Dichotomy

That word defines my mother.  She was at once child and adult, beauty and darkness, safety and absolute danger.  Her multiplicity threw an interesting hook in to our relationship; I was more often parent to her than child.  She was very abusive to me and even moreso to my sister.  Even in her death, she left a sting.  The suicide note blamed me.

It’s taken years for me to accept that her death was not my fault but a bad choice on her part.  It’s taken years for me to learn that her treatment of me was not a reflection of me as a person but of her dealing poorly with her own Stuff.  Now, as I make changes in my life, she is on my mind.  I’m thinking of her as what she was, though: a person, separate from anyone else.

My mother had a very difficult life.  She told me in graphic detail about things that happened to her as a child.  She met my father early in her 20s.  A handsome soldier, he must have seemed heaven sent to rescue her.  She told me once he pitied her and married her for that reason.  Instead of rescuing her, though, he brought her to a cult where she was abused further and used basically as a breeder.  In an odd sense, she probably felt more wanted there than anywhere else.  Early in to it, before the serious harm would have started, the cult must have seemed like the first place to *need* her.  That breaks my heart.

She ran out of time at aged 51.  She made the decision to end her life because, if the note is to be believed, she thought I wanted her out of mine.  I had been making plans for both of us, though.  Had she just hung on a little longer, I really think things would have improved for her.  As it is, though, none of us will ever know.

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New Directions

It occurs to me that, since I have started blogging again, this blog will likely take on a new direction.  I’m not the same person I was when I first started the blog, and I haven’t got the same concerns.  Back then, life was all about finishing graduate school and coping with the recently-divulged secret of my multiplicity.  Now, grad school is a distant accomplishment, and I am fully integrated.  Life has definitely changed.  Looking back at old posts, even the tone of my writing has changed.  Frightening and exciting all at once.

So what am I doing now?  Glad you asked.  Now, my life focuses primarily on bipolar disorder– something that can’t be resolved via therapy– and veganism/animal rights.  As well, I am proudly Wiccan and involve many Pagan practices in my daily life.  These are the pieces of me that remain post-integration.  I still deal with trauma flashbacks and will likely write about that subject from time to time.  It’s no longer a daily focus, though.  Now, my life is about using my beliefs to walk as gently as possible on the Earth.  I feel whole in my mind and spirit, so my focus is sharper on the causes I support.

That’s the funny thing about change– it’s ok!  We all change as life progresses, but we never lose our value.  Thanks for following along with this new leg in my journey, dear readers.  I hope you continue to share parts of your journey, as well.

Reconnecting

I’m going to try, at least for now, to update this blog more frequently.  This is part of a grand effort to reconnect with myself.  Yesterday, I felt like nothing.  Not in the degraded sense.  Just in the emotionless-floating-in-nowhere sense.  I read some quite old posts from this blog and realised that I feel almost no connection to who I am now.  This might be due, in part, to the integration, but it’s also due to my secluding myself.

Years ago, I had school and work outside of the home.  Now, I have an in-home job and almost no social circle.  I do not attend social functions, and even a trip to the shops can be overwhelming.  My social anxiety feeds on the lack of need to leave my house, and it’s time to reconnect with the world, as well.  It’s time to force myself out, kicking and screaming all the way.

So what are my grand plans?  I have been looking for a job outside my house, but that will be debated with my therapist soon.  In terms of socialisation, I’m thinking of attending a local support group for people with mental illnesses.  What better place to start than somewhere where others are struggling, too?  It isn’t much, but it’s a start.

In terms of the deeply personal, I do plan to start blogging again.  I also plan to start journalling again, or at least writing fiction.  Something to draw me out of my head.  When I had alters, it was easier to escape my thoughts; I’d just let someone else get lost in theirs for a while.  Now, it’s up to me to plan my own escape from my mind and in to the real world.  Again, kicking and screaming all the way.

Nostalgia

It has been ten months since my last post, according to the date here.  I sometimes wonder why I keep the blog active, but then I realise it truly is about nostalgia.  I started this blog many years ago.  Life has changed so much since then, but this blog is a constant.  Hopefully, it still helps people.  It certainly still gets views.  But it helps me, too.  It’s a documentary of my life through graduate school, through multiplicity, through traumas that have been resolved and some that plague me still.  In a life like mine, constancy can be hard to come by.  I cling to it wherever possible.

So thank you, dear readers, for your constancy.  I hope you still find meaning here.

