Thursday, March 29, 2012

Random Babble Part One Million Pounds

Sunny Day Again!

Despite the fact we lost our wallet yesterday we are in a good mood. The debit card has been canceled, and the drivers license in replaceable. It's our fault anyway, we don't listen to ourselves and it fell out of our jacket pocket...it was only a thin plastic case with two sleeves in it, after all. We have nobody to blame but our inability to listen to each other.

As we are in a fairly good mood we are going outside to play in the sun.

Actually, walk to get a proper cup of coffee and then meet James at the grocery store that is a nice walk away, because someone has been stressing about our weight, even though many of think it's fine, she keeps moaning about it...and we know upon the return of Emmie, whenever that may be, we will be given an ear (head?) full about letting "her" body put on extra weight - though we don't have a scale to weigh ourselves, we figure we have put the weight we put off when we first got to England, back on. Though our jeans still slide onto our butt, just a little more tightly than usual.

We also figure more exercise (not that we're a complete lazy ass...most of us anyway) will alleviate some of the terrible pain we have been having again.

So with that in mind we have taken to forcing ourselves into the outdoors and taking long walks to the grocery this week (opting for the one much further than the one where we purchase our coffee), which round trip is about three miles. And it also means we get to meet James for lunch everyday, so that's nice too.

Tomorrow we leave for Kerry's for another weekend visit, and tomorrow is James' last day of work, and Sunday is his 36th birthday, which means cake and wine and extra calories. Maybe another hike up Mount Ida is in order to shave some of the wobbly fat off of our ass.

Fascinating, right?

Ha!

Everything we write can't be fucking gold.

~ et al

<this entry was scheduled to post at the end of the day>

Added at 10:35 pm - 12 hours later and we can't make sense...sentences partial as they tumble from our lips. Apparently we're cranky...but there is just too much noise and our faculties are crumbling. James goes on about he is "so lucky"...threaded with deep sarcasm, but says we're still lovable...so there's that.
We need lift.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meeting More People

Going to visit a couple of James' (The Boyfriend) friends this afternoon, they are a couple. We are told we will like them.

When James decided he was coming to see us in the states last year, before we started dating, he told some of his friends and family about our "disorder". We are not sure why, and no, we were not thrilled with it...but we manage to keep it in the back of our head. Never mind that a woman he works with searched his name on Google and found the link between us, and him a few weeks ago, and now reads our blog (hi, btw...). Sure this makes at least one of us uneasy...but James tells her not to worry, he will protect her (and us). She puts a lot of faith in him. (not that he can't do his best to protect us...but we've never had anybody outside our system do that).

Many many months later, after telling some of his friends and family, we are visiting and meeting some of them (not sure if they are ones that he told). We have it in the back of our mind, that they might know...she whispers it it...where before we could have just been us (and came off as a funny, strange, weird-o who has occasional social interaction issues and says stuff that seems uncharacteristic of who "she" is, but is attractive so it passes as just being quirky and fun, and "who is this person?"). (ick) But then we suppose, that's a bit like hiding...and acting like a "freak". (Seriously though, we are SO good at maintaining...sober.)

But going into a situation where we don't know them, but they know we are us...and...well...we just hope when the time comes the right us, or combination of, are greeting them. Otherwise it could be embarrassing, for us - not James, he doesn't get embarrassed by us easily.

It's important to us that we can get along with the friends James finds important. Despite us having very few friends (we have each other), the only friends he has, that we don't share, are very few...and while we can assure you that he's thrilled with that, we being his primary social life (sarcasm, people), we know he needs some semblance of a social life outside of our relationship...it's healthy, and normal, even for someone who is mostly anti-social.

*fingers crossed* we get to meet new people tonight. Yay. *throws lazy apprehensive streamers*

~Ivy et al

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two Weeks, More Change

It's official, two weeks (April 10th) and we have to be out of the flat.
Three days, roughly, and James is unemployed.

Word is not officially out on our return to the states, James will still be looking for a new job, now with the ability to relocate to anywhere in the UK for the chance to stay in England a little longer. (anybody need a website programmer, freelance or otherwise? Think that's what he does anyway...)

Returning to the states right now is not opportune, James will only be able to stay for 90 days with a Visa Waiver, he won't be able to work, and the funds from our house sale (he is getting nothing from the flat sale), so we can comfortably return with him, or buy a house, won't clear for about another 60-90 days...so, for now most of us are hoping to be able to stay in England, at least another month, because it's just starting to be spring, and very beautiful, and sunny, and we haven't seen as much as we'd like to...and all the waits for us in the United States is The Mother's basement...

But then, some of us are excited to be going back.

This weekend we are going to visit our friend Kerry Stott again, having had such a fun time last time we visited her and her family a couple of weeks ago. We want to see her at least once again, before we leave England, and before she goes in to the hospital for an operation...plus there is so much more of Cumbria to see.

All and all having some dates in mind regarding the flat, and James' job, makes things less stressful in some ways, more stressful in others...now we wait to see if he can find another one, and if he can't in about a weeks time then we will be booking the flights back to the United States.

