So very tired

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I’m travelling down lower and lower. At this point I really don’t care if I live or die. I keep seeing myself dead in lots of different ways and I can’t help but wonder which of them is true. In one way or another I could make any of them happen.

Every little thing gets under my skin now. My daughter asked her dad to pick her up from school and I just called to make sure he was, he isn’t. There goes my short break for the day. It angers me and gives me one more thing to take out on myself.

I just don’t think I was ever meant to survive. I’ve been living on borrowed time for too long and that’s why life is so difficult.

I simply can’t do everything that is required of me to live any sort of normal life. I’m not strong enough.

I said in therapy today I would keep trying just one more thing. I called and bumped my appointment with my psychiatrist to next week. Seems like a ridiculous thing at this point.

I’m tired, really tired.

Can’t seem to help myself

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I hate when I get into this place where nothing I do seems to help.

I was having a really tough day all by myself and my sister calls. She is upset and having a difficult time and I didn’t know what to say to do. I wasn’t supportive and I made her cry more. Support person #1 not available for me.

I call my husband, no answer. I send a string of texts, no reply. Support person #2 not available for me.

I was going to therapy today but she had to cancel. Support person #3 not available for me.

That’s all the support people I have that know the truth about me.

Alone, just me and the not so friendly neighborhood of the head.

Since none of the healthy alternatives have worked my mind has drifted off to the not so healthy alternatives of relief. I wish I hadn’t made my sister cry. Now if I ended all of this she would think it was her fault even though it isn’t. What a thing to keep you from killing yourself.

I was going to work on processing some of the garbage in my head Thursday night but now I don’t know if I should be alone all night or not. I waited too late to take care of me. Same pattern over and over.

I have to get a grip. Not going to another mental hospital again!

Alice is a bad girl!

alice_is_a_bad_girl___bloody_by_gabilipan-d46ndct 20

Down, down, down

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I feel myself being pulled down. I know it and I’m fighting but I feel like I’m losing. I don’t want to be in this place.

I was triggered on the night of the summer solstice. I didn’t remember the date and I made a poor decision. I’m paying for it now.

Last night and I made a decision to begin memory sharing again as a trade off for the non-stop photo stream. I had no idea they could occur simultaneously. Now I have memories running like movies and snapshots going off at the same time. I’m exhausted, irritable, sad, and angry. I want out of this brain so bad.

I also want to self-harm. It’s been months since any of us have self-harmed. I’m certain I won’t make it through the day without doing it.

 

Wind in my mind

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Sandstone

 

The memories are wind blowing through my mind, sandstone.

The wind erodes, revealing new layers.

The sandstone feels a loss, layer by layer.

In spite of the loss the sandstone opens itself to the wind.

Expose me, lay me bear.

The sandstone steps out of itself and looks down.

It sees its beauty, its vulnerability and it smiles.

 

 

Treaty of the open heart

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Soul Song glowing person

It all started with a simple invitation. The room had been built and the table set. Fear gripped me at my very core. I had never viewed myself as a whole before. Not all the parts together. Many of them I had never seen before. I knew their color, their energy but I didn’t know the physical form they had chosen for themselves. So the invitation was sent. I delivered the invitation to some myself but most had to be delivered via others. Have no fear for isn’t this what life is? What is life without knowing ourselves? The willingness to look in the shadows, in the caves, to peer at our raw souls, that is life. Being authentic, that is life.

Fear gone, anticipation blossoms. Questions float around quicker than I can catch them. Can everyone walk? Who will bring the littlest ones? Are there babies? Can the babies talk? Will Crying Girl come out of hiding? Those that have been in the dark, can they bear the light? The biggest question of all, will they trust me? Will I trust myself? Can I finally handle my truth?

The anticipation blossoms into my tree of life. My tree, the tree I constructed. The tree that has provided shelter for me for so many years. I have been protected however the protection has left me stuck in the shade. This knowing, this accepting my authenticity will allow me to move beyond the shade of my own tree. I am ready to feel the sun on my face, ready to bask in the brightest of light, ready to let it enter my soul and in turn radiate that light for others. This is my purpose.

