Sunday, January 17, 2010

Phasmatis intus Tribus (Ghost Within the Tribe)

WARNING: This blog is written by a dissociative adult survivor of severe childhood abuse. It is entirely possible that this material may be uncomfortable for some readers. If you have any doubt as to whether this may “trigger” you or make you feel unsafe in any way, please STOP reading and click elsewhere. If, while reading this or at any other time, you find yourself feeling unsafe or contemplating hurting yourself, please IMMEDIATELY contact a crisis line or mental health professional. Please – be safe, and be well.

If you or anyone you know is having a crisis and feeling alone or potentially unsafe, please consider using one of these resources. You'll notice there are organizations around the globe, including LGBT-targeted groups like PFLAG, and groups for survivors of different kinds of violence.

Here's a link to a list of resources.

Please know that I care, and many people in your life care. It's a sign of true strength to reach out if you're hurting; people want to offer their support. You are NOT alone.

Wow.  I knew that dissociative structures, mine included, could be wildly diverse and endlessly interesting.  That being said, I thought I had a handle on what my structure looked like, pretty inclusively.  I would think 18 years (or so) after my initial MPD/DID diagnosis, I should have ~some~ freaking clue.  Well, this week proved that I can still be surprised.  And this latest one is NOT particularly pleasant; at minimum, it's surreal and a bit creepy.  And at worst?  Well, let's not dwell on that.

Within the Tribe, I just learned there is a ghost, a vague translucent version of my younger self, before some of the worst atrocities happened.  Apparently, the endless games of let's-strangle-her-until-she-passes-out-and-then-when-she-wakes-up-we'll-do-it-again took their toll.  As I understand it, one of those times, I died - well, at least that younger, more innocent self did.  Whom I had been prior to these events was left as a ghost, unseen even by me, and certainly not acknowledged by anyone else.

As the repressed memories of the worst atrocities begin to come to light, I am having to remind myself that I (we) have already survived the worst.  Now, it's just processing the emotions and feelings surrounding these horrific events.  Not allowed even to cry at the time, the pain, trauma and grief were all put into a sort of containment.  That's really what dissociation is - containment.  I had to be able to go to school and be the perfect little girl I was expected to be.  If I'd retained knowledge of what happened at night, that would never have been possible.

Until I learned of my diagnosis, lo these many years ago, I had very little recall of my childhood at all.  It's as if I appeared one day, after my step-father was finally gone, and I began to "be" at that point.  Come to think of that's probably pretty accurate, interpreted literally.

Anyway, that's the latest.  There's more to come.  The floodgates have opened, and there is much work to be done as the waters rise.  But I have confidence that, much like the Nile River Delta, there will be fertile ground left when all is said and done, and seeds planted will bloom beautifully, and eventually bear fruit.