Schedule
 8:30am - 9:00am Registration
 9:00am - 9:30am Welcome, Worship,  Introductions
9:30am - 10:30am Key Speaker: Dr. Ross
10:30am - 10:40am Break
10:40am -11: 30am Peace 4 Tarpon
11:30am- 12:30pm Session 1 – Speaker: Darlene Williams, Speaker: Julie Beach Hill
12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm - 2:30pm Session 2 – Speaker Tom Edwards, Speaker: Darlene Williams
2:30pm - 3:30pm Key Speaker Dr. Ross
3:30pm - 3:40pm Break
3:40pm - 4:40pm Session 3 Speaker Julie Beach Hill  Speaker Tom Edwards
4:40pm - 5:30pm DID Discovering Hope, Certification Hours.... (PENDING)

Speakers Topics

Key Speaker : Dr.Ross presents principles of treatment of DID: The central paradox of DID, the problem of host resistance, and talking through the Voices.

Peace 4 Tarpon: Encouraging Your Resilience – Ways to Build Resiliency Every Day Resilience is the ability to bounce back from life’s difficult events. Being resilient doesn’t mean we don’t experience grief, sadness, or a range of emotions after adversity or loss. Resilience happens when we work through the emotions and gain knowledge of how to overcome. Let’s explore ways that you can build resiliency every day. 

Dr. Darlene Williams: Nontraditional healing modalities for DID, with a emphasis on EAP (Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy)

Julie Beach Hill: 

Creating a Strong Therapeutic Alliance: What You Need From Therapy; What Your Team Needs From You. What does traumatic stress, grief and loss look like?, Crucial components in trauma therapy,Evidence based treatment options, Choosing the right therapist for you and weaving your trauma treatment tapestry.

Rev. Tom Edwards: God, Attachments and Coherent Narratives People who struggle with a Dissociative disorder often lack coherent narratives of their pasts. This typically leads to a lack coherent visions of their futures. This is typically caused by traumatic events of their past that lead to an inability to develop healthy attachments. This lack of an ability to attach to others in healthy ways lead to partial attachments with parts of self with parts of others. Past memories are encoded from the earliest of childhood events that cause a pathway to develop distorted cognitions that derailed attachment. These traumatic distortions generate the inability to “Trust” others and most of all an inability to fully “Trust” God and have a healthy attachment with God. Understanding that Jesus as God is truly a safe person who offers a safe place to reshape the manifestation of trauma in order to develop the ability to have attached relationships both internally and with others externally. Understanding the effects of trauma, attachment and the developed of coherent positive narratives with God being the safe place will be the focus of this workshop.

Support

We Provide Therapeutic Art Support Group   Every 2nd and 4th  Monday of the Month  6:30-8:30 pm Underground Network 2nd Ave. Tampa 33605

Mentors in the Tampa Bay area to help guide and direct those struggling with depression, PTSD or DID. We give our time to listen , encourage healthy safe relationships . Location: Underground Network 925 2nd Ave. Tampa 33605. Call to set up appointment

Mentors in the Tampa Bay area to help guide and direct those struggling with depression, PTSD or DID. We give our time to listen , encourage healthy safe relationships . Location: Underground Network 925 2nd Ave. Tampa 33605. Call to set up appointment

Please call to verify dates, times and locations 510-343- 6581

Two women’s support groups located in Tampa Bay for those with PTSD, and or DID, from Childhood abuse.  Location 1 Underground Network 2nd Saturday 1-3 pm and 3rd Saturday of the Month -  11 am to 1 pm  pm Direct Connection 2632 US Highway 19, Holiday, Florida 34691

Two women’s support groups

located in Tampa Bay for those with PTSD, and or DID, from Childhood abuse. 

Location 1 Underground Network 2nd Saturday 1-3 pm and 3rd Saturday of the Month -  11 am to 1 pm  pm Direct Connection 2632 US Highway 19, Holiday, Florida 34691

Experience Life With Depersonalization Disorder

All Blog information is written not by Mental health Specialist and is thoughts and experience by those with DID only.  

Depersonalization disorder results in a feeling of being detached from life or body.   It can be a symptom of another disorder, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and, or panic disorder. For me I  always felt detached from my body. I begin to become more aware of life, seeking to understand connections and feelings of  joy and hope.  I become more and more co-concussion in my recovery.  I am stepping out of denial. The denial of the pain, rejection, abandonment and the hurts of my childhood.  Realizing the life I had and the new  life I now have are separate.

As I sat across my doctor, telling me that I needed to be aware of my body the overwhelming desire to do just that consumed me. I  shifted, wondering what will that look like , as if  I almost had a grasp on the reality of the world I live in. Longing to be whole, longing to know the feeling of a body, I see but cannot feel or connect with most of the time. The feeling of sensations of  pain but also pleasure come and go. It is like  turning on a faucet, but then it turns off within moments. I am thankful that my doctor was not asking me what was wrong with me, as I ask myself that on a consisted bases. Questioning myself and wondering..It can also be scary at times, not connecting with myself or others. I find I watch myself as if I am in a mirror. I  can be very sensitive or withdrawn completely from reality. I once read somewhere that a person with depersonalization disorder are not satisfied with life, always longing for something they can not seem to grasp. I completely disagree. I love my home, husband and  the friends that support me. I do not want to run off to some island to have an adventure, while it may seem nice of course but  it is  not a longing that I  have . Most of my life I longed for stability and consistency. I am very grateful that I have that today. Depersonalization takes work to overcome. Thoughts are a big key to recovery   Leo Tolstoy.   said “Thoughs is the beginning of everything. And thoughts can be controlled. Therefore the main thing in self improvement is working on your thoughts.” by doing this  I come out as the  winner, a better person,  strong and confident.

Another key is our spiritual walk-  in the Holy Bible it says In Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Taken time for meditating is a way to help renew our mind each day to reflect on the positive changes that are happen in our life. 

Relationships, Friendships, Aquaintances - What Is The Difference?

It’s been a few years now since my D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) has been brought to the surface and I still find my-self struggling to have meaningful relationships with others. Will people accept me for who am I?  Can I really share my hurts, habits and hang-ups with others in confidentiality terms?

It’s at a point now where after spending so many years pushing people away for fear of rejection, trust, vulnerability and thinking that the more I expose my weakness to others, the more people wont like me, that some of my relationships have gone down the drain.

I’ve distanced my-self from people so much that I feel like I’m alone in life. Many days I isolate myself from the world to avoid getting hurt by others.

 Sure, I have friends, the acquaintances I associate with today have come via way of Bible Studies, home fellowships, recovery groups, those I’ve met through Cross Fitness etc.

