Insomniac

Tonight is not a good night… the nightmares and night terrors are a little relentless. Even my Service Animal isn’t sure what to do for me but sit here with me on the floor, listening to piano music through my headphones to try and calm my chaotic mind. even my alters seem to be at a loss right now as we’re all having a tough time coping with the fragments.
I never remember my nightmares/night terrors fully, just fragments really. Tonight’s was around the bullying I was going through in grade school.
The chair moving, the taking pictures of me using the restroom, the pushing, the hitting, the acid, the butcher knife, the wiping with wires, the false sleepover invites to chase me into a closet with a butcher knife, the locking me into tiny dark spaces and sadly so much more… All of them where fragmented, but I saw pretty much everything.
I scared my husband when I jolted awake, Emily was yelling and swinging frantically, my dog quickly pressed his body down onto her legs so she realized she was safe. Within seconds I began to cry. He didn’t know what to do for me, he is just sitting here on the couch, I believe watching something on Netflix.

I am trying what the psychiatrist said to try, I eat more, drink less caffeine, fall asleep without the TV on and reading a book (physically book, not an e-book) to make myself tired, but it seems my sleep patterns are just as shitty as ever, I feel there slightly worse honestly.
These cycles of nightmares are rather annoying, there is never a real time line they follow, they just happen for a few weeks then stop for a bit. My dog is extremely comforting, but to be completely honest with you, I am scared to fall back asleep and see all the things I wish to forget… I honestly and truly do.

Its All About Image…

I have never been confident in how I looked, despite what others tell me. I feel I am nothing like other girls. My mother has been calling me fat and ugly since high school, my brother and husband say I shouldn’t listen but… I am not sure if I can’t.
One of the horrible side effects of my anxiety makes me over think everything, 500000000000 times a day, 7 days a week. I think about everything, in every possible meaning and scenario… sometimes I seriously hate my brain.
Khala said if I dressed more girly, maybe my mother would ‘jam a rock in it’ whatever that means. Alice and Emily just hug me, Una and Xero both tell me If only they could see them, then they would never think I was ugly again.

None of my alters look ‘human’, all of them if anything look like, as my previous therapist called it ‘monsters’. However, I myself has never seen them as such, yes, they look a little different, but that doesn’t give anyone a right to call them monsters. My father was a monster, the people who pretended  to be my friend’s were monsters…
If anything, each of my alters represent something I’ve seen at some point in my life, though to be honest, Xero looks extremely similar to slender man and I am not sure how I would of seen that creepy pasta at age 3 to 6…
Una’s body is pale, her face looks like a wolfs except her eyes are wrapped up and she has horns. Her spine protrudes out of her back, making it look like a back piece to a dragon. Her arms and legs are both mechanical, bolted together with long, sharp talons as hands and feet. Her tail is scaled, and the spine still protrudes as it goes down to the scorpion like end.
Xero is a cross between jack skellington and slender man… His face is blank, but the entire thing is black and void of any face. His attire is similar to Jacks, except it looks more like a butlers. His hands are skeletal, with sharp points and he has 4 black tentacle looking things coming out of his back.
Alice is kind of like a water weird from Dungeons and Dragons, she’s basically made of water.
Emily is a phoenix, yes she is a fire bird.
Khala is honestly one that I only figured she was female because of what she’s like, she has no defining female features or genitals. She is white with black stitching, almost as if someone took a bunch of body parts and sew them into Khala. She has draconic wings, and a devil tail, she has curved black horns and very sharp fingernails that seem to change color depending on her mood. The same goes for her toe nails, there sharp, but they change to match her finger nails. She wears a tattered garment to sorta looks like a dress, and has long hair.

I guess we can say there humanoid shaped? But yeah. My current therapist said there forms are what made them more real to me as a child, since they did play with me when I was younger. To me its easier to speak to them in our safe haven when I can look at who I’m talking with.
We write, talk and even draw to communicate… but we always meet together every night at our safe haven when we all sleep, or at least on nights where my nightmares and night terrors don’t cause issues, but even when they do, someone always comes over to help me sleep.

