I am slowly recovering memories. With many of my alters being very similar to me or each other, with only a few significant differences, I am having trouble discerning which identity and set of memories I became in these incidents of my childhood. I am writing out what little information I have collected internally, as I piece it together. This is an example of obvious unusual behavior, that were signs of alters during my childhood that could have been noticed if known possible. I hope by sharing this, I can help parents who have children who are recovering from trauma, especially sexual assault, know to look for similar extreme cases in behavior and memory. If seen, then to be able to consider possible dissociation, even the farthest end of the spectrum, D.I.D.
++I remember, I was 8 and this was during therapy after I had told of my sexual abuse and my the family member sent away. I don’t understand what little I remember from therapy. I don’t know what the point of this exercise was, but in this group therapy, everyone was asked to write a short story telling of an example of a child being sexually abused by someone. I remember here I was triggered, and then I wasn’t me. This is the first memory I have gained of my only male alter. I hear the thoughts of Bel in my mind (that’s just one “L” not two, this a boy name I later learned in my research). He says he wants to tell a good story, one they need to remember. The story that was written was about a little boy who was abused by his teenaged cousin who was a girl. I feel this role reversal in my story should have been an important thing to take note of. However, everyone in group passed their pages to the therapist leading the group. Then the papers were mixed and we all got a piece of paper from a story that was someone else’s. Next, we all take turns reading the page we have, and this sort of made a whole new story. So, I guess there was no exact way to be able to focus on this, but writing a story with this gender role reversal I think is an important thing to take note of. On top of this was times I was repulsed by pretty or feminine things/clothes/toys, and I know at one point I insisted I was a boy like my brothers. I don’t think my parents remember. But they do say sometimes that I was a “tomboy.” I vaguely remember saying to my mom I’m a boy and she said, “no, you’re a tomboy.” I vividly remember many times my mom said “Act like a lady” and Bel would be the one speaking and exclaiming “i’m NOT a lady!” To say I was definitely a tomboy wasn’t entirely true if they remember the times I wasnt. On top of this total disdain for “girly” things, a part of me lived an extremely outgoing giggly girly part of myself that contradicted all that. This side, in turn, is unhappy being anything BUT girly and cute, make up and hair done, all the time. In reality, I was never the cute popular girl. I was the stringy haired girl with glasses and no friends. Except, I did get to hang out with the boys as my boy alter sometimes. Boys are easier to play with because they just are running and screaming, it’s not a “song and dance” like the girls. As Bel, I could play the kickball or tag or climb around an adventure with the boys on the jungle gym. Not that unusual, but when you see me act frightened of the boys on another day, and just hide by myself on the swingset or under a tree instead of interacting with others, you have to take note of these subtle yet obvious differences. These are things I think are worthy to take note of, though not exactly blatantly noticeable. You’d have to be paying close attention for such contradictory differences from day to day.
+++My brother just a few years older was babysitting us for a short while. It was late at night in the late spring early summer I believe, because I remember it was chilly at night but warm during the day. Scared of my physically violent brother trying to suffocate me again, I switched off my conscious host and I remember someone said,”Get out of the house and then everyone will see it and save you,” That someone, I believe was a younger alter, Eloise. She ran my body out of the house. Unsure of my exact age, I think I was between 10 and 12 years old. Only running halfway down the street, I stopped at an alley to look behind when realized my stopped chasing me. He stood there on the porch watching me. Afraid he was coming to get me, I remember feeling outside of my body like watching a movie. June said in my mind,”So they think we won’t leave. They think we need them. We’ll show them. Then, when I return, brother is going to be in so much trouble with Mom and Dad.” We walked around the block. Then, something else happened. We thought that just standing around waiting wasn’t enough. They think we won’t go far. What if they come looking too? To stay close and be found isn’t safe either. Completely convinced we could live outside like a survivalist, and that the forces of good would protect us from harm, it was Justice who began walking. I remember this now, but at the time, this wasn’t me. It still doesn’t yet feel like me. We walked around the neighborhood farther than anyone ever knew. I told them I was at a park near by but I actually walked past that one to one much much further away and bigger. If it wasn’t for the fact of the cold weather, the one in control would have stayed gone all night. That was the plan. I have memories where I tried to sleep in a clubhouse with a slide, at the park. I think it was Morrighan who realized this is not achieving anything and brought us back home. It was after midnight probably around the time we decided to walk back home. I made it back home probable around 2 AM. The police were there. My dad was outside and saw me walking. He met me down the street and he walked me inside. As soon as I saw my dad, I know I became one of the younger ones of me, Emerald. My mom was in a rocking chair with a crocheted blanket and I climbed underneath the blanket. The police wanted to ask me what happened. I couldn’t speak. They asked me if I wanted to talk. I just shook my head. I didn’t really remember what happened to tell them. I didn’t really know who I was. I just knew my mom and dad and my house. That was it. So, this leads me to believe I was Sapphire, who I believe is the youngest of my alters lacking ability to really speak or read and write. Or, at least refuses to respond if she can.
