“I reached my hand to help her up and she spread her legs and looked away,” Robit recounted to me this morning of his interactions with my inner 11 year old last night. She has a name, but I’ll call her Wish here. Wish only knows abuse. She asked Robit last night if she had finally died and this was heaven because no one had ever been nice to her and she didn’t have any friends.
She only ever existed in moments of abuse, she only ever saw the inside of one room at a time. Sometimes she saw the bathroom when we’d clean ourselves up, but even hallways were foreign to her. She didn’t know what the moon was, or what cars were. She was isolated from the rest of us, especially my old incarnate (I’m version 5 or 6). Big Bro was the only one who would go visit her and half the time she believed he wasn’t real.
A couple years ago I accepted Wish as part of myself and we integrated- to an extent. I accepted the horrors she endured as horrors we had all endured. I thought I was over it, I thought that she would be at rest now while I processed her memories.. but I’m learning now for me it doesn’t work that way. It’s not so simple. Not only do I have to process my alter’s memories but my alters have begun to really process their own memories as well, in tandem with me. They are their own people, we share the body. They deserve to be treated with respect and like individuals.
Fluffy is a perfect example. Fluffy is my monster. She’s my baser self that was given language only recently. She loves ponchos and wears them like her fur. She is very curious about the outside world. Or there’s Lil Sis, my inner teenager. She doesn’t even view the outside world (outside the mindscape) as home or even true reality. It’s a place she visits and things and rules are different here than they are inside. She’s learning about this world but it’s still a foreign place to her and even though she’s finally old enough to fit in the body she still only ventures out occasionally.
Wish isn’t used to wearing clothes, as during abuse she wasn’t permitted clothes while being raped. She has severe disconnect to reality and the sensation of being outside is terrifying to her because she was only ever called upon to experience abuse before. She’s afraid to go outside. She says there is death outside. Her fears lend additional explanation to lifelong recurring nightmares that I’ve endured.
Often in nightmares, I would be trapped in my childhood home. Unable to leave, could never quite get out. Or if I did get outside I was stopped by the environment and could go no farther. I had nightmares most nights. Until recently, at least one of us would be awake all night. It used to be Big Sis and Big Bro would switch off. Big Bro has the brunt of the abuse from our sister. When Wish was created, Big Bro would talk to her while she endured the rape. Eventually she decided he wasn’t real.
Wish is a frightened, severely abused young girl. Today I helped her leave her cage and introduced her to a bubble bath. I’m trying to show her that our home is a safe place now and reinforcing positive experiences in different rooms of the house and maybe even outside someday is very important to her acceptance of the present. The present is a surreal place for her.
I hope that one day she will adjust to this new normal of safety and that we will be able to reintegrate when she’s ready.