Pilgrim's Journey > July 2006 Archives
July 4, 2006
Independence and Interdependence
Independence is not something that comes easily around here. Its more like we have to have interdependence [n : a reciprocal relation between interdependent entities (objects or individuals or groups).]
But that is SO not what we all want. We all want so much to be free and be our own self and just do what we want.
The other day, Carolineine got some got some good news. She is going to get to go somewhere for a week that she really wants to go and she's very excited. She'd leave today if she could. This is good news for Pilgrim too, although she's not quite as excited as Carolineine is--- she's thinking more practically---along the lines of, how tired am I going to get? Do we really have time to be going off on another trip? Jo is weary. She looks at the trip as a frightening event where she has to go be around new people--and new people are terrifying. She'd rather stay at home on the couch, watching Sesame Street with Mae. Most of the kids see the trip as and adventure-- they can go outside, maybe meet some other kids to play with, they trust Carolineine to keep them safe. Mae, however, is having the biggest problem. She is downright terrified and doesn't want to go at all. She's been panicking all week long and keeps everyone from getting a decent night's sleep. She can't calm herself down and won't listen to anyone else inside.
If only it were possible that Mae could stay home and be safe while Carolineine went off for a week. If only Pilgrim, Mae, and Jo could go to therapy while the kids stayed home and watched Sesame Street. Or that Jo could lay on the couch all day and sleep like she wants. If only Missy could go off to college and have her PhD's by now like she wants. Everyone inside wants so much to be their own, independent person in their own body.
But it just isn't possible. And it doesn't seem fair. But fair or not, we all have to work with what we've been given. Everyone stuck together in one body. Trying to work together in a relationship none of us asked for.
On "multiple personality disorder is fake"
Someone on TV just mentioned about some murderer got diagnosed with multiple personality disorder to try to get out of committing a crime. Because “he didn’t do it.” OH MY GOD. That‘s a pathetic excuse. I hate it when people do that. “Multiple personality disorder is easily faked.” -- so said the expert on the prosecuting team. WHO THE HELL would WANT to fake it? That would be stupid. Wouldn’t that get old after a little while? Do people think this is FUN? !Goddammit. What complete idiot would fake this.
One of the things I am so, so terrified of is that sometime when I lose time something bad will happen like someone will get hurt. Even if Missy or Mae or one of the kids did something, even on accident, it'll be "my" fault. Because no matter what, I’M going to HAVE to take responsibility for it because its MY body, and I’m going to be punished. Accepting responsibility for whatever Mae or any of the kids or other grown ups do would be the only ethical thing to do, but the thought of having to do so if one of them does something wrong scares me so much. Yet I’d still need to do it.
Why the hell would someone pretend to be multiple? They should try it for real for a week and see how much they like it. Like having your therapist tell you “I got 8 voice mails from you in 2 days and the secretary says you called her and said you were going to cut.” When you KNOW you didn’t, you couldn’t have, but they have the evidence, but you KNOW it wasn’t you. Like when your best friend(now ex-friend) tells you that you yelled at her that you couldn’t stand her last night and stomped around all angry, when all you remember doing is going to bed and then waking up by a campfire at 2 a.m. crying your eyes out and begging God for forgiveness for everything you do wrong. Like being in a meeting and all of a sudden having one of the little ones take over, and the papers you were reading 2 minutes ago suddenly don’t make sense, and you find yourself having to sound out your own last name because you don’t know how to read because you’re only 5 years old. And hoping, pretending, praying that this isn’t really real, because this is supposed to be RARE, dammit, and that means it doesn’t happen to you, and that means it can’t be real, but then these freaking people in your head TAKE OVER your body and you can’t stop them, and you have no idea what they’re doing, and then OH MY GOD they TALK to people. And inside kids come OUTSIDE and wander down to your therapist's office and cry "I can't find my mom!" and then you know you're REALLY in for it. And you pray that this still can’t be real, because really you just have a good imagination, that’s ALL, and you try to ignore the fact that everyone in your head has names and like their own things and their own pasts and even THEY believe they are separate from YOU. Then pray that its at least schizophrenia because there’s medicine for that. But you know it isn’t. And there isn’t medicine for this. The only thing to do is try to live together with all these cell mates you’ve got. Whether you like each other or not. And then you hear their voices on your own voice mail, your own answering machine, and in your own home videos, and you know THAT isn’t you, its THEM. And you know it: you’re crazy. You’re scared to death AND crazy.
