Mind Mapping - the NEWS (slowly - work in process)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August 7th, 2013 - Progress the work of many multiples for the last week. I can't say enough - if you can identify with the annotations, read the original work. We only mean to curate interest in multiplicity - the real stuff!

  • I was broken into I don’t know how many pieces who helped me survive. I denied the existence of the dissociative parts for such a long time.
    Now, trying to work together, as a team is challenging, to say the least. Trying to manage traumatic memories that aren’t *mine* and all the emotions linked with them is one thing. Then there’s listening to what some have to say (many don’t speak).
    And so much more tough stuff.
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  • Right now though, many of me/we are holding onto that intangible idea of hope and think it’d be a good idea to share it with anyone looking in. Since this blog began, we’ve been given huge hope-boosts from those who read and comment which we really appreciate.
    Thank you for reading, commenting and being an amazing group of bloggers.

  • rising anxiety. isolation. loss of energy. think i’m having another panic attack.
  • miss and crave @lazyqueer so deeply. sometimes everything feels like ashes when we’re alone.
    • deep sad. craving connection. it feels like nothing is stable. hard to weather changes.
    • angsty and lost. nothing feels right.

  • As I write this my internal blocker is holding back my name. Since the integrations began is had been a game of guess who inside.
    I believe the integrations have completed. Partly because everything seems to have calmed down. Partly because I can feel other parts inside with me. The internal commentary has started up again. Always makes me smile.
  • I am hoping that at some point my internal blocker stops and lets us know who is who. I would like to know who, of the 120 parts who went into integration, came back in the final fourty.
    • My insides feel the twisted cables in the road case in the picture. All smushed and funky.

  • Obviously my belief system continues to some degree believing that I am not worthy of sharing personal experiences. That I have a voice and that I am important. The lies still creep in. I wonder at times if I am even making sense and if I come over as a bore. People will get tired of me. That is how I sensed my father was with me. Even into adulthood.
  • The other day there was an incident at work where one of my coworkers triggered something in me by her behavior and ridicule and smirkness towards me.
    • I have to end on some kind of a postive note......(1) I have come a long way baby from just five years ago; and (2) a few years back I would not even be able to recognize this trigger from my coworker as a problem area in my past that needs healing.

  • Ariel Castro’s home to be demolished Wednesday Jennifer Lindgren, WKYC-TV, Cleveland August 6, 2013 CLEVELAND — The Cleveland home where Ariel Castro held three young women for more than a decade will be begin to be demolished Wednesday morning. The demolition comes less than a week after he was sentenced.
    After Ariel Castro’s sentencing last week, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Prosecutor Tim McGinty said the plan was to raze the house as soon as possible.
  • Castro, who was sentenced to life, plus 1,000 years, without the possibility of parole repeatedly denied during his sentencing that he had tortured Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight after he kidnapped them between 2002 to 2004, holding them captive in his home until Berry managed to escape and alert a neighbor May 6.

  • So we messed up three weeks ago and went to Maine. Pretty much we overrode the reptilian brains with our cognitive brains. In part this happened as we went to maine with some people. We kinda went with society’s understanding that going to the ocean for a paddle must be wonderful for everyone at all times or something is wrong with them.
  • he end result was learning how not to sleep. For us this manifested itself in one of us was always awake. Think a water bird whose brain sleeps on side at a time. There are many reasons for this and one of them is the time in the sensory deprivation tanks. We learned to stay awake in the tank so that we did not have to be touched when they let us out.
    • We really started to figure out that we were on a different level than the rest of our family and they knew it. It did upset us and our solution was to push physically very hard. We just did our chores all day and went very very fast.
    • t is not really that one of us is always tired it is more when we are tired we are them. That is kinda the way it is with multiplicity. As there is no connection with time between us then they never rest. It is on some level shutting different parts of us down. There is no protection from horrors in our life. That would be nice it is just not reality.
07 Aug 13

  • When it feels like people in your “real life” have become distanced, seemingly tired of your continuing repetitive struggles (whether rightly or wrongly), it means everything to have your therapist off her own back fill you up with such love and care to remind you that you are lovable even when you are struggling with so much on a daily basis.
  • I haven’t had a night terror like last night in a while.  You were in a very fearful state Cat related.  Oh it isn’t fear, I replied, this is on a completely different level to fear, this is pure terror.  My blood ran cold- there is literally no other way to describe it.  You can’t put words to something that intense.  At least now I am quicker to respond to it to try and ground ourselves back.  I know what works – getting Raggy out of bed, going outside on the balcony, checking my emails/facebook on my phone… stuff like that.
    • Young children need a lot of sleep.  The young alters in my system talk like children, think like children, act like children, so it makes sense that they also have the same needs as children.  Suddenly I don’t feel so “ill” or ashamed for needing as much sleep as I do.  The core of my system (i.e. those that are present practically 24/7) is made up of 5 alters with an average age of 11.8 years. 

