As I sit here, in a quiet home (because the boys are all sleeping), watching the fall leaves blow around in my back yard, I am reminded of the changing of seasons…and that I have come to despise the word “season”. However, God created all things for a purpose, even the changing of the seasons. So, why shouldn’t I embrace the word season? Maybe because the word season, means change, something is about to happen, things aren’t going to be the same as before, it feels and looks different…Then I thought, Wow! Perhaps the word “season” isn’t so bad after all.
Summer: It’s a time of warmth, sunshine, growth, and light. Nothing hidden, no secrets, and less darkness. Fall: Things change, we see the beauty in various colors, blessings and a sense of transition into a time of rest. Winter: This is a place of silence, being still, turning inward, and regaining a new focus. Spring: Finding new life, new meaning, a renewal and new beginnings.
I have never really thought about the changing of seasons in this way before, and yet it is necessary. Solomon speaks from his own experience in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven”… Timing is important, and all the experiences that are listed in the those verses are appropriate for each time. Being able to discover, accept, and appreciate God’s timing, His perfect timing, is the secret to peace that only He can give. If we doubt or even resent God’ timing, we are in danger of feeling despair or stepping out ahead of His plan.
In verse 11 it says, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” And in verse 14, “And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it.”
We get a glimpse, through each season of God’s creation. The beauty that we see and experience here on earth is only a small picture of what lies ahead for us in heaven. He wants us to enjoy the things He has given to us, to be happy and do well- it is a gift from Him. But we should never loose sight of who He is and His purpose for us. His plan is perfect, and good. It is not to bring disaster, but hope and a future.
I am slowly learning that in each season, to be kind to myself and not beat myself up for not being able to do what “other people” seem to do. And as I face my past and walk through the painful memories, I need to remember that it does not define me- I am not my past. It is amazing to me, how at a young age, I learned to dissociate in order to survive. Dissociating saved my life. It truly is/was a gift from God. The mind He created in me is amazing, mysterious and wonderful all at the same time.
I have heard and read many times that having DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) is like a blessing and a curse. It was puzzling to me that the people writing such things did not have DID. I’m not going to speak ill of psychiatrists, therapists, mental health organizations and those working with DID clients, because they are trained in the field of dissociation. They also are the ones who have walked us through this journey, providing care, guidance, acceptance, encouragement and support. For those reasons, I am truly grateful!
However, the word “curse” has a strong meaning that is inappropriate for me, and I would assume others. As a noun, it is defined as, “
I don’t know about you, but that is the very last thing I want in my life!! Yes, it is a blessing! It provided a way for us to survive horrific trauma and abuse. There is no shame in being DID, It in fact is a testimony of an individuals courage, strength, creativity, and faith.
A curse? No way! There are indeed down sides to having DID, because it is hard, grueling and painful work. At times you feel like you are crazy- but you’re not! You wonder if you will be cured of DID, you won’t. You learn to manage, work with your system and achieve integration and wholeness. So, believe this about yourself: You are good, you are important, and you are worthy of love and belonging. What happened to you was not your fault and it in no way makes you a bad person or cursed!
DID can get in the way of everyday life with the inability to engage in daily activities and that is normal. However, some of us have held highly responsible jobs, contributed to society, and able to function normally with coworkers, neighbors and others.
At times it isn’t possible to work, especially if you are in the early stages of healing and integration with your system/community. DO NOT be hard on yourself, it is all part of the process. There may be a time when you can slowly add things back into your life. Be patient with yourself, ask for what you need, seek progress, not perfection, breathe, and choose healing!
End Soap Box!
So, today I am embracing this new season (although tomorrow may be different, Ha Ha). It is important to realize that healing and integration are a process in the journey. Trauma work comes in layers, so be careful not to get discouraged and feel like you’re starting over. You may need to revisit certain events, and that is normal. Keep moving forward, being forthcoming and honest, with yourself and your therapist.
I cannot begin to understand, fathom or know God’s plan for me….but I do know it is GOOD, and so am I.
**I want to be clear that I am choosing integration for myself and all the parts of me. I understand that it is a choice we all make and that okay. It may not be the goal for everyone, but it is for me.
Integration is a process, as opposed to an actual event, that begins as soon as DID therapy begins. Integration is fully embracing each and every part of myself, while learning and accepting new information. Parts don’t go away or disappear, they are part of you. It occurs throughout therapy as dissociated parts of one’s self become known, accepted and integrated into normal awareness. It is a natural process in the recovery from trauma to combine, blend, fuse, or merge parts to create a unified whole.