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 25, 2008
The mind-boggling realization
The Blooming Lotus addressed this topic yesterday. It reminded me of how earth-shattering my realization was...and how it resulted in a breakdown before I was able to accept the truth and what it meant to my life. I was about a year into my healing before this moment of clarity so those who are not at least that far along in healing, be forewarned.
The level of abuse beginning in infancy ensures shattering of the mind. Not all who have DID have the birth child (a/k/a "the core") go into hiding. If the abuse becomes so constant and overwhelming, however, the core goes into hiding and lets the alters take over the life. Part of adult healing is for the core to resurface and participate in the current life in whatever form is right for the individual. That means the person who is healing from the abuse is an alter. One alter of however many were created by the abuse intentionally and unintentionally. My personal belief is that several of my protectors created their own system for healing one day. If not, it means abusers created alters that had their own wills and did what they wanted inside instead of following out of fear and intimidation.
A child whose perpetrators have sophisticated knowledge of deliberately inducing dissociation (and there is documentation that this was being done), will have far more dissociated selves than a child who splits from extreme abuse by one or two maniacal parents. Numbers are irrelevant and no one should be judged on how many were created. What matters is that healing can happen regardless of numbers. The point is that one of that sizeable number is the conscious child. *I* have the conscious memory of my life. All formerly dissociated parts know the rest of the story or part of the rest of the story. And alters throughout the life of the victim/survivor take over for moments, or minutes, or hours, or days to block the conscious child from knowing what is dangerous to know.
Yesterday's post about facial and name recognition goes with this. During abuse, the alters are constantly threatened with revealing identities. I do know at least one survivor who recalls not being allowed to look at the faces of abusers. She could remember anyone's shoes though. I have many pictures of men's shoes in my collages. I could logically state they might be there for that reason but I don't have my own answer. Another survivor commented on yesterday's post that she sees through people or sees a blur or blob. That is likely an alter whose job it is to make sure she doesn't remember people. If a survivor has current safety, the alter causing that to happen can be acknowledged and offered healing or a new job of possibly helping the conscious self to remember.
In terms of being the conscious self of a dissociated entity, the realization is that the survivor's world has been controlled all along--what is seen, heard, remembered, known. My mind was trained to control me, for fear something awful would happen to them or me if they did not do their assigned jobs.
Being dissociative is weird, to say the least. Until I was 44, I had no clue as to any dissociation on my part. Everything was linked together in a way that I had absolutely no "leakage" of what went on in any dissociative state. I had several instances during my healing where conscious me had the experience of having been dissociative. In other words, I realized I had missed time, or had done something out of my awareness. My most recent experience was the highway hypnosis that had me "waking up" driving in an unknown area calling for the helicopter lift out of there. (That would be my SO.)
The strangest dissociative experience I had was a few years ago during a phone call with my SO. I usually monopolize the conversation and had been talking for several minutes. When I stopped, he said something totally irrelevant to what I had just asked. After some great confusion I realized I was seemingly talking (consciously hearing my own conversation), but another alter was having a different conversation with him. Obviously, a brain works very differently.
I don't recall the statistic, but humans usually use only a small percentage of their brain. Obviously sophisticated perps know how to tap into all that unused space. The mind is capable of amazing things. Too bad it is being used to hurt people. Why isn't that same knowledge available to help people with greater functioning?
Because of my healing, I no longer feel the disconnection of being an alter with no true choices or willpower. I feel empowered and connected although I still struggle with ongoing healing at a much slowed down pace...usually. Even when no longer DID, there is some dissociation.
One of my first collages shows a child lying in the grass...hidden alone. The words beneath the baby: A Strategic Alteration of Reality. Ain't that the truth.