June 7, 2009
One of the hardest areas of healing work in trauma disorders is dealing with shame.
For many survivors of sexual abuse, healing work involves learning about a lot of intense memories that leave them feeling a great deal of shame, humiliation, and embarrassment. These are difficult emotions to process, and the memory material is typically very overwhelming.
Some survivors feel immersed in shame from the very beginning of their abuse. They are appalled at what is happening for them and hate every minute of it, even if they can’t get away from the predators. With every incident that happens, they feel worse, and worse, and worse. The more degraded the survivors are during the abuse, the greater shame they feel.
Shame can become all consuming. It drowns any feelings of self worth and erodes at self-esteem. It leads to self-injury, increased dissociation, suicidal thoughts, suicidal behavior, depression, PTSD, anxiety, addictions, etc. Shame, at its most intense, can destroy lives.
Survivors will internalize the harsh destructive words of their abusers, and if they hear those messages with enough repetition and intensity, they will believe the negativity as truth.
For the host alters of the dissociative systems, there could be nothing further from the truth than hearing what the other alters in the system are saying about abuse. The fronting, daily-life dealing alters are typically not at all aware of the depths of the abuse, and the horrors expressed by the parts much further behind them does not feel real.
However, the alter parts hidden deeper in the dissociative system often have a very different experience than the front alters. Dissociative walls and consistent amnesia keep their two worlds apart from each other.
Sometimes the abuse-laden parts have become so entrenched in their abusive worlds and so blocked from any kind of participation in the outside world that they do not understand the extremity of the worlds they know. For dissociative survivors who have been sold into sex slavery or prostitution or pornography, this dynamic can be all too true.
System parts that are taught by their perpetrators to feel pride in being used as sex slaves know that to be their world, their truth, their reality. They own that pride, and do not think twice about it being a difficult or questionable lifestyle. They have been encouraged to handle the pain, they learn to believe they like the pain, pain becomes associated with pleasure, and they have a sense of accomplishment for completing various sexual tasks, no matter how extreme.
These alters strive to make accomplishments in that world. They may feel quite successful at their “jobs” and have few feelings of shame.
Reclaiming those parts from their abusive worlds means that these parts will eventually connect with the horror and shame that they pushed away years ago. The parts that have been sexually passed around from person to person to person will start realizing how much that trauma actually affected them. What once gave them pride, will lead to painful agony, shame, and distress. They will realize how much they have been hurt.
However, once they realize they are being abused (or have been abused), they can make decisions to stop the abuse.
They can work with their therapists and the host parts of their system to get away from the abusers, inside and out. This is done through internal system work, freeing each part from the ways they have been trapped in their memories. (Remember, people with DID tend to keep internalized realities, dynamic re-enactments of the abuse with introjects of abusers in what feels like the current day timeframe.) This work can also happen in freeing the dissociative person from a real-life, current day abuser.
Once survivors feel more distance between themselves and the abuse, they can begin to heal from the barrage of shame-inducing, horrific traumas that happened. They can gradually begin to understand what things belong to the perpetrators vs. which things are truly about them. They can begin to develop a separation between themselves and the world of sexual abuse.
Healing from that internalized sense of badness is a big part of the therapy work. As survivors learn they are truly victims of crimes, and that they are not to blame, they can begin to let go of the sense of shame that has surrounded their lives for years.
As survivors remove the overwhelming trauma from their lives, they can then, in turn, fill their lives with positive activities from their own unique preferences. They can begin to feel better about their lives. They can feel healthy pride in what they are doing, and feel pleased in their accomplishments. They can replace the feelings of deep dark shame with a sense of happiness and self-worth.
Overcoming shame is not easy. It is hard, grueling, intense emotional work.
The intensity of the shame felt by a trauma survivor can be a type of emotional barometer for the amount of healing work that needs to happen. The more that shame overwhelms the survivor, the more healing work is still needed. As the depth of this shame lightens, the more the survivors have progressed in their healing journey.
1. As a trauma survivor, know and understand that you are not a bad person.
2. Come to terms with how the abuse was not your fault.
3. Be brave enough to look honestly at the trauma that happened in your life.
4. Find the strength you need to get away from your abusers.
5. Work hard to be safe and to end any and all abusive relationships in the current day.
6. Realize that you will be able to build a happy life that you are proud to have.
7. Believe that you don’t have to let your shame destroy you.
8. Recognize the perpetrators for what they are – nasty violent sex offender criminals.
9. Let the perpetrators keep the responsibility for their own behavior. Don’t take on what belongs to them.
10. Do your healing work – process your trauma, grieve the way it has affected your life.
11. As you heal, be willing to let the resolved issues settle into the past.
12. Fill your life with activities and people that you genuinely like.
Kathy Broady LCSW
May 9, 2009
For dissociative trauma survivors, Mother’s Day is often a painful time.
For survivors with dissociative identity disorder, mother issues are usually complex and difficult to sort out. Momma-trauma comes in a variety of forms.