The Things We Fear And Love

Service animals are extremely hard to train when you and your siblings believe in it, but your significant other and family do not. I got into a fight with my husband over it. He said my dog isn’t able to be one, he’s to high strung, etc… he’s the same person who now sadly half time time believes me and the other half doesn’t know how. However, Una suggested I walk him every day, and try to even out some of his energy. It worked well, he seems to be not as high strung, he listens to commands, and all that’s left is bringing him into the community more, so he can learn to co-exist with everyone without being a pest.
I’ve been working on this walking thing for close to about a month and a half, I think Una was right, and if I keep it up, he’ll be so much better.
My mother has never been supportive, she finds my weak points and takes a very sharp pointy thing and jabs you over and over to the point you feel like your dying. Her passive aggressive personality tends to clash with Una frequently.

I’ve been asked a lot why I even have a PSD (Psychiatric Service Dog), I don’t look disabled, and then I’ve had nasty notes left on my car saying “shame on you for exploiting this right.”
When I get stressed, over even the most trivial of things, I rip apart my fingers and pick at my legs. Now, this is not as bad as cutting, but it’s still not good for me. I also cannot be physically alone, I cannot be in a dark room alone, I can’t even sit within total silence, and I have a horrible time coping or handling these situations without him. Then, there’s my alters…

Una is probably the only one who acts mostly like me, just add a higher level of confidence, motherly aspects, takes no shit and a blunt as hell factor, and you have the matriarch of my alters. She isn’t very nice to people in general, she has made people cry, leave, and even cut all ties with me. It isn’t her fault, she’s just protective of me. When I was between 2 and 5, Una was my only friend. I tried to make friends, but I was picked on or had my things stolen, Una was the only one who truly wanted to play with me, and care about me. She was written off as an imaginary friend for a long time, even after Xero.
Una believes the service animal would be amazingly good for the others, including myself.

Xero was the one who always sat with me in the dark, he told me it was okay to feel sad and scared when my father came home, screaming and running into the walls. He appeared when I was between 5 and 7 I believe, he told me it was okay to cry despite what my parents told me, because he won’t tell on me and it was good for me. Xero and Una both became support pillars for me, I would play games and people wrote them both off as imaginary friends.
Xero has a rather interesting curiosity, something I never quite understood. He is fascinated with death, blood, gore, horror… his fascination with the ma-cob tends to get me into trouble, he wonders off into places he shouldn’t be, looking up things, finding things, even asking questions that would make others look at him like he’s bat shit crazy. No, he is not a serial killer, he is just fascinated by them, there ‘works’ as he calls them, there psyche. My service animal helps Xero feel grounded I think, he keeps him away from the bad areas, and away from those who would judge him for his interests.

Alice is probably the hardest alter for people to communicate with. She is mute, but she can write or type basic sentences. She appeared around the time the beatings I began to take where increasing, and the first time she came to me she hugged me and smiled, then turned and threw her arms open, almost as if she was shielding me. My psychologist thinks she might be a child by her drawing style and the way she writes. To me Alice is just another sibling. She and I both share a love for color and drawing, its how we use to play together, we would color and draw.
Alice has never been easy to speak with, or really communicate in general with, she hates strangers and unfamiliar places. When she is in a state of panic, she goes and finds the nearest corner, crouches down and holds her ears. My service animal is extremely helpful with this, he helps Alice stay calm, he also creates a barrier, or a line between others and her.

