Saturday, 7 September 2019

Guest Blog - Go With the Flow

About the Author

John Dickson - After a suicide attempt in 2014, John learned that he suffered with depression and, more recently, bipolar disorder. He live with these conditions, undiagnosed, since his teens. On Twitter you can find him as @zelandroid009. He blogs at https:/the3ofme.ga. John is my friend.

Go With the Flow

If you're reading this post you've already met April. You've been introduced to her alters and you've learned of her history. I’m sure that you’ll agree with me that April is a unique and strong woman, filled with vitality and light. She is, without a doubt, one of the most resilient people I know.

April brings light into the room. And when she leaves the room, the resulting loss of light is felt by everyone. When she retreats within herself, that loss of light is felt by her alters.

I tell you this because it was this light that first captured my attention on Twitter and then on 5 Alive, April’s blog. Her story is a difficult one that she shares openly and without embellishment. In between, she shares coping tips and poetry. They prevent 5 Alive from becoming too grim.

April’s light is more visceral in person. By nature she’s very upbeat with a tinge of mischievousness. It’s a playful quality that flows throughout 5 Alive.

Meeting and interacting with April, and her alters, places me in a unique position. It allows me to discuss her Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as it presents in her. I make no claims to being an expert, not even of April, lol, but I can share my observations and impressions.

A note of some importance here: the personality April, herself, might be an alter. Her body is shared between alters each of whom has every right to use it. Who's to say which personality is the original? Something to consider.

I first met one of April’s alters on the day I met April. April and I'd been talking (actually April talked, I listened, lol). We paused for a brief break. I went to the washroom. Upon my return I noticed April rolling a joint. It helps her cope with her anxiety so I thought nothing of it. Then April referred to herself as she. That’s when I clued in to the fact she’d switched.

It was disconcerting. Here I was talking to someone who looked and sounded like April, yet also didn't sound like April. What do I do? Do I pretent nothing happened? Do I show that I know? What? I did nothing but go with it.

The switch was subtle and would have remained undetected by me but for that hint. That hint was the alter making herself known, something she didn’t have to do. Even in this, though, she didn’t identify herself by name. Only by how she referred to April was her presence known to me. I now understand that this act of not announcing herself was itself an act of protection.

Neither she nor April knew how I'd react. Would I call her insensitive names, would I be freaked out, etc? But the prior conversation created enough comfort for her to appear.

Later, another alter appeared. She was younger, appearing to be more fragile. Again, though, the switch wasn't detectable until she allowed it.

What did I learn? Firstly, that alters are unique within themselves. Each has a distinct personality and demeanour. They, and they alone, decide whether or not to appear. Revealing themselves ties into their purpose: protection. April had become extremely anxious and her alter was trying to calm her. Secondly, switches are often undetectable despite what TV or movies would have you believe. Dramatic effect is just that and shouldn't be confused with reality.

I also learned that alters have unique personalities. Maddy, who I met that day, speaks differently than April. The language she uses is quite different. Her posture has subtle differences. The same can be said of the second alter I met, Wee.

A brief note about names. Some names are chosen, while others are given. I don't know which is which with April, lol.

Since that day, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with each of April’s alters, Maddy, Wee, Lily, and Rogan. At times they've explicitly identified themselves and at other times not so much. Frequently, but not always, I know who I’m speaking with. Each has a distinct personality and role. Each has a different age and a different history neither of which may have anything to do with the trauma that created them.

Another brief note. Initially when an alter appeared, and I knew who it was, I'd address him or her by name even if no identification had been given. That was wrong of me. Alters have a reason for not identifying themselves and it's my job to respect that.

Which leads me to little bit about DID. DID is a mental illness. The person with this illness presents with two or more distinct personalities that share and control that person’s body and behaviour. The primary personality, that I call the host (this is my term only because I don’t know what else to call it), will experience gaps in memory caused by being absent while another personality is in control. This is often referred to as losing time. The group of personalities, that is, the host plus the alters form what is referred to as a system. The personalities may or may not be aware of each other. If there is some awareness, this is co-consciousness.

I reiterate the point made above. Each personality has the right to control the body.

My layman’s understanding is that repeated severe trauma before the age of six has caused the original personality to shatter. The fragments that result may lead to the development of an alternate personality.

April’s alters aren’t hallucinations nor are they delusions. I’ve interacted with them so I would be the one who is hallucinating and delusional. I am neither. But what this tells us is that DID is not schizophrenia where hallucinations ordelusions do exist.

Alters protect. Typically this means they withdraw from violence, not engage in it. People with DID are as unlikely as anyone else to engage in violence, again notwithstanding what TV or movies suggest. This might also be explained by the fact that most of those that have DID are believed to be female.

Back to April. As I said, I’ve interacted with April’s alters. I’ve observed differences in expression, differences in posture. But only when the alter wants me to. There remain times when the alter will hide his or her self from me.

Similarly, I’ve seen the alter step in to protect, our first meeting, for example, and on numerous other occasions. At no time did protection escalate to violence. The protection isn't just of April. It's also of each other. Maddy is protective of Wee, for example.

April's alters share co-consciousness between themselves but not with April. That being said, April heard a constant noise, chatter. Maybe that'll lead to co-consciousness between her and one or more of the other personalities.

So, how do you interact with April? You go with the flow. She’s a complex woman, with complex personalities. More often than not you’re interacting with April. Once in a while, a bit more frequently of late, you interact with the alters. Again, the alter that is present may not announce his or her self, but that’s ok. It’s done to protect.

I've repeated myself frequently but that's deliberate. DID is hard to explain and harder to live with. And I've had the privilege of seeing it for myself.

Joh Dickson is a

Monday, 2 September 2019

ReMission

7 yrs and my first remission.

So happy.I am in remission!!!

Lots of damage is the pain but I am cleared for 6 months. This is first totally clear check in 7 yrs.

HPV related anal cancer just sucks. As all cancers do!

Yes. After almost 7 yrs I am officially in Remission.

It is a fantastic word. A freedom for 6 months from oncology and pokes and prods etc is awesome.

