Friday, 19 January 2018

My Anal Cancer

I have HPV related Anal Cancer. Meaning, I get spots on the outside of my sphyncter. (They can come up anywhere sexual fluids travel, front to back. Many women get HPV related Cervical cancer. My cervix is clear.) I have spots forward that were benign and two there to be lasered end of January.
Anal Cancer is spots that become tag like and the cells turn from pre cancer to cancer.
A year ago I had cancer taken. Pre cancer was left. I have two areas again. I am waiting for a Surgery date.
I got HPV from an ex partner. He had gone elsewhere. I was devastated then.
I continue to be devastated. I can't get away from it.
Everyday I have to face it again.
It is a lonely, painful and frightening place.
Therapy. Lots of it. I continue to barely cope.
Depression and anxiety are strong many days.
Sunshine comes.
It does.
I wait.
Some days it shines from me.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Cannot Go

I am set back. I have lots on my plate but that is not unusual.

I am feeling very stuck and insecure since I stayed at the hospital lock up. It was a nightmare that has left me feeling unsafe and needing my safespot immediately. Anxiety quickly turning to panic.

I had this long ago (2005) after being sick 11 month with c-difficile. I had been home too long. I no longer was managing being out.

Out is a lot of stimuli. Lights. Cars. People. Things everywhere. It is the unfamiliar. Not knowing, and lack of control.

How do I find my way back? Why can't I shake it? What do I do to help myself?

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Poetry poetry...

Dance amongst the wisps
Made by angels wings
On fluffy snow surfaces
Dance around the fire
Where the demons hide
Your footsteps light
Like your heart and smile
With faith and hope
Dance
~A.R.

Power through
Reach the shore
Wrong way
I steered
Veered off
My path
Swim out
Find my mark
Clean strokes
To land
Again
Drifting out
Lost
And drowning
The beach calls
Ride the wave
To destiny
~A.R.

Patching pieces
Filling the gaps
A newness
With purpose still
Perhaps heartier
For the breaks
Mended stronger
~A.R.

Standing on tiptoe
Eyes peeking
Over the rail
Little footprints
On the stairs
In fear
Rushing down
Whites glowing
Wet cheeks
A nightmare
For a child
Now for the woman
Who grew up
~A.R.

Frosty morning
A cold mood to match
Bitter wind
Blows through her
Seeking refuge
To thaw
A frozen heart
~A.R.

Into the realm of Darkness
I shone light
The fear and pain drew you in
Vulnerable prey
I know your face
It is my own
We have seen this demon
Fought before
Now conquer together
Hearts will glow
~A.R.

Joyous wind
Brisk and breathtaking
Days frigid friend
Spinning gusts
Of glittering snow
The playground
Where icicles grow
The Hearty
Do face
The season
Of sharing
Warmth
~A.R.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Needing An Out

Since my hospital stay in October I have been experiences after effects.

When in hospital I could not leave. The stay was extremely traumatic.
My big fear now is being trapped. Stuck. Unable to make choices or feel safe.
I am safe. I just cannot convince myself.

I have a list of to do's. Things I want to see and do. A cancer diagnosis really made me think about the important things on life. I looked at people, places and things.

One was to visit our Niagra Falls at night in winter.

Yesterday my step father and I headed out on our adventure. Falls. Dinner. Sleepover. Breakfast. Home.
At 8 pm I could barely stand myself. My anxiety was at its peak. Home time.
I had tried to get past it.
The feeling was incredibly overwhelming.
Fortunately my step father and I had agreed that going back home was always open option.
So home we came.

I felt I had failed. I didn't stay.
I still feel badly.
I want to be past this agoraphobic fear.

I keep trying. I keep pushing.
Sometimes it is two steps forward and two back...or just one. Sometimes we make leaps.
The key is to keep trying.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Skills

What am I Good At? What I can do?

We are each unique and have learned many things in life. Some we are better at than others. Met set of skills is every growing and makes me ME.
Often these things I do not see, overlook, or give myself little credit for.
I am learning...
This was therapy homework. Thus the following list.

April Knows

1. I am good at writing poetry
2. I am good at helping others
3. I am good at sharing my mental health tools.
4. I make good comfort food.
5. I can search information and process quickly.
6. I am funny.
7. I have cute feet.
8. I am a good helper for old people.
9. I figure out technical or other types of projects ... can be self reliant.
10. I can paint on canvas
11. I can create something out of junk..can repurpose.
12. Good at budgeting.
13. Good dog mom.
14. Good at finding a bargain.
15. Good at remembering odd details.
16. I can bake good cookies, muffins and popovers and scones, homemade trail mix.
17. I still look good for my age.
18. I can felt
19. I can crochet rugs.
20. I am a strong swimmer and paddle canoe
21. I have sent 129 smile packages around the world
22. I can carve walking sticks and use wood burner to decorate
23. I roll a perfect joint
24. I write nice personal letters
25. I did my homework

I shared this at my therapy session. When I left I heard myself...
You are a liar
You don't do that well
You are tooting your own horm and that is ego and you are wrong.
You don't deserve praise

The mind tape id powerful and I will rebike all of those things I continue to tell myself.
That voice lies.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Write The Words

You cannot see me
I am faded into shadows
Taken from light
No reflection
No colour
I whisper...I am here
No sound to be
You cannot hear me
Faded away
Perhaps
A faint
Memory
~A.R.

Joyous wind
Brisk and breathtaking
Days frigid friend
Spinning gusts
Of glittering snow
The playground
Where icicles grow
The Hearty
Do face
The season
Of sharing
Warmth
~A.R.

I cannot find Me
It is hard for you to see
I wear my mask well
It grows heavy
As I tire of the face
That is not Real
Inside
I am shattering
In slow motion
~A.R.

Into the realm of Darkness
I shone light
The fear and pain drew you in
Vulnerable prey
I know your face
It is my own
We have seen this demon
Fought before
Now conquer together
Hearts will glow
~A.R.*

Monday, 1 January 2018

Figuring Out DID..a Start..

