Archive for the ‘protection’ Category

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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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Questions and a Log House

June 6, 2010

I am going away tomorrow. I am getting nervous. I will be alone…in a rural area. Granted…just down the drive…right before the street…is a family I know. (The two properties are connected in more ways than one.) And the woman who lives with her family in that house knows I am a survivor…but she doesn’t understand what all that means.

I am nervous. I will be away from what is familiar in an unfamiliar place. Yes…I have been there before and have even helped in some of the finishing of the logs and such. BUT…it is not “home”. I am not that familiar. The root of familiar is the same as the root for family. We live with our families. We know our families. We live in our homes. We are familiar with our homes.

Even though I am not really “comfortable” in my little RV…I am comfortable. I know…that sounds contradictory…but familiarity is comforting. That is why children of alcoholics and dysfunctional parents oftentimes end up marrying spouse who are similar…even when they swear they won’t. Their spouses may manifest their dysfunction in some different way…but it is still there.

I am a cult survivor. Alone in a rural area has not exactly turned me on. Then again…sometimes I just have to adjust…and continue to trust the Creator. Yeshua has protected me in so many ways and my location is not a hindrance to Him one bit.

I have my list of things to make sure I bring. I hope I have not left anything off. The most important things, of course, are my laptop and my art pieces. That is why I am going there. But I know it won’t be the sum total of what I do there. I don’t want to be “busy”. I want to just “be”…to rest with no demands…no interruptions…whether that resting be reading, praying, napping, just sitting…whatever.

All alone in a log house…a large log house. Talk about ambiance. I should get some pictures of that, too.  I know they want some, but I am not sure what they want. I’ll try to remember to ask before they leave.

I will be bringing my comfort foods and the things I want to eat. I not only do not want to put them out for food (I am staying for free), but it is also nice to know what to expect. I don’t want to have to wonder where the boundaries are…so I am bringing my own. It is easier for me that way.

Earlier today…I started to sense hurt inside again. Could it be that my system is looking ahead to having the privacy to feel pain and express pain? No holds barred? It’s certainly possible.

I leave tomorrow evening. It is time to go to bed. I might get a little bit of reading time in. It depends on how long it takes hubby to get to bed.

Good night, everyone!

I hope I don’t forget anything.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 13

February 15, 2010

General Safety

1. Do NOT share your password with anyone. If you must, (like when you need someone to help you with a technical problem, change it as soon as that person is done! A friend of mine needed help with her email. She gave her password to a “trusted friend”. That “friend” then started sending emails in my friend’s name. It was a nightmare, especially since she was a multiple who lost time. It took awhile to figure out what was going on and who was doing it. But it was even worse than that because my friend also did not follow the next rule.

2. Never use the same password twice and always change your passwords periodically. My friend was also a forum owner. Since she used the same password for everything, this person had total access to every level of her forum. Not good! Some people even use the same password for banking. You can see how bad it would be if one of your accounts was compromised. If you used the same password for everything else, then ALL of your accounts would also be compromised.

In conclusion, I cannot emphasize enough to ALWAYS have someone overseeing ALL interactions. I know this list is not all-inclusive, but I hope that it helps others out there. I plan to continue to write about safety as I can and post it here. You are welcome to come by and read and do a search for whatever you are interested in. Who knows? Perhaps, I have written about it.

End of article.

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 12

February 15, 2010

8. Supporting your professional. Be very careful if a professional is sharing his/her personal issues with you. I had one therapist who opened our appointment times sharing his struggles. Granted…I did inquire as to how he was…in a general sort of way. It is a way to break the ice and can be a simple common courtesy. He, though, took it to an unhealthy level. It became very awkward.

I could not really complain about the time being taken because he was rather generous with his time. I always got my “hour” and oftentimes even more. However, the boundaries became blurred and I found myself feeling like I needed to help him feel better. His sharing made it difficult to view him as someone who was helping me rather than as a needy person himself. I am not saying that professionals cannot have needs or need support. After all…they are human, too! What I am saying is that they need to go elsewhere for support. It shut down my sharing during appointments. Without sharing…there is no work really being done.

