Water of Life

CW: Contains indirect references to childhood sexual abuse. This one is heavy for me – emotional. It may be for you, too. Take good care.

**********

Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.
~ Christopher Morley

So i made it to my therapist’s office today. And i started crying as soon as i saw her.
In the parking lot.
Crying.
Fuck.*

Tears are difficult for me. There is, as with just about every fucking thing in my life, a push and a pull with tears. As an infant, i know that i would have cried. I know from gathering as much information as i could from people who would talk to me about her honestly, that she wasn’t a terribly attentive mother. Unless family or someone she wanted something from was around, and then she was perfect and doting. But her mask would slip occasionally with those she called friend. She’d leave me cry in my crib for too long, saying i needed to cry it out or i’d be spoiled. Claimed i was colicky and would drown me in gripe water (which contained alcohol back in the day), and push baby Aspirin. Based on behaviours i do remember from a young age, i imagine the ignoring of my needs went for longer when no one was around to see.

When she’d spank me or hit me, sometimes she’d stop when i cried, and sometimes she’d go harder. If i cried for something other than beatings, say, disappointment or sadness or fear, she’d berate and humiliate me. I was a big baby and needed to toughen up. She’d accuse me of crocodile tears. I remember her telling other people when they’d show concern, “Don’t believe it. She’s faking. She’s an amazing little actress.”

She groomed me for predators from infancy, so i’m going to assume there were some tears involved there. And the people she gave me to were the hardest, when it came to shedding tears. Some of them would hurt me worse if i cried. Some would complain to my mother and then she’d beat me. And some needed me to cry, which became a problem when sometime around 3 or 4, my tears dried up. She took me to the doctor about it, i think, but i don’t remember what he said.

I do remember what caused my tears to flow again. I was around 12 or 13. I’ll tell that story another time, because this subject matter is already heavy enough.

I’ll share another interesting tidbit about me and tears, though. For my whole life, since my tears stopped flowing and through their adolescent return, you couldn’t tell i’d been crying when it was over. No matter how long i’d cried –i could, and did, bawl my little eyes out sometimes– all i had to do was wipe my eyes and blow my nose, and no one knew.

Sometime during this recent bout of therapy, that’s changed. I’ve never been asked, “Have you been crying?” until a couple of months ago. My face gets blotchy, my eyes and nose get red… It’s like my body is giving up all its ghosts. I’m no longer carved from alabaster. I’m becoming a living, breathing, crying being. Filled with snot, apparently. Buckets of snot.

I’m coming to life and i’m mourning my dead. The tears water me. They wash off my grave clothes. They cleanse me of the filth that coats me that was never mine. I’m pink and warm underneath. Red and blue and purple and golden light! I pulse and sparkle as life flows into dead limbs. I’m sitting in my cemetery, surrounded by beautiful dead things, and as i water the barren sand it becomes fecund. Living things are sprouting up around me. Pretty things. Green things. Life from death. Beauty from shit.

Which is all very lovely and poetic (and still true), but in the meantime – i cry. I want to cry all the time, and i cry just about every day.
People, i am not a fucking cryer. I get choked up over art and suchlike. Verklempt. Sometimes my eyes will fill up with tears, but they generally remain unshed. I can cry for other people, too. If a friend/loved one is suffering, i cry. But that place where one sobs until there is nothing but hitching breaths and hiccoughing? That place where one connects with one’s own pain and suffering? Almost never. And until my first round of effective headshrinking with my current therapist, if it did happen it wasn’t really for me. I didn’t cry over what happened to me, what was DONE TO ME.

Now i am.
I’ll be attending to some task, speaking with someone, reading something unconnected, sitting on the goddamned toilet – and the tears will suddenly come. They spill out and pour down my cheeks, hot and salty. My heart aches and my belly clenches. I weep. I mourn. And i know this is only the beginning. I know there is an ocean of tears inside me yet. A torrent waiting to be unleashed.
I’m going to let them come.

I’ve marinated in self-pity before, and i fucking deserved to. But this isn’t that.
I’m transporting myself back to my childhood, to bear witness to the crimes committed against me. I look upon that innocent little baby, toddler, child, adolescent, teen, and yes, young woman. I watch what happened to her. I listen, and i feel.
And then i mourn. I weep for her suffering. I ache with her needs. I lament her violation, and i grieve her death. She died over and over again, scavenged bits of flesh and blood from the corpse and made a new thing. A zombie. A golem. A robot. A doll.

The water flows and there’s no bottom to this well inside me.

And i thought it was hard to cry. To release my white knuckle control and cry. To stop dissociating from the grief and cry. To feel the pain of past abuse in my body today, and cry. But it is not the hardest thing. Not by a fucking long shot.
Why does a baby cry?
Hunger, thirst, pain, fear… Unmet needs.
What do we do when a baby cries?
Figure out which one it is and meet the need.
Sometimes though, we meet all the needs and the baby still cries. What do we do then?
We soothe them. We hush, we hold, we comfort, cuddle, softly sing. Blankets, stuffies, low lighting. We whisper words of love, vows of protection. We promise that everything is going to be okay.