  • Therapist, Jean Fain, L.I.C.S.W., M.S.W., is very much on target and really resonated with my theory that if the emotional issues were taken care of then the eating/weight issues would take care of themselves. I can personally say that is reward enough to want to get healthy, not just emotionally but also physically. 
  • Unfortunately, eating disorders are one of the comorbid disorders that accompany DID that goes with the territory of so many other disorders (chemical dependency, depression, anxiety, etc.) that usually keep DID hidden or at least under the radar unless a professional is trained or has had experience working with DID clients and knows what to look for. 
    • When I first started this journey, I was considered super obese. Then I dropped to morbidly obese. I remember how excited I was about that. Then I dropped down to severely obese. This felt ecstatic because I was getting closer and closer to just being simply obese. Who would have thought that just being obese would have been a wonderful feeling? Well it is when once upon a time being super obese was the only choice. 
    • Life is funny. It requires balance. When life becomes out of balance, then things tend to get lopsided and out of sorts. Do something good for yourself today. If nothing else, tell yourself a positive affirmation. I think for today that my positive affirmation is that I no longer look like the mom and I am no longer in the image of her. 

  • I’m working through a rather difficult exercise in therapy right now, but I can actually see the progress.  A bit ago, my therapist asked me to draw the scene I saw on the day I found my sister’s body.  It was harrowing.  There, in black and white lines, was the memory that has been haunting me for all these years.  My whole body was shaking, and I felt nauseous.  I did a mandala to channel the feelings, which helped a bit.
  • My housemates are out of town, leaving me alone in the house for the first time in ages.  My first thoughts?  That it would be so easy to simply step out of this existence and in to the next incarnate. 
    • Over the years, my best friend has become a means of survival for me.  I look at him and think of what he would lose in terms of our friendship.  I’m not the most confident person, and my self-esteem is almost non-existent.  However, my FOC tell me they enjoy having me in their lives, and I owe them any amount of joy I can give.  My first thought when I’m alone, though, is how I can end my existence or cause myself pain as penance for something I can’t even describe.
    • The hardest part was colouring her.  At first, the experience was oddly comforting.  I was bringing life to the image of her corpse.  Pink lips, peach skin, blonde hair, blue eyes.  All the things that made her my beautiful sister.  I felt like I was giving her back the life she took, healing her as best I could.  Then, the image hit me.  I was focusing directly on the image that lives in my nightmares and flashbacks.  At that point, my whole body went cold, and I asked the therapist if perhaps we could stop for a bit.  Every sense of emotion was gone.
      I’ll start again with the drawing at some other time.  For now, though, I’m going to let it be.

  • My favorite memory of my Grandpa Chuck just happened a handful of years ago when C-Raye and I went to visit Grandma and Grandpa Couch at their place on Henney.  He told me of the time when Oklahoma City was an oil (boom) town and how the area just before and around what is now the empty Crossroads mall was covered in oil wells and homes owned by the oil company and given to the employees as part of their wages.  Imagining what that would look like was something I’ll never forget.  He said there was just rows and rows of oil wells dotting the landscape.  They’ve all been torn out now and replaced with hotels, businesses, housing additions, and restaurants.
  • Miss you Grandpa Chuck.  You are in God’s hands now and no longer in pain.

  • So, I drifted off to dreamland and found myself seeking out one of my best friends.  A best friend from my teen years.  I was able to find her mother and inquired about my friend’s location.  Her mother had an unmasked hatred toward me which I did not understand.  She made it clear that she was not going to disclose my friend’s whereabouts to me EVER because of something I had done.  I was totally unaware of anything I did to my friend to warrant such fury. 
  • What I do know is that I have a major trigger for being falsely accused.  And I am also super-sensitive to the most minute of changes in how people treat me.  When I notice people becoming more distant or cold, I immediately look for something I did to cause it.  And if I ask them what is going on and they say “nothing” I don’t believe them.  I still look to see what I did. 
    • So that begs the question, “What did I do?”  Or probably a better question given we are talking about warped minds and cult mentalities is, “What did they make me do?   And why does everyone else remember it while I do not?  Was it truly evil?”   I ask, “Was it truly evil?” because with the memories of my friend earlier this year, came also a memory of being locked in a basement with a girl awaiting her fate.  She was in trouble and going to be hurt.  I decided that if I hurt the couple coming down the stairs enough, they would not be able to hurt my friend. 
    • here was no safe place.  No one believed me.  Bad things that happened to me were treated as no big deal and the possibly good things I did to try to save another person, were treated as the ultimate evil.   It’s no wonder I believe people will turn on a dime.  No wonder I get so triggered when falsely accused.  No wonder I don’t trust.

  • This weekend I saw a four generation family, mother, daughter, grandmother and great-grandmother giggling like a bunch of school girls. The love between them was almost palatable and it stabbed through my heat like a hot blade. I don’t often think about my mother but seeing this happy family flooded my mind with regrets and a crushing need to tell her how sorry I am that I was not good enough, that I should have tried harder to be the perfect child. Then I remember it wouldn’t have mattered.
  • When I got pregnant with my fist child I remember the turmoil that erupted within the insiders. It was a scary time and I was still quite young, it took months of reassuring to ease some of the fear and it wasn’t until we all realized that this was going to be our chance to be a better parent than what we had experienced that things inside changed  to anticipation and excitement. I wasn’t a perfect parent but my boys always knew they were loved. I still feel like I failed them as I forgot to take into account genetics, so I have seen firsthand just how closely genus and insanity stand to each other and I worry about each of them everyday and my heart breaks each time one of them struggles with the demons inside their heads.

