Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Too Different To Belong - Not on Your Life!

Jumpinginpuddles posted A dawning of sadness and loss about the realization she is coming to regarding her family history. JIP asked i wonder if people like us ever feel like we belong anywhere or do we always feel so strangely different to the rest of the world?

It's a complicated question. The feelings that generate such a question are symptoms of our abuse. The fact that we, victims, don't have good childhood memories like other people can cause many to feel different.
The problem with the belief in that difference is it breeds isolation. The underlying message is that we don't and won't fit in, no matter what we do. Yet, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Sure we're not going to ever say we had a great childhood, but we can be sure that our children do. We can't change what happened to us in the past but we can influence our future. There are lots of aspects of our lives that we can build on that can be healthy and normal if we want them to.

Just like JIP in her question, Clueless said in the comments
I often wonder if anyone will truly know what it is like to be me and to know my pain. Well, the answer is of course not, no one will ever really know. But, it helps me around here that people have similar experiences, struggles and feelings...Yet, sometimes I feel like that little girl hiding in the closet, rocking and silently crying just to make the bad things go away.

I want to address this statement, "the answer is of course not, no one will ever really know." This is how Clueless relates to JIP's question, I believe. It is the obvious assumption of a victim...."No one feels my pain." It is part of the trap that sets us up and keeps us caught in it's clutches. It's an old message from our victimization still roaming around in our head and keeping us trapped.

Neither Clueless or JIP want to be caught in that trap. They have no idea that this belief is part of it. Yet telling ourselves that no one has it as bad as we do, or no one will ever understand because they didn't go through it, or any other of those messages are just more old programming messages. They keep us isolated and ensure that we will be unable to heal.

While the details for each and every one of us may be different, our feelings are all the same. I may not feel your feelings and you may be unable to feel mine but we are capable of feeling the exact same feelings.

For example, I have been there with the little girl hiding in the closet, rocking and silently crying that clueless writes about. Or the child in the back seat of a travelling car, her head was down and she was rocking and trying to not cry out loud, she too was in obvious pain and was struggling to not yell out loud. Her dress was stained blood red and after a while she let out a yell and her mother slapped her for being a baby that JIP has within her system.I know both of these children inside of me. It doesn't matter that the details are different. These pictures tell me about the feelings and they are mine too.

I have heard that deep almost gutteral crying that Truddi Chase of When Rabbit Howls speaks about in her book. She describes it as the sound her smallest most damaged personality makes. I recognized it immediately when I first read it in her book. I have recognized it immediately when I have heard it from another. I know that pain intimately. It lives inside of me.

I can totally relate to what kind of injury/abuse it takes to generate such pain. I would never presume to say that Truddi Chase's Rabbit, clueless's child or that of JIP didn't or don't feel as badly as I. It is the same pain caused by different circumstances. It is a bond between all of us. Whether I never met any of these woman or not, I recongize the inexplicable connection between us. It gives me comfort to know that I am not alone.

I know too there are others out there just as frightened and hurt struggling to figure out a way for some relief. It is that very connection that tells me I belong. Not just to some sorority of damaged victims but to a group of brave individuals who are fighting the odds to get free.

To be continued............


jumpinginpuddles said...

thankyou thats all just thankyou might try and talk to you personally over weekend

Kahless said...

The description of the crying inside is haunting.

Thank God for the internet that brings the opportunity for survivors to relate and realise they connect and belong.

Cheesemeister said...

There are people that have had it a lot worse than me. But as to feeling as if I will never belong? Well--never did, never will. That's just how it is.

keepers said...

this is an excellent post, very true in our opinion

peace and blessings


kïrstin said...

i think we would all be surprized if we knew how many people actually feel this way. people we think didnt have the background to produce such feelings. personally, i often dont feel i belong to either world - the abuse survivors, or the 'normal' people. which is why i wrote about 'getting over it' in my own blog.

on the other hand, it doesnt occur to some people to question whether they fit in or not.

the bottom line, and i think you nailed it with this post, is the message we received as children that we were such rejects is the worst of it. im not making light of abuse, but its that message that silenced us as children, leaving us paralyzed to act in our own defense, and followed us out of childhood into the rest of the world. it is the hardest thing to overcome.

Labyrinth said...

Excellent post. I bet if we were all to meet each other in person we would be able to connect right away, even if we didn't know who we were. I mean... if we were to just run into each other... I bet we could tell.

Stray said...

Great post RR.

I always felt alien and outside. I still do, often. In some ways I feel it even more since I got better. I don't belong with the 'crazy' people anymore and yet I am constantly censoring myself amongst the 'normal' people. If people knew I had DID how would they react?

I imagine they would not believe me, until I rolled up my sleeves or trousers and they saw that most of my body is covered in scars. Then they would fear me or fear for me - neither of which feels ok.

However, the alien feeling today is much less than for most of my life. I had therapy with an organisation run by survivors for survivors. All the therapists disclose their own abuse background, and I genuinely felt completely understood.

With other survivors I now do feel like I belong. Less so with other MPD/DID people (not that I've met any in person, but online) because I don't have different names for my split parts, and they don't write differently or have distinct defined ages etc. Sometimes I feel like I don't have "proper" DID. But then DID is an experience, not a disease I guess!

I love what you say about not belonging to the sorority of damaged individuals. 'Fighting the odds to be free' is good. Very good.


Frazzled Farm Wife said...

I just can't even imagine what you all have gone through. I do have one question....Do you have any good memories from your childhood? A good friend or a teacher that made you feel good or smile? Did anybody affect you in a positive way in your childhood? Ok, I guess that was more than one question.

April_optimist said...

YES, YES, YES!!! I used to think no one could understand, that I was so badly damaged I could never belong, so tainted, so....(fill in the blanks).

What I've come to realize is that I not only belong to a sisterhood of incredibly courages girls and women (and some boys/men, too), but I can belong anywhere I choose. (But it took me far longer than I wish it had to get to this point!)

Marj aka Thriver said...

We all ARE fighters, that's for damn sure. And I do so appreciate our conncection and community.

Rising Rainbow said...

jip, I'm glad this was helpful to you.

kahless, the sounds of the crying inside is haunting as well.

You are right about the internet. I believe it has been helpful to lots of people.

chessemeister, I think you belong in this group. Do you ever think about that? I don't think you are as big an outcast as you think.

keepers, I'm glad you liked it.

kirstin, yes, I think it is the message that keeps us trapped if we let it.

labyrinth, I think you're right. I know I seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to "detecting" survivors.

stray, I like to joke that I am one of the crazy people but I think in reality there really are very few "crazy" people. Most people seem to be caught by their past in some way or another.

frazzled farm wife,I do have a few memories as a child that are good ones.......but very few. Most of them are away from my family and school. Maybe someday I'll post about them.

april_optimist, I know it took me far longer than I wish as well. The important part is reaching it at all, I think.

marj, I couldn't have said it better....

Mary said...

What an excellent post, and yes thank God for the internet, at least here I feel like I belong. All through the years, I never felt I really belonged because I had a "secret" that no-one knew about, when others talked about their childhood and how great it was, all I could think about was the abuse, how bad it was., sure I had some good memories, but the bad outweighed the good, its so good to connect to others here, our own "circle of friends" thanks for the post...Mary