Thursday, November 20, 2008

best case scenario if i stay alive is maybe i will be in a *little* less pain in a few months, and maybe i will be in a lot less pain in a few years. if im lucky. and i might wind up being in this much pain over and over again the whole time im alive. there are no guarantees that i will feel better for a significant amount of time. and the only way to get to a point of being in less pain is to go through a lot more pain.

if i die, theres a good chance i will stop being in pain right away. sure maybe it wont work that way but odds are better that i could stop being in pain and it wouldnt come back.

if im dead i dont have to ride the subway any more.
if im dead i dont have to be in crowds.
if im dead i dont have to cope with moving.
if im dead i dont have to cope with anything any more.
i wouldnt have to deal with my family or relationships.
i wouldnt have to deal with money.
i wouldnt have to deal with packing.
i wouldnt have to deal with finding an apartment or living somewhere i dont like.
if im dead no one will expect me to cope with anything. while im alive people will keep on expecting me to deal with things i cant cope with.

i really wish i were dead because thats the only one where the odds are good that i could stop hurting really soon and stop having to cope with things i cant cope with.

plus if i die before w finds a new apartment she can get one that is cheaper and not have to worry about what i want, she can just find something that meets her needs. i think that would be a lot better because then she wouldnt get stuck paying too much in rent or living in a neighborhood that isnt as convenient for her just because i need it. and she wont move based on only her own needs as long as im still alive. if i werent around she could even just look for roommates instead of a whole apartment and that might be easier.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

theres no point to even trying. things just get worse and worse and i dont feel any better. if theres no hope of feeling better any time soon then i really cant figure out how to keep trying. and there really isnt. gradual isnt soon enough. i hurt too much to even contemplate trying to commit to sticking around until the end of the month but im supposed to feel better at the thought that maybe if im lucky and i get to be pretty much the only one who goes to therapy for a while even though there are other parts who are also having trouble... even if i do get to be the main one in therapy then maybe in a few months ill feel a tiny bit better and in a few years ill make it to low average in terms of how i feel? i cant do this. i really cant.

and there isnt even anyone i can call for help or support because i need to respect that w isnt equipped to deal with this and my therapist isnt available again until thursday and she already spent time on the phone with me in addition to our regular session. and that would be the sum total of people i could call for help so im on my own with this and i really cant cope. i just cant. i really cant. i cant handle the thought of one more hour of feeling like this and theres nothing i can do.

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any time i start to even think about having hope that things will get better, i get some bad news that shows me that even thinking that things might get better only sets me up to feel even worse. my therapist said that feeling better would be "gradual" and that it would be a long time before i would feel better. i cant wait that long. i dont think i can cope with even a few more days and shes talking months or years before i feel better. i cant do that.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

everything sucks

and it looks like not only will i have to move out of my apartment but we'll have to pay more money for a place that totally sucks *and* i will get stuck with a much harder and longer commute to and from therapy. great. it takes me half an hour or longer to get myself on each train because of anxiety. now i'm going to have to be doing this at least twice in order to get to therapy and twice to get home. plus it will be a rotten transfer. great. just great. or i suppose i could drive, except if we move to the bronx that means paying $4.50 each way for the bridge tolls. oh yeah. and also it means that i would be driving at a time when i know i'm switching all over the place.

so great. we're gonna have half the space for several hundred bucks more a month, and my days are going to suck that much more. i will have that much more anxiety and that much more frustration. and since it's a rare thing for any elevators or escalators to consistently work with the stupid mta, i'm also going to be wasting a ton of energy climbing up and down stairs in the subways.

i hate this. i don't know why i'm even bothering to stick around for the move. if i were gone before then, at least w could get a one bedroom or studio apartment and she could save a ton of money and probably stay in a neighborhood she likes better. but no, she says i have to stay til after the move, which is just her way of manipulating me into not going anywhere at all and its not like it matters because she is acting like if i just wait a little bit thigns will be better except that i have waited for fourteen years of really wanting to kill myself and four or five years before that of thinking things would be better when i got to college and its not like i havent been trying or going to therapy or stuff. i have spent at least two different years trying all kinds of meds none of which helped and most of which added on weird anxiety things or lightheadedness or something like that on top of the depression. so yeah im gonna try meds which have yet to work for me. or im gonna sit around hoping that maybe tomorrow i will feel better but i never feel better all that happens is a different part comes out.

i dont see why i have to wait until after the move when it makes way more sense to just go away before the move. its not like the move is what made me suicidal. its that it was the last straw. i was already at the end of my rope and then half a dozen things got added on but im supposed to just keep coping and im supposed to be the one who thinks of how to get better.

well you know what? i dont want to get better. if someone wants me to get better then they can figure it out. i am done with trying. i quit. i just quit. i can not do this any more.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

not fair

its not fair. i am really depressed i think i am always depressed i dont have any memory of not being really depressed and sad anyway. and there are parts who are trying to get out and i WANT them to get out so they can take over. but even if they get out for a little even if they arent doing something that might be overwhelming still i keep winding up back out. i dont WANT to be out. i am depressed and just want to be dead and there isnt really anything anyone can do to help that and i dont know how to get better. maybe in therapy on tuesday but i really dont need to be out til then but instead i keep winding up being out without wanting to.

if the other parts want to be out and they arent doing anything that upsets me and they want to be here and i dont i just dont understand why i am stuck being out which doesnt make anyone happy with how things are.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

argh

therapist called and left a message saying she won't be in tomorrow. this is upsetting a number of parts.

and i'm upset for what is kind of a silly reason. why am i upset? not because she won't be there, but because collective-i have gotten to a point where it MATTERS that she won't be there. we used to be better at this stuff, didn't get upset. it didn't matter whether our therapist was at a session. so long as they were reasonable about notice, we didn't really care. that was better. then we didn't depend on the t. it was just a casual relationship, could take it or leave it.

but now it's upsetting if we don't have the appointment. how is that a good thing? it would be better if we didn't miss her when she's gone. it would be better to not rely on people, because then it wouldn't be upsetting if they aren't available.

like, with my family... well, ok, i guess that is upsetting. but i didn't used to feel that. not like with my emotions or anything. i mean i would get a little upset, but mostly i could tell myself it didn't matter, that i would just take whatever i got, anything i got was a bonus, don't expect anything. mostly, i'm still like that.

but now, with both w and therapist, i get upset if they aren't available when i need them, or when i'm used to seeing them. and this doesn't seem like a good thing for anyone. i have to deal with the stress, and spend all of this energy calming myself down, and then they have to deal with me being upset. it would be easier for everyone if i didn't care and i didn't count on them. i can't see how this is healing, if what it means is i get upset when people aren't there.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

exhausted

or, as the little kids say "i am EZOSTED!"

partly, it's fibro (and boy, do i resent having my fibro still flaring up in the fall! usually, i get a couple of months of better physical stamina! i WANT that. i NEED that!)

but more of it is that this was an exhausting weekend for me. yesterday was thoroughly aggravating until about 5:20. we were having a meeting of dinner collective--our first since we started a group on meetup.com, so i was anxious to get to the meeting place on time. but the chickens i was roasting turned out to still be frozen, which set me back by about an hour and a half (ever tried to rapid-thaw chickens, and then pry out the giblet packages from half-frozen chickens? not an easy task!)

and at the same time, our internet wasn't working (which turned out to be a router problem, and i need to figure out how to deal with that, since it's still happening sporadically.) so i was trying to fix that, thaw the chickens, get dinner made, keep the kitchen from becoming a *total* disaster, and not getting any down time.

dinner collective went well, although only one new person showed up. but we now have several meals in the fridge for next week, and that is a really good thing.

today was more emotionally exhausting. trying to deal with idiocy on our landlord's part, and doing some tiring processing with w (good, useful, not tense, but tiring never the less.)

last week was also very social, which can be difficult for me, so it's just been a while since i had down time, and there isn't a whole ton of down time coming up, either.

but that wasn't really why i started this post, now that i think of it. what i was *going* to write about is how i sometimes feel like i'm making things up.

case in point: tonight, the ones doing the majority of the processing with w were adults. those who have been reading for a while might be aware that the adult parts haven't been around a lot for the past year and more (not since the end of summer, 2007). they've been coming around more often for the past few months, but still not that often. one thing i, ellis, have noticed is that a lot of times in the past when w. and i both assumed it was adults, it was actually me. i have always operated as a kind of quasi-adult, so that makes sense. at least to me.

but the adults also tend not to announce their presence a lot of the time, at least, not if they aren't doing something specifically "adult." and i get that it can be uncomfortable to say "oh, right, this is who i am" to someone who has known you for a long time, and who you're used to just being "you" with. and the bulk of the time the adults were around, they were kind of the default, you know? i/we were with w for 4 1/2 years before DID was something we'd considered. and then the adults were only around routinely for about the first year post-diagnosis, and then it's been more than a year of us younger ones being the ones who are mostly out.

right. so the point. i went to check in with w before bed, and mentioned that it had been adults. i KNOW it was adults for the bulk of that discussion. it had happened a couple of minutes previously, and i'd gone into my room, and out for a cigarette, and then came back. and it seemed like a good idea to say, "hey, this is one of those times you got adult time." but it felt like i was making things up. not because of w's response, but because i had to say something. it's hard, because neither w nor i is always good, even now, at checking to see who is out. and it's hard, because there's a level where it feels like "if she can't see it herself, then i must just be pretending when i say what's happening."

not sure where i was going with this, but there it is. just some thoughts.

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we got this award from Battle Weary. i think it's our first award!

i don't know who else already has this award, or whether they read this site anyways, but i'll pass it on to Michelle, Tempy, and HeidiVillage.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gaems!!!

