Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reflection on 2010

Each day I recieve an email from The Daily Love - its a few quotes, usually to a theme and an inspirational message from the founder, Mastin Kipp. I have always enjoyed quotes, small snipets of wisdom from others. I find the email a nice positive thing to recieve each day. On the 28th December the message from Mastin Kipp included questions to help with reflecting on the year past and creating resolutions for the new year. I know alot of people dont take new years resolutions very seriously but I think it is important to have goals and new years is a good time to re-assess goals, make adjustments and new goals.

Anyway, here is what Mastin had to say:
While I was attending Tony Robbins seminar, Date With Destiny, he asked us three questions to consider as we move into a new year and a new decade.

They are wonderful questions that I have been asking myself and I want to pass them on to you to consider for yourself.

The questions are:

1. What are you MOST happy with about 2010? What good things happened? What are you proud of most and why?

2. What sucked about last year and why? What mistakes did you make? What would you do differently? What would you never want to do again? (This isn't to beat yourself up, it's to get an honest assessment of the last year).

3. What new rituals are you wiling to commit to in 2011 to get the results you want? What new habits will you form to take your life to the next level?


Be honest with yourself. Celebrate your successes in 2010, be truthful about the failures and then COMMIT to new habits and rituals in 2011 that will take your life to the next level.

Your time is now! Make your move!
I think these questions are really worthwhile and while I have an idea of what I want to work on in the new year its rather muddled and I think goals are more achieveable if they are concrete. These questions though dont seem so much about setting goals but making changes in a person's life, trying to learn from mistakes and grow. I think this questions are a great tool to help with reflection. So here we go...

1. What are you MOST happy with about 2010? What good things happened? What are you proud of most and why?

I am proud of starting this blog and my new journal - even if I took a break from writing here for a while I still think it has been a wonderful tool of sharing and healing.

Last Christmas Eve (2009) I moved into my own home and have been living by myself for the first time ever. I think it has helped me become more confident in my own ability to stand on my own two feet.  I feel I have grown stronger this year in myself. I think I have started to be a little more positive in my outlook on life but it still needs work. I think my self esteem is also starting to improve and while I think I have a long way to go I am proud of how much I have grown in myself this year. Still, I am proud of the growth I have achieved.

Getting back to my art and using it as a tool in healing. It was really hard to get back to art as much as I love it because it really did hurt. I think this is a huge step for me and one I am very proud of.

My relationship with my little ones has grown stronger, I trust them more and we are working together as a system more than ever before. This is a huge achievement and something I need to congradulate all of us for more.

2. What sucked about last year and why? What mistakes did you make? What would you do differently? What would you never want to do again? (This isn't to beat yourself up, it's to get an honest assessment of the last year).

Chronic Fatigue & Attitude
Though out of my control, the Chronic Fatigue this year has definitely sucked. I think one of the mistakes I have made in regards to this is for a long time I gave in to it. What i mean by this is that until recently I have felt like I was never going to get better and I was thinking "if I get over this..." rather than "when I get over this..."

Friendship
Not only this year but the last few years I have been isolating myself and while I was starting to pull myself out of it, the Chronic Fatigue made it alot harder. I think back in 2008 when I first started retreating (following the break in) I really did manage to isolate myself and I think I have lost alot of friends for it. Towards the end of this year I have found myself feeling very much alone. I believe this is my own doing and I think it is a huge mistake I have made. Though I understand why it happened and that I shouldnt beat myself up over it, I think this is something I really need to work on.

Withdrawing from Uni
While this was necessary this year because of the Chronic Fatigue it has definitely been something I see as a negative thing of the year. I have been at Uni now on and off for 4 years - in that time I have successfully completed 4 subjects towards my degree. In otherwords I have taken 8 semesters to complete 1 full-time semester. To me that is unexceptable, I feel I must be not trying hard enough, working hard enough, nthat I must be finding excuses. My mum is disappointed, I know and she does try to be understanding but the comments she makes about it (usually in jest) cut deep - mostly because I agree with her. I know all the "excuses" have been valid reasons, but I find myself getting very frustrated over it all. I should be finished my degree by now and starting an internship - or at least be starting the bridging year. I know other survivors through blogs and forums who manage having families, full time (or at least part time) jobs, who have completed degrees or are currently studying full time. Or doing a mix of these things. Why cant I manage even a little of this?? I feel the same way when it comes to driving - I cannot believe I am 24 years old and still dont know how to drive nor do I have a license.

3. What new rituals are you willing to commit to in 2011 to get the results you want? What new habits will you form to take your life to the next level?

Healing
Before I went away Margaret asked me to think about what things I want to be working on with her (short term goals). In the past we have been working on anxiety and for the most part I feel I manage that alot better than I ever used too. I still have my long term goal of co-conciousness but I am not sure what I want to be focusing on as a short term goal. I think I need to work on being more positive and comparing myself to others less and be more focused on my own path. I also want to be sure that I write regularly both in my blog and in my journal - these things I struggle to do at times but I feel good when I do them.

God
I want to be more displined in my prayer time. When I take the time to sit down and really talk to God I feel great for it and I feel closer to Him, but I struggle in being displined in this. I do pray to God every day but they are 2 minute prayers when things come up or when I think of something, I dont sit down with time set aside simply for prayer.

I want to be more social
I want to make some new friends, and start re-aquienting my self with my old friends. I want to make sure that I get out of the house more. I am thinking of joining a choir to make some new friends and I want to start attending church more. I might take some art classes, or yoga/Tai Chi classes that can help with the Chronic Fatigue too.

Uni
I have signed up for 1 class for the first semester, which isnt much but it will be for me with everything else.I am a little nervous about it but I dont want to put uni off any further. However I am trying not to set my expectations too high and if it is too much I am ok with dropping out for a while longer (well I will keep telling myself that in hopes that I might start believing it)

I want to be more active in trying to heal from Chronic Fatigue.
To do this I want to see a naturopath and try and get help in chosing some dietary suppliments. I want to try and start a yoga or Tai Chi class - I need to start doing some gentle exercise and I really want some guidance to make sure I know which stretches to do & which to avoid until I am stronger. I want to set up a sleeping routine and stick to it.

My mum gave me a book at Christmas 'Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia" by Mary J. Shomon. Among other things, it outlines various treatments for Chronic Fatigue, and gives tips on creating a "recovery plan". I havent read all of it but I have been trying to, and I have been able to read more with the treatment Steve has given. One thing Mary Shomon wrote has really stuck with me:
"Keep in mind that putting together a recovery plan is a bit like dividing up a pie, with each slice representing a different technique or approach you can take. In deciding how big each piece will be, you're choosing what amount of time, energy, money and resources you will devote to that particular technique." (pg. 261)
I like this analogy and it make me realise that the more things you try and work on the thinner you have to spread yourself. I think its true with goals and life too - I need to take this idea into consideration when I think about healing from Chronic Faitgue, working on my healing Journey with DID, studying at uni etc.

What I have written here is more a general overview of things I want to work on, there seems alot there and that worries me but I am not sure how to reduce these things any further, they are all important things to be overall well being. For New Years I am going to sit down and write more specific goals. I think I would be less likely to achieve my resolutions/goals if they are fague.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December's Expressive Arts Carnival

Since I came across Paul's blog and Expressive Arts Carnival I have been following it very closely and contributing to the carnival. I believe that the Arts carnival is a really great thing, if you havent already checked it out I suggest you do so.

The December 2010 edition of the Expressive Arts Carnival has been released, you can see it here. This month any survivor art was welcome rather than a provided theme/project. I believe this was to make it easier for contributor's during the holidays.

This month's carnival is so full of emotion, when I first looked at it I had to walk away, make a cup of tea before I could come back and comment. There is a lot of hurt, but there is hope there too.

I think each artwork is so special, unique, an honest window into survior's lives and journeys. There were a couple of artworks that I was personally drawn to that I would like to comment on, but I dont want leave any of the other contributors out - they are all such powerful images in their own way. I think every contributor is so strong for sharing.