Emily is probably the hardest alter for anyone to understand or be around… she is all of my anger, rage, and aggression. She is the one who fights back when I can’t, the day I had children believe it would be fun to amputate my arm was the day she shielded me from that blow. Her smile was so warm to me, her embrace made me feel fluttery and safe. She removes us all from danger, protects us when needed. Though her methods are ‘any means necessary’ and sometimes she does harm people, she doesn’t mean too, she’s just doing what’s best for us all. My husband hates Emily, he said she can stay locked up in my mind for all he cares, but the thing is he just doesn’t understand her like I do. Yes, she doesn’t like ANYONE including my husband, but that’s because everyone is seen as a potential threat to our safety. It was how things were before I met my husband, I had friends who used me and picked on me and then I had bullies. I had no in between.
Emily feels safer with Merlin (my service dog), she feels he can also provide that sense of protection she always so diligently does. Dogs are extremely good at picking up things, and he also provides as a barrier between whoever we’re interacting with and us, so Emily can properly analyze the situation. Emily is the one everyone is afraid of, but it all honesty, she won’t act unless she feels we are in danger, she mostly observes people, much to my pleasure we both seem to enjoy this. People watching is something we both enjoy.

Khala is my problem child, I’m pretty sure she’s a teenager with how she acts… but she is incapable of understanding emotion. She can mimic it just fine, but she doesn’t understand why someone feels that emotion. Khala is extremely manipulative, I sadly, have found online relationships she’s started, manipulating the guy or girl into buying her things I want but cant afford, then giving them to me as gifts. She gets mad at me when I return them or give them away when returning isn’t an option. She throws fits and pouts for a few days, then she’s back to her regular self. She loves to go out, party, dress up, put on make up… any girly thing thinkable is what she loves. Her favorite thing in the world though? Stuffed animals. I don’t even know why.
Khala is kept in check by the others mostly, but when she manages to sneak out, Merlin acts as a safe guard. He howls when she is getting ready to leave, alerting my husband to the fact that Khala is trying to sneak out. He also helps her stay away from shady people, people who try to get her to go places and do things she and us arn’t exactly okay with.

Co-existing is hard, especially when others don’t realize I have switched within a split second. Merlin acts as my shield, my guide, and my ally. Different stressors trigger different alters, and depending on the kind of stress going on I could switch, then end up switching again depending on the siduation. All of my alters and I have protocols, rules, who needs to be ready when whatever happens, etc.
It was the only way we could survive, me as the core… I have no confidence, I have 0 interest in getting to know other people because I honestly and truly hate people and have a fear of them. The fact I can even work a job is thanks to my service animal, or else I would of locked myself up in my house a long time ago. I have never been confidant as a girl, I have always figured I must be doing something wrong if everything is going down hill. I’m so hard on myself that the alters and the service animal help me not be, I am always praised by them, and encouraged by them. Merlin loves me unconditionally, along with the others… that’s all we want, is to be accepted as who we are and loved… be treated like we’re normal.

Lets Break This Down…

What I think was the hardest thing for me to accept was the fact I had what was called a ‘Mental Illness’. Does that mean I’m broken? Or am I ill and shouldn’t be around people? It was extremely hard to accept this term for me.
My family has never been supportive, after my father got his liver transplant his brain is Swiss Cheese, he can’t even remember the past, let alone my name sometimes. Then there’s my mother, the one who still to this day claims I’m a lair. I will ‘grow out of this phase’ or ‘I’m just being a child’. No, I won’t grow out of this because I have 5 other opinions living inside my head that seem to beg to differ with you.

My brother and my husband are the only two who truly try and support me, but they also have problems accept it. The words from my husband are as follows, “I understand, but then I don’t understand.”
DiD is one of the hardest things to explain to someone… I guess if we wanted too, we can get technical here.
The DSM-5 states that Dissociative Identity Disorder (Formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder) needs to match up with 5 things:

  1. Two or more distinct identities or personality states are present, each within its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to and thinking about the environment and self. (According to the DSM-5, personality states may be seen as an “experience of possession.” These states “involve(s) marked discontinuity in sense of self and sense of agency, accompanied by related alterations in affect, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and/or sensory-motor functioning. These signs and symptoms may be observed by others or reported by the individual.”
  2. Amnesia must occur, defined as gaps in the recall of everyday events, important personal information and/or traumatic events. (This criteria for DID newly recognizes that amnesia doesn’t just occur for traumatic events but, rather, everyday events, too.)
  3. The person must be distressed by the disorder or have trouble functioning in one or more major life areas because of the disorder.
    (This criterion is common among all serious mental illness diagnoses as diagnosis is not appropriate where the symptoms do not create distress and/or trouble functioning.)
  4. The disturbance is not part of normal cultural or religious practices.
    (This DID criterion is to eliminate diagnosis in cultures or situations where multiplicity is appropriate. An example of this is in children where an imaginary friend is not necessarily indicative of a mental illness.)
  5. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (such as blackouts or chaotic behavior during alcohol intoxication) or a general medical condition (such as complex partial seizures).
    (This characteristic of dissociative identity disorder is important as substance abuse or another medical condition is more appropriate to diagnose, when present, than DID.)

