Stories you never forget
Poverty. We know this word means suffering. We know it means a life of lost opportunities. But do we know the extent of this suffering ? How terrible it is to live under two dollars pr day? When I walk around in new clothes everyday, have an apartment I can sell and eat whatever I want, I feel guilty. I know guilt helps no one, so I try to use these feelings. By knowing about the state of things, I transform guilt to more productive energy. This is exactly the goal of the book ‘the locust effect’ by Gary A. Haugen. The author travels to all corners of the world to study and write about poverty and violence. He unveils the terrors of slavery, trafficking and general abuse that poor people endure. It’s a heartbreaking tale, but an important one too. By describing the life of millions through nightmarishly examples, the readers are forced to open their eyes. You can’t ignore the reality of so much suffering. There is no room for denial, no room for ignorance.
This post has sat in drafts since July and we’re really missing blogging but can’t come up with words to write a new post
**Trigger Warning-Descriptions of Self injury**
Why is D.I.D a controversial diagnosis???
Why aren’t diabetes or asthma controversial?
In the area of the UK I live in, it is impossible to find an NHS psychiatrist whobelieves in D.I.D or other Dissociative Disorders. Eh? Believes in? It is not a doctors job to believe in a symptom / illness, surely?
Isn’t it their job to asses symptoms and use their findings to make a diagnosis before offering appropriate treatment?
I mean, imagine your Dr doesn’t believe in diabetes, or asthma. Then, imagine you are hypoglycaemic or in the midst of an asthma attack and the medical professionals there to help tell you they don’t believe in the symptoms you are displaying.
Is a diabetic or asthmatic meant to just curl up and die in the corner?
This pi**es us off so much.
To have had to pay privately to be assessed and diagnosed, to be unable to rely on services our taxes pay for in order to be supported, to look online for information and find “controversy” and D.I.D intertwined amongst the “D.I.D does not exist” in all search engines.
Yes, there are people who are wrongly diagnosed with D.I.D. In my view, many with D.I.D are incorrectly diagnosed with various other disorders and made to endure ‘help’ that is damaging.
When diagnosed with D.I.D, it is down to the individual (you know what I mean, hopefully) to research terms like attachment theory, structural dissociation, and so much more.
It is down to that individual to track down a therapist who is willing to a)believe in D.I.D b)be prepared to work with a D.I.D client for years.
I don’t know of anywhere that is available in the UK on the NHS. I know that where I live there is absolutely no such support available.
Why should I have to spell ‘d i s s o c i a t i v e i d e n t i t y d i s o r d e r ‘ before giving the ICD10 codes and DSMIV codes to health professionals?
Why should I then be told that “I’ve never heard of it” and “Oh, we don’t believe in that”.
When looking through my local NHS trusts website, I put Dissociative Disorders into their search box and came up with nothing, except a leaflet on personality disorders which mentioned D.I.D being a personality disorder.I emailed them regarding this and apparently it will be changed when they update their leaflet. Who knows if/when the leaflet will be updated.
I cannot access support from the agencies we’re supposed to rely on.
Yes, I am very fortunate to have a fantastic therapist and really good back up from the Dr who asessed and diagnosed me (privately) . What if K was no longer able to work with me? There is no plan B since I asked all the right places and the only recommendation I got was K which on one hand is reassuring but it fills me with fear over what we’d do without her.
Why should going past the buildings where I accessed the CMHT (community mental health team) trigger panic attacks? Why should I have the fear that if one time, the self injury goes too far, I can’t go to A+E (which would result in either admittance to the Psych ward or referral to the CMHT). Wounds that need sutures don’t get sutured since my local A+E is such a frightening place where dignity, respect and care have been forgotten about. The last time I was there, requiring treatment for selfinjury wounds, the curtains around the bay were open at all times so other patients and their visitors saw and heard things that every part of me works so hard in hiding. What if a wound were arterial, though?let’s not think about that
It hurts so much to be pushed further and further from the big society and to have little hope of ever being able to engage with it.
- Dissociative Identity Disorder (traumaanddissociation.wordpress.com)
- What is DID? (a response to media campaigns) (crazyinthecoconut.co.uk)
- Blog Post #2: (rickiesingerman.wordpress.com)
- Dissociative Identity Disorder (mcgpsych.wordpress.com)
- Diagnosis and Causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder (alternateidentities.wordpress.com)
- This Man Took Money Meant for Hollywood Blockbuster Ads and Spent It on Disaster Relief (newsfeed.time.com)
- Walter Mitty (gimmegoodstyle.wordpress.com)
Some stories have an effect on us. The following story stayed with me.
