Tag Archives: Trauma

Damn Migraines

It’s been a week ago today that I have had reoccurring migraines! My therapist has been on vacation since last Wednesday, I’m too freaking prideful to call and ask her to talk (not like she can cure it), and I’m walking around like a fucking zombie because of all the meds! My husband and boys have to take care of me, since I can barely get out of bed. It seriously hurts to eat crackers so I can take my meds that knock me out. And I’m pretty sure I look like the lady in that pic….damn migraines!!

I know it’s connected to trauma, memories and flashbacks I had after my last therapy session. The timing sucks that my T is gone until next week. Can I even make another 5 days with this pain??

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Good and Bad News

I have been absent for awhile; not real sure why. I’ve experienced some highs and lows for the past week and a half. Generally, I’m the type of person who wants to hear the bad news first, but today I’m changing things up. Sharing the good news first, it may help change my perspective…or not! giphy

 

The good news is… I’ve decided to return to my previous job, working for those “damn therapist” friends. There has been incredible amounts of healing that had to take place before this was even a consideration. All those who were involved in this (no one knows what to call it) “thing” have taken separate paths to deal with this individually.

At first, it seemed like this entire mess was all my fault. In fact, I took the blame for losing my job, friends, therapist and any trust that I once had. It’s amazing how my mind worked during that extremely, horrible event. In the past, I would have said,  F_ _ _ _ You all, and walked away! Now, after many years of working in therapy, allowing God to change me and learning to care about me; I was broken! Broken in the sense that I really do care, about people, what I do, and even myself. God showed me many areas of my life where I needed to change; He used this time to heal and restore.

I know that 2 of these ladies have gone through similar experiences during this “thing” and we’ve all come out better people because of it. I will never under-estimate the power of restoration in each of our lives. There is always hope for resolution, but because I constantly think negatively, I truly didn’t think it would ever come about. Blessed, Thankful, Grateful…these are the words that come to mind when I see what God has done!

I’ve started back to work, slowly, and being very aware of how quickly things escalated to bring about the previous disaster.  I’ve been able to talk about it with them, honestly and without angry or judgment. And that is a beautiful thing!! What we all realized is, each one of us had our own, completely separate, issue that needed healed. We did the hard work in therapy to achieve that, and it’s why I’m back there now. We are stronger and better people because of this “thing” and for the record- No, I wouldn’t want to do it again!

I guess one would say, “That is great news!”…..1giphy

 

 

 

 

Now, for the bad news..      ***Trigger Warning*** (massage/abuse)

It has taken me years, lots of therapy and a complete mind set change, to ever think about getting a massage. As an abuse survivor, from childhood to my teens, this is one area that was always off limits. Yes, I’ve read many articles stating that physical touch, such as  massages, can be very healing when done appropriately. There are many benefits to having one on a regular basis. A few years ago, I found myself at a place that does foot/back massages. You are fully clothed and in a room of other people having the same thing done. It was a quiet, peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. I had no idea places like this existed, but was open to try it out. There was one little problem though…I hated anyone touching my feet! I mean, I would absolutely lose control if someone even joked about touching them! It was like I snapped and there was no going back!

I felt trapped in the place of “what am I going to do when he touches my feet?” In that moment, I began to cry and pray and pray and pray. I asked God to just get me through it, PLEASE! Well, He got me through it AND I was okay. It wasn’t so bad….so fast forward 3 years later. Last year I started getting a full body massage once a month, then the past 3 months every week.  I would go after my Friday (3hr.) therapy session and it was so beneficial. Especially when I was doing the manual labor job; it was killing my body!

Last Friday something happened during the massage. I felt strange; I knew I had switched during the massage (which isn’t uncommon for me) and something wasn’t quite right. By that evening, my teenage part, Kat, had come out and started smoking and drinking. I alerted my therapist, but Kat began texting her saying it was “all good”! That is always Kat’s coping defense- reframing; turning the bad into good, even when it’s not the truth. She hates having to talk about emotionally distressing events; I don’t blame her, but it’s how we heal. And of course, this all happened when she was mostly present to the massage. She also felt completely responsible that something happened, because she was the one that help push me to start getting them. She was afraid I would hate her, if she told.

