I had gotten used to the parts. I had gotten used to Sammy crying at night and losing the earring in his sleep and wanting to bang his hands on things and Lana popping out for yoga because it only hurts a little bit and I can stop it whenever I want to and Katya trying to sort right and wrong although she her head is full of 2×2 custard. I had gotten used to them surfacing for things that scared them and things they liked. And now I don’t see them anymore.

I woke up from a nap and everything kind of ached from sinus problems and too much housework yesterday and naps don’t agree with me anyway and I felt a little Sammy for a minute. But I didn’t become Sammy. I just felt sort of, well, childish. In the day, a few things crossed my mind that might be interpreted as mistakes I had made recently, and I could feel a terror inside about them, but I didn’t feel Katya exactly. I knew it was her thing, but I couldn’t say I felt her.

I don’t know if the parts are quiet because I have shoved them back in again in preparation for my return to work and ordinary life again next week, or if something magical has happened and they are in some way integrated.

I know I am not fully integrated, because there is still a split of who I’m used to being and the original personality that does sort of surface.

Anyway, after the nap—the one I woke up from grumpy and befuddled—I made some very strong, very sweet tea, which tends to help with post-nap weirdness. And I turned on Charlie’s playlist, I suppose because his is my favourite these days even if it also kind of makes me sad.

And I suddenly had this sense of clarity. After a minute, I realized the clarity was a kind of Charlie sense. I didn’t have a sense of switching, but Charlie’s sort of background hum, his baseline is clarity. He had to concentrate very hard to do much of what he had to do, and so a state of intense focus is sort of his natural state. So that was interesting.

After that, I had some sort of Charlie thoughts. I had some thoughts about not feeling so lonely anymore, as if my story had become one I could tell. My life has become speakable, and I feel connected and nurtured in a way I haven’t before—in a way that I had needed to feel as a child. That was even more interesting.

I felt too that I am a person. Not a machine or an object, but someone with the same rights as everyone else. And I felt in some way proud. Not proud of anything in particular. Not proud of an act or a character trait or a victory of any kind. Just that sort of proud of being an individual thing we like to criticize the next generation for. I am alive and breathing and I am not quite anyone else and Oh, this is lovely.

So, I don’t know what will happen next, but it’s all very interesting.

I’m not saying things are easier. It was a moment. It’s not a state of grace I get to remain in.

At bedtime, I am quite sure, it will still be very hard. And I will cry a lot. But it does make me think I have the right to do something about that. It is my problem, and I can try to fix it the best way I know how. I can play Russian lullabies and hold the broken earring and I can talk to my dead girlfriend out loud, because those things help me feel just a little bit better.

And I have a right to that. I have a right to feel just a little bit better. It’s not the way that would make you feel better, I’m sure of that, but you haven’t lived my life. It’s not what would make most people feel better, but most people haven’t lived a life anything like mine either.

So, yes, it all seems a bit mad.

That’s my right. Not my right to be a bit mad—although I suppose I have that right too–but my right to try to help myself in whatever way I need to, in whatever way I can. So long as no one else is hurt by it, I have a right to it.