Friday, March 2, 2012

Looking For Part II of the Self-Mutilation Post?

This post is supposed to be the second part of our last blog post, The Evolution of My Self-Mutilation-Part I.  In fact, I have already written and edited Part II.  I just can't bring myself to publish it.  I'm too ashamed and embarrassed for anyone to find out the secrets contained within that post.  I mean, I've written about some stuff since I began this blog in late December that made K feel really self-conscious, like posts about my dissociation or my hallucinations or our eating disorder.  The latest post, about self-harm, was hard to write, because thinking about cutting naturally made us want to cut.  I didn't get too graphic to prevent triggering-both others' and my own. I've had a number of people read "Evolution of Self-Mutilation",  but so far no one has left a comment or sent me a message so I have no clue what people are thinking or feeling after they've read it.  What if I offended someone?  My cutting is not so severe as some people's, I mean I've never almost bled to death or been hospitalized for a wound.  Does that mean my self-harm is less real, or less emotionally charged?  It certainly seems real enough to me, and I have decades' worth of scars as evidence.  So it seems I'm coming to accept my compulsion to injure myself, and perhaps now that I've talked about it, I'll feel less humiliated about it.  So.  Now the big questions is, what about Part II of the blog post?  Why can't we publish it?  What am I so deathly afraid of?  Well, for one thing, the second part of the SH post is much different from the first part.  Part II contains secrets I've kept since childhood, secrets I've told no one, ever, not family or friends or even a psychiatrist.  I've seen so many psych docs, yet I never said a word about this particular issue, which I've dealt with on a daily basis for what feels like an eternity.  I felt, and feel, so much shame that it's just impossible to imagine admitting the activity out loud, even to strangers whose faces I cannot see.  So I don't know whether I'll be able to publish "The Evolution of My Self-Mutilation-Part II".  It could take some time to work up my courage.  It might require encouragement from other people, or at least from other K's.  It might get posted tomorrow, or maybe never.  It was the hardest thing I've ever written, so I will definitely not delete it...I just don't know what to do with it. I was thinking that by writing all of those terrible things down, it would ease the humiliation. Instead, it brings me nothing but shame, anxiety, and self-loathing.  I disgust myself.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Evolution of My Self-Mutilation, Part I

I don't know what the trigger was, or what initially drew me to it. All I can remember is that sometime around the age of 13, I began cutting.  It was my secret.  I wasn't doing it because I was suicidal-I didn't want to die (well, sometimes I did, but that's a whole different story)-I just wanted to feel the pain and see the blood. Cutting is totally different than suicidal actions.  I certainly wasn't doing it for attention, as I've actually heard some therapists say about the practice of self-injury. (OOH that makes us mad!) I didn't want attention, I wanted everyone to just leave me the hell alone. I was careful to cut in places that other people wouldn't be able to see, like my thighs and my upper arms.  Sometimes I used a knife, sometimes a razor blade, sometimes scissors, once or twice even a piece of broken glass.  It didn't matter to me.  What mattered was the physical act of hurting myself, of disfiguring myself, of punishing myself.  I had different reasons for the cutting at different times, but the compulsion was always the same: to draw blood.  Cutting was a release of all the pent-up anger and anxiety that I was suffering through not only as a hormone-driven teenager, but also as an unmedicated psych patient who was majorly depressed as well as manic and at times even psychotic. I was a wreck. I took everything out on my body. I chewed my fingernails down to bloody stubs when I was in school and couldn't hurt myself as I'd have liked. I stole a scalpel from the Biology lab and it became a favorite cutting utensil. By the time I was 15 I was carving words into my forearms.  I was terribly depressed as a teenager and the cutting was a way to relieve some of the agony of living.  The pain on the inside was so great, that the only way I could handle it was by experiencing pain on the outside.  So I cut, my arms and my thighs, inside my arms and calves.  Perfect rows of cuts, spaced evenly, all the same length. I'm even OCD when I'm in self-injure mode. The cuts had to be PERFECT, and I'd spend exorbitant amounts of time making each cut perfectly align with the ones beside it.  Sometimes, I'd use a needle or nail scissors and draw swirly patterns on my arms and I loved watching as the blood ran down my arms, mixing with each other, the patterns and blood resembling roses on my arm.  I felt better about the pain in my head and heart when I could feel the pain on my body.

