Tag Archives: Abuse

This Week’s Final Session

Thursday was my third and last session for the week…and I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck, followed by it’s trailer.  Ugh!  It’s been a long, exhausting, but very rewarding week.  No one said this work was easy, and work it is…

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We have more answers, more healing, and more steps forward.  My “fast track” approach to healing and living with DID, is both demanding and worthwhile.  So many times in the past 4 yrs., I’ve wanted to quit, walk away, and let this all fade away.  Now logically, I know that could never happen once I started, but the temptation is there…somedays more than others.

We spent some time, on Thursday, following up on the events of the previous sessions. Then the questions came about where I was in all of this. She asked me what has been going on with “me”.  I had a list (of course) to discuss, but I had already talked myself out of saying some things.  “Why can’t I say things to the one person who knows the most about me? The person who has NEVER judged me? (I think) To the person who believes and cares about what happens to me?”

As I shared some things, I became emotional, but couldn’t get to where the emotions were coming from. My T kept pushing me, asking me questions, and wanting to get to the source of the emotion.  For reasons I am unclear, her questioning was making me angry and I began to shut down. My body shifted along with my thinking, and the internal walls began to form. I was surprised by why this was happening, and then without warning, I switched.  Kat came forward and began connecting the dots for all of us.

She was able to reveal why I was having dreams about an event 2yrs. ago and connect that with some of her undone trauma.  **It is always amazing to me (shouldn’t be by now) that I will get weird pieces of information, that don’t make sense, in my short sleep hours, and it will ALWAYS connect.

From there Kat shared another thing I had been holding onto for about 3 weeks, but honestly, in my defense, there hasn’t been time to talk about it lately. Long story short; my therapist made an observation, which was accurate and upsetting.  I haven’t totally owned the abuse from my dad, and it affects 2 parts on the inside.  I have believed what they’ve said, helped them through it, and made sure they feel safe…but I haven’t taken that in for myself.

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My T recognized that I haven’t shown any anger or sadness, for myself, in dealing with the information surrounding the abuse.  She is right!  I tell myself it’s not okay to be angry, because anger is bad; I was never allowed to cry about anything, so then what is the point??  However, I know she is right and I need to own the information as mine, and feel the feelings attached to them.

She gave me an assignment while she is on vacation next week:

  1. Write down all the things I still haven’t shared; the things I’ve been afraid to say
  2. Write how I feel about what my dad did to me; my honest feelings
  3. Don’t work on it for more than 30 minutes at a time
  4. Don’t over do it- which is code for- I don’t have to do it all in one day

This all seems like an appropriate request, and with her being gone for a week, I was feeling motivated to get to work.  And then the next day (Friday), I developed a migraine that took me out for the whole day! Ugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday and Tuesday Sessions

I went in for an added session on Monday morning.  I was struggling with migraines over the weekend, my new part, M had been texting my T while I was out cold on medication.  It’s always interesting to read communication between my parts and T.  She must have been thinking we couldn’t wait for the Tuesday session to get resolve.  I agreed, and we spent 2 hours on Monday trying to get M to explain why he was keeping me stuck in my trauma, and not wanting me to get well.

He struggled to speak; he described the panic feeling like someone sitting on his chest.  I often have that same feeling, so I was glad to know it was a real issue.  Sometimes I think the physical issues I experience are “just in my head”….not true though.  My T was asking me about my relationship with my brother, more in-depth than what we’ve done with him before. As I was sharing information, a major revelation came to me about my dad and brother.  I must have had an odd look on my face, because my T said, “What are you thinking right now?” My response was that she probably is thinking that for several years she’s listened to me talk about having a close relationship to my dad, but yet has heard me describe horrible things about him. Then when my 8yr old part, Wendy, shared what he had done to me, it was all to confirming of what she speculated and my worst fears!  So, hearing things about my brother, was starting to sound all to familiar-for both of us.

When M came to talk, he shared that my brother and I were very violent, and physically with each other.  He was 2 yrs. older, but I was a fighter.  He was the first born, first grandchild, and had an obvious handicap at birth.  My dad never connected with him, and since my dad was athletic, as a young man, his dreams vanished, when he saw my brother. How very sad!! My brother and I competed with each other, and since I played sports, and was good at them, I got the attention of my dad.  Even if it was negative, it was attention my brother needed as well. We would beat each other up, he mostly won the battles, and would sit on my chest or choke me until I called him “master”.

