June 14, 2009
I’m trying something new today — a blog poll.
I’m not quite sure how they work yet, so other than asking people to click their answers… I can’t really explain it yet. This will be new for me too!
However, I am very interested in knowing whether or not you all have found therapists to be effective in understanding dissociative disorders, and whether or not you have met any therapists that could appropriately treat dissociative identity disorder.
Part of my clinical work as a trauma therapist is to teach other therapists about how to work with DID / dissociative identity disorder. Your opinion matters to me in that it helps me to give appropriate feedback to other therapists. Your opinions can be included in my presentations to other therapists.
We have spoken about the importance of trauma specialists in other Discussing Dissociation blog posts. Please refer to that article for more detailed information about my own personal opinion on the topic.
Also, if you are interested in providing a more detailed opinion about therapists, AbuseConsultants.com has a survey titled “Do Therapists Actually Help?” Your responses there can be completely anonymous. To participate in this survey, please go to AbuseConsultants.com, enter the site, and then click on the Survey 2 icon near the top of the home page.
Please feel free to add additional comments here in the blog as well, especially if you’d like to explain something further in response to the survey questions.
Thank you so much for your participation. I appreciate it!
Kathy Broady LCSW
May 10, 2009
This blog article is a tribute to the mothers out there in the world that have spent huge chunks of their lives fighting for the safety / healing of their children. These women are incredible spirits and are an inspiration to us all.
I know mothers who have absolutely gone the distance for their children. These women don’t get thanked often, but I do want to let them know that they are appreciated, recognized and deeply valued.
These mothers do a lot of things right.
- They listen attentively to their children, even if hearing the horror stories of abuse breaks their heart. They want to know what happened, and no matter how hard it is to hear, they listen to every single word.
- These mothers have clearly done a good job building communication with their children even before this point. Children have to know that it is ok to tell – “telling the secret” is often one of the biggest barriers in children getting help from their abuse. The children have to have someone safe to tell, someone they trust, someone that they can rely on to help them. If the mother hasn’t already built that kind of relationship with her children, she has drastically lowered the chances that her children will ever tell her their deepest secrets of abuse. Mothers that are approachable will
- These inspirational mothers do what it takes to protect their children from abusers, including leaving the perpetrator in whatever way is necessary – divorce, moving to another area of the country, going into a shelter, etc.
- They take assertive strong legal action against the perpetrator such as filing a report with child protective services, filing protective orders, pressing charges against the offender.
- They withstand the pressure from other friends and family members who may, for whatever reasons, oppose taking a strong stance against the perpetrator. These mothers know that protecting their children is more important than the approval of family members who want to hide embarrassing issues in the closet.
- These mothers are dedicated to finding helpful resources for their children’s therapy and treatment for sexual abuse. This is not always an easy task, and it might require a great deal of persistence, but these mothers will persist, for as long as it takes.
- These mothers sit with their children as they cry, they comfort their children after nightmares, they let their children cling to them when “being away from mommy” feels too scary. These mothers recognize that their children have been crime victims, that they have PTSD from their abuse, and that their neediness has skyrocketed. Good mothers let it be ok that their children need this extra time and attention to rebuild their emotional security again.
- These mothers are strong for their children, even when their heart is breaking. They get their own personal support system to help with their intense emotions (believe me, being the mother of an abused child is a highly emotional situation), and they find a way, place, and time to talk about their own grief and anger so that they can be present and available for their children.
- These mothers are brave enough to honestly assess the situation, and to look closely at how their children got tangled in an abusive situation. They learn from whatever mistakes were made, and correct them. They think back to see if there were any warning signs or high-risk factors that they missed, and learn how to handle things differently now that they are aware of the abuse. They figure out what to do in the future to keep their children safe from being abused in that particular way ever again.
- These mothers spend hours and hours of time with their children, even if they are acting-out and emotionally distraught from the abuse they suffered. The mothers temper their discipline with deep understanding that their children are acting out of their hurt, fear, pain, anger, etc. These moms realize that their children’s behavioral issues are not about the children being “bad”.
