I finally remembered to take the camera with me to record the sounds of the frogs and cicada's in TX. I've lost so much of my hearing, that they are really all I can hear when I walk. But the camera also picked up (I think) the sounds of the air conditioning units running, so you'll have to ignore those.....I can't make out what it is, but I think, it's when I pass the units. Everyone is running their air conditioning right now. 102*.......sort of hot ya' think? I have met a lovely lady who has DID and is blind, so I always try to remember to experience the world in a different way, as she has taught me that not everything is visual in life. Further, we've had recent blog and forum discussions about finding ways to center yourself. Mine is to take a walk.....look around, be aware of where I am, and simply listen to the sounds as evening approaches. 

It'll take about 40 minutes to upload to You Tube, but the link is here:  http://youtu.be/6fJiZ9b43kU 

Now that (name deleted for privacy) started my morning off laughing.......coffee everywhere. You really have to see this pic she put up at Face Book (you can see it under my name: Shelly Dowen-Johnson).....too funny for those of us who were idiots and thought our bodies would be forever young.....hence, getting tattoos that are now shrinky-dink versions of what they once were. 

All I know is: I was laughing so hard, I set my cuppa down, and crash! Coffee and a broken cup at my feet. (Note to self: you cannot set a cuppa down on top of a lighter!) Well, it was the one cup that had already ended up with two chips, and is now off to the land of broken pottery. Poor thing, I suspect it was doomed from the word go. I have a metal cup now.....not taking anymore risks this morning. 

So, I did it. With a more than a little help from a friend to correct my thought processes (thank you anonymous friend!), I decided to send husband an email about the drinking and addict behaviors. 
Wow, so many things I didn't even think of. Over and over "Where's your boundaries?" "Why are you putting your feelings away, and only listing his?" "You're not an MD, you don't know that, first: put how you've been hurt, the boys have been hurt, second: list how the family is not safe, third: list these as symptoms of what you believe to be the cause." The final comment: "Stop talking or offering to talk.....you've done this for 9 years. He has to get help, he has to do it, talking until you're grandparent's isn't going to change a thing! REWRITE THIS, DELETE THAT" 

The "final copy" was more of what I really wanted to say, just didn't realize it was okay to put myself in the picture. Duh! Okay, okay, I'm learning. 

I emailed it to him, as I knew he would check his inbox after coming home from work.  


Frankly, I was more than a little scared......he could react in any way, shape or form. Some could be not very pretty. Yeah, I made sure to know where the car keys were, how fast I could get the boys out the door, etc. Sad to have to think of those things....but I'm not that stupid. 

He stayed in the room a long time.......uh oh.....well, wait, if he was that angry, he'd already be out here telling me what he thought, and how wrong I am. Okay.........found him head bent, tears in his eyes and shaking at his desk. Shaking....oh geesh, we've been down the "cold turkey" path before, and I forgot that part, not that he was going through withdrawals, but the shaking just reminded me of THAT part. Ewwww, it was hard that time, as I didn't really let go of how I felt, and was upset that now I "have to take care of him" on top of still being angry. The mood swings weren't fun either, while holding onto my little bundle of resentment. Turns out: he remembers that too....and mentioned it. Yeah, we've been down this road before. 

But, this time, with a little direction, I was able to put down how I feel about these things. That's what was different. I told him I'm going to Al-Anon, and he has his choices to make. But, I'm not playing the game anymore.......I am free from worrying constantly about this "thing" that hangs over our head daily. I let him know that I'm going to Al-Anon on M and Th at 10:30 with the boys, and that they have childcare. There are meetings at 8pm that he could attend, and needs to. He sees his psych on the 21st, and no, I'm not writing a letter to get him more tranquilizers......I suggest strongly that he be honest with the psychiatrist, as he has never done.....and admit what he's really experiencing, and stop trying to find quick fixes.   

Last night he was embarrassed, kept saying he felt like a "failure again", I've heard this before. But, he's not angry with me.....whew. And it appears he woke with a new attitude, one with purpose. So, it's up to him. We'll see.....but for me: that's all I have any control over. I finally figured out the first step. Not mastered, but figured it out at least. 

Good news? A creditor called last night (one of many) which husband just ignores. I looked at him and said: "here's your chance to start making changes and face the consequences of your decisions one call at a time"......and he took it. Didn't like having to face the consequences, but he took it. Sadly embarrassing to see such a large man shaking and speaking with such a timid tone....but he says he will take all the others too and address them. 

I also told him that you can't just go to one meeting and think it will magically come together. It takes at least 6-9 from what I hear, as many people think "this isn't for me" for the first few, no matter how friendly everyone is. You have to learn to adjust your thinking......sometimes in 5 minute increments. Ask yourself: "Can I be a better person 5 minutes from now than I am at this moment?" The phone call he just handled? A perfect example of the 5 minute increment philosophy. 

Further, it's not an easy road, facing your life, talking about these things. But the groups aren't set up for people to tell you what to do or think.....they are for you to think for yourself, and start analyzing where your thoughts are off track, and leading the family down a very dangerous road. He got it.......it's up to him if he follows through. Besides, he already believes in a Higher Power......I don't....but I'll find my way. I believe in "something" out there, so that's what I'll grab on to. 

Strange, I feel lighter. I finally figured out that I don't have any control over this thing.....but I've accepted it. I let go (literally) of all the hurt and anger......and now: I feel like I lost weight, or a burden of sorts. Strange.....I don't understand, and am really just learning, new little baby steps towards no longer supporting and enabling this behavior. He was embarrassed? Well my own thoughts, and many they were, exposed to me just how foolish and ingrained my part in promoting this lifestyle for so long, with so many people has been. I feel outright dumb. No, make that DUMB. That's more like it. 

