There has been a delay since our last posting. Our lives have become somewhat more manageable in certain ways. We have made choices in our lives that are scary, things we would have never done before. We have ventured into new space as things would seem, or have we? Are we just merely following our same pattern, only now we are more connected, and making decisions based on a collective understanding of just what we are? Even more cryptic, is there a chance we are actually getting better and approaching a state of normalcy that most people take for granted in their day to day lives? All of the aforementioned choices are just as possible as any other, which one actually fits us?. we want to know.
On oof the things that have become more and more apparent as we travel further along the road to “recovery”, is how our sensory perceptions are much more tune than most others. hyper vigilance can be a curse and a gift. The things that most others miss, we do not. The small nuances of not only body language, but smell, sounds, and most importantly, emotional radar. The level to which we can intuitively read a situation is predominantly due to the fact of this emotional radar, combined with hyper vigilance. This has saved us mores times that we care to realize, and we hate it.
The recent past has seen us consciously recognizing the subtle nuances of this ability. As a trauma survivor, we are aware that we have triggers. That word that we all love to hate, triggers. The commonly obscure things that can send us over the edge, fast. These triggers can be anything form smells, sounds, situations, almost anything. We thought we had a good handle on what triggers us and how to handle them, staying in the present and riding g the wave of fear that follows. The courage that has allowed us to stay mostly present during these times, is something we have to muster hard, always reminding ourselves we are in a safe place, we are ok. Ask any trauma survivor, if they want to be rich or safe, they will all say the same thing; You cannot put a price on safety.
Most recently we have been dealing with one of the hardest things anyone can experience, survivor or not, moving house. We relocated out of fear, we are runners, just after the new year. Our fear was so great, courage was not required to leave. We loaded up our seven year old daughter and drove sixteen hours across Thailand in the middle of the night. Relocating from a metropolitan city, to a remote village, where the number of english speakers could be counted on one hand. This was completely acceptable to us, we were safer on the run than where we were. Running as it seems has a safety all to its own.
Here we are now, after settling down, and feeling safe in our new situation in the jungle, moving again, back to the city from which we ran. The primary actor that we chose to run from is no longer in the same country as us. We are much further along in our recovery, and mastering adulting as it seems! We are learning what a good person we can be! We are discovering that the world does not have to be a scary place, and that most people e do not live in fear every day and night; This for us was a strange idea. Here we are, changing everything again about the life we had adjusted to again, just shy of six months. Are we running again? Are we trying to escape ourselves? we are not sure, we all have our opinions. The bottom line here is our levels of anxiety and stress; off the chart!
As we settled in to the same how ewe moved from, visiting the friends we left behind, and feeling strangely at home again, we are scared. We are tumbling in dear, literally. We are in a cold sweat, trying not to cry in terror, and why? We have nothing to fear. Our life is somewhat easy by comparison. We have no wants that we cannot meet, no needs that are unfulfilled. We are in a safe community with almost no crime. We are by all accounts, safe. So why are we then so terrified, and falling into that dark place we go. That place where we are lonely and afraid. We are surrounded by a loving family, my amazing daughter, and a lady who adores, and most importantly, accepts all of us for exactly who and what we are. yet the terror persists. We continue to slide into depression and self loathing, where we are most familiar.
Earlier in the week, for no apparent reason we noticed the fear creeping up in our consciousness. Since we have become more aware of the presence of the rest our alters, sea re learning that they have their own fears, just as I do. They share the same body as the rest of us, and thus when they fear, we feel. Imagine if you can for a brief moment, being terrified, physically, emotionally, and having absolutely not clue as two the origin of that fear. This is the place in which we find ourselves today. We realize now, one of our alters has been triggered. We have work to do.
Trying to communicate with an alter can be hard any time, and can be almost impossible when they are triggered. To really complicate things further, when the alter is a little, you really have a tough time reaching them. Littles have no trust in anyone. The only somewhat safety they can recognize and accept is that of the system, the collective in which we all reside. The body itself affords little safety other than the ability to run for a little. They are children, in every possible way, with a lifetime of horror stories to benchmark their existence. They are the most fragile, and as in the case of many children, the least listened to. After extensive communication with our system, we have concluded that our nine year old alter, was in fear. Now we just needed to know why. There had been many things in the previous week that could have sent him into a full meltdown. Anything from being off schedule, to not having a bill paid, you name it. His anxiety is usually in a perpetual state.
We had to play over again in our heads, the previous days activities. What has happened that could have scared a nine year old boy to the point of fearing for his safety? After much reflection, we learned the source, our as it was sources, of all this tension. The anxieties started the previous weekend with our travel day. We made the decision to fly, again because of travel anxiety. We like to travel, alone. We hate moving. This particular alter, cannot for any reason be late for anything. We will be sitting at appointments for anything, from doctors to tattoo shops, an hour early in most cases, just so we are not late. We as a system have to accommodate this as the damage he can do to the body, and my nervous system is extensive. His fear and anxiety driving our body and mind to the limits at times.
Another alter, Brian, makes all of our travel arrangements. He has always done very good a this, making everything as smooth as possible down to every last detail. Very seldom does he leave any detail to chance. Today was one day when there was a speed bump he could not force, and thus threw us out of sync. We were late driving to the airport, late getting there, and quite nearly missed our flight. The system was in chaos. Brian and 3k, were in pieces. I was trying to keep us all going, as was my family, realizing what was happening they were being very supportive. We did make it to our destination, but as Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story.
Sitting at our kitchen table, facing the patio doors, having our morning coffee and just waking up, we forgot that our brother in-law, was outside in the kitchen which is about ten meters behind me. He is a quiet man, and as it happens, a really good person. However, he had dropped a very large plastic tub in the kitchen, scaring the hell out of us. Then shortly after, as we had switched, he spoke, behind us. This was the wound we could not identify early on in the investigation into our sudden fear. We were already in a heightened state, when from behind us 3k, heard a mans voice behind us. In his time, this was a bad thing to happen. Our father, the demon spawn from hell, would terrorize him from behind. Trying to catch him by surprise. Since I personally did not experience this event, in there here and now, I was playing catch up. Catch up we did.
Two days later, and a lot of driving the people e around us batty, we have found out why we have been mysteriously in mortal terror. This was a trigger we all have to different degrees. We are all aware of our distrust fo men, and people in general. What we did not know was the death to which, just hearing a deep male voice could effect us. Also, how much differently that we could process this, as individuals in the same body. The purpose of a system, is to shield the host from the horrific events to which the body was exposed to. My alter was simply doing his job, even though his fear is real to him, shielding me from the cause if his fear, until I can assure him that we are safe and everything is ok. This is one fo the first times we have been able to actively decipher an unknown fear, and calm a little down, without chemicals.
As we sit here tonight, writing this post, we are doing two things. We are hoping that our experiences can somehow help another. We are also processing. We are learning ways, that are productive for our system to process fears, and realize safety. We struggle less days now than before, however the struggles continue. Triggers, can be melded into the consciousness of an alter, and you as the host or another alter fronting, may never know. Even for someone that does not have Dissociative Identity Disorder, triggers can be a very real and crippling event, that can run-in a day, week, or lifetime. We have learned that whatever we have to do, that makes us feel safe, is ok. The lives we lead are ours, and do not belong to those whom created us. We are stronger together, in our struggles, our triumphs, and in our futures.