Our partner

I Want Jeanette Back

Dissociative Disorder NOS message board, open discussion, and online support group.

I Want Jeanette Back

Postby Arik » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:47 pm

I am a forty-year-old male. In June 1996, out of the blue, I picked up a pen and some paper and started writing and I regularly wrote for months. This was completely uncharacteristic of me. In the beginning I wrote every day. In the process what I thought was nothing more than a fictional story started to emerge. One time I was up for 36 hours just writing. I have never been up 24 hours straight, let alone 36.

I wrote about this family in my head as though there was an actual family and I wrote about them as if I personally knew them. I focused on the oldest daughter Jeanette who was then ten-years-old when I started. She would now be twenty-three-years-old. I felt there was a reason that I had to write this story but I did not have a clue as to why. I shared my writings with coworkers, neighbors and other people I knew. The responses fell into one of two categories. In most situations people could not believe that this was a fictional story. It sounded too realistic for this to be fiction. The other response was that some just did not get it. Perhaps that was because of my style of writing at the time. Several months into this I started noticing parallels, how Jeanette's life parallels my own. I did not know how those parallels got in there. All I did was I picked up a pen and wrote what popped in my mind. I did a lot of digging and found even more parallels that I did not know were there.

Over time I watched as Jeanette and her sisters grew up. Oh how I wished this was a real family so that I could see them grow up with my own eyes rather than reading text in black ink on white paper.

In 1992, when Jeanette was sixteen, I became interested in the Nickelodeon message board. However, no one eighteen or older was allowed to participate. No problem. I had, what I thought was, a well developed sixteen-year-old fictional character so I registered as Jeanette. What happened as a result was another surprise. As Jeanette I was talking about clothes, makeup and boy bands (back then boy bands were then 'in' thing). What do I know about makeup? Nothing. So how on earth was I able to discuss a subject as if I knew something about it when I had no previous knowledge on the subject. I got into fashion magazines, joined other forums as Jeanette and was giving out fashion advice on these forums. One time, as Jeanette, I corrected a father of two teenage girls saying that "tight" was the correct, current term for "cool." Of course I always addressed him by his last name with the title "Mr." I did that with every elder, using their last name with the appropriate title.

In 2005 I was losing weight because I just wasn't eating much. I was also experiencing anxiety attacks. I went to a recommended psychiatric hospital for the sole purpose of the anxiety purpose. I walked into the reception area, all 120 pounds of me, and the staff immediately assumed I had an eating disorder. The doctor who interviewed me asked me a bunch of questions about my eating habits and what I thought about food. All the while I was thinking, "Would you stop talking about food. I'm having anxiety attacks." The doctor asked other questions and I told her about Jeanette and what was happening with her.

The following day I checked in and the initial assessment that I had an eating disorder was ruled out. I was not eating because I was depressed. However, I did not "feel" depressed. I was put on medication for depression and anxiety and during the ten days I was an inpatient, I started gaining weight. I'm now around 160 pounds which is a healthy weight for my height.

In the first few days the doctors realized that Jeanette was not a fictional character that I created; she was my alter. At first I was diagnosed as having DID but was later changed to DDNOS. Even before I was diagnosed with DID (later changed to DDNOS), I knew something was going on. I did not know what. The idea that Jeanette was another personality never crossed my mind. The doctors gave me this sales pitch (I'm calling it as I see it) that if the two personalities were merged, I, as Arik, would gain Jeanette's characteristics. No one told me I would lose Jeanette in the process. At that time I (Arik) was like Mr. Spock, logical but showing little emotion. Jeanette got the lion's share of the emotions. My situation was rare in that Arik and Jeanette had a good relationship. We had disagreements but all friends have disagreements from time to time. From what I heard, most hosts do not have a good relationship with their alternate personality.

After leaving the hospital, I continued to see the psychologist for a few years whom I was assigned to at the hospital. After three years my psychologist felt there was nothing more he could do for me so I stopped seeing him. Over the years, since my stay at the psychiatric hospital, Jeanette appeared less and less. It has been several months since Jeanette made an appearance and I do write for her in the forums but it is I (Arik) doing the writing, not her.

I'm not as much like Mr. Spock as I use to be but I am not like Jeanette, whom I dearly love, either. Jeanette is my life. I don't care what happens to me. I want Jeanette back. I can't talk to anyone in my family due to their attitude of Jeanette. Last night I did talk to someone whom I trust and I told her that I want to go back to the doctor and tell him to undo the therapy, I want Jeanette back. This trusted person then asked me what I would do if the doctor would not undo the therapy. I told her that I would not see him and do whatever I know to do to get Jeanette back. She then goes on to make the analogy that it would be like doing surgery on myself if I disagreed with a medical doctor. She said I need other options in case my psychologist says no that maybe I need a therapist to help me deal with the grief over the loss of Jeanette. She also said that I need to find other DDNOS patients or their families to find out what other options there are.

I want Jeanette back even if it means I go back to being Mr. Spock. Live long and prosper.
Arik
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:18 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby FrayedEndOfSanity » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:01 am

Hi Arik! Welcome. I'm sorry for your loss.

I read your entire post several times, and I find both the story and your experiences really interesting. I think that dissociation in and of itself is very common, whether it's daydreams, fantasies or online, multi-player videogames. Some people drink and appear to turn into another person. It doesn't become a disorder unless it starts to interfere with your life. Conscious, controlled "vacations" into another frame of mind are perfectly natural in my book. It's when you lose control of them that a problem arises.

While in treatment, did you speak with your doctor about why Jeanette may have come around? I have some thoughts, but I don't want to list them if that's something you've already gone over. I will say, though, that I think she may have surfaced because there was no other way for you to express your feelings and get your needs met. I don't know if it's due to your upbringing, the misconception that "real men" are "strong and silent", a lack of real-life friendship, or other causes. What matters is that she was not only a voice for your emotions, she was also your friend. I see your grief as two-fold.

I'd be careful--very careful--about trying to resurrect Jeanette on your own. Watch the movie "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein". I'm going to spoil it for you anyway: When Dr. Frankenstein resurrects his bride, she is not the same as she was in life. Consider this: what will you do if Jeanette comes back different?

It sounds like Jeanette has done a lot for you. You're able to express your emotions, right? You have an interest in fashion, and probably other things, too. It sounds like she helped you grow up all over again, but in a better way. If I were you, I would take the things that she has taught you and keep going with them. In a way, she may have left, as a master leaves her student--there is nothing more to teach.

I know of a great forum where women (and occasionally men) of all ages discuss fashion and fashion trends. They are respectful and welcoming. I enjoy your writing style, and I'm sure others will, too. You could start writing again, but this time with a controlled dissociation. You could easily get in to your characters and make them that much more lifelike.

Speaking of writing and grief, WHEN AND IF you are ready to, it may help to finish Jeanette's story.

The story of you and Jeanette reminds me of the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. I'll try to find the myth and post it below. When you read it, I hope that you will see the parallels, and that the powers that be bring you a living, breathing version of Jeanette.
Do not take my advice before talking to your doctor/counselor/other professional. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free, confidential care. Most importantly, sometimes your shrink can be wrong. Get a second opinion.
FrayedEndOfSanity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:26 am
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby FrayedEndOfSanity » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:05 am

Pygmalion and Galatea in Greek Mythology

Pygmalion saw so much to blame in women that he came at last to abhor the sex, and resolved to live unmarried. He was a sculptor, and had made with wonderful skill a statue of ivory, so beautiful that no living woman came anywhere near it. It was indeed the perfect semblance of a maiden that seemed to be alive, and only prevented from moving by modesty. His art was so perfect that it concealed itself and its product looked like the workmanship of nature. Pygmalion admired his own work, and at last fell in love with the counterfeit creation. Oftentimes he laid his hand upon it as if to assure himself whether it were living or not, and could not even then believe that it was only ivory. He caressed it, and gave it presents such as young girls love, - bright shells and polished stones, little birds and flowers of various hues, beads and amber. He put rainment on its limbs, and jewels on its fingers, and a necklace about its neck. To the ears he hung earrings and strings of pearls upon the breast. Her dress became her, and she looked not less charming than when unattired. He laid her on a couch spread with cloths of Tyrian dye, and called her his wife, and put her head upon a pillow of the softest feathers, as if she could enjoy their softness.

The festival of Aphrodite was at hand - a festival celebrated with great pomp at Cyprus. Victims were offered, the altars smoked, and the odor of incense filled the air. When Pygmalion had performed his part in the solemnities, he stood before the altar and timidly said, "Ye gods, who can do all things, give me, I pray you, for my wife" - he dared not say "my ivory virgin," but said instead - "one like my ivory virgin."

