Posted in blog, blogging, dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, Girl blogger, health, lifestyle, mental health, mental health awareness, therapist, therapy, Uncategorized, Wellbeing

The Abyss Inside.

Banner Girl in therapy (1)

My session day this week was changed from Monday to Thursday due to life things. But I had arranged for a phone check in on Monday morning.

I’d like to tell you about it, but I have no memory of what we talked about!

But I can tell that you between Monday and Thursday, I struggled hugely. I did have the option of daily check-ins again, but I didn’t take them. I guess I just felt like I had nothing much to say and also that I don’t want to over use them if I can manage on my own.

And even though I struggled a bit, I knew I was holding it on my own, there wasn’t a need to connect with Sienna.

My physical health has been awful. I am experiencing a lot of widespread body pain and stiffness. My sleep is disrupted- not that that’s new! My nightmares continue to be awful and scary and just relentless, I have so many dreams all in one sleep. I just feel kicked in, I feel truly beat up and pummelled, both physically and mentally.

And on top of that, I have held within me this internal crying, every day. It stays in the centre of my tummy and seeps into my solar plexus area sometimes. It feels separate from me.

It’s low level awdul, but it really wears me down and makes me sad.

I’ve also experienced the return of detached black empty pain. I’ve written about it many times before but I haven’t felt it for quite a long time, I don’t think.

It isn’t there all the time, it’s more of a sharp acute attack and then it fades. When it happens, I feel frozen in time, I feel tremendous emotional pain opening up in my chest, like a black cavernous abyss of nothingness. There’s no thoughts or needs attached, it’s just a state of being. It temporarily freezes me, and there’s emotional agony which is very still, lifeless and unshaped. Being around people makes me feel sick in my chest, it exacerbates the “black attack” to look at people, be in the same room as them or talk to them – my God! Talking to people whilst this attack is happening is utter agony, I feel a crying feeling in my throat and upper chest. The only thing that helps this is to retreat. To stay still and wait for it to pass. And it does pass, it only lasts a few minutes. But it’s been happening with greater frequency, like, several times a day sometimes.

I wish I knew what to do about it. I wish I knew what caused it and what the physiological processes were. It’s truly an abyss of agony.

I think I’ve always thought that it’s to do with attachment and my lack of secure attachment as a baby and so was a flashback of sorts. And maybe it is. But this frozen blackness isn’t wanting to find connection, it isn’t looking for people, it doesn’t have need, it isn’t a longing for “mummy”. In fact, people and connection intensify the pain. The only thing that helps is to be alone, to withdraw inside me self, stay still, frozen, not talking, no eye contact, perfect stillness…. And let it pass.

I was glad when I finally got to session day. Had I not had that session, I know for a fact that I was going to have to ask for check ins. I could no longer hold this level of pain by myself.

I got as far as telling Sienna how awful the week had been. That I’d struggled. She asked if I’d forgotten about the check ins? I told her I hadn’t forgotten, that I’d just felt like I didn’t have much to say, and also that I should try holding it for myself.

She said it was okay to just call to say hello. And that maybe a quick 2 mins would be enough.

I didn’t say anything, but I did think that somehow, that feels worse.

Even though I have nothing to say, nothing that hasn’t already been said, no need that I can identify… somehow, a quick hello and goodbye feels awful. I makes me feel sad and as if my need (that I don’t even recognise as having!) hasn’t been met. It feels hollow and uncaring almost.

It’s like I’ve not said something really important and that she hasn’t seen me and hadn’t attended to my needs. Yet, I literally am not aware of having any need in the moment. And Sienna definitely has tried to make herself to meet my needs, if she knows what they are.

Poor Sienna, she can’t win can she?

I’m so sick of myself, guys. I am so over being attacked by myself.

In session Sienna suggested that perhaps all my body pain is part of the trauma response to the abuse stuff that’s been coming up lately. She’s probably right.

You know, before the session, at home, I felt so weary, so battered by my brain and my body that I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it.

I REALLY needed to go to my session but I felt so unwell, that as I lay in bed I had no idea how I could make it there. And I was panicking a bit because I needed a cuddle so badly. I needed to be with Sienna. I needed comfort and nurturance.

