Posts Tagged ‘Ritual Abuse’

h1

To have D.I.D. or not to have it?

October 15, 2021

My former therapist informed me it is not unusual for someone who “had” D.I.D. to feel like they are totally blended or integrated (there are various terms each with its own meaning according to the user of the term) and, yet, not be. Years and even decades later one can suddenly realize there are more splits/alters.

In my own system, I could see inside and watched as everyone walked into me and blended. All but one. That one has always been a question mark. Did she go silent and hide because it was time for her to do so? Or did she blend and I simply did not see it for some reason? Because I saw everyone else blend, I tend to think it is more likely the latter. Perhaps her job is not completed, but neither was it the time for her to do it. So, she has been waiting. Maybe.

The idea of having splits does not bother me, especially since I was not really a “time loser”. Or at least I wasn’t for the periods of my life I remember. I do know I lost time when I was accessed, but they did it in such a way that it was not obvious. There was seeming continuity, although the amount of time it took to do whatever I was doing was a bit long. When it was happening, I just wrote it off to losing track of time. Later, when I learned my true history, I began to believe I was actually losing time and it was due to being accessed.

Of course, being dissociative on lesser levels is always interesting and lends its uniqueness to the story. So, I just observe and wait to see what happens.

I see things–little things–and it makes me wonder. I will not be surprised at all if it turns out there are more. I am almost certain there are. It feels like it did in the beginning of this journey. I saw little indicators and believed it meant I was split but I did not know for sure until I had definitive proof. (I am pretty sure I described that somewhere in this blog.) Now, I am seeing indicators, but again, there is nothing definitive to be able to make me say one way or the other.

And then there is the question of Dar (Darlene). Where is she? There are times I have wished I could draw on her strength. Then again, I think I am. She was co-present and, if she is blended I have her strength. If she is not, her strength is still within me and I am sure she is helping me from behind the scenes like she did for many years before I even knew of the existence of that part of me.

It is easy to think of they and me. But really, we are all me. As someone said recently, we share the same brain. We also share the same body. Even our mind is shared, even if there are some barriers up inside. We are one. And yet that one is also a we. Or is it?

I am waiting and watching. I am sensing things and trying to interpret what I observe and what I sense. I am also now seeing a therapist who is familiar with D.I.D. and who has patients who are split. But, most importantly, although she is somewhat familiar with the concept of ritual abuse, she is not trained in it specifically. She feels safe. But I will always be watching, of course.

h1

What’s In a Name?

July 31, 2013

My earliest conscious memories regarding my name was of never being allowed to go by a nickname…even to the extent that I was threatened to be in trouble if my mother ever heard someone call me anything other than my full first name. Others did not understand this, nor did I. But it was my reality and the reason for it was more serious than I knew.

I remember coming home in the first grade from school and one of the neighbor girls was teasing me by calling me a shorter name. She wouldn’t stop even when I asked her to. I remember being worried (read that as “scared”) that my mother would hear her. My only consolation was that this girl lived a couple of houses or so before mine and ours was up in the back…behind the main house. Thankfully, my mother did not hear.

As an adult, when I asked my mother about that strict rule, she said something along the lines of wanting to hear my name because she had worked so hard on picking out a nice one. She chose that name and wanted me to be called that name…period. She came across as if she had not been that strict in laying down the rules, but I remember. There is a lot this partial amnesic does not remember, but I remember that. It was programmed into me to NEVER use a nickname. It was not until many years later that I began to understand the truth behind that demand.

I remember struggling as an adult…married with children even…to try to be me. It is like I woke up one day and realized that I did not really know who I was. I did not know what I liked or didn’t like. It was a perm gone awry that turned me onto that. I looked totally different. I got teased a bit for the drastic change, but that is when I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I really did not know whether I liked it or not. It wasn’t what I wanted. It was drastically different. But did I actually not like it?

I tried to look at the woman in the mirror as if she was NOT me. Would I like that hair style on THAT woman? I decided I did, but I felt a bit of disconnect between that woman and me. That woman was not what those around me expected to see, which got me thinking. I decided that I wanted to become the woman God created me to be rather than the woman I was pressed into being. All my life I was always being what everyone else wanted, but what did “I” want? What did “I” like? And even more importantly, what did God create me to be? So, I set out on a journey of exploration. I wanted to find out who “I” really was/am. And what a journey it was!