Yet there’s times out there where I feel like no one understands me but those in the D.I.D. Community. No one comprehends what it’s like to have a family of 40 people that make up my inner-world. I have a newborn child down to a man in his 30’s that resembles my perpetrator in every way.

Many days I walk around with a distorted view of the world around me. I question why my ‘normal relationships’ are non-existent? I question why the handful of people I’m friends with are never around. It’s like FINALLY after years of pushing people away I’m learning that God created us to have meaningful relationships with others, He (God) never wanted us to be alone in life.

Yet the more I reach out to people I get every excuse in the Bible as to why they don’t want to be around me. Is there something in me that attracts me to un-safe people? How does one even know the difference between a safe relationship and a toxic relationship? How much of my ‘story’ do I share in a friendship to begin with?

Time and time again I hear every reason as to why some one can’t commit to a few hours with me… let me check my calendar, let me check my appointment book and get back to you. Sorry, I can’t spend time with you because I’ve already made plans. If you want to spend time with you, you need to ask me 2 months in advance etc.

I’m tired of all the excuses, I know people lead busy lives… yet what I don’t get is that in my ‘normal relationships’ (those relationships with singletons) people seems to only be around when they need or want something from me. I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with meaningful relationships. How does one even know the difference between a relationship, friendship or an acquaintance?

For instance, I have a few friends I take the time to pray for them via e-mail, ask how there day is going, or I send them a word of encouragement during the week, only to get no reply back from them at all. Yet when they need a baby sitter, some one to drive them to a doctor’s appointment, they have a flat tire etc. I’m the first person they turn too. Does this sound familiar to any one else reading this entry?

It’s like the ONLY people who understand me are those in the D.I.D. Community. They get me, don’t take advantage of me and I don’t have to wear a mask. The DID Community helps me see that relationships come and go all the time and that I am loved, appreciated and truly cared about.  The D.I.D. community helps me see that no one is entitled to anything but their opinion and that my opinion is worth sharing with the world. Thank you for letting me share.

D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) Questions and Answers

Q: What is D.I.D (Dissociative Identity Disorder)?

A: D.I.D (Dissociative Identity Disorder) formally known as M.P.D.( Multiple Personality Disorder)  is a defence or reaction to stressful or traumatic experiences. Severe or repeated trauma may result in a person developing a dissociative disorder, which (could) lead(s) to a separation of "two or more distinct identities or personality states."

Q: What are Alters, Individuals, system, multiples  and/or Parts?

A:  Alters, Individuals, System, Multiples and/or Parts are (references to) an alternate or secondary personality in a person  with D.I.D.

Q: What are some of the symptoms a person with  D.I.D could have ?

A: Some of the symptoms that a person with D.I.D. may have  

  • Memory Loss
  • Depression
  • Identity Confusion
  • Mood Swings
  • Panic/anxiety attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Multiple mannerisms, attitudes, and beliefs
  • Psychotic-like symptoms;  such as hearing voices
  • Self-Alteration (Feeling as if one’s body belongs to someone else)
  • Sudden Anger (with out cause)
  • Suicidal behaviors
  • Detachment from others
  • P.T.S.D. (Post-Traumatic-Stress- Disorder)
  • Dissociative Tendencies
  • Hallucinations (minor to severe)  

Q: What is P.T.S.D. (Post-Traumatic-Stress- Disorder)?

A: P.T.S.D. (Post-Traumatic-Stress- Disorder) is classified as an anxiety disorder where a person can recall or re-experience the trauma.

Q: What is a flashback?

A: A flashback is a recurring experience of the trauma that a person with D.I.D. will have.

Q: What is the spectrum of D.I.D.?

A: The  spectrum of D.I.D. is broken down into four stages  from the common dissociation to dissociative amnesia,  D.D.N.O.S. (Disorders Not Otherwise Specified), P.F.D (Ploy Fragments Disorder) P.T.S.D. ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)  all the way to D.I.D.

Q: What is a common dissociation?

A:  Common Dissociation - is something that everyone does in some way: such as day dreaming in class, losing yourself in thought, or reading a book and losing yourself in it.

Q: What is Dissociative Amnesia?

A:  Dissociative Amnesia is a loss of memory from a traumatic event

Q: What is Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (D.D.N.O.S.)?

A: D.D.N.O.S is a disorder that includes a dissociative symptom ( disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment) that does not meet the criteria for any specific Dissociative Disorder.

Q: What is Poly Fragmented D.I.D?

A: Rather than splitting into three or four alter parts, someone with poly fragmented D.I.D might fragment into 100 or even 1,000 alternate parts. Many of these alternate parts might be personality fragments, which means that they are more one-dimensional than three-dimensional. (change the numbers lower, 1,000 is way too high for this description)

Q: How many alters, individuals, parts can a person with D.I.D. have?

A:The number of personalities (alters, parts, individuals) a person with D.I.D can have, is no less than 2. There is no limit to the number one can have.

Q: What forms (personality types/functions) of  Individuals can a person with D.I.D have in their system?

A: Some of The forms of Alters, Individuals, Parts  a person with D.I.D can have in a system are:

  • Children/Littles
  • Teens
  • Emotional
  • Fragments
  • Host (the primary personality)
  • Core (original personality at birth)
  • Protectors
  • Spiritual
  • Imaginative creatures
  • Guardians
  • Peace Maker/ Safe Keeper
  • Suicidal
  • Twins
  • Animals/Pets
  • Shifter (change of age or personality from day to day or moment to moment)  

Q: Do alters, individuals, parts have jobs in the system?

A: Alters, individuals, parts can have specific jobs in the system which can change as needed to help outwardly and assist other individuals within the system.

Q: Do alters, individuals, parts know about the time or what year it is?

A: Alters, individuals, parts all can be different about the time or year it is. Some may believe they are still in the past when the trauma or specific event that created them happened in the first place. Some may realize time has changed.

Q: Is D.I.D manageable?

A: With therapy, time to process emotions and the trauma individuals can heal and integrate/harmonize to become one.

Q: What is integrate?

A:  Integrate is to make whole, to become one in unity.

Q: What is harmony:

A: Harmony being co-conscience  together

Q: Do those with D.I.D have to take medication?

A: There is no medication for those with D.I.D. Some may chose to take an anti depressant or other medication to help with P.T.S.D. but each person is different.

Q: Can people with D.I.D. have  families in their inner world as well as in society?

A: Yes, many people with D.I.D. have families inward as well as outward.

Q: Can people with D.I.D have careers?

A: Yes. Many people with D.I.D.  have careers.

Q:  Are alters/individuals  abusive to children, adults, or animals?

A: While there is a stigma about survivors of abuse,  many multiples are loving, caring individuals who chose not to abuse.

