Losing control

Yesterday during lunch at work, I had no idea who I was.  I had no idea what my name was, how old I was or where in the world I was.  There was a sense of detached wonder about being able to use the computer… “wow, I can use this thing”.  I had no memory of learning how to type, or even how to use my body to do basic things such as pick up my cup.   Everything seemed so big, scary, and yet wondrous at the same time.  It also seemed really bright… the artificial light in the office felt like I was looking directly into the Sun.

This is yet another sign that the dissociation is out of control… this was a young one from our internal Basement, in charge of the body, while at work.  That can’t happen again.  It’s not fair to the young one, or to the ones who usually attend work.

The problem is, what to do in order to get some sense of control back?  We’re actively doing all the coping mechanisms we can think of – breathing, taking breaks at work, distracting, grounding etc.  But I’m still a mess.  I’m constantly getting flashbacks of some sort… I’m seeing things out of the corner of my eye (psychosis or a lack of sleep?)…  It feels as if I’m constantly on the edge of switching – that spacey, free-falling feeling…

There’s also dread… I don’t WANT to know why I keep on seeing flashbacks of the changing rooms at the rugby club; I don’t WANT to know why L&P is suddenly a trigger; and I don’t WANT to know why I keep hearing certain phrases over and over in my head…  I’ve had enough…  Surely there can’t be more.

But, I also know that I need to listen and try to understand what’s happening internally. I know this is the way to healing… listening, understanding and easing the pain.  But, I don’t think I have the strength to do this anymore…

Below is a something that was created while at work earlier in the week.  I’m not good at art – I got a D for it in school.  So I’m unable to translate what is in my head into something that is recognisable in practice.  I keep trying to tell myself that art within a healing context is more about the feelings, than the technique… but I still can’t get past how bad it looks in comparison to what was wanted.  It’s so frustrating when I can’t find a way to express what is going on in my head…


Now playing: Cat Stevens – Moonshadow
via FoxyTunes


26 thoughts on “Losing control

  1. Both the psychiatrist and therapist have said that the “…seeing things out of the corner of my eye…” is a psychotic symptom, but sort of, kind of, an okay one. They plague me some days and I ask inside who or what might be causing it (when I remember to ask).

    Have you ever tried a “lockdown” or more restricted space inside for those who may be throwing you off-track and having them stay there (with anything they want – food, books, toys, etc.) until you can talk with them and process what they need to share?

    Do you find that the more you emphasize “I don’t want to know” the more frequent the flashbacks are and triggers seem to be everywhere?

    Your picture is very moving. It’s layered with meaning. Thanks for sharing that.


    • Hi Lisa,

      I know that the seeing things could be anything from psychosis, to sleep deprivation through to classic PTSD type stuff. But, it’s REALLY annoying! It always makes me jump and I have to check it out to see if it’s some poor unsuspecting spider daring to enter my domain – I hate spiders 🙂

      The lockdown you talk about is actually where this young one “escaped” from. I have an internal basement where all the scary, out of control and violent ones “live”. One (yes, that’s his name) is in charge of The Basement, and to have this young one be in control of the body, basically means that the scary ones are running rampant in my head. The last time this happened was about two years ago, and led to D. One taking over for extended periods and planning my destruction. Confused yet??? 🙂 In simple terms, this young one being out basically means that the solids have hit the fan in my head, and I’m in deep trouble.

      What’s curious, is that this young one was chatting through IM with a friend, and from the chat history, she didn’t seem at all scary or nasty… in fact she was almost playfully asking the person to guess her age, and was worried about damaging the person she was talking to. Something for me to think over…

      Yes, the more I don’t want to know, the more intense the flashbacks become. I know that I need to listen and pay attention to them, but it’s such a jumble in my head it’s impossible to work it through into some sort of logic or meaning. Or, more accurately, I suspect the meaning and I don’t want it confirmed.

      Thanks re the artwork…

      Take care,

  2. when this sort of thing happens – like experiencing the world from a little one’s view point – do you watch it happening at the time or do you look back later and see that it happened ? i am just asking because it happens to me a lot and i just wonder how other people experience it.