I WISH I was faking this.
July 8, 2006
panic attacks and losing time
Mae has been having panic attacks every day and every night the past couple of weeks. Its kept us awake at night and kept my heart beating fast during the day.
I think I may have finally partly figured out why Mae’s having panic attacks over summer/winter/back to school. Well, I don’t know for sure… But I know how I don’t have much of a sense of time… and Mae has absolutely none. All of time just piles up on top of her at once I think. She asks all the time (not just me and Carolineine, but she asks others all the time too) things like “Is it going to snow today? Is winter going to start today? Winter’s not going to all of a sudden be here tomorrow is it?” “What day is today? Well is it STILL Tuesday, like it was this morning?” And even though she knows its May or June or July, and she KNOWS the order of the months (I asked her)… she will say things like, “But what if today its June, and tomorrow its all of a sudden Christmas?” “What if I close my eyes tonight and tomorrow I wake up and its next week?” THEN I figured it out-- that is EXACLTY what losing time is like. You look at the clock, it might be 1:00, you’re talking to someone. Mid-sentence, you look at the clock again, its 5:30, the person is gone, you don’t know where the conversation or the person or the time all of a sudden went, but you don’t remember it. You go to bed on Friday night, and you wake up on Wednesday morning. You get tired and triggered and scared and think, I’ll just disappear for a little bit, and before you know it, 4 months have passed and you realize you don’t know what’s been going on. And Mae, and Jo-- they lose time a lot too, Jo mostly, but Mae does as well. I think that’s why she gets so confused and so panicky that all these things are going to happen RIGHT NOW and that she thinks she has to deal with them all right now.
She also can’t tell how long 5 minutes or 30 minutes is, and time goes by REALLY slowly when we’re alone, but it goes fast like at our T's office and when we’re doing things we like, like Christmas morning goes by fast, spending time with Lisa goes fast. The dentist goes by slow, night time goes by slow, bad dreams go by slow. But there’s supposed to be the same amount of time in each day, always 60 minutes in an hour. But an hour can go by fast or slow. And that just doesn’t make ANY sense. How can time change like that? As much as I think about it and get confused by that, I’m sure it only confuses Mae even more. Her little timers help some- she gets a better sense when she can see time passing or numbers counting down. I don’t know why she can’t catch on to telling time on a regular clock or figure out how much time passes that way.If asked when her birthday is, Mae ALWAYS says, “53 days” or something like that. Always. It doesn’t matter if its January or September-- her birthday is in 53 days. If someone tells her “20 minutes til we leave”, she can’t gauge that amount of time in her head. So we try to practice with Mae like we do with the kids at school--- 30 minutes is enough time to watch Blue’s Clues, 5 minutes is time to brush your teeth, 60 minutes is time to watch Little House on the Prairie or Sesame Street, 1 minute is how long you can jump up and down before you get out of breath, we sleep for 10 hours a night.
I guess the thing to do is just keep practicing until she gets it.
July 13, 2006
Marriage and relationship advice for Multiples
I found this article online tonight: http://www.keeperskorner.com/articles_SignificantOthers.shtml#MarriageForMultiples by John Whitmore, at a website called "Keepers Korner", I believe it's called. Its a good site with some excellent things to say. If you love someone who's a multiple...please read the article and visit the site for more information.
July 16, 2006
I can't sleep.... inside my head.
Maybe its because my dosage of Wellbutrin XL just got upped to 450 mg the 2 days ago, or maybe its because of all the really hard stuff that happened last week at the tail end of therapy that left us all hanging and caused a huge uproar inside. Or maybe its because all week Mae has been screaming inside "I dont want to go to bed! PLEASE! Please don't make me go to bed!" starting between 8-9 pm. and keeping us all up late until we finally get her calmed down (about 1 .am.).... but all week I haven't been able to sleep. Then when I DO get to sleep, I wake up during the night. If I manage to get back to sleep, I wake up early.
