Thursday, February 5, 2009

Little Debbie

The world of a bi-polar person is a lonely one, especially when they have a dissociative disorder. The definition of Dissociative Identity Disorder is when “…A dissociative disorder occurs when traumatic material is split-off or dissociated from the remainder of consciousness.” In layman’s term…Dissociative disorders are usually caused by abuse or severe trauma in early childhood. It is not PTSD, but is a relative of PTSD. I happen to have both.

During a traumatic event the dissociative person will dissociate to get away from the trauma. They may black-out, daydream or completely split off into a different person all together. It has been established that the memory of traumatic events is sometimes dissociated or repressed and recovered at a later time. You can completely forget the experience or you can split your personality into different parts to cope. Each personality takes control over the body and mind. This part of dissociative is very extreme. The lesser condition involves internal parts that “talk” to each other, but don’t take control.

If you dissociate during a trauma in your childhood you could do the same thing as an adult to block out the pain of the circumstance you are in. Dissociating is protective and is the primary coping skill you learned as a child; therefore you use it as an adult as well. Having this disorder does not make you a freak; it is a well documented condition that comes from severe abuse as a child.

In my case, my “little Debbie” comes out when I am very stressed or tired. I do not remember any events that happen while I am “little Debbie”. It’s like I check out and while doing this I am actually 10. I relive the traumas in my life to the minute detail. When I “wake” up, I usually have an extreme headache and I am very fatigued. Then I get to learn about either the funny things I did or the horrific.

I seclude myself from others and usually don’t go out unless Victor is with me. He is the only one who knows how to handle me when I “switch”. Very, very few people know this about me until tonight.

I was feeling pretty tired all day. I didn’t sleep well last night and so I was tired and just kind of out of it. My friend called and asked me if I wanted to go to the Book Club at church tonight and I turned her down and told her that I was feeling pretty tired. After I hung up with her I talked myself into going. MISTAKE!

She came and picked me up and we had a good conversation to the sister’s house where the club was meeting. I hadn’t been going to book club, so I hadn’t read the book so I was feeling a little left out. I don’t know how long I was there until my sweet “little Debbie” came out. I don’t know what I did or said, but the horror I feel is unbearable. Here I was in a sister’s home that I didn’t know very well with 8 other sister’s from my ward. When I came back I was surrounded by these loving sisters and I was crying. When I realized what had happened I asked someone to call Victor for me.

All I wanted to do was vanish and remove that experience from these sister’s minds, but the experience was over and they witnessed it. The only other person, who has witnessed this other than Victor, is my mother and she was terrified. I can’t imagine what these sisters were thinking. They didn’t have a clue what was happening, they didn’t know what to do and I suspect several were just staring at me like a freak. I saw the look of shock, fright and blank stares as I came back to the world. I didn’t see My Victor and I so desperately wanted to get out of there. I was at the mercy of the sister to take me home and I felt choked with heavy chains that I couldn’t shed. The state of my mind and trauma in my past finally came out for the entire world to see. I suppose it was going to happen sooner or later.

Do I regret going? Yes, a large part of me does. But, Victor pointed out to me that maybe this will educate people on such mental illness cases and be less ignorant and more compassionate. All I keep thinking is that half the ward already knows and it’s 11:00pm here. I live in the lonely places in my mind and I protect myself from being hurt, but maybe this was a blessing from God. Maybe I shouldn’t hide my challenges as much, maybe I shouldn’t worry about the telephone lines blazing red, maybe I should give my burdens to the Lord instead of trying to conquer them on my own. Maybe the Lord is showing me that I can trust others and that there are good people in the world. And just maybe in my darkest hours He sends me someone to comfort me.

I don’t know why this happened this evening, but I do know that I was in good hands by loving sisters who were a beacon of light for me and shared my burden, if just for a moment. I know for sure, that they were there for a reason. I am grateful that I wasn’t alone at home and that the Lord put me into the hands of sisters.


Grace said...

Debbie that must have been so difficult for you last night and not only last night but for the years you have had to deal with this. You are a tough woman. Make no doubt about it. I admire you and if anything those women should admire you as well. Take care. Love you!


Debbie said...

Thank you Grace! I don't know about admiration, it leaves me very vulnerable. Needless to say, last night was not a good night for me. I went maniac (another post) and started cleaning house furiously and it was already organized and clean. I did't get to sleep until 3am and I tossed the rest of the night. So, right now I am running on 5 hours of sleep and I usually need 10. The medication I take (another post) hasn't worn off until about 10 hours of sleep, but when I have episodes it usually doesn't put me to sleep. It's been rough! Anyway, that you for your loving words. That meant a lot to me. I was really scared to post that, but I think it helps me no matter who reads it. Love you too! I'm glad I found you after so many years.

Grace said...

I think your postings are very theraputic. I have always heard that writings things down whether in a journal or a blog or somewhere that you can convey your feelings is very good. GO FOR IT!!

Don't worry about what others thought or think, only know what you are able to do and are capable of doing. Remember that...okay. I love you too and am also glad we reconnected. Take care today

mom2mikbo said...

Wow, Thank You is all I can say through the tears. With each medication that you named I saw myself at this doctor or that doctor. I saw myself gain 10-15 lbs with each and every one. My being a recluse came from a brain tumor some 10 years ago. I had to learn to walk again, can't remember some thoughts that are forming so I am afraid to speak in public, which is just not me at all. I see very few of the sisters in my ward anymore and have become somewhat of a recluse though I don't mean too. I have just felt that if I tire of this situation in my life then it must be exhausting for others to deal with it as well, and I wish to burden noone. I have a one in a million hubby of 28 years that has been a saint through all of this and simply wishes that I get brave enough to attend Sac. meeting with him.
You were so brave going to that sister's house knowing what you knew might happen. But what did happen and what you wrote, has given me somewhat of a boost to try to get out there more. I've been in this ward for 14+ years not to mention spent most of my adult life in this stake. So people know who I am and I need to accept me the way I know that they will accept me and get out there and try new things and forgive myself if things don't turn out perfect. So again, maybe you writing this blog has been a blessing in disguise as we never know who is learning from the burdens we must bear.