++++I think I was in 5th or 6th grade at the time that this happens. I don’t know what the cause of the problem was. I know that I had this running conflict all year long with a certain boy in my class. I also had no friends during this time of my life, being the awkward girl with glasses, always picked on and made fun of. I just remember, we were in gym class. The teacher had stepped out. I don’t even remember what was said to me, but it seemed like a physical threat from this boy. Maybe it was something along the lines of “shut up or I’ll smack you” or something, I don’t know. However, I was trigger. I remember me saying these words, but it was Bel speaking,”I have three older brothers I fight all the time you think I’m scared of you? Come on!” I see my hands in fists in front of me. Everyone was shocked in silence. Must like children do when in an uncomfortable and nervous situation, the boys just start laughing then everyone laughs. Then I don’t know why everyone is laughing. I just then remember it was the end of class and we were lined up walking back to our classroom from the gymnasium.
+++++In 8th grade I did something that only a few people knew. A part of me was tired of being nerdy girl in the class. This part wanted to shock and amaze. Another alter was trying to be different. Except, this alter was not the cool, sexy, trendy teen alter I have. This was just the most intelligent, shy alter, who also has extreme anxiety that makes her explode into a bratty melodramatic teen. She tried to pretend she could do an adult relationship and show everyone that she was something different. That she was more intelligent and mature and they were babies. Book smart, she lacks street smarts. This is June. June feels like she must be responsible for everyone because she feels no one ever protected us. She feels not even the adults understand enough to know what to do, even if they were willing to do something. She feels adults are unreliable. Here she goes, trying to have a boyfriend. She has no sexual attraction to him, just interested in the fact that he was a different race, so that was the first shock value. Then, unbeknownst to me for decades, just because he asked her to be her boyfriend, she thought she was supposed to sexually satisfy him. Since she didn’t want to have sex, she thought she was more in control by agreeing to do oral sex. This went on for about two months, but only on the weekends and maybe a few extra weekdays during the summer. Before the next school started again when we’d be in highschool, she ended it though. There was some sort of lack of self worth that led her to believe this is what she was supposed to do since she was never to feel love or trust anyone. She just wanted to be normal, but better as more intelligent and mature than kids her age. She instead gets a lot of bad decisions and extreme emotional outbursts as a way of dealing with it. She punishes herself like she deserves it. She protects herself by pushing others away, making others angry, or by not talking at all. Much of what June does, I don’t remember. I was 14 when she gave that boy oral, and I didn’t get the memory back until just recently at 34. Nobody knew to bring it back up, because as soon as I left 8th grade and went to highschool, that girl was no longer my friend. And I did not go to catholic high school from the grade school like most of my classmates who heard about it. So no one I knew, knew about it.
++++++In high school, I remember I was overwhelmed. Going from a small private catholic school of less than 200 students (my 8th grade class just 14 students or something like that) I was now in a school of more than 2,000 students. Dissociation was probably the worst here. I was generally a “good kid.” Not a trouble maker. I began cutting school though. I began changing how I dressed. I got more into the “goth” scene with my gothic clique of friends. They all did the smoking and drinking, I didn’t do those. So I was still a “good kid” in that respect. I just couldn’t handle school. This is when social anxiety and agoraphobia seemed to be in full swing. This is when my loss of time is the worst. I was living a life that no one really knew was going on during my teen years. The places I went, the things I did, the way I explored. Nobody knew. Ha, not even me. I’m going to have to make a separate place to go into my alters during high school. I just wanted to mention here the one incident where I couldn’t keep up in my English class, because dissociation and I couldn’t seem to write fast at all. I remember running away when I was supposed to go with my Dad to do research for my English paper. This paper was my final. I believe the fear of publicly talking to some one was the trigger some how. I just left the house, tried to find my boyfriend at the time but he wasn’t home. So I dissociated, wandered aimlessly until I decided that life was too hard and scary and we wanted to die. I walked to a river with a bridge. I meant to go jump off the bridge. Somehow I fainted, by the side of the bank as I was walking right next to the river, before I reached the bridge. I woke up on in dirt by the sound of my boyfriend calling my name. I couldn’t explain how I got there. Apparently I had written a long suicidal note to my boyfriend to say where I was going. He had gotten ahold of my best friend who drove a car. She drove him down there and was helping look. My parents knew I was “missing” because my boyfriend came looking for me. I was grounded but they never knew, I went to that bridge to kill myself. I just said I was walking around and I couldn’t really give any answer for what had happened during that time.
I wish I had more memories than this. I hope to clarify this all through therapy over time. But I just find these ones stick out, that outsiders should see something wasn’t right, and the issue I had with memory was definitely known. If parents knew that dissociation and D.I.D. were a possibility for children who have undergone repeated abuse, especially rape, then they’d take more care in paying attention for changes in conscious awareness in their children. I just think, there has to be a way to inform parents of this possibility. I think it should be the responsibility of a therapist to explain D.I.D. as a possibility to have occurred. Also, help them to be aware it can take years to really noticeably present itself, so they should stay dilligently aware, all through childhood and well into adulthood even. If parents are there with compassion as soon as it’s an obvious D.I.D. case, then the healing will be much easier on the child. If parents are ignorant, uninformed, impatient, and judgemental, that will further implant the dissociative identities in existence and make it harder to integrate with this emotional stress, and dare I say abuse.