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Skeleton Man

His face comes up to me from the depth of my selves as I see him for the first time the way he sees himself.

Perhaps, this is a misnomer, for there is no face.  He is bones.  Nothing more.  Clean bones.  Helpless bones.  Inefficient bones – for there’s nothing to hold up.  No tissue.  No muscles.  No sinew.  No veins or arteries.  No skin or anything that supports nerve endings of any kind – so no way to feel anything.  Not even a heart.

No way to move.  No way to act.  Safe by default.  Thus – he is safety for me.  Shielding me from words that might otherwise destroy me.  Shielding me from the bruises that come from blows dealt by sharp tongues and persons seeming as heartless as HE is in actuality.  What a fitting portrait he paints of himself.  It is brilliant.

He is the first one inside of me that I recognize as male.  Fitting, in that he is my savior, my knight with no armor, no horse, his weapon being the lack of any thing that could be called “weapon”.

He knows when I want to die.  He knows it first, even before I know it myself.  His job is to keep me from doing it.  It’s not for the sake of himself, for he is nothing except the abstract desire to procure my continued existence on this planet.

The moment that the vague notion of death begins in my subconscious mind, he arises with it, ahead of it, projecting a fugue over my thinking brain – and he takes me down.  Into a clump of useless but breathing tissue; he collapses me and my body can do naught but lie where it has been felled.

He overlays himself upon my physical form and I cannot move except for my breath.  Nothing inside of me stirs except the circulating of my system, except the beating of my heart – in the hollow place where his is absent.  He secures me.  Holds me.  Numbs me.  Blanks me out.

As he soothes away the feelings of my other selves, the core of me rests and gathers strength as my logic brain gradually awakens like a monster that has been buried in a swamp of sticky and useless goo.  My logic brain fights and fights to get to the surface – and feels that this horrible, terrible foe has imprisoned it, darted it with a dark potion to make it sleep.

Skeleton Man sits patiently in Timelessness, knowing that there is no enemy to fight against.  Knowing that it is his gentle and loving field-of-force that is holding us until we can at last be trusted to think for ourselves.

As our zest for life returns, as our ache for the fight creeps back into our conscious thinking, he withdraws, peeling himself off of us and away.  Slowly, languidly, our awareness swims through the mental molasses.  He releases our saliva, our tongue, our mouth, our frozen speech.  We swallow with the sweet victory of returning control as he is retreating back to his vigilant slumber.

Until that day when we, again, awaken him – – with our dangerous desire to put Ourselves…to sleep.

Posted in Dissociative Identity Disorder, My Personalities.

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8 Responses

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  1. Mike Bernier says

    This is an extremely powerful posting, with deep emotions and vivid imagery. I was swept up in the writing and couldn’t let go, even after I had finished reading it. It is a very different style of writing from you, and showcases your talents extremely well. Have you ever considered doing this professionally? LOL

    I continue to be amazed at the depth and breadth of all these personalities that live inside you, and I know you’ve only just scratched the surface! I am eager to learn more and “meet” the others that live within.

  2. Deneen Ansley says

    Mike ~ I am so lucky to have friends like you holding my hand through this difficult journey. I believe that I’ve been blessed with an extraordinary life. In sharing my story, I hope to not only entertain, but to inspire! When reading about me, people may gain insight into why Dissociative Identity Disorder exists, and it can begin to seem not so strange, or so foreign. The disorder is a survival tool, and I’m grateful that I had the type of brain that could create this inside of me so that I might continue to live my life and be here now, chronicling that life for the rest of you.

  3. charlene says

    i know that you are in such a sad place when skeleton comes out, and i feel sort of funny making this comparison…but i have to say that this is a beautiful tribute to him. that is exactly what comes to mind when i read this. i do see it as very beautiful writing though, and very brilliant. i love this piece. i feel very inadequate as a critic of your writing, but i do know what sort of place you are coming from, when you are in that place that skeleton man is protecting you from. been there myself, as you well know. i’m so glad that you have skeleton man to protect you.

  4. Deneen Ansley says

    Charlene – As a reader, you are always a qualified critic! One doesn’t need training in order to recognize what one likes reading, so don’t fret. You are ultimately qualified to know what YOU like! I’m flattered by your kind words, and I’m honored that you are taking the time to come by and read, here, the little snippets about my life.

    Skeleton Man has been responsible for saving my life many times, and I am always grateful to have him, and I’m thankful that I was able to write a piece about him that helped other people to understand that he’s not a bad guy at all. It may be scary for other people to see me go catatonic, but the alternative would be a much worse thing to see. Thank you, my friend, for stopping by, and for trusting me enough to let me see your own vulnerabilities.

  5. Julie Carriker says

    Fascinating reading, Deneen. I’m finally back to reading & responding to posts–and may actually post some of my own.

    This is so different from the way I process things, so I am grateful to be allowed to see into your mind and try to understand these differences.

  6. Julie Carriker says

    Fascinating reading, Deneen. This is so different from the way I process things, so I am grateful you are able to show us what’s going on in your mind. I’m eager to understand and learn from these dfferences.

  7. Deneen Ansley says

    Jule – It’s interesting that all of our brains work differently, in spite of seeming similarities. I am grateful that I am at least explaining my brain in an understandable way!

    You keep reading, I’ll keep thinking and I’ll keep explaining, so you’ll keep learning!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Tweets that mention Skeleton Man – The In and Out Patient -- linked to this post on 30 March, 2010

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