Whew! What A Year That Has Past, What A Year That Is To Come

I’ve finally got WordPress setup on my new tablet again and a nice me keyboard to go with it, hopefully that helps me keep up when the mood strikes to write. I’ve mentioned that things have been really crazy, and not in the D.I.D. sort out way. Well, after this week I should have a better idea what that really means for me.

My life has always been crazy aside from the PTSD and D.I.D. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned that I have more than my share of medical problems. I might have mentioned my fibromyalgia diagnosis but I can’t remember. Over a year ago, I may have mentioned this too, I injured myself. I didn’t have insurance so I had to do what I could on my own to get better. Well, things are better…and they are worse.

This Winter is being awful on me; I’m thankful today is sunny and seems like I can imagine it will be Spring again. Last Winter was horrible too with my injury spiralling me into a really bad depression where there ended up being some miscommunication with my therapist and essentially I was told she’d no longer see me. It was strange. This Winter I’ve been scraping by on my own as I have no energy to go looking for a new therapist; dumping out my story, testing to see if they are safe for the Others. It’s hard but I’m ok, I manage…

Over the holiday I lost touch with my “long time on again off again friend with benefits” who as of over a year ago has become my actual “massively serious about other in it for long term” partner. We’ve had to be apart much of the time we’ve been officially a couple. So that was bad. Alone again and with a pile of stuff I wasn’t handling well. Once the holidays were over we talked it out, I made sure he knew how that had felt to me. It’s been better, he’s been there for me, he’s promised not to let things get like that again.

So this week I have the big doctor’s appointment. I think I’ve managed to figure out that I should have been looked at for a certain disorder and I’m going to finally get it checked out. I’m pretty certain they will confirm it for me and I feel like that will help answer a lot these lingering questions about health issues. There are a lot of mixed feelings, I was born with this, I can pass it on I have children, there’s no cure only management – I’m even sure what means for me right now or into the future. At least I will know the possibilities of what might (or might not) happen, what I’m at risk for, so that makes things a little less scary some ways. Hopefully I can then find the right care and be a little more prepared. And at least now I can fight a little more (or less I suppose) when doc’s want to dismiss me, say there’s nothing wrong with me, etc. It’s not something that’s going to kill me (though they may some digging me just be 100% sure I’m not dealing with something else). It’s been a long, long journey to this and that’s a bit sad to me too. Too many feelings to mention really and some I’m maybe not even aware of yet.

I’m both anxious and excited. I will update again once the dust from the appointment settles and I have a good idea what’s next for me. It might be early next month though since I also have a regular doctor appointment which might tack on some more follow up.

I need to go lie down for a bit. I’m sitting in a not too comfortable spot and this took longer than I expected. I guess I had more to say and get off my chest than I thought.

Hello and Happy New Year!

To anyone who still reads this blog haha!

I’m sad I haven’t been around and blogging much but there has been a lot going on in my life. A lot of changes and a lot that is still changing. I’m still trying to dust myself off, pick up pieces, and sort out what’s next, where am I going, etc. Right now things are just not settled enough for me to really write about things. I feel too scrambled.  It’s not even really the D.I.D. just a lot of other stuff.

I guess I should set up the WordPress app on my new tablet though, I keep meaning to try to do that. I just realized you can link to Path now…hmm maybe I could set up a new one, if any one out there has one. I have a personal one but don’t want to post these posts to it. I’m always a little wary of tying things to other accounts. Dunno, I’ll explore it maybe in a bit.

Hope everyone out there is having a better start to the new year or like me working damn hard at it.

The Care and Feeding of a Negative Introject

So yesterday I ran across a question somewhere asking about how to go about shifting those negative voices, let me just state right now you DO NOT have to have D.I.D. to be plagued by negative voices in your head I think lots of singleton people get them too.  How do you change those old messages that you received in childhood, the ones that repeat over and over “You’re not good enough”, “You’re not loveable”, “You’re a failure”, whatever it may be that you hear and it maybe more violent than those examples. Recently I managed to sway my negative introject/Dark Alter part over to the “good” side and that voice has stopped (I am still working on my own beliefs about myself though but that’s more manageable). Here is post that talked a little bit about how I started working with that part https://insidevoices.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/when-protectors-attack/  you can also search for more background on that part and negative introjects in general by looking through the tags for “Negative introjects” and “Dark Alter”.  The negative introject was something I learned about from the book “The Family Inside” by Doris Bryant – listed on the left side bar LibraryThing widget.  The bulk of what worked for me is what I’ve written below, I did have input from my therapist and was seeing her regularly at the time, we also did a lot of EMDR that was really helpful in learning about that voice, where it came from and what was behind those messages. This is just what worked for me WITH my therapist, stressing that because I personally would not do this on my own because that voice was too strong and to terrifying.

