What Is The Point?

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.

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39 thoughts on “What Is The Point?

  1. Boost Connection says:

    I hate to be redundant, but those ARE excellent questions and points that you bring up. I hear your frustration and fear and sadness and anger. And it’s perfectly natural to feel stuck after everything you’ve been through in life, and most recently with Zooey. You want a therapist who can walk the walk with you, not just talk the talk. You want someone who can prove that they manage and bear with countertransferential feelings of frustration, disconnection, pain, etc. And then use those emotions as cues to how you feel about yourself and others, or what you may dynamically enact.

    You may never fully understand the point, as I imagine it changes all the time for people. And there are often many points to therapy at once. But as an outside observer, I see you doing tremendous work through both the therapeutic process (relationship, interactions) and content (what you actually talk about). Process is valuable content! HOW you can and cannot relate to her, what you can and cannot trust her with, why you can and cannot move forward, how different parts experience therapy as frightening or liberating or boring, how safe or unsafe it is at any given moment, and so on. There is not one way to do therapy. And what you’re doing seems really valuable to me. Brava on continuing to explore how your relationship is playing out. I hope you can get what you need, even when you feel resistant to it or don’t know what it is.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bourbon says:

    You’re right, it is extremely important that you know that whatever happens in the therapy room she will be able to contain and manage it. Of course you want to know if shes dealt with similar before. Did she actually answer your q at all or did she just throw it back at you?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anxious Mom says:

    That’s a pretty damn important question. I wonder why she didn’t give you an answer to that. This is your treatment, your future, your emotions, at stake here. You deserve to know.

    And major ((hugs)). ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sensuousamberville says:

    I want to go carefully here, I don’t want to interfere with your therapy or therapist and progress. Would it seem strange if I said you were normal? What you are feeling, you and your parts, is expected? I doubt she will jump away. She met a younger part, one of the ones that has something to say, this to, is “normal” or more to the point, expected. She is going to go slow now, build trust, try to get all the parts to maybe work together, to make the system stronger and safe. I doubt she is going to tell anyone to leave.This is not the goal.

    I feel, from what you have said so far, that you are not her first multiple. Trust takes some time, more for you now, having been abandoned by your last therapist. Go slow with her too. She will help you communicate with your parts more, and them with you and each other as trust builds.

    Are you able to talk with Anna or feel her now to see how she feels after the session?

    Can I offer *hugs*?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      That doesn’t seem strange at all. I think that when we’ve been subjected to so much abuse and then enter the mental health system (where everything we think and feel becomes a pathology) we tend to not really know what “normal” is.

      I get a similar impression – that she’s trying to really figure out the internal dynamic so that she can better help the system as a whole. I’m not sure whether or not I’m her first multiple. In many ways it doesn’t matter. I know why I asked her that question, but she told me when I first contacted her that although she had experience with trauma, she was not a DID specialist. I liked that. I didn’t WANT a specialist. I just wanted someone who was strong and professional and thoughtful and able to communicate with me. She is all of those things.

      I technically CAN talk to Anna, but I’ve been a bit resistant to communicating with internal parts lately. It’s very difficult on me. My wife, however, has talked to her about this and Wife says that it doesn’t sound like anything major happened. It seems like Anna just wanted to assert her fears and maybe meet the therapist.

      Yes! I love hugs! Thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • sensuousamberville says:

        In the initial stage, I would expect her to want to meet your parts, just to get to know them, just as Anna wanted to meet her, maybe to see if this was someone she could trust. Trust is huge. Later, perhaps, to start resolving conflicts. I would suspect more of them will want to talk with her, to feel her out. I bet she is up to the task.

        ok 🙂 *HUGSSSSS*

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        That’s true. Excellent point. And oh yes…they will ALL want to meet her. That’s what happened with Zooey and it turned into an Insider parade of sorts. But it was very helpful for tackling some of the destructive habits we were using. I certainly hope she is up to the task!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Zoe says:

    Valid concerns and questions. I’m wondering why she didn’t answer if you were her first or not. I suppose in her mind she doesn’t want the answer to influence you. I’m not sure what the code of ethics here is but I’m pretty sure she’s trying to stay in line. I have to say that I do think she’s had experience. My friend tells me that most of the therapists who have dropped her hadn’t had a multiple before.

    Hang in there. All of these emotions are valid. These are all necessary steps. You’re on your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thanks, Zoe. I think she probably didn’t answer my question because I didn’t answer her question. So, ultimately, she was trying to keep the focus on me – the WHY I asked the question (and what prompted me to ask it) is more important than the actual answer. If I’d been more willing to explain why I asked (which I was not in that particular moment), I think she might have dialogued with me a little bit more about her particular experience. I know she has a lot of experience with childhood trauma, though.

      Thank you for validating me and reminding me that this is all part of the process. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zoe says:

        It’s probably a given then that she has dealt with this before. What I see is progress — even on days like this where therapy took this turn. Working through even this is so much progress. The fact that you let this much out is also progress.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Zoe says:

        *hugs* Glad I could say something helpful. Here for you until I’m not able to due to something like lightning striking me or loss of net — which is the same thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. multiplemindsdid says:

    these questions we ask aswell. “can she handle it” rain is close by. its like we present somewhat okay-ish but stuff in our system gets blocked out of safety. she says she is a trauma therapist but some serious stuff happened as we are multiple. not to say some question still. when shit kicks lose. we didnt get really straight answers – wolf

    theory is one thing but when it actually will happen. it will be intense. it may be our conviction but legitimate questions to ask.

    sorry we end up rambling.

