Reconnecting

I’m going to try, at least for now, to update this blog more frequently.  This is part of a grand effort to reconnect with myself.  Yesterday, I felt like nothing.  Not in the degraded sense.  Just in the emotionless-floating-in-nowhere sense.  I read some quite old posts from this blog and realised that I feel almost no connection to who I am now.  This might be due, in part, to the integration, but it’s also due to my secluding myself.

Years ago, I had school and work outside of the home.  Now, I have an in-home job and almost no social circle.  I do not attend social functions, and even a trip to the shops can be overwhelming.  My social anxiety feeds on the lack of need to leave my house, and it’s time to reconnect with the world, as well.  It’s time to force myself out, kicking and screaming all the way.

So what are my grand plans?  I have been looking for a job outside my house, but that will be debated with my therapist soon.  In terms of socialisation, I’m thinking of attending a local support group for people with mental illnesses.  What better place to start than somewhere where others are struggling, too?  It isn’t much, but it’s a start.

In terms of the deeply personal, I do plan to start blogging again.  I also plan to start journalling again, or at least writing fiction.  Something to draw me out of my head.  When I had alters, it was easier to escape my thoughts; I’d just let someone else get lost in theirs for a while.  Now, it’s up to me to plan my own escape from my mind and in to the real world.  Again, kicking and screaming all the way.

The Single Life

My post-integration life has been interesting.  There is quite a learning curve in going from we to I.  It has been easier in some ways, but it’s also been lonely a time or two.  If I hear voices now, they’re the psychotic type that comment on me and my life negatively.  I sometimes miss the *nice* voices.

Responsibility is a whole new issue.  I always tried to take responsibility for what my others did and said, but now it’s all on me for definite.  There is no one else to blame for the good or the bad.  It makes things easier in terms of making decisions and remembering actions.  Still, it’s humbling to know everything falls on my shoulders now.

Then there’s the issue of loneliness.  For a while, I had to surround myself with others via text or email or communication of some form.  I couldn’t stand the silence.  Now, although I’m still not the best with it, I can handle silence for a time.  Sometimes I even enjoy it.  I never thought I’d get re-accustomed to it.

So would I do the integration thing again?  Yes.  In a second’s time.  That’s a question I’m asked in email frequently.  Again, this is *not* the route for some.  And that’s just fine.  Being functional is the goal, regardless of parts.  For me, though, this was the route.  And I do not regret it.

The End

of my time with DID.  After eight years and a great deal of work– both internal and external– I am one.  And I’m okay with that.  It’s a choice I/we made a long time ago, and it is what’s best for me.

I know DID itself is not a choice, but the issue of integration is a huge choice to be made by individuals (collectively).  This is what works for me.  Your mileage may vary.

And Then There Were Singles

I don’t write alot about the personal aspect of DID any more.  Although the subject is a focus on this blog, it’s more a general sense.  I decided quite some time ago that the details of my particular experience are private.  Today, however, I’m breaking with that thought to make an announcement.  We’ve been busy over the past year or so, and the personalities have been reduced from 250+ to eight.  Imagine the difference.

A major decision was made, and therapy has been a major part of that.  The therapist isn’t too keen on DID, and I understand that.  To get the full benefit of therapy, though, I’ll need to work through the full extent of memories.  To work through memories, I need to be aware of them.  The process has been find person, write out objective accounts of memories, discuss memories in therapy, assimilate person.  This will not work well for everyone with my particular condition, but it has worked quite well behind the scenes for me.

No case of DID is going to be like the next, and I might catch some heat for this post.  For me, standing on my own is essential.  Some deal with co-consciousness and are fine with that.  Others, like me, are not satisfied with it.  I need to be able to stand completely on my own.  I don’t want therapy to continue for years on end, nor do I want to give up a single minute of my life to a personality that may or may not share with me.  This is a very personal decision that is right for *me.*  I do not in any way suggest that it’s the right way to do things (there isn’t one) or that everyone should follow my lead.  It’s simply what’s best for me and the general consensus for moving forward.

Eight remain, and the goal is for only me to remain by the end of the year.  My thoughts on that are varied, and my emotions are extreme.  For me, however, this is what needs to be done.

