Tag Archives: DID

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.

 

 

 

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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 Three Faces of Me

 

The Three Faces of Eve
The Three Faces of Eve (Photo credit: junibears)

During therapy yesterday Dr. R mentioned the movie The Three Faces of Eve.  Since The Mean One 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.

Something needs to give.  I hate this.

Thanks for reading.  ~Hope

 

 

 

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You Can’t See Me

Photo Credits: whatishowto.net
Photo Credits: whatishowto.net

I really hate days like today. My anxiety is through the roof. I have been working on my to list, each item giving me a greater measure of anxiety as I move to it. You would think that completing items would give me a sense of accomplishment, not so much right now. I am putting the completed items on my calendar, because I am pretty sure I will not remember accomplishing them.

Several items include dealing with other people over the phone. I have been okay with that, today I try to practice breathing and now listening to music to calm myself. So frustrating.

Yesterday I was looking at my Ipad and saw messages from a friend of mine. He sent me pictures of the beach that he lives near with snow on it. That was interesting. Even more perplexing, January 8th, I sent him a message, that I do not remember sending. It is a simple message, “LOL! It was 17 here with a wind chill in single digits. Crazy weather. Oh HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!‘ He then sent me a message back apparently and asked, “How are you guys doing?” I did not respond. I always respond to him. I do not know what was going on the 8th. Was I dissociated? Maybe I had a migraine and just do not remember. The 8th was his birthday, but I am pretty sure if the date had registered with me on the 8th, then I would have also remembered Grandmother’s death. That is the anniversary of her passing.

Today as I work on my lists, I want to do nothing more than climb in bed, and pull the covers up to my nose and tell the world, “You can’t see me.” I want to sleep. Sleep it all away, disappear under the covers, and hope to wake in a magical world. But lately my dreams aren’t magical, they bring nearly as much stress as being awake does. Nemesis from this world finding me in my dreams and preying on my innermost thoughts and struggles.

At the moment I am waiting for a callback from one item on my list. My attorney for my disability case. I suppose that I am anxious about that conversation, because I know that the last few times that I have talked in-depth about disability, an angry Little Shanna, and the other personality comes out. I am so tired that I do not know that I want to face that today, but any day will be the same.

Why not on Thursday…

Who Was On The Computer Last Night?

My husband complains today about being sleepy. I mention to him that it is most likely because he snored and needs to replace his CPAP mask. He then said, “No I was referring to someone else staying up all night.”

I looked at him questioning. I told him that I slept all night for change, or I thought I did. He goes on to say that I kept him awake messing around on my laptop.

Why do I find this so disturbing? I went to sleep before him. I woke up to go to the bathroom and he was still awake. We joked, and I went back to sleep. I do not remember waking up until Daisy started barking at 5:00. I told her to go back to sleep and I did the same. She woke me up again at 6:00, and I went did the morning routine that my husband normally does with the dogs on the weekdays. Letting them out, feeding them, and watering them.

I then came to check my email. Looked up a few things, and wasn’t on the computer long before I was sleepy and turned it off.

I have no recollection of being on my computer during the middle of the night. I do not know who was or what they did. It really bothers me. I really do not like this.

Photo Credit; colormegreen.areavoices.com
Photo Credit; colormegreen.areavoices.com

Blog For Mental Health 2014


“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

 

I want to introduce myself to those who are new to my blog, and re-tell my story to those that have been with me the whole journey.

So what started me blogging, and why Narnia? Narnia as you know is the place of C.S. Lewis’ creation. It is a place where children went and lived as Kings and Queens, having magical things happen. Aslan was there to protect them and guide them. You wanted to be in Narnia. For me Narnia was the woods behind my childhood home, my parents home. The home they still live in.

Last year I began blogging soon after I realized the life I thought I had lived, was not exactly the life I lived. I remembered the Narnia of my youth; however, this time it was marred by one of my playmates when he orally raped me. I was only five. He was 12 or 13.
After the event I suppressed the memory deep inside, yet there was one who always remembered. That five-year old girl.

