I'm Shanna. Living each day the best I can. Trying to learn and grow to be the daughter my Father in Heaven sees in me. Trying to overcome the trials of this life, and find some joy in each day.
View all posts by Shanna →
Hey. It’s Shanna. I have been trying to create a journal from my older posts. It looks like the last time I posted was in July of 2014. I’m sure my readers have long since unfollowed my blog. I’ll test the waters again.
What has happened these last 3 1/2 years? I continue to go to my therapist monthly. Yes, I still live with my alters. Gidget and Little Shanna, mainly Gidget. She does not allow me to experience any anger before she feels the need to protect me.
My psychiatrist is currently trying to figure out the right combination of medications. They were okay for a while but in November my bipolar episodes started swinging really badly.
March of 2016 I had the gastric sleeve. My heigh weight was 404 my current weight is 176.
Other things that have taken place since 2014, years of an unhappy and emotionally exhausting marriage, one that I always tried to sugarcoat, came to an end. A very abrupt non-amicable end October of 2016. It was extremely difficult and trying. I, however, am rediscovering the person I surrendered so many years ago.
So, I’ll see if blogging again feels right. I’m not sure yet. I’d love to hear from you.
Free Sowing. It’s a gardening term that my therapist taught me as she gifted me some parsley, basil, and chia seeds. It means seeds that do not require much tending to grow.
The last year and a half, I have required so much tending and care, that I am happy to be at my free sown phase. I have happy days. I have real moments when the dark foggy abyss abates, and I feel the sunlight on my face. Those moments are longer and longer. Words cannot adequately give gratitude to how that feels.
The pivotal moment for me occurred when I saw my friend on the street and presented with the opportunity to tell him forgave him. I reiterated I knew his daddy caused him to do the things he did to me. Something happened that day, he told me that he was wrong, relating also, his father often told him to do things he should not have done. I was no longer the only one saying these things happened. I no longer doubted my memories. A tender mercy that I prayed for, answered very directly. My husband witnessed his confession as he sat silently in the car beside me.
Since our conversation, surprisingly, days passed without a thought of the abuse or my abusers. The long-awaited mental reprieve granted. Not to spread all sunshine and roses, some days are still hard, but many more happy days of light than before.
What of my alters?
They still remain vigilent. I am learning to live with them and they me.
Gidget fulfills her job as protector, and gets quite upset if I do not let her do her job. She speaks up in situations that I should speak up and don’t or won’t. She also loves to laugh and play jokes. A few weeks back my husband and I went on a date. Gidget came out. I had shrimp on my plate. When she allowed me to come back there were green beans in a smiley face with one shrimp as a nose staring at me. Apparently she had told Mother she was not going to let me eat all the food at the restaurant. She really likes Ole Times, and shrimp.
Squirt, or Little Shanna, her feelings are so tender. She has been happier. She watched Curious George a couple of times. Mother said she gave her a play- by-play of what George was doing. She still has some of her fears, but she is feeling safer.
Adrian. I do not know what to say about Adrian. Mother can talk to her and get through to her. She does not like me, AT ALL. She is very angry. Though relatively quiet the last few weeks, she still makes part our “family”.
I suppose the dream of being “normal” – alter free- when I started to feel better, isn’t going to happen. They are my normal. Learning to live with them and accepting this part of my life is key.
I started blogging to help others, and myself become stronger. The last several months, I did not have it in me to carry myself, much less have any bright days to share and lift others. My internal protector, who now goes by Gidget, not “the mean one”, isn’t mean at all. She does have a temper. She can swear like a sailor when she gets angry, but her goal has been to protect me and “squirt” and to make me have a little more fun in life.
What now seems eons ago, but was only weeks ago, she told me angrily, “Not everyone deserves to be forgiven.” That statement lead to pandora’s box being opened, and discovering and recalling that my “original” abuser, was a pawn and victim himself in his father and step-mother’s sadistic game. Who knows how long it went on with him, but Little Shanna endured about a year and a half of sexual abuse. Holding tightly to the secret, the sadness, and the guilt, standing beside her, a valiant protector Gidget.
She is remembering that she did fight now, she let me know, I fought and begged to go home. There is only so much a 4 and 5 year old child can do. Especially when you have two adults there, who are holding you. Holding you in a way that you do not bruise though. Hugging you. Adults you once trusted. Adults you should still be able to trust. Hearing my dog barking outside because she heard my cries. Gidget, that is where she got her name from. My faithful protector back then.
She has introduced herself to most of my family and friends. I am not really comfortable with that, but I suppose she is making it so that I do not have to worry about it. Fear of rejection is so high. She gave my closest friends what for the other day, for absolutely no reason. Of course I had to apologize profusely after I returned. She seems to forget my life, our life, is not all that everyone has to deal with.
She and I have become almost like sisters. Boy howdy can she get mad at me. If I try to smooth something over when it is clearly not my fault, or heaven forbid I blame her for something that happens, and I do not know if she had anything to do with it or not. My husband says I need to learn to chose my words more carefully. I told him, I am not used to someone knowing my intimate thoughts, and responding to them. This is a new ball game for me.
