My Blog

I am excited. I finally finished my book MULTIPLE: A Christians Battle with Insanity. I have battled against the confusion, anxiety and despair of D.I.D. for most of my life, but now it is a battle against lack of confidence as a writer and just plain procrastination. Once I thought the book was in its final form, I started looking for a pubisher. It took a while, but eventually I found BookLogix. They are wonderful people who really care about authors and how hard it is to edit and publish. I think we went through four more edits (or maybe five) and finally I agreed with them that it was good enough to go ahead with printing.

It’s a difficult process, because I don’t want to make any mistakes. I feel like my readers will laugh at me if I have a mistake in my grammar or spelling. I also feel like my eighth grade teachers will come after me with a large English book aimed at my head. But I don’t think they’ll do it soon, because its taking more time to print and put on Amazon then I anticipated.

Thanks for following Its Mind Bloggleing.

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For Bill

I was facing an uphill battle when, at age 60, I started looking for a husband. I previously had three husbands and was still broken up about losing my third, when part of me started looking for a fourth! I decided since I was divorced, but still young enough to enjoy sex, that I would look for a man I could love physically as well as emotionally. That narrowed the field, because most men my age are old, not sexy.

I was really happy when Bill first came to our little church. There were no single men attending the church at the time, so I was excited when I saw a handsome man sitting by himself in one of the pews. The first thing I noticed about him was that he had plenty of beautiful white hair.

I loved him first because he was handsome. His face was tan and he had rosy cheeks, something lacking in most other men our age. Secondly, his demeanor was calm and serious and he was a Christian. And third, I was interested in him because he was sexy.

I remember after our first date I said, “I really like you Bill. I think you’re cool!”

“I think you’re cool too, Nancy!” I was so thrilled I almost fell on my way in the house.

I soon discovered he took my breath away, something I thought I was too old to experience. It took me a long time to have the courage for that first kiss, but once it occurred, I was madly in love. We married a year later and enjoyed ten years together.

Bill got cancer two years ago. He fought like the ex-green beret he was, but succumbed last Tuesday to the devastating disease. After three rounds of chemo, we cared for him at home with the help of Hospice, and Bill’s last breath was taken Tuesday, February 24th.

I thank God that I was with him at the end. I was talking to him, and although his eyes were closed and his breathing was forced, I could tell he could hear me. I started praying for him.

“Please Jesus, take Bill out of his misery. Send angels to take him to heaven to see his mansion. I love you Bill, and I thank you for taking such good care of me, but Jesus is here and he will take care of me now. Jesus and the angels want to take you up to heaven to see your Mother and Father and your Grandfather.” Bill had a special love for his grandfather, who was a pastor.”

“Goodbye Bill, I love you!”

And he took his last breath.

 

To Tell or Not to Tell

One of the most stressful things about sexual abuse, besides the abuse itself, is the taboo against telling someone. Abusers tell victims (children and teenagers), that they must not tell anyone, and that they will be hurt badly or killed if they tell. The abuser also may tell the victim that a loved caregiver will hate them because they are so bad.

Often the victims of this crime grow up with a terrible secret knocking constantly at their consciousness. It’s like throwing a ball against the wall and catching it. You wish you had someone to catch it, but you alone keep catching the secret and throwing it back into your mind, because you believe you will suffer grave consequences if you tell.

According to psychologists, eventually the secret abuse settles somewhere in the child’s sub-conscious and cannot be retrieved. Sometimes the secret remains hidden years after the abuse is over. My secret, the sexual abuse by a maid, was not revealed until I was middle-aged. I went to a mental hospital and my therapist helped me remember my abuse. With that came the realization that I had wanted to tell my mother very badly at the time, but did not, because my abuser told me she would kill me with the butcher knife if I ever told anyone.

Therefore, these secrets, the secrets of sexual abuse, eventually hid in my subconscious. Along with that, I developed alternate personalities that didn’t even know about the abuse. It was only when I had the courage to tell my therapist that the stress of hiding the secret was released.

If you are suffering from abuse, it is very important to tell someone. Telling is a key to healing.