- These mothers provide new and positive activities for their children to help boost their tattered self-esteem and body image. They find recreational activities, or artistic activities, etc that give their children healthy feelings of acceptance, accomplishment, mastery, positive self-worth, creativity, growth, etc.
- Protective mothers will do everything in their power to help their children overcome the long-term negative effects of childhood sexual abuse. They are determined to not leave their children to suffer in silence and isolation. These mothers actively attend their needs, provide comfort, and help their children move forward as healthy, productive members of society.
Helping children recover from sexual abuse can be a long, difficult process, but if non-offending mothers are not willing to be protective and helpful for their children, the negative affects of the abuse can multiply and worsen through the years. Untreated sexual abuse issues lead to all kinds of additional complicating factors such as addictions, promiscuity, self harm, depression, anxiety, mental health issues, repeated involvement in destructive relationships, angry behavior, destructive behavior, sexual acting out, hospitalizations, additional abuse, dissociative disorders, etc. The cost of untreated sexual abuse truly multiplies exponentially over time.
Mothers that are willing to help and protect their children as close to the injury-point as possible are helping their children in the here-and-now, and creating a permanent and positive effect on their children’s lives. These mothers are also making a positive difference that can have a positive influence on society for years to come.
For those mothers that are willing to protect their children, here are my very best wishes that today is the most wonderful Mother’s Day for you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping your children. You truly deserve a good day today!
Kathy Broady LCSW
April 25, 2009
Long-term, chronic, and severe child abuse causes a variety of medical and emotional issues for the survivors of such extensive abuse. Dissociative identity disorder (DID/MPD) is one long-term issue, but medical complications are extremely common as well.
In addition to addiction issues and mental health issues, most survivors find that they have numerous medical issues as either a direct or indirect result of their severe childhood sexual abuse.
INCREASED MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS
- Numerous medical complications or physical ailments from the years of internalized stress, anger, bodily harm, etc.
- Increased risk of stress related diseases, including depression, bipolar, PTSD, anxiety, etc
- Colitis, high blood pressure, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, fibromyalgia, etc.
- Frequent headaches and migraines
- Numerous dental issues, including harm to the teeth, especially if the survivor experienced a lot of drugging
- A history of shaken baby syndrome, whiplash, broken bones, head injuries, etc.
- Bizarre illnesses or medical conditions that are difficult to explain or diagnose
- Inability to thrive – failure to grow
- Physical or mental impairment due to early childhood injuries
- Brain development affected – people who are severely sexually abused in childhood have permanent changes in their brains, specifically in the left hemisphere. These changes cause increased difficulties in the way they think, react, feel, and behave.
Long-term, severe, chronic child abuse causes long-term, severe, chronic medical issues, with both physical health and mental health.
Who pays for that?
One of the most frustrating negative effects of childhood sexual abuse is that the survivors as adults, on their own and struggling through each day, are left to manage the costs of their medical and mental health treatment by themselves, with minimal financial assistance from the people that actually caused the harm.
Going the legal route in terms of suing for damages is typically unrealistic. Besides, dissociative survivors often need long-term therapy and treatment prior to being ‘emotionally together enough’ to even consider a lawsuit. Either the survivors have not yet sorted out their trauma history / information in order to be able to present an organized, sequential legal suit, or they have too much internal conflict going on about what to tell, who to tell, etc. And, of course, being angry at the perpetrators is such a frightening thought that taking their perpetrators to court can be completely impossible.
So by the time dissociative survivors are able to deal with the legal world, they have already had to find a way to get years of therapy in the first place.
It’s so very frustrating to see the perpetrators walk away, comfortably well off after demolishing and destroying the lives of the survivors. Just like the pimps on the streets are comfortably rich in comparison to the beaten up, drug-addicted, stressed-out girls they sold on the corners, organized perpetrator groups are wealthy in comparison to the girls they’ve sold, abused, and used up.
Sometimes, perpetrator fathers will pay for therapy costs / medical bills as a quiet “under the table” compromise to their children. The “I’ll pay for your medical bills in exchange for your ongoing silence and not taking this to the public arena” exchange does happen, but it does not come without its own complications. Perpetrator fathers are very good at guilt-tripping their daughters, and having an ongoing connection to their perpetrator creates a constant tension and conflict in their healing process.
