Chapter 42: Coping Mechanisms
As I grew older and lived away from home, the distance gave me a degree of safety. As an adult I became aware that I had “coping mechanisms”. That my personality would change in the blink of eye if for some reason I felt threatened. Meaning that if for example I was in an outgoing mood but someone entered the room that was angry, I would immediately become introverted and immediately decide if a) I could get out of the room without my departing being noticed and b) if not, what could I do to fix the situation before I became the outlet for the anger? And I was aware that if I was in a certain “mood” that I could not change my mood unless it was changed as a reaction to a threat. Also, for as long as I remember there has always been noise in my head. Noise being like the noise made when you stand in the middle of a crowded stadium and everyone is speaking at once, you can only hear noise. The first time that I can recall having voices in my head that were distinguishable was when I was around 23 years old. There were four distinct male voices that used to discuss random things that happened during the day. Normally they would discuss how other people had reacted in certain situations or comment on what they thought of other people. I remember finding them amusing and I could listen to them for hours. However it seemed that although I could hear them, they could not hear me. I would try often to join the conversation but they never seemed to hear me. It would be things like talking about how a collegue of mine believed her boyfriend loved her and how ignorant she was for believing. Throughout the years I on rare occassion would be aware of losing time. I did not know what DID was or that it even existed. At first, with the voices, they just seemed like a perfectly normal thing that everyone experienced but that no-one spoke about. I never thought of it as being abnormal, but I knew not to discuss it with anyone either. I don’t recall when it was that I discovered it was not normal. As I grew older, my “adhd” worsened with each year. It became until I permanently had what I would describe as six trains of thoughts going through my head at any one time. That if you wanted my attention on something, you had to have at least 3 of the thought trains interested in what you were saying. The best was when all six trains of thought were thinking about the same thing. This was when I would be hyper-focused. And the best was when I discovered Ritalin. Ritalin is the only medication that has ever made an impact on me, however it meant taking really high doses of it though. The maximum adult dose is 60mg a day. For me, I would take 150mg a day. It just seems to burn off really really quickly in me. Obviously this resulted in my script lasting a quarter of the month if I was lucky. But Ritalin somehow gave me the ability to pay attention on what I chose to and made the other trains of thought follow suit. It was better than having all six trains on the same subject, it was like all six trains of thought became streamlined and instead of having six different thought processes at the same time, even if on the same subject they would be thinking different thoughts on the subject, on Ritalin, they listened to each other almost, they streamlined each others thoughts. So like one thought process would think of a certain solution to a problem for example, then immediately another thought process would pick up a continued understanding of the solution before the first thought process even finishes and so it continues so that all six streams are all firing off deeper understandings of the previous understanding until the problem is solved in depth covering all necessary aspects. Basically, in my head there is no middle ground and nothing is ever what it seems, everything is always extreme and there is always more to what the eye sees or the ear hears or the body feels. We were taught never to trust anything at face value, never to think that something that was said casually was meant casually, that at any point in any situation things can change from safe to violent or threatening, that what is said to be truth today is not considered truth tomorrow. Basically you learn to always be on guard, always be expectant of trouble and you learnt to try predict the trouble in advance so you could be prepared with the best reaction to dissolve any threat. Having six trains of thought always running keeps you in a constant heightened state and its like having six antennae all receiving different signals, you need to constantly decide which signal needs attention. When you are hyper focused, all six thoughts moving in one direction, its powerful, having your attention focused on one subject and your mind working together to find the solution. But having six thoughts thinking on one stream of thought is completely different. Its the attention you need with the ability to solve the problem but without the intensity of following six trains. You realise how anxious you normally are and how more in control you feel when you only have to focus on one train of thought that just happens to have six engines fueling its power. Its an addicting feeling of being in control. Its a calming feeling of not having to exert energy to pay attention to six separate trains running on the same track. Thats what Ritalin does for me. It gives me the ability to focus all six thoughts into one streamlined train. It gives me control. When a then-friend introduced me to cocaine, I discovered that it had the same affect and unlike Ritalin that I could only get in prescribed dosage per month, cocaine was available whenever, at a cost of course. Where my friends used cocaine to experience a heightened state, to feel high, I used cocaine to experience a calmer more controlled state than the normal heightened state that was a constant in life. I have had people think I am high when I have not taken anything. I have never had people think I am high when I had used drugs.