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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 (43)

Monday
Jan072013

Wish I Could Set My House in Order

Lately I've had DID on my mind more than usual. I mean sometimes days and weeks go by without my even thinking about it. My system functions pretty smoothly, for the most part, so I don't feel the need to do much monitoring.

Maybe it's partly due to the home movies I viewed, I don't know. Something has stirred things up, and then to make matters more complicated I just read Set This House in Order, by Matt Ruff. This novel is touted as a "romance of souls," in this case the souls being the alters in a DID system.

I've so many conflicting emotions about this book. First off, this guy can really write. He tells a story that grabs hold of you from the first page and doesn't let up until you've reached the last line. I'm in awe of such talent and, probably, a bit envious.

But that's the observations of a writer. When I consider the book and all its intricate characters and plot lines as a reader, I must do so from the viewpoint and perspective of a multiple. That's what I am, a multiple. I need to tell myself this often, or I'm likely to forget. I'm likely to expect of myself things I have no business expecting, due to the fact that I'm not a singleton and can't relate to the world around me as if I were.

I think my first twinge of wariness with this novel was that the alters or insiders in the main character's DID system are referred to as souls. I'm not sure why that would bug me, but it did. It wasn't quite creepy but it did bother me.

Mostly there were more things right than wrong with the author's take on multiplicity. Of course we multiples are unique, so no two of us will experience our DID in the same manner. One thing I can't help wondering is, is it really this easy in real life for one to "call up" an alter? The book would have you believe that all you have to do is call out whoever you want to front, and it will happen. Maybe it does for some, I just don't seem to have that ability. Likewise, the main character would simply tell one of his less appealing alters to knock it off if he didn't like their behavior. I couldn't help but be distracted by the ease in which this was done, and also the character's battles at times to wrest the body from an unruly insider. I suppose that when a novel's subject matter is multiplicity, there's no easy way to portray it without it, at times, coming off just a bit ludicrous.

I like this about the novel: it takes multiplicity seriously. More seriously than I take my own. The storyline is a wild, wild ride. By the time you finish you may need to take a really long nap, and not even think about DID any time soon. That's what I should do, but after finishing it I find myself dwelling on my own multiplicity, comparing it with the book's.

Maybe I'm making mine up, is an easy thought to surface. Maybe mine doesn't seem like that in the book because I'm not even a multiple.

I don't know when or how I'll ever totally accept my DID. Denial is right around every corner, waiting to accost my unsuspecting self. Denial hisses at me that I'm so lame I've taken to pretending to be a multiple. Denial says that I'm a lousy fraud, and I should give it up already.

The more I read or think about DID (or spend time with another multiple) the more I actually feel like a multiple. The less I think or read about it and the more time I spend with singletons, the more I feel like a run-of-the mill mono-brained, big fat liar.

Well. Obviously this book has got my mental wheels spinning. Another thing I envied about the book is the character's ease with telling those closest to him about his DID. He doesn't even try to hide it. I wonder though: in real life aren't there usually at least some individuals close to us who would only scoff, and not accept our diagnosis? Do most people just accept it?

I didn't even mean to write about Set This House in Order; I simply meant to mention how the subject of DID has been so much in the front of my mind lately. I don't know if that means anything (like an insider or two trying to prod my wavering attention.) I don't like thinking about it much; it confuses me. Really confuses me. I'm supposed to have DID and I don't even understand how the disorder works.

I don't get it. But I did get something out of this book: an admiration for the respect with which multiplicity is handled by the author. And too, I found myself picking up on little things in the characters' lives, and how they resolve certain issues, thinking that maybe that'd be something I could try. It couldn't hurt anyway.

If you've got time on your hands (the book's nearly 500 pages), and an interest in DID (yours, or someone else's) this is well worth the read.

PS: If bad language offends you, this is not the book for you!

 

Friday
Dec282012

Not Fade Away

 

We are scared.

We try to hide so no one will see us and decide to get rid of us.

We don’t want to go away.

We don’t deserve to be treated this way but Willie Ray is a bully and the mother doesn’t care, and we have to come out so Debbie can hide.

