When An Alter Decides to Join The Therapy Session!


It’s Sunday, the day before I go to see my psychotherapist. I have been very suicidal and wanting to self-harm all week so I was really in need of an appointment. I suffer from Complex PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder. My Mother alter drives the suicidality and self-harm and I had been switching in and out of her alter for days.  It is exhausting. This morning I switched just before I got in the shower and got a blade and cut my left arm deeply. My husband foud me in a dissociated state with the shower running, blade in my right hand and a cut left arm gushing blood. It has happened all too frequently recently. She is playing havoc with my life.

I was relieved that the appointment is tomorrow and I will be able to relay to the therapist what had been unfolding along with the flashbacks that I have been experiencing. This time of the year is always really hard. It’s my Mothers death anniversary which is very complicated as I grieve for her even though she was responsible for all the abuse I went through. Classic case of Stockholm Syndrome. There are a lot of triggers so there are more flashbacks than normal. We will talk these through and then do EMDR. Last week the session was going well at first until suddenly I switched into my mother alter. Suddenly I started throwing the cushions around the room along with the tissue boxes, the therapist notes and anything else I could lay my hands on. I basically thrashed the room. I began screaming at the therapist accusing her of interfering in my life, stopping me from killing myself; organising my husband to supervise me all the time; blaming her for my meds being administered by webster pack. You name it I blamed her for it. She sat there and let me rail at her. I held her totally responsible for the fact that I had been unable to kill myself. She placated me by saying that everyone cared for Erin and wanted to make her safe and that was her job. That made my mother even worse as she hates Erin and is intent on killing her. I screamed at her. The therapist continued in a soft voice continuing to reiterate how much everyone cared for Erin. She did not allow herself to be phased by the alter. This had happened many times before and she knew this method eventually worked. As long as she did not engage with my mothers’ alters’ anger it would gradually dissipate and I would switch back.

When I did switch back I had no recollection of what had transpired. I never did. It was very discombobulating and exhausting. What I hated the most was the way it derailed the psychotherapy sessions. It left me more suicidal that she had such control and could such interfere with my life in such an ad-hoc way.

When we recommenced the EMDR session we dealt with the suicidality and its immediacy. A particular rape that had happened to me when I was nine was particularly troubling me for the past two months.  We worked on this and made some promising headway. I am slowly dealing with reconciling myself with the guilt associated with the rapes. Their grooming was so expertise it’s very difficult to assuage it. The psychotherapist is very expert at dealing with me and guilt. She understands how much ownership I have over it and is working hard at breaking that down and having some sense of success, though slowly.

Therapy is challenging in and of itself never mind when you dissociate and one of your alters decides to join in !!!!!

If you need support join our Private and Closed online Facebook Group for Child Abuse Survivors and those with CPTSD. Click here to join.

I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin

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