The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

Birthday May 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 5:44 am

Next week is my birthday.  I’m saying this mostly as a self-imposed therapy homework assignment.


I’ve been protesting against my birthday.  Team Leader offered to bake a cake (she’s a fantastic cook), and I rather vehemently refused and said  I didn’t want any birthday celebration.


The thing is, I do want it.  I want to be surrounded by friends and family that love me.  I want perfect gifts that are all about the relationships with these imaginary people.  I want the best cake in the world, candles, bad singing, and maybe even dumb little pointy hats.  I want a surprise party because then it would mean someone actually cared enough to think of me and plan it in advance.  I want the perfect birthday.


I can’t have it.  It’s an impossible ideal, and I know that.  Since I can’t have perfection, I want nothing at all, not even acknowledgement.  I am ashamed for wanting such childish things.  I’m going to be 26, and I just want to live in a childish fairy-tale land.  I should be growing up, but I feel like I’m getting younger.


When I was growing up, I never got to have a big, awesome party at the roller skating rink or Chuck E Cheese.  We didn’t have enough money, and I didn’t have enough friends.  The few friends I did have were usually at summer camp, so birthdays were always kind of a letdown.


This time four years ago, I was getting ready to go to Riggs.  I was force-feeding myself because I had to gain nearly 20 lbs to be eligible for admissions.  Between the ED and the dissociation, I was a total mess, numb all the time.  I didn’t feel anything and didn’t care about anything.  I just agreed to go to Riggs because I didn’t have anything better to do.


This time two years ago, the day after my birthday, my grandfather called to tell me he was yanking me out of Riggs, the only place that had ever helped me.  I had been doing well reassembling my life, was starting to make plans for some future.  Then that phone call came, and I seriously contemplated suicide.


This time last year, I had just been diagnosed with DID.  I was terrified and out of control, suicidal all the time and knocking myself out with a lot of Benadryl and Klonopin so I wouldn’t be conscious enough to make a suicide attempt.


So yeah, not all that great of a track record for birthdays.


But I feel like my extreme reactionary “NO FUCKING BIRTHDAY” stance isn’t the right way to deal with it.  It’s like I’m a kid who wants the entire gallon of ice cream but refuses to eat the one scoop her mother offers because it’s not the whole thing.  It’s a stupid, childish reaction to not getting a stupid, childish want.


But where and how do I find the middle ground?  I could call Sarah, Bob, and/or Susan and get dinner or something, but I have this internal resistance to it.  I know I’ll come home feeling emptier than if I’d been alone.  It would be too much contrast between what I want and what I have.  I feel sad just thinking and writing about it, like I might cry.  I could still ask Team Leader to make a cake, but see above for why I’m resistant.  I could go buy myself some nice yarn or something, but then I’d feel like (A) I don’t deserve it and (B) it’s completely pathetic to buy my own birthday present.


I guess the real question is how do I grow up and truly accept that my childish dreams won’t come true?  How do I learn to make what I do have feel like enough?  How do I fill the hole in my chest when it’s a black hole that swallows everything in its proximity and still feels empty?


Scattered Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 5:10 am
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I had a pretty good day today.


Started out with an appointment with NT2.0 this morning.  I spent all night worrying myself crazy about whether to tell her about my flashback last week, how much to tell her about it, etc., so my anxiety was pretty bad going into the appointment.  I still hadn’t figured out what to say when she came out to the waiting room to get me.


I used to think I was good at hiding my emotional states from being visible to others, but I guess I’m not all that good after all–she asked me right off if I’d had a rough week.  I said yes and told her it was a combination of PMDD and a really nasty flashback.  I didn’t talk about the actual content of the flashback, and she said she understood I probably didn’t know her well enough yet to feel safe talking about it.  It helped that she didn’t push.


I also told her about the comment my nurse made right after the flashback.  She immediately sighed and made this “Are you serious?” face, and she said it sounded like a comment from someone who meant well but didn’t really know how to deal with trauma survivors.  NT2.0 gets that flashbacks are, however horrible, a normal response to trauma and not a sign that I’m letting anyone else win.  So I’m feeling a lot saner about how I reacted to the comment.  I guess sometimes I really just need to hear someone with a PhD tell me, “No, Sara, that’s not crazy.  That’s normal.”


We also talked more about the dissociation than we had in previous sessions.  I assumed Pseudo-Therapist had told NT2.0 about the DID diagnosis, but apparently she hadn’t.  But NT2.0 didn’t seem freaked out about it, and she didn’t treat me like a fascinating laboratory specimen, so that’s good.  But seriously, did Pseudo-Therapist not think mentioning a DID diagnosis to potential therapists was important?  I told her that was a make-or-break issue.  See, stuff like this is why I just talk to Pseudo-Therapist about books and politics, not anything of emotional import.


Then I had a shift with Counselor wherein we drove to one place for lunch, realized it had no more parking and a line out the door, drove to another place that had an hour long wait, and finally ended up at this yummy little Asian place that does amazing tofu teriyaki tea-rolls.  I would’ve thought with the Five Colleges all out for the summer, there’d be fewer people around, but I guess they’re all hanging around.  But I got teriyaki tea-rolls, so I can’t complain too much.


