The Poem

The body  of a child,

Defiled.

Ripped, torn and beaten.

You think it was

So mild.

Tripped, worn and eaten

Up, like dinner

Served to the winner.

Prized, praised, pretty and primped.

Lies, laid, little and limp.

Promised, plied, played and pimped.

That child,

Defiled.

Taste the bile,

 All the while,

Stick to your style

You vile

Piece of shit.

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Musings at the Laundromat

               

 I’m sitting and watching the snow reduce itself to a massive watery mess at the curbside.  The sun is slanted sideways through the evening sky shining directly upon my face through the dusty window.  I feel the warmth of that solar power warm my skin.  It helps to keep my bitter coffee from cooling down as its aroma fills my lungs.  I feel a longing inside.

                The song I hear, speaking words of loss and loneliness.  I wonder what the days ahead hold in store for me.  A bag sits in front of me made of the recycled bits of our past.  That plastic pill holder you threw out, the casing of a syringe from the pharmacy, the bottle of booze in the gutter.  Is that what went into the making of this bag?  I think maybe we’re all made of recycled bits of our parents.  Enmeshed, mingled, molded into something new and perhaps not so different.  After going through the crushing and grinding, heating, cleansing we are then spit out in our current shape.  Or maybe we’re quite different in our new shiny form.  We were made for an alternate purpose, mistakenly placed amidst the hell that we suffered.  Yes that’s it.  It must have been some universal glitch.  Surely it wasn’t meant to be this way.  For whatever a believer believes in, a divinity of such cruelty should not be allowed to exist.

D.I.D. Specialist

So I received some news this past week that I haven’t shared yet.  My therapist tried contacting a colleague of hers to see if she had any experience treating someone with DID.  Her colleague did not but pointed out that there is a new psychiatrist in town that specializes in trauma.  My therapist just happens to have other clients that go to this psychiatrist so she felt comfortable enough contacting her about me, minus the revealing details of course.  IT turns out that the new psychiatrist worked in a large city and was involved in a women’s program that dealt extensively with trauma which inevitably included patients with DID.  Imagine that! A psychiatrist in our little city with such experience.  It’s like winning the lottery in a way.  My therapist was glad to find this out so she set up a referral for me.  The new psychiatrist has agreed to do a consultation to see if she’d be willing to take me on as a full-time client.  She is now in private practice which allows her to be selective about her caseload giving her more control over her schedule.  I understand this.  I just find it quite miraculous that I’ve finally found someone who has seen this disorder before.

My current therapist is a social worker with 20 years under her belt dealing with all manner of things.  She understands trauma and has been really good for me so far.  The new psychiatrist indicated that she would only consider taking me on if I was fairly stable and had a good sense of grounding and being present.  So my current therapist and I are working on making sure I have the grounding down pat.  As we went through a few techniques together I was actually surprised at how much I knew already.  Of course knowing it intellectually and putting it into practice are two totally different things.

Anyway, I’m very excited about this new development.  It will likely take a couple of months to get the actual appointment but that’s better than the years I waited for my current treatment.  I’m so very thankful for my current therapist.  If you are reading this… please know that.

Until next time,

ppp

Manipulation… Good or Bad?

So we’re talking about interpersonal effectiveness in group right now.  Two long words to describe how to get what you need and want.  Or conversely you can describe it as how to say no to what you don’t need or don’t want.  Other words you can use are how to manipulate a situation to your best advantage. 

The facilitator of my group said that manipulate doesn’t have to be a bad word.  I had a hard time swallowing that at first.  But then I looked at it another way.  I guess in a manner of speaking we are manipulating the world around us all the time.  Scheduling what we’ll do when, who we’ll see, who we won’t.  We work towards gaining the things we want, plan what to get rid of or ignore.  All of these things are a kind of manipulation.  I think when it becomes a bad word is if you are subversive about it, or hurtful and deceitful

We all maneuver through our lives.  Some of us are very skillful.  We’ve learned highly adaptive ways of dealing with the world while others of us have not been so fortunate.  The fact that the brain can be changed, molded and in some cases stunted leaves us all vulnerable.  An abused person develops completely different from a non-abused person.  A loved person has certain advantages over an unloved person.  That is not to say that we can’t overcome obstacles planted in our way.  In fact it means quite the opposite.  We can train or manipulate our brain chemistry by learning and practicing a new way of being. We can work hard at finding different ways to handle the trials of our lives.  We can adjust our course, choose a new journey, and seek a smoother path.  The best thing to do is find support, find information, and find all of the things you need to accomplish whatever goals you set for yourselves.  Manipulate the world around you in an honest, gentle way and be kind to yourself.

So manipulate away.  It’s not such a bad word after all.

Do You Know What Kind of Therapy You’re In?

