Thursday, April 2, 2009

DV on Children Part 2

Kindling effect and trauma bonding

I learned a couple of new phrases at the DV on Children training: Kindling effect and trauma bonding.

Firstly, I realized that aside for a few very traumatic explosive events, my alters were nurtured and sustained by the kindling effect. What I learned was that even if someone doesn’t have a life threatening event, they can have the same experience, it just occurs over a period of time, slowly, by the child being subjected to a persistent more mild abuse. Over time, it equals a one time traumatic event and has the same effect – PTSD, DID, ADD, etc.

Whenever my abuser was around, I was the center of attention that at all other times was nonexistent. I was pretty much ignored by my family. Probably one of the reasons I was such an easy target. However, after the first few times I went with him, I was afraid of him, I couldn’t get anyone to listen when I tried to say why I didn’t like him, yet, I didn’t want to give up the attention I so badly needed!

Anyway, secondly, I learned about trauma bonding. Trauma bonding is when children who are living together, in school together, etc, become the objects of abuse, they will cling together and identify with each other. This keeps the trauma alive.

This one makes me wonder if that is what happens with DIDs. Are we so alone in our suffering that we create an alter out of need for companionship and it grows throughout the abuse? Then, once we have our own little group, necessity keeps them alive – along with all the abuse, thus our lives becoming a vicious circle of torment and companionship?

I cannot stop looking for reasons why: Why did this happen to me and why did I create alters when other children did not? God hasn’t answered this for me. I am going to drown in the search, because:

Somewhere deep down inside of me,
where no one else can see,
lives a secret wish that some day we
will see the world as only
one would be.I wanted to add something about these last 2 posts in that I tried to explain this whole abstract thot better: When we are babies and children(even in the womb, says the speaker), electrical impulses record every experience to our brains.

Even tho we don't have words to describe them, the memory is stored there in all other sensory ways, such as taste, touch, smell, etc. It remains in memory and is called implicit memories because it is learned by watching or experiencing the event over time, it's subtle and we can't exactly remember how we learned it. (like, learning to stick your tongue out at someone, for example)

Language is not needed for implicit learning - modeling is. You don't have to use words to explain how to, or what is, sticking out your tongue at someone - you only need do it.

Then, when the child is allowed to play, he or she will share the experience in truth, because they don't have a way to lie about an experience when it is implicit and "shared".

For instance, if sticking out ones tongue in front of a child is harmful, frightening, and wrong, then the child experiencing it will eventually mimic it in play in his or her own perception of it. As long as the child is sure he or she is in a safe place.

The Dr. said that most children want to tell someone, an adult. But as adults, we tend to not believe something outrageous or painful to know, so the child will often act out something wild and crazy along with the truth. The theory is that the child is testing the adult - If the adult believes the wild and crazy thing, then he or she will believe the truth.

For most DID's, the bad memories are implicit - to the host.



Vague said...

mmm... much for thought. thanks for sharing. :)

Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

I do think that splitting is done out of necessity and survival. But I also think it is done out of love for self as well.

Good and healing thoughts to you.


Ivory said...

@ Vague,
You're welcome. Sometimes this makes my confusion worse. I guess it depends on who's close.

@ Kate,
Yes, both. My T also believes that people who can dissociate deep enough to create an alters, are very smart, too. He has often told me he thinks I'm brilliant (but that could just be because I'm paying him. ;)