I found myself in a drug store yesterday, buying a multi-colored pen set. You know, with purple, pink, light green, turquoise, and orange. That kind.

Not really like me.

So I was reflecting later on what was happening. This is a kind of splitting. I am aware of that. There are particular parts who would like to write in fun colors of ink.

I’ve thought about this in other kinds of circumstances. I was picking out something to send to C–something little, a bookmark or a pencil pouch, or a card–and I started to realize whenever I do this, I’m choosing a particular kind of item, like some seriously girly shit, but dreamy-girly. It’s coming from a girl who is reflective, who likes to read and write and think.

Well, that’s Katya. Katya is buying C things.

I know this happens as a result of fearfulness and shame. Whenever I am doing something too fear-inducing, something that feels I won’t be allowed to do, this happens. I don’t really get it, because I’m switching into something that seems like it ought to be even more fear inducing than doing something as myself. But there you go.

I have been trying to re-learn some Russian. I got some children’s books from the library, checked out a Pimsleur set, and I have been watching an ancient series someone has kindly uploaded to YouTube. The multi-colored pens are tied to that.

In other words, re-learning Russian feels vulnerable to me. I suppose it’s one way of attempting, at least, to communicate to myself this feeling of vulnerability. I’m not in a place where I can just know I feel vulnerable. I need to enact it. Look, I feel like this. I feel like a little girl who likes to write in pink ink. I feel vulnerable.

Feeling vulnerable, when I was a child, was something I couldn’t do. Because the parts are child parts, I didn’t quite realize they are things that didn’t seem safe to feel when I was myself a child. There was a reason they needed to be “not me.” There was a reason I invented child parts as ways to think about myself as a child.

I couldn’t be those things. It wasn’t safe.