Growing up, I was not encouraged to read. My parents weren't mean about it, they just never read books. It was their culture to believe that someone who wasted time reading was a lazy oaf and to be disrespected. My dad, my hero, only had a 10th grade education, yet he was featured in a magazine for the invention he failed to copyright and is now used on many farms. My mother graduated from high school but didn't read either. They really never had the time - farms are like that.
The first book I read was when I was in 9th grade. A company came to my school and gave everyone a form with many names of books that we could put a check mark by meaning we intended to buy the book. They were mostly paperbacks and I was given permission to buy one. It took me days to decide which one because I didn't know what I liked to read - romance, mystery, cooking, fiction... The possibilities were endless and it caused a great deal of misery for me so I finally chose a book about a black stallion. I had a horse who was my best friend so I thot I would enjoy that story. Not. I never read the book. I just couldn't get into it.
That summer, after school, my cousin from a town not far away came to spend the summer with us. Everyone said he was brilliant. He was 3 years older than me and fun to be around but like most older boys, he and my brother picked on me most of the time. Toward the end of the summer, he began to realize how awful it was for me to be so alienated in my own family and how his behavior had made it worse. He tried making it up to me by showing me card tricks (which convinced me he was brilliant!) He also gave me a book to read that he had brought along to our house with him.
The name of the book was "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie. I read it was her first and most popular book. You can watch the movie version here. I didn't want to read it but his description of the plot interested me a great deal. I was captivated. I was sold. I loved it completely. I also found I could read it only in the daylight to avoid terror so profound I couldn't sleep at night.
What does this all have to do with DID? I have found that reading books (and watching movies) that are fast paced and have a mystery plot actually helps me slow my own internal panic meter. Sort of like having to swim with the tide to be able to move toward the shore. I watch movies that are plain scary - not bloody, those are out - but scary. My T says I'm flooding. He thinks it's my way of numbing (somewhat) the panic I felt during a particular part of my abuse. It's called desensitizing. It's my way of swimming with the tide so I can survive. It's my way of reliving a terrifying experience and finding that I've survived that gives me grounding and helps littles know they will survive, too. It's very odd to write about this. I know it sounds crazy to scare the BJ out of someone so they realize they are surviving...