She asked me how I was and I asked if I could have an easier question to start with. I told her that at the moment I am functioning on the surface, that in fact I appear to be doing quite well, but that there are a lot of feelings burbling away in the distance that I find hard to identify.

We moved on to try to map out the ‘voices’ on a large piece of paper she’d brought. At first I found this really difficult, but she started to put down the bits and pieces we know, and I was able to tell her about a couple of others. She said she found it helpful, and I think I did too.

The whole time I had a letter burning a hole in my pocket. I have written her many letters but I haven’t been able to let her read any except that first one. This is what I’d written:

I said that I felt like different people. I want to clarify that. Because it seems very important that I be as accurate and honest as possible. All I really know is that my life is very confusing. Sometimes I feel very fragmented. Sometimes I have a strong sense of who I am, but that who-I-am seems to change in ways that make it very difficult to navigate life. Sometimes I hear voices. Sometimes I seem to be just a voice someone else is hearing. Sometimes I find myself buying marble runs and knitted ponies. Sometimes I find myself wanting to throw marble runs and knitted ponies out. Sometimes I’m aware that abuse is an issue in my life. Sometimes it has nothing to do with me.

When I try to think about this, to even be aware of it, that’s when I get foggy, and start doubting the truth of everything I do say. Sometimes my thoughts break down and disappear and I have no words. Sometimes there are so many entirely different sets of words rising up to be spoken that my head gets jammed up and silence seems the safest option.

All of this is true. Maybe I’m making it up. See?

I nearly didn’t give it to her, but I’d made a promise inside that I would. So right at the end I handed it over and shook while she read it.

There was no time to talk about it. She thanked me for letting her read it, complimented my writing, and said that she wanted me to try to let go of my obsession with the truth, because my experience was my experience.

I have another appointment in a fortnight.

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