As stated in my last post, the issue of my dad being hospitalized, and my feelings about that versus the social expectations regarding an person’s feelings towards their parents, had inspired what I could only describe as a “weird feeling”. I don’t like ‘weird feelings’ because they are undefined. It’s hard to put your finger on them, their cause, or validity. At the least you want a name for it – something better than “weird sensation”! Plus labeling things is part of what it means to be human. How else can you communicate with your fellows (or your inside alters*) unless you have a label? (Hence perhaps a reason behind names – to help keep ourselves separate, feeding the disease . . .).
So I started wondering . . . what was this weird feeling? How could I find the source?
I learned some time ago: anxiety is a symptom of mixed emotions. It’s not an emotion at all. It’s caused by too many conflicting emotions (and/or sides or alters) at odds with each other. . .
So I began to wonder if perhaps my “weird feeling” might fall in the same category. It wasn’t ‘anxiety’, though I imagine there’s some who would interpret it that way. No, it was an emotion I did not understand, nor had a word for. I ran through the gauntlet of ‘words’ looking for a name. Nada. Nothing fit.
And then it occurred to me. Why not do what I’d done when examining anxiety? “Look to your alters,” as Jeffery said.**
You see, that’s one of the strong things about DID that monominds don’t get. You can have conflicting emotions and don’t even know it. All you know is you have this ‘funny feeling’. A weirdness inside. It’s only by going in and querying each one of your alters can you begin to hope to understand what is going on. It’s not ‘you’ – it’s your alters and their feelings mixing, causing this un-understandable feeling, this uncertainty – about what you feel, though not perhaps your thoughts at large.
I guess that’s one of the things about DID you’ve got to accept when you have it. There’s times you’ve got to go through your alters, querying them. Examining each one’s feelings, seeing who stands for what, where, and how “each of you” feel about a thing – a thing that may be giving gives you anxiety, or in this case, a “weird” emotion.
And sometimes we’re surprised, and for ‘some’ in a refreshing way!
In this instance we don’t find public expectation to be as demanding as it seems for some. We don’t feel bad about ourselves for the way we feel. After a brief poll we found several alters (or sides) feel quite differently about this issue – and all at the same time. That’s what led to this ‘weird’ feeling. For example, our child ‘selves’ feel hurt and betrayed by what they went through, but at the same time feel what other alters define (and some hate) as a stupid love and/or responsibility towards our parents and/or caregivers. A child’s love, perhaps. Our teen despises them. ‘Me’ and a few other adult alters have a more narrow range of feelings towards them, from forgiveness to a desire to just be done, or hate, even. Perhaps we should hate, but overall it’s too wearying. We stay away from hate. It’s a trigger and never good, especially in a system like mine.
But anyway, there you have it. For people with DID, processing an emotion can take some time. We may not even know how we feel. We might exhibit the ‘wrong’ kind of emotion. (I know I have. It’s gotten me in trouble before.) And when you have this ‘weird’ emotion or an anxiety, maybe you’ve got to go through your alters, asking each how they feel – basically ‘counseling’ each one and analyzing their emotions versus ‘yours’ versus everyone else’s. Then maybe you can begin to understand it. Then it might make sense to you. The ‘anxiety’ or ‘undefined’ emotion goes away as you break it down into its components and/or ‘parts’ (quite literally in a DID system!) and then hopefully you can get a better handle on it. At the very least you’ll understand yourselves and/or parts better. Which parts feel which way and why. Where ‘you’ stand on it. How to proceed.
And in the end that’s what it’s about. Moving on. Taking a path to happiness and perhaps ‘healing’ even more. Being what you want to be. And being good at that with yourselves.
* Which gives me an Idea and/or theory on how to improve our communication skills . . . nonverbal communication, through emotion perhaps – things that have no ‘feeling’ but we can understand . . . ** Written by: “M3” – adult host #2, 2nd of 3 host overall, responsible for a lot of decisions regarding my own therapy. And I’m learning from Jeffery, who is teaching us all. We try to always work in groups of 3. That’s just what we do – to maintain some sense of continuity, if nothing else.