Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Here I go!

OK the day has arrived! I am sitting waiting for my mum to arrive to take us to the airport and feeling half ready and half like I still need to do a million things before I go. And I cant find my sun glasses which is a big bummer. But at least its not my passport.
I'm feeling pretty stressed out to be honest. I was up intil 2.30 packing and then up again at 8. I think once I get to the airport in London I will feel more calm (we have to get a flight to London then wait there all afternoon for our flight out).
I feel like I've forgotten something important but yet I feel like I have way to much stuff. I guess I'm just ambivalent about everything at the moment. I have packed my teddy for Little people, even though it is huge, but thats another story. Better get going and finish getting ready.
Wish me luck on my big adventure!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Getting ready to go and getting things off my chest

I am never sure when to put a trigger warning, but just be warned, this blog post isn't all about my holidays.

So it's Monday evening here in my part of the world...nearly nine o'clock to be more precise. Tomorrow is my last day of work and then I set off on Wednesday with my hubbie on a huge adventure. We are going to be travelling to a variety of countries but the main stay will be in New Zealand, where I've ALWAYS wanted to go. It's pretty exciting for me now. Last weekend was the first I actually felt excited about it. Up until then I was 'saying' it was exciting but my main feelings about it were fear of how I will cope. I have been away before and coped really well, even though things went wrong at times, but I've also been away and not coped well. Last year we only went camping for our holiday and I was a mess. I couldn't wait to get home because I was such a scatter head.

I've been working hard trying to get my house all tidied. My house, as you may know, generally looks like one you might see on 'hoarders' or 'how clean is your house' ie like a bomb has hit it. So it has been no small task to get it looking half decent. I am proud to say that aside from three large boxes of junk in the hallway that need sorted, it now looks like a house that might belong to someone who isn't too house proud but in a ''I've got standards but I'm not Monica'' kind of way and less of the ''I have severe mental health issues and keeping my house tidy is an impossible task for me'' kinda way.

Now, instead of writing to you, I should be upstairs getting all my stuff together that I need to pack but I am feeling as Jane Austen would have called it: 'undone'. Modern speaking people might prefer knackered/drained/shattered... none of these quite hit the spot so I made up my own word to describe it: "Flmphd". If you want to add this to your own dictionary, make note of how to use it in a sentence: "I've lost my flmph", "I haven't got any flmph". (Pronounced like 'umph', but with a 'fl' at the start. Let me know if it catches on.

Anyway I digress.

Why have I lost my flmph? Yesterday I was on top of the world. Well maybe not on top of the world but, standing upright someplace mentally anyway. Today I had my last therapy session before I head on my trip though. I went with the expectation that we would be trying to discuss coping strategies and practical ways to look after myself and my parts while I'm away (which has been the aim of the last few sessions however dissociation had prevented much progress on this in previous weeks as I was so anxious at any thought of the future) and which was the aim my T had in mind too for today... but I found myself going down a completely different and new road today. I found myself talking about things I didn't imagine I would be telling T any time never mind the day before I leave on a two month long trip. I don't know how we got onto it and I felt surprised at what was going on myself but I was there, telling her about physical and emotional reactions I get when triggered by certain things: an internal image (some might say 'flashbacks', I call them images as to some parts they don't seem to be memories), something on the news, a touch, a word, something else... something insignificant like the half eaten banana on my plate at lunch time today.

She asked me a lot about what the reactions were like and I found myself talking through: a panic, a pain, feeling sick, fear, gagging, a stomach ache, sometimes nothing. I wasn't able to say what the triggers are but I was able to talk about how they affect me and how often they happen. I told her about how I get scared at night and feel like a child part is crying and feeling like she is being forced down onto the bed even though there's no one there. I have never been able to tell her these things before. I have shown her pictures drawn by child parts which have given her a lot of information but in the years I've been there could never verbalise anything about it. Then there was a lot of the actual 'feeling' these things in the session which I guess might be expected if one is going to think about those things too.

