This week I have been trying to focus on self care, that’s a bit tough when I’m struggling with all kinds of issues some I can’t write about at this moment in time. The news has been full of triggers and so has social media, so I have had to avoid these at times. Alongside this is of course my ever ongoing switching and losing time which is both frustrating and irritating and I seem to dissociate at the first sign of stress or people judging me.
I tried to pace myself, so planned a day of fun in the middle of the week alongside time for work, household chores, art and cartoons. But still plans to cope better with dissociation went array, all because of the actions of one person. It seems life with Dissociative Identity Disorder is a constant ever changing challenge and for ever couple of steps forward there is at least one step back.
On Thursday I was all set to do some paperwork, things that urgently needed my attention and that I really had to complete. I popped to the village to get a few things and in the process was made to feel judged. I’m not sure if that was the intention but it happened all the same and it destroyed the rest of my day.
Feeling judged is a trigger and as such by the time I arrived home I was switching, I felt tearful and desperately sad. I dissociated and lost time, I’m told that I was very distressed my alter who took over felt alone, vulnerable and isolated. They communicated with my son who tried very hard to reassure and help, but somehow it wasn’t enough and in the end we fell asleep.
When I woke I felt frustrated, I felt confused and I also felt in desperate need of reassurance, I’d messed up the day and I had lost precious time which meant I couldn’t get all my jobs completed.
My son is great and he can reassure me, but it’s never the same as that given by his sister who somehow is able to help me rationalise better. I wanted more than anything a hug, a hug of comfort and reassurance, a hug that said it’s ok and you can deal with this.
My daughter bless her is at work in the daytime now and so it meant she wasn’t instantly available to help, I knew she’d be at work for a short while yet. I waited desperately and as soon as I knew she’d be free I called her multiple times until I got a response. I asked if I could call round to see her there followed a period of hugs and comforting words, a cup of tea and the assurance I really needed. For I needed someone to tell me that it was ok not to achieve everything, that my expectations of me were too high, I didn’t need to feel bad or judge myself. That the reason I dissociated, the trigger, was not such a huge threat, the person who judged me today wasn’t going to punish me as happened in my past.
I am fortunate to have that help, to have people who are able to understand me and my D.I.D, I know I’m blessed to have that, many people I have met with Dissociative Disorders don’t. They struggle alone and with little support or understanding, if I’m honest I don’t know how they manage.
Triggers have been an issue for so long now, that I know some of them well and can try and avoid hence why I haven’t watched much news this week. Yet others surprise me and spiral me out of control and into a cycle of fear and anxiety. Maybe that’s why when I was asked this week what my ambitions were for my future my answer was that I desperately want to have a life with less triggers, less switching, less chaos and less dissociating. In time I hope that’s what I achieve but I also want to deal with the feelings of hurt and anguish that I carry and to develop my coping skills, my life skills and that seems so hard to do.
I realise that in truth there are so many things I want to achieve but they are not your average, I am sure people didn’t expect the answer I gave. I don’t think of a new car, or house, or job I think of skills I lack and desperately wish I had, I think of a future which is just less of the mess that I seem to have right now. But how do I explain that to people who don’t understand Dissociative Identity Disorder, who seem to be unable to comprehend the unfamiliar, that is my world.
My aim right now is to try and keep moving forwards and if not to at least stand still, that means to self care as much as I can and to survive the short break I’m having from my psychology sessions. Right now I just want to survive the chaos that is going on in my life, the chaos that isn’t always of my choosing but which causes me a great deal of stress and thus triggers.
I have to trust that the difficulties in my life which exist currently, the situations which are causing me additional stress at this time will soon be dealt with. I hope that once my psychology sessions restart and I get back into that routine of therapy, I will feel better equipped to deal with situations like I have this week. I’m learning I guess that life with Dissociative Identity Disorder is a challenge, a challenge that I am still determined to win one day.
Copyright DID Dispatches 2014