Thursday, 30 December 2010

Friends are really hard work sometimes

I am so shattered this evening. I was supposed to be off work all week but after we booked our flights to go travelling I realised I will need an extra day of leave otherwise I will have to go to work the day after we return from our trip. So I decided to get up early and go in today. The plan was, to start early so I'd still have a long evening afterwards. Well, it all worked great except for the fact that I've been getting up after midday all week with being off and the 7.30 start turned out to be a bit too much for me.

I had invited my friend Pou round this evening to watch movies and laze about so I picked her up on my way home from work, but I felt too tired to cope with being sociable. She was in a slightly manic mood as well (she tends to swing from manic to depressed really rapidly) and kept making un-funny jokes which she then expected me to laugh at and I didn't have the energy to tolerate this. I find her hard going at the best of times when she's manic.

When I'm tired I get in a bad mood and don't want to speak or be spoken to and I definitely don't want to be touched. I apologised when I picked her up and said I was really knackered and she said it was OK and that we'd just relax and watch a movie, but then it seemed she expected more than that. She kept saying stupid jokes and poking fun at me and then wondering why I wasn't really laughing. I felt like shouting at her to stop forcing me to play her game. She also kept trying to hug and kiss me and a few times I was actually screaming for her to stop but she just thought I was being silly. I WASN'T! When I feel that way, any kind of physical touch is almost painful. I can't stand it. I was having a hard enough time just sitting on the same sofa as her. I actually told her that I was in a bad mood and that I don't like hugs when I'm in a bad mood. I tried to say it in a nice way, but I don't think she got how serious I was.

She then (don't ask me why she did this) threw herself on me and starting nuzzling her face in between my boobs. Either she fancies me (very unlikely), has some kind of boob fetish (equally unlikely) or just thinks it's funny. Whatever the reason, it's certainly not funny to me and made me feel really angry. My chest area is a part of me I am extremely sensitive about. I can't stand to have my boobs touched by anyone; I get nervous all the time when my husband is near me in case he accidently touches my boobs and to have someone force themselves onto me like that, wether they think it's funny or not, is awful for me.

Not to mention the fact that I have permanently sore ribs and any kind of pressure on them can trigger a lot of pain for me. My T said the chest pain I get might be a body memory from a time when someone broke my ribs by crushing me to the floor with their body weight. I am not sure if I agree with this theory; I tend to think I actually just have something wrong with my ribs (which may be a direct consequence of the rib crushing event or may be unrelated), but anyway, I've told Pou before about my sore chest and also, I shouldn't have to warn my friends about my ribs because I shouldn't have to expect that someone would do that to me!

I think she felt hurt by my reactions to her. She asked me if she had annoyed me this evening and I explained again that I was just really tired, but secretly I did feel annoyed because I felt like she was expecting me to be someone I am not. I want to make her understand how important it is that she doesn't touch me or try to hug me if she senses resistance from me. It's not like we hug that much at the best of times; I'm not a 'huggie' kind of person, except with my husband (mainly when child parts are out). But it was almost like the more resistance I showed, the more she tried to do it and...kissing me? What the heck is that about?

I feel like I need to be really blunt and explain that I can't tolerate affection sometimes, but I feel like if I was blunt enough to get through to her, it would make her feel bad and nervous of me as well. I feel like what I am about to say is really selfish but it's something I've come to realise is true about me and can't really work for me any other way: affection has to be on MY terms.

I'm also feeling pissed off because she was putting on her perfume and she asked if I wanted a spray; I said NO so she sprayed it on me just to spite me (she thought that was funny). This to me was bigger than she realised. I felt like I smelt like someone else. It's hard enough feeling like I am one person some of the time. Now I felt like I had become Pou all of a sudden. I guess it may have also been a reflection in my mind of times when I've felt I had someones smell on me after not nice things happening with a person and the repulsion I felt at that time kind of came back to me. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to upset her but I felt violated and after sitting with it for an hour I had to go upstairs and change my clothes. I can still smell it now though :( Can you have 'smell memories' too? Lol

She also made my child parts feel very upset because my husband bought us a teddy for Christmas which hasnt left my side until today when I had to go to work. But she was kicking it in the face because she thought this was funny. Then when I was cross and telling her not to she thought I was just being silly. She knows I have DID but sometimes she seems to have no understanding of it. Today though it almost felt like she was doing things on purpose to try to upset that part and I couldn't help but wonder if she was doing it to try to get me to switch so that she could see me as a child...out of morbid curiosity. I'm probably just being paranoid.

