Monday, July 30, 2012

Looking Good

Athena is back to her old self this morning. Rather than go on about it all day on Twitter, thought maybe I'd just post here and include a picture.

Athena is lighter colored as she has little fur. It looks like she'll end up being either a double rex (curly hair and occasionally hairless) or a hairless. Hairless rats occur when 2 rats with the rex/curly gene have pups...

Anyway, both Athena and Zeus are doing really well. Despite Athena's brush with death last night, she's fully recovered. She's got several scratches still to heal but the bruise on her head is all but gone.

I've been surprised and touched by how many people have been supportive of these little guys. Rats get too much of a bad rap. Thanks so much for the encouragement. Seemed appropriate to show you their new playground.

<3 br="">

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And She Lived to Tell the Tale

For those who haven't heard, I've spent the last month nursing a litter of rats abandoned when they were less than 48 hours old. It was a long, sleepless adventure but we beat the odds. Sadly, we lost most of the litter but 2 have thrived. Zeus and Athena have become just about everyone's babies... especially Elena, Dora and John. I won't even go into the depth to which Charlie has become attached.

Anyway... from day one we have kept the babies in a modified 12qt tote box on our bed. Their box is situated on a heating pad between Charlie's and my pillows. Yeah, rats in the bed, blah blah. Whatever. Anyone who has ever nursed babes in the middle of the night knows it's a heck of a lot easier to have said babes close by. As these guys needed feeding every 2-3 hours for the first 3 weeks, they were staying close by. Period.

This last week, they were introduced to solid food (soy formula and baby rice cereal) meaning I no longer have to get up at night. I can give them enough for 6 hours and SLEEP. It's been glorious.

Getting all that sleep though, I let my guard down.

We had all the kids over for Rachel's birthday today. Any other day, there is almost certain to be an adult in my room. This is important because we also have 2 very active (and interested) adult cats.

We forgot to kick the cats out and close the door while we were all out in the rest of the house enjoying each other.

2 of the cats attacked the box and got the lid off. By the time Daniel got to them, it didn't look like Athena would make it. Aside from several scratches and shallow gash the length of her tail, she had an injury to her head that looked fatal.

As an aside, I'm no stranger to animal first aid. I have the ability to go into perfect calm in the face of a wounded animal. One one occasion, I actually performed what could easily be described as abdominal surgery on a hairless rat almost gutted by another.(She was picked on because she was a hairless) Without getting too graphic, she had insides on her outside and didn't look like she stood a chance. Using adhesive stitches and a hell of a lot of disinfectant, Stephanie, Reese and I (yeah, group effort) patched her up. She healed beautifully and lived another 15 months as a happy, though slightly less acrobatic rattie.

*A little graphic content here*

Poor Athena looked like her skull had been crushed. She was conscious but stunned and barely moving. After cleaning her scratches, I accessed the wound on her head. The blood was pooling under her scalp and causing obvious pressure and pain. I took the chance it was a giant bruise, drained a little blood from the puncture wound and wrapped her in a sling so she could sit close to my chest in warmth and security.

I honestly expected I'd be holding her for her last breath.

Trying to type through tears...

When she started crawling up the sling and hiding under my ponytail, I felt some hope.

2 hours later, she's had a little to eat and a little to drink. She's back in the box with her brother and sat patiently while he bathed her from head to toe.

I probably won't sleep tonight... and yeah, I'm not above asking prayer, warm fuzzies and good mojo for a 1 oz baby rat... but the bruise, which looked like a black skull cap on her head, is slowly fading. Her energy is improving and I'm cautiously optimistic.

We've put so much of each of the last 27 days into preserving these little lives. I'm not sure Charlie or I could stand losing her before she's an old rattie fart.

But she's here. I'm so grateful she made it and probably won't breath easy until that bruise is gone and she's tackling her brother and bouncing like a jumping bean again... but there's hope.

When she's a big rattie and her teeth are strong enough, I have no problem letting her inform Cleo and Autumn why they should never mess with rats. One nip to the nose cured the rottie and the other bigger animals. I'm sure Athena will be up to the task.

Here's to survivors.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Creeping on the Creeper

For the last 3 evenings, I've spent time talking in Twitter Direct Message with someone who, initially, seemed to think I was an alter in another Tweeter's system.

If you know me, you know I'm all about education and advocacy where DID and childhood trauma are concerned. I was more than willing to answer questions. Always am willing.

However, it didn't take long for my "CREEPER" alarms to start ringing. I gave it some time, hoping I was being overly suspicious... but am now convinced my gut feeling is dead on.

I'm posting our exchange (with a little snark in bold parentheses) and plan to write another more ranty post about it.

I'd like your honest take on what he says. Please share in comments.


Him: Hello

Me: Hello

Him: I understand that you’re friends with just call me frank… are you one of (their)

Me: I’m integrated. A former multiple. Learning to live as one.

Him: Um… I don’t mean to be rude but could you explain that a bit.

Me: The integrated part or the multiple part?

Him: The word integrated and how you are using it.