But after I forced myself into a bath, and as I sat in front of the mirror as I put my make-up on, I switched. I felt it. I jut clicked into something else… someone else…. And suddenly I didn’t feel ill, I had some strength. I felt okay and the days of feeling attacked by my own body and mind just melted away into the background.

So that part, whoever the hell she was, took my session.

What I needed was to crawl in there, get mummy cuddles and have a cry. What happened was this adult part, sat there chatting random shit to Sienna and not really connecting to the memory of how shit things had been all week.

I felt sick in session and very tired. My tummy became a bit upset and gurgled and made me feel nauseous. I felt sad and piteous, but I couldn’t ask for what I needed. I am not sure I even felt the need properly in session.

As a result, the session felt a bit pointless. What happened? Why did that numbed part move in? Why did it prevent me from getting what I truly needed? Why didn’t the parts who really needed to be there not show up? Well…. They were there in the background with all their need, but they weren’t close enough for me to let them through to front.

As a result I couldn’t remember exactly why the week had been so bad and so I didn’t tell Sienna about it.

I wonder if that part moved in whilst I was getting ready in order to get me to therapy. But somehow I got stuck in that part and the young needy parts couldn’t get through.

Arghhhhhh. This is so shitty.

I am SO glad next week is a two session week. I really need it. I really really need it.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Repressed Memories, putting the pieces back together.

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I was apprehensive for my session on Monday. I knew I was heading in to face big discussions about CSA memories. The nightmares recently ramped up to such a level that it was an unavoidable conversation. It was pressing to be spoken about and processed.

I am not sure why the CSA nightmares have been so prolific recently. I’m not sure if they even have been extra bad, I don’t think so… it’s just that I haven’t been able to ignore them so much because the daily check-ins Sienna and I were having (to help with my dissociation) have given Sienna an insight into just how often I experience them and how horrific the content is and me having daily check ins has given me the opportunity to show Sienna how bad they are before I forget about them.

I think the daily check-ins have several effects on my psychological wellbeing. On one hand, I feel safe and contained and cared for and that is stabilising. But on the other hand, because I feel contained and safer and have access to Sienna, the parts show themselves more to her because they are safe in their own home and at a safe distance from Sienna… so the parts that hold trauma come out more and that’s difficult for me and slightly de-stabilising.

It’s not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, they need to be able to talk to Sienna and they aren’t ready to say things face to face. And I wish they did have more regular access to Sienna so that they could learn to communicate more. It feels relieving to not have to hold all the parts and their trauma for so long during the week by myself. But it also feels like I’m being overwhelmed and drowned at times with the trauma stuff.

I am not sure I am explaining any of this properly. I feel like I’m wading through mud writing this.

I think for me, the nightmares felt extra bad because my dissociation has been worse, my sleep has been very interrupted and fragmented and my body stress and pain has been worse lately so I haven’t been able to fight off the effects of the CSA dreams so well.

So, by the time Monday came, I felt like I’d been kicked in. I desperately needed to crawl onto my sofa and just curl up under my blanket.

Sienna enquired about my physical health. She said she could see the tiredness under my eyes and said that was a tell-tale sign for her when I’m struggling with my health. It felt nice to have someone know me so well that they know my body’s “tells”.

I began to feel tearful and anxious. Sienna asked if I wanted my blanket? I nodded.

I sat back on the sofa and Sienna draped the cover over me, tucking it in and she got my bear that stays in the office. She sat back on her own sofa and began to read my dream journal. Every rancid disgusting dream I’d had in detail.

I was so tired and overwrought. I cuddled down into my blanket, part lying down, my head on a big pillow. I closed my eyes and rested while she read. Occasionally, I looked over to see her face, what was it saying. But there was no expression that I could see.

It felt hard, waiting for her to finish reading. I felt vulnerable and embarrassed about the dreams, but I also felt ready for her to see it and I felt safe to let her see it.

When she finished reading she closed the journal and put it on the arm of her sofa. She got up and came over and sat on the arm my sofa where I was laying my head. She cuddled me and reassured me that I was safe now. That she was there and that I had nothing to feel ashamed off. I burst out crying.

She sat a while, stroking my hair, gently speaking to me.

She said softly “ Sometimes, I wonder if you keep it as dreams because it’s too scary to be real?”

