All posts by didandme12

A Journey Begins…

It has been over 2 months since I’ve posted anything. After my last post in April, I started cutting back on my therapy. I have been going twice a week for about 3yrs; on difficult weeks, even more. The idea, of course, was mine; my therapist was hesitant at first. However, we spent a great deal of time talking through how it would work, feel, and explaining to everyone on the inside. I plan to share that at a later time…

I decided to only tell my husband because I wanted to wait and see how the changes would affect me or if I was ready. The perfectionistic part of me didn’t want to feel like a failure, which was another reason. And really, it was between me, my husband and my therapist.

By the end of May, lots of unfortunate events were taking place in my life. It was like déjà vu: “already seen”; when it occurs, it seems to spark our memory of a place we have already been, a person we have already seen, or an act we’ve already done. It is a signal to pay special attention to what is taking place, perhaps to receive a specific lesson in a certain area or complete what is not yet finished.  There is no way of predicting where each might lead or what it will teach you.  

I asked God to show me why this was happening again and to give me the strength and courage to walk with integrity and faith. Trusting Him was the only thing that made sense, so I did! Walking away from toxic people is what I’ve been learning to do for the last 6 years in therapy.

By this time, I had stopped going to therapy all together. I was excited about the chance to use all the things God had shown me and what I’ve learned in therapy. I knew how to take care of each part of me; we had all worked extremely hard, but it was strange for everyone. There were days when I questioned the decision to stop going, other days I was thrilled to know I would be okay and I could nurture all the parts of me. It was encouraging to know that I had the ability to walk in this new found freedom and do the things I’ve been learning.

It wasn’t always easy, especially during this particular event. Some days it felt like a test, too difficult to figure out and other days, it was very sad.

The most important thing I learned for myself and my community is: What God knows about me is more important than what anyone says or thinks about me. I’ve spent too long allowing abusive people to hurt me; I’ve spent hundreds of hours in therapy learning, growing and healing; I’ve allowed God to transform and bring healing to my life; I’ve learned about His unconditional love and watched Him bless my husband and sons in amazing ways; He showed us how to love, care and support one another.

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I wanted this to be an encouragement to anyone who would read this. We all have been wounded and hurt; some more than others, but we share a common bond on this site. We support and encourage each other. We are strangers, but we feel like friends. We would never consider saying or doing anything that would harm another person on here, right?? I cannot even imagine it happening. It’s a safe place with others who are finding healing and transformation!

I believe people hurt other people because they are, in fact, unhealthy. I am NOT perfect by any means, but I certainly cannot imagine saying and doing things to intentionally hurt people I care about. I know, all too well, what that is like…and just because I have a mental illness, does NOT mean I am an easy target. None of us should ever allow another  person the power to harm us or take on their shame, guilt and blame. Be the person God created you to be, not what others say about you!

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. God always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.            Hebrews 10:24-25

Clean

I have experienced a healing, in the past few weeks, that cannot be explained by anything short, of the work, God is doing in my life. I have experienced pain on a daily basis; the pain is due to the abuse that happened to me as a child and teenager. Pain I thought would never go away, something I would always live and try to be content with.  It had become so common each and everyday, that I quit mentioning it to anyone. The pain occurs various times a day, and from various activities. My feeling was always, “What’s the point, no one can do anything about it anyway.”

Over the past two weeks, in therapy, my therapist and I have been working together and purposefully praying for the answers to this chronic pain, as well as the intense, rapid occurring, migraine headaches. I have migraines, but these particular ones are so abrupt, it takes me out immediately. Within seconds it would hit and I would be trying to find a place to lay down.

I believe in the power of prayer. Believing in God is to believe that He answers prayer.  To believe in Him means that we also trust in Him and this trust in His answer is always better than what we think or might expect and in His timing is frequently different from ours.  Never take the silence of God as God ignoring you.  Often God waits to answer our prayers for His perfect timing and in many ways His answers are better than what we had originally asked for.

