I had something incredibly good happen today. But first some history about me. For the last 30 years of my life, I have never been able to deal with situations where the other person can deny me what I am trying to get, what I need. Like, a mortgage loan, or car loan, or new Social Security card, or Social Security Disability. It doesn’t even have to be anything really big, or crucial. Trying to get my meds from a doctor, or get the dose adjusted, or even just trying to get cable or dsl set up. I always have been so scared, so nervous, so afraid that I won’t get what I want (or in my mind, need), that as soon as I start to talk to the person, I get angry, hostile, defensive, mean. And they of course do too. And that makes me escalate even more, when all I want is to explain why I qualify or should get this particular thing. And I finally end up feeling torn from inside–I feel both anger/justified/fury/rang on the one side and on the other side I feel completely desolate, laid as low as possible, and just feel like sobbing my heart out right there in front of the person who has the power to meet my needs. In the past, I have never been able to stop the anger, or to stop the crying. I could choose which one, but I couldn’t stop it from taking over control of at that moment. The scene would play out, I may or may not get what I needed. But either way, it was always bad afterward, cuz I felt so awful for losing control like that, for behaving that way, cuz I did not want it to be that way. And the next time I have to deal with that same business or person, I know they know how I lost it, I know they have a note on their computer telling them I’m crazy.
But now that I know I have others inside, and have realized that I have been co-conscious with them for a long time, and have actually gotten to know 3 of them, I can see why I have always had trouble in situations where I need something, why I have always become so consumed by emotion that I lost control, lost the ability to think, to calm down. Here’s the names and brief descriptions of the others I have met and gotten to know. First, there is Anti-Kitty, and she is about 15-16 and does anything she wants unapologetically. And when she encounters blocks to what she wants to do, she just tries to plow right through them. If she can’t then she becomes righteously outraged, and will fight anything and anyone in her way to get what she wanted. Then there is Trina, and she is quite the opposite. She never speaks, and never does anything. She absorbs pain and never lets it out. She is about 9-10. And then there is Little Trina, who is 5, and who is very scared and very sad. When she thinks she needs to ask for help to get her needs met, she will ask. But she has learned that this always leads to punishment, and that is why she cries when she thinks her needs will not be met.
Now that I am aware of them, I asked them if they would please find a comfortable place inside when I have to do something that is normally triggering to us. My therapist helped make this request, when I have finally become aware that there are others sharing space with me. I never even thot about asking them to stay away from the drivers’ seat, other than when my therapist suggested it to us. So, imagine my surprise when I went to the pharmacy to pick up all my meds, and only 3 of the 8 were ready! So, I asked why the others weren’t ready, and it turns out one for some reason was listed as on hold, 2 needed a doc to authorize new refills, and the other 2 they just hadn’t filled even tho they were ready to fill. I was put out, and I expected to feel Anti-Kitty pushing to take the drivers’ seat, expected to feel her all encompassing fury and rage fill me. But I didn’t. So I accepted these answers from the pharmacist, even tho I knew they were incorrect. I didn’t get even the slightest bit angry. I calmly drove home, got out my pill bottles, and wrote down all the information for each one in a nice chart. Then, I wrote down the issues I had questions about, and called the pharmacy. I still wasn’t angry, or even feeling the push to be angry. I wasn’t even upset with the pharmacy or the pharmacist for these issues even needing to be fixed. So, I called, and I explained the problems for each med, and what the resolution should be. It was BEAUTIFUL! I was calm, cool, collected. And I felt no anger or bereftness. And he checked on all the things I said, and was able to get them all fixed. By fixed, I mean they will all be ready within a few days of each other (which is how it normally is and how it should be) and I can get them all at the same time, and, the ones that hadn’t processed or had unexplained holds on them, no longer do. The pharmacist had no way to explain how they had ended up like that and not been filled, but at least he was able to get everything back to normal again. And my problems are solved! And I never even once raised my voice or started crying! I was so amazed with that, I just sat and grinned about it for a while. Then I got to thinking, this has never happened to me before!! This was a first–and a BIG first—for the first time ever, Anti-Kitty and Little Trina voluntarily went to places inside that they enjoy, and did not try to hijack control, they did not try to take the driver’s seat. In fact, for the first time, they let me completely handle a normally triggering situation. And it went wonderfully well, and we are all happy with the outcome and with our choices. I asked them if they chose to let me handle it while they stayed inside was because of the suggestion our therapist had made–and they said yes, they thought it was a reasonable request, and decided to let me fly solo for once, just to see if it would work. They weren’t sure if I could handle it, and were watching. And if I had felt any stress at all, they would have come out. But we are all happy with how we acted, and with the first successful outcome to a usually triggering event. I’m hoping this new dynamic will stick, I’m hoping we can continue to be more functional like this in the future. We can’t wait to tell our therapist on Wednesday!