Trigger Warning: (5/5!)
Learn what a “session splash” is.
today will be a long one, because i ended up doing a double session. we talked about a lot of things, so i’m sure this is not in order. i was/am in crisis and i tend to jump around when that is the case. i also was not able to directly talk about my abuse with my therapist until this session (but not until after the first hour and i was about to leave. i felt like i didn’t want to leave until i actually talked about it).
i told her i lost my main source of income, my biggest client, but didn’t get much of a reaction. i think it is a big deal and am very worried about it. i have now lost two clients and haven’t gotten many calls for new clients either. i lost this client because i no longer have a car and have to rent a vehicle.
we talked about some problems that i had logging in to an abuse survivor forum and how it played into me feeling like no one is believing me about my abuse. when i was a child i was always told by adults that there were no bruises, or my abuse was denied in other ways,.so i feel like i’m lying every time i talk about my abuse.
i let her know that i was able to write the black doctor’s bag story, so i did not want to write today (we agreed to start with writing each session). i let her know that writing the story started a flood of memories for me, and related the story to her.
i also recalled a time when my grandmother (step-grandmother i guess) took me for a girls day out, because i also needed my haircut. i remember being about 6 or 7 and was really happy to be going out with my grandmother, because i enjoyed spending time with her. she always paid attention and took me to neat places. she took me to an upscale salon, where they fawned over me, cut my hair and even put a little make-up on me. at the time i didn’t think anything of it but when i got home and saw my father, my heart started beating really hard and i was terrified all of a sudden, so i went and hit behind a chair. everyone thought is was funny and walked away. i remember sitting back there for hours just waiting, i wasn’t sure for what, but i was so scared. thinking about it now i was scared because i knew that i looked good (not in a conceited way, if you get what i mean). i believe this is related to my abusers making me up and putting me in costumes for their sick movies.
at this point i was finally able to tell her about the kitten flashback that i had a few nights before, and the related breakdown. read about this flashback memory. it is a horrible memory to recall, and i was crying while and after telling it. i told her about the breakdown i had as i recalled the memory. as i said in the flashback memory story, i almost convulsed against the wall, and had a scream in my throat. it was about 4 in the morning, so i didn’t want to start screaming, but the feeling wouldn’t go away. i felt like i wanted to scream, but if i started i would never stop, and i was terrified!
i went into my roommates/best friend’s room and told him i was freaking out. i was crying, rocking back and forth and repeating “no, no, no” to myself. i also have a habit of rubbing my forehead, hard until it is almost raw. i continued to rock back and forth, and even hit my chin for a few minutes repeatedly. i felt like i was going insane – i pulled my knees up under me, and bent over them, rolling myself into a ball on my roommates bed. i was crying and drooling on the bed and felt like i might die. eventually i was exhausted, the scream died in my throat and i was able to sleep for a few hours.
my therapist explained to me that it was not me who was freaking out, but the 4 year old me. it was the 4 year old me that was drooling on the bed, that was rocking back and forth. i guess this makes sense, but i still do not feeling like a child. i do not like feeling out of control.
i think that this one memory is tied to so many habits that i have (had?) today:
- nightmares about pets dying, or day-mares/thoughts about them dying. i once had a wicked dream about the first pet i owned having string caught in her throat and she could not breath. i had her in my lap and was trying to pull the string out, but it was really stuck and i could see her dying. it was terrible and i could not shake it for weeks
- i cannot stand to see animals killed in movies, but have little or no issues with seeing people killed
- i almost throw up every time i see a dead animal in the street, you know ‘roadkill’. i cannot help but look either, which is just stupid. i have now taken to putting my hand over the animal as i drive so that i cannot look
however, since talking about this memory with my therapist i have found some of these problems have resolved or at least gotten better. i now only feel sad when i see roadkill, (or slightly ill) which my therapist suggested to me might happen. not sure if it was her suggestion, or a natural progression, but it is a nice change. i also discovered that i was holding a resentment toward my two kitties that is now gone. i am now able to care for them better and do not get annoyed with them as easily. i am also able to feel pure love for them without mixed emotions, which i didn’t even know was a problem until it occurred! and all this in just a week!
after i told my therapist about the memory and breakdown she told me that she believed me, but i just don’t know how she could. these memories, these things i have experienced are so unbelievable. however, i understand that they may have been ‘manufactured’ to be that way.
i shared with her that i wished i could be jesus, or jesus like. i don’t mean that i want to be a god/deity/or have any power except to take away people’s hurt. i feel an enormous amount of guilt about not being the only one abused. i hate knowing that others were abused by the same people as me, and by other sick perpetrators. when i was young i tried to protect other children by being the ‘favorite’ and i wish i could have done this for all of the abused.
i also told her that i felt guilt at being cared for while i was abused. i have heard of many stories where abuse survivors suffer horrible physical damage/scars that last long after their abuse, but i don’t have these issues. my abusers gave me medical care, put ointments on me after using me, and in other ways made my abuse invisible. i also remembered that puberty was not allowed, and guess that this was related to pregnancy now that i am older.
i next shared how i have reacted to family pets dying and my grandfathers death, and how it was probably related to the stories i had told her. when i was younger and people or pets died, i didn’t react. it wasn’t that i didn’t know it had happened, i wasn’t in denial, but i just didn’t react. i remember this scared my (step) mother, and she asked how i could be so cold hearted? i was asked the same thing again by all of my family at my grandfather’s wake. well, i wonder why….
i next asked her what coping skills can help when i experience a breakdown again, and here is a list version:
- acting out in some way that expresses my anger. she has suggested roll playing, using dolls, or ‘playing sides’, which involves playing both parts of the roll playing
- create something artistic without direction, or end result in mind
- she said something about people having pet memorials
- in the past we have discussed relaxation techniques
she also made a diagram on the whiteboard for me that visually described how the brain interprets information, and in what order, as related to the fight, flight, freeze response.
we discussed DID vs. multiple personality, which we have talked about before. i have explained to her that i don’t understand why i do not have DID, and that i feel guilt over not developing it, and that i sometimes wish i had. i also wonder if i do have it and she is just not telling me because it would break my ‘fragile’ mind.
however, this session i asked her if DID and multiple personality disorder are the same thing, because i wanted to make sure that i was understanding correctly. she said that they were the same, and that they just decided to change the name, but she could not remember why. i shared that i felt that dissociative identity disorder (DID) had a lot less stigma than the term ‘multiple personality disorder’ and was a more accurate description.
i next shared that i noticed a new ‘voice’ in my head, a male authoritative (militant) figure who tells me “No” and “Don’t look there” or “Don’t remember that” or my favorite “for the love of God, no!”. we discussed a ‘tarot’ deck project that we have talked about before.
talked about if she knew when we first met that i would deal with abuse issues (i had little to no idea). she said that it was intuition and she accepted that she may have been wrong, but she felt from the first drawing i did that i had dealt with abuse related to my father (how right she was/is). the drawing was of my spine, represented by black outlined boxes, with a circle in the middle for pain. over that there was a phallic shape with a face over it, complete with mustache, that i said represented my father in the middle.
we discussed making friends and how i have reconnected with some old friends in an organic nature.
i told her my resistance to art is because i do not want to associate the creation of art with ugly topics.
NOTE: since thinking about all this i have played with the idea of having a type of ‘memorial’ for the kittens. however, in my religion, wicca, they do not ritualize mourning which i do not exactly agree with, so it doesn’t give me a documented process. however, it is an idea that might allow for closure of some kind.