Ritual Abuse/Mind Control survivors – Internal Keys to Safety by Alison Miller

Trigger warning
A minority of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder or Other Specified Dissociative Disorder (DDNOS) have experienced ritual abuse (also known as trauma-based mind control). The combination of both creates additional struggles in healing because typically alter personalities will have been created to actively disrupt and prevent healing.
Fighting against these alter personalities tends to lead to more problems and prevents healing – but their roles and motives can be understood in a positive way, and survivors can learn to negotiate with and educate these parts/alters in order to heal together. Often these parts/alters will have been lied to and tricked by abusers, and may have been traumatized by them as well. If they discover this they may choose to work towards – rather than against – healing.
Psychotherapist Alison Miller recognizes two areas of problems for survivors of RA/MC:

  • Emotional instability and psychiatric symptoms
  • Inability to keep physically safe from the perpetrator group

She states both are related to programming – which is “the training of child insiders (alter personalities) to do ‘jobs’ assigned by the perpetrators.”

Trigger Warning yellow triangle

Download Internal Keys to Safety by Alison Miller (survivorship.org) to learn more – could be very triggering. 

Survivors may want to review this with your therapist or support person before reading it. This presentation is not meant as therapy or treatment.



Related Links

Books on Ritual Abuse and Mind Control by the Sidran Institute

Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse by Alison Miller (book cover) 

A Therapist’s Perspective: Reactions to dependency – responses depend on how secure the therapist is

People who support survivors of trauma may react in different ways, depending on how secure they are in their own attachment behavior and relationships. This table identifies therapists‘ typical responses to working with Trauma Survivors. Partners, friends or other supportive people may act in some of these ways, which will also depend on their own understanding of trauma.

Countertransference is a term that refers to how your therapist seems to react toward you. If you are currently finding your therapist responding in ways you find difficult, this may be helpful to discuss in a session.

Therapist reactions and responses to the Dependency of people with Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Dissociative Disorders.

Therapist reactions and responses to the Dependency of people with Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Dissociative Disorders.

Source: Steele, K., van der Hart, O., & Nijenhuis, E. R. (2001). Dependency in the treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder and dissociative disorders. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 2(4), 79-116. http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/steele-2001.php

Types of Dependency – Extreme, Secure and Counterdependency

This table is a useful tool in assessing both where you are now and what you could aim for to build more secure relationships.

Extreme Dependency, Counterdependency and Secure Dependency behaviors in Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders

Extreme Dependency, Counterdependency and Secure Dependency behaviors in Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders

Excessive Independence (Counterdependency) – When you can’t ask for help

This article covers dependence and attachment issues commonly found in people with Complex PTSD, trauma-related Borderline Personality Disorder, DDNOS and Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Counter-dependency explained
Being excessively independent means being unable to seek any form of help, for example social support from friends, this is actually a phobia (avoidant behavior) rather than healthy.

Healthy (secure) Dependency versus Insecure Dependency

Dependency is often viewed as being an undesirable quality, and in some way shameful (particularly for men), but healthy and secure dependency allows a person to ask for help or support when it is appropriate. Just as a person without a trauma history could do. Benefits in psychotherapy include co-operation, being open to suggestions but making decisions yourself, and forming a positive attachment to the therapist.

Insecure dependency involves either extreme dependence (extreme demanding behavior, helplessness, inability to accept limitations of supportive people, etc) or counterdependency (excessive independence, inability to seek help even if in crisis, unable to establish a healthy, therapeutic dependence in psychotherapy leading to little progress, criticizing and rejecting expression of neediness from others).

Dependency and Trauma

Steele, van der Hart, & Nijenhuis (2001) stated:

Studies have also consistently demonstrated that strong social support following trauma (implying some degree of dependency) is essential to prevent further difficulties with trauma-related disorders (e.g., King et al., 1998; Runtz & Schallow, 1997). However, most chronically traumatized individuals do not receive such support until the time they enter therapy. Many, if not most chronically traumatized children live within a family system that denies, minimizes, or even encourages ongoing abuse and neglect, and that does not provide the child with adequate support following traumatic events. Such a relational environment leads to insecure attachment, which involves insecure dependency (Bowlby, 1988).

Childhood Abuse and Trauma

Early trauma – particularly abuse at the hands of a care-giver – leads to distrust and difficulties in attaching securely to the care-giver. A secure attachment style can’t develop so the child forms an insecure attachment: avoidant/dismissing, ambivalent (resistant), or disorganized attachment (attachment which swings between avoidant and ambivalent). This attachment style is maintained in later life and is know to affect all major relationships.

Insecure dependency may take the form of excessive dependency or excessive independency (a counter-phobic stance toward feared or rejected dependency), as the basic trust needed for secure dependency never develops or is destroyed. Excessive dependency is present in ambivalent (resistant) attachment styles, counterdependency is present in avoidant/dismissing attachment styles, and disorganized attachment involves moving between both forms of insecure dependency.

Dependency and Complex Dissociative Disorders

Complex Dissociative Disorders (DDNOS and Dissociative Identity Disorder) are typically believed to involve both excessive dependency and counterdependency. For example, a child alter (an Emotional Part) may be clingy and excessively needy, but another alter like a protector (also an Emotional Part) may have a ‘fight’ response, eg resisting discussing feelings and showing anger at a very needy child part.

References

  1. Steele, K., van der Hart, O., & Nijenhuis, E. R. (2001). Dependency in the treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder and dissociative disorders. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 2(4), 79-116. http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/steele-2001.php
  2. Counter-dependence: The flight from intimacy. Weinhold, J & Weinhold, B. http://weinholds.org/the-flight-from-intimacy-healing-counter-dependency/

More info: http://traumadissociation.com
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The pressure to forgive – True Forgiveness vs Premature Forgiveness

Sarah Lee Dennis experienced a sudden betrayal trauma, which caused Post-traumatic stress disorder for several years. “Forgive, let go and move on” all the self-help books said. The reality was not as easy as it sounded. In fact, no matter how hard she worked on forgiveness it remained an impossible goal. She was simply stuck, why couldn’t she just “forgive”? What was wrong?

Sarah Lee Dennis talks about her 2 year quest to forgive, and Premature Forgiveness

Related Links

More info: http://traumadissociation.com

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