unanswered.

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Shattered

I feel like there’s so much to say, so much to let out, so much to express and yet the words just aren’t there. All these thoughts and feelings swirling around my head and somehow I’m sitting, amongst all the swirling, and am numb to it all.

I wanted so much to write a letter to my therapist. To express all the things I didn’t feel I was able to express in our session together. I got as far as “Dear Bean” and then got stuck. The words just weren’t there.

I want so much to write a blog post about my therapy session last night. About the realizations I’ve come to. About how shattered I feel. I did start one last night. But today I just can’t find the words.

I feel like I need to be held. Not physically. But held just the same.

I wasn’t soothed as a child. This fact saddens me.

Those are the only words that can come at the moment. Any more would just be too painful.

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