just an update on that: i think the gallery is set up so people can leave comments and rate the images now. if you would like to submit an idea for consideration, please email it to me.
plus, there are new dates, with a little more time for people to get involved. at this point, we're taking submissions of ideas from now until Nov. 17, and then voting on the most popular ideas from Nov. 18-Dec. 3. if you'd like more time, please comment here, or at the gallery, and we'll probably be willing to accommodate you.
here is a link to the gallery.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
just an update on that: i think the gallery is set up so people can leave comments and rate the images now. if you would like to submit an idea for consideration, please email it to me.
Monday, October 29, 2007
my friend k. told me about this website yesterday. it is truly delightful. you go to the page, and get to test your vocabulary, and for every question you get right, the companies advertising on the site donate ten grains of rice to the united nations food fund (or something like that).
now, it's not that ten grains is a lot, because it isn't. i checked online, and there's something like 29,000 grains in a pound of long-grain rice. however, the game is a delightful way to build your vocabulary, and there are worse things to result from hours of playing online than having a few cups of rice (2,000 or so grains in a cup) donated to feed hungry people.
of course, k. will probably say i have an unfair advantage in this game, because several parts are participating at the same time, and between us, we've got a really broad vocabulary. on the other hand, it's not like singletons couldn't do the same thing; they'd just be more likely to remember why they know the meaning of the words!
it started a few weeks ago. i was feeling really stressed out, and kind of rummaging through some stuff on a table next to the couch. i pulled out a can of play-doh, and just started squeezing it and squishing it in my hands. it was soothing.
i played some more. it continued to be soothing. the play-doh started to get stiff and dry out. i bought more play-doh. i continued to squeeze and squish.
before long, i found myself reaching for the play-doh even when i wasn't feeling especially stressed out. i wanted to hold it when i was talking to someone, or just sitting and thinking.
i went to therapy, and realized i had forgotten to grab a can of play-doh. this couldn't work. i went and bought more play-doh, and asked my therapist to keep some of it in her office, so that it would be available even if i forgot to bring some with me.
but now i have to admit i have a problem. i went to a party the other night, and had to take out my play-doh halfway through. i have found that i can't go more than a few hours without playing with play-doh. i need to play with play-doh when i get up in the morning, and before i can fall asleep at night. in fact, the other night when i couldn't fall asleep, i had to get up and get the play-doh to squeeze as i was trying to relax.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Please spread the news around about this.
I posted to A Mind's Journey, asking whether there is a widely recognized symbol/ribbon for DID/MPD/dissociative awareness, and aside from the one website that sells ribbons for every possible issue, no one really knew of one. So people got excited, and started coming up with designs, both for a symbol and for a ribbon representing these issues.
But if we're coming up with something to represent these issues beyond just people on that bulletin board, we figured it would be a good idea to start spreading the word further out.
I suggested that we take people's submissions until Nov. 3 (people were calling for a vote on which symbol to use already, and I was trying to slow things down... I mean, I only posted the initial question five days ago!!). You can send them to my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post them on your own blog and let me know where they are. I am posting all of the submissions I've received thus far at this site.
Between Nov. 3 and Nov. 17, we'll vote on the submissions that have received the most comments.
I'm going to try to get up a ribbon template for the less artistically-inclined, so you can just color something in. Take a picture with your camera, or whatever. Preferably, give the pictures to me as .jpg files so they're easier for me to post.
So, yeah. Spread the news, and send in your ideas. I guess this is how things get decided. Someone asks a question, and people run with it.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
the great people at the bulletin board i go to (A Mind's Journey) responded very enthusiastically to my question about whether there is already a symbol to represent DID/MPD. i put up a gallery at my nascent website (because, you know, i don't have enough of a web presence as it is....). anyhow, here is the ongoing gallery of suggestions people have come up with. if you have an idea, email me or send me a link to your idea.
so far as i'm concerned, there can be as many different symbols as people like, but i think there are others (not in my system) who want there to just be a couple.
personally, i'm not loving the whole black-and-teal thing, but some website that sells "personalized awareness ribbon pins" has decided that teal is the color for dissociative disorders (along with SEVENTEEN other things), and so people seem very attached to that. i'd insist on just coming up with something new, but i'm not motivated enough to do that.
but some of the designs people have come up with are really striking and clearly represent dissociative disorders (at least to me). so i guess it's all good.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Also, woo-hoo! This is apparently my 100th post! (Possibly that includes ones I never got around to finishing and actually posting, but it's number 100 nevertheless.)