Aphrodite, who was present at the festival, heard him and knew the thought he would have uttered; and as an omen of her favor, caused the flame on the altar to shoot up thrice in a fiery point into the air. When he returned home, he went to see his statue, and leaning over the couch, gave a kiss to the mouth. It seemed to be warm. He pressed its lips gain, he laid his hand upon the limbs; the ivory felt soft to his touch and yielded to his fingers like the wax of Hymettus. While he stands astonished and glad, though doubting, and fears he may be mistaken, again and again with a lover's ardor he touches the object of his hopes. It was indeed alive! The veins when pressed yielded to the finger and again resumed their roundness. Then at last the votary of Aphrodite found words to thank the goddess, and pressed his lips upon lips as real as his own. The virgin felt the kisses and blushed, and opening her timid eyes to the light, fixed them at the same moment on her lover. Aphrodite blessed the nuptials she had formed, and from this union Paphos was born, from whom the city, sacred to Aphrodite, received its name.

- from Bulfinch's Mythology
http://www.loggia.com/myth/galatea.html
Do not take my advice before talking to your doctor/counselor/other professional. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free, confidential care. Most importantly, sometimes your shrink can be wrong. Get a second opinion.
FrayedEndOfSanity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:26 am
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby FrayedEndOfSanity » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:08 am

You might also find this thread useful, although the experience differs from yours:

grief-loss/topic41757.html

If you want to talk more, feel free. You can also PM me if you want.
Do not take my advice before talking to your doctor/counselor/other professional. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free, confidential care. Most importantly, sometimes your shrink can be wrong. Get a second opinion.
FrayedEndOfSanity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:26 am
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby Arik » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:44 am

FrayedEndOfSanity wrote:While in treatment, did you speak with your doctor about why Jeanette may have come around? I have some thoughts, but I don't want to list them if that's something you've already gone over. I will say, though, that I think she may have surfaced because there was no other way for you to express your feelings and get your needs met.

Jeanette was able to express the emotions that I could not. The trauma she experienced parallels mine; she was free to express her emotions without restriction.

The dissociation most likely started with the abuse. I remember the events; even now I have no emotion associated with them.

On the Internet, in forums where she and I were members, she was the outgoing one who was well admired. I was simply known as Jeanette's friend. In a couple of situations this epitome of the female geek was too well liked. She resolved this by explaining that Internet relationships do not work. Guys on the Internet were impressed with her wide array of interests and her knowledge in computers, aircraft and so forth. Think of her as one part Albert Einstein, one part "mall rat."

When she wrote about her experience in the psychiatric hospital, she mentioned she packed her comic books and fashion magazines. Which, as I imagine, only emphasize her female geek image.

As she was drifting a way, she felt lost. As a child she was a well-mannered, mature prodigy. She often joked how she inherited her manners from the British side of her family. As an adult, a stage in life in which her once unique qualities are expected, she would often quote a line from The Pretender. "The worst thing that could ever happen to a prodigy is to grow up." I remember how she felt as she soon approached adulthood. I was as supportive as I knew how. Remember, this was before I knew she was another personality. As I write this, I'm thinking of another possibility. Maybe she is not around because she does not have the clear direction in life she once had. I've also noticed I'm writing like her. Before, we had different writing styles.
Arik
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:18 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby FrayedEndOfSanity » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:17 am

I figured it may have been a form of trauma.

Now that you've been through therapy (with the help from Jeanette), I actually think that it's healthy not to feel emotion. Think about it--if you're truly, completely neutral about what happened to you and it no longer interferes with your life--then that means that you have processed and overcome the events. Am I right, or do you think there are still lingering effects?

You mentioned that you started writing like she does. Is it possible that the merging worked, and she is with you?

I think that you and Jeanette handled your Internet experience very well, by the way.


What about friends and family? How are your real-life relationships? I know that she was very close to you, but do you have someone who can potentially be as close?
Do not take my advice before talking to your doctor/counselor/other professional. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free, confidential care. Most importantly, sometimes your shrink can be wrong. Get a second opinion.
FrayedEndOfSanity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:26 am
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby Arik » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:46 pm

FrayedEndOfSanity wrote:Now that you've been through therapy (with the help from Jeanette), I actually think that it's healthy not to feel emotion. Think about it--if you're truly, completely neutral about what happened to you and it no longer interferes with your life--then that means that you have processed and overcome the events. Am I right, or do you think there are still lingering effects?