 

I think those voices are often like the little kid that gets labeled as “bad” but is just acting out for attention.  I think they just need to be listened to and taken care of.  I think those voices are the things that we were told not to talk about, not to think about, or told that it wasn’t important, or that just got stuffed down for whatever reason. Those messages are messages from the past that haven’t been brought up into the present. It’s a lot of work to change those messages to fit the present, for some it might be easier, but usually I think that lessens those messages.  It takes a lot of work because you have to figure out what is your present reality, what are the real messages about you now? What’s really true about you? What was really true about you as a kid? Do you really believe those awful negative messages? If someone said those things about a child you know (or make up a kid) what would you say then? Then just when you figure that all out you likely will get challenged by those old messages. So it can feel like a lot of little steps or half steps forward and 10 steps or giant leaps back.

 

I think another thing that’s difficult to do but that helped for me was learning how to both give space for those messages to spew out and then containing them.  I did at some point start to view those messages as that “bad” little kid who needed to be heard but had zero communication or social skills.  Seeing those messages that way was really difficult too and stirred up quite a lot of things but…that’s another story maybe.  I decided to try out time limits and containers with the messages, it’s something I do with other things in my life such as worries that seem to crop up at the least convenient time (just before work or just before bed).  I just let those angry awful messages spew for say 2 minutes or 5 minutes or however long I could let it go and not have it get to me.  I had been finding the more I tried to just shut down those messages or scream back at them the worse they got later.  So no talking back, no screaming back, no shutting them down in any way, I let them spew for a limited amount of time ( maybe 1 minute a day, or 5 minutes a week, whatever worked). Sometimes I did take notes for later.  Then when the time was up I visualized putting them away in a box and putting them in a safe for later (sometimes I had to draw that for myself. Not sure why but sometimes that made it easier for me to really get it to stop).  This wasn’t the same as stuffing, burying, or ignoring those messages like in the past, I had to tell myself that a lot in the beginning, it was just putting them off to the side for later when I had more time and more energy to deal with them and give them the attention they deserved. 

 

I think once I started to see those messages as some thing in my life that needed attention just as a message such as “I’m really hungry right now” would need attention and to be taken care of, and once I learned how to get the messages to slow down and not bombard me every 10 seconds, it got easier.  There were other rules too such as if I thought the thoughts would spill over into actual physical actions the time limit was up or sometimes I knew I couldn’t handle any talk of violence so that was off the table and if it came up then the time was up and usually cut off for a couple of days.  I think rules only got broken a handful of times, mostly that voice was just so eager to be heard that after a while it followed the rules just so it could talk. So what is it in those messages that needs attention? Are they there trying in some strange round about way to protect you (that was the case for me)? Are they there because maybe you haven’t dealt with the emotions around those messages and what your reality/truths tell you now (can you get angry at the lies? Can you let yourself be sad over the old messages? Can you be proud of who you are now and, or who you are becoming? Are you afraid of letting those messages go?) On the note of being afraid, what would you do or could you do if you were free from those old messages? Is that thought of freedom from them liberating, scary, or both? Even though I’m free of that voice that spewed the majority of those old messages I still have to deal with and reshape certain beliefs about myself and I feel it’s both liberating and scary but often scary. I’m just not used to that freedom. Yet.

 

The nutshell is, we get told a lot of things about ourselves growing up and we believe those messages are true.  Some of us really hung on to those words and replay them over and over in different ways. Once we get older things start to clash around as we see more and learn more about ourselves and the world.  All of a sudden those things we were told don’t seem to match up but they came from major players in our lives so it tangles us up trying to make sense.  Looking at those messages as grown ups now and seeing those things weren’t true then and aren’t true now takes a lot of work and it’s difficult to knock those major players (parents, relatives, teachers, etc.) in our lives off the pedestals we might have put them on.  Those messages though, they sometimes do need space to be heard. It’s kind of like someone saying “Hey, you need to take out the trash!”. Those parts of us need to know that, that world we lived in as children doesn’t exist anymore, we aren’t children anymore, they need to be let out to see the world that exist now or that we are trying to learn to navigate now (which hopefully is more safe and secure than the childhood environment)  Ignoring them or trying to shut them up usually doesn’t help and for some can make it worse, like ignoring a ‘check engine’ light.  Put rules in place for yourself and follow through on them. Learn techniques for containing, not stuffing, not burying, containing – setting aside for later and actually following through on coming back to the issues. Sometimes it might be easier to write it all out or draw it out and tuck it away for later when you need to. Your brain needs to catch up to you in the now, you’re not a child anymore, you see the world differently as a grown up. Take care of those issues and memories behind the messages.

Update for July 31st ’13

Well I think I know how to get the recordings off the voice recorder but might take me a little longer to do it and get it done.

