A “What the heck!?” moment yesterday concerning compulsive behavior. Yes the saga continues…


I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about this or not but that’s what my blog is for, to write about whatever I want I guess. It wasn’t a matter of being worried about what people would think. Actually, that’s not completely true, there is a fear of people being disgusted. But, the instance yesterday shook me enough that any fear of reaction was outweighed by my confusion and need to talk about it.

Obviously anyone who’s been reading my last few blog entries knows that I’ve been talking about compulsive behavior connected to abuse. Hmmm…I’m not sure if I should define what I’m talking about or let people fill in their own blanks? I’ll leave it alone. It will probably be pretty obvious anyway. During my therapy session this week, we talked about the trouble I had last week with engaging in what had to be epic compulsive behavior. I touched briefly on the fantasies that accompany this behavior and I told my therapist that the fantasies had taken on a much more violent connotation during this “binge”. Anytime I’ve had trouble with this particular type of compulsive behavior in the past, there have always been fantasies to go with it and the fantasies are always, always, bad. This time around they were bad but also more violent and I didn’t and still don’t understand why they took that turn. Anyway, yesterday was weird and interesting, interesting in a weird way. I was trying to focus on what my therapist said about really thinking through whether I want to strengthen the neural pathway that has been established, the one that makes me fall back to compulsive sexual behavior, or do I want to strengthen a different pathway, one that doesn’t involve this behavior. Basically, trying to use something else to cope with whatever is going on with me without engaging in this behavior. So, I was thinking about this yesterday because, for whatever reason, and I don’t know what the reason is, my brain and body wanted me to do things that I didn’t want to do. So, I thought to myself, ‘Ok, here we go, just ride it out and do something else until it passes. You don’t want to do this so don’t.” So simple right? Ha! Now, first off let me say that I made a mistake right off because I didn’t follow my therapist’s suggestion to go for a walk. My bad. I thought I could handle it inside the house. Goodness knows if I have to take a walk every time this comes up I will never be home. Anyway, that was a mistake. But what interests me more was how my mind reacted to me resisting. It didn’t like it. Now when I say, “it” I honestly don’t know what I’m referring to. I don’t know if it was an alter or just my brain or what, but it didn’t like me resisting. I’ve never felt anything like what happened when I put up that first resistance. It was almost immediate. I mentally said “no.” and my mind was like, “Excuse me!?” It was like getting a hard mental push, a rude one, that told me in no uncertain terms that my refusal was not acceptable. I was surprised by the force of the…feeling?…I don’t know, but I resisted. Again I should mention that I have engaged in other behavior that is self-injury but I never had this happen with any of those. So, I resisted and it was like this battle started in my head. Suddenly what had only been an inclination to do something became an all-consuming thought. I couldn’t not think about. It was all I could think about. At the same time, I’m thinking, “What the hell is going on!?” But, I continued to resist. I have no idea what kind of time passed while all of this was going on. I was locked in battle and time had no meaning. Then something shifted and it was like a part of my brain realized that I wasn’t going to cave and it decided to knock me down with something worse. I was suddenly hit with the desire to view…”questionable” material on the internet and I was like “Whoa! We haven’t done that in a long time and we’re proud of that!” You see, there is only one thing that can make me hate myself more than the compulsive sexual behavior and that’s looking at things I shouldn’t. My brain knows this and it was a dirty trick. Anytime I give in to that impulse, I feel like death afterwards. I end up hating myself with a viciousness that cannot be accomplished any other way. Basically, viewing that kind of stuff is number one on my “Why I’m a filthy slut” list and the compulsive sexual behavior is a close number two. My brain is smart and I caught on quickly that something would be very happy if I not only engaged in number one on my list but if I also engaged in number two on my list. What a triumph that would be to whatever this thing inside me is. Another part of my brain also realized that this was a no-win situation conjured up by my mind because I’m weak. It knew that there was no way I could resist both, either I would completely crumble and do everything this hideous monster wanted me to do or I would choose number two because that is the lesser of two evils for me. How clever! Now while all sorts of pieces of my mind were figuring these things out and calculating my chances of escape, I was aware that I was having a very odd physical reaction to my internal turmoil. I got up from my chair to try to walk around to shake off these impulses and when I took a step I bent over and had to try to get a grip on myself. It was like having someone hold on to your ankles so you can’t walk but also trying to get your breath back after running. That’s the best way I can describe what it felt like. I felt like someone was saying, “You’re not going anywhere.” and I was trying to move to go somewhere else so I could clear my head and not cave in but I couldn’t move fast enough. I had impulses beating at my head and they wouldn’t shut up! It was like noise but in the form of very strong thoughts and they kept up a constant pushing. At the same time my body is literally not letting me walk or leave the area and every time I tried to move I would kind of fold over again. I think it was basically my mind and body fighting me and fighting what I really wanted to do which was leave. For clarification, I’m not saying that any parts or alters were involved. I was way too overwhelmed and confused to get any sense of what was really going on. So, when I say my “mind” or “brain” etc. that’s exactly what I mean because for all I know it was my brain and not any alters.

