Tuesday, January 31, 2012


     My sister just told me when my library book was due.  Only instead of mentioning the part about the library book, she just told me in passing when my "due date" was.  With dissociative identity disorder, I am so accustomed to people telling me things about my life that I am unaware of my brain automatically tried to take in this news of my apparent pregnancy.  It seemed old news I was supposed to know about and required action on my part.  I started to nod and try to seem nonchalant while rapidly calculating doctors appointments, financial security, the dramatic impact this would have on my life, how much I have apparently missed if we are talking about an impending due date, and reassurance that my sister seems to know about it so we must have discussed it and have it all under control.  It is so "normal" to be so uninformed and clueless about my life it didn't even occur to me to question it or start wondering just how the hell that happened.  If someone else says it's true, it probably is, it's just another big blackout in my life, another puzzle.  If they say I did something, I probably did and just don't remember a thing about it.

     I had a few drawn out seconds-that-seem-like-minutes of this, before the absurdity of it kicked in, and I thought "my WHAT?!"  By the time I realized my sister was talking about my library book we were both walking away.  She has no clue that in our tiny normal conversation she had just convinced me that I was 8-9 months pregnant.  I felt ridiculous that I would have honestly believed that, and wondered how I possibly could have.  I realized that being informed or pulled into things I know absolutely nothing about has been a normal occurrence my entire life.  I have always felt like I am an actor in a play but no one has given me my lines, and they keep skipping acts so I can't follow the plot.  I was always being quizzed in classes I never remembered taking, had various reputations I didn't remember earning, being told about things I didn't remember doing.  I 'black out' frequently while someone else is in charge of my body, so missing bits and trying to piece together my life after the fact is not at all uncommon.  In that light, assuming I was pregnant if someone told me so is not far fetched.  If I had not been diagnosed, in therapy, with alter awareness and taught to pay attention and question everything, I probably would not have caught it so fast.

Friday, January 27, 2012

In joining it all

     I do not sleep at night anymore.  For many reasons, we now sleep during the day and stay awake through the night.  I had been fighting it for so long, I finally let go and let them do what they want to perhaps understand why.  It feels as if I am holding off a very dark shadow, one that is clearest at night.  I know I am absorbing and releasing, but sometimes it seems like too much.  I have learned repeatedly to value taking time off to bury myself in something else to numb everything until I am ready again.  Though I know many things that happened factually, I never felt the full implications of what they mean.  People sometimes think me cruel, or extremely "tough", because I can face nearly anything with no emotion at all, absolutely dispassionate.  It is as if there is a switch I can turn on and off, well, off, I can't really turn it on.  In the last few years I noticed whenever I saw something bad coming, I would steel myself and turn the switch off, so when the bad something happened I felt nothing.  Now the emotion comes back sometimes in waves, and knowing that something bad happened with your heart is so much worse than knowing with your head.  It is as if those things caused too much grief for me to feel them, and after years of preparation I still don't know if I can handle it.
     I learned for the first time in my adult life what it means to feel real fear.  I have rarely, even as a child, felt actual terror or helplessness in any situation.  Even facing danger or possible death, which I have several times, I only felt startled or a jump of fear, to be quickly replaced with cool assessment and incredible fierceness to take anything head on, or conversely a complete naivete to the danger I was in or what could happen.  With PTSD, my body would react - completely fall over shaking - but I would still be numb or dispassionate in my head, even detached having a calm conversation with myself distracting from whatever frightening or dangerous situation was going on.  That has proved useful in some very dangerous situations where I needed my body to move; the calm inside my head could with some effort forcibly take over my legs and make me steadily walk away, or speed up, prepare to run, or lift my head and take calm assessment and make a plan all the while the other part is a pile of jello incapable of moving or thinking.
     It is not until recently that I have started to remember actual terror- as in believing you are about to die at the hands of another human being whom you are completely helpless to, being fully present and understanding, if not with the head, definitely with the heart - what that means.  I can hardly handle that memory as an adult, knowing consciously that I'm in a different place and time and safe.  I cannot comprehend how a young child could manage that being fully present in that situation.  Because contrary to the general impression that I always thought, toddlers and infants are fully formed human beings with awareness.  They have no experience or language to understand things, but that does not mean they have any less brain or emotion, or auric fields or senses than any adult.  I have been startled to see pictures of friends with their babies looking into the eyes of a perfectly lucid child.  Knowing that they are aware, intelligent, feeling human beings completely helpless and at the mercy of other ignorant human beings is a rather frightening thought.  I'm surprised so many people survive to adulthood.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nourishing the Energy Body

