Archive for the ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’ Category

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What Is Healing?

March 16, 2013

When I first started out on this last leg of my healing journey…the awareness of DID and the realization of some of what had happened to me (which was an “aha-now I understand” time)…I had an idea in mind of what healing looked like. For me, it meant that my hard work (with G-d’s help) was somehow going to reverse all that had been done to me and there would be a complete merging which I called “integration”. I looked at it like a broken bone or a sickness. I wanted to be restored to the condition prior to the break of illness…or to be made even better. After all, they say a broken bone that heals is stronger in the area of the break and will never break exactly there again. I wanted to be like pre-DID and trauma.

Looking back, I would have to say that I was pretty naive, but not in a bad way. I believed what I needed to believe in order to start the journey and do what needed to be done. There were things I did not yet understand about DID and how abuse affects the brain. There were also implications in my view of healing that I did not fully think through…implications that would later change my view of healing…and again…not in a bad way.

Initially, my goal was simply to work on whatever needed to be worked. If I needed to face a memory…so be it. If I needed to reach out to an insider…so be it. Whether it was writing, listening, sharing, art…I did it. I believed that if I just kept doing what I was doing that integration/merging would occur naturally. It would not have to be forced. And it pretty much did happen that way. As I focused on healing, integration and merging seemed to happen almost seamlessly and without any real effort. Some of it happened in huge chunks during several days I spent with a counselor at her home. I stayed with her twice and through days of prayer and working with insiders massive amounts of integration/merging happened.

Over time, I came to realize that not all of healing is as simple as that. Now, I believe that a huge part of healing is to simply live my life…enjoying it as best I can…and seeing the beauty around me in addition to seeing what is evil in the world. I walk in the Spirit of the Creator, trusting Him to show me whatever I need to see and to help me with whatever I need help with. He has always been my greatest Healer…my best therapist. And He has helped me see that my idea of what healing looks like was very faulty.

I know the Creator can do anything and I believe He could even make it like nothing had happened…but that is not real. Like so many others, I had to come to terms with a childhood I simply never had. It was not just a matter of putting the brain back to how it was originally created. All my childhood experiences shaped and affected my brain. Removing the effects of the negative experiences does not replace them with the positive effects of the good things that never happened!

I also realized that all those things that did happen a part of what make who I am today. And even with all my foibles and what I perceive as “weakness” and “brokenness”, I am a pretty awesome person. I am a walking miracle and I am doing pretty darn good considering all I have been through. So, part of healing is also accepting imperfect functionality.

So…maybe…healing is not about restoration (like a broken leg). Maybe it is more about learning to live as I am and celebrating the me I have become and the me I am becoming. Maybe it is more about giving myself the freedom to enjoy life now…without guilt and with less and less impact coming from the past. It is about accepting imperfect functionality. (What is “perfect”, anyway?) It is about learning not to compare myself to others…not my abilities, my weaknesses or my strengths. Every one of us has abilities of some kind; we just don’t all have the same ones. We all have weaknesses and we all have strengths, regardless of how healed or broken we are. It is about not comparing my healing journey to another’s. We all walk on different paths.

I know I still have more to learn, but I carry one thing with me on my learning/healing journey…one very important thing. I know the Creator of all things and I know who I am in my Creator. I know I can trust Him to continue to lead me. Whatever is ahead, He will help me to face it.

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What is healing…

December 4, 2012

I am not really sure what healing looks like. I think it is different for each person. After years of looking at it, I still don’t have a solid definition, but I can share with you some things that sure look like healing for me.

Healing Is

Healing is being able to laugh…even in the midst of pain.

Healing is being able to cry…even when others are around.

Healing is being able to somewhat identify what I am feeling,
and hopefully…even being able to have an idea of WHY I am feeling it.

Healing is knowing when I need to decompress,
being able to identify safe places to decompress,
and then…doing it.

Healing is being able to sense whether a person or place is safe
And then being able to keep myself safe.

Healing is being able to find joy in life.

Healing is being able to see good things…even when bad things are happening.

Healing is being able to have gratitude for what I do have
rather than bemoaning what I don’t.

Healing is being able to be productive in some way every day
even if I am the only one who recognizes it.

Healing is being able to take a step forward,
no matter how tiny
and even if it is only in my heart.

Healing is being able to face some aspect of my past…without completely crumbling.

Healing is being able to recognize that some part of my history,
no matter how small or big,
no longer has a hold on me.

Healing is being able to make plans…and know that they might actually happen!

Healing is being able to say that I made it through
another minute,
another day,
another hour,
another week,
another month,
another year,
another anniversary,
another flashback,
another body memory,

Healing is having the freedom to fully unleash my creativity and
sing again,
play music again,
write again,
talk again,
share again.

