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Counseling/therapist issues and discussions

U

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#1
My 13-year-old daughter was sexually abused from age 5 to 10 by her stepfather. He has been in prison now for 3 years. She is an extremely private young woman, has had counseling before, but is no longer willing to attend any more counseling sessions.
How can I convince her that it could help her with her depression, etc. I am worried about her hurting herself; I've seen minor cuts on her wrist, which she explained as 'eraser burns', and that she and her friend were just 'goofing around'.
Her grades in school are anything but desirable. I want to help her, but I don't know how to proceed. I don't want to force her to attend counseling, yet I wonder if I have any other options?
Please, if anyone has any advice, please respond.
 

Jane

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#2
So sorry you and your daughter are having to dealing with the tough aftermath of her abuse.

I am a bit low on ideas regarding your daughter's choice to discontinue her counselling sessions. imho encouraging her to go against her will...is not going to work. Mayhap like all of us who have had an intensive period of therapy following a trauma she needs some time and space to process...come to terms with both her traumatic experience and process the help she has already received. I know sometimes my gut lets me know I need some time out...to forget the trauma for a bit...to do normal day to day stuff.

If you have talked to her and her choice to leave counselling is not based on any issues that could be resolved by changing her counselor I think I would respect her wish for space...reminding her that if at any time she wishes to return you would utterly support her decision. I think it is pretty important that she feels listened to...that you are hearing and respecting her wishes. That you will always be there for her ready to listen if she wants to share or needs support.

Your daughter is so lucky to have you - a caring mother in her life. I know how hard it is to support a child's healing journey. I hope you are also receiving the professional support you need and deserve.:rs:rs
 
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#3
It might be hard for your daughter at first to accept that there's something wrong.
Some people just find councelling quite hard tbh because you have to talk about your past experiences and stuff.
I say you just sit down and talk to her, explain calmly that eve though it's hard councelling will help, also about the self-harming; it would be good if you try to speak to her about it, get her to explain what's causing it and stuff. xx
 
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#4
Thirteen is a kind of a funky age even if you haven't been abused. In my opinion you can't even really say that meaningfully without knowing somebody whether a 13-year-old is still a kid or just a really young adult; people can mature at such different rates it's astonishing. I was a pretty quick-to-mature kid so I feel like I can put myself in a young adult's place more so than a big kid's place.

One broad point whether you're dealing with a 13-year-old kid or a 13-year-old young lady is that counseling is the kind of process that only works if you're invested in it, and if you feel like you're being made to attend or "talked into" doing it you're probably not going to show up all the way and participate fully. She may, like Jane said, need a bit of a break. You know, when you put all the breaks and days off together kids only spend about half the calendar year in school and yet they get through the curriculum - some down time seldom harms anybody. Once she regroups a little she may realize that having the professional support is a good thing and she would like more.

If your daughter is more a young woman than a big kid at this point you might even try asking her to think a little about what she would like to change in her life; what she would like to be able to do or change about her life...how she feels versus how she would like to feel...and to let you in on it as she feels ready. More counseling might be the answer, or it might be something else. Here at the Fort we have a whole sub-forum about improving quality of life where we talk about anything we can do to make life better, whether cooking or hobbies or new year's resolutions. You don't always need a therapist for life to get better; sometimes you just need to take one step at a time in the right direction.

This is only an example based on my life experience but I wonder if maybe she has an ambition she hasn't talked about and doesn't feel equipped to move forward and act on, and if she made that leap to aim for something she wanted, her quality of life might really improve. When I was just about her age I really wanted to play a musical instrument but I didn't feel like I could ask for it; it took me a while but once I finally found a way to buy a guitar by myself so nobody would require me to take lessons (which I did not want to do at first), it changed my life. It was my source of comfort and self-expression when I was a struggling teen, and come to think of it, when I'm struggling as an adult that's still one of the best tools I have at my disposal. Your daughter could have her own secret dream or desire that acting on could really help.

