Cornucopia of Wellness

Sometimes i don’t know who I am.

I feel like a collection of all of the people who I have ever wanted love from.  A little snippet of each one, highlights only.  It has been exhausting to host so many points of view.  Clarity has been good.

An attitude of sickness keeps people sick.  An aptitude of wellness moves one in the direction of better health.  I have been walking and making better choices, and I can see the difference in my body, and my mind.  I am allowed to think whatever I want.  No individual thought is going to cause any catastrophic consequence.  It’s okay to ruminate on things, as long as I don’t obsess.  Thinking things out isn’t paranoid.  Making decisions, or feeling feelings based on fears created while thinking things out IS paranoid.

Mindfulness is the best way to keep paranoia at bay.  The best thing about having fragments, is that there is always a voice of reason, day and night, under any circumstances to point out the pr0s and cons of any course of behavior.  Collaborating on decision-making with your most sensible fragment can help you make more sensible decisions.  It’s not sexy, but it is emotionally healthy!  Actually, when I think about it, emotional maturity is one of the sexiness things I can think of.

Taking care of my body makes me feel proud of myself.  Seeing my shape emerge after years of mistreatment of my body thrills me.  I am so excited to see the changes that are resulting from being committed to my mental and physical health.

I’ve been walking and either listening to a podcast, or music that makes me feel confident.  I imagine my personal energy sphere being bright, strong and magnetic as I walk.  I feel the inspiration and energy signature of whatever I am listening to, and use it to anchor myself to this new way of living.  Being outside is so good for my body and mind, and walking is an amazing way to feel connected to the environment and lose weight easily.  I believe it also helps keep food cravings at bay.

I don’t look at it as a weight loss plan, because it is merely the natural result of taking care of the body that has been taking care of me while I lived unconsciously.  I am thankful to be on such a beautiful, healing path.

Today has been a really great day.

From The Notebook

Date:  ?  More than 6 months, maybe up to 18 months ago.

Start Small and Dream 🙂

Train your mind like you train your body. 

Learn to hack your weaknesses, to gain the upper hand on your shadow.

Find places where your inner saboteur is at work in your life, and how to fix it. 

The building is on fire and everyone is escaping. 

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🙂 

June Cleaver Joins the Party

One of the ways I have always used the strategy of distraction is to allow myself to investigate anything that interests me.  I see this very clearly now, although it was not at all obvious while I was keeping myself busy.  If I was busy, I didn’t have to notice the things in my life that weren’t being properly attended to.

Some areas of my life were fairly normal.  Being clean and presentable was never a challenge for me, the way it is for some people who suffer with mental illness.   Meeting the physical and emotional needs of my children was sometimes a struggle, but since it was a priority, I could generally pull it together, often at the last minute.

In October, I agreed to start taking a medication to address some of my ADD issues.  The trial of abilify (2mg) that I agreed to in August was an epic disaster.  My body rejected it almost immediately, and left me with a nasty reaction.

I was nervous to start Biphentin (10mg) but I was also ready for some change in my life, and my Psychiatrist felt it would be helpful.

I have always lived like I didn’t think I was staying very long.   I had stacks of unopened mail.  My home was a complete disaster 99% of the time.  I ignored most of the problems in my life until they threatened to explode right in front of me.  I rarely cleaned, and when I did, it was in a fit of guilt and self-loathing.

I am painting a horrible picture, but at the time, I only attended to things I saw, and I wasn’t interested in ‘seeing’ anything that was going to require effort.  I suppose this is a form of depression, but I never thought about it at the time.  I didn’t think about too many things that were ‘wrong’ because I was in such an overwhelmed state that I preferred to ignore it all.  Not one person in my life ever mentioned that it wasn’t healthy to live that way.  No one commented on the stacks of mail, or the tumbleweeds of dog hair that accumulated in the corners, or the overflowing crap on every surface of the house.  As long as you are doing a decent job of taking care of your kids and being a good mom, you can get away with a lot of odd behavior.  I don’t suppose it helped that I was an ‘artist’.  You can be extremely different, and no one says a word.

What was evident to me now, is that my inability to cope was everywhere, and not one person recognized a problem.   I was lazy, slovenly, and undisciplined, but I suppose that alone wasn’t enough evidence for the average person to suspect a deeper problem.

Within days of starting the medication, a switch had been turned ON.  Something was present in me that had never been there before.  I found motivation to begin jobs around the house that had long-needed attention.

I repainted my bathroom, and took on the task of repainting a shelf that took 5 coats of paint.  While I was applying the last coat, it occurred to me that the ‘former me’ wouldn’t have touched this job with a 10 foot pole.  I had the first example of how profoundly different life was for me, as the cloud of ADD began to dissipate.  The med allowed me to be incredibly focused and interested in tasks in a way that I had never been before.

