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.


Unloved December 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 5:30 am
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Apparently there are no kind, caretaking adults in my system. At least according to whoever was talking to me through my journal.

I guess that means there’s just the damaged kids and the angry or detached teenagers and adults.

I thought DID was supposed to be a self-protective development, so why the hell would I not have developed at least one nurturer? Every other DID system I know of has them. Once again, I’m the freak who does everything wrong.

I try to be kind to the kids, and I guess I do a halfway decent job at least some of the time. But what about when I need someone to be kind to me and take care of me? No one in here is at all interested in the job, and I fail majorly at doing it for myself.

Maybe the reason I feel so alone and unloved in the outside world is that I’m alone and unloved inside.


Guess I’ll Go Eat Worms November 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 1:41 am
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I co-own/moderate a Yahoo group for people with borderline personality disorder. I’ve been there more than ten years, and for the most part it’s a good bunch of people. But right now there’s one member there who’s making me want to throw things. I’m going to rant here so I don’t go off on her.

She constantly posts in other people’s threads about how bad she feels. Never more than a sentence or two, never enough to really respond to with more than “I’m sorry you’re having a rough time.” On the rare occasion she does start her own thread, she rejects any support other members try to offer her.

Today she wrote a post (hijacking someone else’s thread, of course) about how no one cares about her. It just about sent me into orbit.

Look, I know feeling isolated and uncared for is a common experience for people with mental illnesses. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. And it’s hard to talk about; I understand that too. But there’s a big difference in saying “none of you care about me” and saying “I feel like no one cares about me.”

(“There she goes being all semantic again,” I hear you say. But bear with me.)

“None of you care about me” is an accusation, and it puts the accused in an impossible position. You can’t say, “Look, I’m trying to care, but it’s really hard to do when you keep rejecting everything I offer,” or the instant response will be, ” See, I knew you didn’t care about me!” You’re left with two choices: saying, “You’re right, I just don’t give a damn anymore” or reassuring them that you do care. Both make you the guilty party. It’s a guilt trip, and I choose not to engage with those anymore.

“I feel like nobody cares about me,” on the other hand, leaves room for people. You’re owning it as your feeling, not objective reality, and not anyone’s fault. When I say “I feel like nobody cares,” it’s generally part of an acknowledgement that I know people care–I’m just feeling very alone.

It’s hard to ask for care and support. God knows I get that. But most of us aren’t psychic and don’t know what people want/need from us unless they ask. If you don’t ask for something, then it’s not fair to blame them for not giving it to you!


Alienation and Football November 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 4:55 am
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My family really doesn’t get me.

I know that’s not exactly news, but it’s really been striking lately.

My grandparents have my phone number now. I’m not thrilled about that, but I had to call my grandmother when her sister died, and I didn’t want to tell her no when she asked for my number. I think she really does love me, in her own way.

When she called me on Thanksgiving, she gave the phone to my grandfather. He proceeded to talk for 15 minutes about Alabama football, how they just needed to beat Auburn (which they would definitely do) and Notre Dame (which they could probably do) to win the national championship. My grandmother left me a voicemail over the weekend to say that Alabama beat Auburn 49-0.

I couldn’t care less about football.

Yeah, I went to Bama, but I didn’t really want to. I was a National Merit scholar who could’ve gone to any college I wanted. I wanted to go to one of the good creative writing schools: Hollis, Randolph Macon, Sewanee, Smith. But my family wanted me to go to Alabama, so I went.

I never graduated, and when I was there, I actively avoided the football culture. In fact, when the Iron Bowl was a home game, my friend Eugene and I bought a bunch of junk food, rented all the Star Trek movies, and didn’t leave the dorm for three days.

I even got in a pissing match with the president of the University over football, at least in part. I wrote an editorial for the school paper criticizing his financial decisions, namely that there weren’t enough professors, academic buildings were literally crumbling, and there was such a shortage of on-campus housing that many students (myself included) were living in broom closets with roommates–all while the new football coach was making $8 million a year. The president responded to this by calling me at 8:00 AM the morning my piece ran, accusing me of lying, and threatening to take my scholarship away. When I realized the administration valued football more than its students, it made me hate football even more.

So why are my grandparents so interested in telling me about football? Part of me wants to believe it’s an attempt to reconnect and find common ground, however misguided. A more cynical part of me thinks this is an attempt to make me conform, to say they don’t care what I care about, these are the family values and I must fall in line. I’m not sure which one is closer to the truth.

