We are in the quiet room at therapy. We forgot our pen in T’s office so we’re writing this way instead We have lots of confusion! Experience doesn’t make sense to us. The minutes aren’t stitched together as “one thing.” To us they aren’t an hour, a meal, a morning. We are just surviving a … Continue reading Facing fears, allowing pain
This morning, one of our therapists emailed to support us. New T advised us to endure this experience with patience, to show up, and to fall back on our values This may be among the most useful advice we ever received. Spouse kept reminding us of it during the funeral today, and it did help … Continue reading Advice for challenging times, like the death of a loved one
We are being asked to do more for someone we love than feels reasonable. We told them so today, in writing, and haven’t heard back yet. We described our feelings and said our unmet need is for Partnership. We described doing supportive tasks alone for them, and feeling overwhelmed. And we asked for sharing of … Continue reading Where is balance?
When we went in-patient for the first time almost five years ago, we wanted goals. Context (short version): We were drowning in shame from childhood trauma memories. Being productive while away from home for five weeks seemed important. Maybe from authors we read and therapists we had, we got the idea that we must love … Continue reading We don’t have to love ourself?
Spouse rode along with us to get our second vaccine dose. We recognize that the privileges of technology access, mobility, and family support allowed us to schedule this appointment and drive an hour to a rural pharmacy. Spouse has been reporting vaccine openings on a Facebook group in order to maximize people’s access to information. … Continue reading Updates on life events
If we do not attempt to meet our needs, who will? If we wait to be rescued, we are putting our agency on hold, staking our life’s fulfillment on others. If they are well-adjusted, they know they cannot be responsible for our existence or even our contentment. Thus, we will wait in anger. We can … Continue reading Responsibility as a goal
IOP hospital wants to discharge Younger Child but Outpatient Hospital will not accept YC because they say YC is too sick. Not sick enough for Provider A and too sick for Provider B. Sounds like Goldilocks. So Provider A referred us to yet another potential provider. They have a 16-week waitlist for Eating Disorders treatment! … Continue reading Limbo: mental health provider shortage
Both children are in distress. Older Child has reached the point of 100% stress, 100% of the time. This is the point Younger Child reached last Fall. We are beside ourself with worry for them. We are recommending that Older Child consider mental health support. Spouse wonders if Older Child might move back home (classes … Continue reading Pandemic: prolonged mental health crises
(We use plural pronouns) We are working with New T on sitting with powerful emotions. Feeling hopeless and despair is uncomfortable. We normally dissociate instead of ride it out. New T had us use bilateral stimulation to activate both sides of brain. Having T with us allowed us to just be in pain for a … Continue reading In Now we must trust
Older Child returned to college yesterday. We are bewildered and morose, funereal, weepy. First Covid case in our extended family, a niece. She and her friends tested (negative) before going to a resort together. Niece is the only one so far with Covid. So far very sore throat, taste and smell gone, fever. We hardly … Continue reading Messy life (redundant)
There is so much uncertainty regarding Younger Child’s mental health, especially since this child has shut us out. Because our tolerance of uncertainty is low, we risk guaranteeing the worst outcome in our relationship—withdrawing, getting angry, using power-over—just to meet our need for order. Finally got to see New-T after T’s two-week holiday. T did … Continue reading Churning mind, tired Us
We started _Peaceful Living _, a Nonviolent Communication daily meditation book (author Mary Mackenzie). January 1 is goal setting, with the parameters of being (1) specific and (2) positively worded (what you want, not what you don’t want). We also revisited important unmet needs of ours so that our goals are aligned with meeting important … Continue reading Goal setting
Trigger warning: we are feeling oppressed and want to say painful things that may trigger those with ptsd We sense that the childhood sexual abuse ruined life for us. Spoiled us like freshly killed meat left to rot. We learned too much, felt sensations too overwhelming for our precious Little selves. It was overload right … Continue reading Be gentle and survive
Lots of energy in our house. Feels crowded. At night, we feel oppressed by it, threatened because we think people are scheming against us. They are absolutely not. This is delusion and trauma. It is morning. We are preparing the turkey before we cook it. We can see our lack of compassion to self and … Continue reading Brave enough to cook a turkey?
