Resurrection

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It’s hard to believe it’s been a year, but I’m back! I enjoy and miss writing, there’s a lot to write about, sessions with my therapist have come to an end, and I need something to do with myself. So I decided it would be good to start blogging again. There’s plenty to say but I want my first post back to be light so I’m doing some free writing. Hello to all my faithful readers and hi to anyone new!

Needing: New glasses, badly! Oregon Medicaid won’t cover them and I’m finding it almost impossible to save up for an exam and glasses.

Watching: Daria. She reminds me of myself, a smart, snarky wallflower.

Wishing: For several things that simply cannot be, one of them ever.

Waiting: For a package that should have been here by now. Hopefully Monday.

Wondering: How some people can be so hateful and hurtful.

Marveling: At how clear my body can be about certain things. Like the fact that gluten makes my fibro symptoms worse.

Liking: The fact that I haven’t had to wash dishes in at least two months. DH has been doing them every day.

Thinking: About how far I’ve come in the past 6 years. Even when I feel like a wreck, I know I’ve grown a lot.

Listening: To demo versions of songs by The Cars lately, because it’s neat to hear what earlier visions were.

Noticing: How much it helps to give up the need for control in my life. This is not easy for me!

Making: Nothing, and I need to change that. Too much time online, not enough (read: any) time creating things. That’s one function of this blog, thankfully.

Getting: Frustrated with all of the nightmares and other PTSD stuff I’ve been dealing with again for almost two months. I’m starting Prazosin again tonight and hopefully that will help.

Snacking: On too damn much junk and gluten! Being multiple doesn’t help with this one bit.

Hoping: My older son gets through his first real job interview with flying colors in a few days. Asperger’s will make this harder for him than for many people.

Wanting: To go to the beach. I’m only about an hour away and I have no way to get there.

Knowing: That I’m going to have a very hard time when my brother in law and his soon to be wife start a family.

Enjoying: Fresh local fruit, especially Hermiston watermelon.

Following: Not enough of what’s going on in the world. I know tiny amounts about a bunch of things and feel like I should better inform myself.

Coveting: Far too many things, from a bigger kitchen to a different relationship.

Admiring: My mother in law for writing a yet-unpublished novel and getting a meeting with a literary agent. Impressive!

Reading: Too few books, about the right number of blogs, and too many web pages for fun.

Bookmarking: Things that wouldn’t make sense to most people because they would think I have no need to bookmark them. But it’s part of a process for me, so I let myself do it.

Considering: What to tell people when they ask what to get for this body’s birthday. Amazon and PayPal gift cards!

Cooking: A lot of main dish salads and muffins. And food for several people who pay me for it.

Looking: At my cats lounging here in the living room. When they’re awake, wherever I am is where they are. I love them!

Loving: The freedom and relief I feel since cutting my family off completely. I wish I hadn’t felt the need to do it but it was best for me.

Smelling: The lemony, minty aroma of the catnip plant one of the cats just nibbled on. Divine!

Playing: Boggle with my older son several times a month. And Words With Friends with several folks online.

Pondering: How to continue improving my life and how not to be afraid of that.

Feeling: Sure of who I am in many ways.

Giggling: About the most recent Maru video that was posted. I can be in a horrible place emotionally and Maru and Hana never fail to make me feel better.

Drinking: Barefoot Pink Moscato tonight. Or tomorrow. Or both.

Opening: A new chapter of my life in many ways. Family cut off, therapy ending, considering school next year. Good things.

Helping: My sons navigate through life. Sometimes just by texing “Hope you’re having a great day.” Other times much more hands on, including hemming interview pants.

Disliking: How much hot (for western Oregon) weather we’ve had this summer. Bring on the crisp days of autumn!

Wearing: Men’s cargo shorts. They’re part of who I am.

Deciding: Not to contact my mother, because it would make my life far too complicated.

Hearing: The whir and creak of the fan that is keeping me from having to use the air conditioner.

(And getting used to: The new WordPress format.)