We maed a page of GAEMS to play!!! they are diffrent gaems we liek or maby think a diffrent persun will liek. you can try them. we did not maek the gaems we just put them on the page ok.

by from MANDY!!!!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

iGoogle

We have found out something very neat. What we found out is you can make different TABS on your iGoogle page and then every tab can have different stuff on it and a different theme. This is super cool cause it means that we can make a home page for us that is different but it's the same page.

Like we just made a page for me and Jewel and Rain and maybe Amanda if she is not to grown up today. It has fairy games and coloring and stuff like that. But also there is a page for the grown ups with things like calendars and to do lists.

There is very cool stuff to put on your iGoogle page. You can have games or organizing stuff. And you can make a tab for every part if you want and then that person can just click on their tab and they have all of their things right there. And they can look at a page that is just for them.

The best thing is it is free!! You do not have to pay even a little bit, and you can put neat stuff on there. And also because it is online that means if you are on someone else's computer then you can have your page, and then it will go away when you are not on their computer because you will not stay signed in on Google.

All you have to do is have a Google email or something then you sign in and then you make a page for every person!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

united states of tara



i just watched the trailer for the united states of tara. it's a program that will be on showtime at the beginning of next year. it's about a woman who is multiple, and how she and her family are coping with it.

i know the program has upset a lot of multiples. i've read people who are offended at the very idea of it being a comedy, and i suspect that no matter how well it's handled, it's not going to be ok with some people. well, i *know* that's true. there's no way to please everyone.

but they did please me. i appreciate the way that it seemed like they addressed the range of her personalities, and how that could cause discomfort with her family. i also liked the husband's interactions--it really seemed as though he'd built up relationships with at least the parts featured on the trailer, which is a nice message to be putting out there. the notion that it's ok for a partner of a multiple to interact with different parts.

probably my response has a lot to do with my own experiences. i know that my partner is uncomfortable with thinking about having a sexual relationship with the parts who aren't adults, or who aren't the parts who started the relationship with her (although, looking back, a *lot* of us started that relationship. it was a team effort, so to speak.)

and i'm comfortable with the idea that sometimes, coping with DID is just plain funny. when i'm with my friends who know that i'm multiple, we do joke about it. we aren't making light of the trauma, or the parts that are hard. we're making light of the fact that, for instance, i can go from having a serious political discussion to being all excited about seeing a lady garbageman back to the political discussion, then on to something entirely different. or we laugh about... just the humor of the situation. and the trailer for this show didn't make me feel like they were making fun of multiples, it made me feel like they were laughing at the way that it's funny, and also being conscious of the fact that it *isn't* always funny.

maybe when someone more coherent is around (or at least when i'm not in the middle of revolving door world!) i'll post something more about this topic. but for now, i feel like it's gonna be nice to get to watch the program, and see how things develop.

the only down side is, will people think i'm making up my multiplicity because i saw it on showtime?

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

links to blogs and sites

Mostly because I wanted it for my website, and so that I can keep all of the various linking I do in one spot, I want to mention my page linking to blogs and websites connected to DID/MPD and trauma/abuse survivors. (Here's the link)

The page is focused on personal sites and blogs, rather than the professional ones. Eventually, I'll also get up pages with links to support forums and to professional sites.

Check it out, and if you know of a blog or site I should include, or you find your blog or site there and wish it weren't, please let me know, ok?
:D

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Friday, October 17, 2008

self-help/support groups

i'm looking for opinions! please comment on this post, or send me an email, or something like that, if you have a response, ok?

i'm thinking about starting a self-help group for people with DID/MPD in my area. right now, it's still in the planning stage (like, because i know it would be a bad idea for me to try to do this without having at least one other person helping, and it takes time to find someone who would be interested!)

but i was wondering--if you could have a support group that did just what you wanted it to do, what would that look like? if you're in a support group now or have been in the past, what are the things you like and dislike about it?

note: in this case, i'm talking about a self-help group, and not something therapist led. because i think that in many ways, the best people to help me cope with being multiple are other people who are also coping with being multiple!

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

thinking

i'm up late tonight for several reasons. the reason i'm *still* up is that we went grocery shopping last friday and didn't wind up cooking some chickens that were on sale really cheap (like 49 cents a pound cheap!) and rather than risk them going bad, w and i decided it made the most sense to go ahead and cook them tonight. and since i don't have to get up as early as she does, i'm the one doing the cooking.

we got home late, which caused the whole chicken discussion to happen at 10:30, because of our flaky couples' therapist, who rescheduled our appointment from 6 to 7. that alone wouldn't have gotten us home late, except that i was having serious panic and couldn't get onto the train. we tried... waited for at least three trains, and i just couldn't manage it. so w eventually suggested that we take a cab instead. on the one hand, this was a good idea. if i'm panicking to the point of being suicidal over getting on the train it really doesn't make sense to get on the train. on the other hand...

i feel really ashamed of the fact that i get suicidal over things like being in crowds. i mean, there isn't a good reason for it. i'm not actually in danger. i feel like i should just make myself cope. i feel like i should be *able* to cope. and i can't. there are things i can do. i pop rescue remedy like it's going out of style. i listen to music, i read, i do things to do healthy dissociation so that i'm able to get past the panic and get onto the train. i do a lot of positive self-talk: i remind myself that the train is safe, that it's ok for people to be on the same section as me, that it's not dangerous to have people stand near me. that i won't get hurt just because someone is standing in the same section where i am waiting. that it's not an aggressive thing for them to be doing. that they probably aren't even noticing me.

but really. normal people don't have to feel proud of themselves just because they managed to get onto the train. normal people don't freak out when someone else starts walking on the same sidewalk where they are walking. and i *know* that i used to manage all of that all right. but then i remember the times when i couldn't, like the times i wound up freaking out on planes because i didn't have a window seat, or all of the little things i've done for years to reduce anxiety.

see, the downside of dissociating less is that when i start to feel panic, i actually feel it. over the years, i've gotten less good at automatic dissociation.

and it's frustrating. i know that when i was growing up, i dealt with all kinds of things that were objectively way more stressful. and they didn't send me into suicidal... not exactly depression. it's panic to the point where death seems like a way better option, where it feels like there's absolutely no other way out.

someone inside had a good analogy for it, how i tip over so easily into feeling suicidal. it's like there's a cup, where things that need to be coped with are drops or splashes of water, and when the cup overflows, suicidal feelings spill out. for me, the cup is really small. on a good day, i can cope with whatever comes. but if the cup is getting filled up with things, even something pretty minor will make it overflow.

the good thing is, therapy over the past couple of years has gotten me to a point where the suicidal feelings don't last as long. it used to take longer for me to tip over into "suicidal," but then it would last for months. now, it doesn't take much at all, but it's over in hours or days. i suppose that's a good thing.

i just wish i could get to a point where i didn't tip over into suicidal at all.

and i guess another good thing is this is one more thing for me to think about at the times when i feel guilty for applying for social security: normal people, people who are coping well, don't actually have to struggle against suicidal feelings just to get onto the train, or to drive down the street.

it's not weakness, laziness, or any of that that is making me not be able to do the things i need to get done. if i could stop these feelings, i really *would* stop them. but i can't do it on willpower. and i don't need to be ashamed for my failure to stifle the feelings that make it so hard for me to do daily tasks.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interesting thing

i just saw a bus getting pulled by a tow truck. i bet it takes a very strong truck to pull a BUS!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

At a farm

We went to a farm today and we picked pumpkins i got a copel of pumpkins that were still atachde to the vine it was fun. Also we got lots of appels they are so delishes it was fun.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

long time, no post

it's been a while since i posted. i guess the thing is, there are parts who really don't want any journaling to happen. of any kind. some of that is because they are afraid someone will find out, and that then i'll get hurt (they will get hurt? we will get hurt?) they are afraid someone will find out i thought i was multiple and then i will get punished. it's hard to believe that that won't happen. i don't know who is writing this because i feel like i am just supposed to believe there is only one person inside of me but i kind of know that isn't true but at the same time i don't. i don't know if that makes any sense at all.

someone is fuming inside because they feel like i'm (they?) are just right back where they were at the beginning of all of this, like, 2 years of therapy specifically for did, and there are still parts of me that don't believe there is more than one person here? and i'm not any closer to being cured or anything? i don't know.

but there has been a lot of resistance to writing. we are testing it out right now to see how it will go. it's scary.

i'm wondering, do people who didn't go through abuse, but then they think they did, do they get a choking feeling like someone is going to punish them for talking? one of the little kids is saying, no, it's not a choking feeling, it's when they put a pillow on your face cause that will make you feel like you can't breathe but then they take it off and you can breathe again but if you tell someone, then they can do that for a longer time and no one will believe you, because nothing will show.

if a family is not abusive, then they probably don't show you all the different ways they can hurt you that won't leave marks, right?

i feel really nervous about talking about how i was abused not even saying anything specific i guess just that i was abused, because it's like something really really bad will happen just from letting myself think that. but i am testing it out.


my therapist says that people who didn't get abused don't usually have flashbacks or images that come into their minds all the time she says i'm definitely not schizophrenic and i looked at the diagnosis stuff for that and i think she is right because i don't have the things that would explain voices that way the voices in my head are not like the ones with schizophrenia.

i guess the things i am going through say that something bad happened to me. w and my therapist and my friends don't think i could fake all the time like this, they think the only way i could be so consistent from part to part, even when i am not quite sure which part is there and stuff, like the only way i could fake exactly the same handwriting for every part, or the same voice, or the same favorite things, is if the parts are real.

but i feel like i will get in trouble if i say that there is more than one person in here, or stuff like that. i know people say i won't get in trouble but i remember people saying i could tell them things, and then they went back to my family and that was not a good scene. you just can't know for sure if you can trust people.

someone is saying it's different now but how do i know for sure? like, what if they are just saying that, and they are secretly with other people, and they will tell them i told, and then i will get hurt? or what if they just aren't careful, and then something slips on accident?

