Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Experience Eraser - The Empty One
I already explained in a previous post about the sad one and the angry one. The empty one (who I sometimes call invisible or the eraser) is a sort of blank part that absorbs pain and negative experiences. The empty part doesn't necessary experience the bad things, but rather takes them away into the back of my mind where the other parts don't have to think about or worry about them. The empty one sort of wipes the slate clean.
I do not call this part the empty one because she is devoid of emotion, but rather because she embodies the greatest feelings of defeat and exhaustion I can possibly imagine. It's a feeling of being abused to the point that nothing matters anymore, that you'd rather just go away and feel nothing. Unfortunately, it's not possible to feel nothing and the empty one is the one who got (and still gets) all the pain. This part is so destroyed that it doesn't even matter to her if she takes all the pain and sadness and abuse. It's just her job.
I can remember what the empty one takes away, but not in extensive clarity. If the empty one takes it than what remains is just a few snippets of memory, like a mental pictures of what happened. I might remember that an argument happened, but I will struggle to recall what it was about and probably won't remember anything specific that was said or done.
I believe there is a sort of filtering that occurs so that I get the pieces of information that are vital. If something bad happens and it needs to be addressed later, I will have enough information to do so. For example, if there is an argument that needs to be picked up at a later date, I will know the subject matter and the other person's argument, although no memories of what was actually said. If there's a car accident, I will remember factually what happened, but probably won't be able to see it or describe it in detail. This creates the illusion of a lack of emotion about certain events because the "me" that re-engages with a situation is not the "me" that experienced it initially. I just got the information from another part.
Some things that go to the back can be recalled if I am prompted to do so. Usually the recall is very delayed and the person doing the prompting has to be very determined to get me to remember. There are some things that go to the back of my mind and never come back. I'm not sure what all is back there, but sometimes there is minor bleed through, like strange thoughts, images, or reactions. Sometimes I read old journals or diaries and have no recollection of the negative experiences that are described. These things I know were taken to "the back" - the part of my brain/memories that I can't access. This is where all the memories of my abuse reside.
The empty part exists as a sort of trio with the sad and angry parts. The angry one usually comes first, then the sad one, and finally the empty one. Sometimes the sad and angry one come simultaneously or very close together. The empty one rarely, if ever, comes out unless the sad one has been out. Perhaps the empty one is a type of protector? Maybe the angry one is too?