The compartmentalized life

With dissociation, life is so often only partially lived, 1/10, 1/3, 1/2, 3/4, depending on how we are coping with our condition. I might even be at the 2/3 point right now. It’s eye opening to realize that some of my choices have not been fully my own. I realize that all of these parts are part of me, but I consider true choices as ones that I make as Beatriz and no one else.

DID has kept me from a full life. Dissociation does that. It compartmentalizes your life in such an organized fashion that you don’t experience all of it. You are shut out, but you don’t even know it.

Yesterday as I was driving I had another revelation. Doc has said that they will come if I am open to them. It sounds like that is indeed coming true because yesterday was the first day I’ve been truly and fully open to memories and answers.

I was driving to get gas, and I felt Letty start to cry. It’s such a strange sensation to know that I, Beatriz, am okay and calm, yet another part of me, Letty, is upset.

“Letty, honey, what is it?”

“I am sorry. I am so sorry. It’s my fault … It’s my fault that we ran out from the place in New York with Michael.”

And in that instant I knew what she was talking about. I knew she meant the night almost three years ago I ran out of a club on the Lower East Side with Michael, the night I was so dissociative that I didn’t know what was going on, just that I was in a fog and in a state of fear that made no sense.

As I grasp this realization I also have a flash of Sabrina and Belle before me. I learn that Sabrina was the one who desperately wanted a drink. Belle wanted to die during that entire situation. No wonder I was such a mess at the time as I was a musical chair of selves revolving in and out at that club. It is no wonder I felt like passing out at times that night.

I’m taking all of this in when I realize that Letty is still crying, and still trying to talk to me.

“I am sorry, sorry, sorry … I am the one who ran out from there. I scared Michael …”

“Honey, we all scared Michael, not just you. It was a scary thing that happened for everyone. It’s no one’s fault. I didn’t know about you guys so that I could help you. If I had known I would have helped everyone. I am the one who is sorry, sweetie. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. We have to forgive ourselves sweetheart because no one meant any harm that night, not you, not Belle, not Sabrina, not me, and not Michael. Everyone was just doing their own job. Your job is to keep a look out, and make sure everyone is safe. You were trying to do that. Sabrina’s job is to escape from what is happening using things like drinking. Belle’s job is to hold all of our bad yucky feelings, and she was doing that very thing. All of you did your job. How can you be in trouble for that? Now that I know about you guys we are working together so that things like that don’t happen again.”

“Will Michael be mad when finds out?”

“I really don’t think so, honey. Remember how Michael told you the other night that real friends understand? I think this is one of those situations where a real friend will understand what happened. He’s a real friend. There may have been times when he was scared, but, even in those times, he was always our friend.”

Over and over again in my mind I have regretted that night, and blamed myself for the way things played out afterwards. With this revelation I learned that our night on the Lower East Side could only end the way it did. Not knowing about the system meant that everyone continued to operate and do their own thing. There is no other way that night could have ended given the knowledge I did not possess.

I may not have ever learned about my DID if I did not go through all that pain and confusion.

It had to happen they way it happened.

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