Update Continued (part 2)

new-beginnings

I was on my own for a while.  I moved to a new place that was more affordable on my own.  It was a nice apartment.  I sought the advice of a lawyer through legal aid.  He was a nice young man who wanted to help.  The divorce was simple really.  We did not have much to split up.  My ex had taken the time while I was in the hospital to divide up our things into what was hers and what was mine.  We divied up the furniture and the stuff.  It’s amazing how you can dismantle a life so easily.  We lived together for nearly 6 months after she told me she was leaving so she could get herself settled in her new life.  It was hell.  I would often cry and she would just roll her eyes and berate me.  We learned to ignore each other to the best of our abilities.  Most of our interactions consisted of her telling me she was NOT going to pay support as I had not earned it.  I said nothing.  I took the abuse and said nothing.  It was a terrible place to be.

My friends were supportive of me.  They tried to cheer me up as much as was possible.  I learned how to live life on my own.  I helped to support a friend who went through a life threatening illness.  Later I found myself a job.  It was the kind of job I had never done before and I was excelling.  I started to feel a little more human.  All the while I was in therapy.  I was dealing with grief over the loss of my marriage.  I was dealing with self harm thoughts.  I was dealing with insiders that didn’t really know what was going on.  But I was dealing.

I decided a year later that it was time for me to start meeting people and crawling out of my hole a bit.  But how to do this?  So I started online.  I found a chat room for lesbians and went in there.  I met some nice people.  I met some crazy people too.  Eventually I met the woman I’m going to marry.  At first it was a casual friendship.  Then it became a friendship with attraction.  Then a relationship based on trust, friendship and attraction.  Here we are 3 years later, and I’m engaged to be married to a wonderful woman.

Two years ago I started having health issues.  Just little things here and there.  None of it turned out to be too serious but it involved invasive medical tests that were quite triggering for me.  I started to miss work.  I started having more and more anxiety.  When I’m anxious I tend to switch more often.  This was not a good recipe for my work life.  The office was in upheaval as well with people leaving and being stressed out.  After taking a leave and going back for a brief time I decided that the office was too toxic for me to return.

I didn’t work for about 8 months when I decided to get back into the workforce with the support of my partner.  I thought I’d get back into retail because I thought it would be easy and mindless.  Boy was I wrong!  My anxiety reflexes kicked in big time and made it very difficult to attend.  I managed to scrape by for three months until I needed to take some time off.  Which is where I’m at now.  On leave and supposed to be considering going back in a few weeks.  I’m not sure what to do.  But that’s for another post.

I think I’m done updating in a general way.  I’m going to post this as it is.  I hope you are doing well on your own journey and if you aren’t…. well…. I offer you a place to sit a while.

-Peoplepuzzlepieces

 

 

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Ta Da!!! I’m Back!!! (part one)

Update

Well, well, well.  Here I am over 6 years later and posting again.  Boy has it been an adventurous 6 years.  So much has happened for me both internally and externally.  I was in a marriage that apparently was falling apart.  I was not yet seeing my current psychiatrist/therapist.  I wasn’t working.  I had friends that are no longer in my life.  I lived in a different home.  I had 3 pets. I had never been hospitalized.  Wow,  those are just to name a few changes.

Let me tell you what has inspired me to come back and then I’ll fill you in on the details of what happened while I was gone.  Over at Discussing Dissociation there is a new forum that has opened up.  I’ve joined this forum as I think Kathy Broady is an amazing therapist and I think anything connected to her can only be good for us.  There was a section there where we could link to our artwork and linking to this site was the easiest thing I could think of to do so… Here I am!

I’m in a very different place now than I was 6 years ago.  I re-read all of our old posts and it became clear how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.  We being my system of insiders and myself.  Gosh, where do I start.  I last wrote in 2012.  I had seen my family in the late winter, early spring.  I even joked about my dad saying he wasnt’ intending to die anytime soon.  Little did we know we’d lose him a couple of months later on July 1st, 2012.  It was devastating.  I had been close with my father.  He taught me a lot.  And even though I lived 1200 km’s away I went to his bedside to be with him in his last days.  I watched him take his last breath.  All in all it was pretty quick.  A matter of a week really from the time he went in the hospital til the time he passed away.  But he had been ill for many years.  More ill than we ever knew because he downplayed the entire illness.  We laid my father to rest on July 6th, there was a family wedding on July 7th and there was a family birth on July 9th of that year.  This caused more upheaval than I ever would have imagined.

