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Having someone take my dissociation seriously

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Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby lilyfairy » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:39 am

Hi all

I sometimes post- I flip flop a lot on my dissociative issues, between "yes, there's something going on" and "don't be stupid".

I have a new therapist, I've been seeing him for almost 12 months (if you can still call that new I guess). He specialises in trauma work, and did some more EMDR this week with him.

This week he had me fill in the Dissociative Experiences Scale. I've found self tests online before, and scored highly on it. I've known for a long time that I dissociate, a lot. I forget a lot of things. I have other parts, but I'm not comfortable with that. Trying to talk about it verbally is near on impossible- writing is only slightly better. I feel like I'm being blocked when trying to speak about it. I mentioned to him that I recently lost a period of 5 days, but put that down to having lived in an abusive situation for the past 6 months (am finally safe now) and that I'm just a bit overwhelmed. I don't know what my score on the DES was this week- I find out next session in around 3 weeks, but I am suddenly terrified by it, along with the idea someone is acknowledging my dissociation and wanting to help me with it.

How did others react to someone acknowledging their dissociation? I've wanted someone to recognise it for so long, but now someone is taking serious note of it and how it affects me, rather than my previous therapist's "we just need to wait to see what surfaces", and "try to stay present". Not that previous therapist didn't take me seriously- this one's more focused on my dissociation. I'm really uncomfortable with it and scared by it. And perhaps, what if my DES score is not high enough to indicate something, or that's it's brushed off as nothing significant.

For those who've done EMDR, do you feel wiped out after, and how long does the wiped out feeling last? I'm already dealing with fatigue symptoms at present, so I'm maybe not good at working out what's what right now.

Would appreciate any thoughts.

Thanks
Lily
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Re: Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby IainEtc » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:15 pm

Hi lily,

I'm glad you're safe now.

Yeah it's really weird to have a T who is ok talking about dissociation and parts and being multiple. It totally freaked us out! Suddenly we got to talk about it after we'd been hiding for SO long.

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Re: Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby auntrebecca » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:13 pm

Hi Lily,

My name is Rebecca. I'm new to the forums so I hope you don't mind my reply.

I don't know what your growing up was like, but for us there was a lot of denial and gaslighting by the parents. They made it clear that our experiences were not reality. So we grew up with that and continued to view the world in that way. It's no wonder we would doubt our own experiences. I wonder if it was the same for you?

I hope that you won't worry too much about the DES thing. I don't have any experience with it, but think that it's just one tool to help your T understand where you are at. It's not going to be the only thing that they look at though. Your reality and your experiences are what really matters regardless of a score. I think as long as you are expressing what is going on, your T will have an understanding of where you are at.

I have done EMDR and find it exhausting. I usually have to come home and take a long nap and then sleep the whole night too. There are times when I will come home and sleep until the next morning. I think that is just part of the process.

Hope this helps,

Rebecca
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Re: Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby Snaga » Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:34 pm

Try not to be so anxious about the results- I think that no matter what the result is, it will be helpful to you. Either way I see it as a start to better explaining what goes on with you. Either it's something that you'll be able to safely explore (with a sympathetic therapist), or something you can cross off, in part or wholly.

I'm of the opinion (obviously from more than just this topic, since I know you) that there is some kind of disassociation, as you already know. I feel as if there's some sort of system- not insisting on it, but if I suspect myself of having parts (as opposed to 'faking' it so good, I've convinced myself), then I don't see why you can't- I think you better fit the criteria than I do- I don't have the amount of amnesia you do.

I expect you to score pretty high, and I think that having formal recognition of it, will in the end prove to be not frightening, but freeing. If not, well, then you can cross that off, and continue to look for other explanations. But I think if you come back with a high score, it'll be very validating and freeing, once you can see beyond your anxiety over it. I see it as an opportunity.
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Re: Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby auntrebecca » Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:58 pm

Lily,

I also wanted to add that when I first started seeing my therapist I couldn't talk about things either. I would write in a journal and he would read it out loud when I went to my appointments. After I got more comfortable with him and with my experiences with DID I started reading what I wrote out loud at appointments. It felt like a big accomplishment, but there are still things I can't talk about as there is not internal agreement.

