Send Your Replies to Theresa

Hi Theresa,

I'm so sorry for the absolute horribleness of what's happening to you now, when you had to suffer through it the first time. it stinks! we too are often afraid to go to sleep. The little ones are afraid that if we sleep, who will watch for danger? We'd read that someone tried listening to lullabies at bedtime. we are Christians, and find some help in our faith. Now maybe you don't belive in God or are mad at Him or are not a Christian-as is OBVIOUSLY your choice. But since we are, we googled Christian musicians and found a wonderful tape {we got it cheap on Amazon} by Michael Card. It's called "Sleep Sound in Jesus" and we love it. It speaks to the children inside. Maybe if you listened to lullabies, you'd be able to go to sleep calm enough that the flashbacks won't happen. We also have a treasured stuffed animal that we sleep with, even for naps. If you don't want to listen to Michael Card, you could probably find other safe lullabies to listen to.

I don't know if this will help, but I sure hope so. and again, as Dawn said--much SAFE love.

Mary et al


My Dear Theresa:

I am truly sorry to hear your anguish. I know it myself, and I understand your journey. We have walked the same steps, in different ways perhaps, but still the same.

You are a great person...a survivor and you will eventually be on the other end of this journey. The first few steps, and the middle are so confusing, and horrific at points. I agree with Heather in that envisioning a different end, or some way that you come through the flash back (memory) victorious, or at least having the abuser pay for the actions inflicted. My Therapist suggested this as well. I thought (at the time) that the idea was ridiculous. Some months later, I was having a very vivid memory (flash back) and at the end, I turned it around and told the abuser what I thought and felt. Ending with the abuser going to prison. This did not change the fact that the abuse took place. It did however lessen the hold that that memory had on me.

Please do not feel alone, as so many have been in your place. There is hope even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. One day you will be able to help others who are where you once were and they are now.

Much SAFE Love from someone who was where you are now.



Experiencing trauma is not something you should have had to experience as a child. Processing the memories is not something you should have to do as an adult. I am sorry.
Dwelling on the abuse is not the same as processing the abuse. Processing abuse makes it in the past rather than in the present. I experienced it as the trauma happening in the present. It is counter intuitive to experence this pain. I can tell you that I have and I am glad I did. I am not happy that I had to do this work.
My symptoms became results and they had a cause. My flashbacks, night terrors, night mares became my frienimies. (Friend/Enemy). As I discovered the causes I discovered that I could face the causes. I still have the memories. They are just memories now that I have a past.
Healing was painful and painfully slow.

Journey On,




I feel for you as I can remember when I felt the same way. I agree with what everybody has said so far and there are some great suggestions. Unfortunately the only way out of the tunnel is to continue through the darkness to get out the other side. Yes there is another side and it's great! You can leave all the ugly bad stuff behind and be "normal" again. When you experience a memory or a feeling it is important to open all eyes and look at it so you can understand what happened and to who. With everyone's help a new ending can be made for the memory. It really does work. I finally got so fed up with the repeated abuse happening over and over that I decided to get even with the abuser and did in the new dream, memory or whatever you call those things. I even created some nurturing people afterward too. I know it wasn't real then but it can be now. You don't have to continue to replay the memory or dream as it really happened. You can take the controls back and not let them hurt you anymore.

I agree that it does take some time and a lot of energy to do this work so maybe when you aren't "working" on it you can take extra special care of yourself. Do something you enjoy. Avoid the nightly news, and horror flicks. Control as much of your daily activities as possible in a positive way. Make the best choices for yourself as possible. You deserve to be nurtured and cared for, so treat yourself right. You aren't crazy. You are having a "normal" reaction to a traumatic event. There IS an end to it all and it's very empowering. Be well.



Hi Theresa

I just want to reiterate what everyone else has said. Though it seems impossible to deal with at the time, these sorts of experiences seem to be a “normal” part of the healing process. They suck, but generally are a good indicator that you are ready to cope with more, to take the next step. There has been some really good stuff suggested already. Distraction is a good thing – it gives you something else to think about even if only for a short while. But it is important to allow yourself time to process what you are going through as well. Otherwise it just ends up being shelved somewhere – and not processed, which generally seems to mean that it will keep coming back up over and over again. Nightmares are terrifying, but like Lynn said, there are ways of changing the endings, taking control of what happens, rather than just repeating the same traumatic material over and over again. Meds can be helpful sometimes, although, with DID, not always, as it gets complicated for some parts with medication changes. The one thing that is really important right now though, which has also been suggested, is maybe looking at slowing down the pace in therapy, so that you dont feel overwhelmed by what is happening at the moment. Some distress seems to be a necessary part of the healing process. It sucks, but there is an end to it. But feeling overwhelmed would seem to indicate that maybe the pace in therapy is too fast, and it needs to be slowed down for this bit of the process.

