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Old 05-18-2019, 11:30 AM   #41
amandalouise
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Ready for more of my integration process? I have been through all my journals and have decided rather than continuing to post in the order in which things happened I am going to post according to problems or issues. This is because I have found when reading my therapy journals that there are some things we returned to during my therapy journey.

You know how therapists will ask you questions and you will think “what the hey, is this about?” That was me and integrating my voices.
To me hearing voices was just normal. It didn’t cause me any stress or anxiety or as treatment providers call it “clinical distress”.

“clinical distress” what a word right, what does that mean? It means a person is having symptoms and problems, troubles that are out of their normal way of being, that usually subsides on its own.

Even though I didn’t know what my diagnosis was or whether I had alters, or even that I was mentally ill, before the age of 5 I had alters due to extreme trauma. That means I had these voices from before age 5, I grew up hearing these voices every waking moment of my life for well over 20 years. To me that was normal and nothing to get worried about, stressed out about, and they certainly didn’t subside on their own. In the psychological sense and definition I was not in clinical distress nor was I experiencing clinical distress.
As a result of lacking “clinical distress” and hearing voices was my normal way of being, on this issue, whenever my treatment providers would ask “do you hear voices?” or on any psych testing if that question was on the test my answer was always “no I do not hear voices, I don’t hear the toaster talking to me, I don’t hear voices saying weird things.”

I honestly thought this was such a strange and confusing question to ask me. I would always think “what do they think I am some nitwit or nut case. My journals have many ranting and raving entries about how screwed up my therapists are if they think I’m hearing voices.

After I was diagnosed it was explained to me that DID type voices are a special kind of voices. Not like psychosis voices, with the DID ones Reality remains intact. I didn’t lose touch with reality and the voices could be matched with my present day situations, in other words they remained with in reality of the present moment that they were happening. My psychosis voices contained being paranoid and delusional ideas and happened out of the blue, but DID voices only happen when someone is triggered by something. They don’t just happen, but when they do happen theres no patterns of when. Yes I know all the stuff you find on various forums and internet sites that the voices happen only at this time of day or when they feel safe and comfortable with therapists, some claim this only happens during therapy other sites say it only happens outside of therapy…

Bottom line on voices is everyones internal system is set up in their own way that ensured survival. Everything about having DID including he voices of DID are related to how we are handling the present moments triggers and can be traced to a specific trigger.

Remember at the beginning of this thread I explained how the brain has a flight or fight response any time a person encounters something that they cannot handle. Anything related to dissociation and DID is related to triggers and the flight or fight response that causes a person to feel dissociated.

Now lets turn back time for a moment to when my alters and I were not one. Back when what is now called each of my alters and I were less than one.

Rainy was my alter who’s sense of agency was storms and depression. That means all throughout my whole life time any time there was a storm or I was feeling sad, Rainy was talking and taking control. Whether I was in kindergarten, recess, at school events, dating, eating, bathing, just going on with my life Rainys voice was there and sometimes I heard her and sometimes I didn’t. The things she said was not things that would be like my psychosis where I would feel the voices were out to get me or telling me to do bad things or saying bad things.

My DID voices were different than my psychosis voices..The things Rainy talked about were things in my life that related to her. Think of it like carrying on a nice conversation with a friend.

Rainy….its raining
Me…yes I know
Rainy.... Im cold time to go home
Me ....ok what do I want to do when I get home.
Rainy ....watch tv and eat pbj,
Me....I don’t think I want pbj how about chicken sandwich,
Rainy no how about just some hot chocolate
Me ....ok you get hot chocolate and I will eat the chicken sandwich.

These voices (or as its called since 2013 “dialogues” Some places still use the term voices) continued all my life time since the very first alter creation before I was 5 years old.

Each of my alters had their own interests, ways of being and dislikes and what they could and could not do, how much control they had and so on all through what is now called Sense of agency. As a result of their sense of agency their voices were distinguishable from each other, there was consistency in how they talked and what they talked about.

As a result of this, figuring out what they were saying to me was relatively easy. My therapist and I would document what my alters were saying and match their words to what was going on in my life at the moment that I heard their voices.

Example.....