For some survivors, their mothers were simply not there to protect them from the violent abuse of the father or other sadistic family members. These mothers were away at work, or away at the hospital, or too ill to tend properly to their children, or divorced from the fathers and living in separate homes, etc. Many of these mothers love their kids dearly, but still were unable to protect their children from trauma and abuse. Most of these mothers are not to blame for the abuse – many of them are absolutely horrified and deeply furious to find out, years later, how much abuse their children went through, and their feelings of guilt and shame are huge and overwhelming. None the less, their inability to protect their children creates mixed feelings for those children.
For some survivors, their mothers were too blind or too lost in their own denial to be willing and able to protect their children from abuse. These mothers do have some responsibility for their role in not protecting their children. These are the mothers that were in the home, and could have been instrumental and helpful for the protection of their children, but out of their own fear, denial or dissociation, refused to look, and refused to protect. These mothers let their own fear be bigger than their willingness to protect their children. These mothers may not have been directly used as accomplices, but their fears and unwillingness to protect would have most certainly been taken advantage of by the abusers.
For other survivors, their mothers were the abusers. These mothers were absolutely in the room at the time of the abuse, they caused physical pain, they did inappropriate sexual touch, and they played mind games on their children. These mothers are every bit as much a perpetrator as any other criminal.
So every year when Mother’s Day rolls around, it is difficult for survivors who grew up with mothers like that. It hurts. It’s confusing. The pain of what was longed for, but never given pierces the heart. The agony of wishing the mother had been willing to do something helpful grows cold out of the slow but torturous and accurate realization that the mother adamantly preferred apathy or self-protection over her children’s safety and welfare.
The heart-wrenching pain caused by an unattentive or abusing mother carries on for decades. The wounds do not heal quickly or easily. The hurt is felt for years and years.
It’s not right for mothers to cause such harm to their children. Those mothers are a disgrace. They are criminal. They are not “mothers”.
- Real mothers are good mothers that firmly protect their children from abuse, as much as that is humanly possible.
- Real mothers are good mothers who fight to get quality help and genuine safety for their children when someone else hurts their children.
- Real mothers are good mothers who do not complacently overlook or ignore the needs of their children.
- Real mothers are good mothers that put the needs of their young children over their own.
- Real mothers are good mothers that tend to the daily needs of their young children, and adjust with the various changes needed as their children get older.
- Real mothers are good mothers that work hard at being loyal, caring, kind, compassionate, loving, and giving to their children, forever and for always.
What kind of mother are you to your children?
If you are a trauma survivor…
- What kind of mother did you have?
- What affect has your mother had on your life?
- How did your mother fight to protect you?
- How did your mother contribute to your abuse?
- What thoughts and feelings do you have now, all these years later?
- What do you wish you could say to your mother, but couldn’t / wouldn’t say to her in real life?
Mothers and Mother’s Day.
So painful for so many people…..
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
March 28, 2009
Ok. So I was all kinds of optimistic and hopeful that the Showtime series, United States of Tara, would be a positive statement for dissociative identity disorder. After all, Showtime interviewed Dr. Richard Kluft, an informed psychiatrist, one of the founding fathers of the treatment of DID/MPD. That was a good sign, wasn’t it?
As a trauma therapist with 20+ years of clinical experience working with multiples, I have to say I’m quite frustrated that Showtime has presented multiplicity in this way.
First of all, the word is dissociation. Pronounced di-soh-see-ay-shun. The word is not disassociation. There is no additional “a” sound in the word. Saying dis-a-soh-see-ay-shun is the wrong pronunciation and a different word altogether.
Secondly, there is not a medication that can remove or prevent or end dissociative identity disorder. Medications can address various symptoms, and can even slow the thinking down, but medication cannot remove multiplicity. The idea of drugging away the parts is particularly offensive to me, and as far as I am concerned, it is totally opposite to genuine treatment. Insiders are there for a reason, and promoting the idea that the inside can be drugged into silence seems abusive to me. This idea is absolutely absurd and smacks of perpetrative behavior.
I understand the idea of “creating additional drama” for the sake of entertainment and to get a viewing audience. Fine.
And I can understand that the visual presentation of the various alters is metaphorical for how switching feels from within. It is true — or can be true — that when insiders surface on the outside, they “feel” like they look on the inside. Insiders are often confused and upset about looking externally very different than they feel internally. They are convinced they are shorter, or wearing different clothes, or have different hair, or are even a different gender, etc. And yes, internal parts are very often adamant about being a very different person from the host personality.
For the Tara show, the insiders get to look as extremely different on the outside as they feel on the inside. However, it’s not typical for DID’ers to actually present so drastically even if they wish they could.
The different presentations of Tara are excessive, but it makes the point, and it helps the viewing audience to catch on to a switch to one part from another. I would have hoped the viewing audience did not have to have that much help in recognizing switching, but maybe they do.
Now to my biggest beef about United States of Tara: the criminal behavior.
I suppose that somewhere out there in the world, there are multiples that beat up teenagers on school property, break in to and vandalize homes of others, urinate on others while sleeping, froth and drool in public, and sexually assault their child’s underage boyfriend. I suppose I cannot say that no multiple in the world would ever do that.
But really?!!! Is this the kind of message that we want the viewing audience to have about DID? Do multiples really present as the criminally insane?