What does it mean?

Honestly, we don't know.

For today it means no cancer cells are detected or active.

I am well aware that Anal Cancer takes many routes. Having hpv related means I will always have hpv with break risk that can turn to tumors.

I take my six months with a grain of salt.

I will do everything to enjoy the free days.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Her poetry

Dancing in the window
In a downtown pub
Alone on the floor
Singing words to a song
I used to know
Feeling the past
Like an afterglow
The music plays on
Long after I go
For now I sway
And dance alone
~A.R.*

Ugly head
Noxious spew
Judging harsh
Demeaning words
Illusion switch
Dementia visited
Person morphed
Unknown being
Lost original
In their mind
Anger resides
Jekyll
Go hide
~A.R.*

Crashing waves
Over jagged rock
Carving its way
Layers softened
By water strength
Tumbled glass
Pieces edgeless
Shores sea glitter
In sand
Timeless
~A.R*

Whisper your secrets
Wrapped together
I will hold them tight
Your dreams and tragedies
Say them in the night
Darkness the cover
And promises kept
Entwined between us
~A.R.*

Another leg
Journeyed long
Baggage bundled
Looking for peace
Out of pieces
Weathered
Into carried
Stories
~A.R.*

Whisper your secrets
Wrapped together
I will hold them tight
Your dreams and tragedies
Say them in the night
Darkness the cover
And promises kept
Entwined between us
~A.R.*

Standing on rungs
A hole to be in
Off alone
Gripping tight
Faraway light
Drawn soul
Found will
Step up
Slowly go
A life
But once
Chance it
Live
~A.R.*

Did you see?
So bright and sparkling
Almost a flash
A wink and a smile
Then gone
Shrouded by her pain
Fighting to clear it
To glow again
~A.R.*

Empty bubbles
Of thoughts in my head
Spinning in unison
No theme or thread
No answers or insight
Though I do search
Nothing new comes
Circling mind
Of empty bubbles
~A.R.*

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Visualization

Quite a long time ago I participated in a workshop. In it one thing I took away, and still use, is Visualization. A guided one that you can follow along is helpful. There are even apps on devices that can be good.

I am able to make up my own. Sometimes I think I should record them even just for my own use.

I find visualizing guided mediation can help me calm. Often it can shift my perspective as well. The feeling of peace seems to come with this distractive tool.

To try it

- get a comfortable position and try to be unfurled. A bit of a star position so unclasped hands, arms away from sides, knees not touching.

- quiet area so no distraction. Earplugs or headphines may help

- breathe slow and deep
I use square breathing which is count 4 in, 4 hold, 4 out, 4 pause
Feel it open your lungs.

- focus in relaxing each part of your body
Imagine silver light swirling down and releasing tensiin from the top of your head, down your face and neck, shoulders to the tips of your fingers, chest, torso, pelvis, hips, down your legs to knees and around your calves. All the way to the tip of your toes.

- breathe and focus

-visualize in your mind

Example

Imagine a blackboard with a small white dot in the center. Watch it get bigger until it is big enough to climb through.

On the other side you are on a well travelled dirt path. Stones glitter with the sun. Blue sky. Birds. A rabbit crosses your path ahead. Walking toward a large oak tree.

Stop beneath. Sit and rest. Take in the lush grass and fresh air. Deep, soothing breaths.

Listen to the birds. Watch small clouds pass over.

Soon you get up and travel toward a small cottage. Stone and wood. Flower boxes at window sills.

The door is open. A sign says 'come in and enjoy'.

It has comfortable arm chairs. A wooden table. A plate of cookies and warm drinks. You sit.

A small stove burns gently in the corner. A soft warmth.

On the table is a box. It has gems and gold gilding.
You open it.

Imagine that in this box there is something you have been searching for. It is not a tangible item.
Perhaps a need. An inner wisdom. A strength in self. A feeling of purpose.
Imagine it is in this box.
Like light it covers you. Penetrates. Lingers.
A feeling of knowing comes over you.
Like a gift. You have awareness. A direction.
Peaceful feeling.

You rise and begin your journey back.
Paying closer attention to your surroundings.

Blades of wide grass sway in the breeze.
A frog hums in the weeds. A small fox in the distance.

Soon you reach the hole.
Climbing through.
This place is always here.

Return.
Watch as the big hole slowly returns to a dot on the blackboard.

Breathe x 10...slowly coming back to the place you got comfortable.

Blackboard
White dot
Grows to hole
Climb thru
Meadows
Paths of wildflowers
Butterlies linger
Sit under a tree
Breathe
Visualize
Calm
Then return
Slowly
~A.R*

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Can I love again?

Relationships are difficult to say the least.

I feel over my lifetime my heart has been through the shredder.

I realize love and loss go hand in hand.

This is life.

The hard things are things like broken trust, abuse, abandonment, tragedy, and so forth.

The healing can take forever, if it can be found at all.

I am going to be 49.

I have many life issues.

Healing and healing.

How scarred over is my heart to true love?

Being DID is just one added issue. Love is a hard thing for We. Us.

Life...

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Is how it is

There are days I can hardly stand myself. Jittery, anxious, with feelings of confusion. My life situation seems stuck. Finding gratitude in the small things gets harder each day.
Trapped in body.
Trapped in location.
Options minimal and not great.
Distract. Deflect. Defer. I try my best to stay in just the now.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

They Grow Old 💔

I pressed back the tears. Swallowing difficult with sawdust mouth. There were no words to say. Life can be unfair. Life can be tragic.

Memories flooded me as I watched the three elders commiserate. Sitting close together as if in a world only they shared.

In some ways our generational gap made me outside of their tales. Some we shared. On this day I could only sit back and observe.

I am losing them. Time is not on their side. Their minds less sharp. Their bodies failing them. I could see the gambut of emotions on this visit.

My own rolled down my cheeks in solitude. Not wanting them to see how much pain I was feeling.

Safe people. The cottage...my safest place on earth.
Time not on our side. I feel the crushing fear of tomorrows.

