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.

Sad hope of the 4 year old girl

A 4 year old little girl. She leaves her room at night, crawling on all four to get to her parents’ room. She chooses to escape the brutal sexual abuse of her brothers and their friends if she stays in her room.

She hopes this time when she goes to her parents’ room they will respond with love and kindness. Each night she has renewed hope that it will happen.

The mom and dad are alcoholics, always on the verge of passing out from the alcohol at this time of night. If the dad hears her, he yells at her to go back to her bedroom, which she does with tears in her eyes, and her heart broken.

If the Mom discovers her on the ground of their room, she sometimes shows her compassion. She quietly pulls her up into the bed with her, and scratches her back before she quietly sexually abuses her with her big, drunk, disgusting body.

The four year old keeps hoping one day it will be different. It never was…

And this is her foundation for life.

Your Pity Doesn’t Help

I like to write about my Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) to educate people about the disorder, and because I selfishly hope it is somehow therapeutic for me to open up about the secret life I have lived my entire life. And I will forever be an advocate for those in need of help.

At times, in order for people to understand the origins of my DID, I have written about the horrific abuse I experienced in my childhood. It is unimaginable to most people, and frankly, sometimes overwhelming to them.

A common response I will get from people who have read about my history is pity. They feel so sorry for me, which is a hard pill for me to swallow. I don’t feel sorry for me. I feel angry and hurt and lost and sad.

I guess if I was still a child that pity might have meant something to me. Maybe.

I am a survivor now. I am way past needing anyone to feel sorry for me. Nothing can change my past. It is done.

As I sit here writing this I realize this kind of sounds rude, and I really don’t mean to. It’s just hard for me to hear someone have pity for me. It doesn’t help me.

I am fortunate to have survived a childhood that many children wouldn’t have. My DID allowed me to survive as a child. Now, as an adult, my DID threatens my survival from time-to-time, and definitely makes my life more difficult to say the least.

Still, I don’t want your pity.

I want your understanding of DID. I want you to be outraged how people with DID are treated in the world and by the mental health system. I want you to be aware of the severity of child abuse going on in this world, and likely even in your own neighborhood. I want you to save a child you suspect may be getting abused. And I want you to contribute to making the world a better place by helping people with DID get the resources they need to heal, or at least live.

I am fortunate to have many blessings in my life in spite of the DID. I have an amazing spouse and am blessed with two gorgeous children. I have had times when I have had really successful careers, and have felt good about the work I have contributed to this planet to make it better for others. I have a nice home, health insurance, cute dogs, and I live in a nice neighborhood with many loving people in my life.

If you read any of my other writings you will also know my life is not a bed of roses. But, I am making it through life anyway, and I am hell-bent on healing despite the odds and the naysayers.

For me, what matters most is the people behind me who aren’t as fortunate to have the resources and support I have. They are living in a daily hell, and they need all of our support, advocacy and love.

No one needs pity. When has pity ever helped anyone?

People who have been so severely traumatized as children their minds split apart so they could survive need so much more from you than pity.

Start with trying to understand, and follow with compassion. And hopefully the rest of my wish list for you will follow.

An Extraordinarily Brutal Life

I am just an ordinary person who has led an extraordinarily brutal life. My life between 0-11 was the most horrific of all, spending almost everyday being sexually, physically, and emotionally abused and neglected. It didn’t stop at 11, but that was the worst of it.

I have had the cruelest mind tricks played on me, which in some ways were worse than the overt acts of abuse I experienced.

My mother used to think it was funny to take me 10-15 miles from home in a beach town and leave me at some random place when I was 5 years old. I had no ability to do anything in that situation. I usually waited until nightfall when my father would find me and bring me home. So yeah, I have good reasons to feel an intense fear of abandonment.

My father never spoke of this abuse he knew my mother perpetrated on me, because at the end of the day, he loved her and wanted to be with her more than he cared for me.

So-called dignified people in my community had sex with me whenever they wanted, and my mother was so narcissistic and sadistic she helped facilitate this abuse, and I am sure got something out of it for herself.

I’ve been locked in rooms with our local State Farm agent and his children screaming at me that I must accept Jesus Christ into my heart if I wanted everlasting salvation. No matter how many times I tried to say what they wanted, it was never “right” because they were relentless in their brainwashing that I was, and always would be a sinner, doomed for hell. They always ended this special kind of torture by sexually abusing me.

My mom used me as a surrogate spouse when my daddy disappeared on a drinking binge for days or weeks at a time. What seemed like a special relationship with her always turned to a disgusting, sexual experience with her drunken passed out body on top of me.

When she wasn’t sexually abusing me, she spent her time hitting me for no reason, or telling me how much she hated me and how ugly I was. She was quite strikingly beautiful herself, so she often criticized me regarding just about everything that existed within me.

My mom used to make me go to our town’s most reputable pediatric dentist after school so he could sexually abuse me and torture me with dental devices. He used to drill me teeth for the fun of it, and I had no knowledge of what Novocain was until I was a teenager.

My grandmother used to give me to a cult called “The Way” when they came to town. I was driven with other children I did not know out into a dark wooded area where these cult members, mostly in their 20s, would drug us, teach us that we were supposed to cut our wrists and let all our blood out to sacrifice ourselves for Jesus, and then they would sexually abuse us around a big bon fire. Needless to say, I have some very confusing ideas about religion.

My older brothers were what people might have called “troubled” if they were using nice words. Since they were older than me, I really don’t know what they were exposed to to make them so out of their minds. Sadly, they were drug addicts and drug dealers at an unusually young age. This brought me lots of unwanted sexual abuse, torture, and violence.

My oldest brother was like my mom, sadistic and sociopathic. He would go out of his way to torture me with pleasure. He would rape me regularly, sell me to his friends for sex, and often try to see how close he could come to killing me without actually killing me.

My middle brother sexually abused me to around age 7 or 8, but one day he was the first to tell me that you are not supposed to have sex with family members. He never personally had sex with me again, and would try to protect me from my oldest brother when he was around. Still, he could not even put a dent in the madness and abuse that came my way from all sorts of places. Though he is probably the most troubled in our family now, I imagine that is because he had a conscience and suffers from extreme guilt and sorrow over what happened in our family.

The strange thing about our middle class family is that all the kids in our “community” had sex with each other from a very young age. This was an all the time thing, and sanctioned by our parents. This was our normal, and usually involved group sex, but not always.

I’ll never forget spending the night at one of the boy’s houses when I was about 7, and he was having sex with me in his bedroom, and his mother came in and put the laundry away while it was going on. It was as if nothing was wrong, and nothing needed to be said about it.

I would venture to say that by the time I was 6, I had more sex with people than most people do their entire lives.

Why I chose to survive this life I was living is often a mystery to me. A life where no matter how “good” I tried to be, I was repeatedly abused, neglected, tortured, and exposed to mind control and religious craziness.

I didn’t survive because I was so strong and could see me making a better life for myself one day. I survived because my mind split off over and over to deal with my reality. I didn’t intentionally do it. It is supposed to be some lucky source of creativity and intelligence in my brain that allowed me to do so (which I don’t fully agree with).

The splitting of my brain has left me as an adult with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly called Multiple Personally Disorder. It is not fun or interesting to have DID. Maybe it is fascinating to those who don’t have it. My life is an absolute cluster f*ck on most days.

As someone with DID, I have more parts of myself than I can count. I am so screwed up that half the time I don’t even know myself that I am not the personality that is “out front” talking to someone. My brain is seriously impaired memory wise. It is like having dementia since I was 21.

I can’t remember huge and significant parts of my childhood, and even positive memories of my adulthood. It is all a mystery that I continue to strive to figure out and fix.

Honestly, I don’t really know if there is a “fix” but since I have kids and won’t kill myself because of this, it leaves me with little else to do but to try to fix myself, and help others who have suffered similar plights.

In psychiatric, psychology, and other mental health schools, they teach that this is a rare condition, and spend virtually no time teaching people how to recognize and treat it. It is by no means rare.

So many children are abused at this level to create this disorder. I know people don’t want to imagine abuse on this level, but it is true. People just don’t end up with this disorder without suffering extreme abuse or trauma at a very early age.

For the fun of it, you can visit the endless pages of survivors who have DID on Facebook. You will see this is not isolated to a few of us, or isolated to any one country.

DID is real and awful to live with, and those of you who care should be doing more to help the most wounded of us.

Do you realize if we go to an emergency room and tell the people we have DID, we will likely be completely discredited as crazy and possibly put in the psych ward even though we are coming in for a medical issue?

Do you realize the majority of mental health treatment facilities refuse to treat those of us with DID? Heck, the majority of therapists in all countries don’t want to treat DID, and thus refuse to.

People like to think of us as dangerous and scary, but in reality, people with DID are often the kindest people you will meet. But, we can’t change the Hollywood version of DID that is probably the only knowledge most people have about DID.

In a world where there is so much injustice, I guess I can’t expect you to care about this abuse of DID people as adults. But if you do care, I hope you will help me make the world a better place for those who are most wounded amongst us.

Stand up for what is right. Stand up for the most wounded.

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.

 

Why was I born?

I never mattered. My family ensured I understand this. I figured this out early. My brain became dizzy and lost and alone. Early on I didn’t know suicide was an option. I thought I had to stay on this very horrific planet where life didn’t make any sense to me.

