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.

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.

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


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:

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.