The Direction of Therapy

My therapist and I spent an entire session going over therapy expectations. Let me go back to three years ago. I had been seeing a psychiatrist who my parts transferred with. They thought of her as a mother figure. She went over their art and had seen them for six years. She left to take a position as a consultant and would no longer be seeing patients.

Now, apparently that is not how therapy with someone who has DID is done. The entire person is looked at as an adult, even though most of their parts can be kids. Not that I want anyone getting down on the floor to play. My younger parts like to draw and have stopped because they did not think that they or their drawings were wanted in therapy.

My therapist states that he wants to know all of us. I am not sure how that is going to happen. Then him and my psychiatrist spoke about how even the hospital does not help me anymore. I just get out and continue the same way. So apparently I will not be going into the hospital any longer. It makes me feel like my illness is hopeless. That the events in my life have taken over my future. If I even have much of a future??

Luckily, I can come home to the cats and my husband who do not see me as screwed up or damaged. They just see me for who I am. Right now, I will take that win and continue to deal with the therapist.

How a Diamond Painting and My Cats Are Saving Me

Two cats. They would be all alone during the day if I was not here. I feed them and am able to play with the kitten. Both cats like to lay on my lap which decreases my anxiety.

Diamond paintings make me focus on what diamonds go with what symbols. I am able to get paintings that are what I cannot draw. Doing a little each night with a cat laying by my side creates a sense of accomplishment. In fact, I realized last night that I am halfway through the canvas that I am working on.

So the cats are there to calm me and support me during the day and the diamond paintings make me feel like I am getting something done.

I Think I Scared the Resident

I went to the new doctor yesterday. I think that she thought it would be an easy appointment. It was anything but easy. She saw all of the evidence of my self harm and of course the typical questions followed. I told her the truth and said that I have had a plan since I was around 10 years old.

Why aren’t doctors taught about patients who have experienced trauma? Instead they are put into situations where they are overwhelmed by the patient. Not only do I have a list of diagnoses, i also have a lot of medical issues. The doctor did not seem to know where to start.

Tests were ordered and I have to return in a couple of months. I am glad the doctor is being careful, yet I am scared that the doctor is in over her head. Maybe she will turn out to be one of the best doctors that I have had, if not at least she will gain some experience.

On another front, therapy is not going well. My parts do not feel heard or even like they have a place in therapy. We have had one doctor who could handle us and she is gone. At least she acknowledged that multiple parts could experience an event completely differently. Right now we feel unheard. We feel like the therapist is trying to sweep us away instead of making us part of the therapy. We are hopeless that things will change at this point and are considering options where we may have a chance to participate.

Right now, we are lost. We do not belong anywhere except for hidden on the inside. We have had to many years of that to keep doing it, it does not work and eventually leads to self harm as a way of expressing that those parts are there. We are hoping that something gets resolved soon.

A New Doctor

Moving meant a lot of things. Some good, like getting away from my abusers and where I was abused. Some others, I am still wondering. For example, I fear finding new places, yet every trip is new.

Tomorrow, I am going to see a new general practitioner. I hope that they treat me like other patients. I hope that they are not like other doctors who see my psychiatric medications and focus on my mental illness.

Hopefully, the visit will go well and the doctor will focus on my physical health. One positive is that the new doctor is only 10 minutes away. What will he think of me? Will he be able to look past the mental illness?

Most of all I am nervous about how I will be treated. Maybe everything will go well and I will not be treated like the latest science experiment.

Inescapable Thoughts **May Trigger**

Why can’t I just get through all of these memories. My therapist says that talking about them will lesson their strength, yet I have not experienced that. Often I find myself thinking about what went on in the past. Sometimes something reminds me of a memory.

Self-harm is not a solution, yet it seems to help decrease the severity of feeling helpless. When I think of my kids and my husband I feel lucky. When I think of where I am at in my life I feel horrible. The physical illness that prevented me from finishing nursing school is much easier to take then the social workers who did not accept me due to my PTSD.

How many times can I start over and try again?

Then there are the reminders about what has happened to me. Dates of the year, smells, or even the way that a stranger may look. It is like I cannot get a break even if I want too. Thoughts of how isolated my parents kept me along with their cruel punishments still paralyze me into staying in the house where it is safe.

