Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Questions from Jumpinginpuddles

After yesterday's post, Questions from Jumpinginpuddles , Amelia from the jumpinginpuddles system asked more questions that are relevant to the discussion of issues with therapists.

I'm glad that Amelia felt comfortable enough with me to ask these questions. I hope that if she has more questions that she knows it's safe to ask.

It not only helps me to post about topics that could be useful to others, it helps me to understand better where she is coming from. It's obvious from her questions and the other comments that learning how to confront is intimidating.

Q: Is it the minorities who have the issues?
In other words say i or someone else didn't or couldn't relate to their therapist because of say hurt that had been inflicted in previous situations, is it something an alter has to work through with that therapist if it involves them or can they see someone else and deal with it?

A: I think that the most successful way to deal with issues with a therapist are with THAT therapist. (This is taking into account that the therapist is a good therapist. I would never suggest that issues try to be resolved with an abusive therapist. But that is not the case here, we are talking about a therapist who works very well with some alters within the system.)

While I understand that the very thought can be intimidating, there is lots to be gained by resolving this issue. I think if the plan was to go through another therapist, to really resolve the issue it would still come back to the original therapist.

For most issues we go to therapy. Talk about what hurt us. Then we figure out how we're going to deal with those people in the future, or if we're going to deal with them at all. We learn what we could have done differently and maybe what they should have done differently. Then we make decisions about how we're going to change in handling such situations.

Now that might be a pretty over-simplified explanation of therapy but it doesn't change the fact that to resolve issues, they need to be exposed to the light of day. The feelings need to be felt and if there is a relationship that is involved, some from of compromise needs to be attained.

Since these issues affect the therapeutic relationship of the system, sooner of later, it will need to be worked through with the therapist that is involved. Not doing so can and does affect the progress of the entire system.

Q: Not all alters are good at confrontations i certainly couldn't ever tell the systems T how hurt i am and wounded so i think what im asking is..... are you supposed to have to confront if it is your T that has hurt you?

A: I understood a while ago from posts on one of your blogs that there were alters in your system who were hurt by your therapist. I have been answering these questions based on that information. I also understand it appears to be hard for you to talk about the specifics. That tells me that it is all the more important for you to work these out.

While I understand that it might be too scary to just come out of the blue and confront your therapist, I think that there might be other ways to get the process started.

First off, I think it would be helpful for you to tell someone exactly why and how your feelings were hurt and you felt so wounded. Whether it is someone else inside or someone on the outside that you trust. Talking about the specifics at all, would be a good way to get started.

Then I wonder would it be possible for you to have someone else in the system be your spokesperson to get the dialog started with you therapist. There might be someone in there who would be willing to open the door for you.

Another thing to do would be to right down what happened and how you feel about it. Even if you couldn't say the words directly, being able to put them down on paper and give them (or have some else give them) to you therapist might be less intimidating.

Believe me when I tell you, I understand how frightening this whole subject of confrontation can be. I have been there and I still go there sometimes. But learning how to stand up for ourselves is such a huge part of healing, it just cannot be overlooked. It is a necessary part of the process. And nothing feels quite as powerful as having confronted someone who has intimidated us. Standing up to and facing our fear has rewards you can't even imagine.

It's OK to do it slowly, to practice and get more comfortable with the process before you have to directly face the therapist. You have lots of friends on the Internet who would gladly support and coach you along the way. It is a good start you are even talking about it here.

Also, I think it might be possible to just tell, or have someone else tell the therapist that there is a problem without going into the details. Instead ask for ideas of the best way to deal with it. Let her know what your fears are, how hard it is for you to even think about dealing with it and see what she thinks might be useful.

My guess is that your therapist will have some creative ideas of her own on how to deal with this. I believe that she will welcome the opportunity to work out any issues you or any others of your system might have with her. I know that you don't trust her because of what happened. But it's possible she will earn a lot of trust in how she handles this and you will get to she a different side of her than you have experienced to this point.

Q: And what happens if you just don't ever deal with it and let everyone else get their healing?

Believe it or not, all of you are really connected, even when you don't feel like you are. To not deal with this will affect the whole system. Have you ever heard the saying, "A chain is only as strong as the weakest link?" The weak link is the one that breaks if the load gets to heavy. That saying applies to multiples as well.