Rainy’s distinctive voice pattern of speech vocabulary and tone…. Its raining

Me ok I just head a voice say its raining. (writing it down)

I look out the window then surprised because it was in fact raining
(next to where I wrote its raining, I wrote that I checked outside it is raining out)

Rainy’s distinctive voice pattern of speech vocabulary and tone …Time to go home

Me writing down that I just heard a voice that said its time to go home. I looked at the time and it is time to go home. I wrote down that I checked the time and it was in fact time to go home.

At first when my treatment provider wanted me to write down what I was hearing in my head and match it to my present life I told her she was nuts. What does this have to do with therapy.

She explained to me integration is the process of putting things together.

We are going to put together what is going on inside my head with what is going on in my daily life so that I could take care of my daily life better.

Since DID type voices are a special kind we can do that with the voices of the others.

then she pointed out since I have DID, the fact of the matter was that I have already been doing this all my life just not on paper and while knowing I was doing it. And that this will be very easy for me to do.

Whether I hear one word or many all my life they were there and all my life I was acting accordingly and appropriately doing things in my life to take care of me, by what the voices were saying.

now we were just going to bring this to a conscious level of behavior instead of just unconsciously / out of habit doing it.

By bringing my awareness of my behaviors and how the voices and my daily behaviors are connected it shows how my alters have helped me all these years.

By doing this therapy assignment, I will be able to handle everyday life without getting triggered and dissociating. in other words doing consciously what I have already and am doing unconsciously through dissociation with out needing to dissociate.

She was right, the therapy assignment was very easy to do all I had to do was carry around a note book that fit in my purse or sticky notes that fit in my pocket and write down what I was hearing and what those voices were saying.

eventually the voices stopped on their own when I was capable of remaining aware of what my self care needs and wants were, and able to handle problems with out getting so triggered that I dissociated.

Before this past few weeks my wife has been after me to please go through your journals and find what you really want to keep and what you can get rid of. The children needed more closet space now that they are getting bigger and older. They are not babies any more.

On the children's closet top shelf I located a total of 38 therapy journals that were just documentations of these voices. Needless to say now that I’m integrated I got rid of all those journals. I don’t need a journal to tell me that Rainy was saying it was raining and I wrote it down and that it matched with the fact that it was raining outside.

this process of integrating my voices also worked for integrating the feelings from my alters. if I was feeling something I would write it down and match it to what was going on in reality. if I could do that then I knew what I was feeling was dissociative not psychosis and would know what I needed to do to handle what ever trigger was going on that got my flight or fight dissociative response going.

my suggestion to anyone who is DID or dissociative and hearing voices and want to know what kind of voices they have. Take time to write out what you are hearing and feeling. Then match that to your life at the moment that you heard that voice or felt that feeling. if it matches then you know that your brains flight or fight dissociation process is at work and what you need to do to take care of your self and your triggers so that the voice or feeling calms down.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:17 AM   #42
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Default Re: Integration

