Ghost of Yesteryears

17 Apr

TRIGGER WARNING 

I don’t know if this will trigger anyone or not but I putting a warning on it in case. I have been living with this image every imagewhere – when I close my eyes, when I look in the mirror, it feels as if it is burned on to my very eyes, so that everywhere I look I see it. I’ve tried to depict it in the picture, but even it can’t seem to do it justice.  What I see is a blonde angelic looking small child covered in blood. I know it’s Kit from the look of her except that she seems to be dripping blood all over the place - everywhere.

After talking about this in therapy, my therapist had me do some visualization exercises where I replace the bleeding child with how I wanted her to look – protect, strong, covered in armor. I worked really hard at replacing the one image with the other. To help, at least when I look in the mirror I’ve gone back to brilliant red instead of strawberry blonde for my hair color.image

Now instead of a bleeding child, I hear none stop crying, whimpering, screeching. It’s gotten so bad that I’m medicating myself almost to a coma just for a few hours sleep. I actually miss the bleeding child, even though she was disturbing, she was quiet. When I brought it up again in therapy today, my therapist says I needed to set rules and make my alters obey. First of all the word obey is a trigger for most of my alters. It’s a sure way to get them to NOT do what I want them to do. Second I have been trying to set boundaries/rules with them but that doesn’t always work – some days it does some days it doesn’t. I know that this is stress induced, but right now I can’t do much to change that.  I just wish for a better way of coping with this.

Stages of Life

15 Mar

stagesoflifeThe stages of life are Baby, Toddler, Child, Teenage, Young Adult, Middle Age Adult, Retired and Elderly. I’m in my thirties and should realistically be someplace between Young and Middle Age Adult, right?

***** Trigger Warning ****

Here’s my problem – a couple of weeks ago my therapist took me to what she calls her playroom – small table and chairs, a sand tray, games, picture books and a wall lined with action figures, animals (both real and mythical) and other figures. She asked me to look around and pick out some of the figures and put them in the sand tray; showing how I felt. I ended up with this blond girl flat on her back with an alligator, a lion and some half bull-half man beast attacking her while there were stop signs and stop lights all around her.  Once I was done, I couldn’t look at it. My therapist brought this to my attention and then asked me to fix it so that I could look at it and feel safe. The result – the alligator, lion and half bull-half man beast all were on their backs as far from the girl as possible, mostly covered in sand. The stop sign was buried and only the green light on the stop light was showing. The girl was standing up, free with no thing around her.  My therapist then started moving the alligator, lion and half bull-half man beast closer to the girl at which point, I was done. I started hyper-ventilating and switched I’m not sure but I think Sonja came out.

***** End of Trigger Warning ****

The only other part of that session I remember is my therapist asking me what I think it means to be adult? What would make me feel like an adult? Do I have anyone that I think of as being my idea of an adult? Due the trigger part of the above session, I was out of it (Sonja) for the better part of a week so I am just now coming back to these questions and this is what I’ve come up with:

  1. I don’t know anyone that I would really classify as Adult.
  2. I’m not even sure I know what that word means – other than responsible
  3. I have been and continue to be the most adult person in my life.
  4. I don’t want to be an adult. I have been one almost my entire life.

I realized that somewhere along the way I went for being a baby to an adult without any of the stages in between. I don’t want to be an adult now I want to be a child and a teenager. I want someone else to be responsible.

I was made into an adult at such a young age that I never got to be young, carefree and not responsible. I know that this is part of the legacy that abuse has left me.  Question is how do I change it when I’m not even sure I want to?

Self-Care – Can I Fix My Problem With This?

29 Jan

I have been working with my new therapist on Self-Care. For me this is a hard thing, I always think of everyone else first and myself last. Whenever I do something, fifty questions go through my mind first. Things like – “What will people think?” – “Shouldn’t I be using this time to be helping so-and-so do something?” – “What make me think that I deserve this?” – Etc.Your Own Hand

Weeks ago my therapist gave me a post-it with the following message:

WHAT IS MY INTENT OF THE DAY?