mostly i want to believe it is safe now but that is just kind of something i have wanted to believe for a long time, and usually it didn't work out and i don't know for sure how to know whether it really is safe or whether i am just tricking myself into THINKING it's safe.

like, i thought things would get better in college, and then everything kind of fell apart. but i guess that was just stuff inside my head, and not someone outside of me hurting me. i guess it's true that since i went to college, no one outside of me has really hurt me again. that's 16 years... i guess that's a pretty long time. i don't know. i'm not sure it's a good idea to decide i'm safe.

i guess that's all i will write now. maybe someone else will write later.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

i know there are parts who think i am ruining their life. well, i don't care. i am tired of hiding and letting them pretend that everything is ok because it isn't and it never has been. i am tired of letting them pretend to be all good and perfect like they are doing all the right things to get better and letting them try to trick me into being good and going along with things and pretending that i am ok and all i need to do is talk to a stupid therapist or write in a journal and then everything will be fine.

they don't know what they are talking about. talking about the stuff that is on my mind isn't going to make me feel better it is only going to make me feel worse. i am tired of pretending that a bunch of stupid talking is going to make me feel better because it won't. and i'm not going to act like i can trust people or let any part of me trust people because we will just get hurt and i am tired of getting hurt. people just ditch me when they get bored or when they aren't in the mood to be around me any more and i am just supposed to act like thats ok.

or else they will do stuff when you least expect it and then you will think you are safe and all of a sudden the things are happening again.

i know that once people see how i really am then they won't want to be around me and they won't even bother to pretend to like me. i don't care what they say about how things are different because they are not different it is still just like it was back then and i cant stand it when people expect me to do different things just because they say things are different now because they are not different.

and too bad to the parts who think i ruined their life i will keep on coming out and i will stop hiding and i wont even let them stop me from writing in this blog because i have the password too and when i can think of other things to do then probably i will do those but i dont know for sure what i will do because because i just dont know for sure what i will do because i guess i am too weak to do anything really bad because i dont want to get people too upset but at least i can take myself away but even that probably i am too weak to do i dont know what i can do but i will do something as soon as i can think of what. or at least maybe i can make myself be strong so that i can do something bad but every time i think of doing something really bad then i get a sick feeling and i cant make myself do it i dont know how i used to do really bad things without getting sick to my stomach at least i dont remember doing those things but people said i did and i dont know how i used to do it without getting so sick that i couldnt make myself do it probably i used to be stronger or something.

mostly the only thing i can really do is just hide somewhere even if someone is looking at my body i can still hide if i want to and they will just get a rock nothing else because i can just turn my feeling parts into a rock and then they cant touch me any more i dont care what people want to do they cant hurt me i will just sit there and they can do anything they want and i wont care or i will just go to a far away place where i cant feel what is happening i bet that is what rocks do when they are in a volcano or something they just think themselves far away and then it doesnt hurt to get melted and crushed and stuff.

i dont care if people inside think i am ruining their life they had their chance for their perfect life and they couldnt handle it so now i am here and if that messes up their stupid plans and keeps them from doing the things they want too bad.

they messed up my plans because every time i was going to go somewhere else they kept on making me stay and i could never get away except for a week or two and they wouldnt even let me go somewhere just by myself it was always something with permission so then they could keep on looking perfect and then they could fool people into thinking they were all smart and good or some garbage like that well they cant do that any more because i will not hide any more and now that people can see me they will know what i am really like and i dont care whether the other parts like it or not they can just put up with it because its supposed to be my body and my life too and i never get a say and i am tired of being perfect.

people keep telling me there isnt consensus about stuff like leaving or dying or stuff like that. well, there isnt consensus about acting all perfect and like everything is ok either so i wont do that and they arent allowed to do it either because its my body and my life too and if they dont want to listen or have me around then too bad.

and the parts who keep wishing i would just go away and be quiet, well too bad. lucky for you i am too weak to figure out how to do something really bad just because i dont like to see someone get hurt or an animal or something. it doesnt mean im not going to figure out something i can do.

probably i can make everyone get really tired of me being around all the time and then they wont like anyone who lives in this body any more and then they wont get upset when i just go and leave somewhere and then i can finally leave and people wont try to make me come back because usually when i go even when the other parts were acting all nice once i go away people dont really care and this time i will just kind of stop talking to anyone and probably they wont notice once ive been away for a while.

those other parts can just keep on wishing i werent around or that i would disappear or they can try to get me locked up so they dont have to deal with me.

they all say that i can make my own choices when they can trust me but that is a huge lie because all that means is i can make my own choices when my choices are the same ones they would make and that isnt the same as having choices its just going along with someone elses plans and i am tired of doing that because it isnt my plans.

so i am going to be out as much as i possibly can and then they will see what their life is like when who they truly are is out where people can see it and then people will know what im really like and they will get tired of me and they will stop wanting to be around me and probably they will think im really horrible.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foke festivel

I wuld liek to riet about going to a foke festivel. We went to a foke festivel last week. It was fun espeshully caues the pepul at the foke festivel were super nise they did not tees a persun if they were diffrent insted they were nise.

Also ther is lots of music at a foke festivel we saw soem music we liekd and also soem music we did not all liek but it was ok caues we only had to pay a littel of money to go and it was fun mostly.

But then the foke festivel got too ECKSITING. that is caues of the wether. the wether was STORMS. it was a storm of LITNENG and THUNDER and HAIL!!! that was TOO ecksiting caues then things like TENTS fell down not just littel tents but also BIG tents liek where lots of pepul were going to eat. also ther was all most a FLOOD caues of the rain. that is how ecksiting it was.

I liek a foke festivel mostly. i liek the music. also i saw soem shooting STARS and thos are my favrit. they are so cool! i liek to see thos and then i make a WISH on them liek in the song about you maek a wish on a star that is wat i do.

I gess that is all for riet now. ther was soemthing els i wanted to riet about but i do not remember that is ok. maby i will get to riet later ok.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

we enjoyed this video

lots of parts have other things to post, but for right now, i'll share this video, which i think pretty much all of us liked.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Test video

Not sure if this will work but it's worth a try. i'm enjoying the music at this festival. Some of the other parts are DONE with being away from home. one good thing is that we can see the main stage from our camp site. So i can enjoy the music even if other parts are cranky and want to hide. or even if the people i'm with are asleep and the littles don't want to go somewhere by themselves or with strangers.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Simple syrup?

I think that perhaps making simple syrup is not so simple on a day when i am switching every few minutes!

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Disability

Filling out the application for disability. Question for those who have done this: how much did you mention other parts and switching?

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Friday, July 18, 2008

The zoo!!!!!



O boy! i had SUCH an ecksiting day to day!!! i got to go to the ZOO with some FRINDS. they are pepul from my group for pepul liek me, also they have other pepul insied of them.

We had fun!!!! we got to see lots of animuls. it was not a super big zoo just a littel one that was good caues it was HOT to day and i think i wuld have got to TIRED at the big zoo but maby one tiem we can go to the big zoo to gether i did go to the big zoo one tiem with one of the pepul and maby we can go again i have a zoo member that is how i can get in for FREE and also one other persun plus w she can go for free to!!!!

Today we saw neat animuls. There were PINGWINS i liek them and puffins and also poller bears. ther is a pickchur of the poller bears at the top i used my phone to make that pickchur so it is not super good but i can go a nother tiem and probly ellis or soemone will take more pickchurs.

We had SO much fun. i liek thos pepul we went to the zoo with i hoep they liek me to. probly they do they are nise pepul.

I liek to have a zoo member caues then i can go to the zoo when i want but only i liek to go if i have a frind to go with me caues then it is more fun. also i can go to the kwariem. i went to the kwariem a littel bit ago again with w we saw thos animuls again liek the walres and the the fish and stuff. also the sea lien show at the kwariem is more intresting than the one at the zoo.

I hoep i can go to the big zoo soemtiem also with thos pepul i saw to day caues i liek to go with them they are fun to go with and they are not so gron up as w all the tiem. w is very nise but she only is a gron up and it is fun when i go with a persun who is also littel insied.

W caem back from her thing she was away at for ONE HOLE WEEK!!! i missed her mostly befor i did not miss a persun i just did not mind so much but this tiem i missed w super much and now she is hoem. she was still gone this morning so that is why she did not go with us to the zoo but next time probly she WILL go.

bye.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the DID/MPD workbook

i set up a forum for creating a workbook for coping with DID/MPD and other dissociative disorders. i'm a pretty good researcher, and have yet to find something like this, either on paper or online; at least, i haven't seen anything like that in print or online.

so i figure, if all of the other mental disorders get to have workbooks, why shouldn't we have one as well?

but i'm not particularly much of an expert in coping, so i'm asking anyone who is interested if they would like to help as well.

i'm not expecting people to be experts or therapists or anything like that. it's more along the lines of self-help, and pooling our knowledge. i know that i've come up with some solutions that other people found really helpful, and that other people have come up with things that i found really helpful.


so if you have any interest in the DID/MPD workbook, or if you know someone who might have interest, please check it out, or pass the information along. feel free to post about it anywhere that seems appropriate.

thanks!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

wallpaper

i don't know what's up today, but i swear, the wallpaper on my computer has gotten changed about five dozen times today. normally, the wallpaper on the computer stays the same for months or years on end, but different parts have been grabbing the computer mouse as the slideshow of pictures plays on my google sidebar, and clicking "set as wallpaper" every few minutes.

no real point to sharing that, i guess. but it's getting a little crazy for me. crazyER.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

on the bright side....

so i finally got convinced to try applying for disability, and we were supposed to do the interview by phone this afternoon. i'm not doing so well today (have i been doing well very often lately? does making it to the point where i'm not in the *middle* of panic attacks count?) but i was gonna go through with it. w was going to be on the phone with us, so it would've worked out ok. i think.

anyhow, she just got a call from the disability people, and they wanted to reschedule for tomorrow morning. so that at least can be put off a little longer. maybe i'll be more functional tomorrow morning. or more coherent. or something.


on the anxiety front: i realized something, as i was pondering why it seems like things have gotten so much worse. and it occurred to me: if i'm dissociating less, and becoming more aware of how i feel, physically and emotionally, then it stands to reason that i will actually go through *feeling* the things i formerly dissociated. such as physical pain (and it turns out i get a lot of that) and definitely things like anxiety or sadness or anger.

so i guess it's a good sign, that i'm feeling these more intensely.

i keep reminding myself that it's like when you're doing deep levels of organization in the house: things get WAY messier for a while, while everything gets pulled out to be put into new places. and then it gets WAY better when you're done.

i only wish it weren't taking so darned long!!

