May 20, 2007

 

The Trauma Twins

I've been on an emotional roller coaster. My twin sister is visiting for three weeks. It's been distracting me big time. I got the blog carnival stuff up, finally. But I'm delayed with posting a meme I got tagged on and a nifty survivor award thing I want to check out...new blogs I want to look at more...blogs I want to post to and links I want to put up on my dot com site, www.survivorscanthrive.com, and preparations I want to start making for the first anniversary of the blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I know I haven't been around to visit my bloggy friends much in the past two weeks either.

When my sister first arrived from the deep south where she lives, it was surreal with my parts. There were Little Ones who were cheering, "Yay! Sissy is coming. We want to see Sissy!" When she actually showed up, their tune changed to, "Who's that lady? Where's Sissy?' I think they truly expected to see a cute little girl with blond pony tails at my door.

Then I had to deal with an older part who really hates my sister. She is slow to forgive the many times I covered up for my twin and often took the fall for her during her rebellious years. I thought I had dealt with this in therapy, but apparently this part still resents the years of being enmeshed and enabling with my sis. She's also jealous as hell that my twin had rebellious years during a time when I was still falling all over my selves trying to please my mother and gain her never-to-be-obtained approval.

I haven't seen my sis much for over ten years. A lot of old baggage has to be checked with this visit. I get annoyed when people say stuff like, "Stop living in the past. You have to be in the present." It's so obvious to me now that, for my parts, the past is the present. It's going to take quite a lot of time, patience and therapy to bring them all up to date.

One thing that has been encouraging, I guess, is that I have parts that feel safe enough to switch out (if that's what you call it) in front of my sister. I've done this many times in front of my husband, but I still try to hide it. With my sister, I not only allow it to happen, I also allow all the fears and tears to come tumbling out at the same time.

Let me give you an example: We were driving back from this nifty little mountain town toy store that I knew both our kid parts would love. We had a wonderful morning together, but I started to notice some physical symptoms sneaking in around lunch time. I had a headache (seems to happen with switching), my guts were rumbling and I had a return of the damn knot in my throat that strangles me and won't let food pass. We were driving back toward my home, taking a very familiar route along the interstate. I began to tell my twin about this pattern I've been noticing. The first part of the pattern is a few days when I act perfectly "normal." Me have parts? No way! Then--as if some parts are attempting to batten down the hatches--I have a day or two where I get physically sick and/or start to have some of the symptoms I just mentioned. Then: POW! All hell--and at least a couple of terrified, devastated and/or pissed off parts--breaks loose. It's a fun way to navigate through life, let me tell ya. Anybody else notice "parts patterns" like this?

Anyway, I'm just getting into telling Sissy about this pattern I've noticed when I discover that I've blown past my exit off the interstate. No problem, I think. I'll jut get off at the next exit. The only problem was I thought the "next exit" was an exit that is, in reality, miles and miles up the highway. Suddenly, nothing looked familiar at all. I tried to read exit signs, but recognized none of the street names. This scared me a lot and I began to panic and sob uncontrollably. Luckily, we were in a slow construction zone and I didn't crash the car. I still remembered how to drive as well, thank God.

Having a difficult morning. Too many nights of not sleeping well and my IBS is flared up worse than it's been in years. I think I'll finish this "twin visit" post later. Thinking of all of you and hoping to get more cauht up in the blogosphere soon.

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Comments:
Okay. Comments back on again. I don't know what happened there. Thanks for the heads-up, JIP!
 
The "switching headache" is very, very common among multiples. On our blog there is a link to a place called You Hurt My Hurt...it is a site written by a retired T who worked with multis. She has an article there about headaches. You might (or might not ;)) find it useful. The problem you had while driving is exactly why we have a hard time traveling anywhere, and will not travel if we are required to be the one driving! We take the train to visit friends...but even that is very scary for us. Yes it is true that we have a tendancy to panic, but a lot of people don't seem to understand what CAUSES the panic. It's all about "what if we don't get off at the right stop?". Not about the act of going somewhere. It's the same thing with the busses in our town. Fortunately we have managed to get everyone to understand that the #2 goes by our home...and ALL the busses go to the transit mall, where we can get on the #2. Even our 4 year-old has this down. I may blog about this! Thanks for the idea.

