Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Recently I've come to the realization that shame is a theme throughout my entire life. It seems to be satan's preferred mode of attack. While many new things in therapy have come out over the last few months and that which has been hidden is coming to light, the ever present, almost impenetrable barrier and common factor is shame. In addition to my abuse struggles, our current-day struggles of infertility are covered in shame - some of it self-inflicted and some of it coming from well-meaning people who are ignorant and don't realize what they're really saying.

I want to let go of the shame. Being filled with shame is not a fun place to be. However, it has been so deeply ingrained and programmed into my mind, into my being, since I was such a young child, the process feels like trying to manually separate my muscles from my bones. It feels impossible. Shame feels so much a part of me and my identity at this point, it feels impossible to just let go of it and not own it anymore.
Therapist believes it is possible, and I am grateful for her hope and commitment to me, but I have a very hard time believing it's no more possible than it is for me to get a new body and get rid of this one that holds so many awful memories.

Therapy itself is a minefield right now. I told therapist last night that doing this work feels like being in my own version of the game Jumanji. Every roll of the dice, every move forward towards winning "the game" sets off some massive event to avoid, wade through, or overcome - many of which are life threatening. Even if I believe there has to be an ending to all of this with no more surprises or triggers or flipped switches, I sometimes wonder if we'll survive all of the "traps and switches" between here and there. Shame is what drives the thought processes of most of these current struggles, and while in and of itself may not pose safety issues, I definitely feel it is our hardest hurdle to overcome.

Today I am alive and breathing. Today I will continue to put one foot in front of the other and try to focus on how God sees me - as spotless and blameless because of Jesus' sacrifice. It's all I can do and thankfully it's all He asks of me.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

You Know Your System is Hiding Something When....

They throw a part they've been protecting for years and vowed they'd die before letting you meet is "thrown under the bus" as a means to distract Therapist.

This was last Thursday's session. Therapist has been talking with parts trying to continue work that was started over a year ago and then put on hold for several months due to me not living locally. The resistance to her speaking with certain parts and gaining certain information is so strong that on Thursday, Therapist ended up having the opportunity to meet the CORE.... 8 year old us who has been protected from any knowledge of the abuse and goes by the body's given name. Up to Thursday there had been multiple parts who had stated their life's work was to keep the core safe and allow no one to interact with her. In previous therapy sessions, agreements had been made between Therapist and these parts that she could pursue certain avenues of therapy and interactions with parts as long as she left the Core alone.

What information is so crucial to keep hidden, that parts inside would decide it was better to throw the Core out forward to interact with Therapist and distract her than to continue to keep the Core safe and hidden? They're not stupid though because it totally worked. Therapist was awed about getting to meet the Core and spent the rest of the session talking with her. It wasn't a waste of a session. I think therapist got some good info and gained new insight. However, it was still sucessful in distracting therapist from her main goal of trying to get to the root of the lies our abuser placed in us in order to cause a huge, positive system shift.

Currently I feel like my body has been hijacked, and I don't know if I'm coming or going half the time. We're still safe and functioning appropriately in our external life, but, good grief, I feel like a walking circus right now. I'm wondering how big the internal stunts are going to get before the finale of this showdown.

Has anyone invented a "time-out" button yet?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Unsettling Side Effects from Current Therapeutic Work

We're carefully broaching, dancing around, and slowly starting some therapeutic work that seems to be met with more resistance than anything we've done so far. It's amazing the physical reactions I'm having just talking about talking about these issues. My most recent, yet consistent symptoms when trying to do this work are a numbing of my arms that starts between my shoulder and elbow and extends to my fingertips and a a numbing of my legs starting mid-thigh and running down through my toes. They still work and do what my brain tells them to do, but they don't feel attached, and they for sure don't feel like mine. In addition to this, whenever therapist starts to try to talk with us about these issues, I get overwhelmingly dizzy and struggle to keep my eyes open. I have this almost impossible to fight urge to just go to sleep, and it takes everything in me to fight it.... which means I actually hear and process very little of what therapist is saying. It's an incredibly effective way for parts inside to shut down communication with therapist, and I've yet to figure out any way to overcome it.

In addition, after each session lately I feel anxious, depressed, and have a great need to find a small place to curl up and just be. We find ourselves wanting to call Therapist to ask for help, but we have no idea what to even ask for or what we need. All we know is everything around us seems to feel incredibly unsafe after sessions. If I really stop and think what might make us feel a little better, it would be to stay with Therapist after sessions and let her just hold us and let us feel safe in her arms. Unfortunately, even if Therapist had the time in her schedule to do this, ethical boundaries would say I can't just stay with her for hours after our session letting her hold us like the body is still a small child. Shoot, if I'm being really honest about what we truly wish for.. We'd ask therapist if we could move in with her and be with her 24/7 until we got through the worst of this.... Being with her is the only time we feel safe right now. My rational mind knows this wouldn't be healthy for me or her, but our emotional mind longs for it.

