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.

Sep 24, 2008

Roadblocks to healing

Let me count the ways society prevents survivors from seeking and/or getting qualified help.

The well-fed propaganda machine that tells the world that delayed memories can't be trusted and those who claim to have such absurd memories are liars or crazy. Rather than focus more on the group promoting the propaganda, I'm providing a website that can guide you through the ways the False Memory Syndrome Foundation misleads.

Wikopedia provides this as part of their definition: The FMSF coined the term false memory syndrome to describe their theory that some adults who belatedly remember instances of sexual abuse from their childhood may be mistaken about the accuracy of their memory. The term does not have wide scientific use. From this, the Foundation hypothesized that the so-called false memories may have been the result of recovered memory therapy, another term coined by the FSMF in the early 1990s.

When memories first begin to surface, survivors are inclined to jump on the internet and see what's going on. Don't we all do that for symptoms of diseases? When I did this for myself, I kept running into false memory information and how some therapists did not believe memories surfacing at a later age. Add to that information that some people trained to be therapists have another allegiance--to report people who are healing to organized pedophilia so actions can be taken to attempt to bring the healing individual "back into the fold". I was terrified to seek help, which I have mentioned before. Thankfully my fear subsided within two years to seek a qualified therapist.

Many resources that were available to those with DID ten years ago are no longer available. The FMSF has taken it's toll. Highly respected experts have been successfully sued and many facilities to help those with DID (beyond what an outpatient therapist could provide) have been closed. I'm sure there is a statistic somewhere, but the number of survivors who actually sue their abusers is quite low. Ethical therapists working with survivors have the goal of healing--not preparing a client for legal action. Yet that is the focus of the propaganda machine.

Another roadblock to healing is the diagnosis. Why weren't there more with DID prior to the "surge" in the 70s and 80s? Mainly because of lack of training to diagnose as well as misdiagnosis of schizophrenia. Hearing voices was schizophrenia and the poor survivor was placed on very high doses of medication that impeded healing. Research is available on this misdiagnosis if you care to research. The latest new diagnosis for DID is Bipolar Disorder. It definitely can appear that a survivor is bipolar because they embody the extreme of every possible emotion. What appears as bipolar may be switching. In addition, there is a higher reimbursement from insurance companies for a diagnosis of bipolar versus DID. An easy to administer screening for level of dissociation is available but not widely used among the greater medical/psychological community.

In the same light, a diagnosis of DID warrants fewer sessions per year typically by insurance over a diagnosis of major depression. Healing from DID initially may require outpatient visits 2-3 times a week and possible hospitalization for survivors who require more than outpatient care. Nationally, there is a lack of education for hospital staff, including psychologists and psychiatrists, who acknowledge or are aware of DID. Because of the reduction of facilities nationally to less than five, that is rarely an option. Medications have limited impact on DID. Other than anxiety and depression, medication doesn't help. Some very small dosages of some potent antipsychotic medications can help stabilize someone with frequent switching, but too few psychiatrists are knowledgeable in such information.

Another Catch 22 to having been abused as a young child to the point of DID, is survivors are as likely as not to have a past history of hospitalizations, emotional turmoil, erratic behavior, and long-term therapy, all of which create a "witness lacking credibility". The pedophiles win no matter what. By virtue of the abuse, they create a human being whose testimony is likely to be dismissed by the U.S. judicial system.

While a war wages on memories of survivors (which only serves to invalidate a survivor's healing), a war has already successfully been waged in the insurance realm. Trying to gain approval for a survivor to gain appropriate care for DID is a nightmare, to say the least.

This is how society treats those children who were horrifically and sadistically abused by sophisticated pedophiles and who managed to survive through DID. How can this be? What is that saying about when good people do nothing? If you didn't know before, and you are a good person, please spread the word. Speaking out--taking this out of the realm of secrecy--is a good first goal.


Sarah said...

Wow...what a powerful post. When I started having these crazy memories I would not even tell my therapist because I was so scared of all the stuff I read about it. I knew she wouldn't believe me, or put my in some hospital, or tell me she couldn't help. I have found just the opposite...she has been very supportive and has done her own research to inform her about this kind of stuff.
Speaking out....that's scary and I don't know if I will ever be able to do that...wish I could but I am honestly very scared for the saftey of myself and my family.

Grace said...

Hi Sarah,
I fully understand a survivor's concern. I'm hoping those who are not survivors find this blog and tell others about the blog. Thank you for validating what I wrote about the fear of finding help.Am very glad you took the risk to find you had a good therapist all along.

Sarah said...

I am wondering after reading your blog and seeing how strong you are. Can I ask how long it took you to get to this point?

Anonymous said...

You have hit on the thing that makes me more angry than anything else, and have summed up some of the main problmes of being an adult abuse survivor.
Also just to add that the technique that my therapist uses isnt one where he/she is aknowledging the fact that ive been abused.My therapist sessions are very 'led' by the therapist. He has a plan and follows it, as he/she feels like they know what will work.My therapist takes a role and expects me to trust them enough for me to go along with it, whatever they do.

Theres massive amounts of trust involved ( as you know being a therapist!) and i dont get an admission of whats wrong with me - like " yes you was abused etc etc". My therapist is always in role, and if i asked them to come out of it i think it would destroy the chance of the technique working in future sessions. Its worked so far as he/she is brilliant at what they do, but isnt what alot of people would expect from a therapist, i.e. the therapist listening to the patient ramble on.

I better stop rambling on now!


Grace said...

Hi Simon,
I can't speak for your therapist. But I always encouraged clients to let me know if they were uncomfortable with any approach or technique I was trying. Because there's always several ways to go about whatever is going on. Only you know what goes on inside.

I understand your fear of speaking up. You need to be able to say to your therapist, "I feel uncomfortable with this technique," or "I don't feel as involved as I'd like to be in my own therapy". It sounds like you need to have more discussion and empathic listening by your t.

It's even ok to say "I'm afraid to tell you if I don't like something about the therapy." That should open a helpful dialog between you.

I've had clients say "You realize I don't trust you yet." lol. I loved it :-)

Grace said...

Hi Sarah, I really like the way you worded your question. How long did it take you to get to this point? I'm of the belief that healing becomes a more or less lifelong journey but the issues become easier to identify and deal with. And new situations in life bring up issues not known before.

It was a little less than four years before I made the decision to pursue a degree in counseling. It was a three year program. I was happy to have sufficient focus to take classes. Most was online so if I had down days, I could make it up on good days and no one would know. I was blessed that I had a major integration (many healed parts joined together and moved deep inside) just before my internship which allowed me to have more confidence about being in control with clients.

And I had a second major healing event just before I began full time as a therapist. I've always believed my healing was guided from inside. I had known survivors who had been in therapy for so many years. I made a commitment to myself that I would do the work and be functioning in 5 years.

I also had an advantage, so to speak, in that, when I discovered I had DID, I wasn't afraid of it. I realize now that's not the case with many survivors.