July 17th is the day I entered the United States to make it my home. In 1966, 49 years ago! Looking back on this put me in deep thought on June 26th, a historical Day in my new country. It was too late to include it in July Newsletter, it was already on the way to be posted and left no room for addition, so HEAR YE… HEAR YE… HEAR YE……
As a child I heard President John. F. Kennedy twice and I thought it to be a highlight in my life. On July 26th 2015 I heard President Barack Obama give the Eulogy for Senator Clementa Pinckney in Charleston, SC and decided to add this to most memorable moments of my life. So much time passed in between those events. So much stayed the same and yet…. it appears we are going forward again as a people.
June 25th, actually the night of, I was asked to give a ride to my grandson. I drove into the area where I lived in 1966. I was unable to find my way around due to the fact that instead of a prairie it now looked like a city. There were 20 feet trees and buildings. I pulled into a parking lot in a business mall to ask for direction. A woman was sitting in her car, and as I approached she rolled up all her windows. I loudly asked her to help me find my way through the closed windows and eventually showed her the paper on which the name of the place was visible. Through the window she pointed to the building I had stopped at. I was there, only at the back of the building. I thought it was sad for someone to be so afraid as to not to respond to an old woman with wild hair.
July 22nd and the leaves are falling from the trees. It is so dry that it looks like fall and the soft breeze is causing the leaves to dance before they hit the ground, something I noticed on my 52 mile drive to a qualified Therapist.
July 4th. Was heading for the fruit Isle at Wal Mart. I called out to Vanya and was excited to see her. Even her hair color was growing back in. When I got closer as I was rushing toward her in excitement she looked up and I realized it was a woman in her 40’s rather puzzled with my behavior. I was devastated, and one of the greeters and a young man consoled me. I recognized him as one of the Lost Boys from Sudan. We have several living in Olympia. He was much older than I remembered and so kind to me. The Lady gave me a strange look and walked away. Saw her later in the parking lot and it appeared she did not want to talk to an old lady that thought she saw a ghost. BUT I now KNOW what Vanya Arnold would have looked like at 40 years old. To remind you, my granddaughter Vanya died a couple of month ago. After I calmed down I was grateful I had the surprise experience and the people at Wal Mart were so kind to me.
July 20th Bridge collapses in torrential rain on California freeway. There are fires everywhere and at my house there is a DUCK walking down the street, just strolling, there is no water within miles.
Are you confused yet? GOOD, that was my intention. Every time a major event happens we try to reason within our comprehension as to what could have happen. According to what one looks like different reasons are explored. If it is justified as to the person had mental problems the next sentence is: “Why did he/she did not try to get help”. This brings me to the main story of my newsletter. Mental Health. Some of my FB Friends and Viewers asked me to address this subject in true Lilian Fashion, so here it is.
It is public knowledge that I have bouts with a mental condition for many years. I have addressed the subject on some of my shows. It is also public knowledge that I have been effected by several recent events, which have made my life a little harder to maneuver than usual. For 4 months I have been attempting to get go to counseling and get me a little help to be fully “operational”. Unlike many unfortunate people I DO have insurance. My plight looked like this:
Appointment with Doctor on record to get a referral: 32 days.
Appointment with Mental Health provider for group explanation as to what comes next: 18 days.
Appointment after filling out papers for 102 minutes and being assigned to an intake person: 21 days.
Appointment with Intake Therapist to make an appointment with the …from now on… regular therapist and answer more questions : unknown at this time.
Imagine, if you can…. your mind is in distress and no-one to talk to…understanding you is too much to expect. You think about going to the nearest ER….and tell them WHAT???? In most cases they will prescribe some pills and have you make an appointment with a regular therapist unless you threaten suicide or intent to hurt someone. But you really want is someone to assist you in unscrambling your brain….RIGHT NOW. The Hotline you are referred to only gives you more numbers to call and IF you could explain the problem in your head … you could fix it yourself. And THAT is how things happen.
I have the good fortune to have a wonderful and qualified Therapist. HOWEVER, he is 50 miles away in a totally different town and charges $260 per session. I have no money, so I borrow the $149.50 he agrees to see me for…after all, we have been BUDDIES for 17 years. 45 minutes later I walk out of the office and I am “operational”.
The system stinks and people around us are busy with their own dilemma and even when you make them aware you are in distress have no way of knowing what it is you need OR won’t admit they have a less than “PERFECT” person in their midst. PLEASE take the time to observe and listen to a person asking for help, whether by verbal request or action. You may find yourself at that same place one day and no-one is there for you. It is very hard to find a qualified person for your immediate need. We have set up some groups on Facebook for people to talk to each other and share experiences and possible band-aid solutions. Some grief counselors offer free services for those unable to deal with death. Regulations prevent people from helping one another and it is a sad affair. Psychics and Life Coaches have taken the place of mental health providers because they LISTEN and engage people in thinking things out.