But although it was hard, I cried a lot and I'm exhausted now and my head hurts, in some way I feel relief. I didn't realise at the time but I think this experience was a good thing. T asked me, what were the positives of the session today. I couldn't think of anything at the time and said: "tissues". I feel sorry for her now because a positive was that I went through those feelings with someone who understood and cared and I was able to share just a tiny amount of something that has been wanting to come out for a long time. T took it all so seriously too, which I know may seem like a silly thing to say, but is always a fear in me: will I be believed?

Having said all that, I am aware that the above is a one sided view of the session. I felt another part who was so perplexed by what I was saying and couldn't understand why I was having the emotional reaction to what I was saying because they have always believed that the other part has just made things up for attention. It was difficult for them to justify their belief that nothing bad has happened when they could see that the part that was talking was feeling every word in a physical way. This is causing me some confusion and it's hard for me, as more of an observer, to know what to believe because each part is so convincing.

T said she was convinced that this is very real and that it is memories held by one part and not shared with the part that doesn't believe anything bad has ever happened. From an impartial view, I can see that the evidence is pretty conclusive to say that she is right, but when the non believing part takes over, it is clear that this is all a huge mistake and it's completely absurd to think anything like that could have ever happened to me. At those times I am CONVINCED that I made it all up. During the session I could feel a lot of switching between parts but interestingly, I think it has put a seed of doubt in one part's mind. How could something cause such physical and emotional chaos in a person if they are lying?

I have a lot to think about.

I reflected that the session hadn't gone the way I'd planned. T felt that maybe there was a part that felt they could allow these things to be spoken about because they knew I wouldn't be back for two months. I'm not sure about this but she could be right. Actually, my brain hurts now but it's something to think about anyway, once I gather a bit more energy together. T said the next few days might be difficult. In a way I think a long flight journey is just what I need: a chance to do nothing and let everything process a bit.

For now, I need to get a move on and do some packing or I will be travelling very light.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Feeling good about co consciousness

I have been unintentionally neglecting my blogging a bit lately. I wasnt very well last week and this week was pretty exhausting being back at work but on the bright side, I have been doing some work with reconnecting with my internal friends and feel as though I'm out of function mode but not in any other desperate state. What I mean by that is that when not in function mode, if I am focussing on whats going on in my head, sometimes it is easy to be taken over by one part and their emotions, so I might find myself becoming very depressed or full of despair or anxious. I feel at the moment I have managed to get a balance so that I am aware of several parts and what they are thinking but without any one more extreme part taking over for a considerable amount of time. This is what I imagine a good outcome might be like for many: being able to communicate with parts and feel them there but not feel controlled by any one. I guess that might be what they mean by co consciousness. Well, thats not to say I think I am better and everythings great and I don't need therapy anymore. I'm just saying, at times like this I feel more hope that one day I might be able to be like this all the time. I am not being naive that I might go downstairs now and something will upset me and cause a big catastrophe resulting in me switching, as it often does, but I don't think it's a bad thing to acknowledge that right now I am feeling comfortable with where I am. I am looking forward to my therapy session tomorrow as well as when in this state I am most able to progress in therapy. I am more likely to have a good insight into whats happening in my head and less likely to dissociate.
Speaking of dissociating, this happened in my session last week and meant my T was able to bring out the box of items I had gotten together for situations like this. I will have to tell you about how that worked out.
But for now, I have to get going and get stuff done. Only three days left until I head on my big adventure around the world with my husband!

Monday, 17 January 2011

What am I doing awake in the middle of the night? T is leaving us and we will fall apart again. That's all

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Getting a massage

Today I went for a massage which was a Christmas present I received. I am usually on high alert and tend to hold a lot of tension in my body so I wouldn't say I fel completely relaxed during it, but more relaxed than is my norm. Having someone give me attention and touch my body is not something I'm really used to and the process of having a massage in itself can be kind of stressful for me, which is probably why if I were going to buy myself such an experience, I would pick reflexology rather than a body massage as I am more able to enjoy it when it's just my feet being touched.