I have tried every type of relaxation technique that I know. I have tried getting Mae into her nice, safe Garden where she usually relaxes right away.
This is what it sounds like inside my head when I can't sleep:
I have to go to sleep now.
Just relax, everybody, lets just relax.
Ok, count backwards:100,99,98,
what comes after that?
no before that, silly
guys, let me just count... 97, 96, 95
why not the ABC's instead? I could do those
no I could!
Your meds are definitely not working tonight
What, like she doesn't know that?
God shut UP!
ABCDEFG (the alphabet song).
Stop singing, you sing funny.
Your meds aren't working
Can I be a construction worker when I grow up?
I thought you were going to be an astronaut.
Can't I be both?
(I'm still counting, and down to about 80 by now)
did you know that Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the ABC song have the same music?
lets do the Pledge of Allegiance instead
Are you still counting? Because counting is boring.
Its supposed to make me sleep.
Why don't you let your body relax some?
I'm TRYING. Why don't YOU work on that while I count?
Why CANT I be a construction worker when I grow up?
Who said you can't be a construction worker! Be an astronaut! Be an inventor. You be whatever you want.
Is anyone actually working on going to sleep?
who just said airplane?
Yes I KNOW. My meds aren't working.
Can we please just all be quiet?
ok really, this isn't the time for kids to play games.
Can we go to Target tomorrow?
I have to remember to e-mail my boss in the morning.
I'm not sleepy, can't we just get back up?
I dont WANT to go to bed!
can i have ice cream tomorrow?
Is tomorrow Monday? Do we go see S (out therapist) tomorrow?
i have to go to the bathroom. i need a drink of water too
construction workers build houses
how do you spell Twinkle? I need to know.
When I grow up I'm gonna be a mommy.
Did anybody find out where Mae hid her paints? Or the 2 pairs of jeans we lost?
You guys, we don't have to figure it out tonight... lets just try to go to sleep.
I am serious. This goes on for hours at a time.
July 18, 2006
Being more present in my own life- pros and cons
My therapist wanted me to write a list of pros and cons of being more present in my life and in my therapy sessions. Instead of me disappearing all the time...instead of losing time all the time and never knowing what is going on. So here is my list.
I was taught to not have feelings
When I did express any feelings, I was punished (like sent to my room, yelled at, or abandoned [by the side of the road, threatened to be sent to the orphanage, sent to someone’s house], ignored, made fun of). It still happens now sometimes (express feelings and thoughts, even appropriately, and get ignored/left/punished). So that is confusing.
I have always relied on the others to have feelings for me (yah I know, cowardly thing to do)
Up until recently I believed that all feelings were bad and dangerous. It is only the past year or 2 that I have started to realize that feelings are just feelings, its what someone does with them that matters.
Up until recently, feelings always seemed big and scary. Its only been in the past year that I started understanding that feelings are just feelings, that my family was out of control with them but I can learn to control mine.
I am only semi-comfortable with the 2 above new beliefs.
I don’t even KNOW what to do most of the time. I am so clueless because I feel like I’ve missed out on everything. I feel….dumb.
I’m afraid my T will expect me to do everything perfectly, because Carolineine does so many things right, and I’m not Carolineine.
I’m afraid to let Mae down even more and everybody down
I’m afraid that if I start facing things in my sessions with T and Mae, that T will abandon me or not listen to me
I’m afraid of saying something wrong because it seems like whenever I’M in a session, I screw up somehow, say something wrong, and screw something up.( At least if I’m not there, I can’t screw anything up.)
I still think that it is extremely important that some of the kids get to talk to Sharon 1:1 at times.
Research shows that integration cannot be forced. This is just something to keep in mind, that we don’t want this to be an integration just cooperation.(This is Carolineine adding these last 2 lines)
I don’t want to be like my mom and dad
It could help make things better for Mae, and the other kids
It is always good to learn something new
I need to do things I make a commitment to
Challenges are good for me
I want to learn how to do things right
I want to practice these things that T, Jo, Mae, Carolineine, and everyone have been talking about
I am willing to do just about ANYTHING to help make things get quieter in my head
I want to prove to myself that my family is wrong about feelings and about a lot of other things they said
I want to become a stronger person
If I am the core person, then this is my job. Even if I am not, its still somehow my job.
