In The End It’s Falling Into Place

Standard

I’ve been feeling really stressed out lately. The issue with DH (now known as C), worrying about my sons, the good stress of starting a Facebook group, worrying about money. Oh, and PMS has been brutal this cycle. I can’t stand myself half the time and I have moments (hours) of feeling downright suicidal because of my damn hormones. I’ve just really been feeling stressed.

Apparently C saw that on my face early this afternoon because he asked if I was upset. I told him no, just really stressed out. By what, he asked. So I told him. Including the marriage issue. I calmly laid out, yet again, our differences. And reminded him that this is nothing new, he has known it for a while, and we’ve just worked with it. And then he suggested that we quit trying to make it work. Those weren’t his exact words but that’s the gist of what he said. It was all calm. No one was upset, no voices were raised. We finally came to the mutual agreement that it doesn’t make sense to stay married. Which I’ve known for ages, of course. In the end it’s falling into place.

So now I am single. Well, separated. Does that mean single? I don’t exactly know. What I do know is that inside I am jumping for joy that I’m not in a relationship with him anymore!

We discussed how to separate. He is hoping he can stay with his parents. I really don’t know if they’ll let him. Tomorrow he’ll put his name on the list to move into a different apartment here in our complex and/or another complex a few blocks away. I think we’ll be okay being roommates for a while if we need to be. I am not moving, for reasons I’ve mentioned before. Way too stressful. We will divide the money in half until mine gets situated. Until I get my SSI back I won’t have enough money to cover all the expenses here and am hoping to be able to borrow money.

There are lots of changes coming. I feel relieved but also sad and scared about how things will change. The relief of not being in a relationship with him is incredible. I keep thinking, “I don’t have to kiss him! No more sex! I don’t even have to hug him!” But the changes will be stressful even though they’re good ones. Him moving out. Somehow to getting the money sorted out. Figuring out if I’ll still fit in with his family in any way. Living on my own again. Knowing I may well have to give up one of the cats, who won’t be easy to place. Even silly little things like not having a big flat screen TV, since we bought that with C’s SSD back pay and it’s only fair that he take it. Thankfully I have a smaller standard TV. Lots of changes and details to deal with. I know they’ll be stressful but it feels more natural and like the right time than ever before.

In the end it’s all falling into place, and it makes me feel amazingly liberated. This is gonna be good!

~Kali

i am… (take 2)

Standard

i am…
worried about my children

i am not…
handling my stress very well tonight

i feel…
trapped in my living situation

i want…
to injure after I post this

i need…
to remember that I will feel like crap tomorrow if I injure, both physically and mentally

i have…
a lot of fear about my sons’ futures

i love…
the Facebook group I started for myself and some friends

i hate…
not knowing how things will turn out for my sons or myself

~Kali

Inspirationally Speaking

Standard

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a week since I lost wrote. I have a lot to get done today and can’t write but I do have a new post in the works that I’ll post in the next few days. In the meantime, I leave you with this:Every day
Thank goodness it’s so true! Have a great day, everyone. Sending you all peace.

~Kali

I Can’t

Standard

And I feel both weak and relieved. I would lose so much. My routines, my own kitchen and the capability to cook for a couple people for pay, something that is important to me for both the money and as an outlet for stress and creativity. My cats (it’s hard to find a room to rent that will accept animals). Security and familiarity.

Gloria, who married Cory in the first place, has finally stepped up and spoken. I was wondering if that would happen. At first, when she was silent about the leaving, I assumed she was okay with it and just rolling with it. But she’s not okay with it at all. She helps us so much in daily life and especially in dealing with certain people and circumstances in real life. I can’t do that to her, leave and change everything.