I would be hesitant also to attribute less than great grades to the aftereffects of the abuse unless other factors have been eliminated first. Sometimes really incredibly bright kids have one thing holding them back and it's so simple nobody thinks of it. Some people need help honing their organizational skills when they're very young; they don't know how to manage time or keep a good running schedule/to-do list together. Some people need study skills that match their learning style and orientation; if your girl isn't a fairly acute visual learner then the average school probably isn't catering very well to her needs, for example. Maybe it's a sensory issue - maybe her vision or hearing isn't quite as sharp as it ought to be so she's missing a lot. (Sometimes something as simple as built up ear wax makes life ridiculously hard - I know that sounds goofy but the stuff practically deafened me until I had a holistic practitioner remove it for me.) Or maybe something about the school environment is distracting or stressful enough that she needs either new tools to cope or a different school. I know when I transitioned to high school my grades went up pretty amazingly, so it's possible if your girl is an 8th grader and going to a different school next year, that change alone might really help. Just possibilities.

In any case I'll be thinking good thoughts for your daughter and for you.
 
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#5
I had two daughters that needed counseling at the early teen age and neither was willing to go. I insisted that we meet a female counselor first and we all went. This woman, while very nice, was clearly a bad fit. I told the girls we would look for someone more suited. Of course, they didn't want to go. I found a great guy but I was worried about the gender difference. He seemed very kind though so i asked the girls that we meet. They huffed and puffed but eventually went along.

This guy had a great sense of humor. We chatted about basic background upon meeting and all went well. We attended as a family until he asked to meet with one or another, including me at times, alone. This was a few months in. Sometimes two would wait in the lobby then we all would go back. They could see me begin to talk about difficult things and experience what opening up was like.

I'd be lying if I said they became comfortable with the idea of therapy. They shared small slices of their lives but… they new he was there if they needed him, they knew he was support to our family as a whole. During one particularly rough time, my oldest did ask to see him, told me she needed to talk with him. I still don't know what it was about but I was glad to know he was there.

So, my thoughts are, maybe you could begin as a family, just go to talk, not to address any trauma specifically and ease into things. it takes time to build any trust and it might be that just knowing there is a source for help, if needed, would be a start. you might also consider if there is an adult that your daughter is willing to talk with. certainly, they are not therapists but it might be an opening to dialogue about her feelings.

i wish you and your daughter the best during this difficult time.
 
U

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#6
Anything I can do

I am so sorry that you and your daughter went through this. I am 16 and hope I can provide a different view point for you that might be similar to your daughters'.

I went through a similar experience with my dad and came close to just ending it all. I was in a very bad place I am still using self harm to cope with it. My parents started a 5 year long divorce when I was in 6th grade and my mom made my brother and I attend counseling through 8th grade; it wasn't horrible, but it in no way helped me. I refused to tell him, the counselor, anything of importance and basically just put on an act for him. This had nothing to do with the counselor; he was renowned in his field and was the best in our area. I just didn't want to tell him anything. I didn't know what I was feeling myself and hadn't come to terms with what had happened; I didn't even realize my dad was abusive, I knew on some level that what he did was wrong, but he was my dad and I wanted to protect him. I also went into it with the idea that counseling was wrong, rare, and something to be ashamed of. This all contributed to it.

I can tell you from experience that eraser burns are as bad as some cutting. They sometimes even last longer depending on how severe they are. If she was telling you the truth that her and her friends were just messing around, GET HER AWAY FROM THOSE FRIENDS. That being said, I find it unlikely that that is the truth. For me cutting is something to be ashamed of, none of my friends even know, but for her it could be different. I didn't start self harm until the summer before 10th grade, and I regret it every day. One thing you need to understand is that self harm is not a prelude to suicide, in fact if it hadn't been for self harm there is no doubt that I would have attempted suicide. Yes, self harm saved me from suicide. If you saw the marks on her wrists, be concerned; not because of suicide, but because in my case, I rarely, if ever, self harm on my lower arms because people will see. Your daughter is smart enough to have considered this too. Its possible that it could have been her first time and she simply wasn't thinking about it. I also know that the bottom of the lower arms is extremely sensitive area; it produces a lot of pain and if it weren't for people seeing it I would cut there all the time, its possible she just doesn't care who sees.

Please feel free to reply with any questions. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know, if I can help her get through this it would mean everything. Please tell her that she will regret it for the rest of her life if she starts self harm, I know I do. You should also let her know she is not alone, this is something I really struggled with. Online forums have helped me so much. Just be aware that she might not want you to be involved, as hard as this might be for you. I know I don't want my mom knowing the specifics; if you haven't cut, you will never really understand what she is experiencing. Let her have her own accounts and don't snoop; if she wants you to know she will tell you. You have my full sympathy and I wish you both the best of luck as you deal with this. Please don't hesitate to reply, if something I went through can help someone else, I welcome the opportunity.

