Monday, March 21, 2011

Expressive Arts Carnival March

This month's Expressive Arts Carnival activity is an interesting: it is to create a memoir in 6 words and present it in an image. When I first heard about it I was really excited and while I thought it be hard, I definitely thought it be a fun one.

Unfortunately this month has been a busy one which has left me rather tired a lot of the time with very little time to have put towards an entry. However I was looking at it yesterday and realised its due in a couple of days and thought I'd see what I could come up with. I actually came up with a few and was able to put a few of them together in Polyvore.

It was interesting, once I got started, more kept coming to me. I found that they reflected different aspects of my life currently and overall.

This is one of the first ones I did - it is a reflection of the way my every day life is. Obviously its commenting on living with DID. Once upon a time I would have probably put "difficult life" or something more negative. However I no longer view DID as a negative thing, just simply a part of my life and a way to survive what happened in the past. However it does complicate life, for example with my boyfriend - he is dating 'me' not all of my parts. He does a relationship with each of them but its different.

I actually created this in Polyvore a while ago, though originally it said "caged by the memories... imprisoned by the fear". I simply edited it to fit the 6 word limit and I actually think it flows better now. At the time of creating this I was having a lot of flashbacks and nightmares and I was not handling being around people.

Since my little outburst of anger just over a week ago, I have found myself having some new memories and nightmares and I find myself frustrated with how much the past influences me now - particularly since I had no control or choice in what happened. I find it completely unfair and that makes me angry. It is hard for me to deal with and feel this is reflected in this too.

Recently I have been spending a lot of time with a particular group of friends. As I have mentioned previously, they are a great bunch of people and has really been uplifting to spend the time with them. I feel stronger and have more belief in my self that I can cope with whatever is thrown my way - both in healing and every day life.

I feel this one is a little 'sappy' and cliché but it is amazing how much friendship makes a difference and I wanted to acknowledge that in some way.

No matter what mood I am in, I always like to have music playing. I have rather eclectic taste and find that my mood often influences the choice of song. When I am having a particularly hard time I will often play music quite loudly or at least in a headset so it seems loud.  It is my way of coping with difficult times. This seemed particularly appropriate since I have been dealing with new emotions, anger in particular.

While this a very simple thing, it is something I am very proud of. It feels good to say it: the past will not define me. I think this came to me partly out of the anger I mentioned earlier, the frustration of how much the past influences my life now. But it is also a huge statement of how far I have come, at least to me. A year ago I dont believe I would have used such strong and confident language. I felt that I would never be free of the past and now, while I recognise there is so much for me to work through, I believe that its possible and I will get there. For me, this image as well as the statement holds so much hope.

The final one, though I didn't really present these in any particular order. I'm not as pleased with the presentation of this one as I am the others. I am not sure what it is but I am just not quite happy with it. However I feel the statement is very true of life, it is similar to the point I was making in last month's entry (Your truth) - where I was talking about choosing to look at things in a positive way or a negative way. 

I have recently been spending some time talking to a friend who has been hurt badly by a guy in the past. He was a very nasty piece of work and the abuse he put her through was horrible. These days she doesn't trust any guy, she doesn't let anyone near her and has very few friends. Rather than try and work through what happened she runs away from it and tries to pretend it doesn't exist. I can understand where she is coming from and I know that I can simply be there for her. But I find it really sad to watch how fear rules her entire life. I also find it scary to think that it would have been very easy for me to go down the path she has.

I truly believe that each person can choose the way they look at and live life. It is hard at first, but with time and practice it slowly becomes easier and then it is a habit. This is the choice I am talking about here. 

I haven't really decided which one I am going to send to Paul for this month's carnival, however I enjoyed making them and sharing them here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Learning to Deal with Anger

I feel bad it has been so long since I have posted anything. While things are still going well for me it has been a busy couple of weeks, at least for someone with my energy levels. However I am coping well considering and while still quite tired and sore I am managing fairly well.

As I described in my last post I have made some new wonderful friends, become closer with Tiger and began dating Elmo. All of these people, particularly Elmo, have become a wonderful support network and I believe it is because of them that I have been making some new steps forward in healing. The amazing thing is I dont think any of them realise how much of a difference they make to me. I try to explain and show how grateful I am but I dont know how to explain or show them without going into things that I really dont want to share.

A particularly difficult step forward happened on Saturday night. Saturday had been a great day, I spent it with Elmo, Tiger and the others and Tiger taught us to make sushi. It was wonderful and so much fun!
Tiger was feeling particularly lonely Saturday night so I invited him over to my place for the night. This meant that I had to settle Tiger in the spare bed and change the sheets on my bed so that Elmo and I could sleep there. This was fine – I really didn’t mind, in the scheme of things it was a small task. However, I felt annoyed and frustrated, my chest felt heavy and tight – like a huge lump was on it and I had the overwhelming urge to hit something. Inside I was told I was angry. It’s really the first time I have ever felt like that in my memory. It was terrifying.

I tried explaining to Elmo the best I could and he was really good about it. He talked to me and teased me a little and allowed me to throw a tantrum which ended with me hitting him with a pillow. I think he found the entire thing rather amusing once he knew what was going on and I was letting it out. For me it was frightening, not just the feeling and not understanding, but I felt out of control – I felt violent by hitting him with a pillow. I realise it was harmless and I would possibly have a pillow fight in play – but while I had no interest in hurting Elmo, hitting him with a pillow in that mood felt violent and that terrified me. I told Elmo that I didn’t like being violent and felt that it was and he thought that made me cute.

I know what I experienced was a good thing; I managed to feel something I haven’t felt by myself for as long as I can remember. I managed to do it without switching and I let it out in a healthy manner, even if it wasn’t a particularly mature way of handling things. But it was difficult, upsetting and frightening for me; it didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel like progress.

As for the reason for this anger, well it had been a wonderful day. I was happy to Tiger come and stay. Making a bed is not a big deal. But I was tired, I had been pushing it for a couple days and I was in pain and I was frustrated because I hadn’t been able to contribute with the sushi day as much as wanted because of it. I hate feeling helpless and tired. I hate that the Chronic Fatigue impedes on my relationship both with Elmo and with my friends. The anger was at me and the situation I am currently in due to the Chronic Fatigue. I’m not sure what triggered the anger to come out at that moment, perhaps it was simply that I had the support I needed and my mind felt I was ready.

What ever the reasoning I do accept that it is a step forward even if its a difficult one. It still frightens me and I am not particularly happy about it but I am still proud of myself.