Coping Strategy:ACT or Acceptance Commitment Therapy

Sorry I am late.  Yesterday was rough, and I spent most of it working on self-care.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy or ACT is new to me.  What is so hard about ACT?  Doing the opposite of what I’ve learned to cope with feelings.  There’s more to it, but my learning curve is just starting.

Instead, I’m going to provide a link to a reputable source: Good Therapy (www.goodtherapy.org) and let you discover the information on your own.

Beyond that, I’m finding a lot of comfort in gratitude practice lately.  One thing I am most grateful for is the guests who visit here and inspire me to keep on going.

Thanks for reading

Life Changing Moments: Can’t have friends because everyone around me is a potential target

The more I live in the present and focus on working through recovery, the more I remember my past.  The memories are being unlocked as I learn to work through the pain in my body.

Less pain = more memories recovered

Less pain = more crying and grieving before the letting go process moves on

More pain = less memories and more confusion

More pain = less awareness of my feelings and instincts

Do I want less pain?  Yes.  Do I want to remember what is locked up in my body?  Not really.

Today, after about 3 weeks of acupuncture with the new student and 3 sessions with my new counselor in between sessions with the old one, I can finally put some of the pieces of my childhood and adolescence together.  The recurring dreams that turn into nightmares really did happen.  And those people I remember fighting, they were real friends who became targets for  the monsters controlling my life.  In protecting them, I lost their friendship too.

And other people who could have made decent friends, I had already mastered the art of pushing people away by then.  And it wasn’t safe either way.  No matter where I went, there was always someone who recognized me and spread the rumors behind my back.  Or told someone in my family what I was doing.  And then the harassment (not of me, but of the people who were kind to me) began.  They thought I knew.  But I didn’t.  And instead of talking to me about it, they kicked me out of their lives and avoided me.

Living a double life is not fun.  Being drugged into not remembering that other life completely sucks.  And when the truth hits, the sensation is overwhelming.  The tears fall until no one wants to cry any more.  The movie reels start.  And suddenly, I can see my friends and any family members involved as they were back when we were children.  I hear their voices.  And the memories come flooding back.

The big difference here is that no one tries to stop the flood.  We all sit back in our comfy chairs and watch the memories go by.  From our safe bubble, the memories surround us.  But they don’t hurt us anymore.  Our bubble can float to the surface, bounce from wave to wave, and coast along the flow of movement instead of being drowned.

And the memories tell me that I can’t trust anyone.  I can’t make friends because those friends might be targeted as employees(sex trafficking), members (of the cult), or clients (for drugs and other illegal stuff).  Or they and their families will have to suffer being harassed and stalked and manipulated by my parents and the other people who owned me.

So yea, I and my alters, we all feel kind of sad and depressed today.  People often wonder why I don’t pursue leadership jobs and more social activities.  How can I tell them why that kind of job doesn’t work for me?  That I am afraid to be noticed because the monsters will hurt me again?  Or hurt the people around me.  How can I tell them that I survived by staying below the radar instead of taking charge and being more independent?  How can I say that I am ashamed of my intelligence and skills so have a hard time displaying them in public and around strangers who might not actually be strangers?

Thanks for reading.

Recovery: celebrating the small steps

A couple weeks ago, I went to the dentist for the first time in over 10 years.  I was so scared that I shook on my way to the dentist’s office.  It turned out to be a very pleasant interaction.  I left feeling excited and hopeful for the first time in a long time.  I even bought a new tooth brush.

Well, I did not start brushing right away.  That felt like too much at first.  All I and my alters wanted was to relax and cope with the backlash and triggers of going to a dentist before anything else.  But Monday brought a surprise, and the brushing began again.  This time with a new toothbrush head (we all really love the type with disposable toothbrush heads instead of having to buy a new toothbrush every few months) and the recommended toothpaste.

The dentist suggested starting with 1x a day brushing and see how that works.  She also said be very gentle and brush downwards over the surfaces to remove plaque; nothing else for now.

Today is the 7th day in a row that we have brushed our teeth 1x a day without serious side effects or an increase in symptoms.

I still can’t look at my teeth.  Neither can the alters.  Nor can any of us watch the brushing take place.  We set everything up and  then brush with eyes closed.  Not until the toothbrush is out of our mouth and we are ready to spit/rinse do our eyes open.  And only because no one wants to miss the sink and clean up the mess.

This accomplishment has led to many other small steps being completed since the last post.  And has helped counterbalance the negative experience from last Wednesday.

What small steps can you celebrate?

Thanks for reading!

Admin Post: Continued irregular posting schedule until August or September 2016

Earlier this week, I put down a hold deposit for my new apartment and am moving across the country at the beginning of August.  That said, I am in the middle of getting rid of 90-99% of my stuff and then packing the rest to ship via UPS or FEDEX ground.  Also have to clean up this apartment, take care of moving paperwork, and finish transfer arrangements ar work.
My schedule is going to be crazy.  I have been working over time to complete projects before leaving here.  Most of that requires me to be in the office instead of working from home, so commuting is also earing up a lot of time.
The goal is to continue posting 2x a week.  I might only have time for 1 post instead.  Personally, I would rather skip a week or put up one quality post instead of publishing 2 less polished, clear, and informative ones on the regular schedule.

The goal is to pack and ship everything at the end of July or first days in August.  Then clean and remove the rest of the stuff from the apartment.  Leave keys and contact info with the landlord.  Fly out by end of first week in August at the latest.  Be settled into a new routine working from home and blogging 2x a week by September.
Ambitious?  Yes.  Hopeful?  Yes.  Determined?  Yes.

Will I be upset if this plan goes off schedule?  Not really.  There is a lot of flexibility worked into the time line, and I have a lot of help from my support network.

Thanks for reading and understanding about the “crazy”, busy life right now.

Best Regards,

AlterXpressions