The lady took a history from me beforehand. I wasn't really sure how much to tell her about my mental health. On one hand I didn't think it was relevant as it's not really a physical problem but on the other hand I thought I'd better just in case something weird happened to me during it.
But then, what do you write on the form? I suffer from 'DID'? 'Dissociative Identity Disorder'? Nobody in this country knows what that is (I don't know about USA/Australasia/elsewhere? I'd be interested to hear if it is different).
So then, do I say: 'I have what used to be called multiple personality disorder'? No, that would probably just help make someone scared of me.

Well in the end I decided to put it down as complex PTSD, as I thought this is probably the nearest thing that would highlight what the therapist might need to consider and PTSD is relatively heard of so I wouldn't be asked questions would I?


She didn't know what PTSD was until I said out the full title and then she proceded to ask me what had happened. Well actually what she said was: "Did you have an incident?" LOL. Well I mumbled something about it being more of a long term thing from childhood and I think she probably realised I didn't want to give any more detail because she didn't ask any more about it.

So anyway, the massage... The only thing I have to say about it aside from that I think I enjoyed it, is: I felt like there was a lot going on in my head during the process. And not just a lot going on, but changing states/thoughts/emotions. One minute I felt like myself, then like another part, then like several parts were there, then anxious, then and largely: not real at all. I found myself unsure of who I was or how to feel or what to think. I was trying to focus myself to be one person or to feel one thing and then realising I was not really cherishing the experience, but wasn't really in control of myself enough to do so. So then I would try to not think at all but then I wasn't 'present' either.

And then being aware of another human touching my body, looking at me, touching my scars, knowing things about me that not even my family know. And the feeling of being touched in a soothing and gentle way. Stroking my hair, my hands. It felt like 'love'. Love from a stranger. I wasn't sure how to feel about being 'loved'. It's sadly not something I have experienced much of. But are there many people that do? I know my husband loves me, but it felt different. I'm not sure why. It was more nurturing. It reminded me of how my mum used to stroke my hair when I was lying on the sofa as a child. When did it become so hard to enjoy being touched this way?

Does any of this make any kind of sense to anyone? If you have DID, have you ever had a massage? How did you feel during it? Did you notice any strange changes/emotions? Do you think it'a good thing?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Therapy today: forcing me out of function mode

Today I had my clinical psychology appointment. The last one was cancelled as you may remember, so this was the first since before Christmas and as you may also remember, I have been in function mode over the Christmas period.

Well, it was strange being in the session and starting to have stirrings again from my parts because I get so used to not really having much going on in my head when in function mode. To feel it all starting to stir again causes my anxiety levels to go right up and I struggle with it all to be honest. I am now a fully 'feeling' human being, much to some of my parts' annoyance.

I think in general I would have rather stayed in function mode. Normally I force myself out of it in preparation for the session, but as I am going away travelling soon and with the imminent departure of my T at any time, I must confess I have been very tempted to allow myself to sink deeper into that state and to allow myself to start to believe I don't have DID at all. I even considered (and this has never before been an option in my mind) just not going back again and telling T I am feeling better thanks very much.

I have been feeling pretty sure that once T leaves on her 'extended leave' I will never see her again. I know she hasn't really given me any reason to believe this. I asked if she is going to come back and her answer was a typical psychologist's answer that she has no plans not to. What the heck does that mean? Well, it's easier for us to believe she is leaving for good and we can start to detach ourselves from her now, rather than thinking she will be back and then dealing with the pain of her not doing so.

Anyhoo, just an incling but I think there has been some change happening in me over the last few days. I watched the first half hour of 'Annie' and was nearly in tears several times and then again this morning when driving to work and I watched the traffic stop for an ambulance to pass (I don't know why but I tend to well up when I see this happen). Crying isn't really my thing in general.

