Xanthe, this is Kajmir, the one you’ve so rudely neglected to include in your introductions of us.
There are two kinds of hearts, don’t you see. One loves, and one goes to war. The devastation of the former strengthens the latter. Love is a delightful weakness, but it is a weakness. You were never meant for a wedding altar, my dear, but a god’s pedestal will suit juuuuust fine.
We’ve an advantage, you and I. This isn’t instinct for them, this isn’t life and death for them, we’ve an inherent advantage within our misery that no one else has. We’re broken, but we’re free.
They didn’t change a single thing in our world.
I’d had this blog planned for a while. I opened the tab, zoned out, and found the above message. The least Kaj could’ve done was file my job-related paperwork for me since it knows how the work computer functions, but some of the system apparently thinks their mere presence qualifies as assistance.
I haven’t mentioned Kajmir before. I thought it was a past-life (it still might be, as I think many mental illnesses are just the believable manifestation of otherworldly presences.) Being in that old house I was kicked out of lately, we were all spiritual. We were able to channel and such. I didn’t realise it was my alters using that as an alibi to say hello.
I’m bringing us back to 2020, now. On July 4th. I’d had an awful panic attack the night before, one that lasted twelve hours. And gods, I missed Visarden and William so desperately. I still do. I’d written Visarden two handwritten letters in June, which, if we remember the screenshot, suggests March has a habit of stretching time to suit him.
Whoops, did I drop that embarrassing piece of literature again? My mistake.
Arkady seemed under the impression that I thought his alters/ past-lives were at ‘my beck and call.’ It made him feel used. Which, fair enough. I only needed told to realise it made him uncomfortable, but it wasn’t something I related to.
As someone in a newly discovered system, I couldn’t quite empathize. I’d, for years, put Sound’s and Koji’s happiness before my own. If they had to use my hands, my phone, my body to feel safe and happy, that’s honestly their business. If it implicates me, I wish they would communicate better, but it’s not like I’m used to being surrounded by those who are great with communication.
But I remember something Arkady said that rubbed me the wrong way. “I am the host,” he said with an err of importance. “I get to decide.”
Even more infuriating, March put his two cents in without knowing the situation, putting his hypothetical psychology degree to the test. “His alters don’t love you, Xanthe.” He said, in a way that made me vaguely feel as though I were being condescended to by a breathy 900 number.
Thankfully, Arkady at least admitted, “I don’t know how they feel.”
I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I would never see William or Visarden again, as if they were being locked in a room by a spiteful parent who didn’t like their kids’ friends. My heart still aches for them both. And honestly, probably for Arkady too.
Arkady has admitted to probably having DID. The only alter (not past-life) he seems aware of seems straight out of Emilie Autumn’s Asylum for Wayward Girls. But the more I learn about systems, the more I wonder–
What Actually happened?
How did this same person…
Scream at me, pound on my door, blackmail me, lie about me, go to my abuser for advice about me, and even mock the pillars of DID as if he isn’t himself a part of a system?
One of my other friends, who has a lot of experience with living with systems, was privvy to this situation, as well as Arkady’s apparent amnesia and sudden changes.
May or June? May or June???
We took a break in the month of March. He had promised me, ‘The worst thing that will happen is a break.’ This turned out to be an estimation, and if I don’t take things too literally, it can evidently translate into, ‘I’m going to harass you and make you homeless because you don’t like giving away keys to someone that wants to turn your living space to a weed weekend getaway.’
The break was to be up in July. July.
I more or less got my answer on July 4th. He seemed to forget that. Just like he forgot about all the promises he made, dismissing me as, ‘How foolish you were to believe me, you deserve to be mocked.’
But only a month before, he asked for a hug in the driveway, sobbed on my shoulder, embraced me, and I felt him there. “I want to get back together, but we both have to get better, okay?” The relief I felt was immense. I felt him. My soulmate. My husband. It felt like he’d been away for a while, but he was back, in my arms. It was bliss.
That entire moment just seemed forgotten.