PLEASE be there for each other and maybe we can prevent a person from taken their own life and some of the terrible things happening to our fellow man. Not everyone is afforded the luxury to be able to reason out solutions to their state of mind.
Here is an article I wrote several years ago over a period of 3 weeks….like it says: welcome to my world.
I Hear Hoofs…. Who Goes There?
By Lilian Mustelier
We live in a world of texting and abbreviations, second nature to some and hard to comprehend for others. DID and MPD are short words for something enormous, in fact most people are unable to tell you what they stands for. PTSD is an abbreviation which has been forced into our vocabulary becourse of the significant amount of people, which have been afflicted.
***DID stands for Dissociative Identity Disorder. ***MPD stands for Multiple Personality Disorder. ***PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The football player Herschel Walker released a book last month: “Breaking Free” . By doing so he attempted to, once again, bring this subject to the forefront. 20/20 showed a report about…. A woman which wrote a book: The Woman Who Can’t Forget. By Jill Price and Bart Davis.
In 1997 I wrote a book: And The Moral Of The Story Is… One Person At A Time. Each one of these accounts touch on… in a broad sense… what it is like to be somewhat different.
Let me invite you into my world for a short time and tell you my story.
In 1987 I was diagnosed with MPD. It was determined I had suffered from said disorder since I was 9 years old. Extreme DID/MPD is brought on by severe trauma, torture or experimentations. It serves no purpose at this time for me to explain what this consisted of, only that during this time my own survival mechanism found it necessary to create a path for me to survive certain occurrences.
It created many compartmentalized files in my brain, which are accessible by different parts of me, Lilian. Somehow the brain managed to put in place the unique ability to become a “DIFFERENT” person all together, when it found it necessary to carry out a task. It was documented that even physical changes can occur, for example during an eye examination, in which my sight changed, from short-sighted in the left eye and far sighted in the right eye, to 20/20 vision in both eyes. Suffering from lifelong back problems and mild scoliosis, it was noted that during episodes I walked totally straight. Other times I have been unable to speak English. I am multi-lingual and sessions in other languages have been recorded by my therapist.
Changes in style of dress, food, music and physical activities are also common.
There was a time when I had no recall of anything, unaware of lost time or my whereabouts. It was not unusual to be unable to recall weeks. I jokingly call myself a “HOLEY” person, because I am unable to remember many parts of my life. It is not in my memory bank only to resurface at other times. I am unable to fill out paperwork which dealing with facts, including but not limited to medical history, work history or whereabouts. Many times I have no or very vague recollection of my children. I do not baby-sit my grandchildren due to fear I don’t know who they are and leave them in a stressful situation. I recall an instance taking a granddaughter skating. Not having skated in 20 years I was concerned about falling and hurting myself. Somehow I became 8 years old, the time period when I was an excellent figure skater. When it was time to go home I asked the girl with me to please call her mother, I did not know where we lived. I have made arrangements with my doctors to ask how old I am before leaving their office. Anything less than 16 is reason for concern because at that age I do not know how to drive.
For almost 30 years I have had great therapists which taught me, very patently, how to maneuver. There are no medications one can take, it takes hard work on a daily basis to navigate the maze, which is my life.
In recent times I had a therapist which, in my opinion, was not qualified and set me back in my learning progress by 10 years. Each time, after leaving his office, I would find myself in unfamiliar places. After several hours I did regain control long enough to have friends help me to find my way home. There were also times I would, the next day, find foreign food in the refrigerator. No recollection where I bought them, or how much money I spend. The Lady at my bank would pay a check …This is 2007-2008… dated 1974. She notify me of the overdraft (without charge ) and a friend would have to come to my aid and cover the checks. Please keep in mind while I, LILIAN, have no recollection of many things these OTHER people occupying my body are fully operational and function normally according to their standards.
Lilian’s brain just shifts to a different compartment and operates according to the memory file in that part of the brain.
For those of you, which remember an EP/LP record along with the times your record skipped, after slightly tapping the record you might loose a fraction of the song you listened to, but the song would recover. Now picture a CD or DVD. As soon there is any discrepancy, dirt a scratch or malfunction with the disk you will not be able to continue what you listened to. At best you can try a different player, which is usually of no avail. The only choice you have is to reboot and hope the disk will recover. It rarely does. With MPD a person feels a scratch coming on, some times with masterful skills continue play is possible with a few bumps and skips. More often than not the only course of action is to stop, separate from the situation and reboot.
Each one of these disorders require a trigger. A trigger is something which tells the brain to access memories from a certain time period.
PTSD, in my opinion, creates vivid memories which play out like a video, transporting the person in the time period said memory was experienced and forces the experiencer to re-live said instance and act accordingly.
DID and MPD act different in as much as it forces the experiencer to shut down and leave, therefore totally switching the brain to a facilitating alter. With intense praxis after 30 years I sometimes recognize when I am “Scrambled” If I catch it in time I am able to maintain enough of my composure to stop a switch. Other times my skills let me down and I have to do the best I can AFTER the fact. Example: A friend owns a small aircraft. She offered to take me on a flight in order for me to film aerial shots for my TV Show. I was excited. However, she called while I was writing this article, an almost impossible task. She called to tell me to come on we were going to fly. I said NO. It was only the next day I was able to tell her that one of my OTHER PEOPLE,loved skydiving and I easily could have jumped out of the plane, without a parachute
As far as we can tell the “Persons” which occupy my body are as follows:
Male, in charge of logical decisions.
Small child, afraid.
Young woman, terrified of riding as a passenger in cars.
Woman, creative and excellent painter.
Male, prone to failure.
Woman, brilliant in business an PR.
Woman, mother and defender.
Woman, social butterfly as well as dancer very popular with opposite sex.
Woman, writer/researcher very focused producer/director/host.
And there is the ME,LILIAN. Nondenominational, wise, extremely psychic, happy and the facilitator of everything which is ME. I am unemployable since I am unable to function at all. When under stress I am not able to control which part of my brain is going to be access, who takes charge of what needs to be addressed next. There was I time I would argue about events, things said and attempt to explain why I would never have done or said what I was accused of and search my memory for days to remember what people around me made reference to. I would have to actually recover physically, much as one has to after surgery. With time I learned that, at running the risk of being called a liar, I now just answer with, this is not in my memory banks at this time, ask me again later, I might remember.
So, what do we need from the people around us?????
Most of us attempt to notify the people which we have close relationships with. Family, select friends, and people we work with, on a need to know basis. Health care providers should be notified, except there is no training other than how to deal with distraught people. In present times that can be a life threatening event for people like myself. Emergency personnel, ER personnel and Police are not trained to allow a person like myself to gain control, at which time everything becomes intensified. For example: I lived under occupation when I was small. A day after Sep.11 I saw soldiers driving by. A police car followed and for a moment I panicked. I realized I would not have been able to tell anyone my name. I was on my way to therapy and it was decided for me to wear a medic alert bracelet identifying me by name and to state I had MPD.
When spoken to I visualize everything a person tells me, sometimes it takes a couple of seconds longer to answer, than it would the average person. This is often mistaken for not answering or disinterest. The response of a person I am conversating with can sometimes act as a trigger. Triggers are different for each person. In my case it can be an odor, an event, holidays, a sound or the person I am dealing with themselves, their tone of voice when speaking or questioning me.
Picture yourself watching a TV program. You follow the story line. All of a sudden someone behind you changes the channel. You have little or no objection since you understand there are more people present that yourself. You get involved in the new storyline only to have the channel changed again and again and again at which time you are dizzy. Your blood pressure and adrenalin rises, your choice is to become confrontational or leave. My eye movement will change when someone switches the channel and I will always decide to walk away to reboot. Unfortunately even the people we attempted to educate are not able or willing to afford us this luxury. In rare instances people will deliberately create an instance to switch me in order to accomplish an agenda which is NOT in my interest. A law was passed in the 90’s to charge people with a crime if they were aware of a persons diagnosis and created a situation in which sexual favors are involved. The charge is Rape.
The suggestion of calling 911 for help does not serve a purpose in as much as a person such as myself is not able to explain to an untrained person what the problem is, it only intensifies the situation. It will add panic to the equation. If I was able to explain my dilemma, I could reboot and fix it myself.
What is needed is TOLLERANCE, it is almost more important than UNDERSTANDING. Even people aware of the situation forget or do not want to deal with an episode. They take things personal and are unable to RECOGNISE something is not right. AT THAT CRITICAL MOMENT. Stand down… Do not offer an aspirin and any medical solution. There is no pill, we need a clear mind and the luxury of composing ourselves. When the episode is over DO NOT ask questions trying to reconstruct what happened, this will only delay the recovery from that incident. Often there is NO memory about what happened. DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING PERSONAL. DO NOT BABY THE PERSON. DO NOT EXCATURATE THE EVENT. Or outright lie.
I live by myself. Each room is decorated in a different theme. I can tell my frame of mind by which room I spend my time in. I create myself a focus point. I do well when traveling becourse it is not necessary for me to explain myself since I am only at a place for a very short time. I do things at my own pace. I ask to be reminded of appointments. I do one thing at the same time each week, so I know at least once a week I will return “HOME”. Unfortunately there are many people, which are not able to maneuver in this fashion. They live with others, they may not be as skilled as I have become after 30 years, they may not even know there is something which prevents them from functioning properly. My hope is that more education will be available for ALL of us, especially since so many people have at least PTSD.
Close your eyes, you hear hoofs. You assume, no, you know you hear a horse.
Open your eyes. IT IS A ZEBRA!
Love and Light
Rainbow Warrior is how we told the story about making it rain at BIG BEAR California. I would also like to share the Eulogy President Obama presented in Charleston SC.
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