Our partner

Rebecca et al. Journey

Dissociative Identity Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Moderator: Johnny-Jack

Rebecca et al. Journey

Postby auntrebecca » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:14 am

I’m struggling with how to order this post. I want to do it in order of what I talked with T about, but I think it would jump around too much and be confusing.

One day this week I was thinking that I needed my T to take a trip. That’s not very realistic right now, but I really want a break, but I won’t ever cancel an appointment unless I’m really sick. Right now, I feel that I’m just ramping up to the place that I need to be working at. Am I simply scared or am I pushing too hard? Do I want to avoid the feelings of fear when working on this stuff with my T?

After I related this part to my T, I got the impression that T doesn’t think I’m working hard. That hurt. I am working hard. Is it because I didn’t write much in my journal this week? Or because I didn’t write about the materials I read in the workbook (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation)? I’m hoping I misunderstood T.

Last week’s focus was EMDR. We worked with fear regarding sharing memories. We are not yet to the point that we can share the memories themselves even though we have been seeing this T for about 10 years. Rebecca and Arielle participated. This week, when talking about it, I (Rebecca) can’t remember the details. The only thing I know is that T said something comforting to Arielle. Something that I don’t know how to do for Arielle. At least not yet.
I told T that I spent a lot of time in bed over the past week. Taking naps and just generally resting. I feel exhausted. He said that should be expected. The more time I spend co-conscious with Arielle the more tired I will be, at least in the beginning. He says it’s like building a muscle and it will get better with time.

Knowing that last week we did EMDR I know that this week we would do LENS. We’ve done LENS almost every week for over a year. It takes time and we almost never do LENS and EMDR in the same session. LENS has been very stabilizing for me and has made it possible to work on the trauma issues and the did. It’s also helped me to stabilize my eating – or at least improve it.

T is incredibly gentle when placing the electrodes, but it is still fear inducing especially when Arielle is near the front and knows what’s happening. It’s unnerving to have T stand behind us and not be able to see what T is doing. Still an issue even after working on it with EMDR and having LENS treatment for over a year.
auntrebecca
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:50 am
Local time: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:56 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Rebecca et al. Journey

Postby auntrebecca » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:58 am

Therapy this week went really well. We felt connected and T really explained some good things to us. In fact, he did a lot of the talking today.

Over the week between appointments I had worked on Chapter 21 in the workbook (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation). This chapter is about Challenging Dysfunctional thoughts and core beliefs. So, I read the chapter with the list of core beliefs I created in Chapter 19. I was thinking that I would work on the issue with talking about the past, but when I looked at the list it wasn’t even there.

In regard to talking to T, I think there are at least two issues for Arielle. First, T is male. Arielle is afraid T will try and trick her and abuse her. She doesn’t think she can trust him. Second, Arielle believes something bad will happen if she talks about the abuse.

It works in a circular way. If she felt like she could trust T and talk she’s too afraid something bad will happen (and that includes something bad happening to T). But then if she does tell T she’s afraid he will try and hurt her.

Not telling – not speaking – has to do with being punished. One specific time. But she can’t talk about that yet. It also seems like another circular thing. If we could talk about it then we would probably feel better about talking. But Arielle is afraid to talk about it.

So I guess the first thing is to list what I know cognitively:
• I am safe now
• It is 2020 and I am 49 years old
• It has been 40 years since mom punished me
• Mom is dead
• No one knows what I tell T
• T has always been kind and supportive
• The past can’t hurt me anymore
• Talking about other issues has helped them to be resolved
• Nothing bad has happened when I’ve told T about other things
• I am an adult and I can protect myself when I need to

T says these things I know have limited benefit in helping us understand and change because the beliefs about not talking are pre-reflective. I understand, from reading in the workbook, what reflection is. I needed to understand pre-reflection more so I turned to google. Pre-reflection is actually the first three stages in reflective judgement. At stage one you believe only what you have experienced, beliefs need no justification. At stage two you also rely on authority figures, beliefs are unexamined and unjustified or justified by their correspondence with the beliefs of an authority figure (such as a teacher or parent). Arielle knows what she knows and there’s no reasoning or changing her mind. The workbook says, “This gap between what you know cognitively and what you feel can be bridged with inner reflection with all parts, which will help you begin to understand and resolve inner conflicts and lack of orientation to the present… Progress comes, even though it may be in small increments.” I hope this is true.

