okay, I'll start

Some of us had perfect happy bunny rainbow ice cream childhoods. Some of us had childhoods that were reasonably okay. And some of us were abused. Much as I'd like to pretend it has nothing to do with my life now, I know that those old issues can rear their ugly heads. Not to mention coping with the judgmental tone a lot of the "healing" literature takes about S/M, let alone the disciplinary stuff.

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:35 am

Well, I'd say given what else you need to cope with, you definitely want to find ways of making sure you're not getting more than you can handle.

Not sure how to help on that front, since probably the reason my own DID was able to emerge was that I was finally in a situation where it could come onto the front burner, so I'm not currently at a highly functional level myself.

That said, I know there are people who manage to cope with DID without having to give up their jobs, and without needing to fall apart completely.

There's a book called something like "I Am More Than One," which you may or may not want to read. The positive side is that it's stories of women who managed to keep up with their careers while dealing with DID; the negative is that the author didn't think to give many trigger warnings, and some of it's just really upsetting to read.

Or I could stop seeing this therapist, and get this body to shut-up and just block this stuf from emerging............. Ok. Ok. Ok. I really am not in control here. And I want to be a good mom and I want to learn to thrive again instead of simply survive.


I have wondered whether, if I hadn't allowed myself to open up a little, I might have staved off dealing with my own DID for a few more years. Now that I "let it happen" though, I can't figure out how to get everything back in the box. But that's me, and not you, so it's a possibility.

In the meanwhile, here's one thing I've found that sometimes helps, and might help you. Rather than trying to suppress memories entirely, which seems to result in nightmares and flashbacks, I make a point of putting, say, 20 minutes of writing about whatever memories are coming up each day (well, letting whichever part has a pressing memory do that). It takes discipline on all ends--making yourself sit down to write, and having the parts agree not to bring stuff up outside of that specific time. But when it works, it's a huge help, and it reduces the severity of the other things that usually come with memories.

Overall, I've found that internal communication and cooperation really seems to save a lot of time. That is, when it's working, which it doesn't always. :sigh:

Good luck with all of this. I'm glad the people at the hospital were actually helpful for once. I wish I knew of support in your area....
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Postby Cammy » Sat Oct 27, 2007 1:54 pm

Jigsaw
I don't think anything is going to go back into any of these damn boxes. That is what is most scary for me. I have no control. And I do not like being in pieces and falling apart.
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Postby JigsawAnalogy » Sat Oct 27, 2007 3:07 pm

I sympathize 100%.

But I figured that if it were something that was possible, I certainly shouldn't discourage you from trying, you know?

A few times when I've been in therapy, I've had the focus more on being able to kind of get through daily life, rather than on digging up stuff and actually processing through it. For me, it was at times when I was working full time, and also when I knew I wouldn't be with that therapist for a long time. Anyhow, the idea was pretty much to find ways of coping with reducing the intensity of memories and staying grounded in the present. For me, it's not a long-term solution, since the stuff needs to come out eventually.

Maybe you can work with your therapist or other support people, though, on finding ways of not having everything coming up at once? Not quite sure how to manage it, but I know that other people have done it, so probably your therapist can get the necessary information of how to go about doing it.

My other big suggestion is to drop absolutely everything that isn't necessary and which adds to the difficulty of what you're dealing with.

Using the example of food, since eating is one of the things I have trouble with. Rather than worry about being all nutritious and homemade and stuff like that, I watch for sales on Lean Cuisine, and fill up the freezer; I get a lot of kefir/yogurt smoothies and drink those; I get pizza or burgers more often than is nutritionally advisable. Is it a good long-term plan? No. Does it cause me to ingest calories on days when I can't otherwise cope? YES.

Not sure if that makes any sense. I tend to think of it as dropping ballast. Sadly, I meant it to be a short-term solution, and I feel like I've been "dropping ballast" for the past year and a half, not really gaining any ground. But, on the positive side, I'm still alive and haven't been hospitalized, so clearly, I'm managing to keep my head above water.

