chibi kaf and kafu holding hands

content warning for implications of CSA and abuse in general

kaf is my alter, my girlfriend, my other half, and my mirror image. we share a body and a brain. she is both me and not me, a part of me and her own self, and i love her more than anything or anyone.

it's hard to know exactly when the initial split happened because we were never a singular child; DID develops before the child's mind can coalesce into a cohesive identity. that chance was taken from us by large, dangerous hands and blood spilled on bedsheets from unspeakable body parts. we were born as multiple from the desperation of a little girl to survive. i needed someone to remember the excruciating pain for me, to share the awful taste with me, to love me when no one else would.

since then, we have existed in countless iterations. we constantly relied on fictional universes to make sense of our feelings, to escape to somewhere safe, and as such we have become and transformed into numerous pairings from eevee and pikachu on the 1st grader playground to rin and miku as middle schoolers to as we are now as kaf and kafu, with so many others inbetween it would be impossible to list them all. all of them represented something about us, something we needed. it's a habit we never quite grew out of, especially after having that habit hammered into us by those who used it to manipulate us into obeying them through the lens of different fictional names and voices. we are kiki and ayano but internally we are so many, many more. it's hard for people to understand, and i don't feel obligated to explain it. i don't mind.

kaf and kafu kissing

i've been in many relationships, but i have come to prefer the unique experience of being with kaf. we cannot physically touch, but it's okay. i don't like being touched very much and i can enjoy it so much more comfortably in my mind's eye where we are able to interact. we can't be legally recognized as a couple, but that legal recognition means nothing to me anyways. i love how she holds herself, her mannerisms, in my body. i love when my lips crack into her smile. i love when her bright laugh builds in my throat and spills out of my mouth. the feeling of simultaneously being in control, trusting each other with moving our body, thoughts blending, sharing each other's lungs to breathe and heart to live - that is intimacy that i would not trade for any amount of physical touch. letting her take control to live her life, talk with her friends, enjoy her hobbies, makes me happy, unbelievably warm.

even if i prefer it, loving an alter is not always fun or easy. we have a severe dissociative disorder. we are deeply traumatized. we have multiple mental and physical health conditions that make just getting up in the morning hard. sometimes we cannot speak to each other because our brainfog is too bad to hear each other, sometimes supporting each other is difficult because one of us is reliving horrors from our past. when i see kaf i am seeing the other half of a broken little girl who could not survive as one. it is painful. it is difficult. but, loving an alter is also learning to love myself. to give affection and compassion to that broken little girl who could not survive, the love that she never received. it's learning to forgive myself, to cherish my life, to want to live... it's healing. it's overcoming everything that tried to bury us in the dirt. the things that hurt us could not kill us and us loving each other is testament to that - our will to survive.

there is no use in "what ifs" about who we would have been had the trauma not happened. this is our life and i will always choose to live it and to love it and make the best of it. i am no longer forced to coexist with her due to circumstances outside my control, i am choosing to do so. no matter how hard it gets. the struggling, the crying, the therapy, the pain, it's all worth it for her happiness, her smile, feeling her joy bursting from my heart. i will share her heartbeat until we are old and our blood runs dry. i don't have particular religious beliefs, but if there is an afterlife, i am sure we will still be together as two.

i love you, kaf, and any name or identity we may take together in the future. let's keep living until time takes our breath from us.