I Miss My Therapist

Panic attack

Image via Wikipedia, Yet another depiction of the sick woman being treated by the all-knowing and reassuring male-doctor. About as stereotypical as it gets. JB

When I was in therapy remembering sexual abuse that actually never occurred, I was totally dependent on my psychiatric team for support, comfort, and scraps of love. When any one of them went on vacation, left their shift, had the day off, or was sent to work on another unit – I was devastated and not sure I would make it until I saw them again.

I obsessed about them, cried, held my teddy bear, took more meds, slept, and stared into space or at a TV screen counting the days and hours until they returned. The constant state of panic was all consuming.

Thankfully, that infantile need disappeared when I fled therapy. Coincidence?

Below are thoughts of people in therapy for dissociative identity disorder/multiple personality disorder found elsewhere on the Internet.

Published on December 30, 2009

This time last year, I was freaking out …I was counting the seconds until she returned. Going from three days of analytical bliss a week to zero – for two weeks in a row – was a sleepless demon that required constant taming.

Missing your therapist – a LOT – during the break is definitely a common thing. … And more than once for me, getting through that span of time felt like crossing a vast desert. It can be lonely without your therapist, even if you’re surrounded by people who love you, and life is busy. …

When that longing would come on – for the relief and release and risk and recovery of the session room – the summer or winter breaks …could feel agonizing.

Full Story Psychology Today, December 30, 2009.

~~~~~

Related links:

Feeling so attached to my therapist I can’t cope

…Feel so raw and vulnerable and scared and lonely and hurt and mad and YUCK and she’s the only person on the planet who understands me and says the right thing and makes me feel safe.But I only get to see her for two hours a week and it feels HORRID! I honestly wanted to grab her leg in session today, lie on the floor and not let her go!up today, and it hurts. Retrieved 6/14/11

~~~~~~~~~

I think I’m addicted to therapy and maybe too attached to my therapist. It just feels as though those 45 minutes are the only time I feel capable of expressing myself and venting my frustrations. … I may just be using my therapist to dump all of my feelings on, when I can’t talk to anyone else. He seems to genuinely understand me and believe in me. …”
Retrieved 4/31/11.

~~~~~~~~~~

“…Currently I’m sitting at the beginning of my therapist’s one week vacation …She’s in my life for two hours a week, yet knowing she isn’t around for an entire nine days hit me hrd… I realize just how much I rely on her or what she brings to my life and I’m terrified of losing it. …
She’s my foundation, upon which everything else has settled. I count on our regularly schedule appointments. …It’s part of my routine, which I find safety in. ….I feel disconnected and lost. … I feel lonely and afraid.
…My PTSD and dissociative symptoms tend to go through the roof as July approaches, and I need her to help me keep them in check. …I don’t want to put myself on the verge of ending my life because I’m so miserable….She needs her time away, just as much as anyone else. My first reaction to missing her is to conclude that I need her too much, meaning I need emotionally pull away, which isn’t healthy. …”

~~~~~~~~~~

“Right now there are seven hours until i get to my therapists office and i am just trying to make it until then.”…

~~~~~~~~~~

“Is thinking about my therapist this much normal/healthy?”

I’ve been seeing a therapist for several months and I feel good about the progress I’ve made with her help and guidance. However, there are times when I can’t stop thinking about her, and I find that somewhat disturbing.

… I wouldn’t say that I’m in love with her, but I do have very warm feelings for her, as I would for a close friend or sibling. I get excited thinking about talking to her, and I feel energized even when I’ve had even the briefest contact by phone.

I understand that as a professional she needs to protect her boundaries… how do I resolve these feelings of curiosity about my therapist and wanting to be her friend? Retrieved 1/31/11.

~~~~~~~~~~

…”She’s in my life for two hours a week, yet knowing she isn’t around for an entire nine days hit me hard.

… My fear is if I’m not in a person’s routine than I’ll be completely forgotten, so I try to do what I can to stay “active” in a person’s mind by staying present in his or her life. … Basically, I feel like if I don’t make myself noticeable, then no one will see me and will ultimately forget I even exist.

So, this fear is amplified with my therapist because I do miss her while she’s away…. I’m afraid she’ll forget me. … She’ll realize how emotionally draining I am as a patient. I won’t be important to her anymore. I’ll have been replaced or just plain forgotten about. Retrieved 1/31/11.

~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve been through several terminations -each of them different.
The first I invested a lot in but felt was extremely damaging.  I was discharged from the service.  The T still worked there and I was still desperate for support and contact.  My mental health really deteriorated and I became extremely unwell. … I didn’t work through any of my termination issues, just pushed them away. Retrieved 1/30/11.

updated 12-13-14.

