I am back in the city now. The trip “home” is officially over. We were actually supposed to leave yesterday, but Mom convinced us to stay an extra day. I didn’t mind spending the additional time at her house, but I was totally saturated with social interaction otherwise. So I said my final goodbyes to my sister and her kiddos on Thursday afternoon. Then I spent Friday entirely at Mom’s. She had to work, but I slept in, worked out, and FINALLY studied for Monday’s exam,which made Rachel (Insider) happy, but caused a lot of switching and internal bickering. I’ve realized that doing school work while in that general area is not a very good idea. Bringing Rachel out when near my biological family/hometown is just…no.
I had my other phone session with the therapist yesterday morning. It went well – better than the session we had on Tuesday. I think we had a better sense of how it would feel since we’d already done it once. I told her about having dinner with my first therapist as well as the drama going on with my sister. She was able to help me make some pretty important connections and identify patterns that are worth preventing myself from repeating. I’m super busy these next two weeks with school, but I really want to write posts about all of this stuff for my own records and to keep y’all in the loop.
I will say that I noted how absolutely present this therapist is with me during our sessions. Even over the phone, I never get the impression that she is anywhere else but right there with me. There are occasional moments where I feel her start to pull away via problem-solving or over-validation, but ever since the session where I called her out on such actions, I feel pretty comfortable just telling her that I need something different. And, more importantly, she listens to me and adjust accordingly. It’s kinda intimidating actually. But I think we’re really making progress in figuring out how to work with each other and stay connected as much as possible.
Mom and I finally found a way to connect, especially in the last couple days. I decided to just be honest with her. I explained how all this bullshit with Zooey really set me back a few steps in the trust department. Zooey had become the place where I could put a lot of the transference that prevents me from connecting to people in my life. Through that relationship, I was able to blossom and grow so much in my other relationships. Having Zooey abandon me was not only traumatizing because she left, but it also brought back all those familiar fears about being left or hurt by people I trust. Mom was super receptive to all of this and reassured me (again) that she will never, ever leave me. I don’t believe her yet, but that’s okay. It still feels good to hear. And I felt a little more of that Zooey-related pain and fear and anger lift away.
Mom also said that each time I come and visit, she understand me a little more. She admitted that the switching is still hard for her because she doesn’t always know how to react and it’s jarring to see me change so dramatically (it’s subtle to most people, but this woman is incredibly empathic and has known me for half my life, so even the subtle changes are a big deal for her). She asked me a lot of questions about DID and the system this time. It’s hard to talk about (internal interference) but I was so pleased she asked and wants to learn more. She said it’s all very fascinating and it helps her know me better. I will admit that it’s very nice to stop having to make excuses or cover up for switching or dissociation. DID is exhausting enough without having to constantly smooth over whatever bumps were creating during switches.
So, overall, the week went well. I’d definitely say it’s the best I’ve ever done during a visit to my hometown. I was certainly agitated and switching. Things came up, as they will do. But I felt the most whole and integrated that I’ve ever felt while physically in that place. There was no crisis. No cutting. No massive time loss. River was probably the most distressed due to the change in food routines, followed closely by little Anna, who carries so much trauma around that place and the time we lived there. By last night she was quite upset and told Wife that she wanted to go back home. I was so happy to hear that because it’s a very big deal that she was referring to New York City as home and NOT the “home” we grew up in.