I can tell you one thing for sure, though: I’m never going to worship at the altar to Bear Bryant.


Orphan October 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 6:38 am
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I’m the daughter of a narcissist.

Well, quite possibly I’m the daughter of two narcissists, but right now I’m thinking of my mother.

My mother couldn’t love me. She said she did, but it wasn’t true. I’m not sure if she was intentionally lying or if she thought what she gave me was really love. I guess it doesn’t matter that much which is true; the result is the same. She doesn’t love me.

I tried to make her love me. God, I tried so hard. I thought if I could just be better/smarter/happier/whatever-er, then she’d finally be able to love me. It never worked, of course. I was never enough. So I learned to believe I was unlovable. Deep down, I still believe that most of the time.

I was lucky, I guess. I found some surrogate mothers who gave me some of what I was missing from my own mother. In middle school, my English teacher, who pushed me to get into my fine arts high school. In high school, my Latin teacher, who listened to my problems for hours and was always, always kind. In college, a family I met through a church group. At Riggs, my third nursing care coordinator.

But they were never enough. My mother tore a huge hole in me, and no one, no matter how nurturing and kind, could ever fill it. I needed, or perhaps just wanted, too much. Even now, I’m 26, and I want a mom so much it hurts. We’re coming up on the big family holidays. I tell myself and everyone else that I don’t mind being alone, but I’m a liar.

I want a do-over. I want to be a child again, but this time I want a family capable of real love, willing to nurture and care about me.

It’s not fair.


Apogee October 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 7:14 pm
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I feel like dying.

I don’t understand. I was feeling pretty good this morning. It’s something about therapy, but I don’t know what. I leave feeling worse, and it’s not the productive kind of feeling worse.

I only partly remember today’s session. I remember feeling hopeless and crying, and I remember yelling at myself to stop in my head. But I don’t remember what set it off. I remember being sure NT was sick of me, and I remember saying several times, “This is my last chance,” and I remember being angry at NT for telling me things will work out. But it’s bits and pieces, not quite coherent.

At the end of the session, she said I didn’t even look like I’d been crying.

“No, I never do,” I said.

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so good at looking like I’m fine. I want people to see how much I hurt all the time. I want them to see it so I don’t have to tell them.

When I lived in Boston, a little over a year ago, I stood on the bridge over the Charles River, wanting to kill myself and wishing someone would care enough to notice and stop me. It’s this big bridge with lots of traffic–the T, cars, and pedestrians. I stood there crying at the edge of the rail. It was May, but it was cloudy and cold. No one noticed me. I don’t know what I expected from anyone; if I saw anyone crying in public, I’d assume they wanted to be left alone and walk on past. I don’t know why I thought anyone else would or even could save me.

But I want it again right now. I want someone to see how much I hurt and make it better, or at least be with me. But they can’t. I’m too far away from myself for anyone to get close enough.


Ambivalence September 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 12:39 am
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I don’t know why, but I’m feeling very small and alone today.

No, that’s not true. I do have some ideas about why.

For starters, I’ve been too sick to do my normal weekend stuff, meaning much less human contact. My nurse did come over and bring me some soup this afternoon, but that’s the only person I’ve talked to all day.

Also, it wasn’t actually me (Sara) who went to the ER–it was Kenna, who’s nine, though she does a very good job passing as me. It scared her to be there, which could explain why I’m feeling so little–those feelings sometimes bleed through to me.

And I’m upset about what happened with NT, even though I know it’s a dumb thing to be upset about, especially a week after the fact. She did call me on wednesday and asked why she hadn’t seen me in a while. I said I dunno and didn’t say I’d shown up and she hadn’t. But unbeknownst to me, my team leader called her later that day and did tell her. Apparently she didn’t think to tell me she would be away and reschedule the usual appointment. I’m seeing her again on Monday.

The feelings–anger, sadness, guilt, betrayal, mistrust–are flying every which way, too fast for me to deal with them. There’s a strong urge to just not show up–whether it’s to protect myself from being hurt again or to show her how it feels to be stood up, I don’t know. Or maybe the urge is just the result of my pathological avoidance of anything conflictual or painful. I don’t even know.

I do know that if I go, I’ll be too guarded to tell her how I feel about being forgotten, or the stress with Ex, or the fear of the hospital. So it seems almost pointless to go. Still, I’m trying to convince my selves to give NT one last chance.


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