I felt like I was going out of my mind with fear. I felt sick and suicidal thinking about all of the changes. It was feeling easier to be dead. And everything about leaving was so complicated and stressful. In order to get my SSI reinstated as a single person I would have had to not only prove I wasn’t on our current rental agreement but also that I had an agreement somewhere else (or so I was told yesterday). So I couldn’t just get off the current agreement and stay with a friend for a few weeks to get the money sorted out. That alone is a huge issue. I could go on and on about the obstacles but I won’t.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to leave. In the meantime I need to remember that I (and some of the others, of course) can really get caught up in the emotion of things and that I (we) need to step back when that happens and see how things will play out for myself before making any decisions. I feel foolish for even having written about any of this in the first place and considered deleting the posts about leaving but in the end that doesn’t make sense because it’s all part of my growth and process. I also recognize that part of this whole thing has been missing a certain someone who has been mentioned in posts in the past. I had to get past the emotion of that too.

Multiplicity is so damn complicated. It makes life ridiculously complicated and stressful. I know we all serve a purpose in this system but I hate how complicated it can get. Even though I feel relieved to not be dealing with the stress of changing my entire life, there’s still a big part of me who would rather not stay here. But I’m also keeping in mind that none of us is going to be happy all the time. For now, I’m staying put.

Damn, I hope this made sense. I’m not all here now at all.

~Kali

I Don’t Know How

Standard

I can’t do it. I cannot do it. I can’t.

Tonight I’m so scared about the thought of leaving here, of changing my life. How can I really make it work out okay? I haven’t had to start over in 11 years. To have to start all over again? To have only a couple people to fall back on logistically? To lose people who love me and whom I love (DH’s family)? How the hell do I do that?! I don’t know how to do that.

There are a lot of things that need to fall into place and I’m so worried they won’t. If the first thing doesn’t work out, I’m kind of screwed. What if I really can’t get things to work out the way they need to?

I feel really terrified about it all tonight. And very trapped. And I keep crying. And I’m switchy and we keep going between me, Rhiannon, and Robert. Robert is outstanding at putting my father’s words into my head. He was programmed to do that and he’s way too good at it at times. Like tonight. “You’ll never get out. You’re where you’re supposed to be, taking care of a man, and don’t you forget that. You’re not strong enough to do this. You don’t have the guts. You are his forever!” And Rhiannon knows this is all true, and what are we doing trying to change that? We should go to DH’s bedside right this minute, even though he’s sleeping, and give him the love and hugs we (I, Kali) have been withholding lately. And I’m trying to have hope that I could make the changes happen and work out even though I’m fucking scared. I think it’s a very good thing DH is asleep, because I think Rhiannon would have gone to him and told him what’s going on and said we wouldn’t leave.

Fear sucks. My bravado is completely obliterated tonight. I know I want to be out of this marriage, out of this town. I know I need that. I’m just so afraid something will go badly once the process is in action and I’ll have nowhere to go. I’m afraid of the stress migraines I know I’ll get, am starting to get right now. I’m afraid of losing my belongings. I’m afraid of ending up in the hospital from the stress. I know the logistical steps to make things happen (or at least try to make things happen) but I don’t feel brave enough to move forward.

I hate this.

~Kali

What I Am is What I Am (Are You What You Are or What?)

Standard

It’s seven minutes past midnight on my eighth wedding anniversary. A day that means less to me now than ever. Dear Husband’s (DH) schizophrenic forgetfulness is often very frustrating for me but this past week I’ve been glad he hasn’t seemed to remember the anniversary. And I haven’t brought it up either. In fact, I’ve been pulling away in small ways and it almost seems like he notices a bit and is following my lead. I think that is probably just me reading into things but as I’ve gotten less and less lovey with him, he has acted accordingly. I’ve been pondering for days what to tell him if he mentions the anniversary or that I’m less lovey. Sometimes I want to brush it off and say I’ve just been tired or something, which is true. Sometimes I want to come right out and say that we both know this relationship couldn’t work out in the long run and we need to work out the details for moving on. Much of the time I’m in the middle somewhere, and I can’t even tell you what kind of conversation that would be. I guess I’m at the spot where I’m trying to figure out how to get my ducks in a row while working with tight monetary and logistical constraints.

