Odds and ends

Thanks to all the lovely people who commented on my last few posts. I’m amazed at how you take the time to leave such detailed and insightful comments, as well as support. You all gave me a lot to think about.

I have bounced back from one of my worst weekends ever. I was devastated after the last therapy session. I think the child parts were so hurt that Ron didn’t want to talk with them. Or….I don’t even know what happened really. I felt my connection to Ron snap entirely. I’ve felt no desire to email him about this or anything else either. That’s unusual – usually if something goes wrong, I tell him about it to re-establish a sense of connection. This time, no.

Several times on the weekend, I got ready to go out, bag ready, lipstick, then laid back down instead, just couldn’t face going out. It’s like that invisible barrier which I can’t cross was up.

The few times I did go out, people looked at me funny. When I’m really depressed, I must look weird. At the supermarket, a young man dropped a carton of yogurts and spiashed yogurt all over me. The check out girl looked at me like I was a ghost. Ditto the cafe server.

I’ve had that happen before, for instance, going to the grocery store after a therapy session, someone will look at me as if I had turned green or something.

Anyhow, doesn’t matter.

I’ve been thinking about what’s going on.

I feel somewhat better about Ron now. I’m no longer as angry or hurt, and I can see there are different ways of looking at things.

One thing I wondered is if I really have DDNOS. Maybe the parts really is regression or some weird thing I’m doing, and Ron is right to discourage it. Things have been quiet internally. Maybe I should concentrate on PTSD problems and forget about parts.

When I read others’ past experiences, my own experience of abuse is not as severe, and I wonder if it could have been severe enough to cause parts. The thing is it did happen when I was a very young child, so maybe that’s why I split like I did. If I did.

Then I wonder if this anger with Ron is part of my anger with men in general. I tend to be more angry than a lot of women are. Partly that has allowed me to do as well as I have I believe. I don’t completely turn it inward, I don’t cut or starve myself. Sometimes I have a fuck you attitude that has allowed me to keep working and to persevere under really tough circumstances.

The bad part is the anger is sometimes not appropriate. I’ve really messed up at jobs because I’d express anger, always at a situation, not a person, but still, it’s seen as unprofessional. I cut people off pretty fast if they hurt me also – like R. I have given up visualizing him dying in agony, but I intensely dislike him at this point.

I wonder how much Ron is actually able to deal with my anger, and how much he just pretends to. He did really hurt my feelings at the end of a session where I attacked him at the beginning. Maybe he was angry also. I’ll never know – he would never admit it. I think it’s inhuman not to experience anger sometimes, when you are attacked.

I was thinking of canceling my next session just to have a break. I do not want to go through another weekend like the last one. If I could see it as healing, that would be one thing. But I’m not sure that depression did anything for me.

A part of me wants to talk about it, and I have dialogues in my head with Ron working out what happened. Part of me does not want to see him again for a while.

  1. Neloran said:

    One thing I wondered is if I really have DDNOS. Maybe the parts really is regression or some weird thing I’m doing, and Ron is right to discourage it.

    When it comes to internal parts, I don’t think it really matters. Remember, dissociation lies on a continuum. And it’s more then you, Ellen, are at point “x” on the continuum, while I, Nel, am at point “y.” You parts themselves can even lie on different points of the continuum, having varying degrees of dissociation What matters is the feelings are real. The point-of-view is real. However you (all) feel is valid. However you want to say it should be allowed in therapy.

    Now, child parts may not understand how to function like an adult, in a full-time job, or raise children. But these parts can be helped to become more connected to the present and feel safe, thus encouraging your independent and healthy functioning as a whole.

    When I read others’ past experiences, my own experience of abuse is not as severe, and I wonder if it could have been severe enough to cause parts.

    This is actually a myth. Because each person is different, had varying degrees of support during the trauma, and each person has a different innate resiliency, each person can react differently to trauma. To use a simple example, one person who survived Ground Zero during 9/11 may integrate their experience in 12 months and be able to make meaning out of it. Another person may take 12 years.

    It is the same with severe dissociation. One person may have suffered life-long r**ual abuse, while another person experienced sporadic isolated incidents over one year. Everyone is different.

    In my healing, it is important for me to honor what is true for me. We doubt ourselves so much!


    • Ellen said:

      That makes a lot of sense to me Nel, thank you. Added to that is the fact that I can’t actually remember the abuse, except in tiny bits and pieces….So I don’t know how severe it was. The only thing we can do is trust ourselves.

  2. Nel left such great replies on your last post and now this one.

    I don’t know as much about this kind of trauma as Nel, but I do understand some of the basic feelings that you describe, Ellen. I understand feeling weird, different, as though others can sense there is something “wrong” with me, etc.

    I think a lot of that stuff comes from being the “bad” kid in the family, where I became the outsider. I assumed I was just bad and many times in life I can still feel that same way…but that is just a little tidbit in the midst of many other more significant issues you seem to be facing.

    The thing that I have come to realize, Ellen, and I can only tell you this from my own experience…

    The way I was raised to view life is so far from the optimal way. I was raised to believe so many limiting, negative things about myself and the world–so many mental concepts that absolutely trapped me in misery.

