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 Post subject: Acceptance
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:22 am 
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Location: Reality ~ It's a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!
I have been gone for quite awhile now but returned to update contact information following a change in ISP, and new e-mail address that goes with the change. I thought that rather than feel like a stranger, I would post an update. I am not assuming anyone cares so it may be for my own benefit more than anyone else's benefit. ;)

I am seeing a different therapist who happens to live just a couple of blocks away. I know rhis because her office is in her home, where she also does personal training. She recently got her degree to become licensed but she has been doing Christian counseling for many years. She is close to my age so we have daughters the same age. If she were not my therepist she could have been a friend, LOL. I was referred to her by a therapist I was referred to because she does not accept Medicare and this person I am seeing is willing to see me for much less (I am not paying anything at this time so I can't beat that). I parted ways with the therapist I had been seeing when she stated that she could not defend me against the threat of my husband using my mental illness against me if we were to divorce and need a court to determine custody. She indicated that she thought that I have DID, as therapists before have stated. The irony is that I am seeing this new therapist for DID. I can't run from it any longer when it very likely is true. I am 40 years old now and I was first diagnosed with MPD at the age of 16 but it is possible that it was first suspected when I was 9 years old and sent to a child psychologist. That is a long time to try hiding from the truth and I can't do it any longer. I have to accept that I used coping skills to survive that are no longer working for me. I have always known that dissociation is a problem for me but I have not been willing to accept that I have a dissociative disorder. I have been too afraid of seeming like a freak if anyone found out but it seems others are far more forgiving than I am towards myself. I have to face the problem in order to solve it.

During hospitalizations I have presented with symptoms of BPD and that was a more comfortable diagnosis for me because I was able to mask the DID and the label was effective in getting me discharged quicker than if I had been cooperative with hospital staff, especially when the recommendation was long term inpatient therapy. I always refused to say anything because I knew it would be used against me so all I had to do was to frustrate the system enough that I would be released on an LRA (least restrictive alternatitive). Now that I have made the choice to live, I have been able to stay out of the hospital for several years. My SI is still an issue but I am more clever at hiding the evidence, which is usually what resulted in my being given the BPD label. I have been told repeatedly that I don't have BPD and never did. Interestingly, Colin Ross indicates in his writing that many people with DID have been diagnosed with BPD so it is not unusual.

Regardless of my own diagnosis, my foster mother has BPD and I have known many others with BPD so it has affected my life in other less direct ways. I have done DBT (I did not graduate but I was exited from the program due to my dissociation interfering with my ability to complete the requirements for graduation) and I have been treated for PTSD and depression so I have more in common with people with BPD than with those without a BPD diagnosis. During the years I was an active contributor at BPDR I have benefitted from the same toolbox of skills that are practiced here. What always seemed to keep me stuck was my unwillingness to look at the DID so I went in the same circles many times each time I got back into the spin cycle. I think I am ready to move forward even though the diagnosis still triggers ny fear of being a freak.

My current therapist knows several people who have overcome DID so it seems to be a strong possibility if I can just keep that hope alive. The therapist who recommended her (without even knowing that we live in the same town 45 miles from her office, where my therapist also works several days a week) has recovered from DID herself so she is working with my therapist as a consultant, I have spoken to her in the past but I was too overwhelmed at the time that I don't recall what we talked about. I don't feel comfortable talking to her about my fear of being a freak because I would not want to insult her.

Anyway, I wanted to provide an update because I tend to wonder how people are doing when I lose contact with them. Rather than keep this in private messaging, I figured I would post my update here and then I can correspond using PM without feeling like a lurker. ;) I glanced around while waiting to reactivate my account with the change of e-mail address but I did not take much time to read after having been gone so long that it will be impossible for me to catch up with everyone. I am typing this from my Sidekick phone so it has taken longer than if I were using a full sized keyboard and all my fingers rather than just my thumbs, LOL. I have chronic insomnia and figured out that I will sleep easier lying in bed with the lights off than sitting in front of my computer. I even have Sudoku on my Sidekick and that helps clear my mind before bed if I do the very hard or expert puzzles, which I have many of since you can enter custom puzzles and erase your progress if you want to use tha same puzzles multiple times. I am off to tire my brain so I will say goodnight now. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:53 am 
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Thanks for the update. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:07 pm 
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good to see you here again, Denim! yes definitely keep hope alive!!
--Chai f/k/a NotAMonster


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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:52 pm 
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Hi Denim! I ditto Ellen's 'thanks for the update'. I'm also glad that you sound like you might be ready to face/move forward with some of the issues that have plagued you for a while. There is a possibility of a happy, healthy life for you-- no matter your diagnosis.

