Archive for August 26th, 2010

On my blog entry entitled My Story: Integrating from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a reader posted the following comment:

My children do not want to know anything about this disorder I have [DID]. They don’t want to know. Is that good or bad? ~ Audrey

I don’t know if we can label your children’s reaction as “good” or “bad.” It simply “is.”

Unfortunately, many people simply do not seem to be able to handle dealing with big issues such as DID. Does that make them bad people? No. However, it also does not make them people that we can lean upon as we heal from the very serious issues surrounding DID.

A person does not develop DID unless he or she endured severe and ongoing trauma beginning before the age of six. In most cases, the cause of the severe and ongoing trauma was child abuse. Too many people don’t want to hear about children that young enduring severe and ongoing child abuse. I, personally, do not understand this, but I have learned that most people simply are not like me in this respect.

One friend told me that it was very hard to hear my story (both about the DID and the child abuse that caused it) because, if she hears and has to believe it, then she must accept that this level of evil exists in the world. I assured her that it was much harder living through it as a little kid than it is to hear about it as an adult. Nevertheless, she is not one of my “go to” people because, for whatever reason, she cannot handle it.

My therapist repeatedly tried to get me to bring my husband into my healing process. I knew it was useless, but I followed my therapist’s advice on this twice, and both times were disasters. (I stopped trying after that.) My husband is simply not in a place where he can hear about the abuses that I have suffered, and I didn’t even try to get into my diagnosis with him. I recognize that the issue is his own limitations, not something that is “wrong” with me.

Fortunately, there are people out there who can handle hearing about severe child abuse and DID. Those people can be true gems in supporting you along your healing journey. I am fortunate enough to have a couple of off-line friends who can handle it, and I have received a lot of support online through Isurvive (a message board for child abuse survivors) as well as through my blog.

I would not recommend trying to “force” a loved one to understand your history and diagnosis. If you have to “force” someone to “get it,” that person is not going to be very helpful through your healing process. Appreciate what those people do bring to your life (they have their place in your life, too), but save the deep discussions for those who can handle it. Their reaction is not a rejection of you – it is a result of their own limitations.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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