She talked directly to the alters, reassured them that it was okay for them to talk, it was safe now. They heard her. But they still weren’t going to talk. They didn’t know how.

We talked about different memories I had, and Sienna did a lot of reassuring that I am safe to talk about anything I need to, that nothing bad will happen now.

I cried, I talked, I cried some more. I talked about how confused I felt, how hard it is to have terrible nightmares and flashbacks but not concrete memory. The feelings I experience, the feelings in the nightmares feel like memory, like something I’ve been through in real life yet without the concrete memory and detail of who, where and when, I don’t feel like I can claim it to be real. And it leaves me blaming myself for being some sort of sick attention whore. Or a fantasist.

Even though I know that repressed memories are a thing, it’s been proven. Even though I know others experience this…. I can’t believe myself. I can’t accept this happened to me. Yet sometimes, especially now, it is the realest it’s ever been and it’s easier to accept because I am so overwhelmed by the detail of the nightmares.

There are more traumatised alters closer to the surface and it makes it all more real…. Until they move back again and another part comes in who doesn’t believe it could have really happened. And then I talk myself out of it being real and start telling myself there was no abuse and that I am a liar or a fantasist. Yet that never sits well either… I feel like I betray myself every-time I do that. I feel sick in my stomach when I tell myself the dreams, the feelings of abuse aren’t real.

So I am in this constant no-man’s land of “ Who knows if it’s real?” And that’s worse somehow.

I am suffering the affects of sexual abuse that I can’t prove happened. I am suffering from body memories and nightmares every night of events I have no proper memory for. And I have tried so hard to forget it, and decide that it did not happen. For years I’ve told myself that none of it is real and that maybe the dreams mean something else. I’ve even considered past-lives or trauma passed epigenically through the generations ie the abuse memories are a grandmother or great grandmother’s experience for example. Anything other than that these ae MY memories and MY real experiences.

I’m at a loss.

The shame I feel for having all of this without explanation or proof or concrete memory is immense. It makes me hate myself.

Sienna gathered me tighter into her arms.

“ I just want to tuck all these little children in at night and tell them they’re safe, and protect them, and that no one can harm them anymore. And that whatever’s happened in this past… it’s never going to happen again.”

They heard her speak. I held onto her arm tightly and listened to her heartbeat and closed my eyes.

Sienna stroked my arm over and over gently and rhythmically. I let myself feel safety.

I cried.

Sienna expressed hurt that I was going through this and anger at those who’ve hurt me or not protected me. It was healing to have her protection.

We looked over the pictures a part had drawn of abuse in 2012 (and I’d only discovered last week).

As we look over this stuff, drawings, writings, dreams… there is a pattern of some sort emerging. Like, certain details that seem like they might be memory rather than just dream stuff as they come up over and over.

It feels like we are slowly piecing together a narrative. We are starting to work out what is just random dream stuff and what might be memory.

My session was so hard yet it wasn’t dissociative hard, it wasn’t stuck hard, it was flowing, processing, grieving, and relieving.

We opened up a letter that I’d taped in one of my old journals from 17th months ago. I didn’t know what was in it but it had been sealed and I’d never allowed Sienna to open it any time she asked.

When she reminded me of it in this session, and asked if she could open it, this time I allowed her. I already felt wide open. I’d already revealed so much so opening the letter felt okay. She sat down beside me and read it out. It was hard to hear my words read out loud, hard to have it witnessed.

It was a letter, memories. Still no detail about who did it. But a possible place and time.

This session was huge. But healing. Lots of hugs, lots of reassurance and love and somehow that made it cope-able.

Sienna put in weekly check-ins again for this week and so I’ve spoken with her every day. Which has been a god-send. The dreams have still been awful, as has my sleep (up until last night when I finally got 9 hours straight!!)

My anxiety levels went through the roof on Tuesday, but Sienna has remained so supportive and steadfast.

Tonight, I have my second session. I feel a bit better today, I think so hopefully this session will be less intense.

I don’t know how much of this abuse stuff I’ll write about. It feels highly personal and makes me very vulnerable, which is why I haven’t written in this post much of our conversations.

Sienna in these past 2 weeks has been amazing and so caring and steadfast. I just love her so much.