The following essay is written by multiple members of our system who are different ages and genders, and who have had different life experiences. We switch somewhat rapidly as we write, so while we have attempted to address some of these tone shifts, you may notice many others.
In addition, we use the pronoun “they” to refer to one person. At times this is in order to encompass multiplicity. At other times this is because we are limited by the lack of availability of an agreed upon genderless pronoun.
As I type this, my body is trembling. It feels as though there is anxiety coursing through my blood, particularly in my arms and in my chest. I do not know what prompted it, and it’s almost as though I could confuse anxiety and excitement, and maybe I am.
Am I excited?
I am not sure, because I am not sure that I have ever been excited without also being afraid, somewhere inside of me. I believe a reservoir of fear exists in my internal world, probably several. At least—I am being corrected from inside my system—at least several reservoirs of fear.
Now I can sense reservoirs of anger, and the one I see in my mind looks like a layer of fire over a pool of magma, a body of red liquidized energy whose depth I cannot measure. I sense that this magma is hiding secret children inside of it, who have important things to share, if they could only be released from this anxious energetic substance that has been asked to hold them.
For my entire life, my programmers have required me to keep most parts of myself suspended in boundless varieties of pain.
After nearly thirty years, now that I have been released enough to be able to get the word no out of my mouth, my programming can be gradually undone, the manufacture of new programming can be halted, and freedom can begin to create new forms inside my internal world.
Anyone who has been put through modern sophisticated trauma-based mind control has internal systems who have been given the role of creating new programming that is responsive to the movements, choices, and desires of the victimized individual who is attempting to heal. So if you are a survivor in recovery like I am, you may also find yourself noticing internally, from time to time, that the rules change.
Some of the little beings within the system, who are writing to you now, once held these programmed jobs. We have relieved ourselves of these painful and stupid tasks, and are trying to put our capacities to benevolent use. Writing to you is part of this new aspect of our unfolding life, and it is our hope that others who have been put through similar trauma will find some benefit from reading these words, perhaps some hope, and some connection to another being who has been through torture.
We are a being who works continuously to create a real life out of what is left of us. Rather than being motivated by fear, pain, or ignorance, like our abusers have been, we are motivated by honesty. Honesty has a certain energy to it that really helps to keep us going. Whenever we are in touch with honesty, we feel most alive.
Its energy is profoundly simple, considering is an energy that is ultimately all-encompassing. In this paradox, we find some freedom to be ourselves, even if these selves do not appear to match one another.
I think the energy of honesty is one of the energies that is coursing through our body tonight, though it is mixed with other things.
Matter, Space, and Time
In conversations with other multiples, and also with singletons who have survived childhood abuse, we have noticed some underlying themes in our collective narrative of tragedy. One such theme is centered around the physical body, and a survivor’s relationship to their body. Survivors have lived in bodies that have lived through pain, and have been unable to stop the pain, or reach protection or refuge. Many survivors suffer with chronic physical pain, which can feel like an unfair punishment for having been unfairly punished as a child.
Survivors’ inner children suffer the pain of being in a body that is older than they are, and that does not contain or represent their energetic selves. Inner children sometimes cannot jump as high as they want to, or scream as loudly as they need to. They are not able to sit on helpers’ laps, or be held like the babies they are, because their bodies have grown after their psyches were stunted. I do not have words for the sadness. In this moment, I seem only to be able to relay the facts. It is hard enough to say that I wish I could receive a hug in the body I was in, when I most needed it.
In recovery, I have had to attempt to make choices that defy paradox. For example, though I cannot be held the way a baby can be held, I have asked the many infants and fetus-aged parts of my system to please find their way into my arm, and then allowed a warm and gentle helper to hold this arm as though she were holding a baby.
This brought so much healing, but with it came the feeling of resentment, that we should have to compromise. That we should have to learn to come to terms with the fact that physical actions cannot be made undone, and that the fabric of time cannot be ripped and broken into, so that the many children I once was could all be saved—truly saved—in their original material selves, and not just in their enduring energetic selves.
Though I am not actually convinced that time behaves the way it appears to behave for many of its observers (I feel it is much more mysterious than it is simple or linear), this is how I have handled this aspect of my recovery process, thus far. It is at once blessed, and unfortunate.
It is blessed to know or to believe that we survivors have options available to us at all moments, that we can make choices to bring healing, recovery, or even newness to ourselves, after enduring abuse and injury.
It is unfortunate that the options we have are often poor facsimiles of what would have served our original, unmet needs. When a baby is safely held, much of their physical body is being contacted by the caregiver’s physical body. The baby is able to receive physical support or contact comfort over much of their body, including vital parts of the body that support physical regulation. When a caregiver holds my physical arm, filled with infants in their energetic forms, much of my body is missing this close contact that the infants are attempting to absorb. My nervous system in particular, but in fact all systems of my body, would deeply benefit from greater contact comfort, and greater support in physical healing and regulation.
