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We Had a Dream

Milkweed Pod

Milkweed Launch by: Jim Dollar Photography

This morning, I had the privilege to be presented with the vision of two more of my personalities. I was dreaming of them when I awoke, and at first mistook it for an ordinary dream. But, as I ran my mind over the details of it, from inside of me, someone piped up and said, “That’s us.” I knew, right away, what she meant:

“Get her out of here”, the matronly woman sitting at the head of the kitchen table says to the strong and authoritative man standing before her. He nods in acquiescence, gently placing his hand on the crook of the arm of the waiting young girl — to whom he looks, and feels, like family.

They are gathered in the kitchen of the old farmhouse, a summer day pouring through windows that wear minimal curtains, even those flowered bits of cloth being shoved open in tight bunches against the end of their cheap, white rods. The table itself is nothing of fashionable note; its woodsy-green veneer supports a half-filled pot and a growing stack of peelings as the older woman works-up potatoes in preparation for some future meal.  Momma’s face is round and soft like her body, her light-brown hair caught up into a sensible bun, her build a bit portly. Her dress is a non-descript thing with a distinctively home-made look, short sleeves cutting into her ample arms a bit. The faded pattern of her old-timey clothing extends down, right to end of her knees, the whole, straight skirt tucked tightly underneath her legs so as to prevent them sticking in the summer heat to the cheap vinyl chairs that complete the dining set. Her hands are her most remarkable feature. They are round and dainty, with well-kept longish fingernails.  Already, they are beginning to wrinkle and knob with age and hard work, but strength exudes from them. Their strength is what has brought the work that has etched itself into their surface, and when these hands gesture and point with an order, not a single person in their presence would ever question the authority they, or their owner, conveyed.

“Wait!” the young girl protests, casting a furtive look from deep-brown eyes into the matching eyes of the Man-At -Arms who would command her away, and out the door. “What about her?”

The sound of Momma’s knife against the skin of the root-vegetable stops, and the man steps forward a bit and turns so that all eyes are focused on the other end of the rickety table, directly across from where Momma sits at the head.  The girl, at whom they all stare, is looking right back, somehow managing to gaze deeply into all of their eyes simultaneously. She is younger than the rest of them, and seems even tinier than she actually is as she postures herself tightly against the back of the chair, almost fading into it, and exuding a barely quelled fear. As everyone looks on, ghostly figures approach the diminutive form, the wall behind her becoming first transparent, then, fading away altogether. She doesn’t break the visual connection with the others, even as abject terror begins to form in the deep, dark pools of her eyes in response to the, growing ever louder, murmuring sound of voices starting to engulf her. The translucence of what has become an approaching crowd is beginning to dissipate, as two figures, gaining solidity, step to either side of the younger girl, each one firmly grasping an arm while gazing down upon her with stern and disapproving looks. Holding the right arm of the little girl is a woman who seems to be in charge, and her mouth moves, giving muffled and indiscernible orders to those poised and waiting.

“Get her out of here!” Momma’s voice breaks the spell, repeating her previous directive with more force. “She doesn’t need to see this.” Man-At-Arms only nods, turning away from the younger and more helpless of the two girls, tightening the grip on his charge. He turns, attempting to turn her with him, and point her out through the open, wooden door-frame.

“NO!” she protests, trying to jerk out of his grasp, looking back to the scene at the table’s end. “We can’t leave her!”

“Child, you have to,” Momma says, not unkindly.

“I’m not going to leave her. They’re going to hurt her!”

“Now, you hush up and go on out there. She’s stayin’ so that you can do that. You have people outside, right now, waitin’ on you. You have to go and talk to those people. That’s what you have to do. Don’t you worry, now. She’s gotta’ stay here for you, and she’s agreed to stay here, and she’s gonna’ stay here, and that’s just how this works.”

Momma looks at Man-At-Arms. “Taker her on out now – and hurry!”

The older girl struggles a bit against the strong man, glancing back at her other self, all the while distracted by the feeling of other attentions that are, indeed, tugging at her from somewhere, far outside herself, leaving her with an uncomfortable feeling that there is something she’s being called to do.

The younger girl is becoming smaller, fading with her accompaniment into the background, and beginning to lose her focus on the scene in the kitchen as more and more hands grab at her, pulling her away, holding her down, beginning to produce hard metal instruments, cruel looking corkscrews and levers and a basket full of mysterious things.

