Apparently I am Not a Real Multiple

I was told that some time ago, but I have to admit it still stings, it still burns, it still hurts when this kind of talk comes up again. So when the topic comes up again, let me just say I get a little irate.

First let me say that not having a diagnosis of DID does not mean that you are not multiple. I went through years of therapy before my diagnosis. Neither does not having lots of doctors or therapists believe in you, know about your case, and confirm your diagnosis mean that you are or aren’t multiple.

Being multiple is as much a fact of life as the color of my hair and eyes, the current shape of my nose, and my current favorite dancer on Dancing with the Stars. I like being believed, but someone not believing in me doesn’t make me any less real or eliminate any of the childhood pain and abuse, effects, and aftermath from child sexual abuse.

Many years ago I got up enough courage to join a facilitated support group for ritual abuse survivors. All of the members were multiples. I explained to the group in one of the first sessions that I was co-conscious for the most part, though not integrated. I didn’t think to be anything but proud of that.

At that time I had only disclosed being multiple to my therapist and this group. I had gone through a few bad years accepting that I was multiple and that many factions of society did not believe in me. I will have to say it was a very sharp pain back then.

The stigma against DID was bad and even though there was more information about multiples out there in the general public and in the therapy and research fields I was acutely aware how innaccurate we were perceived by others.

A few weeks later one of the other members came up to me and said, I told my therapist about you. I told her I don’t believe you are real. You aren’t a multiple anymore if you are co-conscious.

I don’t think I said anything in response, sort of struck silent. She was a nice sort of person, really. Except for the fact that she refused to accept my reality and my multiplicity. Which I guess you can’t really divorce from her other actions and beliefs. I don’t get to divide her up into little pieces and say what I like and accept about her and keep that and throw away the rest. Her relative abusers had already done that to her. But she felt that she was entitled to do that to me.

I don’t know why she felt the need to say that to me. I just knew that this was not someone I could be friends with or trust with my heart. This was someone who would not want to be friends with me.

It didn’t stop me from being real. The wound was also real, and deep. I thought that at least there I would be accepted for who I was, a survivor, and didn’t feel a need to explain or mold my reality to suit others. Several decades later and I feel even less desire to give up me to be accepted by anyone, even someone that I love. This is it. This is me.

I don’t understand someone who is not multiple would want to pose as one for attention due to their own mental health issues. I have heard about that online, but am not sure if I have experienced that or not.

I really don’t see how a multiple could or would want to accuse another person of not being a real multiple.  I’ve read about this kind of drivel going around the blogs recently. I am sickened and appalled. I wonder at the need to judge and demean others. I wonder at how little compassion and basic human kindness someone would have to have in order to conduct themselves in this manner.

Multiples come in all shapes and sizes and are at different ages, stages, and healings in their lives. Only a professional is competent and trained to diagnose and certainly no one but them can. No one has the right to decide whether I am real or not. No one has a right to compare me to another multiple or themselves and to decide what is real and what is not, not then and not now. I am real.

Anonymity Online

The topic of anonymity came up on another DID survivor blog recently, Astrids’ Blog, see her Disclosure post; an accusation that not posting your real and full name online meant you were a liar and a faker. An accusation that did not include a real name.

I wanted to respond to this:

1) I have a blog for me, for healing, as a resource for others, for connection, to give and get support, for friendships with other survivors; not to prove something or to prove that I am telling the truth or to make sense to others or to convince someone of anything.

2) This is not a legal case in court. In no way am I required to share anything about the facts of the abuse I went through. In no way must I give up my right not to share my name. In no way must I prove what I have experienced as a child. The burden of proof is not required on a blog nor on someone who is abused. Reading  a blog does not make you judge or jury. We are not in court. This is a blog. 

3) There are many ways that one multiple is similar as well as different from other multiples. Comparing our differences and doing a litmus test standard is counter-productive, the opposite of healing, and not something that I will take part in, especially when the litmus test is as inaccurate and unscientific as using a full name online and being the same as someone else.

4) Other survivors choose to share their name or not for their own reasons. I respect that everyone has a right to determine what to share and when and why. I don’t share. That decision has nothing to do with my survivor friends and survivor readers.

5) I am not selling a book, I am not a therapist, nor do I have a business online, so I won’t be using my full or accurate name online. These are reasons I would consider using my name online.

6) I do not have a non-profit, yet, to help survivors of abuse and trauma. I do not have a website set up, yet, for this non-profit. I would consider using my name at some point in that process.

7) There are perverts and freaks and abusers and trollers looking to offend against others online. They are looking for attention and victims. I won’t make it easier for them to do what they like to do, i.e. hurt and offend against others. I don’t appreciate and don’t like abusers hurting multiples.

8 ) I deserve to be safe and to feel safe online, as much as possible. Every survivor of abuse has this right; to share as much as they want or not to share at all. The needs and desires of an abuser never come into the calculations of this for me. And they never will.

Apparently I Have an Invisible Disorder Part 2

I had told my therapist about getting the disability form back with everything but the DID diagnosis on it. She told me that they might have done it because there isn’t a lot of studies done on the impact of being DID on work and that many DID people are working and productive.