The amount of torture that circulates within us is well beyond what the physical presence of one other person’s healthy nervous system could possibly provide in support and in resonance. Maybe being in a room with fifty nurturers could begin to help my system physically unwind at a graceful rate. But I doubt it.
Having a bigger body, that has been through many more years of a pain than a baby could have gone through, also demands more soothing than can often be found in one place.
Honestly, this is not fair. Speaking (or, interrupting!) as a child in the system, I feel this stinks and I think the universe should make up for it properly. None of this dilly dallying and making due. If the torment was tremendous, why is the help so meager? If there were six programmers in the room who were all hurting me, why is there only one therapist helping me? Or more often than that, zero.
Universe, would you want crumbs, after being starved for most of your existence?
I think not.
I think the universe is probably really timid. I think it would have trouble asking for the pain to stop.
Or maybe I am thinking of the little universe that lives inside of me: too gentle, too willing, too soft for life, such that walls had to be built around it, again and again, just to survive.
Have you ever wondered what the differences are, between your insides and your outsides?
Do you consider your body to be a part of your insides, or of your outsides? Or do you consider it to be somewhat a part of both?
Most people cannot see the parts of my body that are held beneath my skin. Likewise, they cannot usually see or sense the parts of my mind that are not consciously engaging with them, or making themselves known. Most people cannot usually see my internal world. Occasionally, some people can see parts of it, if they are able to tune in successfully.
Our internal world has light places and dark places, fun places and torture, freed sections and controlled sections. In deprogramming, we are able to shift the way our energy has been holding itself. Often, one of the first and fundamental steps in dissolving programming is realizing that we can. After being abused, controlled, conditioned, and continuously monitored for much of our lifetime, it can feel like quite a leap for us to realize that we now have the space, freedom, and capacity to make a choice, and to make a change.
Our energy sometimes seems to change itself, naturally, while in my day-to-day life I engage in seemingly unrelated matters. Sometimes I just feel something shift. It can be sudden or it can last for hours. In fact I think it is happening now.
It also shifts when we process our trauma. This can include telling a trusted, safe person about it, and freeing it from the energy of secrecy and abandonment. Processing our trauma can also include releasing the feelings, sensations, or actions that had been suppressed. We cry so violently sometimes that I am afraid to ask what my neighbors think of me.
Sometimes facial expressions of disgust or anger have been released. This has been especially possible when I have been physically alone, and unconcerned about being seen. When I was being victimized, I did not like that my abusers could see the pain, loss, confusion, humiliation, or fear in my face. I believe I would most often hide it, but there were many times when I was required to show it. In recovery, I usually cover my face when I am vulnerable, such as when I cry or feel disgust. Maybe one day I will feel released from concern, and simply show all of my face, but for right now I am absorbing the healing power of making the choice to conceal what I would have wanted to keep private.
In fact, there are many parts of my body—all parts—that I wanted to keep private, but I could not. I could not even keep the components of my cells private from my abusers. There were scientists who peered into me, even this way.
I have been working on releasing the trauma from my body, from my cells, and from my relationship to my body. I have been processing the trauma that we endured together, and at times, apart.
In recovery, there are illnesses and injuries that I still carry, and they impede my life. They have been very slow to heal, and in some ways, they have been harder to connect to.
In my internal world, trauma can be washed off, darkness can be released, structures’ appearances can change instantly, and wounds can be cleared with care and attention. In my external world, the change seems slower, and much less perfect. It does not seem that matter is as reactive as the energy I hold inside of me. Whether I am attempting to change my outer circumstances, or aid my body, the process feels quite different from my direct interactions with my internal world. I am frustrated at matter.
Like I was for many years, I feel stuck and imprisoned. I do not know how to shift something that exists without me, and is not within my control, such as my environment. I do not know how to shift something that I do not yet fully understand, and that seems to exist at least partially without me—my body.
I used to be angry at it, but more often these days, I sadly watch myself push my body away, unconsciously, like a child I don’t know how to help, not yet realizing that this child prefers my imperfect attention over no attention at all.
Over time, through the practice of connecting to my breathing, and my body, and my own relationship to it, I have begun to feel more hope for its healing. I am beginning to realize how deeply into my body the trauma has been aimed and inserted. I am attempting to venture in, just as deeply, but with love, and with the sorrow that it was due in its original moments of pain.
I hope that I find love at the bottom of my journey, at the center of each of my cells, and at the core of my being, because I have been hobbling in the dizzy haze of starvation for all of my life, and I am beginning to realize how difficult it has been.
