DID moment

You’ve had an evening of alter roulette, and you are exhausted when you walk into work. You go up to one of your colleagues, and state,”Hi Barb, its Beatriz” while you’re standing in front of her. Thankfully, she laughs and says, “I know who you are!” You lie and say that you just had a conference call where you had to announce who you were every time you spoke. Doh!

The chase for mini beef wellingtons

Mini Beef Wellingtons

Mini Beef Wellingtons

I know from past experience if I’m going to a function with a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres prior to eating a meal I should be prepared, and by “prepared” I mean being sure I’ve eaten enough so that I’m not starving by the time I get to the function.

That plan did not come to fruition yesterday.

Despite my best efforts with planning my eating, things did not go as smoothly as I hoped, and I wound up showing up at an evening work event ravenously hungry. I walked in to find a beautiful set up on several tables with creamy, beautiful cheese fondue, teriyaki chicken, vegetable crudites, sliced cheese (which included smoked gouda in the roster!) with fancy crackers, intricately sliced and arranged fruit, and mini beef wellingtons. Of course, such an array includes plates the size of the palm of your hand. I don’t know if it’s DID integration or a PTSD response or both or something else, but Letty could hardly handle all of this.

Here’s the internal dialogue that ensued:

“We need FIVE plates for all the food! Why are the plates so tiny?! Can I have like 5 of the puffy things (the mini beef wellingtons)?”

“Letty, we cannot take five plates of food, nor can we take five beef wellingtons. Five will not fit on a plate, and it will not look polite. We can take two beef wellingtons, 2 crackers, 2 pieces of cheese, a cube of bread with fondue, and one small piece of teriyaki chicken, and even that is really pushing it, but we can pull it off.”

“But, I’m hungry!”

“Sweetie, I know you’re hungry, and I’m doing my best to fix that. You are not going to go hungry. I promise you will eat.”

“I don’t understand why we can’t eat like it’s dinner, and eat until I’m not hungry anymore.”

“Honey, we can’t do that because it’s not meant to be dinner. It’s just meant to be a snack before a lecture.”

“But it’s not just a snack for me, and they have all this food here that I can just eat for my dinner.”

“I know, sweetie, I know. We will eat afterwards, I promise. This is not meant to be dinner for people.”

“Then why do they have all this food?”

“Because it’s a snack before a lecture.”

“That’s a big snack.”

“It’s not meant to be big.”

“Then why do they put out a lot of food?”

“That’s just how these kinds of things are.”

“Why are not a lot of people eating?”

“Because it’s not the focus of why we’re here. People are here to talk to each other, and listen to the lecture.”

“That’s dumb. Forget the lecture. We should just eat cause we have a lot of good food.”

And so the lecture started, and I could feel Letty looking over at the food station during the lecture. She could hardly believe that people could remain quietly seated with such vast quantities of food in our presence. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Meanwhile, I needed to pay attention to the lecture, as it was work-related.

Blessedly, the lecture concluded, and Letty wanted me to head towards the food. But, I had to chit chat with various people enroute to the food because I needed to pretend that the food was not a concern. One of the lecturers then made a bee-line for the beef wellingtons. He walked over to them, picked one up, and popped it into his mouth. Letty just about did cartwheels when she saw that.

“Okay, Letty, we can have some more food. But we have to be relaxed about it.”

At that point, my boss came right up beside me, “Can you believe all this food? Well, we paid for it. I’m taking a few cookies for the road. Don’t feel you like you need to hold back.”

And that was all Letty needed to hear. I looked down to see four beef wellingtons on a napkin, with one in our mouth.

(Photo credit: kjd)

Scary day

I know from experience that meeting with Doc right after he has wrangled with my insurance company is usually Bad Idea 101. Strangely, I always forget until the next time he has to fight with them.

And so it was Bad Idea 101 …

To summarize, Disinterested Insurance Company denied Doc’s request for extended length sessions. I think they also gave him a hard time about my prognosis, but he did not elaborate extensively on that, for which I am very glad because as mad as it made him I’m sure it would have bothered me immensely.

After a few minutes of ranting and venting on Doc’s part we start the session, and from the start, it’s a difficult one with frequent interruptions from him where I have difficulty completing a thought. I also felt like he wasn’t getting what I was trying to say. In the midst of a sentence where I was trying to explain myself he cut me off and said we had to stop the session as we were out of time. Usually, in the past, he gives me a warning that the session is about to end so that I can get to a stopping point. There are no clocks in his office that are visible to me so I do need his warning. And then the abrupt manner in which he stopped me in the midst of my sentence upset me.

I left the session just steamed, and I started to think about not coming back to see him. I even convinced myself that I didn’t need anyone to treat me at all, least of all him.

I stewed and marinaded in this feeling for two days until my next session.

The morning of my next session I woke up with that cloudy fuzzy feeling that I had not had in quite a while upon waking. I felt pinned to the bed, and the world felt dark and out of reach. I managed to find my phone on the dresser, and called him to cancel.

“Doc … I’m not coming. Charge me what you want, but I’m not coming.”

“Does this have anything to do with our last session?”

“Uh … uh … uh … yeah … but I am NOT coming.”

“Please come. It does not matter how late you are, please come so that we can work this out.”

“I’ll be at least 20 minutes late …”

“It’s okay, please come.”

And so I drove there. Somehow, I was able to get myself there.

I don’t recall the beginning of the session. At one point, early on in the session, he apologized to me for being so curt when we last met. He admitted that the interaction with the insurance company had him riled up, and leaked into the session. I do remember that at the start of the session it was Letty who was doing most of the talking.

I became aware of what was going on at the point that Letty said to Doc, “We wanted to quit you Doc!”

“I’m glad you came back …” His voice cracked at this point, and I realized he was teary. This turn of events was effective in getting me more present in the room. He then said, “I am very sorry for what happened last session …”

I could feel Letty jump into action. “Doc! Doc! You’re good inside! You’re good inside! That’s why we came back Doc! It’s okay, Doc. Don’t be sad.” The sound of that little voice just moved me, the way she was trying to make him feel better.

And then I faded out again at that point, but I could tell from the tone in his voice that he was grateful and apologetic.

The next thing I became aware of was Letty crying. It felt like I was tuning in late to a tv show. From what I could gather, Letty was upset because the whole mess with Doc was a reminder of being rejected by my mother when my father disappeared.

“I can’t find my Dad, Doc! I can’t find him! Help me find him!” She cried and cried and cried.

“Letty, you are stuck in a flashback. It’s the past. It is not happening right now. You have me and Beatriz to help you.”

“I just want my Dad! My Mom don’t care about me .. She don’t care, Doc … she don’t care … nobody cares … She make us three girls share a little pizza. We gotta share it, but we still hungry .. always hungry … hungry … every day. I see the cafeteria ladies always have extra food, but they don’t give me any. I ask every day … every day … they always say no … always. They throw the food away instead of giving it to me. I always hope that maybe today God will tell them to let me have some food … but it never happens … never … I always hungry …”

And with that, I finally realize why getting hungry sends me into a tailspin, even today.