You mentioned that you started writing like she does. Is it possible that the merging worked, and she is with you?

I have a speech impairment and Jeanette does not. In those times in which Jeanette is speaking, she speaks fluently. If there was integration, wouldn't I be able to speak fluently?

And while I feel no anger toward my perpetrator, little things tick me off. Furthermore I internalize my anger. I wonder if those "little foxes" are really misdirected anger.

FrayedEndOfSanity wrote:What about friends and family? How are your real-life relationships? I know that she was very close to you, but do you have someone who can potentially be as close?

No. I don't make friends with people like she does. If I were even able to make friends on the Internet as well as she, I would know I'm heading in the right direction. So far all I have gained are better writing skills.
Arik
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:18 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby FrayedEndOfSanity » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:24 pm

Arik wrote:I have a speech impairment and Jeanette does not. In those times in which Jeanette is speaking, she speaks fluently. If there was integration, wouldn't I be able to speak fluently?

And while I feel no anger toward my perpetrator, little things tick me off. Furthermore I internalize my anger. I wonder if those "little foxes" are really misdirected anger.


Hmmm...I'm not an expert in integration, although I know that it has varying degrees of success.

Are you absolutely sure that she's just...gone? Are you certain that her disappearance as a separate entity didn't trigger more trauma, and didn't just suppress the qualities you learned from her?

FrayedEndOfSanity wrote:
What about friends and family? How are your real-life relationships? I know that she was very close to you, but do you have someone who can potentially be as close?

No. I don't make friends with people like she does. If I were even able to make friends on the Internet as well as she, I would know I'm heading in the right direction. So far all I have gained are better writing skills.


Well, writing skills are pretty important when it comes to making friends on the internet. If you write well, there is less chance of being misunderstood and more chance for respect.

You mentioned you like computers, aircraft and fashion. Have you thought about joining forums as yourself, and interacting with other people that enjoy the same things? You don't have to be as good as she is. Honestly, you probably won't be, if only because you're an adult male--and like you said, it's more common for adults to have these interests and there is a bigger ratio of men to women on computer and aircraft forums. However, on fashion forums, men are scarce--so there you have higher odds of being received with more overt welcome. The experience would be more like Jeanette had on aircraft forums.

The nice thing about forums is that there are a lot of them, and if you feel that you've made a bad impression, you can either switch forums or delete your account and create a new one, starting fresh. Just give it a chance, will ya?

You also mentioned that you have a trusted person you can talk to. Is she possible "friend" material?
Do not take my advice before talking to your doctor/counselor/other professional. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free, confidential care. Most importantly, sometimes your shrink can be wrong. Get a second opinion.
FrayedEndOfSanity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:26 am
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby Arik » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:08 pm

FrayedEndOfSanity wrote:Hmmm...I'm not an expert in integration, although I know that it has varying degrees of success.

Are you absolutely sure that she's just...gone?

I can't say for certain she is gone. What is certain is she was here several months ago. She wrote another heart-wrenching subplot for the group project, which is characteristic of her, then has lunch at a local deli where she feels comfortable. She is a great dramatic writer. Some of the things she has written will rip your heart out. Sometimes it's too overwhelming for her so she goes to this one deli where she feels comfortable.

FrayedEndOfSanity wrote:Are you certain that her disappearance as a separate entity didn't trigger more trauma, and didn't just suppress the qualities you learned from her?

I don't know.

FrayedEndOfSanity wrote:You also mentioned that you have a trusted person you can talk to. Is she possible "friend" material?

Melissa is a friend of my youngest sister. We understand each other and there is trust but that is where we are now.

Edit: Though the improvements in my writing are noticeable, there are still subtle differences between my style and hers.
Arik
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:18 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: I Want Jeanette Back

Postby Arik » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:37 am

I don't think she is completely gone. Today my family got together and, as my sisters discussed how sixth and seventh grade is such a tough time in a girl's life, I felt Jeanette's presence. I felt Jeanette's emotions as she related to the discussion. I (Arik) can only imagine how much harder it was for Jeanette as she was still in foster care during the entire first semester of sixth grade and part of the second. Rebecca, Jeanette's mom, did not regain custody of her three daughters until shortly before Jeanette's twelfth birthday.
Arik
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:18 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:02 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Next

Return to Dissociative Disorder NOS Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest