Send Your Replies to M.R.
I am sorry to hear about your having to deal with losing your therapist. You're lucky you ever found someone who could understand you. I hope you were able to document the process of healing in some way -- journals, video, tapings. It always helps to retrieve info that we all can't remember all the time....As far as how you might cope -- I find that meditation is an excellent way to quiet the mind and to integrate. There are many kinds of meditation. The one that has been most useful to me is called Shamatha or Calm Abiding. While it has its roots in Tibetan Buddhism, it can be practiced by anyone and does not require a religion of any kind. It has been the single most powerful tool for my own healing and considerable background of abuse. If you are interested in learning more about this, please let me know, and I will refer you to sources. If not, then good luck with your evolution, and I hope you find another excellent helper. Best and peace.
I'm in yr 15 of therapy for polyfragmented DID and the causes of it; my sister is in yr 16 of same. One's self esteem is pretty well pounded before we start therapy, and of course being abused re-damages the damaged parts more, causing far more loss of trust. I think due to your bad therapist, you're savvy enough now to spot anything uncomfortable and run like heck and report them, as you so well did already. It took a lot of courage to go back to try the second time, remember that courage, and that it led you to someone better.
A tiny bit about my sis, who shoved me out of denial into therapy. She ran thru 4 therapists fast because they dug too deep too fast for her to cope with it, and in the process one day threw out her entire journal collection, thus creating a huge gap in memory. One of the super-swift therapists she kept in check by speaking to in a foreign language ( not her own). Finally she found a therapist who "fit" her needs comfortably and has stayed thru many years, but still has big trust issues such as-- if she moved for safety, where would she ever find someone who understands, and would she have to start all over.
No, you never have to totally start from scratch with someone new, and if they're good, they're going to want to learn about your case and where you are in therapy now, your gains and your current issues. A good therapist will encourage you to say when you have feelings and doubts, and will learn from what you say. Therapy is a 2 way street with crossroads out if needed. Usually they want a final meeting to iron out problems before you leave, but if one abused you, just leave; you're that important.
My therapist list:
#1 was in 1970 after a suicide attempt. Session 3 he told me he'd gone crazy in the Far East, and I instinctively knew I was the client, not his shrink, and stopped going. Lesson learned: don't act on suicide urge.
Therapist #2 was in 1972-3 and she dealt with self esteem and raising a hyperactive child in a demanding church environment. Lesson learned: child is more important than house, so take time out from child.
Therapist #3 was in 1990, fresh from her master's and sensed I had sex abuse issues or parent issues because I told her. Tons of progress, way faster than was good. She seemed content, tho, but missed the enormity of my abuse history and diagnosis of DID which I told her often. After 6 months, I had to move out of state, to which she told me to burn, drown or bury my journals. I refused, wisely.
Therapist #4 was really a nice fit, tried hard, and because I'd brought her my journals from #3, she scanned them and knew right where and how to begin. Several years later, she began to be gone a lot, and her subs never got very far into helping me. One day at my DENTIST'S, my dentist remarked " well, what are you gong to do when she marries and leaves?" which was how I learned what was ahead tho I sure hoped not. An angry kid in me drew a shark infested ocean present for her when she left the next time, mostly because she never told me she was getting married and moving till 2 weeks before she closed practice.
She appointed a replacement; I still was angry underneath, and didn't bond with #5 for about a year, tho very polite on surface. (It's not very nice to forbid your old shrink to have a romance and move away, but she never addressed my own abandonment issues of the past.) By now I had big trust issues inside, just how many layers of my system wanted to come out, and she was big on Functioning, thinking somewhere in there, there must be adults who could cope with the big wide world and she could get rid of me. She suggested I be a commmedienne because I made her laugh so much and I was insulted. We had huge lists of teams of 5 alters per function (ever try getting 5 alters out at once and moving?) to carry around and post so I could attempt to do housework and drive a few blocks (dissociated so fast I got lost; passed the new state drivers written test by sheer guesswork by a tem of young kids; had I had to do the road test, well, I couldn't tell a gear shift from the emergency brake, plus the 2 yr old loved going round and round a freeway....) so I just quit driving much to her disgust. One day she noted I'd tried in my journals twice to write my life story and quit after 2 pages of intense horror, and she offered someone who could write it for me. All I wanted to do was find out who I was...and now its almost ready for publication, but because she is a part in the process, she sent me the next week to...
Therapist #6. I could have sworn, having been dumped once more. In hindsight, it was wonderful: finally I have a specially trained person who only works with DID patients, and instead of the hundreds of lists and committees and focus on Doing, I integrated various levels of myself, know who I am, and am learning that Play is what I should be working?? on instead of Doing, as I stay up half the night trying under stress to get caught up. Ask for someone trained in DID, who has worked with them or who is willing to really work to learn those skills--demand it, and you WILL get the therapist who will help you. As therapist #4 said long ago, " Girl, you have more in you to manage than most business managers in this city; you're organized"; it took trust and time before the cautious planners of my system were willing to let everyone come out of hiding.
There are workshops that train therapists in DID and related issues, and any good one will take one or ten for a DID client. Best wishes,
I know how you feel, oh too well. It's hard enough to lose one therapist that you've opened up your world to, but I've just lost my third since moving back to Jersey three years ago. `Good thing I've got my stuff together.
The trick is to remember and start writing down the good things that you have learned with this person. I don't know if you do much journaling or talking in groups on the web but it's a great forum to find support in. I know the struggle with finding someone good who understands when you have to rely on the small resources we have. Know that there are many of us out here sharing with others and giving much needed support. Reach out to others on the web here. Trying to have a little trust in fate sometimes helps. Having had a therapist who wasn't healthy and betrayed your trust is something that has happened to some along the way and it's hard to reach out after that. Just try to remember that you found this person after some bad experiences so you know what you want in a therapist now and don't settle for less. You are within your rights to interview a therapist to see if you want to be in their care and not the other way around. Good luck and look forward to seeing how you make out.