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safe in memory [journey thread]

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safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby raptureblues » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:24 pm

i thought it might be a good idea to start a journey thread. i've been using a private social media account to vent/put stuff up but it's very easy to delete things and lose track of things too. i know you can't delete posts here after a certain amount of time so i feel like that might help me to remember stuff better.

no-one has to reply or anything, it's more for my own reference but if you feel you want to that's fine, i'd appreciate it even. i feel too anxious to add to other people's journey threads so i feel like i'd be a hypocrite for insisting on replies or anything like that.

i guess a general summary would be good? i'm alice (f / 23 (same age as the body)) and i'm the one stuck at the front 99% of the time. i guess that makes me the "host". so far i know of four alters - jones (m / 23), bubbles (f / little), werne (m / little), lain (??? / ???). someone who is potentially new turned up the other night but they didn't know their name, who i was, or who anyone else was. i feel like they're young based off their handwriting. there is also apparently an alter here that "calls all the shots" but i haven't met them. i did know of someone i called "bad me" or "other me" when i was younger but i don't remember that myself, i just have records where i vaguely talked about it to other people.

we're currently in long-term psychotherapy with a good therapist who understands this stuff well. we've seen her for a year already and she intends to keep working with us. a few of the others have fronted in therapy at least once. we've been in treatment on-and-off for four years with very little success when it comes to functioning/coping better. our current diagnosis is BPD / OCD / MDD which we are trying to get reviewed but we're meeting a lot of resistance from our psychiatric nurse. my therapist is trying to get through to my doctor to help me with this.

the main thing i'm trying to figure out is the communication issues, and generally trying to acknowledge things without spiralling into a denial breakdown. i use a journal to try and talk to the others but i get extremely sporadic replies, maybe 90% of the time i actually get a response from someone. as an example, i've used the journal on-and-off for the past month and got two drawings and one reply.

i'm regularly the only one at the front (as far as my awareness goes). i'm not aware of any blatant lost time, i find it hard to keep track of my day because of regular dissociation so it's hard to know if i'm losing time or not. at the very least i don't find things i don't remember being there, like replies in the journal / items i don't remember buying / etc. i can't seem to find any consistency with switches either. sometimes it's because a cartoon came on, but at other times that same cartoon won't draw anyone out. same goes for music / films / etc. switches don't always happen when a trauma-related trigger comes up either. it's very inconsistent. as for internal communication, i don't get anything clear enough for me to easily decipher who's talking to me, or if anyone is even talking to me at all, and i can go days or even weeks where i don't get anything. it's difficult.

denial is a big problem for me. for a variety of reasons. it feels like i'm constantly lacking in "proof" because switches / communication is so sporadic. i have poor memory recall and also feel next to no attachment to my memories so past events don't feel like enough "proof", that goes for system-related stuff and trauma. i'm trying to come to terms with the fact that there will never be sufficient "proof" as the denial is being put in place on purpose.

my theory is the "one in charge" that the others have mentioned a few times is intentionally keeping me from prying into this too much. this makes me think that the sporadic switches and lack of communication is because the others i've met aren't "in the know", they're just as clueless and trapped by this other alter's control as i am. they seem to either remember what i do because we're accessing the same Brain Facts (that's what we call our memory recall machine), or they're lacking any recent memories. no-one has shared any memories with me that i wasn't already aware of, and no-one has said they remember being around before, so it's hard to tell how much information is being withheld from me, or how much the others don't have access to that information either.

i'm hoping after the diagnosis review stuff gets resolved in some way that we can devote some time in therapy to figuring out how to move forward from here. as it stands, switches and communication are sporadic and seemingly random. this often means when a switch does happen it isn't a stable situation and i've been lucky so far that nothing overly bad has happened. my attempts to communicate often result in nothing, as for whether i'm being ignored or it's just not getting through for some reason, i don't know. my memory recall is poor and i dissociate constantly. i also have to do lots of avoidance-based coping in order to get through each day which causes problems. i'm not currently able to work or study because of how poorly i function.

i'm left not knowing where to go from here. my only guess is i have to try and either go inside to figure out what's going on, or i have to somehow contact the "one in charge", or maybe lain, who i've been told controls our Brain Facts and maybe even runs our auto-pilot. i was told they were forced into that role so they might know more about things than the others do. however with no ability to currently go inside (it's happened maybe once or twice while heavily dissociating), or any consistent way of communicating, it's really difficult to figure out what on earth i can do. there's also the fact that the "one in charge" likely doesn't want me to pry at all and would stop any attempt i make to talk to them, and i don't know how i'd get around that.

