In the Silence, I Heard You at Last

Blogs may include sensitive or triggering content. Reader discretion is advised.

As other members of our system have mentioned, we started EMDR recently. There’s a lot that’s been going on in my subsystem and in my head. More, honestly, than I am able to convey.

So much of this is new to me. I am accustomed to putting the weight of the world on myself and I don’t exactly know what I’m feeling when I don’t feel that way. It’s sort of like spending your entire life in a room filled with screaming, turning machinery. Even after somebody switches it off, you can hear it echoing in your brain. But when you look around all is still. It is…unnerving. But not frightening. But the fact that it’s not frightening makes it feel like it should be. But it’s not. 

I feel like I am bracing myself for a signal that will never come. I should feel horrible, but I feel calm. I don’t feel peaceful, because the calm is unnerving. But I don’t feel unnerved. I feel weird. It’s like the feeling of having somebody else in your head, but nobody else is in your head, so it’s not creepy. It’s not bad at all. But it’s supposed to be, because it always has been before. 

I’ve been put in a safe room with no danger anywhere. I keep expecting the door to be locked, because being put somewhere safe usually means that somebody is messing with a different part of the system and trying to trick me into relaxing/not noticing it. But the door is unlocked. I look out the window to see what horrors might be occurring elsewhere in our system. But all is well.

Internal silence is unsafe. Internal silence is like the woodland birds cutting off their song when a predator approaches. But there is nothing dangerous in this silence.

This is so goddamn weird. 

I don’t like it. But there’s nothing to dislike. So I do like it. In the sense that I’ve never felt this calm before. But that’s always, always, ALWAYS a trap, so I keep double-checking everything and…it’s safe. 

The most unsettling thing about all of this quiet is that I can focus on my own, personal goals. As in, the goals that belong to me, rather than needing to consider my system as a whole. Our therapist is helping me manage our system. I don’t have to calculate cause and effect and sort alters anymore, because she is better equipped than I am to help us heal. Our alters can put away their trauma for now, because everything is going to be taken out and healed one at a time. Probably not quite that orderly, but still much less chaos than it has always been.

So I don’t have to keep track of every single thing that every single alter is doing every single second of every single day to ensure that we don’t get hurt or hurt others. I can just be myself and focus on writing and the people I am dating in partner system. 

There is a story that I’ve been trying to write for a long time. I’ve re-written it over and over and over and over and over, not because I am being a perfectionist – even though I am – but because I never came anywhere near to what I was trying to say.

And yesterday, I opened up a memory. Something so old and so abstract in specific ways that it must have been from the ages of between 1-3. 

In that memory was the origin of the desire to write this story. 

It is extremely personal and I don’t want to give details. But I feel like I remembered why I – as an alter – exist. 

For most of my life, I have felt like somebody who was living in a nightmare or a horror story. Somebody carrying my fellow alters in a satchel as I ran from beings that wanted to eat us. And sometimes the satchel would get stolen and I would have to sneak into the kitchen of the enemy to steal it back. Sometimes I would have to rely on the ripple effect of kind deeds, or face the consequences of my own stupidity, or have a riddle-match in the dark with no idea where the path had gone.

This is the true origin of fairy tales, in my opinion. Life is a nightmare, and fairy tales are horror stories about life.

We had this picture book growing up about a cottontail rabbit’s mother teaching it how to run from a fox. Cross the water, double back on your trail, hide in briars. I remember – I truly remember – reading that story over and over as though it was a manual. I took it all as symbolism and I stored the knowledge away for future use. When I say that stories kept me alive, I don’t just mean through hope. I mean things like this too. When your mother and father are both sexually abusing and gaslighting you, you have to find teachers elsewhere if you want to survive. I was helped by a lot of other people as well. But the most consistent things and the things that I had the most trust in were stories. 

I wanted to write stories like this for other people. But, as you might imagine, trying to write a story of this nature while also on the run did not go as well as I intended. I am glad for those re-writes and all the frustration I felt at not being able to achieve my goal, because the story that is emerging now looks nothing at all like anything I tried to write before. 

I also have to write from my own experience, which means not focusing on the effect that my writing might have. Effect is unpredictable. And as much as I might hope to be somebody who creates clear manuals for cottontails and for people who find themselves in a fairy tale nightmare, everybody’s experience and everybody’s mind are so unique that I cannot choose to be this person. The only thing that I can choose to do is to be as emotionally and internally honest as possible. 

I know the subject/theme that I want to write about, though. And it hurts. All the same, it hurts more to not work on it. 

The only way for me to remember who I was when I was able to be anything is for me to be honest about it.

And being honest is difficult and painful; that is just the nature of life.

But if I don’t do my best to be honest with myself about who I really am, I will feel like nothing at all. I have experienced that. When we were trying to keep ourselves from being hurt and split any more by our abusers, I experienced that near-constantly. And it is worse. It is so, so much worse. It also kept us from escaping abuse as quickly as we otherwise could have.

I refuse to ever be that person again.



1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
15 days ago

J’taime, mon cheri

Skip to content