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Archive for June 26th, 2008

Rainbow (c) Lynda BernhardtWhen I watched the remake of the movie Sybil, I found it interesting that Sybil’s host personality became upset about one of her alter parts being very talented in playing the piano while the host personality did not have that talent. The same thing happened to me, only with me, it was singing.

Before integration from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), I had an average singing voice. I could stay on key, but my voice was nothing to write home about. However, there were times in which I would sing, and my voice sounded beautiful. It was not some trained, professional-sounding voice, but it was very pretty. I did not know why my “pretty voice” would come and go.

The reason for this was that an alter part held my love and talent for singing. As part of protecting this beautiful part of myself from being destroyed by my abusers, I split this talent off into an alter part and buried it deep inside of myself. As I began to heal from my history of child abuse, that part of myself felt safe enough to come out on occasion.

What was interesting was that I would be able to access this part of myself easier when singing certain songs that made me happy. For example, if one of my favorite hymns was sung during a church service, my “pretty” singing voice would come out. However, it wouldn’t be there during the next hymn. I had no control over when it came or left.

After integration, I still had to “invite” that part of myself out and reassure myself that it was safe for me to sing with my “pretty voice.” Now, I have full access to that part of myself as long as I feel safe. If I am feeling anxious or upset about something, then I have trouble coaxing that part of myself out. However, as long as I am feeling safe and present, it comes out naturally.

The other interesting thing is that this part of myself “hides” to the left. I would often feel only my left vocal chords doing the singing. I had to be very relaxed for the “pretty voice” to make use of all of my vocal chords. After integration, my “pretty voice” mostly uses all of my vocal chords, but I still feel a tingling in the left side of my neck when I sing.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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