No. I am not blood. Related by marriage. From 4 yrs old these people have represented my safety rocks.

I struggle to cope. Grieving as they slowly go.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Words combined

Old gargoyles
Come to life
In sun or dark
A mighty fright
Their faces frown
Upon the happy
Knocking down love
Lashes of tongue
Fierce til time
Turns them back
To stone
~A.R.*

Crashing waves
Over jagged rock
Carving its way
Layers softened
By water strength
Tumbled glass
Pieces edgeless
Shores sea glitter
In sand
Timeless
~A.R*

With quiet strokes
Paddle in hand
Gentle waters
Canoe barely breaking
A world alone
Enjoyed peace
Calming force
Empowering task
Enjoyed
~A.R*

I may crumble
I may fall
Skinned knees
Tired and broken
Time may pass
Yet I rise
Feet unsteady
Forward motion
In bits
It comes
The journey
Continues
~A.R*

Glazed over
Thick mist hovers
Just above the surface
Dark waters
Blanketed in white
Rocks gently crest
Its surface
Still air
Warm meets cold
Til sun
Burns it away
~A.R.*
Photo by  @TheWeInMe https://t.co/JpiV9I00UcChild rest

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

A bit about DID

What can I tell you? I have DID and things gets complicated at times.

5 alive is 4 plus me.

My emotions are often heightened because I have 'extra persons' inside.

For some DIDs it is the opposite in many ways. They feel little or no emotion as their 'parts' can house different feelings.

There really is no set mould for how a DID presents. Trauma in early childhood gone untreated can manifest many different ways of coping.

I do not have many answers. I know and am still learning about my own Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I do know that unlike many I have no co consciousness. No connection of thought with my parts. I get information like cards in a rolodex. Who put which card in I am not always sure. I know enough about them to guess whom might it be from. Who was there when I was 'inside'?? That meaning I am not present. Like a blackout for me.

Sometimes I feel the miss of time and sometimes not particularly. It can feel like a blip. Like the lights flicker in a storm. Sometimes I don't feel it at all. An example being one 'part' injects a sentence into a conversation.

For the most part I think I am just used to it being this way.

Fortunately, with lots and lots of therapy, we tend to work together. Things can run fairly smooth.

There are still times when there seems to be 5 agendas on the go and life gets more jutty.

For me. I roll with it as best I can. I continue with therapy and  learning.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Kindness

It is not hard or costly to be kind. Even on your darkest day remember to be kind to yourself.

On a better day share what you have in you.

Kindness.

It can be a minor thing. A wave. A thank you. A note. A smile. An " are you ok"?
Hold a hand or give a hug. 

Be the example of decency and  graciousness.

We are here for one reason or another. In common we can be Kind.

Monday, 15 July 2019

There Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone

When we have a shift...a switch..it can be for many reasons. Right now it is a feeling of trapped with Jykll and Hyde. For the body we feel pressure.
We are lots of skipping/shifting/ switching of each of us or some together or not. This Dissociation thing is a total bummer.
When SHE is gone...well if you know her @AFR365 on twitter, April, big April we know she is the light even in her own shithole.
We like that song by Bill Withers...Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone. Reminds us of her.
Been some crappola day for 5 Alive. We wish we could work miracles but we don't have any magic.
We hold the fort down. Defect. Ignore. Buffer.
Til she is back it is kind of like a hazy rain day.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Best Words

As the world spins, seemingly out of control, I hold firm. We have great things in common as humans. Individuals all unique.

I keep these words as good mental health boosts. In me, in you, somewhere... these reside in strength.

Kindness
Peace
Compassion
Empathy
Hope
Laughter
Brightness
Happy
Smiles
Curiousity
Intelligence
Trust
Resiliance
Promise
Shelter
Friendliness
Encouragement
Giving
Freedom
Spirit
Magic
Inspiration
Values
Dancing
Cheers
Calm
Sharing
Truth
Love

Just words perhaps. With each I feel a stir. Memories. People. Events. Places.
There is good in this world. Worth in the living.

Life storms have made me who I am. Alongside are the triumps and joyous moments. Through laughter and tears I grew and will continue to do so.

I hope when I leave this world I have found my way to be the words strung together as lights for others.

Share Your Story

Be a part of raising awareness, sharing the stories, educating, helping one another, and ending stigma in Mental Health/Illness.

There is a huge community helping each other as many cannot get the help services required to find coping and healing.

Many are already working to raise awareness and end stigma. Blogging, podcasting, writing books, sharing tips, starting groups, walking or running for charities, etc.

Mental health is a big part of how we get to live life to it's fullest.

Each of of us, with or without any disorder or illness has a voice, a keyboard, a kind word to another. This is part of your story too.

Change, growth, awareness, health can come with the help of many. It is together we journey.
Share yourself.
Share your story.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Being Real

There are many challenges in life. We don't get to pick many things we experience.

Coming from a background of many abuses and abusers PTSD, anxiety, depression and Disocciative Identity Disorder developed.

After many many moons I have done the majority of the trauma work needed to have my system of alters work more congruently. Far from perfect but more managable. I feel as integrated as possible at this time and am now focusing on my physical health and coping.

I was diagnosed with Anal Cancer in 2014. It is slow progression and difficult to treat. Many surgeries to try to keep my sphyncter intact. Avoiding radiation and chemo as long as possible.
I know it is there. I know it is growing.
Time.
Who knows what is to come.
Another invisible illness that cannot be seen.

"You look great"
"You are so strong"
"You are going to be ok."

I know you cannot see my innards twist or my mind spin.

I share my story so others know I too understand how it feels to Be Real. Good, bad or indifferent I want you to know that I see and feel like you.

Be Real.

This is who I am and how my life is.
A stumbling warrior perhaps, but I still have my sword.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Wowzers

Living in the best and the worst time. I have this period of 'time off' I was supposed to be free of hospitals and doctor checks and any physical crappola.

Unfortunately I am dealing with a 'woman's issue' requiring an out patient doctor. I had pain so bad and a bowel not working I was sure my cancer had spread. Good news not at all my bowel but my bowel reacting to inflamation on that side. It can be fixed but nothing happens fast even after an ambulance ride to hospital.

