Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Integrating At Night...?

I really need some opinions about this...

I felt like I was being attacked in therapy today, but not in a bad way. Usually when I feel like that, it means we're getting to the "bottom" or the "root" of a problem and I'm being "called out" on it - which I don't like. I don't think anybody really does. We talked a lot about boundaries in general, but especially my boundaries with my mom and Grandma C. We worked on how I should set up my boundaries with them. I felt so small...

We talked a little bit about my mom and my post from last Wednesday. She said a lot of it has to do with boundaries. She pointed out that I had hardly any boundaries with my mom on that trip. I think that is because I didn't know I could. I guess on that trip I felt like my mom had a right to know, just because she was my mom. But now that I look back on it, if I don't want her to know something about me then I can say it's none of her business. Last year, I didn't know I had that kind of power.

So now I have this new sense of safety. If my mom starts questioning me now, I can just say "it's none of your business". I don't have to explain myself. I don't have to feel like a victim. I don't have to tell my mom anything I don't want to. I can feel safe. I can feel in control. It's a really good feeling.

My T also talked to me about setting boundaries with Grandma C. Whenever she says something that is totally out of line, I can say to her "Grandma, that was uncalled for" or "Grandma, that was out of line" or "Grandma, it is none of your business" or "Grandma, please don't talk to me like that or say those things to me" ... etc. I don't feel as comfortable telling it to my Grandma C, but I still have something to say when she does talk to me.

My T kept telling me all throughout the session "the possibilities are endless". She told me that anything was possible for me. She suggested that I make a list of all of my dreams. A bucket-list, if you will. I thought it was a good thing for me to start working on. I need to be looking forward to more things in my life.

It reminds me of something she told me about 4 years ago during a session: "If it is important to you, you will make it happen." I have never forgotten that quote. It lets me know that there is always hope - that there is always something I can do to make my life better.

This session today was really hard for me. We were switching like crazy, so T kept having to re-explain things to me or re-tell me things. It was very frustrating on my end, just because I couldn't stay out long enough to really grasp most of what we were talking about.

My T also brought up my sleep issue. I haven't slept in like 3 weeks, I think she said. She wants us to try something new - and quite honestly, I think it is near impossible in my situation. Tell me what you think...

My T wants us to try integrating, ONLY AT NIGHT. She wants everyone to meld together as one person and then we go to sleep. When we wake up, we separate again. She wants to see if this type of integration would help with my sleeping problems. If it does, she thinks it will be answer to all of us multiple's out there who have difficulty with sleeping.

Now, this is why I think this will be nearly impossible, if not entirely impossible. I have a few of my splits that are terrified of the word "integration" or "melding together". Upon hearing that word they go ballistic, pretty much like it is the end of the world. I just don't see any way they would agree to being integrated or "melded together" just at night.
Also, we have kind of tried this in the past. When we integrate before everyone is ready to be integrated, it is hell. Everyone's emotions, feelings, past abuse, pain, etc all gets jumbled up together and it creates mass chaos and anxiety levels go up for everyone. We end up having horrific nightmares and all kinds of problems. So this is why I do not think that "integrating just for sleeping" is a good idea.

I tried to tell my T this, but she is convinced that I haven't tried this before. She thinks it is a completely new thing and that we must try just in case it is the "cure" for my sleep issues. After I halfheartedly fought her on this, I gave up. I will try it just so I can say I have, and then move on.

I am afraid to try it though... I just cannot see how this may be positive - except for the fact that "it could cure all multiples" according to my T.

What do you guys think about "integrating just at night" for better sleeping outcomes?



  1. That is a really good question! I like that idea. Perhaps you could start slowly, like asking everyone to lay down on a big, soft, warm bean-bag, get comfy, and just fall asleep together. If something like that works for you, and you are sleeping easier, then move on towards integration, if that is your goal. I'm not so sure it can "cure" you, but it may make your life a little more manageable. After all, you became multiple because it was the most positive thing you could do under extremely negative circumstances. To tell your System that being multiple itself is negative contradicts it's original purpose. Does that make sense?

    We had therapy this morning, too, and were discussing things that happen when I'm sleeping. We are going to start with positive affirmations and internal dialogue and see if that helps.

