dr. barry and Allie have a heart to heart

hi. its allie. and i wanted to write to say today i talked with dr. barry. for a long time. and it felt so nice. she maked me feel so good about myself. she listened. she made me feel like i was the only person who mattered in the world. we talked about spacing our apointments out to two weeks apart. and i told her i dont want to but liz and carol anne do. and im not the only one who dont want to, all of us kids dont. she understood. but she said its an opportunity to challenge some things. and to grow. and we need to do that challenge our attachment issues. she said shes not goin anywhere and that if she ever planned on going somewhere shed let me know. she said carol anne had told her last week she loved how honest she is with us. and that she believes in being honest. and so that is why she said she’d tell me if she was ever going anywhere. she said taylor was very honest with her last week about her feelings as well. so that made me want to be honest with her too. so then i told her about how im scared shell leave me. and i feelin abandoned even tho she hasnt gone no where. and i dont wanna space out apts out because what if it means i dont see her nearly as much. i will miss her! she said she isnt able to keep up the weekly appointments because of demands on her from other patients. but she said if we spaced outthe apts to two weeks apart that shed keep them like that for a while. so we are doin it. and im not happy. but i gess ill try it. see what happens. i showed her my new book. she loved it. its the new book carol anne bought us for eileen to read to us. its called today i feel silly and other moods that make my day. she kept apologising to me because she said the language she was using to explain the attachment stuff probably wasnt age appropriate for me. but that she knows eileen is better at dealing with that side of things and so she thinks itd be good if i talked with her. i told her what eileen said about feelings, that they dont be going to kill us. and that its ok to be how we are there no pressure to be any other way. i also told her that eileen said we are confused because her role and dr. barrys role are similar and that spacing them apts out might be a good thing cuz then itd give us a chance to see eileen as the mother figure and attach to her more so that we can heal our past. dr. barry said that thats probably a good idea because even though shes our psychiatrist our attachment to her is a different sort of attachment to eileen, and in some ways eileen is more important because the deeper work is being done with her.
it was a good session. im glad i came out. i hope i can again soon.
allie

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therapy: putting our anxietys to rest

so therapy yesterday was intense. we were so anxious going in. mosty due to friday. it was awful. insiders were panicked and we were dissociated. but eileen was great, as always. she layed so many of our anxieties to rest. she said that she did not believe that the did experts would look to take any of our support away. that they are simply coming in with another pair of eyes, looking at where things are at for us now 7 years on after initial diagnosis. that she feels we are not anywhere near ready to slow therapy down or go less often. that we have a long long way to go and that we havent really even started on the processing of memories yet, but that she felt as a system we were becoming more cohesive, and opening up more to her as time went on. she told me that the doctor who initially diagnosed me, Paul Miller, he’s a psychiatrist specialising in EMDR in northern ireland, well he is her supervisor and supervises her trauma and EMDR work, so that is good, because he already knows us and so he has a good idea of how things are for us system wise, and I felt better knowing that he was supervising eileen. she thought I’d be mad that she hadnt told me this sooner. but of course I wasnt. she told me that the funders who fund my therapy had reassured her that they would not be pulling our sessions and that this assessment was just basically to see where things were at, a sort of review. i told her about a conversation we had with dr. barry last week. basically dr. barry told me she has a list of questions to ask Remy on friday, she wants to talk to him about our attachment issues, and about how best to go about helping us to move forward because right now she feels she and us are stuck in a loop. she feels we arent secure in the attachment with us and that if we dont see her for a week or if she goes on vacation we panic and we think she is never coming back. this is true, we do. but i do think we are somewhat secure in our attachment to her. she told us of her anxieties around spacing out our apts to bi weekly, that she is afraid to do that in case we will destabilise and she doesnt want to set us back. however i told eileen yesterday i feel ready to go bi weekly now, i feel this is a good thing. its the kids, the kids dont want to, they see it as dr barry leaving them, or abandoning them. its hard for them, confusing, they see both eileen and dr. barry in similar roles, and eileen said yesterday that she feels spacing out our dr. barry apts will be a good thing because the roles wont be so blurred. she said that she feels psychiatry and therapy are similar but very different at the same time. psychiatry is about managing symptoms and meds, where as therapy and the work we are doing with her is about healing the past. i agree. she said that the kids are seeing both her and dr. barry as mom figures, when there really can only be one mother figure because otherwise it gets muddy and merky. i also agree with this. she said sometimes we need different people in different ways, and different relationships can bring us different things and get different needs met for us. it was a very good session.i felt so much better after it. i feel less worried about friday now. i feel more at ease. i am going into it with a new outlook.
carol anne

