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.

May 29, 2011

Self-Awareness, Extreme Thinking & Balance

I was completely dissociated when I was 3. Most born into that underground world have intentional trauma in utero to begin the process. Creating anxiety and fear in a baby is simple. Irregular feedings make the baby wonder when and if they will be fed next. Prolonged periods of isolation without light, touch, and food induce fear of abandonment, starvation, and death. All innate survival skills are activated causing the child to be more likely to dissociate before they are able to speak and tell.

We grow up thinking food or death, love or death, helplessness and death. All roads lead to death. That thinking is constantly reinforced as we are raised into adulthood in that environment. Our mind's ability to maintain the abuse in a bubble of amnesia keeps part of our present and all of our past abuse out of our awareness. We are clueless about our double lives (for most of us, at least into our twenties and many a decade or two beyond).





The healing process of DID is to help us control what has been our mind's automatic response to pain, fear, and even feelings. I was fortunate to be in therapy prior to known DID to identify feelings and learn some good communication and coping skills. Most who learn they have DID haven't had help prior that point. Feeling pain, feeling emotions that are unidentifiable initially, and extreme thinking dominate in the beginning.

I've been healing for 14 years and still have automatic extreme thinking: if not this, then death. Except now it is death at my own hands. Suicide was also a huge part of growing up designer DID. Sharing this is preparation to explain how I analyzed an issue that was feeding into suicidal thoughts I've been struggling with recently.

I've been plagued with suicidal thoughts and vivid imagery since shortly after news of my abuser father's death and got the help needed to stop programming associated with that triggering event. I've written about programming that began once I had stopped the first program. A third round popped up which I believe was shut down. But the vivid images remained in my head. I used my coping skills to get out of my head but was becoming exhausted.

When I connected the worst of the thoughts to the pain that went with my body, I became very proactive. Last week I got in to see my psychiatrist earlier, I saw my family doctor about the lack of relief from concussion headaches, and made an appointment with the specialist who works with part of my body that is a huge trigger in every possible respect. That helped settle my mind about all issues going on in my life except relationship issues...that I didn't know were feeding into the suicidal thoughts.

When I saw my therapist a few days ago, she tried to focus on suicidal thoughts with me but my brain blocked her and I ended up rambling about things going on in my relationship. I thought initially someone inside just wasn't letting me have a good therapy session. But when I got home, I communicated to my partner all that was on my mind. In doing so, I realized not feeling I could do anything about his issues led me to feeling helpless. Helplessness leads to death. Old pattern. But communicating my feelings of helplessness to him really helped make that connection. I doubt that would have happened if I hadn't taken positive action about every other issue I was facing. A breakthrough for me.

As an extreme abuse survivor, stopping the mind from going to "death" as the answer is difficult. But we can remind ourselves there are choices between all and nothing.

Another component that inhibits self-awareness is our training to dissociate pain. I've healed to where I know I have pain and no longer have an automatic dissociative response. I hate pain. However, we multiples tend to grossly underrate the level of pain we do experience. We also have messages about deserving pain which keeps some from seeking medical help until an issue has progressed far beyond a simple intervention.

Having awareness is only the true beginning of healing. After becoming more whole and learning to stay present, only then can we see what we've been missing or feel what we've been missing. Rather than all roads leading to suicide, learning the shades of gray...healthy options...is crucial, although certainly not easy.

I have been dealing with the unmentionable body issue since 2008 not thinking beyond just tolerating it and limiting my activities to accommodate it. Realizing that it was something I could choose to have treated was a very recent thought.

Learning things like yoga and qi gong, meditation and relaxation help all people to find calm and balance in the world. But such things are necessary to multiples. It's also helpful for support people of multiples to know that suicidal thoughts are the "norm" and we have to be reminded there are other ways to think.

I am happy to say the slight medication change made by my psychiatrist helped get those vivid images out of my head that were constantly plaguing me. Am grateful to be able to think a bit more clearly not being focused on ending my life.

Programming is such a complicated issue for support people to grasp. Just know it is something we struggle with for years. And even though I thought I was healed and had unraveled all programming, my father's death was able to trigger something hidden deep inside me just waiting to go off. We truly have no control except to scramble for help when it happens.