At the same time as this was going on I had begun to see my psychiatrist.  I was in the getting to know her stages.  Here I had struck gold.  A shrink with DID experience and special training in dealing with trauma.  Not only is she a psychiatrist but she is a talk doc.  She was the head of a trauma program for women in a major city amongst other accolades and is currently the head of psychiatry for the medical school in my region.  I have so much respect for my t as I will now refer to her.  She has guided me over these past 6 years towards healing and peace and I have learned so many skills through groups she has run as well as individual therapy.  I currently see her approximately every month.  This changes as my needs change and as her schedule allows.  This leaves me plenty of time to learn how to deal with things on my own and to use the skills I’ve been taught.  My t is an amazing woman who has faced time in war zones and hospitals alike.  Actual real war zones!  Like with bombs and guns and armoured vehicles.  I am astounded by her strength of character.

Time marches on.  Following the death of my dad I went through natural grieving processes, with one exception.  The memories.  They started to trickle in very subtly and slowly.  So subtle in fact that I questioned my own sanity.  How could this be?  How could my dad, whom I loved fiercely, be an abuser?  I had thought it was my uncle who was my main abuser and sold me to other men. I thought it was my uncle who belonged to “the group” and dragged me into the mud.  It would turn out that I was mistaken.  My fathers’ face began to occupy faces that once remained blank in my mind.  The picture began to get clearer.  So I ran.  I ran from the truth.  I closed my eyes and turned away and ignored all that was happening to me inside.  I was scared, confused, lost and disheartened.

I was also pursuing compensation for my injuries sustained as a young person both physically and mentally from a government program geared towards such things.  It was like poking a beehive with a stick and then standing there being stung not knowing where to run or what to do next.  This would be my undoing.

I sort of became stuck in a place of misery and depression.  I was in a black hole and no one could talk me out of it.  This lasted for 2 years.  The trials and tribulations culminated in a very difficult hospital experience for me.  I was dissociating quite a lot and switching out to a younger female part that would use self-harm as her go-to coping mechanism.  My partner became very concerned, supposedly, and off to the hospital we went.  They kept me in the emergency department as a voluntary admission.  There was no room in the mental health ward.  I was hallucinating and the whole bit.  I even had one nurse chasing a ghost around the E.R. because I could swear I had seen my uncle walk by and he was to be nowhere near me.  I would spend the next 5 days under a watchful eye from the nurses station in the E.R.  It was hell and very triggering.  The sounds of a trauma center constantly in my ears.  I would come to be very unresponsive as I felt my mind shut down.

When I was finally moved to the actual ward my wife decided that this was the time to tell me that she was leaving me.  Dropped it like a bomb in the lunch room on the mental health ward.  Devastated once again.  There was no way for me to fight, no way for me to battle back, no energy for me to use from the ward.  My partner of 10 years was giving up on me.  My t was furious.  Though she suspected it was going to happen at some point she was furious with the way in which it happened.  I cried more than I’ve ever cried before.  The misery I was feeling was so deep, so visceral that I couldn’t breathe.

 

This is enough for now.  I need to pace myself so I don’t become too overwhelmed.  Thank you for listening and I welcome you back to my blog.  If you’re here for the first time I hope you find it interesting enough to leave a comment.  If not I’ll see you around.  I hope to write more here and help suss out what’s been going on for me.

Happy New Year Everyone!

-Peoplepuzzlepieces

Therapy. Wait, what were we working on again?

 

One of the things I love about my therapist is that she checks in with me every so often to make sure we’re on the same page.  Do I know what her goal is?  Do I know what my goal is?  Are they the same?  Are we in the right stage, going in the right direction?  Are we moving forward or standing still?  How do I feel I’m doing now as compared to a month ago, 2 months ago?

            Today was one such day where we kind of looked at each other like, okay wait, what are you saying?  Where are you going with this?  I told my therapist that I kind of felt like we were in a holding pattern.  She didn’t necessarily agree with that assessment.  So that is why we stepped back and looked at our game plan.