ZOE. THERAPY TODAY

HI ITS ZOE
SO THIS MORNING I SAID I DIDNT WANT TO GO TO THERAPY. I WAS NERVOUS OF GOING? WELL I WENT. AND I’M GLAD I DID. I’M GLAD I DIDNT CANCEL. LIZ WOULDNT LET ME CANCEL. SHE SAID I NEEDED TO GO AND FACE MY FEARS. AND SO I DID.
WE TALKED ABOUT THE EMAIL I SENT HER. THE CONTENTS OF IT. SHE SAID SHE HEARD MY LONGING IN IT. HEARD MY PAIN AND THAT SHE KNOWS I AM HURTING. SHE SAID THE REASON SHE DIDNT RESPOND WAS BECAUSE CAROL ANNE MADE AN AGREEMENT WITH HER THAT SHE WOULD ONLY RESPOND IN AN EMERGENCY, AND ALSO, SHE WOULD NOT RESPOND TO ONE AND NOT ALL INSIDERS, BECAUSE THAT ISNT FAIR TO THE REST OF THE INSIDERS WHO ARE EMAILING.
I DIDNT KNOW OF THAT AGREEMENT. BUT IT MAKES SENSE. I FELT HURT WHEN SHE DIDNT RESPOND TO ME AND I TOLD HER THAT TODAY. SHE ASKED IF I FELT ANGRY. I SAID NO JUST HURT.
WE TALKED ABOUT HOW ITS BETTER TO TALK FACE TO FACE INSTEAD OF THROUGH EMAIL, ESPECIALLY WHEN ITS ABOUT STUFF TO DO WITH ATTACHMENT AND THINGS LIKE THAT. SHE SAID YOU GET MORE FROM FACE TO FACE CONTACT, LIKE THE PERSON IS RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU, YOU CAN HAVE CONTACT WITH THEM, THROUGH TOUCH AND FACIAL EXPRESSION ETC. SHE SAID WORDS ON A SCREEN CAN BE MISENTERPRETED AND ITS JUST NOT THE SAME.
I DO AGREE WITH HER ON THAT.
THEN WE TALKED ABOUT THE EMAIL. I HAD SAID IN IT THAT I MISSED HER AND WAS CRYING AND FELT REALLY DISSOCIATIVE. SHE ASKED ME HOW OLD I FELT WHEN I WROTE IT. I SAID MAYBE 3. SO THEN SHE HAD ME GO TO THAT 3 YEAR OLD PART OF ME AND SIT BY HER. SHE GAVE ME THE PULSERS AND WE WORKED FOR A WHILE WITH THE 3 YEAR OLD. WE TALKED THROUGH HER FEELINGS AND WE CRIED A LOT.
SHE KEPT BRINGING ME BACK TO THE PRESENT EVERY SO OFTEN, GROUNDING ME TO THE ROOM, TALKING TO ME ABOUT MY LIFE NOW, THE COURSES I’M DOING, VOLUNTEERING, FAMILY STUFF, AND THEN SHE’D ASK ME TO FLASH BACK TO THE 3 YEAR OLD AGAIN.
IT WAS DRAINING WORK.
BUT I’M GLAD I WENT WE DID GET SO MUCH WORK DONE.
THERAPY IS SO HARD THOUGH.
ZOE

She saw me…

I’M SIRENA. I’M 13. I’M A DARK IN OUR SYSTEM.