  • Start loving yourself regardless of whatever "flaws" you may think you have.
  • For instance: the true hallmark of a real diamond are inclusions or "flaws," (which is just a negative way of saying "characteristics") and without those flaws that diamond would just appear fake and transparent much like an imitation diamond; however like a real, honest-to-goodness, from-the-earth diamond the brilliance of your character will outshine any major flaws and all anyone will ever see is something beautiful. <3

  • I really like this doctor.  According to the records he flipped through (which I was impressed by his meticulousness) I saw him at the end of high school as well.  Looks like from about age 16-20.
    The short of it is he’s wonderful.
  • He also touched a bit on mental-health (I tried to be honest in the paper evaluation that touched on it) but was kind about coming back to it, since the hypertension is more pressing at the moment.  But I feel like he isn’t going to leap at me.  He was so very very sweet about my memory problems (he wanted to know a lot of details but I couldn’t recall them; especially hospital details, where I tend to disassociate the most).
    • So besides the feeling crummy from the dramatic BP drop, I am happy and content with this set of events.

  • It was a really nice time being with the girls.  Everyone knows everyone, but you've been a part for a while so don't know what's up with one over the other.   Well, we probably know more about Linda, but beside that :)  It is probably pretty normal stuff.  We talk about business, personal, relationships, family - stuff like that.
  • Maybe on Tuesday we talked mostly about Rich and then Thursday, we were talking about something ... just remembered the part of our hand being tightly closed.  We knew it was a younger part.  We were resistant to finding out what that was all about, but Dr. Marvin was more confident.
    • What we experienced was Either Gracie or Anna or perhaps they were together shifting our images.  Mostly though we were very young on the side of the curb where we grew up on 6th street.  We were very depressed and lonely.  Then we recalled the turtle dying and that we didn't really feel bad for our brother who was feeling really bad.  Then we went into a series of memories about being on our trike in the middle of the street.  The story goes that Jack Morgan the neighbor across the street picked up me and our trike and brought us to the grass.  My mother heard about it later from her best friend Kay - John's wife.  We were like angry and not going anywhere.  Then we remembered digging holes in the yard with the intent of escape.  We had heard later from our mother that she thought we were digging our way to China.  But we didn't know about that.  Just that after that came the connection of digging in the ground to bury the turtle and then we were able to consciously open our left hand and feel the dirt pour out from it.
    • After that we let Dr. Marvin come back in.  One of the younger children were talking to him about what was happening.  It's a strange sense with your doctor/therapist in that he/she goes wherever your mind takes you and it is usually then their part to convey that things are ok and that it is ok to have had the past experience, memory and it is ok to be back in the present.  It was a hard experience to go through.  It left us pretty shaky, but we were aware at the right time as to leaving the office.
    • Pretty discombobulated now ... lets see grounding ... Maybe it is time to do another round of picking something up ... I think we should make sure the dishwasher is good.  Hold on.
    • Linda said something like Dr. Marvin might say reminding me of a lot of nice things going on in my day and it didn't take me more than a second to bring me back to that fact.  The simple part of being able to write most of the day AND get laundry/housekeeping done ... I would have died for that five years ago!  I wish that Rich had an easier time, but time will tell.  He talked to someone today he'd worked with before - another sheltered workshop who might consider putting him on the payroll to get work in their workshops.  It's probably too good to hope for ... basically, he told them he needed insurance.

  • Healing affirmation for 06 August 2013

    How could anyone ever tell you you were anything less than beautiful? How could anyone ever tell you you were less than whole? How could anyone ever fail to notice that you’re loving is a miracle? How deeply you’re connected to my soul.

  • “People give flowers as presents because flowers contain the true meaning of love. Anyone tries to possess a flower will have to watch its beauty fading. But if you simply look at a flower on a field, you will keep it forever, because the flower is part of the evening and the sunset and the smell of damp earth and the clouds on the horizon.”
    ~ Paulo Coelho, Brida+

  • i still don’t feel like myself. i can feel his touches, his smell, his nasty body close to mine. i wasn't allowed to lock my door, if he can't get in, he will be pissed. i had bruises on my body bc i was so thin, anything that touched me i'd bruise. 10th grade my one teachers tried to hug me, it hurt. she asked me if everything was ok at home. i said nothing. fear he will find out that i told.

  • Now, I can take this new development in one of two ways. I can be thankful that they're adapting well to all the changes in their family. During the last month 5 people have moved out of their home (including their beloved cousin, Izzy, who is living across the country now.) Their new step-mom and step-brother moved in, and then little Lilly was born a couple weeks early. That's an awful lot of changes in a short period of time.
    I could take the route of feeling sorry for myself, feeling forgotten and abandoned. Nursing those feelings, I could work up quite a batch of self-pity. The thing is I want them to thrive. I want them to be able to do well without me.
  • hey did need me, and I was there for them. Job well done, nana! And now that door has shut and here I am, here I am faced with a new opened door.
    • "Let me write, let me write, let me fill up the sky with words," I once wrote. Well okay. Here's my chance. Here's the best chance I've had since I began raising kids 40 years ago.
      There's no help for it, then. I must begin to immerse myself in the act of writing, the activity I love best in the world. How delicious to sink back into the creativity of painting a masterpiece with words!

