Wednesday, April 9, 2014

From Tine - Body Memories

Within our system, I think that I (Tine) have the most body memories. I'm one of the two alters who have had the most trauma, so I guess that it makes sense. 

I am someone who even has things show up on my body that aren’t actually happening (actual bruises, extreme redness, and even scratches on my skin - all of which have happened right in front of our therapist, so it was clearly not made up or done by me in accident).  But, other than just having pain, my body sometimes gets physically locked in different positions, too.  So, let me try to think of all the things I’ve learned and tried for all types of body memories. 

I guess that the most important thing to do is what is called grounding. If any part of your mind isn’t explicitly aware it’s the end of November of 2013, your body may not know it either.  So, grounding, grounding, grounding!  Anything to connect you right to that present moment and your surroundings.  My old therapist, who I miss A LOT,  taught me to combine this with separating past from present and reality testing.  So, if I know what general time frame this memory is coming from I can direct my awareness to things that are different from that time  (I am not in the woods right now, I am not at my parents’ house, [this person] is not here, I am not [x] years old, etc.).  And, will usually follow it up with what/where I really am in the present for contrast.  If I have no idea where the memory is coming from and can’t address it with specifics, I’ll still separate PVP (past vs. present) by general statements and heavy focus on the present (i.e.  I am not being hurt right now;  I am no longer helpless, I no longer have contact with [certain person], they aren’t alive; etc).  If there’s ANYTHING I know about the body memory, I can challenge that, too (I am not frozen/hypothermic, it’s the middle of summer; my hands are not constricted, I have free reign of them; this pain/pressure is not real, there is nothing on me, etc).  Some of those last things are part of the reality testing.  Telling myself what is real and what is not.  

I often combine this with an action that “proves” that.  So, if my hands/feet feel itchy/bound/are red, I’ll run them under cold water to get a clear sensory difference, but it’s also soothing to what my mind thinks is there.  I’ll move my hands and feet as far apart as I can to prove they’re free.  If it’s a temperature difference, I’ll use contrasting ice or a heat packs on the areas that feel it.  If it’s an irritating feeling, I’ll do soothing touch against the area.  If it’s pain of any kind, I’ll lightly and gently (with loving kindness) touch that area (with hands, a soft blanket/towel, something warm, etc) so it can feel the contrast and know more that it’s not actively being hurt.  If it’s an internal pain, I’ll attempt to stretch or do something for that area I wouldn’t be able to do if that area was really affected by injury.  So those are some of the things I find most helpful initially.

Some people are able to do containment of their body memories, we haven't had much luck with that, even though most of our other memories are in "boxes." But there’s an exercise called flick the pea (which is a really silly name) where you imagine the area affected as though its about the size of a basketball.  And then you visualize it getting smaller and smaller, getting less intense as it shrinks, traveling through your body and away from the place that hurts, over to your shoulder and down your arm as it continually shrinks to the size of a pea.  And then when it gets to your hands you flick it far away from you.  With satisfaction :) (You should know ‘where’ you flicked it, so you can revisit it in therapy [the difference between ‘stuffing/avoidance’ and ‘containment]).  Very helpful.

 But along with that, and the next two things I find to be most helpful, you HAVE to believe it.  You have to convince yourself this is really happening and that it WILL work.  You have to go through the motions as explicitly and sensorily as possible.  I personally have better luck with things like healing light and healing pool.  This is all about customization though.  Whatever appeals to YOU.  So, healing light is slightly similar in that you focus on the area that is in pain or feeling this upsetting sensation (this one is great for internal pains).  You imagine a bright, magnificent, healing light cast down on that area.  Maybe it’s white, maybe it’s silver, maybe it glows, maybe it pierces.  Maybe it’s from the sun or natural earth, maybe it’s fantasy with special powers - whatever appeals to YOU and would heal YOU.  You just imagine this light radiating to you and healing, soothing, drawing out that pain.  Anesthetizing it.  Replacing it with a GOOD feeling.  It knows just what you need and what to do with that pain.  If you spend time on this imagery and customize it just for you and parts inside, this can be really helpful.  It should be combined with strong grounding as you ‘leave’ the imagery and come back to awareness of the present.  Many also do better if the light “put” that pain somewhere.  Drew it out and held onto it in a cloud far away from you, or shrunk it down into a tiny little cube, etc etc — this way you can talk about it in therapy and it won’t revisit you against your will because you tried to “ignore” or “remove” it.  

Then, my favorite is healing pool.  (This one has been really helpful to me because I have a lot of external pains/irritation — but works in muscles and tissue and headaches, too.)  If you imagine a pool of healing water (maybe it’s in the forest, maybe it’s a lake, maybe it’s crystal clear ocean water) with all of its scenery as crisp and clear as possible - you can slowly immerse yourself in it verrrry gradually and have it soothe your pain.  Start with just your toes, feel the coolness of the water.  It’s the perfect temperature.  It’s shimmery and has power to help your body.  Then move up to your calves, it soaks your skin but goes deeper that that - into the muscle and tissues - healing any soreness or stiffness, even if it’s not related.  Then of course move up your legs as you’re ready, then slide in so your hips are covered, then torso, hands, arms, chest, neck…. stopping at each spot that really needs help.  It draws it out and fills you with cooling, refreshing, relaxing sensations.  Almost a tingle as it heals you.  Then, if you want you can dip your head under — to heal a headache or calm your mind or slow your mental frenzy.  You can stay in the water if you’d like.  Swim or relax - letting it continue to restore you.  Or you can leave as soon as it’s helped you.  It too can be heavenly, fantasy, nature-based, magical - whatever appeals to your mind and/or different parts inside to believe in its power to help you.  Then you can follow up with going somewhere else inside to rest, or front  and get really reallllyyyy grounded.  The more you make it exactly as you want it, can see and feel all the details, personalize it and can believe in it; the better it will work. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

DID Exists

I collect these. Basically, proof, in my opinion, that DID is a real condition. Sometimes, when I'm feeling sad and alone, I go through my bookmarks and read about the other people who have DID too.

