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TOPIC TITLE: Anger, anniversaries, responsibility and pain
Created On 3/21/13 7:09 AM
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TBear
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3/21/13 7:09 AM
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OK - so I admit, I am having a very tough time....

Anger keeps surfacing with such a fury - yet I am responsible for my emotions....
The anger is understandable and needs to be accepted, it is the natural response when a boundary has been crossed
Yet it isn't happening now, anniversaries of pain haunt me, very difficult to function
Forgiveness can't be rushed and doesn't mean saying the action was right
no decent human on the face of the earth could say that
I am disgusted with myself, afraid and so angry within....
So what is the anger protecting me from - what am I afraid of - the pain is debilitating

My therapist says he does not believe in rushing forgiveness....
There have been many different levels of perpetrators in the past
Several anniversaries of toxic incidents around this time of year
What is my responsibility to forgive - to myself and to Hashem
I want to be free of the past

Pesach, a festival of freedom, how do we forgive our slavemasters?
Do we forgive them?

HaKodesh Baruch Hu allowed us to see the bodies of the taskmasters as the sea closed over them....
It gave closure and a sense of justice
Yet, they were not at a very high level of spirituality as of yet, they perhaps couldn't forgive yet....
I will be forgiven by Hashem according to how I forgive others - the same measure.....

What is my responsibility?
How do I get through the cleaning, cooking, the doing, and deal with the turmoil inside -
Is it possible to forgive - to be free???
In some ways - I do not have to work hard at imagining a life of being enslaved - I lived it.

Any ideas?
 
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TBear
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3/21/13 7:28 AM
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Addendum:

My therapist thinks I am enslaving myself by following the rules of Pesach,
he considers it a type of repetition since I no longer, B"H, have an abuser living in the home
an abuser who was horrific about the details this time of year....

So not only do I have to deal with the present internal chaos without literally "going to pieces" (ok - bad joke for a DID person)

I feel as though I have to defend my adhearance to halachic guidelines....

Already I do not go crazy with the detail work - and seal most stuff off/ sell it - declare lots of "dust" (with my Rav's advice)
Yet, I love cleaning and Pesach prep - as long as everything else leaves me alone (not realistic)
But I also must keep a job....

Guess pressure is just high -
Slavery or freedom....

How to be responsible:
forgiveness? is it possible ?
keeping rested enough to maintain co-consciousness and control reactivity, flashbacks, misplaced fear and anger at the anniversaries
where is freedom?
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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3/21/13 4:02 PM
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T-
Have you read Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search for Meaning? One of his main points is that nobody can take your mind away without your permission. The job (freedom) is to liberate yourself from the "internalized abuser".
a lynn
 
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TBear
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3/21/13 6:43 PM
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Yes, I have read the book -

Actually my present therapist recommended it to me, told me I reminded him of the writer - I believe his words were, "no wonder you are so Jewish - you think like one..." had to laugh -

So the therapist I have is good at what he does.... some of the anger that I could not identify this morning - is from the past therapist - made me feel so horrible - I did nothing wrong - which in my mind meant I was something wrong - too damaged for him to work with. But that isn't the case - he did not go for consultation - he was trying to rescue me - not teach me to take care of myself - he really needed to get help before four years and the realization that he hurt me further....

Haven't really had an internalized abuser as much as defenders who try to keep me safe.... even when the danger is actually over.

Thank you for your response - it is appreciated.

Be Well,
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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3/25/13 9:13 AM
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TBear,
I guess great minds think alike after all!
My comment about the "internalized abuser" was a reaction to your comment that you were disgusted with yourself. Those kinds of statements are usually "inherited". Can you explain more what you mean by "defenders", and how they keep you safe?
a lynn
 
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TBear
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3/29/13 12:09 AM
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The pain I endured - began so early that i did not develop the internal secure base and was left with only my G-d given intelligence and creativity which gave an escape for the immature mind when there truly was no escape... Hashem gave me a way to survive what would have otherwise been unsurvivable..... the dissociation was extreme and because of that background - re-victimazation, just continued - changing my reality and choices.... sealing dissociation as an habitual way of coping.... until the time was right to bring me out and help me to see more clearly....

