Hospital for the Holidays?

HOSPITAL.  The word sends shivers up our spine. Yet this is the word which came out of our psychiatrist’s mouth in therapy yesterday.  We’re so distraught that I’m not sure we’ll even be able to write about it.  We are in shock. Total shock.  Here we were, under the impression that we’re getting better…and then the doctor goes and tells us that she thinks it might be time to look at hospitalization.  Fuck!!!  And here I’d gone into her office thinking we’d had a breakthrough this weekend, and we were eager to tell her about our recovered memories and show her the note left for K by one of our alters.  (You can read the note here  Honestly, at the time, we really thought she was going to be proud of us.  We thought she would be pleased, and tell us we’re making progress.  It never crossed my mind once that she’d suggest I go into the hospital.

Her reasons were simple enough: she said I can’t handle the stresses of everyday life without switching. She said I am switching more often rather than less. She also said that what we’re doing in therapy doesn’t seem to be working. What?!? I’ve recovered so many memories over the last year, and I’ve identified some of our different alters. Isn’t that progress?  I was under the impression that it takes years to work through Dissociative Identity Disorder, and she wants a big improvement in just one year?  Am I wrong in feeling that she’s expecting too much of us?

I’ve always thought that hospitalization occurs when a person becomes a danger to themself or to others, or when threats of self-harm or violence happen.  Nothing could be further from the truth with us. We’re no threat, not to anyone.  Hell, we feel guilty if we kill a bug.  The only violent behavior I’ve ever exhibited was in my teens and twenties, when I was hormonal and unmedicated, and even then I never hurt another person, just did things like set fires and break stuff.   None of that is happening now. I’m very much a pacifist and don’t like any kind of violent behavior; we never watch the news for this reason. It’s just too upsetting for us.  But I’m getting off the topic here.  Our point was that K is NOT a danger to anyone, herself included.  Hospitalization seems extreme in our case.  We think perhaps our shrink is overreacting to the frequent switching that’s been happening to us.  We can’t think of anything they could do for us in the hospital that we don’t already do at home.  Plus, at home, we are in familiar surroundings and feel safe.  Husband is there and so is Mom.  Plus I can talk to my sister on the phone, and I have my Twitter support system.  So really I can’t think of any reason why I should be put away, in some cold empty room, wherein I have only my thoughts, voices, and hallucinations to keep me company.

There are very specific reasons why I do NOT want to be hospitalized.   We are scared to death at the thought of having to be admitted, for any length of time.  This would not be our first hospital stay; we are still traumatized by the memories of our first commitment, which happened at the age of 16.  Here’s some insight into why I’m terrified of going into the hospital:   If you don’t feel like reading that, suffice it to say that I had a horrific experience which left permanent scars on my psyche.  I’ve never been the same since.  Over 2 decades later, we’re still struggling to come to grips with that time period.

I realize that just because we had a bad experience back then, doesn’t mean it’d be like that now.  And,  as I’ve said before, we have had a handful of hospital stays over the years and none of them was as horrible as that first one.  However, we found every hospital stay to be frightening and unpleasant in every way.  We associate hospitals with death, so being inside of one is very triggering.  We’re not sure if our psychiatrist is aware of any of these things.  I’m certain that she couldn’t possibly fathom how much fear we are now feeling.  Now that she’s said the “H” word.

We begged her not to put us in the hospital. We told her we’d do absolutely anything else she asked of us.  And so she told us that she’d like us to start back on antipsychotics and she also doubled my dose of Abilify.  I have to go back and see her in a couple of days.  That appointment will determine whether I spend Christmas at home with my family, or in a pit of despair i.e. hospital room.  Pressure? Yeah, we feel it.  It’s festering inside of us, mixed with fear and panic.