What Did We Do In Hospital?

Although our hospital admission in June was planned, we went in without much of a plan of what to work on. We’d been gradually slipping towards all out crisis for months, but still didn’t really know what was wrong. I’d been ignoring everyone inside, and knew I was struggling, but didn’t know why.

Over three weeks we did a lot of work. The most important thing I did was to start listening to everyone inside again. As much as there was a sense of safety in ignoring everyone when I ran into health issues, it’s not something that’s ever helpful for us longterm. Once I started listening, and we had communication going again we were able to start working on some of the bigger things.

I overcame my absolute terror of specific trigger words. I was filled with anxiety at just the thought of these words. Saying them wasn’t something I’d planned on doing, and absolutely did not want to do. I don’t think what the words are is overly important, and I won’t write them for fear of triggering others. What’s important is power those words had. They connected me to the reality of my past by describing specific things I’d experienced. I think trigger words will be a whole other post. I will say it wasn’t pleasant, but I did overcome the power they held.

I found a way to switch more easily, and on cue. That’s not something we’ve ever been able to do. When I was present our psychiatrist was able to ‘talk through’ me to another part inside. I’d allow my eyes slide out of focus and try to relax. I’d then mentally step back from my body and – switch! Done! Whoever our psychiatrist had been trying to talk to would be ‘out’. At the end of the session I’d be able to come back by mentally stepping back into my body.

With an ability to switch more easily some of us were finally able to talk about traumatic memories. Most of us have written about trauma memories in our journal, but never had the opportunity to talk about it. I’ve usually found writing to be more comfortable, and feel somewhat safer as well. Some parts, particularly younger ones, have a need to actually talk about what they experienced so allowing them that has relieved a lot of stress, tension, and conflict inside.

What made all of that work possible was the supportive environment. My psychiatrist is an absolute pro with DID and trauma. The routine of the ward provided structure and a sense of predictability, and with that, safety. The nursing staff were caring, compassionate, and understanding.

On one of our more difficult evenings our nurse went all the way outside, picked a sweet smelling Gardenia, and brought it back to us. And that is what I’ll leave you with until next time.

Hospital_Psychiatric_Psych_Mental_Health_Trauma_Dissociation_DID_Dissociative_Identity_Disorder_Complex_Post_Traumatic_Stress_Disorder_Psychiatrist_Nurse_Inpatient_Therapy

 

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2 thoughts on “What Did We Do In Hospital?

  1. Hi Life As A Committee 🙂
    I’ve had such horrendous experiences in psych wards, so I’m so pleased to hear that your hospital experiences are so helpful (from my perspective, you sound as though you are treated by skilled, compassionate staff – I hope I’m not making too many assumptions here). My hospital experiences were years ago, however, when my abuse was still occurring and whichever part was at the front at the time was not aware of the abuse and had not disclosed to anyone (so we were still in a lot of danger). I was misdiagnosed (I’m fairly sure that’s a very common experience for people who are eventually correctly diagnosed with a complex dissociative disorder such as DID) and treated terribly. I must say that I’m curious – the reading I’ve done so far has said that hospitalisation is contra-indicated for people with DID (that treatment in the community is ideal), but your admissions sound as though they are useful to you, which I’m so glad to hear. I’m finding your writing very helpful, thank you so much for sharing your experiences.
    – Lucy.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read what we’ve written 🙂

      Hospital admissions have been so helpful, I think, because our psychiatrist is willing to do therapy with us inpatient. Not all psychiatrists focus on therapy. Many seem to be more medication focussed.

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