Right there in the very beginning I was hit with a strong realization. I use the word “strong” because it was something that I knew for sure, although I could not have explained why or how I knew it. I just knew very strongly that I would never be able to be the me God created me to be if I went by my birth name. So, I decided I wanted to be called a nickname, which was really just a shortened version of my first name…half of it to be exact.

I knew my parents would not like it, so I started with my husband and those closest to me. I remember that some questioned what I was doing. New hair style, which I openly admitted was not my intention, but reassured them (especially since the hairdresser was a friend) that I did like it. New name. What was up? I just kept to myself what my realizations were and what my goal was.

Once I saw that those around me were willing to really try to remember to call me by my nickname, I asked my parents to do the same. Naturally, they did not like it. Thankfully, I did not see my parents nearly as often as I saw my husband and everyone else. And then I noticed it.

I had started to change internally, even if not all that much externally. I started to feel more freedom to gingerly explore, and my sense of who I was altered. I grew stronger, more confident and had a greater sense of my worth. And then my parents would come over and call me by my full name. Bam! It was like a switch was flipped and I found myself struggling to keep the ground I had gained. This happened over and over until I learned to turn it off.

Although I did not know anything about programming or my cult family heritage at that time, I did understand that there was a definite connection to my full name and being controlled and molded. It was one of the key events of my life as I moved toward freedom. I never went back to my full birth name and now have a completely different name.

So, what’s in a name? I think a lot! My birth names were given by my parents. They had really nice meanings and had programming attached to them. My current names have wonderful meanings and freedom attached to them. They were gifts from my Creator…my heavenly Abba/Father. I am no longer bound to programming or to the former names. When someone from way back calls me by that name, I don’t like it, but the effect is no longer there. It is more of just an annoyance.

h1

Another Day in the Neighborhood…

June 27, 2010

I was reading last night in the bathroom. I just wasn’t ready to go to bed. The book was fairly light reading…nothing heavy or majorly intense…although it did deal with spiritual warfare in an Amish community. When I was tired, I went to bed…figuring on having plenty of time to sleep.

When I laid down…I started to see baby toes on baby feet. It went from there to the feet and so on. Flashback time. So, I just laid there in bed dealing with it…no place to go. I was fighting a battle. On the one hand I was trying to force myself to be open to what I was seeing. On the other hand I wanted to push it all away.

Someday…all this stuff needs to be able to come out. Someday…I will need to get the privacy to allow it all to come out…and the fortitude. Someday…

I did finally get to sleep…but then I woke up early in the morning and never really got back to sleep. So now I sit here at 9:30 and I am tired! I have been tired…but unable to go to bed yet. When we move out of here my bedtime will no longer be contingent upon another person.  I am anticipating that SO much!

Regarding the flashbacks…I wonder…in the book I was reading this Amish woman witnessed an accident that took the lives of her husband, son and unborn child. She pushed it all away…resulting in hysterical blindness. In the book, she reaches the point where she wants to see again and realizes that one key to that is to allow the memories to come. I wonder if reading about that process that she was going through could have made me more open to having them?

On another note…we watched the Bourne Identity today.  I had never seen it. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be…and we watched the director’s cut with all the explosion scenes. Perhaps I had steeled myself against it. I don’t know.

Afterwards, though, I felt foggy and it was very difficult to think or function. Although I know others who have that kind of history…assassin training, etc. …I don’t. I relate to having amnesia…although not to the degree Jason Bourne has it. But then…my amnesia tends to be different from anyone else I have “met” so far. I have lost my sister. She is somewhere in this head of mine…but I don’t remember living with her for 10 years growing up. And other things are spotty, too.

After the movie…I just sort of talked to myself…reminding myself that this is NOT my story. NOT my history. There is absolutely NO indication that I have gone through anything like this. I have handled guns and fired them…it does not come naturally to me. No training.

Anyway…I am very tired. I couldn’t even bring myself to watermark more of my art. I need to get it all watermarked and exported before I send my PC in. Yeah…I am having PC issues.

Well…gonna wrap this up.

h1

Webinars From Survivorship

October 16, 2009

Survivorship recently started having Webinars. Survivorship has many wonderful resources and I highly recommend it to those who are seeking to understand Ritual Abuse (RA) so that they can support a survivor they know and for survivors who need support.

Webinars are a wonderful way to attend a seminar in the safety and comfort of your own home. Many survivors are not yet ready to meet other survivors face to face. This allows them to “get together” without having in person contact. While it tends to be more affordable due to not having travel expenses, you do have to phone in, so long distance charges might be a factor for some.

