The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

Sick. Again. July 7, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 1:57 am
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Uck. Sick again. I’ve spent a lot of the afternoon in the bathroom with a novel, which is what I did at Sheppard Pratt. But hey, at least here I have my bathroom. There we had two bathrooms and twenty people. You do the math. It’s even more fun when you have to go SRSLY RITE NAO and the only bathroom is clear on the opposite end of the unit. I have no TMI filter, but I’ll try not to be too graphic. I’m sure you guys have good imaginations.

To add insult to injury, my computer appears to have fried its poor little brains. My google-fu informs me it’s a common problem with this model and probably requires a new motherboard. Like I can afford that.

I’ve got to find a gastroenterologist here. I guess I need to slow down with adding new foods back. At SP, I was basically eating the same four meals: peanut butter and jelly on white bread, Amy’s red beans and rice burrito, pasta with marinara, and Amy’s teriyaki bowl. I could eat cooked vegetables without seeds, and bananas were the only fruit I could eat. (The dietician told me I could have apples without the peel, and she got really confused when I asked her how I was supposed to peel them with plastic spoons or forks. She was not a brain surgeon.) I got so excited about real food that I added in a bunch of things. Now I don’t know which one I’m reacting to. I guess I need to back off. 😦

At least I’m not in pain anymore. I have a high pain tolerance (yay dissociation), and that is the worst pain I’ve ever felt. When I first got to the ER, I refused pain meds. Five minutes later, I was saying, “Give me ALL THE PAIN MEDS.” They gave me dilaudid, I think, but it did almost nothing. At several points while I was in the hospital, it got so bad I was crying. I don’t think that’s EVER happened. I’m very glad that’s better. But I do need to find a GI doc here so I can avoid that happening again.

I just hate feeling so out of control of my body. Right after the diagnosis, I was really struggling with it, having lots of flashbacks and body memories. There was excruciating pain that I wasn’t causing and couldn’t escape. It felt like I was once again suffering the consequences of other people’s crimes–UC is strongly linked with stress. I knew it wasn’t the same as the abuse, but it FELT the same. My therapist had me write out some past v. present stuff, but it didn’t change the feelings, either. Some of it comes from parts, but I haven’t been able to get much communication going about it.

It just feels like another legacy of abuse. My parents aren’t the ones suffering. If what happened wasn’t my fault, then why am I the one who has to deal with it for the rest of her life? It’s not fair.


What right February 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 4:37 pm
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I keep thinking about Bob (my ex-boyfriend/best friend), and then I can’t sleep at night. When I finally do get to sleep, I dream about him. Not sad dreams–just normal ones where we’re together and happy again. I almost think sad dreams would be better.

I never thought I’d be one of those girls who pines away over some guy. I thought my asexuality made me immune to that. If I’m being honest, I always used to look down on people like that. “Just let that person go,” I thought. “It’s not that hard.” I only thought it wasn’t hard because I’d never let myself love anyone and I’d never let anyone love me. Before Bob, I had never really missed anyone, not even the people who had been my closest friends. I thought I had formed attachments to people, before Bob, but now I’m not sure I ever did. It’s always been so easy to let go.

I keep thinking I should’ve tried harder. I should’ve agreed to couples therapy. I should’ve found an individual therapist who could help me undo my asexuality–maybe he was right and the asexuality is just because I was abused. And even if I couldn’t undo the asexuality, I could’ve learned to tolerate sex with Bob. If I could tolerate sex with my father, surely I could tolerate sex with Bob. I could’ve married him and had kids. I wouldn’t be a perfect mother, but I could probably do okay.

I always scorned women who tried to change for their partners. Still do–myself most of all. But surely we all change for each other. Why did changing for a capital-R Relationship feel so threatening? Why did I fear losing myself so much that I clung to a rigidly-constructed, unyielding self?

Because my father decimated me, of course. Always that.

I want to beg Bob to take me back, tell him I’ll do whatever he needs, be whoever he needs. But what if what he needs is my absence? I’m assuming that’s his need because I haven’t heard from him in months. I emailed him to ask if he was avoiding people in general or me in particular. It took me weeks to send because I wasn’t sure how I’d survive if his answer was “You in particular.” Several days later, he replied to say he wasn’t ignoring me, he just wanted to make sure he got the words right. That was weeks ago, and I haven’t heard from him since. I imagine him surrounded by friends, maybe even a new girlfriend, never thinking of me. That’s probably not the reality, but I have no way of knowing. In part, I want it to be true. I want him to be happy and loved. If I’m too broken to give him the life he wants, then I hope with all my heart that someone else does. God knows he deserves it. He’s so kind and loving and good, and he deserves everything good in life.