God has never promised to heal everyone in this life nor has He promised to answer every prayer to what we ask for.  God’s will is supremely higher than what we know because God’s will is always better for us than the will we have for our own lives.  Trust God, believe in Him, wait patiently on Him and He will answer your prayers.

When we pray for the things I mentioned above, we are told in the bible to pray in Jesus’ name, with the authority He has given to us. Jesus gave all believers the authority, in His name, to heal. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we have authority over sickness, and therefore we can exercise our authority to bring about healing in another person’s life! Matthew 10:8 says, Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid.

I realize that it requires great faith and trust in God, believing that His will be done. That even if He doesn’t answer when or how I want, my hope is in Him alone! I’m especially grateful for a therapist who exhibits this great faith and trust in God; for answers, direction, and guidance in regards to my therapy.

God has answered our prayers and has used my therapist to bring healing. I have not had any of the pain, I mentioned above, for two weeks. The quick forming migraines have stopped as well. It is amazing and mind-blowing at the same time! I cried, tears of joy, just thinking about waking up without pain. God is intentional, loving and compassionate; He cares about each and every part of me. He is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. AMAZING!!

I recently heard the song Clean, by Natalie Grant. Actually, it was the day after my therapy session, in which this healing took place. I was stepping out of the shower and the DJ on the radio was introducing this new song…click the song title for the video.

Clean

I see shattered
You see whole
I see broken
But You see beautiful
And You’re helping me to believe
You’re restoring me piece by piece

There’s nothing too dirty
that You can’t make worthy
You wash me in mercy
I am clean

What was dead now lives again
My heart’s beating, beating inside my chest
Oh I’m coming alive with joy and destiny
Cause You’re restoring me piece by piece

There’s nothing too dirty
that You can’t make worthy
You wash me in mercy
I am clean, oh yeah

Washed in the blood of Your sacrifice
Your blood flowed red and made me white
My dirty rags are purified
I am clean
I’m clean, ohhh I’m
I’m clean, oh I’m clean, I’m clean

Oh You made me
You wash me
Clean
Oh You made me clean

 

 

You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Philippians 4:19

 

“Do you think…

Me: …I will ever be a productive member of society again? You know, like when I taught school or when I was a children’s pastor. Will that ever happen for me again?”

Therapist: “Absolutely! God has incredible things He wants you to do. You haven’t seen nuttin’ yet!”

Me: “Really? Because I feel like I barely make it through the day some weeks. Other weeks, I come to therapy 3x; I’m a mess. How do you know for sure?”

Therapist: “I don’t know for sure. But what I do know is, He brought you this far. He’s healed so many areas of your life. You are changing from the inside out; realizing the person He created you to be all along.” 

Me: “Oh, okay. But I want to be done with all this, better, doing life like “normal” people. 

Therapist: “You are better; I wish you could see from my vantage point, just how much. You have inspired and taught me a lot, you know. About the strength and power of God and how He is so willing to handle even the smallest detail to increase our faith; about resilience through your pain that shows your trust in Him; about even when you don’t feel like going on with life, work, running, etc., you do; and shall I add this? That you know how to do most everything better than the rest of us. How does that happen?” 😉

Me: (tears running down my face) “Is that what you really see?

Therapist: “YES!”

Me: “Thank you, it was hard to take all that in, hold it as my own, and acknowledge it as truth. I am very blessed.”

This is how a recent conversation with my therapist went. It is amazing how we view ourselves so differently, compared to how other’s see us. I’m grateful for the people in my life, like my therapist, who speak hope, encouragement and truth.

Feeling blessed, in the midst of much pain and discomfort. It’s an anniversary month for my teenage part, who endured painful abuse. We will keep fighting because in the end, we have won the battle.

I hope this finds you all well. I have been absent for some time. I think about you so often, and praying for strength and courage for daily battles you are fighting to win!