Healing is being able to give without manipulation
and receive without manipulation
even more importantly… recognizing the difference.

Healing is being to allow myself to truly love
and open myself to the potential for heartache without fear,
knowing that I can rise above anything that happens.

Healing is allowing myself to trust others
and being trustworthy myself.

Healing is giving myself permission to live life to the fullest
without thinking much about healing or hurting or my history.
It is allowing myself to temporarily “forget” that I even have an abusive history.

Healing is knowing that I was a victim who dared to survive
and am now a survivor who dares to thrive.

Healing is being able to put words to my experiences,
words like
“rape”
and “sexual abuse”
and “incest”
and “satanic ritual abuse”.
And healing is to put them without capital letters because
I am bigger and taller and stronger than they are
and I refuse to give them capital letter power in my life.

Healing is being able to cry and know that I am OK
and everything will be alright.

Healing is being able to see my Creator’s love for me
even when I know I don’t deserve it.

Healing is being able to see His hand in my life…even during the most awful of experiences.

Healing is being able to see His protection and how He got me through.

I may think of more things to add to that list. As I do, I may edit

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More on Assumptions…and Getting Free…

February 6, 2011

I started talking about assumptions in a previous post called Yours, Mine & ????… Now I will give another bit of the story.

I left off with my parents living in our house. They had manipulated their way in and there really was no end in sight. As we found out, they were not really serious about finding another place to stay. We gave them a break by not charging anything other than a token amount for food and utilities, but they saved no money. Once we finally figured this out, my hubby confronted them about it. Still…they were there and they had no money saved. That was a tough realization.

They were on the waiting list to get into an affordable place, but they were nowhere near the top. That meant they assumed that they would get to stay. Wrong! It did not turn out that way. G-d did a miracle and got them into a place way ahead of other people. Of course, there is also the possibility that they lied to us in the first place and were closer to getting in than they had let on. They did know someone who lived there who was recommending them, so that might have helped, too.

I think it is important to share a dynamic that was taking place before they moved. Although there it a lot still buried in the depths of amnesia and dissociation, I have very good reason to believe my mother was my trainer. She could trigger me so easily…a lot of knee jerk reactions. I will give an example.

I was going nuts with my parents being there. My mother would say something like “I know it is hard on you to have us here. If you need us to move, just tell us. We will find something…somewhere…somehow.” You get the idea. The old knee jerk reaction would hit. “Oh no, Mom. It’s OK. Really.” And I would walk away wondering why that would automatically come out and I could not just stay quiet. Opposing my parents was simply a no-no. And that was one of the blatant examples. There were many more subtle ways that I was being played and manipulated…even as a married woman.  That is…until Darlene came along. She was part of the beginning of my freedom.

Assumptions. My parents assumed they would continue to be able to control me…to trigger me for their evil purposes. Again…G-d had a different plan. I could not break free on my own. They were living in my house. They were setting off all kinds of programming. I was in danger. My son was in danger. Only I did not know that at the time.

My parents moved in during the month of August right not too long after my son’s fourth birthday. Talk about a vulnerable time. My husband started traveling…something very unusual with his job. A month after they moved in, I finally went to talk with my pastor and the worship leader with whom I was close. Although I was not “suicidal”, I did keep having suicidal ideations. I wanted to die…a lot. They convinced me to talk to my doctor about giving antidepressants another try. They also talked me into seeing a therapist. G-d used all of them to help me stay alive and get through the whole thing.

The first therapist (P) I saw for only one appointment. I couldn’t afford to continue with him, but he was someone to see until I could get into a different one. This is another way that I see the hand of G-d. I had left messages with several of the therapists, but he was the first to respond. As it just so happened, he was very knowledgeable about DID and had even written an article on it.

What he saw in me really concerned him. Knowing I would not be coming back to him and being afraid that I might have a suicidal alter trying to take me out, he shared his article and said to read it and think about it. He was very upfront about what he thought might be happening. He said that he, ordinarily, would never do that, but he was afraid for my life.

I took to heart what P had said and read his article. At first, I did not really relate to any of it, but the more I read, the more the light started to go off. I saw things he described that explained some things I had noticed in my life…things I just shrugged off as being who I am. Although a bit skeptical, I tried to keep an open mind and look for truth. I also prayed for truth…a LOT! I was very cautious about being “led”, but could see more and more of myself in some parts of the article. Bear in mind that I still did not have any clear SRA memories yet. I was very cautious…not wanting to assume and not wanting to be deceived…whether in my own mind or by anything in the spiritual realm. (Yes, I do know that demons exist.)

