I’m a little slow in thought and somewhat medicated.
A few years ago one of my alters suggested we take a photograph of ourselves each month. She said to do it on the 17th and that’s exactly what we’ve done. It’s to give us a clearer view of ourselves, to break from old negative messages.
Without a photo in front of me, what do I think I look like? I feel………. and there’s the challenge. The truth of what I look like is based on categories like, 5’4, African-American, plus size, brown eyes, brown hair, not feelings. That’s what I look like but what I feel I look like is totally different. And that’s what the photos are supposed to do, stop the shaming and see myself better. Stop ‘seeing’ me in phrases like I feel small, I feel like an elephant. I feel stupid.
I am still working on how I speak to myself and how I view myself. I’m still working on splitting up feelings based on truth and feelings based on shame and self loathing.
A photograph of on the 17th of each month doesn’t have my face with red inked letters that spell out ‘bad’ so why should I include that word when describing my appearance?
Subject: PTSD from chronic illness, suicide comments, shame, on the upturn, not feeling positive
I wonder if it’s possible for a patient to have PTSD after going through several physical pain experiences? This chronic illness torture makes me want to slice myself from navel to nose and and climb right out of your skin because my mind just can’t take another second of the current pain.
I fear it. I fear the next flare up. I want to say that while on the up turn from this flare that I’ll take advantage of each day I have where my pain is baseline, but I don’t feel all gung-ho, lets get back to life, jump in the deep end. I’m not going to jump up and down and proclaim, “I’m happy to be alive!” Excuse me if I don’t celebrate surviving that. I could use some nachos but I’ll skip the party. I do feel refreshed after such good sleep since Tuesday evening. I feel a lot better but………. sigh………..I’m shell shocked……and I’m angry.
I was at the store and a lady asked me what was wrong. I told her I have Lupus. She kept ringing me up. I was wearing headphones which is a clue that I don’t want to talk, but it didn’t work that way.
Cashier – Did you break your back? Me. I have Lupus
(silence) Cashier – That hurts, doesn’t it? Me – Oh yeah. Cashier – When’s the last time you had sex?
Of course this shocked me because I don’t know this woman from Adam so I turned my head to the left….confused….then to the right….confused. I put my hand over my mouth in shock, head still going left then right trying to wrap my brain around this question from a total stranger. After a long silence I said,, “Um, wow.” Then with all the irritation I could muster and a deep sigh I said,
Really? Seriously? (deep sigh)….please, just ring me up before I fall over… Cashier – You looked like you were in a lot of pain the last time you were here. Are you better now?
I had a dream about a woman I used to know, someone I traded a whole lot to be with. That was 9 years of strangeness and emotions so strong that each touch was like being bashed with a brick. Well, in the dream she’d lost her mind. She had an 80’s hair cut like Cindy Lauper, it was bleach blond. She was wearing some sort of strange all black outfit and had these pin buttons all over her clothes that said, I voted. They were on her shirt and skirt. I voted.
My car had broken down and I needed a ride home. She was there for a support group meeting. She didn’t want me to see her. I said hello anyway but I thought, this girl has lost her mind.
I remember she was resigned to living but not dedicated to it. This Faith had a better attitude about her situation than I have. She was willing to look past the imperfections of others and willing to be wrong if it meant the other person had time to cool down. Though her body was failing quickly she was the strongest she’d ever been.
A year ago I flashed this photo. It’s only been a year.
In that year her heart was stolen. How amazing is that?
That Faith planned on doing what her friends do, hold free personal Bible studies online through applications like Skype.
She was very well aware of what her body was doing but she wasn’t aware of the emotional destruction caused by physical deterioration. That reality hit when the next big change forced itself center stage – a blood clot in the shoulder, close to the neck after an injury.