Summer Crew and a DID Dream


My summer has been super busy, not busy at all, boring, exciting, a whirlwind. That statement makes sense when you realize it was written with someone who has DID and it’s the feelings of many “alters” inside.  The summer crew is still quite a mystery to me. For those just tuning in, my DID system is kind of divided into two systems. We have one that is our for part of Spring and then all of the Summertime. Then, we have the other group which I know a lot more about that is out during the Fall and Winter.  Oh and we have a few that go between both systems. We had a little bit more functional summer this year I believe because we had some parts from the Fall system stick around here and there to help keep things running smoothly. In the summertime, our schedule goes out the window. We don’t work summers and so therefore the summer crew has very little grasp on how to keep up with things like housework, meals, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. So, this summer they have had a little help with that. Still, it’s really hard because we don’t know the summer parts very well if at all. There are lots of them and they are like a blur when they run out to be in charge of the body and when they blur back in again. There is a LOT less communication in the summer crew compared to the Fall crew.

I did have an interesting dream a few nights ago. It is one of those that I recognize now as a “DID dream”. I dreamt that I was laying on my bed and at the far end of the room there were stairs leading up to the attic (it’s not really my room, but was in my dream). I remember in the dream being afraid of going up there, but I heard noises and was afraid someone was in the house. I remembered one time that my best friend went up there with me and helped me not to be so afraid of it. (Interesting cuz she was the one who was with us when we were diagnosed back in ’94 and has been so supportive).  Then, one by one, a pre-teen girl would slip down the stairs where I could see them. I was afraid at first but then I ran to them and asked them why they were in my attic. They didn’t answer. I told them that I would not tell their parents they were in my house without permission if they explained to me what was wrong. One girl started to cry at the mention of telling her parents. Started out there were 3, then, 4, then 5 girls. After a while, even more girls around the same age started coming down the stairs to let me know they were there.

So I think insiders are starting to reveal themselves to me slowly in their time. I remember one girl who really struck me, she had the prettiest strawberry hair.

Several years ago back early in my diagnosis, I would often have a dream of girls coming into my house while I was asleep or not there or whatever. The dream felt so real that in remembering it I had to really think if it really happened or not. It was a dream, but I see it as my insiders starting to reveal themselves to me. Dreams have always been a big part of how my system communicates with me.

The Summer Crew is back!!


I drove home from our DID support group tonight with mixed feelings. It was said tonight that the group will take a break for the summertime until they can find more people interested in joining. We are greatly saddened as our summer crew is getting in full swing again and feel we are going to greatly miss out. This was our (summer crew’s) third group since coming back and we felt most comfortable in sharing and relating to the other group members tonight. We are going to feel such a loss once group is (temporarily) over after the next meeting. We drove home with the radio blaring filling our ears and head with loud rock music. It feels a bit unfair. We are here now and excited to be able to interact with other multiples in real life, but now the group will be discontinued. It is only temporary, yes, but when it reconvenes we will likely be back inside for the fall/winter months. After expressing our concerns, the Ts in charge talked about trying to meet maybe once a month over the summer months. Well, at least that is something, anyway, and I am thankful for whatever we can get  :)

And thinking positively, this will give us a chance to work more intensely with our therapist. While we were participating in the group, we were just not able to afford seeing our T every week and be able to pay for Group, also. We heard from our T today and she is going to see about getting on our in-network list of therapists with our insurance. This will help SOOOO MUCH. So, we could possibly have been able to do T and group at the same time. I guess in the long run this will be better as we will be able to catch up on our account with T as well as do some consistent work with her while group is out. Just going to miss interacting with others like us in 3D life very much.

We have really missed being here at Myriad Musings and being able to interact with fellow DIDers and other bloggers. Our system went through a time when we were not getting online much at all and definitely didn’t blog. I am glad to say that time has passed. We are back! An update on my dad, he has finished his radiation treatment and soon will complete the chemo and will have another pet scan to see how the treatments have been working. We are hoping and praying for the best. Will keep all posted.

Our job will be competed for the summer next Friday. Friday!! Fridayyyy!!! I can’t wait! We already have plans to hit happy hour next Thursday and Friday with friends and coworkers. Woohoo!! Time to celebrate!! It’s been a long and tough year. We are already making plans on what color to dye the hair. We’re thinking about dying the tips of the hair bright pink. Other than that, not sure  :)  We are wanting punk wild colors!!  :)  Will see what the system compromises on though, later on  :)

Well, my friends, this is us signing off for now. Will see you again very soon!

