A nice update!

I thought I would let all of you know how I’m doing, seeing as I haven’t been here a lot…

So this week is half term- I have LOVED it. It has been amazing so far. I have next to no energy and I am exhausted, but I am so happy!

I got to finish my massage course on Sunday, which I was so proud of myself for. I now have fifty hours of practical work to do, and an online portfolio of anatomy work amongst other things, and then I will be fully qualified! However, that wasn’t the only good thing about the start of my half term.

As a few of you will remember, I wanted to do the annual Zombie Walk last year, but due to an organisational hiccup I couldn’t go. I was devastated, as I was using it as a foothold in my recovery. This year, however, I managed to go- and what a spectacle it was. I loved every minute and finally got to meet, in the flesh, two people who I was going to go with last year. I’ve been chatting to them for a long while over the internet and I’ve finally met them- they are fantastic people and I was so pleased to do the walk with them.

Halloween is their Christmas, and my friend Sprite and her child Wednesday (after Wednesday Addams) invited me back to their house for fun, games, horror films and Nerf gun wars! The Dutchman and I chatted for a long time, and Sprite’s husband to be, Mr Popular, was a fun part of the celebrations. I can’t help but feel I’ve really fallen on my feet with them- we all have so much in common! I ended up staying over, and didn’t panic too badly at all- I did unfortunately wake up the next morning with a huge gasp for air, but I knew where I was fairly shortly after and I was soon able to go to my driving lesson- the Dutchman took me.

That evening I was back at my friends’ house for more zombie- themed fun- I was helping out with a zombie film! We were submitting a clip for consideration, and had a lot of fun doing it. I did a lot of the makeup and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process. It was a really fun thing to do and we all really got into it, big time- one of our part ran up and down the stairs before her part in the film so she would be out of breath for her scene! We all loved it.

The Dutchman is sweet about my PTSD and very understanding. He is donating money towards my Go Sober For October challenge, for a local women’s refuge. He remarked on how glad he was that I was able to come and have fun with them all this year, and I wholeheartedly agreed.

Stay tuned- there will be more nice stuff coming soon!

Dissociated parts-quite a shock.

I have been thinking hard about why some days I wake up feeling frightened, or upset, or lethargic. Sometimes, I start off being capable, logical, feeling my age and acting it… to a frightened little rabbit-creature that can’t deal with life and needs to hide.

It bothers me and upsets me so much that I can be plunged into feeling terrible so quickly, and that I am permanently on guard to spot triggers and potential upsets. I managed to mention this to my therapist, Dr K, and the results of this shocked me.

Last week in therapy, I walked in feeling fragile, upsettable and dissociative. Dr K noticed this and asked me what was the problem. I let her know how bad I was feeling and she gradually worked out why.

During the session we got talking about what happened with my ex again, and I started to cry. Tears flowed down my face. I felt, suddenly, like a vulnerable eighteen year old who had no clue why these things were happening and felt guilty that she couldn’t stop them.

In the safe space provided by Dr K, she let me know that I was safe and that I was here in the hospital, and I was my current age. This is where things have always felt a little bizarre- there is a rational part of me, the grown up, adult part, that knows what is happening and why I feel how I feel. What Dr K was talking to in there was not that part of me. She was talking to a frightened and guilty eighteen or nineteen year old.

She explained to me later, once my adult part was active, that there were frightened parts inside of me that needed to be brought into the future and helped out. In other words, there are split parts of me that are locked inside me, protecting adult me from the worst of the trauma. This was a terrifying thought- I scanned back over what I know of DID. I wasn’t blacking out for long minutes or hours, coming round and finding that I had been doing something different and had no memory. None of that is happening. So then, what was going on?

Dr K wasn’t telling me I have DID, but she was letting me know that the way I feel -helpless and powerless, out of control and terrified- is as a result of a younger self being triggered. These younger parts don’t speak or say anything-rather, I feel all their emotions and flashbacks are much more common when I feel that way. In fact, I had one in the therapy room- it was scary, considering I’d never been that vulnerable in front of anyone but the mental health ward staff before.

Of course, Dr K has taken all this in her stride, and I suspect that under her careful help, these parts will eventually dissipate and be put to rest. I will still have the knowledge they held, but already I know that my eighteen year old self is calmer and less terrified.

Therapy is tomorrow. I’m going to tell Dr K what I think and see what she has to say. In the meantime, any of you DIDers out there are all welcome to comment on this- let me know what you think. It was quite a shock for me to realise this, and I would like some help for when I start regressing and a younger part takes hold. Thank you.

