Tuesday, January 28, 2014

just another 9-11 commentary...

9/10/2002

Today was our 3 month ‘anniversary’ with *diary site*. Seems fitting to go ahead and join the masses in commenting about 9-11 and this last year.

We were on the computer (surprise surprise) when Charlie called and told me he’d just heard something about a plane crashing into a building in NYC. I turned on the tv just in time to see the second plane as it hit. I sat on the edge of my bed for the rest of the day, watching dumbfounded as the towers fell and the stations replayed and replayed the footage.

We watched the footage of people panicking in the streets, the dust covered crowds trying desperately to get away. We watched as the media gave new information only to retract it later seemingly every hour over the next week. We listened to the reports of those who gave their lives to protect others. We watched as the final survivors were pulled from the wreckage and the heartrending news that there could be no more. We watched the coverage of families hoping against hope to find their loved one alive. We wondered what about the children? For some reason it was very important to know if any children had died. When the bombing occurred in Oklahoma we heard about the lives of children that were lost. We never heard coverage about the most innocent of victims. Were there no children even on the planes?

Emails from family members started pouring in. In typical fashion for my family, they seemed to be trying to explain what happened to themselves, with the odd philosophical bent they seem to spin on everything. I love my family. Like many others, this event drew us just a *little* closer. It was a reminder to us all how fragile and fleeting life is. Tell one another you love them before the chance is snatched from under you. Since then, all the siblings scattered far and wide have reached out just a bit more and we’ve come to know each other again.

It’s strange though. People ask how the events of 9-11 have changed people individually. For us, there has been little change outside of the little bit of closeness with my family. We have no more fears than we did before. Honestly there was more fear for us in the 80’s when all we heard about was the possibility of nuclear war. My sense of patriotism is no more or less. The opinion we have of our nation has not changed. That’s not to say we aren’t ‘patriots’. We are. Just not necessarily the way most people would think. This is a flawed country run by flawed people. Not as flawed as some countries but far better than most. The government is a mess but still far better than most. The perspective hasn’t changed.

There is greater pride in those whose jobs put them in daily danger. There is tremendous pride in those who stood to fight a battle they knew they could not win. There is compassion for those who lost loved ones and rage for those who saw this tragedy as an opportunity to profit themselves.

9-11 is but one of many events that will always be recalled with the same clarity as the moment it happened. The day Elvis died, the day John Lennon died, the day Reagan was shot, the day the Challenger exploded, the day Baby Jessica was pulled from a well, and many others. This is but one event that has touched an entire nation. This was not the first time total strangers came together in grief and support and it will not be the last.

Of all the things we took from 9-11, the reality that as a nation and as individuals, no matter how flawed, we have enough in common to come together with compassion and even grace, that is what will remain after all else fades.

overacme dyslexia

9/10/2002

slept like a rock and plan to mostly just play and maybe do a little housework today. the littles have had no time at all for more than a week and they are getting a little whiney *grins* mostly amelia and suzie tho. they are more accustomed to actually playing. the middles for the most part, still only come out if triggered. tho we can encourage stacy and laura with things like clay or shrinky dinks. (one day maybe we can get them over their fear of the computer)

charlie's home again because he's almost 40 hours ahead of where he's supposed to be and the company doesn't want to 'run out' of their contracted time before the year is up (in november). with him home we have some *adult* supervision so the littles and john don't get in too much mischief.

besides... i think we deserve a day off from *work*. we've done damn well since we started this diary. for all the occasional hassles, lyn agrees that the diary has been one of the most helpful things for us. creative expression, a place to vent, a place to get to know others and break from our isolation...

we're SO very grateful to have found this place and all of you we've met here. *sappy sentimental grins*

off to the dollar tree for a kiddie spending spree...

Monday, January 27, 2014

awww he left a note

9/9/2002

*blush* *grins*

have been printing out pages for charlie to read so he can see what the girls are writing and so that he gets an idea what's going on when i'm not verbalizing it... well, the printer is out of ink (gee, i wonder why?) and so i sat him down to catch up online.

he left me a note *silly sappy grins*

it's on the entry before this. it's signed *the crew* because he had no idea how else to leave one. i think he was trying to write an entry. anyway... after he was finished reading (didn't realize how much we're really writing!) he told me to come look...

he's my sweetie.

to have someone who will fight to stay with you and who will still shout from the mountain tops that he's glad to be with you....

what the hell am i doing sitting here?

*off to tell someone how much he means to us*

5 out of 4 people don't understand fractions

9/9/2002



weird mood today. good session with lyn. mostly read the last week's entries and talked about how far we've come even in the last 6 months. she's very proud of reese for not only putting what she was feeling into words but doing so without involving a blade. also, the way she said she wasn't going to *try* to make people happy... HUGE HUGE HUGE step for her. reese's role was always to take the blame and be *responsible* for everyone and everything.

stephanie, as protector, had always *protected* us by running off anyone who tried getting close, beating the crap out of anyone who threatened us physically and managing to alienate everyone in order to keep them from getting close enough to *know*. she spent 13 years trying to get rid of charlie. the fact that she couldn't didn't prove he was trustworthy to her. it just pissed her off. in many ways, she has changed more than the rest of us. her view of the role of protector is so different than it was. the J***** system can tell you that just 6 months ago, she/we would have been storming and stomping and swearing up a storm for weeks over this.

it's really awesome how, as each of *us* has grown and healed the more in sync we are becoming. yeah, it's unsettling because i know what that will eventually mean. as much as that is what i want, it's scary as hell to contemplate. especially in the first person.

i don't know how to explain what i took away from today's session. i think what's happened is that we've finally reached that unimaginable place of *better* that no one ever thought would happen. not that the work is done. not by a long shot... but enough of the worst is behind us that *health* is no longer an insurmountable goal. it's something that can be seen on the horizon and instead of making me want to push all the harder to get there, or even to drag my feet thinking it's still too far, we can begin to look to the left and the right and not *just* at the goal. we've finally reached the place where the journey itself is a chaotic and joyful adventure that we can begin to *gasp* ENJOY!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

choas and opportunity

9/9/2002

in the chinese language, it's said, the symbol for chaos also means opportunity. the same symbol also means both interesting and full of turmoil.

charlie and i heard many years ago that to wish someone an interesting life is considered a curse in some cultures because you are wishing them a life full of chaos and turmoil.

okay, so it's also a life never dull and full of opportunity... still i hope one day to find the sonofabitch who wished that on me and beat the everlovin' crap out of him.

9/8/2002 *unknown alter*

9/8/2002

it hurts. it hurts alot. too much. why talk? they never listen anyway.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

unloading garbage

9/8/2002

used to lie. used to lie a lot. used to steal too. always figured since everybody called us liar and thief, why not, you know? what was weird was mostly didn't get caught for stuff that actually happened, but got hell for stuff that didn't.

if you told the truth you got punished for lying and if you lied they either believed you or ignored you. dad once sent a bottle of ipecac to a friend in the DEA to have it tested to see if there was something else in it. never dawned on them it was used for its stated purpose; to induce vomiting. wasn't about an ED then. it was about being able to prove being sick to get out of school. some days at marstellar middle school were actually worse than being home. dad was just so convinced it was drugs that were to blame. taking drugs didn't start for another year. never got caught taking gin to school. got caught smoking in the bathroom tho. was weird to sit in the principal's office drunk and listen to a lecture about smoking. he was cool tho. they all knew what home was like but that there were no bruises to show, so they never told mom about the smoking. guess if you think about it, the kindness was really taken advantage of. but it's not like there was any other kindness to be had.

used to shoplift a lot. never got caught. but when a neighbor started noticing her granny's heirloom rings disappear, they set a trap (ha) they waited at their house and accused the first person to show up. called mom and called the police. one of the only times mom defended us, but that was only after they ripped the bedroom apart to find the rings. that's when they found the ipecac and the knives and blades that were kept hidden. the lady found the rings in her 4 year old's room a week later.

