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[life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:14 pm

Reading "Creatures of a day", reading "Psychothérapie de la dissociation et du trauma"

My latest reads are "Creatures of a day" by Irvin Yalom, and "Psychothérapie de la dissociation et du trauma" (Pychotherapies for dissociation and trauma) directed by Joanna Smith (no english version found).

In the psychotherapy book, I discovered a trauma therapy called in english "Lifespan Integration". You will find definitions here https://lifespanintegration.com/what-is ... tegration/ and here https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about ... ntegration (be warned the websites can contain commercial aspects, I could not find an english Wikipedia page). The principles as I understood them, is for the therapist to tell the life story of the traumatized person to a baby-shaped doll symbolyzing the baby self of the traumatized person, untill said person feels comfortable enough to do so themself. It is a way to reconnect to the younger parts of the mind, as well as to encourage synthesis, presentification and later on, personification of the whole life. (i.e. the integration process in trauma and dissociation therapy)

This made me realize that I really really have an aversion to the idea of holding any baby or young child, including Pride. Especially the youngest aspects of Pride. I will talk to our therapist about it. This might be the clue that we still have some walls inside, especially on my part. (See farther on in this post.)

Irvin Yalom's "Creatures of a day" tells a few stories of psychoanalysis, all regarding the common theme of dealing with death. Either a loved one's or one's own. I found a few quotes in it that in my eyes are full of wisdom and are relevent to our own present situation. I am sharing the most prominent ones from my list, in case they can be of help or comfort for others.

- Yes, being a self-made person had its good points: self-creation can be powerfully reaffirming. But it is lonely work.
- Reality is not just something out there but something each of us constructs, or fabricates, to a significant degree.
- All the symptoms you described yesterday—being removed from life, being insulated, not being in your life—all served to anesthetize yourself from the pain inherent in being a living soul.
- Now, the one thing I’ve come to know with certainty is that if I can create a genuine and caring environment, my patients will find the help they need, often in marvelous ways I could never have predicted or even imagined.
- Or maybe you don’t ever want to face that kind of loss and pain again. No relationships, no pain. [...] You end up protecting yourself, but the cost is high. You cut yourself off from so much.
- You’re not being pulled by some goal. Instead your actions seem aimed at warding off some internal danger.
- I’m full of anger. Bad, angry thoughts about everyone circle through my mind. That’s why I stay away from people.
- Remember what I said to you a few weeks ago, when you had come to realize that your parents weren’t cruelly withholding love but that they simply didn’t have it to give?
- I had to give up the hope for a better past. [...] You didn’t give up the hope for a better past; instead you’ve written a new past for yourself. Pretty impressive route you’ve taken.
- I think I grieve for the life I haven’t had.
- It shows you [a difficult event] and then spits you back, back to the world, to your life, to all its pleasure and sweetness, which you feel now so much more than ever. And you know that something has been given and something has been taken away.


The crisis of december 9th

*******************Content warning : mention of substance abuse and addiction (alcohol), witnessed consequent behavioral issues, mention of child sexual abuse, transphobia***********************







On deccember 9th a group discussion activity took place, that I attended. This time we were only three: us (we count as one), the organizer, and an old alcoholic. This latest person (I'll call him Michel) usually comes sober to the discussions. Even though he is not the sharpest tool in the shed, he has a lot of experience of life, as well as some book references up his sleeves (such as Irvin Yalom whom I discovered thanks to him).

This day, Michel arrived announcing he relapsed the very morning. Due to his apparent clarity of mind, I assumed he downed a couple of beers to ease up anxiety the way he sometimes uses other substances in order to self-medicate. I was wrong. He was full like a sponge, the effect simply had not reached his brain yet when he arrived. It did though during the following quarter of hour.

It was an odd hour that we spent, the organizer and I, trying to help Michel get a hold of himself, to make him feel better about his relapse, as well as trying to get the focus of the discussion back on the day's text. It was very odd for me. I had grown accustomed to linking Michel's point of view on life as well as interventions during the discussions.

