Friday, April 20, 2012

Psyched To Be Here

I had therapy Wednesday.  The only reason I know that is because it's written on my calendar, and I look at my calendar weekly because I need to know when I have to go out in public, e.g. a dentist's appointment, therapy, a birthday party. (I actually have to prepare myself mentally to be around other people, sometimes for days)  I'm trying to strain my brain and remember what happened in that therapy session.  I honestly can't recall anything at the moment.  Let me concentrate harder...  I still can't remember.  Damn.  I have no memory of showering and/or getting dressed, no memory of driving to her office, no memory of sitting in the waiting room.  Perhaps I should check my phone and go back through all my texts, and then read all my Tweets from the past 2 days, and check my journal for any entries made in the past 48 hours.  This is so frustrating.  I wanted to write about my session, but I can't remember it. Not any of it. Hmm.

OK, something's coming back to me now- I showed her my journal.  Yes, I remember that. I read her parts of my journal, the parts written by other me's.  (Hey, I'm starting to recall stuff now!)  I talked to her about how I switched over the weekend, and remained a different K for about 2 days. I have evidence-notes and lots of lists and partial blog posts and various writings, all written by person(s) other than "me".  Also, there is mention by the one known as Switch Kellie of another K coming to our assistance, the one known as The Cleaner.  So there's that. I talked about being 2 different me's for a few days.  I mean, I switch for short periods of time rather frequently- I'll suddenly change into someone else and get a wild look in my eye and say something out of character or do something odd or my voice and/or language will change, but it could be for an afternoon or even just a moment-but as far as a complete transformation goes, well that happens less often. It does happen however. It all depends upon my stress level and my mood and my environment, among a hundred other things.  When this incident occurred, all the factors were conducive to switching, and so the other K's took over, and my style of dress changed to something more pulled-together (for Switch Kellie) or something very casual (for The Cleaner) and my likes and dislikes (Switch Kellie drinks tea instead of coffee) and habits, both good and bad-all these things changed.  Some differences were more subtle and probably only I would notice them. But I was a different K, no bones about it.

So this past week was eventful, to say the least, and I at times had to take extra anti-anxiety medication. And I was really looking forward to seeing my doctor.  To be honest, I was hoping that I'd show up for therapy and be one of the K's who appeared over the weekend.  Even though my psychiatrist has witnessed me as a different K (she has met Switch Kellie before), I still feel the need to prove myself to her.  I want her to actually see me switch, so that she knows once and for all that I'm being serious. There are many doctors who don't believe in multiple personalities or MPD/DID.  Now granted, Dr. H has never done or said anything to make me believe that she doubts me.  In fact, she's sometimes asked me about the other K's, which implies that she accepts their existence.  And one time I flat out asked her if she thought I was full of shit, and she looked me in the eye and smiled and said, "I don't think you're full of shit."  So this whole paranoia thing is really unnecessary...I think the reason I feel the need to prove myself, to give evidence of my dissociation, is because I've been accused of faking it before.  What's even worse is that it was a family member who proclaimed I was a liar. That still hurts when I think about it.  Maybe I should discuss that incident in therapy one day.

OK, I've been going back through my Tweets and text messages and emails and diary entries and lists and anything else I can find with clues.  I have a better idea of when I switched (approximately April 14) and for how long, and what I did during those times, and where I went.  Also, who I encountered, who saw me "out".  And then there's the Tweet from April 17 which says "Back in my head and body now", so I guess that's when I officially felt like the world had stopped spinning so fast.  Thinking about these things now, it all feels like a dream, or like a story I was told or a movie I watched.  It seems like it happened to someone else, not to me.  I can remember seeing things happening, but it just comes across as so surreal now.  And of course, there are huge chunks of missing time and lost memories.

I went to a bar that weekend. Boy that was tough; I can remember how I felt so out of place while I was there.  And everyone seemed to be staring at me, like I had a neon sign hanging over my head that flashed "MENTALLY ILL".  The bartender that night was a friend, but she doesn't know me as the K that came into the bar; I wonder if she noticed the difference. First of all, I ordered Diet Coke without vodka. Unusual. Secondly, she probably thought it was strange, since for the first time ever, I chose NOT to sit at the bar, but rather to go off someplace where there were no people (I was hiding). Also, I didn't speak to my friend very much at all...I hope she doesn't think I was rude. Was I rude? I'm not sure.   My husband wanted to go check out the band, so he left me alone, just for a few minutes, but it felt like hours. I could feel the eyes of everyone on me, and I was nervous and had to pop a Xanax.  It was really hard being in that environment, surrounded by strangers, when I myself  felt like an outsider in my own world.  That's it exactly! I felt like an outsider in my very own body. My thoughts were not my own; they were foreign to me.  But here I am, and I am fine, I survived AGAIN and no one other than my husband and my shrink knows about me switching.... except maybe anyone who might have stumbled upon certain Tweets during those in-between-me times.  Perhaps no one even noticed. After all, I've been faking normality for more than 30 years now, so I've gotten quite good at it.

