Dissociation makes you less aware of your body and your surroundings. We all do it to some degree, some of the time — but when it’s severe and/or constant, it’s a problem.
While I was on my trip in Algonquin Park I had some major epiphanies that showed how dissociative I was in the past. The most surprising realization I had is that I actually take a size 11 woman’s running shoe, but had been wearing 8.5/9 runners all my adult life. There is no logical explanation for why I thought it was normal to wear shoes that consistently made my feet BLEED, to the point of scarring. This is how dissociation works: at the time, I knew my feet got a “little” blistered and I was somewhat aware that they bled. But I blocked out the pain and didn’t ever think that maybe I needed bigger shoes. I had no idea how shoes were supposed to fit. See, I was used to being grateful for the fact I had shoes at all (I usually only had one pair of shoes at a time). When I was growing up I couldn’t ask for clothes and I remember trying to hot-glue my only pair of shorts together for gym class when the zipper busted.
So when I was running after a moose in Algonquin and my feet got sore, Willow realized that something was wrong and I started wearing her runners instead (size 10 men’s). Today we got rid of all my old shoes and got me three pairs that actually fit: cute flats, nice boots, and runners (Value Village for the win!). I keep exclaiming in amazement how great they feel and how wonderful it is to be comfortable. I’ve never experienced this before and it’s blowing my mind.
I post this from time to time — it is my story. I am not my story, but I have overcome so much to get where I am, which is something worth honouring.
Acorn babe says
maybe this is the afterlife,
because she’s awakened
to the Earth; she knows
she’s always been an oak.
Here Kassie babe reigns
as the lollipop queen, owning
her land, herself
as if there is no separation between
us and us and us.
There is only freedom,
full like a vast land that knows
though there’s no trees in sight.
I identify as a multiple, who is not suffering from dissociative identity disorder, but thriving with it. DID is a mental strategy to survive, and once freed from that survival situation, a multiple has near superhuman capabilities at her/his beck and call.
I have been trying to find a way to express my system, my parts, the essence and the variety of who we are. I think the best thing I can share right now is my Pinterest page…which is like a collage of our personalities. We create separate boards for our parts (not all our parts, but a good few), and each voice and flavour can be seen at a glance.
My Pinterest is here if you would like to see what I mean! https://www.pinterest.com/storykai/
Warriorship is something we choose, but it is a necessity for any healing. Survivors become warriors when they take up the fight against the fear self within. The fear self perpetuates the messages from the past, plays on our insecurities, and tells us that we can’t heal. There is nothing I disrespect more than the statement “I can’t” with regard to healing.
You are the only person with all the capacity to fight your own fear self. You know what your insecurities are, and you can learn to understand yourself and your fear self at a level that no other human being can. This is why no one else can do the work of healing for you. Support and guidance from others is extra fuel for your war-fire, but you have to be front and centre at your post to win the fight.
Choosing warriorship means choosing to fight for yourself, to parent yourself, to love and respect yourself, to protect yourself, and to heal yourself. It means living in the present, not in the past or in dissociation. It means being alert to recognize the fear self when it attacks. It means knowing your truth, so you can understand how to heal from it. When you know your truth, your story and yourself, the fear self is no longer a formidable enemy but a prisoner of war, kept securely and humanely.
Warriorship is a discipline that gets stronger through practice. The first step is recognizing the difference between reality and what the fear self tells you. Be mindful of negativity and question it. If you can trace your negativity back to a place of fear, then you can recognize the fear self and choose to fight against it. Knowing your fear self is half the battle.
Today I feel raw, all veneer cut to the quick, exposing nerves.
I remember being 13, obsessed with The Shawshank Redemption, the story of an innocent man in prison. He was described as having an “invisible coat” that shielded him from the horrors around him, protecting something within him so that it could never be touched.
I remember being 14, writing tomes about ancient Roman stoicism, because it let me emotionless and strong, untouchable.
I was 15 and writing quotes on the wall to let my family know they couldn’t break me.
I don’t know where I got this attitude of strength from, but it’s what saved me. No matter what was done to me, no matter what they made me do, they couldn’t get to my soul. I knew right from wrong and they couldn’t corrupt that.
Now I have peace, and beautiful people around me who amaze me with their kindness. Now it is time to do the good that I knew all along was right.