Welcome back to working on recovery! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:25 am 
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Hi Denim -- welcome back.

I truly hope you can make some real progress with your new therapist. I greatly admire your determination to continue putting one foot in front of the other, and committing yourself to life and wellness.

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I can take it in small doses, but as a lifestyle I found it too confining. -- Jane Wagner


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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Welcome back.
I'm glad you are keeping up the good fight. Sometimes realizing we are in the same circle again and again is the hardest and best step forward.

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:58 pm 
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Location: Reality ~ It's a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!
Thank you all for your supportive comments. I am feeling like I have finally been able to get past this roadblock in my life and there may be something worthwhile on the other side. I tend to be so afraid of other people knowing my history that I manage to keep the knowledge from myself as well. I am not really wanting to do "trauma work" but it seems I end up doing it anyway when I am not successful enough at avoiding it. My DBT therapist kept telling me "avoidance makes you sicker" but I have continued to rely on avoidance because I did not think this is something I can live with. Now that I have decided to live and I have accepted that I very likely have a dissociative disorder, it is time to address it in therapy. I have never really participated in therapy beyond showing up for appointments and trying to convince mental health professionals that there is no reason to be concerned about me. To talk about painful life experiences is not easy for me because I literally choke and lose the ability to speak!

I managed to speak to my adult daughter yesterday while she was visiting (she is 19 now and living with a friend who is like a sister to me) and I had the courage to ask her about the time she came home from school and asked me if I have DID after learning about it in her psychology class. At the time I did not answer her question directly but rather asked her why she thought that I have DID. This time when I asked the same question, I went further to ask what it has looked like to her growing up and how it affected her. It was hard to admit to her that she was right and that I have known since I was 16 but did not believe it was true. It was easier to believe that the shrink was a quack and that therapists who believe in such things as alter states of consciousness are crazier than their cients, LOL. It was so interesting to see how matter of fact my daughter was about explaining how I act like "different people" to the point that she even gave me different names, although I have used the same legal name since I was 18 and had my birth name legally changed. There is a chance people have known me by other names since I have been involved in situations I thought were cases of mistaken identity (although it may have been my mistake and not theirs) but I tend to isolate enough that I don't spend much time around people. The "acting like different people" part of the diagnosis that has freaked me out for so many years is apparently no big deal to my daughter, who lived with me for 18 years before she left home with an ex-boyfriend. My biggest fear is that people will know this shameful secret I have been keeping so long and now that I found the courage to address the issue it seems that it is not so terrible after all!

I am still struggling with suicidal thoughts that are triggered by the acceptance that I have DID but my therapist told me that it is "programming" that I can work to reverse as I recognize it happening. Years ago I was told that acceptance is the first step towards removing the dissociative barriers to gain more awareness but at that point I could not take the step without backtracking into denial. Maybe having a therapist I can share my thoughts with will help me figure out how to achieve the insight I have been lacking all these years. When I was 18 and saw 40-year-old women where I am now I thought they were pathetic and yet it is probably my insistence that I was not going to be one of them that has me in this position. Apparently 40 is the age where the past and future come together for the first time for many people. I just never thought I would live this long!

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:23 pm 
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Denim, I am so glad to see you here!! I don't post much myself any more, but now I may pop in more often to see how you're doing. I think it's wonderful that you have a new T and that you are going to work on your issues again. I wish you all the best, as ever.

Would you believe I am finally seeking out a new T for myself? That's another story, not for your thread. Please post your updates when you can, or send me a PM.


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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:43 pm 
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((Denim)) = I continue to admire you and your courage very much as I believe you know! :-)

As ever, Jilly


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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:50 pm 
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Denim, I'm thinking of you. How are you doing?


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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:26 am 
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I completely lost track of this thread so I did not see that there were replies awhile back that I missed. I was not expecting anyone to care that I posted an update so I have not been following the thread as I should have done. I have wanted to post more again but I recognize that I don't know what to say that would be helpful to others when I am somewhat overwhelmed with the task ahead of me in dealing with my own mental health.