Q: Are all alters/individuals  suicidal?

A: No.

Q: What are some ways that a multiple would self harm?

A: These are only some examples, there are many forms of self-harm:

  • Burning or scalding body parts
  • Hitting and/or self damaging the head
  • Punching things or throwing self against walls and/or hard objects
  • Sticking objects into skin
  • Intentionally preventing wounds from healing
  • Swallowing poisonous substances or inappropriate objects
  • Eating too much
  • Not eating enough (anorexia/bulimia)
  • Drinking Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Unprotected Sex
  • Cutting

Q What is an Inner World?

A: An Inner World  is a place created in the mind, to those with D.I.D. it is very real to their multiples.  Multiples may have different kinds of inner worlds/ Many with D.I.D. may create a inner world for safety.

Q: Do all multiplies have inner worlds?

A: No. As  a Survivor of DID and know many people with DID there are many that do not have a inner world. 

Q: What is switching/shifting?

A: Switching/shifting is when other multiples come out when the Host is under stress, to help with a task, and/or to communicate information that another multiple may not know the answer to.

Q:What is the Host?

A: The host is the person who is living  outside in the world the most,  others in the system will usually allow the host to make final decisions.

Q:What is Grounding?

A:  Grounding is a technique or techniques that help multiples stay present (trying not to switch from one individual to another).

Q: Do multiples live and experience different things?

A: Yes. multiples can live and experience different things, they can have different beliefs,  different fears, talents, allergies, and even different languages that another individual or even the Host does not have.

Q: Is Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia the same as Multiple Personality Disorder?

A: No Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia are not the same as Multiple Personality Disorder.  Those with bipolar disorder can for the most part live fairly “normal” lives, hold down a regular job, have a happy relationship and family, even be very successful in a career. They do not hear voices. The side effects of Bipolar Disorder can be treated with medications (and if they stick to treatment and medication they will get on well).They tend to have mood swings but don’t have separate personalities with the moods. Bipolar disorder is more commonly genetic (more common in those who have a sibling or parent with the illness) and in families affected by mood disorders for several generations.

Schizophrenics have a very difficult time in society: they struggle with social relationships, family, friends, and work. Many people with schizophrenia become homeless and/or outcast from their families (families may not want anything to do with them).  They can be depressed or manic, but this is usually a result of the schizophrenia itself. They also can  hear voices (though not all people with schizophrenia do), but unlike D.I.D. the voices are outward, and they do not recognize people as different identities within themselves. Where schizophrenia is a result of both genetic and environmental factors, D.I.D, is not genetic and is only a result from repeated trauma and abuse.

Q: What is a fragment?

A: A fragment is not a personality its just one specific job created. For example a fragment may have been formed to help the body move from one room to another only. It has no personality, does not think, and does not have an emotion, where individuals do have there own personalities and thoughts may be different from the host.

Snap Decisions

"A Wrathful man stirreth up strife, but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife."
- Proverbs 15:18

Living with D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) is no easy task. For the most part many of us hear voices inside us talking constantly. We hear our alters taking about their likes, dis-likes or personal interest. Many of us with D.I.D. have the ability to switch on demand, and then there are times where certain situations, people or circumstances cause us to shift personalities with little or no warning.

Those of us with D.I.D. can have as little as 10 personalities, or as many as 40. We have babies, toddlers, young ones, teenagers, those who are home makers, workers in our system, animal alters, spiritual alters etc.

It’s also through my understanding that some of us with D.I.D. have angry alters, suicidal alters or sometimes those referred to as challenging alters.

Speaking for my-self, I have quite a few challenging alters and I’ll list them by name. They are Ezekiel, Zechariah, Peyton, Michelle, The Ghost and two whose names are better left unsaid.

When my challenging alters surface it’s usually because there in a new environment, they are around someone they don’t feel safe with, a topic of conversation is viewed as a threat to them, or some one has walked up to us hugging us without asking permission first. (Many of us with D.I.D. struggle with touch in general).

When an angry alter surfaces they may be present (out) for minutes, hours, days, weeks or even years. Usually there displeasure over circumstances and situations is taken out on every one around them.

Speaking for my-self (Nicole Elizabeth) I know that when two of my angry alters Peyton and Michelle are out, I (the dominant personality) feel like I have no control over what they say or do.

They’ll lie, manipulate others, call people names, slam doors, attempt to control others by being mean then acting charming later. They’ll do whatever means necessary to win others to there side. In fact, I think Peyton and Michelle have loads of bitterness in them to last forever.

Yet in reality, is living with D.I.D. and having angry alters in me helpful? When an angry alter surfaces and lashes out at others, am I displaying the ways of the enemy and mortal man, or am I displaying the love of God?

Yes, I’m giving into wrath, I’m setting my-self up for attacks from the enemy. I’m even reminded that no one likes the bitter person. After all, a life of bitterness leads down one lonely mountain.

Instead with both life in general and the D.I.D. life we (not just me Nicole Elizabeth) need to leave our wrath, anger and bitterness at the cross of Calvary. We need to be slow to get angry, to think of how to respond to situations in love rather than in anger.

For the individual with D.I.D. when an angry alter surfaces, perhaps it’s best to search with in ourselves to reason with our inner family till the anger subsides, or even walk away the situation for the time being. After all, angry words can hurt people, but words spoken in love last a life time.

Dear God: Please help all of us with D.I.D. to better manage and communicate our anger effectively. Help us to live our lives for you 24/7. A men

10 Key Ways To Create Resilience

 My name is Cole Ian, I am a survivor of child abuse and domestic violence.  I struggled  for a  long time with  depression,  self harming, and had several suicide attempts in my life.  I found no hope, until I came to know the Lord Jesus. Although there are many  ways to find recovery, hope and resilience. I found what works for me by implementing these 10 key points that I am about to share with you.

I learned that In this world there are moments of complete despair, moments when perhaps hopelessness takes over and darkness can consume the very existence of who I believe  God created us to be. We get lost in our identity, trying to figure out who we are and what God's plan is for us. Perhaps we lost a loved one or maybe we are trying to overcome trauma from abuse.  In times of hurt  I myself felt confused, questioning my faith, wondering if the Lord was with me, or am I all alone? In the book of  Deuteronomy 31:18 It Says   the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” There is Hope but how can we create resilience in times of struggles, times when we may find ourselves so busy and consumed with life? I found what worked for me, which has helped me with my hurts, hangups, and habits .

