Follow Me…?

I’ve hit this place of crisis in my healing. What I thought was almost over is far from over. I’m feeling stuck, frustrated, lost for words.

So I started a new blog. Because that’s what I do when I’m feeling stuck, frustrated, lost for words.

Join me?

—-> “another book, another page” <—–

Cycles

Looking back at previous posts, it is stunning to me how cyclical trauma therapy can be. At least it is for us. I think we can discern a fairly predictable pattern through it all: 1. Denial, 2. Acknowledgement, 3. Avoidance, 4. Crisis, 5. Processing, 6. Resolution, and then typically a brief period of Reprieve before a new string of memories starts to arise and we start the whole process over again. During our denial phase, we immerse ourselves in external life. It’s like we are so exhausted from the last crisis that we can’t even think about anything having to do with therapy. CB typically lets us get away with it for a while out of compassion for our fatigue, but if we stay too long in the denial phase, we end up over-committing ourselves to external obligations and regretting it when we are ready to acknowledge the new stuff.

Before long, the new stuff starts pressing into the forefront. It’s tough, because usually we are either so consumed with the fear of another crisis that we cannot go there, or we are unable to access anything with real clarity. If there are parts we do not have great communication with, this is the uncomfortable part where we lose a bunch of time and struggle to feel cohesive. Finally, we decide to buckle down and explore what is surfacing.

Inevitably, we are terrified of what we find. Nothing buried in our mind is fun to uncover. We usually hit programming of some kind, and we take off running. This is the stage where the temptation to use unhealthy coping mechanisms can get overwhelming. CB usually has to pull out her “step out onto the invisible ledge and trust something will be there when you put your foot down” speech. Sometimes, once we have a picture of where we need to go and who we need to talk to, we have to schedule an extended session to start processing. It usually takes us several weeks to reach all of the nooks and crannies in a web of memories. During this time, we are typically in crisis mode. Several years ago, crisis mode meant hospitalization. Our protectors knew how unsafe we were, so we wouldn’t even be allowed to fully acknowledge something new until we were in Baltimore. The past few years, though, we were able to work through everything outpatient, but we definitely needed extra support to get through. For our system, processing and crisis are pretty interchangeable. We hit walls and snares and fail-safes, but CB has worked with us so long that she is a pro at understanding everything and working through it.

Finally, we will hit some kind of resolution. It takes a lot of time and struggle, but the payoff is a sense of relief at the end. Usually, we can already see what is over the next horizon, but the systems do get a chance to experience the relief that comes with finally resolving some of the past hurts. Exhausted and healing, we drift back into our comfortable world of denial for as long as we can before starting over again.

So where are we right now? Well, we were really struggling back in March – very much in processing/crisis mode. As a result, we hit a strong period of denial for the entire month of April. It’s only been in the last week or so that we are starting to get impressions from within. In typical denial fashion, we enrolled in an accelerated degree completion program this month, so our Alpha mind is not happy about possibly facing another crisis. But there is always a reason to pull the “bad timing” card, and if we only did therapy when it was a “good time”, we would have gotten nowhere by now. We’ve been pretty dissociative and disorganized as a system – unsure of who is up a lot of the time. But thanks to our friend, Nel, we discovered polyvore.com, and parts have started communicating via collage. So I guess this is a step toward acknowledgement. I hope that the systems will allow us to write more as we go into this next thing. I miss my friends, and I miss blogging, so here’s to hoping I don’t get out-voted!

Payton

Where we’re at… (yay for grammar!)

A lot of things are shifting internally again. I guess it’s that after-the-holidays thing where everything we’ve been stuffing to get through just comes roiling to the surface.

Right now we’re just tangled up in the grips of depression. It’s getting steadily worse, and while therapy is progressing I guess and lines of communication are slowly being opened up, my daily life is on an almost stand-still because we’re so paralyzed by the dissociation and depression.

Quick recap:

We’re really down in the depths of things internally. I guess there’s this area of the brain we’ve named “Redwood” – which is essentially a community that holds the very young and very important parts along with the “top secret” secrets inside. (as if any of the secrets so far haven’t felt “top”) It’s a new system (again) with a new group of parts with no internal communication and no real grip on our reality as it stands, so the symptoms have leapt into high gear. Losing time like crazy, dissociative fugue, self-injury and acting out, emotions out of control….

It’s left me feeling like I’m in some kind of state of deja-vu. Wondering where this base of health we’ve fought so hard for went. I feel like if inpatient worked the way it was supposed to, and we could just check in somewhere for a little while to re-establish ground rules and get internal communication up and running, we’d love to take advantage of that. Unfortunately, it never goes that way and we owe too much money to too many people. So we’re left to sort this out in 2x a week sessions. Which is fine – and we don’t mind the pace as far as working through trauma goes, but it’s the in-between that’s so devastating. It’s trying to remember how to live my life when I’m so paralyzed I can’t get out of bed, take a shower, or feed myself.

This is the first I’ve been able to get a couple of coherent sentences together on “paper”, so I suppose that’s something. It’s just frustrating to be so symptomatic and debilitating to top it all off.

Not really sure where to go from here or what the solutions are, but I felt compelled to post an update, so here it is. I suppose this is progress… Finding new parts/systems is moving forward. Every part freed from the past is a step toward total freedom. I get that. It’s just hard… It’s really hard.

