Friday, 25 March 2011

When we were children

I was never one to really notice negatives as a child. I don't really remember having feelings about much except about how much I hated my sister and how much my father seemed to hate me. But other things didn't usually bother me that much.

It's only recently that I've begun to reflect on some of the few things that I can remember from my childhood and have started to feel anger. The anger is for things that happened as well as things that didn't happen which should have.

I guess when you're little you don't know what a childhood should be like. You don't get handed a manual when you arrive on earth explaining what you should expect so you tend to accept what you have as being normal, unless you compare yourself to others and find that what you have is different.

Although I could clearly see some differences between myself and other kids (I didn't know I was in a cult but I knew I was in a very different kind of church than anyone else) in many ways I didn't realise that my childhood was lacking in some important ingredients such as affection, stimulation, security, supervision, encouragement, routine... I was probably too busy worrying about my impending damnation to a place where I was going to burn for eternity, to really notice. Also, being in a cult itself meant that I wasn't regularly around other families to be able to compare myself to what they had and the families that I did associate with were usually ones within the cult anyway.

But was it as simple as that I was too stupid to realise I was unhappy or was it more than that? Could it be that I was already dissociating and that the happy-go-lucky child that I heard people talk about at times was an already functioning alter who didn't have to deal with any of the crap stuff?

As I am writing this I feel like I'm seeing for the first time that there were two alters of me as a child. I need to get my head around this. I don't know how to explain what I'm seeing.

Half an hour later...
On reflection I don't know why it is a surprise to realise that there was more than one of me even way back then. The books I've read about dissociative identity disorder explain that alters form as a child when there are things that are too difficult for a child to understand or deal with so they split them off into another personality who can deal with the things. This means the child doesn't have to think about the bad things. OK so I knew the theory, but as I don't have a very good memory of my childhood I didn't really consider that it would have been obvious to me if I did remember. But while I was writing this and thinking about what I do remember I realised that there were two parts of me as a child. I still don't really know how to explain that.


Anonymous said...

Hey Candycan, I have the same experience sometimes. I remember when I was cleaning out some old school things when I was about 15, and I suddenly came across this school report from when I was 9 saying I was a happy and popular child. After I saw that I cried for hours because all of my memories of primary school were of being miserable, lonely and bullied, but it was like I was just invisible to the teachers. That all they saw was whatever I was giving off in class without even meaning to, when all I felt was fear. Fear of going home and fear of going to school. They had no idea of how I was really feeling. It's really distressing and confusing, so I feel for you xx

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