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Strange Star

That maybe it's not that I have a bad memory, but just that it's fragmented because of dissociation. That this is why I have a very good memory sometimes, but not other times.
This was a really big realization for me as well. Other's who like to take advantage of me remind me of how 'bad' my memory is, but in fact i have a great memory. For most things. And i know what those things are, so if someone tries to say 'hey you don't remember stuff remember?' i have a firm grasp on whether that is reality or a manipulation.

i almost always can't remember faces (people) who i have met in one place and see in another place. i at times have not remembered a person that i have had interactions with - at all. Sometimes if I have the person back in the original set and setting i recall. But always recall if someone reminds me of something we spoke about. internesting how it works.

i am so glad you have been able to experience compassion for yourself rather than self loathing crap. now that gives you the feeling to work towards. (sorry about the capital letter issues - my caps key is having a bit of a spaz attack)
That I don't have to feel ashamed of what I have always considered a significant flaw in my personality.
It's such a relief when that happens. I'm so glad this incident brought you more self-compassion.

Not recognizing people who appear to recognize you is one of the things they ask about when diagnosing dissociative conditions. I have that problem a lot, but think it has more to do with poor facial recognition and, like Shimmerz says, not recognizing people out of context - and I'm not sure what either of those things are signs of. In one questionnaire they say that the people who recognize you and whom you don't recognize might call you by a name you don't recognize, so that made me decide my issue was a different one.
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In one questionnaire they say that the people who recognize you and whom you don't recognize might call you by a name you don't recognize, so that made me decide my issue was a different one.
I'd heard this, and as it never happens to me like this, I assumed that it didn't apply. What I've realized, however, is that most of my parts don't have names. They're pretty clear identities, I guess, but names aren't an aspect of it. So my conclusion is that when people seem to know me, but I don't know them, its just that I was in a different part or just out-of-it and on autopilot (which happens a lot to me as well).

But always recall if someone reminds me of something we spoke about. internesting how it works.
Sometimes this happens for me, but most of the time not. My husband remembers the whole visit. He prompted me with six or seven things we talked about...when he did this I had just a tiny inkling of vague recall. I thought with time it might come back, but it hasn't. I even looked at a picture of her--nope.

I'm trying to get curious about my memory. Maybe it is just that my mind is so all over the place most of the time that I guess it doesn't have time to really integrate experiences--just kind of coasts over them. And maybe this is why so much of my past is so foggy or just not there. Seriously not there. Like my husband tells me we visited a place and I don't remember going there. The more I have had these cascading bits of memory coming through from my long past (childhood), the more I realize how much is either missing or is scattered in fragments that I am aiming to piece together.

I know that memory is always a reconstruction--it isn't like you store a memory in one place like a file in a file cabinet. Rather, when you remember, you RE-Member--that is put the members of it back together again. And a memory is never the same each time you recall it because always when you put it together again it is updated with your up-to-the-moment current experience. But I think maybe what happens with my memory is it gets "stored" in very fragmented ways. And perhaps this is why, for example, I can remember my grandparents' apartment in vivid and precise detail, and remember many experiences and outings with my grandfather, but I have zero recollection of my visits there after my grandfather died--8 or 9 years of visiting. That year my grandfather died was a pivotal one in what has happened to me--akin to the major explosion into parts when I was nearly 4. That was the year that everything shifted and my mother got full control of me. My grandfather died, and my father was done with me. That was the year I went into what was probably a serious depression that lasted for two years until I went to high school and re-invented myself (something I remember doing very consciously).

Anyway, I guess all this is fodder for my journal. I am doing some exercises of my own design that are helping me reconstruct my past. It's interesting how I can start with a memory of a place or a person, and if I write it down and kind of open my mind, all sorts of other bits and pieces stick to it. And, voila, like a mosaic some of the pieces fall into place. It is a very messy mosaic at the moment, but slowly I am gathering together all the bits and filling in the spaces. I suspect some of it will never come back, but doing these exercises shows me that I can remember a lot more than I thought I could, if I am in the right headspace when I do it. What it is also showing me is that I have different kinds of memories--some are solidly concrete--what I call "regular" memories. Others are more foggy/dreamy--what I call "sort of" memories. And others are just wildly swirling bits and bobs--what I guess might be called "traumatic" memories. I am convinced that if I can keep working at it, I will be able to reconstruct my life's narratives. And there's more than one narrative. Which is, I suppose, partly why I get the DID label.
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For some reason, today I am much clearer in body and mind even though still on the seroquel. I don't know if it is because I did heavy "resting" for 90 minutes this morning (I was not asleep...more like what you @shimmerz call de-fragging), or because I have had the whole day with nothing I have to do except take the dog out, or because my body is actually adjusting to the med as Wag promised it would. But it's nice to feel more normalish. I am doing laundry and attempting to cook something edible and healthy using this ancient and troll-sized stove at the cottage (although I may just give up and go to the pub down the street).