I'll tell you one more thing about my psychiatrist's appointment.  She made absolutely certain, before I left, that the receptionist made me an appointment for next week, and for the week after that as well. I thought that was really top-notch of her.  My last doctor would never have been so thoughtful as to do that.  This doctor stood there at the desk with me while the receptionist tried to find an opening. Dr. H insisted that it be in one week's time. I am really beginning to like her, maybe even trust her a little bit. (!) I am holding onto her 24-hour emergency number as though it's my most-prized possession; I put it in my wallet along with my appointment reminder cards and her business card.  I don't have pictures of my kids or my dogs in the clear plastic windows in the center of my wallet; I have my psychiatric information.  How fitting. If anyone ever finds my wallet, they're going to see that I'm just a nutcase with no money but a lot of lists.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Look & Listen

Currently hallucinating. Watching the shadows of people in my kitchen move across the floor. Only no one is in my kitchen.  Am simultaneously listening to all the noise coming from the living room...sounds of the cat jumping on furniture and scratching at the carpet. Except the cat is outside. There's no one in the living room. Shit! Now I'm hearing footsteps...  this is the part where I get scared. Is someone in the house?? Did Hubby forget to lock the back door when he last went out to get a beer? Has someone bad entered my home? Am I going to die?? I'm not finished living yet, in fact I feel like I haven't even started yet. *sigh*  And here comes the panic attack...I better go take a Xanax before it gets too bad.
Have taken anti-anxiety meds and am just waiting for them to kick in. It still sounds like there is someone in the other room.  Everyone that lives here is asleep, I'm sure of it.  So what the hell is that?!  Heart pounding, chest heaving, sweating, shaking, head feels like it's going to explode...just your typical panic attack, which always makes me think I'm going to die, literally.  Come on, your magic. I took a full 2 mg bar; I wasn't playing around with it tonight.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weekend Visitors

So.  Another K was here this past weekend.  Two actually.  The main one in charge being Switch Kellie, who was with us, as far as my investigation is telling me, beginning Sunday around 1:00 pm.  She was with us for pretty much the whole day and night, except at one point in the early morning hours she receded and The Cleaner came out and took over her chores. The Cleaner was only doing what Switch Kellie had written down on her list.  Switch Kellie always has a list, or I guess I should say lists, as there are so many of them.  Lists of all sorts of things....things to do, places to go, people to call, emails to send, groceries to buy, books to read, I could go on and on.  But on the list were a number of cleaning tasks, and so The Cleaner came out and took over and cleaned everything.  She's quite obsessive about her chores.  If only she showed up everyday, my house would be immaculate!  But unfortunately, that's not the way it works. After she'd cleaned, she went back inside and Switch Kellie was here to finish up some tasks, including writing a journal entry. Both The Cleaner and Switch Kellie wrote in our journal Sunday/Monday.  I'm eager to show it to my psychiatrist tomorrow at my appointment. 

 She met The Cleaner once but I don't think she knew who it was, as she never identified herself; she just went off on a rant about dirt and how it was all around her and how we were so afraid of dirt and dust.  Anyway, The Cleaner came and cleaned Sunday night and early Monday morning then wrote a journal entry and was gone by 7:00 Monday morning.  So Switch Kellie was in control again and there was more list-making (as always) and she paid the bills and went to the bank and tended to some financial matters. She was trying to get as much accomplished as possible before she left. Unfortunately, she didn't get finished before she left (sometime yesterday evening), and now here I am, with all her notes and lists and plans, and I just don't know if I can do all of this. I took a nap yesterday evening, and when I woke up, it was "me" again and I had a million things to do.  Things needing doing include taking Mom out of town to see a pain management specialist, picking up a prescription at Mom's doctor's office, taking Mom to yet another doctor at 2:30 this afternoon, returning some library books, and going by the medical supply store to get Mom a 25 foot oxygen line.  Is that a lot?  I just don't know.  But I guess I better get started, i.e. get dressed.  It's good to be back in my body but I wish that Switch Kellie had gotten more done while she was here.  She's so good at managing things, whereas I have no sense of time and no way to prioritize. All I know to do is follow her list and hope that I get these things accomplished.  Tomorrow we get to see our psychiatrist.  I'm going to tell her that I'm too stressed out, for stress is the main reason Switch Kellie comes out, she takes over when I'm unable to handle all the pressure.  She takes care of us when I can't take care of myself.  If I get overwhelmed, she shows up (ideally).  So I know that the stress level is high around here, just based on her presence.  Man, I really could use her today... If only I knew how to force out a specific me. That would be so awesome. I'd be Switch Kellie and run errands out in public, then I'd change to The Cleaner and do all the housework, and then I would change into one of the K's who is fun to be around and good for socializing.  In a perfect world, the right K would appear at the right time and everything would just flow naturally from one moment to the next.  Sigh.  If only...

