It was a really bad day for me today. I felt very anxious and fearful the whole day.
Kai woke at about 4AM, but I managed to coax him back to sleep. As is natural for humans, Kai sleeps with the sun – he goes to sleep when it gets dark, and he wakes when it gets light again. It’s Autumn now in the Southern Hemisphere and the sun only rises around 7AM, so with a bit of luck and some careful cuddling I managed to get him to stay asleep until just before 7AM.
I had planned to take everyone to the shops, for an early, hot breakfast followed by some shopping for winter-woolies: Zee and Ryder have worn holes in last year’s winter clothes; and Kai has outgrown his. They all need a lot of warm clothes for the upcoming winter. But you have to flexible in our family, plans change depending on who is present, and what their inclination is. Today, Kiska woke up. She’s usually very moody when she wakes, today, not so much. But she doesn’t do crowds at all, so I had didn’t even mention the plans for shopping.
“OK, everyone, what do you want for breakfast?” I called out from the kitchen a few minutes later.
Strawberry pops for everyone, Kiska included, milk warmed. That took a few minutes to arrange and then we all sat around the table eating our cereal. Kai sat in his high-chair, alternating between using a spoon and his fingers to feed himself. Kiska was doing quite well. She usually starts to become fearful, and agitated after about ten minutes of being present, hearing voices and seeing things. We’ve had our breakfast interrupted before – that day it was Pink Puffs – by her bursting into tears, crying about worms in her cereal!
Today, she managed breakfast and then we started on neatening up the house. I worked through the kitchen, washing dishes, clearing out the fridge, and wiping everything down. Kiska and Zee went to work on the lounge and the bedrooms, neatening up and packing away the blankets.
By 10AM, Kiska was still with us, quite calm and relaxed and it was time for me to put Kai down for his midday nap. Kai’s become my calm time, where I get away from everything and just relax in the bedroom, letting him nap quietly in my arms.
Kai woke at 12:30 and when we came out the bedroom, Ryder was playing on the iMac and Zee was watching his latest series: The Big Bang Theory, Season 5.
“Zee, where’s your Mommy?”
“She’s in the bathroom,” he replied.
I knocked and then walked into the bathroom. Miki was bent over the basin, rinsing her hair.
“Hi Erin,” I said, recognising that she’d switched.
She smiled at me and carried on with her hair. She didn’t ask how I knew it was her, we both know I can recognise most of her dominant personalities. I don’t know how I do it, but I just ‘see’ the Alter that is present. Zee does too, he’s been doing it for longer than me though – kids intuition.
I felt like a nice warm, lunch, so I set about cooking fish fingers, chicken nuggets and mash. It took me about thirty minutes to make and then we all sat down to eat. Lunch was the usual chaos our meals are: Ryder asking for seconds and thirds, or asking for more cooldrink every five minutes; Kai throwing his food around and then bashing his plate on his high chair, indicating he wanted more yum-yums. It was about as pleasant as lunches go.
The new plan was to make lunch, and then go shopping by myself, later just before the shops closed. It would be quieter. After lunch, everyone cleaned up and I washed the dishes again. Erin left and reverted back to Mommy Miki, who took Kai and the two of them spent some time on the couch listening to music. Kai loves Miki’s music.
I went over and started researching on the computer. Yoav had mentioned he was reading a new book: A Fractured Mind, a book by a very successful intellectual who was diagnosed with D.I.D. I wanted to see if I could download it.
“Aren’t you going shopping?” Miki asked.
“I don’t really feel like it,” I replied, honestly.
“You must. Go, get out of the house. Go do the shopping and take some time for yourself.”
I wasn’t really concentrating on what she was saying, but even though the words seemed quite thoughtful, the tone of her delivery was quite aggressive. At the time, I thought it was quite strange. But, I let it go.
“No, I don’t want to see anyone, or go anywhere,” I repeated.
She walked off, I heard the fire escape door closing so I assumed she’d gone outside, probably for a cigarette – I really hated that. I found the book, but couldn’t find any downloads for it, so I closed the computer and went and sat over by the window, just starring at the cars as they passed below.
Miki came back inside, slamming the fire escape door and scowling.
“Are you OK? Lydia, is that you” I asked, there was something wrong with the way I was seeing her.
“No, it’s Miki,” she shouted back at me.
“Nope, it’s not. It’s Lydia.” Her angry retort had convinced me.
“Yes, it’s Lydia,” she scolded me.
“OK, is there anything I can do to help?” I asked, trying to engage her in conversation.
“No, I don’t want to be here. I want to leave.”
“Why are you here? Is there something you’re upset about, something you want to talk about?” I kept calm and continued to try and get her to talk.
“No, I hate it here,” she said, and switched out.
Emma smiled out from Miki’s eyes.
“Oh Emma. Hi, how are you, it’s good to see you,” I said, genuinely happy to see her again. “Please give me a hug.”
She smile and stood up, came over to me by the window and we hugged. I buried my face in her shoulder.
“Oh Emma. I need a friend. Someone who I don’t have to look after. Someone who I can talk to, trust, just be myself with, Someone who understands what I’m going through. It’s hopeless, we’re never going to get out of this…”
I was blathering a bit. I didn’t cry but I did tear up. All the switching had taken an emotional toll on me. It’s difficult to explain. I like my time with most of Miki’s alters, but it’s hard work – emotionally – keeping up with all the changes, all the different needs, and behaviours.
We held each other for a few minutes. She was supportive but not very emotionally expressive. I kissed her, thanked her and then went to join Kai on the couch. We cycled through a few of his favourite songs and then I put on an episode from Stephen King’s Under The Dome, Season 1. It’s the new show that I’m slowly working through. Half-way through Emma put the hair dryer on which practically drowned out the TV but we managed our way through to the end of an episode.
I gave up on my plans to go shopping, and just hung on until the end of the day, when Kai and I could turn in and I could just let go…