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New, So Glad to Finally Understand!

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New, So Glad to Finally Understand!

Postby Peanutbrain » Wed May 20, 2020 12:20 am

Thanks to this site, I’ve recently discovered the diagnosis of OSDD/DDNOS and I am SO grateful! It feels so good to put a name to what I’ve been experiencing for so long. I read that there’s more traffic at this page and to introduce myself here so I am….thank you thank you for reading-hearing me and seeing me. The first time I tried writing an intro, I was crying as I typed…and then the page didn’t load. This time, a month later or so, I’m much more matter-of-fact so maybe I needed the sobfest to get to past that initial Wow moment that is so powerful when the lightbulb goes on. My biggest dissociation is at the end, sorry for being so wordy.

So….I’ve known since the earliest therapy sessions after high school that emotion-devastating crying bouts- would come out of nowhere. I’d be talking and then all of a sudden…and then I’d calm down and start talking again as if nothing had happened. This happened within the first few minutes of my first session. She said “Tell me about your childhood-what’s your earliest memory?” And I’d said “Well, I don’t remember anything before third grade, which is when I’d moved away from X state, but I have one memory. It’s “ and then I’d started crying violently as I tried to tell her what I could see in my mind’s eye, which was really a 3 second video, that’s it, of my father coming towards me in their bathroom. And then I calmed down and went on to talk about the rest of gradeschool. I was suicidal in high school, again in college, again when I married and moved away. I’m sure you know that repressed memories come out when you are safe emotionally and at a distance, which I was. A lot of body memories, suicidal thoughts, it was like a tidal wave; went into therapy again but now understanding that there must’ve been sexual abuse. I journaled and, re-reading, I can see that I knew about “her”, the one who cried. Thirty years later and one month into knowing it’s literally an Other, but I knew then, too. I don’t remember knowing-I’d suppressed this for 25 years. She doesn’t have a name but I named her my diminutive name to give her a name. Reading about OSDD, I was relieved to learn that she may not have a name because it doesn’t feel right. Last December, I looked through my parents’ photo albums (and took pictures of trigger ones) and I saw her. I saw a photo of me in kindergarten and, as I told my therapist, the little girl was adorable but I don’t feel I recognize her, she’s a stranger to me. But the sad little girl with the puffy circles under my eyes and a crooked half-attempt at a smile in the next year (and two years after that) -that’s her. I felt gut-punched to see it. When I’m talking about something in therapy, grief will suddenly overtake me and I don’t understand it but it’s just overwhelming and I know it’s her. I also cry because I know she needs to feel safe and to be told I will take care of her (part of my self-talk I’m trying to remember I’d developed as a strategy).

30 years ago as a newlywed and then 27 years ago, after I’d moved back to the city I lived in pre-3rd grade that set off a really bad suicidal bender and worse body memories, I finally therapied my way to a place of relative stability so I got pregnant (I lost the first one because I was still in therapy and the emotions were way too strong). Twenty-five years later, my youngest left for college-last August. I’d been in therapy monthly just as a sanity check after a childhood of gaslighting. Suddenly, I started falling apart again. New realizations (OMG, no normal mother would give her teenage daughter negligees to wear around the house! How could my mother DO that?) brought her back into my therapy sessions. I started feeling fury from something I didn’t understand on top of the devastating crying. Then, on top of all this, my mother almost died right before Christmas. My sister had been visiting so was able to take her to the hospital but I was afraid she wouldn’t make it the night, let alone the next day. I said I’d fly down as soon as I could (as an aside, we've all been pretending we had a perfect childhood, caretaking our mom's needs over our own needs). I was SO churned up I could hardly breath-fear my mom would die without telling me the truth, fear she would die (because there was still a maternal tug despite realizing she’d used me as a sexual role in our family when I was a teen and lived through me). In the morning, she was doing better so I cancelled my flight. That night…I “woke up” briefly and saw my husband performing a normal and healthy sex act with me but the next thing I knew, I was curled up in a tight ball on my side, facing him. I searched my mind, trying to figure out what had just happened. I moan/squeaked (hard to describe but it wasn’t my voice; the voice of a young and very confused and frightened child) out a weak “what just happened?” “oh my gosh, what just happened?” Again, going through my mind-did we have sex? My husband is wonderful, could he really have sex with me when I was asleep? I was so confused and then I said it out loud “what just happened? Because it feels like rape”, still in a ball, still in that little voice. He said that we’d had sex and I’d asked him to do it because it helped me, which is true but I only remember seeing his head one second, I didn’t remember anything else. I could tell he was wary and I’m sure my behavior freaked him out because he was very careful not to move too quickly or to scare me. I slept poorly, still freaked out and went to the gym in the morning, really wanting to get away. It finally dawned on me (honestly, if it had been adult me and he really had done something not nice to me, I would've kicked his butt; it was not me and, even though I don't understand it because I was "thinking awake" but not "talking awake"-the first time we were coexisting but she was out front?) that maybe I hadn’t “been there” during the experience, which was the first time I googled DID. I couldn’t find a helpline and I was so fricken terrified at the idea that she could take over like that, could she anytime? I wet the bed the next morning, which was what I used to do when I was in early-to-mid gradeschool. It seemed like she was showing me again she was still able to take over. I was A MESS. That is when I finally started to recognize that she is separate from me and it felt like everything made sense. I felt a little awkward talking about it but my therapist was awesome, and it helped to be able to even share this with my husband. It wasn’t until I found this site, though, that I finally understood that others know what this NOS form is like.

