I know some people find Halloween really hard due to trauma, so I designed an antithesis to the dark, Black’s and oranges surrounding us. I wanted to bring colour and light and fun things instead.
And for those who love Halloween… A cute ghost illustration. 😀
And like some nightmarish carousel that I can’t get off, I am no longer feeling angry and rageful. I am now feeling sad and tearful and little and vulnerable and like I just want a hug with my therapist.
I want to feel the safety of her office and of her presence and I want the warmth of her arms where I can just let go for a little while.
This week, I’ve found it hard to fully put into words what I am experiencing. I mentioned briefly in my last post (that I just posted like 2 hours ago!) that I was dissociated in my session on Monday.
I felt confused and disorientated and kept saying ” but, why is this happening to me? What’s WRONG with me? What happened to me?”
Sienna said simply ” this is trauma.”
Lately, I’ve been feeling the full breadth of the trauma disorder in action. I’ve felt how far-reaching it is, how insiduous it is.
Perhaps because I am so fragmented, I am able to sort of watch it happening as a bystander, a witness who doesn’t get involved…AND be the victim, the one experiencing it all and getting lost in it – but as the bystander, I am watching the reactions of several victims all within the one body – because I have alters, dissociated parts created to help me cope with whatever fuck-fest was going on when I was a child.
Because I have alters, I am experiencing several victim’s stories and emotions and also the abusive introjects who say the worst things to me, and I have the Editors who are there for my protection to keep me looking and behaving “normal” to the outside world (thank god for them) and I have the angry protectors who are thinking they have fires to fight, and are dialling up the hypervigilence and paranoia. And I have heartbroken, scared children and furious mistrusful teens, some of whom hate themselves so much that they want to self-harm.
It’s like being at a busy party- except this is the .worst.party.EVER.
So when I was asking Sienna ” What happened to me?” it was a part asking. She doesn’t know why she feels this bad, why she is dissociating, she can’t remember why but she feels that something terrible happened.”
It was another part who was asking ” Why is this happening to me?” Because that part doesn’t have the memories either just the symptoms of abuse, neglect… whatever. She also doesn’t know of any bad stuff. So is bewildered at to why everything feels so dissociative.”
When I asked ” What’s wrong with me?” That was a teen part who feels like all this craziness is her fault. She can hear the abusive introjects who tell her she’s a liar and an attention whore, but she thinks it’s her voice telling her that. She also doesn’t know of any abuse, just that she was born wrong, that she is disgusting and worthless.
And there was other parts of me who knew the answers to those questions. I know cognitively, this is trauma in realtime. This is trauma being played out in all it’s glory.
I KNOW the theory. I know how and why this happens, I know that is is how trauma presents. This is my dissociative disorder in plain sight. This is normal for a dissociative disorder, all of it.
It just doesn’t feel normal to those inside who aren’t aware of the facts and maybe aren’t even aware they are an alter.
It’s a strange feeling. The strangest of feelings, to be a spectator as the dissociative disorder activates.
It’s like…. I am watching the disorder unfold, and do its thing from afar. I don’t remember witnessing and experiencing it quite like this before.
It’s weirdly a sign of growth and healing that I can see the level of separation now. It’s strange that growth actually feels like I am MORE split and separate then ever before, it feels like a step back, to feel SO fragmented. But the growth and repair in in the being able to feel and notice the level of dissociation. I may feel more split than ever and that the parts feel more autonomous rather than being blended with them (ie we all mix in together) but it’s the awareness of it that’s they key and the indication that I am healing, integrating somewhat.
Everyone in therapy knows you get worse before you get better, right? Well this is kind of the same thing… the splitting feels worse, the parts seem more active, working on their own, less co-operation, and that looks and feels like a regression, a step backwards… but it isn’t. The fact I am aware enough, awake enough if you like to feel that splitting shows I am less dissociative- even if I sometimes feel very dissociative.
GEEZ how complicated is it??? It’s hard to live and harder to explain, so if you don’t have a dissociative disorder or fragmentation, I’m not sure how easy it is to follow what I’m saying?
Have you ever had one of those conversations with friends about space and eternity and what eternity really means? Like how can space go on forever… the concept of “forever” is just something we can’t hold in our brains, we have no context for the immeasurable. How can there be no beginning or end in space, the universe etc… and you just feel your brain sort of blow a fuse at the immensity of the concept, like, no matter how hard you try to imagine eternity, you just can’t find what that means… Well that’s what it feels like trying to explain the inner mechanics of having alters. It’s so mind-bending and confusing and full of opposites, and it’s like having split into several people all having different experiences but in the same body… there’s no rules… argh…
I’m struggling tonight.