The irony about this medication is that I don't feel like it is doing anything it is supposed to do. I am tired, but I still can't sleep. My thoughts still race, albeit in a foggier kind of way. The flashbacks still happen--maybe not quite as constantly though. The suicidal ideation still plagues me--although I have learned I have quite a variety of suicidal and self-destructive parts with different agendas for annihilation :wideeyed:. They are kept in check by some equally intense...well, maybe more intense given that they win the battles...manager parts. And that one of the reasons this drug scares me is that I feel like it is disabling my manager parts which run my life.
and remember many experiences and outings with my grandfather, but I have zero recollection of my visits there after my grandfather died--8 or 9 years of visiting. That year my grandfather died was a pivotal one in what has happened to me--akin to the major explosion into parts when I was nearly 4.
This is eerily similar to my experience with my grandpa. I recall absolutely everything in detail. and i wonder to myself if that has to do with the fact that he expected me to be nothing but myself. Which leads me to believe that the self was there - and that the self responds to love. Is drawn out by love. Real love (I think it knows what unconditional love is). When he died my whole world went to shit.

Many times when I was seeing T-doc I would have this driving need to go to his grave and visit with him. There is another instance in the car, where I was visited by the ancestors (as my shaman called it). He was the first one to visit me. It's a long story and one that I don't share very often. I feel it is safe to do so in this diary however.
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There is another instance in the car, where I was visited by the ancestors (as my shaman called it). He was the first one to visit me. It's a long story and one that I don't share very often. I feel it is safe to do so in this diary however.
Thank you.
At the new UU church I'm going to, we did an ancestor welcoming on Sunday. My grandfather was there. So were the rest of my family. Very complicated experience that I would like to do with my therapist at some point (he mentioned this). It was disturbing and I was only sort of half-there, but it was okay.

Do you think it is possible to skip the anger step and go right to forgiveness when connecting with ancesters?
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Have you told your therapist this?
Yep. And tomorrow I see Wag the prescriber and will say that to her too if I remember. I know she wants me to stay on the med for 3 months. Says it takes that long to see the full effect. Whatever that means. And, if today is any indication, she was right that the total whakadoodle stuff would start to wear off within 7 days...and bingo, today is day 6 and I've had a clearer day. We shall see what the next few days bring, I guess. I know she wants me on it because she thinks I am bipolar along with DID and that the untreated bipolar is the reason why I'm not making progress in healing. I'm still not convinced about the bipolar diagnosis, but I'm also willing to admit that it's possible.
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Very pleased with my cooking efforts on the troll stove this evening. (I call it the troll stove because it's only about 18 inches wide and although there are four burners, there's really not enough room to have more than one pan at a time cooking). I tried making turkey meatballs. They came out more like turkey pyramids (I've never perfected that nice spherical shape when it comes to meatballs). But they were quite delicious and the smoke alarm only went off once in the process. I am desperate for healthy fresh food as I have been living on frozen veggies and canned soup and triscuits. Ugh. Tomorrow maybe I will have the energy to tackle stir frying the mound of kale I bought. Then on Thursday I'll aim for roasting vegetables. Maybe by Friday I will have all the ingredients for a full meal!

I am seriously needing to sort out how to feed myself healthily without this much effort. There is a gas grill, but it's freezing cold and very windy out there, and I have to walk down a set of steps to get to it. And besides, I'm not much into grilling meat for one. Seems like a waste to power up this gigantic grill for one chicken leg.

I think the solution might be the crockpot. I have mostly only ever made disgusting things that I had to give to the dog. The only way things taste decent in the crock pot is if you cook them traditionally first...like browning the meat and sauteeing the veggies. And that sort of defeats the purpose of a crockpot at all. So I'm not optimistic. But I'm going to try. Vegetable soup will be my first attempt, I think. Hard to go wrong with that. I bought enough kale and mushrooms and carrots and celery and onions and tomatoes to feed a great throng of hungry people.

Actually, the real solution would be to get on my scooter and traverse the two short blocks to the local pub and eat there. That would make life easy. But then I would be fat and broke. So that's no good.

I am going on and on about this. I think along with healthy food I am in serious need of some friends to talk to. The only people I have met in my nearly deserted neighborhood (this is mostly a summer community) are the couple two doors down, Debbie and Pam. I have only ever met them in the dark at night when they were walking their twin little smushy-faced dogs Lola and Mickey. I can't tell which one is which because every time I see one, she's dressed in cargo pants, a big sweatshirt, and a football fan-hat. They likely think I'm completely nuts because every time I see them I ask, "What's your name again?" Thankfully, I'm meeting a friend for coffee tomorrow before I go to my appointment with Wag.