TODAY IN THERAPY EILEEN ASKED FOR ME. SHE ACTUALLY WANTED TO TALK TO ME. I COULDNT BELIEVE IT.

I HAD EMAILED HER LAST WEEK IN DISTRESS. TELLING HER I QUIT THERAPY AND I WASNT GOING TO CONTINUE AND I WASNT GOING TO ALLOW OTHERS TO TELL HER THINGS.

SHE RESPONDED TO MY EMAIL AND SAID SHE REALLY WANTED TO HEAR MY STORY. THAT I WAS IMPORTANT AND MY STORY WAS IMPORTANT.

THAT KIND OF FELWED TO ME…I AM NOT USED TO PEOPLE RESPONDING NICELY TO ME. I AM USED TO PEOPLE SAYING GO AWAY, OR GET OVER IT, OR JUST SUCK IT UP AND EAL…

SO THEN TODAY SHE ASKED FOR ME. AND I CAME OUT AND WE TALKED. AND YOU KNOW, I FELT VALIDATED. SECRETLY I WAS GLAD SHE ASKED FOR ME, BUT I’D NEVER ADMIT TO THAT. BUT I WAS REALLY GLAD IT FELT SO GOOD TO BE SEEN.

I FEEL LIKE A SOMEBODY, NOW.

SIRENA AGE 13

THATS NOT MY BODY?

ITS LIZ. SO TODAY IN THERAPY AN INTERESTING TOPIC CAME UP. I WAS TALKING TO EILEEN TELLING HER THAT I’D BEEN TALKING TO SOME OF THE INSIDERS AND BETWEEN US WE FIGURED OUT THAT WE’RE VERY DISCONNECTED FROM OUR BODY. AND WE DONT SEE IT AS OURS. WE SEE IT AS BEING SHIRLEYS. SO EILEEN WAS ASKING HOW OLD WE FEEL, SHE ALWAYS ASKS THAT, SHE ASKED ME TODAY, I SAID 18, AND THEN SHE’S LIKE, OK, SO YOU FEEL 18, AND THERE ARE ALL DIFFERENT AGES AND STAGES AMONGST INSIDERS, BUT YOU KNOW, WHEN I AM LOOKING AT YOU NOW AND WE’RE TALKING, I HAVE A COMPETENT CAPABLE ADULT IN FRONT OF ME, A 37 YEAR OLD COMPETENT ADULT, DO YOU SEE THAT? NO, I SAID, I DONT. THEN SHE ASKS ME CAN YOU GET YOUR THUMB AND MIDDLE FINGER, AND PRESS THEM OFF OF EACH OTHER, DO IT AND TELL ME WHAT YOU FEEL? ME, NOTHING? OK, DO IT HARDER? SO I DID. NOW WHAT DO YOU FEEL, WHAT IS THE SENSATION? ME, CONSTRICTION, TIGHTNESS. SO YOU DID THAT, YOUR BRAIN SENT THAT MESSAGE TO YOUR BODY AND YOU DID THAT, I DIDNT DO IT FOR YOU, YOU HAD TO CHOOSE TO DO IT, DO YOU SEE WHERE I AM GOING WITH THIS? ME, UH, NOOOO, NOT REALLY. I AM JUST REALLY CONFUSED. I JUST…I JUST FEEL SOOO DISCONNECTED FROM MY BODY! THEN WE TALKED ABOUT HOW THE OTHER NIGHT RAVEN WHOSE 11 WAS OUT, SHE HAD THE URGE TO CUT, SHE WAS ALMOST GONNA DO IT, ANDI WAS WATCHING, BUT COULDNT DO ANYTHING, I WAS FROZEN, FROZEN AND UNABLE TO GET PAST HER TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE BODY AGAIN. AND WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE, WHEN YOU WERE WATCHING HER? EILEEN ASKED. IT FELT SO SURREAL. IT FELT LIKE I WAS FAR AWAY, IN THE DISTANCE, I WANTED TO COME BACK OUT, I WANTED TO BE IN CONTROL OF THE BODY, BUT I WASNT AND I COULDNT GET THERE. DID YOU SEE YOURSELF OR DID YOU SEE HER AS THE CHILD THAT SHE IS, EILEEN ASKED. I SAW A YOUNG VULNERABLE FRIGHTENED CHILD, I SAID. THIS DISCUSSION WENT ON FOR A WHILE. IT WAS SO INTERESTING. AND I THINK WE NEED TO TALK MORE ABOUT OUR BODY AND THE SHARING OF IT, AS SOME INSIDERS, NOT ME PERSONALLY, BUT SOME OF THE YOUNGER ONES, AND TEENS, ALL DO NOT BELIEVE THEY SHARE A BODY, YOU’D HAVE A HARD TIME CONVINCING THEM THE BODY THEY ARE PART OF IS NOT ACTUALLY THEIRS. EILEEN TRIED ONCE TO MAKE ONE OF THE DARKS BELIEVE IT, BY PLACING A CHAIR ACROSS FROM THEM AND ASKING THEM IF THEY COULD MOVE AND SIT IN IT, AND THEN THEY DID AND SHE WAS LIKE YOU SEE YOU HAD TO MOVE TO DO THAT, THE BODY YOU OWN HAD TO MOVE, YOU DIDNT AUTOMATICALLY SIT IN THAT ACHAIR, YOU COULDNT HALF YOURSELF TO GO SIT IN IT. ANYONE ELSE WITH DID, DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS? DO YOU FEEL DISCONNECTED FROM YOUR BODY? DO YOU FEEL AS IF YOUR BODY ISNT YOURS? DO YOU GET FRUSTRATED ABOUT IT? DO INSIDERS DENY THEY ARE SHARING A BODY? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS.
LIZ