Me: I mean to say my Crew and I blended over time. All the parts are still there. Just no longer separate.

Him: Is everyone conscious?

Me: Very much so. We took time to get to know everyone, learned to work together and share consciousness.

Him: Is that difficult?

Me: It took 8 years of treatment with a good doc and a trauma specialist. Integration happened on its own though.

Him: Wow, can I say congratulations?

Me: Yes and thank you. Not everyone chooses integration but it was what we all wanted.

Him: Congratulations

Me: Again, thank you.

Him: Welcome

Him: So is living together difficult?

Me: It was very weird at first. 24 hours seemed a lot longer than it used to. I missed talking to them and my family missed them.

Me: Over time, as I learned to freely express all the aspects of me that were once separated, it became easier. I feel their echo, so to speak.

Him: Should I be referring to all of you as individuals or as a whole? (What part of one person do you not understand?)

Him: I’m going to be leaving for a bit. Be right back.

Me: I’m a whole person. My name is Marisa. Some people online still call me The Crew because they knew all of us.

Me: Okay, I have some work to do here at home. Will be around later.

Him: Hello

Me: Hello :)

Him: I wanted to ask a few questions on integration. Is that okay?

Me: Sure. If I may ask, are you or someone you love multiple or is this personal interest? I’m cool either way. Just curious.

Him: I just always fascinated with D.I.D and it was always a subject that always eluded me.
Him: Of course, the trauma is something that isn’t I’m too happy about but the identities is what always captured my imagination.

Me: Okay, ask away.

Him. It difficult trying to write. I read that there is multiple writing styles. (I'll try not to be too picky on the grammar but damn!)

Me: (accidentally posted as a tweet) For many people, that is true. Mine certainly did.

Him: Um… Did you put your answer on twitter?

Me: I may have. I responded via text. Sorry. 4 hours of chuck e cheese has fried my brain.

Him: What are you doing in chuck e cheese? (And what effing business is it of yours?)

Me: Home now. Party for grand daughter. My kids are 23, 20, 19, 17 & 14. Grands are 21 and 24 months.

Him: I never understood the months thing. (Poor you. Dumbass)

Him: Oh happy birthday I guess…… (You guess? Can you piss off?)

Me: Sorry. Phone battery died and the computer is hard to get to as we only have 1. I refer to the kids by age on twitter rather than names.

Me: The grands are so close together it makes no sense to go by year age right now. I’ll be back when my phone has a chance to charge.

Him: Oh, if it’s for personal reasons completely understandable. (Why thank you for your permission, asshat)

Me: My blogs are and They might help answer some questions too.

Him: I’ll go through it tonight, should be easier when everything isn’t hectic.

Him: How did you deal with growing up?

Me: I split. I had obvious mental health issues by 9 and spent a good chunk of my teens in hospitals. Was a mess.

Him: So have you grown up? (WTF? I'm a grandmother. What do you think?)

Me: Grown up? As in grown more emotionally, intellectually and mentally more mature, of course. I am, by any possible measure, an adult.

Him: Does your childish aspect still show? (I'd have chosen "childlike" as "childish" has a more negative ring to it... but that's semantics.)

Me: Honoring a love of play, humor, innocence and wonder aren’t exclusive of children.

Me: All My parts still show.

Me: Think of a rainbow. The colors are the separation of the components of light. Not seeing the individual colors doesn’t mean they are gone.

Him: Is there a proper way to interact with a D.i.d. person?

Him: I found the answer I was looking for, it was really explained thanks, before the rainbow part, wasn’t sure how to response. (Oh, I'm sorry for answering more of the question than you asked. I didn't realize you were trying to figure out if you could talk to those parts)

Me: That’s a loaded question.

Him: What does this mean?

Me: I’d say, treat a multiple as you would anyone else; with the same basic respect you would want to be treated.

Him: I didn’t mean it like that, I’m just not familiar with the terms or I was wanted to know if there is something I shouldn’t say or do (Way to backpedal douchebag)

Him: I honestly would never be demeaning to a person. (Not to your view)

Me: Do you know someone with DID?

Him: No not at all, but I am familiar with the subject, but very little, I have some family with child abuse and things in that range. (familiar but very little. In other words, you are fascinated by something of which you know precisely jack.)

Me: Any multiple who expects kid glove treatment isn’t ready to be healthy and shouldn’t be treated differently. Unless you know them well enough to know their others by name, there is nothing special to do. DID doesn’t exist to be seen but as a way to keep functioning in a tough life.

Me: I blogged my recovery in part for my benefit and in part to educate others. I would caution you that multiples are not keen on being “studied” or looked at as “curiosities”. It’s a difficult enough path without being looked at that way. I’ve been asked to switch. Not cool.

Him: I dug myself a hole. I was trying to find ways to not upset anyone. (Dude, this is life. You will upset people. Are you really that stupid?)

Me: To be perfectly honest, this really isn’t a 140 character conversation. My email is on both blogs. Feel free to continue asking via email.