My son is home from college because of the coronavirus since Spring Break and, guess what? She’s gone but that also means my therapy sessions are much less dramatic. I want to gain better insight and understanding and coping (I read a paper on all the safety features to have in place when in therapy for this!) so that I’m ready for when he returns to his college campus. Thank you!!!
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Re: New, So Glad to Finally Understand!

Postby Nondescript » Thu May 28, 2020 7:24 am

Hello, welcome.
I'm sorry your post didn't get any replies. It's very late and I don't have time to respond in full. But I wanted to at least welcome you and bring your post to the top!
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Re: New, So Glad to Finally Understand!

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Fri May 29, 2020 3:50 am

Welcome to the forum, Peanutbrain! (That was fun to say--what a cute username.)

I, too, wasn't able to start accepting and dealing with the awareness of DID/OSDD until my children were just about grown, so I understand that. It takes so much energy and focus to accept and deal with all the inside littles, and "parent" them, in a way. I couldn't have done it when my outside kids were younger. I'm glad that you also have a good therapist and a supportive husband.

--the Gang
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Re: New, So Glad to Finally Understand!

Postby Peanutbrain » Fri May 29, 2020 6:07 pm

Thank you for the welcomes! My therapist is retiring so I'm looking for a new one. Criteria include having experience with trauma and at least some understanding of DDs. I didn't delve into my dissociative experience too much with my therapist after it happened-and now she's being quiet-so it hasn't been such a concern but I had a lightbulb moment today talking to my likely new therapist. I would appreciate your advice. I know you can't say for sure but what makes sense?

Did I forget or is there a second other? In my Christmas dissociation described above, I'd been asleep. Adult me "woke up" *very briefly* and saw my husband performing a normal and intimate couples act and then I "fell back asleep". When I came to, what I am now thinking is that I was co-existing with my little (maybe that's a better name than "her", as she doesn't have a name but she's 6yo me-but-not-me), but she was speaking. That's a first-she cries hard -I cry but without understanding why and I know it's because of her- but has never spoken. Whereas I'd thought I'd been doing the thinking, I think I was aware but she was freaking out and talking and had mentioned the *r* word because sex/violation had taken place when we'd been asleep. So if SHE didn't know what had happened and I didn't know what had happened....who was present? My husband said I was awake and had even asked for the intimate act as part of the bigger intimate act and I believe him that it appeared that way. I will ask him for more details about that night but how could I -adult me-remember seeing him only briefly but neither my little nor I remember being there the rest of the time? I think what had been nagging at me but that I hadn't been able to put my finger on is that a) she had reversed roles with me for the very first time in being 'out front" and b) that someone was present during the intimate act but it wasn't either of us, unless we forgot.

Thank you for your thoughts!!
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Re: New, So Glad to Finally Understand!

Postby Nondescript » Sat May 30, 2020 3:43 am

Hi,
I'm kind of overwhelmed and I keep getting dissociated trying to read your post, but about the intimacy thing broadly: historically we dissociate and switch a lot around physical intimacy. I have had the thing where I remember right before and right afterwards happen to me. Also the ones that were in charge of that were often young parts. We also tend to have random switching during intimacy, so that suddenly a guy alter will suddenly appear in the middle of hetero sex, which is very awkward for the guys and my husband if he notices. As we have progressed in our healing, we've begun to have less of that, and intimacy has become less confusing at least some of the time, and less of a huge deal. Sorry, I don't know exactly if that addresses your post's concern, but I think it might.
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