(This is all my own personal opinion and experiences, I am not in any way claiming that it is true for everyone, I just felt like I had to do my best to help. Please don't take everything I said as fact, confirm it for yourself, I can only say what is true for me.)
 

Manya

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#7
random thought:
regular counseling/therapy depends greatly (if not entirely) on clients goals and motivation. your daughter is the one who needs to initiate and maintain the whole process. she needs to come in with a clear idea of what is it that isn't working in her life and that she wants changed, and then she needs to brainstorm ideas on how to make this change happen. if she doesn't do that - therapist simply has nothing to work with. they can probe around for a while, asking her questions about things that other people in her shoes commonly struggle with - but if she doesn't volunteer info on what her therapeutic goals are - there's nowhere to go from here for the therapist. this can be hard for an adult - so naturally it's very hard for a 13yo. even if we ignore obvious issues caused by abuse.

so what im thinking is - maybe an alternative idea would be to offer her some more specific help? art therapy? emotion management group? equine therapy? group therapy for kids her age? something that has pre-defined goals and clear planned things to do, so she doesn't have to be the one leading/initiating the process? self injury is often about inability to handle intense emotions - just not knowing what to do with them when they overwhelm you. what you do with emotions is - express them. if she doesn't want to talk to a therapist about them - that's fine, sign her up for art therapy, acting, writing, primal scream therapy lol - any other venue of expressing how she feels, dumping those emotions, unloading them safely, so that they become manageable.

when i was 13 - i most certainly didn't want to have the classic therapy of sitting alone in a room with a professional adult shrink and talking to him about my life, on a weekly basis. no way in the world. made no sense to me. i saw no point in this except for him evaluating me (as if having parents and teachers doing that 24/7 wasn't enough), intruding on my personal private life, judging it, and telling me how to live my life. of course that wasn't what he was doing - but that's exactly how i perceived it. why do i need a complete stranger telling me how to handle my private matters? asking me intrusive questions that are none of his business? am i doing something wrong, that parents send me to him every week? am breaking some rules? ground me then, take away my tv time, do what you gotta do - but leave my psyche alone, dont psychoanalyze me, dont humiliate me with this arrangement. thats truly how i felt about it. yet - i absolutely loved various groups that our local center for kids offered - art therapy, anger group, general teen group, time management classes, acting, - there were many, and i enjoyed most of them. because i wasn't one on one with an adult i couldn't relate to, i was in a group with other kids my age, - and because there was a clear goal and purpose and framework. i could always explain what is it that we do in the group, why do i like it, and how does it help me grow into a well-adjusted individual. i also knew if im doing well in the group or not - because the goal of each activity was clear and my progress was measurable. for example - one day in anger group the goal was to think of the last argument we had with our parents and then take a big breath and scream as loud and long as we can, on that one breath. that was fun, and i knew i done good because i screamed the loudest and the longest (thanks to acting classes lol). i also knew that the purpose of the exercise was overcoming inhibitions to release emotions, and that it felt good to do that, and that this was a new skill i learned and could practice sometime, if only into a pillow. while with that traditional shrink i hated - i had no clue what the purpose of all these convos is, and if im doing good or bad there. he kept nodding his head, smiling, and asking for more - no matter what i told him - so i had no idea where am i standing, if im achieving anything, what does he want from me, and when are we gonna be done with this therapy thing.

just wanted to share what it felt like :)
 
U

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#8
Going to see a counsellor?

Hi guys, well as the title suggests I'm due to see a counsellor but I'm so so nervous about it.
I decided to go and see her because of stuff that happened when I was a child, the only problem is I don't remember much from the first 13 years of my life, just some bad stuff that happened so i feel like I'm wasting her time because I have no idea what to say. Is it even worth going? I can't get over the idea that I'll be sat there in silence and not be able to communicate anything.
The session is for tomorrow and it's really playing on my mind.
 

Sunfl0wer

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#10
I have written things down ahead of time when I have been scared that I literally may loose my important thoughts or stutter or go mute. Often just having my thoughts written close by helps my mind stay on track.

I think most therapists expect that the person they are seeing for the first time would be quite nervous and they expect to help a bit by making the first few session go easy for developing rapport, just getting to know one another sometimes.
 

