Pilgrim's Journey > January 2007 Archives

January 1, 2007

New Years Goals

Well I'm completely exhausted and worn out, which can only mean one thing... tomorrow I go back to work. One of these days, my "vacations" are truly going to be vacations. I haven't had a day off yet on this particular Christmas vacation. From the moment it started I was running off to the airport and waiting in lines, then visiting my family and keeping busy with them. I came back home and I've been trying to catch up on all the things I should have been doing over Christmas-- school work and house work. There is still so much more to do but I'm out of time, and tomorrow teachers have to be back at work. The kids come back on Wednesday.
I hope I can make it through this week with my eyes open.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll have therapy like I'm supposed to. I can't wait to talk to my therapist about everything that's gone on the past 2 weeks.

So, all of us inside have been thinking about things we want to accomplish in the next year. We want some goals to be easy (to keep us encouraged to keep going) and some to be challenging (to make us work hard). Here are just a few ideas that are bouncing around among us:

1. Make smarter eating choices. Such as, no more starving, purging, or eating disorder stuff. This is a REALLY hard one. Eat more healthy foods like fruits, veggies, milk, and juice (instead of living off diet Coke, chocolate, and Excedrin). Lose weight!! I looked better at 105 pounds and felt better. I have just 10 more pounds or so to get there.
2. Clean and organize the house 1 room at a time (January--the kitchen; February-- the living room; March--the office; April--the bedroom; May-- the bathrooms; June and July--the kids' playroom). This one will be hard too.
3. Stop watching Twilight Zone marathons after 9 pm. They freak us all out.
4. Continue to keep on exercising several times a week.
5. Don't go to the doctor unless I am 1)bleeding from an eyeball or 2)have a bone jutting out from my skin. We cannot afford the damn insurance anymore, and definitely cannot afford doctor bills; the insurance people suck and keep giving us a hard time.
6. Take turns talking better in therapy. Organize ourselves inside more efficiently and make better use of our time . This one will be one of the hardest things.
7. BE GOOD. This covers all of us. Just be good. Keep my mouth shut, be nice, say nice things, do everything i'm supposed to, play nice, do everything well. Just BE GOOD.

Posted by pilgrim at 5:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 3, 2007

Handling alters who dont get along

Its such a fight every week. We are always fighting over who gets to do what and when. Everyone has their own things they like to do. Like Carolineine likes to read books about children all the time or look at websites for teachers, or work on her teacher website she has. Missy likes to read books on other subjects like cutting and eating disorders. Pilgrim likes to spend time watching movies or reading other books. Mae likes to write stories and color, like most of the kids do, or they love to watch Nickoleon, play outside, or play computer games. Everyone likes to do their own things.
We used to really, really resent each other-- hated having others who were always hanging around. Some of us still do. Not as much as we used to though-- not nearly as much. We used to fight almost all the time. Now its just some of the time. We mostly resent each other when it comes to having time to talk to our therapist. Its a precious 2 hours a week, and its so hard to share it; we all have so much to say, and we all "REALLY NEED" to talk to her. Its really hard to organize ourselves and work things out. Also in everyday life we just all have so much we want to do, and there is just never enough time for it all. We tend to get resentful of having so many others around then because we all want our own time to do our own thing as much as we want. There isn't enough time with our therapist, there isn't enough time in the day. One week to the next week goes by so slowly that it seems like it takes forever for 1 of us to get a turn to talk in therapy.
Mae had a really hard time last night. Wehad talked to our T about our trip home. Mae was upset also about how her mom doesnt want her anymore, how our sister wants HER little girl, but nobody ever wanted Mae. Then Mae dropped a bomb on us right at the very last minute about something that happened when she was really little. She knew it was time to go but she apparently wanted to say something before she lost her nerve. Well then we had to drive home. With an atomic bomb dropped on us. It felt like we couldn't breathe, like we were suffocating and going to do and we couldn't escape the office fast enough. Mae cried herself to sleep, and everyone else feels hopeless. Right now some inside resent Mae for even talking at all, but Mae resents everyone else just because she wants to be by herself and be left alone. She doesn't want us. She wants either her mom or our therapist and thats all. She doesn't want any "inside people." She wants all of us to go away. She's 5 and upset... its hard to make her understand. She still thinks that she is 5 and that her mommy is 25 years old and that she lives in the same house we did 30 years ago. She doesn't understand that she is permanently connected to the rest of us.
Right now we're not sure what to do. We're not all getting along very well this week.