Our plans for the year are not going as exactly as planned, but when do they ever. Despite the stress and anxiety, most of us are fairly resilient...so we'll just keep on trucking...or burning rubber...or crashing into walls. Whichever.

~ et al

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Stories Of Us


For people who don't know what these are about, these are the stories of our lives of our system, they cover abuse of many forms, in addition to some other experiences like trauma, and/or good things that have happened. These entries are not for the weak of heart.

With Dissociation Identity Disorder this is an important step in recovery, sharing among us our memories, in order to being/continue mapping therapy - and as with all of our steps it is one that we have shared with you from the beginning of this blog (though it took several months to gather the courage and ability.

...more to come soon...hopefully soon...

While these are quit concentrated you can find more stories that we chose not to list in Recommended Entries at the top of the page, as well as other writing we've done over the nearly two years of writing in this blog.

Thank you.

She Says...

I say
We
Share too much.

Who
Am I
To say.

We
Should be
Done.

Let us.
Me.
Wish.

~ Cat

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sleepless Nights And A Hateful Personality

Sleepless nights.

We know it's getting close to the time where we have to record here, or anywhere at least, some of the events from last year...things about our network of  "real life" friends, things that went on behind the closed doors of our apartment, our mind; and more things related to Fuck Face and the hand he had in our systems mutiny of The Other Girl, the personality we all recognized as our core - even though now some of us are having doubts about her being our core. Some of us are feeling, rather some of us feel, she somehow my have been the stronger personality. She was very controlling of her life, while letting people walk all over her. But that leaves us without a core...and we don't know if that's possible.

How do we know this? That we're getting close to another "purge"?

Lately, late at night, while we toss and turn trying to sleep we keep getting repeated flashbacks of certain events that took place last year about this time...it's making it hard to sleep. It's almost like each personality involved is trying to "copy" the memory for each other...pass it on, like a a computer, in the darkness of night, on a repeat cycle.

It's making it hard to sleep.

During the day time it's not much better, some days. We are getting what we will refer to as "imagery", because it's not a hallucination, necessarily. Brooke (one of the personalities in our system) is playing tricks with us. Like we've written before she used to do things last year like try to get us to throw our cellphone over the bridge we walked over everyday, knowing it would hurt us...she used to try to get us to imagine, trying to get us to do it, stepping in front of city buses on the way home from work on very bad days she was around. When we got our last job, before we were forced to leave the country in which we were living, she would tell us how funny it would be if we would stick our hand in the deep fryers at work. We have no doubt that she was the one that convinced us to swallow a load of pills with vodka, our suicide attempt around the time of our 21st birthday.

Her new thing is guns. She got sparked by something, probably we read on Twitter, gun related. So during the day, while we sit on the mattress in the bedroom where we sleep and spend most of our day working on the computer she likes to get us to imagine guns, putting the cold barrel of a handgun to our temple...and then she says wouldn't it be funny to do that...but then goes farther and she gets us to pull the trigger.

None of the imagery involves blood, it just sets on repeat. Putting the gun to our temple, fingering the trigger...oops. Oops our ass.

We have no idea where this is coming from, where any of her hate is ever coming from. She only hates us, and likes to alight herself with people she knows are capable of hurting us. She was a big fan of Fuck Face, even though many of the things he did we're because we allowed him to do it, at least at some points.

Some therapists might consider this, Brooke and her imagery, borderline schizophrenic in symptoms, we're sure; but the fact that we consider her to be part of our system, one of us...makes it not so. Despite the fact that she hates us, we love her...there is just something..."wrong"...with her. One day we may find out, when we're in a safer place to finish our mapping and find out where she fits in.

We told James about it this weekend, walking home after dinner. We try to tell him as much as we can with what goes on in our head, even if it's a couple of weeks after symptoms have started. Sometimes it's very hard to talk about...to write about...to admit. A certain amount of shame is felt by some of us, in allowing her to play with us in such away, about not being able to block her out. We also wanted to tell him, at the moment, Friday night, because we managed to articulate it, and it's his right to know, as our partner, our lover, our boyfriend, our friend.

We also told James for safety reasons. We know that target shooting is something he'd like to do when we get back to the states, and so would we. We've held handguns, shot pistols, rifles...we've made shotgun shells and had a gun training when we were younger (about the age of 12), we like guns as far as a recreational activity. We come from a family of hunters. We have a respect for firearms. Though we're not even sure we could get a temp license to shoot in a range. They don't let people with our kind of mental health background handle hand guns...(or have life insurance, or donate blood...)

This entry is not meant to scare anyone, or concern anyone (dad, mom, other family & friends) - it is meant to share with people the battles that are fought with mental health issues, and also to get it out of our mind, so that perhaps we can get some decent sleep.

A quick note on sharing.