Insurance companies and disability policies are providing less and less coverage.
No one wants to pay for the crimes done by sex offenders, yet these offenders have created horrible life-long wounds for children all over the world.
One of the costs of long-term, severe child abuse for survivors is dealing with the complications of getting proper healing in the first place.
POOR MEDICAL AND THERAPEUTIC ASSISTANCE
- Excessive monies spent on medical bills, treatments, therapies, etc.
- Years of misdiagnosis, poor medical treatment, inappropriate therapies
- Hospitalization after hospitalization after hospitalization – It’s not at all uncommon for survivors with DID to have over psychiatric 30 hospitalizations in their lives.
- Costs to insurance, government medical funds, unpaid medical facilities, etc.
- Finding appropriate therapeutic help is extremely difficult, and too often non-existent, leaving the victims to suffer even longer
- Maintaining appropriate therapeutic help for the years it takes to overcome the depth of the damage is complicated and expensive. The treatment is heart wrenching and grueling work. And yet, intense therapy is required to improve a survivor’s devastated quality of life
- Expensive medications are often needed for years to assist with stability
- Psychiatric medications, though helpful in many ways, have many disturbing side effects that are also difficult to live with
- Psychiatric medications are not prescribed in an exact science type of way. Survivors will go through years of trial and error to find what works for them and when. Different doctors prescribe medications differently.
So who pays for all of this?
Unfortunately, for the most part, survivors have to pay for their own healing by themselves, which means more sacrifices made by people who have lost quite enough in their lives already.
Is that fair? Is that right?
No, that is not fair. No, it is not right. Not at all.
But it is typically the only way for survivors to get the healing they need.
Is your healing worth this for you?
Kathy Broady LCSW
April 15, 2009
April is Child Abuse Prevention month.
Education is one of the biggest factors in the prevention of child abuse. Those of you that have been sexually abused or physically abused know the effects of that abuse all too well. Child abuse can affect the entire life of the survivor, and the seriousness of its effects cannot be ignored.
If you are a trauma survivor, you can help to inform others about the seriousness of sexual abuse.
Are you the supportive loved one of a trauma survivor?
Are you the parent of an abused child?
Are you the spouse / partner of a trauma survivor?
Have you completed a Negative Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse Survey?
To help further understand the implications of treatment for childhood sexual abuse, AbuseConsultants.com would appreciate your participation in an educational survey, NICSA Survey. Your responses can be completely anonymous, and additional comments are welcomed.
Please go to AbuseConsultants.com and follow the links provided on the home page.
The following areas of impact are questioned on the NICSA Survey:
- Anger Issues
- Anxiety and Panic
- Bipolar Disorder
- Criminal Histories
- Damaged Relationships
- Destroyed Career
- Detachment from Self or Others
- DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)
- Eating Disorders
- Experienced Losses in Life
- Increased Medical Complications
- Lack Parenting Skills
- Long Term Disability
- Loss of Education
- Mental Health Problems
- Mental Torment
- Numbness or lack of feeling in the body
- Ongoing Violence and Abuse
- Poor Coping Skills
- Poor Medical Assistance
- Poor Self Care
- Poor Therapeutic Relationships
- Poverty / Financial Devastation
- Self Destruction and Self Mutilation
- Self Esteem Issues
- Sexual Deviations
- Sexual Problems
- Sleep Complications
- Suicidal Ideation and Behavior
- Suicide / Death
Do you relate to any of these areas of impact?
Has your childhood sexual abuse complicated your life in any of these ways?
How severely has your abuse affected your life?
If only someone had been able to prevent the abuse from happening in your life…..
Kathy Broady LCSW
April 13, 2009
How many of you have been watching the award-winning HBO Series, “In Treatment” with Gabriel Byrne, Dianne Wiest, and John Mahoney? This HBO series is currently near the beginning of its second season, centered around how Dr. Paul Weston (Byrne) conducts therapy sessions with four different clients, and then his own individual therapy process with his own therapist, Dr. Gina Toll (Wiest).