I feel like this post has just been me whingeing about Pou, which is bad because I don't have many friends and we have some great times together, but there are just times when we totally clash. I hate to say it but I prefer her when she's depressed; I find her really hard to tolerate when she is manic. Her sense of humour is so different from mine. Sometimes after finding this whole friendship thing so hard, I feel I want to shut myself off from the world and just be alone. Friendship is so hard to navigate and I am too changeable to be a good friend :(

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Why does watching a child play cause such a stir?

Read with care, you may find this upsetting.

Today my husband and I spent the evening at his aunt’s house, with lots of his relatives. I was watching his middle aged uncle playing with my husband’s little cousin who is about four years old. Uncle was sitting on the sofa and she was standing with one foot on each of his feet and was leaning in between his legs, across his belly then pushing herself off his legs back into standing position repeatedly, the way a four year old might. He was pretending to be the child and she was being the mummy. He was saying he forgot to do his spellings and could she write him a note for school. It was kinda funny seeing this middle aged man talking like a little kid. He was so good with her. But the longer I watched the more I began to feel some uncomfortable feelings and an inner stirring of ‘parts’.

I was felt suspicious of this man and saw disturbing images in my mind. I could hear the questions: why is he interested in her? Part of me couldn’t imagine how a grown man could be innocently playing with a child. Part of me couldn’t believe that is possible. I felt angry and scared and other feelings that I can’t put my finger on. I felt I should watch intently as I was certain if I watched for long enough I would see some sign of an ulterior motive. I would see a hand in the wrong place or a tickle that just wasn’t quite innocent.

Yet at the same time, another part could see the beauty and innocence of the situation and was reminding me that not all men are like that. That part felt happy to be watching someone taking the time to interact with a small child and thought how lovely it would be to have a father like that.

And then I wondered why I felt these things? Why did I imagine terrible things being done to that child? Why did parts feel upset? Why did I feel suspicious? And that leads on to the usual questions...why do I have parts? Why do I have dissociative identity disorder? I know what the research says about the main reasons it develops in children. I know that there are fragments of memories but they hold no proof. There’s nothing clear cut. Just images of things that don’t seem to be my memories and then memories of things that don’t seem to be bad enough in themselves because of who it involved. And it’s like trying to do a puzzle in my mind when the pieces are only in my mind’s eye and I’m not sure which pieces are real and which are just imaginary and there are far too few to make any sense of.

And it seems to unbelievable to conceive that there may be memories inside that I don’t hold and that I may one day become aware of them. This seems too unlikely. I feel I have all the facts. And then I think I must just be genetically faulted somehow. But if this is the case, why do I feel so bad every time I see a child? Why does this stirring commence?

And then there is a part so separate that doesn’t understand any of this and wonders why I am getting upset about nothing because nothing bad has ever happened to me. And then I feel I must just be making this all up because I am sick. Maybe I have Munchausens. And so it goes on.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Meet Grace

Who is Grace?
This is hard for me to say because she is not part of Candycan
(OK I know any psychologist would disagree there: she is an alter so she must be part of me).
I don’t know where Grace comes from. All I know is her life is very different from mine. She isn’t me; she hasn’t lived the same life. Her life has been easy and happy, but I don’t know where or in what way.
Grace is beautiful; she has blonde wavy hair, smooth skin, a small nose, soft lines to her face; blue eyes. Grace is not too tall, but not short and is slender, not skinny, but slender...and modern, stylish. Grace is happy, in a calm way; confident, sure of herself and happy-go-lucky. She is probably in her twenties.
Grace can help me when things get too hard. Grace hasn’t had my history so the thing I might be crying about or scared of, is irrelevant to her. She only sees the present and the future and she sees that there is no reason to be upset or worried or regretful of anything.
Grace is relaxed. When Grace comes to visit (for it seems she’s not so much inside me), I relax. As soon as she arrives I can see my shoulders drop and feel all the muscles that are so tight suddenly easing and resting: my back, shoulders, fists, face, neck, feet. Quite often this will be at night so I tend to fall asleep quickly after she gets here, because I’m exhausted but have been unable to sleep because of emotions and/or physical tension and unrest. The emotions change when she is there because she only feels peace and contentment. None of that stuff matters to her.
If Grace comes during the day, she can lift me from the wallowing to the action; she will cook and clean or do whatever it takes. She enjoys it all too. She is happy to do this for others.
Grace is someone I am only beginning to know. I think she may have been around for quite some time though. I didn’t think she could be called Grace; the name didn’t seem to suit her at all. I thought something like Poppy or Angel would be more fitting but I keep hearing ‘Grace’ so Grace it is. Now that I have tried to describe her and thought about her role, I feel Grace is a good name for her after all. She has the grace to help us.
I feel there is more I don’t know about Grace and maybe I will have more to say on her in the future. But for now, that is Grace and we love her.