Posted by pilgrim at 4:17 PM | Comments (2)

January 5, 2007

High Pain Tolerance: inherited or dissociated?

Whenever I go to the chiropractor to try to deal with this back pain I've had for years (its pretty bad sometimes), they have this REALLY cool... machine thing... I'm not sure what it is called. It has some electrodes that stick to your skin. You lie down on a table, and the chiropractor's helper attaches the electrodes to different places where you're having the most pain or have the stiffest muscles or problem. For me and Carolineine, its certain places in our back. After the electrodes are hooked up, you're covered with warm towels and the electricity is turned on. Apparently the machine shoots electricity through you and into your muscles, to help relax your muscles. I'm sure there is some technical term for this, but we call it "zapping."
The machine can go up to different levels--zapping you with higher and higher amounts of electricity. The helper adjusts it depending on what you're comfortable with. Carolineine and I can both let it go quite high. Higher than most people can deal with. Apparently there is only one other client there that goes to a higher level-- and thats a big man. We're a smallish-sized tiny girl. But we can take being zapped with a lot of electricity. And it really DOES zap you hard. But our muscles and body can take it.
Today as I laid there, Carolineine and I were talking about it. What is it that makes us be able to handle it? Its certainly not the most pleasant feeling in the world... it feels like being pricked really hard with pins and needles, after your foot falls asleep or something. Only it goes deep into your muscle tissue. Is it because we automatically step away inside when our body comes in contact with something painful? Is it just a naturally higher level of pain tolerance? Did we just inherit it from our dad, who doesn't even flinch when he accidently slams his thumb in a car door? (We don't either, although the feeling certainly isn't pleasant... we just dissociate really quickly.)
It comes in handy when we do something painful on accident-- being a clutz, as I am-- always running into things (walls, doors, other people...). However having a high pain tolerance can also be a pain in the butt, so to speak-- because it makes it easy to injure ourselves on purpose like through cutting, burning, or scratching ourselves, or pounding our fists into walls until our hands are all bruised up. We don't feel anything as we're doing it, and thus, don't really have any regrets about it until we realize that we did something stupid and are probably going to get in trouble for it.

Posted by pilgrim at 10:31 PM | Comments (5)

January 6, 2007

There are 2 groups I want to join...

Remember when we tried to join a trauma group at the Women's Center last summer? I really wanted to get in... this lady even had to INTERVIEW me... I lost it in the parking lot beforehand. It was so scary and I tried to be really brave. But the lady called my therapist and then called us, and said that she didn't think I was ready for it. I sure thought I was. Past ready. Of course, then my therapist agreed with her, and naturally I had no say in it. God forbid someone listen to me. But the lady at the center said that she'd call me in December because they'd have a new group starting then, and she'd see if she could get me in that one.
December is well past though... and i never heard from her. I really wish I had been able to join. I know it would have been hard work. But... well maybe it just wasn't the right time, I guess. Or maybe I am still not the right person.
The other group I really want to join is one of our church's home groups. Our church is really huge and divides members up by where they live into community groups, sort of like neighbors that get together for weekly meetings. Its a really cool thing they do. I hear lots of good things about it. Its so church members can have other Christians around who they can get support from, have parties with, go have fun with.
A few years ago my husband and I tried going to a home group with some people we know from church. This older couple that was really friendly invited us to their group. So we went for a couple of Sunday evenings. The only thing is, that between dissociating and being so afraid of people, we didn't do very well :( It was really embarassing. Its like our new friend just KNEW there was something wrong with me. She'd start talking about how cute and little I seemed (because it was really Mae). We didn't know what to say to all the other adults, couldn't eat in front of other people (why do other people have to get together around food? Who made up that rule? Anorexics do not get together around food! We get together around diet Cokes!) At the meetings I would end up 1)hanging out in the corner with someone's dog and 2)falling asleep on the couch listening to the adults' conversations. Major embarassment. :*(
I still really want to try joining again though. I'm still just as afraid as ever. Inside my head I still hear an echo of one of my old best friends telling me that I must be demon-posessed because I have DID-- that Mae is actually a demon sent by the devil. (*Um... yah, sure.*)
Lately I have been thinking about asking my husband if we could try joining the same church home group again. It would be nice to just have a place to get out to once in a while. The thing is... I won't even be able to be myself. I will always have to keep who I really am a secret. My entire real life is a secret. On the outside I have to make sure that I am the smiling, happy teacher with just a few problems that I can handle on my own-- that everyone likes to see. I'm so ashamed and embarassed about what my real life is like. If anyone ever knew me they would hate me... they'd run screaming the other way. They wouldn't want anything to do with me. I've lost 3 friends who have said they'd "always be here for me" because of them finding out about my eating disorder/cutting/ DID. I can't ever let any other outside people find out, ever again. If my husband and I do join a home group again, it will be nice to have people to meet with as a couple. But I will still remain on the outside, pretending to smile.

