Category Archives: Memories

“I Hope I Never ______ in Therapy”

We all have those fears of what you never want to happen in therapy, right?  Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always had a short list of things I hope never happened while in a therapy session.  Keep in mind that I have DID, and parts of me have done things I am not aware of while dissociating. Sometimes it is unpleasant to know I have done something I am not aware of, but that’s how it happens.

Here are my top 3, “I hope I never______in therapy.”k15253103

  1. Vomit 
  2. Take my clothes off
  3. Am face down on the floor

I am going to finish the events that began Tuesday during therapy, and talk about my 3hr. session Thursday.  Starting Wednesday morning until Thursday morning, emails from my teenage part (who I’m calling B) and my T were lighting up my inbox.  I would always know when my T would respond, but not aware of when B would send one.  B was discussing with my T, what could be done about her split part, Scott. How she didn’t want him to suffer, hurt or feel embarrassed.  They are best buds, so it was hard for her to make him do something he didn’t want to do, even if it was necessary.

B took us to the session, and began to explain to my T she had a “revelation” while we were running that morning.  I couldn’t wait to hear what it was, and yet I had an idea.  She went on to say, her whole life she has tolerated pain, no matter how extreme, because what was the point? She realized that by me not saying what we needed, when we are sad, hurt, afraid, in pain, etc. that the consequence was to endure pain.  My parents never allowed for my siblings and me to say those things.  They weren’t nurturing, loved conditionally, punished severely if you did anything wrong, and were abusive.  It didn’t take me long to learn I needed no one but myself, I decided right and wrong, because no else cared….especially the people who were supposed to care.

My T took that information, sat down in front of B and said, “Then tell Scott what you and Kathy need, so he can stop the pain.” In an instant, I felt pain shoot through me and so did B.  She could hardly talk between trying to catch her breath from the pain. I began to hear faint whispers from her to Scott, saying please help me, I need your help, I need you. It was terribly sad, but my pain level, like hers, kept me from thinking of nothing other than how to stop the pain.

My T took B’s hand, maybe to somehow comfort her, I’m not sure.  B grabbed her hands and as fast as the pain arrived, Scott arrived that quickly. It was as if B connected them, to tell Scott that he as in good hands, and for my T to help him finish.  As the pain continued to increase, he kept saying he needed to get up (best idea ever).  I was hoping he would do something, but it appeared as though he was leaning over and lay on the couch….nope!

He slide right down, off the couch, and face down on the floor.  I began to feel my body shake, not like other times, but more like convulsing. He could barely get words out, as he was reliving the trauma he took from B.  My T was sitting in her chair above him, walking him through, reminding him he was no longer there, he can’t be hurt like that anymore, and that he was safe.  He struggled to say complete sentences, but basically he was a hero, and took some horrible abuse for his “best friend”.

I was caught off guard when everything came to a complete standstill, no pain, no shaking, no talking, nothing.  At first, I thought to myself, “I think I died down here,” but that immediately passed when the convulsing and pain started up again. He began to scare me a little, I wanted it to end for all of us.  My T, in her wisdom, took hold of his hand again and began to talk him through the infamous, “Search and Rescue”.  As she took his hand, she asked if he could feel it, then said it was time to get out- once and for all!  I don’t know why/how that all works, but it does, PRAISE the Lord, it does!

It was a slow transition coming back from him to B and then me.  I opened my eyes, my T asked if I was okay, and I responded by asking her to walk out so I could get up, take my things and leave.  She chuckled a bit, and said she didn’t think that was a good idea.  Then I asked her to close her eyes while I got up, and walked out.  Again, same response from her.  Honestly, how does a person transition from that place, those events, that information?? I thought it was a great idea!

Courage for me, in that moment, was to be vulnerable, feel the emotions and say what I needed….because wasn’t that B’s “revelation” from the beginning.  I took her advice, stayed, cried, shared my honest /deepest emotions, and we processed together. I sat on the floor the whole time, my therapist asked me about my pain level, and realized I no longer felt any of that pain in my “backside”!! Unbelievable, really!  This is how God has worked this entire journey, I am constantly amazed by His love, care, protection and mighty hand at work in my life.  He is so good, and faithful.  He has orchestrated every step of my therapy and I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

Sorry for the length of this post.  I wanted to share even though it was painful, so, so exhausting and emotional; it was also beautiful that way it ended.  No more pain, parts doing hard work to heal, and seeing God work miracles.  I left there, took a 2 hr nap, shared the events with my wonderful husband, and that night slept 6 straight hours!!!! WooooHoooo!

****For the record, I have never done 1 or 2 on my list above! 🙂

 

 

 

Body Memories Suck!

