It’s been a dreadful week [again] thanks to my amazing ‘insight’ which I’ve actually decided isn’t insight at all, simply knowledge and knowledge I only have as the other people I share my mind/life/body with choose to share it with me, I know why.
Having thought about and discussed the events of the week I’m left in a quandary [again] as to what to do with my new found knowledge.
Thinking back to the social work assessment I mentioned briefly in my previous post- I know what went wrong.
One of the peculiar upsides of DID is the ability to recall events from a third- person perspective, it scares the shit out of you when you first realise that not everyone ‘remembers’ things this way but you soon learn to file it under ‘handy skills’ with the rest of the ‘mental but useful’ stuff- like always having someone available to paint the nails on your dominant hand. So I’ve replayed the tiny portion of ‘film’ I have from Wednesday and watched it multiple times.
The assessment began ok, the right set of skills were present but around 8 minutes in, when the questioning turned from “name, address, date of birth” to “so tell me about [redacted]” it all went horribly wrong. At that point I left the room- I think it was under the thinly veiled excuse of “going to ground myself” but this was a classic trauma response- fleeing, running-away. I wasn’t going to ground myself at all (for the most part this is something I’m still incapable of doing except in very controlled circumstances); I had switched and from that point on had totally lost control of the situation and my mind. The assessment should’ve ended there instead of continuing to compound the trauma and chaos. I’m torn between thinking it was my responsibility to call the assessment to a halt at that point and feeling horribly let-down that the Fantastic CPN failed to notice what had happened at a time where I was unable to see it.
I’m very selfves-sufficient, whether this is borne out of strength or a complete inability to trust or rely on anyone else is debatable. My pathology suggests the latter. Self-sufficiency morphs all too easily into taking responsibility for everything, which in turn just becomes guilt and cries of
“It’s all my own fault”
To be fair though, I have very little evidence that it’s safe to trust or rely on anyone else. Again, my pathology suggests this mindset is firmly rooted in my distant past but two years or so of being let-down and betrayed by the mental health profession is fresh in my mind- unlike the distant past.
It’s all become a bit cyclical.
So I know what happened, what I don’t know is what to do next. I am driven, compelled to educate anyone and everyone about DID. I do this obviously here on one of the best blogs on the internet when I discuss the details, I also do it here and elsewhere subversively just by being who I am and saying what I say. This I can cope with, in fact I enjoy it or I wouldn’t do it. If, by telling my story more people learn about DID then that’s a bonus. What I don’t enjoy is the continued fight to get those who should understand to understand.
I’m told the social worker responsible for the shambles that was Wednesday felt “really bad”- she phoned the Fantastic CPN to tell her this, adding helpfully “I felt like I’d abused her”, the Fantastic CPN in turn then told me this. On one hand I’m glad the social worker was able to recognise she’d made several grave errors but I could’ve done without having to accept the guilt of someone else, particularly someone who had caused a lot of damage. I’m also still waiting for her to contact me to apologise…….
I’ve pondered over whether there is any point sharing what I know with those who need to know it. Is there any point in me telling those who made mistakes what those mistakes were or do I just cut my losses, stick to those who do understand and keep myself safe?
Obviously if I share what I know I have the ability to prevent something similar happening to me again. Though as the social worker made it quite clear I was the wrong kind of ill for the support they had available then gave me some bullshit about how I wasn’t eligible for direct payments as I had no physical care needs, I doubt I’ll be seeing her again. If I share what I know then perhaps the next person like me won’t have to suffer in the same way? How will anything ever change if nobody tries to change it?
I don’t think I can change it. I don’t think I can make people who can’t or don’t want to understand, understand. If the social worker cared enough to try and get it right, she would’ve done some work beforehand, perhaps even contacted me, maybe emailed me the assessment form so I could’ve looked over it, and seen it was far too triggering and not bothered with the assessment? If after all this time the Fantastic CPN still thinks it’s ok to say “I know it was dreadful but you did ask for it” then either I’m explaining things badly or I’m wasting my time.
I suspect this is how people with DID end up with no support. When support becomes something that poses a potential risk, it’s safer for us to go without.
I’m tired of the fight; I’m tired of not fitting, not being what those who should be helping me need me to be. I can’t imagine if I had the kind of illness that presented in a more traditional way, if, for example I wept throughout the assessment on Wednesday that those two professionals would’ve carried on. The fact that I switched chaotically and constantly was probably missed by both of them- except that I do recall saying at one point around 20 minutes in “I don’t know; I’ve only just got here”. I’m aware a lot of my switches can be subtle but when I had verbally drawn attention to it, perhaps it was time for someone to step in and protect me when it was clear I was incapable of protecting myself?
I’m tired of the fight; I’m tired of having to fight by myself for myself. My complaint about NHS Fife is still with the SPBO, it came to light a couple of weeks ago that they didn’t have any of my notes from the Fantastic CPN- I had to contact them to tell them this. It came to light this week that they didn’t have my notes from the Fab Psychologist- I had to contact them to tell them this. I had to send copies of emails between myselves and the Fab psychologist to them as they didn’t have them either. I’m losing the fight, the process is too triggering and I know that the important bits, like the conversation between those in my ‘care’ team where they decided not to help me obtain the correct diagnosis as they believed it would be stigmatising for me, won’t be written in any of those notes anyway.
I’m tired of the fight; I’m tired of having to explain DID to people who I need to help me.
After the assessment on Wednesday I turned to friends for comfort, I relayed 3 of the questions I could remember and immediately friends replied “they should have known how triggering that would be for you” so again- friends get it. None of my friends are qualified experts in trauma and dissociation but they get it. I’m told by them, they get it because I explain it so well. I think it’s more to do with the fact they are willing to listen, accept, learn and care.