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...