Saturday, 30 October 2010

Flying to flailing in twenty seconds

For the last month or six weeks, things have been quite good for me comparatively. Previously, I had several months where I was really struggling. Since the springtime I had been taking many laxatives each day to self harm (giving me awful stomach cramps, stopping me from sleeping and causing me to feel permanently dizzy and ill besides the obvious) and as part of the eating disorder I have had on and off since the age of eleven. I had also been cutting myself on a regular basis over the summer amongst other unhealthy behaviours.

I felt for quite a while that I was in self destruct mode and to be honest, I wished I could just collapse and not have to go on. I even wrote a suicide letter at one point. I don’t think I really intended to do it, but the fact that the thought of it was my main comfort, is not a good thing.

I feel things are a bit more settled now although, if I’m honest with myself, there are some days when every step I take is a struggle. I feel I am dragging myself through my life, clinging on by my fingernails. However, it doesn’t matter how awful things are, I still manage to go to work every day, chat with my colleagues, have a laugh with friends and appear relatively normal. Sometimes, while talking to a colleague and observing myself in natural conversation, I wonder what they would think if they knew what goes on in my life when I’m not in the office. Do people have any idea that I have completely different personalities? Do they notice when I come in to work looking like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards because I have been up half the night arguing with my alters? Do they wonder what’s up? I’m sure they must wonder why I am always wearing wrist bands and why I complain of being so warm but will never take my cardigan off. What would they think if I pulled my sleeve up and showed them the scars? I’m sure it wouldn’t add up. I’m a friendly, pleasant girl.... I have a house and a husband and a nice job and I don’t seem crazy.

It takes every ounce of my energy to get through each day. If I lived alone I would probably have a bowl of cereal and climb into bed to hide from the world in the evenings. But I have a husband to look after and I can’t hide from my responsibilities. He doesn’t get why I lose the rag at the littlest inconveniences and just thinks I’m a moody bitch, but it’s because I’ve used every drop of energy to make it to 7pm and then I have to miraculously come up with more in order to have a ‘home life’ as well. Sigh.

It’s no surprise that I have begun relying on my function part to take over and live my life for me. This personality is a necessary part of me; this person who goes to work and interacts with others. It allows me to function. This person doesn’t have so much of the emotion to deal with. Sometimes I can fool myself into thinking I’m doing well in life because I have the outward appearance of doing well in life. I guess this part of me has been dominant over the last while and when it is, I can easily forget that I have any problems at all. It’s easy to ignore the odd flashback or forget that I didn’t get any sleep a few nights back, when I’m in the flow of a conversation about perfume with one of the girls on lunch break. But it doesn’t take much to crack my facade.

This part, as I think I mentioned before, is very adept at ‘living’ but has no feelings or emotions and is a fragile state to be in. If things go wrong when I’m in function mode, the consequences can be devastating.

It only takes a fight with my husband and function mode goes out the window. I don’t have a name for this part by the way, because to me, my function mode part is not really a ‘living’ being as they don’t have feelings. They are like a robot.

Function mode disappears when I’m challenged, such as this evening; I was ‘functioning’ away when my husband and I had an argument. I can’t remember what it was about or what was said but function disappeared and suddenly I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was instantly aware of all my pain and the mess of my life that I had been blissfully ignoring for weeks. I crashed to earth as I realised again how unhealthy my mind really is and all my emotions flooded into consciousness. I didn’t know what to do. I did what I always do when I’m overwhelmed, I got my box of blades. I wanted to be dead. I couldn’t see any solution to all the pain except for it all to be over. At the same time, I was reflecting on myself at how I was only earlier congratulating us at having made so much progress. I was thinking how ‘stable’ we’d been lately. I marvelled at how I had only been fooling myself the whole time.

Now, I can’t cut myself easily, I can do it but not as much as I wish to be able to at the time. That’s the job of another part, a part that can tolerate the pain more. I wished for that part to take over and do it for me as I was not managing very well to slash my skin open. I begged it; I held the blade and tried to disappear in the hopes that it would take over and it’d be all done and I’d feel better. But a different part took over instead tonight. This part decided to firstly, stick a big plaster on my wrist and then to get a pen and paper and write a long letter to my therapist. This surprised me somewhat as this part is not usually a very helpful part. This part is usually my anxious, skin scratching dermatillomanic alter who I think I told you about recently. This part was able to acknowledge all the terribleness that was going on and make something useful happen as well as distract me with the letter writing. By the end, I felt just really sad and a bit sorry for myself, but the crisis was over.

And after it all, tomorrow I will go into work and forget all about it and if by chance my sleeve pulls up a bit and I see the cuts on my wrist, I might be shocked and feel so separate from it as though it’s not my arm or me with the problem. It won’t really apply to me. Or at best, if I am struggling to feel real in the day, I will look at it and remember: I am real. I do feel and it will comfort me.


P.S. There is an ongoing debate inside as to wether to post some of our internal dialogue on the blog or not. Some of my parts aren't sure they want that exposure. If you have an opinion, let me know.

1 comment:

Ethereal Highway said...

My function parts aren't real people, either, but I sort of named them because it gave me a chuckle to do so. I call them the Bobs (Bob and The Bobness). There are two and they never come around together (which makes my life very difficult). One 'function mode' knows how to do the housework and the other knows how to do the accounting. They don't show up as much as I need them to lately. I miss them and I am so frustrated with the way I live. Without the Bobs I have to drag myself around to get anything done and everything takes much too long. The whole damn thing has driven me to drink.