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Wondering about integration?


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Why, romprat? I found the topic very interesting.

 

Sadly, I had no experience with what you mentioned in your post (well, sadly as in for the sake of discussion) and so didn't reply. Hope you continue improving, as I think I recall you saying you were.

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Lemmiwinks-

 

I was getting a lot of internal conflict about the whole Integration thing. My others don't like me speaking about it, they think i'm trying to get rid of them or something.

I just found it easier to delete it.

 

I'm am curious about your experiences in general? If you don't mind me asking.

 

Thanks!   

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Fwiw I'm not sure if it was integration the first time around. We haven't tried it, but I've been led to believe that it's important to have a ceremony or formality about that, and you didn't mention anything of the sort iirc.

Our ten year old wants everyone to integrate into her, as she could then take us through some tumultuous years more peacefully, but it doesn't work that way.

I know that we have had folks who disappear seemingly for years. Then they come back. Maybe that's just a thing that happens. Tdoc seemed sort of whatever about that, when I mentioned it.

I know that I find the idea of integration to be pretty scary. Partial integration may be necessary for us eventually, but we're still at the "hello, my name is _______" stage of things. I don't really blame your insiders for getting the jitters about it. It asks a lot of philosophical questions and we don't have all that many multiple philosophers around. Sometimes I wish that the world did.

I think, since it's getting hard for you again, that it might be worth having a care provider to help you out with any hurdles or obstacles that come up until life gets easier again. Or, you can tell me that that's a stupid idea and to shut up. I'm sorry that you're struggling with this right now, again. Try to take gentle care of yourself, and selves.

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romprat, sorry you all are having a hard time with this (i didn't see your original post).

 

i have funny (nontraditional) ideas about integration, so take my words with lots of salt.

 

i don't believe in it.  i cannot stretch my mind around saying some magic words and *poof* everybody is mashed all together into one "better" person.

 

i most certainly don't believe any persons within a system can integrate without their permission.  nobody can "kill off" anyone else.

 

the closest we've come to "integrating" would be to work in teams AS IF each team were were one person, but still each person is able to act independently if needed.  for example, there are about a half-dozen of us that interact as our role of wife/mother/daughter/sister.  we've been so close and known each other in here for so long that it's easy to act the same.  like being married for so long you know what the other person is thinking - that's us.  there are more groups here that share other common roles and interests.  some groups exist solely to take care of younger groups.

 

all that organizing took time and patience and eventually trust, though.  and there is no "boss" or "main person" or "core" (whatever that means, we never had one of those), so there is no one "lysergia" that all the others would somehow melt into.  it could be just the way we're made, but none of those traditional ideas were true for us.  we've never sought integration and it was never forced on us.

 

i really don't mean to say it's not a good goal, or that integration is possible for someone else... whatever works for people to have a functional, stable life is all good.  it's just not for us, and truly we've never met anyone for whom integration has "stuck", especially under stress.

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Lysergia- 

 

I don't think that is a funny approach at all. I'm starting to come to the realization that want I thought was "me" isn't so much the case, maybe never was. For example, I was told by my therapist at the time that "the one that usually comes to therapy, or seeks out therapy, is the host self". I now don't think that is so anymore. I definitely have a therapy self, she is the protector of the information that others may hold and finds therapy sort of like a game...kinda like let's see how many we can fool.

 

I'm trying to facilitate open communication among est ourselves, giving everyone the freedom to have their voice. Finding the right time for each is proving to be key, for me anyway. Maybe I'll not end up in all the positions at I don't want to be or allowing myself to be hurt (I have one who hates everyone, including me).

 

Thanks for your reply, I connected to  what you were saying :).

 

WinterRosie-

 

I would never tell you your ideas are stupid or to shut up. I welcome everyone's input, as I believe it's finding what truly works for you and your own sense of self. I have never had the option or felt it was "ok" to talk to people who are experiencing some of the struggles I might be too. Makes me feel less disconnected to the outer world.

 

It would like to re-enter therapy, unfortunately I'm in the middle of a not so nice divorce and facing a change in my Ins. coverage. Once I can get settled in my new job, which has much better Ins, I will look into starting the process of finding a therapist who specializes in dissociation ( not such an easy feat).

 

Thanks also.  

