The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

How am I not myself? November 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 8:11 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I don’t know why this video is yellow.

I had a long phone conversation with my friend D tonight. D and I have been friends for 7 or 8 years, and he also has DID. He kept insisting that I’m not okay and I need to acknowledge that so I can deal with it.

Is D right? Am I really not okay? Am I really ignoring my own distress, or not registering it? Does being unwilling or unable to do things like calling therapists or getting food stamps mean I’m “not functioning”? Am I telling myself I’m just unwilling to hide from myself the reality that I’m unable? Is my Windhorse team hopelessly inept at dealing with my traumas, missing all the signs and neglecting to offer help? Am I not even myself anymore, but some part, some Denial-Sara?

I don’t know right now, I honestly don’t. (D said I never say “I don’t know” this much.)

Most of the time, I don’t feel distressed; when I do it’s mild. Today I felt happy, watching the snow fall for the first time this season. I enjoy kung fu and my work with the attorney.

But…then why ami starving myself? Not getting food stamps? Hiding it all from my team? Insisting to myself that maybe I just don’t need a therapist anymore?

Then again, aside from the self-starvation, these could be healthy choices. Moving toward independence.

He kept pressing me about what changed, what happened. I kept saying I don’t know, but then it occurred to me that it could be hospital/treatment/therapy issues. I haven’t dealt with the retraumatization at Menninger. Hell, I’ve barely touched on the issues from the state hospital in Iowa. Then the situation for dredged up after the incident with NT. I did start the starvation shortly after that.

But correlation doesn’t equal causation. I’m not depressed. I’m not having flashbacks or nightmares. I’m not losing more time than usual. That doesn’t sound like a PTSD flare triggering my ED to me.

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

What I keep coming back to is, if everything is as bad as D thinks, then why do I feel okay? He says I don’t feel okay; I’m just in a milder depression. I don’t think that’s right. I know what milder depression feels like–that’s what summer and fall were. This, where I am now, this feels okay.

He also objects to me saying if my life goes downhill and there’s not much chance of fixing it, I’ll kill myself while things are still mostly okay so I don’t have to live the downhill tumble. I think this is reasonable. I think it is my right as a person to choose my life and death, and I think owning that right lets me value my life more. D says I wasn’t always like this. I think I always was, I just wasn’t able to articulate it so clearly. But he thinks I’m different and it means I’m somebody else.

I don’t think that’s even possible. I feel like myself, like Sara. If I was someone else, I wouldn’t still think I was Sara, would I? I’d think I was Kat or Corey or Alison or whoever. I wouldn’t still think I was Sara.


I don’t know.

How am I not myself?


12 Responses to “How am I not myself?”

  1. manyofus1980 Says:

    It sounds like your in a tough spot. Did you tell your friend how you feel? How you do think you are you? If you didnt, do you think you could?

  2. manyofus1980 Says:

    Also we send you safe hugs, and we hope you can try to talk through what happened with the hospitals and stuff

  3. Grainne Says:

    Sounds like you have a friend who is really trying to look out for you…that’s very cool. Keep in mind that he is not inside your head and although he probably knows you very well, it doesn’t mean that his assessment of how you are is any more accurate than yours. I get advice from a friend who knows me inside and out and I struggle to remember my own advice, but I know that when I take both sides, both his and mine, and put them together I end up with something that sounds more *right*.

    The self sabotage questions…hard to say isn’t it? I noticed that you stopped rewarding yourself as much after the election wrapped up and you had that terrible experience with NT and the hospital. You didn’t react to that incident much (in your blog) and I wondered where you put all of that energy. (Not sure this equals a flare up of the ED but it might be in conjunction with you not processing how you felt then…maybe?)

    • weordmyndum Says:

      Yes, I do value his willingness to pursue it even though he knew I very well might blow up or shut down. I don’t want my friends to tell me only what I want to hear. It takes true caring to tell someone something you think they need to hear when you know that could be risking the friendship.

      When you say I stopped rewarding myself, what do you mean?

      I almost wonder if trying to deal with NT post-hospital and then realizing it wasn’t going to work WAS the processing I needed to do. Talking about stuff is good, but so is action. I drew a boundary, and I didn’t second-guess myself. In the past, I would’ve kept seeing NT and kept beating myself up for dissociating then and for not telling her I was upset that she left me alone. I would’ve kept myself stay trapped for months and maybe even years. Instead, I saw I didn’t feel safe with her and trusted that instinct. I gave her a chance but not too many. I wondered if walking away was the right choice, but I’m not second-guessing it.

      So maybe instead of doing more verbal processing, I needed to do active processing; id est, get off my ass and do something about it.

      Just a theory I’m working on.

      • Grainne Says:

        It’s a sound theory, I think. I work off a reward system with myself. I realize it may not be the same for anyone else…was just the phrase I chose to use. When I feel I’ve done something I should be proud of, be it professionally or personally, I try to reward myself by acknowledging the job I did and allow myself to feel good about it. I see you do this often in your blog, especially when you felt so effective and comfortable in that political role you took on. You stopped patting yourself on the back for all the good things you’re doing for yourself, it seemed, but it just may be coincidence.