I really like Jahda's analogy. It's a nice reminder of what we are working towards. The lunar Eclipse was really special this year. I was told by Steve that never before has a lunar eclipse landed on the winter solstice (summer solstice in Australia). It is supposed to symbolise new beginnings.

Castorgirl's artwork was the one I was particularly drawn to, I sat and looked at it for ages.I could so relate to her comment too.I thought I would have more too say about it but honestly I dont think I know how to put it into words, well more than I have already said.

I havent heard about ScribblerToo before - the littles are excited to try it, I am too honestly (I think Nadia will like it as well, but she isnt around currently).

Anyway, check out the Expressive Arts Carnival it is really worth while and I really want to encourage other survivors to contribute.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Parts of me?

When I was talking to Steve about DID he asked me where I felt my little ones came from. I had a lot of trouble answering this and I thinnk Steve recognised that as he then changed the question to where did my psychologist think my parts come from. I told him that Margaret said that they are each a part of me - that my mind created different parts to deal with different things in a difficult situation.

Intellectually I have accepted this but when ever Margaret (my psychologist) or someone else talk about them as part of me I want to argue with them. Its a purely emotional response, I recognise that and generally I stop myself from arguing and just bite my tongue, so to speak. Steve seemed to be of the opinion that they are spirits helping me. But that doesnt feel right either.

I have always felt a sense of togetherness with my little ones, a sense of kinship, similar to the ties to family - a connection to them. I remember Paul describing a circle that encompasses all of us - I could relate to that. I have been considering this for a while and I actually found something written down in our shared journal, I am not sure who inside decided to give their opinion but I liked it and thought I would share:
When we were hurt our soul shattered, breaking into different pieces. As it healed it became a multiple of wholes; all connected but seperate, shared in a body.
I dont know how true that is, but it does show that feeling of togetherness while explaining the sense of seperatness.

I suppose Margaret would say that it is not really productive thinking like this. Margaret has been very good at helping me - she has taught me so many skills in coping, she was the one who diagnosed us, and she has help to empower me in particular in really trying to actively heal. She encouraged me to get back into my art after I took that long break. However Margaret seems to feel the only path to healing leads to intergration.

For those of you who dont know what intergration is, the idea is that all of the parts of a person with DID "intergrate" or join together to become one person again. I have heard of people who have interegrated and it has fallen apart months or even years later. I have heard of people who are currently living "intergrated". I also know of people who have full co-conciousness; in other words that are full aware all the time however who is in control can still vary. Or at least that is how I understand it.

Currently my goal in healing is to reach co-conciousness, to be able to function in the every day world. Intergration just doesnt feel achieveable to me at this point and some of my little ones panic at the idea of integration. I guess I panic a little at losing something that has protected me for so long.

When I first found out I had DID - before I could even hear my littles ones, I thought that it was a disaster, something to be ashamed of, that I was somehow broken. I believed that intergration was the only solution. Then as I started to get to know my little ones, I started to realise it wasnt the end of the world, I started to read as much as I could on DID and began to realise that there were other options. At that point I would have said I would never intergrate - that it was an impossibilitity - too hard and too far out of reach. Now? Now I think its a possibility, I feel more together than I ever have however I still feel a strong sense of seperateness at the same time. The idea of integration creates less anxiety than it used to though there is still some. It is something I will consider in the future - for now co-conciousness seems a good goal.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at the Beach House

Well it is Boxing Day and Christmas has past. I have been stressed about Christmas - I am staying with my parents and my Mum likes to make a big fuss for the holidays and that is not what I enjoy. However Mum decided to have a quiet Christmas for me - we did presents in the morning and spent the day lounging about reading, eating and playing with our presents. I was really greatful to Mum for that - it is probably the best present she gave me (though I do love my new camera!!)

Sunset on the beach on Christmas Day
Taken with my new camera
The other reason I have been anxious about the holidays is that Mum decided she wanted to have them at the beach house. This is a holiday house that Mum inherited from my grandfather and while it is a beautiful location and a nice house; it holds a lot of bad memories for me, though not as bad as other places. Mum has been good enough to let me sleep in a different room that doesnt hold as many memories however it is still hard being here.

I am actually very torn about being here, I love the beach, Mum always used to call me a water baby - I am usually drawn to it - waterfalls, lakes, creeks, beaches most of all, I love the sea. I find that being surrounded by the smell of the beach, the taste on the breeze, feeling the sand between my toes and the sound of the waves crashing and the cool water my skin, I find all of that to be renewing, refreshing and calming. I feel closer to God here and yet I am surrounded by things that remind me of stuff I really dont want to remember.

If nothing else I think the time at the beach is good for the Chronic Fatigue - as I said before I find the beach and ocean to be renewing and refreshing. Between that, the B12 shots and some other new things I have been trying (I will go into that more in another post) I have been feeling better than I have all year. I have a lot of hope for the New Year.

I hope anyone who is reading this has a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
God Bless

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Artworks

Entries for the December Expressive Arts Carnival close on the 27th of December. I was going through some of our art to see what I would enter since it is "open" this month and I found a few pieces that I havent posted up here that I have been meaning to. Still not sure what I will enter - there are quite a few I like and would be interesting to share.


This was drawn by Nadia fairly recently - its our "thoughts and emotions". I am really quite taken with this piece, though at the same time it makes me shudder occasionally.


This one I found with a few other water colours done at the same time (in the last month) - I am not sure who did it. I think I would find it scary if it wasnt for the purple. As it is I find it very powerful - full of hurt, anger and sadness but also hope and healing. I think myabe the older 8 year old did and if she did that is very exciting for me - she hasnt shown alot of healing in her art before.


This is an old one - drawn in 2009 by Nadia. I have been meaning to share it for a while because it is such an intersting piece - its also very different to any sort of art I have ever done and yet it is a good example of the art Nadia regularly does. It is actually only a section of  a larger piece of art - the orginal was A3 but my scanner is only A4 so I could only get a section of it.

This is a mask I drew not long after I entered the last Expressive Arts Carnival. It was really eye opening to me because I didnt really think when I drew it - I was just thinking about walls and masks and everything I had been discussing/thinking in relation to the last entry (see here) and was scetching one day and this came out. I really am proud of the cracks in this - however I am also a little scared and excited what this picture could mean to my healing.

So I am thinking I will enter one of these or maybe Natalie's portrait (here). Being at home it is harder to do art though I do have a small sketch book, some pencils and chalk pastels so we might do a little. Even if I dont end up sending one of these I am glad I have an "excuse" to post them here, I have been meaning to share them and havent got around to it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Loss of Routine

So I am staying at my parents place until after the new year and I have been here one night and I am already ready to go home.

Dont get me wrong I love my Mum and step dad, they are good people. And my Mum tries to be supportive as she can of the DID but she doesnt completely get it. But she tries and she has been getting better. But my mum's house if full of clutter - piled high along hallways and in every room. There is no escaping it. I find that makes me stressed, my parents also live in a small country town where unless you drive at least 30mins there is no where to go. I dont have a license so I cant go for a drive and get a way for a while.

I also just cant keep my own routine here, my parents live differently, eat differently and generally their lifestyle choices are rather different. Its hard getting up in the morning and not having my usual choices available for breakfast. Or have all my tea things (sugar, kettle, mug, teaspoons) all set up in the corner ready for me to make my tea in the morning so I can function. These are small things but I find myself more stressed, more tired and just generally more unhappy. I love my parents and I cant explain it to them without upsetting my mum so I just live with it.

Routine and familiarity can be really important in making people feel more safe and less stressed. Our routines are what make things "normal" for us, provide us with a familiar base to work with every day. For me, my routines make functioning in the outside world easier. They help ground me after a bad night, and when I was really struggling with depression they helped me keep going because I didnt have to think I just followed what I knew.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Getting Over it

I have been posting much lately - I went to Sydney over the weekend and while it was a wonderful trip it wore me out - particularly since I was on "high alert" for much of it. Since then I have just been too tired to post. Today I started catching up on blog posts and considering what I wanted to write about. I came across Paul's post - "The Path of Elizabeth Smart and Me". I can truly relate to where Paul is coming from, the struggling not to compare my journey with that of other survivors - or just my life with my age peers. I can also relate to the "leaving the past in the past" idea.

