I Still Smile


3.5 years ago I told her my story.
Well, what I thought was my story.
And she listened and looked at me,
She said,
“you’ve been through so much, and yet you tell it with a smile.”

Fast forward.
We are present. The time is now.
Since then I’ve seen 9 hospitals,
Missed holidays,
Met people who would change my life.
And I met people…
Did I mention that I met people?

Because the people who I met aren’t just people:
They are:
Dakota, Emerald, Parker, Luna, Sydney, Kai, Blade, Lily, Johnston, Lenny, Alice, Cole, Dalton, Summer, and many more..

Those names aren’t people you’d meet on the street.
All those names..
They’re me.

Dissociative Identity Disorder,
Another label I will have to grapple with.
Each name I listed is a part of me.
A hero who protected me.

Through emotional, physical, and sexual trauma.
The stories they tell me, the sensations they give me:
These people, they scare me.
But these people, they save me.
Through them I am whole.


I am of many parts, but I am one.
I thought I was shattered like a mirror
Trauma creating each shard, each part.
As I get to know each person, each part,
It is as if I’m gluing each shard of the mirror back together

In social justice we talk about intersectionality and privilege.
I am a woman, I am a lesbian.
I am mentally ill.
I am one person and many people.
I am 2, I am 22, I am 40.
I am a mirror being glued together.
I am hanging on your wall and you look into me.
I am vulnerability.
I am vulnerable.
I am many parts and many stories.

So 3.5 years ago I told her my story and I smiled.
Today I tell a different story,
And it hurts.
But I still smile.




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