What’s up Girl? Healed a little, eh?

My writing has become sporadic. My LIFE is more chaotic. But for (ultimately) a good reason – I’ve gotten a job.

So why do I feel more unstable than ever?

This post does have a point – a snapshot of growth through the hardest external challenges my husband and I have ever faced.

<Yeah yeah, more of that “what doesn’t kill you” crap.>

Turning Points

Finally, I’ve found and started a new job. Finally. Huge sigh. Massive relief and weight off my chest – I can pay the mortgage again. I’d started packing in preparation to sell the house. The economy … the insanity.

The Perfect Storm.

I should be excited to find a job in this economy – part of me is. Everyone else is losing theirs, or praying like mad – I am so very lucky. Part of me has been living in fear of being able to hold down a full time job at this point in my therapy. Part of me has been bored stiff with the monotony of applying for jobs, customizing resumes and cover letters, phone interviews, excited promises to call me back … and the subsequent, “You were our top choice, but the job has been put on hold for ‘changing business needs.'”

I’ve risen to higher levels over the years – to a point where very few positions are available. Much harder to find. And I didn’t want to go backwards.

But I snagged a job. I worked it, I studied, I interviewed ex-employees. I learned to Talk-Their-Talk. 4 interviews over 6 months. But dammit, I got it!

Part of me was itching to dive into the job – a really tough one addressing some serious disasters at a company – problems I was warned existed as I interviewed, and challenges I was told flat out would be undefinable. But I am analytical, smart, reasoned, and I solve problems. You see me attack the research to understand dissociation … I do the same in real life.

<Bring it on, baby …>

But since I started my therapy nearly 2 years ago, things have gotten complicated.

I’m not the same person – I’m learning to be who I am to become.

Make sense?

Intellectually, I understand I am working towards being able to access all of my talents at the same time. To be AWARE of all I can do. I’ve surprised myself lately – I HAVE managed to do it successfully several times since I started this job, and it’s EXHILARATING!

I’ve also wanted to close the door because I became overwhelmed and wanted to cry because I’d lost the strength.

“Finally, I have a job,” I say. I can pay my bills. Remember that Cami, you don’t have to sell the house now. Big picture. I know. It’s good and I am very thankful. And also lucky.

But what about the therapy?

My therapy used to be about forward progress on understanding, listening, healing. I haven’t even GOTTEN to working through the trauma itself. But have made TREMENDOUS progress understanding my reactions to daily events triggered by effects of the trauma.

I’ve accomplished so much and I am proud. I can shout I AM PROUD OF WHAT I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED!

But now my therapy is about surviving day-to-day.

I am challenged to “be in the moment” as my therapist says. To keep all the parts of me with me. To listen.

It is so hard. The will to keep trying.

I have succeeded at every other job with just parts of me. Not really realizing it. My last I “enhanced” with cooperation in a successful way – for the first time in my life. That was a surprise, and also amazing. It was then I knew I needed an opportunity that satisfied all of me – needed all of me.

But for this job, it’s the first time I am REQUIRED to have many parts of me at the table together. The nurturer, the negotiator, the ball-breaker. Access to talents without switching, and without memory loss.

Let me repeat this eye-opener … I need access to all my talents, at all times, without memory loss.

I must multitask like mad, without multitasking among myselves.

Multitasking talents and skills is not the same as switching.

All of this. At such a fragile time in my own healing.

<OMFG>

I’ve just had another step forward in my healing – and you revealed it to me

I’ve been away from this blog because of interviewing and the new job. Exhausted. But got a chance to come and reply to the great comments and to see you all again.

And I realized today, through my responses to your comments of late, that I have grown during my absence … and over the last 6 months of sporadic posts. I noticed that my responses have taken a new turn that reflects my healing.

Paul and Dark Star recently wrote comments in response to my baby talkers post/rant from last year. In replying to them both, I found my feelings about the topic altered … tempered. (Ref: Looking for Attention, Baby Talk and Fakers in DID)

Who wrote the Baby Talkers Post?

<Disclaimer – I take credit for all I write. No matter where the ideas come from. K?>

I wrote that post on somewhat a soapbox – driven by a very vocal and analytical part of me who researched the hell out of things while still in denial. Perhaps to prove this dissociation thing was “true,” and to accept laying down the denial if enough proof could be found.

I/she was also somewhat offended at the notion that she would be compared to (what she thought of as) that.

I stereotyped against myself. Denial. Years. And even in therapy for over a year. I still feel some of the vehemence, but it’s tempered more with my increasing acceptance of myself.