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Cleaner

JOURNAL ENTRY-SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2012  (Late night/early Monday morning)
MUST. CLEAN. EVERYTHING. I don't have time to write, there are things to do, things to clean, things to organize. I have dusted every nook and cranny in this room and the adjoining room and cleaned all the mirrors and glass in the house and swept floors and cleaned counters and put dishes away and scrubbed the shower and cleaned the sinks and sanitized the toilet and scrubbed the baseboards and cleaned the ceiling fan and organized a stack of bills and papers on the dresser. All of those things sound really lame, but if you knew how quickly I was getting each task done, you'd be impressed. I've not stopped, except for now, this moment, wherein I'm telling my story. I cleaned everything in the bathroom. I got a laundry basket and loaded it up with various types of cleansers and dust rags and sponges and a broom and dustpan and a Swiffer get the idea.  I lugged this basket of cleaning supplies around from room to room. I cleaned the kitchen while I was waiting on the coffee to brew. The other K, the one who was here earlier, she drinks tea. Switch Kellie she's called. She wrote a journal entry too.  We are having trouble deciding if we should share all this with the public. Do they really need to know that one of the K's is known as The Cleaner and is OCD about cleanliness and organization?

Well, there you have it. I'm always cleaning when I am in charge.  I have an actual fear of dirt. I wear rubber gloves up to my elbows (they're actually lime green with a Pucci-style print on the cuffs; they're called "Glam Gloves") I'm terrified of the cobwebs which I sometimes find in the corner of a spare room. If I get in the shower, the tiles over my head seem to try and swallow me up and drip germs on me and I look around and I'm just surrounded by dirt, dirty tiles, mildew, black gook, rust stains, red streaks where hair dye got on the shower wall, stained grout that is no longer white...oooooh Shivers just ran up my spine! I can't think about the dirt anymore.  It's freaking me out. Besides, I cleaned all that stuff, so there's no dirt now, and obviously I was exaggerating about how dirty the shower was to begin with. Everything has been cleaned and sanitized.  In pretty much every room, except for Husband's rooms of course.  I'm afraid to dust in there; what if I accidentally broke something?  So I've cleaned the kitchen, the bedroom, 2 bathrooms, the den, the dining room, the living room, the laundry room...I organized drawers and shelves...I thought about alphabetizing all the CD's, but that seemed like a task larger than I felt I had time to accomplish.  Some day, I will do that task.  I promise you.  So I, The Cleaner, for a while have been sharing co-consciousness with a different K.  The Good Daughter appeared occasionally when we went into our mother's room, but for most of the weekend, Switch Kellie was here.  She made the big list of things to do, and cleaning was on the list.  And so I came and took over and saw to it that everything got cleaned properly.  I can't vacuum because Mom is asleep, but I'll do it later. Also, still need to mop the kitchen. And I wonder if the windows need washing...What else can I clean? I don't see any point in going to bed now. Might as well keep cleaning. Let's get serious-I'm thinking about polishing silver... And have I ever mentioned that I wash the bar of soap  in the soap dish? It's true. Is that weird? I mean, it's soap. It should be self-cleaning.

Journal Entry

SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2012

1:00 PM
I'm back. I, being the persona who's writing this post, being, I believe, (I hate to say it yet I'm excited by it as well), it is I--Switch Kellie. That's the name Husband gave to me when he first met me in January 2012, just a few days before our 2nd wedding anniversary if I'm not mistaken.  It was quite the night, that night of our introduction. Switch Kellie is mentioned here: Blog Post A and here: Blog Post B I'm faced once again with the choice of whether or not I should tell Husband that I'm here.  I'm wondering if he'd notice eventually anyway...I mean, there are clues. For one thing, I'm making lists. Tons of highly-detailed lists, of a variety of things.  What to do, Who to call, Where to go, etc. I'm also doing a lot of paperwork, researching, Googling, taking notes. I have so much work to do, I fear I won't have enough time to finish it all.  It is 1:02 PM and I'm pausing just long enough to make a note of the current time, so that I might be able to keep up with how long I've been here. Here being this moment in time, this "now". How I value time...probably because I lose so much of it. *deep breath* OK, feeling a panic attack coming on...I better go take the meds I forgot to take this morning, since it's now time for the afternoon pills.  Drat.

