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Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

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Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:27 am

We saw the T today for our regular session. We have an extra session scheduled on Tuesday so that my SO can come and ask some questions for part of it. This was MY idea, but we're having a really hard time with it now that it's getting closer.

There are parts that REALLY don't want him to come. Some of the reasons I can figure out:

They don't want to share the T with either the SO or with a more grown-up part of me (who might be there just because I'm that way sometimes with the SO, but never that way with the T). And then it will feel like the T doesn't even KNOW us anymore.

They are FREAKED out by the idea of all the transitions--will they SHAKE HANDS?? And do all that polite grown up stuff? It's not fair for the SO to get to touch him, but THEY don't want to shake hands with the T--that would be too weird and too close. And the SO is supposed to leave after 15 or 20 minutes (because there is NO WAY the littles would tolerate giving up their WHOLE TIME (even though it is sort of extra and we will see him Friday), so do we just WAVE goodbye when he leaves?? That will feel really distant.

They feel like it will mess up EVERYTHING because then the SO will have BEEN there, so the office will feel completely different--we've never been there with anyone ELSE in there also. It doesn't matter that it's our SO, we don't want anyone else to be there EVER when we're there.

Maybe I should just have him go at another time when I'm not even there. I don't even know if that would be ok with my T--I haven't asked about that. My SO will go along with whatever I want, although we did plan this weeks ago.

I did talk about some of this with the T today. Not about the shaking hands thing, and the transitions--I didn't think of that there, but about the more grown up part coming, and he said that he'll remember all of us, and we can talk after the SO leaves, and he will try not to go on and on in his answers--we can tell him to stop--so that not too much of our time gets used up.

There are things that I want the T to explain--like about how to deal with parts that don't like him and to be able to remember that there are always parts there who do even if he isn't hearing from them right then. Although he answered that for ME today (because I mentioned that was one of the questions), so I could explain it to the SO now.

I don't know. Those parts were so freaked out about it that we texted the T about 15 minutes after we left his office--which we NEVER do. To say that having the SO come would "mess up EVERYTHING" and it would be like he didn't even KNOW us anymore. I said that I didn't know who was wanting to tell him that so urgently, but it felt important to let them.

Any input or advice? Those of you who have done this--was it before you had worked with the T for very long? My littles are very attached (which was difficult to allow and took a long time), and it feels like we would be artificially imposing a sort of grown-up meeting structure on THEIR process with the T.
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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby Everybodies » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:23 am

We will be doing this get soon. I don't have many answers.
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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby birdsong87 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:03 am

if that was us... we can hear the voice of the clinic T in our mind tell us that we are overthinking this and that we need to stay in the moment, none of this is happening for real and might never happen at all. (we tend to work ourselves into a freaked out state by thinking thru all possibilities and already getting entangled in the emotions without any of it even being real)
And to find some trust in the T to manage this well for us.
And to just be there, as present as possible, and notice what happens.
I trust your T to do this well. If something happens that stirs something in you, you can use that for more therapy work. He is good at restoring conncetion.
maybe that perspective could help, that nothing can go wrong. Whatever happens, it just gives you something new to talk about with the T.
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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby goofygirl78 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:49 pm

Maybe I should just have him go at another time when I'm not even there. I don't even know if that would be ok with my T.


I think you need to rethink going together. I think your idea quoted is a good one as you will KNOW that he has been there but, kind of an out-of-sight out-of-mind deal.

If you like your T, good ones are hard to find. Make sure this is a decision that you all really want. You all need to feel safe at your T, your SO will so much more appreciate you having a good T than going for 15 mins to speak with him/her their self.
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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby NyxX » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:38 pm

I don't know if this is helpful or not but if he sees how you guys are around the husband he will get to know you better because he will see how you need to hide so much from the husband. And that's all connected with why the husband is coming because he can't see all of you and doesn't understand and the T can't really help as much with that if he doesn't see how you are different at home
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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby SOHank » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:17 pm

Have you considered middle ground? Perhaps sit in the lobby or car while the husband asks questions for part of the session?

I can't advise what to do, but the last company I worked at was good at building up employees. They talked about circles. The first one, starting from the inside is comfort, where a person is now. The second was a bit uncomfortable because it involved learning and growth. The third circle is panic. The goal was to stay in the second circle without going into the third. If you find yourself in the third circle (panic), say something and take a step back.

My hunch is this will be a an opportunity for growth, with some potential bumps on the road, but only you all can determine that.

In retrospect, I remember my wife looking very tense the first time I was there to talk with her T. Afterward though, she was relieved that I was willing to be supportive and trying to learn the how part.
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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:50 pm

Thanks for the replies, everyone. I'm thinking about everything that was said.

birdsong87 wrote:if that was us... we can hear the voice of the clinic T in our mind tell us that we are overthinking this and that we need to stay in the moment, none of this is happening for real and might never happen at all. (we tend to work ourselves into a freaked out state by thinking thru all possibilities and already getting entangled in the emotions without any of it even being real)
And to find some trust in the T to manage this well for us.
And to just be there, as present as possible, and notice what happens.
I trust your T to do this well. If something happens that stirs something in you, you can use that for more therapy work. He is good at restoring conncetion.
maybe that perspective could help, that nothing can go wrong. Whatever happens, it just gives you something new to talk about with the T.


