Nikki’s therapy experience

my name is nikki. i am 17. today i talked for the first time in therapy.
i have extreme anger issues. i was so angry when i spoke with eileen.
i couldnt help myself. the anger was just coarsing through my body. eileen was great though. she helped me with the anger. she was ok with me being mad at her, she said she wasnt surprised that I was, that I probably used anger as a survival technique.
She asked me after a while if I wanted to work with the pulsers and do some processing and tracking of the anger in my body. i said i would try it out. i’ve never done work with the pulsers before. so it was hard for me to get used to them.
but i did it. i am proud of myself that i did it.
we just did some work with the sensations that were coming up in my body in response to the anger. that was so hard. i felt like standing up and running as fast as i could out of the room. eileen kept telling me i was doing really good and that I was ok. that its normal to want to run. that my body was going into flight mode.
she had me stand up just to see what would happen, my feet couldnt stay still, neither could my arms. i was agitated. i was squirrely. and very unsteady on my feet.
i had to sit down again after a couple of minutes of standing up.
After we worked with the pulsers and I released some of my anger, we just talked. I talked to her about the darks. explained a lot about us to her. about how we are always struggling, we can never just have fun, we always are fighting to just get through the days in one piece.
she was very understanding. she said she thought I was very up in my head today. and so she gave me some homework, she wants me to walk this week, walk in the park, and become aware of my feet, pay attention to them, connect with them and really notice them.
I had to laugh at that, that seemed very odd to me, but I promised her I would do it.
I’m glad I had some time with her today. I felt so much better afterwords. And now I am actually not feeling bad tonight. I feel good. I dont feel angry. i dont feel like I am in a fit of rage. I just feel content. Happy even, feels good to me to feel like that, makes a change.

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Silence is a trigger for us

Laura’s word prompt this week is “Silence”, thanks Laura for the inspiration. https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-silence/

Today in therapy I realised, silence is a huge trigger for us. We were sitting there doing an EMDR exercise, eileen stopped talking for a minute or two. All there was was me, the sound of the vibrating pulsers, and the sound of my own thoughts. And boy did I get triggered! I started to dissociate, float away. I started to disengage. I couldnt hear Eileen. She sounded so far away from me when she eventually did start to talk again. Once I caught it I was able to tell her about the trigger. I was able to tell her that I cant stand silence, I need her to speak while we are doing the EMDR, I need her to keep talking to me. She was ok with doing this for us. I wonder though, what is it about the silence? That part I havent figured out yet. I’m still working on it. I’m happy I was able to figure out though that this is one of our triggers that causes dissociation and spaciness. At least now I know. Now I know and can do something to try to not have that happen.
carol anne