But, the Al-Anon site is good for reminding you that it takes time, and just like DID, it's a growing thing, requiring patience, support, and learning new ways of thought and behavior. I attend my first meeting tomorrow, with childcare, so I won't have to fuss about Aramis and his not being able to see me. If he knows where I'm at, and the person watching him knows just to keep reminding him, and re-answering the same question over and over, he'll be fine. 

I've been having nightmares, and now I see why. 

I have always had these nightmares, not the same ones all the time, but there will be times where I will have "the nightmare" that I have bugs, or something under my skin. I can see it, I can feel it, and "it" needs to come out. I gently pull and pull until I can remove the entire worm, bug, snake, or whatever form it has, and until it's completely out, I'm burdened by the realization that I have something inside me that I don't want. I usually wake up exhausted, and very disturbed.....my thoughts instantly turning to my daily life. For some reason, the pattern has always been the same: wake up with the question banging in my head "What is wrong in my world? What do I need to get rid of?" They have happened as long as I can remember.....and almost every time there is something or someone in my life, that I embraced and welcomed that is not healthy, but I refused to "see" it for what it was. Once I find and face whatever that thing is, and clear it from my life, the nightmares stop. At least "those" nightmares. Of course, there are others.....but these, always follow the same routine, with the same banging question when I wake. Over and over.....there is something wrong in my world that I'm not "seeing". I've been having these nightmares for the last few months. 

So, after months of "the bug" nightmares, I finally slept....well, sort of. I was reading the paper at one point last night, but I couldn't turn the pages, as the paper wasn't real. Frustrating, my hands were moving, and I couldn't finish reading as my hand would reach straight through the image of the paper that seemed so real. I couldn't finish the article.....and yet, I kept trying to turn the page, but couldn't. Ughhhh......

Then, quick as a wink, my nightmare changed: I'm with husband, he's in his work clothes, and we are in some jungle sort of place. We are there to meet some people, when I realize, these are dangerous people. I keep trying to tell him, whisper to him, repeat that this is not safe, and he keeps telling me to be quiet, he has it under control. Then I see guns start to slowly poke out of various windows surrounding us. The people we are to meet take off in their cars, and are racing away. Husband mutters: "OM.....it's a set up!!!", and I'm more than a little angry he didn't listen. But there's no time to be discussing that, as we have to get away. We jump into the car, which has no windshield, and he has no seat. So, I'm sitting on some box or something, and literally where the windshield would be if the car had one. He has no seat, so he's sitting much farther back, and is behind me. He stomps on the gas, and heads straight through every house, building, warehouse, fence, everything to get back to the airport. The entire time, I am yelling (as this nightmare is real to me) "FENCE!!!!" and the only thing protecting me is the slight frame left that used to hold the windshield. We actually drove through a steel tool manufacturing place, so I yell "STEEL" and am amazed that I don't end up with at least one black eye. We went through some building with a water tower, and I could hear the wood splintering as we clipped off all the support beams.....I was amazed I didn't drown, as he missed the water tank itself. 

Then the nightmare switched......I'm standing with a group of people, and they are looking at a crab. No crab I've ever seen, but it has large (are they called clippers? Their forearms? Claws?) and a scorpion-like tail. I start saying: "I don't do crabs, I don't do crabs", and am trying to move backwards, but so many people are there, and don't see the danger, and won't let me back up. When it jumps on my leg and starts to crawl up........That's when I woke to discover that husband was gently rubbing my lower leg to wake me up.  

It doesn't take a genius or Freud to analyze either of these nightmares. I don't like that the mind can turn so many objects and situations into examples.....and how real or very life-like the entire experience a nightmare can take on. But, it is what it is. That's what I had as a nightmare last night. No worms, but one hell of a crab. The entire car driving sequence is obviously how I feel our life is being directed right now. The driver is not listening, and has no control. Glad I didn't have to pay for therapy to figure out this one. ;)

I really don't know why I'm sharing this.....probably (name deleted for privacy) warm comment about going ahead and speaking about the realities of DID, and the daily aspects. I hate nightmares, sometimes I can tell they are messages from the insiders, other times they are as described above. But, they are disconcerting to say the very least. 

I also wonder if other people experience nightmares that are trying to tell them things? I don't believe in "dream messages", and interpretations of what "flying in your dreams" or "losing teeth" mean....as they are generalities, akin to palm reading. Not true science.....and I don't agree with Freud, that everything comes back to one subject...his "favorite". 

BUT, there's no denying that I have the same ones during certain points of my life, with minor variances. The car scenario was a new one, but makes sense. No windshield, I'm out, front and center for the danger, and he's flooring it with no idea of where we're heading. 

Well, that ends my scrambled ramblings for the morning. 

Sadly, you will hear the wails of two little boys who are not getting out of school today. 
They'll live.....besides, I have ice pops in the freezer that they bought with their $1 each. 

Have a good day everyone......

Shelly
 


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    Shelly Dowen-Johnson

    I am currently traveling with my husband across the United States, due to the nature of the work he does. 

    I am the mother of two boys, one who has recently been diagnosed with Early Onset Childhood Schizophrenia (Schizoaffective Disorder). 

    It appears the Dowen family gene sequencing contributes much more than the darling dimples both boys have inherited!  But, as always, with love, tender care and support....we will thrive! 

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