My story has been told, but there are millions of stories out there that have never been told. Every year the Children’s Advocacy Centers in the United States help over 100,000 children who have been abused. These children may be battered, beaten, starved, locked up, berated, or forced into having sex with an adult or sibling. This is not acceptable in our American society, where we value each life. We must pass stronger laws to stop it.

We must address the needs of girls who are being abused by their fathers or step fathers. Often the first thing they do after being assaulted is tell their mothers. Unfortunately this disclosure is often met with retaliation and disbelief. How many young girls have been slapped in the face, yelled at and told they have dirty minds. They are accused of lying. If Mom won’t listen, I strongly advise these girls to tell a teacher or responsible caregiver about this incest. To tell can lead to release from this situation.

A little known fact is that mothers are committing a felony in most states if they don’t report the abuse and do something to stop it.

If YOU are being abused or you are suspicious that a child is being abused, please call the Child Advocacy Center or Children’s Services in your area. It is their job to investigate and RESCUE ABUSE VICTIMS. Their phone numbers are on the internet. Or you can call 1-800-4-A-CHILD, the national number for reporting abuse. My prayers are with you if you decide to tell.

Protecting A Child from Sexual Abuse

Was this child abused?At this time child sexual abuse is rampant in our society, but we are learning how we can protect our children from abuse. When a baby is first born, we mothers are usually ecstatic to see our precious newborn and to hold and protect it. We feed the baby conscientiously and care for their every need. We almost become obsessive in our efforts to protect the child from harm.

Unfortunately, when it comes to sex, many parents remain mute, and figure they will discuss it when the child enters puberty. This Victorian idea is a mistake, and keeps the child vulnerable to abuse. We need to start explaining sexuality as soon as the child can understand, and over time hopefully we can defeat much child abuse and incest.

A group called RAINN has published a blog about teaching your young child about sex and sexual abuse and I believe if we begin to follow their suggestions we can eventually turn the tide on abuse.

Here is a list of the things RAINN suggests we do to protect our children, with a few additions:

1. TALK to your children openly and directly about sexuality. This teaches them it is okay to talk about it.

2. Teach children the CORRECT NAMES for their body parts, so they have the language to ask questions and express concerns about their body parts.

3. Teach children that some parts of their body are PRIVATE. Let children know that other people should not be touching or looking at their private parts unless they need to provide care, such as by a doctor. Let children know that a trusted caregiver should be there too.

4. Tell children that if someone tries to touch those private areas or wants to look at them, or if someone tries to show the child their own private parts, they should TELL A TRUSTED ADULT as soon as possible.

5. All children should be told that it’s OKAY TO SAY “NO” to touches that make them uncomfortable.

6. If someone is touching them in uncomfortable ways, THEY SHOULD TELL YOU OR A TRUSTED ADULT as soon as possible.

7. Talking openly about sexuality and sexual abuse also teaches children that THESE THINGS DON’T NEED TO BE “SECRET.”

8. Tell the child that THEY WILL NOT GET INTO TROUBLE if they tell you this kind of secret.

9. DO NOT PUT ALL THIS INFORMATION INTO ONE BIG TALK ABOUT SEX.

10. When you EMPOWER YOUR CHILD TO SAY ‘NO’ TO UNWANTED TOUCH and TEACH THEM THAT THEY CAN COME TO YOU WITH QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS, YOU TAKE CRITICAL STEPS TO PREVENT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.

For more information go to:

RAPE, ABUSE & INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK, http://www.rainn.org

 

OCD Christmas

Every year I look forward to Christmas and every year I become overwhelmed by the number of preparations involved, so naturally I was happy to see this card, painted by my grand-daughter, Rachel, who is 10. I love the simplicity of the tree and the bright colors.

Rachel's Tree large

If only decorating the tree was as easy as this simple painting. The first thing I do is assemble my large imitation tree. I help my husband as he places the color-coded branches in their respective spaces on the pole, which eventually becomes an evergreen-shaped plastic object. Once the branches are in place, I go around the tree spreading out the small boughs like lettuce leaves, so they are available to hang ornaments.

Next I go for the lights! This year I am using the larger colored bulbs for a more old-fashioned look. As I struggle unwinding the cords, my husband says:

“Do you want some help?”

