This post is going to be different. I’m not going to be brutally honest about how I have been feeling and it isn’t pretty. I want to be honest with you so that you can see I do understand. I understand the struggles of living with dissociative identity disorder as much as anyone.
Even more than that, the coexisting disorders such as depression and feeling suicidal are huge parts of who I have been and who I am today.
The Discussion and a Question
I was having a discussion with my brother two days ago when I suddenly became aware of something rather sad about myself. I was just wondering if this is true for anyone out there as well.
Mike has an anxiety disorder, and he was telling me how when he feels when taking care of his three-year-old son. Mike told me he enjoyed knowing that he was protecting his son, and when he did doing so made him feel safe himself, and that everything was right with the world.
Then he asked me, “You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?”
He was met with a blank stare from me, and it was at that moment that I understood more than ever before why I had become addicted to pain medication.
When I took the pain meds, (I took several at one time of course), after about fifteen minutes I would feel warm and fuzzy. The feeling that all is right with the world would flood me and I could be relaxed and do things I wasn’t able to do otherwise.
I first learned how this felt when I worked in a nursing home as a certified nursing assistant.
Working in that profession is extremely, extremely stressful. Between dealing with the staff and never having enough help, being a C.N.A. means high stress, low pay and no chance for advancement.
I worked second shift and we were very short on help, and to be quite honest, I had become suicidal. I had a bottle of pain pills that I had never used and decided to pop five of them to die by suicide.
However, fifteen minutes after downing them I felt such relief inside that I was able to have fun and relax for the first time perhaps ever. I flitted about the wing having fun with the residents and getting my work done more efficiently than I ever had before.
Most of all, I felt like everything was alright, that I was safe, and all was right with the world.
That night began thirty plus years of being addicted and abusing opioids. It’s a freaking wonder I am not dead ten times over.
Back to the Conversation, I Had with My Brother
After a few moments of staring at my brother, I finally had to answer no to his question. He asked for clarification, so I told him how without some sort of substance coursing through my veins, I never feel safe nor do I feel like things will be okay.
He whistled and said, “That sucks! You must have a whole lot of different things going on inside your mind then I do mine.”
The “Different Things”
He was raised in the same household by the same destructive parents like me. He lives with CPTSD and has a devil of a time with his emotional regulation made worse by a case of ADHD.
But, upon further examination, I do have “different things” going on in my head than he does.
For one, my parents weren’t the only source of trauma for me when I was young.
My grandfather was worse than abusive even though I loved him very much.
I was made fun of at school so badly that I hated (hated doesn’t even begin to capture how I felt) going. I often had runny stools and panic attacks at just the thought of Monday morning and having to face the other children at school.
I was trapped, had no place to turn for help, frightened, hopeless and exhausted.
Plus, I had developed DID, the icing on the cake.
I can remember lying in bed on Sunday night weeping quietly in total dread of facing another day.
Quite frankly, had I not been capable of dissociating, I would have died by suicide then.
In fact, I did try to die that way the first time when I was only eight and in the third grade.
Nope, I’ve never in my life felt like I was safe and that all is right with the world.
I have been in therapy for over thirty years and still can’t seem to overcome the feeling that something horrible is about to happen. The dread that fills me every day, 24/7 and 365 day a year just will not relent.
Do you my friends and readers have this problem too?
Or, am I alone in this.
Grieving for Paula
Unfortunately, the therapist who helped me the most has retired. I adore the one I have now, but we have a completely different kind of relationship.
I allowed myself to become attached, no to love, Paula and now she is gone forever. I can never talk to her again, nor will I ever see her again.
She is the only person I have ever allowed into my heart like this, and I feel so utterly betrayed.
My brain knows that realistically she had to retire and that she deserves to live her life in peace. However, I’m still very angry at her.
My mind knows she is not a blood relation, she isn’t my mother, but goddammit it feels in my heart like she is just that, my mom.
You know how I feel right now, sitting here in my recliner writing this on my laptop? I feel like I never, ever, ever want to trust anyone like that ever again.
No. Nada. Uh-uh.
I Would Absolutely Love to Get High Right Now
I told my brother that although I’ve been off pain medications for over two years now, I’d give anything to have some.
I sometimes, like this moment, desperately want to feel warm, safe, and like all is right with my world.
If it were worth it to me, I would do that. I’d find a doctor whom I could fool and get a prescription of thirty of the suckers and get high.
However, to be honest, again, I’m stating that I would probably take the entire bottle.
I’m having extreme problems right now with sadness. I almost called it depression, but that word doesn’t begin to describe the emotions I am being bombarded with this morning.
Seasonal affective disorder has me firmly in its grip, and although I normally pull out of this time of year quickly and with only a few bruises, this year is different.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, maybe it’s because I’m in a new stage of grief for Paula, I don’t know.
My spark for life seems to be sputtering and I cannot describe the horrendous exhaustion I am experiencing. I find myself wishing I would die from a heart attack or something.
I’ve stated before that the pain and confusion from DID and childhood trauma never totally goes away. I wasn’t lying. Like any grieving process, it changes but it never completely heals.
I’m also having a bout of insomnia, so my body is exhausted along with my mind. That is never a good combination.
Don’t worry. I always pull out of these slumps, even if I need to go inpatient for a few days.
How I Feel Saddens Me
I am so saddened from my realization that I have never felt like I was safe and that all is right with the world without a substance. This was a huge revelation.
How I felt as a kid is still echoing today.
I still see life as an adventure, that planet earth is a beautiful place. I’m just having a hard time right now seeing the forest for the trees.
Am I alone?
I Don’t Want to Feel Alone Anymore ~ Shirley J. Davis
Sitting here in my room
I can’t help but feel
So long I have wanted
To live a happy life
Yet all I have done
Is feel depression and despair
What does the future hold?
More unbearable pain?
How do I defeat this dread?
How will I remain sane?
In my past, I’ve known heartache
Tears have been my best friends
Violence has stalked me
Leaving me gasping for air
Is life worth living?
For the lonely and afraid?
Is anyone listening to me?
Or am I pissing into the wind?
I reached out to someone once
To help me feel safe and wanted
I will never, ever to that again
No, I won’t even try
The pain is too unbearable
When people leave or die
I can’t, I just can’t
Allow someone else inside
My soul is full of old wounds
I’m hemorrhaging inside
I just want to know I’m okay
I just want to feel alive
How do I feel? What do I want?
What would I like to know?
I’d like to feel loved,
I’d like to feel cared for
I want to I’m not alone
I need to feel loved
I need help to feel safe
I don’t want to feel alone anymore
But I do