In my opinion, the “In Treatment” series is more accurate about the layered complications of the therapy process than the brief bits of therapy shown in Showtime’s “United States of Tara”. The snippets shown of Tara’s therapy were with an overwhelmed, under-trained, uneducated wimp of a therapist. I suppose it is true that all too many therapists are overwhelmed and unprepared to deal with the healing process for trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Hopefully a referral to a more specialized trauma therapist in season two of Tara will lead to deeper, more meaningful presentations of her therapy process.
With the “In Treatment” series, the clients present with relateable issues, and the therapists become real people – likeable, emotional, genuine, flaws and all.
“In Treatment” shows how therapy is different from person to person. While staying the same, the room “changes” and feels different and unique to each client. The therapists and their rooms are the same from session to session and client to client, and yet they become totally different places as each individual client comes in, exposing his or her own life, pain, feelings, energy, thoughts, and emotion.
It shows how the therapy process challenges therapists to be their best selves at all times, as impossible as that might be.
It shows how much people actually say about themselves when someone is listening closely to what is being said. And it shows how much people do not listen to their own selves, and how they don’t hear the words that come out of their own mouths.
It shows how families speak to each other – or not. And how helpful family members can be to each other – or not. And how loving, kind, supportive, and caring family members can be to each other – or not.
It shows how people wrestle with their emotions, their feelings, their realities, and the denial of those realities. It shows their emotional conflict, turmoil, grief, depression, anxiety, suicidal actions, passive suicidal feelings, anger, panic, fear, dismay, agony, self-harm motives, struggles with life and death.
It shows how the therapy process, while focused around the expression of words and feelings, can be enhanced by paying close attention to the communication from the physical body itself, which sometimes says more than clients can put into words.
It shows how therapists get invested in their clients, and how they build connections and bonds with their clients. The caring can be a real thing.
It shows how important it is for clients to make their own life-decisions, how much people wrestle with their own life decisions, and how quickly therapists get blamed when these decisions do not work out as hoped.
It shows how tender and fragile people can be, even when they outwardly appear to be strong, powerful, and in control.
It shows the importance of being heard, understood, listened to, and recognized as a worthwhile person, first by others, and then by yourself.
These television shows can lead to a lot of personal thinking and reassessment about your own therapy process, your relationship with your therapist, and how your life is changing and progressing. How do you relate to what you are seeing “In Treatment”?
* What is your therapy process like?
* How is your therapy impacting your life?
* Do you see your therapist as human as Dr. Weston presents in “In Treatment”?
* Do you blame your therapist when your life plans do not work out as hoped?
* Is your therapist as central to your life as presented in these series?
* Are you more attached to your therapist or to your therapy process?
* What would you do if you realized how human and flawed your therapist is?
* Do you expect your therapist to be something more than a real person?
Kathy Broady LCSW
March 22, 2009
We’ve had some very interesting discussions on the “What do you think about Suicide?” blog article. Thank you to everyone who writes and comments on this blog – your participation is valued and appreciated.
One of the topics that surfaced on that thread is the idea that trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID/MPD) may have child parts within their system that can be suicidal, and that the ability to control the suicidal behavior of these child parts seems overwhelmingly difficult, even for the adults of the dissociative system.
I’d like to write an official response to that.
Typically, one thinks of child parts as a permanently young child – an inside part that holds the trauma memories, feelings, rememberings, and experiences that happened when the body was of a young chronological age. These child parts act like children, think like children, reason like children. Their thinking is often very concrete and their grammar / spelling / speech is child-like as well.
So, how does a child part, who is likened after an actual child, have the ability to be suicidal when typically, children do not even understand what death is?
How can these child parts have the ability to act outside of the control of the adults in the system?
There is at least one possible answer for that.
For dissociative trauma survivors, their childhood was filled with abusive perpetrators. Some — not all — DID survivors have experienced an organized type of abuse by organized groups of perpetrators. These organized groups could have presented themselves as sex slavery groups, or cult groups, or governmental / mind control experimental groups. Any which way, the abuse was more than home-based, chaotic dysfunctional family-crisis abuse. With organized abuse, there would have been a goal, a purpose, and a long-term plan for ongoing and continued abuse and total control of the victim by the offenders.
