As a therapist, I had several occasions where clients needed hospitalization to stabilize from their dissociative disorder. Struggling with flashbacks, memories, denial, backlash from family, etc. can just be too overwhelming. Mostly, in my experience, this additional help is mostly needed in early healing until coping skills are strong enough for the survivor to help themselves through difficult times…along with their therapist.
I worked in a state that had no specialized facilities for treating dissociative disorders approved by the leaders in treating dissociation. The closest one was Sheppard Pratt in Maryland. Some insurances would approve a stay; others would not. When approved, the facility almost always had a waiting list. My suicidal clients sometimes had to hold on for several weeks trying to stay safe until finally admitted. Some attempted suicide and were hospitalized in a psychiatric ward where dissociation was not acknowledged. At least they were safe until a bed became available and were transferred to Sheppard Pratt. A very sad situation.
I have probably stated that in my 14 plus years of healing, I never required hospitalization. I never acted on suicidal ideation. I struggled dearly with overwhelming desires, but managed to get through each time. That is, until last Sunday. Having programming triggered by news of my father’s death, as soon as the suicidal alter stepped in, she had a plan and flew into action. If not for BB’s suspicion mid-pill taking, I might have made it to the coma objective and counted on my DNR.
I’ve now had a week to process all that happened in retrospect which I disclosed in a previous post. Sadie appears to have healed but was connected to several other female SI alters…probably each a back up for the next. I Polyvored for hours to get the answers I needed. Simultaneously, I’ve been trying to get into a hospital highly recommended for treatment of dissociative disorders. My level of depression is still at suicidal level. BB has hidden all pills and knives. Initially I thought I would be admitted Wednesday…which moved to the end of the week…which moved most likely to the beginning of next week. I fully understand the impact this waiting had on my clients. I see the impact it has on me.
Regardless of programming, I know the facility will have coping skills for working with perpetrator introjects. In addition, after seeing my therapist today, she had an aha moment realizing it was me…my most integrated self, with the very deep depression as opposed to an alter. She described SI programming coming up when the host is so depressed as the perfect storm. It’s what I experienced last week. At her suggestion, I created an internal safe room for unsafe alters. I have felt somewhat less fearful of something “going off” until I’m hospitalized. That coping skill is called containment. I’m glad it worked for me.
So a large part of my treatment will also be evaluating my level of depression and perhaps switching some meds around. I am grateful for that. It is also a small 12-bed facility so I know attention will be high. It’s worth holding on to get in. My therapist has been amazing. She is meeting with me again tomorrow. Earlier today I saw my chiropractor. It was right after I got off the phone with the hospital about the further delay and I was in tears. He learned I was waiting and insisted I come each day to see him at no charge to make sure the muscles at the back of my neck are kept relaxed to help me not get too wired. I have a good support system.
Even knowing how much others in my life care, the depression thinking is that it would be easier for everyone if I were no longer here. No one would have to worry about me anymore. I will be okay. I have an appointment for something each day through Friday. I don’t like feeling such a lack of confidence in my ability to handle THIS. I knew before now that I could handle and heal anything that came my way. I suppose many wonder why I share so much. This is my journey. I hope sharing my journey…even this part…will help someone else one day. Thanks for all my friends and family who have supported me through this time.