I mentioned in a blog two weeks ago that Helper Julie had spoken directly to my therapist. I will admit that the information Julie shared was then shared too quickly with me but now that the dust has settled, I have a very clear path of what issues I really need to work on. She was so “bang on” about everything that she said I needed to talk about and I will admit that almost everything she brought up were issues that I was either unsure about or just didn’t have the guts to begin talking about. It was very upsetting to me to feel like she’d “told” some well hidden secrets but that was just my defensive side kicking in.
I must once again question most therapists/psychiatrists belief that speaking with only the host is the best way to go. I’ve been seeing this therapist for the better part of a year and although we have done a ton of hard work, Julie has sped things up to warp speed. Not in a bad way though. Not at all.
While I was flailing around trying to figure out what I really needed to discuss and quite honestly having a lot of trouble with a few key areas where I felt there was more to deal with but I couldn’t make much sense of it all. Julie was able to offer a great deal of focus. One session with her will help my healing journey move along far faster than it would have before. I appreciate that a lot.
It has started to make me wonder if treating Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) should perhaps have a different treatment model from other dissociative disorders. When other types of dissociation happen, there is a blanking out or retreat from whatever the painful stimuli may be. Nothing can be accomplished while someone is in this state and it is very counter productive. With DID, there is a loss of contact with the host but the dissociative part is a full and meaningful person with thoughts, memories, feelings, and anything else we use to describe someone as being human. It is just not the same at all in my opinion.
I will admit that I have even come to believe that while other dissociative states are considered a “negative coping strategy”, I do not feel that DID can be considered that as well. I do agree that it is created for a negative reason and it is the eventual hope of anyone who I know with DID to be present much more often and have better control of their other parts rather than just switching with no awareness. That said, do we need to ignore these other parts or can we use them to help us heal? These parts are filled with information and answers. They have feelings and fears. They are really not all that different from any other trauma survivor. They need to be heard and believed.
By giving my “Helpers” a chance to open up and deal with their stories, they can begin to heal and as they heal? I heal too. I do not always even need to know what they are dealing with or healing from. I do not feel that I need all the nitty-gritty details. All that I really need to know is what I need to do to help them.
I suppose that for professionals that are not very familiar with Dissociative Identity Disorder, this can seem counterproductive or even harmful to the host. I can see why they fear this process but fear or concern is not a good enough reason to block healing that may not be possible any other way.
The person needs to have good coping strategies in place and must be mentally healthy enough to deal with what comes out but that is true for any therapy session right?
I think that what is misunderstood is this idea that the person will be overwhelmed or shocked by what is revealed. Sure it may shock us, it may be very hard to hear or deal with, it may knock us back a bit BUT we deal with these bits of information and emotions all the time. We just don’t know why we feel the way we do. Having a Helper enlighten me on the reason why I feel a certain way in a certain situation only helps me. It is like my own “Ah-ha!” moment.
One of the issues that Julie brought up was that Julie is not her real name. It is what I called her because I thought she was my sister speaking to me. Her name is actually April. I really tried to absorb this but in the end, I felt very sad at the thought of not having a Julie in my life. That name brought me a lot of comfort. I spoke inwardly with April/Julie and asked her if it would really bother her if I continued to call her Julie? I have been using it for the 37 years she’s been in my life after-all. She made a deal with me. Typical of her!!! 🙂 I will discuss each of the issues that she raised with my therapist and she will be okay with me calling her Julie. At least for now. It’s a deal.
How can I look at the therapy session that Julie took over and think it to be anything less than enlightening and positive? She was able to pinpoint exactly where I am struggling the most and what I need to work on in a way that I was absolutely unable to do on my own.
My Helpers were locked away exactly the same as I was for over 43 years. We never spoke of our secrets, our fears, the trauma we suffered. We never felt believed or heard. It was a very lonely existence for each of us.
I am not willing to go back to living that way. That was a life not worth living. THIS LIFE is a different story.