I will never have a story to tell.
I guess I naively first went into DID therapy hoping and somewhat expecting that I would, in time, find the narrative of my life. I naively thought that regardless of the fact I have over a decade of amnesia for my childhood, my other parts of me would fill in those gaps for me- fill me up with anecdotes and truths that I will eventually claim as my own.
Cat and I have pretty much come to the conclusion that this is never going to happen. And apparently, she admires me for being able to remain that way. Humans are a story-hungry species. We want to know each others stories, we want to know our own, from beginning to end. Even if that means that to compensate for the ‘natural’ memory loss (especially following trauma) our brain fills in the gaps.
It is not in my personality to make a story out of the memories I have, or other alters have, or I am recovering. Some people do deal with their abusive experiences that way, but I just can’t, it doesn’t feel legitimate to me, not one bit. I am too hyper-aware that those ‘brain filling in the gaps’ bits aren’t necessarily complete truth – more estimations, imagination, approximations.
What I am remembering from my childhood, or what other parts are telling me, are fragments of an experience. I could string it altogether and try to find a beginning middle and end with context and emotion, but I won’t. I guess this is why bits of shit from the past float in my life and then float out again. Memories, body memories, flashbacks, gut feelings, triggered recollections, recalls from other parts of me… none of these are set in stone and added to my (abstract) timeline of life (if they were, as Cat said, it would be a horrific timeline indeed).
These things may have happened. But they may not have done. They may have been staged. They may have been on the TV or on a poster. They may have been told to me. Somehow these things have found their way inside me but neither Cat nor I make it a priority in finding out how; mainly because in reality, we will never know for sure. Humans just don’t have the ability to completely accurately recall early childhood memories like that.
My therapy expectations have completely changed and I have to admit, it is much less ‘fascinating’ and ‘interesting’. It is not about finding the key and unlocking the past anymore. It is not about discovering exactly how and when my DID/alters developed. It is not about recalling abusive events and how I survived them. It is not about creating a timeline and putting everything in order and eventually writing a book from age zero to twenty-three.
Most the time therapy is not based in the past at all. It is based in the present. What difficulties am I having living day to day life, why, and how can I change that? Same for friendships, relationships, responsibilities, attachments, confidence, sense of self, self image, food and drink intake, phobias and so much more.
There is a reason that my mind has a decade of amnesia and only fragmented stuff ever since- perhaps that is all the story I really need to know.