    I don’t know how else to express this but to say that most of my misery has come from mental concepts that I accepted from people around me, and then believed they were innate to me.

    Life has so much promise, so much possibility. How can I convince you of this? I cannot. It took me years and years of effort to glimpse it myself. But now that I have begun to glimpse the possibility, I want to shout from the rooftops.

    Do not be afraid to drop those terrible thoughts, the terrible fears, the awful experiences. Do not be afraid to start living your own life now, for yourself. It is possible. You can be whole right now. This very instant. As strange as it may sound, as impossible as it sounds, what I learned is that right now there is nothing to do but be yourself and simply exist as the person you’ve always been.

    It is strangely easy and yet so very hard because of the way we grew up.

    I hope you can begin to glimpse it and gain some measure of peace, because you deserve that.

    Best of luck.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for the pep talk Aaron. (Is a Kindle self-help book coming soon?) I’ve been considering your words. Take care

  3. Penney Knightly said:

    I saw this go by in an e-mail I subscribe to, and figured it may be of use to you in some small way: (A thought exercise to practice, or meditate on.)

    Did you know that Einstein said that imagination is stronger than knowledge? You don’t have to know the Amazing You right now. You can start connecting with that part of yourself simply by imagining it….
    Start developing your future-self awareness with this exercise:

    Sit in a quiet place. Breathe slowly and listen to the sound of your breath. Feel the air go in and out of your lungs. Become very present in the moment.

    Think of the concept of healing. Allow images to freely drift across your mind.

    Now, pretend you can see yourself without the effects of trauma. What would you look like if you were well rested, not anxious, full of joy? What would your voice sound like if you weren’t tense and on edge or angry? What would it feel like to be in a body in which you felt comfortable and relaxed?

    Focus on this image of your future self, and any of the surrounding thoughts.

    See it in bright Technicolor. Allow the image and feelings to increase to a huge size. Bring it closer and closer in your mind.

    Bring it so close you can reach out and touch it.

    Now, imagine you can take another step and actually step INTO this future self. Take a look around. How does it feel to look through these eyes? How does the world look, feel and sound differently?

    You have a great imagination. You know this is true because your mind already imagines trauma every day. It’s time to put that imagination skill to better use!

    Practice this exercise on a daily basis. Don’t worry if you don’t feel it works right away. This is a new muscle you’re building. It needs a chance to bulk up.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for the meditation Penney. It seems like a good one and I’d like to try it. I did do a loving kindness meditation when feeling at my worst, especially waking up nights, and it was very soothing and helpful. So I’m into the idea.

  4. weareonebyruth said:

    No need to compare. Your experience is yours and effects you. The reason you are in counseling is your awareness that something needs to change for you. At one stage of my counseling, I quit every week and then went back because I didn’t want to stay the same and I didn’t know how to change on my own. You’ll work things out. You come so far already. You feel confident enough to argue with Ron. Big steps.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, we are working things out actually. It’s a very complex situation it turns out. Thank you Ruth

  5. Bourbon said:

    Wow yes me and you wrote very similar posts didn’t we. Comparing abuse/doubting our experiences. I too think Nel hit the nail on the head and I am listening to what Nel wrote too, if that is okay!! I can understand the need/wish for a break but I do think going to your appt as usual this week is preferable. You have a lot of thoughts swirling around your brain and it is always good to be able to share them, however angry they are xx

    • Neloran said:

      I only read your post later, but yes what I said here goes out to you, too Bourbon!! Actually, I have heard you say something like this before on your blog, and it really got me thinking about this topic back then. So what I had to say here was originally what I was thinking then but probably checked out and never had a chance to post it.

      ❤ Nel

    • Ellen said:

      I’ve read quite a few blogs where people slip into denial and doubts – it seems to happen a lot after abuse. I wonder if that’s because it’s what abusers want us to believe? Nel certainly does have words of wisdom to share on this!

      I did go to my T appt and it was OK, we are working things out. Thanks Bourbon

      • Neloran said:

        Awe, you are too kind, friend. ❤ I am only speaking from my own experience and healing, so I'm glad it resonates.


  6. Penney Knightly said:

    I’ve had people look at me weird post-therapy sessions, too. Asking things like “Can I help you with something?” and “Are you lost?” or “Are you okay?”

    I must look completely out-of-it and dazed. I’ve also had kind people help me during panic attacks. Sometimes, I do this dissociative thing in a store where I pick every item on the shelf and begin reading its ingredients. Even if it’s just the same item, over and over again. I’ll be there for hours, reading, and that attracts some attention.

    I also have the feeling of being overwhelmed by the people, the sounds, and the colors, and the experience becomes sort of a blur. I come home with items I don’t remember buying. Now, I’m getting better at realizing this post-trauma sensation and have people go with me to the store when I feel this way, or have them do my shopping for me. I mostly try to postpone everything on my therapy days, and make sure I don’t have to drive or go out and do errands on those days since I’m usually so physically and emotionally-out-of-it.

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