Pilgrim's Journey > June 2006 Archives

June 1, 2006

Trauma group therapy assessment tomorrow

There is this group at the Womens Center that my therapist has wanted me to join, well they finally got ahold of me today, the group starts June 20th and runs for 6 weeks. But they want me to come in for an assessment first. Friday at 1:15

This is a group for trauma survivors-- not a group for people with DID.
There is a T in charge of the group, she wants to meet with me tomorrow for a little bit, and also fill in some paperwork. I am SO SCARED. What if I switch in front of her? How much should I let her know? What if we get too switchy? ETC ETC
I will be signing a consent form so they can talk to my T of course once the group starts.
I left 2 panicky messages for my T today and I asked her what should i do, what should I say? But I haven't heard anything from her. My T has something going on with her daughter tomorrow, and will be out of the office Mon & Tues, so I know I won't get to talk to her at all this weekend. I dont see her til Wednesday.That is forever away. And I doubt she will be checking e mail this particular weekend. She hasn't called me or emailed me. I was really hoping she would. It was so STUPID of me to even leave her messages!!! She probably thinks I'm stupid. She has 800 better things to do. I wish that my T could be available when I need her.I feel so DUMB. I wish I could talk to her. I wish I could figure out on my own what to do.

I'm so scared about tomorrow. What if they think I'm too weird and don't want me in their group? What if ________ (insider a myriad of fears, rational AND irrational, here)

My heart is hurting a lot tonight. It hurts more whenever I get stressed out. Plus I have the flu. I feel so alone and I wish so much I had a friend to talk to. I wish so much that I could just sit with a friend and talk things out until maybe I'm not so panicky, until the urge to cut passes, or at least until I can calm myself down. I'm so lonely. My dog is laying at my feet, but he's asleep and I dont think he'd make a very good listener right now.

Posted by pilgrim at 5:35 PM | Comments (1)

June 2, 2006

Assessment update

This has been a really bad afternoon. I had a panic attack in the parking lot before the group assessment and froze up. Completely spaced out. I barely remember the assessment. Jo mostly talked. I cant remember much. I know I didn't say anything about having people inside. Neither did Jo. Things were very switchy. The lady asked very triggery questions. Inside, everything was noisy and loud and shakey.

(its jo... sorry)
I just desperately need someone here with me. All afternoon we've been having flashbacks and screaming inside and stomache heaving and I want to cut so bad.. I need a friend so badly. I needed so bad to have a friend with me today.
Several years ago, I had a couple friends. One time, one of them went with me to the doctor. Another time, one went with me to the cardiologist. It helped SO much to have someone with me. It helped so much.
But now I wish I had NEVER HAD IT. I wish they had NEVER GONE! Because I experienced what it felt like to have someone there with me and sit beside me in the waiting room. And now it hurts too much that its gone. And now I want it so badly again. So badly. But its gone and I don't think I'll ever have that again. And I miss it so much, I miss having friends, I miss having some support. I needed it so bad today. But instead its just me alone. And it is so bad that I just want to die. I feel like I can't take another day of this.
I've been so upset today that my heart hurts and my stomach's been really sick. I've been up since 5:15 because of my nervousness. My eyes are burning but I can't calm down. I need a friend so bad. I keep telling God that I'm so, so sorry for everything I do wrong. I keep asking God year after year after year-- please, PLEASE, just send me a friend, someone I can talk to. But one doesn't come. I feel like God must hate me, or be trying to punish me. Punishing me for causing all the bad people to do bad things, punishing me for being a bad daughter, punishing me for being a bad client for my therapist, punishing me for wishing and wanting and needing.
The person doing the assessment asked me about my support system I have. I felt really pathetic telling her that my whole support system is that I see my therapist 1 time a week and thats it. What a complete loser I am.
I feel like I'm not worth anyone's time anyway.
I wish I'd disappear.