  1. Have Faith: In times of trouble we are growing stronger when we have faith. Without faith there is no hope, without hope there is no faith. James 1:2-3 says  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
  2.  Be positive: When we are struggling sometimes it is difficult to think positive. Sometimes even the simple things such as a getting out of bed can be difficult, be nice to yourself. Look at the positive things in your life. For examples. I have a place to sleep, I have food, I have my children, friends or family etc. Even in the mist of the storm we can  find something positive in our surroundings even if we do not see or feel it..
  3. Use your life experience: Your life experience helps us learn, when we learn it, apply it  to your life. When you apply life’s lessons you're not continuing  to live your life in the same cycle of repeating your mistakes.
  4. Self Care: Without caring for yourself You can not care for others. Take time to relax, read a book or take a bubble bath. Find something you enjoy that helps you to relax and just live in the moment.
  5. Have  a sense a humor: We all need to laugh and even in moments when things seem to be so out of control we need to take time to laugh. Find the humor in your situation. Laughing  decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, this improving your resistance to disease and can even reduce pain.
  6. Support: We all need a support team, someone we can trust,  to share our hurts, hang ups or habits. When we have the support it helps build our confidence, feel positive about our role in one’s ability to make healthier choices. Having support has shown to reduce the psychological and physiological consequences of stress, and may enhance immune function.Social networks, whether formal (such as a church or social club) or informal (meeting with friends) provide a sense of belonging, security, and community. So gather a support system.
  7. Find a sponsor or mentor: Having a sponsor or mentor helps to keep us honest and to be accountable for our actions. When you're honest with yourself and others we  build strength of character that will allow us to be of great service to God and to others.
  8. Be A person of Action: Nothing can get done unless you do the work. Work is exhausting, maybe it is your job, taking care of children or perhaps it is recovery work from trauma. What ever is the struggle, if you do not do anything to resolve the problem, the problem will not get better.  If you want success and to be in a better place in your life, doing the work helps you get there. Dreams are not made by not applying action. If you have a dream then pursue it, it is the only way that a dream can be successful is if you do the work.
  9. Be Open to Change: Rumi  said  “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. When we seek change in ourselves we will have a better understanding of who we are and what we want. Change can be difficult but also it can be healthy. When we are willing to change behaviors we can reduce stress and by reducing stress we can make healthier decisions. Healthy decisions will help avoid physical and emotional issues. Being willing to change can create happy living.
  10. Love others: In Eph 4:32 Jesus said Love one another be kind to one another,  forgive one another as I forgive you. Loving people can be so rewarding but not only do I believe this,but scientist for years have stated that love gives us health benefits such as lower risk of cardiovascular disease, due to the fact  of low stress relationships, it can lead to a longer life and helps beat cancer.  Love can bring joy and hope for the future. When we love others, it brings a sense of peace in our life.    

Creating resilience is accepting you past struggles, hurts, and mistakes, learning to move forward even when you feel you can not. Reminding one self that feelings can be tricky and unpredictable and sometimes we have to use our intelligence not our feelings.  Elizabeth Edwards said it best  “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.

God Will Never Leave You

So do not fear, for I am with you;  do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 41:10

We all have been rejected at some point in our life. Perhaps it was at a young age, maybe your father abandoned you or maybe that ex husband told you he was not in love with you any more. Maybe you have been rejected in the church. Whatever the rejection you experience it hurt, it did something to your self esteem. When we experience such deep wounds we may develop fears. Fears such as  losing our health, losing a child, losing our mental state. Perhaps that fear develops  into anxiety, fear of speaking God’s word,  fear of allowing others close because that would mean we are opening up our hearts to possible rejection again.   

Why does rejection hurt so much? Because it attacks the very person that we are. It destroys our self-esteem, attacks  our purpose in life, and it makes us question what our abilities are. It may even have us question our spiritual gifts. I am here to tell you God never wanted us to feel rejected or abandoned. His desires for us is  to know who we really are, and realize how deeply God loves, accepts, and appreciates us , so that we  can live out the fullness of what all God has ordained us to be. His loving Children made in His image.

Rejection can leave such deep scars that we may wrongly believe that our husband/wife, friends, church organizations  is rejecting you; you may become defensive, anxious, perhaps angry. Eventually, these behaviors may bring about the fear of rejection which wasn't there to begin with.

Jesus says in Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” When we develop an intimate relationship with Christ we become to understand that he will never leave you, he loves you with all your imperfections.

 

Understanding Hurt Gains Wisdom: Understand that pain is normal. When having a broken heart,  it's like experiencing our bodies and our brain going through withdrawals from an addiction, because it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for things like your heart rate and increases intestinal and gland activity. To gain wisdom is to be kind to yourself, Love yourself as Christ loves you. Proverbs 19:8 To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.

Feeling Anger: Your anger is justifiable and needs to be expressed in a healthy safe way. Even Jesus had justifiable anger,  Jesus’ emotion was described as “zeal” John 2:17  (great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.) God’s house was a place of worship. His anger had the proper motivation. In other words, He was angry for the right reasons. Jesus’ anger did not arise from petty arguments or personal slights against Him. There was no selfishness involved. If Jesus who was God but also man had anger then that feeling of anger is not a bad thing it is how we handle that anger. Stuffing that emotion, pretending you do not feel that way, will not help the situation and it will just prolong healing.

Stick to Facts:  When dealing with hurt we may make statements about ourselves such as “ He left me because I am ugly and stupid” the fact is he Just left you. Our self esteem can cause us to  shame and criticizes our self,  which is an unhealthy behavior. Stick to the facts on how God sees you as the light “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”1 Thessalonians 5:5  You should only  speak boldly declaring  out loud to yourself. The power of life and death is in the tongue, so it is vital that you only allow the truth to come out of your mouth. It could be the difference in an amazing life and a disappointing one. Proverbs 18:21 Writing down your positive characteristics can help you see that although you have been rejected it does not mean it is your fault. It can also be helpful realizing sometimes not everyone will be compatible with you.

Hangout With Friends: When feeling rejected, many may turn to isolation. this will only cause more low self esteem. Jesus says “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken”.  Psalm 55:22  God wants us to seek him out in  times of trouble but he also wants us to  gather with healthy friends that can pray for you, support you and encourage you. In Matthew 18: 19-20 "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."  God never meant for us to be alone he wants us to be able to share our feeling with someone safe.

Keep Taking Risks: God's required us to speak  truth to others. "Go into the world and proclaim the good news to every creature." Mark 16:15 Sometimes sharing our faith is not always easy and many rejections will happen even Paul was rejected, but sharing God's love, forgiveness, redemption, and His word can and  has brought "peace which passes all understanding".  

Seek Forgiveness: Seeking forgiveness  can be very difficult but when we seek forgiveness realizing it is for spiritual growth and a stronger relationship with Christ. We find compassion, we become open to sharing struggles with others, it helps us to understand to rely on God not feelings, it gives you a chance to be closer with the Lord, you will also initiate honesty with yourself and others. Holding on to the hurt and not forgiving only leads to vengeance, which will only make you bitter. And of course by forgiving you will receive  peace. Jesus wants us to forgive so he can forgive you as well (Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.) Please believe Jesus  does love you and  wants you to have that peace.

