Time For Words

Here we go again.  I wonder how long I’ve been doing this?  and by “This” I mean coming to reality, waking up from my dreamworld, snapping into focus.  I’m back, I’ve been here very recently, perhaps in the last 24 hours, I can’t say for sure because of the damn time thing. K has no concept of time, not time the way you know it, but rather we have what we affectionately refer to as “Kellie Time”.  I’m still having trouble in learning which words to use, which phrases are proper, which ideas hold “true” (whatever that means).  I think that perhaps Kellie is hoping to come to a good stopping point before she takes a break from her studies to write a blog post.  Blog post. How funny.  Kellie is such a non-techie, in spite of the fact that her astrological sign, Aquarius, is supposedly very much into computers and technology and gadgets and the like.  Oh dear.  I’ve just come to the somewhat distressing realization that this could take an exceptionally long time to complete, this latest project.  Perhaps even a lifetime. (I wonder how long that is…)<— Naturally, we know how long a “lifetime” averages, we know this based upon what we’ve learned in school and in books, and besides that, these days it’s simply a matter of going to your favorite search engine and asking. Currently,  the life expectancy of a female living in my country of residence is 80.8 years.  Now we must compare that age to the one which we find on K’s birth certificate, and in doing so we see that Kellie is roughly half-way through her current physical body’s life expectancy. That’s too bad; I think perhaps, if this Mental Illness had been correctly diagnosed and properly treated sooner in Kellie’s life, then she might’ve been able to recover enough to live a productive and dare we say “normal” life, maybe even excelled in a career, most likely in the arts.  But I’m jumping way, way ahead in our story, so let’s stop and rewind, now hit “Play” again.  Listen to this.  Kellie is quite creative and artistic and always has been, for as long as she’s been alive practically.  She started drawing around the age of 3 and has done so throughout her life.  Kellie likes to keep a diary, at least some of us do, and a lot of times these diaries don’t have words, but rather they have drawings, because it’s so much easier for Kellie to express herself through drawings and sketches and doodles than in words.  She is quite good with words, or at least she used to be, before her memory problems became so pronounced.  Granted, the substance abuse which came about in her 20’s and early 30’s certainly did nothing to help her memory problems.  Kellie was always worried about what the drugs,  I guess we can go ahead and say it out loud now, the marijuana Kellie likes to smoke, would do to her memory. 

She didn’t want to impair her memory in any way, and she used to give that as her main reason for NOT smoking pot, but of course she loosened up, so to speak, in college,  and began experimenting with drugs and then the obsessive-compulsive nature of Kellie took over and it went downhill from there.  As the problem with drugs grew larger, her memory recall grew smaller.  Certainly, if she had known for sure that her memory would be so adversely affected, she would never have allowed herself to smoke so much of it, and in the end become the thing that I, the smart one, feared so much back in those days, and that is a pothead.  Kellie used to laugh at them when she’d see them on TV or whatever; she’s always been fascinated by and drawn to the hippie culture, for as long as she has been physically alive.  I say that with no disrespect directed towards hippies whatsoever, I must make that perfectly clear.  Kellie loves 1960’s and 1970’s culture, and I suppose it’s interesting to note that many of the Kellie’s have a particular decade which they are most drawn to and influenced by, and what we are experiencing right now people, right at this very moment, is I believe something important, something of a clue, so to speak-could that fact, the fact that different Kellie’s have their favorite decades…maybe this is a clue as to their ages?  Hmm.  I suppose, if I pause to think about it, each Kellie has her own favorite everything, from music to clothing  to books-I could go on but surely you see the point.  Each Kellie has her own distinct sense of being, her own style, her own sense of “self”. I don’t personally know all of the Kellie’s, and I don’t know whether any of us have ever met or who knows whom….well, I take that back, I DO know some of the Kellie’s, or at least I’m aware of their existence.  There is the Good Daughter, who takes care of Mom and sees that she gets what she needs and feels loved and needed.  Kellie is NOT the Good Daughter, and I don’t believe that Mom knows Kellie, but it’s likely that she’s met her considering she’s “known” Kellie for so many years.  This is really and truly exhausting, I have to interject that.  It’s currently 5:42 A.M. on Sunday, January 8, 2012.  We, or I, I being the Smart Kellie, the one who gets things done, the one who takes care of things, I have been having a fascinating conversation with Kellie’s husband.  He’s really above and beyond anything that Kellie ever could have hoped for or expected to find in her life.  The Kellie had lots of lovers and was very popular, and she had a number of marriage proposals at different points in time throughout her life, but The Kellie is most definitely NOT the marrying kind.  I’m not sure whether I should take this opportunity to talk about The Kellie or whether I should just continue on with my work, with my research, with my “mission”.  That’s how I described it to K’s husband, that I’m on a mission, that I’m here to take over the reins for awhile and see that things get done and business is taken care of.  I am in current need of supplies, namely notebooks and pens, with which we can take notes and keep track of our research, which is currently, and I believe correctly directed at Dissociative Identity Disorder.  I think this is what Kellie has, but I can’t say for certain as I am not a licensed medical doctor and haven’t studied psychology and psychiatry in the classic senses of the words i.e. I never went to school to be a shrink.  However, I DID take some psychology courses while I was in college, and I’ve always been intrigued by and fascinated with the subject, and have always enjoyed reading about the subject,  perhaps because we are so ill.  Kellie has always believed that if she learns enough about her illness, she might be able to get well, and for her sake, and I guess for the sake of all of us, us being the Kellie’s, I hope that is true.  I, myself, that being the Smart Kellie, or as our husband called us earlier, Switch Kellie.  That’s a label which he says I gave myself, but which I have only a vague memory of, and it’s more like he gave me the name and I remember hearing it than it is like me giving myself the name.

