Pilgrim's Journey > January 2010 Archives

January 3, 2010

Books on Multiple Personality Disorder/ Books on DID

Been meaning to put this up for awhile...
Here is a link to a lengthy list of books on DID/MPDhttp://astraeasweb.net/plural/books.html

It is from the Astrea's Web website.

Quite a lot of books on there, not just on DID but also on autism. We've read several of them. There are a few good ones. Quite a few lousy ones. We personally despise books and websites that make people with DID look like victims and long-suffering pathetic people who have no life, but, that seems to be what sells in bookstores *groan*. However, there are a few good books on the list. There don't seem to be any of the newer books on the list-- a few years ago we read one called "Got Parts?" which can be purchased on amazon.com and was helpful in teaching us how to work together a little better.

Posted by pilgrim at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2010

Two Year Anniversary

I miss you, Sharon. I just miss you. We all just miss you.
And I'm sorry...for everything. For whatever we did. Or didn't do.
Or whatever went wrong...we're sorry. :(
hearts hurt today.

Posted by pilgrim at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2010

Things Therapists Should Not Do

Ever since losing Sharon, a LOT of people have contacted us about things they have been through with their therapists, from different types of mistreatments, abuses, to just lousy ways of being dumped. Its been really sad to hear their stories. What really hurts is that these therapists are SUPPOSED to be the helpers, the healers...not the ones who hurt clients more. That was one of the things that hurt most about what Sharon did. She was aware of what she was doing, she was trained not to, but she did it anyway. When you're hurt by a therapist, it seems to cause a different kind of pain than when you're hurt by an "ordinary" person.

One of my friends is being brave enough to let me share her story here on Healthdiaries.
Her name is Katie, and thankfully, just as we have a wonderful therapist now, Katie has also been blessed with a great therapist to help her get over the pain of what her old T did. Here is Katie's story, in her own words:

Admitting Stephanie was ever in a position to be my "therapist" still makes my head swim. I had the unfortunate experience of being recommended to her via my health insurance. She represents herself as a "trauma therapist" and yet violates you in ways that are completely retraumatizing. She's very tricky because in the beginning she was kind and seemingly understanding. That quickly changed, though.

So if you are looking for a trauma therapist, ask yourself these 10 questions first.

When is it okay for a therapist to yell at a client? NEVER.
When is it okay to slam doors, stomp up stairs, and throw things because you're angry at a client? NEVER.
When is it okay for a therapist to use profanity directed at a client? NEVER.
When is it okay for a therapist to tell a client that she makes her have sadistic thoughts? NEVER.
When is it okay for a therapist to tell a client she wants to slap her? NEVER.
When is it okay for a therapist to take you to their therapist with them? NEVER.
When is it okay for a therapist to threaten a client? NEVER.
When is it okay for a therapist to tell a client she is emotionally blackmailing her? NEVER.
When is it okay to accuse a client of something they didn't do? NEVER.
When is it okay that you're spending your money to work out your relationship with your therapist instead of being able to work on what brought you to therapy in the first place? NEVER.

These are just a few of the things Stephanie did to me in 2007.
She was unpredictable and confrontational. My anxiety before my appointments was through the roof and it caused me to be switchy and unstable before I even stepped foot into her office. The last session I had with her, she accused me of stealing her clock and something else just as ridiculous (I can't remember what it was). She left me defenseless because I had a key to her office. I absolutely did not do it, but there was no point in trying to defend myself. My mind immediately went to that trauma space in my head and I ended up overdosing that same day. By this time I had been seeing her for 8 months and was the sickest I had ever been because of her so-called "treatment" methods, which consisted of little more than threatening me that if I didn't do everything she said, she'd stop seeing me. When I did exactly what she said, she made things up that I "supposedly" did wrong, added new things to her "I won't see you anymore" list and told me she was treating me like "Pavlov's dog" when I told her she was passive/aggressive. When I emailed her and asked her to stop threatening me with not seeing me, she said I made her feel like an abusive mother and it touched the sadistic part of her brain that made her want to slap me. She drove me to two suicide attempts in two weeks and lied about more than I can even share here.

After I overdosed the first time, she refused to speak to me and sent me a letter in the mail terminating therapy, along with a $1,000 bill, claiming I back-owed her for phone calls and emergency sessions throughout the 8 months I had seen her. That letter led to a second overdose two weeks later because I was still upset over her accusing me of stealing her clock. I am yet to remember that overdose, but I have been told I did it at her office. I tried to contact her a couple of times, but she refused to talk to me (I did send her a few not very nice emails, but I can't remember if she responded). She cut me off completely. The one time she did talk to me was when I asked her for a breakdown of this $1,000 bill. She replied with, "You're smart! You figure it out!" and hung up on me. She sent me yet another letter in the mail and told me I could pay the bill if I wanted to or not. I picked not.