In between coats of paint, I cleaned painting supplies in my sink.  My eyes ran over the counters, and the baseboards, and all of a sudden, every new place I looked had more dirt that had to be removed.  It was a real eye-opener. There was a part of me present that had not been there before, and she was SO READY to join my life.

For the first time I could remember, I ‘saw’ dirt and needed to do something about it.  It was like I hadn’t ever seen it before that day.  By the time I was done, I had cleaned the entire kitchen cupboards, window, counters, baseboards and walls.  I cleaned out all of the drawers, and cupboards until the space met the approval of my inner June Cleaver.

Within the first month, I deep-cleaned my entire home, reorganized closets and drawers, and was able to purge years of accumulated clutter.  With the help of a friend, I cleaned and purged the dark, cement, scary basement, which I normally would not even enter.

For the first time ever, my home felt like home.  Everywhere I looked, there was evidence of me, and the things I loved.

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I got caught up on everything in my life.  When I looked around, my world was neat and organized.  I was able to stay motivated to keep organizing and moving through tasks that I used to distract myself to avoid.  It was incredible.  I finally found the ‘mother’ in me, that loved me so much she wanted me to be happy and safe in my environment.

This part of myself seems to have integrated beautifully, and now feels as much a part of me as any other part.  I stopped taking the biphenton about a week ago, and I have not felt a difference in my life.  I have heard that different alters have different needs, but is it possible that by starting a medication, an alter can have the ability to surface, and integrate, needing no further medication support?

I feel this part of myself very fully.  It is a piece I have been missing.  I have never taken proper care of myself, and now that I am able to, I see how I have been neglecting myself all of my life.

I ran across an interesting article about chakras.  I was particularly drawn to the discussion of strengthening the root chakra.

“This chakra is fulfilled if your surroundings are pleasing to be in and you feel safe in your living situation. If you’re struggling with an inflow of resources, it has a direct correlation to feelings of security and what you’re putting your focus on.

Since this chakra has the most to do with physicality, manifesting it’s energies is a constant flow that can be seen as buying groceries, paying bills, cleaning, etc.

If you are able to keep on top of your societal duties, you are bringing forth the root’s energy.

Practicing this chakra can be as simple as taking care of your responsibilities and making sure you basic living needs are always met.”

Finally I am meeting my own basic needs, above all others.  I began by meeting them emotionally, and psychologically, and now I am meeting them physically.

I am strengthening my own connection to the world, and to my life, and to all of my individual parts.  I am not running from things that distress me.  I am not living like my life is going to be taken away from me at any time.

I am not afraid to love myself enough to give myself what I need in this world.

Sickening and True

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Pedophiles Groom The Whole Family

Excellent blog post.  If you want to keep your kids safe, be on the lookout for these behaviors.  Predators, especially the worst ones, are like your worst enemy acting as your best friend.  They are liars, and manipulators and they will stop at nothing to get what they love.

They won’t pick the child who isn’t easily controlled.  Or the one who has a big mouth.  They will pick the one who is trusting, and friendly and starved for attention.  They will break down all defenses in the child with the most innocent of weapons:  kindness.

They will frighten and terrorize the child with threats and consequences of telling.  There won’t be a prayer the she will screw up the courage to tell someone, because she is sweet, and kind, and ruined.  He told her so.

Fragments of Me

NOT A COMPLETE LIST, AND IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER…

 

Shower Girl arrived early in the new year, and stayed on and off, for about 10 days, in collaboration with Anima.  She is my fearfully religious fragment.  She spent most of her time on the shower floor, praying for sanity.  She felt imagery related to Joan of Arc, Mary (mother of JC), and the prostitute in the bible.  She scared the shit out of me.  My husband and my therapist were also concerned about her, but I didn’t tell anyone until months later.  I would have been committed if anyone was with me when she appeared.   She was completely out of control and unable to care for herself.  Totally afraid and agitated.  I believe she made a brief appearance over the Easter long weekend.  She used her influence to get religious again, which is probably why she didn’t last long.  She had me believing I was pregnant, and it was likely her who was devastated (twice) when it turned out to be perimenopause, and not pregnancy that had delayed my periods.  I’m fairly certain she thought she was Mary, and that the baby was going to be the next Jesus.  I am not consciously sure of that, but I suspect it.

