This morning’s session was so damn weird. I felt very frustrated going into the session and the sound of my own voice only made it worse. It’s hard for me to even piece together what happened, so please bear with me through this post.
I didn’t mention this during my recap, but I lost some time towards the end of Wednesday night’s session. I remember the therapist asking a question and then everything goes blank. I knew I must have switched, but I am missing that time. Which really freaks me out. I hate it when I don’t know which part was out or what happened when they were fronting. My imagination tends to go to the worst case scenario, so I was anxious as hell going into session today because I was terrified of what may have happened and how the therapist might respond to that.
So I said nothing. I walked in and just sat there for a good three minutes (100 years in therapy time). Then, eventually, I started talking about how frustrated I felt. I didn’t want to be explicit about losing time because I wasn’t sure I even wanted to know what had happened during that time. I was also afraid that if she started talking about whatever occurred in that gap, it would trigger the same (or a different) part and we’d either switch again or I’d end up in some sort of dissociative or distressed state.
I spend so much time worrying about how I come across and how I’m being perceived in therapy. I am constantly in fear that I will say something that will trigger myself and then I’ll be held accountable for not being more responsible in choosing my words or not having solid enough grounding skills. Except….and this is important….there’s so much that needs to be said. Not just big, ugly trauma stuff, but little stuff as well. Important little stuff that has a pretty big impact on my day-to-day life. Unfortunately, all of that little stuff generally has a direct link to the big ugly stuff. Since I’m trying to avoid the big ugly stuff, I end up doing all of these verbal ninja moves to get my point across with allusions and vague references, rather than just being completely forthcoming. It’s exhausting. And lonely.
I explained that so much of why I’d brought up the lack of trust and the fear of moving forward in therapy at the beginning of Wednesday’s session was in part because of the pushback I’m getting from Insiders. There’s a sorta split right down the middle of our system. One half is parts that carry trauma and would be classified as “Emotional Parts” (EP). The other half do not carry trauma and actually go one step further by denying the trauma. They do a lot of the functional activities of life, such as school and paying bills. They are referred to as “Apparently Normal Parts” (ANP). I am also technically an ANP, but I don’t share the denial component.
Then, within the EPs, there’s another battle. Most of them want to tell their stories and be seen and heard. But they’re also absolutely terrified of doing so because they were told a lot of bullshit lies about the horrible things that would happen if they did so. Sometimes the ANPs create the bad stuff by giving consequences or punishing the EPs for disclosing the trauma. This is what happened last year when a child part, Anna, shared a memory with Zooey. Afterwards, I couldn’t “feel” her for a few weeks. Turns out the two head ANPs had taken her and stashed her away in a sort of internal closet, where she was inaccessible to the rest of the system. It was a traumatic and terrifying experience for many of us, but mostly for Anna.
Turns out she was the one who switched out during session on Wednesday. The therapist had suggested that, for the sake of continuity and not allowing things to “fall through the cracks”, we revisit some of the things I’d brought up about my biological family. That was my last memory before switching. I remember turning my head towards the windows to think and then…nothing.
I wasn’t sure at first, but the therapist said it was a child part she’d never met before who seemed very concerned about something. She was afraid. And she was saying something about Rachel (another Insider and ANP). That’s when I knew it was definitely Anna.
Which means that on top of trying to navigate the daunting process of building trust with a new therapist after being unceremoniously dumped by another therapist, I also need to be mindful that the ANPs are watching closely and not only threatening ME (something they do through thought insertion and nightmares), but also threatening the traumatized parts. So everyone is upset over my decision to disclose our “secrets” to the therapist. Awesome.
What the fuck am I supposed to do with this? I am too damn tired for this shit. I told the therapist that I feel completely stuck – like I’m frozen in place. It feels like I can’t move in any direction without triggering some land mine and causing a huge explosion.
I asked the therapist if she’s ever seen a multiple before. She answered my question with her own question: “What makes you ask that?” Fuck. What do you THINK makes me ask that?! Maybe because this was nothing compared to what can (and probably eventually will) happen in session and I want to know if she’s really thought about the implications of that.
Does she know how to help me? Can she handle this? Is she okay with feeling totally and utterly helpless from time to time? Is she going to bail after the first session when she can’t bring out an older part to ground themselves and get on the train to go home? Is she prepared to watch a grown woman transform into a toddler who thinks it’s the 1980’s and she’s being sexually abused by her own parents? Is she prepared to watch that child writhe and scream in actual physical pain? Is she prepared to go to battle with an extremely aggressive child who believes his role is to do a Hulk-style transformation to fight off physical abusers? I mean, this is no joke. This is very serious and very real. And I have very little control of it.
I wish I was better. I wish I had better communication and cooperation within the system. I wish I could prevent dissociation and switching. I wish I knew all of the triggers. I wish, I wish, I wish.
At one point today I just said, “What is even the point of all of this?!” I mean, honestly though? I don’t trust her. I want to, but I can’t. Even if she promised me she wouldn’t just up and leave and she said she’s not afraid of me or taking this journey with me, I’d never ever believe her. How could I after all that has happened?
Her response? “I think that’s a good question. I think it’s important that we periodically ask ourselves what the point of this really is. In the meantime, I know that you don’t trust me. And you don’t have to.”
Ugh. Shoot me now.