Switching

Puzzle
This is a really hard post for me to write. Truthfully? I am embarrassed and quite frankly, I feel that speaking about it makes me look like a complete nutcase. So I am putting on my “big girl panties” and writing about it anyways because this blog is about being open and honest for myself but also for so many who just can’t express these things for themselves.

I had a therapy appointment yesterday and it was a tough one. No complaints about that. If it was easy? I wouldn’t be working very hard and to me? I work at my healing journey. I am not just a passenger in a runaway train. I am the conductor with a great group of helpful assistants whom have pointed me in the right direction over the past 18 months.
~~~ My nurses at Homewood (Jo-Anne, Mike, Joyce, Rebecca and Nadine) get a huge shout out here. No one has ever cared so much or given me such a great foundation to work from.They have no idea what they’ve given me because there are no words to express that level of gratitude. ~~~

Yesterdays session was like many others. Question, answers, things to think about and working on processing certain events. All went well until the last 5 minutes or so when I lost the battle going on in my mind for someone to take over my mind and body. Julie (who I will discuss in another post) decided that she would hijack my therapy appointment and make decisions as to my next appointment and what direction to take. Not nice.

I want to try to explain what switching is like for me.
One moment I am here. I am speaking to you, making plans or having a laugh and then in less time than it takes to blink, I am gone. Really gone. When I switch I have absolutely no memory of what I have done, where I have been, what I have said or who I’ve been with. It is extremely uncomfortable for me when I come back in to my mind and body having no clue what I’ve been up to. Did I say something offensive? Was I spending money or hanging out with people who I (Heather) does not know? Where did I go? What did I do? Do I have apologies to make? Did I make plans?
Today became a mix of embarrassment and anxiety as I tried to call the therapists office needing to ask if I have another appointment and when it is. I’m as nervous as all heck because when I go back the next time, I need to know what happened while I was gone and as I said, this topic is very difficult for me to discuss. I think it makes me look truly crazy and I don’t like feeling that way. My therapist may or may not understand (it’s a new relationship) so this conversation will be strange to have. Then there is the whole “I don’t believe in Dissociative Identity Disorder” discussion that happens with all my care here. I am told that while they believe me, they do not believe in DID. This is the main reason I never told anyone what I was dealing with for the last 4 decades. I didn’t want to be unfairly judged. Yet I am.
So not only am I am embarrassed enough already but then I am left feeling as though I need to defend myself. Trust me… I am not going to lie about having this because I would really rather NOT have it. I’d rather not have to explain myself. I’d rather not have to deal with the fallout of what a Helper gets up to when they have been in control. I never use DID as an excuse for behavior. EVER. I will admit to not knowing that I did a particular action but I am the one who makes apologies and makes things right with whomever has been affected. In the end, it is my responsibility to stay present.

Sorry this is a bit of a scattered post but it’s a confusing issue for me. I’m trying to explain something that I have only just begun to learn about myself.
I write about it anyways. Why?
Maybe by writing it I can help you understand what it’s like from the inside of DID. It’s really not fun. It’s not the best way to get attention or something legitimate DID persons use as a “party trick”.
To those who deal with it as I do? I hope I have explained it well enough that you have felt understood.

Hugs all. x x x

8 responses to “Switching

  1. Very good job of explaining it. I’m sorry it embarrasses you, but you should be proud of your strength in deciding to tell your doctor about it. You are definitely on the right path.

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  2. Heather,

    I can understand your feelings if your therapy team denies the reality of your diagnosis. Is there no place close to you that is d.i.d. friendly? I think ISSTD has a place on their website that has a locator of therapists that understand dissociation. You obviously feel very positive about your team of helpers, but it has to be extremely IN-validating to the others in your network which is a bad recipe for true healing. I validate all the girls in my wife’s network and help her do the same which is one of the starting points of communicating between the girls.

    Sam

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful reply Sam. I had WONDERFUL care a year ago at a treatment center 3,000kms away. I knew finding help here was going to be very difficult (very, very rural) but I didn’t realize it would be impossible. It has taken me 11 months to get in to see a mental health nurse. I’ve made phone calls and done everything possible to find help but after almost a year? I am accepting that help is just not available for me here… and I can’t see moving. Long story short, I do the best I can with what I have. Writing this blog is one way I am trying to use to sort through things. Your wife is a very lucky woman. Understanding and compassion are incredible gifts.

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  3. It’s a double whammy for you Heather – feeling embarrassed to say that you disassociated AND worrying that you won’t be believed. I know you well enough to know you will have tried everything to find support outside Homewood, but you cannot get blood out of a stone! Having grown up in a very rural area, l know how lacking these resources can be. But this is 2014- surely it would be possible for the health authority to set up a Skype session with a therapist who specialises in PTSD and DID??? I hope this therapist is at the very least open-minded, Heather. Hugs to you.xx

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  4. Do you ever wonder if the Helpers have memories of what they do that you are not aware of, and if they are not aware of your memories? That sounds silly, but it’s something I’ve always wondered.

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