Jobriel

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#11
Hope your appointment goes well. I can tell you that I didn't really talk for quite a while in therapy. I don't remember the early sessions very well, but my T says that she had absolutely no idea what was wrong with me or why I was there because I didn't know what to say. But I eventually got comfortable and she figured out what to ask, and now(poor her) we still see each other part of the time 2 and a half years later, and we have so much to work on that I think I will need her forever. Good luck with everything!
 
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#12
Hello,

I'm actually the same as you! I am 18 years old now but up until I was 13 I lived with my abuser and as a result most of my childhood is a blur.

I have still found it to be incredibly worth while to go to a therapist/counsellor. Even though you can't remember the abuse, it likely still effects you. The therapist is able to help you cope with however it may have effected you, whether that be low self esteem, trust issues, anxiety, etc. The therapist doesn't need to know your backstory word for word to be able to help you, at least mine hasn't. :)

Best of luck with everything!
 

Jane

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#13
:agree with scarlettrrose.

Found it helps to focus on stuff/symptoms that I am still struggling with in 3d. Seems to work to unravelling and dealing with these...eg that I carry a fear of rejection - has been with me for years... may be a result of specific not ok events in my childhood may be something else. Either way it has an impact on my present relationships. So T and I will come up with a plan for me to work on my sense of self worth. Sometimes in this process memories of CSA events come up which we can talk about. My T and I are of the opinion that we bury memories to protect our self from stuff that we find too overwhelming That this is a safety mechanism and unless they arise spontaneously (indicating I am ready to deal with them) there is no reason to dig for them.

My thoughts...accept others may see things differently.
 
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#14
Should I tell her therapist

Question for Survivors with DID

My wife has exhibited DID "behaviors" for a number of years, she is a Survivor (Father Incest and Assaults during Adulthood).
In 2012 she was entering into Menopause. She was dealing with multiple stressors and we were having extreme financial troubles. Then our youngest Son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoid Leukemia. The diagnosis was a complete shock to us and the 3.5 year treatment regimen seemed impossible, for our son and for our entire family.

My wife "cracked" mentally and began suffering Complex PTSD symptoms with night terrors and panic attacks and began "splitting" into different "alters". She has exhibited time gaps, "amnesia" about conversations, appointments and stated repeatedly that she felt like she was "going crazy". A couple of times she referred to herself as "We" and spoke to me in what sounded like different voices. She has exhibited some of these behaviors throughout our 20 year marriage, but the past four years have been much, much worse. I have tried to talk to her about DID but she tells me that I am crazy and that she is fine....even though I know she is not fine. She seems to be getting worse instead of better.

I do not think that her therapist knows what is really going on.

Should I tell her therapist about her alters and her time gaps and amnesia ?

Should her therapist know that she is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of DID ?

Thank you in advance for your replies,

Desperado
 

Jane

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#15
Personally only time I would contact another person's therapist is if I thought they were actively planning to suicide (in a life threatening situation). Imo one of the most important things about the relationship between a patient and a client is it bound by a professional code of privacy...means the client can relax and know that she can share and feel safe.

As a survivor I was subjected to the thoughts and opinions of others...was a relief to have places where I did not have to deal with that. If as you say your partner does indeed dissociate and have some fragmentation of her personality...it is very possible this will reveal itself to her T without your intervention.

Just wonder have you raised your observations with your wife? Suggested it may be a topic that she might like to bring up in her sessions. Though final decision to reveal or not reveal what you have shared with her must be her choice...if she wants to, how and when.

My six-pennoth worth.
 

MakeshiftWe

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#16
This is a very tricky situation, because even though you are coming from a place of love and concern, your wife may feel very violated if she were to find out that you had contacted her personal therapist without her consent. I would really only consider this option if I felt my loved one had become a threat to herself or to others.

DID is a difficult thing to accept for some people, especially if they experience complete amnesia between their alters. But if she does have DID, it's something that she will probably have to come to terms with on her own, or through her therapist, who may or may not already suspect the diagnosis.

If I were in your situation, I would probably just try to sometimes gently bring up the topic on occasion. Without accusation or confrontation, mention that her behavior seems to change, or that you're noticing her time loss. While she may continue to deny it when you say it, it's possible that she may also begin to internalize these things and gradually open up to the idea on her own. Then again, she may never be able to accept it. It's entirely up to her unless she becomes hospitalized.

We don't really know what her therapist is thinking right now, and they very well could already be considering the idea of DID. But I think contacting your wife's therapist may cause more trouble than help, even though I know how frustrated you must feel because you desperately want to help her.

The fact that she's currently already in therapy is a good thing. As hard as it is, you may need to put your trust in her therapist, and hope that your wife is sharing her experiences with them. People can only really get help if they accept that they need it, and she might not be there yet. I know how hard that is.

Best wishes to you and your wife. :rs
 

Sunfl0wer

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#17
Sometimes, especially with those I love deeply, I have strong urges to "fix" or help them "fix" things or to get them to see things sooner than they are ready. It is frustrating to me to see what seems obvious and not have my partner grasp it or have the insight to. I can't even state strongly enough just how frustrating it is for me.

I have to say, something I learned with lots of experience trying hard to help a loved one "see" something they were denying... It often/usually doesn't work out the way I was hoping.

I still have to be mindful to try hard to redefine my role to a more support person type role or a guide type role.

Well, and from the other side, being a person with DDNOS, I really think that exposing my Parts to me before I am ready, well, can be traumatic. After all, we were created to hide this from the public, and also to hide it from our own Parts.

What I wish though....
I wish when seeking a new therapist, I would have found my way to one that specializes in DID sooner.
I wish I had found a trauma expert way way sooner.

I also wish that those interacting with me... Those who loved me... Could behave in a way to love me completely. Could love me in a way that it is communicated to me that I will be loved and accepted no matter which Parts I bring to them. Sure, my behaviors of some may be more enjoyable or fun or such... I just wish someone would have loved my sad Parts sooner, or my angry Parts, or shamed Parts and such. This would have helped me be ready to myself accept and appreciate the great role of many Parts that often get a bad rap and such.

It wasn't until I found this type of acceptance in a trauma T that I was comfortable bringing hidden Parts of myself forward to exist.
 
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#18
xx

I don't typically reply in the public forum but I had some thoughts on this that I felt needed to be shared--because I have had people contact my therapist and I have also contacted someone's T. I want to be clear that this is my PERSONAL experience--not my perspective as a mod.

I know you seem concerned but from a personal experience, I have had people contact my therapist (actually send them massive 8 page typed letters) and tbh it was infuriating for both myself and my T....because in my situation the person who sent the letters had no clue what they were talking about and had no clue what I was discussing in therapy and was making all sorts of crazy accusations (I'm speaking of what they did--not on your situation--they were NOT suggesting DID). It felt like a huge violation of my privacy...and not even half of it was accurate. And here's the thing--there's a conflict between the person who sent those letters and me. I'm not sure how much you've disclosed in public folders so I won't go into detail regarding your other threads but just a headline of your other posts seem to show you have some conflict going on.

I can also tell you that when the person who contacted my therapist said those things--and other times as well--it felt like an attack. The tension I already had with that person escalated. The person I'm referring to was an abuser--so her trying to "help"....it just didn't work.

That being said that if you do contact your wife's therapist, that therapist WILL be obligated to let your wife that they received info and that it was from YOU. They aren't going to keep it a secret. I feel like that might create a messy situation, you know? Just based on your other posts. I know when I found out that this person had sent this to my therapist, my therapist actually read it to me...and it honestly just made things worse. It side tracked us--honestly wasted a lot of time. I sat there and listened to an 8 page typed letter (we actually had to spend 3 sessions on it....) and it was extremely upsetting. My situation is a little different than yours but I can tell you my therapy and my diagnoses did NOT change based on that letter....at all. The person who sent the letter had no understanding of what I was doing in therapy, did not have an accurate understanding of diagnoses (the ones I actually have AND the ones they were suggesting--they were going off of stuff they read on the internet and saw on tv and it was so far from reality), and some of the stuff they said was just downright bizarre. Even if you contact her T and say you think she had DID and she has x,y, and z symptoms...her T isn't going to diagnose her based on that. That would make zero sense.

Your wife may have all sorts of trauma symptoms but the bottom line is you aren't a professional (so far as we know and even if you were--you aren't her doctor)....you can't really accurately diagnose her--not really fair. And also like others have said, DID can be a hard thing to accept--so if her therapist has picked up on that, okay, but it takes time to accept that kind of diagnosis. I know it took me a while to soak it in. Ultimately that's her therapist's job...and since you say she's seeing a therapist, well I'm thinking she's already reached out for some kind of help. You know? :dk

There's really no way for you to know what she discusses in therapy. I sure don't tell people that information. And with the conflict you've been describing and the situation you're in, I'm not sure she would be telling you. Has she told you what she's been professionally diagnosed with? Because usually in therapy there's a code on the insurance receipt that lines up with a diagnosis or several in order for insurance to pay.