But I want so badly to be able to be that person for him. And I want to be happy and loved too. I want him to love me. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, and I’ve never wanted that with anyone else.

But what right do I have? I dumped him and then didn’t talk to him for months. I told myself I ended it so he’d be free to find someone who could give him sex and a family. That was true…but only part of the truth. The rest of the truth is I was scared and hidden. I hid from telling him how I felt about being touched, I hid from telling him he reminded me of my father (physically, not behaviorally), I hid from telling him how hard the relationship was. I was too scared to be open and too scared to change, so I ran way. I went even more silent. I hurt him. So what right do I have to ask him not to be silent? What right do I have to ask him to let me back into his life or his heart? What right do I have to tell him I still love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone in my life?


Self-Soothing and ED Behaviors January 22, 2013

I harbor no illusions about my eating disorder; I know exactly what it is and is not. For me, it is not about weight or size or shape. I don’t have body dysmorphia or distorted self-image. Society didn’t teach me I needed to be thin to be loved, and my abuse didn’t teach me I needed to be thin to avoid love/further abuse.

My ED is about self-soothing. I have virtually no ability to soothe myself.

My experience with the term “self-soothing” is that what most people think it encompasses is way too shallow for me. When people talk about self-soothing, they generally mention doing nice things for yourself (take a bubble bath, eat chocolate) and/or distractions (watch a movie, take a walk). These aren’t bad things to try, but usually these kinds of things don’t touch my distress. It’s too deep and too embedded.

The only thing that soothes my distress is self-destruction. It doesn’t really soothe the distress, just numbs it. But when the distress feels intolerable and I can’t soothe myself, numbness via self-destruction is an acceptable choice.

I think my inability to self-soothe is developmental. Because my family was so chaotic, alternating between abuse and neglect and impossible demands, I was never comforted and soothed by my parents. I never learned from their example how to soothe myself. And because I was being subjected to extreme abuse and was experiencing an extreme level of distress, I needed a higher level of self-soothing than a kid who skinned her knee. My brain developed with a higher threshold of the degree of soothing I needed.

But my family shamed and punished me for having needs, so I cut myself off from those needs. I stopped going to my parents or anyone else for comfort and soothing. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that self-destruction came close to soothing my distress, and not needing or asking for anything from anyone soothed my guilt.

So now I’m stuck in this feedback loop. I need more soothing than most people, but I don’t know how to soothe myself. That manifests in needing more soothing from other people, which results in immense guilt. Then I pull back from people and self-destruct to numb the distress.

Right now, that’s playing out through my eating disorder. The restriction decreases my baseline distress level, the numbers give me something to focus my attention and energy on, and I take tons of laxatives to deal with all the excess distress.

It’s not a good pattern, but I feel hopeless about changing it. I haven’t been able to find anything about learning to self-soothe when you have such a high threshold that normal strategies don’t work. I can’t go back to childhood and grow up with good parents who could teach me to soothe myself, and nobody can reparent me now because I’m an adult.

So where does that leave me? Will I stuck in this forever?


Doesn’t Matter January 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 5:16 am
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Tonight I’m so angry I can’t think straight. I’m angry I can’t get the help I need.

I want to lash out and hurt the people trying to help me. I hate that urge, so instead I want to hurt myself.

I know I need too much. Or I feel that way. I’ve tried so hard to convince myself that I’m not too much, but now pretty much the whole universe tells me I’m too much.

My family. They’re finally cutting me off at the end of the year. My grandfather has paid a ton of money for my treatment, and he wants to retire. I get that. But what do I do about the fact that I’m still in need of treatment?

I’m trying to get treatment on my own. Right now I need residential care for the depression and the trauma issues. And theoretically the eating disorder.

But then there’s Medicare, telling me I need too much. Medicare will cover psychiatric hospitalization, but their definition of “hospital” is so narrow it covers only locked units. It probably sounds silly and overblown to everyone when I insist that I cannot go to a locked unit. Oh, there goes Sara with her manipulative melodrama again; god, we’re all so sick of hearing it.

But I was beaten to a pulp in a psychiatric hospital and then told by the staff to forget about it. Then I was sexually assaulted every night for months. EVERY NIGHT, you bureaucratic bastards. You wouldn’t be able to go to another locked unit if that had happened to you.

But it doesn’t matter what happened to me. I’m crazy. I have no value to anyone. So it doesn’t matter what happened to me.

It doesn’t matter that the help I need is out there because I can’t afford it. It doesn’t matter how badly I need it it doesn’t matter that I’m teetering on the cliff about to fall off. It doesn’t matter if I die because I’m not worth anything anyway.


