Because of the holiday I didn’t have a therapy session this week. I’ve been nervous because, according to Murphy’s Law something not so good is supposed to happen. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with Bipolar Depression. I’ve noticed that I can tell the difference between it and the sad feelings that come from the source of the DID. Very different monsters. So I’ve been staying in bed for most of the day, everyday, for the last several weeks and wearing sweats , not eating etc. The pain has been crashing down on me all during the day, everyday, and I’ve been cycling too. Of course I’m perfectly aware and present for all of this so I know what’s going on. It’s frustrating. Add to it that, my blood tests show that I have some sort of accelerated muscle damage that we can’t pinpoint and it’s all thumbs up over here! We’re actually wondering if that’s where the Fibromyalgia pain has been coming from. I’ve been diagnosed since I was 14 years old (before Fibromyalgia was cool :)) and I’ve been in constant pain 24/7 for 19 years without it ever stopping. The reason I went to a doctor is because the flare-ups have been getting worse and more frequent. Enter the blood tests! Also, I’ve been working on my permanent “homework” assignment, which is holding onto feelings when I feel them instead of shutting then off or dissociating. I swear there are times when I feel ridiculous saying things like “Hold on to your feelings”. It sounds cheesy, like something I would have rolled my eyes at before, even though the point is valid. It’s just one of those things that t.v. shows and movies make fun of when they show “shrinks” or therapists so I feel a little silly. Anyway, for some reason I’ve been compelled to try to find things that I had when I was a child, things that have good memories attached to them. My biological father’s mother used to sell Avon when I was growing up and she would give my mother bubble bath for me. Apparently this particular bubble bath is now a classic that everyone remembers from childhood which is funny because I’m only in my early 30’s and now something I remember is “vintage”. Weird 🙂 Anyway I guess this fragrance is so popular that Avon still sells it and the shape of the bottle is identical, they just changed the design on it. So I bought some online and had it shipped. I have nothing but good memories about this because it had nothing to with me and my mother. It had to do with me and my grandmother, the amazing one who raised me when my mother would let her. I took my own baths by myself but the bubble bath was at her house so the scent of that bubble bath is connected to her and to the house that was always my real home no matter how far away my mother took me. So, I got the bubble bath in the mail and I opened it and there was that scent! You know how someone will say “Wow, that really takes me back…”, well that really took me back.
I don’t know if the people who read this blog have a memory of a place that was safe and had a safe person in it that you knew was always there if you could only get there. That’s how my grandmother’s house was for me when I was growing up. My mother took me away over and over and then dropped me off when she wanted and then took me away again throughout my childhood. I knew I was going to be abused while I was with her but I knew that if I could just hold on until I saw my grandmother, that everything would be ok for a while until my mother took me away again. My grandmother always lived in the same house, the house I came home to when I was born, so my first memories are of her and that house. No matter where I was in the world, and believe me there were times that I was literally on another continent, I could picture that house in my mind and know that she was there waiting for me to come home. My therapist has said that if I hadn’t had my grandmother in my life, even from a distance when I could only speak to her on the phone here and there, I would have died. Either through the abuse or the neglect or my own actions, it would have happened. I considered suicide seriously for the first time when I was 10, I say seriously because I was actually calculating which pills in the cabinet to take and how many of them I needed to take to make sure it worked the first time. I wasn’t really sure how that kind of stuff worked back then. Then I felt like I would be disappointing people if I did that, so I figured I’d hold on for a while longer. My point being that my therapist is right, I wouldn’t have made it without her.
I’m explaining all of that because I need for people to know why that house and that place is so important to me. I say “is” because even though she’s dead, and the house isn’t mine anymore, that’s where I still see her. Anyway, so when I smelled the bubble bath all of those good thoughts came back and I thought “This is great, what a great memory”. And it was, I just wasn’t expecting the sadness that came over me. I’m not saying I didn’t consider that there might be some sadness but this was really sad. So, I followed my therapist’s advice and I held on to the feeling and tried to just feel it. I still feel silly saying that! There was this kind of mental wobble and I saw myself at my grandmother’s house and I remembered feelings that I felt there and seeing her when I was little. And then it hit me that I could never go to that house again. This is significant because, as readers know, I lived with my grandmother after I got away from my mother and her husband when I was 17. I had about year with her, and then when she was 66, I found her body on the couch one morning when I woke up. My whole life my grandmother had told me that I would inherit everything when she died. She wanted me to know how much she loved me and that I would always have a house of my own. Of course being a kid I didn’t really get what that really meant or even what would have to happen for me to inherit. All I ever wanted was this music box from Japan that she had and she always laughed and said that I would get it someday. When she died, I did inherit. I inherited everything and her kids: my mother and my two uncles got nothing. I was told later that my grandmother had a feeling that she was going to die soon and so she added in the will for one of my uncles to get a part of the house so the whole burden wouldn’t be on me since I was only 18 at this point. That uncle ended up giving me that share because he didn’t want to fool with it. Anyway you can imagine how much my mother, who already hated me, hated me more. After my grandmother died my mother came in and stole things out of the house because I was too distracted to pay attention. She waited until I had a garage sale. While I was outside getting rid of things I wouldn’t need, she went inside and took things that were important to me, things that I would have kept forever, thing that meant a lot to me. Nothing inside the house was for sale so she knew what she was doing. I didn’t even know these things were missing because my grandmother had just been buried, I was in that house alone where I had found her body, I was getting married soon and I had to move across the country, hence the garage sale. I packed up everything right after that and my fiance and a friend helped me move. It wasn’t until I had unpacked and I couldn’t find certain things that I realized something was wrong but even then I didn’t know what it was until I found out my mother had taken them. When it finally came up the look on her face dared me to do something about it. She wanted a fight and I backed down, but I was so hurt that I’m still not over it. Since I was 18, newly married and living 2000 miles away, my mother agreed to look after the house if I paid her for it. So I did, but it didn’t work out and I had to sell the house to a stranger. My mother took several thousand dollars as a fee and that was it. The house was gone. I didn’t realize how much that would kill me inside and how just smelling a bottle of bubble bath would bring all of that back up. I had been sitting on the floor of my bathroom (my sanctuary) and I tried to stand up but someone wouldn’t let me. I felt or heard someone say they just wanted us to sit down. And then they wanted us to lay down and I laid on the rug on my bathroom floor. My head was on the floor and then that mental wobble happened again and I was in two places like my brain was split. One side was at her house and one side was at my house looking at my bathroom scale on the floor, but I was barely there. And I just stayed like that, in two places, and I was so…sad. Eventually I got up and went about my day but that incidence stuck with me. What sucks is that what I really want is this Charlie’s Angels house that my grandmother had in one of her closets when I was little. I would play with it, but it belonged to an older cousin of mine who had left it. I have really good memories about that little playhouse but it’s gone too of course (I have no idea where since this cousin didn’t come to the funeral) and when I looked into buying one I can barely find any and the one I found is over $350 on Ebay. I just can’t justify that expense no matter how much it would mean to me.
Jeez have I whined enough today!? I feel like some whiny little loser. All boohoos and woe is me’s.