Do you know who is in your system and why? Some call this Mapping.
Can you communicate with your alters as learning about them and openning tbe door to them can help with cooperation...like no texting outside of a safe list of people.
I use a wipeboard for questions or trying to establish boundaries. I also text myself on my phone. Notes.
There is lots of information that can help you get your system to be more cohesive.

Find others who understand
@DiscussingDID @TheWeInMe @AFR365 @hashtagDIDchat @ivorygarden etc. 
Support is key.
There are online chats on facebook and twitter. As well as support groups like Ivorygarden.org.
Connect and learn from each other is very helpful.
They also hold a conference in Atlanta every year. Well worth joining.

I suggest writing if you can and see if your system is in disharmony for a reason or reasons. They know you. You need to know them.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Gone

Sometimes I float away. Or go deep within myself. I cannot hear or respond to my environment.
My body and/or mind is on overdrive. Autopilot seems to have kicked in.
I say "my lights are on but nobody's home".
I am gapping out, zoning out, partially shut down.
Some call this A State of Fugue. Disassosiation.
It can last seconds or much longer. Some people can miss large chunks of time in this state.
I would prefer it didn't happen at all.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Seasons Greetings..Merry Ho! Ho! All

Breathe and make thr best of the moments as you would everyday.
Think of each other.
Do your best.
Small successes.
Know your limits.
Stay grounded.
Take breathers.
Reach out if you are struggling.

Love to all.

Merry Christmas.

No I am not feeling the joy of this but I am doing my best. Cold and all. I can do it.

#SickNotWeak #KeepTalkingMH
And all others.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Stringing Words

Silence self
To bear this weight
Life balance
To find
In rest
I heal
~A.R.

Look to the sky
For my eyes
My soul
Refect back to
They who look
Hard
~A.R.

No wind to glide on
Wings of strength
Freedom flight
Take heights
Lift me
Away
~A.R.

Heavy
The little stones
Experiences
Some
Dark weights
In heart
Add up
Strings
Releasing
Time held
Tears
Carry on
Carry on
~A.R.





Saturday, 16 December 2017

Winter in the Air

Welcome Winter.
You white cold fickle season.
I get You.
I understand.

Mixed up.
Sparkling through bitterness.
Throwing a blastful fit of fury.
I cry when You sleet too.
Nastiness happens.
That feeling of coming but then going.
Moreso last several years.
Me as well.
I understand Winter.

It is testing season.
How long?
How hard will it be?
How much can you handle?
Will it ever be over.

I feel You, Winter.

Eggnog Blues

It is a really cold and loooonnnely night in December. Freezing temperatures that chill to the bone.
Memories flood this time of year. Winters long ago now. Times with a partner planning the holidays. A home to decorate. Places to go. Christmas gatherings. Friends. Fun. Food. Laughter.

Here I sit alone.
Silence is my partner.
Quietly stoic.
A wall.
Numb and cold.
Does Silence listen to me?

Many experience sadness, anxiety, depression etc this time of year. With that lots of reasons. Sun deprivation. Sleeplessness. Money worries. Job problems. Family or lack of family issues...

Nothing is festively bright if we aren't feeling a happiness within. Our coping becomes difficult. Many of us would like to skip it altogether.

This is, afterall, the season of sharing love and joy with family and friends.
Traditions. Festivity.
The lights and shìmmer. Love and beauty.

Hmmm...fruitcake and eggnog.
Bahhh Eggnog.

Not this day. No spirit in this night.
Maybe tomorrow....

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Arghhhh!!

I woke up miserable. I get little sleep at night. The sleep I get is fitfull snd can be ridden with nightmares.

I do take sleep medication but often fear is more powerful than them and I am up. If you know about Disassociation (DID) then you would understand that it is not always known to me that I am up and about. I have parts/alters.
One is Wee. 5 yrs old.
Wee is afraid. I have tried about everything to get this part to understand in Now she/we are safe. Nope.
She is up and does her own thing the better part of the night.

So. Today was empty cornflake box. Cereal. She ate it in 5 days!🤢
I am feeling the effects.
There have been other things and it is often. Food free for all happens.
She once ate all the raisins out of a box of Raisin Bran in one go. Every last one. 😲
She gets a note from me about these things. Problem is I don't always know what has caused my distress til later...live and learn for this system with Wee.
4 Alters. She is the youngest.
I do not see or here them.
I find out by things laying out or moved etc. Or if one leaves me a note. Or if someone sees.
It is complicated. No. I do not fully understand how alters evolve out of trauma.
It just is my defense mechanism.

On with waking miserable. ☹

It turned to angry 😈 when my car would not start. I had appointment to get to and plans for after. Nope. I got a car to get to my appointment but would have to hurry back.
I got ready quickly and got going.
Nothing felt right.
Now I was ready for tears. 😢
Fuck off tears I am driving.
So. I get to oncology. It is social worker today and after Friday in Specialist (finding two spots that have to be removed) I was just done. Tears coming while waiting.
I am not a fan of crying never mind other people seeing this. Mad snd sad and crying I make my way through some hard issues. Therapy is help. Therapy is painful.
Talking is hard.

I never want to come staight back home after. Today I had to.

Got my car going and took it for drive...battery. Hoping it is good now🙄.

I honestly feel just like it is all fucked up.
Already 2018 has two treatment procedures. One end of January and the other I am waiting for a date.
I had really hoped for a reprieve.
It just goes on and on.

My nerves. My head. My feelings about myself...
I have work to do on this.

Tired. So tired.

I keep going.
Some days I don't know why. I just know I must.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Own your Feelings

I used to use blame. It is what I knew.
Ie:
You make me feel angry.
You did that and hurt me.

I am learning that we are each responsible for our own feelings.
We cannot assume the intent of another.
We feel. Absolutely. Our responses are ours though.

There is an anology:

A joke is told two laugh, one is angry and one burst into tears. The jokster is on tv....
Each have different responses. Is this the joksters doing? Does that tv person have that power....to make you feel?

