Duty or Happiness?

We are a great fan of existentialism and the freedoms that accompany living authentic. However this is a double edged sword, as responsibility for our choices is never without pain. Pain as it seems is the knife that forms the clay of humanity. We are very much defined through our own suffering, which in many cases is self imposed.

In our latest crisis of self, we are trying hard to achieve something that quite honestly has eluded us for some time, happiness. We are in a relationship, that has been through the wringer more than once. We for many reasons feel a great deal of loyalty and obligation to someone just because they have ridden out the storm of our illness. This isa fact that cannot be denied. We were in the fight of our lives, with ourselves; all thirteen of us.

For nearly a decade, our partner was present, even if only physically for much of it. We are not denying the tumultuous reality that was living with all of us, unknowingly even to me. We were a system, without organization and communication. We lived everyday in a constant battle from within, reaching outside and beyond. Feeling as if every conscious moment we were living in a horror movie, where we were the star player, but the writers were unknown to us. The deep seeded beliefs we had of our own sense of identity, and character we re constantly challenged and shattered. We became loathsome, because we know not who we were; free falling through existence slowing down only when we bounced off another lost soul on the way down.

Now we are three years, into the right therapy. We are about four years post awareness. We started to communicate with each other and the lights all started to come on. Even before we knew what we were, we began to understand. We KNEW we were more than just a group of little voices in our head that always was there. We were “US”. This was pivotal. Even then, we did not wan to accept the truth; Not about what we were, but how we became this way. This was the hardest part about our diagnosis, the gut wrenching truth about our childhood.

Another year passed, as we fumbled with unqualified professionals, unsurmountable self doubt, and denial. The struggle within becoming more unmanageable. The facad that is DID, the curtain of conscious darkness was falling and what lie in wait was nothing anyone can prepare for. The truth about us. Our partner, was packing the car, taking the kids, and running like hell from the nightmare she was in. We broke. I more than anything fear abandonment. This is a cold hard fact. We saw in front us, a rerun of a movie we had seen many times. The fruits of our labors, crumbling before our eyes. We did not understand why, we just knew how it all ends. Alone.

We had another one of our weekly, generic therapy appointments. In this visit, Larry, broke out and cornered her. Accused her of knowing about us and being too afraid to confront the truth. Looking back we feel so bad from her. She had no idea what had just happened to her. Larry scared her to death, not with his words, but from the total change that had occurred in front of her eyes. She immediately referred us to an unconventional, hard core, trauma professional. This was our saving grace, Becky. Becky would become our best friend, ally, and confidant. She knew, and understood what we were and how we got there. It took almost two years for her to convince us that we were “us”, and not just malingering.

As our hours accumulated, now three a week, with Becky, many things happened. We came to realize that our morals really had not changed. That we were not Multiple, we were shattered. We were something beautiful, created out of something ugly. We were the proof of humanity from the actions of an abomination. We were truly special, and completely as we were supposed to be. We were survivors, and that too is pretty awesome.

Our partner, who as we mentioned was a damaged soul herself, clung tightly. We felt from a sense of obligation, or maybe a need for physical stability, we were not sure. We never expected anyone to truly love us. We had known forever that all of our relationships would end with bridges burning behind us, in both directions. We were the torch and everyone was happy to pour the gasoline, just to never see us again. Tammy, our partner, and the system had been strained for years, living separate lives in the same house. occasionally crossing paths to make sure the other was still alive and somewhat in tune with reality. She was not the culprit in this, we were. During the time we were trying to sort ourselves out, we isolated hard core. We entered self imposed confinement in our home, rarely coming out. This was safety for us while we were sorting out the details. There are a lot of details too!

Who we finally felt like entering the world again, we ran as far as we could run. We went exactly to the other side of the world, to Southeast Asia. We went without expectations, or even reservations. We were searching for something we had never known, ourself. We were trying to see who we were , to see ourself that way. Trying to live openly about all of us, without shame or fear of judgement. After all, we were perfectly created to survive, nothing to be ashamed of. We found more than we wanted to find. We found not only ourself, we found another who without any warning, with whom we had a connection with. This could be about more than just chance, love, or anything like that. We believe that this was due to the work we had done in organizing our system. We had learned to communicate, learning each other, our desires and needs. We were learning how to respect the host of the body, that is me. Learning to respect myself and demand respect from the alters. I am the host, and need to act like it. I need to live my life for me, not hiding behind the alters as if a scared child.

Lets fast forward a bit now to today. We have entered into a long term relationship with another woman, with whom our connection is still ever present and growing stronger. Our fights are colorful and intense, but the makeup is just as intense, and we always make up. The values we have are in line with each other, and we are a good fit. Our partner from before is still in our life, in the same house. We all live together, Tammy, Jun, and my daughter Aaliyah from Tammy. Since we have all been together we have had good times and bad. I live as Kevin almost full time. I now manage the system for the most part. This causes issues fro Tammy and Larry, who have been in this relationship since they met. That is right, Tammy and Larry, not Tammy and Kevin. Hence the drama.

We are now almost six months into all of us cohabitation. I am and have been solely with Jun, not sharing a bed with Tammy. Tammy has still clung on to Larry. This causes confusion for me, as I wanted her to stay for the sake of our daughter, and be in her life. I ask for and expect nothing romantically from her. However we had enow come to see that Tammy resents the relationship we have with Jun. She wants that for herself, even though there was never anything that resembled that in the years before.She feels cheated, because the water under the bridge is a roaring flood. The resentments are there on both sides. However I have still wanted to make everyone happy, and take care of her. This has caused issues all around that we have wanted to ignore, but cannot anymore. Much like that throbbing boil on your ass, this has come to a head. For the first time we are having to make a choice about what makes us happy, and what we feel like we are duty bound to do. We are in a crisis of epic proportion.

Do we let go of tammy, the one who stuck with us, for whatever reason, through all the bad times. Do we let her go, knowing the emotional shit storm we are going to bring to bear on her world. Where is the humanity in that? When if ever do we get to do for us? When does Kevin get to choose happiness for himself? Does he? In all of this, we have two amazing ladies, both of which love us, differently, and some have more baggage than the other. We need to know what to chose, happiness or duty. There is always a chance that our happiness can fail, and Tammy would always be there. Is that fails to anyone though? IS an existence in which you are left wanting really a choice, for anyone? Both Kevin and Tammy may have something, but is something even acceptable once you have felt true happiness?

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