Tag Archives: DID/MPD

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

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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!
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~Kali

End of an Era

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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.

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“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

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**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

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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

Grief Can Feel Endless

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It’s four-fucking-thirty in the morning. I haven’t been able to sleep yet. I just ate an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers with cream cheese on them. Yes. An entire sleeve. And from the moment I grabbed them until the moment I was done eating them I kept thinking “Ask me if I fucking care how much I pay for all of this gluten. Nope, I don’t.” (I know I’ll think differently in 12 hours or so when my body is aching and my legs hurt so much I can’t rest my laptop on them and I’m so fatigued I can barely think.)

I’ve been a mess tonight. I know being premenstrual is making it worse. But there’s so damn much pain and grief about not having another child. When will it go away? So much pain. I don’t know what to do with it except cry and feel horrible. I feel like I may have taken a small step forward with it all tonight though. It’s been far too easy to know there is a tiny chance of getting pregnant and let my mind go there. Miniscule chance. But hey, 1 in 10,000 (or worse) is still a chance. I let myself go there this cycle and had sex at a fertile time. Except the chance of a tubal failure AND conceiving at almost 46 years old is that 1 in 10,000 (or worse) chance and is just not going to happen. I was able to let myself concede that even without a tubal, getting pregnant at nearly 46 is so unlikely. Put the two together and there’s just no chance. That tiny chance isn’t a chance. I can go around and around though. Maybe the tubal has failed. And my cycles are still regular and I know from earlier this year that I’m still ovulating. And and and. But the age thing is starting to shake some sense into me. Okay, the age thing practically brings me to my knees with sadness and pain. But just the thought about my age making it virtually impossible is a step forward.

Twenty fucking years. Over twenty years of wanting another child and I’m still in this position. I don’t understand. I don’t understand why I didn’t get to have another child. I don’t understand why I didn’t get to raise a child. I don’t understand why I didn’t get to raise the children I have. I just don’t understand why I never got another chance. What the hell did I do so wrong? My mind can really go to that question but I do my best not to get sucked up in the thoughts that come in answer. And the rantings of Robert, who will jump on that and let me know well and truly that it’s because I’m a worthless piece of shit who doesn’t deserve it. He jumped in for a brief moment tonight and I was able to keep him from going on. My pain pushed him away. At least there’s a good reason for bowling-over emotional pain.

When I’m suffering like this, especially when PMS is playing into it, it’s so easy to think about suicide. I wouldn’t do it. I could never do that to people, especially my sons. Then I can find myself pleading to the universe to not wake up in the morning. Could I please just not wake up once I finally fall asleep? But I can’t wish for that either because (husband) Cory’s parents need contact information for people who would need to know, and information about our debit cards and bills. You know, logistics. Not that pleading in my bed will make me not wake up in the morning, of course. If that worked, I’d be pregnant.

But I’m not and never will be and have spent more than 20 years wishing and hoping (and Gloria praying) for something that will never be. And it hurts. It really cuts deep. And I don’t know how to deal with it. I know I need to find some books about grief and maybe even a group if something suitable is available. I’m working in that direction. But for now I’ll post this and lay down again and hope that I can finally sleep. I took Ativan several hours ago. Vicodin about an hour ago because fibro pain was part of why I couldn’t settle down to sleep. I’m so damn tired. I just need to sleep. I want to sleep. I don’t want to be awake and feel this emotional pain. I just need to sleep.

~Kali

i am… (take 1)

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i am…
    bored and restless

i am not…
    wanting to spend time with in-laws tonight

i feel…
    sad and lost

i want…
    to cut

i need…
    time with a friend

i have…
    a heart that won’t seem to heal

i love…
    my sons

i hate…
    grief

This is a writing exercise I found on the Bodies Under Siege message board. When I want to journal but am not sure where to start I use this. Sometimes it ends up being a jumping off point for more writing, other times I feel satisfied with the brevity of those few words.

{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.