Integrating feelings and memories was so easy I didn’t know it was called that. I know strange right not knowing integrating was happening. In the words of my therapist… if you know them, know that they are there, or can feel something emotionally or physically its already integrated. Dealing with it is something completely different.
Example if I could hear a voice then that voice is already put together in my conscious awareness, (integrated) otherwise I would not know that the voice exists, would not hear the words being said and would not have any feelings either way about what I was hearing. The fact that I could hear the voice, experience it and have emotions around what the voice was saying shows the voice is integrated.
Any time I would talk to my therapist abot the voices, feelings or memories that I hadn’t had before because they were part of the alters, my treatment provider would say something like “good you have integrated this now comes the hard part … dealing with it.
What is dealing with it and how to do it.. first thing is many locations use different words for this and many treatment providers use different words for it.
“Dealing with it”
“Facing it”
“Processing it”
“Manage it”
“Handle it”
“understand it”
“dig deep”
Like I said there are many words for this. Integration naturally happens throughout a human beings whole life time, from beginning to end. But “dealing” with something is completely different.
Dealing, facing, processing, managing, handling, understanding, digging deep, regardless of what you call it its all the same.
The main thing is that it takes time. Just like anything else in life dealing with something anything takes time and effort. Sure you can deny it (say its not true, its not real ) but that doesn’t change the fact that its already integrated into your awareness.
I cant tell you how many times my journals said things like it cant be true, its not true, this isn’t happening. Denying it pushing it away. No matter what you call it, it doesn’t change the fact that I now knew that problem existed, I now know about that picture, that memoriy or that emotion. It was integrated and nothing was going to change it, make it go back to being unintegrated again. I was just fooling myself and causing myself needless stress and pain.
It’s a hard pill to swallow finding drawings / pictures, feeling emotions, knowing that a memory snippet or whole exists. No doubt about it post integration is horrible sometimes.
How do you know you have entered this stage… when you find those pictures, when you feel those emotions, when you have those memories, when these things are no longer dissociated out of your awareness to where you could go on with life as if nothing had happened, and everything is hunky dory.
As my therapist said to me one day when I asked her w hen I would be integrated and post integration…. “Honey you have always been in integration from the day you took your first breath, you will always be in integration until you take your last breath, post integration is just how you deal with whats been integrated.
How did I deal with the fact that my brain has integrated pictures, memories, emotions, traumatic events out of being dissociated, and into my conscious awareness. Not so good sometimes. Other times great, and other times fair.
Pictures were the easiest to deal with. I would look at the drawings that I would find and pull out family photos .. wow will you look at that, that house in the drawing is the same house from 19 such and such when I was this age. Now I know which of my alters drew this picture. This alters sense of gency is this and that so now I know the context in what was going on in this drawing.
now they have a word for this called “Reality remains intact”, DID is a dissociative disorder where reality remains intact, bitter pill to swallow sometimes depending upon what the picture is depicting but things in the drawings can be matched to reality. No that does not mean when I found pictures depicting monsters and graves and such things were literal reality. Human beings experience things through the senses. The pictures of monsters and such showed emotions in the drawings. I actually had a treatment provider who tried to tell me I was a SRA survivor when she saw one of my picture. I actually contacted her after the change over to DSM 5 diagnostics knocked out religious practices as the cause of the problems. We had a great laugh over the fact that the pictures were not about SRA but rather about how angry and scared my alters were. Back in those days that I had that therapist it was the going on and popular belief that DID was from SRA (religious abuses) now they know that its all about dissociation. Not saying some were not SRA just that cults and SRA now have their own OSDD category name that you don’t find out the name of until you are actually diagnosed with it. this kind of thing is no longer called DID. The reality in tact in these drawings was the emotions that were being represented by the monsters and such in the pictures. I say these were the easiest to figure out because I could literally match them to various parts of my life and because my alters had their own sense of agency. Example Rainy didn’t draw about intimacy she drew about sadness and storms. Thelma didn’t draw about sadness and storms she drew about intimacy issues.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:52 PM   #43
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Default Re: Integration

Your post was interesting anandalouise.Thanks for sharing all that.

I kept journals throughout my entire years of therapy.I think it's really interesting and fun sometimes to go through them and read them.I did get rid of all my paper journals though but kept my online journal.That's something I would reccomend ,to journal the therapy process.Many times people may think they're not making progress but can see it unfolding in journals.

My therapist had asked me if I heard voices and I always said no.I thought they were just my own thoughts until he had me keep track of what I was hearing.It took a long time(I think about a year maybe?)to realize my "thoughts" sounded like different ages and genders.I was so used to hearing them,I never knew any different so it was hard for me to gain the awareness of what I was really hearing.

I think that awareness is probably different for everyone.Some might be able to differentiate pretty quickly and for others,like me,it may take awhile.

Of course all the voices stopped after integration and now it really is just my own thoughts going on.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:41 PM   #44
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Thanks for this amandalouise and betty_b. I have had internal dialogue for as long as I can remember. And I never quite knew what the difference was between "hearing voices" (outside of my head) vs. that internal dialogue. I knew I never had like auditory hallucinations. So I just never considered the inner voices as anything other than normal. In my mind I don't exactly differentiate between the tones but I have definitely been saying "we" and "us" and "you" and things like that for so long. The moment I am alone in the house, I almost always start a chat with myself, out loud. As if the team has been waiting inside for a chance to finally chat with each other. In fact...it was 5 months ago when I very clearly heard, "I'm right here, (my name.)" It was a comforting tone. A knowing tone. I kept hearing it. Like an unexpected reassurance. "I'm right here. It's going to be okay." It was that "I'm right here" that caused me to start opening my mind about DID. It had never occurred to me that having zero memory from age 4-10 was somewhat unusual. It never occurred to me that little notes I found from myself over the years, or all of the other little signals/breadcrumbs I've been leaving myself over the years were perhaps me, trying to save me and help me. Yesterday, it became clear to me who "I'm right here" was coming from...and I started to cry in this happy/half laughing half shaking my head kind of way. So many things are starting to make sense.