It would be easy to say that I need to be out of this marriage because DH can be difficult to live with, but that’s not such an issue these days. I’m in much less a care giving role with him than I used to be. Partly because I’ve pushed him to do more in this home and in his life and partly because I am (we are!) much less controlling than I (we) used to be and can let things roll off my back more easily. And there’s the fact that some in the system–who took serious issue with the disparity between how much I do and how much DH does–have calmed down a lot over the past several years. Lots of growth and change in us, and it really makes a difference.

No, the biggest reason I need to be out of this marriage is because of who I am. Of knowing who I am. Over the past year or so there’s been a growing tide of really knowing who I am and feeling strong in that. It’s nothing I haven’t known all along but when multiplicity is involved things can be complicated, of course. The uber-Christian Gloria may have been in front and married Cory but she hasn’t been in front for years and as far as i know, will never be again. (DH does know this.) Yes, she pops out and shares life with me in some way almost daily, but I’m the host and I can’t imagine things will change in a way that someone else would be in front for more than brief periods of time again.

I know who I am. A huge part of my identity is that I am an atheist lesbian. Married to a Christian man. Obviously that really can’t work. And I don’t want it to. I made it work but I’m not willing to keep doing that. It’s not fair to me and the rest in the system. And even though some people (namely his family) might beg to differ, it’s not fair to DH. Being in a sham of a marriage isn’t fair to him, even if he gets the long end of the stick because I do so much to take care of this household. It’s not fair to either of us for me to keep living a lie.

And so I’m in the thinking and jotting down stage of getting my ducks in a row. Which isn’t easy when our money is tied together and I can’t get mine separated from his until we can prove a physical separation by one of us not being on our rental agreement anymore. And there’s not much money to begin with. And when I split from him, I no longer have bio or in-law family. (Yes, many of them would say they’d still love me and all that but when it came down to it, I doubt they would help me out if I needed it.) And I have only a couple local friends and don’t know people. Lots of little stumbling blocks. But notice I said little. They used to feel huge but as time goes on they have felt smaller.

It helps that a friend has offered to let me stay with her for a while and I’m really considering it. It would be a change for both of us but it would also be pretty neat. It would give me a chance to get my Social Security sorted out from DH’s. (Marriage and SSI/SSD don’t mix very well. I highly recommend just living together and keeping benefits separate.) I’d be directly in the Portland metro area, which would open up so many opportunities for me. I’d be closer to my sons, which would help make up for the fact that they wouldn’t be able to spend nights with me. It would be easier to go to school if I chose to, to meet new people, to get involved in things that matter to me. It would make me a better, more well rounded person.

I can say all of this with plenty of bravado at the moment but I know I’ll have times of panic as I go about considering how to put some sort of plan into action (whether it includes staying with my friend or not). But I feel like I’m at the point where bravado trumps panic. I feel strong enough to quit sniveling about how I can’t get out of here and figure out how to go ahead and do it. If only it were so easy to have The Conversation with DH. That will not be fun, whenever it happens.

I am Kali. I am fractured but the pieces are gluing themselves back together more and more. I am a proud lesbian. And an equally proud atheist/humanist (or as I like to say, you know, just…a person!). I know more and more what I want for myself. I feel more and more like I can make that happen. I am strong. I am strong!
hpqscan0001

~Kali

End of an Era

Standard

Thirty-six hours ago I had my very last appointment with the therapist I saw for over eleven years. We worked together for all that time, plus I saw her for a couple years before that with a three year break in between when I lived in a different county. So we have a long history. It was a somewhat sad but mostly sweet day. She and I were a great match and I’ll never forget her. When I started back with her eleven years ago I was a shell of a person. I had no clue I was multiple, my father was controlling me completely (including purposely making sure I couldn’t seen my kids), I remember not feeling much purpose in my life. Oh, how things have changed, and a lot of that is because of my T.

Most therapists are warm and invested in their clients, of course, but the bond that my T and I had went quite deep. There were so many similarities in our lives. Many years of incest. Being in a straight marriage, having children, and then coming out as lesbian. Losing custody of our children. The long tern effects of so much abuse even to this day. It helped us connect. It helped her work more effectively with me and it gave her more credibility in my eyes.

