Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Slow, Painful Slide Back Into Dissociation

Hope is like a fly, bumping against the same window as maybe this time it will turn into a passage. Hope is like a death row convict, who knows that he is innocent but - all appeals exhausted - lies strapped down, merely awaiting the IV needle. The governor's last-minute phone call won't ever come, but there's always the possibility. There is always that little voice, that instinct, that feeling, which keeps urging you forward because maybe it will be different this time. Maybe the bullets won't mow down me like they just turned my mate into mincemeat. Keep hoping.

Opposing hope is realism. Knowing when to relent, when hope becomes obsession and insanity.  One can not tell exactly when or why this realization will hit, but it will be there one day. At that point you can only abandon hope to save yourself. So too for me. Growing up in a dissociated state with an increasing separation between mind and realization of body for over fifteen years, I was excited to learn that there was a whole world out there filled with feelings, sensations, empathy and joy. As gradually my senses of smell, hearing and others recovered I began to experience things I hadn't experienced since I was only a few years old. Now I have to abandon all of that again.

I slipped into dissociation as a child because I didn't understand my environment due to my giftedness, nor did I understand my body due to the intersex condition. With the onset of puberty all hope was lost until about a decade later when I discovered what was going on. Yet after nearly nine years of struggling through a lack of help and understanding I have to retreat, wounded and bleeding, as I realize that medical and psychological help isn't forthcoming and never will be.

With the final rejection by a Dutch surgeon earlier this month I began to feel it again: the all too familiar sensation of dissociation. Separating the matters of body and mind. Cutting and sawing at the threads connecting both. Any thought involving body is now rejected and discarded. With it most of feelings and emotions as well. During high school it was all too familiar to me, to have the emotional grasp of a 6-year old, having to compensate at every point in social interactions with my intellect. It was the only way I could do it.

The coming weeks and months I'll keep losing more and more of what I gained. Sexuality, relationships, friendships, the sensation of feeling like a grown, adult woman, the drive to care about where I am living and staying, my sense of smell and hearing, empathy... it's all fading already. It's not that I do this on purpose. It just happens. Just like how I got PTSD and DID: they're just ways the human mind protects itself against things it can not deal with.

The only positive thing I can say about this process is that it frees up the intellectual side of my brain for more serious purposes. My performance and productivity are increasing.

At what horrible cost, though... it shouldn't have been like this. This tale shouldn't have ended like this.

I guess there truly aren't happy endings.


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