After 30+ hours on a bus, our friend arrived this afternoon. We talked a lot, watched a couple of movies, and pretty much caught up. I think this will be a nice visit.
Realizing that things like my total paranoia about the house are reminders that my little obsessive compulsions aren't so much gone as they are slave to my physical inability to do enough to silence them. Laura's nearness to the front seems to amplify it because of the 'never do anything right' line so ingrained in her and Reese. I cannot so much as glance to one side without feeling the need to get up and clean or 'make something better'.
All Charlie has to do is hint that something isn't (to my mind) exactly as it should be, and I panic. Twice today alone, I have spiraled into that place of not being able to control my thoughts or the dissociation. I have fought so hard to control the switching that when something triggers someone forward and I can't stop it, it's like adding fuel to the fire. Someone is triggered, they panic, I try to stop it but can't and it makes the panic just soar to heights I can't describe.
We stood in the closet freaking out and mumbling earlier because I couldn't find something that was needed and the consuming belief was that if we didn't find it, we'd be in trouble up to our eyeballs. We just knew that Charlie was mad, it was our fault, and we couldn't ever do anything right. When I spin off into a panic, Charlie doesn't know what to say or do to help and it only makes things worse. I snarled at him to stop STARING at me earlier. He was scrambling, trying to figure out if there were any words that wouldn't make it worse, and had no idea he was staring. He’s learned to sit and wait it out. If he leaves, we collapse in abandonment. If he tries to take back whatever he said, even if he doesn't know why it was triggering, we either become angry or read even more condemnation into it. He’s having a really hard time trying not to take it personally that Laura is terrified of him. I don't blame him really. It’s not him though. It’s years of abuse that has her afraid and confused. She’s going to have to be allowed some time to learn he can be trusted to protect, not hurt.
I want to dance around in frustration because I can see this. I know everyone over the age of 10 in the system can see it, but we're stuck on how to correct it, heal it, process it, forget it, whatever... without actually having to feel it.
It comes down to this; DID or not, when you've been raised to believe that your perceptions and emotions are WRONG, no matter what the situation, trying to lock those feelings and perceptions away becomes automatic. It just happens without thought. after a time, not only do you not realize you're locking something away when you should be paying attention to it, you have no awareness that your automatic response is making things worse. You aren't even aware of the response, let alone anything piled up behind it.
Finding out that the only coping skill you've ever had up to now is actually making things worse is a nightmare. Trying to unlearn it is even harder. It’s not the alters who are making this worse. My instinct to deny them voice does not help things at all.
I don't want to stop when a triggered little comes forward and have to feel her feelings or look to find the root of the trigger. I don't want to remember what they know, or feel the depth of pain. I don't want to have to stop in the middle of taking care of my responsibility as a mom and wife to relive something from 25 years ago. Knowing that once it's out we can begin to heal from it, just doesn't seem reassuring at all when we're in the middle of it.
For now we should just keep reminding ourselves... it's getting better... it's getting better... can't always see it, but it's getting better...