  • SELF-FOCUS
  • SELF-CARE
  • SELF-CONSIDERATE

SET BOUNDARIES

I basically took and put it on my mirror and haven’t really wanted to look at it since. The thing that keeps tripping me up on this is that to me SELF-CARE = SELFISH.

Now weeks later and we are still stuck on this Self-Care issue in therapy and we are not going anywhere. Every week she tells me to do one or two things for myself, and every week I feel like I am failing at this. This is making me hate going to therapy because it can’t move past this. It should be so easy. I should be able to do this but… Something has to change and that change has to be me and my thinking. So here goes:

SELF-CARE means:  the practice of taking care of yourself, to nourish and recharge your mind, body and spirit, every day.

SELFISH means: caring only or chiefly for oneself; concerned with one’s own interests, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

It is not selfish to care for one’s self, I never put my welfare ahead of others. In fact, I think too much about others. So what do I want self-care to mean for me???

After a lot of thought on this here is what I have come up with – I give myself permission to:

  1. Create space for just me and my wants in my life.
  2. Pay attention to my body by asking myself some simple questions
      • Do I feel grounded?
      • Do I need to be nurtured?
      • What is keeping me feeling upset, mad, angry, anxiety, Etc? Identify and let go.
      • Am I getting enough sleep, exercise, food? If not, how can I change that?
      • What would make me happy, joyful, Etc?
  3. Say no (Remind myself that right now self-care is important to me, which means I can’t always be available to others)
  4. Take a minute – am I saying yes because I want to or because I feel obligated to. (it the answer is because of obligation see #3)
  5. Crank up the tunes and loss myself in the music.
  6. Get lost in doing my sewing, jewelry, cooking or whatever other crafty thing I want to do, just for the joy of it.
  7. Forgive myself. I’m not perfect. It’s ok not to be everything to everyone.

Act, Feel, Think, Part 2

18 Dec

I really don’t like this exercise/homework. (see part one). I don’t know how I am supposed to turn off the thinking part of my brain without dissociating. I’ve had to think things through, weigh pros and cons, and make decisions my whole life. Not doing this is like giving up control. I don’t like doing that either. When I wasn’t in control bad things happened – my grandfather raped me, my mother dissociated and beat me, I’d have seizures and loss control/awareness and end up in the hospital, being poked and prodded without knowing why. It’s why I have to think everything through. I have to know when I make a decision that I am not doing something that is going to put me in harm’s way.

I can’t act on impulse. I can’t act on impulse. I can’t act on impulse.

That is like asking for bad things to happen to me. Acting on impulse mean trusting your gut, trusting yourself. I don’t. Without the thinking, I dissociate, I go numb, I become paralyzed with fear. The problem is that too much thinking, is now over-loading my brain and making my able to do anything impossible. I feel damned if it do and damned if I don’t.

All this working on things in therapy, the holiday season and my own frustration have started inducing what I call the “Itch Till You Bleed” panic attacks again.  I don’t even notice I’m scratching my skin till I look down and I’m covered in claw marks, red lines up and down my arms, some that are bleeding, some that are just raw. I thought I was past that. I just feel scared all around, and totally powerless, out of control. None of which feelings I like.

Act, Feel, Think

18 Dec

I brought up in therapy today how I was having trouble making decisions, even the easiest things like what to wear or what to eat, where too much for me. Yesterday I went outfit picked outall day in my pajamas and didn’t eat a thing because I couldn’t get my head around making those decisions. I knew I had to leave the house to get my medication, but my brain wouldn’t work as I stood in front of the closet. I just stood there and stood there. Then I walk away because I couldn’t handle it. Finally about six in the evening, I just put on something that was in the dirty clothes pile to be washed because I’d worn it already so it had to be alright (I don’t know, it doesn’t even make sense to me). I go to the store for my meds and I have to wait so I walk up and down the isles looking for food because I hadn’t ate all day. The logically part of me knew I had to eat but I left the store with only my meds because after 1/2 hour of walking around I still couldn’t figure out what to eat. All I want is for someone to come in, lay out my clothes for the day and put food in front of me. I realize that Kit is very much out right now, she wants a mother to take care of her, to fed her, to dress her, etc. The problem is the I’m all Kit has, so I have to deal with myselves.