Remember, life is precious
What You Learn When You Attempt Suicide DEC. 6, 2013 By
I learned that dying is hard. You wouldn’t think so, but it really is.
There’s all these options, you know? And you Google them because
you want to learn but Google keeps telling you not to do it. And
even after you do all the research, there’s such a huge chance that
you’ll fail miserably at it. That you’ll survive. And then you’ll
really be screwed. I learned that I really, really don’t like
Mountain Dew. I bought a can of it at the gas station to wash down
two bottles of pills. I’d never tried it before, honestly. I’m not
one to drink sodas—the gas hurts my throat as it goes down, the
bubbles piercing my throat, but I remember thinking, ‘Hey, might as
well try something new while I can.’ I learned that the
Chattahoochee River is a wonderland in the rain. Fat drops of water
burst on the rippled surface like the bubbles in my soda, spitting
out tiny splinters of mud in every direction when they hit the
ground. The water beat against the shore like one giant heart, its
color the perfect combination of burnt umber and ultramarine blue.
I learned that time is not linear, and the race between the rain
drops sliding across the car window is most definitely not a fair
fight. All of a sudden, I’m seven years old again, and it is
Christmas Eve and my parents are in the front of the car, driving
us back home. It’s pouring out. I pick my favorite raindrop—it’s
huge, as swollen as my belly (because, God, I ate so much red
jello), and the biggest raindrop of the bunch. It’s sliding fast,
beating every other pathetic little druplet, and then…not fair. It
split up into tenths of tiny pearls in the wind. It lost. Suddenly,
time warps and I’ve finished swallowing all the pills. I learned
that even trying to kill yourself will leave permanent wounds on
the people who love you. That your parents will know to call the
one person who might know where you are when you phone goes
straight to voicemail and they’re worried out of their minds. I
learned he knew I’d be at the river. As I dove in and out of
consciousness, I saw his blue shoes on the shiny pavement. They
were the ones I helped him pick out during Black Friday. Man, that
line was the longest one of our lives. I saw his hands dial 911. I
saw his face, wet from the rain. I learned there are some things
people will never forgive you for doing. For even trying to do. I
learned what charcoal tastes like, what hospitals smell like, what
a mother’s desperate grip feels like. When I was little, she would
sometimes grab my wrist instead of my hand to cross the street. I
always asked if she was mad when she did this. She never was. It’s
more than a decade later, and her hand is on my wrist. It feels
just as terrifying as it did then. I asked her if she was mad. She
said, “I love you.” I learned to pee with the door open. To have
nurses sitting in my room through sunrises and sunsets, each and
every one of them as kind and wonderful as the next, each and every
one of them as unwilling to let me close the damn door. But I
learned to live with it, to get over it. I learned that I really
love The Lion King and cheese pizza with ranch dressing. I wasn’t
allowed to eat pizza. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything that didn’t
taste like yellowed, wrinkled hospital sheets. But boy, the pizza
on all the TV commercials on the hospital screens looked like
steamy heaven. So I promised myself, as I watched Disney’s
best-movie-ever on repeat, that I would eat all of the pizza when I
got out. All of it. I learned about religion. I walked into my
apartment to find that my mostly atheist parents had set up an
altar for me. There was a picture of me in the middle, fifteen
pounds heavier that my current ghostly self, surrounded by
mismatched candles, angel statuettes, and a wooden sign painted
with the words “Today: Begin”. They prayed to a God I’m not sure
they even believe in. As the door slowly shut behind me, I learned
about love and heavy, heavy stomachfuls of regret. I learned that
living is hard. That my depression would constantly make me feel
like my lungs were filled with dark water and my legs made out of
melting wax. That I was going to have to try harder than most,
every single day of my life. But I also learned that the fight is
worth it. I mean, life is cheese pizza, rain drop races, and
fathers with hearts coated in gold. It is love and faith, and
though there might not be much we can do about how horrible
Mountain Dew is, life is worth sticking around for a second or two.
I learned that living is hard. But I learned that dying is much,
much harder. You should like Thought Catalog on Facebook here.
