Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Death of This Blog

 I'm faced with a bittersweet decision regarding this blog.  Up until this point, we have been blogging openly and honestly about my mental illness.  Well, it has come to our attention that this blog is being read by someone who knows me in Real Life.  I can't have that.  There is no way I can write without restraint if I'm aware that I'm being read by real people.  I began this blog mainly for myself; it's how I keep track of symptoms and of different K's and how I remember things I'd otherwise forget.  However, I've had a good many people write to me and tell me that our blog has helped them, that they've learned something, or that I've helped them feel as though they're not alone.  Some have even called me "brave" or "inspiring" (I don't know how to take a compliment though, so these titles only embarrass me).  I just write what's in my head.  If someone finds these ramblings entertaining or provocative, then that's great.  But my point is, I'm not trying to make everyone else happy, just myself-which is much harder to do.  I just don't feel I can continue this blog as I've been doing anymore.  My secret identity has been compromised.  Now I feel self-conscious and paranoid and embarrassed, and there is simply no way I can continue to write freely as I've done up to this point. I have decided the best thing to do is create a new blog elsewhere, where my real-life readers can't find it. I appreciate all my readers, and for them I shall keep this blog as is, despite my burning desire to delete it. (You can still comment on posts; I will read them)  Here now, in the end, this blog has brought me shame and humiliation by exposing my personal thoughts and actions (all the crazy, mentally ill stuff) to people who actually see me in person on occasion.  I simply cannot live with that.  Therefore, this is the end of this blog.  If you would like to continue reading our blog and are interested in getting the new blog address, please email me. I deeply regret the loss of any readers because of my moving the blog. If you have any questions about my experiences with mental illness, feel free to email me. We hope that you will follow us to our new blog home...I sincerely thank you for all of your comments and emails, and thank you for reading.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Triggering Tale Part 2

This post is the continuation of the last post I wrote.  This is the story of how K handled her mother's tearful goodbyes (brought on by her fear of imminent death).  After my aunt came and picked up my mom and took her to the doctor, I had a mini breakdown in the living room.  I did everything I knew to do to relieve some of the panic and stress. I drank beer, I took pills, I smoked pot, I journaled, I tweeted.  I thought to myself that I just needed to hold it together until Husband got home. That seemed to take years, but at long last he was there and he took care of me for the remainder of the day and all throughout the night, into the next day.  But I don't remember any of that.  I only know what Husband told me happened, and what I found the next day written in my blog and my journal...and I have the note.

Before I get to that part, I need to tell you about what happened after Husband came home.  He told me that I was quite upset and tearfully told him all that had happened with Mom.  And he said I had a meltdown.  He took me to the bedroom, put on some music, and tried to talk me down from my state of panic and fear.  That's when he said that I became someone else, that K checked out and was just gone and this new K was in her place.  He recognized that I had become another K, but he said he thought at first I was the one he calls Switch Kellie.  After he'd talked to her for a few minutes, however, he realized that he was interacting with someone different.  He said he'd never met her before, but I wouldn't know about that.  He began to ask her questions in an attempt to get to know this new K.  She told him she was the one who had all the information, that she knew all about K's DID and about the other K's; she told him she was like "the gatekeeper".  Husband called this new K "Kellie Prime", because he said he felt as though this K was the one in charge.  Of course, I have no way of knowing whether she's the leader of the pack or not. But I have the journal entry she wrote as well as a partial blog post. I suppose I'll post that partial post, just to have as an example of Kellie Prime's writing, and as a record of my switching for my psychiatrist.

