A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind: How my brain saved my life.
Guest post by Kimmi.

Some people day dream and stare off into space. Some people think so deeply that you wonder where they have gone for a minute or  two. I only dream that this was my issue. Have you ever been through something so painful or so terrifying you have to do something to cope? I think we all have. We cannot judge or compare ways others have of coping. They are what they are. I am just thankful I have been given the support and care to deal with mine.

It has taken me a few years to come to this conclusion, but as of recently I have accepted this truth. I knew that I clinically struggled with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I used to believe that this was part of my identity and that my mind was crazy.

 

I have recently been able to accept the truth that my mind is actually quite beautiful. Dissociating has been its way of protecting me all these years.

 

As a child I suffered repetitive, violent abuse that could have killed me… but somehow didn’t. When I was rescued from my situation I was in rough shape. My mind and emotions were filled with terror and shock, accompanied by many suicidal outbursts and meltdowns. I was addicted to pills and was a complete zombie of a person.

I was in treatment/therapy for many years through the help of an advocacy group, but only within the past 4 years did I make a commitment to participate in getting the help I so desperately needed and deserved. These past 4 years have been a dramatic shift for me.
When I met my most recent therapist, she saw very quickly that we had a lot of work to do. Unlike people in the past, she has always treated me as if I was a normal person, living with the affects of a highly traumatic childhood. She never labeled me, and we very rarely talk about phycological definitions. She has always just seen the “pieces” of me as pieces of my hormone system that needed to be integrated. In our working together she has identified emotional ages of the scared toddler, the 7-9yr old, and the snarky teenager, all crying out to be protected and heard.

I started out meeting with her 2 times a week for a long time and am currently meeting with her once a week every Monday. Last night I started writing this blog post and today I met with my therapist like usual. I wanted this to be a post about how we can overcome, even though I have been feeling discouraged lately. My roommate was just telling me how she has seen so much progress since we had been living together, so I really wanted to speak out regardless of my feelings. To my surprise my therapist said that she what she really wanted to talk about today is the progress I’ve made. I REALLY needed to hear this. It is confirmation that the Lord has done A LOT in my life throughout the years.

In the last 4 years I have begun to explore forgiveness, prayer over past occult ties, how to attack addiction, and how to stay present when attacked with crippling memories. I have been learning what to do with emotions, and what emotions I even have. Today, my therapist helped me observe that I used to have severe episodes of dissociation several times a week, and would be “gone” for hours at a time. Now, I only have severe episodes every couple months or so. Every single day I struggle with sticking to “reality” in some way, and have been able to start to recognize those times and deal with them. Meltdowns and episodes are SO much less. I cried as I thought about this.

Although I have turned my life around and am serving God in missions, the struggle with addiction and dissociation is still real. However, I can now confidently tell you I have come a LONG way.

I am now living my days instead of just surviving them.

The traumatic stress is still so real, but the endurance and support I have been given by the Holy Spirit and friends is almost unreal. I am learning to treat my dissociative disorder like a beautiful thing to be healed, as opposed to it being my identity. I am saying to you I will CHOOSE to see it that way. If you have the same struggles or something similar, I am open to talking with you about this. Even if you don’t I am still willing to discuss this with you. I am choosing to NOT be so ashamed of my truth anymore. The things I have suffered are NOT my fault. Shame is real and is being healed, but I can honestly say I am not the one who should be ashamed. The men who abused me should feel ashamed.

How will you choose to view the struggles in your life? What is God saying to you about them? Jesus says that I have a beautiful mind, and body. What is Jesus saying to you about yourself?

God brought up this verse today in therapy and I thought that it fit perfectly.

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory”

 1 Peter 1:6,7 (the MSG)

17 Comments

  1. Amara
    May 12, 2014

    Beautiful. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. I rejoice with you that you are rejecting shame, that there are more moments of peace in your live. May the peace grow and grow.

