Her Name Is Marley

Her Name Is Marley

“Emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. We have them and so do other animals. We must never forget this.”
― Marc Bekoff, The Emotional Lives of Animals

Recently, I’ve been thinking of my cats Simba and Nalla who I simply referred to as “my girls.” It’s been about 3 years since I had to have them euthanized. They were 15 and 16 years old when they died. I had raised them since they were 1 week old. And they were also a large part of my abuse history. Losing them caused a lot of grief because there were things that happened to them that I was unable to prevent. When I left my ex-husband, I was fortunate to get them out alive. A lot of my animals were left dead for me to find.
My girls and I shared a difficult time in our lives. I wasn’t going to be able to rush the grief that I had when they died. So, each day when I would open my eyes one of the first things, I remembered was how much abuse they also went through and the guilt that I had for not being able to stop it. They were treated as queens and they knew it.

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While I was living in Texas when I visited friends, I would borrow the love the animals had for a visitor and each time a little piece of my heart would heal a little bit from the grief. Their animals were so compassionate, but I still missed my grumpy cats. The two years I spent in solitude doing healing work many wouldn’t understand that level of loneliness. Do I wish I had an animal to keep me company? You bet I did. There’s just something about having an emotional connection with an animal that you can’t have with other humans. I love domestic animals because they aren’t judgmental. I can’t say the same thing about humans.
Since I moved back to Mississippi, I have been thinking about getting another cat. I didn’t rush things because in my heart I would know when the time was right. I had been looking for a kitten but was not in a big rush. The right kitten would be waiting to meet me somewhere and I knew that. I just had to be patient.
For the last couple of weeks, I had been communicating with a local vet clinic. And just like I thought the right kitten was waiting for a home. I barely heard the instructions for her meds because I couldn’t take my eyes off her. We are a perfect match. I watched her for a few hours before settling in on her name. Me and my internal guys settled on a name and her name is Marley. She will also be a part of ongoing healing for me. If service animals were easy to acquire, I would have one. She will be my emotional support animal no matter what. Just like my emotional support beverage called Diet Coke.

Lacking a shared language, emotions are perhaps our most effective means of cross-species communication. We can share our emotions, we can understand the language of feelings, and that’s why we form deep and enduring social bonds with many other beings. Emotions are the glue that binds.”
― Marc Bekoff, The Emotional Lives of Animals

#thispuzzledlife

You Never Mattered (poetry)

You Never Mattered

You forced me to list and now it’s my time.
Your abuse has made me feel like I can’t be real in life
You destroyed parts of me that once thrived
And you sucked me into your grasped by being very kind.

Once everyone was gone you made your first move
Showing me the side of a human that most must prove
You dehumanized me in so many ways
Until I’ve learned to live life mostly in a trauma filled haze

But your days are over, and my days are near.
Oh, and the truth that everyone shall hear
About your venomous actions forced on to children, teens and adults
All you’ll be able to do is sit back and sulk

I won’t be sad for because you hurt me so
But what you shoved into the ground has now begun to grow
With growth you need water and those are the tears I shed
While I try to undo everything, you put into my head

I went to everyone looking for help
And it made it all worse and you hurt me more until I yelped
I didn’t know it then because I was just a kid
Because I matter now, and you never ever did.
#thispuzzledlife

The Myths About Dissociative Identity Disorder

 

“And if we do speak out, we risk rejection and ridicule. I had a best friend once, the kind that you go shopping with and watch films with, the kind you go on holiday with and rescue when her car breaks down on the A1. Shortly after my diagnosis, I told her I had DID. I haven’t seen her since. The stench and rankness of a socially unacceptable mental health disorder seems to have driven her away.”
― Carolyn Spring, Living with the Reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Campaigning Voices

There are so many different myths in society about mental illness. However, when you begin talking specifically about a disorder there are even more. And Hollywood doesn’t help when people with mental illness run wild and crazy and going around killing people. If that’s the only side of mental illness that people know and see then, of course, that is what will be formed in their minds about mental illness. This is very harmful and degrading to people who have some type of disorder.
So……. I’m going to write a little bit about these myths and see if I can help dispel some related to Dissociative Identity Disorder. I have found some of the more common ones in different places on the internet. I will do my best to try to dispel these myths. I haven’t told many people about my diagnosis because they take their uneducated ignorance and usually turn and walk away. I don’t take it personal because it’s just a lack of education. But I do smart back at them and I usually say, “Don’t worry I’m not going to cook you and eat you!”

Truth be told, if you walked up to someone and asked them what dissociative Identity disorder is, they would probably say, “What are you talking about?” But if you asked them what multiple personality disorder was they would unload all kinds of myths probably related to the movie Sybil, Split, The Three Faces of Eve, Frankie and Alice and any movie like that and could tell you all kind of information that was wrong. I will and in no way cover all the myths, but some is better than none.

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1. Myth: DID is not real. In 1980 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM-II) classified this as a mental disorder. So, this diagnosis has been around for many years.

2. Myth: DID=Schizophrenia are the same thing. There are similarities but there are significant differences. DID is a trauma related disorder and schizophrenia is an organic and psychotic disorder. I could expand on this topic for the rest of the day. But my best advice it to look it up yourself.

3. Myth: DID alters are obvious and extreme. The opposite happens. Unless you live around the person you most of the time won’t know any of the alters. Switching is so subtle that the average person wouldn’t be able to tell when a switch occurs. The disorder was designed to keep the individual safe from a very abusive situation so that’s why switching alters is not obvious. My wife knows a lot about my alters and my switching but even now things have changed and most have hidden deeper because my alters have gotten hurt by people and they only feel safe being around certain people.