Through this last year my life consisted of weekly therapy appointments, medication changes, many tears, so much support from family and friends, prayers, questions, and more soul-searching than one person’s brain can endure in such a short time. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and DID. I originally went for help because of my depression and anxiety and with help dealing with an adoption fraud…Then Pandora’s Box opened. You can read about that

To say that this has been an emotional roller coaster is the understatement of the past five centuries. Learning that you have a child living inside you, a child that kept such a horrible secret from you out of fear and to protect you…and your rapist. Going from fear to love, fear to love, every time you see him in public now. Trying so hard to forgive, just when you think you have forgiven him, you see him and hear her screaming. I rarely leave home now, except to go to my doctor appointments.

I think throughout the year if you name an emotion I have felt it for Shanna. That’s her name. We now have a sweet and tender relationship, almost like mother and child. I want to protect her. Show her the world. Let her know it is okay. She is so pure.

Recently in therapy we discussed the possibility of another alter because of a personality that does not seem like me, nor does it seem like Shanna. This personality seems to manifest when I am under a lot of stress and right before Shanna comes out. She is very loud, angry, fault-finding, and uncontrollable. Not like me. Shanna just cries, and talks like a child talks if at all. Sometimes I co-exist with both personalities but oftentimes they push me so far back that others have to tell me what happened. I do not know if there is another alter, if this is another alter, they have not told me their name. Nor shared it with anyone. However, some very strange things have happened that cannot be explained, that makes me seriously wonder. I do not know, I am just very grateful that Shanna and I are friends now, and that we trust each other. Things were so bad with her for a while.

I am new to this whole world of DID. Anyone with any help or advise would be appreciated. I am new to PTSD also, but at least with it, some of my past actions and reactions are explained, and as irrational as the PTSD mind can get you still see the how and the why and understand. With DID, you feel crazy, I can’t speak for others, but I do, because I do not understand it.

What are my goals? I am working to become a well and whole person. I have come to realize it is a long and difficult journey, not for the weak. I began blogging to help myself, but also to help others in the same or similar situations. I invite you to come along with me on my journey to wholeness. Some days you will laugh. Others you might cry. Some days I will not blog about my mental health at all, normal days are wonderful gifts, and I cherish them. Together we will reclaim my Narnia and yours.

I look forward to meeting you and sharing this journey. I always welcome comments and discussion. Please know that even if you do not have mental health issues or someone with mental health issues, still come on along, the more the merrier!

Something new that I have done with my blog is opened two new pages.

Q & A: Ask me anything. I will try to answer. I will not give details of my rape.

Guest Bloggers: I love reading blogs, looking at pictures, poetry, etc. Would you like to be a guest blogger. Jump over to my guest blogger page.

We are an army against the negative stigma that we face, but we are also fighting our own individual battles.

All hail the battle cry!!

On..On to victory!!!

~Queen Hope of Narnia 🙂

Join in and let your voice be heard: http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/

Mother, Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days

The Judds song Grandpa. How I love the lyrics.

Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this worlds gone crazy
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn’t seem so hazy.

I could not help but think of the lyrics as I Mother drove me around the neighborhoods of her youth. I mentioned to her remembering only one thing about my Grandmommy’s home, the brick wall around the carport. It had perfect squares that reminded me of the squares from the Price Is Right game where you put the dice in with the correct numbers to win the car.  Funny how we associate things. Associating probably helped me remember it.

When we arrived at the end of the street where the house stood, Mother commented that she had not seen it driving by. She then told me the number we were looking for. Before this point I looked for the familiar brick work. We turned the car around, as the numbers on the homes descended, getting closer to the house number we looked for, a childlike eagerness rose.  Almost holding my breath as I recorded with my Iphone. Then we arrived.

Our hearts sank. An empty lot where the home once stood. The home where I ate many hard Christmas candies. You know the kind only grandparents bought back in the day.  It was not really that it tasted that great, but it was a special treat for being at Grandmommy’s–those candies.
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The house where I would see placed carefully on her dresser, the hairnets. Meticulously made with strands of her own hair. My heart was sad. More sad for my Mother than myself, she had many more memories than I in the home. Grandmommy passed away a few weeks before my fifth birthday.

We went by the family burial plot. I do not know that I have been there since I was a child. It’s very humbling to stand at the feet of these amazing people. I have read and researched so much in family history. I love my family. As I stood at Papa’s feet, I thought about his life. His Daddy had mental health problems, and back in his day they did not have the help we do now. He died in an institution.  As sad as that is, it also connects me to him. An empathy that I have not felt before as I thought about him.  Three of my Grandmother’s sisters were buried there with their parents, I only knew one of them.  The others passed away before my birth.

