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Definition: be·tray

tr.v. be·trayed, be·tray·ing, be·trays o give aid or information to an enemy of; commit treason against: betray one's country. To deliver into the hands of an enemy in violation of a trust or allegiance: betrayed Christ to the Romans. To be false or disloyal to: betrayed their cause; betray one's better nature. To divulge in a breach of confidence: betray a secret. To make known unintentionally: Her hollow laugh betrayed her contempt for the idea. To reveal against one's desire or will. To lead astray; deceive. See Synonyms at deceive. [Middle English bitrayen : bi-, be- + trayen, to betray (from Old French trair, from Latin trdere, to hand over; see tradition).]

I want to talk about betrayal, because I think it’s very important for us all to acknowledge that it happens and to understand how hurtful it can be.  As you can see from the definition above, betrayal can happen in varying degrees.  It could encompass the activities of a spy or perhaps just a sarcastic comment.  It can be as simple as disloyalty of a perceived friend or as devastating as a broken trust by a person in authority or power.

I am struggling every day, to come to terms with a recent betrayal by someone I was encouraged to believe in and trust.   In this instance I intend to address directly what I am going through and why.  I feel hurt, betrayed and abandoned.  I really wish I didn’t, but I do.

It takes a great deal for anyone to accept that they need professional help and to then seek it out.  For me, as a survivor with tremendous trust issues, it takes even more time to gather the courage needed to make a move toward healing, by seeking out professional help. When I take into consideration all of the things I have been through in my life, I have great difficulty in believing that there are actually people “out there” who care about those of us whose lives have been terribly affected by trauma. Choosing to seek help involves my making promises to my “alters” that it is the right thing to do and that they should trust me that no one will hurt them.

I have had several experiences with the mental health profession, which were far less than desirable. I have had private hospital stays in which I was physically threatened and blamed for that attack.  I have had doctors refuse to help me, while others simply chose to drug and house me.  I have had reactions to my struggle, go from nurses who chose not to believe me to nurses who laughed at me and accused me of acting like a child. Talk about degradation!  The treatment of people with problems that I have witnessed and experienced by mental health professionals is repulsive and disgraceful. Being in the “system” is not a nice place to be. Believe me.

Naturally, given my past encounters with therapy, seeking a therapist is not something I relished doing and so it took me close to a year, after the last hurt by a professional to even consider looking for help and therapy again.   I had reached a point where there was just so much going on inside of me and in my life that my condition, both physical and mental, had become obviously deteriorated.  I knew deep down inside that I had to try, so I would have the opportunity to stop seeing myself as a failure.

With strength and lots of encouragement from my family, I tentatively took that step and began looking for help again. All the while wondering, “what next?”  Looking for assistance is very difficult for me, because of the issues I struggle with.  There are very few trained to help heal  Dissociative Identity Disorder and most of the ones who are trained are either not taking on new patients or are prohibitively expensive.  It is so hard to find someone who really understands and acknowledges that there is a lot of pain and hurt involved in living like this. Then there are those who make initial appointments, during which I should be “interviewing” them, only to have them say at the conclusion that my difficulties are bigger than the scope of their expertise or that I need to be in hospital to do the work. (Which is really helpful, considering there don’t appear to be any hospitals in Ontario that have inpatient programs for this.)  I don’t know if you know what it feels like to be rejected by someone who chooses to be in a healing profession, but lets just say it is hundreds of times worse than not getting the perfect job after an interview.

After much searching and many “interviews”, I decided that Kali Munro sounded really sincere and she gave the impression that not only did she know about DID, but also, that she actually really cared.  I decided that I would begin to see her, twice weekly, and see whether or not she was someone I could work with. Over the passing weeks, she did and said things that caused me to think that maybe she really did care.  She had certainly said so often, not only to me and my family, but also to my alters – the young ones and the protectors.  Myself and many of my parts, began to believe in her ability and stated desire to help us. She often would tell us she understood and that she cared about what had happened, was happening, and would happen for us. There were still holdouts within me that made it quite clear that she would hurt us.  They chose not to trust her.

She expressed disgust when I shared with her some of my prior experiences with the mental health profession, added that she’d heard many horror stories from other clients, and assured me that she would never, ever disappoint or hurt me the way the others had.  She insisted, time and again, that she would never hurt us in any way and she treated us with what I thought was compassion. 

Against the will of Korah, one of my protectors, I made the mistake of believing her.  I wanted so badly to have at last found THE right therapist, the one who could actually help me to heal. Korah was right though.  All of her words were lies and empty (now broken) promises.  You can not care about someone and then turn around and do what she did to me.  It is apparent now that she never really cared at all and I will relay to you why that is so obvious to me.

After I had been seeing her for a number of months, an event took place in the Network 54 support forum that she moderated.  One of my alters,  Lorin, signed on as the lurker and posted a picture of a very fat cat in the forum.  She thought it was cute and wanted to share it with everyone.  Another forum member anonymously attacked her by demanding it be removed and telling her to get lost.  They even said, “You are not welcome here.”  She was so hurt by this blatant, unjustified attack that Korah came out to protect her. Korah was rightfully angry and had to repeatedly demand an apology from the person who had attacked. After more than 24 hours, Rainbohdi AKA SallyAnne, one of the people who attacked again in “frustration”(another client of Kali Munro’s) stepped forward and admitted it was her. She also attacked using the name of   "nonamesplease". Her “apology” was negated when she did not take responsibility for what she had said by blaming having been “triggered”. All of this happened without my knowledge. I (Gloria) was not present during these exchanges, although I was aware that Korah was very angry later.

