Can you see it? Can you see it in my eyes? Unexplained, strong, black, urgent, with over reactions to minor things, these are just a few of the terms I’ve come to know, and frequently use to describe the uncontrollable rage that suddenly consumes me, and threatens to swallow me alive.
Perhaps you can understand me better if you come into my mind and listen with me to the voices within. Sometimes the strangers I see in the mirror are frightening. Yet they are necessary for my own survival.
Seemingly always on the verge of being discovered, these other people within have become clever at hiding themselves. I am the one that protects her because she is not able to face reality. I talk for her and I stand up for her because she is not able to do that herself. That is my only job, and I do it well after all, we haven’t been caught yet. You ask for my name? We all answer to hers, but we will never reveal our names to an outsider.
I’m the one who carries all the rage within her when she was a teen, she had her sister on the floor trying to strangle her. I had to step in, she was detached, and cold, uncaring, saying everything hurtful and spiteful, as if she knew that she was going to die and had to say these things before the inevitable happened. I will not let her express that rage ever again because she will hurt someone. There is a rage that is intrusive, destructive, and uncontrollable. It overwhelms me, and I become that rage. I don’t know how it happens, I only know that it does, and usually without any warning. I never act on that rage because she carries it for me.
Then there is me, I painted on her mask, the same one she was forced to wear in childhood. She has to wear it or else she will cry and tell someone her secret. So she wears that smile and behind that smile is a broken heart. Oh no no, no, she can’t tell anyone or else she’ll die. He told her so. To this day she still believes him.
This change in personality scares people. The behavior they see as abnormal is really quite normal for me; for what I have been through. I don’t understand what the fuss is about. I have talked with these strangers all my life. This is how I cope; this is how I’ve survived. If I did not let them live and act, I would have committed suicide a long time ago. In fact, as a child I wanted to die, but didn’t know how to get there.
You didn’t say anything about me. I’m the child, who trembles when she is hurt. They are all unable to stop me from appearing, because I am the original problem. One thing I know and always remember; is when I get hurt and I’m in the hospital, I come out. They don’t know what has happened to me because I’m not the jovial adult, but I am a child and I can’t stop myself from being one.
Only after I am able to calm down I slip away and another has to take over; I am an outsider watching this happen. I’m watching a friend of mine acting in my behalf. I have to go away now.
At times it is pretty scary though, constantly watching people acting in my behalf. Even as I write this, I feel a part of my consciousness slipping away, because that is how I deal with the pain. I need to run from it, I can only face small pieces of it at a time. That’s why they have to take over for me. The threshold of pain is too short, and it’s raw because every nerve is being touched, but with time I will face all of it, so I don’t worry about these times I space out. I think of it as my safe hiding place, where the pain can’t touch me.
So until that day when I no longer have to hide from reality, I will keep going away to my safe place and when they feel I am able to face reality again, I will come back to reality. Please don’t judge me harshly, I have been abused enough. Just show me kindness and I will eventually adjust to what you think is normal.