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How much should I know?

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How much should I know?

Postby GKOKD » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:51 am

I'm not really sure what I should write or if I should even be here. I am KK. I think I was first diagnosed with a dissociative disorder in 2012. That was the first time I was treated on a trauma unit. Before that, I knew something was different about me, and as I progressed from one therapist to another, some validated that difference as a real thing, and others brushed it aside as nonsense. In any case, I apparently did a lot of trauma work from 2012 - 2015, when, perhaps we were moving too fast and we couldn't handle it and became suicidally depressed and actively anorexic and spent a few years in and out of hospitals just trying to keep us alive with everything from behavioral modification, to varied medications, to ECT. I've been out of the hospital and somewhat stable since September of 2017. Maybe it's a positive thing that I'm able, now, to look at the DID again, but it doesn't feel that way. The past couple years (actually my whole life) are just a blur, and the progress I made is pretty much forgotten. I have my old system map and some journals from the trauma units, but I don't actually remember (in my head) very much, and I don't remember many of my alters.


Well, my current T and I are supposed to be working together through the book, "Got Parts?" The first chapter says I need to get to know all my parts and all kinds of things about them like their histories and when they split and other characteristics and record all of this information. So yesterday I spent hours recording everything I know and remember and everything I don't remember, but have written somewhere into a database in Publisher so that I can print out a catalogue of sorts and take it to my T. (It's kind of cool, actually.) But, a lot of stuff is missing because I just don't know it. It also says in that first chapter of that book, that in the beginning of every therapy session, my T should ask me who's present, and I should be able to tell her, but I don't always know. It says these parts should be able to tell me or write down their histories, but at this time, anyway, I don't know how to communicate like that with my parts. I'm aware of them mostly by how they effect my physical and emotional feelings, and how they cause me to behave in different ways. When I'm in therapy, often 2T comes to the front. I don't know why, because she's only two years old, nonverbal, and scared of everything, which makes communicating with my T difficult. Also, Little K comes out and she's very scared and troubled by a lot of memories, or fabrication of memories, and she's not allowed to talk, and I don't necessarily recognize she's there except for a feeling in my body, and I think she self-soothes by putting our left hand on our neck. At least somebody does that, because I'm always finding my hand there and taking it down. Then there's Christian who I sense when he makes me do something I don't want to do, or won't allow me to do something I want to. He is the Rulemaker. And Seven I recognize by his anger and hatefulness towards the body and other parts. But this book says I should be able to draw a system map and a timeline detailing when each part split from which other part, and I just don't know that. Then I'm supposed to create a "Safe space Dome" for all of the parts to exist in that is tailored to the needs of all of the parts, who I, as yet, do not know and in which, I should be holding internal meetings. I am completely overwhelmed by this. I can see in my trauma unit journals, that I did hold internal meetings and record them, but right now, I find it difficult to communicate with the other parts at all. Am I doing something wrong? Should I have access to all this information, and these skills? I argue with Christian sometimes about the rules and I sometimes can't get away from the rantings of Seven, but I don't know how to just communicate at a time when they haven't first chosen to step forward because of their own agenda.

I find this exhausting and I often wonder if this is really real, because, while there's a lot I don't remember, I'm always coconscious. I don't lose time, like suddenly wake up and not know what happened. Sometimes I'm fuzzy and not too in control, but I'm always in the back.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks,

KK
KK - 46 yr. old mother of two adopted children
2T - Two year old girl. nonverbal
"Little K" - very young girl
Christian (The Rule Maker) - protecter/abuser
Seven - Adult male
Major Depression, ED NOS, Anx Disorder, DID, PTSD
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Re: How much should I know?

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:39 am

Hi KK,

I ordered that book, "Got Parts?" and found it to be worse than useless. And it sounds like it isn't good for you either. No, it's not true that you should know who is present, or be able to draw a system map, or that the therapist should ask you such-and-such at the start of a session.

Look at how many times you say, "should" in your post. There isn't any particular thing you should be able to do, or things that you are supposed to do. There are some things that might be helpful for you, and you can look at suggestions in a book and see if they might be helpful, but of course you're going to be exhausted if you view them all as required assignments!

Whose idea was it to work through that book? There isn't really a recipe for treating DID other than the 3-phase guidelines that the ISSTD has put together. I thought you were using the Coping With Trauma-Related Dissociation workbook anyway (which I have some issues with also). YOU get to decide what works for you, and your T needs to help you figure out where you are at right now, without all the shoulds and supposed tos.

