When we were Littles, we listened at night for danger. We stayed awake as long as we could. We were afeared, in terror. We do not know if we were afraid of real things, unreal things, real things that seemed unreal, or some combination. Maybe there are other reasons.
We listened so hard that we may have heard things we were not supposed to.
One more time: We listened so hard that we may have heard things we were not supposed to.
In particular, we may have heard the Whisper People There are voices, sometimes music, that we hear when we listen carefully. They are outside us and to be distinguished from our inside people.
Usually, we think, there has to be a fan humming to hear Whisper People. It may be that they are available to us only via fans or white noise.
Maybe there are no Whisper People. Maybe a mind that listens for danger too long in the terrifying night hears things after days, weeks, months, and years. “Decades” would not be an appropriate next word, because at some point we learned to go to sleep and not listen as much for danger. Maybe we learned to dissociate. Maybe because we fragmented, we were able to sleep by being less alert. Maybe we fragmented so that we could be less alert and able to sleep. Maybe because we did not sleep enough for many years all of this happened.
We try not to blame the Parents for this trauma because blaming is an act of violence to us. They had specific things alive in them, specific needs, that resulted in their decision to hold the boundary that bedtime (theirs) meant unavailability. That is, when they went to bed, they were off the clock as parents. (Can you see now how the recent boundaries therapists have set are triggering us so profoundly?)
There were exceptions, as their often are, to the parents’ boundaries. If a thunderstorm occurred during the night, as soon as the first really, really loud thunder occurred, we were in the Parents’ bed before that first loud rumbling stopped. As long as we did not move much or breathe loudly–or cry–we were not removed until the storm passed. As soon as the storm was at least mostly gone and another was not detected (we had superhuman hearing and understood the Doppler effect as a toddler), we were removed or expected to self-remove. No staying until sunrise. OCD knew what rules to follow.
Another exception, on the Parent side of the rule: if we kept them awake with our pacing in the hallway, our sighing, or our crying, we would be punished.
“You think you’re scared now?” Violent Parent would ask as we were being dragged down the stairs. Punishing is violence. In our case, we were dragged screaming by a threatening and violent Violent Parent and thrown outside in the dark, and the door was locked.
Are Whisper People real? We think they are real to some of our me’s.
Would they exist for us without trauma? Who knows. Maybe meeting the Whisper People was traumatic. It’s hard to pin down causality. A reader of this blog might logically conclude that we were traumatized and went, and continue to go, loopy. That seems a possibility, too.
If you read this blog at all, you might know we have had different traumas. We are not allowed to think about too much of them at once. Our me’s are set up to prevent that. Thinking about too much trauma is too dangerous. It is a thunderstorm with a loud thunder when we are a scared kid who has to weigh the possibility of getting locked outside in the middle of the might against the safe feeling of being in bed with Big People who are Violent.
The calculus for a Little is hard to conceive from adulthood. It is true that as an adult part of our Shame is that we didn’t know about suicide. The me’s created themselves or were created to keep us alive.
now, though, we are in limbo. The me’s can’t 100% divide the traumas away from one another because at least one of us knows and can communicate with everyone else inside. We go inpatient when the traumas get put together too much and we lose connection with reality or get too depressed to function (feed ourself, parent, Spouse).
We are maybe not supposed to relive them. Don’t relive trauma. That sounds awful. And Whisper People don’t sound so terrifying by comparison.