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Together, Onwards.

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I realise that I haven’t been writing much about my sessions lately. There’s been a combination of reasons for that; I’ve been pretty busy with different projects, I’ve been using my time to read my book about how to work with fragmented selves and taking notes about how to incorporate the ideas into my own therapy and process, I have been sleeping through the night for the most part and that is usually when I’d write up my sessions and I’ve just been resting at other times and trying not to get too emotionally involved in therapy stuff in between sessions.

I haven’t been listening back to my sessions, for some reason I can’t face it. Maybe it’s avoidance, maybe it’s self-preservation or maybe it’s both of those things.

The sessions have been pretty okay. So I am not avoiding them because they were awful or anything. But I suppose I am just gently moving along trying to find where my tolerance levels are and being careful not to trigger myself in sessions or out of sessions, now that Sienna’s outside help isn’t there anymore.

I still have this amazing adult-self fronting and who is really winning at life right now.

I am so grateful for her and so in awe of how well she is coping and keeping the parts settled. She has a strong “ nurturing parent” voice and she has been communicating with younger parts when they rise up with anxiety or sadness or feelings of being lost and abandonment. She is tending to them and most importantly, they seem to be listening.

Sienna seems to think she’s the real me. The core me developing. She might be. I am okay with that because she’s very capable. I like her. I like being her, feeling her power and sense of agency. She feels like a very healthy, settled adult.

The only thing that makes me doubt her as the core me or a natural progression towards a more integrated adult self is that she didn’t turn up until there was extreme crisis ( the therapeutic rupture) She took over when things became too much for the rest of my system of young parts to deal with. There was an abrupt “taking over” by this adult self. And my God! I am grateful she did because otherwise I may have imploded, become a danger to myself or perhaps not have survived at all. Her arrival saved me from a great deal of mental anguish.

Even though SHE feels very authentic, her arrival does not. She came forward too swiftly to be a core self which has naturally grown from the safety and loving presence of my therapy and therapist.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong. Perhaps this part has been growing in the background for months or years, unbeknownst to me or the other parts. Maybe she IS a core part of me, maybe this is the real me growing through all the trauma stuff?

I suppose only time will tell. Even if she is a part, created from crisis and designed to protect and defend, she is still part of me, like all the other parts and I will integrate into a one core person eventually, but I will draw power and wisdom and personality from all of the parts. They’ll all still be me.

I suppose a lot of me, whilst coping very well, is waiting for the other shoe to drop. Just waiting for this part to disappear as quickly as she arrived. I am waiting for the young traumatised parts to stage a coup and take me over and I’ll be plunged into the depths of terror and abandonment once more.

I know, I sense that I am holding back so much pain right now in order to try and repair this rupture. I haven’t gone near the emotions that I know I hold about what happened. I can’t face it, I feel overwhelmed very easily as soon as we approach the subject of what happened and why.

Sienna and I have had very brief moments of discussing it. And it’s been in very general terms and we haven’t talked in any depth about it. We are both just taking things day by day.

Part of me is curious fascinated to know her side of things, what she felt, what brought her to where she just imploded. Part of me really wants to tell her how much she pissed me off and angered me with some of her messages to me. Her attitude in her texts were shitty. And I sense from some of the things she’s said since that she has a much different understanding and perspective of what happened and why and I feel like her perspective is wrong.

She sees things from her own perspective as a therapist and as a non-traumatised individual. She is not reading my actions and feelings over the past year from the lens of a traumatised child/children.

But since talking about it is a no-go for me right now, we can’t iron out those issues.

Most of our sessions have been attended by this new adult part that is in the driving seat. So the sessions are fairly light, mundane almost. But there’s been some fresh thinking on both our parts in how to move forward.

I have been reading a book which is immensely helping me to un-blend from my fragmented trauma parts and recognised their emotions as theirs, not mine. And it helps me not be hijacked by their emotions and swept away in trauma responses.

The book is giving me both practical and theoretical understanding and is mapping out a way forward for Sienna and I. A few of my sessions have consisted in talking about my findings from the book and talking about how we can use those ideas going forward.

This week I let Sienna read some of what I’d written on my blog about the book and about my understanding of what happened to us, the pitfalls we blindly fell into and caused the huge rupture.

Sienna told me that she had never thought this rupture was the end of us. She never thought of terminating. It was never ever on her radar for us to not find a way forward. She said she felt confused and uncomfortable and frustrated and overwhelmed, but she always knew that she just had to stick it out, tolerate the discomfort until we could both pick our way through it.

It was a relief to hear that, but I do wonder why that message never fully got through to me? It didn’t seem clear that she wasn’t thinking of termination. Everything felt so precarious.

As it stands, I think Sienna is also super impressed with the book and it’s explanation for what happened with us and also with the ideas for moving forward and working with all the parts.

I think right now we are just existing on a small island of hope and genuine care and commitment to one another and trying to trust that we’ll find a way forward together.

And together, is the most important word of all.

 

 

 

 

 

Finding ways to communicate.

So, I’ve done a mock up of dissociative symptoms that I feel most during my therapy sessions.

They are extremely basic (and ugly) and in no way indicative of the final product.

I know the perfectionist in me is going to hate these simple “mock-ups”. And might feel resistant to using them LOL.

I’m going to take them in to use in my sessions for the next few weeks and see if they help me to let my therapist know what I am experiencing.

In doing these, it did occur to me that if I go too far into a dissociative space ( or way too far outside my window of tolerance) I would probably be unable to move enough to shuffle cards. So not sure how cards that say things like “annihilation ” would work because by the time I feel annihilated, I am wayyyyy far gone. So I’m guessing that’s where the therapist would need to try and keep not too far outside my window of tolerance because that’s where these cards would work best.

Any feedback on the cards is welcomed.

Technical difficulties.

Can anyone who has the password for this site please try to log into my most recent post and let me know if it’s working.

The password has NOT been changed so think this is just a technical glitch. Thank you to all who alerted me to this.

*** Edit*** – To those who have the password but can’t access the most recent post. Can you try typing the password in but don’t press the space button after the last letter, just press enter and see if you get in that way.

And if that doesn’t work, try it the other way, type in the password and the press space and then enter and see if you gain access.

And then let me know which worked. 🙂

********* EDIT******* – Okay think that is it fixed folks. Type in the password but DO NOT press space, just go straight to the enter button and that should give you access.

Reader input- Your experience of dissociation and trauma responses.

I wanted people’s input. I am going to make up some ” emotion cards” to use in therapy to describe what I am feeling when I am dissociated or unable to speak.

Sienna brought in some emotion cards on Monday to help me communicate what I was feeling but because they were for children, they were fairly basic emotions and didn’t really cover what I was feeling or wanting to say.

So I said ” I wish there were cards for dissociated people. Maybe I should make some.”

And Sienna thought it was a fabulous idea and really encouraged me to make some.

So now I am going to put it over to my dissociative readers or those with complex trauma to describe how they feel in therapy. I have two simple questions and I’d love to hear everyone else’s experiences.

I am looking for describing words rather than just emotions or feelings although those will be helpful too.

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