Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I want to be alone, I love my teddy and my friend is a dick

So, I'm thinking something is going on in Candycanland as of late. OK I shouldn't really be surprised; it's probably just the after effects of a really tough session with T last Thursday, but I guess because I haven't been feeling miserable or preoccupied with it since, I thought I was OK. But taking a step back from myself I observe that I am not doing too well really.

I've been off work for Easter and really didn't do anything with my time. I didn't want to do anything, I didn't want to speak to anyone, I haven't even had the energy to wash (Peuww). I just sat for four days in my own little DID world, figuring myself out. OK so I do need to figure myself out (T seems to think I have been doing too much 'just trying to get on with it' in life) but I'm thinking it's probably not healthy to be doing it instead of EVERYTHING else.

Hubbie dragged me out on Monday for a picnic at the beach. It did feel good to go out but I just had no energy at all. He was chatting and singing in the car but I felt so much that I was using all my energy up on just being in the car going somewhere, that eventually I just had to tell him I didn't have the energy to talk or listen to him. Poor boy.

We sat on the beach for our picnic, me wrapped up in a coat and scarf and blanket, with an umbrella to block the wind and my teddie, Winnie on my lap. I felt maybe slightly concerned that someone I know might see me with a teddy but mainly, I just don't really care anymore. The little kids (alters) couldn't bear the thought of leaving Winnie at home while we went on a picnic, so he came. I think he had a good time too. LOL.

Anyway, it's a difficult yet easy way to be... this not wanting to do anything. I am apathetic. I don't want to see anyone, so I don't feel lonely (loneliness is one of the worst feelings). I know it's not healthy though and when I get like this and start isolating myself from the world, I chip further away at the weak bonds of companionship that I have with others, edging myself further away from friendships and then when I eventually come round again and start to crave company, there is no one left who cares.

My friend Pou (I only have the one friend... how sad) has got a new boyfriend. Since we've been friends she's had more boyfriends than I've had hot dinners (well, not quite: I do like my dinners) but the latest one has been around for a couple of months now which is a record for her in recent years. I guess it's understandable that she would be quite absorbed by it, but I can't help feeling that even more now than ever I am last on her list of people to see. I've always felt a bit like our coffee dates get squeezed in to her tight schedule, but now there's just no room left for me.

We were supposed to spend the day together yesterday; I've seen her only briefly once since I got back from my big trip. Anyway she texted me on Monday evening to say her boyfriend had invited her to spend the day with him so she wouldn't be able to see me after all. She said: "I'm so sorry, I'm such a bad friend."
I managed to muster up some emotion which formed itself into a little flame of hurt and anger and wrote back: "Yeah, you are".

Mostly I felt like it was one less thing I have to do and this part of me was relieved. Having friends is hard work. I hear that person telling me to just dump her cos we don't need people like that in our life and we are better off alone and that's what I want to do, but I know sooner or later I will come out of this phase and feel despair at the loss of my only friend. But is it reasonable for her to treat me this way? I don't know. Maybe I should be more understanding and just try to arrange another day to meet?

I think this self induced isolation contributes towards the intense feelings of attachment I have towards my T. I'm not entirely sure why though. Maybe I'll reflect on that another day.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Poem about dissociation: The Struggle

The Struggle

Looking out from up above
Those hands, those feet, the voice
They move and sound so far away
Controlling: not my choice

I hear the cry of one in fear,
She folds herself in pain
I struggle to come down to aide
But struggle now in vain

I'm here but I can't be the one
To hush, to soothe, to see
You call my name, I hear your voice
Though you cannot hear me

What could be done to help me now?
Your question clearly heard
“Please help us, tell her all is safe!”
But I can't speak a word

I need to be the one who's strong
To help her find relief
I'm wading back through treacle sea
To save her from her grief

I'm there and now I look at you
You smile, your eyes are kind
Relief to see me back, but still
I'm struggling with my mind

I'm trying hard to be the one
To feel, to see, to stay
I fight against the pull of tide
The need to drift away

The sands too long have lain asleep
Time gone; I haven't seen
My guilt and shame now burn in me
The burden I have been.

Monday, 25 April 2011

My Mother

My mum makes me so angry and I can't exactly explain why! Every time I have a conversation with her I feel like we are on two different planets. She has a completely illogical way of thinking about everything and thinks she is the ultimate wisdom on any matter. She cant just have a conversation, she has to feel like she is enlightening me somehow. The thing is: half of what she says, everyone knows already and the other half is a load of rubbish.