this is stupid shit i guess, but it's just so weird how things worked out against us every time. no matter what it was, everyone knew where to point a finger.

it's weird too how by the time no one *wanted* attention anymore, that's when everything was being done just to get attention.

mom once gave me a newspaper article to read. it was about a girl who said her dad molested her and then after he got arrested, lost his job, respect, blah blah, she said she'd only done it to get back at her dad after a fight. why the hell did she give me that? we never ever tried to tell anybody dad touched us like that. just because we told people at the first hospital about flying across rooms and being swung around by the hair... because we told what really happened. and it happened a lot too. but because we told she had to make sure that if they got in trouble, there was no doubt whose fault it would be. mom had her stupid article to convince herself that if they got in trouble she could tell everyone it was a lie told in spite.

after all. their daughter marisa was nothing but a conniving little liar anyway.

reese

and the saga continues

9/8/2002

latest word from the psycho in-laws... the "official" word is that i went over there with some 'homeless looking person' yelling, screaming, cursing and threatening charlie's mom. first of all she never came outside. the funny thing is that charlie did have a yelling match with his mom, but as it is the family code never to trash family, the responsibility is all on me.

gonna have to talk to lyn about using her bataka bat tomorrow. there is definitely a need to beat the hell out of someone in effigy. wonder if lyn will approve putting a pic of them on the pillow?

it is so hard to not get so 'proud' of myself for dealing with it the way we did earlier this week that there's a transition to looking down on them.

keep telling myself... they are no less human that i am. they are no less fallible than i am. they have no less potential than i do. they will reap the rewards of their choices without my getting all smug about it. being a pissy bitch won't hide the hurt this brought up. well, maybe for a little while, but i've grown tired of being bitter. it sucks admitting they succeeded in causing hurt, but the sooner we deal the sooner we heal.

i think i can
i think i can
i think i can
we need a set of darts and a pic of wendy
no, that's not it
i think i can
i think i can
shit this is going to be hard but the best never comes easy right?
i know we can
i know we can

Friday, January 24, 2014

trigger warning kinda graphic

9/7/2002

should probably be doing this over in reality lostThe Crew's diary, but tend to leave that diary to stephanie...

i had started cutting again and was still unable to eat. most days were spent sprawled across my bed in a zone. it wasn't sleep. i just lay there with my eyes closed and listened to the screaming inside. i couldn't speak or function. i'd developed a shake that was almost convulsive. my hands were constantly moving. they would wave or the fingers would act out different rhythms. it never stopped. i'd panic and begin to pace and mumble. i'd go back and forth in my room for an hour at a time. i knew i had finally gone too far over the edge to come back.

december 2, 1998. i think that was when i realized just how truly bad things were. daniel was next door at a friend's house and john was napping. i remember deciding to cut. i vaguely remember calling pat and telling her i couldn't stop the bleeding. i'd sliced thru a vein in the crook of my left arm and was standing there in the bathroom watching my blood pour into a coagulating mass in the sink and i couldn't move. i *wanted* to stop the bleeding. i wanted to clean the mess. but instead was trying to keep it flowing. i'd never before cut and not kept it all washing down the sink in running water but this time the water had been turned off right after i called pat. i couldn't move.

i don't know if i realized then how familiar the feeling was. i'd been there before. unable to stop myself from saying or doing things that terrified me. it was as unreal as it can be. i got dizzy and nauseous so i sat on the toilet to wait. pat was 20 minutes away.

i could hear someone praying. i didn't know where i was. i couldn't breathe. i opened my eyes and when my eyes focused i could see pat standing just outside the bathroom door praying for me. the bleeding had stopped but she had found me unconscious and barely breathing on the floor.

the fear was incredible. the shame was worse. over and over i just kept trying to tell her i didn't mean to. it was an accident. i don't want to die.

when the paramedics arrived they gave me oxygen and began the task of trying to fit 3 of them into a bathroom too narrow for them to all carry me out. one of them had said 'she knew what she was doing' after seeing the small cuts that had so precisely cut thru the veins. i can remember hearing someone say 'it's about time someone realized i'm serious'.

started seeing a psychiatrist the next week. over the next 2 months the pastor and pat were seeing more and more facets of me that they knew were more than just 'spiritual' things or their imagination. after talking to charlie, pastor R started doing some research and spoke with several other pastors looking for an answer.

it was pat who found it. in a book written by a christian counselor she came across a chapter that described someone who's problem was eerily similar to mine. the client was a multiple.

when pat gave me a copy of the chapter to read, i went ballistic. NO WAY! forget it. not a chance. maybe something kinda like it but it's probably just that i'm exaggerating. they said i'm borderline. it's just that. i'm not multiple.

if this were bullshit... if this were an act or a game or an outright lie... why, even after reese, stephanie and roo began intentionally talking to me... why fight it?

to this day, i live with the fear that somehow i'll be 'found out'. every absolute truth from my childhood was a lie to everyone but me. every effort to seek help, i was called a liar when i tried to talk about what i knew was there.

in the last year or so we've developed close friendships with other multiples. in that time it has become okay for me to refer to myself as we, because that's who i am. i am many. i don't do it to draw attention to the multiplicity. only the few offline people who know ever hear me refer to myself in the plural.

as we have come to know each other. as the secrets locked away for so long get shared. as i continue to understand how this defense has enabled me to survive. as i learn to accept as my own the experiences these parts of me have taken on, yes i will acknowledge them. they are part of who i am and i will never ever apologize for being grateful that we are who we are.

so, for the record, and this is just as much for *me* as it is for anyone who may read this... i am WE. i will not always be more than one, but i will never accept shame from anyone who may choose to disbelieve. we will not be diminished by the ignorance of others. yes, we can be hurt, but we've been hurt and we've survived this far. WE will not back down.

decent into hell

9/7/2002

it's not that anything traumatic happened during the trip. just that being *home* in the same house where so many things happened opened doors in my mind that i'd managed to keep shut for more than 7 years.

i was in counseling in graham, north carolina with a young man finishing his training. i'd seen him for just over a year and after getting out of the hospital in fayetteville the 'voices' that had been so much a part of my life had become overwhelming. i knew that i knew that i knew that there were other 'parts' to me. the concept of inner children was popular at that time and so i decided that these voices were just the emotional 'children' that represented areas where i stopped growing emotionally because of the abuse.

i had been trying to talk to larry about this when in a session one day amelia (then called roo) was triggered by discussions of early sexual abuse. the next thing i knew i was curled in a corner on the floor and larry had spent the entire session talking to her.

over the next few weeks it happened again. amelia and reese began telling of some of the things we'd endured. larry, unsure of where to go with this, spoke to the psychiatrist he was training under.

at our next session, before i had even sat down, larry announced that we had to deal with a situation that was hindering my healing. he had had enough of playing along while i 'acted out' events of childhood. 'the inner child nonsense ends now'. his exact words. he told me he would not talk to roo or reese again.

that was the last time i 'split'. the last alter created in this mind. control (now levia) stepped in and created an internal wall shutting everyone inside away from me. after that it was easy to 'forget' there had ever been others.


so, with my unconscious wall crumbling and all my defenses losing strength, 10 days with my parents was enough to strip away any semblance of 'normal' i had left.

by the time we got back home i was a wreck. i'd spent at least 3 nights while in virginia, in hysterical tears (not something my parents could begin to understand). the bulimic behavior that had been my last resort in the last 7 years flared up and took over. in 3 months i lost 30 lbs and by the time i knew i needed help i couldn't eat without spending the entire night in pain.

i sought counseling at church. meeting with the pastor and one of the elder's wives, we got together every couple of weeks to talk.

not sure when the girls started jumping in every now and then during these talks, but remember the first time someone identified herself. one of the littles had run and tried to hide and when pastor R tried to convince 'me' it was safe, stephanie attacked him. it wasn't the last time in the next few months she tried to strangle him, but it was the last time he was caught unprepared.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

mental mumblings

9/7/2002

in late july of 98 i packed up all 5 kids and with lots of unsure feelings, drove up to manassas, virgiania to spend 10 days with my parents.

