Dreaming comes so easily, cause it's all I've ever known. True love is a fairy tale, I'm damaged so how could I know. I'm scared and I'm alone; I'm ashamed and I need for you to know. I didn't say all the things that I wanted to say, and you can't take back what you've taken away, cause I feel you; I feel you near me. Healing comes so painfully and it chills me to the bone. Will anyone get close to me? I'm damaged as I'm sure you know. There's a mending for my soul; and ending to this fear; forgiveness for a man who was stronger. I was just a little girl, but I can't go back...
-- "Damaged" by Plumb
A week or more ago, I learned something new which has cause more inner turmoil and struggle than I have ever had to face. It's as if I have had questions haunting me my whole life, and they were answered with one single memory...
Why? Why do I feel incomplete, flawed, worthless? Why do I feel like people ought not like me? How come I have always hated myself?
When I was a kid in Girl Scouts, there were plenty of talks about self-esteem and self-image. I had always scoffed, saying that it was bologna and that we ought not place esteem in ourselves. My mom told me it was because I had naturally high self-esteem... But I would cry at night, hating who I was...
So I ignored it, as best I could, for a long time as I tried to shape my image as "the weird girl." It wasn't hard and it made a great defense against people who I thought wouldn't understand. I found that strange people tended to be broken people, and broken people understood.
But still, there were nights, countless nights, that I would ask why I was sad though I had no discernible reason. Then in high school I would be overly angry, depressed, melancholic, all for no apparent reason. Sometimes it was a deep ache that would come unexpectedly, stay for a while, and then just as unexpectedly leave without a trace. There never was a reason that I could find. And when I talked to my mom about it, she would always say that I just didn't think hard enough to find the reason... But now it makes sense, for I had simply blocked out all recollection of why.
I was watching the movie Thr3e (based on the novel by Ted Dekker; I recommend) which is about an extreme case of MPD. The main character had a flash back to a swing set swaying in the wind at night... Apparently, Little Erin had gotten bored so she took a look to see what I was doing, saw the swings, and thought we were at a playground. There had been previous incidents where I learned that something had happened to me at a playground when I was a young child, but Little Erin had always refused to talk about it. In hindsight, I cannot blame her at all; I can hardly talk about the memory myself... Needless to say, Little Erin is afraid of playgrounds, especially swings, and was very frightened. As I tried to understand better why she was afraid, Little Erin returned to me the memory of what happened all those years ago. When I snapped out of the flash back, I was able to choke out what happened to Nickie, then my body collapsed into body wracking sobs.
When I calmed a bit, Nickie asked to talk with Little Erin, if she felt safe enough to come out. Things when I was co-conscious with Little Erin are a bit hazy, but Nickie tells me she talked a bit with Little Erin about the memory. I do remember that we watched the beginning of Disney's Mulan, which she had never seen before and had fallen asleep during. I took over after Little Erin fell asleep and Nickie then told me that Little Erin cried hard enough to make my stomach upset...
As I tried to fall asleep a bit later, the fact that that what I remembered really happened, and I sobbed more. My eyes were swollen a little the next day.
Since then, I have spent the hours and days struggling between complete denial and grudging acceptance of the abuse I experienced. I was more than happy to continue denying that it happened, but Guilt wouldn't allow that.
Last Thursday (January 27th) night, Guilt finally became so fed up with me avoiding the subject that she gave me a promise. I'm not entirely sure how Guilt managed it, but she forced me to feel what I believe to be the mass majority of the pain the alters were created to take care of. When I slowed my crying, Guilt threatened that ever day that I do not deal with it, she will haunt and torment me as I try to sleep. Nickie wasn't too happy about the threat, but agreed to remind me to think and deal with things... I agreed to nothing and continued to deny the reality of my memory.
Two days after that happened, I realized just how many questions that this one memory answers if I accept it's reality...
Q: Why have I been in pain my whole life?
A: Because when I was 6-years old, a man cruelly and horribly abused me and I couldn't handle it.
However, along with the answers comes new phobias, new pain. My mild fear of men has exploded into a phobia of men I do not know. I don't want people to touch me. The smell of beer/alcohol, which I previously enjoyed, now frightens me.
And as I begin to struggle with these, the overriding fear is that people won't believe me. That my parents will not believe me. I hardly want to believe it happened, so why would others believe me when I didn't tell them about it at the time? When I "supposedly" suppressed it for 15 years? Why should people believe my testimony?
"Will anyone get close to me? I'm damaged as I'm sure you know.... I was just a little girl, but I can't go back..."