Monday, March 15, 2010

Integration

This past week has not been an easy one.  Not that most of my weeks are easy but this one was a greater struggle. 

Part of my healing process involves the integrating of my various personalities or "parts".  The easiest way to describe it is in watching a certain part step behind the shadows in my mind; no longer distinguished by a look or a voice.  Ever present and audible but as me instead of them.  Small fingers lace between my grownup fingers.  I squeeze a fragile hand and watch it melt into my own.

As the parts converge I often see a blending of colors.  My color is blue.  Other times I see numbers and the sum of the parts come together to equal a new whole.  But along with these hues and figures also come the tactile memories. Worn and aching to them; fresh and raw to me. 

I am flooded with these thoughts of the past and they become my present.  Feel the floor beneath my feet.  Touch the couch that I am sinking in.  I only wish these things beneath me would pull me in and past the hurting surface.  A crying child is in the corner.  A broken baby alone on the floor.  A dirty face is frozen with terror.  And he is pulling at my legs as he creeps up to control me.

These desperate children slide behind me as their pain is lifted away.  Their stories become my own; a painful anthem no one wants to hear.

Feel the couch and focus on a familiar face.  It is not real.  Just a memory.  But it is real.

25 comments:

Deborah said...

Jennifer, the first thing that struck me about this post was how skilled your therapist has to be to guide you through this integration. And that makes me think that there have to be a lot of people suffering from DID in order for there to even BE trained therapists in this technique.
That's pretty sobering.

I wish you well and continue to believe in your strength and the power of your mind. (My favourite colour is blue.)

JeannetteLS said...

I called my people "the committee." Even though I am pretty well integrated and never totally dissociated, there were times. Gaps of months. I don't know. But I WILL say this, Jennifer, the process is itself a miracle, and there comes a time when it feels fully amazing to know that we had such an ability to survive, to overcome, to adapt, to do what we had to to reach whatever age that was necessary for us to begin to seriously LOOK for the answers to our internal cries and confusion. OUr timelines of terror and timelines of grace are unique to us all.

You are inordinately courageous to face what feels like madness, to put your own humpty dumpty together again. It ain't madness that sent you into pieces--at least, not your own. It was unfathomably rich SANITY that allowed you to adapt and be the persons you had to be. to survive. And, in some ways, THRIVE. You love people. That in itself is a miracle. And you are sharing this process with us.

I think you much be a very wonderful person and I am so very glad I found your blog. I LOVE the quilts. Take care.

Shattered said...

Deborah, yes he is skilled. I've never really inquired about the kind of specialized training he has. I know he reads a lot and consults others on occassion re DID. What I know the most is that he cares about me and each one of my parts, even the rude and angry ones.

What's funny is that I found him by happenstance. I was literally calling through a list of counselors on my insurance plan and he was the first one I talked to. I'm struggle with God much of the time but I will say that He has provided me with a really good support system.

Yes, there are a lot of people out there like me. I can spot them pretty easy. That's sad, really sad. And troubling too because I know that most are not as fortunate as me to have a good long term therapist.

Friko said...

This sounds really hopeful, perhaps it is the beginning of the healing process that has begun.

Please, find it within yourself to take the credit for finding a therapist and working with him. No outside agency has done that for you. Believe in God, if that is how you need to operate but, please, accept that you have the strength to do everything necessary for your own survival. You have used crutches before, you spoke of your 'vices'; I would so very much hope that you can start to believe in yourself. The strength to survive so far has come out of yourself.

I am using far too many words here to say very little. My very best wishes are with you.

Midnitefyrfly said...

You are something so beautiful even with all of your broken pieces. There will be a time when all of the memories will heal from the raw and present pain they are causing you.

You simply could not be "You" without all of the different parts. New memories and a better present can help you to embrace the past. Your strength and determination to endure and emerge reflect your true beauty.

Shattered said...

"It ain't madness that sent you into pieces--at least, not your own. It was unfathomably rich SANITY that allowed you to adapt and be the persons you had to be. to survive."

Jeannette, I had no idea of your own experiences with DID; thank you so much for sharing. I need to remember what you wrote about my own sanity... there are so many times (a day) that I question it.

Shattered said...

Friko, I'm glad it "sounds" hopeful... I hope it is. ;)

Oh believe me, I do take credit for the work I have done and that I'm doing; I know that no one else can do it. But I am thankful for my good fortune in the support I have found because some of that was purely guesswork to begin. But you are right, the hard part is me.

Shattered said...

"You simply could not be "You" without all of the different parts. New memories and a better present can help you to embrace the past. Your strength and determination to endure and emerge reflect your true beauty."

Midnite, thank you for your encouragement. I have a really hard time loving myself, especially all my "parts". But you make a lot of sense because without them I would not be "me".

svasti said...

We do want to hear and honour your stories. And I'm glad you are making so much progress, even if you are finding the going tough.

Andrea said...

Praying for you as you continue this process...one step at a time.
Blessings, andrea

Rhonda said...

Thanks for opening up and sharing another wonderful post. You seem to be growing and maturing. I am so proud of you!!!

Shattered said...

Svasti, thank you for listening. I know that people here want to hear them; I just know that the content is probably not what people would pick to listen to... if that makes any sense.

Shattered said...

Andrea, thank you.

Shattered said...

Rhonda, maturing?? Thanks... I don't feel that way but I'm glad if others are able to see a difference.

Journal of Healing said...

Shattered,

Keep fighting! Part of the process. I had a major blending happen a few weeks ago, and the changes have been so amazing. So thankful for the gift of dissociation...both then and now...

I made the comment in my journal in the middle of the integration (this last one actually lasted two weeks) that I think integration teaches us how to love the part of ourselves that we forgot we had. to embrace ourselves fully in ways that the abusers tried to destroy.

hang in there, sweet friend. You're doing GREAT...even if it's painful. Healing is so hard. I thought I had never cried as hard as i did this last time around. wow.

keep safe,

ang

Ruth said...

I wonder if there is any grief watching these "parts" - personalities - merge, i.e., disappear into each other. With healing you have to let go. I would imagine that I would want to hold onto the hurt to some extent, because it is what I know, what is familiar. Letting go is new territory. Finding the whole me is finding someone new. I hope that is full of joy - enough to keep you moving ahead.

maggie said...

Jennifer-I have only been to your blog for less than 2 months and I perceive changes with you.
Cheering you on.

sarah said...

stopped by to tell you....I'm in your corner...be strong ok...Sarah

Rising Rainbow said...

It sounds like you are handling this process well. Good for you.

It's a tough journey but well worth the pain. Just travelling the road helps to build a needed inner respect. You're well on your way.

Shattered said...

Ang, I am beginning to understand what you mean by being thankful for dissociation. It really is an amazing way that we a children learned to cope. Thanks again for your support and encouragement; it means a lot!

Shattered said...

Ruth, there is a bit of grief when I integrate some of them. Many of them are very much a part of "my family" and even now, I'm not sure exactly how I will be without them. It certainly is a bittersweet happening when we integrate; for me I feel a bit more whole but at the same time it is sad to lose them.

Shattered said...

Maggie, thank you so much for your encouragement!

Shattered said...

Sarah, thank you!

Shattered said...

Rising Rainbow,

Thank you for your kind words. It's good to hear you say that the end result is worth the pain...

Journal of Healing said...

You are SO welcome, Shattered. So thankful you are seeing the gift. That gives me chills. :)

Hang in there. YOU ARE DOING GREAT.

ang