Tag Archives: DID

DID and the “Helpers” 101

Finding out that I had Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was a shock. That sentence doesn’t come even half-arsed close to how overwhelming the diagnoses was. To be honest? Almost 3 years later? I still feel shocked. I still wonder if it is really true. I don’t need society to not believe in DID, many people who truly have it can find it hard to believe.

I look back now and laugh a little bit at what I thought was wrong with me. I was depressed, suicidal, silent, in incredibly emotional pain and constantly hurting from “phantom” pains that I could not explain. I remember being sent to Homewood (the hospital PTSD program I was admitted to in January 2013) and being 99% certain that if they actually knew what I was thinking? I’d be put in a locked and heavily padded cell and never let out again.

I heard voices. LOTS of voices. How did I explain that to myself? I was certain that I had a connection to the afterlife that was so strong that I could hear their wishes, wants and frustrations.
I saw hallucinations. I explained that away by assuming that was also my dead loved ones coming back to see me but looking different from how they did on earth.
I do believe that I have a strong connection to those who have passed and I believe spiritually that they never really leave us but this was way deeper than that.

Something a lot of people do not realize is that people who have DID are usually the last to know about it. We don’t go to our doctors assuming that we have this obscure diagnoses. We go because we are confused, we miss time, we feel “pulled” in many differing emotional directions about a singular event.
I had all this but I really believed with all my heart that my true diagnoses when they figured it all out would be “Batsh*t Crazy”. I am not joking. I was either insane, had a brain tumour or I was just plain batsh*t crazy. I assumed it was door #3.

It took me a long time to accept the diagnoses. I believed the doctors and nurses. They were professionals with YEARS of dedicated service to people with severe PTSD. I believed them but I didn’t believe in “it”.
Wasn’t Dissociative Identity Disorder” a crock of poop?
Wasn’t it a clever way used by monsters to beat a murder conviction?
Sybil was a majorly popular movie and book that saw the diagnoses of DID skyrocket only to later learn that none of her story was true.
I checked out the YouTube channels of persons claiming to have DID and while I can not say if they are being truthful or not, they present wildly differently than I do. I am not dressed like a street-walker with heavy make-up one minute and then suddenly call for a “switch” like you would in a game and suddenly this male person would appear. Off comes the make-up, up goes the hair, out comes a deep voice… Perhaps this is how it goes for them but for me and other people I have met with DID, it is far less flashy.
I am not one to say who is telling the truth or not and that is not what I mean here. I am just saying that how many people portray it is exactly opposite to how I experience it.

DID for me is smoother. One Helper can flow in as another flows out. I come back out front and no one around me even realizes that I have been gone. Heck, sometimes I don’t realize that I’ve been gone.
Have you ever been listening to someone and suddenly your mind drifts to something else you need to think about? Suddenly they ask you a question and you have NO CLUE what they are talking about? For me DID is much more like that except it is not me daydreaming or thinking of some other chore on my list. It is a Helper coming in for some reason and leaving when they feel I am safe again. I have no memory of any thoughts at all while I am gone.

When I did eventually believe I had DID… basically because everyone who knew me had the same reaction to the diagnoses “Oh THAT is what it is!” and my very quiet and sweet husband said in an unusually stern voice, “Seriously Heather. Accept it. You have it.” that I finally accepted the professionals were right.
It was made much easier by having so many people who saw it in me and knew it was true. It really helped me a lot.

So why the name “Helpers” for my alters (other than I strongly dislike the word “alters” for some reason.)?
Well… that is easy. I have a very firm belief that the only reason why I am alive today is because I had the Helpers to help me throughout my life. Without them absorbing some of the trauma, I would not be able to bear it all by myself. I believe in large part, I have DID to thank for that. I don’t bear my trauma alone. My Helpers carry it with me. It is still a heavy load but being able to share it is a blessing. Not the curse that I once envisioned it to be.
They are my Helpers because they helped me to survive.