One of the things that this really reminded me of was something my aunt had said when she found out I was struggling with what had happened (this is before I even learnt of DID). I have a very vivid memory of my aunt pulling me aside and in an anger whisper saying "Stop playing the victim and get over it".

Ever since this has been something that I have struggled with - is she right, even if she could have word it better. Am I some how "playing the victim" trying to get something out of it? I don't think so, though when I have had to withdraw from uni or get an extension for an assessment due to not being able to study (because of losing time or unable to focus because of flashbacks etc) I do question if I am using my past or is it an honest reason? It is hard to doubt myself in this way.

Sometimes I think it be easier to push it all into the background and pretend it doesn't exist, that everything is okay. I could be "normal" and maybe actually get a degree rather than have 4 completed subjects to show for 2 years of actual work. (4 subjects is consider a full time load for 1 semester) - at this rate it will take me at least 8 years to get my degree and I don't want that. I also want to have a relationship where I am not constantly aware of all the "baggage" I bring. I want to have fun like my mother constantly tells me I should be having at my age (24).

 But I have done the whole "putting it behind you" in the past but it was a very downward slope that lead to depression and self harm.  I don't want to go back to that dark place. But when I look at my healing journey even though I know I have come so far, I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel and that scares me because I want to move past this point to where I can function more like a "normal" person (whatever that is).

Paul's description of healing is beautiful and I agree with everything he described it as. But it also made me realise that until recently I believed healing was learning to move on and that isn't what healing is - at least I don't believe so any more. Now I am questioning what is healing and what exactly am I working towards?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shadow's Artwork

Shadow came out and did a drawing with charcoal a while ago, which is unlike him - he doesn't usually get into art. Shadow is a part I know very little about and he scares me a little - probably because of my lack of knowledge, and maybe a little because he is a male part. We have tried to approach him, include him but he always stands back - stays on the outside of our  circle so to speak. Despite that fear I definitely still care for him.



I am not sure what Shadow was meaning to symbolise and he hasn't told us. When I look at it I felt sadness, anger and a little anxious. After having looked at Natalie's portrait (see here) and also reading Paul's comment and his post Blending; I am wondering if this is the other side - this is Shadow's sense of separateness.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Progress

Last week I wrote a post entitled "Change"; it really ran off topic and to places I didn't really expect - I hadn't even realised that was where my mind was at. It was a good reminder to myself of how far I have come. There are days when I feel that I am not getting anywhere and that I am at a stand still.

This is particularly true since I have been struggling with Chronic Fatigue. It is so hard to be focused on healing when I don't have the energy for simple tasks - like cooking my own dinner. Yet thinking back on this year I realised that I have started to accept my parts so much more than any point in my life. I fight them less and have come to rely on certain parts - I don't know how I would have got through the last few months with out Stacy to help me. I have grown to love them - even the difficult ones. I see this a huge progress - especially when I think back to 2007 when I started therapy - I wouldn't tell my psychologist about my parts and didn't want to acknowledge their existence in any way. I still struggle to see them as part of me - when people say this to me I have to bite my tongue to stop myself from arguing. They feel like separate individuals to me. But one step at a time.

I think a huge lesson I have learnt since I have had Chronic Fatigue, is that I need to take the time to care of my body and my mind. If I don't then it will fall apart and wont be able to carry me through this life. I often want to put other people, things, work, uni etc. before myself - particularly when it comes to my physical health. However if I don't stop to take care of myself it will effect my ability to do those things in the future - even more so if I don't take care of myself in the now. While this is a lesson I have learnt more in the light of physical health, I realise the truth of it in relation to mental health too.

It is hard to see progress when you look at your own healing journey, particularly in the short term. But as time rolls by and you look back at where you were, you do see how far you have come. I read a few different blogs of survivors, all who are at different places with their healing - some I look at and wonder how I will ever get to the place they are at. Some are just starting their healing journey and may even look at my blog and think where I am at is out of reach. But each path is different and we shouldn't try to compare; as hard as that is at time. However what I want to get at was that we will all get there eventually, if we keep working at it. Even in those times when we feel we are at a stand still we are still making baby steps - steps that may be so small that we don't see the progress now but when we look back later we will see that we have moved forward.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A portrait of Us by Natalie


Natalie decided that she wanted to try out the new pastels and this is the result.

When asked about it she said "that's us". This confused me and I tried to get her to explain but found her explanation completely confusing. However with some help from Elsie and Julia I was able to understand a little better.

As I have mentioned before Natalie is an Empath - at least where the other little ones are concerned. She often feels their emotions - is overwhelmed by them at times. In this picture it's the different emotions of each part. How we often clash and other times agree - how we blend together in body. But each of us is distinct and different - though some parts tend to blend into the background more than others.

I like the idea, though I think some of the colours are too bright and cheerful to describe us. But I am told the actual colours are not important - its the way they come together. Still not sure if I completely agree but it is an interesting idea.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Expressive Arts Carnival

Just a quick post to let people know that the November 2010 edition of the Expressive Arts Carnival has now been posted.

I wrote about my own entry here.

Please check it out - its well worth the time - and I really want to encourage other survivors to consider contributing their own pieces.

I believe next month's carnival is going to have an open theme - so any survivor art will be welcome.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Does Dissociation Make Us Special?

Paul's blog, Mind Parts, is a very well written blog that really gets me thinking about my own healing journey. I am slowly going back over his past highlighted posts. Yesterday I read his post "Does Dissociation Make Us Special?" and it provoked in me a lot of emotion as well as thought.

I'm not sure I completely understand why I had such a strong emotional response to this post. I felt hurt, betrayed and even anger. Intellectually I understood what Paul was trying to say and I even agree with a lot of it, which is why my emotional response surprised me.

I can understand the risk of viewing ourselves as special because of DID, how it might hinder healing. If I believe I am special because of DID then I am unlikely to move past it, wanting to hold on to that feeling of "specialness". That doesn't mean people diagnosed with DID aren't special, they are - each of those people are strong individuals who survived something horrible - but what makes them special isn't DID, or what they survived - it's that they are strong unique individuals.

I have come to know many other survivors through Pandys, blogs and other forums, and I believe all of those friends, are beautiful, strong and loving people who I have great admiration for, I think they are special people. However, personally, I haven't really ever felt special, while I can relate to these people and recognise that I fall into the same category as a survivor, I cannot see myself in the same way.  I realise that is part of my low self esteem, the part of me that still believes all of those cruel things I heard as a child. But understanding something intellectually and accepting it within yourself are two different things and while I do a lot better at not putting myself down I have yet to accept that I might be special, for whatever reason.

The topic of language in his post was an interesting one, that I still have two minds about. For a long time I struggled with terms such as "alt" or even "survivor". I still do. I have always called my "alts" 'my little ones' or if talking about them individually I refer to them by their preferred name. As I began to involve myself in the "survivor" community (blogs and forums mostly) I began to use the language myself, not because I felt differently about it but because it made it easier to communicate. It made it easier to explain to close friends.

Paul said:
The language of dissociative disorders and their definitions present narrow views. These views tend to tie us into a particular way of thinking (and sometimes being) and ultimately hold us back...

It's rather easy to say "Personality A did this" or "Personality B was out" and people, particularly treaters, will know exactly what you mean. But that's usually said because of lack of awareness, or strict adherence to the dissociative language and paradigms. As we develop awareness–as we heal–we necessarily find ourselves at odds with these paradigms and with the goal of dissociation.

I disagree with this, I do see the point he is trying to make however for me the language and definitions provide a common ground and understanding when talking to others about DID. It gives me a place to build from to then take those terms and use them to help people try and see my own personal experiences. That having been said, while I may use these terms while communicating about DID it doesn't define the way I think, feel and experience it.

I don't think using it to communicate has ever held me back or I have used it to distinguish myself, or to seem "special". Some words still rub against me the wrong way, but it is easier just to use them rather than try and explain the complex ways I feel and view my system. 