They come. Some quickly and some slowly and with much urging. They come. My hearts feels as if it will burst looking at myself. All of these faces, each so very different. No walls, I’m in the midst of my self. I see them flash from their color forms to their physical forms. We all share light, we all glow, even those that remain in the back of the room in the shadows. The light has always been in each and every one of us. The power has always been there waiting on me, waiting for me to accept myself, waiting on me to lay fear aside, waiting on me to create a treaty with my heart. A treaty of love, openness and trust in exchange for living my reality.

I accept each of these beautiful faces as my own. No longer must they be burdened by their secrets and their pain. Share your secrets with me and I will share with each of you my love, openness, trust and acceptance. Have no fear, love always wins.

 

Choices

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Every choice I have made in my life has brought me to this place. This place can only be defined as unconditional acceptance of myself, all of me. Even that one part that I have refused to look at or acknowledge, yes, even him. Unconditional love for myself, yes, even the parts that have landed me in awful places (suicidal, self-harm, mental health facilities). All of this made sense and became crystal clear yesterday.

I’m at work and the phone rings. I look at the caller id and I think it’s my mother, but it isn’t her number. I realize that it’s my dad. My dad who abused me for so many years. My dad who has been completely absent from my life for over two years at my request. My initial thought was something was wrong with my mother and he was calling about her. No, he wasn’t. He has Alzheimers and that was apparent right away. He was calling about something in relation to my line of work on behalf of a family friend. We talked about this business and then he began to talk about his health, etc. I could tell all of a sudden our relationship dawned on him. He said something like, “Oh, I’m not supposed to be talking to you am I? Is it okay if we talk?” I told him it was but the other boundaries were still in place. He told me he was sorry. He has apologized many times before. He was quiet and then he said, “You know there is more.” I told him that yes I knew. He apologized again and I told him that I loved him unconditionally. It just flew out of my mouth without thought and it felt right.

I don’t love him in a Stockholm Syndrome sort of way anymore. I realize that he is a spirit on a journey. I wish his spirit well and I love it unconditionally. This in no way makes his decisions appropriate but I can and do have control over what touches my spirit.

I was only able to tell him what I did because I finally love myself unconditionally. I can’t give away what I don’t have. Today I can look at the decisions I make and accept responsibility for the ways that I traumatize myself. I can make choices that keep the past alive or I can make choices that make the present, this very moment the most important. I’m not saying that resolution of my past isn’t necessary, it is. I do make choices and I do have control over myself today.

Six months ago a call from my dad would have sent me into a downward spiral. Not today. He no longer has that power, I have taken back what was mine all along.

 

Therapists, a DID Diagnosis and Iatrongenesis

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Malingering, histrionic disorders, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and inept therapists have made the journey to healing more difficult. It seems that with every step there is some outside force that seeks to reduce the credibility and the reality of those with DID.

Individuals with DID and their therapists are caught in many double-binds. For example, as the individual with DID begins to accept their diagnosis and they being to work on communication with their parts changes occur internally and those changes are observed by the therapist. The parts feeling acceptance from the ANP (apparently normal part) begins to speak to the therapist and they develop a relationship. All good right? Some would say not good. Why? If the therapist has a relationship with anyone other than the ANP and works to keep up that relationship is the therapist encouraging or even creating DID? No is my opinion. It’s simply an outcome of work on the part of the individual with DID. It’s a natural progression towards healing. (In this example hypnosis is never used.)

Another example. An individual with DID wants to reach out and educate and help others with DID. Good, right? Not everyone thinks so. The common thought is the individual doesn’t really have DID, they are just seeking attention. If anyone with DID steps up to change the stigma or show what the true face of DID is then they must be faking. Just as our abusers worked to silence us so does culture.

Diagnosis and treatment of DID is difficult. There are no clear answers. Everyone seeks to prove why someone doesn’t have DID instead of helping them with their symptoms.

I am taking a big leap and I’m working on public education as well as support for those with DID. I am passionate about my calling. In the end we each have to hold firm on our own reality and work towards the greater good in spite of resistance.

I know my reality. I had all the markers of DID long before I ever stepped into the office of a therapist. Everything makes sense now. My sister and I look back and laugh at all the “odd” things that make sense now. Since accepting my diagnosis (which is an everyday event) I have discovered what love is, love of myself. I have embraced the light I have always had, the light no one can take away. Since my diagnosis I have begun to live.