Grace: U2

She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

It's a name for a girl
It's also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything

Grace, she's got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She's got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

Music: U2
Lyrics: Bono

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Therapy, my dad, being eleven and Christmas cards

Hello, before I start I just want to say thanks to you if you've commented so far and to anyone who might in the future. It is great to hear from others about my blogs.

This evening I am feeling fucking knackered. I have been on another planet of late, emotionally. As in, if I am having any emotions, they are being felt by someone who isn't present with me. Well, except for the feeling of being annoyed. My husband just sitting next to me minding his own business manages to piss me off and at work I find myself becoming absorbed in my work and not bothering with conversation and chit chat. I dont actively feel like I want to be alone, but I am content alone at the moment and other people just seem like much too much hassle to deal with. I am fine as long as no one speaks to me; I just can't handle any interference in my life at the moment. It's a kind of function.

So, I went to my therapy session today. You may remember that last week T told me she is going to be off work for a minimum of six months and this came as a huge shock.
So today was the first since then. T started the session with a variation of the question I always hate to hear: "What would you like to talk about today?" It always throws me off guard because 95% of the time T already has a set agenda for the session. She asks the questions, I do a pretty poor job at providing the answers. So to have the ball in my court is something I'm never prepared for.

It is good sometimes to be able to just talk about stuff that's going on in my life though. I just find that specific question hard to answer. Sometimes I've come into sessions feeling like I have just about managed to survive the previous two weeks without having a mental breakdown and there has been so much going on that it would be great to just process that with someone but that's not really the focus of my therapy. It can be hard though, when I'm really struggling with present day-holding myself together issues, to then delve into the inner workings of my brain and start talking about which part is who and why they are there.

I am guessing that she decided to take a step back from all the 'parts' business (actually now that I say that, I think she may have said that herself last time). Maybe it's something to do with it being just before Christmas, or maybe this is something to do with the fact that I'm going travelling in a month's time. Or maybe both. It is a relief though. I find the whole: "Which part is this and which is that?" project extremely stressful and unsettling.

We ended up talking about my dad (not really an easy topic either but hey...). I don't like to think about him as he causes so much pain inside when I do, but she asked me about his recent visit and how it affects me when he visits and we talked about some of my experiences of him as a child and teenager. I never like to admit to myself how much of my problems with DID are as a result of the way he treated me. T hypothesized that as a child it was easier to split my emotions about him into another part so that I didnt have to believe painful things to be real. I reflected about times when I'd expressed that I had been the lucky one out of my sisters and me because my childhood was easier and happier than theirs. Then I reflected on some of my memories of my childhood and I realised the two reflections don't really tally. I wasn't lying when I said I'd been lucky, I just was not tuned into all the bad memories and emotions. They were too separate from me.

She asked me what it was about being eleven years old that I was so depressed at that time (because I said a few times that I didn't have any emotions before the age of eleven). This is an interesting question and I don't really know the answer to it. I must have had stuff going on inside my head before that stage: I remember self harming at age eight; before that I remember feeling wrong/not normal at the age of five. I remember doing things that didn't reflect healthy child activity even before that.

I don't know what it was about being eleven. Maybe it was puberty. To say I struggled with this stage of life is 'the understatement of the century' (as they say on 'Neighbours'). I was deeply ashamed of developing into a woman. I hated that I was growing boobs and I remember crying and trying to pull out the hair that was starting to grow in places I thought it definitely should not be. I spent a couple of years in dread of the day I would start having periods and when it did come I was too mortified to tell my mum. I used to use my pocket money to buy sanitary towels and I'd go to great lengths to keep it all a secret. It was probably around this time that my eating problems changed (I always had a tendency to comfort eat) to starvation tactics.

