Therapy Analysis

When I was first diagnosed with this disorder

I was on the brink of destruction, I sat right on the border

I’ve felt like my whole life was lived in purgatory

What I discovered is below, this is our story

What brings people to therapy is different for each

They want someone to listen, to guide, to teach

So I sought help in a therapy chair

To talk about how much my heart was in despair

I was so tired, I felt I had reached my peak

So I began to see a therapist three times a week

To get me to trust her she had to build a rapport

So that I could open up safely when I walked through her door

I found it hard to speak so I let her read pages from my journal

That’s how she gathered the truth from a small little kernel

She gave a quiz called the Dissociative Experience Scale

It was a test that confirmed how one in life could prevail

One of the questions asked if I ever talked to myself out loud

100% was my answer because in my head was a crowd

Another question did ask about remembering people to me approached

Like an old friend, a teacher, or one who it was me they coached

I still struggle with remembering people’s faces that to me say hi

I acted like I knew them, it was like I was telling a lie

After she read them she gave me a test

When she reviewed the results, she explained the rest

She told me Dissociative Identity Disorder is what I had

After finding this truth, up everything started to add

When I first looked up DIDs former name

I was instantly thrown into Sybil’s claim to fame

She was a famous case of having more than one

Once I read what I was in for, my new life had Begun

Her story helped to explain the gaps in my childhood memory

The link that connected the past to my identity

I was still unsure what DID really meant

Much of my time searching for an explanation I spent

I found a clear definition in a mental illness diagnostic book

I went to the glossary to a dissociative chapter to look

The DSM5 said there has to be a clear split

There must be more than one personality and a tendency to forget

This must be a disruption in daily roles that are primary

And cannot stem from friends that are imaginary

In some cultures DID is considered a possession

Something to get rid of if you go to confession

But DID is not a life haunted by a negative entity

It is just having more than one identity

Most disorders like this one cannot be a result of substance abuse

A medical problem or alcohol use

PTSD, depression, eating disorders, to name a few

Are comorbid diagnoses that some people go through

Sadly 70% of cases have attempted suicide

Quite often multiple attempts have been tried

It is not uncommon for time to be lost

Like how my childhood from my memory was tossed

Some experts agree that this usually stems from abuse and neglect

The person didn’t feel safe by the ones who should have been there to protect

I became curious to find out more about what she had just diagnosed

How there is more than one of me but I am the host

Many health professionals found this disorder hard to believe

Can’t understand how this disorder can be conceived

Some think it just an extreme case of borderline

This disorder isn’t one that is easy to define

So into the fake illness category DID went

Where for a long time this disorder’s time was spent

At times I was scared to look at my reflection

Would it be me looking back or one from my collection

I found it hard to accept what I now thought was fake

But I had to trust my therapist for my own sake

I told her I was caught up in their disbelief

But that time of being unsure was very brief

I once questioned the validity of this diagnosis

But my therapist explained how my past was this disorders prognosis

Over the course of the next long year

What slowly came to the surface was me, my biggest fear

The book “Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation” my therapist prescribed

I was shocked within those chapters, my life it described

Two main part that came out are named darkness and little sadness

At first I thought I was crazy or driven into madness

Darkness is a man and little sadness is a child

But since they were discovered more inside have piled

But all my parts will forever be

Piece of myself living inside of me

As we worked together I started to regain what was lost

What I kept myself from knowing at all cost

The book says split parts were a “Survival strategy”