Physical Differences Between Alters
Neurological Differences Between Alters
Structural Brain Differences in Those with DID
Arguments Against the Sociocognitive Model of DID
Places in Which DID has been Studied
India (Chiku et al., 1989) (Chaturvedi et al., 2009) (Gupta, 2005), Switzerland (Modestin, 1992), Turkey (Tukun et a.l, 1998), the Netherlands (Draijer et al., 1993) (Van der Hart et al., 2008), China (Xiao et al., 2006), the United Kingdom (Silberman et al., 1985) (Shelley, 2006) (Putnam et al., 1995), New Zealand (Barker-Collo, 2008), Norway (Knudsen et al., 1995), Israel (Somer et al., 2006) (Ginzburg et al., 2010), and Canada (Ross et al., 1991) (Horen et al., 1995). Dissociative symptoms have also been recorded in Sweden (Svedin, 2006), though Dissociative Identity Disorder was mentioned, not specified.
Here’s research that specifically compares rates of DID in Canada and China. The idea is that since the Chinese public has very little information on DID, they shouldn’t have as many people who fit the criteria and can be diagnosed with the disorder if DID follows the sociocognitive model.
Children with DID
Evidence for Tenant of DID: Repressed Memories (Confirmation of Abuse)
The PDF “One Brains, Two Selves" is wonderful. The PDF can’t be linked to, but the study is very much so a worthwhile read.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Last week, my therapist asked me if I feel that other people (such as friends and family) notice my switches. 

That has kind of been on my brain lately and I have been wondering.

I know that I have a friend, Christina, who can tell when I'm switching. Usually, she tells me that I'm going to switch before it even happens. I don't know how she does it, but she does. She is one of greatest people in the world as far as I'm concerned. Seriously, get yourself a Christina. She knows me really well, and I am so blessed to have her as a friend. She's smart, and shares things with me, encourages me, and I feel, dare I say, "normal"...she is just... wonderful

I think that some people can tell that I switch, but aren't sure to who

With my parents, I can go from silent, monotone, seemingly grumpy/moody to high-pitched, soft-spoken and my mom doesn't even flinch. Observes no change. My mom doesn't know about us, but I think that she thinks that something made me happier or took me out of my 'bad mood' or vice versa. Queen of the Nile....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Turning It Around

I woke up this morning feeling like I could actually conquer the world. I almost wrote a post during breakfast to say, 

"la-la-la-la all is right with the world! i just drank a green smoothie and ran around the block a few times. HURRAH FOR ME!" 

Thank you Jesus for keeping me from writing that blog, because I would have been annoyed with myself only moments later. During the next two hours, I found out that a parent was extremely upset with one of their child's therapist's (which I need to take care of), my mom thinks that I should come and visit NOW, and while I was able to get a lot accomplished, I just felt ugh - yuck. I had to literally keep counting in my head to make my stress level go down, I could feel my blood just pulsing. 

With DID, it is sometimes very easy to go down a rabbit hole. I get upset, and then BAM....bye, bye, Kitty. Sometimes the situation gets taken care of, and sometimes it doesn't. 

Sometimes, my work is rough and I seriously worry about my sanity. Sometimes, I have to just sit there and pray to avoid exploding. I was feeling like this yesterday, and after some prayer, I seriously felt renewed and got work done more quickly than I have in awhile and just felt ahhhh.... good. Today I've been lied to and annoyed and it just feels like one step forward, six steps back. 

So here's my plan of attack - 
I'm going to drink a big bottle of water. 
I'm going to read psalm 16, because for whatever reason - it's doing my heart good these days. 
I'm going to fold this laundry so it doesn't get crinkled. 
Tonight, when I get home from work, I'm going to do biggest loser yoga because it is hard and makes me sweat and makes me feel productive. 

Monday, March 31, 2014


Paige was my first.

I don't really remember the moment that she came, but my mom tells me that I had an "imaginary friend" named Paige when I was two or three. I don't know if that was MY Paige or not though.

She has punished my body for various acts throughout my life. Now, she has changed, and it has been a really cool process to watch.

I've always had a lot of respect for Paige, despite her actions. Recently... I found out that she is aware of her purpose, and I think that she feels accountable for she feels guilt and self hatred based on that fact alone. But she is her own person. I find her to be a very caring, strong, intelligent, and protective individual.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hello there....

I don't know who I'm writing to.

Maybe I'll write a book like my therapist says that I should. Well, this definitely isn't a book and I think that I'm just going to write about what I feel like writing about.

I don't think that anyone will read this.

I'm a person who has a couple (well, more than a couple...) people inside of her. I was first diagnosed with Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS), and later was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Sometimes, it is the worst thing I can imagine. And sometimes it isn't so bad. Sometimes, I actually having them in my life.

I've been in intensive therapy since May (but I have been in therapy long before that). 15 hours a week, I sit my butt in a chair in various people's office. I do EMDR, art therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, sand trays, hypnosis, and a lot of talking. It has helped more than I can even express, but I'm not to where I want to be yet. I'll be working on that for quite a while.

My therapist, Karen, says I need to create a structured day plan Sunday through Sunday, and it is within this structure that I may find my life. She says occasionally things will pop up that interfere with my plans, like you know, life, and I will deal with them moment by moment. Doesn't she know that I am not good with time?