Tag Archives: anger

The BASK Model of Dissociation

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. . . .


Emotions & DID

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.

Rejected – a visit to the doctor

Below is a true story of a very bad visit I had to a doctor last Thursday for my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am currently seeking a new doctor who actually cares about his patients more than he cares about going home a little early.


Dealing with the torment of excruciating pain

Fingers no longer move painlessly,

wrists pulsate with pain,

elbow stinging,

shoulder falling apart….

I finally arrive at the place of my salvation!

My hope of comfort to ease my pain….

I enter holding my right arm up to my chest as it hurts too much to leave it dangling to my side….

Then, I meet your cold eyes, hear the icy words

“The doctor won’t see you today.”

WHAT?!? Last time I was here, I waited THIRTY MINUTES PAST my appointment time to see the doctor…

And today because I am TEN minutes late, she won’t SEE ME???

I MISSED WORK today because I HURT so badly that I could NOT do my job and my only hope was seeing the doctor today!

I had to have my husband drive me here today because I can not use my hands and arms to drive!!!

The doctor WON’T SEE ME?!?

Your coworker leans in to help…”You already spoke with Dr. Booth? (Yes). Well, then, there is nothing we can do.”

We close in 10 minutes,” you say in the icy demonic voice, icicles forming on your breath…. “We can have Sean call you…” (Sean is the nurse.)

Well, yeah Sean will HAVE to call me because I DON’T know what to do!

I don’t know what medicine to take….the meds I am taking right now surely aren’t working!!!

I look at you all……

pleading with my eyes……

my limp arm in my hand…..

but you all just look back with your icy stares and cold hearts.

You all just want to go home, I realize……

You don’t give a damn about me…….

I turn with a start and tell my husband we are going and

run out the door….

May all of the patients that your cold hearts have caused to

commit suicide…..

due to their pain and your lack of empathy.

may their blood rest and stay on your hands never to be washed


May it burn into your souls and you feel it with every breath to

your dying day and into eternity.