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WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK IS BEST TO GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO DISSOC. AND HAD AMNESIA FOR IT?


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I'll step in for the moment. As with any traumatic event and mental illness, be supportive and kind. Encourage your friend to seek professional treatment from a psychiatrist, and to take meds and other treatment as recommended. Be factual about the episode, without encouraging denial or fantasy and don't force them to revisit it repeatedly causing upset. Be careful about projecting your own illness and symptoms onto others experiences.

Hope your friend feels better.

a.m.

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the ball is in her court.

unfortunately you're right about that.

i don't envy the person who saw most of this happening to us.

she was supportive and kind when we needed it and pushed us again and again to see a counselor, and we listened.

fwiw we were drinking a lot and blaming it on that too.

unfortunately the diagnoses didn't turn out to be as interesting to put up with as she originally thought, and it ended the friendship. but the one best thing she did (besides pushing us into the ER, even) was to tell the truth about what we'd said and done even when we didn't remember or were making excuses. she didn't force it on us, but if it came up, she wouldn't lie about what was said or done - she went so far as to accompany us to an ER visit to fill in what i "thought" happened (during a crisis) versus what she saw - indicating something wacky was going on in there somewhere when it really may not have been noticed. we figured she had no reason to make that up. so we figured okay maybe something's wrong. and went to find out what that something was. it took awhile heh ;)

i'm glad you can handle listening to her. make sure you stay okay (okay?).

i've heard a lot of folks go through a dissociative process at first when recovering memories. whether it sticks or not time will tell. she'll figure out what fits and what doesn't, over time. i hope she decides soon that she wants help.

you're a good friend :)

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Guest Guest_lachesis_*

The ball was in her court and she threw it out. throw it back at her again, and again, and again until it sticks. Be patient. It could take months or years for her to let it to fully sink in and for her to accept that you know things about her that she does not see. Dissociation happens as a form of protection. She does not want to give up that shield to easily.

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  • 2 weeks later...

that last reply really got to me. you are right about throwing the ball back in her court again and again. i realize i was put off by her drinking- the whole dropping the phone and slurring her words. i really have issues with alcoholics. my abusers drank and so i have negative associations towards people who overindulge with drinking. i realize that it is a problem i will have to come to terms with in order to continue to have a relationship with my friend.

i'm sorry you have those issues about alcohol. even though i'm an ex-boozehound myself, i HATE being in the company of someone who is drunk. (i haven't drank much for about eight or nine years probably). i think once upon a time i was drinking because i wanted to stay away from the blurry amnesia about anything that triggered me.

now that i remember a shitload more about our past, it's REALLY HARD to be with someone who is drunk enough to slur. it doesn't matter who it is either. i could love them to death when they're sober. but in that state i've got the gloves off before they can open their mouth to say something stupid. i have a really, really big problem with this too - i've ditched major friendships of ours over it. even smelling it on someone's breath at the wrong time sets off my fight/flight (guess which one i like better hah - that's why rita gets nervous with me ;))

i know it's one of those things that if i don't work past it, every drinking person on the planet will keep getting painted with the same "undeserving human" brush by me. honestly most days i don't care anyway (i'm just a 'lil more comfortable with my hate than rita or rusty is). but i know that kinda judgement isn't fair. i wouldn't have wanted someone to punch me back then just because i was an annoying ass (i really didn't hurt anyone, well nobody would let me anyway).

so yeah i get why it's really hard to be there for your friend. if you really want to stay close, i guess you'll have to decide what kind of boundaries you're gonna have so you're not triggered all over the place every time you talk to her. i could be cynical and say that i've never known anyone who quit over MY discomfort... but really i can't say that because i did quit, and it wasn't really for me, it was because i was making everyone else's life worse (and not just internally).

so i guess there are two balls - the one in her court that says "do i stop drinking? do i want to know what is going on with me?". and then there's the one in your court that says "do i want to put myself through this?". there isn't a right or wrong answer to that - only your own choice. if you can't talk to her when she's drinking, it's okay to tell her that (though she'll prolly be hella mad) - you're not abandoning her or refusing to help her, you're just letting her know how upsetting it is and that you want to be there when she's ready to try to figure things out sober.

i feel for you. i dumped a friend of four years over this very same thing. it wasn't pretty and it hurt. but it also hurt every time we listened and held her through the same flashbacks (hers) every time she was loaded, and that was OFTEN... knowing that she wasn't even going to remember tomorrow anyway that we'd even been there. it took four years of that (and four years of raising her son for her while she was passed out) before we got the guts to walk away, because we were scared she'd be worse off. in the end (months of hangup calls and pounding on my door later) she wasn't. she just replaced us with someone else who would tolerate it.

i don't know maybe this isn't helping... i don't want you to get hurt because your friend is hurting. i want her to get help and i know you probably want that a hundred times over for her. but in my mind you come first and my natural instinct is to stand in front of you and say "hey!" if i think someone might do you harm (yeah yeah i know classic protector behaviour, sue me :)).

- jo (ps sorry if my spelling or grammar are confusing, i'm finding it hard to type on all these meds)

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  • 1 month later...

We still talk on the phone with our friend and it is amazing how she can repeat herself over and over and have no idea that she is doing it. We, on purpose, change our replies to what she says to try and re-direct the conversation elsewhere and without fail she brings it back. It is like she is programmed. If we are subtle or direct it does not matter. Because we dissociate we tell people all the time-stop us if we've told you this already-but our friend is so driven to say the same things over again that pointing anything out to her does not seem to register. If it does not bother her we should get over it but it seems that she could talk to a doorknob or us and it would not matter at all.

ugh i so sympathize i'm sorry. i know exactly what you mean feeling like you might as well be a doorknob because she's not really listening to you anyway and she isn't going to remember anything about the conversation later... ugh that's way too much like banging your head up against a brick wall.

it sucks when you care about someone and they're stuck like that. like you said, programmed to be in that same loop again and again no matter how you try to redirect it. it's awful that there really isn't anything you can do for her except be honest and keep your own boundaries.

man you all don't need that crap right now. you're already stressed enough. i'm sure this doesn't make it easier.

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  • 1 month later...

This reminds me of the MosaicMinds website. People there have been saying the same things for 10-20-30 years and longer. It is really hard to make progress with DID. More so when there is contact with the abusers or while in an abusive relationship.

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