I have no idea whether we’ve stated this fact before, and since Kellie’s memory is so horrendous it’s really impossible for me to say without re-reading it, but I am quite concerned with Kellie being taken seriously, and Kellie being embarrassed.  Now, mind you, I’m not the one who gets embarrassed easily, that is very Kellie, but NOT The Kellie of course.  I, being the Smart Kellie, am worried that I, we, Kellie won’t be taken seriously.  I have very strong fears regarding these matters, and it would seem to stem from the fact that as a child I was often accused of lying and I was NOT lying and it was so incredibly frustrating for us, and still is apparently.  Now we must stop for a moment here and clarify the facts as I know them, and the facts are these: My sister’s husband does NOT believe we’re ill.  He thinks that Kellie has been making it up her whole life just to get attention and get out of her responsibilities.  I guess he feels that way because he’s never seen any indication that we were ill.  I’ve certainly never spoken to him about these matters, but once a long time ago, Kellie did something wrong, I can’t remember now what it was, but it was bad and Mom and Dad called my sister and things were said and tears were shed, and in the end my brother-in-law wrote an email to my father, telling him that Kellie was a fake and a liar.  He pointed out that if she were truly so ill, that she’d have no way of going out into the world and buying pot and rolling a joint and getting high and whatnot.  So he seems to think that Kellie is just a junkie or something.  (That’s ridiculous, although The Kellie certainly is an addict; I’ll tell you about her later) There’s so much to be said and so little time in which to say it!  I don’t know how to make that any clearer.  I, being in my current state of awareness, have a job to do, a mission to accomplish, a goal to reach, and that goal is Kellie’s recovery.  We want nothing more than for Kellie to be well.  (Although Kellie herself doesn’t really want to be classified as “normal”, for she feels that to be normal is boring)

While we were talking to Kellie’s husband earlier (he’s asleep now, as it’s currently 6:17 A.M.), it occurred to us that it were as though we, he and I, were meeting for the first time or like we had just begun dating and were still getting to know each other.  I rather enjoyed that aspect of the evening, I have to admit that.  I found him to be intellectually stimulating as well as creative and interesting and unique in a way that Kellie really relates to and is genuinely attracted to.  He is something special and I think that Kellie truly could not have a more suitable life partner.  He’s a writer, and therefore Kellie appreciates his artistic and sensitive nature, and loves him for his creativity and talent.  He’s a very good writer actually; dark but good.  But I digress.  I was telling you about our conversation… this seemed to last a very long time, or as long as say, an LSD trip lasts, which I guess is subjective as well as literal.  It was so much fun talking to him, and getting to know him and hearing him tell us about what he likes and what he collects and what his interests are.  I was trying to tell him things about myself as well, things like the fact that I do NOT smoke cigarettes, although Kellie did for years before finally quitting in May 2010 (because of the ARDS incident) although we must admit that she’s been cheating lately due to stress factors, and the fact which The Kellie chain-smokes.  I intended to tell him how I drink hot tea rather than coffee, although I very much like coffee; Kellie LOVES coffee and is an absolute caffeine fiend.  Since I kept coming out with information which seemed important, I remarked that perhaps Kellie’s husband should start keeping notes, which is ironic because of my whole obsessive need to make lists and such things; you’d think that I would want to take the notes myself, and let me assure you, I am, but it is just that there is more to be studied here than Kellie could actually remember or I could write down.  So at some point, Kellie’s husband brought out his cell phone, and it has a recording device built into it, and so he placed it in front of us and turned it on and told us to speak.  At first I was too self-conscious to talk, too embarrassed as it were.  But after a while, I don’t know how long of course, I forgot about the recording and began to just relax and be myself (LOL) and talk to him without thinking of the device.  It seemed as though I were really making strides towards progress, or at least as much progress as can be made without the help of a trained psychiatrist or psychologist.  I can’t say how long we recorded our conversation, and I have no idea what we talked about-I can’t remember now-but I can recall the specific moment we stopped recording, for Kellie’s husband laid down on the bed and I approached him and told the cell phone in my hand that he was going to sleep and that I guess it was time to stop talking to him and let him rest or something.  And so we were able to get back to our project, which is currently this.  What is this?  Oh yes, the blog.  I believe that the creation of the blog was in fact a trigger, that something inside Kellie switched on whenever she created the blog, and that I came out to take over and tell the story because I’m better with words than she is. We both seem to enjoy words though, to a magnified amount, and much of Kellie’s art contains words embedded within the pictures. I recently looked at photographs of some artwork that Kellie had done, and I was immediately struck by the fact that she has completely different styles at different points in time; this seemed important to the story of Kellie and therefore I’m writing it down. 