Feelings are part innate and part learned through experience.
Peer influence and life factors contribute. 

I have to own my feelings. I can make some change in my responses. I can clarify with the other person intent. I can convey what I have going on inside. I can think about my reaction.

Act
Not React

Separate the other person from the behavior...as we all make errors and do things without thinking.

Love the person
Not the behavior.

When we own our feelings we can work to free ourselves.
The feelings are real. They come from within us.
The blame game..You did such and such..is not productive.
Ie:
I feel....when such and such happened.
I got angry when such and such was said.

Own self.
Own power.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

"I just don't want to!" And my similar Stances

Some days there is not a day. I prefer to hide in any acceptable (or not) method of dodging my world as much as I can.

I feel empty
I feel beyond tired
I have the shakes
I hurt but cannot explain
I want to cry
I don't wan't anyone to see
My mind is everywhere but nowhere
I have a tight chest
I need quiet
Or my own distraction
Nothingness
Attempting to connect to the online world...is my pace and unlike fellow house member, I can turn off.
Sometimes I can't cope with questions and probing etc.
Needing space.
Alone. Slow. Basics.
Days like these are long and painfully drawn out.
I got through. Again.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Damn Body

Back to new specialist...3 hours
north of home...4 in a snowstorm!😨
It was a heck of a drive. Going north thru bush and rock on the 6 to 4 to 2 to 4 lane highway. 
Wind and snow and those crusty little snowballs...
Made it. Nerves rattling.
New Anal Cancer Specialist was very compassionate and informing and ...gentle.
It is an aweful process but I got thru the check.
I have two spots that need to be removed.
"They are nothing until they are something" is how it is.
I feel...a lot...but I am so tired.
Relief as I could feel something not right.
Anger this continues on and on ...like I am planning hospital stuff all over for New Year already.
Sad I am missing so much living time...
That Is NOT the list I want to be doing!
Maybe I need to plan Me days inbetween...yes..plan some of that much needed self care!
(Honestly my brain body and heart all just wish to wrap up tight and hide in sleep)
For tonight rest. Pull thoughts together.
Breathe lots. 😥

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Living Me

There are many things about me that are unusual. I don't advertise nor do I hide.
Mental health has been my primary focus
Many tools are handy with cancer diagnosis. Mine is Anal Cancer. Not one talked about often.
I was asked some time ago, with my cancer diagnosis, would I allow my picture to be taken along my journey?
A friend's project. As a professional photographer this friend had lost both parents as well as his best life friend to cancer. A portrayal of the person as patient. At some point to use for display for cancer awareness.
Where it goes...well we are still on that journey.
I agreed.
This is one of the first series of pictures. It was taken the night before cancer surgery.
He wanted to see Real.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Still Moving..Yet Stuck

I have do much going on.
I am tackling my physical living space  boxing up and cleaning. 
Total hell actually. A mice army to battle..
I am winning. Their hidy holes have been cleared.
It is a lot of pulling out stuff to clean and might as well sort at same time.
With that always comes memory lane. Good - Bad -Indifferent/no big link
Processing can be like yanking on scabs. Many are more like stitch marks now, and emote no great feeling or power over where my mind goes.
Happiness .. joys..loses.. regrets.. laughter to tears ..the pieces that all in all make Me.

The items. Far too many to list but years of photos. Lost pets collars and toys. My wedding certificate And divorce...(I have no children) Dad stuff.
The small treasured gifts from friends past and present. My yearbooks. Letters.
Wedding memorabialia. On and on.

I am grateful for the full life these things represent.
What to keep? Sell or give away? Toss time?
I conclude only this ~ I have too much stuff. 🙄😂
I think is a parody of the cluster fuck I call my life experiences to date.
Fortunate I have good days spattered liberally tbroughout my lifetime. I make myself have great hope for more.
I have "tough skin" perhaps. I have learned plenty.
I push on.
Lately I feel exhausted having had several back to back appointments. Lots my body and mind need to show up for. 🙃
Think think think.
The weather is cold and damp.
I have a small cold.
My get up and go...left.
So...for me I am at the true self care spot.
Rest. Get writing it out of my head. Plan the work time with less hard on self. Stretch and focus.
Anything that helps.
A few days free to just care for what I need to.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Residual Effect

Over and over I am in nightmares. I am trapped. I cannot be freed. I am in mental ward at the hospital. ...I was...
Almost 2 weeks there. A month later I am not past it. I bundle tight and have pillows around me. A stuffed animal. A warm bean bag. Earplugs. I get in  the fresh made bed ... I cannot go to sleep.
Dark has always been hard.
Now it is so much worse.
New med added but I seem to fight it.
The hospital stay changed how safe I feel.
I am not myself.
I have more anger.
I have aweful anxiety.
I am depressed.
Stressed.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

I feel

I feel alone.
I feel abandoned
I feel angry
I feel stuck in a life I can no longer handle the coping.
My physical body I cannot connect with. I do not want to be in it.
Fresh start.
I wish.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Doing The Time

I am doing the "time" for a crime I didn't commit.
Physically and emotionally have been taken past my line. My life a shambled mess.
Run free you all do.
I carry the bag from past and future. Today is work.
Coping daily a chore.
Pain in my body.
Pain in my heart.
Where are you?
Free

