Monday, 28 November 2011

Alters fighting with each other: sabotage and rescue

I'm still alive! It's been almost two weeks since I last blogged and I'm sorry about that (for myself too), but things have been hectic to say the least. First of all, here is a post I half wrote last week but didn't get finishing:

"Things are different. I'm losing time a lot. Just small amounts. I think it's mainly just moments where I am going somewhere else in my head and then realising time has gone by. It's because I'm stressed. 

I have another work 'event' this Thursday which I am organising. My colleague who is supposed to be helping me has offered to do a twenty minute session of the entire half day and no help whatsoever with the organising. So I have had to do all of the practical things like venue, food, invitations etc plus research the entire topic, come up with a seminar on the topic and design all of the displays and demos and group work, plus do all of the printing, getting resources, confirming attendees etc. I actually think it would be better if she wasn't helping at all because at least then I could take the credit for the hard work. She does this every time: offers to help and then does a tiny amount but it is so that she can say she organised it with me and that will be recorded on her work record as something she has done. 

She's more than happy to give her ideas about what I should be doing in my parts though and she's really quick to tell me I should be doing things differently. Most of the time, it's just that my different way is only that... different. Not wrong; just not how she would do it. I have been working every minute that I have been awake, more or less ('more' because I seem to spend the night dreaming about work as well and actually found on more than one occasion that I solved a few work related problems in my sleep... 'less' because sometimes DID just makes the focus impossible and I have been doing a good job at procrastinating at times) and need to probably stay awake and work every second between now and Thursday if I want to have it all organised.

Anyway I didn't come here to complain about work. I've been dying of the cold the past several days which is like the cherry on the icing on the cake at the moment. It really hasn't helped things. The good news is, if I survive until Thursday, I am going to be off work for SIX WHOLE DAYS afterwards! Yippee! This will be the first proper time off I've had since my trip in the new year and it is long overdue. Seriously overdue. I have found myself taking an annual leave day several times in the past few months just to lie in bed and get my head around psychology sessions, or because I have been unable to function. I don't want to wither away all of my holidays on crisis situations. 

Hopefully having a proper break will get me rested and psychologically improved so that I will be better able to cope with my work/therapy/physical health/life juggling act. And maybe after that I might even be able to start looking forward to Christmas. Christmas is 'my' time. A lot of people with mental health problems find (and understandably so) Christmas to be the hardest time of year. For me it's always been my favourite time of year. I'm the annoying person who doesn't go along with the rant about the decorations being up in the shops straight after Halloween. I'm the one who says thinks 'the earlier the better'. 

I'm not sure why I love Christmas so much. I have split memories about it. I would say it was the time of year my parents were more likely to make an effort to make us happy as a family, so we had some nice times at Christmas. Yet at the same time, I remember that my dad hated Christmas and on more than one year banned us from having a tree up or any decorations. So maybe my over embracing attitude about Christmas is a rebellion from my scrooge of a dad, or maybe it's just..."

That ended quite abruptly and I don't know what wisdom I was about to impart but I'm guessing it was possibly saying that my love of Christmas could be to do with the fact that sometimes Christmas was a happy time for us. I never liked to admit it to myself at the time, but Christmas was always the one time of year where my church (cult) didn't meet and I always kind of enjoyed not having to go to the meetings, which were usually at least twice per week and not just for a few hours but the whole of my Sundays.

The sad thing about this year is that, despite my usual love of Christmas, I have not been able to really feel any excitement about it. If I'm honest, I have been quite depressed recently. However, I have been quite depressed on previous years and this hasn't stopped me from appreciating the Christmassyness. This year I have found myself dreading it a little bit, mainly because of my lack of energy and physical tiredness. This could be largely due to my new diagnosis of a genetic disorder, so I am hoping that once I start my treatment for it, my energy levels will improve. I have been trying to do some Christmas shopping online, because my energy for actual shopping is quite low, but you kind of miss out on the 'festiveness' of it all.

I was reflecting on this with Adam after Thursday's event and observed that I think I do this on purpose. Let me explain this in easier terms: in the plural. Basically, there is a part that tries to sabotage me. They intentionally cause me to not do the work I should be doing. They want me to fail or for things to end in disaster. There were a lot of times I knew I should be getting organised but would intentionally do other things instead. I feel that this part wants things to go wrong. It wants drama and bad things to happen (is it because that's what's familiar to that part?). Then there is the rescuing part: the one who stays up until 2am getting everything done. They come in and take over when it's getting to that disaster point. Why does this happen? Part of me only knows chaos and drama in their life and can't cope with things being good and straight forward, so they try to recreate that on a daily basis. The other part wants for a better, straight forward life and strives to achieve that. The two parts are at war with each other. It makes for a lot of stress.