This day I discovered more of his weaknesses and wounds as well as of his behavioral demons. He kept going on and on in sometimes agressive words about how everything is painful for him - the cat meowing for attention, the street cleaners doing their jobs which can be noisy, the therapies not being efficient enough fast enough, women who left him because they realized they could not cope anymore despite all their love and willingness to help him, and so on. There was true despair here, but also, an anger for the world and for himself.

There were other bad behaviors he talked about. He went for ten minutes on a rant about how he did not care my pronouns are he/him or they/them because I'm basically a woman in his eyes. He went on and on about how I was the "perfect woman" and "so strong" and that I "had to" help him. He went on and on about a lot of bad things he did under the influence, including child sexual abuse but, assured he, he is "not a pedo".

I still wonder at how I managed to keep my calm, trying to show compassion to him, to ease up his anxiety, and try to interest him into the day's text. The organizer did the same but after an hour of this, he cut short, pretexting he had an appointment with the other organizers of the association. I cut short myself about having groceries shopping to do. I still left Michel with advices to take care of himself and drink a lot of water to ease up the aftermath of his substance abuse.







************************End warning********************************

I can show him compassion, but I cannot be his therapist. Neither can I allow him to drag me into a toxic relationship of victim-and-savior. Especially since I know the very moment I'll fail as a savior, I'll be seen as an abuser. Moreover, I do not have the energy for this. I did not go survive abusive relationships to drag the whole system back into a new one. I know better now. I need to keep everybody safe. I cannot save him. I can offer compassion but I cannot save him.

Pondering how to better interact with Pride

Next day, due to bus issues, I ended up walking to the surgeon's office for the "2 months post surgery check-up". I decided to use this time (almost an hour) to try and connect with Pride. I wanted to see how bad I have the inner phobia regarding coming into contact with the younger / baby aspects of him.

I ended up trying to hold baby-him (eeek). We tried with him under a different shape: baby chimp makes me go "eeek" too. Other baby animals are more comfortable for me. I did my best to repeat to myself - and him in the same time - that it's okay for babies to have specific needs and be vulnerable. That all mammal babies need parents to take care of them. That all mammal babies are vulnarable and needy, that's what being a mammal baby is all about. That it takes being a baby sea turtle to be able to just hop into a battlefield-like world seconds after birth - but it's not normal for a mammal baby to be treated in such way, because mammal babies are not sea turtles. And so on and so forth.

It was helpful for both of us. For him, to feel less of a burden. For me, to accept his vulnerabiliy as well as mine. Being vulnerable should never be a threat but instead, should trigger care from others around.

Connecting the alcoholism dots

*******************Content warning : mention of alcoholism and childhood abuse, gaslighting************











There I was, trying to work over my relationship with Pride and his vulnerability, when it suddently hit me. The reason why the mother denied us care / abused us when we were a child. Her behavior and reactions where constantly the same as drunk Michel's. She was alcoholic, too - we have so many memories of her getting whisky-drunk every time she had the chance. She kept denying it because she always went sober outside of the house, but she was drunk every night and at every family gathering or celebratory lunch. She too, kept loosing control over herself and abuse children whenever drunk (and more "lightly" whenever sober) while repeating she was not a child abuser because child abuse is only this and that specific thing, and she always had a "good reason" to abuse others. She was always centered over her own needs and comfort, unable to see the needs of others, unable to accomodate others if it was of discomfort for her. All of that atop of all her untreated traumas she kept re-enacting on others.











**************End warning***********************

I started seeing the mother super-imposed over Michel - as well as an uncle of us, and maybe other family members with similar addiction issues. We started to see all their wounds and all their pain behind the trauma they gave us.

I started to feel compassion for them.

