Tag Archives: Body Memories

Migraine: Takes Me Out Again

Had my long session yesterday and my part teen part, K, shared another memory. I had woken up with a huge bruise on my right calf, Tuesday, then on Thursday had another bruise on my left calf- both in the same place. I could tell I had lost some time prior to therapy and figured K didn’t want to share this information. She didn’t want to talk about the memory, but my T was so helpful and encouraging to her. I’m grateful for the relationship my T has with not only me, but each part of me! giphyDuring my session I had a migraine develop, my T helped K by walking her through the pain, but it came back after the session.

I sat in my car, like usual, debating whether to take a chance and head to work knowing I was getting a migraine or going home and getting into bed. The tears began to run down my face as I started to think about what I had heard for the past 2.5 hrs. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out the memory or why I developed the bruising. But hearing it out loud, well that’s a whole other deal! One more thing to try and wrap my mind around, how could a parent do this to their child??

Just when I think I am getting close to the end, memories like this surface and take me out! My drive home was emotional and I hoped the migraine wouldn’t get worse before I could take my meds. I notified my husband and “damn therapist friends” to say I was headed home. Being alone after therapy, especially difficult sessions like this one, is never a good idea. My husband had the day off, and that made going home an easy choice. When I get a migraine, the best thing is to be in my own bed…that is the only good thing about it!

Considering more EMDR regarding my issues of canceling therapy because I feel like $$ is an issue, trying to fix myself before I get to therapy (seriously), and being responsible, or at least feeling like I need to be responsible for everything. My therapist suggested doing this, but I wasn’t sure. I have to ask for help from another person, to do EMDR, and that makes it harder. Of course, my therapist jumped all over that too, saying she didn’t have any issues asking the therapist to come back again. Ugh! I know it will be a good idea, and very helpful for me in the long run…

Today I’m feeling tired and worn out from the long session, the migraine, and all the meds it takes to knock me out. I have felt very emotional and have cried off and on most of the day. It’s all normal, but I’m ready to move to another season of life. Trusting that God has this and me, and will never leave or abandon me in this place!!

 

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M.I.T.~ Missing in Therapy II

Over the weekend the pain returned and by Monday morning I couldn’t sit; the pain was horrible. By 9:30AM, I was texting my therapist for help! We knew there was one more part affected by this pain, we didn’t get to her last week and I was sure this was all about her. My therapist asked me to come that afternoon at 1PM; we would have a 2hr slot to work.  Even though I had a session on Tuesday, she didn’t want me to experience the uncomfortable pain any longer. I’m starting to feel like I should pay rent to her office. 

We talked some about what I could remember or not in regards to this 7yr. part (k). I didn’t have much, only a few scattered and broken pieces of memories, none of it really made sense. If you’ve been following my blog, this is the young part who we got the doll baby for  in December. She was so excited to get this sweet doll, who she named Lily. I was told by the inside to bring the doll to therapy, and I’m so glad I did.

FullSizeRenderMy therapist stepped out for a quick moment; I had already switched and was laying on the couch curled up in a ball, afraid and in intense pain. My T walked over, picked Lily up, out of the bag, and held her in her arms. She talked about the day they went shopping for her, how sweet, cute and cuddly she is, that she was so thankful the k finally had her doll. This set the stage for trust and reassurance for k to share her memories and abuse. She took Lily and told my T to smell her, “Cause she smell like cookies”, k said. My T leaned over and smelled Lily, and sure enough, she said, “Yes, I never noticed before. Almost like vanilla. That makes her even more special.”

My T began to tell k that she realizes it’s hard to talk about these kinds of things, that she is completely safe, that she will be right her with her, holding her hand and everything was going to be okay. She also addressed the fact that k always wants her mom, but that isn’t possible, and she never believed her anyway. My therapist said, she could tell her the things like she was a mom (which she is), because good mom’s believe their kids and want to protect and care for them. k began to share the most hideous, terrifying, and sickening things I could have ever imagine a 7yr old experiencing.

This is where the mom in me cannot understand how a mother can let this happen?? How she simply doesn’t know it took place, and in her denial makes it unimaginably worse for her daughter! What the HELL!! I will NEVER understand this, ever! Abuse to anyone is ALWAYS, ALWAYS wrong, but to a child…that takes it to another level that is not only appalling, but barbaric!

I guess I am feeling some major anger inside…as I should. I know it is the past, I cannot fix her or what happened and there isn’t any reason to try. What is best for all of us, is for me to love, support, nurture, and encourage them. Remind them that they are safe and loved, something they never had, ever! I am extremely proud of k for her courage and bravery, her strength and faith. She is strong but sweet!

My pain ended officially that day…it always amazes me how that happens. I am grateful, blessed, and encouraged that this “anniversary date/month” has almost come to an end. We fought hard, came out better and stronger. I understand more of my past, and it only validates and confirms why I need to continue zero contact with my family!  It isn’t easy some days, but I can NEVER put any of us through this again. Sometimes cutting off all contact and communication is the only safe and healthy thing to do for YOURSELF.  Even if they or whomever, doesn’t understand, it really doesn’t matter….because it’s not about them. We have to take care of ourselves. Do what is best for ourselves. It isn’t selfish, wrong, bad, or shameful….it’s called FREEDOM to HEAL!

I pray for the person reading this today, that needs to hear, “You are not alone, it’s okay to do what is necessary to heal and be free.”

Get Aways are Always Good!

This weekend I was able to get away with a really good friend of mine who shares my love for basketball.  Every March, we go watch NCAA Women’s Basketball.  This year, we went out of town, got a hotel room, left our hubby’s at home, and watched basketball for 2 straight days!  No worries, cooking, laundry, cleaning, or stress- just a little March Madness baby!

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It feels like, for that short amount of time, the difficult things of my life are put on hold. My friend is very aware of my DID, she actually was one of the first people who really saw my parts begin to present themselves, and has been a huge support for me.  Outside of my husband, boys, and therapist, I have trusted her with much of my journey with DID.  She recently become a therapist, and has an advantage that most “everyday” people don’t have.  We had a great time together, like similar things, and even enjoyed worshipping between games.  She has an incredible voice and plays guitar.

One thing that you can’t get away from, when you actually get away, is yourself. Because…6a0112792c2d9d28a401157122656e970c

That means for me, the dreams, memories, and body memories that I have been struggling with before I left, go with me, no matter where I go.  I’m glad my friend doesn’t get freaked out when I have nightmares or talk in my sleep.  She is pretty cool with all that at this point in our friendship.  Unfortunately, I have been experiencing some rather uncomfortable pain.  At times it feels unbearable, but mostly uncomfortable. I tried not to let it ruin my weekend, or consume my thoughts, but that wasn’t always possible.

For today,  I’m thankful for a time of relaxation and hanging out with my friend.  I’m thankful for a sweet husband who is good with me getting away and supporting my trip. Even though I had a some rough patches along the way, it was fun and much needed!

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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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.

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…the day after

It’s the day after therapy, and I woke up in the middle of the night with a killer migraine.  Those are usually attached to a part of me on the inside.  K (part) is the one who has been going through these difficult memories and sharing them in therapy.  I shouldn’t be surprised about her getting a migraine, because she has gone through so much lately.

K is a fighter and I am so proud of the work she has done, and continues to do.  She is spunky, out-spoken, and does not like to talk about painful things…but who really does??  Since we figured out she has the migraines, we know that it is a body memory, and usually they can’t be fixed with meds.

I have a “cocktail” of meds to take when it comes on, since migraines are debilitating, but it knocks me out.  I sleep and give it time to dissipate.  The problem is, I don’t like taking meds, these particular ones make me groggy the rest of the day, and I sleep for 8-10 hours.  Now, that may sound awesome, since I only get 3-4 hours a night.  It’s the after effects of feeling drugged, that I don’t care for very much.

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often these days.  And I am glad I have a plan, with a way to combat the migraine.  K has spent all day wrapped up in her gray, soft, and warm blanket.  We feel so secure and safe inside our own private cave.  Somedays it’s okay to lay around, in your PJs, with a fire and warm cozy blanket.  It’s like being wrapped up in the arms of our heavenly Father, who says, “I will never leave you, or abandon you.”

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