Posted by pilgrim at 4:39 PM | Comments (3)

June 5, 2006

Words I needed to hear today

I receive a lot of comments on this website. Nearly 600 so far are logged. There are some that really just make my day... especially those that come from regular readers. There are some of you who respond to our entries every week and send me words of encouragement, and we really, really appreciate those.
Today I received one that I just really needed to hear today. I often wonder if I'm doing the right thing about putting my words out there. It scares me a lot. Sometimes people I know question my judgement of putting my story out there for anyone in the world to read. But its comments like this that make me realize its worth it:
(today's comment):

Just had to tell you how very moved I was by your words....I am struggling MIGHTILY with coming to terms with my own DID diagnosis (even though it is not a new thing...)
major battles still reign with not wanting ANYONE to know....and thereby preventing myself from being able to get the support I need.

Your words on your welcome page of Pilgrim's Journey resonated to my core.

THANK YOU THANK YOU for your honesty, your bravery, your articulate gift.

It made a stranger's journey just a touch less of a struggle this day to know I am not alone in the way I feel.

Even if its just one person that gets helped by this journal, then its worth it. The neat thing is, I receive e-mails and comments like this (not just here but also on my website) several times a month. I appreciate those comments so much. It makes me feel like I am making a difference somewhere.
Thank you.

Posted by pilgrim at 2:05 PM | Comments (1)

June 7, 2006

I hereby resign

I, Pilgrim, hereby resign as the "out front" person. *
As of NOW.
I officially cannot do anything right and I'm sick of it. Oh and by the way, showing feelings SUCKS. I've always wanted to try to do it, but the process of actually doing it once I psyche myself up to doing it--- FUCK IT. Emoting is not for me. Asking for things I need, which people SAY is a "good idea"--- also not for me. Both just make me a giant shithead.
I'm going to just go back to "survival". It's easier. All I have to do in that mode is keep my mouth shut, don't ask for things, don't get things because I dont ask, and therefore do NOT get constantly disappointed, people don't have to deal with me, and.... VOILA! everyone is happy and in the dark.
Let Carolineine be the queen of communication, therapy, relationships, and coping. She is SO GOOD at it. She's not perfect, but she is LIGHT YEARS ahead of me. And besides, EVERYONE likes her. She runs the bulletin board, my husband loves her, my therapist loves her, the kids at school love her, and my colleagues love her. Carolineine has yet to piss off my husband or my therapist (which I manage to do frequently) and she rarely asks for things-- if she does, she does it SO appropriately and nicely, and she just gives and gives and gives. Everyone loves someone like that.
I, however, and the shit head withdrawing in the corner. Feelings are stupid. Asking for things is stupid. I'm sick of doing things wrong. I feel like a real fuckwit right now.

*This bad attitude brought to you as a public service announcment by PRE-TRIP PANIC ATTACKS AND AFTER THERAPY REACTIONS ANONYMOUS. Thank you, and have a good day.

Posted by pilgrim at 11:11 AM | Comments (4)

June 8, 2006

I didn't make it :(

I got a phone call tonight... I didn't make it into the trauma group that I got interviewed for last Friday.
They think it isn't the right time or something . "Maybe" next time, in 6 months (right in the middle of the school year) . I wanted to get in so bad. I wanted to be in their group. I wanted so much to have a place to talk to people about the things that happened. I wanted so much to meet some people that I had something in common with. Find someone to talk to. I wanted SO MUCH to be able to talk.
I feel like such a total reject. Like NOBODY wants me. Not even people at a stupid trauma group with a bunch of other messed up people. :(
i feel so stupid. Like I got kicked in the stomach.
it would have been good for me. i wanted to go so bad.
i hope my therapist isn't mad at me. she is the one who wanted me in this group. i hope she doesn't get mad at me that they don't want me. i didn't know what to say last week. i didn't know what to do or what to think.
i am SO alone.

Posted by pilgrim at 6:05 PM | Comments (3)

June 11, 2006

update from jo

My therapist sent me an email and says that she agrees with the decision to not go be in that group right now. That was really hard to hear. I was afraid she would be mad though. But she said the thing to be proud of is that I did at least go in for the assessment in the 1st place. That is something I guess. She says the thing to do is keep working awat at the list of goals we;re already working on. So I guess we just keep plodding on...