Throughout my teens I had a strong resentment of being female. I lamented that I should have been a man and was quite open about my annoyance of being a girl until at the age of sixteen someone in my church mentioned that I should be grateful for what God had blessed me with and I then 'realised' that I was sinful for being so ungrateful and I stopped hating being a woman (although, I'm not sure but I think that person in still in there somewhere).

Anyway, I've run out of energy for thinking about being eleven now. Maybe I'll come back to that another day.

So I was surprised T didn't mention the 'big news' although she did ask me how I was since the last session. I was kind of glad not to have to think about it this week to be honest. I think I just want to keep it in the 'unreal zone'.

I was pleased to see she had the Christmas card I made her sitting out on display. It was beautiful even if I do say so myself. It took me hours to make...literally. Probably mainly because I am so indecisive and perfectionist that I didn't want to commit to something without being sure it would be perfect.

I also made her a cross stitch piece a while back which I loved and actually felt a loss at giving it But I think she was pleased with it but I'd love to know what she did with it. I wonder if it's been put in a drawer and forgotten about. I don't know why that's important to me but it is.

I was also really pleased to get a Christmas card from my T in the post today. This was a surprise because I always get the feeling she tries hard to keep a distance from her clients and I almost feel sometimes she doesn't want me to give her cards etc (this may be my imagination) but anyway, it was such a nice surprise and it really made my day that she thought of me and wishes me good things. It's always a surprise to find evidence that a person in my life doesn't hate/despise/loathe me.

This post has kind of gone from one thing to the other without a clear structure but I have enjoyed writing it although I do feel a little bit guilty about the lack of the 'beginning, middle and end'. Well done if you made it this far! I'm impressed that I did.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sudden exhaustion...what's it all about?

I am having one of those days where I seem to have very little energy. Sometimes I just wake up exhausted and can't seem to get myself going. I might have a list of things in my head that I want to do but the physical oomph to do them is just not there. I also keep experiencing sudden waves of nausea.

Sometimes the exhaustion is mental as well as physical, where any suggestion of what I could or should do, feels like I am being asked to get up and run a marathon. I don't know why this happens. Maybe it is an actual physical problem...some kind of long term underlying virus perhaps?

Or maybe it is something to do with DID. I can't help but wonder if it's my body's way of expressing the impact the bad news of this week has had on me, when my actual emotions about it seem to have switched off.

Does anyone else experience this? It's annoying because I have a day in the house (I'm snowed in) and a million things I need to get done, but after dragging myself out of bed not long ago and very slowly and lethargically managing to pick up some dirty laundry, bring it down stairs and put it in the machine, I then ended up slumped in a chair staring vacantly at the Christmas tree. Sigh.

I feel my mind wanting to drift off and be vacant and requests from my husband (he wanted me to film him playing saxophone in the you do...) are making me feel anxious and upset because I don't have the energy to do them. Now I feel selfish because I know this is something he really wants and the snow will melt soon, but when I say I'll do it anyway, he now doesn't want me to because he says he knows I don't want to and he's lost his confidence. Sigh. Now the guilt is just adding to the exhaustion.

My T suggested that when I feel this way I should stop trying to force myself to do things and just do what I feel like. This is fine if I am on my own; if the house is a mess and I don't eat that's just my problem, but when you live with someone else it then becomes unequal. My husband is now making lunch and I feel I am not pulling my weight.

Does anyone else experience things like this? Anyone any theories about it?

Hopefully I'll snap out of it soon.

Friday, 17 December 2010

My therapist is leaving me (part 3)

I must say, I think I have been coping surprisingly well since Monday after finding out my therapist is leaving for an extended period.
Well, Monday evening wasn't good and Tuesday was pretty bad too but by wednesday I was feeling only occasionally like I had lost someone and by thursday, I was not feeling anything at all. I am able to think about it without feeling overwhelmed; it doesnt seem real really.
I do notice though that I haven't been able to help my husband who is organising a big trip for us in January. We are going travelling for a few months. The whole thought of it is sending me into a panic. I had been anxious about going before (only partly because I didn't know how a break from therapy would affect me) but now I am feeling overwhelmed by the prospect. Now it seems there is so much change happening over the next months and I don't know how it's all going to go. It's hard to predict how I will cope with things because each part of me has a different way of responding to things.
Scary bickies!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

My therapist is leaving me (part 2)

Thanks for the comments on the last blog post guys, I appreciate the support.