This is what Kellie Prime left for K to find the next day in our blog:

We had a very interesting talk with Husband earlier.  He was telling me how I've been switching today.  He told me he met 2 different K's today, and that this was the first time he'd ever met either of them.  One of them I, myself, know very little about, or at least she hides and doesn't come out much.  The first K that presented herself to Husband was very down-to-earth and practical and Husband says she seemed like she knew a lot about what was going on within K. That would be me. Yes, I do know a great deal about what is going on in K's mind. Her system, they call it.  Her internal world. We call it "Kellie World".  I know that I am here because of the stress of the day's events and that the greater the stress, the bigger the obstacle, the more often we switch.  At first Husband thought I might be Switch Kellie, but after talking with us for a few minutes, he realized I was someone else.  I'm not sure why, but he called me Kellie Prime.  I'm not certain that's correct; it implies that I am the host, and I'm not sure about that yet. We're still trying to figure out everyone's job here in Kellie World. But I've learned a great deal in the past 24 hours. I learned that K has an alter (I really don't like that word) who is in charge of the information about the other K's. That K, me, is very interested in information, and in gathering information and sorting information. I want to know the facts.

There is also a journal entry written by Kellie Prime. In it she talks about how hard it is for her to write with a pen and paper, because she's used to typing. She says that she's the K who comes from time to time whenever things get stressful.  She also again mentions having information. Then there's a gap of 12 hours, and then there's a journal entry which talks about being more than one person, and about having both the information of Kellie Prime as well as the thoughts and feelings of K. I'm assuming this was written while we were in a state of co-consciousness.  It says that we've had a talk with Husband, and that he explained to us about our switching...and then it goes on to say that according to Hubby, we switched right in front of him.  He said we went from being Kellie Prime to being a little girl.  He told us our face changed, and our expression disappeared and we were looking very far off and then we became a child.  He said she was crying about her mommy being sick and that she was scared.  He said she was only in the room for about 5 minutes.  Just long enough to leave us this note:

Mommy very sick. She might die. We're scared. Just a little girl I can't take care of me. Don't know what we'll do without Mom. She's our best friend. She takes care of us. We don't know grown up stuff.I'm smart though. I'm 6.

Husband told us that after those few minutes wherein The Little Girl was crying, talking about Mommy, and writing the note, that K's face went blank again, and her eyes closed, and she was unresponsive for about a minute or two.  Then Kellie Prime was back with him, and she asked him what happened, and when he told her about how she'd switched into a child, she got very interested and began asking questions.  She told him it was her job to have all the information, so she needed him to tell her everything he knew about The Little Girl.  He didn't know much.  But Kellie Prime told Husband that he had, in fact, met The Little Girl before.  One day, a long time ago, he came home from work and found us hiding under the comforter on the bed.  We were on our hands and knees and were talking to ourselves and rocking back and forth.  He'd said that we told him we were scared of the people, and that we had to hide from the people outside the window.  So Kellie Prime told all of this to Husband, and he was very kind and gentle with us, and understanding.  He wasn't freaked out or anything, and don't you agree most people would be?

Eventually, we got tired and fell asleep.  When I woke up the next morning, my brain was all fuzzy, and for a couple of hours, before I finished off my pot of coffee, I could still feel Kellie Prime at the surface of our reality, and I could think her thoughts.  Eventually, she went back inside and I was K again. That's when I began investigating the time I'd lost the day before...and when I found the blog post and the journal entries, and when I decided that all of this might make good subject matter.

A Triggering Tale

This will be a triggering post for me to write but we feel it's important to K's sanity (whatever amount she may have left) that we discuss this subject.  I'm going to write about death, or more specifically, the death of our mother. No, she is not dead. But she is old and her health is failing and therefore this is something that we fear we may have to deal with at some point in the (hopefully not too) near future.  First I need to tell you about my mom.  You can't possibly sympathize with me unless you know a bit about our mother.

Mom will be 83 years old in August.  She is the hardest working woman I've ever seen in my life.  She is always working, cleaning something, cooking, anything, just to keep busy. She helped my father build the house in which I now reside. She worked a factory job until she began having children. My sister is 20 years older than me, my brother 15 years older. Needless to say, I am the baby.  Mom had me at a very late stage in her life, and I often joke that she originally named me "Menopause".  So I've grown up with a mother who was the same age as my friends' grandmothers.  This was probably both a blessing AND a curse.  A blessing because she loved me as though I were a miracle baby, and indeed she has called me at times her "miracle child", I believe because when she got pregnant with me, the doctors told her it'd be a difficult pregnancy due to her age and that I might have problems when I was born.  Also because she's told me before that she was in labor with me for such a long period of time that she thought I'd never come out.  So I guess in those ways, I am her miracle.  A curse because she was old-fashioned and didn't understand my generation-especially me!-at all.  She tried to be strict with me yet I was spoiled rotten.  Mom was/is forever buying me gifts, everything from new clothes to expensive jewelry. I DO appreciate all these things, but they make me feel terribly guilty; I don't deserve them.

