you might think of soldiering as the act of a soldier moving forward in a hard environment, however here I am referring to soldering broken pieces back into place.
In the second last therapy session, as the therapist was trying to create continuity by going through my life sequentially and creating links between events, I actually ended up stopping him mid air. I had a (one of many) revelations; that it was going to be impossible to continue this way. I saw my life, the part of me that has been conscious in what seems like a continuous fashion, as the base line and I saw the dissociated events as little pieces floating above that base line, not connected to it and leaving a hole in a baseline underneath. It came to my understanding that to put them back into place it was imperative to very carefully identify the events in the baseline that came up to the edge of the dissociation; in other words just like when you are putting a puzzle together to look at the frontier between the pieces and see what is there; does it fit in.
It was hard to do that. To see the moments just before and just after a dissociated event but absolutely necessary. That’s where one of the pieces belongs and that’s where I need to put it. And so I explored two of them their edges, just before and just after. The empty face of my mother who allowed my grandfather, uncle and his friend to take kids on their fourwheelers and threewheeler; she knew what was going to happen but she was frozen in fear. And my father clearly didn’t give a fuck. Go, go with my kids and fuck the shit out of them, why would he care? And so my grand father, beer in hand, completely drunk out would take me on a ‘fourwheeler’ tour. And then, how they would bring me back; or rather in what state they would bring me back: unconscious. I was ‘sleeping’. I was ‘tired’. Fuck that shit. And then I felt that this continuity could exist once again at that moment, I felt this piece, dissociated piece move back down and hover very close to the baseline.
It took a long time, and it was a hard exercise. The therapist was already well ahead and I had to slow him down a few times. I felt that it would take weeks to allows this part to completely move back into it’s place. But I had no idea how gruesome it would end up feeling when it did.
Although I love Emmanuel for all his help, he is so driven to dig, and create harmony sometimes he isn’t equipped well enough to handle the level of intensity that my particular therapy brings. I generally dictate the things to do, and he executes it; he has plenty of experience and tools but I am not a common case for him and so guidance comes from me.
I was particularly happy about the outcome of that therapy session, dissociation has been such a tough and, according to psychological literature, impassable barrier; they write everywhere that there is no cure to dissociative personality disorder. And in my immense creativity and dedication and thoroughness I found a way. But this was only the first step. There was another step which was .. well I’m still digesting it to this day.
Last monday, during canadian thanksgiving (christopher columbus day in the USA); i went apple picking with my dear friends. Julie and her kids and Richard & Martine and their kids. It was a gorgeous day, sunshine, 20+ degrees celcius; incredibly lovely and the apples oh so good.
I feel uncomfortable in any family gathering; they are quite the trigger for me (PTSD trigger). Yet this time I stuck around and hung out with them and had a picnic in the sun. But when I got home, a crisis was lingering. The usual puke and had diarrhea until my entire digestive system is empty, and the electrical storm in my head while (apparently) new thought patterns are created; it feel like mild epilepsia with hour long hallucinative dreams. Only this time, everything happened in slow motion. There was still panic but less panic; usually the panic levels are so high I was to find a psychiatric hospital and graduate to an internship. But not this time, sure there was panic but my mind was destroying every single foothold into sanity. Usually EVERY SINGLE foothold, or handle I have in every day life to stay sane gets destroyed by my mind and I am left absolutely helpless in front of a pit of pain to big it completely encompasses me and I am convince death is now; and hence my whole digestive system empties until out of exhaustion of throwing up constantly I pass out.
but this time, everything was slow motion, I decided to go ahead or withdraw. I decided that it was ok to throw up or not, to have diarrhea or not. Honetly I didn’t feel like throwing up; i generally don’t find it fun at all, and so I decided not to go “there”. But there was slow motion towards insanity and pain, and the tendency to destroy every foothold keeping me sane but it happened so slowly I couldn’t feel panic. And at once point, I went to my bed and sat in a meditative posture and decided to weld in place the dissociated piece I had just put back in place with therapist 3 days before. Now that was hard, and crazy and I’d need a whole chapter of a book to explain in detail; but in resume I understood that these crisis are small scale reproductions of the feelings I went through when my grandfather drowned me to unconsciousness. That is what I went through every time it happened (63 in total). And that panic, fear, absolutely insane resistance is what kept the dissociated pieces floating out of reach from my main life/timeline. And so to solder it back in place, I had to face the essence of the fears, and trust me they are not logical or easy to master. It was gruesomely hard, and i felt like running, avoiding, doing anything that would let me get away from that point. But I kept going, I soldered on. The ideas, the fears, the absolute certainty that if I did I would die, that I wasn’t supposed to, that I was goingt to get punished in ways you couldn’t understand, it popped, and I kept going. And at some point I felt incredibly heat in my belly, as if I’d reached and then I passed out. I lost consciousness.
and when I woke up, I knew I had succeeded. It had worked. finally. I mastered the art of re-association. And I understand why psychologists say that it’s impossible. It feels like it is, the closer you get to it, the more it feels impossible.
but I did it. And I was so proud of myself, even if only a handful of people in the world could ever understand. Or maybe not even a handful.
I did it, I re-associated. When I see the baseline now, there is no space seperating that event with the rest. However the part of the timeline inside of this event is much much thicker, like 5-10 times thicker than the rest of the line. Of course the intensity that lived in the dissociated me was of such strength, it’s not your typical day in the life of a 2 year old.
The day afterwards, I could feel that I had a self. I could feel that this pattern I have to changing my life upside down every 6 months could now fade away. For the last 34 years, every six months I start itching and I need change, I start feeling scared unconsciously; and the need to move on, to start over, to go live somewhere else, to destroy everything I’d build so far in case someone finds it and comes along and punishes me. And so my life was very much dictated by these periods of dissociation, all of my life. It stopped me from working on projects long term, it stopped me from believe in myself beyond the initial steps of a project. It stopped me from having long term relationships; it stopped me from so many positive and healthy things.