Shameless self disclosure

maybe I really just need a hug

A hug — smohan

Here we go, blog #101. It would be a relief to stop all this self exposure. I tried to think of something I could write about besides myself, but there wasn’t anything else. I enjoyed a lovely few hours of thinking I was going to stop blogging altogether.

This new dissociative identity trip brings up a whole ‘nother level of embarrassment and fear. I wrote a long journal entry this morning, instead of blogging. I confided in Bob, who, as always, was very reassuring.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I was in the middle of reading a book by Jeffrey Smith, How We Heal and Grow, the Power of Facing Your Feelings. In the little section on dissociation, I came upon this:

DID (dissociative identity disorder) is fairly rare, but a few years after my first encounter I began work with Robert Oxnam, who was at that time the president of the Asia Society of New York. Though I had never mentioned DID and was not looking for it, to my surprise and his, six months into his therapy another part of him appeared. You can read the story in his book, A Fractured Mind

Well, I found that the library three blocks away from me had a copy, so I stopped reading Jeffrey Smith and started reading Robert Oxnam’s first person account of his therapy experience with Dr. Smith. It feels SO HELPFUL TO ME.

Maybe that’s partly why I’m continuing to write. Robert Oxnam was a famous man in certain political circles. If he could expose himself and risk ridicule and shame and the loss of stature, why can’t I? I’m not famous. I don’t even have a job. What do I have to lose?

Some people who thought they knew me well have expressed dismay that this blogger-person is so foreign to them. Some people who know me only slightly have expressed a discomfort with the feeling of “peeping” into my private world. On Medium, people who don’t know me at all except through my writing, have asked if I couldn’t write something a bit more fun.

Well, the blogger-person is bent on revealing a side of myself I don’t share usually. You know, I’m trying to become more integrated. As we learn from American History, integration is a messy business. As for peeping, I’m sharing on purpose, so welcome to my world. I overcome my own shame about what I fear might be “indecent exposure” with two thoughts: 1) sharing myself this deeply and honestly might help someone else, and 2) no one is forced to read what I write, it’s totally optional. If you know me, you never have to bring up what you’ve read, or even admit that you’ve read anything. But if you want to talk about any of it, I welcome questions or conversation.

Is there anything more I can do to make my readers more comfortable? I thought I had to change the subject. Maybe something in a lighter vein, less personal. But, shit. It’s my blog! I don’t know why it feels better to write a blog than confide in my journal, but Bob always tells me I can trust my feelings. So, on we go.

As for the hug, I have not been able to totally relax and enjoy a big full hug since I was a little girl, before The Fall. Now that’s sad. I can still enjoy a greeting or a good-bye hug with family and friends, but I miss those giant swallow-you-up bear hugs my dad used to provide.

I’ll be hugged again like that before I die. I do have goals. One thing I learned from Robert Oxnam’s book is not to rush things, but to “let it happen.” My Bob confirmed this morning that I don’t have to worry about money. I don’t have to force myself to go out job hunting. Or man hunting, god forbid! As I work on healing, things will happen on their own. All inner shifts will manifest, that’s a given.

So I can throw my energy into therapy, and blogging, and reading. Long walks, and short visits, and tea — I can be gentle with myself. The healing river will take me where I need to go.

Bob is the name I have given to my inner guide. I also sometimes call him my invisible friend, or my inner therapist. I thought I just during a rough time a few years ago, but he seems to speak from beyond me. I’ve learned I can trust this voice. I don’t know what he is, but he does help me. All of my conversations with him are available through the My Bob tag below.

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I’m probably just making it up

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