My T mentioned that I should think about if I want to see someone else when she’s away but I don’t know what I would want to do yet. It would be hard coping on my own for goodness knows how long it’ll be but it’d also be hard to start again with someone else. It was horrible last time this happened. In fact, it took the bones of two years before I started to feel like I could let myself trust this T after being let down before by my last one. Part of me wants to see someone else, part wants to see it as a break and a time to reassess; part wants to say ‘that’s it, we’re leaving therapy altogether’ and be done with it all.

Most of them think it’s all my fault for us feeling this way.

We should never have allowed this to happen again; it was so hard when my last therapist left and I had only been with them for a few months. That part told me then not to trust anyone again. I never learn. I never, never learn! You’d think by now I would know that people will always do this to us. They always have and they always will. It’s hard not to feel it is my fault. I know it’s not my fault my T is leaving, but it’s my fault I ever allowed myself to trust someone again. It’s my fault that any of my parts learnt to trust her because I am the one that has been telling them it’s OK and that she won’t hurt us. Now they are angry with me for the pain they are feeling. I’m finding it hard to hear anyone inside who doesn’t agree with this.

I am supposed to be working but I can’t focus myself today. I know I have so much to do but I keep feeling like I’m going to burst into tears. I couldn’t get to sleep last night for hours even though I was exhausted. I couldn’t get my body to relax. A few parts took over in an attempt to distract me but they didn’t allow me to get to sleep. I ended up lying in bed with a blade held on my arm until someone took over and cut me. I didn’t want to do this but it felt necessary. I must have fallen asleep eventually because I woke this morning with the blade still in the bed with me.
I remember asking a part that I don’t see much to come out and help me get to sleep. This part is a lovely lady who doesn’t see herself as part of me. She has had an altogether different life and just comes to visit so to speak. She is peaceful and when she comes out I feel my body relaxing. I remember asking her and then I remember feeling my muscles relax and I remember thinking “I wonder if she’ll stay out long enough to help me get to sleep” and then it was morning.

I am just gutted.

Monday, 13 December 2010

My therapist is leaving me

Well that was unexpected.
My psychologist (T) told me today that she is going to be taking some time off. She doesn't know when or for how long but probably starting in the next six months and for a duration of a minimum of six months.
I am gutted.
I feel like it is another huge loss in life when it has taken me so long to learn to trust T. If it was just six months and I knew she'd be back that would be hard enough but if she doesn't know when she'll be back (does she even know she'll be back for sure?) that throws up all kinds of other questions.
We are all gutted. Angry child part is so upset. I spent the duration of the rest of the session just trying to contain that part. Someone is so angry that we let ourselves learn to trust someone when they told us that she would hurt us like everyone else does.
My face was crying all the way through the session (sometimes I don't feel like I'm actually crying but tears will stream out of my eyes) and not much else was said... two hours of very little staring at the floor with tears coming down my face and her not saying much either.
So much going through my head. I have so many questions but was too scared to ask.
I got home and sat staring at the Christmas tree for a while, I think I started to fall asleep but came to again and made myself some food but didn't really feel like eating even though I was starving. I knew I should eat or I'd end up eating chocolate later...but I ended up eating chocolate anyway. Normally I eat chocolate, probably more than I should, but this evening I wasn't enjoying it, I was just scoffing it down to fill my belly. I wanted to eat away all the pain I am feeling. I wanted to stuff myself. Then I did something I haven't done in quite some time... I made myself sick :(
I don't know what to do with everything that's going on in my head. I think I may just get into bed and pull the duvet ove my head and see what happens :(

Sad C

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Did I do that or just think about doing it? Thoughts on the 'Dissociative Experiences Scale' Questionnaire

For some reason my blog is not letting me comment on any of my posts, I hope no one else is having the same problem. Anyway, I can't respond to any comments at the moment but I will say here: thanks for the comments peeps!

The thoughts on PTSD are very interesting and make sense (as are all the others).

It explains why I have so many symptoms of PTSD. I remember reading a leaflet on it in the doctors once and couldn't understand why I had all the symptoms when I wouldn't have said I'd experienced any trauma.

I feel like I wrote all of this already. Maybe I did. Apologies if so. I can never tell if it's just my brain playing tricks on me.

Which leads me on to my next question (actually I hadn't planned a next question but now that I said the above, it reminds me of something)....

Did you ever get asked to fill in the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) form where you have to rate how often certain things happen to you?

Here is a link for it if you want to know what I'm on about:

What are your thoughts on it?

