I’ve cursed God—at the top of my lungs—with every insult available to me. Where was He!? How could He let that happen to me!? My logical conclusion—confirmed by terrible, real-life experience—was that I’m not worth His attention, that He doesn’t actually care about me, or that He does not exist. But I knew He was there, and this knowing rounded out my feelings of bitterness, gloom, and abandonment. Three times when suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ begged God to make it all stop. God let it go on. And then, at the worst moment on the cross, Christ was left completely alone. I’ve discovered that Christ does understand. I’ve learned to put my faith on Him, and He connects me to the Father…a loving, caring, and responsive Father.
I wrote the following today. I was in despair and writing only because I knew God wanted me to:
“I’m not the same girl who wrote the majority of this blog.
“I’m the sad one. The one who can’t hold a positive thought for too long before it drains out despite all my attempts to hold on.
“I’m the one who can’t remain in stillness; the monsters are chasing me.
“I’m the one who has the disturbing, intrusive thoughts and images I can’t expel from my mind.
“I’m the desperate one. Desperate for relief. Distantly remembering this other me who seems to have everything figured out…but me? I don’t.
“I share the same body, the same name, yet one of us is at peace and strong. And one of us is not.
“My real name should be Fear, for that is what consumes me.
“I spend every waking moment crying out to that other self: save me.”
As I wrote this, the question entered my mind, why not cry out to Christ, instead? Then, taking a big leap of faith, I searched inside with a prayer in my heart, and I wrote down what I would want Jesus Christ to say to me. By the time I was done writing, I believed it.
“My Daughter, my sister, and friend, cry out to me, for I hear you. I know you can’t feel me. The programming is doing its dirty work, but you keep fighting on in this experience of swimming up a torrential waterfall. This is strengthening your very soul. I cry out to you: keep on, be strong, I am here with you, holding you, crawling upwards with you. You feel as though there is no progress, that you will be this way forever…I say to you push on just a bit longer—just a bit longer. You’ll see the reason. You’ll be My hands someday for one such as you. Hold on.”
Do you feel like Christ doesn’t speak to you? Well then, just start writing. You may be angry at God; you may not believe He is there.
If you feel that way now, please, please, give him another try! Give a place in your heart for a portion of His word. Then write down what you imagine he would say to you. Develop this gift because in desperate times—like I was here—you’ll need it. It is much, much better to imagine that God can speak to you and believe than to submit to the dark side’s message of complete despair, darkness, and death.
Surviving Trauma can be an extreme roller coaster–lots of lows, some highs and not a lot in between. Survivors can experience spiritual highs which balance out the terrible lows. It’s possible to become accustomed or addicted the extremes which give meaning and definition to a traumatic life. To adjust to a life of peace means to become accustomed to a much slower and simple ride. Survivors may struggle to accept and find meaning in a more stable, peaceful life.
I was getting my TMS treatment today when my technician Trevor told me that in order to have meaning in my life, I need to be using my gifts and talents—even if it’s for five minutes a day. I told him how I haven’t been writing every day, because I feel like there needs to be a big “ah-ha!” moment in order to write—that everything needs to be “blog-worthy”.
But that can’t be true. I’m fighting my own thinking here, but I’m starting to realize that life isn’t really composed of the big, exciting ah-ha moments. Those moments are markers, if you will, that show us where we’ve been and where we need to go. They stand out. But they are not the slogging-through-the-mire roads that we walk everyday.
Going back and re-reading how I’ve met so-and-so in dreams and visions, how I’ve seen my perfected body, and how Satan has so obviously attacked me isn’t going to help me or others all that much when we are suffering from day-to-day debilitating depression, from the anxiety we feel when night falls, or how our self-esteem seems to be in a forever-slump. This is what I’m dealing with every day, and this is where I need to find meaning.
So here I am, going out on a limb, trying to use my gifts and talents to find meaning or have some sort of expression which will lend purpose to the mire. Here’s the truth: yesterday, I was so suicidal that I cried in front of strangers. I was so lost and felt so purposeless that I had to force myself to perform Story Time at the Children’s Museum. I clung to comforting thoughts given to me by friends I had reached out to, then repeated them over and over in my mind in order to survive. I kept on saying prayers in my mind to God, but the doors stayed shut, and I couldn’t hear anything. I was so depressed. I couldn’t remember ever not feeling that way, and I had no hope that it would ever end.
But it did come to an end. Or, at least, I feel 50% better today. It got better without an awareness of heavenly angels visiting me, Jesus Christ showing up, or any other amazing vision to snap me out of it. I just…slogged through. And I was able to because I asked for help. From my boyfriend to my sister-in-law to my mom to my therapist to a YouTube pastor to the lady behind the counter, I got just the right amount of help to get me through the next minute. And then the next. And then the next. And pretty soon, those hellish minutes gave way to a respite. It’s all I can do to just be grateful for it…until I go through the mire again.
When the dark side arranges the unimaginable against the most innocent, the mind wipe and compartmentalization of the event become a harsh but necessary blessing. Though a protection, the dissociation expresses itself as a mental illness—a disease against peace of mind and relationships. When the time for healing comes, Pandora’s box must be opened—for what’s inside is what needs to be healed…yet it might be opened in different ways for different people—with me, only emotions manifest. My frustration with this was evident when, in 2016 I prayed for my actual memories to come back (written about here). This is a poetic metaphor about that experience.
In the wild wilderness of my memory there is a fortress whose walls are 100 feet high and 100 feet thick, and I’ve beaten my fists on those walls until my hands looked like bruised and bloody stumps of fury and of madness and confusion.
I yelled and ranted and kicked. I wondered if marching around those walls and blowing trumpets would bring them down. I built ladders and launched catapults to no avail. I screamed, “Lend my life some legitimacy! Why am I the wild way that I am?” and the walls still stood, silent and immovable and daunting.
After I did all I could, I realized there was one more thing I could do. I abandoned the trumpets, the ladders, and the catapult. I wrapped up my bloody hands, and I knelt down to pray. I prayed outside of that formidable fortress for six long months, until finally, reluctantly, God came and offered to take me to the top of the wall.
