Progressing in therapy

I sat here debating whether “progressing” was an appropriate word to describe my experience in therapy.  I’m still not 100% sure, but I’m going to go with it anyway.

I look forward to therapy, while at the same time have some fear about what might happen.  Sometimes our sessions are an hour.  Sometimes they are a couple of hours.  You can never really tell how it will end up.  I’m still going twice a week; that won’t change any time soon.  I also e-mail my therapist between sessions to check in; sometimes she even gives me homework (I’m making a face right now just thinking about it).  But it works for us.

My therapist is amazing.  I’m pretty sure she gets me.  Sometimes she doesn’t know whether I am being genuine or sarcastic – I consider that my talent (with anyone, not just her).  But she’s really smart and knows her shit, even when it’s random shit.  I e-mailed her last night to tell her that I had eaten a potato (it had been three days since I had eaten) and she e-mailed me back this morning comparing my choice of eating a potato to Carol Rogers’ description of human actualization, in which he compared the process to that of a potato, which will strive to grow in the most unfavorable, sunless, earthless conditions; with nourishment and sunlight, in the right environment, it can become what it is meant to be.  While some people might think that was weird, I quite adore Carl Rogers and I am a psychology nerd, so I enjoy random facts like that.  It made my day.  She’s also very in tune with my needs and knows my limits.  And she gives me a hug after every session and tells me all the positive things I’m doing, even though I don’t believe all of them.

Therapy has been a little slow because I’ve had so many issues come up that we haven’t had much time to begin to process the MDSA.  Yesterday was the first time we actually started.  It wasn’t much; we watched the first part of a documentary (less than 10 minutes) and then stopped it to discuss.  Before we watched it, my therapist prepared me for how we should deal with whatever would happen.  If I needed to take a break, to tell her I needed a break.  Then she asked me if I were to dissociate, did I want her to bring me back right away or could she keep me in that state?  My mind just went blank.  I’ve spent years learning about DID and dissociative disorders.  I never once thought I would have to be making these decisions for myself.  Everything is different when it’s something you experience.

The documentary part wasn’t anything tremendously difficult.  What stood out to me the most was one of the women in the documentary saying how her mother made her out to be the crazy one.  That was just…exactly my life.  Then talking about that progressed into my use of the word crazy, and how my mother liked to use that word to describe me to everybody…and here I was using it myself.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

I’m not entirely clear on how the rest of therapy went.  I remember my financial issues being brought up again.  I remember mentioning how I didn’t want to turn into my parents, depending on others for support.  I really don’t remember much else.  I came back from a long dissociation wrapped in a blanket, holding a stuffed lion, with my arm red and bleeding.  I don’t even know how I ended up there, or what happened while I was out.  She just told me I was hurting myself.  All I could do was apologize.  Why can’t I have happy dissociations that are all about sunshine and rainbows instead of bouts of self-destruction?  It also sucks that I can’t remember.  I just want to remember.  My therapist insists that I’m making progress and taking steps forward.  I just don’t know.  I see dissociating as a failure.  I guess I got by before because I wasn’t so acutely aware of it as I am now because now I have someone pointing it out.

I was feeling a little down about what happened in therapy.  I feel like we hugged forever because I didn’t want to let go.  As I was writing her the check, I asked what the date was (I am horrible about keeping track of the date).  When she told me, I remembered that the date was also my parents’ anniversary.  Without thinking, I said “Oh, that’s my parents’ anniversary.  I hope they die in a fire.”  I realized what came out of my mouth, but before I could feel bad about it, my therapist actually validated what I said.  She didn’t tell me what a horrible thing it was to think or say; she sort of, indirectly, agreed.  What a great feeling that was.  For once, I didn’t feel bad about wanting those evil people to die.  Unfortunately, I don’t think they died in a fire.  Yet.  There’s still time.

When I got home last night and melted into my bed, I looked at my arm where I had scratched myself hours before.  Then I realized something.  This was something I had done before.  I remember as a child, I would scratch my skin raw.  I had to go to the doctor to make sure it wasn’t a contagious disease; it wasn’t contagious…it wasn’t an obvious allergy…the doctors weren’t really sure what caused it.  It happened regularly throughout my childhood and even as a teenager and occasionally as an adult.  Sometimes I would wake up with my skin like that, so I assumed I would scratch in my sleep.  No one ever really made an issue out of it.  And now I’m sitting here wondering if there is a connection.  Could I have dissociated that young?  And why the hell would I scratch my skin off?  What is wrong with me?

4 thoughts on “Progressing in therapy

  1. “What’s wrong with me?” Nothing, not a single fucking thing!!!!! Progress? You question it? Are you ducking kidding me, you’ve made amazing and I mean amazing progress, strides ……. Huge strides. Quit beating yourself up and belittling yourself, you’ve been beat yo enough and like many others of us dint know how to love ourselves or even accept love from others ……..but guess what ..,,, you’re doing it, yep you are. You’re allowing her to hug you and more importantly hold you. Just be held!


  2. Hi, I just stumbled here. It sounds like you have a great therapist. I dissociate too and wanting to remember but not being able to is so hard. Never beat yourself up about it though, my therapist reminds me that it helped me survive! There’s nothing to feel bad about.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You definitely could have dissociated that young. I did something similar (and still do). I scratch my legs to the point that it appears I have some sort of allergic rash or reaction. It leaves scars and marks all over me like a pox. I’ve slowed down a lot, but when my anxiety spikes, it starts again. I also wish my parents would die in a fire. Blah.

    Liked by 1 person

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