M told my therapist that I would never say it, that I kept fighting to get out from under him. So he said it, because he thought I would die from being sat on or choked. It made me sad to hear all of that, but he was convinced I needed to stay connected to the abusive words of my family, in order to survive.  He felt he needed to protect me from my T because getting well, was not an option.  We realized M was being negatively influenced by the bond with my family.  We needed to break that bond, but it was strong, and it had an intense hold on him.

I was so tired by the time I got up to leave. My T reassured me that we were getting somewhere, but it was going to take lots of prayer, preparation, and direction.  Later that evening she contacted me asking if I would like to come in (the next day) Tuesday at 9am. She asked that we both be in prayer for God’s leading and she would contact me in the morning to see how I felt.  I sleep 4 straight hours (which is good for me), ran 5 miles, prayed and listened to worship music the whole run, and when I walked in the door at 6:45am, she was texting me.  “Well, what is God saying to you about today?”  she asked. My response was, “I slept, ran 5 miles, am reminded that His mercies are new every morning, He gives me strength for today and a bright hope for tomorrow and blessing all mine. So, I’m ready for whatever He has….I think.” 

She must have had a similar feeling because her response back was, “Sounds good. Let’s meet at my office at 9am.”  This is what I love about my T, and why I believe my therapy has been guided by the Lord. God is in every aspect of my healing process and we both acknowledge that along the way. Before we began the session, she walked over, took my hand and asked if she could pray. This was not anything new for me, but today we were following God’s leading from the beginning.  When she finished praying, I felt a strong urge to pray for her, but at the same time, had a feeling of “I’m not worthy” or “my prayers can’t be heard; I’m too messed up”.  Those are all lies that satan wanted me to believe in that moment, but I was going to overcome.  I stopped her mid sentence, took ahold of her hand, and said it’s my turn.  When I finished, we were both wiping our eyes, but were confident in what we needed to do next.

We spent the first hour recapping and she began to discuss what my brother was like growing up, things he did, was involved in, friends he had, etc.  It was eye opening to me to recall the past, and realize that my brother had some spiritual influences that were NOT good, actually a bit scary. Those influences needed to be broken off of me through M.  The next hour was a blur for me, but absolutely life-changing for M.  My T prayed for the influence/bond to be broken and then she led M to the Lord. She told him about God’s love for him, that Jesus died for him, and asked if he wanted to begin a relationship today.  He was forgiven and saved, free and whole…all in one session.  If that isn’t God at work, I don’t know what is!!   He cares for me as much as He cares for the individual parts of me.  It was His plan from the beginning, to provide a way for me to survive the horrible abuse/trauma I endured as a child.  That’s how much God loves people (parts included)!

It was exhausting for M, myself and I’m sure my T, but what a beautiful outcome.  M asked if he could have a new name, a real name, not one that was a reminder of what he had to endure. My T said of course, and asked God to give him a name.

The night before, I had posted a verse out of James, and he must have been present while I was reading through the book.  But here is the cool God piece, (as if the other things weren’t) my therapist doesn’t read my blog, and she didn’t know about reading the book of the bible when she said, “How about James? That is a strong name, he was one of Jesus’ disciples, and I think it would be a good, new name for you.” 

I almost burst into tears as I listened from behind the scenes. Seriously?? God is so GOOD! This was the verse,  James 5:16 says, Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. All of my support team was in prayer the night before, and I believe that God used everything for His purpose, but for the good of my community!

My younger parts emerge shortly after to describe what they were seeing on the inside.  They thanked my T for helping M, now James, and that it felt much safer inside.  They also said it was much brighter.  Wendy (8) said it was like the sun kept rising, and the light was bright and flittering.  How precious!  She said it was like fireworks in the daytime and no loud booms-LOL.  She is so sweet and sincere.  She said everyone was coming out to watch the bright light.  In a bizarre kind of way, I envisioned all the little munchkins coming out of hiding and celebrating; the big bad witch was dead. However, this was a celebration of new life, God’s goodness, mercy and freedom.

So, it’s Wednesday night, I’ve felt emotional all day, but in a good way.  I am tired, worn out, but blessed.  Grateful for a T who loves the Lord, seeks Him, and allows Him to direct our work together.  Healing only comes from God; He uses people (my therapist) to help us along the way and believe that we can do this difficult, grueling, and intense work.

Tomorrow I go in for my third session of the week; my T is on vacation next week. I am ready for a break, but nervous that I will not be connecting with her after all this new information and work. I’m sure she is ready to take time off; I can’t imagine how difficult it is to work with me, let alone all the other clients she sees.  Wow!!  I know there is tons of stuff in this post, but I needed to get it out!  I hope tomorrow is an easy, relaxing session.

