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:
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.
I 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.