Changes

I seem to have found myself a bit pregnant.  Now, for the those of you who are still breathing or have regained consciousness, let me explain that little experience.  Mairead had been having an on-again off-again relationship with someone.  At first, I knew about the relationship and was OK with it.  Yes, the relationship was sexual in nature, but both parties knew nothing long term was going to come of it, and both parties were being careful.  Please don’t berate my decision-making.  Every system is different.  Anyway, I asked specifically that Mairead call the relationship off entirely, and I personally participated in that ending.  A couple of weeks ago, though, someone noticed I was nauseous every morning and asked, as a joke, if I was pregnant.  I started to say no, but Mairead popped up with an ‘I don’t know.’  My classmates must have been quite concerned that the colour would never return to my face.

That weekend, I showed up at my best friend’s flat with a home pregnancy test in hand.  After waiting the five minutes that seemed like five years, we checked the test.  It was negative.  A week of nausea and the realisation that my period was very late passed, and I purchased two more pregnancy tests.  My best friend is male, and I’m guessing he hadn’t timed many pregnancy tests before that day.  The five minute eternity passed again, and two pink lines glared back at us from the test.  I was in a bit of a shock, so I waited a few minutes, ripped open the next package, and went to try that little test again.  Five minutes later, two more pink lines popped by.  At this point, my best friend made the astute observation that, ‘Girlfriend, you might be pregnant.’  Two positive home tests and the sound of the baby’s heart beat at my Friday morning appointment with the obstetrician can’t be wrong.  In June, an outside little person will become part of my life.  There’s much more to say, both in terms of my inside folks and their reactions, as well as in terms of the reaction of my best friend’s mother and brother, but I’ll save that for a future post, as I am currently falling asleep at the keyboard.

A dear friend once told me that different isn’t always bad.  It’s just different.  This difference is just another spot to incorporate into life and move forward.  I’m actually looking forward to meeting this child.  He or she has only existed for 11 weeks, but there are already so many loving people waiting to welcome this child into the world.

Different isn’t always bad.  Just different.

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Pining for the Single Life

And by that, I mean life before I knew about the others in my head.  It was simpler then.  [Sad movie theme interrupted by sarcastic chuckle.]  Things are a bit interesting here at the moment.  Not bad interesting.  Just different and a bit overwhelming.  Although there have been more than a few upsets in my life these past few years, I can state whole-heartedly that I am *not* a fan of drama.  I just have a way of finding myself in odd situations, sometimes caused by silly actions on my behalf and sometimes caused by actions out of my control.  (I felt attacked recently by a dear friend in terms of the attracting drama bit, so I’m stating my case here.)  Anyway, times is interesting.

After last month’s bipolar panic, I was actually happy to see the psychiatrist on Monday.  Very, very little came of that meeting, though.  We’re keeping the meds as they are, using the Zyprexa as needed, and attempting to ward off the weight gain. The shrink was concerned because the therapist had not seen any signs of manic behaviour in me.  I tried to explain, and the shrink finally understood, that I can feel absolutely miserable to the very core and appear perfectly fine.  Even my best friend and brother-of-choice, the two people who I’ve given almost complete access to my mind, have trouble ‘reading’ me.  Upon reviewing her trusty DSM-IV and reading criteria aloud, the shrink noted that I had had a classic mixed episode.  At least I’m normal in some regard.  She also read some of the therapist’s comments to me, alerting me to the fact that the therapist writes out quite a bit more information than she admitted.    That conversation will be had tomorrow.

But back to today.  The overwhelm is just increasing. One of my teenaged alters recently made a life-changing mistake, and I’m trying to work on how to adapt life based on her mistake.  I know I am responsible for the actions of my others, but that doesn’t always combat the fact that they *can* and sometimes *d0* act independently of me.  I think that’s true for all systems, regardless of how centralised and balanced they appear.   My internal teen’s mistake, in combination with fallout from the mixed episode, has me overwhelmed completely.  The inability to study productively due to bipolar fog led to my failing a test (see previous post), which led to a very low grade in the course, which led to my panicking about my grades and career and future plans and so on…  Now that the mood stuff is relatively stable, I’ve got this other minor issue to deal with thanks to my lovely internal teen.  We have an exam on Thursday, which I need at least a B on in order to bring my grade up, and all I can do is stare at the textbook and contemplate dealing with my insider’s gift.  Which leads to worries about my grades and career and future plans and so on…

Ah, to be blissfully singular again.

