I wonder how many can relate to this.
During my therapy years, denial that I was even a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, namely, ritual abuse was prevalent. I always presented a façade to the outside world that I believed I was a survivor.
I did many things to hide these feelings of doubt. From stuffing them with food to becoming an advocate for survivors by creating The Dissociated Survivor (DS) website in 2009.
Where did this come from?
My mind churned out such horrific events. How could my family have done this to me? My family, who I thought at the beginning of my therapy merely, ‘mildly abused’ me, emotionally and sexually. Thank god that attitude changed! There is no such thing as ‘mild abuse.’ Abuse is abuse!
The backlash of the False Memory Syndrome and the stigma attached to Dissociative Identity Disorder further unraveled my belief. It didn’t seem like I had much of a stronghold on my belief from the beginning of my journey and I drove myself crazy wondering if I would ever break through my denial. It became the focal point of many therapy sessions, and I repeated to my therapist: “on a gut level it feels like something is missing.”
She would tell me, “You can stay in denial when you leave my office, in fact, I encourage it. It will keep you safe, but when you’re here, I need you to be out of denial so we can work on your issues.” Unfortunately, my denial extended to both.
“This is not real. Nothing is happening to you,” my abusers would say as they raped me. “It’s your over active imagination,” I heard countless times.
Sometimes, I felt arrogant with my denial. I thought I had convinced psychiatrists and my family doctor, who admittedly did not believe in DID, but diagnosed us as multiple anyway.
In addition to this, I ‘managed to convince’ government officials, and then receive criminal compensation for childhood sexual abuse, but, of course, I felt that “I was making it all up.”
The Power I Had!
I didn’t understand that these years I was actually resolving my denial issues, which included the ten years it took me to accept my alcoholism. Time and experience was the key factor in my acceptance of these life-changing issues.
For the past six months, I’ve often been dissociating, conscious only to the last thought, word or sentence from one of my insiders. Nothing that made much sense to me, just enough to know a change was coming.
Ten nights ago, in a state of hypnagogic (between the states of sleep and wakefulness) a breakthrough occurred. I, LisaBri was inside watching my teenagers split in and out of control of the body. There were smooth transitions, rapid switches and fear on their part. In a quick succession, they reviewed the memories that were full of denial, which had bothered me for so long. I could hear myself saying, “Oh yes, of course, we haven’t made this up. Of course, this happened. It was all real.” I felt the emotions that they experienced.
My alters, or inside people, reminded me of the clusters of pink, paper-thin bougainvillea flowers I had seen while vacationing in the Caribbean. They are the miracle of sunshine and blossoms, while the rest of the world snuggles down into the grey of winter.
“Nobody would want to go through this. These feelings are very real. I am not making this up. It did happen.” The empathy I experienced for those kids astounded me. The walls between Lisa as an adult and my inside teenagers came down. The empathy spread to the systems as a whole. Integration occurred. An oneness had occurred. There was no separateness.
There are numerous more of integrations still to come, but another open room concept awareness has taken place. It has been over ten days and I still feel strong that my denial is gone. No creeping in thoughts or feelings.
When I first awoke to full consciousness, a wash of terror came over me.
“How I would deal with the new influx of feelings since I am no longer in therapy?” I wondered.
These came from my youngest alters, and I am happy to report no overwhelming feelings have taken over.
I do believe as I always have, I will never be given more than I can handle at any given moment. This old adage has given me the strength to survive to date.
…Don’t deny what the eyes to your soul have revealed to you… Vashti Quiroz-Vega