Phase 1 is safety, stabilization, developing a solid trusting relationship with the therapist. I've been in therapy for this for a year and a half, and we're still doing mostly phase 1 work.

It's important for you to feel like all of you are welcome at the T's office. If there's a part that can't talk, maybe she would like to draw. Same with the other scared young one.

It's really important for the T to have experience treating DID or to consult with or be supervised by someone with experience. There are also online training courses offered by the ISSTD.
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Re: How much should I know?

Postby Ponyta » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:28 am

Hey KK,

I'm not familiar with that book- but it doesn't sound good. It would seriously stress our host out worrying about all of that too. Our host doesn't know half of that information. As one of the protectors of our system- I know a lot more than our host. However- I'll admit- even some of that information I don't even know. Does your T specialize in DID? I'm curious because of the book suggestion. Our T specializes in DID. She doesn't request to know who is out at the time. She actually can pick up on it at times- without us telling her. I agree it is good to get to know the others. However- all of that stuff the book is claiming you must know is hogwash- in my opinion. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. Like I mentioned- even I don't know some of that information.
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Re: How much should I know?

Postby VioletFlux » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:18 pm

We agree with Gangs about that book "Got Parts". We've read it, and thought it has some interesting stuff, but it's way too demandy about what to expect and demand and stuff.

We absolutely wouldn't use it as a treatment guide or protocol. Some of the stuff in there we think would be downright harmful.

Have your T look into the ISSTD stuff. They have some free resources, they have online courses. The DID treatment guidelines are in a free PDF on their site.

Good luck.

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Re: How much should I know?

Postby Una+ » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:05 pm

I read that book. I would not use it myself and I do not recommend it. It is inappropriate in so many ways.

Among self-help books written by persons living with DID, the one I recommend is The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook by Deborah Bray Haddock, 2001.

That said, my first recommendation would be none of the self-help books. Instead, have the therapist be (or become) familiar with the literature and techniques, and give specific homework assignments as appropriate to the client's situation.
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Re: How much should I know?

Postby GKOKD » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:12 pm

Thanks to all of you who responded. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me. I do have my catalogue of parts that I made and I can share with my T, but I want to note on it which parts I am currently aware of and which ones I don't remember. I will probably also print out this thread for her. We did start working with, "Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation," but we got kind of side tracked with, "Got Parts?" I'll take both books with me to my appointment tomorrow, but also my journal and this thread. I usually get pushed to the back and have a hard time communicating in therapy, so I try to print out as much of my thoughts as I can ahead of time so all I have to do, when I'm struggling, is hand them to her.

Thank you again for your input. I feel greatly relieved.

KK
KK - 46 yr. old mother of two adopted children
2T - Two year old girl. nonverbal
"Little K" - very young girl
Christian (The Rule Maker) - protecter/abuser
Seven - Adult male
Major Depression, ED NOS, Anx Disorder, DID, PTSD
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Gracie - Greyhound Service Dog
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Re: How much should I know?

Postby Sarandipity » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:14 pm

My over riding thought about what you've said, it's not completely off topic but more an idea from what you've said is:

You get pushed to the back and child non-talking parts are more present. My thought is there's a part of you that's resistant to therapy and this is how this happens.

Maybe that's obvious, to you and others here, I don't know. But i noticed that and it seemed most important to me from what you've written. Possibly I notice it because I'm not a big fan of therapy for DID. For co-morbid disorders yes, for specific traumatised parts, yes, but not for DID because in my view there's not enough information, data or research to risk it. I'm interested in ideas of the brain resonating on different frequencies, that's how it feels to me but they can't accurately measure anything and unless that happens I'm out. And I'm not up for being experimented on in either setting either.

However you're seeking therapy, it's helpful I'm guessing, you want it. It's going to be difficult if non-speaking child parts are there unless they draw to communicate. This says a part of you is therapy resistant and that seems like the place to start. Who is therapy resistant? What are ttheir reasons? What's their character? - Those types of things I'd want to deal with so I could actually get to therapy and not be pushed back with non talking parts being pushed forward. Who's pushing?

I don't know if that's helpful but being helpful was my intent. Much luck.
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Re: How much should I know?

