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Inpatient with Dissociative Identity Disorder #3

Mental Illnesses are prevalent in our world. They greatly affect not only the individual involved, but the people around them. In the month of April, we focus our spotlight on Mental Health, in order to heal together and break down stigmas.

We want your stories. How has your own, or someone else’s mental illness affected your life? How are you rising above stigmas?

Please share your stories with us during the month of April.

A bigger obstacle than psychiatric ward staff to the treatment of a Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) patient is that of a psychiatric doctor. Why? Because there is still a divide between the people who believe/assert/think/etc that DID exists and people who think it’s humbug and that we’re all faking it. The person supposed to treat you may not even believe you are telling the truth!

So you may now understand my relatively high level of anxiety and paranoia when entering a doctor’s office. Either I’ll be respected and treated as an equal, or I’ll be patronized and treated as though I’m just a vivid actress faking a bunch of crazy shit. The third option is that the doc wants to believe me, but actually has no fucking clue about what Dissociative Disorders are, and, evidently, has no clue how to treat me.

My experience yesterday was something like this: if you put the three options within equal distances of each other and drew lines to find the smack middle, my doc would have been sitting on top of the bulge of the three coalescing lines. She had quite a carefree outlook, vivid vocabulary, mild hand gestures. Naturally she wanted to hear everything explained, again, in detail. Fortunately my care worker was with me.

I stared at my thighs, and at my Adventure Time leggings, as the doc said in a chirpy voice, ”You’re not exactly normal, are you? You’re like a splash of color.” I giggled at this – my leggings and my unicorn hoodie were both so colorful I reckon the eyes of passersby would sting. ”No, I wouldn’t say I’m exactly normal.”

The doc decided I’ll stay till Friday, then try being home for the weekend and then come back for the beginning of the week, during which we’d have my second treatment plan meeting.

I have been given permission to take outings during the day. Physical exercise is very important for me in order to keep dissociation at bay, so I went to the gym today, as well as a walk. It is the time of year I wish I lived somewhere else, somewhere where it didn’t start getting dark after 3 pm.

So here I am, sitting on my hospital bed with my small turquoise HP Chromebook purring in my lap, waiting for my designated nurse to come knock on the door again.

Pet Horrors

I came home once to find one of my daughter’s most loved fish in the toilet. I was sad for her, and very worried the little fishy might accidentally come back up. I didn’t want that to be traumatic for the kids, so I flushed it again. The fishy wriggled ALIVE and went down with the water. I was horrified!

Abusive Husband was very angry, and demanded to know what the EFF my dumb ass was thinking. I asked, “But why was it in the toilet?” He said it looked like it was going to die, but the cold water must have revived it. He made big deal to my daughter about it, saying that I was careless and killed her pet.

I was so sad I just wanted to slip through the floorboards. I was so confused. I was always messing stuff up. I would never have hurt her.

Thankfully, my daughter doesn’t remember it at all, even though it was just a few years ago. It must have been so awful for her, that she has blocked the memory.

The other kids remember Abusive Husband putting beloved fish in the toilet as a threat to force them to do things, “or else”. Or, he would do it just to terrorize them into a panic, when he was bored while I was at work. I asked them, “Why didn’t you tell me? I would have gone toe to toe with him over one tiny mean comment to any of you kids!!”

“Exactly Mom, he was going to kill you if we told.”

A Light In The Darkness: Dare I Hope?

Mental Illnesses are prevalent in our world. They greatly affect not only the individual involved, but the people around them. In the month of April, we focus our spotlight on Mental Health, in order to heal together and break down stigmas.

We want your stories. How has your own, or someone else’s mental illness affected your life? How are you rising above stigmas?

Please share your stories with us during the month of April.

Today, well …really yesterday, I can’t sleep …my coworker stopped me to ask what was the matter. I suppose that it’s been pretty obvious for a long, long time that I haven’t been too happy.

So I laid it out for him.

“I don’t know how long I can keep doing this.” said I.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Well, just dragging myself through each day. You don’t understand if you haven’t felt it. There is literally nothing worse. It’s like thought-cancer. Every last good thing that you have done counts for nothing. Nothing is good. You don’t hope for anything because nothing works out, in the end. That’s the way it is when you’re a loser.”

