Posts Tagged 'Clinical psychologist'

Host personality & secrets

Just read an interesting post by Faith Allen about the Importance of integrating the host personality.  This post hit a sore spot in that were not really sure who or what our host personality “looks” like.  Surely this is the sort of thing you’re meant to know?  I know more about who ISN’T the host, than who is…  You’d sort of think that this sort of thing would be obvious – ok, so maybe they haven’t got “Host Personality” tattooed on their forehead, but something would instinctively let you know surely???

We did have one who was the predominant fronting personality for much of our adult life, and her name is the one given to this body at birth, so maybe she’s “it”?  Only problem is that a couple of years ago  T thought the body was curled up on the couch reading, but it was actually S fronting having to have sex with the then husband and S forced T to see this.  At that point T went into her room in our internal house and locked the door.  We haven’t seen or heard from her since.

Feels like we’re trying to do a puzzle with most of the pieces missing and no idea what the final picture is meant to look like…

The following may trigger as a mild incident of abuse is discussed.

So onto secrets…  Over the last few weeks we’ve been struggling because we knew there was something going on internally, but we weren’t quite sure what it was.  We knew there were external stressors – ACC mediation, applying for a new job, finding a therapist etc, but this was something internal and quite different.  On Thursday we had another appointment with the woman’s support scheme/group that Bob encouraged us to contact.  In the morning we’d had a meeting about the review of the re-structuring that had occurred last year, so were very on edge and dissociated because of the stress.  When we got there the woman realised we were a bit out of it and suggested we do something other than talk.  She suggested drawing with crayons, which immediately fitted with what we needed to do.  After a bit of hesitation we agreed and sat on the floor with these crayons.  Thankfully the woman had to leave the room to go get some more colours (maybe just a good excuse?), so we could sit and gather ourselves.  There was an immediate need to go crazy on the paper with lots of red and black – just ram the crayon into the paper and rip it across so that it became covered in the black redness.  Sophie was overwhelmed at this point and a young one came forward.  She picked up the brown crayon and drew a table and chairs…  It was the classroom.

When we were in primary school there were a few students who knew quite a bit about sex – beyond the normal exploration.  We were one of this group.  Because this behaviour was such a normal part of our lives, we carried this sexual behaviour into the classroom.  One day we were under the table in the classroom pleasing one of the boys while a lesson was going on.  A student at another table suddenly yelled out “Look Miss Y, they’re doing dirty things”.  Miss Y looked straight at us while we were still under the table and as we moved to get back onto our chair, then she looked away.  Nothing happened as a result of this incident.

We’ve always wondered why this incident has affected us so badly.  It certainly wasn’t the worst thing an adult did to us.  Plenty of other adults had already turned a blind eye by that time.  Over the last few weeks we’d noticed this incident just sitting under the surface, chipping away at our safety.  After the young one had drawn this picture, the woman asked us about the incident.  It was only then we realised the true impact of this incident – we did more than tell the secrets that day, someone saw them and THEY DID NOTHING!  If a teacher saw the secrets and did nothing, what is the use of talking about them now?  No one will believe us.  So there’s no point in going to therapy, it’s all hopeless.  It was good to finally realise what the problem was.  We know what we’re facing again…

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Now playing: I’ll follow you into the dark – Deathcab for Cutie
via FoxyTunes

Not part of anything…

Since we posted the previous blog entry, we’ve been very disconnected from everything.  It doesn’t feel like a full dissociative state, but rather very robotic and empty.  It’s a very hard feeling to describe and one we get quite frequently.  It’s possibly a mild form of derealisation – we know what it feels like to be fully derealised, and this isn’t it.

We managed to severely annoy our cat today – we moved the place where we feed her :)  She knows where her food is located, but is currently sitting on the spot where her food used to be and is just staring at us…  If looks could kill we’d be dead and she’d be in a cat shelter…  Thankfully the lack of an opposable thumb means that we survive her disapproval for another day.

