Hello and welcome back!
I’ve been trying to decide how to explain a bit more about The Helpers since they did get their name on this website beside mine.
A little over a year ago, I was completely unaware of The Helpers existence and I feel it is an overwhelming hurdle to get to know them all in a meaningful way. I managed to ignore them unknowingly for over 40 years and some may think that would be the way to keep going but ignoring them wreaked havoc on my life.
I will give you an example of one Helper that I have gotten to know and how getting to know her personally changed my life in a positive way.
Polly is a young teenage girl Helper who seemed to have taken over during a particularly difficult part of my teenage years. She is like most young teenage girls. Moody, difficult and due to her trauma’s, she was self harming as well.
Before getting to know Polly, I would find myself covered in blood on many occasions with no idea what had happened. It was a very scary time for me because I didn’t know why this was happening to me and I feared that one day that the self harming would end my life.
When Polly made herself known to me (usually through angry letters left to me with threats and bitterness), it was quite clear that she needed something taken care of. I began to try to speak to her inside my head and reassure her of my ability to handle whatever she needed to tell me. I’ve never heard Polly speak even inside my head but her letters gradually became less hateful.
Her favourite place to cut was on my wrists and the scars are many. I really love tattoo’s so I started to design a tattoo for each wrist that she would have a say in and eventually find one she approved of. The deal that I made with her was that I would let her have a major say in the tattoo and it’s design but if I got the tattoo’s, she could not cut through them any longer. Her anger and hatefulness needed to come out in healthier ways like writing to me. It took many months but eventually we agreed on tattoo patterns and even though she has yet to tell me what she is angry about or details of her trauma, she has calmed down and seems quite willing now to write to me rather than cut me. She’s not left a mark on me in almost a year.
As you can see, it isn’t always straightforward. It’s not like being given a name and then just chatting until you know everything you need to know. It is slow, often frustrating, I need to accept that they are not going to share what happened to them until they feel I can handle it.
I don’t feel the need to erase/integrate Polly. I feel that we can work together to be healthier. As she learns that I value her and that she is safe with me, she will see that she needs to take over less and I can be “Heather” on an even more regular basis. After all… Polly has worked hard to help me through some very difficult times and I feel she deserves to be the one cared for now. I am old enough and becoming strong enough to be able to offer that to her and it feels good.
I am unsure if I will ever really know what Polly went through. In the end I don’t feel that I need to know. What I remember of those years is bad enough. If a Helper feels that I don’t need more details, I trust their judgement. They have protected me for over 40 years. Why distrust them now?