Session Tonight


I wish I could say that we were able to talk about the transference and our journey since the triggers in group over a month ago tonight. Truth is, once we got there we found it difficult to remember to breathe and were spaced a lot. It wasn’t a triggered out spacing out but just not able to ground and focus. Parts occasionally wanted to talk and did, but other parts who wanted to talk were too scared to. We feel awkward around the T that we have transference with………….  :(    We did miss the group members very much, though.

Group is tonight


We have Group tonight for the first time in a month. It will be the first time we will be there after the T knows we are having transference with her and the aunt. We feel somewhat distanced from that, though, as of right now which is probably because we missed the last group and so it’s been one month since we’ve seen them. Anyway, be thinking of us and we will write after Group to let everyone know how it goes and if we were brave enough to talk about the transference and stuff in Group.

Terror: another layer of memory


I am placing a TRIGGER WARNING here. While there are no details of a specific memory, there is talk of strong emotion/sensation relating to abuse. Only read if you are feeling safe and able to. Thanks.

If you’ve been reading our blog, then you know we have been having many symbolic dreams lately. It seems a layer of memory(ies) is trying to break through. I dreamt that I was a very small child lying on a bed curled up in the fetal position sleeping. I felt this impending terror. I KNEW something was coming and then whatever it was – this invisible force – pulled me off the bed and downwards. I woke crying out, terrified. I feel like it is connected to a memory and it doesn’t surprise me that the person who took me from the bed was invisible. I am sure it means that the system knows we are not ready for that much information at once. Thing is, I have several memories where I have the knowledge of what happened but nothing else, and in none of those was I taken from the bed. This kinda scares me even though I have always known there was more that I hadn’t retained the knowledge of.

I have the recent and then the recurring dreams where terror is the main element. The terror is, to no surprise, connected to the beds and also to certain rooms in buildings or houses. In the recurring dreams of the house that was “haunted”, I was terrified to go to certain parts of the house, in particularly one entire floor. In part, I believe that the dreams are symbolic of how I relate to the memories. Like how I would try to make myself climb the stairs to the “haunted floor”, terror would build the higher I would climb until I would be so terrified that I would turn and run back downstairs. I also, obviously, recognize the terror as a layer of memory that is very real and was experienced at one time in my life on a daily basis.

Another possibility that I am aware of is that the house in the recurring dream may be a part of our internal world. Maybe a house where memories are stored. This is something that I am not positive of, but it feels quite possible.

The BASK Model of Dissociation


Memories can come in layers as I am coming to learn all too well. I used to think that as the alters felt I was ready, they would share the memories in chunks or events as many as was needed for me to fully recover. Now, I’m seeing it’s not nearly that simple. I always knew that we were fragmented to the degree that the emotions were separated into different alters. What I didn’t realize fully was that emotions from each event can be stored in certain alters. As well as body sensations that come forward in the form of body memories that we get all too often and don’t know what they are connected to. In my most recent session with T, we were reminded of the BASK model of dissociation. BASK stands for Behavior, Affect, Sensation, and Knowledge. So, memories can be dissociated into those categories:

  • Behavior: the actions that occurred/what happened
  • Affect: The emotions associated with the event
  • Sensation: the sensations that the body feels/body memories
  • Knowledge: the meaning

I have some memories that are of the Behavior/Actions. I can rattle them off to my T one by one as if it were me talking about someone else. I guess, in many ways it is someone else. Then, I have been having sensation/body memories for years. Those suck because you FEEL the things that the body felt during a particular memory, but you have no freaking idea what happened. I have had the Affect part of it, too, as in my emotions have always been like a roller coaster ride. I would cry at the drop of a hat, or get angry – much more angry than whatever the current event called for, and fear – so much fear about everything. All the feelings are coming from parts of my system that were created to hold them. And lately, terror has begun to surface on a more real level for me. I will blog about another recent dream I had tomorrow. Until then, stay tuned. . . .

Frankie & Alice: NEW movie on DID!!


Hey, have you heard? Halle Berry stars as a woman who has DID in the 70’s (so I imagine it was called MPD or something else back then). It is based on a true story of a woman’s life. The woman is still alive today and living a functional life with her alters, has a family, and is a teacher. We think it will be really good! Currently it is showing in theaters in LA and New York, but will be out everywhere else in February 2011!! We can’t wait! Finally a movie where the DID person isn’t a murderer or something terrible, huh?

Nightmares and More Symbolism


I apologize for not writing lately. We had a couple of really good days in the last week. The rest of it was either struggling with emotions just under the surface, nightmares, or oh yeah dropping something really heavy onto my foot. Went to the ER and it’s not broken, just badly bruised and swollen.

