A Moment In the Mind of a Mother With DID

I stand still in my slippered feet. The girls are at the table coloring. My youngest son is visiting from college and is recalling a childhood moment with me.

“You took me to watch The Grinch, remember?” He asks. His eyebrows are furrowed.

“I did?” I am flipping through the years like micro film, trying to bring up the memory.

“Oh my gosh, mom! How can you not remember that?” He exclaims. I drown in his frustration.

I am on the spot standing in shame. How careless I must seem to not remember an experience that is so obviously a fond memory for him. What kind of mother would not remember that moment? What kind of mother doesn’t remember special memories with her children?

A mother with DID. I want to say this as he continues on, his brother joining him, but they don’t pause to let words in, and they’re certainly not seemingly interested.

“You DO know who the Grinch is, right?” My eldest asks.

“Of course I do.” I reply.

And they go on to tell me of the movie, and I remember Jim Carey’s antics and sparkly green fur. I just don’t remember seeing it at a theater.

But I can’t say it right now, with granddaughters happily coloring away in their coloring books and my sons in their own energy, laughing and remembering.

I can’t say how I will claw away at the particles of blank spaces trying to find this moment. I can’t let out the lump in my throat that outside of those who understand my cult aftermath, I will stand judged and misunderstood more than not. There will be no room for explanation or conversations that open doorways to understanding.

I can only quietly walk away and wish I could switch minds with them for a day. Then maybe we could understand each other. I could see myself from their perspective. I could understand them more if I could see me like they do.

It’s not their responsibility, but it’s mine to remember. I walk away wincing the ache of failure. How can I ever explain to them the maze that is my brain? How can I draw out blank spaces, pain and the exhausting  strain of remembering?

I accept that only those who have suffered similarly to me can feel with me. Only those who have experienced the fragmented pieces that are the aftermath of a complex childhood filled with physical, sexual and mental torture, can truly understand what we become, who arrives to help us through, and why we stand staring, akwardly on the spot, holding blank spaces in our palms.

Dear Counsel, I’m Writing To You Again

Dear Counsel,

Again? Ah, I’m trying real hard not to be irritated with you all. I tire of writing to you like I’m some child, although I very much enjoy writing. Just not for this purpose. As you know, I am writing an edgy, sensuous book. So I say this.

I know, Vennie, you are struggling with me. You think I have no empathy for us. You find me dangerous. You said I was self serving. What does that mean to you? If I am serving me, am I not serving us all?

What your friend said is correct. I was there when you were a child. So don’t discount me. Remember me. You wrote about me in Cult Child. I held your hand by the field of flowers. I rode horses with Sila while you took the pain. How have you not put this together when we look absolutely the same? Well, I’ve cut my hair since then. Shoulder length now. More “up with the times.” ::sarcasm:: I’ve been cycling for infinite centuries, but that is my own story to tell.

We are an incredibly intelligent wheel. We are an information station.

I am capable of love, and you’ll find me to be quite sappy at very rare moments. Very rare. I don’t so much care for the free falling feeling of feeling. That’s for you, Vennie. I am much better at defending. I know war, and I have battled. If there has to be a Counsel, my place is in it.

No, I’m not mirroring you. Look at me. Then remember me from when you were a child. Close your eyes and see my face when I looked down at you by the flowers. Dark hair. Dark eyes. I am beautiful. I’m aware of that. I have not aged.

You painted me already, but you know that. What you don’t know is that was when I was a teenager. I am horse and human and air and particle. That painting you did is before I became you. Understand? My eyes are not green anymore. I’ve cycled way too much to be that pure. You’ll paint me more soon. Later. When I really get into writing this book. So much is coming that I know and see. It’s a matter of you being ready.

Yes, I am a shape shifter. I morph. I love horses. We were drawing them in the program. I was Madge when you were a teenager. I know this can be difficult to understand or make sense of, but you know. Madge and I. We are one and the same. Understand? You nod. You smile. You cry. What are you feeling? Gonna write about it or be all whiney “what if they judge me” and “shame shame shame”. Call me a cunt but damn, shut up and let someone else talk. How many times do I have to say fuck them?

Look at the photo you took with your sister when you were sixteen. See us in your eyes? Your eyes are dark in that picture because our eyes are dark; black actually, very black. Glad to see some of yours green again, by the way. That’s says much about how far we’ve come.

How do you differentiate between what you might be creating in your head in order to deal with me and the truth, you ask? Isn’t that what you are doing now; putting me to task and checking memory facts?

You doubt me too much. I know you more than you have given me credit for. I know little details like Angie writes in all caps while Vennie tends to write in cursive. Vennie writes on behalf of Knowing. Angie – is she even around anymore? I don’t see her as often. Oh, and I can write for myself, thank you very much. ::that was a joke so get used to my dry humor and quit worrying so much about offending. again, fuck them::

No, that writing comment was not a slight to Knowing. She doesn’t mind for me to let you know that we knew each other before we became you. Ah, now there’s some news. That surprises you? It’s okay. Don’t feel betrayed. Another planet. Another place. Another space. Cycles.

