I started this blog so that I would have a place to discuss the “therapy side” of my life. I have always worked very hard to keep my internal work separate from my external world. Not because I am ashamed, but because of privacy, boundaries, and issues with trust. Lately, though, I’m learning to accept the totality of my experiences. It has become my goal to gradually shift this blog into a community and potential resource for others that are asking the same questions I am.
Let me explain:
I was adopted as an infant into an incredibly dysfunctional home. Externally, everything looked just perfect, but underneath that veneer was a teeming cesspool of sociopathic, narcissistic thinking that dominated our family. I existed merely as an extension of my father’s ego, and as a result, I was placed into the hands of an indescribably dangerous man. My father and his friend (referred to here as M) did not see me as a child – or even a human being. I was an experiment in many parts focusing on capital gains and secrecy. As the result of extreme abuse that began in my first year of life, I turned to dissociation as a coping mechanism. This ability was seen and exploited, and over time, my father and M led me in a master-class on dissociative abilities, complete with the total repression of major milestone experiences – including the abuse.
Unfortunately, a mind can only tolerate a fixed amount of stress. At around the age of 17, my defenses began to crack and strain, and I put myself into therapy for extreme suicidality, depression, and self-injurious behavior. I was quickly diagnosed with PTSD and DID and began a “road to healing”. The last thirteen years of my life have been spent in a tense balance between fighting for freedom in my own mind and battling continuous attempts to sabotage and abuse from the outside. Thankfully, I have an incredible therapist and have been offered a lot of support and resources all along. Even though we have a long way to go, we have made significant strides forward, even through acute trauma and stress.
As a child, I was taught to maintain an external appearance completely separate from all abusive experiences. This is a habit that I have carried into adulthood and executed almost flawlessly until after my daughter was born about five years ago. Still, even through months and years in hospitals and residential treatment, my reputation somehow remained intact. Most people in my life do not know that I am in therapy, let alone that I dissociate as lifestyle. That’s a lot of the reason that I’ve kept my blog anonymous and hidden. Not only is our situation difficult for non-survivors to understand, but I have seen the stress and pain for that those who walk this road with me. Additionally, although my father is dead, I still deal with the reality of M and his relentless psychological abuse. It’s important that there be a safe place to speak on matters that are still quite volatile.
That being said, I am realizing more and more that my internal life and external life are becoming increasingly difficult to separate. As a result of healing and honest communication, therapy (and all that encompasses) has breached the carefully drawn lines in my day-to-day external dealings. And, the healthier I become, the more I realize that is exactly how I want it to be.
I’m tired of pretending like I don’t have a past affecting every moment of my day. I’m tired of the lies and the hiding in shame and fear. I crave association with other brave survivors. I feel I may have something to offer because of the way my experiences have sharpened my understanding of some very complex issues. I do not have a college degree or a license to counsel, but I (humbly) submit that I may have something to offer. So I am putting myself out there as a survivor and author of my own experiences with abandonment and attachment issues, complex systematic programming and deprogramming, ritualized abuse and its life-long complexities, multi-system polyfragmented DID, and life as a wife, mother, and Christian. I would be lying if I said that I don’t seek meaning in my experiences. I want what I’ve been through to matter – I want to help other people who have suffered in similar ways. Hopefully this blog and these articles will accomplish that somewhat.
Thanks for stopping by. 🙂