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We have had a few psychiatrists over the years. Because we are in the public health system, things change a lot. When your going private, usually you see the same person for years. This hasn’t been the way it is for us.
We started with Dr M. She was quite a nice person. A little set in her ways, but we liked her. Then again, we were young, and very unwell, we’d have literally done anything that anyone told us, just to feel better and become well again. We first saw her for a year. She put us on meds. She made us go to therapy. Unfortunately back then we had a severe eating issue, we didn’t eat or wouldnt eat hardly at all. We were severely underweight. The therapist she made us go to was attached to the mental health services, and so wasn’t very good. We didn’t like that she would constantly weigh us, and focused on nothing but our ED. She never asked why it was we didn’t want to eat, or why it was that we were so suicidal, or we didn’t want to live. After a year of seeing Dr M, she deamed us well enough not to see her any more. Within the year though we almost got hospitalised to the psych ward once, we narrowly escaped that because our mom didn’t want us to go in there and she would not agree and because we were only 17, she had the final say. After stopping going to Dr M, we were out of therapy for a while too. Eventually we got back into therapy when our memories started to hit us full force. The memories of the SRA and MC and other abuses were plaguing us and causing us to have terrible flashbacks. So we entered into therapy again, this time with a wonderful therapist, who ended up devastating Shirley, and causing a system collapse. But we do still think she was amazing, she did so much with us in the 9 months that we saw her. She was instrumental in us getting a diagnosis of did. But inevitably it ended, and not very wel I might add. She said she lost her objectivity around our case. She did however get us back in to see dr m, and be assessed for a did diagnosis. Dr M didn’t know much about did, but she assessed us and diagnosed us with the disorder mostly based on our therapists account, as we weren’t really able to give her a lot of info, but we’d been seeing our therapist twice weekly and she’d met some parts insiders and had more of a full picture of how things were for us at that time. We then found out that Dr M was retiring. Dr D took over. It was a major change for us because he was a male psychiatrist. We didn’t think we’d be able to connect with him or trust him. But we actually did manage to get very familiar with him, and we saw him for five years. He was a pretty good doctor as psychiatrists go. He was the first doctor to hospitalise us, he also tried us on lots of medications, and we did lots of outpatient groups while under his care, we also had brain scans, and other tests, just to make sure we actually did have did and not something else. He tried to get us admitted to a unit in the UK specifically for did, but they refused to take us because of our blindness. They said our blindness would complicate things and they wouldn’t be able to accommodate us. After Dr D went to a new catchment area in 2007, dr C took over. She was only ok. We had a lot of ups and downs with her when we were under her care. One time Ro who is one of our darker insiders, threatened to kill her, of course that caused a load of problems, after those threats she refused to see us alone any more and would always bring a nurse with her when she saw us after that. Despite the ups and downs though, we did like her and got along with her. In 2010 when we had our formal diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder from the specialists who came over from the UK, she was there for part of the assessment. She believed in did. She spoke to insiders in our system…she saw us and understood us. But in 2013 she moved to Australia. That is when Dr Barry took over our care. And I can honestly say she is the best psychiatrist we’ve ever had. She just gets it. She is a great listener, and knows exactly the right things to say. She is friendly, and she is real. The fact that she is real is really important to us. She’s not afraid to let her emotions show either. She is just an all round good psychiatrist and I feel very lucky to have her. We all do. We’ve had a lot of therapists and psychiatrists I know. But I can honestly say that each of them brought something new to our treatment, each of them played a part in who we are today.
SO CAROL ANNE AND ALICIA BOTH TOLD YOU ABOUT THERAPY AND THEIR PART OF LAST NIGHTS THERAPY SESSION. NOW ITS MY TURN.
I’D BEEN WANTING TO TALK TO EILEEN ABOUT SOME STUFF FOR A FEW WEEKS. FINALLY LAST NIGHT I JUST CAME FORWARD AND WE TALKED.