9. Wanting to see or touch parts of your body or talk in a sexual way. I know of one therapist who would intentionally trigger the littles of some friends of mine to come out. Then he touched their bodies inappropriately in the guise of doing healing work. Littles don’t know what is legitimate healing work! What he did was sick and caused a lot of damage and hurt. Again, I cannot emphasize strongly enough the necessity of doing whatever you can to insure that littles (or any other naive alters) are NEVER out alone or unsupervised.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 11

February 15, 2010

6. Secret tellers and confidence breakers. Be very wary of anyone who breaks a confidence. You can pretty much bet if they are sharing about others with you, then they are also sharing about you with others. If someone is in any real danger, it can be valid to break a confidence. However, you need to ask yourself if you are really in a “need to know” position with the person being shared about. Is there anything you can really do? Put yourself in the shared about person’s perspective. Would you be comfortable if it was you being talked about? If not…you can pretty much bet a boundary has been crossed.

It’s bad when “friends” share confidences. It’s even worse when a professional does it. There are strict guidelines given to professionals regarding confidentiality. It is NEVER OK for a professional to share with one client about another client. It doesn’t matter if the clients are both members of the therapist’s forum or if they know each other in person. If there is no signed consent form, it is NOT OK.

I am not talking about things like…“I once had a client who had a similar problem and this is what helped him/her.” That is different. And, even in those cases, you should never have enough information to enable you to figure out who that other client is. It should always be a general sharing.

It is also not OK to post private communications without permission, even if it was written by the professional. An online therapist who has a for-pay forum openly posted something that she wrote to me in private. When confronted about it by someone else, she merely changed who it was addressed to and left it up. This was very unethical.

7. Meeting in unusual places…or uncomfortable places. I’ve heard of clients being asked to meet in a therapist’s car or in restaurants, sometimes even with other clients in the same room! This is NOT OK. One therapist I know had an office with no windows and all the other offices on that floor were unoccupied. The building itself was rather isolated and his office never did feel comfortable…and rightfully so. He accessed my alters there and used them. His office setup also made it easy to not recognize the time loss.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 10

February 15, 2010

4. Alters suddenly becoming afraid of someone you know, regardless of who they are. There is a reason for sudden fear. You need to get to the bottom of it. In our case, the imposter was telling littles horrible, scary things (as me). This person knew what kinds of things would hurt my friends the most and what was most likely to trigger programming. What made this situation extra dangerous was the imposter had her own relationship with my friends…apart from me. So she fed the fears and kept pointing to me as being dangerous while offering no real proof. No one caught it until it was too late. It is SO important that the system always have someone ready to step in watching over ALL interactions. Even if my innocence could never be proven, at least they would not have been so hurt. The friends who were affected were all ones who lose time.

5. Listen to your “gut”, your insiders and others you trust. This is a tricky one. While you know yourself better than others, it is possible to be blind to something that is going on with you. Sometimes others can see things you are unable to see…whether it is about you specifically or about your relationship with someone else. If one person were to tell me something, I would pay attention and check into it. Unless I could find some way to confirm it, though, I probably would not be very concerned about it. However, if several people were to tell me something about me, or about someone I was close to, I would really dig hard to see if it might be true.There are times when others can see things that we are blind to…things that we need to see in order to stay safe. Whether it is coming from insiders, or from people we know outside, pay attention. Check it out.

If you keep getting the feeling that something is wrong with an interaction, whether online or offline, please do not ignore it. I was seeing a therapist who was accessing my programming and using me. I did not find it out until after I stopped seeing him that we had a prior cult connection. The whole time I was seeing him there were flags waving. I had “gut” feelings. I just did not know how to interpret them at the time. My insiders were trying to get my attention, but I could not hear/understand it. If I had simply backed out for a while, perhaps my insiders would have been able to break through with the information I needed. I did finally hear them about three months after I stopped seeing him. Needless to say, I was floored. This is an example of not being an overt time loser, yet getting accessed anyway.