“No,” I answer, “Then I’ll just have to change them.” What? Can’t I accept help with this humdrum job?

No, because I am OCD. (Doctors say this means Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but I say it means Overly Concerned Dunce). I can’t accept help because I need to have all the lights spaced evenly around the tree with no two lights of the same color next to each other. No one else seems to have the patience or concern to do that. And if they do, they always make a mistake and I have to do it over. And if you are a mental health practitioner, yes I am in therapy!

Unfortunately, I am that way with the ornaments too, so the next day I drag out the old foot-locker that has held our Christmas decorations for the last 20 years. It is always fun to open it, because years ago I glued a giant picture of Santa’s face on the inside, and he greets me with a big smile. I can’t help it. I always smile back and giggle.

I begin routing around for ornaments, pulling out the larger glass balls first, then the medium and small. I put them on the tree carefully, according to color, spacing and size until I am satisfied that it looks perfect. Then I add the special ones, including angels of different sizes, a snowman, a glass elephant and a Madonna and child ornament.

At last the tree is beginning to look done. I fall exhausted onto the sofa, while my husband tries to revive me, patting me softly and saying “it looks beautiful.” But I don’t hear him, I’m asleep.

 

 

Child Abuse – Symptoms

Here is a list of some of the Symptoms of Child Abuse:

1. Dramatic change in behavior. If a child who is normally outgoing becomes withdrawn, or a quiet child becomes loud and aggressive, that child may be experiencing child abuse. A normally bright child may become unresponsive, or a calm child becomes frightened or jittery. It is the change that may signal that the child is being abused.

2. Observable injuries. These are easiest signs to spot: burns, bruises, broken bones, bite marks, swelling and discolorations of the skin. If you notice these on a child, ASK them about it. It is polite in our society to ask. Does the answer seem plausible? If not, further investigation may be needed.

3. Fear of their abuser. All abused children have one universal symptom. They will be AFRAID of their abuser. They may become fearful of a parent, relative, neighbor, teacher or caregiver. My abuser used a carving knife to scare me and keep me from telling my parents.

4. Defensive stance. An abused child may avoid physical contact with others. They may hold their arms or hands in front of their body, as though someone might suddenly hurt them. They may also shy away from being touched by anyone. They may flinch at sudden movements, appearing watchful and alert, as if waiting for something bad to happen

5. Return to earlier behaviors.  These include thumb sucking, demanding a pacifier, soiling themselves, wetting the bed, fear of the dark or strangers, loss of acquired language, stuttering or memory problems. Have a serious talk with your child if you notice these symptoms.

6. Lack of personal hygiene shows neglect. A child may look like their parents forgot to give them a bath or change their clothes. This may or may not be linked to abuse, but it is neglect. The other possibility is that the child is purposely trying to look unattractive to ward off an abuser.

7. Poor School Attendence. Children may come to school early or stay late, in order to avoid an abusive parent. They may seem preoccupied and their grades suddenly plummet.

8. Risk-taking behaviors. If a child no longer feels safe and his self esteem has been taken away, he or she may have no reason to be careful. The child may run across the street without looking or jump off the top of the jungle gym. This can be a silent cry for help.

SIGNS OF SEXUAL ABUSE MAY INCLUDE:  

1. Difficulty walking or sitting.

2. Torn clothing and/or bloody underwear. A child with this symptom should be examined by a doctor to verify injuries

3. Pain and itching in the genital area.

4. Inappropriate sexual behavior. An abused child may attempt to victimize a peer or a younger family member.

5. Explicit language. A young child who suddenly spouts sexual language may have heard it during abuse by an older person.

Signs courtesy of Dreamcatcherforabusedchildren.com, The Joyful Heart Foundation, Children’s Advocacy Centers, and childhelp.org.

Sarah Gets Her Own Room

SarahI have been in therapy for multiple personalities since 1992. During that time I have discovered more than 13 alters in a system I call the Vortex. This is a circular system in my mind that organizes my personalities, so they can be remembered and accessed. My therapists and psychologists have identified and spoken to most of my alters, and we knew about Sarah but she had never revealed herself except during hypnosis in 1993. She is four years old.

