Monday, September 28, 2009

Just checking in

Don't have time to report anything new. Just felt like checking in. School and work are still consuming most of my time but both are going well. Fiance is doing as good as can be expected in Afghanistan. He has a redeployment date set. For now it's Nov. 29. If that date sticks, he'll be home sometime the first week of December. Yay!!!!! I will be so happy when he is home to stay. Feeling a lot better about talking to him and just being open with him. We got to spend some real time talking on the phone this weekend. We didn't talk about anything really important, but I felt connected to him again, and that connection is what makes me know he can know all about me/us and everything will still be fine. It's awesome to be back to feeling nothing but utter excitement about him coming home!

I talk to therapist in the morning. I need to remember to ask her what coping skills she uses to keep her stamina and sanity on the days that she has therapy and then goes on to see a full day of clients herself. Last week, I was completely drained by the end of the day. It's a good drained, but I don't see it being healthy for us in the long run.

I also see Psychiatrist on Wednesday. We've been lowering my Prozac dosage every 3 months for the last 9 months. Hoping I can convince him to lower the dosage again this week. If he will then I'll only be taking 20mg of Prozac in the morning, and 1mg of Klonopin at night for sleep. I can't remember the last time, I was on that few medications, and on their practically lowest dosages, and still felt good for the most part. It's very exciting! Maybe one day I won't have to be on any meds at all. I know that's a big maybe, but it's still nice to be in a place to even contemplate it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Fall. ugh!

It's oficially Fall, and my generalized anxiety that kicks in this time of year has made it's appearance. It isn't as bad this year as it has been in years past. Typically, Fall signals the beginning of a steady decline in my well-being that ends with an IP stay in a Psych hospital for a few weeks sometime in the winter. Last winter was the first winter I/we stayed stable enough to not need IP help. Currently, we are not seeing that there will be a need for IP treatment this winter either, so the anxiety is less, but alas, it is still present. I think this has made me more sensitive to things recently. Because I'm constantly battling a low level of anxiety right now, it makes it easy to cause a drastic spike in my anxiety. I think this definitely played into my past few posts, but at the same time I don't see my posts as true overreactions either.

I want to address a question Shen left in my comment section because I think it's a very valid question. Below is my response.


You ask a good question, and there is a good chance you may be right. My history tells me that sharing these labels with others can have long term disasterous results even with those who love me 'unconditionally'. As a result, my response is to not want to put a label to anything or feel categorized in any way. This is probably an extreme in the other direction. It should just be a name, an identifier to a set of symptoms and/or behaviors. Unfortunately, in my world of family and friends it carries much more of a stigma than that. Their opinions and pressure over how I should handle things has been getting to me, especially over the past few weeks. I know that my perceptions have become somewhat skewed, and I really do need to take a step back, re-evaluate, and re-decide what I believe about me.

Therapist and I talked today. It was helpful. She validated my feelings and helped me see that more of my emotions are coming from feelings of hurt and frustration I'm feeling towards family and friends who I deem should understand or at least accept me where I'm at right now than there really is fear of talking to fiance' and continuing to share all of me with him.

So, other than the general anxiety I struggle with this time of year every year, I think I will be sleeping much more at ease tonight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A good conversation with a friend

So, I've been thinking about last night's blog entry all day. So much so that I didn't think I could wait until tomorrow to talk to therapist. A good non-DID friend of mine was on Google talk today, and she let me pick her brain. Our conversation was really beneficial to me. Still have a ways to go with processing things, but she did help to alleviate some of my anxieties. Anyways, rather than trying to summarize what she said, I just copied and pasted our chat, changing names so that everything continues to stay anonymous for my benefit. Thanks to all of you for reading, and Shen, thank you for your response and encouragment. It is greatly appreciated!

