Therapy today was really helpful, not that it usually isn’t, but it’s helping heal a lot of reopened wounds. Last year I finally took the plunge to tell my family about some trauma pertaining to csa that I experienced in childhood, and identified who the perpetrator was. I don’t have the spoons to explain everything that happened in the past year, but recently I have had to cut ties with my immediate family, mostly due to me not being taken seriously, but also because my abuser was still at family Christmas last year. It’s been just an awkward year with that in the background, and having to reach that point recently, not to mention the stress around the constant limbo as to whether we are moving across country next year.
I hadn’t realised how stressed I have been until today. Which is odd to say because I know I have been stressed, yet I didn’t have the deeper understanding of that and how it reflects in my life until now. I am aware that there have been splits recently, at least in the past three months, and the idea of that scares me. I feel like if there are splits that that’s a ‘bad’ thing, that I am not doing healing ‘correctly’, or that I have ‘failed’ at keeping stabilised. The recurring theme that comes up in therapy is the feeling of failure, or that I am being too sensitive, too melodramatic; A lot of self judgement not only argued between alters, but even the cognitive dissonance felt by one part alone. The overwhelming pressure to be a certain way has been around for as long as I can remember, however, having an online presence has certainly intensified that to the point where it started impacting what I thought was the ‘right’ way to show myself online.
This coupled with the things happening with my family, caused a lot of harm on top of that. Parts of me that are still unwilling to actively participate in therapy, internally thrive off of this kind of pain. There is a sense of joy knowing that nobody believes me, a joy HE would probably get at the fact that I would never say something, that I would do as I was told and stay quiet. These parts mimic these behaviors, these ideals, creating internal disruption which grows with external invalidation. And of course there are parts that are similar yet different to that in their beliefs. When we are validated by those around us, some parts see it as a game, they are happy to have ‘manipulated’ people into believing us; It provides them with a sense of control. By rationalising that they are the ones in charge of the story, it creates a sense of safety that none of it happened, but also reflects a crave for support in a way? I’m unsure about these parts as I struggle to wrap my brain around this mindset, and often go into a guilt spiral that I have made everything up and am being manipulative in making other’s believe I have any trauma at all. Logically I know what happened happened, but I would rather accept the fact that I am being a manipulative person than the fact that my childhood trauma exists.
Today was the first time where I also had a bit more understanding of how stressed I have been, a lot of reflection as to why that might be, and a moment of clarity and the slightest shift in identity that enabled a free space for communication, which hasn’t happened in a LONG time. We have been extremely meshed for the past few months, and not in the ‘barriers coming down/fusion’ way, but in the ‘missing a whole bunch of small segments of time and having no sense of internal nor external self’ kind of way. It has been awful, the amnesia, the dissociation, the depersonalisation, the derealisation, just all of it has been shitty. I understand that we seem to be quite susceptible to fracturing during periods of extreme stress, which is a normal symptom of the disorder anyhow, it just feels like I am never at the healing point where my mind doesn’t resort to that coping mechanism. One thing that I also neglected to think about however, is that even though we would be feeling mushy from the fragmentation, it’s also because our mind is shutting out parts it doesn’t think are helpful right now, as a means of reducing further spiraling. My therapist put it in better words than I just did, but essentially that block off from communication is causing the constant blendiness while also trying to do so to ‘help’ because it helped in the past.
I (Mila) felt a bit stupid to have not realised that before, because I like to think I have a decent understanding of why things are why they are, because it gives me a sense of control, which is something that I didn’t have in traumatic situations. Those parts mentioned earlier that thrive off of the pain/ideas of manipulation are parts of me, fragments. Not in the same way that I work my way through my emotions surrounding the trauma, rather not full alters; They are strings of thought linked to him, emotions linked to him, with memories linked to mine.
Not realising how that dissociation was being represented internally, made me sad that I wasn’t as attuned to my own emotions or environment, I didn’t feel in control, therefor I felt vulnerable, unsafe. I was tearing up in therapy today because of the sense of grief I had from cutting ties with my family, not regret for doing so, but grief. I felt regret for telling them in the first place, that if I didn’t say anything, I wouldn’t have put myself through the emotional rollercoaster of the past year, that I would still have them in my life even while I harboured this huge secret. I felt angry at myself that I should have told them sooner, I should have told someone sooner; that by not telling anyone sooner I was actively putting myself in harms way when I could have stopped it from happening. To be honest I still don’t know where I sit on that, I know logically I was just a kid, and it wasn’t my fault, but at the moment I can’t help but blame myself.
I don’t want to feel this way, to feel sadness, it scares me. Feeling too much sadness overwhelms me, I have meltdowns and I feel like I am being melodramatic, too sensitive. I fear being judged by others for having a meltdown due to the sensory overload that comes with being autistic, that people will think lesser of me because of my behaviour. When people see me as lesser than, then I don’t have any control, that means danger.
The blendiness has certainly returned as I’m writing out these sentences. Internal reflection today has been helpful but also exhausting. It was nice having the moment of clarity and communication from Felix, Charles, and Nathaniel, having Dakota and Kai at the session slightly adjacent to the blendiness. A lot is happening right now and I just want things to slow down.