If you're trying to heal the relationship and you want to help I would think just dowright suggesting DID to her might be a bit overwhelming--I have family members that I suspect dissociation in and so what I've tried to do is just help with grounding skills or help them reality check at times. Basic stuff. And if there's a time where it seems like the person is open and ready for feedback on what I notice--okay--but right now in my situation, it is not that time, and based on what you've described in other threads--it doesn't seem like she'd be too receptive right now either. The person In my life who has these symptoms of dissociation--any kind of "intervention" would probably push her over the edge. And unless it starts affecting the children living with her or she becomes some sort of threat--well, I just have to watch. And yeah--it hurts and it's confusing not knowing how to help this person or why they won't acknowledge it might be mental health (they keep trying to call it dementia) and I KNOW they see a therapist. I don't know exactly what they say to this therapist--I know they talk about me because they've told me that--otherwise I've got no idea. And it's likely that this person isn't telling them about these things....but there's also a chance she is. I agree with what Jane said--you can nudge her to maybe bring up a specific symptom in therapy if you are still in a healthy relationship--I feel like that would be more productive.

I'm thinking that if you've witnessed what you refer to as her "switching" to that extent -- her therapist probably has too. Because I can tell you that I switch a lot more in therapy than with other people and if the therapist has any trauma experience--she'll probably notice--especially since you notice just in your relationship and time with her. I know I say "we" a lot more in therapy than when I'm with peers or other people. I also switch a lot more when I do trauma work--and you mention your wife's trauma symptoms so I'm thinking those are being addressed? So I think she's in good hands. I was actually diagnosed because of what my T witnessed just on a weekly basis--I was young, had trauma but had never heard of DID, had never researched it, had never put the pieces together--T picked up on it, we got a second opinion, and I slowly adjusted to the diagnosis. Because I did mention time gaps and amnesia to her over time....and she did notice switches. Unless your wife is in therapy for some other reason--I would hope that she would be able to present some of her symptoms. Since I actually WAS a danger to myself to an extent at the time I was diagnosed, I did end up inpatient on a specialize trauma unit where I learned a lot of skills and adjusted to the idea od DID. But it was still voluntary.

Since she is not a minor and you don't describe her being a danger to herself or others--there really is no need for you to step in IMO. I understand your concern--I do. But I've had people come up with all sorts of diagnoses for me and tell my therapist and 1)they were usually wrong and or 2)they didn't understand the situation or 3)it was already being handled.

A lot of my family members (the one who wrote the letter in particular) like to say I'm getting "worse"...and the thing is sometimes things get worse before things get better. For me, A lot of things have gotten better--yes. But some things have gotten worse. Kind of a trade off--so I'm working on those things. It's hard. Trauma work is hard. Even if she got a DID diagnosis--that takes TIME to treat. Any trauma. I got some of my dissociation under control but then something else got worse and then I addressed that and then I had another trauma and the dissociation got worse AGAIN so now I'm working on that. A new memory of flashback pops up and everything spirals downward for a bit...because it's hard!

Also--just for the sake of respect--I personally would be horrified if someone said I "Cracked" mentally--I mean that's just offensive (to me) in itself IMO.

I want to end with that I HAVE actually contacted someone's therapist (not the family member I mentioned above)....but I waited a long time and I didn't do it until I had cleared it with several professionals AND it had gotten to a point where my friend was regularly harming herself, abusing her medications, and repeatedly threatening suicide both to me and on her blog. We were close, she was telling me many things--more than she was telling her T and she actually told me that--it wasn't my observations. She was in danger. So I emailed her therapist. I mentioned the safety concerns--and yeah I have suspicions of various diagnoses this girl may have but I didn't mention those because that's not my job and I'm not a professional. Her therapist can put the pieces together. And guess what--she (my friend) was very angry with me. We actually don't talk anymore because of that. And I crossed that boundary because I thought she was in danger--and she clearly was--but therapy is a very personal, private, thing and IMO it doesn't make sense for you to contact your wife's T....it would make more sense if it was couples counseling or something but that doesn't seem to be the case. I could be totally missing something--and I don't want to sound like i'm telling you what to do. It's up to you as to whether you contact her therapist. Your decision.