    • Hi Grace,

      I wish I could answer you in straight terms, but it’s really a “it depends” situation. Sometimes it’s like I’m sitting behind them with no ability to influence what’s happening; sometimes it’s like I’m beside or with them, helping them understand what is happening – or other parts are; and sometimes I lose time to them, so don’t know what’s happened until afterwards through sort of mini-flashbacks or “knowing”.

      I know I haven’t explained that well… If I can come up with a better description, I’ll add it tomorrow.

      Take care,

  3. hi castorgirl, i’m sorry you’re feeling out of control and have had a lot of ptsd things going on lately. it sounds scary to go through. i hope that you are able to get sleep and start to feel more grounded soon.

    i’ll be wishing you well~

  4. Sometimes, when my others start coming out uncontrollably, my T talks them into a session to find out why she is troubled or upset. It hasn’t failed to work yet. Just a thot…

    I hope you are able to work thru it. Having that happen at work is probably the worst place to happen because it is your livelihood, can’t mess with that. Many hugs.

    • Thanks Ivory,
      There’s a huge fear about showing Allison how dysfunctional I can be… I was a open as possible when I approached her to be my therapist, but it’s different saying “I’m dysfunctional” and her actually seeing the dysfunction. I know that having those parts talk to a therapist doesn’t equate to dysfunction, but if D. One comes forward, that too scary for words. As far as I know she’s only talked to two people, and both times she was confrontational, manipulative and threatening.

      I realised last night that this is all because of my up-coming birthday and the season changing here – it’s now rugby season. They’re both big triggers… less than two weeks til the birthday is over, so that will be one less trigger to deal with.

      (((warm safe hugs))) if they are wanted

  5. Wow! I actually really like the art!! Really!!! Very simple, yet so full of meaning.

    I have been where you are, and it really stinks. Unfortunately, usually the way out is to find out the why’s that you said you don’t want to know. If it is scary for you, save it for your session with your T. Perhaps if the insiders know you’re containing just til then and not indefinitely things will settle down. I hope things settle for you soon.
    ~ Lothlorien

    • Thanks Lothlorien 🙂 I’m trying hard not to be too dismissive of the art.

      I know what you mean, and I’ve got therapy tomorrow, so hopefully I can work through some of the problems then. I’m terrified…

      Take care and it’s good to see you 🙂

  6. When I saw the art therapy piece I gasped. I thought, wow, how alone and frightened the child must feel. When I look at it I get a strong reaction of fear and abandonment, of being too small in a space that is full of everything and nothing at the same time. That little tiny light around her seemed more haunting than supportive and helpful. Your image for me is a strong one and one I can relate to very well. The feeling of being trapped in nothing and everything is so burdensome how can we possibly paint it exactly how it feels?


    • Thank you so much Austin… that’s what it was meant to be – lost, alone, frightened and overwhelmed. It’s also about rejection… I am constantly getting an image of a young one being alone in the darkness of wasteland surrounding our internal house.

      Thank you for understanding.

      Take care,

  7. I was going to write similar things that others having written, about getting more pressure the more I resist knowing and also talking inside about the need to work, reassuring alters that I will listen to them at an appropriate time. I know that it can work, and I also understand that sometimes things are so messy and nothing seems to work.

    You are doing your best in a difficult situation. It’s great that you’ve got a new therapist and I get that it takes time to build trust so that you can share the difficult stuff. My thoughts are with you.


    • Hi Dawn,

      Thank you… I know I need to face the memories/issues and work them through, I know that. But, I wish I felt more grounded in the process. My head is a mass of voices, images and feelings. I have moments of clarity, surrounded by hours of switching and confusion.

      Take care,

  8. Hi CG

    So sorry this happened. I wish I had some wisdom to share… but I am thinking of you.

    I really really REALLY like the artwork, too. 🙂

    Hang in there. ((warm safe ones))


  9. I think it’s to be expected, and I know it feels like crap, that your new work with Allison is opening the floodgates a little (or a lot). You may have to use your time now to relearn basic grounding skills until you can get yourself under control enough so that you can do the work you and Allison are meant to do.

    Your art piece is really interesting. It says, I think, that someone inside feels really alone. This is in contrast to the help Allison is offering.

    If you were here, I would say it would be a good time to try to regain your footing and go into a hospital program. But I know you have few choices there. It could be that the respite you did last Christmas may be an option. I’m not sure. But clearly you need some way to gain some relief, otherwise the consequences may be too severe.

