For many abuse survivors the well of memory is a well of pain, and we all go through periods when we drink too deeply from it.
It is a dark well; a shaft, a hole (appropriately enough) – stone lined and mossy grown; over set with a ancient wood-planked roof – or at least in my head. The inside is slick with burning slime; too hard to climb out sometimes . . .
There is a dipper there – but no: I used to throw myself down in this hole; this Pit of depression and despair. I used to go sinking, sinking down into the darkness, without a breath of air nor hope in sight; nothing to carry me on.
And I’d drink from this well of memory; this poisonous well- in draughts and great gulps I’d drink; trying to swallow it in. I was convince that somehow this would ‘cure’ me – knowing everything. And then at up in shame and despair I’d vomit up my pain, expressing it though in self-harm issues. Twenty whacks; thirty whacks – forty at a time – sometimes I’d lay my arm bare like a weed-eater had wild on it with razor blades.
And that was the thing I learned.
Don’t drink drinking from it too deeply. Like so many survivors I drank so deep I got lost in the Pit of Despair – and girls and boys? I spent years in it; not a little but a LONG time – every day on the verge of suicide – except when I got high, or was on some adventure that was about to take my life. I substituted ‘excitement’ and mind altering substances for the word ‘happiness’ – until then even that failed . . .
Drinking from the well of unhappiness; the well of memory – The Well of POISON. It’s required. After all: what else are you going to do? It is a part of you; who you are. You can’t just shove it aside. Eventually the waters in that well will rise – and drown you. And you won’t even know why.
After all: you can’t live without water – (you need those memories; they made you what you are) – but like water, it can kill you inside. As certain as poison, it can kill you – taking away your emotions, your happiness, your sunshine; your life, your appreciation of beauty, your loved ones, your friends, your job. Your house, your . . . everything – lost in that well of pain; that well of shame, that absorbed sense of non-forgiveness towards everything in your mind.
I see this so often: ‘new’ survivors (and some of us older ones, too) – ‘drinking’ from that well of sadness, that well of memory too deeply – sinking into it, the Pit of Despair; the feeling of lost and loneliness; the groping in the dark – feeling like the only light that comes is the one that’s gonna hit you with a train, and wishing it would all be over . . .
It can be a painful place. But then again: drinking from poison often is.
The trick is not to drink too deeply- just a little sip at a time. Especially when you are first beginning. Too many survivors want to THROW themselves in – not wading in hip deep or chest deep – but going in so deep they drown – and drowning in the poisonous well of pain is not fun. It’s really kind of painful and takes a long time. Poisons of the heart and mind often do . . .
But a sip at a time can make you more immune to this poison – not too much! You don’t want to lose your mind (that’s usually the first thing to go; right after happiness and desire to stay alive). Just a little sip at a time. And when you feel it begin to sicken you – step back, recover your mind. Come from ‘way back when’ and ‘back then’ to the current time – think about your future. Think about your mind.
Learn to work within yourself – a little bit at a time. There’s a such thing as taking too much – and sometimes it’s hard to judge! – but by taking things one at a time (when you can) – and processing them – allowing your feelings to go with them – and if you’re DID like me, helping ‘them’ (the others in your mind) – accept them as well; as truths about you and what they did to you.
A little bit at a time. That’s what they meant when they said take ‘baby steps’ – drinking from this well of poison, these memories and points in time – immune yourself first – realize: it’s gonna take time. Don’t go jumping in with both feet ‘researching’ your awful past; take your time with it. Learn to digest before moving further. Sure, there’s going to be things on your mind – but don’t ‘concentrate’ on them until the time has come to concentrate on them – unless they are the type of issue you need to concentrate ON to survive. . .
A little sip at a time. That’s the best way to go. Cuz’ I don’t want you falling into the Pit of Despair.
Jeff, et all, and friends.