Press On: When dealing with rejection we may want to give up, we feel defeated or question ourselves. Asking questions such as :What is the point?!””  Am I  not doing any good”! “Why does Everybody leave”! We may feel this way but it is not truth. Jesus says in Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Press on to your future not the past. The past can hurt, It is seeing the past, crying, and  moving forward into your future.

Be Thankful: In the mist of our pain it is sometimes hard to be thankful. Speaking to Jesus in prayer giving thanks, helps to appreciate what Christ is and has done for you. Jesus says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17:18 pray without ceasing;in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. God’s will is for you to gain wisdom and learn from the past. When someone has rejected us, we still can learn from it. For example if it is an ex boy/girlfriend you learned that God has someone better for your future even if it does not feel that way in the moment. God will put the right person in your life. You may have learned what kind of relationship you do or do not want for your future. In every situation there is something to be thankful for. I have had a lot of hurt in my life but  today I look back and I am thankful for each experience, it has made me who I am today. It shaped me to be who I want to be not what the world thinks I will or should be. We are not defined by our past hurts, mistakes, or even guilt we may have. We are defined by who we choose to be, who Jesus wants you to be loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, honest, joyful, peaceful, hopeful, and to have wisdom in our choices. Be thankful in what Christ is showing you. We all have had some form of rejection and abandonment as I said before but we can take comfort that The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:18

Healing Together The Infinite Mind DID Conference & My Perspective

The Healing Together 2016 DID conference hosted by An Infinite Mind ( a non-profit organization  dedicated to improve lives of survivors with trauma with a primary focus on Dissociative Identity Disorder.)  Healing Together is a informative, supportive and educational conference for Survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder( a coping mechanism from repeated trauma as an infant or toddler). There are many organizations that help provide and sponsor this non profit organization to help survivors come together for one weekend to share experiences, learn coping skills, and find other survivors that can relate to such an amazing gift to survive such atrocities of this world. 

The Healing Together conference was like entering a world that very few really knows about and only few members can enter. It is a place where survivors can be themselves and they are not one of “Those People” You know the kind of people with mental health problems, the ones that seem to not function, can not hold down jobs or have families yea “Those People” !

To enter into a place that as a multiple you can relate and be the ones that are not the outsiders. That’s what it was like for three beautiful days.  To be all of us and the singlets (those without multiple personalities) where one of “those people” We could laugh, relate, joke, be sad, be real  and be honest. To discuss things that in society would label you as a disorder and the best part each person  got it without questions, without misunderstandings, or debates they just got it.

It is like what heaven will be like, everyone loving you no matter your gender, sexuality, religion, race or color a place you are all equal. A place you're not judged, scrutinized or condemned.

There were moments of play at the creative art where the child within had the opportunity to paint and color.  Sponsored by Pandora’s Project. Pandora created a place of safety and moments when anxiety or feeling overwhelmed we could escape into the world of that little girl or boy that was never able to express themselves or we could travel to the walking labyrinth a place of peace and relaxation. To meditate,  pray, take a moment to use grounding techniques or just reflect on the conference experience.   

With speakers such as Robert Oxnam Arthur Of A Fractured Mind who shared his personal reflection and love of classical music. Robert really had the crowd going with introducing several classics that brought joy, hope and a sense of peace to many into  the room. .   

Dr. Millissa Kaufman and Dr. Lauren Lebois who explained their interest in the scientific studies of dissociation where researchers come together to explain up-to-date understanding of neuroscience, which is the scientific study of the nervous system these findings are related to  PTSD and DID. An extraordinary method to show how amazing the brain truly is.

And of course we can not forget Jaime Pollack founder and Director of Infinite Mind. Jamie showed true humbleness and gratitude for all those that have contributed to the conference, she shared moments of struggles, but yet given hope by ending the conference with a beautiful video Blind Melon- No Rain.

If you have not attended this remarkable conference and you are a survivor with DID,  Take moment to be  encouraged  to attend the 2017 Healing Together Conference.

It is also important to recognize and thank PTE Productions, McLean Hill Center for Women, NOVA SouthEastern University, Discovery Institute PA, Pandora's Project,  Rise Recovery  Institute, CI Coller Industries Incorporated, P3 (The Personal Power and Prosperity Course) Love your Life, and D&B Promotionals. It is because of your support you make this possible for healing, encouragement and hope for many survivors.

I also like to thank Robert Oxnam,Steven N Gold, Nancy Gaulin  and many others that made this conference possible by contributing their time and dedication.

I also want to personally Thank Jaime Pollack  and her Team who spend each year  making this conference a success. You are very much appreciated in the DID community.  

Cole Ian and the Raymond System     

Understanding Some Of The Struggles of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Living with Dissociative Identity disorder (DID) can be extremely exhausting, while it is a gift from God,  it is also difficult to detect because the survivors learned techniques to help cope from  repeated trauma, due to  the hidden nature of the dissociative symptoms, the coexistence of depression, anxiety, or substance abuse which may mask the dissociation symptoms, and the feelings of disconnection

that are often difficult to verbalize and because it is hard to detect,  the people in their life do not understand why they behave the way they do,  to have the negative judgment from people,the so called friends who tell them  to just get over it or the church that ignores it. Life can be hard with just having the PTSD and Depression but add in DID there's a lot more struggles to overcome.

 

Relationships: Maintaining healthy relationships is hard. Having disconnections to people,or not even knowing who the close family members are, people believe that there lying,have trust issues in others, and the fear of getting close because they do not want to get hurt. Also some DID Survivors often find themselves in domestic violence relationships and do not even recognize when they are in unhealthy relationships. They also push the people away that are healthy.

Career: Although many can keep jobs and get an education but because of struggles with memory loss, anxiety they worry people will find out and be judged for the disorder ,hoping that no one sees through the  struggles of what task are done, what still needs to be done and hoping that parts of self are doing the job right when dissociating from the stress of the day.  

Showing Emotions: DID survivors have been taught to not feel, told not to be angry, cry or show any signs of sadness, because of this they may come off as if they do not care,  have no empathy for others. or  being told they have an attitude. Many DID survivors do feel and  do have empathy they just have a hard time showing it.

Time: Many can be confused by time, dates, how long time past and even scheduling. Friends, co-workers or appointments  are made to be forgotten or not on time for which results in annoyance, anger and even late fees at a missed appointment.

