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.

Oct 18, 2010

The Experts on DID have not had DID

When I first began to read about DID, rather voraciously, I read The Family Inside followed by Beyond Integration, both by the same authors. In other books I read, "integration" appeared to be the end of DID. The person becomes singular with one mind, one self. That may be the case with some. All victims with DID have had horrific childhoods. The variable is the intensity and consistency of the abuse once the child's mind fragments, in my perspective.

When I integrated in Nov 2002, I thought that was it. But it wasn't. It gave me a new stronger self to deal with the next level of healing...deeper trauma. The integration itself was a rather spectacular internal event. No doubt in my mind that is what had happened.

I was a year into grad school when the first integration happened which probably helped me absorb much more of my classes. (I graduated with a 4.0 gpa.) In November 2003, a month prior to my graduation, I experienced a second integration. I did feel stronger, more confident, ready to be a therapist and began that career full time in January 2004.

I had very few new issues and only saw my therapist once a month, mostly to process client issues I was not releasing as effectively as I needed to. I recall not being able to "go inside". I believed it was made necessary for me to stay "out" to keep me from returning to that place of dissociation inside. I had friends and a social life. I was happy.

I've discussed this before here and/or on Facebook, but also had a new insight into the events. In 2007 I encountered several scary body issues along with a female "specialist" who I believed was the best person at the time. She performed three surgeries on me, all of which caused harm to my body, although that was not known until after the third surgery and getting myself into the hands of highly qualified specialists.

After two more surgeries to fix the first surgeon's mistakes and to get me back to health and physical therapy which thankfully allowed me not to have a third corrective surgery, I was a physical and emotional mess. I realized in retrospect that my mind viewed the medical experience as trauma and placed "distance" between me and my feelings until much later. I had PTSD to the first surgeon's name (heard on radio and seen/heard on television and billboards).

That new trauma created several littles but also opened me up to old traumas that had newly surfaced. Work that needed to be done for ongoing healing but was okay to put on hold while I was a therapist. For nearly a year I had hoped I would return to work. Finally I realized I could not return because of the fragility of my own emotional state.

This blog which began as therapist me educating others about DID has now transitioned into knowledge learned becoming and being a therapist along with another phase of my healing journey from DID. For the past year or so, I've been going through what I knew was "fusion" from my insiders but I'm not done yet.

Some books on DID speak of a fusion process in addition to integration while other books use the terms interchangeably. On Facebook, I've been part of discussions by many with trauma backgrounds including DID. I need that again as one still healing. Those on the far side of healing (beyond integration?) believe it may be a lifelong process of always having some vestiges of the abuse. None of us really knows.

Even when I felt healed as a therapist, I could still hear my inner wisdom and sometimes protectors when I was in fearful situations. But all people have ego states...different states of being at different times. It felt normal to me. Now I know there are at least a few left who apparently are trying to merge so that *I* am part of the healed being.

Whatever you think might happen to be healed or whatever term you use for it I believe is individual. I don't think it's fair to label an ending when few have reached a point of having no more issues. Recently several readers of this blog expressed shock that I claimed to be integrated but was still dealing with DID. That is the case for me and the experts don't always know the answers, especially if they haven't been through it themselves. I can see where some may have claimed clients were healed after integration. Perhaps they didn't have a client who experienced a new trauma post integration.

This blog is my sharing so others can connect or not. My goal is only that some are helped by my knowledge and healing which goes along with struggling. I am not the competent trauma therapist at the moment. I could be a competent trainer of therapists who would like to work with dissociation. That would not engage the emotions as a client going through the same issues as me would. Part of being a good therapist is knowing my limitations.

Thanks to those who have been taking this journey with me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I so get leave a perfusion because ethically it would be wrong to continue. We left A career in Child Protection Ser. Because we became to chaotic internally to do the job and be a mother. Being a mother had to be the first priority.

We have never fused or integrated just seems we aren't set up for it to work. Every try has failed. It's okay, we long ago realized cooperation was workable. Course right now the really deep trauma is testing us, but it's a process.