 

It’s My Turn

In an email to my therapist, my teenage, protector part (B) said this, “Well, it’s her turn now.  She (me) wants us to “get it out” now she can.  We aren’t the only ones with those shitty memories.”  Wow, that was a stinger!  Although she is right, I want each of my parts to share, ‘get out’ whatever they need and feel safe;  I hesitate to begin my own processing.

My session on Tuesday was not as long as normal, I had put together an outline of things I wanted to talk about, but could never get there. I felt scattered in my thinking, on the verge of tears, and was struggling to tell my T how I was feeling.  As soon as I would start talking, I could feel the tears surface.

We discussed the session last week, with my parts and the abuse they endured. It is always beneficial to process afterwards, and we had done that last week, and again on Tuesday. I feel surprisingly at peace with what took place, even though it was emotionally and physically exhausting. From there, I shared how the day before I couldn’t go to work, spiraled into wrong thinking that, “maybe I don’t really have DID”, “maybe I can begin communication with my family now”, “maybe this is all my fault”, blah, blah blah!  Geesh, I know all this is normal thinking along the way, but when does it stop??

I also talked about how I feel like I’m holding these 2 bubble lives, one bubble has my husband, boys, friends and therapist, and the other bubble is my hometown, my family of origin, old friends and abusers.  The first bubble is where I live now, with care, support and love I receive from everyone in the bubble.  I can go for a week and say that this is my new life, family, friends, etc. and I don’t ever need to make contact with my home family.  Then the second bubble pops up and I tell myself I can never change, this is my reality, the people in there will never believe me or support me, but that is because I caused all this mess.  I went on to say the first bubble is “to good to be true”, eventually someone is going to pop it and I will be abandoned once again.  So, I need to pop it myself, because it won’t hurt as badly as it did the times before. I need to cut them off before they cut me off!

My T responded with something rather shocking…she said both bubbles are true.  The first one is full of people who love, care and support you.  They do that, not because they have to, but because they want to. And they will not pop the bubble.  The second bubble is also true, it represents my past, the hurt, abuse, abandonment, etc. It has people who intentionally hurt me, but that doesn’t mean I should hold it, or want to be in it.  The people in the first bubble want me to grow, heal and succeed, but not the ones in the second bubble.

She said, “What kind of parent doesn’t want the best for their child, to love them unconditionally, help them when they need help??  You were able to do these things for your boys, and model for them what was never modeled for you.” 

I started to cry and said, “How was/is that even possible?  I shouldn’t know how to do those things.”  She smiled, that comforting and caring smile, and said, “God.  He was able to help you do things that, statistics say you could not.”  Tears, probably of joy, ran down my face as I tried to take that in and sit with the truth.  Only God, who loves, saved, cares about, and wants good for me, could do the impossible. I am eternally grateful.

I heard this the other day, and it constantly comes to my mind.  “Encourage means to fill with courage. You have the power to give courage to others.”  I am constantly being filled with courage from my husband, sons, my ‘3 damn therapist’ friends, and my own therapist! They are my biggest encouragers, and I am blessed to have them in my life!

“Courage is being brave and afraid at the very same time.”

 

 

“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! 🙂

 

 

 

And Then it Happened, the Shocker

My therapy was moved an hour and a half later on Tuesday.  It was a last minute change, which in the past, would upset me to no end.  Now, it is easier because I know her personality type and since I know mine well, I can see things from her perspective. I also like to think I’ve grown and handle things better too. My learning about personality types has been a valuable tool in my life, relationships, and therapy. Finding something that helps us with transformation, as well as understanding and having compassion for others, benefits everyone.  This personality tool has been a huge blessing in understanding my parts’ personalities too.  Anyway, I could go on and on about that…..

My other teenager, who I’ll call B, came that day because this month is her hardest trauma from the past.  She, unlike my other teenage part, is athletic, strong, direct, no nonsense, leader, and the protector of the system.  She has endured horrible things on my behalf when I was engaged to a guy I met in college.  March was the month of the engagement, and also the intensity of sexual abuse.  It breaks my heart when I hear of the horrific events in my life, she protected me from. Blessed and saddened by it all.

This month is also when I experience some my worst pain (body memories).  The abuse was intense,  I had to have reconstructive surgery in 2003, to repair the rectal damage. This pain is my least favorite, for obvious reasons, and for B as well.  Up to now, she has shared all the abuse, so you can understand my shock and confusion, when it flared up again.  She hates to be vulnerable, doesn’t want to appear weak, and only says the bare minimum, unless you ask specifically.  It is frustrating at times, but because I know her personality type, I get it. She does not trust well or many people. My T and her have an incredible relationship; they respect each other a great deal. My T also requests her help, at times, to get the inside system running smoothly when it gets out of hand.