OK, now we really must get back to our research, there’s so much work to be done, so many hours of reading  which needs catching up on and notes which need to be made.  Also, Kellie’s husband told her things that we need to remember, things like the fact that I, whom he is now calling Switch Kellie, but whom I have been referring to as Smart Kellie, told him that I appear whenever things get very bad.  He said that I said that Kellie was stressed out and that this was the reason for my arrival.  I have tried repeatedly to recall when I was last present in this existence, this lifetime, this “reality” but I cannot remember.  I have a journal which was last used in October of 2010, so it would seem that I’ve not been here for at least that long, as I like very much to write and am always trying to write things, lists, prose, lines of poetry, things of that nature.  It was me who wanted the new journal for Christmas that first year we were married, and it’s that very journal to which I am referring now.  I’ve begun to use that journal again, in case I need to tell you.  It’s being used as a tool, as a guide, as a point of reference I guess one could say.  Kellie can use the journal to find out what’s been happening.  Now granted, this particular journal is not nearly as interesting as the purple velvet one, the one we found the other night or day or whenever that was, the journal in which we first (I think) mention Dissociative Identity Disorder as our diagnosis.  That journal was written beginning in January of 2004.  I don’t know when we quit writing in it; from what I can remember, it became too much for us to handle, I or we or any of the Kellie’s.  The stress of watching her father die was just more than she could bear, and in the end Kellie went to a very dark place and we didn’t write there, or at least I’ve not found any writings from that time period.  I do know about paintings from back then, but we no longer have those.

I’ve just opened the window blinds and I see that it is raining.  We love the rain, Kellie simply adores the rain and always has.  Which I guess might explain one of the reasons Kellie was so happy when she lived in Seattle, Washington, since it rains there for the majority of the year.  Funny we should remember that time period as being so happy, yet in the end, Kellie was in a very dark place and could’ve easily died. But that’s another story for another day-I don’t want to be a buzzkill.  I’ve got so much to tell you, so much to share with you!  I cannot stress enough how important it seems to me to write all of this stuff down, to put it in writing so that we have some sort of proof, some sort of evidence that we existed.  Kellie has a fear of being forgotten, of not being remembered, which is hilarious when you look at it in the sense that I’m looking at it now, and that is, that Kellie is afraid of going unnoticed, while at the same time we are so incredibly self-conscious that we cannot stand for people to look at us.  Interesting, wouldn’t you agree?  I’ve made several interesting discoveries in this, this most recent episode, as the husband called it.  Like an episode of a television show.  Kellie is the star of the show, and there are different co-stars and various extras, along with wardrobe and costuming and sets and even a soundtrack.  I’ve always compared it to a movie; Kellie is living a movie that others can see but no one can recognize that it’s not real, that it’s only a movie.  One time, a long time ago, Kellie had an “episode”, and during that episode she became so frightened that she called her best girlfriend to come over and stay with her, for she was afraid to be alone.  I can’t imagine how hard that phone call must’ve been, for that friend had never seen us “switch” before and she didn’t know us.  I wonder who made it, the phone call.  I wonder which one of us knew to do that? Perhaps it was me, as I’m the responsible one, the one who takes care of Kellie.  I don’t know if there are others who are responsible or mature or whatever.  I have no way of remembering that, except for my precious notes, which I’ve unfortunately not been keeping for the past 2 years so I’m lost in all of this, I have nothing to help me with recall.

