I had my weekly therapy session with my therapist today. Some therapy sessions feel more productive than others. This one was one of the more productive ones.
The first part of the session was spent with a scared part of me up in front. This is actually quite typical, and seems to be the norm for me in my sessions with Bean. I feel fine driving to therapy (usually). I start getting anxious once I’m on the elevator and then even more anxious in the waiting room. And then once Bean opens the door to welcome me into the office, I feel myself getting moved aside and this shy/scared/quiet part of me coming to the front.
This part acts completely terrified. And yet every time my therapist asks if she feel scared, she shakes her head no. Either she doesn’t want to admit that she’s scared, or perhaps she doesn’t actually realize how scared she is, or at least how scared she acts. She tenses our body into a tight little knot, her (our) shoulders are up to her ears, she hides her face behind her hands; she even began shaking at some point. My therapist asked her if she wanted to hear what she looked like to her. Scared part nodded. She went on to say that this part reminded her of someone bracing to be hurt really badly. Either shouted out, or said horribly mean things to, or about to be hit. And that’s what it feels like – like she’s bracing up her body to be hurt. I don’t know whether that is true or not. She didn’t have a reaction to what Bean said. She often doesn’t have a reaction to what Bean says. For her to answer Bean’s questions is rare, and when she does, it’s usually an extremely slight nod, or head shake, or shrugging of the shoulders.
Eventually, I felt myself slowly returning back. I then spent the rest of the session discussing things that have happened in the last couple days, and things that I’ve learned about myself.
But first, I must give a small snippet of history:
For many years, two of my good (gay) friends were a couple. Married in fact. Then a couple years ago, it came out that one of the two was having an affair with someone else. Someone he ended up leaving his partner for.
What I did know
-That I was very angry at the time toward this friend
-That I spent endless amounts of time on the phone with him at the time yelling at him and telling him what a big mistake he was making
-That I refused to talk to him for over a year because of what he did and the hurt he caused his partner / my other friend
What I didn’t know
I didn’t know that I sent an angry email to the person my friend was cheating with behind my friend’s back and spouted angry words to this person.
Not a clue. And after endless searching in my “sent” mailbox, the elusive email could not be found. I did however, find back and forth emails between myself and the friend I was angry at immediately after me sending the email, so there’s no question about whether it actually happened or not. Upon finding out about it, I felt shocked and embarrassed that I would do something so underhanded.
This has caused me to discover that I have a protective part of me who emerges when I/we feel threatened or hurt, or when a close friend is threatened or hurt. This part uses sharp words and behavior to attack others, and operates from an extremely critical and judgmental place. This part is inexorably linked to me, and always thought it was just a “mode” I would get into, but now I’m starting to see that it’s an actual part of me who operates a bit separate from myself and who has a different way of thinking about things.
During my therapy session, every time I began speaking negatively about of this part – I hate the fact that I have such a harsh and judgmental part of me – my therapist reminded me that they are there for protective functions. Its purpose is to shield and protect me (or my loved ones) from hurt. It’s still a bit difficult to accept fully though. All of this is a bit big for my mind to hold all at once.
The good thing about this situation, and learning about the angry email I sent to this person I didn’t even know, is that this provides more evidence to the fact that I do have DID, and I must remind myself of these things when the denial starts to kick in. And the denial, like this summer heat, doesn’t ever seem to go away!