I am taking a break from therapy because I was getting too overwhelmed thinking about things I don't want to think about. My therapist has encouraged me to write (she is an author and she thinks I will write a book someday) but too much comes out that way. I often choke and lose my words when I try to talk about things that are hard to talk about so she has me type instead. One day she had me use a keyboard in a therapy session but I could not answer her questions because I lost the connection to my hands and could not type. My hands just kept shaking so badly that they could not make the thoughts into words.

Right now I need to focus on helping my daughter reach her Girl Scout cookie sale goal and then I can think about mental health issues again. I have promised God that I will let my therapist decide to terminate therapy instead of choosing to quit, so now I am afraid that I will end up trashing her office like I did with the shrink when I was sixteen in order to get out of doing therapy. I don't want to go back until I can be certain that I have enough self-control and won't lose it.

In responding to someone else in PM (the e-mail that I had a PM is what brought me here tonight), I realized that I have difficulty thinking when I am emotional and I have trouble with emotions when I am doing the "intellectualization" thing that I seem to use as a coping strategy. My therapist said it is okay to keep thoughts and emotions separate "for now" and that leads me to believe that I will need to change that in the future. It seems to be the brain's response to trauma so I am not sure how to change brain activity in order to get thoughts and feelings to connect. I guess my brain was too busy coping with life threatening situations to develop the way it should have so now I have to learn those things I missed along the way.

I think that in the past my being so detached from what might be more normal emotional responses has prevented me from being able to connect with people in a way that would be more helpful to them. I am not sure what words would describe that lack of attachment but it seems that whatever it is could be what results in people attaching meaning to my words that was never there in my mind. I recall situations where people insisted that I was operating with some underlying motive that I was completely unaware of so I could not figure out why they found it so difficult to believe that their interpretation was not related to my intent in any way. I knew that people were frustrated with me but I could not understand why.

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:26 pm 
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Hey Denim -- thanks for the update.

I can only imagine how difficult it is for you to face your past and all the trauma as well as coming to terms with DID. It makes all my personal messes seem very trivial in comparison. Nonetheless I have found it difficult at times to face those messes in therapy, even as I knew that I needed to. And I know all about intellectualization -- I got very good at that, LOL.

I hope you will go back to therapy after this break. A little time off can be a good thing when it gets overwhelming, but it can be too easy to keep finding reasons for more time off, and thus avoid the necessity of confronting the hard stuff. It sounds like you have some real trust with this new therapist, though, and I hope she'll be able to lead you safely through all this.

I found a refrigerator magnet a while back that I like -- I gave one to my T, too.

courage does not always roar.
sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"i will try again tomorrow." -- Mary Anne Radmacher

Take care --

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I made some studies, and reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.
I can take it in small doses, but as a lifestyle I found it too confining. -- Jane Wagner


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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:27 am 
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Location: Reality ~ It's a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!
I am trying to be clear in my own mind that I am taking a break until cookie sales are over and then I will continue seeing this therapist again. She is actually very good about letting me take time off when I am overwhelmed but she tends to shorten the time period before my return rather than allowing me to take as much time as I want. It seems timing may be important in some way so that going slow is better than going too fast. I tend to want an immediate fix to a problem but this is one of those things like losing weight that takes time and happens gradually.

For now I need to figure out how to be okay with the possibility that I have DID when I don't want to believe it is real. I keep thinking that if I read the same books as therapists I will gain insight on my own and not need a therapist for help. What I am discovering is that books are written by observers who describe symptoms from the outside and I am not able to understand that viewpoint well enough because I have a much different vantage point. I have tried to describe the "movement" in my head before I "lose it" even though it is hard to describe in words (much like trying to describe a color without using color words). My therapist has not experienced it herself and yet she seems to be able to tell when it is happening so she may have some sort of understanding that will be helpful to me.

