By Ingrid Johanne Vaalund
In my life.
It is not a struggle, it is a journey of discovery that began with a Child who refuses to die.
And now I am in touch with Thing, whose mouth I stitched shut a long time ago. Thing, who is not. Who is for. Who is for using.
Yet this is not a story about being used. It is about a glacial progression, millimeter by millimeter, back into my body and my life and my self. Back into who I am. With no thanks to the health services, and that is another story.
This is a story about good helpers who are long dead in the world of reality, people who were my solace, guides, lighthouses, compasses and bullshit warners – and still are.
It is about what and whom I meet in my journey: a punitive god, Attila who is an amazon (“And you thought that this was only a man’s name!”), a duchess with wide, sweeping skirts that frightened children can hide under, a Ministry of Truth, a critic who knew that the world would be a better place if I were dead, a volcano of violence who wants to kill me because I stop him from “doing angry”, a restaurant with caged little people who are tormented by experts on non-violence – and a moon who sees everything, understands everything and judges no one. And many, many others.
All the entities in my story have their own story. Some, Like Critic, can tell me what they did to help me survive my childhood, and others, like Thing and the violence volcano, can finally get the chance to tell me what I did to suppress them … and what they did when my control slipped and they took over.
My story is about meeting them all with recognition and respect when they emerge, accept what they have to tell me, thank the ones who helped me and own my denial of those who were not allowed into my life.
And my story is about telling them, each and every one of them, as often as is needed, that we are now in a new situation with different needs: Old dangers are no longer relevant, old defences harm more than they help.
My story is about asking, with genuine respect and acceptance, what my Selves can help me with in the future, and about seeing how we can work together to meet the needs I have now.
It is a story about allowing them to contribute what they do best: warn, react, protect, think, feel, fight, analyse, plan, enjoy life, evaluate … and letting them all find their place in the wholeness that is me.
I have lived with this story a long time, telling it to myself in dreams and thoughts and writing. And I will continue to do so as long as I am capable of it. To me, the story is a part of being human. Being a balanced and autonomous entity.
More about Ingrid at her blog: We are the whole elephant