Very Moody Voices

whitefacebluewoman

I have a new voice in my head.   This one arrived when I was putting clothes in a drawer during the day, rather frantically trying to clean up for the arrival of a guest.  He said in a menacing, gravely voice, “kill him.”

Yes, this was a shock to me.  I don’t hear voices during the day time. I responded, “Oh, you’re annoyed that you have to do this work for a visitor when you could just be relaxing.  Life is stressful enough.”  He told me yes, and went away.  I knew there was more to it, but he was satisfied and stayed fairly quiet throughout a busy weekend.

A few hours after the man spoke, a young girl’s voice came into my head, she said definitively, but quietly, “hurt you.”  I didn’t respond to her other than to say “NO.”  She has talked since, repeating the same thing, but I haven’t had a talk with her yet. She wants to make my voice small, to give up my happiness so he can have his. I’m already doing that, to quite a great extent, so I’m not sure what her deal is. But she is also telling me someone hurt me, someone in the past, so I know where this is coming from.  I just don’t want to go there now.

For now, it seems they are trying to find a balance; my brain is going to make me deal with things I just refuse to look at.  I am very good at avoidance, or I was until now.

 

Last Call for Hallucinations

Wow, I’ve been away so long on an exciting vacation! Not really, I just got a job, saw some hippos swimming and listened to a woman in Victorian garb giving me one word answers.  One of those was a hallucination.

I fell asleep on the sofa and awoke to a woman in Victorian clothing, content to call my name and dispense advice in a three syllable word.  I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming, but I called out “what?” in a startled voice, and she just nodded her head and said “attrition.”

Well, of course I looked it up, and I absolutely chose the definition that works best for me:

at·tri·tion
əˈtriSH(ə)n/
noun

the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure.

I tried to bargain with her in my head, because I knew she meant I needed to stop obsessing over some things, one thing in particular being a man, but I promised I would be ever vigilant about signs of a bipolar episode, never letting my guard down, always taking preventative measures.  She didn’t seem content until I acknowledged that it was the guy.

Did I listen to her, to myself, or whatever?  No.  I mean, I tried.  I really did.  But eventually I had to learn that I have some symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder as well, and that maybe it’s time to take it seriously.  That was in February, and I was a mess.   But hey, I’ve already had DBT therapy for bipolar, and it’s a suggested therapy for Borderline, so I’m thinking I got a bargain; two mental illnesses for the price of one therapy.

Those old time feelings of abandonment are creeping in with another relationship and I am handling it well.  I keep the image of the Victorian woman in my head as a reminder; I picture her smiling, showing off her newest dress sewn entirely in DBT diary cards.

voices in my head

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I still don’t understand exactly what the voices in my head are. I only hear them a few times a year when I’m under extreme stress, and usually when I’m exhausted. I’m aware they are coming from inside of me, but they are never the sound of my own voice.

Recently, in search of answers I became captivated by Eleanor Longden, who gave me a new perspective in her Tedtalk.  While I may not have gained a full understanding, I have more compassion for myself and less fear of the voices.  The video is fascinating whether you have auditory hallucinations or not; her unique interpretations of the purpose of voices and her resulting conclusions about how we should treat all humans are inspirational.

Sometimes my brain creates images for the voices.  I am a visual thinker, and it helps me focus on the message and not the fear.

Several months ago, exhausted and on the verge of sleep, I was startled by a male voice warning me graciously, “You are going to die tonight.”

I propped my head up, trying to discern if it was a dream. I could “sense” him four feet to the right of the side of my bed; he was wearing a suit, and was quite dignified.

“Oh shit,” I thought, “I should probably clean my house.”

I was so exhausted, would it be okay if I just died with this pile of laundry at the foot of my bed? He delivered the message again.

“You are going to die tonight.”

My heart started to race. I thought about my daughter sleeping two rooms away. This can’t be true, I decided, it must be my brain sending a message to add something to my diet other than grilled cheese sandwiches. Or to lift weights heavier than the remote control.

A few moments passed, and he relented, “Okay, maybe tomorrow.”

I let my shoulders slump back down into the bed and my body relaxed. If I die in my sleep, I thought, there’s nothing much I can do about it anyway. If by chance I get another day for final gestures, I’ll take it. Even the voices tease me about my procrastination.  I fell into a deep sleep.

The next morning I didn’t forget to appreciate that I was here, breathing and laughing. I thought of my friends who aren’t so fortunate – whose voices are much more menacing and persistent – and I wished for them to have more peace.  I said a special thank you for those who loved me. I also jogged and ate fruit instead of cheese and carbs; the guy was wearing a suit after all, the least I could do was consume another food group while wearing jogging attire best reserved for my indoor treadmill.  It’s a start.