At first I was excited. I wanted to see what was on the other side so badly, it had consumed me like cancer. We rose up the rocky exterior and neared the top. It came ever closer and closer, until I was just feet from the ramparts—feet from seeing whatever was on the other side—feet from seeing what God had shielded me from for years and years and years.
Then fear came like a monster and gripped me. It grew until it was as big as the whole world, and the weight of it began to grind my shoulder bones into powder. I squeezed my eyes shut tight, but we kept on moving until we were up to the ramparts. I couldn’t look—I couldn’t see whatever was on the other side because I knew it would prove my destruction, and I’d never be able to un-see it though I’d wish and try to forget it for a hundred years. I screamed my throat raw and ragged: SAVE ME FROM THIS PLACE.
Then God, in an instant, had me back on solid ground. I was, again, outside of the wall. God stood beside me and turned to me with sad eyes, saying, “This is why, my Daughter, this is why.”
Now there is no longing when I come up against these fortresses in my mind—which are many, I’ve discovered. I go instead up to those walls which keep out The Unseen; I hug them and say in a whisper, Thank you God. Thank you.
I wonder why others have seen what I could not. What would have driven me crazy with the sight of it. But I don’t wonder for too long before I turn from hugging the wall and simply walk away, my wild ways seeping out of my slow and measured gait, leaving drops of black where footprints stand in soil.
The dark side uses trauma to infect our minds with powerful packages of negative thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors. They’re often reinforced with a stream of voices that invade our minds. It takes tremendous willpower, in the face of this barrage, for trauma victims to “do the right thing” and “say the right thing” all day long. Friends and family notice the slip ups but are unaware of the hundreds of victories that go unnoticed and unrewarded. A person has limited willpower to expend each day, so cherish it and use it wisely. Count your victories, not your losses, and see yourself for the hard-core superhero you actually are.
Several weeks ago, while driving in my car, I had a revelation. It was so revolutionary, so insightful, that I wept openly. It shed such a complimentary light on my life that I felt an enormous burden lifted from my shoulders.
This revelation came about, funnily enough, when I was listening to Susan Peirce Thompson, a weight loss revolutionary and founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating. She also has a doctorate in Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
Now, hang with me here—I’m mentioning my food addiction/eating clean journey, but don’t leave if that’s not your thing. That’s not what this post is about at all—which you’ll see by the end of the post. This revelation was about people who struggle with DID and Satanic programming—as I do—and the reality of what we go through every day. The reality of just how strong we are.
Susan was describing how those of us who struggle with food addiction or weight loss make the one big mistake. That mistake is relying upon willpower to see us through. She went on to explain that up until 1998, scientists didn’t actually know that willpower actuallyexisted—itwas only an idea. But in that year, scientists proved that willpower actually exists. They did this through an ingenious experiment called the Radish Experiment.
Scientists invited test subjects to a lab, and they were told to skip a few meals and come hungry. When the people arrived, they were hit with the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. When the people got to the waiting room, they saw a bowl of freshly washed radishes next to a bowl of those same cookies.
Some people were told to eat 2-3 radishes over the course of 5 minutes, or they were told to eat 2-3 cookies. (There was also a control group who arrived, but who didn’t eat anything at all.)
After eating, the test subjects were asked to sit and fill out a lengthy questionnaire with the food right in front of them. They were then taken to a different room to do what they thought was the real experiment—which was a “test” of their cleverness. But actually, it was a set of impossible-to-solve geometry puzzles. The test was to see how long people would persist at those.
Researchers didn’t expect the results to be as dramatic as they were. The people who had eaten the radishes—and therefore had to expend willpower to resist the cookies and the chocolates—were not able to persist at the geometry puzzles for very long. They, on average, were only able to do about 8 minutes of work before they got frustrated and gave up.
The people who were allowed to eat the cookies and the chocolates, however, persisted 2-2.5 times longer, than the people who ate the radishes. Why? Because they had not used up their willpower. They persisted at the puzzles for 18-20 minutes on average.
This is actually, in the world of science, a very statistically significant difference between the two groups.
The researchers, after this earth-shattering revelation, followed up with a series of experiments to prove that anything you do that taps your self-control, also uses up your willpower. This proved true even when the subject isn’t necessarily resisting temptation. Simple activities such as making decisions like checking email, monitoring and regulating your emotions (imagine parents dealing with their kids), making sure your task performance is good (like giving a talk and not saying “um” or “ah”)—all of these pretty “basic activities” tap the same part of the brain, and leave us in a state of willpower depletion.
We then experience what Susan calls “the willpower gap”. This is where you grab your plate at the buffet and start down the line, and suddenly you rationalize that it’s a nice night for pasta instead of a salad.
So, willpower is a thing. It’s like a rechargeable battery that drains quickly. It drains and depletes because of all kinds of activities we engage in on a daily basis—making decisions, regulating our emotions, task performance, resisting temptations—and our willpower, on average, only lasts about 15 minutes before it’s sapped.
Researchers actually figured out a way to measure this, and they determined that we—on average—spend four hours a day resisting temptations—one of the key things that drains willpower.
So, all these things we do drain our willpower, then leave us in a state of vulnerability, of which we are unaware. There’s no alarm that goes off and says, “you’re now susceptible to the willpower gap”. You might find that the “volume” on life is turned up a little bit. (If your kids, partner, or loud sounds are agitating you a little more.) Other than that, there’s no marker of depleted willpower.
So we do all these draining activities—“adulting,” some people call it—and then we’re driving home in traffic—again, draining our willpower—and right then, you’re supposed to decide what you’re going to have for dinner? It’s like the world’s cruelest joke! The moment you need your willpower to make a good decision for your body might always be the moment you are depleted! No wonder 70% of our whole nation is overweight and obese!
After I heard all that, I realized something: the fact that I get anything done is nothing short of a miracle.
Do you know how hard people with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and abuse victims have to fight just to get through each day? First of all, we have to juggle the priorities and vulnerabilities of multiple alters everyday. Can you imagine having multiple voices in your head speaking up—or even screaming to be heard—whenever you have to make a decision? Usually, I have at least two parts of me battling out decisions in my head—and that’s hard enough. (Read here for an example of what my mind goes through).
