DID, dissociative identity disorder, Layna

When Body #Memories Strike

“Perhaps the body is unforgiving, perhaps every cell, every muscle and fragment of bone remembers each and every assault and attack.” – Thrity Umrigar, The Space Between Us

Earlier this week we started to feel strange. The body refused to cooperate and was highly unforgiving. Most of us assumed it was backlash from other inside stuff and didn’t pay it much attention, but the feelings were becoming more and more intense. We decided the body’s period was coming and left it at that.

We were right on one hand, but that wasn’t all we were experiencing. By Thursday morning a few of us recognized exactly what the body was feeling. The body was starting labor. Or rather, the body was actively experiencing memories of labor. Back in 2004 July 1st was on Thursday and that was the day labor was induced for the body’s first child.

Those of us that are front and active most (we call that the core crew) know the story of R’s birth. We can tell it just like we can tell any other story we have been told. We don’t feel any emotion surrounding it and we don’t feel anything at all with the memory, it’s just a story. R likes to hear it. We tell it every so often. Sometimes the details are easier to recall than other times, and sometimes parts of the story feel new or untold, but there’s rarely ever any emotion with them.

This week, for the first time since the actual event, the body prepared for labor. We have become pretty good at dealing with emotions, Jenna and Mia are kinda like rockstars there, but this time we were hit with physical memories. For the first time ever, we experienced almost 3 full days of physical labor symptoms. Our body took us on a body memory ride. And we had to pretend nothing was happening.

Body memories are talked about a lot but I don’t know if they are ever really explained well. I’m  not sure if I can explain them well here, but I can tell you it’s agony. It took incredible team work to make it through a 3 day stretch. The body seemed to remember and insist on reliving every aspect of childbirth. Every cramp, every contraction, and every bruise. The needle pricks for the IVs and epidural. Everything. Every minute of two entire days. At exactly 2:32 am this morning (Saturday, July 2nd), the body woke up from a dead sleep and it was over. Labor stopped. Cramps, contractions, all it was finally over. The child was born. The body’s period also started in full force about then, and the flow has been ridiculous, much like bleeding after childbirth. But aside from some very sore areas, the worst feels like it’s gone physically.

That, my friends, is a body memory on steroids. We have experienced lesser body memories before. Sensations of hands around the body’s neck, of being kicked in certain body parts, of bruising that was there years ago, of cuts bleeding from long ago. Never before have we experienced a 3 day event, of which most of us don’t even know the details. It has never been so widespread that ALL of us experienced it while out front.

This experience has scared us in a lot of ways, and reassured us in other ways. We had to keep all of that as quiet as possible because a beautiful child was celebrating her 12th birthday and her celebration had to be first and foremost. And it was worth it. Her smile lit up the room. It scares a lot because we don’t look forward to more of this, and with the way our system and body tends to work these things are never alone.

We are reassured because Mama and Daddy were incredible. There was such an amazing amount of patience and tenderness over the last few days, even though they weren’t positive what was happening. They tend to stay more in the firm and structured zone because we need that more and to see them instinctively switch and recognize a need that we didn’t recognize and that we don’t feel we deserve is overwhelming.

I hope the shadows don’t make us pay for that.





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