Mental Health Month is coming up soon (in May) and we have launched a website dedicated to helping others share their stories of life with the public, a year round venture, because with understanding comes acceptance, and working towards demystifying "mental illness". Ivy wrote about it a few days ago, and we're trying to be all on board with it (not completely successful so far), so we may be mentioning it often in the next month - for more info check out what she wrote a couple of days ago: http://just-call-me-frank.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/frank-mental-health.html or just go to the website for more information: www.frankmentalhealth.org

~ Frank et al

(sorry for spelling & grammar mistakes, if there are any today)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday

Photograph we took last week of local flowers.
(c) 2012 Frank et al
It's Friday...we're still battling the headache we started getting last night, it's grown stronger (we're knowingly displacing the worry and stress)...so we won't be writing today on any of our blogs, because if it does go away we are going to enjoy our Friday night and maybe go to a movie, or go for a long night walk with James and hold hands, but definitely go somewhere for dinner.

The weather is amazing today, sunny and 17° C (62° F) with very little wind and moderate (53%) humidity. English spring perfection.

There's lots to read around here, have a poke around. Start with the recommended tab, if you are so inclined.

And be happy for life, even if it's never the easiest thing in the world...

Not full of snark today, yet, not full of wit, yet...just bare bones us...me.

~ Cassandra


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Toppled Into a Pile of Headache

All things house and property related are fucked. James (The Boyfriend) came home stressed about his flat sale going poorly, and we held together to be supportive...then came our turn later in communications with the lawyer and the tax people of the country we ("I") and selling the house in. Finality of the sale will be likely delayed three months...we were sort of counting on it being completed within a couple of more weeks. The time difference means we get our fucking from "life" right before bed. Such a massive headache. Thankfully Ivy wrote an upbeat type post earlier this morning. If you haven't read it it was just posted...

Headache.

It's all a further delay in everything, our travels around the USA, finding a house to settle in so we don't have to live with The Mother for too long once we get back to the states...James having to leave within three or so months after we return anyway...

Headache.

He, James, fears his contract might not be renewed, a monthly employment agreement he has with the company he works for...meaning he'll be unemployed again...and, well, we have to be out of the flat in a bit over two weeks.

Headache.

We got a concrete date for relocating, two weeks from Tuesday we have to be out of the flat...our only hope is wherever we go we have a fridge and a shower. *fingers crossed*

*HUGE SIGH*

Random. Scattered...this post is more for us than anything. Writing often times feels like it prevents the shit from hitting the proverbial fan.

Headache.

Thank all that is living that we have distractions...hopefully they can be the dam we need so that we can be the dam James needs...

Frank Mental Health

A graphic I designed specifically for the website.
There are, however, variations in existence that I made for t-shirts.
Here's the thing...we're trying to start a new website...with a dedicated Twitter account...and a Facebook page. A mental health website for people all over the internet to come together, share their stories, whether they have a blog, or not.

We've told a few people about it, have some support from a few friends in the mental health field, but now we're telling you, because we know that some people who read our blog struggle with mental health, have their own blogs, or a desire to write about it. Plus, Mental Health Awareness Month is fast approaching (May), in a little over a month, at which time we want to be able to really support the website, as well feature a few guest bloggers on this blog.

Here's the real thing. When I saw "we're", it really just me...nobody else in the system really wants to have anything to do with it, though I can usually get one of the twins, or Frank (she's totally not around enough though) to check the @'s and monitor all the parts of it, and RT relevant information. The others don't care, don't want to help others...

What's the website?

Frank Mental Health - http://frankmentalhealth.org

So, what is it?
"[Frank Mental Health] is the future home of a mental health awareness and a creative therapy campaign, a place for people to come together and share their stories of struggles, battles, survival, conquers and more, with mental health.
This is a future hub for blogs being written about mental health issues around the internet, to be collected and shared with the world.
This is where creative therapy comes to the forefront, as an effective way to help overcome struggles with mental health.
The people who share their stories, art and words here are not ill, they are powerful, they use words and creativeness to help fight their battles. They deserve to be heard and respected." (taken from the webpage)
Sums it up...

It's got it's own Twitter account: @BeMentallyAware (@FrankMentalHealth was too many characters), as well as it's own Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FrankMentalHealth and a cool badge for people to use to show support on their blog and/or webpage...available over on the website. It also has a Blog Hub, a sort of collection of mental health blogs, that will hopefully grow exponentially (you can even suggest a blog and I/we can even credit you for the suggestion!)

It's going to be slow going, because our procrastination goes beyond that. Some of us are incredibly, obsessively, driven...if it's a project we want to work on...so, fingers crossed that we can keep up on maintenance of all that is required. I figure we can do something positive with our time, we can try. (you hear that...)

If you have suggestions for us regarding this new venture, please let me know...I could use all the help I can get...

~ Ivy (and et al)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All The Queen's Swans

Leda and the Swan 
For more amazing depictions
Click here (it goes to a Wikipedia page)
Making a joke awhile back, while out walking with James, passing the area where a vast majority of local swans inhabit, we joked.

"Best.chicken.wings.ever!", laughing loudly and then wondering how swan tastes. Seriously...we eat animals...why not swan?

