Monday, April 30, 2012

With Love, From Me, To You

      Most of us go about day to day focusing on tangible success without much thought to how we are faring beyond a physical level.  The emotions we feel and how we interact with each other is so important and so drastically overlooked.  In therapy I become more and more aware of the emotional body as comparable to a starving dog, a cowering living being fed the occasional scrap with the capacity to be so much more.  And while that's to be expected in a patient with DID as they have usually experienced strong neglect, I think most people today go about quietly and confused with their own inner emotional starvation not knowing what to do about it.

     One of the emotions I learned to block growing up was loneliness- it didn't mesh with the program I was set up with.  According to it I was supposed to stay away from people so loneliness was counterproductive.  Now that we are trying to break the programming we are a bit confused that we should want to be around people or interact and how we should go about doing that.

     Finding a support system, is, of course, invaluable, especially if you have lost a safe support system from your family.  I systematically identify this need and hunt down a solution- I NEED to talk- until someone surprisingly offers to listen- the full package, no strings attached.  Suddenly it's personal and I don't want to talk.  Not running from your support system is apparently the next step after you've found it.

     Friendship can be tricky.  We've agreed not to tell about DID until we know and trust a person very well, but alters switch in and out with everyone, whether we trust them or not.  Most friendships have been broken or distanced suddenly with no explanation, until we've learned to expect everyone to up and walk out at some point without saying a word.  With integrating memories that is being explained somewhat as stories of unknown fights with friends or different alters who broke things off start to emerge.  Finding someone who you can be close to without knowing you have multiple personalities is difficult, just as difficult as finding someone who can handle sticking with you once they know you have multiple personalities.  On the up side it's the perfect litmus test.  If you find someone who will stick with you through all that, they're a keeper. 

     It also applies to dating with DID.  Dating, as I have mentioned before on this blog, is a conundrum with multiple personalities.  Obviously.  The ingrained 'don't get near people' rule seems to apply to all alters- in a weird way that is kind of a good thing here, because I've got alters all over the spectrum in that area, and rules we set for ourselves don't seem to work.   I've wondered if dating an understanding transgender wouldn't be the perfect solution to make everyone happy and content, but even then I doubt it.

     I have also started to recognize a universal pattern, that we seek out people we are comfortable with, usually those we have something in common with.  When we no longer have that thing in common we leave.  Sort of a sad little happenstance in life, that people just drift apart.  If you're trying to change what you have in common with them, especially a bad habit or negative pattern, it can be imperative that you leave.  Similar to addiction, when you are trying to break out of dysfunction, it is difficult to be around people who are dysfunctional.  That doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't love them or necessarily break off from them.  It can mean limit contact to what you are safe with.

     The thing is we love everybody, we are most content when those around us are able to share in it, and dissonance with anyone is painful.  I miss people that I've had to leave.  We are learning the important distinction between keeping in touch with people and expecting them to be able and willing to be our support system.  I have found that everybody is lovable with wonderful things about them, even the ones who hurt others and themselves.  It's an ironic discovery considering one of the main core beliefs programmed into some of my alters was that I am unlovable.  It's not true for me, or any of my alters, or anybody else in the world.

     I think allowing myself to hold onto the good in people and knowing I have the power to limit my contact with the bad in them has made me less bitter.  It hurts less than completely cutting myself off.  Allowing myself to love is the most natural and freeing thing in the world.

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