Organized perpetrators very often purposefully split off child parts and attach suicidal programming to these children. Even while the children are at a very young age, these organized perpetrators demand complete control of the mind and behavior of the child. These perpetrators know they are committing horrendous crimes to their victims, and are invested in keeping the children silenced about these crimes. They instill these controls early in life, and then have every intention of keeping this level of control over the victim for as many years into adulthood as possible. Organized perpetrators actually want life-long control. They begin their domination during the victim’s childhood with the intention of being able to keep that child under their control for their entire life.
Using suicidal programming as a way to control and manipulate behavior is one of the most effective ways for abusers to protect their secrets. Perpetrators have a variety of horrific techniques that they use to accomplish this goal.
The result is that a child part can be cued or triggered into suicidal thinking, can have a suicidal plan, and could potentially follow the instructions planted in their brain with the same level of intensity as any other mind-controlled person. The child part does not have to understand what they are doing, nor do they have to understand what death is, nor do they have to understand the effects of their behavior. They just have to know what to do, step by step. These child parts have simply been taught clearly defined, specifically detailed behaviors to follow upon command, and they have been taught to follow those controls without thinking.
Perpetrators attach suicidal programming to young children not only at the earliest point of intervention, but also because it goes to their advantage that these child parts genuinely do not understand what death is. The children know what obedience is and the mind control trainers take advantage of that. Children cannot reason past the orders to understand that they are being told to do something that is harmful to them. They cannot grasp the concept of death enough to fear it the way an adult would, but they know what happens in they don’t obey, so the programming is attached to this level of thinking without any risk of interference by “fear of death”.
In effective trauma therapy, these controls can be removed safely, and the person — both the child parts and the adult parts — can reclaim their own power and control of their behavior. However, as long as the programmed responses are hidden secretly within the child part, the person is at risk for suicidal behavior.
If you are experiencing these kind of suicidal controls, please work with an experienced trauma therapist while addressing these issues. It is imperative that you handle suicidal programming with great caution, and do not assume that just any therapist can do this level of work.
Find a genuine trauma specialist to help you remove suicidal programming from your child parts.
Your safety matters. And yes, you can reclaim the control of your own life.
If you are considering individual therapy work to address these issues, please contact me through AbuseConsultants.com. Be very careful about exposing too much of this kind of personal information on a public blog site.
Your safety is important.
Kathy Broady LCSW
March 14, 2009
To continue the previous post, here are five more life-lessons I’ve learned from my years working with those with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID/MPD).
By their life example, multiples have shown me:
6. Spiritual Strength even Under Persecution. Most survivors with DID and long-term severe abuse have had various religious / spiritual connotations mixed in with that abuse, creating a version of Spiritual Abuse and a variety of spiritual crises. Every trauma survivor handles these situations in his / her own way, and yet in my experience, most survivors have at least one or two insiders, if not a whole grouping of insiders or even their whole self, that develop a very strong spiritual life despite the trauma and its effects. Maybe these trauma survivors develop a strong spiritual life because of the trauma? My thought is that any survivors that have the personal strength to fight against the vileness perpetrators and horrific abuse have a deep spiritual reason to do so. How they portray that faith in later years of their life varies widely, but the point is still there: persecution and pain can strengthen and deepen spiritual beliefs. What a strong statement of faith!
7. The Ability to Overcome Adversity in Life. Dissociative trauma survivors have faced head-on some of the most difficult challenges in life. They have dealt with overwhelming pain, tragedy, heartbreak, betrayal, abandonment, and isolation. They have encountered some of the darkest trials and tribulations of life, even during their earliest , most vulnerable years. And yet, despite the effects of being attacked and consumed by wickedness, corruption, and depravity, so many of these dissociative survivors have gone on to have incredibly productive, successful lives as gentle, giving, compassionate, caring people. These are inspiring people with thousands of stories of courage and strength. They are true examples of resilience and over-coming the odds!
