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.
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….
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.
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…..
Posted in Alters, Coconsciousness, Dealing with Painful Memories, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Therapy, Transference
Tagged abuse, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Therapy, transference, triggers
New information is still surfacing since the big trigger a few weeks ago. In therapy last Tuesday, we talked about our apprehension about the next Group session and being in the same room with one of the group therapists (that we have transference issues with). We told our T that we are unable to stand being in the same room with the aunt that this therapist is reminding us of. T asked us how it made us feel being in the same room with the aunt…. I thought about it…imagined being in the same room with that woman. Jagged vibrations, uncomfortable shaking just beneath the skin…..the feeling that you get when you hear fingernails scraping down a chalkboard. That feeling. Then, as we explored it a little more, an image came to mind of a girl in our system that I didn’t know was there, but then again I did know she was there.
Memories are weird like that for those of us with DID. It can be quite inconvenient at times. It’s not just if an amnesiac alter is out that I don’t remember something. I could have a memory one minute of something I experienced and then someone inside snatches it away from me if the need arises. I recognized that I had this particular insider many years ago when I was looking at photos from my childhood (potentially a horrifically triggering experience – I lost 4+ hours looking at those photos. I “came-to” and found the photos spread all around me on the living room floor with no memory of the hours prior or actually looking at most of them). Anyway, I saw a photo of “me” and there was something about the picture that frightened me. I didn’t fully know what it was as it was mostly a feeling with no specifics attached. However, there was this look in the girl’s eyes. The look is difficult to describe….not exactly “haunted”, but you could tell by the look in her eyes that she has been through something horrific. This is the girl that we realized in our last therapy session is actually a part of our system. So, I kind of knew it way back when, but it didn’t sink in as I’m sure I was not ready to deal with that information.
So, now I know that this girl is connected to that aunt (and probably uncle) and also is connected to the bed/table memory. Information about the past coming to us in layers. It is fascinating how DID and recovery works. So, this next week and a half, we are focusing on having internal dialogue to try to learn whatever we can about this girl….whatever the system feels I am ready for, that is. Going to just listen and notice as our therapist often encourages us to do.
Posted in Alters, Coconsciousness, Dealing with Painful Memories, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Therapy, Transference
Tagged abuse, alters, amnesiac alters, coconsciousness, DID, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, memories, Therapy, transference
Well, went to the Group therapy session again last night. It was the first time since we went and were triggered by the bed/table that was in the room (see part 1). I was quite dismayed that the table was still there when I entered the room last night. My T had talked to one of the T’s running the group (that she knows quite well) and was under the impression that they were going to take it down before Group the next time.
I am too ill at the moment from everything to write about all that happened, but I did try to explain to the group as a whole how the trigger affected us. I had tears in my eyes for the first little while and then someone came out who hid their face and sobbed. They were out very briefly and went back inside. I regained my composure but was VERY uncomfortable. I could not look in the direction of the table/bed and sat in a rigid manner due to fear. The T whose office it was and who was the one who left the table up, tried to explain the table and energy work to me to help us feel better about the table and see the difference between it and the internal stuff going on. It did not work. I get the whole energy work thing and it isn’t remotely what has us triggered. It’s the sight of that table/bed and what it triggers in our mind. It is an unprocessed memory that until just two weeks ago I had thought was just a terrible, terrible dream. Now, I know that it wasn’t just a dream.
I felt invalidated and felt that my feelings were not important to this therapist. She mentioned about how difficult it is to take the table down before each Group session (we meet bi-weekly) and how much easier it is to leave it up. This made me feel like an inconvenience and unworthy of feeling safe in a therapeutic situation. Hell, just writing this makes us feel like shit because we feel bad talking about people like this. But, we are speaking our truth. I just don’t know how I can continue to work in that group with such a huge trigger that will leave me ungrounded. I met with my T today and developed a plan to try to resolve this with the Group Ts.
