Monthly Archives: August 2018

Weekly Gratitude List (August 31, 2018) #TToT

It gets boring, but time definitely flies. Tomorrow it’ll be September already. Fortunately, the good weather isn’t fully over yet, as they’re saying Sunday and Monday it’ll be sunny and warm once again. I love that.

Since it’s Friday again, it’s time for my weekly gratitude list. I notice these have become somewhat of a chore, but I hope that by continuing with them, I’ll take care to appreciate the little things in life more.

1. The takeout roti my father-in-law bought for my husband and me on Sunday. Normally, we go for Chinese, which gets boring. This was a lot more delicious.

2. Several nice walks this week. I once again went for the long walk at day activities on Monday and also went for a walk with my support worker on Thursday morning.

3. Being nominated for my first blogging award on this blog. I was nomiated for one on my other blog about a year ago, but like I’ve said, I took that blog too seriously to do blog awards. I genuinely appreciated it this time.

4. Swimming on Tuesday. On MOnday, my staff at day activities decided to invite me to participate in the swimmin group, initially just for that week. It was fabulous! I really hope I can continue to go swimming, but a volunteer already offered to watch me if there are not as many staff people.

5. Being supported by a lot of people in the multiple community. I recently joined a group for those who don’t have full-blown dissociative identity disorder, because they either have alters but minimal amnesia (me) or have amnesia but their alters are not as formed. I don’t like labeling myself that much, but I do it for the sake of finding support. After all, when you’re multiple, it’s either trauma-based or endogenic (natural) and we’re definitely not endogenic. It feels weird to join groups for DID or other dissociative disorders when we don’t have that diagnosis anymore and are not really looking for it either, but we need the support somehow. Thankfully, the people in the dissociation group are very nice.

6. Starting back into adaptive horseback ridiing after the summer break. It was absolutely so relaxing. My horse, Angie, was more obedient and less lazy than she usually is.

7. Eating some fish this afternoon. Usually when my mother-in-law takes me to horseback riding and the pharmacy on every-other-Fridays, we go to the fish stand that’s near the pharmacy. They however were gone for a few weeks. Their fish isn’t great, but this time it was quite tasty and above all it was hot.

As usual, I’m linking up with Ten Things of Thankful.

Quote of the Day (August 30, 2018): Cultivating Mindfulness

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

I had another session of dialectical behavior therapy with my nurse practitioner today. In it, we discussed the skill of participation, which essentially boils down to doing something with attention without constantly being aware of the fact that you’re doing it. This seems pretty contradictory to me, because how do you do something mindfully without constantly being aware of it?

In this repsect, this quote speaks to me. It describes mindfulness as a way of knowing what we’re doing and paying attention to it.

It also seems that this may be what Pete Walker means when he describes the flight-freeze continuum of healthy relating to self in his book Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. He says that the healthy middle between freeze and flight is the middle between doing and being. Freeze then is the state of constantly dissociating, daydreaming away time, while flight is the state of constant doing stuff, working time away. I tend to fall closer to the freeze end, while other people might lean closer to the flight end. Whenever I’m upset, I retreat into my own world. Someone who is a flight type would more go and do stuff, such as housekeeping, work, etc.

Kabat-Zinn in his quote says that mindfulness means being awake and knowing what we’re doing. It means not mindlessly staying busy to avoid hard feelings (flight), nor means it being disconnected from one’s surroundings (and oneself) to avoid hard feelings (freeze).

Now I seem to understand where the flight-freeze continuum also comes in handy in my DBT skills training. Flight then describes rational mind, not feeling anything because we’re busy doing (work, housekeeping, etc.). Freeze describes emotional mind, being stuck in the inability to do something about our experience. The middle ground in DBT is called Wise Mind.

Body Image

Once again, carol anne inspired me to write this post with her question of the day. She asks whether we are happy with our looks. In this post, I’m going to share about my body image struggles.

If I have to be truly honest, I have no idea whether I’m happy with the way I look. The reason may be a bit baffling: I have no idea what I look like really. I after all haven’t been able to see myself in the mirror in roughly 20 years.

I do know, as a result of having in the past seen myself, that I have dark hair. However, when my husband commented recently on the fact that I’d gotten a grey hair, I had no idea what it’d look like. I have been able to see my father with a lot of grey hair, but that’s still different.

