So yesterday in therapy we talked about the darkness and the light. We talked about how life has both, needs both, to balance the other out. The reason we were talking about this is because I have been in a bit of a lull. A period of calm you might say. With the exception of feeling a little melancholy here and there I’ve had mostly good days.
I’ve written about this before in a slightly different context. It is in these times that I find I can’t enjoy myself too much. I can’t relax too much. To let my guard down that way would be dangerous and ill advised. It is hard to accept that things are okay without feeling that the other shoe could drop at any moment. Of course, this all fits in with the PTSD and so, is somewhat inherently part of my makeup. But what my therapist would like me to try and realize is that I don’t need to waste the okay times anticipating the bad. The bad will come eventually whether I am prepared for it or not. So why not just relax and basque in the glow of happiness without judgement?
That’s where the DBT skills come into play as well. Being mindful, present, doing one thing in the moment. Filling up my time with pleasurable activities and being mindful of what exactly this emotion is. I guess I truly am learning a few things in DBT. I still don’t believe it’s the be all and end all that some chalk it up to being but it does have some useful ideas. I guess really I’m a fan of anything I can do to keep out of the hospital.
I know that many, if not most DID people have been in and out of the hospital at least a couple of times. I’ve been close to being admitted a couple of times myself but in those moments of evaluation I was able to pull it together enough to receive outpatient care instead. Being put in the hospital terrifies me. I don’t know that I would even stabilize me in a time of need or if it would just scare me to death. So I hope to avoid that eventuality at all costs. Perhaps this fear even keeps me from reaching full healing potential. For if I dig too deep I risk destabilizing and leave myself vulnerable to the need for intervention. Unacceptable. Maybe one of you can explain to me what happens in the hospital to take the mystery out of it for me. Fearing the unknown is a huge issue in my life
Fear in any form has been a huge issue in my life. What to do about that? What to do?
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.
So I’m supposed to be learning how to sit with my feelings., You know, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, all that jazz. My therapist explained to me after I told her that I tried sitting with my feelings and felt stupid, that I am the opposite of most others in the DBT group. She does not know this for certain, she is basing her opinion of averages. A lot of people go into a group like this because they can’t contain themselves, can’t contain their sadness, their anger, their rage. My problem is that I’m too controlled. I’m bottled up so tightly that the second I start to feel something I run for the hills. I don’t really feel comfortable with sadness and I certainly don’t do anger.
However, through my healing journey, that’s what people call it right? Through this journey I’ve discovered that others contain these feelings for me. I’ve decided that it isn’t really fair that my insiders have to carry that shit all the time. God knows I would hate it. And they are part of me, so I can only imagine they hate it too. A topic for inner discussion one of these days.
I’m learning more and more about how to have these discussions with the insiders. Not everyone is willing to participate yet but you can tell there is some curiosity there. Shhh… don’t tell them I said that. Ha! As if I could hide it.
Anyway, here I am…. sitting…. with no feelings. Weird.