I had therapy yesterday and something happened, I say “something” because by the time I came back we were over time on our session and I couldn’t remember a parts of it. My therapist said a part came out that seems to protect me from crying and there was something about screaming…I don’t know. The problem is that, since we went over time on the session and she had a client after me, I didn’t get any details on what actually happened during the session. It’s not my therapist’s fault, I feel bad for taking time from her other client. I won’t see her for a while though because of the Labor Day holiday since she’s out of the office that day. So now I have all this confusion that I won’t get any clarification on for two weeks. Ugh!
The parts I do remember during the session consisted of my telling her about the camping trip over the weekend. A reader hoped I’d had a good time camping and there’s a yes and a no part to that answer. Overall I found camping interesting and parts of it enjoyable. The first day was really weird though because I felt entirely disconnected from everyone there, including my husband. We were with a very large family of hardcore campers and then there was my husband and I and another friend of ours making up the whole group. I couldn’t relate to a lot of the family dynamics going on so I think that was part of it. There was a point in the day where I was sitting on a large rock in this river that was right by our camp site and I saw my hand holding a stick I had picked up, and that hand was poking holes in the sand and drawing little doodles with it and I had this moment that felt like I was feeling the emotions of two different people. My feelings were slightly puzzled as I observed my hand doodling and I was aware of what felt like another person’s emotions thinly layered over mine. Those emotions were very child-like and simplistic. It felt like the child enjoyed just sitting there doodling in the sand by herself. I decided to just observe and let the feeling stay for a while and the hand kept doodling in the sand. Then the hand decided that it wanted to feel the current in the river and when it touched the water it was very nice and kind of fascinating. Then I felt this sudden sadness that didn’t understand and I felt that child-like presence go away and I was alone sitting there in the river and my hand was in the current and I was just…sad. My therapist and I were on the same page about where those feelings would have come from because it seems obvious that it was about a sense of loss from not having those kind of experiences as a child. Very simple, childhood experiences that some people take for granted and that others would have killed to have. Which brings me to something else we talked about yesterday: people who have great families and don’t appreciate it. This came up because of something that happened with my sister-in-law. She has bipolar disorder, I have bipolar disorder, so I get that whole deal. Sometimes those of us with bipolar disorder, depending on our natural, innate personalities, may use the disorder as an excuse for bad behavior. I’m not talking about all of the mood swings and horrible awfulness that comes with being bipolar. I’m talking about the basic person that we are inside, our natural personality and inclinations apart from the bipolar. For instance some people are naturally extroverted so that doesn’t mean that every time they are excited and talking with people that they are being manic. There are some people whose natural inclination involves being lazy, so even though we experience bipolar depression which can suck the life right out of us, that doesn’t mean that it’s the reason our homes are always dirty. Does that make sense? I’m saying that, being bipolar has far-reaching effects and changes us in many ways but that there are innate characteristics that we have that still affect our actions and our way of life and opinions etc. I say that because my sister-in-law is like that. She’s bipolar but she’s also innately lazy (which she will tell you herself) and she gets pleasure out of being contrary and rude (which she will also tell you). She’s actually quite proud of it. She brags about being rude to other people and just doing what she wants even if it hurts someone else for no reason. When I talk to her, she talks over me for most of the entire conversation, no matter what we’re talking about. Even if she calls to talk and asks me how I’m doing, I’ll start to answer and she’ll talk over me and start talking about herself. Anyway getting back to the story, my mother and father-in-law’s anniversary was this month (August) and my husband and I decided that we should all do a family portrait together. Now, let me say here that as a person with DID from a f ‘d up family I realize how distasteful and horrible this would sound to many, if not all of us. Let me assure you that my husband’s family happens to be one of those rare (or not so rare according to my therapist) “normal” families. As in, no abuse whatsoever. Not perfect obviously, just not abusive. Ok, so keeping that in mind, I visited with a local photographer and we bought a gift certificate had it framed etc. and gave it to my in-laws as a present. They were happy and they thought it was a great idea. My husband’s father had prostate cancer two years ago and his mom has lupus. I think we all realize that things can change in an instance and we all felt this need to get together as a family and have a really special picture. I spoke to my mother-in-law later and she said that my sister-in-law wouldn’t participate. Now, my in-laws only have two kids, my husband and his sister. Then there’s me and his sister’s husband that round out the group. Without his sister and her husband, the family is not complete. That devastated my mother-in-law so I decided that I would take on the challenge of getting my sister-in-law to participate. Keep in mind, that I too have bipolar disorder and there are many days that I can’t even drive or leave the house, hence part of the reason I am on Social Security Disability. My sister-in-law refuses to drive so I call her up and tell her that I will drive her myself, we can go shopping for outfits and we’ll have lunch at her favorite place and I ask her to please consider doing the picture. I tell her it will only take 1 hour to do and I tell her that everyone can come over to our house for a BBQ afterwards. She starts complaining about her parents nagging her about how dirty her house is (Note: her parents own the condo they live in and they live there cheap). She brags about not being clean and how it’s none of their business. I say something about them being her landlords, she complains some more and talks about her enjoyment of making other people mad and how irritating her parents are. You get the idea I think. So here comes the kicker. I say to her “You know that you have amazing parents right?” she says breezily “Oh yea, I know I do, I love ’em.” so I ask her if she will at least give me a maybe for the pictures. She says yes. Days later I hear through my husband that she told my mother-in-law that she won’t do it. So we all gave up. I found that the incidence bothered me more than it would have before and I told my therapist about this. I told her that it’s like I’m looking at everything differently. I’ve always known my family was screwed up, I called it dysfunctional to keep it simple if someone asked about my family. Now that the whole DID thing has happened and I’m having do deal with what really happened to me, I find that family dynamics can bother me more than they used to. Hearing my sister-in-law say that she knows she has great parents who love her, hearing her say it like it was the most mundane thing in the world and then blow it off and then seeing that she won’t take 1 hour out of her life to do something that would mean the world to her parents made me so angry. I was so angry that when my husband and I were talking about it, my voice started shaking with anger. I had to take a deep breath and get a grip before I lost it. You see, even though my sister-in-law refuses to drive, which I can accept, she does everything else she wants to do. She goes on cruises, they stay at cabins in the mountains, she goes to museums, she buys $1500 cats. She won’t clean her house, she’s rude just for the sake of being rude and she’s so selfish that I don’t know what to do. I guess it really got to me that someone who had and has what many people would have loved to have had, could just dismiss it like that. Does that make sense to anyone or is it just me? So now recently whenever something family related comes up, good or bad, I’m just bothered by it. My therapist and I are discussing ways for me to handle the emotions that keep surfacing and ways for me to stay present instead of going away. Of course during this conversation with her I went away and someone else showed up so we see how that turned out huh? 🙂
After therapy, later that night, someone wanted to color in the coloring book so I let them. This is so weird because I’m trying to understand how to work with something I don’t fully understand myself yet. We haven’t even discussed “systems” yet in therapy. We don’t even know how many alters I have. I’m getting stuff from books. It just seems like there’s always too much happening that can’t be covered in 45 minutes of therapy a week! By the time I see her something else has happened since last week. Frustrating! Jeez, I think I’m done for now, this post is going to take up two pages!