I'm not going to lie. I am ashamed of the way we treated our mom when we were younger.  We didn't treat her with the respect she deserves.  We yelled and argued and I would curse at her and steal her credit cards and sneak out or run away from home... I was a real brat, although at that time the doctor called it bipolar.  Seriously, of course, I was mentally ill, and all those terrible things I did and said had a lot to do with the fact that I was sick and not in therapy or on medication. I am one of those people who truly needs medication. I can't function as a regular person without meds. But I digress. My mother and I loved each other very much but were not what I would call close until I was about 30 years old.  I guess it just takes time for children to learn to appreciate their parents and all the sacrifices made on their behalf throughout life. So anyway, I suppose I was trying to atone for the sins of my youth and thus I began to do everything I could to help my mother and be a better daughter.  When my father became terminally ill, I moved in with my parents to help my mother take care of him; I was there for 2 years.  After my dad's death, I stayed with my mother for about 3 months, just so she wouldn't be alone.  She and my father had been married for 55 years, and she had never lived alone before.  So I stayed with her and we grieved my father's death together; I think it's the only thing that prevented me from ending up in a psychiatric hospital (I did not handle my dad's death well at all) Eventually the day came when I moved back to my own place, which was an hour north of my mother's much smaller city. I'd been living 2000 miles away in the Pacific Northwest before Daddy got sick, but I chose to stay in the South after he died, just to be near my mother.  It was good to have my own personal space again, but I did miss my mom.  Every morning, I made myself a cup of coffee and smoked a cigarette on the balcony and called my mom, first thing.  I'm not sure who these calls meant more to, me or her.  But I couldn't start my day until I'd talked to Mom, and if she didn't hear from me by early-afternoon, she'd get worried and call me.  That is one thing I should tell you about my mother-she's a worrywart.  She is always and forever worried about me, I don't know if it's because I'm the baby of the family or if it's because of my mental illness or if it's just a maternal thing.  You might even say that she's always been over-protective of me, but she's gotten much more relaxed and better about it since she's gotten older.  She does still call me if I'm not home when I said I would be though.  All you really need to know is that Mom is the most loving and generous and thoughtful mother on the planet.  She would do anything for me, and has done more than I could ever list (or remember). 

Now we get to the part about her health. After my father died, Mom really went downhill.  She's been in and out of the hospital more times than I can count for congestive heart failure, emphysema, COPD, pneumonia, blood clots in both lungs....I could go on and on.  Let's just say that Mom has had a LOT of health problems over the years.  But she's a trooper, she's tough as nails, and she always pulls through, even when my sister and I thought she wouldn't make it.  Mom is a fighter.  I'm thankful for that, otherwise she wouldn't be with me today.  But things are not so good right now.  About 3 years ago, Mom's health deteriorated to the point where she could no longer live by herself.  And so I moved in with her. I am now my mother's caregiver.  I keep track of all her medication doses and doctor's appointments and basically just see to it that she's got everything she needs or wants.  I get up every morning and check on her and give her her medications and check her oxygen levels and maybe her blood sugar and help her get dressed for the day. She's currently recovering from a minor surgical procedure which requires me to clean, disinfect, and dress 2 wounds on her lower back. She contracted Shingles back in January and has been in a lot of pain for months now.  In the end she had to get an electrical nerve stimulator implanted in her back; hence the wounds I've been cleaning.  She's just starting to feel good again....but she has good days and bad days.  Recently, we had a bad day.  A very bad day.