Friday, 3 November 2017

Physical health/Mental health Distaster

I had a meltdown October 12th.
I was in suicide mode.
My search for proper treatment has been long and has hit walls or been awful to experience.
I have hpv related Anal cancer.
The costs are high.
Financially...many things are not covered. Yes. This is Canada. The system, for me, is broken. I fell through the cracks.
Not one doctor treats all..or even more than one thing.
Sores on my butt for 3 yrs never touched til I hit the suicide room. The cell they keep you in while assessing you.
New spots that are not on the spot that has been cut multiple times.
Not my area each doc said....been passed around like a baton no one wants.
I searched for my own specialist. Got referred. My wait in pain was to be 6 months!! NO WAY
The last time I was left that long with spot like this it was cancer.
I know pre cancer present and was being vigilant about keeping an eye on things.
I am not a doctor.
I was done. No more ability to advocate for myself.
My mental state fractured. The repeated trauma of having my privates checked by all sorts of docs took its toll.
No more. Tapping out. Off to hospital because I had 900 pills saved and ready..
Caught.
I spent 13 days, including my 47th birthday, on the psych ward which I call hell or the PEN.
I have never been treated like that ever. Worse than had I committed a major felony.
Gaurded. Watched. Listened in on. Denied any priviledge.
If you didn't conform or agree regarding anything...even to ask for anything meant a verbal grill.
They have a scary spot they like to call the Extra Care Unit...aka "the Hole".
I saw a young man get taken there at night for refusing a particular med and not speaking. He was forced to the Hole.
A cell. Bed. Camera. Put blues on. No water or food or blanket until they decide. 5 days...he was still in there when I got sprung.
There were arts and not much more in the way of help. Know your meds or methadone clinic.
I heard murders being planned on the phone.
Calls for patient advocates or lawyers.
Filthy mouths yelling in the hall.
Verbal lashes between patients.
Nurses on their phones not paying attention as some silverwear made its way out on the floor. (Found a spoonlike shiv in the common room 😨)
Pills shared by some. Sone had stuff brought in.
Sex in the bathroom or shower. Against rules for men and women to get close...hmm it is not applied. 
Confused dementia patients nurses not assisting. Left to their walkers and hopefully a helpful roommate.
I had many sleepless nights. Some due to a roomie with dementia that was hallucinating and screaming. Also grabbing me to tell me she was going to die when I did get to sleep.
Pills and more pills to keep you in control.
Mayhem.
Terrifying.
Traumatizing to say the least.
I am still sleeping with my blankets wrapped tight around me. Feeling anxiety at high level all day. Just want to hide.

Where is the help?

The physical body is struggling. For me it has many emotions in roar.
Anger, sadness...the losses of how I feel about my body...what is my future? Alone?
Shame. I did not deserve or earn this. I still pay over and over. Me. Broken body. (Who would love this hpv girl?😶
Fear. Lots of that with my sphyncter at risk. My life at risk.
IBS in full flare and tore my rear while in hospital.
Biopsies on my birthday. Now I wait for results. I also wait for a third spot to be done.
Again..found a new specialist that is 3 hrs north. I hope for soon.
I am living on an edge with depression in tow.
Everyday is work.
How long can I keep on?
Moment to moment.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

No Such Thing (DID)

Bahahaha. I wish...or maybe not.
Many times the abillity for my brain to shut me down, yet keep my body going as another person, has saved my life.

Compartmentalization.

I do not require you to believe me. I operate this way..and to my knowledge have for the better part of my life.

Yes. Unbeknown to myself for a very long time. I had severe panic disorder with blackouts. My diagnosis ++ has changed over the years of therapy and treatment. Labels. These to direct proper help. I continue this Work.

Blocking of memories in trauma. A way for a difficult time to be coped with.

More trauma...more Disassociation.

Educate yourself. Not my job to create a believer.
My job is to look after me by whatever means I can.

This train is rolling whether you chose to ride with me or not.

I am ME. With DID.
The 'battle' is real.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Food Issues

You don't have anything on that ( hot dog, sandwhich, salad, etc) ?
No condiments. Thank you. No. Nothing. Yep. Plain. No. Nothing on the side.
No condiments. No toppings. Slice cheese maybe. No. That is it.
Early in life this refusal of some started. Perhaps was body knowing baby skin problemz so no tomato or like dark veg. No potato. A growing list. Perhaps texture. I still have these.
Over time condiments and food used negatively.
I am adverse. I can barely touch ketchup bottle or mustard.. I don't eat at otbers if I don't know them well or the food. I try to explain...is easier to not be hungry...
Trigger for me and some I know why and some I don't. I just know my reaction remains.
I am picky. I am cautious. Paranoid at times. Food issues are tough.
I don't not eat. I adjust.

No to the stuff is no.
For me.

You want it plain?
😁

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Questions To NOT Ask Me

Are you going to be able to look after yourself?

Who will look after you?

When will you be able to hear your alters?

Are your alters scary?

When will you be well?

Are you getting integrated?

Did the hospital stay teach you a lesson?

How was the psych ward?

Do you still have cancer?

How is home?

Friday, 27 October 2017

Sprung Free

Like a mouse in a closed maze.  Blocks at every turn. I was held 13 days for suicide.
Not a place of caring and compassion.
Saw more and experienced a hell I wish on no one.
Dementia and drug addicts on methafone programme mixed with people needing immediate mental health attention.
Drugged, controlled, treat like in prison.
Don't ask for things or meds or help or anything...they add 4 days and take away any priviledge you may have earned..like fresh air.
I lived in fear. Switched constantly...but disassociation is viewed as self harm so if Wee out I was punished.
They have a place threat named extra care...aka "the Hole". A pit room with just  bed. Nothing else. You sent there if you don't conform to what they tell you to take or do....
So much was traumatizing.
I only got freed because of my physical health...exactly what landed me there.
Home. Tending my wounds.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Done

My health issues persist.
I am sick of being sick and suffering.
My next step was sent to Toronto to specialist.
They called this morning. My appointment date is April 6 2018.
Are you kidding me????😨
I am losing my mind.
Is that light?
Hope?
This is bullshit.
4 yrs of this. Cancerous crap.
I am feeling so Done.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Full Bucket

I grew up with a great ability to stuff my emotions. For me disassociation became the emotional and physical coping.
I am crossing the age of 47 soon. Life has changed significantly.
I am often emotionally overwhelmed. YetI push it back. Instinctually feeling not safe to feel. To not show.
Sometimes the exact feeling eludes me. Am I angry? Am I hurt? Am I happy? Am I sad? Anxious..depressed...all of it..what???
I have having loads of therapy. Add oncology social worker and the bucket cap is loosened.
Tears. Hot snot. Painful flow that seems unending. Sobbing uncontrollably. Shaking.
Out with it.
It sneaks open now.
My strength to hold it in has become stength to let it out.
Empty that bucket.
It will refill.
Keep bailing it out.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Fight It

Smashing with hammer in hand. Metal to metal. Forging heat. My sword to sharpen. My tool..protection. Fight. No flight.

