For First Time Visitors

If you are a first time visitor to this blog, I invite you to start from the beginning, especially if you are unfamiliar with the potential emotional impact of long-term child abuse.

Trigger caution to unhealed survivors!

Understanding the Incomprehensible

Children of incest or long-term sexual abuse grow up to be wounded adults with complicated emotional issues. Unfortunately, some symptoms are misinterpreted or often dismissed as "crazy", only serving to maintain a tormented victim status. We, as a society, have the power to change this dynamic. Each of us can make a difference.

Aug 23, 2008

Can you imagine...

You are at work in a meeting giving a presentation to your company. Let your mind absorb how you speak, your mannerisms, your responses to others, what it feels like to be in that situation.

Suddenly a secretary rushes in saying your child or other loved one has just been in a serious accident and the hospital is on the phone. How do you respond? Can you feel your pace change? Your voice? Your emotions? Allow yourself to feel that transition from in-control worker to frantic parent, sibling, or friend.

You are in the hospital with your loved one and she is okay but badly hurt. You are speaking to her at her bedside. Feel that your voice, in your pace, in your emotions.

Internal parts all represent an aspect of yourself, which is why I like the term self states. For someone with DID, all of the above happens, except there is no memory from worker, to frightened adult, to caring mother.

Maybe as you were running out of the conference room at work your boss said "Take as much time as you need. But at least take the rest of the week off." That would have been heard by frantic you rather than work you. You might call later that day or the next morning asking for time off. Your boss will write that off as you were too emotional to hear at the time.

The next time you visit the hospital, worker you is "in charge" because you just spoke to a co-worker on the phone. A hospital employee that you know by name in the "mom state" greets you by your name but you have no knowledge of that person's identity.

People with DID have constant inconsistencies but pretend. They have an internal sense of "somehow I just got here and have to figure out what's going on". That's been their life experience--missing gaps. "Oh right! How could I have forgotten? My mind was focused on something else. Sorry."

Most can't imagine what it's like constantly having memory gaps but for some with DID, it's invisible. The time gaps are dissociated too. Gee, that last four hours sure went by fast. The person may have begun reading a book and ended four hours later reading the book, but another part could have cooked dinner, done the laundry, and vacuumed. That person will not recall having done the chores but will figure she must have done it yesterday and forgot...or something along those lines. And the lack of movement forward in reading will be "I must have fallen asleep."

Life is an unknown puzzle. Each self state is unknown to the others.