4:28 pm
 I'm still here, or so it would seem.  I successfully kept my presence a secret and now Husband has gone to work so I'm safe for a few hours. If only I can keep Mom from noticing. I think she might be suspicious, because I was making and maintaining eye contact with her earlier.  That's NOT something I can do very easily, and it's rare that I even try.  But I did it without thought or effort, just action. Just knowing. Just do it.  Oh dear God, have I ended up a Nike commercial rip-off? Sigh. Went to a chocolate festival with Husband this afternoon; he wants to go walk thru the carnival rides section tonight after work, so we just hit the food and vendors side today. There was an appalling lack of chocolate at the supposed chocolate festival. Now, let's get serious. I can't believe how bad this "Kellie World" situation has become. For one thing, K totally flaked out and forgot to pay a number of bills last month. Now I'm getting phone calls from people wanting their money. I had to combine money from my savings and checking accounts to cover them, and even then I had to borrow money to cover everything, since I had 2 months' payments due. *Sigh*  For another thing, K is really looking bad, in so many different areas.  Her skin is all messed up; stress has caused her to break out all over, and her Dermatillomania has caused her to pick at all the zits. Therefore, she looks like an acne-ridden teenager.  Her arms also look horrendous from CSP (compulsive skin picking) so she's been wearing long-sleeves even though the temperatures have been in the 80's F.  Her self-injury is the worst it's been in years-her calves are covered in big, bloody scabby sores. Gross. The new medications have made her gain weight so she sees herself as obese now, although that's probably not really the case. (Maybe it is though, we really don't know how to tell; we see a fat person in the mirror no matter how much I weigh)  Still, it's a major stress factor in K's life. Her hair color needs to be touched up-she's got roots showing, and her bangs are far too long.  I can't tell you the last time she had a manicure, and her nails look like hell. Apparently we've been biting them, just like old times. HA. So NOT funny.  I've been binging on Easter candy lately, and that has got to stop immediately. Also, it's time to start working out regularly again, better yet obsessively.  K has some vitamin deficiencies and needs a multi-vitamin supplement, which she's not been taking. She's been flip-flopping between starvation and overeating. Binging and purging is the norm around here on days that she eats. There is no happy, healthy medium.  This is the worst, perhaps, she's ever been; I don't mean the thinnest of course, I mean nutritionally speaking. K is very unhealthy at the moment. I mean, K is unrecognizable.  Her face is so puffy from the medications that she looks positively round. It's a nightmare. Very unattractive.  And we're supposed to go to our nephew's wedding in mid-May.  Damn.  So much business to attend to, even without all the physical makeover stuff that I must now do.  K has utterly let herself go, and I'm ashamed of her.  Obviously, she's quite depressed.  That's the number one reason she looks this bad.  Am thinking perhaps this switch was brought on by the stress of having to sleep with Mom again recently so that I would be able to hear her calling my name (she was in so much pain the she got scared and kept calling out for me).  I was afraid I'd not wake up seeing as how Dr. H increased my nighttime meds to 4 pills a night rather than 3.  And indeed, I slept long after Mom had gotten up. I slept in til about 8:15 this morning.  Well, not I per se, but us. The K's.  This K is getting antsy now.  Feel the urge to go clean something, or to self-pamper, to give myself a deep conditioning treatment and a fizzy foot soak and a mani/pedi and then I've got to get off my fat ass and get to work.  The bathroom needs sanitizing.