  • unable to stop the tears fell deep
     for the first time ever
     rachels shoulder we did seek
     she let us sob it out until we could cry no more
  • Grief is overwhelming
     yet we need to grieve
     to open ourselves to healing
     but it will take time

  • Care-giving.  What comes to your mind with those words?  For some it means changing diapers and holding babies.  Others might think of caring for the sick or elderly. We can also be care providers for our pets and other animals.  Recently, my sister taught me about a different kind of care-giving.  Caring for our dead.
  • I cherish the time I spent alone with my mom’s things, listening to a Marty Robbins CD on the overhead speakers (the mortuary staff had inquired earlier about music and this was agreed upon.)  Perhaps it was my sister’s example, or setting out my mother’s things, but something in me shifted.  When Ginger came out for a moment,  I decided that I wanted to go with her to “the back room”.
    • That evening during the viewing, the same Marty Robbins CD played. My mom would have loved it. I told someone teasingly that Marty Robbins was ruined for me because in the future whenever I hear “El Paso” or his other songs, I will be taken back to that mortuary.  I realize now though that ‘ruined’ is the wrong word because whenever I hear Marty Robbins, I will remember–not only my mother’s peaceful expression, but Ginger’s loving act of care-giving.
      And I will smile at the beauty and wonder of it.

  • When my consciousness is mostly young  child parts I sleep like a child. I thought I was being lazy because some nights I need 10 hours of sleep. I went on Web MD and children ages 3-5 do need 10-12 hours of sleep per day. On those days when little one are front and center or in the lead I also need to take a nap. I keep learning more and more about how my mind works. I’m so grateful my mind is set up dissociative. If not, as some of you know, I’d be in the grave or a mental institute, But some days it’s hard to accept who I am. Other days I’m in awe and very thankful.

  • news items – Ritual Abuse Conference, Ariel Castro, Trafficking, Monks, Haiti, Army, Aboriginal Children, Clergy Abuse

      August 5, 2013  
    This week there were many new articles on child abuse, rape and trauma prevention and education. Ariel Castro was sentences to 1,000 plus years, but claims most of “the sex…was consensual” (blame the victim). A child trafficking rescue saved 105 victims. Monks in Scotland have been accused of sexual abuse. Army Child Abuse Cases Jump 40% from 2009. Aboriginal children used in medical tests in Canada. Thousands protest freeing of Spanish pedophile in Morocco. An international child abuse and ritual abuse conference will be held next weekend in New England.

  • I’ve been walking around with this awful feeling for weeks – maybe months – and I couldn’t name it.  Couldn’t find the words or the pictures in my mind.  Nothing to conceptualize.  To give it a name is to give it wings and let it fly away.  But this one sat like a lead balloon.
  • …I will be taken seriously without having to turn into a sobbing, snotting hyper ventilating mess.   That was my childhood. I didn’t get noticed unless I could scream or cry louder than everyone else.  I thought that by this point in my life I would have surrounded myself wIth people that don’t make me work that hard. At some point you have to look at the common denominator and ask, how am I failing myself?

    • I was asked to write some words of encouragement to a group of functionally non verbal teens with autism who use their typed communication in their work on a wonderful monthly newsletter produced by a group in Arizona called ACT. This is what I wrote:
    • When I was 9-11 years old I was still largely echolalic and couldn’t converse and most people still thought I was mad. It was partly typing that started at age 9 and by 11-13 lead to poetry that I became aware of how deep I was, how expressive I was in there. I did gain functional speech by age 11 but it took another 7 years to communicate well enough to consistently be considered ‘probably sane’.
      • There’s a middle ground… to believe one can always strive to be more than one already is, but equally invest in loving oneself as one already is in each moment, each day. Whatever the challenges, they are always easier when we like ourselves for this calms the wildness and gives us a better hold on the reins of volition.

    • How do you ‘deal’ with parts that are insane ‘killers’ raised by the military?  ‘Parts’ of you which were trained to do and LIKE doing almost anything you can imagine, this horror and/or that.  Due to the Vietnam war we were trained to kill children; due to the Cold war, infiltration and to create chaos in infrastructures of almost any kind.  We were taught to interrogate prisoners in devilish fashion.  Even as a small child.
      How do you deal with things like that living inside of you?
    • To understand that, you have to understand why your demons were made.  Usually they were there to protect you.  Unfortunately the circumstances that led to their being is what drove you (and them, apparently) insane.  Even more unfortunately those demons may be insaner than ‘you’ are – filled with evil notions and thoughts, including destruction and chaos to the population around you; they may be filled with ‘self-destructive’ desires such as wanting to go on the ‘wild’ side, get back into drugs and ‘stuff’ – or even worse, personal vengeance, making yourself watch while they (or somebody ‘else’ under their own direction) cut into you . . .
      • So what we learned to do (and did) was separate ‘them’ into “two” entities: the one that was trying to do some good by you, and the one that’s totally insane.

    • we haven’t met
      but i love you no matter what
      with a love that is bigger than your human words allow
      so whether it matters or not i’m here
      and time is of no consequence, dear one
      i love all of you and always have

      i am calliope
      i am your friend

    • We started working on my tailbone area because it became harder and harder to sit. It was getting so bad that appointments were canceled because I was unable to ride in the car to get there. So I thought, hey, lets work on that area back there more. Yes the work hurt, but I hoped that the major pain would be worth it. Something changed though and things got ugly in my head.
    • After a few times of leaving then coming back to tell her of the wonderful places I went, I began to have emotional difficulties. Some of the little ones inside were afraid the day before therapy and expressed that they didn’t want to. They didn’t want her to hurt us anymore.
      What I was doing was exactly what I did as a child. When the pain got too much I’d go away. I’d leave and go to these wonderful places. The pain of that part of therapy caused a PTSD reaction that I did not anticipate.
      • I just don’t want Piper to abandon me because I was triggered. She can still stand in my living room and be gone. I don’t want her on egg shells or to be extra, extra careful with me. I want the fun Piper I knew who enjoyed doing Yoga with me, not the one who is afraid to touch me.
        The hands totally off, I’m not going to touch you at all, hands behind her back approach feels as if I’ve done something wrong or that she may feel she did something wrong in treatment. I HAVE PTSD. That’s what happened. I just need to talk to her and figure out what she’s thinking.