My therapist told me that she wanted me to work on the following this week to help with this:

  1. Act – without thinking. Example: go to the store and just put things in my cart to eat – don’t think about do I want to eat this, should I eat this, will I like this.
  2. Feel – Ride the wave of emotions that this brings up without trying to act on them. Just feel them.
  3. Think – Once I have acted and felt the emotions then I get to think about it. But only as “I was able to make a decision about…… Yeah.

So I tried this when I got out of therapy, because once again I went all day without eating and there was no food in the house so I had to buy some.  I tried really hard just to act but I found myself dissociating instead. I have no idea what I bought, I know I put away stuff but I can’t tell you what, part of me is afraid to even look. How do I feel? I feel confused. I’m thinking that the idea of therapy was to get me more in the present, not dissociating into no-man’s land. I can’t quite get the Yeah to come out on the thinking part of this because while one of me made decisions I have no idea what they were.

I keep try so hard to work the things my therapist gives me to do, but I feel like I am failing at them. I did act when I got home, I went to bed, and slept. It was the only thing I could do without thinking.

I’m so frustrated because I use to be this person who ran a merchandising department for a fortune 500 company. I use to make really important decisions about products and sales and now I can’t even make decisions about what to eat or what to wear. It’s like its beyond my grasp, beyond my capability.

Things I Enjoy and Make Me Happy

14 Dec

I’m sitting in my therapist’s office last week feeling like a total failure, dejected and depressed. Why? Because I can’t answer even the easiest questions. Things like ” What makes me happy?” “What do I like to do for myself?” and “What brings me joy?” It very sad not to be able to answer these questions because you have no idea how to answer. Thinking of myself and what I want or need is a new thing for me. It usually “What can I do for others?” and “What will make them happy so that they will – like, care, notice – me?”

So this week I have been exploring my inner child. First there was the letter, now I’m going back and learning what makes her happy. What make me happy – full of joy – excited – and while, what really doesn’t. After all, when you try things there is no guarantee that you are going to automatically like them. My therapist had to give me a list called “Adult Pleasant Events,” to get me started, because I felt so lost when it came to this I had no idea where to start. She wanted me to really concentrate on this over this week for next week’s session. I was trying to put this off because of the way it made me feel in therapy, kind of like putting off homework for school till the last possible minute. It wasn’t till today when I was in the middle of my movie that I realized all week since my session I had subconsciously been doing it, looking for things that made me happy.

Here’s what I can say makes me happy so far:

  •  Peanut butter cookies – the good kind, that melt in your mouth when you eat them. They’re basic (not chocolate, which I’m allergic to, but still, happy thingsbasic), so they say home, and made with love, and mom – even if I bought them at the store.
  • Jigsaw Puzzles – I’m good at them. Edges first, them the middle. I use to do the old fashion ones, that came in a box when I was little. It was something I could do on my own while drowning out the rest of the world and at the end I would have a beautiful picture. Now I do them on my tablet which allows for variety, plus I can time myself, change the number of pieces, and I don’t have to worry about storage. So I still get to drown out the world, test my mind and I get the pretty picture at the end.
  • Romance movies – they are cheesy, unrealistic, and usually badly acted. All reason I should hate them, but I don’t. With my parents away again seeing my sister, I’ve been indulging in some guilty pleasure. Harlequin (yes as in the books) had a series of movies in the 80′s-90′s. I’ve only watched a couple so far, but the men……yummy! And they all end up taking off their shirts, at least, one time during the movie. Today’s man was BUILT. So I really don’t care the the story would never happen, the actors are horrible and that I don’t really believe that there is such a thing as love at first sight. I enjoy the very fact that they are so unreal.
  • Sewing – I remembered that I like to make my own clothes. I use to do it a lot. So I went and looked at patterns and material yesterday. It was fun, looking at things you can make, trying to find just the right pattern. Then getting the material. I love the feel of fabric. Then there is choosing the type – cotton, linen, polyester, knit, satin, silk, etc. The comes the colors and designs. I ended with a simple dress pattern, since it been a while since I’ve made anything. It’s long, flowing, v-neck with a tie in the back. I found this material that I just fell in love with (I think it was speaking to Becca and Lola, since it’s so wild), pink, purple, orange and yellow print. But it’s fun and I already know where I want to wear it.

Look at me, I’ve found four things that make me happy and bring me joy. I thought I would hit next week’s session with my therapist and not even be able to come up with one thing.

Letter to My Inner Child

10 Dec

My therapist has me working on getting in touch with my inner child, it’s all part of this self-love thing I’m suppose to be working on. I don’t know about anyone else but loving yourself is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Anyway my therapist wants me to write a letter to my inner child comforting it, something that I can read to myself every day. I came home from one hour’s worth of therapy so beat I took a 4 hour nap instead (it must be working). Now it’s the middle of the night and I really should be sleeping since I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning but I couldn’t get the idea of this letter out of my head. The problem with it is that I had no idea what to say. Having not received much comfort in the past from anyone, being a “grin and bear it” person when it comes to my emotions/feelings, what do I say to my young self. I’m not embarrassed to say, I did an internet search on letters to my inner child. I found a few that had things I liked in them and I went from there.

Here’s my letter:

Dear Little “A”,

Although I cannot go back in time to tell you the things you need to know, I can say them now. I can let you know that no matter what, blondechildthe pain, sadness and abuse you faced were not your fault.

When your parents fought; it was not your fault. When your mother left you either emotionally or physically, to cope for yourself and your sister; it was not your fault. When your father and mother used you as a go between, in their fights with each other; it was not your fault. When your grandfather used you for his own sexual gratification; it was not your fault. When the adults around you failed to notice you, when they expected you to care for yourself, when they expected you to be an adult and make adult decisions, when you were still a child, none of these things where your fault.

I know that you feel small, scared, vulnerable and full of pain, but you no longer have to feel alone. Whenever you are frightened or need to be comforted I am here to hold you in my arms, to rock you, sing to you and comfort you. I am here to whisper in your ear “I love you” and “It will be okay” while you cry. I get you, I understand your pain, because I am you.

You no longer have to run from it, hid from it or bury it away. This is not something that you have to grin and bear. You can now let it out. Scream it out. Tell it to the world but most of all, you can tell it to me.  I will not judge you. I know that many times you have been told that you were worthless, unlovable, good-for-nothing, and ugly. That you don’t matter, both in the way people treated and by the words they spoke. I know that this has left you feeling fear, guilt and shame, but these feelings don’t belong to you; they belong to those that have left you feeling this way.

It is time to leave this pain behind, to take my hand and to know that you will no longer have to suffer alone. It is time to feel the love. I love you. God loves you. You are a good person. You are a strong person. You are a beautiful person. Know that nothing you did was wrong, that none of this was your fault. It is time to look inside your heart and soul and see that you are something to be treasured. I know this to be true because I am you, and you are me. From now on we will have each other and that love will make everything better.

With my love,

Adult “A”

It actually came out a lot better than I thought it would. Maybe there is hope for me when it comes to this whole self-love thing after all.

Got to get some sleep now.

