Today 7/27, at work went well. I was supposed to work the morning shift but a coworker asked us to trade shifts. Works better for my insomnia so I accepted. And it was a noble cause, as she was going to her grandma’s 75th birthday party.
Ever since the most recent struggles and outbursts we have actually been feeling emotionally better. It seems we exploded some much needed tension. Now, we feel better. Oh we still need to force healthier ways to do this. Starting with music as therapy (we bought another harmonica, tell you more about that in another post!) and we are regularly attending yoga classes to help with chronic pain, as well as a guided meditative class that helps us focus on forgetting ourselves and just being in the moment (it’s based in yoga practices and mindfulness.) So we hope that we can sustain this good feeling and not have it build to need to explode like that again. As an additional precaution, we are seeking to do boxing or kickboxing classes in the future, soon as some pain gets under control. That way, we will have an aggressive sport to help with tension, anger, and frustration.
Today was a hopeful sign of healing. Today I feel different than I’ve ever felt and I think it’s because the different approach I’ve taken. Which is, my decision to “come out” as a multiple. I have all the usual problems, but I have more support than ever in my life. A boyfriend, family, friends, AND a place of employment all educated about our Dissociative Identity Disorder and complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. All these people, this big circle of a safety net, allows us to learn to accept ourselves even with our faults because they do. I’ve been having a lot more days that I feel co-conscious with everyone and there have been like these moments of mini-fusion where we feel “all-together.” It’s just so hard to explain.
So, tonight was one of those nights I felt all together. Like we all were present. Like we all were calm. I started to freak out for a second because I wasn’t used to this. I thought it was just me numb, but I wasn’t numb. I thought it was me alone and blocked from the others…but they all were there. Quiet, listening intently. I handled stress OK and when I got upset I dealt with it…..Dare we say, “like a normal adult.” Ha-ha. It didn’t really occur to me until I got home later that I was just walking around like a functioning system. I was the one leading but I didn’t feel like just me…It’s the strangest feeling to describe.
It was deeper than just “co-consciousness” with the people in this brain. It was like coexistence. They are my parallels. They exist in a parallel world. We all flow together. I don’t know, I wish I had better words to describe this without sounding quite so “new age-y” hahaha.
For all intents and purposes, today we all were Jess*–minus the dissociative. There were moments of dissociation, but it was like controlled dissociation without the disorder. It was done in order to communicate internally while functioning externally. It is currently the best way to communicate as a “whole entity” in one body.
I was in executive control. We were Jess altogether. I made the decisions and steered the wheel but I did none of this without the others direction and input.
Tonight at work I felt the way I think I’m supposed to feel. I felt balanced. It was a busy night at work. I still have stressful things going on and big things I’m worrying over right now (such as a possible death once again, but my boyfriend’s family not mine). Yet I feel like I acted like an adult. I found myself addressing each issue without getting lost internally to fight it.
Tonight at work I started to imaging what Jess* could be.
(*and Company. Which ever of the Parallels of Jess and all of them)
Tonight at work I faced a lot of fears head on and just felt so….
No drama, no deep meaning. Just me–well, still US–at this job, being an adult, living a structured life.
Even at work, I felt I saw positive feedback for how we functioned today that reaffirms that we CAN do this integration some way, some how. I got frequent thank-you’s and many thumbs up for helping keep things together during the busy time.
I’ve had days like this before, where I felt like this before. It just had been a while. I felt like I had signs that they could see I was that Jess they had seen when I first started working there, before things got difficult to handle.
The most notable incident I can say though was when I first arrived.
I’m just at the host stand, staring out the window behind me. I’m just bored and zoning out. I’m not thinking about anything. I’m not hearing any chatter. I’m not agitated or feeling trapped at work not wanting to be there, wanting to feel safe at home. I felt none of the usual problems of over-thinking and being triggered. I was just like everyone else, just working, no real complaints.
Yea, I still rememembered all the bad stuff that’s happened and going on but I was still just accepting of it, moving forward. Yea, I still had bad stuff happen to me in my past but it was now no longer in the fore front of my mind. It was unnecessary to think about so….*poof*….it got filed away…Not stuffed away, mind you. It was filed, meaning processed paper work before deciding where to put it.
We were adult Jess. We were a system, but now a system with some cheats and short cuts that helps us run more efficiently than we normally had.
Nobody was really talking to me or or paying me any attention. Normally that would cause all kinds of internal paranoia and self hate, as we would twist the busy co-workers into meaning “avoiding on purpose.” Yet none of that train of thinking happened.
Then I was startled away from people watching out the window when a co-worker says hello from the other side of the host stand that I had my back turned to.
I jumped but I don’t think she noticed but I giggled a little at myself as I always do after I get scared for no reason. Ha ha.
Our coworker Stacy says “hey Jess! Wow, Haven’t seen you in awhile…” and then with a bit of friendly humor and a smile she says, “You been hiding from us?”
I smile and say, “Hey Staci! Yeah it has been a while… Ha yea..That’s what I do…..I hide.”
I was looking down pondering the irony of what she said momentarily lost in thought. I remember she was still standing there and look up to have us just kind of smile and nod at each other. Then she walks off to do her job duities.
After she walks off, it occurs to me that I may not have been the only one pondering the deeper meaning in the words she said.
I wonder if she REALLY knew it was really me? Or am I just reading too much into things again? Ha…It’s just I can’t help but wonder if she really meant havent seen *me* as in actually ME, all-together-Jess, in a while?
Staci is sometimes working as the shift manager on duty but tonight she was just working as bartender, with a different shift manager. Since she is one of our managers, we had had a talk with her about the fact that we are 18 different people (so far, anyway). So now I just can’t help but wonder….Does she actually take us seriously unlike so many others when we disclosed our many selves?
Did we find another person who is smart enough to pay attention and who actually can see us as a multi, respectfully?
Maybe…Maybe not….Ha, PROBABLY not. Well… It’s a nice thought to have though, so I’m running with it! I’m not saying its truth but the feeling it gives me is a feeling of hope.
Today, I truly felt like me, but not JUST me, like all of us. Then I felt like others knew it was me as all of us. It was weird. But it didn’t last forever. Sadly, at the end of the night, as it gets close to bed time, we feel ourselves breaking apart again. Hurting, suffering, detached, dissociating again.
It’s not that we are weak, or giving up, or in any way choosing to do this. It’s exhaustion. People don’t realize the constant brain power and actual engery it takes to keep yourself together when you are a multi-people, ha….
I can only hope with practice and therapy, (and with more and more peer encouragement) we can keep healing and become stronger and do it longer. We all decided we were going to all live life, not take turns living jagged pieces of it. We are learning how to live and “be human.” The next step is just mastering it and just living.
We have dreams. We will never go away but we can be united. We can learn how. We can have our dreams…
Life, drama-free. College education, career, settled down in a house we own and have a reunited family stronger than ever. A daughter proud of her Multi-Mom. A success story is what I dream to be and it’s all just for the sake of my daughter’s love and be a good example. (maybe also to seek out a little redemption too)