Yes, by the way, we do speak like that, "in Tweet" on occasion. We actually say out loud many of the things that end up on Twitter. Sad. We know. James is super lucky...at least that's what he says, backed with loving sarcasm.

Anyway.

So we asked James about eating them.

Come to find out you actually can't eat swan here, despite there being many of them, because the Queen owns them, technically. She actually shares ownership with two companies  The Vinters and The Dyers Company, the only private owners of swans on the River Thames.

Owns them?

Sort of.

They are protected by her, at least one of the breeds are, much like a state flower or bird can be considered protected in each state of the United States.

There was even a Keeper of the Swans dating as far back as the 13th century, until 1993 when it was split between two other offices in the, Warden, and Marker, of the Swans - both offices take part in what is called The Upping of the Swans, which takes place in mid-July and is the process of reporting on the health and status of the Queen's swan populations, and when they tag the cygnets (baby swans).

The Queen claims ownership to the Mute Swans, which are the type with the red beak and frequent the River Thames. There are two other types that winter in England called the Whooper and Bewick's swan, which have black and yellow bills.

Swans have been referenced in art and poetry through the ages, and are steeped in lore from Medieval England, 3rd century Greece, to Native American symbolism, Chaucer and Gibbons and 15th century Dutch engraver, Reinier van Persijn. Despite many metaphorical references in writing and poetry, the 'swan song', the single beautiful song of the swan right before death, is a myth. While they are not considered very vocal, the Mute Swan is the quietest of the breeds of swans.

In the Middle Ages swans were considered a delicacy and served at Christmas feasts, and other important gatherings, primarily because it is a game bird that does not feed off of carrion (dead animal carcass), and therefore a cleaner animal. Swans are now protected from being consumed in England.

We have a strange fascination with swans. We can't walk into town center without seeing at least a pair of them, or an entire flock. We've photographed them so many times they are probably used to us now, though we approach them with a healthy respect, particularly when they are in the water and glide towards us, no doubt expecting bread, which we never bring them.

Locally they have been known to keep people off of the walking path next to the river when their offspring are near. The large birds, some of the heaviest flying ones in existence, can stand between 55-67 inches (4-5 1/2 feet) in height, and have a massive wingspan of nearly 8 feet. They have have fairy cute babies, which grown to be less attractive in their "teen" years, and are dirty in appearance, until they mature between the ages of 3 and 4 years old, and then are a majestic and beautiful creature. They can live 10-12 years, but have been known to live for up to 20. While they are do not make noise, they are known as hissers, are extremely aggressive and have been known to snap a mans arm with their strength.

Guess it's no wonder we have an interest in them. Some days they feel the bird embodiment of us, look...but do not approach.

People who follow us on Facebook know we like to photograph the swans, we add new ones at least once a week. Time to share with you unlucky folk, if you made it this far, some of the better photos.

Sadly we are not sure if we have any photos of the Mute Swans, most seem to be the other breeds. We hope we are here when their eggs hatch later in the spring.












Sources:
http://www.royal.gov.uk/royaleventsandceremonies/swanupping/swanupping.aspx
http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/middle-ages-food-game.htm

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tapestry of the Tools of Fate

Almost a year ago we met a guy in a pub (we wrote a blog post about it too, thankfully...: http://just-call-me-frank.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/we-tell-boy-in-pub-about-us.html), who had the distinction of being the first man we told about our mental "disorder" that we hadn't previously known. Apparently we were going through an experimental phase.

You can read about it if you want in the link we provided...it starts off a little...bland.

Today we got an e-mail from him, alluding to us being a "rich tapestry" ...suggesting we have drinks to have "a visit and provide a bit of colour into both our lives".

It seems sweet, and if we remember correctly he was a really nice guy; however, a year later we are in an entirely different country (two times over), have a boyfriend (who is amazing), and while it would be interesting to be friends with the first complete stranger we told about our "condition" in a bar, in person...we have enough colour in our lives...as always.

It's interesting though, how with a single shift, a single encounter, a sudden opportunity, one could be, and does, if you think about it, get lead on a path of inconceivable proportion.

We have had a lot of "big" events in our life as an adult, those being the ones we had some control over, and had each of us made our decisions differently our reality would be completely different (as far as the one outside of our head)...if we had done this, that or the other thing differently, we wouldn't have been here, there, or anywhere.

If we had never gotten married.
If we had succeeded in our suicide attempt at 21.
If we hadn't had the strength to leave our husband, an emotionally and mentally abusive man.
If we had been permanently hospitalized at any stage in our several diagnoses.
If we hadn't bothered going to University.
If we had decided not to take a risk and date a man in a different country...twice.
If we had allowed fear, distance, any other factor, to be the primary driving force in our life and decisions.

If we hadn't met the copious amounts of people, collectively, and had the experiences in our life...we would be in a different, perhaps worse, (better? probably not) place mentally.

Had we not bite fear in the neck, been a survivor on many occasions, over and over...what then.

