Crazy but still nice

I am feeling like I might be crazy. Too much time alone probably. I’m finding my social life has gone down hill since I’ve switched therapy days to Fridays. The weekends are too difficult for a lot of socializing. Though most weekends I see one friend at least.

This past weekend was very very difficult. The dentist flashbacks, combined with the knife image / feeling from therapy – not a lot of fun there. Saturday I actually do not remember. I know I didn’t do any chores, not even laundry. I was afraid of the phone, so I didn’t even phone anyone. I’d gotten my fear of phoning somewhat under control, but it comes back full force when I’m stressed.

The only thing about Saturday I remember is watching two episodes of Will and Grace. It’s on in the morning, just when I eat breakfast. It’s one of the few sitcoms I like. I like the two supporting characters – they do a physical comedy that I find hilarious.

I didn’t watch TV after that. What on earth did I do?

Sunday I’d made plans with a friend to go on a history walk and then out for pie. Well, I canceled out on the history walk – I was sure I couldn’t absorb any information – but I did go for the pie. Which was excellent – home made, not too sweet, and you got a quarter of a pie for your six bucks. It was actually nice to chat about light topics with a friend and eat pie. Then we walked to the grocery store together and joked around a bit. It was good. I felt like more of a human again.

Sunday I sent off an email to Ron – he’d said I should if I was having more memories. I told him about the knife feeling, how gruesome it feels to me. And I told him if I complain about being dissociated again, he should just ignore me, because feeling this way is a whole lot worse.

Then I said I thought he’d given me weird looks when I mentioned the group, and why was that. And also, why didn’t he like it that I bought a book? What book did he think I should buy?

Ron replied in about five minutes. Quite a change from the 48 hours he took last time. It was nice. He said we’d work on it in therapy, and that he thought buying books was good, and he didn’t remember the looks but I should mention it as it happened next time.

And I started coming out of the strange and bad state I was in. First thing that happens – I suddenly start to hear things – little noises in the background, planes, cars. I guess I block all that out when I’m in ‘trauma time’.

The other thing that happens – this won’t make sense, but this is how it seems to me – I start to feel the edges of things again. Things start to have their own being again, and there is a sense that things are OK, at least a little bit, that the world exists and it’s ticking along and it means me no harm at all.

Monday, I was more normal again and could go to work OK.

I’ve now read most of the dissociation book. I think it is helping me. Ron was quite skeptical of it when I mentioned it to him, and the DDNOS that I think applies to what I’m experiencing. He’d never heard of that, and in any case doesn’t believe in labels.

Labels can be bad….but it’s difficult to find information without one. Anyhoo, we had the labels discussion.

The book recommends learning about the inner parts and finding a way for communication and inner co-operation. I hadn’t thought about it like this before. The fact is, my experience is pretty chaotic, because I have various experiences bursting in on me when I’m otherwise occupied. It’s very confusing and upsetting. So I’ll be at work, and out of the blue I’ll suddenly feel such a deep despair that I feel I have to find a place to lie down till it passes. For instance. Or I’ll suddenly be arguing the way a child might.

So according to the book, this may be parts, dissociated parts, that are popping up. So the idea is to get the parts to co-operate, to not come out if I’m at work. Usually I don’t try any dialogue until things are going really wrong. But the last few days, I have a ‘virtual meeting’ as I’m walking to work, and I check in with each part, and see if it could play, or sleep for the teenager, while I’m at work. I promise to chat on breaks and after work.

Things have been calmer and I’m staying more adult I think. If I can get my life more under control, that would be really really good. Dialoguing with the parts may be the way to go. They also want things to go well – they just don’t know how to have that happen.

It’s a bit of a fine line between asking for co-operation, which is basically keep yourselves to yourselves until I get home again, and ruthless suppression, which is what I used to try to do. But I am trying to stay on the right side of that line.

The way I experience these parts, is that they are very ‘leaky’ – their experiences tend to leak into mine quite a bit. If I had full blown DID, I might have a part that went off and handled work for me, and it might work much more seamlessly than things work for me. Sometimes that seems preferable to me. But I know that is more severe dissociation – it’s effective, but there’s a high price to be paid. But man, being able to send a functional part to work, instead of my own semi-functional self, seems very attractive.

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6 comments
  1. Candycan said:

