Beyond Being Stuck

I’ve been reflecting more on yesterday’s post. Some of you asked if I was truly feeling “stuck” or perhaps something else? I think you’re onto something there. It feels like being stuck, but I’m not sure that’s the most accurate way to describe what’s happening.

Which is a couple of things, really.

First of all, as someone pointed out – this may very well be a test that the System is using to gauge the true reliability and trustworthiness of this therapist. I would defnitely agree with that. They have many reasons to do so. I certainly don’t blame them, but it tends to cause a lot of interference in session when I am trying to speak as Andi and receive all this frantic input from Others, causing me to question virtually everything I say. I don’t know how long this “testing period” will last for. And I sincerely hope this is a test the therapist can actually pass. Somtimes we set up tests because we know people will fail them. It’s a way to prevent them from getting closer to us without actually having to talk about it or work through it. We just get to throw up our hands and say, “See! You couldn’t do this after all!”

I don’t want to do that again.

Also, because there is so much conflicting emotion around the very idea of being in therapy, I think that is where a lot of my frustration comes from. I am not always the strongest Part when in that office. Or, I am, but I’m up against more than one Insider – which puts the odds against me. It’s so hard to push through all of that noise and chaos to even figure out what I’m feeling or thinking on my own. I think that’s where a lot of my confusion and helplessness comes from. And I also believe that my intense fear and need to defend myself comes from the Parts whose job it is to protect the System. They are ensuring I don’t get hurt (even if that ends up leaving me feeling utterly abandoned and alone). Or, the increased activity of introjects – who are working overtime to protect the secrets (and our abusers) – may be creating an additional strain on the conversations.

The introjects don’t want me talking about it. The traumatized parts don’t want to piss off the introjects. I don’t want to agitate the traumatized parts. But I do want to talk about all of these memories that keep coming up and the dynamics of my family relationships.

I’m sure you can see how this is a problem.

Lastly, an email group I participate in for individuals with (or supportive of) Dissociative Identity Disorder recently brought up alters that are non-verbal. I only know of one alter that truly does not speak. Her name is Lucy. She’s a toddler and she communicates only by whispering to Anna, who’s about 7 or 8. It is incredibly difficult to identify (and thus meet) Lucy’s needs. There are also Parts I am not connected to or co-conscious with. Therefore it’s possible that the additional interference I experience actually comes from Parts that entirely lack the ability to express themselves verbally. Which may be why I end up in this panicked and confused state where I can’t seem to find any words to express what’s going on.

And, for the record, very few things agitate me more than being inarticulate or feeling misrepresented.

During last session, the therapist actually alluded to this. We kept going back and forth in a rather futile attempt to find common ground, but it seemed to just keep getting worse. At one point she just said, “Today, words are not enough. I think, actually, that the words are getting in the way. You need something more. I don’t know what that is right now, but maybe we need to accept that we just aren’t going to find each other through words today.”

Which, admittedly, was a little triggering because it reminded me of a similar incident with Zooey when we were in a similar place. She said that “although words are sometimes not enough, that is what we have available to us in therapy, and so that is what we need to use to figure this out.”

Yeah. That didn’t end up so well.

I don’t know. This isn’t terrible or awful or indicative of any major failings on either of our parts. It’s just uncomfortable. And it really feeds into my fear of becoming “too much” and having her jump ship on me. I think I’m mostly worried that if I can’t find my way out of this strange state of being defensive and afraid all of the time, this will end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Which then makes me wonder – is that what happened with Zooey? Did I become so afraid of becoming someone she couldn’t handle that I became someone she couldn’t handle? Did I create the very scenario that led her to abandon me because I was so afraid she would do just that?

And, if so, how do I prevent myself from repeating that pattern with this therapist?

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15 thoughts on “Beyond Being Stuck

  1. Rachel says:

    I think your insights and reflection is so valuable here, and ringing very true for my current situation too. The whole self-fulfilling prophecy. I think that some therapists will not be able to handle the defenses (Zooey), and some will. I believe this current therapist will be able to handle your defenses. She seems genuinely invested in the process and committed to it. And emotionally tough and distanced in a healthy way. Won’t get caught in it. I think that even if a therapist can’t handle it, it doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong. Showing your defenses IS the work in therapy. The deep, and healing work. I think you are doing such a good job hanging in with this discomfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thank you. That means a lot, especially since I’ve been seriously fighting the urge to just cut my losses and run before this gets any deeper. But you’re right – she does seem stronger, more aware, and more capable. She seems very mindful of how and why I’m responding the way I am and is providing additional space for me to sorta assert my power and let her know that I don’t quite trust her yet. It is her absolute patience that inspires me to keep pushing forward. She doesn’t seem in a hurry to get this treatment to any specific place, so I suppose I shouldn’t be, either. It’s sort of luxurious in that way, actually.

      Yet, still. The fear of being hurt is all consuming. I wish there was a foolproof way to combat that, you know?

      Thanks ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rachel says:

        You are welcome. Oh god, I completely understand “the fear of being hurt is all consuming” – it is. That is one thing I talked about with the 2nd therapist today; I go to therapy to heal, but it brings up SO much fear around being hurt and abandoned and rejection, that I can’t stand it. So what to do? I guess we can’t combat it any other way than bolstering our ability to be fucking, excruciatingly uncomfortable, until the work takes hold and we aren’t so uncomfortable. I wish there was a better way too. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. alicewithptsd says:

    You may not relate to this at all, so it might not help, but I am jusy going to throw it out there. 😊

    When I feel stuck in therapy, i feel very defiant, and like nothing Bea does or says can be right or will work. I don’t know exactly how to explain it. But when i told her the stuck feeliing makes me feel like the teen part of me is running the show, she had this “aha!” moment of saying the stuck feeling between us does feel like what she feels with her teens she works with. She suggested we could do a puzzle (she has these huge wooden puzzles with like 300 peices for teens) or paint or color together because words don’t seem to work to help form a comnection when we are feeling stuck. I declined, the idea of doing something– physically doing something– makes me nervous, but a part of me really liked the idea and wanted to say yes. Instead we had a fairly quiet session, and Bea just sat with me, and remimded me that she is here, stuck or not stuck.

    Maybe trying something wihtout words– like coloring or a puzzle– will resonate with you and you can try it. Maybe not. But i felt like i had to put this out there because i know how terrible the stuck feeling is. I hope it passes soon. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Actually, I relate to this a lot. Thank you so much for sharing this with me because she did specifically SAY that the words weren’t working for us. She’s never suggested using another method in sessions and I’m not sure she would, but it might be worth investigated. And, if not, maybe it would be okay to just sit together and be present in these moments. Something to think about… xo

      Liked by 1 person

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