Religion and bipolar.

J is doing better- we spoke on camera last night and I was so happy to see him! He said tonight that I make him happy and relaxed. It really hit home after my last sad frustrated post that even despite the distance, he feels happy talking to me. That’s a definite bonus.

I’ve recently been reading a blog ( https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/46008726/ ) called Defeating the Dragons, run by a brave and lovely woman named Samantha. She talks about her struggles with being raised in a fundamentalist baptist church, and attending a college (US college, not an English one) where she was in an abusive relationship. It was a Christian college, and the reaction of her tutors to the fact that she’d been raped was that she had to pray for her sins.

Yet, despite all the hell she’s been through¬† with religion, Samantha is still a Christian.

I am in awe of that amount of faith and I feel pleased that she ended up sticking with her faith, something she held so dear.

I read her blog because of my own issues with religion. My parents do not acknowledge the fact that I no longer believe in their Christian god, and don’t understand why I haven’t been in church since just before I was admitted to hospital for PTSD and the voices (who are quiet now, and they’d better stay that way). They know about the horrible brainwashing I went through with my friend B, when my ex tried to get us to believe we were angels. For me, his words succeeded in making me believe in this delusion, and he let it string on because he thought it was funny.

I tried not to lose my faith. I believed I had to keep believing in what he’d said because they were direct orders from GOD, duh, and not believing in them would make me a sinful Christian and a fallen angel.

Religion has been there all through my life, as a powerful and often misused force. I remember feeling horribly guilty for anything and everything I’d ever done through the week whilst saying confession in church. I must have only been about six then. I used to think that if I wasn’t thinking about God every single moment of the day, I was a bad Christian. I was consumed with guilt over pretty much everything, because I had read in the Bible the penalties for being sinful. Surely, as nobody was born without sin, that made me the worst sinner in the world?

Sexuality was a huge problem too. I used to feel red-hot guilty that I couldn’t decide whether I liked boys or girls more. Being bisexual is tough for the largest majority of the population to¬†understand, but for the Church, being who I was would land me in hell. I was damned.

I continually felt wrong and sinful and guilty. I thought I should be a missionary because being anything else would have been selfish and a sin to God. I spent a lot of my religious life feeling like a pariah or like God himself had chosen me for a special purpose.

Religion is damaging enough, but put that together with a mental health problem and it gets seriously damaging.

Why is it that when something good needs to happen, six bad things happen instead?!

Ok, Universe, this isn’t funny. J really wants to see me, so why is everything going wrong for him that possibly could be?!

It’s been one thing after the next for him. I hate being so far away because he’s stressed and has nothing to take his mind off what’s going on. I feel stupid and inadequate being so far away, and I can’t do anything to help at all. All I can do is listen, and it doesn’t feel good enough.

Maybe one day something good will come along, but right now all I’m seeing is one big fucking obstacle after another and all I want to do is HELP, and I can’t. I think this is partially due to stress on my part too, but I feel overloaded right now, and I just wish it was all back to how it was in America on holiday- simple, uncomplicated and fun. I had my little freakouts and they got managed with patience. J had a blast because he was relaxed and with all of us, and he’s a social creature by nature. He loves chilling out and spending time laughing with our family. He prefers the company of people like us, with his sense of humour and with similar tastes.

Right now we’re trapped miles away from each other with things happening that neither of us can control- stuff’s not working right for him, and for me?

Nightmares, insomnia, and a desperate wish to just see him and hold him and tell him it WILL be all right, because I will make it all right.

Right now, frustration is all I have. I just want him to be happy.

More nightmares: TW, I talk about rape.

Last night I had another nightmare.

I dreamt I was being forced to go along with what this guy was telling me to do. I was frozen, unable to tell him to back off and that it wasn’t welcome. He was degrading and humiliating and when he left, I was terrified that he would come back and start again, only this time with even worse intentions.

The other girl there with me didn’t understand why I was crying and why I was so frightened of the man. She was too used to his treatment of her and told me it was just how he was, that he didn’t mean any harm by how he was. In a way, she was as traumatised as I was, she just didn’t know it.

I think that girl was also me, still trying to make excuses for what he did. Still refusing to understand how bad it really was, and how much it will damage her when she finally understands what he did.

Part of me somewhere, I think, is still brainwashed and seeing all his petty sexual cruelties as kinky, or something he can’t help. That part is the bit I feel sorry for the most, because it’s the part that needs the most help.