The Single Life

My post-integration life has been interesting.  There is quite a learning curve in going from we to I.  It has been easier in some ways, but it’s also been lonely a time or two.  If I hear voices now, they’re the psychotic type that comment on me and my life negatively.  I sometimes miss the *nice* voices.

Responsibility is a whole new issue.  I always tried to take responsibility for what my others did and said, but now it’s all on me for definite.  There is no one else to blame for the good or the bad.  It makes things easier in terms of making decisions and remembering actions.  Still, it’s humbling to know everything falls on my shoulders now.

Then there’s the issue of loneliness.  For a while, I had to surround myself with others via text or email or communication of some form.  I couldn’t stand the silence.  Now, although I’m still not the best with it, I can handle silence for a time.  Sometimes I even enjoy it.  I never thought I’d get re-accustomed to it.

So would I do the integration thing again?  Yes.  In a second’s time.  That’s a question I’m asked in email frequently.  Again, this is *not* the route for some.  And that’s just fine.  Being functional is the goal, regardless of parts.  For me, though, this was the route.  And I do not regret it.

A Tribute

For some reason, I have  been missing my mother terribly over the past few days.  Grief for all of my lost loved ones comes and goes, of course, but it’s been a decade since my mother died and it feels new now.  I know it will pass.  Just quite painful in the meantime.

My mother was an enigma.  Due to her multiplicity, she could be sweet and loving or dangerous and angry and everything in between.  I played many roles for her.  At times, *I* was the parent to her younger alters.  At other times, I was a friend to teens or older alters.  Rarely did she seem like my mother, and rarely did the person who claimed to be my mother spend a significant amount of time out.  For as far back as I could remember, our relationship hadn’t been the typical mother-daughter paradigm.

She brought some amazing things to my life.  It’s through my mother that I met the first person who became part of my FOC and taught me what family was about.  She taught me patience and how to be accepting of others’ difficult circumstances.  She taught me respect.  In those ways, she shaped who I am.

She also scarred me physically and mentally to the point that my therapy sessions sometimes remind me of Freudian satires.  Through those injuries, though, I have learnt strength and endurance.  I’ve learnt to guard myself, even to an unhealthy extent, but self-protection isn’t always bad.  I try to draw strength from the dangers she sometimes posed.

My mother died in mid-Spring, just when everything was in full bloom.  Winter is here, now, but I think about the promise of Spring and the promise of her life at that point.  She was finally coming to the place where she might have had a chance to heal, but she decided to end her life instead.  I will never understand that decision, even as I work to accept it.

There are so many things I miss about her and so many questions I have for her.  I miss her both as a child misses her mother and as an adult who misses her friend.  Her life ended much too soon.

The End

of my time with DID.  After eight years and a great deal of work– both internal and external– I am one.  And I’m okay with that.  It’s a choice I/we made a long time ago, and it is what’s best for me.

I know DID itself is not a choice, but the issue of integration is a huge choice to be made by individuals (collectively).  This is what works for me.  Your mileage may vary.

And Then There Were Singles

I don’t write alot about the personal aspect of DID any more.  Although the subject is a focus on this blog, it’s more a general sense.  I decided quite some time ago that the details of my particular experience are private.  Today, however, I’m breaking with that thought to make an announcement.  We’ve been busy over the past year or so, and the personalities have been reduced from 250+ to eight.  Imagine the difference.

A major decision was made, and therapy has been a major part of that.  The therapist isn’t too keen on DID, and I understand that.  To get the full benefit of therapy, though, I’ll need to work through the full extent of memories.  To work through memories, I need to be aware of them.  The process has been find person, write out objective accounts of memories, discuss memories in therapy, assimilate person.  This will not work well for everyone with my particular condition, but it has worked quite well behind the scenes for me.

No case of DID is going to be like the next, and I might catch some heat for this post.  For me, standing on my own is essential.  Some deal with co-consciousness and are fine with that.  Others, like me, are not satisfied with it.  I need to be able to stand completely on my own.  I don’t want therapy to continue for years on end, nor do I want to give up a single minute of my life to a personality that may or may not share with me.  This is a very personal decision that is right for *me.*  I do not in any way suggest that it’s the right way to do things (there isn’t one) or that everyone should follow my lead.  It’s simply what’s best for me and the general consensus for moving forward.

Eight remain, and the goal is for only me to remain by the end of the year.  My thoughts on that are varied, and my emotions are extreme.  For me, however, this is what needs to be done.

