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.

Dec 19, 2010

WTF are introjects?

Introjects are confusing. It's confusing talking about them because it involves an alter/dissociative split that represents someone also known in the outside world.

Unfortunately, within the system (referring to all alters and any internal structures) there are typically several introjects especially those that represent prominent abusers. Currently I'm working with two sister introjects. They have different names inside. And scary things went with each of them.

The important concept to remember is that an introject is a split from the self holding onto the memories of that outside person. It is also a part of us that must be heard and heal like any other self.

Confusion comes in several ways. The introject "feels" like the real person...carries the same characteristics and persona. An introject is only holding such things for a specific person. Each alter/self was created for a specific role in the system. Those of us with sophisticated programmers might run into several programs designed to keep us away from discovering or even healing to the point of finding an introject. Mostly I experience headaches and dizziness.

I only had a small number of parts who freaked me out that I could only go near in a therapy session. Oddly, the most frightening ones turned out to be littles who were made to look and act terrifying.

When an introject reflects a known abuser and internally creates the terror inside that was also created outside, approaching the part is a thought that can create panic. I had to keep reminding myself that inside it is NOT that is a part of me who needs to heal. And what a horrid job that part of me recreate the terror that part knew him/herself. The introject is usually very relieved not to have that job anymore.

It took me ages to understand introjects. Reading about one and how to help someone heal an introject is different than dealing with one of my own. Only then did the "education" make any sense. In my case, that may also have been intentional confusion to keep me away from the word. I wasn't ever supposed to know of such things, or so the abusers hoped.

In any event, I hope sharing this might help another. As for my introjected sisters, after several weeks of doing sister sets on Polyvore, I've come to realize the sisters are merged with each other. I think that one sister representation is or has been integrating into me. I'm not sure if it's done. This is revolving around a Christmas memory in 1955 so I suspect that might be a present for me.

Dec 15, 2010

More Realizations--What Could Have Been

Since writing my earlier post, new information and puzzle pieces have been landing in my head. I'm on Facebook so some followers of the blog may have already read this in a Note. Last Friday I missed a dentist appointment in spite of having had it on a physical calender and my iphone with two back up reminders. About the time I was supposed to have gone to the dentist, I spontaneously decided to run to the drugstore. The first time I saw my phone that day was when I came out of the drugstore. It was after 4 pm and I saw the dentist had called.

I was horrified because the dentist was doing me a favor by fitting me in that day. The office was very nice and rescheduled me for Monday. On Monday early afternoon I realized my phone alarms had not gone off for my vitamins. The volume was fine but the SILENCE switch had been turned on. Brian said he hadn't done it and it's not something that can happen accidentally. That's when I said, "Someone really doesn't want to go to the dentist."

That night I was consciously powering my phone off and saw that the SILENCE switch had been turned on again (but my 10 p.m. alarm had sounded). That's my reference in the previous post that someone inside me was acting without my conscious knowledge.

In sharing what had happened with the Polyvore set, "In Transit", shown below, I got hit with another realization. My older sister  (internally named Lizzie) HATED going to the dentist. My mother always had to be sneaky about when Lizzie had the next appointment and tell her 10 minutes before. She was telling me who she was but I hadn't gotten the message without the answer that she was still "in transit".

Now for the scary part. The internalized sister parts of me, along with others, were programmed to take over consciousness and return to the fold, so to speak...whatever military base had last been the message or a certain address. The sister parts didn't surface until after I thought I had been fully integrated.

I don't know for certain whether other parts remain hidden deeply because they would have been too dangerous to surface before my current level of healing. I know that my protector would not have allowed anything dangerous to happen, but her having taken over my consciousness several times in the past week has been disconcerting. Better to miss a dentist appointment than return myself to hands that knew how to break me or worse. This was something that came up so many times in undoing my layers of programming. I wonder how many of us (from this type of programming) never get to fully heal because an alter turns themselves in or self-destructs.

A few years into my healing, several layers of programming had the message of going to visit my older sister (report back to the family). I'm so sad that she is part of that world and doesn't know it. Neither sister, to my knowledge, has awareness of our abuse.

I want to remember Lizzie as sitting on the floor of our bedroom when I was 4 or 5 and teaching me how to tie my shoes. Which brings to mind one more amazing aspect of DID. When I did internalize a person, their personality quirks (if known in conscious life) came with them, along with the original goodness they were meant to have. That Lizzie hated the dentist is just weird.

One more mystery that likely goes with Lizzie is my Thumper voice...a little who slurs words and mumbles. Except that voice sounds the same as my adult voice in my head. Only outsiders can hear the difference. Even as an adult, Lizzie tended to speak very softly and mumble. I used to stare at her mouth and wonder how she could speak when it seemed as if her lips weren't moving. Brian confirmed that I haven't always had the Thumper voice. It's something "fairly recent".

We're betting the Thumper voice will integrate with Lizzie. This is a big puzzle.

Answers Come in Mysterious Ways

One of the more frustrating aspects of healing from DID is waiting for an answer. For a multiple, we can ask inside for an answer. Sometimes an alter or protector will give a direct answer. Sometimes the answer is just another puzzle. Often there is silence.

Lately I've had parts of me emerge who represented my internalized sisters. I've also had noticeable activity by someone inside. Noticing one's own dissociated actions after the fact is always jarring to some extent. Last night when I went to bed, I asked inside of the two sisters had integrated with me. I fell asleep, which often happens when I try to get an answer.

This morning, as I often do, I go check out my sets on Polyvore and look at sets done by others. I also find new items to create my own art. This is the inexplicable synchronicity of my personal healing. I visited sets from someone I hadn't visited in ages. While there I found an item I liked which led me to several others. By the time I was done collecting interesting things, I had a set in mind.

I created a set knowing a Japanese person goes with my older sister. It was a really cool set, IMO, and wanted music to go with it. I searched "mannequin" hoping for a song about mannequins. Instead, an artist named Jack Mannequin came up. I did choose one of his songs but had used the name of one of his other songs for the set title, In Transit.

Several hours after doing the set it dawned on me that the set was the answer to last night's question. The alter that goes with my older sister is still "in transit". Pretty cool stuff.