What you know about me, how I was born, and what I know of humans can only unfold itself slowly. I, like Knowing, understand the importance of holding back. We care about your health and wait as you seem, Vennie, to be in the forefront right now. We’ve been switching for years. We can be a team.

In an attempt to reassure you, I don’t mean you harm. Quite the opposite. You may not like my tactics, but I am who I am. Blunt. Snobby. Standoffish. A bitch. Self-protective. Fuck it.

So if this is what we have to do; write it all out and converse like this, that works for now. There’s things to know, like I can navigate the cave keepers. Ah, well don’t I have your attention now. You’ve been curious about them for a while, since you and Sila had that conversation. You don’t talk to her anymore. She’s been off in the corner by herself quite often. First, you have much to understand so you can navigate these lands. Yet, trust me, when I tell you that you can.

You have to do this mostly alone. Be careful who you let close. Your human circle is exactly where it should be. Stand still for a bit and get to know me.

Drink some coffee for the headache. It’s been a very long day. It is going to be okay, but make no mistake. I am a bitch, a witch and a succubus. That’s all I’ll share for now. Know this. The succubus is not that bullshit they feed in mythology. You called me a Satanist, yet I worship nothing. Worship? I am far past worshipping. There may be those who enjoy worshipping me, but that’s not my road to drive. Those motherfuckers own their own eyes. Get my drift? So know me before you judge me. You study things, yes? Does that mean you adhere? Give me some credit.

I’ll most likely never go dormant. I don’t like to sleep, so somehow find a way to accept me. Don’t I deserve to be free? See? I even write poetry. ::wink::

Well fuck, there you go crying.

M.7

What Is Holding Space? 

Crisis. It happens all around us every day in some form, from the child who cries a lot, to the friend who is dying of a terminal illness, to war and news and everywhere we turn we’re surrounded with crisis and news of crisis. We are often left feeling helpless, because as humans, our heart says “We have to fix this.”

I regularly practice caution in this arena. As a natural Empath, I can easily bring to my bosom, every pain in this heaving planet, leaving me somewhere lost in a great pond of sadness.

Once, when I was going through a deep struggle, a friend said, “I’m holding space for you.”

It is quite one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

So what does it mean to hold space for someone in your life? What does it feel like when you know someone is holding space for you?

When we see others struggling and hurting we want to fix it. We want to help them feel happy. We want to make it better because we love them. This is how beautiful we are underneath our masks which often give off the tone of apathy, a cover for the shame we feel that we cannot fix it.

The first rule of holding space is to NOT do it of you aren’t dedicated. The last thing anyone in crisis needs is am empty promise.

Here are some examples of how to hold space for someone.

1. Answer their calls and texts. Do so willingly and with love. Respond with “I’m so sorry. What can I do to help?” Let them know you are listening. Open the door for them to share with you.

2. Check in on them. Don’t wait for them to reach out. When we are struggling, many of us isolate and cannot find the strength to reach out. So check on us. Let us know when you think of us. You may be the very light we need in that moment.

3. Sometimes we just want an ear. So cease attempting to fix it all. You may say, “Hey, if you need support coming up with solutions, I’ll gladly brainstorm with you otherwise, I’m here holding space for you.”. It’s often best to just hold the space in support, because that one simple act creates these feelings in times of crisis.

We feel Safe
We don’t feel so alone
We become Hopeful
We are Thankful
We feel Supported
We become Motivated

Holding space for our loved ones means sacrifice. I believe that we have to be clear on knowing our own self-love boundaries so that we, as the person holding space, are not depleting our own strength. Holding space requires balance.

Most of all, holding space requires empathy, an ability to step outside of our own self and find the joy in being there for someone else.

Hold space, my friends. It is a beautiful gift to give.

When Writing Out Trauma Is Crippling

A wise person once said, “There are three things you should never share; your relationship, your finances and your next move.”

It has become a mantra for my life.   Years of being both vulnerable and held back at the wrong times have left me speculating my own judgment.  Being alone is safer, away from the possibility of re-victimization.

I learned harsh lessons as I grew up. With no boundaries to define danger or relationships I was tossed out of a childhood that had been riddled with abuse straight into the very society I had been trained to fear, hate and one day even war against in the name of God.

With blinders on, I ran towards everything I’d been taught was sin.  I bathed in it.  I dove inside of it like it was a swimming pool.  I became prey, a seal pup in an ocean full of sharks.

A couple of nights ago, while working on “Rise of Sila“, the sequel to “Cult Child“, I had to write a trauma memory.  I had to get into the details of it, part of them being a time my sister wore long sleeves to hide the bruises her rapist left on her upper arms.    When I was finished with the section, nausea swept through me quickly, suddenly and filled my mouth with water to the point I had to curl up on my bed and do focus breathing until it passed.

Fuck.”  I thought.  “It’s starting.”

This is what happened while I was writing “Cult Child“.  The trauma surfaced in waves, and with it came years of sporadic vomiting, night terrors, migraines, days in bed weeping, high peaks of anxiety and agoraphobia and a lot of deep isolation.

I smiled in selfies to post on the Internet. I spun on the positivity pole as if I was the poster child of survival, and I hid the reality of how crippling writing trauma is for me.

I thought I would feel some kind of relief after getting “Cult Child” out.   Yet, I didn’t.  I felt incredibly proud of myself that I had accomplished the project.  I also felt an extreme exhaustion that still lingers as I continue on.   I feel weakened.  I feel that I have only spilled out a sliver of the truth about the reality that was my childhood.

Last night I had a dream which rocked me. When I woke up this morning, the emotions of the dream came hazily with it bringing short, flash images of children milling about, a lot of confusion and an inability to grasp the rest of the images.  There are no worse dreams for me to have, than the ones which involve children.  They take the longest to shake from my eyes and the hardest to re-balance my heart from.   [Click here to visit my Dreamscape category where I document them.]

I am pushing myself, because this story must be told.  It has to be left behind so my sons and lineage will have documentation of their ancestral life.  I have to tell the truth for myself, hoping that maybe, just maybe, after I am finished, there will be some reprieve.

But, right now, in this moment, I just feel like avoiding.

Stream of Consciousness | 1.6

duality / what an odd position / to both / thrive in solitude / drown in aloneness / behind the smile / an ache / that never goes away / arms to hold me / are shadows / only visible / in night dreams / clutching pillows / i have landed / on a planet / of shallow waves / a place / unfamiliar / far away from / beneath my sea / blue washes / my soft cheeks / they will / always leave / when the storms / get deep / no matter how much / the voices plead / stay / stay / don’t go away / but i am here / inside the gray / looking for realms / where the otherkin stay / i could leave today / make it a forever / would they say / i miss her / she was / a good kisser / survived / so much shit / it left a / mental sickness / i am weary of / being food for / the wicked / if i must / sleep alone / in this valley / let the ghosts rally / twist me / into cocoons / taking me / home soon / so tired / spirit endings ache / too much heartbreak / makes the body bend / until the moon / says it’s the end / and she / releases the tides for my / mothership to arrive / i float invisible / in a world of / crooks and cars / i won’t / make it far / unless i / start running now / i just / don’t know how

Faceless

I am a faceless wanderer passing by unknown. There are dimensions and planets inside of me that have yet to be born. I’m a color wheel glanced at from distances. There is energy in my existence that is a sinkhole of depression, apathy and ego bending.

I want out of this body and out of this place. I want to run away. I am stuck in thick mud. The spears would fly if I suddenly said farewell, goodbye; to, for once, live my own life. No desire to be caretaker, mother or wife.

I am dried out; wrung like a sponge; assessing escape routes; how to get out without the spears bleeding my skin from the inside until all that remains is a shell.

Hands held out for help, expected, enabled, the support table cracking at the legs, and in their hast to take, there will be silence when the legs finally break. Shattered wood goes back to earth quickly. It becomes dust and ash, disappearing until one day they will sit around musing, “She used to be the tallest tree.”

And my remnants will be what is burned in the fire pit. My mistakes will be their memories. My heart break will be the ghosts, an aching they will never know. So much whining about the trials of their life. You give me your childhood, and I’ll give mine. We’ll take measure of who really survived.

Years I spent, digging and clawing out words, hoping, just hoping to be heard. Even in that, there is no reprieve. Only the stark reality that is me; the knowing I must be alone in order to survive. I cannot be the foundation for anyone else’s life.

So I plan. I scheme. I prepare. To find a cave to call my own; a tender slice of home where there is no noise, the walls are mindful, the silence respects me, and I cease being a projection screen for the multitude of trivial screams.

Through the Mud

I am crawling
Beneath barbed wire.
It is rigged
With explosives.

Shhh.
Head down,
Close to this ground,
Knees deep in, sunk,
Through the mud.

I am dissociated
From the change related
To regular life patterns.

I feel scattered.

Into the caves I
Disengage for battle.
The end is near.
I hear the echoes cackle.

I could hide away;
Pound out the words
To expel the hurt and
Purge the pain,
Even find satisfaction
If I never see the sun again.

Let it rain.

I am on my belly
Exploring human hell.
There are sights I’ve
Yet to see, and I
Don’t know how broken
They will leave me.

I am aftermath who
Has left more aftermath;
Unable to mend the wires
Sparking anger fires.

Don’t envy my smile.
It hides a plethora of
Vile sounds, smells and
Scrambled images.

I take this life serious.

No time for war games,
I am fighting real time battles.
No space for the unsupportive
Who flee
When the cages rattle.

If I go ghost
Into the fog and
Become a mirage,
I’ll never return to
Dissapoint the idealistic
Who created an image of me;
So unrealistic.

I’m a million scattered pieces,
My body struggles weakly,
Swimming through the mud
Picking each one up.

©venniekocsis.com