Canceled session

we never went to therapy today. one of our littles, her name is ciara, got freaked out, and texted eileen and canceled. eileen knows we never miss our session ever so she rang us wondering what was up. that was so nice of her, she didnt have to ask us why, she could have just taken what ciara said in the text and went with it and let it go. but she didnt. instead she called us and talked to me about why we didnt come in. and then later this afternoon ciara texted her and she replied to her saying she’d talk to her next week if she wanted to talk, but that she didnt have to or they could talk about other stuff, not memories, because the reason ciara wouldnt go today was because she was afraid that she’d have to talk to eileen about her memories she’d been having this weekend. so yeah, did not need for this to happen today but it did, so now we have to work with that.
carol anne

This is Allie

yesterday i had time with eileen in therapy. i had almost the whole session. i felt so safe and so happy it felt good to be able to have time with her. we talked about some memories i’d been remembering. she held my hands while we talked so that i wouldnt get pulled into the past. i like it when she holds my hands. i play with her jewelery and i was nervous so i kept switching hands and holding one first then the two of them ha. it was nice to just sit with her holding her hands. she asked me how i felt being able to just talk to her. i said i felt loved and seen and validated. how does that feel in your body? she asked. it felt like a warm blanket being wrapped around me. soft and warm and safe. she said i am really good at describing how i feel and how my body feels. she said some adults wouldnt be able to do that. that made me feel good to hear that. i did not think i was that good at describing things. but she said i am. the memories were hard to talk about. i cried a lot. got really upset. was shaking and sad and stuff. but i am glad i talked to her about them. cuz it did help me to feel better once I did talk. i hadnt slept on monday night at all cuz the memories were bothering me. so at the end of our time together yesterday eileen hugged me and told me to go inside and try to sleep. i asked her if i can bring her with me to sit by my bed. she said thats a great idea and she would come with me. we also talked about how eileen sees us when she talks to the kids. she said when she talks to one of us she pictures how we’d look and so she sees a child when she looks at us that she doesnt see the adult body. she asked me when i got upset if i knew we’d grown up. sometimes i do but sometimes i dont. we talked about being grown up and life now and now not being the same as back then when we were in dublin. she has to keep reminding me of that. sometimes i get all mixed up between what is now and what was then. im glad i got to spend time with her though. i needed to do that to feel better again.
allie