Anyway, I’ll leave it there. I won up to a point, but there was, what I can only describe as severe “backlash” from my resistance and it was like I was punished for trying to stop it. I felt defeated and I loathed myself the rest of the day.

I guess the reason I wanted to write it out is because I felt so much confusion and despair during that whole time. It was like having people pulling on me like a wishbone and everyone was trying to get the bigger piece so they would win and get what they wanted. I didn’t understand what was going on in my head or my body. I didn’t understand the aggressiveness behind what was going on or the reasons that there was such a…meanness?…behind the push to do those things. It was weird to put it lightly. I’m still confused today and more than a little afraid of myself because I don’t know what’s going on with me.

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About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in abuse, Alters, Child Abuse, depersonalization, depression, derealization, DID, dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Mental Health, Multiple Personalities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatry, PTSD, Rape, self-harm, Sexual Abuse, Therapy, Trauma and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A “What the heck!?” moment yesterday concerning compulsive behavior. Yes the saga continues…

  1. meredith says:

    I think knee-jerk reactions are pretty normal when anyone tries to interrupt them. I know that the more thought I gave to a compulsive behavior I struggle with, the bigger the backlash was. One day, I was in a weird mood and thought, “I don’t know how I feel about this, right now, so we’re all just going to have to come back to it some other time.” And it was weird, because sucked a lot of power out of the compulsion… altogether. But it took a long time to get to that moment. I went back and forth with it for years before I got tired of dealing with it.

    Just saying, “yeah, I see you… you’re in my face… I don’t know how to deal with you… but I see you anyway… so “nyaaah!” does something. It really does. You don’t have to lasso it and calf-rope it to beat it. Well, that’s what I’ve discovered, anyway. Sometimes, just flipping it off for being such an annoyance has a lot of impact. 😉

    ~meredith~

  2. Freasha1964 says:

    Hi Tai,
    That was a mind boggling description and a fascinating look inside your head.

    My thoughts:
    This WOULD be a time when calling your therapist would be appropriate.

    Once long ago, I told a therapist that I was afraid to take showers at night now that I was alone in the house (with compliments to A. Hitchcock, no doubt). He said, turn off the water and step out of the shower as soon as that happens. I thought I would never get another complete and long shower again. I tried it, and it worked pretty quickly after a couple of times. I didn’t have to go around with dried soap or freezing or… So, the suggestion to leave your house when this happens that your therapist made might NOT lead to you pitching a tent in the backyard and never being inside again ever. (But I had to laugh. You DO have a great sense of humor. I think that many survivors of trauma find it to be a vital tool; humor.)

    What you described sounds like some “battles” (no violence) I have had with very stubborn children. I have learned that side stepping these when you see them coming is more effective. Gives you a chance to plan strategy a bit more. I think that might be why you were directed to try leaving the house?

    I am eager to hear what is going on as this unfolds if you wish to blog more over the progress.

    • tai0316 says:

      Hey Freasha,
      I laughed when you said mind-boggling because I think that post makes no since. I can’t explain what happened in a way that makes sense. And yes, humor is a big thing for me. 😀
      I absolutely need to not hesitate next time when it comes to leaving the house. I think part of the problem is that no matter how much I want to not do it, part of me wants me to do something to disgust myself, to make me hate myself. That’s almost a compulsion on it’s own.