Anxiety perched on my shoulder.
Depression darkenning my vision.
No clear path for my body illness.

Searching for fellow warriors.
Side by side to challenge the ignorant.
Educating without delicacy.

Gloves off.

I am one.
One strong.
Never alone.
Putting my hand out.
Let us work together.
The conversation.
Meet the minds.

Unite.
Hammer it out.
Mental health to physical disabilty.
We shall not flee.
Facing my battles.
With friends in tow.
Stigma take down.
Lifting the fallen.
We will not give.
Raised swords.
Fight it.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Fall Season with Sir Don

We are changing early in Ontario. A trip to  Algonquin Park was on this perfect day.
I spent it with Sir Don (my sweet and kind Step-father) as his 84th birthday is next week.
If I could say my hero today...it would be him. Aging gracefully. A sense of humour. A man who enjoys the small pleasures of life.
I love him more than words could ever put together would convey.
As he crosses 84 my anxiety grows. How long will I have him? How long healthy as he is?  Yet I am not well...
He is truly my rock.
I have no partner.
I battle on with cancer issues.
I have mental health problems that I work on.
4 yrs of dealing with health issues has left me worn..unsure..anxiety..depressed..sad.
I know today. Today is what we have. Now.
I am glad today I had Sir Don.
A day free.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Scattered

Sooo much I am trying to cope with in my life. I am not unique. Many people have things I have...like ongoing cancer issues...anxiety...trauma...money....depression...feeling lost.
I am unique in how I cope, or do not cope.
So much learning.
Part of me wants to just curl up and fade away.
I am in a place much is out of my hands.
With that I struggle even to do the smallest task.
#PurpleFriday for Childhood Sexual Abuse..I tweeted as much as I could.
Being unwell...mental health has been "my job".
It is good to share. I want to help where I can.
Today I was with a friend in need. Back up friend too.
I knew I was not in great shape but in helping my friend I help myself.
I pulled out for self care.
Now.
Overtired and mind racing. I am back in my own Stuff.
I truly just don't know anymore.
I am scattered.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Parts Share Disassociation Facts

1. We are able to work as a team even if we don't agree.

2. We have different interests.

3. We have grown into our own persons.

4. We are not willing to integrate (yes we know what that is we aren't ignorant)

5. We have tried many things to help over much time...often taking turns.

6. No, we don't intend for you to know us. Know is trust. We trust few.

7. If you mess with one you mess with all. We have no harm policy but some have sharp tongue..Maddy...😏

9. There are 4 of us active. She (April) is our purpose. We are here to help her.

10. No we don't know why we are as we are...the bigs/older are learning as we go.

11. The body gets little sleep. 4 hrs...pray for nap...

12. Fall is our worst season. We each have our reasons.

I am Working On It..

When you can't find your way that's okay.
I have been really struggling with my whole well being.
Physical health is ongoing Anal Cancer issues. Limboland is stressful. Takes me to fear, anxiety...the what if's...and is tiring to be stressed (which causes me to feel ill).
I am not having much quality of life.
My emotions are a constant roller coaster.
I am often alone. Part by illness ...part by lack of connections.
These physical and emotional struggles have brought depression along....I am feeling unlovable. My body a wreck. I don't think anyone would want to be with me as a partner.
My mind... everywhere...
I work at the things I can. Staying in Today is the hardest. I worry...and letting it go is something I learn. I can...then something happens and I take it back on.
Work...
Work to stay present.
Work to keep going.
Work to feel worth.
When I am lost I reach out. I often do not want to. Necessary. For me it is life saving.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Health update

Anal Cancer sucks. Look it up.
I am 4 yrs dealing with this and it continues.
Wait.
I have a new tag.
The surgery area where pre cancer cells are is changing.
Cream. To help aggravation.
Wait.
Will tell surgeon so he can check when I go there next for check.
Wait.
I am really tired of it all.
This is a normal reaction.
The feelings can be overwhelming.
Angry
Sad
Hurt
Angry
Tears
Then strong for awhile.
Then not.
Chug...chug..chug...along.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Self Distraction Ideas

The alphabet game. Use alphabet to name in order places or foods or animals A-Z

Counting backwards.

7 Items line up memory game. Close eyes after lining up objects and remember order. Then switch around and do again.

Crumple paper as tight a ball as possible and undo without ripping

Restring shoelaces

Name last 15 people you spoke to in order

Drink warm water

Melt an ice cube in hands

Go for a walk...play don't step on cracks.

Make grass whistle between thumbs

Name different sounds you hear

I spy so many things and list...red or square or chrome etc.

Think of 10 favorite meals

Always remember to breathe.
In 234
Hold 234
Release 234
Pause
Repeat

Keep a list handy of How to Distract self so it is there when you need.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Sexuality ( Cptsd, Cancer )

Now here is a topic many who have been abused have great difficulty with. Myself included.
As a survivor I can be triggered. It takes time to learn boundaries..and to set them for myself. It takes some guiding the partner to understand what is ok for me and what is not.
Unhealthy sexuality has been part of what I knew. I can still slide back to not setting boundaries and allowing myself to be hurt. I do pay later for I have learned to shame myself.
Learning to stay with healthy boundaries is difficult. I believe only those that have been through sexual trauma understand the mindframe.
Some don't like to be touched in any way. I am opposite in that I crave loving touch. Hugs and cuddles. I have unhealthly dispersed my boundaries out of desperate need for that alone. That is me.
My body is something I have come to appreciate. With sickness (abdominal issues and ongoing cancer) perspective changed. I have a body. I still have my hair. My weight is low but holds. I am lucky in many ways.
I appreciate that I am here. Am I wanted sexually? I have no clue. I don't get out enough. Anxiety issues. Not feeling well.
I question my value. Long term who'd want this mess? I know. What a question... I would tell another Of course..you are not your ptsd not your anxiety or depression or cancer...
For myself...struggling hard to believe.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Thelma and Louise (for Michelle AKF)

Thelma and Loise they came to be.
Sharing a history of misery.
Free in mind...they took on the world. Bedside warriors.
Their capes hospital grade.
Cutting loose together.
Miles apart.
Thelma and Louise.
Champions of the underdogs.
Poverty philanthropists.
Making their way in illness.
Bodies in battle.
Thelma and Louise.
Holding hands countries apart.
Praying for others..for themselves.
One lost.
Thelma floats...no Louise.
The game was over...or was it?
Thelma and Louise.
The goal goes on.
I have your hand.
I will not stop.
Spreading the message.
Sharing our love.

