Sam

I love the fact I’ve got the Samaritans number in my phone stored under “Sam” as if we are good friends. I guess in a way the Samaritans and I are good friends. They have been there countless times when there has been no one else I can turn to. For years I have had them stored in my phone like a little secret.

Unfortunately not even the Samaritans can be there for me with the current internal crisis going on. I can’t put myself in the position where they may completely misunderstand and feel the need to call the police. Some situations break through the non-judgmental barriers the Samaritan volunteers try to erect. Trust me, I know. I’ve been on the receiving end of a bad Samaritan egg before. Not fun.

I’m doing what I can. I’ve told Cat, even though I’m now wanting to hurt myself because she knows. My only saving grace seems to be that the emergence of this stuff has come hand in hand with a huge headache that is pretty much keeping me bed bound and in and out of sleep. I am keeping myself safe by sleeping, I can’t do any better than that.

I just wish I had the Samaritans to talk to. I wish I could voice this and get it out of me but it is just not that simple this time round.

Dear diary

My head, neck and shoulders feel unbelievably tight and tense. I can practically feel them throbbing wide enough to reach my throat and create some unsettling nausea. I only wish I could bear to have a professional massage. Our bodies hold so much physically that affects the emotional. I just want this pressure out of me tonight, I am feeling so rattled.

I am trying to calm myself down with a scented candle, writing in my little safe place on my blog, cuddled up to our safe little stuffed friend. But the ache ache ache just has to keep reminding me it’s there – along with all the shit I have been carrying since I have been old enough to breathe.

I have had my mothers voice and cackling laugh in my head all day which is very disconcerting. Saying the same thing over and over again, with the same expression, and the same weapon in her hand. Whether this is a true memory, or something I imagined when the weapon was really being held, or something my brain has put forward to try and make sense of the situation, I don’t know. All I do know is that she isn’t welcome in my head anymore and I wish she would buzz right off.

The expectation of being driven somewhere with Cat today as planned was too much and resulted in terror from me as I recalled horrific memories of car journeys from the past. I couldn’t move anywhere- just sat in the passenger seat of my car with my head bowed onto Cats shoulder. I couldn’t go into the therapy room, I couldn’t go for a walk, I couldn’t go to where we were meant to. So a car session it was. My terror levels are winning at the moment, unfortunately, they are not talk-down-able.

And that’s fine- we can’t win them all. Gone are the days I am forced to do something I fear so much I make myself sick just thinking about it. Gone are the days of callous heartlessness from the parents who forced me to be who I never could be.

Better

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

After writing that post this morning I literally dragged myself out of bed and into the car to go and see Cat as is our routine on a Monday.  The emetophobia wanted to stop me, of course it did, be around someone who has potentially just had a bug, are you mad? it was screaming.  But yes I am mad aren’t I, We’re all mad here, Alice!  so boo-yah.

Apparently my behaviour last night wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.  My shouting text messages were “fair” apparently so I was to wipe out any thoughts that Cat was angry and was going to hurt me in retaliation if I sat in the same room as her.  Nevertheless I think we sat in silence for at least an hour.  Silence is never uncomfortable with Cat because she will just allow you to be there, but will also gently talk to you so you know where she is, what she is thinking, and so on.  Silence isn’t dangerous, in fact it communicates so much.

We were initially just huddled in the corner, hiding under a blanket.  We were somewhat stuck in our emotions: fear, frustration, confusion.  Unfortunately there are scratches down my arm from impulsive lashings out at our self in anger.  I think this was a way of us communicating to Cat too – physically telling stuff that we verbally couldn’t - as when we moved over to the sofa we laid our hurt arm in her hands.  The pain was talking to us, the raised red welts were talking to her.  Her looking at it and gently stroking around it meant we could feel heard in our silence, and to some extent, relieved of what was dragging us down so massively.

After that came a period of very deep dissociation.  Very deep.  To the extent that my eyes rapidly shift back and forth, shake and tremor as if I am asleep.  (This is a state known to me, I just have never been in such pain as to ‘need’ to fall into it around Cat).  Every now and then one of us would pop out and gaze at Cat or stare at the door but other than that the eyes would not focus at all.

When I was able to come back to myself again and actually found a voice to use, Cat quizzed me about my eyes.  What it feels like.  What I can see.  When it happens at home.  She reckons that neurologically my mind is shifting so much in that state between parts/fragments of my self that there is just no staying still.  My eyes reflect the constant movement.  It is known that dissociative switches between parts can be recognised by certain eye movements (depending on the system, and the alters within the system) – some eyes roll, flicker, close, look to the side… anything and everything really.  This is just like that, only extended.  It doesn’t stop with a switch because there is no switch.  I guess for half an hour or so no one was in the body at all.

