Re-enactment of Trauma

Self harm Yesterday a comment had been posted asking whether it is OK to discuss self-abuse on this site. I had a look through my postings so far and did not find any specifically addressing self-harming issues. I thought it’s a very important issue for many survivors and will start off with some excerpts from the book ‘Traumatic Stress’ by B.v.d.Kolk et all.:

“One set of behaviour that is not mentioned in diagnostic criteria for PTSD is the compulsive re-exposure of some traumatised individuals to situations reminiscent of the trauma. This phenomenon can be seen in a wider range of taumatised populations.For example combat soldiers may become mercenaries, abused women may be attracted to men who mistreat them, sexually molested children may grow up to become prostitutes.

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Achieving Co-Consciousness: Self-Acceptance-And-Love


On the first glance people may ask “What has co-consciousness to do with loving yourself and accepting all the different parts of you?” My answer to that is “Everything!”

If there is a part of you that you dislike, are afraid of, or even feel disgust for, you will stay away from that part ‘full stop’. If co-consciousness means to know to a large extend what other parts know, feel what they feel, and be able to act as they act, staying away from a part of you will increase the walls that divide you and prevent co-consciousness, not decrease them.

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It’s A Shame!

I found this quote today:

It’s a difficult thing to be out about. Homosexuality is okay. Depression and ADHD are fairly well mainstream. Multiple is a big stigma. Especially, when, like me, one has not been “diagnosed” by a “medical professional”. I feel like I’m … less than real.Learning to Say Yes, Feb 2009

It remindChildbed me of the level of stigma and prejudices Multiples have to deal with every day. Although Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and having Multiple Personalities has become mainstream entertainment recently in the US through the new TV series "The United States of Tara", I wonder whether the show's over-the-top representation of the life of a Multiple is rather hindering people to let their friends and colleagues know "I am a Multiple". Of course, I understand that the producers of the show had to demonstrate the switching into different parts in an over the top way – the average viewer would not pick up the subtle cues and the different emotional energy that normally signals a switch has taken place.

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Shame, Guilt, and Forgiveness in the Recovery from DID

Depression-1 My attention has recently been drawn to issues of shame and guilt that might come up for some DID clients towards the end of their recovery  -  or more accurately, towards the end of their therapy (as recovery seems to be a life-long process). It's not shame about being abused or struggling with accepting oneself as the target of abusive, humiliating actions by perpetrator(s).

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The Impact of Abuse

Mother & Child The trauma of sexual abuse is most harmful to a person’s self-development because it signifies the severing of intersubjective connections with caring others. Honneth (1995b, p. 132) understands sexual abuse as the withholding of recognition through love that deprives a person of “…The successful integration of physical and emotional qualities [which are] subsequently broken up from the outside, thus lastingly destroying the most fundamental form of practical relations-to-self, namely, one’s underlying trust in oneself”.

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DID Diagnosis as a stigma

J0433211 DID clients are under the impression that this lack of knowledge and understanding is a breeding place for being stigmatised. DID clients who work in the helping professions have been reluctant to disclose their diagnosis at their workplace. They felt a professional with a psychiatric diagnosis would not be accepted.

DID clients are generally careful with whom they share their condition, be it acquaintances, lay people or employees. They fear that the lack of understanding DID in the general public and the sensationalist depiction of DID in the media would result in being labeled crazy, bizarre, or just odd.

"I tell some people about some of my parts and they freak out. They don’t bother to get to know the rest of me. They just freak out on that" (Ruby 1/27).