Female Abusers

Please be aware the content of this blog may cause distress to some as it contains sensitive information. Please exercise self care.

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Sometimes words we utter strike a chord deep down, it’s as if they go straight to the core of our being. The other day words describing the situation in my childhood were uttered, they have continued to resonate in my mind over these last few days. It’s hard when the past leaves such a legacy and yet it’s time that past was shattered, the strength it holds over me broken.

I had been talking about how I had been betrayed by the person who is my biological female parent, it was through tears that I talked of her failings and the reality of that time. I found myself asking questions, did she always hate me, did she ever love me, what was it I did wrong, but invariably it led to the one big question WHY? WHY Me?

I know I can’t explain it in any other way than to say that she was not a very nice person, in fact if truth be known she was never going to love me, never going to care for me and even before I was born these things were decided. She was unable to love, unable to care and unable to see me as anything more than an object such was the evilness within her.

Yet she gave birth to me and many would say that my mis-fortune was that I was born to this woman in these circumstances. But I also know that without her body I wouldn’t be here, my children wouldn’t be here, so it is strangely mixed feelings that I sometimes feel. I think once I use to love her and once I desperately sought her loving me back but then things changed and I began to realise just how much this woman hated me. I began to realise how she saw me, not as a child, not as a human being but instead as an object and a commodity.

I hate the very fact she felt she could treat me the way she did, I still cannot comprehend how any woman would behave in the way she did. Yet society has fuelled this disbelief for few people imagine a woman could harm her child in this way. My female biological parent was just a body that carried me into this world, she was never a mother, she never cared for me and she wasn’t able to show me mercy or care. The dysfunctional beliefs she held were nothing short of perverse and evil and she held views many people including myself will never fully understand, views that were skewed and utterly wrong.

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This woman like many other women was an abuser, she didn’t show love or affection she showed abuse, anger, rage, hatred, you name it she showed it. This woman who once carried me didn’t seem to have any maternal instinct, she didn’t see a new born baby she saw one thing an object she hated and one she could use and use to good effect. Growing up I wasn’t her child, I was her possession, I was controlled and owned by this woman and I had absolutely no rights, no choice and I wasn’t allowed such things as free will or opinions. I sat the other night and thought of her and how she would bark out orders to me and my older half siblings. If she said jump people would ask how high, if she said go – you went.

Yet to the outside world this woman was seen in my guises, and to the professionals involved in my childhood, the teachers, the doctors, the social workers and the psychologists she was one of two things. The poor woman struggling to cope with this difficult child and living in difficult circumstances or the problem that no one knew what to do with. She was able to convince many with her lies that she was the victim, she was unwell and yet she was doing her best, it wasn’t her fault I had yet another bruise, or another injury of some kind and my behaviours or symptoms had nothing to do with her. Some people fell for her lies and I was too afraid to correct them instead I just stayed silent and nodded my head, I didn’t tell them she abused me, who would have believed me if I had?

But some professionals saw through her lies and yet they still failed to protect me, they left me living in an intolerable situation and basically ignored what was going on in front of their very eyes. They saw things, they knew she was the cause of my extreme nervousness, anxiety, tension, stomach cramps, physical injuries, emotional scars and a mountain of other things too, but they didn’t step in and help me. Instead they left me living in this nightmare and they doped me up on medication to make it more bearable ‘for this poor unfortunate child’ these are the words they used to describe me in medical letters and reports.

This woman was at the time untouchable it seemed and I grew up knowing that this horror was my life and there was no escape, well except to dissociate which is what I did on many occasions. This woman wasn’t my only abuser but she was the key to it all, she was the person who controlled the access other people had to me and she benefitted from others abusing me.

There are words that I keep hearing in my head currently that seem to just not want to let me go, that resonate inside me and tear at my heart. Words that basically sum up how this woman saw me, treated me and felt about me. Those words are ‘my mother prostituted me’. I don’t know if people today will believe me or not, to be honest I don’t care what others think, I know the truth and the truth needs to be set free.

I need to be set free from the past and that past is worse than most peoples worst nightmare, I so desperately wish it wasn’t but I can’t change what happened, or the things done to me. I cannot change how she hated me or how she viewed me it’s too late to change who she was. This was my reality it doesn’t have to be the legacy I take forward, I can choose my future and the hold she has over me. I can break free from the fear I once held, the fear of a woman who despised me, who hated me and who basically throughout my childhood sold me to whoever was willing to pay.