Of course, unlike what sighted people commonly believe, blind people are not immune to body image issues though. Carol anne is blind. So am I. Both of us do struggle with body image. After all, even though I can’t see it, I can feel that I have a few extra pounds and that my body fat is mainly concentrated on my belly. I definitely am not happy with that.

I also may not be able to see my grey hairs, but I’m definitely able to rationalize that my body is growing older. This brings with it its own kind of body image issues, as some of my alters are younger than me and as a result have not adjusted to an aging body. The most striking example is our 13-year-old Agnes, who is still adjusting to the fact that we have breasts. She has disordered eating tendencies and at one point was active on pro-ana sites. There, someone once asked whether we’d want our breasts to go away if we’d become extremely thin. Most people said no, but Agnes replied with a resounding yes.

Adjusting to an aging body also affects our attitude towards the fact that we’re overweight. In a similar but different way that Agnes wants our breasts gone, some of us actually think that we’re not as heavy as we are. This makes committing to weight loss harder.

Walking

Over at Therapy Bits, carol anne posed a good question. She asked whether we enjoy being out in the fresh air and going for walks.

My short answer has to be a resounding YES. I love, love, love walking! It helps me relieve stress, get my thoughts organized and be mindful. It also for obvious reasons helps my physical health.

Last year, when I first embarked on my weight loss journey, I was badly out of shape. My husband offered to take me on daily 36-minute walks. Why 36 minutes? Because that’d burn the number of calories I’d have to decrease if I wanted to get to my first goal weight within a year. For me, these walsk were jog-walks, as my husband walks rather fast. I was exhausted within five minutes.

My husband hasn’t taken me on these fast-paced walks much after those first few days, but I do go on walks regularly. I regularly walk to the nearby ferry with my support workers, which is about 1.5km one way.

About half a year ago, I bought a Fitbit activity tracker. It is recommended that you get at least 10,000 steps a day. I got that on my first day, but only manage it once every few weeks now.

The Fitbit has a smart way of tracking exericse, so it distinguishes between running, walking, cycling and going on the elliptical. Mine, the Fitbit Flex2, is also water proof. Today, I went swimming for the first time since having my Fitbit. I am not fully able to make sense of the data it provided, but it definitely did recognize that I’d been swimming.

Back to the question though. As much as I love walking, I don’t really enjoy the great outdoors. I hate walking in the forest or on otherwise uneven ground. In fact, I think I would almost equally enjoy walking on a treadmill to walking outside if all other circumstances were the same. They aren’t though, since on the treadmill you’re more in exericse mode than when going for a relaxed walk.

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Yay, my first blogging award! DM over at Pointless Overthinking nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thanks so much, DM.

The Rules


  • Thank to the person that nominated you.

  • Link the post back to them.

  • Display the picture on your post.
  • Answer their questions.

  • Nominate 10 bloggers.

  • Provide 11 questions for your nominees.


I have no idea what picture they’re referring to, so sorry for skipping that.

DM’s Questions

1. What is your biggest fear?
Abandonment.

2. What would you like to achieve with your writing?
My main purpose with this blog is to help myself along my healing journey. It would be great if I could also inspire others, but that’s not my top priority.

3. On a scale from 1 (hell would be better) to 10 (everything is more than perfect), how satisfied are you with your life right now and why do you think so?
6’ish. Overall, my life is pretty good, but my mental health could be a lot better.

4. What is the first thing you do every morning?
Open my eyes, LOL. After that, the first things I do are shut up my alarm clock, put my Fitbit on its shelf while I shower and go for a shower.

5. How do you like to spend your weekends?
I usually sleep in till noon, eat breakfast, hang out online and do pretty much nothing. On Saturdays, I do regularly visit my in-laws though. This is far from my ideal week-end, as I generally hate the lack of structure of week-ends.

6. What are you grateful for?
My husband, my in-laws, my cat, pretty good physical health, food and shelter.

7. What things do you have on your bucket list?
I would love to follow some more college classes. Or just plain classes for the fun of it without them being a work-up to a degree.

8. What’s the craziest dream you ever had?
I once, 20 years ago, dreamt that a classmate had gotten a chemical weapon out of Iraq that he was launching at me. This was definitely a scary dream, but it wasn’t all that crazy as said classmate pretended to have created a chemical weapon indeed.

