where do you live?

I debated long and hard about reposting this poem and thus outing myself, not because I am ashamed of who I am or feel the need for attention or sympathy, but because my thoughts are always tinged in color from the others and their opinion matters. I have always been a strong advocate of mental health care and for those who are different. I am Brian: they are not. Why now? Why not? If this past election has showed anything it has highlighted the need for tolerance and dialogue. My poetry and fiction seeks to heal.

red
red lives in opposition to
blue
blue for serenity
red for rage
pain lives in joints
bones
sinews
heart
where I live is
within
not
without
yellow
yellow lives high above
green
green makes me sneeze
pain lives in sinuses
stomach
head
soul
where I live is
within
not
without
within lives my others
loud
naughty
sad
scared
intelligent
brave
they live through me
without me
within me
a part of me
that few see
but all know
of my others
without colors
my body is mine
not theirs
my pain is mine
not theirs
some are
within
some are
without
but all
are
where I live
where we live
and I wouldn’t change a thing
about where I live
with my others
within

Ten years ago on Nov. 18th, 2006 I realized – at age 43 – that I was a multiple personality with five others inside our mind. At that time I was blogging extensively on several blogs and had just returned from a visit with friends made online. It was the final piece in a puzzle that was my very confused life. Everything that had ever happened all the way back to my abusive childhood suddenly made complete and logical sense. The emotion I felt the most strongly was an overwhelming sense of relief that I wasn’t actually ill and the therapy and medication had simply masked the truth. I wrote about this process daily at my original blog and have never mentioned it here because it has not been relevant thus far to my poetry and fiction. This blog is all my own, not one of Rose’s two blogs. She’s an amazing writer, a better poet than me and my friend that I love deeply {yes she lives inside my mind} and although I’d like her to blog again, she chooses not to at this time. My poems about London and Paris, Paris2, Paris3 and the Underground are my memories while hers are written in the brilliant travel book she wrote in 2007. If you want to know how it all works then I urge you to go to Rose’s blog and read her book. We consider ourselves to be normal. If this doesn’t fit your worldview… oh well, we at least know where we live. Do you?

“Finding time to redecorate”

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67 thoughts on “where do you live?

  1. I really like your poem and am glad that you decided to share it. You are who you are and I don’t understand those who would seek to judge you harshly for that or be unkind. I would imagine that those who appreciate you are in much larger numbers and I hope that you can hear those voices so loudly that they will drown out any which are not so supportive. Personally I feel lucky to have met such an interesting and supportive friend.

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  2. An honest personal share Brian ~ I think you are a courageous person to share your journey ~ And really as we grow older, we learn to accept who we are, where we live, with others or not ~

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  3. Yay! You came out!!! I’m SO proud of you. 🙂 You feel better? Man, you know I get this, way more than I’d like to … especially reading the “naughty” line. It’s not every one of my people people such a bad girl all the time. It really is just a couple of them. Anyway, tell Rose I said hi.

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  4. Interesting. Although I personally think you are an excellent poet! I’m glad you “came out”…I like that you are real and honest and write from your heart, that you are different as we all are different.

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  5. It seem you are comfortable with this and you can really help others who struggle. If they others are as gifted with words as I see here, I’m almost jealous 🙂 Thank you for being honest and sharing.

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  6. Brian! I applaud your courage. We are all individuals , no cookie cutters, but we are ashamed for that difference. You raise a good question for me: I write in different voices, and I have been questioned repeatedly (by some pretty dull people …not poets thankfully) as to being a ‘liar’ as to who and what I am, and it has mystified me for years: I am me, and I dig deep for other voices inside. I have a Japanese self/ A Hungarian self/ a Celtic self/ a Turkish self, and probably a really rotten self. LOL! All these ‘selfs’ make me a writer and able to write in these modes. I am thankful for this because I have, like you,…escaped a childhood of abuse where the chief abuser, at 96 is still going vemonous. These selfs have led me into power and control over my own abilities. I agree whole heartedly: we are deeply affected by the opinions and thoughts of others….but we can break those chains and live an abundant life. Bravo, my dear friend.

