“I no want be separate outside Ruthie. I want be inside Mommy. I want be close.”

This is one of Ruthie’s first comments this morning. Integration seems to be very much on everyone’s minds. I had quite a long conversation about it with Lana on Sunday, who said something of the same thing. I explained that we need to know all the same things to do this. I need to have all the memories the parts have of the past, and they need to know what I know about the present. Otherwise, when the wall between us starts to thin, the things we didn’t know come rushing across and make our collective head hurt. The headache thickens up the wall again and we’re left where we started from. So, one thing at a time. It has to be a slow process or it won’t happen at all.

But I am starting to see what integration is going to look like. It looks like something more continuous. It looks like more moderate and gradual shifts in mood or perspective, rather than these jagged, discontinuous leaps between them. I can see also that just imagining that I am still the same person in spite of the leaps—or even the cognitive knowledge that I am—doesn’t do anything. It’s going to go on feeling that I am not one person however I make sense of it because of the extent of the discontinuity between them. It’s not a process you can force. Ruthie is going to have to wait.