I noticed last night that we started having feelings of transference towards the T who left the table/bed up. We feel suspicious of her and fearful of her. We see her as one of our perps from long ago. The T asked if she could sit next to me last night and as much as I wanted to say NO, I could not. She sat next to us and I felt very uncomfortable and also unsafe when it came to her. I felt quite TRAPPED. The realization that we were having this transference reinforced to me that this memory has something to do with this particular perp and her husband. At the very least, I am getting some information.
Today, we have been exhausted at work and then after work we went to T. I noticed after T that the body would shake, especially the arms. I feel as if I am freezing and shaking. I also feel the older Madonna in my system very close. She dresses in all black, wears dark black eyeliner and makeup. She is quite somber. I am not sure what connections she has to all of this.
We did not sleep well last night as we dreamed all night. Thankfully I did not remember any of the dreams, but they did disrupt my sleep and so I am exhausted today. I hope we will be able to talk to these therapists and work this out before the next Group session.
Posted in Alters, Dealing with Painful Memories, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Therapy, Transference
Tagged abuse, alters, DID, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, transference
Okay, so made some realizations about myselves over the past couple of months. When the body was growing up, the mom would try to joke with me but I remember her saying that I never got her jokes. She always had to tell me that she was joking and even then I remember not really laughing or if I did it was a cautious laugh because she wasn’t ALWAYS joking and in face more often than not she wasn’t. She was abusive to us not just physically but emotionally and psychologically so I never knew if her “joke” was a real threat or insult or I dunno whatever the case may have been.
I’ve been noticing it in my daily life the past couple of months. I know it has been there most of my life, but I’m just now paying attention (or else paying attention for the upteenth time before I forget again). When I am not feeling safe for whatever reason (mostly due to the past experiences/memories hacking away at my soul and making me constantly afraid of just about everything), then when my friends and my husband try to joke with me, I don’t get that they are joking and take them seriously. This in turn causes me to feel uneasy and disliked or threatened. Then, I most likely react defensively (in a passive way cuz it feels safer), but still a way in which one could see my “fur stand up” or feel the strong nonspoken defensive energy pulsating from me which catches the other person off guard and not sure what to think or say. Then….well AWKWARD!
Lately I realize I have especially been doing this with my husband. With it being summertime and my summer crew is around with all of their complex histories of abuse that I have yet to learn about, I have noticed the defensiveness is on the RISE even more than normal. He tries to joke with me, but I take him seriously and then get pissed off at him which eventually leads to an argument. I realized today that this is due to my being on the defense in general right now and I need to realize that 99% of the time he IS only playing/joking with me. His family has this sense of humor that is picking on ya but not really….it’s kind of goofy when you get their humor.
What made me realize it and turned the light on for me happened today. We are visiting his sister and her gf and I went to the couch to get into the suitcase and was standing just in his view of the television where he was playing video games. I tried to get my stuff and go, but had to go back again and once more. Each time, he was leaning forward to see around me. The last time I was at the suitcase, I told him, “yanno, you could go sit on the other couch from which you will be able to see plenty well”. He did move and said something to the effect that I could get into the suitcase somewhere else, too, instead of right in his way cuz yanno it’s “mobile”. Now, coming from any other guy I would get pissed and I did get pissed at hubby when he said it and told him that he was being inconsiderate to which he didn’t respond (I think his feelings were hurt that I didn’t get that he was playing)…. I took a breather for a few minutes and replayed what had happened in my mind. His tone of speech, gestures, facial expressions, and I realized he was just playing with us. He certainly wasn’t serious! To verify my conclusion, I asked him about it and he nodded solemnly affirming that yes he was just playing with me.
I felt so bad because I didn’t realize it, but why would he have ANY reason to be cruel like that to me when he has NEVER been cruel to me. That made me realize that I’m dealing with transference. We made up and I told him of the struggle I was having with jokes and feeling defensive and not always getting them, but I realize now more than ever that he is NOT the enemy and NOT out to hurt me or demean me. I asked him if he would help me realize when he was joking if I was unable to discern it and he said he would. I definitely think this will help in our marriage. Now, if I can figure out how to not let it effect my relationships with other folks I’ll be doing super!