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Finding a Purpose

I have found myself asking the same question, although many different ways, over and over again. “What is my purpose?” “What will I be when I grow up?” “Will I ever be able to have a career again?” “How long is all this going to take?” “What am I going to do with my life?” “I’m 48, now what?” “What is God’s will for my life?” “Will I ever be healed or well enough to have a career?” Even though I know all the “right” answers to this question, I am finding difficulty in believing there’s actually something better waiting for me.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my job as an office manager for two, incredibly gifted, respected and caring therapists. They have given me an opportunity to be involved in the workplace, while I’m intensely seeking my own therapy and healing. I am blessed to be there, no question!

I had two incredible career experiences prior to resigning and working on “Me, myself, and the gang! This journey, the past 5 1/2 years, has taken many turns, seen many road blocks, small crashes, lost some much needed baggage, allowed me to breathe again, challenged me to do things I would never do, depend on others, trust, believe, love, witnessed miracles, freedom and have faith that God will continue to bring healing.

Sounds like I’m whining, huh?  Probably a great deal of truth in that statement. I have always achieved what I set out to accomplish. I was always afraid to try anything that could possibly be a failure; that didn’t leave much to choose from. My inside parts have taught me countless things I NEVER knew about myself; it continues to blow my mind. Here are a few examples of things I would never try, never liked or not considered before:

  • We love to cook
  • We can sew, don’t use patterns, make things up as we go
  • We make jewelry by taking old pieces, busting them up and recreating them into beautiful things
  • We paint shoes or rings or jewelry
  • We can read music and play some on the piano
  • We design websites and logos
  • We draw and illustrate each sketch
  • We love and ride horses
  • We love to shop and by shop, I mean clothes and shoes

There is probably more, but you get the point. Shocking to myself, my family and those close to me to see it all unfold. Well, they may not be as shocked as I am! My therapist is always saying, “You can do anything! Is there anything you can’t do? ” She jokes about how she wishes she could do even some of those things.

Then why sit and wonder what my purpose is moving forward? It starts with the truth; it’s not about me. Yep, that’s right ________, it’s NOT about you! Life is about God. He created me, on purpose, to bring Him glory. It goes against most of what we hear on a daily basis, in our society, if we were to watch the news.:) But believing and living otherwise would be a never-ending, empty, uphill battle.

Making life choices, based solely, on what makes me “happy” will be a waste of my time. Seeking God first, allowing Him to lead and show me my purpose; that’s what He intended for this adventurous life. I think my struggle comes from a place of fear. Fear of not being able to do the things I once did; fear that I can’t handle a full time career. I can’t let those fears drive me or my decisions. What would bring God glory? That’s my purpose…

Matthew 10:39 says, “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”

Matthew 7:7 says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Parts, Addictions and Withdrawal

I’ve been out of touch for awhile… mainly because I don’t know how to explain the things that have been happening. My journey with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) has had it ups and downs, good and bad days and learning more about myself than I thought was possible. I wouldn’t change a thing because I am putting the pieces of my life back together.

For several months, my therapist and I have been working with Kat, my teenager who has struggled with various addictions. I work for therapist’s who are trained in addictions; I see the struggle people have on a daily basis. This was not going to be easy or quick, but it was possible!

Kat and I are so much alike and yet so different. My therapist has a hard time knowing who she is talking with, as are switching is almost flawless. Yet at the same time, we have completely different personalities (duh)!

She is out-going, fun, adventurous, speaks her mind-freely, confident, hilarious, creative, kind-hearted, always wants everyone to be happy without showing negative emotions. She helps me see the lighter side of life, try new things, gets me out of the dual thinking- right/wrong, good/bad, up/down, and not take myself so seriously. I am grateful for the things she has taught me along the way.

