I’m feeling crappy today, and for the first several hours I was up, I kept thinking, “This doesn’t make sense.” Hormonal Hell Week (er, two weeks) finally ended, so this is when I should feel great. I’m getting a new apartment and a puppy, and I got invited to TWO Fourth of July parties. Things are going well, so why do I feel crappy?
It hit me while I was walking to the grocery store, and then it seemed perfectly obvious: I’m feeling very triggered, and I haven’t really been able to process it. I’ve written about it, but I haven’t talked about it. I used to think it was crap when therapists told me I needed to talk about things out loud, but over the last 4 or 5 years, I’ve realized how true it is for me. I live in my head, and I can go around in endless circles in there. I need an external anchor, a person who can hear me going around in circles and give me the insight or the kick in the ass I need to interrupt the circles.
I have an appointment with New Therapist 1.0 on Tuesday, which is great. I don’t know if I’ll be able to discuss the Ex-Boyfriend incident[s] with her, but I’ll probably talk about the falling-out with New Therapist 2.0. I feel stupid being so messed up about it: it was a week ago, so why aren’t you over it yet? I know it was the combination of Ex-Boyfriend’s boundary violations and then NT2.0’s boundary violation right after that, and it brought up a lot of memories of times when I couldn’t set boundaries with abusers–but I still feel stupid for being triggered.
The dissociation’s pretty bad, too. It’s confusing because I have little communication with most of my system–hell, I don’t even know most of the people in the system. There’s this weird thing that happens a lot where I-Sara am like a shell for them to inhabit to interact with the world. I still have my consciousness, and theirs is separate and inaccessible–but I can tell I’m “not myself.” It’s subtle, I think, for outside people; at least, no one has commented on it. But I can see it in the clothes “I” wear, the way “I” move, language and word choice, even how big or small I feel physically. (God, this is so hard to describe–I think anyone without the experience of dissociation would be totally confused listening to me.)
I’ve also had some lost time switches. There’s a way in which those are less disconcerting–true, I don’t know what I was doing, but at least then I’m not watching myself be someone different and hoping no one notices. As far as I know, I’ve never done anything crazy or dangerous during the lost time switches, so I don’t really worry about that. (Well, okay, someone called my therapist in Boston stupid, but that wasn’t that bad, and she understood DID.) I think if someone else is going to take over my body, I would rather not be conscious for it.
It also unnerves me that a lot of the time, I can’t identify who these alters are. I have a weird system structure–a big wheel with a bunch of smaller wheels (subsystems), and all the wheels can turn. The big wheel controls which subsystem is in control, and the smaller wheels dictate which member of the subsystem is present. I’m somehow not part of the wheels–I’m like the door everyone can open to come out through, or something.
Just pretend my circles are all symmetrical and evenly spaced around the big wheel. I’m not an expert graphics person, but that gives you the basic idea. I’m not sure how many subsystems there actually are–I know of at least 3, but I get the sense that there could be more.
For a long time, I thought I knew my whole system. I thought I had it all figured out. In fact, I only knew one subsystem because each subsystem tends to be in control for long stretches of time–sometimes several years. Then I decided I made the DID up (after all, I’d never been diagnosed), and refused to acknowledge it or my system for 5 or 6 years. Apparently people who knew me could tell–my best friend from Riggs, when I told her I’d been diagnosed with DID, said, “Wait, that wasn’t your diagnosis at Riggs?” Apparently she’d interacted several times with someone who was 8 or 9 years old. (I still haven’t figured out who that was.) I fought the diagnosis when my therapist in Boston brought it up, but I knew she was right.
Then right after the diagnosis, I went to Menninger, where they refused to treat the DID. Then Windhorse, where they don’t really know how to deal with it. I’m hoping to be able to deal with it with NT1.0 because I’ve spent the last year trying to figure it out and cope with it on my own, and I’m frustrated because I feel like I’m getting nowhere. So here’s hoping.