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Friday, June 06, 2008

memories and monsters

had an interesting conversation (does it count as a conversation if it's all in my own head?) with the part who was out in therapy yesterday. not quite sure who it is. maybe one of the nonnys, but not completely sure. i think she's probably eight or nine, just based on the images i get when she thinks about things.

anyhow, she'd been talking with my therapist about how it is really dangerous to play, and how it's like there is a certain number of times you can play when nothing will happen, and you never know how many times that is, but if you play one too many times, then it will make the bad thing happen. same with not remembering all of the little things they do to keep safe.

her logic as to why things haven't been as bad since i left home is that maybe they just got better at being able to be careful, and if they *stop* being careful, then the bad things will happen.

after therapy, i was trying to get a sense of what exactly they mean, when they worry about "bad things." and this one gave me some interesting information. i don't think that they actually experienced the abuse directly. from the perspective of some of these parts--the ones who are super careful about following lots of "rules" and stuff like that--what they experience is this:

they miss some particular step or magic thing or make some kind of mistake. then they feel dread and fear about what is going to happen. then they "wake up" in pain, or they have more "nightmares."

and the thing is? i have fibromyalgia. i wake up in pain a LOT of the time. so now i'm trying to explain to them the difference between how i wake up in a lot of pain now, and it's not the same as when they were little. i point out that i *don't* wake up with bruises i don't know the origins of, that kind of thing. but... it's hard to explain the difference, because to them, it seems pretty similar.

what's funny is, they don't seem fazed by pain if they know where it's coming from. i was weirded out yesterday because i seemed to have a blister that i didn't remember, and then all the kids told me where it came from, and they didn't mind that at all.

and the nightmares... if all they remember is "nightmares," how can i explain that the things that happened when they were little weren't the same? that *those* things actually were happening, but the terrors they have *now* of nightmares are memories, and not actual "monsters."

but at least now i have more of a sense of why they are so nervous.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

i can't believe myself

so i heard about this website called "kitten wars."

originally i thought i'd check it out because, hey, kittens and wars. how could it be wrong?

but what is it? it's a cuteness popularity contest. you are presented with the pictures of two kittens (or cats) and then you click on the one you think is cutest. and then you get another pair, and another, and another... soon, minutes have passed by. this isn't even educational, like free rice dot com.

and just in case that's not enough cuteness and kittens for you, there's cats in sinks dot com. because you needed to look at more kittens.

i don't know why this appeals to me. i find lolcats and i can has cheezburger rather annoying.

so who knows. but if you like kittens or cuteness, you might want to check it out.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

disability

several people have suggested to me that i should apply for disability. i'm not sure what i think, but i'm leaning towards that right now.

but even as i type this, i am also thinking "how disabled am, i, really?" and it's hard for me to answer that.

i'd say that if w were totally incapacitated, or something like that, sure, i could probably get it together to figure out how to work at a job. but the truth is... there have been times when that seemed like it would be the case, and i couldn't get it together.

it's hard for me to accept that i can't actually do something. i mean, my legs aren't broken. in fact, none of my bones is broken. my body doesn't work the way i would like it to (it often startles me to discover that things i'm so used to are not, in fact, normal. you know, like being physically capable of standing up while a train or bus is moving).

i've tried to get myself to where i can do freelance work from home. i have trouble accepting that there is a good reason i haven't been able to manage this. i mean, i'm smart. i'm willing. and i just can't do it. i can't manage to work on my website, which isn't even something where there is a deadline.

i had to stop working on my dissertation, because i couldn't handle it.

but what "counts" as being really disabled? i keep hearing those voices in my head, saying "if you really HAD to, you could do this." and i can't work out what's true. there are a LOT of things i've felt like i really had to do, things i FEEL like i really have to do, and i can't. i have tried.

i've tried to make an appointment with the ob/gyn to get some health stuff taken care of, and i haven't been able to do it. i spend hours getting myself to dial the number, and then i can't manage to make the appointment. same with the dentist or the gp. there are physical health things that are actually problems. things that are definitely going wrong... and i can't manage to make the appointments.

does that count as disabled?

does it count as disabled that i mostly can't manage to shower, if i *can* manage to change my clothes and use deodorant, so i'm not visibly unbathed? does it count as disabled if it takes me three or four tries to talk myself onto a train if it's crowded? (and for me, "crowded" equals "people sitting on 3/4 of the seats")

i see people who can manage to keep working, even though they have much worse things going on. there are people who manage to work with all kinds of disabilities. so i can't figure out why i'm not managing it.

just because i become intensely suicidal when i push too hard... shouldn't i suck it up, and make myself work, on the theory that there's probably only a 20% chance i'd actually wind up committing suicide? i mean, that indicates that there is an 80% chance i'd live through it. those are good odds.

feels in a lot of ways like i'm just not trying hard enough. but then, there's also the fact that i feel like i'm trying my best, and just not succeeding. and that is... weird. i mean, i was raised to believe that the only reason i would fail at something i am supposed to do is if i haven't tried. and so i keep doubting that i've tried hard enough, because i keep on failing.

just... processing through this. not quite sure what the point of the post was.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

flashback

trying to process through a particularly intense flashback i had this afternoon. not really sure why it was as intense as it was, but then, who knows about these things?

so i was standing there, washing dishes. this is an activity that is often pretty triggering, and i know perfectly well why (lots of abuse around doing jobs perfectly; also abuse that happened simply because i was there in the kitchen, where someone might notice me.)

as i was washing, almost done with the task, i found myself flinching, braced as someone hit me. i turned slightly, so i'd be able to predict where the next blow was going to fall, and so i wouldn't instinctively try to lift my arm to protect myself. and somehow, i managed to notice that i was in my kitchen now, that this wasn't really happening.

i think part of what made it more intense than usual was the combination of circumstances. i was stressed when i started washing the dishes (although less so than i've been for a lot of this week). there were my hands in the water, washing dishes, checking to make sure the various plastic ones were getting fully cleaned. and i was listening to a song i listened to a *lot* when i was a teenager (Go On, by Russ Taff). so there were a lot of signals that brought up memories.

trying to remember what i was thinking about right before the flashback, and i really can't think what it was. nothing that is out of the ordinary for when i am washing dishes, and not feeling especially trigger-y (because i have learned that if i'm feeling trigger-y, washing dishes is not one of my better options). i hadn't even dropped something, which often brings up a flashback.

my sense of it is that much of what made this flashback as intense as it was, is that several parts experienced it simultaneously.

often, with a flashback, i only get part of the experience. for me, it's often mostly emotional. i know that the little kids, especially, get ones that are mostly physical (a more intense version of body memories, from what i can tell). some parts get ones that are mostly memories, as though they are watching something happen.

i also suspect that part of what made it feel different was the fact that at least one of the adults was nearby as it came. or so i suspect.

afterwards, after i had grounded back into the present, and decided to go ahead and wash the last couple of dishes, even though i was feeling kind of overwhelmed by the flashback... one of the parts who has been out recently commented on something. she was feeling kind of... dismissive of some things. i don't know. but she said something about how one reason the adults haven't been around lately is that for them, they would rather be dead than admit they can't handle things, or that they are not doing a perfect job with everything in their lives. (perfect in their world, which means... not necessarily perfect, but doing all the right things, and trying hard, and overcoming adversity. admirable is maybe a better word?)

i'd like to deny this, that the reason the adults haven't been around is because they can't handle imperfection, that they really would choose suicide over this, and that it's not just their insistence on continuing to function that has made other parts block them out, but *also* the fact that the adults would be more inclined towards suicide, if they were unable to enforce that perfect-ness.

and yet, i do remember a conversation i had with cleo last winter. she was incredibly distressed over me being dropped from my phd program. she was really feeling suicidal, as though this failure was... life-threatening. and i can remember someone (me, another part? i don't remember) pointing out how, we wound up where we are because the choice seemed like we could risk suicide, or we could continue being functional (in the sense of doing a lot of work, and managing without more than minimal help, and doing everything well), but at the time, the two were incompatible. and we asked, "so would you rather be dead than fail to be perfect?" and her response was an unequivocal "YES!"

so i can't deny that it's true, at least about cleo.

it's been hard for me to start to see that, for all they seemed so functional, the adults in this system really aren't perfect. they aren't actually more functional, even. they just appear to be so.

not sure what the point of this post was.

i have been meaning to write a totally different post about the song i linked to above. it's a good song, even if you don't normally like christian rock. the message is pretty simple, and for those who aren't into all the "god stuff," there isn't an overwhelming amount in it.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

positive things about parts who have been out lately

it's been frustrating and exhausting with the parts who have been out lately. hard to deal with them, hard to figure out what to do.

but i've noticed some really positive things about them.

first, intellectually, i know they are there as a kind of safety valve. they are doing the things they do in order to protect us. they are trying to keep us safe, the best way they know how. i suspect they came out because of a few things that happened with w, which really did make us feel like we can't trust her. particularly, the little kids got hurt, and these parts that are out are really trying to keep them from being hurt.

one thing i noticed yesterday, as the parts who were out (who would rather not have names right now, which gets complicated in talking about them, but i'll respect that)... anyhow, as they were venting some rage by destroying things, i noticed that they can actually hear all of the other parts really well, probably better than we more "functional" ones. they were able to hear when someone spoke up about not wanting particular things destroyed, and they did listen. so while we're regretful about some of the things, nothing got ruined that was *that* important, despite how those parts were feeling out of control.

what's more, we made it through the day without doing major self-harm. those parts *wanted* to cut, quite a lot, but listened to the rest of our objections (specifically, not wanting the scars). they even listened when we requested that they not send nasty text messages to w until she was done at work, because we didn't want to make her day any harder than the lack of sleep the night before had already made it.

intellectually, i know the rage they are feeling is important. there were things that happened that left me/us really badly wounded--more spiritually than physically, but the spiritual wounds linger. and they are able to be furious about that hurt, in ways that i am not.

they are able to say out loud all of the desperately hurting things many (or most) of us feel inside. and painful though it is, i think that getting those feelings *out* is better for us, in the long run, if we can live through it.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

and let me add it's not just that i'm a jerk. if it were just me i could understand why no one is helping but they are also not helping the parts they claim to like.

