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Going Back to Go Forward (5)

by JustEliza on 17 December 2010

When we first moved, I became very depressed and missed my first home terribly. But most of all, I missed me. You see, to protect myself from the trauma of continued neglect and abuse, I had split part of me off.  I did everything I could to protect and preserve that part of me, until it was safe enough to be whole again.

But it never became safe. Not for years and years, not until I was a grown woman, married. And now I'm thirty, battling with a precious cargo: Me.



When I returned from therapy last week, I bawled and bawled. As my dear husband came home to a sad and vacant wife, I had no words to tell him why. There are not many precedents for "Me and Me, we cried together."

Many professionals don't believe in dissociative identities. There are a few fine things in life that we can hold to be sacred, and being 'I' is one of them. The idea that a single person's identity could be fragmented into two or many parts is possibly a step of Truth too far. But, in reality, there are no steps. There is no category, no line separating Eve, Candycan, and me. Truth is a spectrum.

Call her my past. Call her my Child. But in truth, she is me. In fact, she is the me I've always wanted, more than anything in the world, to be. Every moment of every day since the split. She has always been with me, and I've always felt her there. Days, weeks, years passed. The photographs began to fall into two piles. Me and Me.

Obligations and responsibilities grew. I grew. She didn't. I was torn between trying to forget her and wanting her desperately.

"Turmoil twisting inside me
Figuring out what I should be

Find the piece that goes there
Find every single care

Put together what I once was
Who cares what the new one does?

Watching all the days go past
All the days I see go fast

Losing all the time I had
Had no time to be sad."

Reading these couplets, written in those first few years following the split, makes it so clear how I struggled with dissociation. I thought I could fix it. I thought I could fix it alone. 

"Twist and turn every which way
Wrenching apart every single day"

But the more years passed, the harder it became to admit that something was wrong, muchless what was wrong. In a breathless moment, someone caught a glimpse.

"Irgendwie lebt sie sowieso in ihrer eigenen Welt -- allein."
In any case, she lives in her own world, alone.

Perhaps had I let them closer, they might have noticed more. But instead, ten years passed.

"My heart raw against the world
my eyes tearing and dazed
staring back into
life-altering changes
horribly

    unpoetic

tentative homeostasis
phew.

    phew.

        phew.

too much weakness in
self-provoked emotions
finally freed by this emptiness
and a callous heart
afraid of itself
seeping soothingly
into childhood dreams"

My body and voice grew older. And the truth was ringing, ringing out. But we all refused to see it, even as I wrote it. Still a child, still knowing better than anyone what was going on, and still with no idea what to do about it:

"When I walked in the empty room my heart beat with a fear unimaginable. My backpack slid off my shoulder, crumpling on the knob beneath my coat. The air smelled of crayons and glue. My gut felt as though it were in my mouth when I took my cap and hit it under my lunch. My hands were cool and moist, shaking from the deep inside. The desks were in pairs. I walked through the aisles wondering which would be mine. My shoulders were tense and my eyes were already tired under the dim yellow lights. My mouth was parched and dry, lips stuck together from being clenched so long. My stomach hurt and I was afraid... of who would walk through that door, of tomorrow, of the teachers, of anything I would need to face. I was so tired.

She told me to sit in a chair. I waited anxiously within myself, two personalities split by time. As the students came in, one by one, I stared at their eyes, wondering, doubting them, doubting myself. I choked on my heart as I told them my name. I threw up my past with monotone interest. I felt so detached, lost, alone, but beyond it all afraid. A bitter anxiety echoed through me like an outpouring of anger. When I blinked it felt like minutes, and an hour felt at once like both a year and a second as my heart counted its beats and my soul held its breath. Memories flooded me. I knew the feeling of loss before I had ever known love. Reality felt like the screen of a television, blurring before my eyes. I grasped my chair. It felt like fire, but I knew it was my hands that were ice. I enveloped the cold and still my racing heart as the robot controlling me took out a pencil and began another first lesson of another first day."

How easily we [want to] forget. But there it is. And here I am, ten years later.

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Mental Health blog said on 19 December 2010

The first post I ever shared about my mental health echoes in me. I didn't know then what I have

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