Personally I had A LOT of trouble filling it in, for three main reasons:


If you have DID, you might feel that your answers to some of the questions could be entirely different on one day to the answers you give the next.


I don't know how much of the time I do some things because I'm not always aware of what I'm doing.


I don't think the scale is a good way of measuring some experiences. An answer of 0% means the thing never happens to you where 100% means it always happens to you. For some experiences it wouldn't be possible to rate them that way. Take this question for instance:

"Some people find that that they sometimes sit staring off into space, thinking of nothing, and are not aware of the passage of time."

If you put 100% for that answer, that would mean that 100% of your life is spent staring off into space, thinking of nothing and not being aware of the passage of time. That would be impossible, because you wouldn't be filling in the questionnaire in that case: you'd be staring off into space. You wouldn't eat, move, speak, sleep... you wouldn't last long. LOL.

Another example of an experience you can't rate that way is:
"Some people have the experience of being in a familiar place but finding it strange and unfamiliar."

A score of 100% would mean you would never know where you are! There are others but I think you get my drift. Maybe I am being too picky, but I have a scientific thinking brain and things like that don't add up to me.

Anyway, I'm interested to hear what other people thought of it. However; what I especially want to know your thoughts on is this....

There is one question about whether you ever can't remember if you did something or just thought about doing it.

"Some people sometimes find that they cannot remember whether they have done something or have just thought about doing it (for example, not knowing whether they have just mailed a letter or have just thought about mailing it)."

This happens to me loads; it's the story of my life! I didn't realise that this is to do with dissociation though.
Does anyone know why this is a thing that the DES asks? I.e what causes this confusion? Is it specific to DID or other dissociative disorders and what is going on in the brain when this happens?

Also, if you don't have DID or dissociative problems, do you find this happens to you and how much? I'm always trying to compare myself to other people now that I know I have DID. I always presumed the things I experience are what everyone experiences and now that I know they are not, I'm curious to discover how other people experience thoughts. I often remember saying to my therapist about the chatter in my head and how it gets out of control sometimes. He asked me about it and I was like: "but everyone has that though don't they?"..... and then he kind of looked at me strangely and informed me that not everyone does. LOL. That was a surprise.

OK so you may not have all the answers I'm looking for but it's interesting to hear other people's thoughts about these things. Having other people like me in my life (if only via reading your blogs) is so new and wonderful! I always thought I was just really weird and there was no one in the world I could relate to and now I feel like I've found my species.

LOL, I just remembered what I wrote in the previous post or two ago about not being able to relate to others with DID at the moment and feeling like I've turned up at a party in the wrong dress code! Well, I guess some of you may understand where I am coming from with my fickleness.

Is 'fickleness' a word? LOL

I have written 'LOL' too much so I will end this post.


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

I don't have DID

I am in function mode
I am not myself.
Things are quiet inside my mind. Where is all the chatter gone?
I remember talking through my parts at therapy and her counting them out but I can't imagine how there could be that amount. She said there might be others I don't know about and.... what did she say? Sub parts?
Maybe it was all a misunderstanding. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I was just making it up.
How could it be DID?
I don't think anything bad happened to me. Maybe I just have an over sensitive brain. I have made up those memories. I must just be genetically mentally unstable. I'm just pathetic.
How am I going to be able to go to my therapy session when I can't relate to any of the things we have been talking about recently? It feels like someone elses problems that I've just overheard. I can't be bothered thinking about my brain. I just want to drift through life and not be conscious of those things. I want to 'function'.
Is it the time of year making me like this? Is it because I have to socialise more and am busier getting stuff organised?
Even reading other DID blogs, I feel so separate now, where other times I think I marvelled at how similar other people are to me. Now I feel like I've turned up at a party with the wrong dress code. Now I wonder, was I fooling myself?

Monday, 6 December 2010

How does PTSD relate to DID?

Does anyone have an understanding of the relationship between PTSD and DID? I want to know, is there a relationship? Do most people with DID also have PTSD? What is complex PTSD and what does it have to do with DID as well? I read something about it and it totally confused me so I'd like to hear from anyone who is wiser than I.

Positives and negatives

It has been probably about six months since I started researching DID and reading about other people’s experiences. It’s still all relatively new for me. Although the concept of dissociation was not new, knowing I have DID is something I have been struggling with and couldn’t really get my head around for a long time. Although I still have my moments, I feel that my reading has helped me so much. Learning about the disorder; how it develops and what others experience as part of it, has helped me to understand what is going on in my own head and to see that it does fit for me. So many little things that didn’t make sense about me now have an explanation.