Side Effects: Having DID there is always side effects like Depression, Bipolar or even PTSD while these can be treated with medication  it does not  alleviate the symptoms of DID.

Touch:  Many do not like to be touched or some do and others don't, which can be a struggle when in a relationship, struggling with intimacy with their partner or even with hugging a friend.

Eating disorder: When parts of self eat too much or do not eat at all this can cause lots of weight issues and unhealthy habits that each individual take on.

Detached from body: Feeling like they're not in there body, living outside of it or above themselves, or  not seeing themselves in the mirror.

Decisions: DID survivors may make impulsive decisions, or having a hard time making a decision can cause tasks not to be done, missed opportunities, or even confusion.

Phobias: Having fears or anxiety  over  particular things with no understanding of why, such as closet doors being open, bathroom shower curtains, or maybe certain smells.

Confused identity: DID survivors tend to be confused about who they are, what their sexual preference are or may struggle with likes and dislikes.

 

Boundries

I was 19 years old still living at home, I remember I had a long day working and attending my college classes. I was tired, hungry, and ready to just relax, but the day was not over just yet.  I still had to finish up some homework and study for a test that was taking place the following day.  It was 10 pm I had just entered my home. My mother began to yell about how the restroom was a mess, a restroom  that I shared with my older brother. A brother who did not work nor attend school.

I remember feeling hopeless, thinking how can I work a full time job, pay rent, finish school and keep up on a house that I am not even home long enough to dirty? I was on overload as I heard my mother yell and verbally abuse me. I yelled” why is this discussion not with (for the sake of privacy I will say Jamie) Jamie? He as been home all day and I am sure he could of taken the time to clean the restroom!”  

In that moment I knew  I was going to regret those words. waiting for my mother to either continue to yell some more, or slap me  in my mouth.  She continued to yell some more.

The words just came out “ I’m moving out”! Silence then Mom said  “ You will never live on your own, you will never make it without me”.   

The following weeks  I pondered this thought  can I move out of a home that was very dysfunctional? The more I pondered it the more appealing it became. I did move out and I discovered I had power over my decisions  and I also discovered I can put boundaries up with my family. It was freeing but also a bit terrifying.

I made a commitment to never move back into my mother's home, which I am proud to say by the strength and wisdom  of Jesus Christ  it is almost 20 years later and  I have kept my word. I also learned much about  boundaries  and the importance of sticking to them, even when it is difficult. Here a few steps to know when it comes to boundaries.

Learn what is a boundary: A boundary is a commitment to place space between a person physically and emotionally . Learning what you will allow a person to  say or how a person can treat you. I had to learn this with my family. I also had to recognize when a boundary needed to be put in place. Asking myself 4 questions  (1) Are they  manipulating the situation or trying to control my decisions? (2) Am I safe in this situation physically or emotionally?  (3) Would I treat a person this way? (4) Do I feel powerless? If I said yes to any of these questions, that was when I needed to put a boundary up between me and that person.

Understanding unhealthy boundaries:  Unhealthy boundaries consist of but not limited to jealousy over other relationships, the inability to not have friendships  with other people, are they sexually, verbally, or physically harming you, Are there drugs and alcohol involved, fear of sharing you views and values, or allowing a person to take things from you.

Communication: Learning to speak up and verbalize my thoughts and feelings. Using I statements is also important when you are trying to explain feelings of frustration. I realized when using statements  like “You make me feel angry, you drive me crazy. It's your fault “ This is not effective and the other person would feel attacked verbally.  Using

I statements such as  I feel upset when you or xyz happens. would be appropriate when trying to communicate.

Loving yourself:  Loving yourself is a step to understand you deserve respect from others. No one has the right to verbally, mentally or physically harm you. As survivors of abuse we forget and are taught the opposite. Learning that your values, feeling and your body matter is the first step to create a healthy boundary for you and for others around you.

Honesty:  Communicate your feelings and how if affects you is important for your self and the other person but Be honest about it, even if you worry about what the other person thinks (if the person cares about you then they will respect your honesty and will listen to what you have to say)   I found when I began being honest with people I found they respected me more because I was respecting myself.  I was not going into the same patterns in relationships because I was learning right from the start communication, honesty, and putting my physical, and emotional well being first.

Consequences:  To have a boundary there as to be a consequence. When I moved out I told my mother that the reason I was doing this was because of her treatment towards me, Later I recognized her verbal abuse. I had to say if you can not speak with me without yelling, or name calling then I will remove myself from your presence until you can stop the verbal abuse. Having a healthy relationship is not about making threats it's giving healthy choices in situations that are inappropriate and poor choice that person is making towards you.   

Follow through: When you state the consequences for someone's inappropriate behavior is very important to follow through.  if you do not follow through, your words mean nothing and they will continue to treat you they way you do not want to be treated. Mean what you say, do what you mean if you don’t nothing will change. And if it means that person needs to be out of your life then that is what must be done for your safety.  

Revisit: When I follow through with a what I say about removing myself from the situation it does not have to be for life depending on circumstances such as  Will I be harmed or  Will threats be made to me ? if you are sure that the person will not do something regarding your safety then you can revisit the relationship with the reminder if they do it again you will follow through with whatever the consequence maybe, of course if you  have to continue to revisit repeatedly I would then begin to question is this relationship really worth having if you boundaries are still not respected.  

These are steps that I continue to do in every conversation I have because I realize That Jesus loves me and want the best for me but it starts with what will I do about it.

Jesus handed you the tools, are you going to use them?

Child Abuse And The Effects

"For children: "Abuse" means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child's physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.

For adults: "Abuse" means any willful act or threatened act by a relative, caregiver, or household member which causes or is likely to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult's physical, mental, or emotional health. Abuse includes acts and omissions."

(Resource:  www.myflfamilies.com)

In the United States, there were an estimated 678,810 children abused just in the year 2012 alone. About 1 in 7 girls and 1 in 25 boys will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18.

( Resurance http://www.fncac.org/index.php?s=3065)

Perpetrators often consist of family members, friends, and acquaintances;  not necessarily strangers.

The effects of abuse can be so damaging to a child that it can cause so many health issues: altering stress responsivity neurobiological and psychological development and altering adult behavior patterns.  These individuals experience a greatly increased risk of mood, anxiety and personality disorders throughout adult life.

( Resuance http://www.asca.org.au/About/Resources/Impact-of-child-abuse.aspx)

I have found that many people are really trying to prevent childhood abuse.  There are so many non-profit organizations and volunteers to help to get the word out.

We have grown a lot in wanting people to be aware of abuse and help save lives.

In the 1950’s, abuse was not spoken of in homes; people looked away, private schools were permitted to hit children for misbehavior,  beating and other forms of abuse were not looked upon as abuse but as a form of discipline in families' homes.

