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This area is reserved for the tidbits I know hope will be of interest to my readers. Check back often for regular updates. 

 

Check out this article about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena, including a list of organizations which strongly oppose this sick trend, and have implemented various means of helping women who have been sexually victimized.

 

Were you raised by a narcissist? Chances are you were if you suffered any form of childhood abuse. The Little Red Survivor website is filled with excellent articles examining the many faces of narcissism.

 

It's been a long time coming---7 years to be exact---but finally email notifications for new BD posts is available. Sign up today and never again miss another post. You know you want to!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kate Is Rising has an excellent Survivors Resources page which directs you to numerous websites dealing with issues of abuse, healing and recovery. Please bear in mind that the information on these pages may be triggering.

 

 

There's lots of good stuff at the Dissociation Blog Showcase, including a list of 180 blogs dealing with some aspect of this disorder. 

 

 

On the Overcoming Sexual Abuse site there's an article entitled, "It's Not About You Mom" which I could have written myself. I bet many of my readers could say the same!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Entries in DID (42)

Monday
Jul082013

My Many Selves

During my twenties and thirties, I couldn't imagine myself as a fiftysomething woman, let alone a nana. The journey from there to here has been anything but peaceful, anything but mundane.

I thought during my younger years that it would be nice to be in my fifties and not care any more about my looks. Back then I dressed and wore my make up for men, for isn't that what we women are supposed to do? I couldn't see myself except as I was reflected in the eyes of men.

I have to laugh now at the notion that the not wearing of make up in my "elder" years would be some great triumph. I'm still wearing it, for one thing. But even if I wasn't there is more to me than my physical appearance, so much more than I could have imagined back when I was playing the dating game so avidly.

There is my warrior self, the one who protects and goes on the warpath should anyone mean to do us (or my grandchildren) harm. Earlier in life I couldn't have conceived of such a self, for I was too busy portioning out my power and strength to everyone around me. I didn't see then that I was worth protecting: my mother taught me well.

There is my funny self; she seems to have been in hiding during the years from 13-40. When I look back on how I used to be, back when I was wandering with no idea where I was heading, I wonder what happened to the one who is capable of great comedy and humor. Sometimes it seems as if I lived in a kind of deep freeze back then, as if everything inside of me: my natural tendencies, preferences, and dreams were frozen hard as a rock. It's a wonder my dreams didn't suffer from freezer burn. How did I go through decades without my sense of humor? How did I allow my dreams to lie comatose?

There is my spiritual self, but she's not anything like I pictured her to be. During my twenties and thirties I tried hard to stifle my every spiritual hunger pang or wretched thirst. How wrong it seemed to crave something so deeply. I did what I could to deny myself any kind of spiritual nourishment, settling instead for strict adherence to following legalistic rules which I felt would be sure to win me some kind of salvation. I look back with pity on my paltry efforts to be worthy of saving, knowing as I do now that there is nothing to win or earn, nothing on my part to do but accept the gift of eternal Love.

There is my creative self, who seems to have come into her own during the last ten years or so. She too didn't make much of an appearance during my earlier years, for survival is a serious business which didn't leave any room for creative expression. How stifled I must have been, dull with pent up creative frustration!

My caretaker self has been long in surfacing, dawdling and hesitant, unsure of her right to exist. Selfish, is what I would have called her decades ago, had I suspected her existence.  Anything which revolved around me and my needs must be evil and cause for massive guilt.

This journey has been long and convoluted and not one I would have chosen, had such a choice been up to me. I've traveled it with an aching heart, depleted spirit and not a little bit of cowardice, so afraid to make a wrong move and ruin everything.

There is no arrival point, I've discovered. No solid destination or estimated time of arrival. I will never look back over the route that's brought me this far and say with certainty, "I've arrived! It's all behind me now, I can relax now and simply be."

If my way has been torturous and full of calamity it has also not been without its moments of laughter, feelings of deep gratitude, and the growing ability to laugh at my human foibles. Especially have I developed the ability to laugh (not unkindly) at the misunderstandings and magical thinking of my self who once lived in a whirlwind of high heels and short dresses, waiting for my Prince Charming to come to my rescue.

I laugh with relief that I never again need follow any course in life but that which is true to me, and all of my many selves.

 

Friday
Jul052013

I Am Here, I Am There

What would make me happy? I don't ask myself this question often. I know the reason for this is that I grew up with the skewed idea that it was bad to focus on my own happiness. Asking it now seems a bit ridiculous--isn't it too late in the day for such considerations?

