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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:30 pm

Thanks, ArbreMonde and birdsong. It's reassuring to hear that you think it's a good idea.

We started panicking during the night about trying to do that intensive therapy thing while we're in the midst of getting ready for the show we're in, so we moved it to early August. There was a lot of internal conflict about it, but the push to do it sooner was coming more from littles and without an appreciation of the energy it will take to do two half-days of therapy. They're thinking of it more as a fun art retreat and playtime, and as if as soon as we do it, things will magically be fixed with the T. That's not very realistic, so it seemed wiser to wait. (Still some crying going on about that inside though.)

Now we have to figure out how/if to interact with the T in the meantime. We might change things up by trying a phone session with him, which we've never done. That will take away that visually exposed feeling that we get--we still hide behind a pillow and peek out to talk to him on zoom or in his office. It's easier for us to feel close to someone over the phone. On the other hand, most of the interaction difficulties come about from how the T phrases things, so reducing everything to that channel might be problematic. We sent him a text, so we're waiting to hear what he thinks.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Fri Jul 08, 2022 9:48 pm

Our level of stress is higher than I can ever remember, especially going on continuously for days like this. We're sleeping for 2-3 hours at a time, maybe twice in a night, and spending a lot of time in bed during the day, unable to sleep. We were supposed to work yesterday, but had to cancel, which we almost never do. We're managing to eat enough, but not exercising, and usually we do some kind of workout for 60 to 90 minutes a day. The past couple of days we managed a walk, but that was it.

Our performance thing starts officially this weekend--the whole show is not in good shape--everyone is stressed. The husband got covid last weekend, so we've been isolating from him since then. He's in one part of the house with his own bathroom, and we're spending all our time in the bedroom--taking our meals there, etc. We can sit in a doorway and talk to him from 10 feet away, and get some support, but no hugs, and that's a major way we regulate when we're very stressed.

He had a lot of symptoms, but has still been mostly up and around, and has been steadily getting better, but still testing positive. And we haven't had to take care of him which would have increased our exposure.

Fortunately we tested negative on Tuesday, and that was the last day we had to test to be able to perform this weekend. Also we had to put down our cat last weekend, which we haven't had time to deal with at all. We haven't been without a cat in 20 years.

There's a new thing to stress about with the show every day. My heart is pounding nearly all the time. One thing gets taken care of, but then there's another thing added. Last night I was given a critique for something that should have been brought up weeks ago if it was going to be brought up at all. This isn't the time for major changes in approach when we're about to have paying audiences. And I have to wait until tonight to be able to discuss it with the person again.

We talked to the T on the phone today--he was very supportive, so that was good at least. We were supposed to have a zoom session Wednesday, which we canceled, and another one today, but we weren't up to it. So we just talked on the phone for maybe 20 minutes.

We've been trying to mediate and breathe a lot to calm down physically, but we're just not good at it. When our body starts to relax, that seems to be a signal that there's danger, and we just ramp back up again. Not sure how to get past that, and we feel SO run down from being anxious ALL THE TIME.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby Snaga » Sat Jul 09, 2022 3:11 am

I tell you what- a person doesn't need to be in these forums, or have a dissociative disorder, to call your last post a heck of a plate full of yuck. That's enough to knock anyone back on their heels- the stress with the performance is quite enough without the sick spouse and the cat. Sorry to hear about kitty, that's always one of the roughest things we ever have to do. Hugs.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Jul 16, 2022 12:47 am

Thanks, Snaga.

We got through the weekend of performances, and it went well. The best was Saturday night--we got a lot of good feedback, and managed to take it in pretty well.

Starting Monday, people in the cast began coming down with covid, and we got it a couple of days ago. We were already so run down from all the stress that I wasn't really surprised. We've been taking it easy and treating the fever and congestion. Symptoms are better today, although we're still very tired without much appetite.

Husband is leaving on a trip tomorrow, so that's stressing us out, since if we need anything, we'll have to go out and get it ourselves. But performances are canceled for this weekend, so there's no pressure from that front.

Our goal for the weekend is to ease back into exercise, or at least some yard work. We'll have the dog, so we'll need to walk him 3 or 4 times. And as long as we stay on top of eating and drinking enough, we should be ok.

We were supposed to talk with the T today, by phone or zoom, but we weren't feeling up to it. We did talk to him on Wednesday, and it didn't go that well, but we seemed to fix it by text later, so we're back to feeling connected.

Littles are very bored today with being sick and staying in bed--I guess that means we're feeling better, but it's a hard phase to get through. We might try to think of some quiet activities for them to do later this evening.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby ArbreMonde » Sun Jul 17, 2022 5:43 am

Congratulations for the performances!

Good luck with the yeard work. I hope you'll manage to do it during the hours of the day when it's less hot and more manageable temperature-wise.