no, lets back up a bit... when daniel drowned (november 30 1995) the depression that i fought all the time, got too much. within a few months i was a total mess. sleep was a joke. i couldn't get thru one night without a nightmare or without suddenly waking up and having to go make sure daniel was breathing. wound up being told to take a six week leave of absence after telling a live caller during my radio shift at a christian station, that you don't ever give your address out on the air because some of the 35,000 people listening just weren't wrapped tight. some schmuck got offended and started a campaign to get me fired (because 'he may not be wrapped tight but he's wrapped tight in jesus'. an example of why christians have such a bad name) so the GM of the station compromised and told me to go take time with my family and forgive myself for what happened to daniel.

i got thru that but not totally. when i was pregnant with john i decided to leave the station to stay home with my kids. the stress of office politics and other problems were taking their toll and i was afraid i'd lose the baby if i didn't quit.

at this time, my primary coping tool was shopping and crochet. somehow they just helped to fend off the growing confusion and desperation. when john was 6 weeks old he got pertussis (whooping cough) and we spent more than 6 weeks living with the helplessness of watching our child cough himself blue 2-3 times an hour and knowing we could do nothing but wait it out. including the six weeks after he was born, it was more than 3 months before i could sleep more than 45 minutes at a time.

by the time john was better, i was active in the worship team at church and anything else i could get involved in and sinking deeper and deeper into the worst depression i'd ever experienced. i started hearing voices again which i was not about to tell anyone because i'd convinced myself by that time that i was probably schizophrenic and terrified to find out.

by the time we made the trip to see my parents, i was running on fumes. couldn't remember anything from day to day and knew it was only a matter of time before i fell apart. something i *couldn't* allow to happen because i'd been told my whole life that i was hopelessly ill and would never live a normal life. doing whatever necessary to prove *them* wrong was more important than anything. i couldn't take the failure of admitting what was happening... again

charlie couldn't make the trip because he had to work. i allowed myself to be pressured into going without him and it was the trip to virginia that was the catalyst for for the next 2 years of hell.

when the should hits the fan

9/7/2002

chalk up another lesson and another reminder that sometimes 'being strong' isn't always the best thing to do for yourself.

the last week has brought up another crop of bullshit messages and the last 24 hours made them really hit home.
i should always do the right thing
i should never lose my cool
i should be able to brush off personal attacks
i should always be strong
i should be able to protect my system, after all, they've been protecting me my whole life
i should forgive easily
i shouldn't ever let hurt show
i should've done this different or should've done that.
obviously somewhere in there is the message that i/we should be more than human

so to borrow my favorite phrase from dr. c: we need to stop shoulding all over ourself. all it does is put you neck deep in should.

we had our minor meltdown last night. though, we need to just unload without worrying if it's too much. we're holding in too much right now.(my fault) trying to keep it in (that is MY biggest weakness) or only letting a little show just doesn't do the job and if it means having a messy, wet, slobbery sob and actually letting another human offer comfort, then so be it.

when the wall came down (long story for another entry) and the girls started talking ('call me a demon one more time and i'll rip your dick off and feed it to you! the name's stephanie you asshole.' said to our former pastor) things were totally out of control. stephanie was a ticking bomb, reese was totally suicidal and the younger ones were so terrified that no one could touch us in any way.

for a long time i saw the girls as my enemy because with their being recognized and acknowledged came years of emotions i'd never allowed myself to feel and things got completely unreal. stephanie and reese are the only ones i've ever been co-conscious with. at least for any length of time. (in a nutshell that means having shared information or experiences.) from 13-16 we literally just shifted in and out and though i knew their names, after the first real hospital experience, never bothered to try getting anyone to listen. but they would take over control and i'd know what was going on. there's no way to explain the horrible feeling of helplessness when you are watching yourself do things you would never imagine doing. taking out a blade in a counseling session and slicing across my left arm was terrifying. we've never cut in someone's presence and that cut took a hell of a lot of stitches to close. it was like that for almost 18 months. this was not a fun time.

i don't fully remember anything that happens when another is out. most of the time it's like dreaming and when i'm out again, the events fade the way dreams do when you wake up. the only way to hold onto the memory of events is to talk to someone who was there and have them fill in the details.

it took a full year to even accept that the DID was real. we'd been programmed so long to believe that every word we spoke was a lie, that to admit that there were 'others' inside would have been like asking people to call me a liar. as recently as a year ago i would still ask dr. c every few months, am i really DID? the fear that one day i'll wake up and everyone i now trust will turn and accuse me of having been so talented a liar that i even convinced myself, still sneaks up on me in the night and rips at my heart.

trying to pretend the last couple of days didn't hurt was stupid. it did hurt. it hit a very painful bunch of old wounds and secret fears. on top of the mess with the in-laws and trying not to lock up the hurt that it brought up was just too much.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

thanks everybody

9/7/2002

i've felt pretty much alone for a long time. except for the doc and lyn it's like there's no friends, you know? nobody to just, like talk to especially if you're feeling bad.

everybody's notes. it's just, it means so much. it's been a long time since it felt like people really heard what i said or felt.

thank you so much.

love you guys,
reese

last straw

9/6/2002

gonna hate myself for not making this a private entry. never tried to tell anyone i wasn't a screw up. two people are having a war of words cuz of us. someone's feelings got hurt because we got triggered and got rude. that person was noted by us and told we were wrong and people are still coming over to tell us what we already know. WE WERE WRONG. thought that was already established.

charlie's family says were shit. people who don't know us say were a faker. every bad thing going on in our little corner of the universe is our fault. ok mom, it's my fault! ok dr. stein, i'm a liar! ok larry, you don't have to hear the inner child bullshit anymore! ok everybody, we're shit! yea, shoulda known better than to try to believe anything else.

12 years ago D** tried to kill us and kidnap kris. she said if she couldn't have marisa she would take one of the kids.

marisa still gets scared over strangers who look at the kids wrong. if we don't want to play a card game or whatever it is that is even distantly related to the darkness we had to go thru, its our choice! i want nothing to do with anything that even pretends black magic. you have the right to play those games, why is it not ok for us to say NO?

if anyone in this system does something wrong, we ALL take responsibility. it's the right thing to do. we don't make excuses and say oh so and so is hurting over this and so its totally ok that she acted bitchy and you should just let her off the hook and you can't hold the rest of us to blame for it. we don't do that cuz it's wrong. if we screw up we admit it.

why is it ok for everybody else and not us? why can other people get hurt and we are supposed to kiss ass but if we're hurt we have to just get over it?

okay, so you've won. it hurts. i feel hurt, worthless, a shitty bitch and a liar. i feel like i have no right to exist because marisa must be a fucking liar. faker. attention seeker. i've lost the one safe place i have in the whole world.

will you leave us alone if we say it's all bullshit? will you leave me alone if i admit i'm not made of steel? will it make you feel better if we stop fighting to become one and just go back to the hell we used to be in? will it make it better if we just go away?

don't answer. i don't really wanna know. but this is still my diary and i'm not gonna try to make everybody happy cuz i can't.

reese, the girl who doesn't really exist

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

9/5/2002

This brochure is copyright 1994 by the Sidran Foundation.

The growing recognition of psychiatric conditions resulting from traumatic influences is a significant mental health issue of the 1990s. Until recently considered rare and mysterious psychiatric curiosities, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (until very recently known as Multiple Personality Disorder - MPD) and other Dissociative Disorders (DD) are now understood to be fairly common effects of severe trauma in early childhood, most typically extreme, repeated physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse.

