Wednesday, July 20, 2011

breaking away

     I felt a twinge of identification with Casey Anthony this week as she left to go into hiding.  Her case completely aside just the fact that she is about to set out by herself to make a new life, keep her old life and identity in hiding, be placed in a completely different environment and expected to adapt.  Everything about her life, her beliefs, identity, connections, and home, has been pulled up by the roots and now she is to replant somewhere else.  Perhaps that is not the best comparison, and certainly could be a very touchy one, but I recognized someone who has to recognize life completely outside of the norm, of what they expected life to be.  Outcast.  Someone who has dealt or been dealt with something unacceptable to society and shunned or ignored.  I'm sure survivors of abuse may be Casey Anthony's biggest opponents, but I can't help seeing a connection between the victims and perpetrators in child and sexual abuse, whether they are guilty or innocent, that is they are connected to something society would rather not talk about and so they are ignored.  The only difference being that someone guilty of these is only shunned if they get caught, whereas someone innocent of these, a victim, is shunned regardless.
     As a multiple, being shunned is often more from awkward circumstance than something deliberately done by anyone.  It's just that life is drastically different, not just outside my head but inside it.  I am no longer the person people expect me to be.  I never had any expectations for my life as an adult.  I didn't really expect to make it that far.  Not that I expected to die, but that I expected someone else to come take my place in my body, someone more suited for the job, who would actually enjoy that life.  I would turn into someone else.  It had happened before.  I had practice letting someone else be me, though I hadn't thought about it directly.  I didn't turn into someone else this time.  I wasn't able to create any new 'else's'.  And all my old ones came out with different lives that didn't match at all. 
     Very few people believe me.  My therapist has told me I will have to get used to that.  I don't blame them, I hardly believe myself most of the time.  To believe it means you would have to accept that something really bad happened, and that was just not my life.  I couldn't let it be so.  The more I remember other alters' memories, the more I am distanced from my old life, and all the people I had enlisted to pretend with me that it wasn't that bad.  Because I can't pretend to myself anymore.  Merging with another alters perspective is like having a shadow that was just out of your line of vision come into view and slowly merge into you.  I remember things that someone else in my body saw that I had promised to forget.  It helps lesson the headaches, there is less of a jolt and less shock.  I recognize somebody else with different likes and tastes and thought patterns but I remember their memory.
     It is very isolating.  Nothing in my life is what I thought it was, no one I knew is who I thought they were.  I don't want anyone to get too close and see how badly I was hurt, how vulnerable I am.  It changes everything.  I recognize now in relationships where I thought the other was the strong one and I clung to them for support and recognition, I was the strong one and usually got taken advantage of because I didn't know it.  Nothing in my head that I thought was mine is mine.  Life changed, not just physical things on the outside but the fabric that made my life up; every belief I had, every thing I thought I knew.  Every relationship I had is different than I thought.  Every memory I have is different than I thought.  I am smarter and stronger than I ever knew, and I have been hurt far worse than I ever knew.
     Relating to other people is different for me, because now I have different parts of me starting to merge that are completely unfamiliar with them, and now I have more memory and input to take into account.  I can't forget as much anymore, and I have no desire to.  People are still relating to me as if things are the same as they ever were, and when I go to therapy it feels as if we are the only two people in the world who know it is not.

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