As far as referring to each alt by their names, (or as Paul puts it "Personality A " or "Personality B") this is something I do instinctively. I am aware that when I call them an alt or part some of my little ones feel insulted, they feel I am making them less than what they are.

A final comment on Paul's blog, just because I have disagreed with parts of his post and I had a huge emotional response to it, has not changed my opinion of it. It is a well written blog which I find challenging. I have a great amount of respect for Paul, what he writes and what he tries to do with things like The Expressive Arts Carnival. I admire his strength and his ability to write topics that could be consider controversial in a respectful manner.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Roles My Alts Play

I was updating the "Meet My Alts" page and was thinking about the roles they play in our system. I have never sat down and put them into categories and thought it be interesting to try and do so. I know they will overlap so you may see certain names in multiple categories.

The Littles
This is what I call all my alts who are children
  • Kylie (4yo)
  • Natalie (4yo)
  • Katy (5yo)
  • Torry (5yo)
  • Kylie (6yo)
  • Julia (7yo)
  • Kylie (7yo)
  • The Twins (8yo)
  • Sasha
The Teens
My alts who are neither children, nor are they adults, they don't tend to need "looking after" that the littles need however they aren't part of the Bigs either.
  • Sage (12yo)
  • Kylie (12yo)
  • Nadia (16yo)
  • Shadow (unknown)
  • Jessica (25yo)

The Bigs
These are all my alts who are adults, who have responsibilities inside and help out more. When large decisions are to be made the Bigs and I generally have a meeting about it to discuss it and come to a decision that is best for the system (or at least that is what we try and do).
  • Stacy (33yo)
  • Jazzie (19yo)
  • Elsie (ageless)
  • Kylie (10yo)

Memory Holders
These are alts that hold the memories of abuse, while some of the others may be aware of what happened or know certain memories these particular parts carry the majority of memories
  • Kylie (6yo)
  • Kylie (7yo)
  • The Twins
  • Kylie (12yo)

Emotion Keepers 
While each of my alts experience different emotions - these parts seem to hold a certain emotion particularly in regards to the abuse.
  • Natalie - fear
  • Kylie (6yo) - sadness
  • Kylie (little 8yo) - guilt
  • Kylie (big 8yo) - anger
Note: Elsie is telling me that Shadow belongs in this group too though I am not sure what emotions he really keeps.

Protectors 
These parts act as protectors of our system, through different methods - not all of their methods are really helpful however they are "skills" that were needed at one point or another.
  • Torry - Ever seen a child put their hands on their hips and say something like "you're being a meanie" or "don't upset my friend/mummy"? This is how Torry behaves.
  • Kylie (7yo) - protects us by keeping our secrets and making sure the others keep secrets. This is one of those situations where it causes more problems than actual protection but she is trying to protect us.
  • Kylie (little 8yo) - passiveness, her very nature is a form of protection - if she senses danger she will try and make the perpetrator happy by doing what she thinks they want so as to lessen the amount we are hurt.
  • Jessica - She thinks that if she hits on guys and has sex with them then she can remain in control and they cant hurt us by forcing us. She also tries to make sex meaningless (and therefore the abuse meaningless) by trivializing it. Another one of those situations that causes more problems - but she means well, even f we disagree with her.
  • Sasha - is a more animalistic form of protection - the natural "fight or flight" responses. If anyone feels threatened or if Sasha perceives a threat she is automatically on high alert.
  • Kylie (12yo) - her disdain of men keeps them at a distance and so are less likely to hurt us emotionally. Her lack of care when it comes to other peoples opinions also helps protect from hurtful words. The 12yo has faded into the background more as we have grown to trust people more and let them in -however she is there, cautioning us to take care in who we trust and let in. If I ever get in an argument with someone she comes close, putting up walls to protect us from hurtful words.
Note: Kylie (older 8yo) is very protective of her twin (the little 8yo), however she isn't particularly protective of our system.

Helpers 
These are parts who help our system function now in every day life. 
  • Stacy - keeps things organised - ensures the chores are done (clean clothes, cooks food etc.), keeps track of appointments and important dates, makes sure rules are followed by other alts and has a little more control inside than the others (with the exception of the 10yo).
  •  Kylie (10yo) - the mother of our system - she is a source of comfort, love for the littles. She keeps track of who is out and tries to be aware of who we interact with. She also helps Stacy with discipline inside.
  • Jazzie - interacts with the world when I cannot (in situations where I am around people who aren't aware of the DID). Helps the 10yo with cuddles and comfort of the littles.
  • Elsie - helps us deal with triggers and flashbacks, helps keep us try and stay calm when it isn't safe for us to flip out. She also is a good listener for the other alts when they need to talk to someone.
  • Julia - she is a friend and playmate of the littles. When the littles are out she often shares consciousness with them - helping them with things like reading, using the computer, typing, putting on movies, finding appropriate TV shows etc. If the "bigs" want to have a meeting then Julia will be the one to take the little to the play room or the garden and distract them.
  • Sasha - helps ensure our basic needs are met (food, water, sleep, warmth, shelter). For instance - when we are having a bad day I don't always notice if our body is hungry - Sasha will ensure that on days like that we eat. Sasha also helps by often sleeping with Natalie to help her feel safe (Nata enjoys cuddling Sasha's fox tail)

Other Roles
These are more individual things that apply to a particular alt rather than a group.

Inner Child - Kylie (4yo) and Katy
Both of these parts are the child in me, unaffected by the abuse.

Artistic - Nadia
Expresses ideas and feelings through art and writing

Student - Sage
Loves to learn and always happy to find an answer if the littles have a question. While I wasn't really aware of Sage while I was studying I think she is part of the reason I have yet to give up on university.

Empath - Natalie
Natalie can sense how the others are feeling - its like an extra sense to her - she can reach out and feel where each of the other alts are inside and how each of them are feeling, if someone is triggered then Nata generally gets overwhelmed with their feelings of fear & hurt. It is an ability she cannot control.

Elsie helped me write this, she is very good at keeping track of who is who within our system and really understands who they are, even those who put up a "bravado". I have found working on this very helpful to understand my system more - I haven't always understood why I have so many parts and the roles they play.

If you want to know more about my alts as "individuals" check out our "Meet my Alts" page. You may also be interested in our post which provides a "map" of inside, though it is a little out of date missing rooms of alts I wasn't aware of at the time - however it will give you a good understanding our "house".

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Healing Colours

Yesterday's post went a little off track, and some where completely unexpected. After I finished writing it I was completely exhausted and went back to bed even though it was only 10 in the morning. I was feeling shaky and short of breath - I knew I was triggered but at the same time I felt separate from it all. That isn't unusual for me, it is another form of disassociation, it is common for people with a dissociative disorder to experience several types of disassociation, not just the one commonly linked to their disorder.

Anyway, I awoke from my nap still feeling triggered and switching in and out a lot, I think a couple of my alts had nightmares during our nap. I decided to try something new to calm us down. I put some calming music on (Norah Jones) and then I pulled out some oil pastels and choose "calming colours" - colours I associate with calm, tranquility and peace. For me those colours are greens and blues and purples. I then sat down to a blank piece of paper working with only those colours. Here is the result:


There was no real plan with the patterns and I have no idea if it symbolises anything but I do like the outcome and it did help all of us to calm down a little. It helped ground me too so I wasn't switching as much.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Change

I don't know if I have mentioned this before but I play World of Warcraft (WoW) - a very popular MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). For those of you who are not familiar with the gaming world, WoW is a fantasy game in which there is an entire world in which you are a part of with thousands of other players from around the world. WoW has actually played its own part in my healing process in a number of ways though I am only beginning to realise it. It has been a source of friends, escape, accomplishment and  has helped my own confidence. Some of my alts also play, they have their own characters and it has often been a source of distraction for them.

In a couple of weeks a new expansion for WoW is coming out - but unlike past expansions this one is is changing a lot of the original world, bringing new quests, changing the zones and each of the classes have now had a complete make over in preparation to the upcoming expansion. The change to WoW is exciting but I have found that I have been a little anxious about it.