The whole thing with the little parts… ugh, yeah they are back in my head a lot of the time. It’s not as bad and finding the “baby monitor” system thing did help I think, the whole nanny thing still helps. I don’t know maybe it’s just really consistently using tools and resources that we have.

Did I mention I wrote a 3 page, front and back, letter to my shrink?! Yeah, I’ve been unconsciously procrastinating putting it in the mail. Today is the day, I swear as soon as I’m done with this, I’m gonna write a quick to do list and then pop that puppy in the mailbox.

I have a bunch of posts I need to work on, I always say that don’t I. I think I need a notebook for my post so I can just hand write if I need too. Sometimes, I don’t like trying to type on my phone and I get restless at the computer (even though I’m faster at typing). I don’t know.  I’m still figuring out how to be a good blogger and do the D.I.D management thing. Is it just me or do they come out more in type. I mean, they come out in my handwriting for sure but…I don’t seem to get as distracted I don’t think. I can’t click away the page anyway. I tend to come up with things when I’m not at a computer too.  I think I need to get better at keeping my daily issues recorded for myself so… I think it’s time for a new journal. Ha, I think I just want a new journal, I always want new journals.

Things I’d like to do more of:

  • Thought recordings – yeah for some reason listening to my voice on those recordings didn’t bother me like it usually does. Maybe I wasn’t bothered because I had recorded them like I was speaking to someone?
  • Journaling/Diary
  • Letter writing.

My first post back on July 26th, 2007 https://insidevoices.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/i-dont-know-i-just-dont-know/

Man, roughly 6 years of my PTSD & D.I.D. diagnosis then too. I switched my living situation, I changed therapists a couple times, I’ve had one of my “worst”/abusive insiders do a complete 180 and he’s now learning to be a good helper part, I’ve learned a lot of symptom management, I’ve learned I can survive if I am in the same space with old abusers, I’ve learned how to set boundaries and stick to them, I’ve learned EMDR is hard but soooo worth it, I’ve learned how to trust friends, I’ve learned to trust and forgive myself, I’ve learned there is someone out there that will love me back even if I’m a little bruised up from my past, I’ve learned that yes I was affected by things that happened to me as a baby even if I don’t have the same kind of memory of those events as I have memory of things that happened when I was verbal, I’ve learned how I can stop self-injuring, I’ve learned I am DEFINITELY NOT CRAZY🙂

What?! 6 years!

Aww, so I log into the site today and there is a little notice in  my dash that it’s my 6 year anniversary! Has it really been that long since I started this. There is a D.I.D joke in there somewhere I’m sure.

I was going to do just a quick update but maybe I should think of something a little more… hmmm.

Jackpot! Voice Recordings

So I was about to sell off this little personal voice recorder I had bought for school a few years back when I decided to test it out to make sure it still worked ok, lo and behold there are a bunch of recordings on it talking about my experience with various aspects of trauma, dissociation, and DID. If I can figure out how to get the recordings to upload, sadly no USB on it, I’m thinking I’d be ok with posting them.

Right now I’m listening to the 4th recording out of what looks like 7 recordings. I’m not sure what I recorded all of these for, blog post maybe. Sounds like I’m being prompted by something, a book, questions posted somewhere, not sure.

So stay tuned I guess and if anyone knows how to get these of the recorder and save the sound quality let me know. I’m a little hard to hear and understand in some spots.

To think I almost just hit the erase button thinking if there was anything on there it would just be lectures! And sorry no, so far none of the others make an appearance and I likely would not post those.

Little Voices or: When you just want to stab your brain

So I don’t know how it is for anyone else but the real young folks (2 – 6) in my system seem to be the most active, the most vocal, the most heard, the loudest, and it gets super annoying. It’s like I have to hear every single conversation they have, from the time I get up until the time I crash or they crash which ever comes first. I just have been wanting to stab myself in the brain. It’s always been there but it’s been harder to ignore over the years and nothing seemed to get it to stop.

Well tonight it came up that there was this sort of baby monitor set up in their room so we could hear everything but things have changed and we don’t need it anymore so, we’ve disconnected all the speaker things, transmitter things, whatever they are called. So far it seems much better, we had this nanny part that we have been trying to use for the last maybe year and a half so we feel that will help too. No more worry about D the negative part now that he’s joined us as a regular helper part.

They came up maybe around 3 hours ago to say good night and then that was pretty much it. They maybe woke up for a second (we keep opening the door to their room and checking because the rest of the house was so quiet haha) but I think it’s just we gotta get them used to a better bed time. So I don’t know if this will really work maybe they are just being ultra good, maybe it’s something else, we’ll see how tomorrow goes and the rest of the month I guess. Usually in the past any quiet has not lasted more than a few days. I guess I’ll just be happy for the break and the occasional chatter of anyone who can hold a coherent conversation not about ponies (ok they don’t usually talk about ponies but that was the one that made me want to shove something in my ear drums).