  3. catherine says:

    i found this great article talking about compulsive masturbation as a form of self-harm (specifically if you do it so much that it hurts after….) sorry to be so graphic. it gave me lots to think about in terms of my own behaviour and i thought it was a very thoughtful article. i wanted to share it with you. hope it helps. hang in there.
    http://www.sexualrecovery.com/resources/articles/understanding-compulsive-masturbation.php

    • tai0316 says:

      Hey catherine,
      That was an interesting article, almost scary because of the degree that people can physically hurt themselves. It’s always good to remember that there’s internal problems going on that make that behavior so attractive. The article was good to connect childhood experience with this compulsive behavior. Thanks.

  4. castorgirl says:

    Hi tai,

    I had one who yelled (internally) for everyone to “Shut the &*^% up”. It worked in that instant because it was one who usually has the greatest of patience for all the crazy-making in my head. I would question how wise this tactic is for every situation, because I used something similar on another occasion, and it caused parts to retreat from my awareness and make dangerous plans without my ability to intervene. I do think acknowledging the pain or ones feeling the impulse is vital – which it sounds like you did. The thing is not to be caught in a space where there is room for debate about the plan of action. If you’d been able to distract in any way, you still could have talked to those parts who were wanting to self injure, but do it from a safe place. I know I make that sound easy, and it’s anything but easy. It’s a slow process of making new connections and ways of being. That takes time and a lot of empathy and love for yourself and the ones who are hurting. You are worth that empathy and love.

    Take care,
    CG

    • tai0316 says:

      Hey CG,
      You hit on good points. I did not handle this well at all. And I don’t know if I fully expressed my confusion over whether there were alters involved or not. I honestly don’t know what happened. You mentioned being able to talk to whatever parts wanted to self injure, but how do I know if parts were involved or not? I was so confused I couldn’t tell what was happening. It’s like I didn’t know what to do because I couldn’t tell what was going on. Parts? Just my brain being stupid? Ugh, I’m still confused.

      • castorgirl says:

        This is just me, but no matter whether it be parts of a feeling… I always think that some positive talk and acknowledgment helps. As an example, over the weekend I went for a drive to avoid self-injury. All the time I was driving, I kept up and internal dialogue about knowing that there is a need to hurt, but that hurting only helps in the short term and can add to the overall pain. So we’re going for a drive to see if we can stay safe while we’re working through the urge to hurt. I ask internally if there’s a reason why there is a need to hurt. I don’t always get an answer, but I give plenty of time for a response. I also try to ask in different ways at different times.

        Again, this is something that sometimes works for me. It might not work for you. It doesn’t always work for me, but I often find the internal soothing chatter to help ease the need. So it doesn’t really matter if it’s a part or a need… that can be worked out at a later time, usually when the edge of the need to hurt has eased off. What’s important is finding different ways to help divert from the need to self injure.

        Again, I make is sound easy, and it isn’t.

        You’ll build coping strategies that work for you…

        Take care,
        CG

      • tai0316 says:

        CG, that was extremely helpful. Thank you. I find that in weird ways I often forget that I have DID in the sense that I forget about internal dialogue etc. I don’t know why I do that. I’ve talked internally before and it helped but I forget to try that all the time. I didn’t think about trying that without working out whether it was a part or not. You’re right, either way that’s option and the other stuff can be worked out later.
        I always appreciate suggestions so keep them coming.

        I’m really, really glad you took active steps to avoid self-injury. I always hurt if you hurt (which I’m perfectly happy to do because you’re my friend :)) but I always want you to be safe.

      • tai0316 says:

        Hmmm…I wanted to make sure that last part didn’t come off negatively. What I mean is that I want to share your pain because I care about you. So, I mean that in a good way. Did that make sense????

      • castorgirl says:

        I knew what you meant 🙂

        Remember that everyone has some level of internal dialogue, so it’s normal to do this sort of soothing thing.

        Take care,
        CG

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