Silent House

posted in: chronic illness | 6
After Munch #8 © 2012 Jane Waterman
After Munch #8 © 2012 Jane Waterman

I will try to connect
All the pieces you left
I will carry it on
And let you forget
I’ll remember the years
When your mind was still clear
All the flickering lights
Filled up this silent house

From Silent House (Finn, Maines, Robison, Maguire)

I love the song ‘Silent House’ by Crowded House. It is a kind of anthem to myself – calling out to the lost pieces of myself I left and carried through the years. Some readers new to my work may not know that for many years I had what they call a dissociative disorder, DID (or MPD as it was once known). In my twenties, I was particularly disordered and moved away from the family I once loved and trusted. I’ve never truly been back.

I still have DID in a sense, although it feels safer to talk about it now I feel more than ever like an “I”. The lyrics of the song, Silent House say:

It’s true
I’m missing you
And I stand alone
Inside your room

The cast of people in my mind have laid quiet for some time. I thought they were gone, leaving me woefully incomplete, like this picture I made: a hole in a heart, and a question mark to love, hearts all around, and nothing to pull it all together. I’ve been in this place before, however, and I believe the many souls inside are in a place of lockdown and protection. While I should be glad that all are safe, I stand out here as the frontperson and I’m not pulling it off anymore.

This song is no longer just about me. It’s about someone I love – one of the someones I travelled half the way around the world to meet. One of the someones that I gave up my life as a capable support scientist, with perhaps a shot at research in my stars, in the search for something greater – love.

I gave my love away gladly, freely, willingly. There were times it was hard, and the souls in this house weren’t so silent. There were still some of the old struggles: finding the right medication, trying not to injure, trying to conceal the scars if I fell short. Like my own mother, I was trying to conceal all that was me because that wasn’t what my life was about. Naive, perhaps, but we never really think about what we are giving away in our search for love.

So many years later, as I live in this silent spell, and battle with depression and thoughts of self-harm (successfully I’m almost proud to say – for I have a plan – a plan my counsellor and my beloved wife know exists, and that is a plan I can never allow to come to fruition). No pride before the fall for me… I must never leave the hole in my loved ones lives as it has been left in mine.

So I struggle very much in the silent house, as one of my loved ones deals with mental health challenges and many of the issues that nearly took me out twenty years ago. Only now, the roles are reversed, and once it was me, far away from a mother that never understood what I was going through. Perhaps the same as my present experience, in a crowd of Yes-Men, me and my wife are the only ones who also project the “No” – the “be careful, Love”, “we’re worried for you”, “keep yourself safe”… and these words fall down as a torrent of negative fear, worry and anxiety in the torrent of “Yes” – “GO FOR IT!”

Perhaps like my mother I have to be prepared for one I love to sail off into the world away from me, and perhaps become just another of the abusers in the world. I’ve grown enough now to know that’s not my stuff. That I love her with everything I have, and always will, even if she utters the words I did one very sick and drunken New Years’ Eve somewhere back in 1993, “I hate you!”

Now, my words and my house are silent, and I feel like I’m holding on for the key that will unlock it all again. Yes, I worry, I fear… I’ve seen too much, known too much, been hurt too much… have hurt too much.

I’m trying to figure out a way to get home to my Mum later this year. I know we don’t live forever. I know in some way by my silent return, she’ll know I’m sorry, and we can experience some moments of joy while the oceans I once loved separate us. I hope that in time I will find a way to a comfortable living and there will be more trips to her side. I can only hope.

Everything that you made by hand
Everything that you know by heart
I will try to connect
All the pieces you left
I will carry it on
And let you forget
And I’ll remember the years
When your mind was clear
All the laughter and light
That filled up this silent house

In the meantime, I’ll keep the faith, keep the candle alight in my questioning heart and hope that everyone I love will be safe and be saved. That’s all I can hope for.

Blessings,
Jane

6 Responses

  1. Joan Bloch
    | Reply

    Wow Jane

    That is very powerful, I can never imagine turning my back on my Children. I hope & pray for you hun that when you do go back she realizes that she needs to look deep inside and ask if this is how she want's it to be & to take all of that with her when she leaves this earthly plane. Despite Your health issues, you are one hell of a strong Woman. I'm proud to now be a friend..

    Love & Light

    Joan

    xxx

    • Jane
      | Reply

      Thanks Sweetheart – in fairness, in my illness, I turned my back on my mother and my family… I felt they couldn't see the pain I was going through, but perhaps they could see it all too well, and they hurt as much as I now do. My words here are convoluted, but there are still many I have to protect, while finding a way to be authentic and speak my truth.

      I treasure your friendship, and am likewise proud to be your friend.

      Blessings and love,

      Jane

  2. India
    | Reply

    My Dear Jane,

    Speaking your truth is in itself very redeeming even if you don't like it. The experiences you have lived are what fuels, moves, and often times petrifies you. I know all those feelings quite well. Yet you grow, slowly sometimes and quickly others but it's that ebb and flow we need to stay connected in someway even if we try to hide (*sheepishly raises hand* guilty). I know that feeling of worry and fear and wanting to save and protect all the while knowing that you can only do so much and can't keep your loved one tucked away. Seeing history repeat it self in the journey of a loved one is hard. I hold you and your family in my heart and send love, blessings, and strength in whatever comes. Hugs!

    India

    • jane
      | Reply

      Love you Sweet India, with all my heart – as someone who courageously speaks your truth, you give me strength also. Thank you. Lots of love always. xxxx

  3. Barbara
    | Reply

    Oh, Jane – my heart aches for you. You're so brave, so strong, more than you realise or trust in, maybe? But I can see it. You are such a beautiful soul, and you know the struggle with your silent house is worth it. Thank you for sharing all of it – fears, strength, and faith.

    Love,

    Barbara

  4. Barb
    | Reply

    Beautifully said. Thanks for writing and sharing about yourself and your own personal history, and what is happening for you in all of this. Your writing is such a gift. Much of what you feel, and fear, and hope for, mirrors what I've been feeling. And you know I too have felt the brush offs and patronizing advice when I go anywhere near "no, don't", "be careful", "I'm worried about you". And my contact is so infrequent in comparison. I love you and respect all the work you've done and wisdom you hold. Our dear one is very fortunate to have you, as are we all. I wish you strength and the peace of conviction as we all move forward into uncharted territory. Angels all around us… Angels to surround us…

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