So many of us that suffer from PTSD/cPTSD, and other associated trauma diagnosis, have no idea at all who we really are. We only have the misinformed ideas we were taught at such young age. Many of these ideas, contributed to the trauma, or did nothing more than reinforce the negative perceptions we have about ourselves. This is core to recovery process; The realization we can define our own identities independent of the programming and grooming we have suffered so long.
Most trauma victims have a low to terribly poor self image. Being made to believe for many years, we were nothing more than mistakes, burdens, slaves, to our own existence. Our very being was dark and evil. Even as now we know, through time and self discovery, these ideas and beliefs were instilled for one reason, to keep the victimized a willing victim. We were never allowed to have our own identity as our abusers needed us to reaffirm their personal power through OUR personal suffering.
As the trauma progresses, the victim learns to accept their place, and almost embrace it. The things they are being told MUST be true, as we now believe them ourselves. Even as deep down we toil with the idea of happiness, we accept the truth as we have been made to believe; we are bad, and we are the cause of all things bad in our world. We must be, right? The parents that love us so would never willingly abuse or harm the child they profess to love so much, would they? How can a child, with no other inout that negative programming, be expected to be perceived ad anything else other than, negative? To take it again one small step further, how can that child ever know, that the pain he is carrying I snot his own, He is the tool, for which his abusers can validate their own lack of personal power. Maybe their power was taken from them, maybe not. Maybe we were victims, as we were the weakest about. Weakness it seems, is like a worm for fish.
Once the trauma survivor realizes he is a victim, and not the cause, healing begins. Many never do. They end up pigeon-holed, in the mental health systems, homeless, addicted, and as always, feeling alone. We feel in many cases, suicide is the ultimate act of kindness to the existential being. We understand that to be powerless, helpless and alone without hope, is the most torturous of lives. To feel unwanted, is to feel death as a conscious person. Death, to the existential soul, is not a physical death, but a walking death. An existence not only without meaning or purpose, but filled to overflowing with the hatred and horrors of others. Carrying with us the baggage that is both unwanted, and too much to bear. We now know, we do not have to trudge any further with this burden.
We CHOOSE, not to try and understand why we were subjected to the horror movie, we grew up in. We never asked or desired to achieve such a place. Our abusers were simply evil. Evil is a concept, an idea, just as happiness. Evil does however manifest itself on a frequent basis in many children’s lives. The choice to become an emotional dumpster, was made for us, by those who claim to love us the most. We choose not to give a shit, what there reasons were, only to hold them now accountable for them, They were individuals just as we are. They had a choice and they made it, over and over again. Now we choose to live in the light, to tell the truth, to hide no more. We choose LIFE, once again.
Defining our identity
For many people The need to re-develop their identity, may be new to their conscious mind, however the subconscious, or alters as in our case, have been trying to build who they are forever. This is a core struggle with plurality, as the alters can have so many different and often polarizing ideas as to their own belief systems. We often use the parody of the good and bad angel sitting on opposite shoulders, bantering away at your consciousness to choose. In the case of plurality, instead of having only two opinions, we have many that are bouncing through our existence, simultaneously. Just as applies with singlets, the more stressful a moment, the more the onslaught of opinions increases.
Opinions are maybe the most individual aspect of our consciousness. Alters, quite often disagree. They are polarized in a way that can only be described as outer dimensional. They have no foundation, other than trauma and post traumatic stimuli in which to base their personalities. We have found, that the more traumatic and stressful the event that we believe defined the alter, the more likely they will find solace and refuge in the same levels of chaos. This makes life very unbearable for the unorganized plural mind. Thus, trying to identify with ourselves becomes a near impossibility. As we have little to no positive foundations to build on, any structure will be optimally unstable.
Personal Identity, is perhaps the single most important thing when recovering from trauma. Many systems have one or more what are called “Chameleons”. This is not a personality type, but a coping and survival skill. Not just being able to blend in, but make the surroundings believe you belong, in that setting. Victims of both vertical and multi-lineal trauma, in where the child is victimized in many different situations, from different abusers, for many alleged causes, will find this coping skill eerily familiar.
The need for an identity will cause the system to “test the waters”, with each situation. How is the system performing? Are the peers surrounding us catching on? DO they know about us? Can they sense in us the things we can feel in them? Are we comfortable in this costume? Yes, many times in our life, we have felt as if we were simply wearing a costume, of another choosing. We were always looking for the outfit that was made for us, but perpetually elusive.
The need to have a cohesive, and melded identity however, is not required. As we have been able to ascertain in the latest years in our timeline, identity can be achieved, many times over in a single body. This revelation is perhaps hat most significant factor in our ability to navigate storms of chaos from many different perspectives, and see our way to calmer skies. We have been able to learn, that by allowing each other the attitude to develop our identities separately, as we define them to be; allows for an inner peace we have never experienced in the past. We no longer have to feel as a completely fake person, taking on the lives and emotions of those around us. Remember, trauma victims are taught early on to accept the guilt for everyone around them. These were the first fundamentals taught, and painted on the blank canvas of childhood. the foundations of which all lives are built from.
Not only with trauma survivors, but any existential being, needs to know who they are. Sound parenting, love and examples of kindness and justice are the best ways to insure your child becomes a person they know and love. However, in our culture today, it seems we have fallen prey to the essential needs of our world. We have failed many of our children for generations, and now those actions are more apparent today than ever before. How then to recover from such horror? Many never do. We believe that most trauma survivors, die alone and in the dark, never to do anymore than just keep their sore and tired body, pumping another moment. They never get to experience the things most take for granted: Joy without strings, Contentment, Feeling Safe, Relaxation, and Self worth.
For the plural system, we had to truly accept, we are, “We”. We have to recognize our parts, as individuals, validating their existence. We have to empower them as important and needed. We have to allow them to grow, and therefore allowing the system as a whole, to mature together. This allowing, and not fighting the alters, has allowed for the greatest amount communication, and organization we have known. As we continue to empower and validate each part of the system individually, we become stronger as a group. So, in fact we do have a more cohesive identity, but we are not integrated as one. We are a crew, sailing a vessel, and finally working together as one collective. We still are continuing to grow, as all people do, singlets and plurals alike, however we are now growing together, and instead of unconsciously working against each other, we are now serving to achieve same or very similar goals.