    • Kimmi
      May 13, 2014

      Thx Amara. I accept your words 🙂

  2. Kathy Maurer
    May 13, 2014

    You go girl!! You are beautiful inside and out. Thank you for sharing the authentic you what a gift your story is to me and I am certain many.

    Keep sharing the gift.

    kath

    • Kimmi
      May 13, 2014

      Thx Kathy. Thx for the encouragment.

  3. Lisa Black
    May 13, 2014

    Kimmi, you are a brave and powerful young woman, I am in awe of not just your story, but the truth of overcoming it! people are healed when they hear the truth, your truth WILL touch many lives, I know this!
    proud of you for fighting, proud of you for showing your beauty to the world!

    • Kimmi
      May 13, 2014

      Thx. Lisa. this means a lot

  4. Kelly
    May 13, 2014

    Thank you for sharing Kimmi! I’m so thankful to know how He is working in your life. He who began a good work in you (in each of us) will be faithful to complete it. (0:

    • Kimmi
      May 13, 2014

      Thx Kelly. That verse is also one that came up. Thank you

  5. Lisa Craig
    May 13, 2014

    Thank you for inviting me into your life Kimmi. I have not known you long but I have seen an amazing transformation in such a short time. Continue to trust God with all your heart and let him lead you and direct your path out of more and more darkness and into more and more light.

  6. Catherine
    May 13, 2014

    Kimmi I’m so glad you shared this! Such a beautiful story! I love that the very thing that has been a downfall for you has also been the thing that God used to save you…You are beautiful and your story is bringing life to me and I know to many others!

  7. Kimmi
    May 14, 2014

    Come to think of it..The women involved my exploitation should feel just as much shame as well..

  8. Diane Schlieder
    May 14, 2014

    Kimmi, I knew of some of your struggles, but not to the extent you just described. In 8th grade I knew you hurt and often hid from the pain. I had no idea of the depth of your pain and sorrow. There’s only one point I want to make after reading this tonight: shame should have no part in your vocabulary. You were a victim. You have been trying your hardest to live beyond abuse. You needed help. You are accepting that help. You are a survivor. You are loved!
    I am so proud of you, Kimmy!
    Ms. Schlieder

    • Kimmi
      May 15, 2014

      I accept what you said. thx for encourageing me. I remember you during that time and I remember you trying to reach out to me in little ways. I will always remember the journal…The one I never wrote in but always took it around with me and held it close to me like the bear I got from Wilson..I will never forget..

  9. Linda
    May 22, 2014

    Good work, Kimmi! How hard it must be not only to face this, but then to verbalize what you are going through. It is beautiful and amazing how God uses even our brokenness for good. I will pray for your continuing journey, precious little sister.

    • Kimmi
      May 23, 2014

      Thx for praying and for encourage me

  10. Traveller
    May 23, 2014

    Thank you and Peggy for choosing to share. I actually read your post several times. For some reason I don’t feel like I’m the person to respond to your story. So I am now – and thank you for sharing.

    You share so much that connects with me. All that is behind your decision and motivation to share is good and sacred.

    You wrote:

    “To my surprise my therapist said that she what she really wanted to talk about today is the progress I’ve made. I REALLY needed to hear this.?

    Recognizing ones steps forward seem most often to be recognized by others rather than oneself. That sounds vague – how about recognizing my steps forward are not often recognized by me, rather they are brought to my attention by those I trust.

    One thing you gave me was validation in how I feel because you were shown that despite your thoughts and feelings your therapist saw your progress and wanted to learn from you. What I take away from this part of your intense sharing-post is that I perhaps am making progress despite my view. You have invited me to step back and assess or process what is going on and maybe I’m doing better.

    Thank you for posting and reading my comment. I don’t know you but I think you probably understand what I’m trying to communicate. I appreciate Peggy for so much — one thing is working with you and there are a million other things — I of course appreciate you for your honesty, vulnerability and specifically your decision to open yourself and share all you have with all the readers.

    • Kimmi
      May 26, 2014

      Thank you for responding to this the way you did. It means a lot to me.

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