I’ve been contemplating what it is that I have, what with being in parts at times. Today I went to our local mental health book store and bought a book. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, so went to the trauma section. I ended up buying a workbook type book on dissociation – Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation. I wanted something on dissociation, and this one is pretty easy to read, though it is long.
I have mixed feelings about these workbook type books. On the one hand, they are very direct and easy to whip through. On the other hand, I miss the sense of an actual author talking to me. It’s as if they’re written by committee, with no sense of the author’s voice or experiences.
I got pretty scared in the bookstore to tell the truth, so after looking at this workbook, which I’d picked up first, I browsed a bit in the psychoanalysis section, but then just grabbed the workbook and got out of there. It’s so difficult paying for the silly thing – I feel like the bookstore person now has too much information about me. Very bad and shameful information.
The book does talk about having parts, and how to cope. Mainly seems to be advising doing interior communication with the parts, which Ron has kind of told me already. There are some other things though – I skimmed through it, but of course can’t remember a thing at the moment.
I don’t think I’ll actually do the exercises. There is a lot of information to read also though.
Since Ron doesn’t believe in labels, he hasn’t said what he thinks I have. If I go by this book, what it is is DDNOS – Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Who knew.
I don’t lose time ever, so the parts are not as separate as for DID (dissociative identity disorder). And I don’t seem to have the kind of parts that take over and function in day to day life, which is also a feature of DID apparently. The parts I have are kind of stuck in the past, reliving traumatic things. Except for the kid, who is more of a full person and also lives in the present. They will come out in the present by mistake, of if I’m under stress, but not as a functional way of coping.
The parts kind of stop me from doing things mainly. I have trouble keeping up with daily life – chores and work. I kind of get stuck – I start feeling blank and frozen, or overwhelmed sometimes. So life becomes quite difficult. It could be because some of the parts are distressed, according to this book. And the way through is to try and communicate with them and re-assure them that life is safe in the present.
One thing I do a lot of is to avoid things that trigger bad feelings or memories, and unfortunately, a ton of stuff triggers them. It just seems a whole lot safer to stay home and not do a lot. It really limits my life. According to this book, avoidance for this reason is a common coping method.
That’s one reason the group is so tough for me. It makes me anxious, so brings up all my stuff, but I’m going anyway. I’m trying to stop the pattern of avoiding things that trigger me.
There’s a small section on depersonalization and derealization. What happens to me is depersonalization apparently. I was hoping there’d be more on how to prevent that from happening, or how to get out of it if it does, but this book doesn’t focus on that. It’s more about coping with parts.
Well, it’s interesting to read a bit more about this. Even if the authors seem to suspect people with parts are a little slow. Sigh. Well, it’s OK. It’s kind of treating you as if you were a car though – look, these are the issues, just follow these ten easy steps. I’m being critical.
The other thing I’d like to read about is therapy itself – you know, the ins and outs, attachment, transference, all the strange things that happen. I know there are interesting and more complex books written about psychoanalysis or psycho dynamic therapy. I’ve read one or two, but would like another. Next time I go to the bookstore.
Oh, I forgot to mention. This book has quite a pretty cover. I think a tree branch in spring or some such. I do like a nice cover.