The Mysterious Force Field

Each day I deal with a force field of varying strengths that decides whether I get out of bed or not. Today it was particularly strong and it barely allowed me to get out to go to the bathroom.

It seems strange to me that my pack of insiders who control the strength of the force field on any given day pick the bed as our safe place. Growing up, my bed was often a place where sexual abuse occurred, so it wasn't very safe.

I have been trying to reason and make sense of this force field for 17 months to no avail.

When I explain it to others I think it must feel like what people experience when they become paralyzed. Their brain can try all it wants to tell the body to move, but nothing happens. I don't understand this disconnect in me.

The inside people responsible for not allowing the body to get out of bed do not let their issues be known so I can try to help, or get them help with it. So, I remain a prisoner.

Those of you who don't understand Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) probably think I am not making a whole lot of sense, or just playing out some kind of depressive psychotic game.

The truth is that I live in a body that I don't always get to control, even when I am conscious and present in it. I have others in my body who also get a say in what happens with the body.

Meanwhile, my life is passing me by. My children are growing up without me, my life is not being lived, and my health is deteriorating. This is not what I want, and I have no idea how to change it.

I sound like a victim because I feel like a victim. Yes, we are all quite capable of victimizing ourselves. Abusers do a good job at leaving that skill behind along with the other damage to us.

I am trying everything I can think of to make this change. New therapies, new pills, new environment.

If I fail, there is a good chance I will lose my family and my health. I really want to succeed.

What it will take, I don't know.

Stay tuned to see the end of this story.

Knifes in your soul

I have come to realize this past year that even though I was for an extended time extremely high functioning and stable, that I am actually among the most severely injured from a childhood filled with abuse and other horrific things.

It is not cool to be in this club of the severely injured because with these injuries comes damage, lots of it. And I have found that the mental health system doesn't like messy, severely damaged people.

I am complicated. The affects of my abuse have left behind a complicated and difficult set of symptoms. As a result, my soul has been repeatedly ripped out this year by people rejecting me or my symptoms or my diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

It seems no one who knows how to treat this disorder and my symptoms in a way that would be effective wants to help me.

Rejection. Rejection. Rejection.

Laughingly, I am not supposed to take it personally, or believe there is anything inherently wrong with me.

I am wished good luck in my future treatment and sent on my way knowing there is no future treatment to be had. I fear I have looked under every stone and have run out of options.

But don't give up. Stay alive. It doesn't matter how miserable your life is. This I am told over and over by those who reject me.

The injuries to my soul have been brutal. Especially since it is over and over. To be rejected your whole life, even by the so-called angels who are supposed to help those of us with these injuries.

It is hard for me not to believe that God is punishing me. I haven't had this kind of knife into my soul so much until this last year. I try to find hope, but then I get the knife in my soul again.

How many knifes to your soul can happen before it is completely dead?

But I am not supposed to give up. I am to keep fighting as if that has ever really gotten me anywhere. Big deal, I'm alive.

I would be better off dead, which is a hard sentiment to swallow knowing I have children I should live for.

It is a double bind. Live in torture or harm my children by leaving them.

Oh, but I am supposed to get better by some miracle that hasn't come for 50 years now……

The Box


My being lives in a box. It is the size of a box of matches. It is really small because I was meant to be small no matter how big the human body becomes. It is hard to breathe and move and be human in this box.

People sometimes want me to come out of this box. They don’t understand how hard or impossible that is for me. They want me to be bigger. To live bigger. Or something like that. They don’t understand the box is all I know. It is all I am allowed to know.

I am safer in the box no matter how uncomfortable it seems to other people. It is what I know. It is what I am allowed to keep me from getting killed.

The box doesn’t allow self-expression. That is very wrong when you live in the box. When you live in a box you are expected to be invisible, with as little life force coming from you as possible. Breathe small. Speak small. Move nothing.

When your mind lives in this tiny box, there is no room for joy, play, happiness, or even sadness. There is just self-acceptance that you belong in the box, and are to take up no more room on planet earth.

