Trigger warning – sexual abuse, ptsd
Integrating alters is a funny thing.
Bianca is who I used to be for so many years. Bianca was an innocent front alter, who did not have a clue to the existence of other alters than herself. Now that I’m integrating more, I’m changing so much, and I feel like Bianca is slipping away. So I want to write about who I used to be. The past is like a dreamlike cloud. I’m grasping for the vapour strands of it, before the wind whirls it away.
As Bianca, I carried all the emotions of having been sexually assaulted and abused – but not the memories. I was very afraid of sex, of nudity, of being vulnerable (as in weak or inebriated) and of other more specific things associated with the ordeals I went through. But I didn’t spend time thinking about my fears unless directly confronted with them. After all, scary things usually flew out of my mind quickly, until they seemed unreal, like dreams. Every time someone confronted me – a teacher, a concerned adult, or a boyfriend – and said that I showed symptoms of having been sexually abused, I just laughed.
– No, no, no, I said. You don’t understand, it’s not possible. There is nothing I hate more in this world than rape. If someone tried to rape me, I would fight them to the death! And if they won, I would kill myself. I could never live with the shame. I could not survive after…no. As you see, I am here today. The very fact that I’m alive is the evidence that I have never been abused! So don’t worry, all is well.
I did fight valiantly against my abusers. I fought and fought, and the punishments grew worse and worse. But nothing could stick, because I would just forget everything I’d been ”taught” and reverse to square one. I would fight them until I fainted. I thought that when I was gone, I was out completely. I did not know that other alters had been trained to appear when I left, to do the ugly things I could not stomach, to endure what I would kill to stop.
Most of all, I remember feeling ugly. No matter how much I washed, I still felt dirty. I was convinced everyone could see how worthless I was, and that it was the reason I was not more popular at school. Truth is, I grew up in economic poverty, and I did not have the status symbols (clothes, makeup, gadgets) that would have bought me instant membership into the cooler cliques of students. One girl, who used to be my best friend but moved on to the ”in” gang, said this to my face (along with some generous advice on what brands to shop). It was not to be. Children are at the mercy of the their parents beliefs. My mother believed I would charm all the other kids into not caring about shallow status symbols. I was not able to do that. Sometimes I just wanted to die. I was more or less constantly depressed. So what could I do but put on a brave face, smile, make jokes and escape from reality with the help of a local library?
Someday, I’ll grow up. Someday, I’ll ”find myself”. Because I feel more lost than total perdition. I feel like the one I am has run away and all that’s left is a ghost, a fragile shell stuttering forward on the path of life. So I’ll search with light and candle and I don’t care if it’s more than I can handle. I’ll find my missing me.