At my most recent therapy session, Dr. Foster suggested we have a conference for all the personalities, where they come out and talk to each other and try to solve their problems. Everyone agreed with this idea, except Sarah.

“No, no, no!” she cried. She squeezed into the wing chair, and hugged the side for protection and to make herself seem smaller. She writhed in the chair, as though she was being attacked by snakes.

“Who are you?” Dr. Foster said. At first she would not identify herself, but after whining for several minutes she answered. She is carrying a lot of shame.

“Sarah!”
“What’s wrong Sarah? Why are you so upset?” the doctor asked.
“Because I don’t want to go to a conference.”
“Why not?”
“Because I don’t want anyone to see me.” There was a long pause.

“Why?” the doctor asked.
“Because I’m so ugly.”
“I don’t think you’re ugly Sarah,” the doctor answered.
“I am ugly. I have to live in a black hole so no one can see me.”
“Tell me about the black hole,” he said.

“I had to go in there to get away from the Green Girl (my abuser). She made me all slimy and hated me, so I disappeared. I went into the hole so she couldn’t abuse me any more. I need to go there now, so no-one finds me.”

“Sarah, the Green Girl can’t find you because she is dead. And, I think Nancy is looking for you,” my therapist said.
“I don’t care. I don’t want anyone to see me, because I’m so ugly and sticky,” Sarah answered. “I have slime all over me from the Green Girl.”
“You still have slime on you from 68 years ago?” Dr. Foster asked. Sarah thought about that. It has been 68 years since my abuse.

“Yes, it feels bad. And my hair looks awful and smells bad,” she said.
“Doesn’t it look like Nancy’s hair?”
Sarah was really thinking now. She said, “No it’s black and kinky like pubic hair.”
“Are you sure about that?” asked Dr. Foster. “It looks to me like it is brown like Nancy’s hair.”

Sarah relaxed a little in the chair, realizing the doctor was right.
“It’s not black and kinky?” she asked.
“No, it’s pretty like Nancy’s hair.” There was a long pause, while Sarah thought about her self image.
“I still don’t want to be around people,” she said, “because my skin is so sticky and slimy.”
“It doesn’t look sticky or slimy to me,” said Dr. Foster. “It looks like Nancy’s skin.”
Sarah looked at her hands. She straightened up in the chair and said, “Do my hands look like Nancy’s hands?”
“Yes!” Sarah relaxed even more and she started accepting her position in my body. “You’re saying I look just like Nancy?”
“Yes, Sarah, yes!”

After a long pause my therapist said, “Would you like to live in a room like everyone else instead of going back to the black hole?” All my alters have rooms in my imaginary house in my head.
“Yes!” Sarah was getting excited about having her own room. “And I want a pink ruffley bedspread.”
“Okay. You have it.”
“And I want a big blue elephant in the room with me.”
“I don’t think there’s room for an elephant in your room, do you?”
“No. I want him to be stuffed!”
“Okay.”

Dr. Foster and Sarah talked about her new room. The doctor said she only had to come out if she wanted to and he gave her a little square window in the door, so she could see if anyone came to see her.
“What if someone comes that I don’t want to see?” she asked.

“I’ll give you some cannonballs. You can shoot them at the window if someone comes who you don’t want to see.”
Sarah smiled, perhaps for the first time in 68 years. “I know,” she said, “I can have the elephant shoot the cannonballs at people through his trunk.” She laughed about that. Sarah was feeling much better.
“I’d like to play,” she told the doctor. He got out some crayons and some paper and gave them to her.
“I’m going to draw my new room,” she said, with enthusiasm.

 

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NAMI | Working Together for Common Ministry

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is working to equip pastors to help those with mental health problems. See the entire article below:

NAMI | Working Together for Common Ministry.

Crying

It is much easier to start crying than it is to finish.

Radio Interview

My radio interview is now available online. I have installed a link to it on my home page, and I’ll jot it down now for those who want to go to it immediately:

http://namiathensohio.org/radio-program/

When you get to the page, sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), you will see Conversations from Studio B. Scroll down to the box that says Nancy DeLaval Miller. Click there to hear the interview.