This is an incredible journey of self discovery. I know it won't be easy or resolve overnight. But I really appreciate hearing about your experiences. It gives me hope and allows me to feel less alone.


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Old 05-20-2019, 09:17 PM   #45
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Default Re: Integration

Quote:
Originally Posted by amandalouise View Post
Integrating feelings and memories was so easy I didn’t know it was called that. I know strange right not knowing integrating was happening. In the words of my therapist… if you know them, know that they are there, or can feel something emotionally or physically its already integrated. Dealing with it is something completely different.
Example if I could hear a voice then that voice is already put together in my conscious awareness, (integrated) otherwise I would not know that the voice exists, would not hear the words being said and would not have any feelings either way about what I was hearing. The fact that I could hear the voice, experience it and have emotions around what the voice was saying shows the voice is integrated.
Any time I would talk to my therapist abot the voices, feelings or memories that I hadn’t had before because they were part of the alters, my treatment provider would say something like “good you have integrated this now comes the hard part … dealing with it.
What is dealing with it and how to do it.. first thing is many locations use different words for this and many treatment providers use different words for it.
“Dealing with it”
“Facing it”
“Processing it”
“Manage it”
“Handle it”
“understand it”
“dig deep”
Like I said there are many words for this. Integration naturally happens throughout a human beings whole life time, from beginning to end. But “dealing” with something is completely different.
Dealing, facing, processing, managing, handling, understanding, digging deep, regardless of what you call it its all the same.
The main thing is that it takes time. Just like anything else in life dealing with something anything takes time and effort. Sure you can deny it (say its not true, its not real ) but that doesn’t change the fact that its already integrated into your awareness.
I cant tell you how many times my journals said things like it cant be true, its not true, this isn’t happening. Denying it pushing it away. No matter what you call it, it doesn’t change the fact that I now knew that problem existed, I now know about that picture, that memoriy or that emotion. It was integrated and nothing was going to change it, make it go back to being unintegrated again. I was just fooling myself and causing myself needless stress and pain.
It’s a hard pill to swallow finding drawings / pictures, feeling emotions, knowing that a memory snippet or whole exists. No doubt about it post integration is horrible sometimes.
How do you know you have entered this stage… when you find those pictures, when you feel those emotions, when you have those memories, when these things are no longer dissociated out of your awareness to where you could go on with life as if nothing had happened, and everything is hunky dory.
As my therapist said to me one day when I asked her w hen I would be integrated and post integration…. “Honey you have always been in integration from the day you took your first breath, you will always be in integration until you take your last breath, post integration is just how you deal with whats been integrated.
How did I deal with the fact that my brain has integrated pictures, memories, emotions, traumatic events out of being dissociated, and into my conscious awareness. Not so good sometimes. Other times great, and other times fair.
Pictures were the easiest to deal with. I would look at the drawings that I would find and pull out family photos .. wow will you look at that, that house in the drawing is the same house from 19 such and such when I was this age. Now I know which of my alters drew this picture. This alters sense of gency is this and that so now I know the context in what was going on in this drawing.
now they have a word for this called “Reality remains intact”, DID is a dissociative disorder where reality remains intact, bitter pill to swallow sometimes depending upon what the picture is depicting but things in the drawings can be matched to reality. No that does not mean when I found pictures depicting monsters and graves and such things were literal reality. Human beings experience things through the senses. The pictures of monsters and such showed emotions in the drawings. I actually had a treatment provider who tried to tell me I was a SRA survivor when she saw one of my picture. I actually contacted her after the change over to DSM 5 diagnostics knocked out religious practices as the cause of the problems. We had a great laugh over the fact that the pictures were not about SRA but rather about how angry and scared my alters were. Back in those days that I had that therapist it was the going on and popular belief that DID was from SRA (religious abuses) now they know that its all about dissociation. Not saying some were not SRA just that cults and SRA now have their own OSDD category name that you don’t find out the name of until you are actually diagnosed with it. this kind of thing is no longer called DID. The reality in tact in these drawings was the emotions that were being represented by the monsters and such in the pictures. I say these were the easiest to figure out because I could literally match them to various parts of my life and because my alters had their own sense of agency. Example Rainy didn’t draw about intimacy she drew about sadness and storms. Thelma didn’t draw about sadness and storms she drew about intimacy issues.
This post wasn't here when I replied above(I keep forgetting your posts are delayed).

