I drove home from our DID support group tonight with mixed feelings. It was said tonight that the group will take a break for the summertime until they can find more people interested in joining. We are greatly saddened as our summer crew is getting in full swing again and feel we are going to greatly miss out. This was our (summer crew’s) third group since coming back and we felt most comfortable in sharing and relating to the other group members tonight. We are going to feel such a loss once group is (temporarily) over after the next meeting. We drove home with the radio blaring filling our ears and head with loud rock music. It feels a bit unfair. We are here now and excited to be able to interact with other multiples in real life, but now the group will be discontinued. It is only temporary, yes, but when it reconvenes we will likely be back inside for the fall/winter months. After expressing our concerns, the Ts in charge talked about trying to meet maybe once a month over the summer months. Well, at least that is something, anyway, and I am thankful for whatever we can get 🙂
And thinking positively, this will give us a chance to work more intensely with our therapist. While we were participating in the group, we were just not able to afford seeing our T every week and be able to pay for Group, also. We heard from our T today and she is going to see about getting on our in-network list of therapists with our insurance. This will help SOOOO MUCH. So, we could possibly have been able to do T and group at the same time. I guess in the long run this will be better as we will be able to catch up on our account with T as well as do some consistent work with her while group is out. Just going to miss interacting with others like us in 3D life very much.
We have really missed being here at Myriad Musings and being able to interact with fellow DIDers and other bloggers. Our system went through a time when we were not getting online much at all and definitely didn’t blog. I am glad to say that time has passed. We are back! An update on my dad, he has finished his radiation treatment and soon will complete the chemo and will have another pet scan to see how the treatments have been working. We are hoping and praying for the best. Will keep all posted.
Our job will be competed for the summer next Friday. Friday!! Fridayyyy!!! I can’t wait! We already have plans to hit happy hour next Thursday and Friday with friends and coworkers. Woohoo!! Time to celebrate!! It’s been a long and tough year. We are already making plans on what color to dye the hair. We’re thinking about dying the tips of the hair bright pink. Other than that, not sure 🙂 We are wanting punk wild colors!! 🙂 Will see what the system compromises on though, later on 🙂
Well, my friends, this is us signing off for now. Will see you again very soon!
I am placing a TRIGGER WARNING here. While there are no details of a specific memory, there is talk of strong emotion/sensation relating to abuse. Only read if you are feeling safe and able to. Thanks.
If you’ve been reading our blog, then you know we have been having many symbolic dreams lately. It seems a layer of memory(ies) is trying to break through. I dreamt that I was a very small child lying on a bed curled up in the fetal position sleeping. I felt this impending terror. I KNEW something was coming and then whatever it was – this invisible force – pulled me off the bed and downwards. I woke crying out, terrified. I feel like it is connected to a memory and it doesn’t surprise me that the person who took me from the bed was invisible. I am sure it means that the system knows we are not ready for that much information at once. Thing is, I have several memories where I have the knowledge of what happened but nothing else, and in none of those was I taken from the bed. This kinda scares me even though I have always known there was more that I hadn’t retained the knowledge of.
I have the recent and then the recurring dreams where terror is the main element. The terror is, to no surprise, connected to the beds and also to certain rooms in buildings or houses. In the recurring dreams of the house that was “haunted”, I was terrified to go to certain parts of the house, in particularly one entire floor. In part, I believe that the dreams are symbolic of how I relate to the memories. Like how I would try to make myself climb the stairs to the “haunted floor”, terror would build the higher I would climb until I would be so terrified that I would turn and run back downstairs. I also, obviously, recognize the terror as a layer of memory that is very real and was experienced at one time in my life on a daily basis.
Another possibility that I am aware of is that the house in the recurring dream may be a part of our internal world. Maybe a house where memories are stored. This is something that I am not positive of, but it feels quite possible.
Posted in Alters, Dealing with Painful Memories, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Dreams, Emotions
Tagged abuse, alters, DID, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, memories, nightmares
Memories can come in layers as I am coming to learn all too well. I used to think that as the alters felt I was ready, they would share the memories in chunks or events as many as was needed for me to fully recover. Now, I’m seeing it’s not nearly that simple. I always knew that we were fragmented to the degree that the emotions were separated into different alters. What I didn’t realize fully was that emotions from each event can be stored in certain alters. As well as body sensations that come forward in the form of body memories that we get all too often and don’t know what they are connected to. In my most recent session with T, we were reminded of the BASK model of dissociation. BASK stands for Behavior, Affect, Sensation, and Knowledge. So, memories can be dissociated into those categories:
- Behavior: the actions that occurred/what happened
- Affect: The emotions associated with the event
- Sensation: the sensations that the body feels/body memories
- Knowledge: the meaning
I have some memories that are of the Behavior/Actions. I can rattle them off to my T one by one as if it were me talking about someone else. I guess, in many ways it is someone else. Then, I have been having sensation/body memories for years. Those suck because you FEEL the things that the body felt during a particular memory, but you have no freaking idea what happened. I have had the Affect part of it, too, as in my emotions have always been like a roller coaster ride. I would cry at the drop of a hat, or get angry – much more angry than whatever the current event called for, and fear – so much fear about everything. All the feelings are coming from parts of my system that were created to hold them. And lately, terror has begun to surface on a more real level for me. I will blog about another recent dream I had tomorrow. Until then, stay tuned. . . .
Posted in Alters, Dealing with Painful Memories, DID Recovery, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Emotions
Tagged abuse, alters, anger, DID, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, memories
I apologize for not writing lately. We had a couple of really good days in the last week. The rest of it was either struggling with emotions just under the surface, nightmares, or oh yeah dropping something really heavy onto my foot. Went to the ER and it’s not broken, just badly bruised and swollen.
Before writing about the recent nightmares, I should update about the Group. My sister was able to come through town to see me but could only stay for a few hours. And yes it just so happened to occur at the exact time that my Group was. So, I had to miss it which was probably a relief to some of our parts, but many of us were quite disappointed cuz we wanted to work through the transference issues and all so we could move forward. Still, the visit with our sister was very much needed as we had been feeling very depressed. I only see her maybe once a year and the rest of the family I see even less. So, it was a very, very nice visit.
The past few nights have been especially bad with the nightmares. One that just recently came to mind was of being in a haunted house of sorts. I was in my Aunt M’s house and in it, all of her furniture (the beds mostly) were “haunted”. It’s interesting as I type this out and see the symbolism. I would try to sleep but was so afraid of the “ghosts” that were going to come and get me. I would try sleeping in a different bed, but the same unseen source of terror was there. I woke several times during the night terrified, unable to recognize where I was or how old I was. In the dream, Aunt M’s house was large and had a lot of old furniture in it. Everything seemed to loom over my small frame.
I have had dreams many times in the past of haunted houses. One that has been a recurring dream over the years is about this house that was several stories high. The top floor was always riddled with spirits of the unkind variety. I would try to go up there (in these dreams I am an adult……most of the time) because my best friend and I had just moved in and I wanted to make use of all the space. Often times I wouldn’t even make it all the way up the stairs before terror would grip me and I would run back down again often times screaming. Sometimes, I would make it to that top floor. I remember once that it was mostly bedrooms on that floor. I remember vaguely something about a fancy red blanket on one of the beds. It’s one of the shades of red that are triggering to me. The whole room actually now that I think about it had shades of red in it. Another time I had this dream and I made it all the way to the top floor, it was mostly dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I could FEEL all the sheer blinding terror. I ran back down the stairs swearing that I would not ever use the top floor of the house.
It still amazes me as I finally bring myself to write about something that to me seemed to be quite scary but “surely didn’t mean anything” only to realize that it was full of symbolism. The symbolism of the childhood and what those beds really were “haunted” with were the bad things that the bad people did to me/us there.
Posted in Alters, Dealing with Painful Memories, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Dreams, Emotions, Therapy
Tagged abuse, alters, amnesiac alters, DID, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, nightmares, triggers
We were watching Lie to Me the other day and the end of this episode really jumped out at me. I wanted to share my thoughts on it.
Lie To Me Season 1 Episode 5 “Unchained”
Lightman: When someone bashes you around who’s twice your size just whenever he feels like it, you learn to read emotions pretty fast. We adapt to survive. Your abuse made you a natural. He made you what you are.
Torres: Well, I’ll be sure to thank him.
This case in this episode was difficult for Torres because they were dealing with a violent criminal to see if he had changed from his violent ways. Torres had a history of violent abuse so this was especially a tough one for her. I liked what Lightman says to her in the end of the episode.
Lightman: When someone bashes you around who’s twice your size just whenever he feels like it, you learn to read emotions pretty fast. We adapt to survive. Your abuse made you a natural. He made you what you are.”
She is referred to as a natural at reading faces and expressions. I have always believed that those of us who have been through traumas as those with DID have, we learn very early on how to anticipate our abusers next move based on facial expressions among other things. We also learn to “predict” what is going on based on the energy in the room or surrounding an individual. Imagine going to a concert or to a dance club. Upon entering you can feel all that upbeat energy and you know people (most people) are having a really good time. Now imagine entering a home of someone who just lost a loved one. Still feel energy, just this time it is one of sadness and grief. Those of us who have gone through traumatic childhoods especially from a very early age are that much more in tune to the energies surrounding someone.
My best friend used to get annoyed because I could tell what was going on with her even without her saying anything about it to me. I could see it in her face and if she was hiding it well enough, I could still FEEL it in the air around her. It kind of makes me smile when on the show Lie to Me people get irritated at being read so well because I remember my friend and how much it annoyed her. I didn’t do it on purpose, it was just a naturally acquired gift on my part. It was important for our survival living in a family where you didn’t know when or where the next blow or advance was going to come. The need to be hyper-vigilant and hypersensitive to our surroundings was imperative.
The whole emotion thing has been a difficult one for me/us. When I did talk with my Aunt M about my childhood and what things she observed, she told me some interesting stuff that further validated the dissociative child that I was. She said that I would cry at the little things like stuff that didn’t matter. Yet, when something big happened that would have anyone upset and in tears, I would zone out and not show any emotion. It made sense because it was not safe to show any emotion around things that REALLY mattered. I didn’t dare show any signs to anyone that there was anything wrong with my life or family. I was told many times that no one is to know what happens behind closed doors or else very bad things would happen. I believed them because. after all, bad things were already happening and I could not imagine what worse things were in store should anyone find out. I know now that those were desperate lies told by my perpetrators to keep me in silence. It also reinforced my dissociative behavior.
Having DID, everything is compartmentalized. The most frustrating thing for me as well as the best thing is the fact that the emotions are so compartmentalized. Some alters are created for that very reason – to hold specific emotion that was deemed unsafe. I have one insider whose name is RAGE. When it is written on paper, it is in red, all capital letters: RAGE. Almost none of us can handle anger and most definitely none of us can handle the whole rage emotion. It was not okay to be angry as a child. For one, when the perps were angry, very bad things happened. For another, the adults in our life did not find anger an acceptable emotion for us to have. Add to that, the feeling that we did not feel worthy of being treated well by the family and therefore did not feel justified in the least to feel angry about anything that was being done to me. I still struggle with this today. This is also why I have trouble feeling most things when dealing with the childhood and what was done to me. I don’t feel comfortable feeling sad or angry as I never felt worthy enough to expect any kind of treatment other than being treated as a rag doll – one to be used and thrown away until the next time. I know on some level that I was worthy of love and acceptance just as much as anyone else would be, but it is difficult to believe wholly due to my upbringing. It was the adults in my life that were wrong, not me, for I was only a child. I can say the words, but believing them with my whole being is a long way off.
Towards the beginning of my DID recovery journey, I learned that the different parts of the system have different thresholds for emotion, pain, etc. This made a lot of sense to me as I related it to my system. I have many parts, myself included, that do not express anger. If something happens to cause us to feel anger, those parts switch inside and someone else takes over who is able to handle that emotion. Kristy is one of those parts who can handle anger. She has red hair and green eyes and is an age slider from 17 to 19 years old. I guess in the mind of the child who created her, redheads are allowed to have tempers and feel anger. Typical, due to the stereotype of redheads, huh? Still, even Kristy has her limit on the whole anger thing. When the anger gets to be too much, Kristy switches inside and her twin K comes out. She can express much stronger anger than Kristy feels ok with. Then, even K has her limits and if it does cross into rage, then RAGE comes out.
You may notice in my blog entries about tough topics that there is an emotional distancing in my writing. This is because we naturally distance from unsafe emotions. It’s our natural defense mechanism, I suppose. The whole emotion thing connected to a trauma will also have to come in layers for us. It is yet another piece of our healing puzzle.
Posted in Alters, Dealing with Painful Memories, DID Coping, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Emotions, Switching Characteristics
Tagged abuse, alters, anger, DID, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, emotions, memories, switching, switching characteristics