Thursday, August 15, 2013. This post follows my previous post:
+BLANK MIND – THOUGHTS WITHOUT WORDS – A HARD WAY TO GATHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Certainly what I described from my experience with extreme anxiety today leaves me wondering if I AM actually fighting for my life at those times words have no meaning to me and I cannot think in words. Am I disappearing as a person as that state takes over me? Is this experience at the core of having the diagnosis the title to this post describes?
When I applied for my social security disability after my cancer and its treatment I was sent to one of the government’s “shrinks” for assessment. He and I discussed this, and I was assured unequivocably that it is possible to have DID without having separate identities. I actually joked with the woman whose help I received today and so desperately needed that I was not even lucky enough to get separate identities along with my dissociation! She complimented me on my sense of humor.
Only, truly — none of this is one bit funny.
Because of the intense and difficult work I have done to create the 10 book manuscripts that are currently awaiting edit I have come to understand my mother’s mental illness as it harmed me.
It was a unique aspect of her particular Borderline Pesonality Disorder (BPD) psychosis that not only was I the “all bad” child – a projective dysfunction not uncommon to BPD people who severely abuse one of their children and not the others – but in Mother’s case her psychosis did not even let her understand that I was a human being.
I was not “a human child” to her. I was the devil’s child (not human) sent to kill her while I was being born.
Mother’s special psychosis demanded that I remain entirely within her personal hell in place of herself.
I could not get out. I could not escape. This is why I could never play. This is why she forced me into severe and lengthy solitary confinements as she kept me as much as she could exactly where she knew not only where I was – but what I was doing – which was exactly NOTHING except suffering as her proxy self in hell.
I could not HAVE an identity. Any time some tiny bit of Linda escaped and became visible to her I was horrendously abused.
This all began when I was born.
Tiny newborn Linda could not BE a human baby. Neither could Linda be a human being with any identity during the 18 years I was so abused. I learned to exist and to continue to exist this way. The only other choice would have been death and I did not choose to die. I chose to live. And live. And live.
I have one horrendous history of abuse that is – I really believe – beyond the range of what “ordinary” people can begin to conceive of no matter how kind they are, no matter how much they try to understand or try to convince me they do understand.
That social security shrink did understand. But nobody helps me access the kind of quality therapy I could perhaps make some use of although I know perfectly well that the worst of the trauma I endured built itself and my physiological reactions to it permanently into my body.
I am going to a local doctor on Monday. Today’s anxiety experiences gave me more information I can use as I try to convey to this doctor my “condition” and what I want: some kind of anti-anxiety medication that will assist me with two critically important things I need to do ASAP: (1) stop smoking, and (2) get through this relocation and resettlement.
If I don’t feel this doctor comprehends what I tell him I will stop him mid-sentence (whether I am understanding his actual words or not) and request that he refer me to a shrink who will understand and help me. I cannot wait forever for that appointment. I need that help now.
I take no prescription medication for any of my difficulties. I know myself and I know that my trauma-altered physiological changes from those 18 years of horrendous abuse and torture from birth are too complicated for any medication to “fix.” I am very clear about what I need right now, want right now and am asking for. Once I am through this tunnel of changes I will stop taking whatever I am prescribed.
Will this tact work? Beta-blockers are sometimes used off-label to treat PTSD. I have PTSD. Will a regular doctor be able to admit if he does not know how to respond to my requests? If not, I will have to catch him in the act of doing what doctors often do not like to admit – admit their ignorance on a subject.
After all, I was not born yesterday even though there are certainly anxiety-filled days within which I feel that way.
I hate it when I disappear to myself and as I think back about my experiences today that is what happened to me. No language = no identity. I could not think and I could not respond – and it was hell.
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16 thoughts on “+DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER (DID) – WITHOUT THE IDENTITIES”
I haven’t been here in awhile, but decided to check in this evening. So sorry you are having these issues. I have had them all of my life, something “triggers” my anxiety & my mind abandons me.
It has gotten a lot better in the past 10 years since I started taking Lexapro. I also have Klonopin to take as needed and it helps a lot.
I know that I am hyper-sensitive to other people’s energies due to the hyper-vigilance & all the other problems that come from PTSD/MST. What I read on your blog awhile back about not being able to regulate emotions, I believe, plays into this. Because we can’t regulate our own emotions, (never having been responded to appropriately), we, in turn, cannot “regulate” the emotional input from others & get overwhelmed by it. Because of that, whatever comes from another is actually amplified & it’s like hearing it from a loudspeaker right next to your ear. Other people don’t understand this “diffability” that some of us have & so don’t have the patience to deal with it.