    Thinking of you often.


    • In the past, I’ve often wanted to run from therapy sessions, but with Allison I get a sense that they aren’t long enough and I need to get all this “stuff” out. I know this is a sign that I’m probably rushing the process; and, as you say, having the floodgates opening on me. I think it also means that there is some level of trust already – or maybe desperation?

      I have a feeling I need intervention of some sort… I’m not overtly suicidal, so the chances of me getting into respite again is pretty low. I might email Allison and establish the options available to me, just in case she can suggest something different.

      Thank you… I value your opinion and thoughts greatly.

      Take care,

  10. OK, the thing is, my T says that when my parts get in an uproar, that its good for me to try to get them to calm down by having them realize that they have to speak one at a time instead of everyboddy just shouting to be heard.
    Its good to have boundaries for the inside kids cuz ultimately that is calming for them.
    And the other thing was that I had thot I had ‘bad’ parts, that they were all bad. But as I got to know more about them, they weren’t ALL bad, there was good in them too. Even the worst parts.
    Also, it seems to be that shoving parts away just makes them more noisy. However, they seem to respond also to kindness.Mine do anyways. And me just talking calmingly to them can help some. If I take the time to explain in a way they can understand. So maybe you don’t have to look at everything all at once. Take it slow. Just try and stabilize things internally.
    I think that’s primarily what I am trying to say.
    Sorry I can be unclear.
    I hope things can calm for you some.

    • Hi Ones,

      I wish I knew how to get the boundaries that you talk about established. I know that my current problem is that the internal walls are both becoming more structured (I’m losing more time), and also easily overcome (as with the young one taking over while at work).

      I suppose I feel like a rudderless ship… going all over the place with no consistency and half the crew battling the other half – or seeming to.

      I get what you mean about “bad” ones not necessarily being bad. I know they are probably hurting, confused and lashing out to get attention. But, because things are so out of control, I don’t know how to get them the attention they need.

      Thanks and take care,

      • I know you losing more time, but sometimes do you still have some communication?
        Cuz I think that is key if possible.

        Sometimes I tell my lils its going to be ok, and I dunno if they hear me, but then its calmer, so maybe they do…

        Do you have friends at all that you can kinda talk thru….not therapy stuff, but just bout how you are feeling bout some basic things that have happened in the last while? Instead of holding everything inside?

        Sometimes journalling, and if possible, reading what has been written can be a good thing.

        And good nutrition is important. Remembering to eat, and healthy foods, and drink enough water.

        My thots, ignore if they are useless, just throwing some thots out there and maybe they will help you to think of something somehow…..


  11. I’m sorry you have such a bad time. I hope your therapy session with Allision has helped a little.
    I understand the dread you have written and that you don’t want to know more 😦 I wonder myself whether the flashbacks will ever stop. Sometimes it’s just too much 😦 But like you, I have also experienced, that the flashbacks become worse, when I didn’t listen to the young ones which carry all the trauma 😦 I believe we have no choice. We have to listen to them.
    I’m sorry that your birthday is a big Trigger-time for you, too. Please take good care. I have chosen a very special date for my own (when I had survived a big surgery) and this is now my birthday 🙂 Have you chosen a other day for your birthday? We are survivors and I think, we should have a special day for us to celebrate.
    Your art is very expressive for me. Looking at the picture I feel the hurt, loneliness, a suffocating burden. It’s overwhelming.
    Thinking of you, often. Please take care and warm safe hugs if ok (((())))

    • I’m trying to listen, but it keeps on stopping as we look down the shower room of the rugby club. Does that mean it’s an innocent memory, or something abusive? I don’t know. I’m worried about thinking it into being abusive, just as much as I’m worried about losing what is potentially a key memory.

      We have tattoo’s to celebrate significant events – a butterfly for making it through an ACC assessment and a faery bride for making it through a sectioning under the Mental Health Act. We tried to create some new traditions surrounding the birthday a few years ago – a couple had name changes. But, this year it’s still full of dread.

      Thank you for understanding the art…

      Take care, with (((warm safe hugs)))

  12. Pingback: Expressive Arts Carnival: Two Colours | Scattered pieces

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