This is such a hard area for me; I absolutely do NOT hate her and it’s NOT her fault. It’s one thing when your parts begin sharing their trauma from the past, but it’s a whole other deal when they have to be involved in “real-time life”. Shit happens in life; I know that all too well. It’s when it affects all of us that pisses me off. I’m a mom, my boys are 23 and 21 and I would do ANYTHING to protect them. The parts of me are the same…I NEVER want them to experience anymore trauma and I want to protect them at all cost! But like with my boys, I can’t protect them from everything, no matter how hard I try.

Kat did share, in therapy, what took place in the massage room. I’m thankful it wasn’t as bad as I envisioned in my head. It was inappropriate and absolutely wrong!! We will never go back and at this point, I’ll NEVER have another massage. I HATE people who feel the need to take advantage of others in an extremely vulnerable place! And like past trauma, it’s made it way into this experience. There is a link to Kat’s past trauma and this one; I feel completely responsible for putting her in another place where she had to protect me. She feels the same way about me though….Damn it! I hate this for both of us!

EMDR: “That Shit Really Works”

The title is in honor of my ‘damn therapist’ friend who I mentioned in my last post. The first time I saw the two therapist’s I work for (whom I call those “damn therapists) do EMDR, I was completely amazed.  My prior experience wasn’t so good, but as I sat behind the camera filming them for certification, it was jaw dropping watching the process unfold before me. Not that I didn’t think they were great at what they do, because they are incredibly gifted therapists. That’s why the name, ‘damn therapists’, is a term of endearment. I kinda lump my own therapist in there too because they are all so damn good and sometimes too good- if you know what I mean.  You can’t get away with anything with them. LOL

Anyway, back to my “experiment” today in therapy. I was very nervous, but felt completely safe. We met at my T office and my DTF (damn therapist friend) was there to start at 9AM. It absolutely helped to have my own T there and in a familiar place. My T has a pretty laid back personality, but can also take on a strong, aggressive stance when needed. I felt that strong personality when I walked in her office, and it felt comforting, not that I was in danger, but to know she had my back no matter what happened! And since we were both new at this, that was probably an appropriate stance for her to take.

My DTF went through how it would work, which I was prepared for in advance, and asked if we had any questions. I let them know my teenage part- B, was going to participate and she good okay to be there. No other parts were going to be involved, so I made sure they were all safe and tucked away in their rooms. 🙂

My DTF used the bilateral stimulation through directed lateral eye movements-using my eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across my field of vision.  Initially, I had difficulty tracking…no surprise there! But after a couple of tries I began tracking her two fingers and quickly, very quickly things began to surface. giphyThis is the piece that made me nervous, because she wanted me to say whatever it was that came up- and did I mention, OUT LOUD! I couldn’t try to fix or change it before I spoke it out loud…oh the pain of not filtering! How was it suppose to come out just right? Oh, it’s not?? There’s no right or wrong answer? What have I gotten myself into here? But I pushed through, right or wrong, good or bad.

I established my negative cognition of, “I should not trust people” and my positive belief (which I struggled with) “I can discern that I can trust people”.  So all my sets had to do with the fact that I have trusted people who ultimately have hurt me in some way or another. Then my teenage part, B came and rocked my world with the information she processed out loud. You know that moment when you hear something so shocking that you are like, “What the f*** just happened? Did she just say what I think she said?”

Yeah, that is what happened. I’m listening as she is present, speaking and revealing this information that has everyone in the room reacting in different ways. I want to stop this process, and get out of there. I catch a glimpse of my DTF, who is trying desperately to not show her reaction, but I saw it and knew how she felt about it. UnknownThen I hear my T, who’s sitting to my left, do what I call the Junie B. Jones, “huffy breath”.…5x! I could hear her deep sighs as B was talking about something a trusted friend had done several years ago. All that information we heard, only confirmed my negative thinking that I should not trust people…they will hurt me!  And this hurt, badly!

I was ready to wrap up the EMDR session and end all of this emotion and processing. My DTF did a great job of repeating my positive belief and that there are people in my life who love, care and will be there for me! I was grateful, but it was hard to hear. As soon as my DTF ended the session, I got up and headed to the bathroom. The 3 of us talked briefly and then I was left with my T for the remaining 45 min. Not enough time to understand what we heard, but we both agreed to one thing…we may never have received this information from B if we didn’t choose to do EMDR. I’m fairly sure she wouldn’t have shared this any other time. Perhaps this is why she agreed to this in the first place?? Maybe she wanted to do this, so she didn’t have to carry this around anymore. Either way, it was a good choice, even if I thought it was only going to be an experiment.

