Friday, 4 June 2010

Writing About Therapy.

Aside from the obvious prerequisite that one can actually recall something about a therapy session, I've discovered that writing about therapy makes at least two demands on a person.
The first is that the victim (did I just say 'victim'? Obviously, I meant 'client') is able to find words for what he or she is experiencing or has, in the past, experienced, and the second is that he or she has the guts to engage with some of the things that are being looked at.
Suffice to say, I've not really had much of either lately. More to the point, as a previous post explained, dissociation has made the act of recalling sessions somewhat impossible.

Today I was grateful not to be continuing in the same vein as last Monday's session, which, predictably (some might even say, conveniently) , my little chicken mind can't remember at this very moment in time.
We did however, end up talking about school days and white knuckle bus journeys and terror and little girls who cried in the mirror because they held so much hatred for the image that stared back at them.

We've been talking lately about the parts and, she has also thrown in the term, 'splits'.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of 'splits' (gleaned from a friend and a little bit of surf power) is that they are very similar to parts except that they are formed at a younger age and have to do with the inability to recognise that good and bad can exist alongside each other. So for instance, in my case, I may glorify someone, unable to see the 'bad' that they may have done because a part of me that contains memories of anyhing negative about the person is split off.
I might be SO wrong here. In all honesty, the woman may have explained but I can't remember, let alone get my head around the concept so...

Sometimes I wonder whether therapy is actually unhealthy...

I remember the days when a "split" was a spliced banana draped in velvet chocolate with sprinkles that were bad for my eczema; when "parts" were things like arms and legs and ears, and "dissociation" meant 'to quit hanging about with'... or... actually, a word that wouldn't even have been in my vocabulary.

Okay. I know I would still have been terrified that the mind thing is early onset Alzheimer's, and I know that I would still have been in pain... I know it's not a simple as all that... But still...



  1. Hi-

    I have been so consumed with my Mom's illness lately. sigh......... anyway- I like the banana split idea the best = splits, or parts, or disassociation, or therapy, whatever.....a banana split sounds good regardless. :-)

    Love you
    Gail/Annie <3
    peace and hope

  2. I go through that wondering if therapy is bad as well. I liken it to finding out you have really high cholesterol. Life was good when ignorance was bliss, but your actually healthier with the discovery because you can actually begin to change it.

  3. Gail - Good to hear you. No wonder that you have been consumed by what has been going on in your world... It's a big thing. I've been thinking of you and wondering how your mum is...
    Yes, banana splits. Those were the days.
    Love to you. Keep us updated. x

    Elan - I did reply in my last post but not sure you read or not... Your comment here is the cleverest way of looking at therapy that I have ever heard.
    Thank you. I will try to remember that one.
    Ignorance wasn't bliss... but sometimes it feels like it by comparison to the pain and fear of beginning to know...
    Thanks for your wisdom.

  4. In comparison to the pain and fear of beginning to know...

    Welcome to therapy. Hold on tight. But

    If it wasn't worth it, you'd have left much earlier. Brave woman.

  5. Anon,
    Point taken re 'if it wasn't worth it.
    As for bravery, well... less said the better there, I think.

  6. Oooo, I'm a Nanci Griffith fan too. I saw her name on your "CDs in my car" list in your sidebar and wanted to tell you that.

    And, yeah, finding the right words is often difficult for me too. Maybe we need to invent some new ones. :D

  7. I do that too, dissociate so much in therapy that I can't remember what was said to me. I hate it. Seems like such a waste. But I know on some level, my mind is taking the whole experience and using it for my benefit... even if I am not aware of it.

  8. I have been working on this in therapy as well. All that I can say for sure is that it seems all rather complicated to me. I sometimes wonder the same thing myself about therapy. But I think that I would wonder that about anything that made me face myself.

    I much prefer banana splits, yum!

  9. HI AGAIN-

    I just wanted to apologize here, as well. I am SO sorry about the name mix up - please know that my mind is so fragmented with concerns that I over-lap at times. Forgive me, okay?

    Love you

  10. Hi, WonderingSoul -

    In all my research done to better understand the experienced called "therapy", I have learned that dissociation has many, many faces. I have come to believe that the attempts by the mental health profession to label the various manifestations is simply a way to give language to something that defies labels and language and explanation.

    I have learned to experience what I experience without worrying too much about what label it falls under. The labels are arbitrary, at best. It would be like trying to label all the variations of color . . . how do you define one shade of blue from another?

    Yet, an interior decorator needs a more precise definition of the particular shade of blue so she can do her job . . . but, the label of that color is arbitrary . . . the label itself really doesn't mean anything . . . it doesn't address how each person experiences that color (maybe someone is colorblind!) or the emotional impact that color has on an individual or how the appearance of the color changes in different lighting situations.

    So . . . I have learned to create my own language to explain what I am experiencing and how it affects me. Then, I expect my therapist to learn my language and translate it into his own . . . that is his job!

    Hope that helps . . .

    - Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

  11. I used to disassociate so much that they pumped me full of drugs that had weird side effects even though I was an addict. They said I had sustained some sort of damage to my brain. I couldn't talk and I couldn't stay present. I made the dean's honor list when I went back to school. So much for their theory of a damaged brain. I like the banana split too.

  12. Great post. At the beginning I wondered if going through t. was working. I made a committment to myself and to God that I would stick through my t. no matter what. Proved to be such a positive thing now for me. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

  13. Abroadermark - Yes... The right words are a mystery, so making them up sounds like a plan.
    I feel kind of ashamed that you have read here... all the horrible, negative type words.. Your blog is so beautiful and positive.
    Please don't feel that if I read yours, you must read mine... That's just not the way ot should work.
    So glad you are a Nanci fan!! I love Trouble in th Fields and Late Night Grande Hotel... though I have so many favourites I could write a list as long as my arm!!

    Lily - Hi! Good to hear you.
    I'm so sorry that you share the experience of dissociation but at the same time, like the idea that maybe the mind is taking something in on SOME level...
    Thank you for the idea.

    lostinamaze - Thank you. I know you understand. I hear it in your writing.

    Gail - I did reply on your blog... You never have to be even the SLIGHTEST bit sorry! It's honestly fine!
    I'm terrible with names and blogs and who is who and all that!
    Please, please don't apologise!
    Thinkin of you and your mum

    Everyone else... I will reply here.I'm in a bad place tonight and this is all I have the energy for.
    Can't even write a post tonight.

  14. I read your blog because I want to, Wonderingsoul - not because I feel obligated.

    Yeah, I don't tend to put much of the ugly, negative stuff on my blog - although, strangely, I've often felt like I've told too much, been too open about the dark stuff, even when - looking back - I can see that it wasn't that dark. If I wrote anonymously, my blog might not be so pretty and upbeat. Well, actually, it probably wouldn't be so bad now that I've discovered the wonders of antidepressants. Assuming, of course, that I could manage to write anything at all while on medication. That seems to be a bit of a problem for me right now. I'm not depressed anymore, but I'm dull as dull can be. Bah.

    Trouble in the Fields is one of my favs too. But then again - like you - I've got a lot of favorites.

    Now how's that for a rambling comment?