MOSTLY WE DISCUSSED THINGS ABOUT THE DARKS. WE TALKED ABOUT HOW TWO INSIDERS IN THE DARKS ARE STRUGGLING WITH TRYING TO NOT MAKE CONTACT WITH ABUSERS. THERE’D BEEN SOME LOST TIME THIS WEEK, AND, I TOLD HER IT WAS BECAUSE THOSE TWO INDIVIDUALS WERE OUT THEN. THEY’D RECIEVED SOME UNWANTED EMAILS, AND PHONE CALLS, WITH ORDERS WHICH THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON. AND THEY HADNT DONE SO.
EILEEN SAID SHE REALLY RESPECTS THEM FOR THEIR EFFORTS IN NOT FOLLOWING THROUGH ON THE ORDERS WHICH THEY WERE GIVEN. SHE SAID THAT THAT NEEDED TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED. SHE ASKED ME THEN HOW THE DARKS FELT ABOUT SHIRLEY HAVING SPOKEN TO HER A WEEK OR TWO EARLIER AND I SAID WE DIDNT FEEL THREATENED, THAT SOME OF US DIDNT CARE, BUT FOR SOME OF US IT WAS A HUGE STEP, AND IT MEANT WE REALLY DID TRUST HER BECAUSE WE WERE ALLOWING HER ACCESS TO OUR CORE, SHIRLEY, OUR HOST, THE MOST VULNERABLE OF US ALL. SHE ACKNOWLEDGED HOW THIS MEANT A LOT TO HER AND SHE WOULD TAKE IT SLOW AND GO EASY ON SHIRLEY AND NOT TRY TO RUSH INTO THINGS.
I TOLD HER I THOUGHT THAT SOME OF THE DARK INSIDERS WOULD NEVER COME AROUND TO THE IDEA OF GOING TO THERAPY AND ATTACHING OR TRUSTING SOMEONE AND THAT THEY PROBABLY MIGHT NEVER TALK TO HER. SHE SAID THATS OK AND SHE WOULDNT BE PUSHING ANYONE WHO DIDNT WANT TO TALK TO HER TO TALK. THAT ITS NOT A PRODUCTIVE WAY OF DOING THINGS. THAT IN TIME IF THEY FELT LIKE IT SHE’D BE THERE AND WILLING AND READY TO TALK TO THEM. AND WE LEFT IT AT THAT.
THE SESSION WAS PRETTY INTENSE. I FELT BETTER THOUGH AFTER TALKING. BUT THEN, I ALWAYS DO.
I had some time to talk in therapy last night. It went like this.
Me: Eileen, did you think about adopting me?
Eileen: I know that’s really on your mind a lot lately, isn’t it?
Me: Yes always.
Eileen: Have you tried going into that room we created inside, with me in it?
Me: Yeah, but its not the same as having a forever family. I just want a forever family who’ll love me, see me, take care of me…
Eileen: But what about the rest of the system?
Me: They could come with me when I move in with you.
Eileen: And what about Nitro?
Me: Oh he can come too. You can have all of us wrapped up in one big parcel.
Eileen: Its a lovely image to think about isn’t it?
Me: I wish I didn’t have to just think about it. I really really wish you could do it. Your family are really lucky to have you…do they even realise how lucky they are?
Eileen with a laugh: I am not so sure they see it like that.
Me: Well they should. Why didn’t I get a family like yours? If you adopted me I bet you’d make rules, would you?
Eileen: It would be nice to have a life without rules wouldn’t it?
Me: Sure it would.
Me: I bet your family are really nice people? Even if I don’t know them yet.
Eileen: So you really want either me or Dr Barry to adopt you? How would that happen, Dr barry cant move in with me?
Me: Ok, I’ll spend half the week with your family, and half with Dr Barrys. That’d work?
Eileen: You have it all worked out don’t you?
Me: I wish I could see you. I hate not being able to see. If I could see you could give me a picture of you to look at.
