The Second Half

As I mentioned yesterday, the first half of my session went pretty darn well. But then at the 30 minute mark I tried to shift the conversation and BAM – instant internal chaos.

I couldn’t speak. The therapist asked me what was going on and I explained that sometimes when Parts don’t want me to speak (or are afraid of what will happen if I say certain things), they will literally take the words from my head – it’s as if they never existed at all. I told her that this is so often why I write things down. If I lose the ability to verbalize my thoughts, I can turn to the written words to guide me.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything pre-written for this session.

She told me that she gets the sense rather often that I suddenly lose my words.  She asked me to try to talk about what I was feeling. I told her that I was mostly scared and embarrassed. When she asked about the fear, I couldn’t really say what I was afraid of. I knew that I wanted to talk to her about a nightmare, but I wasn’t sure how to bring this up. The embarrassment comes from the complexities of having Dissociative Identity Disorder. I told her there was something I felt we should talk about (the dream, although I didn’t actually say that) and that although she already knows about it, I didn’t tell her.

Julia did. And I only know about that because she wrote about it in an earlier post. But I didn’t tell the therapist that either because this whole diagnosis is still hard for me to digest and seems completely silly at times. I have a feeling she sorta knew what I was alluding to, but I could be wrong.

Either way, the idea of bringing up something that a different Part had originally mentioned felt weird to me. I told the therapist that I wanted to say something, but I feared it would sound like I was making it up. She said, “Well we know that’s something you struggle with – this idea that you’re not telling the truth.”

True. But it really does feel that way. It sounds ridiculous and as though I’m trying to make excuses or cover up something. I mean, really. And even if that’s not what is happening, I still feel as though the Parts’ behavior reveals something about my own hidden desires or needs. It’s hard to explain because I don’t necessarily believe in an “original” personality.

For me, we’re all Parts of the same personality. So Julia is me and I am her. Which makes it hard to know who’s hiding what from whom. But since I am the most commonly presenting Part, it would seem as though I am the “host” or the person trying to integrate the other Parts. But that’s not really true. I am just as much an “alter” as any other Part. So I’m not trying to integrate them into me as much as working to break down barriers between us.

Still, I get the feeling that the Parts represent different aspects of me that I can’t or won’t reveal through myself. So although I don’t always even know what another Part has said or done, the implication is that their behavior is somehow reflecting my subconscious wishes.

I talked about some of this with the therapist and she responded that she could see what I was saying, but that she didn’t necessarily agree. She said that experiences are complex and there’s incredible nuance to the way I go through the world. So she doesn’t believe that other Parts are acting on behalf of my subconscious as much as that their presence may reveal something I am personally averse to being present for (and vice versa).

That made a lot of sense to me, but I still couldn’t find any words to introduce the dream. Nor could I figure out how to talk about our previous session. I wanted to explore this idea of connection and her feeling close to me, but something kept me feeling very threatened.

I’d been sitting comfortably with my shoes off, feet on the chair, knees tucked into my chest off the the side. Once I tried to change the topic, I suddenly dropped my feet, slid my shoes back on, and crossed my legs – which turned my body slightly away from her.

I wasn’t sure why I did this, but I was very aware that my body language was communicating something about how I was feeling. So I asked, “Did you notice how I just completely shifted my body language?” and she said, “Yeah, what is that about? What are you trying to say with your body language?”

I didn’t answer because I didn’t know.