I understand her eating disorder, the struggle to not binge and purge and her need to numb with medication. What I haven’t been able to understand is the cutting, smoking and drinking. It’s amazing how I can hate to smoke or the smell of smoke and yet, I smoke. And what I didn’t realize is that she has a serious drinking problem. I enjoy an occasional drink, but she needs it everyday. This was shocking and yet heart-breaking for me to learn. I understand her using all these behaviors to numb the pain of the abuse she endured. She took all of that for me, so I could survive.

Until recently, she didn’t want anyone to know how much she drank. When she opened up in therapy, my therapist was encouraging, supportive and adamant that she begin the process to stop. We had used EMDR, a few times, with success. One particular session, my therapist used it to target my migraines. We found much needed relief and thought maybe we could target the drinking as well.

Kat hates to talk about painful experiences (but who does). She will avoid, by aggressively escaping any painful situation. The emotions are too much for her. EMDR is a helpful way for her to connect with memories, but not for a long period of time. Like being on a train, seeing the landscape and then moving on to the next scene. She would get an image, connect it with a memory and connect that with wanting to drink.

My therapist felt like EMDR would help her connect the triggers and memories that made her drink. She was right and we began a modified version to help Kat. They would target whatever came up for her each day. We never knew where these sessions would lead, but each of us were willing to go. It was exhausting for her and me both. After each session we would need to go home and sleep; sometimes we never made it out of the parking lot. 🙂

What I wasn’t prepared for was the withdrawal symptoms. They came mostly in the night; sweating, shaking, chills, weird anxious thoughts, cramps, sometimes vomiting and throughout the day were these flu-like symptoms. It lasted about 5 days and she was did incredibly well. My therapist suggested we do an “in-house” treatment. We wouldn’t go away to treatment, mainly because it would be complicated with being DID. She wanted to see Kat everyday and wanted her to be the one to say what she needed daily. Whew, that was hard all by itself!

We had unfortunate “life events” happen at the end of that first week, but we have continued to battle through. I have been incredibly proud of her, her perseverance, courage and strength. She has faced difficult memories and emotions, but with the help of my therapist and me staying present with her, she is winning! On a side note, my therapist had made the time each day to see her, allowed contact outside of the office, and was willing to go to those ‘hard places’ to help her find freedom. That is priceless and I will never be able to thank her enough!

DID is complicated, a way of survival, a painful and grueling work, sad, confusing, unpredictable, a unique gift from God and yet so delicate to walk through. Learning about each precious part of you that makes up the whole of  who you are….amazing! I am without words, to express my heart-felt gratitude and support of my family, friends and therapist. Truly a BLESSING!

 

 

 

Happy 1yr Anniversary…to me

It’s been 1 year since I stumbled onto this world of blogging! I wasn’t sure what to think or even expect after my first couple posts. What I quickly found was so many wonderful people, who like us, needed a community to be real, honest, angry, sad, thankful, undone, safe, cared for, understood, encouraged, believed…I could go on and on, but we all know why we are here.

Personally, I am extremely humbled and grateful for you all! Somedays coming to this site and reading your words of encouragement was the only thing that kept me going. Reading your posts, seeing the strength you each possess and the continuous fight for freedom and health is inspiring! God has blessed me in many ways and I believe He wants us all to heal!

I quit blogging about a month ago because of the debilitating migraines I was having- at times they lasted a week. It was all I could do to get out of bed, take medicine or even go to the bathroom…tmi! I missed out on so much and wanted to lay down and never get up! I wish I could say they are gone, but at least I can say they are better. They have actually changed somewhat and we have been able to work with them better than before.

I apologize for my absence, I’ve missed reading and staying updated with each of you. It is exciting to see how things have changed for us all! While I’ve been gone, my newest young one, who we call Little Cathy, has made some great progress! She is like me in many ways, feeling responsible, thinking she isn’t good enough, desires to be perfect or something is wrong with her, afraid of making a mistake because that means she is bad….