Tagged Depression, Raindrops, Recovery, Suicide Natalia
Castells-Esquivel Natalia Castells-Esquivel is a native of Mexico,
currently living with four (currently alive) plants in Atlanta. She
I have just been on two course-days about dissociation, and was happy when I discovered a news-letter from ESTD (I am a member now). There I found the following post about how hard it is to become a patient dealing with abuse. I have so much respect for people who want to live a better life after abuse, since this is no easy task. I hope this can be a reminder of just that
By Esther Veerman
THE CHOICE TO BE A PATIENT
Being a therapist for patients with chronic childhood abuse and neglect needs a conscious choice. Not a lot of colleagues will do the same, and sometimes it is quite a lonely voyage that one starts to make. Becoming a patient with a history of chronic childhood abuse and neglect demands a conscious choice as well. It is not logical to start exploring the traumatic past, once a survivor has learned to avoid the memories of the same. And in the field of psychiatry, it is not easy to find the help a survivor so desperately needs. Often it takes many attempts to find good help over the years. And of course, courage to keep looking after a lot of disappointments. For me, it meant that I had to decide to take on the role of a patient, despite my aversion to this role. Of course, I rather wanted to be a helper instead of the one needing help. Maybe I can explain some of my struggle in this, in order to help the helpers understand some of the dilemmas going on in (future) patients.
Being a patient of severe childhood trauma is a choice I had to make 20 years ago. I was young, still busy studying theology, and wanted a normal, happy life. Weird things happened to me every once and awhile. During a lecture on psychology, when a movie was shown, I started to feel really sick. I had immense chest pain and feared I would die. Nothing was the matter with me, and I did not remember what the movie was about. And sometimes a horrid thought would come into my mind that, when I would have children, I could hurt them. Once I realized this thought and fear, I decided to seek for help. I would never want to have a child if I could harm it.
It took a lot of courage for me to look for psychological help. I did not know what was the matter with me. Sometimes I stumbled upon little words: there is something with my father. But I did not understand the content of these whispers. One of my mentors listened to these words and asked me the reason why I spoke them. I was too scared to remember, and so he sent me for the first time to a psychologist. Within two or three sessions, in which I was not able to tell about the images and fears in my head, the psychologist decided to bring my father into therapy and ask for reconciliation. For me, this was a message to (again) keep my mouth shut. For some time, I succeeded in doing this. My system collapsed when I gave birth to my son. During and after the delivery of the baby I re- experienced rape intensely. I fell into a dissociative psychosis in which I experienced incinerated hands and bodies, who raped me constantly. I tried to stay at home, take care of my son, even breastfeed him, until it seemed I had no choice but to listen to the doctor and get hospitalized into psychiatry. It was a complete nightmare to be hospitalized. I was extremely anxious, did not understand my own behaviour at all, but the psychiatrist said I have a hysterical personality. I went home and got hospitalized for a second time. The next psychiatrist thought I had PTSD, but could not believe that the symptoms I portrayed belonged to trauma. I could collapse for example, in a split second. It happened at the table when all the patients had dinner, or worse, in the shower. One time I collapsed in the hallway of the psychiatric ward, and later I heard, that the psychiatrist stepped over me, and said: she is just overreacting.
Years later, when I was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital, I was shocked and felt humiliated by the bad conditions we had to live in as patients. I learned to check out the refrigerator before eating, to look at the dates of the meat and cheese that was in there for the patients. A lot of the food was out of date date. And when a lamp, or tiles in the bathroom were broken, they were not fixed. We had to live with ten patients on a very small ward, and the staff would sit in an office with the door closed. If something bad happened, like aggression between patients, most of it was not seen by the nurses. Sometimes patients hated each other, mostly because they were scared or aggressive in themselves. For example: a patient hated me because I had screamed out of fear, and she thought I had reacted to her. So when I went to the bathroom, she would come in and vomit, so that I could not wash my hands in the sink. Another patient who was known to be highly aggressive, would throw chairs at me as I wanted to pass by. Nothing was done about this. Two times, I was locked away by “accident”. On one occasion I had permission to draw and sat in a room all by myself. I got re-experiences and hided in a corner of the room. A nurse came in the room, thought it was empty and locked the room. They did not miss me for hours. Another time, I had an appointment to talk with a nurse, she went away to answer the telephone and I again, hided in a corner, because I was so scared. After a long time, another nurse came by and locked the room. She did not come back for talking to me, she did not remember I wanted to speak with her. Another time, when I was hospitalized with serious suicidal feelings, I got away, and went back to the ward, very suicidal, and laid down under my bed, and for one day and one evening, nobody had missed me, or looked for me. I had not eaten and drunk and nobody had thought about speaking to me.
