As is a common component of DID, inside my head is a land, an escape-place if you like. This is how the alters are not just floating identity bits inside of me with no place of belonging. They have a solid home. A land with a gentle stream which separates them from the dark woods, full of pain and echoes…crows.
Sometimes I will refer to where I’m at based on “me inside.” So “I’m crying inside” is quite literally true; my self which is in the land, is crying. My face to an outsider is smiley; my true emotion masked. This is how I’ve coped for years – allowing my inner self to cry, or relax, or sleep…whilst my outer self fought, smiled, shouted, and ran.
So, currently my outer self is in a library with a couple of my friends next to me. I guess I probably look okay, if a little tired. There’s no tears. I told my counsellor this morning that I feel lifeless, empty…totally detached from reality somehow. This is the case right now. I feel that if I reached my hand out, my friends would in fact just be visions and my fingers would feel nothing. They could be hallucinations for all I know. I no longer seem to be able to concretely recognise what is hallucination and what is reality. The lines of reality have blurred, and as a result I’m more detached and isolated than ever.
My inner self? Lost, where I have been for days. Away from the other inner alters. I’m standing at the top of a hill, allowing me to see both the woods and the calm land. In the distance I can hear the younger ones giggling and squealing, occasionally calling for me. I don’t look over. I am in my own world; everything is vague. I am looking at the stream. I spend a lot of time with my eyes closed, imagining Holly standing behind me with her arms around me, and/or my own arms cradling one of my own. I am frozen in a paralysed state of grief. Soft tears, never leave me….crying constantly. Silently. Holding myself, letting the breeze wash over me, my tears falling to the ground where they become nothing. My tears become nothing; forgotten.
Sometimes I sway slightly, a song playing in my head…some distant lullaby I sang to the children. I can see the shadows in the woods, watching me. Waiting for the moment where I collapse and they can swallow me. I glare back. A glare full of tears. I am guarding the young ones now. You will not touch anymore of my children…
The younger alters play, mostly unaware of the turmoil I am trapped in…lost in my isolation which I cannot escape from. The bittersweet poisoned taste of being just close enough to physically feel my baby again, or the kiss from Holly, or hear the warm giggle from one of the children… I know the longer I stand here, the more poisoned I become. But how can I turn away? You try taking any mother away from the chance to spend even one more second with her baby…
Plus whilst I’m here, I know the shadows are at a distance. I can keep an eye on them. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer lalala. It’s true.
So that’s where my soul and spirit is… isolated and in pain, but furiously determined not to let anyone else suffer at the abusers’ hands. My tears are a mix of grief and absolute rage…at what was done to me, and to others. Anyone tries to touch me and I am in more of a position to fight back now than I have been in years…. it takes the worst kind of heartbreak for the anger to re-light.
So I stand here, glowering at the shadows, and silently crying for everything I have lost. At night I collapse to my knees and wail through the pain. My haunting screams echoing through the land. I make no attempt to stifle them. I’m allowed to scream. And I want the shadows to hear the hurt they’ve caused me. This pain is incurable. Somehow I have to learn how to live in such agony, and carry this huge weight.
So if you see me smiling today, then that’s great…and thank you for either sharing the smile with me or making me smile. It’s important that at least one bit of me, even if it’s just the outer mask, can smile daily. But please bear in mind that inside, I’m in the worst kind of emotional turmoil…but also stronger than ever within that. Furious, and heartbroken….. that mix leaves me like a grieving lioness…
Soon I will have to re-join the others. But for now I stare at the shadows, my head high…tears rolling down my face, dreaming of impossible revenge, and cradling myself as I cannot cradle my children….