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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.

Jul 20, 2011

Phones & Tones & Bellish Things

I've known since my first year of memories that alters were called out by sounds and/or words. As an adult, am fairly certain I was cued by a phone call that had only a tone when I answered. Depending on the frequency of the tone, an assigned alter would then do as trained: call a handler, drive to a designated location, perform a specific task. Of course all this was done without conscious memory. When I would return home, all I would do is either still be asleep or be standing somewhere at home in a stupor.

I do recall often hearing the phone ring (before knowing I had DID) when it wasn't really ringing. It was a joke that I'd answer the phone only to hear a dial tone.

Last week a new television series called Alpha began on the Sci Fi channel. I was triggered and intrigued. Someone did their homework. The concept is people with heightened sensory abilities are brought into a group by a "good guy" who is helping the previously brainwashed people to do good by stopping the people who are doing the brainwashing. In one scene in the season premiere, a young man answers a phone, hears a tone, and proceeds to assassinate someone in a state of amnesia. Once he is in the care of the good guys, he must answer the phone so the tone can be traced. Of course the tone triggers the man into action. Another person quickly injects something into the man's neck (also triggering) but stops the programming and brings him back to awareness.

All this to share why I'm writing this post. During a therapy session yesterday,  I did work on my trigger to financial information (stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, offshore accounts). I can hear only so much in conversation or in movies or television before I go into overload and have to leave or turn it off. I knew my last active alter had been cued out at my work place by a specific phrase by a specific person. I learned this through a collage and was able to stop myself from responding.

Using EMDR in therapy, I was led back to the alter. She had never healed. She had been blocked from hearing any more signals but was still hiding in the shadows in fear of being accessed at any moment. She was unaware of present time. While relieved she had not been called on to do anything "bad" with money, she also had never moved into a place of healing. We were able to accomplish that in the session. The issue of tones had not come up because the last handler used a cue phrase.

This morning my iPhone alarm for my 7 a.m. pill went off...the bell tower. I sleep with the phone on my bed because of the morning alarms I need and it's so much easier to turn off. Also, I don't have to worry about power outages at night that affect the alarm clock;  and the bell tower is so much less startling than the clock buzzer or other sounds. Back to the bell tower alarm at 7 a.m. this morning...for the first time ever my hand accidentally knocked the phone back against the headboard where it then fell down behind the bed in the crack between the mattress and headboard.

The sound was turned up and the bell tower just played over and over. I ran for the long handled grabber tool. I was unable to reach the phone from the left side of the bed. Bell tower, bell tower, bell tower. Am on sound overload unable to shutdown or turn it off. From the right side of the bed I had trouble seeing the phone but found it after moving some tissues that had also disappeared into the space by the headboard. Finally the phone was within reach and I turned it off.

Three times in the next five minutes I checked to make sure I had turned the alarm off or it hadn't gone off again because I kept hearing it. Then I realized it was playing over and over in my head. Non-stop bell tower. I turned on some favorite music but only heard the bell tower in the background. I grabbed my grounding beads but they didn't help. BB sleeps in the other room due to snoring issues. He hadn't heard any of my trauma. I woke him up and asked him to talk to me hoping a human voice might quell the bells. He couldn't stay awake so I returned to bed grabbing the beads again. This time I turned on Belleruth Naperstek's guided imagery for relaxation. Listening to her voice helped quiet the bells and I fell back asleep.

Stop the Bells!

At one point I asked inside if the one playing the bells over and over again could please stop. But I also wondered if the alter who had moved into the healing place yesterday had been triggered by the overwhelming non-stop bells and was stuck in a flashback.

Part of my EMDR session yesterday led me to flashbacks of being programmed for certain alters to respond to certain frequencies followed by ECT (electro-convulsive therapy). Although ECT is said to supposedly erase memory, I wonder if it didn't also serve to reinforce recently-installed programming.

Logic tells me bells were used for very early programming, much like Pavlov's dog. My earliest programming memories though lead to piano tunes of children's songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. But because the alter rescued yesterday seems to feel traumatized by the bells and she had been the last alter to be active in my DID life, bells were likely also used later in life.

My hope in sharing this experience is that it finally processes in me and maybe will help someone else who experienced similar programming.


Anonymous said...

Hi I couldn't read your post, I only read the title and did catch a few of the words as I scanned the article (with unfocused eyes, lol)...

thanks for sharing this. I grew up experiencing this and always thought that I was nuts.

Now I understand better. Thank you for your blog.

Grace said...

Dear Anonymous, Sorry for the late reply, but thank you for your comments. And good for you for keeping yourself safe by not reading it!