I’m okay now though.  Anxiety is at a more manageable level. I feel grounded and connected to Cat again.  The younger me feels warm and soothed. There is a lot to think about.  Especially as memories have come to the surface this weekend – not ones that are new to me altogether, just in a depth that is new to me.  More memories of how my mother used the supernatural as a way of terrorising the shit out of little me.  But at the moment, these are yet more memories that will need to be put back on the backburner.  I haven’t got enough safety in the present at the moment to start looking at the unsafety of my past.

Triggered

I yelled at Cat for the first time last night. I can’t remember what I said (I was also drugged on seroquel at the time- which is probably why it happened, my inhibitions were down). She has been trying to get me to express my anger towards her for months. Finally last night it felt safe enough too without worries of abandonment or retaliation. Plus I was just really really freaked out.

Anxiety had been burning a hole in me all day yesterday. I managed to keep myself functioning and upright, spending some time volunteering to take my mind off what day it was. The emetophobia in particular was wrapped very tightly around my neck and made my legs threaten to buckle a few times. I was holding on to anything and everything I could to get myself through such a horrible day.

But then she dropped the bombshell and all the anxiety of the day became less of anxiety and more very real threat. The phobia suddenly had a reason to be suffocating me. She told me she had been very ill with a bug and I very quickly worked out that there’s a chance I will be too as we only saw each other on Friday. All her back pedalling of “I haven’t been sick” and “I think it might be food poisoning not a bug” did very little. The weekend has completely frayed my nerves and that was the last straw- my back is broken.

All my anger that had been stored up regarding her came spilling out. She tried to rationalise it for me but when things have been stored up there is no rational – it’s all conglomerated into one. Then some triggered talk suddenly erupted out of me. Talks of sacrificial blood letting and so on. It was just a very messy mess.

This morning my head doesn’t really feel screwed on right. Im still triggered and my thoughts are all over the place. I’m not sure how today is going to pan out. To be honest I’d rather just sleep it all away.

I was naive

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

I will never have a story to tell.  

I guess I naively first went into DID therapy hoping and somewhat expecting that I would, in time, find the narrative of my life.  I naively thought that regardless of the fact I have over a decade of amnesia for my childhood, my other parts of me would fill in those gaps for me- fill me up with anecdotes and truths that I will eventually claim as my own.

Cat and I have pretty much come to the conclusion that this is never going to happen. And apparently, she admires me for being able to remain that way.  Humans are a story-hungry species.  We want to know each others stories, we want to know our own, from beginning to end.  Even if that means that to compensate for the ‘natural’ memory loss (especially following trauma) our brain fills in the gaps.

It is not in my personality to make a story out of the memories I have, or other alters have, or I am recovering.  Some people do deal with their abusive experiences that way, but I just can’t, it doesn’t feel legitimate to me, not one bit.  I am too hyper-aware that those ‘brain filling in the gaps’ bits aren’t necessarily complete truth – more estimations, imagination, approximations.

What I am remembering from my childhood, or what other parts are telling me, are fragments of an experience.  I could string it altogether and try to find a beginning middle and end with context and emotion, but I won’t.  I guess this is why bits of shit from the past float in my life and then float out again.  Memories, body memories, flashbacks, gut feelings, triggered recollections, recalls from other parts of me… none of these are set in stone and added to my (abstract) timeline of life (if they were, as Cat said, it would be a horrific timeline indeed).

These things may have happened.  But they may not have done.  They may have been staged. They may have been on the TV or on a poster.  They may have been told to me.  Somehow these things have found their way inside me but neither Cat nor I make it a priority in finding out how; mainly because in reality, we will never know for sure.  Humans just don’t have the ability to completely accurately recall early childhood memories like that.

My therapy expectations have completely changed and I have to admit, it is much less ‘fascinating’ and ‘interesting’. It is not about finding the key and unlocking the past anymore.  It is not about discovering exactly how and when my DID/alters developed.  It is not about recalling abusive events and how I survived them.  It is not about creating a timeline and putting everything in order and eventually writing a book from age zero to twenty-three.

Most the time therapy is not based in the past at all.  It is based in the present.  What difficulties am I having living day to day life, why, and how can I change that? Same for friendships, relationships, responsibilities, attachments, confidence, sense of self, self image, food and drink intake, phobias and so much more.

There is a reason that my mind has a decade of amnesia and only fragmented stuff ever since- perhaps that is all the story I really need to know.  