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Re: Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby birdsong87 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:24 pm

the DES covers difference angleswhen it comes to 'dissociation'. some is about normal trance-like experiences, some is about derealization and depersonalization and some about structural dissociation. the score aside, looking at the places where you score higher can help the T focus the therapy better. it helps us, to look at it as something that is not just the score. some people with DID score low in it because they don't have dr/dp symptoms...

we found someone who actually worked with dissociation 9 years after our initial diagnosis. by that time we had been through so much harmful therapy that it was a relief that someone coud actually handle the big mess that was 'us'. it was scary and especially Asti didn't trust her at all. so for a good year we were hiding as much as we would.

we've had some EMDR and we always strugged with the fatigue. it lasted from 3 days to probably a week or so. we always had to plan meals ahead, get pre-made meals, cancel all other appointments.

I really hope things will work out for you. having a good T can be a big chance. but one also has to be ready for it and sometimes things are too big and that is fine too.
let us know how it goes
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Re: Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby Johnny-Jack » Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:12 am

Lily, I've scored low on this, at last measure around 10, I think. So whatever your score, it won't rule out a dissociative disorder but it can suggest that dissociation is happening and merits further work and perhaps further testing.
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Re: Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby lilyfairy » Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:02 am

Thankyou all.

auntrebecca wrote:I don't know what your growing up was like, but for us there was a lot of denial and gaslighting by the parents. They made it clear that our experiences were not reality. So we grew up with that and continued to view the world in that way. It's no wonder we would doubt our own experiences. I wonder if it was the same for you?
More invalidation than gaslighting I think. I am still now having lightbulb moments where I come to understand that events/converstations/experiences that I called "normal" were really anything but. Every so often I'll get a "she did/said WHAT?!" reaction from therapist. With me going "...umm...is that...not normal?"

auntrebecca wrote:I also wanted to add that when I first started seeing my therapist I couldn't talk about things either. I would write in a journal and he would read it out loud when I went to my appointments. After I got more comfortable with him and with my experiences with DID I started reading what I wrote out loud at appointments. It felt like a big accomplishment, but there are still things I can't talk about as there is not internal agreement.
I often do bring things written out, and know I communicate better that way, but sometimes just can't hand it over and am totally blocked from saying anything. I have questioned whether I have a part blocking me.

birdsong87 wrote:the DES covers difference angleswhen it comes to 'dissociation'. some is about normal trance-like experiences, some is about derealization and depersonalization and some about structural dissociation. the score aside, looking at the places where you score higher can help the T focus the therapy better. it helps us, to look at it as something that is not just the score. some people with DID score low in it because they don't have dr/dp symptoms...
Thanks. He did say this was the intention- to see how it affects me, rather than giving a diagnosis. Am just a bit freaked out by it all.

birdsong87 wrote:we've had some EMDR and we always strugged with the fatigue. it lasted from 3 days to probably a week or so. we always had to plan meals ahead, get pre-made meals, cancel all other appointments.
That seems kind of familiar. The last few months have been a blur anyhow, but it's really been hard to focus for a bit. Today I managed to actually do something productive.

birdsong87 wrote:I really hope things will work out for you. having a good T can be a big chance. but one also has to be ready for it and sometimes things are too big and that is fine too.
let us know how it goes
Thankyou. This T seems to know where he's going with things and willing to tackle it too. I flip-flop between saying I'm ready to know and not wanting to know. I think the latter is more out of fear of what I am currently missing.

Johnny-Jack wrote:Lily, I've scored low on this, at last measure around 10, I think. So whatever your score, it won't rule out a dissociative disorder but it can suggest that dissociation is happening and merits further work and perhaps further testing.
Thanks. Part of the fear is that I won't have scored high enough for it to be recognised. The day I did it, I was having trouble putting things on a scale.
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Re: Having someone take my dissociation seriously

Postby Snaga » Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:31 pm

What JJ had said- I'd forgot, what bit of reading I've done in this forum and elsewhere, that a lower score doesn't necessarily invalidate disassociation. I think- what is my understanding?- that a high score almost guarantees a disassociative thing going on, but a low score doesn't rule it out, merely by virtue of it being a low score?
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