Sunday, January 31, 2010

Need sleep

We need sleep so this won't be long. I don't know why we're so tired. We've technically gotten 9+ hours of sleep the past few nights, but by about 7pm tonight, I was ready to pass out.

I don't even know why I started this blog entry tonight. There are several things I could talk about but I don't have the energy for any of them tonight. Sorry.

Maybe tomorrow I can get out a more decent entry. Therapy should be interesting, so I know I'll only have more to talk about then.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Suicide *TW*

One of my fiance's best friends had a friend commit suicide yesterday. I do not know the person that died or anything about the situation, but every time I hear of someone committing suicide my mind seems to go so many places all at once.

Obviously I feel sorry for my fiance's friend and the family of the person who passed. Where my mind seems to go the most is to the person who actually committed suicide. Wishing for death for so many years personally and being in and out of suicidal phases myself, even attempting once, I understand the depths of pain and despair one must be in to actually reach this place and then either attempt or succeed in following through. I wonder what was going on in this guy's life? I wonder what was so painful and so horrible that he decided he couldn't go on one more day... one more minute? I feel so sorry for him that he was experiencing such intense pain and suffering. It is a feeling of utter hopelessness that I would not wish on my worst enemy.

I wonder if anyone was aware and if they were trying to help or not? Was he carrying this burden all alone and putting up a great facade on the outside? Maybe it was a combination of both. When I was at my lowest, most people in my life would have had no clue that suicide was running through my mind constantly. However, my therapist knew, all of my doctors at the inpatient unit and a few close friends knew my struggles. It wasn't enough for me. For me it wasn't about not having support. It was about not feeling I had the energy or desire to continue one more day. My only option - my only way out - was death.

I feel very blessed that I did have people intervene in my life, and that I am here to write this post today. My life is a much different story less than 2 years after my attempt. I wish this guy had been able to find the strength to hold on b/c what I've learned is that God truly is faithful and he will deliver you.... even when you have no idea how and all you see in front of you is a black abyss of hopelessness.

I pray this guy has finally found the peace that he was so desperately searching for and now I pray for peace to those who he left behind who will miss him greatly.

I wonder as time passes from my own darkest hour if my intense feelings of pain for someone who commits suicide (whether I know them or not) will fade or if it will always strike a cord this close to home?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Almost a week

I didn't mean for almost a week to go by before I blogged again. It's not like it's been an uneventful week. For some reason, I just haven't made the time to blog. A couple of times it was because after I talked to friends and therapist, I felt too exhausted to rehash everything in a blog entry. It was very beneficial for me to get immediate feedback, but not so good for blogging purpose, because now everything will just be an abbreviated version, almost more like a documentation.

Most of my ups and downs this week revolve around fiance. I guess that's not too surprising to some of you. That would be "normal" everyday issues that most people deal with in any significant relationship in their lives.

On Friday, fiance was the greatest man alive. On Sunday, I wanted to kick him to the curb. By Tuesday, we were back to us - or as close to us as we have been since he returned from Afghanistan. I am very much learning it is going to take a lot longer than the month the military said it would take fiance to readjust to life here and to readjust to having a significant female in his life again. This is not so cool ever, but especially when you and parts inside still struggle so much internally with self-esteem issues. Thankfully we have therapist, good friends, and an ever improving fiance to make up for the times fiance is a total jerk.

Friday, fiance volunteered to give me money I wanted to give a friend who was in need of help. He has never met my friend face to face, but because he could tell how important it was to me, he gave me the money and told me to tell my friend it was a gift and she didn't have to worry about paying it back..... He's generous and I love that!

Sunday night he basically told me there's tons of stuff he wants to do, and so he's only going to hang out with me on Tuesdays and then Sunday evenings b/c of church and he didn't want me to plan any trips for the weekends b/c he wanted that time free to do what he wanted to do. He's struggling to share his life with me again and selfishness of his time. While he didn't have much free time when he was deployed, he could spend that time however he wanted and didn't have to be concerned with anyone else's feelings. He was around men 24/7 and is not only having to learn how to interact with a woman again but is having to learn how to go back to us being a "we" and that he's not just a "he" anymore. We're a team. After lots of tears on my part and confusion on his part, we sort of reached a stalemate.

I spent lots of time on Monday in prayer and consulted a couple of friends who I know have been in similar situations. They helped validate my feelings and also helped remind me of what a huge adjustment he's going through and while my expectations are not wrong, I need to have more patience. I don't think he's able to meet them all right now (even though he used to be able to), and if I ask too much too soon, I may inadvertantly push him farther away. With this in mind, I've institutde an unconditional love, increased patience approach. The hope is that he will see I really am in this for the long haul and in time, he'll begin to return the more attentive man I fell in love with. At the same time, I'm not going to let him walk all over me or not continue to make him aware when he uses insensitive words. He can still learn how to recommunicate without me holding a grudge.