Name That Accent

I was born a Scouser.  For most of my childhood, I held that accent, and my sister *always* held it.  Our mother (the Geordie) made us take diction classes because she couldn’t stand the sound.  Whilst my sister never got rid of it, I learnt to speak the Queen’s English, and my accent has faded quite a bit in these past 11 years of living in America.

Enter the multiplicity bit.

I don’t write about that often anymore– at least from such a personal perspective– but the past few days have been hysterical.  Apparently there is a young Scot with a fairly thick accent who has started chatting aloud to my best friend.  Poor dear.  🙂  He says he can understand her fine, and she does speak quite slowly.  She only learnt to speak aloud about a month ago.

So far, then, there are two Scots, a fair few Irish women, one who only speaks Irish, one who only speaks Welsh, and a Cockney along with the 250 or so standard English speakers.  One of the youngest has started referring to herself as International Little Peoples, which is hysterical.  And just about right these days.

Name that Alter

I’m quite familiar with many types of alters, being quite familiar with many DID systems.  However, there is a specific alter type that I can’s seem to find.  This alter functions *like* and introject, but she doesn’t quite meet that criteria.  She follows a similar behavioural pattern to an outside abuser, uses many of the same phrases, and just seems to have the same attitude.  However, unlike most introjects, she knows she’s part of a system, and she doesn’t look anything like the abuser she seems to represent.

Here’s the issue.  This alter has absolutely no self-confidence and actually seems to think that her existence/the existence of the entire lot is damaging to everyone on the outside, as well as the inside.  Nothing she (or the host) does is ever enough.  Nothing anyone in the system does is ever enough, for that matter.  My best friend describes it as ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’  That sounds about right.

So we have an alter who is, in thought and behavioural pattern, just about identical to an abuser.  Classic definition of introject.  But she’s quite aware of her place in a system, and she’s 30 years younger than the abuser she’s imitating.  Any thoughts on *type* of alter?

My Alters…

…want to sign my cast.  Explain that one to outside people. 🙂

I had a bit of a disagreement with a cult member on Friday, and that left me with a fractured hand.  It’s only a minor fracture, and the cast should be removed on 6 April.  Still, I think it’s hysterical that a group of alters want to sign my cast.  Welcome to the more zany and humourous side of DID.

Someone Else’s Been Dreaming

I haven’t written about multiplicity in a bit, largely because of the discomfort factor.  As this is, in part, a blog about that, though, I wanted to share the latest multiple hilarity.

This morning, I woke up with tears running down my face and really swollen eyes.  Obviously, someone had been sobbing.  I had no idea who or why, and one of the Little Peoples yelled ‘someone else’s been dreaming!’  He was a bit whiny.  No one wanted to be awake that early, but sleeping whilst sobbing is a bit difficult.  Here’s how the story unfolds:

My best friend and I typically spend Saturday nights together.  Last night, however, he had early holiday plans, so we were on our own.  Our plans have changed swiftly a few times this month, as I’ve said in previous posts.  The breakup of the routine in general, regardless of the people or person involved, shakes things.  I wasn’t surprised, then, when things were out of sorts.  I just wanted to know *why* they were out of sorts.

Lily, red faced and still hiccuping from sobs, announced to me that my best friend told her he was moving to Brooklyn for work.  She played back a scene for me- My best friend phoned with news, and we got together.  He said he’d taken a job in Brooklyn and asked if we were coming with him.  When we said we couldn’t, he said he’d keep in touch. Then, he phoned again to say he wasn’t moving to Brooklyn.  Instead, he’d taken a job in a town called Cretin in Texas.

The cavalier attitude should have struck me first thing.  My best friend and I are as close as two people can get.  I trust him as completely as I possibly can, and we truly love each other.  If he were actually moving far away, he’d handle telling us with much more finesse.  Still, it confused me.  I wasn’t sure whether Lily was showing me a dream or showing me a bit of time I’d missed.  I very, very rarely lose time.  With something as traumatic as learning my best friend was moving far away, though, I might well have blocked out the conversation.