On the flip side, when I was told that “I” (or someone inside me) was doing these awful things to others, I went straight to my therapist who had at that time about 25 years of experience working with cult survivors. She had been carefully watching me from the time we first met to see if there might be an alter inside who was capable of such behavior. She had read hundreds of pages of journaling and had seen no indications. My husband, who was home almost all the time, also saw no indications. I took what I was told to those who know me best.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 9

February 15, 2010

2. Sudden change in the behavior of a trusted online friend…whether online or over the phone. Another thing to watch out for is if a known “friend” suddenly starts behaving differently. Littles and very trusting alters won’t know what to make of it or how to handle it. They will assume it is still their friend they are communicating with. They most likely will not recognize that they are dealing with an imposter. This is especially the case if the imposter knows both them and their friend fairly well, as was the case with my friends and me. She had enough information to even cause some older alters to think it might be me, although they had their doubts. Sadly, littles are very easy targets.

Many systems have alters with the same, or similar, names. This can also create vulnerability as an imposter can call or write them and legitimately use the same name as a friend of theirs. There are also those who simply outright lie, calling themselves someone they are not.

3. Someone calls you that you don’t remember giving your phone number or you receive something in the mail from someone to whom you did not give your address. I have also seen this happen. The one who impersonated me also knew my friends, so she had contact information from them I did not even have. When my friends asked “me” how I got their contact information, she told them her littles (or someone else in their system) had given it to “me”. My friends heard things and received thing that were hurtful and dangerous to them. They did not know my voice because we had never spoken with one another. The impersonator (as herself) told the only one who had met me that “I” had phoned one of her littles. Since she was not “present” during the phone call, she could not know if it was my voice or not.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 8

February 15, 2010

Other Things to Watch Out For

1. A difference, however subtle, in someone’s IM and email ID used. If there are ANY differences, carefully question it. Even if the answer seems to make sense, be cautious for a while until you make sure it really is the same person with a new ID. I really feel a need to emphasize how vulnerable littles are with this one. Littles, like any other young child, can be easily tricked. They will not pick up on things that older, more mature alters will. This is why it is SO important to work on getting your system to make sure there is a mature alter who can watch, listen and step in, if need be. If a little receives an Instant Message (IM) ID or email that is very similar to one used by someone they know and trust, they most likely will not notice the difference. Sadly, this, too, is where I (and some very dear friends) can draw upon some personal experiences.

I had a very specific screen name that I used…one no one else would be likely to take. When I decided I wanted to get a Yahoo IM to match, I could not get it. Although it seemed odd at the time, I finally came up with what I thought was a possible reason for it. I’m going to explain that reason and give an example because I believe it is important that you see how something so simple can cause problems for the unwary. I also want you to see how easy it can be to confuse even an older alter, let alone a young or naive one.

I have a paid Yahoo email account that allows me to pick something for a repeating base for creating disposable email addresses. I had used my screen name for that base, so I just assumed at the time that Yahoo would not allow any disposable email bases to also be used as regular emails and IM’s. I realized too late that I was wrong. At the time, I decided to use my screen name with an added digit at the end. The following example shows what I mean.

I am using a randomly made up screen name and email addy. (My apology if someone is actually using this.)

Screen name = renkenfork14

Email = falderally@yahoo.com

Disposable email base = renkenfork14-

Disposable email addresses are used to protect the main email address from spam. They are typically used when signing up for things. It also allows the convenience of the different disposables coming into the same email inbox instead of having to check a bunch of different emails. You add different things after the dash according to how you are using that particular one…such as:

renkenfork14-forum@yahoo.com                       or         renkenfork14-crafts@yahoo.com.

