Saturday, September 14, 2013

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

I've got a neat group of friends.  Every conversation is one of a kind, totally random, and unexpected.  Sometimes we don't see each other for months or sometimes we'll talk several times in one day.

I've known some of them for over 10 years, while others I have known for a few weeks.

There's A.  She's got everything figured out.  She can cook, wrangle kids, take care of our sick friend, likes Pad Thai, and is fiercely protective of those she loves.  I love that A will level with me and put me in my place when I start to get overwhelmed.  She assures me that I'm not responsible for fixing our sick friend.

There's V,who cracks me up.  She's the teenager in group.  Seriously, she's 16, maybe 17.  I never remember and her age is dependent on what day of the week or hour it might be.  I love to tease her that she'll be shopping for Depends with me in the future, which she flat out refuses to acknowledge.  She loves pink nail polish and is a great baby-sitter.

I recently met S and although I don't know her that well, I do love her artistic talent.  She draws really pretty flowers.  

D is another friend I met just a few weeks ago.  Our first exchange was through text messages.  She can't spell well, but one can't expect much from a 4 year old.  I gave her a candy flavored lip-balm as a gift shortly after we met and the joyful look on her face could have lit up a stadium.  

I've hung out with OG once or twice.  She doesn't like to talk much, but when I tell her about the summer days I spent at the Florida beaches as a child, she listens.  Once we painted our nails blue like the ocean.

EJ and I hung out in college, but she left about 6 months ago and I haven't heard from her since.  She had an eating disorder but my friends and I didn't know how to help her.  I hope she's at peace.

I met N about a year ago.  We hung out for about 20 minutes, but in that short time I learned that she loved to spin in circles and play with dolls.  She told me that her mother took away all her dolls when she was about 6 telling her 'only babies play with dolls.'

Shortly after meeting N I met C.  I found her curled up on the kitchen floor, crying and shaking.  She was scared and convinced that there was a terrible man lurking just outside the house.  

There are several other friends I have met, but some are so shy that they haven't properly introduced themselves.   

And then there's H, the most important one of this group.  She is amazingly strong, funny, loving, zany, and intelligent.  We've had so many adventures, near misses, and countless laugh-until-we-can't-breathe moments.  She flew to Florida when my wedding was cancelled and held me when I was inconsolable.  I couldn't imagine another woman who has more endurance and strength to overcome the most awful circumstances.

All these wonderful friends of mine, all these different people with their own sets of likes, handwriting, hobbies, and tastes in coffee share the same body.

They share the same body.

They were born to take care of my friend H when she was unable to take care of herself.

They protected and still protect her.

They share the same body. 

And I love everyone of them.


(Image credit: iStockphoto.com)
Dissociative Identity Disorder was once labeled as Multiple Personality Disorder.  People hear that and immediately think of United States of Tara or Sybil, the former a bastard-Hollywood version, the later a bit closer to the truth.

DID generally occurs when a child under the age four experiences HORRIFIC abuse.  Not your run of the mill 'being-smacked-around-by-alcholic-parents' or 'bullied-by-siblings' abuse.  


Think of every horror/psuedo-sexual slasher movie you've ever seen advertized and then multiply that by 20.

And then forget that. . . .Because the abuse suffered by person who lives with DID is not quantifiable.

In an attempt to cope with the trauma and abuse that is happening the brain shatters like a dropped mirror.  Each piece reflects the victim but in a different manner, at a different angle.  Each piece of the mirror become a new person, an alter.  Someone who shares the same body of the victim, who comes into being to help the victim cope.  These alters are a testament to the mind's capacity to struggle to survive.

I've listened to the stories and I've read the dairies of my friends, these alters.  Everyone has their own tales and memories of horrifying, unspeakable, unbelievable events.  
Sometimes I've wept; at times I have gotten physically sick; other times I've felt pure hatred and anger course through my veins.  

I yearn to take away the pain and suffering H has dealt with since she was 2, but I can't.  I can only love and support her.  Listen to her when she needs to talk, laugh at our shared history, sneek a cigarette when our kids aren't looking, and hang out with her alters when she needs a break.  I can't thank these friends enough for taking care of H when she couldn't do it herself.  

And I couldn't ask for a better set of friends.  
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Coming Apart: Trauma and the Fragmentation of the Self is a good article if you would like to learn a little more about DID.