I think the fact that she works in mental health makes it all so much worse because she feels she knows so much but she's actually pretty fucking clueless. It makes me so angry to hear her going on about her patients with disdain and such a lack of understanding about how it is to have mental health problems. At times like this I remind myself why I have never shared with my family that I have DID.

I so often think: "what happened to the mum I used to have, who I was so close to?". But maybe she was always this way. Maybe I just didnt see it then. There were always a few memories that I couldn't really fit in with my picture of a wonderful mum so I have just always held them in a separate section and the closest I have gotten to explaining them is: "She didn't know how doing those things would have made me feel bad". Like the way she used to force me down and sit on my arms and legs and tickle me until I was crying and screaming and even then not stop. Maybe it wasn't just fun and me being too sensitive. Perhaps, after all, that isn't a very nice thing to do to someone?

Recently I have been questioning my theories about my Mum and coming to doubt as to whether the rosy picture I had of her is realistic. Certainly there are plenty of examples of times she acted in a damaging way towards me.

I see flashes of the insanity of my grandmother who abused my mother and was in and out of mental institutes more times than I had holidays as a child... that's not a good analagy actually as we only went on a couple of family camping trips.

I thought these were new flashes, that only started after my parents broke up in my early twenties. I had feared she was going crazy. But I am beginning to doubt this theory too. I think she has always had that side to her. She has always had that scary streak-like-her-mother in her.

Perhaps my memory is the one to blame here. Or moreso my refusal to acknowledge those times where she hurt me to feel power as just that. Times where she hurt her own child to make herself feel powerful.

Maybe thats why I feel so full of rage when I try to have a normal mother and daughter catch up chat.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


The little chick breaks her way out of the cocoon,
The fortress that has hidden her,
While she readied herself for the revelation.
The time has come to face life fully
And the shell can no longer protect her.

She opens her eyes and observes her world.
She sees the form of the keeper,
The hand, the face.
In a moment the bond is made,
This she will follow.

But she is just a chick,
The keeper does not love her
And laughs at the silly bird
For clinging to her.

The chick does not know the human
But trusts her life to her
For it is her instinct.
A risk she can't weigh up,
For survival is impossible alone.

Vulnerable attached,
vulnerable unattached

Friday, 22 April 2011

Bruises on my Head: Dissociation Central

I don’t feel as though I have much to say about the clinical psychology session I was at yesterday except that it was tough. I was dissociating lots or as I would call it: ‘zoning out’ and I feel now like a shell of myself. I think other parts were coming out. I remember my T telling me to stop hitting myself on the head and although at the time, I didn’t feel anything; my head is covered in bruises today. I’ve also got nail marks all over my hands.

I have just gotten through my work day by keeping reminding myself to just do what I can in each space of five minutes or so. It’s been slow. I achieved probably half the amount of work I would have done on another more average day. Stopping for lunch I sat outside on my own to allow my mushy brain time to rest and that was nearly enough to send me off to space again. Better to stay focused and present until I am safe at home on my own under a blanket and then I will start to let it all catch up with me. Not long to go.

Last night I didn’t get to sleep until about 3 am. I had strange dreams that I was eating soap.

I am so happy to be getting off work today for Easter. I need the time to crash out but I am also scared that I won’t be able to get myself going again. I feel like I’m always trying to keep a balance between normal functioning in life and sorting through the mess in my head. There’s a very fine line to walk because it’s hard to do both well at the same time.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Bad boys

I saw some boys, aged about eleven or twelve years old, on a bridge; a high bridge with trees and shrubs far beneath. They were dangling a boy over the edge by his school bag which he was holding onto for his life. The boys above were laughing and jeering at the poor child who was pleading with them to save his life. He was screaming: “Please don't let go! Please! Please help me! Help me!”
I watched in horror as they laughed and let go and the boy fell to his death. I ran over to the boys, not knowing if I should grab one and hold onto him and call the police or if I should be trying to get down to the boy they had thrown over the bridge. I knew he was probably dead but still felt I should run to see yet I didn't want these evil children to get away.
A dream

Multiple... bags under eyes

I made it through the day. That is, once I managed to get up. My alters were active inside while I was trying to sleep last night meaning it was very late before I did drift off and I don't think they all went to sleep when I did either. I could sense them still talking even while I slept. It was very hard to get out of bed this morning. I think they were stirred by a book I'm reading at the moment about someone elses life with DID... (First Person Plural by Cameron West. Has anyone read it?)