So, I've been wishing I had friends who were multiple (this being the best solution, I think, to us finding friends our own ages, since it is just too creepy for an apparent adult to be hanging out with actual kids, without also behaving as an adult).
And one of the things that I think might make that easier would be some kind of symbols that people with DID/MPD or other dissociative disorders could wear.
I haven't seen anything that seems to be broadly accepted, but it's something I'm thinking about. I mentioned it on a bulletin board I go to, and there does seem to be a lot of interest. I might post a few pictures of ideas I've had, or if someone else comes up with a really good one first, then I'll just post a link to where *theirs* is.
Friday, October 19, 2007
so Teller keeps saying she is going to tell if i don't, so i may as well admit it. i do believe there are monsters inside. i mean, yeah, they're really just metaphorical manifestations of, i don't know, internalized abusers or something. but the fact is, as we experience it inside, they are monsters.
not sure why it is supposed to help to admit it, but the kids inside insist that i should admit i believe in them. and i bet the adults do too, even though they are also embarrassed about it.
feels stupid to say that i believe in monsters. i mean, they're baby stuff, really.
so what are these monsters? the one that has been causing the most acute trouble lately is the shadow dragon. if you were to visualize it, i guess it would be like a dragon skeleton, with those black gauzy things draped around it. no way to really convey what it's like. it's insidious. sneaks into your thoughts, so you think that what it's saying is something you're thinking on your own. that's actually true of most of the monsters, and why it's so hard to fight them, because they're really insubstantial, and creep in through the least little crack
the shadow dragon is the one that makes you want to kill yourself. it makes you hopeless and tired and unable to keep going. and everyone in here that i can hear says it ate at least one of the parts, because she let down her guard and gave in to it. that's the part that's been causing so much trouble by coming into the safe place inside, because the kids are absolutely terrified that if they come out of hiding, then they will get eaten too.
but i guess that part inside is still alive, because she's been communicating. we're just not sure how she can get out of there. and no one wants the monsters inside of the safe place.
there are other monsters. some of them, we're getting better at fending off. like it turns out that the one that comes and shuts our mouths so we can't say things we're not supposed to, well if we resist hard enough, then we can usually break through. or if we try different ways of communicating, then we can get around it, and once we've communicated something in another way, it's harder for that monster to keep us from talking. that monster is like... not sure what it's like. it comes and smothers you almost, so it's hard to breathe or get words out. feels like you're choking.
then there are the ogres and goblins. they have different things they will punish you for. the ogres are huge, and some of them have claws, and they will throw you around, or push you into the ground, or pound on you relentlessly until you stop doing the thing they are in charge of keeping you from doing, like talking about things or thinking about things.... the goblins are little, and they just whisper away until you're really doubting and afraid, or worried, or guilty.
mostly we cope by blocking them out of our minds, shutting them away from the safe places. but they are in the thorny maze that surrounds the safe places, just waiting for someone to be a little careless when they're moving around. and then they grab you and try to follow you back in.
yeah. so i guess that's one of the things going on in here. not sure what to do about it. and it's hard to think of how this was supposed to help.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
i guess i have a hard time believing there ever were any adults in the first place. it just doesn't seem real. like maybe it's always been me? i don't know. been reading over old journals and stuff and there is really a lot of stuff i feel like i didn't write, but then i guess if someone inside this body wrote it it was technically me, so i guess i did write it.
thinking also about the whole thing with DID and how one of the symptoms is "Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness."
what does that mean? i guess i don't really fail to recall important personal information, like i can generally remember things like my phone number and legal name and ssn and date of birth and stuff. and if i make sure to let the body be in charge of things, instead of me, like do them automatically, i can do my legal signature.
and i have the story for my life, you know? i can say more or less where i lived, and who was likely to be in the house. i guess some things i don't remember, but either i was young or it was at a chaotic time.
how clear are memories supposed to be? am i supposed to remember things clearly if they happened 20 years ago? that seems like a long time to remember something. or even ten or five years ago.
but maybe it counts if i remember what happened, and can say it happened, without actually, you know, remembering it. i don't know if it's the same to "remember that" as to just plain old "remember." and maybe it's just that i have a bad memory? i just don't know. i don't like to think about this too much because then it starts to feel like my life just keeps slipping out of my mind, and that gets a little scary.
