Back when I was in therapy for a short while (a couple of years ago), my therapist had me imagine a home for my insiders, a place they could all go to be safe. She knew that my therapy sessions were coming to a close, as I could no longer afford them. She told me that I should do okay as long as I had a safe place for my parts to hide and rest, and receive comfort when need be.
While re-arranging my room the other day, I came across a rock which I’d forgotten about, which is painted to look like a rambly old house. I love this rock. I love that it so parallels the house I’d envisioned for my insiders. When I see this rock I am reminded that, even though in some ways I’m a highly functioning multiple, I’m still a multiple. How strange to have to be reminded of this fact—but my parts have become so adept at switching and helping one another to deal with the reality of this life in which I live, that I sometimes forget. Sometimes forget about them, I’m embarrassed to say.
There was a long period of time (decades), before I knew about my DID, when life was not like this for me. Everything was out of control. I didn’t know which end was up, I stumbled through my days in a confused haze, desperately wanting to die but knowing I didn’t have the option of choosing my own death, not with 5 sons who needed me. So when I say that I’m a highly functioning multiple, it doesn’t mean I’ve always been this way. It’s been a long hard road to get to this point in my journey. I never thought I’d be where I am today. I didn’t expect to make it past my 25th birthday! Well. Here I am (let me pause to clear my throat dramatically), about to turn 53.
For me this rock will always symbolize surviving the worst of life storms. Battered and bruised and fractured and downtrodden, yes. I won’t go so far as to say that my life’s tribulations have made me a better person. I hate those kinds of platitudes, and don’t know if this one is true of me or not. Have I become stronger because of the hand life has dealt me? I’ve no idea. I suspect so, but am not the best judge of my own character. I will go so far as to say that having survived the base evils of my childhood, I have within me the capacity to appreciate the little things in life. Things have never meant that much to me. Material things are what my mother chose over my safety and protection, and so I have found little comfort in them. I can appreciate nice things as much as anyone, but I can live without them without grumbling or self-pity.
Let me embrace the little things in life:
The shine in my granddaughter’s eyes as she comes to me to tattle that, “Nana, Daddy gave me a kiss again!”
The pleasure of making something for someone special, a softie for instance, and seeing their eyes light up.
Having one of my sons call just to say, “I love you so much, Mom.”
Laughing at my I-Love-Lucy screwball antics, even though all the while some of my parts may be sobbing with embarrassment. (I don’t leave them sobbing, but I have to savor the humor in my many bumblings, or I would not be capable of comforting my littles.)
This is a list which could go on and on . . . and I think I’ll save some things for my weekly “Things That Pleased Me” post. This is a rambly somewhat disjointed post, and I blame it all on this rock. It makes my mind go in too many directions at once.
(Sorry for the blurry photo. I tried to get shots of the back and sides of this rock, but my camera staged a rebellion, so had to admit to defeat.)