I was the 3rd child in my family, the first two being older brothers. My parents tell the story that they wanted a girl, which is why they had a 3rd child, and I naively thought for years they wanted a girl for the “normal” reasons families typically want a certain gender. I was wrong.

What I could never understand is why if my mom wanted a girl, then why did she hate me so much? And why did everyone in my life treat me so poorly, and it seemed to be ok, and my role in the family.

From as far back as I can remember, my mom was always upset with who I was and how I looked. She would yell at me in her bathroom making me look in the mirror and tell me all the things wrong with me. One thing that especially infuriated her was that I didn’t hold in my stomach all the time like a proper young lady. Otherwise, I was showing the world I was fat. The fact that I was malnourished and skin and bones didn’t enter into this repeated criticism.

I was born into this family, never to understand it. I never understood why my older brothers who were constantly in trouble were treated special and as if they were loved, but I hardly existed as a wanted child in my family. Well, at least not the right kind of wants.

I don’t ever remember being loved or cared for by this family as a child. No one cared where I was, what was happening to me, or whether I had appropriate food or medical care. I was always more of a burden expected to keep my mouth shut under every circumstance. No one wanted to hear or cared what I had to say.

Love in any kind of normal way did not exist for me. As close as I have to love in some kind of caring way was once in a while my middle brother would pull off my older brother for things he was doing to me.

I didn’t have any caring neighbors, relatives, people at school, or anywhere else. It was as if I was a ghost, and didn’t matter to anyone.

No matter how many times my therapist explains it to me, I can’t seem to comprehend that my parents would intentionally have a baby to harm it for their sick, personal gain. I know we all see stories of this kind of stuff on the news from time-to-time, but this can’t be my story, despite all the evidence that says it is.

I guess it seems incomprehensible to me partially because I am a mother of two, and I just can’t imagine harming them in any way. I would step in front of a train for either of my children, whereas my family of origin was the train coming right for me all the time.

I suppose I have to explain I was born to two active alcoholic parents , and my two brothers became alcoholics/drug addicts at a rather early age, and later drug dealers. This alone brought in lots of violence to our home, but it also brought in lots of other strange and sick people, amongst other things.

When I tell people this story, which I actually never do outside my therapist’s office, people assume I grew up in poverty. I guess to be correct, my family lived in an upper middle class neighborhood, but I did live in poverty in my own little world.

My mom was President of the Junior Women’s Club and pack leader for my brothers’ Cub Scout pack. She entertained lots of hot shot business men at fancy parties and over cocktails at our house. From time-to-time, she would be in the newspaper for her fancy parties and philanthropy work.

My brothers were in the newspaper twice as children, once for taking an overdose of my aunt’s “diet pills,” and the second time because they intentionally lit our house on fire in the middle of the night. The fire story leaves out that they left the family for dead, and many fire fighters endangered their lives looking for them in the fire. The story also leaves out that my drunk, passed-out parents were more annoyed with me than anything for waking them to tell them the house was on fire.

My father was missing a lot from the house. He just wasn’t there. I believe this was part of the dark life he was living. When he was home, he was drunk and my parents fought a lot after their drinking buddies left.

My mom grew up during the depression, and has several siblings who I would describe as all mentally unstable in a religious kind of way (like psychotic). All of my cousins on my mom’s side were drug addicts and some were mentally ill in scary ways, all except two, and those two cousins were adopted, but still describe their childhood as something they had to escape from.

My mom was by far a very attractive woman, and she used this to her advantage her entire life, and wasn’t afraid to tell you so. To this day she looks about 20 years younger than she is. She also says she was sexually abused as a child.

She is a classic narcissist. Everything is about her. No matter what is happening, she manages to turn the story back around to her. She requires constant attention, and has no respect for anyone’s wishes but her own. Just tonight my mom called and I told her I had neck surgery this week, and there were some complications with the anesthesia. Without a beat, her reply was to tell me she has red dots on her leg and wants me to come up with some type of solution for her problem, and my issues never exist unless she is blaming me for a problem.

But here’s the key, to everyone on the outside we were this upstanding family mostly respected in the community. No one would ever guess what went on behind closed doors unless they were participating in it.

My mom has been called a sadist, too. I grew up in a fairly large beach town, so there were always a lot of transient or seedy people around. I wandered among them and received my share of abuse from them. But my mom liked to do a special thing to me. When I was about 5-6 years old, she would drive me about 5-10 miles from my home and leave me there. At that age, I didn’t have the wherewithal to know what to do, so I would just sit and wait for many, many hours. Usually by nightfall my father would find me and bring me home. We never spoke of this, but I was always terrified to be left somewhere. My sick mother thought this little joke was funny. I don’t know what my father thought, but I know at the end of the day he always picked her over me.