me: So, I told you at retreat that I talked to Don and Susan and they helped me a lot in feeling confident about opeing up to fiance' more about therapy and the way my mind works....
ES: yep
me: So last week, I was really excited about fiance' coming home and not having any anxiety over it or anything. Then this weekend, a dear friend of mine whose known me since I was 12 and my parents both felt needs at different times to chime in on how, when, if, how much, where I was going to tell fiance.. like the longer I go w/o telling him is a big deception on my part
ES: ok
me: They all agree that waiting til he gets home is fine but I told them the things I talked about with Don... that I wasn't going to give fiance' the names of my diagnoses b/c my diagnoses aren't who I am. I was just going to tell him how my head works and what my symptoms are and what i need from him and answer any questions he may have. Well, they all see this as lying b/c I'm still "withholding information" from him... I don't see how giving him the name DID is going to do anything except allow him to develop misconceptions of what life is like for me, but I don't want any secrets with him.
I think when I told you I told you the diagnosis first. In all honesty, did I freak you out that night we talked? Obviously, I know you've gotten over it if I did, but was what I told you a major deal that I am just trying to play down?
ES: wow, ok.
me: sorry.... I think I tried to warn you... maybe I didn't do a good job. Need to chat later?
ES: no no sorry that was only the first portion of my statement
me: oh. haha
ES: the wow was only b/c you've got a lot going on in your head
me: yeah, you could say that. I guess I just don't feel like I'm dropping a huge bomb on him like other seem to think I am... but maybe that's just b/c I'm used to me and the way we work. but I'm really second guessing everything again... maybe this is a HUGE deal like my family and a few of my friends think it is.
ES: ok. stop. breathe. first of all, it didn't really freak me out. i think you should definitely approach it the way don and susan suggested, explain your head and your thinking let him get his responses and then tell him that you've been diagnosed with DID at the end and be honest tell him you know it's a scary name, but all that it means is exactly what you've told him up to that point. To be honest, it helped explain A LOT to me cause there were times where i felt like i was getting "different bravehearts" and so it was interesting and really informative to know why
me: seriously? I mean, I'm not surprised, but I work so hard for that not to happen... haha that does help. i want it to make me make more sense.. not to make me look like a freak....
ES: well and he knows you very well by now
me: I think my family and my friend just scared me this weekend
ES: and it will only help explain you HE LOVES YOU he KNOWS you
me: yeah.. he does.. :D
ES: you are NOT this diagnosis. you are you
me: and this is why you are one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world! You haven't known me as long, but you get me way better than so many of my friends - even the ones with Psych degrees.
ES: :) i love you
me: i love you.
ES: and let fiance' know that it's not that he has to DO anything or CHANGE anything but you wanted him to know to help him understand you you were great about that with me
me: yeah, that's a good point... all I want from him is for him to know and understand... I don't "need" anything from him regarding this stuff. Good, I'm glad I was able to explain that part of it to you.
ES: dont' stress about telling fiance' it will be wonderful
me: you really already put my mind at ease a lot
ES: God brought him into your life for a reason. he's been totally understanding up to this point do you really see him changing b/c of some label you've been given?
me: no, you're right. I start second guessing most when he's not around for me to be reassured by interacting with him and when those that I"m typically around a lot that have their own misconceptions start telling me what I need to do. but, if i think back, I felt confident about telling him in June when he was home and I know I will again once he's home in December. You're so awesome!!
ES: no problem

Monday, September 21, 2009

You think I haven't thought of that?

Fiance' will be home from Afghanistan in about 2 1/2 months. We are so excited that his year of deployment is almost over!!! On the other hand, his coming home means we're finally going to have the time and the setting to tell him I am actually a "we". I truly believe he can handle it or I wouldn't have agreed to marry him without making sure he knew first. Timing has just not been as I'd hoped as far as sharing my past and internal world with his deployment, but I know I want to marry him, so there was NO WAY I was saying "no" when he asked me to marry him.