i really wish the adults would come back. i will pretend to be them while people are mad, if they will promise to come back really soon. i hope i didn't just imagine them and then forget how to keep imagining them.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
yesterday my therapist called to let me know that under New York's new mental health parity law, DID counts as a "biologically-based mental illness," which means my health insurance plan is required to cover unlimited sessions. so that's good. it's very good. it means that i don't have to worry about paying for therapy, no matter how much i need (since under the new law, our co-pay went down to zero, since that's the co-pay for "regular" medical things with our insurance).
here's what i'm worried about:
i'm really worried that the adults are never going to come back. i mean, if they ever did exist, which probably they did... but maybe they are just totally gone? i don't know. i never really had a good way of getting in touch with them.
also, i'm worried that they will decide they're not coming back at all because now people are mad at them for going away in the first place. i mean, outside people. and they never really dealt with people being mad at them anyhow. they just left one of us (well, i feel like they always left dealing with people being mad to me, but that might just be my perception). so if they come back and then people are mad at them, then they will just go away again.
i don't know what to do. i mean, i just can't think of a solution. i don't know how to find them if they even exist. and they don't have names, which just makes things harder. i guess cleo does, but she's not really great for anyone inside anyhow, since her whole thing is making it look like everything is ok, you know?
and why would they come back anyways? what good would it do? they only ever really took care of outside people anyways, so it's not like they'd do much for the younger ones inside. i mean, sure, they did get stuff for us and things like that, but mostly that's because they liked to believe they were all perfect or something and we were the ones with all the problems. like they don't have anything wrong with them except they're stuck with these annoying parts inside who are just making their lives miserable or something, and if we'd just go away, then everything would be fine or something.
i don't know. it feels like that.
i mean, what do they do for us? they pretend we're not here, or they ignore us when we do come out. they certainly don't help me to deal with things like the suicidal part or the upset parts or the panicky parts or anything like that. they don't even take the stupid memories.
it used to be that if someone outside the body needed them, then they'd show up and help that person, and sometimes one of us inside could get some benefit from it. but they're not even doing that any more. nothing. they don't do anything.
okay, i guess that isn't 100% fair, since i do think the mama has the baby and maybe one of the other really young littles with her. i know i haven't noticed them around and they're not in any of the hiding places anyone knows about. but it's not like we can contact them, either. and what are we going to do, have them get stuck with the rest of us, and all of the adults still be away?
i mean, i don't know. k. said it was like they had gone on vacation and left a teenager to deal with everything. maybe it's not a vacation. maybe they're taking care of something important. i doubt it. but i don't know what they are doing. and i'm scared that maybe they have integrated, and this is as much as i'm ever going to get of the adult parts. and i don't know how to grow up. maybe i will grow up though, and then i'll be able to deal with stuff? i guess it won't take too long, since i'm fifteen, and that means it would just be a few more years.
but i thought integration meant that you got all the abilities of the parts who integrated. also, that would mean i'm the host, and i'm pretty sure i wasn't around until the body was fourteen or so. or maybe i am the host. i've been the only one out for a while now.
i really don't like this. i am so scared the adults are never going to come back, and then w. will get really tired of being stuck with a partner who doesn't have any adult parts and she won't want to keep doing that, and then... i don't know. i guess i'll have to just cope on my own. that's really scary.
maybe i'm not really a teenager? maybe i'm an adult part and i just don't know it?
i hate everything being so confusing.
Monday, October 15, 2007
so, w. and i were talking last night. i've been having a hard time lately. some of it is that a very suicidal part has been close to the surface, and has been in the "magic house" for a while, which has made all the little kids go into hiding, and who knows where the adults have been.
but also, i've been really triggered. i realized last night that some of the being triggered was about my own stuff, and not just the proximity of the suicidal part. because i do get really triggered from being in the position of being someone's partner. and last night, the stuff really came up for me. don't feel like going into the details right now, but i was even crying about it, and i don't usually cry.
i was finally able (i think) to explain to w. that it's not even really about sex. it's about being in a relationship. and she suggested that we try something to help build a little more clarity in our relationship. that thing is, i'll start sleeping in my own room more of the time (i think mostly when the part who is out is not an adult part, but i don't really want to make that choice for the others).
on the one hand, i felt really guilty about that. because, yeah, it feels selfish to say that i shouldn't have to be in the role of an adult in this relationship (individual i, not collective i). and it's a little scary to think i have that right, because of all the things that brings up.... but i also felt guilty because it was just such a RELIEF to decide that. so today went way better than my days have been going lately. i was productive and everything. didn't spend much time sitting playing games online just trying to make it through the day.