Without a continuing connection with friends from home, I am in real danger of becoming one of those oddball middle-aged people who not only talk to themselves, but also answer themselves (caught myself doing this today, check). Who eat weird combinations of food at unpredictable times of day and with only one utensil--or just fingers--so as to avoid buildup of dishes (leftover green beans, chicken soup, and a mini hershey bar for breakfast). Who wear eccentric clothing combinations (today men's flannel checked shirt, capri leggings, and Timberland boots with no socks). Etc. I don't much mind being an oddball middle-aged person. I just want to be aware that I am one, but could choose differently if I wanted to. What freaks me out is the possibility that I will lose awareness of my own odd-ballness.
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I am at my house this weekend. I built a lovely fire tonight, and I am enjoying sitting near the warmth. Memories and emotions are washing over me. I am just noticing them. Not running away. Not shutting down totally (just a little). I cannot get a read on my husband. My therapist asked yesterday, "Does he know how ill you really are? Does he know about DID?" That question has been swirling repeatedly through my mind for the past twenty-four hours. Yes, he knows about DID. Yes, he knows I have it, and probably bipolar II as well. And the fibromyalgia. No, I don't think he knows the extent or severity of it. I hide it pretty well most of the time. I think he doesn't know what to do. And because he can't fix it, he is very uncomfortable and formal with me. It makes me very sad. At some point in the coming week, he is supposed to come in and we will have a group meeting with me, him, my therapist, and my psychiatrist. But so far, he has not managed to find time in his busy schedule to come in. Which makes me feel both relieved and abandoned at the same time.

I am taking the seroquel still. Doing my best to trust the wisdom of my psychiatrist and my therapist who are now doing what they call, co-therapy with me. I've told them the medicine is making holes in me. That the insides are leaking out. That I DO NOT LIKE THIS. They are saying they understand, but that it is important that this happens, or all the efforts I am making to be normal and functional are going to kill me. That I need to stop pretending I am fine. That I need to let them help me. That I need to rest. I slept all day today at home. It made my body feel good, but I felt shitty that I did absolutely nothing practical or useful. They say I need to rest, rest, rest. And to give a rest to my compulsion to do something useful all the time. I think they are right. I think I am killing myself in the subtle way of not allowing myself to rest enough. Of being afraid to sleep deeply. Of denying these illnesses I have. And they are illnesses. Because illness is when your body and mind is out of balance, and mine certainly is.

I have to say, as much as I don't like to admit it, there are times when I'm not totally groggy, when I actually can hear parts talking to me. When I turn away, refuse to listen, they wreak havoc on my body giving me body flashbacks that have me twisting and jolting in ways that really hurt. And giving me nightmares. And hijacking me. But when I listen, things calm down. Much of my "resting" is actually just witnessing the chaos inside. Letting it untangle a little. A lot of memories are cascading in. But they aren't panicking me the way they used to. So I suppose this is good. But still they do not seem like mine, like me. And still I have parts vehemently angry with me for thinking any such things happened. Telling me I am a liar, weak, manipulative, insane.

I have been a total mess in therapy for the last four sessions. I cannot help it. Sometimes I see what happens, what I say, how I act, but I don't seem to have the wherewithal to stop its happening. It feels humiliating to have anyone see these parts. But Wag and Yoda both say it is very important that they be allowed to talk, that they be witnessed. After, I have only the vaguest feeling that something awful happened. That I am disgusting. But still, I go back, appointment after appointment. On Monday, I have a session with both of them. This completely freaks me out. But they think a lot of the confusion I'm feeling about therapy is because different parts show up with her than do with him. They are thinking that if they meet with me together, then all parts can be on board with the therapeutic goals. I hope I can handle this without being as scrambled as I have been for the past two weeks.
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I read a book called The Magic Daughter by Jane Phillips in June of 2015. I think that is when I started thinking I had DID because so much of it resonated with me. It was very validating. (and... @shimmerz there is a whole piece in there you would be interested in, about her not knowing when she is ill or injured). I am re-reading it now. It is just as powerful. Just as resonant. And, oddly enough, she was diagnosed with cyclothymia, a form of bipolar, as well as with DID.

I have been reading a bunch of memoirs of people with DID because I am still bent on writing my own book about my experience. But in the past few days I've kind of given up that idea. It is too overwhelming. I have not even managed to read beyond my first two journals (of 15). I think I may have to just let it go. At least for now. At least until my life makes a little more sense to me. I thought that writing it might force me to see my life as a chronology, might help me to piece it all together. But the pieces I've written just seem to create more chaos inside, and I doubt that anyone would be remotely interested in my experiences. Or that I could even write them in a coherent way. I feel very discouraged as this was one of three creative projects I set for myself to justify the time I have for being on disability. I am very angry with myself these days. And very scared of what is happening to me.
I think I may have to just let it go.
OMG I have been struggling with this for the past 10 years. Please god, let me write a book. Please. I have so much to share. There are so many things that took me so long to figure out - please just let me help others shorten the road.

Thousands of pages already written. I can't even go through them or organize them or read them without wanting to throw myself in front of a truck.

Nope. But still, I spent 1/2 of the day trying to figure out how to do it. I so feel you.....

And DID or not, you are one of my best-ies my friend. I love each and every bit of you.
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