9. What’s your core belief?
I am unique, I guess. This core belief is both a blessing and a curse, in that it helps me value myself but also makes me feel misunderstood.

10. What is your biggest desire?
Acceptance.

My Nominees

My Questions


  1. What is your passion?

  2. How long have you been blogging?

  3. What characteristic do you like most about yourself?

  4. What’s your favorite color?

  5. How would you describe your taste in music?

  6. What was your favorite picture book growing up?

  7. What is your favorite scent?

  8. Which country tops your travel bucket list?

  9. In what ways are you still childlike?

  10. Whhat’s a joke or one-liner you like?

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Bourbon, Beer and Watermelon Wine

Yay guys, it’s Monday. My week is off to a great start with a long walk again this morning at day activities. I am snacking on cheese twists, because after all my husband moved the scale to the attic so it won’t show if I’ve gained weight. No, seriously I do still try to lose weight, but I’m allowed a cheat.

Monday also means it’s time for Monday’s Music Moves Me. Last week, I flaked out as I couldn’t think of songs to add. The theme was free choice, but still I wasn’t that musically-inclined. But now I am.

The theme for this week is songs with beverages in the title. Immediately, alcoholic beverages came to mind. I don’t drink alcohol, but I just love a good ol’ drinking song.

The first song I’m going to share is my favorite Blackberry Smoke song. Unlike with most other southern rock bands, I was the first in our home to discover Blackberry Smoke and introduced it to my husband rather than the other way around. This song is explicit, so a rather stark contrast to the nursery rhumes I shared two weeks ago, but who cares?

Next, I originally wanted to share Sweet Tequila, which I know from the German country band Truck Stop but was pretty sure of there’d be an English-language version. I couldn’t find it, nor could I find the Truck Stop version on YouTube, so I had to move on. Here then is a song I’m probably not the only one sharing. It’s one of several truly funny Dubliners songs.

Now that we’re talking beer anyway, I just got to share this song by Tom T. Hall.

I didn’t originally intend on posting more than one song by the same artist, but I just got to share this other Tom T. Hall song. Not because I like it, but because it means I can craft a nice title for this post.

Do I Have to Be Loyal to My Parents?

Last week, I had a meeting with my nurse practitioner. We discussed my experience of being multiple, of having roughly 25 different selves. We also went into part of the reason I’m like this: childhood trauma.

There are selves who are pretty loyal to my parents. They keep wanting to call them, visit them. They keep worrying about what happens to them shoudl they fall ill. My parents are in their sixties, so it is pretty well possible that their health will fail anytime within the foreseeable future. Of course, I don’t hope so and they’re still pretty active, but well, religion aside, no-one has eternal life.

Then there are parts who have stopped caring about loyalty and who are focusing on me. One of these selves emerged shortly after my grandma’s death last May. This event seemed to be cathartic, having caused me, or at least that part of me, to let go of the idea that my parents will ever be what I wish them to be. Just like I won’t be what my parents wished me to be, they won’t be what I wished them to be.

This split between wanting to be loyal to my parents and wanting to move on with life and my own process, also comes to light on this blog. I usually write pretty openly about my experiences, but each time I keep wondering what my parents will think if they ever read this. Part of me doesn’t care, as I’m not lying about my experiences or feelings. Part of me feels I’ve been scapegoated enough that I have a right to tell the truth even if it hurts. Yet part of me still feels I have to be loyal, show respect, honor the people who brought me into this world.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday. The word for this week is “loyal”.

Friendly Fill-Ins Week #119

Today, I’m wanting to write but am feeling terribly uninspired. A lot of thoughts float through my mind, but none are clear enough to capture on the page. I’m noticing how I’m not as active in my writing endeavors as I was when I started this blog. I hope this doesn’t mean the blog turns as inactive as my other one.

Anyway, to get me to write about something, I’m participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins again. The questions are:


  1. ______________________ brings out the best in me.

  2. ______________________ makes me grumpier than Grumpy Cat.

  3. If money grew on trees, I would _________.

  4. I have a fear of _________.

1. Laughter brings out the best in me. My husband and I have a lot of inside jokes that we together laugh about. This truly helps me feel a connection to him. I also love laughing with other people, as laughter definitely helps me forget my inner turmoil.