By 1982, the Child Abuse National Help Hotline came into effect.  Since that time, over 2 million calls have been made to help save the lives of children; while we are becoming so much more aware of preventing childhood abuse, there is not much discussion on the results of childhood abuse, such as depression and other forms of disorders, nor does it seem to be much information regarding the effects of a disorder such as  D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) formerly known as M.P.D.( Multiple Personality Disorder).

D.I.D.  is a common defense or reaction to stressful or traumatic experiences. Severe or repeated trauma may result in a person developing a dissociative disorder, which could lead to a separation of "two or more distinct identities or personality states."  

(http://en..wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder )   But in the media, such as in the movies, there is a false impression of what a person with D.I.D. can be like, which can possibly leave people to have a false understanding and labeled incorrectly or being compared to another disorder such as Schizophrenia.   

P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is classified as an anxiety disorder where a person can recall or re-experience the trauma, this is also another factor that many abuse survivors have that are left untreated for years.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder)

I  believe a child's brain that has been abused repeatedly can take on the effects just like the effects of a person coming back from war, but these I find are never truly discussed. I believe there should be more awareness as well as education in the school systems and colleges around the world. I believe that people with this disorder such as D.I.D. should not be treated like a mental case but with sympathy and compassion. 

 Patrick Rothfuss (an American writer of epic fantasy and college lecturer.)  said “There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow, it hides itself in insanity.  While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.”

 

In my opinion adults with depression, or other forms of disorders relating to childhood abuse are treated as someone that is a criminal or on drugs. I have been to several behavioral health hospital that combine a person with an addiction to a person with depression and are treated as a criminal. They are patted down for narcotics, placed on all forms of medication, removed from medications without being treated properly , which in itself can cause damaging effects, followed around by guards when they simply came to the hospital for help and it clearly states on their hospital chart  that they are not in the facility for drug abuse.  From personal experience abuse victims have difficulty finding help from the state, if they are not working, have no children, and are under the age of thirty.  For example I have heard multiple stories of children that are removed from the foster care system once they hit eighteen years of age, many go into the world with untreated symptoms  such as PTSD, Depression, Suicidal thoughts  and or with a disorder that are not found out until much later in life, some become homeless, have a chemical addiction or try to commit suicide multiple times before they receive the proper care.  

I think its time we become aware of the side affects of abuse as a child grows into adulthood. I think its time that they are treated with love, understanding not as if there the problem, but as survivors trying to cope in world that is broke  but give them hope that they can be restored back to health. Continue to help children that you may know  that are being abused by reporting it to the Child abuse hotline Calling 1-800-962-2873

Mental health affects us all. How we think and feel about our lives and ourselves has an impact on our behavior and how we cope in tough times. Mental health problems are very common and include conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, anorexia, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, bulimia, depression, hyperactivity, insomnia, mania, narcolepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, paranoia, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, stress, suicide and Tourette's. Resource: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/categories/mental_health (Mental Health News)

In The Beginning

Hi all, my name is Nicole Elizabeth, I’ve been wanting to contribute to this blog for a long time but have never been sure on what to say or write. Every time I’ve attempted to start an entry I’m faced with the questions…. Should I introduce my-self then share my own victories or struggles associated with D.I.D.?  Do I dive right in talking about a recovery topic known to the D.I.D. community? Do I focus on statistics and the like? Well after much consideration I thought I’d start at the beginning then branch out from there, so here’s a little bit about me.

As stated already my name is Nicole Elizabeth. I was diagnosed with D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) in the spring of 2014. To be more exact I was actually diagnosed with D.I.D. on April 30 (my birthday).

I had been in therapy prior for 7 years working on issues associated with my sexual abuse but that day my D.I.D. would be brought to the surface in therapy when I had a body memory that advanced fast to a full blown melt down, resulting in me screaming, yelling, throwing myself on the therapy couch then engaging in chair acrobatics where I go on my tummy, hide my face with a pillow and start crying.

The melt down lasted a full 30 minutes. I kept on screaming….’Let me go, let me go.’ By the time I was brought back to the present I had no recollection of what had happened. No idea what I was screaming about or that my therapist had been calling for me but got no response till he gave us a 5 minute count down and me Nicole Elizabeth came back to reality.

I remember when my therapist told me that day I had D.I.D.  It was a little bit of a surprise to me, but immediately I started reading every book I could get my hands on about Dissociative Identity Disorder and his diagnosis made complete sense to me.

In the last two years since my D.I.D. has been brought to the surface I’ve met others through An Infinite Mind who have dissociative identity disorder. I’ve become involved in Face Book groups where I’ve met others like me, and most of all I’ve attended local support groups in my community geared towards D.I.D. It’s through these groups that I’ve learned I’m a human being not a psychology project or some one to be experimented on.

As I contribute to this blog I hope to share more about my hurts, hang ups, struggles, challenges and victories associated with my D.ID.  The message I hope to get across is that we are never alone; we all have a story worth hearing and deserved to be listened too.

Till next time,

Nicole Elizabeth

Christian 12 Steps To Healing Dissociative Disorder

 Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)  formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

Thisis a coping mechanism to fearful and repeated trauma as child, it is dissociating from self while the abuse ishappening. The average age range for DID to develop is infants to 8 years old. this is when the brain is not fully developed and has not learned healthy coping skills to deal with the trauma. 

 

I often wonder, will I ever be free from disassociating? While I realize the reason behind such a amazing gift that helped me survive trauma, it also can be such a disadvantage when i need to focus and not have an anxiety attackin a store or at the doctors office etc.

  I can find my self dissociating not only in public but in my very own home, watching a video or even while cleaning the house. I had to learn effective ways to help me ground myself and be aware of my environment.

 

Realizing some times I can feel myself in a fog, I would run home take my medication and wait to be back from the state of dissociation.  I am not one that is against medication if it is needed, but I am also one who believes in trying to find other ways that are natural to deal with any medical issue. I took medication to help me with anxiety to depression. Medication does not help the dissociation but it does help the side effects such as the depression and anxiety. Today I am free from medication because I decided to take the road to deal with the pain and learn coping skills with the help from my psychiatrist.

 

Breaking frommedication is possible, but on the other hand what about DID?  While there are skills on how to live with DID and having integration where parts of self become whole there is no drug to stop dissociation.

 

The reason behind dissociation isa common occurance to all, perhaps you dissociate while driving or a person who has gone through a emotional event such a loss of loved one they may dissociated from that emotion to get through the funeral or to be the strong one in the family while others are not handling the loss very well and after they may then deal with the emotion, Which would be the healthy thing to do. For those with DID its parts taking on those emotions and so we do not learn to deal with the pain to cope through it

 

For me, I know that God created dissociation to help all of my parts of selfbecause he knew we needed away to survive in a world full of sin and destruction. We can find new ways to deal withDID by remembering there will bea lot of emotional pain one must go through to be successful.     