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what sucks is i can't even make w happy by killing myself because i can't think of a method i am sure would work and i do NOT want to get stuck in the hospital being told i am manipulative and histrionic again. and i guess it is manipulative to say how much i want to be dead if i have no idea how i would do it. i just wish if the pain won't go away and no one can or will help that the pain could just kill me and i wouldn't have to keep living with it. but no one can help and even people who insist they want to admit they wish i could just kill myself like w said last night. i don't know what is wrong with me that makes me unworthy of help.

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Proof i was right

she said outright last night that she wished i could kill myself and leave the others behind. how long will it be before she admits that she wants all of the inconvenient parts dead so the only ones left are the ones who take care of her and don't ask for anything in return?

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

hating this

i hate this. i hate the fact that i can start to regain control, but as soon as i slip, there are other parts out. fighting with w. making trouble. pushing everyone away. i make a vow to myself that this time i will hold on, but as soon as i move, it's like someone comes out.

they are convinced that no one is ever going to love me or take care of me. and so they are doing everything they can to push people away. and then they get suicidal because they have just confirmed to themselves that no one will love me (them?) or take care of me (them?). and if i go out and try to smooth things over, they get pissed at ME for trying to suck up to people and make them like me on false pretenses, and they insist that the only reason people are at all nice to me is that i take care of them and don't ask for anything.

and what the f*** am i supposed to do?! either i am trying to maintain relationships with people so they won't reject me and give up, which the other parts find unsatisfying because they want people to love them even though they are being a$$holes. or i give up and just try to keep them away from other people, which proves to them that no one loves them.

i can't win. there is NOTHING i can do to fix this. the best i can do is try to keep myself alive long enough that these other parts give up, and try not to let them alienate everyone in my life. they are doing a f***ing good job of that, alienating everyone.

I HATE THIS.

i want the damned grown ups to come back and THEY can deal with this. but i think chariots' comment was right. they ditched me just like pretty much everyone else has ditched me. w is still around, but i know she is worn out, and there is only so much she is willing to do, and if the other parts don't stop, i know they will wear her out entirely. certainly, she is going to take breaks from dealing with us/them, which is only going to confirm to them that she isn't in this for the long haul. certainly she has the sense not to keep getting in fights with them.

and there is NOTHING i can do to prove to them that this doesn't equal her not caring. there is NOTHING i can do to prove to the other parts that someone not wanting to deal with them being f***ing a$$holes does NOT mean people don't care. they are convinced this is true.


so what will happen? if i'm lucky, these parts will back off and i'll get to deal with all the fallout from their crap these past weeks. i will get to spend a ton of time trying to make it up to w so she won't be resentful. and then i will have to try to get my life back together.

if i'm not lucky, the best-case scenario is that someone notices how badly they're doing and manages to keep them from killing themselves (which includes killing me and the others, for the record). best-case scenario there ends up with me in the hospital, which will only confirm to those parts that no one cares and they might as well die.

worst-case scenario is no one manages to intervene, and i don't get to live through it this time.

this would be a GREAT time for the adults to show back up. this would be a really USEFUL time for them to step in and take control. they should NOT be leaving this on me.

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hating this

i am so tired of this. tired of everything. tired of trying to cope with the other parts.

the adults haven't been around. every time we get close to the adults being around, something happens, and then... no more adults. so i'm stuck trying to fix things so the adults can come back. i'm stuck trying to hold our life together so that things don't fall apart completely. i'm stuck being responsible for a bunch of parts who don't appreciate me. but i can't rest, because every time i relax even a little, some other part comes out and starts f***ing things up. they get in fights with w, and leave the house because they know it pisses her off and makes her worry. i'm doing everything i can to prevent more extreme self-harm, and that's pretty much all i'm managing.

and i feel like i keep getting shoved back into the role i originally had, of the one who was stuck dealing with the garbage no one else wanted to deal with. when is this going to be over? when do i get to just be a normal person? i don't even mean "normal" as in "not having DID." i mean "normal" as in "not stuck doing a job i am getting thoroughly tired of doing." but there it is. i can't help taking responsibility, because if i DON'T, i know perfectly well no one else will either.

i know it's different from when i was a teenager. w is not abusive. but i can see that some of the parts who have been out will push her until she acts abusively. she is a human being, and if they push her past the point she can deal with them in other ways, it's not gonna be good.

so the not-abusive part is better. but in lots of ways, things are worse. because you know what? when i was responsible for my siblings and the house and all that? i still was *separate* from them. people could still see me, and even if my mother did pretty much nothing but criticize how i handled things, at least people outside the house could see that i was good and responsible and not a jerk.

but now the people i'm responsible for, the ones whose behavior i really have no hope of controlling, are inside my body. the ones who i'm trying to keep from running away or hurting themselves or wrecking my life? they live in my f***ing BODY.

and that's a whole lot worse. because 1, people see them and they see me too. they think that i should be taking care of this, keeping all of this garbage from happening. and 2, the life the other parts are f***ing up is MY life too.

i am so TIRED of this. i am scared of the fact that my safety relies on the ability of a 15 year old--and exhausted, frustrated, worn-out 15 year old--to continue being sufficiently responsible and persuasive and in-control. because i am the one responsible for whether or not i'm safe; it's not anyone else's job. i am the one responsible for whether i am able to get better. i don't f***ing know HOW. but it's still my job.

and then people will say to me, "oh, put that responsibility on someone else. let one of the other parts be responsible. let them take some of that." but the other parts DON'T. if i'm not in control, nothing good comes of it. and i can't be in control all the time. the reason they didn't lock me up along with the adults is that i can't keep other parts from coming out. so they know they can push me aside pretty easily. so they can get out and I CAN'T STOP THEM. i just get stuck cleaning up the mess after they have been here.

and i don't get to do any of the things that **I** want to do. because any time i'm out, it seems like i'm just trying to clean up the mess the others left. trying to keep w from getting completely fed up and exhausted and hating us. trying to clean up the literal messes. trying to get the others to even have a f***ing MEETING so we can talk about this, but no, they aren't willing to meet, at least not with me. they are refusing to get better, and i don't know how to get them to a point where things aren't so horrible, and i am just STUCK with this.

and the little kids haven't had time out for a long time, so i feel guilty about that, too, but i can't find a way of making that happen, because i don't actually know how to get other parts out if they aren't wanting to come out on their own and the little kids are stressed out about the fact that there are a bunch of furious teenagers. and they're upset that w doesn't remember to ask them to come out. and the other teenagers have been telling them that if w really cared she would remember to ask them to come out, so if she doesn't, they should keep themselves safe by not trying to come out at all.

I AM SO TIRED OF ALL OF THIS. i am FIFTEEN. when do i get to relax and just be me? i'll settle for getting to relax and pretend i'm an adult. i don't have to act like i'm fifteen. i just want to f***ing RELAX and not be responsible for anyone but me.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

dang

i had a dream right before i woke up that was *hilarious*, or at least, it was during the dream. but i forgot it as i woke up.

well, i also remember thinking that the NPR fund drive that was playing on the clock radio alarm was probably why *something* had been happening in the dream (you know those dreams that incorporate things going on around you as you sleep?).

wish i could remember the dream itself.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

anyone read this?

Multiple Personality: An Hispanic Perspective

i was looking for a different book that someone had recommended, and came across this one in the search. it's a more clinical book, i think, but one that focuses on puerto rico, rather than the united states or western europe. so just wondering whether anyone's read it.

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interesting observation

collective-i have been having daily meetings by typing to a private blog. one interesting thing has been that after whoever is done typing, they click on the names of whoever was present at the meeting. and what's weird is, it's not always the same group of people, and i (ellis) am often surprised at who is there... like, "really? this part was there, but this other part wasn't?" like, how do i know these things, or something, when they didn't specifically say something at the meeting. and yet, they generally let me know if they are there, and if i don't hear someone say they're there, then i don't click on their name....

just a little bit of interesting-ness, i guess.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

New stuff!

We put new things on our web site at the littles pages. There is a new part of Amanda's story and also some videos from our trip to the aquarium. Hope you like it!

Oh, also, there is a link now on the side that will show you when we make new posts over there, so if we don't remember to write about it on the blog, then you can just look there, and you will see if we put up a new page, ok?

