Therapist Distress


I should have guessed that there would be inevitable issues when you have to suddenly change therapist while you’re neck-deep in issues of an immediate nature. However the issues that I’m having with my new therapist are stressing me out really badly.

Two sessions ago I divulged that I have imaginary friends, friends that I’ve had since I was little that I keep because they basically serve as my family. These friends are different from my DID alters but there is an alter ego that interacts with them that I didn’t consider part of my DID system at the talked about it.

After I left that session I was bombarded with feelings of fear and warnings that a system of safety that has been in place for decades was in danger. The biggest surprise to me was that I’d had no idea that my alter ego and imaginary friends were part of my DID until that moment of communication from my internal system. I was very confused. On top of that, the next day or so I lost time briefly which hasn’t happened in a while. It wasn’t anything big or bad, it just got my attention.

That week I had another appointment set with my therapist (I’d been doubling up for a few weeks because I hadn’t been able to see her for a month). We were continuing the conversation about my imaginary friends but I was cautious now because of my internal warnings. Here’s where things got bad with my therapist.

While talking a little about my DID alters she said that they need to know that at some point they’re going to have to go away (the term is integrate). My internal reaction was quite strong which I told her; we, including myself have no interest in them going away. My parts have been there since I was very small and I’m comfortable with them; what I want is the same thing I’ve always strived for with DID: co-consciousness. That seemed to throw my therapist a bit though and she asked me why I was in therapy, what made me come to therapy in the first place? This was not good either as I felt that she was basically saying ‘What are you doing here then? What’s the point?’ I did not like that. I told her what led me to therapy originally: being diagnosed bipolar and trying to learn how to live with that. Then my mom stuff came up and later the sexual abuse from my uncle. I think those are good reasons to be in therapy don’t you? The DID was discovered later after I’d already been in therapy for a long time, it wasn’t the reason I came.

This is all difficult because my original therapist and I had 14 years of relationship building. Even when we had a problem with communication or a misunderstanding, we could always work it out in one visit and get back to normal. She was very gentle and nurturing. My new therapist is very direct, which in some cases has actually been good as she can get to the point of what’s up immediately but…my internal system is all out of whack with feelings of anger, resentment and rejection. The general feeling inside is that my parts helped me to get through my life; through sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse and while yes, we’re no longer in those situations anymore, no one has the right to tell us that the way we’re made is wrong and that they need to go away. We’ve only known each other a few months really and we had no relationship buliding, we just had to jump right into the deep end.

Many people have tried to tell us how we should be, or as my therapist puts it have, ‘intruded upon’ us. Now, here’s another person intruding and trying to tell us what should be done with our body/mind. Not okay.

It actually caused me a lot of panic and anger last night as I was trying to get to sleep and there was a lot of internal feelings and discussions going on about how to handle the situation, there’s a struggle between the parts who want to express our anger and resentment, and the host (me) who hates confrontation and if I’m honest has always had a very hard time confronting my therapist (either one) because there seems to be a power imbalance there and I’m intimidated.

There were suggestions that perhaps we should quit therapy but that’s not good either.

I really don’t get therapists who are so uncomfortable with these aspects of DID. My original therapist had to get used to it to. They know it exists,so what’s the problem? And all of them make this assumption that you need to integrate. Why?! Because they’re taught that it’s the successful resolution to DID? Because some psychologists wrote books saying this is what should happen?! Screw them! I say what happens to me.

I believe that over time some fragments of alters that are less formed than my full personalities could integrate naturally and so be it. But to tell me that pieces of myself need to go away. Uh uh. She also has this thing about wanting me to take my power which implies that I don’t act like I have any. That is insulting because she honestly doesn’t know me well enough yet to think that or to know my life outside of the 45 minutes in her office.

Either way, I have to see her today and I have to say something because the turmoil that’s been caused is too much for me to handle. Wish me luck.

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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, Anger, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, DID, dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Multiple Personalities, PTSD and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Therapist Distress

  1. kat says:

    what a crappy situation to be in- good luck today.

