Becoming Yourself
eBook - ePub

Becoming Yourself

Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse

Alison Miller

Share book
  1. 408 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Becoming Yourself

Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse

Alison Miller

Book details
Book preview
Table of contents
Citations

About This Book

In contrast to the author's previous book, Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control, which was for therapists, this book is designed for survivors of these abuses. It takes the survivor systematically through understanding the abuses and how his or her symptoms may be consequences of these abuses, and gives practical advice regarding how a survivor can achieve stability and manage the life issues with which he or she may have difficulty. The book also teaches the survivor how to work with his or her complex personality system and with the traumatic memories, to heal the wounds created by the abuse. A unique feature of this book is that it addresses the reader as if he or she is dissociative, and directs some information and exercises towards the internal leaders of the personality system, teaching them how to build a cooperative and healing inner community within which information is shared, each part's needs are met, and traumatic memories can be worked through successfully.

Frequently asked questions

How do I cancel my subscription?
Simply head over to the account section in settings and click on “Cancel Subscription” - it’s as simple as that. After you cancel, your membership will stay active for the remainder of the time you’ve paid for. Learn more here.
Can/how do I download books?
At the moment all of our mobile-responsive ePub books are available to download via the app. Most of our PDFs are also available to download and we're working on making the final remaining ones downloadable now. Learn more here.
What is the difference between the pricing plans?
Both plans give you full access to the library and all of Perlego’s features. The only differences are the price and subscription period: With the annual plan you’ll save around 30% compared to 12 months on the monthly plan.
What is Perlego?
We are an online textbook subscription service, where you can get access to an entire online library for less than the price of a single book per month. With over 1 million books across 1000+ topics, we’ve got you covered! Learn more here.
Do you support text-to-speech?
Look out for the read-aloud symbol on your next book to see if you can listen to it. The read-aloud tool reads text aloud for you, highlighting the text as it is being read. You can pause it, speed it up and slow it down. Learn more here.
Is Becoming Yourself an online PDF/ePUB?
Yes, you can access Becoming Yourself by Alison Miller in PDF and/or ePUB format, as well as other popular books in Psychologie & Geschichte & Theorie in der Psychologie. We have over one million books available in our catalogue for you to explore.

