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Archive for July 6th, 2010

Yesterday, I wrote about the one-dimensional child abuser. I talked about how there is a danger in seeing your abuser in a one-dimensional way because you can wind up seeing your abuser as an indestructible monster rather than as a flawed human being. I struggle with this viewpoint with S & L, my most sadistic abusers.

I have found that dealing with the three-dimensional child abuser is even more of a challenge for me. I see my mother/abuser in a three-dimensional way, which causes me to have ambivalent feelings toward her. Anyone with a history of dissociative identity disorder (DID) is going to feel uncomfortable with ambivalence because having different parts prevents the child from feeling ambivalence. I was able to access the part that was most amenable to whoever I was around at the time.

I don’t need to share all of the bad feelings I have toward my mother – that is all over this blog. What I don’t talk about much is the good parts of her, and it pains me to know those parts exist because it means that I have losses to grieve.

My mother was not 100% bad. She has told me about her suffering at the hands of her father as a little girl. She saved my life one time when I was waterskiing as a kid and fell under the water. I was disoriented and didn’t know how to reach the surface. My mother dove into the water and pulled me to safety. My mother was the one who made sure I got fed and clothed as a child. She drove me around to different functions (especially any church function), which I only appreciate now as a mother myself and I feel like half of my “job” is playing chauffeur to my child.

I find that seeing my mother in a three-dimensional way makes the healing harder (more painful). I saw S & L as pure evil, so I expected no kindness from them. However, my mother did have some kindness in her, which is what made her abuse that much worse. She had some good inside of her, but she let the evil side of her win the battle.

Even though seeing my mother/abuser in a three-dimensional way is painful, I still think it is better than the way I see S & L in a one-dimensional light. Because she is three-dimensional, she is human and easier to “defeat” than a monster. However, she is also more tragic because she could have listened to her kind side but, for whatever reason, chose not to.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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