My life growing up from a very young age was nonstop physically, sexually, and religiously abusive, neglectful, and psychologically torturing. As a result, my mind decided to survive by creating Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which was formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder. I developed “parts” or other inside people to break up my life and handle things I couldn’t. I didn’t do this consciously, it just happened. It is what allowed me to survive.

As an adult now, my mind is filled with “parts” or other people. Some have more expansive identities than others. Though it helped me survive my childhood, it is by no means an easy life, and many days I have thoughts of suicide. My memory is severely impaired due to the DID. It is something I try to hide everyday. I have to negotiate between the parts of me who will be “out” on any given day or moment. As a result, this body has no clear sense of who it is. Not having a cohesive sense of yourself is a depressing predicament to be in for your entire life.

Loneliness is the prevailing feeling when things are good. Because if you don’t have this disorder, it is not something the rest of the minions on this planet understand, or even believe in.

Ghost Child

 

Imagine growing up in an environment where you don’t really exist. Most of the time no one sees you, hears you, or even thinks of you and your basic needs. You don’t exist, but you do.

You know you exist because you can see them. Sometimes they sound muffled, sometimes you are drifting away, but you know you are there. You can feel some things like hunger, pain, and fear. You have to be real to feel those things. But most of the time the world acts as if you don’t exist, unless it is one of those times when the people want something from you.

As an adult, I am always fearful when someone asks me a basic question about my childhood. I am afraid my secret will be exposed. My secret that the things I could discuss with a regular inquiring human don’t exist for me. I don’t remember the normal happenings of any given day from my childhood, though I am sure I must have had some. I only have memories of the bad, or the quiet moments when it seemed like the world stopped and I was just walking around in it alone.

I don’t tell people that I can only remember 3 memories of Kindergarten, and have no memory of 1st through 6th grade, except for a few traumatic memories that involved school.

Now that I know I have DID, I suppose the logical explanation is that those memories are stored somewhere in my brain as experiences of another part of me. I try and try to remember, but I can’t. It is hard to make sense of things when you don’t have complete memories.

There is this really shitty group out there called the False Memory Foundation. They would dismiss all my memories because of the significant gaps in memory I do have. They like to say people with DID are faking it because they are trying to avoid responsibility for a crime, or perhaps the fake DID person just wants attention. We won’t go into their motives for saying that here.

I am not avoiding responsibility for a crime, and I certainly don’t need attention, especially of this nature. There were times when I denied it was real, but there is just too much that meets the criteria for Dissociative Identity Disorder that I experience.

I have distinctly different parts who have distinct personalities, cognitive functioning, and beliefs about the world. They have different names, genders, sexual orientations, ages, bodies, and so much more. Though we experience ourselves as separate people, we do know there is only one body that we all share. We just don’t all agree on what the body looks like. Younger parts actually see small bodies when they look at our body.

Almost all of us experience terrible amnesia that affects us just about every day. We have learned techniques to hide it, but anyone who has any insight into this disorder would easily spot it with a few questions. I tried to write it off as dementia at one point, but then that doesn’t explain the parts who have very good memories and can recall all sorts of details I would never be able to recall.

My DID helped me survive horrific abuse, neglect, constant exposure to violence and alcohol/drugs, and mind control. By the time I reached 7th grade, my DID seemed to settle down some and I remembered more of my life from that point on, but definitely still experiencing periods of amnesia.

My parents decided for reasons I will probably never know to move to another state and start the family over in 7th grade. We became this new fake family that just tried to blend in with the rest. For the most part we did, considering so much was still going on.

I was still being raped by a family member during that period, but that seemed tolerable compared to my younger years.

Though I never mattered much to my family of origin, my life did become a little more normalized despite the ongoing abuse, violence, police interventions, drug dealing, suicide attempts and prostitution that still went on in our family.

Though I had friends my entire life, I have always felt alone because of the disconnect between my fake world and real world. I was taught early on that the real world I lived in was never to be discussed with anyone. And it wasn’t until recently.

So, I have always sort of felt like this ghost person, one who was there and at times interacting quite normally in the world, but one who had no real identity and no connection to anyone, except maybe my pets. It is hard to explain. Some of my friends would describe me as quite social, but that is because I have parts of me who can do that without being our authentic selves. When you can’t be authentic, it is like you are not really there, but just playing a part of what we think a “normal” person would do in those situations.

Sadly, I have been disconnected from other people my entire life. My children are probably my closest connections, but even then it doesn’t feel 100% connected or authentic.

I have always known I was abused and neglected, but I used all my energy to push that away from my everyday thinking. The memories stayed everyday, but the feelings and thoughts about them stayed far away until my Senior year of college.

And that began the official deconstruction of my life.