Emotional roller-coaster

 

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This week seems to have been a mixture of emotions so far, I started crying at the airport overwhelmed by the fact my Ted had been taken for a secondary security check. The physical separation was just too much for my little parts of me and so the tears and panic set in and I guess all the frustrations of my delayed flight didn’t help either. The relief when we were reunited were palpable and I soon calmed myself back down with a little help from my daughter.

Over the weekend at the conference I felt myself switch from one part to another, and my feelings altered too. There were serious parts of me who sat and listened to various speakers and others who participated in the creative corner activities. Throughout this time my emotions fluctuated and I found myself questioning why I suddenly felt tearful and sad. There were times I was bursting with excitement and I can honestly say I felt the younger parts of me quite a lot. But there was the notably absence of my teen part who for years has carried my feelings and I felt sad and concerned that she wasn’t around.

Meeting old friends and new people at the conference was great fun, and at times I felt quite elated. I will write more about the conference on my return home when I have had time to digest all that happened there and I have settled down a little from this trip.

 

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On Sunday evening as I stood on the 15th floor of a hotel and watched the fireworks display over the Magic Kingdom castle I felt my younger parts excitement. it was strange as I didn’t lose time I was side by side or co-aware of the events going on, I just wasn’t always in control of this body all of us share. The little parts of me gasped in wonder and kept telling my daughter how pretty the fireworks were, they clearly enjoyed themselves. Whilst I felt happy that I felt their excitement and happiness which was palpable, I also felt a huge wave of sadness which I couldn’t understand at first.

On Monday I still felt waves of sadness crashing over me and as I sat stuck on a bus trying to head back to my hotel for a phone call, panic overwhelmed me too. So by the time 15 minutes late I spoke to my psychologist I couldn’t help my tears which had started to flow. Having a virtual psychology session helped so much, over 4,000 miles from home and yet thanks to my willing psychologist we still had our session. I was able to discuss my emotions, my tears, my sadness and the absence of my teen part. It was so helpful to be reassured that my emotions were natural and to be expected and to know that my sorrow was grieve for the childhood I had lost and yet now attempted to reclaim.

It may sound funny but just having time to to talk things through and to rationalise things really helped me and knowing I was placing far too much pressure on myself also helped to calm things down. Once my session ended I had a good old cry and let out some of the frustrations and fears of the past few days, it was much needed. Accepting and acknowledging grieve was vital and it was also vital I acknowledged that I missed my teen part. Yes I understood why she might be absent and yet I had not really acknowledged I missed her and I actually cared about her.
The last time I came to florida I didn’t have internal dialogue nor did I have any sense of co- awareness instead I just lost time. Today I feel like I am getting to know the different alters and I feel quite emotionally attached to some of them, these alters are after all me, just different parts of me.

That afternoon my daughter and I visited our first theme park and soon I felt little parts excitement and giggles, seeing Mickey Mouse I was filled with wonder and awe. I guess the feelings of the little me who never witnessed or experienced such feelings as a child, who wasn’t able to enjoy this experience first hand before. It felt magical and it was fun but most of all it felt good and all the while. I kept talking internally to ensure the alters and I shared these experiences together.

Late in the afternoon as I waited in line for a ride I found myself drawn to the designs and textures of the characters and theming, Suddenly I sensed my teen part was present, I chatted to her in my usual way and she responded using the ideomotor signalling technique we have learnt. To say I was elated would be an understatement, I was ecstatic to feel her because I really was concerned about that part of me. Sharing time and fun with her brought about it’s own mixture of emotions and yet these were happy ones.

 

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Over the past few days it has been an emotional roller-coaster ride, I have switched openly and freely and though I have lost time I have managed to enjoy some co-awareness as well. I have found myself grieving for the childhood I never had and also celebrating at the memories I am now creating for myself. I have been able to experience those child like feelings of wonder and excitement today and whilst they maybe a little late at least I am experiencing them now.

