back to the labyrinth

when we started out, i was unaware we were a system. i was going on my merry (more like disordered, confused) way thinking i was one person part of a one-person body. when i started to notice things were too odd to be ignored, i began to get visions of our inside world, and hear people, or at least see their influence in the outer world. the inner world back then was a labyrinth, with perpetually dark skies, crumbling stone. set up something like a cell block, we were all kept apart, unable to communicate. talos was our gatekeeper, he would determine who was most appropriate for any given situation and they would front. when they weren’t fronting they would be back in their prison cell, alone.

from what i can figure, sarah (3), arguably our youngest, created the labyrinth. she must have seen at some point a place like ours on tv or in a book, and created a copy for her to live in. because she was not treated with love, either inside or outside, she imagined the world to be a dark, scary place where she would be alone. she must have made talos to build the walls. that is his function, he has no emotional investment in what he does, he simply has a job to do. he moves the stones, builds walls, and controls the gate.

i also think that, because we are usually made in pairs, sarah was brought into our inner world alongside a dark force that would be her fears manifested. a terrorizing force that would go on to frighten and control all of us, always. boss.

we knew boss existed. had a vague idea of what she looked like (an enormous dark cloud that could cover an entire city) and a sense that she wanted us all to suffer. she resides in a totally different level of our world, we have never seen her come to our plane. at least we hadn’t until a few days ago.

things have been really shaken up down here (i say down because our world is split into several worlds, and ours is a lower one). the specifics are no longer relevant but our mother has become aware that we are convinced she molested us as children. needless to say, this was never our intention. we never would have brought it up with her, we just wanted to address and heal it on our own. she never needed to be involved, in some way, at this point, it has nothing to do with her. it’s ours to bear, and she has no say in any of it, no need to be involved. but it has been revealed and a kind of hell has broken out within our external family that has stirred up the inner world.

sarah of course, is directly affected. though we tried to shield her from all that was happening, because she is the “core” she has awareness of things we will never truly grasp the depth of. though she cannot intellectually understand nuances and specifics, she has felt that her secret is no longer safe. she believes she is a very bad girl, and has been saying for a week that she needs to go back to where she came from and live in the portals, and build walls with talos.

we tried to stop her. daemon especially tried to reason with her that she was a good girl, that she never needed to go back there, that she has another family now that loves her on the inside. in the end though it was all for naught.

sarah didn’t return on her own, she was taken. boss came down and snatched her in her sleep, and put her back in the labyrinth.

and the rest of us have been transported back there as well. jaime was the only one who truly saw and felt boss when she descended, but he was terrified. apparently she is an immense force of hatred. daemon got a sense of her, from the outside, as she was in control of the body. he says if hell had a form, it would be her.

there is one small but important difference this time around in the labyrinth. just as before, we cannot contact each other. but we know about each other, which is hugely different. i am not confused about what i am, or what’s wrong with me. i am part of a system, i know the names and the personalities of the others. i have affection for them. we are all stuck here again in this dark, horrible place but we know we’re not alone and there has to be a way out. there has to be. i know i’m working on figuring it out, and so are jaime and hikari who have written about it. we are having to communicate through written word for the time being.

one thing that is good is that we are not losing time. not sure why this is but it’s a blessing. we can know what’s happening when others front, we just can’t communicate at all.

hikari’s children are safe, they’re with daemon. hazel is safe, she’s somewhere else. the introjects seem not to have been brought to the labyrinth. shae isn’t here, she’s still out in the free world.

i don’t know how to get us out. and even if i do find a way, i don’t know how to get sarah out if boss insists on her being here. daemon is heartbroken over losing sarah (and of course hikari). sarah has a little cat named lucy who lives with daemon and hikari’s family, because sarah had essentially been adopted by them. daemon feels as though his daughter has been taken. lucy wanders around looking for her. the babies are asking for mama. to be perfectly honest, daemon is a wreck. his family has been torn apart. and there’s no telling when things will change. luckily he can still communicate with hikari when we are physically together. talos allows that. talos has no grudges or will of his own, if hikari is the most appropriate to be out, such as with daemon around, then that is what happens. but sarah can’t front. we don’t know where she is.

sarah has a little stuffed animal called panda because, well, he is a panda. she used to sleep cuddling him every night. now we look at panda and feel such sorrow. sarah is gone.

we don’t know what to do but we haven’t given up. there has to be a way out of this situation. we got out once, we can do it again.