So let’s talk therapy.  There are so many different kinds of therapy.  Different theories, different modes, different styles.  How many different kind of therapy do you think you’ve been exposed to?  I’m trying to remember.  There’s been individual counselling as well as a few couple sessions.  I’ve done several different types of group therapy.  I’ve done online chatting both individually and as a group.  I’ve also done forums and of course this blog I would also consider therapy, albeit self-directed.

I’ve been taught CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy).  I’ve had one counsellor that described her style as coming from a feminist perspective, another as a family systems theorist.  There’s client centered healing, oh  and my latest read was based on a Janetian theory which pays much attention to hierarchies of action systems.  There are many things you do in therapy like processing memories and learning practical skills.  There are countless theories and approaches.

I look at this and I think, “I should be the healthiest person around!”  There are a thousand types of therapy I’ve not been exposed to as well.  Do you know what theories your therapist is partial to?  Do you think yo have the right to know?  when I was younger it didn’t even occur to me to ask.  When I was moving to escape the bad guys I did ask that therapist what her main perspective came from so that I could tell any future therapist what I had worked with in the past.  Then I read this article by Kathy Broady and she talks about her approach at great length with her clients.

I have a great deal of respect for Kathy.  I discovered Discussing Dissociation when I was without a therapist after i moved.  i found all of the articles so informative and so in tune with what my experiences were.  Kathy is very knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to DID.  I know there has been some controversy out there about her but from my own personal experience, she’s been great.  A life saver even.

Anyway, I just wanted to p[ut these few questions out to see where you all stand.  Do you know what theories your therapist ascribes to?  Do you have a particular approach you feel you respond to better than others?  For any therapist out there, do you feel you are flexible as to what theory you use according to what client or do you stay rigidly within one or two?  Let me know what you’re thinking.

It’s Time

So I had therapy yesterday. It was a good session. We actually laughed quite a bit. We talked about all the skills I’ve learned with a focus on distress tolerance. I’m coming to the end of my group. I will have been through all the modules when we finish this current one. My therapist asked me if there were any skills I thought I needed more work on. I said of course, there’s always room for more learning. So I’ve decided to go through group for a second time. It’ll be a reason to get out of the house if nothing else.

Then we got serious. My therapist said “I don’t know your whole story and I haven’t been pushing it because it wasn’t the most important thing.” She said she’ll let me make the decisions on how I want to tell her, what I want to tell her, and how much I want to tell at a time. So it’s time.

I think I’m ready. I think I’m going to start from the beginning and just spill out all the parts that I know. I think I’m going to be okay with doing this. Maybe I’ll show her some old journal entries where I talk about memories and that way I won’t have to say it or write it down again. Then there is the point that maybe if I write it down again it will help to process it more.

What do you guys think? Do you have a particular way that you’ve found helpful or easier maybe, to talk about the memories you do have? Let me know what your thoughts are.

Do you believe you were meant to suffer?

“Things are not what they seem.”

This is a triggery phrase for me. I didn’t realize how triggery until yesterday. I was watching a show on TV when one of the characters pronounced this line. It’s important to note that it’s a little different than what people normally say. The usual line is “Things are not always what they seem.” A one word difference. By removing the word ‘always’ the sentence becomes a statement of fact rather than a philosophical pondering.

Let me explain what this trigger is about. For yes, I do actually know what hides behind this one. I was talking to my therapist back in hometown about high school one day. Just sort of random memories, what it was like what I was like, how those years affected me etc. I mentioned a specific teacher and suddenly remembered a conversation we had when he pulled me aside after class one day. It seems he knew I was having great difficulties with a court case that was happening against one of my perpetrators. (Another teacher from elementary school was prosecuted for one incident that I, me, myself remembered) Anyway, my high school teacher told me as sort of an afterthought to this conversation, as if hesitant that things are not what they seem. I had no idea what he was trying to tell my little teenage brain. I thought maybe he was just trying to convey some conventional wisdom about life in general.

However… saying that phrase years later in therapy awakened a strange sensation. Almost a knowing inside. I discovered that this teacher was likely trying to tell me that my life was a little more complicated than I realized. I believe now that the teacher knew there was something more going on with me. Now whether he was on the side of dark or light, or merely a bystander, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps he was on dark and then saw the light, I don’t know. What I do know was that his message was to obscure for it to trickle down to where it needed to go. He told me something that day that would not come to fully realized until 15 years later.

I wonder what life would have looked like had I seen then what was actually happening to me. But wisdom tells me that I was not meant to know until I knew. Life unfolds as it should. Do I really believe that? I think maybe I do. Even if it leaves a sour, bitter mix of poison in my gut. Do you believe you were meant to suffer? Do you believe you were meant to be tested? Were you worthy enough to survive? You did survive, so maybe yes?