“Hey, I think you’re pretty great. You’re a great employee. Nobody worries if you’re in charge of a project. They know it’ll be done. I can’t claim any understanding of what you’re feeling, but I do understand loneliness and doing the single dad thing. It’s really hard, but you’ll get through it.” he said. “Have you thought about getting any help?”

“Yeah, I’ve done therapy. I have to dredge up all these shit memories, some of which I had all but forgotten. It’s not easy or fun. The drive gets me too. When you’re feeling this way, two hours of driving becomes a HUGE obstacle.”

“Well, do you mind if I help find you someone to see? I wear lots of hats and it really isn’t any trouble. We care about you, and it really tears me up personally to see you this way.  I mean man, when you’re up, you’re up and going, smiling and happy, whistling tunes and singing.”

“Well, those times are becoming fewer and further between. Thank you. Yes you can look.”

We had our Christmas party tonight and it really was all I could do to get out the door. My kids and me. The only single person there. It wasn’t easy. The kids got some small presents, and we feasted on prime rib roast and ham, salad, and green beans with garlic and bacon, funeral potatoes, and cheesecake for dessert.  I ended up smoking at least a dozen cigarettes in between playing cars and dollies with all the kids. I really do love playing with kids. They’re so much cooler than adults. Plus, they don’t mind when you’re a bit of a nerd. They think it’s funny. They’re not all caught up in being an “adult.”

Anyway, it was a fun night. At least as fun as being a depressed mess can be.

It struck me that my coworker noticed something that has only been slowly dawning on me the past few months. I may very well suffer from some kind of Bipolar Disorder. I noticed in this last year that I have periods of not exactly mania, but something akin to it, that precede my depressions. And indeed, thinking back, there were times that I was the one dragging a reluctant wife around to friends’ houses, staying up too late and drinking too much, laughing too loudly, smoking way too many cigarettes. Looking back, it’s like watching a slow sine wave …up and down, and up and down. But the peaks are flattening out, while the valleys are falling lower and lower, like some macabre emotional EKG readout, about to flatline.

In any case, this December is my crossroads. I really think that it’s my last chance, and that I WILL be a fool if I don’t follow through and take whatever help my company can give. Once again, I am struck at how selfless these people can be. I have often thought that my job was the single best thing that I have going for me, aside from the children. I am blessed that they care. I explained to my coworker that even getting out of bed is a HUGE accomplishment for me some days.  What I didn’t mention was that most of the days that I don’t show up to work, I’m laying in bed wondering why I’m even breathing. Last month, I spent two working days and nearly all weekend in bed, leaving only to buy cigarettes. Another thing I didn’t say was that I am completely sure that I could CONQUER THE KNOWN UNIVERSE if I could get better. Another serving of hyperbole anyone?

But its true. I have managed this much in my fight against depression. I have a tiny nucleus of potential, waiting like the silence before the Big Bang, hidden away from the shadows. Indeed, somehow I have managed to keep this strange little grain alive through it all, shedding its light silently like the crystals from Final Fantasy. Maybe that’s what they call my god-spark, my soul or whatever. My true self. It’s a dim light, and a cold one, but at least I’ve managed that much.

I have been very reluctant to try medication. I must admit that I self medicate with marijuana. But….cannabis IS NOT A PANACEA! I have argued this point with people more than once. You can be depressed, get stoned, and yep, be stoned AND depressed. It does make things bearable in that I am freed for a while from the cyclical thoughts of self loathing. But it’s not a treatment. An old hippy once told me that pot should be the spice on an otherwise good life and that kids now wanted to feel stoned to improve their lives and end up being slaves to pot. It’s true. I’ve known people who will go without food in the cupboard in order to get weed. Food is the very first thing I buy, after paying my bills …after all, what will one eat when one has the munchies? Which, since I have a really bad habit of eating little to nothing for days at a time when depressed, is another benefit. It’s sad that so many who advocate for marijuana don’t just say that it’s like a glass of wine for people, and the governments should get over it. They push like it’s some kind of miracle thing, but its just a damned plant with psychoactive substances. Yes it has been shown to have medical uses, but I really don’t think that depression should be one of them.