I still stand my ground regarding keeping my distances with the lot of them. Yes, they were at pain, sufferend from mental illnesses and the like. Yes, I have compassion for this aspect of their lives. No, I will not forgive what they did to us. No, I will not go back in touch with them with nice and healing words and advices.

They were the adults back then. They were responsible of caring for their own issues, healing their own wounds instead of spreading them around. Now, my responsibility is to keep the rest of the system safe and out of harm's way. My responsibility is to disengage from inter-personal relationships that can be hurtful for the system. My responsibility is to set boundaries in an assertive way. My responsibility is to keep seeking care for all of us, to keep working on it myself daily, to keep in touch with the here and now so that the traumatized parts are not triggered into re-experiencing their traumas.

My responsibility is completely not, to heal the wounds of our abusers. Compassion I can feel for them, in a way that can help me disengage from the bonds of hatred and trauma. Going back to heal them? No thanks. This would be recipe for disaster. If they want to seek care and healing, they are adult enough to do it by themselves, without me.

As a conclusion, we will have a huge report for our next therapy appointment. It kinda feels our therapist so far is more of a counselor / supervisor than a direct therapist. I might need to learn to let go of some control aspects to allow her more into the therapy process. I will discuss it next time. It is kinda tied to my fear of vulnerability after all.
__
Daniel.
Autistic | ADHD | DID | transmasc (they/them & he/him)

System host/umbrella identity: Morwan

Journey thread | DID ressources thread

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby Eliseahorse » Fri Dec 10, 2021 11:07 pm

That sounds like a huge break through. Well done for Keeping your $#%^ together and being able to connect the dots.
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:38 pm

How discussing "Michel's" situation with the supervisor went. CONTENT WARNING light mention of addiction.

This morning I had an appointment with a supervisor from the association in order to discuss what happened with Michel last week. I prepared the check list of all the points that need to be said about the situation, consulting with the other members of the system and especially Pride who experiences a lot of distress due to the situation. I made a point of expressing the facts as objectively as possible, separately from the emotions they arise within me. I also sorted the facts from the least upsetting to the most upsetting because it felt more right this way for the supervisor to hear.

I learnt that Michel has been an issue for the whole association for years, though shirt really hit the fan last week. The organizer did not dare repeat the words that were said by Michel, but I did. I did my best to express things in a non-judgemental way. I also reminded the supervisor that with long addiction issues, one cannot say that the addicted person "enjoys rolling in their issues" because the sheer will of getting better gets destroyed, in addition to the direct damages to the brain caused by the substances.

I did my best to keep expressing compassion while still asserting the boundary that, I refuse to become his therapist, and I refuse to engage with Michel when he is under influence. He clearely needs help, but not mine. The supervisor asked me if I told this to Michel, but I explained that given the depth of despair he seemed to be in last time when he crossed the line, I did not want to risk pushing him even lower by seeing him away with a "Please never talk to me again, bye!". I did not want to risk being the last straw. The supervisor was pleasantly surprised that i was able to assess what was the greatest safety risk at this moment and to be able to hold back on setting the boundary.

The supervisor assured me that he and the supervision team would assert the boundary that Michel is not to come back to the philosophy discussion activities. They are going to see what can be done between the supervision team to allow Michel to keep having some human interactions here and there (the social isolation making his health issues even worse... and the other way around). They will also see if they can encourage him to follow proper health care in order to avoid his health issues to keep on having consequences on the other members of the association.

But most importantly, the supervisor told me that he saw the "danger" that existed for me, and that he would do his best to "protect" me.

This hit right home into the deepest layers of Pride and resonnated within me too. And within the rest of the system certainly. I will make sure to share this with everyone. This was so important, I felt Pride nudging me so I told the supervisor directly that he used the exact words that I needed to hear and I thanked him for that.


Answering the questions I found in Arik's post about having a new therapist.

1. What is the meaning of life?

Surviving. Staying alive and healthy. Finding peace of mind, balance, happiness, authenticity.

2. Was I born for a reason?

No. Nobody should need a reason to exist. Existence should be enjoyed for the sheer pleasure of existing.