Now I'm going to go and try to manage what's going on in my head. I think this has helped though.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A snippet of 'my mum'

Hello, I’m having a ‘tired day’ today again (where in my head I know what I want to get done but my body just doesn’t have the energy). I feel slightly less guilty than usual because I have a cold coming on so it’s probably best to be resting anyway, but there’s a bit of anxiety because I actually have so much I need to get done before I leave on my big trip in two weeks time. Plus my husband’s brother and sister in law are coming round for dinner tonight so I need to get the house ready and the food ready. I cheated by buying a ready cooked chicken for the roast today. Oh well! But I am going to have to muster the energy to hoover because they have a little baby who will undoubtedly want to shuffle about on the floor and I don’t want her going home with hairballs. LOL

I know that if I could drag myself up to the bath and have a good soak I might feel revitalised but I can’t even be bothered to get off the sofa.

My mum stayed over last week and tidied some in the kitchen (as she loves to do) and the next day I found a piece of writing that I had done sitting on the table. It held a lot of my thoughts about therapy and issues I wanted to discuss with my therapist. I really, really, really hope she didn’t read it. My family don’t know anything about my mental health problems. My mum probably knows more than others, from having tidied my entire house uninvited when I have been away and most likely seeing medication lying around as well as my diaries and bits of paper with writings that I tend to do when the notion takes me.

My mum would like to know more; she works in mental health and at various times over my teens and twenties has tried to get me to confess to her if there’s stuff going on or accused me of ‘having depression’, but it’s best for me to keep anything like that hidden from my family. Growing up in the cult (It still feels weird to call it that) that my father was a leader in, I learnt that any kind of illness was sin and that mental health problems were sin and that it was important to never let anyone see my weaknesses or sins for fear of disapproval and punishment. I remember getting a stern lecture from my mother because I suffered from extremely bad IBS. She gave me a good telling off for not having the faith to get a healing from God. There was never any thought of taking me to the doctors to make sure it was just IBS and there was never any consideration as to what stress was causing me to run to the loo four or five times a day.

Although my family is not in that cult anymore, I still don’t trust my mum for various reasons and she always wants to give advice without really listening. It’s hard sometimes to listen to her stories about her clients because at times she is quite unsympathetic and talks about people self harming for attention and comments that they need to get a job and get on with life instead of feeling sorry for themselves etc. When she talks like this it makes me paranoid and I wonder if my therapist feels that way about me. In the end I try not to care what my therapists thoughts are because it doesn’t really help me to get better. She has tried to reassure me at times that she believes I am genuine and is interested etc but it just takes the slightest thing to knock my confidence and make me start wondering again if she thinks I’m just looking for attention and making it up.

Anyway, my mum is coming to stay at my house to look after the cat when my husband and I go travelling at the end of the month. I am going to have to go through everything with a fine toothed comb and put all of my personal items and pieces of writing away somewhere. Where though? Last time, she was up in the loft and all.

I will also need to think about how I am going to approach the subject of her doing things to my house. Last summer when I went away camping I left her a list of jobs she could do if she wanted (she asked me to do this). I made sure they were mostly jobs in the garden or downstairs of the house so she wouldn’t go through my bedroom or anything upstairs. I also asked her not to do the laundry (I always insisted on this since the age of about twelve, mainly because I didn’t want her to know I was having periods but also because she always managed to ruin my clothes somehow).

Well, when we came back she had tidied my entire house, done all the laundry, shrunk my new dress, ruined the lovely scarf my sister got me for Christmas and not only had she tidied but she had REARRANGED a load of my things (including my underwear drawer; yes, MY UNDERWEAR!). I was so angry. I felt so violated and also embarrassed and upset because I hadn’t hidden any writings etc as I didn’t think she’d be upstairs. It was so difficult because on one hand I knew she was trying to do a nice thing for me and that I should be grateful but for the main part I was just so angry that she had done this when I specifically asked her not to (another sign that she never listens) and I just felt so violated.

The feelings arose every time I was unable to find something, which happened a lot over the next few months as I knew she had put things away somewhere.

I don’t know how I am going to be able to make it more clear to her this time that I don’t want her to do that, without her feeling like I am ungrateful. One way would be to have the house cleaned and spotless before I go, but if you had a look at the state of the upstairs of my house, you would realise I would need two things I don’t have: firstly, a lot of time and secondly, a lot of energy.