I headed out to my car, but I knew I needed to get more grounded. I was not in a good place, so I decided to go for a walk.  The tears began to roll down my face and I couldn’t stop thinking, “What is so wrong with me, that I am a magnet for crazy people who want to hurt me?” I walked for about 15-20 minutes before returning to my car. I noticed my T walking toward me, she must have seen my car still parked outside and came to check on me. I love that she cares enough to do the little things. We talked outside for about 30min. and she helped me get more insight as to what I need to do for myself. I thanked her for caring so much. She responded, “You don’t have to thank me. I hope you do know that I care that much. You make it easy. If you need anything, just let me know.”

Will I do EMDR again?  Probably….very likely. I had the same feelings afterwards like I do when I have been switched for a long period of time in session. I’ve had a headache all day, been physically and emotionally exhausted, cried several times, and been very angry as well. The difference is my parts are usually sharing memories from my past, it’s over and I don’t have any connection with my abusers. This new information today, affects present day relationships, and I am not sure what to do. Of course, it happens on a Friday and I won’t have another session until Tuesday. UGH!

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’s 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’s 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’s 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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Share Your Struggles…You Never Know

It’s Thursday and I have had 3 migraines since Friday! I realize that this is completely wrecking me physically, emotionally and mentally.  I can’t be present to myself, my family, my job, my life….when does it end? I’m sick of myself saying the same thing over and over again. Then the kind words from everyone saying…This is temporary,  it’s only a season, it won’t last, the worst is behind me, God has this, God has me, I am strong, brave, courageous…blah, blah, blah

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Now don’t get me wrong, I know all that is true! I am thankful for all of the support, but damn it, I want out of this pit. The crying is too much, and it comes out nowhere. I’m sure it’s a little depression; I certainly know what that feels like.  Not willing to get back on an antidepressant because I didn’t like the way it made me feel. My dissociation is stronger and more frequent, since I don’t like what it happening.

I attempted canceling therapy for tomorrow, using the migraine as a way out, even though it’s the truth.  However, the migraines are here because I need to talk through stuff and that means going to therapy.  My mental state has been so bad at times that I have wanted to call my parents so they can tell me I’m okay. Geesh! Like they have ever said I was okay…but that is where I am right now.

So right now I’m sitting in the dark, in my bed, alone, crying off and on (more on than off), my kids and husband are gone for the evening, and that is never a good combination. I have this “cocktail” of medication for my migraines, it only knocks me out, not the migraine, and I’m thinking, “Perhaps I should take 1 or 12 of these???”  I would be knocked out for sure- completely out!  But I’m not going to because it’s not who I am, who I want to be, and it’s not the answer.

So I want to share something I read tonight as I lay here in this depressed state….I believe God gives us exactly what we need at exactly the perfect time. I was going through and reading blogs that I follow, catching up and hoping to find some encouragement along the way.  This “blog community” has been a valuable resource for me in my healing journey.  But this particular blog I read possibly changed my perspective, well not possibly, it absolutely, without question, took me by the shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and unmistakably changed my thinking.

I don’t believe in coincidences, but believe God is in all things, speaks through others, even when they don’t realize.  God uses our struggles to make us stronger, but also when we speak them, share them, write them on a post; He will use them all!

Tonight when I arrived home from work, early, due to an oncoming migraine, I was taking my jewelry off and I noticed the 2 pictures I have hanging above my dresser.  One is when I was 5yrs old and the other I think 7 or 8.  I just stared at them for a moment and then got in bed and began to cry, thinking all this is so not worth another day!

And then I read Rachel’s blog post. This is what changed things for me.  She shared her struggles, who suicidal thinking, all the while being honest and vulnerable.

I don’t think I would actually pull the trigger. I don’t think, even if I had a gun, I could actually do it. Because I don’t believe in killing, and I am a person. And would be killing a person. And also, that 3 year old keeps flashing in my mind. That 3 year old me, I can’t shoot her in the head. I looked at an old picture, and just can’t imagine killing her. So I don’t think I am actually in danger, I just feel really bad right now. And I don’t even feel reactive about it, that I need to necessarily do anything about it, other than take care of myself and wade through it as best I can until it passes. Clearly something is being worked out.”

Thank you, Rachel! Thank you for being real, honest and seen.  You had no idea when you put those words out there that someone, somewhere, would be encouraged. God used your life experiences to get me through a difficult place.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

“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! 🙂

 

 

 

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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