Eileen: I know. That would be nice. But maybe we can record my voice, maybe I can do a meditation for you, or something nice like that. What do you think?
Me: Ok, but I still wish I could see you..what do you look like?
Eileen: Well I’m five foot 8, with hazel eyes, I have brown hair with a hint of red and blonde going through it, its not very noticeable though, just a hint of those two colors…and, I could stand to lose a few pounds…
Me: I bet your super skinny. And you wear glasses too, you forgot that bit.
Then our time was up. But I’m having more time next session. I guess we’ll talk more about that then. I wonder if I can convince her to adopt me in some way?
I had a pretty good therapy session last night. We had to change the time of the session at the last minute, from the morning, to the evening time. Eileens mom fell and broke some of her ribs, so Eileen had to take her for x-rays and stuff in the morning yesterday, so thats why we ended up doing a session at 7 30 in the evening.
We had a long talk about Shirley, and what will happen to me if she becomes stronger and more active. I said to Eileen that I had been worrying this week about that…about whether I’d still be needed or not. Eileen said that she sees me as always being needed, because I am as close to the core as we have. Shirley had said to her in the last session that she felt that me and her were similar to each other in personality. She had said that of what she knows of me she thinks that I am most like her. Eileen said that right there proves that she needs me, that she has entrusted me to run the day to day life, and she’s always going to need me because she told her she didn’t feel strong enough to ever do that again.
We talked about dissociation and people in the system not sharing things with each other, keeping things to themselves, and kinda splitting off into their own camps and corners. We decided that over the next few weeks we’d work on lessening the dissociation and bringing more of peoples memories and experiences together so that they could receive more support, and maybe we could all support one another in the doing of that.
Liz and Alicia also had time last night, but I’ll let them discuss their parts of the session separately if they want to do that.
I did something really brave today. I got up the courage to talk to our therapist Eileen. I cant believe i actually did it. i hardly ever come out in therapy. I did know our old therapist J. I talked to her maybe five or six times in the whole four and a half years that we saw her. You see, something really traumatic happened to me years ago. It was with our first therapist a we saw a for 9 months. It was before our diagnosis of did. Actually, it was a who got us our initial diagnosis, because she made us an apt to see a psychiatrist so that we could get assessed. Then she also came with us to see the psychiatrist who preliminarily diagnoised us with did. That was in 2001. A was a fabulous therapist. I trusted her completely. I told her things i never told anyone about my past. About growing up with a dysfunctional family, about memories of the bording school in Dublin, about the flashes and glimpses i was getting of other traumatic things, about the bullying, about the internal voices i heard. I really revealed lots to her. And she promised me so much. She promised me she wasn’t leaving, that i was safe, that i could trust her, that it was ok to talk to her freely about my worries and my fears and my traumas. But then after 9 months she delivered the devastating news to me, that she was no longer able to work with me. She said it wasn’t my fault, that it was more about her and not about me. That she’d lost her objectivity around my case. But i couldn’t help believing it was my fault. I honestly thought i’d done something to make her ill, to warrant her ending therapy with us. I remember in our last session, i actually cried, something i’d never done in any of our previous sessions. And she cried too. It devastated me to my core. And that is when i decided that i could never trust again, i was done, i was going to give up. And that is when i decided carol anne could have the job of head fronter in the system. I didn’t want the responsibility any longer. I couldn’t manage life any more. And so i retreated inside, and i’ve pretty much stayed inside for years, only coming out for short periods every now and then. Carol annes pretty much ran the show, she is our main fronter, i can see her, i can hear her. I don’t hear many others of the insiders, i hear a few kids, mainly darina, Erika, lexi, but thats all. Other than that i’m pretty walled off in dissociation. So why am i telling you the readers all this? I guess to give you a background to my talk with Eileen today. It was a good chat and she was really nice to me. She made me feel safe. When i first fell into the body she introduced herself to me. She told me how long she’d been seeing our system and that we’d worked on a lot and then she told me some things we worked on. And then mostly we talked about the therapist a and how that all ended. Eileen said she really could see that it had had a huge impact on me. That i must have went into shock, and that is why i retreated inside. I agreed because i think its true. I told her i felt broken, unmendable, unfixable, that i feel like there is no hope for me. She said not true. There definitely is hope for me and i am definitely fixable. Then she asked me if i want to explore some areas of my life. I said i do. That i’m ready to try again. My system protect me very well. After all its been two years that we’ve been seeing Eileen, and this was my first appearance since the start of our work together. But now i’m ready. I want to form the same safe attachment with her that i know others inside have. I want to have someone i can rely on, someone i can trust with my inner most thoughts and secrets. I think i’ve found that someone and i’m really pleased. It will take time, but i think i can do it. at least i hope i can.