If that isn’t enough, ritual abuse victims are spiritually programmedto exhibit some, if not all, of the 7 deadly sins. I personally believe I was heavily programmed with all of them, to the extent that I developed addictions and patterns of behavior, which I’m sorry to say, became parts of my character. I’ve spent my entire life literally having to de-program and teach and convert every single personality—some of which who aren’t older than 5—to exhibit the virtues I want instead of acting out as I was taught to by the demons and other perpetrators.
I’m part of several Facebook groups that are DID/SRA based. Here are some typical things people have said in those groups:
“My kids are 9 and 11 years old. My ‘system’ is all boys. So they had to pretend to be me for years around my kids.”
“Anyone else have a personality that doesn’t like their significant other???”
“Do y’alls alters have different religions? Bc I have the hardest time with _____ (who is Church of Jesus Christ) and _____ (who is Pagan).”
“This may sound really stupid and may be triggering…I’m not sure. I am embarrassed to even ask this question. Every time I have a knife in my hand, I have the thought to stab myself. Not that I would ever do it or even want to, I was wondering if anyone else hears this. I hope you don’t think I’m crazy. Not sure if this is an SRA thing. This is hard for me to say. I think I said this before too that we have the voice inside to jump in front of a car when we are on a walk too. And off any high place too, wow! I sound really crazy now!”
I have personally dealt with three out of four of these voices my entire life—they have been a daily reality for me—and hundreds of people commented, stating that they had experienced these same dark promptings, too. What could be more draining on a person’s willpower than having to battle these types of thoughts all day and even in their dreams? If the average person spends 4 hours a day resisting temptations, the average person with DID spends 24/7 resisting temptations—some of which are life threatening.
I started crying while driving when this bevy of realizations hit my mind: This is why I could never do my homework when it felt like “work” growing up. Why I needed so much help just getting started. Why I had to force my way through college. Once I even got an “incomplete” in a class because I Just. Could. Not. Do. My final paper. It took me six months to complete it—and I only did because my mom promised me a NEW PIANO if I did. I’m not stupid, I’m not slothful…I am freaking Wonder Woman. Look at what I’ve accomplished in my life! This is why it’s been so hard to control my food intake—my willpower is ALWAYS shot. I should be 400+ pounds, but I’m not because I FIGHT so freaking hard. I am a FIGHTER. Everyday. This is why I gave into my addictions so often when growing up. This is why I’ve been seen as ‘lazy’ at times to my family. It’s because I’m working 10x HARDER than everyone else! All of the time! Despite everything Satan has done to tell me that I’m a creature who is greedy, full of lust, gluttonous, angry, lazy, prideful, or envious of everyone around me…I constantly fight those programs—those voices which are seeded so deeply inside of me. I constantly repent if and when I give in to those voices. I’m a superstar. I’m a conqueror! Satan will never, ever be able to convince me again that I am a failure. I’m an absolute success.
Realize, dear reader, that if you have Dissociative Identity Disorder and/or you have Ritual Abuse programming, and you believe you are weak…you are wrong. You’re just plain wrong. And if others put you down, saying that you’re a failure, they are 100% wrong, too. The only reason we aren’t all serial killers who weigh 500 pounds is because we are strong, and we are winning.
Wherever you are in your journey, be kind to yourself. *Try to see yourself through the lens of God. He knows what you’ve been through, and He factors in everything—even your willpower stores at any given moment of any day.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ truly know what it takes to get out of bed. To even, sometimes, just breathe in and out every day.
So, check in with your willpower. Be aware when you are using it, and when it gets depleted. Rely on the things that restore your willpower—create a list and use it. Learn how you get restored, and do those things that restore you. For me, prayer, reaching out for human connection, gratitude lists, meditation, and service are a few of the proven things that restore willpower—in the moment! Get the life you want, because you, my friend, deserve a beautiful, beautiful life.
*These are parts of a blessing I received which can apply to anyone battling against programming:
“The feelings that have been programmed in your heart, mind, and soul are from the dark side. They have been put in you against your will irrespective of any strength you have or faith. They were placed in you while you were in a vulnerable state, when it was not your choice or decision to accept them; they were forced upon you.
“When your feelings come up that have been programmed into you: that you lack love, that you do not have feelings, that you do not have energy, that you do not have health, that you do not have self-control, that you are worthless, or bad or weak, these are all lies that have been placed in you with feelings and emotions attached. These emotions will continue to arise in you throughout your life. However, they are not an indicator of your weakness or strength. They are simply an indicator of the programming you’ve received.
“You have experienced all these emotions, but you have never not come through it to find the light. I love you so dearly, because you are ours. However, on top of that you have displayed enormous amounts of determination and courage. Where you stand right now is a complete victory. I see beyond time and space and see you as you really are. You have already overcome all these things, and you have accomplished more good and a greater exaltation than you had hoped for.
“I bless you with power now, as you’ve had before, to act upon these feelings when they arise. The fact that they arise is not an indicator of weakness or lack of healing. When they arise, it is an indication that you are a victim of Satanic abuse, and no strength or power in yourself can change that. When these feelings arise or overwhelm you, it is now time to learn that you still have agency to act upon them, to minimize them, to find tools to make them go away more quickly, to find tools to replace them with other truths and other emotions. This is hard work. It is emotional work, and it will take time to remind yourself that they are not indications of weakness but opportunities to apply strength and agency.
“As you continue to apply strength and agency, as you have done beautifully so far, you will eventually find that these feelings have very little impact on you. They will simply be reminders to you of your experience and what you’ve come up from.
” _________, We know you. We know you so well. You are not a selfish or a self-centered person. Those feelings that you have of lack of love and are self-centered are a product of the programming. They are not a sign of weakness. As you take up the tools you use, day by day, these feelings will become weak. They will become temporary, and before long they will become blips in your mind that you quickly overcome without effort.
“_________, you are doing exactly what you need to do for this to occur. Dear _________, I am not asking you to change directions. I am asking you to continue in what you are doing. We are so pleased with you. We are proud of you. We love you, and We bless you. You are strong.
“I leave this blessing on your head in partnership with your Savior Jesus Christ. We love you, support you, and thank you for all that you have done. We promise to maximize your healing and your efforts beyond your ability to comprehend.”