I have been thinking about a change and why it scares me, not just in WoW, that is just a small thing, but fear of change throughout my life. While I haven't come up with any definite answers I do have a few ideas. I think the thing I have realised the most is that I fear the unknown rather than the change itself. 

Familiarity and routine provide a sense of security, knowing what to expect allows me to feel a sense of control. Change brings the unknown, the unexpected and that makes it harder to feel safe. I have spent my whole life planning, making sure that no matter what the situation that I have a plan and that I know what I am going to do. A lot of people have called me organised and think it is a good thing - and in its own way it is. However its also a sign of my own anxiety, obsessiveness and need for control. When I think back on times when my plans have fallen apart I realise that I have fallen apart with them - feeling lost and afraid. The biggest example was realising that I no longer wanted to be a primary teacher.

When I was in primary school, year 2 (I was 7 or 8 years old at the time) I decided I was going to be a primary teacher. Even at that age I looked out for kids younger than myself, I would go out of my way to help them out - that never changed. At the time adults would smile when I told them what I was going to do and I heard a number of people say that I would change my mind a dozen times before I finished school. As I grew older I did consider other professions but never seriously - I was going to be a primary teacher and that was it.

When I finished high school I took a year off and worked as a live-in Nanny for 4 beautiful children, I loved them dearly and still think of them often. The following year I went to TAFE and completed my Certificate 3 in children Services which allowed me to work in child care centers, it also allowed me to qualify to enter my chosen university (I had broken down in my final year of high school and it had seriously hurt my grades). In my first year of uni (2007) we did a prac in which we spent 2 weeks in a primary school observing and helping out a teacher. I learnt so much and I truly loved working with the children but I also realised that I could never make teaching my life, I hated the politics involved.

I had been studying a double degree in primary teaching and psychology - the plan being that I would be a teacher and maybe later in life be a school counselor so that I could really help young children who really needed it. When I completed that prac and realised I didn't want to be a primary teacher I was at a complete loss as to what I wanted to do, I started to get really depressed and break down. I had already been overwhelmed with uni and while I hadn't been diagnosed with DID yet I was switching a lot.

I continued to study the same degree, focusing on the psychology - I didn't want to make such a big choice as switching degrees while I was in such a bad place mentally - even then I was holding on to my plan even though I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do anymore. It was a hard time and it was made harder when my fiancee broke up with me. I was walking around in a daze - I felt like an empty shell who was going through the motions of living a real life. I started to pull away from friends and while I still went out, went to church and to BCS (the on campus Christian group) I wasn't letting anyone in.

Beginning of 2008 a guy broke into my house while I was home, resulting in me falling pregnant. In some ways falling pregnant saved me - despite the circumstances. I had been so close to committing suicide following that night - I probably would have if I didn't have friends at my house around the clock watching me closely. When I found out I was pregnant I was scared, emotional and didn't know what I was going to do - but I knew I couldn't have an abortion and I knew myself that I didn't think I would be able to give it up either. I pulled myself together for the baby growing inside of me and  stayed strong. I found out I was carrying twins and even started to become excited. I was still a mess but I locked that away to deal with later, staying strong and being healthy was my focus.

When I miscarried I broke. Everything I had been locking away hit me hard. What a lot of people didn't realise was that it was more than just dealing with the break in and miscarriage. It was all of it - losing my fiancee, having no plans or idea of what I wanted to do with my life - my whole idea of what I wanted to be was lost right there - I had always wanted to be married with kids and a teacher - and I lost all of that in a matter of months - or at least that's how it felt at the time. I stopped living, I rarely left the house, I stopped going to church, BCS, I stopped seeing friends, I deferred university. I simply seemed to stop functioning. I would lose days at a time to my alts and I didn't care. To be honest I don't remember a lot of 2008 - I was in a bad place for most of it - though I guess it was a turning point for me in someways.

In 2009 I went back to uni, part time and distance, I switched simply to a degree in straight psychology - not because I was sure that's what I wanted but it was easier since I had already started it with the double degree. I am still not sure that's what I want but I stick with it since I don't have any other plans. Anyway, I slowly started pulling myself out of the dark place I had been - it has been a slow ascend since then. I felt I was starting to get back on track though I didn't know what that track was. Falling sick this year as made me feel that its all been put on hold again and it has been hard for me to fight not falling back into that despair.

This journey has been hard and painful - everything I have written barely touches on how I felt and what I went through - it also doesn't show how far I have come in healing. It helps to see how far I have come - because I am yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I still have so far to go - but seeing how far I have come gives me hope, courage and strength to continue.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Expressive Arts Carnival November Entry

I have mentioned the Expressive Arts Carnival once before (in this post) not long after I found this site through another survivor's blog. Each month there is a theme or activity which is posted and survivors are encouraged to create a piece of artwork or creative writing based on this project.

This month the activity is:
Draw a wall using any medium, and show what is on one or both sides. Please also write a couple of sentences saying what the process was like for you.
 Nadia and I worked on our entry together, which has been really interesting for me as it's the first time that I have collaborated with one of my alts in anything. Here is our result:


This was drawn first in pencil, then with a felt tip pen and then later it was scanned into the computer and the colours were added digitally. Nadia wanted to have the globe & vines coloured so as to separate them from the wall, to have it stand out.

The mask is the wall, on one side is us (my alts & I), on the other is the vines, rose & globe which are meant to represent life & the world.

Working on this has taken a long time, not only because of the collaboration but also because the Chronic Fatigue made it hard to work on this for any length of time. To get it completed and in on time is another  accomplishment for me, the first being working with Nadia.

I keep coming back to the idea of masks - have done for years - the idea that we let the world see us one way, not allowing others to see the real us. I don't know the number of times I have put a smile on my face and told people around me that "I am okay" when I have felt like I am falling apart inside. Even when I have been honest and let people in I still only show glimpses - I feel I have to protect others and that by being completely honest and open I will hurt them with my own pain.

As we worked on this submission the same thought kept coming to me: Is it that the mask is keeping the world out (protecting us) or is it keeping us in (a cage), preventing us from living life? I am not sure the answer but it is something that has been on my mind a lot lately.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What would you wish for?

I have been really exhausted the last couple of days so I haven't been posting. I have been really emotional too - going from feeling fine - almost happy - to wanting to burst into tears for no apparent reason. Not sure if its cause I am so tired, if something is upsetting one of my alts (though I am told not), or if its something else.

So instead of the usual post I am going to share with you a song I really enjoy.


Today's song is "Airplane" by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams



& to quote the lyrics:
"If you had one wish, what would you wish for?"

It be nice if you answered in the comments section though there is no pressure to do so. My answer:

Peace
what ever I would need to bring peace into my life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dissociation, Fears & Facing Stigma

 I started to reply to Candycan's post and what was just going to be a small comment ended up being another huge post in itself, alot of the issues I talked about I want share here anyway so here is my full reply:

Yes, I experience a number of different dissociation types - from what I have read, and what I have discussed with the psychologist I see this is normal - that the different dissociative disorders do overlap to some degree (as in you may have DID but experience Depersonalisation).

I occasionally feel that unconnected to my body, particularly during really hard times. I also "dissociate" from my emotions - so I am completely aware and functioning, & while I might have an emotional response to what is happening I wont feel those emotions at the time. This is something I particularly have to work on in my healing. Because I will often remember the memories of my past but not the emotions attached to those emotions - and I cant work through those emotions until I can connect with them - if that make sense?

I think the most frightening for me was when I first was really experiencing the DID full on before I knew what was going on. Way back when it all started I couldn't hear my alts, I wasn't really aware of their existence. So when I first became aware of me losing time I had no idea what was going on. I would be doing one thing and then all of a sudden I would be in a completely different location, different clothes, having no idea how the minutes/hours and occasionally even days had passed in what seemed to me a split second.

Id have people ask me a bout conversations I never remembered having, and on a few occasions ran into people at the shops/school that I didn't know but who obviously knew me. I would find artwork in my sketch pads that I never drew. That was terrifying and there was a constant fear of what I would do in these mysterious losses of time. And there was the fear of telling anyone in case they locked me away in a straight jacket.