Sometimes I wish I had the ability to dissociate at will to get myself out of any uncomfortable or painful feelings. Since that is no longer an option, following the thoughts, self-analysis, and help from my therapist are still going to need to happen to take my life further away from that rabbit hole where I used to be perpetually stuck.

Having said that, sometimes self-awareness truly sucks.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hate when I loose a whole post! Arrggh!
The short of it was GREAT post! So get it!
Finding oneself on the D-train can be scary and comforting at the same time. Plodding thru all what was done and staying in the present is not always easy for a multiple, out past is always there, like a veil over or between or part of the present. That's hard to explain to folks or even therapists at time. But we keep trying.

The everything leads to death life experience is hard to break. It's such knee jerk reaction.

This was well organized and written thank you!
Ravin

Grace said...

Ravin, thanks so much for your feedback. I was hoping I explained this difficult topic in a semi-understandable way. And I do hope those who aren't multiples read it too. Our thinking is so predetermined and ingrained.

Interruption said...

Thanks for this post. It is very well written and makes so much sense to me. I struggle a lot with suicidal ideation. It is a hard thought process for me to break. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace

thank you so much for your blog - spoken from the bottom of my heart.

Just want to ask a question - have you heard of ritual abuse/mind programming happening in Asian countries e.g. Singapore, Hongkong, Japan, China etc outside USA, Europe etc?

Everything that I can find is from USA, Europe, Canada, Australia, and I"m just desperate to know more about what might be happening outside those few countries.

Thank you so much again for this blog.

Grace said...

Hi Anonymous, All I know for certain is that the whole mind control race began when soldiers returned from Korea having undergone some sort of mind control. Also, for years, Chinese citizens were forced to live a life dictated by the leader, a kind of mind control. People not able to think for themselves. Hope this helps.

Andromeda said...

Thank you for writing this post! I have had that problem for as long as I can remember, immediately leaping from the slightest problem in my life to "I'm going to die/I have to kill myself". I didn't realize that was a common thought process for survivors.

I hope you continue to resist that particular thought process!

Grace said...

Hi Andromeda, the same goes for you! Glad you found validation even though it sucks that there are so many of us who are survivors of such insidious abuse.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Thank you for the blog and this post, I found them while looking for means to cope with dissociation.

I really struggle with this, I just don't know what to do anymore. You talk about relaxation and meditation, how do you success in practicing it? I tried those for a long time but all I ever did was dissociating again and again.
I am so tired of feeling nothing...

Grace said...

Hi Anonymous, It is difficult to learn how to shift thoughts from the yuck to a place of no thoughts or positive thoughts. I learned to relax mostly from guided imagery by Belleruth Naparstek. I highly recommend her imagery for Depression because it calms me down regardless of circumstances. Her website is healthjourneys.com. She does have a few free downloads.

By focusing on her words and following her guidance with breathing, you move out of the other place in your mind. And if you fall asleep or dissociate while listening, it's fine. Your subconscious still hears. It's the repetition of the positive and calming thoughts that your brain absorbs over time that is the long-term effect. Our minds are filled with negative messages so we need to hear positive messages many times. I take time each day to listen to one of her topics, usually falling asleep...still. But I have a more restful sleep than if I try to sleep without those messages playing in the background. And I find her voice to be so soothing.

The breathing technique she describes can be used anytime to help ground yourself from panic, anxiety, triggers, etc. Hope this is helpful to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace,


Thank you for your kind answer :)

I will try those, but, as I understand, it cannot be a solution for dissociation, can it?

I really have no much problems with panic, anxiety and triggers since I don't ever feel anything. And I so would like to live again, to feel again, to be present again. To get out of dissociation and I just cannot figure out how.

Grace said...

Sorry I misunderstood the complexity of your comment. A therapist trained in treating dissociation can help you with all of those things. Some who have been unable to find therapists have acquired books to help them heal on their own. I hope you have a therapist accessible to you. I have shared much of my early healing at the beginning of this blog. Maybe something will help.

Grace said...

Anonymous, would you send me your email as a comment? I won't publish the comment but would like to speak to you by email if that's ok with you.