The unbearable shame of sexual trauma work

I feel like dying today. One of my younger parts went to therapy and talked about how bad they are because they wanted to have sex with other kids when they were little.

This younger part talked of wanting sex to fit in with the other kids who were having sex, and wanting it because it felt good. It is so intolerable just to type this.

The shame is so deep, and is ricocheting through my body from part to part. I actually feel nauseous when I am not feeling like killing myself or cutting.

Though it is not sexual abuse in the way that someone forced us, the Therapist says it is abuse because adults introduced us to this sex as a child and condoned/expected the children in our community to engage in it.

I am so humiliated to have this as part of my foundation as a person.

I mean, we are not talking about occasional sex between children, this was more like everyday sex. It was so normalized.

When I was 6, my mom and another mom in the community had a marriage ceremony where I married the boy from across the street. From that day until I was 10, I had sex on an almost daily basis with this boy. At his house, his mom would come in the room while we were having sex to put away his laundry.

The shame runs so deep when I think about her coming in the room while we were having sex. I can’t even pretend they didn’t know.

I feel like such a whore. How else can I be expected to feel. My only value as a child was to have sex. No one had any other interest in me for any other reason.

The Therapist says I shouldn’t feel like this because it was my parents’ fault. But, she does not understand that I share DNA and blood with them. We are one, no matter how hard I try to disown them.

The violent and humiliating sex that came from my home to the other kids in the community feels as if it is my fault. I don’t know how to explain it, but it was my family and others who did some really bad stuff to other children, and I can’t seem to separate myself from them. This was my life, so it was all I knew.

Often, I try to convince myself this didn’t really happen, but too much of me knows it did, and frequently.

It makes me sick to think of it. It makes me want to die from the shame of it. I am trying to hold on and get through these coming days of misery of accepting the truth and the feelings that go with it.

I don’t understand why God put me in this family. There really aren’t words for understanding any of it. I will try my best to stay grounded in the present so my other insiders don’t act on their suicidal feelings. I want to take a pill and go to sleep for a few days, but I can’t if I want to heal.

I must sit with this unbearable shame.

Frustrated with DID

Frustrating. The best word to use when it comes to the roller coaster of feelings and competencies when it comes to having Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

I just spent a week of feeling really stable and present in my life. This is a big deal for someone with DID because this is not the norm. I have learned a lot of skills recently that have enabled me to feel more present and grounded in my body and in my life.

Usually, I feel like I have one foot in this world, and the other in a world of pain and suffering that comes from my severe childhood abuse history.

When I operate in my norm of being in both worlds at the same time, I am not connected to my present day life in any significant way. I may be present enough to speak to people in present day, but I am not present enough to enjoy and experience present day life.

This disconnection from present day enables the suicidal and isolation thoughts and feelings to take over out of nowhere.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling good, and even acknowledged to myself how awesome it was that I haven’t been experiencing any suicidal thoughts and have been really present and active in my children’s lives. Life was good.

That is, until I went to therapy. In therapy, I have the opportunity to be my true authentic self. Authentic for me is to acknowledge that I have a lot of parts inside me who experience the world differently, and carry lots of emotions that I don’t experience. It makes for a complex way of living.

Within 5 minutes of being in the therapy room, I could feel my healthy, happy self crumbling and slipping away. My underlying feelings from myself and the many parts I share this body with were bubbling up.

Sometimes these crappy feelings pass once I leave therapy, but not this time. This time they hung around all day.

The problem with these feelings is it gets confusing as to whether I am thinking something or whether it is another part of me. You may think “what difference does it make, the thoughts are all coming from the same body.”

Unfortunately, it makes a big difference because my other parts often come up with ideas like rational reasons for why we should commit suicide. Sometimes I am literally listening to these thoughts and think they are mine, and start planning suicide. Fortunately, I usually catch myself before anything serious happens. But it is also terribly scary when I realize I can be confused enough to not be able to separate out my thoughts and those of troubled parts of me.

When I was in my 20s, I was having a rather ordinary day from an emotional standpoint—not upset about anything. I can remember this day as if it was yesterday because it was one of the first times I can remember watching myself when someone else was in control of our shared body. This other part quietly drove us to our home, and proceeded to take a significant overdose of pills, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. After some time passed the pills were working and I was able to call someone for help.

I almost died. I didn’t have any intention in doing that, but it happened. To this day, I still don’t even know why it happened. But, it got my attention as to what could happen if I wasn’t paying close attention to my experience in this body. More hyper vigilance.

We have not attempted suicide since that time, but my “others” inside have become more creative in trying to achieve the goal of suicide. Their technique today is to make it confusing as to whether it is my thoughts or theirs.

It is as if someone has put in a floppy disc to run someone else’s programmed thoughts in my brain. I don’t know if you can imagine how scary that might feel.

So, the roller coaster of being DID and its challenges are the theme of this week. Looking forward to an easier time.

Love to you all.

When your friend commits suicide

As someone who has suffered from suicidal thoughts most of my adult life, I have found myself completely unprepared to deal with one of my best friend’s successful suicide this past week.