    • Time passes and life just goes. Good things are happening. I’m slowly but surely loving the life I’m living right now.
      In less than 5 months I will be done with my undergraduate degree. It has taken me almost 8 years to complete. There was a time when I didn’t think I would be this close to completing my degree.
      To say that I’m happy would be an understatement. It’s more than a piece of paper to me, it’s a symbol that I’m a functional person. I no longer define myself as a mental patient because school have allowed me to develop a new identity- no pun intended :)
    • That difficult time changed me. There were few constants within my life and staying connected with someone from that time allows me to realize the change because they are seeing it. I’m in my body everyday so change is sometimes hard to see. I’m just thankful that this person still exists in my life. I remember when I used to have terrible flashbacks and body memories, this person used to talk to me to help me and I remembered her voice. So hearing her voice again actually brought tears to my eyes.

    • I was randomly surfing the web and stumbled across an article on managing children’s misbehavior. The author claims that understanding is not enough, because a child, like most people, will try to get away with behavior just because they can. Therefore, a child always needs a consequence.
    • There is an opposing educational theory which says that children will actually grow up to be responsible adults if we let them and there’s no need to behavior-modify them into it. This theory is in part based on observational learning, ie. a child seeing other children develop into more and more behaved individuals. It is not necessarily some kind of abstract theory, althogh it’s less behaviorally-oriented than the other theory.
      • his doesn’t mean we can’t voice our opinion. In fact, inbetween safety issues and obviously superficial misbehavior that doesn’t even warrant attention, there is a category of behavior that may be negotiable. Letting the child know what you think, but giving them their way if the situation seems to escalate, is a possible action in this case. Note that this is not solely in contradiction to behavior modification: if you end up fighting for an h our with your child and ultimately they get their way anyway, this rewards even worse misbehavior.
        I am not a parent and I will never be one. I have just lived through endless battles over tiny things in which I, being the most persistent, often got my way, and I’ve not become an antisocial adult.

    • I don’t think this person I call Robert is still a friend of mine.  I am not sure he ever was.  I know he no longer wants to be my friend.  According to Robert’s final email announcement, I am “too much work.”  I could not, or did not, resist my urge to reply to his note with “Funny.  That’s the same thing I could say about you.”  I had written the night before when the proverbial caca hit the fan that I now know that the two of us are not compatible.
    • The term “attachment village” recently crossed my mental desk through the work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld who is a life-spectrum attachment specialist.  He was speaking at the moment that term appeared about shrinking families and the “orphaned elders” that are just one of the sad consequences of the changes in modern families of our culture.  I realized as I heard that term that is what life is about for we members of a social species:  We MUST HAVE an attachment village to be healthy and happy.
      • I insisted on being respected and NOT disrespected.  No, I did not give this man permission to criticize me, something he evidently desperately NEEDED to do.  I don’t give ANYONE permission to disrespect me that way.  There are adult reasonable ways to talk about how we feel when someone does this or that, etc.  But outright bad-mouthing harsh criticism is out of the question for anyone I will keep in my life.
      • But there are certainly times for me when compromise and negotiation are so completely absent in relationships that there is no REPAIR possible — because the truth is there has been nothing but RUPTURE all along.  Such is the contamination of the present with the trauma of the past.  Trauma drama is not allowed to be a part of my life and being anyone’s “bad mother” projection is trauma drama in action.
        I want a HEALTHY and HAPPY attachment village, not one that is made up of people  who are as unhealthy as the anti-attachment family I was raised within.

    • We have moved to a different blog: We Choose Harmony
      To see why, read this post: From Internal to External.
      But feel free to read this blog for background information.
    • In October of 2010 Erin was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. This blog is to record what is going inside Erin's mind. We don't know what all that will entail... But we are hoping that keeping a record of it will help in some manner. We also hope that maybe, just maybe, that we'll heal from whatever issues that we have and come out victorious.
      All personalities or identities within Erin are invited to write here; each entry will be marked with who is writing.

    • Sometimes, when life is crude and ugly for decades, it’s hard to find a way of saying, “I got lost.”  Every social network wants us linked to every other social network, providing specifics about name, address, phone, marital status, junk of every sort… none of it is anyone’s business, but that doesn’t seem to matter, anymore. 
    • I use a pseudonym, and for good reason.  I write about my life; it’s hard, and I consider this blog a little Bodega, with no need for billboards or social arrows. 

    • Where does Complex Post Traumatic Stress leave me? Does it define me? What has happened to the old me? Was I ever developed as a child or young adult? Could I have lead a different life if I had noticed CPTSD sooner  Im asking questions that I have no answer for and nor do I have the skills to even start to un-ravel the complex web my past abusers have caused.
    • My psychiatrist has been a blessing from the first moment we met. He got it, understood and we have not been conventional in my treatment plan nor have we stuck to normal guide lines for treatment. That he has tailored his rules/guidelines to meet my needs and not the other way around, means I trust him more now that I did when I first met him. It has taken a good few years and I still havent opened up to him completely like I would like to, but I am sure I will get their in the end with his support and that of my mental health team NHS who do a wonderful job with me when I am in crisis.  So Im not alone as I first thought when I started writing this, in fact Im not allowing myself to be left forgotten any longer.          I will stand up for the little girl so broken and hurt and   help her all I can. 