Before writing about the recent nightmares, I should update about the Group. My sister was able to come through town to see me but could only stay for a few hours. And yes it just so happened to occur at the exact time that my Group was. So, I had to miss it which was probably a relief to some of our parts, but many of us were quite disappointed cuz we wanted to work through the transference issues and all so we could move forward. Still, the visit with our sister was very much needed as we had been feeling very depressed. I only see her maybe once a year and the rest of the family I see even less. So, it was a very, very nice visit.

The past few nights have been especially bad with the nightmares. One that just recently came to mind was of being in a haunted house of sorts. I was in my Aunt M’s house and in it, all of her furniture (the beds mostly) were “haunted”. It’s interesting as I type this out and see the symbolism. I would try to sleep but was so afraid of the “ghosts” that were going to come and get me. I would try sleeping in a different bed, but the same unseen source of terror was there. I woke several times during the night terrified, unable to recognize where I was or how old I was. In the dream, Aunt M’s house was large and had a lot of old furniture in it. Everything seemed to loom over my small frame.

I have had dreams many times in the past of haunted houses. One that has been a recurring dream over the years is about this house that was several stories high. The top floor was always riddled with spirits of the unkind variety. I would try to go up there (in these dreams I am an adult……most of the time) because my best friend and I had just moved in and I wanted to make use of all the space. Often times I wouldn’t even make it all the way up the stairs before terror would grip me and I would run back down again often times screaming. Sometimes, I would make it to that top floor. I remember once that it was mostly bedrooms on that floor. I remember vaguely something about a fancy red blanket on one of the beds. It’s one of the shades of red that are triggering to me. The whole room actually now that I think about it had shades of red in it. Another time I had this dream and I made it all the way to the top floor, it was mostly dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I could FEEL all the sheer blinding terror. I ran back down the stairs swearing that I would not ever use the top floor of the house.

It still amazes me as I finally bring myself to write about something that to me seemed to be quite scary but “surely didn’t mean anything” only to realize that it was full of symbolism. The symbolism of the childhood and what those beds really were “haunted” with were the bad things that the bad people did to me/us there.

A Natural at Reading Faces


We were watching Lie to Me the other day and the end of this episode really jumped out at me. I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Lie To Me  Season 1 Episode 5 “Unchained”

Lightman: When someone bashes you around who’s twice your size just whenever he feels like it, you learn to read emotions pretty fast. We adapt to survive. Your abuse made you a natural. He made you what you are.

Torres: Well, I’ll be sure to thank him.

This case in this episode was difficult for Torres because they were dealing with a violent criminal to see if he had changed from his violent ways. Torres had a history of violent abuse so this was especially a tough one for her. I liked what Lightman says to her in the end of the episode.

Lightman: When someone bashes you around who’s twice your size just whenever he feels like it, you learn to read emotions pretty fast. We adapt to survive. Your abuse made you a natural. He made you what you are.”

She is referred to as a natural at reading faces and expressions. I have always believed that those of us who have been through traumas as those with DID have, we learn very early on how to anticipate our abusers next move based on facial expressions among other things. We also learn to “predict” what is going on based on the energy in the room or surrounding an individual. Imagine going to a concert or to a dance club. Upon entering you can feel all that upbeat energy and you know people (most people) are having a really good time. Now imagine entering a home of someone who just lost a loved one. Still feel energy, just this time it is one of sadness and grief. Those of us who have gone through traumatic childhoods especially from a very early age are that much more in tune to the energies surrounding someone.

My best friend used to get annoyed because I could tell what was going on with her even without her saying anything about it to me. I could see it in her face and if she was hiding it well enough, I could still FEEL it in the air around her. It kind of makes me smile when on the show Lie to Me people get irritated at being read so well because I remember my friend and how much it annoyed her. I didn’t do it on purpose, it was just a naturally acquired gift on my part. It was important for our survival living in a family where you didn’t know when or where the next blow or advance was going to come. The need to be hyper-vigilant and hypersensitive to our surroundings was imperative.






Letter to the Group T


In preparation for the Group therapy session on Tuesday, we are writing one of those letters that you don’t actually send to the therapist that we have transference with. We may share parts of the letter with her in the group session. It just depends on how brave we are feeling….