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therapy-Body reactions

IN THERAPY TODAY A LOT CAME UP. EMILY STARTED OFF THE SESSION. SHE TALKED A LITTLE TO EILEEN ABOUT THE WEEKN, ABOUT TIME LOSS, ABOUT THE SYSTEM, ABOUT WHO WAS STRUGGLING ETC. THAT WENT WELL. THEN SHE TOLD EILEEN HOW WE ARENT SLEEPING AT NIGHT. BECAUSE WE ARE TOO SCARED. THE KIDS ARE AFRAID OF THE DARK. THE DARKS HAVE BEEN HAVING MEMORIES, THERE WAS SUMMER SOLSTACE, THAT WAS HARD FOR US. EILEEN LISTENED. THEN SHE SAID SHE’D LIKE TO HAVE A CONFERENCE WITH ALL OF THE ADULTS. SHE FIRST TALKED A LITTLE TO THE KIDS, THOUGH. SHE TOLD THEM ALL TO GO INTO THE SAFE ROOM INSIDE, AND TO EITHER PLAY, OR SLEEP, OR SOMETHING, BUT THAT SHE WAS GOING TO TALK TO THE ADULTS AND TRY TO FIGURE OUT A FEW THINGS. THEY WERE ALL OK WITH THAT. SO SHE HAD US ALL GO TO OUR CONFERENCE ROOM INSIDE. AND WE HELD A SORT OF MEETING. HOWEVER THAT DIDNT LAST TOO LONG. WE TALKED FOR A LITTLE WHILE, AND THEN SHE BROUGHT OUT THE PULSERS. SHE SAID WE WERE GOING TO TRY AN EXERCISE. SO SHE HAD US THINK OF A TIME WHERE WE WERE AT OUR BEST. STABLE. MENTALLY WELL. THRIVING. SIMPLY PUT, AT OUR BEST MENTALLY. SHE HAD US THINK OF IT WHILE HOLDING TH E VIBRATING PULSERS. BUT SOME OF THE DARKS KEPT BLOCKING IT. THEY WOULDNT ALLOW US TO BRING IT UP. EILEEN GOT CURIOUS AND ASKED WHY, WHAT WAS THREATENING THEM. WHY DID THEY FEEL THEY COULDNT ALLOW US TO BRING UP THOSE FEELINGS? EVENTUALLY ONE OF THEM TOLD HER THAT THEY WERE FEELING INVALIDATED, AND LIKE THIS EMDR SHE WAS HAVING US DO WAS OF NO RELEVANCE RIGHT NOW. SHE STARTED TALKING TO US THEN ABOUT TRAUMA, AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM AND HOW WHAT WE ARE STRUGGLING WITH NOW IS ALL PART OF OUR WHOLE OVERALL REALITY. EXCEPT HALF WAY THROUGH I COULDNT HEAR HER ANY MORE. I FELT FAR AWAY. I FELT CUT OFF. I FELT LIKE SHE WAS GETTING FURTHER AND FURTHER FROM ME. I FELT SO WEIRD. I STARTED SHAKING, BAD. IT WAS REALLY BAD. I HUGGED THE PILLOW I WAS HOLDING TO ME. EILEEN NOTICED. SHE ASKED ME IF I WAS OK. I TOLD HE R NO. I WAS STILL HOLDING THE PULSERS, MY BODY WAS GOING INTO SPASM. I WAS AFRAID THAT IF I LET THE PULSERS GO I’D COLLAPSE. THE VIBRATION OF THEM IN MY HANDS WAS KINDA SOOTHEING ME A LITTLE BIT. I WAS ALSO AFRAID THAT IF I LET THE PILLOW GO SOMETHING REALLY BAD WOULD HAPPEN TO ME. EILEEN WAS REALLY KIND. SHE SAT NEXT TO ME AND STROKED MY HAND, YOUR OK, YOUR OK, SHE SAID. ITS JUST YOUR FREEZE RESPONSE LETTING GO, SOMETHING I SAID OBVIOUSLY REALLY TRIGGERED A RESPONSE IN YOU. ITS OK, THOUGH. YOUR BODY CAN HANDLE THIS. YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM IS REALINING. THATS ALL IT IS THAT IS HAPPENING. I GOT WORSE AND WORSE. MY WHOLE BODY WAS TREMBLING. I COULDNT BREATHE. I COULDNT TALK. ALL I COULD DO WAS SOB. I WANTED TO CURL UP IN A BALL, WELL SOMEONE INSIDE DID, I COULD FEEL IT. SOMEONE ELSE WANTED TO RUN BEHIND OUR CHAIR AND HIDE. WE TOLD EILEEN THIS. SHE OFFERED COMFORT TO US. SHE HELD OUR HAND AS WE SAT THERE STRUGGLING. SHE KEPT SAYING I’VE GOT THIS. YOUR OK. I’M HERE. I CANT HANDLE IT. I WONT LET ANYTHING HAPPEN TO YOU. I’M HERE, SUPPORTING YOU. I HAVE NEVER FELT SUCH A PHYSICAL BODILY REACTION. IT WAS JUST PURE HELL. EVENTUALLY IT DID CALM DOWN THOUGH. AND WE WERE ABLE TO GO ON WITH OUR SESSION. AT THE END OF IT EILEEN SAID WE DID SUPER WORK TODAY. AND THAT A WHOLE LOT HAD COME OUT OF TRYING TO BRING UP A GOOD MEMORY. I AGREED, IT HAD. I NEVER THOUGHT THAT DOING THAT EXERCISE WOULD BRING ON SO MUCH BODILY REACTIONS. EILEEN JUST KEPT TELLING ME IT WAS THE TRAUMATIC STUFF RELEASING FROM MY BODY. THEN SHE COMPLIMENTED ME ON MY POETRY AND HER WRITING. SHE SAID SHE REALLY GOT IT. REALLY GOT WHAT LIZ WAS SAYING, FELT HER FRUSTRATION ABOUT SHIRLEY OUR HOST NOT ACCEPTING HER OR ANY OF US. WE CAME HOME AND FELL INTO BED. FELL ASLEEP FOR HOURS. WE WERE DRAINED. I’M SO GLAD WE HAD THE SESSION THOUGH. IT REALLY DID HELP EVEN IF MY BODY FELT WEIRD FOR HOURS AFTER IT.
LIZ