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:52 pm

Sarandipity wrote:I'm not a big fan of therapy for DID. For co-morbid disorders yes, for specific traumatised parts, yes, but not for DID because in my view there's not enough information, data or research to risk it.


You don't need to go to therapy for DID if you don't want to, but there is quite a bit of information about its efficacy for treating DID, and if the DID is interfering in one's life and causing impairment (the definition of a disorder) then seeking treatment for it is appropriate (and the only effective treatment IS therapy, with someone who knows what they're doing).

Sarandipity wrote:It's going to be difficult if non-speaking child parts are there unless they draw to communicate. This says a part of you is therapy resistant and that seems like the place to start. Who is therapy resistant? What are ttheir reasons? What's their character? - Those types of things I'd want to deal with so I could actually get to therapy and not be pushed back with non talking parts being pushed forward. Who's pushing?


I disagree that this means that a part is "therapy resistant." If someone with parts is coming to therapy, each of those parts has a right to be there, whether or not they can communicate in words. What do you mean by "so I could actually get to therapy"? How do you know that the parts pushing forward aren't ones who are feeling especially like they need to be there with the therapist? Perhaps other parts are allowing them to do that rather than feeling "pushed back," and that there is an important reason for them to be there?

To my mind, resistance is an old term that blames the client rather than focusing on the relationship with the T. Therapy for DID is relationship-based, because people with DID have relational trauma, so a big part of it is the relationship that each part, as well as the system as a whole, develops with the T.
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Re: How much should I know?

Postby Zor » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:54 pm

TheGangsAllHere wrote:I ordered that book, "Got Parts?" and found it to be worse than useless. And it sounds like it isn't good for you either.


Ugh! That book... The "should" and "must" stuff in that book irritated me. For real what SANE person would like legit say "unless each alter does, X, X, and X... they can NOT be in the safe space and part of the whole"?! Seriously!?
Some of that "required" stuff is 100% info about how they came to be, when, what caused it, etc. IDK about other ppl and their systems, but some of us DON'T KNOW... heck, some of us weren't even "in the know" that they were an alter and the inner world they lived in wasn't like the whole entire world... so like for real?!

We have that "Got Parts?" book and it did more to irk and trigger us than help us... The following two books have helped us- AND our T- learn about what we're going through and how to like manage it and cope with it.

The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook
https://www.amazon.com/Dissociative-Identity-Disorder-Sourcebook-Sourcebooks/dp/0737303948
Amongst Ourselves
https://www.amazon.com/Amongst-Ourselves-Self-Help-Dissociative-Identity/dp/1572241225/

Maybe they can be more helpful to you, like they have been for us.

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Re: How much should I know?

Postby Sarandipity » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:42 pm

TheGangsAllHere wrote:
Sarandipity wrote:I'm not a big fan of therapy for DID. For co-morbid disorders yes, for specific traumatised parts, yes, but not for DID because in my view there's not enough information, data or research to risk it.


You don't need to go to therapy for DID if you don't want to, but there is quite a bit of information about its efficacy for treating DID, and if the DID is interfering in one's life and causing impairment (the definition of a disorder) then seeking treatment for it is appropriate (and the only effective treatment IS therapy, with someone who knows what they're doing).

Sarandipity wrote:It's going to be difficult if non-speaking child parts are there unless they draw to communicate. This says a part of you is therapy resistant and that seems like the place to start. Who is therapy resistant? What are ttheir reasons? What's their character? - Those types of things I'd want to deal with so I could actually get to therapy and not be pushed back with non talking parts being pushed forward. Who's pushing?


I disagree that this means that a part is "therapy resistant." If someone with parts is coming to therapy, each of those parts has a right to be there, whether or not they can communicate in words. What do you mean by "so I could actually get to therapy"? How do you know that the parts pushing forward aren't ones who are feeling especially like they need to be there with the therapist? Perhaps other parts are allowing them to do that rather than feeling "pushed back," and that there is an important reason for them to be there?

To my mind, resistance is an old term that blames the client rather than focusing on the relationship with the T. Therapy for DID is relationship-based, because people with DID have relational trauma, so a big part of it is the relationship that each part, as well as the system as a whole, develops with the T.


Yes, that's also more than possible: the parts coming forward are the ones that want therapy. It's also why I made clear my perspective on therapy, because I'm seeing it from my perspective which is tainted by my own view. But yes, everything you're saying is also a valid point.
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