 And speaking of that, I should explain that better.  When I'm doing any type of self-harming behavior, I get so caught up in what I'm doing that I am in a whole other world.  I guess what I'm talking about is dissociation, but I'm not sure it happens every time.  Sometimes, I can't feel the pain as I'm not in my body. Sometimes I'm a K who either is strong enough to endure the pain, or else I actually get psyched about it and enjoy it. (One or two of the K's is into BDSM). And of course, many times I don't remember the self-injury at all, I just find the bloody mess left behind. That, and the scars.

  So many scars.  I lie about how they came to be on my skin.  I have told the same story for many years, about how I was in a terrible car accident (true) and how all those little scars on my arms came from a broken windshield and pieces of metal showering down on me. (Truth? Some of them are cigarette burns, others are from needles/sharp objects)  Or I'll explain the round scars by saying that I had horrible acne in my teens.  Or I will just act like my skin has always been that way, and that those aren't scars, they're birthmarks.  Or something like that.  (sigh)  So many lies. At least I'm very pale-skinned, so the scars show less than they would on someone with darker skin.  After so many years though, it became impossible to come up with a sufficient lie and so we just started wearing long-sleeves at all times. And long pants or dresses.  We avoided the beach or pools-no way in hell could I bare that much skin-and I'm sad to say that I missed out on a lot of good times throughout my life because of my embarrassment and shame due to the results of cutting.  At other times we'd let all our wounds heal, and it was during those times, in our early 20's, when our skin was pale and smooth, that we did artists' modeling.  Since K is an artist and was an art major, she had lots of friends who approached her to model for photography class or sculpture.  For several years K modeled for art classes.  Now during this period in my life, I gave up the self-injury altogether. Naturally I couldn't cut while I was posing, sometimes nude, for artists, so I began getting pierced. For those of you reading this who cut, please do not be offended by my likening body piercing with cutting; I understand there's a huge difference, I'm just saying that for me the two interchanged nicely.  I found body piercing to be a natural replacement for cutting.  I mean, I still got to experience the pain, which I longed for and even needed, plus I was tearing into my flesh, stabbing sharp metal needles into my skin, causing bleeding and wounds and a pain which would linger until it had healed up.  Now some of my piercings, in addition to my compulsive need to scar my body, were also decorative (such as my navel or nose); other piercings I got strictly for the pain.  For those, I'd leave the jewelry in for a couple of days and then take it out and let the piercing heal. (Example=both sides of my labia) It should come as no surprise then that I have a number of tattoos as well; again, it just seemed to me to be another form of self-mutilation, only I was paying someone else to hurt me.  I insisted on designing all my own tattoos, and each one has a special symbolism behind it.  I get tattooed when something life-altering happens; I get pierced when I'm in extreme emotional pain. I have six tattoos, including a large black piece which covers my stomach and wraps around my navel.  I've been pierced 34 times, including a corset piercing which was 12 piercings done all in one sitting, up my back (then I was laced up with satin ribbon; it was for a photo shoot)  The most painful piercing, by far, was my urethra, and I had it done twice. Is this too much information?  I'm just talking about my wounds, wasn't that the point of this blog post?  Forgive me for rambling on about my body modifications.  But it was my psychiatrist who told me that tattoos and piercings are the "grown-up" version of my cutting and self-harm.  One other thing I found to be especially fulfilling and painful was getting branded with blessed cone incense, three at once in an inverted triangle on my lower back.  A Buddhist performed the ritual and placed the incense cones on my back and then just let them burn all the way down until they went out by themselves. Yes, it hurt.  And I'd love to do it again, on top of the same scars. So I guess the only question left to ask now is, Do I ever still cut, like with a razor blade? The answer, unfortunately, is yes, but it's not nearly as bad as it once was. The stress would have to be over the top and unbearable to make me cut with razors again.  I'm well-medicated and have a husband who keeps an eye (he times my bathroom visits) on me and besides, I can always just go get inked or pierced.  And I always have that special scar on my left wrist as a reminder of darker days.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Apology To My Readers

