Saturday, August 23, 2014

Response to Stress

As you might imagine, this is a pretty stressful time for me.  My symptoms of PTSD and DID always get worse, a lot worse sometimes, during times of increased stress.  Lucky for me, much of the time my life is fairly low in stress.  That's one of the reasons I'm not able to work at a regular job or to work more hours even at my super easy work-at-home job.  That increases my stress level and my symptoms get worse and then my symptoms are too severe to work at all.

So this is a stressful time.  I'm not sleeping well.  And I'm... it's kind of hard to describe.  Forgetful, disorganized, disoriented, almost confused at times.

This evening, I am trying to bake some lemon zucchini bread.  A friend sent me the recipe and it sounded really yummy.  I hope it turns out OK but I'm not sure it will.  I have had all sorts of trouble just trying to mix up the batter.

First, I started measuring the baking powder with a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon.  Luckily I caught my mistake, but since there was no way to remove the excess baking powder from the flour and salt already in the mixing bowl, I had to toss that out and start again.

Then I was unable to find the brand new bag of Splenda I am positive was in my kitchen cupboard.  I remember buying it a while back because it was on sale and then I got home and realized I had more on hand than I thought I did but figured oh well, it would keep.  So I should have had a partial bag and a full, unopened bag.  Well, the full, unopened bag has somehow disappeared.  I don't know how.  I searched all my kitchen cupboards in case I somehow put it in a different cupboard, not with my other baking supplies, but it is no where to be found.  And I am sure I did not somehow use up a whole bag of the stuff without remembering doing so.  Luckily I had just barely enough in the other, already opened bag.

I did find a coffee cup in the cupboard with my baking supplies that I have no recollection of ever seeing before.  I don't know how it got there.  Or when it got there.  I mean, unless some fairy or elf sneaked into my kitchen, stole my Splenda and left a coffee cup in its place, I must have put it there.  But I don't recall buying it or ever seeing it before.  How weird and disconcerting is that?  That's actually something that some people with DID experience on a frequent basis, but I don't.  Never have.  Weirds me out.

I was supposed to add the Splenda to the eggs in a separate bowl but somehow ended up adding it to the other dry ingredients instead.  Oops.

I squeezed the juice from two fresh lemons and adding the correct amount of lemon juice to the batter.  I was supposed to save the rest of the lemon juice to use to make a glaze for the top of the bread.  But I poured it down the sink instead.  Hopefully I can wring a little more juice out of those cut lemons.  Luckily I hadn't thrown them out yet.

So I got the batter all mixed up and it seemed too thick to me.  I read through the recipe a couple of times, trying to see if maybe I forgot to add something liquid to it, but I think I got it right.  Of course, I could have ended up putting too much flour or something in it.  Who knows?  I added a little bit more milk so it would be what I thought would be the right consistency.  I've never made zucchini bread before but I've made banana bread and applesauce bread and quick breads like that, so I figured the batter for the zucchini bread should probably be similar in consistency.

I guess we'll see how it turns out.  I'm trying not to stress about it.  I don't like it when my symptoms are bad like this.  That in turn can stress me out more.  So I'm trying not to worry about it.


  1. How many alters do you have?

    1. Three that I am aware of. Maybe a couple more I'm not so aware of. Occasionally I realize I've done something I don't remember doing but it's not something I think any of the three alters I am aware of would do either. For instance, someone once wrote a paper when I was in college. It wasn't me. But it wasn't something my six-year-old or nine-year-old could have written. Maybe the 12-year-old could have, maybe, but she was not interested in school at all. I really don't think she did it. And she didn't admit to doing it. No one would tell me who did it, if they knew. So things like that make me think maybe there is an adult in there I'm not aware of. But those things do not happen often.

    2. That must be odd and difficult to deal with. Are you in control most of the time? How do you communicate with them? Interesting that there is a three year age gap between them. So perhaps you have a fifteen year old alter who wrote the paper.

    3. It is odd, although I'm sort of used to it by now, I guess. It's not as difficult these days as it once was, because I've learned ways to deal with it. Most of the time, it works. Occasionally, it doesn't work so well, though.

      Most of the time I am aware of what's going on and have at least some control. Usually a lot of control, actually. We communicate mostly by talking, although sometimes we also use writing. The six-year-old also draws sometimes. The 12-year-old is not as communicative as the younger ones but she talks to me more now then she did years ago.

      The three year age gap is interesting, I think. I dunno why it's three years. And maybe there is a 15-year-old that I don't know.

      Most of the time, we cooperate. Like, the six-year-old likes to color. So I make sure she has time to color. If I don't give her time to color, she is more likely to come out at inopportune moments, wanting to color. Like at work, back when I had a regular job. But if she knows she will get time to color, and I make sure she gets that time, she is much more likely to wait for an appropriate time to do it. I have more control if I work with my alters instead of just trying to control everything and ignoring them, if that makes sense.

    4. What do the nine and the twelve year old enjoy doing?

    5. The nine-year-old likes playing. She likes being outside, likes swimming, like coloring, like Barbies, like ice cream and candy, all kinds of typical kid stuff. The 12-year-old doesn't seem to enjoy much. She likes to read. She likes Nancy Drew books.

    6. Do you enjoy any of the things your alters do?

    7. Well, I like reading. But not so much Nancy Drew. I like ice cream. I'm not so into Barbies. We like some of the same things. We just compromise on the rest.

    8. Life often takes compromise. What is it like to live with alters? It must be odd.

    9. That's kind of a hard question to answer. It's sort of like sharing time and space with other people. Except they sort of feel like me and sort of don't. Sometimes I kind of feel what they are feeling, like when the six-year-old is scared, I feel scared, but I sort of still know it's not really my feeling but hers. And it's often noisy. For the longest time, I thought everyone had noise in their heads. I was surprised to hear that not everyone does. But when you live with something, it becomes pretty much normal to you. So while it seems odd to other people, it's just how my life is.