Therapy is somewhere where you want to feel safe--especially if you have a trauma history--and someone you're in conflict with (or anyone actually) intruding on that process when there is no threat seems unnecessary and detrimental in my experience. The girl who's T I contacted said it made her feel very unsafe when I contacted her T--didn't matter that her T immediately showed concern and she got some help---she felt violated. And I lost that friendship. I have no regrets with email her T--because I don't want her to die. But if safety was not the concern--I would not have contacted her T. There's also the concept that therapy doesn't work unless you're ready and willing to work.

I know that's very long. It is my experience--with both having someone contact my T and contacting someone's T myself. I hope it can be a little helpful. I apologize if some pieces sound harsh--they aren't meant to.

xx :cat
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
22
#19
Thank You All for Your Honest Replies

Thank you Purpleclouds for your your lengthy and well reasoned reply - and Jane and Sunflower and MakeshiftWe for giving me your perspectives and direct opinions. I am not offended nor do I feel that you were being too harsh - the purpose of my post was to Gain Understanding. I appreciate you delineating the role of the therapist and how important it is for my wife to feel safe and protected in that T relationship. My wife has expressed suicidal thoughts and extreme depression and I have been concerned for her safety. I realize that she is on her own path and that her recovery is on her timeline, but I ache for her when I see her being so miserable and I ache for me when she is acting out against me and making me crazy.

Her "protector" self is very strong and she is not open to "feedback" or any suggestions about managing her mental health - when I have tried to talk to her about the time gaps and the incorrect or totally missing memories (appointments, agreements, entire conversations) switching she argues vehemently and denies ever having said or done the things she clearly had said and done. There are times that I feel like I have fallen down the Rabbit Hole and that nothing makes sense...I just wish the craziness would go away and that I could have my wife back....the woman she was before the "change".

I have no contact with her therapist other than the fact that the men's therapy specialist that I worked with in the past is the main clinic director and he directly oversees my wife's counselor because she is still interning and under supervision. I can seek his advice and report my concerns and what I have observed and trust him to intervene or assist if necessary. I have my hands full trying to deal with my own recovery and trauma so I don't have any calories to burn on trying "fix" her or her therapist. I am just concerned and I wish that my wife could get a clear diagnosis and specific treatment that will help her.

I have a close friend that is completing his Masters degree and certification as a Marriage and Family Therapist and he told me that they have been taught that protocol and policy requires that they Reject any unsolicited communications from Friends or Family regarding one of their Patient / Clients because of HIPAA regulations and confidentiality. The only exception would be in an emergency if the Patient was in danger of hurting themselves or others.

I will probably wait until she has one of her "cogent" moments when she opens up and says "I feel like I am going crazy and I cannot remember where I was or what I did" and try to gently explain to her that she may want to talk to her therapist about it. I appreciate the suggestions to not be too clinical or attempting to diagnose her but to listen and to suggest some things for her to consider.

Thank you again for your time and attention - I value your input.

Desperado
 

Sunfl0wer

Rebuilding
Got Keys
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
5,099
#20
Glad many words were helpful!

In my last relationship... I often felt if he could "see" something, then We (he and I) would be fixed, or back on the path that I had hoped for.

I had to really ask myself if me "controlling" or attempting to control things would actually alleviate my pain of not having the relationship that I had envisioned for us and knew we were capable of.

My efforts seemed to backfire.

I was chasing something I had no control of.

Accepting that the only person I can control is me was hard. Something I only realized when it became clear that my efforts at fixing were not succeeding.

When I released my grip on steering things so strongly and allowed things to take a natural course... I was left with looking at myself. My ex was becoming psychotic. It was triggering the same in me. It was unbearable. I wanted so much for him to be better, so I could also be better.

This is my long winded way of saying that what I really needed more than anything, but didn't know it, was to take care of me as an individual, no matter what.

Even if he would allow himself to go down his rabbit hole of delusions... In the end, all I could do was suggest stuff to him, leave it to him... Then go take very good care of me and allow myself to deserve my own self care. My ability to take care of myself is best not dependent on anyone else....my responsibility. Sad to say as I felt so responsible for his care, to my own self care being sacrificed by me... Guess I can get a bit of martyr complex like issue.
 
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