Monday, July 9, 2012

Hello 2.0

More about me. I'm in the fourth-quarter of my 40s and I have a Hx of multiple traumas from an early age. Lately I have been pondering how my young brain's development and functioning was affected.  My amygdala and hippocampus were consistently awash in stress related neuro-chemistry and thus I was wired early on to space-out, check-out and dissociate under a wide range of contexts.  My therapist has said she is surprised I am functioning as well as I have been. 

Much of my memory is just a bucket of memory fragments from earlier childhood, before the ‘known’ traumas arrived. During my MSW and most of my career I steered my training and my work towards childhood trauma. As if I was trying to educate myself about myself.  I am blessed to have never had any self-harmful Bx. But it is a cruel irony that I am smart enough to describe the brain functioning associated w/ Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and yet sometimes feel ‘taken over’ by my foggy montage of scary memory video-clips, and to feel ‘little’ and helpless. I lose time in a spacey sort of manner but don’t seem to completely lose present-moment consciousness when I switch. 

I once broke my finger playing basketball and kept on playing for another 15 minutes - not bc I was super tough - it was bc I dissociated and didn’t notice the pain. I did not have a compound fracture but it wasn't until I jumped to get a rebound and in mid-air, I saw my bone poking up where it shouldn't, then it finally hit me that I was injured. And yet that same keep-on-plodding and never-admit-pain-or-need attitude has negatively financially impacted the very family I am so grateful to have. And I will not allow the past to steal from my present or my future any longer. I worry about being able to maintain the professional license I worked my ass off to attain. As far as I am aware I have about 8 parts which are more diffuse than concrete. Many other DID folks I know of have intricately more detailed inner lives for their parts, than I do. So I am confused about which direction to go in … (a) to attempt to learn skills to calm down and move on in a more ‘integrated’ manner or (b) to sort of go backwards and begin specific dialogues w/ some of the more traumatized parts to assemble meaning to the huge gap in my childhood-I have only limited memory fragments for like the first 9 years of my life-as if I was beamed into the world Star Trek style already in the 3rd grade.

I have managed to forge on w/ this as best as I could for years. I have a beautiful, beautiful wife w/ a beautiful heart, who I didn’t meet until I was 41. I have a wonderful 14y stepdaughter who is artsy and insightful. And we have 3 dogs who are wise, soulful and teachers each in their unique ways. Sometimes I thrash around so much w/ nightmares my wife has to move to another room to sleep. I have a skilled therapist who is knowledgeable about DD-NOS and trauma. In the past I have been ‘smarter’ than my other therapists, and I have a part which would come forward and ‘talk shop’ instead of talking about my traumas.

My next Thpy appt is on Thu 07/12/12, it will be 90-min'er bc it will be a strategy session ...  How bad off am I really? & What to do next? My experiences of feeling small and helpless and other flashbacks are intruding more and more often.  

I called in sick to work last Friday morning bc I had a flashback of something I had totally forgotten about which I witnessed back around 1974!   I literally felt sick to my stomach but after I gathered myself together the only thing I could think of to do w/ all of my angst-energy was read 3 scientific journal articles on DID (to prove to myself I'm not crazy), and then go to the YMCA and swim a mile and change and run 4 miles in the 95-degree heat [my wife was Not pleased]. But I take super-major care to be stretched and well-hydrated and to slow down & drink fluids that I take running w/ me as I need to, besides physical movement is like the only thing these days that gets me out of my head. One hellluva digression there  .. 

Anyway, I feel my murky past and terrorized Littles' damned up and unheard emotions and stories deserve their time, since my DD-NOS has devised and enacted gazillions of ways to appear normal and not "go there". And since I am having the memory fragments, flashbacks, inner chatter, and nightmares anyway, I wish I could dive into to some intensive work ...  Bc I am actually worried these symptoms will be absorbed back into my consciousness and still affect my frozen-in-place life, but w/out me having had a chance to make progress w/ them.

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