She has quite the sense of humor. I hope she does not mind me sharing this. First off, she is country. Very country. Several people have mentioned that she has a serious twang to her voice. After therapy yesterday, I told my parents that I wanted to try to actually eat out at my favorite place. Ole Times Country Buffet. I set up ground rules. My back would be to the wall, and I would be able to see my parents at all times, even at the buffet. I was getting a little nervous. Mother said Gidget came out and said, “I ain’t gonna let her eat all this good food by herself.” Mother laughed as she said some of the things Gidget said and did. First apparently she ate so fast, afraid I would come out soon. Mother asked her if I had put any fried squash on the plate. I had not, only because I did not have room. Gidget sad SHE does not like that stuff. She joked, “When she comes back she ain’t gonna know where her food went.” Gidget, must be a messy eater because my napkin was all nasty when I returned, and she was right. I had Mac’N’Cheese (because” it did not taste like Ms. Edith’s (my grandmother) or hers (Mothers)”, according to Gidget, I agree.), and a piece of dry chicken. Thing is my mouth was still hungry, though my belly bloated. I dared her in my mind to come out when I got my deserts. I got two just in case, I hid them behind butter beans and collards.
If you are new to this life. My advice is, take it slow, but try to become friends. I find when I am scared or afraid when they come out, it wipes me out physically. If I let them come have their peace, and not fight them, I am not nearly as exhausted when I return. I do not understand it, but that is how my body and mind works. My doctor seemed to recognize the exhaustion, so I must not be too crazy. Yeah, not too crazy, says the woman with two altar personalities.
I am not going to write as often as I did before, but I will check in every once and a while. A pulse check to let you know that I am still alive and kicking.
Thank you so much for reading. Thank you Mental Health Bloggers for the gentle reminder as to why I began blogging.
During therapy yesterday Dr. R mentioned the movie The Three Faces of Eve. Since The MeanOne has come out fighting this week, I feel like I need to understand what is going on with me.
Watching the movie helped me understand somethings that I have been trying to understand, the way they communicate, among themselves, and with me. Having these awful headaches more frequently also, a similarity.
I hate being like this. I have always been the person to take care of everything. I handled our bills, dealing with any and all business for us. Now if the slightest ripple in the plans or transactions happen, that rock my boat, that cause me any negative emotion The Mean One thinks of it as an open invitation to take over.
In therapy we discussed acknowledging her and her anger. Last night when she came out at something so minor and stupid, I did just that. I tried to acknowledge her anger. I begged her to tell me why she was so angry. That seemed to make her more angry. Little Shanna then pushed her way forward, and was so scared. She asked for Mother. I am proud of her for doing that. Tracy called Mother for her and Mother was able to calm her enough for me to push back forward.
I have debated writing about this over the last couple of days, but I know that I would do myself and my readers a great injustice by not writing it. This blog serves as my journal and our voice.
As you have noticed I have not written in several days, the reason behind this is the level of my anxiety has been extremely high. It began Sunday with a blow up with a step-daughter, that ended unresolved, and remains unresolved, and will probably remain unresolved. I just need to let it go, and do the things that I have said I would do, nip it in the bud when she starts taking life out on me, ending it right there and then, not allow myself to be her emotional punching bag. I allowed this conversation go on much longer than I should have, each time she would throw her verbal artillery at me, I defended, allowing myself to release pinned up anger from the last nine years, thinking somehow that I would feel better. I do not. Though I do not feel bad about the things I said or did, I, in no way feel “vindicated” for by my words, just heavy and negative for letting go on so long.
Then Tuesday, I had a doctor’s appointment. I get very anxious to go to this doctor’s office because the waiting room is full, that and it is my internist. I knew that I had let my diabetes, my blood pressure, and cholesterol fall on the back burner. Though this doctor has the absolutely most amazing bedside manner, I still feared being scolded, no matter how gently it would be.
As I stood in front of the mirror brushing my teeth and trying to calm my nerves, Little Shanna, began to express her nervousness. I tried to reassure her, letting her know how nice the Doctor was, and that I was just nervous, but that we would be okay. Then I heard her the other voice, “You be quiet, I’ll take care of the squirt.”
I was confused and shocked. Little Shanna, this third identity, and I talked. The third, not nicely at all, she was upsetting Little Shanna and I tried to calm her. I would ask her name, she would laugh and give me a different name every time. She has given me the name Sharon, Sally, Susan…the worst was when she laughed and said Legion and continued to laugh. I tried to rebuke her in the Name of Jesus Christ, but she laughed, and she knows that she and I are part of one, and she isn’t going anywhere. When I realized I was still brushing my teeth my mouth was bleeding.
I ran to my bedroom hurried to get dressed, so that I could get out to my parents house. I was terrified. She laughed, the most awful laugh. I do not know if you remember me telling you about the experience with the smoke and fire trucks, it was that same laugh. I thought that was Little Shanna at the time. I remember even then I said, she seemed older than Little Shanna that day, now I know why. That day she told me she would exploit all my fears. She has repeated that many times the last few days.
I hurried out to my parents. Went to my Mother’s room where she was getting ready, and Daddy laying on the bed, through my tears, I told them. “There is another one.”
We went to the living room and almost immediately Little Shanna came out. She needed Mother to know she was scared. She talked to Mother more than she usually does. She kept saying she was scared. I cannot remember what else Mother said she said. In the middle of comforting Little Shanna, the other one pushed forward.
Mother said she looked very mean. Mother told her to leave but she laughed that laugh that I always hear, and said, you can’t make me leave. Mother called on the name of Jesus Christ to make her leave and she went back in, she was still tormenting me from the inside though. Daddy said he could hear the laugh all the way back in the bedroom.
My days are running together, I think it was that night that I was sitting here and I heard Little Shanna whispering to get my attention. I asked why she was whispering. She said she did not want the “mean one” to hear her. I do not know how the brain of the DID works, or if that is just the mind of the child not wanting someone else to hear her. Anyway, she said, “Killing people is bad, I didn’t want to kill you. It was the mean one.” If felt like she was implying that the “mean one” had made her say those things about killing me when she wanted me to commit suicide.
Another disturbing conversation, I think this was yesterday, but it could have been Tuesday also, was The Mean One telling me that ”I can force my way out and pretend it is you, a bitch and make your life hell and no one will know, but you cannot pretend to be me, everyone will know, sucks to be you.’” The prime example of this is Christmas with the family right before little Shanna came. Little Shanna cries like she does because she is scared of The Mean One, and upset of the situation that caused The Mean One to come.
It is so scary having something so mean, sinister, inside you. I wish I could understand DID. Living it blindly scares me. Going solely on my own experience I feel that Little Shanna only has my memories as a child. The Mean One, pretty much access to everything. I do not know how to control her.
I just don’t know, I suppose we’ll see. Thank you for reading. If you are a person of faith, I would not mind extra prayers right now. I am having a hard time dealing with this.
Funny how the mind picks things to ponder on. This morning will waiting for Roscoe and Enos to finish their “business” outside, my mind drifted to how we judge people, we being me.
I try really hard to walk the path my Savior, Jesus Christ, asks. He commands us to be merciful. Yes we obey he laws of the land and execute righteous judgement in prosecution of criminals doing so, but within ourselves and while dealing with offenders our charge command is to be merciful.
Why is that? Does it matter? Not really. I think though in addition to the fact that in order to being able to receive the gift of mercy ourselves we must be merciful, there is another piece to it. We cannot see inside of an individual like out Savior can. We have not watched their daily struggles or successes, and seen what brought them to this point
Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables comes to mind. Jean ValJean, imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread.. He was not a mean or a cruel thief, he stole because his nephew was starving. We received a huge prison sentence for this. When released he could not find work because of his past. Eventually going to a parish, he steals the silver. This time however, the priest shows him mercy, and explains to the constables that the silver was a gift, and even goes so far as to give him a candlestick that he missed. Because of this kindness, not only ValJean’s life was changed, but many others.
I am not saying if someone breaks in to our homes to say, “oh you forgot this.” I am saying that we can be more freely forgiving, more free to offer the hand of fellowship, free to serve those that are least serve-able
I could be completely wrong in this hypothesis, but I feel if people exhibited more charity and mercy, there would not be a need for so much “justice”. Some of those, especially the youth, that are acting out, and fall into the jaws of justice would feel compelled to change because they would see their worth as human beings and as sons and daughters of God.
Such would be my hope.
Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful Saturday. ~Hope
Went to the doctor today, when they took my oxygen stats they were low. Yay me! He has put me on a nebulizer for my asthma, one without steroids. I am so sensitive to steroids
that though they would do my lungs a world of good, my mental state and the mental state of those around me does not benefit from me on them.
Speaking of breathing in and breathing out. On the way to town, I practiced self soothing with my MP3 and circular breathing. Though I was probably better than I would have been without these techniques, I cried in anticipation of being in a crowded waiting room. My angel Mother went in to both offices for me and waited for them to call my name. She then would come and let me know so I could go to my room. I helped a lot.
This morning I before my appointments, I found something I wanted to share. I hope that it will help all of us with our anxiety. My therapist has helped me with mindfulness, when I found this, I was so excited. She was hoping to create a MP3 for me, this is so similar to the technique she uses.
Mentally busy today updating my OS on my Macbook and then trying to figure out how to get Zemanta on my blog. Oh how I have missed Zemanta.
Really the goal has been to keep my mind off of my doctors appointments tomorrow. When I go to therapy and my psychiatrist, the waiting room is generally not too crowded, but my internist and my pulminologist, oftentimes it is standing room only. So my anxiety as already started, go figure.
Wow I did not realize what time it was, it is already time for me to cook dinner for the hubs. Where is he? Hmmmm…Yeah, that is a phone call to make, wish I had not noticed the time.