I'm sitting here, and I'm reading over my last three blog posts, and I'm thinking to myself A) These are so  boring! and B) I sound like an arrogant bitch and C) I'm going to lose a lot of readers/followers.  So I've decided that you, dear readers, deserve an explanation as well as an apology.  First of all, you have to realize that I started this blog for myself, and then later my psychiatrist asked if we could use it in therapy, so it's intended to be just a record of someone mental's day to day life, no matter how mundane.  I wrote this for ME, to help me remember my symptoms and dissociative states.  It was not intended to be a source of information or entertainment (although if you find it entertaining, then that's awesome).  The only thing, if anything, that I hoped to accomplish through this blog was to perhaps help someone out there not feel alone.  I've felt alone most of my life, and I know how hard that is. I hope that if anyone who reads this who has some sort of psych issues will find some comfort or reassurance or hope from my writing.  As for those of you who began reading my blog from the beginning, then you might have a better understanding of what this blog represents, as it is a record of my journey of self-discovery and (proper) diagnosis. It's also a history lesson, collected memories which I need to have handy, details I would otherwise forget that are important to my recovery or life in general.  I'm rambling. Again.  And I don't think I've even apologized yet.  Sorry, readers, that my blog has been dull lately. I promise to spice things up a bit soon. It shouldn't be too hard--I missed over two weeks of meds recently and am expecting the aftermath at any time now.

School Daze

I've been asked how it is that I was able to get through high school/college and maintain a 4.0 GPA as long as I did with a memory as spotty as mine as well as the dissociative episodes I've had since childhood.  It was not easy, that's what I'm supposed to say.  But, well, actually, it was at first... I believe I've already blogged about how I was such a perfectionist and so I had to be a straight-A student.  I had to win all the awards, get my picture in the paper, have a closet full of trophies and plaques. Everything I did had to be PERFECT.  Well, believe it or not,  from 1st through 12th grade, my memory was extraordinary-photographic even. (But it was only when pertaining to books and school work; I've never remembered  much about my earlier years or ballet classes or soccer practice, etc)  I never studied for a test, I simply read the material in the morning, before that class, and I was able to recall all the information later when taking the test.  I think I became Smart K on the way to school and she stayed in control of my body and mind for the school day.  I'm not kidding.  Some part of me was always whispering answers in my ear and plus I could remember things in a way that suggests a camera taking a snapshot. 

 I could literally see the pages of my textbook in my mind and read what was written on them.  It was simultaneously bizarre and cool. Sometimes, it even seemed I knew the answers before the questions were asked, as though I were psychic or something; I always explained this as my spirit leaving my body and peeking at the answers, then willing me the knowledge. Weird, yes, but I know now that I was dissociating at those moments. But I took advantage of this special ability,  up until the day came when I simply could no longer do it.  Perhaps due to my taking psych meds ages 16-19, I'm not sure. I lost my photographic memory shortly after I'd transferred from business school back to art school.  I don't remember when or how or even why it happened.  (You can't blame it on smoking pot-I never tried that until my mid-20's) I just remember being unable to recall phone numbers and apartment numbers, little things at first, hardly noticeable. Then my grades began to slip-I remember my first "imperfect" grade; I physically wanted to die. I was studying like a maniac, at all hours of the day and night. At some point in time, my memory began to seriously slip, and it rapidly got worse, until I had/have the memory of a senile old lady. As my memory worsened, my dissociation seemed to increase in severity and duration. But remember- at that time, not only was I living "all natural" (meaning without psych meds) but I didn't realize that anything was really wrong with me when it came to these "out of body experiences".  Yes, I'd been to see countless therapists and doctors and taken all sorts of medications for different mental illnesses, so I knew something was wrong, but I had no idea that my losing time and memories and talking to the voices in my head was abnormal.  I just thought I was different.  People always talk about that "little voice inside your head". I thought I was special and had more than one. 

