Monday, February 28, 2011

It Feels Like I'm Starting Over

It feels like I'm starting therapy all over again. My mind knows that I am not starting over. My mind knows that where I am is progress. My mind knows that I am now strong enough to do the work I was not able to do before now.

Today, however, I found myself in therapy discussing struggles, feelings, and memories that I spent a lot of time dealing with in therapy almost 5 years ago. I mean, I get it. I'm DID. Just because I worked through my part of it and some other parts worked through their feelings regarding certain memories and issues, it doesn't mean all of me has worked through it.... and it really appears as though A. may not have worked through much of anything yet.

In theory, I'm okay with this. It makes perfect sense on paper. What seems to really be the hardest for me is how many of these feelings are be re-triggered in me. Issues that I thought I'd put behind me have been back in my face the past few days, and I'm feeling them like they just happened yesterday. I feel like I really can't believe I'm about to do all of this all over again. I know it's not all over again, but it sure does feel that way right now.

I just gotta remember that we've done this before. We can do it again. And we're in a better place to handle it this time. Better internal resources and better, more consistent external support.

Am I still allowed to say, "ugh!" though?

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Weekend :)

Too tired to write much, but I just wanted to let everyone know I'm still kicking. I have a couple of blog posts in the works, but working long days coupled with intense therapy sessions and constant internal work between sessions has me drained tonight.

So instead of finishing and posting one of those blog entries, I'm putting this little thing up to say 'hi', and I'm going to spend the rest of the evening watching a movie and hopefully get a little phone time with a good friend I haven't talked to in awhile.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. After a bit of rest, I'll post my latest updates and observations. Take care all!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Husband wrote me back!

Well, I guess I spoke a day too soon. Hubby responded today to the e-mail I sent him about my current internal and therapeutic situation. His e-mail was so sweet. I will never understand why this man sees me the way he does, but I am incredibly grateful. This e-mail made all of today a lot more bearable. I copied and pasted it below b/c it's too good the way it is to try and paraphrase it.


Like I mentioned briefly the other day I am very greatful for
letting me know what you are going through and what you are having to
work through. I might not understand it all the time, mostly because I
have a hard time relating to what you have had to and currently still
have to overcome and work through. Regardless, you are one of the
strongest gals I know and have been since we met :). More and more,
with everything we do and more I get to really know you God has shown
me just how luckly I am to have you in my life. So let me know how
can be supportive and praying for you as you have been.

Xo, Love You -

Now I just have to figure out how he can be supportive and how I want him specifically praying. ;) One step at a time though, right? And this step - me sharing specifics and him responding in love and confidence - just squished a bit of the lie that those who truly know me will come to hate me and be disgusted by me. Yay for huge, small victories!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sent E-mail to Hubby

I finally created an e-mail I was okay enough with to send to hubby Saturday night. I had decided I wasn't going to say anything about it and let him bring it up when he was ready to talk about it. This has worked well for us in the past. After 2 conversations with him post sending the e-mail, I cracked. I was so nervous of his response that I finally just asked him if he'd read the e-mail. His response, "Yeah, I read it yesterday. Thanks for being so honest and for working so hard to keep me in the loop. I'm definitely praying for you." And that was it..... subject changed.

It totally wasn't what I expected, but I'm not complaining either. I figured he'd have more questions or want to talk about it, but he seemed perfectly content to know I was keeping him in the loop and that I didn't need him to do anything other than pray. This man continues to surprise me. He understands very little about emotions, behavioral health, etc. yet he never seems to waiver no matter what new info or crazy situation I send his way. It is truly amazing, and I feel so blessed. Now, I like to talk, so I would have liked a conversation about the e-mail I sent him, but I'm not going to complain that this is the outcome. He hasn't treated me any different since and for whatever reason, he really really trusts me. If I say I'll be okay, he takes it at face value. It's kinda new to me to have someone this close to me take my words at face value. It seems most people (including myself) are looking for deeper and/or hidden meaning in what I'm saying or not saying. It's an odd experience for me but very refreshing at the same time.

