Lighting Candles

This evening I spoke with my friend Susan regarding my missing parts. Her ex-husband had DID so she’s a fount of information and good ideas. We did a bit of brainstorming, and I explained that I don’t have very good communication with my parts. She suggested I come up with some kind of message center where any of my parts may go when they need to communicate something with me, or one another. She added that it could be set up so that the messages are in some kind of code which only the one writing them and the one they’re intended for can read them. Another suggestion was that when my parts enter this area they can be invisible, that way they can slip in and out without being seen, thus ensuring their privacy.

I never know what she’s going to pull out of her hat. The truth is, I don’t question her much about DID. I figure after about 10 years of dealing with her hubby’s disorder, she must be sick to death of the whole subject. When she phoned tonight our conversation gravitated to my missing parts and, without warning, I was sharing with her the sorrows and woundings I believe drove them into hiding. (By the way, she encouraged me repeatedly to turn to her with any DID related questions/struggles I may have in the future. Oh boy, she may wish she never opened that can of worms!) Well, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of a message area—-sounded too professional or something. A little later she mentioned it could be something different, like a tree for instance. She said this with a laugh, but it got me to thinking, or a backyard fort!

I like this image a lot. Anything which reminds me of that old sanctuary of my childhood has my approval, for it was there hidden in the womb of my fort where so many pleasant times were spent. Time alone (alone?!) or with a friend, time away from my family’s insanity most of all. And so when Susan mentioned using a tree as a meeting place for my system, it wasn’t all that farfetched. You can nail a sign to it, she suggested, explaining that anyone is free to leave a message whenever they want.

Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seemed like many of my alters perked up their ears at the idea of their own fort. I’m at the point where I’m willing to try just about anything which seems feasible. I told Susan that whenever there’s emotional pain to deal with, I usually stay on auto-pilot and let my parts handle all the pain. They normally work so well together that this isn’t a problem. But now that doesn’t seem to be working, and my acknowledgement of this excited her. “That’s a really good sign of progress,” she said, “the fact that you can see how you normally process pain, and the fact that you know it is no longer working.”

Progress? Moi? Well, maybe so. I’m one of those old lumbering turtles who won’t win any prizes for speed—-but maybe for being slow and steady. I’m not always that steady maybe, but every now and then I get something I didn’t get before, and it gives me a smidgen of hope. A smidgen I didn’t have five minutes ago. Sometimes that’s all we have to cling to: smidgens, rays, crumbs and dribble-drabbles. And sometimes that little bit is just enough to keep the pilot light of our faith from going out. I didn’t have this smidgen of hope yesterday, I have it now. And I’m as content as can be with what I have.



 (I’d rather light a candle than curse the darkness.)

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