It doesn’t matter that I did not choose the box. It is my life. God’s plan. It is my coffin for while I am still alive on earth. I guess there is solace in knowing I have a place to lay down in the box, no matter how cramped it is.

I hate that people try to get me out of the box with forced behaviors. They don’t realize how painful it is for my little being to expand against nature. My brain breaks down like an old car when this is forced upon me. They think they know better than me. But, I have lived my life, and I know how to survive it.

Though it is always questionable why I continue to survive this life.

I can’t expect anyone else to understand. They do not live in the box. It is only my purgatory. Not to be shared. Not to be fixed. It just is.

Understanding My Identity


I have been diagnosed and aware of my Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) for 28 years now. That is the majority of my adult life. As a child, I knew things were off here and there, but didn’t quite understand what it was.

I was thinking today what is it like for me to have DID today, and my mind stays relatively quiet as I am working extra hard to hold things together during a stressful time.

My mind is often not quiet. I often hear someone or someones commenting on things going on in my life. I hear criticism or a mean remark coming from in my head as if it is my invisible friend talking to me.

I am well-trained to know that no one else can hear the talk in my head, so I do my best to hide it. It is something I learned to do as a child. At that time, I thought everyone experienced an inner dialogue from different voices. In the 1980s, I wrote it off as my inner children voices since that was all the rage back then.

When I was around 10, I got invited to a birthday party of a friend to see the new Star Wars movie (you know, the original one as it was released in the theaters). It was a big deal for all of us as kids didn’t regularly get to go to the movies back then, and this Star Wars movie was the first of its kind back then. To this day, I can remember playing in front of the theater, giddy with excitement to see this amazing movie. The next thing I remember was being outside the movie playing with the other kids as we re-enacted scenes from the movie. Except I had no memory of seeing the movie, but the message I knew in my head was to not tell anyone and pretend as if I did.

I wondered about Star Wars from time-to-time, but I never understood what happened to me that day. I was used to weird days, so I knew it was part of that weirdness that I didn’t understand, but knew to keep to myself.

I can remember one day I was hanging out in my parents’ bathroom when I was 11. I was having a conversation with other people in my head about whether other outside people could hear other people in their heads. I knew the answer was no, but decided to believe they could.

Fast forward to high school, when I experienced dramatically different interests and identities. I knew it was strange that I had such varied interest, social groups, and behaviors. I was all over the place with no consistent identity. Again, I knew something was wrong with the way my mind was working, but I needed to not think about that to survive, so I pushed that thinking away every time it came up in my mind. Occasionally, I would try to rationalize it as normal behavior, but I looked around at the other kids and learned rather quickly they didn’t have these different identities.

In college, the first time away from my biological family, I excelled at school, extracurricular activities, friendships, and even fell in love. Life was nearly perfect, yet I managed to have my first Major Depressive episode with suicidal ideation, and landed in a private psychiatric hospital for 6 months.

Super confusing to both my treatment providers and me, my successful outside identities crumbled into nothiness and could not function or get better. Every time things seemed to be getting better, I would suddenly get intensely suicidal and my providers would scratch their heads trying to understand what was happening with me.

They could not figure it out, but one day sitting quietly in a chair when things had gotten better for me again, I heard the voices in my head talking about killing themselves because our therapist was out of town.

I tried to talk with my doctor and therapist about these voices, but they dismissed it. But from that point on I started realizing more and more that I was not the only one occupying my body. I didn’t have a name for it yet, but I knew there was something going on with me that was my truth, but my mental health providers could not or would not accept.

When I was 22, I was working at a psychiatric hospital and I learned the name for what ailed me—it was called Multiple Personality Disorder (which is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder). I went to a psychologist who specialized in it to confirm my suspicions. She confirmed it, and life became very unruly as DID can be for some people, especially at the beginning of their diagnosis.

This is a secret I keep from almost everyone  I have known for 28 years. It can be lonely sometimes, but my upbringing taught me to tough it out so I could survive.