But I really do want to continue our conversation about connection and I also think it’s very important to talk about this dream. I’m going to share it here to perhaps desensitize myself to it a little. It’s been nearly thee weeks since I originally had this dream, but I didn’t want to bring it up in session prior to her vacation. Here is what I jotted down in my journal the morning after:

(Trigger Warning)

Oh man, super shitty dream again. This one was about the therapist, except this time she hurt me in the dream. It took place in her actual office. Everything seemed to be oriented to the current time, except that I felt more youthful. Not “little”, just…younger. We were sitting in our respective chairs, per usual, talking about something sexual in nature. She asked me to masturbate, so I did. It somehow didn’t seem unusual to me that she’d made this request. Then I was standing to the left of my chair. She also stood up and she seemed upset about something. She walked towards me and pushed me into the corner of the room and pinned me down. She put her hands on and in my body and was saying mean things to me. I can’t remember what she said (or if I could even hear what she was saying) but I knew it was not nice. I was completely frozen. I didn’t move or say anything. I closed my eyes and the dream just ended there.

(End Trigger Warning)

So, I mean, seems important right?

This is not real. She has never hurt me and I have never once felt physically threatened by her. I do not believe she’d do such a thing to me.

Or do I?

I don’t know. I like to think I don’t, but certain Parts have a way of planting shit in my head. I think this dream was less a dream and more about thought insertion. There are Parts that feel very threatened by therapy and I think they’re trying to scare me.

did tell the therapist that I believe Parts are sending me thoughts and images to frighten me. I also told her that I thought if I could talk to her about what was scary, it would likely assuage my fears, and I don’t think those Parts want that to happen. So they hold me in this place of terror and pull my words from me so that I can’t speak about it. And that sucks because the more afraid I am, the more control they can assert over me.

All the more reason to keep trying to bring this stuff up in session. I’m incredibly worried that she will read into this dream and think terrible things about me, such as that I am perverse or sexualizing the relationship. But greater than my concern of being perceived as gross or dirty is my need to know that she will not hurt me like this, ever.

It might seem stupid, but a lot of people who were supposed to protect and take care of me did things just like this (and worse); people that were initially kind to me; people that were paid to help me; people I trusted.

She doesn’t make promises, but I need her to promise me this. Or maybe these Parts are really the ones who are afraid and they need her to make that promise?

Perhaps we all do.

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23 thoughts on “The Second Half

  1. Cat's Meow says:

    I can see both why you need to talk about that dream and why it would feel almost impossible to do so. I do think that she will be able to make the promise to not sexually attack you.

    In my case, my therapist was able to promise to never hurt me on purpose and to always be willing to work through the times when she hurts me without meaning to. As she said, we are both human and we are in a relationship that has all sorts of emotional complexity. It is inevitable that she will hurt me. Having a safe place to talk through those sorts of situations and see that the earth didn’t fall apart has been educational for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Yes, exactly. I feel very torn about it. And I agree – it is absolutely crucial that this space and this relationship feel safe in that very specific way. I know she won’t be perfect, but I need to know she would never sexually abuse or assault me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sirena says:

    That dream sounds so awful. But given your history it’s perfectly natural that you would fear that she might hurt you in the same way your care-givers did. I think she’ll totally understand your need to be reassured.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rachel says:

    I understand how scary it would feel to tell her about the dream, (and to have that horrificly disturbing dream in the first place (!) ). Even just telling my therapist I was worried she would try to have sex with me was so hard, and I didn’t have a dream to discuss. It sounds strange and obvious, but practically speaking, when she told me “I will never try to have sex with you, come on to you, or take advantage of you in any way”, the sexualizing of the relationship I was starting to do, disappeared. I’m not deluding myself that the fantasies and fears won’t return (and haven’t), but charge SIGNIFICANTLY decreased, in a way they never did with my last therapist. Because my last therapist never uttered those words. I think your therapist will handle the conversation skillfully, and I think it is completely appropriate and okay for you to ask for that reassurance. You deserve it, after the shit you’ve been through (shit being the understatement of the year). xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Thanks, Rachel. I have so little to say because you kinda nailed it, haha. But thank you for sharing this. I thought of you (and that exact conversation you had with your therapist) as I began to envision myself being able to tell her about this dream. That post gave me a lot of courage. So thank you xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rachel says:

        You are welcome, I’m glad you found some use to my post. I channelled my inner Julia yesterday in my session (that I wrote my most recent post about), and thought about some of Julia’s funny comments afterwards. Some of that humor to deflect the deep hurt is therapeutic, in my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        Yes! Absolutely! “Inner Julia” is the best thing we’ve heard (read?) in a long time. So. Awesome. Sometimes humor is the best way to push through the most difficult moments. It’s a good tool to have in your toolbox 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ambivalencegirl says:

    I would so email her about the dream. You know I have crazy bad dreams as well and I almost always share them in writing with my T and survive and somehow work it through. It’s so tiring isn’t it! And the part about losing your words…so frustrating and confusing. You aren’t alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thanks, It is so frustrating to lose the ability to speak. Good to know I’m not alone! I don’t email with this therapist, but it definitely helps me to write this stuff down and bring it into session, especially in those moments where I’m stumbling just to speak.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ambivalencegirl says:

        I forgot that you don’t email. And actually that’s a really good thing because it “forces” you to come up with IRL ways to deal with issues and feelings…frustrating? Yes but ultimately it will get you to where you need to be quicker. For me the inability to speak seems to be all trauma related as I talk up a storm at work and with friends. Therapy, well that’s another issue and I don’t get why I’m still so flipping silent after all this time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        Too true! We actually just talked about this – about how it’s so frustrating for me because it seems like a very specific situation. It’s only in therapy that I lose my words like this. And she said that it makes sense because we’re talking about very serious and painful things and I’m working on relating to myself and my past in a more emotional way, so it makes sense that I would struggle to find words to express that. And, yes, I actually really appreciate that not having access to emailing her forces me to bring that material into session and talk about it face to face. I never thought I would be able to do it, but I’ve found incredibly bravery that I didn’t even know I had.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. mm172001 says:

    I wasn’t in a place to read this trigger warning part when this post was made probably a few days ago. I just want to let you know I’ve had similar dreams and you are amazing taking that to the therapist and telling her, I just kept mine as a dirty secret.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amb says:

    You are not perverse or gross and I truly don’t believe that she will see you in that way. I think it’s really
    Important that you share the dream with her. I’m really sorry that there are parts that are afraid and are trying to scare you. It sounds really terrible. 😦 I hope that you’re able to find some
    Peace from this fear. Also, you’re not making things up. I’ve read where some people invalidated the abuse you experienced at times, but they were only trying to cover their own asses. I believe you. Sending you lots of gentle hugs, friend. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cassandco says:

    The things you write really resonate with me. I struggle with intrusive thoughts and how to interpret them. Its really brave of you to reflect on upsetting things. There are a lot of reasons why you could be having a dream like that. If the t is experienced and familiar with trauma backgrounds then she shouldn’t take it literally but see it for what it represents.

    Good job with all of this. You’re showing a lot of courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. spacey tracey says:

    Wow!! Crazy, that is just like my part called Frozen. Just so trapped inside, afraid if you speak, then all of the bad things he told you would happen, will or you will get a pillow on the face for making noise or everything will just be worse for moving….if you shut up and dont move it is over with quicker OR maybe youll get skipped over for the bad part if nobody knows you are there. I always sit or lay on the floor in my counselors office, for the first year i had to be on the floor behind a chair where she couldnt see me. But she wont let me do that now. Frozen did sit for awhile behind the counselors chair recently where she couldnt see me and i could be near her. Therapist told me she sensed intense sadness and hopelessness and she was exactly right. So, since frozen just cant talk, she sang to her mostly in spanish, she is hispanic. Frozen felt so much better. I cant believe that you get that way too. Frozen once, awhile back with a different therapist went a whole session without speaking one word and also had an accident because she couldnt speak that she needed to go. Talk about EMBARRASSING!! I just had no idea that others completely freeze as well. Sometimes therapists get mad and think you are not working. Oh, yes…therapy does suck when the therapist just doesnt get something!

    Like

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