Ugh. We're starting down a rough road that I can already tell there's no turning back from. :/

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

More Pockets than I Realized

I spent the afternoon going through a large tub box at my parents' house full of middle school and high school memorabilia. I'm trying to de-clutter some and this box has been on the list for awhile. Going through the tub box was fun. There were a lot of old letters and cards that were fun to read again. I found an old prayer journal and an old diary. The diary has one of those cheap locks on it, so I've still got to find something to clip the lock to read what I wrote so long ago. I have no idea where the key to the diary might be. The thing that surprised me the most was how many cards and letters I read from people who I apparently knew well at one point, but I have no recollection of them today. I guess there are more pockets in my memory that I've ever realized.

For example: There was a letter some guy named Tommy who lived a few counties over wrote to me when I was 16. In this letter he tells me he loves me. I had a few letters from him in the tub box - all sweet and caring. I have no idea who Tommy is or where I would have met him. How do I not remember a guy at all who apparently professed his love for me on multiple occasions?

I found letters from girls who appear to have been close friends at one time. I apparently impacted their lives positively, and I'm grateful for that. However, I have no idea who many of these girls are. There were also other letters from other guys who I apparently responded to frequently. You'd think after knowing I was DID for over 14 years, things like this wouldn't surprise me or catch me off guard. I guess I just never thought I really lost any time in high school. I know I lost time throughout college, but I wasn't diagnosed with DID until the summer between high school and college, and even then I don't remember ever switching as a teenager outside of my therapist's office. When I was 17, I became aware of 'conversations' going on in my head... sometimes in the form of a peanut gallery commenting on my life... other times conversations going on in my head that I wasn't even a part of. I finally got the courage to bring this up to the therapist I was seeing at the time. I don't even remember every question she asked me after that, but I know she asked me if the voices had names and strangely enough they did. Then she asked to speak to one of the voice in my head... I thought she was crazy, and even if I wanted to let her, I had no idea how. It was several sessions of us just talking about what I was experiencing in my head before I actually switched in her office. I don't remember losing time or switching before then.

Maybe there's another explanation than dissociation as to why I can't remember people who I had more than a superficial relationship with while in high school, but I can't think of one. I could explain away not remember certain events or conversations or even letters I'd written, but I don't know how to explain away not having the slightest idea of who someone was at that age in my life. Ugh...

Monday, August 12, 2013


I feel like I'm walking a tightrope right now. I haven't fallen yet and I'm actually still on top of everything, but it all feels precarious. One mistep, one strong wind, a random bird flying by, or any number of possible stumbling block and down, down, down I'll fall. I don't feel steady on my feet. The rope under my feet bounces and gives. I think "so far, so good" but my confidence of actually making it to the other side of the tightrope in one piece is fading.

The other side of the tightrope... That's what I have to focus on.... My goal. From gymnastics, I remember focusing on one point helps keep a person steady and balanced. It was a crucial skill to master on the balance beam if you didn't want to fall. I believe the same applies now. I have to focus on the point... on the goal.. the reason I continue to go to therapy and talk about horiffic events... the reason I work through issues that make me feel dizzy, ungrounded, and stir up self-injury impulses. I used to think that goal was complete healing. These days, I don't feel complete healing will occur this side of heaven, but I strive for all parts inside to feel safe and know their self-worth. The memories are always going to hurt. We're never going to be the person we would have been if the abuse had never occurred. But maybe, just maybe, all of us can feel safe and loved and make decisions for ourselves rather than feeling scared and alone and acting based upon old programming and conditioning.

If only it was as easy as putting one foot in front of the other across the tightrope. Unfortunately, it feels distractions that take my eyes off of my focus point are constantly being hurled in my direction. Lately it seems there are so many things that can cause me to lose my balance, and I'm constantly correcting and overcorrecting just trying not to fall. I'm learning that standing still and trying not to fall does nothing to get me to the solid ground on the other side of the rope. I've got to take forward steps and face the stumbling blocks and distractions if I ever want to get off this tightrope that seems to be suspended over ultimate doom and destruction.

To be honest, I'm not sure how to move forward without falling. Doing therapy in Therapist's office again does provide us a small safety net that didn't exist before, but for some, it feels the fall would be too fast for her to catch us and we'd break right through the net. I know we can't just stay put. Things are pressing too hard internally, but I don't have any great ideas or new techniques to try that might make this process feel safer. Some days I'm not sure I have the courage to even try to take another step towards solid ground. But what is the alternative? Staying put in the middle of this tightrope trying to hold on for dear life? No thank you.

So, next therapy session, we'll take another step along the tightrope praying for dear life that God keeps us standing and functioning.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Two Years....

Wow! I didn't realize it had been 2 years since I'd written on this blog. I've done some paper journaling and online journaling in the meantime, but I still didn't think it'd been 2 years since I posted here. I'm still working with the same therapist, but in the last 2 years I've moved 3 times, courtesey of the military. I've lived in 2 different states and just last week moved back to my home state because my husband just left for his 3rd deployment to Afghanistan. It was kind of surreal reading my last post where I was waiting for my husband to get home from his 2nd deployment.

