Dr. Barry and our good news appointment!

So I just got done seeing dr. barry! We had a fantastic appointment! But thats the norm for us!
I had so much to tell her!
I told her about my smear test coming back clear, and she was really pleased for me. She encouraged me not to stress about the upcoming appointment to the clinic so for now I am not going to worry too much about it! It wont be for a few weeks yet, so I have time to prepare!
We talked about meds, and she asked me about the clonadine, how was it going for me taking it. I told her its working out really well. I am happy with how its working out. My anxiety has lessened since I’ve been taking it. And I am mostly sleeping a little better, I am now sleeping for around 4 to 5 hours when I do sleep, and I am having less nightmares too. She was really happy to hear how well the med is working out. She gave me another script for 2 more weeks supply of the med. We’ll review it when I next see her. We didnt increase it today, she is going to see how I do on it for another 2 weeks before we think about upping the dose.
I told her we didnt see eileen this week because of her being ill. We talked about the stress I felt at eileen being ill. I was also telling her about the kids, how much they worried about eileen and how their worry filtered through to me but that I was also worried and now that eileens ok again I am less stressed and just so relieved.
Then I told her my big news! About my trip to the USA next year! She couldnt believe I was going and she was really excited for me! It was so cute! She was like, Carol anne, I dont think you’ve been to the states since I’ve been your doctor have you? I had to think but no, I havent! The last time I went to america was in the summer of 2013, and I didnt start seeing dr. barry until november of that year.
She then told me that the nurse that was giving me my shot had left, and a new nurse was now administering the shots. She said if I wanted to she’d introduce her to me. So I said I’d like that. She left the room to see if the nurse, whose name is Kay, was still there, she was, and she came in to meet me. She knew me, but I didnt remember her. But she said she had worked in the hospital some years ago on nights, and she’d met me while I was an in patient. I had no memory of ever meeting her! But she seems nice. I’m glad we’ve met, it makes getting my shot from her easier to deal with and I wont be stressing over a new person giving it to me!
Somehow then dr. barry and I got on to talking about psychiatrists, and my former psychiatrist. That was interesting. We had a long conversation about my teen years in the mental health system, and she told me that my then psychiatrist dr. Mccarthy who was my first ever psychiatrist when I was in my teens, has now retired. I always liked dr. Mccarthy, she was a nice doctor and she was easy to get along with.
So yeah, a heavy apt, loaded with much chat, and lots to talk through. It was good though and we made another one for 2 weeks time. When dr. barry walked me to the front entrance to get my taxi, I told her as we were walking to the entrance about nitro retiring, as I forgot to tell her while we were in our appointment. So then we had a further conversation about that.
We’re coming up on our six year anniversary, it is in a few weeks, she’ll have been my doctor for six years this coming november, wow, how that time has flown, I’ve grown a lot since we started our work together, I am so glad she’s my psychiatrist, I couldnt ask for a better doctor.

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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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This is chance, therapy this past week

my name is chance. im 13. i wanted to talk about therapy this past week. on monday we went. it started out with willow talking, willow told eileen that some of the dark kids in our system were struggling, me and my two buddies anna and astra were struggling a lot over the weekend. i get angry a lot. im angry at everything and everyone. especially at our abusers. i want to do something really bad to them well if i could i would. i dont really care about anyone or anything. im just angry all of the time. its tiring though being so angry so much. plus everyone is scared of me. i only have anna and astra to keep me company. they get angry too. we’re all 13 the 3 of us are 13. so eileen was nice about it, she said we had a right to feel anger. she welcomed it. willow told her that i wanted to email her but she wouldnt let me because she didnt want me to say harsh things in the email to eileen. eileen said she shouldnt try to sensor me. that it would be ok if i emailed her. that its ok if i am angry in the email. willow still wasnt sure. she didnt want to upset eileen. eileen kept telling her not to worry, that she could handle it. then i decided im going to talk to eileen. i just felt like she’d get it. she’d understand. so i did. and it was great. she’s really cool. she talked to me about my anger. and about the abusers being such assholes. about how they hurt us and how that was so wrong. so that was nice. she had me pick out stones to represent my anger and other feelings. that was kinda weird but I did it anyway. it was only weird because i’d never done anything like that. but when i did, i was able to feel calmer. she told me i can email her or text her if i need to this week. she said if I text she’ll respond to it and we can talk. i havent texted her yet, but i know if I need to I can. that feels good, grounding, like she’ll be there, maybe on friday we can text her, since fridays a tough day for us with the summer solstace, maybe she can talk to us then. i did email her though already since monday. i felt like it was a good session. and i am glad i talked to her. she’s pretty cool. i like her. its hard for me to admit that. but the fact she offered that we could text her meant a lot to me. plus she made things clear, telling me that if I email that she usually doesnt respond to them, but if I text she’ll respond to that. so that makes things clear to me. but the fact she’s willing to let us means a lot to me. im very grateful. i’ve had bad experiences with therapy before, so i wasnt sure about it but now I am. now I am glad I talked and I will do it again in the future.
chance age 13

