Our therapist is proud of us!

Eileen texted us to say how proud of us she is! We didnt expect that!
We’d texted her today to tell her we’re done now at college, and we’ve completed the course, we didnt expect her to reply as its the weekend, but she did! She said:
and so you should be proud, well done, I am so proud of you all! Congratulations!
What a nice surprise to get! Love her for it!

I had to miss therapy today what a bummer!

I didnt get to go to therapy today! I am sick! I had a dreadful headache and stomach ache. I couldnt face trying to go in and talk. So I texted Eileen at 7:45 and I told her. She was lovely about it. She even offered me another time this week to see her. I wasnt expecting her to do that. I will see her on Wednesday morning at 9:30. I was delighted when she offered me an alternative day to come in. I thanked her and sent her lots of imogies lol. Then I went back to bed and slept for another few hours. I’d gotten up at 3:30 AM and stayed up for 3 hours. So I needed some more sleep. I didnt wake up again until after noon. I’m not going into work today either. I’ll go in tomorrow instead.

EILEEN RESPONDED

SO ITS LIZ AGAIN. I AM FEELING MUCH BETTER NOW. MORE STABLE. LESS EMOTIONAL. EILEEN SENT ME A VERY SWEET EMAIL. A LOVELY RESPONSE TO MY ONE WHERE I WAS BASICALLY SAYING HOW UPSET I WAS AND HOW MUCH I NEEDED HER AND MISSED HER. SHE SAID SHE WAS HERE FOR ME, AND THAT WE COULD TALK ABOUT IT MORE TOMORROW. SO I GUESS THATS WHAT WE’LL BE DOING TOMORROW DURING OUR SESSION. HILARY HAD ALSO EMAILED HER. SHE WAS HAVING TROUBLE FINDING THE WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW SHE WAS FEELING AFTER HAVING A NIGHTMARE THE OTHER NIGHT. EILEEN EMAILED HER BACK AS WELL, SAYING SHE WOULD HELP HER TO FIND HER WORDS. SO I GUESS TOMORROW, IT WILL BE ME AND HILARY WHO WILL HAVE THERAPY TIME. I’M HAPPY ABOUT THAT. I KNOW IF ANYONE CAN HELP ME TO FEEL MORE LIKE MYSELF AGAIN, EILEEN CAN. SHE JUST HAS THIS SOOTHEING CALMING PRESENCE, AND SHE’S ALWAYS ABLE TO GET US TO TALK, EVEN IF WE SAY WE CANT OR DONT WANT TO. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THERAPY TOMORROW. I THINK IT WILL BE A GREAT SESSION.
LIZ

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LIZ: I DISSOCIATED A LOT IN THERAPY TODAY