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I’m currently struggling to come to terms with the starkness of the reality, I am slowly realising that all I was worth to my mother was the price people were willing to pay. It’s hard to come to terms with the pain this truth holds, even though I know it’s true beyond doubt, it hurts. It is like someone is stabbing at my heart and trying to tear it to shreds, it’s an all-consuming pain that’s how much it hurts.

All I ever wanted as a child was to be loved, accepted and cared for, I got that from my father but not my mother. That isn’t my fault the blame for this lies with her not me the child who was robbed of her innocence. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact I am not to blame, but it’s not an easy road to journey along.

However unpalatable it maybe to society, females do abuse, they physically, psychologically and sexually abuse children. Female offenders are not uncommon yet somehow society seems less willing to accept this truth, it’s time attitudes changed so victims like me have a fighting chance of getting help and support to break free from the women who hurt them. It’s time we realised mothers can be the perpetrators of abuse.

Copyright DID Dispatches 2014

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Healing Hurts!

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They say that time is a healer, and maybe just maybe that will prove to be true, but I have realised this week that sometimes that to heal from the past means hurting too. For years now I have been plagued with memories and flashbacks from my childhood and I’ve spent decades blocking out the past. Whilst my mind is allowing me to slowly break down this amnesic wall I erected as a child it also means confronting the emotions I have blocked out.

As a child I dissociated when things were too overwhelming, it was my sane reaction to the insane circumstances that were my life. But I also switched off my feelings of that time too, they weren’t forgotten but stored away deep inside far enough away that I could cope with the nightmare that was my reality.

It’s hard to face the past, it’s hard to process the painful memories that I can no longer deny, that I can no longer block out. Because to face the past, to process the trauma I need to feel the emotions of the past, that means dealing today with the anguish I should have faced as a child but wasn’t able to.

Today I have spent the majority of time feeling awful, feeling such turmoil and anguish because I am dealing with the feelings that I carry from an event that happened some 34 years ago. 34 years ago the trauma that happened I couldn’t cope with so I dissociated, I disappeared and another part of me took the trauma, the pain and the memory. 34 years ago that part of me dealt with the horror but I didn’t and I have never faced up to the horror of that incident. In fact it’s only in recent years I have been aware of the whole incident, of what happened to me as a child. I was a vulnerable child who couldn’t prevent what happened to her, who sadly was abused by someone far older, far stronger and intent on hurting me.

Over the past years I have been plagued by the recurring flashbacks of that time, it’s one of many incidents from my chaotic childhood. Those flashbacks render me frozen in terror, it has felt at times like it’s all happening to me all over again. The first time I had the flashback it felt like I was being raped by this particular man for the very first time. I had no memory of the event at the start, another part of me held that memory. As the flashbacks came and went I would struggle to accept, to believe and I felt shame and guilt on a scale you never think humanly possible. I have felt guilty and I felt angry too, but not at him, but at me for not stopping it.

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I’ve learnt recently that in order to prevent these memories, this flashback from gripping me in fear every time I relive the nightmare that I need to process my emotions from the past. That means today I have grieved, I’ve cried, I’ve screamed and shouted just as perhaps I ought to have done 34 years ago. I am processing my feelings from this time, I’m slowly learning that it wasn’t my fault, there was nothing I could have done to prevent it happening to me. I’m feeling the emptiness and sorrow that comes I guess from knowing I was violated, I was abused. I’m grieving for what I never had, I only ever wanted to be safe, to be like all the other kids in my class. I wasn’t after an idyllic childhood but one where I was safe, loved and respected.

At times today I have just wanted to hide, to bounce off into the wilderness and never return, today I have wanted to escape this pain and I have had thoughts of self harming. Harming in order to express the pain I feel inside in an outward way, because at points today that internal pain has overwhelmed me. Yet I so desperately do not want to resort back to old habits, I know I am stronger than that even when it all feels too much to bear.

I’m also coming to terms with the fact this happened to me, I can’t deny the truth anymore nor can I pretend it was an alter he abused, because my alters are still parts of me. 34 years ago I should have felt bereft instead I feel like that tonight, 34 years ago I should have felt anguish and in turmoil instead I have felt like that today. Yet all the while I know this isn’t a current threat or risk, I am processing a memory from the past.

