I buy a book

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.

  1. gniz said:

    Hi Ellen. Interesting post. I really like the notion of communicating with your different parts. Does it discuss having your parts also talk to each other? Like the kid talk to the adolescent, etc? I don't know what difference it would make, but maybe slowly the idea of getting all your parts talking with each other and with also your main "adult" part would help to integrate them…but maybe not.I definitely feel like your parts are trying to communicate something to you, they need to be heard. They never had a chance to be heard in the past unfortunately. So sad what happens to kids in this world.Keep opening up, Ellen. it really is safe for you now.Best.Aaron

  2. Ellen said:

    Yes, it does, towards the end of the book – apparently that's advanced. I'm not keen on the idea, but couldn't tell you why. I can dialogue with these different parts myself, though I just tend to do that if I'm really feeling stress coming from them.Thanks for the comment Aaron. take care

  3. Candycan said:

    I already have this book on my wish list for Christmas so it was interesting to hear what you think about it! I have found 'The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook' by Deborah Bray Haddock to be of real use to me. It's very readable and informative about all kinds of dissociation and I think it would be as relevant to DDNOS ppl too. My DID is not so typical in that I don't think I lose a lot of time and i have coconsciousness a lot of the times with alters. I do lose some time but not much and it tends to be more when I'm in a crisis. I don't see a lot of difference between you and me really from what I've read of your blog. I also read Attachment, Trauma and Multiplicity: Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder by Valerie Sinason which looks more at the therapeutic relationship and how it relates to attachment disorders, which might be the kind of thing you are looking for although I found it was much too complicated for me. You can read my reviews of these on my blog btw http://dissociativeidentitydisorderandme.blogspot.com/p/book-reviews.htmlTake care

  4. I am only now realizing that I probably dissociate… must be why some friends have said "where did you go?" or "don't leave" or "glad you're back" and I don't know what they are talking about….so I will check this book outI think I'm going to try this on-line retreat next weekend; I adore Pema Chodronhttps://shop.shambhala.com/living-beautiful

  5. I too am not really into work books. But, if it does help, why not give it a whirl. Good interesting post Ellen. Getting in touch with your little ones. Blessings

  6. Ellen said:

    @ Candycan – I went over and read your reviews – thanks. You are very frugal CC – this is the second time you've told me something you really want is on your Xmas list! I just rush out and buy stuff myself, as I figure why else am I working. I've actually got the DID sourcebook on hold at the library – we have a great system here and you can ask for books from all over the city. Interesting how the DID is different for different people and how it affects you. I also think we have a bunch of similar issues and ways our brains seem to be working. You're not too complimentary about the Attachment book on your blog. Though in theory, it does sound like something I'd be interested in.Well, an education is good. I've been remaining kind of ignorant of what this might be, preferring just to have my own experience, but I think learning a few things will be good. take care@ MarenMoore – Dissociation is actually a spectrum, and everyone does it to some degree. An example is getting totally absorbed in a good movie…you lose your sense of where you really are. This book is focused on being in parts – by all means have a look, but not sure it is going to be helpful for everyone, or for milder forms of dissociation. But then, I don't know you too well Maren, so maybe it's just what you need. I have a few of Pema's books – she is a good writer. Thanks for stopping by. take care@ JBR – Yeah, maybe I will do some of the exercises. I'll see. Glad you liked the post. Hugs

  7. Ellen- Thx for explaining that to me (above). I'd like to understand it better. some things happen to me that may be a mild version like you said. I have been wondering if it's a memory problem but it feels more like being "lost". Anyway, thanks, MM

  8. Ellen said:

    Hi Maren – I wonder what it is. It could be some kind of dissociation. In a way it doesn't matter what it's called – it's more important how it affects you. If you go to therapy that would be one way to explore it. There are other books on dissociation also that maybe speak to more kinds of it than being in parts, but I haven't read them as yet. Cheers

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