Then I had a meeting with Nurse.  I’d been dreading it all week because she’s the person on the team I’d felt most connected to before the stupid comment, and it was really stressing me out.  But it seems like talking about the whole thing in therapy was enough that I’m okay about it now.  I mean, I still think it was a dumbass thing to say, but I was finally able to realize that she just said something careless and doesn’t think I’m a worthless, pathetic waste of space.


Nurse wants to talk to Psychiatrist about testing me for adrenal fatigue.  My [admittedly brief] reading on the topic came up with a lot of questionable science, but I trust this doctor–he identified the MTHFR polymorphism and thereby cured my depression.  Also, Medicare covers the testing, so I guess not all the science is so suspect.  I guess it can’t hurt.


She’s also going to talk to him about what else we can try for the PMDD.  I’ve been through most of the options–antidepressants, birth control, calcium/magnesium/zinc, progesterone pills, sublingual progesterone drops, yoga, and even reiki.  At most, some of those have taken the edge off, but nothing has made it close to bearable.  Every month, I’m afraid I will kill myself because I lose all perspective–even though I know it’s hormones and is only temporary, killing myself just seems like the perfect solution.  Which is insane and not an okay status quo.  I wish they’d just scoop out my ovaries and be done with it, but I don’t think a doctor would be willing to do that because they assume everyone with a uterus wants to make babies, even if that uterus-owner has considered the decision for years and is very sure she doesn’t want to be a baby factory.  *sigh*  I just want to stop losing it for one week out of every four.


What does winning look like? May 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 3:27 am
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Hormonal Hell Week is over, so I’m feeling like a real person again, and that’s definitely nice.


But I’m still stressed and upset about the whole thing with my nurse, and it’s compounded by the fact that Logic!Brain keeps telling me I’m blowing it way out of proportion and she didn’t mean it like that.  I know I should just talk to her about it, but I know there’s almost no chance I ever would.  I’m not good at confrontation, at all.  Even if I did try to say something to her, I’d probably just freak out and shut down after about two words.  And I’m afraid if I did manage to say something, she’d tell me I was just overreacting and taking things out of context.


I just…what is it she wants from me?  What would not “letting him win” look like?  Am I supposed to stop having bad memories and nightmares and flashbacks, or at least have the courtesy not to do it in front of people?  I mean, really, what am I not doing that I should be?  I have more good days than bad ones.  I’m participating in my life more and more.  I’m not cutting or starving or binging and purging.  I feel safe in my body and know I could defend myself if I needed to.  I have actual relationships with actual people.  I don’t think about the abuse every day.  I’m pretty happy with my life most of the time.  Isn’t that kind of the definition of me winning instead of him?  I know I don’t have it all together and I’m not perfect, but I don’t know anyone who’s got all their shit together.  What the hell else does she expect me to be doing that I’m not?


If this isn’t what winning looks like, then what DOES it look like?

I’m sorry.  I feel like I’m harping on this and everybody’s tired of hearing it.  I just don’t know how to let it go.  It really hurt.  It still really hurts.


Hide and Seek May 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 4:53 pm
Tags: , ,

I have no idea where I am right now, emotionally.


I’ve come down off the psycho hormonal rage/suicidality from hell, but I’m still not feeling right.  It’s a combination of anxiety and depression, I think.  I haven’t felt motivated to do anything; I only left the apartment today because I was out of food and Housemate was, once again, not around to take me grocery shopping.  Oddly, I want to spend most of my time sleeping because, for once in my life, I’m having good dreams.  I don’t remember the specifics, but I remember that I’m not scared in them, I have friends, I’m happy.  Not much of a plot line without tension, I’ll admit, but I’d willingly sacrifice plot for contentment.  But then I wake up.  My life isn’t bad when I’m awake (PMDD Hell Week excepted), but it’s not all laughter and happiness like in the dreams, and the contrast makes it seem drearier.


And then there’s the anxiety.  It all seems to be about people, and it makes me want to push all of them away because the fear is that they all think badly of me.  I can’t trust Nurse anymore because she thinks I’m playing the victim and letting my father win.  I don’t want to see Counselor anymore because he saw my whole dissociative-flashbacky train wreck.  I don’t want to see Team Leader anymore because she saw me have a meltdown and I was kind of rude to her in the midst of it.  I’m fairly sure most of that’s in my head, but it doesn’t make it any less real.

Then there’s some of it that’s not just in my head.  Take Housemate, for instance.  It got discussed at a team meeting several weeks ago that maybe it’s time for me to think about finding an apartment alone and not needing a housemate anymore.  (Not that I really ever did.)  There were no definite plans made, but since then, she’s never around.  Mostly that’s fine because she makes me more anxious, but she gets PAID to live with me.  She gets free room and board PLUS a paycheck, and she’s hardly ever around.  In theory, she gets one weekend a month off, but in reality, she’s gone a lot more than that.  She stays overnight with her boyfriend or one of her other friends, and I guess she doesn’t think it counts if she’s not gone the whole weekend.  I’m not eager to run tattling on her to Team Leader because I don’t really want her around more, but I really resent the fact that my family is PAYING for her to be here when she’s not.