My psychologist tells me that over time I will lessen the hold these memories have on me, that time will heal. Other survivors tell me that too and their words of support and understanding have been a lifeline today, knowing others comprehend these feelings I have really does help. Healing hurts I can’t deny that fact, it simply does and I need to slowly learn to accept that. In time I can only hope that I will process enough of the past to stop it having the hold over me it currently does. In time I can only hope that I will gain strength and move forwards on this journey that I find myself currently on.

I’ve spent a lifetime blocking out the horrors of my past, I’m not prepared to let it destroy me anymore, I’m not prepared to let it rule me or my life. I want the future I deserve, to be able to fulfil my potential in life, I don’t, I won’t let the legacy of my past control me, control my future. That’s something I can achieve,  to have control of the future.

Someone posted today on social media that ‘ there is healing in tears and strength In facing anger, there is so much hope no matter how confusing or chaotic it maybe right now’.  I can only hope that I find my tears healing, for I know I deserve a future, a chance at life beyond the memories, beyond the legacy of my past.

Copyright DID Dispatches 2014

Blaming Myself For The Abuse I Endured

Please note some people may find the content of this blog difficult, please exercise self care.

Therapy has given me many different experiences so far, this week I’ve encountered a whole new approach to dealing with the trauma that plagues my mind. I spent time not going into the fine detail of an event but instead processed the emotions that lie behind the flashbacks which disrupt my nights. Whenever I have begun working on these traumatic events before previous therapists have appeared intent on digging and digging into the inner recesses of my mind wanting to know everything about an event. Thus when my current psychologist discussed trauma work I’ve been very nervous and very apprehensive. However time has led me to feel able to take that leap of faith and move along this journey of recovery by stepping into trauma work. I was assured that I would be in a safe environment inside the therapy room and that this was the place to finally be me, to feel and to process the past.

My first encounter at trauma work this week with my current psychologist did feel safe and contained, I felt able to express myself and my feelings honestly. Most of all though I didn’t need to go into the inner depths of regurgitating the memory instead I was able to think about my feelings and my emotions, what a difference such an approach made. Don’t get me wrong we did discuss the memory but only in so far as I felt able and was needed, I didn’t need to recount every single moment of the incident, much to my relief. By the end of the session I wondered why I had been so apprehensive as this approach felt right, it seemed much more contained and far less chaotic than previous experiences.

Today looking back and beginning the work I need to carry on doing of getting to know that part of me who endured this particular nightmare, I can see some key issues that stand out. One of those is my feelings towards that alter as sadly I felt angry at her, I blamed her for not stopping the incident. Yes there is anger at the people involved who caused me such pain and anguish, who betrayed me and belittled me but I also blamed her. It’s hard to realise I blamed a part of me for something they had absolutely no control over, I’m not excusing myself but I am aware I grew up with negative comments that apportioned blame upon me. I lived in an environment where everything that ever went wrong was my fault and my many abusers gave constant reminders to me that the abuse was all I was good for.

But my blaming her is so not helpful to me, because she is a part of me and so I was blaming myself for the incident. I was taking responsibility for the acts of others who were far stronger and far older than I was, people who many would regard has having a duty of care towards me. I’m slowly realising the reality of that time and that when she stopped fighting she was making an intolerable decision to take the abuse in order to protect my life. I’m not sure if today I’d be courageous enough to make such a brave decision to take their punishment, their depraved acts of abuse because to carry on fighting you know would most likely cost you your my life. It’s really a difficult decision for anyone, but even more so for a young teenager who hated the consequences of no longer fighting this particular abuser.

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I’m also aware that this abuser was both determined and dangerous, I believe he would truly have carried on hurting me physically, he wouldn’t have stopped until I stopped fighting back. If I’m honest I think I realise now his actions may well have ended my life such was his rage, if I’d fought on, so this parts bravery and her decisions saved me. The sad thing is that I have sensed time and again with each flashback of this incident the absolute terror she felt at that point, when she had to chose. It’s a terror I cannot explain fully in words, but one I wouldn’t wish on any living creature. The other night I sat frozen in this terror unable to even move from my sofa where I’d been sleeping, I knew I was in my house I knew this was a memory of a time long ago and yet the terror I felt gripped me like a vice.

