Friday, March 11, 2011


    Watching scenes from a huge natural disaster on the other side of the world gives me an itch.  It may seem odd, disaster situations normally call for running the other way, but it just makes me want to be there.  One of my alters spent a year studying to be an emergency medical technician in high school, with the goal of being one of the first in a new experiment for those licensed by age 18.  It was the perfect job for her.  Giving up that goal, or putting on the back burner long term was extremely difficult for her and conversely a huge relief for many of the rest of my alters.  I myself had quite a bit of anxiety over the approaching job, but was driven on by seeing the world through her eyes.  Through her, living the life of an emergency rescuer was thrilling, and I never felt more alive, in the moment, and useful.  As she studied and worked towards her goal and attended classes there was constant struggle and anxiety among the alters, as they tried to live her world when they were out and their unease turned to terror.  Many were scared enough being forced to drive a car when they did not know how to drive, and now they were supposed to drive an ambulance?  People were bemused as my enthusiasm altenated with terror and I was often asked 'why are you doing this?'  To which I would sort of be stumped and reply "because sometimes I really, really want it."  I didn't understand it any more than they did.
    It is actually a relief to me to have alters with goals and dreams, because I often felt that I should and I didn't, or at least none that I consistenly wanted.  I had no career lined up, in fact because of how many alters were set up to survive imagining any kind of future was nearly impossible for me.  I had some directions because of interests different alters had, incredibly diverse for one person, but because of my past I never actually took them seriously.  I knew I could not move forward because of my past and the way it had made me, but was determined to ignore it and pretend it didn't exist.
    When I finally opened that pandora's box, people told me many things, usually something like 'you need to move on' or 'soon it will fade and not be such a big deal' or 'don't make it so personal'.  Answers that made them more comfortable, because clearly my passion and obsession with the subject did not.  I discovered that most of my life had been a lie.  I discovered I had been raped before the age of three.  How is that not personal?  The statistics of women and men who are raped and molested at some point during their life, shockingly high, became personal.  I was, and continue to be, furious not just for me but for all of them.  I always wanted to change the world, I always wanted to be a fighter.  I had so much rage at what I had lived through, I thought I could quietly direct it somewhere else, and help the world but not me.  Now I don't even consider it.  Why would I?  The only thing that allows such hideous crimes to be continued is silence, and I have plenty of voice.  I don't think that it will fade.  It may, and that is alright, I can move with the tides of my life, because there is more than just fighting.  But I don't think it will.  I feel driven. 
     I may not be able, at this time, to go work in disaster relief or work to end world hunger.  But the epidemic of sexual abuse is just as real as world hunger, and that is something I know quite a bit about, that is something I can fight.  And that is good, because it is a topic that needs fighters.  Why tell someone to be quiet about this subject?  Instead of ignoring my past and being a hero for someone else I can use my past and be a hero for myself.  I don't have to do anything clever, all I have to do is talk, tell my story.  Any life, laid out in the open, is a weapon against crime.

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