 

To be completely honest, it took me almost 2 YEARS to find a psychologist who was willing to help me. Most of them didn’t even know what the hell DiD was, let alone educated about it. The first person I tried, told me she googled DiD before I came.
Others told me I’m ‘to dangerous’ or they don’t want to risk anything in case I could become violent.
My new specialist reached out to me because one of the therapists I contacted gave her my info. She is very kind, and was trained into dissociative disorders, she even had a few DiD patients at this time.
Despite her explaining to my husband in the simple terms, he still doesn’t believe me 100%, and he still struggles understanding why forcing them all to just go back into my head isn’t something I want or need to do… I was so alone before them. I was so tired of being alone, and scared that they ended up becoming my friends, or as I use to call them, my imaginary friends. They had bodies (even if there not exactly human looking…), they had names, they each have there own distinctive voice even…

Why can’t anyone understand that? Well, because they don’t live in my head basically. Despite having my fights with them, all 5 of them are extremely important and helpful, and in a sense are my only real friends…

I know some wont understand this, but those of you who are like me might. I will eventually break each alter down, explaining them, and who knows, maybe I can get them to speak with you all as well…

History of Us

I was born in 91, in the metropolis known as Phoenix, AZ. Now though I was born female, my father was never pleased with this, he wanted a boy after all. I was mostly left with my grandparents, but to be honest I think they where more parents to me then my own.
My mother and father both worked for a hospital, my dad was a Registered Nurse and my mother was an X-Ray Technologist. They both worked a lot, and where rarely home as well.

I very much was a Tom Boy though, despite everything playing in the mud and dinosaurs where just more my thing then dolls and dressing up. I was placed in pre-school when I was 2, but was sadly quickly kicked out due to another child taking my toy, I said ‘hey that’s mine’ and the kid said ‘bite me’. So, I bit them. My grandmother told me that she thought it was the funniest thing on the planet because I was doing as I was told, and I got punished for it.
I believe my first Alter, Una came around between 2 and 6, all I remember is one day her voice was sweet, gentle and she simply smiled and said, ‘Hello, I am Una, and you will never be by yourself again.”
When I was 5, my younger brother was born in 95’. He was so small and cute, I always wanted a sibling, so it was one of the happier days. I was in Kindergarten then, I was a left handed child, so when we where drawing, no one wanted to sit with me due to me bumping into there arms. My teacher tried everything she could, including slapping my hand and switching the crayon from one hand to the other, but it didn’t fix anything. My grandparents where the ones who ended up going to the principle and complaining about the bruises on my hands, not my own parents.

My father’s drinking mixed with his new addiction to Demerol began to escalate. When he’d get home, the pain on the walls would peel off when he screamed. He ran into the walls and caused pictures and other things to fall off the wall and break. My brother was 2 when he first started coming into my room once we both heard him slam the door, he would lay in my lap, and my hands would be over his as he plugged his ears. The screaming of both our parents was hard for him, and I had to do whatever I could to help him.
Xero came around about this time, he would sigh and kneel down, patting my head and saying “It’s okay to be afraid and sad.”
When I was 9 or 10 and my brother was 5 or 6, my father began to become physically abusive. Now, he was drunk and high, and what he saw as punishment crossed well into the lines of abuse. He’d use hangers, belts, pick us up and pin us by our necks, slap/hit us with his hands, etc. He took a bar of soap and almost suffocated my brother with it, if it wasn’t for me redirecting his attention, my brother would of lost his life that day.
Alice appeared shortly after, she can’t speak, but she would smile and just like that through herself in front of the blows, like fists hitting water.
My mother was never once hit by my father, instead she was just verbally and mentally attacked. In order to combat this, she drank to the point she didn’t even seem to care what was happening around her, just sat in front of the TV, watching whatever was on.

