I’m moved. I’m exhausted. I’m in a lot of fibro pain. I’ll write a real post in the next few days. But I wanted everyone to know my kitty Abi and I are in our new home!
That’s what came to mind this evening when I was walking from the mailbox to the front door. I haven’t been able to move yet because the background checking outfit flubbed up but I still feel very free and mostly peaceful these days. With moments of anxiety, of course. The past week has been a whirlwind of packing, having one of my best friends over, packing, having my sons over one last time, packing, running errands, packing, and going to a Social Security appointment today with C so he can finally be his own SSD payee. Oh, and did I mention packing? I thought for sure I’d be completely overwhelmed with that and only get the very basics done before I moved but I’ll have the entire apartment sorted and packed in the next couple days. All that is left is those last few things that get tossed into boxes at the last minute and the winter holiday things. I need to sort through those with C since he’ll want a good portion of them and some of them are sentimental to me.
Between the packing and just the stress of the transition, I’ve been so tired lately. Utterly exhausted at times. It seems that each evening I start yawning earlier and earlier. I normally wait until after midnight to blog but it’s not even 11:00 yet and I’m getting this done so I can get off the computer soon, read for a while, and be asleep by 12:30. I’ve been falling asleep easily most nights but waking up a lot after about 7:00 in the morning. And having lots of vivid dreams in the mornings, which makes me feel exhausted in itself. Today after the Social Security appointment I was super draggy and wanted to go treat myself to a good coffee but was too tired to go get it. I ended up taking a caffeine pill, which made all the difference in the world.
But free! And peaceful! Even things between C and me are so much more peaceful; it really amazes me. Last weekend when one of my best friends was here I asked her if it felt awkward. She said it felt more peaceful than usual. I’m not nagging C about things. His stuff isn’t bothering me. Even him talking to an old (female) friend online whom he is clearly interested in isn’t phasing me. It did bother me at first but it’s his business and it seems there’s not much going on so there’s not anything for me to be jealous of. C and I have had some good conversations this week, several about how remarkable it is that things have fallen into place so well–including the fact that he finally realized he didn’t want to make this non-workable thing work any more than I did.
I’m hoping to move in five or six days. As soon as it’s official that I’m not a criminal or bad renter, it’s go time. Just saying that makes me feel excited, scared, and sad at the same time. I hope I won’t be too emotional when the day comes and my tears will wait until the move is over and I’m not with C and a couple of his family members. I know they’d understand and I know it will be emotional for them too but I’d rather not be a teary mess around them.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying my last days here. Giving George the cat lots of loving before I leave him to share his life with C. Making sure I jot down important info for C and his parents. Spending time each evening cross stitching while I watch a movie on Netflix. Reveling in the trees changing color in my last autumn in this town. Being thankful for a grocery store just blocks away, something that will be much different once I move. And appreciating C for the person he’s being through this transition–he’s been fantastic through it all.
(Sorry for the novel of a post.)
So much has happened in just a few days, I can hardly believe it. In my last post I said that I would stay put in our apartment and C would move out. The more I thought about that, the more I knew I do not want to stay in podunk Newberg. There is nothing here for me now, it’s isolating here, and I’m ready to move on from this place where so many horrific things happened to me. It would be hard to create new experiences for myself and meet new people here. So I bit the bullet and sent an email. My older son has a room in a house with about four other people. I thought to myself, I’m familiar with these people, I could probably keep Abi (my companion cat), I know I’d feel comfortable cooking in the kitchen, it’s in a great location…why not just see if they have an available room. I knew that most likely there wouldn’t be room for me.
But there was! Someone had just moved out a few days earlier and the woman was really dreading having to make a Craigslist ad and weed through people who asked about the room. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go just anywhere if I was going to move away from Newberg, that I’d somehow have to be comfortable with the situation, and especially that I could keep Abi with me. Check to all, and then some. The idea of losing so much living space and giving up quite a few (unimportant) belongings can be hard at times but this upcoming living situation really helps make up for that. Added bonus is the fact that it will be easier for me to help my son as we continue to navigate life for him with as a young adult with autism.