Fancy is selfish and sometimes mean.  She is judgmental, short-tempered and irritable. She is also fun and flashy.  She’s entertaining and gregarious.  She wouldn’t think twice to ditch plans if she got a better offer. She ignores my needs and desires and serves her own agenda.  She is responsible for a lot of self-sabotage, and bad choices in my life.  She has stars in her eyes, and only wants to see things her way.  She is an attention whore.  She like jewelry and fashion, but she rarely gets to wear what she buys.  She has a penchant for very high, unpractical heels, lingerie and jewelry.  I have many earring/necklace sets that she buys, and I can never wear because they are ridiculous.  I would estimate that she has purchased 10 pairs of heels that we are never going to be able to wear.  She is probably who filled my closet with colourful, semi-stylish clothing.  She takes over when I am anxious in social situations.

The Mother is a recent addition to the crew.  She has been dormant or inactive until recently.  I believe she is an alter I created in the past 3 years to model the good mothering behavior I saw from a friend.  I always admired this friend, and I am proud that Mother has embraced the role so naturally. Her emergence has created a seamless front in my alter structure.  There is someone in place for every part of my life. Her influence became very dominant when I started taking Biphentin.   Within 1 month of starting the med, I had cleaned/organized/purged my entire home, all 3 levels.  Tackling the basement was the most unbelievable job I did.  I had a friend instigate the job, and I heartily agreed to tackle it with her.  Within 6 hours, the basement (my personal horror) was clean and organized.  There is a good chance the medication unearthed some OCD in me, as I have never in my life been tidy, or organized.  Now the OCD is my bff, and I love having a clean, orderly home.

AdorablePsycho is the alter that actively tries to fuck with me.  If there is a mental loophole, AP will find it and exploit it.  No topic is off limits.  He loves to make me afraid of losing my husband and kids.  There is no shortage of ways in which AP tosses out mental bombs. AP also enjoys suggesting that I am under the control of aliens, and that every time my ass hurts, I am having an anal probe. (UGH, I know RIGHT?) When I have a PTSD flashback, AP is right there to start wondering if this is a medical emergency that will cause me to die.  All day long, every day, these malignant thoughts arrive and are pushed away by The Gatekeeper.  I often don’t hear the thoughts anymore, or they don’t register in my awareness.  AP has greatest access to me when I am vulnerable.  Tired, under the influence, worried…these are his favorite states of being.  I understand that he lives to fuck with my head, and this is the only alter I would like to remove permanently.  I do not want this fragment in my integration process.  I am still unsure if this is even possible.

CrazyTrain is the alter that entertains any idea that crosses my head.  When AP and CT get together, it’s a hot mess.  Crazy train isn’t actively fucking with me as much as she is excitable, wide-eyed, and curious.  She thinks without limits, and as great as that can be, it goes rogue at times as well.   CrazyTrain usually starts the train on a halfway reasonable track, and then rides it right out to lala land.  Sometimes CrazyTrain and Adorable Psycho work together.  AP is psychotic.  He takes the ideas and twists them into physically painful thoughts, while CT is mostly just an asshole.

The Zealot has a great number of religious topics it likes to explore.  It wants me to spend time thinking about angels and demons, God and the devil.  It has made me move closer to, and then further away from religion.  I don’t know if I believe in God, which causes some anxiety.  On some level I have bought into the idea that you have to accept Jesus/God to be saved.  On another level, I feel like a good ‘father’ would encourage mw to explore my beliefs and live my own truth, rather than having beliefs forcefully rammed into my consciousness.  I feel this alter has given me more reason to distrust and move away from the concept of God/the devil.  I often think that we all have a devil, or a judas, inside of us.  I just know mine a bit more intimately than most do.

The Professor/The Scientist is one of my favorite alters.  I liken this alter to the feeling of Albert Einstein, or Nikolas Tesla in my head.  It is the energy of a creative-thinker, and a very curious mind.  The ideas I have when this alter is present are often clearly not my own, and I need to pay attention, as I lose the thoughts easily.  It introduces ideas I have never thought about.  It examines things in a logical and analytical way.  It attempts to put appropriate patterns together.  It is most interested in hacking the brain, and reverse-engineering my habits and behaviors.  It has allowed me to see that few of the things I was taught about life are real, and that things are much more interesting than I could ever have imagined.  The Professor often works with The Artist to collaborate on archetypal ideas in photography.  Although the professor doesn’t usually do the shooting (but has before), he really enjoys the editing and digital creation.  The Professor is the driving force behind my writing.  It has always shown me that if I write things down in any altered state, the rest of me can read about what is happening.  When I want to remember something, the professor sets alarms, writes notes, sets reminders.  The professor loves the mother, and is relieved at the changes in our environment since she arrived.  I can shift fairly easily into this alter, but it is very ‘dry’ and mathematical most of the time, so it’s not as much fun as when it gets creative.

