Tag Archives: Switching

Therapy changed days, and change happens

My usual Friday, long session, was moved to Thursday, except I didn’t know how long it was going to last.  She, my T, asked if I could come Thursday at 11am, but I didn’t ask her about the length of time.  I guess it didn’t matter because we kept going until I shared along with 3 other parts.  Whew!  Those are very exhausting sessions, when I switch multiple times.  It didn’t help that I walked into her office already crying…and continued for the next hour I was present and sharing the following…

I was able to share my feelings (yuck), my irrational thinking (which I was aware of), and my fears of being vulnerable and honest with her.  It was painful, and she kept trying to reassure me that wasn’t accurate or true (which I knew) after each piece, which made it harder to stay focused.  I was able to get through each one and then I thanked her for all the time and generosity she gives, above and beyond what I deserve.  She allows me to contact her more than what I know to be normal for most clients.  I also thanked her for caring about me and my parts.

She complimented me on the work I am doing, saying it’s the hardest thing I’ll ever do, and that I am the first client, with DID, she has had that worked this hard.  She said that my perseverance through the difficult things has been like none she has seen before.  All of those kind words were extremely hard to hear, believe and hold as my own.  I am someone who can immediately hear a compliment then throw it out or completely disregard it because I don’t believe it to be truth. So, making myself look straight at her, and say, “Thank you”, and believe her words was a big step for me.images

The session ended well, my teenage part, that has been the focus as of late, came and shared how the two of us are learning to work together.  She is realizing her coping/numbing mechanisms are not healthy or a solution. I am thankful for how far she has come, the work she is doing, and her sincere love and concern for me.  I’m learning that she has been closest to the surface, more than any other part.

She was followed by my 8 yr old, Wendy, who had colored a page, with a frog, for my T.  Frogs are her favorite, and she loves talking about them.  A few minutes after she came, my 5 yr old, Sis, showed up to present her coloring page from the movie, “Inside Out”.  She and my T talked about the movie and good memories they both experienced.  It is always so precious and sweet to listen to the “littles” visit with my T.  She is wonderful with my parts, but uniquely gifted when it comes to my “littles”.  The ability to get on their level, speak to them, and engage in conversation that makes them feel completely at ease…is extraordinary.

My night went well, I actually slept for about 5 straight hours, and that is amazing. The two days of migraines were gone, and my community felt more at ease than it has for the last two weeks.  God is good and still in control.  His plans and purposes for my life are and will always be for good, always!  He loves me along with each and everyone of my parts.  The same God that gave me a way out of abuse, through dissociation, is the Creator of the universe and every living thing.  god-says-you-are-2

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Peace with the Pieces

Today was my long session in therapy, and it always makes me nervous as to what will take place.  This week has been a struggle, with lots of switching, unhealthy behaviors, sleepless nights and migraines.  By the time Friday got here, I was absolutely exhausted, and wondering if I should take a break from therapy.

It always seems to be a theme with me; when things get overwhelming, or new pieces of information surfaces that is difficult, I want to quit therapy.  This time, I actually brought it up with my therapist.  It went something like this:

me:  I was thinking, would it be damaging or not, if I took a break for awhile?

therapist:  Yes, that is not a very good idea.  So no, we need to keep moving forward with this new information.

me:  Maybe I could have some time to think about how I can fix this, and then I’ll come back.

therapist: No, I’ll see you Friday.

Now, I know that almost sounds a bit harsh, but you have to know my therapist.  She genuinely, is so kind and compassionate and at times has agreed that maybe skipping a session would be okay.  However, not this time, and she was straight forward, honest, and not budging.  I knew when I said it out loud, that it didn’t make much sense to try and figure this out “on my own”.  If I could figure it out alone, I wouldn’t need a therapist….duh!

I’m glad I went, or at least my teenage part went.  She did some brave work again today.  She shared how she felt guilty, dirty, gross and ashamed.  She felt bad that she couldn’t do something to stop the abuse from my dad.  She shared pieces I had been getting in my dreams or random memories throughout the week. It’s one of the ways my parts give me new pieces of information. She shared about feeling frozen, paralyzed, like she couldn’t move; it makes me sad to even type this out.  I think that is a common response that is shared among those who have been abused.