Go back to my first year of college, when the pressure was first building....I had always been a good student and now suddenly I was having to work hard to maintain my grade point average.  I couldn't concentrate anymore, I was unable to focus my attention on my studies.  I became so stressed out that I overdosed on sleeping pills and my friend had to take me to the hospital to get my stomach pumped.  I don't remember that; I think it happened to "someone else" and I just heard about it from my friends.  Another time, that same year (Freshman year) I overdosed on No-Doze.  I told myself I had to stay awake to study, so I swallowed the whole box.  At the ER, the doctor told me I had enough caffeine in me to kill an elephant; I told him he just didn't understand-I had a very important philosophy paper to write.  I never realized until then that you could OD and/or die on caffeine.  After that I was careful about what kinds and how many pills we kept in the house. It was pretty obvious that someone inside me was a threat to my own self.

As my memory continued to slip away, so did my social life.  I was no longer eager to attend all the parties and social functions that we once had enjoyed so much (Note only some of the K's are very sociable).  Memory problems lead to embarrassment (like when you forget your teacher's name in class) and humiliation (like when a guy asked for my phone number and I couldn't remember it).  Classes got harder and harder as the years passed.  I went from being on the President's Honors List and taking extra-load classes in order to graduate early, to dropping courses and taking only a few art classes which I could barely concentrate on.  I was getting further and further behind in my school work.  I was an artist but found it harder and harder to pick up my paintbrush.  Somewhere during this time period, about age 23, I went back on psych meds, and that did wonders for my mood but squelched my creativity.  I could no longer think.  After 6 years, I had changed my major 4 times, switched schools 3 times, and finally just had to give up and drop out. (I was also having some health problems) It was supposed to be a temporary break-a vacation of sorts, to help me get my life back together and relax for awhile and become more stable.  But months turned into years and instead of going back to school, I went back to the psych hospital.  Sigh. 

So much potential, wasted.  I don't think I'll ever get over the guilt I feel for not finishing school.  My parents were so proud of me at one point-I was the first in the immediate family to go to college.  Then I became a subject "we just don't talk about".  My sister, who is 20 years my senior, was never told of my mental illness back then, and so she hated me for squandering my education and opportunities.  She thought I was a selfish, lazy bitch who just wanted to have fun and not take life seriously.  How ironic it is that now, I take life TOO seriously.  Oh yes, and my sister knows now about my mental illness, but she doesn't understand at all.  At least she doesn't hate me anymore, but it'd be nice to be able to talk to her about my problems.  Oh well, I guess that's what my psychiatrist is for.  And who knows?  Maybe one day I WILL go back to school.  I'll have to win the lottery first, since from what I understand, my being deemed mentally disabled means I'm unable to attend school without losing my benefits i.e. my health insurance. So until the day comes when I can afford insurance (or can move to some country with free healthcare) I'll have to remain a college drop-out.  I should've had a master's degree by now.  Damn.  Still, I can dream...Stranger things have happened to me/us!

A Good Day?! How'd That Happen?

I'm still having a hard time believing it, but it seems that I had a good day. I need to write down everything that happened so that I can read this in the future on a bad day and be able to remember this good day, since they are so few and far between. (the idea was a Twitter pal's) DISCLAIMER: This post is boring.  There's no violence, no self-injury, no drug use, no sex. It's a totally Disney blog post. But I'm writing this for ME, and I need to hear all these little details. 

First of all, I got up without the aid of an alarm clock, and was able to get into the kitchen and brew a pot of coffee before our mother ever got out of bed.  I lurked on Twitter for a little while, never actually making my presence known, while waiting for Mom.  After she was up, I helped her take her medications, then I went back to my room and sipped my coffee leisurely as I thumbed through my closet.  In no time at all, I'd picked out an outfit to wear to the psychiatrist's office.  It surprised me just how easy this task was for me; picking something to wear is an ordeal which often takes hours (sometimes from trying on so many different outfits, sometimes from indecisiveness).  Today, I didn't even think twice before grabbing a new pair of jeans.  I even went so far as to pick out a top in a color other than black, which practically never happens.  I still refuse to believe it, but I've had more than one therapist tell me I'd be less depressed if I quit wearing black all the time. Whatever.  Black is K's favorite color (well, most of us) and we wear it at some point every day.