But apparently they have done lots of studies on how choosing to continue an addiction is disabling and interferes with life, work, and general productivity. I know that is not true. I know the government does not conduct studies or pay someone else to conduct studies on which illnesses, health issues, addictions or mental health issues are the most disabling. And what does it matter if everyone else in a grouping of people are working, if I can’t? It doesn’t.

This was just her stupid reason. It seems incredibly unscientific to be drawing conclusions about a mental health disorder that barely anything is known about. So most of us aren’t on disability, so what?

I cannot imagine someone in their right mind contending that someone with DID, who also has PTSD or CPTSD is fine and doesn’t need healing and support and isn’t going through a huge amount of emotional pain, conscious or unconscious, from the impact of their abusive childhood. No, they might not need govenerment assistance, but they are not untouched by health and mental health challenges.

Apparently the government thinks we are superheroes. Just because we can be superheroes, does that mean we can’t get help when we need it? Would Superman not qualify for disability if he got injured or went into a depression over the early loss of his parents and his home planet? I mean really.

Many people with PTSD or CPTSD are also very productive and working. Many of them manage their daily homelifes and lives without being on disability or going to a therapist. But then some need to go to therapy and then some need to get more help and some need to have help managing and need disability. I worked full-time until I was 40.

DID is far from being the only accurate diagnosis someone gets. But when we can’t work and are disabled due to the mental health issues, only some of them will be seen as real and acceptable reasons.

I am real. All of my reasons are real. All of their reasons and reasoning is wrong and innacurate, and the opposite of rational, certainly not science.

Apparently I Have An Invisible Disorder

Alcoholism is recognized by the government in a disability claim, but DID is not allowed. I know someone who got disability due to alcholism. But when I put DID on my form, along with all the other delibilitating issues I was dealing with, the form came back to me typed out ommiting DID. The letter wrote that I should sign the form and mail it back.

I had been told by other survivors that it would not be allowed as a disability. I wrote down PTSD on the form as well, and that was included on the returned form. Apparently my dissociation issue was so bad, it just didn’t exist any longer. Who’d a thunk it.

I just didn’t realize they would make it invisible and make my disorder disappear. I didn’t know that they would refuse to write it down on the typed form. So what if they didn’t accept it as a disability, which is bullshit. It should be on the form, everything else I was dealing with was on the form, whether or not it could be a final determining factor in my being qualified to being on disability or not.

I brought it up with my meeting with the psychiatrist who evaluated me. He did not answer my question about why it was not on the form. Instead he asked me how do you see that (being multiple, DID)? I told him. He moved on to the next question. He was interested, I could tell. But he was working those thirty mintues for the government and they don’t see me or what I was dealing with. To them, I have an invisible disorder.

Must be nice to be able to do that. I just don’t feel healed.

Repressed Memories

Amazingly in college I took a class with a professor of psychology who said aloud to the class that repressed memories were not helpful to survival since you can’t remember the abuse to avoid it in the future, therefore repressed memories could not be real.

As though memory keeps us safe or children can avoid abuse no matter how much abuse they remember. I always remembered lots of abuse, none of it kept me safe.

As though the concept of survival in the short-term, like not dying from the pain or the assult or the attack against the psyche, would not be more important and overriding to the survival of the child in the long-term. Hint: short-term survival essential, or there won’t be any need for long-term survival.

As though everything a human being does is for the avoidance of possible future abuse and nothing else. Which is outrageous considering how many little girls and boys have been repeatedly sexually abused. Very few of them manage to avoid abuse when it is coming right at them, even if they remember. Dude, we were little children, not fairies with magical powers.

Apparently he believed we don’t teach enough of our pre-schoolers self-defense. I read about a woman with a black belt in karate who was raped, not so protective. None of us get to step across the room to be safe, nothing can. Memory and training combined can’t even keep us safe from sexual assault. No one could really believe that memory and training could keep us safe from further abuse. Well okay, only a megalomaniac judgmental douchebag could.

If I cannot survive the next minute, what difference does surviving the next rape attempt by my mother matter? Because we all know that stopping rape is all about the victim, whether he or she is eight months old or eighty, it’s all on you.

And how effective would my memory of sexual assault at age six months be protective of another assault? I was too small to defend myself. I had not learned how to speak. I could not even go into the next room by myself.

 And when your rapist is your mother, or your father, or someone else who lives with you or is in your extended family, what kind of protection does memory bestow?

A lot of assumptions from someone who professed to be a “scientist.” Even though the sciences do not see psychology professors as scientists, in my school that is what they believed of themselves. It was pervasive in the department. The full-time professors there were hard-line biopsychologists.

I am philosophically more on the side of psychology is more of an art, than a science. A real scientist is expected to put aside his biases and not engage in personal beliefs. They asked more of me, as a student without a degree, than they delivered of themselves with their Ph.D.s. I didn’t see a lot of sciene going on there.

