Thursday, February 16, 2012

Headaches, EMDR and Feeling Shitty

I have another headache from the fight not to switch earlier. It amazes me that such panic and unbelievable shame and fear can come from reading one damn sentence.

Manipulative, deceitful, conniving, lying, sneaky, melodramatic, manipulative, manipulative, manipulative.

That article was right on the money. Manipulative is the most damaging judgment you can possibly make to someone being treated or diagnosed as a Borderline. It reinforces every hellish invalidating message. It leaves you confused believing that you cannot trust any action or word, thought or feelings because it might be MANIPULATIVE. Without even wanting to or trying, you are attempting to gain control over others and create an atmosphere that suits your disordered world, when what you really want is to be what they ask of you to be.

Definitely my target for tomorrow.

Where will we start? How about the hospital in Fayetteville? Jan. 2, 1991 I cut my wrist for the first time in years. I did it intentionally. I wanted to go to the hospital. The therapist I was seeing at the time was triggering more emotion than I could handle and not seeing any of the dissociation it caused. I would sit in his office for the full session, unable to speak, to move, to breathe, or even think. I was paralyzed by the weight of the emotions I had locked away for years. I wanted escape. Despite the hellish environment of hospitals, as a teenager it was still a haven from home. I did not want to run from Charlie, but from my pain. I asked him to put me in a hospital and protect me from myself. Thinking back now, I remember the hospital had been the recommendation of the pastor we had gone to for help.

2 days later, I signed myself in to a hospital almost 2 hours away because they had what we were told was a Christ centered program. I wanted treatment with my faith as a part. Too many times before, the beliefs I grew up with and those we had grown into after marriage were treated with scorn or even as a weakness. Never was there respect for their importance in the shaping of my identity.

With that in mind, we entered the Cephus (means 'rock') Program. The hospital was on Melrose Road, by a large medical hospital. The admitting doctor was named Morrow.

The hospital name has changed and Dr. Morrow is no longer there, nor is the Cephus Program. Not that any of that matters.

it's too much. too intense. i don't want to go here.

All of the usually demeaning and dignity destroying events occurred during admission. Had to pose for the shitty Polaroid and have my belongings rifled through. I was shocked and infuriated at all they took away. It was not until they were finished that they bothered to explain that most of it, shampoo and such would be returned after I had finished my time on the locked ward. All new admissions stayed there until the doctor moved them to the other ward. None of this, and I repeat none of this was told to us before we came to the hospital. We even asked. They denied that we would be on a locked unit at all!

I do not remember sleeping the first night. The next morning we were allowed to stay in bed and miss the community meeting. It was not until later I was told it counted against me. No one told me it was mandatory. No one came to the room to say it was time for breakfast. Perhaps all the time spent in adolescent units had me spoiled to such things. I was simply thrown into a schedule without anyone bothering to tell me what it was! The following day, my lack of communication in community was another strike on the chart. I had called Charlie at least once to ask him to come get me, despite having agreed to at least 3 days. I felt confused and as if I were lied to and being judged as something I wasn't and he was my only ally. That was when the word manipulation, that hideous demon of a label I had heard so many times, was first used. Charlie was told by the staff to ignore my pleas. I was trying to use him against them to thwart their rules. True? Perhaps, but I could not see any other options.

I was alone, afraid, and confused.

Someone, one of us, who could float thru the horror of hospitals, took most of the first few days. I was not aware of the passage of time, it just happened. Quietly do as you are told, accept the consequence when you do not. There were no meds to worry with because I was 8 weeks pregnant with our second child. A combination of severe bulimic behavior and morning sickness made eating very difficult. keeping it down was harder still and we had to endure the standard 45 minutes of constant observation (restricted to full view of the nurses station) after any meal.

108 lbs on this frame did not seem too thin, but for the sake of the baby, I knew I had to fight the purging and nourish myself. I was publicly weighed (they would drag the scale to the entrance to the nurse's desk so anyone in the lounge or hall could see and hear) every other day until we started gaining.

We were only on the ICU unit for 2 nights. That was when the first headache hit. Headaches during pregnancy are common but these, I would years later learn, were the switching headaches associated with DID. Being in a hospital brought forward many fragments of me who had not been needed in years. I remember asking for a Tylenol, one of the few meds the OB/GYN at home had allowed. The response was, “But you said you did not take meds of any kind. Are you changing your mind for convenience or was it a lie?” I said I did not take psychotropic drugs and had refused them since I was 16. I never indicated that I was opposed to analgesics or medications approved during pregnancy. While they waited for the doctor to call and approve two Tylenol, I went to my room and for the first time in years, broke down into tears. This began a panic attack of such proportions I was terrified for my safety. It bordered on a suicidal frenzy and I wanted so desperately to keep it under control.

no more tonight, please..