Still here on vacation with family where I grew up.
Last night did ok until we were on our way somewhere/then on the way home-- realized where we were. Happened to look up and saw we were driving past the quarry and the cornfield. All of a sudden I froze up and it felt like someone poured ice water over me. There are so many memories to fight here and it feels like HE is everywhere. Those bad things happened all over this town,. I wish that cornfield would be cut down. I wish that quarry would be filled in. Last night I laid there in bed having so many flashbacks. So many things happened just even 200 feet (if that far) from where i am sitting right now. I can see right now into the building where HE raped me one night because he was mad that I came home :late: (according to him) from going out to the mall with a friend, where the back of my head got ground into the cold hard cement of the floor. Right now I just feel numb. But I know it'll just hit me again when I get in bed, like it did last night.


Posted by pilgrim at 6:22 PM | Comments (1)

June 13, 2006

Real Places

I'm still on vacation with my family.I just got off the phone with my husband. It was so nice to hear my husband's voice.
There are a lot of memories here still haunting me.
Last night I slept in my old room.
There are still a lot of ghosts in there.
They kept me up for a while.
When I go up in that room, especially at night, I don't just see a room. I see and hear myself as a teenager and a young college student trying to deal with an eating disorder all by myself. I see another me trying to cope with a friend that just died and having no one to talk to. I see another me trying to figure out what to do now that my little sister just left for college. I see another my screaming into a pillow in the middle of the night because I'm having flashbacks and no one in the world knows. I see myself staring into the mirror by the window and seeing another person's eyes look back at me and saying over and over again, "Who ARE you?" I see another me shaking off the voice I hear in my head of a little girl crying "Mommy?" over and over again.
Its like all these old memories still crammed together stuck inside a 12x12 bedroom. And they wander around still trying to get out. Sometime in the middle of the night in a stupor I even said aloud something about "I want you guys to get free" (yah, medication overload last night talking outloud in my sleep).
The thing is, I escaped. I got out. That's the important part.
Today I went to my old school. I went inside. It still smells the same, looks the same. I went into my old classrooms. The places I talk about in therapy, the places that Tuck and Carolineine and Mae tell my therapist about: they are REALLY there. The classroom where the health teacher told me "You look like someone who really enjoys dessert". The bathroom where I would brush my teeth obsessively because I was worried about being clean. The halls I was so careful to walk up and down in a good row and be a good line leader. I LOVED that school. I felt so safe there. From the hours of 8-2:30, I KNEW I was safe in that place. I depended on it. Today I got to be back inside for a little bit, and it felt so good. The inside kids loved it. We had proof that those places are real, that the things we talk about really happened. I took pictures to show my therapist.

Posted by pilgrim at 6:26 PM | Comments (1)

June 19, 2006

Wow, actual insight: not bad, just different

Therapy was really helpful today. It was so good to get to talk to my therapist after being on vacation for so long. Mae must have talked to her first although I'm not sure what about. It could have been anything.... there were pictures laying out and pictures of toys she wishes she had that my niece has. But then I got to talk to my therapist too, and she asked what MY take on our vacation was.
This time, I think I actually did good. As long as I was never in the same room as my asshole dickhead brother in law, things were fine. It was all I could do to not trip him or give him the finger every time I saw him (gee, angry much?) Creep.. Anyway... I stuck to my meal plan the whole time. We stuck to our goal sheets mostly every day (we have this notebook full of therapy goals and worksheets to fill out every day). Everyone worked together inside and there wasn't any arguing or fighting inside. I handled being around my parents. Today in therapy I actually had a sense of humor telling her about how bizarre my sister and I think our family can be.
One of the things that we talked about is how different I've always been from our huge family. We've got this big family with lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandkids. They all like to get together all the time. With tons of food, loud talking, lots of people. They all talked on a video tape about how they love how the family is so "close" and "there for each other when we need each other." I've NEVER thought that about the family. I've never felt that closeness. I've never felt like anyone was there for me. In the times when I had trouble in my life, my parents and aunts and uncles ridiculed me and made fun of me, never let up teasing me. I hated the family get togethers even when I was little. I remember being as young as 2 at family lunches or picnics and feeling trapped. I just wanted to get away from all the noise and go home. I just was so sensitive-- I picked up on everything. I felt strangled by everyone's words, all the talking, all the feelings, all the vibes, all the body language. I was just too sensitive of a child. I couldn't take all the people together. I needed to be with just 1 or 2 people. But there was my family, 30 or more people crammed in 1 house or 1 park, all talking and interacting-- it was just too much for me, and I retreated.
Then as soon as I could, I moved to the other side of the country.
I always thought of all of this as "what is WRONG with me?" As in... I'm SO different from everyone in my family. What's wrong with me? Why don't I fit in? How come they are all the same, and I'm so different? I must be really bad.
But then while talking with my therapist today, she helped me see that it isn't that there's something WRONG with me. Its just that I have a different way of being than they do. Like I have a different style of interacting with people. I'm not BAD, just different. So THEY all like gathering in herds around food every week and everyone all talking at once and having lots of things going on. I happen to like just 1 or 2 people sitting together on a couch and just having a nice quiet conversation. Its just different.
That really made me feel better.
Now all I have to do is go out and find me a family that's like that.