In other news, we saw therapist again today. She checked in with me a bit and then spent most of the rest of the session with A. Bless, we have our work cut out for us. I continue to be amazed at the amount of work and progress that therapist is able to make with A. during our sessions, however, we always seem to have to re-teach and go over some of the basic things A. learned or accepted the last session. Permanency in what she learns these days is still lacking. Still it is progress. And while it's progress that feels like it's ripping my guts out, I am very thankful to have therapist and a couple of good friends I can talk to about all of this instead of feeling utterly alone and without a clue how to progress towards healing.

Therapist gave A. a tiny little bear tonight to keep. It's something from the present day. It's something that was not around when were a child. It's something that will hopefully help keep her grounded and out of flashbacks more b/c it is a gift from therapist that requires no gift or payment in return (a new concept for A) and it is something that did not exist when the body was being hurt. A. is already pretty attached to the little guy/gal (keep switching back and forth on whether it looks like a guy or a girl stuffie). I posted a pic below so you can see. I have a feeling it's going to be going everywhere with us for a little while, but I don't care if there's the chance it can help to calm things down inside for a bit.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This is Tough

So, I'm still here. The past 4 days have been tough. Moving A. into a room in the common area has allowed us to take better care of her, but her emotions are so painful and so intense, it's really taking a toll on everyone inside. Externally I'm still functioning and participating in life rather well. Internally, the anxiety and sadness is almost overwhelming. I'm able to still reality check well, and that's been invaluable this week b/c nowhere feels safe anymore. Everywhere feels too exposed - even therapist's office, which has always been a safe haven.

Saw therapist today. We spent a lot of our session talking about where I feel I am and how I can continue to cope okay externally while allowing A. and other parts to do the work they need to do in order to heal. I was pleased that I could tell therapist that I feel I'm still doing better than just surviving from session to session. However, I do have to admit that I'm not really 'living life' right now either. It's somewhere between the two. I'm okay being here now knowing that it's temporary. There is fear that if the feelings last too long at this intensity, we will fall into the state of just surviving. However, at therapist's suggestion, we're not going to worry about that right now. Right now things are still manageable, so that's what we're going to focus on.

The time between sessions just feels really hard when I'm at a place where the therapeutic work needing to be done isn't really something I should attempt on my own or outside of a session. We're dedicated to helping A. through this process, but I so don't want my life to return to a place of revolving around therapy again - even temporarily.

I'm also working on coming up with an adjective to describe the state I'm in. Words seem to escape me. Therapist won't let me use the term 'crazy' unless I'm 100% joking. I know I'm not really crazy, but many times I feel that way still, so I can't use that word. Irrational doesn't do the situation justice, so I can't use that word either. Therapist said I'm in a 'traumatic state'... My symptoms are classic PTSD. Maybe so, but that's not an easy term to say to other people. "Don't mind me right now. I'm in a traumatic state." LOL! Soooo much easier to just say I'm crazy for right now.....

The last thing therapist and I talked about today was how I can fill hubby in on what's going on. I don't want to keep him in the dark, but I don't want him to worry about me while he's deployed. We never get to talk long enough or have a clear enough signal for this type of conversation. I don't want him to miss something I say and get confused or overly concerned. So, we've settled on sending him an e-mail to get all of the information to him, and we'll hopefully be able to follow up with phone calls and Skyping so he can see that I am okay and that while things may be rough, I'm still progressing.

I wish so badly husband was here to walk this with me. How ironic that this latest set of work was triggered by him leaving... Going to work on that e-mail over the next couple of days. I want to do my best to keep him in the loop and have him share in this with me without freaking him out or making him feel guilty for leaving. He is such a blessing to me. He's always loved me as I am, and I want nothing more than to continue to share the 'scary' parts of my life with him. The love that husband shows me, even I think he should think I'm crazy and he should run away is a gift I never thought I'd have. Sometimes I think I cherish it so much, that I do get afraid I'm going to still run him off... So, I will spend forever crafting this e-mail to make sure it portrays the real issues, but in a way that will make sense to him and still highlighting all of the positives.

For now though, we need sleep. More to come.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

She Used to Appear So Big and Fierce

This post is sort of a follow-up to the last post in that it's an update of what took place after Monday's therapy session, but it also delves a little bit more into my DID world and into the history regarding the part I discussed in the last post that is struggling so much. To make it easier, I'm going to call this part "A.". That's the first letter of her name. I realize that giving you her name probably wouldn't give too much away, but my anonymity with this blog has always been important to me, and I want to treat her with that same respect until the time she decides she wants to share her name with anyone. So, thanks, and I hope this doesn't make this post too confusing.