In the last 2 years, there's been some pretty significant movement interally. We've been introduced to an entire new set of parts who hold memories that are still hard for me to believe are real because they seem so far fetched, and I have no personal recollection of anything remotely close to what they're saying ever occuring... but I guess I personally don't remember that much of our childhood, so maybe that's not the best gauge. I've had to accept that at least some level of programming was used by my abuser. I naively thought programming only occurred in ritualistic abuse situations, and therefore couldn't have happened to me. The programming stuff is still really new and therapist and I are working on how we're going to navigate this work. We've spent the past 2 years Skyping with therapist because we lived too far away to do sessions in her office. Last week was the first week we've been in her office again, and it's amazing how much more intense the sessions get when we're in the same room with her. It's like this internal governor we keep on ourselves in the rest of our life can come down when we're actually in her office because we know she'll keep us safe from ourselves as well as anyone else.... things quickly become more of a free-for-all in her office. It's good for therapy but I'm not used to it anymore.

For 18 months I was medication free, then I decided back in May to go back on Prozac. I was coping, but life was a lot harder for me than it needed to be. Going back on the Prozac didn't take away any of my struggles, but it gave me more resources to deal with those sturggles in a healthier way and not constantly feel anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed.

For 16 months my husband and I tried to start a family. We saw a dr. and did 6 cycles of fertility drugs, but God has continued to say "not yet" to our desire to start a family. We weren't able to look into any other fertility options due to my husband's deployment, so for now growing our family is on hold. This is probably good from a therapy standpoint, but the body is almost 33 and I truly desire to be a mom, so it's going to be hard to wait this year while husband is away. This topic alone could be dozens more blog entries, so for tonight it will just be an update on what's been going on.

Hoping to get back into blogging. May even start a new blog focusing more on what we've learned and the current struggles we're facing in an effort to be more real about how life is not perfect, but God is... and to talk more about how I'm living life and struggling through life. Life recently has taught me how grateful I am for people who are honest about their struggles but are still striving towards Christ and a better life. It makes it feel so much more attainable for me and helps me not put as many unrealistic expectations on myself. If something in my story can do that for someone else, then how can I not share?

This doesn't do the past 2 years justice, but it's a start.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The past week

I feel as though I've been all over the place emotionally in the past week. The anger that I discussed in my last post subsided and was replaced with state of alternating between desperation for help and feeling resigned to just be. I felt incredibly alone over the weekend dealing with some new and painful memories that I couldn't share b/c other parts were so adamant that we could not share the information. Parts were threatening self-injury and death if we told. Now, that may not have happened, but I've learned over the years not to take those threats lightly. I've never been in a place of truly wanting to share the pain I was in and feeling "bullied" into not being able to. Other parts were in that place while the abuse was occurring, but I didn't have that specific experience. I've not shared things in the past by my choice, but never b/c someone else wouldn't let me.

Monday's therapy session broke through a lot of barriers and diffused some parts who were threatening self-harm. I gotta admit. I don't think therapist knew exactly what she was doing, but she did some great work helping parts do a 180 in thinking really quickly. I actually think this is part of what makes her an awesome therapist. She does great work even when she's not fully sure what to do to help me. :) By the time we left her office Monday, safety was no longer an issue and we were able to share the information we'd been dying to share but were too afraid to share.

Over the next couple of days, my rational mind thought this was great. In some aspects I had more of my life back. My emotional mind was still a wreck. There's a lot of new pain setting in regarding the new information that was shared and the shifting taking place inside. Safety is not an issue but some of the pain still feels overwhelming. Several younger parts who are in a lot of pain noticed that we didn't talk to therapist as much and she didn't check in on us between sessions once safety wasn't a concern. This a+b=c thinking led parts to think that the only way to get the attention that they felt we needed was to threaten to or actually self-injure. We spent the next 48 hours arguing with ourselves about how self-injury does not actually equate to safety just b/c people pay more attention to us. We got to talk to therapist about this yesterday, and it was helpful. It didn't "fix" everything, but she helped put parts minds at ease that she doesn't forget about them or not care about them during the times we're not speaking to her - it's not an out of sight, out of mind situation.

Today I feel blah. Not having any self-injury impulses, thankfully. But I want to cry and I think I'd be very content to just lie on my couch all day. On top of all of this therapy stuff, I've had a lot of strong emotions regarding my husband. See, he's on his way home from his 2nd deployment to Afghanistan. He started his trip home Sunday and we thought he'd be home yesterday, but there have been delays, and as of yesterday he was still in Afghanistan. I haven't talked to him in almost 24 hours, so I'm praying he's somewhere in route home now, but I really have no idea. I'm so ready for him to be home, and the emotional drain of thinking he's on his way, then he's not, then he is, then he's not, and now I don't know is almost more than I can handle on top of all of the other emotionally draining situations.

I haven't blogged in several days b/c I don't feel I've been able to articulate what I really feel or want to say. I'm still not sure I succeeded to day. I'm really just hoping this entry makes sense at this time.