The Journey Continues

Due to mood issues and meds issues, my therapist and I had to postpone trauma work for a few sessions.  We picked back up today, though, and I am exhausted.  I brought the memory of my first sexual ritual, which occurred when I was aged six.  Just as before, she read it in session, asking questions as she went.

When she had finished reading, we talked very briefly about it.  She has a tendency to be late, and this cuts in to our work time.  She assigned my second writing.  She wants me to write to my six-year-old self.  This is funny to hear, for an ex-multiple.  The problem here is that what I know she wants me to say to that self and what I actually feel are two different things.

My therapist wants me to thank my six-year-old self for starting our chain of survival.  She said the fact that I made it out started right there with that little girl.  In part, I can feel a sense of pride for that.  Still, the majority of me feels like that girl was broken.  Like what she endured made her less, somehow.  Like they took a piece of her that can never be remade.  My therapist wants me to write nice things to her, and part of me does feel grateful.  I don’t want to insult or berate her.  I just don’t feel like her at all.  Post-multiplicity, I know perfectly well that the six-year-old is me, and her voice does not sound in my head.  I’ve come to realise and accept that it’s me alone.  However, I still have trouble connecting to those feelings.  When I do writing assignments for therapy, I relive my experiences, but they get too overwhelming, and I pull away.

Part of therapy is going to be reconnecting to those feelings.  That should be brilliant.  I did the integration bit in an almost militaristic fashion, but I didn’t actually feel the pain, anger and fear.  Apparently, that will be a necessity to healing the memories.  As my therapist said, it’s a good thing we’re good journey partners.  This may take a while.



I have been angry on and off all year.  It comes in waves.  There’s a tiny flicker of anger just in the top of my mind, and then the wave comes crashing down.  I am consumed by anger.  Everything makes me angry.  Even things that would otherwise be enjoyable are tinged with anger.  It is  everywhere.  Suffocating.

I’ve also felt genuine hatred this year for this first time in my life.  Even when discussing the people who hurt me, I’ve not felt hatred.  I’ve felt sympathy and disgust.  But this year I’ve felt hatred, mostly towards people I don’t even know.  It burns, just like the angry.

I have no idea what’s causing these feelings.  The therapist said she actually liked that I was feeling this way because it meant the last vestiges of numbness were fading away.  I don’t like these feelings at all, though.  They put negative energy in to the Universe, and none of us need that.  Still, I can’t seem to block them or stop them when they happen.  I just have to feel them, express what I can in a safe way, and hope they pass quickly.  These feelings are so new to me, and I would definitely prefer for them to stop situating themselves quite so firmly in my mind.


That’s exactly what my therapist chanted at me as I left her office this afternoon.  The past few days have been terrible, with nightmares and gruesome flashbacks every day.  I’m exhausted, annoyed that it seems I have to choose between mental and physical health, and becoming paranoid.  It’s a lovely combination.

She told me that her goal for me this holiday season is to fight against my emotions.  That might seem odd, coming from a therapist, but I take her point.  My emotions aren’t always rational.  This sense of foreboding doom and paranoia comes out of a nightmare.  The thoughts of self harm that keep cropping up stem from the flashbacks.  None of these things are ‘normal’ events that spark ‘normal’ emotions.  These are the emotions I need to guard against.  My therapist says sometimes we have to lead our emotions rather than following them, and I know exactly what she means.

We’re coming upon the dates for my sister’s birth and death, trying to cope with the more recent loss of my best friend’s brother, and generally fighting to keep from spiralling out of control as the various emotions come up against each other.  But, I will fight.  I will fight to get through my sister’s death anniversary without shutting down.  I will fight to get through the holidays without bowing to grief.  And I will fight to be present.  To enjoy the holidays, even when what I want to do most is cover my head and forget to exist for a while.

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.


My holiday depression has reared its ugly head, and it is bringing a renewed problem with cutting.  This is something I’ve had more of a problem with this year than in a while.  Right now, it’s particularly bad.  The cuts are deeper than typical, as I’ve had trouble actually *feeling* the blade, even when I could hear it cut through.  It’s a focus– something to stop my mind spinning.  Cuts are deepened, scars are re-opened, and proof of my life is there on my arms.

My feelings vacillate between absolute numbness and complete overwhelm.  It’s chaotic.  SI breaks the numbness through the pain and blood.  In the day, the pain of bending my arm and the feeling of the cuts rubbing on my sleeves gives me a focus other than what’s going on around me.  When things get far too overwhelming, I can just concentrate on the pain, the one constant in my life right now.


I’ve been trying to write this post for days but stumbling over the words, just like I did whilst trying to voice them in therapy on Monday.  We’re taking a break from SRA work to focus on grief, particularly grief over my mother’s death.  She died in May of 2004 with the beauty of Spring all around her and the memory of a recent holiday we took together in her mind.  If one is to believe the suicide note she left behind, she felt very alone and like she’d never have a place in my life.  This confuses me greatly, as I always made sure she had a place in my life.  As I moved forward, I would point out how she and I could move forward together.  She would be there.  I took that thought for granted.

My therapist described my mother as an island– no matter how much she was told she belonged, she would never truly believe or accept that.  She could not make those connections completely.  Still, my mind returns time and again to that silly little question we all ask: ‘why.’

Why wasn’t I good enough for her as a child or as an adult?  Why couldn’t she trust that I’d always keep a place for her in my life?  Why did she feel so alone in spite of the people around who loved her?  And why did she feel like living was too big a risk to carry on?

Those are the questions I asked my therapist, and the look in her eyes showed that she felt every bit as helpless as I did.  She said I was searching for a mother I never had but always wanted.  As stereotypically Freudian as that sounds, it’s true.  I think.  It’s not something I can quite accept yet.  We’re going to keep working through this until I’ve reached a point of relative peace.  The therapist says she wants to help me find a sense of closure, to let go of the dark memories of my mother that keep a hold on me still and to keep the positive memories we’ll highlight along the way.

This type of therapy is terrifying to me.  It’s a different kind of fear from the SRA bit.  It’s more personal somehow.  Set any other girl in my situation and my family lineage, and she would have gone through the same SRA treatment I did.  The same can’t be said for what happened with my mother.  The emotions are so intense, and I am not good with that.  In fact, holding back the emotions caused me physical pain, but I still could not let go.  Knowing that we will have future sessions like this, I apologised to the therapist for the possibility of breaking down in her office.  She said she felt like I was supposed to break down at those moments and pointed out that I had wrapped my arms around myself quite tightly in what she referred to as holding things together physically.  That frightened me, but the therapist calmly told me she wasn’t going to unfold my emotions just yet.

As I was leaving, the therapist actually hugged me.  She is amazing, and I am so very lucky to have her helping me learn to let go of the loss and trauma, whilst keeping the good memories of my childhood alive.

This is repressed grief in a fine form, folks.  If you have had a recent loss, start your grieving and learning to cope now.  Putting it off leads to a very ugly situation that can overshadow your life in many, many ways.

Harry Potter & the Godric’s Hollow Graveyard

I identify quite well with the character of Harry Potter.  He’s a wizard; I’m a witch.  His parents are dead; my parents are dead.  His past is marked by evil; my past (and sometimes present) is marked by evil.  Yes, he is completely fictional, but I feel a sort of kinship to the boy stumbling about trying to put together the pieces of himself.

In the second-to-last movie, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1, he goes back to Godric’s Hollow, his birthplace and the place where his parents died.  There, he sees his parents’ graves for the first time.  The scene is heartbreaking.  From experience, my guess is he realised in that moment that his parents truly were dead.

Fiction, be it in books, films, or any other medium, often touches our lives and sparks strong emotions.  That scene really stuck out in my mind.  I remember seeing my mother’s grave for the first time after her burial.  I struck out, charcoal pencil and paper in hand to trace the head stone.  When I got to the cemetery, though, I immediately wanted to turn back.  I knew my mother was dead.  Still, when I saw that headstone, it was like being kicked in the chest.  The realisation sunk in deeper than it had before.  The old cliche is that definite things are set in stone.  Seeing her name carved in stone with birth and death dates below was almost too much for me to take.  For a minute there, I literally could not breathe.

Death, at least in this incarnation, is set in stone.  We become attached to people, either through blood or choice, and we part by death or by choice.  Regardless, everything dies.  It’s the one definite in life.  The grief it brings matches the love it takes, which is one of the cruelest things about life.  We write about it, talk about it, and even chart ways through it, but really, there are no words for grief.  It is a silent thief that takes what we love the most.  For a time, though, we survive it.  I guess, in actuality, that is one of life’s greatest hopes.