Posted by pilgrim at 8:56 PM | Comments (3)

June 26, 2006

On Friends and DID and everything

Sometimes I’m so lonely and feeling so bad about everything that it feels like I can’t take 1 more minute of it. And yet I know I’ve got days, and months…and YEARS of it left to deal with. My heart HURTS. Everything I feel is locked up in my throat, in my chest. I wish I could get it out… I wish I could talk to someone. I need a friend so badly. But there’s no one who can cope with me… there’s no one who can handle me. “Cope” with me because I’m just too much. I try so hard to protect people from the real me, the complicated “guess what I’ve got like a dozen people inside who come out at all the wrong moments” me, the “you say you’ll be my friend forever, but in reality that works out to be 3 years, maximum” me. I did have friends… from 1st to 4th grade, and then from 6th to 8th grade, and then from 2000-2002. I hang on to those memories like they are precious works of art: 1st grade, a birthday party where a lot of friends showed up. 2nd grade, having a best friend. 3rd grade, being popular with the girls AND the boys. 4th grade, being the smartest in the class and it was ok. Then Junior High: hanging out at Disneyworld with my best friend. The bus ride on our field trip. Laughing in church with one of my crazy friends who was as smart and creative as I was. Then the last group of friends: laughing in the hallway. Riding the Sky Coaster at Six Flags. Calling someone up to see if they wanted to go to the craft store.
It feels like I will never have those again. Its been so long. Who would want me now? Who would care now? Once people found out I had others inside, that was it: you’re demon possessed, we’ll pray for you, I don’t believe in that sort of thing, are you sure you’re not watching too much Tv, I’ll just quietly slip out of your life. You’re too complicated. Finding out later that someone was talking about me behind my back all along.
Mae wants a little girl to play with so badly. She had just a little taste of it when I was on vacation with my family, and now she wants it more. I tried to warn her before we even left: don’t ask for what you can’t have. She isn’t asking, but I know she is wanting. She had so much fun playing with someone that looked like her and was her size. Someone who thought like her and thought that playing in the mud was fun too.
She wants it so much… and I don’t know how to give it to her right now.
And Jo needs… well, everything. She needs an older sister. She needs friends. She needs teenagers. She needs to be invited to a sleepover. She never did that. She needs someone to invite her to their house, and stay up late and watch movies and show her how to wear makeup and what clothes she’d look good in besides black. She never had that, and I think it’d help her a lot. I don’t know how to give her that either.
And everyone, including myself….everyone needs to talk to my therapist. Everyone needs her time. No matter how much we try to share, we can’t all talk fast enough. My therapist does the best she can, but how much can she do? There are too many of us and only 1 of her. It isn’t fair and I have no idea what to do about it.
I’m so lonely. I can feel it down in the pit of my stomach. I haven’t eaten much today. I’m too filled up with everything else. I wish I didn’t have to keep everything inside.

Posted by pilgrim at 8:05 PM | Comments (2)

June 27, 2006

Two Year Anniversary-- DID support website

Today's the 2 year anniversary of our website, A Mind's Journey. It seems so strange that 2 years have passed since we started it with another friend. That friend has, along with nearly all the others, disappeared. Thankfully my friend Butterflyteam is still around, and she is one of my moderators of AMJ now. She is the one I count on to run things whenever I'm not around to run the site. The place has grown so much in such a short time. I can still remember the 1st night it was up, staying up half the night trying to think of topics to get started, to begin filling up the forums. It was just a tiny little board then with 8 members. Now it has grown to nearly 300 members, with 30 forums!
Back then, I would have never believed it.