After finishing my coffee, I took a long steamy shower using a luxuriously scented body wash and even went so far as to shave, which I've not done in a long while since I've been so depressed.  I dried off with my over-sized, super fluffy towel and then put on our favorite black velvety robe with the leopard trim.  I then took the time to apply perfumed body lotion all over, and I really enjoyed the scent-it made me happy.  After that I got myself a refill of coffee-I even had my favorite flavored creamer-and I paused to scan the headlines on Google news on my laptop.  Checked my email and was thrilled to find an unexpected message from a dear friend.  (I hope I remember to write her back!)  So back to the bedroom and time to get dressed.  My jeans seemed to button a little easier than normal-could we have lost a pound or two?  That was the first truly awesome moment of the day, the thought that I'd perhaps lost a little weight.  I fixed my hair, and considered putting on makeup (I really wanted to wear some) but I thought about how I often cry at some point in therapy and decided no makeup was better than smeared makeup.  Of course I donned my black sunglasses-to hide my face-and I kissed my Husband goodbye.  He was supposed to go to therapy with us, but he worked the night before until after 2:00 A.M. and I hated to wake him so early. So I went alone.

The drive was easy and I wasn't even nervous, which is VERY rare.  I think I might even have sung along to some music on the way there.  Next memory I have is sitting in my psychiatrist's office, wondering if I could even think of anything to talk about.  I don't remember much about our last session, (that was a different K) and I seemed to be having a good day so I didn't know of any immediate problems which needed addressing.  I sat down, and I think I might even have smiled a little bit, and luckily Dr. H began asking me questions.  That's so much easier for me to deal with, with her choosing the topic. It's hard when she just asks "How are you?"

She asked me if I'd done my homework assignment, and I was proud to tell her I'd accomplished 2 of the 3 things she'd wanted me to do.  I was even able to briefly make eye contact with her today, but I don't think she knew it because I kept on my magic you-can't-see-me-when-I-wear-them sunglasses.  Even though I was having a good day, it still wasn't enough to give me the courage to take them off.  They are part of my disguise.  Hiding, always, always hiding...

She asked me if I had any sort of rituals.  I was quiet for a bit, then admitted that yes, I do have rituals, but I didn't think she'd like them if I told her what they were.  Those are my own personal rituals, which I share with no one.  Suffice it to say they are controversial and self-destructive.  She told me she wanted me to come up with some new ritual, something that I can do at the same time every morning or at bedtime or whenever I choose.  She wants me to come up with something healthy, relaxing, and healing.  I'll be thinking about that for several days I'm sure.  Hopefully, I can come up with something and begin practicing it right away.  I need something to clear my head and unburden my heart.  Maybe a bedtime bubble bath? A pedicure? Drawing in my sketch diary?

I'm not sure my psych realized it, but the person sitting in front of her on this day was NOT the same person who'd been in her office just 3 days earlier.  She was the sad, weak, pathetic K who can't control her emotions or actions.  I'm a much better person, more in control of myself, and I'd even go so far as to say that I'm happy, not all the time, but way more than the others.  I'm the K who many of my friends know. Smiling, witty, fun to be around, capable of handling herself in a crisis.  Too bad I'm not always around; I can't remember being around for a good long while now.  Anyway, back to the story of my very rare good day.  I got through therapy and never shed a tear; after all, I am not the depressed K.  Seems like I told my doc I'd try and take better care of K, but it's all fuzzy now and I can't really remember.

Once I got home, I took my meds and went outside on the back porch and sat in the swing for awhile.  It was a beautiful day-sunny and warm-and I took advantage of that fact.  I also figured it'd be good for us to get some sun.  K doesn't like to get out in the sun as she has very pale skin and the two don't mix well. Plus, she's obsessed with staying young and the sun ages you; she always wears sunscreen even if she doesn't go outside.  But back to our story.  We stayed outside for a little while, listening to the birds singing, feeling the warm Spring-like breeze, noticing that some of the flowers in the yard have started to bloom.  It was good for my soul, just relaxing outside like that, and I don't do things like that very often.  I don't like to waste time, since I lose so much of it already.