It started out just fine. She was up and watching the news and reading her newspaper while drinking coffee...she said she'd slept well the night before and that she felt really good.  So I believed her; she gave me no reason to doubt her.  My husband left for work, and I went to the laptop to check emails and whatnot, and while I was sitting there, on the sofa, I happened to glance over at my mother, who was seated in the recliner next to the sofa.  She was sitting on the very edge of her chair, and was leaning forward,  I noticed she seemed to be out of breath and her eyes were closed. I immediately asked her if she was OK, and she shook her head no.  I sprang into action-asking all the typical heart attack questions, checking her blood oxygen levels, putting the oxygen mask on her, wiping her brow which seemed damp with sweat, getting her an ice pack for her sore back, and giving her something for pain.  She wanted to go lie down, so I helped her up and we slowly made our way back to her bedroom.  I put her to bed, arranging pillows and positioning ice packs before pulling the blankets up over her... and that's about the time she started to cry.

She whimpered at first, then it got worse and in the end she was sobbing.  She kept telling me how much she loved me and how she didn't want to leave me.  I tried to keep things light and told her she wasn't going anywhere but she cried harder and said yes, she was, and soon.  I put my arms around her and hugged her tight and told her she was going to be just fine.  She continued to cry, and it was then that she asked if she could have one of my Xanax to calm her down. I knew it was serious if she was asking me for anxiety medicine-she's afraid for its danger of addiction.  So I gave her .5 mg of Xanax and sat at her bedside waiting for it to kick in. It was time for her to take a breathing treatment, so while she was doing that, I ran off to my room and called my sister. I was more upset than I'd realized and when she asked what was wrong I began to cry.  Tried to explain to her that Mom was talking about dying and saying her goodbyes; my sister (who lives a thousand miles away) told me to call my aunt, she was a nurse, she'd be able to help.  And so I called my aunt, then went and sat at my mother's bedside to wait. I didn't mention to my mother that I'd talked to my aunt. It seemed to take forever for the Xanax to ward off Mom's tears, and then it was an eternity before my aunt arrived. But I left them alone and went back to my room. I was really freaked out.  I'm so superstitious that I thought perhaps Mom was having a premonition about her death and that really messed with my mind.  I convinced myself that she was about to die and a panic attack ensued.  I locked the bedroom door and waited for the anxiety pill I'd taken to kick in.  When I finally emerged from my room, I found that my aunt had decided to take Mom to see the pain-management doctor (a 45 minute drive).  So I helped Mom get dressed and gathered up her portable oxygen tank and medications and ice pack and pillow, and I put her in my aunt's car.  As I was fastening her seat belt, she told me again how much she loved me, and again the tears began to flow down her cheeks.  I had to get out of there. When they drove away I ran inside the house and lost. My. Shit. 

I took a handful of pills.  I drank a beer. I smoked some pot.  I was just trying to hold on until my husband got home from work.  I don't really remember much after that.  What I know about the rest of the day and night is only what my husband told me happened and also what I found written in my journal and my blog the next day.  This is where things get interesting, and I think it's necessary to put the rest of the story into a second blog post.  This one is already far too long.  I hope you'll take the time to read part 2 as well; it's infinitely more entertaining than this post.  Preview: K switches into a new K for 24 hours...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Emergency Therapy

I had to go see my psychiatrist for an emergency appointment the other day. This was the first time I'd ever tried to see her without a scheduled appointment; I wasn't sure she'd see me at all.  At first it seemed like she wouldn't see me, as two hours passed after I made my shaky, tear-filled phonecall to her office and still no one had called me back as they'd promised.  I was completely honest about my reasons for needing to see her so urgently. I told the receptionist that one of my friends had died and that I was having a complete and utter meltdown.  Her tone of voice never changed-it was professional-when she explained that Dr. H was with a patient and she'd have to talk to her and get back to me as soon as was possible.  I hung up the phone wondering if I'd wasted my time. What made it even harder to deal with was the fact that I'd sat patiently by the phone all morning, waiting for the time to come whereupon their office would open so I could call.  And then they tell me someone will get back to me. And then I sit, and I wait for the call. All the while, I'm going more and more out of my mind.  I was really not doing well at all that day, in fact I'd been doing poorly for a thousand days by that point in time.