    You've been with your T for 4 years? Wow. I used to quit a lot and then I found this terrific therapist after 24 years.

    Boundaries are difficult, especially with moms. That was good advice you got, though. When I know I may have to deal with my mother I need to practice things like "It's none of your business", "That's a very rude, opinionated thing to say.", "And what do you base THAT particular fact on?" out loud until I feel confident that I can say those automatically. She works very hard to manipulate my thinking and tries to pull information out of me or make me feel like a horrible daughter. I still need to recover for a day or two after dealing with her, but it's all on my terms and conditions now.

    Do you think it will be easier or more difficult when the semester's over?


  2. Lisa,
    Integration has never really been my goal. My T doesn't think I would know how to function in reality if I didn't have at least a couple of splits still around. My T just wanted me to try integration at night - and at night only. It just seems like a really weird concept to me I guess... We were all too freaked out about the idea to try it last night so I ended not sleeping again. But I like your idea of "all falling asleep together". That sounds WAY less threatening!
    I've actually been with my T for 5 years. I've tried other therapists (while still seeing her) and no one else worked for me. She has been so awesome and I'm very happy to be working with her.
    I also need to work on the boundary thing with my mom. It will definitely take some practice!
    I think it will be easier for me once the semester is over. My classes will be done, my internship will be over, and I won't have to worry about due dates and such. I will be able to just focus on working full time over the summer and sleeping better. By the middle of summer though, I will be wishing I was back in school, haha. Funny how that works!
    Thanks for commenting!


  3. Hi Bee,

    I have some thoughts...and I feel reluctant to share because I am not sure I can articulate them the correct way, but at the risk of sounding offensive without meaning to, here are my thoughts for what it's worth.

    The first piece I struggle with understanding is your therapists seemingly endless pressure for you to speak and set boundaries with your mother. I wonder why it's so important that you have all these disclosures with your mother when you are an adult and not really all that dependent upon her. I feel at times like it causes more stress and more uproar than is needed. As a grown up, it's always your choice what your parents know and at a certain point there are just things you don't talk to your parents about. So when you say that stuff isn't her business, I agree.

    As far as 'integrating' parts at night, I have never heard of that. It sounds like a dangerous move in some regards, as if parts can freely meld and unmeld. I don't think that's how it works...and I don't think the dissociation spectrum allows for that when you have DID. What I have heard of is creating safe places internally, or rooms or whatever parts feel safe doing and having a routine of making sure all parts go to their safe places at night to allow the entire body to sleep. Creating and internal structure that allows for them to get their needs met and the WHOLE person some sleep. If I mentioned to my parts that I was going to 'integrate' them or force them to become one person at night, total chaos would ensue. It would be really ugly and actually never happen.

    I dunno, it sounds like you are close with your therapist and that she has every intention in the world to be helpful, but it also sounds like she may not be trained exactly in treating DID.

    I hope I didn't offend, I only meant to help.

  4. Tempy,
    Don't worry, you did not offend! You have actually been very helpful.

    I have also been wondering why she has been pushing the boundaries issue with my mom. I haven't wanted to say anything because no one else has said anything so I've kept quiet. Maybe now I will ask her why it is such a pressing issue.

    My T has never worked with someone else who has DID. When she diagnosed me (along with three other therapists) she was learning along with me. But she has really stepped up and researched so much and has talked and worked with many other therapist who are experienced in treating people with DID. There are rare times where I can tell she doesn't know exactly what to do with me, but I trust her a lot. But when she brought up this "integrating at night" this past week, I just couldn't express how badly it freaked me out and how it just wouldn't work. But she kept insisting that it would work, that I should just start it. I don't know... I really think it is a bad idea and I know she has the best intentions... She just seems so set on the idea that it will work and I just don't think it will. And I'm glad you feel the same way. It just doesn't make sense and I like what you said, "It sounds like a dangerous move in some regards, as if parts can freely meld and unmeld. I don't think that's how it works...and I don't think the dissociation spectrum allows for that when you have DID." I don't think that is how DID works at all. I guess I have something to talk to her about on Tuesday. And like you said, if I were to tell my splits to "integrate at night" they would FREAK OUT. I would be worse off, I know that much.
    Thank you so much for your comment.