ITS LIZ. THERAPY TODAY WAS TOUGH. I DISSOCIATED A LOT DURING THE SESSION. I JUST COULDNT FOCUS. I COULDNT STAY GROUNDED OR IN THE PRESENT, EILEEN HAD HER WORK CUT OUT.
AS ALWAYS THOUGH SHE WAS AWESOME! SHE REALLY HELPED ME AND EVEN THOUGH I WAS REALLY DISSOCIATIVE SHE WAS EVENTUALLY ABLE TO GET ME BACK ENOUGH SO THAT WE COULD DO SOME WORK.
IT STARTED WHEN HILARY WAS OUT. EILEEN ASKED ME TO BE NEAR HER. TO STAND BY HER AND EXPLAIN TO HER WHERE WE LIVED NOW, BECAUSE SHE DOESNT KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT NOW, OR OUR LIFE NOW.
I TRIED TO DO IT, BUT I STARTED TO FEEL SPACY, AND LIKE I WAS BEING PULLED SOMEWHERE. I COULDNT STOP IT FROM HAPPENING. I FELT DIZZY, REALLY SPACY, AND VERY OFF. EILEEN WAS CALLING MY NAME BUT I COULDNT RESPOND TO HER. I JUST FELT MYSELF GOING AWAY.
I DONT REALLY KNOW WHERE I WENT OR FOR HOW LONG. AND I DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WHILE I WASNT THERE. WHO WAS OUT, I DIDNT ASK. ALL I REMEMBER IS EILEEN SITTING BESIDE ME WHEN I CAME BACK, SHE MOVED AWAY A LITTLE, BUT I ASKED HER TO COME BACK CLOSER TO US. I ASKED HER WHY SHE MOVED AWAY AND SHE SAID SHE WAS JUST BEING RESPECTFUL OF MY BOUNDARIES AND OF NOT CROWDING ME BUT THAT IF I WANTED HER TO BE CLOSE TO ME SHE WOULD.
I DID. IT FELT SAFER WHEN SHE SAT CLOSE TO ME. I FELT MORE GROUNDED. AND I FELT LIKE I COULD ACTUALLY STAY IN THE ROOM. I WAS ABLE TO HOLD HER HAND AND THEN I WAS ABLE TO FOCUS ON HER AND ON WHAT SHE WAS SAYING TO ME.
IT WAS A HARD SESSION. THE THING IS WE DIDNT DISCUSS A LOT. WE COULDNT BECAUSE OF MY DISSOCIATION. I KNOW HILARY HAD A LITTLE BIT OF TIME AT THE START, AND SOMEONE WAS OUT WHEN I WASNT. BUT I COULDNT REALLY TELL YOU ABOUT WHAT WE ACTUALLY DISCUSSED. IT KINDA FELT LIKE WE DIDNT DO ANY WORK AT ALL TODAY. BUT I KNOW THATS NOTT TRUE.
I KNOW WE DISCUSSED AGE AND AGES AND STAGES A LITTLE BIT. AND EILEEN SAID TO ME THAT EVEN THOUGH I FEEL LIKE I AM IN MY MID 20’S MOSTLY, THAT THE JOB I DO AT FRIENDLY CALL, AND OTHER STUFF THAT I DO ON A DAILY BASIS REQUIRES SOMEONE WHOSE MUCH MORE MATURE. SO BASICALLY SHE SAID I AM VERY MATURE FOR MY AGE. BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE TELL ME THAT. I HAD TO BE. I HAD NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER. IT JUST HAPPENED THAT WAY DUE TO WHAT I’VE GONE THROUGH.
THATS REALLY ALL I REMEMBER DISCUSSING. OH AND WE DISCUSSED STABILITY A LITTLE TOO. HOW WE’VE BEEN STABLE NOW FOR A WHILE. AND HOW I COULD NEVER IMAGINE THAT HAPPENING FOR US. AND NOW THAT IT HAS IT FEELS PRETTY HUGE TO ME, TO ALL OF US. THERE WAS A TIME WHEN WE WERE CONSTANTLY IN CRISIS. EVERY DAY WAS A STRUGGLE. NOW NOT SO MUCH. YES WE’RE STILL STRUGGLING A LOT. BUT AT LEAST WE HAVE A LIFE. WE’RE LIVING, WE’RE THRIVING. THAT FEELS SO GOOD.
OVERALL IT WAS A HARD SESSION. BUT ALSO A GOOD ONE. BY THE END OF IT I WAS NO LONGER DISSOCIATING. EILEEN HAD GOTTEN ME TO BE FULLY HERE AGAIN. FULLY IN THE THERAPY ROOM. I WAS ABLE TO LEAVE AND WHEN WE DID I WAS ABLE TO FEEL LIKE I WAS FULLY THERE AGAIN. I FELT GOOD. I FELT AS IF A WEIGHT HAD BEEN LIFTED FROM ME. I GOT US HOME IN ONE PIECE. AND WE’VE HAD A GREAT AFTERNOON. NO NAP, BUT THATS OK. WE’RE A LITTLE WIRED NOW THOUGH. WOUND UP. AND A LITTLE ANXIOUS. I TEXTED EILEEN TO LET HER KNOW. SHE HASNT RESPONDED YET. BUT NO DOUBT SHE WILL AT SOME POINT.

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Hannah goes to therapy

hi. my name is hannah. im 13. today i talked to eileen. i was so nervous to talk to her. i’ve had bad experiences with therapists in the past. but eileen is different. she’s so kind. and she’s very nice. she put me at ease. we chatted about a lot. some memories came up and we talked a little about them but we didnt go to much into them. i was glad. i dont like discussing memories. i know your meant to do that in therapy but i was scared. mostly it was memories of when we found out the care taker guy who abused us in the bording school for the blind was also abusing our best friend. and we never knew. but one night our best friend walked in on us when he was abusing us. and then he started hurting her too. me and my twin hilary remember that night. so eileen was talking to me about it today. hilary was close by but she didnt come out to talk. she doesnt trust anyone. she gets really shy and is scared to talk to people. so she stayed inside. eileen kept asking me how she was doing. and how i was doing. after a while we sat together, eileen came over and sat right next to me, and then she held me, she put her arms on my shoulders and back and she held me, and that felt so nice. it felt so safe. i felt like someone cared. i told her i just want someone to believe me. she said hannah, i believe you. you know i do right? I did. I had a feeling she believed me. I am not sure how I knew that but I did. she said we could talk about some other stuff then. so we got to talk all about our body and how having did is weird because there is so many people sharing a body. and i asked eileen if she sees an adult when she’s talking to me. she said she sees an adult body but she knows I am a teen and I have different experiences to the adults. that she can see an adult sitting in front of her but when she talks to me or any of the insiders she experiences us at the age and stages that we’re at. I am glad she sees us for us. then she told me that she has parts too, but they arent pronounced like when you have did. but she said when she talks to people that parts of her have conflicting opinions, thoughts, feelings etc. that seemed strange to me. i never thought of her having parts that maybe think different things and have different thoughts and ideas. so that was cool to find out that she does. as we were talking she still kept holding me. she held me for about 40 minutes. i didnt want her to let go. when she finally did let go it was strange. my shoulders felt bare not having her hands on them. i had felt so grounded when she had her arms on my shoulders. the pressure really helped. I hope I get to talk to her again soon. I enjoyed the session today even though those memories came up for me. We only spent a few minutes on them. Eileen said we need to open things up slowly, like a trickle, and not rush into processing the memories. I am glad we’re not rushing to process them.
hannah age 13

