Monday, 29 May 2017

Deep calls to deep.

Deep calls to deep they say. Right now I need to know deepness, I need to be seen. Not on a surface level, not even on a sub 10 levels below. I need the very pit of my soul to be comforted. 

Deep calls to deep they say. It's true. I stand and look around. The noises are to complicated to unravel, it's all to bright to see anything. Encouraging compliments mean nothing there well meaning intent do not even dent the heaviness of the day. Inside I'm shaking and lurching, doorways are to complicated to navigate. In response number nine just stops moving and we all sit frozen. Fireworks shoot and blast around our arms and legs battering us internally. Thoughts bombard and argue with each other. 1 to 8 try to help, try to care but in thier hast they just add to the confusion.

Carwen has that program down loaded?

To answer this requires an impossible amount of cross referancing

I can not explain 

I cannot fine words (I'm writting this to help me find them)

I realise that if I'm not going to ruin and waste today I need something to sooth my deep. I firstly put on my head phones and use music to soak in. Then I tidy and repack remake our room (we are on holiday). I make to beds line up all the patterns on the sheets, make neat piles of the cloths the kids will need for today.

Next I sit turn up my music in my ears drowning all my voices and start to type.

Logic appears as I type. Basically we are moving apartments, tomorrow we move from one part of the Island to another. I inform zippy I have left the planet for today. I haven found a deep yet that can match mine but at least I can understand its presents.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Are you ok Carwen?

My brain whirls into gear. I start to try and cross reference a whole load of information to try and get the correct answer.

Firstly, what context is this question being asked? 

Is it a quick social meeting situation were I'm supposed to say, "yes I'm fine how are you?" 
Then comment on further meaningless statements such as the classic, "so enjoying the sunny weather" (statement followed by a smile). In this situation you are not being asked for anything greater than a positive memory of a 5 minute meeting that enhances your bond of care for the person involved. 

Then there's the mid level, "how are you?"
This is usually someone who knows you and is genuinely interested but only 20cms into your world not the full measure. You have to remember to give what I call 'topic titles' but don't unpack the topic.

Then there's the not equal "how are you?"
This is perhaps one of the easiest as the person usually always works in this pattern every time you see them you just have to identify it. They ask how are you?, I give a quick summary of a few bits of personal information and then ask "how are you?". That the rest of the meeting sorted and you spend a few hours identifying and solving problem patterns in the persons surrounding environment.

Then there's the echo.
This person works by echoing. It's almost a tit for tat "how are you?" "How are you?". How's work? How's your work. This only requires one piece of information replies, any expansion on a one sentence reply will be ignored and another question asked until the prescribed 'set' of questions have been asked and the person is fulfilled.

Then there's those who can get  nerdy, deep, and are what I call fellow pattern thinkers. 
Carwen how are u? Six hours later all subjects covered from both our lives it's 3am and everyone's in bed. You say goodbye knowing you have offloaded up loaded pondered and perceived and are fulfilled, with every topic unpacked repacked cross-referenced and logged. Sleep is deep and content.

Then theres double question bonanza.
"Carwen how are you? Did you see that program last night?"
Wrong wrong wrong, that's two questions, neither of which you are going to answer as by the time you have separated and categorised the information it is to late and the conversation had moved on so I'm left on the back foot trying to work out what is now being said.

Then there's the well intended but can't cope so get cut of with no resolution "how are you?"
Negative situation 
  •  " I'm worried about X"
  •  "Don't worry it will be alright this time next week?"
  • "You've been here before you'll be ok?"
These are the hardest and the quickest to learn not to be vulnerable with as they don't understand that it's really hard to ask for anything. 

Positive situation
  • "How are you?"
  • "I'm so excited about X"
  • "That's lovely"  
They change subject or look away or interrupt you mid sentence with there next observation or comment. In short no time has been given for your reply and you realise your going to have to transition with a cannon full of unexplained excited energy in the next period of time - sooooo hard. This will often result in shut down from me as I desperately try to filter and be interested in what's happening and fail. No closure....

These are just a few of the thoughts racing round my head as I'm asked  "how are you?"  
They are of course all thinking about the other person. There is of course where I'm at.

  • Am I busy?
  • Do I have time?
  • Do I want to risk getting the answer wrong?
  • Have I enough energy to get my words in the right order?
  • How are my voices behaving?
  • Are my voices shouting something different to what I want to say?
  • Can I be bothered to talk at all as I'm not alright but know it needs to wait till I see my therapist?
  • Should I put all mental stress to one side and blar blar blar????
And don't get me started on the complexity of group conversations!!!!!

"Carwen how are you?"
I stare blankly exhausted, "I'm ok". End of conversation 

Sunday, 5 February 2017


Not blogging for a while has been deliberate, we I, have wanted to give number nine room. (See previous post). What has been amazing to discover though, is just how unconnected things really are. Physically and emotionally.  It's been like trying to incorporate two complete unknowns that have always been together. I imagine it's what separated identical twins feel like meeting after years of being apart. Both knowing each other in such a deep way but at the same time not knowing.

It feels sad, overwhelming but also a right path to walk. We have had to work through 1-8 feeling abandoned and jealous of number9. Fights have broken out where 1-8 have flatly refused to cooperate in letting number9 be seen. It's taken a lot of care and reassurance to manage both parties. Number9 still doesn't speak, I'm not sure she ever will, instead given room she jerks and twitches our whole body. She hides and refuses to give 1-8 any word to say. On occasion 1-8 have begged for words (especially in public settings) but as I said I think we are coming to the conclusion that number nine may never speak. It's hard then to try and in corporate her on a daily level as she has so much physical control. We have also discovered that our kneck is no mans land, our kneck belongs to neither  number9 or 1-8, often if an argument is occurring we have found its best to make that space as wide as possible and stare at the ceiling. 

Thankfully I/we live in an accepting place. So weather number9 twitches and jolts us on or 1-8 logically try to plan swirl and articulate there is no sense of shame. Historically I suppose shame was everyone's enemy, but shame has been evicted in place of acceptance. All that is left is to give everyone a chance. You see number9 does hold some ace cards. She is what can move us physically, she is what can bring unshakeable hand eye coordination and space awareness. This has been a blessed relief after years of 1-8 knocking things over and being unable to get through door ways without bruising our arms. It's also been quite amazing her ability to save 1-8 from being stuck in chairs on the wrong sides of rooms or in bed.

Anyway I'm not sure how much sense this will make to many of you, it feels quite vulnerable making all our journeys public. However it also feels right.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

number 9

So we the numbers one to eight have given up our place as focus of attention to number nine. Number nine, you may remember, is our body and numbers one to eight are the shadow voices. Shadows of long gone personalities.

For the last 4.5 years numbers one to eight have rightly had the focus. They have needed it. Talk therapy has been the required space for them all to unwind and have space. We have become friends and learn to respect each other for the different qualities everyone has.

About a year ago we came to a quiet dramatic realisation that there was another thing, not a voice but a sense of something being there. Over the months we all realised that we had killed number nine. As therapy went on we all reached out to number nine and we were utterly mortified that she had been eliminated by us.

So out of respect we all agreed to sit back and allow number nine to tell her story. We have started body psychotherapy. Body psychotherapy involves touch. It became apparent pretty quickly that number nine was no easy character.

You see number nine is probably not even the age of nine yet. She is so young she has very little understanding of anything, she is innocent and trusting. When she speaks its with such joy and hope. So why is it so hard. Imagine you had a young child who was all the above and you had to give her to the big and the bad. Imagine how it would feel to leave something so innocent with something that you knew was only going to cause pain and when that pain had passed there would only be more and more pain until there was nothing left. No shadow no nothing. Nine was going to die.

We the eight have been so angry this week and everyone is in upheaval. This being the third session in body therapy, number nine has been seen or at least is being seen but she's being seen before it all goes wrong before we have to abandon her. Its like watching a disaster in slow motion or a horror movie.

  • We want to change the script! 
  • We want her to live! 
  • We are doing this so she can live and feel! 
  • We want to not have to leave this time! 
  • We want to stay whole and protect her! 

It was impossible before. So starts this new journey. Number nine, we eight make you a promise we couldn't keep all those years ago. We know what is ahead but we will use all we have learnt to help you process. We are older now  and have older skills; and we are so so sorry we couldn't have done this sooner.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Communication and Multi-tasking

As my two kids approach 10 and 12yrs of age it is becoming apparent that I need to learn some new coping skills. As I have discussed, in previous blogs, as babies and young children I communicated by using a language I had made up. It's been quite incredible to witness how much you can communicate by 'babbling' the emotional content and using hand / eye movements to direct a young child.

It has all worked very nicely, my oldest is fully fluent in understanding my language and my youngest can even speak it back to me breathing her emotions into the various sounds she creates.

As you can imagine it's all very simple to understand, it basic life. Often my children know our routines so well that we don't even have to speak to each other. We can just show our enjoyment of being with each other through silent practical ways that give each other joy Lining up and organising a bedrooms shelves, producing a still warm soft blanket out of the tumble dryer at TV time,  and counting out 'Snack a Jacks' in a pack even though we know it says 12 on the side. One of my favourites I like to do it is find a new plug in smell that makes the flat feel cuddly or change all their sheets and make the bed beautifully into 'nests' and you can't wait to jump in.

However as I have said this is all fairly basic calm life, it's not lives multi tasking over several levels; it's more of a being together rhythmic stream.

So whats wrong? It all works very well?Well it has done up until now, I acknowledge that now is the time my kids quite rightly want to become less dependent on me and my hubby. They over these next 10yrs will want to grow and grow into their own identities with their own plans and adventures.

In short our home is morphing from a singular to a multiple existence. As my kids voice and act upon their needs and wants our lives intertwine even further with friends staying over, going out, interactions and plan making with other parents etc. You know what I mean, the list goes on...

These other streams of life do not know my language and I in turn struggle to navigate in theirs. They don't 'get it' when I disappear to my room or put my headphones in and wander out into the garden. My kids know to look for the intent behind what I say, not literally interpret my words. 
  • That shiny pole = the hat stand
  • can you put your clobber in the brown tub = can you bring me ur washing from your room, and put it on the washing pile in the kitchen.
  • have you got your pots on = have you got your shoes on.

All my life what has come out of my mouth has never made literal picture sense (unless I'm working my way through a monologue on a subject that I'm passionate about) and the other poor person is just left listening.

Other streams of life they do not know:-
  • That,standing to close to me can make me panic
  • That, tapping my arm to get my attention is unbelievably hard to deal with for me.
  • My inability to unravel an argument over a game, as three 'streams' tell me their point of view at once.
  • I learn people don't do what they say eg "I come at 'about' 8pm" and then don't turn up till 9pm, leaving me working through possible solutions and scenarios whilst being frozen in the 'Unknown of what on earth 'about' might mean. 
  • Other streams arrive with, socks that are not pulled over their feet properly, causing them to flop around as a Wii game is conquered.  
  • They sit were I usually sit (not knowing that having people sit on both sides of my is just to overwhelming). 
  • They don't know that phones in our flat are never held to your ear they are only ever talked to on loud speaker, if answered at all.
  • Other streams I struggle to use a knife and fork so spoons are often used due to total lack of food to mouth co ordination.
  • Also 'other streams ' are often shocked as 'Carwen / mum' always has several micro naps throughout the day leaving the kids always have first dibs on the lounge.

I wish this blog was an amazing poem cause I'd want to end it like this.

against the 'other streams' I have nothing,
Except a want to work out how to love em,
For on this journey I'm bound
 to let my little ones identities be found
And as they swop and wobble
My freak outs I will nobble
Cause I want to stay in the pack
Even if I have a rainbow on my back.

Thank you to all who walk with us in all their beautifully stream uniqueness. 

Monday, 25 July 2016

Written in September 2014

The pattern of "Sorry"!!!!!


From pretty early on I learnt the word 'sorry'. In my younger years it was my violent behaviour that made me say it but even back then I used to feel extremely frustrated at people not understanding why I had flown off the handle.  To be totally honest I didn't understand either as was too young and used to believe I was an awful individual.

 An example of the build up to 'loosing it' would be a sound or a feeling that would overwhelm me. 
Unable to process the invading stress would result in me launching myself at whoever or whatever was creating the problem and attacking it. 

By the age of four I had scarred my sisters face and thrown her down the stairs and, quite rightly, both my sisters we're scared of me and kept their distance. Now I'm not talking about obvious stresses that everyone can understand creating this behaviour; my stresses, built out of nothing, escalated rapidly and left all involved in shock. let me give another example.  Once aged five I had been put to bed excited, my mum had told me she was going to the shops to buy us all new pillows and was leaving us in the care of my dad. This you must understand was extremely rare, I felt scared in the dark and she would not be there. I also wanted a new pillow. So I started to act up and in the end my mum came into the room I shared with my little sister. She said "If your not asleep when I'm  back then you won't get a pillow".  I cried more, the threat, my brain processed it as an unsolvable problem. "If I sleep, how will I know when you come back to get the pillow???". So I tried holding my breath to look asleep which also failed and gradually the dispare gremlins arrived playing in my head with no ability to get out of the loop, couldn't get to a new view or thought that I could get my reward the next day. Neither did I believe that the situat could ever be ok as it seemed impossible to be asleep and awake at the same time. I took my mums words literally. My brain even at that age was over thinking and became overwhelmed by all the possibilities It came up with to solve its predicament. My body got wound up and full of anger as each thought or action failed.

The next day it was questioned as to weather my behaviour had been 'good' enough to have my pillow. I remember getting even angrier at myself and everyone else, because as it turned out, I had been asleep when she returned home,\ so in my eyes I had done what was required even though it had been really hard to achieve and still made no sense. I remember thinking "you should be calling me a good girl". 

My head interpreted the whole thing as, "you all lie, you are all unsafe, cannot be trusted and you are confusing". This view point extended to not just me but all the people around me.

Now I'm not trying to justify my behaviour or blame anyone. As soon as I was old enough to I completely detested my actions and their consequences. I hated being around people and always 'let myself down'. Being on my own was the only time i felt 'safe'. (I often wonder if it was that hatred for myself that created the first episodes of disassociation as a way of coping). 

The golden word 'sorry' I pretty quickly learnt made every thing ok. I learnt that if you say sorry bad situations can end and essentially 'sorry' with looking sorry can pretty much stop anything. I also learnt that you must appear remorseful for a period of time to complete the process.

Back to present day and one thing that has remained as a permanent  thread through my life is the problem of understanding others. What are they saying? What do they mean? I look at their mouths moving like a babbling water. I know that if I can find the process of behaviour they are talking about, I can see were they are going. This ability people actually find very helpful. Quite often I hear the words "Carwen your so clever", it makes me smile because to me its not being clever and still don't understand why the clear patterns are unseen by others. I think, "but it's logical, if this happens it will lead to that. That will produce this outcome! Logical". 

Along with the good also remains some problems, what if you are given a situation that is new? or no logical process can found for? or if my vision of the situation is blurred by wrong reflection?  So the struggle with overwhelmed and  frustration remain.

 Frustration that still boils over far too often; now older I am happy to say I no longer get physical. 
I mostly swear or touch things because there potential 'feel' intoxicating. I repeat sounds people make or cant cope with certain sounds peoples body movements make and comment on them at the wrong times. I still, up until recently, would after being inappropriate (usually verbally) look all confident on the outside but inside be in bewilderment and just immediately say "sorry" thinking "I'll try to work out what had happened later". I learnt by giving an apology first and assuming I had got it wrong 'again' was the safest most socially acceptable way to deal with things.

Looking back does that mean all the saying 'sorrys' were lies. Not at all! Under the behaviour, the loosing it, the jumbled words and swearing; I hope those that know me know I am not someone who enjoys causing problems. I'm not someone who can bear having any kind of relational issues with anyone.

It would be great at this point to move swiftly on to a lovely ending, but that would make this blog a half truth. I must point out that being someone who can't instantly interpret situations and can 'appear to acting badly', also left me vulnerable to influence. Not all the world is kind and forgiving. Without having a proper understanding of of peoples intent I ended up in quite a few situations that I should never have been in. The habit of assuming I must be in the wrong meant people could easily manipulate me. The years were unsafe and at times incredibly painful. However it is also in dealing with the repercussions of those years that I have been able to understand and to learn to trust humanity again. To see not all people are not dangerous; controlling or full of bad intent. For the first time in my life I can now look at people with less fear than I ever have done and enjoy more connection to relationships than originally thought possible.

Most people just need to know you struggle and then they are very accommodating. There are and always will be those who just think you are badly behaved or unequal to them but for those that stumble with me through the maze of complicated human interactions, I find it all rather rewarding and very much like being part of the weave of human existence . Thank you to all my friends, you know who you are!

And to my sisters I love you very much and look forward to seeing you both at little mans birthday in couple of weeks.

Saturday, 2 July 2016


The Heaviness is back, I am upset it is summer. The garden is full of lovely little rewarding jobs. The sun is shining. Yet it seems to me to be a million miles away. Hearing is hard work seeing is hard work, moving just seems an impossible dream. Then there's the guilt the heavy uneasy guilt. My kids are watching TV, I want energy I want to be outside showing them things. I want to be riding my bike with them or cutting the last two cauliflowers they have grown for tea.

It all seems impossible. I am full, every sense is 50% over its ability to function. My brain is so mashed with sounds voices and banging. The thought of having a conversation, seeing someone makes me want to cry there's nothing left to produce any words. Sitting static and bewildered in my bed I congratulate myself for even sitting up. Writing this blog is helping. It helps to start the process of unpicking enough to at least move.

I will move, I will make it to the garden bench. Soon.