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HARD SESSION TODAY

TODAY I HAD A TERRIBLY HARD THERAPY SESSION. I WAS SO SCARED AND ANXIOUS. LUCKILY EILEEN WAS GREAT. SHE WAS ABLE TO REASSURE ME. I TOLD HER I WAS ANXIOUS BECAUSE I COULDNT FIND MY WORDS TO EXPLAIN WHAT WAS GOING ON FOR ME. “BUT YOU DONT NEED TO FIND WORDS, LIZ” “I’M TOTALLY COOL WITH JUST HANGING OUT WITH FEELINGS” “WE CAN JUST HANG OUT HERE WITH THEM AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS” I TOLD HER I DID NOT KNOW WHERE OUR SESSION WAS HEADING. “THOSE ARE THE BEST KIND OF SESSIONS, LIZ” SHE SAID GENTLY. “SOME PEOPLE COME TO THERAPY WITH EVERYTHING REHEARSED, BECAUSE THEY FEEL LIKE THATS SAFER” “YOU HAVENT DONE THAT” “SO IT WILL BE MORE AUTHENTIC” SO WE JUST WENT WITH IT. I JUST LET WHAT HAPPENED HAPPEN. AND IT WAS OK. I USED THE PULSERS. EMDR IS SO HARD! I DID SO MUCH WORK TODAY AND I SURPRISED MYSELF. I DIDNT EVEN KNOW I COULD DO THAT. WE TRACKED SOME OF MY FEELINGS, LIKE FEAR, ANGER, WORRY, SADNESS. WE TRACKED THEM IN MY BODY. THAT PART WAS SUPER HARD. I NEVER REALLY DID THAT BEFORE SO WASNT USED TO IT. EILEEN GUIDED ME. SHE WALKED ME THROUGH HOLDING THE AREAS WHERE THE ANXIETY WAS STRONGEST AND WHERE I FELT IT MOST. THEN WE TALKED ABOUT DISCONNECTION AND HOW MY BODY DIDNT FEEL LIKE MINE. EILEEN SAID SHE WASNT SURPRISED BECAUSE THE PART OF MY BRAIN THAT IS HOLDING THE BODILY SENSATIONS IS THE PART THATS ACTIVATED NOW. WE TALKED ABOUT TRAUMATIC MEMORIES AND HOW THE BRAIN STORES THEM. I LOVE IT WHEN SHE TELLS US STUFF ABOUT TRAUMA. ITS SO USEFUL. I HAD ALMOST THE ENTIRE SESSION. I WAS DRAINED BY THE END OF IT. SHE SAID I DID GREAT THOUGH AND SHE OFFERED THAT IF I NEED TO DURING THE WEEK I CAN EMAIL OR CALL HER AND SHE’D TALK TO US. SHE TOLD ME TO MAKE SURE I TOLD EVERYONE IN THE SYSTEM THAT. PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY EMAILED HER TONIGHT. INCLUDING ME. I CAME HOME AFTER THERAPY AND WENT RIGHT TO BED AND TO SLEEP FOR ABOUT 5 HOURS. I NEEDED IT. I WAS TOTALLY SHATTERED. THAT ALWAYS HAPPENS AFTER A HARD SESSION THOUGH. WE WILL SLEEP A LOT. IM HAPPY I WENT TODAY. I THINK IT DID ME GOOD TO TALK.
LIZ

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TODAYS THERAPY SESSION WAS TOUGH

