This blog entry continues from here.
I was the one who raised the topic of child abuse with my sister. After spending a few nights at my mother/abuser’s house with my then-two-year-old child, an alter part came out and stayed co-present most of the time. I did a lot of research on alter parts and dissociation. It didn’t make sense to me that I would have an alter part because I had read that they are caused by child abuse, and I was absolutely certain that I had never been abused as a child.
I finally reached a place where I was ready to know. I was accepting that I must have been abused as a child, but I didn’t know by whom or how. (I didn’t think it was physical because I had no medical history of physical abuse.)
I called my sister (she lives out of state) and told her that I had a suspicion that I had been abused as a child, but I had no memory of it. I asked her if she remembered anyone abusing me as a child. At first she said no. I asked if it could have been our father (because it always seems to be the father in the made-for-TV movies). She said, “No. I don’t think it was him, but I have always had this bad feeling about mom.”
I immediate experienced my first body memory. I could feel my mother sexually abusing me and knew with absolute certainty that it was true, even though I had no idea what a body memory was.
From then on, my sister was great. I could talk to her about anything, and she could “open the box in her warehouse” and confirm or clarify a memory. She helped me work through some of my memories by adding a different perspective of the same event so I could figure out things that made little sense from a child’s perspective but were clear through adult eyes with her added information.
The only issue we have run into is that sometimes she will inadvertently trigger me by talking about a memory that I have not yet recovered. Because my sister has always had access to all of her memories, I never seem to trigger her. It’s worth the occasional triggering to have someone to talk with about all that happened. So many of my recovered memories (particularly the ritual abuse ones) are so “out there” – it was incredibly validating for her to share the same memories from slightly different perspectives.
Photo credit: Hekatekris