    ~ several

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      I don’t mind your rambling at all. I love getting feedback from other systems. Btw, we also have a part named Rain! Very cool.

      And yes – that’s exactly it. Saying you have experience or saying you’re willing to work with severe trauma doesn’t really mean much until you’re in the throes of what they really looks and feels like. THAT’s when I’ll know what she’s made of and if she can do this with us. But I suppose my fear is that when that moment comes, she will fail us and we will be heartbroken again.

      Like

  7. luverley says:

    Mine doesn’t answer me when i ask her if she’s seen mine. You mentioned alot of feelings that i understand. It’s very hard to go there. I don’t think mine knows how to help me at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Hmm. Therapists love to evade our questions, don’t they? So annoying. I suppose I don’t mind that she didn’t answer me because I think she wanted me to stay focused on what prompted me to ask the question in the first place. I’m not even sure it would matter if she’s seen a multiple before or not. I don’t know, it’s confusing.

      I’m sorry you don’t think your therapist knows how to help you at all. Have you had a chance to discuss this with them? xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • luverley says:

        Yes plenty of times. She is not directive. We don’t know what we need or what we want to talk about sometimes cos there’s 2 much for 1hr we don’t know where to start. I wanted to know if she’s seen any of my multiples. She was taken aback. She said she’s noticed changes in my posture and the way i talk and my expression and breathing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        Yes! Always SO MUCH to try to fit into one hour. Sounds like she’s probably seen some of your other parts. I know for us, switching is not obvious – it usually is just changes in posture, speech, expression, and breathing.

        Like

      • Andi says:

        Could be. I know it’s different for everyone. But for us, sometimes it is like someone else is using your body. So you can see and hear and maybe feel what is going on, but it isn’t something YOU are doing. If that makes any sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Shrewed Up says:

    Wow. All I can offer to the awesome comments already noted is maybe providing your therapist with your actual thoughts you’ve written . . . a big step in trusting her, but she won’t be able to necessarily help you if you are too afraid to speak honestly.

    Big big hugs and I hope you find some comfort in your fellow bloggers words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thank you. Yes, I find all of your comments to be extremely comforting. I would definitely bring this stuff in to discuss with her. I may hate the process and get very frustrated with her, myself, and life in general, but I am always willing to keep talking about it. I just need a therapist who will also be willing to keep talking about it. Hoping she is that therapist…

      Thanks for the hugs! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. myambivalentexistence says:

    Have you thought about printing out this blog for her. You could leave out identifying parts if you didn’t want her to read your whole blog. This way she would have a very clear picture of your fear and uncertainty. And also a better understanding of where sessions could go. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      It’s funny because I usually do print out my posts after I write them and keep them in a folder in my bag. I re-read them right before session so that it’s fresh in my mind and use that to launch and guide the conversations we have during session. And sometimes I will just read right from the printed version. This blog is like half of my therapy process, haha!

      So, yes, I definitely agree that sharing this with her would help her have a better sense of where I’m at.

      Thanks for the hugs xo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Cat says:

    Now I understand what EP’s and ANO’s are. I constantly worry how I come across, even in therapy. I check every word in my head first before I speak them.

    I think your fears are very valid and, under the circumstances, it’s natural, even wise, to ask certain questions and feel secure enough before you continue. I think it would have helped if she had answered you about her experience with parts. I don’t think you are necessarily being insecure due to being burnt by Zooey, these are practical question that I would also be asking. I mean, who would want to reveal all that unless we knew for sure it would be received professionally and you need to trust she isn’t going to freak out and then decide to bugger off. I doubt she would, she sounds too professional, but even still, you are entitled to assurances about her experiences, not smart ass Therapist comments.
    PS I hope I didn’t offend you in some way in my comment from your ‘Too much to lose’ post. 🙂 I tend to get paranoid, sorry, I learned long ago just to come out and say what’s on my mind because it saves me worrying about it. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thanks, Cat, you make a very good point here. Even without Zooey, it would be okay for me to not trust her and to be wary of jumping any further into this therapeutic relationship. She does seem quite professional and I mostly do feel like she would keep me safe and prioritize my needs over her own. But I can never be sure, so I think that’s where I falter.

      Oh goodness, no. You most certainly did not offend me. But this did make me realize I dropped the ball and never responded to your comment on that post (which I will do now). I appreciate your honesty about it and I am happy to reassure that I very much enjoy your comments 🙂

      Like

      • Cat says:

        Anyone in your position, regardless of previous therapy experiences, would need assurances before they even thought about revealing parts. Lets face it, by the time you eventually feel comfortable enough to allow them the space to come out in therapy, you will have already invested your trust. So, it seems only right that you are certain of her experience to deal with this. I am 99.9% sure of her professionalism and I think if she thought she was on unfamiliar territory, she would have stopped you weeks ago…. But, even still… Once you have those assurances, well, it will be scary as hell because it then comes down to a leap of faith.

        No worries about the other comment. This is why I always come outright, otherwise I’d be paranoid unnecessarily… one of my coping skills!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. CassandCo says:

    Are you better at communicating now than you were when you wrote this post? I can relate. It’s frustrating to hear radio silence when you know others are there. And that they may even be able to hear you. I tell my darlings that I trust them and if they don’t think I’m ready to hear things then that’s ok. I trust them to know when the time is right. They have protected me for this long after all. I know my place in the system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Yes and no. I think overall I am more comfortable with communication, but cooperation can be unpredictable. It’s very “one step forward, two steps back”, which can be frustrating.

      Like

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