When I think about all of this I imagine others asking me why it matters to me if someone cleans my house. Maybe it is wrong of me to feel this is a violation of my privacy but I just feel that it’s my house and I don’t want someone else’s mark on it. I wouldn’t go into someone else’s house and decide that the saucepans would be better in a different cupboard and just move them all. But somehow it makes me angrier than is reasonable. To me it represents other times when my personal boundaries have been violated in a much more harmful way and I have not been able to protect myself. It’s probably a similar to how I reacted to Pou pouncing on my boobs and trying to kiss me. I am oversensitive to these things, but at the same time I can’t help but feel that anyone would be right to be annoyed, even if they weren’t oversensitive, which kind of just makes it even worse.

Oh my gosh, I just realised the time. Where has my day gone? I better go and get stuck into the dinner etc. Bye for now.


Wednesday, 5 January 2011

John Mayer - Daughters (lyrics)

I don't really have much to say at the moment so I thought I'd share this song with you.
It is a song for everyone.
It makes me sad.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


I have a half written blog post which I would love to have finished but unfortunately must have gotten distracted during the writing of. The problem with that is that one part was obviously very inspired to write that particular post, but that part wasn’t me and although I could probably give it a shot, it wouldn’t flow as well.

I don’t feel as though I have much to say at the moment. I have definitely been in function mode of late as have not really had any feelings about anything. I was due to go to my psychology appointment with T today and was kind of not really looking forward to it because I have been feeling so separated from everything. When I feel like that, it feels like I don’t have dissociative identity disorder because things are pretty quiet inside. Well, T wasn’t there as she is off sick. The patronising and unfriendly receptionist told me she had left a message on my phone and when I said it hadn’t come through she proceeded to repeat my number aloud to me several times as though this was evidence that I was wrong in saying the message hadn’t come through so I acknowledged that the number was correct but that I did not get a message and she again told me that she had left one in a tone that suggested I was accusing her of lying and this went on for a bit until I gave up and said I would wait to hear from T. Why are there so many annoying people in the world with this defensive attitude? Especially in the North of the city where I live. People treat each other like dirt and it doesn’t even seem wrong to them because that’s how everyone is. I work in the south of the city and it’s amazing how much nicer people are over that way. Just a few miles and it feels like a whole different culture.

Anyway, I digress... I wasn’t really bothered by the let down. Normally something like this would really upset me as about 70% of the time I feel as though I just about manage to hold myself together from one session to the next and I would be all psyched up for the process. But being that I am in function mode, the only thing I felt was pissed off that I hadn’t known it was cancelled. I have to get out of work early for the appointments and make up the time later in the week. Because I had already driven from south to north for the appointment it was too late to drive back to work which means I’ll still need to make up this time later, plus I’ll need to try to negotiate getting out early again at some point soon which is difficult because I always feel paranoid that my supervisor will think I’m just skiving.

Anyway, I don’t really know where I’m going with this post (should I be admitting that? Lol) but I guess one thing I could say is (and I may have said this before)... I’ve always thought of function mode as being a part of me that isn’t really a part. I don’t think of function as a person, because it doesn’t have feelings... hence the lack of a real name. But in all honesty, function mode is a life saver for me. Life is so much easier for me in function mode and I don’t give this part enough credit for how helpful it has been to me throughout my life. It has gotten me through years at a time where things would have been overwhelming if I’d have actually had to ‘feel’ the emotions. I’m not saying I would like to live my whole life in function. It definitely has its down sides: I tend to have a lot more of the random physical ailments, sleep disturbances and can tend towards self harming to feel real when in function mode for too long. But I don’t think it is fair to write this off as a ‘non part’.

Anyway, that’s all. Sorry that this has been boring. Maybe next time a more inspired part will finish the other blog post, or maybe something else. Who knows!

Anyway, happy new year to you.

P.S I have started the last four paragraphs with ‘Anyway’. That’s a literary genius in the making right there.... hmm.