I’ve received many compliments from those who have heard it, and I’m planning to do more speaking on the subject. I am proud to be able to shed light on dissociative identity disorder with multiple personalities. It has been a mystery for too long.

I also was able to talk about my Savior, Jesus Christ, who delivered me from many of my symptoms and led me to the psychologists who discovered my personalities.

Thank you for reading itsmindbloggleing and I really appreciate your comments.

 

My Radio Interview

I am so excited to tell everyone that I will be on the radio on Sunday, September 21st at 12:00 noon. The program is entitled Conversations from Studio B.  I was interviewed in the studio by Tom Walker of the National Alliance on Mental Health, (NAMI). The interview will be broadcast on Ohio Public Radio, WOUB in Athens and affiliate stations.

NAMI is one of the only national organizations that concentrates on helping the mentally sick. They have classes for people diagnosed with mental problems, for people who have children who are mentally ill, and for spouses of the mentally ill. The classes are meant to teach and guide caregivers and family members to emotional healing and wellness.

Tom has years of experience as an interviewer and kept the program running along smoothly, asking me pertinent questions about having Multiple Personalities. I answered honestly, if not sanely, revealing some of the pitfalls of MPD. If you miss the program, the interview was taped and will soon be available on the internet. Simply  type in Conversations from Studio B and your computer will bring up links to hear most of the shows that have been recorded. My name, Nancy DeLaval Miller, will be listed next to the program.

I am one step closer to finding an agent for MULTIPLE: a Christian’s Battle with Insanity. Thank you for following itsmindbloggleing.

Multiple Personality Disorder Case Report

This description of MPD comes from a paper by A. Salama Abdel-Aziz, M.D., published in the Journal of Islamic Medical Association of North America in 2005.

“Kathy is a 29 year old white married female who, after having taken an overdose of sleeping pills in her home, was discovered by her husband and admitted to a hospital. This overdose was attributed to her inability to cope with her responsibility as a wife and mother. The husband reported that several times he had found food burning in the oven. On one occasion the patient was saved from a fire in the home but was unable to recall how it started. The patient also denied ever having had a sexual relationship with her husband, although she was the mother of his three children.

The patient’s early development was uneventful except for temper tantrums and nightmares. The nightmares began at about age three when the parents would entertain in their home leaving the child to cry for hours. She would eventually fall asleep only to wake up frightened and screaming.

At age four she had her first traumatic experience. One night she found her father naked in bed with her five year old neighbor. She said that she was stunned with fear and surprise and ran away to her room. Her father followed her and gently persuaded her to take off her clothes and to join him and the other girl in their sexual play. Later,  alone in her room, she felt guilty and cried for several hours, denying to herself what had taken place, and only got relief when she attributed what had happened to someone else, whom she called “Pat.” The second day when approached by her father and the girl, she insisted on being called “Pat.” Also, she continued to engage in oral sex with the father, for nearly five years.

At age nine she experienced her second traumatic event, when her mother caught her with her father. The mother became angry with the father, wept for some time and insisted on taking her daughter in her bed every night. After a short time the mother became attached to her daughter sexually in what the mother described as a safer relationship. “Kathy” could not accept this, denied to herself what was happening and attributed it to a new person, “Vera”, who continued the relationship with the mother for another five years.

At age 14, she suffered her third traumatic experience. This was rape by an older man, who was her father’s best friend. “Kathy” became very depressed, called herself “Debby” and slept away from the mother. At that time, she was described by the parents as being very miserable. She became mute and was admitted to a hospital.

According to the hospital records, she showed a mixture of depression, dissociation and trance-like symptoms, with irritability and extensive manipulation which caused confusion and frustration among the hospital staff.

Following discharge she was seen by a therapist to whom she became very attached. He showed marked curiosity about the different personalities and became fascinated with her case. He suggested hypnosis as a treatment for her condition. His hypnotherapy sessions focused on the rape incident. He felt that “Debby” was the strongest of the personalities. Instead of concentrating on “Kathy”, he encouraged “Debby” to dominate the therapy sessions and talk about “Pat” and “Vera”, reinforcing their roles as dominant personalities. It was at this period, she terminated her therapy and began to call herself “Kathy”, “Pat”, “Vera”, and “Debby” at different times.