My friend caught me completely off-guard with her suicide. I thought she was one of my friends in the “worried well” category, not someone who would actually commit suicide.

I don’t think I have ever had so many emotions boomeranging around in my brain since I found out. To say it has “triggered” me is an understatement.

I went to college with this friend, and it is so significant because both of us really helped each other figure out who we were going to be in life. We debated and explored different ideas about our future identities on a regular basis.

We were so excited about our futures. Anything seemed possible.

At one time we thought she was going to marry a man who would be a stay-at-home dad because she was so career driven in college. That didn’t end up being true at all.

We both came from dysfunctional homes and had the burdens and wounds that come with that to wrestle into our adult identities.

My best friend ended up working full time in a successful career and raising four kids on her own. She loved her kids more than anything, but something went wrong.

She hasn’t been living in the same town as me for a while, so I hadn’t been keeping in good touch with her. Mostly seeing random Facebook posts that made me think her life was okay despite the pressure and depression I am sure she felt ongoing after her marriage failed.

I am so angry at myself for not keeping in better touch with her. Like maybe somehow I could have saved her from whatever demon was eating at her soul.

I am so angry at her for doing this to her kids, though I am scared to know the reason she did this. I am terrified there might be more to her story than I want to know that made her commit suicide.

I can’t wrap my brain around this. I am “the weak one” with mental health problems. Suicide is my thing, not hers.

I have never felt so desperate to bargain with God to turn the clock back so I could have the chance to help her. I just want the chance, but I know it is too late, so I sit in shock and confusion some more.

Why couldn’t she reach out to me. I am right here, and would have been there for her in a second. I am angry at God for not giving me that chance, and I am sad that my friend didn’t reach out to me.

I know suicide intimately. I would like to think I have learned to tame it over the years, and could have led her out of that darkness.

My friend’s suicide has certainly helped me take it off the table for myself as a real option. I am mad that she had to commit suicide in order for me to learn how it feels to the rest of the world when someone does this.

As a mother myself, I can’t even fathom what this has done to her children. My chest hurts thinking about how she could do this to them, especially knowing how much they meant to her. They were supposed to be the kids for her that “broke the cycle” of family dysfunction and abuse, and yet my friend didn’t accomplish that after all.

I would be lying if I didn’t say this terrifies me for myself and my children.

My brain hurts trying to process this and go on with everyday life. I want to take a pill or drink some alcohol to numb myself, but I know that won’t really help. But sitting with these God-awful conflicting, mixed up feelings is like a form of torture.

I am sorry if I can’t think of something clever to say. My brain is barely alive, and my heart is broken. And my friend is dead, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Like my therapist always says, suicide is such a permanent decision. I wonder if my friend really meant it to be so permanent, or if she was just in so much pain she acted out in a fit of overwhelming emotion.

I will never know, and it so hard to sit with the permanency of that knowledge.

I feel so empty, hurt, sad, and angry. I pray to God her children will somehow have

decent lives and not let this ruin them.

Sadly, I know I can’t control this. And the permanency of her death is so final, which both infuriates me and paralyzes me.

Suicide Cloud

When I look to the sky it can seem sunny and blue, and then without me noticing the change, the next time I look up the sky is gray and cloudy. I wonder to myself how long it has been that way and I just didn't notice the change. I am present, and then gone, and then eventually back again and the sky is not the same.

Today, I moved from one Airbnb to another in sunny California. The new home is much nicer. There is more light coming into the unit, it is in a great walkable neighborhood only 10 minutes from the beach, and it actually has a view.

When I arrived here, I felt as though I could breathe better than the last place, as the first place was like living in a box and had one view of a literal concrete wall, and another view of an overcrowded apartment complex. I felt anxious outside that apartment, so the safety of this place in this location has reduced my anxiety some, which is always a plus.

But, just as I wasn't watching the blue sky turn to gray because I was somewhere else in my head, I didn't understand the drastic change in my mood.

I went from happy to suicidal without really knowing why or how it happened. I panicked and started looking for therapists online who meet with people on Saturdays (apparently, that's a common thing here in California). I didn't end up connecting with one, so just did my best to pass the time to put this day behind me.

But for the brief moments when the distraction didn't work, I could imagine myself hanging dead in this new beatific apartment. Or, I would look at all the pills I have with me and realize I have enough to kill myself.

This is my life with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I have no one to turn to. I know better than to call the treatment center I am currently enrolled in Monday-Friday. Even though they have someone on call for after hours, I couldn't bother them or put myself in the position of being too suicidal or just too much for this treatment program also.

Just tough it out my insiders say. Do what you are good at. We don't need anyone. People suck and they just hurt us over and over.

These changes in mood, especially the severity of the changes when I have no idea what is happening is so maddening. Maybe if I stayed more present more of the time this wouldn't happen, or at least I would understand why.

Who am I kidding. Staying present sucks most of the time. I have been missing in action my whole life, so why would I want to change it now.

My life is mostly total shit. Why would anyone want to show up and be present for that?

I realize this attitude doesn't help my recovery journey, but it is authentic for where I am in my life today.

Knifes in your soul

I have come to realize this past year that even though I was for an extended time extremely high functioning and stable, that I am actually among the most severely injured from a childhood filled with abuse and other horrific things.