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Monday, May 05, 2008

some thinking

i was thinking a little bit last night about the grown ups. cleo was out for a little bit, for some complicated reasons (there is something stressing her, specifically, out, which is why she showed up; but then she went and talked with w, so they spent some time together).

anyhow, afterwards, i was thinking about the ways having the adults around benefits me, and not just people outside. and i could think of advantages to having some of the adults. like xan is good, because she makes friends and she's brave and fun and outgoing. kind of like an aunt who's not that much older, but enough older that they're a grown up. i like xan. and even the mama, i can theoretically see the advantage to having her around. she does those mama-type things, like nurturing and sewing and baking bread. also, she has been taking care of the really little kids for a while now, and we can see she's not so bad to have around.

or the writer part, or the smart one, or the analyst... they don't come out very often, but they are definitely useful. they take care of situations and then go back inside. they don't block the rest of us out, for one thing.

but cleo... maybe part of it is that i (jamie) don't get along with cleo very well. or maybe it's that she has trouble believing she's really multiple. she's a lot more like ellis, i guess. the two of them are similar, so i have some trouble figuring out why we need both of them. except cleo really is a grown up, and ellis isn't. but from what i can see the main difference in what they do is, cleo has a different relationship with w. and she's less resentful about doing grown up stuff. well, ok, and she's more attracted to w.

but then ellis finally had a really good point last night, when i was thinking about it and trying to figure out what benefit i get from having cleo.

she pointed out that i don't get any real benefit from grace or elysia or the nonnys, not that i can see, but i don't complain about having *them* around. so maybe i should think of cleo in the same way. she IS here, so i guess she has the same right to be around as anyone else.

i guess for me, part of it is that i think of the adults as the parts we made on purpose. i mean, i can remember kind of intentionally creating parts when i was a teenager, not that we knew we were doing that, but it's pretty much what happened. like, the smart one, that was TOTALLY someone the rest of us came up with to cope with school. we *thought* we were just improving our confidence or something. so i guess i think of the adults as more... not really real parts, just pretend. but i guess they are real just like the rest of us, so they should be allowed to be around.

the other weird thing is realizing that they have things they struggle with, just like the rest of us do.

i guess part of what i don't like about the adults is, i'm ANGRY at them, because they didn't have to experience the bad stuff. it seems really unfair. i mean, i can understand why it happened. they were made so there were parts who didn't experience the bad stuff. and since they weren't present for it, ok, sure, they have known for a long time (maybe always?) that it happened, but they really didn't *experience* it.

and even though in my brain, i know the same thing i told w last night, that the older a part is, the less time they've been around (mostly--the mama has been around probably since i was ten or so, but the other adults didn't show up until i was way older than that).

anyhow... the younger parts are the ones who had to go through the worst stuff. that's probably why there are more nonnys who are little than who are teenagers, even though i can think of at least 2 teenaged nonnys.

but when i see the adults, i have a hard time accepting that they would just sit around and let the rest of us get hurt. and i guess a lot of the anger i feel towards them is the anger i have for adults OUTSIDE my body, who didn't do something to make the bad stuff stop. and i guess it's not the fault of the adults inside my body, any more than it's the fault of the grown ups i've met since my body grew up. none of these people had the ability to intervene.

the other thing i don't like about the adults in the system is, they get very sure they are right to be super responsible and take on too much. but i guess i have to trust w and my therapist, that they really will make sure that doesn't happen.

i guess that's all. mostly because my carpal tunnel is acting up, and my fingers are numb from typing!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

busy, busy, busy

we're very, very busy and we've got a lot to do,
and we really don't have time to explain it all to you....


w is on vacation, and we've got a seder this weekend, so we're really insanely busy this week. i'll hopefully get a chance soon for various of us to post about what's been going on, but for now, enjoy the song linked at the bottom of this post! ;)


Busy Busy Busy - Kevin Kline by Sandra Boynton

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

sometimes i get tired of the pity party

this is going to be a fairly non-specific post, because i want to make it clear i'm not speaking about any one person or group of people.

but sometimes i get REALLY tired of the whole "pity party" that tends to happen when people are coping with having a history of abuse. sometimes, it feels like there's a culture of saying "oh, woe is me, these bad things happen and there is NOTHING i can do to change this, and now another bad thing has happened, and ANOTHER.... oh, woe is me. oh, i can't do anything to change this."

and then you look at the situation, and it really seems from the outside that there ARE things that person could do, but if you suggest those things, then you are being unsupportive and cruel and not validating how difficult things are.

i guess maybe part of this, on my end, is a reaction to my older sisters.

here's my usual example of the kind of thing i mean (no triggers, unless you get really freaked out by a lack of sympathy on my end, or by financial stuff):

my older sister has trouble with her finances. she tends to spend impulsively, and she doesn't budget. she is well into adulthood--she has spent more of her life over the age of 18 than under it. and she would keep having services shut off, and wound up having her house foreclosed, because of financial mismanagement on her end.

her response? to be upset that our mother hadn't taught her to budget when she was growing up. so it's not my *sister's* fault she had money trouble, because it was our *mother's* job to teach her to budget.

and i often see people (to my knowledge, not people who comment on this blog, in case you're wondering) who do the same thing with their abuse histories. they are like, "oh, i wasn't treated right when i was a baby, so now i am forever scarred, so feel sorry for me."

well, ok, yeah. we do get scarred. it totally sucks. but there are things we can do to change that. particularly once we reach adulthood, we have a LOT of options.

it's not like we can make things perfect, because we can't. yes, there are a lot of things that are hard. and there are days when i can't bear the thought of going on trying to cope and heal.

what i'm objecting to is the people who really do seem to be refusing to move beyond acknowledging the pain. the ones who spend a whole lot of time talking about how everything is so hard, and don't spend time taking responsibility for their own lives. with people online, i try not to say much, because i know that only a tiny part of who they are shows up, and it's entirely possible that they *are* doing a lot of things to improve their lives.

but sometimes, people online remind me so strongly of people in my non-computer life. the ones who, rather than sitting down and learning to budget for themselves, spend twenty or thirty years bemoaning the fact that they weren't taught to budget in childhood. the ones who refuse to take action on their own behalf, because they are still waiting for someone to come and save them.

and, yeah, i'm speaking from a place of privilege. i managed to figure out how to go to college, and because my parents weren't paying for it, that meant that when i left for college, they no longer had any concrete way of controlling me.

i was fortunate enough to not get into an intimate relationship until i'd done enough healing work to be aware of what a healthy relationship looked like.

i have been amazingly lucky in my friends. while we all have our issues, we do seem to be more likely to encourage people towards healthy rather than unhealthy behaviors.

i have also been fortunate in the therapists i've worked with (barring the idiots right after i was in the hospital, but that was two months out of my life, and i was able to see that they weren't doing me any good).

it's not that my life is perfect, or that i don't have hard days. and i don't know, maybe there are people who look at me and my life, and see that same pity party going on. i mean, i'm not working, because of the fact that between fibromyalgia and DID, it's just a struggle to get more than three or four "good days" in a row. and i'm sure there are people who look at me and think "well, if she would just ______ then she could be doing so much better."

so i do try to be sympathetic, and generally, i hold my tongue when people seem focused on having a pity party. sometimes, i even type words of support, trying to be compassionate and respond to their pain.

but then i get frustrated, and just kind of back off. because there are some people who seem to focus so much more on how other people mistreated them, and how they are wounded, than on figuring out how they can take control of their own lives, and change things for the better.

just had to get this off my chest. and apologies to anyone i might have offended by writing this.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things that bug me

one thing i really can't understand is why people think it's reasonable to ride the train wearing enough perfume to make people sick. you'd think they would have more courtesy.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

For once, I remembered this before the month was over. (Oh, just checked, and realized I wrote about it last year, too. But it's a subject that could be written about far more often, so I'll do it again.

Here is a page with statistics about child abuse. There are also links at the bottom with a lot of other information.

Child abuse is altogether too common. Even if the statistics on abuse are inflated, the odds are, you know someone who has been abused (ok, if you know me, you do know someone who was abused as a child). And odds are, you know someone who has occasionally or routinely behaved abusively towards their children.

Abuse isn't always obvious. Families where the parents are abusive don't necessarily look any different on the outside. Abused kids don't always show signs of it. Abusive families can go to the zoo or the amusement park. The parents can treat their children well, particularly when someone is observing them.

Abusive parents might not even recognize that their behaviors are abusive. My guess is that more than 90% of abusive parents had no intention of abusing their children before it happened. There are a lot of reasons they might have wound up being abusive, but I think it's pretty rare for someone to say, "Hm, let me have a child in order to make their life a living hell."

And, speaking from my own experience, I'd also say that parents who are sometimes abusive also genuinely do love their children, and want the best for them. At the same time, whether they are over-stressed, or lack appropriate skills, or were abused themselves and are unable to recognize that what they are doing isn't okay... there are parents who do abuse their children.

I guess my point is, be aware that this happens. Try not to think of abuse as something that is rare, because sadly, it isn't. Try to recognize that even someone you like, even someone who seems like a really excellent parent, can also be abusive some of the time.

And let's try to do what we can to end the cycle of violence. It's not something anyone should have to experience.

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Spring!

I admit I didn't get very excited by seeing the bulbs coming up or even by the days getting longer. But today for the first time this year I was able to leave the house without a jacket and THAT has me grinning. :)

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

There was a cool street musician tonight

Here is the video. We can't figure out how to make it show up on here without uploading it somewhere else, so I'm just putting a link. I think it starts to play as soon as the link loads. I don't know if everyone's computer will show the video, but I hope you can hear it. It was pretty cool. I bet you'll know the song. It was a surprise to hear that song tonight! It made us smile.

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Car alarm birds

It's that time of year again. Over the past few days, I've been hearing the mockingbirds in our neighborhood singing one of their favorite "songs": the "car alarm" song.