As for defenders.... Part of me who only wishes to keep me safe - is disgusted with the one who gives up (freeze) and .... takes "it" - whatever "it" happens to be at the time.... (happened)

Internalized abuser (fight turned inward) - or just a scared childlike defense mechanism trying to find control in a situation where there is (was) no control.....

Yes - that is also part of the fight - I feel as though I am still there - but Baruch Hashem, I am not! It is over.... I have been brought out... true freedom will be when I am free of the imprisonment of my own instant switching and amnesia between pieces of who I am - it is all me and yet distinct and separate at times..... free of the hauntings of past trauma...

If I remove myself from the reactions, just "observe without judgement" - I can see that the "you are disgusting" reaction is a poor attempt at trying to get me to defend myself... anger turned inward.... this understanding then opens the door to realization that giving up was the safest recourse at the time - there is nothing that small child can do..... only cause more pain to be inflicted..... it is not helpful to call her (myself) names.... I am not the disgusting one - the perpetrator is..... and disconnecting from that part of me enabled me to go on at that time - yet, if I am to serve Ha Kodesh Baruch Hu with all of me - then don't I need to put all of me back together again - and so the pain of the past must be integrated.....

So calling this a defender is a reframe to get me to a point of acceptance of who I am and what has occurred - as horrific and sickening as it may be. Until I can show acceptance and compassion to all pieces I have been broken into - I cannot work with the unbalanced internal reactions and correct the erroneous constructs that are embedded within.

Sort of like Klal Yisroel - we are as a nation - broken into pieces..... Until we accept with unconditional love all Jews - we will not be able to understand. Doesn't mean we accept all actions - but by understanding - we can then open the door to growth, change and please G-d,unity....

Does this make more sense????


Edited: 3/29/13 at 12:24 AM by TBear
 
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TBear
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Realized an internal "abuser" or "defender" is at work in the therapy sessions as well - for instance - I have put the brakes on internally with going deeper into anything ever since the last time - when he was too far away and I was left alone and frozen in place - needed the grounding of feeling his presence.

So the defense in place is - no way I will go deeper unless i am sitting in the closer spot... but another defender doesn't want anyone that near - fear is high because the therapist is no longer just a talking chair and I don't want him to be real - then I might get attached and then hurt just like before....

Which then is followed by the cognitive errors of - forcasting that no one will ever stick with me through it all - and the reply that if I keep delaying then I will be too old to care or I will run out of funding - then the "this is all I am here for - others satisfaction and to be used up and thrown away - garbage, why bother to heal.... followed by the argument that I am a daughter of the King - and have to keep trying....

Endless dysfunctional loops of thought - yet understandable and it has softened to say - OK , sure, after the background I have it is reasonable to think that letting anyone close would be followed by pain - it always has.... (and I am not overgeneralizing this one - unfortunately), thus I can "reason" with the internal abuser by reframing her as an internal defender - then learning when there is real danger or just discomfort and staying in the here and now, and that even if there is an end to therapy and there will be goodbye - hopefully I will have done the work necessary to overcome the dysfunctional reactions - transference to abandonement - and not working at this stuff - not allowing myself to connect will only be a self-fulfilling prophesy..... So as a result of understanding the mindset that is defending me....even with the tension - I sit closer and take away the resistance that was in place against doing the work.....

Also by understanding my defender - and what is triggered by seeing the former therapist, I isolated myself over the past Pesach - didn't go to shul so I would not have to run into him. I knew that I was too "fragile" with all the anniversaries, cooking, cleaning, fewer sessions.... Could not take a trigger - so had to maintain safety so that functionality with my family was preserved, and ability to make use of the limited access to sessions protected.
 
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MoMo
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4/4/13 1:24 AM
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Wow!!!
Sounds like you went through so much!!!!
I feel your pain!!!!
 
