For the past 2 weeks I have felt VERY young. I know I am still Heather and 45 years old much of the time but I have caught myself wanting to cuddle my stuffed duck while huddled up in front of the TV with a blanket.
I feel very small too. I looked in the mirror this morning and in my reflection, only my head showed above the dresser as though I was looking at myself from where a 4-year-old would stand. This is not the first time that these feelings have come over me but it is the first time that it has happened since finding out that I had DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). When it happened in the past, I assumed that I was losing my mind (literally), had a brain tumour or needed my glasses looked at in a big way. Now I am aware that it is likely a part of me (a Helper) trying to open up. Perhaps this little one needs to share something with me, she could have a need that isn’t being met, there is even a chance that “gatekeeper” Julie has decided to allow us to meet. I don’t personally know very many of my Helpers and have no memory or knowledge of them outside of what they leave in our journal or what Julie tells me about each one. It is nice yet unsettling to think I may get to start meeting more of them as time passes.
I am almost positive that this child is Hannah. I know there has been a lot going on for her lately and she is triggered by recent events that have been impossible to avoid (The Dugger Family chaos) in the news. It is stirring up the pot for most of my Helpers and I but for some reason, Hannah is taking it really hard. More so than the others. I do not know the connection there but I can make a few assumptions and then leave it at that.
Julie calls her “Little Hannie” and I sense a great amount of love between them which is a bit odd because Julie doesn’t like children at all. Not even our own. Something has bonded them together in a very special way and I am curious about that.
Even right at this minute, I feel small and young. I can think and write this blog as though I am 45 yet there is this major undercurrent of feeling small, helpless, needing protection, feeling incredibly unsafe and being afraid. I want to run away and hide but no place feels safe so where would I run to even if I allowed that feeling to take over? I am trying to maintain adult status and not totally dissociate but it isn’t easy. I am not accustomed to living WITH the feelings of another within me. Only Julie ever shared space with me and she is rather emotionless from what I feel from her. A really steady rock.
I’ve done a bit of research and the information that I have uncovered is that some people call this state “co-consciousness”. Basically it is when the host (me) and a Helper manage to exist in the same space together. Some research said that this is often viewed by professionals as part of integration but that is not at all how it feels and persons with DID do not seem to feel that this is true. Personally? I prefer to listen to someone else who lives with DID or someone who has DID rather than a “professional” who only reads about it.
No matter what I call it? I feel really weird about it all. I don’t know what to do to help Hannah and since she is sharing her wish to just bolt away from here, all I want to do is run away as well. I want to be able to tell her that it is okay, that I am an adult and that I can take care of her. That is what adult Heather would try to offer. I feel 4 though. I feel like I need someone to take care of me. To be held, cared for and loved. I know Hannah wanted that and needed it at her young and tender age. I also know she never got it. I didn’t either so I want to offer her comfort but I feel absolutely raw and completely unable to offer her what I never had myself.
I was in town the other day (I live in a very rural place) and went in to a book store. I felt this overwhelming urge that I believe came directly from Hannah to buy a stuffed toy. It was actually a blanket (“blankie”) that she wanted. We found a small bunny holding a small blanket that seemed to satisfy her and I have a feeling it will be in her hands again before this night is out. The very least I can offer to her is a security blanket/toy. I never had one at her age. I can change that for her.
I suppose that in time, this will work itself out. Either I will start being able to help her more-so than just feel her feelings or she will fade back inward until I am stronger and have the resources to give her what she needs.
In the meantime I will leave paper and crayons out at all times. She seems to like to draw. Perhaps she can express something that way. I will also do my best to really practice good self-care and hope that she feels cared for as well.
Sweet little Hannah… I will do my best and try to take good care of you. Please try to tell me what you need.
Well… off to therapy for me today. My therapist is going to try to talk to Julie again so maybe she can shed some light on all of this.
Have a great day everyone! I look forward to your comments and ideas as always. 🙂