We're not entirely certain when the event happened, but my psychiatrist and I have used my journal, this blog, and my Tweets and text messages to get an idea of a timeline. My doctor believes that my friend Bill died sometime around June 4.  The blog entry made on June 5 was written in a dissociated state; my doctor believes he died sometime between the evening of June 4 and the morning of June 5, as that's when I seemed to completely lose my mind. I don't remember these things. I don't remember when Bill died. I don't remember freaking out, but there's evidence right here in this blog.  I don't know how much time passed between my freakout and my emergency psych appointment...I just know that someone pushed me to make the call to my doctor, and eventually I did.  I thought I could handle Bill's death, I really thought I was OK. But I was very far from OK. The first thing I had to deal with was the terrible, overbearing guilt I felt. I felt guilty because I'd been meaning to email Bill, and catch up with him, see how he was doing.  I kept putting it off. I'd emailed him a few months earlier, and found out he had been sick, but I had no idea just how bad it was. And so I procrastinated.  And now it is too late. I will never be able to email Bill again.  That's hard to believe, hard to accept. I've known him since I was 17 years old and first moved to the city to go to college. He lived downstairs in my apartment building and we became friends. We even dated briefly, but it was his best friend who became my long-term boyfriend. Which means I was around Bill all the time. I was good friends with his girlfriend, and the four of us went out all the time, and took trips to Florida or to New Orleans together.  I had a lot of wild and crazy times with Bill. He was quite a character. A punk rocker with a mohawk and a motorcycle jacket. He loved tattoos, hot rods, and whiskey.  He looked all rough and tough but he had a sensitive side which he worked hard to keep hidden. The only reason I even know about it is because as I said earlier, we dated briefly. It didn't last long, and it ended with me shoving him naked out of my apartment and throwing his clothes out the door after him.  That makes me laugh even as the tears well up in my eyes thinking about it. Oh, Bill. I can't believe you're dead.  Making this all the more difficult is the fact that there will be no funeral, as per Bill's wishes.  He wasn't a religious guy and I'm not surprised he requested cremation with no service. But that puts me in a position in which I'm unable to say goodbye in any formal way.  There won't be a grave I can visit. I can't place flowers at the site of an accident. Nothing. He's just...gone.

When I finally got the call from my shrink's office, they told me to come right then at that very moment. So I ran out the door as is, hair unkempt, no makeup, tear-streaked face. I don't remember driving there but I do remember that once I got to the office, the receptionist was very kind and asked me if I'd like to sit in a private room (there were several people in the waiting room).  And so it happened that I was able to sit secluded and cry without embarrassment until my doctor was able to squeeze me in and talk to me. I don't remember everything about the session itself. I told her I was missing a lot of time and we did some investigation work using my journals and cell phone. She had told me at the last session to get a calendar and begin writing everything down, so that I might be able to keep track of my days and nights without losing so much time. So I'd been doing that, I'd been writing things down...and then there was a gap. Just suddenly, all the information cuts off. I have no idea where I was or what I was doing during that chunk of time, and we've come to gather that it's about 15 hours.  She told me that she believes I was in a dissociated state this entire time. I'm missing 15 hours. You have no idea how disconcerting that is unless you've experienced it.  It's like a drunken blackout, only there is no alcohol involved and you're not hungover afterwards. Also, you don't pass out. I was conscious during those 15 hours, and I have a feeling I never left my house. But anything else? It's just a blank.  My psychiatrist and I determined that we could never truly know what happened during that time period, and so far no one has come forward with any sort of damning evidence against me for some horrible stunt I pulled while I was blacked out, so I'm going to assume that I didn't get into any trouble.  If I had to take a stab at a guess, I'd say I was crying. Possibly curled up in a fetal position on the bed.