In 1994, with the publication of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV, Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) was changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), reflecting changes in professional understanding of the disorder, which resulted largely from increased empirical research of trauma-based dissociative disorders.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), widely accepted as a major mental illness affecting 9-10% of the general population, is closely related to Dissociative Identity Disorder (MPD) and other Dissociative Disorders (DD). In fact, as many as 80-100% of people diagnosed with DID (MPD) also have a secondary diagnosis of PTSD. The personal and societal cost of trauma disorders [including DID (MPD), DD, and PTSD] is extremely high. For example, recent research suggests the risk of suicide attempts among people with trauma disorders may be even higher than among people who have major depression. In addition, there is evidence that people with trauma disorders have higher rates of alcoholism, chronic medical illnesses, and abusiveness in succeeding generations.

What Is Dissociation?
Dissociation is a mental process which produces a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. During the period of time when a person is dissociating, certain information is not associated with other information as it normally would be. For example, during a traumatic experience, a person may dissociate the memory of the place and circumstances of the trauma from his ongoing memory, resulting in a temporary mental escape from the fear and pain of the trauma and, in some cases, a memory gap surrounding the experience. Because this process can produce changes in memory, people who frequently dissociate often find their senses of personal history and identity are affected.

Most clinicians believe that dissociation exists on a continuum of severity. This continuum reflects a wide range of experiences and/or symptoms. At one end are mild dissociative experiences common to most people, such as daydreaming, highway hypnosis, or "getting lost" in a book or movie, all of which involve "losing touch" with conscious awareness of one's immediate surroundings. At the other extreme is complex, chronic dissociation, such as in cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder (MPD) and other Dissociative Disorders, which may result in serious impairment or inability to function. Some people with DID(MPD)/DD can hold highly responsible jobs, contributing to society in a variety of professions, the arts, and public service. To co-workers, neighbors, and others with whom they interact daily, they apparently function normally.

There is a great deal of overlap of symptoms and experiences among the various Dissociative Disorders, including DID (MPD). For the sake of clarity, this brochure will refer to DID(MPD)/DD as a collective term. Individuals should seek help from qualified mental health providers to answer questions about their own particular circumstances and diagnoses.

How Does DID(MPD)/DD Develop?
When faced with overwhelmingly traumatic situations from which there is no physical escape, a child may resort to "going away" in his or her head. This ability is typically used by children as an extremely effective defense against acute physical and emotional pain, or anxious anticipation of that pain. By this dissociative process, thoughts, feelings, memories, and perceptions of the traumatic experiences can be separated off psychologically, allowing the child to function as if the trauma had not occurred.

DID(MPD)/DD is often referred to as a highly creative survival technique, because it allows individuals enduring "hopeless" circumstances to preserve some areas of healthy functioning. Over time, however, for a child who has been repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted, defensive dissociation becomes reinforced and conditioned. Because the dissociative escape is so effective, children who are very practiced at it may automatically use it whenever they feel threatened or anxious -- even if the anxiety-producing situation is not abusive.

Often, even after the traumatic circumstances are long past, the left-over pattern of defensive dissociation remains. Chronic defensive dissociation may lead to serious dysfunction in work, social, and daily activities. Repeated dissociation may result in a series of separate entities, or mental states, which may eventually take on identities of their own. These entities may become the internal "personality states," of a DID(MPD) system. Changing between these states of consciousness is described as "switching."

What Are The Symptoms Of DID(MPD)/DD?
People with DID(MPD) may experience any of the following: depression, mood swings, suicidal tendencies, sleep disorders (insomnia, night terrors, and sleep walking), panic attacks and phobias (flashbacks, reactions to stimuli or "triggers"), alcohol and drug abuse, compulsions and rituals, psychotic-like symptoms (including auditory and visual hallucinations), and eating disorders. In addition, individuals with DID(MPD)/DD can experience headaches, amnesias, time loss, trances, and "out of body experiences." Some people with DID(MPD)/DD have a tendency toward self-persecution, self-sabotage, and even violence (both self-inflicted and outwardly directed).

Who Gets DID(MPD)/DD?
The vast majority (as many as 98 to 99%) of individuals who develop DID(MPD)/DD have documented histories of repetitive, overwhelming, and often life-threatening trauma at a sensitive developmental stage of childhood (usually before the age of nine), and they may possess an inherited biological predisposition for dissociation. In our culture the most frequent precursor to DID(MPD)/DD is extreme physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in childhood, but survivors of other kinds of trauma in childhood (such as natural disasters, invasive medical procedures, war, and torture) have also reacted by developing DID(MPD)/DD.

Current research shows that DID(MPD) may affect 1% of the general population and perhaps as many as 5-20% of people in psychiatric hospitals, many of whom have received other diagnoses. The incidence rates are even higher among sexual abuse survivors and individuals with chemical dependencies. These statistics put DID(MPD)/DD in the same category as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, as one of the four major mental health problems today.

Most current literature shows that DID(MPD)/DD is recognized primarily among females. The latest research, however, indicates that the disorders may be equally prevalent (but less frequently diagnosed) among the male population. Men with DID(MPD)/DD are most likely to be in treatment for other mental illnesses, for drug and alcohol abuse, or incarcerated.

Why Are Dissociative Disorders Often Misdiagnosed?
DID(MPD)/DD survivors often spend years living with misdiagnoses, consequently floundering within the mental health system. They change from therapist to therapist and from medication to medication, getting treatment for symptoms but making little or no actual progress. Research has documented that on average, people with DID(MPD)/DD have spent seven years in the mental health system prior to accurate diagnosis.

This is common, because the list of symptoms that cause a person with DID(MPD)/DD to seek treatment is very similar to those of many other psychiatric diagnoses. In fact, many people who are diagnosed with DID(MPD)/DD also have secondary diagnoses of depression, anxiety, or panic disorders.

Do People Actually Have Multiple Personalities?
Yes, and no. One of the reasons for the decision by the psychiatric community to change the disorder's name from Multiple Personality Disorder to Dissociative Identity Disorder is that "multiple personalities" is somewhat of a misleading term. A person diagnosed with DID(MPD) has within her two or more entities, or personality states, each with its own independent way of relating, perceiving, thinking and remembering about herself and her life. If two or more of these entities take control of the person's behavior at a given time (what do you mean by a given time?), a diagnosis of MPD can be made. These entities previously were often called "personalities," even though the term did not accurately reflect the common definition of the word as the total aspect of our psychological makeup. Other terms often used by therapists and survivors to describe these entities are: "alternate personalities", "alters," "parts," "states of consciousness," "ego states," and "identities." It is important to keep in mind that although these alternate personality states may appear to be very different, they are all manifestations of a single person.

Can DID(MPD)/DD Be Cured?
Yes. Dissociative disorders are highly responsive to individual psychotherapy, or "talk therapy," as well as to a range of other treatment modalities, including medications, hypnotherapy, and adjunctive therapies such as art or movement therapy. In fact, among comparably severe psychiatric disorders, DID(MPD) may be the condition that carries the best prognosis, if proper treatment is undertaken and completed. The course of treatment is long-term, intensive, and invariably painful, as it generally involves remembering and reclaiming the dissociated traumatic experiences. Nevertheless, individuals with DID(MPD)/DD have been successfully treated by therapists of all professional backgrounds working in a variety of settings.

Where Can I Get More Information?
The Sidran Foundation is a publicly-supported, non-profit organization devoted to advocacy, education, and research on behalf of people with psychiatric disabilities. The foundation is particularly interested in providing support and advocating empowerment for people who have survived psychological trauma, and has developed resources in this area. The Sidran Foundation Bookshelf is a mail-order book service providing annotated catalogs and home-delivery of books, audio and video tapes, and informational materials of particular interest to DID(MPD)/DD survivors, their supportive family and friends, and their therapists. The Sidran Press is publisher of the highly acclaimed Multiple Personality Disorder From the Inside Out, a collection of writings about living with MPD by 146 survivors and their significant others, and Dissociative Disorders: A Clinical Review, a state-of-the-art survey of diagnosis, treatment, and research written by six of the nation's foremost MPD/DD specialists. In addition, Sidran has compiled lists of MPD/DD support and treatment resources and conducts educational workshops.

