Finding Your Self-Worth In The Face Of An Alter

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I have been discharged from hospital following my overdose of last week and am in St John of God Burwood Clinic for respite and follow up treatment with my own psychiatrist. I was so relieved to be discharged from hospital and even though I would far rather have gone home that wasn’t possible given my state of mind.

I am still not stable. The alters (DID) are still very active and want to harm me and are very vocal about it, keeping it no secret from anyone which I suppose is a good thing because at least everyone knows what we are dealing with.

Yesterday during the consultation with my psychiatrist my mother alter came out and she expressed her anger that the overdose had not worked in killing Erin. She said she had other plans that would work. He asked her what they were and she curtly told him “I’m not stupid enough to tell you!”. She doesn’t mince her words and is extremely rude to him. He set about re-orienting me to the present by saying look at your hands: “Do they look like the hands of a 70-year-old?”; “Look out the window, does that look like an Irish sky, Irish plants, Irish buildings”; “I’m a Doctor, do I sound like I have an Irish accent?” and on and so forth. All these questions and observations eventually brought me back to the present 2018 from 1975 in Ireland where the alter was located.

He told me the reason that she had got me to take the overdose was for punishment for what I had done as a child with men who had abused me. I was to blame according to her. It was all my fault. He pointed out to her that she was the one who organised the men to abuse me and she replied that I never resisted. When queried how a four-year-old was supposed to resist she said a good girl would have!!!!!! I was on to a no-win situation with her there.

We established from this session that my sense of self-worth and self-esteem was in my boots and through the floor and my alters were contributing to this in a huge way. My psychiatrist gave me the following exercises to do as homework before the next session over the weekend:

Self-Worth Exercises

  • Developing healthier self-worth also involves self-reflection. Consider our attitude towards self.
  • What Do you focus on more, your strengths or weaknesses?
  • How does focusing on your weaknesses help?
  • How does focusing on your strengths help?
  • Do you expect yourself to be perfect? How does your perfectionism help? How does your perfectionism harm?
  • In which ways are you loving and supportive? eg I bought someone a coffee, I kissed my kids. Think of three examples.
  • Name two positive messages about yourself that you learned from family, friends and teachers.
  • In which ways are you directing your life? eg coming into hospital, saying no.
  • Name three positive messages you could give yourself about yourself.
  • List the benefits of learning to love yourself unconditionally.
  • Think about a close friend or family member who loves you unconditionally. What are the positive things they would say about you?
  • What have you learned from reflecting on the above questions: Can it help in your recovery?
  • How could you put your learning into practice today? ie tell myself I can manage my fear and go for a  mindful walk.

You Are Unique ……

  1. Write three positive words that describe you?
  2. What single factor contributes most to your self-worth:
  3. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
  4. What would your closest friend say is your most positive attribute?
  5. What you most like to be remembered for in your life?

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