So where exactly to start I don't really know, all i know is that I have a job that I really do love, its not too much paperwork its not too much travel, not too much computer work. I like my boss and co-workers alot. I am back in the human services field again, something that I am very good at and enjoy but always in the past try to escape from and I don't really know why. Why do I try to run from the things that come naturally to me? I am unsure of my path right now which is frightening me some. I was good I was set emotionally I thought, I was able to go and do things, I was able to make friends again, I was able to be married and have a complete happy life. It started about six months ago, creeping back in, I am not sure what set it off, but I am losing time again, which I am told is disassociating. I have been proactive, I called my old therapist to see if I could see her, she is to busy so I asked for referrals, I found one that I liked and I am going on a regular basis that fits my budget. Every two weeks. These episodes are scaring me somewhat, I am working through them and try to get a handle on them the best that I can. They are not the only thing that are back the nightmares are back, but I am using the skills I can get to work for me at this point to help with those as best I can. I am talking in therapy as well. I can't afford the silent appointments that I use to have with my old therapist that is not an option for me anymore. I don't know what caused the losing time thing the first time, I do know it is something that I have done since I was a little kid and I didn't know that the degree I was doing it was a bad thing, I also when I realized I was doing a few years ago bad I was self harming while I was. My new therapist asked if there was anything traumatic that happened to me when I was little, I can't think of anything that would be considered so traumatic that it would cause something like this to go into overdrive, unless something has happened and I don't remember it, but how common is that? Really to have something so horrible happen to you and you don't remember it at all? Don't you think a family member would have slipped up at this point? Mentioned something that triggered something? I don't really understand what is going on in my head right now. I am trying to fix it, but I don't get what the heck my brain is doing. I guess I have this irrational fear of digging into the depths that are black, blurry and unknown completely, I don't know what I will find, do I want to find something, what if I find nothing and my brain is just off compared to the rest of the world? I have questions that I know I should ask next Friday at therapy, but do I really want to know that answers? Do I want to admit what I think might be wrong? I am not looking for a diagnosis, I am looking for a reup of skills I guess, but to make them effective do I need to know what could possibly be wrong or off with me? I didn't think so before and I don't think so now but if she tells me am I going to be able to deal with it? When I have gone and read criteria for diagnosis' that a doctor has given me I don't agree that I fit into those categories. But one kind of does fit? But for the past not for now. Blah
I have been diagnosed with a disassociative disorder and can say first off that it's best to have a therapist who is very familiar with dissociation and has worked with people with dissociative disorders, so I'm hoping that your current therapist fits that criteria.
You wondered how common it is for people to have little or no memory of a traumatic event(s) in their childhood and the answer is, "quite common." It's actually more common to remember a single-event trauma than repetitive incedents of abuse. "Research shows that the younger the child is at a time of the trauma, the less likely the event will be remembered" You might want to read this article from Sidran Institute: Traumatic Stress Education & Advocacy. http://www.sidran.org/sub.cfm?contentID=74§ionid=4 Titled, 'What are Traumatic Memories?" and they have many resources and articles about Dissociation as well.
Believe me, I'm NOT saying that I believe you have experienced trauma in your life that you aren't currently remembering; I'm just saying that it's not an impossibility. If there is something from your past that you're not rememebering, 1) it doesn't mean that you HAVE to in order to move forward in your life and 2) if memories do come up at any point in your life, remember that you will be able to handle it! You already went through the real trauma (if indeed that be the case).
I said parts of this post remind me of myself because over the years of therapy, I have gone back and forth that I was abused (by my uncle) and no, I was not. I have very little memory of anything and what I do, I say, "it's all in my head." My therapist has respected my request to not talk about it anymore unless I bring it up (in other words, she's not 'allowed' to) lol But she has no doubt that I was sexually abused - but she's not in my head. I may never believe it ever happened for the rest of my life, and I have come to terms with that. I can't force memories to surface - something I was trying to do. If they do tomorrow, then tomorrow I will deal with it.
Continue talking with your therapist and even if you feel a bit of fear of what you might uncover - trust that you will be Ok. You may have no traumatic events to uncover, but you do have a reason(s) that you are dissociating because we don't do that just for the heck of it, you know? Focus on what's happening in your life now, and if that leads you to to parts of your past, then go with it. You are strong enough to face whatever you have to face, and you also have your therapist to help you!