When it was time for lunch, not only did I eat a delicious AND sensible meal, but I did not throw up afterwards.  I actually kept my food down.  So that's an accomplishment.  I cleaned up the lunch dishes and by this time it was 3:00 in the afternoon and my husband had some errands to do.  So I asked if I could come along and he said sure and so we rode in the car with Husband, listening to music and chatting pleasantly.  No drama. Nothing serious came up.  We just talked, about silly stuff, nothing really.  It was awesome!  I was so proud of myself for keeping things light.  But then again, I AM casual and light-hearted, whenever I'm around. So we drove downtown and went here and there and I was smiling and friendly the whole time.  After he finished all his work, sometime around 5ish, he asked me if I'd like to go to happy hour somewhere.  I told him that sounded great, and I meant it.  I was excited to go out to a bar and have a drink or two.  I mean, I was in a fantastic mood.  So he chose one of his favorite bars, it's dark and smoky and filled with regulars, many of whom know my husband.  So there were some conversations here and there, and we sat at the bar and had drinks and just chilled out for a while.  I actually had a good time, and that's not usually the case in a crowded public place.

We headed home about 6:00 and I thought to stop and get Mom a salad to have for dinner; she was really happy about that.  She ate her salad and Husband went back to his study to do some work and so I had free time.  I got on the laptop and I still can't believe it, but not only did I make my presence known on Twitter, but I actually interacted with 5 different people!  That's a record for me-I usually talk to no one.  K is quite shy and usually just Tweets to no one or reads other people's Tweets; she doesn't have the courage to talk to anyone.  So it was quite a big deal to me.  I felt very satisfied at the end of the day.  And I have to say that conversing with someone on Twitter is far more therapeutic than just lurking.  I must remember that!

We watched a little TV that night, and of course took a ton of medications, but for a change I didn't take a nap at all. (Usually K has to take a nap or two because the meds make her so sleepy)  A friend of Husband's came over later in the evening and we all drank some beers and goofed off.  I felt very social and made jokes and was quite charming, if I do say so.  At the end of the day, I put on my freshly-washed soft pajamas and took a cup of tea to my bedside, where I sat up reading for a good while. We've been reading books on dissociative disorders, and this particular book was written by a man who has DID/MPD.  K is learning as much as possible about dissociative disorders and derealization and depersonalization.  So we read for awhile, then Husband came to bed and we turned off the lights and cuddled.  I fell asleep in his arms, feeling warm and safe and loved.

My good day was Monday.  I probably should've written this post that night, while all the memories and feelings were still fresh.  But K procrastinates and/or forgets this post wasn't written until Wednesday.  Hopefully I didn't forget anything important about my good day.  Oh yes, and incidentally, Monday was the only good day; everything was back to "normal" the next morning, unfortunately. At least the rarity of good days makes me appreciate them more.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Scaredy Cat

I'm scared of the dark. Really I am.  Our husband just asked us to go get him a beer.  Well, it's after 2:00 A.M., and he keeps his beer in a fridge outside in the garage.  That's a spooky place for me to be at night.  I don't like to leave the house after it gets dark.  Some of the K's are nightowls and love to prowl the streets in the wee hours, but that's not me.  I'm just a little kid.  I'm a scaredy cat.  And Daddy isn't here to protect me from the monsters anymore.  I haven't told Husband about the monsters that lurk in the dark.  I'm afraid he'll laugh at me.  I don't think he'll understand.  I'm embarrassed.  I want to act like a big girl and be grown up and not be scared but I just can't stand being out in the garage.  There are sounds.  And shadows.  And places for bad men to hide.  I don't want to go out there.  I slam the door shut and lock it as fast as I can, and I imagine I can see the shadows moving towards me, coming to get me.  My heart is always pounding after a 45 second visit to the garage.  I hate it there but don't want Husband to know I'm scared so a lot of nights I suffer through this small trauma.  I could turn on the garage light I suppose, but then someone else might see me, like a neighbor, and that's scary too.  I don't want anybody to see me. I like to hide.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Therapy Trainwreck

We have been having a very difficult time lately but can't concentrate long enough to blog about it, which is the homework assignment given to us by our psychiatrist on Friday.  She asked me at our last session to start keeping a diary and bring it in to our sessions; instead, I brought an old diary from 2004, which was written in various states of consciousness,  often while we were dissociating. There was so much I wanted to tell her, to read to her from the diary, to explain to her-but I just couldn't stop crying long enough to get the words out, and I didn't have the energy to talk to her anyway.