What follows was written by my boyfriend. His insights into Mary Magdalene’s life and trials give me hope. They also give me hope in Jesus Christ.
Who was Mary Magdalene, who with other women traveled with Christ and “ministered unto him of their substance”? These other women were not groupies; they were an integral part of Christ’s support while He ministered. They were “certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene. Out of whom went seven devils.”
Were they there only because He had freed them from their bodily and spiritual ailments? Or were they also especially elect, and their trials were a preparation to serve with the Master?
“For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined”
It’s wonderful to imagine the Savior ministering among the poor and sick with this team of women at his side. Who better to serve the suffering than those who had suffered themselves, who had been healed of their “evil spirits and infirmities,” and who understood?
Magdalene was prominently there. What kind of knowledge and understanding had she earned? What would her earlier life have been like to be plagued by seven devils? These devils would have taken full advantage of their victim. She must have experienced extreme trauma, anxiety, confusion, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness, mania, and all the social shunning that comes to those plagued with such demons.
But Christ saw her, really SAW her. He knew the source of her trauma, and her seven devils were no match for his power. What else did He see in her? Having been subject to seven dark angels and then healed; what level of experience, wisdom, and understanding had she gained?
Mary Magdalene is the only woman mentioned in all four Gospels. We know she travelled with the Savior. We know He visited her home on at least three separate occasions. We know she anointed Him before his crucifixion. We know she stayed with Him at the Cross. We know she came to anoint Him after his burial, and she stayed by his sepulcher. We know He appeared first to her when He returned. We know she was told to not cling to Him too tightly, for He was not there to stay.
Those who remembered Magdalene during her possession and her times of trauma might have questioned why Jesus would give a very intimate place in his life to such a “broken” woman.
Perhaps a better question is, who are these women plagued with the worst of what the fallen world has to offer? How does God see these women whom He refines the most?
1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
This one-minute video about Mary Magdalene teaches us much about battling the dark side. It depicts Christ casting very large demons from Mary Magdalene.
“What we know about Mary is that she’s possessed by 7 demons. This would have been a very personally traumatizing condition to have, and she hasn’t been able to find any respite from it until she meets Jesus….It’s difficult to imagine how profound that moment must be for her: to finally feel free and cured and whole.”
Professor Candida Moss
Why 7 demons? 7 days in a week, 7 dispensations, 7 days of creation. Seven is considered holy in many world religions. In the Bible it relates to the aspects of perfection. Seven general areas in our life need perfecting, they are described as the seven virtues and vices. According to some traditions, the seven archangels oversee the development of each virtue. They help us overcome the Fall as we turn each vice into a virtue. With the help of Heaven, we can turn our weaknesses into strengths.
The 7 vices encompass general aspects of being fallen, and the 7 virtues encompass a full recovery, freedom, and wholeness.
LUST – An insatiable need for sex or things of a sexual nature,
GLUTTONY – Over indulgences of anything to the extreme, usually food or drink,
GREED – The need for material possessions or material wealth,
SLOTH – Idleness, languor, sadness, depression, or the inability to feel joy.
WRATH- Extreme anger, rage, hatred, or a need for vengeance or revenge,
ENVY – The need to have better or be better than others,
PRIDE- A need to be more important than others.
If each archangel provides Heavenly support for the virtues, wouldn’t the dark side have 7 counterpart demons? Can we doubt that the dark side has its own specialists with sophisticated programs and trained technicians who are expert at instilling these vices into our hearts and minds through both spiritual and physical means, and often through trauma?
Magdalene was not simply tempted by 7 great demons; they inhabited her. She was under their full power and fury. It is awe-inspiring to consider that in her premortal life, Mary may have chosen to submit herself to the FULL complement of darkness on earth in order to teach us the most important truth: that through Christ, EVERYTHING the dark side throws at us (or puts into us) can be overcome, completely. Did Mary choose to be fully refined as a preparation to serve others with greater power?
At one level or another, we are all targets of the 7 dark programs. We must turn them into strengths.
We don’t know how quickly Christ was able to dispose of Mary’s 7 demons, but the video shows us a process. That process involves Mary, herself, vocally identifying each demon by name and exposing it as an outside force. The emotional healing likely was also a process.
“According to Gospel traditions, the way Jesus dealt with particularly severe cases of demon possession is that he would get them to name themselves, and then having named them, then demanding by name that they leave the person.”
Prof. Ben Witherington, III
The dark side weakens when it’s exposed. Evil’s strongest position is to have us believe we are the source of our own sorrow; there is no escaping ourselves. We gain strength by identifying Satan’s programming as an OUTSIDE influence which we can reject and from which we can walk away. Exposing and identifying evil as an outside force may be the first step in escaping it.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
This may be why there are 12-step programs associated with many of the vices listed above. Why has the 12-step program been effective in helping many overcome addictions to self-destructive behaviors? The program is the clear embodiment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To heal, we identify the vice that plagues us and acknowledge our reliance on God to help us remove it. We then ask for help to heal ourselves and our loved ones, who are often collateral victims. We then commit to live a new life wherein we stay connected to God and His power. The last step is to seek to help others who are so plagued.
I honor the fundamental lesson Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ teach us about exposing the darkness within us and using Christ’s atonement to becoming free and whole again. Our Heavenly Father can compensate for the darkness we experience on earth with a corresponding, or even greater, level of light and wisdom. It seems that Mary Magdalene earned well the opportunity to serve at Christ’s side.
By Nicole Marie Hilton, Wednesday, March 11th, 2020
Victims of trauma rarely experience peace of mind. Their thoughts can be a cacophony of inner voices and emotions tumbling in and out of the frame. When the victim does experience a moment of stillness, it can be fleeting and sometimes even troubling. It may require new training to feel comfortable and at home with a quiet, peaceful mind.
I just walked through the Las Vegas airport to board a flight to Washington, D.C. As I was walking, I realized something curious: that’s all I was doing. I was simply…walking. And noticing things. There’s the bathroom.I’m going to go in this stall. The lady’s shoes in the stall next to mine are made of black leather. I’m going to wash my hands longer than I usually do because of the Coronavirus. Oh, look. There’s my face in the mirror.
Pretty basic, right? But if you could hear the confused raging mass of voices that have been in my head for most of my life, you’d be surprised, too. My mind feels strangely calm. Quiet. Organized. Like some Marie Kondo fanatic has come in and taken out everything that isn’t absolutely essential. I looked in my eyes while washing my hands, and I searched for what I could not find. Gone was the incessant, judgmental, contradictory mind chatter that has accompanied me to every activity I’ve ever participated in. I was free.
First of all, I’d like to demonstrate just what exactly I was free from. The same 2 minute stretch of time might have sounded something like this just a year ago:
“Where’s the bathroom? WHERE THE $*&# IS THE BATHROOM? I hate public restrooms. Oh, get over yourself! I miss my mom already. I WANT A CUPCAKE! Am I really going to be flying all night with a connecting flight until 12 pm tomorrow afternoon? This is the worst situation ever. Will Dad walk the dogs while I’m gone? What if I have a panic attack on the airplane? Just go in the bathroom and breathe calmly, Nicole. [Random scene of me being raped flashes through my mind] That’s not gonna happen. Wow, that restroom attendant didn’t do a very good job. Let’s be kind—Jesus loves that attendant. I’M FAT! What does my butt look like from behind? Pick that stall! NO, THAT ONE! No no no—go down further. What the flip are you doing? You should have picked the other stall, you moron! You’re not a moron. I love you. I WANT A CUPCAKE WITH PINK FROSTING AND A CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRY ON TOP! What if the woman in the next stall is judging me? Why on earth would she be judging you? I don’t know, maybe because I’M PEEING AND SHE CAN HEAR ME! How old are you, like 5? Let’s wash our hands. WHAT IF WE DIE FROM THE CORONAVIRUS?! What if? What if? Ugh I hate my face right now. No, erase that, I’m beautiful! But my eyes…they look so tired and desperate. Other people can tell I’m a mess, can’t they? …Can we get the cupcake soon?”
Imagine living with that, day in and day out, for your entire life. Not fun. Yet today, there was nothing really going on in my head. During the shuttle ride to Vegas, I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was like there was this…emptiness. While walking in the airport, I realized that there seemed to be a space carved out for me in my own mind, just ready to be filled with whatever I wanted.
I have some theories about why this is, and I’m pretty sure they’re on point. First of all, JJ (my boyfriend) and I have been doing the intense emotional work of calling up and healing the fractured pieces of my personality for more than a year now. (You can read about that here and here.) This process nearly killed me in May, 2019. I attempted suicide and was in a coma for a few days—the war between the parts of me who believed JJ was, basically, “out to get me,” and the parts who were still in love with him was too much for one mind to take. After the attempted suicide, the healing process continued—nearly killing our relationship as parts of me kept on trying to leave him.
But he stayed true. And he learned to honor and love me even when I was screaming at him or saying all sorts of horrible things to him. But the bits of me that were in love with him would leave little clues for him—breadcrumbs, if you will. And he followed them. Ultimately, he decided that he wasn’t going to end up like the dozens of other men I’d left in my life. Why? Because I hadn’t healed with any of them. I’d never gotten this far…except with JJ.
JJ knew that healing has been my #1 priority ever since second grade. There was no way all of me was going to turn back now. And slowly, ever so slowly, those pieces of me that were hurting and lashing out started to turn to him and trust him. I started to hope. And he started to help connect me with Christ, and I started to heal.
As each new piece was triggered by something, then started to “front”, turn to JJ and to Christ, and then heal, that piece would become more aligned with my core—creating a more unified and colorful personality.
The last piece to be called up was very young, and she/I came out when JJ and I were helping Rep. Tulsi Gabbard with her campaign in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was hyperventilating and literally terrified of ever being trapped, again. Through JJ’s gift of being able to give blessings, I heard and felt the presence of heavenly beings speak assurances to calm my soul. That piece of me is now fitting nicely in with the rest of me.
But, once all the personalities were awake and unified, working together in harmony, was everything done? Far from it. I still needed to tackle the biggest beast I’ve ever faced in my life—my addiction to sugar and flour.
I know that may sound silly—that that’s the biggest thing I’ve ever faced. But, considering the sheer amount of struggling I’ve spent against this monster, it’s true. This monster has been with me and was a rare source of solace when I was a little girl. I had been raped, and I struggled with memory loss, bullying, and people not taking me seriously. I faced suicidal programming and constant attacks from Satan. This addiction turned into bulimia in middle school, and even then, I didn’t want to let it go. This addiction followed me into college and it was always there through every failed relationship, through every time I had to drop my classes, and through being in and out of hospitals. It was always there—a comforting monster.
But despite the greatness of the task of slaying this monster—which I had thought was my friend—I realized that as long as there are still addictions in the mind, I would never be truly healthy mentally.
I’m happy to report that I’m done with day 15 of Brightline Eating—an eating program that’s based on the 12 steps for Overeaters Anonymous. I realize that I will never be “done” with this addiction—that it’s a monster I’m going to have to re-slay every day of my life from here on out, but the peace of mind I’ve gained from eating just whole food with no sugar and no flour for two weeks is priceless.
So, for now, my mind is swept and mostly empty of chatter. There are neutral thoughts about my surroundings and what I’m doing—but other than this entry, there’s really no voices there. Just a whole lot of quiet…and possibility.
Discerning between Light and dark voices makes the difference between happiness and misery. The fruit of the Spirit of God brings joy and progress, but the fruit of darkness is misery and deterioration. In spite of heeding the wrong voice, Heavenly Father still found a way to show me He loves me.
Heavenly Father knew I was looking forward to my ward’s Single Adult activity: it was Karaoke night. But I missed it because I had just ended a conversation with a friend who believed she was receiving revelation through an angel, who she could hear. My friend is spiritually gifted, and there’s no doubt she can hear from the other side of the veil, but she is still learning to discern between the Light and dark sources. She has righteous desires, so the opposition regularly attempts to disguise itself as the Light for her. This “angel” first said some comments which seemed heavenly to win my trust. However, with subtle seemingly positive suggestions, ended up throwing grave doubt on my life decisions and my relationship with JJ. Then, the source suggested that I “rest” for the night and not go to out, because of all the startling earth-shattering information shared with me.