T asked me if I knew what a thought experiment was. I didn’t. He explained how it’s a way to think about a problem. He suggested that Arielle think about writing down the memory and putting it in a small envelope and sealing it, then putting it into a bigger envelop and sealing that. And then just putting the envelope away. That way Arielle would have “told” her story. Then he asked what I thought of this and if it would help Arielle. I said “no, that she needs a witness. I didn’t know why but she does.” T said that we are social beings and that we need to be heard and accepted. We need support and acknowledgement. That feels right. That’s what Arielle needs.

Then he talked about EMDR. He said that there is a protocol called “blind to therapist” where EMDR can be done without the therapist knowing what it’s about. We are going to do this next week with Arielle and her memory of being punished. So she doesn’t have to share the memory. We can work on it without her telling T. The EMDR should make it less disturbing so that she can talk about it. We have to have an image in our mind that represents the memory. That is where we will start. We already have it picked out.

I read what I had written in my journal about feeling like he didn’t think that I was working hard (from last week). He said that if anything he said gave me that impression that he so sorry. He didn’t say that at all. He said he tries to always express how hard we are working lately. It felt really good to know that we had misunderstood.
auntrebecca
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:50 am
Local time: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:56 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Rebecca et al. Journey

Postby auntrebecca » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:40 am

I’m having a hard time writing about this week’s session. We did EMDR and I don’t really remember much of it. I know that we started with a memory of being punished by mom for telling what was happening. We really weren’t working on the memory yet, more of the fear of working on the memory. I guess It’s a start.

There are just snippets in my memory that seem to be out of order. But anyway, for the sake of documenting therapy here they are:

I remember

T telling me to talk to Arielle and Richard about how this wasn’t their fault.

Saying that mom is a B.

Felling my body all over full of energy. Like I could have been shaking. I think it was anger, but I
didn’t tell T about it.

Starting at 8 ½ and going down to 7 ½ but I don’t know what it means.

Saying that what I want to believe is that I am free.

Holding my jaw in my hands. I think this was related to sharing that there was tightness in my jaw. Related to anger, but again I didn’t share this with T.

Anyway, that’s all there is this week. Hopefully it helps and of course I was exhausted afterwards.
auntrebecca
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:50 am
Local time: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:56 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Rebecca et al. Journey

Postby auntrebecca » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:38 pm

So, I shared with T what I remembered about EMDR from last week and asked him if there was anything significant that he remembered that I did not. He said that he got the impression that I was good with working on the memory without him knowing what it was and that at the end he got the impression from me that I thought he knew more about the memory than he actually does.

We talked about the difference between emotion and feeling. This was new for me and I wonder why I don’t already know this. I’ve been in therapy for years. Why has this never come up before? Anyway, emotions are what happens in your body and feels are the meaning you assign to the emotion. Emotions are physical while feelings are mental. T says he often sees clients who are obviously physically displaying an emotion and yet they will say they feel “fine” when asked.

Through google, I find that emotions can also be unconscious, or they can be repressed. Feelings are subjective and influenced by things like temperament, personal experiences, beliefs and memories.

I find this too: “just thinking about something threatening can trigger an emotional fear response. While individual emotions are temporary, the feelings they evoke my persist and grow over a lifetime. Because emotions cause subconscious feelings which in turn initiate emotions and so on, your life can become a never-ending cycle of painful and confusing emotions which produce negative feelings which cause more negative emotions without you ever really knowing why.” This seems awfully familiar.

But hope comes in neuroplasticity. “Understanding your emotions and managing your feelings with
conscious thinking so they don’t hijack your brain followed by conscious action can actually change your brain through neuroplasticity, the scientifically proven ability of your brain to change form and function based on repeated emotion, thought, and behavior, and change your life.”

I guess this is where reflection becomes important. Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation says: “Instead of just feeling or thinking without awareness, you notice what you feel and think, how you experience those feelings and thoughts in your body, and perhaps why you feel and think a certain way… reflection takes more energy and mental work than automatic reactions, especially as you are just beginning to learn” and “At first you will learn to reflect in retrospect, that is, you may only be able to reflect on situations after the fact. Gradually it will become a more natural skill that you employ in the moment.”

All of this makes me think about how I was raised. As a young child when I felt overwhelmed, instead of being taught what I was experiencing and feeling, I was punished. So, I learned to be afraid of being overwhelmed and repressed it. I learned to automatically discount my emotions as being “bad.” But they remained overwhelming. I think this is what my parts are afraid of. Especially my younger parts.

Getting back to therapy… my T said, “Something has changed for you.” He said he couldn’t really put a finger on it and didn’t think he could really articulate what it actually is. It’s just that I’m different. I told him it’s the LENS. He kind of laughed but did agree that LENS has given me a stronger base to work from. I’m much more stable than I’ve ever been which makes it possible to work beyond the everyday living and surviving issues I was having. It felt good to hear this from him.

