Archive for Therapy and Treatment

Mo’s Question – How to Start the Healing Marathon

Mo wrote a comment on my post, Healing: It’s not a Sprint, it’s a Marathon. And That’s a Good Thing.”  Her words just tore me up.  I just want to send hugs.  This post is to talk about her words because they resonate so strongly (and familiarily) in me. DavidRochester is further in his therapy than I am, and he has given me some insight into my path. I am a bit further ahead than Mo, so maybe my experience can do the same.

Listening Inside

“Right now I don’t even want to run the race. Starting see new T, I like her, but feeling so overwhelmed. She told me to listen inside, god it freaks me out.”

Tell her it freaks you out (I say somewhat sternly but with hugs).  You’re gonna get there – being able to listen, but it has to be at your pace.  If you feel freaked out, you both need to take some baby steps to get started.  My therapist (the new GREAT one) has emphasized over and over that *I* need to tell her when I get uncomfortable – and we talk about why and how to make sure we are working together safely.

About listening – I’ve been in therapy for about 18 months.  CHECK THIS OUT – up until the last few 6 months or so, I rebelled against this idea of ACTIVELY listening inside.  Sometimes I *heard* things.  Kate yells things and interrupts (but has done so my entire life).  But I was extremely uncomfortable about actively *asking around* for an opinion.

But my therapist broached it gently.  One session I felt crazy about something and didn’t know why.  She asked me to ask inside.  First there was nothing.  She didn’t push it.

She *asked* me to *ask* inside.

Slowly I am letting down the wall and just waiting.  Often it isn’t a sentence, but a word or feeling that isn’t me.  But the words DO seem to address the question we are exploring.

…. so this idea of asking.  I would say, don’t CHASE it.  Just try to start relaxing, and eventually you might hear.  Don’t force it.

What is real?

“I go between thinking face this and doing an about turn. When I catch myself thinking this is real, and thinking about this with this in mind, I then get so mad at myself for thinking this way.”

Yup.  Still feel that sometimes.  The HARD part (for me anyway) is that sometimes *I* believe and sometimes *I* do not.  Understanding that *I* is not always *I* has been key.  Listening and feeling has allowed me to separate the *I*’s.  It isn’t always obvious until you start thinking about likes, dislikes, feelings, memories.

For example, my gut feelings about a certain person in my life are a VERY good indicator of who I am at that point.  When I feel *odd* or just left-of-center, strangely, I just think about that person and my feelings completely crystallize me!  Just like some people know by the clothes they have on (that’s me in a few cases), my FEELINGS or memories help me.

So, Mo and everyone else, it ISN’T that you HAVE to have an internal roll call with names and separate memories and completely different feelings.  Remember, it’s a continuum.

And just because you don’t always know why your feelings are a little left-of-center, doesn’t mean that this isn’t REAL.  It is.

That Periodic Denial

“It’s like it was so much easier to be in denial and block things out when no one else knew, now that three doctors that I deal with know and act like its so run of the mill, the most natural thing in the world to be like this, I freak and the blanket of denial is moth eaten, and no longer can block things out.”

Oh Mo (hugs).  Yes.  That’s me.  So common.  Welcome.

Often I want to run back to denial because it was easier.  Pushing through this is hard.  I didn’t realize sometimes how hard.  Sometimes I tell my mom and my therapist I’m gonna shove it back in the box, knowing full well that I really can’t anymore.  But sometimes I wish I could.

Your docs who thinks this is “the most natural thing in the world.”  I have to chuckle – my meds doc is just like that, and I was AMAZED!  He was so matter-of-fact!  It shocked me, but also continues to give me a foundation for myself. Sometimes it gives me strength to grasp that SOMEONE who is an expert has no doubt!  I keep thinking of him – Cami, this is real.  (Read: Accepting a Diagnosis of DID.)

… (oh, hugging me and you) … there is just so much I want to say in response to your comment.  There is such pain and confusion, but so a normal part of the process.

Beginning to see yourself(ves)

“I freak and the blanket of denial is moth eaten, and no longer can block things out.”

Wonderful imagery – this sentence is why I wanted to expand your comment into a post.

Your struggle is clear, but this sentence went into my heart because it feels to me like there is hope in you.  Not sure why I feel this way – like you are allowing yourself to peek through.  You aren’t looking for a new blanket.  I dunno – it feels like healthy progress to me.

Is the blanket really “moth eaten”?  Are the holes you peek through ragged on the edges because some meddling insect is picking away at you?

My therapist would ask me about the moths.  Are they bad things?  Good things?  I’m not a therapist, but maybe you should take that line you wrote up there and talk about the imagery.  Truly.

Accepting how you help yourself

“And now I have a fractured heel from running too much, but get this no pain at all, and apparently someone went to sports doc to get it looked at and is doing all these things on my behalf and I feel like my life is being totally run by someone else, I hate it, but yet when I say to myself enough, take control, I can’t seem to face things enough to be able to do it.”

That is scary, and it does scare me when something happens and I don’t have full memory of it.  Freaks me too, because I am so afraid I might have done something I wouldn’t do normally.  But most of the times I can at least watch from the background.  But, think about what you did – part of you helped you.  You were hurting and part of you helped remove your pain.  This is amazing!