Go well in your healing – it is a rough journey, but sometimes, it seems as it it might all be worth it one day



Hi Theresa:

I am going by my own experience here and years of therapy. When I start having those night mares and it feels like it is real and happening all over again, it is a clue that someone or some part of me knows what happened, even if the body or myself don't remember. If you are DID or MPD, I find it helpful to stop everything else and sit down and let the personality come out. Often done with the therapist but in my last few years of therapy, I was able to deal with it at home and then see the therapist as soon as possible.

These things and memories are only memories but they seem real because they are new to us and scary. Sometimes we feel it can not be THAT bad. However, all the bad things that happened to many of us are the reason we were able to "create" personalities to take care of us when it happened. They know. We don't know yet. It sounds like your mind is getting ready to know more new stuff and accept it. Once I get it all out of me, I do feel better.

I have used the tape recorder to sit down and talk to the personality/ies and let their voices come out on the recorder. JUST TALK. Ignore time and everything else. Let it pour out. Deal with it and then you will know what it is that is happening and why. I have gone to the cemetery with tape recorder and yelled and screamed and sworn and even thrown apples at the headstones. The apples went into the field and I am sure the deer loved the snacks that night! Usually I take someone with me who knows me and is a friend, just to watch for any other people in the cemetery or as a protection for myself. Someone else is there and I can do whatever catharsis I need to do to get rid the feelings and krap that happened. Put the blame on him or them, where it belongs. I will also tape at home and just let it come.

I also will just put everything on hold at home and get paper and pen and write and write and write. To be shared only with the therapist. Draw pictures of it,the memories, and what it is and where it happened. And I will write letters that I DO NOT SEND. Oh the language that pours out! Amazing.

It seems we have to re-live the abuse as if it is happening to us for the first time in order to rid ourselves of this krap. Then the personalities need to discuss it with the therapist and then and only then, WHEN YOU/WE ARE READY, can we face it and acknowledge it and finaly accept it. Then we can begin to move on and put it past us.

It's a bitch, but it's the only way I know to do it. I feel sad that so many people have had these terrible things happn. Somehow it's got to stop but how? I guess the only way is talking about it and dealing with it and then getting the empowerment and energy to change. And when we are ready, we will change. I never thought I would or could change but I have. Changes happen gradually and it is a great feeling not to be burdened down with all the memories and feelings that made us sick in the first place.

Take it slow at first and deal with what you know, then go into more of the new memories and crawly skin and stuff. It sounds to me like "body memories". It's things that happened to us that we, as ourselves, were not able to deal with at the time becaues we were too small. For instance, when I would start to thow up white frothy stuff, and I was having memories of an abuser, I found it was from oral sex as a child and once I got the informaiton out and dealt with it, the white frothy stuff goes or went away. Same with a spontaneous yeast infection! The memories a re very powerful and it is a sign that it is now time to deal with it and move on.

And for me, hiding it longer and NOT dealing with it, when it is ready to come, makes me even sicker and worse.

At least, for me, this is what happens and how I deal with some of it. Hope this helps. I have come a long, LONG ways.



Dear Theresa,
I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling so. It can be very overwhelming at times when you have DID. I have it too and I too have
had times just like you described. Right now one of the things I am doing to remedy these side effects of abuse is to keep busy as your
therapist said. I am creating another world of interest for myself. In other words, other things to think about.