And finally, I learned a new word:
i·ras·ci·ble
/iˈrasəb(ə)l/

adjective
1. having or showing a tendency to be easily angered.
"I and an irascible mother"
auntrebecca
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:50 am
Local time: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:56 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Rebecca et al. Journey

Postby auntrebecca » Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:02 am

So skip what I wrote about feelings and emotions last week. In talking with T, it’s not really like what google says at all.

Here’s how T explained it today:

Emotion is what happens in your body (which includes your brain) ex. Mood, facial expression, skin color, breathing pattern. Feelings are awareness of emotions – feelings are your conscious perception of emotion. You can have conscious or unconscious emotions, but you can only have conscious feelings. I guess I understand his view.

The part about neuroplasticity was correct. New paths in the brain are connected through neurons. T used some kind of phrasing I can’t remember but something to the effect that once the connections are established the pathways become more automatic after that. He uses the examples of people who play musical instruments. When a person learns the violin they have to learn to use two hands in different ways. At first it is slow and clumsy but as they learn they get better and it becomes more automatic. Learning a new skill takes more energy than doing something you’ve done repeatedly before.

*******************************TW*********************************************************************************

We move on the LENS. It was very difficult today. I didn’t tell T what was happening. He was behind us so he didn’t see the tears. I could have asked him to stop and he would have right then. I could have asked him to close the blinds and he would have. But I didn’t do either of those things. I can’t explain why. Only that I knew I didn’t want him to stop. The LENS is important to me. It has helped me a lot.

As the seasons change and the light comes through the windows in T’s office (and depending on how he has the blinds positioned) differently, parts are triggered by the light and shadows on the wall as well as having T standing behind us. It was too unnerving for Arielle. Tears were flowing, yet I felt very disconnected from the emotions. I watched it happen, but tried to help in some ways. I talked to Arielle about where we were – in T’s office and that it’s a safe place. I tell her that he’s always been gentle and that the memories are from long ago. I kept focusing on having Arielle look around the room and see where we were.

It felt strange to me, but I don’t understand why. Hasn’t this happened thousands of times? Haven’t I felt her emotions before. Why did it feel so different this time? I was just observing it happen. It was like being disconnected, but connected to Arielle at the same time. I don’t know how to explain it. What does this mean? Why did it feel different.

The issue with the light and shadows on the wall goes back to long ago. I think we’ve talked about it before in therapy. I don’t remember ever really working on it. My bedroom at my parents’ house was at the front of the house. A cross street faced the front and cars would turn at night and the lights would move across the wall. Usually it’s movement of the light that bothers me. I can’t sleep in the front of a house for this reason.

I was afraid of being in the room at night alone. There were two big wallpaper dolls on the wall. They were dancing flappers. I thought that they would dance when the lights flashed across them. I don’t ever remember telling my parents. I’m sure they would have discounted my fear. So Arielle was seeing T’s shadow and seeing him bigger and scarier than he is. (Just writing this down is giving me a huge amount of anxiety and I have to keep stepping away and do something else for a while to calm down). There’s also the night time visits by the abuser.

We have already discussed the issues with T standing behind me and we have worked on it some with EMDR. The memories of the abuser following me around the house naked and being unable to get away from him.
************************************************************************************************************************
auntrebecca
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:50 am
Local time: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:56 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Rebecca et al. Journey

Postby auntrebecca » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:31 am

I’m a little bit behind but I’m going to catch up. Documenting this is important to me.

When I read to T what I wrote about the shadows and the wallpaper dolls he said it reminded him of Plato’s allegory of the cave. He explains how people are chained in a cave and all they can see are shadows. They know nothing else and so the shadows are their reality. It has to do with one’s perception of reality. One’s illusion of reality. And it’s true that my reality as a little girl, especially the scared lonely little girl in that bedroom at night is only an illusion. And I was chained there unable to bring light onto the subject, or conversely speak of the subject in the light. I’ve gotten lost in this analogy. T says I am learning how to readjust the way I perceive the past.

We talk about our experience with LENS during the last appointment. He says he understands what I meant when I said that it felt different. He says it is different. We were connected in a different way. He says this is how co-consciousness is and that I’m experiencing much more empathy for
Arielle.

He explains in some detail (which I’m not going to go into here) about how LENS is being used for medical intervention. He asks if I am comfortable with doing LENS this week and that he will need to be behind me. This time while he’s behind me and placing the electrodes he talks about each step before he does it. This helps immensely.
auntrebecca
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:50 am
Local time: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:56 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Dissociative Identity Disorder Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Allcoulors, mothman and 55 guests