I was 11 when my father was finally kicked out of my house. Everything was slightly chaotic for a while, but eventually, things evened out. I didn’t really have friends, after all for me I didn’t need them since I had my ‘imaginary friends’. But 5th grade is when the bullying started, I went to a rich kid packed school. Once it got out my parents where split up and never married, they basically tried to use whatever they could to try and get under my skin. It wasn’t working, so I was fine… at least until the day the queen bully stepped up. She walked up to me and smiled, saying “At least my parents are married unlike yours.” Now I was slightly annoyed with this comment, but I let it be, got up, and moved. She followed, and then decided to say “And at least my parents aren’t arrested and criminals.”
My father was arrested multiple times for starting fights, and my mother always bailed him out. For some reason, this comment just triggered something inside of me, I felt like I was going to explode until suddenly Emily came forward and hugged me.
According to my teacher, I tackled this girl and began to lift her up and down, beating her into the ground, screaming something about how even with a broken family we still managed to keep going.

I was not punished for this, my teacher claimed the girl started the fight, and she was suspended. It didn’t take long for everyone to realize I was the new play thing, however. I was pushed down hills, cornered and beaten down, whipped with wire they found out in the school yard, had battery acid poured onto my hands… Alice took it all, as the others just stood there and comforted me. Humans where evil creatures, or so I began to believe, and they don’t deserve to be alive.
When I entered middle school, it just continued. My mother finally had enough of me lying and took me to see a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I didn’t speak once, my mom said how I was depressed and hurting myself or getting bullied, one of the two. 10 minutes is all it took for her to throw up the insult that I had Bi-Polar Disorder 1, Schizophrenia, and Psychosis.
Within 24 hours, I was 13 and on Abilify 50 mg, and Limicatal 200mg. Let me just say right now, the rest of my memories are not really mine… This is stuff I learned through my family, my spouse, and my alters themselves.

The medications began to make things… worse. Emily was coming out and attacking everyone she possibly could, Una and Xero both began to have problems communicating with me, and Alice couldn’t seem to stay out as long as I needed her too. Pain is a terrible thing, it shocks your system, causing you to feel a needle like sensation trickle up and down your spine and then suddenly jabs a knife into your gut.
My freshmen year of high school, Khala was born. She was much girlish then I was, bright colors, normal jeans, painted nails, makeup and I was the one in all black, with chains and five million bracelets.
She was the reason I began dating, she would only have a guy around for about 3 weeks tops, getting them to buy her things, then drop them or make them drop her in a sense. Then she would say “Here! I got this all for you, now smile.”
They began to up my meds, I was on 150mg of Abilify, 400mg of Limicatal and 50mg of Lexapro. However, I was no longer able to stay awake, so they added Provigil, 200mg to try and counter act that, it didn’t help. I went from 125 pounds to 298.4 pounds in less then a year, and began to lose complete and total control to the point I no longer knew who I was most of the time.
I met my husband that year though, Myspace was the social media site. He commented on one of my poems, and we began to talk. He was my best friend for almost a year, though he lived in Idaho and I lived in Arizona, we would talk not only on the phone, but online everyday. He asked me out in December 2005, and we have been together ever since. My mother took me to meet him in person when he invited me to prom, and that was the first and only prom I ever went too, but it was what what sealed the deal.