For too long I’ve blamed her, blamed me and that as to change, I can’t keep doing this it’s not right or fair. Instead I need to nurture this part of me, reassure them and offer comfort, I need to give them the love and care they so rightly deserved as a teenager. This maybe the first time this part of me has ever experienced such love and care and so I need to ensure I do this right. I also need to try hard to communicate with her and build a rapport, find out how this part of me feels. But I need to do this slowly and not rush things, I need to be careful and take care of all of me at this time.

This part of me has feelings too and I sensed those this morning for the first time. I know the terror of that incident is the key here, it’s more significant than the abuse itself and I truly think she hated that terror. She has been able to allow me access to that terror as if to show me the reason why she stopped fighting to prevent the abuse. She wanted me to know why, to know she wasn’t to blame and I’m thankful that I now know the truth. I realise that this part of me hated the feelings of helplessness and of knowing there was no way out, I also believe she felt as if she’d failed. Failed when she knew she couldn’t get free that she couldn’t stop what was happening. Today feelings of being belittled, misunderstood and of not having a voice are all issues I struggle with and I’m sure these stem from this particular time as a young teen. They are a legacy of the past and so often my encounters with health, institutions and professionals have evoked the same feelings this part of me feared and hated.

I know there is still more work to be done to really process this incident, to deal with all the feelings and emotions that stem from it. I don’t doubt I will need to talk this over in other sessions, for I realise I still need to unpack the feelings, the pain, the anguish and the grief of this particular time. In the meantime this week I’m going to do lots of looking after me, giving time and space to deal with my feelings and this parts feelings. Trauma work is going to be a learning process, it’s most definitely going to hurt at times and it won’t always be an easy road but I’m certain I am strong enough to come through this. I survived the actual abuse and I will survive the trauma phase of therapy, one day I’ll look back on this time and realise how far all of me have come thanks to the help of a patient and dedicated psychologist. One day I will no longer be plagued by flashbacks, or memories that occupy my every waking moment, one day I will truly be able to say I was abused but now I’m a survivor.

Copyright DID Dispatches 2014

Challenging Times and Flashbacks

This week I feel like it’s been a week of recognising the many things I have to do to deal with in order to live life as a person with dissociative Identity Disorder and a survivor of child abuse. I attended a meeting on Thursday organised by the survivors trust and NHS England and in order to be there I had to juggle time with the other parts of me. So two days have been spent giving time to my little parts in order to allow me the time I’ve needed.

Having Dissociative Identity Disorder has meant learning to be the master of time, ensuring I work in collaboration with all the alters; the different parts of me. It’s hard to explain that to people who don’t have D.I.D, it’s hard to explain how much all that juggling and organising tires one out. More than that it’s hard to explain why I can’t do a particular task today because it’s cartoon day for the little parts of me, or art for my teen. People just don’t understand if I’m truly honest and I’m not sure how I can help them.

Juggling is just one of the many skills I’m learning, but then again there are so many I need to learn in order to live with being fragmented. There are many developmental skills I wish I had, yet sadly don’t, for instant I find it hard to deal with stress and certain words spiral me back into a nightmare time. I find it hard if people don’t respond to my messages as I suddenly thing they don’t like me, or worse still I’ve done something wrong. I lack confidence in some ways and yet other parts of me have the ability to engage with others it must confuse people. I find it hard to have self belief and my self esteem is still low and yes I’m still inpatient and self critical.

I wonder sometimes will these things ever change, but I think it helps to believe there is at least the potential for change. I hope as I progress through therapy things will fit better together, skills I once lacked will appear and things I find difficult will suddenly get easier. There has to be hope for without it the daily challenge to carry on working at things would be much harder.

I have found this week that I’ve resorted to sleeping downstairs once again, it’s a mixture of fear and irrationality that have caused this. Sadly it’s crept up on me and a situation that once used to be the norm a couple of years ago is again now the only way to sleep. When I first came out of hospital I could only sleep downstairs so that’s what I did for a couple of years. Then eventually I made it upstairs and so it remained until about ten days ago.