~Kali

{Obligatory Post Title Here}

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I don’t have the physical or emotional energy to blog. Between DID and fibro and all the crap that comes with those things, I just can’t get myself here writing. And I feel a bit bad about this at times because I know someone who feels crappier than I do every single day and manages to write. But I’ve figured something out. I’m not a “journaling” blogger. I enjoy reading those types of blogs, I just have a hard time writing that way. So then I can’t find the physical or emotional energy to write at all. A lot of the time I can barely think clearly enough, barely get my body to move to do what I consider basics, and blogging is a l-o-n-g way down my list. So this may be the last post. I know I wrote a Part I post a while back and I want to give you Part II but I don’t know if it will happen.

In case I don’t write again, I (once again) wish you all peace. Thanks for reading!

~Kali

Where I Went, Where I Couldn’t Go, and What I Want: Part I {mentions death}

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{This post talks about death of family members and issues surrounding that.}

There’s so much to write about but I have to pick one thing at a time, so here we go for tonight. Forgive me if I get rambly or if some things are disjointed. I had to take my narcotic pain medicine but also really want to write.

In the past six months there have been three deaths in the family, two of them on DH’s side and one on my side. DH’s grandmother died at the end of December, my grandmother passed at the beginning of May, and we lost DH’s aunt less than two weeks ago. The deaths are sad, of course, but none of them was unexpected. All three beautiful ladies lived a long, full life and for each of them it is a blessing that they are no longer suffering as they had been before they passed away.

The death of my grandmother has hit me pretty hard, mostly because I loved her so much. But also because no one told me how poorly she had been doing in the months before she died and because I hadn’t seen her in the last five years of her life. Over the past few years I’ve actually wondered if anyone in my family would even tell me when she passed away, so I’m grateful that my brother called me that very evening. I understand that the reason no one let me know she was so unwell is because I made the choice to distance myself from my family, including my grandmother. Even though I know I’m taking care of myself and the rest of the system in an important way, I have a lot of guilt at times about not having been there. My grandmother and I were quite close for a while about 15 years ago and I try to focus on fondly remembering that time rather than my not being around during her last five years.

My grandmother’s memorial service is where I couldn’t go. The night my brother called to tell me she was gone, I knew I’d have to decide whether or not to go to her service. I wanted to go, of course! Make no mistake, I wanted to be able to honor her by being there. For a week and a half I put much thought into what the best thing was. In the end I knew I could honor and remember her in my own ways and that it would probably be detrimental for me to attend her service. I knew it would be triggering for me to be there, possibly very much so. My thoughts kept going to my abuser grandfather’s funeral, which was causing flashbacks and body memories. I was having a hard enough time separating that from thoughts of my grandmother’s upcoming service in my head without even being at her service. I also didn’t feel that the memorial service was the right place to reconnect with a bunch of family members, some I don’t know well and haven’t seen in years. I don’t know if my family will ever be able to understand that or forgive me for not being there, but I know I did the right thing.

Where I went was to the services for DH’s grandmother and aunt. And yes, this adds to the guilt I feel about not going to my own grandmother’s service. Grandma D’s service was four months before my grandmother’s service but I still feel like a hypocrite at times for having been there, and at Aunt M’s service of course. I also worry about what my family might think if they found out I went to services for people in DH’s family, one of whom I was not close with at all. But again, it comes down to taking care of myself. Being at these services wasn’t potentially perilous to my mental and physical health.

Sometimes I wonder if I should have pushed myself harder to visit my grandmother, if I should push myself to see my family. I know it would have been triggering to be around my grandmother and I know it’s triggering to be around my family, even though none of them is an abuser. I think about how indignant I get at times about my half-brothers not having anything to do with me since our father’s arrest, even though I had nothing to do with what he did and was his main target. I imagine my family may well feel the same way. We’re not the ones who did anything so why won’t she have anything to do with us? It is so complicated though, and I worry about all hell breaking loose if I tried to be around my family again. I know it would be triggering and I can’t bring myself to see how well I might be able to deal with that. I just can’t. I love my family, I miss my family, but I don’t know how to be around my family. And the more time passes, the harder I know it would be to jump back into their lives, to let them back into mine.

Stay tuned for Part II.

Sociopathic Blindness (A letter to my father)

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I’ve been crying on and off for many hours today. I wish you could see and understand why. I wish you could see how far-reaching your actions are. I wish I could open your sociopathic eyes and you could really see the damage you’ve done. But therein lies the problem: you are a sociopath. You don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. But I wish so much that I could pry your mind open so your eyes and your heart could see.

