What do you get when you cross a dissociative woman with some unidentified vague sexual trauma history with xanax and an appointment with a colorectal surgeon?
I don’t know. I don’t know what you get. Why? Because I heard my name called as I sat in the waiting room and the next thing I remember, I was waking up the next morning in my hotel room.
Two days later I’m still trying to find out what happened. I didn’t have anyone that could go with me and a big winter storm was coming through, so I rented a hotel room near the doctor’s office. Knowing I’d need to take a Xanax to avoid running naked through the waiting room, I took an uber to the appointment. From what I’ve been able to piece together after waking up in the hotel room the next day, after leaving the doctor’s office I took an uber to a favorite restaurant of mine and had a chicken and pasta dish (I’m vegetarian) and a fudge brownie with ice cream and then took an uber back to my hotel room. Sometime that evening my sister sent me a picture of a road atlas that she had received (because we’ve been talking about a roadtrip) and I responded with a text saying “Yay! Now beautiful,”. I had a short incoming call from the friend I’ve been staying with these past few days (I found out later I spoke to her harshly and hung up on her). I had paperwork showing appointments for two procedures/tests next month and on my calendar, for appointment date, I had an entry titled “Da doodoo doc.”
Other than these clues, I have no idea what I did for the time I was gone. And I don’t know how I acted or what I said during the exam. With a calendar entry of “Da doodoo doc,” I’m inclined to think I may have acted like a bit of an immature ass (<–punny) and I’m too embarrassed to call the doctor’s office and ask about it. I mean, what do I say? I want to badly to know what happened; what I said and what I did. At the same time, I don’t want to know what happened because right now I don’t have specifics to be mortified about and there is some comfort in that, right? If I look for a silver lining in this cloud, I can at least be grateful that I’m embarrassed about what I might have done, that I am not feeling ashamed and trying to cover my tracks so no one discovers that I disappear from time to time and (perhaps the biggest success of all) that I woke up alone in my hotel room.
It’s becoming clear to me why, in my more neurotic years when I was killing it in my career and managing a household while raising two children, I was such a control freak. It is very evident to me now that I do not, nor have I ever had, any control whatsoever. And maybe, considering the colorful edit from Marie on the last post, anytime I do try to have control, I’m going to find myself at the mercy of this young woman inside me who can so easily push me aside and take over. Or is it me that is pushing her aside?
Once again I am reminded that the suicide rate among those diagnosed with dissociate identity disorder is the highest among all the psychiatric disorders and I understand. I don’t seek my death but I do see how sometimes it feels like the only time I’ll every have certainty about anything. When I’m gone from this world and I’m remembered, I’ll be remembered as a different person, as a different instance of me, by every single person who has ever known or even met me. And that is the same for everyone and I find comfort in know that in that time I’ll finally have an existence that makes sense and is aligned with what is to be expected. To share this body with other versions of me, to disappear in one moment and wake up the next day in a different place. To be afraid of what I might do if I go places or experience certain things around certain people. To always be wondering, in every single waking second, am I real?
Maybe what I’m feeling right now is humility. Maybe my time alone spent walking on the beach and admiring the sun’s artwork in the sky elicited a sense of arrogance from me in thinking I had it all figured out, that I had a handle on it and that I was on my path to integration. Maybe, in trying to dig deeper and identify what and who is inside of me, I’m going to just create a crack for more of my crazy to ooze through and I’ll end up being worse than before I started this journey. Perhaps I’ve already traveled a significant difference beyond the point of no return. Maybe these burst of light and a-ha moments of understanding are my awakening as I descend into the madness. Maybe you and I aren’t sitting on a path together; having met on our ways toward different parts of our lives. Perhaps I’m at that bottom of a rabbit hole still, hollering up to you and hoping you’ll hear my echos and I’ll be redeemed as having something worthwhile to share even as I disappear altogether.
And maybe, what’s most telling of all, I need to truly consider what’s most upsetting of all about my disappearance earlier this week. Despite all the things there are to worry about in consideration of what I may or may not have done while “I” wasn’t me for 18 hours, my biggest frustration so far is that I didn’t get to taste the delicious brownie and ice cream but I’ve spent the past two days dealing with the stomach ache from having eaten it. If I were to make a case of how unfair it is to be dissociative, surely this would be the basis upon which I would build it.
I wear myself out with this…so many other things I want to talk to you about other than my brown eating dissociative episode but so little else can reside in my thoughts now that I have that to consider and fret about. I want to go back to the beach and watch the sun paint the sky. I want to sit alone in my condo and write on notecards with the thought that I’m making progress and healing. I want to lie down in bed and have sleep find me without help from medication. I wasn’t perfect while I was on the beach but I was real. I felt authentic in my imperfection. And having returned to what was my life before the beach, I’ve disappeared and I’m mist again. A swirl of confusion and morphing shape.
Let me sign off now. This letter depresses me.