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TBear
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Thanks MoMo,

Helps me organize my thoughts to type it out, really appreciate the response -I feel heard!

Be Well ~ TBear

Dr. Lynn,

So the response to your question about defenders was long-winded...

The problem that began this thread though is still hounding me - the forgiveness issue... how to let go of stuff...

Perpetrators from childhood, those who turned a "blind eye", and then more recently an abusive abandoning narcissist for an ex-husband.... still finding out about stuff he did that was blocked away.... cannot find anger right now - only sadness and guilt.... compounded to my extreme reaction from the therapist who is in this very community.... feel so ashamed at being upset - actually feeling trapped.

Want to let go the reaction/ extreme hopelessness when I see him (makes me want to hurt myself) - especially 'cause I know he only tried to help and avoiding anywhere I might see him is essentially taking away my only supports - this community..... how do I get past this when he won't process it..... he said he cared too much and cannot talk to me anymore.... that it wasn't me - I did nothing wrong - he couldn't deal with - had never heard of anything as awful as my father had been - so am I truly too damaged to even be here? Feel like he was traumatized by just being my therapist.... Need to switch out of this mindset..... Oy Veh

Well anyway - Let me know your thoughts on this, if you have the time - thanks
~TBear


Edited: 4/4/13 at 4:35 PM by TBear
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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4/11/13 2:48 PM
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TBear,
You are such a deep person.
Everything you are saying/feeling makes sense.
Forgiveness and re-integration are critical for your healing.
I usually use EMDR when people present the way you do, b/c it is the most rapid treatment and accesses pain on the nonverbal level.
a lynn
 
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TBear
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Earlier in my treatment - my therapist and I discussed EMDR.... He is not trained in it and usually works in conjunction with someone who is - for some clients who have been traumatized.

There was some difficulty in doing EMDR with the dissociative parts, more complicated - there have been 15 ( some blending has been occurring - very disorienting, but also exhilarating) - and knowing which pieces of who I am were to be present, and which would be overwhelmed into dissociation - Also with my extreme difficulty trusting - I was not interested in meeting with someone else. I hear it is a good method - maybe for the future.... not yet. Evidently the extreme level of dissociation and the widely varied reactions held in different parts has to be resolved and/or worked with....

We have done some art therapy to help me get unstuck.... and some somatic healing touch therapy with a massage therapist to help uncover and deal with the body memories and triggers.... some automatic writing/ journalling, and more detailed planned trauma processing - slowly, carefully opening up a traumatic incident, tucking away the most truamatized parts in a safe place while sharing the information across other internal barriers - I don't have to verbalize the details of the incidents - but I have to be able to tolerate the feelings associated with it and visualize it without dissociating, all the while being brought back into "here and now" safety....

Then the grieving is intense.... he said it would be very hard from time to time in the process - but I survived the actual experiences, and it isn't now, Baruch Hashem

There is a webinar tomorrow night put on by NICABM on EMDR - an interview with Francine Shapiro.... will probably try to catch it -

Thank you for your validation and kind respect.

Be Well~ TBear


Edited: 4/17/13 at 10:49 PM by TBear
 
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MoMo
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4/16/13 11:12 PM
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TBear can you elaborate on somatic healing through touch therapy?
I think I'm touch deprived..
 
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TBear
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4/17/13 7:03 PM
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I am not an authority nor am I sure all the different aspects of where these types of therapy are used. Nurturing touch is not something that I have now in my life - nor as a child either.... so a massage therapist who is trained in how to work with trauma was suggested.... She works closely with my regular therapist - I see her about once every 3 weeks and I see the main therapist two times a week.

What i do know is that in my case; first i had to get back "in" to my body - become aware of it .... Recieve care and give feedback... this is done with my clothes on and I can stop her whenever I need to. She also spends time with "compassionate communication" talking and expressing my needs. Sometimes just the warmth of her hand on my ankle is enough to be overwhelming or bring about flashbacks - so it is teaching me how to put on the brakes in an instant reaction and how to stay grounded... Also helps release trauma that has been "stored" in my body... There are so many different approaches and methods.... Other times it has just been so relaxing and supportive during a stressful time and I leave feeling great....