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Initially I came downstairs as a result of a need to spring clean my room, it was meant to be a couple of nights sadly it’s become a fixture of life. On one of the nights I had a flashback, I coped really well I think despite being catapulted back in time in an instant. I worked at telling myself it was just a memory and not happening today and I reassured the parts inside that we were safe.

Safe however isn’t enough for me somehow, you see the memory links to another one I had a few years ago I know then I blocked it out, after a meltdown crisis and feelings of absolute terror. Today I’m not blocking it out, today I know its my memory, today I’m aware and able to accept I think this happened to me. Yet the fear of that time still has a grip on me, a grip on me that seems to have it’s claws well and truly fixed in me.

But the reason I’m still sleeping on my sofa well the original incident took place in a bedroom, not mine but a bedroom all the same. The thought of being in a bedroom is just one step too far right now, I can deal with this better sleeping in the lounge sleeping on my sofa. I want to deal with it you see I want so much the horror of that time to be finally unable to hold a grip on me, to no longer send me into a spin. I know it’s a part of me that holds this memory but the reality is it’s my memory they hold, this thing happened to me.

Whilst I know it’s not quite the right time to process this trauma, I also know I can’t just block it out either I need to at least acknowledge that time. You see it’s hard to face the feelings of pain and terror not because I’m frightened it is happening in today’s world but mainly because of the emotions that are contained within it. I am just not confident I can always deal that well with this memory and I really don’t want to distress the part of me who holds it or have too many disrupted nights. So I’m currently going to stay sleeping downstairs on the sofa until I’m ready to process this in therapy and I don’t think that time is too far away.

I tweeted earlier this week that life with Dissociative Identity Disorder is challenging and I truly belief that. But I also know I’m far more stronger than I used to be and that’s the result of good stabilisation work in therapy. Being stronger helps but it doesn’t make the challenge disappear that is something I have to face one step at a time, one day at a time.

Copyright DID Dispatches 2014

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Things I Wish I’d Said In My Therapy Session

Trigger warning: This blog may be difficult for some people, please exercise self care.

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Feeling Not Good Enough

When I was a child there was one phrase that seemed to sum up my days, it was a phrase that seemed to be said by so many different people. This phrase was said in so many different ways but it amounted to the fact that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough to be a daughter, to be anything other than an object for others to hurt and abuse and even then I wasn’t good enough at that.

This phrase really summed up my childhood and it was how I learnt to feel about myself, that somehow I was a failure at everything. That everything that went wrong in my life was my fault and that I deserved all the things that happened to me because I wasn’t good enough. If I sit in the still quiet now I can hear my mothers voice uttering those words, I can hear the countless friends she had who hurt me uttering those words and it still hurts.

This week I have felt yet again that I wasn’t good enough, I have no proof of this fact but it’s how I felt all the same. I feel an outsider in my community sometimes, it’s nothing anyone has done it’s just how I feel. I mean I am the one person I know of in my village who has Dissociative Identity Disorder and I am sure some people think that this means I have 3 heads. Maybe I’m vulnerable to feeling like this, but I am a relative newbie in my village and it’s a typical rural place where most people seem to know one another and I don’t know very many people.

Since I began this journey of hospital admissions, labels and diagnoses I have lost much of my social circle of friends, work colleagues etc, I have some friends but I no longer have the number I used to. I lost my job following my first psychiatric admission and so went my friends at work, I am no longer part of a couple so lost friends there also. Now I find myself feeling a misfit sometimes and thats how it was this weekend, I felt isolated and vulnerable. In truth I felt not good enough once again and that hurts, it probably hurts more than I can explain in writing this blog.

So I went to my psychology session a couple of days ago and found myself in tears explaining yet again that I hate D.I.D. and I hate me. It’s strange to suddenly realise with passion and feeling that you mean what you are saying, that you actually hate who you are. The reality is that I hate the fact I was abused, I hate the fact people said it was all I was fit for and that even then I wasn’t good enough. I hate the fact I feel I was a failure as a parent, as a wife, as a daughter and as a human being but I can’t help those feelings, feelings which consume me and I can’t seem to shake off.