Now she is watching movies. There is Willie Ray smirking. There is the mother smiling like nothing’s wrong. There is the older brother. He will soon be sent away. She is watching this and plotting. Plotting to get better which means plotting to get rid of us.

We love her more than the mother ever did, but she will get rid of us.

She sees the movies and thinks she is going back in time, but it is always that time for us. Stuck in the Sixties is not a funny phrase. For us it is real. We hear Willie Ray’s voice and we try to tune it out, but no matter who comes out they have to listen and pretend to be obedient or you know what happens.

The mother has a new baby but that doesn’t change anything. In the movies they make she holds and kisses the baby, but sometimes Debbie watches it more than anyone else.

Nobody ever asks us how we are doing. No one notices us or cares if we are blue or angry or lonesome. It is very lonely in here because we don’t all like each other, but I’m not telling who is writing this. Nobody better tell, it’s my secret.

Willie Ray is a bully and the mother prefers bullies to being poor, so she’s not about to make him leave.

There is a cold wind blowing in here and we can’t get warm. Some in here are howling louder than the wind. No one on the outside guesses that we are all grieving for something. We help Debbie act normal and happy, but she’s not. Willie Ray and the mother have their games and their dishonesty, so we can have ours. Ha ha, they can’t control everything, not even Willie Ray with his tattoos and his stupid jokes and the billy club he plunges into us whenever he wants.

Williey Ray is a bastard. We can’t say what the mother is because she’s the mother but she’s not so nice herself, only looks like it from a distance or in movies. You notice her beauty and how kind she seems but it is not kindness to let Willie Ray shove us around all the time. All the livelong day shoving and smirking and shaming. What a stupid stupid man.

We don’t want to fade away like we never existed. It’s not fair.

I know it’s not nice but I wish Debbie will stay all broken so that we never have to leave. We can help her better than anyone so she doesn’t need anyone else but us.

We don’t want to fade away.

This was written by none of your beeswax.

Saturday
Dec222012

Unworthy Children?

“Deep down, each child knows he is only as worthy as any other child. Casting some children in negative roles puts the very being of each and every child at risk. If even one child can be cast aside as unworthy, no child is truly safe. He feels keenly insecure at the ground of his being.”
(Donna Bryant Goertz)

Reading this quote today struck a chord deep within. Growing up in my unholy house of incest, I witnessed many instances of a sibling being cast in a negative role and cast aside as unworthy. Aside from my own experiences with this kind of treatment, watching the younger kids in the family placed in a negative light caused me no small amount of anxiety and shame. I've often thought that I suffer a form of survivor's guilt, for my stepsister, Doreen, was especially the recipient of much negativity. Everything she said and did was wrong, for her very existence was deemed a wrong.

I say I suffer a sort of survivor's guilt because she never regained her emotional and mental equilibrium after leaving that poor excuse for a home. Never did she experience what anyone in their right mind would consider to be a normal, or healthy existence. She was so far gone by the time she hit her teens that she was a train wreck waiting to happen.

It's true that when you witness other children being mistreated by adults it causes you to question your own safety. If they can be treated like that, am I to be next? What is it about this other that is so offensive it creates such a climate of cruelty? Perhaps if I could avoid making the same mistakes I could avoid the same treatment. But that's just it: there was no way of figuring out why Doreen brought out the worst in both my stepdad and mother. She was 4 when she came to live with us; how horrible can a 4 year old be to evoke such fury?

When a child is raised in an atmosphere of acceptance, kindness and love, they are partakers in a healthy family unit where everyone has everyone's backs. There isn't a scapegoat, for none is needed. There are no secrets here, nothing swept under the rug and no sources of shame to sour the atmosphere and curdle the milk of human kindness.

When a child sees her siblings protected and lovingly guided, her own sense of self is strengthened and encouraged and she, in turn, is capable of contributing to the general well-being of the family . When the opposite is the case, what happens?

I hadn't witnessed cruelty and violence the first 7 years of my life. I'm not sure how I made the emotional and mental adjustment to these factors in my new world, brought about by the union of my stepdad and mother. I don't know what coping skills I utilized, aside from my DID, and truthfully I have no idea exactly when that splitting began.