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    • Thank you Jane. When I first came out 10 years ago, we were attacked by trolls and by other multiple personalities who thought we were shamming. We went after the trolls and they went back into their caves. The other multiples we simply explained who we were and why our experience was not their experience. One thing we have learned is that together we are strong enough to thrive. I am Brian 99% of the time, Rose can talk to me when she wants to.

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      • ANYBODY can talk to me, any time. I get lonely. The trolls were real in my neck of the woods….I was raised in a Norwegian neighborhood…and there was a small culvert with rushing water….thar be the troll cave. LOL! Oh, you were talking about internet trolls. Sorry.

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  7. Sorry Brian, I inadvertently left a comment for someone else’s post here, not being aware the computer had jumped.
    I have left posting a response to yours on hold until I return home from where I need to be soon as I need to give your post the respectful response it deserves.
    Sorry again and will return here in a few hours.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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      • Hi Brian
        Cheers for clearing the misplaced comment. I’m so glad I realised my error soon after, otherwise what would you have thought of me re the (apparent) flippant remark of invisibility. I have been mortified with myself ever since.
        I have read most of your signposts and understand more, also updated myself on DID. I presume you were wrongly diagnosed along the way and incorrectly medicated. It is good that you were able to find the answer yourself and this providing you with that overwhelming sense of relief. I admire you very much and applaud you.
        Of your poem, if I understand correctly, those who live ‘without’ (towards the close) are not the others (?) rather those who exist outside (us) and do not see your colours?

        “…and I wouldn’t change a thing
        about where I live
        with my others
        within”

        I salute you Brian!
        Until just under three weeks ago I worked as a psychiatric nurse and do understand/know that docs are reluctant, indeed don’t look for, ‘rare’ conditions such as DID. For after all rare conditions are so rare people don’t get them, do they… I do wonder how many folk have been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia when DID is the answer…also I have great reservations about some psychiatrists…
        I would love to write to you if you are agreeable Brian. If you are, my email can be found on my blog. Once again, I salute you.

        Kind regards
        Anna :o]

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        • Thanks for the comment Anna. I wrote this poem almost ten years ago and the within and without are more poetic license and rhythm than anything profound. I don’t take comments personally, I know how easy it is to press enter w/o meaning to. I was never diagnosed with anything. Dewy Knickers first appeared on my original (now private) blog in June 2006. For the rest of the year and particularly after Dewy started her own blog in Sept. 2006, many other multiples started showing up and commenting. The friend I mentioned in this post was on such multiple and it was the morning after we got back from a visit that I woke up with the understanding I was a multiple as well. Dewy’s first words were ‘Took you long enough’. She didn’t take the name Rose until 2007 and for most of that year I was ill with the struggle to reorder our mind. Anyway, that was 10 years ago and things are very calm and ordered now.

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  8. Thanks for sharing your personal journey and those who journey with you… how wonderful is this world when we can all be together and share the uniqueness of our lives. I wish all of you well and hope to read more of your writings! Thanks Brian.

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  9. Your poem is beautiful and opens a dialogue between and among persons. We are all different in one way or the other and because of those differences, this world is a lovelier place to be in. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story.

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  10. The journey through your poem is salutary and salient in light of opposing forces which seem to be manifesting in many places around the world, exhumed politically. It is a reminder, as is your poem that the rich complexity of humanity is one and that in understanding differences we connect, whether I is differences within or without.

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        • There was a recent article about FB and how the combination of fake news stories and people only reading within their own group’s bubbles has simply reinforced the political and social belief systems of people across all spectrums. People simply are unable and/or unwilling to seek out the truth, only parrot what like-minded ‘friends’ espouse. Facebook has become the de facto source of record for hundreds of millions of people. The difference btwn gossip and news of the past is that it took awhile to disseminate and thus lost some of its punch, much like the telephone game. Today, it is all instant reaction w/o the cautionary filter of face-to-face interaction. Very little that is said online could be said in person w/o having adverse effects.

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  11. I’m glad you wrote this–genuine authenticity is always good, in my opinion. It’s helpful for readers (myself) to understand this aspect…as, when I was reading and commenting from my previous blog, I got confused by some of your comments. I don’t remember the exchange, and it doesn’t matter–what matters is that it now makes sense to me. I salute you, and send you best wishes–and will keep you in my prayers, Brian.

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  12. Pingback: Finding time to redecorate | There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament

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