3. What is my purpose in life?

I do not have a "purpose" outside of "being alive". But I have a calling: learning as much as possible, teaching as much as possible, keeping and sharing knowledge.

4. What do I stand for?

Universal human rights. Every person should have the right to: safety, respect, health, food, water, shelter, hygiene, building a family. Including the respect of one's identity, religious beliefs, consent, boundaries, orientations, opinions... (bullying is NOT an opinion, it is a theat to other people's safety and health)

5. What would I be willing to die for?

Having reached the end of my life, I guess. Defending my rights. I wish I were able to say "defending the rights of others" but my survival mechanisms might keep me from doing it so I'd rather not bet on it.

6. Discuss or examine your values, morals, and ethics.

I do my best to hold the moral principles that can be the most universally applied with the least possible exceptions. Such as, "everybody has the right to be safe, no exception". Consequently, nobody is allowed to threaten anyone's safety for their own pleasure or enjoyment. Religious freedom is important too: it does not matter to me how you pray or what rules you decide to follow yourself, as long as you do not force them upon others. If your religious rules say that you must not do this or that, well... be welcome not to do the thing. Nobody should force you to do the thing. But you whould not forbid others to do the thing if they want to (and it is NOT dangerous for them or others to do the thing).

I don't remember where I read or heard this, but, moral principles that apply only to small and specific members of society lead to at least discrimination and at worse, a genocide - with all the shades in between. Therefore, they are a slippery slope one should avoid engaging in. To avoid them, it is best to apply Kant's principe of following morals that are the most universal possible. His logic applied to principles such as "do not tell lies". Mine are less specific and more about ensuring everybody can have a safe, healthy, fulfilling life.

I hope others on this forum will find my opinion interesting and be food for thought.
__
Daniel.
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby Arik » Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:32 pm

Daniel wrote:4. What do I stand for?

Universal human rights. Every person should have the right to: safety, respect, health, food, water, shelter, hygiene, building a family. Including the respect of one's identity, religious beliefs, consent, boundaries, orientations, opinions... (bullying is NOT an opinion, it is a theat to other people's safety and health)

Life, liberty, in other words, God-given rights, in that, I agree.

Daniel wrote:5. What would I be willing to die for?

Having reached the end of my life, I guess. Defending my rights. I wish I were able to say "defending the rights of others" but my survival mechanisms might keep me from doing it so I'd rather not bet on it.

As you saw, my reply can be summed up as something bigger than myself.
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Thu Dec 23, 2021 6:06 pm

Re-mapping the system

The more I turn to the other insiders, the more I realize that... there is only three of us left. Me, Pride and the Mirror.

The Mirror gathers all the inner self-help aspects, obviously. Meaning, himself, the ANPs from Lust, as well as the ANP of Hohenheim.

Pride, obviously again, gathers all the child parts. He age-slides between 4, 8, 12 and 14 depending on the situation though with Christmas approaching he tends to stay more at 4 to better enjoy the fresh spirit of the holidays. He inherited the childhood aspects of G/Hosties, some aspects of Zami too it seems. Ulysses might be starting to be filed inside of Pride too, but they also sometimes feels like their traumatic aspects are dissipating. It seems to me that the "Moro flower" exercise helped doing some "somatic re-experiencing" thing with the earlier trauma they contained which lead to their split from proto-Pride. Which in turn helped us make sense of the somatic trauma and ultimately, its integration.

And I, Daniel, presently hosting, gather the appartently normal parts of David and Isaïa, some ANP aspects of the adult G/Hosties, the ANPs of Zamiel (Zami + Uriel), as well as all the adult EPs (from Reyna, Zami, Uriel, and Lust). Some of the traumatic aspects, especially the ones tied to being forced to perform a cisgender feminity, have dissipated. Others I am still disconnected from. The farther back in time they are, the more disconnected I am. I am clearly disconnected from the traumas contained by Pride. I still have issue accessing the whole of the autobiographic memory. Staying anchored 24/7 is well, a 24/7 effort. It is exhausting yet rewarding at the same time.