It is also very important that they are looked at in a positive light. There are other names that just don’t give me a positive vibe. I find that professionals also tend to speak about other identities as though they are a dirty word. They are something to be erased. Integration is often the goal. In my case? Erasing the parts of me that helped my survive is the last thing I want to do.
I am out front almost all the time now. I have more say in how my Helpers behave. As a team, we’ve overcome some huge obstacles and we work better together now. I can regain control while still being thankful and respectful to those that helped me the most.

I am going to talk a bit more about my Helpers next week. Who they are, what they handle, why they take over, and how they have changed over the past 3 years now that they have me accepting them and making a place for them in my life.

I hope you all have a great weekend whether you live alone in your mind or carry a crew with you every place you go. Hugs all! ❀

Helen

A Beautiful Disaster

I am sitting here with my mind banging around all over the place.
Somewhat like the “Scrambler” at the fair.
I’ve been doing a lot of work recently with my Helpers and though much of it is going well, I am overwhelmed by their sheer numbers and how many needs need to be accommodated or heard. They are not overwhelming me individually but it feels a bit like I am at a large family party and everyone is talking to me about totally different subjects within a very short period of time.

In this head space, I feel overwhelmed and for a moment, I tried to imagine my life without my Helpers.

Let us assume for a moment that I had a regular childhood.
My mother and father loved me, fed me, clothed me, cared for my needs…
My siblings were treated well also.
I was not exposed to situations that no child should ever even be able to imagine, let alone live through.
I went to school daily and played with my friends in the evening after school. I had homework to do and I’d hate doing it just like all the other kids.
What if I’d only lived in a few homes rather than 32 and gone to schools like most children, changing when you age out of the last one rather than attending at least 16 schools in 12 years.
It does sound magical.

Then I stop and I think about that for a minute.
Who would I be?
If I’d lived a normal childhood, where would I be today? What would I be doing?

Some of the nicest things people have ever said to me have been a direct result of the life I lived.
This blog would have never been started.
I would not be doing my art.
I highly doubt that my career would have taken the same path.
I was able to offer my children and other loved ones a special compassion when they dealt with physical or mental illnesses because I know how devastating they can be.
I’ve made friends with people I would never have met if not for my PTSD and DID.

Isn’t it odd how we often pine for a life we never had yet if we stop to think about it, that life is what made us who we are today.
Would you give your life away? The life you have now?
I wouldn’t.
It is not an easy life but it was pointed out to me that persons who have suffered trauma’s (anything from childhood abuse to war to a health crisis etc), are much more resilient than people who have not.
I know for certain that it takes a LOT more to rattle my chains than my “non trauma” friends. I roll with the punches better and heal faster.

I am seriously just having a bit of a ramble here but you know what?
I would not change my life.
It is horrifying what I went through yet it is now over and I see the world from a vantage point that many people do not have. It makes me unique.
My friends can tell me anything and I have no negative reaction towards them because I have seen evil and know how to respond to it when it touches others.

And I smile. A lot. I like that about me. πŸ™‚

Maybe, just maybe you can look back at all you’ve been through (everyone has their own cross to bear) and you can see how you’ve been enriched by what you’ve dealt with. Perhaps you are more compassionate or giving?

I am NOT saying that I’d go back and choose my life. No one would but it has happened and it is done now. It made me who I am today and thanks to many wonderful words of encouragement, I really like who I have become.
Do you like you?

Shame

Shame

I’m feeling a little off today. I had a great day at a fun craft fair (this was written on Sunday because I will be too busy to write this on Wednesday), I had good sales despite a very low turnout, I had some great conversations with other vendors and my work was complimented repeatedly. I feel like I SHOULD feel very happy about my day. The recipe for a good day was completed but somehow the directions were wrong. There is something missing.
I felt it all day.