My Scared Child shakes.  When she is inside my body, the vibrations are intense.  I can shiver incessantly (although not necessarily cold) and my body shakes and vibrates.  It is physically uncomfortable, but I sense that when she is present, she is releasing old tension.  She is young, and doesn’t speak.  I recently felt her inside of me as I was have a PTSD episode.  I felt like somewhere in time, my Scared Child was experiencing the actual trauma, while I held her in my space and calmed her through it.  I felt like i was creating a space for her to go while her body absorbed some trauma.  She and I sat together in this space until her body stopped shaking, and the episode ended.   I don’t see much of her, but I try to hold space for her whenever she is around.  She really needs the help, so when she surfaces, we turn all attention toward her needs.

Anima feels like the consciousness of my body, my ‘animal’.  We only became reacquainted this year, after I woke up ‘newborn’ on January 1, 2014.  For 2 weeks, she and I coexisted, only meeting her basic needs.  She likes natural fabrics, raw food, no hair/makeup.  I wear cotton or wool when she is present.  She likes to feel ‘contained’ in my clothes, and loves snug clothes that make her feel secure.  She doesn’t like things to be tight, or restrictive. She is the part of me that wants to return to pioneer life.  She was instrumental in the decision to cut my hair, and once I did that, she and I felt bonded.  For the first time since i was about 14, I look in the mirror and think it is ‘me’. She and I have been at odds because of my self-destructive behavior most of my life.  She is angry about a few of the choices I have made.   I believe we are working well together towards complete integration.

The Artist was born a long time ago, but infrequently surfaced until this year. There is an obsessive drive to explore creative expression.  The Artist doesn’t care about eating, or drinking or going to the bathroom.  He/she is often the part of me that shoots, but once I am done, he/she quickly leaves.  He/she doesn’t care for ‘regular life’, and is only interested in the extremes in life.   I was manic a great deal of the time The Artist was with me from February-May.  It kept me busy following the rules of the art project I was working on.  It was The Artist that instigated the Crying Ladies, although it was originally a different concept. The Artist was furious that no one could see the importance of crying in art, and now I roll my eyes at that thought.  However, it was extremely real at the time, and I needed that outrage and fury as I imploded in front of my colleagues and community.  The Artist incubates the ideas it hears, and then sees what scraps can be created from it.  I remember how excited he/she was when I shot the first PTSD flashback.  I understood what it felt like to be Matisse, Picasso, Michelangelo.  It doesn’t matter if your work resonates with anyone else, when it resonates with you, you are THE ARTIST.  I strongly identified with Marina Abramovich and her ‘The Artist is Present’ piece for the MOMA.  I understood that she was doing what I was doing, but in a different way.  When my Artist is present, I feel alive and completely absorbed.  I would get very little done if The Artist spent a great deal of time at the wheel.

The Gatekeeper was the first alter I put into place on purpose.  Before I knew this was DID, I knew there was ideas in my head that weren’t right.  The Gatekeeper was a mental version of my husband, who was kind and fair in his thinking.  The Gatekeeper was the protector and the hero.  No thoughts were allowed to get through my sober mind without the Gatekeeper running them through the filter.  One of the first filters I used was in response to my brother, who used to like making me upset.  I would say: “If this was said to you by anyone other than your brother, would it make you upset?”.  It was this very powerful mental filtering that saved my sanity when things got very hairy in my head.  When you start to challenge alters, they rear up bigger and louder to try to scare you off.   I owe my sanity to My Gatekeeper.

Notes From Me ~ Emerging Alters

Sometime around April/May, I was beginning to be aware that there were distinct and different parts of myself that were in conflict with each other.  Each ‘part’ seemed to have specific jobs, and took care of specific situations.

I began making a list of the differences, assigning the name that felt appropriate to each fragment.  I was finally due for an intake appointment at the therapist assigned by OHIP, at the local community mental health office, operating as a satellite office of the hospital.   I felt it would help the intake therapist assign me to the right person.

This was the first time I put it all down on paper.  I read it a few times, and then promptly shut out the idea.  I didn’t entertain the thought again for many months.    It didn’t come up in therapy again until the I saw the psychiatrist in August.  He made a referral for a DID specialist.  I saw him two more times before anyone followed up on the referral.  At my urging, my therapist and I reviewed his recommendations in early December, months after the original referral was made.  My therapist was happy to get the referral process started.  She was cheesed that the psychiatrist had written in his notes that he didn’t know if I was seeing a therapist, but if not, I should be.  She had several exchanges with him via email, so he certainly should have realized there was a therapist on the case.

Psychiatry seems to be a prescription-management system.  It’s ironic that the very people who know about serious mental health issues are so busy pushing pills that they have no time to do actual psychiatric therapy with clients.  I was wildly uninformed about the relationship one has with her psychiatrist.  For me, it’s a fight to get the time to get strategies for help.  I feel like I am a psychiatry student, advocating for my own mental health care.

This system is completely fucked.

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