I started seeing B the next week. I told him what P had said and that I thought I might have DID. He just said, “we’ll see.” So, I just started paying attention. It was minor stuff really, but it was there. He remained unconvinced…so he told me. I was almost upset with him because I was pretty sure I had it, but wanted some confirmation…something he refused to give. I did not want to assume anything. So, I just kept observing and sharing. Then, one day in February, something happened.

I had been struggling to hold my own in my own home. A girlfriend came over…someone who had DID and was a cult survivor (although I don’t think I knew that about her…yet). We were talking about repressed memories and how they can come up. I shared about someone I had known a few years previously who had witnessed, as a child, her father murdering his mistress…the mother of her best friend. Years later, as an adult when she was safe, she started to have memories and PTSD surfaced big time.

Suddenly, my mother agreed with us. She said that she knew that could happen because she had memories that had come to the surface. I had to fight to keep my jaw from dropping. I looked at my girlfriend who knew that my parents had denied my memories. Or, at least my father had. I had to fight to keep from saying, “Mom…how can you say that and not believe me?” But I stayed quiet. I was floored and needed to process this.

The next night, I was kneeling on the floor of the kitchen digging something out of the corner cupboard. My husband was behind me facing the other counter. My father reached over me for something. Suddenly, I felt something hit my rear end. In retrospect, I think my father had something in his pocket and his jacket, which was very large and loose, just swung forward and hit me. At the time, though, it felt like my father had patted my rear end and I reacted immediately. I was instantly triggered…seriously triggered. I was in shock at the thought that he would actually pat me like that with my husband standing right there.

Somehow, I got up and made it to my room. I had my own room for art, computer, sewing, etc. It was my sanctuary. I closed the door behind me trying to figure out what to do. I was losing it. The next day was Valentine’s Day and we had a special day planned. I did NOT want to blow the day…for my poor husband’s sake.

As I started to sink to the floor, knowing I was completely shutting down, I said something. I don’t know if I quietly said it out loud or if I said it in my mind…but I know I did say it. It was something along the lines of, “please, I don’t know if you are there or not, but if you are, I really need your help because I cannot do this.”

At that point, I slid into the background and someone came forward. It was Darlene. I just watched and listened at that point. It was a very odd sensation…as if I was in the backseat or something.  I felt no emotion. I was impassively watching and hearing everything, yet was removed from it. When I went back out of my room, I could hear “myself” talking and see everything, but Darlene was in control.

Darlene was very key to my freedom and survival. My parents assumed they could get me out of the way, but they could NOT. They assumed they could get total control over my son. But they could NOT. And the best thing…Darlene had been created during my first marriage. I still do not have the details of that event, but this I know:  she was NOT trained by my mother and was, therefore, impervious to her triggering. She was very “unimpressed” with my parents and did not like them. I came to realize later that she had also been side by side co-present with me for about 18 years by that time…all unknown to me.

I find that, even after all this time, I am affected in the telling of this. So, I will stop for now and continue again later. I hope there are no spelling or grammar errors. I need to walk away from this and not reread the whole thing right now.

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More Art Up…

October 13, 2010

I put more art up on my art blog. Although I enjoy sharing my art…especially if it will encourage someone else to do healing hard…the work of uploading and posting is a bit tedious. I think, though, that perhaps the harder part…the more tiring part…is revisiting all the art pieces.

Some of the art pieces are joyful. Some are processing. Some are uplifting. Some are just plain hard work. I don’t really have time to reflect on the joyful ones. Nor do I have time to really reprocess the hard work ones. It is a mixed bag…a bit of an emotional roller coaster. So, I do them in batches.

I just published several art pieces…adding notes as I went. I also uploaded several more pieces into drafts. Later I will put notes on them and publish them. They don’t all need notes, but I do want to get tags and categories on them. Speaking of which, I don’t do a very good job of making a distinction between categories and tags. So, I just duplicate one for the other. Whatever tags I use…those are the categories I use. I guess that works.

I like being somewhat organized…and maybe even too much so. This living situation has definitely taken its toll on that part of my life. I cannot keep track of much of anything living like this. I am anticipating moving into the house almost with bated breath. But not quite. I do need to breathe. Our prayer is to get in before the cold weather really hits. It has been unseasonably warm here due to drought. I appreciate the rain we are having tonight, but don’t want to lose the warmer weather…not just yet.

My heavenly Abba is holding me together…as usual. Even when I am in my lowest points and going through my greatest struggles, He is here with me. My Rock. The Holder of my heart. I just could not do this life any other way. Once we get into the house…I know there will be other struggles and issues. In fact, it is going to be interesting to see what happens system-wise.

