We have cut a lot of people out of our life since we started regaining trauma memories. In fact, that is how the DID self-awareness came to be. We had an argument with friends A and B, where B, to whom we had given multiple warnings over many years, pulled the same, old, manipulative shit she always had. We blocked B on everything. Friend A cuts us off for blocking friend B. We gradually remember that friend A had been sexually abusing everybody vulnerable in her age group and near vicinity since she was a child and WELL into adulthood, far past the age where we could blame it on her (severe) trauma.
From there, we began to finally prioritize our mental health over the facade of a community/family. Hugely distanced ourselves from our parents, with plans to completely cut them off in the very near future. Cut off our cousin. Cut off our entire extended family – our Mom’s side after we mentioned our uncle was sexually harrassing us and our parents gave no indication that they cared or would protect us. Our dad’s side after realizing that seeing them meant seeing previously mentioned “friend” A and our Mom, both of whom are the people we consider to be our main abusers.
In all honesty, it hasn’t hurt or bothered us to cut any of these people off. It has felt like something we always wanted to do, but were too afraid to follow through on. We used to fantacize about leaving the state without telling a soul, changing our name and leaving no contact information.
The only thing that bothered us was losing contact with friend A. And that is only because it is VERY hard to grow up abused yourself, watch a toddler act like the adults hurting them have turned them into an empty and sadistic being, and not want to help them. It was hard to give up on the thought of Friend A ever finding redemption, peace, or happiness. Our therapist really had to drive home to us that friend A probably has a severe disorder that we are not capable of treating. She is in therapy. I hope to everything just in the world that her therapist is a good one.
Jennifer wants to cut in at this point to say that from age 14 – 27, our life felt mostly like this song. [This song is how I, Jennifer, felt all the time during those years. Other alters maintained a facade of a happy person with great friends and family, but even they – though not knowing why – felt empty inside. And to be clear, I see this is a persecutor speaking to their own system. An alter who is harsh, violent, and controlling innerworld to try to escape abuse, not a homicidal maniac wanting to set the world on fire. We absolutely do not need any more “violent in the outer world” alter tropes.] Cutting people off has been easy and mostly painless, because none of them were there for us in a way that actually helped, and many of them were abusers. Surrounded by people like this, life was nearly unbearable.
But now we are facing a new problem. Somebody that we care about is being an asshole to us. Acting like our boundaries are a joke, not bothering to research DID and still acting like an authority on it, trying to convince us that our therapist is bad for us, accusing our spouse of things that they didn’t do, repeatedly giving us mental health advice when we have repeatedly told them to stop.
It’s exhausting. It’s impairing our healing. It’s hurting our spouse. And it needs to stop.
But it’s hard too. This person is somebody that we grew up with. Somebody who, while they have always put us down and expected us to act/be like them, at least wasn’t as abusive as so many other people.
I hope that their current behavior is a trauma reaction. I hope that they are afraid of the concept of DID because it responates with them. I hope that they find a good therapist and learn that it’s okay to express their emotions, and that, consequently, others expressing emotion around them are not out to manipulate them.
I hope all of this is coming from a place of fear and not of disregard for empathy. I have been an asshole because of my trauma on numerous occassions. And this person has stated multiple times that they feel like emotions hurt people.
But the way things are now, and the way they might forever remain, I need to stop engaging with this person. I need to stop sharing anything that really matters to me. I need to put my own healing first.
It sucks and it’s hard, but I want to survive. I can’t afford to let this person convince me to go back to the shell of who I was.
Every time I engage with them, I am afraid to be myself for weeks or months afterwards.
Painful though it may be, this ends today.Published in