    • Anyway, lately I have been getting quite a few e-mails from people coming out of the churches who have been pretty burned and are very disillusioned  They are waking up to the fact that main-line religion is all a scam and is mostly programming mind control. Not just Christianity, I believe all religions are infected on this planet. I really believe religion was created to put humans in bondage and to control them. I do not think the Creator ever intended that in any way. Jesus Christ never taught that while he was here either. If you believe the gospels, Jesus never taught anything about religious practices. He was about loving the Creator with all our minds, body's and soul's and to love one another. We are to care for widows and orphan's and those in need and by doing that we were honoring the Creator.
    • Christ never taught about building funds, mandatory church attendance and giving all your money to the 'Ministry'. He said to follow Him and you did that by forgiving others their trespasses, asking for forgiveness for our own sins, loving others as Christ loved us and basically living out our lives as a living example of His love for us all.
      • They worship the religious practices and preachers of their choice and hang the person who tells them any different. And please... don't tell them anything about human sacrifice and child abuse, especially in the 'Church'.  So I am just Judy. I have survived a lot of horrible things. I have seen a lot of horrible things, but the one thing I just can not seem to get over is people who willing choose to stay ignorant. That just blows my mind.

    • I’ll miss the person who saw me more clearly then I can even see myself. The person who was like a mirror to me, with her undying love, who showed me what she saw in me, who let me see the person she saw. With her love, I began to believe the picture she showed me, and was able to quiet the years of other peoples’ voice telling me different.
    • Every since flipping out and almost doing a strip tease in front of a couple thousand church-goers, I have been trying to process the trigger behind the episode. And I’ve come to the realization that I want something I’m never going to have – A Mother! 20130725-095045.jpgOr at least one that cares enough to be there for me. I feel like I’m continually crying out for her and she is either not there or doing all the wrong things. I feel like a crying baby that wants something but can’t express what those needs or wants are, and instead of trying to fix what is wrong my mother is just trying to shut me up so she ignores me or she smothers me with a figurative pillow.
      • Today I really needed help. My health insurance has decided to no longer cover my Klonopin. The medicine that makes my life livable, the medicine that allows me to leave the house without screaming and having a panic attack, so basically my lifeline.
      • I am not their go between. They can figure dinner and everything else on their own. For now I’m going to enjoy what may be one of my last days outside the house, if my medicine doesn’t come through.

    • I was recently nominated (twice) for something called the Liebster Award. No, not lobster. Liebster. The award-nominating blog-o-sphere claims liebster is a German word meaning favorite, most beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant and valued.
    • Upon doing a bit of online detecting, I learned that this award was, perhaps, created to encourage blogging and new bloggers. It seems no one really knows the award’s origins, which is kind of fun. It’s part recognition and part blog challenge. As far as anyone can tell, the nomination is itself the award – you simply copy and post the Liebster Award image.
      • As part of accepting this nomination/award, I’m simply asked to answer eleven questions posted by the nominator on his/her blog (and provide links back to their blogs, which I did… you just read that bit), nominate eleven worthy blogs with fewer than 200 followers and inform them of their nomination, and write eleven questions for your nominees to answer.

    • But then I realized “it’s ok”.  It wasn’t just the fact I was in a marital arts studio where people “should be on the right side of the law”.  However, it was many different things like knowing there are windows floor to ceiling, security cameras everywhere, it’s a place of business and just my interactions with the majority of them (a few I don’t know well).
    • Funny thing is, the other day while in the main class I’ve taken, the instructor was giving us tests.  He asked us to close our eyes.  I knew I was safe, had no doubt.  However, the simple act of closing my eyes, wow.  I could HEAR a fly flapping it’s wings!  No, not literally, but the instructor approached me and I knew he was there before he said anything.  It was hard to keep my eyes closed, but I did do it.  I was safe, but maybe because I was lacking a sense that I depend on heavily was taken.
      • So I learned and experienced, safety isn’t about a checklist, but taking all things into account.  

    • Sometimes we have "episodes"...that's what we call blank spaces is what has currently/recently transpired.  Last night we had one. It's been awhile.
    • We trust him, in times of confusion, that what he claims has happened is true and accurate. Which, is a feat sometimes, because his short term memory is shit...and ours, usually, is pretty stellar.  Bottom line: People who get into a relationship with those who have Dissociative Identity Disorder, or anyone with a mental health issue, should be mindful of the the kind of trust being laid upon them.  That's why it's always important to be honest and upfront about those kinds of things. Not everybody is ready for that kind of responsibility.

    • My marriage is over, it may never have been a legal marriage but it was a marriage to me in my heart. After almost 7 years I left…perhaps that doesnt make any sense after struggling for the last 2 years to fix the damage we both did but its what I had to do.
    • I did an insane amount of soul searching, I looked at who I was before the relationship, before the affair, now, and who I want to be. I looked at who he had been and who he is now, I realized everything that had made us who we were together was gone. More over when I tried to get it back he blatantly wanted nothing but to keep on where he was going.