Just a short post today compared to my usual ramblings!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Post mini crisis: how I've coped this weekend.

I so don't feel ready to go back to work tomorrow, but I don't really have a choice. I felt guilty enough calling in sick on thurs and fri when I didn't have any clinics on. I was not really fit for much over the weekend; I've been feeling pretty physically exhausted and a bit ill too. Not so depressed, more just drained and physically not well. My child parts have been out a lot over the weekend. I think it's easier to allow them to take over when things are tough. They've been doing a lot of drawing pictures. I have to say, I usually enjoy their presence but they were out so much yesterday I was starting to get really tired of them. By bedtime I was angry with us that I couldn't be 'me'. I was tired of hearing that child's voice all day.
I don't want to go to work tomorrow. I think it's going to take a lot of effort to function properly. I just need to get myself through the day and then I can come home and collapse.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Attachment (part 3)

He came back a while later to tell me he had spoken to her about what had happened and she had been very friendly and asked questions. I think he explained to her that I was nervous of talking to her myself for fear of castigation. He told me that T said I could ring her to talk and that I shouldn't worry about that. I was relieved to hear this but still scared about speaking to her in case she wouldn't understand.

After a few hours I plucked up the courage to ring after trying to think through in my head exactly what I was going to say and completely failing to find a way that I would explain what on earth was going on.

It turned out anyway that I didn't really need the script prepared, thank goodness, because T already seemed to have a good idea of what had caused this anyway. She said she had noticed me change in the session after she gave me my appointment and I said: “Is that three weeks?”.

I told her I was nervous of talking to her about this because I didn't want her to feel like I was trying to manipulate her but that three weeks was too long and that it's really difficult having such long gaps between sessions. I've always struggled with having sessions only every other week and I feel I just cope with it because I have no choice.

I explained that it wasn't just that it was three weeks; it was that my feelings about it had remined me of how disastrous it is going to be when she leaves for good. She was very understanding and in the end I told her everything I had been feeling about her and that the appointment thing was just a reminder of the fact that I am alone and that it's just her job to talk to me etc.

I explained how I was finding it so hard being attached to her and don't feel it's healthy when I don't know her. I told her how I had struggled so much with the last therapist leaving and that I still think about him a lot and that it was going to be so much worse this time. I explained that I was scared that even if I eventually get through the issues that I came to psychology for, the process of leaving psychology will be enough to mess me up again if I can't change how attached I get to the therapist. Then I told her how part of me wants to just leave therapy for good now and have it over and done with to avoid the pain of all of this but that I knew I couldn't because the other parts feel so attached.

She seemed very understanding to my great relief and was not offended (apparently) by anything I said. She said that it was true that I didn't know her and that therefore the attachment is not to her but to what she represents for me and that it is important for us to identify what she represents from my life growing up. I told her how I felt I never had someone like that to be attached to and she agreed that the 'neediness' is because of this lack of someone who was there for me when I was a child. She asked if it was a child part that felt this way about her but I feel it is many parts that like her in this way. I agree with what she was saying but I don't like to be 'needy' and that is why I try so hard NOT to allow myself to get attached to people in life and hence why I have so few close relationships. I asked her if it is possible for someone who has grown up that way to ever become 'normal' with regards to attachment. She kind of paused for a bit and then said that she thinks it is possible but sadly, I thought I sensed a little bit of uncertainty in her voice when she said it. I don't want to always be this way.

She said that we would need to do work on this and we'd also need to think more about the process of her leaving and the options we have, as it is so stressful at the moment with me not knowing when it's going to happen. She talked about the possibility of setting a deadline on us finishing together that we could work towards, even if it's not when she goes away. I am not sure about this but I am sure that I need to be more certain about what is happening and I want help to be not so affected by it all. I was relieved that she was finally understanding how difficult this has been and I'm relieved that this will have hopefully opened her up to talking about this with me.

At the end she said: “So what about our appointment in May?”. I explained that I didn't feel I really had any options but that I thought it would be better if I could be seen sooner. She said she could make time to see me next week and she felt this would be more reasonable anyway than three weeks. Phew!

I commented on how I just needed to find a way now to get over my meltdown and that I was angry with myself and felt I needed to just pull myself together and get on with things but that at the same time I felt unable to.

