An Apple A Day

The perilous tears
I’ve relinquished from the gates of my soul
Seem as currents in the rivers
Vast bed
They drip down the slope of my nostrils like an avalanche from
The top of the God crafted mountains
Then suddenly they are swallowed
By the hope that tomorrow
Will bring a brighter Ray
From the earths fierce sun
But there is no solace in this refuge
No dance in its eternal corridors
As I’m reminded of the damage that’s been done

I’m struck by the reality
That everyone around me
Is neither here nor there
Neither can they see
That their obligatory words
And titles of the moment
Bring condemnation
And keep dear “friends” locked in captivity

See gone are the days where comradary is valued
When friendship is held to a standard
At best
We would rather freeze the hearts
Of those around us
Than to take the time to work through the mess

Why should we?
Why would we?
When our next great adventure
Is just merely a quick tap away
When technological advancements
Steals away the realness
Chasing heartfelt communication away.

I’ve learned the only consistent statue in my life
Is one of an apple, with beauty flourishing a square
She fits in my palm
And tickles my fancy
To leave her behind I do not dare

It’s easy to cower behind her blank screen
Fill her being with hate and jealousy
Let her do the talking for me
It’s easier that way, it must be she

Maybe the diagnosis lies in the sickness we do not see
The tumor that we trade for the next greatest pleasure
The best friend we turn for refuge to seek
Hollow are our hearts
Disposable our lives
Buy a new one
Date another
Have we lost a generation
Have we crucified the wonder

The perilous tears
I’ve relinquished from the gates of my broken soul
Seem as currents in the rivers vast bed
They drop down the slopes of my nostrils as an avalanche from the peak of Gods crafted mountains
Then suddenly they are wiped away
By only my hands

Alone.

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Sunshine

Grey clouds.
The ominous kind.
The ones that you can see coming towards you, circling above, in their green and deep purple hue. The smell of must, the stickiness of the air, the roll of thunder and the cracks of lightening. Shattering the silence, shaking the ground, rocking my Missouri Girl fear to the ground.

The scene that plays in my head when anyone suggests our relationship isn’t valid. Like one of us should walk away. The thunder, I can feel that everyday. I know that he’s struggling to push forward. He fights so hard. The turmoil in his head, the unsettling of his mind… I feel the thunder. I can smell the rain.

But some days the torrential down pour clears. The sun fights through the clouds, and his beaming smile warms my heart again. I can feel the wind on my back, but then again maybe that’s just the embrace of his arms, pushing the clouds past the horizon. As we dance under the blue, sky, we dance on the puddles of our pain. There is not another human in site, not that we notice, and if there is neither of us care. We have happiness, we have hope, we have each other. For even a moment, we are us 100% us.

The rain clouds, they don’t stay away forever. While I’d prefer the sun, but I am no longer afraid of the rain. It makes the sun that much more ravishing. I can enjoy the puddles, because when the sunshine breaks the darkness i want nothing more than to dance with him in the puddles. To trot on our fears, on his anxiety. To show the thunder it has no power to instill fear in us, or shake the foundations of our love.

Depersonalization is not an earthquake, it is not splitting our world in two. It’s merely noise.

Today we danced on puddles.
Tomorrow we’ll do the same.
The season is changing, we are winning.

And dancing in the puddles is the sweetest of all victories!!!

Crash Into Me

Moments.
That’s all this life really is. A continual strand of pertinent moments. Moments of tangibility, or at least for me they are.

It’s not always easy on the feelings side of life. Sometimes I had wished I could momentarily destruct my feelings and live in a melancholy feeling less moment.

It’s a strange thing, that I understand David’s depersonalization. You see I grew up with a seizure disorder. Much of what David describes actually happens to you before having an epileptic grand mal seizure. You feel disconnected, ghost like. Like time is passing quickly around you but dragging slowly within you. A shocked state of euphoria. Sometimes it’s the reverse. The world is dragging while your insides are exploding with fear and excitement… Scrambling to grasp a sense of reality chasing the numbness out of your fingertips, your mind tingling, “tunneling”(as we call it in epileptic world) before all consciousness is surrendered.

I do well understanding depersonalization.

Yesterday I lost a battle.
David picked me up from work, we were both exhausted from long days and the driving anticipation of a holiday break away from the professional world. We were going to eat at one of our favorite places. Thai spice! I had looked forward to this all day. I was recently diagnosed with IBS- a very common, very embarrassing disease. It’s extremely draining and washes life right out of you. But even with the pain and fatigue I wanted nothing more than to be in the arms of the man I adore.

I pranced out of the doors of my law firm office and toward the blue scion in the chilled dark night. Expecting the gentlest of sweet kisses, a hug, and possible a compliment. I opened the door and sat down. David’s brown speckled eyes scrolled intently through words on his phone- a book. I waited. After moments passed he finally spoke, eyes still fixated on his phone “well what should we do?”
Crushed.

We went to our place of dinner where he sat across from me(we never sit across from each other, we sit side by side, always touching). We talked about his days struggles and how hard things were. I fought back the tears and ultimately lost, excusing my self to the restroom before he could catch onto the fact that tears were rolling down my face.(I’m a silent cryer. My face turns red, my green eyes turn instantly blue, and the tears flood down my cheeks in silence)

I return to dinner, we eat in deafening silence. He picks up the bill.

We drive to the nearest thrift store to pick out ugly sweaters for Christmas parties. This should be fun. I know this should be fun. Why isn’t this fun?! I’m losing it. For the first time in our relationship i feel a wave of settlement slip over me. I instantly feel like a caged bird- fluttering for freedom. What is this?!

The car ride home takes an instant turn for devastation when i suggest we kiss and spend sometime just together. He replies with “I don’t want to”. This was the final weight. I can no longer contain the disappointment, I can no longer push the voices I’ve fought back. The dam has broken, the tears uncontrollable. I try to hide them, but he knows me to well. He pushes for answers.

It wasn’t the fact that he didn’t want to kiss. It was the voices I’d given way too. “Does he even love me anymore”,”would he have left if he didn’t have DPD” “is he sticking with me only because I’ve stuck with him””is this the end”,”maybe he just doesn’t want to start over with someone else.”

There wasn’t much of an answer, immediately. He dropped me off, gave me a few kisses, and drove away into the darkness of the night. I starred into the sky at the twinkling of the stars(something I do often) and dreamed of a world where our laughter filled the thrift store.
Vibration.

My phone was lighting up with text messages, vibrating me out of the chill of the night and into the warmth of my gray fleece bedding. A conversation was unfolding on a group text. One of my friends had recently found out that he has depersonalization as well, I introduced David and him in a group text. To my astonishment, David was helping this young man. He was talking him through the lack of feelings and resources. David had a horrible day, and an even worse night. But he was helping someone else.

He text me and asked if the conversation needed to be moved and not be a group text. I told him no, since it helped me understand. David began sounding… Lighter, more like David. Helping someone else was helping David.
One on one.

“If I could bottle up all your tears from tonight even though it was small it would still crash like an ocean into me”- the text David sent me. The only explanation needed after our long, and exhausting night.

I had lost a battle.
David had won!
Finally. David won.

Evolution of Love

I love you.

The three most powerful words in our world. But what does it mean? This word, love. We use it so flippantly, to describe the very basic objects in our world. Like pizza, Netflix, YouTube, colors that excite us, shoes, stores, etc.,
We say it when we talk about people. My best friends Brooke, Kenny, and Kortney. My mother, father, brother, and extended family. My beta fish Jet, or my childhood dog Nibbles. We “love” so many people, places, and things. So much so that the word has become a conjunction word, rather than having any real meaning.

David and I expressed our love for each other 10 weeks after we had started dating. We had danced around this word in hidden textual clues. “Goodnight my love.”,”hey love!”, “I really REALLY L….ike you!” “❤️sweet dreams”. The night he told me, it was frosty out. We sat outside on my porch and shot the breeze, hanging onto each other’s presence. It was October 16th. He told me that he needed to tell me something, but nothing he was saying matched the urgency he placed on calling the meeting on my porch. Eventually, he stood up to leave. We walked to his car and chatted for a few minutes, I didn’t want to let him go. A few doors up the road something had happened and cop cars had parked in the street, creating the perfect disco ball for what would be a telling moment in our lives. He looked me in the eyes, kissed me sweetly and quickly sputtered the words “I love you” before stealing a quick kiss and jumping into his car to speed away. I barely had the chance to respond and tell him that I was in love with him as well.

In that moment, butterflies fluttered around in my stomach, a smile permanently plastered to my face, every inch of my frozen body had been warmed from hearing him muster the words “I love you”. Our whirlwind of a love left me breathless in that cold night.

I didn’t know.

I suppose their could be levels to love. In that moment I did feel for David in a way I had not felt for anyone ever before. But in all honesty; I did not know love, like I do now.

I told David a month ago “remember when all of this was so easy? When I wasn’t sick, you were not sick. We could play, go on adorable dates, free fall through the clouds. I thought I loved you then, but I had no clue what loving you was like.”

The past 10 months have been the hardest I have had to learn to love. Honestly, I’ve not come close to giving up. I believe he is worth it, I believe our love can make it.

Love isn’t just a word to us. Love is proof. Love is sticking with someone even though they don’t deserve it. Realizing that you don’t deserve it. Having enough respect to let that person go if it means their life is better. That’s a hard statement to make. I wouldn’t dream of walking away from David and leaving him. But honestly, if I knew that it would heal him I would do it in a heart beat. He would tell me he would rather suffer with depersonalization than a broken heart.
I’ve learned that love is not about me. Love is selfless, it wants the other person to succeed without competition. Love doesn’t waiver. Love is a decision.

When times get hard I stick to my guns. I stick to my cognitive decision to love David. To witness his life.

The worst thing you can do for a person that suffers with DPD, is give up. They might not feel hurt, they might not miss your absence just yet. But you will have proven your cowardice, and this cycle will repeat itself with the next person. Maybe not with DPD, but your love will be tested again. You will probably fail. The best thing I can do for David is simple…. I can only love him more. I can never give up.

I will never give up.

I vow to love you deeper more and more each day, I will not give up on you.

When you are weak I will stay strong. When you are sad I will remain happy. When the world is dark I will be sunshine.
When you need healing, I will pray.

Love is patient
Love is kind

Love never gives up.

I love David.

Eavesdrop

“I don’t want to talk right now. I just want your arms wrapped around, me in this moment before it runs out. Oh don’t say that it’s over. Oh, no, say it ain’t so. Just let the stars watch let them stare. Let the wind eavesdrop I don’t care. For all that we’ve got don’t let go. Just hold, me” – The Civil Wars

I played that song on repeat for an entire week after our first kiss. The one at our park where he nervously walked around with my hand in his. We stopped by the waterfall, into the pond. We were bundled up, it was so chilly. He pulled me close and told me how amazing the first month of our relationship had been. In one instant you could see my breath, floating towards the stars. In the next there was no sign of even the basic human form of breathing, because he had stolen my breath with the purest kiss.

This song so perfectly fit our life. We spent most of our time in public observing other people. We would be imaging their lives, deciding if they were in love or just friends. We’d laugh at the conversations around us every where we would go. Interject and play out how we would have them. Most of the time we were listening to actually make a new friend. We are both very out going, and we live in Missouri. We don’t know how to be strangers, everyone is family. Conversations are fair game, and if you’re within ear shot, well then it’s a blatant invitation. We are people of connection.

Isolation.
A perpetual way to seclude. A way to be alone, with yourself, your fears, your tormentors. To lock you away? And devour every peace of your existence. Isolation allows you the time to draw back, is opportunistic to shut down your goals. You will find yourself staring that you are seeking connection with your feelings. In all actuality, you are pushing them out, hiding behind a door. Wallowing in the fear of never recuperating.

Seclusion, and isolation are one of the easiest ways depersonalization locks you up. This disorder is typically anxiety driven. The more you learn the more anxious you become. There is no greater anxiety than social anxiety. It’s a task master, a force to be reckoned with. I often times find my David, first time I’ve mentioned his name, extremely stressed and almost shut down in social situations. Where we once used to laugh, play, joke, and thrive; had become an anxiety driven prison for his otherwise content, blissful, social norm. I can typically see this coming on him. He gets really excited and happy to be with people, then slowly his eyes dim. He starts either 1. Searching the room nervously or 2. His head hangs low and his eyes advert to the ground.

You would think that the first thing to do would be to withdraw from the situation completely. Run from the social anxieties and learn to be content in a new form. But by doing this you fall into seclusion, you withdraw from society and lock yourself away to simmer over the thoughts that keep you prisoner. One day David told me that he was going to test the waters for a while. He was going to be present, think of the things he could grab hold of, what he could participate in, make the best out of a terrible situation. He was going to act as if he could, indeed feel. Our society doesn’t tell us to behave in this manner. It says you must feel before you act. “I feel hungry so I need to eat.” “I feel like I should clean” “I don’t feel like going into work, so I won’t” “I don’t feel like doing laundry” “I don’t feel like I’m in love with you anymore”. What that does is create a broken cycle. We leave everything up to feelings. It’s a cop out, because you can,in turn, blame everything on your feelings, accepting no responsibility and have no real repercussions. What happens if you respond only out of feelings and you no longer have feelings?
This idea of doing, and acting without feelings first is not a societal norm. He told me that he doesn’t feel like kissing most of the time. That urge is one that has escaped him in this process. It makes it hard to define the lines of the relationship when you were friends before, then in a relationship, and then back to the actions of a friendship without the expressions of a relationship. Still having faith and security in the relationship itself.

The day after he told me that he was going to do, even without feelings; the man I once knew came back to me. Even just for a glimmer, even just for a moment. He leaned over in church, with his hand on the small of my back, he whispered “I am thankful for you, and I love you” he kissed the side of my head. My world spun in circles. I hadn’t felt sincerity in such a long time. It was another moment I will not forget. I don’t know if he felt it, I’m guessing he did not. But it doesn’t matter because I did feel it and he did it any ways.

I try not to push him. But I try to ask him every day what he IS feeling, rather than focusing on what he is NOT feeling. Then I try to ask him what feelings he misses, and I try to create moments for him to feel those feelings. The more you talk about it and the more you share in the healing process, the more you will understand, the closer it will draw you.

It is hard to love.
To take someone at all of their good, all of their bad, and all of the ugly. But it will be the greatest testament of your life. To really love someone through thick and thin, a bond no one can break.

We have a story.
One that would be a great talk to eavesdrop on.
At the end of the day the fact that we faced this giant together with be worth the story, because I witnessed his life. I witnessed him overcome. He is a victor in my eyes, a fighter. A man, my man.

Our Story

My boyfriend and I started dating well over a year ago.  He was a friend of mine, and we had a lot in common. When he first mentioned dating I was against it. He was such a good friend and I didn’t want to lose a friendship to a failed relationship. We did music together, we met at church, we had the same circle of friends, and most of the same interests. So naturally, its a friendship I would not want to lose. He tried and tried for so long(maybe a month) and I gave in. He’s very good looking and VERY charming, and I already loved him.

Everything was great, blissful even. I’ll never forget the first time he held my hand at a local Olive Garden. Or the first kiss, in the chilly park, where we breathed in the frosty air from the each other’s mouth. Wrapped up in our fall coats, scarves, and gloves.  The first time that he told me he loved me on October 16th 2013, the red and blue flashing lights of a cop car just up the street. He was so nervous, we had danced around the words for months with texts that read “I miss you, love”. If he would have just waited one more day… he would have read it in his birthday card.

 

As the year rolled on we had great memories, memories that I cherish and are near and dear to my heart. Photographs that are neatly placed as memorials around my desk.  He was my first new years eve kiss. The first gig we played together, the first hug, the time we broke an old pay phone in a movie theater, watching our MLB team (The Royals) play in the World Series, Christmas, Valentines Day(my birthday).  Memories I relive, almost everyday. Memories he cannot feel.

 

At first he was sick.  He took a trip to Texas around thanksgiving 2013, he had a cold sore(that he accumulated from me having years of them).  As he was coming home he became violently sick. I remember the phone call from him on the road, when he thought he might fall asleep, explaining that he had to stop and slept with a bucket of ice cold water to calm the fever, with no avail. Even after the sickness had left he was just, off. The last picture I have of him with a glimmer of light in his eyes is New Years Eve. We had no clue of what was about to rock our worlds.

 

We didn’t know that Depersonalization existed. Or what it was even. All we knew was when it hit. Chances are, if you are reading this, that you already know what depersonalization is. If you don’t, I would suggest that you read up on it.  The more information you know, the more stories you can read, the better off you will be at understanding and participating in the healing process. Basically, from my research online(I don’t have it, so I don’t FULLY understand it) he suffers from being disconnected with himself, and with the world around him.  He doesn’t feel like he’s in his body, he doesn’t necessarily feel the world around him or his feelings for that matter. So things that I feel, the butterflies, the memories, the kisses, the happiness he brings me everyday; he doesn’t feel it. For musicians that’s a really hard reality to cope with, since most of our life’s are feeling oriented. As a woman, it’s hard for me to accept the fact that this wonderful man of mine, cannot explain the feelings he is not having, while in this journey of our relationship.

 

For a while it was really hard for me to accept this.  That he couldn’t feel my love. I would wake up believing that he was leaving me, that he was tired of me, that I wasn’t all that he wanted or needed. Those thoughts quickly turned into me not being enough, not being exciting, not being helpful, and eventually being the cause itself. I became the problem, in my own eyes. This man that I had fantasized about creating a life with(a loft in the city, a dog and a cat, a music room filled with instruments, recording equipment, a studio, traveling and worshiping together, seeing people healed, a closeness with God and each other) he wasn’t present like he was in the first 4 months of our relationship. I was the problem.

 

As we began exploring what might possibly be the issue, a lot of things came up. Maybe it was his testosterone levels, maybe it was his past hurts and frailties, his upbringing, his drug and alcohol use(recovering alcoholic), maybe it was years of suppressed memories. A bunch of maybes. To be honest, there are still so many maybes. But one thing is certain… I am not the problem. I have not caused it, and me staying, praying, and pushing him on might be the very thing he needs. Not a lot of people will stay with you in the dark hours, not a lot of people will continue to feel when you cannot. I made a decision to love this man, and fight for our future. No matter what anyone though about it, they had no clue of the fight we were in.

 

Every small victory is another huge win on our very real battlefield.  We are living with depersonalization disorder. We are fighting for his life, and our future. But we are here.

This is our story.

This is our love.

 

I invite you in. Our battle isn’t over, but fighting is what I know to do. I love this man to the end of the Earth. I’m not an expert, I don’t have expert advice.  This is just what I’ve done that sometimes, every once in a while, seem to help. He told me this today, he said “Thanks for putting effort into helping me and understanding. It means a lot to me. Just knowing there’s hope is half the help!”  There is hope.

One day I’ll tell him about this blog. I’ll tell him that this is how I coped. I decided to try to help other significant others along, even while we were fighting to win. I’ve searched a hundred times “Dating someone with DPD”, “Loving someone with DPD” I’ve not found a success story. Let’s change that.

 

I will change that.

 

I love you my dear. You are strong, you are wonderful, you are blessed, you are alive.    I love you.