About two years ago we started dancing around the idea of ending therapy or at least cutting our sessions back. I wasn’t at all ready to end therapy and made that clear to her but we did start leaving more time between sessions. A year ago we talked more seriously about ending therapy. I still wasn’t ready to do that and she respected that. I only saw her about once a month over the past year and many times it was more of a check-in than really working on things. She and I both agree that this was a way of working on things, including getting to the point of being able to end therapy, though. When I saw her at the end of July I told her I finally felt that it had naturally come to being time to end our sessions. We considered letting that be the last session but I got quite emotional and told her I needed true closure. So we set up one last time slot as a goodbye session.

I had a color copy made of a watercolor pencil work I did several years ago and mounted it on three colors of card stock. On the back, I wrote this message:

Eleven-plus years is quite a long journey and I’ve been so fortunate to have you along for the ride. I’m not one of faith but I like to think that we ended up on the journey together for a reason. Not just anyone could have related to me so well and, because of that, been able to guide me so well. Not just anyone would have been moved to tears by my struggles and my growth. Many folks may well have dismissed me when things were rough and I did some very harmful things with my body and my life. Many would not have stuck through it with me, but you did and I’m so thankful for that. You have helped shape who I am now—who we all are now. It’s possible I might not be around without your help and support but here I still am. Thank you for listening and guiding me,  for watching me grow and encouraging me. Thank you for taking the time to learn about DID and working with that in the best way that you could. Thank you for being instrumental in the relationship I have with Hayden and Isaac today. Thank you for helping me learn to be strong. And thank you for being a bright, wonderful beacon in my life for more than a decade.

So much peace to you,
Kali

I feel so fortunate to have had my T in my life for so long and thankful that I’ve gotten to a spot where I can stop seeing her. And I’m glad I could recognize that even with our long history together, she wasn’t the best fit for me anymore if I did want to continue with therapy. I’m still hooked into the clinic because I see the pdoc and if I ever feel the need for therapy, I can request to do an intake and get involved with someone again. I know it’s entirely possible that I might need that sometime but I’m hoping I won’t. And I’m really proud of myself for getting to the point that I can work through my struggles pretty well on my own and be able to come to the end of an era.

IMG_1461
“My Journey So Far” The drawing I copied for her. She has been a huge part of my journey!

~Kali

I Really Don’t Do So Well

Standard

**This post discusses self injury that has not occurred, and not in detail. Still though, take care in reading if it could be triggering.**

“You’re so strong and brave.”
“You’ve come so far.”
“You inspire me all the time.”
“You’re amazing.”
“You’ve been through so much and still deal with a lot all the time, I don’t know how you do it.”

I hear and read things like this quite often in my daily interactions with friends and family. And I’m not saying that their words aren’t true or that they don’t mean a great deal to me. I do know I’ve come a long way–and one has to be strong and brave to do that, they go hand and hand. I believe the people who say these uplifting things and I love my friends and family for saying them.

But! People don’t know what’s going on in my head. Most of my friends and none of my family know I still struggle almost daily with the urge to hurt myself. People don’t realize how much of the time I feel overwhelmed with daily life. They don’t know how much I hate myself at times. How insecure I really am. How sad I often am. That I feel completely crazy quite regularly.

It’s true that my functioning is much better than it used to be. When my father was in my life before he was arrested for hurting my niece, I was his puppet. He truly controlled me and I was a basket case. Then he was physically out of my life and I was reeling from the truth of what he’d done to me and to my niece. Over the past 6 years I’ve (we all in the system have) slowly started functioning better. Self injury by myself and others has gradually dwindled to virtually nothing. I rarely think seriously about suicide. I can get up and get on with my day most of the time. I’m not having flashbacks and other crazy shit going on all the time like I did for a while. There’s less rage-y, tantrum-y stuff going on with a few insiders.

