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Posts Tagged ‘Suicidal Urges’

Dear Faith,

I am sorry that you are feeling so crappy right now. It isn’t fair. You did nothing to deserve feeling this way. You did nothing to cause it, and there is nothing that you are doing or not doing that would make it all better. This is emotional chemo. This is something that you cannot get around, over, or under. The way out is straight through the pain until you get to the other side.

I know that it feels like you have always been and always will be in this much pain. The truth is that this feeling will not last. The longest it has ever lasted was six weeks. You didn’t believe it would ever end, but it did. For four wonderful hours, the clouds parted, and you felt the warmth of the sun. You felt more alive than you ever had before. When those four hours ended, you kept the hope that this pain would not be forever. Hold onto that hope.

Don’t let anyone minimize your experience. The pain really is that bad. It’s not your imagination, and you are not just “being dramatic.” Your pain is very real, and you don’t owe anyone any apologies for not being OK with being in so much pain. You don’t have to get through this time with grace: you just have to get through it however you can.

This is not a situation that you can “fix.” There is no magic formula that is going to make the clouds part and remove the intense pressure from your spirit. This is all part of the “emotional chemo” process. Healing moves to its own rhythm, and you are just along for the ride. It will feel more endurable if you stop fighting it and, instead, express what you are feeling.

It is OK to cry. It is OK to get really, really pissed off about it. It is OK to take it easy. If you were going through physical chemo treatments, nobody would expect for you to keep the perfect house or get everything done. You would be given the time and space you needed to heal. This emotional chemo is no different. Take the time you need to nap and rest.

I know how hard it is to believe that this is survivable, but it is. You already survived your childhood, and you have already survived these dark places several times. You can do this, one baby step at a time. You don’t have to get through the rest of your life – you just have to get through right now. Do what you need to do right now, in this moment, to survive it. I promise you – the clouds will part.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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This blog entry is completely based on the point of view of my wounded (devastated) inner child, Annie. I cannot stop crying and haven’t for two days, and it is all because of Annie’s pain. The adult me knows that my actions and reactions are not “appropriate” ones for an adult, but Annie doesn’t give a shit. This blog entry is for her. I am posting it now, even though I have already posted today, hoping that somebody can get through to Annie because I cannot. All I can do is give her a voice. ~ Faith

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Everyone lied to me. They said it was all my fault, and I believed them. They said that they would be there for me when I needed them, but they aren’t mind readers – I have to tell them that I need them. So, I did. I told them that this period between the full moon and the summer solstice would be hard. I told them that I wasn’t sleeping and that, when I did, it was all nightmares. I told them that I was triggered by some day-to-day adult stuff that I don’t know how to handle – I am just a little girl who has been betrayed by everyone.

I thought there was someone in my corner, but they lied to me. They said that if I told them that I needed them, they would be there … but they weren’t. They said all I had to do was reach out and they would help me. I did reach out – I reached out to eight different people – but nobody was there. I needed someone to catch my fall but, as always, there was no one to catch my fall.

I have heard that, when you fall in your dreams, you cannot hit the ground because you will wake up first. That isn’t true. I do fall and hit the ground in my dreams, just like I fall and hit the ground when I am awake. There is no one to catch me. There has never been anyone to catch me.

I hate them for giving me hope. At least before, I knew I was alone. I knew it was up to me and me alone, as a little girl, to figure out how to be OK. They lied to me and said I wasn’t alone anymore, but I still am. All I needed was one person – just one person – to hold my hand, but there wasn’t a hand to hold … and I fell.

I am so tired of falling. I want to die, but Faith won’t let me, and I hate her for it. She won’t stop me from falling, either. Nobody can stop it. Nobody is there. I am tired of being all alone. I would rather die than keep falling, and I don’t want any more lies about not being alone because I am. I believed them, and they weren’t there. I won’t make that mistake again.