There has been a whole cacophony of emotions, ranging from sadness and sorrow to exhilaration and happiness. I have switched frequently and in doing so have learnt much about the different parts of me. I now know certain parts find the dark scary and need more reassurance, whilst others are just so happy to be enjoying this time away. I’m sensing the different characteristics of my parts more and that can only be good, as I will use this acquired knowledge to help us as we move forward.

So the forecast for the next few days of my holiday well it’s tears and tantrums, sadness and sorrow and happiness and excitement. I’ll update the blog again over the coming days of my adventures learning to understand the various parts of me, one things for certain life with Dissociative Identity Disorder is far from boring.

Copyright DID Dispatches 2015

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Anger, hurt and frustration

 

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Trigger warning. Please be aware the content of this blog may trigger some people.

Over the past few months I have slowly become more aware of some of my alters; the different parts of me, it’s an interesting journey of discovery. But this past week I have had to face up to the reality that at least one part of me is angry, and contains anger that frightens me. I discussed this at my therapy session this week in the hope of trying to understand more about this part of me and why they are angry.

In fairness to the alter I have to say that the anger isn’t aimed directly at anyone, it builds as a result of incidents that cause us fear and hurt. The outcome is that this part of me vents verbally the frustration we feel, though the venting isn’t done towards any individual it’s more an outburst verbally of anger.

In the last few months there have been three incidents of verbal venting and all have occurred around my eldest son who is 26, he isn’t the cause of the anger or frustration that we feel. Unfortunately he just happens to be around when it becomes too intolerable to contain anymore and this part of me takes control and out comes the rage we feel. These incidents have lasted no more than a few minutes each time and yet the aftermath is huge.

The last incident took place last weekend and I am told that the children could tell it was brewing so were well prepared. I had no idea at all that the frustration, upset and hurt that was inside of me was coming to the fore and was about to pour out in a verbal venting that wasn’t nice for them or me.

The moment I exploded the words poured out of my mouth in one long verbal rant and I was aware this was happening and yet had absolutely no control. Immediately afterwards I felt wracked with guilt and sorrow, I hated the fact I had lost it and I hated that I couldn’t control this angry part of me. I was also so concerned about the children my son and my daughter witnessed the last incident and they didn’t deserve this it wasn’t their fault. They tell me they are fine and can cope with this, but I still worry about them.

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My frustration had been building for weeks, I had been hurt by someone and that hurt and betrayal felt horrendous and despite trying to deal with it I obviously hadn’t. For me the fact we felt betrayed, let down and hurt was really difficult and the pain and anguish that I felt just didn’t go away. The difficult part was a number of parts of me felt this hurt and so I wasn’t just carrying the hurt of one but of many and that was hard.

I have been trying to rationalise my feelings for a few weeks now, telling myself that it was ok to feel this way and I’m learning that I have every right to feel hurt. I have also spent time trying to tell myself that none of this was my fault because it wasn’t and yet the person who hurt us had tried to put the blame on me. Now for most people when someone tries to blame you for something you haven’t done, you can just bat it back and refuse to accept the persons attempt at transferring their guilt onto you. Sadly for someone like me who has been through years of abuse it’s not so easy, my default is to take the blame.

I didn’t realise this until recently, but I’m good at self blame, I’m good at taking responsibility for things that aren’t my fault and I’m learning why. As a child and into adulthood it was common for my main abuser to put the blame for everything onto me. I was the bad child who would get locked up if I told about my abuse, it was after all my fault or so they told me. I was also the child who was always getting things wrong, upsetting them and making them angry at me, thus justifying their physical abuse inflicted on me.

Things didn’t improve as an adult this main abuser would still tell me that every thing that went wrong was my fault. When one of my children was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder, I was constantly told by them it was punishment for me being a bad person. When the car broke down that was my mistake too I must have driven it badly, I was so bad at everything. The sad fact is that at the time I believed them, I was so used to their constant put downs that it didn’t matter how much others would counteract their lies, I always believed them.

Hence my default position is to take the blame because well that’s just how I have become wired over the years. Its taking time and a lot of patience from my psychologist to get me to stop being so self critical, and to think about blame. So when the person who hurt us tried to transfer the blame too I think initially I took it. It was only as time has progressed and I have carried on working at rationalising this incident and their betrayal, that I have accepted it wasn’t my fault.