I remember flushing with shame as a sibling was ridiculed, or made to stand in a corner until he passed out. I cringed when a sibling received a beating, or a verbal tongue lashing, and who can say which created the deeper wound in the recipient or those who were reluctant witnesses?

When one child isn't safe, none are safe.

When home is a prison to one it becomes a prison to all.

If a parent has it within them to be cruel to a helpless child that cruelty will sooner or later spill over to the others--or if it doesn't do so overtly, just the threat of it is abusive enough.

It's not my shame, but it shames me just the same to realize that at the age of 8 I possessed a greater sense of justice than my own mother. I knew there was no feasible excuse for her mistreatment of Doreen. I knew that the beatings she received from my mother were way over the top, and even sensed that they revealed more about my mother than about any transgression on Doreen's part. There's no way any child could do anything worthy of such rage; I knew that she was being unfairly punished.

I wanted a mother who was loving and gentle, not one capable of beating a child just because she had her in her power. It would have done no good Doreenfor Doreen, or me, to complain to the stepdad, for he was a sadist himself. Would he have cared if he'd heard Mom beating her? I don't think she ever did it when he was home, but I find it doubtful that he would have put a stop to it if he'd known. Doreen was his own flesh and blood, but that didn't stop him from raping her so why would it cause him to rise to her defense against the excesses of my mother?

I hate that I missed out on having that mother of my daydreams, but I hate most of all that Doreen missed out on having even one parent who loved and protected her. I didn't mean to make this post about my stepsister, for in the past I've written about her at length. But due to the nature of the quote which gave me the impetus for this post, I can't help myself. I still burn on Doreen's behalf, a burning of anger and shame and righteous indignation.

Unworthy children? Is there such a thing as an unworthy child?

No, a thousand times no.

 

 

Friday
Nov302012

Am I That Easy to Forget?

I'm sick at heart on so many counts. For one thing, my life has become such a domestic roller coaster ride that I no longer have time to write. I can barely find time to blog these days. A couple weeks ago something reminded me of the DID novel I'm writing. I couldn't remember the name of my favorite character. This greatly troubled and angered me. I love what I'm writing. It may not be great fiction, publishable even. But I love it--and I can't remember the name of one of the main characters I created.

So I'm not getting any writing done, and as always it takes months for me to realize the effect this has on me. And then too, lately I've been waking abruptly, to my entire body thrumming. The other morning when this happened I thought we were having a small earthquake. I'm not kidding, I couldn't tell if it was my body doing all that trembling or if it was the bed beneath me. I finally figured it out by remembering other times this has happened. It's me: not the furniture on which I sit, or the inside of my car. But what does it mean? My entire body vibrates and I haven't a clue as to why.

I've been dreaming snippets about my father, bits about him as he was later in life. The other day my brother told me that I'd always been our dad's favorite. I don't know what to do with that. I was his favorite, but he left me in the care of my mother and stepdad and allowed her to keep him from me for nearly 8 years. What can it mean that he adored me (I know he did) yet didn't fight for me? Did he just forget about me? Lyrics from an old country tune just floated through my head, "Am I that easy to forget?"

I'm a bit shaken because in the wake of being informed of my mother's holiday visit, thoughts of suicide intrude. I don't think I'm going to do anything about them (thank goodness I'm having a Chronic Fatigue flare-up: I'm too exhausted to follow through with anything). Even though I have no definite plans for offing myself, it troubles me to be thinking along those lines. I'm nearly 60 for crying out loud. Can't I, at some point, outgrow such inner rumblings and dark desires? Can't something get better by virtue of aging?

I'm too tired to go any further with this. I have my laptop balanced on my lap, which is covered with my electric blanket. Suddenly I am so hot I feel as if my skin will burst. I can't be having a hot flash, I'm on meds. What is it then that sometimes awakens me from a dead sleep to the feeling that I can't breathe?

I'm going to feel sorry for myself tonight, that's the only thing to do. Don't worry, it won't last. But I think I owe myself this. There are no kids for me to help out with this weekend, so Nana's gonna do a bit of wallowing. I need to. I need to grieve the reappearance of my mother (on my turf, again!) in advance. I'll be too numb when she's in town for anything else.

