I’ve just returned from the movies (The Devil Wears Prada), and upon re-entering my room it hit me anew how dissociating it is for me to do anything out of my regular routine. Today was an off day for me. It started with the whole toilet-paper-trailing-out-of-my-pjs thing, and from there it became even more off. When using this word to describe a day, I don’t necessarily mean it in a negative way. For instance, one son and daughter-in-law dropped by unexpectedly, and then a couple of hours later, another son and his family. Both visits were enjoyable, but I felt off kilter the whole time. Does anyone else find it hard to deviate from normal routine?
I hate to be so easily influenced by the unforeseen. My system goes on high alert when faced with an unexpected twist to my day. I’d no plans on going to the movie, either, but when invited it seemed like a good chance to get out and do something different. Upon returning home my room seemed foreign to me. I could take it in only in bits and pieces: the blue and white quilt on my bed, my computer perched right where I left it on my black desk, my TV going but left on mute. Yes, everything seemed unfamiliar, even a trifle bit hostile.
This is exactly how it used to feel upon re-entering my childhood bedroom after another episode of abuse! I’ve never made that connection, that oh so obvious connection, until just now. Decades later and I am just figuring this out. I recall all too clearly the halting walk back to the dubious sanctuary of my own room, feeling as if I were limping or that all my bones had just been shattered. Dazed, I’d plop down on my bed, too stunned to cry. All I could do was stare at the cow skull on my wall, or the hated burlap and felt curtains my mom had made me help her with one year. I needed to ground myself by staring at the familiar. I see that now, as well. My suddenly hostile possessions became, one by one, the comforting things they had always been. The books on the shelf above my bed, the record player which was one of my most treasured possessions, and especially the typewriter perched on my dresser, in the manner of my present computer.
When my days follow a certain routine I can ignore my DID to a certain extent. My parts have become quite adept at working together in such a way that this is possible. But the unexpected creates panic and havoc, so here I sit writing this knowing that I need to become grounded. I need to face the reality of those past episodes which caused me to dissociate. Which cause me even now to dissociate.
I’m not sorry for the company I had today, or that I went to the movies. I’m just saddened to realize once more how differently things affect me than they do those without DID.