These are the things we both need to change, to let go of and to believe we simply are good enough! She is not like any other part on the inside, she connects with me first, and that is strange and good all at the same time. She is 8 and full of life, yet has been hidden for so long. She has seen so much and endured, like others, horrible abuse.

I did learn that she loves horses! What?? I have never spent time around horses, unless you count taking my boys on pony rides when they were little. 🙂 She has spent lots of time on a horse and is looking forward to riding very soon. I, on the other hand, am scared to death! But I am willing to try and learn. I can only imagine how wonderful it would have been to feel the safety she felt of having a special friend, who she could trust, love and depend on…a horse named, Dusty!

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Damn Migraines

It’s been a week ago today that I have had reoccurring migraines! My therapist has been on vacation since last Wednesday, I’m too freaking prideful to call and ask her to talk (not like she can cure it), and I’m walking around like a fucking zombie because of all the meds! My husband and boys have to take care of me, since I can barely get out of bed. It seriously hurts to eat crackers so I can take my meds that knock me out. And I’m pretty sure I look like the lady in that pic….damn migraines!!

I know it’s connected to trauma, memories and flashbacks I had after my last therapy session. The timing sucks that my T is gone until next week. Can I even make another 5 days with this pain??

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The Waiting Begins…

Don’t you just love when you think one way, but your reactions go a different way? It’s like total confusion happening in my head. giphySomewhere in there I think, “I got this; I’m going to make it; nothing to worry about here!” Then reality comes zooming in, without warning, to say, “Well, not so fast.” Then I’m like, “What the hell is happening here?” One would think, after 5 years of therapy, I could do a better job at handling my therapist going on vacation.

Actually, I have done much better in the past year, but because of the timing of her vacation this week, I’m not doing so well. I can’t really process things with my husband or friends because it triggers migraines. Kat, my teenage part, has these coping mechanisms down to a science. She doesn’t want to talk; we need to talk. I want to help her; she doesn’t want help. We need to work through these memories and flashbacks; she isn’t interested in bringing it all back up again.

Now, I know I can contact my therapist…she is really great that way. She always leaves that door open after my last sessions, before she takes off. I’m grateful for her generosity and kindness, but I’m prideful. It is so hard for me to reach out to her, even in an email. So since last Wednesday, I’ve struggled with migraines, sadness, drinking, feeling very disconnected from my inside community and my outside support. I have no one to blame but myself; I know and SHIT!

 

 

Good and Bad News

I have been absent for awhile; not real sure why. I’ve experienced some highs and lows for the past week and a half. Generally, I’m the type of person who wants to hear the bad news first, but today I’m changing things up. Sharing the good news first, it may help change my perspective…or not! giphy

 

The good news is… I’ve decided to return to my previous job, working for those “damn therapist” friends. There has been incredible amounts of healing that had to take place before this was even a consideration. All those who were involved in this (no one knows what to call it) “thing” have taken separate paths to deal with this individually.

At first, it seemed like this entire mess was all my fault. In fact, I took the blame for losing my job, friends, therapist and any trust that I once had. It’s amazing how my mind worked during that extremely, horrible event. In the past, I would have said,  F_ _ _ _ You all, and walked away! Now, after many years of working in therapy, allowing God to change me and learning to care about me; I was broken! Broken in the sense that I really do care, about people, what I do, and even myself. God showed me many areas of my life where I needed to change; He used this time to heal and restore.

I know that 2 of these ladies have gone through similar experiences during this “thing” and we’ve all come out better people because of it. I will never under-estimate the power of restoration in each of our lives. There is always hope for resolution, but because I constantly think negatively, I truly didn’t think it would ever come about. Blessed, Thankful, Grateful…these are the words that come to mind when I see what God has done!