Until very very recently, A. has always presented as larger, taller, stronger, and more fierce than any other part or any external person in our life. In all honesty, since we've met her she's appeared internally as large and as strong as the Jolly Green Giant - except she wasn't green. She's also appeared in adult form on the inside. I never knew her age b/c time doesn't mean much to her, but she spoke and talked as an adult and had quick wit. She towered over all of us and had the strength to take over the body at any point and do as she pleased. For many many years I was very afraid of her.

Over the past couple of years, it's continued to be like pulling teeth to get her to really share anything, but what I have learned has been invaluable. While she has mostly presented as a part whose goal has been to harm the body, in reality she is probably one of my strongest protectors. She was present for the worst of the abuse. She struggles the most with the mind games he played. She protected the rest of us from him during the worst moments. As we began to share about the abuse as an adult, she would lash out - hurting us emotionally and physically. I've come to realize though that in her mind, she was protecting us. He told her telling would mean that everyone would hate us... telling would mean we'd have to go live with him forever... Off and on throughout therapy she has presented at times to 'protect us' from lies he made her believe. This protection has always been brought about by fear, force, and injury to the body on her part up until I got married last May.

She sort of went silent around wedding time. She was so against the wedding and I was fearful that she would sabotage not only the event but my future with the man that I love. At the time I assumed she was so resistant b/c the thought of willingly having sex freaked her out. Now I know it runs much deeper than that. She's pretty much stayed silent the last 8 months. I would wonder about her, but I was loving feeling mostly good and being married, so I didn't take the time to look into it too much.

After husband deployed 3 weeks ago, I immediately started noticing an increased level of activity inside and a spike in my anxiety levels so extreme that I thought my heart my burst. Until Monday I was still in the fog about the exact reasons why. I knew it had to do with A., but I had no idea how or what bomb she was going to drop this time. Monday she told therapist that we were no longer safe. She told therapist that he was coming back to get us. A. told therapist that he told her multiple times while hurting her that she belonged to him. If we ever grew up and got married, we'd broken our covenant to him and he would come find us and make us pay. With hubby home for the past 8 months, this fear hadn't made it's way to the surface b/c we felt safe with hubby - almost like he was an external protector, and I think A. felt like he would protect us from the bad man if he did show up. Once hubby deployed, though, all bets were off. Hubby is gone for a long time. A. felt abandoned and wide open for an attack.

A. crumbled in fear and sadness in therapist's office on Monday, and even with therapist close by, A. never stopped shaking. It took the 2 hours to get A. out of freak out stage and to begin the process of trying to convince her that he will not be coming to get her or any of us b/c we got married. It's going to be a long road.

After therapist brought me back forward and got me stabilized enough, I drove home. It's about a 45 minute drive to my home from therapist's office, so I had a lot of time to think and talk to myself. I got a report from other parts that A. never made it back to her internal house (for as long as I've known her, she's been unwilling to share a house with any other parts) and there was a fragile girl around the age of 9 that no one recognized lying on the ground close to A's house. I let another adult part drive the car home safely, and I went to investigate. Looking closely, I realized it was A., but she barely resembled any other form I've ever seen her take. The eyes are really the main clue that gave away that it was her. She looked so frail and tired and she just lied there and quietly sobbed barely even acknowledging any of us.

I couldn't leave her there. Seeing her like that was breaking my heart in a way I've never felt before. I picked her up in my arms, and surprisingly she didn't resist. I took her to the large house where everyone else hangs out, and put her in an empty room with a comfy bed all her own. Since that time all she's done is sleep, cry, and stare at who knows what. She will briefly respond to you if you talk to her, but she won't converse.

How does the part that was the strongest, largest and fiercest go from that to one of the weakest and most fragile parts in the system? And wow! what a turn around! Guess we really are going to have our work cut out for us for awhile. My head is reeling from the internal shift, b/c even if she is fragile right now, she is still very strong emotionally and it's very hard to not get overpowered by her emotions and try to support her where she is right now.

Wow. This post got way longer than I meant for it to. I'll stop here for now and pick up again in a bit.

Ask Me How I Know...

Amy Grant released the song 'Ask Me How I Know' in 1991 on her Heart In Motion CD. For a few of different reasons this song has been going through my head almost constantly for the past several days. First of all, in 1991, Amy Grant was my most favorite singer on the planet. I knew all of her songs by heart. I'd seen her in concert and had an autographed picture framed and on my bedroom wall. Secondly, the first time I heard this song, it struck me in a funny way. I had blocked all memory of my childhood abuse at this point, but I still found myself strangely drawn to and repulsed by the lyrics in this song at the same time. They struck a painful chord inside of me that I wouldn't understand for about 6 more years. In the past several days, this song has been playing through my head b/c more painful feelings and memories have surfaced again and these lyrics seem to fit oh so well. Below is the first part of the song:

I see her as a little girl hiding in her room
She takes another bath and she sprays her momma's perfume
To try to wipe away the scent he left behind
But it haunts her mind.

You see she's his little rag, nothing more than just a waif
And he's mopping up his need, she is tired and afraid
Maybe she'll find a way through these awful years to disappear.

Ask me if I think there's a God up in the heaven
Where did He go in the middle of her shame?
Ask me if I think there's a God up in the heavens
I see no mercy and no one down here's naming names
Nobody's naming names.

Having DID can be quite interesting at times. While I have made so much progress in therapy and in my healing, other parts inside of me stay buried deep most of the time and are stuck either in the past or still in the place of hopeless despair that I found myself in 3 years ago. On Monday, therapist talked to one of these parts. Our session turned into a 2 hour session of stopping flashbacks, quieting old tapes and messages, and trying to help this part begin to get some sort of footing in the present. While my faith in God is strong and runs deep, somehow she has not been blessed to know God or His healing grace yet. The first part of Amy Grant's song really reminds me of where she is right now. She wonders where was God? She wonders where was anyone? Why did no one tell and no one save her?

This part cried harder than I'd ever seen her cry before. She actually grieved her pain and what has happened to her in front of therapist. While it has been incredibly taxing on me and the entire system, it's kinda cool that she is finally opening up to someone about what she really thinks and feels after 12 years of therapy. It's very hard to sit with her feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, sadness, etc., but I'm doing my best to be okay in this space. I can't expect her to catch up on the past 21 years of my/our life in 3 days or develop a solid faith in God that fast to provide her with peace. I definitely feel the resiliency from other parts and myself who have found differing levels of healing, and that is a HUGE help. However, this is still wickedly painful, and while I truly believe this is worth it, I think we're going to have a long slow road going forward for a bit.... but praise God I'm at least moving forward, right??

The 2nd half of Amy Grant's song basically shares this same thought. The girl in the song is not fully healed. She still struggles with fear and mistrust, but God is bringing her healing. God is giving her a new life. The life she never got to have as a child.... and while it's a tough road, it's a pretty, stinkin' awesome one.

Now she's looking in the mirror at a lovely woman face
No more frightened little girl, like she's gone without a trace
Still she leaves the light burning in the hall
It's hard to sleep at all.

Still she crawls up in her bed acting quiet as a mouse
Deep inside she's listening for a creaking in the house
But noone's left to harm her, she's finally safe and sound
There's a peace she's found.

Ask her how she knows there's a God up in the heaven
Where did He go in the middle of her shame?
Ask her how she knows there's a God up in the heavens
She said His mercy is bringing her life again.

Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heaven
(How do you know?)
Where did He go in the middle of her shame
(Where did He go?)
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heavens
(How do you know?)
She said his mercy is bringing her life again
She's coming to life again.

He's in the middle of her pain
In the middle of her shame
Mercy brings life
He's in the middle
Mercy in the middle.

So ask me how I know
Ask me how I know, yeah
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heaven
(How do you know?)
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heavens
(How do you know?)
Yeah, ask me how I know
(How do you know?)
Ask me
Ask me
Ask me how I know
(How do you know?)
There's a God up in the heavens
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heavens.

This is the video on Youtube if you'd like to hear the song.

So Much to Say

Hey everyone. I've wanted to blog so badly the past 2 days. I have several blog posts just sitting in my head waiting to be typed out, but the past couple of days have been really busy, and I've been forced to do a lot more coping and distraction than allowing my feelings to be in the moment and truly feel them until it's close to 10 o'clock at night. When it's this late, I don't want to get into any of it because I'm exhausted, and it has the potential to take me to a place where I don't want to be right before bedtime and increase my chance of nightmares.

All of that said, tomorrow late afternoon/early evening should afford me the time I need to post a couple of blog entries. Therapy yesterday was 2 hours long, intense, and really eye opening - in a good but very painful way. I'm hoping to post a couple entries on that and what has happened since the session in an effort to help me think through things more clearly and give a voice to things that have never had a voice before.

Also, I just wanted to say thanks to those of you who take the time to read my blog. I know I post infrequently and sometimes about random thing. My blog is not as focused or as topic oriented as many people's, but it is my life. It's kinda cool to know that total strangers and friends take the time and stop to read my words as if I have/had something important to say. Anyways, just thank you.. to all of you who read and to those of you who sometimes respond to my entries with your thoughts and feedback. It's nice to not feel all alone even when you are alone. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And the Nightmares Return

I had wishingly hoped my nightmares had stopped forever. I've always been a dreamer. Six our of seven days a week, I can tell you what I dreamt about the night before. Forever they were nightmares or flashbacks in my dreams. However, over the last year or so, most of them had been silly or nonsensical dreams - and usually based around something going on in my current life.

Three nights running now I've had nightmares again. The kind that are a mix of flashbacks, current people, and stuff that hasn't or doesn't currently exist in my life. So, on one hand, when I wake up, I can tell that these dreams are not totally real events that occurred because past and present and fiction are all blurred together in one dream. On the other hand, the nightmares feel so life-like that I've been waking up in the fetal position, shaking in fear, with a level of anxiety and depression that I haven't felt for a couple of years. Grounding and distraction have helped me get up and get through my days, but nothing is fully shaking the anxiety and looming sense of doom.

I'm getting a better picture of where this may be coming from internally and where this may be headed, but most of it is still very foggy and just trapped in feelings. What I am aware of tells me this isn't going to be the end of the world, but it's gonna be a beast of a ride for a bit. :P

I am still in a much better place with this going on than I have been in the past, but I must admit that I'm wondering... Will I ever talk, heal enough that new waves won't keep cropping up?

I want so badly to talk to hubby... to tell him what's going on... to let him walk this with me to feel supported but to also help him understand some of what I went through before we met. But he's on the other side of the world putting his life on the line every day. The last thing I want is for his attention to be focused on me or worrying about me. I need him to focus on his job so he can come back home to me in one piece. I also am not sure how much he can understand via e-mail and occasional video chatting. Part of me is wondering if telling him will make it harder instead of easier if he can't understand b/c of the distance and lack of communication between us right now.

I can't believe this hurts so much and I feel so alone in this. We've done stuff like this before. We know we can get to the other side of this. But it's been almost 3 years since we felt this badly. I really really thought that part of my life might be over with. I really am ready to move on with my life. Goodness knows I still have enough day to day issues that were keeping me in therapy. Do we really need to go back and cover more of this stuff??

God, please just take this part away. I don't want to go through more nightmares, flashbacks, and memories. I get what happened to us. I haven't tried to deny it in a long time. Please don't make me relive all of it. I feel like I know and have felt enough. Please, please just take this away and replace it with your peace... Your miraculous peace that passes all understanding. Please.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lack of Words

I've been around the past several days. I've had plenty of time to blog. It's snowing way more than usual this year, and this State isn't used to handling this much snow, so everything's pretty much been shut down since Monday night. I got a bit stir crazy today. The mix of ice and snow made things not safe to get out on unless you had to, so I stayed in today. I only got out for a couple of hours yesterday, and it's questionable if I'll be able to get out tomorrow. Praying that the street scrapers will at least have the main roads cleared tomorrow.