And then there’s Pseudo-Boyfriend.  Since the play, I’ve hardly heard from him, even via e-mail.  I feel like I must’ve done something to upset him, but I don’t want to ask him because I don’t think I could handle the answer.  Our relationship is in a weird place–I mean, we’re not dating, but he said he wants to marry me.  In theory I want to marry him, but I’m not at all sure I’ll ever be able to handle it.  Last year before my birthday, he was trying to make plans with me for a solid month leading up to it.  Now it’s 2 weeks away, and he hasn’t mentioned it at all.  I try to tell myself he’s just been distant because he’s exhausted after the play, but I have this nagging fear that I did something to hurt him.

That’s always what I do–I hurt people.  Usually I don’t mean to, and I always regret it later…but I keep doing it.  I guess that’s why I only have friends in my dreams.


Most days aren’t like this. May 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 9:51 pm
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I had a total meltdown today.  Stayed in bed until around 3:00, when Team Leader basically kept knocking on my door until I got up.  Then I just had a sobbing fit and yelled at her that I didn’t want shifts with anybody, I wasn’t going to call anybody, and I didn’t want to see anybody from the team.  She said, “Message received” and left.


Then I felt horribly guilty for being mean, and I realized I hadn’t really wanted her to leave.  I thought very seriously about suicide, and then I decided I’d take some gabapentin instead, to see if it would calm me down.  It did.


I’m feeling a little better now–though I suspect that’s partly or mostly the meds talking.  I think it’s a conflation of things going on right now to make me feel so bad–abuse memories coming up, PMDD, my birthday coming up, and then someone saying something careless at just the wrong time.  I know I’m probably reacting irrationally, but I can’t help feeling this way anyway.


I think the reason I got so upset at being told I was “letting the abusers win” is because I don’t feel like that’s what I’m doing.  Yes, I have bad days where I have flashbacks or cry a lot or don’t get out of bed–but that’s not most days.  Most days, I’m getting on with my life.  I’m doing the things normal people do.  I feed the cats and go grocery shopping and read the newspaper and pay the bills.  Most days, I’m pretty satisfied with my life.  I never forget what happened to me, and I’m still affected by it–but it doesn’t dominate my life most of the time.  So to have a bad day and then to be told by someone I trusted that I’m “letting them win”…well, it really hurt.  It made me feel like only the broken parts of me were being seen when, really, that’s not all there is to me.  I’m more than that, and I need the people helping me to see that.  I need them to see all of me.


I feel very hurt.  Betrayed.  And I know, on a logical level, that I’m probably overreacting; Nurse probably didn’t mean to hurt me or to say that I was playing the victim.  But now I feel like I can’t trust anyone on the team; I’m still afraid they all think I’m just playing the victim and letting the abusers win.  I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to deal with this.


Rough Day May 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 8:45 pm
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I’m not doing well at all today.  I guess I just need to get it out and talk about it to people who understand.


I had a really vicious flashback today in front of someone on my treatment team.  I can’t even talk/write about what I was remembering, but it was bad.  Usually when I have flashbacks, it looks to other people like I’ve just frozen, but today I was apparently twitching and shaking and whimpering.  And the person this happened with doesn’t know much about trauma, so he called my nurse because she’s the one on the team who knows the most about trauma.  So both of them saw me like that, and I’m really ashamed.  I hate losing control in front of people.


It lasted for upward of 2 hours, and now I’m totally exhausted.  I want to go to my kung fu class tonight, but I’m afraid I’ll get triggered and freak out in front of everybody.


I just feel so hopeless right now.  I’ve been in therapy for years, and most of the time I am doing a lot better.  But then this happens and I just feel so terrible, like I’ll never be better.  My nurse said something to me about how I’m still letting the abusers win.  She didn’t mean it as blame, but I can’t help but feel like it was anyway.  Is that what people think about me, that I’m just playing the victim?  That I’m not trying to get better, or that I’m just a lost cause?  And what if they’re right?  What if my entire life is like this?  Everything is just so unbearably painful right now.



Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 1:56 am

Last night at kung fu was the  kick-a-thon and board breaking fundraiser.  It was exhausting but awesome, and it was a good way to vent some of my hormonal rage.


Here’s a board I broke.



And here’s a hand I broke.



Okay, really the hand isn’t broken; I just bruised the bone and ligament and sprained my wrist.  It was all puffy and pretty colors this morning.  I was just going to let it be, but my nurse and psychiatrist insisted I go get x-rays, so I spent half the morning at my doctor’s office.


It was my own fault.  When we were breaking, all the advanced students were using hammer fists for hand techniques.  I have broken boards that way before (admittedly, it was years ago), so I thought I’d show off.  I broke the board very nicely, but then I spent the last few minutes of class trying not to swear or cry.


So now I’m stuck in the wrist and pinkie splints for at least two weeks.  I can’t knit, and I can’t hit anything.  (With that hand, anyway.  I still have one hand, two feet, two elbows, and two knees that work fine.)


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