        I think it’s very possible that you’ve processed the new hospital trauma. You did go back to see NT and you told her you’d not be back which I think was a wonderful thing to do for yourself. It was only that it happened so recently that twigged me to mention it.

      • weordmyndum Says:

        It’s true, I feel like I haven’t accomplished much since the campaign ended. I’ve been working on putting things in place, but they’re longer-term things that haven’t come to fruition yet.

        I also feel less effective when there aren’t external markers of success. Being on the winning side of an election is a big, obvious marker of success, but even smaller things like recruiting a new volunteer at the farmers market are external markers. When dealing with internal work, there often aren’t those external markers. I have trouble trusting my internal markers. Hell, I’m not sure I even know what my internal markers are. “Feeling better” is such a vague concept, after all.

  4. What the hell.
    I am one of those people believing in self-reinforcement. Not in the blah-blah sense of “believe in yourself an good will come your way”, more that if you tell yourself often enough that there’s nothing wrong with you, in the end you will find ways to cope with whatever may be wrong. Hope that’s not confusing.

    Why do you listen to someone who insists on telling you the absolute opposite of anything positive? You know from previous comments I made that I’m not one to coat my opinion in chocolate but my idea is that you have to try and emphasize the good things, and only point out bad things when they’re blocking you from moving forward and having the best life you can get.

    This friend you mention is victimizing you, telling you you can’t be okay, that you must somehow be having a problem you aren’t even aware of yourself because with all you’ve been through you can’t be okay.
    What. The. Fuck.
    That is not helping in any way. It’s demeaning and patronizing and an attack on your inner strength and value as an independent and functioning human being.
    Don’t let anyone call you weak, because you aren’t.

    You didn’t ask for my opinion, but I’m shoving it under your nose anyway. From what you’ve been posting I can tell you’re doing so much better already. I’m not a psychiatrist and obviously you do have issues, but you’re not depressed, suicidal, psychotic, delusional or derealized in my idea. You are a strong woman!

    Sorry for the long comment. I get pissed at people insisting on remaining weak, but my anger sort of multiplies with a factor thousand when other people try to sabotage people and trick them into staying or becoming weak. Also note I don’t know your friend D and I have nothing against the person in question. It’s just the behavior that irks me beyond description.

    • Grainne Says:

      Oh wow is that how you saw it? Cripes I might be way off base. I saw a friend trying to be honest with her about what she saw based on how well he knows her from the past. I value other people’s opinions and perspectives, even when they differ greatly from my own. Interesting that you and I read this post so differently. Had to comment. 🙂 love seeing different perspectives.

      • weordmyndum Says:

        One of the values of blogging. I like having different viewpoints to consider.

      • Well yeah, different views are good indeed 😉

        I have a bit of a personal problem with accepting weaknesses in both myself and others, I suppose that’s why it irks me so when someone not only points out possible weak spots but also insists that they’re there when the person in question denies it. It’s as if all the effort the person is doing to be normally functioning (and thus not visibly weak) is made undone, in a way.

    • weordmyndum Says:

      It pissed me off, sure. But he made some points that were logically sound. I try not to ignore logic just because I don’t like what it suggests. That can be an error–perhaps, in this case, even a fatal one. If I’m going to play with my life, I don’t want to lie to myself about it.

      I don’t think he was trying to victimize me or keep me weak. That’s not in his nature. And I have respect for what he did–it’s much harder to stand up to a friend than an enemy. I may not agree with his assessment of what’s going on, but I acknowledge it takes balls to call someone on what you see as bullshit. I value in a friend the willingness and courage to tell me things I need but do not want to hear, and I value in myself the willingness and courage to hear it out and give serious consideration to the opposing argument.

      • That’s a good way to see it, I suppose.
        After all, you know your friend best, I only know this small piece of text you wrote about him. If he’s pointing out something you think could very well be a real problem, well yeah. You should consider it, and discuss it with people who might be able to help.
        Just don’t let it put you down.

        Now I re-read my comment I fear it may be a little harsh towards a person I don’t know. The reason is slightly personal.
        People around me have never acknowledged my illnesses, and in a way I appreciate them for that. It forces me to be a functioning person, while I have the feeling that if they would accept and keep in mind my problems I would be less inclined to work like I do.
        When your environment is accepting of weakness, it’s less of a shame to be weak, and thus it becomes easier to be as such.

        As for the food issue you mentioned… is it because of money trouble, or do you want to get thin(ner), or do you just not feel hungry? Maybe you should calculate the basic amount of sustenance you need every day and try to get just that. (a person can survive two months on only water, so I don’t think it’s that much really) Even if it’s just a bag of peanuts, it would be something, thus solving the starvation issue. (Really, don’t starve yourself, food is awesome and cheap!)
        Sorry for once again throwing around advice on a subject I’m probably badly informed about. I acknowledge my lack of knowledge 🙂 Just hoping that every bit helps, you know.

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