The Hoax on Hoaxes

I’ve just been browsing about on the Internet looking for information on healing from SRA that might help me and mine.  My internal world is a bit of a train wreck at the moment, and my best friend is coming along for the ride.  We’ve seen rather alot of changes lately.  There are new people about, some of whom are absolutely terrified.  Their fear latches on to me, and sometimes I’m not sure who is feeling what.  A sudden, debilitating depression last night led to me losing two hours of time and my best friend talking with four of my others while whatever was keeping me from functioning got patched up a bit.  The sudden changes in my system and general inability to function at a high level have led me to believe I’m about to face some of the difficult work in accepting myself as plural.

Many of the book reviews on sites like Amazon include, of course, the ‘it’s all a hoax’ group. My anger is fuelling this post, so I want to point out a couple of facts that might explain more about this ‘hoax.’  The popular statement against the existence of SRA is that it is created by therapists who plant false memories.  My mother, who had DID, had never *seen* a therapist.  She saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed her with schizophrenia and kept her drugged so much that she barely had a life for a while.  The psychiatrist did not work with memories at all.  Because I held the role of caretaker for my mother, I attended each visit.  They all followed the same routine visits with a regular doctor would have.  The only difference is they were discussing mental symptoms as opposed to physical.

As for me, there have been few memories to actually recover.  I grew up in the cult and never once questioned whether I had dealt with SRA.  I have worked in depth with two therapists, neither of whom hypnotised me.  In fact, neither of them even *believed* in SRA.  I mentioned that my family had been involved with Satanism, and we moved on from there.  I’ve talked in watered-down tones about some of the things I’ve been through, but never have I described them in terms of Satanism.  I’ve actually been quite careful *not* to talk explicitly about SRA.  Talking with a therapist who doesn’t believe in SRA will likely only damage me and mine further.  I’m in therapy to heal.

I talk about the memories and events in my past that can be described outside of satanic rituals.  Yes, some of the events *were* part of rituals.  Details are unnecessary, though.  Recently, for example, I talked with my therapist about a the brutal killing of one of our childhood pets.  I told the therapist vaguely what happened and that I had been forced to participate in the events.  No mention at all was made of the fact that these events were tied to a satanic ritual.  Ideally, I would be talking with a therapist who *does* believe in SRA and has treated it before.  For now, though, I’m not in a position to do that.  And before anyone things of bringing this up as further ‘proof’ that SRA doesn’t exist, I’m too young to have been influenced by the media craze on SRA.  In fact, I doubt the ‘craze’ was anything like the reality of SRA in the first place.

In my mother and me, then, there are two cases of SRA-induced DID that don’t quite fit the ideal model of a ‘hoax’ that people place on the existence of this type of abuse.  Unless the NHS psychiatrist who cared very little for my mother in the first place found a way to place false memories in her mind while discussing the latest flavour of Haldol lollies, her memories were real.

As for me, I’ve never been allowed the luxury of life without memories of SRA.  It’s hard to recover false memories of SRA when the knowledge of being part of a cult was never dissociated in the first place.  I was born in to the cult and have never experienced life with absolutely no contact with them. Yes, there are people out there who falsely claim to have been victims of SRA.  Take care not to dump all of us in to that category.  It’s a very convenient way to keep denying that something like SRA can and *does* exist.  Believe me, those of us who have lived through it wish we could convince ourselves it doesn’t exist as well.

Comments are, as always, very welcome.  Be warned, though, that scathing comments will be met with scathing replies.  I will not compromise my past, my current experiences, or the healing of others who are coming to terms with SRA.


6 thoughts on “The Hoax on Hoaxes

  1. Grrrrrr, it makes me so cross when people who have experienced real trauma are not believed! I wonder did you ever think of seeing a therapist who did believe and work with SRA?

    Stumbled across your blog through various other counselling related links – am very glad I did. 🙂


    • Rachel– I’m happy to read that you like the blog. It’s always good to know that people are finding it helpful and/or interesting.

      Seeing a therapist who works with SRA is exactly what I need to do. A friend gave me the name of his wife’s therapist a few years ago, and I’ve noted a nearby therapist who belongs to the ISSD-T (International Society for the Study of Dissociation and Trauma). For now, though, a financial issue is keeping me at the bloody subsidised clinic where I’m currently being seen. I’m not sure what’s worse– the British NHS system that I used back home or the American subsidised system I’m currently using. 🙂

  2. Can’t help but laugh when I read the “false memory” literature and it’s references to a “child abuse industry” full of therapists who believe in ritual abuse.

    If someone could draw up a map and show us all where this “industry” is, I’d really appreciate it!!!

    • Michael– absolutely hilarious way of putting it. Thanks for that! It really does make it sound like a business based on mass production.

  3. Hi Englishrain,

    I am slowly working my way through your posts on SRA.
    You are excellent in your way of expressing yourself in spite of your detachments from emotions. I understand better why we do detach because of the work you have done.

    I can’t even fathom what it is like for you, “As for me, I’ve never been allowed the luxury of life without memories of SRA.” My heart goes out to you. I know for sure that I am alive because I had that precious luxury. I am humbled to know you.

    I have so many things I wish I could talk to you about all of this but I think I am just a tad overwhelmed right now and I think I’ll wait till I am more clear. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your openness, how much my heart goes out to you for all of your pain, and how I wish I could take you to my therapist (I think you would like him very much).

    Thank you for being here, thank you for writing and sharing and being so incredibly brave.

    • Thanks so much, Vicki. I’m not quite sure how to respond other than to thank you for your kind words. In the post you quoted, I really wasn’t at all trying to set myself above all other SRA survivors. Living with memories of SRA, whether recovered or never dissociated, is absolute hell. I wish the best for you as you work through the issues you’re facing as well. We all have everything we need to survive inside of us. Sometimes it just takes a bit of poking about to find it. 🙂

      Please feel free, whenever you’re ready, to email me about any of the things you’d like to discuss. I’m sure we’ll have a few similarities, and I’m always available to talk with people about trauma, SRA, or just about anything else. (I typically do respond to emails– sorry about the late reply on the last you sent!!)

      I really am quite speechless. I’m so very glad you’ve found things that help you on the blog and absolutely amazed by your reaction to my writing.

      Take good care.

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