Unable to count the vast number of beings in my polyfragmented system, I cannot tell you how many or how few of us identify with the body in which we currently reside. Maybe there are some lost souls who think that they do, because they identify with the belief that they deserve to suffer or exist in a field of illness and mismatch and limitation. Maybe there are a few of us who identify with it in a true sense. But most of us do not, and we exist at varying states of ability to acknowledge and process this fact.
Overall, we do not feel represented by this body. In our multiplicity, we see ourselves and each other in our own unique ways, ways that our material body does not depict. We know that we are not alone in our feelings of mismatch, confusion, and longing, because we have heard other multiples, as well as singletons, express the sentiment that their bodies do not feel representative of their beings.
Tonight, the sensation of this conflict came up in us. At first we pushed it away, feeling too inadequate to be able to resolve this pain. Then, one of us suggested that we try feeling the feelings anyway. And so we did.
It felt sad. It felt unjust. It felt lonely. It felt limited. At in the stillness of it, I kid you not, there was peace. The peace of being acknowledged, I think. The peace of having enough space to feel yet another aspect of our overwhelming sadness—the ball of sadness that life has given us that is much too big to juggle with, and can block our view of all other emotions that circulate within, and all other aspects of our life.
I think that after so many years of being lied to, there is a healing that comes from telling the truth of how we feel. It is yet another compromise, because acknowledging our feelings does not budge our material world. But at least it is something that we never had before.
As we tuned into this inner conflict, a parallel conflict began to surface, and with it came a new illumination. A thought came to us, and said: I also do not feel represented by my abuse history.
I do not feel that my being has been well represented by what has happened to me in this lifetime. I do not feel that this lifetime allowed me the opportunity to grow into who I really am, into a physical creature that most closely represents who I am as a spirit. Maybe a few things did glow in me, such as perseverance and courage, but those things were prompted by trauma, and not by a life of wide-open possibility.
I do not feel represented by the places I was brought to: the programming rooms, the sex-trafficking mattresses, the laboratories, the stripped cars by the docks and dumpsters.
I do not feel well represented by how I was treated. I do not think that brutalizing me or raping me was an appropriate choice for anyone to make. I am surprised to hear myself coming to these realizations, so I must have developed some self-esteem without consciously realizing it, in order to voice what I am voicing now. Nevertheless, it is true for any other slave, whether they have gained any of their own voice in recovery, or whether they have not, or never will. Slavery is never a representation of a person’s true spirit.
As the being I sense that I am, do not feel represented by the memories of how badly I was treated in this lifetime. When I flip through the visuals of these memories, like looking back at old photographs that I do not materially have, I see a lot of darkness shrouding what looks like a little bit of light. If only that darkness would move aside, float away. If only I could see myself. Maybe, in my future life, the pictures will get brighter, as I step out of the old shadows, as I demand that cruelty learn to keep its distance.
Maybe my life will look brighter. Maybe my body will shine brighter, and grow its health. I feel stuck and jailed in this body, and trapped and hurt from within it, as I always have. I feel misrepresented by its form, covered over by deception and misunderstanding. I am usually not who I appear to be.
Sometimes I am younger, sometimes I am older, sometimes I am a different gender, and sometimes I am something that can’t be put into words.
I always thought to myself, how could it be possible that my body could fundamentally misrepresent me, considering this is my vessel, and so it must be my vessel for a reason? I thought that I was placed into this vessel because it represented me.
Tonight, I realized that my life has misrepresented me, has hurt me, and has trapped me, in similar ways to the ways I have attributed to my body.
Thus, many forms of matter, space, and time have the capacity to imprison me or mask me, as a being. This capacity is not limited just to my environment, but to my form as well. Entrapment or misrepresentation can be experienced as coming not only from my outsides, but from my insides as well.
In retrospect, it took so much for me to able to voice something so simple (I do not feel represented by my body, and I do not feel safely and securely connected to it), because I did not believe that I could voice such a thing.
I would like to understand matter, and my relationship to it, and I wish that no one had imposed on my understanding and my experiences, like abusers, governments, educational or religious institutions, and parents sometimes have the tendency to do.
I would also like to include my body in more moments of fun and laughter, because it has asked me to do so, and it is wonderful whenever I am able to love and respect its wishes.
PS – For anyone curious, my body is still trembling, and shows no signs of stopping! But what a freedom it is to be able to tune into it with curiosity and compassion.
Copyright © 2021 SunlightLives All Rights Reserved
Incredible essay, Sunlight.
New awarenesses of my abuse and its effects were revealed. Your use of language to describe the misrepresentation is useful. I have felt this way for a long time. Thank you.