Dear C,

While working on the whole bed/table trigger in therapy, we have come to realize how incredibly triggered we were on many levels. Initially, it was the bed/table trigger and how it triggered the memory of a traumatic event that I still have yet to get a grasp on. Then, it became so much more. When we arrived that second session with the table up, a flood of feelings came up for us. It was initially just you and us and the bed/table. I think this was the beginning of our struggle with transference. You asked if you could “introduce” me to the table and your good work that you do with it. You emphasized how the table was being used for only good and positive things. I understand logically why you did that. You wanted to try to help me separate the bad memory with the current reality of what is. If this had been a memory that I have already processed in therapy, then that might have helped. As it was, I was trapped in the trigger of the memory that was currently mostly feelings of fear. I began floating from the moment I stepped into the room and realized that we were alone in the room with you (who we began to see as our Aunt L) and the bed/table. You asked us to come closer to the bed/table and we did, though most of us had scrambled deep inside so as to not feel the awful fear that comes when near the trigger. We began to transfer the Aunt onto you and saw it as the Aunt asking us to come closer to the bed/table. We became compliant and nodded when you asked us something because we just wanted to get through it. Next, you asked us where we would like to sit. The way the room was set up, the only choices we had were to sit where we would see the table throughout the group session or sit right next to the table facing away. We could not bear either, so we sat at the side and could not look that direction the whole session. Then, you asked if it was okay to sit next to us. It was a good question to ask someone who is struggling, but we were not in the place to say no. We were stuck in the memory and in being compliant as we had to be with the perps so we said “yes”. I was angry with myselves after this because I felt we were too weak to say “no”. However, we were able to say no when the other T asked if we would be okay with you touching us in reassurance. This was a huge accomplishment for us considering everything we were going through internally. I seem to recall a little one coming out briefly and I remember hearing her sob. It was very real, too real, and we pushed her inside due to not feeling safe.

We were confused as to why you would leave it up after learning what a terrible trigger it was for us. We felt unworthy of anyone caring about what we are struggling with. We noticed that the candles that had been lit the week before were not out as they had bothered some group members.  Candles do not bother us as we love them, however we understood completely why you would not bring them out due to how it affected the other group members. Yet…..the thing that was even more than just a little bothersome and upsetting to us was left up. This made a big impact on us as it sent the message that we were not as important or worthy as the other group members are.

The other T talked to us on the phone that week and told us of a couple of options that you guys had come up with to manage this situation. The first idea was that when we arrived at Group, the members and therapists would help in disassembling the bed/table at the start of session. I could join if I felt okay to or if not it was okay. This would only make it much worse for me, adding to the initial trigger and transference, feelings of causing problems in the group. You see, we don’t want to be the center of attention and we definitely don’t want to be a bother to others. We feel that this would be taking time away from the other group members who also pay to be there. We also worry that there will be resentment among other group members. This group is for all of us and to have the other members all do something specifically for us would send us plunging into despair for fear of burdening others.  It was totally not going to be okay with us. The other Group T said that was not your goal and that you both had hoped that this would send us the message that you all care about us. I told her that we wouldn’t receive the message that way at all. We don’t want to take more than others take from group. Even when our T talked to us about the possibility of sharing this letter with you during group, we were uncomfortable as we didn’t want to take away from the other group members’ time. K reminded me that the group was also for me and that my sharing with you about the transference stuff could be helpful for other members to witness.

The second idea was much more doable and one that we were going to suggest ourselves as we did not want to be any more of a burden than necessary. The second idea was to set up a screen so that we would not have to see the bed/table. We feel now that we are not worthy of you taking down the bed/table for whatever reason and that is okay with us as it is not anything we would have expected normally. We only said something because it was a therapy setting and we felt more comfortable asking for something there than we would anywhere else. I imagine it is too much trouble for you to take it down only to have to set it up again for the next day’s clients. My usual response to this situation would be to “grin and bear it” because I do not want to cause anyone trouble and I definitely do not feel okay asking someone to do anything for me. I realize as I write this that it may sound manipulative, but that is not my intent. My intent is to be as honest as possible about the thoughts and feelings that go on inside regarding this situation. We are okay with the screen idea as it is a great compromise on the subject. Still, I felt like I should mention the reactions I was feeling from insiders regarding feeling unworthy, etc.

Sincerely,

Cetcetera

As we wrote this last part, I was reminded of how we went our whole life without telling anyone about the abuse until I was in my 20’s and went to therapy. I remembered that one of my main reasons for not telling any family was because I didn’t feel like my father could handle the news that I was abused by the uncle. I preferred to “grin and bear it” and endure it alone than my father be hurt by the knowledge of what I went through. This is how much we don’t like to burden others.

We do appreciate any feedback on our letter. As we wrote it, I definitely did not feel okay with sharing it with this T as I am worried it might sound bad/negative. She is a good lady and therapist and we don’t want to make her feel defensive or hurt…..also don’t want to sound petty or anything…..