In a Webinar, you are given a phone number in a registration email, along with a sign in number. When the time comes, you call the number and dial in your sign in number at the prompt. At that point, you are connected. If the presenter has already signed in, you are on the phone with them. If not, you are put on hold with music while you wait.

You are also given a link for the internet so that you can see the slides that the presenter is using. After you are on the phone, you go to the link and login with the number you were given in the registration email. At that point you are allowed to type in the name you wish to use in the seminar. You are not mandated to use your real name. That is a feature that helps many to feel safer and more comfortable.

Another nice thing is that the software also has a chat window. This is great for those who are uncomfortable with speaking out loud or who are still struggling to find their voice. Some presenters are OK with the chat window. Some are not. It depends upon the presenter. Sometimes, the chat window can be distracting.

Although I can type pretty fast, I preferred speaking. It is faster and more convenient for me, especially if I am struggling to find the right words to say. This is one reason that someone listening to the recording might find me fumbling a bit…looking for the words to say what I am trying to say. But saying it, for me, is powerful. I don’t often get a chance to talk about my experiences with others. Hearing my voice speaking things and having others listen and hear…and “get it”. Wow! I cannot really explain how empowering…how validating that is…especially when others are sharing their experiences.

When I read what others have written, even though the sharing may be intimately personal, I still lack the dimension of sight and sound. I cannot see their expression or hear their tone. All I have are written words on a page. Being able to hear someone’s voice is so much more personal…so much more real. So, being heard and hearing others are two things that, for me, are very empowering and validating.

Survivorship has held several Webinars now. I have been privileged to attend two. Their first, and my first, I wrote about here. It was done by Jeannie Riseman on the subject of flashbacks. Jeannie is a retired therapist who works a LOT with  Survivorship. As a member of Survivorship, I have had interactions with Jeannie. I have always been very impressed by her compassion and levelheadedness…unlike some other therapists I have interacted with online.

My second Webinar was on forgiveness. It was led by Bonnie Brazill-Davis of Speak Out Services. In the Webinar she told her story, giving a general overview of her abuse experiences. As she did so, she walked us through the different aha moments that she had that helped her to find the ability to forgive her abusers. I really appreciated being able to hear her voice over the phone as she shared. As I mentioned previously, that was very powerful in itself.

I hope to attend future Webinars and hope that others will, too.

h1

Tough Time of Year and Survivor Guilt

October 14, 2009

This is always a tough time of year. Knowing what I do about what goes on around this time of year…well, it is really hard to just skate through it. In some ways, I am effected less. In other ways, more.

I was doing pretty well…or so I thought. I don’t know if it just crept up on me…or if the rest of life just combined with it to kind of push me over the edge a bit. I find that I have been battling some depression lately…and I am teary. There are things in my life that could certainly cause that…aside from being a ritual abuse survivor. However, I really cannot assume that the RA stuff does not also impact me.

I find it interesting that I feel almost guilty when I feel OK during this time of year…when I am able to push aside my survivor issues and just enjoy life. It almost feels as if I am betraying the ones who will die this year…the ones who will be abused and tortured…the ones who will be filmed and sold. They deserve to be remembered…to be prayed for. So…when I feel better…I almost feel as if that is a betrayal of them.

Yet…could it not actually be an honoring of them…in the sense that at least one of us got out and conquered. Well, not conquered exactly…but was able to find joy and at least be able to somewhat function? I don’t know. These are just the things I am thinking of…the things I am feeling.

I love this season…but hate this time of year. I love the colors and smells, but hate what is going on in hidden places where people do not want to see.

Survivor guilt. Why should I make it out? Why should I be able to enjoy life? Yet…it is in the enjoyment of life…in spite of my history…that, perhaps, my truest victory lies. I win when I can enjoy any aspect of life…any at all. I win when I can enjoy my freedom…instead of being bound to them…instead of being their slave. I win! So, why can’t I just enjoy the winning? Because I know others are still suffering.

Many who have broken free from the cult groups still suffer in body and soul. Many have not broken free and they definitely still suffer. My own sister never really made it out. Do I celebrate life in her honor? Yes. Still…I cannot help but feel some guilt. At least…I think it is called guilt. I just know I struggle with having too much knowledge. Ignorance, though, is not safe. *sigh*

%d bloggers like this: