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

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Manipulation… Good or Bad?

So we’re talking about interpersonal effectiveness in group right now.  Two long words to describe how to get what you need and want.  Or conversely you can describe it as how to say no to what you don’t need or don’t want.  Other words you can use are how to manipulate a situation to your best advantage. 

The facilitator of my group said that manipulate doesn’t have to be a bad word.  I had a hard time swallowing that at first.  But then I looked at it another way.  I guess in a manner of speaking we are manipulating the world around us all the time.  Scheduling what we’ll do when, who we’ll see, who we won’t.  We work towards gaining the things we want, plan what to get rid of or ignore.  All of these things are a kind of manipulation.  I think when it becomes a bad word is if you are subversive about it, or hurtful and deceitful

We all maneuver through our lives.  Some of us are very skillful.  We’ve learned highly adaptive ways of dealing with the world while others of us have not been so fortunate.  The fact that the brain can be changed, molded and in some cases stunted leaves us all vulnerable.  An abused person develops completely different from a non-abused person.  A loved person has certain advantages over an unloved person.  That is not to say that we can’t overcome obstacles planted in our way.  In fact it means quite the opposite.  We can train or manipulate our brain chemistry by learning and practicing a new way of being. We can work hard at finding different ways to handle the trials of our lives.  We can adjust our course, choose a new journey, and seek a smoother path.  The best thing to do is find support, find information, and find all of the things you need to accomplish whatever goals you set for yourselves.  Manipulate the world around you in an honest, gentle way and be kind to yourself.

So manipulate away.  It’s not such a bad word after all.