Rant

9/6/2002

I am so fucking tired of stupid people. The note has been deleted and it was anonymous which only speaks to the cowardice of this particular shit for brains.

I will be more than happy to debate the validity of DID as well as the fact that as integration and healing of past trauma occurs it is more than possible for alters to have communication and awareness of each other. I only ask that you have both the balls to identify yourself and provide documentation to back up your convoluted and outdated theory. The simple fact is that unless you have walked in our (Yes OUR, you fuckwad) shoes or have more than a T.V. movie of the week to back up your ignorance, it is none of your fucking business.

My tolerance for people whose lives are so pathetically empty and sad they get their kicks out of randomly attacking others is officially gone. You are invited to collectively go fuck yourselves.

Stephanie

Monday, January 20, 2014

back to the saga...

9/5/2002

really felt like my heart was in a vise at the word 'police' but immediately, this wonderful blending of strengths kicked in. the last time that happened was way back in october of last year.

looked her in the eye and informed her i was talking to mama. she had approved our coming over beforehand and wendy had no authority to tell me to leave. i was told we had 'backed mama into a corner' and wendy was there to protect mama and the young children in the house from *us*. (umm, yeah right.) i think we laughed but not sure if it was out loud. we told her and monica that we were going to call charlie.

started walking to the house and she dashed in front of me to say we could call charlie but we'd have to do it from outside. laughing and looking around we asked what she expected us to use?

another side note. way back when our family moved here there was a time when wendy and i were close. one of those misery loves company things and over time we stopped spending time together. at the time we were close though, we were living in the hellish roach infested home we've mentioned before. wendy was living in a nice clean *used* trailer. in the ten years since, we've gone from losing everything in a fire, unemployment, and unbelievable debt ($30,000 worth) to slowly rebuilding our life. without going into detail, suffice it to say we are a far cry from where we were 10 years ago.

wendy on the other hand, is in a camper without so much as a toilet. (please, please understand this is not a *we think we're better than her* thing. just examples of two sets of families who have reaped the rewards of the lives they chose) for wendy, this is an infuriating injustice since she has always firmly believed the world owes her.

i told her again we were going in the house to call mama. the screaming reached an even higher pitch as she said no way. she then began to launch into how her day was disrupted by this. i informed her that was her problem, not mine. i tried explaining that charlie needed to know that he would not be able to get in touch with us since we would not be over at mama's and that he needed to get in touch with kristy to go ahead and start dinner. her words exactly were "that's bullshit. you just want to go in there and get on the phone with junior and raise a holy bitch fit!"

this is where we almost lost the calm we'd kept up. the desire to grab her by the neck was OVERWHELMING!

my response was "just because wendy would do that, don't assume i would. i'm not wendy."

this was where her screaming was joined by her bouncing up and down in fury. i walked past her and told her she had no authority to keep me from talking to mama and went inside.

yes, there is some anger with mama, but having known her for as long as we have. her entire set of coping tools is automatic and everyone in the family long ago decided she was too set in her ways to change. the only one in this that we are angry with (that includes charlie) is wendy and her meddling, controlling bullshit. she has not even run to her parents over this as (we found out today) they have banned her from calling or coming to their home. she's got charlie's mom out on this highly dysfunctional island and mama's protecting her captor. standard for this family. *sigh*

when we went into the house we found mama washing dishes. an activity that mama will throw herself into whenever she is angry or trying to hide her tears. the way her house is set up, when she's washing dishes her face can't be seen from anywhere inside or out of the house, so it gives her a sense of safety.

we let her know that we were not angry and that we were sorry for the misunderstanding. we did not intend to make her feel 'forced' and were more than willing to use a rented facility. she turned to me and said thru her tears that she was afraid to say no because she knew the people who needed it didn't have the funds to rent storage and still put a deposit on a house. i told her that was true but that it was not her responsibility and that we could take care of it. we again told her we weren't angry with her. (charlie and i have dealt with this stuff so long that the world mama lives in no longer draws us in. her fear and hurt were real, though her very hateful actions afterward are just as real. we know that she is outright unable to acknowledge that she is ever anything but the victim of others. while we won't play the emotional games with her, it's not out of anger toward her. it's just simply been ingrained so long, we know she won't change.)

i asked her to try to tell us she's upset with us rather than bring a third party into it, because there is no one else in the family we are more willing to talk to than her. we asked if we could call charlie and she said it was fine.

we called charlie and had a rather cryptic conversation that prevented wendy (who was so close i could feel her breath on my neck) from having ammunition to prove we were out to get her.

we then left and called charlie again from a convenience store to give him the details. he was livid. wendy had called him the moment we pulled out of the driveway to 'tell him what *really* happened'. he said 'bullshit' and hung up on her.

charlie later went over to mama's house. mama immediately called the police.

when they spoke today mama said she was afraid he might hit her. he handled it beautifully considering that was an outright attempt to wound charlie. his dad was a very violent man who bloodied mama every time he got drunk and charlie is as different from his dad and night is from day. he simply asked her if he had ever raised a hand to her? no. had he ever threatened her? no. had he ever given her the slightest suggestion that he would? no. so why? because wendy had spent the entire day telling mama to be careful because junior was ballistic and dangerous.

anyway...

mama and charlie were having an argument. yes it was loud, but keep in mind that mama had reported the 'domestic disturbance and her dangerous son' before charlie had even parked his van. oh, and wendy, mama's self-appointed protector, was NOWHERE to be found.

the officer separated them, spoke to them separately and then came to charlie and told him that he'd given mama and wendy one full week to get their stuff out of the storage container (mama had very loudly told the officer we were trying to take what little she had) and that charlie is to come over with a police escort to remove the container, so that another argument can be avoided.

since tuesday, mama has called church leadership to tell them we had tried to force her to take our friend into her home to stay with her for a few weeks and that we were trying to hurt her because she hadn't wanted to. now bear in mind that mama has no clue she told a lie, because in her world, anything on her property is 'her home' and having someone's belongings there is no different from them being there physically. she also has no clue that she has embellished the truth in any way because she has wendy to feed the flame.

fortunately charlie had already called the pastor (he's the only true father figure charlie has ever had) and had expressed both his anger and grief. because wendy is there, i cannot feel safe taking the kids there. the only way for them to see their grandmother will be in a neutral location. because mama doesn't drive she will have to rely on wendy to get her there. in other words, the kids have lost their grandma.

i hate that this is happening, but as charlie put it, it's been a long time coming. mama has never forgiven him for choosing another woman over him, and has never forgiven me for stealing her son. that hatred she hides is going to cost her her family. her older son, wendy's dad, will not go over there for the same reason we have. he provided a 'home' for wendy in the camper but has made it clear she is never to contact him again. for the sake of holding onto the only other person as hopelessly co-dependent as she is, mama has lost her sons. she has her youngest, robert, but he fried his brain on crack and was left moderately brain damaged after a cerebral aneurism ruptured 8 years ago. he now requires supervision (he was caught molesting a child) and mama will allow no one else to take care of him.

there have been no tears over this yet. they're coming... they are definitely coming. no matter how strongly we believe we are doing the right thing in standing against the emotional games they play, it is heartbreaking to see mama cut off her nose to spite her face. it is even more upsetting to see charlie lose his mom in much the same way he lost his dad. daddy died less than a year after telling charlie to choose them or me (those tears haven't been cried either). charlie committed the unforgivable sin of not choosing 'blood' over the piece of shit they say he married. something mama threw in his face when they talked today.

they won't be talking again. (can't help but have a tiny shred of hope she'll come around) tuesday the container is being moved to a place where charlie and his business partners can access it for storage of equipment. we've made arrangements for people to help mama and wendy empty the container. (mama believes this is a bluff and that by telling charlie she has no way of emptying it he'll break down and leave it there)

shit. the tears are starting. what a petty load of shit to tear a family apart. i'd be lying if i said i wasn't glad charlie 'chose' me, but that doesn't mean there's no hurt or compassion for mama. like it or not, she also chose. still, this should never have happened. wish we had the energy to hate wendy with the venom she so deserves.