Another large part of the reason we’re having trouble tonight is that in the morning we’re having a couple from a local woman’s support network come and assess us for potential inclusion in their services.  It was one of the things that Bob told us about as a way of receiving additional support after-hours – that didn’t revolve around our poor mental health services.  The offer things such as respite care, courses and assistance.  The assessment is to see if they can help us and what we need.  We’re hoping that they can offer something, but it means having two of the team come into our home – something that we’re never too good with.

Better try and go get some sleep…

Sans therapist

We went to see Carol yesterday to see if we could go back to see her – she was the therapist before Bob.  The answer seems to be that we can’t…

The break from us did her good in that she wanted to clarify boundaries and think of ways in which to move forward with healing.  But again it seemed as if the therapy was going to mainly be driven by her.  There was an indication that skills to assist us in coping were going to be introduced, but why weren’t these worked on the last time we saw her?  We saw her for nearly three years after all…  It might just be us being cynical, but it seems that it’s only since we went and saw Bob that she really began to research dissociative disorders.  Surely this should have been worked on while we were seeing her, rather than after we’d left her?

What was both scary and comforting is that she picked up when something she said wounded us.  She knows us, she knows how to read us.  But we need someone who can help us heal – not just someone who knows how to play with Aimee…

The worrying thing is that there are so few therapists in this place.  Carol is going to talk to her supervisor tomorrow to see if they can suggest someone for us.  We know that many people go through periods of no therapy and it helps them, so it sort of makes us feel pretty weak to NEED a therapist.  But we know that our level of coping means that we need those external checks on our safety – we can appear to the outside world to be highly functional, but inside it’s chaos.

Will see what happens tomorrow…

Caught between the old and the new…

So many aspects of our life right now are caught between old and new patterns, things, behaviours etc.  A therapist would probably describe it as a turning point, in that we can now see how damaging the past has been, but not yet healed enough to be able to fully challenge those old of ways of thinking and behaving.

Sometimes we can see glimpses of a healthy reaction to a situation.  Sometimes we’re flipped back into the old patterns and coping mechanisms.  Our reaction to Kriss is probably the most obvious example of this.  If he is not having a good day or is tired, we can sometimes see that it’s something that he has to manage – with our help if needed.  Unfortunately, most of the time we look for what we have done wrong, for him to be playing games with us or to be getting sick of having to deal with us.

The intellectual response is to realise that this is our PTSD and domestic violence patterns kicking in.  Problem is that we still can’t change our behaviour and reactions even though we know the reasons why.  The mixed messages from within make it impossible to decipher the true reason for him not having a good day.  The young parts fall into the only pattern of behaviour they know – “it’s our fault”; the angry ones consider him to “be a typical man that we need to get rid of”; the intellectuals argue about whether he is a good man, or we’re hoping he’s a good man but he’s actually just like the others and we’re fooling ourselves.  It’s exhausting to have this constantly going on.

This sort of thinking can go into every part of our life.  We know that this is often the reason that we can’t sleep – the brain is going too fast for it’s own good.  But the brain is all we know, we have very little awareness of the body – it’s too unreliable…

In the “well fancy that” files, we got the report to ACC from Bob yesterday.  She did consider us to be DID, she mentioned talking to alters and our “fragile personality structure”.  I now think that she was quite worried about that fragility, so as a result tried to rush an integration in an attempt to stop further splits.  If only we’d all been able to talk about it, things might have gone differently with her.  We’ll see what happens when we have an appointment with Carol (new codename for previous therapist).

Without a therapist…

Today was our last session with Bob.  It went OK.  Our little toughie W came forward to do a majority of the session.  This worked in that she is very definite about what she wants or doesn’t want.  So while the softness of Sophie could be easily swayed, W ensured that this was a last session.

The big problem is that we are now without a therapist… heading into one of the nastiest anniversaries we have.  As we’ve never gone through this particular anniversary before, we’re not really sure how it’s going to affect us. So far, it hasn’t been good.

Bob is concerned that we’re going to have no support during this time.  She really is a good clinical psychologist, she’s highly recommended and we can see why.  The problem is that I’m not sure if she really believed in our diagnosis and tried to force us to quickly move ahead.  A great part of this is because of the way in which ACC fund clinical psychologist sessions (10 sessions at a time), as opposed to counsellor sessions (30 sessions at a time).  She was really nice about the whole thing and tried to assure us that this shouldn’t be seen as our fault – something that Sophie mentioned as we’ve failed to make progress with a highly recommended psychologist.