I think we would be feeling better if we had felt more connected yesterday when we saw him. There were two interactions this week before the session (via email and text) that felt really good in a too intense kind of way--"too nice and too close" is how one of the protectors felt about the first one. And the second one created a good feeling that was too big and uncomfortable. So I think that someone(s) was(were) blocking the connection yesterday, and it felt like the T was assuming we felt more connected than we did. We mostly felt "nervous" when we were looking at him. It feels like he doesn't understand what a big deal this is to some of the littles and how stressed they are about it--even though I was trying to explain it.

But I know he's committed to trying to understand my experience and whatever happens on Tuesday, I will be seeing him again on Friday. I think the fear is about being upset and having that disrupt my life for a few days. Although we have been calming down much more quickly from being upset--just feeling it, noting it, and letting it pass, so we need to remember that we can do that.

SOHank wrote:I can't advise what to do, but the last company I worked at was good at building up employees. They talked about circles. The first one, starting from the inside is comfort, where a person is now. The second was a bit uncomfortable because it involved learning and growth. The third circle is panic. The goal was to stay in the second circle without going into the third. If you find yourself in the third circle (panic), say something and take a step back.


This is a great concept, but when you have different parts in different circles, it becomes hard to apply. Theoretically, parts that can stay in the first circle can help ones in the third move to a calmer state, but that's tricky.

My SO does want to learn the "how part." I explained to him what it means when parts don't like him--that that isn't how ALL of us feel, but he asked HOW to deal with them exactly, which I guess my T would need to explain more about. And I do want to hear what is said--so for that I want to be present.
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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby IainEtc » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:12 pm

Maybe if you came up with questions or topics ahead of time. So you'd know how it was going to go. I don't like surprises so that would help me. I hope your T understands how complicated this is.

Good luck,

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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:38 pm

IainEtc wrote:Maybe if you came up with questions or topics ahead of time. So you'd know how it was going to go. I don't like surprises so that would help me. I hope your T understands how complicated this is.

Good luck,

Colin


Thanks, Colin. Yes—that was so obvious and necessary for us that I didn’t even mention it. My SO and I started discussing this a few days ago, and there will be a thoroughly vetted list of approved questions that he wants to ask. :D He hasn’t done as much reading and research as I have, so questions that he comes up with that *I* can answer don’t need to be asked of the T. Although he wants to hear my “prognosis” directly from the T, which is fair.

The latest thing I’ve thought of is to have all the fearful and freaking out littles go somewhere else while the meeting is happening. I’m not sure if I have that ability, but they like the idea. I mean, can I actually send them to Disneyland for that period of time?

If they are around, the stress and anxiety will make us be less present, like we were when we first started going to see him. It hasn’t been that long that I’ve been able to stay present as I leave his office (we have a predictable routine now so there’s less of an uncomfortable switch when I stand up and walk out). But someone very young switches in when I arrive for my session and walk in past him and we feel very exposed and uncomfortable until I’m sitting on the couch with the pillow in front of me. Then I usually have a couple of minutes to sit there alone before he comes in and I try to relax and be more grounded.

So you can see why having another person there for those transitions (well, the walking in part) is so upsetting for them. My latest idea is to walk in first like I usually do, and let them meet in the waiting room while I’m already in the office.

It’s so hard to have to deal with this. I have parts that have excellent social skills and can imagine how this would go if no one “interfered.” But in this situation, I would have to actively squelch some of the littles and push away their needs, and that office is the only place that I don’t ever do that. I think we all want it to stay that way. And that Disneyland idea won’t work, I realize—that’s just my wish to send them off somewhere, not really what they want. They would be happy to go there another time but not for this. :D

Maybe I’ll go over the reasons with them and make sure they understand how this will help them also. I think they don’t see anything positive about it right now.
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Re: Worried about having my SO join a session with my T

Postby fireheart » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:42 am

Therapy is a very private and special thing (special, as in: it is unlike most situations/relationships). Bringing in another person would change the dynamics, if only for that one time. I can understand you may feel afraid of that.

Years ago I took in my best friend to talk to my T. Years later we started to have a romantic relationship and I also considered to have them join for a T session - but in the end I decided against it because I wanted therapy to remain "my" (our) place. A safe place, not like the outside world.

I think it was different years earlier, because I'd only just started therapy with that T and I didn't feel much of a connection or attachment at all. I stayed quiet and observed how they talked (about me). I was too scared to join in out of fear that it would have shown that I cared/had feelings.

Do you know how you envision the talk to go? Do you want to be an active part of the conversation, or would you rather mostly observe?

If you're mainly afraid of somehow altering your safe space/safe connection; maybe you can make many things different about this meeting? Meeting at a different time of day and/or place; not sitting in your usual positions; not doing the normal-therapy-routine things you tend to do before and after session; making sure that all of you know that this won't be like regular therapy. It seems more like a visit to an expert, who will give you (your SO) knowledge.

I think it would be very helpful if he understood more. In the end my T ended up lending me a book for my SO to read (instead of them coming to session), even just the book helped a little. But not everyone is patient enough to read a book - and you can't exactly ask a book questions if you're not sure you understand something... Maybe you can also ask yourself what you'd like to get out the meeting with your T? And ask your SO what he would like to get out of it?

Communication... with everyone inside and outside. :)
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