Chapter 49: Validation
I do not need validation for my reality being a “normal” reality for someone with DID. I know that from observing in online groups and the few friendships I have come upon with others around the world that live with DID, that there is a general need for validation in how they feel and things that come to memory. I understand the need. And there was a time that I felt that same need. But before I came to discover that there were others in the world that had experienced similar to what I had, and that were like me, I had to face myself. I had to live in a world where I did not fit. And I was intensely aware of it. I lived a life not understanding what was wrong with me and unable to escape it. I have spent so much energy and years fighting myself, fighting my mind. I had looked for help in therapists and in churches. I have tried a wide variety of medications, received a variety of “labels” from adhd to bipolar and everything in between. But even if I scored off the charts on tests for the various labels, the medication never seemed to change anything for long. And inside, I knew that my issues were not based on a chemical imbalance that I had been born with. I also knew that my issues were founded in spiritual origins and not the result of a physical condition. And I knew that there was a secret evil hidden in my family, that childhood was something that I feared remembering, that it was something I would not survive facing and that my father had sexually abused me with my mothers knowledge. I also knew that the sexual abuse I knew to have occurred was only a small part of what my mind hid. Childhood in our family was a topic not permitted to be discussed. I knew that I had to find the truth that I ran from, that I had to know what had happened and face it and heal. I knew this with such an intensity. I knew that if I did not find the answers I hid from that I would never find freedom from something that I could not fully identify but I knew that I had to find freedom because I knew it was not over with and that it would have an affect on some future happening that I did not want to have a part to play in. I knew all this, but I did not know what “it” was, but I knew what “it” was not, and “it” was not just some chemical imbalance. I realised that what I ran from was not something encountered by therapists or pastors, it was not something that they could diagnose, it was something I had to remember. I wished I could believe it was just a chemical imbalance, but inside I knew it was not and for some reason I could not deny the unknown truth. Outside of therapists and pastors no-one was aware of things that I was remembering or dealing with in my life. The only validation I received during those years was when I did something completely out of character and tracked down an aunt that I had not seen for many many years. She had been married to my uncle when I was a child and my first memory that I recalled was of events taking place in a stone shed on their small farm. My uncle was dead by this time and she had soon after his death been disowned by the family. Something about her accusing the family of mistreating the children, I do not know the details. But he was not supposed to of married her from what I understand. Regardless, I tracked her down and asked her of the existence of a stone shed which she acknowledged had existed but did not know what went on in the shed as women were not permitted and discussing it was not permitted. She knew only that the men would go into it and that of us children would accompany them. I have not spoken to her since. I never had any means of validating the memories as they started to recall, childhood was not permitted to be discussed, so I could not discuss it with family. Not that family ever really discussed anything. The first time I decided to question my mother regarding childhood and asked her if my father had sexually abused me, she simply responded casually with a “Not that I know of” and moved on like nothing had been said. However I ended up in a psych ward having my brain shocked after a suicide attempt that is. But that was when I was 22 years old. I have spent twenty years of my life searching for answers to explain what I felt and knew to be true but had no memory as such to know from. I made an oath of sorts to myself very early on in my decision to figure out what was wrong with me. I promised myself that I would not be influenced by anyone elses experiences no matter how much they came close to feeling true but would not settle for believing anything else except for what I knew and felt was true and that until I found an exact match that felt true to me as to what it was I experienced that I would not stop trying to figure it out. I knew with such certainty that there was truth to what I felt and knew without having memory of. I cannot explain it. I also was aware not to tell anyone of what I thought but to seek until I heard from someone else the same things that I knew. I was always aware that there was a danger attached to declaring what I knew even though I did not have a memory of it. This promise to myself was something I never waivered on. Even when it seemed I would never discover the answer. And from that promise to self I overcame any need to be validated. I was aware that validation would not change the things I knew but would merely be a bonus. I realised early that if I went looking for validation that it would influence me to be swayed to experiences that could fit a validation as such, if that made sense, and I needed to know the truth. Trying to fit my knowing to someone elses similar experience would not be the truth and would not benefit me in any way. I knew that I had to solve my childhood, that it was important to find healing, I did not know why just that I knew that if I did not I would somehow regret it later in life. And as a result of that promise, it is automatic now for us to speak of things precisely as we see them even if we are aware that what we see is not something someone else has claimed to have experienced. And we are aware that what we see today might be somewhat changed tomorrow as we see more, and that its okay if tomorrow we learn that what we believed today is not completely true. We accept our truths as we discover them for what we discover them. You see, healing for us is purely personal and has nothing to do with anyone else. We have never fitted in anywhere in our life. Its okay that we don’t fit someone elses mould exactly as they mould it. We are intensely aware that our mould is somewhat unique. Whilst the foundations are similar we come from a different continent to anyone else we know now online, and therefore we will have a different experience. Africa is after all the spiritual origin of the world. Africa has secrets in her soil that is unique to her. And I come from Africa. Another thing we discovered with finding others online, is a frustrating phenomena amongst other survivors where we found them to be comfortable with having parts, comfortable to identify themselves with sra and comfortable to stay stagnant. Also others seem to so easily to acknowledge and accept parts, its something that although we are aware of and to a degree acknowledge we cannot deal with parts the way others do. With a tea party. Where stuffed toys are brought out and parts are held in a comforting manner and spoken to in a motherly to child manner and nurtured and and and. While it seems to work I guess for them, it is just not an option for us. Also this need to relive the past in order to heal, this need to connect with the parts and listen to their story and then deal with it. That has never been an acceptable solution for us. Although, I do understand the concept of it is actually in becoming aware of experiences in the sub-conscious and being able to allow them to be processed in the conscious state where they can be faced and accepted and a healing can occur. The fact is, healing means nothing more that making all the subconscious conscious. Healing does not really mean that you feel better, that you lose the affects of the trauma, it just means you are conscious of it and it is no longer hidden. Healing means you get to live with your past in its entirety day in and day out for the rest of your days. I fail to see where the “healing” in that is. I always considered healing to be something that was a relieving experience where one can forget and let go. But it turns out healing is not relieving but reliving an experience for the rest of your life. However, the fact remains that we have no option but to heal for in not healing, in keeping secrets, in having parts, we are at risk of being used by them for their works against our will. Its hard to accept that you are not in control of yourself, that at any point someone can trigger you to do a pre conditioned action without any resistance. But its something that even if we doubt we have such conditioning, you cannot risk finding out you were wrong because it affects other people lives. And, the risk of hurting another person in any way or form is not something we are prepared to be part of. So we race against the clock to find healing, to have control. But still, even though I fully get the concept of bringing into consciousness, are you seriously going to just accept that you are looking at ten or fifteen years to heal? Cause we cannot. There has to be an alternative and we will find it. Healing has disrupted our life enough already and its been nearly four years since we discovered the truth about what was wrong with us. And we still struggle to accept it, but with a clock ticking there is no time to spend on struggling, there is only time to keep moving forward. We need to find the alternate way. And we will find it. A Perhaps it is in the writing of this book as we have already discovered a level of understanding that we did not have prior to this project, perhaps in the writing of this book we will discover our solution. For the truth is, we have the answer already, we just need to bring it into awareness. And if we can understand the physicalness, the manner in which the brain works, then we can find that answer a little quicker if we have the map.