About living in the present vs living in the past. It is absolutely true that for some alters, the past is the present! Also, the past has repercussions on the present. The fact that you are working on this means you are living in the present. The fact reamins that in order to have a life in the present, the past must be dealt with. I don't mean every detail has to be gone over, but much work does need to be done.
((((hugs))))
 
Fallen Angels: thanks for the validation and support. I appreciate you! And you're welcome for the "idea."
 
hey ((Marj))

just wanted to say hi..
keep your chin up

hugs

Cassandra
 
we can understand your angst in dealing with the comments your sister has been throwing out there, we had a few of those tossed our way by our family members and they are not well received. We do not drive either, we are always afraid a little will come out and get hurt or hurt someone else, not intentionally of course. past and present intertwine as we untangle this mess called our life! You seem to be handling things quite well!

peace and blessings

keepers
 
Keepers: actually, it's been people who used to comment on my blog with those comments about the past and present. You're right--it is a tangle of both to unravel. I'm beginning to wonder if I should be driving. Most of the time I just take some time before I get in the car and while I'm there and focus on "Adult Marj is the only one driving!" Peace and blessings to you, too, as always! (((hugs)))
 
hugs to you, too, Cassandra. Thanks for the visit. it's always nice to "see" you.
 
(((Hugs))) on the difficult day and visit with your sister. It sounds, though, as if in the long run it will also turn out to have been a healing visit.
 
April: I think you're right. Thanks for the hugs.
 
I can't imagine how difficult your life is at the moment but I am constantly amazed at your resiliance as you deal with everything that comes you way. I know you will be stronger for having worked through this hard stuff.
 
Marj, our past and present are intrinsically enmeshed. In the realm of human experience the past is not technically the past. All our life experiences are incorporated into the fabric our beings. The building blocks of our life experiences are integrated into one mind, one human, and one cellular being. In the life force all things are eternal.

Whew. I guess I'll write a post on that to expound upon it and what I mean (and perhaps what other survivors mean) by "the present."

Go easy on yourself. You and your sister have a great deal of trauma to work thru, together and separately. Trauma can make even the mundane mishaps overwhelming.

I just wrote something I call "My Most Important Message of the Moment." It was a suppressed message in me that needed to express. I hope you and our sister and brother survivors will have time to stop by to read it.

It's about my personal experience, the vast chasms between survivors and non-survivors, and survivors of my baby-boomer generation or prior.

My focus for my blog is changing. I think it needs to, to express the abuse survivor in me.

I still have the examples and how-to's of the "Survivor/Healing Blogger Award" posted.

You are a healing blogger! Blessings upon you and your sister.
 
ok finally we got back here and see what would you know fallens answered everything really well :P hehehee
Rapid switching or stuffing can cuase a miriad of issues when we rapidly switch we get dizzy, headaches, nausea and disorientated. stuffing (as in keeping alters in not out) causes for us a range of emotions but mostly a feeling like we are goign to implode as well as otehr ailments.
Getting lost causes us to stress beyong normailty not aq pretty sight let me tell you.
Getting from past to present is a work in progess for some of us, its a slow process that if made faster can scare soem back into hiding making it worse the next time they are out.
We really aren o help except we get it when you shared it.And thats why we wanted to comment
 
S'onnie: hey, so glad you're here! Thanks for the kind comment of support. I'll have to get your link updated.
 
Babe--I'll go check out your post; sounds good. Now that my sister's visit is over and the holiday is over, I'll try to get caught up with my links and stuff this week. Thanks for being patient! ;)
 
JIP: I wish I coud tell you just how much help you continue to be to me. I appreciate you (all of you) so very much!!!
 
Your website is amazing!
 
I didn't know you were a twin?

:)
 
Thanks, Karma. Wow, it's nice to know that people actually go there and look around sometimes.
 
Dr. Deb: Nice to "see" you. Yep, been a twin all my life!
 