I transferred to a different professor conducting the same class, thank God that was a possibility. I needed that class to graduate with a major in psychology. Previously he was the only professor to teach that class. I was lucky that semester. I felt blessed to kick him out of my life. So many others got his denial indoctrination shtick all semester.

It’s one thing to be in denial and hateful and over-emotional and then call yourself a scientist. It’s another thing entirely to inflict your opinions and biases on others and call that science. He taught people to believe I don’t exist. I hate him to this day.

Being Multiple

Okay usually this kind of tripe is something that I would normally ignore, but this time I won’t.

Being multiple is not a lifestyle choice.

No therapist indoctrinated me into believing I was multiple. No therapy made me multiple. For most multiples therapy is an essential part of our survival for years, often on a day to day and moment to moment basis as we attempt to work on healing from being sexually abused and violated when we were just little children and babies.

There are many bad therapists. There really are, but there are also great therapists. There was one case, that I know of, in which one therapist was sued for convincing some clients that they were all DID. That was more than fifteen years ago. It was not an epidemic. Perhaps there were some who were horribly violated and abused like this. I accept that therapist abuse occurs, though it is usually the sexual abuse of clients type of therapist abuse.

Although I have heard about this from people who deny child sexual abuse, I have not heard of another case that really happened, with real names, cases and lawsuits, just allegations that it happened. Perhaps it did, but anyone can say anything, proof is something else.

It is a fact that most multiples were sexually abused as children and that is why they are multiple. DID is real, whether it is in the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual or not. It is in the DSM.

It was always real and it will always be real, regardless of whether mental health professionals believe in it or not, whether it is in the DSM or not, whether society accepts and acknowledges the fact of child sexual abuse and it’s long term aftereffects or not, including whether anyone else believes in dissociative identity disorder or not.

Being multiple is not analogous to the kind of clothes I choose to wear or don’t, the types of sports I play or am a fan of or avoid, the kinds of movies I love and watch and the ones that I abhor and don’t watch, the hobbies that I am consumed by or avoid, the kinds of music I love and hate, the kinds of habits I continue to do or quit, or the quality of life I give myself or avoid.

I am a big proponent of the beliefs that we all have a right to our own beliefs and the right to voice them. Although I would defend someone’s right to their speech, I am still sickened by it. I won’t ever visit blogs like that, I am not inviting someone who believes that and writes that stuff to come here, and I won’t ever engage in a dialogue here with someone who believes that.

Being multiple is something that was done to me, not something I/we decided to do. There was a choice, the monster who masqueraded as a mother and a human being, she chose to sexually and physically abuse a baby. I, quite without conscious thought or will, broke into pieces. That was not a choice. That is psychological damage.

Being multiple is not a lifestyle choice.

Flashbacks and Denial.

Every survivor that I have ever  interacted with about denial share they have gone through it for a time period after starting to have flashbacks of abuse. Some survivors go through it for years.

Their denial kicks in and they are tormented. They question their memories. They question themselves and accuse themselves of being a liar, of potentially ruining an innocent person’s life. They are concerned about God and eternity and burning in hell. I’ve heard this from a lot of survivors. I have read it on every message board I have ever been a part of.

It reminds me a lot of the old messages my mother, the sexual abuser, implanted into my little mind. It all sounds evil and vicious to do to a little child, while sexually violating them, to tell them they are worthless, that they are crazy, that they are lying., that we are going to burn in hell for all eternity.

These monsters, they take our innocence. They rape us and they revel in it. And then they want to fuck with our minds, our souls, our eternity.

We all deserved much better parents than that.

Abuse and Denial.

For half of my life I was abused. For the second half of my life I have been dealing with health issues caused by the abuse.

It makes it very hard to avoid the facts of being a child sexual abuse survivor when my body is showing the signs and damage to me every day. But I managed to until I started having flashbacks of child sexual abuse.

I don’t have denial, after flashbacks. I never have. I don’t know why. I think that I have enough denial inside myself to keep many of my memories of abuse repressed. But I don’t doubt memories as they emerge.

I may not understand what I am remembering, it might not make a lot of sense, and it may be completely disjointed to time and place and they may jump around covering years in a few days, but I understand my emotions as they come out. I know they are terror, and pain, and fear and sorrow. I know they are standing on the edge of oblivion and hoping to jump. I know what my emotions are and I do not disbelieve them.

Slowly, over time, the puzzle pieces started fitting together and I got a better view of the life that I lived. Each time I re-write my personal history, the story of my life. The one that non-abusers have every day of their lives, their whole life story. 

I was robbed of a huge chunk of my life, due to abuse and the repression of a part of my life and my life experiences. My flashbacks are giving myself back to me.

They say a person is the sum total of all our experiences. I am the sum total of the ones that I remember, the ones that I don’t though they still influence me, and the healing that I have done and have not done and everything else that is within me.

I see that little girl I was and I love her fiercely. I see the innocence, beauty, and purity in her. Something I couldn’t see for most of my life. I see the pure me that was. I see in her all the good that I cannot see in myself. Both her and I deserve that love. We are all innocent.