Good luck.
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Postby Cammy » Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:21 am

Hello Jigsaw
My migraine is abating.....good drugs and laying low are being helpful in this one. And looking at how to cut out unnecessary activities and responsibilities. I am also not so sure I can afford this therapist at her going rate, so we will need to discuss this. I think she is open to discussing this, so it will be a matter of having the discussion.

Since I do not have a current lover, I am not being triggered by "this thing we do" directly. I did approach the subject in a letter to my therapist to explain that some things that were done to me as a child, I enjoy as an adult. Before the re-emergence of memories I was feeling very confident that my being a spankophile was coincidental to how I was treated by my mother as a child. Now, with the re-emergence of body memories particularly, I am not convinced of that premise of coincidence. Well, that is not all together true. I had been in a relationship or two which involved erotic spanking and I could not enjoy it without my mother intruding, if you will. And so in this last relationship which did involved spanking which was DD/D/s and erotic, it was the first time that my mother never intruded upon the time and so I viewed it as sexual healing. And that my body finally belonged to me.

I am not so sure. IF my enjoyment of D/s or DD is related to my history of having been sexually abused, then I need to figure out something. IF it is coincidental, then I need to figure out how to date and find a lover who is wired for this thing we do, too. I do not want to have a lover having to navigate me as an adult AND having to navigate me as an adult having flashbacks and memories of sexual abuse from my mother.

I recall in another forum you discussing what you and W were going to do and if it were appropriate to reprimand and have an adult punish a "child." I know that since I am not in a relationship with anyone that that is not so pressing for me to figure out. I just figure you can "know" and understand what is going through my head.

I am a little nervous for my therapist to ask me about my adult sex life, but I do not think that she will be surprised. I cannot imagine that I really am all that "special and unique" and I am sure she has heard it before! lol

Thank you for listening and thank you for being an ear and a voice on the other end of this computer. I am appreciative of your time and compassion. I am glad to hear when you (and others) understand me, because I really do feel alone at times with these feelings and musings.

Hopefully, soon, I will be able to offer support to others. I just need to get my bearings and feel better, and then I am sure I can offer back what has been given to me by the feedback and comments from you and others on this board.

Again, thank you.


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Postby JigsawAnalogy » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:30 pm

Kind of in a spaced-out state right now, but I wanted to respond just so you'd know I'm listening, if that makes any sense.

I'm glad the migraine is abating. And as for giving support to others... I think we each do what we can, when we can. No worries about reciprocity; just support someone in the future when you're able.

If I get it together to write a more coherent response later, I will.
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Postby W-Jigsaw'sBoss » Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:07 pm

Cammy-

I just want to thank you for the bravery that it takes to address all this stuff. I want to send you lots of hugs and strength so you can get where you need to.

-RT
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Postby Cammy » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:52 pm

Dear RT
This is really difficult to do. I know, I know each and everyone I know who struggles knows that this is a difficult journey. I have been rather tearful today, which I guess is better than just irritable, angry and bitchy.

I have done this work before. It was with a different therapist, I was not a mom and I was not working fulltime, nor was I single. Other than that it is just the same. LOL Thanks for catching my bent sense of humor.

I have had body memories that I have not had in ages; I know what they mean and I just hope and pray that there really are not any new memories to unearth. I have enough trouble with the ones I know.

Thank you for being in the cheering section, RT. I am appreciative.

Cammy

P.S. And now the joy of hittnig the "submit" button!
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Postby Cammy » Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:22 am

JigsawAnalogy wrote:Depending on the type of headache, it may also be related to different parts trying to communicate. I have noticed that particular headaches I get (pretty much migraines, except they don't necessarily respond to migraine meds) were very much alleviated by better communication between parts. I used to get them pretty much daily; during a good stretch, it would be just a twinge every couple of weeks; lately, it's been two or three times a week.

One thing that kind of works, but only kind of, is to make a deal with yourself (or with the part who is having memories) to put them into some kind of container, and only take the memories out during very specific, limited times. It's not perfect, but it can take the edge off.