    • A month or so ago (?), I said to myself/my brain, “Look, I want to remember.  I want to process this stuff and move on with my life.”  I asked whatever part of me is blocking to step aside.
      I have already written about this, but I expected something like movie reel memories.  I knew they would be difficult, but I guess I thought it would be sort of like watching them on a screen.  There would be feelings involved, of course (ew, yuck, not FEEEEEEEEELINGS), and they would be painful, but hey, at least I’d know what was going on.  I’d have my neat, tidy memories and I’d figure out how to unwrap them, process them, and then let them go.
      Oh, how naive!  
    • I am physically miserable all night long, and it’s a combination of anxiety and things that I can connect to abuse, even if I can’t connect them to specific memories.  It is awful.
      • What’s funny is that the moment it becomes the tiniest bit light outside, I conk out with no problem.  It’s like a switch gets flipped.  Of course, during the school year, this is when I would need to be getting up!
      • The message is that my body experienced extremely unpleasant things.  That dread and shame and fear and anxiety and disgust and deep sadness are all pieces of my experience.  I say to myself in the night, “This is intolerable.  I cannot live another minute of this.”  That is me, as an adult, trying to process these feelings from childhood, tapping into them just enough to see that they are overwhelming.  And then I get it.  I understand the dissociation and the compartmentalizing and the amnesia and all of it.

      • Thankfully, I no longer feel like I am teetering. Yay! :) Potential contributors to the wobble were as follows:
        1. Promotion
        3. Dissertation
        5. Hearing
        7. Medication
    • The final thing I wrote about in my previous post was about meeting up with a chap from t’internetz. We met at 8pm and were chucked out of the cafe at midnight. We have quite a bit in common and regardless of whether this turns into anything, I reckon I’ll have made a good friend.
      • I’m tired, but I’m happy and tired. After all that stress, I’m really glad life circumstances mean that the wobble has been stabilised.

    • I’ve decided to password protect most of our posts.  If you would like to have the password you can comment to this post here with your Email address and we will be sure to get you the password.  I will make sure your Email will not be posted for others to see.
      Thanks for all the support!

    • My earliest conscious memories regarding my name was of never being allowed to go by a nickname…even to the extent that I was threatened to be in trouble if my mother ever heard someone call me anything other than my full first name. Others did not understand this, nor did I. But it was my reality and the reason for it was more serious than I knew.
    • I decided that I wanted to become the woman God created me to be rather than the woman I was pressed into being. All my life I was always being what everyone else wanted, but what did “I” want? What did “I” like? And even more importantly, what did God create me to be? So, I set out on a journey of exploration. I wanted to find out who “I” really was/am. And what a journey it was!
      • I had started to change internally, even if not all that much externally. I started to feel more freedom to gingerly explore, and my sense of who I was altered. I grew stronger, more confident and had a greater sense of my worth. And then my parents would come over and call me by my full name. Bam! It was like a switch was flipped and I found myself struggling to keep the ground I had gained. This happened over and over until I learned to turn it off.
      • They had really nice meanings and had programming attached to them. My current names have wonderful meanings and freedom attached to them.

    • I disappear under the collapse of the padded walls in which I am mentally locked. I seem to have spectacularly careened off the solid road of recovery and engaged in behaviors that have sent me back to being someone emotionally unstable. Barely making it, I am now suffocating with the awareness of all the frivolous attempts at a sane life I've perpetrated, like so many lies spilling from my unselective mouth.
    • When I try to complete them, I go completely blank. I have no answers. I can't even come close to anything resembling an idea. If I can't recall basic memories and details of childhood, how can I write a whole book dedicated to the most poignant moments of my life.  
       And I hate to fail at this, too. Writing this memoir is supposed to be symbolic of making it through hell and living to tell about it, and hopefully someone reading it down the road can say, “I wasn't alone”. I don't want to give up, but is the struggle worth it? Do I even want the memories and feelings I need to write this book?
       This whole scenario, front and back, inside and out, is derailing me.  

    • I have found so much freedom in realizing that I don’t have to explain or justify my decision to draw boundaries with my parents or with anyone else, to anyone. I don’t have to help people ‘understand it’. I don’t have to defend myself or prove myself.
    • The people that have a need to stick up for the dysfunctional family system are the ones that have judged me the hardest. The hate mail I get always leaks the truth about the writers own abusive childhood and the need to defend their own parents. These comments/emails contain statements such as “my parents beat me but I deserved it”. Sometimes I get a huge paragraph describing the offences that they endured at the hands of mean hateful parents and the final sentence is “but I know my parents loved me”. (I want to ask “HOW do you know that they loved you?”)
      • I have a choice about what I accept and what I don’t accept and what I accept or don’t accept is based on the fact that today I know what love is and I know what love isn’t and it isn’t compliance and obedience to dysfunctional rules. Choosing love meant that I chose to reject anything less than love. When I chose love, I chose life, I chose truth and I chose ME. 
      • Not everyone is ready to face the truth about their own past. Please share your thoughts about this topic. I look forward to the conversation.  Please accept my apologies if I don’t respond to all the comments. This blog has active conversations on a minimum of 5 posts all the time and generates close to 1000 comments per month. I have been accepting more clients (Yes, I work on the phone and on Skype) and I am unable to spend as much time responding to all those comments the way that I used to. 

