Fighting for a Voice
Come on, the Rebellious Me goads. It'll be fun. Everyone else drinks. Sh*t girl, you haven't even been carded before!
Normally, I drink nothing. It isn't that I never thought to or can't or feel too uppity to get drunk. It's more because I live in a residential program which treats not only mental illness but also people with substance abuse problems, so any kind of alcohol, or non-prescriptive drugs, can get you kicked out of the program, out of the apartment complex and onto the street. For the first time I thought, "God, that sucks. How else am I to get the edge off?" Because the memories are so sharp, and the flashbacks I can't seem to forget, and I can't seem to find the words to figure these things out. All of that makes me want to drink, not a lot, but maybe a glass or two of an innocuous fruity drink. Then another part of my brain--which never seems to leave me alone-- says, "Michelle, alcohol is a depressant, and you have enough financial problems, and what if your case managers find alcohol in your apartment, of which two diagnosed alcoholics live (my roommates). That's a little sh*tty all around."
I pace and I mumble to myself and I yell back at Rational Me because why is she making things so godd*mn difficult? Then like a kid I pull out my binder (stocked with a ream of notebook paper), my lips pursing and pressing together into a thin white line and I click my pen to start writing.
Into student mode once again, a thought in which Rational Me and Self-Destructive Me begin to argue about before I can even write down a single letter.
"Student?" Rebellious Me mocks. "You're an idiot, everyone knows you're a big fake, you can't even hold down a job! Why the f*** are you trying so hard?"
Well, there's a little debate about that inside my head, with stern reminders by Rational Me that I haven't had it easy, not from day one. It's understandable that my lived experience has created certain problem areas.
Ha! another part of me shouts. That's just an excuse, and a really sorry one at that. Look at people who really know HOW to survive...they have kids, they have jobs, they have a partner, they're not in the f*cking dregs of society!"
Well, by that time the Moderator steps in, blowing a fierce whistle and shouting, "That's it, all of you, off the field! Michelle has to do some WORK!" Well, after wrestling with so many voices I'm exhausted and I really wish Rational Me would let up a little, because it's her that keeps me with pen and paper in front of me.
It's been like that for me always, these parts of me screaming to be heard.
But I did get some work done. I reviewed my four pages of analysis, Rational Me the staunch winner,
her voice and mine utterly congruent. At least for tonight.
It's hard, these debates inside my own thoughts. Why do I have to have these stupid wrestling matches, parts of me trying to pin me down and convince me that she's right?
I never talked about this before, because it seems so "crazy." I don't think it's DID, but it's definitely some splitting off as I try to care for myself. I don't know. Maybe it's simply self-talk taken to a WHOLE other level.
I really don't know, and I'm tired today.
My dad, he says to me sometimes when I complain my head hurts: "You thinking too much again, Michelle."
I used to think he was being a bit of a simpleton when he said that. Not now.
There may a great deal of truth in "thinking too much."