In the past few weeks feelings have become a key day to day issue for us, we are experiencing feelings for the very first time and whilst it is good to know that I am human, it is also tough. This week in therapy I was gently steered towards recognising that the feelings of anguish, low mood and panic are not just the alters but in reality my own.
Trying to comprehend that these feelings of desperation and utter sadness actually belong to myself is daunting mainly because I have no idea what is hidden behind these feelings. You see whilst I do understand I suffered childhood trauma, and some of the things that were done to me and by whom, I still have many, many blanks and its these I fear now.
I fear the feelings too as for many years I was too afraid to feel in the way others would do, I wasn’t quite robotic about this but I would press down any feelings as much as I could in order to protect myself. I basically resorted to the default position of my early childhood, say nothing, feel nothing, try and hide out of the way of difficult situations. Therefore I have hid from anger and sadness as much as I could, I haven’t objected when people have walked all over me and if things get too much I hibernate. lock myself away from the rest of the world in order to keep safe.
For me the default position has been regularly reinforced over the years, as until 7 years ago my main abuser still had their claws in me and thus would continually subject me to the psychological side of my abuse that she was so skilled in. So now I am trying to amend the thought processes and default positions of over forty years, that is no easy feat and is something that is going to take time.
Feelings are for me scary at times especially those that I used to avoid, so it’s no wonder that I tried to label them as someone else’s and not my own. In recent weeks as I have started to feel these brief moments of feeling they have been very much the alters. Now I have to face up to the reality that in fact they carry the feelings that in truth are mine which I couldn’t deal with, couldn’t process back in the past.
This means accepting some very painful truths, including the fact that the feelings I have encountered recently which have left me in floods of tears, are a sign of my own pain and suffering and this is a long standing anguish built up over many years of abuse.
Following my therapy session I realised that I have so much more learning to do, and so much of my past still to confront my feelings being one part of that, which I guess I had not anticipated. I have to accept the fact that I need to feel and that it’s safe to feel now, the past caused me so much damage and pain and now I need to let those inner emotions free.
I am basically going to embark on a journey that will at times be painful and uncomfortable to say the least and yet it is a journey worth making as in the end I will be able to feel like others do, no longer fearing my emotions but able to express them safely and in an appropriate manner.
I will in time feel a little more and I will hopefully come to terms with the facts that are revealed, I know that I am in safe hands, my psychologist will I am sure offer guidance, insight and specialist knowledge to me as I progress along this journey, but most of all the alters which have been my protector s for so many years will be making this journey with me.
These parts of me that have remained hidden for so long through my dissociating will work with me through this process, we will heal together and we will feel together.
I have to trust them to release to me my feelings which they currently hold for me at a pace I can deal with. Yes there is a bumpy road ahead but I cannot think of any other group who I would rather take it with, than my alters, the other parts of me.
Copyright DID Dispatches 2014