I think both of us are going to fail miserably at this from time to time. I will get my feelings hurt "too easy" in his mind and he will be "incredibly insensitive" in my mind. The best thing I can say about this though is that even though we've had our struggles since he's been home, neither one of us are having second thoughts about getting married... We're just going through a few bumps... and better to learn this stuff about each other before we say 'I do' rather than being suprised after the fact.

Anyways, all that to say, we still have a ways to go in learning each other again and finding ways to communicate better again, but it's nice to feel solid in our relationship tonight.

I tell you one thing, back when I was completely consumed and overwhelmed by not "normal people issues", I had no idea how hard and challenging just normal people issues can be. I sure am learning a lot these days!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Even now

Tonight is a frustrating night for me. Not because there's anything going on that I can't handle, but it's the fact that I am. If you are like me, I tend to feel particularly guilty when I'm feeling sad or depressed and I am acutely aware of all of my blessings at the same time. Tonight, I sit here feeling like I'm wallowing in sadness, depression, and self-pity but all I have to do is turn on the TV and see all of the hurting people in Haiti who have lost loved ones, homes, are injured. My first reaction is guilt and a question "Why can't I get over myself?"

My second reaction to tonight is wondering why I'm feeling this sad and this down. Today was just a normal day. Nothing bad happened today. In fact, a co-worker who I've been getting closer to lately and I had a great conversation today. I told her some about my past and she mentioned having a really good friend who was DID. I was feeling so comfortable with her that I told her I was DID as well. She responded great. Thought it was pretty cool. And we both gave the glory to God for not only surviving as a child and having the "gift" of DID but that he has brought me to the place I am now that is not fully healed, but is a place where I can work as a therapist myself and I can get married and I can be normal in most situations.

I sort of wonder if this at least part of the reason for the feelings tonight, but that doesn't make sense to me. It was SO NICE to talk to someone who is not DID and not my therapist who still understood. Also, being as she's a young PhD, it was nice to give her the heads up of things that will help and hurt her and her clients should she ever decide to work with the DID population. Maybe save her from making the same mistakes Dr. Morris did with me right out of her doctoral program.

Maybe the feelings are due to rainy weather the past couple of days. Maybe some of it is that I was going to have to drive myself onto Post tonight to go to Bible Study. For those of you who have never been on a military post. If you don't have a car sticker, you have to get a temporary pass, which is sort of a pain. After obtaining that, I was going to be driving around the post in the dark trying to find this one specific chapel. Normally, I ride with fiancee there, but he was going with some men to walk through barracks and try and recruit others to come to Bible Study. This is totally not cool for me, but then I think my convenience should not be the priority here. If Fiancee and the men with him get one new person to come to Bible Study, then that should be what's important. But I just couldn't bring myself to drive myself across town, get the gate pass and track down the chapel tonight.

We're under a severe thunderstorm warning tonight, so I used that as my excuse to fiancee as to why I would not be meeting him at Bible Study. He called and volunteered to come pick me up so I wouldn't have to drive. Of course, I couldn't let him do that. Then he wouldn't get to go through the barracks and recruit. Of course, he was so sweet and said that he didn't mind. He asked if everything else was okay. I just told him I didn't want to get out tonight. Why didn't I tell him that I don't want to go to Bible Study tonight b/c I feel so bad? I drive in watches and warnings all the time. That was just a convenient excuse. Why didn't I tell him that I'm feeling sad and down? Didn't I just post yesterday about my desire to be honest and open with him? Wasn't that a great time for me to prove it?

Maybe it's b/c I don't really know why I feel this way tonight, and I find it so hard to explain that to someone when I can't tell them why I feel the way I feel. All I know is I haven't felt this sad or this low in months, and it's awful!!!! All I can do is sit here and cry and freakin' blog. Don't even feel like I can call anyone on the phone.

I feel like such an idiot right now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fiance came with me to therapy

I can't say the session went how I hoped or anticipated, but I am happy to report that I believe it went well, and I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The original plan was to help fiancee gain a good understanding of PTSD as it relates to childhood abuse and help him understand the need for me to still be in therapy. If all that went well and there was time, we were going to begin to broach the whole DID thing.