Terror, Compounded December 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 11:18 pm
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I can’t stop freaking out. I know I need more than Windhorse can give me, but I’m terrified of being hospitalized. I’m not talking about a little bit of anxiety–I’m talking about can’t quit crying, nose keeps running, shaking, hyperventilating panic. For days.

I try to keep busy. I’ve been playing with Winston and knitting madly. It doesn’t really help, though. Distractions don’t really work.

I haven’t told anyone at Windhorse what happened at the hospital in Iowa. They know I’ve had bad, retraumatizing experiences with hospitals, and they know how bad Menninger was. But that’s nowhere near the whole story.

Locked up, dehumanized, ignored, mistreated. Physically assaulted. Denied medical care and told to let it go. Repeatedly sexually assaulted. Silenced because no one would care anyway.

Different scenario now. Supposedly. Could be exactly the same, though. Stuck. Alone. 1500 miles from anyone who cares. Locked in. Controlled. Hated.

Can’t do it. Can’t. Not again. Can’t.

But I need this, I know. I’m too messed up to be outpatient right now. I just want somewhere that’s not locked and isn’t totally controlling. I want to be allowed to keep my shoelaces, my self-sufficiency, my dignity. But Medicare doesn’t cover that.

Why can’t I get what I need? How fucked up is it that, to get the help I need around the trauma, I have to go back into the same situation that caused a big chunk of the trauma?

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how much more terror I can survive. Will the terror of being in the hospital fix the terror of the trauma, or will it just make the terror worse?


Unbearable November 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 3:48 am
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I need to see a doctor.

I went off birth control in February or March. I’d been on it for around three years for PMDD, but I went off it because it stopped helping.

First, it was just that my periods were irregular. No big deal. That happens when you go off birth control, and it’s just an annoyance.

But then the pain. I’ve never had painful periods–I hardly even had cramps, and when I did, a couple Tylenol took care of it. But it’s been getting worse and worse for the last 4 or 5 months. I’ve been using a stash of flexeril that my PCP gave me for my back months ago. It mostly helped.

And tonight is just unbearable. I’ve taken flexeril AND. Vicodin, and it’s still all I can do to keep from moaning and/or screaming. I’m nauseous and dizzy, and I’m alternating between hot flashes and cold sweats. I might even belong in the ER tonight, but I won’t go.

I won’t go because I can’t deal with anyone poking around at my privates. Because it will trigger panic and flashbacks. Because I’m 99% sure I would switch, and I don’t know if I’d end up with someone who’d scream hysterically, someone who’d kick the doctor in the face, someone who would try to beg her way out of there…no idea. And mentally/emotionally, I feel good. I don’t want to deal with abuse and trauma stuff. The pain will go away in a few days.

I know something is probably wrong. You don’t get pain like this if the plumbing is working right. I hate the pain, and I don’t want to be alone with it. But if I tell anyone on my team, they’ll make me see a doctor. And they should–it’s the right thing to do. But I won’t let them do it. Apparently I’d rather be alone with the pain than be alone with the trauma memories.


Ninja Triggers November 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 3:51 am
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Tonight at kung fu, I was teaching a new student some of the beginner holds. Some of these were chokes. Generally when we do chokes in class, we just put our hands on the other person’s shoulders or near their neck. I guess Pembantu forgot to tell her that because when I had her grab me so I could demonstrate, she actually wrapped her hands around my throat.

I panicked. Interestingly, when I panicked I did use one of the self-defense moves we’ve learned, but it was a more advanced one that ends with a sweep. I played it off by saying I forgot I wasn’t supposed to be teaching her that one, but I was embarrassed. Not to mention physically and emotionally shaky from the trigger.

One of my father’s favorite tortures was depriving me of air. My first memory, which I believe caused my first split, was my father holding my head underwater in the bathtub. Sometimes he’d hold a pillow over my face. Other times he’d choke me. He never did it long enough to kill me, but I didn’t know that when I was a little kid. And many times he did drown/smother/choke me long enough that I passed out.

How do I move past this? At various points in my treatment, I’ve gotten stuck on a memory or a cluster of memories. Before Riggs, it was the sexual abuse in the state hospital. At Riggs, it was when I chose for my father to hurt my sister instead of me. Now, it’s these almost-deaths.

I don’t know how to get unstuck.

I don’t really understand how I got unstuck before, so I don’t know how to replicate the process. I know at Riggs I repeated the story of the stuck memory over and over again to my therapist–she even said that in the paper she wrote about me. But before Riggs, I don’t think I ever spoke about the hospital memories in therapy, so I guess it’s not the talking about it that got me unstuck that time. I wish I could figure out how I got unstuck because I want to unstick myself now.

I guess this is yet another reason I need to find another therapist. Maybe I will talk to my team leader tomorrow and ask for more help.


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