Maybe you can think about what might be of interest to you. Art, movies, gardening, crafts or scrapbooking, walks or a hike once a week are some things that you can do besides boring housekeeping and all the work we have to do in the world. I don't know you and know what your interests are, but I bet you can find some new things to keep busy with. I stay home so I have a lot more time that my mind can spend feeling and thinking about scary
things. I watch a happy movie a few times a week during the day. I get them from the public library to watch for free for a week. I try to go
to a special class where I can learn how to do something. Even if I have never done anything like it before. I have a garden that is an
ongoing project that I contribute to when I feel like it. I am not a gardener at all, but it gives me something to watch grow and something
that is alive and good. For a person who lives in an apartment if that is the case, you can find a small table at a thrift store or yard sale
and put it in a room with a tall lamp behind it for light. Or you can put it by a window if you are lucky enough to have a little light to
spare. You can buy a grow-light of some kind and start growing small houseplants and have an inside garden. Just spray them good with a
spray bottle to keep them nice and damp and give them a good watering once or twice a week or so. Start a new magazine subscription and read
it to give yourself something happier to think about. Or try a new recipe, or bake bread or some ginger cookies or something that you like.

Do something positive to fight back and take some of your mind back. I journal not just about the tough stuff, but about things that are
happier things like some of my hobbies or about a nice lunch with a friend. Then I read those entries when I am feeling dark inside and
things are taking over my thoughts that are hurting me. I take the time to journal the dreams, flashbacks, body memories etc. to take them out
of my mind and put them on the paper. Then I read them. I make time for the hard ugly stuff, but I also make time for the positive stuff.

Good luck!! I hope you begin feeling better soon. I know this is one of the hardest times in a person's life. It won't be forever, but for
now...maybe you can begin to keep busy.



First and foremost, I wish you courage and strength during these difficult times. Please know that you are not alone in your struggles, nor are you a freak or crazy. I went through a very similar period, in which I too thought I was "losing it!" I could swear I could literally SEE and HEAR people from my past....I would swear they were right there next to me, even telling me what to do. And this happened to me, not only at home, but at work, too. It took hard work, PATIENCE, and ACCEPTANCE on my part and with my doctors to finally come to a place of separating the past from the present. The main thing I would stress to you is to be PATIENT with yourself. Pacing your work so as not to overwhelm yourself will pay off in the long run immensely. Please know that this will not last forever, even though it may feel that way. You WILL make ARE a survivor.

As for the nightmares, my doctors have always suggested that before I go to sleep, I think of the recurring dream, and consciously change the ending. Sometimes you have to do this repeatedly, but I have found that it will least it has for me. If you have trouble with yourself being the victor in the dream, choose someone else to defeat the "bad guys." I chose my uncle for one dream, and it really did work! I wish you the best.


Dear Theresa,

It's sounds as if you're in a very uncomfortable place, and I'm sorry to hear that.. I am NOT a therapist, but I suggest you talk directly to your therapist about a couple of different things. First - ask her if she thinks, maybe, the therapy is going too fast. Perhaps if you pulled back from even discussing the abuse, and concentrated instead on some day-to-day living tasks (like getting good sleep or cleanng house or making friends) things inside might calm down a bit. Pushing too hard to get better actually makes some people WORSE.

Another possibility is that you have a couple different conditions going on, in addition to dissociating. Quite a few people who were traumatized when young develop "co-morbid" problems. Some of these difficulties can be helped with medication. It might be useful to talk with a psychiatrist or someone with experience prescribing medication for emotional problems about "seeing things" and "feeling things".

Finally -- This is REALLY going to sound weird, but it worked for me, so I'll share it. I used to have awful nightmares that bothered me through the day. My therapist suggested "taking control of my dreams." It sounds bizarre, but it can really work.What you have to do is realize that you are dreaming when you're asleep. This is called "lucid dreaming" -- there are books about it. During your dream, when the bad stuff starts--instead of allowing yourself to be hurt, your dream-self goes on attack against those who would hurt you. You just scream NO and tell them they're not allowed to hurt you -- and (in my case) I actually went after the "monsters" in my dream. Believe it or not, I was able to rip the face off one of the "bad guys" with my bare hands! It was a great feeling!

How does this work? Well, dreams take place in your head, and they ARE under your control (if you become AWARE that you control them.) So once you teach yourself how to be aware that a bad dream is starting, you can stop it-BAM- just like that. And the good thing is--once I learned how to do this--I felt more powerful even when I was awake! I quit having nightmares...and if one starts, as soon as I realize that's what is going on, I can stop it.

Since all this "action" takes place between your ears, no one "really" gets hurt -- but it can leave the dreamer with a strong sense of empowerment. I think it's worth a try--but you probaby should discuss it with your therapist first, to be sure she thinks it's ok.

I'm sure other people will have some good ideas for you too. Good luck!

Lynn W.