My psychologist was telling me not to compare myself with others, which I can do in my desire to be normal, to be accepted, yet it’s not so easy to stop. I do know that he is right of course, that the only person I can honestly compare myself to is me. Though in all honesty it felt a bit like one of those sessions where I so wanted to say something but did everything possible to avoid saying it, I can have them every now and then. But unlike most sessions I have, I left this one and sobbed a far bit of the journey home; even though I’d settled in my head at least that I was ok before the session ended. In my heart I now realise I wasn’t ok and I actually had so much else I should have said but didn’t.

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I so wanted to let out those feelings of anger and hurt that I carry, to finally let out the feelings I have kept locked deep inside for too long. But of course I didn’t, I mean how can I when all I have ever been told is that being angry isn’t good. If I was ever angry or answered back as a child, there were serious consequences, consequences that hurt and left me mentally more in fear. In hospital people don’t like you being angry either and expressing any kind of emotion well that was a no no, I used to suffer sanctions if the staff ever felt I was angry. Sanctions that deprived even more of my liberty and took away any rights I had, I’ve lost my right to live with my sons because people thought I was angry. Because people thought I had no right to be cross or annoyed, to feel the feelings I have and rightly hold.

Yet now I’m meant to feel and apparently it’s ok to express myself that’s what I’m told, but somehow I can’t do it. I can’t risk showing all the hurt and yes the anger I hold because I don’t know if I can stop it once I open the flood gates. I am angry, angry that I was failed by a society that left me in a home that they knew was unstable, in the care of someone they had labeled as pathogenic. People knew I was being abused, neglected, traumatised and they did nothing more than prescribe me an 11 year old child with Valium to help me cope with the difficult circumstances of my life.

I’m angry at her and her friends for all the things they inflicted upon me, for treating me worse than a piece of garbage. For all the physical, emotional and other types of abuse they inflicted upon me. I’m angry because I live each and every day with the damage that all caused, I live with my D.I.D and with the emotional scars that come from being a victim of abuse.

Yet now I can’t let out that anger, or the rawness of the emotions I feel because of fear, fear that I won’t be understood, that I’ll be deemed a risk. Fear that I will explode and not be able to contain or control the immense feelings that I have. Yes I feel not good enough to fit in anywhere because I am different, I am unlike anyone else I know. I am the child who was used, hurt and defiled, a child who was constantly criticised and belittled and a child who desperately wanted to be simply good enough to be loved by the person who gave birth to her. But most of all I am different because I am this person who hates herself and yet has tried to hide that fact for so long.

I know other victims have suffered too and many who make this journey won’t see light at the end of it, they are worse off than me, but my feelings of hurt are real and I was messed up and failed. Failed not just at the time of the abuse, but in each and every opportunity that was missed to stop the nightmare I lived.

No matter how many times I am told how far I’ve come it doesn’t help, because no one knows the anguish I feel, no one knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with emotions and unable to show them. Yes I have every reason and right to be angry, I just can’t let that anger out now and it is eating me from the inside and yet I’m still to frightened to bare my soul and show those who want to help me now the true feelings I hold. I missed out on the opportunity in my psychology session to let it out, maybe one day I might be able to, maybe one day I’ll feel good enough, I guess only time will tell.

Copyright DID Dispatches 2014

 

 

 

I wish I didn’t have Dissociative Identity Disorder

 

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Hating my past

There are times when I just wish I didn’t have Dissociative Identity Disorder, that I was just a ‘normal’ average person who wasn’t as fragmented as I am. So there are times when I try desperately to be your average well adjusted functioning person, someone who in my own case is able to do everything and anything. Sadly of course that isn’t the case I am someone who is fragmented, who has alters; the different parts of me, and who has a past.

A past that I know I so wish I didn’t hold, a past that I wish more than anything wasn’t true, but a past that I can’t change. I wasn’t the average girl next door growing up, I was the child suffering in silence, the child who was being abused.

That’s the hardest part I believe of having this thing called Dissociative Identity Disorder is my past, the reasons why I have D.I.D. For me at least it’s the coming to terms with the reasons why I dissociated in the first place that’s the hardest thing, why I now am fragmented and why I live in this chaos of triggers, switching and losing time.

Whenever I visit my birth place I am always somehow more aware of the past, I can’t help thinking of times when I was hurt and abused as we pass by places. The fear of seeing certain people is always there as is the harsh reality that this place holds many triggers for me. The accents of people and the little things that for many wouldn’t be significant suddenly seem so very important to me.