I think that is one of the hardest things we have to get past - the stigma of mental health issues. My fear of switching is all but gone, I am more in touch with my alts and can always ask them what is going on or what has happened. The not knowing is what was the scariest part for me. My biggest fear these days is people finding out, switching in public & behaving in a way that people will realise is not "normal". I still get nervous about switching in front of friends who don't know.

And this fear comes from the fear of losing friends, fear of people's judgment. And this fear stems from the stigma that surrounds things like DID - that is what makes me think people will react negatively, and usually the reason why those few closed minded people do react so negatively.

Wow this comment has become almost as long as another post!! I hope this answers some of your questions, I hope it helps you feel less alone.


I want to add this - that stigma is slowly changing, but its something we need to face head on ourselves. But to do that we need to be confident in ourselves that DID (and whatever any other mental health issue you may face) is NOT a bad thing, its NOT your fault, and it DOESN'T make you any less "normal" - because what is normal? & when you take into consideration what lead us to be like this - who is to say this is not a normal response to such extreme actions, in which we had no control??

I do struggle to remember these things, to be confident in myself and not to be ruled by my fears, including fear of rejection. But it is something I am trying to change in myself.

This brings me back to Jackson's journal post on SuperForest (check my earlier post here). This post touched me deeply, it really reminded me how much I let fear control my life, and how much I want to change that.

Fear has seemed to come up a lot today - I think someone really wanted to remind me of goals.

Fear and Control

I had a wonderful trip to Katoomba, and from there even took a side trip to Sydney & caught up with a couple of other friends too. The trip has worn me out - though not as much as I expected, maybe that B12 shot is helping...

This link is to an awesome journal post on Fear and Control in our lives, how we carry it with us and how we should let go. Enjoy :

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A day out

I am going out today. I am going to meet a friend and spend the day with them catching up - I haven't seen him in over a year. He lives over 4 hours away, which since I don't drive makes life a little hard. We are going to meet half way and spend the day quietly on a picnic rug at a park.

I know this outing is going to wear me out and exhausted me - I will probably spend the next couple of days in bed to recover. (I will try to post anyway - yay for laptops that allow us to access the net from bed!) I need to do this for me - I have been so lonely lately, and felt that I haven't even been living. This will at least be something in that I can feel I am living life even a little bit.

I am really excited to see Ian! He is such a great friend, it will be awesome to catch up - and even better to get a much needed hug. I can be at ease with Ian, he knows about the DID and has even spent time with some of my alts. It doesn't bother him and he always willing to take time out to talk to any of us.

Aaron is also been kind enough to offer to drive us which makes life easier - the idea of the bus & then train to get there was very daunting while I am so tired. It will be great to have those few hours each way in the car to catch up & just chat. 

I need to go, but I wanted to get this posted as I will be too tired to get it done when I get home. So I am going to leave you with a song I love.

My taste in music is very varied - and I feel music is a huge part of my healing journey. I listen and sing along to music to help express myself, to help me get into a different mind set. To ease my little ones when we are having a bad day. It is such an important part of who I am, and my everyday life which is why I wish to share it with you on occasions.

Today's song is  "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz


I love this song, just the feeling of it -its a good song to sum out how I feel about going out today (not the lyrics, just the feel of the song). I particularly love the lyrics:

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love
Listen to the music at the moment people dance and sing
We're just one big family
And it's our godforsaken right to be loved loved loved

Friday, November 12, 2010

More Blood Tests

I just got home. Had a doctor's appointment this morning - she didn't have a lot to say except we are trying something new - B12 injections - had my first one today. Then she wanted me to have some more blood tests to check my thyroid and hormones since they weren't normal on the last few tests. Nothing to be concerned about just a little outside the norm and she wants to keep an eye on it.

I appreciate her being so thorougher, and having these tests no longer stress me out - I have become so used to them this year. The nurses at the pathology center all know me and are all of my particular "situation". Though despite being aware of it one of them was seriously shocked last time when Natalie came out and said "No more needles". But they are good about it and luckily there was no switching this time.

When people find out about the DID there are 2 reactions I wait for - the first when they hear about it, the second when they actually meet one of my alts - particularly a little one. Its not that people don't believe me when I first explain it - they just cant really comprehend it - I can understand that. A friend once video taped Katy playing and showed it to me later - it was one of the scariest thing I have ever seen. To see me with different posture, mannerisms, voice, behaving in a way I would never act - it was just freaky. There is such a difference between hearing about something and actually seeing it.

I am never sure someone is really okay with me having DID until after they have spent time with at least one of my alts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A bit of this and a bit of that....

Today we are seeing Margaret (the psychologist). This is not really a big deal as it used to be - I used to feel a sense of dread. Margaret is a fantastic support, pushing me just a little out of my comfort zone to try and experience the emotions or try and face a memory, however when I back away she lets me. It is a slow process however she makes most of us feel safe, secure and in control. The sense of dread came from wondering what I would face and knowing that I really didn't want to look at that dark side of my memories.

However since having the Chronic Fatigue (CF) she no longer pushes us, we just don't have the energy to cope with that kind of thing. So for that reason, we have cut back our sessions to once a fortnight and mostly she helps me deal with day to day issues - helps me cope with the sense of helplessness that comes with CF, helps me brain storm ideas to deal with issues that come up; like how to stop the littles from buying things that we really cant afford.

The last few sessions we have been discussing my loneliness, how to make new friends when I don't work & I no longer go to uni classes. At the moment its pretty hard since I rarely go out as it wears me out, and the idea of making new friends just feels too hard while I am this tired. However I have to have faith that I wont always feel like this else I would given in to depression.

Meeting new people always comes with a certain amount of anxiety, since a few of the littles get scared of new people, especially males. Then there is the fear I will switch in front of them - the numerous "what ifs" that come with DID. Then there is just the general anxiety that most introverts feel when it comes to the prospect of meeting new people.

To answer Candycan's question :
Each of my alts introduced themselves with the name that I refer to them as - the only exception is when I refer to my littles by an age - they each share the same name as me & it gets confusing to say inside "Hey Kylie" - you get a lot of responses! As such we refer to them by their age, we did try nicknames for a while but a few of the younger ones didn't like that - they prefer being called their age than a name they don't see as their own.

I always find names and their meanings fascinating - our name is so much apart of our identity despite the fact that we never choose it for ourselves. Even nicknames are usually given to us by friends or family. I am not sure where my alts came up with their names - I asked a couple of them and they didn't recall choosing the name so much as that's just who they were.

Sage summed it up the best when she said;
"You look in the mirror and see 'Kylie', if I look in a mirror (inside) I see 'Sage'. No matter how much I have questioned who I am as part of our system, I have never questioned that I am Sage. It was never a choice, just a fact that that was who I was and who I am."

Writing this has taken me ages of coming back and forth just because I am so tired - but I am glad I am doing it. It gives me such a huge sense of accomplishment which is such a nice feeling, and such a rare one these days. I am sorry if any of my posts ever feel a little disjointed but its hard to keep the flow when I am writing a single post in lots of small sessions.

There is one final thing I want to mention before I finish this. I recently came across a wonderful project by a survivor when I was checking a few blogs I haven't been keeping up with until recently.
Basically a survivor has set up a little art project called the Expressive Arts Carnival. On the first day of each month he posts an art project for the month - he excepts submissions for roughly 3 weeks and then will post all the submissions on his site for that months project. In his words, "The purpose of these activities is not to provide therapy. Instead, the goal is to build a healing community where people can submit what they have done related to a monthly theme." He has past projects up there and it is amazing what people have come up with. I think it is a beautiful idea of bringing together people and allowing them to share the expression of how they feel in art.

Nadia and I have been working on our submission for this month's project (due 23rd November). It has been a really special experience - I have never worked so closely with one of my alts to create something.  When it is complete I will post it up here - in the mean time I wanted to share this project with you and encourage other survivors to enter their own works of art.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

further update

There is not alot I can say about living with DID lately, being so tired I dont have any energy to fight it and to be honest I no longer want to. I still find it scary and I am still worried if people will be able to except all of us, but I know already that there are people who do except us and still love me.