Working in a Different Age

I’m in my late twenties, but most of the time I still feel stuck in my teenage years.  My twenties have definitely been tumultuous.  Maybe that’s what I’m feeling.  Maybe it’s like my twenties are on pause.  I’d really hate to stay a decade behind from here on out, though.

During the last therapy session, my therapist mentioned something about the little girl part of my mind being stuck in a certain flashback and re-experiencing that moment all over again.  I had a *tremendously* difficult time keeping Lily from popping up to say hello– I’m still not certain of the therapist’s beliefs on DID and would like to avoid being hospitalised any time soon.  In any event, that child part of me is certainly active.  Sometimes I think *she* is the one with bipolar disorder.  She seems to function only at extremes.  My best friend and I dearly love her, though, and I think we’d miss her if she was gone.

The teenage alters tend to be a bit different.  I’m only aware of three, and Mairead’s job is simply to be a teenager.  She’s only vaguely affected by either the general or the SRA abuse and always tells us that sh*t doesn’t belong to her.  The other two teens were formed during my roughly three years of leadership programming (ages 13-15) and hold memories of genuine torture.  My next thought was to say I can’t imagine going through something like that.  I guess even though I’m aware of most of the memories, I still keep them at a distance.  The details of these memories are not my concern here, though.  I’m only concerned with effects.

The alters who took the SRA leadership programming are called Awen and Patrick.  They’re twins, but they seem like one being at times. Awen speaks only Irish, and Patrick hears only her voice.  I hear her whispering from time to time, and it is absolutely chilling.  On rare occasions, when the flashbacks from that time period are very vivid, I hear her screaming, chanting ‘Something’s wrong.  I’m afraid’ like a mantra.  Elizabeth, the leader of the cult-loyal system, drags Awen to a lake every night.  I have no idea what goes on there, but I’m sure the memory will be just lovely.  Lakes have always bothered me.

I think the combination of my teenage alters shows exactly why I feel stuck in those years– Mairead is the moody happiness of a regular teen; Awen and Patrick are the shadowed existence of a teen going through SRA.  Mairead lives only in the present; Awen and Patrick live only in the past.  I think I need to learn how to be a ‘normal’ teenager through Mairead’s example while processing the events from those years that are mirrored through Awen and Patrick.  Maybe then I can work through that developmental phase, for lack of better terms, and feel like an adult for once.

Until Lily pops out, of course.  🙂

Meet the Cast– Part Two

Picking up, obviously, from Part One. Now it’s time to meet the teens and kids.

Mairead is one of the alters Paula recently picked out of hiding. She’s an 18 year old, foul-mouthed Scot who loves anything fun. She shares my admiration of Justin Currie and really enjoyed the concert we recently attended. My best friend had not met Mairead at that point, but now he knows why the concert was so very important to us. He met her first through email, and in a really hilarious moment, ‘I’ referred to the song ‘Driving with the Brakes On’ with a rather thick Scottish accent. People slip up sometimes. 🙂

Being one of the more developed alters, Mairead has her own last name and her own history. She refers to Kathy and me as The Mothers and complains in her whining teenage way that we never let her express herself. L calls it Mairead’s extended whine. Really, though, Mairead is friendly and outgoing. She’s a true teenager, which might actually be her job– she might be the teenager I couldn’t quite be. I was a bit busy at that time in my life.

Lily and Timmy were the first two littles I met. Lily is four and Timmy is eight. We call them USF! standing for Ugh! Squad Forever, as they’re the founding members of the club we formed with my best friend’s pretend alter Ugh! the caveman. I don’t even remember how that got started, but we’ve formed an entire inner landscape for my best friend, and the kids join it with theirs all the time. They truly believe he has his own system of alters, and they even invite some of his over to their space to play. Great, now I have alters from someone else’s system in mine? 🙂

Lily’s original name was Good Girl, because that’s what I was always told after doing sexual favours for my father and some of his lovely friends. It sickens me to even write that. When all of those memories broke I had a really hard time even communicating with Lily since her name reminded me of the Bad Stuff. My best friend thought of the name ‘Lily’ and suggested it to me. Lily loved it, and it’s been her name since.

