Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Gift That Saved Me?

I've been reading a book about multiple personality disorder that I got from a friend. I don't normally read on the subject anymore, I don't feel the need to understand "it" anymore. I am at peace with who and what I am.

The title of the book is Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out edited by Barry M Cohen, Esther Giller and Lynn W. The reason that I have been reading this particular book is because my friend gave it to me and I needed a little help figuring out what to say on this blog.

It's been so long since any of this has really mattered to me that I've forgotten what the struggle was like. Reading through these excerpts written by other multiples has reminded me of what was and wasn't important to me during my therapy journey.

The reason I bring this up is because of a statement that I came across in there. And now that I would like to quote it, I can't even find it but the gist of it was that we need to get to that place where we can accept the gift that we are.

I remember the moment I read it thinking how totally I agreed. As multiples it is so easy to be down on ourselves and beat ourselves up for being crazy and unlike anyone else but the fact is we ARE a gift and in more than one way.

I see multiplicity as the gift that saved us from horrendous abuse. Without it we would have perished from the pain. I know I witnessed children who could not tolerate what was being done to all of us and they just laid down and died. They gave up wanting to live and just died! It is an incredibly sad thing to witness that utter lack of hope that crushes the human spirit and causes it to suffocate.

Multiplicity was a way to beat that suffocation. It gave us a way to protect ourselves from the devastation our offenders were trying to use to kill our souls. It protected those parts of us that were most vulnerable and saved them for a better day.

But that is not the only way I see us as a gift. Looking back across my life, I can see that I/we are truly incredible people. We have survived against all odds and come out the other side as amazing human beings. All through my therapy process I meet people who were inspired by me.

Granted at the time, I didn't really understand why anyone should be inspired by me but I did appreciate that my journey helped make theirs easier. I am sure that each of those people who were touched by my journey would tell you even today that that contact and insight was a gift they will always appreciate.

And then there is the gift of compassion and understanding. Because of all I have seen and lived and the things I have learned in the process of learning to accept my many selves, it is easy for me to understand why people do the things that they do. I may not condone what they do, but I know what it's like to be human and fallible. I've noticed that I have a much greater facility for compassion and understanding.

I can respect each person's right to make their own mistakes. There are far too many people in the world who believe that we should all live our lives THEIR way. Allowing people to make their own mistakes and live their lives their way as long as it's not harmful to others is a gift, one many people never receive. If there was more of this acceptance in this world there would be peace instead of war, love instead of hate.

I know it's hard to be in the throws of therapy and all the inner conflict that implies and understand that maybe this MPD thing isn't all bad. I know it feels bad and hard and crazy but those feelings are not the MPD, they are the abuse. MPD is what saved you from the abuse so that you could live to see the day it would be safe to deal with it.

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