Well, I knew it was going to happen sooner or later: the random post that consists entirely of rabbit trails. You guys have bore (born? beared? …attention, grammar Nazis…plz respond) with me through my other posts that have been at least pseudo-coherent (I hope?), so now I present to you: this one.
I have a lot of topics tumbling around in my brain but none of them are formed completely enough to warrant an entire blog post. So I am hereby taking a step back and officially pronouncing it fall. It is fall, on this side of the world. Autumn. The in-between for summer and winter. For us, the in between for normal (manageable)-level-of-chaos, and hospitalization. For us, the crazy season.
This is the crazy season.
From the first initial cooling down of the weather and the graying of the skies, to the onset of full-blown winter, we sort of mentally fall off a cliff, and hang there (sometimes by our teeth and our fingernails), pretty much until the last leaf is on the ground and it snows. I am intentionally not mentioning any particular holidays associated with this because for SRA those should be self-explanatory. And honestly, I don’t have it in me right now. Maybe on some other day, I’ll attempt to unpack the issues surrounding that topic, but not today. Today I’m doing well to be alive, dressed, coherent, sitting at my computer at work, and writing something that appears to be English (can anyone confirm? LOL) and marginally in proper syntax.
Thought 1: I really don’t identify much with the whole “host/alter” theory.
I definitely do not look down on people who do identify with it, but it does not resonate with me. It’s definitely a popular theory – that with Dissociative Identity Disorder there is one “main” person who is the “host,” who supposedly was the one born into the body and who identifies with the legal name, and from whom came all the other splits, fragments, and/or alters.
In this theory the “host” is the one who will remain if and when integration happens. I think my issues mainly come from implications of the terminology. “Host” to me sounds like a campground for “parasites,” which in this analogy would be the alters, which is not a perspective I particularly care for. At all. I feel it’s belittling and devaluing for everyone involved.
It’s possibly not how the theory was intended to come across, but the correlation in my brain isn’t something I’ve been able to shake off. I prefer to call the person who has executive control of the body the “front person” – or refer to them as being “forward” at the time – and I don’t mind calling inside people who do this frequently “mains” simply in reference to quantity of time that they do this, not quality of either the person themselves, or their way of doing life while in control. With these terms there is no greater or lesser alters or a “host” which is seen as the end-all and be-all of the system and around which the system revolves.
To reiterate though, I have no problem with others using these terms. I understand the terms, I understand their history, I understand the theory behind it, I understand how some people may feel them appropriate, and me and my system are not easily offended by anything so I’m simply randomly stating my thoughts about the matter; that we don’t identify with them, not so much. But if they work for you, that’s awesome.
Thought 2: Parents were, and still are, one of the most confusing things to try to deal with.
Understanding and coping with the complexity of emotions that correlate to parental relationships are like the ambition of a lifetime. I’m not sure very many of us actually achieve the peace and resolution that we want with this, but I do hope to be one of those people, as (I’m sure) we all do.
One of the hardest things I’ve been wrestling with lately is the confusion of what might possibly be called triangulation. But I’m not sure about that – if not triangulation, then I’m sure there’s some other shrink-y term for it that I just don’t know. What I mean by it is, not having a safe haven in either parent, due to their dysfunctional relationship to the other parent as reflected in me (as their offspring).
As their child, which is to say I am the product of the combination of the two of them, I have qualities of both of my parents. This is simple genetics and should not be that hard for them to comprehend. The problem is, my mom dislikes me because I’m too much like my dad, and my dad – when he gets upset with me – dislikes me because I’m too much like my mom. It should probably go without saying that this is a no-win situation. This also repeatedly makes me wonder why the hell they married each other in the first place, if they don’t even like each other.
They’re still married; 30+ years. But the merits of such a commitment and the “example” they might have been hoping to convey have been somewhat lost in translation over the years by the way they make it abundantly clear that (by and large) they despise each other. They argue, bicker, pick at each other, annoy each other, and constantly belittle each other, both directly and privately to me…but hey, they’re still married! So that must mean something! (note the intended sarcasm) I can’t comprehend such a scenario. Maybe I’d have to be married to understand it.
I just hope that if and when I ever tie the knot, we have a very different relationship than the one I grew up being strangled in. My mom dislikes me in general, probably because of the fact that I’m more like my dad than I am like her (or maybe she dislikes herself, mirrored in me? …I really don’t know) but she’s had the pervasive, die-hard notion despite many years of failure that if she could just control me – and if I would just let her – she could transform me into someone she could like.
This is not blatant, outright distaste expressed about me on her part. It’s very subtle and hard to put your finger on, but there, nonetheless, and I don’t really have time or energy to go into it. I wouldn’t say my dad has a general dislike for me as an individual, he just dislikes all of humanity at large, and believes them all to be lesser creatures than him. He is very vocal about the inferiority of all decisions made that did not originate with him, and also verbalizes at length about the inconvenience of all other beings on him, and to him, and for which he holds only a mild tolerance toward. I think he sometimes thinks this is funny.
The problem is, it hasn’t been funny for years. And he hasn’t gotten the message yet. When I was younger I used to avoid going anywhere alone with either parent. For starters, I got tired of being their sounding board about everything they didn’t like about the other one, or what the other one was currently doing wrong. For another, we were prone to get into much worse confrontations if I was alone with either of them.
I needed my mom there to be a buffer between me and my dad, and I needed my dad to be a buffer between me and my mom, and they both needed me to be a buffer between each other. I tried for years to be a mediator but at some point, you grow tired of this role and wish that your parents’ problems did not have to be your own problems. And then one day you realize that they aren’t your problems. At this point I neither avoid nor seek time alone with either of them because I simply refuse to fight. I have perfected the mental withdrawal from the situation so well that they never have any clue that I’m disengaged to the degree that I am.
(PSA: there are no segues today.)
(PSA: I have no additional reading/ resources to offer you. Sorry. Google your own brand of crazy.)
I am hungry.
The end. ~J8