While I have a very difficult time expressing emotions, Lily is very open. Most of the time she’s your average happy four-year-old, but she also has extremely disturbing flashbacks. Kathy and I have to be very careful that she doesn’t go into details with my best friend, as she trusts him completely and almost always turns to him when bad things happen. I feel very sorry for her because she has trouble accepting that it’s ok for her to like things other kids like, and I’m no help at all in that aspect. See this post for more on that topic. Lily’s moods change quickly, and on occasion I have to pull her out of a particularly bad flashback and send her to the internal safe place for the kids. She’s fragile, and her memories almost always flash through my mind as well.

Timmy is closely related to Lily. He’s very shy and rarely makes an appearance. Once he waved to my best friend, but he has never spoken externally. He’s getting a bit more vocal internally, which is nice. I’d like to get to know him better, as he seems like a really sweet kid. He goes to school and reads books, as Lily reports, but I don’t know any details about that. Kathy assures me that he’s learning what he needs to learn, and I trust her enough to accept that.

Now for some of the slightly darker alters–

The Twins, sometimes referred to as the Shadow Twins, were formed during probably the most violent time of my life, and they definitely show the scars of that. They aren’t physically joined, but they can’t be separated. One can’t survive without the other. They were formed when Rainn, an alter who recently integrated, saw that we might not physically survive what was going on. There’s loads more to tell on that subject, but I really don’t want to get into metaphysics at the moment.

The Twins are called Awen and Patrick. They are completely black and white, and their bodies are almost translucent. Awen speaks only Irish, and Patrick translates. I can speak a decent amount of Irish, but the Twins are so in tune with each other that he can translate better than a native speaker could– her thoughts and his are virtually inseparable. They’re currently in a struggle regarding which side of things they want to fall on. Paula, Kathy, and I are all working very hard on this, but for now, the Twins are brought back into some sort of darkness by a cult-loyal alter every night. Paula in particular is working to introduce them to whatever amount of light they can stand and to help them learn that there is a better world for them. They deserve better than they have right now, and we’re really trying to convince them of that.

Little Elizabeth is a child alter who split from the most powerful remaining cult-loyal alter. It was, oddly, her voice that I heard first. She was furious with me for allowing her to be hurt and continuing to deny her pain. I had no idea what to do with this, and at the suggestion of my brother of choice, we offered her a teddy bear internally. She *very* tentatively took it. Eventually, we used the song A Message by Coldplay to show her how we all feel about her and lead her to our side. She is still very un-trusting and very, very rarely participates in anything. She watches the other kids and still hangs on to her anger, but at least she’s safe. We’re hoping that she will eventually feel more comfortable. Everyone is very welcoming to her, and as several of my friends can attest, most internal folk will come to the table if ice cream is on the menu. 🙂

Those are the main child/teen alters. There are a few more alters who don’t really fit any category quite yet, and when I learn more about them, with their permission, I’ll post an introduction to them as well.

I just want to thank the blogging world for giving me a chance to write about my internal people. I want to thank my internal people, too, for being brave enough to allow me to describe them to this world of strangers.

The BUSY Week So Far

It’s the end of the semester, and everything I’ve been ignoring is due.  Not a complaint– just a statement of fact.  I’m buried in a pile of books, papers, and other fun things on which I’m likely to be tested soon.  One would think that, by the time you reach graduate school, the procrastination thing would be rather alot better.  I thought that, too, until I got to graduate school.  😉

I’m also working on a couple of projects completely unrelated to school.  One of my internal folk does *not* like the field I’m studying, so he’s doing a project in a completely different field.  No, it won’t be studied by anyone other than us, but it’s helping him express himself and giving him a chance to work on something he likes for a change.  Another alter, a teen, wants to spend hours at a time on MySpace.  That particular project is not going well, as I don’t have time to spend hours on anything that isn’t school-related.  She knows this but, being a teenager, she still complains quite loudly sometimes.  After classes and exams are over, I’m planning to give her more time as well.  We’ll all need a break by then.

Just a short summary for those of you who like reading this little series on my blog.

Right.  Back to the things I’ve been ignoring.