So, not wanting to interrupt my best friend’s plans, I paced a bit all day wondering whether I’d seen a dream or reality.  Once mid-afternoon came, I sent my best friend a text.  We chatted a bit, and then I very tentatively told him Lily’s dream.  He laughed via text.  Being the amazing person that he is, he reassured us that he is, indeed, staying with his current job and location.  Lily’s dream was only a dream.

I feel like I should say ‘end scene.’

Grief Responses

Many of the flashbacks I’ve been having involve things that happened to my mother, not what happened to me.  It was easier by far, to me, to take the beatings rather than watch my sister or mother get hurt.  I stood in place of my sister many times and helped my mother as often as possible.  It wasn’t some great self-sacrifice; I just couldn’t stand the sights and sounds of their being hurt.

In therapy, the first traumatic memory I dealt with involved my father beating my mother.  I couldn’t get that image out of my head.  I always felt so helpless when she got hurt.  She took it well, as she was trained to do, but she still felt it physically and mentally.  Unlike me, she never developed the ability to remain stoic while that was happening.  I still hear her screams and see the look of absolute horror on her face.  It sickens me.  She deserved better.

She’s been on my mind quite a bit lately.  I miss her, particularly when I allow myself the time to stop and actually feel the grief.  My parents have been dead for seven years, but it’s been very infrequently that I’ve paused to deal with the feelings surrounding their deaths.  Grief is a strange beast.  It causes fear and panic in its intensity, even though it is something everyone will face eventually.

The deaths of my relatives affect me differently.  Losing my sister tore away the foundation.  She was like my child.  I had no idea how to rebuild life for my mother and me after that.  Four months later, my brother’s death brought confusion.  I was the middle child, so it was odd to think the oldest and youngest were gone.  My father’s death was just odd.  He died so violently, and he had been so happy just moments before.  My daughter’s death was, and will always be, absolute hell.

When I learnt of my mother’s death, some lines from the Del Amitri song ‘Evidence’ immediately played through my head: She took away the daydream leaving nothing but daylight.  She took away almost everything, but if you look you’ll find evidence she left behind.’

Our relationship was strange.  My brother-of-choice says I raised her, and she raised me.  That is a perfect description.  Because she had DID and absolutely no control over it, she had times when alters popped out at light speed.  I never knew if I would come home to a baby, a child, or an actual adult.  There were times when I thought my mother had gone away permanently.  My taking the role of parent for my sister brought another dynamic entirely.  I’m sure resolving my grief over my mother’s death will involve grieving for various parts of her, and for the unique relationships I formed with her alters.  Complicated grief at an extreme.

Silence

I’ve heard no voices in my head today.  I only heard a few yesterday.  It’s quite odd, this silence.  I haven’t decided yet whether it is good silence or bad.  It’s just different.

Friday, Little Peoples popped up to tell me they no longer existed.  By virtue of the fact that they could tell me that, though, they certainly do exist.  I just don’t argue with Little People logic.  The consensus seems to be that people do not want to be noticed.  It’s not a coincidence that this falls along the line of my last two posts.  Hyper-protection, maybe.  Just like with names- if you don’t know who the ‘person’ is, they can’t get blamed.  I suppose the same is true for activities; if you don’t know how an alter is reacting, you can’t judge that reaction.  Who knows.  It’s quiet confusion right now.

So what have I been doing with all of this silence?  I’ve been chatting alot with outside people, mostly online.  I’ve also been hearing one thought at a time, which is a first in quite a few years.  I know for certain that the others aren’t gone, of course.  Spontaneous integration of everyone is rather impossible, I’m guessing.  Maybe they are just giving me a break from all of the noise.

It’s not some bizarre and backwards breakdown, as I don’t feel a sense of fear or anger.  I’m no happier or sadder than usual, either.  I’m fully functional, no greater sense of agita or anything, really.  Just silence for the first time in years.  I think it’s a combination of my frustration with presenting symptoms of DID and the alters’ feeling of fear in being revealed that has led to this sort of backing off.  It will be interesting to see how this sorts out.  For now, I’m just going to make the best of having my mind to myself for a bit.