So I missed Karaoke, and instead of resting, I was very stressed out. I lashed out at JJ and verbally abused him—I was just awful to him, even though he was trying to help me and tell me that he doubted I was experiencing the fruits of the Spirit. It didn’t feel like it was from the Light to him. But I doubted us, and I doubted all the revelation I had received and we had received together for the past year.
We both had horrible nights. I tried to repent all the next day and wavered back and forth before finally concluding that the “angel” my friend had relayed information from was, in fact, dark and was trying to confuse me and ruin my life.
During all this, my mom sensed I was having a bad day. The Spirit prompted her to take me to get a pedicure. The day had been feeling more and more like darkness to me, and I was extremely depressed and down. But while we were getting our nails done, the cute Asian nail lady surprised us by hooking up an entire karaoke system, and she gave me and mom microphones. We sang our hearts out while we were being pampered! We have video of it—it was “spectacular” and hilarious and raised my spirits so much.
It was only after I went home and reconciled more with JJ and everything seemed right with the world again that I realized: in the midst of a very hard trial, Heavenly Father provided me with the karaoke experience I’d missed because of that hard trial the night before—but upgraded it to something even better.
Just like my “Do You Want Sushi, or Sushi?” story, Heavenly Father upgraded an experience that I really wanted. Yet, there was something different this time…In the sushi story, I had made righteous choices and done some service—I was being good, and following the spirit. In this story, it was the opposite. I listened to the wrong voice, I hurt someone I loved, I gave into fear, and I was scared and felt very much alone. Yet, He did the same thing—giving me something better than I would have had. This is how I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. He holds in remembrance the greater picture of who I am, and His love is never conditional on the circumstances of the moment. He always just gives. And that makes Him my Father. I believe this is how He is the Father to all of us—and we can see it if we simply open our eyes with a heart of gratitude to see the miracles He is bringing to pass especially for us.
Three types of voices compete for our thoughts: promptings from the Light, confusion and deception from the opposition, and our own voice. Promptings from the Light gently lead us toward greater freedom, peace, and joy. The dark side will play into our ego, urges, and worldly wants to lead us to a loss of freedom, distraction, and unhappiness. Learning to discern between these voices is the most critical tool in overcoming our captivity. Seeking for and heeding promptings from the Light is the quickest path to knowing God and discovering how much he loves us. By following my spiritual promptings, Heavenly Father was able to effortlessly upgrade my joy and my ability to serve.
This morning I had to choose between two activities—a funeral of someone I barely knew, but whom I wanted to support, and a fascinator class I desperately needed. Later in the day, I had plans to attend a Single Adult church get-together at the bowling alley with dinner afterwards at 4 pm.
Suddenly, my morning options were sidelined by a text from Sarah—an invite to come hiking in Zion National Park! So I dropped everything and ended up switching cars with my mom, taking my dogs, and driving three girls and a guy up to Zion, where we hiked three different trails and had a lot of fun.
The whole morning, Sarah had been talking about Sushi Burrito—a food place I had introduced to this same group a couple months before when we took a temple trip up to Cedar City. She said, “I swear, I want Sushi Burrito so bad, I’m going to go all the way to Cedar City after this, and I’m going to get one! Or, how about we go right now?”
I thought about it, weighing the risk of burning up too much of my mom’s gas, spending the last of my money, and missing the bowling against the yummy goodness of sushi burrito. I didn’t have to think too long before I felt something in my gut firmly say NO, thus helping me decide against driving everyone up to Cedar City.
So then Sarah came up with plan B—maybe I could go bowling, but then meet up with them and go to Cedar instead of doing dinner with the Single Adult group. I felt this was definitely an option.
So we finished hiking in time for me to get back with just barely enough time to drop everyone off back at their cars, race home to drop off the dogs, and then race to the bowling alley where…I proceeded to find no one there.
Well, there were people. Just not my people. I sat on one of the swiveling chairs, thinking…what the crap? Why was there this gut feeling, that I just HAD to get to this bowling activity—against all odds? Why didn’t I go to Sushi Burrito?
Nevertheless, I kept sitting there; I just had this feeling that I needed to.
Then, in walks *Bethany, fifteen minutes late—to the activity she organized, mind you. She looked stressed. She and I discussed our options and considered who else might be coming, but no one came.
We figured, since the whole activity was paid for, including dinner, and we were both famished, why not go out to eat?
I called Sarah and her group, and told them not to wait up for me and to go to Cedar City and Sushi Burrito without me.
Then Bethany recommended we go to Sakura, on of my favorite sushi places and a rare (and expensive) treat. I ordered my favorite things off the menu, we saw a great Habachi show, and I was able to comfort Bethany who told me she had experienced one of the worst weeks of her life. She had broken up with her boyfriend of two and a half years that week and had been really torn about it. I was able to commiserate with her and offer her consolation and advice. I told her that this was her last “red-flag relationship” before she found the one, and that I’m nearly always right when I have a strong feeling about these things—which I did right then.
We had a great talk while eating great food, and it was all paid for by the ward activity fund. We hugged in the parking lot, and she had a relieved look on her face. She said, “I really needed this.” I replied that I did, too.
As I drove away, I marveled that God had not only answered my hankering for sushi—for free, and with such class—but that he had prevented the following scene, which came into my mind: I pictured Bethany, at the end of the hardest week ever, walking into the bowling place, looking around, and finding no one at the activity she planned—me having ignored the spirit and gone off in a different direction to spend money I did not have for second class sushi I didn’t know I didn’t want.
I gripped the steering wheel and prayed as I drove: “Father, I don’t know how you make use of someone as disobedient and lost as I am, but despite all my stumbling through the fog of this world, somehow you still do. And I love you for it.”
In order to fully heal, it is important to understand that there is a purpose in what we’ve gone through and that God, rather than abandoning us, has been supporting our life plan. This is necessary, because we cannot fully heal without God. When I have asked, God has led me to greater understanding of my suffering and a path to healing. He has also given me the support I need to walk that path.