The thoughts also turn to nightmares and daydreams where I cannot figure out if I am still asleep or awake. Intrusive thoughts take over and I think of how to stop them. It is not a good path to be on.

Staying Away Does Not Work

I try to stay out of politics. Even after taking a political science class, I did not start to join groups or go out and lobby.

Now, I can no longer ignore how the shutdown is affecting those around me. I see people who work for the government and live paycheck to paycheck. These same people are trying to negotiate with their mortgage company to be able to stay in their house.

In other housing issues. Section 8 could be stopped. How many people are going to lose their housing. SNAP and other assistance programs will stop. How are those in the most need supposed to get food and other necessities?

These are only some of the many trickle down effects of the shutdown. To me, we are living under a terrorist who is using his position to manipulate others into giving in. He is not thinking about what his choices are doing to those Americans who want to work and now cannot because of him. He wanted to “make America great again”. He is making things worse for everyone.

I feel that this shutdown could have so many unintended consequences and create an even larger divide in our society than is already there. Hopefully, Americans can come together at this time an support each other even if only it is a small gesture.

How My Mental Illness Affected People’s Perceptions

My first taste of how my mental illness would impact me was when my ex took all of the money out of a bank account during one of my hospitalizations. After that I had to ask to use the bank card any time I needed gas or something for the kids.

After that was my divorce. I was not able to afford an attorney and wound up with visitation of the kids that I had stayed at home with for six years. I was told I was lucky to get that.

Luckily, I found NAMI where I was able to meet other people with mental illnesses. I was also able to tell my story to audiences that included future law enforcement, students, and peers. At that point there were some great questions and I felt accepted.

After a lot of back and forth, pros and cons, and discussion, I applied for admission to a Masters program in Social Work and was accepted. I used my experiences in the mental heath system as part of my entrance essay. For my field placement, I also used my experiences. Come to find out, my competency to become a Social Worker was questioned before I had set foot in my placement. My field instructor pointed out that I was to traumatized to be in the field after only two days and I was told to leave the placement after only three days.

I was hurt beyond repair. Here were people that were supposed to be empathetic telling me that I could not do this. They did not even give me a chance. If those people did not accept me, I began to wonder who would.

I did not choose to have a mental illness. No one does. However, once people know that I have a mental illness, it is assumed that I cannot do the task at hand.

To this day, I still want to be a social worker and assist people with obtaining g resources and counseling to get them back to where they want to be to reach their goals. The one huge roadblock is my diagnosis and knowledge of how it feels to be a patient in the hospital. Reaching out for a social workers help for myself.

I am not sure where this year is going to take me. People can be cruel and I am not sure I can face the rejection again.

Writing What I Know

My memories are not linear. I wished that they have a beginning, middle, and end, yet they are sporadic at best. I am trying to write what I can remember. Hopefully as those memories come out, I will have more details emerge.

Some of these things need to get out into a container other than the one that I have created in my head. It is liberating to write down what I know and then to be able to go back and read what has happened.

That is the the thing with childhood trauma. Not all the memories are bad. I want to capture the good memories as well. Maybe that will give me a direction to go in with my life?

PTSD: Same Diagnosis, Different Outcomes

I have PTSD and feel like a failure. I have tried to go back to school, only to have a physical or a mental wall bring me right back to where I have started. My memories are constantly with me no matter how much mindfulness I practice. I am scared to leave my house and am worried to be around other people. I guess one could say I have a pretty thick wall of protection.

Then there are other people with PTSD that seem to be able to tolerate their triggers and even live a life. What makes us different? Is it the age the trauma happened, the length of the trauma, the location of the trauma, the frequency of the trauma? I would love to know so that I can stop having so much anger and frustration at myself.

I want to know how to get through something that is so shameful and that I feel guilty about. Losing time as days go by is not helpful. Isolating myself is only helping to put a bandaid on the problem.

Right now, I am mad at myself. I hate that I do not feel strong enough to go through the crap and come out the other side. I have more physical scars that do not even come close in number to the mental scars. The scars that have left me isolated and self harming.

While I wish to be one of those people who recovers and moves on I am afraid that I am stuck and cannot move. Instead of moving forward the storm just seems to stay.