Randi

all a jumble

So life with DID is weird. Just putting that out there. Most of the time, whoever is hosting isn’t aware of parts and switching and what’s going on “in the background”. But since our little issue, we don’t have a host. We have kind of an “Alpha Storm”. Just random Alpha parts coming forward and holding consciousness for a while and then going back. We were able to retrieve a lot of information from Rachael (who had been primarily hosting up until last week), so our consciousness stays pretty consistent. We don’t even really notice very often that we are not her. Not until things get quiet or we start to think about therapy stuff. I have no idea how this works, but it does. Sadly, though, it also means that we really did encounter a system flip, and the parts we have known for SO long are inaccessible. (P.S. Rachael is going to be really pissed that she lost so much time when she finally comes back. lol)

See, so, remember how our systems are all kind of on a wheel?

Well, apparently, when systems 2 and 3 are forward, then 4 and 5 become inaccessible. And vice versa – if systems 4 and 5 are forward, then systems 2 and 3 become inaccessible. I don’t really know why, but it was drilled into us that the two primary abusers remain separate inside. (Even though there were several occasions where they were together – including the structuring of these systems in the first place!)

The Alphas exist to maintain consistency and hold important information in what we call a “Common Knowledge Pool”.  Things that go into Common Knowledge are things like how to drive, names, faces, birth dates, how to write and read… pretty much anything that we would need to appear consistent. So generally speaking, the Alphas are unaffected whether systems 2 and 3 are forward or down.

From what we can tell, systems 4 and 5 were active until the father died. These were parts that primarily related to him. Then, at the father’s funeral eight years ago, M triggered us into a system flip that put systems 2 and 3 forward. They’ve been up since the mom triggered a system flip last week. Now, we’re back to systems 4 and 5. The problem is, that among the Alphas, there is a huge disagreement as to whether or not we want to allow system 4 and 5’s knowledge to enter the Common Knowledge Pool. Some parts feel that they carry some information as Common that would be overwhelming for the Alphas most closely associated with systems 2 and 3. So that’s why we’ve been stuck in the Alpha system in a neat little Alpha Storm for the past week. Byebye Rachael. Sad.

CB is back in town, and we see her tomorrow. It’s hard to want to launch into everything, since by nature, we feel pretty good and productive while in the Alpha system. But we know that this is unhealthy living, and we need to get to a more stable and less dissociated place. Somehow. (Also dealing with the real ramifications and implications related to the mother being able to initiate a system flip.)

So that’s us at the moment. An Alpha Storm. Feeling not really real, but not horrible either. We’ll have to update after our therapy session and see how we feel then.

“Payton” 🙂

what’s happening now

Where to begin? We’ve been through the ringer as a system the past week or so. CB has gone out of town for another week, so life has kind of been on a forced stand-still.

Last week, after we talked to the mom, we just felt “off” and very dissociative. In our emergency session with CB the next evening, we discovered that something we had said to the mother triggered a programmed response in her, which in turn, flipped our systems into a whole new world. Crisis. Without going into the whole programming aspect of things, basically the systems of parts that we have been working with since the father died went down, and we were left with an entirely new system of parts that we know nothing about. Usually, the Alphas would work to get everything settled, but there were some major issues triggered within the Alpha system that lead to our being in a very unsafe spot as CB left town. We had a seven-year-old part up for a day or so, but she wasn’t able to function very well, so as a last-ditch effort, we’ve pretty much pulled Rachael’s consciousness into a section of the Alpha mind and are operating out of a group of temporary hosts equipped with her information. Consequently, we look quite consistent (almost to the point that hosts are questioning their own identities), but are definitely not out of the woods as this is a very temporary fix.

We weren’t happy about having to “suck it up” and move on, but we really weren’t presented with very many other options. So we do what we always do when we’re faced with a crisis – we push through it and function the very best we can, ignoring the inside for a little while. We weren’t at all excited about having to do this, since it’s so reminiscent of traumatic times in our life, but we were going to put up with it.

Then, on Saturday, in an act of stubbornness that can only be attributed to the Alpha mind, someone decided to rearrange the furniture in the lower level of our house all by ourselves and quite severely injured our back. We were immediately unable to walk or stand and ended up crawling to our bed. Husband was away at a camp out with our oldest son and wasn’t able to get home, and long story short, we ended up having to call the mother to come help us. I don’t know if this was a reaction from certain parts or if we were truly that desperate, but the fact that we were in that position was frustrating.

Doc said that we strained some muscles – soft tissue injury, but the spine’s ok we think. He gave us muscle relaxers and pain meds and we’ve been on bed rest the past couple of days. Honestly, the pain meds help keep things pretty quiet inside. NOT that we’re planning on this being a coping option, but right now, we truly need them. But being a little bit out of it due to medication has been an OK plan for us so far. Today we got up and around a little bit, but the pain made us nauseated so we had to lie down again.

We’re still pretty out of it, but we made contact with the outside world today for the first time in a while, so that’s something. Honestly, we can’t really take the time to sort it all out right now, because we don’t want to stir up trouble while CB is gone. I was really hoping that we would get a break after all of the work we’ve been doing up to this point having to do with M and all that. But I guess this system flip is enough to put us back into some serious therapy work for a little while. I guess having this week that CB is gone is a blessing in disguise, as we’re forced to rest – mentally and physically.

So that’s what’s happening now.

Payton’s crew