W has an issue with “running away” – her very childlike understanding of what suicide means.  Her wanting to run away was mentioned during the session and I think Bob picked up on what it really meant to W.  She mentioned getting hold of the Adult Mental Health Team to try and get us some assistance until we can find another therapist.  But the Mental Health Team and us are not a good mix.  They are sure that we have Borderline Personality Disorder, and treat us horribly as a result.  Bob again mentioned respite care and trying to use the respite as a way to try and get some rest and sleep – as well as monitor our safety.  We may have to resort to this, I’m not sure.  We’re not in danger at the moment, but know that this may change if we don’t get some sleep soon.

Just one moment at a time…

Curling up and rocking…

The lack of sleep is getting rather boring.  It’s starting to influence our functioning and thought patterns.  We’re becoming more sensitive to knock backs and the switching is becoming more obvious to the outside world as we’re having to use it to cope with daily functioning.

The amusing side of this dysfunction was obvious yesterday when we found that some paper wasps have been making a nest in the wall gap of the house.  The 1st floor was the predominant group present for the discussion about what to do about the nest.  As with anything this floor does, it was a rather interesting discussion – the males wanted to blast the nest with carbaryl; S wanted to ask the cute male neighbour to take care of it; and a young one wanting to ignore it and going back to playing in the water.

The scary part of this dysfunction is that we’re again losing quite large chunks of time.

We’re spending a large amount of time curled up on the couch rocking in an attempt to soothe the internal chaos.  We’re at the dangerous point of being close to slipping into depression again.  The sad and hopeless ones are coming forward.  The food issues are starting again.

This week we have to do the final session with Bob.  I’m hoping M is around by that time to do the session, I just don’t have the strength to keep it all together.

Goodbye Bob!

We’ve been having trouble ending our therapeutic relationship with Bob (codename for our therapist).  Bob has been trying to encourage/force/fast-track an amalgamation, integration or eviction.  This didn’t go down too well with us, to the point where we pretty much stormed out of her office last week.

So today was “The Day”…

  • We told her that we don’t trust her.  We also explained that this isn’t uncommon as we don’t trust people in general.  When we do develop trust it takes a long time.
  • We were feeling rushed through the process, which was causing some of us to dig our toes in and resist or hide.  We mentioned that this was a very similar feeling to having no options while growing up.
  • We felt that she didn’t give us a chance to say what issues we had during the week or to discuss non-integration issues – Bob’s response was that we never raised them.
  • It was now at the point where we had lost respect for her and some of us hated her.  It was fine that some hated her (which she agreed with), but the loss of respect meant it will never work.
  • Bob didn’t see co-consciousness as an option, as this is what was happening now and it obviously wasn’t working.  We did mention that if we were truly co-conscious, we wouldn’t lose time – this didn’t seem to register.

She gave us options:

  • Staying with her, but under a therapy contract which would cause a fee to be added – but ensure more sessions were granted so trust could be built and the time pressure removed.
  • Going to see another therapist or psychologist.
  • Returning to our previous therapist.
  • Stopping therapy.

Our only weak point is that Buffie needed a rest after having to deal with all of it, so Sophie took over for awhile.  While Buffie was present she mentioned that “something odd had happened over the weekend” but didn’t say what it was.  When Sophie was present, she related what she’d read in this blog about the interchange between S and Kriss.  Bob’s response – “Oh, so you remember now…”

*Sigh* she just doesn’t get it.

Bob also talked Sophie into delaying making the final decision about what to do with therapy until next week.  We’re OK with this as it will mean that we’ll have re-grouped as such, so it will be easy to end the sessions.

Today was the first time Bob gave us any sort of compliment – we gave her a chart that indicated the current level of communication.  I think that in some respects, today was the first time she saw us as anything other than a “problem case”. I think she was pretty clueless that we were feeling this way.

Trying not to panic too much about the anniversary being so close and being without a therapist…  We’ve survived up until now, so we can do this too.


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