Life as I know it

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I don’t mean for this to come across as grumpy as it does.  I am not in crisis.  I am no more depressed than I usually am.  Nothing has changed bar acknowledgement of the way things are spurred by Cats honesty.  This is my life, and for now that is fine.  I have lived every day up until now, today and the rest of my days aren’t any different.  

~~~

Around every corner is a trigger, and then some.  Life throws these triggers at me which sometimes forces my healing and recovery of memories and thoughts about these memories at a rate that isn’t comfortable.  Today I was somewhat pushed down that road because of highly triggering imagery in a computer game I saw a few minutes of.  An hour long conversation on the phone with Cat and things seem to have been “sorted” in my mind, for now, but there are still so many questions left unanswered, so many things left unsaid because I don’t know how to say them.

Cat said something ever so “real” today on the phone that left me feeling quite alone, but thankful for her honesty.  She said that sometimes she forgets the extent of what I must be carrying around, with my history.  As she goes about her day to day life she doesn’t appreciate how difficult it must be to live with what I do 24/7.  She catches glimpses of what it must be like, when I am directly with her in session, and said that sometimes it makes her blood run cold.  But I am doing so well at the moment in functioning despite everything going on underneath the surface that I guess to “outsiders” it would be easy to lose sight of the 24/7 difficulties that haunt me, thanks to such soul-damaging abuse.

It is nice in a way, because it means I feel I legitimately have grounds to praise myself on, for once.  I do live with this shit 24/7, I do keep things under control, yet I am still sane. Sometimes, that feels like a really big achievement to me.  Still sometimes, I hate my self for it.  Sometimes, I hate that I am still here, I hate that my life is ahead of me and it is closer and closer within my reach as a “normal” member of society.  I hate that the war I have been through in surviving such an intensely dangerous childhood has left me so tired I feel like I’m done… that was my lifetime… do I really have to go through more?

I am finding so much good in my life at the moment, I am so lucky, I know.  Cat and I are building such wonderful memories of a perfectly safe attachment.  But in all seriousness, does it make up for all that of before? Of course it doesn’t.  She knows it doesn’t.  I know it doesn’t.  Neither of us are fooling ourselves here.  It is like being given crusts of bread after being starved for a month.  You are grateful for it, like you have never been grateful about anything before, but it would be impossible for that to take away the emptiness, the insatiable need for more.  And the rage that comes from that left over hunger is so guilt-inducing it just cannot be expressed, so it festers under the surface causing yet more neurosis.

Because it doesn’t matter what I tell Cat, what she understands, or at least tries to.  There are still those times where my body and mind are absolutely screaming (silently, of course) for someone, or something, to take it all away.  And much like when I am sitting across from her feeling like I am being burned alive because I so desperately need a hug but can’t ask for it, and don’t believe she would want to give it to me anyway, I am left hollow knowing that there is nothing in the world that will help- no pill, no type of therapy, no respite stay.

And that makes me angry.  My life continues to be a game of dodgeball- dodging the great big inflated triggers that feel as if they are aimed straight for me at times.  I can laugh about it, and I do.  Like when Cat and I were in the car talking about a recent supernatural-type trigger and a massive lorry comes around the corner with “demons revenge” written down the side of it, with a great big image to go with it.  Or when upon trying desperately hard to think of something untriggering for ‘wind down’ before bed and everything Cat and I say happens to have some sort of trigger in it- even something that should be innocent, like goats!  My history – it’s everywhere – inside and out.  I cannot get the fuck away.  And no, nobody can appreciate that – not even the closest person to me, Cat, can come anywhere close to feeling the strain of it.  

The ‘mundaneness’ of day to day life for the majority of society ends up irritating the shit out of me- so much so over the years I have really developed a pet hate for the phrase “what do you want to do now?” Why would I want to do anything that life offers now (when your “base state” is being housebound)? Why would I want to sit and watch a made up film about made up dreadful situations society thinks is “entertaining” when I can watch the film that is in my own head day in day out? Why would I want to play or watch a computer game with knife wielding maniacs and characters running from monsters and supernatural creatures, when that was my actual reality for 18 years? Why would I want to sit and do crafts when all that does is serve as a reminder that I never got to do this before, and now look, I am rubbish at it.  Quite frankly I don’t want to do anything but recover and heal and be able to live as securely, contently and safely as I should have been able to all along.  And I know that isn’t going to happen overnight, so ultimately, no I don’t want to do anything.

…and I so wish for just one day my focus could solely be on something other than internal turmoil, pain, grief, stress, and terror…

…I’m sorry…

Wonderful chaos

Tags

, , , ,