Before going away for professional help in 2013, NO ONE knew my secrets. I mean no one. Not even one person in this world knew what happened except for me. Even the abusers only knew what they did. I never told one about another. I did try to get help but I would always fail/give up before hardly getting started. If someone doubts the first thing you tell them, you are very unlikely to tell them anything else. Without even realizing it, most adults unintentionally buy the silence of abused children by showing the smallest smidgen of doubt.
“Are you really sure this is what happened?”
“We don’t want to say anything untrue do we?”
“It’s very important that you tell me the truth here.”
If anything even remotely like this is said? We fear not being believed and if we are not believed then we put ourselves at risk for further harm. We feel unsafe.
Silence is now bought and paid for.

After 2013, a very small group of people knew what happened to me. A VERY small group. My nurses in the hospital, a few trusted friends from within the Complex PTSD circles, a good friend and really no one else. Not even my own husband. It was enough though. At that time it felt so freeing just to have a few people know and still be silent with all others. In all truthfulness? That was the extent of my circle.

I still do not feel the need to expose all the “dirty little details” but I am starting to make friends with people outside my Complex PTSD friends and I feel like I am beginning to hide again. I admit to having PTSD but I never say why. I actually feel like I am starting to present myself as 2 very distinct people (and not in a dissociative way). I feel that I am not being truly authentic.

When I began this blog, I chose to not show my full name anywhere. Heather is my real first name and Helpers are my DID pals but my identity was otherwise rather well hidden.

Now there are people who know me personally who read this blog. They can go back and readΒ  over my other posts and piece together little bits if they choose but in the spirit of being and staying positive, I never list details of anything that I’ve been through. I have no interest in changing that because I am VERY proud of this blogs reputation of being positive, informative and honest. Compliments that I hold near and dear to my heart and thank you to all who’ve said it. πŸ™‚

So here is where I feel a bit weird. I am feeling a bit like I am keeping secrets from people. I am meeting all of these new people and I am presenting only one side of myself. The artistic, capable, social Heather. I like those parts of myself but I will admit that I’ve been too afraid to discuss my real diagnoses with anyone. I admit to the PTSD but never to the DID. I am so afraid that I will be viewed as a crackpot. I am afraid to lose these new friendships. I am afraid of losing their respect. Suddenly I am feeling as though I am only showing half of me because of my willingness to offer secrecy and silence due to the fear of being judged.

You see… DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) is a huge part of who I am. It affects my life on a daily basis. By not divulging it to those I am getting to know rather well, it can lead to misunderstandings, mistrust and even hurt feelings. If I do not allow people to know that I quite often just disappear then have no memory at all of that time, they can take my behavior or things said in the wrong way. Quite often people feel like I just don’t pay attention to them and that is so incredibly untrue. They feel ignored rather than understanding how deeply I dissociate.
If I was just choosing not to tell people and I felt good about it? That would be wonderful but I am choosing not to say anything due to fear.
Oh, let me just be honest. I feel ashamed.
The silence and secrecy that got me in to a terrible place in my past is sneaking back in insidiously because I am fighting shame.

There has to be a way to be authentic without scaring people away?
How do you keep the respect of others who really may not understand?
What do you do to avoid the feelings of shame if the answer is NOT breaking your silence?
Where on earth is that fine line? The balance?

I know for certain that I am not alone. I read these comments in my support group, in emails from others with DID, and discussions with doctors. Will there ever be a day when we will not feel the need to hide, be silent or feel so ashamed?

We are not broken people. We were broken by others. Why do we feel the shame and they do not?

I am sorry to leave this post off like this. I really like to end on a positive and helpful note but today I just do not feel that way at all. I promised to always offer you my honesty and for right now, this is where I am. Perhaps I needed to bare my soul so that others can as well? Who knows but there is always a reason for what I do even if I am not aware of what it is at the time. πŸ˜‰

Thanks for listening.

432 years old vs. 4 years old.