True, I have lost a few friends over it, but to be honest it is their loss - not mine. What kind of friendship did we have anyway, if they could not except all of me? There are other friends who dont know how to handle it and they just pretend it doesnt exist. And I am ok with that, I worry what will happen if I switch in front of them but I am less worried about that then I was when they knew nothing.

So what am I still frightened of? Never finding love. Not finding a person who would willingly take me and all the baggage. I am lonely, and even more than ever, I want someone who can wrap their arms around me and tell me that it will be ok - that they are there for me. I want someone to share the load with.

Back on topic...
Being able to retreat these days and let Stacy handle things is such a blessing - maybe not the healthiest way to deal with things. But when I have no idea how I am going to organise clean clothes because I dont have the energy to do the laundry - its nice to just let another part deal with it. We are all tired and none of us have the energy but sometimes different parts are better at finding enough energy to get the little things done.

I think Chronic Fatigue is hardest on the little ones. The 4yo wants to know why we cant go to the park anymore and play on the swings. Or visit a pet shop on a bad day just to see the baby animals. She doesnt understand why we dont have the energy to play.

A few of my alts find it frightening because they feel vunerable. If anything was to happen I wouldnt be able to fight anyone off. I dont believe anything will happen & its not like I ever go out, but once bitten, twice shy. Though I dont know that is the right saying for this instance - its close. I guess what I am trying to get at is that after everything that has happened its hard not to consider the worst happening again.

Now Natalie is all upset at this train of thought. **sigh**

I am tired, I think I will go back to sleep now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Its been far too long...

Wow its been a very long time since I have posted. Everyday I think I should update that its been while & then I dont do it immediately & the thought slips away. I hadn't realised how long it really had been until I logged on this morning.

I am still struggling with Chronic Fatigue. I sleep more than I am awake and even when I am awake I feel like I should be in bed sleeping. It is frustrating and leaves me feeling very negative. Last week I was checking Post Secret and found a secret that I really related to:



It summed up how I have been feeling for the past few months so well that I wanted to cry. I have been watching friends graduate from university, getting married, having babies, starting families, traveling - all the while getting out of bed feels like a huge accomplishment! I know I shouldn't compare myself to others - every persons journey is different and life isn't a race. However my life feels so empty and I feel so helpless to change it.

Since seeing it I have been trying to figure out how I can give my life more meaning while I have Chronic Fatigue. I am still working on it but one thing I wanted to do was revive this blog - to me its something, a way to reach out to the world, I guess.

The things getting me through has been my online friends - mostly from the gaming world and music. I rarely don't have music filling my home - so many different artists and genres that I cannot begin to list.


Other Updates:

Rascal is a healthy little cat who is growing up so fast. After that horrible night I was able to take him home & he recovered quite fast. He still takes after his name.

Charlie is still the loving little dog he has always been. He gets over excited and jumps all the time - I feel bad for him - I have no energy to take him for walks - some days I struggle to walk to my back gate. But his love and forgiveness has no end - I think we sometimes should take a leaf out of a dogs book and maybe we would have a kinder, more loving world.

Alts and DID - still here and still apart of my everyday life, but a full update will have to wait - hopefully tomorrow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rascal is at the Vet

When I woke up this morning Rascal was not himself - he was quiet and huddling in a corner. Then I found blood in his stool. I took him to the vet who thought it might be Rat poison but I dont keep it - but he has got out once or twice.

The vet just called me and said the blood tests came back and its not rat poison but he isnt sure what it is. He is treating rascal for a number of possibilities including worms. I dont know. I am worried about him. I know it wasnt convient how I got him but I do care for him. I hope he is ok.

Natalie is particularly upset. She was very attached to Rascal - all the alts are upset/worried to different levels but Natalie has been effected the most. I dont know if she will handle it if he doesnt make it.

For now we its just waiting to see if he survives the night.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

miscarriage

One of the girls in my bible study is pregnant and I am so happy for her. Tonight we were talking about her pregnancy, how she was going, morning sickness etc. Now I am as close to crying as I can get. I remember 2008 and being pregnant and the ultrasounds, hearing my 2 daughters heart beats. I remember how scared I was but how much I love I felt and how all I could see of them were two beautiful gifts from God out of something so horrible.
To me Life is something only God to make and they were God's gifts from a horrible night - thats how I felt. I held myself together so that I would be strong for them. I did everything all the books and research says - I ate the right foods, avoided the bad - I even gave up my cups of tea. I took the vitamns - I did all the right things. and then I miscarried.
I fell apart and tonight I just remember all of it. I was so ready to love them and be their mum. That hurt more than all the shit that has ever been forced on me. That I thought something so good was coming from that horrible night and then to have them taken away from me.
What did I do wrong that I am punished over and over. That men use and throw me away like some worthless object. That good things a put in front of me only to be taken away.

I know I sound selfish, and self-pitying and I hate that. But I already loved them so much. I was ready to do whatever I needed to so that they would have a good life filled with love. Even if I one day do have children - they will never replace those 2 girls I lost. They will be just as loved but I dont think I could ever forget that pregnancy, the sound of their heartbeats, the love I still have for them.

I feel bad that I still grieve for lives that were never born. I feel like I am being stupid but I cannot help how I feel. I want to be a mum - but I am scared that I will never carry a child to term.

These memories hurt so much just now. I thought I had put this behind me - not forgotten but moved past the hurt. I wish I could really cry. I wish I could let the pain out.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Update From Jazzie

Its been a long time since Kylie has posted and she feels bad about it so I am going to write a quick post to let you know we are still here.

We have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (its been long enough that its no longer called Post Viral Fatigue Syndrom) We all find it really hard and it brings us down alot. Kylie has withdrawn from uni and taken next semester off. She feels like this is failing somehow and feels bad about it.

Kylie's mum is paying for a cleaner to come once a fornight and one of Kylie's friends keeps bring round food so we dont have to cook. Its nice that people care so much.

Kylie was struggling with God for a while and still is a bit. Im not a Christian so I dont really understand but it was hard for her to be at odds with her beliefs. She is finding alot of comfort though in a girls bible group and another girl comes over once a week to read the bible with Kylie.

Im not sure what else to put - thanks to all the people sending Kylie good wishes.

From jazzie

Monday, May 24, 2010

Not Coping

Not coping. feeling bad. Just want to cry. Everything feels too hard. Trying not to cut. Jazzie wont talk to anyone - except Kyle - and I am not even sure if she would do that today.
Kyle wont answer on MSN. feel so alone. really want to cut.
Most inside not doing well. Falling apart. its too hard.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Photos of Charlie & Rascal

Here are some more photos of Charlie and Rascal (the new kitten)

They seem to be coming fast friends:


And enjoy playing together:

it can be very crazy sometimes. I will try to get a video together.

After playing they tend to collapse together and sleep soundly:


Until the next play time!!

Will try to write a proper post soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Add a kitten to the mix

I lost most of yesterday and when I came out I found a kitten in my house! I dont have a cat (well I didnt) and finding a kitten and all the things one needs for a kitten (food, kitty litter, toys, scratching post etc.) was a huge shock.

I knew the littles wanted a cat but I had said no! They spent around AU$200 on the kitten and stuff for the kitten. I am not sure what to do. At this rate I think I will keep it but I am worried that the littles will think that it means doing stuff like this is ok and its not.

I am going to write down a list of rules that everyone has to agree to. Something we can refer back to - at the moment we have rules but we just remember them - I am hoping having them written down and having all the littles agree to it will help stop something like this happening again. Kinda like a contract.

Here is a photo of the kitten with Charlie, my Cavalier King Charlies Spaniel cross. They seem to get along well and like playing.



Now to think of a name for the little boy. At the moment we are thinking Rascal - what does everyone think? have any ideas for a good name?
Here are some other contenders in no particular order
  • Hobbes
  • Tiger
  • Rebel
  • Griffin
  • Orion

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Poem


Look in the mirror
Who do see?
A face unreckonisable as me
How can one be the other
and still be the same?
A part, a whole,
an individual
lost in a multiple.


