I can look back on my life now and see that through various relationships and traumatic events, I’ve become a collection of splintered selves, personality shards held together by force of habit and stubbornness, but with less and less connection between. Â My wife recently asked me about integration, wondered if I was moving in that direction. Â Sometime last Â year, or maybe the year before, Roxy and I talked about integration but at that time I didn’t feel very motivated, and I didn’t really know what it would mean for me.
I still don’t entirely know what integration would look like for me. Â Maybe it’s one of those things where I’ll know it when I see it. Â I do know that I have some fears, maybe unfounded, but mine nonetheless. Â I worry that integration will mean loss of what I’ve discovered about myself. Â The Casey/Kyle mix is not always blended. Â I still have moments of almost pure Kyleness, islands of living and feeling and breathing through that self, surrounded by a sea of being Casey in most of my day to day interactions. Â My wife said that she doesn’t know Kyle, that she knows Casey and that’s who she’s in a relationship with. Â That makes sense, Kyle has kept to himself for the most part around her. Â He hasn’t seen a willingness on her part to know him. Â Maybe that’s changed, maybe it’s time to introduce them. Â I don’t know. Â She sees my identities as the result of early trauma, would she every welcome Kyle as a person of his own the way others have? Â Do I need her to?
Every time I think about how that conversation might go, it seems like she’d hear it as more a description of characteristics I’ve invested in that part of myself. Â And maybe that’s really what’s happened. Â Sometimes I have the sharpest sense that the real I feel is worlds away from the real other people perceive. Â That might not be a bad thing, but it feels a little lonely.
Who is Kyle? Â What part of me is Kyle and what part is Casey? Â What the heck does integration look like, how do I get there? Â I really don’t know yet.
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