I wish you could see how much your entire family struggles because of your actions. Your brother has lost his faith, one of your sisters was nearly homeless at one point even while she was critically ill. Your oldest two children unable to work, one (me) directly because of what you did, the other indirectly. I can’t say anything about your two younger children because they chose to remove themselves from my life—due to your actions. All five of your grandchildren are struggling. Two have been homeless, another is on the verge of it. One is on disability directly because of your actions. One of your grandchildren has no money for food and is immobilized by depression and anxiety so hasn’t applied for food stamps. He’s so immobilized that he doesn’t care if he has no food and actually considers it to be a possible means of suicide, just letting himself fade away. Today I especially wish you could see that! I wish you could see how scary it is for this mother to see her child in such a horrifying place in life.

I wish you could see how your actions ripple out to those around us. My ex-husband and his family, my current husband and his family. My friends—and for a couple of them, their families. My therapist, who has cried for me on numerous occasions. People who treat our bodies and our minds. Your actions affect people in this community, this state, this entire country who have never met any of us—every person in this country who pays taxes so your children and grandchildren have shelter and food and a meager existence.

I wish you could see how ridiculous it is, how ridiculous it often feels to be proud that I haven’t been in the hospital in years and haven’t cut or burned or been in respite in over a year. I wish you could see how much I struggle just to make sure my top two priorities in life right now happen: eating a clean, wholesome, healthy diet and getting out for a walk every day. Some days I can still barely manage much more than that. I shouldn’t be reveling in not cutting myself when things feel so out of control. I shouldn’t be reveling in crossing off every item on my piddly daily list of tasks. I should be reveling in attending my 100th, 300th, 500th birth. I should be reveling in the way my fruit and vegetable garden would be looking this time of year. I should be reveling in the amazing things my children should be able to do.

I wish you could see the pain in our lives and on our faces. I wish you could have seen me sobbing uncontrollably at times today, and sighing and shuddering still, tears in my eyes. I wish you could have seen my husband trying to console me, holding me and asking if there was anything he could do. I wish you could read the words of my two best friends as they offered their love and support online today.

But even if you were right here with us you wouldn’t see it. Your sociopathic brain will never let you believe you’ve done anything wrong or see the damage that wrong has done. But really, the saddest thing is that you also don’t get to see how we are all moving forward in life. You don’t get to see your third grandson learning a trade he enjoys. You don’t get to see me healing so much that I can think about ending therapy, that even when the thought of harming myself shows up I refuse to do it because I know it makes things worse and it lets you win. You don’t get to see your son’s amazing faith in God in spite of all the damage you’ve done. You don’t get to feel the relief I have knowing that even though one of my children doesn’t even care if he eats, his brother is starting to be a productive, happy person. The very saddest thing is that you don’t get to see us live.

Edited to add: I can’t believe I made it through all that without crying! All day the post was writing itself in my head and I kept crying over what I might write. I’m really thankful not to be in tears again.

I Think I May Be Done

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It’s been three and a half years since I started this blog and my life has changed so much. When I started blogging I had a lot to say, including quite a few things I never did say. You’ve gotten to meet a bunch of us and see into our world. Things are so different now, life is so much less chaotic, and I honestly just don’t have much to say these days. I’m not deleting the blog, for several reasons. I may not be done after all. I want people to be able to read what we wrote. And I need to back up all my posts; I’ve been really bad about that.

I am–we all are–so thankful that we’ve had this outlet. Thankful for the readers. Thankful for the friends made because of Life, Multiplied. Thankful for your support. I admit to not being so great about reading many DID and/or trauma blogs these days. But you are not away from my thoughts.

Thanks for sharing three and a half years of my life with me and everyone else in the system who has shared with you here. You are all amazing. I wish you all peace and healing and joy and a life worth living.

~Kali

Growth in Dreams

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Yesterday morning I had a dream that I’d say was a breakthrough. I dreamed that my former stepmother had me come up to her house (her house, not their house) to take care of some kids while she and some other women did something. (Co-workers for a meeting? I don’t think I ever knew, and now the dream is even sketchier in my head.) There was the usual theme of looking around the (a) house. She was showing me changes she’d made now that my father wasn’t around. (Now that he wasn’t around!) I was impressed not only with some of the changes but with the way she was able to turn the house of hell into her own space, her own dream home. I can’t remember much more than that but I do remember being very aware in the dream that it wasn’t my father’s house at all anymore and that he wasn’t going to be there.

