Amazement and confusion

Do you ever sit in therapy with the words that need to be spoken swirling around in your head, but experience a total inability to be able to say them?  It can be because the ideas are too scary to raise, there are too many conflicting ideas about what to say, not sure how to say it or you’re too  scared of what the therapists reaction will be.  We experienced this to an extreme level yesterday with Liz.  We wanted to talk about her views on dissociation and diagnostic labels, but couldn’t verbalise it.  This triggered the entrance of the hand scratcher…

I have no idea who the hand scratcher is, but I think “it’s” a mature male who is a protector.  I know it’s not One, as he is incredibly calm and can look people in the eye.  The hand scratcher comes across as being angry as the voice becomes very terse, but he’s very quick to assure Liz that he’s not “getting at her”.  He doesn’t seem to get angry at individuals and is prepared to listen to Liz and what she has to say, but seems continually annoyed or angry.  He also takes away with him all that he has talked about, so we lose the time he is present.  Yesterday he left us with the knowledge that he’d talked to Liz about the diagnosis, but that’s all.  I’m aware of his voice, but not him.  I’ve no idea where he fits into the system, but I’m beginning to wonder if he’s on Ellie’s floor, or even if he has replaced Ellie as the main protector for that floor.  It’s all very confusing and a great way to mess me around – not that I’m a control freak or anything.

What makes me think that he has something to do with Ellie’s floor, is that soon after he left, S talked to Liz.  S is also on Ellie’s floor, so it would sort of fit that they go together in some way.  It was S that caused the amazement.  She swore, was scornful of the father, told about some of the things that the sister used to do to her and Liz took it all in her stride.  Liz could obviously tell when there was going to be the switch from S to B and quickly said that she’d enjoyed talking to S…  Yes, she said she’d enjoyed talking to S.  I was amazed.  One of our greatest fears has been S talking to a therapist, but it went really well.  Admittedly S didn’t talk about anything of a sexual nature, but the fact that she talked to someone and we all survived the experience was amazing.  I knew the world wouldn’t end if she talked to someone, but I was so terrified of rejection, scorn or disgust as a consequence.  Instead I got greeted by a Liz with a smile in her voice and a sense of her having just had fun.  Maybe that will learn me about letting fear get the better of me…  It won’t, but it’s worth a try.

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10 thoughts on “Amazement and confusion

    • I think you’re right David. S has spoken to previous therapists, but was incredibly belligerent and rude. S was still testing Liz yesterday, but it was in a different way. I think we’re coming to understand that Liz is competent and might be able to help us understand what we are going through as part of a healing process.

  1. It sounds like your relationship with Liz is becoming a little less scary? I’m glad that you, S & the hand scratcher were able to communicate with her.

    In answer to your first question – yes, overwhelmingly yes.

    • I’m glad it’s not only us that experience the inability to speak… It can be so annoying and confusing all at the same time.

      It was a shock to realise that S had talked to Liz so easily, even more shocked to realise how well it went. As for the hand scratcher, I’m not sure what’s happening there… all very confusing. But I suppose it’s progress 🙂

  2. Shucks. Love the new site. Wow, you got it up fast. Cannot help but wonder if the new site has something to do with S talking…

    I know the feeling of the swirling and inability to make anything come out. I usually tell my therapist I’m feeling “dizzy”. That kind of summarizes it neatly. Often she will recognize this and we’ll do some breathing together and she’ll help me calm down. This almost always works.

    I know that when a part like S comes out for me, there will be a switch soon to a part like B. Everything has to balance I suppose. I am glad you had the experience that Liz said she enjoyed talking to S. I hope this is the beginning of a communication that will bear much fruit. I tend to think it will. And maybe this will take some of the pressure off S.

    Good for you all.

  3. It’s a WordPress theme, so easily installed. There is a great debate as to which theme to go for, and we’re still unsure as this one doesn’t have the flexibility within the CSS that we’d like.

    The hurried nature of the move was in great part due to talking about how S was acting out and now her talking to Liz. M covered it up by saying she needed to learn how to do this for work, but we don’t really – there’s specialised programmer’s on-site.

    Yes, it does feel very swirling and causes a sense of dizziness and being off-balance. It’s a very frustrating feeling, I’m not aware of us being anxious as such, but we must be because of the level of confusion going on.

    I’m aware that S told Liz that I was coming because I don’t like the swearing. I know she needs to swear sometimes and I don’t resent it, but it’s interesting that this is how we are perceiving each other. S talking to Liz was a big start, it was great that Liz considered it a positive as well. It wasn’t a condescending “I enjoyed that” either, her enjoyment of the conversation seemed genuine.

    Take care,

  4. To answer your opening question, yes! Quite often, actually. Years ago, before I knew I had DID, and with a different therapist, who knew very little about DID, I would get ‘stuck’ like this, unable to form any words, and it absolutely exasperated my therapist. She said I looked almost catatonic and threatened me with hospitalization. Of course, now, it makes perfect sense, and my current therapist handles it much better. But yeah, good to hear similar experiences.

    Glad ‘S’ talked to Liz and it was a good experience. It must be such a relief. I like the new blog, btw.

    • It’s amazing how good it feels to know someone else sturggles with similar issues. It’s not good that someone else is struggling, but rather that what you experience isn’t so strange and is maybe even usual within the context of our lives.

      Yes, it was a huge relief to know that S talking to Liz wasn’t the disaster we were expecting…

      We’re still trying to work out the look of the blog, so sorry it will probably keep on changing until we can all decide we don’t hate one 🙂

      Take care,
      M & B

  5. Oh my heck yes to the questions and I can’t believe it but those are the exact things I want to talk about and can’t find the words. I have seen him for 13 years and I am getting to a new level of being able to talk but this one is just too weird. I don’t even know what to say here except I have to say that I get it. Maybe this will help me spit it out. Did you finally talk about it?

    • Hi Vicki,

      It’s such an odd, confusing and frustrating feeling isn’t it. You know what you want to say, sometimes we’ve even rehearsed it, but the words won’t come out. I think we said what we needed to, but it was so dissociated that it’s been lost to our awareness.

      I think we go through cycles of this sort of thing. A new area to explore within therapy, and not knowing how to broach the subject. Or, maybe feeling so uncomfortable about the subject that we don’t know how to proceed… All very confusing.

      Take care,

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