*I am coming back retroactively to add a trigger warning because I’m going to introduce my alters which will include why they exist. I will do my best not to be overly-detailed on intimately abused ones ok? This is just to summarize so people know where I’m at. You’ll know what section because there are bullet points.*
It snowed heavily yesterday, those really fat, thick flakes that even though they don’t seem to weigh much individually they weigh a ton when they pile up together.
Is that a metaphor for life? I wasn’t trying to make but there you go.
I’ve been starting all of my recent posts with excuses and disclaimers, I’m not doing that on this on one. It snowed so here I am. My brain is garbage because I’m on Topamax for my multitude of migraines but it works so what are you gonna do?
I’m not here to talk about migraines I’m here to talk about me! Isn’t that spectacular! And so strange. I get to blog about myself and no one can say I’m selfish because, read the not so fine print there fella, this is about my experiences, ha!
Actually this may, as I always hope, be helpful to others. Because my blogging has been so sporadic you guys don’t have a real sequence of events to go off of or a, shall we say “cast of characters” that you’re familiar with to give you so point of reference. Hmmm…let me see what I can do to help that without making overly complex and catch you up quickly…
Ok, summary as easy and quick as I can make it for regular readers and newer ones, oldies but goodies your gonna know some of this but you won’t know the recent stuff:
I have DID and bipolar disorder, I was physically, mentally and emotionally abused by my mother who died about uh 5yrs? ago, my grandmother raised me for about my 1st 6yrs and was awesome she died when I 18, I found her body.
I was sexually abused by my mom’s cousin 30yrs older than me, considered an Uncle and thus called such by me. I only had one memory my whole life of one incident I considered molestation but brief and not that bad considering, but have since realized that is not all that happened.
I had an extraordinary therapist for over a decade who passed away suddenly a few years and I still miss her terribly. I got a new therapist afterwards who did not know DID so my parts all went silent and then I left her (smartest move ever) and now I have a wonderful therapist who all my parts feel safe with and I love her.
My DID terminology: I call my parts either parts or alters and myself either the host, core personality or the real me…something like that. I refer to my entire group of alters as my “system”.
I have what I consider an unknown number of parts because every time I think I know how many there are someone else suprises me. Some of my parts are very vocal and others never speak at all, will not speak and I don’t think they can.
I have parts who have evolved in the sense that they started off one way, with one kind of personality but have since matured and become more complex.
Who are my parts?
- Nicole – she is 17 and she was born the very instant that my core personality could no longer take one more hit from our mother without snapping. We realized that if our mother put her hands on us one more time, just one, we were going to kill her, actually, truthfully kill her. We were going to grab one of the cast iron skillets and bash our mother’s head in. Nicole was born from this moment of ‘Not one more time.’ Nicole was pure anger and rage against our mother and she would be the one to kill her. Ok…I just realized this won’t be quick because my parts deserve however long it takes to introduce them even though some might be brief, so if you don’t like that maybe skip to end because I’m doing this. Nicole has actually evolved the most because even though she’s still 17, she’s not just anger and rage anymore. She’s savvy and smart and she helps me communicate with my other parts when I’m having trouble getting through. She’s a protector. When we go out, she’s the one on alert paying attention to strangers, ready to defend or fight if necessary and she has a snarky sense of humor. She and I speak regularly, everyday. I really like her which is so cool because I was terrified of her when she first manifested in my old therapist’s office. She was the very first alter to come out.
