I am currently sitting in my sanctuary, finally sitting at my computer for the first time in nearly six months of being confined to writing on my phone. Pink! Is blaring comfortingly in my ears, I have always liked Pink’s music but I had never really gotten caught up in the hype or listened that closely to her lyrics. Well now I am and faark there’s some relatable wording there.
It was Callie of all people that actually brought this to my attention, as previously mentioned, Cal doesn’t come around much – at least not to me. I have previously bought her pancakes (when pushed into it by Suzi around a year ago now) and on another more recent occasion I conceded and bought her a toy dragon because she had wordlessly expressed in the most convincing manner that she had fallen completely in love with the one that I had just purchased for my niece…
And that was the extent of our relationship, until Pink’s song “A Million Dreams” started playing on the radio. I watched that “Greatest Showman” movie and honestly got nothing from it, it’s just not my style at all. I have a rather strained relationship with Disney at the best of times and this song certainly fits that genre perfectly, but when that song came on suddenly I felt Cal come up closer than ever before, she just loved it and wanted me to play it over and over again, I have been informed that Suzi sings it to her to help her sleep now which is lovely but an odd thing because despite my baseline understanding of this whole identity dissociation thing going on with me, I still have trouble grappling with the fact that I am being told details about this entire ‘world’ that is apparently only existing inside my mind, from the occupants of that world, yet it’s not a world I am privy to seeing/accessing completely myself…
So, we were driving home and I started actually listening to the lyrics of “A Million Dreams” which are definitely relatable to someone like myself with Bipolar disorder who has experienced the euphoria of hypomania not to mention my growing understanding of, and relationship with those other people that seem to live in my head with me…
“I close my eyes and I can see
The world that’s waiting up for me
That I call my own
Through the dark, through the door
Through where no one’s been before
But it feels like home
They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy
They can say, they can say I’ve lost my mind
I don’t care, I don’t care, so call me crazy
We can live in a world that we design
‘Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colours fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make”
Anyways, this song seemed to bring young Cal comfort and as she is extremely shy and nervous so I supposed that comfort can only be a good thing to encourage although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of Callie coming a little too close to the surface and talking to people ‘as me’ because I have ALWAYS been frightened of people’s perceptions of me, specifically that I am not appearing ‘crazy’ and Callie is a 5yr old (ish?).
Then there was an incident… We were in the car, (we being myself, my husband and two of our kids) driving into town and the radio was on. I was half in half out with dissociation anyway, we have been unwell lately, stress has us very dissociated and seems to of brought on a hypomanic episode with a few fun little paranoia and hallucination style symptoms thrown in the mix. Anywho, Hubby was driving and I was mentally off somewhere in la la land watching the *colours dancing around the world in front of me when “A Million Dreams” came on and I felt Callie there, she was excited to hear the song and wanted to watch the colours too. So, I closed my eyes to make them appear more vivid against the black background of my eyelids and as they kaleidoscoped and danced around three dimensionally in perfect time to the music Cal became completely mesmerised.
Now, Hubby didn’t know what was going on, he doesn’t even know Callie exists so when he glanced over and saw me with my eyes shut he assumed I was sleeping and decided to be funny and tap my shoulder and shout BOO! Now, we jump scare each other all the time because we are just that kind of cruel family I suppose, but anyway at this point Cal was pretty much co-fronting without either of us realising it and she freaked the fuck out.
The sheer terror felt in that little girls heart in that moment was absolutely devastating, I was unable to move and she didn’t know what to do or what had happened and burst into tears while trying to be completely silent because she thought something was going to happen to her if she made a sound, it felt to me like she honestly thought she was going to die right there and then and I couldn’t do a damn thing to help her. I don’t remember ever feeling so powerless.
She just kept showing me an image of herself hugging her dragon over and over and over again, she wanted that damn dragon so much and I couldn’t give it to her because it was at home and we were driving down a highway with three other people who had absolutely no idea what the fuck the problem was here. I’m not entirely sure what happened next, we had our eyes squeezed shut and I was internally trying to comfort her, tell her it was just a joke Hubby was obviously looking at me and figuring out something wasn’t right he was apologising but I couldn’t speak at all, the kids in the back thought the whole thing was hilarious.
At some point I got control back and she was gone, the kids were distracted arguing about some irrelevant thing, different songs were on the radio and all of Callie’s sadness had gone with her, but I was left completely alone. Like completely. My head was silent, I couldn’t feel the presence of any of the others at all and it was such an awful and lonely sensation of blankness.