I am far from being properly integrated as a whole. I am more of some sort of Venn diagramm or out-of-focus picture. Not everything is properly falling into place, far from it. But at least things are starting to pile up and gather. I am more in tune with the system's emotions. When I shift between my different aspects, they all feel like "me" rather than full-on switches.

I'm not sure if I'm just gathering all the ANP aspects in me while re-dissociating all the EPs into another, anonymous compartment. When I try to look at the traumatic aspects of our life, I feel like an eagle looking down on a big picture. I feel compassion for the person we were back then but also, compassion for the hurt that lead our abusers to abuse us. Sadness towards the society as a whole which allowed such tragedy to happen. Hope for the future we can built with less hurt and more joy.

I understand more and more that there is no fighting the fact that it happened, that it happened to me-as-a-whole, but most importantly, that it belongs into the past. It is over. I am safe now. The therapist we started seeing last summer really wants to help us all feel safe. It is her first and foremost goal. And she is dang good at it.

Latest T appointment

The latest T appointment went good. She had an intern who was kind enough to answer our questions and help Pride feel safe enough to allow me to talk in front of her. She was also kind enough to assure us that she would not be mad if we ask her to leave the room at some point -consequently we felt safe and confident enough to ask her to leave whe we reached the more sensitive points we wanted to discuss. Which she did with a smile in her voice, which made us feel even more safe.

We noted with the T a few points which we can work on in the next appointments since I am starting to feel safe enough to tackle minor traumatic issues. Among them: the phobia of saying that I am in a relationship - the phobia I have of everything children-related and vulnerability-related, including the inner phobia of Pride. We talked about the possibility of using "lifespan integration" techniques or other similar techniques (she is following a course regarding a similar technique, and if her course is not enough, she knows a full-on lifespan integration professionnal she can refer me to if needed).

We also talked about my relationship with V. and W., as well as the event with "Michel". She pointed out the difference of having a balanced relationship with another DID person, where we care for each-other, support each-other, lift each-other up, work together on building a safe relationship between each-other as well as inside our respective systems etc. -and an unbalanced and toxic relationship where one uses the other for their own needs. I.e. "Michel" using us for therapy without giving anything else in return, even worse, forcing us to be his therapist without aksing first. She pointed out a few manipulation mechanisms at play there.

It was difficult for me to hear that sometimes one needs to let others sink in order not to sink with them -or simply because some people need to touch rock bottom before they "wake up" and realize THEY are the one responsible for saving themself. It was a bit easier to hear and to say "It is not up to me to be his therapist". It sounds like a more gentle way of disengaging from the relationship.

I also noted that we feel less and less guilty about taking care of ourselves, taking meds when needed (we got a light sinuses infection and took anti-fever pills, I also used the latest "let's pick meds at the pharmacy" trip to ask for throat pills and nose-cleansing spray to ease up the latest days of viral symptoms). We are also better able to avoid panic- and anxiety- related purchases such as "we need to buy this because it is in sales". Instead we are better able to ask ourselves "Do I need it? Do I want it?" It sort of sounds like we are easing up the transgenerational trauma we inherited from the grandmother's childhood and teenagehood under the Nazi occupation of France during World war 2 with its constant restrictions. It was HER trauma, not ours. Therefore it is not ours to carry.

We saw she has an Irvin Yalom book in her bookcase so I took the opportunity of talking about our reading of "Creatures of a day" as well as the therapeutic effect the quotes from the book had on us. We also talked about us reading Les Misérables aloud with V. About how Victor Hugo's pen helps us feel compassion towards the human tragedies. He has a thing for describing the worse situations with a touch of irony and compassion, without judgement for the victims crushed by the tragedies they go through, a way of pointing out how sometimes a little nothing can push someone on the path of recovery or into the depths of trauma transmission...