i'd accept that i can't "do anything" for the most part, just do my job as the "host" and take care of the body, go to therapy, see friends, etc. and i mean maybe things are always gonna be like this, maybe it's not meant to be consistent. but it feels like it's not meant to be like that. as it stands, i can't do any trauma work, not even remotely. i'm left barely functioning, and even if i can maintain some level of basic functioning every day, i can barely manage consistently eating and sleeping most days. i'm left constantly running on empty batteries, dissociating regularly, avoiding to cope, and i need to find a better way to get by.

this was really really long but that's the basic gist of where i'm at, i'm going to try and add to this when stuff comes up and maybe the others will contribute at some point.

--- alice

-- Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:28 pm --

also, if anyone was curious, the title comes from a quote from one of my favourite video games series, american mcgee's alice. it means a lot to me as the series focuses on a lot of what i've gone through. the full quote is here:

Cheshire Cat: Ah, Alice. We can't go home again. No surprise really. Only a very few find the way, and most of them don't recognise it when they do. Delusions, too, die hard with memory. Only the savage regard the endurance of pain as the measure of worth. Forgetting pain is convenient, remembering it: agonising. But recovering the truth is worth the suffering and our Wonderland, though damaged, is safe in memory... for now.
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby littleDaria » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:01 am

Love the Alice quote.
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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby raptureblues » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:25 am

those alice games mean so much to me, the whole concept behind the 2nd game especially means a lot to me. alice trying to recover her memories, saving herself on her own, getting revenge against her abuser - it's helped me through so much.

people can say what they want about "edgy" or "horror" versions of alice in wonderland being overdone or terrible, but those games at least handled the topic of abuse and trauma very well.
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby littleDaria » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:26 am

Sorry to say we are not familiar with the games but we wiki'd them. They sound impressive and we can see what you mean about the second one. Wow!
The Ohana Autonomous Collective
Daria (system age 17-23) (bio age: 50f) [NOT the Original]
Pixie (Fairy) | Ligella (Vampire) | Aloysius (60) | Snow (18) | | Mona (17)
Niki (15) | Naomi (14) | Mal (12) | Simon (11) Evora (9) | Willow (9) |
Ophelia (8) | Alia (6) | Denise (4) [possibly original] | Aura (3) | Newt (2/3) | Boo (2)
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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby raptureblues » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:55 am

i often forget when i get internal communication so i'm going to try and make a habit of making a note of it here.

i went downstairs to talk to my support worker about an issue i'm having with a helpline having blocked my number, and she said she'd come help me even though our designated session is on thursdays. i got a comment from someone inside saying "she's a nice lady" and i replied internally and said she was. i can never tell who's talking to me because it's muffled or hazy, also it's not a voice as such either. i think it was someone young because of the wording, but i have no idea if it was bubbles or werne or the new person who appeared the other night.

i try asking who's there but i get no response. as the others put it, our internal communication is a one-way system. people can reach out to me but it's difficult somehow. i can't reach out first, i get nothing in response. it's very frustrating.

either way, i try and make sure i respond when it seems like someone's talking to me. i don't want them to feel ignored.
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby raptureblues » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:53 am

i hate when i feel too scared and ashamed to talk about a particular topic. in my head, it feels like i'm making this big deal out of nothing, that it almost looks like i want it to be a big deal, but the reason it feels like a big deal is because thinking about talking about it terrifies me, it makes me feel like people will judge me, that my partner will be disgusted by me, but i don't know why i feel like that.

i guess it boils down to me being afraid that someone will point out that this topic signifies something More which terrifies me because i don't want that to be true, but i'm also afraid that someone will call me a freak or be disgusted by me because it's only justifiable and okay in a circumstance i've supposedly never been in, and the "supposedly" eats me up inside. i don't want it to be Something More, i want it to be something else, anything else, but whenever i try and find other explanations i get such a horrible gut feeling of "that doesn't explain it well enough".

i get so caught up going round in circles and being terrified of my lack of memories and the way the body reacts and the unexplained feelings and fears and thoughts i get and i don't want it to mean anything but if someone called it nothing or "normal" it'd be like they punched me in the face.
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby raptureblues » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:21 pm

