I don't really have a good sense of what's happened over the past couple weeks. I am now out of the hospital. But events and experiences are all over the place in pieces. I suppose I could put the pieces together from my private journal entries, and I will do that in due course. I sometimes resist doing that because then it becomes patently clear how discrete and dramatic my experiences really are.
My main accomplishment in the hospital, and there seems to always be a main accomplishment for each admission in recent years, was the eventual "coming together" of all parts of me in order to create an honest and meaningful "System Contract". The Contract is ten pages long (in rather large font) and contains our first definitive statements on what the parameters must be for our system as well as truisms that we often have great difficulty acknowledging (and even deny).
As an oversimplification, the hospital is a place where my system can relax, resulting in a bit of coming unglued (hence the Brief Cohesion post), and then some learning takes place and I make some accomplishment or some meaning that moves me forward.
This is what happened with the Contract. It most certainly would not have been able to be written outside of the hospital. It was done so in four major sections over an intense period of several hours, with each containing a series of very clear and definitive statements. I will not share the whole Contract, but I will share just a few of these statements:
We agree we must be safe and keep all of us safe and not hurt any part of our system anymore.
We will not ever deny that all parts of our system exist, even if we do not feel their presence. We must always know we are a system, even though we are a single person, a single human being.
We accept all parts of our system unconditionally and know that all parts were created in order for the person we are, the human being we are, to survive.
We know we were severely damaged by [abuser]. And this abuse of power and trust caused our system to be created. We all accept these as facts. We will not ever deny these truths.
These are four of the 16 items from the first Section, consisting of the core elements. Subsequent sections were more wordy, very personal and specific.
It was signed by every part. When I was discharged late last week, I saw my therapist and I read the entire document out loud in her office. Doing this was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done; but all of me knew it had to be done. I didn't think I could get through certain sections. We cried. It felt as if a stake had been put in the ground and we were propelling ourselves forward.
Unfortunately, the Contract quickly lost its luster. I am quite disconnected from it now. It is a horrible feeling to know you have accomplished something historic, say it's your "mission statement", your "Constitution", your "Magna Carta", but then lose the experience and all the knowing in such a short time.
But this disconnection really does not diminish the magnitude of what I've been able to achieve. There really was a coming together of all my parts; more than the brief cohesion of the last post. It is not surprising that I would lose that complete sense of knowing. And I'm okay with that. I think we have to accept inside that things will still be very difficult and I will struggle.
Even if all that's a given, things are different now. The changes may not be as dramatic and quantifiable as I originally anticipated, but there has been a more qualitative reordering of sorts inside.