In the system of a multiple, healing cannot be applied to certain personalities and not affect the others in the system. And the opposite is also true, avoidance of healing will affect others across the system. It is a team effort. If the team has weak players, it's going to have problems. The stronger all the players get, the more successful the team will be.

When sam was on the lose, she was targeting the smaller, weaker ones within your system. She counted on parts of you being wounded so she could exploit that and cause problems for everyone. Just like any offender, she looked for signs of previous injury to capitalize and scare others into doing what she wanted. My guess is that sam even worked hard to convince others inside that your therapist couldn't and shouldn't be trusted. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Now you have a second in charge that is doing similar things. The best way to fight this is for all of you to join together and work to heal. Putting your fears aside and dealing with your issues with the therapist is the last thing that second in charge wants you to do because it is the best thing for your system.

I understand that you are frightened and that your feelings have really been hurt. But I firmly believe it is a misunderstanding. I believe that your therapist would never intentionally do you any harm. She wants you to be just as happy and healthy as the others are striving to be.


Anonymous said...

can you please do a series on accepting this abuse really happeend and hoping it didnt. In oterh words how do you embrace the fact youve been abused and accept it without hurting yourself so bad to punish yourself

jumpinginpuddles said...

thanks for answering amelias questions, its a tough one to answer and i know shes read them and it spurred her into doing somenthing she hasnt done before and written about how M has hurt her
once again thanks


Lynn said...

Hi, RR. Thank you for your comment on my blog. I still have more to tell over there, but it's hard yet. In this post, you said, "Talk about what hurt us. Then we figure out how we're going to deal with those people in the future, or if we're going to deal with them at all. We learn what we could have done differently and maybe what they should have done differently. Then we make decisions about how we're going to change in handling such situations." This part jumped out at me - "We learn what we could have done differently and maybe what they should have done differently. Then we make decisions about how we're going to change in handling such situations."

I think these are the things that happened inside after the incident with the therapist.

1. "We learned what we could have done differently" - I could have made myself not panic or be afraid. I could have stamped out the problem with my anxiety pills instead of thinking that someone could help me. I could have drugged up and then tried to keep busy, even if it was just with things inside my home. I could have done any of these things instead of trusting someone with something like that. It was just too personal to tell to anyone except my husband.

2. "Then we make decisions about how we're going to change in handling such situations." (I didn't make these decisions consciously, but I see now that I made them partly or mostly in response to the incident with the therapist.)

New rule #1: When all the harbingers of an impending memory are present, immediately hide yourself from the therapist. He cannot be present for that. Hide yourself away during these times so you will be safe. Foil your own attempts to get close to him during these times, as that cannot be allowed to happen. If you feel yourself getting scared or really weak, try to get his attention by email. You know he doesn't always check it. He might check it and he might not. Still, you did SOMETHING to make a token attempt to secure the comfort that comes from having someone to help you. If he answers, it will be too late and if he doesn't you will become angry about that and it will take the edge off the pain.

New rule #2: It might not be safe to just come out and tell him that you need to be alone when memories emerge. He might get angry and reject the little girl like the others did if he thinks he is being accused of something. It is better to reject him first. The strongest and safest way to do that is to be offensive and pick some sort of fight.

New rule #3: You must remember that ultimately, the therapist is an outsider. Everyone is, really. It is weak and dangerous to try to bring foreign others to the inside. No good has ever come of this, nor can it. You know that horribly embarrassed and ashamed feeling that assaults you after you are overly honest? It's a warning from the inside that you have screwed up. STOP DOING THAT.

These 'rules' are still in place even though I understand this now. They are entrenched. I finally told the therapist how I felt about the incident. He's sorry and has been supportive and kind for a year and a half. I'm afraid to get anyone else. I DON'T TRUST PEOPLE. There is absolutely NOTHING stopping any other therapist from having the same failure of empathy at a crucial time. I don't know what to do. I'm beginning to wonder if I need therapy at all. I handle memories without him now, so maybe I'm fine. Still, I'm afarid to be alone with the horror. The whole issue of therapy now reminds me of being a helpless captive just like then: I'm scared to be alone and I'm scared not to be. I'm just plain screwed, just as I have always been.