I think about happiness and instantly am filled with wistful longings. Something stirs within me, some aching sorrow which briefly dares to hope before being silenced once more. Is this life nothing but sorrow, loss and deprivation? Images of a tainted childhood surface just long enough for me to recoil from them. I'm not that child anymore, I needn't be consumed by such things. This is true, but already my heart is sinking at the equally true thought that I won't be free of those images, not ever.

This is a hard post to write because I don't know how to express what I'm getting at. I'm not simply bewailing my fate. I'm not writing from a sense of entitlement, demanding from life that I get my slice of the pie of happiness. In fact if I could drown out the insistent voice of my deepest sorrows, I would be content. Happiness is over rated, I'd be fine with being free of sorrow's steady dirge. Maybe it's not so much that I long for happiness but that I long to not have every cotton pickin' thing in life ruined by sorrow's insistent lament.

I want to be free to experience life without this constant sense of my joys and pleasures being muffled or suffocated before I've a chance to fully enjoy them. I want to admire a clear blue sky and let that be it, with no undertones of the sky was blue and clear like that the first time my abuser touched me. Why can't I smell ripe blackberries, inhaling the delicious sweetness of them, without being instantly reminded of the wild blackberries which grew in the backyard of my childhood home the year my step dad became King of the Mountain?

Things which hold no menace become menacing to me because of childhood associations. A whiff of after shave, the bloom of a new red rose, the smell of something good on the stove. I am here, I am there. I am both an adult woman in her 50's and a child of 7. I am a nana and I am a redheaded stepchild. My freckled legs are thin as twigs, my legs are flabby with encroaching old age. My small hands lovingly caress my brand new Barbie, my older hands caress the soft skin of a grandchild. My young self recoils at an intruding touch, my older self recoils at the memory of the hot hand searing my child's skin. My 7 year old self cries secretly in the night, my 55 year old self cries secretly in the night. I'm never free of my younger self and she is never free of me, the me who is living in the now and longing desperately to break free of all association with her. I don't want her memories, her fears, her taintedness.

What would make me happy? I think I've figured it out:  to be free of all ties with those who reside within, pulling me down with them into the murky waters of misery which constitute my past. I don't want to drown, I don't want to so much as visit that place. And yet it is alluring, wooing me with the coaxing voice of all things familiar.

 

 

Wednesday
Jun192013

To Tell the Truth

What would it mean to come clean, to the world at large, about one's DID? I've been thinking about this ever since I posted a rather snide remark about announcing my multiplicity on Facebook.

I've no intention of doing that, but the thought of being my self all the time rather than with a select few who are "in the know" excites me. I think of the courage it takes for one to come out of the closet of homosexuality, transgenderism, or to appear on Dr. Phil, for instance, and spill the beans about shame inducing secrets: adultery, issues with rage, gambling and porn addictions. Eating disorders, drug abuse, voyerism. Is there relief in telling one's truth?

I waffle between wanting everyone to know, to lay down this burden of secrecy, to wanting to retain my privacy. The fact is, some--perhaps many--would not get it. They would not want to know about the many selves I harbor. Whether they know me personally or not they would rather not have to think too seriously about the reality of this particular disorder.

Some would get it, or if not exactly get it they would at least be open-minded enough to want to educate themselves about DID. They wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

I've watched several documentaries about multiples, and always I come away from these with great admiration for those willing to expose their disorder to public scrutiny. How self-sacrificing, I always think, for one to be willing to have one's fragmented life documented to increase public awareness of DID. When I try to imagine doing this myself, well I come up with a blank. And not a little anxiety. What would it feel like to put something like that out there, knowing that you've spilled the beans to one and all?

I consider how violated I felt when a couple of people in my life blabbed about my DID to others. The difference of course is that I hadn't chosen to share my truth with certain individuals: that right and choice had been stolen from me. But would it feel the same if I made that call? Or would it seem as if I'd betrayed my selves?

The first word that comes to mind when I think about my childhood is secrets. Tip-toeing around trying to act all normal so no one would guess what I went through on a regular basis. And then, well and then after that childhood there was more tip-toeing around, pretending, so that no one would guess the depth of my brokenness.

Seems like survivors of childhood abuse have an awful lot of prentense in their lives. They must daily erase themselves, their truest selves, in order to live with some semblance of normality in a society that hasn't much use for those handicapped by mental disorders.