I have another 2 month wait for the proceedure. September. Wowzers.

Unbelievable that this is considered timely care in Canada. Makes me scared about my own health problems never mind many others I know are in similar positions.

Just wow.

Pain I cannot fix myself.
Pushing on trying to enjoy the moments.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Affirm and Reaffirm 💬

I like to use different reminders to help myself stay in today and know my truths in my life. Repetition to break negativity that likes to creep into my mind. It gets so easy to beat myself up. Being kind and positive is quite hard.

Mantras/Affirming Thoughts

I use a string of wood beads to just use tracking for my mind to stay saying one word or phrase over and over

Some examples

I am strong

Calm

Breathe

I am loved

I can do this

No fear

I am capable

Each day is different

Not ok is ok

Do what I can...little wins count

I am not broken

I am not a burden

It is ok to feel my feelings

For distraction I may just count the beads. I find the calm when I am practicing this tool.

Friday, 7 June 2019

TW - 'Parts' Check 🔒

When having to have a check up there are certain parts of my body that I (as a survivor of sexual abuse) have difficulty getting through being prodded at.

Now having anal cancer it is a different doctor checkin my 'junk' out regularly.

As a child I was sodomized.
I have Dissociative Identity Disorder that is a coping mechanism that developed out of multiple traumas. I have come leaps in terms of my mental health and dealing healing with PTSD and DID. I still have triggers that can set off flashbacks. Having a full anal exam is one of them.

Anal Cancer.

6 years

Multiple surgeries.

Lots of doctors, nurses, interns, etc. getting a look at me.

I have had great ones who truly care.
I have had others that I am just a body.
I have had ones that honestly have taken time to know me and are compassionate and patient.

If you are reading this and have DID, or even were abused as I was, you may understand the 'aftermath' iin spinning mind after an exam.

The anxiety runneth amuck. I am near tears. I work to contain it. I try to settle in now. Just the moment.

In the end exhaustion will take over and sleep will reset perhaps.
A little time break helps.

For me I know it will be ongoing regularly.
Strength holds me.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Life Scouts

I really think that there should be a set of badges for Living.
They would be like the Boy Scouts or Brownies or Girl Guides.

Let's face it life is a series of all kinds of challenges. We each face all different kinds.

Where to even begin with what my own would be? If I started from the beginning to now I have endless.

So if I took out the basics of life skills and went to experiences ...still quite a list.

I still think Life Badges should be awarded. Living is a series of achievements.
The hard ones that come with adulting should get awarded.

I could start with just 10 for every decade of my life.
That would be nearly 50!

Going to need two double sided sashes!🤣😂
Blood, sweat and tears got this body to here.

Maybe you can relate?

Thursday, 23 May 2019

5 Essentials

It is extremely important to make a self care plan that has 5 basics in it for any moments of distress, anxiety, deep depression etc.

An example of this could be;

1. Your breathing exercise
I use square breathing ( 4 count in 4 hold 4 out 4 pause ) and I have a drawing card up as a reminder.

2. Distraction with what is in your space (5 green objects, all things round, Count on your fingers back and forth, etc.)

3. Stretching gently
Light yoga works for me and there are guided apps.

4. Something comforting
( stuffed animal, photos, blanket, soothing scent, hot water bottle, so forth )

5. Music
I like jazz when I am stressed or I go yo familiar old rock.

The Lady

I met this lady. Wow. I was taken aback by her glow when she smiled. She spoke with an animation. A storyteller of sorts.

Tone and mannerisms flowing into different pieces as I watched her. A flash of hidden sadness. A moment in anger, or was it boldness I saw? Returned to glimmer and light.

Breaks of quiet and head turned away. There was more in her. This was obvious. I was eager to know the depth of this woman.

Time and again I sought her out. Getting small snipits of her substance. Learning her desires, her fears, her needs. I pieced  slivers of her life. A story that shattered this individual, yet made her magical.

A being like no other. I wondered where her path would take her. What turns could lay ahead? Would the demons continue to haunt her without invitation? Did her sadness lift? Did her happiness comes? Was her ending hard? Her story continued.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Believe This

I believed.
I saw but didn't see.
You had your truth that you hid.
Once so young I believed another.
The hurt stayed and fractured my being.
Another...I had come to the same conclusion.
Too young to have learned what was not real.
Naive and hopeful.
I trusted.
Woven illusions of binding strings. Decisions made based on what I was fed in lies.
Omissions that led to my being at risk repeatedly.
I believed the lies.
Many tell them.
I know more now.
More than 40 years later I know the reality I did not know then.
Like all I believed that rooked me, let me fall and crash.
I rise.
I fight.
I will claw my way back.
There I will make my own life.
One with no fogged glasses.
Back to a life I take charge of.
I believe in me.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Now

I wish I had something profound to say. I have few words other than a whirling head.
I live my days as best I can. Often it feels lonely and futile.
Uphill or downhill? I am not sure right now. Sideways and backwards on my head is how it feels.
I am melancholy. Depressed. My life circumstances bind me in discomfort.
I want to flee but cannot. For it is also so much that is physical. In me. On me. Illness sucks.
Keep going. Keep going.
Calm. Find it.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Part of the Story (a letter)

Part of the Story

Dear Me/We

We never take the time to let you know your truths.
Having lived a life with many harsh experiences one might think you would be jaded and angry. Despite your childhood traumas you found deep strength in ways many could not understand. A fragmented psyche that developed to keep you safe. You have DID. Alters there but you did not know.  Functional and protective.

Anxiety and depression would reign. Even as a child you were nervous, rubbing to corderoy off your jeans tryingv to calm yourself.
You held a crooked smile for so long. Inside turmoil and terror.

You aged into a beautiful woman. Your heart grew softer instead of hard. You are warm where cold could reside.

Married at 21.  It was 11 years of deep love, but heartbreak with an addicted partner. From him being into sobriety to being out of any recovery and a raging gambler... you held on to hope.
Dashed it was.
Time and again trust smashed.
Reality of your love crippled.
Financial abuse and your life left in shambles.