At age 18, she had her fourth traumatic experience. “Kathy” became very attached to a boyfriend in town. Her parents opposed the relationship and refused to allow her to meet with him. Her mother was constantly warning her that men could not be trusted, pointing to her own marriage to her father. The patient became scared, unable to trust either of her parents, and ran away from home to another town. She could not find a job, and her need of money drove her into prostitution. She began calling herself “Nancy”.

“Debby” rejected “Nancy” and forced her to overdose on sleeping pills. She was then admitted to a mental hospital where she met her husband, who also was admitted following a suicide attempt. This time the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder was confirmed.

Look for the Good

If you look for the good in others you will help them find it.

The Joys of Summer

The joy of warm sunny days is upon us. We can finally relax and sit in the sunshine and drink iced tea. We can lay back and think about nothing. After all, what else is there to do?

I could do the dishes, but why spoil a lovely day over the kitchen sink, or anywhere near the kitchen sink. I could do the laundry and hang the sheets out to dry, but the clothesline fell down during the last rain and was never put up again.

I decide to put on my swim suit and lay in the sun, hoping the kids find something to occupy themselves. While I am putting on my suit, which reveals a few unsightly new bulges, I realize I am out of sunscreen. This is an emergency, because I burn right away and can’t risk lying in the sun without SPF 400. If I continue with this plan, everyone has to get dressed and go to the drugstore. For some inane reason, I don’t trust the kids to stay out of trouble when I leave home to do a simple errand.

Perhaps a fun activity is the answer. We can play badminton, but the net is still in the garage, tangled up from the derecho.

How about going to the lake and renting a canoe? Perfect. I can stop by the drug store and pick up the sunscreen on our way. The kids are onboard with the idea, and we get dressed for boating, including our hats, and drive 45 minutes to the lake. By the time we get there, we are hungry and grouchy, so we stop at the concession stand for $25 worth of hot dogs, candy bars, potato chips and drinks.

Hoping I still have enough cash to rent a canoe, we stand in line for 15 minutes. I notice the cost has been raised since last summer and they are now charging an arm and a leg for a one hour rental. I guess canoe robberies have escalated since last year and are now a big time operation, but I wonder how you can steal a canoe in broad daylight.

We finally rent a canoe. Our first challenge is actually getting in the canoe. Did you ever see a boat that tipped so easily? I sit in the front paddling the craft through the peaceful waters, while my 12-year old son, Jay, sits in the back, steering. He learned canoeing from his father last summer and is ready to show-off his skills. I am not as confident as he is.

My daughter who is eight, sits in the middle yakking about everything she sees. Doesn’t she realize the joy of canoeing is the peace and quiet of still waters? Jay is fairly quiet, only complaining occasionally about everything from being hot to getting his new tennis shoes wet.

Suddenly, we see a pontoon boat coming around a bend toward us. It is quite large and seems to be hogging the middle of the lake pretty well. Jay and I both see it at the same time and prepare to move the canoe to the left. However, Jay gets confused and moves the canoe to the right.

We are starring frightfully into the eyes of the man steering the pontoon boat, when he blasts an extremely loud blare from an air horn. It scares Jay so much he drops his paddle in the water. We are hypnotized, watching it sink. While I scramble to steer the canoe from the front, it bangs into the side of the pontoon boat.

Wham! There is a moment of terror while the canoe tips dangerously and we all nearly fall in the water. I wonder if we will survive. In my panic, I drop the other paddle, which seems to be in a hurry to join its partner at the bottom of the lake.

To my amazement, the man in the paddle boat doesn’t even stop to help us. He says a very nasty word and his party hardly notices us, as they grow smaller in the distance, leaving us up the creek without a paddle!

When we finally make it home, wet, disgusted and grumpy, I face a terrible truth. Tomorrow may be no better. The terror of warm sunny days is upon me.

 

 

 

NAMI | How Faith Communities Can Break the Stigma of Mental Illness

NAMI | How Faith Communities Can Break the Stigma of Mental Illness.

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Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them