____I am really sorry for all my pessimism today and these posts. There are a couple of things going on in my head that I really, really am having a hard time dealing with, and I can't talk about them with anyone. I don't feel like I can tell anybody what's going on inside with us-- especially with Mae, me, and Jo. And I'm just lonely and wishing I had someone to talk to. I apologize for these rambling, self-serving, piti-fied posts today___

Posted by pilgrim at 11:26 PM

January 10, 2007

A Bright spot in my day.

This is Carolineine.
Today was overwhelming with the arrival of a new child in our class but there was one giant good spot which really brightened my day.
Today one of my old kids came back.
He is almost 7 now so he's too big to be in my class anymore (which really is a good thing because he is VERY wild) but I got to SEE him which is something I've been wishing for, for about 3 years.
He is autistic and I got him the day he turned 3, he didn't talk and the 1st time he ever said anything was when he looked at me and called me "Mama", and he let me rock him all the time and hold him even when he wouldn't let anyone else get near him. But then because of his home situation he disappeared after a few months.
That broke my heart. I was worried about him so much-- that he wouldn't be safe, or not well fed, or that he might get hit by a car or something.
You know, I always think that kids aren't going to be safe enough unless its ME watching them.
Well there was a rumor going around LAST year that he was coming back, but he never showed. But today he and his dad showed up at work, and registered him for 1st grade and that age's special ed class.
. And I got to SEE him, and talk to his dad. I feel like crying right now because I finally got to see my sweet boy again (oddly, I am the only one who thought this wild child was "sweet"), and he smiled at me and jumped around, so I think he remembers me. I missed him so much, although I do admit that I am a bit glad he is too old for my classroom now (I only take up to 5 year olds ) because I'm already up to 15 children and I've got more on the way. But I am SO happy that I got to see him. He is so tall and so handsome, and I've been SO worried about him. He looks the same only just so tall, and he is still so beautiful to me.I keep thinking how I used to rock him to calm him down. Its so rare that I get to find out what happens to any of my kids. And now I know that he is ok. AND he is right back here in our school. Its such a relief.

Posted by pilgrim at 5:40 PM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2007

All stressed out and nowhere to go

Good evening, this is Carolineine.
Things are just crazy at work still.
However, things are getting done bit by bit.
One major project is near completion since I have been working on it like crazy on several weekends.
I also have attacked my kitchen and cleaned it out, then I'm going to be working on other rooms of the house.
Need to get some of the clutter out of my house, out of my mind, out of my life.
Work continues to just be busier and crazier by the day.
Today I told my bosses that I was running away.
For some reason, they didn't believe me.
They were in luck-- I came back after lunch.
Tomorrow, I might just disappear ;) After all, it is faculty meeting day.

