It was a mistake!

25 11 2013

It’s almost my moms birthday.  I have been looking over my old post trying to find some to send my mother to share the bond I feel with her one more time, and I found this. It was originally posted on  Jul 4, 2012 .  One of my first posts here and long ago lost in all I have written.

I had to post it again.  I don’t know that anyone but me would find it funny but it’s always worth sharing a laugh.   More than that it’s a wave at an old friend.  You are loved and missed and I am so sure you know that, as I can see you active in the lives of your baby girls.   Hugs and smooches my friend.

with love,

Sincerely, SB

****************************************************************************************************

I tried to bury the household pet turtle and it kicked off a late night of lying on the bed with our feet kicked up like school girls having a sleep over; chatting and laughing.  It was a mistake that my sister-in-law thought that she would never have made!

To start with the water smelled funny and had a suspicious film on it that I hadn’t seen before. Then I fed him twice and he hadn’t even lifted his head. In our family, I am the one that takes care of those kind of things so I went out back and dug him a hole.

I picked up the bowl and headed out, and it wasn’t until I had poured out almost all the water that he suddenly sprang to life!  And to think we were that close to having room for a cat!

Valerie has decided that we have to restrict his T.V. time due to the fact that he has either watched to many Geico commercials and was beginning to immitate the oppossum or we foiled a planned escape using the methods that he had learned watching finding Nemo.  Either way she was sure that the T.V. was a bad influence on him.

As long as we were on the subject of death and dying, (and if you think that’s a tad morbid you don’t know my sister-in-law) we spent awhile laughing over the coffin that she had picked out.  It was Purple!   She “found one much cheeper at Cosco but she couldn’t get it in the color she wanted” so we’re going to get it and completely cover it in faux purple gems and right across the face of it we’re putting Live, Love and Laugh.  Like her it will be an original!

Valerie fights hard for every moment she has here and is giving me lessons close up and hands on that it’s not really what happens to us, but our attitude about it that determines our level of happiness in this life.  Over that, we have complete control.

You have to find the roses; the thorns will always find you.





Confessions of a Grooveshark Junky…

13 06 2013

I though “Crimson and Clover”was the most beautiful song alive.  I would lay on the floor with a speaker on each side of my head, and listen in awe as the music shifted from one side to the other.  It was one of my first experiences with STEREO sound!  Most of my records were passed down by my parents and all mono till then.  I had a “stereo”, but you couldn’t experience that sound without a stereo record!

I have one real addiction in my old age, Grooveshark.  All my music is on cassettes.  I discovered that not everything is replaceable  when I went out looking for a new one to replace the stereo from my grandfather.   It had begun to eat my tapes.  You know you can’t buy a decent cassette player anymore!

Somewhere in a plastic grocery sack, in a box, in a storage unit, in California, is my cassette collection, complete with about 20 personal recordings of my own family, that will never be played again.  Oh well.  Such is life.  It was more heartbreaking then when I discovered I could no longer buy 126 film for my camera that was literally glued to my right hand till then.

Anyway I found myself alone for the first time in my life only about 5 years ago.  I left my husband.  I had my clothes and my computer, and a tiny apartment on the second floor of a converted building that was once a flour mill.

I borrowed camping gear from my kids till I could get some furniture.  I bought two bath towels and 2 knives, forks, and spoons from the open stock at Walmart.  I cooked in the same pot that I ate out of and slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.

I had 2 camp chairs so I could have company and that was it.  My apartment echoed for the whole first month because I had to save every last penny I earned to pay off the deposit that my landlord graciously let me move in without paying.

It was then that I discovered Grooveshark.  There were several versions of it but it took me no time at all to realize that laying on my stomach on the bare wood floor for hours picking out music wasn’t working for me, so Grooveshark was it.  I am up to 10 playlists to fit my every mood now, and this is what has made me the junky that I am.

I have all my favorites from when I first discovered music in my teens on one.  I have all the country that my mother loved and those old fifty’s tunes of my fathers that I grew up with on others.  I have my workout music, and my suicidal music, dish washing music some clasical, some jazz, 80’s hits, and a whole list of odd ball stuff I have collected that I can’t put a heading on.  Pat Metheny, Alanis Morissette, Dan Hicks, and Nils Molvaer couldn’t have less in common but their all on that list!

