A much needed return to therapy

I admit it.

I can barely handle going an entire week without a therapy session.

My wallet would certainly approve of one therapy session a week. But for right now, my life is still a little bit of a mess and I need more therapy than normal. And that’s okay.

I brought my list with me, but I ended up being able to remember most of what I wanted to discuss. We were able to tackle the most notable events of the past week. I saved a couple of topics for the next session, but they aren’t too serious so I can handle waiting a couple more days.

I told her about my experience on Black Friday that led to the panic attack and flashbacks. Even though it took hours, I managed to finally calm myself down completely. I told her how my coworkers reacted and responded to my needs. I guess I was fortunate in that way, because some people would not be understanding at all. It happens that there is another worker there with PTSD (combat-related), and people at work weren’t really knowledgeable about it. I used it as an opportunity to explain what PTSD is, what causes it, and what can happen, and I think that was helpful for all of us.

My therapist asked me if I had dissociated at all during the incident. I told her I didn’t think that I did, but I couldn’t be 100% sure because I was feeling so chaotic. She said I handled it well, that I knew what I needed to do so it wouldn’t get worse and I was able to assert my needs. I did tell her that I may have dissociated at work in the days prior. On Thursday, a few coworkers asked me if I was okay, because they said I was “out of it” and fumbling around the day before. I remember the earlier parts of my day just fine, and I remember walking to work and starting my shift. I don’t really remember anything specific after that, which makes me think that I did dissociate.

This prompted my therapist to ask if any of my coworkers know about the DID. I have one coworker that knows, only because he found my blog and read it. He doesn’t really know what DID is, and I haven’t made any wholehearted attempts to explain it to him or to anyone at work. My therapist reminded me that I was able to explain about PTSD and had positive results with that. I told her I found PTSD easier to explain than DID. I think that DID needs to be explained through a process. If you try to explain everything in one sitting, you are going to overwhelm a person. I feel like I would need to give out a few tidbits at a time and see how people react to them, and then go from there.

Disclosing and explaining DID is just not something I’m ready for yet. Oddly enough, one of the managers made a comment about her other personality coming out (which had a name) and made jokes about it the other day. I felt a little uncomfortable, but I tried to be understanding in that most people just don’t know about DID and how those comments could be offensive. With that being said, the only way they would know those comments could be offensive is if they knew the reality of DID. I just don’t want to be one of those people who are labelled as sensitive because they find everything offensive. I try to understand both sides, I really do. But I also recognize that, in my attempts at understanding, I am also perpetuating the lack of knowledge about DID by staying silent.

We moved on to discussing graduate school. I completed Monday night of last week and finalized my application that Tuesday night. I’m still stressing about how I am going to be able to handle everything, especially financially. I can use loans to help ease the financial burden, but it’s not going to be enough to live on. I will still have to work, and quite possibly get an extra job if I am cut back to part-time after the holidays. I’m pretty good at stretching a dollar. I can live on little food (one benefit of the bullshit I went through as a child), and have been managing quite well doing that. I’ve been selling some of my things for extra money. But I still know that realistically, I’m not that far away from financial hardship. It’s nearly impossible to get benefits or assistance when you are single and childless, so even if I wanted to go that route, I can’t. Maybe I just need to play the lottery.

Despite the chaos that I still see my life as being, my therapist thinks I have made so much progress, even in the last couple of months. She brought up possibly restarting the trauma-focused therapy, more specifically delving back into the mother-daughter sexual abuse…the same subject that led us to stop intense therapy more than two months ago. I wasn’t expecting her to bring it up. After thinking about it for a minute, I did agree that I was in a different place. I still don’t think I’ve made as much progress as she thinks I have, but I also know that my self-perception is a little distorted. I told her I would be okay with trying it and seeing how it affects me. If it sends me back to a bad place, then we can take another break. I don’t expect miracles. I don’t expect to be emotionless.

We’re starting next session.

This shit is hard.

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