When I started therapy, August 29th 2011, I went in to get help for my bulimia. At the time it was out of control; I was out of control. My life was not going the way I anticipated. Sure, I heard God’s voice clearly, and followed His leading, but sadness and depression weren’t supposed to be part of this plan. I was working full time, doing very well in the work God called me to do, my family was happy and everything outwardly seemed great!
I remember on one of my early morning runs with a friend, saying, “I think I need to go to counseling.” She asked me why and I said, “I feel out of control, unhappy, and I’m ready to face my ED head on.” I had been to therapy in the past and it was probably good…LOL! I say that because now I’m aware that therapy isn’t about the “thing” you go in for; it’s about the “things” that are hidden below, that cause you to do that “thing”. In my early experience with therapy, the T went right to the hidden “things”, only I wasn’t aware or had much memory of them. Hmmmm, should have been a red flag, but I was young and dumb. Or maybe I thought I knew more about it than she did. Yikes!
So in 2011, I walked into my current T office, sat down, and for the next hour I told her everything about my life. I told her about my bulimia, alcohol use, short prescription drug use, my messed up home life (which I’ve since learned was much worse) and that I felt overwhelming sadness all the time. And with 5 minutes left I said, “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you my husband had an affair many years ago, but we are good now.” By then, smoke was surfacing from her notepad due to the nonstop writing of my life story! I’m sure she was thinking, “What the H E double hockey sticks have I gotten myself into??”
She too, didn’t spend much time talking to me about my bulimia. WT_??? How can this be happening again, I thought. She wanted to know about my childhood, hmmmm, this was sounding very familiar. I don’t know when she first realized I was dissociating or that I had dissociative identity disorder, but she was very careful to not “show those cards”, if you know what I mean. Many times I commented that I was feeling very strange, the feeling right before you pass out, without so much nausea. She never seemed shocked by hearing that, and would continue on with what we were doing.
I used to sit in this blue leather, Queen Anne, high back, chair. It had these rivets around the arm rest and I would start rubbing those rivets when I got that “strange” feeling (which I now know as switching). My thumbs would be raw and sometimes bloody by the time the session was over. It seemed to keep me present for awhile; then one day it stopped working and I was switching.
After quitting and coming back to therapy several times upon hearing her diagnosis, I slowly began to embrace this seemingly familiar way of life. It was comforting to know that I wasn’t crazy, but what do I do with DID?? I don’t know anyone with this. So I did what every good “Googler” does; I headed to the internet for answers! BAD, BAD idea…just saying’! After I got all that out of my system, I began to do real research, read books, ask questions and trust my T, because she was the expert in this field!
I read one day, early on, that the work in therapy for someone with DID takes 5-10 years. I realize that was written by some doctor of something, who is an expert in their field, so it must be accurate. However, it was a large gap and I wanted the fast track version, which is why I gave myself the 5 years or less time frame. I started out with about 5 parts, I could identify and felt like that wouldn’t take too much time. Of course, now I know that you never end with what you think you’ve started with. Oops! My community has more than doubled since the beginning and I’m approaching the 5 year mark in August. But I love them all!
Sadness and grief feel very heavy today. I think it’s because I never dreamed this would be happening to me. When I read the book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, I never imagined this was what God had for me and my life. I do know He works for my good and he wants nothing but the best for my life. Trust! Faith! Hope!
As August 29th approaches, there’s a high probability that I will not be finished. What does being finished even look like?? I will have missed the 5 year plan for healing, but God will NOT leave me here. He has things I do not understand, know, or could possibly fathom.