Often, we would remember one traumatic situation, work until we can somehow understand and bear it and free the inner person who had gone through it from the belief and experience of still being stuck in it. Then, we would be confronted with new flashbacks, different memories. There is almost never time to get to know the inner person who had suffered a traumatic experience and shared it with us before s_he is pushed away by some new problem. There is no time to get to know them or help them recover and get to know themselves, maybe experiment with and experience all the new possibilities of our life as it is now: free of domestic violence, with compassionate, joyful, understanding, curious and courageous headmates to support each other and be friends and have fun with. And we also have support through a really great therapist and friends.
It feels as though there is never time to catch our breath, to take a break, to relax, to just BE, and very little time to recover, to process the memories, to be ourselves, to get to know ourselves and each other, to form bonds and friendships amongst ourselves and to understand (and perhaps work with, change, adapt) our internal structure.
All this is similar (but thankfully MUCH LESS extreme) to our situation as a child: We were thrown from one traumatic situation to the next, we had to switch people quickly, we could not begin to understand what was going on, there was no time to process, to think about, to make mental connections, to judge or relate different situations with one another (so that we could not see the glaring illogic and self-contradiction in the perpetrators’ words and actions). There was no time to recover, just enough for the body to stay alive. There was no time to get to know ourselves or the world in which we lived for almost all of us. In fact, we were punished extremely hard whenever we tried to be and/or express or even feel ourselves as the different individuals that we were (and are). We were not allowed to communicate with one another. The perpetrators divided us and turned us against each other.
There never seemed to be an end in sight or even possible… Now it still is hard to believe that one day we will be free of PTSD.
We don’t really know what to do… We feel that we must remember as many traumatic memories as possible as soon as possible (that is, go through them again, feel them again) because this is often the only way to free the inner people who bear these memories from their excruciating burdens and to release them from their dungeon, where they are still stuck in the traumatic past, in never-ending terror, pain, confusion and agony.
Wir würden glaub ich gerne auf die Pride Parade nach Berlin fahren. Vielleicht. Irgendwie ist auch Angst da, dass es Überfordernd wird. Berlin ist zu groß und gar nicht schön. Die Anreise schon alleine… und es kostet so viel Geld… und ist schon übermorgen! So gerne würden wir mit wem anders zusammen hinfahren. Aber wiedermal zu spät geplant. Außerdem: Mit wem würden wir hinfahren? Mir fällt irgendwie kein Mensch ein, dier wirklich in Frage kommt? Aber alleine traun wir uns echt nicht. Mit wem zusammen würden wir uns glaub ich schon traun. Wäre voll gut. Wir konnten die letzten Jahre schon nicht :(
P.S.: Haben grade die Tickets gekauft und (nachdem wir – endlich endlich! – den Drucker eingerichtet haben) ausgedruckt. Fahren alleine hin! Hatten Freund_innen und Bekannte gefragt, die aber nicht können. Sind ganz schön aufgeregt. Aber auch irgendwie jetzt schon stolz, dass wir so mutig sind, denn wie wir uns kennen, werden wir morgen auch losfahren, um die teuren Zugtickets nicht verfallen zu lassen.
Ich glaub, jetzt färbe ich uns die Haare türkis, die Farbe haben wir schon monatelang hier rumliegen und nur noch nicht angewendet! Das wäre doch der Anlass ;)
This text has also been published in the wonderful, political disAbility Zine “Don’t Dis My Ability!”
We are suffering from a psychological disability: complex post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Due to severe, early and long-lasting repeated trauma (we’ve been raped, beaten, emotionally neglected and brainwashed from birth to young adulthood) we had to split up into many different personalities so that now we’re living with many different people – we like to call each other headmates – in one body. It’s called multiplicity, sometimes diagnosed as „Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)“ or „Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD)“.
We’re a diverse bunch of people of all genders (the outer body is female) and different races, mostly children and teenagers but also a few adults. Because of that and also because we were already interested in gender and queer issues and also intersectionality (like race and gender) before we realized we are many people, we feel like wanting to be more active in that scene. We’d like to one day start a discussion about multiplicity in (gender-)queer scenes and also in political movements that fight against discrimination, exploitation and social and political hierarchies. We also feel like we are somehow obliged to do that because if we don’t, maybe no-one ever will. Multiplicity isn’t so rare as many people think it is, but it’s still rare enough and also really really hard to talk about with singlets (non-multiple people). Which is why we haven’t done it openly yet. We’re making baby steps in that direction.
But apart from the fact that it’s hard to talk about it, suffering from PTSD (not the multiplicity per se) makes it hard for us to be active in any kind of activism. It is very important to us and we are very interested in a wide range of topics, so not being able to do much is really hard to bear. The world really needs people to take action, right now. And we want to be those people.
But there is something that seems to be a part of the way in which we remember and work with our traumas. Often, we would remember one traumatic situation, work until we can somehow understand and bear it and free the inner person who had gone through it from the belief and experience of still being stuck in it.
It’s a great idea to make a habit out of reflecting one’s own habits. I try to do that. It actually feels great and more like a liberating experience than anything else. Thoughts want to be free! So allowing myself to think freely and deeply about seemingly small things (habits) and about big things (live itself) alike is not some big, heavy burden, as it seemed to be at first, but the exact opposite. It only feels crushing if we are stuck – if we can find problems but no solutions, for example. So it’s important to ACT on those thoughts and step out of a feeling of helplessness.
Many people tell us to change our consumer habits. In my opinion, that is important and a great trap at the same time. It can be a trap if people start to define themselves as consumers (instead of, for example, citizens) and therefore reduce their choice of action to “buying” or “not buying”. Citizens have a much wider range of tools from which to choose – including revolution if all else fails. I don’t want to define myself as a citizen, though. I’d rather be a human being.
Defining oneself as a consumer is dangerous. Because even if every single consumer in the world would only buy “green” products, that still wouldn’t be enough to stop global warming, mass extinction, depletion of soils, massive social injustice, the poisoning of EVERYTHING and the not so distant mass die-off of humans, who will no longer be able to live in a destroyed world. The truth is that consumers’ demand does NOT control the course of industrial production. Much less does it control what governments, military organizations and other institutions do. And those contribute to the destruction of life in a much greater scale than private consumption does!
To stop the destruction of live on earth we have to do a lot more than change our consumer habits. We have to stop being consumers. Production and consumption has to stop. We have to stop seeing the world as made of “resources” for us to exploit. We have to stop others from exploiting, polluting, destroying earth, life, ecosystems, our own bodies. We have to fight back because this culture will never undergo a voluntary change to a sane way of living.
Our way of relating to ourselves, to our neighbors (human and non-human) and to the earth has to change. We must once again become part of nature, like people who live in indigenous (that is, non-civilized) cultures. We should truly identify with our own bodies, with those we love, with the land that gives us life. Then we can live in, from and for nature so that the division of “nature” vs “human” becomes obsolete.
I stole most of those thoughts from Derrick Jensen: (www.derrickjensen.org) ;-)
SAVE THE WORLD –
BY ALL MEANS NESSECARY!
Kapitalismus ist wie eine Wahl zwischen Pest und Cholera, nur dass du für beides auch noch bezahlen musst.