2. The coming of fall makes me grumper than Grumpy Cat. Yeah, I know, it’s part of the cycle of life, but I just hate the gloomy fall weather, rain and darkness.

3. If money grew on trees, I’d wish I coud climb them. I’d love to climb trees once again anyway, but with my neither terribly youthful nor athletic body, I’m pretty sure I can’t. That being said, maybe the money would fall off the trees like apples. That would be awesome.

4. I have a fear of too many things. Abandonment, criticism, being left alone. These are my more abstract fears. Other fears are primarily focused on my health, such as a phobia of poison. This phobia isso bad that I wouldn’t get onto the balcony of my husband’s and my old home because there was a poisonous plant there.

How about you? What brings out the best in you?

Weekly Gratitude List (August 24, 2018) #TToT

Wow, it’s Friday again! Time flies! This means it’s time for me to write my weekly gratitude list. Here goes.

1. The fact that I did in fact exercise everyday last week. Thhat means I broke a record! I could go this far this week again, as so far I’ve been doing some exercise-worthy moving each day of the week.

2. An even longer walk last Monday. The staff who’s gettinb back into work was at our day activities group again last Monday. This time, we walked for over an hour. I loved it.

3. Finding a cool Turkish shop in the nearby city. This city is called “the capital of Turkey” by people from the surrounding area. I went grocery shopping in the city on Monday with my support worker, because the next town’s supermarket, which is closer by my house than the city’s, had sold me rotten blackberries on Friday. The supermarket visit wasn’t too much of a success, but I hope to be able to get more delicious fruit at the Turkish shop next time.

4. A very good psychiatrist’s appointment last Tuesday. It still has me in awe, as I felt so thoroughly validated.

5. Having made delicious toast with cheese, salami, tomato and pesto at day activities on Wednesday. It was a little chaotic, but still it was a lot of fun.

6. A lie-in yesterday. My support coordinator wouldn’t be here till 3PM and I had no other obligations, so I slept in till past 11AM.

7. Being able to discuss my wishes with the day activities staff. Today, the day activities coordinator had heard about my enjoying the long walks. Because this extra staff who took me this week will eventually go back to her own group and no longer be extra, the coordinator offered to try to find me a volunteer. That’d be so cool.

We also discussed my creative endeavors. The day center have a stand at the town’s Christmas fair each year and they make crafty things for that. I got talking about all my creative endeavors, like jewelry-making and soap making. I may try to get some of these things going at day activities.

Linking up with Ten Things of Thankful again.

Emotional Flashbacks: I Tend to Fight

I just read up on trauma-related symptoms and was flooded with emotional flashbacks. An emotional flashback is where you are reminded of a past traumatic event but don’t remember it in visual detail. Rather, you feel the emotions associated with the event. You then respond in a usually maladaptive way that is associated with your trauma.

According to Pete Walker, there are four types of trauma responses related to emotional flashbacks: fight, flight, freeze and fawn. I have yet to read up on them all in Walker’s book Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, but I think I most relate to fight, followed by freeze and fawn. Interestingly, in this book, Walker also discusses specific combinations of responses, such as the fight-fawn hybrid (I think that would be me).

I feel sad, because Walker calls the fight response, which is my most common first reaction, “narcissistic” and on his website relates it to being spoiled. I have yet to read up in his book on whether this is the only trauma that can elicit a fight response, as I was not usually spoiled. Or was I?

When discussing my upbringing with the psychologist who gave me my autism diagnosis back in 2017, after another psychologist had taken it away, I mentioned my parents not letting me develop my independence skills. That is, when I tried to develop independence skills, I was often left to my own resources and not consciously taught. Then as soon as I got frustrated (which I reckon is a natural response), my parents gave up and would do stuff for me. The psychologist called this simultaneous over- and underestimation.

I was rather frustrated with the fact that I was seen as having been underestimated, as this didn’t resonate with my feeling of chornic overwhelm. Also, it somehow feels like it’s a character flaw on my part that I got let off the hook, whereas I consider other forms of bad parenting that I endured to be my parents’ responsibility. Really though, ultimately, it’s my responsibility to heal.

Linking up with RDP #83: Remember.