There is no IM connected with a disposable…only with the real email, so the IM is falderally NOT renkenfork14.

To get the renkenfork14 IM, you have to create a renkenfork14@yahoo.com email address to go with it. If renkenfork14 is already taken (as it was with my screen name), you can do what I did…double the end digit to keep it as close as possible to the actual screen name. That gets you renkenfork144 as an IM connected to an email with the same name.

See how easy it would be to miss the difference between renkenfork14 and renkenfork144. Even if you only used renkenfork14-forum@yahoo.com to email people and falderally for your IM, chances are, they won’t notice if they suddenly get emails from renkenfork144@yahoo.com and IMs from renkenfork144. That is what happened to my friends and me.

How did we figure it out? One day, a friend apologized to me for not responding to my IM earlier in the day. Yet, I knew I had not IM’d her. We almost got into an argument over it. I keep my archiving on and I was not losing time. There was nothing in the archives to her that morning. If her archiving been on, she could have gone back and double-checked the ID. At the time, we both wrote it off as the other one being a bit nutty that day. There was nothing unusual in the IM’s themselves to cause us to give it any more thought.

Later, when I ended up being accused by others of writing things I never wrote (and calling people whose phone numbers I never had), we both remembered the incident. Emails sent to that ID did NOT bounce back. It became apparent that the real reason I had been unable to get my screen name for email and IM was because someone else had gotten it first. That ID was used to impersonate me.

The imposter initially targeted littles. Littles would not notice a change in details. So this allowed the imposter to both email and IM others as “me”, even though I never used that particular email account for email. I always used my disposable one. The friends who were affected were also all ones who lose time. Do you see the importance of working on stopping time loss and on building cooperation in the system?

The imposter said mean, hurtful things to my friends…things that were also very triggering and very dangerous. She took advantage of things she knew were already going on in my friends’ lives…and blamed me for them. Some of my friends were seriously and dangerously hurt. Because of the natural fear of survivors, I lost some friendships. Others became strained, as they did not know what to make of it. Everyone agreed that it did not line up with what they knew of me, but someone at the forum played upon their uncertainties and kept telling them privately that I was dangerous. I had no idea what was going on until I was banned from the forum. By then it was too late. The damage was done. Several friends were deeply wounded. Most of them did finally realize the truth, but not all. It was…and is…heartbreaking to think of how my friends were so deeply hurt by this and of the loss of friendships, some of which are ongoing.

I know of other instances where littles were taken advantage of…both online and in person. So, PLEASE, make it a priority to keep a watchful eye over ALL little interactions, regardless of whether on line or in person and regardless of who the other person is or seems to be.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 7

February 15, 2010

5. We need to jump right in and work hard on healing. Let’s not waste time. It takes time to build trust. A good therapist will give you that time. While they might gently prod you at times, they won’t accuse you of not being serious about your healing if you need to go slowly.

6. It should not take very long for you to “heal” with my method of doing things. Or…you will need to work with me a long time. The problem with this is that no one knows how long it will take for anything. I have seen huge leaps forward in healing and I have seen things take a long time. I might give them a try, but I will be wary of anyone who insists on a specific time frame rather than explaining general possibilities. It is one thing to share what others have experienced, but I am not others. I am a unique individual.

To Sum Up

Your feelings, your thoughts, your ideas, your knowledge, your questions and your hesitations…should always be respected. A good therapist will take the time to talk with you and work things through. He/she will take as much time as you need to answer all your questions and to build trust. They will never try to force something upon you.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 6

February 15, 2010

3. I don’t need (or have time) to answer your questions. Just trust me. I am the expert. I cannot emphasize enough how important this really is. I was at an online for-pay forum run by one therapist who did not use those words, but whose actions said the same thing. I was really stuck on something and was not given adequate help to figure it out. I was not completely ignored…just not really helped. When others at her forum labeled me as “uncooperative” and “purposefully tromping on boundaries”, she never stepped in and corrected them.