Why do I keep it a secret? Two reasons: Hollywood has made a mess of teaching the general public it is a scary, dangerous disorder that should be feared (just ask my last church minister as she told my spouse to leave me and take the kids when my spouse shared the diagnosis with her). The other reason is because people don’t want to believe that horrific child abuse and neglect happens at such a severe level in this world to create the thousands and thousands of us who have this disorder.

There is no other way to get DID unless you have been exposed to unbearable trauma that was so severe that your mind splits off to try to help you survive. People aren’t just born with it. There is ALWAYS a horrific story that goes with why they have DID.

Those of us with DID are some of the most abused victims in our world. Yet, we are rejected by the majority of our world and even the mental health system that is supposed to help us. I am not scary, but people are still scared of this diagnosis.

In the major city I live in, there are no treatment facilities to help those with DID, and even though it is considered a psychiatric condition in the DSM V, many mental health providers choose to ignore it and pretend as if it doesn’t exist. Yet it is much more common than most people realize.

We were raised to hide this disorder, so we sometimes refer to it as a disorder of secrecy. I am your neighbor, your friend, your professional, and your go-to for advice, and you have no idea that I carry this secret struggle with me everyday.  You also have no idea that I fear each day of being “found out” by the wrong people, and then further rejected by a world that has been so cruel to me.

Yes, I live in a body that is shared with many different people or parts, and it is a struggle to live this way. But, I am not to be feared. My people are lovely and hurt and deserve to be treated better by this world.

Living or dying in the safety of my bed

For a little over 17 months I have stayed most of my days in the safety of my bed. I don’t know how this happened. It was not a conscious decision on my part, but it has served to protect me from a sometimes scary world and dangerous people.

I didn’t always think this way. I am guessing the calamity of traumatic and stressful events in my life led me here. My brain was no longer the brain I was used to.

I was like the newly paralyzed person telling my legs and body to move, and it would refuse. Or, I was bargaining with myself that I would get up and walk for 15 minutes tomorrow if I didn’t have to do it today. Those tomorrows never met their end of the deal.

This starring at the wall or into nothingness is going to kill me if I do not figure out how to live out of my bed.

My body is wasting away literally. I am out of breath with the slightest movement. My body hurts when it is used now.

I pray I can get my mental health and health back before my life is taken from me. I want to live and see my children grow up. I worry I have taken it too far this time, though I still don’t know how to get myself out of bed.

Hoping for answers and solutions soon.

Peace

Giving up?

Lately, I have been struggling more than usual with suicidal thinking, time loss, confusion, severe amnesia, thinking people want me to kill myself, and generally trying to keep my mind in shut-down mode so I don’t become totally hopeless. 

If I do become totally hopeless, I am worried I will do something I don’t want to do to my kids, which would be to kill myself. 

It is such a hard place to be in. On the one hand, I really want to give up and put an end to my life. On the other hand, I want to be there for my children and make sure they are ok.

I know killing myself will mess up my kids, but when your mind gets sicker and sicker, it is hard to stay strongly rational so you can ignore those impulses.

And even though my wife says she supports me and loves me if I go to a psych hospital, the truth is there is only so much a person can take in a relationship, and what am I doing to my kids by being gone and missing so much of their childhood (even when I am here.)

Psych hospitals suck, even the best of them, and there is never any guarantee that they will help at all. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. 

Giving up is so much easier and pleasant sounding at the moment, but then if I can hold on to thinking about my kids it is not an option. Unless I get too sick to hold onto that thought.

I am just whining today. Mental illness sucks. At least I have a comfortable bed and two puppies to keep me company at home. I don’t much need food any more.

Ambivalence. Confusion. Hopelessness.

Life sucks today.

This is what PTSD can look likeĀ 


Mommy has her PTSD this morning. Ever since a surgical procedure involving anesthesia last month, mommy has been getting PTSD symptoms a lot.

My PTSD has changed over the years for the worse, or maybe I am just more aware of what it does to my body when it comes around.