I am quite a pessimistic and negative person. I see the negative in everything. I find myself reluctant to acknowledge when something is good and this is mainly because I am expecting things to quickly turn bad. This attitude is one I learnt to have and I’m not sure if it has helped or hindered me or both, but I tend to use this negative outlook as a way of protecting myself i.e. if you don’t expect something to be good, you won’t be disappointed if it isn’t and you might be pleasantly surprised. I think a lot of bad experiences also taught me that in general, things do go bad.

So, for me to have the realisation that I am about to share with you, is pretty special!

OK here it is.... I have been thinking about and realising how lucky I have been in my treatment for my mental health problems (I hate calling it that). For most of my life I have felt let down and angry that I wasn’t given help as a child when I cried out for it many times. I was angry that even at the age of twelve when my teachers found out I was self harming and told my parents, nothing was done to help me. It was all hush hushed and not talked about.

I started psychology over three years ago, before anyone including myself knew about my dissociation (I just thought they were odd experiences without explanation). I was referred to psychology for treatment for depression. The psychologist I saw then didn’t pick up on the DID initially (that I know of) and it was only after a few months that the dissociation issue was highlighted.

After three months in therapy my psychologist left the job and I had to change to a new therapist (T). I found this experience to be extremely difficult; I felt such a huge loss after learning to trust someone like I never had before. It was very difficult to trust my new psychologist as well after feeling so hurt by the last one.

Part of me was angry with the psychologist who left because it felt that if the psychologist had seen sooner that depression was just a side effect of everything else that was going on with me, they could have passed me onto T right at the start, knowing I would need longer in therapy and that they were leaving so wouldn’t be able to provide that. I wouldn’t have become attached to them and wouldn’t have had to deal with all the pain of them going (I don’t know why it was so painful for me but it was awful: logically I can’t understand why).

I thought “if only they had realised it was DID at the start, or if only I had just gone straight to T”. I wouldn’t have had to go through so much pain and be set back so much in learning to trust someone else.

Hmm, it doesn’t sound like I’ve been too lucky from what I’ve written, but thats just how I have always viewed it: that I have been really unlucky.

But, I am realising that there was probably a lot of providence in what happened. Well, I still wish I had been helped as a child but as T pointed out, perhaps if I had been helped it might not have made a difference at the time or been the right time for it or the right kind of help anyway. But now I am seeing I was actually quite lucky with the psychology. Having ‘Googled’ the name of my first psychologist (who hasn’t done that?!) I see that he had a special interest in trauma and dissociation and seems to do a lot of research on the topic. This was lucky for me because it meant he probably picked up on things I said or did and was able to identify them as dissociation where someone else might not have known what it was.

I have also realised, through lots of reading, that many people go through months or even years of therapy and may go through several therapists too before DID is identified. Plus, it would seem there are some therapists who don’t know much about DID and even some who believe it doesn’t exist!

So when I look at it that way, I was actually quite lucky to be referred to a psychologist with a great insight into trauma (I hadn’t shared anything about trauma with my doctor; in fact I thought trauma meant being in a car accident or witnessing a murder so I wouldn’t have even said I had experienced it) and dissociation.

Now I don’t know, I’m only speculating, but if I had been referred straight to my T that I’m with now, it’s possible she wouldn’t have identified DID in me, or it may have taken a lot longer. Her special interest is a different area. But as my case was passed on to her, she had the groundwork from the trauma psychologist. I’d like to think though that she is used to seeing people like me and would have picked up on it (that makes me feel more reassured).

So anyway, my point is, maybe the things that seemed awful at the time could actually have helped me to be in a good treatment setting now.

Another thing I am realising is that there are so many people who need help from clinical psychology that aren’t getting it and I am getting it. At times, when things have been really bad, I’ve felt the help I get isn’t enough and that there should be more support for me. It’s useful to remember though that I am getting help, even if at times I need more. I don’t have to pay because it’s NHS; I’m lucky to be living somewhere that has this free help.

Anyway, that’s enough positivity for one day!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Bananas and sleepovers

I'm a bit all over the place at the moment. Being up in the middle of the night is never a good sign for me. Change is afoot. I felt like self harming this evening for the first time in weeks. I didn't do it, but just having the thought scares me when I haven't been bothered by it. It's a sign that something's shifting. I always feel guilty when I write about thoughts of self harm, like people will think I'm looking for attention. But I have to remember that this is my blog so it doesn't matter what people think and I'm just trying to express what's going on with me.