The first time I heard this, about 8 years ago, I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. But it was that distinctive car alarm sound (WHEE-oop, WHEE-oop, WHEE-oop, breep, breep, breep, breep, BRAWK, BRAWK, BRAWK, BRAWK, oooEE, oooEE, oooEE). Ok, so maybe I didn't make it really clear in my description of the sound, but I think you know the one I'm talking about.

There are at least two, probably more, mockingbirds near my house who have been going through this song lately. I maintain hope that I'll be able to catch one of them in the act, and record it for posterity, and for the amusement of those who don't live near a car alarm bird. Maybe it would be even better to get it on video, but the birds are just shy enough that they always wind up flying away before I can get the camera ready.


On an only marginally related note, Brooklyn has not only mockingbirds that sing the car alarm song, but also a colony of parrots that live in the (urban) wild.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

I am writing a story!

Hi. This is Amanda. I'm 11.

One of the things I really like to do is to read books about normal kids doing normal things. Like The Penderwicks, which is a really good book about just ordinary kids one summer. But sometimes I want a book about a kid who is more like me, but I haven't found any. So instead, I'm writing a book like that myself.

Here is a link to the pages. Maybe you would like to read my story, and tell me what you think. You can leave a comment there, or here, if you want to! Thanks!

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Changing the World

A little bit at a time.

Maybe it started with the ninjas.

Living in cities, I've gotten used to seeing homeless people, sitting on the sidewalk, with a sign propped up next to them. The sign is generally written with sharpie or crayon, on cardboard. Usually, the signs are pretty much the same: homeless, need food, please help. Last December, I was walking through a craft fair, and saw a picture of a homeless guy with his cardboard sign. My eye began to slide past, but then I noticed what the sign said: "Ninjas killed my family. Need $$ for kung-fu lessons." I saw the actual guy yesterday, and gave him some of my pocket change. Why? Because his sign has made me smile for months. And because, using the same resources any other panhandler can access, he did something that created some change in the world.

But I know I was thinking about change before I saw that sign.

Probably it goes back to feeling really lonely last fall. One of the things many of the younger parts in my system want is to have friends who are their own age. It wasn't seeming possible. The in-person support group I attend didn't seem to lend itself to much contact outside of the group, and the people on the online support group I'm a member of are either located far away, or aren't interested in meeting in person. So I was thinking about ways of meeting other multiples, so that my younger parts could make friends with their younger parts. One of the things that came out of that was the new DID/MPD/Dissociative awareness ribbon. And I noticed how easy it was, when I just went ahead and got the ball rolling.

And so I've been remembering how all it takes is someone to get the ball rolling, and change can happen. It's not quite that simple. There is a lot of brainstorming and trial and error involved. It helps to have other people to help bounce the ideas around, and to share the excitement of the possibilities.

So yesterday, for a lot of different reasons, I started yet another bulletin board (see what happens when I get pretty much unlimited space online? And my current sites are only taking up a small portion of my available bandwidth, too, so the possibilities are pretty much endless!)

The bulletin board is imagine.copingincrazyville.com. It's a space for people to talk about what they want in their lives, and in the world, and then to come up with strategies for how to get there.

I think that for many of us, the process of healing from abuse, or coping with our own particular brand of crazy, can be really isolating. We begin to focus on small things, to spend more time looking towards the past. And there is a place for that. But I think it's also important to make sure we look forward, and take the steps to make our future lives the kind of places we want to be.

What's more, I look at my life, and realize that I didn't start off with especially many resources. I don't have especially many resources now, or at least, not more than many other people I know. So when I think about the way I'm able to have things in my life, I believe that it's possible for others as well. Maybe we all starting out with cardboard and a sharpie, but we do have some choice about what we do with them.

So if you're interested, please check it out. And if you know of some people who have ideas, but don't know how to implement them, please let them know about the site. I think it can be a lot of fun.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

sometimes i feel like a fraud

not about the DID. that, clearly, is really going on.

but... here's the thing. i have been working on pages for coping in crazyville. and i try to write things that are useful, helpful, optimistic there. i do the same a lot of the time when i post to a mind's journey.

i write things that, at some level, i know are true. i offer suggestions, support, advice.

and then i turn away from the computer, and there i am. severely depressed, or hurting. unable to find my way out of my own problems.

who am i to be talking about possibilities for change, ways of coping with feeling suicidal? it's not like i routinely get through days without feeling bad, it's not like i don't have times when the only way to cope seems to be that i just need to be dead.

and yet, when i'm able to read that information myself, it helps me, too. so i know it's good information. when i'm able to follow it, it does work.

but i feel like a fraud. it's like i'm saying things, but just faking it. i do kind of realize that it's not faking... that's part of having DID, i guess. that i will watch what other parts are doing, and it doesn't feel real for me. i mean, there are parts who really do genuinely seem to enjoy life.

sometimes i feel like maybe i should just hide, never make anyone have to deal with me. what is good about *me*? all i bring to this equation is a lot of pain and upset, anger, unhappiness. and it feels disingenuous when i am here, watching my body write these other things, these things that are focused on being more proactive. i don't feel proactive. i am not able to follow the advice i see *someone* in my body handing out.

and if i can't follow it, then why do i bother putting it online at all?

yesterday, someone wrote a page about the difference between help and rescue. but at the same time, there i was, just wanting someone to solve my problems. there are pages on the website about how it's important to choose life, and how other concerns don't matter as much when it comes down to a choice between those and being alive. but here i am... i get to a point where i can't cope, and it really does seem like the best choice is to just be dead, because i can't see any other way out.

so i feel like a fraud, offering the advice i don't really believe.

(um, i really don't want the sympathetic "everyone deserves to be alive, you're not a fraud" kind of comments, please. or the kind that say "you are SUCH a fraud, you're a horrible person, etc." for that matter. not sure what kind of comments i *do* want, but i know it's neither of those.)

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Dinner collective

or, some thoughts on creating community

W and I recently joined with her sister and a couple of our friends, making a "dinner collective." For us, this means that once a week (or less often, depending on schedules) everyone in the group cooks a meal that will serve five or six people. Then we pack it into leftover containers, meet up, share a meal with each other, and exchange the containers. For the effort of cooking one meal, we get to have five *different* meals. Plus, we have a low-cost, relaxed social gathering with friends.

I originally had one of these ten years ago, when I lived in Portland. I got the idea from Everyday Acts and Small Subversions, by Anndee Hochman. She described several dinner collectives or co-ops, and the idea struck a chord for me. Why couldn't I get some friends together and do something similar? While the idea of meeting with friends every night seemed appealing, it wasn't a practical option for us. So we settled on a weekly meeting, with containers of food to take home. It saved us a bit of money and a lot of time. I tried to start other dinner collectives later, but couldn't quite get them off the ground, because people were dubious about the concept.

So I'm glad to have one now, and the other members are equally glad. We find that it's much more exciting to cook if we know someone else is going to be eating the food as well. And since we're more excited, we try more ambitious recipes, which makes the food more appealing, which keeps us from walking to the nearest take-out joint rather than facing the drudgery of yet another meal cooked at home.

Even though we eat apart, there is still a social aspect to the meal collective. We think of each other as we're eating, or at least I think of the others.

I have been working to regain a sense I used to have, that it is possible to imagine my life as I would like it to be, and then find a path that will take me there. I can remember how I used to be able to leap from a vision of what I wanted into the implementation of that vision. And this experience with the dinner collective is reminding me that what it takes is making small steps.

So I'm also thinking about the other things I want in my life. What is it that I've been missing? How can I begin to find those things again? And how can I show other people that it's possible to re-shape our lives into a form that is more satisfying?

P.S. If you click on "preview this book" in the link at the top, you can browse the different sections. The chapter I'm talking about is here.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

dance party in my head!

this post is mostly to see whether it actually works to "share" music from rhapsody.

one of the things we've found in my system is that some tasks (say, washing dishes or making dinner) go more easily when we take that time to have an internal dance party. i'll listen to music, either on the stereo or in my headphones, and whoever wants to can hang out dancing. the little kids especially like this. it's also been a way to get in touch with the baby, because usually someone will go find her and bring her to the dance party. not sure how she experiences it, but they usually make a point of including her.

so here are today's tracks from the dance party in my head:

Here's a link. Not sure how it works--I'm guessing you have to have an account, and they say free accounts still let you listen to 25 tracks a month without paying.

And here is the list of tracks:
1. sing, Shout, Dance - Kingdom Heirs
2. I Love To Laugh - Sweet Honey in the Rock
3. Philadelphia Chickens - The Bacon Brothers - Sandra Boynton
4. Hush-A-Bye Hard Times - Dolly Parton
5. Still Gotta Get Up In The Morning - Sweet Honey in the Rock
6. Magellan - Broadside Electric
7. Rock-A-My Soul - Acappella
8. Busy Busy Busy - Kevin Kline - Sandra Boynton
9. Do What the Spirit Say Do - Sweet Honey in the Rock
10. Be Like A Duck - Keith Boynton - Sandra Boynton
11. Still The Same Me - Sweet Honey in the Rock

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Monday, March 24, 2008

The Easter bunny

Yesterday in the morning time the little kids here were super disapointed cause the Easter bunny did not come and leave us a basket. but Ellis said if we did not SAY we wanted a basket then we would not get one, and she did not know we wanted a basket so she did not tell W we wanted a basket. so we were disapointed.

We did not say about wanting a basket because we thought probly the Easter bunny would KNOW we wanted a basket and then we would get a basket that way cause the Easter bunny is MAGIC and a magic thing knows when someone is a little kid inside and will need a special thing like an Easter basket. But maby it is diffrent if you live in a stupid grown up body.

But then!! O!! What a suprise! We went to W's sister's house and she had a present just for US! Gess what?!? It was just like an Easter basket only she did not mean it to be like that, it just was. That is how we know the Easter bunny helped cause W's sister maby would have given us the present a diffrent day or she would not have the present.