My husband moved down to Arizona my sophomore year of high school. He is 3 years and a week apart form me, and my mother loved him. I was still being attacked at school, and he use to tell me that he believed me, believed me about my alters and how all of these medications where making things worse; because he was the one who met all of them, and Emily use to try and kill him. He told me she tried to strangle, stab, and even tried to run him over with the car after I learned how to drive… but he never once backed down or was scared.
The day the wonderfully vile rich children took a butcher knife to my left shoulder was the last day of my semi normal life at that school. The moment it came down onto my shoulder, Emily pushed me out of control. From what I was told, I grabbed the nearest object within my reach, and beat the living tar out of them, then ran all the way home.
Despite the fact it was self defense and deemed so by the police, the school deemed I was ‘to dangerous’ to there donor’s kids… and I was sent to a reform school.
Before that however, I was arrested and charged by the state for threatening and intimidating and assault with a deadly weapon. Of couse my detainment didn’t go well… according to my mother, I was strapped down to a weird chair, then they had to sedate me, then I was forced to stay alone with no clothing in a cell because they thought I was going to kill myself.
I was released the next day after my mother told the judge he should be more afraid of an ant then me.

I was immediately placed on Zeprexa 10mg, and that’s when I began to cut myself to feel like I was still alive. All the medication I was on made me feel dead, unable to talk to my self or my alters, so every time I cut, I made sure I was bleeding and still alive. I accidently hospitalized myself once at 15 and again when I was 16 for almost bleeding out. Each time I went, no one believed me when I said I had ‘imaginary friends’. They told me I was a liar, or it was part of the psychosis, or I will grow out of it.
It wasn’t until I was 16 almost 17 my mother FINALLY took me to see a psychologist who took one look at my file and said, “Why the hell is she on all of this? Your daughter doesn’t have any of this…”
For the second time in my life, I found another human who believed me, and soon I was diagnosed with DiD. Using a functional MRI they found out I had DiD by forcing a switch, turns out Alice hates small spaces.
They attempted DBT and CBT therapies, but group therapy was a terrible plan, I ended up switched so many times I induced other behaviors in other patients. Alone I did much better.

I was 18 when I finally self unmediated with the help of my husband (boyfriend at the time). I lost almost 200 pounds in 2 months, dropping me to 190, which was fine with my height of 5/9 1/2″. As soon as I was able, I moved away from my mothers home, and though it was tough, it was the best thing I did.
I got married to my sweetheart in 2012, and even with my alters still active, he loves all of us. Now I have a new specialist, she is very kind, and seems to understand I am indeed to relent on my alters for safety and security. She is in the process of teaching us all how to co-exist… my husband is against this, and also was against me getting our dog registered and made into a service animal.
However, my dog has helped me keep my depression and anxiety down, he wakes me from my night terrors and nightmares, he makes sure my self harming doesn’t go to far (now I seem to have moved from cutting to tearing my fingers apart and picking at my legs).

But there you have it… the basics of Us. Some things I cannot really fill in due to the memories being locked away… but I figured what I know I should share.

 

Post I

So I am not entirely sure what to post here except hello, and thanks for stopping by. At the urging of my therapist and the fact I am in the process of certifying my dog as my service dog. I have decided to share a little bit, and try to see if I can somehow help others who suffer from the same thing I seem too.

I was diagnosed with DiD, which is Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, and PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was given this diagnosis when I was 16 after being misdiagnosed with Bipolar, then Schizophrenia, then they told me I had Psychosis. I went through a functional MRI scan, and during that scan they, sadly, had to trigger my stress response with a recording of something that caused my switching.
Within seconds they obtained what they needed before they saw me trying to crawl out of the scanner.
I have 5 alters that I know of, and I am the core. I have lived with them for so long, and have been dependent on them for so long that if I was to recognize it would do more harm then good. I am currently going through with my therapist a way to co-exist with them, since I am so dependent on them for certain functions.
I also suffer from extremely bad Anxiety and Depression, I am taking a medication to help with those, but so far my life has been… well chaotic as you can imagine, and the medication only helps to a degree.

My hopes with this blog, even if I don’t do it every day, is to at least keep a record of this journey, and maybe it will help someone else who also has DiD understand more about there illness, or just help them realize there not alone.
Well, that’s about all I have for you kiddies, I will try and make a post everyday, but I apologize ahead of time if I do not.
Thank you for taking the time to read this ^_^

~Tao