I've a hunch I'll forever be fighting this inward battle of wanting to tell, of not wanting to tell. Of feeling the need to be known for who I am versus the desire to guard the secret of my DID because it's mine, and no one else's business. Very likely I'll live out my days without coming to any kind of a resolution about revealing this biggest secret of all. At times I'll be ashamed of my timidity, at other times I'll pat myself on the back for allowing myself all the time in the world to come to a decision, or even not ever come to a decision. Which is a decision all by itself, isn't it?

The confusion of how to handle the truth of my DID goes with the territory of living with multiple personalities. As much as I might wish that things were more cut and dried, life is seldom that neatly uncomplicated. Everyone has something they struggle with; DID is my particular daily struggle. I think it's good to contemplate the issue of telling, whether or not I ever decide to actually blurt out my truth. I have to be able to think about it in the privacy of my own mind.

To tell or not to tell, that is the question I'm in no particular hurry to answer. It's a big question, yes, but it will keep.

Thursday
Jun132013

This Old Road

Seems I've been down this road before, I know I have: An unhappy person who chooses to use me as a verbal punching bag. Spilled beans, my secrets told to another, my privacy violated.

Perhaps I should just post on FB once and for all that I'm a multiple, then there won't be any surprises that can be used against me when someone wants to hurt me.

I don't understand the mentality of someone who has no care for hurting another in such a devestating manner. Or not even their mentality, their morality as well. It's fighting dirty, hitting below the belt, and there's no excuse for it no matter what someone thinks I've done. No one deserves to have their most private issues broadcast.

 

Tuesday
Mar052013

Diminished

Can the reality of my life and character--warts and all--be used for good in someone's life? I ponder this often, running it through my mind from every angle.

I've had a strong sense of duty since childhood which could account for these kinds of thoughts. But aside from that, as someone who is slowly (sometimes achingly slowly) recovering from the brutality and trauma of abuse, I yearn to use my experiences for a good purpose. I want to heal for myself, sure, but what of those whose paths I cross (either in person or via this blog) who need what I can share?

Was it John Donne who wrote "every man's death diminishes me?" To put a slight twist on it, the abuse of every child diminishes me. Diminishes everyone, truth be told. I'm not overlooking the fact that sexual abuse is itself a type of death. Death to the spirit, death to emotional development, death to the ability to experience intimacy, and death to hope.

I'm thinking of my DID and just how it could benefit someone else. My mind draws a blank. I feel all in pieces; how is that helpful? How can my life nourish or benefit someone else if every day is such a strain to survive? What am I doing, anyway, but spinning my wheels and dreaming the kinds of dreams I'll probably never attain to because of my brokenness?

And then I wonder, is brokenness so bad? Is it so shameful to be broken that I must continue hiding it from everyone? Oh and I'm so tired of plastering over the cracks of my soul and mind with false smiles and the acting out of what I think passes for normal behavior. I want to be me, whoever that is. The one I present to the world isn't me, she's a stand-in. She's not even another me, an alternate personality. She's a strange concoction my system and I have created, like some kind of creepy paper mache' doll. We all take turns speaking through her, but she's lifeless. She doesn't cry or itch or bleed, or feel anything.

I'm not humble enough, is what I conclude. If I were more humble I wouldn't care if my brokenness were on display. I wouldn't have an interest in what others think of me. I'm trying to hold it all together and pretend that I am whole, and not only is that absurd it's insanity. I'm not even sure if I'm fooling anyone.

And what of my brokenness? Should I try to bounce back from it? Or can I simply accept that this is who I am in the same manner that a recovering alcoholic must accept the fact that she will always be an alcoholic, whether or not she ever takes another drink? What's so wrong with who I am, is the point I'm trying to make.

Maybe I'm the only one who can answer that. What's so wrong with who I am? It's that it puts me out of sync with most of society. It gives me an outlook I can't begin to share with anyone who isn't broken in similar manner. It causes me great self-consciousness. Everything I say and do carries so much significance, in my own mind, because I'm aware of how off I am.

So what of my brokenness, then. I don't know, I think I'm stuck with it. I think it's not something I can decide to simply shuck off. I can do what advances my healing, all the while aware that it is slow going at best. And in the meantime? In the meantime I need courage to continue facing myself in the mirror each day.

That's about it. I can do no more and don't dare do any less.