 “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”   ~Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Too much.  There's too much in my head. Can't think clearly. Can't process emotions. Ha. What emotions? I feel hollow today. Can't decide how I feel or think... just empty. Everything's chaotic yet nothing is happening. Lost a lot of time and can't find any hints as to what I was doing or where I was at or anything at all. Scared now. What if I did something bad? One of the K's is mean; what if she hurt someone's feelings? Or what if something embarrassing happened? I could be the laughing stock of the town right now-how would I know? Deep breaths. Feeling worried now. I think. Hell, I don't know how we feel! A hundred different emotions all running around inside me, but yet I actually feel none of them.  That doesn't even make sense!  For the love of all that is holy, K, just pick a mood and go with it! I need help. Someone tell me how to feel today cause I just don't know. Time is flying by but I'm sitting still. Brain just won't function properly. Did I miss some meds?  What the hell is going on here? Normally when I have an "episode", we write. I blog. I journal. I tweet and text and make lists. Pretty much all the K's either write or draw pictures. But this time, nothing. No clues left behind for K to find. So I'm totally lost. Don't have any ideas what happened between yesterday afternoon and today. Fuck. I can't even write. None of this makes sense. What a waste of energy. I am no one. We are nothing. I'm pretty sure we don't exist today.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Inevitable Crash

Well, here we go again.  I was feeling so good.  I was living my life, and things were going pretty darn well.  I got to take a weekend trip far away and had an absolute blast.  I was really living high.  I felt so good it made me nervous.  And this is why. Because invariably, once I'm up, I must come down.  The better I feel, the harder I crash.  So based on how content-even happy-I was up to this point, this has the potential to be a real low.  I can look at the situation from outside myself and see that it's silly.  But I suppose it is akin to that feeling you get the day after Christmas when you're a kid. One day you're on top of the world, the next day it's all over and you just can't imagine waiting a whole year to feel that happy again.  That's where I'm at now.  It's the day after Christmas and all the good stuff has already happened.  There's nothing left to look forward to.  I can't see any reason to be cheerful.  I know it's terribly selfish of me to want it to be Christmas everyday, and indeed I don't really want that, as a special occasion would not be special if it occurred too frequently.  I simply want to be...optimistic.  Hopeful.  For what, I don't know. I just know that I need something to dream about, something to wish for, something to wait for.  During these downhill slides, I lose sight of everything good in my life. It's as though I'm wearing blinders and can't see what's right in front of me. The depression creeps in and wraps its icy arms around me. At least one part of me disagrees with what I'm telling you right now.  One of the K's sees the bright side of things and can always find something positive, no matter how crappy the situation.  But that's not me.  No, I'm the realist. Note that I did NOT say pessimist.  REALIST.  I believe that life is rough and slaps you around and most people are only looking out for themselves.  I believe these things because these are the things I've learned in my lifetime.  Maybe I'm just cynical, but I know that I've learned a few things in my time on this earth, and what I've learned is not necessarily of a positive nature. No, the world is harsh and cold and tough and there's always something standing in the way of your happiness. It's how you handle all of these problems that makes the difference in your life.  Take my current situation. I've been so happy for so many days in a row now that I'm crashing hard and fast back down to earth. I can either continue to free-fall and land in a jumbled, broken mess or I can try to fly, as silly as that sounds.