You're right about dealing with things being the hard part
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:23 PM   #46
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Me too! That last post from amandalouise was not there when I was responding either!
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:17 PM   #47
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Default Re: Integration

Quote:
Originally Posted by FearLess47 View Post
Me too! That last post from amandalouise was not there when I was responding either!
Im sorry ((((( fearless and betty)))))) yes my posts are usually a bit delayed since I prefer to have the help of the moderators with my posts, like stated in other threads english is not my native language, nor the language I use every day. its a work in progress and sometimes my posts can be worded a bit harshly or not the way I meant them to be due to the translators I use and my understanding of the english language. It is just so much easier if I have others previewing my posts too.

I think of it kind of like a writer of books has their friends family and editors reading their works catching possible problems that could be misunderstood due to phrasing and words used.

I also forgot about my delay of posts and accidentally sent in two posts fairly close together. I will try to leave some space between my posts so that this doesnt happen again and confuse you all

onwards and upwards the next thing that my journals mention I had a problem with during this integration process was my having introject type alters.

these kinds of alters dont set out to hurt others outside the body. they are the internalized characteristics of abusers but in the sense of abusing the one that they reside with in.

Example my "bully" didnt go out and bully anyone on the playground, or at work or at my job, at school, younger kids then I was. and as an adult switching into "bully" I didnt feel like beating the crap out of anyone, or otherwise abusing someone or children.

At first when my treatment providers told me I had introject alters I admit it scared me. was I going to be like my abusers hurting others, am I going to have to find out that I have done this that and the other thing to another child, teen or adult.

my treatment provider very quickly put this to rest. she told me that introjects are there to harm the ones they live inside of... they are there to be my abusers of me just like my real abusers harmed me...

example Bully didnt go around calling all the kinds in my school grades stupid or beating them up. Bully called me stupid and berated me and did abusive things to me just like my abusers did those things to me.

it was so hard for me to hear a voice putting me down and doing things with my body when I wasnt aware that they were getting into situations where I would be harmed.

how do you integrate something / someone like this?

it took a lot of hard work.

First I had to understand the reality of what introjects were and why that introject was in my body.

they were in my abusers to be with me when my abusers could not physically be with me. They were there to control ........me.........during times when my abusers were not there to control me.

They literally acted, said and did things against me just as if they were my real abusers standing in front of me abusing me.

once I understood how alters are created and why I had introjects it was a bit easier.

I checked out the laws in my area and discovered that there was no documentations of any criminals saying they had alters that made them commit the crimes that they did. but one very pleasent police officer explained to me that if there was ever anyone in his jurisdiction that would be attempting to excuse their behavior like this the courts are set up where if anyone says their mental disorder made them do something, the court orders psychiatric evaluations some that take up to two years to do, then based on court documents the person is considered guilty except for reason of insanity and remanded to the state mental hospital for no less that 5 years, then after that they can be re evaluated to see if they still have an alternate personality that can or will harm someone. Then he so nicely explained to me that I would know it by now with a long history of abusing others if I had the kind of alters that harm others.

I was very much relieved to know that both the law and my therapist understood that introjects dont harm others just the one they live inside of (me)

that right there took a lot of pressure off of me and my stress level. from there it was just a matter of doing the same things that I and my treatment provider did for my other problems.....

grounding, relaxation and learning how to take care of myself. When I was mentally stronger and understood that I didnt need to be punished, or controlled and was worth being alive, Bully naturally integrated together with me, and then it was up to me whether or not I called myself names and got myself into situations where I would be harmed, just like any other normal person.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:41 AM   #48
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Just bumping this thread up.
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