I do believe there is a chance this therapist can help me so I am willing to give it a try. I think of her as more of a "coach" than a therapist and that helps. She has said that I have the answers inside me and it is her job to help me find them. She thinks it would be helpful for me to talk to the thoughts ("voices") but I just want them to leave me alone. It seems to me that if I have created these "aspects" or whatever they are in my head I should also be able to make them go away. Unfortunately it is not that simple or easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:18 am 
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Sari wrote:
I hope you will go back to therapy after this break. A little time off can be a good thing when it gets overwhelming, but it can be too easy to keep finding reasons for more time off, and thus avoid the necessity of confronting the hard stuff. It sounds like you have some real trust with this new therapist, though, and I hope she'll be able to lead you safely through all this.

I found a refrigerator magnet a while back that I like -- I gave one to my T, too.

courage does not always roar.
sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"i will try again tomorrow." -- Mary Anne Radmacher

Take care --


How did you know this would be a problem for me? I have finished cookie sales and yet I have not contacted my therapist yet. I should have scheduled an appointment with her for today (Therapy Thursday) and yet I have put it off all week, hoping she will forget that I was supposed to return this week. She has not called me either so perhaps she is glad that I have not called her. I can't imagine her really wanting to work with me if she can get the same money for working with someone less "difficult" than me. I am guessing she has enjoyed the break and is very likely hoping that I will fail to return. The longer I stay away, the easier it becomes to lose sight of the reasons I started working with her in the first place.

When I first saw her, I was trying to start over with someone who would not think I have DID because my last therapist indicated that she believes I have DID and I did not want to believe it. When this therapist told me the same thing, I decided that I would stick it out and work on the dissociation, even if she was wrong about the diagnosis. At one point I said something to the effect of "I think I could have DID" and she said "I know you do." When I said that I don't want it she assured me that one day I could be whole and that statement gave me hope. Keeping that hope alive is difficult, though.

I am working hard at not backtracking again but it makes returning to therapy so much more difficult knowing that she already knows because I won't be able to avoid talking about it anymore. I have told her that I don't want to talk about it and yet she seems to bring it up gently enough that I approach the subject just enough to freak myself out again. Then I have to step away from it for awhile to regain my balance before it is addressed again. My biggest fear is that if she finds out the names, she will pull the "Sybil" thing and I will lose what control I have over the switching by having various "alter personalities" doing the whole "coming out" thing on command. I want to gain control over this rather than give up control while she seems to want to talk to "parts" that I don't want to talk to myself. It is too overwhelming to even think about going there in therapy.

My strategy for now is to wait it out and see if she may have forgotten me. If I can get through tomorrow without calling her or her calling me then I can put it off for another week or more. The longer I stay away the less likely it is that I will return because then it will be even harder to go back. Maybe my file will get buried and in a few months she will terminate services for lack of attendance. Perhaps I will be struck dead before doing any more therapy.

I really don't want to talk about my mental health with anyone if I can continue to "act normal" as much as possible. I don't know what I am afraid of exactly but it is fear that I am experiencing, I think. When I get the thought to call her, the thought is replaced by a feeling of fear that pushes the thought out of my mind and I begin to worry that she might call me if she does not hear from me. I know I am being stupid and I should not be thinking or feeling this way and yet I am. For some reason I seem to lack the courage to do what I know I should do.

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:04 am 
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I love the saying (and the book) "feel the fear and do it anyway". So many times in my life, especially during recovery, there were things that I simply could not face. However, my motivation (primary goal) was to live a 'normal', happy life with my H and I knew I couldn't do that by hiding. Strange thing though.....all those things I that were so terribly, panicky, paralyzingly scary.....well, when I faced them, they weren't so scary after all. And for me, once something is out in the open and I'm fully versed in it.....well, if know it's keeping me stuck in dysfunction and still do it, I figure it's on me then. Before I knew about it (in the fear stage) I could rationalize away and away and somehow I didn't feel like I was the 'cause' of it (or the perpetuation of for that matter!) because I didn't understand it completely. It was my 'out'. But once I did and then if I still chose inaction or denial....well, that was my choice, the ramifications of which were then squarely on my own shoulders. I don't like having a monkey on my back!

You can't know how something will effect you until it does. There is just as good a chance that speaking in your therapy about these things you do not wish to think/speak of will help you as there is that it won't. You have the power of choice! They way I'm hearing you-- you've already tried the other way, why not try the fully-engaged way? What if it works?