My best friend lived right next door and often brought me coffee in the mornings.  She would sit with me and listen and talk for hours some days and we made her up a list so we could play her favorites when she was there.

Tommie was just a few years older than I, and we didn’t listen to a lot of the same stuff, but she knew music.  You could say a few lines and she could tell you what the song was, what year it came out and who did it.  When she wasn’t around I would remember a few words and have to type them into Google, so that I could add it to one of my lists.  We spent a lot of our hours together just remembering all the music we ever loved and sharing it with each other.

When I wasn’t at work, back in that empty apartment it was all I had; just me and the music.  I would lay on that sleeping bag and crank it up.  In just a few seconds I would be whisked away.  With one song I would be 11 again, laying on the diving board enjoying the sun and the calm of my Aunts pool just getting a tan.  With another I would be crying out all the pain my heart was hanging on to with long choking sobs.  With others I would be heart to heart right next to my parents, both gone for years now.

For three years I lived in that apartment and I never got used to living alone.  I hated every minute when someone else wasn’t there, and it seemed like it would never end.  The music often went all night long.  One of my first acquisitions when I started buying things were a set of headphones so that I could crank it up without disturbing Alice downstairs.

One day I just decided I couldn’t do it anymore.  Living alone wasn’t for me and I went about changing my life, yet again.  Now here I am living in Florida, over 2000 miles away from my kids, my friend and everything I knew then.

Funny thing that playlist of my best friends picks has become my favorite list now; and it always takes me right back there to the two of us having coffee and Groovesharking music together.

This one is for you Tommie!  “It’s My Life”  Heart to Heart again.





Flashbacks

12 06 2013

window

It’s late on a Thursday night in 1991 when the ambulance brings me into the back entrance and they take me inside.   The sound of the door is heavy and metallic clanging shut behind us.  They show me to a small bare white room with only a sink, a toilet and a bare mattress.

I curl up on the mattress and can’t sleep the words sticking my haid wrong wrong wrong wrong head and scaring me.  stop stop stop stop malfunction lockup lockup lockup lockup lockup … long animal like screams coming from other rooms…terrify me.

He is there “please, please, please, don’t, send, a man, in here!” … I am under the sink and won’t come out and cry; He returns again and again so that is where I stay.

This and the screaming go on late into the night.  Several cycles of me sleeping intermittently between the visits where he seems as uncomfortable as I am with his presence there.  They keep tormenting us both by sending him in again and again.

Time passes and I can’t stand my teeth.  I am tormented as much by them as by the men they keep sending into my room.  They just stand inside the door.  Out, out outoutoutoutoutoutout!, I scream at him.  But they don’t move.  When I turn and face the wall quiet he finally leaves.

The next one is just a kid and looks as scared as I am and I feel sorry for him.  We just stay in our assigned places till the time has passed and he too is allowed to leave.

I scramble back to my mattress and try again to sleep.  Words words words words…the chanter guy comes back and mumbles over the top of them so that i don’t hear them any more.

It must be getting close to morning as the screaming is back.  Long wild monkey wails of grief and torment.  ”48 hour hold”.  I can do this,  but then it is the weekend and no one comes; NO ONE.

I am alone for how long;  I don’t know.  I sleep till I can sleep no more and drink water from the sink.  The lights are always on and I can’t tell the day from the night.  The screams come and go and I am left alone.

My teeth are making me crazy and no one has been here for a very long time.  It is quiet again.  I try the door and it opens.

I hadn’t seen anything when I came in.  The fear was shutting me down.  Now I look out and mine is the first door in a long hall next to the nurses station.  A small square room with windows on all sides with the one that has a pass through and a metal vented circle to speak through on my side.

A much larger room surrounds it  with lots of chairs and a TV up in the corner high up on the wall.

The floor is brown with a path of cream tiles going all around the outside of the room just one tile space from the walls.  No one is out and I think if I stay on the cream tiles it is safe.

I slip out the door and walk that safe path to the window and whisper to the nurse.  ”may I have a toothbrush please?”  She makes me repeat it and it is almost more than I can do.  The tired weighs down on me again and the need to go back to my room.

She can see that it is hard for me and steps out and presses one into my hands.  It is cheep, white, and wrapped in cellophane with a small envelope of pink powder.

Suddenly there are people moving everywhere, someone brings me a peanut butter sandwich and chocolate milk I forget to follow the path and let them lead me to a table where I can sit down to eat.

For the first time since I came I realize that I am hungry.   I have no idea how long its been since I have eaten.  I manage a thank you but other than that we don’t speak.  When I am done I ask to go back to my room.

Now there is a problem: The table is in the middle of the room.  I don’t remember leaving the white trail of tiles against the wall but am suddenly very anxious about it.  Just do it; there is no other way!

I take several big steps and get back to the wall and am breathing hard when I get there.  Now I can safely make my way around the room to the corner, turn, then to the first wall of the nurses station, turn, to the corner, turn, to the corner, turn, carefully retracing the path back to my room.

When I step inside I am unsure that this is the room I left.  Sink and toilet are in the same place but now there is a cot so that the mattress is up off the floor and there are crisp clean white sheets, a blanket and a pillow on it.

I went to the sink, wet the brush and poured the pink powder into my palm and rubbed the brush into it.  I scrubbed and scrubbed my teeth until they returned to their normal state of smoothness.

The sheets smell of bleach and it is such a comfort to slip between them that in moment I am sound asleep… but as I do I get it…They offered me nothing till I made some request.  I did something right and this was my reward.

Monday comes and the therapist has me brought to his office.  They have extended my 48 hour hold “my behavior is to bizarre, to return me to the general population”.  I cry as they take me back to my room.  It is clear they can keep me as long as I don’t conform to what they want from me.

I am assigned a psychiatrist.  He asks what medications they have given me in the past and I tell him that everyone wants to give me Lithium and that I hate it because it makes me feel drugged.  I tell him my Dr’s keep telling me its only a salt and CAN’T do that.

He says IF you need Lithium you feel nothing when you take it, but if a normal person takes Lithium they feel drugged.  Finally I feel heard.  I have found someone who listens and will work with me to fix this.

He is trying me on some medication.  I take it the first few times but don’t like it’s effects and begin to refuse to take it.  I get called back into his office and he says he will change it.

Now I am lucid in my mind but my body is stiff and robotic.  I feel the drool from the side of my mouth and can only imagine what I must look like.  I grieve for what I have become…this shell of a person that can’t function or interact with others in any tangible way.

I get it.  I feel angry and tricked.  I have a right to refuse but they can do worse.  I will do what ever he wants.  Get me off this and out of here.  I can’t be this anymore.

Once I start to co-operate I am off the locked ward and sharing a room with someone else.  My roommate tries to cut her wrist with a safety razor, I am thinking of ways to remove the blade from the plastic but say nothing.  She is an idiot.

I ask for something to draw on and am given a rather nice flip book of blank paper and some pencils.  I am beyond grateful for the gift.

Now I am required to go to group.  There are men in the group.  The first day they confront me about my behavior when I was first admitted.  I tell them I was afraid.  Of what?  I say “I don’t know”.

The groups facilitator is quiet a moment like he is thinking about that.  Then he says.  ”I believe that”.  ”I really believe that you don’t know” and he moves on to the next person.

Every day I take my drugs.  I go to meals, and to our exercise periods, and I go to group.  Other than that I lay on my bed and draw.  I think about my children and wonder what they know.

Some how I let it out that i have been raped in one of those groups.  I don’t even know when or how.  I just know that one day I am in a group with a guy who has been in them with me before and he is talking about “going down to the boulevard and picking them sweet young strawberries.”WP_003086

I ask him what he means, and he says he picks up underage girls that will trade sex for drugs.  I totally lose it then and think I will rip his hair out, I am screaming as they pull me from the room and He is saying “I ain’t the one who raped you bitch! “

That night I am dreaming that I am sitting on my bed and there are lots of pills on the night table.   I am sliding them off and taking them one at a time saying “I don’t want to go home”.  ”I don’t want to go home”, and taking another and another.