On a walk with Spouse today, we stopped suddenly. Spouse is used to this: do you need to hold on to me? No, we said. Where are we? We were one block over, about a 3-minute walk from home. We just couldn’t understand what we were seeing. We had no previous perception of this angle … Continue reading Time travel, map travel
COVID is raging in the US. Our local schools reverted to all distance learning this week with no notice. The schools aren’t transmitting infection; the community is. But so many students and staff are getting COVID (from community activities, such as restaurants and social gatherings) that contact tracing is becoming too big a job for … Continue reading Doomsday scenarios
T-2 is committed to helping us stay alive. We told T-2 if we can make it to Thanksgiving, we can make it until the end of the year because we have something that will uplift us for those 6 weeks. T-2 offered to call a prospective T we found through calling, calling, and calling. This … Continue reading Thank you, T-2, for trying
Trigger warning: self-harm, blood, anger, despair We reached out to 3 mental health clinics and 3 individual therapists this week requesting in-person therapy. Five responses: no. We have not heard from one clinic. No one has referred us to anyone who is seeing clients in person. We are amazed people return our emails. We always … Continue reading We don’t quit
All people do their best. Since we are people, we will hurt other people, succumb to base urges, like greed, and experience pain. Rolling with life is a challenge for us. The pain we are experiencing is acute, and we have so many voices in our head! Crying Littles. Judgments. Advice for how to act. … Continue reading Early Winter
Trigger warnings: blood, trauma, self-harm, disordered eating, etc. When we want control, our go-to is to withhold food from us. While it may not sound ideal to starve children, and it isn’t, please know it’s the children doing the starving of the body. When we get sick from hunger, getting food in us can be … Continue reading Survival soup
Younger Child started php for mental health. This could improve all of our lives. We have been saying life has many paths: school can wait, college isn’t required for living. Focus on health and well-being. Relieve suffering. Now, there is a chance to relieve suffering. You know us: we feel other people’s feelings, especially pain. … Continue reading Nerves. Practicing flexibility
Since we started weaning off meds, we have been dizzy and nauseous hourly. No abatement. Hunger—even a little—exacerbates the sickness. Now that we know that, we are trying to nip it in the bud as it intensifies. Eat as healthfully as we can. We used to have this level of vertigo, before our DID diagnosis. … Continue reading Learning to live with DID— again
Withdrawal spiked yesterday and we were crying and inviting death. Spouse was attentive. That really helped us to survive. Spouse kept saying this is not permanent. It will pass. That is one fear: that it is permanent and won’t pass. We slept a lot during the day. Nausea and dizziness walloped us. We tried to … Continue reading Planting seeds in life’s autumn
The meds that helped us get off xanax are themselves leaving our system. We have chosen no meds. Why? We don’t remember what we know and do not know. We know we are low on skills. But we don’t know what we need Now. We used to have energy. We used to have a fire … Continue reading Wait at the intersection
Is “try harder” possible? We are feeling trapped. OCD might play av party because we like rules. Breaking rules—or seeing with fresh eyes—helps get new ideas. Energetically, we cannot seem to keep boundaries. We feel other’s feelings. We aren’t sure how not to. That is why we like being alone. To recharge. Practice. Be free. … Continue reading Eyes closed until the ride stops
These are forecasted to be the final warm days of the year here. Autumn has often been a melancholy time for us. Suicidal ideation often spikes as the leaves fall. We think the trigger was the annual return to school as a child, which augured suffering because we could not sleep at night. Summer allowed … Continue reading We want to slow it down
COVID-19 pandemic is not over in our house. We are still social distancing. Some people act like it is over, and we do not want to judge a view as right or wrong. We walked with Spouse this weekend and saw elementary school kids playing organized American football—close contact among players, coaches, and parents with … Continue reading Is the pandemic over or continuing?
We usually write when we have something to say or if we want support. This post does not fulfill either of those. We are just writing so that people know what is going on in case they are interested. Older Child will return to college in a few weeks. All classes are online. So why … Continue reading What’s going on with us
Tried another new therapist. Stopped after two sessions. Not a suitable fit. We received an ultimatum in the second appointment, and that did not meet our needs for Autonomy and safety. Going to try to drive the 37 minutes each way to see T-3 this week in addition to seeing T-2. Back to the basics. … Continue reading What now ?