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even if they deserve it

it’s so strange to think, for so long, that another person deserves what’s coming to them, and then when it transpires to feel bad for them. our mother is a lot of things. she’s abusive and always has been. to us, and to our father certainly though that really only became an “issue” after we left home and she had no one else to focus her energy onto but him. but she’s also mentally ill. she’s a narcissist, has major untreated PTSD and various other mental health problems.

we’d waited our whole lives to feel validated. hoped that one day maybe our dad would *listen* and *believe* us that she was so horrible.

well he believes us now, but only because it behooves him. he has of course been having an affair for over a year and in that time has become less and less tolerant of our mother’s abuse. with the help of his girlfriend, who he confides in, he has miraculously become aware of the mistreatment. only because it gives him a reason to leave. only because it gives him a strong foundation of “i’m right, and i’ve been wronged.”

so when we heard that when he was explaining to our mother WHY he was leaving her, he cited her treatment of us over the years as being deplorable it’s kind of a kick to the face rather than the validation we always wanted. because the only reason he’s saying it now is because he wants to feel secure in his (ultimately dysfunctional) choices, to cheat on her and leave.

where was the validation of our abuse as it was happening? what good is it now, to be used only as an excuse to contrive his own ends?

in any case, there is drama galore on the home front. and we can’t bring ourselves to really enjoy our mother being called out as being an abuser. it isn’t actually vindicating to see her husband leave her. maybe it’s true what they say about revenge being a bitter thing. maybe there really is no joy in any one else’s downfall. only more pain.

the other day we went over to gather our belongings from our parents’ garage. not a lot, really. two big boxes of stuff that encompasses our childhood. dad is moving 6,000 miles away and mom is moving to a different country too. i don’t exactly know what this family was, but it is no more.

we keep feeling that because we’re adults (i mean, some of us) it shouldn’t matter to us that our parents are divorcing. we aren’t affected the way we would have been, growing up. but it really does still hurt very deeply. we are definitely mourning the only thing we knew as home.

 

adaptation and hope

what is it they say? you can adapt to any situation– any reality. having jaime gone is becoming easier to bear. we wake up, he’s not around, we go on with our day. hikari and hats run the show, and it’s “normal” now.

hikari met with a new therapist on friday, and we were really afraid he was going to be a disbeliever. the first thing hikari asked him was how he felt about DID. he gave a long-winded response and then she asked him to clarify quite simply — did he believe or not? and he said, i do believe it. so from there, the first session, things went rather smoothly. he got to know her a little bit, her history, her current life, and then when he asked what we needed to be working on, her thoughts turned to jaime. so she explained a little about him, what he’s like, and how different he has been. how depleted. how unlike himself. how he has been progressively deteriorating.

and this guy doesn’t know jaime at all, but for what hikari said about him. yet he said something that we found really insightful. he said that it sounded as though jaime (and hikari) had been protecting everyone for so long that they were bound to get burned out. he said specifically of jaime that he sounded like a perfectionist who held himself to high standards of what he’s “supposed” to be like (this is true, he constantly berates himself for not being happy enough, not being fun, not being able to make people feel better). and the therapist said that with people like that, they keep each little “failure” like a package on a shelf, with the intent to get back to it and fix it at some point. but of course there’s no way to actually fix the past. yet over time the packages add up and the shelves fill up, and the person is carrying so much baggage that they can’t live in the moment.

we were really surprised to hear this because we’d never known it to be phrased this way, and it fits jaime perfectly. he really does hold all his perceived past mistakes as little parcels of “i’ll fix that when i figure out how.” he really does think that he can undo all that has been done, and the weight of it, all that failure, has destroyed his ability to see himself as anything other than failure incarnate. he can’t see the good in himself anymore. he has no energy to exist because it’s all wrapped up in trying to unravel the mysterious magical realizations that can fix his past.

so next time we meet with this therapist (in 2 weeks) we hope jaime will be able to front, because we’re hopeful this guy could really help him. nothing else has been able to.