Today was my 3hr session, and it always amazes me how emotionally exhausting it can be. Tonight the emotional hangover sets in and I begin the process of dissecting what took place.  My teenager arrived first thing, which means she drives us there and starts the session. We discovered she had a relapse this morning, which makes me sad for her.  After doing so well for the past 2 weeks, it was a struggle to cope with the things she had shared during Tuesday’s session.

I certainly was not upset with her, she did what she felt was necessary.  I wasn’t sure what was going to take place in today’s session, but once again, I was blindsided. I had noticed a bruise on the upper part of my leg this morning, in the shower. Surprisingly, I seemed puzzled by how it happened.  My teenager talked about how difficult it was to see me so upset and feel responsible after Tuesday. My T spent quality time talking with her about forgiveness, grace, and that letting go of the things, we try so hard to hide, only hurts us in the end. She responded very well.

….enter the blindside….                    ****TRIGGER WARNING****

She said that I noticed a bruise and she wanted to tell me what had happened to cause it to appear.  She began to shake, almost to the point that seemed uncontrollable.  I could feel it as well, and hear what she was saying.  I was thankful for her allowing me to listen from the beginning, but I knew it was going to be difficult.  My T moved beside her, covered her with a blanket, and reassured her that she was safe. She began sharing about the night I got engaged (college boyfriend, who raped me and later on I returned to the relationship unaware, because of my DID, that he was abusive) to a guy who I didn’t really love.  It was the worst proposal ever!  He was at my family home, waiting for me to return from a conference.  He handed the ring to me while I was opening the cabinet to get a glass, and said, “I thought you may want this so we could make it official.”  Really?? Not even on one knee?  No expression of your love and dedication?  Nope, none, zilch, nada!

My equally abusive parents were in the next room, sitting in their usual chairs, watching TV, when I walked in to say, “I’m engaged.”  They didn’t move, hug me, take a picture, congratulate us, nothing!  They said, “Ya, we heard.”  What??? I’m I in some sort of freaking nightmare?  Wow, could it get any worse?  Oh ya!

At some point I dissociated and headed to bed.  Apparently, I was unaware that he had to stay at our home, since he lived 4 hours away.  My teenage part began to share that he forced her/me to have sex and caused the bruising on my legs.  As she shared more, she continued to shake the entire time, wondering why she couldn’t “go away” and why he was so rough and mean.  The automatic body responses followed and she began to cry and asking for my T to explain what happened.

I wanted to wrap my arms around her, hold her tight, and tell her everything was going to be okay. My T was so good at calming her down, making her feel safe and cared for in that very moment. When I returned to the present, I broke down and sobbed. I asked if I was ever going to be normal again, if this was ever going to end, and why did my parts and myself, have to go through all this suffering.  My T must have been crying as well, which is so comforting and validating (in a caring way).

Honestly, I don’t know how any T could hear these kinds of events in clients’  lives  and not have some type of reaction.  They are strong and courageous people, who have a unique and special gift to work with trauma victims. May God bless them and the work they do!

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After about 20 minutes of tears, hugs, and prayer, I was able to gather my thoughts  and talk through what I had just heard.  I took a break and went to the bathroom, and noticed that my other leg had a bruise in about the same location as my other leg.  I knew that it had happened during my teenager reliving a traumatic event and going through the emotions associated with them to hopefully heal and move forward. My T had explained to her before I was present, that it is a process called abreaction. This process gives clients a way to release their unconscious pain and escape from the memories and feelings that have kept them from moving forward.

I hate body memories, reactions, and overwhelming emotions…and this week has been record breaking in all those areas.  Ugh!  This is the time where I would want someone to walk in, give me a plane ticket for two, to a beach, on an island, where my hubby and me would be catered to for a whole week. Ahhhhh sounds perfect!  But for now, I’m going to bed, asking God for at least 4 solid hours of sleep, and trusting that tomorrow will be a new and better day!

jamaica-05

 

Hello, from the inside…

Today seems to be another day of nausea and wondering.  Wondering how it is that most of the week I’ve felt sick to my stomach, and if it has do with drinking?? The not knowing things about what happens to me, wears me out!  And am I drinking?  Is this a constant hangover that is never ending? Hmmmmm, just wondering…52d24db82368e8a5b865c83a202bde28

I also wonder and hate having to go through photo albums and journals to find out about my past, my life, what took place, things that happened, which I don’t/can’t remember!  This seems so unfair and at times exhausting.  When I don’t sleep well, I lay in bed and wonder…. what is really happening, is this stuff for real, can I even trust myself and the things I hear? Are these memories real?

