water

If I don’t speak now I will lose my voice.

So many fears to speaking. Judgment, loss. A wave of rebuke, dismissal, even horror.

Labyrinth/closet. A door, a threshold where a wall should be. My throat, swollen, reservoir: the uvula a dam before the torrent. I will choke if I do not speak. I know this from many other closets. Sometimes choking seems so sweet.

Like a band-aid, quick, the hairs ripped from follicles, micro-dermal abrasions. Flesh exfoliated by stick and pull, then bared raw, stung, pale to the air. This is honesty: dynamite to the dam, a leap beyond the precipice of tooth and lip. Surely destruction follows the sharing of secrets. Peel, regardless. Some secrets we refuse to keep. Come what will.

This is the truth: last week it was confirmed by trained professionals that I have, in the way any of us have anything- homes, countries, lovers, children- in the way that any of us can carry what someone else “discovered” from what was always there, then claimed, labeled, and bestowed on others- in that way, it has been confirmed that I have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Which means that I am a multiplicity of many parts, as are we all. Which means that I am a disparate product of trauma, as are we all. Which means that parts of me hold the horrors that the other parts can’t, the way a mother bear steps forward to take the bite or bullet offered to her cub.

A child. A goddess. A mother bitch. A Daddy. A boy. A drag queen. I conduct them, the electricity of my history. I hold them, carry them. I am them, live many lives in one- gender, sexuality, passion, fear a current through many containers. I woke up to multiplicity, and now must heal and nurture the parts that splintered and froze.

 Faced with trauma, I claimed water as my power- fluidity, the suck and rise of the sea, the trickle of a stream, the relentless raging of a river wearing through age-old rocks.

My first memory is of rising water, a primal fear of death by drowning. I was three years old, my sister and I alone in a claw-foot bathtub deeper than our bodies, unable to turn the faucet off, unable to swim. The water rose: our bellies, our nipples, our shoulders, our necks. We screamed above the rush of water. No one answered.

The hell with this, I decided, and became the thing that rose to choke me. And now is the time to search for greater solidity.

4 thoughts on “water

  1. So…Such creative survivalists are certain psyches and souls that they fragment to save themselves. It is, I think, a sign of an incredibly resilient entity that somewhere in the deepest recesses knows there is a choice between destroying the whole or scattering its pieces and hoping and trusting that the one steering the vessel will collect them for later reassembly. How incredibly terrifying and courageous it must be to force that label like rusted barbed wire out of your head and over your tongue and through your fingertips, especially when certain selves are best served by keeping such truths in the shadows. The light is on. You are bouyant in your aquatic scavenger hunt, supported by the element that once tried to swallow you and by those watching each of you and all of you and saying, we will walk beside you whoever shows up today.

    • Wow, Marianne. This was beautifully written. Thank you. I actually do feel bouyant, although it is counter-intuitive. Somehow, this work seems so much simpler than many of the other things I’ve encountered in life. It’s like a call to self-love, and I feel ready for that. Which, in retrospective, is a fairly odd and new thing to say.

      P.S.- We can totally make jokes about this, too. L. and I have already agreed that if he makes fun of my altars, then I get to use them as excuses. It’s on.

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