Then she said something that has really stuck with me. She said that she could see that I put a lot of effort into 'getting on with things', that I work full time and that she felt I have spent my whole life just trying to get on with things but that things had been building up internally within my parts and that is what caused the crash. She said she didn't feel it was me feeling sorry for myself and that maybe it was a sign that I need to stop and take more notice of what's going on. I find this so reassuring. I tend to view myself with a more harsh and critical eye and assume that others would do the same. It doesn't help that my mother is a psychotherapist who often tells me about patients who she thinks need to 'get a grip and get a job and stop feeling sorry for themselves'.

I think T was right though, this has been building up for a while and I wish I could have prevented things from getting to crisis point. I am hopeful that it won't be the start of a long crisis phase. I have felt better just for our conversation although by no means completely better. I am feeling very drained and dulled, but still am hopeful that by Monday I will be back to work and have the energy again to be the apparently normal Candy that everyone else knows.

Attachment (part 2)

After my clinical psychology session on Wednesday, I had a big crisis. It hadn't gone badly and I wasn't upset about the material we were covering; but something triggered a meltdown.

While reflecting on the session that evening, part of me felt very angry at being given an appointment for three weeks time and that is reflected in the short post written at the time. After that I began feeling very sad and emotional and what followed was hours of feeling like I had emotionally crashed, crying my eyes out, feeling alone and abandoned, worthless and like I was a burden on the world; thinking about hurting myself and ending my life. I eventually fell asleep sometime in the morning and woke up when my alarm went off, feeling broken... empty.

I had crashed. I rang in sick to work. I very rarely do this as I don't want sick leave affecting my job prospects but I felt unable to do anything; unable to function. Getting out of bed seemed beyond me, never mind doing a day's work. I felt like all the energy I put everyday into living as a normal person and holding myself together was gone and I was left in a dark pit of nothing but emptiness and sorrow... and I didn't know why.

I resolved to stay in bed and never eat again for the rest of my life (which hopefully wouldn't be too long). My husband brought me toast but I felt I didn't deserve to eat it. He was so concerned and asked if there was anything he could do to help. I didn't know what to do. I was scared because in the past, when this very depressed part of me takes over, it goes on for months and becomes a phase of feeling so alone and desolate with only self harm and starving then eating and making myself sick to help me cope. I didn't want this to happen again. I was angry with myself for having crashed when I felt like I was moving forwards. I don't want to be that person.

I asked him if he would ring my T and tell her what had happened. I didn't know if she would be able to help at all but I didn't know what else I could do and I wasn't about to ring her myself and risk an abrupt response telling me we'd talk about it in the next session or that I shouldn't be ringing her. I told him that if she was blunt and unhelpful that I didn't want to know about it and I went back to hiding under the duvet. He went downstairs to make the call...

Attachment (part 1)

I wrote this blog post on Tuesday but hadn't posted it before I went to my psychology appointment on Wednesday....

I found myself thinking a lot about my therapist over the last two weeks since my last session. I would go so far as to say I have been 'obsessing' about my therapist.
I don't know why, maybe I have been lonely or a bit down. I have missed her and at times have found the only thing that helps me to feel like things are OK is to think about her. I don't know why this helps and it doesn't seem healthy to be this way. Especially seeing as that she is going to be leaving at some point. Maybe that's part of it.

I don't like feeling so attached to a person. I tend to keep a distance from people in relationships. I guess I learnt that if you get attached you get hurt so I've not allowed friendships to develop that much (probably part of the reason why I don't have any friends). But with T it's just gotten to that stage. I feel SO attached to her, I care about her and it makes me sad that I really don't know anything about her. I find myself wondering what she's doing at any given moment. I imagine her in situations that I'm in and wonder what she would do if it was her or what she'd say if she were here. It makes me feel like a stalker (even though it's just thoughts but you know what I mean?)

I haven't read a lot about transference or attachment; I know very little about them actually but I did come across a few articles that suggested that this is very common in DID and that a lot of people with DID have attachment disorders. The articles suggested that the attachments formed with a therapist can be useful to help them work through the problems if it's handled the right way by the therapist and the client feels secure and boundaries are not breached. Well if my T is leaving surely this means it is going to be really bad for us?

I would like to know why these strong feelings towards her seem to wax and wane as well. For the past two weeks she was always on my mind, never far from my thoughts. I was having to try hard not to think about her. I was even dreaming about her. Then the weekend came and I just forgot about her. Not completely, but to the level of remembrance that I would say is healthy. It did coincide I suppose, with my switch to function mode. I guess that's probably quite relevant.