It was all I could do just to get to the appointment.  On the way there, in the car, I pounded on the steering wheel and screamed and yelled curse words, tears streaming down my cheeks.  I was shaking and hyperventilating and my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest.  I took 1 mg Xanax- thankfully there was part of a bottle of water still in the cup holder from a couple of days earlier.  It was difficult to see through my tears as I drove to my doctor's office. Not only that, but once I got close-within a few blocks-I got confused and forgot which way to go and I took a wrong turn...sigh...I got lost on the way to a psychiatrist's office which I've been visiting regularly for 2 years.  I figured this would make us late but as it turned out there was another patient ahead of us.

Whew~what a relief to get to her office safely, to park the car, to look around frantically and find no other people in the parking lot. I cursed out loud to no one. I took another drink of water and looked at myself in the visor mirror.  I was a wreck, an absolute mess.  My hair was all wind-blown and I had sweat pouring down my face, mixing with the tears pouring from my eyes...I was wearing black sunglasses but you could still see the tears running down my cheeks.  My bangs were sweaty and stuck to our forehead.  I had on no makeup, not even lipstick, and the sunlight accentuated each blemish, scar, and bump on our face.  My cheeks were flushed red from crying and I was huffing and puffing and I looked like I might explode or something.  I searched the car desperately for a napkin or tissue, to wipe my forehead and face, but I found nothing, so I pulled my shirt up and used it to dry my eyes and cheeks and forehead.  I didn't have a brush with me, so I finger-styled my hair and longed for a hat.  Thought about taking another Xanax, but can't remember now if I did or not.  I was quite unsteady on my feet as I got out of the car and walked to the door.

 Inside, I found a couple sitting in my usual spot (the corner) so I was upset about that on top of already having to hold my breath to keep from crying.  I watched my hands trembling as I tried to sign my name but for a minute I was unable to remember how to write it.  I had to think really hard, and even then it seemed foreign to me as I wrote out my first and last names; I don't think I used my typical handwriting-it looked unfamiliar to me.  I sat down and took out my phone to Tweet.  (I Tweet when I'm nervous or upset.)  Pretty much immediately I started having a serious freakout, but luckily at that moment the doctor called for the couple in the corner, and realizing I had some precious time to spare, I somehow found a voice with which to squeak out to the receptionist, "Do I have time to go smoke a cigarette?"  That's funny because I quit smoking 2 years ago, although we have been known to cheat now and then.  At that time, Friday morning, I would've given just about anything to smoke a cigarette, but we had none. She told us the doctor would be a few minutes, so I practically sprinted out of the office.

I got into my car and locked the doors, looking around me, all paranoid.  I suppose I could've turned on some music but at the time it was so loud in my head that I couldn't stand any more noise around me.  The noise on the inside was louder than the noise on the outside, and it was nearly unbearable.  I did the only thing I knew to do to quiet the voices, the yelling, my screams--I dug around in the car until I found a small stash, and I smoked a couple of hits of marijuana.  Sometimes it really is the only thing that will help calm me down.  So I took a couple of tokes-not enough to get me stoned, just enough to take the edge off- and tried to talk myself down from this state of panic and sense of being overwhelmed.  I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it through a therapy session, and I pondered driving away, but part of us knew that we desperately needed to see the psychiatrist and so we stayed.  Didn't get out of our car until we saw the couple from before come out of the office.