There is this battle within me.
The first half of it became obvious one morning when I was sitting in a greenhouse with a group of people and we were each asked how old we felt. The actual ages of the people in the room that day was 21 to 48 but the answers were very often in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s except for the 21 year old who felt that 40 was ancient. I was the last person in the room and I really didn’t want to answer the question. I felt my answer was honest yet weird and I was afraid of what the others would think. Go ahead and tell me how I shouldn’t care what others think. I do care and in my eyes it is not a negative. I care what they think but I do not allow them to affect my final decisions. Am I off the hook? :).
So… what do I do? Well, I do what I always do and be honest.
I clang the chiming bowl and build my bravery up a bit. I admit that I feel 432. Yes. Four hundred and thirty-two. There were a few giggles but then everyone sensed that I was not making light of the question and the person running the group looked at me and said “I see that in you.”
I guess a nice way to look at it is to say that I am an old soul? A really old soul? πŸ˜‰

I feel 434 (two years have passed) because I feel like I have lived several lifetimes. I’ve experienced so much, done so much, lived so many places, been in so many odd situations, pushed myself to be successful in any area that I wish to be… Friends and the occasional professional who knows me well, understands this feeling I have and they tend to agree. I have lived many lifetimes already.

The other half of the battle is newer for me. The first time it was mentioned to me was by a special doctor whom I saw last year. In his words, I am intellectually very advanced but that emotionally, I am still very, very young. I could not really see what he meant but I am beginning to see more and more clearly that he is right in many ways.

Over the past few months I have been feeling things that I have never really felt as strongly. There are many times where I feel very young and very small. I feel unsure of how to act or what to do more from the eyes of a child than an adult. Situations that an adult would be totally comfortable doing are not as easy all of a sudden.Β  I believe that some of my child Helpers are feeling more comfortable and being willing to show themselves a bit more. I need to honour that.

While I can and will be an adult when it is socially acceptable or needed for any reason, I also feel the need to make some space for the children within me to experience a childhood. I experienced some aspects of childhood I am sure but I was being traumatized daily and therefore spent most of my childhood in a dissociated state. I also needed to stay smart, stay ahead of other people’s thoughts, needs and wishes in order to stay even the tiniest bit safe. That is not what childhood is about.

Some of this may repeat a bit with another post but that post was called a Dissociative Day. I just reread it (after writing this blog) and realized it must have still been a Dissociative Day when I wrote it. Oops. LOL Please forgive my accident repeats.

I’ve decided to start reaching out to my child Helpers more. I want to give them time to explore being a child. A hippo for Hannah was a good start. She chose the blue one rather than the pink. πŸ™‚ She is soooooo happy with that hippo. It just feels like one part of my inner self is totally happy and relaxed at least for now. Perhaps this Christmas will bring Santa to our home even though my other children are all grown and gone. My Helper children never got to have a Christmas before and I want that for them. My husband won’t feel comfortable with that so we will do it on our own time and that is fine. My husband is AMAZING but even the most amazing person can have areas where they just do not feel okay about things. He’s had a few run ins with the children Helpers and they have been very traumatizing for them. He’s afraid to deal with them because of that.Β 

I’d love to hear what sorts of things you did as a child that you recall as good memories. A good list of things to experience would be a great start. πŸ™‚ You’re always so helpful so I am sure I can count on you to help me out a bit here too right? πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend and as I said in a blog not long ago, let your inner child out to play a bit. We ALL need that.

Hippos

.

Shattered

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I highly doubt that I will ever forget the day that I sat in a small counselling room with my nurse Mike and his nurse in training Nadia. Mike was a very straightforward man but he knew how to place his words gently when needed. He had been watching and meeting with me for weeks by the day of this day and I assumed this meeting would be like the others. Helpful with some answers and confusing with some new questions.

On this day he had brought me there to tell me that he felt that I had DID. A “real” case. I’d had another meeting a day or two beforehand where the idea was presented to me but all I recall from that meeting was lots of people telling me this is how they felt and they all agreed on my having DID… and I dissociated almost immediately within that meeting because it was too much to handle. Bits and pieces of that day have come back but it was this day with Mike and Nadia is the one I remember a clear as day. Mike had gotten VERY Good at knowing when I was dissociating and getting me grounded again before proceeding so I actually recall most of my meetings with him.