** trigger warning - self-harm**

i shouldn't have let myself slip up with this, we've been clean for 6 months and now i've ruined it. i'm just so tired of being stuck at the front. i get told it's my job, but it isn't working like this. i'm running on empty batteries all day and dissociating constantly and i need a break. i asked through the journal and internally and all i got was lain trying to comfort me and tell me i have to pick myself up and do this alone. that hurts so much. why do i have to be the one to pick us up every goddamn time?! i need a break, i've been running on empty for weeks and i'm at my limit. it was stupid of me to relapse over this but i'm at breaking point, i just need a break, why is that so hard.
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby raptureblues » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:14 pm

went out to buy some new clothes for when i see my partner in a week and kept getting this feeling that i wasn't old enough to wear what i bought, that they were "adult clothes" and i wasn't old enough. not sure if i'm regressing or a little has poked their head out, it's hard to tell the difference when no-one's communicating with me. i guess i'll stick to my fluffy pjs for the rest of the day and distract myself for a bit.
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby raptureblues » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:00 pm

mood dropped in therapy. i have to see my psych nurse in 2 days and i'm already preparing myself to have a breakdown because of it. the denial is hovering in the background a lot at the moment and it's exhausting. my therapist tried helping me go over what to say to my nurse but i kept going round in circles and second guessing myself.

a weird thing happened in the session too. i suddenly became aware i'd been talking differently - dropping the ends of words (gettin', buyin', etc) and my voice was a lot lower - and as soon as i became aware of it i was really disorientated. i thought maybe jones had poked his head in or was co-fronting and using the voice because he speaks like that, but as soon as i tried asking internally it was like my brain was suddenly empty, that feeling and way of talking just disappeared.

the denial immediately kicked in and it's so frustrating. i don't have all the answers and i don't know what i'll tell my nurse on thursday, if anything. right now i need to take care of the body, keep us safe and stable. strangers are gonna be in our home tomorrow to check our boiler and electrics, which is gonna mean lots of hyper-vigilance, and we're gonna need energy to deal with that.
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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Re: safe in memory [journey thread]

Postby raptureblues » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:32 pm

i can't articulate this at all but i'm starting to wonder if all the system stuff is less about triggers and more about defenses. it's not about whether i've been set off or not, it's about whether my defenses are down. that could be for a multitude of reasons. i don't actually relax most of the time. i'm always kinda vigilant and avoidant and there's no real opportunity for my defenses to fall even at home. i'm thinking maybe the only reason the others get out is when that happens, not because i need my own defenses to be down but because That Person has them too thoroughly locked up otherwise. it's like, escaping. it feels more like escaping being trapped than this seemingly non-random "we pop up once every few months for the hell of it".

earlier in therapy my defenses dropped because i had to talk about the nurse stuff, instead of avoiding it i was talking about how it was making me feel. then i wasn't just me anymore and it got confusing because i'm not the only one who hates this situation. i know it sounds really stupid but it's only just occurred to me that this whole thing is more about vulnerability than anything else. i mean of course that's what this is, it was always about keeping us safe when we were vulnerable, being vulnerable could be getting hurt or getting kissed, doesn't matter, the defenses are down regardless.

initially i was thinking "that's not what's happening, if this was a defense/vulnerability thing, why aren't they around more" and the point is i'm not vulnerable 99% of the time because i'm avoiding the things that make me vulnerable. my job isn't to be the host and keep the body alive, it's to be The Avoidant One. if i avoid the stuff that lowers the defenses, no-one even needs to front but me. i don't need my memories or emotions or anything if i'm avoiding the necessary things.

i feel like maybe if i find a way to lower those defenses in a safe way, then maybe no-one has to be locked up anymore. i won't need to be the avoidant one because we won't have to avoid to cope anymore.

actually, maybe that's lain's role in all this too. if i stop avoiding, i start dissociating, like right now. the auto-pilot kicks in, i'm left being puppeted until i can go back to avoiding, i'm not trusted to be present unless i'm avoiding. i don't mean they're doing that in a mean way, it's the job they've been forced into. but it makes sense. they're like, a firewall system, almost. that actually makes a lot of sense. i mean, it's not a perfect set-up bcs the defenses slip up enough for the others to occasionally get out, even if it's for a few minutes. the stupid thing is i've been reinforcing those defenses constantly.

god, i don't have therapy for 2/3 weeks, i better remember to talk about this when i next have a session.
alice (18~24, she/her), jones (14~24, he/him), lain (9~14, they/them), charles (32, he/him), bubbles (6, she/her), rose (14, she/her), peter (14, he/him)

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