Anyways, all this to say I've had plenty of time to blog, and there are things stirring inside that probably need to be blogged about, but so far I have no words, so I've just been avoiding my blog. Feelings usually come before words with me. It usually means they're someone else's feelings (internally) and I don't have the memories or insights to go with it. It's a slightly scary place to be. It leaves me wondering if I'm about to blindsided by something unexpected. Sometimes these 'dark' feelings inside end up not being as huge as I fear they'll be. Other times they've knocked the wind out of me. It's been awhile since I've had feelings this intense, so it has me a bit nervous. I wish I knew how to better gauge these feelings. I know it'll all come clear with time, but part of me doesn't want it to. I want to push whatever this is back down and continue on with my happier life - the one where my main depressive feelings are related to missing my husband and not rooted in trauma or the abuse.

In all honesty, God has blessed me with a nice reprieve. I do have more energy reserves, and I've had a long period of time that's been relatively good, so I probably have the strength and coping skills to get through whatever this is - big or small. My distractions are less right now too, so it makes more sense that I would be more aware of things internally.

I eluded to as much in therapy on Monday, but I felt very far removed from it felt I might be reading into something that wasn't there. Each day that goes by, things inside are getting harder to ignore. I even spent some time listening today, but all I "hear" is the pain I feel. I have no words, memories, pictures or anything to go with the feelings yet. I like not having those parts of it, but I know I can't work through this and get the feeling out of us until the issue(s) is addressed. I'm really hoping some of this will come out in therapy tomorrow. Maybe if parts won't tell me, they'll tell therapist.

Or maybe if I close my eyes hard enough, it will just all go away.... okay, kidding there.... that one hasn't worked in a really long time...

So I feel like I just wrote a lot and said absolutely nothing. Oh well, at least I put it out there that there's some dark stuff stirring inside of me right now. That's more than I've admitted out loud to anyone else...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Heavy heart

My heart is heavy today. The pain of hubby being away really isn't letting up. I'm just finding that I can distract from it for periods of time.

I have a little good news. I got a temp job yesterday, so starting Friday I'll have at least 6 weeks of employment. Gotta start somewhere, and I'm trusting God to either turn this into a permanent position or provide me with something else when this 6 weeks is up. It was very hard to make this decision without being able to talk to hubby first. I'd been hoping another job was going to come through, and I guess it still might, but I got offered this temp job and I still haven't heard back from the other one. I'm tired of being jobless, so I'm going forward with this, but it was hard decision to make knowing it affects both hubby and me, and I couldn't talk to him about it first. I have talked to him since I made the decision, and he is supportive, but it was just another reminder of how things are going to be very different for awhile and how much I miss him.

I think I blogged last week about a very close friend of mine admitting that she had an affair. I've spent what I could of the last week e-mailing with her and talking through this with her. I don't condone what she did at all, but she's my friend and I love her. I want to do everything I can to help her get back on the right track... whether her marriage is salvageable or not. We talked on the phone as recent as last night and she was telling me all the steps she was taking to improve things and that her husband had agreed to go to a 911 marriage seminar with her to see if there was any chance of their marriage surviving... A long way to go, but they all felt like positive steps.

Today I got an e-mail from her asking for forgiveness and prayers b/c she had continued contact with the man she had an affair with all last week, over the weekend, and even saw him yesterday. She says it was to say good-bye and cut ties. She says she really is through and really wants to save her marriage. She says she knows she's let us down and lied to us again. This e-mail felt like a huge punch in the gut. After getting over the initial shock and hurt of being lied to for months, I reached out and have tried to help her in any way I could. To find out today that she was still lying and non-repentant breaks my heart. In her e-mail, she says she is broken and repentant now, but I don't know why I should give her the benefit of the doubt and believe her.

It's going to take lots of prayer, but I will forgive her. We are commanded to forgive even when the same sin is committed against us over and over again (Matthew 18:22). Rebuilding that trust with her is going to be a much longer road than I ever anticipated though.... And, it just breaks my heart that satan has her in his grips so tightly. With God, we know she can over come this, but she has to want to. She says she wants to, but she said that before and wasn't even remotely trying to. It's hard to know if it's truth this time.

I really wish hubby was here. We are not my friend and her husband, but hugs of reassurance and being able to talk to him face to face about this would be so comforting. God this has to be in your hands. It's way bigger than me, and I don't know what to do.