I wish I could talk to my T about this but I don't feel she would be receptive. I think it would freak her out. Sometimes I get the feeling that she is a bit over cautious of boundaries and it can be a bit hurtful.

It was exactly the same with my first therapist who I only saw for three months. It broke me when he left. I was devastated by the loss and took a long time to be able to deal with everyday life well after he left. I still think about him loads even though he's been gone now for over two years. How can this be? I didn't know the guy one bit. He was a blank slate, yet I felt so attached and so torn apart by his departure and have never been able to let go if it. What the heck is that all about? What the heck is going to happen to me this time?!

I hope I remember to ask T in my appointment tomorrow if she knows yet when she is leaving. I have avoided thinking about it and I think there may be parts of me who don't know she is going. Crazy as that sounds, I think they may be in denial. Some are hoping she has changed her mind.
I wouldn't be surprised if I don't ask her tomorrow as part of me doesn't want to know the answer.

For the few weeks before she told me she was going to be going on 'extended leave' she had been a bit withdrawn or slightly colder and I had wondered if I had done something wrong. I think now that it was just because she was building up to telling me and maybe had been feeling anxious about it. It probably didn't help that a few weeks before she broke the news to me, one of my parts wrote a letter saying that Candycan was scared T was going to leave us the same way everyone else had. I wondered at the time at why she hadn't reassured that part that she wasn't planning on going anywhere but I soon found out why she hadn't.

The last few weeks she has been the same. Slightly distant, withdrawn or even a little cold. It might just be my imagination or a coincidence but I just have an inkling it might be 'the news'. Or maybe she just doesn't like me any more.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Fuck everything

I know everyone deserves a holiday from work and I'm sure a psychologist earns their holidays but when I already get an appointment only every other week, wouldn't it be better to offer me one next week instead of saying "I'm off in two weeks so I'll see you in three"? She doesn't understand how hard that is for us.
I'm so fucking pissed off with us all at the moment for even caring. It's times like this that I think it would be better just to quit this altogether and go back to living life as I was before I started psychology. I hate being so fucking dependent on others. It's not how I want my life to be.
It may be just a job to her but its my fucking life I am waiting to get on with.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

My new job

It's hard to believe it's only Tuesday when it feels like I've done a weeks work already. Last week felt the same, maybe time actually has slowed down? But then that doesn't explain why my weekend seemed to pass in a heartbeat.

My new job is going both well and badly.

The good part is that I've been managing well with the clinics so far. I had some huge concerns that I wouldn't be able to focus myself to see all of the patients in a timely manner and give them the correct information, because in the past I found that dissociation affected my ability to concentrate and remember anything.

So far dissociation hasn't caused me too much trouble in the clinics. I experienced it at the start when I was shadowing a colleague and felt very stressed, but now I think that this was because it brought back memories of being bullied by my supervisors as a student.

I've done a handful of clinics on my own and in all but one I felt confident and focussed.

Today was the 'one'. For some reason my anxiety levels were quite high beforehand. I didn't feel confident and I felt like I didn't know anything. I had a few minutes before my first patient arrived and so I tried to take deep breaths and read aloud some of the information that I was planning to give the first patient. I internally asked for the person/people who had the skills and knowledge to do the clinic and I tried to be aware of my body and the room. I felt like I wasn't in the room and even while reading, the page was fuzzy and blurred and I couldn't concentrate. I had a bit of tunnel vision; not as defined as a tunnel. My vision was more a circle of OK sight but the rest was blurred. I get this when I'm really anxious.

Once I got started with my first patient, all of that left me. I became clear minded, confident, assertive, efficient...competent. Get me! Sometimes I find it incredible to think of myself running a clinic as a health professional. If my psychologist saw me doing it she would see a different side of me than the one that sits in front of her in our sessions: nervous, monotonous, closed, serious, slightly stupid. I find it hard to fathom myself sometimes. To think that I am treating people in a medical setting (and doing a good job I might add!) when only 12 hours previously, I was curled up on my bedroom floor, hugging a teddy and crying my eyes out.

Reading over that makes me see how crazy I actually am and I feel like I have a terrible secret. But I shouldn't feel that way. Everyone has their own secrets and issues in life. At the end of the day, as long I am not breaking the law and am doing the job properly, what does it matter if the rest of the time I am as crazy as a bag of cats?