HEY ITS LIZ. SO I HAD THE WHOLE OF OUR THERAPY SESSION TODAY. IT WAS SO TOUGH. I KNEW I HAD TO GO IN THERE THOUGH AND BE HONEST. SO I DID. I DID AND I AM SO GLAD I TALKED. WE DID EMDR. AND WORKED WITH THE PULSERS. FIRST OF ALL WE WORKED ON GROUNDING EXERCISES. SHE HAD ME WALK AROUND HER OFFICE. THAT ALWAYS CALMS ME DOWN. I WAS FEELING REALLY SHAKY AND JUMPY. SHE ASKED ME TO TRY TO NAME MY FEELINGS. BUT I COULDNT. I JUST COULDNT GO THERE. IT WAS WAAAAY TOO DIFFICULT. WE DID THIS THING DURING THE EMDR WHERE SHE HAD ME BRING UP A GOOD MEMORY AND THEN SHE HAD ME FLASH OVER TO THE DARK MERKY PLACE I FELT LIKE I WAS IN. SHE HAD ME FLASH OVER AND BACK FIRST UNDER HER INSTRUCTION AND THEN SHE HAD ME TRY TO GO THERE AND COME BACK TO THE PRESENT ON MY OWN AND SHE HAD ME DO IT 3 TIMES AND THEN 5 TIMES. AT FIRST I COULDNT REALLY DO IT BUT I GOT BETTER AT IT. I TRIED TO DESCRIBE THE FLAT FEELING AND THE FEELINGS OF BLAH AND LETHARGY AND DEPRESSEDNESS IS DEPRESSEDNESS EVEN A WORD? ANYWAY, I TRIED MY BEST TO DESCRIBE THOSE FEELINGS TO HER IN THE BEST WAY I COULD. I THINK SHE GOT IT. SHE SEEMED TO UNDERSTAND. SHE KEPT TELLING ME I WASNT ON MY OWN WITH ALL OF IT, THAT I HAD HER. THAT SHE CARED AND WANTED TO SUPPORT ME. SHE ASKED ME A FEW TIMES IF I FELT SAFE. I DID FEEL SAFE IN HER OFFICE. ESPECIALLY AFTER DOING THE GROUNDING EXERCISES. I TOLD HER THAT LATELY I’D BEEN ONLY COMING OUT TO DEAL WITH CRISIS SITUATIONS. TO HELP US WHEN NO ONE ELSE COULD DO THE JOB. I AM NOT LIVING MY LIFE. I AM SIMPLY BEING AN ANKOR FOR THE SYSTEM. I AM THE ONE WHO MANAGES WHEN NO ONE ELSE CAN. AND IT IS DRAGGING ME DOWN THAT IT IS THIS WAY. I WANT TO DO THINGS I ENJOY. I WANT TO TRY TO LIVE. I DONT WANT TO JUST EXIST. I WANT TO BE ME I WANT TO BE ME AND BE FREE TO BE HOW I AM. I’M ALWAYS AFRAID THAT IF I FEEL, IF I SHOW THE OTHERS IN THE SYSTEM MY TRUE FEELINGS, THAT THEY’LL ALL GET OVERWHELMED AND THEN WE’LL END UP IN THE HOSPITAL AND IT’LL BE ALL MY FAULT. I DONT WANT TO GO THERE. I DONT WANNA GO IN. I CANT. WE CANT. WE ARE TRYING OUR HARDEST TO STAY STABLE AND OUT OF THE HOSPITAL. DR. BARRY IS REALLY PROUD OF US. I WOULD HATE TO DISAPPOINT HER. I NEVER EVER WANT TO DISAPPOINT HER. NOT THAT SHE EVER SAID I DID, QUITE THE OPPOSITE ACTUALLY. SHE IS FOREVER TELLING ME ITS OK NOT TO BE OK. THAT I AM WAY TOO HARD ON MYSELF. ANYWAY. THERE WAS A YOUNG PART OF ME TODAY, A TEENAGE PART, I’D SAY SHE WAS AROUND 15 OR 16. AND SHE WAS STUCK, SHE KEPT SAYING SHE WAS IN A SWAMP AND SHE WAS STUCK AND COULDNT GET OUT OF THERE. SHE WAS SCARED AND VULNERABLE AND OVERWHELMED AND REALLY REALLY FRIGHTENED. I TOLD EILEEN ABOUT THE SWAMP AND HOW DARK AND MERKY IT WAS IN THERE. HOW IT IS LIKE A HUGE HOLE AND IF YOU ARE IN IT YOU START TO SINK. EILEEN OFFERED TO HELP GET HER OUT OF THE SWAMP. SO WE WORKED WITH HER AND EILEEN WAS ABLE TO HELP PULL HER OUT. SHE HAD ME VISUALISE A ROPE LADDER AND SHE TOLD ME TO TELL THIS TEEN PART TO PUT BOTH HANDS ON THE ROPE AND THEN EILEEN HAD ME VISUALISE HER DRIVING A TRACTOR WITH SOMETHING ON THE BACK THAT WOULD PULL THE TEEN PART OUT OF THE SWAMP. AND IT WORKED. SHE WAS DAZED AND VERY DISORIENTATED WHEN SHE CAME OUT OF THERE. AND EILEEN SAID IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT SHE RESTED. AND SHE TOLD ME ONCE SHE’S RESTED THAT MAYBE I COULD SHOW HER AROUND OUR HOUSE. SHOW HER OUR LIFE NOW. SHOW HER THAT ITS 2018 AND WE ARE SAFE. SHE ASKED ME IF I FELT I COULD DO IT. I SAID YES I THOUGHT I COULD. IT WAS AN INTENSE SESSION. BUT A REALLY PRODUCTIVE ONE TOO. IM SO GLAD I HAD ALL OF IT. I NEEDED TO TALK. I NEEDED TH VALIDATION. I NEEDED THE REASSURANCE AND SUPPORT.
LIZ

