This was written while I was on Tokoni, a site that no longer exists. We post it so others may understand – and understand: healing is a hard, long process. We are dealing with it, I reckon we guess we hope (sighing). Here goes. – the below is M3’s writing . . .
A State of Mind
I’ve been trying to go through my memories, starting at the beginning — funny, now that I’m an adult (and getting older by the day!) that I find myself playing that old game me and the other kids used to play. The game of “Remember When”.
Some of the memories are a cluttered mess. Just fragments, one-shots, pictures of a few seconds here; a freeze-frame or two there. I’ll probably try to assemble them into some kind of fractured mess here on Tokoni when I figure out how to present them in a somewhat coherent fashion. Some go waaayyy back to when I was two or so; I know that because I can place my age by the places we were. My mom remains startled by how far back I remember, but she doesn’t know that I remember some things she’d probably rather I forget. (And in some ways, so would I. But . . . no. They have made me what I am today — which isn’t an all bad thing.)
But . . . some folks have asked the status of my parents and my brother, so I’ll give a ‘future’ snapshot.
For those who wonder: yeah, my parents are still alive. My dad has grown old and frail, but keeps his selfish, cruel nature. He’s a pervert, I think; watches kiddie porn on the computer, I think, under the guise of ‘caring’. I know we quit letting my daughter go see him unsupervised when she was about five. My mom is still a psychotic bitch given to swings of paranoia, but her propensity for violence is pretty much gone. Not that she wouldn’t take up a gun and shoot someone if she got P.O.’d enough. She loves animals, but hates people, especially men. And my dad is a hyper-religious far-right Christian freak. (He got that way when I was about nine.) Before I got married, they had moved eight-hundred miles away. Now they live just four miles away. I don’t call them; don’t see them, unless I have to. And I have to more than I like, but — I don’t really harbor any strong hate or anger towards them. I have accepted their actions (and the actions of others) as just another series of events in what I’ve been told has been an ‘interesting’ life. (Note that ‘interesting’ doesn’t mean ‘fun’.)
My brother is alive and in his third or fourth or fifth marriage. He swears he will never have any kids because he would kill them, but actually he is a very patient person (he used to work with the severely mentally disabled). He, like me, is a social misfit. He, unlike me, is a raging homophobe – he hates them, ridicules them, wishes they were all tortured (not dead). Me, I’m bi, don’t know why, but I suspect the door to both worlds was opened when I was a very small child. I had to turn my back on the male-to-male thing when I met my wife — and have (somewhat reluctantly, I’ll admit) turned my back on that half my sexuality for over twenty-four years of marriage now. (And yeah, it hurts sometimes. Really. Even now I wish I had a really REALLY close male friend to share things with . . . one who could be loving and tender as well. One who likes to hike and paddle a boat and take adventures and travel and . . . sigh. Oh well.)
In many ways, the abuse was a “Perfect Storm”, only a storm that went on for years and years and years . . . and yeah, I got caught up in the storm myself a few times, before I learned better, got better . . . somewhat. There are ‘parts’ of me that still exist, are still within that “Perfect Storm”. I have to watch out for them; guard myself against them when they begin to rise, like leaves fluttering in the wind.
The shrinks said I have “DID”, back when “DID” used to be a term, and before they gave up on me. (There’s reasons for that — my dad’s doing — but that’s for another story.) They also say I have PTSD, incurable. The PTSD thing I can hang with: terror doesn’t frighten me, and I react to emergencies with a cool, calm, detached manner. But that’s in part due to the “DID” thing. (LOL, I find “DID” a funny acronym: I “DID” this, I “DID” that.)
DID stands for “dissociative identity disorder”. The shrinks say I learned to ‘separate’ early in my childhood; put ‘myself’ in some ‘safe’ place while some ‘other’ part of me went on to face the music. Or abuse, if you want to use the real word. Its like schizophrenia, only different.
Imagine, if you will, the human personality. Imagine it as I do: A huge diamond, suspended in blackness, slowly turning. Each facet of that diamond represents a part of your personality. One facet is your loving self; another your mean self. One is the ‘analytical’ self; another the self given to emotion. One knows rage. Another knows sympathy. Another wants peace and understanding. Another gives peace and understanding. One is your dark side. One wants to somebody to hold close and love. Another views that as a weakness. One wants to be a member of society. Another wants to run away; live alone somewhere in the darkness and woods. One self in myself is the soldier self; trained to kill, maim — and yes, even torture. Very mean, that one. My Marine C.O., meeting that self, said (in fright!) that he never wanted to go to war with me. That I was too violent for war. (Go figure THAT one out, if you can!) But another self will stop and help anybody – hurt, crying, tortured – at any cost to all my ‘selves’. Again — go figure. I love that self.
Now — you have that diamond in your mind yet? Can you ‘see’ it? The diamond of your personality, and all the facets that compose it?
Now take a hammer and shatter that diamond.
For me, apparently, that hammer was the abuse. Hammering down, over and over again.
Shattering me into pieces.
Now I’ve said DID is a bit like schizophrenia — but with a difference.
You see, with DID, you are always aware. There is a central ‘core’, an overseer if you will. Not in control; not always. The ‘others’, the parts of myself — those fractured facets that split away from the diamond — they are there. They whisper, urge me to do things — and I have to listen and carefully judge what they have to say. “Is it right or wrong?” I have to ask myself. “Is it socially acceptable or not?” “Should I say this – or not?” “Is this too much – or not?”
I would say *I* am the one in control, but I’m not. Not always. There’s parts of me that can ‘gang up’, overcome “me”, the central being. Usually its the mean ones. I don’t mind the “good” ones taking over, helping me to help someone. But the ugly, mean SOB’s — those are the ones I gotta watch out for.
It wasn’t always that way. For a long time I didn’t know what was going on. A looonnngg time. It wasn’t until I started cutting and getting suicidally depressed and sought clinical help that I finally (slowly) began figuring it out — that what I had gone through, both as a child and a young adult had changed me in some fundamental way, making me different than all the ‘others’ — the quote-unquote “normal” people.
If you want to read a loonnngg story involving a lot of s**t, then you can go to Fictionpress and read a novel called “The Boy”. Its about me, and me, and me — and a dream I had. Look for it under the penname “Deepsouth”, or just follow this link: http://www.fictionpress.com/s/2625308/1/The_Boy. It’s a LONG read – a NOVEL, duh — but it’ll give you some insight into MY mind . . . and remember this, if you read it: I am both the boy and the man who saves him. I am Harold and the cop called ‘Derrick’. And yeah, it was from a dream. What I call a “Life Dream”. I’ll write more on that one day.
DID. What fun. I “DID”, I “DID”, I “DID”
You know what they say about schizophrenics. They are never lonely, ha ha ha. But that’s not true. Other parts of your personality do a lousy job at comforting yourself. And there’s no love between them. But I’m not schizophrenic. I’m just “DID”. Meaning I can’t “go away” while someone else is at the helm. I’m standing right there behind them, sometimes with them, watching what they are doing, regretting their words and actions sometimes, and sometimes able to reach out and grasp the helm myself. Usually I am in complete control of this ship of fools and saints I have in my head. It’s only when I get under extreme emotional stress that I start to come apart, that the “others” can “come forward” to take control. And sometimes I let them. Like I said: I like the loving, caring parts. It’s the “bad ones” I have to be careful with — though, as the shrinks so often pointed out, they have their place as well. They kept me alive so often when others could not — by being tough, mean, and sometimes fair. By being cold, unemotional, and . . . need I say it? I have a huge tolerance for pain. Physical, mental — but no so much emotional losses. That’s because I can shove ‘someone else’ up front to take it — leaving me in the back of my mind to watch and experience it.
DID. What a weird way to be.
After all — it’s simply a state of mind.