I guess maybe everyone feels this way to a greater or lesser extent sometimes.

The bad part of my new job is the other part of my role which is much like the role I had previously. The problem is, the job post I left to go into this new job is in the same work and hasn't been filled so I'm effectively having to do all of my old job, plus my new responsibilities in that area, plus clinics. There is no way on earth it can all fit into one week. On top of that, other colleagues have left (who were on a higher wage than I am) and haven't been replaced and I've been asked to take on their work too. It's too much work and already I feel stressed by it.

I'm angry with my boss for putting all of this on me and it's not helped by the fact that she is constantly nagging me and asking me stupid questions while I'm trying to work so I can't actually get anything productive done. As if it isn't hard enough to concentrate with everything that's already going on in my head!

I'm just trying not to worry too much about it. I can only work as hard as I can and keep a record of what I'm doing so that if it comes back on me I can defend myself.

I haven't enjoyed talking about this and it's not what I even had in mind when I decided to write a blog post! I may just post this and then start again with the subject I came here to share with you!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Switching into function mode between therapy sessions

I think I've been in function mode a bit lately. Typical when I am coming up to my next therapy session. Therapy is so hard in function mode. Its hard having two weeks between each session too. I can't maintain being insightful about parts for two whole weeks without a session so I switch off and it becomes unreal and then I can't relate to it all when I'm in therapy. By the end of the session everything (everyone) has reawoken and then I spend the next week thinking everything over and analysing myself. But the cycle goes on and eventually I lose touch again. Its been a really long two weeks this time. I felt like I was making loads of progress in myself as you might have read in the last few posts but I couldn't maintain it and now its all distant and unreal.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Americas most hated family and me

It strikes me as a very strange coincidence that I wrote the post yesterday about growing up in the cult church which I have never really talked about much and then today my husband asked me if we could watch this documentary together: Louis Theroux: America's most hated family in crisis.

Watch it here:

It is about a small Church group in USA with very controversial beliefs and methods of preaching. Even if you have never been through something like this it is worth watching just for the peek into another kind of life.

I felt deeply disturbed and sick to my stomach watching the documentary. I was shocked because it was very like the church I came out of. It brought back so many memories and feelings that I had tucked away nicely somewhere else. My head hurt by the end of the programme, I think from trying to hold in all the emotional pain and heartache that was resurfacing and trying to burst out (I don't like to sound over dramatic but this is how it felt). My church didn't actively go out to preach hate and offend but in preaching what it did believe, usually managed to offend everyone anyway (no one likes to be told they're going to Hell).

Having beliefs that were so offensive to 99.9% of the rest of the world and being required for the saving of my own and other's souls, to go out and preach them on the streets and to everyone I knew, I was more than familiar with how it felt to be ridiculed, laughed at, shouted at, rejected, hated and despised. I could see myself in the young boys holding the signs: hating every moment but not even admitting it to themselves; telling themselves they were being persecuted for doing the work of Christ. Telling themselves this was their mission whilst praying that they wouldn't be noticed.

I could see myself in the mindsets of the young girls... growing up in a group with such controversial beliefs and the obvious effort they were putting in to convincing themselves and Louis that they believed it truly. I don't doubt that many of them do truly believe that they are doing the right thing and that there is no other way. But I doubt that they have much personal freedom in their own minds to test their own ideas in a truly unbiased way. The risk of them realising that it is a cult was huge: they lose any family and friends they ever had... any culture and the whole framework of their lives. I know how that feels.

And that's what happened in my cult. It tore my family apart. In deciding to leave because of the wrong I saw, I lost every friend I ever had; not only lost but had to bear them 'lovingly' telling me that I was poisoned by Satan and that God would visit wrath on me for abandoning the church... I would burn in Hell.. etc. And then being deleted from the lives of every member. Deleted from their minds for their own safety. So that they wouldn't be poisoned by me.

I could see myself in the families of those who had left when questioned about if they missed their daughter or had any sadness about cutting her out of their lives. I recognised their apparent lack of emotion at having wiped a child from their lives because they chose to leave the church. I understood that the only way they could bear what they had done to their child was to delete any emotions about that loss from their consciousness. They felt they had to do it to be right with God. They felt it was love. I understand because I did the same with people who left the cult before I did. I was sad for them that they had 'given in to the lure of the flesh' but I believed that God wanted me to wipe them from my life and I told myself that God had taken the pain from me so I didn't have to feel the loss. I guess that is a way of dissociating. I don't think humans are designed to deal with hurting others in that way so will find another way of feeling about it.

