The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

Lonely July 4, 2013

I’m frustrated with myself.

I’ve been home all of three days, but I’m already feeling alone and disconnected. I guess I should’ve seen that coming. I let myself get spoiled: I spent four months in a place where I always had somebody around to talk to who understood, and I let myself get dependent on that. Now I’m back to the real world, where most people don’t understand trauma and dissociation, and I have no friends or anything. And I’m sad.

I’ve also done zero internal communication since I’ve been home. I know I should, and I can’t even explain why I’m avoiding it. I guess I just don’t trust that my team would know how to help me if things got difficult. Their hearts are in the right place, but they don’t have experience.

I’m afraid. I don’t like admitting that.

It’s not like it was easy at Sheppard Pratt. God knows it wasn’t, and I spent plenty of time curled up in a ball crying, and there were a number of times I wanted to punch someone. Still, I was surrounded by people who understood trauma and DID–the other patients, too, not just the staff.

While I was there, my grandfather asked my social worker to keep me there longer and offered to pay for it. My reaction at the time was, “What the flying fuck?” but without the swear words, since we weren’t supposed to use them. But there is at least one part who wishes I had stayed forever. There were a lot of infuriating aspects to being there, but at least I was around people who understood what I was dealing with. There’s a kind of safety in that.

I wish I had real-life friends in my area with DID. I don’t want to feel this alone with it.


14 Responses to “Lonely”

  1. athenivandx Says:

    Wow. We grew up twenty minutes from that hospital. If only we had found this out a month ago when we came back home for part of the summer! We go to school in New Haven CT, 6 hours drive from our parents house where we are staying now. Did you come to Sheppard Pratt from a distance?

    Andrea, of the Mathematical Trifecta + 1

    Sent from my iPod

    • weordmyndum Says:

      Yeah, I came from western Massachusetts, about 6 hours on the train. But there are so few resources for DID. McLean has a trauma unit, but it’s strictly short term (a week or less), and they don’t do therapy or groups or anything.

  2. athenivandx Says:

    Ha, just realized after sending the last comment, that you might not be all that far away from us after all.


    Sent from my iPod

  3. i know how horrible it is to feel lonely, i feel like that most of the time and sorry that you feel that way

  4. As a frequent flyer of treatment centers, I can tell you that the loneliness you are feeling has accompanied my every return home. In my opinion, this is the number one reason why treatment centers have an extremely high relapse rate. It has been my experience that once I realized that there was no treatment team in the world that I could count on, not at home, not 10,000 miles away from home, I began building a treatment team that consisted only of myself.
    I hope for you 🙂

  5. mm172001 Says:

    Sorry you’re feeling so alone… I know it’s not as good as real life but maybe some internet relationships with those with DID?

  6. I can so relate to your loneliness on this day and after returning from treatment. Last year I spent time at McLean at their Hill Center for Women, which is a residential program for trauma. It was okay, but I think I’m getting better results from the psychiatrist I found afterwards. And I just found him on my own, not from McLean.

    Also, it looks like I’m near you right over the border in NY.

    • weordmyndum Says:

      I looked into Hill, but my understanding is that it’s all DBT. I’m at a point where I’ve exhausted everything I could get out of DBT. I wish McLean had more comprehensive trauma treatment–it would’ve been a lot closer than Baltimore. I got diagnosed with DID by the doc who runs their inpatient trauma unit, but that’s the extent of what I got out of being there. Kinda disappointing.

      • I completely agree with you about DBT and McLean, and, in hindsight, I wish I had gone to SP. I don’t know why, but DBT vexes me to no end. People act like its THE solution. But DID needs so much more than stupid DBT. Okay, I’ll stop soapboxing esp since I know you feel similarly.

      • weordmyndum Says:

        Heh, don’t get me started on my “Marsha Linehan is a condescending asshole” rant or I’ll be up all night.

        Sheppard Pratt does a little DBT on the trauma unit, but it’s barely skimming it and certainly isn’t the focus of the program because, yeah, you need more than just DBT to successfully treat complex trauma disorders.

      • I so love that you called out Marsha Linehan! You are so on point.

      • weordmyndum Says:

        My first day at SP, I went on a rant about Marsha Linehan and DBT while I was meeting with my psychiatrist. It wasn’t until several days later that I found out she ran one of our DBT groups and is working on widening DBT for trauma disorders. Luckily she didn’t hold it against me, and she didn’t try to shove DBT down my throat.

      • Omg! That’s the kind of jam I would get myself into as well. I am glad the psychiatrist had an open mind.

      • weordmyndum Says:

        Yeah, I liked her. She knew what she was doing and came up with several creative med solutions. She also won big points for really trying to help with my GI issues before I went to the medical hospital and got the UC diagnosis. A lot of other patients didn’t like her because she’s reserved and not very emotionally demonstrative, and I can see how people might read that as detached and cold. I guess my time at Riggs got me accustomed to blank slate clinicians, and I actually prefer that most of the time.

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