The last 8 months of pain, of economy, of therapy. A couple times I just lost it. But somehow I pulled out. It wasn’t pleasant, and I know I almost did not survive it.

Progress is hard to mark and see when you move forward day-by-day. But being away from this blog showed me a milestone.

<Holy shit Batman!>

So did you find a baby talker in there?

<heh heh> I suppose that would be the ultimate irony – to progress in my therapy enough to accept all of myself, only to find a part of me who embodies what I railed against. Some Big Realization, acceptance, and then apology.

(Squash sarcastic remark here.)

I’m trying to be serious, here.

I still believe what I wrote, but I feel less offended by the topic. I know the stereotypes and baby talkers are out there. Influencing opinion. But my small circle of trust has “known about me” for more than a year, and only one has outright rejected me due to my “sickness.”

The rest of my circle are still here – I have been embraced as “Camigwen who happens to have DID which kinda explains all of those different talents and moods and things” rather than, “DID which it turns out Camigwen has and wow, how do we deal with her now?”

Soooo Cami … can you fully trust them yet? I am a solid step closer, perhaps.

Maybe I found something better – a tiny more ability to recognize when I can bestow trust

Make no mistake – I trust very seldom.  Events of late have further damaged my ability to trust.  But that whole “actions speak louder than words” thing …

My best friend, who doubted the diagnosis in the beginning, convinced me that she had rethought the DX and was truly there for me. I’d doubted I could ever completely trust her with myself after her initial doubt “because that diagnosis is so rare.”

But she pulled me into her bedroom last month and excitedly pulled out a small bundle of tissue paper. In it was wrapped a stone paperweight. On the surface was etched,

“Let me introduce myselves.”

At first I didn’t know how to react, but she was oblivious to my yellow alert – she bubbled on with her story of seeing it in a store and laughing out loud that it was the perfect gift, all the while realizing that everyone else around was probably thinking she was nuts…

Immediately, I felt such a relief. She accepted me. She had ALREADY accept me. With this DX. She had been TELLING me she was there for me, and I knew she was … but being as fearful as we are, it took that unconscious outward sign of hers for me to know it was true.

“Let me introduce myselves.”

God, I love it. ** warm smiles **

You know from my writings, and for those of you in your own journeys beside me – trust is a HUGE step.

Trust is something you consciously give to OTHER PEOPLE, and also trust you must learn to give to yourself.

<So you two-faced bitch (and you know I love you so) you rail against the baby talkers but also rail against yourself?>

It sucks getting slammed over the head with the obvious.

The baby talkers post brought it home to me because I’ve discovered that the turmoil and rage in me is NOT some horrible part of me I need to (stop repressing) tame and integrate – quite the opposite! The rage was a somewhat concerted effort by known and “good” parts of me to GET MY ATTENTION!

Parts of me I could trust – needed to trust – who could help me. Who I was outright ignoring.

<You idiot. Although, what the fck did I know either, eh? ** shrugs**>

I know, **shrugs as well** clueless as were we both.

I found parts of myself

“DON’T IGNORE US!” they cried!

Each time I’ve raged, I felt myself lose control to something that hurt and railed, yet for reasons I couldn’t understand.

But I found the turmoil is frustration within all of me – not just some horrible part of me who did unexplained self injury. It was me crying out for myself. GOOD parts of me. And other parts I now know are good, but so much in pain. Not ready to share but I am working to be ready to support me.

I’ve tempted fate by let down the wall inch-by-inch over time. Peeking over the edge. On yellow alert.

Sure, there’s crap I see and still avoid for now. But I know where some of it is stored. But most of the stress right now – normal stuff. Relax.

No baby talkers, but some gentle special girls

I have a book I loved as a child – read with my father over and over. Decades ago. I still have it, and read it for the first time a couple months ago. Now it makes me smile all the time. ** smiles **

In the spring, I was buying books for my young niece. I found a very sweet book and realized later I couldn’t wrap it with the others. It was about loving all parts of yourself. Turns out, I’d bought it for myself. When I *realised* that, I felt so warm inside that 1) I’d let myself buy the book even though I didn’t realize at the time it was for me, and 2) I let myself hear my ownership of the book (“No, can we keep that one please?”) as I was about to wrap it as a present, and 3) I consciously allowed myself keep it for my own.

Last year, I’d never have recognized I’d bought it for myself. Or perhaps even that I wanted it.

THAT was a big step. A private step. A real step.

I don’t participate in the forums, and I don’t feel or experience baby talk. But I’ve found that revisitng my Baby Talkers post has allowed me to see another step in my own acceptance of myself.