If this young man we met in a bar nearly a year ago had contacted us more than a couple of times and we had become romantically interested in him, we probably wouldn't have met James. Last May, which is when we met this man in a pub, was right about the time our Twitter addiction started...that we can recall. We figure this because that evening at the bar we were more interested in the people in the bar, than the people in the phone, even though we already had a big following, and in "love" with Twitter*(we used to take Twitter on drinking adventures, walking around our neighborhood Tweeting, going to the grocery store, video store, ect., walking up and down the main drag on the weekends, dancing, drinking, sometimes crying). We had a conversation with a man in a bar, without being absorbed in Twitter. We were even using emoticons in our open Tweets...which, you know...who does that? (*laughs* not that it matters, but it was before we had rules for ourselves on Twitter...it's a personal thing.)

Ahhh, the early days.

Anyway. It was pretty strange to us that this guy decided nearly a year later to contact us, strange in a "Wow, how does he even remember us?" sort of way. But Pub Guy A...if you are reading this...it may be awhile before we reply to your e-mail...maybe ten months will do? *grins*

This is mostly a pointless post, except it's not.

Life. Be open to things, don't let fear guide you...every decision you make can lead you to something great...or not...but why sit around and be afraid of the negative side of the "what if's". Fate is what YOU make it...it won't show you a path, force you down it; it will give you the tools to blaze your own. That's the fate we like to believe in anyway.

The path started by others doesn't need to be the one you follow for the rest of your life.

~ Frank et al

Monday, March 19, 2012

Restless

Restless.
So restless.

We're officially staying in England at least a month longer than planned, until sometime in May. We put James in charge of the return, and since he has a good job he wants to stick with it longer. We told The Father, mostly because he inquired about us returning home for Angry Brother's wedding next month...nobody else has really inquired. We're not sure how we feel about this, some are happy though, some are sad.

At least we'll have a few extra weekends to explore England. We're anxious to return to the states though, to start traveling and exploring the United States with James, and look at real estate in Chicago (our hopeful landing spot, eventually). The house sale went through...so that's a hurtle passed.

Hopefully soon James' flat sale will be finalized too. It's so stressful knowing we are moving any week, it could be any day...we're just waiting...waiting...to where? No idea really. But the sale of James' flat has been delayed months...the solicitor (what they call a lawyer here) says it should be any day...waiting.

Delicious...
The nice thing will be getting a place with a fridge. It's starting to get warmer on average and the kitchen is no longer a decent cold storage room. Two months without a fridge. It makes storing fresh meats, fruits and vegetables harder, but we've learned you can store yogurt outside of a fridge for literally weeks in a cool room and it's still completely edible.

Thankfully it's been a  few days since we've had too much...mental anguish...we guess, is the best way to put it. It feels like longer but somewhere in the a corner of our brain it whispers that it's only been since Friday...when we wanted to curl in a ball and never wake up, and ended the night eating half a pizza, a small container of ice cream (it was only 300g, a tiny container, but it was laden with calories...Heston Salted Caramel Popcorn...so good) and then drank a bottle of wine, falling asleep crying while James snored blissfully next to us. We are the queens of holding composure to the breaking point, he never ever knows...and we can sob quieter than a cat stalks it's prey.

Today we feel stable, sort of...nothing is interesting to us, we're unsure of movement. We're going to try to go outside and take pictures, push aside the anxiety.

Restless.
So restless.
Just trying to maintain.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Life Is Not A Subtweet

We know what you're thinking...but you said it's not.
Both are true.
This should be called something like "More reasons to get over yourself, and other subtweets."

Subtweets are a huge "thing" on Twitter...if you're not spending your time making up asinine jokes, or trying to rehash them in clever ways, many people think that most or all Tweets are related to things being read on Twitter, or about someone on Twitter. As if people there don't actually have a life that exists off of the computer.

Guess what, we almost live on the internet, but even we have a life offline. Like a boyfriend, and we even leave the house...and we go out among people (sometimes unwillingly)...we go to stores and out to eat. You know, a life...remember that? (that's a subsentence...no?). We're what you'd call one of those annoying "live-Tweeters"...as opposed to the dead ones. (haha) (live-tweeting, as in we sometimes tweet about life encounters, sometimes in the moment, or right after it...sometimes from the past, as opposed to Tweeting jokes and random thoughts unrelated to one's current surroundings.)

Meanwhile, we've been asked this week, or have encountered Tweets this week, asking what a subtweet is. So here you go:

A subtweet is a "passive-aggressive" Tweet supposedly written about someone ON Twitter, who is unidentified. Like a subliminal message.

Here's the thing...they are also called THOUGHTS. Just like in real life. They are just written down, like all the other (lame) thoughts about vagina, penis, sex, being horny, hungry, sleepy, ect, and shared with a multitude of people. They are people's thoughts.

And before you get all "Yeah, but they are about people on Twitter, in lieu of actually @ing the person, or people, the thought, people are just writing it in a Tweet, so nobody knows who it's about."

