Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Announcements

Visit our Crisis Assistance Link for resources. For immediate help, get to the ER.

*No Dr Outside Contact Please*
TRIGGER re sexual abuse
avatar
ddnos posted:
I it's Ok to post this here - I have to varying degrees in the past, but even then wondered if it was appropriate here. So if I'm not supposed to, someone please tell me, Ok?

TRIGGER below

I laid down around 1 a.m. and within minutes, I started feeling very agitated physically. I felt that "wanting to explode" feeling inside as if every cell of my body was filled with energy that needed to be released. So in attempt to release it, I kicked, bit my fingers, screamed, and things of that nature. Then, something that has not happened in ages, my mind started to uncontrollably and randomly think about abuse scenarios that I had told my former therapist. The thing that makes this especially disturbing for me is that in spite of anything that I have ever told my former tdoc, I don't truly believe that any of it ever happened. I would say that the main reason I don't believe it is because there is no emotional connection between the so called act and myself. I would tell her things as though they were just pieces of information I would be spouting off, but it had nothing to do with me personally. There was NO connection. She would remind me that that was the nature of dissociation, and of course, I would always say, "Yeah, but........." I honestly can not wrap my mind or emotions around it and truly believe that anything I ever told her was a story I made up because there's NO emotion attached to it.

So last night occurred and I wanted to see my current therapist, but I couldn't She emailed me this evening and I want to share a portion of my reply to her that explained last night.

"I don't usually believe that I was ever sexually abused by my uncle and for all the 20 years of working with former tdoc, I never budged. Well, not true — I mean, sometimes I would tell her things that happened (or so I thought) then the next session or so, say it never happened and it was all in my head and that I don't want to falsely accuse anyone of something so horrible. So out of the blue late last night (I think maybe triggered by off the cuff comment I made to you last session about I felt drugged because my uncle used to drug me) but last night I decided to sleep on the couch and my mind was going from "incident to incident" in fast speed and I was thrashing about on couch and freaking out (for lack of better word) and wondering why them images was coming in my head, and the water sound under the sink and hiding there and the drugs and the white coat and the mustache and the couch and the old rug and the knife and everything fast fast fast in my head back and forth different scenes to one and other then back to the one and I say to myselef them is not true and I already told former tdoc they are not true and I don't remember anything and its 20 years off and on "trying" to remember something that was not there and I tell her forget it! I don't want to talk about it no more UNLESS I bring it up. But she can't bring it up no more, only I can. And we never talk about it for past 2 yrs or so, I think. "


So now I throw big can of worms in the mix with new therapist by telling her all that when no intention whatsoever unless it came up. I can hope she won't want to address that email next session, but who am I kidding - she's a therapist!


Sorry this is so long - Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
Reply
FirstPrevious12NextLast
 
avatar
reneegigliotti responded:
Hugs Debbie,

She'll probably ask you if you are comfortable discussing the letter first. You get to pick whether you are at the just sharing stage or at the I want to process stage. That's tough with a new therapist. Sometimes just putting your toe in the water and seeing how she responds is all you need right now. If she is gentle and inviting without being intrusive you get to pick whether or not the time is right for you. Otherwise, you've given her precious information about you and she'll have it in memory for future discussions.

For what its worth, my best and deepest communications to both my psychiatrist and psychologist are in email form. Everything I write to him goes through her (I don't have his email address and don't want it) so she knows what he and I talk about. Email is a great tool for me and both of them really like it because I open up better in the written word than spoken word.

Renee
 
avatar
slik_kitty responded:
I know you don't want to accept this as reality. i know you don't want to say that this really happened. problem is, if you never address it, then you stay in the spot you are in now. maybe if you deal with this, then the state you are in will get better. you will be able to leave the house to do what you need to do. you will be able to find your motivation. you will be able to find a job. there is more going on inside of you than you want to admit. without dealing with it, then you are stuck. the only way to move forward and to heal, is in dealing with the sa. you don't have to accuse this person of doing it. all you have to do is accept it, process it, and move on.
 
avatar
ddnos replied to reneegigliotti's response:
Thanks Renee, yeah, I know it is my choice as to whether or not I talk about it or not - she's not going to force me to say anything idon't want to. I wouldn't be with her if she did. lol

Re email communication - with both my last and current therpist, deeper emails are not encouraged - this particular one was in reply to her question. Emails with her are to be limited to schedule related and homework clarification. She doesn't like too much other kind of emails due to it being too easy to misinterpret and also, start expecting replies from her - and it ends up not being good for me for long story reasons. I'm pretty good about talking in person with my therapist and do prefer that to emails by far.

