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Yesterday's T - dissociation discussion. *TW* CSA, SH, SUI

Posted by Mand , 20 June 2014 · 190 views

I was determined yesterday that my session with my T was going to be safe. I hate it when she doesn't see me every week. The last time I didn't see her for three weeks I had a complete breakdown in work that led to my enforced suspension for a month whilst I 'sorted myself out'. So my T being away is not accompanied by good feelings.

A while back - before Christmas - she asked me questions and got me to do some artwork. Last week I read a poem out to her "The Maternal Tiger in You". I said I wanted to read it as often I don't remember what I wrote. In this session it was the first time she used the word 'dissociation' with me. I've been aware for ages that I do this- but I have never brought it up. I now realise she was waiting for me to admit that this happens to me. I had emailed her and said I wondered if we could pull out my artwork as - with my writing- I don't remember what I drew. I then started to feel massive panic and anxiety and two days later I texted her and said I thought it was a bad idea, especially as she was going away.

When I turned up yesterday, she asked if I wanted to look at the artwork. I straight away told her "No!" I said I felt that I couldn't remember for a good reason and when I visit it again- I want to know that she will be available to me if I need her. We then started discussing my dissociation. She explained how it was my protection. She said that as a young child, I enjoyed the body sensations that my sexual abuse gave me. I like the throbbing, tickley, "I need a wee wee" feeling that it gave me. And she's right- I remember that. But when I reached the age of reason (which for me was 8), although my body still responded, my rational mind realised that something was wrong. So I 'split'. I learnt to dissociate. And that this was easy for me because I did it already with Dad. (One thing I haven't asked her is why my memories of the more severe sexual abuse appear again aged 12....)

She said that this was a protective mechanism. And it was so effective for me growing up, that it automatically clicked in as an adult- whenever I have felt under threat. It also clicks in when I SH. So I don't feel pain. And sometimes during sex. And when I am hungry. And when I am in pain. And in fact - I dissociate a hell of a lot- especially in therapy.

I said to her that I wish I could just let go. Let my mind break. She asked what I meant. I said "kill myself". She said that to kill myself I would have to be in control. I said "no- you are wrong. I often SH when a darker Mand is in control and I don't remember it. I only know it's happened when the bruises and burns appear with no memory on my part of them being put there by me". So.......

So I need to keep an emotion diary. Every strong negative emotion I have to score and chart. Every hour I have to do a mindfulness body scan. I MUST allow myself to feel pain, hunger, thirst. If I am tense, I must meditate and relax. Basically, I have to be aware of ME as much as I can. Sounds knackering. It's been hard work today. I am missing her already. I had nightmares all last night. I am tired and frightened and fragile. I want to cry but I can't. My wall is back up. I am unsure with what to do. So I am just 'being'.

I want my T so badly, it's like a physical pain in my heart.

I have no words just thoughts of understanding and a (((hug))) if you want it
Thanks. Hugs always welcome. :hug:

That sounds really, really tough. But worth doing. I'll be naughty and look forward to hearing your results, see if this is something to try...

You are waaaaaayyyyyy stronger than you are thinking right now. And 'being' is good enough. I'm sure if you take a breath, you'll see that, too.

I'll admit, till today, I'd decided that it was ok, living with dissociation, then got a shock when I realised what I'd been tuning out of. I can't imagine life without this crutch, but I know I'll need to throw it away sometime. You know that too.

I'm so impressed at how brave you're being, and how realistic - it's scary because it's hard. But hard doesn't stop you ;)


Thinking of you,


Darn T's and their vacations anyway. Ya I know they need them. But still.......... just saying. Your homework is similar to mine. I don't have to focus on any particular feeling or how strong it is per say but just the fact that I am having a feeling, then journal it. That way when I dissociate it all away I have some sort of reference point to look back on. I feel very stuck in therapy because I cannot name feelings. I can tell you all about when I am angry to the point of rage. Otherwise nothing. Yet I know what feeling to fake in any given situation for my child. Like I know when I am supposed to be happy or excited. I know when I should display sadness. T says that shes wonders if there is somewhere inside of me something/someone connected enough to emotion that I am able to know what feeling should go with what situation. Either that or I just learned through observation. I, like Q, and curious to see how this works out for you. You have and continue to be such an inspiration. I hope the time your T is away passes quickly and remember you do have Pandy's. Not the same I know but we are here. 

Mand, I think we are on the same brainwave here with this blog. I haven't discussed it this much with my T...but like you I dissociate with everything really.


I'm still stuck myself from my session this week, so I don't really have any words of wisdom...other than you are very brave, strong, wise, funny, lovely, capable...so many other things.


You can do this, you know you can. You have all of us here, and we will be there for you when you need us-always.


You are amazing! :)

Thanks both.

My intelligent part knows I'll be fine. My child part wants her T. So silly. I am strong, I survived. I am loved and kind and generous. Yet I feel disgusting and revolting.

My T asked me to describe what happens when I SH. I have three states. In the dissociative one I can't tell you the emotion that precedes it. I said another was frustration. She asked for a scenario. She then gently pointed out that my frustration was a secondary emotion masking the fact that actually, I was hurting emotionally. The third is the disgust/revulsion/ self loathing. My T said this one is anxiety.

So - nil out of three in recognising my emotions there!!! On the positive side, the only way is up ;-p. ah- good. My sense of the ridiculous is returning. I have deliberately stayed off alcohol tonight. My self care is improving massively. I at least recognise vulnerable + alcohol = big risk. Yay :)

I'll let you know how it goes.
Bless you kayla. And as I have said before- if it's true for me it's got to be true for you too :) :hug:

Oh Mand, this post made me just wanna give you a hug and tell you it's gonna be okay.  Perhaps this is a good opportunity to help comfort your child? Show her and the other parts of you that she deserves that kinda of comfort?  If you want to smack me for this, btw, that's just fine. I often want to smack my T when she mentions that I should comfort my inner child.  But anyways, it's supposted to be good and I think that you certainly deserve gentleness and so does your inner child. I hope that helps make it easier. 

Hugs are much needed nebulas- so all gratefully received. I would never want to smack anyone. The thought horrifies me. Too much violence in my early life means that I totally have a fear for that type of anger as it leads to SH, so I am having to learn to express anger with no violence at all.

I once smacked my DD. I left a handprint on her (this was 15yrs ago). It nearly destroyed me. You can imagine the guilt and SH that followed that one!!!!! I never smacked her again.

Ooo- you have uncorked a of worms there!!! My T tells me I must stamp on these worms. Wanna help me?????
Jun 20 2014 05:03 PM
Short of words tonite,thoughts of understanding. Sitting with you.
Jun 21 2014 01:45 PM

:hug: :hug: :hug:

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