For me, the fear wound up being worse than the reality.
Quote:
I should have scheduled an appointment with her for today (Therapy Thursday) and yet I have put it off all week, hoping she will forget that I was supposed to return this week. She has not called me either so perhaps she is glad that I have not called her. I can't imagine her really wanting to work with me if she can get the same money for working with someone less "difficult" than me. I am guessing she has enjoyed the break and is very likely hoping that I will fail to return.

I think that if you re-read this, you will find some things that maybe need to be untwisted. Your T is an employee of yours-- it's up to you to call her to let her know when you feel you need therapy, not for her to call you begging you or even just asking you to come to therapy. I think it's more likely that because you are an adult, your T would view it as you re-prioritized and will call when you can schedule. It's your choice-- do you want help with mental stuff or not? If I miss an appointment with my doctor (PCP), he doesn't call me to reschedule, I have to call him. It's MY responsibility because it's my health. I think it's the same with a T, though I know some T's do call to check in with patients that fail to return. Still......
I also see quite a few assumptions going on. I know this is hard for you and I hope you know that this board is here to help you through this.

Last thought......I hope you know that because this IS your therapy and you are paying for the service, what you talk about IS up to you. Sure, our T's try to get us to focus on what they think will be most helpful to us, but it's not a 'have-to' kinda thing. You could go into your next session and talk about the weather or talk about why you are afraid (without divulging that which you don't seem to be ready to divulge) or talk about your daughter or work or whatever you choose the focus of therapy for that session to be. My point is, the control IS yours. These are your therapy sessions-- they will only help if you participate and in contrast, if you don't and you do need to, the only person being hurt is yourself. You have the control to dictate where the conversation goes, you have the power to say "I'm not ready to talk about that yet" if something is brought up that you are indeed not ready to discuss. The choices are all yours here-- so is the control.

Okay, one more thought: diagnoses are just labels for maladaptive behavior/thoughts/emotions. It's okay if this diagnosis doesn't 'fit' you in your mind or at all-- it's not the diagnosis that matters, IMHO. It's the work put in to recovering or gaining insight or learning new coping mechanisms that I find important. So, maybe don't label your problems, just list them out and work them one by one? All diagnoses can be broken down into "what's wrong in my life right now" sorta situations-- maybe you could just steer the conversation towards some current difficulty?

All my best, Denim. I know it's difficult what you are going through, but you have shown yourself (at least while I've been here) to be a very intelligent, capable person. I know that you can do this too. Remember, baby steps count.

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:54 am 
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What I like so much about this therapist is that she keeps assuring me that I am in control and that she will never push me to do anything I don't want to do. It helps me feel more secure and trusting, and even understood. I have told her that I don't want to talk about the past and rather than ask me personal questions I don't want to answer she provides me with research to explain why she thinks it could be helpful so I can make an informed decision without feeling like she is pushing me outside my comfort zone. She is really responsive to my concerns instead of making threats in order to get me to comply with her own personal therapeutic goals for me. She is even good at changing the subject when I start to choke and can't speak so I don't feel so stupid when it happens. I do think she is a good match for me and that is why I have made it this far with her already. She says I am making progress and I do believe that is true.

Quote:
I think that if you re-read this, you will find some things that maybe need to be untwisted.


Oh, how right you are! I actually gave my therapist a book that I found on a book trading site titled Therapy With Difficult Clients (in the past I have been described as difficult) and she told me, with what seemed to be sincerity, that she does not find me difficult. When I suggested that she would not want to work with me because I am too difficult she told me that it was not for me to decide who she wants to work with and that she wants to work with me. I don't know why I have such a difficult time believing this could be true. She told me to call her to schedule an appointment after cookie sales are over so I don't expect her to call me. She probably doesn't know when cookie sales ended anyway, LOL. It is just easier to avoid calling if she is not expecting me to call.

I don't want her to think that my reluctance to schedule an appointment has anything to do with her personally because it is not about her. It is mainly my fear of telling her things I don't want anyone to know. I am still uncertain about how that could be helpful. In the past I never thought I would ever consider talking to anyone and now it seems possible that I could end up talking to this therapist about deep dark secrets that I would rather keep hidden. I don't want her to know the bad stuff because then she would hate me as much as I hate myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Therapists do not judge their clients-- impartiality is an important part of the therapeutic relationship (as I think you know). What seems like horrible stuff to you, from your perspective, is likely to be seen as just another issue to be dealt with by your T. From what you have written about her, she seems like she has outstanding boundaries and is a very good T. FWIW, I do not think she would/will think any more or less of you because of what you choose to disclose. The only repercussions I see are good ones (happy, healthy living, not judging yourself anymore, learning to deal, etc.). How can she help you if she does not know these things?
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I don't want her to think that my reluctance to schedule an appointment has anything to do with her personally because it is not about her. It is mainly my fear of telling her things I don't want anyone to know.