            To me it feels like I’m playing the waiting game… again.  Waiting for the consultation with the DID specialist.  Waiting to see if she accepts me as a full time client.  Waiting to see if I’ll be continuing with my current therapist in some capacity.

            My therapist explained that even if we do continue seeing each other she wouldn’t be digging into trauma work with as of yet.  She feels that I still have a ways to go in achieving higher functioning in my daily life.  After dissecting what exactly she means, I have to agree with her standpoint.

            The goal now is to achieve some sort of structure in my day to day life.  I don’t have much of a schedule that I follow right now.  And what little scheduling there is certainly doesn’t include things like exercise, getting out of the house, regular meal times etc.  I’m very isolated at the moment which is partly to do with the season but I have been making strides in that department.  I try and accept invitations from friends more often and even initiate an afternoon out for coffee.  But there are other things such as volunteering that I have yet to follow up on.

            So the idea is to make up a schedule of an ideal day/week that strikes a balance between those things we must do and those things that are pleasurable, and then add those things into my actual schedule.  That means scheduling a shower, doing the dishes, vacuuming, going for a walk, going to the dog park, spending meaningful time with my wife.  Scheduling absolutely everything.

            But everything has to start somewhere, so much against my all or nothing nature the one thing I choose to add this week is going to the dog park at least 4 times.  Should be doable right?  I’ll keep you posted.

            In the end, my session with my therapist was quite productive today.  I like knowing where we stand.  It gives me that sense of control over the process that I so desperately crave in my life.

            After all, that’s what therapy is about right?  Building a sense of mastery in one’s life.

Remember, it’s okay to ask in therapy, “Wait, what were we working on again?”

A Broader Introduction

I am living in a very cold place.  I don’t mean that figuratively.  I mean literally a cold place.  It’s currently -14 degrees Celsius with a windchill of -25.  It has warmed up a little.  This place is not my original home, though I have managed to make it feel like home now.  I have been here for a little over two years.  My wife and I moved here with 5 days notice.  We packed up our lovely 2 bedroom apartment in a 19′ moving truck and put the fur babies (2 cats, 1 dog) in the car and hit the open road for two days. it sounds like an interesting adventure doesn’t it?  The truth was, we were scared out of our freaking minds. Neither of us knew what the hell we were getting ourselves into.  No job lined up, no home, no friends or family.  What would become of us? But we were running for our safety, running for our well being, running for our lives!

I was abused by my uncle since the age of 3 or 4.  He belonged to a group of men that exchanged children to be used as play things.  We were objects, pawns in a game meant only to satisfy whatever twisted, sadistic needs they had.  There were some women involved too, though they weren’t major contributors.  Women were beneath them.

When I went into counselling at the end of 2007 it was to deal with anxiety and depression that were interfering with my work life and personal life.  It was through the process of self discovery that memories bagan to emerge.  It’s a long ongoing saga but the point is that once it became clear to my uncle and his freinds that I was talking they began to apply pressure. My abuse was ongoing unbeknownst to me in the beginning of counselling.  eventually I was able to connect to those parts of me that held the abusive content.  As a customer service specialist in a big box store I had to deal with people all the time.  These men began to harass me at work on a weekly basis.  This escalated to the point in which I was sexually assaulted in a locked bathroom at work and also being attacked in my own home.  Numerous threats were made against my wife as well. These assaults were revealed to my wife in a counselling session where the social worker said enough is enough.  We need to get you out of here and safe now.  So the planning began and 5 days later I was living in a homeless shelter in a new city.

I guess I don’t really have a point in telling you all of this.  I just felt that I’d let you all get to know me a little better. What my history involves.  I’m not really telling it right.  You see,, this is the problem.  I rattle on about things while I’m completely devoid of human emotion.  This was a very big deal and it affected my life greatly.  I don’t think that’s getting across.  I can feel that my writing doesn’t contain any feeling.  Perhaps I’ll just leave you with a little piece of writing.

Have a good night.

Mind is racing, child’s bracing for the night to come.

She try’s to think of things up a-bove so she doesn’t see.

Heart is pounding, thoughts are founding members of a club.

Stairs are creaking, life force leaking further from her grasp.

Memories forming.  All is storming.  Never will forget.

Though she hides it, ignores this one bit, she will soon grow up.

When this happens she will tell friends. Don’t believe a word.

My whole brain is stuck on all his crimes against this world.