I hope that you'll find some movie or coloring/drawing activity that the Littles will be satisfied with, which will not be too exhausting for the body overall.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby birdsong87 » Sun Jul 17, 2022 1:55 pm

it sounds like such an impossible amount of stress piling up... hope you get well soon. do you have any doc recommendation about covid and working out? here they tell people to stay away from physical activity for a really long time...
it is very impressive to me that you can handle feedback so well. we struggle all the time, no matter if its good or points out issues. it just becomes too much so easily!
I don't feel like talking to our T either. Somehow the more challenging the situation the less capacity I have to talk to her and make the relationship work somehow.
wishing you a quick and complete recovery
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host ; Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby Snaga » Sun Jul 17, 2022 6:51 pm

Oh I'm sorry to hear about the Covid!

I had it back in January/February- it's not the end of the world but it sure was miserable. Hope you get over it soon. Is it your first time with it? I found it put me in a very strange mental state, so you all might find yourselves thinking strange thoughts until it abates. I've been sicker, but Covid is a very strange illness.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sun Jul 17, 2022 9:11 pm

Thanks, Snaga, birdsong, and ArbreMonde. All the support is really appreciated.

We spend time Friday evening organizing our rock collection--the parts who collect rocks from the beach were happy to do that. And we watched part of "Cars."

It's not very hot here, ArbreMonde. We live very close to the ocean, so even when the rest of the city is very hot, we have morning and evening fog, and even the daytime temperatures don't usually get too high. But we didn't get to any of the yard work yet. There was laundry and some house chores to do. The husband left on a business trip yesterday (lousy timing), so there was more for us to do in the evening, including the dog's bedtime walk.

@birdsong:
We haven't heard anything here about not exercising. This hasn't felt like more than a really bad cold, and this morning we took a long walk down to the beach. We're still supposed to walk barefoot on the sand when we can, for our foot rehab, so we did that. Stayed far away from any people. We needed to stop and rest for awhile on the way back up, and also sat and looked at the ocean for a bit. Not what I'd call "working out" by any means. Now we're resting in bed.
I'd say we have a harder time with positive feedback than constructive criticism. We got a lot of positive comments on Saturday, and there are definitely parts who "translate" them into negatives. A comment like "that's the best you've ever done that [part of the performance]" is heard by them as "it really sucked until tonight when you improved it a little."
birdsong87 wrote:I don't feel like talking to our T either. Somehow the more challenging the situation the less capacity I have to talk to her and make the relationship work somehow.

I'm glad to hear someone else feels like this. I WISH that I could get support from the T when something is very challenging, but that always seems to be the time when misunderstandings pile up and the relationship just adds more stress to my life. It happened right before my surgery, and again with all the recent stress.

@Snaga--yes, we've managed to avoid the virus until now. It seems like we're getting better steadily, so I'm glad about that. Hoping to test negative before the weekend so I can be in the performance thing a couple more times. Haven't noticed anything stranger than usual about our mental state or thoughts, but that's not saying much.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby Snaga » Mon Jul 18, 2022 4:41 pm

That sounds like the Omicron, from everything I've heard. That's wonderful! Everyone was talking about how mild Omicron was, but I don't think I had Omicron, I think I had Delta, which was more like the influenza the first few days, then was like nothing I've ever had. My taste was enhanced to the point everything but the most bland foods was unpalatable, and my skin was so sensitive the slightest touch was painful.

If I ever get it again, I want what you've got.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sun Aug 07, 2022 6:27 am

Thanks, Snaga--yes, it was probably an Omicron variant. We recovered fairly quickly, and got to do the remaining performances that were scheduled.

This past week I was in another little show--kind of a benefit performance, so it was put together in just a week. They let in anyone who wanted to participate, and I had signed up to be in 4 numbers, so I've just had a week of rehearsals, including all day today, and a performance tonight.

I'm very tired, but there were a lot of personal successes this past week, so I'm glad about that. We get less pushback nowadays from protectors when we interact with other people in social situations, so that has made things easier. We used to hear a lot of self-critical stuff from inside, and that made it harder to stay present and to expand our comfort zone. But this past week we felt better about making casual small talk with others involved in the performance, and not feeling like we were being weird or wouldn't be accepted. So that's definitely progress.

I'm not sure where things are at with the T. We did see him on zoom twice this week, but we're still stuck in a pattern of feeling critical of how he reacts to things we say and of the way he says things to us. Two of the protectors have decided that he isn't the right person for us and that we should stop seeing him, and they kind of harp on how difficult it is to talk to him and to feel understood.

On the positive side, it seems like we're moving into a different phase of therapy where the connection with the T is very solid and so maybe we're ready to do some trauma processing. And maybe all of this being stuck and deciding that this isn't the right T for us is our way of trying to avoid moving into that phase?

We're going to be doing that intensive therapy thing with that other T this week--4 hours a day for two days. We're a little nervous about it, but we've spoken to her twice on the phone, and she seems nice and knowledgeable. There will be a lot of art and we can do sand tray work if we want.

We're just worried about her making assumptions about us that are wrong, and having to correct those, because a big issue for us is feeling like once someone has decided something, it's impossible to change their mind. We've come a long way with that, but meeting someone new, and having a finite amount of time for them to learn a lot about us, is bringing that up for us. Also, after those two days, she'll be calling our T to discuss things with him, so that also makes us nervous. We'll probably ask her what she plans to tell him. She said that we could be in on the conversation, but I don't think we want to do that.

Anyway, just wanted to update this thread, and support is always appreciated. :-)
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