Monday, April 06, 2015

Owning My Own Story

(this post discusses my particular brand of mental illness directly.  In the future I will identify posts of this nature with this:

** D.I.D. Post ** )

A few days ago, I sent J (the psychologist) an email entitled "Peace, hard-won and tenuous."  I've been thinking about the concept of peace on the inside a great deal since then. 

The "insider" headcount varies on an almost daily basis.  It's easiest for me to remember that there are layers of hurt to be healed, and that new insiders will bring similar needs.  It is, at this point in my own healinig process, sometimes easy to forget there are insiders at all.  The interesting thing is that it is actually more helpful to remember they're there.  If I wake up in the middle of the night terrified - it's tempting to beat myself up for revisiting that particular issue.  If I remember, however, that the terror is likely coming from an insider who is just now showing themselves - I can extend grace to that part much more easily. 

I have been surprised, in the past few weeks, at the quality of peace that's come with some very simple things.

One session with J, I sat on the floor, colouring, for the entire session.  I don't think the insider who was colouring had very much to say - I did almost all of the talking and processing that day.  I noticed after the session that I was calmer than I'd been in several days, and that there was very little insider agitation being broadcast as well.  (They hang out in a park, inside my head.  Imaginary and yet ... :)  I check in periodically to see how we're all doing, and when I checked in that day, everyone was calm and quiet.)

And then this weekend, looking for something to read before bed, I happened upon a free Kindle copy of Mrs. Mike.  I had completely forgotten about this book but I read it as a young teen and loved it, and so I downloaded and re-read it.  Again - the quality and depth of calm I experienced as a result was noteworthy, as was the quality and depth of calm in the park.

I think maybe it's related to places of safety.  I did not feel safe much, ever, growing up. How did I check out?  Reading, or absorbed in something creative.  Parts who come online now have a lot to process - the body is no longer the body they remember.  They feel like they're 10 or 6 or 8 or 15 but they're being asked to participate in the life of a 53 year old woman who isn't afraid of any of the things they are afraid of, and they're being asked to believe me (and other parts who are in the process of healing) that they're safe.

I think colouring, reading, being creative, is a way of bringing places of safety that they trust forward into the here and now, a way of easing these hurting memory keepers into this present day, this present life where they can feel what they need to feel, and heal.

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