I started seeing her in January of 2007. By July of 2007, after 3 hospitalizations, I went to a Christian lay counselor while still seeing her who was trying to help me break away from her. The Christian counseling center I was going to did not have expertise in DID and were limited in being able to help me. For a long time I was afraid to find a real therapist because of my experience with Stephanie and I stayed with them long past their abilities to help me. They stuck with me for about 10 months until I found my current therapist in late 2008.

I went to Stephanie because of childhood abuse issues. Before seeing her, I had never, ever been hospitalized. She recommended that I needed long-term hospitalization. While seeing her, I was hospitalized 5 times in 4 months due to suicidality and self injury. It is now November 2009 and I have not had one hospitalization since Stephanie. Not only have I not been hospitalized since her, I have worked at the bank and gone back to college. While at times it's a struggle, I know I would not have been able to do this had I continued with her. I'm unsure whether I would even be alive and even if I was, I probably would be in long-term hospitalization because that is the path she had me on. I have a long way to go, but I'm at least going in the right direction now. None of the behaviors that seemed to manifest themself with Stephanie manifest with my current therapist at all, even in my very rough times. And aside from one incident back in the summer, I've not even had to call my therapist outside of sessions more than a handful of times.

It took me a long time to admit I was not responsible for what happened and I still have that part of me that doesn't want to hurt her in any way. When you're in the situation, it's difficult to believe you didn't do something wrong. I still blamed myself and could not spill the words that she was the one that was 100% in the wrong. I was the client; she was supposed to be the therapist. Despite encouragement from many people to speak up, I did not. I wish now I at least had some vindication by knowing my voice was heard, but my one comfort is knowing that I can share my story now.

Now that my story is out there in the open (and there is more but I'd probably lose the reader), I'd like to say a few things to those of you in any situation with a therapist that may be similar to this.

Here are a few things I have learned and I hope this helps you:

Any therapist that has to say, "If you do _______(self injure, act out, attempt suicide, call too much, are in crisis too often) I won't see you anymore" or "If you do not do ______(go to the hospital, do exactly as I say) I won't see you anymore" is a bad therapist using blackmail, manipulation, and is on a dangerous power trip putting him or herself in a position of power over you in such a big way that it recreates the abuse you originally went to therapy to overcome. This is NOT okay for a therapist to do no matter how the therapist tries to justify it. Clients are adults and should be able to make their own choices. Several times...many times...Stephanie accused me of emotionally blackmailing her. A CLIENT IS INCAPABLE OF BLACKMAILING A THERAPIST if that therapist is doing nothing wrong. This is nothing more than reverse manipulation and a good therapist not only would never say such a thing to a client, but would never LET a client blackmail them to begin with. We go to therapy to be guided, not emotionally blackmailed.

This kind of "treatment" is self defeating and abusive, causing the client to act out the very behaviors the therapist wants them to stop. And I also understand, again, how difficult it is to see that when you're in this situation or even when you first come out of it because you become so attached to the person you're telling all your secrets to. But you have to sit back and think about how DID originates and that most of us posting here were told if we did ______(fill in the blank) we were in trouble....yet we were still loyal to the abuser. It's NO different when a therapist comes at you with ultimatums and threats. In many ways it's worse than when you were little because you expect to be abused by an ABUSER, but you do not except to be abused by your therapist. It's very easy for you to take what they say to you and internalize it and blame yourself because you've gone to them for psychological help and you expect them to be safe and healthy It took me a long time to say Stephanie was unethical and she was an abuser, but once I did, I was able to begin moving on. Now she is compartmentalized in my head along with childhood abusers. Unfortunately, I have had one more thing to add to my recovery process.

I have wondered if she considers what she did was damaging as much as I wonder whether my childhood abusers think about how they were damaging or if she just walks about life as if she did nothing wrong and doesn't care. I don't believe Stephanie will never apologize to me or be big enough to admit that she did anything wrong, but I do think she knows she was wrong. She will call me 'challenging' and taking no responsibility because I am the one who acted out in so many ways, failing to see that her own actions caused it because of her constant threats and manipulation. I understand now that just as when I tried to be perfect as a child and it didn't seem to matter and there was still abuse, it wouldn't have mattered if I had been the model perfect client who never acted out, the end result would have been the same.

Had I trusted my own intuition and been at the place I am now emotionally, I'd have run from Stephanie's office within the first month and not endured it for 8 long months, overdosing and acting out like a 10 year old. Stephanie successfully retraumatized me in every way, but I hope my story can have some good come from it. If I could help one person by sharing it, it would almost be worth it. Katie

Thank you Katie, for sharing your story. If anyone would like to leave supportive messages for Katie here, I will make sure she gets them.
-->If anyone would like to leave me your story to possibly be used here, please e-mail me at myfaithlasts@yahoo.com

Posted by pilgrim at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

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