Hang in there! Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
Thanks for your wonderful and informative reply. I hope your reply is read by mental sufferers who appreciate your being so candid. Anyone who has dealt with deep emotional hurts can gain from your courage and strength. Glad you're on our side. -goat
Sometimes you don't mean to say what you mean to say you mean.
Is there any possibility that a "trauma" in your life could be work? You said you love it, but it sounds like you are in a position where you cannot leave your job at your job. You bring it home with you in your head. Not that that is ever a bad thing.
I love teaching pre-school. It was so fulfilling to see a child "get" something. That light in their eyes when they discovered something new. But there were also horrible challenges. Children with social and emotional issues, some physical, that I had difficulty resolving, or helping to resolve. Behavior issues. And I would bring that home. I would spend endless fruitless hours trying to figure out how to "fix" things. It would haunt me even in my dreams.
So I left teaching and started working for a cell carrier doing collections. All inbound calls, so no problem, right? It seemed like a job I wouldn't bring home with me. Wrong. I found that the ethics of the company did NOT match my own. Not even close. And I would come home and think about that. I became so emotionally entangled that I would have massive panic attacks, migraines, and constant anxiety to spite that I was good at the job. Eventually, I emotionally blocked the job. I went through the emotions, but I didn't remember calls. In quality reviews, I could hear the change in my voice. I didn't remember the call or recognize myself. I was dissociating because I was conflicted about where my morals and ethics melded with the company. Eventually I was let go because of a FMLA violation. I was convinced that I called in, but my supervisor insists that I did not. She was likely right.
I guess what I am sharing here is that sometimes we have to re-evaluate what we are going to do work-wise and make some changes. I am not saying this is the case here, but is that a possibility?
Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson
Another thought came to me re your post and hope it's Ok to chime in a few more cents worth.
You said, "I have questions that I know I should ask next Friday at therapy, but do I really want to know that answers? Do I want to admit what I think might be wrong?"
Maybe you can ask yourself (before your appt Friday) -
1) what is the worse thing that could happen if I ask the questions I have in mind?
.....but don't stop there - answer that question....write down one or more possible "worse" things that could happen if you asked your questions, and then ask yourself another question.....
2) IF any of those "worse" things were to indeed happen, will it be the end of the world? Will I fall apart? Could I handle it?
More often than not, 1) that "worse" thing never happens and 2) if it does, you find that it's not as bad as your mind and fears tell you it's going to be. The fear of something is typically always worse than the actual reality of it should it come to pass. Our minds can play tricks on us that keep us from doing things that in reality, we could have done.
I'm assuming that you want to get to the bottom of these episodes of dissociation, yes? I totally understand that the process of doing so can be scary, but sometimes scary can be a good thing because it reinforces how brave we really can be and that YOU are!
This may not work for you, but something that I have always done in therapy is I write about what I want to talk about in therapy and I read it out loud to my tdoc. It serves a few purposes - 1) insures that I remember what I want to say 2) gives more time during my actual appt because I was able to say what i wanted to say condensed, and then go into details the rest of the session, and 3) when i read it out loud, I take ownership of what I wrote - I can't dissociate it away. I've been amazed at how many times I've learned from my own writing as I read them out loud in therapy, or got choked up as if reading it for the first time. There's power in reading your own words out loud in therapy - that has been one of my tdocs "rules" from day one, and I love it!
Anyway, just some food for thought.
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
I will definitely try the writing out stuff before therapy, my mind does go blank at times when I get there. The questions that I think I need ask are about the trauma process and my lack of memory. I also have a diagnosis question I don't need a label to work with by any means but I am afraid of the answer the Tdoc will give me. First I was bipolar then bipolar 2 then not bipolar then major depression then when I got healthy I said to myself screw it I need there labels, and I still didn't I think I did. I probably shouldn't read diagnosis criteria but I did and it has me very worried about one that I was told I had, borderline personality disorder the one diagnosis I had an absolute fit about being labeled with. But past behaviors fit it but not current per say. I don't know if when the hospital told me that I was mad at another label or mad that deep down I knew it fit.... I am rambling again oops I guess I'm afraid of asking about trauma I'm sure I want dig into that area even if it will help to process it. But back on topic the writing thing will be a good thing thank you for the idea. I have a lot to get out of my head sigh...
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