Do Not Copy Stamp by Karen Arnold

Creative Commons License
I Miss My Therapist by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.

Advertisements

My Teacher has Multiple Personalities

I write this after reading several blogs written by women who state that they have multiple personalities and are teachers of our children.

On a blog maintained by a multiple who describes herself as a substitute-teacher, she posted a lengthily expose’ about her system of alter personalities and goes into intimate detail about suicidal thoughts, cutting & burning herself, switching personalities, having a scattered memory, and rapid eye blinking. In addition, she discloses intimate conversations with her male therapist.

I left the following comment: “With all respect, I don’t understand how it is OK for you to teach our children? Are you public about your DID? Do parents know? What does your principle say about it?” My comment is being reviewed by a moderator. As of this revision, December 12, 2014,  a response was not received.

I want to know if therapists and patients who believe they have multiple personalities disclose this to the school board overseeing teachers. While personal medical health is private, is multiple personalities and the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder an exception? Should it be? Yes, is my vote. If the teacher injures themselves, what’s to keep them from hurting children either indirectly, or directly?

Let’s suspend our knowledge that some teachers may have unruly alter personalities. What concerns and angers me is that given the obvious and self-disclosed mental instability these individuals deem it proper to go to work and put themselves in a classroom as teachers in a position of power and trust. They see nothing wrong with being a role model and influencing an unknown number of children.

Obviously therapists don’t see anything wrong with their patients caring for our school children –  knowing the sometimes high-level of decompensation and chaos these teachers experience at home. Don’t therapists have a responsibility to disclose to someone the possible threat their client poses to a classroom of children? Sure, this would be illegal, but this childhood educational situation is outrageous!

I read blog after blog where women write detailed events of their lives and those of their many alter personalities. They live stressful and dark lives full of secrecy – not only of their alleged abusive pasts and the secret lives they live lest someone find out they believe they have multiple personalities. The trauma and abuse they report is horrific. The ensuing dissociative splitting into multiple personality states is alleged to help them cope with the chaos and fraught with behaviors, like cutting and burning their skin, that exemplifies a high level of distress, in their own words.

My point is, multiples, and their treating psychotherapists, cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, if a teacher experiences frequent dissociated states and is unable to cope with daily life without alter personalities, suicidal gestures, cutting and burning themselves then how can we, as parents and concerned citizens, accept that these teachers are fit to educate our children? Would the school board be liable if an incident occurred?

The frequent and easy answer from teachers with multiple personalities is often: “We have a particular personality that does the teaching.” Or, “So and so personality has control over the teacher personality and they agree that nothing will happen while we are working.” Or other nonsense that is fraught with  illogical thinking and rationalizations.

I don’t buy it.

I once thought I had multiple personalities too. I know the high level of dysfunction, the actions of medications on the body and mind, and the uncontrollable chaos and inability to take care of what is known in The Psychology Industry is activities of daily living like brushing teeth, taking showers, doing laundry, combing hair, or making dinner for our kids.

Multiples in psychotherapy are permitted and encouraged to be dependent on their therapists.The result is a painful existence of chaotic days, self-harm, emergency care and/or unscheduled psychiatric admissions to hospitals, suicide interventions, and what seems to be endless psychotherapy sessions. When, on the other hand, these same patients want something that requires them to put the alter personalities and destructive behaviors aside, society is expected to allow them to act as if they were mentally sound so they can step in the role of educator with all the rights and responsibilities that go with the profession.

But those who define themselves as multiples aren’t like everyone else. They live secret lives behind the closed doors of their homes and the offices of their beloved therapists. Many cuddle teddy bears and watch children’s videos while acting like a little child in need of comfort, care, and constant supervision. May talk or write in gibberish child-speak; Many go to schools and teach your children.

My point is this. Every teacher or educator needs to take all the time needed to heal. Get all the medical and psychiatric care you require. Then enter the classroom and teach our children.

updated 12-08-14.

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Detection

Creative Commons License
My Teacher Has Muliple Personalities by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=579&action=edit.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=579&action=edit.

Banned from Psych Forums: Bottom-line, don’t be honest

Just want to put this in print, for future reference, and be done with it.

Many times people have come here & stated that I was kicked off a group site, or that I’ve been banned, etc. This is an effort to discredit me and prove I am disrespectful to others.

It’s worth publishing the truth.

Below is a copy of the notice received from Psych Forums, a series of chat boards for people discussing mental health issues.

Sorry, I don’t know the date.

~~~~~~~

You have been permanently banned from this board.

Please contact the Board Administrator for more information.

Reason given for ban: Being very disrespectful to people with DID by saying it does not exist

A ban has been issued on your username.*

~~~~~

Bottom line? If you want to participate at PsychForums, don’t be honest.

