It´s five a.m., I´m too tired to think of a title!

I recently wrote that I dislike myself. Right now that´s not really the case, I´m just looking at myself through very therapeutic eyes. I´m experimenting with a change of perspective that is pretty extreme.

My phobia of vomiting is actually pretty much a fear of complete abandonment and isolation. It was very visible in my stream-of-consciousness entries. Or not so much a fear of it – it has already happened. I already feel completely abandoned and isolated. I used to think that I experience fear as nausea, but in fact, the emotion behind the nausea isn´t even necessarily fear. It is some kind of pain and terror that hollows out your chest and makes you feel like somebody has sucked all the oxygen out of the air.

I´m realizing now that my home will be sold and my family will move away and everything will change that this feeling might become a constant in my life. I guess you can´t have it 24/7 without collapsing and getting at least a moment of relief, but last weekend it lasted for about seven hours with me feeling sick from low blood sugar, but being unable to swallow anything at all I had no idea how to make it stop, ever. I was so out of it I didn´t even remember I have a blog, otherwise I might have written something.

I believe I always avoided this feeling with the help of some fake feeling of safety. I deformed myself however necessary in order to feel safe and comfortable at home. Now that bubble is going to burst and there will never be any return to it. Hm…whereas…I even feel like there might be a possibility, I merely have to subject myself to somebody else and run my life according to their ideas and wishes. I will probably even do that, and it´s not a very uplifting thought. I guess now is the time to become emotionally independent, but I wonder how to bear that loneliness and this terrorized feeling.

Here comes the therapeutic view into play. I´m starting to see myself as incredibly deficient. It is not the normal self-loathing, like “I´m just spoiled”. I see myself as disordered. It´s not my fault, but that´s actually even more scary. This deficit is bigger than me, it is ruling my life and it is largely outside of my own consciousness.

Wherein does it lie? I can´t live on my own. I cannot exist as a single individual. I cannot perceive myself as a single one individual. I can be alone, yes, but even if I am there are always the voices, or a million imaginary companions, or even personified personality parts of mine. I always need to feel like an extended part of somebody else. I need to belong to someone. Being responsible for myself, or, in a more positive connotation, being free is something I cannot handle, so I make myself unfree. Maybe my anxiety and my compulsions are rooted in this. They form a safe prison; the last resort to prevent me from drowning in chaos. Their rules are pointless and annoying, possibly embarrassing – but they are rules!

Well, looking at myself like this makes me a tad angry. It feels like I´m being looked down upon. I don´t want to have been so blind. I don´t want to have lived in such an illusion. Even though I´ve insisted for years that I am doing so, and even though I´ve always insisted I´m not alright, I don´t like it now that it´s real because I´m starting to understand what it implies. It implies that my view on everything is incredibly distorted. Particularly my view on myself.

On the other hand, my view seems to be remarkably clear. I felt like Dr. Stoneface was not telling me things because it was part of a strategy, and I was very likely right about this. And while right now I feel like I´m finally getting what “everybody else” knew all along about me, in fact I´m sitting here on my own in the middle of the night figuring all this out by myself. “Everybody else” has better things to do at 4:16 in the morning than thinking about what I might be thinking about, telepatically saying to me “told you so!”

I think this stubborn idea has to do with which parts of me I perceive as belonging to me and which I reject. The mental representation of Dr. Stoneface is part of me, it is having conversations with me I never had with Dr. Stoneface. Same with my parents, Irene and Athena. Same with the voices and the anxiety. But they don´t feel like they´re part of me. They feel like evil entities who share a head with me, relentlessly attacking me, but they definitely are not me.

The task is obvious: Integration. I need to explore and connect and build bridges until I feel that they are I. And then I need to stabilize that feeling, practice it until they never come at me like enemies again, because now we are one. And here is that bit of rage again, the refusal: I don´t want them to be part of me!

Many manuals for personality part integration treat this issue as if those were all natural parts of the patient´s personality. They really are him, but they have been shattered apart by trauma. In my eyes, though, what I have to integrate was forced on me. It´s not like I once was a whole person, then bad things happened and I fell apart, and what I have to integrate was there before and isn´t tainted by it. What I have to integrate taints me. I don´t want a person who made me feel worthless be a part of me, but if I don´t make their mental representations a part of me I can never control them! Unless I start believing that the thoughts coming from these phantoms are mine and that I am making them, I will not be able to stop them, but if I do so I´m letting the real persons off the hook! I am taking responsibility for a suffering they inflicted on me, because while they may have said or done certain things, the continuation in my mind, the constant commentary on my thoughts and feelings is my doing.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe my feelings about this are clouded by another such representation or voice telling me that it was always my fault, or that I was only too sensitive, or that I am seriously disordered and that my perception is screwed-up. Still, I´m starting to understand what a blessing it must be to be intact. What kind of a difference must it make to have grown up without having been burdened with so many negative images of yourself and disdainful messages about yourself that took up a life of their own which now needs integrating!

I don´t want to integrate the feeling that I´m a horrible or despicable person. Well, maybe, if that means it becomes a feeling. Right now it is always bullet-proof knowledge. When I feel ashamed or low about myself, it automatically means that I´m really despicable and that I should feel ashamed. I push these feelings away and dread them because I´m scared (and sure) they are “finally telling me the truth about myself”. Feelings are never just feelings. I always assume they say something about reality. Guilty feelings mean there is guilt, being ashamed means there is shame, fear means there is danger.

Regarding fear: I´ve always been wondering what I can hope for, knowing that absolute safety doesn´t exist. How, then, can I ever stop worrying? I guess a sense of confidence and security can come from knowing that you´re able to bear and manage feelings. Disdain isn´t so scary anymore when you know that you can cope with shame and come out of this unharmed after feeling a bit low for a while. Like: When you know that even if you make a fool of yourself in front of a mean person, that person won´t be in your head for the rest of your life. That person won´t be commenting on everything you think and do. You will remain intact.

This is something I don´t have, because I´m not intact in the first place. I have to be scared of so many things because I know that everything will leave imprints. I have to walk through life with my main concern being self-protection so I don´t pick up even more wounds. How do you change that, really?

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