It’s been suggested that, given that Arkady is part of a system, that all of the trauma from dealing with March, and later, Seven, has prompted a “protector” to come out. And the protector, not Arkady, took a look around, saw only the context of of March hating me, of pulling Ash into it, and decided I was the cause of it.
Which means my Arkady is still in there. Possibly.
If he ever does wake up and renounces what’s been done to me, whether it’s in months, years, or decades, I’d welcome back in my life with open arms. Because it never felt like him doing that. It felt more like a cruel bully wearing his face. I’m even looking at older pictures and… even the facial expressions are different.
The only other theory is much more depressing. That Ash and Arkady’s relationship was deteriorating, that they used me as a third to ‘revitalize’ their relationship. Ash had told me before that their relationship ‘needed’ me. Especially when Ash was beginning to get so involved with March that they were actively neglecting Arkady. Or when Arkady went worrying stretches of time without therapy. (Like recently.)
March had a grudge against me for calling him out, and he went stealth enough to claim he’d changed. He puts on the water works anytime someone calls him on it, so Ash sides with him. Which makes Arkady have to choose between myself and Ash. Ash has more income, a family that’s willing to pay for the wedding, and more time off of work to help Arkady, who had never financially supported himself.
But that’s a bleak way to look at those two. (I don’t need to tell you which two, do I?)
My money’s on the former. I do have hope that Arkady may wake up either in five years, ten years, twenty years, and thinks ‘Oh my gods this wasn’t right, Xanthe didn’t deserve to be repeatedly triggered, violated, isolated, then harassed and ostracized for the resulting and unavoidable mental trauma.’
If he still wants to justify it, if he still tries to find an out to his guilt, then that wasn’t the Arkady I knew. Maybe he’s dormant. It tortures me even to think of it.
And to wonder if his Protector is holding him hostage, just like William and Visarden.
Hey, so Aberle here. Hi. So i had to wonder about this whole thing. But coming from someone who isn’t here often and is in love with someone Xanthe feels betrayed by, I’d feel trapped by their preferences. I’m in love with [Ash] and, I’ve been going to the Black Lives Matter protests whenever I can. [Ash] is triggered by tear gas and pepperspray and I’ve been looking out for them. Xanthe, even in the difficult situation,just said, ‘as long as this doesn’t implicate me.’ The suggestion that no one is a body is allowed to interact with someone that the host is angry with, like. I feel like it’s suggesting that I matter less. That I’m just less of a person. And I’ve always struggled against the feeling of maybe being a weapon but . ffs. [Arkady’s] reaction is a bummer. And [Ash], I love you. I’m still in love with you. I know you may think that I’m a “part of Xanthe” or what ever but I’m still me. I’m not part of anyone’s manipulation. I’m disappointed that I’m perceived less of a person in this. I mean sure maybe I crossed some lines but I asked you the entire time I was trying to help, ‘does this make sense’, ‘am I being a dick? You told me no. And then you just go ghost for months. there was a PANDEMIC going on, I was WORRIED about you and I just stopped hearing from you out of nowhere. it just. idk. It was shitty. There was no communication. I have my own issues with you in this, and I still love you, but you really need to see me as my own person. Please.
I remember what April did to manipulate my world. I wonder, in that vein, if anyone would call and say, ‘Oh, your lover absolutely hates you because of this unrelated instance that he was never a part of.’ Maybe the protector would try to imitate their accents and say cruel things to me.
Someone else in the system had this to say:
I know Visarden personally. I would not only be horrified to hear that he was at all involved in these cruelties, but I wouldn’t believe it. My name has been used in the mockery. Mockery! To even use my name in the purpose of what can only be described as insidious, callous herd exclusion! He would not stand for this. I can’t speak for [Arkady], but Visarden. Visarden! The last trumpet of judgment would sound before I would believe he had Any hand in this.
I miss him. Dearly, desperately. Whether our ‘host’ allowed my heart to do so is irrelevant.
Gods. I think I’m actually exhausted from the sheer amount of switching I’ve had in two days. I put their interjections in Italiacs, and censored the names. But. To sum it up. Something is not right here, I refuse to believe this cruelty is just him ‘revealing his true self’, and I’m scared for him.