(Okay, it would be even more amazing if you could remember it, I know.  But at least part of you isn’t doing self-injury while you aren’t there.)

Can you ask yourself inside to allow you to at least watch?  It might feel funny like you are talking to nothing, but you never know who is listening.

Your question of taking control … first thing is awareness.  My therapist and my husband have helped me reconstruct my missing memories by walking backwards from what I remember.  And walking forward to see what triggered me.  I have one trigger in particular that I have learned very well, and I don’t lose time much anymore because I can SEE IT COMING.  But that did take time to learn … but I DID IT!  I can SEE now what used to cause lost time.

Holding your own hand

“Sorry for rambling, my brain feels like its going to explode.”

Ramble all you want.  Rambling is good – getting your thoughts out.  Getting validation.  The exploding stuff – writing doesn’t help me when my head is going to explode, but I am learning things I can do to diffuse that sometimes.  Loud thumping music.  Sitting in a cold river.  Exercise.  Explore with your therapist things that might help YOU when you get to that explode state (and “explode state” is NORMAL!!!).

“I guess my question is how does one even get to the starting line of said race, dressed and ready to go with no fear :)

Another wonderful sentence in so many ways.  You have such hope I can see, but such fear of the unknown.

The first thought put into in my mind, from another part of me, is to tell you, “Mo, you’ve already started.  You’re past the starting line.  There is no dress code – what you are wearing is fine.  And having fear is something required to get you to the starting line to begin with.”

Give yourself a small smile and a hug.  Truly, you are further along than you give yourself credit for.

Here is a quote that helps me:

“In recovery, sometimes there are no answers…just healthy fear.” – Tollefson, “What Recovery is Not

– ∞ –

See also:

Table of Contents for all blog posts
Review: “What Recovery is Not” – Tollefson
Flame-Quenching “Move Along” Standard Disclaimer

Guest Book and Introductions

Elysium’s Therapy Frustrations Part 1

Elysium3000 left a comment elsewhere on the blog about her frustrations getting a diagnosis, therapist’s opinions/beliefs about dissociative disorders, and the fear of being outed. Since her fears are so common and I’ve written on some of this before, let’s try and work through these issues again. Since my feelings and subsequent research got a little long, I’m splitting this into a few posts.
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Healing: It’s not a Sprint, it’s a Marathon. And That’s a Good Thing.

When I do cardio at the gym, I listen to my iPod. Traditionally I’ve chosen fast-paced upbeat songs, but I’ve broadened my playlist to explore new motivations because like may of you, I’m facing significant challenges right now.  Job search, the economy, my therapy, etc.  Averaging it all together, I’m doing okay.  My healing is amazing, and my therapist hammers me to be proud of myself.  Smile.

So when I heard this lyric the other day, it made me feel a little more real.   That I truly am learning pace and control.

But the race is not, for the swift
But who really can, take control of it †

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Teaser for an Upcoming Guest Post by My Husband!

An amazing thing happened tonight!

The other day, Elysium3006 commented on a post I made last May called, Should I Tell My Spouse I  Have DID? But today I told Elysium3006 that my response has changed – it all depends on timing and communication.  Back then my response was a resounding NO!  But today my response is different – my husband knows mostly everything and he is so accepting and a pillar of my support system.  He read my response to Elysium3006, and even added a few lines of his own feelings.

He had good thoughts so I said, somewhat flippantly, “You should write a post about what it’s like to be a spouse of someone with DID and what it was like to go through the hard times .  When you didn’t know what was happening with me, and I didn’t tell you even that I had started therapy.  And how I eventually was able to share, and how we finally started talking so positively for both of us! And then finally stepping back from the very real specter of divorce.

To my elated amazement, he said, “Ok – start dictating.”  And I did.

I told him that his thoughts on when and how much to share with a significant other and family would be SO APPRECIATED by those of us who are afraid to talk, and for those who are support persons.

What an amazing husband I have!  If you’ve followed my healing, you will realize the complete turnaround in our relationship.  And you will hear how a man who never believed in therapy tells me to keep going as long as I need to.  Stay tuned!

Therapy: It’s All Part of “The Process”

It’s all “Part of the Process.”

I was completely unfamiliar with that phrase until therapist #1. After 6 months with her, I was thoroughly disgusted with the phrase. Perhaps because no one could define “The Process” in terms I could accept. This magical concept that I, a PhD trained engineer, was apparently completely ill-equipped to deal with.

<And friends and neighbors, let’s throw in the completely obligatory ” fck that” right about HERE.>

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The Flip Side: An Excellent Interview for a New Therapist

After deciding to return to therapy, I interviewed two therapists.  I’ve already reported on the my response to Bizarre Animal Lady in the surreal interview environment and the surreal interview itself.  That “event” was easy to blog about – it was over and gone.

But I’ve delayed writing about the good interview because I didn’t want to jinx the relationship.  But it is far enough along now that I am ready to share.

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Update on Whereabouts and Job Search

Hello everyone – I wanted to say I have been caught up in job stuff. I am looking for a job, I think I mentioned, and have been at it nearly constantly. I know I need to take breaks, but I have been excited about some of the progress and don’t want to lose steam. Since our economy sucks here in the United States, it is especially hard. But I have a few phone interviews coming up, and everyone says that is great.

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