My name is Wolfgang. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse starting at the age of 10, carrying on into teenage and adult years, and building on emotional neglect starting as a toddler. The abuse created a dissociative identity phenomenon which meant that a part of me – which always remained that 10-year-old – would comply with unwanted sexual acts while the rest of me knew nothing about it afterwards. I wasn’t born with this phenomenon, nor is it a “disability” as the abusers did claim. On the contrary, the phenomenon was created by the abusers deliberately in order to make the ongoing abuse possible. Today, the phenomenon cannot be triggered any more. I realize it represented a very specific form of dissociative identity disorder (DID) as my alter only existed in situations of sexual abuse. However, as I have never come across any other testimony of actual and complete healing from DID, I do hope that mine can serve to encourage others in this respect. Allow me to share my story!
My alter was created during a series of violent gang rapes at the age of 10. It all was “organised” by my biological father who not only persuaded my mother and older sister to participate, but also groomed a number of girls and boys for it who were of the same age as I was. I hadn’t been interested in sex yet. The scenes were so overwhelming that I had to dissociate them. From that point on, it became possible to trigger my dissociated alter and his compliance with unwanted sexual acts by simply restaging certain key elements of the original scenes. Thus, the ongoing DID precisely represented a forced repetition of the original trauma.
Let me stress just one more detail in order to maintain that sexual violence can’t be tackled when leaving out certain forms of it. I was referred to as “the victim” in said horrific scenes. All girls present though were raped in the sense of statutory rape. None of these now adult women realize that simple truth to this day.
Over the years, I attracted numerous abusive people who knew how to trigger my dissociative identity phenomenon and even stalked me for it. I also met other men who had gone through the exact same thing. However, I have not seen this kind of abuse thematized anywhere, neither in the literature nor with advocacy groups nor with campaigns to end sexual violence.
Finally, as I was able to go back to the very beginning of it, even to my earliest memories, I felt like regaining my heart, something like a core of myself – that place where you are in touch with your impulses and know who you are and what you want. (That part of me had drowned amidst all the violence.) And, as a result the DID-phenomenon disappeared.
In more technical terms, the abuse had created what is sometimes called “weak ego-strength” which describes an individual’s ability to maintain their identity and sense of self in the face of pain, distress, and conflict. I didn’t know what I wanted and I wasn’t able to make decisions for myself. Instead, I looked to others for guidance. I constantly asked myself what everybody was thinking about me and I suffered from shyness to the point of social anxiety.
Certainly I do not claim that my healing journey is completed; but, my alter’s reintegration into a stronger ego is. That part of the healing came about by total recall of the original trauma bit by bit. However painful recalling of events in itself was, with every bit of it I almost was able to feel how my ego grew together. Thus, all of the pain instantly was accompanied by tremendous joy. I cannot put it in other words but “regaining my heart”.
I think the details of my story could be quite an asset to researchers of sexual violence. And, it is my hope that I will be able to add my share to end the normalcy of sexual violence on this planet forever.
Wolfgang’s story in more “explicit” detail can be found here:
Also, you can contact him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Wolfg46611072