    I experience my DID in both of the ways you explain. Sometimes, one part, seemingly functioning on their own e.g. at work. This is good for me because if they didn't exist I wouldn't be able to do my job, but at the same time, that kind of dissociation uses a mammoth amount of energy and renders me useless when I'm not at work. Wouldn't it be so much better if I could be one person with all the skills that the parts individually hold? The ability to work that that part has; the ability to feel safe and enjoy life that another part has… if they were all part of me, life would be easier.A lot of the time I am like you… leaky. In my opinion this is more seamless than the more extreme separation of parts. Being able to communicate with others has its downfalls as it can be very tiresome having all the interruptions and instabilities of having parts all there at once, but on the other hand, it gives much more opportunity for sharing than distinct separatedness. Developing that co consciousness would be a step in the right direction for someone with DID, so in a way, you're already in a more progressed place. I sometimes wish for more complete separation too though, because I do know how hard it is sharing others feelings and thoughts. It's really hard, so I do know what you mean. It's just the energy it uses. That and not having memories of parts of my life.Which reminds me, where you say you can't remember your saturday. If you are losing time where you don't know what you have done at all: this would suggest that perhaps sometimes you are more separate from some parts than you realise. It's unfortunate that Ron hasn't heard of DDNOS because that suggests that he perhaps doesn't know much about dissociative disorders in general and although I'm no expert by any means, it looks pretty clear to me that this is what he is working with in you. There are some very specific treatment guidelines for dissociative disorders which it would probably be useful for him to know about. Maybe he should read your book after you've finished?The way you are having that internal conversation every day is fantastic and I could learn a lot from you. The times when I have been able to communicate with parts in this way are the times I have felt more alive and more hopeful and secure about myself (selves) and more able to solve dilemmas. Unfortunately this takes work and persistance and i have lost that connectedness over the past months 😦 Good for you though! Maybe you will inspire me to try to get more in touch. Anyway, sorry this is so long and I hope nothing I've said has upset you in any way :S

  2. One of the other women at WRAP had great things to say about the inpatient trauma program at Mount Sinai. The URL is http://www.mountsinai.on.ca/care/psych/patient-programs/inpatient-services/trauma-section-overview. The guy who runs it is one of the top specialists in dissociation. Maybe this is something that would help as you continue to explore dissociation and your other parts in therapy. It's too bad your therapist doesn't know much about dissociation, as I think some specialized help would help you on this journey. If you want to know more about WRAP just zing me an email, fluffy underscore penguins at yahoo dot com.

  3. Harriet said:

    I also love Will & Grace! When I was home sick last Wednesday I think I watched it all day, it was like a W&G marathon. I also like pie. What type of pie was it?I can see why therapy on Fridays can be a negative if it is ruining your weekend. But if you had therapy earlier in the week would you be able to work afterwards? I have trouble working after therapy.I didn't realize that Ron didn't like you buying that book, I think I missed that. I can see why therapists might not want patients reading too much about therapy, or specific illnesses. Maybe it is threatening to them? But I agree with Candycan – maybe he should read it.Labels can be good or bad. Bad because you get pigeon-holed, good because you can develop a specific plan and know what you are working with and working towards. If you are comfortable with the label, that seems great. I'm comfortable with some of my labels (for example anxiety) and very uncomfortable with others (for example OCD). Interesting.

  4. Ellen said:

    @ Candy – Thanks so much for the long comment Candy! The longer the nicer I think….It's so interesting to learn about your process.Yeah, I can see that 'leaky' is less dissociated – the barriers are not that solid. So theoretically healthier. More difficult to cope with life though. I would think.As to Saturday…I later remembered more – I went to the library, my ex came over to help take out the AC. I was overwhelmed by emotion that day, which makes it difficult for me to remember. That's what I think it is. I have never lost time, and would be surprised to start. Yes, I know Ron is not an expert in dissociative disorders. I did try a few therapists who seemed to have more knowledge of that, but I didn't like them. Ron I like. I wish he was more interested in this DDNOS, but he isn't. He believes something else, which I'm trying to figure out what it is. Something about healing relationships and being real. I struggled with this in therapy today with him, and will probably post about it. Ron did help me discover the parts after all. Maybe now he thinks I'm going to call symptoms into being by reading about them. I don't know. The internal conversation is pretty basic. I don't really need the parts to respond. It's more of a role call and suggestion to each part that they can play or read or sleep while I'm at work. Like an acknowledgment that they are there, and that I care, but I need to do things without them for a while. But I don't get a hugely clear response or anything. But I think it's cutting down on some of the chaos I experience at work. Maybe you can try too, though you have a lot more parts than I do!take care

  5. Ellen said:

    @ Catherine – Thanks for the link Catherine. I had a look – I didn't know about that program. I'm not actually in the official mental health system at all….It's good to know there are good things out there. And your WRAP experience sounds really positive also and I'm happy for you. I actually made it as far as the initial interview for this, and was on the waiting list for a while.Maybe at some point I'll explore this stuff. Right now it seems really important to keep working. I am aware that Ron is not an expert in dissociation. I don't think my situation is that severe either. But I may need more knowledgeable help at some point. Thanks for the info and for commenting. Take care

  6. Ellen said:

    @ Harriet – Harriet, we would get on very well then. 🙂 Can you come over and we'll watch Will and Grace together? And go for pie? It was strawberry rhubarb – nice and tart. Not quite in season but very nice anyway.I deliberately have therapy on Fridays so I can recover before I go back to work. I still hate losing my weekends, but losing my job would be worse. I skipped writing about the part where we discussed the book in my therapy friday post. I felt the session descriptions were getting long….I don't know why he doesn't like it. Though he said it's OK. But he believes in no labels, and this is a label. He actually winced today when I mentioned the title of the book. But I'm finding it helpful, so I'm going to keep reading it. There's a whole labels debate out there. How really, labels are somewhat arbitrary – there's no blood test for instance, even for something that they swear is physical, like bi-polar. And some labels are pejorative – like Borderline Personality disorder. That one's like an insult. My opinion is if you don't find a label useful, don't use it. But how do I find information if there's no vocabulary for what I experience? cheers

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