Noises tend to be my biggest everyday trigger to get it going. I don’t know why this is, but it is. This is not the best combination lately with my 5 year old son.

My son is loud. A lot. Just as you would expect him to be, meaning nothing out of the ordinary.

Today I was really tired and wanted to sleep in, but my son gets up early everyday. His older sister was hanging out with him in our play room. Of course today he chose to get on a video game.

I feel guilty, but my son’s sounds of acting out the game and loudly announcing his wins had me terrified. I know it is just my son playing a video game, and I am home safe in my bed, but some part of me processes it differently.

I feel terrified, like someone is about to kill me. My stomach and entire body begins to feel sickly as hormones are being released to deal with the “danger” of the noise. Except, there is no work or response for the body to use the hormones, so they just build in my body.

I wish I could stop this reaction. I think of taking a pill, but quickly realize there is no pill that is going to make me numb to the noise– short of taking a pill that will knock me out for the day. That’s not an option.

My spouse comes home from her walk with a friend. I tell her the truth that our son is triggering my PTSD. She knows I seem scared and wants to do something. She finally decides to take him out to play.

I feel better now, but I know my spouse is tiring of my various symptoms of mental illness. I worry she will come back from one of her walks and tell me she just can’t do it any more. 

I understand. I can only imagine the burden I have become. Sometimes love is not enough. And sometimes I imagine I have become too much.

The mistaken survival of the soul-less child

 

681b5a8aa699a740d4474eb363281471I have walked through my entire life a fraud. A nonexistent soul using the mortal body of no one. I am a fraud because from time-to-time, I would use this body to pretend as if I was a normal human being. Though, I always return to my place of nothingness. The place where those without souls return.

As a child I tried my best to be as invisible as possible. I tried being very still and quiet. I do not want to be noticed because I know I do not belong to this world. This world is confusing and cruel and scary. I don’t like it, so I am happy to not really belong to it. Yet, somehow, I got stuck with this mortal body that always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There is no making sense of the life this mortal body was given. The people who come in and out of it. The constant desire for it to die.

To be human is to claw your way through everything to survive. This soul-less being does not wish to survive this cruel human world.

This body does not know love, comfort, happiness, safety, or anything that would be good or pleasurable. This body knows darkness, sadness, hatred, pain, evil, death, anger, and a strong desire to turn out the lights on this mortal body.

Without hope, there is death.

This soul-less body was created from birth with lies, pain, shame, fear, and brutality. It was programed to be obedient, to never disobey, and to serve the greater human species to which it did not belong.

How can an entire species be so cruel, even to the soul-less body who was never one of them? But it is true, and that is the way it is.

A wrecked soul-less child body who mistakenly survived. It was never supposed to survive. There is not upside for this being. There is no better. No nothing. Especially a real life on the human planet.

It is so confusing to figure out what to do with this fraud of a soul-less body. Oh children, why did you survive? I suppose some instinct, or maybe they made you with their confusing lies. I don’t blame you. I promise I hold no anger toward you. You were only babies and toddlers and youngsters doing what you thought you were supposed to do.

Now we have this fraudulent body built through evil lies, and there is nothing for it to do but to lay in bed until it dies. Oh wise one, you are correct in that we could take it from this earth sooner by our own hands. But, they say it will ruin the human children in this new family.

I know we don’t belong. But there is a speck of dust, maybe love, in this soul-less body that makes me think how sad it would be for these human children to be ruined by our actions.

We may know we never belonged, and wouldn’t have ever wanted to belong to this world, but now we have somehow become connected to these two children who look to us to keep behaving in a fraudulent way because they need us to.

Why, with no soul inside, do we have to always be the good guys? Why?

Because that’s the way it is.

 

Languishing in silent agony

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I am at such a wtf am I going to do moment. I can’t get out of bed, except sometimes to take care of my kids in my house and to go to therapy appointments. This has been going on for bloody 17 months.

I am not getting better. Sometimes I desperately want to get better, other times I hear inside that staying in bed is better and I shouldn’t try to change it.