Unknown Longing

For the past few weeks, I’ve been having this odd weepy feeling.  The feelings come on very suddenly and leave almost as quickly.  In the moment, I feel close to bursting in to tears with no real idea of what’s prompting the feeling.  It’s a haunting sense of longing that I can’t quite place.

And then there’s the wailing.  It’s this constant chanted mantra of ‘I want things to be like they were before.’  Sometimes, the voice is very quiet and the feeling is completely one of longing.  Sometimes, the voice is an actual wail, full of panic and pain.  It comes from the very depths of my consciousness, and it leaves me feeling weak.  The weepy feelings spring from this sort of primal reaction, I know, but I don’t know the actual cause.  Which makes working to heal it only slightly difficult.

I need to identify what ‘like they were before’ means.  It could be any number of things.  There are the major changes– transatlantic move, deaths, et c.  And there are the more minor changes that became major in my mind– changes in relationships, my best friend moving to a new part of the city, et c.  There are many, many ‘befores’ in everyone’s life.  Some of mine are just a bit more pronounced than average.

As I mentioned a few posts back, the bit with my best friend’s moving to a new house in a new part of the town has been a rather large upset in my life.  I recognise part of that as feeding in to the current issues.  Quite some time before he moved, his mother had already moved out.  That was the point when the home I knew there broke.  I didn’t realise, at the time, that things would never go back to how they were in the flat before she moved.  That’s led to a feeling like unexpected loss.  Things changed forever without a thought of it; I didn’t know those last days before she moved would be the last days when things were as they had been when my best friend’s flat was home to me.

Herein lies an issue with temporal space.  My logical mind knows that, regardless of where he lives, I am at home with my best friend.  It is the person, not the space, that makes me safe.  Living with him and his mother gave me a sense of safety I’d never known before, though.  It’s the only time when the Really Bad People did not know my location.  It was the only time I’ve truly been free.  With that gone, and the recent hacking away at my space done by the Really Bad People, I feel like I have no steady ground.  And I feel like I never even saw the steady ground fading away.  I guess the longing isn’t so hard to understand.

There are so many causes for longing, but this is more acute than the grief bits.  They factor in, of course, but this is a longing for something that still exists– a sense of safety from the Really Bad People.  It’s just outside the realm of possibility.

It’s Not the Same

My best friend moved house.  There were problems with his former residence and the landlord, so he was basically run out of his home of over a decade, to the other side of his town, a distance more from work and to a house near a very strange intersection.  He’s doing well, and his mother is thrilled with their little house.  Her face beams when she talks about it.  Everyone seems to have settled in nicely.

I, on the other hand, am a mess.

The move has very little to do with me; the only real change is that I drive to a new spot to meet my best friend.  My mind, however, has been thrown in to utter chaos and is having a great amount of trouble falling back together again.  His flat felt like home to me.  It was the only place I’ve ever lived where, by some odd twist of irony and luck, the cult could not find me for several months.  In the safety of that time, I grew strong enough to get my own flat– also a first– and live in a place alone.  Now that things have fallen apart and I’m living amongst some of the bad people again, I always felt that flat would be my starting point again some day.

A great deal had changed since all the way back in 2005 when I lived with my best friend and his mum.  His brother moved in and out of that flat, his mum moved out of the flat and, temporarily, back in.  Things were quite tumultuous (to understate) for his family over this past year.  I trusted, however, that things would calm, the flat would remain, and the three of us would live there again until I got my strength up to move to my own flat again.  It was the centre point around which I was building my future, and now, it is gone.

I feel lost, even though I’m trying to see this over-reaction for what it is.  That isn’t helping, though, and the constant thought in my mind is that things will never be the same again.  Nothing will ever find its way to solid ground again.  I’ve spent time at my best friend’s house now and have even stayed over for a night.  It doesn’t feel like home, though, and it’s closer to the local cult headquarters.  I drive a distance out of the way to get there simply so I can feel I’m at a safe distance from them. This isn’t getting easier.

The people in the house are the same.  My best friend and his mum are the same.  The only thing that has changed is the physical location.  Yet, nothing *feels* the same.  It all feels different and somewhat scary, like I’m having to re-establish something I can’t quite place.  I feel selfish and silly because the people who were actually involved in the move and are living in a new space are fine, whilst I’m in chaos.  This isn’t mine to take on.  Still, nothing seems the same, and the central point seems to have dissolved in to nothingness.  It’s like my central point of existence is gone, and with it my chance to rebuild a life on solid ground.  The constant refrain in my mind is that nothing will ever be the same and nothing will ever be stable again.  Try as I might, I can’t help believing that to be true.