E Carolyn Brown Tucker, Ph.D.
Mimosa Hill Blog
Mimosa Hill Blog
Hints are for the Hurting
|Posted on June 7, 2016 at 1:15 AM|
From the time I can remember first learning, then loving, to read, I was drawn by some compulsion to topics about abuse, neglect, incest . . . . I really did not know why. I just knew that for some reason, the topics resonated with me. I always felt horrible after reading about some terrible things that happened to the protagonist or character that suffered the abuse, and I had nightmares about the incidents long after reading the story. There was something dark, sinister, coiled and ready to strike inside me. It seemed I needed the input in order to get angry about what was happening to other children. I needed to feel like I was willing to do something to help those suffering little ones that no one wanted to help. No one believe needed help. No one wanted to admit needed help. Recognizing, admitting, and taking a stand made people feel obligated. Responsible. Guilty. All those things. So why did I push to read more? Why did I need it rubbed into my skin?
I remember the first I read about: The Three Faces of Eve. A woman had suffered so much she developed Dissociative Identity Disorder and two more personalities. Most of the people who read the book discounted it, claimed it couldn’t happen. But, I needed to read it, to be convinced, to vicariously purge through Eve. Then there was Sybil. She was very young in the first part of the book. Her mother tied her to a piano and forced her to listen to her play all day. She wasn’t even allowed to go to the bathroom. The longer she “held it” the longer she could escape punishment for wetting the floor. Bizarre—Inhumane—Awful. Sybil developed anywhere from 16 to 19 personalities—all with names, characteristics, strengths, talents, different ability levels, different ages. Each personality seemed to be the guardian of one or two personality qualities or emotions: Rage, Hatred of Males, Grief, Evil, Fear . . . . The more I read, the more I was pulled to the genre.
The next person I remember reading about was Trudi Chase: she developed multiple personalities, estimated by some therapists to number in the seventies. One incident that she experienced included her being lowered into a well, hanging onto a rope, and having a bucket of snakes poured over her. That prompted some of my worst nightmares. I watched Trudi when she was interviewed by Oprah. I was mesmerized by the emergence of the differing personalities. She really seemed to “become” someone else as she moved through different emotions, different experiences, and different terrors.
I still could not explain my compulsion to read the DIDS stories. But, at the same time, I could not stop searching for them. In fact, I ended up with several volumes in my personal library even today. By the time adulthood found me, I had found The Boy Called It, by David Peltzer. And the two or three other books in his series. By then, I had realized there were some connections between my childhood experiences and some of the things I was reading. The accompanying rage, resentment, hate, and grief were there—but I had re-directed them toward OTHER children. An admission of abuse for me would have been mortifying. Abused children seek the shadows, internalize their abuse and shift the blame for the abuse onto themselves: I could not admit anything had EVER happened to me. Never.
But soon there would be no successful denial of it. Soon the truth would be known to the surface personality. Soon those injured souls locked up inside of me would not be satisfied with vicarious salvation. Soon I would have to begin my own search for the real me—and for what had happened to her to cause the separation of her emotions so that I could not own any of the bad stuff.
But those were the days of implanted imagery, imagined memories, therapist induced back flashes, false memories, and a mass rebuttal of anger that surfaced against the accusers for the damage they had done to so many “innocent” people. I was deeply afraid of my memories, my images, my truths, my realities as they were becoming known to me. I was terrified that I was guilty of creating those flashbacks out of some resentment toward my family for something I felt was unjustified. And the circle turned, and the clock ticked, and the sun rose, and the stars aligned . . . .
I “woke up” one night in a Walmart parking lot, waling my heart out, at the extreme end of a plan to commit suicide. I had little idea of what was wrong with me, where I was, who I thought I was, and why I was so desperate to end my life. Finally, I forced this “other” self to calm enough to call my medical doctor. He was the only friend I could think of that would care if I lived or died. I tried repeatedly to connect with him by telephone. But he couldn’t be reached. So I drove to the clinic where he worked. But he was not on call. The next day, I went back.
Other things happened, but I cannot remember what they were. All I can recall is that he was visibly shaken by my presence. He took me immediately to a clinic in-house therapist for a residential treatment program run by his clinic. I’ll never forget that day. Nor will I forget the man he took me to. His name was Wise. He hypnotized me. And he told me I was in danger. I believed him.
And so began my many years of therapy, healing, recovery, and reintegration of “selves.” Of course, there were many other people who borrowed my valley for a while, shared my pathways, listened to my heart-songs and helped me to cross the bridges over the Trolls’ cave. But they are just incidental. The healing was up to me. Up to all of the me’s inside. And the one force inside me that gave me the power to re-assemble the pieces of myself. You can call him God, you might know her as Holy Mother or you might believe them to be as described in The Shack. You might speak His name: Jesus. There are lots of other names you might know him/her/them by. But that isn’t up to me. I know the power as I have learned it to manifest inside of me. The Spirit does belong inside each of us—unless we cast it out. All the holy books tell us that.
As for me, I have found that my calling him/it by the term God, I offend the fewest people and communicate with the most willing to listen to me. I found God. And that was the power I had to have in order to survive, and thrive. There is nothing that can dissuade me from that truth—because I KNOW it to be true. I experience it every day of my life. My hope, thought, blessing for you would be that you find the power, too. However God determines that it is right for you.
So back to my train of thought and the compulsion to read those accounts. I was a sick puppy. Probably still am. But I’ve lived an extra 30 years because I did. Sometimes God speaks to us in hints because we cannot handle the truth for it is too big. Hints give us time, space, distance . . . all to process the information . . . so that we don’t crash like my computer often does. The hints are what we can handle. And the hints can guide us to the truth, so that it can be revealed at the right time, in the right place, with the right people . . . .
By the way, another hint I received was the repeated reference to “retards” and results of “inbreeding” in the mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky by Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, David Letterman . . . all the late night guys. They made me hear people laugh at abuse victims. They made me want to laugh . . . until I realized what that meant. Laughing at the results of family-family unions was the laughing at the victims of incest. Now that was a heavy weight to carry around for a while. Want some interesting reading? Read about the “blue” people from the mountains of Kentucky. You won’t believe it. Or maybe you will. Perhaps God is breathing the truth into you at this very moment.