In my clinical psychology session this week, T and I got to talking about my relationship with Adam and her reflections ran along a similar vein. We noted that there is a part of me that tries to sabotage my relationship with him and drive him away or make him angry. I asked her why someone would do this or to be precise, I think I said something like: "Why? Why?! I don't get it! WHY?! Why would someone live with something they hate all their life and then try to recreate it? Why?!".

I think my seldom seen passion in my question must have warranted an actual answer for once (don't psychologists have some kind of policy of never answering a question?) because she explained that it is what that part knows, therefore it has the coping strategies to deal with someone being horrible. It hasn't developed the coping strategies to deal with a male being nice and so this feels uncomfortable. She then said, that there is a part who does match with the good things too, because I got into a relationship with Adam in the first place. I agreed that there is a part of me that's really good at picking out the things that would make for a good life: I have found a lovely guy to live with, I have worked hard despite my setbacks and made a good life for myself. I've gone into an area of work that helps people to include practical things in their lives that were often missing from my own as a child; yet the other part is still there because I can help other people to improve this but I still don't do it myself... and there is always that voice saying I don't deserve that for myself.

I said that statistically, people like me don't end up with people like Adam. Statistically, people like me are more likely to end up with abusive partners. T felt that the part that is able to feel a match with 'good' things is there because I must have had some relationship as a child that provided this. She says there must have been someone who showed me love and kindness in a safe way. She has said this to me before. It suggests she is working on a theory that you can't know what love is unless you've experienced it. You can't know a good thing unless you've seen a good thing. It's hard for me to pinpoint one person who was that influence. I think it must have been my mother. But even she, although loving and kind and caring to me, was at times abusive and scary and unsafe. Could I have developed those skills based on how she was in the good times? Did I develop a self who saw and related to only the good side of my mum and another part to deal with the other side of her along with my father? Is that why there would be a part who could know good things and trust them despite not having a consistent source of that from one person? It must be; otherwise, if we're basing this belief on the aforementioned theory, I couldn't have the part who knows what a good relationship would be like. I hope you can get your head around my wording of this. I don't know that I've explained it very well.

It has given me things to think about anyway. It brings up one big question for me: how can I change so that I don't continue to try to sabotage every good thing in my life? How can I change my desire for life to be chaotic and painful and lonely? I feel that part won't be content until they have driven Adam away (they have already managed to make sure I have no other relationships worth talking about by cutting us off from people) and caused me to lose my job. And like T says, there are no winners in this situation. That part won't be happy then either. I wonder if that part actually wants to drive everyone away so that they can justify suicide, being that my only real reason for not having done it is the knowledge of how it affects those left behind.

Phwew... getting a bit heavy there. I don't want to end on that sad note so despite this post being of a length that makes up for all of the posts I normally would have done in two weeks combined, I will finish on a better note by saying that I am so relieved that 'Thursday' is over and I am now in the middle of my lovely break from work. Adam and I are away on our jollies for a few days. Nowhere exotic, just a lovely hotel in Fermanagh and I am enjoying not thinking about work at all. I have decided that I am not going to feel guilty about anything if I can help it for the next few days, which is a good thing because the food here is to die for.

It's currently 1pm in the afternoon and after having a mammoth cooked breakfast this morning, I am sitting in bed typing this while Adam is sleeping in the other bed (our bed at home is Super King Sized and downgrading to sharing a double bed for this weekend wasn't working out so I have ended up in the extra single bed, but between you and me, I'd be happy if I had my own bed on a permanent basis!) after coming down with some kind of bug and cold combination (probably wouldn't want to be sharing a bed with someone in that condition anyway). I feel sorry for him that he is sick but I hope it will pass. Is it bad that I also feel secretly relieved that he may be too ill to want to have sex with me too? It has been on my mind, that going away for a romantic break means there's a kind of expectation for that intimacy too. I have struggled from day one with sex with Adam and it's not getting any easier with time. Damnit! I didn't want to end on a negative note and it has gone down hill again... OK something positive.... the good news is it's Monday and I'm not at work and it's raining outside and I don't need to be out in it and for the next few days there's not a thing in the world I have to do if I don't want to. I might go and sit in the jacuzzi later... this is the life!


Ruth said...

Congratulations for making it through your 'Thursday.' Glad to hear you are getting some much needed rest. Interesting things you brought up. Some of them are things I am working on myself. Why do I sabotage my own relationships?

NormalWasNotMyGoal said...

I'm glad you're relaxing a bit. Try to enjoy it!