Yes, just the other day we realized something. I don’t know what triggered it but it brought us greater understanding of what The Body’s parents must have went through.
They didn’t know much about MPD/DID back then. You were just being a brat or out of control and with 3 other kids all younger than me I guess their only recourse was to keep me separated and in my room. There was no tv’s in your bedroom, no internet back then, nothing to do but spend time with myself. I did have a stereo so I did have music once I got older.
What felt like abandonment to me was sanity for them. Both my parents have passed so I have no answers except for one time I was inpatient and my dad came for a family session and I asked why was I always put in my room and kept away? His only answer was that they didn’t know what to do with me and he apologized. At least I got a partial answer. He passed away only 3 months after I found out about the DID and we never got to have any other conversations about it. I didn’t know it was DID at the time either. I’m talking about the reverse shatter when we started putting things together as best we could. That day when we got home (the reverse shatter day) Wild Thing started writing about all of us. That journal is still around as well as a large number of other ones… mostly partly used because when we switch everyone wants their own stuff.
Here’s an “Ohhh shiny” moment… while I am writing this I have the NASCAR race on, they are at a track that I usually skip because it’s a more boring one.. not today. Today I am watching a Watkins Glen disaster.. right now they are on the second red flag. This is usually a pretty uneventful track… not today. I’ve never seen so much action there ever. What happened with Smoke last night is awful and I think he was right not to race today.
Ok, back to us. We were just relaxing inside having internal conversations and what perked my ears was when they started talking about why our parents treated us like they did. It wasn’t all bad but they did have their hands full with me and my siblings.
Here are some of the things we did with our parents help before we were old enough to move out.
One of us wanted to be a flight attendant… they paid for the course and we ended up switching half way through. We never made it to the end. Whoever we switched to wanted nothing to do with that idea. Wasted time and money… my parents money.
One of us wanted to be a diesel mechanic so they went along with that with the usual promises from us that it was what we really wanted to do. Same thing happened.
One of us wanted to go to college but when the loan came through there was someone else in control and the money did not go for furthering our studies.
One of us wanted to be a machinist and ended up completing the course and became a tool and die apprentice. Never got the apprenticeship tho. They wanted someone who had experience working second shift and I did not have that. That class also was when we ended up in a bad car accident. We were the passenger and after class one of the guys from the class was giving me a ride home after stopping at the bar and having a couple of pitchers of Kamikazes. Well, he had other ideas and I ended up smashing the windshield with my head and the dashboard with my face, one wrist a small broken bone, both sprained as well, a concussion and numerous cuts and bruises after I pushed him away from grabbing me. We hit a lite pole and knocked out the power to part of the town. He fared better than I did because the light pole we hit was on my side. I had to crawl out the driver’s side. That was a bad night.
I’m sure there were other things but these are the few I have access to right now. Part of the time I had no idea what we did to end up in the room because we weren’t the one who did whatever the body did or didn’t do. I do have access to how we spent some of that time in the room… that’s when we started cutting… just a little bit… when we were a young teen we started that. We would punch anything hard, for some reason carve big “X”s into the closet doors, dresser.. throw our stuffed animals until one exploded. We tried to kill ourselves by taking an entire sheet of Dexatrim. No one even noticed. Of course they notices the huge “X”s.
We got more creative when we realized that you cannot choke yourself to death with your own hands because as you are passing out your hands drop and you start breathing again. That was early on before we realized we could complete that task other ways. Sometimes we would use a belt or something and wrap it around our neck and hook it to something but were afraid to go all the way so we stopped doing that.
The parts that hurt the most was when we were wearing long sleeves in the summer because of the cuts on our wrist and our friend also plucked our eyebrows around that same time and do you know what we got yelled at for? They plucking of the eyebrows. Nothing was ever mentioned about the long sleeves or anything else. All hush hush… who wants to admit a child of theirs is bonkers? They did not have the resources we have now like these and these.
So how is a parent supposed to react to a child who is so sure, positive that is what they want to do (Flight attendant, diesel mechanic, Machinist… ) and then they act like they never wanted to do it in the first place halfway through or so. In reality, we switched and had no knowledge or interest in completing what someone else started. I don’t blame them. I don’t know what I would have done in their place. With 3 other kids to tend to…. they obviously thought putting me in my room was the only way they could keep their sanity. The thing that hurts me is that I can’t explain anything to them or ask any questions about my missing memories and there are a lot of those. They have both passed away. My mom in 1981 and my dad in 1991.
The big realization is not anything about us but about them. How on earth did they keep sane with a child with undiagnosed DID? I actually have empathy for them where I had anger before. The DID and being alone a lot as a child has made me different, very different from most people. I have a hard time being around a lot of people I believe because I was alone a lot and not with my siblings as much as they were with each other. But I do have empathy for my parents now and that is a HUGE step in my healing.
Thanks for reading and following my disjointed post… that is how I am feeling lately.. disjointed, but we need to write.
~Blessings~ Melany & Diane (August 10, 2014)