A plan that protected me from my life’s tragedy

The first step towards understanding why I forgot my yesterdays

Was to bring myself present, learn how to cope in safe ways

A goal was to build a relationship with each of my parts

Us working together is where healing starts

To resolve all the pain I must learn live in the now

But at that part of my journey I just didn’t know how

Learning to stay present wasn’t one of my easier tasks

Because the present was me, not one of my masks

To be in the now meant I wasn’t living in the then

I wasn’t stuck reliving memories over and over again

Learning this truth about myself was scary

It meant I had to confront what I worked hard to bury

To open that box I began to write

I started to come out of my darkness and into the light

Eventually my parts started to write on their own

Since then what incredible Insight they have shown

To deal with this all I went from one therapist to two

Because there was so much to process about what I’ve been through

In my severe case I had to take time off work

So inside myself I could take time to look

I had to get my parts under control

I needed that extra time to climb out of my hole

Sometimes it was hard for me to be alone in my head

And there were a few times I had wished I was dead

Those two therapists have helped me so much

Guided me through the rough times with their gentle touch

DBT, CBT, writing and more

Are all coping skills I’ve developed after I walked through their door

In CBT I worked through automatic thoughts

Recognizing them often left my stomach in knots

To understand my feelings what helped me was to write

So I could begin to see all the bad thoughts I had to fight

This was challenging because I often would switch

To another personality and it didn’t matter which

At this point in therapy I would switch to avoid

To not sit with the thoughts of how my life was destroyed

Into different personalities is how I would cope

But the difference between protection and avoidance is a slippery slope

This is where we had to do a lot of part work

Because right under the surface is where they would lurk

Learning about each part was an important task

Which was hard because in the beginning I would switch so fast

To stay present we used mindfulness through DBT

Worked through intense thoughts to get parts to agree

When overwhelming emotions we started to feel

Distress tolerance is what we used which helped me to deal

Sitting with emotions made me want to sink through the earths cracks

So I’d repeat what my therapist told me, that feelings aren’t facts

Through radical acceptance we did thought exchange

To accept the things from my past I cannot change

Homework assignments were given to me to do

A lot of times the effort would lead to a break through

All the sessions and interventions helped me to stabilize

Some of the parts came together which was quite a surprise

Lucky for me I had a strong system of support

I know into safety they would to me escort

My life has changed so much since when I first learned

Now how much the tables have turned

I decided in my therapist’s footsteps I’d like to follow

So I too can help those who inside feel hollow

If I had a client who had DID

I would try some of the things that were used on me

I consider myself to have great vigor

But I would be very conscious about anything that could trigger

I would explain to my client what DID is

After I gave them the DID quiz

I would say this usually stems from abuse and it was not their fault

And DID became a coping mechanism as a result

Once rapport is built, it’s important to make a contract

One to protect both of us, between us a pact

Some people are embarrassed of this disease

It feels like of the mind, parts control have seized

Eventually with parts I was able to consult

And collectively we can work together as a result

Some also to a child revert

Or inappropriate things out loud they blurt

I would explain to them that this is called a switch

And we will work on how we can together them stitch

I would try to explain to them that there is a core

That is where all of the other parts there can store

“I know this is scary but you don’t need to be afraid”

Tell them “parts need body time and control you can trade”

I would give them homework assignments if they are stable

Have them talk to each part and bring them to the table

This table is a visualization in their mind

It can also just be any safe place that they can find

There shouldn’t be a rush to return to the roles that they fill

For change can only occur through the power of will

A prejudice some have is that we are all like Sybil

On that kernel of untruth so quickly they nibble

Unlike Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Sometimes parts coexist side by side

Working through these stereotypes and preconceived notions

Is important to understanding certain emotions

There are a lot of challenges those with DID face

And I will be right beside them as unity they chase

DID does not discriminate against sexual orientation

Nor does race need to be cause for explanation

20’s and 30’s is when this disorder appears

But the parts have been present for a number of years

DID is more prevalent in women than men

Because it’s harder for them to admit to their past trauma back then

Men present this diagnosis with more violence

Both sexes want to live in this disorder in silence

Those with DID can struggle with others

From lovers, to friends, to family and brothers

Trusting outsiders for them can be hard

Because before, some felt they were easy to discard

When things get overwhelming I will tell them to breath slow

Breathe in for three seconds then let everything go

I would tell my client it’s ok to take a break if they need

Bring them back to the present so we can proceed

Something that really worked well for me

Was a schedule we made so progress we could see

Therapy, exercise, home and work

Were four daily tasks assigned as homework

As a suggestion I’d give to my client

Is some structure so to themselves they can become reliant

I can also walk them through a visualization

Have them listen to my voice guide them into relaxation

It’s important that we work together to help parts find their safe place

Somewhere to escape to when life is too fast pace

Where my client is, is where I would always start

See where they want to go, what’s in their heart

Although sometimes pushing them is necessary

Through some tough things that to them are scary

Together we will work through things in session

Possibly bring out things that came out of repression

This was my journey with DID

There will always be many things I can learn from me

I have hopes to change others like my life has been changed too

One thing I will always tell a client is that it’s ok to be you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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