4. Myth: DID is an iatrogenic rather than a trauma-based disorder. This statement means that the disorder is caused by the therapist or other professional. Contrary this disorder IS caused by trauma and not the therapist.

5. Myth: The belief that it’s only something that happens in a movie. Hollywood has created this belief and others. Very seldom does the movie industry present this disorder correctly. Remember that the industry needs to make money to survive just like any other industry. And they will do that anyway it needs to. So, if that means misrepresenting mental illness to get it done it will

6. Myth: People with DID are more prone to violent behavior. Individuals with DID are no more prone to be violent than anyone else. In most cases there is not an ‘evil’ alter.

7. Myth: The belief that treatment is harmful to the patient. I can personally say that had I not got adequate treatment that I would probably be dead. Treatment is crucial for the individual to receive to be able to get better.

This is by no means a complete list of myths. With all the information out on the internet I would highly advise looking through scholarly journals to get more of the accurate information about these and other questions that you might have about this disorder and any other disorder. Educate your self about mental disorders and mental illness and then there will be no reason to fear individuals that have a diagnosis. Are there people who are violent and have mental illness? Yes, but that’s not most people with a disorder.

“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shames us all.”
—Bill Clinton

#thispuzzledlife

My Punshiment (Poetry)

My guilt and shamed that others can’t see.
How much self-punishment will serve me?
I’ve hurt my kids and wonderful wife
And how I have taken from their lives
I feel that it is my honor to do
To punish myself like other abusers should do
The people that hurt me never punished themselves in life
But this is something I can do for my kids and wife.
My punishment I’ll do, and others can’t know
Until it’s time for my punishment I’ll show
My punishment I’ll do because I have a conscience you’ll see.
But they didn’t have one for what they did to me.
What can be worse than to drive Mel away?
Only what I deserve……an eternity in hell.
And then I’ll never hurt anyone again.
I won’t hurt my babies or anyone I call my friend
Then I’ll be the parent they need
The one who is no longer sick, and they can have stability they can see.
I’ve put my family and kids through enough
Just ask them and they’ll tell you that it’s been rough.

#Thispuzzledlife

Eating The Enemy (poetry)

Eating The Enemy
In this world I live in
I have a powerful enemy known as food.
And at times I can talk about it and be kind of crude
But please stay open minded for the reasons why
It’s so painful that all I can do is throw my hands towards the sky.
This one thing that most take for granted
I hate with every bitter part of me
Food has been the enemy that has the potential
to ruin relationships and lives.
With every torturous bite from a fork I feel like I want to die.
So, it usually ends up with me crying
Their words change the direction and
The way I look at food forever
The more I try the worse I feel
Why oh why must I shed these tears:
Shame and guilt pour over me like water from a waterfall
This should be easy…. just to eat.
But its not. Each word sent my way
Like missiles does nothing to help
Why must I put up such a fight?
Answer…. guilt and shame
Like a shark stalking its prey
“Get rid of it!!!!” It says
What a battle that I’m tired of fighting
Please take me away.
#Thispuzzledlife

I Am The Problem And The Solution

I Am The Problem And The Solution

“Dana, if you would get out of your own way, you could accomplish anything.”
—Sarah Pardue

One of the topics that keeps my stomach in knot is how I am both the problem and the solution of my own life. I can be the solution for my trauma. But I can also stand in my own way as the problem. Anytime I give into my addictive behaviors I have become my own problem. I will take and destroy anything that I work so hard for because of this. Things that I hold sacred I will unknowingly destroy because I feel that I’m not worthy of good things. I am also the solution to the problem of fixing anything that comes before me. This I have proven time and time again. I have both the knowledge and the power to change anything unhealthy. I just must dig deep and pull out all the teachings and reverse not give into what seems to be maladaptively comforting at the time.

What I must do is to reverse the messages that were taught to me through abuse. And stand up face-to-face with it and say, “today I choose to live differently.” And make the change better. I haves versus how I live which is to breakdown and give into that train of thought. I deserve better and want better. I have worked hard to be who I am and deserve a better life of constant abuse that I continually replay through my own behavior.

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Therefore, I chose the topic that I am the solution and the problem. Sarah and Coach have both taught me that I can’t give away what I don’t have. If I keep giving my recovery away or interfering in the process of changing, then how do I expect to be healthy and pay it forward by giving it away to someone else who I might meet that is also struggling. The choice is up to me. Not, Sarah’s teachings nor Coach’s current teachings. I treasure them all. So, the greatest give that could give them both is to see me overcome these old ways of thinking that were engrained in my thinking by perpetrators. I will be the solution even through tears and a heavy heart at times. Remember…. I’m the comeback kid.

In closing I can say that if I can ever turn around and have a positive self-image and love myself, as much as, other people love me, I will accomplish great things. Maybe my writing will help and maybe it won’t. But loving oneself is not something that happens overnight. It takes continually telling myself that I AM worthy of great things.

#thispuzzledlife

 

The Fear Of Eating Is Real(poetry)

Fear Of Eating Is Real
Food is a topic that makes me very sad
And I barely remember of normal days I had
He took away a relationship that was full of hope
Now when someone says food all I say is Nope!!!
His words constantly criticized me so much decisions come with tears
It hasn’t happened for days but for many, many years.
I’m scared to eat because he was there for a long time
Right over my shoulder to criticize me while I ate every single time
I want to be able to eat without solitude and tears.
In private I’ve eaten food for many years
Most take this action for granted and just eat with nothing to say
But the person I was abused by never had anything nice to say anyway
So, don’t make comments while I try to learn this skill
Because the fear of eating food is something that’s for real.
#thispuzzledlife