If you would like some information on Halloween, there is an article in October of the 2011 archives.
Internal integration has never been a personal goal of mine. First, for years I didn’t believe I was multiple – just spacey. Then, when I started to conceptualize myself as multiple, I felt so fragmented that the concept just didn’t make sense. My fragments blend together to accomplish something, then blend back into the background. They integrate and disintegrate like drops in the ocean waves. No names, no personalities, just little bits and pieces in the vastness of my mind.
But I desperately wanted to integrate the ritual abuse into my daily life. I wanted to be able to hold the two realities in my mind at the same time; I had been abused in a Satanic context, and I was an average middle-class white lady. I would have been a soccer Mom if soccer had been popular back when my kids were little. I wanted both realities to be equally real to me.
My goal was to have RA woven seamlessly into my present. I wanted to be able to talk about it without having a panic attack. I wanted to feel sane if I didn’t talk about it for a few days. I wanted the little mini-flashbacks (flicks, as Trudy Chase calls them in When Rabbit Howls) to feel as normal as deciding to have a cup of coffee.
Now, after more than twenty years, the two realities are in constant motion, blending and unblending like my fragments. It feels much more comfortable.
My bookshelves reflected the stages I went through to accomplish my goal. Before I remembered, there wasn’t a single book on Satanism or ritual abuse. Then I started buying every book in sight until they crowded the novels, the cookbooks, and the reference books off my shelves. After many years, I said, “Enough!” and sent most of them off to a friend in order to form the core of a research library. Now 10%, at the most 20%, of the books on my shelves have to do with my abuse. There is room on my shelves and in my life for other interests. Both my books and my life are integrated.
I think this is an unusual definition of integration — and of multiplicity, for that matter — but then I am sure it means many things to many people. If you have integrated, partly or completely, what is it like for you? And if you haven’t, what do you imagine it to be?
Adapted from Survivorship Notes, Vols. 8/9 Nos. 12/1