6:09 pm
 Paranoia is putting crazy thoughts in my head. This is making me wonder if I'm faking it, this dissociative disorder. Is this all just in my head?  Am I really all that different from the other K's? Signs point to yes, as I am thinking more clearly and quicker and just...differently.  I see things in a whole other light than what K sees.  I'm more responsible than she is, more able to multitask, I'm more mature and dependable. I don't do drugs. Cigarettes? No. Not Switch Kellie. I might have a drink or two (well, I would if I were allowed to drink; my meds interact badly with alcohol) but I'm definitely not a party girl. I'm more serious than that.  I think about things like our future...Mine and Husband's....I think about what's going to happen after Mom dies. I don't know if we'll be able to continue to afford to live here in this house. Plus, Sis will probably want to sell the house and split the money.  I would do anything for Mom, I'd give away all that I have if it'd make her pain stop. The Dilaudid seems to help a lot, and they gave her some pain patches which I've cut in half and put on her back and chest. Things with Hubby's health are sketchy too. His asthma attacks are getting frequent and more serious. Aunt B gave us some Advair that she had for her husband but he never used. Too bad she gave it to us the day after we'd spent $266 (borrowed from Mom) on a month's supply. At least by the time those run out he'll be enrolled and active in the discount prescription drug plan at the medical complex and can get his meds for like $15 or something. What else has been happening? It's so hard to remember.  A few things on my Master List:  Wash car, Fax letters to banks to add me to Mom's account, a facial masque, dusting the bedroom, cleaning the bathroom, painting the porch, refill the sugar canister, blog about Switch Kellie, Cancel online gaming subscription, etc.  Notice how the list is so scattered-they can be trivial, like the sugar dish, or labor intensive, such as painting the porch. I also have written down to call a dermatologist. It's time to get my legs looked at. What started out as a light rash has now become large scaly patches of itchy, red skin. I've been self harming by scratching them until there are bloody holes in my legs, and now I have awful looking scabs over most of my calves in a spotted pattern. It's quite a shame. I've been trying to let Crickette (Husband's little dog) lick the wounds to help them heal. Speaking of Crickette, did I tell you that Mom was telling me what she wanted on her headstone (just what someone who's a big baby with abandonment issues wants to talk about), and she said she wants her dogs. Sam (Daddy's, now Mom's schnauzer) & Crickette, their photos or engravings or something like that on her marker.  I told Husband that and he teared up; said it was touching.  I thought it was sad to be thinking stuff like that.  But I, being the smart one, know in my heart that Mom is not much longer on this earth.  I don't know if she can ever learn to live with the pain of PHN. She told me that she understands now what Daddy had to go through all those years he was suffering. I would do anything to take away her pain; I can only wake her up to give her Dilaudid, put ice packs on her back, and stick pain patches on her.  She squeezed my hand really tight tonight and thanked me for taking care of her.  I told her that I didn't really do much, and she said "You're here with me, and that's something". Or something along those lines. Damn I can't remember exactly as I keep switching, or trying to switch or something.  Something happened to me sometime around 1 pm this afternoon, and I became Switch Kellie.  I don't drink, or at least very rarely/lightly, and I don't smoke and I don't do drugs. I enjoy reading and crossword puzzles and brain teasers and philosophical debates and hot cups of tea in my "#1 Wife" (isn't that funny? as in #1 of many) mug that Hubby gave me for Christmas.  Now I think, but I can't really be certain without going back into the bedroom and asking Husband the question, but I think that I told him that Switch Kellie was out. He asked, I believe, if "the other Kellie was here", and I told him I'd been here since this morning but didn't want to tell him. I didn't want to freak him out.  But it must not have freaked him out, or else he's just drunk enough beer to cope really well, for he's back there now on the phone with his buddy, not even thinking twice about me or her or any of us.  OK, I've got to get back to my list. I have so many things to do and so little time to do them all. Well, I don't know how much time I have actually; I've stayed over a week before...longer if I'm needed.  OK. Gonna change clothes and start cleaning the bathroom.  Also going to dust the bedroom ceiling/corners/walls.  Need to get some sticky tape and remove the dust from my wigs, especially my favorite blue & black one. I hope it's not ruined.  :(  The K that wears the wigs hasn't been around in a long time, that's why the wigs are all covered in dust.  She last came out.. I believe the year was 2008 or 2009. I really should tell you about her sometime; I find her fascinating, if I do say so myself.  And I do say so, to myself. HEHE  Mental illness humor.  OK, now let's see. Here are the facts as we know them: Switch Kellie was triggered, possibly by stress (from worrying about Mom's health and money and Husband's asthma), possibly by the new increased medication dosage.  At any rate, she's here now, I'm here now, I am in control and I will see to it that all this business gets taken care of.  K has let her finances really get into a mess. We have to close one bank account and switch to a credit union account in order to save $11/month.  We have to write letters and fax them to banks and financial institutions, so that I can do banking for my mother and also talk to phone support about her accounts. OH and VERY important-we have to find our misplaced medical insurance cards!!! Or call and request new ones.

5:15 am (Monday)
Sigh. So much to do. K has really dropped the ball here. But I'm a hard worker.  I've already cleaned everywhere, thoroughly. I never went to bed last night because I felt like I had too much to do, and so I cleaned all night/morning instead of sleeping.  There's just so much that needs to be taken care of.  So much adult stuff.  Not many of the K's can handle adult stuff, so I've got to hurry up and accomplish as much as is humanly possible before I go away again.  If only I knew how to control which one of us comes out when... wow...I'd be like a super hero! *mind wanders again*