*Font size by blogger. Boldface, underlines and italics by PsychForums Administrators.

The Warping of the American Women’s Movement

The credibility of the “survivor movement” reached a higher level in the late 1980s when victims of  sexual abuse perceived that American culture had changed significantly in their favor. Women rejoiced believing they were finally able to speak of their silent sexual abuses and that society was ready to listen and take action. Some voices were heard publicly –  others privately.

Women, including me, had marched for equality and the right to be heard in the hot, summer streets of Washington D.C.. We carried banners and colorful flags and sang our songs for years – years that stretched into decades, but our time had come.

By the early 1990s, the survivor movement warped into the “victims” movement. It wasn’t a calculated change, but one that occurred when the psychology industry grasped onto the struggles of women who were sexually abused. Born from the marriage between vulnerable women and psychotherapy was repressed memory therapy. A new technique believed to help women recall buried memories of sexual abuse. The victim movement warped yet again when some women remembered satanic ritual abuse and other atrocities that included human sacrifices and violent torture.

Over the next decade, while women flooded therapist’s offices remembering all sorts of abuses, the large survivor movement took yet another turn that was not apparent until years later. After years of repressed memory therapy, an increasing number of women realized that the psychology industry took advantage of them when they were vulnerable and in need of medical care. In a variety of ways, many of came to understand that they had not been sexually abused, but had been led to believe so by overzealous therapists who refused to hear their protestations.

What happened to those of us swept into the psychotherapy machine? We were silenced. Women, silenced again. The women’s movement had been fractured by a tenacious psychotherapy beast unwilling, and by then, unable to back down and confess its wrongdoing. But this time the silencing was done by other women.

It was a difficult time for me because I as an activist, I fought in the streets of Washington with thousands of other women and now my voice was silenced. No one wanted to hear that I was coerced into believing I had been sexually abused when I had not been because it was feared that women who had been abused would once again be silenced and disregarded.

I don’t know if Americans understand the power, might, and influence of the psychology industry. The beast keeps many women in its claws by supporting and encouraging the “victim” mentality. This group of women will not relinquish their position in society as abuse survivors who demand understanding and support by the rest of us. By the increasing number of Internet blogs and groups alone, it is clear that some women will never be healed no matter how much therapy is received or to what depth therapists encourage them to fall.

Creative Commons License
The Warping of the American Women’s Movement by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.

Therapeutic Hazards of Treating Child Alters as Real Children in Dissociative Identity Disorder by Shusta-Hochberg, S.R.

Shusta-Hochberg’s article below supports the existence of child personalities  – and supports dissociative identity disorder, yet she does not think that exploring child alters is a productive method of treating patients.

~~~~~~~~~~

Therapeutic Hazards of Treating Child Alters as Real Children in Dissociative Identity Disorder
Shielagh R. Shusta-Hochberg, PhD

ABSTRACT. “Dissociative identity disorder (DID), with its typical etiology of extreme, repetitive childhood trauma, usually includes manifestations of childlike ego-states, among others. For many patients, these
ego-states, originating with the initial traumatic insults to the psyche in childhood, have been called forth again and again as new situations evoke the earlier trauma. When clinicians, family and friends react to
them with warmth, nurturing, and empathy, this may exacerbate the illusion that such ego-states are indeed actual children. This can result in a patient becoming increasingly resistant to working through the issues and experiences by which these ego-states have become fixed, with the risk of therapy reaching an impasse. Attitudes, interventions, and approaches to move past such impasses are addressed.”

Shielagh R. Shusta-Hochberg is a clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City, NY.

This paper was originally presented as “Fixed Illusions: Treating the Reification of Child Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder,” at the 18th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation, November 2002, Baltimore, MD. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Vol. 5(1) 2004.

Retrieved 3/30/11. Available as a PDF.

ABSTRACT. “Dissociative identity disorder (DID), with its typical etiology of extreme, repetitive childhood trauma, usually includes manifestations of childlike ego-states, among others. For many patients, these
ego-states, originating with the initial traumatic insults to the psyche in childhood, have been called forth again and again as new situations evoke the earlier trauma. When clinicians, family and friends react to
them with warmth, nurturing, and empathy, this may exacerbate the illusion that such ego-states are indeed actual children. This can result in a patient becoming increasingly resistant to working through the issues and experiences by which these ego-states have become fixed, with the risk of therapy reaching an impasse. Attitudes, interventions, and approaches to move past such impasses are addressed.”

Shielagh R. Shusta-Hochberg is a clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City, NY.

This paper was originally presented as “Fixed Illusions: Treating the Reification of Child Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder,” at the 18th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation, November 2002, Baltimore, MD. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Vol. 5(1) 2004.

Retrieved 3/30/11. Available as a PDF.