This is a big change! So many dreams of being at that house or someone else’s and he would be there and no one else saw any problem with that. All those dreams with that going on, then the one about a month ago where I thought about pushing him into the rushing creek next to the house and it was implied that I did that. And now being at the house and it wasn’t his in any way and he wasn’t there or going to be there because he wasn’t supposed to be there! It do consider it a bad dream/nightmare because it unsettled me pretty badly. (My therapist and I decided that even if I dream doesn’t have me waking up gasping or something similar it’s still a nightmare because it’s so very unsettling.) And I got triggered by several things during the day and was quite dissociative at times, but it was still a dream of growth. And even though I’m feeling anxious right now telling you about the dream, I’m thrilled to be telling you.

It amazes me how much growth can be seen in dreams!

Five Years

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Today is my father’s arrest anniversary for the heinous things he did to my niece. It feels more like a non-event to me than anything, really. I do think working up to this day probably has a lot to do with some rapid switching that’s been going on, though. Even though the day feels so much less heavy, we do feel it. Fairly often these days, I find myself wishing he would just pass away so I could find out if there is a trust fund set up for me. I don’t want him to die some horrible death, I just wish he wasn’t around anymore, with or without a trust fund.

Anyway, I’m really proud of how far I—we—have come in the past five years. Even though it’s more like a movie in my head these days, I can still remember the moment that night when my brother said he knew our father had hurt me as well as my niece. I can see the the floor rushing up to me as I collapsed in a sobbing heap, recognizing my truth instantly. I can hear my brother’s voice, feel his arm around me. I can hear him telling the other people in the room to come to me, come support me. And they did. That night five years ago it felt like my world was shattering and falling together all at once.

So much has happened in these five years. So many changes. I’m much more whole than I ever was before I started remembering things, because I can work through the truth and heal from it. The truth can be hard to face but I’m a better person know that I know it and can work through it as it smacks me in the face. As the saying goes, we’ve come a long way, baby. It’s hard not to think of how far it seems there is to go, but I’m thankful for what I’ve got so far.

It Is What It Is (But I Don’t Have to Like It)

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I woke up with a nasty headache and haven’t been able to shake it. I just feel kind of cruddy in general, physically (damn fibro and all that goes with it). And I’m having one of those rough “This is not what I signed up for when I married DH” times. I seriously considered staying in bed today because I feel so sad and depressed about it. But as I laid there thinking about doing that, I was also able to tell myself that staying in bed wouldn’t change anything. DH would still be DH. I would still wish for something better. The menu and grocery list would still need to be done. I would still have to be responsible for everything. So here I am. I feel like crying and want to go back to bed but the fact is that the menu and grocery list have to be done. If I don’t do it we won’t have enough money for food by our next grocery day. So I’ll do it and hopefully can come out of this funk sooner than later.

Last night I actually thought about trying to put money aside so I could move out someday. It would take years to save enough for a deposit and everything. And I always have lots of thoughts like “What would be the point of moving? Then I’d be alone and it’s not very likely I’d ever find someone again. Who’s gonna want a fat, not pretty gal who is multiple and has been on disability for 17 years?” Sometimes I feel trapped. I know I could walk out the door right now if I wanted to but I have no idea where I would go. The money is technically in DH’s name. I technically have $1 of income. And we’d have to prove we lived separately before I could get my own money back where it should be. See why I feel trapped sometimes?

I feel exhausted and achy and cruddy but I need to get my act together and start the menu and grocery list. Somehow I need to get past thinking so much about having to do it because I’m the one who has to be responsible for everything. I’m not doing it because I have to be responsible for everything, I’m doing it because I want to make healthy meals and stick to a budget. There we got, that’s better. Healthy meals for me without spending too much money. That’s what I’m going with.

I know my life with DH is what is it is, but why can’t I just be okay with that? I hate this.

Ashes, Ashes…

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This evening I was putting some laundry away after having a rather immobilized day. Out of the blue the words to a nursery rhyme came to me: “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!” I don’t know where it came from but it fits so well these days. At times lately I honestly feel like I’m just going to drop from stressors that are hitting me. I keep making it through but I really want to drop sometimes. And thinking about how I keep making it through each day, sometimes each hour, occasionally each minute, made me realize how much I really have risen from the ashes of my father’s arrest and my own version of Pandora’s box flying open that night nearly five years ago. I still have some of the same things going on but I deal with them in healthier and more constructive ways.

