Tag Archives: Community

An “ah, ha” moment

Sunday’s, oh how they sneak up on me and then- BAM! I’m an emotional mess. Well, this Sunday was no different, but it sort of was, at the same time.  I didn’t sleep well, no surprise, but I also had another headache.  When I got up to take my migraine meds, I heard this voice from inside say, “Please, don’t take that medicine!  I promise, it’s not a migraine.”  

That felt so weird, since this part of me rarely communicates with me, but it was loud and clear that morning.  I took some Excedrin, decided to lay back down and let it run it’s course.  A few minutes later, I’m feeling this odd sensation to get up and work on my BSF lesson.  At this point, I realize that Kat (17) is communicating with me, and I want to acknowledge her.  We head out to the kitchen, get some coffee, slice up a grapefruit, I prayed out loud, we begin to read scripture and answer questions.

As I am reading verses I’ve read before and am familiar with, I notice I’m reading out loud and asking myself questions.  It feels like when I was 21, and a new Christian.  I had so many questions about the bible.  Was this stuff really true?  Is it really this easy?  Does God really forgive ALL my sins, for real??

All this was familiar and I knew she was asking me these questions.  This process of healing, finding freedom, and ongoing integration with my Dissociative Identity Disorder, has always been my goal.  What I wasn’t planning on was this journey of making sure the parts of me knew Jesus.  Not to simply learn about Him, but to experience the relationship, love, forgiveness, and salvation He offers.  I know some of you are thinking, “Man, this chick is messed up!”  Maybe so, but I want to make sure, when the time is right, that all the precious parts of me know and believe in Jesus.  I have no better gift to share with them, other than letting each one share their stories, be believed, and help them through their individual trauma and abuse.  Jesus doesn’t just love me-Host.  He loves every part of me.  And He wants us to be healed!!

I know some may have another meaning for these particular verses in 1 Corinthians, but for me, it speaks not only about the church body, but my personal body too.

1-Corinthians-14-12-also1 Corinthians 12:14-26 (NLT)

Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part!  Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

I am grateful to be involved in my healing, taking the steps to trust God, my therapist, and myself.  It isn’t easy, most days, I want to quit.  I hate feeling this way, it hurts too badly, and I want things (people) I can never have.  God knows my suffering, He will not allow more than I can take-without Him!

 

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“United as One”

 

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Thoughts for Today

Good Morning!

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!

   Soap Box…

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, “the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall aperson, group, etc. And as a verb, “to wish or invoke evil, calamity, injury, or destruction upon.”  

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.

Dissociative Identity Disorder quilt original ribbon, licnsed for reuse and modification http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/

It Is NOT Your Fault

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No matter how many times you may hear this or see it written, it never seems to be enough!  Somehow we invariably believe the abuse was our fault. We tell ourselves, we should have done something, or maybe if we did this or said that, then it would not have occurred.  This thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth!  When we can see ourselves faultless, then we are one more step closer to the healing.

I’m not saying it is easy, or I have it mastered, but it is essential for the healing process.  Another area that seems to consume me (and I’m sure others) is shame.  Shame can keep us locked up inside for years, if we don’t do something about it.  Yes, we can do something about it, we don’t have to carry it any longer.  It is a choice we must make, difficult, scary, and paralyzing at times, yet vital for healing.

Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite authors, explains shame like this:

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging. It’s the most primitive human emotion we all feel—and the one no one wants to talk about. If left to its own devices, shame can destroy lives.”  

“The less you talk about it, the more you’ve got it. Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives:

secrecy, silence, and judgment.”

By keeping quiet, your shame will grow exponentially. It will creep into every corner and crevice of your life.”  

The solution is empathy. When you talk about your shame with a friend who expresses empathy, the painful feeling cannot survive. “Shame depends on me buying into the belief that I’m alone.” 

Here’s the bottom line: “Shame cannot survive being spoken, it cannot survive empathy.”

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive. However, if we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.”

God has created us to be in community with one another.  He wants us to encourage, pray for each other, and bear each other’s burdens. Be friends, kind, compassionate, generous, and serve one another.  When those who are close to me love and accept me, I feel Christ’s love, too. When I confess my struggles, they are quick to forgive.  I am grateful they pray for my brokenness, because it is the healing work of Jesus at work.  When we feel the crushed by our own failures, it is a blessing to have a community surround us with compassion and encouragement. It lightens our loads, strengthens us, and gives us the courage to keep on trying. And that is exactly what God intended.

I pray you have found some family and friends whom you have created a safe place to share your journey with DID, and can receive the love and acceptance they offer.  For me, it was courage to trust just one person.  It was like talking to yourself like you talk to someone you love.  It is worth taking the risk, because it has been life-changing for me.  Be brave, and trust God to bring the right people into your life.

Blessings!