I wore a short-sleeved shirt today not realizing the temperature would drop steadily. When I looked down at my goose bump filled arms, I saw something else that I inherited from this side of my family. Freckles. Those freckles that I cursed as I teen, I learned to accept and see at a link to my irish heritage as an adult. Both Papa and Grandmommy’s family heritage gift to me.

All in all it the day brought smiles with only a few tears. I am so grateful for the smiles. I am grateful for the memories Mother shared, and the new memories we created together. My heart needed it. I felt like me.

My doctors appointments went well also. My doctor added Abilify to my medicines hoping to amp up my other meds enough that I will not have the panic attacks. Keeping my fingers crossed. Since there is not a medication specifically for dissociative disorders you must treat the symptoms and the anxiety and depression, and work on integration.

One of the things that makes me sad when I think about it, is after having such a peaceful, pure, and innocent experience with Little Shanna the other day.  Developing a relationship with her.  I do not want her or me to think of integration as me getting rid of her or killing her. I keep trying to tell myself that it is like me hugging her really really tight, so tight that she becomes a part of me.  I hope she feels that way.
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How Do I Begin? It’s THURSDAY!

already-thursday

 

Oh yes, if any day of the week is cursed it is Thursday, no not Monday as everyone simply assumes.  Thursday takes the most vile day of the week award. Everything bad seems to happen on Thursday.  

It probably began with my sleepless night.  It was well after 3:00 before I went to sleep. Do not suppose it was rainbows and unicorns that I dreamed of. Terrors filled my sleep including dreams of beating someone up then pulling that individual by her wrist to the kitchen where my parents keep their medicine, calling my Mother and the rest of our family in the room just as I swallowed the bottle of Xanax. It was awful.  All night I had dreams about this individual and different scenarios, I hated it.  

Generally when my husband leaves for work in the morning our thing to do is for me to get up and hug and kiss him goodbye.  This morning, exhausted, I just rolled over and asked him to hug me in bed, and tried to go back to sleep.  I hoped the nightmares would end and I would sleep.  I was able to get some sleep, but Daisy needed to go out

Then this afternoon. Then it started. I worked on my MP3s.  My new player does not work. Lovely. They are supposed to call me back when they issue the call tag to come and pick it up.  

I received a phone call, I did not recognize the number.  I did not answer.  They called right back.  So I assumed it was the service center.  How wrong I was.  It was a scammer.  After going on a bit about the scam, and my insistence that I knew it was a scam he finally admitted that he was trying to scam me. I was shocked by his admission. He said he wanted to be my friend. Was this a joke? He went into why he was doing this “job”.  I talked to him about his children and that him getting caught is going to ruin their lives, and they will be very hurt and feel abandoned and betrayed.  I talked to him about making things right.  Then conversation became weirder and more uncomfortable.  Soon he asked when he could call me again.  Stating he really enjoys talking to me.  What?  What just happened here?  I was just encouraging him to seek gainful, honest employment, to pray, and look for a church family.

My cousin teases me that I should write a book about my life.  I can get myself into some of the worst predicaments. I suppose a blog will do for now.

I am nervous as all get out.  This guy has my name, phone number, and so he has my address.  I called and reported the information to the FBI. In hopes that anyone else does not fall for these scammers.  They are many.  

The FBI explained it to me. These scammers HERE IN THE US…They buy drop phones with 876 area codes. There are other area codes they use too. (The area codes are places like Jamaica, The Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rio.)  Just do not answer any number with 876 unless you have family or friends there.  They use the catch line of you have won the lottery or your family is on a cruise and are very sick, or something like that.  When you call back you are charged a huge toll, phone companies do not cover it, they say it is between you and the company you called. This guy sounded like he was new at it or that he really did not want to do it.  He was stumbling over his words nervously from the beginning.  It is sad that people resort to this kind of life, some feeling it is their last and only resort.  It leaves their victims without anything and without trust.  Honestly it is a no win situation.

It is depressing the state that our world is in now.  I felt bad calling the FBI, but I also felt like it was the responsible thing to do.  

One thing I know for sure. I am ready for Friday. Another thing, I know. I am ready for dinner. My tummy is rumbling.

 

 

Thanks for reading about my crazy life. ~Hope

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.