As B was sharing some life events, that were all new to me, she and I began to experience horrible pain.  She had told about the day in 1989 when, my then, fiancé’s parents met mine for the first time, to go over wedding plans.  It was so enlightening for me to hear it, and nothing came as surprise.  How terrible for anyone to endure a day of people judging, manipulating, criticizing, and being down right mean.  As the pain became increasingly worse, and I was unsure of the source, or if she had more trauma to share. Suddenly, I became unaware of anything else from that point…

The next thing I knew, I was outside, down the sidewalk from my T office, and sitting on the curb. I got up, dazed, a bit confused, and headed to my car.  No keys, no phone, no purse, not sure of the time, no purse, what the *****.  Now, I’m faced with having to walk back into the office, hoping she isn’t in session, and locating my purse, keys, and phone.  Thankfully, I had 20 minutes left in my session, so I walked back in and hoped she could explain what happened.

Apparently when the pain intensified, B, who we knew had a split part, male, named Scott, abruptly came out. He put an end to the discussion, stating He no longer wanted B to suffer through this crap (he used lots of bad words). He paced around her office, was angry, unwilling to listen to my T, and wanted nothing to do with saying what was really going on.  My T is a smart lady, she knew he was hiding something, called him out on it, and said he was afraid.  All of that was true, however, he wasn’t going to budge…so he walked out!  That is why I was outside.

All along, we have thought he simply came in, like a knight in shining armor and saved her from anymore abuse. We didn’t think he had part of the trauma too.  You can imagine my shock in hearing he did, indeed, have trauma; he is a guy, and the abuse was in an extremely bad place. It was too much for me, and I grabbed my things, paid my money, and headed to the door.  As I reached for the doorknob, I turned around,  asked my T, “Are we going to be okay?”  she smiled, that familiar, compassionate smile and responded, “Yes, you are all going to be okay.” 

The rest of the day, and the following were filled with anxiety and concern as to what needed to happen next.  I knew that B and Scott had to figure out the next steps. Ultimately, he must share, like every part has done, to experience freedom and stop the pain from happening to him, B and myself.  Lots of emails between my T and B took place that next day, which led to an idea and potential solution.

Lots of prayers, and trusting God for the outcome, were at the forefront of my mind.  I am a “fix it” kind of person, so this was difficult for me to let my parts work out the details of what would take place during the Thursday session.  I’m glad that God is in control, although sometimes I think I am, His ways are ALWAYS best and PERFECT!

*My next post will have what took place Thursday….I’m a few days behind.

Why can’t I simply say what I feel?

After my Friday session, all the emotions from the information I heard emerged as a swirling tornado inside me.  What I’m learning about myself in this process of healing and wholeness, is that I can’t accurately express my feelings in session.  This was a revelation for me the past two days, as I process internally.

When specific parts share, relive, and endure the events of their personal (trauma/abuse) to my T, it, quite simply put, breaks my heart.  It seems unbearable and yet I know they are deeply hurt and fighting to overcome the horrible things in their lives.  Then in that brief moment, when I switch back, I am overcome with feelings that are unmanageable.

As I’ve been piecing together what that means exactly, it brings tears to my eyes instantly.  But why?  Why do I feel uncomfortable with these emotions? I’ve worked hard to transition the events of my parts to understanding it actually happened to me-which is a difficult task most of the time.  That is an ongoing work, to believe it, own it and then grieve it….but necessary.

What I’ve realized is that when my parts share, there is a point when, depending on what is said, they need comforting.  They need someone to say they are safe, good, cared for, that I will (along with my husband) be there to love and parent them.  And that is an incredibly, powerful truth for them to know.  They may get a hug or my T reaches out to make contact so they know they are safe in her office. I am grateful for all of that, and it has made all the difference in the world for their healing.

However, when I switch back, I am wanting to run away (flight), get out of the room because the feelings are too much for me. It becomes a huge awareness to me that I need the same comforting, but it feels so foreign, scary, unavailable and a need all at the same time.  I hate it!  I instantly feel like a child again, who in the midst of great discomfort, pain, hurt, and sadness, wants a mom to tell her she’s going to be okay.  Someone to hug me so tight that the pieces all get put back together.

My emotions seems too much for me, but I am slowly learning to sit with them, feel them, and allow them to come.  I get all mixed up with what I “should” do or if I’m doing it “right”.  My fear in saying what I really need in that moment is, “What if I’m not heard or believed?” “What if I’m rejected or abandoned for what I say?”  I know it is wrong thinking, and I am being heard and believed, but somehow that gets all messed up inside.  Maybe it feels embarrassing too, because I’m an adult for crying out loud!  I don’t need comforted at 47 years old.  This happened so long ago….blah, blah, blah!

Now, I need to decide if it is worth saying in my next session or not.  Is this something I should work out on my own?  It feels like my problem, so I should fix it.

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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!

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Being present, ugh!

Learning to ‘be present’ when it is easier to default to your dissociation, sometimes sucks!  When I began to own my own anger and frustration, it felt very strange, and I didn’t know what to do with those emotions.  It was effortless to let my part take the anger, while I dissociated. When it was felt by me, I usually found something to “DO”, because I could fix, clean, or sweep something into perfection.  Then I wouldn’t have to feel. Now that I’m making progress in those areas, it still feels wrong or bad to have anger.

When anger arises, being present in it makes me feel bad, then guilty because I’m angry or shameful, or that maybe this whole thing is my fault.  I am ultimately responsible for what happens, right??  Well those were lies I told myself, and I need to sit and be present with these feelings.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, right?  Well, in my last post I shared that I wasn’t present for the session, and the information I received seemed inaccurate for the time I was there.  My suspicions were correct. I was having some agitation yesterday and couldn’t figure it out.  I was supposed to go the church this morning, where I used to work.  They were celebrating being in a new building, and I thought I could go back.  I haven’t been able to since I left, but I wanted to support them.  As the day went on, I become more and more irritated.

I sent a text to my T and asked if this seemed odd or what I should do.  She thought it could be my teenager, and I should ask her if she had a problem with going.  We have had these issues before, and I would tell the particular part to stay in there room.  They would not have to go or be apart of something they didn’t feel comfortable with.  My T kept wanting me to talk to her, but of course she wouldn’t engage with me.  Anyway, we sent some texts back and forth, and finally she responded with this:  “Ok. She still has things to share with you when she’s ready.”  At first I didn’t really get it, but then I read it again.  My response back was, “Oh, you know?” She texted back, “Yes.”

My immediate response was, “What the heck, really?” why wouldn’t she tell me?  Why didn’t my teenager tell me?  Then that feeling of betrayal set in quickly.  I’m the client, I should know what is happening with me, right?  Then all the confusion sets in- my teenager is a part of me, I am actually keeping a secret from myself, what is the reason for not telling me?  What is she hiding?

In the past, this kind of  thing would make me spiral quickly, I’d start that “stinkin’ thinkin'” cancel my next session, consider quitting therapy altogether, and letting my anger be projected onto my T.  I have learned more now and understand, that in order for my parts to open up and share their trauma and abuse, they need to trust my T.  They need to feel safe in talking to her, know that she cares and believes them, and that if they can’t share the things they have protected me from yet, she will help them.  I know my T has my best interest at heart, and that all this is a process. I may not always like it, but I trust her in helping them grow and trust me.

I feel anger, but it’s okay to be angry.  My anger is okay, I won’t feel this way forever. I want to know what is going on, but it doesn’t always work out when I say or when I want it too.  This is where I have to trust God’s timing, and pray that she will feel safe enough to tell me what is going on with her.  My T will help her and that makes me feel much better. We’ve been through this before, we made it, and we can do it again!

 

Whew, long sessions wear me out!

Friday therapy is my long one, and today I was literally “gone” for 2hrs and 45min.  My teenager, who has been gone, did all the talking.  There was 15min. left when I “came back” to present.  It is wearisome work. I was exhausted, had one of those emotional headaches, and wanted to sleep. I heard about half of what was said, I think.  The information I did get, I’m pretty sure was not over 2 hrs. worth, hmmm….”Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do!”

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Anyway, all humor aside, it was good and very productive.  She is my part that engages in multiple addictive/harmful behaviors.  She has made me aware of her alcohol and cigs stash, showed me what she uses to cut, and we talked about the bulimia.  I can’t imagine trying to stop all that at once, so it will require patience and grace, lots of grace.  I believe in her 100%, she is a fighter, and we are going to do it together.

My therapist (D) spent a significant amount of time with her on the topic support. Learning to depend on others, letting her people know when she is struggling, communicating with me, journaling, and that she could always text D, if needed.  It isn’t different than any other ‘outside person’, we all need accountability and support.  We need love not judgment, care not criticism, encouragement not put-downs.

My husband has been a strong support for me and has been there for “his girls”, as he calls them.  He can hug and rock them when they need, where I can’t wrap my arms around myself, like I want to be held.  I am truly blessed by his unconditional love for all of us!

Looking forward to progress, even if it is slow, or stalled at times.  One day at a time; and we can always hit “Restart” at any moment.

“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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