Information

Publisher
Routledge
Year
2018
ISBN
9780429911255
CHAPTER ONE
Symptoms, memories, and evidence
This book is written for survivors of mind control and ritual abuse. Perhaps you know beyond a doubt that you are such a survivor, because you have clear memories of childhood abuse that involved attempts to split and control your mind through occult rituals, torture, and deception. If so, you are in a minority.
Over centuries, organised perpetrator groups have observed and studied the way in which extreme childhood traumas, such as accidents, bereavement, war, natural disasters, repeated hospitalisations and surgeries, and (most commonly) child abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional) cause a child’s mind to be split into compartments. Occult groups originally utilised this phenomenon to create alternative identities and what they believed to be “possession” by various spirits. In the twentieth century, probably beginning with the Nazis, other organised groups developed ways to harm children and deliberately structure their victims’ minds in such a way that they would not remember what happened, or that if they began to remember they would disbelieve their own memories. Consequently, the memories of what has happened to a survivor are hidden within his or her inside parts.
My purpose in writing this book is not to suggest to you anything that could have happened to you, but to help you know how to work with those inside parts (if you have them) to help them deal with their own experiences. They, rather than any book, outside group, or even therapist, know the ultimate truth about your life. If something in this book resonates with you, check with your inside parts who know what did and did not happen, recognising that no one of them knows the whole story. If you do have separate inside parts, some of them will not know what happened to others of them. This can be a lengthy process, and we shall spend several chapters on it.
My other purpose is to help you heal from whatever happened to you, as survivors of these unimaginable abuses usually, and quite naturally, suffer from quite a few debilitating symptoms.
The human brain is very complex, with many component circuits that communicate with one another through electrical and chemical signals. In traumatic dissociation, those parts are kept separate by strong barriers, so that one part is not aware of the content or feelings held by the other parts. The child who attends school does not remember the abuse that happens at home or via the family; those memories are held in another part of the child’s mind. The child does not even remember abuse that happened the preceding night. When the child grows up, he or she might not consciously remember the abuse, but might experience flashbacks and other symptoms related to it.
Although a body has only one brain, the circuits in that brain can operate relatively independently, so that people with very separate brain circuits experience themselves as more than one person, multiple. Dissociative splitting is an adaptation which enables a child to live with ongoing trauma, in many or most cases involving his or her own parents or caregivers, with the “normal” parts of that child being unaware of the things that happened to the other parts. (When I speak of “parts”, I do not mean to imply that any internal identity is less important than the identity who manages everyday life; it, too, is a part of a complex brain.) Dissociative splitting is a defence against post traumatic stress disorder, in which flashbacks, nightmares, “body memories”, and overwhelming emotional states can make life unbearable.
Dissociative separation of brain circuits does not always work perfectly. Because the different parts are located in the same brain, emotions or impulses can “leak” from hidden parts into the “front person” who manages everyday life, and can give rise to a large number of psychiatric symptoms which affect the person’s physical health, interpersonal relationships, ability to manage emotions, ability to control behaviour, beliefs and thinking, and self-concept.
Amnesia for the traumatic events which cause the symptoms and the dissociation is very likely if care-givers, such as parents, are involved in the abuse, and if it has to be kept secret, as Jennifer Freyd points out in Betrayal Trauma (1996), and has demonstrated in many research studies. This is true for survivors of incest, for children beaten by their parents, and, most of all, for children whose parents are involved in an organised perpetrator group. With mind control, which includes ritual abuse, the dissociation is deliberately created and the secrecy enforced through “programming” the child never to speak of the abuse, and sometimes never to remember it. (I use the term “mind control” to mean any attempt to deliberately control the mind. Ritual abuse is one type of mind control, but not the only kind.)
Finding out what happened to you
If you do not remember what happened to you because of dissociation, what evidence can you find to discover it? There are now checklists for formal assessments of childhood trauma history by professionals, notably Briere’s and Runtz’s “Trauma Symptoms Check-list” (see www.johnbriere.com/tsc.htm), which includes measures of dissociation, anxiety, depression, sexual abuse trauma, sleep disturbance, and sexual problems. A high score on this checklist will tell you that something happened, but not what happened to you.
Some of your experiences, however, can give you clues about what actually happened.
Evidence in flashbacks
Since “flashbacks” are episodes during which survivors re-experience parts of traumas they have undergone, they serve as indicators of experiences that are hidden from consciousness. Flashbacks are especially likely to happen when triggered by some kind of reminder, such as a smell that reminds someone of an abuser. They can be like “waking dreams”. Flashbacks can be pure emotion, or body sensations, or pictures, or sound. You might hear someone calling your name or feel as if someone is there behind you. Sometimes flashbacks are difficult to interpret, as they only give part of the whole experience.
Evidence in body memories
Certain aspects of your experience are hard to disbelieve. Your body can give you important clues. “Body memories” are flashbacks of physical trauma that are experienced as pain or other bodily symptoms. One client of mine had small sores appear on his body before he actually discovered the story behind them—cigarette burns used as punishment during his childhood. Another had body sensations of being raped, and recognised that she must be a survivor of childhood sexual assault. She also had different sensations, for example of her hands being pressed together painfully, and she did not know the meaning of these sensations until some of her inside parts were able to provide the visual and auditory parts of the memory, in which a man was behind her pressing his hands around hers while she held a knife. The original reason she began therapy was because of an obsessive fear of harming someone with a knife.
It is harder to disbelieve body memories than narrative memories. They are involuntary. They cannot really be influenced by television shows or books; if you have not experienced something in your body, you do not know what it feels like. So, body memories are evidence that cannot be discounted. They simply must be “heard” and respected.
Evidence in dreams
Freud called dreams “the royal road to the unconscious”. When we dream, the material that affects our life, of which we might not be aware in our everyday consciousness, comes to the surface and makes stories. Dreams can represent our wishes, and our fears. They can also represent our past experiences, known or unknown to us. All of this is commonly known. They can also represent people’s internal parts and the relationships between them.