An article by June Klotter reviewing Caroline Myss and her study of the energy body.  I would like to learn more about how abuse, particularly rape and incest, affect the energy body in short and long term time frames.  http://www.tldp.com/issue/175-6/Nourishing%20the%20Energy%20Body.html

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Memory Work and Catapults

     I am a hardcore believer in getting to the bottom of things, finding the source, pulling up gnarly issues by the roots, and taking on any problems head on.  If I get sick, I want to do more than treat the symptoms, and if I get hurt, I want to understand why so I can process it and move on.  Many people heal from trauma by healing the most apparent results of trauma, like PTSD symptoms, without going in depth to what put it there.  They make their life manageable and continue on as best they can by not remembering their past in detail.  Everyone has different ways of healing, so for some that must work.  I myself cannot imagine being fully healed without knowing and understanding my past, which has shaped my present and continues to influence my day to day actions.  I am sure that has a personal bent on it also, I have an ego and I take challenges personally.  I put on my Aries ram horns and charge into the thick of it without really considering the consequences.

     In hindsight, I can see why so many people do not like immersing themselves in traumatic memories, aside from the obvious eek and yuck factors.  It can completely floor you.  It can make you lose sight of your present, make you blind to joys and happiness you have now.  It can be dangerous, leading to depression or suicide.  I think these are serious points to be made, and why it is so important to do memory work carefully.  As with many other risks in life, I do not think the danger is in moving forward to begin with but in getting stuck once you have.  In trauma memory work, getting stuck is like being weighted down in a mire that's pitch black with 100% humidity.  You can't move, you can't see, and you can't breathe.  That is where you get stuck, and that is where any serious danger comes in, not the process itself.  This is why anyone considering or doing memory work needs a backup plan; friends to call, uplifting movies, a comfort food stash, a nightlight, self defense classes, a fort, fuzzy slippers, extra locks- whatever works, just as long as it is picked out and agreed upon beforehand so it can be accessed at a moment's notice and doesn't require any preparation.  Sometimes, though, when we get stuck, our backup plan isn't enough, and this is where we need what I like to think of as a catapult.

     This is for when little nudges won't work.  This is for when you are REALLY stuck, and the only thing that can pull you out is divine intervention or a medieval sized catapult to fling you out of the mire and send you speeding along your way.  It can be as small as an unexpected phone call or upbeat songs on the radio to snap you out of it.  Any of the senses greatly influence change, so hearing, taste, touch, smell, are great to use in your catapult.  It can be as big as calling a help line, taking time off work, or checking yourself into a psychiatric hospital.  Some people are more helped by this than others, so it's best if you can research it beforehand in the possibility that you might need it.  Same as a backup plan, anyone doing traumatic memory work needs to have and expect to need a catapult.  Because you will.  Sh*t happens.  And as scary as it may seem, the worst really is over.  This is just accepting that it did happen and working through the aftermath.
     Now I realize this does not sound like much of an encouragement to start with traumatic memory work.  What I think many people don't realize, though, is that if you have lived through trauma, especially consistent trauma, it will stay with you until you do something with it.  And not buried down where you won't see it, oh no.  Un-dealt with trauma will always fight its way to the surface and make itself known.  For better or worse, it's there, and it's going to affect not only your past but your present and future as well.  HOW it affects you in the present and future is something you do have a choice in.  The other thing I don't think people realize, myself included, is how much better life gets once you have done the memory work.  Then that trauma that has actually been ongoing in your head for so many years is OVER.  Then you really are done.  Then you really do have the freedom to do what you want with your life.