Tuesday, August 13, 2013

More Pockets than I Realized

I spent the afternoon going through a large tub box at my parents' house full of middle school and high school memorabilia. I'm trying to de-clutter some and this box has been on the list for awhile. Going through the tub box was fun. There were a lot of old letters and cards that were fun to read again. I found an old prayer journal and an old diary. The diary has one of those cheap locks on it, so I've still got to find something to clip the lock to read what I wrote so long ago. I have no idea where the key to the diary might be. The thing that surprised me the most was how many cards and letters I read from people who I apparently knew well at one point, but I have no recollection of them today. I guess there are more pockets in my memory that I've ever realized.

For example: There was a letter some guy named Tommy who lived a few counties over wrote to me when I was 16. In this letter he tells me he loves me. I had a few letters from him in the tub box - all sweet and caring. I have no idea who Tommy is or where I would have met him. How do I not remember a guy at all who apparently professed his love for me on multiple occasions?

I found letters from girls who appear to have been close friends at one time. I apparently impacted their lives positively, and I'm grateful for that. However, I have no idea who many of these girls are. There were also other letters from other guys who I apparently responded to frequently. You'd think after knowing I was DID for over 14 years, things like this wouldn't surprise me or catch me off guard. I guess I just never thought I really lost any time in high school. I know I lost time throughout college, but I wasn't diagnosed with DID until the summer between high school and college, and even then I don't remember ever switching as a teenager outside of my therapist's office. When I was 17, I became aware of 'conversations' going on in my head... sometimes in the form of a peanut gallery commenting on my life... other times conversations going on in my head that I wasn't even a part of. I finally got the courage to bring this up to the therapist I was seeing at the time. I don't even remember every question she asked me after that, but I know she asked me if the voices had names and strangely enough they did. Then she asked to speak to one of the voice in my head... I thought she was crazy, and even if I wanted to let her, I had no idea how. It was several sessions of us just talking about what I was experiencing in my head before I actually switched in her office. I don't remember losing time or switching before then.

Maybe there's another explanation than dissociation as to why I can't remember people who I had more than a superficial relationship with while in high school, but I can't think of one. I could explain away not remember certain events or conversations or even letters I'd written, but I don't know how to explain away not having the slightest idea of who someone was at that age in my life. Ugh...

Monday, August 12, 2013


I feel like I'm walking a tightrope right now. I haven't fallen yet and I'm actually still on top of everything, but it all feels precarious. One mistep, one strong wind, a random bird flying by, or any number of possible stumbling block and down, down, down I'll fall. I don't feel steady on my feet. The rope under my feet bounces and gives. I think "so far, so good" but my confidence of actually making it to the other side of the tightrope in one piece is fading.

The other side of the tightrope... That's what I have to focus on.... My goal. From gymnastics, I remember focusing on one point helps keep a person steady and balanced. It was a crucial skill to master on the balance beam if you didn't want to fall. I believe the same applies now. I have to focus on the point... on the goal.. the reason I continue to go to therapy and talk about horiffic events... the reason I work through issues that make me feel dizzy, ungrounded, and stir up self-injury impulses. I used to think that goal was complete healing. These days, I don't feel complete healing will occur this side of heaven, but I strive for all parts inside to feel safe and know their self-worth. The memories are always going to hurt. We're never going to be the person we would have been if the abuse had never occurred. But maybe, just maybe, all of us can feel safe and loved and make decisions for ourselves rather than feeling scared and alone and acting based upon old programming and conditioning.

If only it was as easy as putting one foot in front of the other across the tightrope. Unfortunately, it feels distractions that take my eyes off of my focus point are constantly being hurled in my direction. Lately it seems there are so many things that can cause me to lose my balance, and I'm constantly correcting and overcorrecting just trying not to fall. I'm learning that standing still and trying not to fall does nothing to get me to the solid ground on the other side of the rope. I've got to take forward steps and face the stumbling blocks and distractions if I ever want to get off this tightrope that seems to be suspended over ultimate doom and destruction.

To be honest, I'm not sure how to move forward without falling. Doing therapy in Therapist's office again does provide us a small safety net that didn't exist before, but for some, it feels the fall would be too fast for her to catch us and we'd break right through the net. I know we can't just stay put. Things are pressing too hard internally, but I don't have any great ideas or new techniques to try that might make this process feel safer. Some days I'm not sure I have the courage to even try to take another step towards solid ground. But what is the alternative? Staying put in the middle of this tightrope trying to hold on for dear life? No thank you.

So, next therapy session, we'll take another step along the tightrope praying for dear life that God keeps us standing and functioning.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Two Years....

Wow! I didn't realize it had been 2 years since I'd written on this blog. I've done some paper journaling and online journaling in the meantime, but I still didn't think it'd been 2 years since I posted here. I'm still working with the same therapist, but in the last 2 years I've moved 3 times, courtesey of the military. I've lived in 2 different states and just last week moved back to my home state because my husband just left for his 3rd deployment to Afghanistan. It was kind of surreal reading my last post where I was waiting for my husband to get home from his 2nd deployment.

In the last 2 years, there's been some pretty significant movement interally. We've been introduced to an entire new set of parts who hold memories that are still hard for me to believe are real because they seem so far fetched, and I have no personal recollection of anything remotely close to what they're saying ever occuring... but I guess I personally don't remember that much of our childhood, so maybe that's not the best gauge. I've had to accept that at least some level of programming was used by my abuser. I naively thought programming only occurred in ritualistic abuse situations, and therefore couldn't have happened to me. The programming stuff is still really new and therapist and I are working on how we're going to navigate this work. We've spent the past 2 years Skyping with therapist because we lived too far away to do sessions in her office. Last week was the first week we've been in her office again, and it's amazing how much more intense the sessions get when we're in the same room with her. It's like this internal governor we keep on ourselves in the rest of our life can come down when we're actually in her office because we know she'll keep us safe from ourselves as well as anyone else.... things quickly become more of a free-for-all in her office. It's good for therapy but I'm not used to it anymore.

For 18 months I was medication free, then I decided back in May to go back on Prozac. I was coping, but life was a lot harder for me than it needed to be. Going back on the Prozac didn't take away any of my struggles, but it gave me more resources to deal with those sturggles in a healthier way and not constantly feel anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed.

For 16 months my husband and I tried to start a family. We saw a dr. and did 6 cycles of fertility drugs, but God has continued to say "not yet" to our desire to start a family. We weren't able to look into any other fertility options due to my husband's deployment, so for now growing our family is on hold. This is probably good from a therapy standpoint, but the body is almost 33 and I truly desire to be a mom, so it's going to be hard to wait this year while husband is away. This topic alone could be dozens more blog entries, so for tonight it will just be an update on what's been going on.

Hoping to get back into blogging. May even start a new blog focusing more on what we've learned and the current struggles we're facing in an effort to be more real about how life is not perfect, but God is... and to talk more about how I'm living life and struggling through life. Life recently has taught me how grateful I am for people who are honest about their struggles but are still striving towards Christ and a better life. It makes it feel so much more attainable for me and helps me not put as many unrealistic expectations on myself. If something in my story can do that for someone else, then how can I not share?

This doesn't do the past 2 years justice, but it's a start.