“I believe that you have Dissociative Identity Disorder Heather. I’ve been here 30 years and never seen a case such as yours but everything fits. It all makes sense. You definitely have DID.” He then asked me how I felt about him saying that and I recall being of two minds. One side said “Oh thank goodness for an answer! I am so relieved!” The other side said “No fu***ng way! NOT ME!” I spent the next weeks learning a little more about it. I found out that the 3 dead people who I spoke to all the time were actually alters. It wasn’t long before more alters came forward as I started being open to actually speaking to and acknowledging them. It was a very strange process and I was so incredibly afraid of telling my loved ones. I actually did not tell them for quite some time after I knew for fear of them all leaving me as my birth family had for far crappier reasons. I went away to the hospital with depression and was coming back with that and very Complex PTSD, Generalized Anxiety and DID. I felt that all this was just “too crazy”. They all knew I was crazy but that was just “too crazy”.

Other than fear I felt something that I’d never experienced before. The beginnings of inner peace.
For my whole life I felt like I was desperately trying to keep it all together and find creative ways to explain things I did not recall doing, being places I did not recall being, knowing things that didn’t match up with what someone else knew. I felt eternally confused and in constant fear of people finding out how crazy I really was.Β  When you have DID and don’t know it? The world is an especially confusing place. I thought at different times that I just wasn’t paying attention and that is why I could not recall things. When I missed days or even weeks, I wondered if I had a brain tumour. When someone would say “I told you that” or “You were invited”, I had NO memory of those things and wondered if my tumour was Alzheimers.

When I finally accepted my new diagnoses (it took a while), I felt a new feeling. I felt shattered. I felt angry that my mother had been so horrible that my brain actually needed to split itself in to pieces just to survive. Any word that you can use to explain the feeling of not being whole? I felt it.
On one hand it was such a relief because this finally explained so much but on the other hand? It was terrifying. It would be almost a year before I was able to truly accept the diagnoses and rename my “alters”. They became my “Helpers” and I began seeing them as parts and pieces of a system that kept me alive. Not some group of hooligans that existed to make my life even more hellish.

There are still many days where I feel shattered. Like someone took my mind and tossed it in to the air like a glass vase. Crash! Pieces everywhere. Impossible to fix even with the best glue. You can stick it all back together and it can even be beautiful in a new way but it will never be what it once was. I needed to grieve that loss and honestly? I still really haven’t.

I feel especially fragmented these days. There are many of my Helpers that need some serious attention but I do not honestly have time each day to do that. Perhaps I should say that I don’t MAKE time.
Why don’t I?
Fear.
The fear of not being able to fill their needs. Some are easy and I can use my own self to take care of certain needs but I struggle BIG TIME with the little ones who want their mommy. They do not need my actual mother. They want a mommy. Someone who can hug them and tell them it is okay. Someone who thinks they are special just for being themselves. I can love them. I can care for them. I can take care of most of their needs but they need a mommy and I still need one too. Sorry if that makes me sound pathetic but I am really grieving that a lot right now. Not only did my mother never offer that love to me decades ago but she is still out actively trying to find now and clever ways of making my life a living hell. It is VERY difficult to reconcile this in your brain.

That shattered woman whom I found 2 years ago is still here but I am less shattered than I was. There are pieces that I’ve fit together and the vase has an actual shape now. It still leaks like crazy when the rain is heavy and pieces keep falling off but slowly it is getting stronger and more sturdy as time passes. My recipe for the glue keeps getting better through trial and error.

I wish that no one could relate to this post because if you do? You have been through hell too and I am sorry about that. Truly sorry.
That said? I believe the glue becomes far stronger, far faster when we band together and help to make each other strong.