In my mind, the therapy room is the one place where I could be totally and unabashedly honest about who I thought I was and what I had done in the past. It's a 'safe' room-- nothing you say in there can go outside of that room unless you give written consent (in the US and probably elsewhere too). Even if subpoenaed, your T would claim confidentiality rather than disclose your conversations with her. The only exception (that I'm aware of) is if there is immediate and eminent danger to you or someone else (i.e. you claim you want to kill someone and have a plan to do so). I spoke with my T many times about my own thoughts of suicide-- none of which led to anything other than me realizing why I didn't want to die. My T helped me through those thoughts and I would be yours could as well.

My point is......I hope that you get to a place where you feel 'safe' talking to your T about anything. Really, the way I see it, keeping all those thoughts/problems to myself didn't solve them. I had to let someone else in and get an educated opinion on my issues for me to understand how to resolve them. No matter how many books I've read on psychology (I even minored in it!).....I couldn't see the forest for the trees as it were. I couldn't help myself in the same way that my T could help me. Even if you don't understand the 'whys' on how it would be helpful to do so (to disclose)......you do know from experience that it's not helpful to you not to disclose. Why not try to trust this T (as she has proven trustworthy) that not only will she not judge you, you may just find the way out of the distress you are in now?

I'm hearing in your posts a willingness and efforts made to get better but also the barrier of fear/shame/avoidance. It's going to be up to you and you alone to decide which one outweighs the other. This is your life-- do you wish to continue the way you are now or to find out if your T's ideas will help you? What would it take to convince you that a) she's not going to judge you by your past or b) that maybe disclosing this stuff is the way to get it out and deal with it for good? I know it's tough, but I also know you can do it. Wouldn't it be nice to not have any labels that might possibly fit? Wouldn't it be nice to put the past to rest and move on in a healthy future, for you and for your kids?

Go at a pace comfortable to you, Denim. There is no need I'm aware of to rush these things......but the longer you wait, the longer you stay where you are right now. I can see from your posts that this T is already helping.....maybe it will just take some more time for you to feel comfortable enough, and secure in the relationship enough, to disclose these self-hatred-causing issues. I think you are already taking some really positive steps in a good direction. I hope you find peace and I feel confident that if you continue to do the necessary work, you will. :biggrin

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:27 pm 
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Denim wrote:
My biggest fear is that if she finds out the names, she will pull the "Sybil" thing and I will lose what control I have over the switching by having various "alter personalities" doing the whole "coming out" thing on command. I want to gain control over this rather than give up control while she seems to want to talk to "parts" that I don't want to talk to myself. It is too overwhelming to even think about going there in therapy.


If she really believes you have DID, she must have an understanding that you have "parts" or "alters" that she may not necessarily see in a therapy session. While I can see why she would want to talk to the parts, I don't think it's at all unreasonable for you to tell her that you need to go VERY slowly with this and you're just not ready for that kind of exposure. I think if you told her exactly what you wrote above, that you are afraid of losing what control you do have over the alters at this point and it's too overwhelming to think about, you would be able to tell from her answer whether she will respect that and let you retain that control for now, or whether she's going to push you harder to let her talk to the parts sooner rather than later. If she truly wants to help you, and it sounds like she does, she should be willing to hang in there with you no matter how long it takes for you to get comfortable.

Like Harmonium said, if you want to go in there and talk about the weather or selling Girl Scout cookies or whatever, if that's what it takes for you to feel more confident, that should be OK. Then maybe at some point, you can choose to share some small general comment about your past or your parts or your other coping mechanisms -- something that maybe provokes a little bit of anxiety but is manageable. Make a deal with the T to start with that if you do choose to say something that's scary for you, she won't probe or press you to go farther than you want to. I think the panic feelings come from a sense that all your walls are going to be ripped down at once, that you're going to have to disclose all sorts of details about all sorts of horrors with no control over it all. So if your T understands from the get-go that you can't let that happen, she should be able to stand back a bit and quietly support you without putting any pressure on you to go farther.