The doctor was waiting for me inside, and as soon as she told me to sit down, I collapsed into a chair and started sobbing.  There was just too much to tell her, too many thoughts, too many feelings, I had too many questions for her and didn't even know where to start.  I was having trouble getting words out at all, so she paged the receptionist and asked her to bring me a glass of water.  With it in my hand, I took another 1.5 mg Xanax.  Tried to take slow, deep breaths and finally, after what seemed a really long time, I was able to speak.  I couldn't sort my thoughts and found it quite difficult to express myself with words.  Pictures would have been better--I'll have to remember to take a sketchbook and pencil next week.  Every time it seemed I was going to get my point across, I'd forget what I was talking about and start stammering, searching for the end of a sentence which no longer made sense to me.  God it was frustrating!  And the tears kept interfering, and the gasping for breath...

It's a terribly inconvenient time for me to be this depressed.  Mom doesn't know; well, she knows we're blue and not eating and wearing my pj's a lot.  But she has no idea that I've given up on my personal care altogether.  I'm not eating or drinking anything but caffeine and alcohol.  I'm self-harming.  Two weeks ago I was binging and purging, now I'm just purging.  I don't have enough energy to shower or get dressed.  I haven't washed my hair in over a week, probably longer. I don't know, and frankly, I don't care right now.  It's hard to care about shit like flossing your teeth when you're searching for a reason to exist, just one more day. I told her I'd been sleeping for about 15 hours a day, sometimes more.

I can NOT do this right now--my mother needs me.  She's very sick-she has shingles-and is physically suffering a great deal; she cries out in pain often, and it tears at my heart.  I can do nothing to help her, and the doctor tells us she could be sick with these shingles for 3 weeks.  Sigh.  I just don't have time to be depressed right now!  There's so much work to be done at home and in therapy.

I told my psych, Dr. H, that I absolutely had to see her more than every other week.  I tried to explain to her that I was too sick to be left alone for 2 weeks at a time.  I tried to tell her that there were different people all living in my head, and that some of them were very ill and needed intense psychiatric care.  I tried to briefly explain about the K's, and how I desperately needed the "strong one" to come out and take control of my life.  I can't understand why she hasn't come to my rescue this time, like she has before.  Usually when things get really bad, when there is just more stress than I can handle, then she comes out and takes over my life and sees to it that everything gets done, everything gets taken care of.  She's the Smart One.  She's quite productive and can multitask and is very capable of handling stressful situations.  She needs to be here taking care of Mom, and taking care of K.  She'd fix things.  I just don't know how to force her out; I haven't learned how to control things like that yet.  I don't have any control over who comes out of my mind when, but usually, say in a social situation, the right K will automatically appear and handle things until she's no longer needed.  And no one ever notices that there are different K's because generally, no one sees different K's, just the one that they know.  Each friend knows their own version of K.

But I've gotten way off topic.  I was talking about my therapy session.  I can't remember everything that we talked about, I mainly just remember getting very upset and worrying that she was going to put us in a hospital.  I tried to tell her that in the 2 years we'd been seeing her, we'd not had the courage to be honest with her about what was in our head.  I'm always afraid that if they find out how sick K really is, they'll lock her away.  That, and the fact that I just do NOT trust people, makes it difficult to open up and be honest in therapy.  I fear my thoughts and feelings.  If they scare me, I figure they'll scare the doctor too.  And I don't want another label, I want an accurate diagnosis.  But she told me at one point during the session that it would take more than a couple of sessions to make a clear diagnosis; since I've only just now started to talk to her, really, we had a way to go to get to proper diagnosis and treatment.

One more thing I just remembered....  she asked me if I remembered any abuse from my childhood.  I told her I couldn't remember the actual abuse (I've blocked those memories) but I had little clips of memories of things which seem suspicious or not normal.  So I told her about the 3 or 4 things that I recall from childhood that I find to be inappropriate memories for a little kid  She asked me again to write in my diary and bring it with me next week. Incidentally, I guess I got my point across about needing to see her more frequently--I saw her Friday morning and she wants to see me again Monday afternoon.  That's as quickly as is possible.  (She also gave me a prescription for yet another medication.  Abilify.)  Or maybe I just scared her and she's keeping a close eye on me lest I become suicidal.  So far, that's not been a problem.  Self-harm is not at all the same as suicidal actions.  I can't kill myself right now-not only is it bad karma, but my mother needs me to take care of her.  I have too much to do to die right now.