I want all of us to work together better inside and I need to do more to help so I need to do this
The kids need at least a few people inside who they can count on. I hated hearing that they don’t even want me. I feel like a big ogre.
Losing time SUCKS big time. I feel stupid, out of control, scared, and embarrassed because of it!!!! Things happen that I don’t know about and can’t control and I HATE IT. I HATE IT. If I could be present all the time, then I think I would feel more in control, less scared, and maybe more positive.
Feeling like such a weak, out of control, stupid, embarrassed idiot also adds to me being so depressed. Hopefully if I could feel like I was around more often, feeling like I was handling things, was actually AWARE of what was going around (because I wasn’t disappearing all the time), and was feeling a little more in control, then I would feel a little better about things.
(this one is a biggie) If I were able to be present through things that I normally disappear from, that would feel like a MAJOR accomplishment. Like when I called my new co-worker on the phone last night (and didn’t rely on Carolineine to do it for me). When I manage to do things like that, I’m kind of like, “Wow, I did that.” Those would be things that show good progress for me. Those would be things to get a sticker for!
Carolineine just said that if I allowed myself to be present more often, and could be around with others, then I would be able to use parts of their personalities as parts of me (?) Something about it making me more of a well-rounded person. Like not so flat?
I would really, really REALLY like to have a better memory (I can’t remember anything because I wasn’t there to hear it in the 1st place, or because my mind is so full of chatter that I easily forget what I was just told because there is so much background noise.)
I need to seem more all-together for work.
I need to function better. I have more responsibilities than ever.
I cannot count on Carolineine to do everything for me. I’m not a baby.
Even though it gives me a headache to be “out” with more than 1 person at a time, I know that it IS possible, we’ve done it before, and we do it at home a lot… it just starts from a different person than me.
It is NOT FAIR to expect the others to do everything for me.
I REALLY, REALLY want to find more answers. If me being present more, if me going through hard things, if me working harder might help, THEN I AM ALL FOR IT.
I DO NOT GIVE UP. EVER.
(Wow, I didn’t realize there would be this many “pros”)
July 31, 2006
Let me try to update
I'll try to update everyone a little. Its challenging because my mind is running slowly from exhaustion. I also can't pay attention to myself or my own thoughts!
On Wednesday I have an appointment with my therapist and my massage therapist. I am really looking forward to both. My body and my mind can both barely move.
For the past 10 days I've been in a place where I had a lot of challenges presented to me as I worked with a bunch of children and teenagers. Some of it was very hard. Everywhere I went, people were grouped in in two's, three's or more. Everyone who was there came with someone--whether it was with a friend or a group. I dont know anyone else who went by themself like I did. That partly made me feel adventurous and brave, and partly made me feel really lonely. I had several really sad dreams about my ex-best friend abandoning me again-- that was a really difficult time in my life, and I wouldn't relive it again for love or money. But there it was in my dreams nearly every night I was gone. I often woke up crying.
Most of the time, Mae just wanted to go home. Sometimes we got switchy. There were a couple of evenings where I found things written in my journal from the morning that I didn't remember writing. But I did find a rocking chair to rock in during the mornings, and that's something that calms Mae down and myself down, so I made sure to rock for a while every day. We also got to swim, which the inside kids love. And when I got overwhelmed by being around so many people and too much noise, sometimes I'd go to a quiet spot and just be alone to recover for a bit.
I think that as a result of the past couple weeks, I might be more willing to take risks. I had to put myself out there quite a bit lately. If I wanted someone to talk to, I had to talk first. If I wanted to be woken up in the morning, I had to ask someone to wake me up because I didn't have an alarm clock. If I didn't want to be completely ignored, I had to smile and act nice and include myself in the conversation that was going on. Those are things I rarely did before I left.
Right now I'm ready to go back to sleep. More thoughts later.