Everyone is always sorry after the fact. Sorry you were raped, Annie. Sorry I wasn’t there for you, but I am here now. I don’t need you now. I needed you then, and you weren’t there. Nobody was ever there, and nobody ever will be there. I hate all of you, including Faith. She’s the biggest liar of all because she said I would be OK, and she was wrong. There is only one way to be OK, and she won’t let me die.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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This morning was not a good one. I decided to move toward indifference in this relationship that is bothering me. I decided to stop connecting emotionally with this person and see what happens. If the person does not even notice, then I have my answer about the health of this relationship.

However, being indifferent is not my strong suit. I wish I could just shut my feelings down, but that never does seem to work. Instead, my emotions kept fluctuating from anger to hopelessness. I became overwhelmed with the feeling of despair, and I struggled with suicidal urges. I actually caught myself thinking that maybe I should not volunteer to lead a Bible study in case I don’t want to continue living much longer. Then it hit me that I must be triggered. Ya think??

What is most disturbing is that, when I am flooded with these emotions, I have such a difficult time determining what is about today and what is about the past. Is this despair a result of what happened this week, or did what happened this week trigger feelings of despair from long ago? (I am guessing it is all about the past. It usually is for me.)

What really scares me is how quickly I can dive deep down into the despair. I started thinking about how alone I am in the world. I don’t have parents to serve as a safety net if I need them. I better be able to take care of myself (which I actually do quite well, thank you very much) because there is nobody who is going to take care of me.

I also circled around the trust issue. This relationship that is bothering me this week broke my trust, and I still don’t handle that well. When one person breaks my trust, I find myself back in that place questioning whether I can ever trust anyone or if everyone is going to betray and then leave me. (Do you see the extremes here? It’s all black & white thinking.)

I found it hysterical that I can be an inspiration to other people when I can be such a friggin’ basket case like I was this morning. I fall just as hard as any of you, and I can fall much harder and faster than many. I guess the difference is that I am relatively okay now (only a few hours later), whereas it used to take me weeks to get back to being okay.

I don’t know when, if ever, I will reach a place of accepting that it is not a “bad” thing to feel pain and that it will pass. To this day, when I am in that dreadful place, I see no way out. I just want to disappear and stop existing altogether. But, I am still here. I guess I still have the rest of my life to figure all of this out. Oh, joy.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Chapel (c) Lynda Bernhardt

*** This was supposed to post on 10/21/08. I just realized that it never did. – Faith ***


On my blog entry entitled Riding Out Suicidal Urges, a reader named Matt shared his struggles with being married to a woman with dissociative identity disorder (DID) who has a suicidal alter part. His comment is a long one, so I am not going to reprint it here. I addressed most of his comment in my last blog entry, Helping Spouse with a Suicidal Alter Part.

In this blog entry, I would like to address this part of Matt’s comment:

I’ve been a faith-filled person, but my faith has been stretched to the point that I have a hard time believing in a God who would allow this to happen.

I hear your pain this comment, so I thought it would be worth devoting an entire blog entry to where is God in this situation. Believe it or not, God is all over this situation. When you view the situation from a different perspective, I hope you will be able to hold onto your faith.

DID is not a curse – it is a blessing. Imagine being a three-year-old little child who is being repeatedly raped and tortured. You are so little that you have no means of escape. A 30 lb. child is no match for an adult, even a small adult.

God gives very young children (under six years of age) the ability to flee their bodies. Most of my memories of abuse in childhood come from the perspective of the ceiling. I calmly observed my body being severely abused as my spirit hovered above my body. I was “spared” the abuse because I was not in my body as it was being harmed.

Adults do not have the ability to do this unless they developed DID in early childhood. If adults could flee their bodies during abuse, then prisoners of war (POWs) would have a way to fight back, but they don’t. They are forced to stay in their bodies and experience all of the horror as it happens to them. God lovingly provided young children a way to be spared from this.

When you live in a severely abusive environment, DID is a gift. It is only when the child is removed from the ongoing abuse that the DID becomes maladaptive. Without developing DID, your wife likely would not have survived the abuse. She either would have killed herself, gone insane, or become an abuser herself. The DID spared her from these outcomes and gave her a life with you and your son.