I just wrote the first bit of God Loves Broken Things, Pt. 3 this morning. Then I went on my merry way to the Family History Center to volunteer as a Service Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
About an hour into my service, I noticed something wasn’t right. Ever since I had started my mission two weeks ago, I had discovered a new-found freedom when it came to my food addiction. It was manageable. It was so easy for me to meet my goal of eating only 1200 calories a day—something I have struggled for years to accomplish. But as I sat there at the computer, I became absolutely ravenous. I wanted to eat everything in sight. When the older couple who oversee the younger missionaries came around with a box full of chocolate bars, it took every ounce of strength I had to turn it down.
During my lunch break, I walked out—fake-smiling to everyone as I passed. Then I ran out to the car and drove as fast as I could to the grocery store. I prayed the whole time: “Heavenly Father, I don’t know what is going on, but my food addiction is completely back and it’s scaring me. It’s like a beast has woken up inside of me and has taken over my life again. I HATE this feeling! I can’t stand it! It’s like I don’t have control over my actions anymore or any sense of free agency anymore whatsoever! Oh please, please help me!”
I parked and walked quickly into the store, then made a bee-line to the bakery. I hovered around the cookies. Am I in the mood for a snickerdoodle? Or a sugar cookie with icing? Or one of these chocolate ones? The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder side of me was screaming caloric numbers at me, and I had an inward battle on whether or not to wave the numbers aside.
I finally settled on a raspberry frosted sugar cookie and a salted caramel chocolate cookie. I paid for them and rushed out to the car, taking a bite of the chocolate cookie while walking out of the store because I just couldn’t wait.
I sat there and tried not to sob while I bit into the sugary goodness. I recalled all of the blessings JJ had given me having to do with my food addiction. I also recalled the blessing he’d given me right before my mission, promising me that I’d be blessed with power to have more responsibility in my life. Well, that blessing had come true. Until today. Why? I couldn’t figure it out.
I called JJ. He couldn’t help me figure it out.
I went back to my mission and finished out my hours for the day, then I rushed home. I grabbed everything I could carry from the fridge, and ran upstairs to my room. By that time, I was shaking and crying. Then I was wailing. Then I was screaming—at my sweet mother (who hadn’t done anything. Who was, in fact, trying to help me).
JJ called me, and he asked, “What are you feeling?”
“I hate myself!” I cried, taking bites of an organic chocolate bar in between each sob.
“You hate yourself?”
“No…no I hate them!” Now I was shoving down shrimp.
“Who is them?”
(I meant the devils who seemed to be torturing me.) But then I realized there was a part of me who was trying to speak out. Who needed to say something. So I moved aside, and let that part of me speak out.
“I’m crying because…God hates me! He HATES me! He must! HOW COULD HE NOT?! Look at the evidence! God hates me!”
Then I realized—after diving into a protein bar—I’d written this morning about how, when I was 14, I’d gone into the woods and I’d uttered yet another prayer to God, who had been silent, again. During the darkest times in my life, no one had been there for me. I had been completely alone.
My 14 year-old self was crying out. That part of me had the belief that God hated her.
Then I did what I’ve learned to do so well. My older, wiser self opened up my heart and loved that angry sobbing 14 year-old girl I had become. Then, I (the older, wiser self) shared headspace with my 14 year-old self. I shared my memories with her, going through all the proof that God doesn’t hate us.
First, I reminded my younger self of one important fact, which I believe with my heart and soul. God is composed of both a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother—and they love me. I flipped through memories that attested to that fact.
Second, I shared with my younger self all of the blessings I’ve received explaining why God had to be silent for all those years. You see, His hands were tied.
Before this life, I believe I had entered into an arrangement with God, where He promised not to intervene during the hardest moments. And He keeps His promises.
This is an excerpt from a blessing I received, which I believe may be true for all who have been abused as children; it states: “Dear Nicole, I and your loved ones in Heaven love you. We really love you. We’ve been here with you, and We know you’ve been doing this all alone. Your childhood has been one of abuse and abandonment. We know this dear Daughter, and we are sorry that it was not a time for us to be able to talk to you, to be what you needed….We know you had to do it alone. And it was not ok; it was never ok. It was not something that I thought was good. It was not something I was Ok with. We in Heaven suffered right along with you, but with the extra suffering of knowing that we couldn’t help you.
“When a mother on earth has a tiny infant who is dying or sick, and there’s nothing that she can do, that’s how We felt with you. We felt the pain of knowing that it was not the time for us to help you when you needed it most. We knew that someday when you would be able to heal with Jesus Christ, that your Brother would be there, and you would find the healing. However, for us, it was difficult to refrain from helping you at the time, dear Daughter.
“Nicole, thank you for telling us how you felt. Thank you for reaching out to us. That young part of you who was so alone is now learning too late that there is help. As you learn this, you’ll find that it actually is not too late to heal. We will turn these experiences and your childhood into that which you wanted it to be for you. You wanted those experiences to make you stronger. You wanted them to give you wisdom and empathy for so many others. That is already happening, but We know that you sacrificed for that to happen. We would never dismiss this. We would never dismiss the significance of your being alone so young.
“This is why I generally give certain protections to children until they are older. But some premortal spirits, for important purposes that are eternal, have chosen to allow themselves, while very young, to be subject to torture, pain, and punishment from the dark side. When this happens with young children, it is because they have sought a greater role which was approved in the pre-existence. It is not a random or thoughtless choice; it is not a grasping for straws. But those who have chosen this path do so with great wisdom and great knowledge of its purpose.
“There is great, great purpose in it. But regardless of the purpose, the broken childhood is real. And We wish to heal that part of you and to hear that part of you. We give it great significance, and we experienced it with you.
“All those who have harmed you and contributed to Satan’s programming on this side of the veil will have the opportunity to see the contribution they made to the dark side’s purpose, and to see clearly the role they played in your trauma and your pain. All will be made whole. and they will love that little girl and see her for who she was, that she was a heroine, and that this was her choice so that she could be of service to the greatest amount of people.
“We honor all parts of you. We love all of you, and you can be one in your Savior Jesus Christ. He knows what each part of you has been through. He knows what all of you have been assigned to do. He knows all your tasks and priorities. He can make you whole. He can bring you into one and bring the Atonement into your life–all of your lives. He does not need to squash anyone down or make anyone go away. For He loves all of you and has experienced everything you have experienced along with you. He has felt your suffering completely—100%. He has healed you 100% and has won your salvation, your exaltation, and your healing already.
