Today is my brother’s birthday. Yesterday was a blood relative’s birthday. Over the weekend was another relative’s birthday. This weekend is Mother’s day. Next week is two more family birthdays.
The memories are strong this week. So are the physical symptoms that come with my PTSD. Strange how my alters and I experience our physical changes both together and separately.
Yesterday, I realized that crying makes me sneeze and look like I’m having an allergy attack. My nose drips constantly, and I’m always sneezing or cleaning up. My eyes get red and itch, but hardly any tears come out. The headaches and muscle aches get worse. It makes me feel sick to my stomach and scared because I don’t know how to make it stop.
And that happens because my alters are crying, not me. And they weren’t allowed to cry as children or teens. But they were allowed to sneeze and look like they had allergy attacks. So I sneezed and so on all day yesterday and a few times earlier in the week.
It’s been so long since I truly cried that I forgot the physical sensations associated with crying – pressure around my nose and eyes, drippy noes, red/swollen eyes, feeling clogged up, having to mouth breathe, and constant sneezing – since I obviously am not lady-like when I cry. And neither are my alters.
But why the tears? My therapist and I are working on ways to express anger and other feelings in healthy ways. And people often tell me that crying can relieve pressure/tension and have many different meanings. Tears are not weakness either. So maybe everyone needed an outlet and couldn’t think of anything else to express all of the anger, fear, shame, hurt, guilt, and sadness of the memories.
Either way, the tears opened up a path for my alters to finally confront the worst memories and feelings that tear us up during the month of May.
I thought they all had to do with my parents, my brother, my relatives and how they treated me. But it’s more than that:
- Senior prom/prom queen nomination
- I didn’t want to go, didn’t understand why my mother and brother forced me to go, didn’t understand why suddenly so many classmates who tolerated and ignored me now hated me, until yesterday. Why was I nominated for prom queen? I wasn’t popular. I didn’t have the best GPA. I didn’t participate in many school activities. Maybe someday the reasons will come back.
- High School graduation
- College graduation
- The end of 2 cults
- The end of a combined pedophile/human trafficking porn ring
- Injuries and “secret” ER visits to get treated, but not completely fixed
- The secret life changing into something positive, but still a secret because hardly legal or legitimate
- Seemingly conscious choices in the “public” life that were not
- Finally understanding why my body hurts so much in so many places and potentially how to fix the related problems
Downside – I’m really tired and kind of distracted. My alters are also distracted and feeling scared. Scared equals angry. Angry means an unstable temper no matter who is in charge.
And an unstable temper creates more feelings of fear that turns into feelings of anger.
I feel like this anger is different from other anger that we’ve experienced. With this anger surfacing, the vault opens more. Memories show up. Feelings flow through us. We alters can connect with each other more.
So while I/we are so upset and scared about the instability of these feelings right now, most of us are also happy about the change. It means all of us are moving forward again. And we can look back without the pain of shame and guilt distorting our perspective to find a more objective understanding of the past.
So while my brother tried his hardest to make me feel useless, crazy, invisible, and worthless before I left home, I still wish him a happy birthday. Same for my other relatives – the ones who I miss so much my heart hurts and the ones I alternately love and hate.
Thanks for reading