“No! I can’t let them hurt her, NO!” still adamantly affirming herself, the girl looking on, nonetheless, complies allowing Man-At-Arms to orient her towards the door outside as, deep in some other part of herself, she knows that the hurting can’t be stopped. The best that can be hoped for is that it is endured. She casts one more desperate look into her escort’s immobile face. He has short, soft brown hair. He is taller than her with a broader body that is well-muscled without being bulky. Self-assurance exudes from him, along with a toughness of spirit, and an unquestionable air of authority. He is purposeful, but not unkind. In fact she can feel the empathy from his warm and soft eyes, feel it even in his touch, as she attempts one last plea. “Please! They’re going to take it all out of her!

Indeed, the older girl doesn’t even have to look back at the younger, because she can see through her eyes, feel her spirit the same as if it were her own…because it is. “They’re taking the carrots!” she finds herself blurting in panic. She doesn’t even know what that means, but she feels the giant corkscrew being laid lengthwise along her abdomen.  As the sadistic crowd surrounds her, looking down, her seating dissolves in a smooth motion that lays her upon the floor, and someone begins to turn the handle of the device, inserting it into the meat of her. The basket appears to slide its way, in a floating fashion, through the crowd that it seems to be a part of, its journey coming to completion in the hands of the female leader.  Carrots flow out of it, and other vegetables wait, mostly hidden as they form a line out of the basket, disappearing into the crowd.  As the metal device begins to turn, carrots are being forcefully and painfully wound through, up and out, as it rips its torturous way into the girl’s opened flesh. She begins to scream –

–But Man-At-Arms shoves her through the door and out, into the open air, and the scream of her other self evaporates along with their psychic connection as other voices command her attention. She becomes aware of the presence of many smiling people, milling about in the happy and brightly juxtaposed back-yard of the house. Man-At-Arms is no longer holding onto her. He is behind her, keeping and guarding her back. “These people,” he says, “are expecting you. You must go out and talk and mingle with them now.” The young girl can feel the truth in his words, feel the safety with him at her back. The painful screams, still exuding from her other self, are but a speck on her awareness and will soon be faded to nothing.

Even her protector is forgotten as she steps off the porch of the house, into the real world; out into the sunshine, her face genuinely beaming at the waiting guests with happiness, and a lack-of-concern. All pain is forgotten. All suffering is gone.

“Oh, you guys!” she says, opening wide her accepting arms. “It’s so good to see you! I’m so glad you came!”

Man-At-Arms waits in the wings, unnoticed and unacknowledged, arms crossed across his broad chest, watching her proudly. When she has to interact with the outside world, she really brings it! He smiles, secure and delighted in the knowledge that this part of her, is also a part of himself. Momma steps up beside him to look out, wiping potato juice from her hands with a checkered, kitchen dish-towel. The two exchange a nod, and gazing out into the summer yard where stands their protege, a smile.

“Our girl,” Momma says, “she’s doin’ good.”

“Yes, she is,” concurs Man-At-Arms.

“We’re all gonna’ be alright,” she adds, wincing, but not doubtful as her awareness hears the continuing screams from inside the kitchen. “We’ve all just gotta’ keep our parts.”

We wish to express our eternal gratefulness to Jim Dollar , for he is somehow able to capture the spirit of the feelings within our soul, and lend them to images in his photographs — which he graciously allows us to use.

Posted in My Personalities.

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2 Responses

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  1. Yvonne says

    This is very well written but disturbing at the same time. Perhaps it is because I have had nightmares for as long as I can remember. Or maybe it is because we lose parts of ourselves when faced with hard decisions, ie, leaving behind something important in order to gain something better. And it is usually innocence that we leave as we grow into adulthood. In this case, innocence was not only left behind, it was destroyed. Rather sad way of looking at this dream but it evokes a sadness in me. But that is what good writing is all about; prompting the reader to feel something.

  2. Deneen Ansley says

    Thanks for your kind comments regarding my writing, Yvonne! I’m sorry that this writing was disturbing for you. It may also be disturbing for others. That’s one of the problems with having DID. In order to become better functioning, one has to face demons, and sometimes, one has to be willing to open a door and pull out a demon to fight when that particular one had been seeming to sleep peacefully.

    I’m not sure about what caused your nightmares (though knowing you, I do have some ideas), but I do know that the dark times in my life lighten up more and more – and stay that way – the more I can bring myself to shine the light on them.

    I appreciate your support, and the support of all of my readers as I continue on my journey to healthy functioning. Knowing that I have people out there holding my hand, it makes it so much easier to open these doors in my mind, and see what’s inside.

    Just don’t let go!

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