I have been reluctant to try medication since my stint on a previous bipolar medication. Sure, I didn’t feel depressed any more. But it was a hollow sort of feeling, and I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get happy or sad. It was weird. Maybe it was working like some kind of chemical lobotomy. I’m becoming more and more convinced that there is something wrong in my brain chemistry. I don’t know if things went wrong because of the sexual abuse I suffered, or because of a genetic thing, or both, but I think that some kind of medicine is what I need. I will have to give up pot, to be sure, but I am not espoused to Mary Jane, and I don’t think that I’ll miss her to much.

I also have to get over my anxiety that the medicines will make me feel more suicidal. I began self-harming in 2014. I hit myself hard in the face and head. I already have a kind of cavalier view of pain. Physical pain is easy to bear, for me at least. This means that I could be one of those who just snap because of their medications and finish themselves off impulsively. I don’t want to die, no matter my suicidal thoughts. Not really. But it’s frightening when you can suddenly become your own worst enemy.  No one has ever hit me as hard as I have hit myself. But the scariest part of it is that, for a while, I feel better. Yes.  I hurt myself and feel better. Fucking A.

So December is my crossroads, and I hope I take a better path.  Dare I hope that I’m going to get better?  Tentatively, perhaps.

A Light In The Darkness: One Year Down

Mental Illnesses are prevalent in our world. They greatly affect not only the individual involved, but the people around them. In the month of April, we focus our spotlight on Mental Health, in order to heal together and break down stigmas.

We want your stories. How has your own, or someone else’s mental illness affected your life? How are you rising above stigmas? 

Please share your stories with us during the month of April.


As it stands, my story isn’t on this website. That’s because I’m not quite ready to go into it. What is relevant right now is that I’m the newest host in my body’s Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) system. I’ve been here for almost a year.

All I’ve really succeeded in was coming to terms with all of the mental stuff we didn’t want to admit to before. Like DID, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the fact that the shadow people are actually hallucinations (among with other fun psychosis things). That’s a lot to tackle, and the fact that we’re still here makes me feel proud.

I’m both 21 years old and 11 months old. I was thrown into a breakdown where the former host isolated themselves from all but one of their trusted friends. I’ve gotten into a relationship with said friend, and he is the kindest soul I’ve ever (virtually) met. He supports me and makes me feel like I am not completely drowning.

I’m working on freelancing to save up to go back to school (they flunked out of college and now I’m here, aware of most of my limitations and certain to make sure that we succeed this time).

It’s almost been a year, a year of preparation for our lives. A year of learning about myself and my headmates. It’s been a fucking miserable mess of a year, one with lots of breakdowns, self harm, and suicidal thoughts 24/7. But I think I’m going to make it.

I want us to make it.

It’s Been A Long, Long Road

I’ve not posted for a long time. Three-and-half-years, if I remember correctly.

I’m sorry about that.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and my life in that time.

I learned I had been married to an alcoholic. I learned that I was allowing myself and my children to be verbally abused. I learned that I couldn’t be strong enough to fix things.

This is hard.

As of the first of this year, I’ve been a single dad. Most days. Some days, the kids are with her. But most of the time, it’s just me. That’s not the hard part. I mean, that’s not easy, but we are managing.

The hard part is dealing with the fear. When I see her, my heart starts racing – I go into flight or fight mode, mostly flight. Technically, I still need to let her in the house, the divorce isn’t final yet, but my stomach churns while she’s there.

When I can’t get the kids on the phone, my mind goes dark places. On the drive into work, my imagination plays out worst case scenarios.

Every day is a little bit better – except for when they are worse. Logically, I know I made the right decisions, and I’m going down the right road, but emotionally, I have so much doubt built up.

I considered making this post anonymous, but this post is not about her. It’s about me. I’m scared. I doubt. I get tired. I make mistakes. But I’m still going.

And I know it’s going to get better….

….even if I can’t quite bring myself to believe that yet.