As for the therapist mentioned in number two, when the host struggled to understand some things, he insisted that she just accept it. Her questions were largely ignored. When questions were raised on his private client forum, or in an online group therapy venue, we were accused of trying to undermine him to his other clients. Our questions about his methods or about things he said about our system were never answered. What is really sad, too, is that we found out other clients had similar questions, but were too afraid to ask him.

4. I know you better than you know yourself. Or…I know what you need better than you do. Again…those might not be the words used, but the messages are there, nonetheless. No one knows you better than you. Even though you may not be conscious of it as host, there are those inside who carry knowledge needed for healing. They know your system much better than any outsider can, regardless of their experience. An expert therapist might have some really good insights as to what is most likely going on inside, but they cannot know for sure since they are not inside of you. Pay attention, as best you can, to the trusted insiders. They are important in healing and in staying safe.

When one therapist was challenged by alters regarding his understanding of the system, he refused to listen. He told the host, as well as some alters, that they were wrong. It took months and a lot of help for the system to recover from the damage he caused. So, if someone does not respect that you know yourself better than they do…watch out!

To be continued…

The first post for this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 5

February 15, 2010

Messages to Watch Out For – these messages may not be openly spoken, but they are underlying the interactions.

1. I have the key/knowledge/expertise, etc. to help anyone/everyone. There are many ways to heal in this journey called “life”. NO ONE has the only right or best way! There is NO one method for everyone. NO therapist who is a good fit for every survivor. NO forum that is a good fit for every survivor. NO survivor who is a good fit for every method or therapist or forum. We are all different. What works for one may not work for another…or it may work, but not be the best for that system. It is devastating when things don’t work with you and then, instead of re-evaluating the method, you get blamed. Someone who insists they can help everyone is typically unable to accept it when they find someone they cannot help. So, they place blame instead. They might question your commitment to your healing, for example.

2. My way is the only way. Be very careful of anyone, even a professional, who insists that the key to your healing is doing things a certain way…especially if you are not comfortable with it or don’t know enough about it. If someone refuses to consider a method that you have found helpful in the past (perhaps with other therapists)…watch out. I am not the only one who has run into therapists who believed this way. It limited their usefulness and, in some instances, the method they wanted to use/used was actually harmful to the system.

I had an online and over the phone therapist who insisted that he had made breakthrough discoveries upon which his methods were based. He said that to use any other method was to go backwards and “why would anyone want to do that?” The implication was that I was holding back on my healing. He was disrespectful and would not answer my questions, which leads to the next thing to watch out for.

To be continued…

The first post for this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 4

February 15, 2010

3. Keep working on establishing some kind of communication with your system and, hopefully, the stopping of time loss. In the beginning, I also shared a willingness to listen while, at the same time, admitting that I was challenged in that area. I asked them to help me learn to hear them…to work with me on it. The biggest thing I wanted was for them to all realize that I was on their team and that, just because my ability to “hear” them or “see” them was extremely limited, I really did want to hear them…when we were both ready. I cannot say for sure, but I think that really helped. My goal was to gain their trust and encourage working together for healing and for safety.

So again, I encourage you, whether you call it being co-aware, co-present or co-conscious…work on it. I cannot emphasize it enough, so let me write it again. If there is always another alter overseeing the presenting alter, an alter who is mature and safety minded and who can step in if need be, the system can remain safe even when a very trusting alter (such as a very young alter, or little) is out.

It is also important that the host (and the whole system) be made aware if there are people, places or situations that are dangerous. If anyone in the system knows anything that could be important for staying safe, it needs to be shared amongst all. Communication can be such a huge part of staying safe.

