I’m counting down the days until the days get longer. I’m also biding my time, taking one step at a time, as the Abilify sinks its teeth into my system and brings me out from under the weight of depression.
But it’s an antipsychotic, I think. The term is shameful. Embarrassing. I’m not psychotic. I don’t have mood swings. I’m just fucking depressed and anxious.
I carved out a little area, dropped the word antipsychotic into it, and covered it up. It is a _______ drug now. A medicine that hopefully will help.
Did I want to try that medicine, since the Seroquel was making me nap at the most inopportune times at work? Since I was sliding into terrible, terrible depression despite the boost? Since it made me gain 10 lbs in a matter of days?
Yes, please. Let’s give it a try. It is theoretically weight-neutral.
It gave me flu-like symptoms. Approximately 45-60 minutes after taking it, I was hit with a fever, chills, body aches, join pain that lasted for half the day. That is now mostly gone, but the insomnia lingers. Melatonin doesn’t touch it. I’ve asked for some help because even 1-2 nights of good sleep is all I need. Ideally at least 6 hours would be nice.
“Is there anything else I need to know?” my psychiatrist after we discussed the merits of trying Abilify.
I usually say, “No, I think that’s it.” I’m almost always confident that I’ve forgotten something hugely important. Or I fear it’s irrelevant.
This time, I told him, “Well, I’ve been working on parts in therapy, and remembering things I had forgotten, so that may be partially contributing to the depression or something.”
Even now, I don’t want to believe it. Sure, others have parts, but not me. Right?
What are parts?
In trauma, especially in little kids, when the trauma gets to be too much, their brain splits off and encapsulates those memories into a “part” of themselves. These parts may be responsible for containing all the similar memories. When the abuse happens again, that part takes precedence, and then when it ends, it fades to the background, taking the memories with.
There’s a continuum, a scale. On one end is the integrated whole person. On the other end is multiple personality. The more severe and persistent the trauma, the more they go to the multiple end of the scale.
For me, they overlap. I think. It’s like shuffling around browser tabs. The other tabs, other parts, are present, just not the one being used at the moment. But they still see what’s going on. Some are more buried than others, and may have less to do with day to day life. Others are frequently used throughout the day.
It’s seamless, usually. Sometimes I get a weird brain fart or gap. It’s like my brain shifting gears. The files being transferred. Then I can pick up where I left off.
Usually there is a feeling of disassociation when the other parts are in charge. If something that might bring up a memory or is similar to something that happened to me–I will disassociate slightly. Or more than slightly. I separate myself from my body, although I stay in full control.
Angry customer. Disassociation, to avoid breaking down in tears. Talking about difficult subjects–disassociation. Either I disassociate and can’t remember a thing and it makes that therapy session feel unfruitful. Or I disassociate and reach memories I feel ashamed of and have to be separated from myself in order to tell my therapist about it.
It’s a very interesting protection mechanism. But it’s really freaking weird sometimes.
I’ve been grappling with some odd pieces that, when you group them, suggests there’s some more things that happened to me that I do not remember a thing about.
Since I’ve realized I have parts, I’m finally confronted by…or maybe I’m confronting it? I’m confronting the fear about what exactly it might have been that happened to me.
Especially since parts of my childhood narrative don’t fit together. There are gaps. What are in those gaps?
Today, a part said, “I don’t want to find out, because it might hurt Holly.”
Wait–I thought of myself in the third person? It was so strange. And I realized that it was a part. That I was disassociated, a tad. Especially when wondering what else I endured–especially as a younger child. There are just too many odd pieces of info that don’t make sense without including what I fear.
But I don’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it, in the absence of any actual memories of it. Surely it can be explained through other means. And it just might be–I don’t know until I look at it. Confront it. Talk to my parts
—talk to my parts? that sounds so woo
–if I can manage to get past the self-consciousness of it all with the help of my therapist.
But first, that conference room in the basement to gather the parts was definitely not a good mental/therapeutic gathering place. I need windows. Light. An escape route. A basement is terrible. Unsafe. I’m talking like Trump. Terrible!
Right now, I’m just making links between the disparate memories that fall under a common theme. And those themes overlap like some crazy Venn diagram–but within each little circle, I’m seeing connections.
And I’ll see what comes of it, eventually.
But firstly, I really just want to be able to sleep deeply for one day this week. Just one day.
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