Dissociation, flashbacks, and suicidal thoughts all wrapped up into one day of therapy.

Today was supposed to be a good day.

I told myself I wasn’t going to dissociate today.  I was going to be normal.  I had an iced coffee before therapy, which calmed my nerves and made me less jittery (it also tends to make me sleepy – yes, I am not normal).  It was going to be a good day.

Ha.  Ha ha ha.  Ha ha ha ha.  Why did I think that was possible?  I should have known better.  I mean, therapy started out fine.  I felt okay.  I was comfortable talking about things that had come up over the weekend.  I even brought up how i threw away my old house keys and how my mother used them to keep me under control.  Then the conversation developed into how some mother-daughter sexual abusers tend to be pathological liars.  Yep.  My mother certainly fit that mold.  And you always had to believe everything she said, no matter how wild it was, no matter how wrong it was.  If you defied her truth, you were punished for it.  Eventually I learned to just go along with whatever she said, even though intellectually I knew she was wrong (even at a young age).  I think that’s where my brother and I differ.  He never had the intelligence and know-better to realize her lies were really lies; that’s why he’s still brainwashed, and I’ve been able to take a different path.  I told my therapist I sometimes see my intelligence as a bad thing, because I think understanding so much of what went on hurts more than just living in ignorance.  Then she said if I wasn’t intelligent enough to have those realizations, I would have been brainwashed, and where would I be now?  Still at home, still a victim.  I guess she’s right.

My therapist asked me what things my mother would say that I knew weren’t true.  I told her I didn’t want to think about that.  I was trying to think about anyone else but my mother and her bullshit.  But it wasn’t working.  And the thoughts came.  And then I remembered how she believed I was the devil’s child.  I guess she treated me like one, too.  And I remember reaching an age where I knew the devil couldn’t be my father.  All this time she lied to me.  But it’s like she believed it.  She believed I was evil.  But in reality, I was born from her.  So evil breeds evil, doesn’t it?

And then I went off to dissociation land.  I’m not sure for how long.  It was Anna again.  I guess my therapist convinced her to color instead of scratching her (my?) skin off (thankfully only minimal damage this time).  She drew flowers and a yellow dog.  My therapist asked me if I wanted to keep it, or have her keep it.  I said she should keep it, since Anna likes her better.  I realize now that was kind of a hurtful response towards Anna, but it’s how I felt at the time.  I still feel disconnected with her.  It’s something I am still working on.

Shortly after coming back to reality, I was hit with a flashback.  Out of nowhere.  Why?  Why is this happening now?  I pulled my hood over my face and tried to hide.  My therapist had no idea what was going on.  She sat next to me and tried to comfort me, but I was still hiding in my hood, trying not to cry, trying to find words, trying just to breathe.  Finally she asked if I was having a flashback and I was able to tell her yes.  I was trying to regulate my breathing so I wouldn’t throw myself into a panic.  My therapist was breathing with me.  Despite my efforts, that shit was still in my head.  I didn’t know why.  Why is my mother burning me?  My therapist kept telling me it’s over now, she’s not going to do it again.  In that moment, I was just waiting for her to come through the door and do it again.  I’m a bad child.  Here comes my punishment.

Sometimes I think I fail at therapy.  What if it’s better to just keep all of these things suppressed so I don’t have to deal with them?  What good is this doing?  Therapy ran over two hours, and I missed the bus back home.  So my therapist told me I could wait out in the waiting room until the bus.  She gave me some water, some snacks, and a couple of books to read.  My mind was still out of it, but I felt safe.  Then when it got closer to the time I had to leave, I started to panic again.  I didn’t want to go home and be alone with my thoughts.  Being alone is dangerous.  I went to say goodbye to my therapist and went to give her a hug, and had such mixed feelings.  I literally went from “I can’t hug you anymore” to “Please don’t let go” within 20 seconds.  My mind was racing and I didn’t really know what to do.  She asked me what she could do to help me.  I said I didn’t know.  I said I didn’t want to leave.  So she gave me another book to read and I went and sat back down.

I soon felt myself dissociating again.  I didn’t have the energy to stop it.  I was in a weird place, as if I had gone back to believing I was that evil child that needed to be punished.  And something was telling me I needed to be punished.  But yet part of me was aware of what was going on.  Part of me knew that by going home, I was putting myself at risk.  I knew I would do something dangerous.  I was thinking of different ways I could seriously hurt or kill myself, all of which were fully accessible at home.  So I did what I could to stay out and about.  I even waited in the lobby for another two hours (once my therapist left), going in and out of dissociation (I only know because I saw the marks from me clawing at myself) before I left the building.

I left the house at 9:30 in the morning to get to therapy and didn’t get home until nearly 8 hours later.  But it’s what I needed to do to stay safe.  I’m not the most mentally stable right now, but I’m not where I was before.  Some part of me fights endlessly to live, even when another part insists on my ultimate death.  And here I am, stuck in the middle of the tug-of-war.  This happens all of the time.  I should be used to it by now.  At least I managed to stay out of a hospital (for now).  I do have to e-mail my therapist, though.  She needs to make sure I am safe.  Even though I tell her I’m fine, she knows when I’m really not fine.  I just struggle with describing all the shit that goes through my head all of the time.

2 thoughts on “Dissociation, flashbacks, and suicidal thoughts all wrapped up into one day of therapy.

  1. Wouldn’t it be convenient if we really could tell ourselves, “oh, I’m not going to dissociate today”? But then, of course, who would say, “today I will dissociate, seems like a good day for that.” It just comes when it needs to come, I guess until we convince all our parts that they can trust us to meet their needs and keep them safe, or something like that.

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