- The Little Girls: I currently count this group of alters as one alter. I don’t feel separate identities but more of a group mind with no particular person in charge. I see at least three girls in my head but there could be more and they’re more about feelings than speaking, not that they lack the ability to speak. They are very important to my system though as far as who they are. Now… I’m going to say this because it’s important that things like this are said and acknowledged and not hidden away but I also know that some readers may get triggered. I’m not going to be detailed, I’m going to make a couple of statements. You can skip to the next bullet point if you want ok? My statements are: perpetrators know precisely how to make a child’s body feel pleasure. This is a fact. This is how they operate and how they confuse their victims. Fact ok? Not our fault. My other statement: these alters are my split off parts that felt pleasure while being abused. I’ve gotten to know them. They are almost purely physical with no thought of anything else. They don’t understand the sadness or fear of anyone else, they’re in their own physical world because that’s where they were born. The issue I had with them was their acting out. When things got stressful they wanted to act out with compulsive sexual behavior (you know what that means) or sometimes they wanted to reenact the abuse. My therapist actually had to sit down and talk to them (they listened through my ears) and explain to them that there were other ways to express what they were feeling without making everyone get re-traumatized by reenacting the abuse over and over. They understood and have behaved a lot better since.
- On the other end of the spectrum is another little girl. She feels great sadness and pain at what happened. She hasn’t spoken verbally in session but she has colored and she cries. She has drawn with crayon certain disturbing scenarios.
- Directly connected to the girl is the alter I currently call “The Presence”. The Presence protects the little when she gets upsets or sometimes prevents access to her at all because it seems she holds memories about what happened. I think the Presence might have memories too because it was created out of a need to seemingly block those. When the little girl got upset in session the Presence manifested and shut it down, almost angrily. Interestingly since then I have visualized that the little girl is trapped in the room at the house with my Uncle, the Presence is with her protecting her but is also trapped because they can’t leave her.
- Hmmm…moving on more quickly. There is an almost mirror teenage alter, she’s 16? But she’s nothing like Nicole. She’s all makeup, nails, boy bands, magazines, light and nothing serious, nothing dark. She isn’t aware of a world that is dark. Her biggest concern is telling me what color our nails should be and getting on me for not taking care of them.
- I have an 8 yr old who was born from all the times our mother left us alone in the house at night while she went out.
- I have several adult “manager” parts who can come in during emergencies to help out.
- And I have recently discovered more parts which kind of catches you up.
Ok that took forever. So, I’ve been have a hard time recently because I’ve been really, really triggered by various news stories and people who look like my abuser and these things happening fairly close together.
I can read abuse stories and react with sincere empathy and sadness but not trauma if the story is not similar to my own. However, if there are similarities to what happened to me it throws me down a steep trail where I can’t get my footing for a while.
I had gotten my footing and then I felt what I described to my therapist as a “cold, dead thing” inside me that needed to work itself out. The way it wanted to work itself out was to engage in continuous compulsive sexual behavior, re-enacting elements of my abuse, even things I’m not consciously aware of (let me add that this time the younger parts would not be acting out or involved at all, this was different).
First, I fight this compulsion in general with all my might, just in my normal life. If I fail my normal reaction is immediate, intense shame, guilt and self-hatred, thoughts of wanting to die and feeling insanely dirty. Every time, even if a month has passed. This time I felt nothing but empty. I felt dead inside which worried me. I’d rather feel bad than feel dead. I didn’t care, I just wanted to repeat, repeat etc. That cold, dead thing needed to continue until it could expel itself. I’ve never felt this before.
I told my therapist and we’re going to keep talking about it. But since I saw her, the dead thing spoke to me! That was…uh…weird. Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing actually dead here, I’m saying that something, I don’t know, maybe an alter? That part spoke to me. I was trying to avoid re-enacting the abuse so I tried redirecting my thoughts to a different sexual path and this time I felt more awake and I felt some guilt. Good! Uhhhh… no? This part did not appreciate that. I was reprimanded and told that I knew what I was supposed to do and I was expected to do it correctly the next time. I was very confused because I didn’t know who was speaking or why or anything.
Can I just say that DID is weird and that everyone can have a unique system and it’s challenging when you keep discovering new alters?
I haven’t even hit on everything that’s happened and I said way more than I was going to and wrote a crazy long post when I intended it to be short. Oh well.