Maybe Dr. Lynn could elaborate in a more informed manner, another source of info would be to look up "healing touch therapy" and "Somatic therapy" to get more info - or ask your therapist (I think you said you were seeing one)

 
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MoMo
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4/18/13 12:40 AM
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Thanks so much for that elaboration!
I am also touch deprived and probably ashamed of touch.
My therapist isn't opened minded enough for this type of therapy He wouldn't know about it.
But it would be weird going to a male massage therapist and a female one obviously wouldn't be allowed


Edited: 4/18/13 at 9:16 AM by MoMo
 
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TBear
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4/18/13 8:26 AM
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Couldn't hurt to ask your therapist - you might be surprised!

Anyway, it is the therapist's job to help you feel comfortable, this type of massage, you stay fully dressed....

I think of it like family - Would it be odd for a father or a brother to touch you - a hand on the shoulder for reassurance? (of course for me it is a woman - so I think more in terms of a sister)


Edited: 4/18/13 at 8:31 AM by TBear
 
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MoMo
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OK thank you very much TBear!!
Keep posting!
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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Hope you are both doing well. Some of my patients have utilized Rolfing as a form of therapeutic touch.
a lynn
 
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TBear
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Thanks for the response Dr. Lynn! Good to hear you back.

Some of the developments that have come from the Rolfing method have been helpful, for instance - how a person holds themselves makes such a difference in their thinking - yet in my case the therapeutic touch must be carefully weighed - there is a great deal of sensitivity needed for the trauma triggers.... honestly not sure how many different techniques she combines, too tired to research it any further, have to trust her expertise.

Recently when doing some somatic work, I was not rested enough to catch the trigger and was sent into a major tailspin of re-living. Ultimately it worked for the good in that another "piece" of who I am surfaced and "shared" her experiences.... Oy Veh a rough ride, disorienting - but helpful in the long run.

Be Well~

 
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channafofanna
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I dont know... it seems to me that touch therapy with atherapist you talk to is bordering on inapropriate. Is it even legal?
 
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TBear
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Absolute boundaries are maintained - there must be communication that deals with the here and now experience.

She is a therapist who works specifically with helping cancer patients and trauma victims reclaim their lives by helping them deal with stress and reinhabit their body after it has "betrayed" them and they have numbed out any input from the body, helps someone know they aren't too awful to be "untouchable"... hard to explain if you have never been able to turn off your body like I can - I broke my hand once and didn't even realize it until a day later when I could no longer move my fingers and the hand was swollen - did not feel it

You are correct it would be inappropriate if I were to be physically touched regularly by the main therapist who deals in depth with issues. - that is precisely why he recommended the massage therapist - because he recognized a need for somatic work that he could not and would not be able to address.
 
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channafofanna
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got it, sorry!`
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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TBear-
Any developments?
a lynn
 
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TBear
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Hi Dr. Lynn,

Thank you for your kindness in asking -

Yes, Another piece emerged - this time from examining why I get so down in the summer..... yet couldn't remember much if anything from summers until I was 15 and began working....

Also - my children had commented how I always get so down every summer - and 4th of July... so I was further motivated to try to look at it.... can't think much about her or I get pulled in to dissociation, and remember and feel it - the fact that it is accessible must mean I am stronger - enough to work through it - so have work to do in therapy and between sessions have to comfort myself within - and try very hard to make sure I take care of myself - sleep at night - exercise - daven, art, write......