 

Reaching Out

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I have been thinking about the DID community a lot lately. I feel led to share my experiences with others. I am working on receiving education that will hopefully allow me to do this as a career. I aspire to not only help those with DID but to also educate those that provide services to individuals with DID.

I found significant healing in working in a group setting. I think there are many ways to approach healing and traditional therapy is just one approach. I advocate therapy and I feel that it is needed. I also feel that there are things that can compliment therapy. I would love to host workshops where other opportunities for healing are presented.

Here is my dilemma. It seems to me that individuals with DID are extremely private. I searched for groups in the US for individuals with DID and I came up nearly empty handed. Why is that? Support groups for DID are commonplace in some other countries. We have so many strengths we can share with each other. There are support groups of all types, why not DID? Is it the stigma? Are we afraid someone we know will find out? Are we afraid of others like ourselves? If you are reading this and you have DID can you please share your thoughts and feelings on this issue. You can post here or email me privately at survivingoutloud@gmail.com

Short of advertising in the local paper, how do I go about reaching individuals with DID in my community?

I am very serious about this but I am stuck on how to make it happen.  Help!!!!

Grief

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This post is a deviation from the others. This isn’t about abuse or therapy or any of those things. It’s about grief.

My husband and I suffered with infertility for years. We sought medical help but still no pregnancy. We moved on to IVF and our first attempt was a success. A wonderful success….twins! We were so very happy. We had frequent ultrasounds and learned it was a boy and a girl. They were growing well and they looked perfect.

Four years ago today I woke with a horrible headache, the worst headache of my life. I stayed home from work which is very unusual for me. The next morning it hurt to breathe. I went to my regular doctor and they said it was likely anxiety to go home and call my high risk ob. I did and I went into his office the next day.

My heart sank when I saw the ultrasound. They didn’t have to tell me that something was wrong, it knew it by looking. My son had no amniotic fluid. His sister was pressing down on him. The tech left to get the doctor. I asked if I should call my husband and they said yes. I sat in that tiny room for an hour waiting for the doctor.

When the doctor came into the room he said that he had been doing research to determine the best course of action. He said we only had a 10% chance of our daughter surviving. Our son had no chance as he would rest on his umbilical card and cut off his life source. He suggested we terminate the pregnancy. I said no, that we would take the 10% chance. I was sent home with antibiotics and strict bed rest.

That night my temperature spiked and I knew neither of my children would be coming home. I delayed going labor and delivery for as long as possible. When we finally arrived my temperature was 104 and I was very sick. I laid in the hospital bed knowing that if I just relaxed I would go somewhere that felt very warm and peaceful. I could see it and feel it. My husband kept yelling for me to hang on. I just didn’t feel like I could leave him so I fought to hang on. My husband ran to get help and the nurse came in and called a code. My husband said the room quickly filled with people and they ran with me to the ICU. He thought he had lost his wife and his two children.

I had to deliver the twins in order to survive. A faulty chest x-ray led them to believe that I might have an infection in my chest instead of my uterus. They started massive amounts of antibiotics and we waited.

My family was allowed to stay with me around the clock and they did. They were told the odds were greater of me dying than surviving.

The next morning I went into labor on my own. My beautiful son was born still. Two hours later my daughter was born and passed about 5 minutes after her birth. She wasn’t yet 24 weeks so there was no attempt to save her.

I miss my children everyday. It’s hard to believe it has been 4 years and yet at the same time it seems like it was yesterday. Even though I now have a living child my arms are still empty. Their birth being near Mother’s Day certainly doesn’t help.

I know I need to just let myself grieve and practice self care. The tears just seem to come in rivers this morning. I’m really dreading the 13th their actual birthday.

A new day – trust

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Yesterday I really went to work on my trust issues. I began a letter to my therapist with no intention of giving it to her, I was simply looking for clarity for myself. After I wrote the letter I found it made a lot of sense. I thought, I should send this to her and before I could talk myself out of it I did. She appreciated what I wrote. We talked about it today and I feel like things have shifted and I’m back on track with trust.

We are going to so some work I have been thinking about for some time. I will put my thoughts and feeling about this inner work in another post.

Trust is hard but in the end it is so worth reaching for.

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