Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More on My "Real" Therapy - Stage Two

My "Real" Therapy Phase One

By the time I began my second phase of the "real" therapy, my system was familiar with our therapy process. I knew that my depression was about secrets and that I would never be free of the depression until the secrets were told.

The way to find those secrets was by asking questions of myself. All I needed was the right set of questions to get to the bottom of my self-loathing. I even had a plan about finding the questions. I just paid attention to my reaction to things. When I saw a reaction that didn't fit how "normal" people might respond, then I began searching for the reason I was responding differently. It didn't take long and I began to find answers to my questions. The answers usually led to secrets.

When I began this second phase, I still had not been diagnosed as a multiple. It was a ways into this second stage before the therapists began to suspect that I might have MPD.

I, on the other hand, had already figured out that I was a multiple. Once I read When Rabbit Howls by The Troops for Trudi Chase, I was pretty sure the diagnosis was correct. I tried to tell my therapist but she discounted the voices in my head as everyone having internal discussions with themselves. I didn't seem to be able to get her to understand the complexity of the discussions so I just gave up trying.

The fact that I didn't have a correct diagnosis was not interfering with my therapy. So I decided not to push the issue. I couldn't see the point of spending valuable therapy time insisting I was something my therapist was not ready to believe.

Most of my work in this second phase was abreactive. Many times, I would do a painting at home that I would bring in with me for my session. The "person" who did the painting didn't know the story behind it. She just painted what she was told to paint. Once the therapist was shown the piece, then the child who had experienced what was portrayed in the work came forward and relived the experience.

Sometimes I came into therapy with just a phrase running around in my head. But it wasn't until I explored the meaning of the words with my therapist that the child who held the secret came forward. I never knew what to expect from these sessions where I started off with just a phrase. The very first session of the second phase of my real therapy that phrase was "bodies in the woods."

Along with the phrase haunting me, I was experiencing feelings of fear and desperation. That was all I knew when I came into therapy that day. The phrase had been haunting me for a few days but all the questions in the world wouldn't bring it forward until I was safely in the therapists office.

When I think back on that day, my therapist could have easily decided that I was a fruit loop and had me locked up. But she didn't. Instead she responded to me with compassion and understanding. By the end of the session I was pretty sure that I had found bodies of children in the woods near my house when I was a child. And more surprisingly, my therapist believed me.

That was the beginning of our journey into my ritualistic abuse as a child. It started off with those bodies in the woods. From there it went to child pornography in which I had been a participant. I think it was many weeks before the role of satanism in this abuse disclosed itself.

Neither my therapist nor I knew but it was a phenomenon sweeping the country. Therapist all across the United States were finding themselves treating victims of sexual abuse who then began to disclose tales of witchcraft and devil worship perpetuated on young children. Many of those therapists didn't believe their clients. I was one of the lucky ones.

More on Stage Two


jumpinginpuddles said...

thank goodness for therapists who believe and support people who have survived such horrors, for without them where would any of us be

jumpinginpuddles said...

and i dont agree with the below statement made by one of us :P about our Therapist r*p*ng our mind if anything our mind has already had enough of that our Therapist is gently helping us put it back together.

Patches said...

What a great T that sounds like.

We can really relate to this bit.

'My system was so fragmented that each memory seemed to have sometimes several personalities to deal with it. There was a personality that held all of the emotion and one that was totally in her head who knew all the details, kind of a historian. Then there might be a defender, a sexual creature or whatever other talent might be needed in a given situation. '

Rising Rainbow said...

jumpinginpuddles, yes, good therapists are essential for something so traumatic.

jumpinginpuddles, yes, I figured there was probably internal conflict about that.

patches, so your system is like this as well? I have never come across a multiple with a similiar system before.

Lynn said...

Yes, that is very lucky. I'm glad you were believed. Survivors need that so much. I have a thing with phrases in my head, too. I have referred to it as 'words dropping into my head'. They are phrases like, "Make sure you wash your hair." A man who raped me when I was fifteen said that to me when he made me take a bath before he did it. The words came and within minutes, the memory began to unfold. Earlier this year, it was, "knock-out drops". This came into my mind and I just kept brushing it aside because I didn't know what it meant. Days later I had a very specific trigger and then I remembered it was my father who said those words. He used to drug me and my sister and brothers with sleeping drops. I think that might be part of my problem with sleep. Another phrase that brought a memory is waaaay too filthy to write here. It was said to me by a former therapist and that brought the memory of his sexually inappropriate conduct. One day I was in the car with my husband and it was, "The driver is bad". I just knew that if I were to look at my husband that he would really be my father, but of course, he was just himself. I was very, very scared and panicked by those words, but no memory came.

Then there are words (father's words) that my therapist is not allowed to say to me or else I will turn on him like a wild thing. The most repulsive ones are "resist" and "resistance". He's also not allowed to say, "Stop fighting this." He's not allowed to say that to me. When he used to say those things, I would get scared and feel betrayed and not trust him. Then I would get very, very angry and go off on him big time and since you've been to my blog, you can imagine it wasn't pretty because of my mouth. Now that he knows more about the natue of my problems, he handles things very differently. This is a big relief, because these incidents used to cause me an enormous amount of distress. I used to suffer terribly because it used to cause me to tell him to F off and quit therapy. Then I would be very, very sad and scared and alone without my therapist. Worse than that, I would have to go crawling back because I needed the help too badly and I was too afraid of strangers to find someone else. Plus, I was worried that anyone else besides him might have me locked up in the psyche ward. Going back like that reminded me of all the times I returned to bad men and it made me loathe myself.

Thank you for sharing this post with everyone. Words are so very powerful for me. I've not met anyone else before you who had the thing with the words. Reading about this in here makes me feel less weird. Sorry my comment is so long. Sometimes I clam up for a while on my own blog and then I write long comments in the blogs of other survivors. I hope that's okay. Sometimes I don't feel welcome or comfortable with people who are not survivors because they don't understand and trying to communicate with them makes me feel really bad about myself.

Rising Rainbow said...

Lynn, you are always welcome here. And just for the record, I have at least a couple of personalities that have real potty mouths. They usually show themselves when I'm really angry.

However, I'm pretty controlled about my writing. I guess it's probably a system decision of some sorts to not use profanity here. That doesn't mean I don't think it sometimes. lol

Enola said...

"Relax" is a huge trigger for me. Causes problems because people are always telling me to "just relax." I had to tell my T never to tell me to relax when we were doing EMDR. My response usually involved a 4 letter word starting with F...........

Marj aka Thriver said...

Thanks for sharing this for the blog carnival. I'm so glad that you had someone who believed you and who was compassionate. While I don't have any cult activity in my abuse background, I can sure relate to what you said about how specific the depression is, the self-loathing, and reacting to things way differently than a "normal" person would. I just had a huge trigger like that a few days ago that left me reeling.

healandforgive said...

As soon as I read the words, "bodies in the woods," my whole body physically tightened, with fear and empathy for you.

I'm glad you had the courage to speak, and I'm glad your therapist had the courage to listen!