Suicide Talk

I stood on the line. I wanted to go.

People don't like to talk about anything where the word Suicide comes to play.
Like many things it is a taboo topic.

Cringe.

I was on the line.

My health.
My environment.
My loneliness.
Everything just came to a head.

I struggle with severe anxiety. Depression has had it's hold for some time now. Mostly linked to having cancer issues and stress.
Do I still want to go?
Not at this moment.
I am forgiving of self.
I have been here before.

In my life I have a unique defense mechanism called Disassociative Identity Disorder.
Alters/parts step in when needed.
They were needed yesterday and today.
I miss time. They were present.
Today they prevented me from going.
They stayed until I was out of the risk zone.

Keep talking about Suicide Awareness.
It could be a loved one or you.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Growing up with a Schizophrenic

Growing Up With an Undiagnosed Schizophrenic

My father was diagnosed as Schizophrenic in May of 1999. He lived to see 63 and passed that September.
My entire life I grew up with a dad that was both kind and cruel. He used different types of self medicating and distractive or destructive activities to seek refuge from his state.
I have always said that when he was good he was. When he wasn’t he was really was bad. It cycled.
With these cycles came periods without jobs, loss of driving license, periods of abusive behavior, also eccentric behavior. He would start to hoard things or collect one thing and carry in his car trunk. He would dress up on non-dress up going on. He came to my office work dressed as a full woman. This was a new one….
My dad was also sensitive and caring. When he was good he was a good father. He tried to keep it together but it never lasted long.
When he was good he was active and took us to the beach. He played race cars with my brother and I. He was funny and he would sit with me falling asleep while taking us to the drive in. We had good days with dad.
He played the guitar. To me he sang like an angel. I think music often grounded him. To be the center of attention was also a goal. Lots of times he was.
Some in town knew. He was ‘different’. But my dad was also very smart and conniving. He hid things very well. Others also covered for him. In the early years the police would pull you over and give you a ride home..”Sleep it off”.
I didn’t really understand about alcohol. I was too young. By the time I was 10 I knew. It was obvious to me as I saw it.
Throughout the years he would hook up with a woman. MJ and her kids had him for quite awhile. Thinking I would say 5 years or so. It is fuzzy for me. I have many terrible memories from that period as well as blanks. I don’t remember big chunks.
The house was a disaster most times. He drank and slept or sat in almost dark in the basement. I cannot describe thise times other than awful.
I tried to stop going. He had snapped and MJ had put him in hospital. He was released…bad. I refused. He wrote me long letters. Then MJ came to my school to beg me to go see him. She was desperate. I was 10. By 11 she had kicked him out.
Now he played my 16 yr old brother and he left our home with Mom and went to live with dad.
It never got good.
At 12 he assaulted me sexually. I stopped regular visits. I never told anyone exactly what happened but the fight prior was enough for others to not question me.
Throughout the years to come he had the ups and downs. He had moved for work. While he held that job for several years his behavior was more of the eccentric nature. But he was at his most stable. Had his own apartment. Car. Was well dressed and spotless place. There were abnormal things. Again collecting. At that time it was miniature glass animals. From turtles to swans. Elephants in super small up to just regular small…He was obsessed.
In 1997 our economy was struggling. My dad was laid off in down sizing. He refused to take a lesser job in the company. It didn’t take long for him to regress. His mental health deteriorated. His behavior became more erratic. He got paranoid. He got violent.
After shuffling from spot to spot back here in town he landed at a motel just out of town.
1997. I turned my dad away on my own doorstep. He had no money…no food..no place to go…but he refused to get mental help.
I didn’t see him for two years. He would phone but I held firm with please get help.
April of 1999 he had a massive stroke. At Peel Memorial I saw him. He was kept a long time but I only went the once. It was there he was diagnosed as Schizophrenic.
He was released August. He celebrated his 63 birthday being in eviction from his apartment and life in chaos. The social worker was afraid to go into his place of residence.
September 30 they found him in his car downtown Toronto. He had a heart attack. He wasn’t even supposed to be driving. Never mind I had busted my butt to get him into a home for the next day.
Life with a Schizophrenic is one if not knowing. Reality is constantly shifting. I grew anxiety. My own mental health suffered. And although he has left this earth I remain haunted. I have let go over and over. It chases me with simple triggers. Flashbacks. My entire sense of real gone.
We go on.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Help hotlines

I have added what I have found for Uk. Ireland. Canada. USA.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Elephant

The no talk rule is often present in families with mental illness, abuse types, finacial issues etc. Silence. And not always a literally spoken rule. Just known.

Many call this "The Elephant Under The Carpet". Pretend it's not there.

No Talk can be serious as silence brews many other modes of coping. Some turn to self medicating, forms of denial, hidden self loathing, mental disorders.

When we learn early to not talk it becomes a way of survival and learning otherwise...albeit freeing...takes work and time and lots of trust.

Reality does get blurry when you learn to pretend something is not happening. There also comes a sense of fear if "The Elephant" gets exposed.

Exposing the Elephant is brave. Many may not be happy. Many may shut you dowm. Some will turn away. Sometimes you become a new "Elephant" for them.

I am learning that I find me through my past. My experiences ...the good, bad and ugly. Is it my focus? Only in knowing can I know what I need to change and work on today.

