Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's Up, Doc? (False Truths Pt.2)

Two weeks ago, I went to therapy and said some things that I later regretted.  I told my psychiatrist that not everyone believes my mental illness is real; some people think I'm faking it.  So ever since I left her office, I've been paranoid as we could be. I got the thought in my head that I'd planted an idea in her mind and that she no longer believed the things I was telling her.  I decided that she thought I was a liar and a fraud.  I was unsure whether or not I'd be able to talk to her anymore.  I even considered changing doctors.  I wrote a blog post about my paranoia on this subject Here.  I literally have obsessed about this morning and night ever since that therapy session.  So I had my first session with her since the incident...I was incredibly nervous before I went in.  Making me even more nervous and paranoid was the fact that they called me 3 times to reschedule the appointment; I got it in my head that they didn't like me and didn't want to see me.  Then, once at the office, the waiting room was so crowded I had to be placed in an adjoining room, all alone.  All alone is just fine with me-it's far less stressful than being around people. So anyway, I wait and wait and wait.  Over an hour and a half passes and still I'm waiting.  I was just getting more and more anxious as the minutes ticked by.  Finally, my name was called.  I held my head down low as I walked slowly into the doctor's office.  I sat across from her but could not look at her. At first I couldn't speak...then I got out my notebook, in which I'd written down topics to discuss, questions to ask, and journal entries to read to her.  When I finally opened my mouth, the words gushed out all over each other.  I let everything out-my paranoia about our relationship, my fear that she thinks I'm lying, my obsessing about our last therapy session, my worries of being doubted.  I poured out my feelings on all of these matters, and she listened patiently and then smiled broadly.  She told me that she didn't think I was capable of concocting some elaborate scheme to make people think I'm mentally ill.  She said that in our last session, when I confessed to her about the doubters and disbelievers, she thought that took courage on my part to bring those things up.  She doesn't think I'm a liar.  She doesn't think I'm faking my symptoms. Oh thank the heavens! Relief washed over me and my mind was cleansed of negativity and I felt like a new person.  The rest of the session was spent discussing this weekend's big event: my nephew's wedding.  I have to drive over 6 hours to get there. I have to meet the family of the bride. I have to attend fancy teas and dinners and cocktail parties and on Saturday, a black-tie wedding.  A very-crowded, formal affair is not my idea of a fun weekend.  Just sounds stressful and terrifying and panic-inducing.  In fact, my psychiatrist told me that because of the stress and anxiety caused by the wedding, I'd more than likely dissociate.  That does NOT help me feel better.  I asked her if it would be OK for me to have some champagne at the wedding; she said I could drink IF I did NOT take my Xanax that day.  Well, hell, I can't even leave my room without taking a Xanax, so I guess that means I won't be drinking.  The last thing I want to do is tempt fate by not being sedated in a crowded public environment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Twitter is More Real Than My Life

Only four people in Real Life know about my DID: my husband and my psychiatrist of course, and also, from another city, my last psychologist, and my ex-boyfriend (who lived with me for a year).  It was he who wrote a letter to my husband explaining how I switch. (You can read the letter here)  I'm only honest about my switching into other K's here, in this blog.  To a lesser extent, I talk about my various mental health issues on Twitter, such as  the voices, the paranoia, and my panic attacks; I don't go into much detail about my alters when I'm tweeting. Also, we K's tend to blog more than tweet (that is, the ones who communicate; some of the K's don't do either).

Mostly I just vent on Twitter.  I follow and am followed by around 150 people, so Twitter remains an intimate experience for me.  I don't think I could follow a ton of people-it'd be overwhelming for us K's. I have a hard enough time just trying to remember a handful of names, I could never communicate with a large group of Tweeps. To be honest, I have to take notes about different people I chat with on Twitter or else I'd never remember anyone.  We like to get to know a handful of people rather than just follow hundreds of strangers.  This is why I don't participate in the whole "Follow Friday" thing, where people on Twitter suggest other Tweeps follow certain accounts.  I don't want to single out any Tweep as being better than any other Tweep, and more importantly, we don't want to encroach upon anyone's privacy. Also, I'd rather not be singled out myself, because the idea of a lot of people following us makes me uncomfortable.

I'm such a paranoid person to begin with, and if I stop to think about the fact that over a hundred people are currently reading my personal thoughts....well, quite frankly it freaks us the fuck out.  I will admit that it'd be nice to get more readers for this blog, although I'm surprised at myself for thinking that.  After all, I began writing the blog for me, for the K's, to use as a record of my symptoms and moodswings and switching.  It seems odd that I'd be looking for exposure...but I would love to help someone out there who might be struggling with some of the same mental issues as we, the K's are.

Mainly, we use Twitter as a support system.  If I'm having an anxiety attack, I can send a tweet out into the universe and maybe, just maybe, someone will answer me and either chat with me until my panic has subsided or at least give us some words of encouragement.  My Tweeps have gotten me through the nightmare that is sitting in a waiting room on many occasions.  In addition to the support, I am also entertained; many of the people I follow are quite funny.  I mostly follow other people with mental health issues, because I can better relate to them than to regular, non-mental people.  In real life, I don't have any friends with whom I can discuss my eating disorder or Social Anxiety Disorder, but on Twitter there's always someone out there who understands and can empathize.

I avoided Twitter for so long....I used to make fun of my husband for using it.  Now, just 3 months after I first began following people, I am hooked.  A few of the K's tweet often, and many mornings when I go back and read the tweets from the past 24 hours, I am surprised at what they've (we've) said.  I'm also frequently embarrassed.  But that goes along with the nature of a dissociative disorder-you never know when you're going to dissociate and perhaps do or say something inappropriate, something that draws unwanted attention to us. I don't remember these things, or else I just get flashes or bits of them; usually I find out because someone will tell me or say something about how funny I was the other night, or make a comment about seeing me totally wasted (often what people think when I'm somewhere else in my mind).  I don't really mind people thinking I'm drunk or stoned; it's less embarrassing to me than the truth, when the truth is that I was someone else, or "out to lunch" in my head.

But on Twitter, and in this blog, I can be truthful about what's going on.  I can exclaim that I'm losing my mind or seeing bugs everywhere or whatever-and no one will think much of it.  In real life, I'd be stared at, laughed at, made to feel self-conscious and foolish.  So in many ways, Twitter and this blog are more representative of my real life than even my Real Life, where I have to hide my true self.  How ironic. Twitter, where people can lie and be whomever or whatever they want...and I happen to be more open and honest there than even in Real Life.