This is a play-by-play of my leap off of Web Hill in St. George, Utah, as recorded by my mother and boyfriend on social media, from the day after my suicide attempt until my first week home from the hospital 3 months later. I fell 60 feet and then rolled another 40 feet down the cliff. That was the beginning of a long stream of miracles. Among those, was my mother’s decision to go against her natural inclinations and social training to honor me by doing what she knew I would want her to do: go public with the truth.
I am JJ Brown, Nicole’s boyfriend. I wrote this on my Facebook to help others to understand how Nicole and so many others could be so afflicted with the mental health issues they face. It is a complicated issue. My summary does not tell the whole story, but it tells a part of the story the medical community is not equipped to explain.
Here is a useful description of steps of the healing process for those with DID. Sometimes healing involves fusing the various alters, but not always. Elements of each step can bleed between these steps, and elements of the early steps will still present themselves even during later steps. Each step can be messy, but this outline helps me recognize that messiness can actually be evidence of healing.
By Nicole Hilton, August 17th, 2020 I don’t think I’ve talked about it before on this blog, but I have a sleeping disorder. It started in 2018, when, for a whole week, I literally couldn’t sleep. I ended up in the psychiatric hospital and became a zombie, living in a perpetual death-like state whereContinue reading “Faith”
The Mind is a battleground between Light and dark. The dark side uses abuse and trauma to overtake the mind and turn it into a killing field, destroying all hope, empowerment, self-worth, and light. Agency is neutralized as the victim’s mind is flooded with a torrent of dark choices. For survivors, hope must be rediscovered, empowerment must be relearned, self-worth replanted, and the Light reached for against a current of despair.
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.
Surviving Trauma can be an extreme roller coaster–lots of low, 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.
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.
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.
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.