(Jesus Christ): “I, as your Lord and Savior, take and accept your burden so that it may be Light, so that you may help others with their burdens by introducing them to Me, by pointing them to Me and to our dear Parents in Heaven. This is my most important work. This is the work that consumes Me. This is My work and My glory, to heal those who have been harmed by the actions of others and even by their own actions, to point them to the Light of Heaven.
“This is what I do, and even as you’ve joined me, this is your future, too: to love, to understand, to hear, and to give fruit, love, and understanding to those who have never been understood before, who never believed they would be healed, to give them hope in Me and in Heaven.
“….Don’t forget that you still need much healing for yourself. That means to love yourself, to recognize the important roles that the different parts of you have played. To love them, understand them, to forgive and to all come to Me. I am how you can all become one. I love and understand each of you.
“I bless you with the ability to soften your own heart and mind toward yourself and to feel Heaven, again, and to feel Our love. I do so in my name, Jesus Christ, Amen.”
After I shared all of this knowledge with my 14 year-old self—that part of me who walked into those trees and knelt down to pray, and who didn’t get any answers—I felt her relief. And I felt her assimilate into me. We became one. My ravenous appetite was gone.
To all those who are struggling with DID, or with PTSD or any kind of trauma, remember: when you are triggered and afraid, be kind to yourself. Don’t turn inward in hatred and shame, thinking I’m better than this! I’ve got to be stronger than this! The truth is, you already are being the best you can be, and you have been stronger than you know. Remember: whatever you know about yourself is extremely important, but how you treat yourself is the most important.
Second, be patient with yourself—and learn how to express yourself in a healthy manner. The pain I went through today used to take me weeks or even months to process by myself. Afer JJ and I met, it would take me half a week. Now, a year later, it takes me an hour or less. You’ll get better with time. Memories or programming will come up when you are ready to deal with them, and if you do it with understanding, forgiveness, and with God, you get stronger, and the dark side gets weaker.
Third, if you have DID, when pieces of yourself come up from the past, love those pieces with all you’ve got. They are the reason you’ve arrived where you are today. Listen to them and address their concerns with as much understanding and love that you can. Teach them with patience, and learn how your system wants to integrate or heal in some other manner.
Fourth, don’t discount what God is telling you. If there is anything—ANYTHING—that lifts your spirits, that makes your heart swell and expand, that provides hope for your soul…cling to that. Don’t let it go. Write it down. Adopt it as your own. And RE-READ IT OVER AND OVER. Program yourself with the good stuff! Don’t listen to what those idiotic unseen dark spirits are telling you, who constantly badger you night and day. Every time you are on the right track, they’ll be there to dissuade you. You’ll learn to recognize their influence. When they fight you hard, you’ll know you’re onto something. Did you read that blessing up above? Did any sentence bring hope to your heart, or expand your mind? Did you hear a still small voice say, this sentence is about you? If so, notice if thoughts of doubt increase over the next hour. Notice that those are the dark ones. After you learn to be sensitive to when they are messing with you—after you catch onto their game and you fight back even harder—they will have failed.
Fifth, I leave you my blessing. If you are a victim of any type of abuse from the dark side, my heart goes out to you. I don’t know who you are, and I’ll probably never meet you in this lifetime. But we have a sacred bond of suffering. There are some things you truly need to go through in order to understand. I pray that you will be able to feel the love of Jesus Christ, and that you will ask Him to reach into your life and transform it, as He is doing to mine.
DID isolates each part of the victim that’s been hurt. These parts can distrust and even hate one another. They have different priorities and memories, and it is all arranged to produce stark, unsettled isolation. Relationships with others becomes complicated, and if the programming is threatened with a healthy, romantic relationship then disruptive defenses are triggered.
During Zumba tonight, I felt it. I felt the dissociation as it happened, and my love for JJ slipped away from me. It flew out of my grasp before I could catch it, and my heart closed off again, saying, you only need you. Who else matters?
It’s been seven days since JJ left to go back to Virginia. This happens every time he’s gone for a week or longer. And then every time, without fail, whenever he comes back or I go visit him, he has to win me all over again—even with me trying to open myself back up.
It’s strange…having this Dissociative Identity Disorder and being in a relationship at the same time. I dissociate from JJ when it comes to my feelings for him and to most of our memories. I literally feel like I’m in the movie The Vow or 50 First Dates. Sounds touching, but it’s not. It’s exhausting. It causes misery and heartache for both of us. I have had to work through so many feelings of shame because I know, intellectually, that I should love this man…that I should have feelings for him, and remember him. But in these moments I don’t. And the part of me that is afraid of relationships sometimes ends up treating him very poorly, indeed.
Can you imagine how patient a man would have to be to stay committed in a relationship like this? And that’s not to mention all the other problems my DID and SRA bring to the table.
While I was dancing (or, attempting to dance would be more accurate), I kept turning over and over my newfound feelings of “freedom”, of independence, in my mind. I didn’t just accept them like I normally do—I studied them. I thought about why it’s so easy for me to dissociate from someone just because they are physically apart from me.
I’ve noticed this throughout my life. I only grow close to the people who I am in close proximity to every day. Any friends or family who move away, or who I move away from, I soon forget or I lose feelings for.
The phrase occurred to me, defense mechanism.
As I walked out to my car after class, and it hit me. Just after the Incident happened in second grade, and during the worst of my years being bullied and tortured from every source imaginable, I didn’t physically have my mom present much of the time. She would drive from St. George to Salt Lake City to work as a nurse in the hospital for a week. Then, she would come back home and sleep for about three days in a row.
She was trying her best, but right when I needed my mom physically present the most, I didn’t get her all of the time. And when I did have her there, it wasn’t in the way I needed because she wasn’t able to identity my PTSD or mental illness. (To be honest, just how is anyone supposed to identify spiritual SRA?) Because of this, I probably decided to “go it alone” whenever she was gone. I think Satan took advantage of this situation (as he always does), and taught me the program I’m currently dealing with—that I should dissociate from anyone who is physically apart from me as a defense mechanism. SRA programming ensures that the victim will always be alone.
Thankfully, with JJ the affliction has always been temporary. It takes effort, but I find my way back to him, where he’s waiting patiently.