  2. Freasha1964 says:

    I wanted to wish you good luck, too, today, but I am a day late and a dollar short. I stand by you standing for yourself and your parts. It seems, as you sort of said, that they are old friends, and you aren’t one to abandon old friends. You need each other.
    As for the power differential between therapist and client, the therapist has a lot of power in a sense, and big time. You are putting yourself into a very vulnerable situation and the therapist is supposed to recognize that and support you in what you want to achieve. I agree, you named all kinds of reasons for therapy other than integrating. I go to therapy, and I believe I never broke into parts (I hope my language isn’t terribly crude) therefore DID is not even an issue. There are tons of reasons for being in therapy. About 9 billion more or less.
    So, if you can, let us know how it went. I am so sorry that you have to go through all this turmoil, on top of losing your trusted therapist. I hope that you and she will reach an understanding like you did with the last one. It hurts to even think about that not happening.
    Hugs to you, CI.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi Freasha, never too late. 🙂 And your language was just fine. I agree, therapy is for many, endless reasons and I’m glad that you take advantage of it after everything you’ve been through. We talked a lot, she apologized, we tried to clarify statements and make sure we understand what we were actually trying to say. She gave me permission to seek another therapist if I felt the need because she knows that I wouldn’t have an easy time leaving but I told her that I think we need more time to get to know each other. I think we left things better than they were and I’m glad that I stood up for myself. It’s majorly stressful when bumps like this happen and makes me miss my old therapist so much.

  3. didandme12 says:

    That was a horrible comment to make, no matter how you felt about integration. I believe integration means something different for everyone. You are right, it will happen naturally when it’s time, and you can decide if you want your parts to stay their same ages, and interact with you. It is scary for those of us that want integration. I have no idea how it will happen…but either way, her question,”What brought you to therapy?” was inappropriate. I hope you were able to talk through that together.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi didandme12, I’m definitely curious to learn more about how integration can work as you’re the first person to ever tell me that your parts can maintain their age and interact with you! I’ve always understood integration to be your parts disappearing into the host as one person, no more interaction period. That’s why I strive for co-consciousness instead. We were able to talk but I think time getting to know each other is the only remedy.

  4. didandme12 says:

    I need to clarify, I believe your parts do grow up with integration. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I believe that you never lose those parts though! You accept them; the thoughts, feelings, memories, experiences, fears, and beliefs. Own them as part of you not a dissociated part that isn’t you (I did that in the beginning). You don’t get rid of or kill off any part! For me integration happens throughout my therapy and healing. As I’m made aware of trauma, abuse, etc. and accept (integrate) that I was abused and own those feelings associated with that, to me, that is integration. My therapist said she could still interact with them after integration, but more as my grown self. And if we lost parts, we would lose the gifts, abilities, and wonderful qualities they have to make us whole. I think integration is slow, happens along the way (sometimes without me realizing), and behind the scenes, as we accept the parts fully and don’t dissociate anymore.
    I hope that helps explain what I attempted the first time. Sorry!
    It is still your decision, and I think you will know regardless of what your therapist believes.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      That was a great way of explaining and describing how the process worked for you, thank you very much for sharing that! I like that your therapist seems respectful of your experience too. 🙂

  5. Ohhhh… my…. goodness! My whole demeanor changed when I read what your therapist said ‘need to know that at some point they’re going to have to go away’. Wow! Then to ask why I came to therapy would have put me on the defensive.
    Let me say this first, I have done integration work since 2012. The only way that could happen for me is because it was my goal. It is a very personal decision, not a judgment or suggestion. Your own therapy goals are the same, it’s about you and where you want to be.
    When I read this entry I had my hand over my mouth just shaking my head. Sometimes therapists hit the nail on the head with support then other times they miss it by a long shot. Just wow, she actually said that.
    Hopefully there will be history between you too so that when major issues like this come up, you can express the different range of emotions. I think her question about why you are in therapy landed terribly. It leaves a person with so many questions. Yuck.

  6. I just now read over the comments and I see that you and your therapist talked about things. Your relationships, in therapy, outside of therapy are going to be complex bc people are complex. But communication is the glue that keeps our relationships together. If we can’t talk then we can’t truly know which way to go. I’m happy youCommunicationis like a road map to our relationships. If we don’t know the roads we’ll end up in a jam more often than not. I’m happy were able to speak about the session and how you felt.
    Faith

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi Faith, I’ll reply to both your comments here. Yeah that was a rough patch. Therapists have SO much influence over our emotional state, it’s a precarious balance sometimes. Communication is everything! I’m relieved we were able to move forward even though it was iffy for a moment. 🙂

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