 

 

 

 

He uses every hurt, nothing is wasted!

I have not been on to blog for a few days, not sure why, but maybe I simply get tired of the same cycle.  Although there has been significant progress in many areas, I’m grateful for the answers to prayers, and the help I’m receiving, it is easy to find myself feeling alone and broken.

How can I fix this?  I can’t share information until I fix it first. If I could only figure out why this is happening, or why I am feeling this way.  What can I do to make it stop?  I should be able to do something.  I need to get it together, then I can move forward.  What if I never feel right again?

All those statements/questions burn through my mind on a daily basis, and yet the answer will always remain the same.  It’s NOT about me doing anything, because I can’t fix it. It’s about what God is doing IN and THROUGH me.  Only He knows the answers to my questions, the truth behind the statements, and His answers will come in His time. They will be for my good, and His purpose.

But….I hate the pain and suffering!  God doesn’t promise we won’t feel pain and suffering, ugh!  We live in a world full of sin, and sinful people, driven by sinful nature.  We hurt each other.  We need God!  We need His promises, truths, strength, and Jesus.  We are guaranteed eternal life with Him someday, if we believe in Him, ask for forgiveness and live for Him.  God loved us so much He gave His son, who endured horrible physical, emotional and unthinkable abuse.  Guess what?  He didn’t do anything to deserve it!  Like those of us who have suffered similar abuse; we didn’t do anything to deserve it either.  Yet we all need someone to save us…and that someone is Jesus.

He knows exactly how we feel, what we went through, endured, suffered, cried out for, and He wept for us.  He didn’t give us more than we could handle, without His grace and mercy.  So today, if you are struggling, hurting, crying…whatever it is, call out His name and ask Him to save you!  Believe Him, Trust Him, Have Faith in Him, Tell Him what happened, Confess and be Washed White as Snow, and live your life with Him.

You won’t wake up feeling “all better”, “normal” or “someone else”.  You will wake up a new person, the old has gone the new has come.  A fresh start, new beginning, someone to always be there in the difficult times when we have: “to tell our stories”, sleepless nights”, “flashbacks/memories”, “body pains”, “to seek therapy”, “to break addictions”, “loneliness”, “unhealthy attachments”, etc.                                                                                  Jesus will never leave you or abandon you, EVER!  It’s a promise!

I fall down, fail, scream at Him, stop trusting, question Him.  I forget He is my rock, my shield, my comforter, my savior, but He knows it before I ever do any of that, that is what is so great about God’s love, even when we (whatever)…..He loves us!

God uses all the good, bad and ugly in our lives to make us beautiful, if we believe in Him.  He makes beauty out of our ashes. Let Him make you beautiful today!

Isaiah 61:1-3~The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, to announce liberty to captives, and to open the eyes of the blind. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of God’s favor to them has come, and the day of his wrath to their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.

 

Body Memories***

***I want to say upfront that this may be triggering, so please read with caution or not at all! I am trying to come to terms with automatic body responses that are coming up in my recent awareness of another part’s sexual abuse experience.***

When I first learned about my diagnosis, I had no idea the complexity that would be involved in having Dissociative Identity Disorder, or the pieces that would need put back together.  I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster for the past 3 yrs., but also on the fast track to healing and wholeness.

Sure, there are days that really knock me back or even out for a short time.  If you’ve read any of my post’s you would quickly agree that things change suddenly in my world.  However, there is this piece of body memories/automatic body responses or what some call, unwanted sexual arousal, feelings or stimulation with sexual abuse.  All of which make me want to vomit when I hear those words!

I haven’t been able to address this in therapy, because simply put, it is too shameful.  How can I say, out loud, that I can feel those reactions happening when I’m having nightmares, flashbacks, or even worse, when I’m trying to talk about the experience??

It feels BAD, WRONG, SHAMEFUL, DISGUSTING…what is wrong with me that I would even feel that.  I didn’t like it, I’m sure!  The parts that have experienced this have hated it, hated sharing about it, and I don’t want to deal with it either.

I’ve been reading about this topic, trying to find some way to reconcile it in my head.  I need to support the parts affected, care and love them through it, and myself.  But how? Here are some things I’ve been reading:

“Some survivors find that feeling shame about having sexual feelings prevents them from fully processing their memories. As soon as they remember and feel sexual feelings, they distance themselves from the memory and can’t go any further with it. They’re stuck there, unable to release their emotions or fully process the memory.”

“Some survivors are terrified to tell any one including their therapist that when they remember and talk about sexual abuse they feel sexual feelings in their body just as they feel other feelings and body sensations. They are afraid of being viewed as sexually inappropriate, attracted to the therapist or friend, or turned on by sexual abuse i.e. a perpetrator.”