A gradual build-up of symptoms of schizophrenia may or may not lead to an acute or crisis episode called a schizoid break – a short and intense period that involves delusions, hallucinations, distorted thinking, and an altered sense of self.  
Is this what keeps happening to us?  Is this what those periods of clarity are?  Those moments in which I seem to “wake up” and become aware of my existence?s  Or is it in fact the absence of those moments wherein lies the schizoid break? Damn.  I really can’t tell you how much we’d like to talk to our psychiatrist.  I really should have called her whenever this all started.  Husband told us before he went to sleep that I’ve been here for 4 days now.  He said he’s tired, that he needs a break.  I get that.  I understand that I’m a lot to take, Kellie in general is a lot to take, for anyone but especially for those who have close relationships with her.  She’s very melodramatic.  What else can I tell you about her?  I’m not sure.  I’ll have to think for awhile, and see if I can remember anything about her, or us, or any of the Kellie’s.  This is all so strange.  I don’t know how to describe it, I really don’t and even if I did it still wouldn’t come close to what actually living it is like.  So the world will never know, but I am trying, in my own way, to tell the tale, to share the story, to help people understand what it’s like to live with this particular mental illness, which technically I still have no proper name for.
This is the part where I tell you that I do NOT have a current diagnosis handy.  Which each new doctor has come a new diagnosis, at least that’s what’s been happening for most of her physical being.  Kellie has worn so many different labels throughout the course of her life that it’s difficult to say exactly what is wrong with her at this point.  She seems to exhibit symptoms from a multitude of disorders, which I’ve learned is called comorbidity.  Commorbidities are diseases or conditions that coexist with a primary disease but they also stand on their own as specific diseases.  Kellie is definitely OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder, an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). Kellie has a multitude of obsessions which seem to change over time; perhaps they change with my “self”, with each entity having obsessions and compulsions all her own.  Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief.  Not performing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety-if I don’t do whatever it is I’m compelled to do, then I get antsy, nervous, on edge. It is completely impossible to think of anything else outside of that one thought, that one idea, whatever it may be.  Sometimes this can be a good thing, like when I, Switch Kellie, am focused on the task in front of me, which currently happens to be the all-important project of researching Kellie’s mental illness and taking notes about it, which we intend to show and discuss with our doctor when we go and see her on Wednesday, January 11. Another example of a good obsession would be Kellie’s aversion to dirt, which causes her to clean, but that’s not really Kellie, that’s one of her alters, for Kellie has never been one to clean her room.  That’s most certainly a different Kellie, the one who cleans and who has a phobia about dirt and who gets freaked out if she focuses on something and finds it to be dusty or dirty.  She is literally afraid of dirt, afraid it will hurt her in some way, contaminate her, ruin her forever.  I’d rather like it if she came around more often, for we could really use the help with housekeeping.
I’ve never thought about it before.  That’s a funny phrase to me.  “I’ve never thought about it before.”  As if I would be able to remember it if I had!  And each of us has her own memories, some shared of course, but many unique to only that persona, or “alter” I guess I’m supposed to say, based on the research I’ve been doing.  I can’t say for certain how long I’ve been researching this subject matter, but it feels like a very long time indeed, perhaps weeks.  I’m cross-referencing my information, using multiple search engines and websites and a myriad of windows to try and organize all this data.  I MUST get organized if I ever intend to get better.  I MUST.  Kellie loves to organize things because of her OCD, but she has a hard time keeping things organized because of her other selves, several of whom are sloppy unfortunately.  These messy Kellie’s  have in the past caused great shame and embarrassment for us by revealing to the outside world that we are not perfect.  If someone comes to visit, and the house is messy, then they will see that I am not doing a good job,  and that I, Kellie, am disappointing them, which we absolutely cannot stand to do or perceive to do to any extent.  Kellie does NOT want to disappoint anyone, and she has a hard time saying “no” and in that she can’t always be ME or any of the other higher-functioning Kellie’s and therefore she’s bound to drop the ball at some point and lose control and not be able to satisfy someone’s need.  And Kellie will feel just terrible about that.  She really and truly wants to make everyone happy, she really does, but no matter how hard she tries, it is never good enough. Never.
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