Wearing What I’m Feeling For All To See

6 Dec

It is once again the Holiday Season. A time most people associate with joy, happiness, peace and family togetherness. The only part of that I associate this time of year with is the family togetherness, only it’s not in the good way most people do. I dread this time of year, because it means flashbacks of my abuse go into overdrive. We use to spend either Thanksgiving break or Christmas break (sometimes both) at my grandparents. If we weren’t there, they were here. Even though there where other times during the year that I was exposed to them, this time of year has the most triggers – commercials of happy families around a dinner table, decoration, Christmas music, etc. If I had my wish I would go to sleep about the middle of October and wake up in the middle of January. This year I forgot that I need to start gearing myself up for the whiplash that is the Holidays, because basically I forgot they were coming. I have been a little busy with having surgery, recovering from that, and dealing with the fact that the only mothering I was likely to get was the mothering I gave myself. October and most of November were gone before I was really able to leave my house, so I missed the early warning signs that the Holidays were on their way. If l hadn’t miss almost two months, I would have been prepared.

Then it happen last Tuesday, just 2 days before Thanksgiving I was in a store getting my prescription fill, when Winter Wonderland started playing on the over head speakers. At first, there was nothing, just me humming to the song, then the thought “Wait!!! It’s TOO early to be playing this song.” Then came the realization that no it wasn’t, and the shaking started. By Wednesday this had become a full blow panic-trigger-obsessive-mess. That’s when Sonja took over. Since this is only the second or third short-haircuttime one of my alters has completely taken over, to the point were I can’t stop them, it’s a little hard to explain what happen. It was like the “A” part of me was thrown out of my body. All I could do was scream and pound on an invisible wall as I watched in horror as Sonja took the electric shaver to my hair. Sonja parted my hair so that the top and sides were pinned up then she shaved everything from my ears down in the back off. It wouldn’t have been so bad except she shaved it to the skin. Then she let down the side and the front and took a pair of scissor to them. The more Sonja cut the more she wanted to cut. I finally broke through the wall that was holding me, “A”, back and got her to put the scissors down, but not before my hair went from shoulder length to barely covering my ears.

When I finally got Sonja to explain the mess she made of my hair, she told “A” that it was in the way. She was just following the example of the Amazon warrior women of myth who she took after, who were said to cut of their breast when it got it the way of them being better. Better fighters, better archers, better warriors, whatever. To Sonja, my hair was a hinderance, it was keeping me from being better.  As a child it allowed me to be caught, easier. It allowed me to be controlled. Sonja cut it off so that couldn’t happen, any more, so I didn’t have to be afraid, so I could get better. It’s crazy but logically in its craziness.

You see I know that Sonja’s “job, reason for being” is to be my protector, my fighter, my avenging angel. I know that she switched on because she felt my fear and my panic. I just wish she hadn’t left me as bald as a baby’s bottom from my ears down. I also wish she would quit popping into my head and trying to take over ever time I’m trying to get ready to go somewhere. I’ve had to put away all the scissors in the house because Sonja isn’t done with my hair yet. She wants it to be even shorter, even though this is the shortest I’ve ever had it.

The length and the fact that the back of my neck is bald up to my ears makes me feel so many feelings but mostly, ashamed. My therapist suggested a wig or extentions but they are not going to stop the fact that Sonja feels an overwhelming need for my hair to be really short. I feel like I have a big, blinking, neon sign pointing to it and thus all my faults. It like a visual sign of everything that is F@(Ked up with me that the whole world can now see. Then there is a part of me that wants to let Sonja finish what she started because I am that F@(Ked up, so why shouldn’t everyone know it. I’ve got Becca cheering in the background, wanting me to let Sonja go with the scissor, because Becca is hoping that if I allow that, I will allow the purple and green highlights she wants.

And my new therapist wonders why I’m starting to fear my alters. I’m afraid I’m going to wake up one day with spiked green and purple hair, striped down to nothing, running around a public place, singing something stupid like “It’s a Small World After All” at the top of my lungs, while someone records it for youtube, and I have no idea how I got there.

