Tag Archives: Mental Health

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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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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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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Nature’s First Green Is Gold

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight…”

The first and the last words of The Outsiders, a movie that quickly became one of my favorite a pre-teen. I do know not know what drew me into the story. It could have been the adorable and quite handsome young Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, and Tom Cruise. It was more than bubbling hormones though. I not only loved the movie, I loved the book.

In the eighth grade when required to do a report on the book of our choice, I chose The Outsiders. Honestly, I think I related to them somehow. Ponyboy and Johnny the tightest of friendships, even to laying to Johnny laying down his life. Each of the boys in the story carried trait I could relate to.

Not understood. Angry. Funny. Desire to be loved. Together with friends, but still outsiders.

When I presented my oral report, I began by quoting Alfred R. Ferguson’s poem that Johnny loved so well.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

It is ironic to me now that I quoted the poem. Not really understanding what the words meant, though Johnny explained them to Pony in a letter.

The irony lies in the loss of my innocent childhood. It was gold to me. Beautiful, fun, exciting, perfect, innocent, but one event remembered has marred the golden beauty of my innocence. I do not know if my words capture the feeling and the meaning I am trying to convey and the relationship I feel to the poem. I just thought it interesting how it unknowingly personified my life.

I need to apologize for my lack of posts the last couple of days. I will sit down and start a post and something will distract me, and it is almost like “SQUIRREL” and I am mentally and/or physically gone! I am so easily distracted and completely lose the train and the track the train of thought was on. I hope to do better, but I cannot make promises. I know my brain, and it does not like to cooperate these days.

With that said, I am extremely sleepy. I think I might take a nap. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. Thank you for reading my blog!

~Hope

P.S. This is a picture of a male red cardinal on a red bud tree outside my parents home yesterday. Isn’t he gorgeous?
Cardinal

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/

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.

Can I Have This Dance?

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When you live with an alter, especially when you are first realizing and learning to live. It is like getting to know a new roommate. This roommate, unlike a college roommate, shares everything you do, but is much more difficult to get to know. It is truly a trial and error.

I have been fighting Little Hope for a long time. Angry that she intruded on my life. This week I have tried to accept her more, and befriend her more to understand her. She has remained hidden most of the week as I have dealt with my feelings about her.

Today however, I went to my kitchen to do the dishes and start dinner and I could feel her. My anxiety level began to rise. The more I felt her the more anxious I got. Then I stopped and began to talk with her, calmly nurturing her. Reminding her of the fun times that she and Granny had in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. I reminded her of some of the details. She began to settle down. She then showed me an image of her dancing with a doll. She was happy.

I had music playing in the background. It was one of Enya’s songs. I asked her if I could dance with her. She liked that idea. I closed my eyes and hugged myself and danced around my kitchen. Tears streaming down my face. I think it was the first time she really trusted me.

After I danced I had an idea. I know that I like to write, and writing helps me to get my thoughts out. I wondered if it would help her. I asked her if she wanted to keep a journal. She did not know what a journal was so I had to explain that it is a book that we put our thoughts in to help us feel better. It would be her own special book. We can put whatever we want in our own journal. I explained to her that I would create a special place on my computer just for her journal, and anytime that she needed get something out, then she could tell me or she could type it. Though, I honestly I hope this will be a way that she trusts me enough to let me be out all the time. I will not go into the things she told me. Those are her secrets. If she gives me permission to write them on my blog I will, but until then it is her journal.

To some this might make me sound more crazy, but to me, I feel more sane. I feel like I am getting somewhere with her. At least today, tomorrow it might be different, she is a five-year old.

All I know is these forty-year old eyes are sleepy and going crossed from looking at this Mac most of the day except when I was dancing with myself in the kitchen.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful night! ~Hope