Thanks agin
Deibbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
ddnos replied to slik_kitty's response:
Hi Kitty, I totally hear and understand what you are saying and I know you may not agree with me when I say this, but this really isn't an issue of me purposely not accepting, addressing, or prossessing. I genuinely, honestly, totally don't know how to do the above when I really, truly, honestly don't see it or feel it as something that happened to me. As I said in the original post, it literally feels like I'm relaying information that I heard from a story book, but it's not MY story, and therefore, I feel no - NO connection to the story. Any and every ounce of "story" that I have shared with my previous tdoc literally did/does NOT feel like a memory of mine. According to that tdoc, she believes that the reason I feel no connection, and therefore, don't believe it's MY memories, is because I am so deeply dissociated from them. All so called factual stuff to me is completely disconnected from my own experience, emotions, memories that it really doesn't feel like my own. So until the cognitive can be re-associated with emotional to become one whole memory that I KNOW is mine, then it will never be real to me. So any possible abuse issues can't be accepted until re-association takes place and they become mine. Whether or not that ever happens, I don't know. To be honest, I would rather that it does happen so that it won't always be a question in my mind, but for me to just accept somethign that I honestly don't see as my own is something that feels forced, and that I won't even believe that "acceptance" you know? In fact, I've tried that before in therapy. I've said, "Ok, I accept this as real...." but I didn't really believe it, and within less than 2 days, I was back to "yeah right, you don't believe that for one minute! You have no more reason to beleive it now than you did 2 days ago" I don't believe that in this case, it's denial - I really don't. I can't deny something that I don't even know is real or not.

So that is where I get stuck, and believe me, I really would be the first one to accept and deal with this if I knew and believed that it really happened and it was real to me. My tdoc knows that of me. It might not happen over night, but certainly within 20 years time it would have! lol So that makes me wonder all the more. Sigh

Thanks for your support!
Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
reneegigliotti replied to ddnos's response:
There are some things about my abuse I have always known about. They are medically documented and still have a profound impact on me medically right into the present. There is some damage that physically can never be healed from. I accept that. It makes me remote and disconnected from my physical being and other people, but I at least never have to wonder if its real. Medical records can be brutal documents. There are other memories that are more uncertain. I've always held the philosophy that if I couldn't verify it objectively it didn't happen. I guess its partly the scientist in me and partly my terror at being accused of having "false memories". Police reports, school reports and medical records don't lie. My mind might. You probably don't want to hear that. It's my personal hang-up. I'm just more terrified of being called a liar than of what actually happened to me. It has taken my Dr. G and I 18 years to get beyond the facts of my abuse and get to the trauma. That means finally processing the emotions, or at least locating them.
 
avatar
ddnos replied to reneegigliotti's response:
We don't have no records of medical or school or anything so nothing happened. Joanne
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
reneegigliotti replied to ddnos's response:
I can only speak to how I deal with the abuse. Not how other people do. I know I'm different. It doesn't make me right it just means this is how I deal with it and process it. If you use a different method, there is nothing wrong with that. I can only speak for me.
 
avatar
ddnos replied to reneegigliotti's response:
Renee, sorry, that was not me replying, so hope you weren't offended - that was Joanne, my 14 yr old who is not usually very diplomatic in her communication - sometimes can come across harsh, but meanns welll - just not good at things like that - plus, she's our angry one and a "typical" teenager.

Sorry
Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
reneegigliotti replied to ddnos's response:
Hi Debbie,

No offense at all. One of the tricky pieces to a trauma discussion is that all of us have had different trauma experiences and deal with them in vastly different ways. I think as long as everyone understands that variation doesn't mean criticism, I think it's a great discussion to have. I don't want to injure anyone because of the way I have chosen to come to understand my particular traumas. Everyone when they come into treatment has a unique path to follow.

Hugs to you and any little ones who are ok with hugs

Renee
 
avatar
ddnos replied to reneegigliotti's response:
Hi Renee,

Oh, I fully understand re different experiences and variation doesn't mean criticism - I was just saying that a lil someone, i.e. Joanne, isn't so good at not coming across a bit more tactful, and that was actually tactful compared to what she can be. Her response was just her way of being "bratty" and stubborn - but not offended by anyone. It takes a lot for any of us to become offended.

Thanks
Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
reneegigliotti replied to ddnos's response:
Hi Debbie,


I totally understand. I've been integrated for almost a decade. Life post-integration has been uncharted. Nobody ever tells you how its going to feel or how you are going to be different after integration. My psychologist and even my Dr. G have been right with me the whole way. We are in still truly in uncharted territory. Integrated, bipolar, and still coping with trauma. We've learned a lot. If I can help, I'd be happy to.