I'm not sure how well we succeeded in him really understanding PTSD. I'm not sure you can unless you're someone who has it or a therapist who works with it on a daily basis. However, he did seem to get a better grasp of why I still need therapy. Fiancee met me after my last hospitalization, after I was no longer struggling with self-injury and after all of my suicidal ideations has passed. He hasn't seen me in a true struggle and he doesn't understand where I've come from to understand that while we have made tons of progress, we still have a ways to go. I think we were able to at least help him understand a little about why therapy is still necessary and reassure him that I'm not going to stay in therapy for the rest of my life just to be in therapy. I did tell him that I would not put myself on a "healing timeline" and that I couldn't tell him when I wouldn't need/want therapy anymore. That was a decision therapist and I would make together at the appropriate time.

Since he didn't feel the need to ask any questions and had very few comments, I decided to plug on. I laid the groundwork for explaining DID by telling him how my mind was compartmentalized as a child as means of functioning through the abuse. Different compartments in my mind hold thoughts or memories or feelings and they are accessed at different times and are of different levels of intensity and that the eventual goal is for the seperation to not be so great but more fluid. I didn't go as far as to tell him these "compartments" have names and vary in age and have their own thoughts and opinions. We didn't want to freak the poor guy out. This was the first time he'd ever been in a therapist's office.

I also made it clear to him (since he kept saying he was only coming b/c I asked him to) that my goal in him coming was to make sure he knew I was making my best efforts to not have any secrets from him before our marriage. Obviously, we won't know everything about each other before marriage, but I never wanted him to feel or say that I was not the genuine me with him before marriage or I didn't give him the opportunity to talk about or ask about anything from my past that he wanted to before we said "I do."

He didn't skip a beat in saying he understood and that he appreciated what I was doing. At the same time, he didn't ask a single question or really make any statements of his own. So, not exactly what I expected, but I feel I fulfilled my "duty to warn" him before our wedding, so I'm feeling a huge weight is gone.

After we left therapy he wanted to go to Men's Warehouse and pick out his tux for the wedding, so we did. I guess this means I can happily report that we're still getting married and while he doesn't understand everything now, he's willing to deal with and try to understand things as they come up.

We'll see...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Psalm 90

For those of you that have access to a Bible, I would suggest reading this Psalm for yourself. For those that don't I'll give a brief summary.

This Psalm is written by Moses, and Israelite born during Jewish captivity in Egypt and raised by Pharaoh's daughter. God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of captivity and to the Promise land of Canaan. However, this journey was not without this struggles.

We looked at Psalm 90 in Bible Study tonight, and it really struck me how words written by a man who was around 150 years old thousands of years ago can still directly apply to parts of my life (past and current) and be words I myself might actually say to God.

The main parts that struck me were verses 13-17

Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to your children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us -yes, establish the work of our hands.

The first time I read through this scripture, I just assumed Moses was asking for as many happy days as he had had sad and painful days from God, and it may be that simple. However, this was not the message that God was trying to share with me tonight. My mind skipped to the New Testament where in Acts 5:41 it states the apostles left the Sanhedrin rejoicing after being flogged because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name of Jesus.

I reread Psalm 90, and while I still believe my original understanding can be accurate, I also heard the scripture in another way. This time I heard Moses saying, Lord please help me to find happiness, peace, joy, and strength during my struggles... during my days of affliction. May my continued perserverance in you show others your glory during my hardships. Help me to be content in you not only when my external/interal worlds are going smoothly. Hear my heartache and pain but also grant me joy even during my suffering.

Obviously this is my own interpretation of what Moses may have been thinking and it is not meant to be taken as scripture or from one who has any religious authority other than what any child of God is granted. I was just very moved by this study tonight, and it was more about how this passage related to me.

I sometimes wonder if I had prayed like this in my darkest moments if the light would have been easier to find. Instead of only praying for healing, I prayed for strength, contentment, and even some joy in my current situation and continued to search for ways to serve God in the midst of my pain. Since I can't change the past, I will have no regrets. However, I hope this is something I will keep in mind during current and future struggles- small and large.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God says "My grace is sufficient for you." I want to get to a point where that truly is all that I need and where I believe with all my heart that by the grace of God I am what I am and that in and of itself is completeness.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fiancee is coming to therapy

Fiancee is coming with me to therapy on Monday afternoon. Eek! Therapist and I talked about this today, and the goal for Monday is just to help fiancee truly understand how PTSD manifests itself in someone who was sexually abused as a child and what that can mean in general for an adult. From there, I'll hopefully be able to explain more about how the PTSD manifests itself specifically in me, including the dissociation. I want him to not only understand current and potential struggles, but I want him to have an idea of where I've been, so he can share in my victories as well.

We have always been our true selves around him to the best of our ability, but because he has no understanding of childhood abuse or PTSD, there is so much he just can't understand until it's explained. I get so emotional talking about it b/c it is so personal, so therapist is going to explain it to him as a professional. Then I can relate my specific struggles to him either with her or just the two of us as it seems appropriate.