One client of mine had spent many hours interpreting her dreams symbolically with her Jungian therapist. This interpretation, based on someone else’s theory, was misleading. When I saw the dreams (written out), I saw the stories of conflict between her dissociated inside parts, and of happenings that looked a good deal like ritual abuse. And, sure enough, when I got to know the younger parts, very slowly over about four years, a ritual abuse history, from a period very early in her life, emerged. This client has never heard the term, and still does not use it. Nevertheless, her dreams told her story.
Another client meets her inside parts only in dreams, where they appear as children or teenagers with whom she is spending time, or whom she is helping.
Dream content is mixed and distorted, so you can never say that a dream has definitely shown you what happened to you. You cannot be sure about the meanings of dreams. They are influenced by everything that happens to us, including games, television shows, and the news. But if we do have hidden abuse memories, or hidden parts of ourselves, these are likely to show up in dreams. Since dreams contain helpful clues, some abuser groups tell the children, when they ask about things they remember, that it must have been “only” a dream.
Recurrent dreams are especially significant and, in my experience, they continue to recur because they are conveying an important message, and may not stop until they are acknowledged.
Evidence in artwork
If you make spontaneous art, you might find that indications of your trauma surface in your artwork. Interpreting your art is similar to interpreting your dreams. The content might be mixed and distorted, but it can tell your story.
An activity that helped one survivor was drawing an outline of her whole body, and colouring the areas of it where she felt violated and where she had felt pain. This was the beginning of her discovery of what had happened to her.
Throughout this book, you will find exercises to help you apply the book’s material to your own life. Here is the first one.
Exercise 1. Writing down your possible experiences
Do you have conscious memories of events which appear to have been mind control or ritual abuse? (Mind control and ritual abuse will be explained in Chapter 2.)
Do you have flashbacks? What does their content suggest might have happened to you?
Do you have body memories which seem to go with physical or sexual assaults which your conscious mind does not remember?
Do you have dreams of traumatic events which you do not consciously remember happening to you? What could have influenced these dreams (TV, reading news, others’ stories-or your own dissociated memories)? Are there recurrent themes in your dreams?
If you make artwork, have any of your works suggested any specific kind of trauma? Are there recurrent themes in your artwork?
When you look at your flashbacks, body memories, dreams, and artwork, what clues do you see about what might have happened to you?
Write a brief description of each of the events you have remembered or encountered in dreams or flashbacks. Try to put them in chronological order, by how old you believe you were when these things happened. If some events, especially very early ones, cannot be put into words, try drawing them.
Do you remember other children, such as your siblings, being present at any of these events? (Note that if they were present, it is not wise to ask them about it, since they might alert abusers to the fact that you are remembering. See Chapter Nine for more information on this topic.)
Is there any part of the events that could possibly be validated by physical evidence? Are there places that you remember and could visit with a safe companion? Do you have scars on your body that could be evidence of something that happened to you?
Dissociative conditions as evidence
One of the best indicators of the possibility of a mind control history is the presence of traumatic dissociation. Unfortunately, dissociation itself functions by hiding. Not only does it hide the material, but it hides the fact that the material lives somewhere out of awareness. Therefore, while some people seek help because of overt and disconcerting symptoms of dissociation, the average dissociative person is no more aware of having it than the average mind control or ritual abuse survivor is aware of what has happened to him or her.
At present, psychiatry and the other mental health professions define dissociation as a disorder, and the two major dissociative disorders they currently recognise are dissociative identity disorder (DID) and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS). A person is considered to have DID when different parts of the mind take over the body at different times, with the main person not remembering what has happened when he or she is not consciously “out” in the body. DDNOS is an overly inclusive diagnostic category covering many types of dissociation other than DID—essentially, a situation in which a person meets some but not all of the criteria for DID.
In what I believe is the most common form of DDNOS, the main person is only a “shell” through whom the inside parts come. The visible personality differs depending on which combination of inside parts is near the surface, temporarily blending with the “front person”. This condition is the intended goal of mind controlling abusers. In mind control created DDNOS, the parts live behind the scenes, and only take over consciousness, or executive control, when “triggered” to do so, either deliberately by the abusers, or accidentally by someone else, or by an event that resembles the abuse. The “front person” is not supposed to know about the other parts.
Mind control builds on the natural, reactive dissociative fragmenting caused by childhood trauma. The trauma-based developing of many separate part-selves that begins in early childhood and results from extreme (often life-threatening) trauma is not merely psychological. It is also a biological process in the brain. It is not something that the person chooses, and it cannot begin in adulthood. Although the parts are all in one body, they represent different brain circuitry that appears to have been separated by some biological process that we do not sufficiently understand. Brain imaging studies show different brain pathways activated with different parts, and other studies show physiological differences between different personality states.
DID used to be called MPD (multiple personality disorder). I shall, at times, use the old term “multiple” in this book, in respect for the internal experience of people whose psyches have been split in childhood, as those who are aware they are multiple often feel like a “we” rather than an “I”. The term “multiplicity” is usually assumed to describe DID alone, but it also applies to DDNOS, which, for the purpose of this book, is even more important. The psychiatric community calls multiplicity a “disorder”, but it is a valuable, creative asset that has served the person well. It is not an inferior way of being.
I like to tell my clients something that I learnt from one of my first survivor clients: that a dissociative disorder is mental injury rather than mental illness, and, therefore, requires a different treatment. For a broken leg, you would put the bone parts back together and keep them connected so they could heal, even though it might be painful. Similarly, with a broken mind, you bring the part...

Table of contents