Again, you picked yourself up. Years in divorce court.
Now you were 37.
Disheveled and scattered.
Life broken and lost.
You held on barely.

Desperate and failing you sought more help. You worked on yourself. You found your inner sparkle.

And your story continued.....

From US

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Am I Sensitive?

I am sensitive.
I also am kind.
I am perhaps easily offended by some things.
I have a strong sense of values. Blame my Catholic upbringing. I learned early to fight or flee. Most often I flee. If I chose to fight it is that I feel a line ( what I feel is right or wrong ) has been crossed. Then it is on. No silence. Not anymore. Years of being silent for so many things and people have passed. I speak out.

And the Dragon blew fire back. I did not waver.
My hands clenched tight around my sword.
Shaking I rose it high. Hefted up with courage.
My voice ...listen.
Strongly speak. I will not bow to your breathe.
Be kind.
Tame yourself Dragon.
I come only with a message.
Why must you burn me?
And the Dragon blew fire back. I did not waver.

I will not be silenced by intimidation. Yet I do feel fear as I try hard to stand up.
Sensitive yes.
I feel it deeply when my voice is not heard.

Monday, 15 April 2019

My day

The day started off tired. I felt this way regularly. Probably close to 7 yrs of being up at night. Thus, mornings are a bitch!

Java. Coffee. I pour it in with hopes of being more alert, to no avail. I play on social media. Answer a few messages...maybe..hard to think in the head fog. Nope...can't stay up.

Nap.
That's right. I have to sleep. My eyes are too heavy.
An hour and a half. That is about how long that sleep is. I am probably at a total of 5 hrs now.

Dragging my ass. I force myself to shower and dress. I just want to go back to bed.
I pick a task. There are plenty to chose from as I live in the 'packing for a move' space. What shall it be? Clean a bit. Knit. Pack a box. Errands?

I want to go out. I want to stay home.

There is an anxiety building.

Tension in. But I can hide in my area.

Out is noise and people and sometimes it can be too much. Out is freedom from the daily tension tho.

I feel a sort of defeat.

My attitude could use some positivity.
I need to be in laughter. I need to feel confidence. I need to feel safe by myself and with others.

I am not my diagnosis. Not any of them. Labels that point to how I am. Deeper is who I am.
So many labels do give me a feeling of Damaged. Broken. Unlovable.

The mantras are ;
I am perfect as I am.
I am beautiful inside and out.
I am worthy of love.
I am strong and brave.
I can do this.

The days are what they are. I can just do my best.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Lyrist

Throwing sparks
Camp fire sizzled
Burning skylight
Darkness lit
Flames meet stars
Earth to sky
Together glow
~A.R.

Head tucked in
Screams silent
To self
Balled body
No comfort
Found
Eyes clouded
Tear burnt
No sobs
Silently curled
Away in mind
She goes
~A.R.*

With all of your senses
From toes to her crown
Learn her with all of you
Experience depth in this woman
She opened herself reluctantly
Trace her paths to tender heart
Be harsh and she snaps off
Gone away while you take
Shattered inside and gone
~A.R.*

Human Being
Just Being
Answers
Out there
Inside
Some sought
Some to hide
Living breathing
Breathe calmness
Human Being
Just Live
~A.R.*

The night time poet
Quill of ink
Lashing words
Toward ghosts
Who listen eager
For delightful tales
Of Her and Them
Or I perhaps
~A.R.*

She has a smile
Wears it fine
Behind it pain
Tired and torn
A soul seeking
Something more
Strong she wars
Battles unseen
Wearing her crown
A little askew
~A.R.*

Music playing in her head
Of the living and the dead
Blanking out the world around
Not a movement nor a sound
Stuck inside her wounds
For that short lived time
It played again inside
That movie in her mind
~A.R.*

The world spins
I whirl along
This life so hard
Yet smile I will
Despite the harshness
Of others
~A.R.*

In the heart
Buried away
Locked love
For now
Damaged
In ways
I am
Not sure
My time
My life
A whirl
Perhaps
What comes
Will be
A key
~A.R*

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Ooooh my Arse

Yes my arse. My butt. My anal area. Butthole. Ass. Yes.
It is in pain. I was cut end to end
Yes it was a cyst and benign this time. Good news.
Being cut 8 to the area means at week 4 it is still raw and healing.
Stitches across stitches.

Add hip and pain at tops of femur.
They are none too gentle when positioning to work on the butt. 😳
Mine are inflammed and screaming pain.

Today I am angry, lonely and tired.
It has been almost 6 years of this and I did not ask for ongoing life with Anal Cancer (look it up).
I just want to get out.
Be better.
Depression hovers.

Resiliancy is the only way.

The rope may be burning my hands but I haven't let go.

Night Terrors

Dreams that are bad are nightmares.
Up it a notch and a person experiences Night Terror.
Often a product of trauma of one sort or another.
Events distorted by the haze of fitful rest. A guise of sleep.
Entering distinct clear visions.
Perhaps pieces of the past strung together in nonsense sequences.
Trapped with all senses seemingly raw and alive within this dream.
A dream. But a dream.. but not.
Screams seem piercingly real.
My dream...my terrors.
My life alive in night terrors.
Jumbled and frightening.
I will wake abruptly, soaked in sweat, heart pounding.
Anxiety will grab on as I am vulnerable. Defences down.
Often I weep for what I cannot change.
The desire to go forward is sapped of energy after nights of terror.
Strings of these and exhaustion happens.
No cure.
I do my care. I have meds. I keep trying and working with my therapist.
Hold on to hope each time I put my head down that this night will be free of mind fear.

Flight of Mind

Don't make a move. Don't even breathe. Pretend you're invisible. (Like sitting out in the living room was totally not noticable.)
Shhhhhh... my mind was busy working on my predicament.
Who was I fooling?
I was caught. No place to run to.
Face it head on!!, the mind says.
I could feel my palms go sweaty with anticipation.
Chin up girl, I tell myself.
It's just allergies not tears....
Oh hell, how bad can it be?
(Thinking commences...)
I know....
I just know!
It can be a nastiness like no other.

