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!
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.
Nov 27, 2008
How can we know the truth?
Much of this blog has been focused on how confusing memories are to piece together, the tricks used by perps regarding the surroundings, a double language and double binds used on us as children. So how is it that we can know for sure who was an abuser?
Links are provided in the sidebar to some of the best in the field regarding trauma memory and how it is stored differently. I've used examples before but, as a reminder, those who recall the assassination of John F. Kennedy know where they were at the moment they heard, the feelings of the moment. Some remember smells, others great detail of the location...a kind of surreal experience to recall. If you've ever been in an automobile accident, you might recall the event in slow motion, what song was playing on the radio. If it had been raining during the accident, it's possible rainy days still cause some distress to your driving experience. The most recent moment in our history that was traumatic for the nation was on 9/11. The trauma of knowing, seeing, hearing...for many, feeling loss of a loved one. All sensory experience is frozen in that moment or moments of trauma.
In spite of the trauma memory being locked in from several perspectives by different aged alters with intentional confusion and attempts at making us believe that what happened never happened, we remember. And, over the course of time, the abusers remain constant (in or out of costume) for some period of life. Some alters and/or protectors remember very clearly. It has been proven time and again through drawings and descriptions through journals of survivors that incidents were recalled with remarkable accuracy, locations were internally recorded with uncanny details, and faces and voices were remembered. What comes out as a survivor's story is for the survivor to heal. The objective is healing, not suing abuser(s). What we come to know with great clarity as names, locations, faces, and sometimes dates are conveyed to us by those inside who remembered with clear "mind" and stored the information for later release.
In my personal experience, names rarely surfaced, but faces did. In doing collages, I'd find myself cutting out pictures of people. Over time, I consciously noticed that many images looked like the same person and I'd make collages for that one person. At the time I wouldn't know if it was an outside person or an inside person...very strange concept to grasp, I would imagine, for anyone who has not had inside people. Most of my collages were done in the first two years of my healing. Also in those first two years, abusers in my world at the time I was a child became known to me through researching, in documentaries, in magazines. I knew because the images cut from magazines so starkly resembled the perp collage and something about the perp's history matched my own history. This process is, of course, not admissable in court, but is sufficient validation to heal. It doesn't matter what others believe. We know without a doubt when we receive internal and external validation simultaneously and have our drawings and/or collages and journals to back it up. It's usually accompanied by a hugely triggered response to matching the name with the person or vice-versa.
I guess it boils down to that the alters can use whatever skills they have "backwards" to help in the healing process. Amnesia is a strange state of mind. Those who suffer from or who have even healed from DID still don't know what it's like to have a mind that functions for someone who grew up in a loving family without trauma. We know it gets better at a certain point in healing. We can tell when there has a been a shift in the way our brains process information after healing takes place. That happened for me after any merger, blending, integration of parts. I have used a gearshift as a metaphor for how it feels when parts integrate. I used to drive stick shift. Have no other metaphor that seems to fit. While there is a sharing of consciousness after an integration that wasn't there before, there is not a smooth transition from one alter to the other. There is still a feeling of separateness but in a different way. Over time it becomes more of a smoother process and feeling of togetherness.
I've heard from other survivors and have read in authoritative psychology books by those who have never been dissociative that true integration means *I* will have ownership of the memories. My life before my current medical difficulties was good. I hear I was a good therapist. Yet I still feel as if I've been told my story by others inside and *know* enough to understand my fragmentation and healing process. It does not feel as if it happened to me. Maybe my *complete* healing is still down the road. Or maybe sometimes what the books say should happen, doesn't happen for all.
Regardless of our individual truths, we all simply want to feel in control of our lives again. To feel that we have our lives back internally and externally. Others can stand back and judge the content of memories or watch the person blossom and grow and heal from processing their trauma. The truth that we do know about the abusers and the locations, in spite of being sometimes 30 to 40 years after the fact, can be used, if others would hear, to find the places that continue their lacivious activities to this day...where no one has ever bothered to look...or locations that have been so protected by community leaders involved in the charade that the secrecy is assured.
We, the survivors, want to be heard. We want to help future generations from experiencing our pain of having been born into an incestuous family or similar circumstances. Collaborating the truths of survivors recalling the same locations can be the blueprint for planning a new strategy to stop the madness. Why is that so unreasonable...or unbelievable?
My wish and goal is for this change to come to our nation...for people of good hearts and minds to stand back and find what is truth...to ask questions of those who have been denying our truth for decades...to help the children stuck in that world and honor and help those who have survived.