And now, here we are at the hardest thing.

I’ll try to post about it in the next couple of days.
Until then, try to have as good a weekend as you can.
I will, too.
Do they still make tissues with lotion?

Love and Peace,
~H~

*If cuss words aren’t your thing, you might wanna pass on this piece. I mean, i often let 1 or 2 into my writing, because i write in my RL voice. What you’re reading is how i talk. Yeah, i’m pedantic and histrionic and show-offy with my admirable vocab. I’ve also been known to swear like a trucker made a baby with a sailor, and it was born with an itch it can’t scratch and a 2′ wide yapper.
This post is feelin’ like it needs to be full of swears.

Sighs and Fuuuus and Triggers, Oh My!

Likely to be somewhat histrionic, and meander-y as fuck.
Oh yeah, and profane.

I am gonna talk about my multiplicity.
It is not fun or cool or romantic or even interesting to me anymore. Mostly it just is what it is, but there are times -like the last 2 1/2mos- when it sucks the sewage out of your drinking water.

Integration was never an option for me. Hell, i can’t usually even remember the word. It’s anathema to me and it’s death to them.
I’m not having any trouble remembering it lately, though. No fucking trouble at all.

Around 4yrs or so ago, my husband had had enough. It had been years of chaos, and in and out of The Bin and regular interaction with the police. Disappearing for hours and even days at a time, with neither of us having much if any idea at all as to what i’d been up to. He was the breadwinner and the only decent parent. And then he had more children than just our sons, to boot.

What happened is private, but when it happened i just knew he was done. He absolutely couldn’t take any more, and neither could our marriage. I was both scared and sorry to see him at the end of his patience, but in a way grateful, as it was the impetus i needed to begin the process of taking control of my brain and the way it works.

With the help of my counsellor, i’d been able to set up safe spaces where my people could hide/live/sleep/whatever. I now have a castle on a large property with some cabins and Hobbity-type dwellings for those who don’t mix well with others. In the castle is a great room with a massive, round table, and that is where we began negotiations.
There were alliances struck and allies made and factions with whom we reached at least, a detente.
Who wants to talk?
Who hates talking but still wants to be heard? Do you want to write, or would you prefer someone here to speak for you?
Who absolutely requires face time, and who wants to never be in the face again if they can at all avoid it?

It took a good, solid year of summiting to come up with a manifesto and a peace treaty that we’d all willingly sign up with and follow. The hardest part was for them to allow me time and space to prove i could be trusted and relied upon to be the head of this family: to provide, to guide, to protect, to serve, and also to punish or otherwise mete out consequences.
We revisited when required, and my position has not been questioned as my record is fucking exemplary.
But there is a thing going on in my life that has taken a great deal out of me. I’ve referenced it before, but it’s still personal and i’ll not share any details. Let it be sufficient to know that it has grown heavier and more burdensome over the years, and as i became healthier and more functional, it became less tolerable.

Enter my Bits N’ Pieces.

They’re just trying to help, of course. That’s all they’ve ever done. But as i grow and mature, their ways become less acceptable. I’m more capable and so the way they cope sometimes is not merely not okay – it’s causing damage. Not to anyone else yet, but it is hurtful to me. I’m stressed out, i’m dealing with feelings of failure, and fear of falling back into the kind of chaos that ruled most of my last 10+yrs.

I will not go back there. I refuse to live like that again.
I sat there at that round table. The head of it and yet not. THE face amongst a sea of many. Giving everyone a voice, a say, a place, because that is, unquestionably, the right thing to do.
Yet i find myself in a position of leadership over people that are not quite people. Most are not fully formed; some are only an emotion or a particular point in time or event, but every single one worthy of whatever they define as existence/life. However, i’m beginning to see stitches loosening and boundaries softening and this cannot happen. I need to be parent/boss/sovereign.¬†Whatever.

Perhaps a bit histrionic, yes, but it’s only because you don’t live in my brain. You probably don’t share thought-space with other people who saved your life since before you could speak. People who constantly fill your brain with their conversation, whether talking to you, or to themselves, or to each other. Who make your life incredibly difficult but they made your life¬†POSSIBLE. Over and over and so many times over. So many times that i feel like the shittiest person ever to be saying to them now, “You’ve gotta stop the shenanigans, or i’m gonna have to talk to her about my options as far as integration.”

The word that i can now remember because it’s become an option.
This is a shit of a day and i fucking hate me right now.
Some of them do, too.
Blah. Blargh. Pfft. Fuuuuuuuu,

~H~