I say nothing. Heart racing.
Fight or flight kicks in.
Hot cheeks.
Anxiety...coming fast.
I can't slow.
I gotta go. I just have to.
Panic is coming.
Set off. I am triggered by the fear.
Not knowing what will happen. Not stable. Unpredictable.
I feel ill inside and out.
Hide.
Hide.
Run.
Mind on fire.
I take flight.
Dissasociated.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Living List Pool

https://paypal.me/pools/c/8c1lgBe7Rl

No bucket. I live today.
Anal Cancer we are sparring!

@AFR365

This is a fund to accomplish some of my living list while I am able. Please have a look. Any amount helps. Sometimes you just have to ask for what you need and hope.

Up on my list:

Train to Quebec City
Butterfly Emporium Cambridge
Toronto Aquarium and iFly
Tour to Tobermory/ Manitoulin

So much I would love to see and do. People I would love a chance to meet.

🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞

Friday, 29 March 2019

The Way It is

Don't make a move. Don't even breathe. Pretend you're invisible. (Like sitting out in the living room was totally not noticable.)
Shhhhhh... my mind was busy working on my predicament.
Who was I fooling?
I was caught. No place to run to.
Face it head on!!, the mind says.
I could feel my palms go sweaty with anticipation.
Chin up girl, I tell myself.
It's just allergies not tears....
Oh hell, how bad can it be?
(Thinking commences...)
I know....
The demons of yesterday are all over me. Todays life is sending me into waves of clashing times.
I push back tears.
I just know!
It can be a nastiness like no other.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

The health update

He took 2 , 1cm areas, was supposed to be 1 2mm and a small tag...
Hope he got it.
Was drugged and froze and home.

Meantime...
Post surgery.

Not feeling good. Bad night. Ptsd triggers. Terrified what is next...
#nocancerleftbehind

Worrisome. Get results in two weeks.

Scared.
Angry
Confused
Hopeless

Feeling suicidal.

Results are in!

Cyst takes and large cell area cleared.

Benign this time. (Cut 8 this area on. Pre to cancer to pre...)


Anal cancer does not leave so I will face it again and again. Today I got some freedom time for 4 months...fingers crossed.

Healing. Grateful for all your support
#nocancerleftbehind

BUTT I got my eye on it!! A few months of freedom and do my Living list. Then back to oncology for check.


What I can handle

A lot.

They used to see me as sensitive.
Soft and kind with some spunk.
I can handle far more than they knew or know.

It is not in pride I say this but as a truth.
I am more than you know or understand.
I may say what I am facing or coping or I may not.

I can make my way somehow.
(DID add the helpers)
There is backbone here.

I am learning that the strength can also be in asking for what you need. ( Like having your friend keep you distracted from self harm during a bad set of days).

It isn't always pretty.
I get to a messy place and mind space.
I am still here.

In my life..
The pre cancer is a waiting volcano that has no stop. It will return and cancer is on my path.
Time.
Use it wisely.

Do I fight my depression and anxiety? Daily.
I am.

Never underestimate your power. We each have this deep in us.
Find it and use it.

Be brave.

We can handle it.

Words Released

Her long frame
Curled in a swirl
Legs tight to chest
Unfurled to long legged beauty
Soft skin pressed closer
Seeking safety
Desire to mold to near one
Being your tangled mess
Caressing night
With heatbeats
Joined
~A.R."

Fire bright
Lighted circle
Swaying flames
Smokey sparks
Cold night
Embrace warmth
Embers hot
Dazzled Eyes
Glowing cheeks
Catch her
Lock eyes
Depth heated
Wanted soul
Fire bright
~A.R.*

Clanging chains
Whipped frantically
Twisted together
Swung furious
Dasterdly wind
Plays havoc
With swings
~A.R.*

From her thigh to her hip.
He grazed with his lips.
Up her side.
Laying kisses along the way.
His hand tangled in her long hair.

Pull back in a jolt.
He woke.
But a dream she was.
~A.R.*

Send me peace
A mind at rest
Trying hard
To do my best
Cruel world
Illness dwells
Body fight
The cuts ands swells
Soon release
It will come
Meantime I live
Another day
~A.R.*

From past to present
It comes over me
In waves of memory
Thrashing my mind
A time long gone
Hauntingly real
For it had been
I lived it
Repeating
Only in my mind
Yet fear still comes
To sit awhile
Remember
Let go
I did
It didn't
Flashback
Then gone
~A.R.

Graziing lips
Forehead kiss
Sweet love awaken
Brown eyed babe
Unconditional bond
Fur baby
You are
My comfort
~A.R.*

Elephants boogie in my head
Noise loud could wake dead
Painful thoughts they hold
Remembering where we've been
Fearing the tomorrows
Time on loan we borrow
Dance Elephants to your song
Of sweet pain and sorrow
Our herd shall battle again
Tomorrow
~A.R*

Dance with me
My shadow
Lead or follow
Life music
In steps
Tentative
Flowing
Forward
~A.R.*

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Disconnected

I am struggling.
I feel like I cannot feel anything.
There just is too much I am shut down.
My mind is everywhere and nowhere.
It is going "Too fast for the Slow Parts" in my life.
I have been melancholy much of my day.
That has gone now as I am worn.
Depleted.

A twitter post I made today...

Fk you cancer
Fk you depression
Screw off suicidal thoughts
Back off anxiety
This is my mantra today!
#SickNotWeak #nocancerleftbehind #KeepTalkingMH

Tonight no fight left.
Yet again, I cannot get myself to sleep.
The disconnect from self begins.
Tonight I am aware.

#DIDprobs

( I will fragment and a part/alter will front and be awake. Doing their own agenda. Perhaps this brain is protecting me from nightmares tonight...sigh.)

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Post - Surgery Wait

March 7th Surgery was more cutting than expected and deep.
The pain meds give me nausea and badly puffed eyes.

