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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

(Re)Gaining Control Of Memories

I'm starting to wonder if the direction therapy with Carol was going is right for me, after all. Carol and I haven't talked through any of my memories. I make a vague reference knowing that she's read my file, knowing she has a basic template of knowledge around my past, and that is it. Vague references, dancing around the edges of the specifics. I thought I was okay with that, that it was the right direction for me at this point but now I'm not so sure.

Two years ago, I was flooded with difficult memories. Talking with Angela, with Melissa, with a few trusted friends online, helped. DBT helped. My memories began to have less impact when they hit, and they started to hit a little less often than before. Once I had spent some time exploring the memories, I found a decrease in the push for them to manifest in my mind.

I understand the need to stabilise the boat before rocking it, but my anchors seem only to create more stress, more strain. The waves continue to wash over the deck and the boat seems ready to capsize.

Lately there has been a distinct increase in memory manifestations. I've been having intense flashbacks and body memories and I've been dissociating a lot. The last group session I attended, I became so mired in a flashback that Melissa had to physically help me stand and leave the room, as well as to help me return to a more functional state.

Maybe it's unrelated. Maybe I should be working harder at my DBT skills to manage these difficulties. I don't know, but I think when I see Carol next week, it might be time to go back to exploring and banishing these demons.

Cheer-leading Statements:
Avoidance is not the answer.
I am not a bad person.

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way.


  1. Maybe you're right. Maybe it is helpful for you to explore the memories more. But, I doubt you'll get anyone in DBT to go that direction with you at this point. Clearly your flashbacks are interfering with the daily routine, so their focus is always going to be on keeping that from happening.
    If you want to go the other way and explore the memories more and you find that that helps you, you might try another form of therapy than DBT. Unfortunatly they'll probably just send you back to DBT until they feel you're stable enough to have the memories and be in control of your dissociation or other issues, before delving into any more memories.
    I know it sucks. Sometime I feel like there truely are people that would benefit more by just pushing through the memories.

  2. Hi Stacy, thanks for your thoughts! :)

    Luckily, I'm not in DBT anymore as that finished for me in February. Carol, my counsellor, works at the CASV near where I am (and is in no way connected with the Mental Health team!), so it should be fine. I just have to get brave enough to actually bring it up!