Watching the part where the girl was crying for the loss of the people she loved after leaving the cult brought back a lot of pain. I feel I have never really dealt with the pain and loss and like her, I still worry that I am going to Hell. It's hard to come out of a lifetime in an environment like that and just take on moderate views. I find I don't know what to believe anymore. I felt her pain.

Watching this documentary has been painful but I am starting to understand where my T was coming from when she wanted me to talk to her about my church way back when I first started therapy with her.

At the time I told her I didn't want to talk about it and she had said that I wouldn't be able to progress if I didn't and that there was no point coming if I didn't want to talk about difficult things. This had made me feel angry and pressurized. I'd asked her if she was telling me not to come back and she said she wasn't saying that but that she felt these were important things to look at.

I didn't think it was something I could bear to tolerate the thoughts about at the time. She didn't ask me about my church anymore and I have always been happy not to even think about it but I have secretly always known that I haven't dealt with this stuff and that it has affected me in a huge way. I guess in a way I've always wanted to blame all my problems such as dissociative identity disorder on the other things that happened to me as a child. Although SA (I can't write it but hopefully you know what I mean) is by no means a 'normal' thing or an easy thing to deal with, in a way I felt if my DID could just be because of that, it would be simpler. In reality I think they are both factors that lead me to develop the condition.

Maybe the fact that I have been able to now write two posts about my church suggests that I might be ready to start talking with T about this.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The world is going to end and you're going to Hell.

As a child I knew I was going to Hell. I was taught that there were very very strict criteria for getting into heaven: specific steps that must be followed as well as reading the bible for hours every day and praying for hours every day too as well as a pure mind. I was very conscientious but at aged seven, I struggled to discipline myself to more than a few minutes praying at a time and reading the bible was not top of my list of fun things to do (although I wouldn't have confessed that to anyone). I did read Deuteronomy though and was horrified to read the curses that would be brought on the people if they did this or that or the other thing.

Having been given a very graphic description of what Hell would be like for me, I was horrified to read that I was an abomination for the things that I had done and that I was surely going to burn in the pit of fire for eternity. Nowadays I'm more of the opinion that I didn't really have a choice in the matter. I was asked to do things to a person for their pleasure (I'm sure you know what I mean) and I didn't want to do them but I did them because I loved that person and they hassled me and I didn't want to say 'No'. I didn't want them to feel bad. Nowadays I would say that I shouldn't have been asked and I wasn't old enough to know. I wouldn't blame the child if she were not me. But then, I did blame myself. I had done them, no one physically forced me. I was coerced, but I could have said 'No'. I was an abomination to God.

It was also accepted in my church that God was coming back and the world was going to end very soon. I mean, in a matter of days or months. It was always just around the corner. It would happen when you were least expecting it and when it did happen it was going to be scary. He would burst through the clouds and judge the world and there would be a lot of fire and brimstone.

The prospect of growing up or getting old never really occurred to me. Education was seen as a waste of time. What would be the point in going to University when the world is going to end at any minute? I didn't think I was going to make it to that age anyway, as I was only seven and the world was ending within a year or two max. I'd be in Hell by the year 2000, burning in a never ending fire that would never kill me but that would be agonising, without end...forever.

I guessed that God might forgive me if I prayed really hard and repented and begged for forgiveness and put in the hours... but then the curse of being a child often prevented me from knuckling down to do the required prayer sessions and so I would get into bed each night and remember another day had gone by without my having prayed and I would realise again that I was doomed to the burning fire of Hell where Satan would take delight in torturing me.

Each night before I fell asleep from the age of five and for the entire duration of my childhood, I would say the same prayer: "Please don't return tonight God, I'm not ready and I don't want to go to Hell. I will be a better Christian tomorrow."

Nowadays I try not to think about the end of the world. I sometimes consider that one day I might be an old woman after all. But there is still the parts that truly believe the world is going to end soon and that I am damned to Hell and there is nothing I can do about it. And although I try not to entertain that thought, it hangs over me in my subconscious. I am evil. I am doomed. I am going to Hell. Sometimes I still say the same prayer when I get into bed. Nowadays, more often it is: "I'm sorry God, I want to be good but I don't know anything anymore. I need you to show me".

It's no wonder I find it hard to enjoy my life.