I watched a documentary last night about a lady who lives with dissociative identity disorder and I must admit I found it fascinating, as well as deeply moving.
I have great compassion for anyone who has experienced complex trauma in their childhood, as I know how hard it is to overcome the complexity of what you are left with. It affects people both mentally & physically and can hinder the ability to live a healthy and productive life.
There are so many people suffering with a mental illness due to childhood trauma and it really is incredibly unfair. It is such a shame that some people are strong enough to heal from trauma and can do this without causing harm to others, whilst others don’t heal and inflict more pain. This results in generations of family members suffering from trauma & abuse and so the vicious cycle continuous.
The brain is incredible in finding ways to cope with severe trauma, and one of these ways is to dissociate. As someone who has complex trauma, I only have experienced minor dissociations with the following symptoms:
Feeling disconnected from myself
Problems with handling intense feelings and thoughts
Sudden and unexpected shifts in mood – for example, feeling very sad for no reason
Depression or anxiety problems, or both
Feeling as though the world is distorted or not real (called ‘derealisation’)
I also tend to have problems with my memory and cognitive function.
For those of you with Dissociative Identity disorder, I feel compelled to say that I think your brain is amazing! I don’t of course think it is amazing that you have this disorder, as it makes me deeply sad to think of the abuse that you must have endured.I just think it is incredible how the brain creates a defense mechanism to protect us from overwhelming distress. Dissociative Identity Disorder is a good example of what the brain can do to protect us.
Dissociative Identity Disorder, is characterised by the appearance of at least two or more distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states that alternately show in a person’s behavior, accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness.
No matter what your mental disorder, I have great compassion for all the suffering that goes with it. However, I don’t have compassion for those who are bullies and cause suffering.
Each individual journey of healing is unique and yes, sometimes as fallible humans, we tend to make mistakes and hurt people along the way. The most important thing however, is that we are aware of this and can grow from it.
As it is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness month, I would like to also mention that Complex Post Traumatic stress is very real as well and the more people that are aware of it, the less the stigma for those that suffer from it.
Much Love ❤ Athina