But of course I hadn’t dealt with the pain and hurt I justifiably felt, until it all became too big to contain anymore and then the part of me that gets angry did just that. I spoke to my psychologist about this anger and how it made me feel and we talked about how everyone has an angry side, they just vent it in different ways. Perhaps they kick the wall or slam the door, people have different ways of letting go of their hurt or anger, I’m just learning about mine.

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I now realise that as a child I bottled up my anger, it wasn’t safe to show it or let it out. I can recall that on one occasion I tried to tell my main abuser how much I hated her and that she was nothing more than a big bully. I recall I lost out big style, and was sore for a few days afterwards as she and my brother gave me a beating. The beating was to teach me a lesson they felt I needed and I guess it worked, I never dare express again my anger or hurt.

I lived with anger all around, my main abuser would get drunk and explode with venom at a moments notice. Though to be fair she didn’t need the drink to make her do this it was part of who she was. I grew up soaking in all this anger, this rage and I contained anger and rage from the times I couldn’t express my hurt, pain and frustration too.

It is no wonder there is apart of me that finds it hard to contain her feelings of hurt and frustration and who at times loses control and vents. Of course now I want and need to work through all this anger, not just the present day stuff but the past too. The good thing is I feel guilty when I have lost control and vented, and am I not venting directly at people, so there is hope.

This week when I have felt my frustration levels building I have taken myself off to my room, sat quietly and talked internally. I’m trying to tell all of me that it’s ok that we feel hurt, it’s justifiable and it’s ok to vent if we use art or some other safe means. We are coming to terms with the fact anger is an emotion like many others and it’s ok if we use it well, I’m 48 years old and just learning it’s ok to be angry.

Maybe that’s the reality of being a survivor of childhood abuse, the reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder is that I’m just learning to live, live with all my parts. The part that feels angry isn’t bad she just needs time, patience, space and I guess lots of loving, of course I need to give that loving or self nurture to me because this angry part is a part of me.

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Copyright DID Dispatches 2014

 

 

 

Melt down moment – the legacy of blame

This is a quick post but one I feel led to write. Today I have been so aware of how being a multiple impacts my life. Even when I am not contending with the switching or lost time, there are so many other aspects of dissociative identity disorder that impact my life.
This morning began with my ensuring time for my little alters so that entailed me watching cartoons as I know giving them time in the day helps with my sleeping at night.
But then I set time aside to try and get to know a specific alter, the one I have been feeling recently.  I could feel them but nothing else, so try as I might and with as much effort as I could muster I was hoping this might improve. 
I am not sure what I was hoping for but I felt if only I could hear them, after all they have communicated with my family so why not me.
But sadly nothing happened I sensed their presence as I was experiencing their feelings but I didn’t hear them. We just don’t have communication with them.
The situation perplexes me and causes me distress, I read on various social media sites that others seem to have this ability and they say they have co-consciousness too. What is wrong with me that I can’t make this happen. 
I began to spiral and get distressed this caused me to lose time, time I couldn’t afford to lose. 
When I came back to awareness I felt so low in mood, I felt a failure.  A failure because I can’t make the progress I think I need to, no one is placing these demands upon me except me.
But still I blamed myself and the tears began to fall down my face as I cried in sorrow and pain.
After sometime I managed to stop but felt plagued with thoughts of being inadequate and stupid.
Then it hit me, as a child I always felt to blame,  that everything that was wrong in my life was my fault. As an adult I still tend to put myself down and the feelings of failure today were just yet another aspect of the psychological damage which is a result of my past.
As a multiple and a former victim I have to deal with the psychological impact not only of the dissociation but also of the negative thought patterns that are part of my normal default. 
So a few hours later and I am no longer crying uncontrollably but I still feel an  inadequacy in me for not being able to communicate with the alters.
I can only hope this improves tomorrow and I know it’s something that I will need to raise in my next therapy session.