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taylors therapy time

me gots to tok to eileen in therapy yeserday
it was nice
i like it wen i get to com e out to talk
it is hard somtims but not all the time
yeserday i camed out cuz i got skard
i was feling unsafe
we was workin wif ar body
that maked me feel unsafe
so i came out then
eileen came and sat next to me
and then her ask if she can hold me
i said ok cuz i like it when she holds me
so she came and sat and put her hands around my back and shoulders
it felt so nice
she makes me fel safe
she held me tight like that for a long time
we toked and she held me
it felt so so good
we talked about memories
and we talked about tv shows
i tol her i dont lik it when the grown ups wach law and order SVU
it makes me remeber bad things
she said shed tok to them bout it
and she promised me i dont gots to wach it if i dont wanna
that i can go away inside when the grown ups do that
so i will
i dont like that show
it has scary thing on it
bad things hapen to peple on it
i think eileen did talk to carol anne later on about it
eileen says i get trigered by that show
i gess so i dont know
but that mosly wat we tok bout
that and memories of dublin
and eileen ask me what i notice bout her office
what do i notise wen i come in there
it was good therapy time
i liked having time to tok to her
love
taylor six

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from jadda age 10

hihihi every body
its jadda. im 10 years old. im one of emilys inside kids. you know em has her own insiders in the bigger system. I know that’s confusin, it is for me too. but we’re here, and its just the way it is.
I got to talk with Eileen today. that was cool. I never talked to her before. I did email her though. at the weekend when I lost my words. I couldn’t find them. I asked her to help me find my words.
they disappeared. it was stressful to me that I lost them. I hate not be able to explain things or how I feel. but today I could. Eileen helped me find my words again.
we talked about ems system. I told Eileen a few things. about why im here. im a protector in ems system, I am here to protect Emily. that’s why I came.
Eileen was curious. she said but your only 10. I told her there are younger protectors than me. april is one and she’s only 8.
we talked about loss. I told her that last week in our session when we did that review, we got scared. we felt afraid cuz what if we lose Eileen? she said don’t worry, im not going anywhere. and if something were to happen that the organisation who funds your therapy stopped funding it, carol anne said she’d find a way to continue seeing me. and I believe that too. I know she would.
im happy that is the case. it feels better knowing that there are options. if the worse came to the worse we’d still have Eileen, we’d still be seeing her. im glad about that.
we got to talk about memories then. loss from times when the body was a kid. and we used the pulsers for a while. that was ok but then I started dissociating, so Eileen turned them off. she said we’d done enough work with them. I was glad we stopped. I didn’t think I could continue to work on the memories. Eileen ask me about the belief I had about myself. I told her I believe I feel that I am too much, and that I am bad. we talked about that belief for a while then.
then liz offered to help us by supporting us more. she said she didn’t realise how badly we were struggling, neither did Carol anne. they offered to come closer by us and offer their support to us. I liked that they offered to do that. it felt nice to have a grown ups support.
we don’t ask sometimes for help when we need it because we are scared. sometimes we don’t tell the grown ups in the bigger system that it is one of us and not Emily. we get scared to tell our names, and be recognised.
we are going to work with Eileen on asking more for help when we need it. but next week liz and her system are going to have some time. liz has stuff she needs to talk about with Eileen. but im glad I had a little bit of therapy time today.
Jadda, 10

Eileen asks me what I think did is?

so an interesting session for me today with eileen. i hadnt been to therapy in ages. i mean we had, but i personally hadnt. and it ended up I didnt even have a whole lot of time, as Shirley was out and needed to talk. But I did have a few minutes at the start, and end of our session. And when I did, we were talking about did, Eileen asked me what I think did is? How would I explain it? That kinda threw me. Not many people ask me that. I said I thought did was many people sharing one body, then that led to her asking me if I know we’re all part of one whole person? I told her I did know we shared a body, but I didnt feel we were part of a whole person. There is no whole. There has never been. She said she understood how I felt. But that her idea was that we’re all parts, parts of a whole. And logically I know this, but well, I guess it doesnt come up to often, so I dont really think about it. I mean, I do know we share a body. I know there arent tons of different people, but I also know as parts, we are individuals, we are separate in that we all have our own feelings on things, ideas about things, etc. Eileen agreed with me on that. She said she realises that we all think about the world differently, express emotions and feelings in our own unique way. She said she is just gently telling me that we’re one being, one body, and parts of a whole. Man! That is a tough one to take. I am my own person, I want to be my own person, I hate that we share a body. Mostly I hate that. Mostly I want my own body. I just want to be me, but deep down I know I have to conform, I have to take the whole system into account when making decisions, i know this. I guess I am just ranting a little because I can, lol. It was just an interesting session to me. We havent actually talked much about did, about what it means and what it is and how we see it. Eileen said the reason she asked us was because the questionaire we did last week, the first question in it says, do you believe you have a diagnosis of did or a dissociative disorder, do you and all parts believe that to be true? We do believe it to be true. That isnt the issue here. But Eileen just wanted our opinion on what we as parts think did is and what it means to us to be did to have that disorder. It was just interesting to me. I have to now go away and reflect on it a little.
carol anne

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