I want to share. I want to share so badly. I just wrote and deleted an entire post because it was so clinical and impersonal. I basically wrote in general about a topic that has been touching us personally and I didn’t include our situation in it at all. That’s not what this space is for. That’s not how this works.
We isolate from our friends and family when things are going badly inside. And by isolate, I mean that we don’t reach out. We don’t talk about the inside world, and we definitely don’t make any attempt to help anyone understand what it feels like for us. We are absolutely not going to reach out should we ever be in crisis. Our family is forced to guess. Even with our family, the people we have lived with for the last three years, we don’t go into many details and will often stop telling them who is front.
With friends and acquaintances, we present pleasant and capable. We can hold that together for a few hours, especially because what we are doing/attending is a distraction from what is happening inside.
Over the last month inside has been sad and chaotic, and very emotional. The shadows took over again and threw up a wall leaving Sabrina and Erica on their own. They are both very emotional and reactive, which ended up pushing Brina too far and she is now asleep for a long while. This was hard on the system as a whole because it’s not easy to adapt to losing a stronger sister. Brina’s actions caused intentional physical harm to the body and emotional harm to the family. That can’t be overlooked, but damn I miss her.
This sort of thing is almost impossible to bring up in conversation with people outside of the family who already get it. It’s not a great conversation starter.
“Hey, how are you? You seem down.”
“Oh yeah, it’s been a rough week. You see, the shadows took over inside and are projecting images everywhere of us being hurt and alone. Brina and I are stuck out alone and can’t contact the inside at all so we’re without our sisters and a lot of our common memories. The images sometimes turn into movies of past abuse and actions we took. The emotional toll is crazy and I wish we had the dragons or Simon, our inside huge teddy bear, to help us out. Sometimes I think about dying just because I know it would make the shadows stop. I’m safe though. Dae, the biggest dragon inside, will find a way to get Layna through most likely since she’s part dragon and they can do things like that. I wonder what Bella, the big white tiger hybrid, is doing. I miss my sisters.”
Riiiggghhhht. Yep, this sounds like a great conversation to have with someone who knows but doesn’t KNOW about DID. It falls right into “how do we make friends when no one can relate?”
Now that the hard stuff is behind us for a while (it will be back, it always comes in cycles) it seems like a good time to visit this.
Question: How do people learn about DID and become support people if they don’t ever have real exposure to it?
Answer: Hell if I know. Seems to me that they can’t. And how fair is it for them if they want to be there for us completely? Are we saying that we can’t trust them by refusing to let them in? Does it make us feel vulnerable and insecure just thinking about it? (The answer to that one is yes, for us, definitely.) Will some people decide it’s too weird/hard/complex for them and no longer want to get to know us? (Yes. That’s a sad part of life.)
The right people will stay. And will learn and grow. The right people will help us learn about friends, relationships, and social skills. They will forgive our awkwardness and will learn from us just as we will learn from them.
So being open is necessary. It’s the next chapter in our healing and growing.