8. Joy, Happiness, and Fun-filled Laughter. I have been amazed at how many trauma survivors have maintained an incredible sense of humor and an appreciation of fun, good times, laughter, and joy even after being crushed by intense pain and horror so much of their lives. Maybe seeing so much heavy darkness has created a greater appreciation of light-hearted fun? Any which way, it speaks volumes to me that people who have been immersed in pain can and do continue to find humor, fun, and positive excitement in life. Having good times and finding ways to enjoy life have an elevated importance for these folks, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Laughter truly is the best medicine, and trauma survivors that can still laugh (in the good ways!) are genuinely inspirational.
9. The Pure Hearts of Children. Children have a natural joy and wonderment with life. Even though dissociative trauma survivors have had tragic childhoods destroyed by sadistic criminals, these trauma survivors typically split off a part of themselves that totally protected the purity of childhood innocence and beauty. Through dissociation, they were able to keep a part of themselves totally separated from darkness, evil, horror, pain, trauma, and abuse. That is amazing to me. It shows the importance of these childhood feelings and that even the worst viciousness of predators does not take this precious innocence away. This creative, incredible ability to maintain self protection is extraordinary.
10. Loving Others More than Yourself. Trauma survivors were typically forced to put their abusers’ needs ahead of themselves in a harmful, tragic, devastating ways. There is no doubt about the harm that happens to children when their own needs are ignored and neglected. However,many trauma survivors seem to turn this abusive extreme around. In a less abusive context, they maintain the awareness that others are as important as themselves, and they can be extremely compassionate and selfless towards other people. The examples of selfless generosity, giving, and caring can be awe-inspiring and genuine examples of how to love someone else.
In my opinion, trauma survivors that retain the ability to genuinely love and connect with others have risen above the worst effects of the abuse they suffered. Maintaining the ability to bond correctly with animals, and/or people, and/or spiritual powers despite the years of forced darkness and evil is truly amazing and inspirational.
Those of us fortunate enough to experience less trauma and abuse in our lives should take note. Trauma survivors can be incredible role models of what is truly important in life.
- Do you have the depth of character and strength to withstand a war against evil?
- Would you handle persecution and pain with as much grace and strength as DIDer’s do?
- Would you still be a good person even if you spent years of life being controlled by darkness?
I encourage everyone to look deeper than dysfunctional symptoms and mental illness. What can trauma survivors teach you about life?
What can you learn about the power of good over evil?
I see examples of that every single day in the trauma survivors that I know.
Kathy Broady LCSW
February 28, 2009
This week, the readers here have posted a wide variety of reactions to the idea that being multiple could have benefits. If you haven’t yet read all the comments on that blog, please do so. They are very interesting.
When people have DID/MPD, they have experienced life as a multiple since their childhood. It is their norm – basically the only way of life they know. Multiples typically have not experienced life any other way other than being multiple, even if they didn’t realize they were as split as they are. Sure, one or two of the host personalities may not have a strong personal connection to what it’s like to be multiple, and many of them can deny the existence of the internal others to some degree, but the internal system as a whole would have been there for nearly your whole life.
And frankly, many DID’ers that are newly diagnosed just haven’t realized how much they have been switching their whole lives long. But just because they haven’t recognized their dissociative abilities doesn’t mean that they haven’t been living their life as a very active multiple, switching, possibly losing time, and putting amnesiac walls around anything that is too uncomfortable for them.
So what if you are dissociative and you really really detest being a multiple personality? What if you can’t stand being DID/MPD, and you hate it, and you despise it, and you make sure that everyone in your system knows it, and that everyone in your treatment support team knows it too?
- How does that affect how your internal system views you?
- Will they feel loved and accepted?
- Will you feel good about yourself?
For sake of argument here, let’s be sure to separate the fact of being dissociative as being very different from being traumatized and abused. I will clearly and adamantly acknowledge that no young child likes the trauma and abuse that happens as the first step in the process of creating various alter personalities. I am not proposing that the road to becoming DID is a pleasant one. It clearly is not. The very idea of being forced to become a multiple is horrifically tragic in itself. Any trauma, abuse, neglect, violence, horror, pain, that you’ve gone through is too high a price for anyone to pay.
Often the fact of being multiple becomes inextricably entangled with the fact of having been abused. The multiplicity comes to represent all the pain and fear and wrongness of the abuse, and rejection of the multiplicity is part and parcel of rejecting the reality of the painful past that caused it.