Shatter

A Dissociative Day

I am thankful for many things in my life and one of the things I appreciate the most is the realization that I have a lot of control over my dissociations and my dissociative parts. It takes months at times to hammer out a deal with a Helper but once an agreement is reached, it never seems to pop back up. I’ve also enjoyed being far more present more often than not these days. Almost to the point that I think my DID is probably 75% less obvious to others than it was 3 years ago. This progress thrills me.

Then I have days that I call my “D-Days”. Dissociation reins! Dissociative parts are running rampant, I have very few chances to feel truly present before another dissociation whisks me away and any deal ever made? All bets are off!!!

I believe it was last Friday that was my last D-Day and it is so confuzzled in my mind that I am not even positive if that was the day. It may have been Thursday. I am sure someone recalls what day it was but that person isn’t me.

What do I recall? I recall dropping in and out of my life at an extremely rapid pace. Each time that I dropped back in, I was reminded of something else that needed to be done. I’d start doing it then suddenly be in a new place at a new time with things yet to be done. It is VERY frustrating. I am quite a busy person and I really do not have a lot of time in my days to “waste” on flickering in and out like some light in a horror movie.

I have come to realize though that these days usually follow times where I feel stressed for some reason or times when I have not been doing a good job at keeping my Helpers involved in my days and my decisions. They can be so well-behaved at times that I forget to include them in on decisions that I am making and that does not bode well…

My trigger this time? Hannah’s pink hippopotamus.
I mentioned it a few weeks ago and since then, I see the box of big toys every time I enter Walmart. Last week I dropped in and to my inner world horror? The box of big toys was gone! Hannah FREAKED. Tracey them became vocal and angry because I had upset Hannah. The other little ones were of course ready to stand up to defend Hannah and her needs as well. Hannah is the youngest Helper that I know of within my Helper circle so the girls only slightly older feel they must protect her.

Don’t think I didn’t feel like a heal and realized very quickly that my hesitance to buy this $15 huge hippo just backfired BIG TIME! I even began to scour other stores and finally found a cute but smaller hippo somewhere else. Anyone who has or knows children well already knows how well this went over. Hannah does not want THAT hippo. She wants HER hippo.

I found it impossible not to take on her petulant, completely peeved, cranky beyond cranky attitude. I didn’t put the two together until yesterday but now I see that it was not me feeling “cranky for no reason”, it was my inner world in absolute turmoil over a (forgive me for saying this) stupid pink hippo. And yes, I know I will pay dearly for how I feel about the hippo but I can not deny I think it is a silly thing to have.

I have been putting a lot of thought in to this and a friend of mine who also has DID discussed buying small Christmas gifts to play with for her little ones. I think she is on to something.

In all truthfulness? I never got to be a child. The first time that I ever really played with toys was while away at Homewood in 2013. Another wonderful friend sent me boxes of toys. Bouncy balls, crayons and colouring books, stuffed toys and all sorts of other little things but I left them there. I could not fit them in my suitcase to bring home. 😦

So why haven’t I bought new ones? Why can’t I buy Hannah her hippo and be happy to give it to her? Don’t worry, if we ever see it again, she’s getting it! Silly in my opinion or not. She will get it and she can do whatever she wants with it.

I also feel the need to fulfil the needs of the other little ones. I’ve unintentionally limited their creative spirits and denied them the chance to be children by my being too busy being an adult to pay attention to their needs.

While on one hand I see this as obviously a huge issue for anyone with DID, I think it can really apply to anyone. When you have DID, your inner parts are separated by walls and quite often, the host is unaware of their existence. this is still true for MANY of my Helpers. I know they are there by other Helpers using their names but I have no contact with them. In other “normal” people, your inner parts have a better flow and you do not need interventions to recall your important memories for the most part.
That does not mean that you don’t still have a child inside of you. One that loved to dance or sing or play with Barbie or G.I. Joe. Maybe you loved to draw as a child and never make time for it now? Who cares if you suck at it? The point is to just have fun and allow that young part of you out to play a bit.
What about your inner teenager? The one that loved loud music and ignoring adults because of how daft we all thought they were? Do you ever just crank that music back up and not worry about the state of your hearing? πŸ˜‰ Crank it up, lay on your bed and just think about how much better your life with be when…..