Every time I came home, after hospitalization, I was worse than before. As I described before, for me it felt humiliating to be hospitalized. It was almost impossible to keep my dignity in those periods of time. Sometimes I did not even feel human anymore. We had to ask for everything, the medicine (we had to stay in a line to receive them), the food, going out and getting back to the ward. It felt really degrading when all the power was taken off from me. One can say, maybe I was not able to take care of myself anymore. But many times, I felt that what I wanted to say was not heard at all. Of course, in those periods of time I could not express myself so well. That is true. But when people are not willing to listen, talking becomes extremely difficult. Maybe it is dangerous to say, but I think psychiatry felt for me like the environment I lived in as a child. Neglect, silence and disrespect.
But I never stopped fighting, all those desperate years. I realized that I would not survive much longer (I was highly suicidal over the years) and I tried one more attempt at getting the right help. I looked on the internet and found information about trauma therapy and dissociation. I emailed for second opinion and received this. It turned out I suffered from DID. The trauma therapist I spoke to, asked me to register myself for trauma therapy. For 6 years now I’ve been in trauma-therapy. I feel I am taken seriously now, in my desperate search for healing and the question I have asked for all of those years: help me through the nightmares and re-experiences.
Reading this, one can think that I had no choice but to be a patient. On the one hand, this is true. My life was falling apart and I would not have lived, if I had not been hospitalized and taken care of. On the other hand I had to decide to want to learn how I could get away from what haunted me. I have always wanted this. Already during the first hospitalizations I begged to be heard and for guidance to get out of trauma land. This was not honoured at all. Therapists and psychiatrists thought what was right for me. Many times they said that I had to stabilize, but it meant literally loads of sedative medication, and nobody asked me what had happened to me in my childhood. I was allowed to write my own treatment plan, but it was never honoured what I asked for in those plans. I felt more and more humiliated and thought I was really stupid.
After all these long and devastating years with more traumatizing events, the trauma therapy I am receiving (now for 6 years) now makes sense to me. For the first time a therapist explained to me what was going on in my head, with the distinction between Apparently Normal Parts of the Personality and Emotional Parts of the Personality, and their functions, inner dynamics and systems. I learned to distinguish parts within my head and body, who carried daily life (being a Mom, a Partner, one part who was always busy with music, one 8 year old, that had never grown but handled things in daily life; and scared little children in side of me, some freezing, others running away, some parts who seemed to copy the perpetrators etc. and some occupied with sexuality). Together we started to explore what was living inside of me. I did not dare speak anymore, because so many times I heard that what I told was not valid, or that a therapist would not believe me and from my childhood on, to shut up. So, I hardly could find words to describe all that was inside of me for all those years.
This asked a lot of patience from the therapist. Patience and boredom perhaps. This required from me a high standard of courage. To try once more, once more, to speak the words that frightened me the most. In one of the first sessions the therapist asked me: “Esther, do you want to change?” I said: “Oh yes, I do want to change, I just do not know how.” For me, this question of the therapist was very important. I realized, when I wanted to overcome all those years of trauma, I would have to be able to change, and not stick to my Disorder. Of course, I was intensely scared to do so, but I chose not to stay the same anxious twisted person I was. At that time, I had absolutely no clue of my future. I so much lived in trauma time, that everyday life was a challenge in itself, let alone that I had an understanding of the future. From the first session on with this therapist, I mirrored the perpetrators in his face. I told my therapist over and over again he was authoritative, and I was extremely scared of him. After a period of time, he asked me, if I thought he was my father? When I realized he was right about this,I calmed down a bit. In the years that followed I realized more and more, how much I projected on my therapist. I tried to accept inside of me, that the inner parts of me where doing this. I came to an understanding that the reliving of the trauma was necessary to overcome the same. This way I sat in therapy with my hands over my face for five years. Many exercises with looking around, and trying to look in the eyes of the therapist were necessary to overcome this huge stumble block.
When the sexual abuse was addressed, even more projection came into therapy. One of my biggest fears was that the reliving of the trauma would actually take place between the therapist and me. But instead of being silent about this, I chose to speak out, that I thought sex would take place between us, and I let my inner children react as if in the situation of rape, in the way they must have reacted in the situation they were in as children. I was convinced one day it would go wrong between the therapist and me, and I heard my inner voices come out and even ASK for sex. I knew, that my therapist had all the power to be able to abuse me (again), but he always took care of me and protected me, by staying consistent and calm. I had to get used to the feeling, that, although my therapist had more power, he would never use his power in a negative way, but only to help me forward.