I’ve started back to work, slowly, and being very aware of how quickly things escalated to bring about the previous disaster.  I’ve been able to talk about it with them, honestly and without angry or judgment. And that is a beautiful thing!! What we all realized is, each one of us had our own, completely separate, issue that needed healed. We did the hard work in therapy to achieve that, and it’s why I’m back there now. We are stronger and better people because of this “thing” and for the record- No, I wouldn’t want to do it again!

I guess one would say, “That is great news!”…..1giphy

 

 

 

 

Now, for the bad news..      ***Trigger Warning*** (massage/abuse)

It has taken me years, lots of therapy and a complete mind set change, to ever think about getting a massage. As an abuse survivor, from childhood to my teens, this is one area that was always off limits. Yes, I’ve read many articles stating that physical touch, such as  massages, can be very healing when done appropriately. There are many benefits to having one on a regular basis. A few years ago, I found myself at a place that does foot/back massages. You are fully clothed and in a room of other people having the same thing done. It was a quiet, peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. I had no idea places like this existed, but was open to try it out. There was one little problem though…I hated anyone touching my feet! I mean, I would absolutely lose control if someone even joked about touching them! It was like I snapped and there was no going back!

I felt trapped in the place of “what am I going to do when he touches my feet?” In that moment, I began to cry and pray and pray and pray. I asked God to just get me through it, PLEASE! Well, He got me through it AND I was okay. It wasn’t so bad….so fast forward 3 years later. Last year I started getting a full body massage once a month, then the past 3 months every week.  I would go after my Friday (3hr.) therapy session and it was so beneficial. Especially when I was doing the manual labor job; it was killing my body!

Last Friday something happened during the massage. I felt strange; I knew I had switched during the massage (which isn’t uncommon for me) and something wasn’t quite right. By that evening, my teenage part, Kat, had come out and started smoking and drinking. I alerted my therapist, but Kat began texting her saying it was “all good”! That is always Kat’s coping defense- reframing; turning the bad into good, even when it’s not the truth. She hates having to talk about emotionally distressing events; I don’t blame her, but it’s how we heal. And of course, this all happened when she was mostly present to the massage. She also felt completely responsible that something happened, because she was the one that help push me to start getting them. She was afraid I would hate her, if she told.

This is such a hard area for me; I absolutely do NOT hate her and it’s NOT her fault. It’s one thing when your parts begin sharing their trauma from the past, but it’s a whole other deal when they have to be involved in “real-time life”. Shit happens in life; I know that all too well. It’s when it affects all of us that pisses me off. I’m a mom, my boys are 23 and 21 and I would do ANYTHING to protect them. The parts of me are the same…I NEVER want them to experience anymore trauma and I want to protect them at all cost! But like with my boys, I can’t protect them from everything, no matter how hard I try.

Kat did share, in therapy, what took place in the massage room. I’m thankful it wasn’t as bad as I envisioned in my head. It was inappropriate and absolutely wrong!! We will never go back and at this point, I’ll NEVER have another massage. I HATE people who feel the need to take advantage of others in an extremely vulnerable place! And like past trauma, it’s made it way into this experience. There is a link to Kat’s past trauma and this one; I feel completely responsible for putting her in another place where she had to protect me. She feels the same way about me though….Damn it! I hate this for both of us!

Hurt, Shame and Anger

What a cycle of shit that has become! I don’t know where one ends and the other begins. I’m guessing, for me, it’s anger first. My mind doesn’t know what to do with anger, because I’ve always told myself, “Anger is bad, you can’t be angry.” So I move quickly into feeling hurt; I don’t like feeling hurt, it’s powerless and overwhelming. That is followed by shame; shame sneaks up on me and says, “I am bad because I got mad and now I feel hurt.” The trio, working together, takes me out! I find myself struggling to stay present most of the time.

This cycle started Friday after my therapy and I can’t seem to shake it after 4 days. Ugh! I want to “go away inside” and hide from the world. Let another part take over- they seem to be better at this shit than me! I feel so immature with these feelings. I hate that, more than I’d like to admit.