There is something therapeutic in this sad acceptation that there was nothing we could have done to prevent this. That we already did the best we could do, which is: cutting ties, refusing to engage in their trauma-bonding, refusing to participate in the transmission of trauma.

A letter from Grandmother and a new point of view on the family

The grandmother's Christmas letter has arrived. I havent opened it yet. The enveloppe is a re-used advertisement enveloppe. On the inside, certainly the letter is written on re-used paper such as, unused agenda pages neatly cut from the agenda, the back of other enveloppes...

This all brought back memories of the vacations spent at the grandmother's house. Of her piling up things instead of throwing them away, turning her appartment into an Ali Baba cavern of craft material and other treasures. Of reading old, old books, out-of-date encyclopedias, browsing dictionnaries which were back then already older than we are right now, trying to use erasers so old they were crumbing to a messy dust instead of erasing.

****************TRIGGER WARNING for eating spoiled food*********************






But also, of looking for the sales everywhere in the advertisements, piling up fresh food everywhere in the house that we would not eat, eating instead spoiled food that was not yet spoiled enough to be poisonous but just enough to be disgusting. Soft caramels turned hard, black chocolate turned white, bubblegum which would turn into a messy crumbly paste, dried fruits hard as rock, acidic milk, rancid butter, mushy potato chips and crackers, tasteless tea and spices from bottles with labels so old I could not make out the words on them. It did not matter anyway because there was no taste left.

I thought there were so many foods I hated. I learnt growing up that I only hated them because I only ate them spoiled at the grandmother's house.

I learnt to dissociate while eating, to eat as much as possible in one sitting, to ask for seconds as often as possible, to go for the free food everywhere there was free food, even the tiniest "try our new product" bit, to eat the burnt border of the pizza crust "because it makes your teeth whiter", and to be appaled of getting fatter and fatter in the process of stuffing my face with every calorie I could set my hands on. I learnt to eat stale bread, mouldy cheese, and not to touch the fresh food from the freezer.






***********************END TRIGGER******************

Now that I am here at the desk, looking at the re-used enveloppe thinking about all the things the grandmother used to do, I realized all the trauma and anxiety I inherited from her. I also understand better why it was such a sacrifice for her to buy new stuff for me sometimes (such as, chocolate-coated cereals instead of going for the plain ones and adding cocoa powder to the milk in the bowl).

I have compassion for her and how she is stuck in time during the Occupation of France. I better understand her drives and motives. I better understand some family arguments. I better understand why she dissociates (because she does, and so does our mother, certainly our brother, likely our uncles too, our father certainly too though we cannot pinpoint the why).

The more whole I become, the more I am able to see the bigger picture of the body's family. Everybody's hidden and not-so-hidden tragedies. All the dissociation going on, all the triggered-in-a-loop reactions within some persons and between the persons too during family gatherings. All the same scenes repeated in a loop. The same unheard communications, the same despair going on and on, the same addictions used to numb it all which ended up making things even way worse. All the unspoken pain and trauma. All the denial, within the persons as well as the inter-personal gaslighting.

Now I am better able to make sense of all of it. The dots are connecting little by little.

I feel compassion. I am starting to feel enough compassion for them to stop being only angry at them. I am still angry though. It was their responsibility to heal themselves and their family, their responsibility to NOT pass the trauma down to the next generation. They tried to use me, they did use me, as a relief of their pain. Later on, some tried to use me as a therapist too.

I protected myself the best I could by cutting ties. At first I did it out of spite and anger. Now I understand that I need to keep staying out of their reach, because I have compassion for myself and for Pride, because I have compassion for them too. Allowing them to go back to trying to use us, will not help them and it will certainly be unsafe for us.

Shoppenhauer is wrong when he writes that one must untie oneself from the organic aspects of life in order to become a moral person. It is the opposite. One needs to feed, care for and tame the beast within, to integrate all the different aspects of life, in order to be whole and able to move on and up. Or else, the trauma of dissociating from the bodily needs, from the emotions, from the inner child and so on, will only diminish the person, shrink their abilities to think and reason.

I want to be whole. Not as "one identity constant through time" but as "one well-connected and well-balanced cluster of thoughts and emotions". Not as in "a white light being all the colors mashed together" but as "a pretty and whole rainbow".

I want to move on. I want to mourn the past, heal the hurt, tell it goodbye and walk towards a brighter future.
__
Daniel

PS: we finally recieved the first of the papers for the gender change on the ID card. Now we can ask for the next one, then with the next one we can fill in all the files to change all the things.
Autistic | ADHD | DID | transmasc (they/them & he/him)

System host/umbrella identity: Morwan

Journey thread | DID ressources thread

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:41 pm

We have opened the Christmas letter from the Grandma. We have not read the letter yet. The enveloppe was filled in with newspapers clippings with the proper date written on them. The oldest one was from 2012 most of them were 2015-2016. Most are just the same things she always sends each time, the... "marronniers" in french. It is "evergreen" in english? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreen_(journalism) It is always the same thing each time she sends articles. She is stuck in the past. It made me cry. :cry: She sends things that are outdated by many years just like the food she gave us to eat when the body was little. We grow more aware of what dissociation is and we realize she is stuck in dissociation in the past. But she is more than 90 years old. We cannot unstuck her. It makes me cry too. :cry: We are getting unstuck and she stays stuck. She was the most normal family member for us and she is not normal at all. :cry: We grew up we thought she had nostalgia for the past because she is always talking about the past. Or other people. Never herself. But we realize now she is stuck and dissociated. :cry: She cannot talk about the present of herself because she cannot remember it. :cry: Just like we cannot remember the past until it jumps out of hiding to bite us and hide again. She is always talking about the past of us and it makes us remember the things hidden in the boxes before we forget again. It is nice to remember. But it is scary because we remember that we forgot and to remember that we forgot is scary. But her self is stuck in her past. :cry: Her appartment is a museum not because she likes to remember the past but because she cannot remember the present. :cry: It is the opposite of us. Maybe this is why we loved her so much when the body was little because she was the embodyment of the "past" we could not remember. So it gave us a "past" which was nice because we were only "present". But both of us are deprived of "future" like that. :cry: Now we try to connect our "past" and our "future" to our "present". We try that the "future" we imagine is not a dissociation from the "present" but a plan for making it real for the future. It takes a lot of time. It took us two years to finally have the bookcase done and put the books inside and have all our books back accessible to read when we want. But we can do it. We do the transition thing. We do our work things. (We write books. They do not sell because they are too "niche" to sell but we write them.) We do the therapy. We have tons of things planned for the future. Maybe too much. But we plan for it and we slowly do the things. But the grandmother is stuck. No future. No present. Only past. And we feel it more and more. We see better and better the world and understand the people better. It is like we start to see and realize everybody is blind. And it is sad. Because we realize we were blind too. :cry:

But at least now we see. It happened to all the me's in the us. It is over now. We need to open all the memory boxes one by one and put all the pictures back in order. We will do that with the therapist because she is nice and she makes us feel safe. I like her. She makes me feel safe. She is nice. With her we can do the things and put the whole life back in order in one full picture! Yay for us!

I am less sad for Grandma now. Thanks people for listening!
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby YunaTheSummoner » Fri Dec 31, 2021 4:33 pm

Your life story is so powerful and moving. It makes me feel that a part inside that does not like to feel and fears connection...'feels and connects' when we read your journal!

Maybe 'Michel' was trying to declare his admiration with his comment about you being a strong person (I know he used the wrong pronoun) but in his drunken state it just didn't come out right? He maybe very embarrassed if he did remember what he said?

But from what I've read he was right about you being strong!

Its funny you mention there being 3 of you..I was doing our food shop and they show my christian name (which is hypenated..so 2 names) and middle name... as I logged in I heard a thought.. "I like it when they acknowledge us all" coming from somewhere in the back. I think we may have split into 3 main groups/alters? (not sure of the correct term here) and within each one representing each name are the others merged?

Anyway ..I wish you all the best for the new year.

Yuna
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Dec 31, 2021 5:20 pm

I am glad that our journal can be of use for you when you read it.

Regarding "Michel", he has been like that since the day we met him, sober or not. Kept saying that he "interacts only with our mind" but kept calling us a "woman" or a "man-woman". While the others *do* get our pronoun wrong *because they met us pre-transition* and apologize when we correct them. Michel on the other hand, *argues* with us when we correct him.

This is a very important difference for us. We can understand that getting into a new habit can be difficult. Everybody every year writes the date of the *previous year* everywhere for a few weeks out of habit. People who change their name/pronouns do have the same "habit" issue even though they were the ones who decided over the change. Same goes with a haircut / hair color change, it can take getting used to it despite choosing to do it yourself. (Fun fact: we know of at least two persons with a "trangender cat" meaning that they adopted the kitten thinking it was of one sex and as the kitten aged, discovered it was of the other sex, but the habit was already too deep to switch the cat's pronouns. Not that cats care about these things. But it's fun to know that at least one female cat is called "he" and one male cat is called "she" due to their humans' habits.)

Saying "sorry I forgot" is not the same thing as saying "stop messing with me, I tell you that I interact with your mind and you are a woman". It's not even out of lack of being explained the things. We were very clear: we have "the mind of a man" meaning we are a man, no matter what. The out-of-date "transsexual" thing labelled people the other way around compared to the "trangender" label, we explained again and again that "a trans man is a man NOW but it was not always the case - a cis man is a man NOW and it was always the case" and I don't know how to explain things simplier than that.

Therefore our conclusion is that, either Michel is transphobic due to his cisnormative education (meaning he was so educated in the "you are a man only if you have these body parts" that he is unable to conceptualize people otherwise) or his mental health issues lead to too much brain damage for him to understand the situation properly. Could be both too, due to his age and how long he has been struggling with his health issues.

All in all the result is the same: it is exhausting to have our pronouns being argued back to us each time we correct him. But we'll keep doing it anyway. Because if *we* loose this habit of us of correcting people who are confused by our gender presentation, then, we lack respect for ourselves.
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby YunaTheSummoner » Fri Dec 31, 2021 9:09 pm

ArbreMonde wrote:I am glad that our journal can be of use for you when you read it.

Regarding "Michel", he has been like that since the day we met him, sober or not. Kept saying that he "interacts only with our mind" but kept calling us a "woman" or a "man-woman".
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I agree that is disrespectful, if he has been doing it constantly when sober too. Sorry I read it as a one off drunken mistake cos he'd 'fallen off the wagon'. :oops:

Unfortunately in life you are going to come across people who will deliberately use the wrong pronouns or show no respect for other people's beliefs. It does seen very unfair though particularly in a therapy situation where everyone is going there for support!
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Dec 31, 2021 9:29 pm

Thank you for the support. Being a "femboy" (man who likes to wear make-up and "feminine" things to express his masculinity) we are prepared to be misgendered by people who are confused by our gender presentation. We also discovered that fortunately, most people simply arent taught how to interact with trans people and just need to be explained the "a trans man is a man NOW (but it was not always the case)" thing in order to be un-confused. Most of the time people are more confused by our make-up than by our transeness. :lol:

Thing with "Michel" is, it was *not* supposed to be a therapy session. It was supposed to be a weekly gathering to read philosophy texts and discuss them. But with his health issues, he tends to make it all about himself -not as in "I relate to this philosophy context with my life experience" but as in "I will turn this group into an AA meeting for me and myself only". This situation is very uncomfortable and I am glad that the supervisors were able to do something about it.
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