She gave it to us just cause she is a nice person and she likes to give pepul presents all the time cause she likes pepul to be happy. She is a very nice persun.

What the present was is three very big BEE YOU TEE FUL cookies. They are decorated with sparkly stuff. They are a lion, a monkey and an elefunt. They are soooo beautiful. O! we love them very much! Probly we will eat them soon cause that is what you do with cookies. But first we will be happy to have these beautiful cookies. They came in a fancy bag with ribbons and paper grass. That is also how we know it is an Easter bunny thing.

O! It was so nice for her to give those to us! You do not have to give us a present to be nice to us, but when we get a present it makes us soooooooooo happy!

Thank you so much!

PS-We cwaperated on this post caues we all wanted to write. We are getting GOOD at cwaperating!

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

let me know what you think

i(we) have been working a lot this week on figuring out how to write (or, in the end, how to modify) themes on wordpress, so we can organize our website through that, which will mean that even those of us who can't write html can still put up pages. plus, it will be easier to keep links and the overall theme of the site updated, all from one place.

anyhow, we finally got it to the point where we're willing to show people who aren't w, so if you want to let me know your opinion, you can go to coping in crazyville and take a look around. the site is very much still in progress, but i'm pretty proud of having managed to put together as much as i have. (also: if you use a browser other than Firefox, Explorer, or Netscape, can you let me know if it's not working? thanks.)

there are other things i could be writing about, and i might get some of those up later this weekend. but right now, that's what i have to say.


**update**
if you have the time, and feel like doing so, we (ie, us in jigsaw analogy) would also appreciate feedback on the content. it's one thing to have the pages in theory, but it would be nice to know whether anyone else likes them!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

unconditional love

ok. before i begin this post, i want to clearly say... generally, i am in favor of unfettered free speech (except spam--i DESPISE spam, and delete it). however. with this post, i'd like to request that people not leave any comments that are just to say things like "oh, poor you for having that experience" or anything like that. sometimes, sympathy is something i can't handle. if you feel you must, go ahead. but please don't feel obligated to say something, ok? thanks.






I wish you hope, that keeps you looking toward tomorrow
and away from yesterday.
I wish you faith, in yourself and all humanity
and the belief that we will finally live as one.
I wish you joy, I wish you peace,
I wish you more than you will need.
I wish you unconditional love.

~~from Unconditional Love, by The Four Bitchin' Babes.




i started thinking about this post because of a conversation i had with w last night. even at the time, i knew i was asking kind of unfair questions. the kind of questions where, even though i wanted her to tell the truth, there was really only one truth that wasn't going to upset me.

you see, i asked her if, had she known how our lives would unfold, would she have chosen to be in a relationship with me. and she couldn't give me an unqualified yes. some of that is just w--she *thinks* too much about these questions, or she doesn't hear the question behind the one i ask. and i ask those questions, because i know she will give the automatic answer if i ask "do you love me? do you REALLY love me? do you love me unconditionally?" and i don't trust the automatic answer to be true. so i ask questions that have less automatic answers.

in my life, my experience of love has not been unconditional. growing up, i was taught that the path to being loved was fraught with danger. and to a child, or at least, to me as a child, love was the source of things like a reliable place to live, food, clothing, shelter. and, oh yeah, that emotional nurturing that is supposed to be so important.

but my experience of love was that it could be easily taken away. if i could not discern what the adults around me wanted, they would stop loving me. if i could not be good enough, or if i asked for things they were unwilling or unable to give, the love would be taken away. depending on the adult in question, that could mean that they would abuse me physically or emotionally, or it would mean that they just stopped noticing me.

and yet, in many ways, being noticed in a way i was told was loving could be equally dangerous. because sometimes, being noticed meant getting something perhaps intended as "positive" attention from people who really didn't consistently understand what it meant to be nurturing to a child, and how just because you're touching someone doesn't mean you're touching them... there. or in that way.

so i was not an especially cuddly child, to say the least. which also led to punishment, because if i couldn't accept nurturing love, the occasionally appropriate kind, the adults in my life would get furious. why was i rejecting them? why was i saying, with my body language, that i didn't appreciate their love? because that's what goes through the mind of a six month old, or a three year old, or even a ten year old. and because, clearly, being furious and raging is going to teach that child to accept nurturing when it's available.

there were adults in my life, people in my life who were not violent, who were not abusive in any way. but for my first five years, i didn't have any extended experience of that. so by the time i got to school, i understood the positive attention i got from teachers as being based entirely on my ability to be good--to learn quickly, to not ask for any extra effort, to help where it was needed without getting in the way. and let me tell you, it was much easier to follow the explicitly stated rules of school than it was to follow the invisible twisting path at home.

but here's the thing. you know how they say in trainings for people working with kids, that kids will seek out negative attention if they aren't able to get positive attention? that may be true for some kids. not so much for me. i didn't fully trust positive attention anyways, since i never could understand when positive attention was going to be safe. so i certainly avoided negative attention, and was fairly undemanding of other attention. if it seemed freely offered, i would take it. but i certainly didn't seek it out.

i learned not even to rely on family members who weren't abusive, because for whatever reasons, they tended to... well, to be unreliable. my father is a big example of this. i didn't meet him until i was eight. then, for the next 2 1/2 years, we wrote to each other, and i spent some vacations with him. and then he stopped writing, stopped having me to visit. he never really said why. he just stopped. for a lot of reasons, that just reinforced the message that there was something wrong with me, something that kept people from being able to care about me, to love me, to give me attention in ways that were safe.

yes, i had teachers. and i am grateful for them. but for the most part, teachers were something transitory. built into the relationship was that it was time-limited. it was a teacher's *job* to teach, and the would do it no matter how you behaved. when a teacher was kind, it still fell into my vision of what they were supposed to do.

looking back, with all the various times i can remember teachers going out of their way for me, it occurs to me that they actually cared about me, as a person, separate from what they were "required" to do. but it never once occurred to me, growing up, that a teacher would want to see me when they weren't being paid to do so. it never occurred to me to go back to see a teacher after i was no longer taking classes with them. because my baseline experience was that people only spent time with me when they felt they had to, that people only allowed me to be around so long as it benefitted them.

growing up, i somehow picked up the message that one's family is supposed to love a person unconditionally. and since it was pretty clear to me that my family did *not* love me unconditionally, i took away the lesson lots of kids in that situation do: that there was something about *me* that caused me to be less lovable. that this wasn't the fault of the people who were unable to love me, but something about me, as a person.

at some point in high school or college, i found out that my mother had had an abortion. (disclaimer: don't get me wrong. even with this particular experience, i am 100% pro-choice. people have every right in the world to determine for themselves what happens when they are pregnant.)

the thing is, my mother's story about how she had decided to have the abortion reinforced some really negative lessons i had already learned.

when i was a few months old, she divorced my father. and then she found out she was pregnant. i assume there were a lot of reasons she would have decided to have an abortion. i mean, being a single parent with three kids already, and not much money, having an abortion or giving the child up for adoption, would probably have been a good idea. had she decided to do this because she didn't think she could be a good parent, while it might have been kind of sad, i could see her point.

but the thing is, the reason she told me she had the abortion was because she was concerned the baby would be dark-skinned. my father is black, my mother (and the rest of my family) are white. she didn't feel she could go back and not have *me*, but the subtext as it came across to me was, "had i known what would happen, i wouldn't have chosen to have a biracial child."

i know there are parts who have often understood that the "wrong, unlovable" thing about me is the color of my skin. too "white" for my black father to want to have anything to do with me (or for the black kids in middle school not to beat me up for it); too "black" for my white (and rather racist) family to fully accept me. they coped with me by insisting i wasn't "really" black, but at the same time, my skin color came up pretty often. the conditions i understood for being loved required that i deny basic parts of who i am; and also that i not cause trouble, that i be hyper-good, simply because i was only loved on sufferance, and should i ever be difficult, i would be dangerously rejected.

and knowing that there had been the possibility that i would have had a sibling, someone who would have been my full-blooded sibling, who would have looked more like me, who would have been close to me in age... how much of the pain and loneliness and isolation i experienced growing up, how much of that might have been alleviated if my mother had chosen to carry the pregnancy to term, and have the child? at the same time, knowing what i know now... would i choose to subject someone else to what i grew up with? no. so i'm not going to say my mother shouldn't have had the abortion, because i can't see that it would have benefitted whichever soul eventually came to reside in that collection of cells.


okay, so where was i going with this post? oh, right.

so knowing all of this, knowing all of my experience of rejection, i was talking to w about my difficulty with trusting her. and i said, "it's really unfair to you, the fact that it's so hard for me to trust. because no matter how trustworthy you are, the hurdle you've got to get over to achieve my trust is set immensely high."

and w gave me the strangest look.

"unfair for me?" she asked.

because, ok, sure, it's kind of difficult for me, too. but i guess i'm used to it. i'm used to not being able to trust that anyone will love me unconditionally. but w isn't. she has mostly known people who were able to give and receive unconditional love. and here she is, in a long-term relationship, kind of stuck with someone who is always braced for rejection.

so yeah, to me, it seems harder on her. because she isn't doing anything wrong. because she isn't the one who hurt me. and yet, she's the one who gets the fallout from all of the pain i grew up with. and i'm less able to be a good partner to her because of that. we won't even get into the fact that she thought she was getting into a relationship with an adult, and seems instead to have gotten stuck with this whole mess of teenagers and little kids, and the adults have now been gone for seven months, with no idea of when they will return. so to me, it seems like the one getting the really unfair part is w. (yeah, i know. it's something i'll discuss in therapy.)

i do wish for hope, and for the ability to look towards the future rather than the past. but sometimes, the past gets in the way, and makes it awfully hard to build up the faith that unconditional love is even a possibility.

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