Renee
 
avatar
ddnos replied to reneegigliotti's response:
Hi Renee,

I just got home and my feet are killing me lol...I just read this post - I have a friend in australia who had poly-fragmented mpd and has been integrated for about 12 yrs now. I, on the other hand, am not DID (you're thinking, "yeah, right!" lol) but just like my ID here, I was diag with DDnos (I hate that I used that as my ID - it was sort of accident). But I don't have separate parts in the same way as someone with DID. I obviously do have some of the criteria for DID, but not all or not primary ones. They do not totally function entirely independant of me - sometimes when I'm more dissociated, I will be further back in my head while one of them will be further forward (if that makes sense) but no one knows things about me or my past than what I do. It's more like various ages of myself have been given identity and names, and oh heck,hard to explain. I have gone through the past couple or more years with very little dissociation to the point of anyone "coming out" to talk, but i have little doubt that the reason that has been more dissociation lately is because of getting a new therapist. Which makes sense. But I don't and never have had issue with it to the point of interfering with my life. Sure, there have been times where there were issues at work or school, but not major and not often - just slightly embarrassing lol Fortunately, my last place of employment was an organization who helped people with mental illness, so it wasn't too big of issue when I did have incidents. Actually, I was more of an asset to our members where i worked because they knew that I coudl relate to them and it gave them a sense of hope that me, someone who also has a mental illness, was employed! In fact, I helped one girl realize that she could go to work even just as a trial basis, which she didn't know and within 6 months, she was employed!

Anyway, too much to explain, not enough words
Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
reneegigliotti replied to ddnos's response:
I understood completely. I was completely fragmented and bipolar. My psychiatrist couldn't find anything in the literature about severe dissociation and treating bipolar disorder. We kind of dealt with it day by day. Both he and my psychologist say I'll always be dissociative. It's my instinctive coping strategy. It's almost like it is contained in my DNA. Actually, there are research studies that show a strong correlation between family members being dissociative (not necessarily DID, but somewhere along the continuum from day dreaming to complete fragmentation) and offspring being dissociative. Whether dissociation is a learned skill (and it is a protective skill) , ie. children watch dissociative parents and learn at an early age to be dissociative, or there is in fact a biological component to being able to dissociate, no one's sure. However, it runs in families. Also, people who dissociate are highly suggestible under hypnosis. That's why the fad in the 1980s and 1990s to treat dissociative patients with hypnosis essentially looking for fragmented parts of self often resulted in a lot of cases of misdiagnosed or induced "DID" (I hate that term, it's misunderstood and sensationalized to the point that its meaningless). It was no one's fault that highly suggestible patients subjected to hypnosis would then be easily influenced under hypnosis, DUH. Of course the blame always fell on the patient and not the trickiness of the dissociative ability. That's why I had to be extremely careful that any memory recall of trauma could be documented as having really happened. We had to build a solid case that proved that the severe abuse I was recalling did in fact occur. It was difficult, time consuming and extremely traumatic to go through. Once my treatment teams over the years were able to validate that enough of my memories of traumatic incidences actually had occurred then they could get to the job of treatment. I for one did not want to spend a minute being treated for something I did not in fact have. That question has long since been laid to rest. Unfortunately the trauma I endured has not been laid to rest. There are all kinds of advantages to integration and there are some really big disadvantages. However, as a whole, integration has been much better than fragmentation. I think my Dr. G would agree. Even my bipolar disorder is easier to treat because it manifests itself as it would for any non-fragmented patient now.

Hope I didn't bore you.
 
avatar
ddnos replied to reneegigliotti's response:
Nope, you didn't bore me at all - it was interesting.

When you were saying about how people who dissociate are highly suggestible under hypnosis.....oh wait, when I first read it I read the word "susceptible" - so there goes what I was going to say! LOL Ok, I will say it anyway - maybe it means the same. BUt I was just thinking how it's funny that with me, even though I certainly do dissociate, I am not hypnotisable (is that a word? lol) I can't do hypnosis, EMDR, any visual, abstract type treatment - period! lol For me, I don't think (but not sure) that it really has anything to do with dissociation or what the "norm" is, but it has to do with what I was taught in a religious setting about 25-30 years ago (yes, still effects me very much after that long). But because what I was taught was so ingrained in me, and informally brain washed, to this day, I can't go anywhere near the above mentioned stuff! Nope! No way, no how! So because of that, I think my inability to be hypnotized (and the other stuff) is because I don't DARE go against what I was taught regardless if I belief it or not! So just like dissociation is a form of coping and protection (when it was needed), so I have also sort of gone above that protection with another form of protection that keeps me from succumbing to any type of hypnosis and other abstract and formidable methods of healing,etc. You know what I mean? I sure hope so because I dont think I could attempt to explain that again if you paid me! lol

How many people do you reckon are following along with this conversation today? lol

Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown


Featuring Experts

Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

Helpful Tips

Differentiating bipolar disorder from borderline personality disorderExpert
Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people can very easily become angry and upset in response to stresses -- especially ... More
Was this Helpful?
108 of 125 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.