We have lost much ground in: Being in our bodyMeditating Feeling any contentment Physical strength Therapeutic relationshipsHealing our traumas Cooperating internally Having friendships Expressing our gender We have gained ground in: Being compassionate to Younger ChildGetting off benzosAdjusting to new normals Things may not go back to the old normal. There is no knowing. Even … Continue reading Start (resume) where you are
Bodily functions warning ⚠️ Have been tapering down Xanax for more than a month. Stepped down to zero last night. This was not the plan. We were having withdrawal symptoms already. We needed several more days at current dosage. We didn’t crave it as much and thought we’d just get it over with. Slept very … Continue reading Medication withdrawal
Friend Eliza wrote about an experience that resonates with us. Her blog is here. She wrote about the need for reassurance from a friend that the friend is still there. We have that kind of urgency with T-1. We would urgently need to text T-1 because we panicked T-1 had forgot us. T-1 told us … Continue reading Gentleness for cravings
Have brain zaps. Am so hypervigilant that doors opening and closing in our house are sending us up a wall. Tried to nap. No luck. It might be Xanax withdrawal. We are poor at tapering meds. We have apparently been on it too long. Years. Dangerous. New meds still has us sleepy. Not as much. … Continue reading Electrifried brain: meds
We need an increase in our take-as-needed medication. Our doctor is very responsive to our needs, as we have a history together and we never have abused or misused a medication. Wet have adjusted the dosage down in the past, too, which indicates we are not always wanting increases. We had an appointment scheduled in … Continue reading Self-care amid healthcare chaos
At one of Dr. Ross’s hospitals, we had the opportunity to have a public (in front of all patients and staff on the Trauma Ward), one-hour therapy session We had seen this session before starting in 2017. Dr. Ross would fly into town, visit the ward, and hold a public therapy session once per week. … Continue reading Declining teletherapy before it was cool, and now the risks to life
Dr. Colin Ross* uses a triangle to show the roles that trauma survivors tend to replay in their lives. At each point of the triangle is one of these roles: VictimRescuerPerpetrator Sometimes, we were a victim in real life, as with abuse. Sometimes, we suffer a medical emergency that is no one’s “fault,” and still … Continue reading Stop waiting for the rescuer
Some of our needs for therapy session needs are starting to get met. When shelter-in-place began, we had four therapists whom we were seeing 4-5 days per week total. We terminated our relationship with T-4 after one teletherapy session (we saw T-4 at least twice in person after other therapists stopped meeting in-person, so the … Continue reading Update on needs: therapy and meds
“These are days you'll rememberNever before and never sinceI promise... ...When May is rushing over you with desireTo be part of the miracles you see in every hourYou'll know it's true that you are blessed and luckyIt's true that you Are touched by something That will grow and bloom in you” “These are days” —10,000 … Continue reading May is rushing
Are there any therapists out there who aren’t too scared to help heal the long suffering? Are there any therapists who connect at the human needs level and are able to use love as a guide post instead of fear? Is there a therapist out there who, when times get tough like now, won’t retreat … Continue reading The therapists are gone
We met with T-2 in cars yesterday. T-2 is holding face-to-face sessions in clinic wearing masks, and we are too afraid and uncomfortable to do that. We pulled our cars next to each other, and T-2 wanted us to talk on the phone, so we did that. There is a lag in the phone so … Continue reading Seeking resources, not quitting yet
We are feeling very much stressed and low on resourcefulness and energy. We told Spouse. We vented. It is hard to say much at this point for Spouse. We have boxed ourselves into a corner. We want to practice Nonviolent Communication, and we know nobody who knows it. We found an online, yearlong compassion course … Continue reading Who is caring for the therapists?
T-2 is going to start seeing clients again. Therapist and client have to wear a mask at all times and stay six feet apart. Our Littles do not want to do it. They are too scared of the masks. Scared of being contagious. Of being feared. Of being afraid. Afraid of being afraid is common … Continue reading Internal meeting
We are pausing our therapeutic relationship with T-1. This is scary. T-1 has been one of our strongest tethers. Will we ever see each other again? If not, thank you for trying to help us. We learned many lessons. T-2 will know this week if T-2 can begin seeing us in person in some capacity. … Continue reading Practicing love
T-1 agreed to our first socially distanced mental health therapy appointment. We have had two such sessions with T-3. T-1 had many concerns and objections that were voiced to us. Spouse was not thrilled with this level of sharing. Spouse worried about how much T-1’s objections were stressing us out. We accepted the specific objections … Continue reading Socially distanced mental health therapy
Somebody left our body and noticed we were lost in delusion. They came back in and invited us into the actual world. The actual world scares us. So we make other worlds. In these other worlds, we are usually being hurt. Usually emotionally. The premises are: Predictability is bestWe should suffer These are easy and … Continue reading End punishment
We keep writing and deleting drafts. Family gave us space for about 45 minutes last night. Littles came out❤️. They colored. Then we did Shaking and Dancing. Then we meditated on our family. When they came home, we crashed back to this new, high baseline of hypervigilance. Felt awful. Feel awful So is experiencing anything … Continue reading Another try at blogging
T-3 asked us to write in a blog post some of what we said to T-3 in teletherapy today. We said that we wish that health organizations, whose mission is to protect lives, would use a language of unity, compassion, and mutual support and not language of violence and war. If people can social distance … Continue reading Being there for one another
T-3 is back in town. We'll meet online for now. Same with other Ts. We had our first online therapy session a few days ago. Not having physical connection provided some benefits/gifts we would not have known about without having tried it and being mindful of it: With T-1, we were able to bring up … Continue reading Bravery of isolation in teletherapy