The Brick Layer

5 Nov

Since surgery I have been hitting brick walls all over the place. Everything thing is bricked up – emotions, feeling, the outside world, even my alters. Right now I’m living in this environment in brick wallwhich walls just keep going up till I feel like I’ve been enclosed in them, kind of like a bizarre game of Tetris.  At first I didn’t notice them but, then they are started to get suffocating. As I started looking around and watching all these walls go up, I started getting peaks of him, a man laying brick.  There he sits adding cement to one layer of brick after other until nothing gets through. This isn’t really a new personality, because he has no personality. He just has a job – bricking out the outside world or anything else that I don’t or can’t deal with. I know that I am only 2 weeks post-op and I still have 4 weeks to go, but I can feel reality slipping away.

I think what started all of this was the realization that while, yes I did this surgery for health reason, it wasn’t the only reason. I’m not even sure if it was the main reason any more. Ever since my sister and my cousin had babies something snapped in me. Suddenly I could hear my biological clock ticking, I wanted a baby, I wanted to steal one of their babies. Suddenly I had this overwhelming need to nurse a child – any child that was crying. I keep having nightmares that my baby was out there somewhere crying for me, waiting for me, wanting me. I keep flashing back to high school when all the kids and teachers would ask what I wanted to be when I grow up and instead of answers like a lawyer, or a doctor, or a writer; out would pop a “mother”. I think part of me had this surgery to put an end to that wish/dream once and for all, before I did something stupid. As messed up as I am and as messed up as my mother and her illness left her and me, logically I would never want to pass on that to my child. I would never want to have a child that I could hurt (even unintentionally) as badly as I have been hurt by neglect and the other fall out that comes with having a dissociative disorder and alters.

Now the brick layer is trying his hardest to keep repairing the wall around this secret even though it is crumpling as fast as he is putting it up. So now he’s trying to brick up/out EVERYTHING!

I don’t even know if I’m making any sense here. Even to me, I sound more crazy than normal.

Blanket Forts

14 Oct

blanket fort

Today I needed this – thanks Boggle The Owl. It may not have been writen especially for me but it felt like it was.  I’m totally freaking out because I’m having surgery on Friday, and I have no one to freak out to. I am having a hysterectomy something I have been begging my doctors for, for the last 15 years. I have Endometriosis so bad, that it has become debilitating. I have tried everything and for the last year I have basically been drugging myself unconscious with muscle relaxers and pain meds. The doctor who finally said yes was my last hope, and I went in fully expecting to be told no again, because I’m still in my thirties. When he said yes I cried, something I never do. I also hardly ever see male doctors, especially for my female issues. This shows how desperate I had become to have broken down and saw a male doctor. So now I’m freaking out about the surgery and all the things that can go bad/wrong. And I keep trying to say the sayings my new therapist gave me to keep me calm – things like:

I’ll cross that bridge when I get there, whatever it is.Clothes-Pin-Fort
I will be present for what is happening today, tomorrow will take care of its self.
I can’t control what hasn’t happened yet.
It’s ok to let others take control when I can’t.
I can’t control everything no matter how hard I try.
They are not working and I’m still freaking.

My mother has already made this all about her and how she has to cut her vacation short to take care of me, plus she has a bunch of questions that she didn’t get to ask the doctor and why can I put it off for at least another week. The whole point of doing it now was so that I wouldn’t have to continue being in pain any longer then I have to. Part of me doesn’t want my mother home because, let’s face it, she has a pretty crappy track record caring for me in the past, but at the same time I really can’t see my father doing it. He’s been going around for the last week and half pretending that nothing is going on, so basically operation normal for him. Then there is the recovery time and being defendant on anyone, something I hate. I can’t do anything much for at least two weeks and it can take up to six before I can drive. Being able to get in my car and go for a drive when things are hard is my relief. How the hell am I going to make it through 24-7 for the next six weeks of my parents. The only thing that could make it worse was if my sister was here.

So I saw this post on blanket forts and I remembered how I use to love them as a kid. I could hide out in there for ages and be in a whole different world so now I’m trying to figure out how to make one around my bed for when I get home. The sayings didn’t work but the thought of a blanket fort has mellowed me out.

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