I haven't posted in a while, and my sincere apologies to everyone who has written to inquire as to "when will the Blog be updated?!!" As anyone with DID is told often enough, there are times when you simply need to stop and take care of yourself. I've taken that time.....and have had many thoughts of course as a result. For now, here's two of them: 

And a great big thank you for the emails and words of encouragement! 

A friend wrote to me the other day about gratitude. I've been thinking, thinking, and re-thinking about that ever since. Of course, I have several books on the subject, with worksheets, attended seminars, shoot, I even have certificates the PROVE I've learned the principles of "gratitude". 

Isn't that funny, attend a lecture, and receive a certificate that says you "now know what gratitude is". See? It's even signed by the speaker! You are now an expert in the realm of "gratitude". You can make a list, you can find things to be grateful for, you got it all baby! ....but to really meditate on the subject? Well, I have!! (Don't I have all the answers?.....NOT!!!!) Now, here's the kicker: to actually APPLY the principle in practice? Oooops, my friend left me thinking on that one. 

So, I'm walking by the other night, checking on the family, like the control freak I am, and I realized something. My wonderful husband was doing exactly what I asked him to do. Have I said anything? Nope.....just trying to stay focused on myself, figure out step 1 of Al-Anon and take care of my inner needs, my personal "system". But, really, in a way, I'm acting like I'm still resentful of "all" the stuff we've gone through. All the "stuff" WE went through? I had to admit that my resentment also included: EVERYTHING I've ever experienced. Now, that goes waaaay back in time, as anyone with DID can comprehend. Average age of onset for DID, is 4.9 years, mine was right about there....so I'm holding resentment for what? 36 years folks.......thirty six years!!!! That's a lot of resentment. 

Ewwwww, I don't like that I'm doing this. 

I stopped, and instantly thought of (name deleted for privacy) note........and I couldn't move any further. I really couldn't. I knew the family was involved with what they were into, but, I couldn't move. I just watched. Standing there, with "gratitude" right in front of me, and I had to make a choice. Keep walking with my huge bag of resentment, or practice gratitude? 

Finally I said: "Excuse me.....(husband looked up), I just want you to know how much I've noticed that you are making eye contact, you're listening to what we have to say, you're involved with the family, and you are tired, but not asleep. I'm very impressed. Thank you, I mean it: Thank you. It warms my heart, and I'm grateful for the effort you've been putting forth." 

(I didn't want to say "drink" in front of the kids, but he knew it also meant that there's been no drinking, and his saying "no" to the offers from others. Shoot, I have a problem with "drink" as well.....so to hold resentment towards him alone is rude at the very least!)

He just looked at me, with those dark Choctaw eyes, and said: "I read your letter, I didn't take it lightly, I paid attention. I might not talk much, but I do care. I think about it often. Thank YOU for noticing that I am trying." And then, shock of all shocks, he smiled. Just briefly, but he smiled. 

Do you know what? I almost choked on the word "grateful". 

Why? I had no realization until that moment that I've been holding my little bag (well not so little bag) of resentment, carrying it around like a precious baby. It's been my baggage for so long, it would seem like I lost something to simply let go of it. 

Thank you my friend......you reminded me of a concept I would never have even truly considered in my day to day life. Ask me about anger and DID, flashbacks, nightmares, scars, stigma, medication, self care, suicide, self harm, etc........I can talk all day about those subjects. But resentment? Wow, now that's a huge issue, and cannot be ignored. We can try, but the reality is that it does exist. Of course it would...that's only logical! To deny that it holds a presence in our daily lives? Well, there's an error in that way of living.  One that leads to transference, and corrupts our very soul. 

We had a family meeting as a result the next day. We agreed that our new family motto will be: "Whatever maintains the safety, serenity and peace in our family unit comes first. No personal desire, emotion or preference comes before this."

I heard husband repeat the chant last night with the boys. It was a peaceful evening indeed. But, I had done something that normally I would have told the boys not to do: put a LARGE glass of ice cold coffee right on the table over the play station system, tele components, yeup, everything that is ruined by liquid. One trip, one nerf gun bullet, and the entire set up would be ruined.  So, in quick reaction, husband snapped, oooops, verbally snapped nastily at me. 

But then, all at once, they repeated the chant together. Oldest boy said "You were right, you just have to say it differently." Again, to my shock, that proud, proud man did. He re-said what he meant to say, but nicely. Youngest (with schizophrenia, so he doesn't always "get" things)....said: "It's important to talk nice, it means peaceful." 

Thanks (name deleted)........I know I'll need Al-Anon, and continued therapy for work on the resentment. Diagnosed 20 years with DID, and I just now realize that I'm still carrying around my bag of resentment, ever waiting to be added to? Time to let it go......don't know how, but I have the support and the tools available to me to figure it out. 

None of us are alone in this. 

Just my 20 cents. 
Have a good day.......

such a well detailed article. thank you so much.


Hi Shell, How are you doing? the girls miss you. You have a great niece. We love your book. always


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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! 


    June 2012
    May 2012
    April 2012