“No matter how you felt during the abuse or feel now, you are not responsible for the abuse.  You are not to blame for what the abuser did, and you and your body are completely separate from the abuser. Even if it doesn’t feel that way, it’s still true. It doesn’t matter what your body did or didn’t do; you and your body were simply coping as best you could given the circumstances”

“Experiencing sexual feelings during abuse or while remembering or talking about sexual abuse is not something anyone should have to feel guilty about.”

“For some survivors the fact that they felt sexually aroused in an abuse context is embarrassing or shameful to admit but the more survivors – in fact, all of us – talk about this issue, the easier and less shameful it becomes. When we talk openly about something, we take away its power or emotional charge.”

“Survivors reduce the emotional charge, connected to this issue, by talking/writing/drawing about it; not listening to anyone who tells them how they “should” feel; acknowledging and accepting how they felt and feel; recognizing that none of their feelings make them crazy or bad, or like the abuser; and by fostering compassion and understanding for themselves and their body. It’s possible to feel better about this issue – one tiny step at a time.”

Maybe this will help me, you, or someone going through this experience.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Because somedays it makes me feel crazy inside.  Trusting and believing that I’m going to be okay, the parts of me are going to be okay, and we are going to make it through this….well, somedays it’s all I have.

brookhaven_for_you_1

 

Sleepless nights & Emotional Hangovers

Tuesday was my first day back to therapy after a 2 week, Christmas break.  Things on the “inside” seemed to grow increasingly worse, and I wanted to “be done” with all of it!  Not show up for work, bible study, or therapy on Tuesday.  What was the point, too much, too many emotions, too many tears, too much pain, too much everything…

I managed to get up and run with my friend, which always, always helps get me somewhat focused.  Somedays, I just want to keep running and never stop.  Running for me, is a way of escape, getting my mind refocused, and even though I sleep 3-4hrs a night, it helps me physically.

After my run, and shower, I headed out for BSF and praying that God would show me something.  I realize He is always with me, never leaving me “out there hanging”, but on days like yesterday, I needed something.  He is faithful, and gave me comfort in another person’s answer to a question, “God intensely loves me, He is personal and intimate in how He cares for me.”  Wow!  Just what I needed to hear.  God is so Good!

From there I headed off to therapy, which I knew was going to be difficult, for two reasons:

  1. It had been 2 weeks since my last session, and we left things undone with one of my teenage parts.
  2. She did NOT want to share her trauma.

I was switched from the start of the session, until end, two hours later.  I hate when that happens, because I don’t get to say the things I’d like, but mostly, because I was blocked from hearing the conversation.  My teenage part, who is out-going, fun, aggressive, and an enigma at times, hates being trapped in any kind of pain-mentally, emotionally, or physically. She will do anything to numb those feelings.  Which is why, for the past 2 weeks, her behaviors have escalated:  cutting, binging and purging, drinking, prescription drug use, and thoughts of suicide.

She shared some extremely hard memories with my therapist, and at one point tried to leave the room.  She was brave and courageous!  She was able to trust D (therapist), and share her abuse,  or as much as she could handle for a session.  My therapist called later that evening to check on me, and see how I was doing. She had suggested I go home and sleep, instead of going to work.  We usually have a plan in place when there are difficult sessions, and yesterday, the plan actually worked!

I had decided to sit in the lobby for a few minutes, allowing myself to somehow move forward from something I knew nothing of, but felt so sad and heavy inside.  The tears began to roll down my cheeks, on after another, until they seemed to have no end.  This is when I leave, because the idea that someone would see me this way, is not acceptable.  When I felt steady enough, I stood up, walked slowly toward the door, and out to my car. I knew I was going to require help getting home, I called my employer, who is a therapist as well, and she talked me all the way home.  She was a true blessing!

When I arrived, I took a scalding hot shower (which was odd for me), put my PJs on and got into bed at 4:30pm.  I didn’t get out until my husband arrived home at 6:30pm.  Not sure how much I slept, spent lots of time staring at the wall and crying.  But what was so terrible?  I can only speculate, and you know what they say about speculating…..Don’t do it!

So today, I am exhausted from all the emotions, the tears, the headache from crying and 1 hour of sleep.  Selfishly, I want my therapist to tell me what happened, but I know she cannot betray trust.  I’m trying to block it out, but like waves crashing against the rocks, it seems to never end.  My therapist, husband, friends, and myself are all praying and asking God for peace and comfort in the waiting, for me and my teenage part to know she is loved and cared about too.

We go back Friday for our long (3hr) session.  I hope I can make it until then!