I don't relive my past for fun. Flashbacks will occur. Keeping my stress lower helps.
Getting proper rest...or rest period is essential.

I am learning that speaking in a safe spot is best and to share is freeing.

I am starting a Self Compassion workbook.

I give myself homework from therapy..ie;
1 Name ten things that are awesome about me?
2 What are my favorite ways to calm myself?
3 Name my support network list with contact info. Divide into 3 levels of There
There Usually and Always There as for who to count on for seriousness of your need in reaching out. Keep this list handy.
4 What are 5 short term goals to feeling healthier?
5 What do I feel inside and why? ( This self monitoring I am learning to do more often)
and more...

I can't live with 'The Elephant' anymore. I am sure it's time to put down new flooring and Ground myself in truths.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

πŸ”’The Hole

The floor is cold under my bare feet. Damp. I can't reach the string. The one that turns on the hanging bulb.
I hate The Hole. This is the closet where the sump pump is. Creepy.
The door is slated and they have me shut in. I can't see. I can hear. I know.
It's not my turn.
Three girls. Two boys.
The Hole is musty. I am sure there are spiders. The mouse trap always set. I don't move. 
It is summer out. We are in the basement.
Dark.
I want out. I can't breathe. I am scared.
I don't want to play this game.
He stinks. He sticks his tongue in my mouth. His fingers...it hurts.
I am not big enough to push him off me. He is older and stronger. I don't like him but it's not my idea. I am much younger, 5 plus years between them and I. I don't want to be here.
The Hole.
Out means my turn.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Run

I keep trying to run
The tides coming in
Crashing the shore
From the evil my storm
My soul is on fire
I run with desire
Been doing it awhile
It is life that I hide from
Answers I seek
Trying to breathe
With the tide crashing down
Hopes and dreams have gotten unsure
Cannot find my way
I'm running all night
And running all day
~A.R.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Self Talk

I believe we all tell ourselves many things. We have a set of standards, ideals, morals and values. We have instinctual and learned things muddling around in our minds.
The environment, peers and experiences we have when growing as children will forever be imprinted.
I like to call mine "The Panel". It feels like that a lot. Like there is a counsel and consult commitee giving directions. I believe there isn't always clarity and I am just winging it as I make my way.
Some of the self talk...the things I have come to believe and tell myself are crap. Bullshit. Lies. They come from negative peers. I can almost hear the person telling me. I bought in. I believed always and is something I am unlearning. I am learning the truths I need to tell myself.
Positive self talk. Knowing my value and purpose and believing I am worthy. To tell myself "I am enough just as I am".
Sorting out what are my own standards and beliefs...not those that were imposed on me as a child. Finding my religion...my own faith. These things that are Me. My own system.
Self talk effects my self esteem. It effects my decisions for my life. I believe I have to learn to trust myself. Find the answers in me and expand and change my self talk.
It takes work and time.

Recognize it
Own it
Flip it
Make change

An example...in my head I am saying "You can't do anything right." I know who gave me that...where I learned that...I know if I were to apply that phrase to someone else...it is wrong.
I show myself things I have done right. Well. Am learning to be proud of.
Facts.
I did right.
I did right.
Flip..."I can do anything right!"

Repeat in my mind over and over. Learn it.
Make change.

🤔

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Some of my funny DID moments

As a coping mechanism disassociation with firm alters can be funny at times.
I spend some of my time in a state of anxiety and fear thus alters get more active. I am tired and vulnerable so an alter may be trying to ease My burden by being present.
I do not have conscious connection with my alters..in words or action. Formethe times of them out and active are a Blackout period. This can be seconds or minutes..hours to days. What I learn is from seeing changes in my environment or from what someone else tells me. Some things alters write to me or voice record etc.
This blog is dedicated to some of the funny things I figure out...or wake to..😄

When you come to and all of a sudden there are rements od parts/extras/alters being active;

I turn and there is half a painting not mine...or my toenails repainted or something

I had a shower or a bath I don't recall

Dishes were done and I am dressed...

I didn't have a pop now I do...

Furniture moved...

Bathroom cleaned ( yes!)

Shelving up and decorated in my kitchen.

Funnies posted on facebook middle of the night or early morn.

Online carts full...lol...pretend shopping or letting me know what they want.

Wild hairdoos from highlights and braids to Wee making a red marker highlight.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Physical and Mental Health..Living Me

Some of you know me. Many of you don't.
I am curently living with Anal Cancer that is ongoing.
I have a great deal of difficulty with managing on little sleep. As my alters/parts are on different agendas in one body...disassociation (DID) has a vast array of struggles.
We are all trying to cope. There is pain and discomfort. We don't feel well most days. I am not in chemo or radiation at this point as I am supposed to have surgury for another growth.
This week the surgeon wanted to send me back to the specialist in Toronto. I could not believe he would even mention her name considering I think of her as the butcher...👀
When hell freezes over.
Not ever, ever, ever again.
I went back to the oncologist that same day. We discussed this. Yep. New Surgeon.
I am out of my mind with this endless nightmare.
So....how do I get through day to day?
With limited energy I have some out time and lots of easy time.
I try to nap. But it does not always happen despite the exhaustion I feel.
My mind is wanting to process information...searching for cancer solutions...solutions for my very irritated stomach and bowel. Fun stuff!😝
I want to do all these wonderful mindfulness and stay in the moment ...
Often I am beyond that. I cannot. I breathe and breathe.
Emotions. Like my parts. Scatterred and prone to popping all over ... just the whole gambut. From pure silliness to dark anger to...yes the nasty S word...thoughts of wanting out. I do seek help when there. I know me. I use my doctor, therapist, friends crisis lines...reach out..a thought not an act.
This is an HPV related cancer. The carrier didn't know but the circumstances around how I was exposed to this STD and this particular strain are ...difficult for me.
I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time...
I got it. For me it turned. Been pre - cancer to Cancer. Removed. Waiting. A new growth. Waiting. (Near 3 yrs of this)
I slap my own head.
It is just often a " I can't fuckin' believe this is happening..."
So many thoughts...no words.
How do I feel about my body? Ohhhhhh. Let's not go there... It was a therapy question.
Honestly. It makes me cry. I asked today for some help with how I can work on this. My self esteem, my sense if self, my sexuality, self care...it is a process. I am not the me I was...
But I am...
No...
Yes..
Not the same....
The back and forth is awful feeling. I know I have to look into me. The answers are there. I need help to find. So..I have homework. 😏
While I Wait I will learn and I will get stronger in myself. This can only help me. And it does hurt and it will often suck. I know the payoff.
My body can't heal without the help of the mind...

