I feel very stuck right now. A year ago I was working with a therapist who was guiding me through internal family systems therapy. I was doing things people with dissociative disorders do like identifying my different parts. I answered the hundreds of questions of a tool used to measure dissociation. It was enlightening and stressful all at the same time because I was discovering the way my brain always was wasn’t normal and maybe it could be better. Then I had to switch therapists to someone who also had a different focus and we did different things, like EMDR therapy. All of the confusing work and all of the energy I spent learning about and trying to map and identify my parts was…for nothing? I have a list of my parts with characteristics as well as some art trying to draw relationships between my parts. That therapist said that EMDR would make me feel better so I did EMDR.
Fast forward to a month ago and I just started with yet another therapist who has yet another focus….Sigh. And as part of the getting acquainted phase of the process we have talked about dissociation and my parts and wait a second. I do have parts? What does that mean exactly?
Since then I have done some reading on my own and now understand the hundreds of questions of a dissociation measure test (that I cannot remember the name of other than MID for short) is actually a diagnostic tool. I also understand that trying to map and identify your parts is a thing people with a dissociative disorder (like DID) do.
And now, this week, I’ve realized that exercise helps me to not dissociate and exercising every day is great for my brain but my physical chronic illnesses can’t do it. I noticed, thanks to my bullet journal trackers, that when I was exercising less/inconsistently I was also dissociating in that way where you feel like someone else is driving the car and you’re just watching ’em. I suspect I did this a lot through most of the 4-5 months that I was doing EMDR. I suspect it didn’t really get bad until after I started to remember trauma from childhood in a more detailed manner. And not doing EMDR for nearly a month is why I stopped dissociating.
Which means the questions I answered about dissociation in a different test would possibly be different since I was dissociating when I answered them.
Did the time that I spent pushing aside the feelings and thoughts related to/coming from my different parts slow down my healing? Like years ago I accepted that my memory is shitty and there’s nothing I can do about it. And about the same amount time I accepted that sometimes I will have thoughts pop in my head seemingly from no where, with no origination point but that I should still trust these thoughts as my memories.
Also also while dissociating more I was depressed more and isolating myself in general. With less dissociating I engage on social media and I’m more likely to leave the house for any reason.
So now I’m wondering if I should stop EMDR for a while and do something else. And I’m wondering what my psychiatrist thinks about all this. And I’m wondering if doing more internal family systems therapy could help integrate my parts and give me back some of my memory. (What did I do last week? I can’t remember. Oh. A movie! Saw a movie! That’s all I remember.)
I feel stuck. Earlier I dumped out my coffee because suddenly I (we?) didn’t like coffee. But I’m drinking green tea right now and it’s just fine. Something is definitely.. off. And I’m wondering if a dissociative disorder diagnosis would explain everything from episodes where I go from incoherently upset to calm, cool, and focused in the blink of an eye, feeling like the thoughts in my head are screaming, and not being able to decide what to do – because my brain actually wants to do everything now. And that’s just what I can think of right now.
I’d like my dissociation and shitty fucking memory to get attention for once in my life and if being diagnosed with a dissociative disorder on top of all my other disorders is what it takes then so be it.