‘I’ tried an experiment in our DID earlier this week. By ‘I’ I mean “we” (the adult ‘host’ & various alters). The situation: Going to the laundromat to wash a quilt that was too big to go in the home machine. The Problem: The adult host and several other ‘parts’ hate going the laundromat – absolutely loath it! Blame that on the Marine Corps.
But the ‘children’ (in me) absolutely love doing laundry – the clean clothes, the pleasant scents, the feel of soft cloth – folding those big ol’ things . . .
By-the-way, this is a “DID” problem while writing: There’s many ways to tell a tale, but from too many outlooks it gets confusing. Wry feeling.
So I decided to do what we’ve been trying to do: learn to ‘switch’ to those alters who wanted to go (and actually enjoy the experience) while leaving ‘me’ (adult host) and some other parts out of it. I won’t go into detail, but it worked . . . so-so. As a ‘whole’ we kinda enjoyed it. Our teenager got to play his Galaga game (it’s an ancient arcade game they’ve got there – and scored 5 of the top scores on it, lol); our kids were fascinated by the laundry going ’round & ’round on the spin cycle (the quilt spread like a flower, centered on a geometric pattern, filling the drum), and our Marine had an okay time teaching them (over and over again, it seems) how to fold laundry properly (matching the corners) – and caught an old woman when she tripped over a rug (good deal & good going) – while ‘I’ and some of my others just hung back and kinda watched from ‘afar’ . . .
The end result, however, was like a twilight drug being administered to ‘me’.
I say that because I found two shirts I had not planned for washed & hung up to finish drying in my own laundry room the next day – they’d been thrown in with the quilt to ‘make up a load’. The whole experience seemed extremely foggy. What memories I do have are dim, and are from the very beginning and scattered throughout. Just like snapshots thrown to the wind. But (and this is the good part) mostly the feeling of enjoying myself doing something as mundane as laundry.
And that’s what it’s all about when it comes to life and feelings. “I wanna be happy but I’ll settle on contented,” I say and that’s okay as well. But it always was not so, and we’re still working on keeping tempers under control. Some of our parts still have some outrageous anger issues.
But consciously switching to a ‘state’ that is more accepting of an event, or finds something more ‘fun’ – while letting go at the same time is hard to do. A host has a ‘job’ – overseeing everything, presenting a semblance of ‘normal’. Recalling a child’s pleasure at being able to help with certain chores – not just ‘recalling’ but living it – is a good thing, in my opinion. But it’s not so easy to do.
The reasons for this experiment? Why try to control switching with a finesse I didn’t have before? I would like to find out how to control some of those ‘tougher’ sides to my ‘personality’ – the sarcastic teen, the ‘defender/protector parts’ that find it hard to identify with some things; some who hate the world (but not the people – just their stupidity sometimes, how they hurt themselves and all) – those parts that can get enraged and that don’t really seem to enjoy any activity ‘I’ can allow, yet can ‘look on’ and enjoy another alter’s activity (as long as it is safe to do so).
The downside – the memory problem is a son of a she dog, tho.
That’s one of the things about having ‘switching’ and ‘alters’. It’s bad enough I’m getting old. Sacrificing more memory in order to ‘feel good’ . . . hmmm. (pondering) Everything in life is a tradeoff. Do I trade off by allowing fuzzy (at best) memories (or no memories at all!) of an event / situation? What is the use in getting drunk to feel good if you don’t remember anything at all? However, the elusive and yet tantilizing key dangles golden there – if I could manage to manage both – having the ‘good feelings’ while remembering what went on . . .
Perhaps I should just accept that warm & fuzzy afterglow; the feeling of feeling ‘good’ (or having ‘felt good’, tho’ it’s not ‘my’ feeling at all: I still hate doing laundry and some of the house chores) – and accept that I’m going to have to discard some things (e.g. the memory of what I did /went on) . . .
Can’t I have both? I’m assuming that normal folks would: they would remember going to the laundromat in perfect, or semi-perfect detail; wouldn’t ‘lose’ a couple hours of ‘time’ (memory) . . .
However, I am rating this experiment as a ‘moderate success’ in that I was able to enjoy the feeling, albeit somewhat confusing (for what did I have to feel good for?) – the laundry got done – setting up a template, perhaps, of how it should be done, with ‘me’ looking around the corner (which is probably why I remember so much of what I’d done).
It’s been an interesting session.
(PS & By-and-by: it took me over a week to write this. So many alters wanting to express their views, emotions, thoughts, outlooks – some varying and different, with no “true” core of feeling . . . strange.)