Inpatient with D.I.D #4

The hardest part about being inpatient is, without a doubt, the moment you no longer are inpatient: when you are checked out of hospital when you’re not ready to go back home. I’m staring at my hands as the doc goes on about my inconceivable strength: “So [name of alter] tried to drown you in the bath tub. At least you had the strength to take control and come back to the surface!”. I hold my breath, appalled. That’s not it at all. What the doc should be worried about is the fact that this alter is suicidal enough to make an attempt at it. I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult it is to wait for a train with her in my head!
I pack my things and make lazy conversation with my roomies. They are both just as surprised as I am that they are checking me out. I hold back the tears as I take the hospital sheets off the bed and drop them as well as my hospital pajamas off at the dirty clothes bin. The previous weekend was my test-run at staying home. Friday, as night crept closer and the early darkness of the Polar Circle fell, I listened as Dawn and Lydia babbled in my head, one going on about punishment, the other going on about death. Fifteen minutes and one black out later there are fresh wounds on my left arm and the bathroom reeks of vomit.
I reach out to friends, to L’s mother – but nobody is available, nobody can take me in for the night. I let Bunbun out to take a breather, regaining my composure as I idly fiddle at leaves in the bushes of the Garden. I watch her through the gates, brushing our teeth in a giddy rhythm. She takes our pills with a big gulp of water, holding her little fist to her mouth as the after-wave of nausea hits. I tuck her in bed, noticing how the body begins to relax with her. I take over the body once Bunbun passes out, feeling rather uncomfortable with all the stuffed animals around me.
Saturday at noon, we are in L’s mother’s car. Being questioned. I do my best to keep L by my side as I answer, trying to give adequate explanations and soothing replies to the mother’s worry. She walks us right up to our hospital room, and we hug her tightly. The nurse comes around: “How was your day off?”. I explain, watching her face for hints of emotion. I take a deep breath: “I think I’m going to try to stay at home for another night.” The nurse looks a bit apprehensive but agrees that it is good for me to try.
In the end we end up at a friend’s house. Another black out has taken place, more cuts, more vomiting. Suddenly we are in our friend’s bath tub. The water is hot. We are underwater. I feel Lydia, pushing down on my shoulders, keeping the body rigid below the surface. I can detect the muscle spasm about to come, the quick gasp for air – or water. We could be dead in minutes. Without hesitance I shove Lydia to the side, sitting up, gulping down air as I do so, coughing, gripping the sides of the tub. Lydia is gone but the fear of death remains as I shampoo our hair, scrub our skin.
Sunday, back at the ward, we are desperate. A panic attack is coming on, Lydia has made us vomit our meals again. I plead with the nurse for help, she gives me pills and a spicy candy to take my mind off the panic. The hospital bed feels like an ocean around me, we are drowning again.
Monday. The doc looks at me. Talking about my strength. How I’m going through a crisis and it is normal of me to feel the way I do. She stumbles with expressions about our multiplicity. I correct her repeatedly as she gets alters mixed up, as she forgets about alters completely. I feel L whimper somewhere deep inside. Please don’t make us go home. The doc shrugs: “I think you’re good to go home now.” And I am packing my things with a lump in my throat.
Friday, 4th December. Back at the ward after five days at home. A check-up. The nurse that Bunbun thinks has pretty hair is driving me up the wall. “I know you think you have these personalities and you attribute these states to them, and that’s alright, but I think you should focus on the emotion that is behind it!” She tries to be enthusiastic about anxiety relieving techniques, talking about my strengths again, acting as though I hadn’t just told her I was, we were, miserable. As though I hadn’t just told her about the blackouts and the cuts and the vomiting. “Do you think you’ll be okay?” she asks. I tell her I don’t know.


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