Time is weird after that, a few weeks must have passed in a blur of confusion and fear, mistakes and attempting to live my ‘normal’ life by myself, it turns out I actually have an awful lot of help from ‘The Others’ to do basic things like remember to clean my pets, make the kids lunches and how to use MYOB at work etc. The routine that gets us through the days was suddenly absolutely unavailable to me and I was completely lost without it.
Luckily on the Wednesday when I had to pay people at work Suzi was back and fixed a huge amount of errors, checked emails and got things done. Unfortunately she left again and it broke me. Apparently she was still comforting Callie from that car incident which left me struggling with overwhelming feelings of guilt and anger, I felt bad for letting Cal get hurt like that, I felt angry at myself for not being able to cope alone and angry for Suzi abandoning me when I was relying on her to help me work. Not to mention I felt ridiculous because I was mourning the disappearance of ‘people’ that arguably didn’t even exist.
The absence of ‘everyone’ really messed with my already messy head. I started questioning the reality of The Others, I started getting really paranoid and jumpy. I work in a workshop environment and there are loud noises all the time, usually these just get blocked out but now every time a compressor started up or a nail gun went off I jumped through the roof. Reflective surfaces keep releasing 3D style hooded demonic faces toward me making me jump, while I know they aren’t real and I am not afraid of them hurting me or anything they still take me by surprise.
Whenever I went somewhere I started noticing how many people seemed to be looking at me, staring, giggling. I started noticing how many security cameras there were seemingly everywhere, I started noticing that my location symbol on my phone was intermittently on even when I wasn’t using anything that supposedly needed access to it.
I realised that a customer I had heard of but not physically met before that shared the name of a guy who sexually assaulted me when we were teenagers, also spelled his name in the same unusual way and I started to wonder if it was actually him even though I had previously determined that it couldn’t be for a number of reasons.
When he came to pick something up at the workshop I freaked out and hid in the breakroom. When I looked out of the breakroom window I noticed that there was something that looked suspiciously like a security camera pointed right into the window from a antenna on the opposing building. Then I hid on the floor of the break-room for an hour because he Just.Would.Not.Leave.
Every time I drove there was an overwhelming number of Mustangs, once a source of connection with the universe they were now a conflicting symbol of confusion. I started deciding that I couldn’t do it anymore, my next psychiatrist appointment was weeks away and I couldn’t last that long. I started working out how to go about ending the nightmare for good when my phone rang, it was my psychiatrists office offering me a random appointment the next day because they had a cancellation.
I thanked the receptionist over and over and cried with joy before freaking completely out wondering how they knew, was my psychiatrist bugging my phone? Reading my mind? HOW did she ALWAYS seem to know when I was dissolving into a puddle and come to the rescue? Surely this wasn’t a coincidence?
My psychiatrist was incredible, she promised me gently that while the universe may have orchestrated some uncannily perfect timing with the appointment there was nothing of a mind reading note going on, she calmed me down, assured me that its normal to need help getting through things in daily life and while I was feeling abandoned by Suzi, she would come back and I would be okay. She said the incident with Callie had triggered a PTSD style response in me which was why I was so jumpy and paranoid at the moment and that Callie is safe, I am safe, and it would ease but I am seeing her on Tuesday again to be sure.
Suzi came back again on Wednesday, we sorted the pays out, wrote how to do it down as a step by step process just in case – she’s still here now but still feels distant, strange. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain I have an awful sense of lonliness. Yesterday I had confirmation that Callie was okay and not hating me for putting her in that vulnerable position so that made me feel better. There was the fear of not knowing what is real at the supermarket that I already wrote about separately.
I hate this. I hate not understanding what is real, what is not. I hate not knowing if I will ever recover from this, I hate that I got an email from T weeks ago, my best friend in the world, but I don’t know how to reply, it’s been over a year since we spoke now and I don’t know what to say or how to relate to her or anyone in my real life that was once my friend anymore.
The only people I can relate to live on the internet and I hate realising today that I haven’t read anyone else’s blog in so, so long and that so much has gone on for everyone, loss, heartbreak and I wasn’t there to support you. I can’t make up for that time I lost but I love each of you so much and I have gained so much from your support and stories over the years but I fear I will never be able to re-connect because I am so selfishly consumed by my own head, lost in time that is no longer linear, no longer my own.