I have a story to get up about a survivor who is a multiple and a twin. I'm writing it on my blog for her because what she says about it gives her a different perspective on living with DID than others who aren't a twin. I guess I didn't realize until now that you are a twin. This lady is an identical twin as well.

Austin
 
oooo! I will get over to your blog and look at the twin story, Austin. Yes, being a twin puts a definite unique spin on all of this stuff...all of it.
 
STOP CHILD ABUSE NOW!
SINCE OCTOBER 13, 1975 TO 2001
FROM DONORA, PENNSYLVANIA TO
PORTLAND, OREGON BY A
HANDICAPPED

Paul M. McLaughlin
Stop Child Abuse NOW!
298 Hunington Ave.
Eugene, Oregon 97405-4055

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT PAUL McLAUGHLIN---LETTERS ON INTERNET COMPUTER:
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/5077/geobook.html

PHOTO OF PAUL AND HIS WIFE:
http://www.efn.org/~scan/paul&liz.gif

Register-Guard Newspaper Story from Donora, Pennsylvania to Oregon:
http://www.efn.org/~scan/abused00.htm

Mon Valley Pennsylvania, Another Story About Paul and His Works.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_503910.html

SCAR--A Home For Abused Children in Jasper, Oregon by David Ziegler
http://www.scar-jaspermtn.org/index.htm

'I Was Loved In The Midst Of Suffering' True Short Story About Paul Mc...
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/6100/story5.html

Stop Child Abuse Now
A nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping child abuse of all forms,
and improving the lives of survivors of all types of abuse and loss.

Photos of Paul and his Family. Time Capsule for the year of 2047.
http://www.efn.org/~scan/paulpics.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20000823071606/209.68.26.97/scan/paulpic.html

http://www.efn.org/~scan/scan.html · Cached page
Save our Children - Stop Child Abuse
Help Stop Child Abuse Now. A survivor's story. Send me your story. ... Our
children are our future, but their well-being IN OUR SOCIETY continues to
decline.

http://www.efn.org/~scan/home.html · Cached page
The Child Abuse Man: Paul McLaughlin
Stop Child Abuse Now since 1975. Bold Italics indicate words written by
Paul from his booklet in 1975. This is the story from the Register-Guard
Newspaper.

http://www.efn.org/~scan/abused00.htm · Cached page
Paul's Story
... Agencies, radio program, magazine and newspaper, fund-raising project
are now ... PAUL McLAUGHLIN, THE FOUNDER OF 'HELP STOP CHILD ABUSE,' HAD
SPOKEN OF HIS STORY AND ...

http://www.efn.org/~scan/paulstry.html · Cached page

http://www.efn.org/~scan

--------------------

ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Paul Marvin McLaughlin and his twin sister Paula were born on October 13,
1948 in Donora, Pennsylvania, and were systematically abused, neglected
and terrorized for more than eighteen years. Paul nearly died twice from
the injuries he suffered as a result of this abuse.

Because of the effects of the abuse he suffered, Paul was placed in the
Special Education track in Donora. Paul graduated from Donora High School
at the age of 21 in 1970.

Paul began his one-man child abuse advocacy campaign, "Help Stop Child
Abuse Now," in 1975. Paul started his campaign in Donora, and has
continued his efforts on behalf of children in Portland and Eugene,
Oregon.

Paul has told his story on seven talk-radio programs, a television
commercial, in two magazine articles and many newspaper articles. He has
spoken at open forums in Washington and Oregon, side by side with those
who specialize in child abuse and domestic family violence. He has
volunteered and worked with other non profit organizations. He shows the
people in many communities how to contact proper agencies for assistance
for drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, runaways, or physical abuse.

Many lives have been changed as the direct result of Paul's advocacy and
his love of children. Let's all work together to Stop Child Abuse Now!
--------
FOR THE SUFFERING
Stop Child Abuse Now!

He's the one who delivers hope. Others have benefited from funds he has
raised forchild abuse programs.

S.C.A.N. is a voice on behalf of Pennsylvania, Washington, and Oregon's
children. An advocate for children and families in the legislature, the
media, and in local communities.

Stop Child Abuse Now is a nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping
child abuse of all forms, and improving the lives of survivors of all
types of abuse and loss.