Posted by pilgrim at 7:43 PM | Comments (1)

January 24, 2007

Yoga, College, School, and Stress

So much goes on every day that its hard to think about what to ever say on the days I have time to write.
I've been doing yoga on the days that I have time in an effort to help de-stress a little bit and am going to look online to see if I can find a yoga class around here. It'd be scary to go into a class and be around people, but maybe I could meet some people, and maybe learn to relax my body a little bit too.
We're debating whether or not to go back to school for our Master's degree. It isn't really worth it monetarily for teachers because we'll pay a lot more for the degree than we will ever get in pay raises. But if we ever decide to do more than work in a classroom, we will need it. The thing is that some inside WANT to, some definitely do NOT want to, and some think that we SHOULD. Because the undergraduate years were fairly dissociative and unpleasant, there are plenty of reasons to not go back, but because we're all in the process of becoming more hopeful about the future and wanting to try harder and more challenging things we also want to take on bigger projects, such as graduate school. Its a big decision that we keep tossing around and can't figure out what to do (yet).
Everything must be done by committee. There is no room for individuals to just go out and do what we want even though that's what each of us wants more than anything.
Work is also just crazy these days. Its just this time of year. Every year in the late winter, we go a bit nuts. Things will even out in the spring when the sun comes out every day again.
Things are stressful on me right now because I'm trying to take care of everyone and the day to day to day to day of it, taking care of Mae and Jo and all of the kids, then taking care of my class, and taking care of other people too. Jo has been suicidal for a couple of weeks, and so the rest of us are stressed as she keeps trying to deal with her intense feelings and the rest of us deal with her own things. It all just seems like too much. Especially at work, where at this time of year where more paperwork and more demands keep being pushed on teachers, and nothing lets up. Our tension headaches are happening every day and we're not sleeping well.
Everyone inside needs to work together more and harder somehow. Somehow we have to find the wherewithall inside to do more and harder and faster and better. Somehow. Because this still isn't good enough.

Posted by pilgrim at 5:26 PM | Comments (2)

January 30, 2007

There is so much I need to learn

Hey all its Carolineine.
Well things are as always quite busy which you know is how I like it and how I keep things. I realize that's pretty much my fault that I'm swamped with work all the time. I keep myself busy, of course. Running around like a nut at work all day and then trying to keep the inside kids busy all evening.
I'm frustrated. Tonight I went to therapy-- I really, really have needed to talk to our therapist for a few weeks now. I just wanted to talk out loud about everything going on, get some feedback, and just in general TALK out loud about things that are going on. That's about it.
Well I'm not sure what the deal was today but Mae tried talking to her and our therapist wasn't in the mood today to deal with Mae-- fair enough. Mae was really upset but didn't let it show on the outside and disappeared inside so I went to talk to T-- to see if I could save this therapy session somewhat.
So I get there to talk-- and the whole thing was about how to help the kids, what to do to work together inside, what we can do to help everyone work together. My therapist seemed very frustrated today (understandably so-- there is a lot going on with everyone not working together, information our therapist is not getting, a lot of loose ends). I just listened and listened. She talked a lot. This is what I do at work, online, with friends, with colleagues. I listen. I nod. I try to come up with solutions for people. So that is what I did today. My therapist presented her frustrations with Mae, Jo, Pilgrim, everyone inside. I tried to come up with solutions and suggestions. Together we came up with a plan of action for the next few months of therapy which whill hopefully help them move along a little better.
Maybe next week I will get to talk. I just feel so selfish. I talked for a couple minutes, here and there, about myself-- I mentioned how its difficult that I can't get away from the kids, how its different from being a regular parent because I can't just hire a babysitter to get away from them, I can't get a break from Mae and Tuck and Jadie and the twins and Jo and all of them; they are just always there-- in my head--talking. Middle of the night, in the shower, when I have a headache-- they are always there, needing and wanting things and asking questions. It gets frustrating and tiring.
But what do I do, right? It is what it is-- and that can't be changed.
So I'm supposed to be this fantastic teacher at school, a wonderful perfect internal parent for the inside kids, a loyal and wonderful friend, and a good therapist to everyone who needs me. The only thing is, I never had anyone show me or teach me how to do any of those things. I taught myself. I haven't had a model for any of those. Can't say that I've had any good friends as a role model, my parents own skills were lacking, I'm the only one at my school who teaches my subject and I'm supposedly "the best" in the district, and while my own therapist is TERRIFIC, I have never been to graduate school myself so I am not a trained therapist.
I feel so lacking. I feel so inadequate. I feel like there is so much I need to learn, and I don't know where to go learn it.
And I just need to talk. I need to learn so much more, and I feel like I don't know anything. I need to learn how to relax, how to deal with things, how to take care of everyone better, how to do....EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING BETTER.

Posted by pilgrim at 7:17 PM | Comments (2)

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