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.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
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.
Friday, May 23, 2008
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.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
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.
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.
Posted by Jigsaw Analogy at 1:48 PM
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.
Posted by Jigsaw Analogy at 1:43 PM
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?
Posted by Jigsaw Analogy at 10:10 AM
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
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.
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.
Monday, May 19, 2008
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.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
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.
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.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
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?
Monday, May 05, 2008
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!