Although I had very little of what I would call a direct two-way communication going on, I did have an advantage of not being, by that time, an obvious time loser. There was enough continuity that “I” always knew what was going on at any given time. Yet, in spite of that, about four years later, I was revictimized. So, safety is always an issue, even if you do not tend to lose time.

4. Make sure everyone knows what to watch out for. This can be tricky. Sometimes, it is not what is happening that is dangerous so much as who is doing it and why…and whether they have your permission. For example, working with littles can be key to healing, but if anyone keeps pushing to talk to littles, especially if you have not known them long…be extra cautious. I hate to have to say this…but there are bad therapists out there. So, you have to watch out with them, too. I wish it were not so.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 3

February 14, 2010

Working With Your System

1. Work on developing a co-operation between you and your alters. When I first found out I was multiple, I did something that might help others. I did not “know” my whole system. I had no idea how big or small it was. So, I spoke out loud to my whole system. I shared what I knew about what had happened to us and how we developed DID. I also explained what I understood healing to be, what I thought our goals should be and how to stay safe. I shared anything and everything that, at the time, I thought might be of importance. I did not concern myself with who heard me or with getting responses. I simply told them that I was going to learn all that I could and work with them as best I could. I also asked them to please pass the information on to whoever could not hear me…to spread it system wide. I needed their help and asked them for it. Then…I trusted that what I was saying was being received. I did this a lot…over and over again.

2. Encourage your system to co-operate within itself. This is really important…especially if you are a time loser. When a younger, or more vulnerable, alter is out, it is very critical that a more mature, stronger alter always be listening in and ready to take over if there are any signs of danger. It takes everyone working together to stay safe.

Most systems I have met have alters who range from the extremely suspicious to the extremely trusting. While that presents an obvious challenge to the healing journey, I have found that the greatest danger seems to come when there is an alter out who is totally alone (or accompanied by unsavvy alters)…when there is time loss. It is in that total switching and losing of time that reconnecting with the cult, self-injury (and other risky behaviors) and being abused in the present can take place. This is why it is so important to work on developing a co-operation between alters and also on stopping time loss.

I encourage you to make sure that you (and everyone in the system) know what kinds of things to watch out for…what things might be indicators pointing to something being wrong. It is also important to have a well thought out plan of what to do if you suspect or see something is wrong. Remember, even when a very trusting alter is out, if there is another more mature and safety conscious alter watching over the interactions taking place, the system can remain safe.

To be continued…

The first post for this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 2

February 14, 2010

Losing Time and Littles

The greatest risk appears to be with those who lose time, especially when littles or cult alters are out. Never assume, though, that because you do not typically lose time that nothing can happen. This is especially important if you have a cult background…as I found out the hard way. The breaking of trust can happen in so many different ways…with, or without, the loss of time, as you will see in this article.

I have heard it said that littles are the heart of the system. They hold a lot of the key foundational memories of the abuse. They were often around way in the beginning. As a result, a lot of healing comes from working with littles. I am very wary, though, of anyone who pushes to either work exclusively with littles (ignoring everyone else) or who pushes very early on to have access to littles. Trust should first be established with more mature alters who can, hopefully, discern whether the person is legitimate or just up to mischief.

Who Is Dangerous and Who Is Safe?

I wish there was an easy way to always know who is safe and who is not, but there isn’t. That is why we must always be wary and wise. It does not matter what role a person is playing, or desires to play, in your life. There are no categories of people who are guaranteed to be safe. I will say this, though, the more important the role and the closer they are going to get to you and your system, the more important it is to be cautious and watchful.

I have observed two kinds of people who take advantage of multiples, whether through the littles or in some other way. They are either those who are on a power trip, wanting to control and/or abuse the person for their own purposes or they are cult connected and acting according to their programming and the cult’s orders. Both are dangerous.

Sadly, some of the worst offenders can be professionals…the very people we should most be able to trust…and who we are, perhaps, most likely to trust. I have had some excellent experiences with therapists/professionals…and I have had some nightmarish ones.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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