Him: Ok…

-Italicized quotes are his email to me.

"Ok I've obviously done something to upset you and I would like to know what did I do to upset you."
- For a complete stranger, it is rather presumptuous for you to assume you know my feelings.

I find twitter DM to be an inefficient forum for an in depth conversation such as this one.

I also hoped that by moving to a forum which allowed an unlimited space to express yourself, your questions might change tenor and make a little more rational sense. Sadly, that didn't occur.

"As for regarding on the question "how to interact with a person with D.I.D", it was meant so that way I could get to know each personality individually, and I want to be cautious and respectful as much as possible."
-My question is why? Why do you want to get to know each person individually? In 35 years of living as many, only a handful of people outside my treatment team and family were given the privilege of knowing my others. They knew my others because we had a long established trust with the person involved. I have yet to meet a person who wants to "get to know the individuals" whose interest was a concern for the multiple. It has always been a case of the person expecting a multiple to behave as a dancing monkey, switching at the pleasure of the other person. It's selfish, to say the least.

When a multiple switches in the presence of any but the most deeply trusted or "safe" people, it's because the switch was triggered and that means a line was crossed that the multiple feels incapable of dealing with on his/her own. It is NOT a positive thing to get a multiple to switch. In all likelihood, the only "other" you would meet in such a circumstance would be a protective alter who will go out of his/her way to get you back off or suffer the consequences.

Your interest in seeing or experiencing this is suspicious, at best.

"I feel my intentions weren't to belittle anyone, and I think it upsets you that I don't know anyone with D.I.D, but I understand the trauma, my grandparents were part of residential schools, I'm (native American) aboriginal, and from what I can tell you are a very passionate person, and want to educate people on D.I.D."
- Again, it is presumptuous to think you know what upsets me. If you do not have a multiple in your life, I cannot fathom why you would intentionally seek one out to know.

I understand you are "fascinated" by us but that is not reason enough.

Would you ask an epileptic to let you witness a seizure? Would you ask an autistic person to have a meltdown in your presence? Would you ask a stranger to stand naked before you simply because you are interested in how they look?

By asking your questions about how to talk to a multiple, you are asking to be part of a very private and personal thing. You are asking me directions on how to violate the boundaries of a vulnerable person... and that makes it impossible for me to think your motivation is a good one.

In addition, your seeming interest in the "childish aspects" makes me again question your motives. What possible reason could you have for wanting to trigger a child personality in an adult? Again, I can see no justifiable or positive reason for such a desire. To be perfectly honest, it's creepy and borders on pedophiliac behavior.

I am happy to answer questions about my personal experience with DID but will not "teach" you how to approach others. It's a line I will not cross. I will not betray other survivors in that manner.

All the best,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Just How Integrated is Integrated?

Feel free to take the title in a tongue in cheek manner. I know I'm integrated. I also know I have a basic lack of self-control in certain areas. Baby anything (except, maybe spiders) is one of those weak spots.

In the last few weeks we have acquired a kitten, dozens of tadpoles, a small fish (which will be released at summer's end) and 2 yellow eared slider turtle hatchlings.

In addition to the animals intentionally brought home, We've watched a clutch of 4 house wrens hatch in the back yard. I'm taking a picture a day so we can watch their growth. Today, I found a clutch of anole lizard eggs while repotting a plant. They are now in a pot of their own so we can watch them. When I realized I had accidentally killed one, I kinda lost it and the frantic search for the others ensued.

Before the lizards, the kids and I were cleaning out the back shed. Daniel went to move a box and a rat jumped out. We've known there was a rat in the shed for some time. Coincidentally, it showed up within a week or so of one of our female fancy rats disappearing into thin air. Fantasy and hope tell me she is that rat.

Inside the box she was using as her latest nest, we found 7 babies. They are between 3 and 6 days old... Just getting the shadow of dark fur but their eyes are not yet open.

Wild rats tend to react to humans around their babies in 1 of 2 ways. They abandon the nest or they eat the babies.

From what I can tell, she's not coming back.

And being the person I am, (batshit insane about animals)the idea of leaving these little ones to die or become a food source makes my heart feel it's being ripped from my chest.

What this means is, Charlie is at the grocery store buying the needed supplies so I can spend the next week or so feeding babies every 2-3 hours. My biggest comfort in this is that Charlie is as bad as I am and will be more than willing to help.

The reason I bring up integration is because the whole baby animal issue is very much a Little Crew thing. They are why we started raising tadpoles and why my garden was a butterfly sanctuary for so many years. The mere presence of baby animals sends my brain into squealy, bouncy overload and all reason vanishes. This is why I try to avoid pet stores and other places where small furry animals are sold.

I was talking to Becka about the rattie babies and started to cry because as ridiculous as it is, I cannot help the drive that refuses to allow me to leave them be and let nature take its course. I'd lose sleep and end up in a depression if I didn't at least make the effort.

I don't know if that makes me a softie, a lunatic or just an over grown kid... but whatever.

I am who I am and Thank God my family knows and accepts it.