“Search and Rescue”

Friday therapy was not what I had planned or expected, but generally, therapy never goes as I have planned.  One of the many things I love about my therapist is that we don’t always go with the obvious.  God always directs the sessions, she follows that lead, and it is always the best thing…even though it seems unexpected.  Don’t get me wrong, most times she has a plan, but we trust when God shows her/us a different path.

We thought we would discuss the harmful behaviors that my teenage part, Kat has been exhibiting.  The drinking, smoking and cutting seem to be at the forefront.  The bulimia isn’t as bad right now, and I’m so thankful.  I usually feel the after affects of the drinking and smoking.  I don’t know when it happens, I’m usually nauseated  and have a headache. It’s still so strange to me that this happens, and I’m unaware. I hope she can find ways to cope other than doing these things.

Friday, however, was dominated by another teenage part, I’ll call B.  She is our system protector, bad ass, leader, and very direct. She hates to “talk” about her abuse, and the part she played in protecting me from an abusive relationship I had in and out of college. She works well with D (my therapist), they have mutual respect for each other, and a unique friendship. D depends on B to fill her in if my community is struggling on the inside.  She is loyal and honest, but won’t say things that aren’t “her place” to say.

She and I have been experiencing some pain (body memories) because of an upcoming anniversary date of abuse.  I hate that these are difficult times of the year for my parts.  I know as we go through therapy and as the years pass, they will be easier.  Although this memory was discussed prior to Friday, it was a place B was stuck.  She told D that God promised to provide a way out, when we experience difficulty.  D said that He also said we must go through things to get to the other side of the healing.

As she shared about the memory, we realized that she literally felt stuck there, and felt as though she couldn’t get out.  D has done, what I call, “search and rescue” with my younger parts.  When they have shared their stories of abuse, they always feel like it is still happening in real time.  D always reminds them, they are not there, and are safe.  Several times as they share, she tells them she is coming to get them out, to take her hand, and they will never return again.  It’s an amazing thing to listen and be a part of, I don’t always get to “participate” though.  When I do, it is difficult for me to hear, because really, that was me.  I learn to have compassion for them and then for myself later on.

Anyway, Friday turned into sharing a painful memory, horrific events of abuse, and needing to be rescued from that event. D came in, searched for B, and she walked her “through the house to find her”, when D got there, she had words for my abuser, put her arm around B, and rescued her from that stuck place.  She tried so hard to be strong and tough, like usual, but it was too much to endure.  Here is where I feel like having a therapist that gets what needs to happen, is so important with DID. She isn’t afraid to get on the floor, or sit beside, sing a song, pray, swear, hug, color, hold onto, or whatever it takes and then model healthy relationships, not only for me, but my parts.

Of course, who doesn’t want their mom in times like this…but that isn’t possible for me.  I grieve it many, many times.  I know it is something I will never have, and it pisses me off, but God does provide other’s in my life to nurture, support and love me.  My amazing husband, sons, my 3 closest friends and even my therapist. It is all learning healthy attachments.  Not easy in the beginning to trust someone with all this, but I am blessed to have D modeling what it should have looked like and how I can become healthy in that area.

Some day when this therapy thing is over…I would love to have coffee with D and talk about life events, she is so wise, kind, spirit-filled and fun. That isn’t going to happen now, but maybe someday.  I’m 46 years old, I wish I had things I don’t, can’t, and won’t, but I can have others in my life, that God has so graciously given me instead.  I know many with DID, PTSD or trauma related issues have unhealthy attachments with their therapist.  I’m thankful that I don’t have that, I’m sure in the beginning it was a normal feeling.  I read some research that said 98% of those of us without a nurturing, loving, and caring parent, find ourselves struggling with these attachment issues with our therapist. Especially if she is female and we didn’t have a mother figure. D has set healthy boundaries for a working therapeutic relationship, she has encouraged friendships with my parts, and has helped me be a mother figure to them. I’m not good at it but she models how healthy relationships look and work.

The plain and simple truth is, only God, and Him alone, can and will fill the painful hole that is left by a missing parent, in my case, my mom.  He provides for us, if we ask, and He will give us immeasurably more than we could ever ask or dare imagine.  He did it for me, and He can do it for you!

My therapy ended with a nap in the vacant office, and a major cry.  Both were needed and necessary.  And today, I feel like we had a huge step forward, a win for the team, and peace.

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