      • I have found so much freedom in realizing that I don’t have to explain or justify my decision to draw boundaries with my parents or with anyone else, to anyone. I don’t have to help people ‘understand it’. I don’t have to defend myself or prove myself.
      • I have discovered that people who have or have had loving parents actually do understand what I am talking about; it is the people still stuck in defending their own abusive /discounting parents that fight the hardest against what I am saying. It’s actually makes sense that it is that way too; People who KNOW what love really is don’t think my mother and her actions regarding me were very loving; they don’t think that the way she treated me had any foundation in her love for me. People who had parents who modeled real love, recognize the truth about what love is. And they don’t stand up for neglect, disrespectful actions, discounting actions, corporal punishment, emotional abuse, verbal abuse or any other type of communication from parents that is less than love.
      • I remember the first time that I actually realized that my mother was abusive. I had been at a seminar about the misuse of power and control in relationships and I was exhausted from all the information that I was trying to comprehend.

    • Out of the blue
      Now we’re afraid. Afraid to call our shrink, lest she admit us to the psych ward. We’re afraid to talk to our family. We’re afraid to talk to our friends. We are just afraid of it all at this point. Life.
      Life. Is. Scary.
    • Husband says that we told him we wanted to die.  He said we begged him to kill us.  We screamed, “Just shoot us in the fucking head!” and collapsed onto the bed in a crumpled mess of tears and mucus and blood from where we’d scratched ourselves.  This is the first time that I can remember us voicing suicidal thoughts since our last severe breakdown, which occurred after our father died, years ago.
      This wasn’t the first time we’d had suicidal thoughts; it was just the first time we’d spoken of them aloud to anyone other than our shrink.
      That can’t be good.

    • I’m still figuring out how to be a good blogger and do the D.I.D management thing. Is it just me or do they come out more in type. I mean, they come out in my handwriting for sure but…I don’t seem to get as distracted I don’t think. I can’t click away the page anyway. I tend to come up with things when I’m not at a computer too.  I think I need to get better at keeping my daily issues recorded for myself so… I think it’s time for a new journal. Ha, I think I just want a new journal, I always want new journals.
    • Man, roughly 6 years of my PTSD & D.I.D. diagnosis then too. I switched my living situation, I changed therapists a couple times, I’ve had one of my “worst”/abusive insiders do a complete 180 and he’s now learning to be a good helper part, I’ve learned a lot of symptom management, I’ve learned I can survive if I am in the same space with old abusers, I’ve learned how to set boundaries and stick to them, I’ve learned EMDR is hard but soooo worth it, I’ve learned how to trust friends, I’ve learned to trust and forgive myself, I’ve learned there is someone out there that will love me back even if I’m a little bruised up from my past, I’ve learned that yes I was affected by things that happened to me as a baby even if I don’t have the same kind of memory of those events as I have memory of things that happened when I was verbal, I’ve learned how I can stop self-injuring, I’ve learned I am DEFINITELY NOT CRAZY

    • As we depressed people heal, the need for medications like antidepressants and/or anti-anxiety may become unnecessary or may be reduced. This article is about Pfizer's Pristiq and the issues that have arisen with my weaning off of it.
    • Others have experienced more side effects. Several forums exist online if you just google "Pristiq withdrawal". The Mayo Clinic has a discussion forum and there is one called Surviving Antidepressants.
      • My psychiatrist has been apprised of my choices. It's always good to wean from a medication under a doctor's supervision. I've been fortunate to have a psychiatrist who works with me. If that's not the case for you, perhaps a new psychiatrist is in order.
      • I have experienced light dizziness and light headache daily since lowering the dosage but started feeling a bit clearer yesterday. Then I had the earlier wake up today along with feeling more clear. I'm hoping those who wish to reduce or go off antidepressants when the time is right for you is as symptom free as possible.

    • Doc then asked me if I had been aware of Ronnie’s memories. Yes, I was aware. Those memories were not new. He then asked me if I was aware of Belle’s memories. I was not. I always recalled the end of that memory with hammer, popcorn and phone book, and nothing in between hammer and phone book except for popcorn. This was new information.
      And then it dawned on me that this could be why police sounds freak me out. I’m told that this is progress, good news. It doesn’t feel like either.

      • For the first time in years I am seriously considering writing the sequel to my book Becoming One! So much has happened in my inner world since it was published in 1997. I have much more to say about dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, and the therapy process. I’ve evolved in many ways. Book Two has waited patiently for me to reach a point where I feel I can do it justice.
      • I’m excited about having so many new writing project ideas! It’s sooo overdue. Once the mental health resources are presentable, I’ll be back to let you know what I plan to do with them. It’s a new journey, and I’m hoping you’ll come along with me!
        • But you know what my overriding feelings are about all of this now that it’s done? I feel hopeful for the first time in eight years.Hopeful that I will no longer be imprisoned by my body, and that I will be able to leave my house for things that are purely fun. Hopeful that I am on my way to good health, including resolution of diabetes. Hopeful that my life is beginning again, right here, right now.
          What seemed impossible and pointless to even fantasize about for eight years now seems very possible. I’m excited about my future! It’s precious, and I am nurturing it with all I’ve got.

      "Also, do you ever feel like you are the only one that has the problems you do and that no one in the world can understand what you go through? Although intellectually I understand this to be false – I know other people experience many of the same things I do – it still doesn’t feel that way sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I’m living on my own little remote island, and sending messages to the mainland using Morse code, or something like that. Connected to the world in some minuscule way, but not really."