__________________________________________

Edit: 20/5/2010
This Poem was written and posted by Nadia. She is very creative and uses art and writing to express herself. She has struggled with accepting that she is an alt.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Broken






Broken
Seether & Amy Lee

Seether:
i wanted you to know
that i love the way you laugh
i wanna hold you high
steal your pain
...away.
I keep your photograph
and i know it serves me well
i wanna hold you high
and steal your pain

Chorus 1:
cuz i'm broken
when i'm lonesome
and i don't feel right,
when you're gone away

Bridge:
you've gone away
you don't feel me
anymore

Amy:
the worst is over now,
and we can breathe again
i want to hold you high
and steal your pain
There's so much left to learn
and no one left to fight
i want to hold you high
and steal your pain

Chorus 2:
cuz i'm broken
when i'm open
and i don't feel like
i'm strong enough
Cuz i'm broken
when i'm lonesome
and i don't feel right
when you're gone away

(chorus 2 x2)
(chorus 1)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Really not doing good

I am feeling so crappy today. I have a cold on top of everything else.

I am struggling to accept that I am going to need help if I dont get better soon. I am too tired to cook so I am eating frozen dinners which is expensive and not the healthiest way to eat. I am struggling to keep on top of washing - both clothes and dishes. General chores around the house just isnt happening. Charlie, my beautiful dog, is filthy and scratching but there is no way I can lift him into the bath and wash him myself. He hasnt had a proper walk in ages - I feel really bad.

Sarah C came over for bible reading which was the highlight of my day - she is really good to talk to and we have great talks about the bible and living in this world as a Christian. I told her about what I was struggling with and that I might need help and I was struggling that. I also told her that I didnt know where to go for that help. She has offered to look into what is available around here as far as help.

Mum & I are also talking about her paying for a house cleaner once a fortnight till I am better.

I feel bad that I need help. I am supposed to be a young healthy person. And being on a disbility pension already for the DID I should have all these things under control. I mean I only study one subject a semester - a normal load is 4 subjects. And now I cant even do a little of one subject. I struggle to wash my hair. Its so frustrating.
I just want to cry just now. And I cant and because of that I just want to cut because thats the only thing that has helped me in the past. I know I shouldnt start again and I am really trying to fight it but I feel so bad - I cant even play wow for distraction.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Post Viral Fatigue Syndrom

I feel bad its been over a week since I have posted on either blog. I have wanted to and thought about it but I just been so tired that I havent been able to. Not that I am feeling much better now but I want to keep this updated and so I am going to take this slowly and try and post as much as I can. I will also try to keep this updated as often as I can.

I went and saw my doctor on Friday and the blood tests that had come back all were normal. The only tests that hadnt come back were the ones testing for muscle degnerative diseases and my doctor thinks they are unlikely - however she will call me if those tests come back with anything unusual.

While the Luvox no longer was making me sick it was still not helping and I was feeling more tired if anything so my doctor has taken me off the Luvox and is starting me on Zoloft - another anti-depressant that has been shown to help with Chronic Fatigue.

She has also taken me off the pill. I have been on Monophem (a type of pill) since 2003 as I have always had bad periods and monophem controls it - I found out in 2008 that the reason I have bad periods is because I have Polosystic ovaries. She tells me that occasionally the pill can make people feel generally unwell and tired. It doesnt seem likely but it can creep up over time so its worth checking out. It takes about 3 months to get the pill out of our system so if thats what causing all this it will take a while to feel better.

After all the tests and everything my doctor was confident in diagnosing me with Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrom (PVFS). This is the same thing as Chronic Fatigue Syndrom, its just that you need to have the symtoms for 6 months to be diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue - before that its PVFS.

This news was both a relief and frustrating. Relief because its not Lupus or something worse, nothing life threatening. Frustrating because there isnt really a know curer. Just time and rest, the Zoloft has helped in some cases but not all - I can only wait and hope.

I am thinking I will withdraw from uni for this semster as I cant see me catching up in time for the exam - even if the Zoloft starts helping in the next fortnight. If I havent had improvement by the end of May I will be applying for leave for next semster because I dont know what else I can do.

I will try to post more soon. In the mean time thank you to all of you who have sent me your well wishes and prayers they are much appreciated.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sick, sick, sick

So sick of being sick! Went and saw Dr Parkin yesterday - Jazz reckons he is up himself and snootie - though he was very througher about testing for everything and making sure we ruled out stuff. This meant more blood tests. 7 tubes to be exact which freaked out Shadow. Natalie and Katy werent happy either.

They are testing for Auto-immune diseases, diseases that attack the mucsles and checking my liver. I have to wait till Friday week (14th May) for the results and I dont want to wait that long. The entire thing is getting me stressed out. What is wrong with me?! I am trying not to let on to my younger alts that I am scared cause that would terrify them.

The Luvox is still making my tummy sick and generally that makes me feel more tired and it interrupts my sleep which doesnt help.

I have an extension for my assessment which is good I guess but at the moment if I cant do any of it so I hope I start feeling a little better soon or their wont be any point to the extension.

Sorry this blog has just been me whinging about being sick lately but this is really affecting everything - I dont even have the energy to play WoW which is insane. I wish I has someone near by who would wrap me up in their arms and tell me it will be ok. I could really use a hug

Monday, May 3, 2010

Differences

I am feeling much better, not the energy levels but I am no longer seriously sick from the meds. Still a bit queasy but I can handle that. The past 4 nights I have only been taking half a tablet (as instructed by my doctor) tonight we go up to a full tablet. I'm seriously hoping that this wont make the nausea come back.

Dr Parkin - the physican I have been refered to - receptionist called today and asked if I wanted to move my appointment forward a day (so I would see him tomorrow instead of Wednesday) I decided not to since I have an appointment with Margaret on tommorrow evening to figure out ways to deal with the anxiety of a new male doctor.

The littles have been really getting into Sims 2 (and most of the expansions) over the last few days. I have never really got the game myself - I find it a bit boring however they seem to love it. I find it interesting that parts of me have completely different tastes to me.

They even have different beliefs which I struggle with. I am a Christian but most of my parts arent. Jessica actually is against Christianity - but then her lifestyle choice would be to sleep with whoever (boys and girls) and never settle down which isnt really what the bible teaches.

I think of my alts each as individuals most of the time and I struggle when talking to my psychologist about them being parts of me. I realise intellectually they are but they feel so seperate and they think so differently that its hard to consider them anything but seperate.

Despite all the difference I have come to love each of them though it has taken me awhile - particularly with the more difficult parts like the older 8yo. Its rather ironic but I have come to accept that while DID makes me appear to society as crazy it is infact DID that kept me from losing it when all the crap happened. This was the way my young mind coped.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Still sick

Was still really sick last night after taking the tablet. However by 11am this morning I was able to at least keep food down though I am still queasy. I am going to have to take another one tonight and the littles are fighting me about it taking it. They dont like being sick and dont understand why we keep taking a tablet that makes us sick.

Being sick from the Luvox really makes it hard to get anything done so I am having a quiet weekend and resting hoping that by Monday I will be feeling better. I want to organise a meeting with my lecturer to see about getting a grade pending. I am not yet ready to give up on this subject when I have put so much in to it but my assessment is due in 10 days and I havent done nearly enough.

I am sort of writing this over a couple of hours I find it hard to sit here and concentrate. Because this I took the Luvox tablet an hour ago and already I can feel the queazyness getting worse.

I think I should finish up now.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Update - Sick

I took the Luvox last night (around 2am because I went to bed late because of the girls night) and 4 hours later was sick. It seems my body isnt keen on it. I will keep at it for a while and see if my body gets used to it.

Its made me pretty miserable today and my energy levels are non existant. I am struggleing just to write this. I did see Margaret and talked to her about a number of things, including taking time off uni so I dont keep putting fails on my transcript.

I am seeing her next Tuesday before the specialist appointment so that we can try figure ways of dealing with seeing a new male doctor.