Makes 16 parts of who I am - which in and of itself is depressing - almost hopeless..... appropriate for this time of year somehow... mourning

Looked up something I wrote a year ago the night after Tisha B'Av - and even without realizing - the missing part is so obvious to me now in what I wrote.... she has always been there - she is me, not hard to cry - not hard to relate to mourning that which I never had - I really relate to Eicha....

dark torment
anguished cries muted deep within
drowning in an ocean of tears
held back by years of suffering in solitude
fearful – in fact terrified to need or rely on anyone
why cry when there is no one to comfort
why yearn to be cared for when only hurt and pain are the result
wretched agony overtakes
tragic irrevocable despair
trapped in hopelessness and intense pain

Tears streaming down my face..... Hashem Yerachem
Abandoned again and again
Left in solitude, as disgusting human refuse
Burden to all, or used when convenient
Filth and pain too great for any to endure - but endure I did
It isn't now!

Am I as a grasshopper in my own eyes? NO
I am the neshama that Hashem created
Hashem can do anything, even with the likes of me
He has gotten me this far – why must I sit with this pain and despair?
Intensity of anguish is overwhelming
How could it be that He allowed the horrors that I endured - that any endure?
Why must they be reviewed?
There is no answer - there are no words

When we read Eicha, Kinos – most read of others’ pain
I read accurate renditions of my own pain as well
Thank G-d, most do not know what it feels like to be starved, when others eat
or ravished, or captive – hands and feet tied – helpless to stop atrocities done
the body I inhabit – I disconnect from
Hashem allowed me to be raised above my enemies –
to watch the crimes perpetrated against innocence - my innocence
building defenses within the mind, escape when there is no escape

I am thankful for His rescue – now free of abusers!
Thankful that Grandpa was there at the beginning - someone loved me
teaching me that comfort is possible, in the two short years before he died
Yet the feeling of isolation, terror and tainted existence remains
Like a foul stench that adheres to me
I know it is not my fault,
Some stand aloof - they ostracize, turn away - solitude engulfs

I want to scream out: the neshama within is untouched – a daughter of the King is pure!
Naysayers abound - not good enough..... I cannot change them - only myself
It is left to me still to choose - to daven for others - to give of myself
Choose to be thankful for every breath I take - nothing is "owed" me

Why can’t I shake off the despair?


Please G-d –send comfort
Teach me what I have to change,
Help me to be able to truly give
Hurry to my assistance, strengthen
Thank you for the privilege of clinging to Torah
The treasure of being part of Klal Yisrael
The precious gift of being able to serve You

Heal and send salvation so that I might serve You more completely
All is from You, even my brokenness
There is no comprehension, only acceptance, in love
Knowing there must be a purpose -
Doesn't change the deep sadness & grief for that which I never had:
A childhood, loving parents, husband... security
Enables me to more fully feel the mourning
as we grieve for the loss of the Temple we never saw:
we as a nation have seen many atrocities
we do not have a complete home
we do not have security or unity

Today - I choose to do my best to follow Torah
Thank You for that priceless gift, Aveinu Malkeinu





Edited: 7/9/13 at 8:16 AM by TBear
 
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I'mTrying
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7/8/13 10:44 PM
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I'm speechless.
TBear you sound like a really special person.
May this month bring you true nechama and healing.
 
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HopefulMommy
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I second that! So moving!

TBear, do you think I could use some of your writing for my book?
 
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TBear
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wishicouldbenormal ~ Amen to the bracha.... thank you for your kind response

HopefulMommy ~ Thank you to you as well! As for the book - please don't use what I have written.....

May all Klal Yisroel find the healing we need!

P.S. As I was reminded this morning while davening - it isn't 16 pieces - it is 17 that I am aware of.... but it doesn't really matter because it is all me - and integration is essential..... just as you said, Dr. Lynn,.... and the work is hard.....and I can't give up.....


Edited: 7/9/13 at 8:13 AM by TBear
 
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HopefulMommy
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Sure, I understand completely about the book. Maybe one day, when you're ready, you can write your own book. I think it'll be really inspiring.

Most of us, even without DID, have bits and pieces of ourselves that we're trying to put together. But I'm sure it's much harder when you're actually dissociating... Good luck!
 
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channafofanna
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Its REALLY Good TBear!!! thanks for sharing it!!!
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/10/13 5:15 PM
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Thank you for sharing. We are all rooting for you!
a lynn
 
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