Pastors love to tell their congregations about how much God loves us, but I rarely hear them talk about how much God wants us to love ourselves. This is the key to your wife healing from her DID. In order to fragment her spirit into multiple alter parts, she had to “reject” them as being “her.” The way she will heal from the DID is to love each part back into being one whole spirit.

A wonderful book on the importance of learning to love yourself is Francine Rivers’ Christian novel, Redeeming Love. She flips the story of Hosea to focus upon Hosea’s wife, Gomer (“Angel” in the novel) instead of on Hosea. The novel drive home that, no matter how much God loves you, you are not going to be able to receive that love and heal until you choose to heal yourself. It is a powerful book that might get through to your wife.

One other thing – Many “faith-filled” people believe that suicide = fast-track to hell. I vehemently disagree with this, and there is nothing in the Bible that says this. The Catholic Church implies it because you last act is “murder,” but I do not see suicide as a personal murder. Instead, suicide is a last-ditch attempt to make the emotional pain stop. People who commit suicide are in such deep emotional pain that they are willing to do A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G, even die, to make the pain stop.

That is not murder. I truly believe that greets those who commit suicide with deep love, compassion, and understanding. Nobody other than God fully appreciates the depth of your wife’s pain. God is not going to punish her for not being strong enough to continue enduring such overwhelming pain. I know the weight of that level of pain. I wouldn’t make a dog continue living in that level of pain.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to post them. My heart goes out to you and your situation.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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On my blog entry entitled Riding Out Suicidal Urges, a reader named Matt shared his struggles with being married to a woman with dissociative identity disorder (DID) who has a suicidal alter part. His comment is a long one, so I am not going to reprint it here. However, I do want to address the questions that he posted in his comment.

Let’s begin with this statement:

[My wife] was abused by a teacher in high school, but was probably abused way before then as well.

Yes, if your wife has DID, then she definitely experienced other abuses. In order to develop DID, a child must experience severe and ongoing abuse before reaching the age of around six years old. If the only memory that she has of her abuse history is this incident with the teacher, then her alter parts likely hold the memories of all of the early childhood trauma.

It is possible that this suicidal alter part is causing so many issues because your wife is ready to start facing her history. Many people with DID suffered from organized pedophilia, otherwise known as ritual abuse or “cult” abuse. These are a group of people who know how to manipulate an alter part to self-destruct if the person ever tells about what happened.

Your wife created the suicidal alter part to protect her from severe abuse. Her abusers manipulated (“programmed”) the alter part into believing that suicide was a better option than breaking the silence. In my case, the threat was killing my younger sister. So, I would rather kill myself than see my sister killed because I told.

Your wife can dismantle the programming and integrate the suicidal alter part, but she must be the one to choose to do it. You can lock up everything in the house, but you cannot watch her 24/7. She could submerge her face in the toilet and try to drown herself while you think that she is using the bathroom. Rather than live like this, I strongly suggest getting your wife therapy with a qualified therapist who has experience in counseling people with DID or at least several child abuse.

I also suggest that you purchase the book Safe Passage to Healing and read it. Also, encourage your wife to read it. The book explains all about DID, alter parts, and ritual abuse. For your wife to have such a severely suicidal alter part, I strongly suspect programming. This book explains how to dismantle the programming.

You mention that you are a faith-filled person and that your faith has been stretched to the limit. I will address this part of your comment in my next blog entry.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Ritual abusers are masters at “programming” a child’s mind. By “programming,” I mean that they “implant” self-serving behaviors to control the child. While this might sound like a science-fiction movie, I assure you that it is very real. I know because I experienced it.

I was suicidal as a teenager. It started soon after I went through puberty. This is common among sexual abuse survivors. After reaching puberty, the child appreciates the gravity of what was taken through rape at a much deeper level. I battled suicidal urges on and off throughout my teen years.

When I would fantasize about how to kill myself, it was always by swallowing a jar of pills. I wanted to fall asleep and never wake up. I never considered another form of suicide.