But several of us think about cutting almost every day. We’re extremely ritualistic about cutting and need the right supplies and for everything to be just so. I’m doing my damnedest to make sure the supplies never make it into the apartment but it’s been rough. Right now this very minute I feel like I’ll publish this post and then go order what I need from Amazon so I can have the relief of cutting in a few days.

I may not think seriously about suicide very often these days but thoughts still come quite often. I don’t want to leave anyone behind, of course, but it’s my sons and my cats that keep me from entertaining the thoughts and thinking about a plan of any sort.

Nearly every day feels like a struggle. Between my physical and mental health, much of the time I don’t feel like I have it in me to make it through the day in a very successful way. I hate that getting half a dozen things done is a big accomplishment. Oh, I cook a few meals each month for a handful of people in my life? So what! That’s nothing. It feels like nothing and that makes me feel weak. And yet I don’t feel strong enough to do much more. I’m not a wreck anymore but daily life still bowls me over. I’m so tired of that.

I fully acknowledge that I’m stronger and healthier than I used to be. But I still feel so weak and inconsequential. I don’t feel strong enough or brave enough to change that. My life has changed a lot in the past 6 years but to be honest, I really don’t do so well.

Thanks for listening.
~Kali

More on the Baby Grief

Standard

After reading and replying to a comment on my last post, I realized I want to explain things better and just plain write more about how I’ve been feeling. I’m hoping it will continue to help me work through the grief and sadness about not having another child. I put four books about dealing with grief on hold at the library so hopefully I can find something that will be helpful. So many books are specifically about grieving over the loss of a loved one so I’m already having to wade through the options just to find things that aren’t just about that. I’m thinking something about infertility grief could be helpful even though that’s not exactly the situation I’m in. It’s similar in some ways though.

Something I realized in reading and replying to the comment in the last post is that my question of “Why couldn’t having another child have happened?” is rather rhetorical. I do know and understand the technical, literal reasons. When a friend and I tried to make a baby in the mid-90s it didn’t work, I didn’t conceive. I didn’t have a safe opportunity to try again until I met my husband and then there was a lot of pressure from my father to not dare have any more children. After he was arrested things blew apart for me quite fantastically for a while and we weren’t in the best position to have a child. In the past year or so, though, I’ve felt strongly that we, or at least I, could handle raising a child.

So I finally got to the place where I knew I could manage raising a child and now it’s too late. I had a permanent procedure to prevent pregnancy (which I’ve regretted pretty much from the day it was done) and I’m in my mid-40s. There’s nothing I can do now. The only option, IVF, is something that I can only dream of.

And I raise the question again. Why couldn’t it have happened? Not what are the exact reasons it didn’t happen, but why did it have to be this way? There’s no real answer to that question but sometimes I can’t stop asking it. I can have a good cry and ask it over and over in my mind or even out loud. Why? Why? Why?! I don’t understand!

I’ve realized I’m actually dealing with two issues: the fact that I didn’t get to raise the children I have and the fact that I never got to have another child. They’re separate but intertwined. I have no doubt that not having another child would be easier on me if I’d been able to raise my guys. Yes, they’re very much in my life now, but they were mostly away from me from the time the were not even 2 and 4 years old until after each of them turned 18, and not at all by my choice. There’s a lot of grief about that.

So I have two things to work on when I read about dealing with grief. The good thing is that I can identify the issues so clearly. That should help a lot as I read about grief and start working things out for myself. I’m cautiously hopeful about the grief work. Part of me wishes I could work on this with a therapist but I’m at the very tail end of my work with the therapist I’ve had for 11 years and I don’t feel up to starting with anyone new right now. (More about ending with our T in the next week or so.) I can do this though! I think the fact that the pain has been so raw and in my face is a good indicator that it’s time to really dig in and work on it, and that I’m ready.

I’m sorry if this sounds rambly or if anything doesn’t make sense. I didn’t decide to write until after I took my bedtime meds and I’m feeling pretty tired and loopy. Hopefully I won’t find a bunch of craziness when i read through it later!

Thanks for listening.
~Kali