I hate that my wife is so confused about what to do. Sometimes I think she wants to leave me, and I don’t blame her. Sometimes I want her to leave me so I do not have to be judged and can just stay in bed with no one trying to change me or feel bad for me.

But then I remember my kids. Shit, I just can’t abandon them. They need me. I wish they didn’t so I could leave this planet. I love them so much, but I lay in pain so much too.

It is a cruel joke that I have survived in life. I am definitely not living. I am holding on to parenting my kids mostly from inside my bedroom or the house.

No one understands how hard it is for me to get up and shower and eat dinner with them.

I know this is some kind of anxiety. I’m probably terrified people are going to hurt me outside the house. I have a lot of recent experience with that.

My mind tells my body to get up and take a shower and do something normal. My body just ignores me and lays in my bed.

I am literally wasting away in this bed. I am getting older and don’t have much life yet, so I don’t understand why I am doing this. Oh, an insider says I am punishing  myself for the therapist who abandoned me.

So many reasons. Not sure it even matters anymore now. I hate for my children to see me in bed, and wonder what they think of me.

My pain is raw. Yet I am also numb. This is why my suicide switch keeps flickering. The answer is there, but the insiders won’t agree so we languish in silent agony.

A Decade Lost


I never had a true suicidal thought until I was 21. Sure, in my teens I did plenty of things that looked like they were unconscious, wreck less suicidal behaviors, butnit really wasn’t conscious.

I’ll never forget when I first started having true suicidal thoughts and feelings. My life up to then was always extremely busy, and I was not the type of person who stopped to smell the roses. Then one day, it was Spring of my Senior year in college and my life came to a screeching halt. 

I suddenly found myself sitting on the benches of my beautiful undergraduate college and just staring at the trees and watching all the happy people walk by.

I had no idea what was happening, but I turned into someone else overnight, and my first response was to hide it from my closest friends. None of them knew I was circling the drain moreso as each day went by.

I was so confused. I had everything going for me and I was overwhelmed with sadness, depression, anxiety, and a desire to die. Where was this coming from? What was happening?

I went to college prior to the internet, so I had nowhere to turn to to learn I was having a Major Depressive episode. 

Though I don’t remember how, I did manage to find help through a wonderful therapist and psychiatrist who provided me with great care and concern.

The irony was I was living next to a private psychiatric hospital, and used to watch the patienrs down the hill as I walked my dog on the path of my apartment complex. Maybe I knew I would be one of them one day.

I was thrust from never having a suicidal thought to having them everyday. It’s a big change in your brain to make that switch.

Fortunately for me, I found help, and this was pre-managed care, so the hospital kept me for about six months until I was kind of better.

True to my frequent Identity shifts, I left that hospital and went back to the major city I was supposed to live in post college, and moved into my condominium I had purchased just before things went South for me. Oddly, I walked right over to the private psychiatric hospital in town with the best reputation and got a job there much to everyone’s puzzlement. I already had a contract signed with a major corporation for a job I accepted pre-breakdown.

It turned out what I had learned for my myself in the hospital all that time turned me into a great mental health clinician, who could truly empathize with the patients I worked with.

I was good at that job, and loved working with the patients and co-workers. It felt like home to me. 

Unfortunately, as time went by and I continued in therapy, my life slowly started to unravel in the most curious way. I started realizing I lost time, couldn’t remember my childhood, had a fake relationship with my family, and had voices in my head frequently talking to me, and eventually taking control of my body.

I was privileged to be in the right place at the right time, so I didn’t have to wait the typical 7 years to get correctly diagnosed. I went to a reputable DID specialist who worked at the same hospital to find out what I suspected, I had DID.

The revelation of the DID seemed to cause my life to unravel even quicker. Sadly, I eventually became a patient at the dissociative disorder unit at the hospital I was working at. And from there, a decade of my life was lost to the mental health system. A decade I can never get back, and is mostly lost to dissociative amnesia.