What a wonderful afternoon of chaos today turned out to be.  You know when you have made yourself so dizzy that even when you’re standing still your brain feels like it is still spinning? With Cat here for 4.5 hours during which there was a ridiculously high level of switching (we’re talking minutes at a time, or even seconds at some points) my brain is still turning now, trying to catch up with itself.  I hate this sensation because it can make me feel so nauseous (during the rapid switching and after) but sometimes there is just no (point in) stopping it.  Though if you asked me who was there today I wouldn’t be able to give a straight answer; there were voices/mannerisms that even I didn’t recognise.

We were supposed to be going out, but in true Bourbon style, things just didn’t feel safe enough to leave the house.  With that level of switchy-ness leaving the house never feels comfortable anyway because I have to try to keep a lid on it all which sometimes is just not possible.  It just felt much safer and comfortable staying at home where we could be whoever we need to be at any given time.

We did some cooking, and some crafty activities, but a lot of the time things were so chaotic inside it felt impossible to concentrate on anything external and there was a lot of sitting/laying on the sofa trying to just breathe and navigate the internal mess.  I honestly don’t know how Cat can keep up with us sometimes.

There was a bit of a breakthrough with our youngest system member today; for the first time he seemed very aware of it being present day and was concerned about his present needs rather than being stuck in past abreactions.  He is also beginning to realise that he can communicate those needs to Cat and Cat will try her hardest to decipher them.  All the time he’s been having recently with Cat in sessions has certainly paid off.

I am so thankful we got to spend the afternoon with Cat today.  It has certainly given us something else to hold onto as the week hurtles up to yet another “special occasion”.

Dear diary,

If she recognises bits of me around society does that mean I am someone?

She says…
Animals she sees that link us together…
Small dogs that look like my own…
Clothes shops that she thinks I’d like…
Shoes that she thinks I’d like…

It’s why she sometimes sends me pictures. Animals mostly. Or lovely scenes that she comes across.

This means I am an actual person doesn’t it? I can appreciate things like other people do? I have likes? She sees me for who I am??

She can ‘see me’ even when I’m not physically there? I ‘see her’ all the time but she sees me too??

Such a relatively small passing comment that has made such big ripples within me and my sense of self…

Even if I can’t see myself, she sees me. I am someone, even if it isn’t someone I want to be right now?

She is okay with seeing me that way? She isn’t embarrassed or horrified or bored?

She says…
She likes ‘seeing me’ around?
It makes her feel warm?

I am not just a poisonous ‘thing’ she has to deal with everyday. I am warmth to her.

She says…
When we are out she fiercely protects me like a dog mummy with her pups.
Ready to growl at any signs of danger.

I am worth protecting? She recognises my need to feel protected like I never have done before? She wants to keep me safe and from harm?

Huge.

I am someone. I’m actually a person. She sees me. When I have no masks on… she sees me.

I feel alive

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Hi all,

I haven’t really had much to say for myself here recently… I still don’t.  Therapy today was really nice and comforting.  LJ and little me were blended throughout the entire session again which seems to be the state I feel most comfortable at the moment- the most “me”- still a state that is reserved only for Cats presence though.

We had an interesting discussion about dissociative disorders being attachment trauma and how we have worked so hard to achieve a good strong attachment to Cat in the last two years that it is acting like a balm for the system – something that is bringing us altogether and melting us into one being.  Apparently it isn’t unusual for young people with DID to start blending/integrating quite early on in therapy as our brains are still young enough to be quickly developing and changing with the support of a ‘forever’ safe attachment.  It’s a case of attachments gluing us together again- its just happening a lot quicker than I anticipated it would.

Tuesday will be interesting – we are going for a day trip out with Cat.  I wonder who will be present for that.  Given the extent of my social phobia when in public when I am feeling little, it might be quite hard to stay present.  I hope not because these day trips with Cat aren’t just about having lightness and fun.  It’s about feeling safe and secure outside the house, and feeling protected by someone.  I hope I can let myself feel that as the ‘me’ that needs it the most.

Outside of therapy my attention has been elsewhere.  I have been powering on with my home studying course I am doing and received two good passes for the two assessments I have done so far: 87% and 100%.  My brain is so active so much of the time I am really enjoying being able to focus it with some learning again.  I have also set up a new blog that is dedicated to my volunteering.  I am not really publicising it yet as I am in the middle of getting permission from the organisation that it is okay for me to write about my experiences online.  I hope I get a positive response though as the blog is strangely, already giving me a warm sense of achievement and confidence.

Things are all feeling ‘okay’ right now and that is odd but very very welcome.  I am feeling held, grounded, heard, understood and … for the first time in a very long time I can acknowledge that I feel alive.

Happy Friday all xx

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 700 other followers