Skip ahead 2 days: I did not fly.  I crashed and burned. Yeah, I really fell hard this time, and lost my shit pretty hardcore. I've been hiding in my bedroom for the past two days and I just can't bring myself to come out. I have an adjoining bathroom, and I have a stash of Diet Coke and a box of Cheez-its.  I was separated from my pills, but my husband was thoughtful enough to bring them to me, and so now there is no reason for me to leave this room. Truth be told, I'm scared to leave this room.  I have been sitting on the bed for an indeterminate amount of time, watching the sky outside my window grow darker and darker, the clouds reaching out like fingers trying to grab me. Now it's pitch black and I can't see a thing. Normally I'd be far too paranoid to have the blinds open, but since I have no lights on anywhere, I know that no one can see me. I hide in the shadows. I am like a statue, I haven't moved in what must be hours...nothing except the hands on my keyboard that is. Twitter is my connection to the outside world.  It is the only way I will communicate-I'm not answering my phone or the door. The support I receive from people on Twitter helps us hold on, it really does. Sometimes a tweet makes all the difference in the world to us by letting me know there's someone out there somewhere, and I am not alone. I'm not sure which K is tweeting during this meltdown; probably a few. We are all over the map, personality wise. I am coming in and out of consciousness... I can't keep up with how often I'm switching or who's out when. I keep eating Xanax and Risperdal and Seroquel. Just feels like my mind is in overdrive and the pressure is almost unbearable. If I didn't know better, I'd think my head was going to burst wide open like a water balloon. There's a lot of arguing in my head. All the voices are yelling at me and each other and there's an ungodly amount of noise inside my mind. That's the reason I'm in seclusion. I can't tolerate any more stimulation of any kind-audible or visual. I MUST sit alone in the dark, in the silence.  This is my only respite.

Friday, June 1, 2012

In A Nutshell (Pun Intended)

 If you're a new reader, and would like to "skip to the good stuff"....this page contains links to the blog posts  explaining K's story, and a couple written by different K's.

The Lost Blog Post  (history of our mental health as told by a different K)

Major Breakthrough or Break From Reality? (K has an important realization)

The Discovered Diaries (clues to our past and present)

The Mystery Blog Post  (written by a different K)

Help From Afar (an email from the ex-boyfriend to my husband, regarding my switching)

Peeling Off An Old Label (life-changing news about our diagnosis)

How I Became A Walking Drugstore (a breakdown of our past diagnoses)

How To Be Our Friend   (tips on how to get to know us)

What's Wrong With Us?  (we talk about Dissociative Identity Disorder)

Another Day, Another K (switching)

My Own Reality Show (what it's like inside our head)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Animated Day

Today (Wednesday) has been quite a trying day, but interesting at least. We were supposed to be at therapy at 9:30 this morning.  I found out around 9:00 that the car wouldn't crank. Luckily, my husband was home and getting ready to go to work at I called my psychiatrist and told her I'd be a half hour late. Obviously I started the day off on a highly stressful note, and that is my greatest trigger, so it really came as no surprise that I had a rough day.  Hubby drove us in his car when we left, and he had to stop at the drugstore on the way to work. I waited in the car, and by the time he came back I was no longer in my body.  I struggled to pull myself back inside my head, but it was a hopeless battle. I dissociated and don't remember anything until he's getting out of the car, and I see that we are at his job, and like a robot I get out of the car and walk around to the driver's side and get behind the wheel... Hubby kissed me goodbye then disappeared inside but I just sat there in the car with the engine running for a long time.  I was trying to figure out how to make the car move. Everything began to physically transform and the inside of the car took on an animated appearance, like a cartoon. I began to operate on auto-pilot.  Driving to my doctor's office was exactly like being in a video game. I don't know how else to describe it. My hands weren't really touching the steering wheel; it seemed very far away, much too far for me to reach. I was looking through the windshield and it was unreal, everything was far in the distance and out of focus. I had the distinct feeling, nay knowledge that I was untouchable, unstoppable, impervious to harm. I knew I could not, would not wreck the car or have any sort of accident or run-in with the police. It wasn't possible, for all of this was just a game.  Not real.  I don't know how long it took to get to the psych's office; everything was in slow motion yet seemed to be flying by very fast at the same time.  I don't understand how that was possible, but that's how it seemed to us.  Once in the parking lot, I just sat in the car for a long time with the air blowing in my face. I pulled the visor down to look in the mirror and was quite upset to see that the reflection looking back at me was wearing bright red lipstick.