This book was written for perhaps a 5 year old – so simple but full of unassuming and pure love. How can anyone, of any age, reject that singular message?

Last year, I wouldn’t have accepted buying that book for myself.

Where I am now – who I am now

For someone who wants therapy milestones all laid out in a row, in retrospect, this one was pretty obvious. I don’t hear the baby talk, but I do hear more of who I am, regardless.

My therapists have said it, and I’ve never understood really what it meant, or how to get there.

“Co-consciousness.” “Get everyone to the table.” “Pause and listen inside.” “When there is anger, ask this question …”

For more than a year, these suggestions seemed far-fetched. “Ask a part of me who is currently engaged in punching out the inside of my car?!?”

Now I realize they were spot on, but the advice just didn’t come with a How-To manual. But the girl doing the punching answered my question. ** jaw drops ** That’s me in there. My god, that’s me. She’s me. How do I find the rest of me?

Forward progress on my “working though the trauma” therapy has stopped. My new job takes it all out of me, and my therapy now focuses entirely on succeeding at work and addressing the stress in my home life.

If you’re not working on the trauma, then how are you healing?

I haven’t even really started the trauma work. But NOW I realize that it can’t really be effective until you have the tools to hear what’s going on inside. To access broken memories.

You have to learn to listen first. Without judging. Listen.

So my big step – I’ve learned to listen when the turmoil starts.

I’ve learned to step back and say, “What’s happening here?”

I recognize whose driving – it’s easier now. I already know many of me, and recognize switches – much smoother now. I feel familiarity much easier. There IS co-awareness much more.

On my way home from work the other day, I was stressed and mentally shut down. I had the strength to open up and ask, “What are we going to do about this stress?”

And I found I have friends. Support – the only support I can truly trust – I have me. Emily reminding me to look at the pretty spruce trees we pass at a certain place on the road – seeing them makes her smile and feel good, and she shares that. And then I feel HER feel it, and then *I* feel it. A strange cascade.

Kate basks in the control and success she brings to the analytical and challenging part of the job – that we are kicking ass and taking no shit.

<“I don’t mean to break your balls, but …” heh heh.>

And I am driving, trying so hard to let me hear myself. Smiling, recognizing that the peace and presence in the moment is the resolution of that turmoil.

I can be here for myself.

The past 8 months nearly broke me. It did break me.

Clinging to my new reality for the time being, I hope I can draw upon myself to make it through the stress. To be here for me.

The take away

Everyone wants the punch line. (So do I!)

After spending the day with my parents last weekend, my mother said matter-of-fact, “You are Camigwen.” It was a bit of a surprise to me. “Camigwen” is/has been a thematic player for my adult life, but not the orchestra. A de facto “front man,” so to speak. Hopefully someone I can strive to keep in front, but also someone without full knowledge of the past.

I knew who she meant, and I know that’s who she sees as the part of me who appears most relaxed, and much like her.

But who am I really? I know who my mom refers to, and I feel comfortable in that woman’s skin. She is the “adult” me who grew from a good childhood and who loves and trusts her parents more than anything. I can *believe* in that skin that I am her and she/me are the “main” part of me. I know that aspect is in me.

You’ll understand if you have DID.

We all wonder who we will be. Will it mainly be ME with everyone else and their talents supporting me? Will it be somehow a “new” person? Or “strangely (to some)” will I be a welcomed and vital part of another in me who becomes the front?

I’m not sure, but I think I am less scared of it.

I’m not the same person(s) – I’m learning to accept and be who I am to become. And whomever that will be – will have the bests of me.


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11 Comments»

  MeMyself&Who wrote @

*hugs* old friend nice to see you again!
Wow, so much to say and don’t know where to start!
I’m so happy for you on so many different levels, hate that this road we are on gets so rough and difficult but…at least it’s going somewhere right?
The “who will I be?” thing…maybe that’s why I’ve got a Future Self. I think myself and most (if not all) of my selves would like to be something like her, in some way, in the future.
Been struggling with both the job stuff and the trust stuff so, it’s always good to hear from someone that there can still be hope around out there somewhere.

  Jackie wrote @

(((( hugs ))) glad to see your back posting. I was very worried about you. These economic times are the perfect storm.

I read this a few times. Yes, I see your growth. I am so happy that you see it too.

You wrote: That’s me in there. My god, that’s me. She’s me. How do I find the rest of me?
I have been working on co-consciouness at work too. It’s getting better, but I have a ways to go.

I too have taken a hiatus from the trauma work. I just need to concentrate on earning a living right now. I heard your fears in the beginning of this post. They are so real for so many……of *us* too.