Not to me!
The multiples I have met in the past 20+ years are not out-of-control monsters like this. Their inside parts know that there is a legal body age, and while they typically feel younger than the body age, the insiders have an understanding that they are not actually the same as outside people of that age.
DIDer’s might have flashbacks or a hard time functioning or emotional outbursts, but typically, trauma survivors will have enough self-control to manage their behavior without committing a crime in public.
Showtime crossed the line by making Tara a sex offender.
It is true that many multiples have been tangled up in sexual crimes, but typically, multiples that are in treatment have not chosen the life of a sex offender. All too many trauma survivors were forced to perpetrate as part of their victimization by organized perpetrator groups, or even by violent single abusers, but being forced to hurt others is not anything near the same as purposefully deciding to sexually offend in the day world.
Most multiples are not sexually inappropriate of their own volition.
For the writers of United States of Tara to present multiplicity in this light is cruel and inaccurate.
I’m disappointed, to say the least.
What a slam.
A great big huge insulting ridiculous slam.
I am not impressed.
- What do you think?
- What are your thoughts about the show United States of Tara?
- Are you criminally insane?
- Would you do the behaviors that Tara is doing on this show?
- If you are multiple, what are your feelings about being portrayed in this way?
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
February 10, 2009
Dissociative Identity Disorder is created from severe, chronic child abuse, but does that abuse automatically stop in childhood?
Unfortunately, no, it does not.
All too many survivors continue to be trapped in abusive environments long after their childhood has ended. Sometimes this abuse continues with the same family-related perpetrators that abused the survivor all throughout the childhood years. For example, far too many adult children of creepy-fathers are still being sexually abused into adulthood.
Creepy-fathers don’t necessarily stop being sex offenders just because their children get older. These lifelong predators already know how to manipulate your dissociative system, and they will continue to “call out” and dominate the child parts that they controlled for all the years previous. The child parts don’t necessarily realize that they are in an adult body, or that years of time have passed, so it still feels like more of the same to them.
Typically, in situations such as these, the dissociative walls that separate those abused child parts and the adult host can still be locked solidly in place, allowing no seepage of information to pass through. The adult DID survivor may not have any conscious awareness that they are still being abused in this way.
But true, far too often.
Sometimes, the ongoing abuse is more organized than in-home family abuse. The sex slave industries can use, own, control, sell, and exploit dissociative survivors for many years.
Slavery didn’t end with the Civil War – it just became more hidden.
One of the current ways that slavery still exists — even in 2009 — is through the entrapment of the dissociative population. Various prostitution / pornography organizations can “own” and exploit survivors by using physical violence, emotional blackmail, drugs, mind control techniques, and dissociation as means to maintain their power and control. Extricating these dissociative prisoners from these organized predators is a complicated and complex process, but possible nonetheless.
Adult trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) have had years of experience managing severe trauma while simultaneously blocking themselves off from the reality of that trauma. Dissociative walls can provide an element of amnesia that both protects the person from the overwhelming crushing awareness of ongoing abuse, but also traps the survivor in an ongoing continuation of that abuse.
If dissociative survivors have current-day chunks of missing time blocked from their awareness, they cannot know what happened to them, but they also cannot remove themselves or protect themselves from the ongoing trauma and abuse. Without effective therapy and treatment, they also cannot remember or control the fact that they could be handing over their children to be used in the same abusive ways by the very same perpetrator groups.
Unfortunately, we all know that the kiddie porn industry is alive and well.
Dissociative survivors that grew up being used and sold within the kiddie porn industry are at a higher risk of continuing to be owned by, and forced to work for that industry even as adults.
When DID survivors are involved in current day abuse, it is imperative to break down the amnesiac walls created through dissociative processes. The survivors have to have the courage to look at what they are involved with, and then have even more courage to problem-solve their way out.
Dissociative survivors trapped in other kinds of family violence and domestic violence are vulnerable in these same ways.
Trauma therapists must be aware of these possibilities so they can actively work with the dissociative population in order to assist them to gain freedom from ongoing abuse. Therapy with a strong emphasis on increasing internal communication and lowering amnesiac barriers is essential.
Therapists need to use basic good trauma therapy while doing this work. Listen closely to the inside parts, help sooth the pain, create both internal and external safety, reconnect the isolated parts with the rest of the system, address the concerns raised by those internal parts in all the normal ways, etc. Many of the very same processes that work to help heal “regular abuse” continue to be effective in addressing more extreme abuses.
*** To all dissociative survivors —
You don’t have to stay stuck in the abuse cycles. If you are able to read this post, you are able to do the work it takes to remove yourself from any ongoing abuse that you are tangled in. Of course, your perpetrators won’t tell you that you can get out, but you can get out and away from them anyway. You are older, wiser, and stronger than you were when you were just a child. You can find ways that will work for you, you can find safe people to help you, and you can be safe. Talk lots and lots to your inside people – it’s only as you work together as a team that you can beat the external controls. It takes a lot of hard work, but if you all really want to be free from abuse and safe from harm, you can be. It can happen.
Kathy Broady LCSW