I had a long chat with C last night via phone. I am reeling from it, although a part of me isn’t particularly surprised. It’s one of those things where I am keenly aware of how much my life doesn’t intersect with other people’s that much. I woke up this morning and there was really no one to tell except all of you. I feel so many things and I need to do this mostly alone.
I am going to start at the end of it, and not the beginning, because that is the bit I am reeling from.
She said something like, “I am not C. I am her friend. I was just joking.”
The thing is I know it was C. I know her voice(s). I know all of the little modes and all of the more grownup ones. What she felt was rejected and ashamed and a protective part stepped in and took over so that she didn’t need to feel ashamed.
I don’t really know what I said. We had a talk about my not being angry, and the part asked if I was angry. I said no. She said I know how much you care for C.
I asked the part’s name. She said it was Karma. I said I care about both of you. I asked if the part protects C when she is hurt. She said yes and I said you are a good friend.
There is a part of me that really grieves deeply for the damage done to my daughter—damage might not be the right word. That implies C is broken. But the way she has been hurt and the way this has altered her development and robbed her of achieving her full potential as a human being at least for now. There are a lot of times I have been very deeply sad that I cannot easily fix what is going on for her.
I feel a very deep sadness that the dissociation for her is so profound. I think it is as profound as it seems to me. I don’t think she entirely knows that this incident happened. I think she switched and that it was a real switch. She isn’t lying or playing with my feelings. It is what I have been wondering about for a few weeks. I have felt I am sometimes talking to a mode I don’t know, and that I don’t recognize. I don’t think Karma is a new part, but I haven’t met her before. The behaviour matches what IT Ma’am has described C doing—expressing vulnerability and then saying, “I am just joking” and acting as though she really doesn’t care about something. She has never done that before with me, but I think she felt very deeply vulnerable with me and then very deeply rejected. But it might also be the protective part just has not talked to me before. She simply ended contact. I don’t know.
I do think it was important that the conversation didn’t end with the switch, and the relationship continued in spite of it and that the protective part did express this kind of vulnerability still: Are you mad at me? That was very important. “Madam did you forgive me?” The relationship was continuous. No one got abandoned. Nothing got severed. I think such a big part of the process is having a continuous relationship so that you can begin to feel safe enough to have a continuous self.
The thing is I don’t really know what to do now. I am very aware I am in over my head with this.