 

.

 

 Steps to healing :

 Communication: Write in a journal or blog.  let parts of self express their feelings. Use both hands to write and respond to questions, this helps reach out to the little child within.


 Make the decision to heal : while I was writing in my journal I had to decide ifI really want healing, was I willing to help those within? Was Iwilling to listen and believe? OnceI took these steps and was willing to heal I knewI could break the chains of dysfunctionin my own life.


Breaking the Silence: When I accepted that I was abused, I knew for healing I had to tell some one. I cried a lot, but after crying I felt a weight had been lifted, it was like thousands of bricks came off me. I felt so much better. Now I share my story to help others, but also the more I share the more healing Ireceive. 


Trust: learning to trust those inside wanting to help, but also know they need to learn to trust you. Follow through with what you say, keep your word. If you tell other personalities I am going to let you color tonight in the coloring book, follow thru. Sometimes stuff comes up and a planned event must be rescheduled, be sure to communicate the circumstances to individual and reassure them of the new time to color in the book, parts of self need to know you will follow through and will keep them safe.
Seek out a trusted person or therapist: I would say find someone who has had similar experiences and can be a support to you. I have a support group, sponsor, Psychiatrist and Therapist. When having support it can leave us vulnerable. I realize that by pushing through the fear It helps me processes the abuse. I found that there are true caring people willing to help such as A Celebrate Recovery Program, A Christian Therapist that understand DID, or a women's meet up abuse group can help get through the pain from the past.


Be Willing: Be willing to share hard stuff, to cry, to scream or get angry in a safe way. 
Angry: It is o.k. to be angry, it is part of healing. I still struggle with my anger at times, but I also realize it is righteous anger. I was abused, I was powerless and someone hurt me. That is very good and healthy reason to be angry, but I also had to direct that anger at the person who hurt me and not others, I had to learn healthy ways to show my anger. 


Coping Skills:  Apply coping skills suggestions. Please note it takes practice learning new skills it will not just happen, it will take time and it also means it may not work all the time, that is why learning several different skills can help cope from the trauma.
Teachingand learning about the Love of Jesus: Many parts of self have believed they are no good, they are evil, and not worthy of love. Showing that Jesus is love, showing them scriptures and sharing stories of how Jesus shows love is a helpful way to have parts of self know they are loved.


Seek the good things of the world: As a survivor I notice there are so many bad things in this world. In the past I have closed my eyes to good things, thinking every thing was bad. I had to learn to see the beauty and good things of the world. For example how there are caring people that work to heal a baby, that try to save a life,  how about the beauty of the earth,  a beautiful song that gets into our spirit, abeautiful painting or when a person cries for you because you can not feel your own pain, but they love you enough to cry for you. 


Resolution: I learn each time I listen to parts of self share, each time I learn new skill to help me in my recovery and learning new steps to help keep myself and parts of self safe. Each time I take these steps i feel closer to whole.  I have had several integration's and feel I am not broken anymore but just pieces of a puzzle to be put back in place.


Repeat: Taking these steps is a full time commitment to the process of recovery. I find not only do I need these steps because of my past, I need these steps each day for all my hurts,hangups, or habits. 

Depression And Steps To Help During The Holidays

For many the holidays can bring depression, perhaps your struggling with major depression, which  can be thoughts of suicide, hurting self, not being able to get out of bed (if you are struggling with any of these things I encourage you to speak with a doctor). If your have depression that lasts for 2 years or longer, it's called persistent depressive disorder, maybe your someone with bipolar disorder, which used to be called "manic depression," it  has mood episodes that range from extremes of high energy with an "up" mood to low "depressive" periods, or  perhaps your struggling seasonal affect disorder (SAD) a disorder that happens during the winter months, when the days grow shorter and the nights seem longer. or maybe your dealing with a loss of a loved one.  What ever it maybe, struggling with depression is difficult but during the holidays can even seem harder. While every one seems so joyful  you just can not seem to get into the spirit of the holidays. 


How can we get through the holidays with a little peace and perhaps find our self smiling occasionally?


1. Accept the sadness- some people think they can not show sadness, they have to keep it hidden, but really this is unrealistic and unhealthy. It is o.k to feel sad, it is ok to cry if you need to. But  in all of it you can still find things to appreciatethat are good around you.  Such as a beautiful view of the sky, a friendship, or even just having a place to call home.


2. Remove Expectations -  Sometimes our expectations can cause us to bring our self downor we may even find we are thinking about that Christmas two years ago and how wonderful it was but this is not the same, this may feel true and it o.k to reflect on the pass and the good times but remember you can make new memories, it may seem hard but it is possible. 


3. Change your traditions-  Each year you do the same thing, its been passed on from family to family. Traditions are beautiful but if you find that doing the same thing seems to make you feel worse or it prevents you from doing things. it is o.k to  Change it up. 


4. Go Out-  Having depression can also included fear of leaving the house, but taken a tour around the neighborhood, looking at Christmas lights, visiting with a friend, go to the park or perhaps going to a cafe for hot chocolate can be helpful and may help to  not feel so alone. 


5. Don't Isolate- It is well and good to take personal time, but it is not good if you go days on end not going out, or having a friend visit you. Make sure you talk with a friend every other day even if it is to just say "hey I'm o.k but I just needed to talk with someone"


6. Say no if you need to-  Creating new traditions is healing, but  it can also be very hard. learning to balance is the key, goo n a vacation if you like, say no to some things remember balance you do not have to to go to every ones home, or go to  every activity. Pick a few things, Go to a Christmas show, have dinner out, or attend one Christmas/New year party.


7. Remembering a loved one- Create ornaments with pictures of a loved one, light a candle, or even write in a journal sharing good memories of a loved one can be healing.


8.  Play fun Christmas- Play music while backing cookies to hand out to neighbors or at your church. 


9.  Watch a Christmas comedy- This can bring out laughter and laughing is also healing, finding the little things that can bring joy. Laughing  also helps the endorphin's in your brain which triggers a positive feeling in the body, For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as "euphoric." That feeling, known as a "runner's high," can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life. So laugh.


10. Forget about the perfect gift- Why overwhelm yourself with what to buy for that aunt, brother, etc.? Keep it simple every one loves gift cards or a little cash. Perhaps treat your self to gift like a  massage, that cool item at sears, or maybe to a movie.


11. Remembering the true reason we celebrate Christmas-  Read your bible, sing a worship song remembering Jesus loves  you and how He was and is the ultimate gift.