I find myself in a cycle of grief again. I feel a great loss. The more I watch other people, learn how they balance everything, I find all of these experiences that I don’t have.
Other people have childhoods, family and friends. Experiences of gatherings with these people. Bonds and memories. I have none of these. I look back in my memory and there are time lines of abuse. There are staged gatherings to portray normality. These interactions are few and far between.
The more I analyse other people, the greater the differences I see between them and myself. Most people have childhood friends, I don’t have any memories of childhood friends. Social gatherings and interactions with other people, I have a few staged memories of these. Close friendships, people who they trusted and interacted with over time, I don’t have that. People they sat with at lunch and played with in the play ground. My interactions with others were awkward and uncomfortable, I never really understood why I was required to have friends. I often spent time alone at school, reading books.
What I do remember is being educated by my parents very early in life. Having social constructs explained to me because I didn’t understand what was going on or why I had to participate. As an adult I have figured most of this out. I like my friends and socialise pretty well for me. I don’t do this as well as other people, especially if I’m tired.
It occurred to me that other people experience life differently. This is why I find people to be puzzles. They think, feel and interact differently to me (us). I feel sad about this.
People who do not dissociate do not have an internal village. They do not have that connection with internal parts, that internal conversation, internal support system. They seek these interactions with other people. This is why it has never made sense to me. What they are searching for I already have.
i have always been in search of balance. In search of calm. When I am calm, everyone else is calm. Functioning is so much easier when everyone is calm. Hijacking doesn’t happen. Littles don’t freak out and trigger PTSD episodes. I can study and have intelligible conversations. I can make eye contact with people. Only if I am calm.
So my search for calmness has taken me to some interesting places. I have tried monogamy, polyamory, casual everything. I have tried Christianity, atheism, ignoring religion. I have tried shiatsu, yoga, meditation. I have lived with lots of people, a few people, by myself. I have been to multiple cities in my home country and explored a small section of another country. I have lived in the city, I have tried to live in the country.
What I have discovered about me is that not everyone inside is happy all of the time. They all like different things. All want different things. Finding calm is about compromise.
I am currently trying to find calm to study for my exams. If I can be calm during my exams I think it will go well. Before the exams though I must find calm to revise and prepare. I have come a long way from last year where it was all panic all the time and I just hoped for the best. The change is not just in this.
As I have been informed, ‘singles’ change and evolve over their life time. I have noticed that all of my parts have changed and evolved over the last couple of years. We work together better. Communicate and organise better. We have all matured in some way. Finally I feel more like a village of adults working together than a bunch of teenagers who don’t know what they are doing and just freak out.
So I have come to the security of the anonymous world of my blog to air some thoughts that have been circling in my head. Maybe get some advice. We haven’t been in any kind of relationship for a few years now. Agreements were made, terms settled, we moved into dealing with other, deeper matters that required our attention for stabilisation. Something happened in the last couple of days that has brought this topic to the front of the queue.
We needed an extension for an assignment, and so revealed ourselves to someone at the university, as is required to clarify why we should be given an extension. After doing this we have had email communication about queries to do with the assignment. In the usual manner of post-PTSD episode there was some hyper-vigilance and making sure our confidentiality was kept by said person. This resulted in George noticing something familiar about said person and finding that attractive. Obviously that’s not cool, is it?
I don’t think we would action this, that would be extremely awkward and not at all within the boundaries of the university. The question remains, where did this come from? Will it go back there? What the hell is going on?
We haven’t been attracted to anyone in a very long time. Honestly I don’t know what to do with this. I managed to get George to agree not to be present during the next, and last encounter with this person. Is this just a correction of a power imbalance, due to our diagnosis being known by someone we don’t really know? If we manage to get through this last encounter without incident, will these feelings go away over time or has George just reopened Pandora’s box?
I’ve been thinking lately, why did my integration cycles increase? I don’t know why they happen. I have no control over them. They get in the way. They are a byproduct of my healing journey. When things are processed and we move forward, there is an internal reshuffle. This is integration.
It’s painful, lonely, awkward. Parts are simply not available for a while and then after a couple of months they come back different. Two parts have become on blended part. Keeping one of their names and having the best attributes of both parts. Then we have to get used to this newly blended part who feels different.
When functioning returns to normalish levels we carry on with what we were doing before the integration. Whil the integration is happening we pick up the slack left behind by those who are integrating.
It is not a goal of ours to integrate. This is just something that happens on its own. Our goal is to function better. To work more fluidly as a team. To be able to go outside and travel on the train to the city. To feel safe and calm around other people. To hug our friends.
its been a while. Lots of things have happened. We have settled after our two most recent integration cycles. Functioning is back to ‘normal’. We have had a few emails and a phone call to previous G. We have ridden out the aftermath wave of this contact and settled our littles. Second year of university has commenced. We have been able to access parts of our memory previously a mystery.
When previous G asked what our goals were for therapy this year we replied ‘to keep on trucking’. Our world has changed a lot and we have survived. Several people in our world have become pregnant. I think we reacted well to this. Not in a panic like we would have before. We are happy for them.
All in all I think we are ok.
I have been buried in my studies. Happy under a pile of books expanding my brain. My intellectual parts were having the best time ever. Then I got sick.
To be more accurate, our body contracted the flu from overdoing our study load this semester. I am doing a double degree and I love it. It’s fascinating. Unfortunately I was also all flu and grossness at the beginning of semester. So that time I had aside to get on top of assignments went away. The work load was a bit much for my bodies immune system. The flu became almost pneumonia. My grades were awesome but I forget that my body gets sick.
This is the burden of being designed as an internal part. I forget that I need to feed and care for the body I am wearing. It needs sleep and recreation. I can study for hours and stay up all night doing assignments. My body however needs sleep.
The other side of this is that when the body gets sick everyone runs away from it. My T said this is normal but it really sucks. One of us gets left to look after it. It’s quite triggering for the littles as they have body memories that feel similar. Luckily we have a few giraffes to watch tv with.
The body is getting better. I just wanted to write here in case anyone else is feeling sick and horrible. Your not alone. Hopefully you will get better soon.
I have been studying for exams and finishing assignments and being in my student bubble. I tried to keep a balance but things got out of balance. I had a fugue and someone deleted an assignment the day it was due. Sent a few emails as well. I was trying to do another assignment and there was huge resistance. I figured out later that because of the structure of the assignment no one wanted to do it. I am getting things done by the skin of my teeth.
I thought to myself, maybe this is too much for you. Then I took stock of what I have achieved. I have been sick for three weeks at the beginning of semester and almost caught up on my workload. I am studying a degree with two majors so my workload is already huge. I have maintained mostly on time assignments and have a high average. Aside from the fugue I haven’t had any major issues or PTSD symptoms all year. I have clothes on my back and food in my belly. I made some new friends at uni. I am learning some pretty awesome stuff from nice people who treat me with respect. Everyone inside is safe and has what they need. We have been working through some big things in therapy. I got to call my previous therapist G, which was wonderful for all of us. I have been overseas to visit friends I made on the Internet.
So we have grown and changed in many positive ways. The world is not so scary any more. While I expect so much from my selves, I can do more than most people.
We are ok.
I am having one of those evenings. Where I question everything. I have set myself on a path. Pushed myself to the limit and found some walls. I realised tonight that half of my life memories are missing. I am having a semi decent day. But I am watching a movie that makes us question where we are. We are on the path to something great. Finding answers to our questions. Solving the big questions of dissociation. But every now and again I stop and become a person. I feel the great sadness of my abuse. I sit with my littles and just feel. Tonight is one of those times. I may be rambling but I mean to say something. I know my purpose but life is slowly getting in the way.