Trigger warning : some people may find this post triggering please exercise self care.
This last week in my therapy session I actually felt like I was being me, I allowed myself to be honest and say how I really believed the week had gone. I was able to say that I had messed up, not given time to the alters and how that made me feel. It was a really important session because I was able to cry my own tears, not the feelings of one of my alters, but my own hurt and pain came tumbling out.
Now I am known to be good at tears, well a part of me is as she finds it hard not to cry and yet I find feelings weird and odd, so I tend to hide away my feelings and I certainly want to mask my tears and hurt if I can. Therefore crying out my frustration and hurt wasn’t something I’d normally do and yet here I was sat in a room sobbing.
Therapy often surprises me, and this week wasn’t any exception to that rule I realised so much about me and my thinking that I hadn’t really considered. I wasn’t just messing up I was frustrated and I was ignoring my alters and why, because I didn’t want to accept the past. I ended up saying ‘it wasn’t fair’ as I talked and cried about my need for psychiatric medication and the words really resonated with me as soon as I said them, I knew they were important.
It wasn’t and still isn’t fair that I need to take medication, it started when I was young they were prescribed to help me cope. It’s taking me time to come off these meds and despite my best efforts it’s not been an easy journey. But that wasn’t the only not fair going through my mind even if I wasn’t quite being so open about it, my psychologist seemed to get that.
My childhood wasn’t fair, the fact things happened wasn’t fair, the way I’m still allowing someone who is no longer here control my behaviours isn’t fair. I kind of let out some of that pent up frustration in my tears and we rationalised things a bit too with the help of my psychologist. I needed to rationalise things it was something I really had to do, to refocus my mind and get myself back on track. Many of the ‘it wasn’t fair’ pointers relate to the past and that’s my biggest issue the past and my desire still to at times deny it’s existence.
I’m sure that I’m not the only person with Dissociative Identity Disorder who wants to deny their past, it’s easy to try and convince yourself that the alters were hurt not you. That if they didn’t exist it would all go away, not just the D.I.D but the past, the truth about the past.
You see I feel there are times when I would rather be mad, than have been abused. Times when I don’t want to accept that the people who were meant to love me, like my mum, didn’t give a toss about me except what I could give her. I wasn’t a daughter to her just an object she could control, hurt and give to her friends to entertain their perverse tendencies. I was someone who she got a lot from, but she gave nothing back too and that’s what I’m finding hard to deal with.
Denial is the glue in dissociation, I mean I dissociated to avoid the pain of incidents that as a child I couldn’t cope with or face, I wanted to deny. The truth being without dissociating I doubt I’d be here, it would have been far to much for a child to cope with. But dissociating led me to deny the reality of my existence and that’s making it hard to take on board that pain and hurt of those times.
I can accept my mum was an awful parent, a bully and controlling and yet it’s harder to accept what I know is true, that she abused me. It’s somehow too hard to take on board without a fight.
I realised after my session that I still blame me which I know is ridiculous, I couldn’t stop what happened and I could not have changed any of it. Yet I feel guilty, I want it to not have happened so much, maybe I’d quite like to override history and change it. If it only it was that easy, we all know that it isn’t but I’m sure many victims have tried.
The sad fact is the past controls me today, my thinking patterns are skewed by the way I was raised and parented by her. I may not be able to change all of those thinking patterns, but I can learn ways to change how I respond to them. But like most things that’s going to take time, and I guess I get exasperated at the years I have wasted already never mind how much longer will it all take.
I’m having to learn to be patient, to understand therapy is hard, that healing hurts and accepting the past means grieving and significant amounts of pain. Last weekend I ignored my alters because I desperately wanted to deny my past, but that’s so unfair on them.
You see I really care for my alters, they are a part of me and I really want to get to know them and understand them. Yet I so wish my past hadn’t happened, so wish I had had a mum who cared, so wish I hadn’t been hurt in the ways I was. But the other parts of me didn’t ask for any of this either, and me ignoring them isn’t going to help any of us.
That’s why this week I’m trying to rebuild bridges and get back into the practise of giving them time and acknowledging them. I need to redress some of the things I did wrong, I need to try and do this at times difficult juggling act, to ensure I can meet our needs. There will be periods when I get it wrong, mess up again even, there will also be times I struggle with denial.
Yet it’s ok if that happens, what matters most I think is that I learn to understand me and my thinking traits and I learn to understand denial is just a part of this journey. None of what happened to me was right and I can’t just erase it, or change it but I can change how I am today and in the future.
That’s why I need to give time to the other parts of me, hence why I’m on a journey of learning to juggle the demands of many. If that means methodically stopping every so often and thinking ‘alters’ need care and time then so be it, eventually it will become more natural and instinctive. Till then my alarm will help nudge me into remembering and giving the other parts of me time.
copyright DID Dispatches 2014