The past couple of days I’ve felt tired, sad, emotional, sometimes downright immobilized. Even though I know there are very valid reasons for this, it frustrates me and makes me feel weak. I find myself thinking, “Come on, get it together, just get up out of your chair.” Sometimes I simply can’t move myself. Then someone (hello, Robert) takes off with that and will rant and rave about how weak I am. This really doesn’t help one tiny bit. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and also making it clear to Robert that gentleness is what we need, not berating. Some moments are better than others, that’s for sure. I had plans for this week that are pretty well derailed but after two days of immobilization, I’m letting that be. The fridge will still be there to be cleaned. The carpet cleaner is “ours” for as long as we need it. That Valentine craft project can wait–we have Valentine’s Day every year, plus I did finish the one that was most important to me. DH has become quite adept at making simple meals for dinner. I refuse to put life on hold completely but I can be gentle with myself and work through the immobilization, the sadness, the fatigue. Much better to be gentle than all fall down.

The Good, Good Life is Just a Dream Away

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Several mornings ago I had a dream that, thankfully, I was able to write down after I woke up. Considering that my father’s arrest anniversary is in a  month, the dream isn’t all that surprising. It contained several recurring elements.

I was at what is now my former stepmother’s (STM) home for a get-together with some of my family and some of her family. It felt awkward at first since it was the first time seeing STM or her family since my father was arrested. One of STM’s sisters was talking to me, asking how I was and such. We were getting food on the table for a big meal.

It was as if my father were dead. STM’s sister or someone from her family handed me a box of pictures and mementos. I was triggered and intrigued at the same time. The person said, “He wanted you to have these.” I wanted to look through them but I knew I might fall apart so I set them aside for later. There were also Christmas gifts that STM’s sister was handing out. My younger half-brother was there but I didn’t have a chance to talk to him at all.

At some point I was outside helping my grandmother navigate some rough terrain to the door of the house. She surprised me by being able to handle it even though she purposely made it look to people like she couldn’t do such things.

Then my father showed up. As usual, it phased no one but me. He seemed pretty pleased with himself to not be in prison when he knew I thought he still should be. He was proudly showing me improvements they’d made on the house.

We were standing on a porch that went over a rushing creek. There was no rail on the porch yet. Amazingly, I wasn’t afraid of the water. I kept wishing he’d fall in the water and drown, as I’d seen about someone on a news story recently. Then I was watching him fall off the porch and hitting his head on a rock in the creek. The water was no longer rushing; it was was now just meandering. I watched to see if he’d get up. When he didn’t, I watched to see if the water was deep enough to cover his face. (He was lying flat on his back.) When I was satisfied that the water sufficiently covered his face, I turned around and left. I didn’t tell anyone what had happened because I wasn’t sure if I had pushed him or not. When someone asked if I knew where he was I said I hadn’t seen him. My actions (and inactions) definitely made it seem like I had pushed him into the creek.

I think the most bizarre thing about this dream is how detached I’ve felt from it. It’s obviously a disturbing dream, yet I didn’t wake up afraid or even unsettled like I normally would. I still feel quite detached from it. When I woke up and was able to write the dream down I was quite dissociative, trapped in derealization. While I jotted down the dream my cat Abi came to me and was rather insistent on nudging me, licking and nibbling my fingers, licking my face. She only licks my face when she knows something is wrong. I shooed her away and wrote this:

“Having one of those moments where I wonder if I’m in a dream. Is Abi really in my lap purring or am I dreaming it? Is she really almost six years old with her six-year-old kitty face in my hands or am I dreaming that she grew up? Is she only a dream?!  Is she really real? Am I going to wake up and find out she never existed?”

The derealization as well as depersonalization and just not feeling all here have been quite bothersome lately. Either I was dealing with this less for a while or I’m really noticing it these days. It makes perfect sense that it’s happening but it’s unsettling. Even though the dream has not felt that way. It worries me in a way, if that makes any sense. What I do know is that I’m going to lie down to sleep soon and I really hope I don’t have an unsettling dream. Or one that isn’t when it seems like it should be.

**Props to anyone who knows the song reference in the title. Without Googling. ;-)