Friday
Oct192012

Just a Little Pinch

You know that feeling when you absolutely hate going to the doctor, but you've been feeling so cruddy for so long that you can't stall any longer? Feeling cruddy, in my case, equals total body pain 24/7 for at least 3 weeks.

I didn't want to deal with this. Sometimes I have full body pain for a few days, but then it takes a hike and I forget about it until the next flare up. But this time it's hanging on and on. I feel crippled with pain, as if I were an arthritic 90 year old.

My doctor is wonderful. She's kind and thorough, and never shows impatience with me. She'll even ask, as my visit winds down, if there's anything else we need to discuss--unlike so many docs I've seen over the years who get irritated if you bring up more than one problem, and inch their way to the door before you've even remembered everything you wanted to bring up or ask.

Blood tests were in order today, one of them being for Lupus. Oh, please not that. Though judging by the amount of pain I'm in it must be something serious. Either that or I'm way stressed out, more than I suspected, and it's causing my Chronic Fatigue to rear its ugly head.

I was told to follow the signs to the Lab, where I was greeted by the vampire who would take my blood. He looked all of 12.

Now, having blood drawn is right up there on my list of least favorite pastimes, along with childbirth and dental work. The moment I sat down in the hard plastic chair and bared my arm, an inner dialogue began:

Stop being a big baby! It's only a bit of blood, it's not like you're about to get raped or anything.

I didn't say I was, but I hate it anyway. I might pass out.

No you won't. You always say that but you never do. Like I said, it's only a bit of blood.

Would you be free from your burden of sin? There's power in the blood, power in the blood!

Oh cripes, not now, for crying out loud.

Well there is, power in the blood I mean.

Goody. Can we change the subject? What about this Vicodin the doc prescribed?

I tried to talk her out of it. I don't wanna take it.

Should we all just writhe in pain, then?

No, but you know what this kind of stuff does. Messes with my mind big time.

Oh ho, wouldn't want that!

I suppose half of one would be ok, but that's it. I have to function.

At this point, the 12 year old vampire admired my healthy veins. I smiled like a seedy barfly receiving unexpected flattery, and then felt foolish as I realized he was only complimenting my veins, not my legs or bosom!

I closed my eyes and turned my head away when he daubed my arm with alcohol.

"Just a little pinch," he said, to which I silently responded, I'd like to give you a little pinch, see how you like it!

I sat perfectly still, rigid probably, and he said, "Are you okay?" Why do doctors and their vampires always ask me such things? What am I doing, what kind of expression do I wear,  that they feel the need to ask that? Of course I said I was okay. Better than going into a long discourse into what was going on inside my head.

As I sat there studiously avoiding the needle plunged into my nana flesh, I mentally composed a speech to my family:

I've called you here today to discuss my health. I'm nearly 60, in case no one has noticed. I'm on disability for a reason. My health is declining, and when it's gone it's gone. I need to take it easier. I need...

Ah, that tricky word need. Gets me every time. So weak, so pathetic, so lame.

"All done," the pre-adolescent vampire pronounced. "And now for the bandage. You have your choice of orange, blue or green."

"Oh! Blue!" someone cried, and I nearly clapped my hands with glee.

Once I'd been sent on my way I slipped past the checkout station without being spotted, laughing up my sleeve at having gotten away with a minor infraction of the rules.

Driving home it took all my powers of concentration to focus on the road, to even keep myself aware of the fact that I was driving. Doctor visits do this to me, get me all disoriented so that I feel small and helpless by the time I leave.

While I waited at the pharmacy for my prescription to get filled, a tall lithe man, possibly in the process of becoming a female, wearing a slinky sleeveless dress, regaled me with tales of his medical woes and pharmacy screw-ups. He kept going to the counter to await his prescriptions, then he'd turn and begin another story, wildly waving his long arms for emphasis while walking toward me, eyes twinkling, confiding in me his history of medical mishaps as if we were lifetime confidants.

I drove home smiling at the memory of his dramatic renderings, glad to have been entertained from my anxious thoughts about my health.

A strange day, this. Come nightfall I took the prescribed Vicodin (but only one tablet, being such a lightweight) and fell into a blissful sleep. This morning the pain isn't so extreme, causing me to feel glad that I pushed myself to make that appointment, however much I dreaded it.

 

 

 

 

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