Category Archives: Therapy

Free Sowing

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 IMG_2272nose 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.

 

 

 

Why I Blog…A Gentle Reminder

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.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Hope, Gidget, Little Shanna

 

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The Mean One

 

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.

DID 1
DID 1 (Photo credit: Vlad OFP)

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.

Love you all. ~Hope

 

 

 

 

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Breathe In Breathe Out

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

Nebulizer Baby
Nebulizer Baby (Photo credit: KristyFaith)

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.

http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

We’ll I hope you have a great night.  I think I am going to throw the tower in early.

~Hope

 

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Busy Hands Trying To Silence My Mind

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.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great evening! ~Hope

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Children Will Listen

How beautifully true the words are Children Will Listen, they kept playing over and over in my mind. Generally when we talk about children we speak of those that we touch in our physical world our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, students, friends, or just the child on the street.

As I sang this song with tears in my eyes recalling the words that Little Shanna has heard from me all these years. The words I have said about myself. The words she internalized and having no way to process or express, she attached these to her other negative secrets. (She asked that I use her real name.  I will not always, but today. I agreed, because it is important to her.)

Whereas my shield against the world, forged by my parents, family and friends has mostly been created with positive input, hers, due to my inner negative dialogue became a shield that was not much of a shield at all. Just awful awful scary untruths and half-truths. Words a five year-old should never hear.

It is no secret that since I was a teenager, I have had thoughts of suicide. I attempted it once, but the razor would not cut me. I do not take suicide thoughts, talk, or attempts lightly. I have had friends who have felt the darkness and stepped beyond trying to find relief. I will not judge them and I will jump to their defense if I hear anyone saying anything about someone who has attempted or committed suicide.

However, as I have said before, I have made a promise to my Mother that I will not kill myself as long as I have my faculties about me. I will reach out, call, do whatever I can do get out of that dark place where you physically, spiritually, and emotionally feel a pain that is black, completely absent of light, piercing every cell in your body. You just want the pain to stop.

Having said that, as she has watched from her corner of my mind, Little Shanna, has equated sadness with the need to die or to kill yourself. She does not remember the promise nor will she make the promise that I made with Mother. See has seen my misery and torment that words do not do justice, and heard my thoughts seen the pills in my hands, as I shook and yelled.  I just want to die.  She has heard it so many times.  I have to get her to trust me enough now to LISTEN and make the promise that we will keep each other safe.

Singing I looked over on my night stand and saw the monkey I bought her the first few weeks after she came out. He has been covered with junk since I came home from the weekend that I bought him. When she first let me know her secret, I felt sorry for her, broken-hearted. I considered it our secret. As the months passed I have pushed her farther and farther away. Angrily at times, blaming her for the mess my life is in. If she would have kept her secret to herself. If she would not act out. If she would…

Seeing her stuffed bear reminded me she is a child and reminded me of the feelings I felt for her when she first let me know what happened.  I began to be really penitent about pushing her away, even when she was being  a loud five-year old at inconvenient times. She is a child. Most children act out in the least convenient times.

How is she going to heal if the one who should love her most of all continues pushing her away with hateful words, wishing she were gone. How is she going to heal when her protector becomes her abuser?

If she cannot heal then we cannot heal, and if we cannot heal then I cannot heal.

I know that we both want to heal TOGETHER.

Why I Blog and A Question

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One of the reasons I stopped blogging a few months ago was because I was so caught up in numbers.  Worrying about my stats daily.  Am I being boring?  What are my readers thinking?  Between that and Little Hope angry that I called her Hope, it just became too much.

Today I have thought about what drives me to write.  Mainly to get the thoughts out to calm me.  Others is to connect with others.  I hope my words do reach others, and somehow help them.  Even it is helps them, helps YOU not feel so alone.

Originally I had hoped to make money blogging, but I know my blog is not going to ever make money.  It is not about a money-making topic that brings people in droves.  Maybe down the road when I am farther along in my journey, I will visit that idea again.  Right now I want to focus on quality posts about my life.

This is the life I am living.  This blog is much more than a blog to me, it is my online journal.  I am going to treat it as such.  I hope as I do you do not get bored reading.  Gratefully, some days are boring.  I long for those days.  Days that I can say, “Today I cleaned house and cooked dinner.”  Of course I will go into more details, and talk more about what I am feeling.

I do have a QUESTION. Before my hiatus when I blogged at the bottom in visual mode it offered suggestions on blogs that I could pingback to, blogs that had similar subject matter.  I do not see this anymore.  Is there something that I need to activate to get that back or what?  I do not remember what it is called.  I would love to have that option again.  I think it was a great way to network in our blogging community.  If you know what it is or how I can get it back PLEASE let me know.  Thanks!

I hope you all have a wonderful night! -Hope

Sharing A Brain

Last night Little Hope made herself known. Sharing a brain with her, and being trapped when she appears, is terrifying. Last night, I felt sorry for her. She was so scared.

My husband and I were talking about money issues. I became emotional. I could feel her trying to take over. I whispered under my breath, “No. Do not come.” Several times, but it was no use. She had pushed me back, and was now in a room with someone she did not recognize. She was terrified and very scared. Internally I tried to calm her and tell her who my husband was, she continued to push back against me. I was also mentally begging my husband to call my Mother. (Mother and I had talked about next time she came out that Mother would try to reach her and get her to make some of the same promises I have made.) In her fear and hysterics she pushed back at my so hard that I do not remember everything.

It is hard sharing a brain with someone that is a part of you but that you do not recognize and you do not control. Once I swictch back, I was so exhausted.

Though my life is no laughing matter, I do have to say my choice of movies last night did make me chuckle after I realized the plot. The Host I told Tracy that is often how I feel. Hopefully, she and I can become friends like Wanda and Melanie.

Thursdays Make Me Nervous

Ever since my wreck afew weeks ago, Thursdays make me nervous. When I am nervous and anxious I have to work extra hard to not switch, which makes me more nervous and anxious. Today I have an appointment that requires me to travel the road where I had my first flashback. I know many of you are thinking let it go, PTSD is not like that, you cannot. You live and relive, constantly. I am physically hurting and in emotional torment.

This afternoon I meet with my counselor. One of the things that I want to discuss with her is lately my emotions get so intense, but then if I want to express what is in my mind it is like someone takes a curtain and pulls it infront of my thoughts, and there is nothing there but the emotion.

I made my Mother a promise last week that I would not look up my symptoms on the internet, I have kept that promise. I just keep forgetting to ask my counselor about this. It has happened in therapy several times.

Gratefully, I just received the news that the first appointment was cancelled. I am already a nervous mess. I am going to turn on the TV and try to find something that I can get insterested in.

Looking for Courage and Motivation

As I have mentioned before, I have this battle within myself. Little Hope is trying to keep me to herself, and I, in fear of upsetting her, spend most of my time alone. This weekend my siblings and extended family came in. Though anxious initially at the thought of being around everyone and a few times during the party, I was able to enjoy some time with family. I cannot express how grateful I am for that.

I am trying to find the courage within to do those things that will help me and motivate me to be stronger.

Blogging again is one of those baby steps. I enjoy writing. Words delight me. They are my friends. They can be my weapon, my sauve, my mask, the real me. Words can be what I need them to be. I love words.

The other is my photography. I took up the hobby of photography not too long ago as part of my healing journey. I receive joy in the moments in time that can be captured in a photo. The last several weeks out of fear of upsetting Little Hope, I placed my camera aside. I decided that I would pick my camera back up and find treasures that are placed for me to discover that will give me moments joy.

It may sound simple. Writing and photography, two creative fun things. I do not want to negate the beauty and peace that I will get in the long run, but right now I still have the anxiety because of that battle. I pray that the tenacity that I have always had will kick in and I will stick to these two goals.

Saturday I took this picture of Tender Mercy. She is a sweet angel doe that comes on days that we are having a difficult time. Saturday was the day of the party, I was very anxious. My nephew came in and said, “There is a deer out here.” I knew exactly why she had been sent.

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