Don't fucking act like you're that bad of a bitch/asshole that you actually say all of your negative, or even positive, thoughts to the people you are thinking them about in "real life"...and then expect those who use Twitter to be any different.

And don't forget, sometimes a "subtweet" is JUST A TWEET. Sometimes it's an addition to a Tweet viewed as a singular entity. Sometimes it's a response to offline stimuli, experiences, ect. Sometimes it's a response to something somebody experienced hours, days, YEARS ago, and they are simply thinking about it. And yes, sometimes they are about people on Twitter. But who the fuck cares. Seriously. For real.

Here is a recent example, from last night, on how easy it is for people to misunderstand, or misinterpret, a simple Tweet.

Last night we were trying to sleep early, we hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, had a day FULL of failure, involving trying to accomplish two easy tasks, and it taking 10 hours to end up exactly where we started. Laying in bed we couldn't get the conversations in our brain to shut off, so we turned to Twitter...


Here's the funny thing. The @ responses were completely off base, people assumed we were talking about someone on Twitter, that it was a statement on thinking (using one's brain) or turning off Twitter...

In reality these tweets were about insomnia and turning out brain off so we could sleep.

So, this is an illustration.

Some times a Tweet, is just a fucking Tweet.

Respond how you will, but the words only means what you want it to mean, how your brain interprets it.

It's not all, and hardly ever is, about you, or anyone you know.

Twitter is a platform for an exchange of thoughts, emotions and feelings, in words. If you can't stand your interpretation, get off Twitter.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Our Guest Blogger Writes About...Meeting Us!

We could have told you everything she said, really (the matter-of-fact stuff, not all the nice, sweet, stuff)...but apparently people wanted an outside opinion. 

It all boils down to: on the outside we're just like anybody else...just like any other person with an illness/"disability", health problem, or none at all...it is not what defines any of us...just like anybody else we each have our own issues, some depression, some food-related, some paranoia...some are happier than others, but completely able to be happy. If we were one person we'd be a complete fucking mess.

Each of us have the same range of emotion, just some have a harder time dealing with some things than others. We are completely normal human beings. Sharing one body. We're normal...on the outside. A lunatic on the inside. (but a fun one *wink*)


Just a little...fun with music...and completely accurate, in some of our opinion.

If Kerry had met us a year ago the situation would have been different, we were...very unstable. But with team work we have worked back to stability, forming a locus of control this time working cooperatively instead of hiding, like many times before, because we didn't want to end up in urgent care, therapy groups, psychotherapy, prescribed loads of medication, perhaps being permanently hospitalized, living life not telling anyone what was going on, scared, running. We came close to putting ourselves in the hospital just over a year ago, The Father suggested it, some of us begged for it...


What a difference a year can make.

The answer the question Catherine was scared of having Frank answer, Kerry spent the weekend with Cassandra, Ivy, Bethany, Catherine, and Frank. Not all were out*, but rather sharing co-consciousness* and were around at varying times. The more we spend time with her, the more some of us will be out* and then she may get to know all of us on the outside, but like she says...it doesn't matter. 

We think Kerry says some nice things about us, and yes, we are attractive, normal looking, and James' boss told him the same thing Kerry told him, that he's "punching way above his weight", when he saw a photo of us on James' computer screen at work, which we guess is the nice way to say we're out of his league (James is a smart and attractive man though...so we think it's all on par). We think we're fairly average in all respects (though a couple may tell you very differently, on both sides of the spectrum).

The best part about the weekend with Kerry, other than everything, was that she never seemed to be trying to "figure us out", she treated us with respect, asking questions from time to time, and just treating us...as a friend. It meant the world to us.

So, having said all that, apparently Kerry had many questions asked after the weekend, both from people in her life outside of Twitter (she has non-Twitter friends!) because as we learned by all of the introductions, she's told people about us. Also people on Twitter asked her questions, which promoted her to write...

So What Was She Like?

I have had so many people in my life and on twitter ask me what Frankie is like and I thought that I would put the record straight and answer as many questions as possible.

Tall, is the first answer. I am a bit of a short arse so everyone is taller than me and Frankie being taller than me is not really that surprising.   Smart, Frankie is incredible intelligent and it struck me on many occasions during her stay with me just how clever she really is. James is punching way above his weight with this lady!

The next question was one that we discussed when we were all together and the one question that caused Frankie to be nervous.  Who was there?  This is the most common question I have been asked.  Now before I go any further, I would like to state that I feel very protective towards Frankie as she is my friend; and there are certain things that I will not disclose for a myriad of reasons but I will endeavour to be open with you and not dumb things down.

The answer is in many layers.  Intrinsically, it does not matter.  They are a collective and have one outer shell, that’s all that matters.  Concentrating on who may or may not have been there is academic.  I have brain damage due to the intensity of my chemotherapy and I forget things.  Asking who is there is like saying every time I forget a name (quite frequently) it must be due to my brain damage, every time I forget a phone number it must be due to my brain damage and so on.  I have a very busy life and not everything stays in my pretty little head.  It is not always my brain damage but sometimes it is.  I don’t find it helpful to be constantly reminded that I have a disability as it does not define who I am nor do I define it.  It is me and I am it.  So asking who was there this weekend, in real terms, means nothing.