When I told him I wanted him to come b/c I wanted to make sure that he knew I was wanting to be completely open with him and that I never want him to think that I withheld some information from him and that it was really important to me, he readily agreed to come. I completely know that right now he's doing it for me and not because he wants to come. I really appreciate that he's sweet like that. I know he doesn't understand at all right now why it's so important that he meet therapist or that he understand more of my world, but I appreciate that he's willing to come because he sees how important it is to me that he comes. I also believe he will see things a lot different after we meet with therapist. Knowing him, he will need a day or two to process things before he and I talk about anything that may come up, but I think it really will help me make a lot more sense to him in ways he doesn't even understand yet.

For those of you that pray, please pray that his mind will be open and God will grant therapist and me the right words and the right amount of information to share with him in the session so that he understands and is not overwhelmed. I know my God is great and anything we ask for in his name he will give us, but I also know the more people praying, the better!!!!!!

Work/classes start tomorrow. I don't actually have a class till next week, but I will be returning to work in the Counseling Center tomorrow. It's exciting and scary. Who knows what has happened to the students over the holidays and what I might walk in to tomorrow.

One day at a time though. For tonight it's dinner, laundry, and relaxation!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Almost time

I talked to a great friend on the phone last night. I am amazed at the amount of challenges facing her daily and how well she is coping considering everything. All the skills we've learned from inpatient stays, talking to others who have been through similiar situations, in therapy..... she has to put all of that into practice everyday just to get through and she does! I have such respect and appreciation for her. And on top of everything else, for some reason she still loves to hear me ramble about the somtimes funny, sometimes stressful, but not near as overwhelming daily goings in my life.

Vacation will be over in 4 days. Therapy will start back up. School/work will resume. Fiancee and I will find a "normal" routine rather than things always being chaotic and traveling all of the time. That's why I entitled this entry "almost time".

It's almost time to get back to the grind... and mostly with this I'm referring to therapy. We've been functioning really well on vacation, but things have been strangely quiet in my head as well, and while parts are still present and make themselves know, no out right switching has happend (as far as I'm aware). Now, I'm not complaining about this, but there is no explainable reason for this to last long term. Things that I know need to be addressed before this can become our norm have not been addressed.

Still gotta have the talk with fiancee about us being DID. We're feeling better and better about it. I think we'll make sense to him once he knows, but I still think there's a lot to be said about discussing things at the right time and place. Gotta lot of things to work through before the wedding in 4 1/2 months. I think more than anything it will be trusting fiancee with everything. We will be under the same roof every night and it will be much harder for him to just not be around to experience some of my/our more interesting moments. Also, we do want to trust him (well, like we trust therapist). There is nothing we don't tell therapist - unless for some reason we just forget to tell her. I want everyone in my system to trust fiancee like we trust therapist. I don't want fiancee to do therapist's job, but I want everyone to know he is safe and that he respects all of us.

I think the trust thing won't fully happen by the wedding. We've been with therapist a little over 3 1/2 years to get to this point - and that was with us purposely meeting with her to share our "horrible" secrets. Still, I DO NOT want to enter a marriage feeling the need to hide anything about me/us. I think we're on the path for all of this to happen, but it means I'm going to have to buckle down and really help parts share and allow them time in therapy and out of therapy rather than just riding the wave that I've been on for the past month. It's been a nice wave, but in the long run, I know it is not the healthiest thing for our system.

So, here's to 4 more days of riding the wave, and then back to grind and continuing on the healing journey so all parts can experience the relief I experience fairly regularly now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just saying hi...

Been traveling lots the past week and a half and internet has been intermittant. I only have a few minutes now, but I just wanted to check in and let everyone know my vacation and time with fiancee is going very well for the most part. There have been a few issues, but nothing we haven't been able to work through, and I'm getting a good opportunity to see what things I need to focus on in therapy personally in regards to our relationship and areas we need to focus on when we start our premarital counseling soon.

I've been feeling guilty the past few weeks b/c my head has been so quiet. I have no idea why. I read friends' blogs and they talk about letting parts out or what a part shared in therapy, and I'm trying to remember the last time I even feel like I fully switched. I know I did not spontaneously integrate, and I am aware that others are still inside, but I don't know if the quietness is a good thing or a bad thing. With my external life so busy with the holidays and now traveling, I must admit I haven't taken the time to figure it out and am not really wanting to at the moment. I guess I'm hoping posting it here will hold me to some sort of accountability when I get home next week to at least figure out what's going on inside. It's not a bad feeling, just weird and different and I can't think of anything to specfically cause this reaction. We'll see. It may just be a result of all the adjustments since the beginning of Dec.

Anyways, hope each of you is hanging in there and I look forward to posting more indepth blogs when I have the time.