lyn better have extra boxes of tissues in her office come monday.

and the redneck soap opera finally concludes

9/5/2002

as the golden boy finally tells them to shove their heads up their asses and jump...

okay, so we'll try to tell the story without going too deeply into past history... WARNING: it's not a short story, no matter how hard we try so be prepared. writing this out is something we need to do for us, so if you get bored we won't be offended.

first, the upside to all of this:
1) charlie has finally been able to break the emotional ties of a controlling and extraordinarily destructive family. this is not the only *dead weight* he's had to drop in the last year but represents the final tie. it frees him to heal and continue moving forward in every aspect of his life. he's worked damn hard and deserves this peace.
2) this episode allowed me to see that while we laid down the guilt we felt for being what his family called 'the wedge that destroyed their happy family', we never expressed the grief and anger 16 years of this has caused. having recognized it is there, we are free to process it and move on.
3) it has served as a reminder that family isn't about blood, but about relationship. we know who our real family is.
4) we handled an extremely volatile situation with grace, maturity and calm. that all by itself is testimony to how very far we've come. three years ago, we'd have either crumbled and wound up in a hospital or been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. as little as a year ago it would have triggered us bloodletting to near death and created an emotional turmoil that would have taken us six months to come down from.

so with the positive acknowledged, we can now get to the juicy part.

all this started over a 40 foot storage container on charlie's mother's property. it belongs to us and mama was more than willing to let us store some things belonging to a friend until they find a house (a few weeks tops) she even commented on what a perfect situation it was because it was in a safe place so far out in the woods by her house that NO one would look there and because it had space enough. that was sunday when we first talked to her about it.

now here's where we get to talk about wendy. the person we've fantasized about for the last 24 hours hoping she'll show up at our house and pull her threatening routine where we can legally beat the shit out of her. it's terrible, i know, but it's only a dream and we have LOADS of justifiable anger.

wendy is charlie's oldest nice. she's 30 and one of the wonderful people we mentioned in the entry about teen mothers. she is an untreated bi-polar in one hell of a manic phase, which in her case makes her abusive, controlling and flat out dangerous. well this stable little chick now has charlie's mom, who's never known anything but abuse, under her absolute control. mama can't abide anyone being mad and she will inevitably side with the person she's most afraid of. in this case, it's wendy. wendy's parents kicked her out, her latest boyfriend kicked her out and some idiot thought it would be a good idea to put her in a camper behind mama's trailer so she could 'take care of mama'. what that really means is her parents didn't want to see her go to a shelter so they sent her over to mama because mama's a professional doormat and they knew she'd agree.

wendy's been living in a camper behind mama's trailer for the last 3 weeks or so. charlie went over and helped hook it up and everything because no one in his family can find their ass with a map and compass, so if it's more difficult than just plugging something in, it's *junior* (charlie) to the rescue. it's amazing at times the amount of ass kissing that goes on when they need him. especially compared to the viciousness that goes on behind his back.

so, tuesday afternoon i call mama and let her know we're coming over. i can hear wendy's voice in the background though she later claims mama called her to come from 'over yonder' to deal with me, and that she wasn't there when i called, totally ruining her afternoon. (pity pity) mama launches into this thing about how there's no room in this enormous container, (the size of a boxcar). i was not in the mood for mamaness that day so i immediately said, no problem. we'll just rent a storage facility.

mama jumps back in saying that no, that's not what she meant, just that who are these people and she doesn't even know them (wendy's been telling her that my friend wants to park their stuff indefinitely and have access to the useless crap mama has in there as well as wendy's stuff. after all there is a high black market rate for old furniture that smells like stale smoke and dog pee) again, i tell her it's no problem, we'll rent storage somewhere else. *again* she tries to tell me that no, that's not what she wants. it's just that she's going in for surgery (minor) on monday and she can't be lifting anything. she's 71 years old! we had already told her we'd do all the work. she doesn't have to lift a thing. *again* i say, forget it mama, we'll RENT one. she then says, well i don't know how much room is in there. and since charlie gave it to me (for the entire family to use as needed) and i don't feel comfortable with this, but you can come see how much room there is if you want. this is an example of mama's typical behavior. the perpetual victim and somehow through this conversation i forced her to agree.

harley and i head over there with the uhaul. first thing i notice is wendy has moved her truck to barricade the container. as i'm parking my van, she comes flying off the porch with charlie's younger brothers's ex-wife. (who is part of the family by virtue of the fact that she can't afford to lose her source of income (mama's handouts) so has shoved her head so far up mama's ass that if mama farts monica's ears wiggle.

wendy comes at the truck swinging her arms and yelling for us "to back on up and get the hell off the property". harley stays by their truck while i walk over toward the container. mama gave me permission to look. that was my plan.

wendy and monica come storming over to me and wendy announces that mama doesn't want us there and if we don't leave, wendy will call the police.

okay... starting to panic, so will come back to this later.

can't keep up at the moment

9/4/2002

have reached *full* and we're physically in the process of shutting down... after getting lost in my OWN FRIGGIN TOWN twice in 24 hours...finding myself unable to verbally complete any thought...then to be unable to dissociate the pain in the dentist's office (oh yeah, lost a third of a molar monday so have a temp crown now) and not being able to stop from coming up out of the chair swinging...came the realization that we have got to stop and recover for a few days. we have hardly been able to check diaries.... our read list is looking very neglected as most diaries there are in bold... but can't comprehend what we read so is hard to do. swimming in a pool of half set jello is about where we are mentally at the moment. when reese, stephanie and i aren't able to keep the loose cannons from taking over at any moment, we have to stop.

just trying to quiet capt. paranoia here who keeps telling me people will begin to feel neglected and unloved if we don't note them every day... yeah, i know, it's one of those minor delusions you have when you've been programmed to believe you can't do anything right.. yadda yadda yadda. anyway, going to try to explain what happened yesterday that finally forced us on our ass... next entry that is.

I have more self-control than I ever believed

9/3/2002

Well, I didn't kill the Heinous-White-Tailor-Trash-Bitch from Hell. That alone should merit a fucking award. We are way too fucking exhausted to write the details from today. Maybe after we've had some sleep and Marisa has had a chance to take care of Charlie who is heartbroken after finally having to face washing his hands of the last sick psychotic hateful dregs of his family today.

For the life of me I can't begin to understand how he and Marisa can even keep loving those shit-sucking leeches he's unfortunate enough to have been spawned from.

They always joked about what an evolutionary marvel Charlie is, to be the first of his clan to walk upright and learn to read, or keep his teeth past 30. The sad part is now that he's finally broken the last controlling chains of these sick inbred freaks, they stand in wonder at what gall he has to choose his wife and kids over their bullshit.

There must be something terribly wrong with a man who won't keep his family living in 900 roach infested square feet, or whose wife is the only one in the family not balling someone else's husband while hers is at work. Come to think of it, how dare Charlie have the audacity to not only keep a job for more than 5 years but own his own company on top of it?

How dare he not snort and drink his paycheck or not beat his wife and kids? How dare he not live in squalor? Obviously his daddy didn't raise him right! God, what a crime. He became a decent human being despite his environment. No wonder they hate him now.

No, I don't need to calm down before I write about this.

Stephanie

Sunday, January 19, 2014

la la la la la i can't hear you!

9/3/2002

couldn't sleep and everyone inside is stressed. been pushing it hard the last couple of weeks and need to back off some. so we're taking it easy today. i think. well, mentally anyway. i hope. which is good since we're bordering on total brain fry. hoping *hint* *hint* that the person who needs to let loose and vent about asshole doctors in hospitals will take the opportunity to do it here.

harley arrived last night and today we're unloading their uhaul over at m-in-law's house in a storage unit over there. we'll see how that goes. us with our back and them coming off 40 hours on the road.... can you say clusterfuck?

off we go to see what we can accomplish...

anything worth doing...

