Tuesday, February 15, 2011

She Used to Appear So Big and Fierce

This post is sort of a follow-up to the last post in that it's an update of what took place after Monday's therapy session, but it also delves a little bit more into my DID world and into the history regarding the part I discussed in the last post that is struggling so much. To make it easier, I'm going to call this part "A.". That's the first letter of her name. I realize that giving you her name probably wouldn't give too much away, but my anonymity with this blog has always been important to me, and I want to treat her with that same respect until the time she decides she wants to share her name with anyone. So, thanks, and I hope this doesn't make this post too confusing.

Until very very recently, A. has always presented as larger, taller, stronger, and more fierce than any other part or any external person in our life. In all honesty, since we've met her she's appeared internally as large and as strong as the Jolly Green Giant - except she wasn't green. She's also appeared in adult form on the inside. I never knew her age b/c time doesn't mean much to her, but she spoke and talked as an adult and had quick wit. She towered over all of us and had the strength to take over the body at any point and do as she pleased. For many many years I was very afraid of her.

Over the past couple of years, it's continued to be like pulling teeth to get her to really share anything, but what I have learned has been invaluable. While she has mostly presented as a part whose goal has been to harm the body, in reality she is probably one of my strongest protectors. She was present for the worst of the abuse. She struggles the most with the mind games he played. She protected the rest of us from him during the worst moments. As we began to share about the abuse as an adult, she would lash out - hurting us emotionally and physically. I've come to realize though that in her mind, she was protecting us. He told her telling would mean that everyone would hate us... telling would mean we'd have to go live with him forever... Off and on throughout therapy she has presented at times to 'protect us' from lies he made her believe. This protection has always been brought about by fear, force, and injury to the body on her part up until I got married last May.

She sort of went silent around wedding time. She was so against the wedding and I was fearful that she would sabotage not only the event but my future with the man that I love. At the time I assumed she was so resistant b/c the thought of willingly having sex freaked her out. Now I know it runs much deeper than that. She's pretty much stayed silent the last 8 months. I would wonder about her, but I was loving feeling mostly good and being married, so I didn't take the time to look into it too much.

After husband deployed 3 weeks ago, I immediately started noticing an increased level of activity inside and a spike in my anxiety levels so extreme that I thought my heart my burst. Until Monday I was still in the fog about the exact reasons why. I knew it had to do with A., but I had no idea how or what bomb she was going to drop this time. Monday she told therapist that we were no longer safe. She told therapist that he was coming back to get us. A. told therapist that he told her multiple times while hurting her that she belonged to him. If we ever grew up and got married, we'd broken our covenant to him and he would come find us and make us pay. With hubby home for the past 8 months, this fear hadn't made it's way to the surface b/c we felt safe with hubby - almost like he was an external protector, and I think A. felt like he would protect us from the bad man if he did show up. Once hubby deployed, though, all bets were off. Hubby is gone for a long time. A. felt abandoned and wide open for an attack.

A. crumbled in fear and sadness in therapist's office on Monday, and even with therapist close by, A. never stopped shaking. It took the 2 hours to get A. out of freak out stage and to begin the process of trying to convince her that he will not be coming to get her or any of us b/c we got married. It's going to be a long road.

After therapist brought me back forward and got me stabilized enough, I drove home. It's about a 45 minute drive to my home from therapist's office, so I had a lot of time to think and talk to myself. I got a report from other parts that A. never made it back to her internal house (for as long as I've known her, she's been unwilling to share a house with any other parts) and there was a fragile girl around the age of 9 that no one recognized lying on the ground close to A's house. I let another adult part drive the car home safely, and I went to investigate. Looking closely, I realized it was A., but she barely resembled any other form I've ever seen her take. The eyes are really the main clue that gave away that it was her. She looked so frail and tired and she just lied there and quietly sobbed barely even acknowledging any of us.

I couldn't leave her there. Seeing her like that was breaking my heart in a way I've never felt before. I picked her up in my arms, and surprisingly she didn't resist. I took her to the large house where everyone else hangs out, and put her in an empty room with a comfy bed all her own. Since that time all she's done is sleep, cry, and stare at who knows what. She will briefly respond to you if you talk to her, but she won't converse.

How does the part that was the strongest, largest and fiercest go from that to one of the weakest and most fragile parts in the system? And wow! what a turn around! Guess we really are going to have our work cut out for us for awhile. My head is reeling from the internal shift, b/c even if she is fragile right now, she is still very strong emotionally and it's very hard to not get overpowered by her emotions and try to support her where she is right now.

Wow. This post got way longer than I meant for it to. I'll stop here for now and pick up again in a bit.


  1. I just want you to know that I really love you, and I'm so proud of you for writing about what you all are going through. I think this is a huge step forward for you guys, and I'm totally impressed by your attitude about the whole thing, because I can't imagine how much it has to hurt and how scary it has to be. We've definitely been through our share of internal shifts. Be gentle with yourselves and know that you're all so loved. We can talk any time, ok?

  2. Wow, really feeling for A who has done such a great job at keeping you safe and now needs a lot of gentle care. I'm not surprised she was so affected by your marriage and is now feeling so vulnerable. I am glad that your therapist is there to help you process this stuff, and will be thinking of you (all).

    Love and strength to you,