I visit because I want to and I have friends and family still there, but I also have a mass of memories which I so wish were not mine. Those memories of a past that I would rather not own and I’d rather hadn’t happened at all. The reality is of course I can’t change my past, and I can’t change the fact I have Dissociative Identity Disorder either.

I face this difficulty in two very different geographical locations because I spent part of my childhood in two counties. I moved approximately once every year, well I know I lived in at least different 15 houses by the time I was 17. I went to so many schools that I lost count of the number of teachers I encountered, but I know it was far more than your average child.

The fact my past is full of chaotic memories, moving and removing, anger, abuse and control meant that I dissociated, I dissociated to survive I guess, I doubt that I would have survived without dissociating. So I have a lot to be thankful for, in that dissociation probably saved my life and allows me to be here today the mum of three children who is determined to put my past behind me.

Yet dissociating so much to avoid the pain and the hurt is the very reason I now live with this disorder, it’s the very reason I live in chaos at times and it’s the very reason I have my alters. Now I don’t hate or dislike my alters how can I, they are parts of me fragmented as a result of my past trauma. I just hate having to live with Dissociative Identity Disorder and in turn having to accept ownership of my past.

The truth is it’s my past I hate the most, it’s my past that I so wish I could just walk away from but I know I can’t. I was talking about my past in my therapy session and doing as all victims do I’m sure that thing of self condemnation, I was angry at myself for not stopping it, for not telling, for not somehow being different, for not making my past better. Now normally when I see therapists or doctors they do that thing of telling me it wasn’t my fault and I brow beat them with my skewed logic, the logic that for years as allowed me to take this anger and hatred of my past out on me.

My skewed logic has been that given I was told by many abusers it was my fault and there were plenty of them, they can’t all be wrong. One of me, lots of them and so they must be right it was my fault. But my psychologist asked me questions back and for the very first time he didn’t accept my skewed logic he challenged it, not just with ‘your wrong’ but in a way that got me to think. Now he’s very good at analogies, and he uses them every now and again and that’s what he did in this case. His analogy made me think and I realised that I couldn’t deny that maybe my logic was skewed.

 
So now I guess I have to start living with acceptance, acceptance my logic was skewed and therefore I have a right to apportion anger and blame in the right direction. My past wasn’t my fault and the fact I have Dissociative identity Disorder isn’t my fault either, I don’t have to like my past or the fact I have D.I.D but that doesn’t mean I can’t like me. I can and need to learn to admit to people when I’m struggling and I’m not quite your average normal person and it’s ok not to be superwoman, to not be able to do everything.

Most of all I think I am learning that it’s ok to hate my past, but that I need to accept it as mine in order to move forward. I’m learning too that my self condemnation is flawed, I couldn’t have changed any of my past. I guess I’m learning it wasn’t my fault, the abuse wasn’t my fault.

Copyright DID Dispatches 2014

 

‘Dear Mother’ – a daughters hurt and anguish

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This blog post may be difficult to read please exercise self care at this time.

This blog post is written to someone who will not read it, it is a heartfelt letter to the person who caused me so much pain. This outpouring of feelings is I believe a necessary part of my moving forwards, in this time of grieve and hurt as I come to terms with the past. As a victim I was robbed of so much and slowly realising just how much, is both hard and gut wrenchingly painful. This letter to the person who in life was known as my mother is my way of processing some of that pain.

 

Dear Mother

I’m unsure if you deserve that title anymore you never earned it, in truth I can think of a million other names I’d like to use but none of them are polite.

You see you never seemed to realise the damage that you did to me, the pain and scars you left behind or the suffering you inflicted. You didn’t comprehend just how each moment of my childhood was robbed by you and the damage has lasted all of my life. Not only did you take away my innocence, you and the people you allowed to hurt me destroyed my very being.

I never realised until this week just how much damage you did to me, I knew you’d hurt me, abused me, but well what you did was more than that. You took away my self believe, destroyed my right to have fun, even ruined my ability to enjoy simple pleasures and you left me fragmented and scared physically and emotionally.

You twisted my thinking patterns to such an extent that even today I can’t stop those automatic negative thought processes and I probably never will. You made me feel worthless and you left me wanting to die, such was my pain and anguish. The sad fact is I still feel judged and there are times when I feel nothing more than worthless, someone who is only fit to be used, hurt, betrayed and abused.