It is now the 13th and I stopped the pain med. Tylenol and Gravol now.

I have had so many to date this time I asked a great friend to come help and watch out for me here.
I feel very lucky as the recovery has been very hard and I have no energy.
Glad I asked for help. Grateful.

So many twitter peeps have sent love and support.
Kind words help so much.

Another week til I get my results.
Fear.
Cancer sucks.
This type is ongoing.
What's next??
I am tired and scared.
I don't feel good.
Time.
Wait.

So hard.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Breathe through It Here

It was needed.

A really deep breathe.

More than one, and slow.

It was hot out. A bit of a breeze. Clear and fresh.
The sun was low in the sky
It's felt good on my strained face.
Stressed...anger, frustration, sadness and a feeling of futility.

Take 20, she heard that saying somewhere.

Time out.

Mind in full spin over days of house infighting. A place that was supposed to be home no longer felt any peace or safety. Emotional hostage. Trapped in ways to long to explain.

Breathe.

No more thinking.
There is no reasoning with what is happening. Age and health, history and mystery.

Just breathe.

Can't fix it. Nope. Not today.

Breathe.

It's too much...

It's been this before and passed.

Resolutions???
You know this is out of hands but those of a professional. Some are time and agebound. Not a lot there can be done to stop time marching forword.

Breathe.

I am not ready for them aging. I am not ready to watch them going little by little! Make this stop!

Breathe please.

Strong inside.
Let out the tears.
Mourning so much.

Breathe in.

As the sun falls.
Rest the mind.
Rest the mind.
For now....Pause = Peace

Friday, 22 February 2019

The 'No' Word

There are so many things about me and my life I do not share.
Lots I have done my therapy time over and some not.
It is mine. Mine to decide if and when I share.

I can say No. It is something I am learning. I am not unkind for doing what is right for me. It is extremely hard as I am raised on put others before yourself and No was not acceptable.

The next part of that is, No Explanation Required. I always feel I need to justify my No.
Truth is no need to give anyone a reason for your boundary. It is not their business to mind.
It exists and there it is.
No.

Throughout my life I grew 'hangups'.
Many are fear based.
Not all realistic.
These are blocks to doing things. Feeling things. Eating things. Staying certain places.
Too many to list if I broke it down.

Some of these I have gotten ahead with or lapsed again...it is an ongoing process.

When I screw up enough courage to express No I really mean it.

When No needs an explanation and I have none to give, that is now your problem not mine. I do not have to fill an expectation.

I try very hard to not use Promises. I know I have agoraphobic tendancies as well as stimuli anxiety. Good days and not good. I cannot always do what I want/wish I could.

Telling you my background so you get the why is the last thing I want to discuss.

It has to be just No and learn as we go.

Come too close and push too hard and I will shut down. In turn I will not keep allowing it and I will shut you out.

Now if you remember I am plural. DID. Keeping this in mind we as a bunch in one body do not always have the same thoughts, feelings, or agendas.
It isn't just about protecting my boundaries and being comfortable to say no for me..there are 4 more.
We must each have some of that ability to say No.
Another part may be completely offended and give you the boot.
It has happened.
I believe it is for the good of the whole body. I tend to go with it.

No ...probably one of the first words a baby learns. The now hardest to say.

Deep thoughts today

Context and meaning.
I have been in contemplation over this life I have.
Deep grooves line my forehead and silver kisses in my hair all show time put in. Earth being.
Mostly land bound.
The years of memory often are blurred. Aging is not stoppable.
Nor would I wish to go backward.
If I left this world today have I lived a tale, fairies and dragons, worth sharing?

Contemplation.

I have been in deep reflective thought about the rest of my life story.
What will be?
I have hope and dreams
Aspirations
Desire to Inspire
Is time on my side?
What can I pull off as my physical health changes?
How will my mental health respond?

Breathe. In 234. Hold 234 Out 234 Pause 234.

The fear of Forward in my life shoes can be gripping.

I am going to leave a mark on this world somehow, some way.
I have scratched it's surfaced and fought hard.
Doing my best along my way.

Deep thoughts and pondering.

I have been mending for days after surgery and now waiting for results. Scared for sure.
(Read about my physical health in other posts)
Warrior, strong and brave...others have said.
I am not feeling it.
I will. I will.
Heal and feel.
Do what I can.

Breathe.

Breathe and rest.
Another day to be all I can Tomorrow.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

It's My Table

My life.
My story.
My table.
I invite you to sit.
I will also decide what happens at, in, or around My personal table.
I decide.
For me.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

It's never too late to say "I am sorry"

So many things done and said leave hurt that lingers.
Owning behavior an illusion for some. Abuse left unspoken.
From a child to adulthood I have felt the many levels of betrayal and indignity. Apologies that will never come.
A few heard.
Some not real.
Some geniune.
Many to let go of.
I cannot live in vengence.
I cannot seek retribution.
To guilt or shame would not serve me.
I work on myself.
My own reactions and behavior.
I try to own what is mine.
I make mistakes.
Refection is only to be aware.
Often I have let those past hurts continue to hurt me.
I do carry some.
Lingering.
This is life learning.
I am not always sure who the lesson is for when I suffer.
The offender or the offended.
My wall rises and falls.
Uncertain of who or what is safe.
Why me?
Do they knew what mess they left behind?
Now my mess.
It's never too late to say you are sorry.( ? )
If you do..be sure your actions match your words.

Monday, 4 February 2019

You could be Poor

Poverty.

There are many levels. None are good.

Even in a developed, democracized advanced society the poor exist in masses.

There are Canadians cities big and small with homeless in crisis.

There are physically and mentally ill doing without proper living conditions or healthcare.

Veteran beside addict who had been a lawyer.

There are some who have shelter but qualify for limited assistance.

There are the working poor who live on extra jobs to put food in bellies. No benefits. There is not enough money month to month as prices go up and their incomes do not.

Poor is not a choice for the majority.

