Thursday, 21 October 2010

What is the focus of my therapy?

DID is an amazing model of functioning and an intelligent coping mechanism, however, once the reason for developing DID is no longer relevant it can become more harmful than beneficial and this is where help is needed. When I can't remember half of my summer holiday, I wonder why I bothered going on a holiday. When I start cooking dinner then forget I was even doing it until my husband reminds me, I feel down and useless. When I zone out for periods of time or can't concentrate on work because of the chatter in my head, it makes me anxious that I will lose my job.

Hiding from emotions is part of my problem. The emotions are there, but they can be hard to tolerate so I tend to self harm. This works as a distraction. It's easier to feel a physical pain than an intense emotional pain.

Eating disorders are my way of trying to take control of my life where I feel I have no control whatsoever.

My clinical psychology sessions, have been largely focussed on dealing with comorbidities and trying to achieve some stability and in my everyday life for the last two years.

I was only actually explicitly told by my psychologist that I have DID after over a year in therapy. This came as a shock in many ways (although I dont know why because all the signs were there, but I guess you just never think you're going to be told you have something like that) and has taken me a long time to get my head around. I wouldnt say I have my head around it yet either. I still struggle with it a lot.

Now, my psychologist is moving into working with me to identify my 'parts'. I think this will then lead on to merging them into one more stable person (something that some of my parts feel quite ambivalent about) and I am informed this will involve a therapy called EMDR.

Identifying my parts is a very difficult process in itself. Some of my parts don't want to be identified; some, I am not very aware of. Often, in a therapy session 'I' am not present. Be aware that the person writing this blog today is a part of the overall 'me' who is quite insightful and reflective and has a good knowledge of the parts of 'me'. I imagine, this is the part of me that will often write this blog. This person is not the person who always attends my therapy session. Generally, once my psychologist begins to ask me about my parts, there will commence a battle of wills inside my head between those wanting to express themselves and those wanting us to keep quiet to avoid the potential of being hurt or possibly destroyed.

Thinking and talking about parts in itself can be enough to make me unstable again, in which case, this stage of therapy will go on hold while we deal with gaining stability in life again (ie reducing depression, talking about reducing self harm, being able to function in life to continue working). There is a part of me who self harms to punish me for revealing them. Therefore, this is always a potential hazard in talking about parts. It means, this stage of therapy has to move at a very slow pace. Sometimes it feels like I take one step forwards and two steps back.

From what I've read, some people manage to integrate all of their parts into one stable person; for others it's living a stable life with their parts. I am hoping for the former but I guess that may largely depend on my progress through therapy and my therapist's patience!

Any questions or comments are welcome and will help me to write about what you want to hear.

Bye for now,


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