J

  Echo/Faith wrote @

I can relate so much to the things you say here. I feel like I’ve been stagnating at therapy because we never seem to be able to work on the trauma work, but since some things happened recently internally I’m coming to accept that it’ll be okay when we work on it that being okay for right now is more important and getting things back to balance. That there needs to be foundation to build on before we throw things into instability by opening up anything that might be a flood gate.

I’m glad that you were able to find a job. I know how difficult that is.

We’ve been trying to work on simplifying things all around so that we have more time to relax and enjoy the little things.

I hope that you can continue on this.

  Emily’s Camigwen wrote @

Echo/Faith

Simply – an important concept. I’m not sure how to get there anymore. But “stagnating” isn’t the right term (although I used to think so). You may think you are stagnating in a specific topic of your therapy, but like you said, working in other areas that are causing stress and turmoil at the present is still very valid (and useful!) work.

Thanks for your wishes. I’ve had another setback. If I can work it into a post, I will.

Camil

  Paul wrote @

Cami, This is a critical time for you. You are approaching this job (and indeed your life) in a different way than in the past. Congratulations!

Just be aware that while some things will be easier, other things will be harder. You alluded to this when you talked about therapy as survival.

Speaking for myself, I didn’t take any offense to your early post on “little speak”. As I said, you raised some excellent points. I think it’s important for all of us to be open and accepting. But this is a goal. When you have parts, and especially when your parts are operating without much input from other parts, we can all come across as close-minded. This doesn’t mean we really are.

Take care,

Paul

  mamarosebud wrote @

I have kept coming to your blog over the last several weeks, hoping to hear more of your thoughts. Your blog provides me with something I dearly need in my daily life – company beyond myselves (!) that understands. It was a true gift to come here tonight and hear how you are doing 😀

I am struggling very much with the idea that “I” am not who I always thought I was, and that I will at some point become someone bigger and richer than I am today. I know that I won’t actually die in the process, but that’s how it feels to me; when I try to picture integreation, losing my independence (that I know logically isn’t), all I see is blackness and nothing. Interestingly (frighteningly!), this is exactly how switching feels to me. I know that probably means that I just have no frame of reference beyond switching, but the fear is universe-engulfing.

So thank you for sharing this post. I still don’t have a friggin clue how I’m supposed to “bring everyone to the table,” but hearing first-hand that it’s possible and that you don’t lose yourself… doesn’t exactly make *me* feel better, but a part of me is clinging to it fiercely.

  Emily’s Camigwen wrote @

Hello Mamarosebud,

It makes me feel great that you have come here and find usefulness here. I am still struggling with the idea of all at the table. I’m not there yet. In fact, I think that will still take a while. I have gotten better at being self-aware partially and also aware that there are other parts of me, but feeling whole and able to access all is still a struggle.

I can’t say how the table concept can work – it may be trying to force something to happen that isn’t ready to happen. My friend Anna spontaneously (post here) integrated and it blew me away.

Thanks for coming around and I hope you are doing better.

Cami

  Wounded Genius wrote @

Hey you, so glad to hear you’re back in circulation and great news about the job – I’m sure you;ll be fine. Same thing happened to me recently – made redundant, got new job (and moved house) all while juggling therapy. I’m not where you are in therapy but I’m already battling to set up a committee and wondering which parts I will lose along the way.. and who the hell I am.
Thinking of you. WG.
Formerly BTC 🙂

  Emily’s Camigwen wrote @

Hi WG

Thanks for the reply – sucks that the layoffs, etc., are happening to so any people. At least you got a new job too – congrats.

I hope you don’t “lose parts” – although I don’t know if that is really good advice. I am getting better at understanding the negative reactions – reactions I don’t understand where they come from. A very few times I can hear the voice of why the trigger happened and I am learning to force a *wait* and then listen. So hard.

Cami

  morunner wrote @

Good to see you back. Wow, you have made progress!
Me well plodding along, head in sand, head out of sand, I have become more aware and I bloody hate it to be honest, sometimes ignorance really is bliss :). Good for you though, you are actually giving me alot of hope to cling to, Thanks 🙂

  Emily’s Camigwen wrote @

Hi Mo

Progress – well, progress is such a strange word! I have in some areas and regressed in others. I just re-read this post and it doesn’t sound like me. Depressing in a way – I am in a different place worthy of another post if I can get to it.

Yes, ignorance can be bliss! . It makes me feel good that I have been helpful – I just hope that my setbacks don’t affect your own feelings.

My best
Cami


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