Anyways, with him coming soon, family and close friends seem to feel the need to weigh in on what I need to tell him, when I need to tell him, and how I need to tell him about my "secret life." I know they're just trying to be helpful but this just flies all over me!!!!! First of all, I haven't been living a secret around him. I/we've just been us. The only thing we haven't done is distinguish ourselves and make sure he calls each of us by our respective names. Second, I've been thinking about how I would tell the man I marry about what life is like as a multiple since I realized I was one. Third, therapist and I have been working for over a year on how we would specifically tell fiance' when the time was right, and we've really been focusing on what, how, when, etc. since we got engaged.

Also, I know it's a big thing to tell someone, but does it really have to be a big deal? Everyone acts like I'm about to drop a huge bomb on him. Is my perception wrong because I don't see it that way? Am I trying to downplay my symptoms and what living with DID is like b/c I am afraid I might scare him off? Why is having a coping skill that saved our lives seem like such a bad thing to those around me. I'm still the same person I've always been, just as genuine as I've always been with him. How does filling him in on how my mind works have to equal a huge ordeal that requires tons of input from people, even when I'm not asking for their opinion?

Maybe we are playing this down. The fact that we refer to ourselves in the plural tense alone may be enough to freak someone out. I don't know. I just know that I wish everyone would stay out of it unless I ask for their opinion. I don't think I can run through any more different scenarios or come up with any more different ways to present things. I've been and will continue to play different scenarios of this conversation(s) in my head until they actually take place sometime in January.

I asked for some advice from a very wise person about 10 days ago and he really gave me some good advice and lots of peace about my decision. Since then, family and friends have decided to chime in again (are they afraid I'm going to forget fiance' and I need to have this talk before we're married?) and remind me how I don't need to do anything to make fiance' think I'm deceiving him by not telling him everything.... how important trust is in a relationship.. I'm getting a lecture on the importance of trust in a relationship??????? What in the world????? Anyways, now I'm second guessing things again and wondering if the way we've decided to tell him is the right way. Is there even a right way? And the anxiety returns. At least for a few short days, I felt confident in my ability to talk to him and was feeling nothing but excitement about him coming home so we could start the rest of our lives together.

I'll talk to therapist on Wednesday. Maybe she can help me regain some of that peace and excitement instead of dread that I'm going to disappoint or scare off the person I love more than anyone else on the planet.

I think times like these are what trigger posts like yesterday.... feelings that where I am still isn't enough progress or far enough and difficulty feeling content with where I am despite being able to see the immense amount of progress I've made over the past 2 years. I'm still not good enough or sane enough or whatever enough to just be accepted as I am where I am by anyone other than therapist.

God please help me to see myself the way you see me and the way I believe fiance' sees me and not the way satan is telling me I should be seen or the way I believe others to perceive me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Therapy break is over

Good or bad, we got back into therapy full-swing on Friday. We're not really doing memory work at the moment, but I switched probably 4 times during the session and all of the parts were younger and crying and really looking for comfort from therapist. We are so blessed that our move wasn't so far that we can't make the hour drive to still see her in person once a week. Parts are having a really hard time adjusting to us being in her office once a week even though we still have sessions twice a week.... Friday we reconnected with therapist and I believe parts were reassured that she's not going anywhere and I didn't move us away from her.

I see lots of stuff that's been on hold for the past 6 weeks coming to the front in the next few weeks. I know this is good b/c all the work we do leads to progress, but I can't help but be slightly sad about facing more struggles. I know they are all past struggles that have been held internally by parts for so many years, but to me, they are mostly new.

I didn't take over being forward all of the time until after the abuse ended. It's like I'm learning everything and experiencing it all for the first time. Is it crazy to think that parts of me are stronger than I am? I don't know how they survived what they did, and the more I learn the more I understand why some parts wish they didn't.

Reconciling this world with my past world is sooooooooooooo hard. I don't often let myself have 'pity parties'. I can't see how they do much good. Tonight I just feel like whining though. Tomorrow we'll probably pick things back up and carry on. One more day, one more memory, one more fight. We are doing really well for us, and I am so grateful! We're doing things in our life that 18 months ago seemed impossible. It's amazing. So, why am I still wondering if this will ever end? and will we ever run out of new memories to process or new triggers to uncover? We've made so much progress. Why can't I be happy with that tonight?