Therapy has become very difficult.  We’re starting to work through memories of sexual abuse and assault, which is causing so many reactions in my mind.  This came about as the therapist and I searched for the root of my eating disorder.  She kept saying there had to be a trauma root, and I was completely unaware of it.  My therapy homework was to write out the negative thoughts that popped up in my mind when I did anything related to food.  One idea came up time and again: I don’t deserve to eat.  That’s when the trauma connection was made clear.

As a child, my relationship with food was disturbed, to say the least.  Sometimes, it was used for ‘reward.’  I got taken out for ice cream when I did sexual things that were required of me.  It was my ‘reward’ for being a ‘good girl.’  To this day, eating ice cream requires heavy dissociation for me.  We’re working slowly through those memories now, but that’s for another post.

Food was also a punishment sometimes.  My mother would choose which child got to eat on any given night and make that child eat whilst the others watched.  We were told that our behaviour determined whether our siblings could eat.  The chosen child felt horrible, because he or she had to eat whilst the other hungry children watched, knowing they wouldn’t get food that day.  The children who were not fed felt horrible, because they were filled with both hunger and anger.  We were pitted against each other like that.

There was a twisted middle ground, as well.  My mother would buy junk food, allow both my sister and me to eat, and then berate us because all we ever wanted was junk.  If we refused to eat the junk food, we were punished for being ungrateful; if we did eat it, we were taunted for being slovenly.  Not that that would cause food issues in the future, right?  It was the catch-22 we often found ourselves in.  Regardless of the choice, you would be punished.  The real choice was to decide what action would yield the least punishment or the easiest to take.

Fast forward to today.  I don’t want to eat, because eating makes me *feel* slovenly.  When I do eat, I feel guilty and like I should purge it all to avoid being selfish.  It goes back to taking food from others.  I can see my siblings’ faces as I ate when they weren’t allowed to.  Even thinking of it makes me want to throw up.

That brought me to an idea I know trauma survivors will understand: penance.  The things I put myself through, be it self-injury, bulimia, or anything along the spectrum are my penance.  People tell me all the time that it wasn’t my fault and that I don’t have to pay for the things done in my past.  Still, I feel the need to do my penance for all the people who were hurt by my actions and all the people who suffered simply from my existence.  I didn’t even realise this is what I had been doing all these years.

Penance, according to the folks at, is ‘a punishment undergone in token of penitence for sin.’  All the sins of my past, regardless of whether they were ordered by the cult or controlled by others, haunt my present life.  I do my penance for things I’ve done and seen.  And I have no idea whether I even *want* to move past this.

Poetic Prose

The weather here has been gorgeous.  Temperatures have been in the mid 50s to low 60s Fahrenheit, which is a great departure from the average.  It’s returned to winter this week, though, and the words of James Joyce are dancing about in my head.  His short story collection Dubliners is a literary puzzle that I enjoyed both deciphering and teaching.  The last story, aptly entitled “The Dead” ends with one of the most beautiful passages in literature.  It brings me a sense of peace:

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.


Joyce, James. “The Dead.”  Dubliners.  Prestwick House, Inc, 2006

This Is New

I am *angry.*  Not the positive, motivating anger.  The boiling over, feel like screaming anger.  And I don’t particularly know why.  It’s not an emotion I’m accustomed to.

The obvious guess, of course, is that grief is making me angry.  Time of year, as far as SRA goes, also stirs up some powerful Stuff.  I realise those two issues are likely the cause of my anger, but I can’t quite pinpoint the specifics.  I just know I’m angry and, when I’m not angry, I’m incredibly sad.  Neither of those are particularly pleasant emotions.

The funny and somewhat frightening thing is, I’m not sure I *want* to feel better at the moment.  To some extent, I want to let myself feel miserable until I no longer feel that way.  Another part of me (in a non-DID sense) wants to fight tooth and nail to crawl out of this pit.  I feel too tired to work at not feeling miserable.  And I’m wondering if allowing myself to feel miserable for a bit (but not too long) is actually healthy.

I feel very vulnerable and open right now.  Quite possibly, the anger is protective in that nature.

There’s no real point to this rambling post.  I’m just trying to step out of my mind for a bit by putting my mind on screen, for lack of better terms.