Over the next couple of months, I was attacked many, many times by Rainbohdi. Kali, as forum moderator, had the power to put a stop to the attacks, but chose to do nothing.  She allowed the hurtful attacks to continue.   At first I tried overlooked it; thinking maybe she (Rain) was having a hard time or a bad day or was angry because of a poem I had removed from the forum.  By May, I could ignore it no longer.  She was answering posts I made, to other people, with thinly veiled aggression and I didn’t know what it was about.  I emailed Kali, my therapist, and was told to ask Rain why she was treating me like she was.  She attacked again and publicly accused me of being “the lurker”, which I flatly denied. The attacking, threatening behaviour continued that night and not one person in that forum, many of whom I was friendly with, spoke up in defense of me.

Much to my horror, Kali later that night, by email, advised me that indeed the posts had come from my IP address.  She had apparently known for some time and had not bothered to tell me.  The next day, I wrote and posted a long public apology and took full responsibility for the actions of my alters.  I explained to everyone that I had had no knowledge of the incident, was shocked to learn of my involvement in it, and was very sorry for things that were said.  Kali Munro could have protected me from this public humiliation by sharing the information much sooner, which would have afforded me the opportunity to work things out privately with Rainbohdi, but she didn’t.  In fact, when I asked her directly, in my email, why I was being treated like this, I was told to go ask. To me, this was like endorsing or encouraging the attack.

I felt so hurt, angry and humiliated that I wound up in hospital – after attempting suicide - within only a few days of this apology.  There was no reason for any of this.  In fact, none of it would have happened, had Rainbohdi not started it by attacking the lurker.  It was just a picture of a fat cat for crying out loud! Rainbohdi's behaviours were blatantly aggressive toward me all those months and that final attack was specifically designed to hurt me.  Kali had to have seen it coming, but turned a blind eye. She allowed Rainbohdi to continuously attack me and my alters.

After my release from hospital, I reluctantly returned to see Kali.  We spent many sessions discussing this whole scenario.  I felt that I and my alters deserved an apology from Rainbohdi and felt strongly that it should be as public as her attacks of me had been.  Although Kali said she “understood”, she did not get Rain to apologize.  Instead she, Kali, posted a public apology for what had transpired. Even after the apology, the attacks from Rainbohdi continued.  For obvious reasons, these events had put a real strain on our relationship, but I continued to attend and pay for my sessions because she said we could work through it and it wouldn’t happen again.

The last incident at her new support forum appears in its entirety under the heading “*Frustration”.   Kali was fully aware that I was RAOK and even thought it was great that posting nice messages around the web helped me to feel good.  She even told me that my response to Eileen in conflict resolution was tactful and direct.  I chose to remain anonymous and she was okay with that.  The attacks continued and escalated as more people jumped on the bandwagon and tried to better the last.  In that series of posts, you can see where some suspected it was me posting as RAOK.  That tells me that those same people, with whom I was friendly, intentionally attacked me.  Those same people, who knew how hard I was struggling and had only been out of hospital less than 4 weeks, didn’t have an ounce of compassion between them and continued to attack me. Again, Kali did nothing to stop their threatening behaviour. Instead, she banned me for standing up and speaking out about the treatment I was receiving from them. She sacrificed my health for them. She knew full well how deeply that would hurt me. 

I feel thoroughly and utterly let down, abandoned, and betrayed. That she would condone their attacks and punish all of us with banning makes me wonder how she might have treated someone she didn’t “care about”.  In “frustration” when Kali mentions that “yes, there is a history” it is the lurker incident she is referring to, which never would have happened had Rainbohdi not been such a troublemaker to begin with by choosing to attack one of my alters. Kali failed to mention that in her final post!

The new forum rules mentioned in those posts were added as a direct result of Rainbohdi's conduct, yet she was allowed to break them repeatedly. The Lurker incident was started by Rainbohdi. The treatment I received at that forum, for doing nothing wrong instigated by others, reminded me of things that happened during my childhood.  I am triggered and constantly taken back to those times and places.  When Kali sided with those forum members and congratulated them for their attacking me, it reminded me (and my others) of Phyllis turning her back and allowing abuses to happen. I feel abused and betrayed by Kali Munro and by her forum members.  My insides feel abused by them.  They abused us. All this time my Frustration pages have been up and still not one single apology, when they all were so clearly wrong for the way they treated me.  I hope that they sleep well at night, knowing the kind of uncertainty they have brought to my future and the deep pain I feel every single day. I want to condemn Kali Munro for knowingly hurting us the way she did.  I wish I had the power to have her feel what I have lived. I am appalled and disgusted by the actions and behaviours of Kali Munro and her forum members We will never, ever forget or forgive what they have done to us in a public support forum.  I remain hurt and my protectors are raging.

November 20, 2002

 

*For my own personal reasons, I have removed the "Frustration Pages" for the time being.

 

   
           

       
   

 

   
   

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