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Therapy: working with sally

sally is a 9 year old insider in our system. she isnt out much. when she is out, she is stuck in the past. she thinks its 1989. she doesnt know anything about our life now. she’s lost in the confusion of that time. when she does come out she’s always looking for our mom. she actually only really comes around when we’re with our mom. if she does come out while we’re at home, usually she’s very disorientated and confused and crying and just generally very distressed.
its hard to watch her like that. we talked a little about her in therapy today. i was telling eileen how when she is out and i am nearby, that it feels like i can do nothing to help her. it feels like a sheet of glass is between us and I cant penetrate it. I am blocked. I can hear things, see what is happening in real time, I just cant do anything about it.
eileen worked with me on trying to get some of my feelings of compassion and care to sally, that was tough. I didnt know how to get the feelings to her. that sheet of glass stops it. so then eileen had me bring sally close by me. and she spoke to her directly but with me still being out. that didnt make a huge difference really, sally just kept asking me who is this strange lady, and why is she talking to me?
she really hasnt a clue about things. she thinks her sister is still a baby. the main reason we were discussing sally today was because this morning, my sister came over to my moms before work, and I was chatting to her. sally came up to me and asked me, who are you talking to? whose that girl sitting next to you?
I had to explain to her that it was our sister, but when I did she just looked at me blankly.
eileen said we’re going to do some more work with her over the next few weeks. I am glad. I think she needs to be able to talk to eileen, and maybe get a little bit more familiar with our life now. Although I am not sure we can actually get her to thinking about what year it is now, or what time we’re in now. I am not sure she is capable of that or that she has the capacity to do it.
we’ll see I guess over the next few weeks.

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Therapy session: bodywork and taking my space

today in therapy we did a lot of very tough work. mostly it was around noticing my body, eileen is training in somatic experience, that is, in body work, and how to use your body in the therapy room, how to become aware of it, notice it, the sensations and feelings and all that.
its very intense work. but also really good. for us, our body is scary to us. we dont notice things about it very often. in fact we are very shut down a lot of the time. even breathing is scary. we also did some breath work today, and eileen had to keep reminding me to breathe, she kept telling me that it was ok for me to breathe now, I am safe and its ok to take deep breaths.
we did a sort of experiment. she had me stand up, spread out my arms either side of me, and then feel all of the space that there is which she said is my personal space. It made me really think! I rarely think about personal space. I tend to allow people to do whatever they want to me, and even if I dont feel right, I still allow them to come into my space, get really close to me and I dont question it.
at one point, She asked me if she could stand behind me to show me something and I am like, sure you can, I didnt even think about it, of course I am fine with her doing that, but she said afterwords that maybe she acted too quickly, and she didnt think that maybe for me it would not feel good or safe. It did feel ok, but she was just saying how she should could have done things a little differently and been more mindful of my personal space.
It was an eye opening session. I learned loads. We’re going to continue to work on this over the next few weeks. I do find it particularly hard to feel my body, and be aware of it. I find it very challenging. I’m sure I can learn though and with eileens help I know I can become better at becoming more aware of my body and of what I am feeling sensations etc.
She said we can go very slow. I think thats good. I need to go slow. I need to do this, but at a snails pace.
And on another note, her husband is doing much better, he’s coming out of hospital soon which I am so glad about. I am happy to hear he’s doing better. Eileen is not back at work yet though. She’s only seeing us and she’s not seeing any of her other clients. She isnt sure when she’ll be back at work yet. But it doesnt effect us, it was so kind of her to keep seeing us.
I am so grateful to her for that. I really appreciate her thoughtfulness and kindness in continuing to see us.

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