I do NOT wear bright lipstick, although we're aware that some of the K's do. I unceremoniously wiped it off with the back of my hand, then just stared stupidly at the red streaks coloring my pale skin. Decided I just didn't care-what difference did it make?-and just left the red lipstick smeared all over my hand.  Finally walked into the building but it felt more like I was gliding or floating or something.  I couldn't feel the ground beneath my feet. I made it inside and walked up to the counter and signed my name, but not without some difficulty. I was unable to write in cursive; I had to print my name, and the handwriting was shaky. I had taken 1 mg Xanax while in the car at my husband's job, and as soon as I sat down in my usual corner chair I took another 1 mg.  There were a number of people in the waiting room with me; I'm not sure how many because I kept my head down and wouldn't look at anyone. I pulled my legs up underneath me and tried to curl up into a ball in my seat... and the waiting started. I was antsy and anxious and very eager to see my psychiatrist, as I'd been under a lot of stress since our last appointment.  I got out my notebook and tried to make a list, but just couldn't focus...I was too distracted by the thought that everyone in the room was staring at me. I kept looking down, or took out my journal and flipped through it, or played with my phone, perhaps even tried to tweet I can't remember now.  I just couldn't think about anything except how things were in what looked like claymation...3D cartoons of sorts. I was looking around the room in wonder when this guy came in the door... He was younger than K's body but walked like an elderly person, all hunched over and wobbly and he shuffled across the floor using a crooked wooden can and his jeans were hanging very low around his hips, exposing his striped boxer shorts, and for whatever reason, he scared us. K's heart began to pound just as soon as she laid eyes on him (even though she never looked directly at him) and of course our luck would have it that he came over and sat down in the chair right beside us. Panic started welling up inside me. My body was turned away from the strange young man, and I was intentionally looking across the room, through the other people, staring at the wall with nothing in my head except the irrational fear I felt of the person to my left. I wasn't sure I could handle it, and thought briefly about going outside and sitting in the car, but I was terrified my name would be called while I was out and I'd lose my place and have to wait even longer to see the doctor.  So we sat there, panicking, in the middle of a childlike environment filled with caricatures of people...and then my name was called. The receptionist walked over to me and asked me to come with her. I was confused but did as I was told; I wondered if we were being scolded for some reason.  She walked us out the door and around the building to a back door, while explaining to us that the toilet had overflowed and how sorry she was for the inconvenience. It was bizarre to me, but so was everything right then. Now I'm in the psychiatrist's office and I'm trying to explain to her how everything feels like a video game...and she asked me if I was a different person. I can remember all these things because we wrote them down in our notebook. We take notes in therapy now and it is really helping us.  So she asked me if I was a new K, but I didn't know the answer to the question.  It's strange to not know who you are.  I really can't even begin to put it into words. You feel lost and empty nothing.  I told her I didn't know for sure who I was at the moment, and that I felt "switchy".  I don't remember the rest of the session, except for one part:  she was telling me how to use a calendar to keep up with time, so that I can remember when things happen.  I guess that sounds silly to someone with a normal grasp of time, but to someone who struggles to keep up with what day of the week it is, this is a really big deal.  She asked me if something happened this past Sunday or last Sunday, and I didn't know the difference.  I admitted that I never knew when things happened, that I use old text messages as clues to how I spent my time. So she told me to get a calendar and take notes on it, like it was a diary. Write down when I go places, when I do things.  She said it'd help me put my lost time together.  I intend to try it.  I don't remember the rest of the session, nor do I remember driving home.  The rest of the day is scattered and disconnected. I can only recount bits and pieces of it...someone bought McDonald's fries and K doesn't eat at McDonald's anymore, hasn't in years.  I remember we decided that perhaps if we took a nap, that the proper K would be with us whenever we woke up.  I might have tweeted about that, I'm not sure.  Then there's a big chunk of time missing, where I'm assuming I was napping. Next thing I know, I'm putting on an act for my mother, and pretending everything is normal as I put her to bed.  After that, I found myself hanging out with my husband in our bedroom, and I remember him asking questions like "Which K are you?" and "Are you switching on me?". Again, I remember because I made notes about all these things. I found the questions intriguing. I don't remember anything else after that. I think his questions flipped some switch in my brain, and my reality shifted once again. Next thing I know, I'm waking up in bed in my clothes and wearing my glasses.  And that's when I began to write this blog post.