Becoming a patient was a difficult and courageous choice. I had to understand and realize that the problems I tried to avoid could not be solved on my own. I believe that I would have been helped from the very beginning to be grounded in my autonomy if I had met the right mental health professionals. In psychiatry I met so many people who seemed persons without the possibility to think for themselves, but I think this is not really true. A lot of problems that they create stem from their taking over the ability to think and decide what is best for a person called the patient. Like being a patient is a choice (one can chose to die, or to do something about it) and healing is the next choice to be made by a patient. But I believe here a therapist can be of tremendous help. A therapist can start to explore the possibilities and strengths of the patient and work together exploring the landscape of healing. Being a patient in itself can bring the key to healing. For the therapist the challenge is to find and guide the patient on this road.
Esther Veerman is founder of the Foundation Art out of Violence (www.artoutofviolence.com) She lives in the Netherlands, is a theologian and an artist.
I am listening to the “invisible man” by Wells, one of some classics I have been reading lately. It took far too long before I started on the classical road . I covered my lack of understanding with convictions: Classics were boring and unnecessary. I don`t know if I shall start criticize the school-system or myself for never checking if this was true (but I thought I had, since the few things I had checked out, were on Danish, hard to read and impossible for my undeveloped brain to understand)
I might have gone through my life without harvesting the fruit of beautiful language and stories. But luckily, I have these sudden things I have to do, and it feels like I’ve found a secret ladder up to magic heaven. It leads to territories were I can hand-pick new thoughts and integrate new ideas with old ones. This mental fruit energizes childish glee that let’s me fly again.
I will try to explore some of the thoughts I`ve had after walking the classical road in later posts, and will start here with exploring the subject of living a truthful life. Already at the university I soaked my curiosity in the question.
Behind the walls of cleverness we analyzes the importance of ethics and morality. Knowledge finally started to seep into my wisdom-deprived brain. Since then the importance of being true to one’s intelligence, knowledge, morality and personality have grown in seize. My role as a psychologist pinpoint that I shouldn`t preach what I dont`t practice. That`s why I work really hard to become more of the person I want to be, which means controlling emotions that don`t serve me, in addition to applauding thoughts that will be good for me AND others.
Classics I’ve read that revolve around this theme are: Anna Karenina, one norwegian book about men who rape their daug
I have also been moved by blog entries I`ve read. Many write remarkable stories, and I love the fact that it’s actually possible to interact with the authors. When I read magnificent stories written by authors 100 years ago, I’ll never get the chance to say how much I appreciated their work. Today, I can and it seasons my glee until it grows into a sofisticated feeling that warms me and make me happy. I’m happy for all who make an effort so that we are allowed to be true to ourselves.
Some of my favorite classics so far: The invisible man by H.G Wells, the autobiography of Benjamin Frankling and “the stranger in the mirror” by M. Steinberg.
- inside my head
- lady or not… here i come
- losing my religion
- moments i’ll now never forget
- that word in me
- writings on the wall
I can`t believe it.
I won`t believe it.
My fellow blogger and friend passed away. There are no words other than I truly appreciated how special she was.
Nicole passed away on October 21, 2013. I don’t have the energy to write much at this time. She is all I think about. We were together for 14 years. I have embedded a video Nicole created about her and I. I have also posted some photos of her. Also included are a few links of some of our videos, writings, photography, etc. I love and miss her more than I could ever explain in words.
Heaven. Is that where you are? Or are you floating across the universe, like your thoughts once were?
My words are silent. My compassion needs a hug. My tears need somewhere to fall.
Engaging with the aspects of the world that are conducive to an evolution of synergy with the environment [whatever that environment may be] through music, video, writing, and photography. Spreading the seeds of consciousness and positive living seen through a lens of deep philosophy, deep ecology, poetry, creative writing, photography, artwork, and motion picture. Spreading the seeds of positivity, love, peace, spirituality, natural energy, the idea that we are all Ones within One trying to get by in this life with as little damage as possible to the self and others, the unmasking of the ego so that we can embark upon the next phase of human/technological evolution.
For should we not all be willing believers that the sky is not the limit, but limitless and boundless and that all human relationships can be the same? We are all children of the universe, the time has come that we act like it.
I am diagnosed and live with SchizoAffective Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; however, I try not to let these leash the weirdo within. I try to use my diagnoses to further unleash my weirdness.
A miracle. Is gone.