We all have all sorts of inner parts. I encourage you to not be so busy being an adult that you ignore the needs of your inner child. It is a HUGE mistake for someone with DID as we start losing control of our inner Helpers but I think it is a shame for anyone to lose those parts of themselves.

Go buy some bubble gum and have a competition with your friends or your family on who can blow the biggest one. Tie your hair back first. I take no liability on what mess you create. πŸ˜‰
Buy a stuffed animal if you want one. If not that? A model car to put together, a fun game that you loved when you were young, Lego or Star Wars toys (they will be out again soon!). Play! Play with your own children or grandchildren, play on your own, take some time to colour, paint or do something creative. How about finger-painting?
Why not?

Be sweet to your inner child. Yours might not hold your brain hostage for ignoring them but it is still important to be little again now and then.

Have a great week everyone and don’t forget to make some time to play.

hippo

An odd choice for books and TV.

I’ve been having some conversations with a new friendΒ (she also has DID and PTSD) and we happened upon the topic of books that we like to read and TV that we enjoy watching.
Pretty basic right?
Well yes… but our choices and our reasons for those choices surprised me.

Both of us like certain shows that others could find very triggering.
We also both enjoy books that others could find depressing or horrid. An example of this for me are books written by Cathy Glass. She is a foster carer and in each book she discusses full histories of the children she has cared for (all done within legal and identity protective parameters of course).
She wrote one book called “Damaged” that discusses the home life and eventual realization that a young girl in her care has DID and why. I can easily see that much of this book could be very triggering and even harmful to some people but to me? It made me feel understood. It made me feel less alone in this world.

As “Damaged” progresses, there are many things that Dawn (the little girl) does or says that to me are totally normal things to do and say but then other people who care about her have these huge reactions to it.
When you’ve only ever lived in your own head, you can’t really imagine how it feels to think differently. What you think and feel is your own normal and I certainly had my own normal as well but my normal was based on trauma and a total lack of attachment.

As the book goes on, I learned what society as a whole feels about certain things that happened to this young girl in the book and then vicariously through her, I learned how people would feel if they knew what happened to me.
I felt as though it began to replace many of my brainwashed ways of thinking and made me see how someone with healthier relationships would feel. It helped normalize my thinking in many ways.
And most importantly? I felt like there is actually someone else out there that knew what my life was like from the inside. I wish absolutely no one any harm but when harm has been done, having others that just “get it” is an invaluable healing tool in my not always very humble opinion. πŸ˜‰

DamagedThe same goes for TV. I can not and will not watch shows that have graphic details or triggering visuals but there are a lot of shows that I watch that others may find an odd choice for me but once again, I watch them because they make me feel understood and less alone. They also show me once again what more normal reactions to that situation would be. Reactions that I never allowed myself to have. In a way I am slowly learning how to feel compassion towards myself through the reactions of these characters on TV.

I do avoid a lot of shows, almost all of the news, and many books because they can be triggering to me and that is not healthy at all. I don’t wish to be scared, triggered or activated. It is an odd balance between making sure to protect yourself but also allow enough space for healing to happen.
Since there is no real road map through our lifetime journey, we need to make personal decisions of what is best for us. Those decisions may not always make sense to others but if something feels like it is helping you and not harming you? I say go for it!

Do any of you feel that way as well? Do you watch or read things not only for enjoyment but also for the soul soothing feelings of being understood or less alone?

I did not add blogs to the beginning of this blog because they were never a part of our conversation but I do feel they are similar to books in many ways as well. I can not read blogs that discuss graphic details or really down and dirty subjects but there are many blogs that I do read that others may find depressing while I find them enlightening. I do not feel depressed by them. I feel less alone.
I guess I hope this blog does that for someone out there too. πŸ™‚