I don't know if it's important in the long run for you to ever disclose all the horrendous stuff in your past. I'm no therapist or expert in any of this. There might be solid evidence that confronting those memories in a therapeutic setting is beneficial -- I just don't know. If that's the case, and you can manage it by controlling what you say and when, it might bring you a lot more peace in the future. But if you say something that makes you feel panicky, you should be able to stop. Just sit with the panic for a bit, no matter how awful it feels, and see if it subsides bit by bit without your needing to physically run or verbally defend yourself. Hopefully after time the fear will become less intense. Maybe by that point, you'll feel more confident about moving forward with your life, whether or not you've totally conquered DID by integrating all your parts.

I just sort of thought of something else -- I've been coming and going from this for a while, so my train of thought keeps getting interrupted -- have you talked with your T about what the goals of your therapy are? It may be that you don't want to even consider integration as a goal right now. If you can articulate a smaller, more manageable goal to start with, then maybe the whole process won't seem so intimidating.

I do hope you'll go back. I know it must be incredibly frightening, but you have a lot to gain if you can move forward.

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:19 pm 
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I managed to send my therapist an e-mail last night (well, technically this morning around 3 am) asking about scheduing an appointment while I was feeling motivated to follow through on the helpful replies I have had here. I was feeling somewhat stupid about being so apprehensive because I really do like this therapist so I decided to face the fear and do it anyway. I did not expect a reply until Monday at the soonest since it is the weekend but she replied already this morning suggesting we meet on the 31st since her schedule is already full for this coming week. I would like to see if we can agree on some therapy goals at that time so I can feel more focused about what I need to do in therapy.

It looks like I will be doing therapy on Wednesdays now instead of Therapy Thursdays since I have scheduled Girl Scout meetings on Mondays instead of Wednesdays. I try to avoid scheduling therapy around other activities since I often end up with a headache on therapy days (and beyond at times). Next week is early release for parent conferences in our school district and as a result my daughter's rehearsal schedule (she is a Munchkin in the high school production of the Wizard of Oz) has changed for next week so it is good to put off meeting next week and starting the following week.

I have already done some reading and I have more books to read but I have noticed that I tend to reject ideas I don't like in favor of ones I prefer, which does not allow me to be as impartial as someone else would be when looking at the same issues. I have learned that I can get too emotionally invested and I am too self-critical to be my own therapist. I have been quite determined to reject the clinical perspective on DID because my own perspective is different but it is possible that the dissociation does not enable me to see the forrest when I am so blinded by the trees. In general I am a "big picture" person but when it comes to my own mental health I have often been told that I "lack insight" so it could be helpful to learn from this therapist, who has a better understanding of the disorder and can share her insight with me.

The hardest part is the disclosure. I have always been a "reluctant historian" when it comes to talking about issues from the past so it will be a challenge to talk about those things I don't even want to think about. I am not in favor of remembering things I may have forgotten because having certain memories does not enhance by ability to function when that is my highest priority. It is important to take it slow and not get too overwhelmed because I can get flooded and end up acting incredibly stupid during flashbacks. I can probably handle a slow leak in the dam just fine but I won't do so well if it all bursts at once. I guess that instead of saying "I don't want to talk about that" and leaving it at that, I may need to revisit some of those things I don't want to talk about when I am better able to handle the emotions. I really hate being emotional, though, because the emotions mess wtih my ability to think clearly.

I have evidence of certain "parts" or "aspects" that I did not think were actually part of me but rather I get the sense they come from somewhere else outside of myself. I have a hard time believing that all of these conflicting thoughts could be mine. I have really believed it was a situation of channeling other entities but now I don't know what to believe. I don't have a sense of being different people, even if that is the appearance from outside. I don't even have an "inner child" that other people talk about so the idea of having "alter" personalities is strange to me. The more I think about it the more confusing it seems so I don't like to think about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Acceptance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:28 pm 
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I have continued to post with my old username in this thread to avoid confusion but I am posting here with my new username in order to clarify that I have opened a new account and I will be using this account in the future.

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