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#462076 - 03/05/14 04:18 PM Embracing the paradox (*TRIGGERS*)
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070

This might be a tough post to read. TRIGGER WARNING.

I dissociate into two primary selves because my mind cannot handle the simple contradiction caused by the abuse: on one hand, my primary self remains damaged and horrified by what happened to me; on the other hand, a part of me responded to the abuse. My body responded in a sexual manner.

When I was telling my girlfriend about my abuse (as much as I can remember anyway), she asked me the tough question: "Why did you go back?" Followed with, "Why didn't you tell?"

This made my protective self (Izzy) kick me in the chest to remind me that he doesn't like me talking about this stuff. She saw the pain I was in and apologized to me. I didn't answer the question to her.

But the answer to those questions is critical for me to answer: I went back and I didn't tell because there was something about the abuse and rape that I responded to.

This horrifies me to write. But I must accept it. Somehow.

I will always be a dissociated matrix of selves unless I can get my primary self to acknowledge the reality that my secondary selves live in.

My SSA acting out, essentially abuse re-creation, is tied into this somehow.

Sorry if that triggered. Anyone with thoughts on this?

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#462101 - 03/06/14 04:20 AM Re: Embracing the paradox (*TRIGGERS*) [Re: cant_remember]
traveler Online   confused

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4197
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
hey, can't -

i understand about the contradictory responses. i experienced something like that too. but i didn't dissociate into two selves the way you did. instead i buried the memory of my physical response until recently - the past few years. the conflict between the extremes of fear/emotional trauma and the sexual thrill was so violent to my mind that the two could not coexist and one of them had to disappear. having repressed the physical sensation part of the memory - not being aware of it - made me question why i was overreacting (by breaking down) so many years later to something that couldn't have been that bad. I had apparently censored many other related details of the assaults to make them more acceptable to my self-image.

admitting what really happened and how i responded was totally devastating. i sobbed and moaned for a long time. and i also realized soon after that i would voluntarily have "gone back" and done whatever they wanted me to do if they had treated me with any semblance of acceptance, kindness, or affection.

the only way i could accept this was with the help of my T who patiently but firmly kept reminding me that it wasn't my fault and that my body responded in the way it was created to do. in that respect, i was very normal. and the emotional deprivation i had previously experienced in a dysfunctional family dominated by an abusive step-dad mad it perfectly understandable how i would be both attracted and repulsed by my other abusers.

i haven't had to bring separate selves together - more like bringing together dormant memories with conscious but incomplete memories. it has also helped for me to gain more acceptance, understanding, and compassion for my younger self.

i dont know if any of this makes sense or helps at all. but maybe it will mean something that i understand what you are talking about.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#462106 - 03/06/14 09:14 AM Re: Embracing the paradox (*TRIGGERS*) [Re: cant_remember]
don64 Offline

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1106
Hi Cant,

I relate to the level of dissociation you are describing. For me, I required that level of splintering in order to remain psychically intact. My early experiences were simply so much more than I could handle, I had to splinter all of me in order to prevent a meltdown I would not be able to recover from--in other words to prevent psychic death. My body may have survived, but any chance at consciousness would have been lost unless the most extreme measures were taken. So, I had to destroy ME in order to survive until I matured enough to begin addressing the damage I sustained.

So, for me, the key has been to learn kindness, gentleness and patience with and for MYSELF. It has been necessary for me to understand that I sustained severe damage, and to let go of the notion that there is any hurry to fix anything.

In other words, I had to let go of the predominant notions of shoulds and coulds which premeate modern culture. Once I decided I don't care if I fit in with anyone else, BUT I care very, very deeply about fitting in with myself, things became much easier. For me, I found it very difficult to learn as long as I allowed my reference point to be from a socially agreed upon mentality. In other words, I had to break from the herd. Very challenging, but very rewarding.

I'm 64, and still have a great deal of work for me to find satisfaction, but the work itself is very satisfying. It is very satisfying because I see my efforts paying continuous, concrete dividends in terms of retrieving ME. I see all the places that were so severely damaged begin to heal. My experience is that what I need shows up right on schedule. It took me many years to learn to slow down enough to actually be able to see what it was that showed up, though.

Sending you love and support,

Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

#462120 - 03/06/14 05:33 PM Re: Embracing the paradox (*TRIGGERS*) [Re: cant_remember]
On The Fringe Offline

Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
I can exactly relate. Me too.

I was 7. I idolized my abuser. He was the cool kid. My parents were drunks. I let our small apt and went to his. He groomed me for the abuse.

I was taught I was going into a rite of passage to be a man. I willingly serviced this 15 year old. He was my hero. I admired he could ejaculate and I would some day...

Looking back, it is utterly disgusting. And I responded to his use of my body. It is a physical cause and effect thing. But I also felt like I consented. I was willing, after all? So why was I not consenting?

A child or mentally/emotionally abused or wrecked person can't consent. A child can't consent to sex. We are easily brain washed into things. We believe older people.

It is not something I think on often. Little me blowing this teenager. But it was not my fault.

My parents dropped the ball completely. He was a criminal. I was am emotionally and physically abused kid tha sought escape and meaning in the arms of a person that brainwashed me and sexually abused me.

We are not at fault. We are victims on multiple levels. We do have a choice on how will choose to cope and move forward in life.

However you move forward, don't carry the false guilt with you.
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

#462125 - 03/06/14 06:27 PM Re: Embracing the paradox (*TRIGGERS*) [Re: cant_remember]
genedebs Offline

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 328
Loc: MO
I find it difficult to relate.

WHEN MY OLDER BROTHER SHAMED ME for being homosexual when I sucked him, after he proposed mutual experimentation, I felt terrible. I would have done anything for him if he would have allowed it. I was desperate to think I wasn't abnormal.

When my mother had me get naked for her photographer friend to take pictures and then shamed me by saying if I saw these pictures when I got older, I would be embarrassed.

When my mother's friend began taking care of me, which was his opportunity to sexual molest me, and then rape and sodomize me, I thought I was prostituting myself.

I now know that when you have a choice between being violated or abandoned, there is no choice only the basis for which horrific method would I use to survive.

I humbly agree with on the fringe above!

#462144 - 03/06/14 11:51 PM Re: Embracing the paradox (*TRIGGERS*) [Re: cant_remember]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3741

Being who you are is complicated by the effects of the abuse. Our minds fragment, alter its pathways, to create confusion as to who we are. We also do not understand our feelings and when parts are disconnected it is difficult to remain whole and know who you truly are.

It takes time, patience and most importantly acceptance of what has happened to you. The parts of you need to know you accept them and love them--this seems to help bridge the gaps within you. Abuse re-creation is common to many survivors--a part seeks what it was told by the abuser and because the true part of us disowns this part, that part looks for love and acceptance and all it knows is the abuse.

My T worked hard on me to accept the abuse first and to accept my fragmented part was part of me. I needed to accept and love it as me. It was difficult and painful because that part believed he was special to the abuser. Once I began to accept and love, the internal conflict began to subside and I started to feel whole. Why we fragment I have learned was to survive. It takes recognition of the fragmented us to heal. Not an easy task especially when the parts are so divergent in what the need to be loved.

You have recognized your fragmented parts and one day you will learn to love the whole of you. This removes the internal conflicts.

Good luck and I wish you the best as you continue to heal.



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