Posted by pilgrim at 8:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2006

dissension in the ranks

For some reason this week, emotions are running high inside. Don’t know why. We are crashing into each other, with memories crashing into each other. Words crashing into each other. Ever since on Monday when Mae asked our therapist about things moms and dads do to make babies and why babies are not bad, when THAT is bad-- that is what started it all. When Mae started to cry and pushed it all down again, all of a sudden everything went SLAM. Crashing waves. Then we finally figured out, we think, why Mae has been so high strung, crying NO NO NO in the evenings--- the longest day of the year has past. Guess what, we are headed downward again, the days are officially going to start getting shorter. Which heads to winter. Maybe in Mae’s mind-- because she has no perception of time-- the shortest day of the year and the hardest days of winter are just around the corner. She has that “any second a panic attack is coming” vibe around her. We talked to her-- Mae, its still a long time away, the days are still long, its still summer, we still have a long time on summer vacation, this winter we’re going to take really good care of you…. But she doesn’t quite get it. She doesn’t get the time thing. Next week is far, far away-- but the dead of winter could occur at any second.

This is just jo. Stupid, quit-acting-like-such-a-teenager,jo I am sick of everything. I hate people. I want to go away. I want to just spend the rest of the summer on the couch, under some covers, with my head buried in a book, or asleep. I don’t care. I hate ALL of the adults. I hate people.
Stupid doctor today. Asked if anyone inside is “acting up.” Yah, because that’s what we do-- ACT UP. Because its not like we’re REAL PEOPLE or ANYTHING. We’re just these THINGS, these non-beings, who ACT UP. He looked at his chart to see who was ACTING UP last time and wanted to know if MAE and JO were still ACTING UP.
And damn those stupid adults. “Well, Mae and Jo-- the usual.”
GEE--- oddly enough, being ignored by EVERY person in my life and getting a whole 5 minutes a semester with our therapist has not cured me yet. Go FIGURE.
Oh, fuck them. I hate them. Yah, because mae and I are such PROBLEMS. Like Mae doesn’t feel bad enough about herself already. I hate myself.
So Dr says, “Jo--- she still wants to kill herself?”
I spoke up for myself. “No-- not as much anymore.” What am I supposed to say. “All the time?” So that he can say-- great, the van to take you to the mental hospital will be here in 10 minutes to pick you up, you freak?
“Oh”, he says “well that’s good.”
Good dog. Sit.
I hate people.
So Pilgrim asks about meds for her ADD again. Something to help them concentrate. Something that can help her get organized. Something to help her BE MORE LIKE CarolineINE. The Strattera they took last year gave us terrible nightmares. I had hallucinations at night. We saw things in our rooms and heard voices like we were schizophrenic. It was bizarre. But other options for ADD meds are out, herr dokter thinks. So they discussed it. MAYBE it wouldn’t be so bad now if they tried it again. They liked the Strattera so much. They got SO MUCH WORK DONE. (And that’s whats IMPORTANT, right? WORK. Because God forbid jo has time to lay on the couch and sleep her life away like a teenager….)
And besides, they say. We’re in such a better place now than we were last winter. Much less depression (for THEM anyway), working inside so much better, the doctor says maybe we wont’ have such bad side effects. So they say OKAY.
AGH. Never mind that jo has schizophrenic NIGHTMARES FROM HELL on THEIR wonderful meds.
Screw them. I hate them.
Yah, maybe if they ignore me long enough I’ll just go away. That’s obviously working REAL WELL for them. And not letting me talk about anything I need to-- THAT’S obviously working real well for them too.
See, here I am, getting better completely on my own, getting no one to talk to and not being allowed to have any time to talk to our T. RIGHT. That’s REALLY WORKING WELL.
The dumb thing is, I WILL take their Strattera. Same way as I follow their meal plan even though I don’t want to. Same way as I don’t purge anymore, even though I want to so bad and I miss it so much, even though it makes me feel so much better to binge and purge, even though I need to. Same reason I need to cut and don’t do it. Because I give in… because that’s just what I do. Because I DO want them to be able to work harder at work-- because it makes them happy. Because we couldn’t really get any more meds for depression, because the Wellbutrin on a higher dose wouldn’t get paid for by our insurance, or something, and they didn’t want to take yet ANOTHER new medicine for depression. So they say, well if we could do more work, that’d make us happier. Of COURSE it would. If Carolineine could move her bed into her classroom and sleep there, she’d be GREAT. She’s already got a refridgerator and a stove and a laundry room right there, and a tv too. All she needs is a bed and she’d be ready to live right there in the classroom. Because she’s a workaholic just like dad. Only more cheerful about it.
SO… we start taking the Strattera again tomorrow, and I’m scared. But of course we take it anyway. I know what they’ll say if I don’t want to take it: “Oh come on, Jo-- it’ll be ok… quit thinking so negatively. Try to be positive once in a while…. Quit being so dramatic…. Quit acting like such a teenager” (As though acting like a 50 year old is an option for me at 17).
Maybe I’m just tired. I feel stupid. I should shut up.
I don’t have any right to complain anyway.
Here I have all day long to myself, with no people around. The kids watch tv, or Carolineine works on school stuff. We’ve got the summer off.
If I could just sleep like I want.
Mae wants to play, paint, look for bugs, color, read books, watch Sesame Street, watch the sun sparkle on the floor, look at leaves. Not lay down on the couch.
The thing is, the more lonely Pilgrim gets, the more opportunity I get to just take over and go lay down on the couch and hibernate. Sometimes I get lucky. About now she is getting more lonely. About now, I get to get my couch back.
I’m just stupid. What right do I have to get mad anyway.