Of course there are several ways to say “excuse me”, like, “Oh crap, I just remembered something” and run off, etc. I find that far better than blanking out, being absolutely positive that the other person can “see” what is going on with me, but I know they can’t. The most difficult thing is to recognize when this comes on and I think that’s what the Lexapro & counseling have done for me, not to mention reading your blog, (HUGE help).
I have finally learned not to be so hard on myself & I’ve also learned when I am overly tired, that everything is much worse. I have to be careful not to let myself get too tired.
With all the change you are now dealing with, I can only imagine the turmoil you must feel.
I feel guilty having gotten soooo much help from you & not being able to help you in return.
If I can do anything at all to help, please let me know.
Hi Lisa – Your words are very affirming to me and great timing for this!! I feel like a leaf adrift in a big river all by myself sometimes and it helps me tremendously to know I AM NOT ALONE! Then it is a little easier to float along knowing others are right there with me and together we can watch the white fluffy clouds in the blue sky, stars at night, perhaps brilliantly turning fall leaf colors above us – and then I know it is never ALL BAD!
I am going to post something on preschoolers that my friend sent me today. We have been at this business of living with the consequences of what trauma did to us in development all of our lives! Reading about this preschooler info was very affirming to me – things in my life and in the lives of many others were already so far in the wrong direction from the time we were so little! We are remarkable people – and I can see that in others but so hard to see in myself – so it helps so much to have affirmations from you to greet me here this evening!! Thank you so much!!
What you say about being an amplifier for other people’s emotions was very helpful for me to read, too. I think you will find the preschooler stuff interesting – so I better go post it!!
Here’s the post:
+WHAT GOES ON FOR PRESCHOOLERS – AND WHAT A LOT OF US MISSED! (attachment)
Thank you so much for the piece of information that DID without different identities is possible! This definitely explains me. I have finally discovered that when my carefully constructed world view becomes challenged by something – stress, manipulation by another person, events beyond my control, etc – I will *white out*. The only way I can describe it is like the snow on a television screen. I can’t hear, all I can hear is the sound of my heart pounding and the blood rushing through my ears….the person talking sounds like the parents on the old Peanuts cartoons. Time seems to run in slow motion. Racing thoughts take over and whatever is being conveyed to me is totally lost. I either have to have the person repeat what they said (perhaps several times) or miss it entirely. And shortly after my memory of the event gets wiped, like running a big magnet over a computer – until and unless something in the future triggers me to remember it. This is not within my control as far as I understand it at this point. The strange thing is, when I do remember, I get all kinds of details that I can’t prove or validate usually.
I’ve only recently started to understand this is happening to me, and it really is very frightening and hard to deal with. Problems happen in life, but my body is trying to shield me like I’m still a helpless child. It is really causing me trouble I have come to see.
I don’t know if I want you to post this on the blog. It really doesn’t feel safe to let the information “out there” that I am this way (fear people will take advantage more than they already do), but I couldn’t help myself after reading your post.
Thanks for being here.
I think what you say here is very important and others like you and I need to know how the world feels to yet another DID person. This is under the name “Anonymous C” so I don’t think anyone could identify you as the writer. I hope this is OK and that you will let this stand – please!
Let me know by reply to this if I need to remove your description.
I just had another experience this morning that added more thoughts for me about what “triggers” these states for me. This one is silly but as you say it played itself out in slow motion – and because the stakes were not high I could attend to my reaction and to what I was reacting to – which is rare to be that specific.
I wanted Avon boxes to move my books. A friend gave me the Avon woman’s telephone # yesterday. I called her and OMG! What an insane feeling trying to understand the directions she was giving me to her house to pick the boxes up!
It dawned on me that this was in important ways similar to my two other extremely high anxiety interactions this past week. AND it dawned on me that THOSE PEOPLE – all three of them – were actually very sloppy, disorganized, even inaccurate in HOW they conveyed info and in what info they conveyed.
I consider my difficulties to be related to information processing. (Info includes EVERYTHING – sensory, emotional, etc.)
When I need to understand information that is important to me – I need the SPEAKER to be clear, calm, orderly, accurate – all that good stuff. MANY PEOPLE have sloppy minds, evidently – IT IS NOT ALL MY PROBLEMS that create these situations.
This Avon woman didn’t ask which direction I was coming from, talked in circles until my head was spinning – spoke fast (her high pitched voice didn’t help) – and it wasn’t until I ASKED her to SLOW DOWN because I was going to write down every word she said. Only then did she become “coherent” even in her thought process!