9/2/2002

is worth doing poorly...at first.

heard a man speaking this afternoon on the radio about perseverance. he'd had polio at 18 and lost most of the use of his body but can play guitar, has a pilot's license and does several other things few believed he could. the above statement is one of his favorites.

just kinda struck me. being the perfectionist sort that we are, there have been many times when we gave up on something we couldn't do well right off the bat. was well into my 20's before i really learned to stick with things. even now, though it can be hard and frustrating.

just really, really like the idea of if it's worth doing, it's worth the time to keep going even if you suck at first.

it's easy enough to apply to *doing* things that take craftsmanship or skill. what struck me today was how much harder it can be to apply to other areas of skill... like oh, say... social skills, for example. not sure what else to call it but every time we find ourselves in an uncomfortable social situation (almost all of them) instead of trying again (remember facing our fears about the snake a few weeks ago? Crew??? hope you're reading...) we run and hide.

have forced myself to talk to people we've avoided. smile and chat if we run into someone we know while away from home. every time though, i pick apart every look, moment of silence, word spoken or not and fuel the fears we have, making it harder to try again. i'm the queen of second guessing myself.

the guy we were listening to (dan miller, i think?) also said that people can put us down... that's when we should turn around and put ourselves up. i laughed because it sounded so stupid... but isn't that what affirming yourself is about?

experience, or a person can say i'm ugly. i can beat myself up with it or i can look in the mirror and see that i have big hazel eyes that change color depending in who's out, from almost emerald green to deep golden brown. when i smile it lights up the eyes and is, if i try to be objective, quite pretty. i've got thick, naturally curly hair and for all the struggling we have with it. it is also very pretty. at least it is when we see hair like it on anyone else. why not say the same for us?

this all fits with some of what lyn and i spoke about today. she drew out the assignment for us. it's more involved than just lists. it's really a chart of sorts. there is also a method for countering the negative and charting how *true* it feels. the neat part about this is it is a method lyn has developed and we have helped her do so. just a tiny bit, but hey... it's still there.

we stopped her one day while trying to rate the level of *truth* a particular statement had and reminded her that head knowledge and heart knowledge are two very different things. because of that, she's added a bit to the chart so that you can separate the two and recognize that it is entirely possible to know something intellectually, but not emotionally. since head knowledge means nothing when it comes to emotions, making the distinction is important.

i know in my head that none of the negative statements we listed last night are true (except for the one about being fat). 5'2" and a size 12 is unacceptable no matter how many kids we've had or how old we are. can't seem to be okay with it.

but even knowing we're loved, wanted, valued, etc... isn't enough to get the *feeling* planted emotionally. i may know i'm worthy and still feel like a piece of crap.

so today, we'll try to put ourselves up... try to make a dent in the years of crap we were spoon fed about who we are.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

the assignment

9/1/2002

the messages

at this moment:

i'm ugly-want to tear this face apart
lazy-i don't get enough done
wrong-i shouldn't be here
fat-not talking about it
i shouldn't be here
i shouldn't be here
i shouldn't be here
worthless-only as valuable as what gets accomplished
defective-born that way
terrified of people
ugly-yup. pretty ugly
lost-no one sees me
alone-no wants to see me-they turn away
dirty and wrong-did bad things

at different points in the last two weeks:

there is no hope-the pain will never end
this is our punishment-you don't deserve anything good
should have died-never should have been born
the only way to make amends is destroy myself
my feelings don't matter-just ask mum
selfish-just ask mum
spoiled-just ask mum
unwanted-it was obvious
born to be violated-experience teaches
i am rejected-experience teaches

this should be enough for a start don't you think?

just keep telling yourself it'll be okay

9/1/2002

charlie's on his way home. he's had to work all weekend. called to just hear his voice earlier. he could hear the fear and desperation in my voice. he'll be home soon and we won't have to feel so afraid.

the driving need to do some kind of self-injury is quickly becoming more than i can fight. this hurts too much.

he asked about the assignment from lyn. guess it's time to do it since we see her tomorrow and he'll be home to lean on. i'm scared shitless right now.

Friday, January 17, 2014

reality check

9/1/2002

managed to get out of the room for awhile. even got out of the house and spoke to real live offline people!

took apart the couch to launder what can be washed and have steam cleaned the rest. more than my back could handle but am beyond caring at the moment. just really, really needed to get a small break from the stuff swirling around inside.

it's been a long time since we've had such a deluge of memories and emotions and not completely collapsed under the weight of it. was going to cut this morning but managed to ride out the wave until it passed.

feeling extremely unreal the last couple of days. know it was the session friday that got it really going and we'll see what tomorrow with lyn brings. hoping that we don't get too lost in this. it's so damned hard!

not giving up

9/1/2002

not quitting. not backing off. not keeping my distance. not hiding in silly bullshit. not giving up. gonna stick with this and deal with it


Thursday, January 16, 2014

mounting pressure and pain

9/1/2002

daniel and john are playing with my rhythmic gymnastics ribbons. daniel is whipping the ribbon... it sounds like dad's belt. that damn snapping sound they make when they want to scare the hell out of you. that 'someone's getting a beating' sound that scared the hell out of everyone in the house. half the time no one but dad knew who the target was. we all knew if mum had raised her voice at us that day, we had a chance to be the first one dad got to when he got home. we joke about the kids scattering like rats when the lights come on, when dad would make that sound with the belt. not a very funny joke, though people will laugh to cover how ugly the memory is.

the new dining room table we got after the night dad threw his chair across the living room and it smashed against the balcony, which later had to be repaired. watching people try to keep eating thru tears, pretending that dad's roaring voice wasn't ripping their hearts in two.

sitting downstairs, watching tv and pretending that we could hear the sound over the yelling from upstairs.

years later i remember missing that house so much. how can i have convinced myself i was happier there? happier than what? it did get worse. maybe not as far as dad's beatings because after we moved to alabama, he would be overseas for months at a time. then it was only mum, randy and rod we had to be afraid of. but it got worse every time we moved.

only two short years in alabama ripped what tiny shred of innocence left, right out from us. in those years we began the transition from cute little girl to the sullen child whose smile never quite reached her eyes. the month on the road to canada that killed the last shred of adoration i had for my daddy, my hero. from the second night after we hurt our foot, to pulling onto our road back home, where we laughed because our neighbors had rearranged the house numbers while we were gone, there is nothing. not a spark. not a fragment of memory.

stacy, amber, cameo, i know you're carrying this. you don't have to carry it by yourselves. you don't have to keep the secrets anymore. you don't have to hide.

November 1983 *From Reese & Stephanie's separate diary*

9/1/2002

She had walked less than a quarter mile before a truck pulled over ahead of her. Putting her head down she quickly approached the truck as if to walk past. There were three guys who looked to be in their late teens to early twenties in the cab. The one sitting by the passenger door rolled down the window.

“It’s really cold out. Would you like a ride?

Without looking up she replied, “No thanks.”

“Look, I know you’re cold. You’re shivering. Where you headed?”

She stopped walking and looked toward the truck. “Bull Run.”

The guy who had been speaking opened the door and got out. He stood next to the door as if inviting her in. “We’re harmless, really. You just looked cold and it’s really late.”

Stephanie walked over to the truck and climbed in.

As they pulled back onto the road, the driver turned up the heat. Stephanie was furious at not being able to stop the shivering. Leaning forward to put her hands near the vents, her sleeves pulled back just enough to show the blood still caked under the sleeves. She pulled her hands back, cursing under her breath.

The guy sitting by the passenger door had seen. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“Yeah, fine, No problem.” she muttered.

They all exchanged looks over her head. “Are you sure you’re okay?” asked the driver, “You look hurt. You want to tell us what happened?”

She could feel them exchanging looks again. “Look, you can go ahead and drop me off here.”

“No. you say you’re okay, you’re okay. How about we stop and get a drink. You like Slurpees?”

They think I’m a damn kid!