Posted by pilgrim at 8:29 PM | Comments (1)

June 29, 2006

Some thoughts on Integration

I just finished reading a book called The Magic Daughter,a true about a woman with DID who integrates near the end. (Its an excellent book, by the way-- highly recommend it.) It had me thinking last night about integration. When that happens, all the different "parts" come together as one unit again, working together. Some people say that it gets quiet in their head. That the kid parts no longer come out, or that the alters no longer take over. I guess its different for everyone.
It just had me thinking.
What would I do... if all of a sudden, everyone inside was gone?
What if it were quiet?
I often wish for peace and quiet inside. I could do without the yelling, the whispering, the backtalk, the comments on every single action I make, the comments from the peanut gallery. But what if all of a sudden, it were just me?
What does one DO when one has only one occupant?
Who would say good morning to me when I woke up? For that matter, who would have been talking all night long? Would would have kept track of my dreams? When I wake up during the night, I wouldn't have the comfort of knowing that there are others inside who are awake because I wouldn't hear their conversations going on.
What would it be like to be the one who got to decide what to eat for breakfast? Would I still feel like watching Blue's Clues? Would there be an argument over what color of Zoo Pals spoon to use to eat my yogurt? Would going for a walk be boring because I'd stop looking for worms and butterflies? Who would remember to talk to the ants? Would all my work get done at work? After all, I get tired and give up after about Tuesday afternoon. Then someone else takes over the rest of the week. Who would listen in on staff meetings?
And besides all that.... WHO WOULD I BE?
Without them?
Would I be anyone?
Its a strong theory among us inside that I'm not even "the" Pilgrim. THAT would be Mae. I'm just the one who got stuck leading the pack. Mae and I were here 1st before everyone, so the theory goes. although I'm not sure how Carolineine and Mae know this. But then Mae went into the wall in kindergarten, and there I was. But then I split and split and split some more. Who am I? I think I'm just another part. Would I be anyone without all my counterparts around to support me?
Would the quietness of integration drive me more crazy than the loudness of having all of them around does?

And I would miss them. God help me for all the pain and problems and complete insanity they cause me, I've gotten sort of attached to them by now. Does that make me a total freak to admit? Or does that just mean that I've finally accepted that I've got all these extra people in my life that I have to work together with?

Posted by pilgrim at 9:41 PM | Comments (5)

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