When I “came back”- that’s what I call it when I’m not present while my parts are out.  I opened my eyes and the room was sideways.  I closed them real fast, opened them again, still sideways.  *sigh* I think, “deep breath, it’s okay that you are laying halfway on the couch.  D (therapist) understands this happens sometimes.”  Then I think, “crap! where is she? OMG, am I laying on a pillow on her lap?  What happened here?  Was K (part) so upset she had to lie down?  Did she have a migraine again? Is this safe, are we going to be hurt by this somehow?”  I felt embarrassed and afraid at the same time.  I feels wrong to want comfort, but we all have needed it along the way.

I slowly sit up, D stands up and says she is going to the restroom.  I stand up, almost fall back down, but make my way over to the small mirror hanging on the wall.  My mascara is all over my face, my make-up is all rubbed off, and my head feels like I’ve been crying all morning.  K has been out for over an hour, which alway makes me tired.  I try to feel compassion for her.  I am sure she needed comforted, she has been so hurt, and she hates being so vulnerable.  It had to be difficult for her to allow D to comfort her in that way.

Honestly, it’s something we’ve never had.  I have never wanted to let anyone in that close, or allowed people to hug me.  I didn’t know what to do with any of that.  At some level, I longed for it, but at another level, it scared me to death.  My thinking has always been, when people say they care and love you…they will ultimately abuse and abandon you.

I have learned, from being in therapy and allowing D to model healthy relationships, that I can learn to trust others in this area.  Not just anyone, but a small circle of friends and family.  Some days are easier than others, and I’m learning that I need it and it is not a BAD thing.  People do genuinely care about us…

What happens on runs, stays on runs.

 

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I love to run in the dark.  Somehow it feels a bit safer to share things when it’s dark.  Maybe it’s me, maybe there is some truth to it as well.

Saturday on my 5 mile run, I experienced an episode that hasn’t happened in a long time. My friend, who I’ve ran with the past 5 years, has gone through many of these episodes with me.  She has been a great friend throughout my DID journey, and has been a huge support, even when we had no idea I had DID (officially).  She was observing my switching before we really knew what was happening.  Now a therapist, she understands, along with myself, all the things that take place when I get triggered.

However, as we ran Saturday we came upon 2 german shepherds along with their owner.  He has taking the trash down the driveway, when the 2 full grown dogs came running to meet us.  Lots of barking, showing of teeth, mean faces, and nips too close for comfort.  We didn’t get bit, my friend may have gotten nipped in the ankle. We made it through without any real danger….or did we?

What my friend didn’t know, and what I wasn’t prepared for was a major trigger and switch.  Those 2 german shepherd dogs were part of my past and a very scary experience.  During the ages 11-12, I took piano lessons, and had to ride my bike to my weekly lesson.  My mom would give me my money, I would put it in my piano book, and head out on my bike.  I didn’t have a bag, so I held the book for the 4 mile trip, down country roads.

At mile 2, I came upon a german shepherd, who always seem be waiting for me. As it ran out of the woods, it would run up along side me and bite at my feet and legs as I rode by the house.  One time, I was almost hit by a car trying to swerve away from the dog.  I also lost my money for the lesson on occasion.  It was terrifying as a young girl.

As my friend and I made it past those 2 dogs and through her neighborhood, my young 12 yr. old, Mary, came out to talk. She spoke to my friend about how she was feeling, she broke down and cried, and wanted to get away.  She shared how she cried every week on her way to the lesson.  She also shared about how the piano teacher would breast feed her child during my lesson.  She remembered having to play the song Scarborough Fair, and not having any idea how it went.  The piano teacher gave her a hard time, for not knowing the song.  She said it was hard to listen to her, because she was feeding her baby that way.

I was able to hear most of what she shared, and it was  difficult to listen to her talk about how scared she was feeling.  It’s hard to hear each part describe events of their past, because I want to do something.

This was new information for me, and even though it doesn’t sound horrible, I hate it for her and that she had to be triggered.  I have always been afraid of german shepherd’s, but I never knew exactly why.  Any dog that even looks like one, makes me completely panicked inside.  I now know why, and I will be more alert in the future.

Later that afternoon, I became instantly sick, out of nowhere!  I was sitting typing this blog and suddenly felt like throwing up.  I had to lay down for a few hours before getting up, but not before I finally threw up!  Trying to put all this information together, but nothing seems to really make sense.  Somedays, I feel like DID takes over and I’m left going along with it all.