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Learning about Cptsd +DID ~ my perspective

My niece is in University. She was doing a paper for a psychology class about Complex Post Traumatic Disorder and Disassociation.
Being as that is part of my diagnosis she asked me four questions;

1. What symptoms do you experience with this disorder?
2. How does it impact your daily life? relationships? & how?
3. What treatments do you receive?
4. How did you learn you had this disorder?

1. Symptoms for me
Skipped time..
Odd sensation of not being alone
Anxiety and panic
Flashbacks (memories in detail)
State of fugue or a stuck moment ..zoned out ..used to call the look Shell Shock as most PTSD cases documented were of war veterans
((Complex ptsd is commonly trauma based. Most often repeated traumas in childhood. Coping the mind shifts the trauma to another part which over time becomes a part of a coping system. ))
I often feel confused.
I am sensory sensitive.
Easily startled.
Often frustrated.
Lack of sleep as alters up all night.

2. I am no longer able to hold a full time job. I suffer severe panic disorder and am prone to self seclusion.
Because my alters/parts have been very active the last while..can be in protection mode as I am unwell and stressed.
People don't know how to act or react to a 46 year old that is suddenly 5 or 22 ...personalitoes switch. Makes hard to keep friends. With trust issues already tbat I work on it is hard to make lasting connections.
I have been a sideshow at times. Many are curious but don't want to be around.
Family don't handle well seeing. Perhaps a reminder. For me is painful to not have real acceptance and understanding. A person with this is not living in the past. They are trying to live now with remnants of the past part of them.

3. Treatment. I wasn't properly diagnosed until I was 36.
From the age of 18 (first nervous breakdown) therapy one on one. I did outpatient 4 week programme.
The next meltdown at 27 I was given anti anxiety medication.
Seems a meltdown once every decade for me..perhaps a build up.
Continued meds and therapy.
I have never been hospitalized but I have been home hospitalized for suicidal behavior.
Currently. Double therapy one psychiatrist the other social worker. I have medication. I practice yoga and meditation.
Lots of changes in how I have co consciousness or lack of mostly in last 6 months. Dealing with physical cancer diagnisis has made my system very active...

4. An alter appeared after a big surgury.
Not sure. I had always skipped moments or periods. Thought I was just overbusy and forgetful..
Alters tend to hide or blend (be Me I am gone..they fill in) The 5 year old can't hide. Lol.
Over time I have learned I have 4 Alters witin my system. The brain is like a computer. It fragmented off parts to cope with tbe things I had faced as a child.
They continue to protect.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

This Podcast

A great podcast about #DID
Well worth the listen.
As a person with Disassociative Identity Disorder I relate with Erika so much. This may give you some better insight into how We live.
Thanks to tje Lombardos and Erika Reva!!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/leftofstr8/2017/05/27/join-voices-for-change-20-with-our-special-guest

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

My words ..life

A beauty
Disguised by masks
Treasured being
Divided by truth
She walked proud
To be
A We
~A.R.

You have not a control
Perhaps ability
Awareness
Curiousity
Yet the abundance
Of knowlege
Available
Should you seek
To learn
~A.R.*

Glue and paint
Tools and brushes
Workstation of Array
Like the mind
Of those that frequent
To create
On its surface
Artists unleashed
~A.R.

Fast climbing heat
Hair on end
Sick skin feel
Top of the sky
Bottom falls out
Can't catch air
Feeling faint
No footing
#anxiety
~A.R.

Shoring up
Building walls
Around ourselves
To not see
Beyond
Our own pain
Is to remain
Alone
~A.R.

What have you taken
Hidden away
And tell me why
Must you do so
And yet I know
It will be
Alright
~A.R.

Depth that draws
Dark brown eyes
Shining soul
Glittered heart
Intention soft
Seeing you
Bringing close
Gaurd down
~A.R.

With the sky dropping
The light of the moon
Was all that could touch her
Yet her love flowed freely
Into the night
~A.R. 🌛

Shock
Disbelief
Yet again
I face the
Knife

Burning sky
Hues of red
Pink delight
As it falls
Night
~A.R.

Striving for a balance
A life beyond my walls
Of self protection
To journey through
Experiences designed
A path made
Just for me
~A.R.

Flying in my mind
A safe perch
To find
Nestled in
No longer afraid
Of the winds
Or dangers
The sun rose
Fell
Another day
Survived
~A.R.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Coping 101.πŸ™ƒ

Living in the body.
Every person lives a different life. Endures hardships. Feels love, loss,pain...
We process things in our individual way.

I have serious health issues both physically and mentally. Some of it goes hand in hand. Some is a haunting I don't look for, but am triggered often. Cptsd DID panic anxiety depression...

I am having a lot of trouble with my body. I want to feel better in everyway. The Anal Cancer ..a growth has returned. I just found out yesterday. I am in a self storm. Inside just bouncing. Thoughts are everything but nothing. I am discombobulated. A sort of shock has given away to "how will I manage...?"
More surgery first. I have no idea from there. Oncology...

Coping.
Where are my tools? My support network?
The lists for distraction. Breathing. I work at it. Over and over. It is my choice to act or react...they say this...not always true if you are a person that Disassociates. Alters do and say things I have No clue.

Managing. Today I don't have balance. I am not feeling well and that could be lack of sleep and stress.
It is soft self care time.
Hot bath. Tea. Music. Rest.
And perhaps a good cry.