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I've met others with DID who don't personally believe in integration for themselves either.  They might aim for things such as co-consciousness with others, for practical reasons like not losing time and  gaining access to memories or abilities (if some of your splits are so bad as to leave, say, assertiveness just with one of your selves and not with anyone else,) but not full-on integration into being some kind of singleton again.  I don't have DID so I wouldn't dream of telling others what they should and shouldn't do with this sort of question, but I could imagine it being a rather scary thought for many.

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Mirazh-

 

My thought about my system as a whole is, there was once a time many,many years ago, that I needed each and everyone of them just to survive. They each had a specific role, each every dear to me in their own unique way. It was wonderful at that time in my life to have people to turn to, when I had only bad all around me. I can't imagine after all these years not having them around. I would however, like to find some sort of balance between them. I don't like losing time,saying hurtful things to people that I don't always mean, watching myself do things i don't want to (self harm etc.) and not feeling like I'm connected or even capable of having connections to the outside world. Just be able to live my life cohesively, while not getting "rid" of anyone.

 

To have someone like a therapist tell you from the get go, that the end result has to be "integration" is very off putting to me. They don't even know me, at that point anyway. Just because it is the clinical answer doesn't make it so for everyone. I would like to think that therapy should be about working together and kinda going with the flow. Having a common goal as to how you would like/see you life to be, yes. I have yet to find that in any therapist but I will keep trying. I guess that's why therapy is called a "soft" science in general.

 

I may be way off or that came from wherever :P

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I agree, it sounds like your therapist comes from one certain school of thought that completely ignores other valid means of therapeutic intervention. Maybe you can talk to them about other goals you'd like, such as co-consciousness with some? Or I know one person with DID who had a lot of success with agreements - like all the alters would commit to some agreement such as, "we will not self harm."

 

I am personally pretty integrated myself because my parts are truly parts of myself and not outside personalities. However I still experience it as many voices/opinions at all times and I occasionally lose time/have some part take over, I'm generally more influenced by one part more than another and honestly more integration is my personal goal. But it certainly doesn't need to be anyone else's and anyone who tells you differently needs to learn more about DD/DID. I think you're totally right that the whole point of therapy is working together in a therapeutic relationship, hopefully your therapist can truly hear your concern and will look for other ways to work towards your goals not theirs.

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Avafox-

 

Thanks for the validation! I'm glad you are getting closer to your own goal :).

 

I would not completely rule out integration. I would like to approach it as a process of discovery and if that ends up working out, great! Just not the intention from the first session, as my others are very important to me and deserve to be heard and validated. 

 

I'm not working with that same therapist anymore. I will begin the search for a good match as soon as my new Ins. kicks in.

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Hi.

Can I just say.

No one has ever asked us about integration in terms of being either/or. We have always been respectfully asked about it, and our opinion listened to. No one has ever pushed it. No one has ever said it is a must.

It used to be like that. That was the past. In the bad old days.

It is not quite so bad now. Still bad, yes. But not quite so bad. You can find someone who will not make you integrate and all the same.

It might take a while of hunting and searching. But you will find them. I know. They are out there.

 

- Oracle

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HI WinterRosie-

 

I will definitely continue my search for the right fit for us in a therapist. I do struggle with how to approach the subject, as far as the DX goes, sometimes we do get the feeling that there is that "stigma" still attached to it. In fact, I haven't  even brought it up to any therapist we have seen in the last seven years or so! Bad I know.

 

I would welcome any suggestions on what questions to ask potential therapists we are considering to see? I always feel they won't/don't understand what I mean. That has happened many times before.

 

Thanks, everyone for your replies! It has been comforting just to be able to talk about this here.  :D

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  • 7 months later...

Our tdoc didn't push it. She helped us go as far as we decided only and was never pushy. She helped us have co-consciousness and develop rules and boundaries that helped us work together better, but she never said we had to do more than that. Good thing too because we would never integrate. We respect those who choose it for themselves but would not take kindly to it being pushed on us. That tdoc who helped us so much retired and we had to find another. The new one said it was our choice as well but said she would not use EMDR as a form of therapy with us if we were not first integrated. We just opted to not try EMDR and it was dropped.

 

Again, I think its great if someone wants to integrate and all feel comfortable with it. But me personally? No way. I am very unhappy. Want to die actually. I think being me sucks. But.....I wouldn't want to become someone else instead either. I wouldn't want my individuality to become emeshed with the others. I don't want the lines that form me to blur. I want to be me or dead...nothing else.

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