But how do those feelings of adamant rejection affect your healing?
One of the ways to treat and understand multiplicity is to join in, to some degree, with the idea that the alter personalities are their own individual people. Of course they are all connected to the same one person, but you can balance that out with also seeing each of the insiders as their own unique person. How would an outside person feel if they were treated the same way your insiders are being treated?
If your internal parts know that you hate the fact that you are multiple, might they begin to internalize that feeling as if you hate them? I would think so.
How would you feel if you were repeatedly told that you were disliked and unwanted and despised? Remember, your insiders don’t have to be told these things in actual words. They are connected to you, and they will know how you genuinely feel about them, whether or not you make a point of telling them. They will be able to feel how much you don’t like them. You will not be able to hide this fact from them.
How would you feel, if day after day after day, the people that you lived with refused to speak to you? Or to acknowledge you? Or to care about you? Would you feel cooperative? Would you want to be friendly and helpful? At what point would you lose your patience and tolerance? How might you act when that happened?
In this context, if you have Dissociative Identity Disorder, and you also firmly believe that multiplicity in itself is a horrible way of life, that strong pervasive belief will negatively affect your treatment progress and your healing. How could it not? Your insiders are aching for acceptance and kindness and comfort no less than you are – and constant rejection can and will make them continue to act out in resentment and anger and desperation. Nobody else’s acceptance will ever mean as much to them as the acceptance of their own group – their own self – and if that is perpetually withheld from them, then both they and you will be at a self-created stalemate in your healing.
Because the flip side of treating your insiders like individual people is remembering that they are the same person as you.
If you are repeatedly telling yourself that you hate the way you are, what does that do for your self-image and self worth?
If you believe that the way you are is not ok, not good enough, not right, not acceptable, not normal, then you are reinforcing a lot of negative beliefs of yourself – and it is a short road from having a low self-esteem to have a ton of self-hatred.
- What if hating your multiplicity is a version of hating yourself?
- What if accepting your multiplicity is a version of accepting yourself?
Multiplicity is simply what it is – the fact of having more than one personality / “person” in your head. In my opinion, it does not have to be a bad thing. The trauma and the abuse were devastatingly bad – absolutely. The dissociative walls can really cause problems in the current day, even if they were initially helpful. The PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other emotional fallout can be debilitating at times.
But the multiplicity – just the multiplicity… does it have to be bad to share your life with others?
Again I ask….
Is accepting your multiplicity “as is” a version of accepting yourself?
Kathy Broady LCSW
February 27, 2009
Next week, I will be attending the 2009 CONFERENCE ON CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN.
AbuseConsultants.com will be an exhibitor at this conference.
If you are attending this conference, please stop by my exhibit table and let’s chat for awhile!
2009 CONFERENCE ON CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN
March 2-4, 2009
CO-PRESENTED BY GENESIS WOMEN’S SHELTER
AND THE DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT
The 4th Annual Conference on Crimes Against Women offers the most practical, current, and relevant training provided by the country’s leading experts in the fields of intervention, investigation and prosecution for the full range of crimes committed against women.
Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers; domestic violence, sexual assault, and homicide investigators; probation and parole officers; state and federal prosecutors; nurses; victim advocates and domestic violence shelter staff, will gather again this year in Dallas to participate in workshops, computer labs and case studies that will address all types of crimes in which women are targeted. This year’s agenda will address issues related to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, serial murder, Internet-related offenses and other crimes.
Some of the workshops include:
By Christina Smith
Prostitution has been an age-old problem around the world. But with the ever-growing popularity of technology and the Internet as well as other trends in criminal behavior, law enforcement officers must look beyond the traditional places when investigating prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation of women. This workshop will provide practical information for combating these crimes. The emerging trends in prostitution will be discussed. Additionally, the issues of substance abuse, human trafficking and other factors that affect prostitution trends will be examined.
By Jim Tanner
Improve your interview skills. Learn how to tell when someone is editing something out of a verbal or written statement. This session will cover the basics of Discourse Analysis, a lexical and syntactical approach to analyzing statements. Using clear examples, Dr. Tanner will explain how a respondent’s shifts in words and grammar can point interviewers to “hot spots” in a statement that need to be probed. You will never listen to a conversation or interview the same way again if you attend this session.
