Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Healing

Part of suffering from DID and having PTSD means there are triggers - sounds, voices, words, items, events, memories, etc that set off a series of unwanted emotions, feelings, behaviors and events. There's nothing worse than that immediate transport from a walk around the block to a repeat of what caused the DID or PTSD in the first place. Or being totally aware of where I am, yet having the emotions and reactions of a 9 year old in a state of trauma. Nothing worse than huddling in the corner of a department store, trying to remain reality based while remembering the brutal death of a small white kitten - all the while praying that no good samaritan wants to come to my aid and TOUCHES ME! Oh, God, in heaven forbid someone tries to touch me.


I'm not crazy. I'm not pathetic. I'm not delusional. I'm not a psychopath or a sociopath.

I have learned to take those triggers and somewhat change the meaning they have for me, or one of my alters. Take Halloween, for instance. I don't know how organized my abusers were, but they definately had an agenda that night. One had a painted face, there was a huge black bird, moonlight, a roaring fire, and trauma, torture, fear - all the marks of Halloween - my own little scream-fest.

Anyway, as my daughter grew up, it just so happened that her favorite holiday turned out to be halloween. Big time.

I didn't have the heart to take that from her so I found a way to be a part of it a little at a time. One year, I spent the whole weeks before that day making halloween cookies and decorating them. Harmless, even less than I expected. The next year, I made her halloween costume (Rainbow Bright) and even got caught up in all the hoopla of it. She wore that costume for 4 years.

As she got into high school, I had all her friends over and I helped them "dress" and did their hair and makeup, I didn't go out, tho. There were several years, we went out trick or treating, but for the most part, I totally controlled the amount and depth of my involvement.

There were trainwrecks, freak outs, and frantic breathing along the way, but I'm not afraid of Halloween anymore. I've worked hard at making sure the people I care about most get to keep celebrating their favorite holidays and I wouldn't dream of making them miss it because of me. And just think about it for a minute: freak outs and frantic breathing is what everyone aims for by scaring themselves half out of their minds on Halloween! I've got what they want. They just don't realize that when it's real, it's not so fun.

4 comments:

Just Be Real said...

Ivory glad you have grounding tools to help you through your pain dear one. Glad you are able to defeat a fear in Halloween. Sending hugs your pay.

Michael Finley said...

I am so sorry about the kitten and so sorry that your were there with that evil.

No you are not crazy,pathetic not delusional,not a psychopath not a sociopath. You do not have a disorder. You have had experiences that few people have had to have and they think they understand and they do not.

lifemultiplied said...

I love forward to a time when I can "reclaim" a couple days of the year as you've been able to do with Halloween. It helps me a lot to know you've been able to be so much better about this day!

Ivory said...

JBR - Thanks. I'm glad that Halloween isn't an issue for me. Believe it or not - Thanksgiving is worse for me!

Michael - You're so right. People think that if they've watched TV, they know what it feels like. They don't.


lifemultiplied - I hope you can reclaim some days, too, soon. It wasn't really easy, but it sort of happened over time.