I had a random half day illness today, which I get sometimes for no apparent reason, although it's probably stress or over tiredness or something.

Today I found a half peeled banana in the kitchen and asked my husband why he left it there. He said he hadn't and it wasn't there when he cleaned the kitchen an hour before. So either he has something wrong with his memory or I did it. Statistically the likelihood of it being him is slim given my track record. That means it was probably me. OK so maybe it wasn't a huge thing but it upsets me to have no recollection of deciding to peel a banana and then forgetting half way through.

These things didn't used to upset me so much when I didn't know about DID. I just used to marvel at my forgetfulness. Now I feel despair that someone else is controlling me without me knowing it. No one likes to feel they don't have control; especially over their own mind or body.

I think, although I've accepted that I have DID for the most part, I tend to believe that I am aware of all my parts and that I'm always conscious, even if in the background as an observer, of what they're doing. These little banana incidents scare the fuck out of me as I am forced to consider that maybe I'm not always as aware as I like to think. And then that seems too hard to believe and I start wondering again if in fact I do have a physical memory problem resulting from a bump to the head because that seems so much easier to believe.

I spent the evening with my friends on Wednesday. We made Christmas cards. One of my friends had bought Christmas crackers and we pulled them together and read out our jokes. My joke was:

Patient: "Doctor, doctor, I have split personalities"
Doctor: "Well you'd better both sit down then"

What are the chances? I was embarrassed because I didn't know how my friends would react. Pou thought it was great and laughed at the coincidence but Wel seemed a bit awkward like she didn't know if it would be rude to laugh.

It's surprising how often the topic of multiple personalities comes up in conversations...usually in jokes. I guess I understand why but it's not so funny for me when I am wracking my brains trying to remember a banana.

I stayed over with Pou afterwards. I wasn't sure about this. I tend to avoid staying over with people nowadays. It was OK though. Pou was really depressed and wanted to talk about her life and things that had happened to her and I was happy to be a listener. Often it's a good distraction.

When we eventually went to sleep I found myself getting anxious again. I often feel myself getting anxious and start having flashbacks/images at night just before I go to sleep and they make my child parts jump about and get upset. I thought Pou was asleep already but the next day she said I had been jumping about and making noises like I was scared. I remembered this happening just before I fell asleep. I didn't really know what to say. In the end I just told her the truth and said: "Sometimes my child parts get a bit upset when I'm falling asleep".

She said she had thought it might be that. Then she said, she was thinking what it would be like if I got up in the night and started doing weird things. She said she realised it wouldn't bother her and that she loves me and that its just my thing. That was nice. It's good to know if anything weird ever did happen in front of her she wouldn't be upset. Hopefully it won't though!

Does anyone else find they have this problem when they are falling asleep?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Fucking angry! Therapy off day and being ignored

I’m fucking pissed off with the world today. Am I too sensitive and slightly paranoid or am I extra perceptive? Either way, I couldn’t help but feel my psychologist was being a bit odd with me yesterday during parts of the session. Maybe she was distracted by something else or maybe I did something that she doesn’t approve of. Either way I wish I had asked.

It’s only happened once or twice before that I felt she was being a bit different and one time I asked her but she didn’t offer anything in the way of explanation or acknowledgement. She probably thought it was just me being weird. Maybe it was. How can I trust my feelings? One part of me says I should trust my judgement because I am good at reading people; the other part says I am just twisting things in my head. Anyway, I just feel pissed off about it. I am nervous enough about being disliked and it’s really hard for me to trust anyone with talking about ‘feelings’ so any sign of not being accepted or believed or cared about can seem like a huge rejection. Maybe she felt I was annoyed with her about something. Maybe I said something that she took the wrong way. Maybe ,maybe, maybe, maybe.....

Anyway, I’m also fucking sick of being treated like I don’t exist at work. Why are some people so fucking rude and ignorant? If someone was speaking to me about something I wouldn’t just stop listening half way through and start talking to someone else. Why does this happen to me all the time? I feel like screaming at people when they do it. It’s just plain rude. I don’t want to be the centre of attention but I feel like I have as much to contribute as anyone else and being ignored just makes me so angry. I wouldn’t be so rude to anyone.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I’ve got a headache and want to punch a wall.