Grr. I'm frustrating myself. Think I'm just going to go to bed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Tonight we're in class learning how to blog. hee hee!

So, I decided since I already have a few different blogs, I'd post a blog entry rather than practice embedding Youtube videos.

Sorry I've been out of touch. School has keeping me crazy busy, and I haven't done a good job of being in touch with things internally. We've been in our new city about a month and I noticed yesterday that internal stuff is creeping back in. I know this is good. I've been ignoring my internal world for too long, but it was oh so nice to just feel "normal" and not have any major internal issues going on.

I also am in my 3rd week officially working as a counselor and seeing clients again. I haven't seen clients in 4 years. Ack! I'm nervous before each session starts, but I'm really loving the job! A couple of my clients, I have no idea how I'm going to help, but they seem so grateful just to have someone to listen. One I think I can relate to a lot, and I'm working on making sure I stay in therapist role and not - a friend with "ooh ooh, let me tell you what worked for me and try this."  That's not my role in this relationship. I must admit that I am very relieved, at least at this point, that I am loving seeing clients rather than feeling stressed out or being triggered.

Oh, we're moving onto discussing our article critiques. Better get back to class. Will try to get back into a routine of posting regularly.

Take care all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Irony at its best

So, I got to work today after the long weekend to find out from the counselor I share an office with that his 31 year old son died over the weekend. Apparently he's had a lot of drug and alcohol issues for years. He recently just got out of a 3 month inpatient program. Cause of death hasn't been released, but it looks like a drug overdose of sorts. Co-worker was at work today because there's nothing he can do right now, and he said it's better than sitting at home. His son lived in another town but will be buried here on Saturday, so co-worker said he might as well be here and be distracted. It's so heartbreaking!

What kills me more than anything is that co-worker is a licensed drug and alcohol addictions counselor and has been in practice for over 25 years. Talk about ironic. To lose your own child to the thing you've spent your life fighting, helping those struggling to overcome, and educating others about seems so cruel.

God never said life would make sense, but I can only imagine the pain co-worker is feeling knowing he was never able to help his own flesh and blood. It's definitely not co-worker's fault that his son overdosed, but it is still extremely sad to think that he has helped so many others but was unable to help his own son.

I'm not even going to try to understand this one.

Monday, September 7, 2009

checking in

Just wanted to say hi! Getting settled in with school and a new job took up a lot of my time last week and was away from my computer this weekend.

I went to my 10 year High School reunion this weekend. It was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I was forward the whole time b/c no one else inside remembers anyone from high school. Parts began re-emerging my last semester of high school and over the summer before beginning college. It was weird to be back somewhere that was all about me. Parts still had comments about people from my past, but I actually just got to have my memories for a night. It was pretty cool. It was fun seeing some old friends I hadn't seen in 10 years too.

I spent the rest of the weekend at the lake. I got slightly sunburnt, but it was totally worth it!

While back in my hometown, I drove by my old house. I don't know why I had this compulsion. I think it's only the 2nd time I've been there since my parents moved out 6 years ago. Usually I avoid going by there at all cost. My abuser lived in the house next door, and that's where all of the abuse that I know of took place. It was weird driving by. The old neighborhood looks so different than the way we remember it from our childhood. The owners of the houses don't take as good care of them. My house and abuser's house are both overgrown with trees and plants. Someone bought the small lot between our houses. My parents owned that when we were growing up. It was just a wooded lot and I had a path carved through the "woods" to get to abuser's house.... not so much to see him, but to play with his son who was my age, and his son used the path to walk over to my house to play. Now that wooded lot is a 2 story house with a fence, and a grassy front yard. It was pretty surreal. No one was with me, so I just kept driving and got on with my day. So many different thoughts and feelings seeing the old place looking so different. We should probably process this at some point, but feel numb to it now, and think that's probably a really good place to stay since it's bedtime.

Holiday weekend is over, so I need to get ready for the work week again. Night all!