They don’t make me go to group anymore.

I have been in almost 2 months when I am called in for a long conference with the psychiatrist who has been prescribing my drugs.  He tells me they are thinking of letting me go home and I break down and cry.

He asks about the side effects of the drugs they have been giving me lately and I tell him that I don’t notice them anymore.  I feel good.  In fact that this is the first time anyone has given me anything that seemed like it really helped.  They give me one months supply of med’s and release me to go home.

For the first three days I am curled up on the couch when I am not asleep I pretend that I am so that I don’t have to deal with anyone, till I realize that no one will push me.  I can do what I can and rest when I must.

Finally I begin to do what I used to do.  I wake up and clean and help with homework and we learn what it is to be a family again.  In a short time I go back to work.  At first its clear they are watching me but before long they forget to do so and everything is normal again.

I have my life back and that is more than I ever hoped for just 2 short months ago.





“It’s the job that’s never started…

11 06 2013

as takes longest to finish”.  JRR Tolkien   Yesterday I started again.  Today I got up and worked out on my Total Gym.  Both times I could feel my body responding in positive ways.

I feel the determination build for me getting back to being healthy, but shortly after the first few days of built up determination pass find myself without the motivation I need to continue to fight my own unwillingness to do it anymore.

I though the magic was in my Total Gym.  It’s here, its set up and when I get on it, my body feels challenged. The memory of what I do is still there.  My workouts still feel smooth and I move through it without much thought, but then a morning comes where I just don’t get on it, and its done.

I had no end goal before.  I wanted my body strong and capable and healthy.  The last time my determination then was caused by the fact that I saw people my age loosing their ability to get around and giving in to it, and I had a limp.

I let myself get close to 250 lbs and my body wouldn’t carry that weight anymore.  I had problems climbing even just a few steps, having to pull with my arms as well to navigate them.  I had to fight back.

Several times I have hit that place, but my Mother has been there pushing me.  This was the first time I did it all on my own.  I saw myself losing my ability to walk and fought back, but I am not there now.

I am not at the fitness level I was when I got here but there are no real limitations to what I feel like I can do.  The older I get the more I have to work to keep my weight at a level that feels healthy.

I am not my size.  I only compete with myself.  The paint brush is in my hand, I have to create with it or this will be just another wasted canvas.  Normally when I start working out the pounds drop off but once I turned 50 that changed.  When I fought my way back the last time it was months before I lost a size: I felt physically better and more capable just the same.

How did I get there before?  I just did it.  I knew what I wanted and every day I started toward that goal again.  Some days I couldn’t do it, but they got fewer and fewer as time went on till the times I didn’t do it were rare occurrences, and I WAS DOING IT.

Just DO IT.  That is what it means.  Don’t think about doing it.  Jump in and start and do it till its done.  No more excuses.  No more depression.  No more thinking it over.  I KNOW it’s really what I want.  Its time to just do it, again.





Found it…

28 01 2013

here in my cat!  I have to thank God constantly for his wisdom and the grace he has shown me.  I didn’t know when God brought her into my life that I would be the one to need her.  I didn’t know how little human touch would soothe my hurts or how soon I would find out: when he pushed up the urgency for me to go get her… but I truly believe HE did.

She starved herself to the point I worried about her just to get to be in the same room with me.  The more pain I am in the closer she stays.  Right now she is perched watching just inches from the keyboard patient with my need to write.

This morning she let me sob into her fur and nuzzled against my cheek, not minding the snot and tears, or caring about the wetness.  Last night she pushed so closely up against me that I felt her heart beating against mine.  Her CPR keeping mine going.

She puts a paw up to my cheek and pulls me closer to her to give me soft little nose kisses and leans in to give me whole body hugs.  How perfect a creature and how great the love of the one who sent her to me.

Yesterday I could feel only pain and anger and today because of her I have a heart full of Gratitude.  Thank You… How Great YOU are.  Thank you.





…sincerely SB.

21 01 2013

For the last few months I have been caught up in the drama of having a family member close to dying and emotionally I have divorced myself from everything else.

I only realized how divorced I have been in the last couple of days after the death of a fellow DID Blogger.  Sara was one of the first bloggers I followed when I joined WordPress and yet for the last few months I haven’t check her blog at all.

Some like Crazy in the Coconut, Vwoop Vwoop, and Depressed Moose are so prolific that they are always at the top of my page when I get in a mood to read but somehow I missed her most recent posts, and now she is gone.

There is an extreme bias against the mentally ill.  Those who don’t have DID, don’t know what its like to lose control of who you are and how you present to others, but we do.  

Sara wrote that people with DID commit Suicide more often than even people with severe depression and I believe this is true.  It is hard for anyone to live with our mistakes, but if your basic belief system is in place, you attempt to live close to those beliefs.   When you don’t have that protection your resulting actions will reflect that as well.

With me I have extreme conflicts between the one who believes all her power and worth is wrapped up in her sexuality, and the one who is very religious.   People who claim that we are all tempted and don’t all give into that temptation, don’t even live on the same planet as we do.

The difference is you have the advantage of that belief system when you make those decisions.  We bear responsibility for actions of parts of ourselves that don’t share our basic belief system and morals.  Often they don’t share our memories or history either.

I have had encounters with people who knew me that I didn’t know.  People who would have expectations that I would do things that the current occupant couldn’t imagine doing, and found offensive.  When that is normal for you the shame is something you carry with you always.

The outside world can’t imagine that any part of us really doesn’t know what the rest of us knows.  Internally it is just as hard for us to understand what is going on, and to deny that we have responsibility for all that we do.  

They call what we do “Dissociation” which implies that some part of it is voluntary, or an action we took intentionally to distance ourselves from pain.   That’s wrong!  It is brain damage, just like that caused by a stroke and nothing we did or didn’t do gave us this disorder.  Those that caused the trauma did.  We need that knowledge in our heart and mind.

The external world judges us when we are not as capable as they think we should be, but there is some part of us that buys into the fact that we have done this to ourselves and totally strips us of any of the protection we should have.

Would you judge someone harshly who stumbles on crutches after a car accident?  We tend to take on some culpability for our own condition as if we had been the driver but if you have DID you were not driving!  You were a small child and no part of you is guilty for you having this disorder.

It’s our internal score keeper that needs  re-educated so that our system has something to fight back with when the outside world condemns us.  My heart breaks that Sara didn’t have that protection.  We all need it.

If you are young and have DID please try to realize that it gets so much better with time.   Surround yourself with a positive support system and give yourself that time.   It does get better.   Just like a stroke victim you will heal and can retrain your brain to function in ways that make you more capable, and that make this life more livable.

Sara, I hope you now have the peace, love and understanding that you were denied in this life.   Thank you for sharing yourself with us.





Please forgive me …

28 12 2012
for not being able to share the happy moments we had over the holidays.  There are some moments when we are able to laugh but I have sat here for 2 days now trying to share Christmas dinner with you and just can’t.  I only feel the sadness and just don’t have it in me to be able to pull anything else up right now.
Valerie hasn’t eaten anything in 5 full days now and has radically reduced the amount that she drinks and smokes as well.  Her body is shutting down.  For my Dad and Bunny it was about 3 weeks from the time they stopped eating till they died.  For both the last few days were in a coma state.
I managed to get her to her Dr appointment yesterday and they gave her fluids and steroids to boost her up.  She has another appointment for Monday but the way he shook his head I could see he doesn’t feel we should be doing this … he thinks we should just let her go.  Bob was totally freaking out when it looked like she wasn’t going to the Dr.   I feel judged by him but we are not ready!
The Doctor wants her on Hospice but Val refuses hospice services.  She says she still wants to fight this, but when we try to push her to do what she needs to to stay alive, she swears that she just can’t.  I feel stuck unable to feel or function really.  No tears or crying just nothing.
Part of me is shutting down too because if I feel anything its angry.  She wants me here but I no longer feel that I am able to do anything to help her anymore.  She doesn’t want me getting up with her,  She says it’s not good for me not to sleep through out the night.  I cook and she says nothing tastes right.  I am throwing out her tea and refreshing only to have her barely sip when she gets it.   I will drive anywhere to get her anything that she wants and she doesn’t eat or drink it when she gets it.