1 year wedding anniversary

today is my first wedding anniversary with daemon. the year has gone by so quickly, i hardly believe it. i couldn’t ask for a more devoted, kind, and loving husband. he is so thoughtful, so attentive, and so gentle. i love him, and i adore our little family.

it’s nice to have something to celebrate🙂

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from jaime’s pinterest. he always embraced adventure. i hope he still can.

sugar we’re going down

(i just wanted to put a fall out boy song as the title because i miss him so much)

living without jaime is difficult. though we had been losing ground on our ability to go out and do things for over a year (about as long as he’s been deteriorating), he was able to push through and drive when necessary, go places. but now he’s gone we’re terrified to go anywhere.

our car needed gas because today we planned (and achieved!) driving 2 miles to our sponsor’s house and back. so last night daemon agreed to drive our car, with us as passenger, to the gas station. it was only about 5 miles away but we had been dreading this drive for days beforehand. the whole concept scared us. we managed the trip but needed an ativan to calm our nerves.

another thing that is really setting us off anxiety wise is waiting for the social security administration to deliver their ruling about whether they will continue our disability payments. if not we’ll have to appeal. we can’t live without the payments, we’re too ill to work. so we’re scared all the time now, just waiting.

and finally, really tipping the scales of stress — our parents have decided to divorce. now as much of a good and healthy thing this might seem, it also means the dissolution of everything we’ve ever known to be “family.” our dad is moving 6,000 miles away, our mother will have little money and have to find a new place to live. i know we’re adults (well, some of us) but this really hits home. our birthday, at the end of may, now stands as the very last time our family was together as a unit. that’s terribly sad to us. it makes our heart hurt and our eyes well up with tears.

and through all this, there is no jaime. i don’t know what hurts worse, the divorce or him being gone.

i think — him being gone.

we miss him all the time. things remind us of him and then our heart just pangs. we understand he’s not necessarily gone forever, that he’s gone 90 days for treatment after which they’ll reassess him (not necessarily that he’ll come home yet). we understand that he isn’t dead. but the way things were going, the way things are, it feels like an enormous loss that we truly mourn.

our heart aches in general these days.

our protector is gone. and we don’t know when he will be well again. we keep thinking we hope he’s home for christmas. lord knows it’s going to be hard enough with our family separated. maybe we are wrong to worry about such things. maybe he’ll be back. we just don’t know.

there’s so much not knowing.

we don’t know if/when we’ll be denied disability.

we don’t know how this divorce is going to play out and with what degree of animosity and angst.

we don’t know how long jaime will be gone.

all we know is we’re scared nearly all of the time. and we don’t go many places, and certainly we don’t drive anymore. nowhere but down the street to our sponsor. everywhere else frightens us.

we start with a new therapist on july 7th. we have no idea if he even believes in DID so that might be even more of a stressor. we need him though. if we need to appeal the social security administration’s decision, we’ll need more evidence that we’re not able to work. so even if he writes down in his notes that we’re deluded and misdiagnosed, as long as he hits on the severity of the symptoms we’re experiencing we should be okay. the SSA doesn’t really care about diagnoses as much as they care about symptoms and the level of impairment (we learned this from a disability lawyer years ago). so if he writes down mood disorder but mentions we’re agoraphobic and have anxiety attacks and extreme dissociation, we might still be good.

all these things to worry about.

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for jaime

until you come back

so we’ve been without jaime for a week. we can’t feel him, we can’t reach him, we can’t see him.

it feels like our heart has been taken away.

i don’t think, even if/when he returns, that things will ever be the same. if you’d seen what we saw the night he left, you would understand.

in an effort to see the positive, the potential healing of this experience, i’m going to start posting things from his pinterest. i don’t know if he can see it, but maybe.

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return to me

 

jaime will be gone for awhile. we don’t know how long.

things got bad for him and we ran out of options, so 5 days ago he was taken away to another part of our world none of us can access, to recuperate. he can’t front and we can’t communicate with him.

we miss him. things aren’t the same without him.

it hurt to talk about so i’ll stop.

a necklace

for our birthday our partner got little gifts for many of us, which was really sweet. they got two presents for hats and one of them was a necklace.

the thing is, our partner never met hats 1.0, never knew her. and certainly didn’t know her well enough to buy her a gift, so that wasn’t their intent at all. they just wanted to get hats 2.0 some things she’d like.

but this fucking necklace. the only one of us whose personality it fits is hats 1.0.

so we put it on and said thank you but deep in my heart i was aching for the person it really should belong to. after a few hours i had to take it off and tell our partner why. they said they couldn’t explain what had drawn them to the necklace.

when hats had put it on, she said, “it reminds me of something but i have no idea what.”

well, her predecessor, that’s what.

so now on some days we wear the necklace as a reminder of who we lost. a kind of memento that makes us feel close to her. and some days we can’t because it hurts too much.

 

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