The weirdest thing I've found with this dx is that, the more my parts are distinct from each other, the more functional I get, and the fewer problems I have. Counterintuitive, at least for me, but it does seem to be helping (just so long as the parts communicate with each other!)



Jigsaw
I am not sure if this is the right forum or not, but what you have here with this forum is what I have now, and my focus right now is much less on DD than on DID, being in pieces or feeling scattered. I don't have a clue "who" anyone is or "who" has what memories, or "who" is feeling what body memory. I do know, for example, when I am having a body memory about what age I am, where we lived, what was done to me and by whom. Now, that was no easy feat, and it took me forever to figure stuff out and it was a very fatiguing and taxing time for me when the memories were first emerging. I know that I disappeared, etc. I THINK that I know all of what happened to me (ok, some magical thinking I am sure!), but what I mean is this: I think that if my old therapist were to say, "Do you recall telling me blah, blah, blah about when your mother did x,y, and z?" I would know what that was about. I would not look at her like she was some nut and that she did not know what she was talking about. SO, I feel that I know what happened.

But I have incredible headaches when the memories emerge or are re-emerging. I feel scattered. I feel my body differently. I don't know, but I get a sense that my voice or word choices change. So, I don't have a clue what it means when you talk about parts communicating with one another. It is not that I am unsure what you mean, I mean I don't understand at all. I just sit here and feel inept in my comprehension. I just know that I was not surprised at all with the diagnosis. I figured that there had to be a name other than "scattered" to paint the portrait of what goes on inside of me. Is there a forum that works like this one that you think could be helpful to me in sorting things out, or at least where I can post and have a sense that others who read what I write can nod and say that they know what I mean, and I could read what others have said and get a sense that I understand what they are coming to understand?

Tears are at the surface of me. And it is just a case of being fragile. And I know I am.

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Postby JigsawAnalogy » Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:28 pm

There is a forum I go to that is specifically about DID.
It's called "A Mind's Journey" and people there are pretty supportive of the wide range of experiences people have with DID/MPD/dissociative disorders.

As for communication... for me, it's been a matter of kind of trying to talk to myself (selves). Some, it's been in writing, so whoever is there just writes back and forth, and it just takes the discipline of not forcing yourself to write only about one thing... like, if there are different things wanting to be said, write them all down and see what you get.

Some of it is about recognizing the difference between what "I" want and what some other part is suggesting by kind of making me do something (eg, the littles used to get a LOT more toys, because I'd just find myself in the toy store buying them, and assume that *I* was the one who had made a rational choice to get them, and not that I was being influenced by a seven year old).

Good luck with all this. It's not as bad as it seems on the surface. :many:
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Postby Cammy » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:28 pm

Thanks Jigsaw. At times, I think that I just sat there in her office when she told me that she was confident that I had DID, and I sat there and nodded. I knew she was right. She told me of things she had noticed that indicated to her what she noticed. It would have been futile to argue. I knew she was right. Then at other times, I feel frightened/worried about what it means to my ability to manage my world because I get so scattered and so distressed when memories re/emerge. And then I began to think, well this is no damn big deal, because this is really how you have been all along, so why are you so worried. Then I get sad as I wonder what things will look like later (I am guessing a few years from now) when maybe I will be managing life better than I am. I know that I have a lot of work to do. And I know how tiring the work is. I know how draining things get on me. I don't know how to shut things up so I end up feeling just as helpless as I did as a kid.

I will check out the forum. Thank you,

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Postby JigsawAnalogy » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:17 pm

Wish I could say my experience is different a year down the road.

But I try to remember what W says about this: it's like cleaning your room; things get messier before they get put back together in a more useful order.

It is what we've been dealing with all along. On the other hand, it's like when I went into the doctor about what turned out to be fibromyalgia. I had been hoping it was something with a far shorter-term, easier method of "fixing" things. I mean, had it just been iron deficiency (which was playing a role), then upping my iron intake and eating meat again would have solved the problems entirely.