Therapy today was so interesting. I went in there feeling like a new person. I think that appointment with mark yesterday, and filling out the interest list, left me feeling a sense of hope, a sense of maybe i can recover…maybe i can get better and live a fulfilling life. Perhaps, just perhaps, i can become a productive member of society. I told Eileen about all my upcoming plans, to do singing, tandem cycling, join the gym, and do voluntary work. She could hardly believe it. She kept saying how i was so capable of researching things, of finding resources, and of using the resources i had to the best of my ability. I told her how i felt i’d turned a corner, i really feel like i’m in recovery mode, like i’m happier than i’ve ever been. Yes i still struggle. Yes i have a traumatic past, but that doesn’t have to define me. She started talking to me then about the healing vortex and the trauma vortex. She said that when we’re in the trauma vortex, we’re literally spun around and around, like a whirlwind. But its when we open ourselves up, and allow processing to begin, that we enter into the healing vortex. And that is where the true healing begins. When we are not trapped in our trauma, stuck there, going around in circles. I found that conversation really interesting. I want to research more about it. Eileen said that peter lavine who wrote awakening the tiger within writes a lot on it. I might buy that book because i think it would be a good read. I also talked to Eileen about how i’d come off some of my meds recently. The reason i brought it up is because dr barry congratulated me last week on doing that. She said how i’d achieved something huge. I didn’t really agree with her then, but i think i do now. Eileen asked me what had made it possible for me to come off of diazepam, and fenergan. I had a few reasons. Mostly my reasons were 1 that i didn’t want to rely on the medications, 2 that i wanted to be able to feel, not be numbed and deadened by meds, and 3 that i didn’t like the side effects of the meds and the addicting qualities they possessed. So all those reasons made it easier for me to come off of them. I had to do it slowly, but i did it. Im not longer on those meds. My life is really starting to look up. I am in a good place right now and i’m loving it. i’m about to embark on a new chapter of my recovery. I think it will take me to new heights. And Eileen agrees with me. She said i’d become much more open with her, which is true. Our relationship has reached an all time new level of trusting, and she’s really become that safe attachment that i never had. As i said to her today, i don’t even have the kind of attachment that i have with you, with my own mother. We’re on two totally different wave lengths. Eileen just gets it, well of course she does, she’s a therapist and she has studied to get where she is. But even if she hadnt studied, i think she’d still get it. i just don’t trust my mom to open up to her in the same way. She’d probably lecture me, shun me, if i did. I’m just really glad to be working with Eileen. She really is a true blessing.
Its 4:15 aM and i’m awake. I did manage a little sleep earlier but then i woke at around midnight and i haven’t been able to get back to sleep since then.
So i made coffee and now i’m drinking that. I have a lot on my mind.
I have therapy today. I’m wondering how that will go. We’re doing lots of really difficult work with insiders who usually don’t front all that often and we’re making a lot of progress with that.
I don’t really have any other plans for today which is good, because usually after therapy i’m really tired. Usually all i want to do is relax and chill out when i get home.