Kira’s therapy session

hi
im kira and im 12. today i got to talk to eileen. i had a lot to say.
we started off talking about anxiety and about how we struggle with feeling like we are not normal. eileen kept saying we are normal. and there is nothing abnormal about us.
she ask me to think about if a miracle happened, and i woke up one day and all the anxiety was gone, and all the icky memories were gone and i felt good what would that feel like.
we worked with that for a while and we worked with the pulsers and she asked me to tell her how i felt in my body and what images came up for me.
that was hard. some of the other insiders werent happy doing that. it made them feel like they were not being heard.
i hadnt told eileen at the start it was me. i tried to say i was carol anne. because i am used to blending in and not being seen. i am just used to being here and nobody noticing me. but she noticed.
she asked whose this I am talking to?
at first i was too scared to say but eventually i did. and she said she’s very glad i told her who I am. and that I am very welcome.
after a while i told her a little bit about me. and about what i hold.
i hold the memories of a rape that happened to us 10 years ago. we did not really go into the memory today but we just talked a little bit around it.
it is me and emily who hold the memory of that night. i hold the memory of what happened and emily holds the memories of the examinations in the hospital afterwords.
i told eileen that the bigs are reading a jenina fischer book about did and trauma and she talked to me about the different terminology that jenina uses to describe parts.
she said she thinks i fit in with the freeze and attach parts. both of those types of parts are a match for me.
after a while we stopped working with the pulsers. i asked if i can hold her hand. and we sat holding hands for a while. that felt good.
then she said will we try an exercise, did i want to.
i said yes. so she had me think up a place that i felt calm in. somewhere either where i’ve been or she said it could be an imaginary place. i picked tirc waterfalls in killarney, its a place i’ve been and its very peaceful.
so then she had me imagine that, the place, smells, sounds etc. we used the pulsers again then for a while when i did that.
and then she thought me how to do the thing in EMDR where you cross your arms over your chest and you tap each side fast but not too fast, first you tap the left and then the right side. and she said i can do that and think up the place, and i had given her a word, peaceful, to describe the place.
she said if i can bring up the word during the week and do the tapping and stuff, thats my homework for the week.
at the end of the session i got a big hug from her. i wanted to stay wrapped in her arms forever. but i couldnt. i had to pull away from her. i didnt want to though.
it was a good session. im happy she got to meet me and she saw me.
Kira