Yesterday was very hard. I woke early because my bedroom retains heat badly and after several days over 40C it was a sweat box this morning. I was weeping with frustration and exhaustion after efforts to rig a temporary screen so I could keep the window open overnight while Zoe was indoors (she destroys it when she’s outdoors) and to drag my small but awkward portable fan into the room, followed by a cold shower still left me dripping with sweat and sleepless.
Work was a 7 hour gig which turned out to be incredibly busy. Rose worked it with me and fell into all the traps I struggled with at first in this line of work, not stretching or taking enough breaks or moving her injured leg around often enough. By the end of the day we were both sitting in the car park in horrible pain and completely exhausted.
Some of the parents were depressingly scary and aggressive with their kids, and the last guy in my line, who’s kid I’m painting after my finish time, unpaid, because they had been in the line, laughs at me when I wince in pain and jibes about how ‘hard’ a job where you sit around all day must be.
Years ago during a time of crisis in my life, pre diagnosis with DID, I can clearly recall one of us saying to the rest of the parts – any of you who will not survive what is going to happen over the next few months, go. Hide in burrows and caves. Come back later. I’ll get us through this. At the time it made little sense to me, but sure enough all our inner kids and more vulnerable or hopeful and gentle parts disappeared for a long time, and severe dissociation descended.
Fast forward to the small hours of the morning now, several intense and distressing conversations with no resolution later and my head is finally almost calm. There’s been screaming and weeping and now a kind of quiet. No one has hidden in burrows. Things are not all okay yet either. Some of us are holding the fort. Some are deep inside, ships far out at sea where their pain can’t harm. Sometimes all us parts are close together, bunched up tight listening to each others thoughts and watching life over each others shoulders. Sometimes we’re spread far apart. At the moment I feel like there are whole deserts and jungles and oceans between us.
Tonight I am a Tardis, much bigger on the inside.
And so we hope. We hurt, safely. We bring what skills we can to the present, what gentleness this easing of pressure inspires. We drink bitter drinks to ground, lay naked in the dark, surrender to the demands of sleep.