While I was writing this I received a telephone call about the doctor’s appointment I have scheduled on Monday. Another example. The woman confirming the appointment was telling me I was to see someone entirely different than the doctor I CLEARLY asked for last week when I made the appointment in the first place. If this woman had not called today to confirm I would NOT have been “a sweet woman” on Monday when I arrived at the clinic and was faced with this inexcusable glaring incompetence!
So now I am wondering if I can use this new info I have about interactions that deeply trouble my anxiety to improve how I process interactions. I would have dissociated on Monday instead of being sweet. How do I excuse STUPID LAZY PEOPLE?
I am not sure yet….
After posting this I just called the doctors’ office and erased the trouble that I know I would have a hard time avoiding on Monday. I will survive without whatever would have happened there. I would have been upset and I would have been the ogre – and nobody, it seems, has to be accountable for their stupidity – We are the ones who are pointed out as “the bad guys.” Forget that nonsense!
Yes, I understand, your story was helpful to me, perhaps mine will be helpful to someone else. I hope you can understand my fears…..
I really get what you are saying about sloppy people, however I think perhaps what is actually pushing you over the edge is the fact that these things are important to you (moving your books, seeing the doctor of your choice for anxiety meds so you can function, etc) and the other person’s scatteredness might make you think you are not going to achieve your goal…….at least that is the way it looks from my sofa lol! “When I need to understand information that is important to me – I need the SPEAKER to be clear, calm, orderly, accurate – all that good stuff.” That is what does it to me at least, when some portion of my hard won *security* is being threatened – that is when I lose it. It isn’t the other person or how they are conveying the information, it my reaction to it that causes the problem. Something I hear triggers me and triggers that fear and off we go.
Mind you, I have only become fully aware that I am doing this a few months ago. I still don’t really understand it.
Yeah, every piece of information has to be succinct and exact.If something that’s said or if an actual sound is perceived as triggering -“off we go”…. lost to the “neither world” again.So much energy and endurance is needed to extract information.I like information to be factual, exact and accessible, it’s hard for us ( trauma survivors),” to “stay put” so information can be absorbed.*Sigh…yes, I hate scatteredness.
Helen – just generally – about where do you live? I am trying to picture size of town/city – climate – seasonal changes…. for you?
I live in the Great Lakes region… Summers are short and humid, winters are harsh and drawn out.I’m isolated..I live 30 mins outside the city.The majority of the population are white/anglo saxon, most grew up with each other – went to the same high school- married their classmates and peers.I’m from a major city two hrs from here. I’m an outsider apparently ( they don’t acknowledge me).So, there is very little community support and most are ignorant of mental illness.There aren’t very many warm welcoming people in my community.
Having lived in Fargo – and in northern Minnesota – I know what you mean. I have also lived remotely – and it’s a helluva place to get stuck in as an outsider. What is a person to do? What are YOU supposed to do in the conditions that invade your life? This is part of why it is hard for me to leave here and return north – but I have loving family up north. Here in the Bisbee, AZ area people are tolerant and accepting of eachother for the most part. I have greatly enjoyed that.
Winter scares me. I was wondering what you are facing – and winter is IT! I so wish I could help you!!
I have been thinking about what it was like for me yesterday – I disappear and then have to ask for quiet and patience from the people who were assisting me in my info search – while I went into the darkness to search after myself.
I knew I could only find myself in the silence. In complete calm. If I am in a situation where I cannot communicate to those around me my need, and it is not honored – I am left without myself – lost with a completely thoughtless blank mind.
” If I am in a situation where I cannot communicate to those around me my need, and it is not honored – I am left without myself – lost with a completely thoughtless blank mind.”
A perfect description of my childhood…..I was only allowed to be a carbon copy of my mother, thus *I* never formed. I am still that blank mirror, only I am mirroring other people now.
I’m so sorry to hear you are having such difficulties. I understand completely, unfortunately. I recently had one Reiki treatment and it really make a difference for me, but even better, he showed me this:
“EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over five thousand years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem – whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. — and voice positive affirmations.
This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the “short-circuit” – the emotional block — from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.”
This has been an enormous help to me. Granted, I had the benefit of him doing it to me so I knew how it should feel, but you are one smart cookie, you will get it easily from the videos.
I understand not being able to afford therapy but perhaps you could see if there is a Reiki practitioner in your area who might be able to help you. I have seen scads of doctors, no one has helped me as much as this one.
Here is hoping for better days…..
And as usual, I would prefer to remain anonymous.
Thank you – will investigate!!