okay, so there's all of that. but i was also thinking about how maybe i add to some of the confusion others (especially w) have about whether i should be treated as a teenager or as an adult.
because, here's the thing. in a lot of ways, i really resent the adult responsibilities. it's triggering and overwhelming and all of that. but on the other hand, there are a lot of adult privileges i really don't want to give up.
i mean, what teenager has pretty much total control over the household budget? part of why i am in charge of the bills is that it helps me to not worry so much about whether or not we can pay the bills; part of it is that w. gets really upset and anxious when she has to try to deal with things like bills, so it's less stressful for me (collective me) to do it. but part of the reason i haven't encouraged her to take charge of the bills is that then i wouldn't get to just decide how the money gets spent. i'd have to check with her or have an allowance or something, and that would be a real pain. i mean, it's not like i spend money inappropriately, exactly, it's just that the only limit on my spending is whether or not we have the money. kind of cool, so far as i'm concerned. but me being in charge of the household budget is probably one of those things that contributes to it being really unclear that i'm not a real adult.
another one is smoking. i mean, my body is fully adult, so my legal id shows that i am old enough to get cigarettes (and alcohol for that matter). and there are a lot of reasons i smoke, so it's a hard thing to just say, "oh, i'm going to quit because it's bad for me." especially because the reason i started smoking was as a form of self-harm. there are now more reasons i keep doing it, but the starting reason is still there. so health arguments don't really help.
or there's driving the car. i am the main one who drives (w. is still a nervous and reluctant driver). and even though we'd had a rule for a while that no one under 16 was allowed to drive the car, it really eroded over the summer, and hasn't been back in place. it's another hard one to deal with, since among other things, the car has to be moved every week for alternate side parking (where one side of the street or the other becomes a no parking zone for a couple hours in the middle of the day so they can clean the streets). but there's also the fact that i really like the freedom of just getting in the car and going somewhere when i feel like it.
or lots of other stuff. but i'm starting to wonder whether it's really a good idea for me to have all of the freedoms of being an adult, since maybe it would be better for me to have neither the freedoms nor the responsibilities. i just don't know.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
this is a stupid one, i guess, but it keeps coming up.
i wish i had friends my own age. i guess it would be ok to have friends my body's age instead, at least kind of, but i really wish i had friends my own age.
it's even harder, because once i stupidly allowed myself to think that out loud, the little kids caught on, and most of THEM want friends their own ages, too.
and there's just no practical way to do it. i mean, can't go out with this adult body and act like a kid with people our actual ages. because that would be creepy. and i don't know what else to do.
i think things would be better if there were someone irl who i could hang out with and do things with. plus, then i'd have somewhere to go when i needed to go out of the house, so i wouldn't be wandering around aimlessly.
i know i have friends. i just don't have any friends my age, and sometimes that sucks.
and the kids are still upset that even if they do get to have their birthday party one of these days, it will only be with grown ups.
i suppose it would be easier if this system had a host who was all embarrassed about having younger parts. then we'd kind of get to accept that we can't be out, ever, or something. but this system, so far as anyone can tell, doesn't HAVE a host. so that's not happening. and even if it did, i think the adults have built their identities around being okay with "kid stuff" on its own merits. but even so, i haven't figured out a way that we could have friends our own ages irl. sigh.
sorry not to be using capitals. just not feeling like bothering today.
this is ellis. it's been pretty much all ellis, all the time, for what feels like forever. i'm pretty sure it's been at least a month now, probably more.
not feeling really equipped to be an adult, either. i'm scared i don't have a choice. i'm scared the adults are never going to come back. maybe i'd wind up growing up, but i don't know. hard to say.
my therapist says that she knows the adults are still in there somewhere. but i think she's going with what she's supposed to say, because she also thinks that when they come back and there's more cooperation, the adults are going to help to provide the structure i need.
right. not so much. they've never done it before.
i'm really angry at them. i mean, what business do they have, leaving me in charge of everything? like i'm supposed to know how to take care of the little kids, or cope with outside life, or anything?
but i also feel guilty, because i'm usually the one who copes, and gets things done, and somehow, i can't figure out how to do it any more.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Okay, so I drove in the car to go get them. But they are back, which must mean that life is supposed to be settling back down into the pre-summer routine.
I was surprised that our crotchety older cat actually didn't yowl at all on the ride home. And the younger one just objected to being in the cat carrier, or else wanted to discuss everything about the ride with me (she would mew and wait until I mewed in response before mewing again).
There's more I should be writing about, but, well, I'm not right now. Maybe later.