“EVERYONE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!”: WORKING WITH FEARFUL AND RESISTANT VICTIMS
By Susan Clark
In this workshop we will explore the psychological dynamics involved in victims’ interactions with criminal justice professionals. Faced with a volatile mix of anger, alarm, denial and unpredictable responses – how professionals can communicate effectively with traumatized and resistant victims.
HOW WOMEN CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES
By James A. Savage, Jr. and Kristen Howell
This is a two-part workshop. The first part will present a number of simple security and emergency planning measures designed specifically for women as well as effective strategies that can be adapted and used by police officers and other professionals to deliver these important learning points to their constituents and communities. Also covered will be several aspects of personal safety and security to include travel, shopping, home, school and work that often are overlooked or not commonly known
The second part of the workshop will discuss safety planning for battered women who are either in abusive relationships or trying to safely terminate those relationships. Safety planning techniques include how to be emotionally and physically safe from the batterer, as well as how to manage the batterer when he is violent and when he is the Honeymoon stage and promising change. This presentation will also go beyond the run-of-the-mill safety planning techniques by helping domestic violence experts identify and train women how to augment their own survival skills with skills to effectively leave and leave safely; as well how to maintain safety in a technologically advanced world where hiding is no longer a plausible strategy.
“MY DADDY HURT MY MOMMY”: INTERVIEWING CHILD WITNESSES TO CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN
By Irish Burch
This workshop will provide investigators and others with an overview on the importance of forensically interviewing children who have been exposed to violence. It will provide participants with an understanding on the types of information that can be gathered and how the interview process can aid in gathering key information for their investigation.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN GOES HIGH TECH
By Cindy Southworth
From Caller ID Spoofing to stalking victims through social networking sites, abusers are misusing new high-tech tools to commit the age-old crimes of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Learn how everything from GPS to Spyware to Virtual Worlds can be misused to harm a victims and how agencies can become more tech savvy to address these crimes, safety plan with victims, and safely incorporate technology into their own work.
SERIAL SEXUAL ASSAULT AND OFFENDER CHARACTERISTICS
By Craig Ackley
This workshop will present information on the different types of offenders who commit sexually assaults. Included in this presentation will be a focus on understanding offender characteristics, motivations, and risk for violence.
UNIQUE APPROACHES TO INTERVIEWING POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
By Bill Bernstein
This workshop will be an interactive training that will address the crime of human trafficking from the perspective of helping the victims. It will include a discussion of many of the obstacles faced by those interviewers of human trafficking victims. Techniques and strategies for overcoming these obstacles will be presented.
WORKING WITH EXPERTS TO EXPLAIN VICTIM BEHAVIOR IN SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES
By Jennifer Long
When a victim alleges a sexual assault, the prevalence of myths causes the public to search for a reason to doubt the allegation rather than to search for the truth. This presentation compares the myths about victim behavior with the realities of the behavior, addresses the necessity of offering expert or other testimony to explain a victim’s behavior and offers recommended strategies for explaining victim behavior—either through the introduction of expert testimony or through the victim’s own testimony—at trial.
RESPONDING TO STRANGULATION AND TRIAL PREPARATION: WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT AND HEALTH CARE NEED TO KNOW
By Tiffani Dusang and Eddie Hazell
This workshop will address the issue of strangulation. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a leading cause of physical and psychological injury to women between the ages of 15 and 54. An episode of IPV often includes multiple actions, and the violence typically escalates over time. Often times these injuries result in permanent disability or disfigurement and can include strangulation. Responding to strangulation, when it occurs within a domestic violence context, requires an understanding of the overlapping dynamics of power, control, love and fear. Due to the variable ways strangulation can be accomplished severity cannot be decided by visible bruising or injuries. Victims have complex needs that thorough well-documented reports can provide objective and factual demonstration of the inflicted violence. These reports can be crucial at trial and impact the outcome of any legal case as well as victims.
And many more….
If you have the opportunity to attend this conference, please do so.
And remember to please stop by my exhibit table and say hello!
Kathy Broady LCSW