I guess I will always feel like the commodity I was to you, I still see the things I was worth to you when I close my eyes some nights, do you remember that Hoover, the washing matching, even the cash your friends gave you in return for time with me. I wake up at night sometimes, sweating and in terror as if it’s all happening again and yet I know it’s 2014 and these things are in the past yet they feel very real to me in that moment.

Do you really comprehend the feelings I hold, the lack of self worth I hold, I am always putting myself down just like you did to me on a daily basis. It’s as if I’m doing your work for you now, I’m the one who inflicts pain when I self harm, the one who punishes myself for mistakes and the one who starves herself because I don’t feel worthy to eat.

The damage you and your friends did wasn’t just skin deep, it didn’t just last that few moments of an incident, it’s lasted nearly half a century and I didn’t deserve that, I didn’t deserve any of these things. I wanted a childhood like everyone else, I wanted a mum who loved me and didn’t hate me and I wanted to laugh and play, to have fun. I wanted to feel safe and secure and I desperately wanted stability in my life but you didn’t give that to me.

Instead you betrayed me, sold me and abused me, you hurt me in every way you could and you left me bruised and emotionally scarred. I didn’t have a childhood to draw on when I raised my children and so I wasn’t the best mum in the world but I tried and they learnt to laugh and play, to feel loved and accepted, they were secure and safe. It wasn’t easy and we were blessed with help from others to fill in the gaps were I fell down, people who played with them instinctively, who took then on a beach and paddling. People who I am Indebted to for giving my children the things I couldn’t give them, because of what you did to me.

The hard things I’m facing aren’t just the memories or the hurt it’s the basic rudiments of life like how to have fun and accept that I can enjoy myself, that it’s allowed. It’s the constant challenge of refuting my own self critical comments, telling myself I have a worth and I am good. You see I’m trying to learn that I’m not silly or stupid or a thousand other things I label myself on a daily basis.

It’s the reality of what I have lost out on, missed out on, I paddled this week at the seaside and it’s the first time and I’m over 48, I should have done that as a child not now. I did it with a smile and laughing, it felt odd but boy was is good too. Yet it hurt also because I have avoided ever doing it with my children, I didn’t think I was allowed….that is your doing! You made me this person who can’t have fun, can’t participate in fun, doesn’t feel worthy of fun, who finds play and larking about strangely odd and awkward.

I’ve been making a list of the things you robbed from me in the hope I can at least do it now, things like having a picnic sat on the grass, throwing a frisbee, paddling a bit more, playing in the sea, going crabbing, and making snow angels. I hope that in time I can achieve all of these and so much more, but right now I’m hurting and I guess I’m grieving for what I’ve lost.

If I’m honest life feels so unfair and it hurts so much, I want to heal and move forward but progress is going to hurt and that seems so damn unfair too. I am angry that I missed out on so much and I’m angry that you screwed my head up so much. I’m angry because I just wanted a mum and instead I got you and you didn’t deserve to be a mum.

I’m angry with myself too, that I allowed you to ruin so much of my life and I’m angry that when you were still alive I just wrote to you and I didn’t have the guts to knock on your door, face you and demand answers. I know I told you what I thought and felt about you in my letter but I had so much more I could and wanted to say, I had so many questions the biggest being Why?
Why did you hate me, do this to me, what did I do wrong, why did you betray me and rob me of my innocence, my childhood and damage all these years since.

I know it’s too late for answers, and I know that this week I have had to stop myself from getting too angry with you. If you were still here and alive I know I’d have hit you, and you would have deserved it. I have had thoughts of standing in a very public place and shouting your name and saying what you were like, reading out a list of charges and declaring you guilty. But I know that would not solve anything and it wouldn’t help me move forwards either.

So instead you get this letter in my blog which you won’t ever read, but I feel better for writing. Yes I’m crying and I have right to cry and to grieve for all that happened, for all that I was robbed of, and for all that I have lost out on. I have a right to hurt and I have a right to have a future too, it may take me some time but one day I will leave my past behind and I will be the person who you tried so desperately to prevent me from being. Someone who laughs, has fun, self belief and self worth, someone who can achieve so much more in this life and who one day will look back and see just how far they have come.

Carol