Of course people are curious beings and always want to know more.  As Frankie pointed out I do occasionally work with DID/MPD patients. It is my experience that people with this disorder come and see me in a very distressed state. The goal of therapy is not full integration of their alters  rather getting to a place where the ‘collective’ for want of a better phrase, feel happier and more content with their lives.  When I met Frankie I noticed that she is more integrated (at least externally) than people may perceive.  Trying to work out who was there over the weekend would be akin to asking Frankie to regress back to the stage where her alters were more separate; this is not something that I want to do.  I am not Frankie’s therapist either, so I don’t really want to delve into her innermost thoughts; I am entitled to time off my job too you know!

What did I see over the weekend? Apart from hanging out with the coolest lady on the PLANET, not a whole lot really.  Certainly no different from me forgetting things with my brain damage.  Frankie was just a regular person.  There is one advantage that Frankie may not have suspected, and that’s I can tell my crappy jokes more than once because it will be new to whomever is present.

So sorry, no huge revelations other than the fact that Frankie is WAY more normal than people think. And smart. And funny. And tall. And I am very proud to call her my friend.

Kerry x
--------------------------------
Kerry is our guest blogger, our friend, a mental health nurse in the UK, a published writer...and so much more...here are some of the guest entries she's written for us. You can also visit her website at www.kerrystott.com

2012
2011 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Slow Burn In The Switch: Part II

Some of us felt the need to write about our better switches.

Sometimes a transition, which is also called a switch* in Dissociative Identity Disorder isn't always burning anger, or much discomfort. For some of us it's an ebb and flow, like a river. That's usually when those involved actually like each other. When "we" wrote last time about switching I am not sure we made it clear that the severe discomfort was because of who was sharing space/struggling for control with each other. It's not always the same for all of us. We don't always make sense. sigh

Most of the time switches are because of triggers*, from what we understand; smells, sounds, the way something is said, things we encounter, people, almost anything can be a trigger...not all of us are aware of each others triggers yet...we're still getting used to everyone having free reign - without our core* (The Other Girl) it's much harder from some us to keep under control, she was always so good at it, control. Everyone wants to have a chance to play now, when they can...and others not so much, sometimes. Most of the times switches happen suddenly for us, sometimes there is a struggle for control...either way, they are hardly ever noticeable unless they manifest into a a sudden shift from someone who is nice and happy, into someone who is generally hateful. Or if we are struggling with it. Otherwise most of us have so many similarities that it's almost undetectable to the average person who wouldn't be able to pick up on voice changes, demeanor changes, sometimes facial changes.

I won't do a roll call for everyone that has been around, but myself, and Catherine are the out the most these days, with massive influence from Sam (he's our male alter), and occasional flits of the others. Frank comes out here and there, but she has never been the alter functioned past sort of "saving" us. Sometimes we feel bad that James is largely hanging out with teenage girls, but we're pretty grown up...

There are 10 of us, a possible 11th that we've known about for a couple of weeks, but we are apprehensive to confront, acknowledge she's older though, older than me and Catherine...younger than Frank - we don't want to have more. We stopped working on mapping right before James came to visit, and we're not so sure we had enough time with it - it being at integral part of our therapy. We know we should though, because even with a therapists help, mapping can take months, sometimes years.

Since coming to England a few of our alters have stayed in the background, wanting to watch, but not take any control, and some not even be here. Joy hasn't been around much, we miss her a lot, as does James. She doesn't like James' flat, so she can't be bothered with coming out. Emmie has been MIA since about the time we moved in with The Mother, before leaving to England. (Emmie hates her) and she also doesn't like James' flat, she likes nice things, and fancy stuff, nice beds and showers. The rest probably have their own good reasons.

I know for some of you this sounds insane...that's okay; all that we care about it that we understand it.

~ Cassandra

Tomorrow's post will be from Kerry, our friend from Twitter who spent the weekend with a few of us. Apparently she's been asked by people in her life outside of Twitter, and people on Twitter, what we're like (like we're a freak show or something)...so check back tomorrow when we post what she had to say about us...or at least some of us...

*Dissociative Identity Disorder Terminology

Personality Specifics
Alter: alter states, selves, parts (a subjective term); distinct personalities; fragments alternate personality, personality state, ego state or identity with its own unique perspectives, abilities, memories or other traits that differ from the Host or Executive personality.

The Core: The original birth personality.

Host: is the alter personality who dominates the control of the body most of the time and is often unaware of the other personalities. The host is usually the alter personality who will initiate after experiencing symptoms of mental distress, such as, anxiety, triggers or recovered memories.

Executive: When a personality (alter ego) has control of the body.

Switch: To switch from one personality to another. The process of an alter coming out from the subconscious mind into the consciousness mind while the other alter (who was already in the consciousness mind) slips back into the subconscious mind.