It is not cool to be in this club of the severely injured because with these injuries comes damage, lots of it. And I have found that the mental health system doesn't like messy, severely damaged people.

I am complicated. The affects of my abuse have left behind a complicated and difficult set of symptoms. As a result, my soul has been repeatedly ripped out this year by people rejecting me or my symptoms or my diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

It seems no one who knows how to treat this disorder and my symptoms in a way that would be effective wants to help me.

Rejection. Rejection. Rejection.

Laughingly, I am not supposed to take it personally, or believe there is anything inherently wrong with me.

I am wished good luck in my future treatment and sent on my way knowing there is no future treatment to be had. I fear I have looked under every stone and have run out of options.

But don't give up. Stay alive. It doesn't matter how miserable your life is. This I am told over and over by those who reject me.

The injuries to my soul have been brutal. Especially since it is over and over. To be rejected your whole life, even by the so-called angels who are supposed to help those of us with these injuries.

It is hard for me not to believe that God is punishing me. I haven't had this kind of knife into my soul so much until this last year. I try to find hope, but then I get the knife in my soul again.

How many knifes to your soul can happen before it is completely dead?

But I am not supposed to give up. I am to keep fighting as if that has ever really gotten me anywhere. Big deal, I'm alive.

I would be better off dead, which is a hard sentiment to swallow knowing I have children I should live for.

It is a double bind. Live in torture or harm my children by leaving them.

Oh, but I am supposed to get better by some miracle that hasn't come for 50 years now……

Giving up?

Lately, I have been struggling more than usual with suicidal thinking, time loss, confusion, severe amnesia, thinking people want me to kill myself, and generally trying to keep my mind in shut-down mode so I don’t become totally hopeless. 

If I do become totally hopeless, I am worried I will do something I don’t want to do to my kids, which would be to kill myself. 

It is such a hard place to be in. On the one hand, I really want to give up and put an end to my life. On the other hand, I want to be there for my children and make sure they are ok.

I know killing myself will mess up my kids, but when your mind gets sicker and sicker, it is hard to stay strongly rational so you can ignore those impulses.

And even though my wife says she supports me and loves me if I go to a psych hospital, the truth is there is only so much a person can take in a relationship, and what am I doing to my kids by being gone and missing so much of their childhood (even when I am here.)

Psych hospitals suck, even the best of them, and there is never any guarantee that they will help at all. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. 

Giving up is so much easier and pleasant sounding at the moment, but then if I can hold on to thinking about my kids it is not an option. Unless I get too sick to hold onto that thought.

I am just whining today. Mental illness sucks. At least I have a comfortable bed and two puppies to keep me company at home. I don’t much need food any more.

Ambivalence. Confusion. Hopelessness.

Life sucks today.

The mistaken survival of the soul-less child

 

681b5a8aa699a740d4474eb363281471I have walked through my entire life a fraud. A nonexistent soul using the mortal body of no one. I am a fraud because from time-to-time, I would use this body to pretend as if I was a normal human being. Though, I always return to my place of nothingness. The place where those without souls return.

As a child I tried my best to be as invisible as possible. I tried being very still and quiet. I do not want to be noticed because I know I do not belong to this world. This world is confusing and cruel and scary. I don’t like it, so I am happy to not really belong to it. Yet, somehow, I got stuck with this mortal body that always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There is no making sense of the life this mortal body was given. The people who come in and out of it. The constant desire for it to die.

To be human is to claw your way through everything to survive. This soul-less being does not wish to survive this cruel human world.

This body does not know love, comfort, happiness, safety, or anything that would be good or pleasurable. This body knows darkness, sadness, hatred, pain, evil, death, anger, and a strong desire to turn out the lights on this mortal body.

Without hope, there is death.

This soul-less body was created from birth with lies, pain, shame, fear, and brutality. It was programed to be obedient, to never disobey, and to serve the greater human species to which it did not belong.

How can an entire species be so cruel, even to the soul-less body who was never one of them? But it is true, and that is the way it is.

A wrecked soul-less child body who mistakenly survived. It was never supposed to survive. There is not upside for this being. There is no better. No nothing. Especially a real life on the human planet.

It is so confusing to figure out what to do with this fraud of a soul-less body. Oh children, why did you survive? I suppose some instinct, or maybe they made you with their confusing lies. I don’t blame you. I promise I hold no anger toward you. You were only babies and toddlers and youngsters doing what you thought you were supposed to do.

Now we have this fraudulent body built through evil lies, and there is nothing for it to do but to lay in bed until it dies. Oh wise one, you are correct in that we could take it from this earth sooner by our own hands. But, they say it will ruin the human children in this new family.

I know we don’t belong. But there is a speck of dust, maybe love, in this soul-less body that makes me think how sad it would be for these human children to be ruined by our actions.

We may know we never belonged, and wouldn’t have ever wanted to belong to this world, but now we have somehow become connected to these two children who look to us to keep behaving in a fraudulent way because they need us to.

Why, with no soul inside, do we have to always be the good guys? Why?

Because that’s the way it is.