This changed during my senior year of high school. My father (the “good” parent) died suddenly, and my mother/abuser started sexually abusing me again. I felt an overwhelming desire to die with a razor. The thoughts kept swirling around my head that I wanted to “watch the lifeblood flow out of me.”

I even came close to doing it. I locked myself in my mother’s bathroom with a razor and prayed for God to give me one reason not to do it. Fortunately, I fought my way out of those feelings and put my suicidal desires behind me.

I did not deal with suicidal urges again until I started recovering memories of the ritual abuse. I also did not ever deal with self-injury before I started to recover ritual abuse memories. I dealt with the pain of infertility, the frustration of the adoption process, and other very difficult life circumstances without self-injuring or considering suicide. I even made it through a year of the healing process without either, including recovering memories of my mother sexually abusing me.

As soon as I started recovering ritual abuse memories, I started banging my head as a form of self-injury. I wanted to bang my head repeatedly into a brick wall – not just any brick wall but a particular one with messy mortar that was never smoothed down. I also felt very strong urges to “watch the lifeblood flow out of me.”

Neither of these urges seemed to originate from myself. If I were to choose to self-injure, I think would probably choose cutting. I would definitely choose a less messy way to go through with a suicide. And yet, I was plagued with both of these very strong urges once I started recovering memories of the ritual abuse.

I came to recognize that these urges were programmed into me. The cult “programmed” me to self-destruct rather than tell. The brick wall I “saw” with the self-injury urges was a particular one that the cult used as part of the programming. The cult taught me the phrase “watch the lifeblood flow out.” This is not something I would have come up with on my own – certainly not at age 16.

The good news is that programming is much easier to remove than your own deep-seated feelings about yourself. As Chrystine Oksana says in Safe Passage to Healing, programming is like a foreign object, and the mind is eager to remove objects that do not belong.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Fire (c) Rosanne MooneyMany people who suffered ritual abuse were “programmed” to self-destruct if they ever revealed their abusers’ secrets. While people who never suffered from ritual abuse might believe this sounds like a bad plot in a science fiction movie, numerous survivors of childhood ritual abuse share the same story.

When somebody’s behavior arises out of programming, that behavior feels compulsive and seems to come out of left field. For example, when I was a teenager, I struggled with deep depression and contemplated suicide. I thought about the various ways to die, and I settled upon swallowing a jar of pills to be my “method of choice.” I fought off and overcame my suicidal urges in high school and never revisited that deep dark place.

In my mid-thirties, I entered into therapy after I began having flashbacks. As the flashbacks moved from “regular” abuse to ritual abuse, I suddenly started having strong urges to slash my wrists with a knife. When these thoughts would come into my head, I would “think” the phrase, “Watch the lifeblood flow out of me.” I came to realize that this was programming. At no point did I ever “choose” the method of suicide through using a knife: This was chosen for me.

I also experienced programming in self-injury, and I later recovered the memory of the programming. As a teenager, my father died suddenly, and my mother began abusing me again. I never self-injured. I endured years of fertility treatments in which I desperately wanted to become pregnant. Despite very heavy emotions, I never self-injured. It never even crossed my mind to do so. I never self-injured as I recovered memories of my mother’s abuse or abuse by several other abusers.

As soon as I started to recover memories of the ritual abuse, I had very strong compulsions to bang my head rhythmically against a brick wall. It wasn’t just any brick wall but a specific one with mortar than was not smoothed out. I resisted the urge to bang my head into walls and forced myself to use a pillow, but I was powerless to stop the compulsions. When they hit, I had a very short window to reach a pillow.

Chrystine Oksana’s book Safe Passage to Healing is a wonderful resource for anyone who has suffered from ritual abuse. In this book, she talks about ritual abuse programming and how to dismantle it. The good news is that, because programming is “foreign,” it is much easier to dismantle than many of the negative feelings that a person develops in reaction to the abuse. One of the biggest hurdles is recognizing the programming for what it is.

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Photo credit: Rosanne Mooney

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