Anything like this, there's a process in coming to acceptance, and it's not a direct line. It'll be ok, even if it's hard.
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Postby Cammy » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:20 am

Jigsaw,
I am having a much better week. I feel that I really only have a memory of the migraine and I do not sense another one looming. I am thinking that it goes without saying that you understand that that is a good feeling.

I have been able to make arrangements with three friends (one is a single woman and the other two folks are in a couple) who may not have all the details (like DID, for example), but I have been able to have them understand that I may need a shoulder to cry on, someone to simply be in my house while I get some sleep, that I may need to just have one of them come get me so that I am not alone. I feel that having these three folks and my therapist that I have done a fairly good job of preparing for a storm to hit. If a fullblown storm comes in, then I am as prepared as I think I can be and if just a small amount of thunder and lightening occurs, then they are still aware that I am not up to par and they can pick up the slack and take care of me a bit. I had the couple on board without much effort on my part as they have been helping me with my daughter and they know I have been struggling and they offered to answer the phone at any time, and offered to come over anytime, etc. It was hard to have to ask for help, but I did it because my life and my daughters life depend on it. And so, I feel more secure. I feel that I can reach out. I also know that all three of them know to check on me. THAT makes me feel like I have a decent enough safety net.

I went to the site you suggested and maybe I just don't understand the language, but I do not understand about all the different parts of other people, or of myself. I guess at this time, I know I leave, and I know I come back and I know that I have, to the best of my ability to tell, a vague awareness of the leavng and returning. I will read. I will see if it makes any sense. At this time, the site does not make any sense to me. It just does not make sense yet.

Thank you. Cammy
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Postby JigsawAnalogy » Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:24 am

I'm glad to hear the migraine has abated, and also REALLY glad to hear you've got some people you can call on. It makes things better when you've got some resources.

I wonder whether you've heard of some books that might help with understanding? One my therapist suggested was "The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook," by Deborah Bray Haddock. It's got good general information. She also suggested "I am More Than One," can't remember the author; this one is a little triggering at points, but is based on interviews of a bunch of people with DID, and describes how they live their lives and manage work and family stuff.

There's also "Amongst Ourselves," by Tracy Alderman and Karen Marshall; this one is written in really simple language (not too simple, but easy to understand) and has some journaling things for figuring out what's going on. I've found it really useful.

And for just general coping, there's "Getting Through the Day," by Nancy Napier. It's more focused on healing emotional stuff.

Some people really seem to like "Got Parts?" but I find it kind of annoying; it might work for you, though.
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Postby Cammy » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:29 pm

Jigsaw
I have a sense that if you were annoyed by a book, I would probably be also.

I am having a good week. I have been setting my supports and resources in place and it has put my head and heart a little more at ease.

I think on the one hand that "this DID stuff" is no big deal since I was not at all surprised by the diagnosis, and then I just wonder how things will look and feel later and how I will get 'there." Of course, this is not an event or a destination, but is indeed a process. I am just a little anxious to figure out what "the process" is all about.

Thank you for the suggestions; I will look for them.

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Postby Cammy » Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:46 am

I started more actively telling my therapist about "this thing we do." Indeed, I am testing the waters; I know that. I am also working on my courage. I think that if I were in a relationship, and "this" dynamic were in place, I would feel that it needed to be talked about. I have said that I do become confused, perhaps shameful, at times when I look at what was done to me as a child that was undeniably abusive. I know I will get there and be able to tell her. I know that this issue is more my problem than hers as a therapist. I am worried about her reaction/response to me.

I look at what I wish to have and what I have asked for and consented to, and at times, there is no confusion for me. (I do not then feel shame, but I do think "this" is private.) I am able to enjoy what I enjoy, and benefit from the dynamics of D/s or DD. But when I am having a re-emergence of memories, it is too taxing on my brain, I get anxious and I then have migraines. For me, it appears that I simply cannot be in a sexually intimate relationship with the re-emergence of memories. I guess, if I were in a relationship currently, "she" would be very frustrated/iiritated and confused by me. So, since I am single, I really do think it is best that I stay that way. I really do not know how to sort things out.

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