On Monday C and I knew it was time to let go of our relationship. On Tuesday afternoon he talked to his brother and parents about the situation. On Tuesday night I got up the nerve to email K about the possibility of a room in her home. A couple hours later she said there is a room. On Wednesday I went to see her and take a look at the room. On Thursday I turned in the application at the leasing office and paid for my background check. There’s a loophole that means they don’t have to verify my income and are only making sure I’m not a criminal or a sucky renter, so there’s pretty much no way I’ll be turned down. I’m hoping to move into my new home on the 11th. It’s all been a whirlwind but it’s also continued to just fall into place. What were the odds that a room would be open at this home where I already knew I would feel safe and comfortable?!
Now C and I are working to get our collective Social Security dealt with so we each have our own money. We have an appointment with SS on Friday so C can be his own payee. We’re hoping that my rental agreement will be signed by Thursday afternoon so we can get the separate moneys stuff in the works while we’re at the SS appointment.
And now on to the emotional end of all of this. It’s been a freaking roller coaster. I’m sure this wasn’t helped by the fact that until yesterday I was premenstrual–and PMS has really been kicking my butt lately. Even though this is a great, amazing change for me, it is crazy stressful and scary. I can be excited as hell one minute, then completely doubting myself the next. Between the stress of change, being afraid that somehow this move won’t work out, and losing some great things and people in this whole process, there have been times when I’ve cried nonstop for an hour or two. Or five, as the case was two nights ago. Thankfully the past two days have been much better. Very little anxiety and no crying!
Even though this change and move will lead to some amazing new opportunities in my life, it also scares me so much at times. I just keep telling myself that I’m finally at a place in my life where I can handle all of this. The changes, the losses, all of it. It hurts to be losing C’s family. Even though we don’t see eye to eye on most things, they are great people and I already miss them.
One thing that’s been hard is the DID aspect of it all and how some people are reacting to that. I can explain until I’m blue in the face that Gloria was in front and the one who married C eight years ago and that her main job was done within a couple years of the wedding. That I was in front before she took over for a while and now I’m in front again for good as far as I know. That Gloria fully acknowledges her main job is done, although she is still part of our daily life in small ways. But I know I can’t expect people to understand this. How could they?! Even I don’t get it all. Try explaining to fundamentalist Christians who think they can pray away the DID–and to other people–that you’re literally not the same person they first met! I just have to roll with it and accept that most people won’t get this stuff. It is what it is, no matter what they think of it.
And so things are moving forward. I need to start packing the items that will move with me in about a week. One of my best friends is here for the weekend and tomorrow I’ll have her company to ease the stress of packing. My sons will be here for a night or two after the weekend for one last hurrah at Mom’s house. I told C I’ll need a few weeks to go through the things I don’t take with me and get them boxed up either for donating or taking with me and/or storing somewhere. He’s being very gracious about things like that. I helped C figure out what his budget will be like and wrote that all out. Lots of things need to be done before the move and still more after it. It can feel daunting, especially since I’m the one who’s having to take care of pretty much all of it. I made the bus trek into Tigard two days in a row to get room rental stuff going. I’ll have to go once or twice after the weekend. On Friday C and I have the Social Security appointment. (At least it’s an appointment and we aren’t walking in there, picking a number, and waiting for god knows how long for our turn.) Details. Busy-ness. Stress. Physical and emotional exhaustion. Crappy appetite that’s already causing weight loss. But no crying in two days. And no stress migraines sending me to bed with nausea that keeps me from even moving my head.
I can do this. I am doing it. This is scary but amazing.
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!
worried about my children
i am not…
handling my stress very well tonight
trapped in my living situation
to injure after I post this
to remember that I will feel like crap tomorrow if I injure, both physically and mentally
a lot of fear about my sons’ futures
the Facebook group I started for myself and some friends
not knowing how things will turn out for my sons or myself
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!
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,
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.
**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’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.
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.