I want to make a note of something I said concerning my inability to understand and process time. This is a copy / paste.

** As a multiple, I have no concept of time and no concept of direction. For me, 5 min is the same as 5 hours. For me, 2 min is the same as 2 hours or 2 days. Time doesn’t make sense to me.

My lack of understanding for time even affects how I experience the four seasons. It might as well have been spring yesterday because it was for me. I don’t know when they start or finish.

I am a creature of habit which helps with time. If things don’t fall into a routine then I’m totally messed up by it. For instance, Dr. D wanted to change a session time from 1:15 to 1:30 but I couldn’t make that stick in my head. It just didn’t fit. Then one day Snow needed to reschedule and come on a day that Betty was coming but my head kept throwing it out because that wasn’t what was to happen. It didn’t make sense and it threw off the rest of my week because it no longer followed that known pattern.

If Snow didn’t come on Friday then how was I supposed to know when it was Saturday, then how would I know to be ready for Sunday services. How would I then know to be ready for a phone session on Monday if I couldn’t figure out when Sunday is supposed to happen.

My understanding of time is so very little. I am observant of most things but I don’t get time. I just don’t get it **.

I may not understand time but I’m not oblivious to its reality. I’m at times obsessed with documenting time and date on entries. If I stop in the middle of an entry I sign and date it as if somehow it may be needed to track that specific date and time. Capturing the understanding of time is as likely as the Cubs again winning the world series in my lifetime.

Change has always been difficult. Spontaneity and I are not friends.

There was a time when I was to go to the grocery store with Betty but she wanted to go eat first. That’s not what she said we were doing and so my head kept battling with the change. Several times she’d want to go eat before shopping but I eventually had to tell her that if it wasn’t in the plans then I couldn’t do it. Part of the reason for not being able to change plans like that is because I didn’t have time to measure my mental strength. I knew I had what I needed to go grocery shopping without an anxiety attack or switching personalities due to stress, but I wasn’t sure if I had the brain power to endure a restaurant with its feast of stimuli.

When I go to the store I prepare my head. I get in a space to be able to manage the movement, the temperature change in different parts of the store, the overhead music set to the 80’s and hundreds of cell phones ringing in my ear. It’s as if I hear every single sound. I have to prepare myself to leave this house, when plans change I lose the assurance that I can do the time out of the house and get home without a mental health crisis.


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4 thoughts on “My inability to understand and process time

  1. I really understand this. We have gotten better st this since we work but we heavily rely on our phone and the alarms we set on it daily. We also rely heavily on routines both at home and at work. If the routine has to change, we do really struggle.

  2. You’ve expressed issues with time better than I ever could. And having to suddenly transition to something you’re unprepared for? Oh, I hate that. I’m like you, I have to be sure I can handle it mentally. I need to know that first this will happen, then we will go there, etc. I’m thrown for a loop if something doesn’t go as planned, and I haven’t been able (maybe haven’t tried hard enough) to explain this to my family. It’s hard to describe what it’s like without bringing DID into it and not everyone I’m related to knows about that.

    If I’m going to babysit, I want to be asked well in advance. At least 24 hours before so I can prepare for it mentally and emotionally. I need to shift from my usual not having to do anything in particular mode to my nana mode. When I don’t have enough time to do this everything feels off, and I tend to dissociate.

    Often I feel as if I’ve been waiting weeks for an email response from someone, only to discover to my dismay that it’s only been like two days! I’ve learned not to say anything to the other person without first investigating to see if it’s really been so long since they received my email.

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