We are all sleeping a lot.   She didn’t want to die and ruin the holidays.  She has no obtainable goals left.  This isn’t going to be an easy Month.

“She wants me here but I no longer feel that I am able to do anything to help her anymore”.   Wow… that was a light bulb moment …I need to actively do things to feel useful but what she needs is just me…not anything but the emotional support of loving her and being here.
She just wants me to hold her hand and be here and really that is the hardest job of all.
It is incredible to me how just the act of writing helps.  The second I got that I realized that I don’t feel helpless or angry anymore. To love, is to be happy with.  Love is the only thing that really does help.  I hate it when I forget that and react to my own insecurities and hurt feelings.
So today we start again and just hope to get it right.




Thank you Ariel Gore…

21 07 2012

Because of you today I branded myself.  “She spent her life not able to hang on to anything until the day she got it all!”

It kind of gives me something to hang on to that looks a little like hope, or promise of some kind of future different then the life I have known.  One where I won’t push everyone I love away feeling like I’m poison.  A future where I don’t need to sleep on the floor or to discard everything I love to make sure that I never get comfortable, never trust.

If you have read any of my other posts you know I am 3000 miles from my kids, cat computer, lover, paintings and the few possessions that I had managed to hang on to over the years.

I never seem to keep more then what will fit in a mid-sized car, and it alarms me now to count how many times I have found myself exactly where I am with nothing but a few clothes and a toothbrush over a thousand miles from anything that meant home to me.

I think, “well things don’t really mean anything to me” but that would mean I wouldn’t miss them and for the most part I don’t … but parts of me do, and they bleed for paintings that they can’t ever finish.  Or the book that took them years to write, that is lost.  The cat that was the only animal in 50 years that I have ever had that I attached to.  The grandchild that month after month calls someone else Grandma and has forgotten that I exist.  The stuffed animal my daughter had given me, that my step daughter hugged in my favorite picture of her just before the state stepped in to take her away.

(It was the death of my second marriage that my husband signed his rights away; as I too grew up in foster care.)

I know what it is, to know as a small child that you owe a debt to people who abuse you, “for the food in your mouth and the shoes on your feet”.  I knew that anything could be taken from me without warning or even a nod to the fact that I might have a need or want that it should be different; as an Adult I do it to myself, again and again.

“Velcro not strings” is the handle I chose because I have spent probably too much time on dating sites and there are so many ads for relationships with no strings attached.  At times I think that is the Only type of relationship I should be in.  I get that it is hard for people to deal with all the changes with me, but the one that I want is that heart to heart forever love that’s unbreakable and endures beyond the simple trappings of the life we share here.

I am in a funny sort of long distance, on again off again, relationship with someone and as with every relationship I have ever been in I keep hoping that it’s the last relationship I will have.  That this will be my “till death do us part”.  I feel for him though.  

This isn’t the first time I am made aware that to be in my life is to be damaged by me.  Not because I am abusive or intentionally harm others but because the changeable nature of who I am makes it impossible to depend on me.  I make plans for the future and forget them when in their mind those plans were solid and real.  I start things that never get finished.  Treat you like your gold one day and like I don’t know who you are the next.

In spite of all these things, to my total dismay that lover/boyfriend refuses to let me go, my family embraces me like I am precious to them, my grandchildren call in the middle of the night to say how much they miss me, and my friends have always stayed true friends to me.  They all tolerate my coming and going, intensity and abandonment over and over again and still have kind things to say to me.  They put out a welcome mat and still wish me to darken their doorway.

My dream is of a day: when I will have a place to really call my home; a huge communal space filled with children, art and music and vibrant with activity, containing everyone I love who wishes to be there; when with or without a marriage license I will find that love that want’s my energy and their’s to vibrate as one for all time and eternity; and when I won’t use strings to bind me to all that I love, but crazy glue!








%d bloggers like this: