Tag Archives: Childhood Abuse

EMDR again…

As with many of my posts, it takes me several days to actually publish what I’ve written. Things seem to change so quickly in my world; I feel like I’ve been swirling, waiting for the ride to stop. I know this is a normal reaction with EMDR. You continue to get more and more information afterwards. It’s difficult with having DID, because you already have so many bits and pieces swirling inside; you don’t need to feel like you’ve been on the Tilt-A-Whirl too!!giphy

During my Friday, long session, we did EMDR for the second time. I was the primary subject and my negative cognition was, “If something bad/wrong happens and I’m involved, I believe it’s all my fault and take full responsibility.” I have always taken the blame for things that have happened to us. I’m sure because of my past, the abuse, and how it was projected onto me it’s been my way of thinking-always. Being aware that I do this is one thing, trying to resolve the issue, is quite another.

My ‘damn therapist’ friend, came to my session and joined my T and myself for what turned out to be 2 hours of EMDR and intense emotions. I was overwhelmed with the things it was bringing up from my past: anger, sadness, hurt, and lots of tears. I wasn’t able to get to a place of calm, even my calm place made me cry. I felt so undeserving of my “island getaway” that I couldn’t even¬† continue. My friend would never end EMDR this way in a session, but she knew I wanted to stop and spend some time talking with my T. In the final last hour with my T, together we got me to a place where I could feel okay to leave.

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I always know when things don’t go as well in therapy when my T tells me she will be available if I need to contact her later. I’m extremely grateful that she allows that, but always hoping we won’t need it either. On Friday’s, after therapy, I get a massage. It has become a huge self-care piece for me. It has taken me years to be able to get a massage (for obvious reasons), and now it has been significantly healing. However, I completely zoned out somewhere in the middle and switched. I found out later, my teenage part, B, had gone back to see my therapist. Interestingly, she is my tough, bad ass, take control, get things done, part of me and knowing she went back to talk was a bit shocking. B has grown and matured so much; she wanted to discuss some of the things she learned about herself in EMDR. Most notably, “I can’t fix everything”!!!!! OMG, that was HUGE! What a break-through for her and myself. I was so stinkin’ proud of her!! ūüôā

My therapist had shared with me about their conversation and we both felt like this was an extremely beneficial session. Not only for me, but for others inside. I am realizing there is still information I am unaware of. I believe that my T and B talked about it on the steps of her office. These are the things with EMDR that keep downloading in my head, while I’m trying to make sense of it all.

I’ve been journaling, and trying to keep myself distracted, which isn’t really working. My dad’s birthday is today; that is painful all on it’s own. He has hurt us in so many ways and I don’t want to give him any head-space, whatsoever. But it keeps invading my mind, thinking, and memories all at the same time.

Overall, it was an encouraging and beneficial session. I will probably do this again on Friday. Hopefully, I will have more information and a little more closure on things. It is a risky tool to use with DID, but at this point in my healing, I think it is needed. It is also being done by a gifted, seasoned and caring therapist, who is my friend. She would never put me in a situation that would be harmful…my own T wouldn’t allow that either! I am blessed to have two people who care so deeply about me. Makes me cry just typing it out!

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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.”

Friday Meltdown Part 2

In my last post¬†,¬†I shared about what happened after last Friday’s therapy session. ¬†I was not involved/present during the session, which I did on purpose. ¬†My little one’s had planned to visit with my T and I didn’t want to be there. ¬†That probably sounds bizarre, why would I choose not to be present during therapy. ¬†It was the questioning of my friend, the “damn therapist”, that triggered feelings I was completely unaware were buried. The question as to why I chose¬†not to be present in that session left me with¬†swirling thoughts, sharp pain, tightness in chest, and a deep sadness welling up quickly.

While crying in my closet (my crying place), I realized the one person who could help me, put words as to why I wasn’t present, and get me to a calm place, was my therapist. I have been working intensely toward being honest and upfront with my T about my past, how I’m really feeling, and what I need. It isn’t comfortable at times, but extremely necessary and important. ¬†With that in mind, I apprehensively called my T. Not gonna lie, there was a moment when I felt like, ¬†“What if she answers; what will I actually say?” LOL

Of course she answered, asked if I was okay, and right away I started crying all over again. Seriously, I couldn’t even hold it together for a, “Hi, how are you?” Ugh! ¬†I told her that I had been asked about why I chose not to be present during the session; she wanted to know as well. Shocker!! I began by saying it was, at times, uncomfortable to see myself sitting there as a child (but 47 yrs old), listening to my T read my favorite picture books, and feeling so at ease. It’s hard to wrap my head around all that, but I know this is how it all works.

The biggest reason- my mom never read to me, but the babysitter did. The lady who babysat for me (5 yrs old) and my siblings, was married to a pedophile who would sexually abuse me when he came home for lunch. When he would leave, she would rock me in a chair and read books to me…like somehow that was going to fix the problem!!! ¬†Later, when I was 19, I started therapy for my eating disorder. My first attempt at therapy, and I only went because my really good friend/mentor was noticing I was acting strange when it came time to eat. ¬†She was the first person I told about being bulimic, she freaked out, and like a good codependent (didn’t have a clue what that was at 19), she found me a therapist, drove me there, and had actually met with her once because she didn’t think it was going well-yikes!

I began to share with this friend, things no one knew about me. I trusted her with information, but mostly she was the first person I thought truly cared about me. She saw the dysfunctional relationship with my mom and was shocked by her constant behavior towards me. It was soothing to have someone care, encourage, and love me for who I was. ¬†She allowed me to be a part of their family, watch their kids, and see what a loving family looked like. ¬†Unfortunately, she saw me as her child, and wanted to mother me through these difficult days…that’s when I learned the word codependent. Her intentions were good, but unhealthy. And one day, after therapy, I drove to her house and broke down emotionally about not having a mom who loved me unconditionally. I was grieving something I would never have, sad for always being criticized and judged, and pretending that we had this “great family”. She walked across the room, sat with me in the chair and rocked back and forth. Moments later, she was reading a children’s book to me and thinking it would bring a sense of comfort and peace. My child parts (I was unaware of at the time) attached to this lady who was very kind and loving. I remember feeling very small in that moment; I just didn’t know why.

2o+ years later, I see all the unhealthy attachment there, my therapist, at the time, saw it and point it out to me too. I wish I knew then what I know now, but we all could say that, and it isn’t helpful for today. I don’t have any connection with this friend; we live hundreds of miles apart. There is so much more about all that, but it will have to be another day, another post.

So, that is why I didn’t want to be in session. I was unable to separate myself enough to see the healthy parts of it, enjoy being there, and seeing this as a new and positive experience. All of this new information surfaced, became overwhelming and I was completely taken out emotionally. My T thanked me for being vulnerable, honest, and calling. She understood why I did what I did, and said we could work through it when I was ready…which is therapist code for “we will be talking about it next session”. ¬†I know how those “damn therapists” work; they aren’t fooling me. LOL

The problem with working through the issue came when I didn’t go to therapy today…I took the day off to work outside in the flower beds, knowing that I really don’t know what I’m doing. ¬†My mom always did the flowers, because I could never “get the right things”, “plant them correctly”, or do “enough to make it look good”. Another mental block where she is concerned and it paralyzed me again today. ¬†First it was the books and now flowers!! ¬†OMG

 

Mother’s Day: The Love/Hate Relationship

Mother’s Day is often a painful time. For those of us with DID, abuse, PTSD, etc., this day can be a love/hate relationship with the survivor.  I love it because I have two incredible sons; young men who I love and cherish deeply.  I would fight for them, no matter what! As a survivor with dissociative identity disorder, mom issues are complicated and difficult to sort out or make sense of. These issues are multi-layered and uncomfortable.

For some survivors, their mothers were simply not there to protect them from the violent abuse of the father, sadistic family members, babysitters, or other predators. ¬†Whatever the reason, these mother’s were not there for their child; maybe they were the ones doing the abusing. So whatever the case my be, the issues around our mom’s create so many mixed feelings as this day approaches.

My story, with my mom, is she was¬†too blind or too lost in her own denial or self, to be willing and/or able to protect me from abuse. ¬†At that point she became¬†irresponsible for her role in not protecting me. ¬†She was¬†in our home, and could have been instrumental in helping to protect me. However, out of her¬†own fear or denial, she refused to look, to protect, or help. ¬†Maybe she¬†let her own fear overcome her and her willingness to save me. Or maybe, she just simply didn’t care, or thought I deserved it somehow. It wouldn’t surprise me if she acted as an accomplice….fear or not!

So every Mother‚Äôs Day, it is difficult for me (and I’m sure you other’s as well) who grew up with a mom like that.¬† It hurts. ¬†No matter how much it hurts, at times I just want my mom. It‚Äôs confusing. The things I desired from her was never given to me, and it’s like a knife through my already broken heart.¬†The anguish of wanting my mom to do something, anything to save me from this horrendous, scary environment, leaves a void deep within me. It is almost sickening to believe she would choose herself¬†over her child‚Äôs safety and well-being.

The aftermath of such events in a child’s life do not heal quickly or easily. This gut-wrenching pain is felt for years, because it is wrong! ¬†It is shameful, disgraceful, and pathetic….this is NOT what a mother does-EVER!

I didn’t have a role model that I could follow as a mom, but I was NOT going to make the same mistakes with my own boys! ¬†I have made plenty of mistakes along the way, trust me, but none like what I have described above. ¬†God, is His goodness, grace and mercy, helped me to do what I never learned to do from watching my mom. He could only have given me the strength to love unconditionally, support, care, fight for, protect, and provide a safe place for my children. ¬†I am truly, eternally grateful for His grace and kindness.

Although it is going to be a day with joy and sadness; I know that God has given me women in my life to look up to, to seek when I need help. These women are mentors, godly women who remind me that God provides EVERYTHING I could possible need. Women who I can call without hearing criticism or judgment. Women who are safe, who will laugh or cry with me. I feel blessed to have these women in place of the one person who could never do any of those things. Thank you God!

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I Don’t Know How‚Ķ.or Not

My assignment, for this week off of therapy, is to write about how it makes ME feel to know/own the abuse from my dad. ¬†I don’t know where to start or even how to begin writing out my feelings. ¬†I have shared many times that, for me, anger is BAD and having emotions is NOT allowed. It’s a long standing, etched into my brain, default mode message I’ve always believed. Every time I attempt to get the journal out, instantaneously, the twinge of a migraine reminds me to put it all away. I don’t know how to do this or maybe‚ĶI really don’t want to do this!

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Even as I type this post, I feel the tears beginning to take shape from behind my eyes, my chest tightening as if someone presently took a seat there, and my throat feeling like it is being squeezed shut.  I despise the the way this makes me feel inside.  My parts have done this same type of work, they are brave, courageous, trusting, and incredibly strong; what is wrong with ME??

Logically, it makes me mad that it happened and it is normal to cry about such horrible things.  I would tell anyone going through similar events, these are necessary steps for healing.  The more you speak about it, out loud, the more freedom and healing you receive.  I know all those things, and yet, I simply cannot move forward. AHHHHHHH

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Obviously, I can still find a bit of humor along the way.  God is faithful and I know His mighty hand is on me, my family and our journey. He provides for us in every area of my life, so I cannot doubt that, especially right now.

As I prepare for this upcoming week of- “trying to journal”, having no therapy, pretending that “I’m good” without the therapy, experiencing panic/anxiety since Thursday, and wondering when the next migraine will arrive- I can’t loose sight that I’m going to be “okay” with it all. I know I’m not the only one who struggles like this, one day doing well, the next day feeling like my world is crashing around me, and white knuckling through, just to say, “I got this” or “I don’t need help”!!

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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.

 

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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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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