Who's out? A common question used to determine which personality is executive or host.

Co-conscious(ness): A state of being aware of what the other personalities are doing and saying.

Other Terms: 
Acquired: Anything that is not present at birth but develops some time later. In medicine, the word "acquired" implies "new" or "added." An acquired condition is "new" in the sense that it is not genetic (inherited) and "added" in the sense that was not present at birth.

Triggers: Conversion symptoms or body memories. Physical phenomenon such as pain, smells, tastes, etc.;  reaction to stimuli; sometimes causing a re-experience.

Dissociation: In psychology and psychiatry, a perceived detachment of the mind from the emotional state or even from the body. Dissociation is characterized by a sense of the world as a dreamlike or unreal place and may be accompanied by poor memory of the specific events, which in severe form is known as dissociative amnesia.

Re-live: A total memory recall (includes visual, emotional, physical and all other senses).

Losing Time: Also known as a Dissociative Fugue, is the period of which an alter personality is in the subconscious mind and has no recollection of the time that is being utilized by the alter personality who is occupying the conscious mind. Therefore when the alter switches into the conscious mind they realize that minutes, hours, days, or even months and years have passed since they were last aware of time.

System: is the structure of relationships between the alter personalities who live within the internal world of a survivor with D.I.D.! Every system is created and operates in it's own unique way, just like every family living in their own homes run their households different from the next door neighbor.

Inner (Self) Helper: is usually the alter personality who has a good understanding of the system and how it works. The I.S.H. is also among the typical group of helpers or protector personalities.

Grounding: is the process of disrupting a dissociative episode and is accomplished by tugging on an earlobe, rubbing the hands together, or shuffling the feet back and forth. This type of physical stimuli can bring the survivors mind back to awareness of their surroundings, and helps to make them feel less animated.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dissociating Happy Memories

To start, if you are not familiar with dissociation read an entry from last year The 'D' In Dissociation http://just-call-me-frank.blogspot.com/2011/08/d-in-did-dissociation.html to gain a better understanding of what it means.


Image Source
Today, yesterday, were bad days, despite being able to squeeze out a great blog post about our weekend. We have a general method of allowing ourselves to feel our feelings, on a mental health level we think it's a healthy thing to do...to a certain point. Running away from them means they keep coming after you, and wallowing in them will make one drown.

After over 24 hours of feeling like we wanted to punch everything, cry, stare at a wall, run away, belittle whoever was hanging out in our head from minute to minute...we decided to work through the feelings, in an effort to eliminate what was bothering us.

Yesterday we wrote about our weekend visiting Kerry and her family, a friend from Twitter, for the first time. When James (The Boyfriend) read it he commented on how much we were able to remember, to which we replied what had actually happened after we had written it.

We though we did a good job, working together to get all the things we could remember in written order, and between sips of coffee sitting in the cafe we pulled photos off of our camera that we had taken over the weekend, well over 200 of them.

As we scrolled through them we recalled telling Kerry we have a photographic memory, after which she had laughed and asked why, if we have a photographic memory, were we taking so many pictures. We gave her some reasons, like the enjoyment in sharing our travel photos with people who read our travelogue (as well as our blog where we display our artwork and other photography), and also that much of our immediate family hasn't been outside of the United States, so we liked to share with them the beauty we have seen.

What we couldn't explain, and what came to us later, when scrolling through the photos was that while we can see something and immediately recognize it later, our recall without photographs is not good.

For instance, we can take a new route, to a new location once, and manage to return to it with no map, aided only by visuals. It's a skill that has impressed some of our boyfriends. However...if you ask us to recreate that route on paper from memory, we're crap. If that makes any sense.

So we finished writing the entry yesterday and went to find some photos from our collection to add...and then realized we had completely blocked out Mount Ida, both the first day when Kerry had taken us to view it across the valley, and the following day when we spent over two hours going up, walking around the top, and coming down, the mountain.

We felt distressed yesterday and it bled into today. It's something we know that happens, has happened, will happen...with bad memories. That we dissociate happy memories makes sense, we suppose, particularly since we were not all there (sharing consciousness) for the weekend, but because we journal now and record our lives for each other, it's not something that would have noticed in the past when we didn't write.

When we think about we hope dissociating happy memories is why we have very few happy memories from our life, because there has to be more...some...other than flitting images that are gone in a flash, barely graspable...ones that even pictures don't help some of us recall.

We know being forgetful is normal for all people, but to have not shared with each other, not all been present for, or remembered such a beautiful experience a mere two days later...guess it makes us sad and angry.

Taken from the top of Mount Ida - March 11, 2012
So, we spent the last 24 hours feeling icky beyond explanation, and when we explored the feelings we were having on our walk to the grocery, fighting back tears and anger, the first thing that came up was that, dissociating happy memories and feeling shitty about it.

A couple of us may also be having issues involving our stay in England being extended by an additional month, but for most of us we are happy about that.

Obviously there are positive and negative sides to Dissociative Identity Disorder...but so are there to being anybody, singular, plural....alive.