By speaking out about abuse, we increase the public's awareness of the
prevalence of abuse. Our voices break the silence which causes so much
pain. When we speak out, we help save the lives abused children, and we
also help many adult survivors name the source of chaos in their lives.
Through awareness and education, survivors can

* regain control over their lives
* learn healthy assertiveness
* learn to develop boundaries
* prevent re-victimization

Our goal is to join with other organizations and individuals who wish to
ultimately put a stop to child abuse! We are speaking out for for the
children who have no voice, who have no choice and who have no way of
stopping the violence! We are stepping stones to help, and we are trying
to wake up the world!
 
STOP CHILD ABUSE NOW!
SINCE OCTOBER 13, 1975 TO 2001
FROM DONORA, PENNSYLVANIA TO
PORTLAND, OREGON BY A
HANDICAPPED

Paul M. McLaughlin
Stop Child Abuse NOW!
298 Hunington Ave.
Eugene, Oregon 97405-4055

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT PAUL McLAUGHLIN---LETTERS ON INTERNET COMPUTER:
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/5077/geobook.html

PHOTO OF PAUL AND HIS WIFE:
http://www.efn.org/~scan/paul&liz.gif

Register-Guard Newspaper Story from Donora, Pennsylvania to Oregon:
http://www.efn.org/~scan/abused00.htm

Mon Valley Pennsylvania, Another Story About Paul and His Works.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_503910.html

SCAR--A Home For Abused Children in Jasper, Oregon by David Ziegler
http://www.scar-jaspermtn.org/index.htm

'I Was Loved In The Midst Of Suffering' True Short Story About Paul Mc...
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/6100/story5.html

Stop Child Abuse Now
A nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping child abuse of all forms,
and improving the lives of survivors of all types of abuse and loss.

Photos of Paul and his Family. Time Capsule for the year of 2047.
http://www.efn.org/~scan/paulpics.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20000823071606/209.68.26.97/scan/paulpic.html

http://www.efn.org/~scan/scan.html · Cached page
Save our Children - Stop Child Abuse
Help Stop Child Abuse Now. A survivor's story. Send me your story. ... Our
children are our future, but their well-being IN OUR SOCIETY continues to
decline.

http://www.efn.org/~scan/home.html · Cached page
The Child Abuse Man: Paul McLaughlin
Stop Child Abuse Now since 1975. Bold Italics indicate words written by
Paul from his booklet in 1975. This is the story from the Register-Guard
Newspaper.

http://www.efn.org/~scan/abused00.htm · Cached page
Paul's Story
... Agencies, radio program, magazine and newspaper, fund-raising project
are now ... PAUL McLAUGHLIN, THE FOUNDER OF 'HELP STOP CHILD ABUSE,' HAD
SPOKEN OF HIS STORY AND ...

http://www.efn.org/~scan/paulstry.html · Cached page

http://www.efn.org/~scan

--------------------

ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Paul Marvin McLaughlin and his twin sister Paula were born on October 13,
1948 in Donora, Pennsylvania, and were systematically abused, neglected
and terrorized for more than eighteen years. Paul nearly died twice from
the injuries he suffered as a result of this abuse.

Because of the effects of the abuse he suffered, Paul was placed in the
Special Education track in Donora. Paul graduated from Donora High School
at the age of 21 in 1970.

Paul began his one-man child abuse advocacy campaign, "Help Stop Child
Abuse Now," in 1975. Paul started his campaign in Donora, and has
continued his efforts on behalf of children in Portland and Eugene,
Oregon.

Paul has told his story on seven talk-radio programs, a television
commercial, in two magazine articles and many newspaper articles. He has
spoken at open forums in Washington and Oregon, side by side with those
who specialize in child abuse and domestic family violence. He has
volunteered and worked with other non profit organizations. He shows the
people in many communities how to contact proper agencies for assistance
for drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, runaways, or physical abuse.

Many lives have been changed as the direct result of Paul's advocacy and his love of children. Let's all work together to Stop Child Abuse Now!
 
Paul: yes, I like the idea of waking up the world about child abuse. Let's keep up the work on the good cause.
 
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