I am one of the ill and poor. My budget is tight. I learned to scrimp. I mend and make do. When well I create different arworks and sell in my allowed top up. It isn't much but I save it for my living list (living with cancer I am trying to fill some of my wishes).
As changes in my health press I know some things I need to do very soon. Yet I am not quite well enough to create arworks too fast. Frustrating.

Make a wish...to not be poor today.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Trigger Warning The Girl 🔒

She is running to the swings. The spinner is too full. There is no one to share the teeter- totter with. She doesn't know most of these kids. It's a tournament. Dad's coaching.
When really bored she runs the far sideline. Adults know her. Some watch after her. Dad is somehow with OPSA.
Today coach. Other times he refs. Soccor/football.
Weekend tourneys were long for. Shuffling along. She needed a drink and a pee.
Parents and organizers had some motor homes at the pitch.
She didn't know who to go to. Where was she supposed to go?
Shy. She walked by a few times.
Lawn chairs were lined up but most were over cheering on theiir teams.
"Hey there! Are you needing something?"
It was a man. A face she vaguely knew but didn't know. He was with OPSA. It's the mid 70s. She is about 7.
"Ahh.." Her.
"Your Slivs girl. You know me. You need a drink?"
"I need to go bathroom" says the girl.
He took her into a RV. He was talking nice. She wasn't listening as her bladder was past full.
Things got strange. He watched with the door open to the little bathroom.
She hadn't noticed he had locked the RV doors.
Unsure she just got on and started. She tried to look away.
He was quiet. She thought he had to pee too.
She was taking so long he pulled his pee pee out.
He held it and moaned.
Swore. Still pulling on it.
And a terrible looking pee came out.
Her face blanched. Trouble.
"Bad girl. Get out."
Bad.
She went quickly.
Swings. Go to the swings.

(Why can't I see his face? This is a flashback. Not me. I have DID)

Friday, 25 January 2019

Catch a Break

Respite.
3 glorious days away.

No details for you!!

Suffice it to say it was rejuvenating for me to catch a break from my normal days.
Away time.

I have learned some things about myself. I got some rest and energized.

Then it ended.
Oh, it ended and ... boom...Reality.

I am in adjustment mode.
It is an uncomfortable feeling.
Worry has returned and anxiety is peeking out.

I will endure and I will bounce back.
I have a deep reserve. A strong resolve.

Just keep going. Backward or forward, these are still steps.

Do You Know The Way???

Some days I feel so lost.

I am upside down and inside out.

Scattered like puzzle pieces. Some facing up and many not. I don't even know what I am putting together as I have lost the picture.

What is my goal?

In the moment stay, they say.
I can't.
I can't get there from here.
I don't know how.
I don't know how to get it calmed.

Yes I have myvtoolbox of tricks out. Self care. Breathe. Distraction. Stretching. Sit still with tea.

I don't know how when I am like this. I keep going to my toolbox. Repeat. Try again. Do it different. What more? Which way?

I have complex mental illness issues. I am well aware.
I do my very best.
At times this spinning does occur.
The brain is 'frazzled'.

How can I cope?
Can I get it straightened some, my wobbly footings?

Do you know the way?

Thursday, 24 January 2019

I Want to tell you this

My life has been under pressure.

I feel constant stress. Some is inside of me emotionally and some is outside circumstances.

I press on.

Lots of difficulty facing days, especially when I had days of waking anxiety. I run on little sleep.

The second Split movie came out and my DID community is taking hits.

Do I go back into hiding?
Stigma is harsh.
My city not huge.
Am I safe to continue sharing and helping others?

I will continue.

I have made myself a voice for a reason.
Educate one by one. Write about Disassociation etc.

I was away with a friend for a few days. It was a wonderful time. A much needed visit in the presence of a real friend I can trust. I got to breathe. I calmed. I slept.

I want to tell you. It only took one day after taking a time out from my environment that my anxiety returned high, tears again, feeling scared....
No sleep.

My mind is so loud. So much I try to wade through.

I want to tell you...
Thanks for sharing my journey.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Muse


He was her muse
Hard
In all the riight places
She put him through his paces.
A world he craved
She opened the doors
Loving him
Briefly
Knowing this time was short
He grew wings
Loving her
Not wanting to fly
She lead him
Away
And said goodbye

Monday, 7 January 2019

From me

Holy moly! I cannot belief I am back to fighting depression for my life. Anxiety has been a beast.
I have hit that line. Sucide. It wasn't a pretty few days. With the help of medication and a great psychiatrist I got through. I was right out of my head over an upcoming oncology appointment. Having been surviving Anal Cancer for 5 years has been absolutely life altering. This is in ways only an abuse survivor could understand. Invasion. I cannot free myself. Pain.
In some ways it is multiplying trauma.
How I got this...I forgave.
Today...holding the 'bag of crap on fire' by myself just is a lot to handle.
I will. I can. Holy moly. I don't know... breathe.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

She Was

She was wild and bold.
Some thought she was out of control.
She took risks, but not life or limb. She was all about The Experience.
Life.
Out of the box.
Testing new waters just for shits and giggles.
No harm, no fowl her motto.
That girl was freedom.
Unleashed but in control.
A sense of confidence.
She lived in laughter for the outside eyes. She held back her own tears.
Forging a new path was not easy.
This other side was her outlet.
Lost in so many other ways.
Scattered inside.
She needed release.
Relief came in a reckless abandon.
But only to her.
No harm, no foul.
She brought new views...opening hearts and minds around her.
Ask her and you would not believe.
Many things to her checklist.
Life Experience.
Outside the box.
Freeing for moments, from a place of hidden pain.

So many Questions....🙃

How many pictures do you carry in your head?

What are the words you have but do not speak?

How many memories where you found joy?

Is there curiousity still in you?

Do you see all that you have accomplished?

Do you realize you are unique as a human being?

Do you struggle but push on?

Can you fun play as an adult?

Are you open to trying new things?

Have you shared and cared?

Do you reach out when you need support?

What are your interests?

Can you stay in the moment?

Do you give yourself praise?

Do you use your old lying self loathing self talk?

Do you know your truths?

Have you given out love?