If you’ve read this post, you know that both Lily and I find it difficult to accept gifts, or more specifically, to *allow* ourselves to accept gifts. Saturday night my best friend and I finally went to redeem the gift card he gave my internal children a few months ago. It was an odd dissociative thing– I decided that it was OK to buy things for Lily since she really isn’t me or something like that. I *know* she is me, but there’s no way I’d ever let myself have the kinds of gifts we got for her. In that sense, the dissociation thing was helpful.
We went about picking things out for Lily and Timmy, being very careful to acknowledge both of them. I offered to find things for Little Elizabeth as well, but she’s not ready to accept things like that. Anyway, we stopped in an aisle that had loads of things Lily loves. My best friend asked which toy she would prefer, and I answered by letting him know she was trying to decide.
Then it hit me– *she* was trying to decide. Her happy little voice was ringing through my mind as she thought carefully about which toy she would like best. Lily, the child who needed three months to consider using the card and then needed me to use the card in her absence, was giving input on what she wanted. We were standing in a toy store, looking at all the wonderful things for children, and Lily was *happy*.
It almost made me want to cry. Moments like that I realise that Lily truly represents me at that age, and while I can empathise with her and support her as a child deserving of love and fun, I cannot transfer that onto the actual child I was. In flashbacks and nightmares, I see myself going through things. Lily feels them. When I get triggered by things out of nowhere, it’s Lily’s fear that is most acute. I understand that what happened actually did happen to me, but for now it happened more directly to Lily. It’s so difficult, transferring the experiences of internal people into your own unified consciousness.
For a bit of the evening, though, Lily was a carefree child, and I’m so grateful to my best friend for giving her that chance.