The sound of popping balloons

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“How long till my birthday?” She jumps up and down, pony-tails bouncing eagerly together with Dreams and Hopes. The mother exhales in exacerbation: “Five days. But can you please stop asking me every other second”. The girl claps her hands, enthusiastically, because five days is not a lot. She can survive five days, but oh, it will be hard. A girl some blocks away is just one day away from her birthday. Pony-tail girl would have been green with envy, but this girl, shrouded in clothes that her mother seldom wash, with greasy hair that covers her serious face. She tries to not think about the upcoming event. Birthday`s are the worst.

Pop #balloon #photography #mostamazingphotography

I write a lot about dissociation, and this leads to the side-effect of noticing it everywhere. This actually led me to say, when our leader asked us psychologists who wanted to check if a girl had AD/HD: “I don`t think I should do it, I`ll probably only see dissociation anyway”. The others laughed, and the task went to someone else.

I remember reading the book “En dåre fri” by Beate Grimsrud (excellent book) that described a girl with schizophrenia.

She described how she hears voices, and some of them were even given names. The same happens in a famous Norwegian book called “A Road Back from Schizophrenia: A Memoir” by Arnhild Lauveng. The protaganist is living a healthy life today, working as a psychologist. What fascinates me in the book, was that she described voices that belong to specific  One was called the “captain”, and was very harsh on her. She never worked hard enough, and had to be punished often to “learn her lesson”. She also had a child part, and I think there was at least one more. Her diagnosis was schizophrenia, and she thought so herself, but it reminds me awfully much about dissociation.

“The zebra girl” by S. Åkerman

Many patients have been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, when they really suffered from dissociation. Is it strange that I just found another book that reminded me about dissociation as well? The last week I`ve been reading a book from Sofia Åkerman (could unfortunately not find an english version of it). She was a patient for many years because she harmed herself seriously by cutting. She is now living a good life, helping others with the same issues as she, and is known in Norway, Sweden and Denmark for her books. In one of the last chapters from “To survive: A book about self-harm”  she mentions a little story by Kristina Lugn (in picture) called “the birthday party”. A girl is celebrating her birthday, but she is not having fun. She tries to explain why not: “The enemy comes when I celebrate my birthday. He wants to destroy the cake, my gifts and harm the people around me”. Sofia fell in love with the story that no-one else understood. She put it under her pillow at night, and read it over and over. She got it. Maybe she had met Mr. “Enemy” personally. He never said hello in happy circumstances, but laughed and smiled when blood dripped and colored her future red.

Kristina Lugn
Kristina Lugn

In my clinic, I`ve actually seen this: When everything is going like it should some part of my patients protests: It shouts: “You aren`t supposed to feel good!!” and maybe even feels threatened. The captain, The enemy or the dark side, have a lot of power. Loosing it is scary and uncomfortable for them. In some ways, it’s perfectly understandable that it push the emergency button by doing the only thing it can in a crisis: Hurting the one causing the threat.

We need to understand the captain or the dark sides, since it also has a story to tell (maybe even the most important ones). When A. Lauvheng started to get better, the captain was stiill sometimes there. He kept organizing and made sure she got the results she wanted. But he wasn`t allowed to criticize her anymore. Actually, his job was important, but the tough words were superfluous.

He had to learn some lessons himself.

Maybe her birthday will be better, this time?


Blogs used in this posts: ritual abuse & my obvious little secret

Earlier posts by me (ask for password on

what is dissociation?

Dissociation: Army of me

Coping With Trauma-Related Dissociation

6 thoughts on “The sound of popping balloons

    brokenbutbeingrepaired said:
    October 12, 2013 at 17:36

    Like you, it looks like a classic D.I.D case, to me.
    Perhaps the actual label didn’t much matter to this woman; if she was given the right support, regardless?

    You’re absolutely right…communicating with the dark, scary ones who are often very, very afraid and alone is something that must be done, no matter how frightening.
    (Easier said than done!)

    Thank you for sharing your insights…love ’em, they remind us that behind the darkness, light keeps shining.

      mirrorgirl responded:
      October 12, 2013 at 18:14

      Than I will keep writing so that it shines brighter than ever! (and you must promise to walk towards it?)

    NIKOtheOrb said:
    October 12, 2013 at 19:14

    Most definitely do more of these kinds of posts. More and more light needs to be shed on this darkness, the darkness of suffering in loneliness, feeling as if you are the only one who suffers and that no one will ever understand; more that you will never, ever “be better.” Even in times when the darkness is not in the forefront, it lurks in the shadows, but it is possible to have light as well. Perhaps, those of us who suffer from this darkness, will always have this darkness as a part of us, but more need to know that light can shine through, too. Wonderful post.

    Have you ever read the book (it is old), The Minds of Billy Mulligan? It, too, is about dissociate identity disorder, back when it was called Multiple Personality Disorder.

      mirrorgirl responded:
      October 12, 2013 at 19:22

      Thank You again, my wonderful friend for commenting. You are right about the darkness, I still have a part of me as dark as shoe polish, somewhere. I also know how sweet fresh air taste when the light arrives with a new morning, and I wouldn’t appreciate that if it wasn’t for the stale taste of the heavy darkness. I have not read that book, so now I was really happy! Can you send me you name on Skype on mail, btw ?

        NIKOtheOrb said:
        October 12, 2013 at 19:25

        Yes, I will send you my name on Skype through email.

        The Minds of Billy Mulligan is an incredible book into the depths of DID, but you may have trouble tracking down a copy, as I (think) it is somewhere from the 70s. It may be out of print.

        mirrorgirl responded:
        October 12, 2013 at 19:35

        Ah, I will really try to find it. Love to have missons like that 🙂 Thank you so much. Maybe tomorrow?

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