“How about just a soda, If you don’t mind.” Okay, play up the sweet routine. Don’t be such a hardass.

They pulled into a 7-Eleven and parked. The driver got out and headed toward the store. Instead of going in, he picked up the pay phone and started dialing.

“What’s he doing?” she asked.

“Nothing. Don’t worry about it. He’s just letting his mom know we’ll be late.”

My ass. Inside, the panic kicked in full force. The shaking was finally beginning to settle and it was all Stephanie could do to keep the panic from starting it up again.

The driver got off the phone and headed into the store.

“Look, I’m not stupid. Who did he really call?”

The two guys in the van were clearly uncomfortable. She knew they were stalling her.

“Did he call the fucking police?”

“No. No. He was just calling his mom.”

They tried engaging her in small talk but she was busy keeping her eyes and ears peeled to the highway. She heard the sirens before they did.

“That’s it. Let me out of this truck!” She cursed and tried to shove her way to the door. They had put her in the seat between these two men as if she were a small child. One of the guys turned and put his hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay. We just want to make sure you’re alright. Someone hurt you.’

She jerked away from him. “Let me out of this truck now!” Still cursing, she tried to stand and get past the guy on her left and out the driver’s side door. They both tried to catch hold of her but she had started swinging wildly and trying to force her way out the door. The driver was just coming out of the store with a Big-Gulp in his hand. She flipped him off as she ran toward the back of the store.

“I am not going to the hospital!” She screamed over her shoulder.

There was no escape behind the store. Running up the hill toward a side street she could see the ambulance followed by a police car, heading toward the store. Without bothering to look, she ran across the highway. With any luck, she would be hit before anyone got to her. Inside the panic had taken complete control and the voices swirled in around Stephanie, nearly blinding her.

She started shouting curses and making threats. “Back the fuck off!”

She was in the parking lot of a furniture store when a police car pulled around the back corner, blocking her. She stopped and turned. The ambulance, another police car and the truck with the three-wannabe heroes were pulling in the front of the store. Clenching her fists, she readied herself for a fight.

“There is nothing wrong with me! I am not going to the hospital and you can’t force me. You are not taking me home!”

She stood screaming and cursing as paramedics and police officers began getting out of vehicles and walking toward her. With their hands held in front of them as if to reassure her they weren’t going to hurt her, they crowded closer, surrounding her.

“Nobody is going to hurt you.” Said one of the EMT’s as he inched forward.

“Making me go home IS hurting me, you asshole!”

There was nowhere to go. Crossing her arms over her chest, Stephanie backed into the side of the police car and tried to keep the fear inside from showing. She wanted to scream aloud at the trembling and tears she could feel creeping up on her but wasn’t giving anyone the satisfaction of knowing she could feel the fear. She had never acknowledged it before and was not about to start now.

Following orders from a police officer, she turned and placed her hands on the cruiser. The bag was taken from her shoulder and handed to a second officer who began searching through it. The first officer began asking questions.

“What’s your name? Who hurt you? Are you carrying?”

Looking over her right shoulder, Stephanie warned the officer to be careful checking her right back pocket. The blade was taken from a disposable razor and had been put in her pocket just before sneaking out the front door earlier that night.

She was searched, examined and when it was clear she was in no immediate danger, driven to the police station. It was to be the first of many such nights.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

time has come

9/1/2002

where are the damn razor blades?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

From last night (offline)

Authors Note: Many of the "silly" entries mentioned here included online surveys and email forwards. I've chosen to only include entries that directly speak to true journaling. Some surveys may be included as they give a good snapshot of where we were at the time

9/1/2002

Have noticed an interesting trend in this diary. Every difficult post is followed by something inane or silly. Accident? I think not. Matter of fact, you can tell how hard it was by how many silly entries follow. Also, this site freaking folds every weekend and it only took us two and a half months to figure out we need to do our entries in Word, from Friday to Monday.

By the time we finished friday night, the headache was so bad I was looking for the crack in my skull *sigh* not going to think about it. Not going to think about it. Not going to think about it.

Sadly, right now there are no good choices in what to think about. Trying to sleep last night was like watching a slide show where all the pictures were out of order. Images from every stage of this life flashed across the mind’s eye and each one seemed to tighten just a little more around my chest. Hard to breathe. Hard to think. Tried to wake up Charlie to talk but it was 2 am and hard as he tried, he couldn’t stay awake. By the time he was conscious enough to talk this morning, we were out for the count. For once, slept like a rock.

What did we talk about yesterday? We talked about the systemic memories (some people call them body memories) and how they have been triggered by recent day to day stuff. We talked about Canada when the right foot was hurt so badly.

We had stopped the Winnebago and dad’s truck on the side of the road and had gone down a steep, slightly rocky hill. There is no memory at all of stopping or why we went down the hill. It wouldn’t have been to use the bathroom (my parents were big on learning to pee in the woods. Anything to keep a long trip from getting longer) because there was one on board the RV. The only memory is of walking up the hill and the foot hurting like hell. Dad was behind me. Don’t remember if anyone else was around.

We crossed the border into Canada that afternoon. While in a pay-toilet Mum said to watch Nora. (This memory is one of the ones that affected Laura) and while we used the toilet, Nora disappeared. There is a vague memory of Mum’s panic and everyone in the family crying when a search around the area did not find her. The police were contacted and at some point we were parked on some city street and everyone in the family was… going out to look for Nora? Maybe they were going to the police station. Don’t remember.

The foot hurt so bad by this time. After we stepped out of the RV, mum finally noticed the limping. Maybe we were crying? She told us to shut up but we didn’t. It was then that one of us tried to convince her how bad it hurt. She demanded we stop limping. God, we tried. We really tried, but just couldn’t. She finally got so angry she sent us back into the RV. If we couldn’t keep up and stop our sniveling, we could stay alone and wait for them.

“Oh, well then, if you can’t walk, you can’t come with us. See how much you like staying alone.”

Can sort of understand her behavior then, just because I know what it feels like to have a child missing. Even if only for a few minutes, it’s terrifying.

Also, the other night with Rachel in the emergency room… we were trying to calm Rachel who was beginning to really panic over the idea of stitches, when Becca walked in and tried to have a conversation with the doctor and nurse about when she’d had her stitches a few months ago. I got short with her and told her that we weren’t there to hang out and have an adventure, but to care for Rachel.

It was wrong. It hurt her feelings and I apologized later. It just felt for a moment like Becca (who is very much like I remember being… feeling less important than the rest) was trying to dominate the attention that, at that moment, needed to be on Rachel. All she was really trying to do was let Rachel know it wasn’t so bad and she’d get through it. Anyway…

We stayed alone in that stupid Winnebago for hours. Alone, in a foreign country, feeling totally responsible for Nora’s disappearance and feeling very sorry for myself because no one believed the foot hurt so bad. Can remember eating through a roll of life savers I found in one of the under seat compartments in the front. We had been told not to even look out the windows or unlock the door, so spent all that time literally laying low and sort of hiding. Not exactly a new concept for us.

Don’t know how long it was before they came back, but Nora had finally been found more than a mile from where she disappeared. Everyone said it was a miracle nothing happened to her. It was a miracle that she walked alone all that way and no one hurt her.

It’s taken 20 years for me to look at this event and say BULLSHIT! No way did she go that far on her own. No way was she totally safe or unharmed. There is no fucking way she got that far on her own. She was fucking 4 years old. To this day she does not remember the event at all. We know why. In our gut, we know why. We’ve only just accepted that it wasn’t our fault she disappeared. Am in no way prepared to look at it all over again knowing something might have happened to the sister we were told to protect that day, and we are not going there tonight.

Tonight we’re focusing on the foot. That’s what started the inner panic I fought so hard to control in Dr. C’s office yesterday. It drives me crazy to have a total blank around how it got hurt. If it weren’t something intense, wouldn’t I remember it? If it was no big deal, why do I remember everything but how? If the stuff that I do remember is as bad as it is, how bad is this?