I have not been able to visit and keep up with my friends blogs and such…but I do hold each of you in my heart. I think of you. I pray for you all (hope you don’t mind – I pray for your well-being and strength and comfort and healing and whatever else comes to mind). I hope the best for you all. Sending love and hugs to all who want!

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Injury?…

July 4, 2010

Paul recently wrote about injury in the context of DID. My mind is swirling so much that I found it challenging to focus on what he wrote. I wish I had copied my reply before kicking it off.

I was injured…methodically…repeatedly…starting when I was a little girl…although I don’t think I ever thought of using the word “injure”. Perhaps that was because it was mostly non-physical. My injuries were mostly in the “heart” and mind…the internal stuff that no one really sees.

Although I feel very injured…I don’t remember ever putting that word to it. No…I used words like “defective”, “less than”, “not good enough”, “failing” and “broken” and phrases like “what’s wrong with me?” Injured…hm.

So…now I have a question:  Was the DID that resulted from the injury also an injury in itself? I don’t know. It was a coping mechanism…self-defense…a way to survive otherwise unsurvivable horrors.

These are just some thoughts rambling through my brain today.

EDITING IN:

Here is some of I wrote at Paul’s post. It gives an idea of how what he wrote first hit me:

Good vs bad. Helpful vs. hurtful. Needed vs. needing to be discarded. What is DID? As I read your post here I think of how I was so injured
growing up…injured to the point of developing DID in order to “survive”. I still feel injured.

Injury causing DID in the beginning. DID causing further injury later in life as it no longer fully helps and starts to actually hinder real functionality.

Seriously…my brain feels very non-functioning right now. DID? I don’t know. I want to cry. I think the idea of injury touches me deeply. I
have never…that I know of…ever used the word “injury” to describe anything that happened to me in regard to DID or even PTSD. Wow!

Injury. I was injured. It caused DID. Is the DID actually an injury in itself? I don’t know. It seems more like it was the bandage that was applied to try to keep the injury from getting worse.

Sorry…I don’t even know if I am making sense. I want to understand what you wrote, but all I can offer is how it effected me…what I internalized and am trying to share back. I want to cry. What else is new lately?

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The Reality of DID…Make a Difference in South Africa!

June 25, 2010

There are many countries in the world where DID is not acknowledged. Those who have it are either misdiagnosed, told they have demons (depending upon who they turn to for help)…or they are vilified as making things up…playacting for attention. I don’t know which of these things is the most harmful…or the most hurtful. They are all bad…wrong.

There is a LOT of evidence…concrete evidence…for DID aka Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly called MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder). The reality of the disorder and the reality of the symptoms is very evident. Yet, there are places…like South Africa…where they persist in denying its existence.

Regarding the demons…can there be a spiritual side to DID? Yes…most definitely…especially when the abusers use spirituality as an element of their abuse. You see this especially with RA (Ritual Abuse) and SRA (Satanic Ritual Abuse). Can a person have demons? Yes. I know this for fact. HOWEVER…demons are NOT the cause of DID! They may be a factor in the system…they may influence…but demons are NOT alters. I knew a leader in a Christian congregation whose wife worked with multiples as a therapist. He used to tell me there is a saying. It goes something like this: too many times pastors are trying to exorcise alters while therapists are trying to work with or integrate demons. All aspects need to be looked at to see what fits and what does not.

Then there is the play acting for attention. I think, of all the possibilities, that this one is the most ridiculous I have ever heard of. The kind of attention multiples tend to get when they are switching is NOT positive! In fact, it can be downright embarrassing and humiliating.  I know so many who have been treated so badly by those who did not understand DID. They were judged and rejected when they most needed love and understanding.

What is worse is when someone tries to explain what is going on and the others refuse to believe. It does not matter whether it is someone in ministry, a therapist, an insurance company or just a neighbor or friend who witnesses the switching. When they refuse to accept the reality of DID, they do the person having it a huge disservice.

Oftentimes, education is the key. Many don’t know simply because they have not heard. Or…having heard…they think of Hollywood images like The Three Faces of Eve or some other rather “extreme” case. There are many “flavors” of DID and people need to have a way to learn about them.

So…how can YOU help? There is a blog that has been started by multiplegifted. She is trying to help bring the reality of the existence of DID to South Africa. I figure she can tell you best what she is looking for. Here is the link:

DID – change the law…together we can!

Please check it out and help…if you can.

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Best Friends – For My Little Friends!

May 9, 2010

I made this with my little friends in mind. I hope it makes you smile.

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