EMDR with OSDD (formly DDNOS) alters

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Hey all, long time since I've posted a separate thread. My therapist and I was talking about my parts or alters. I have 4 distinct alters (or I call them parts). They hold a lot of memories and they hide them from me. I can feel the memories and experience them but can't remember them, if that makes sense.

We were talking about regressing and this last trigger causing my protective part (which has had a very strong hold, if you will, through this pandemic) to go into the background and my youngest part to front or come into the foreground and the issues with that. I literally think like a child, act like a child, have tantrums like a child, talk like a child, they just don't take full control.

I am diagnosed with OSDD (formally DDNOS) but it is a newer diagnosis (a few years ago) and other then talking about my parts and giving them space in therapy to express themselves and my therapist encouraging me to allow them to express themselves when writing or typing, we really haven't done much work with them specifically in therapy. But I was expressing frustration with the gaps in memory but still feeling and experiencing the memory (it's quite frustrating experiencing something you can't remember. You can't really make heads or tails from it) and my regression lately (which I won't talk about but it is something I want to stop doing).

Anyway, I thought about EMDR. My therapist said we can do EMDR with my parts. It's an interesting but frightening thought at the same time. I'm intrigued though. I expressed concern that my protector part may sort of say no and hold that line and not make anything accessible to me, as my protector part usually does, and he mentioned that we could express to the protector that this is a good thing for us and they could help out.

I'm wondering if this is something we will have to wait until we are in person to do. It is very hard for me to feel safe enough to do EMDR if my therapist isn't in the same room. It takes a super long time for me to feel safe enough with my therapist in his office. He said he has done a few over video and it's worked but knowing me and my parts, I don't think it will work for me. That said, I wanted to hear if anyone has any experience with EMDR with parts or alters (including those with DID) and what it was like. Is there anything I can do to help the process and basically what to expect when we actually get to do it. My therapist and I have only been doing a very tiny bit of EMDR since my first and really bad experience. We call it EMDR light. Not about my trauma but more today stuff. So I'm worried about going that deep as that's going much deeper then the first time we did EMDR. Or even if my parts will allow it or how to get them to allow it, if that makes sense.

Any thoughts?
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I’m really curious about how this goes for you. I work so hard to keep a foot in the present, I can’t imagine going in as the past on purpose. I do Emdr with crossed arm taps when we are online. Lately, I do it that way in person as well. I’ve had a meltdown both online and in person and my T was able to help me out of it. I’ve mostly been able to hide regression actions that I have had during this pandemic, but they have occurred.

I think getting your protector part on board is really important if you want it to work. My T frequently asks me to ask permission for situations such as these. She will also explain it directly to that part when needed.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
I think getting your protector part on board is really important if you want it to work. My T frequently asks me to ask permission for situations such as these. She will also explain it directly to that part when needed.
Yeah, my protector part will have to allow it. They are really strong in the sense of being able to front and stay fronting and not allowing me to access anything. Most especially when the sense of danger is there. And going back into my past is even more perceived danger then this pandemic has been. Probably more so then anything else.

How do you ask permission of the protector? I can't really talk to my parts. Or I know I do as I have full on conversations with myself but not like on purpose. I've never been able to interact with them on purpose. They more interact with the outside world and themselves but I can't seem to like talk to them. I'm sure the protector will front as they always do in therapy and my therapist could ask them for permission. I don't know. It's just a weird concept as I've never had anyone interacting with my parts. They just move around in my head and that's it. You know?


I do Emdr with crossed arm taps when we are online. Lately, I do it that way in person as well. I’ve had a meltdown both online and in person and my T was able to help me out of it. I’ve mostly been able to hide regression actions that I have had during this pandemic, but they have occurred.
What is crossed arms EMDR? Never heard of that. My therapist has me follow a big fat yellow highlighter with my eyes.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Ok, so my therapist just explained better what he meant by doing EMDR with my parts. He said EMDR is about a specific event. That we would do EMDR with a specific event (like my pedophile nephew calling me that triggered me this last time) and that now that I am aware of my parts, they would be involved in the EMDR process. But that it would be on a specific event. He said that the more you do EMDR on less traumatic events, the more willing a person is to then dive into the more traumatic events. And that we would be including my parts during EMDR to remember more and more things.

The first time we did EMDR, neither I nor my therapist knew I had alters and it went super badly. I had a flashback, jumped backwards over the chair, huddled in a corner screaming "don't hurt me". My youngest part had fronted. My therapist had to kneel on the floor and talk me out of it. But neither one of us knew that I had alters.

He said that with DID and OSDD, you don't do EMDR until the person is aware of the presence of the alters and are a bit more stable. Which is where I am now. So that's why he brought it up.

He also said that there is a "clapper" that allows you to keep your eyes closed the entire time. He said it's a small electrical shock? He said that he would say do 20 - 25 beats and then if he wants someone to stay in the event longer he would do like 30 - 35. He described it as right, left, right, left. He also said he would go off the person's facial expressions. No idea what he is talking about but, yeah, keeping my eyes closed through the whole thing would allow me to go deeper.

He does agree that we'd need to wait until we are back in the office though.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah, my protector part will have to allow it. They are really strong in the sense of being able to front and stay fronting and not allowing me to access anything. Most especially when the sense of danger is there. And going back into my past is even more perceived danger then this pandemic has been. Probably more so then anything else.

How do you ask permission of the protector? I can't really talk to my parts. Or I know I do as I have full on conversations with myself but not like on purpose. I've never been able to interact with them on purpose. They more interact with the outside world and themselves but I can't seem to like talk to them. I'm sure the protector will front as they always do in therapy and my therapist could ask them for permission. I don't know. It's just a weird concept as I've never had anyone interacting with my parts. They just move around in my head and that's it. You know?



What is crossed arms EMDR? Never heard of that. My therapist has me follow a big fat yellow highlighter with my eyes.
Once my parts came forward, I started to communicate with them at a conference table in my head. Later we started meeting in a childhood living room to appease the little ones. It’s strange... this stuff is more imaginative and figurative to me, but they also seem very real and at times some have a stronger influence than others. My T helps me realize who is running the show when I get triggered and my present day self is highly encouraged to take the wheel.

The truth is that we are all built with parts of us inside that we hang onto. (Even people without ptsd and big traumas). I appreciate and find comfort in all of my parts because they are there to help me heal. I think that loving your parts and building trust on the inside is the key to communication. When my protector part was causing problems, my T told me that it makes sense that my protector would feel that way. She asked me how old she was. We figured out that she was three. (More of a small T). It really helps to know where they are coming from, self compassion and empathy if you want them to come to your conference table.

Crossed Arms Emdr—I just call it that when I cross my arms in a butterfly hug position and tap left/right.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I have done extensive EMDR with my parts (I have 13 of them), both in person and by video, and it has been very useful.

We did a lot of EMDR lite to get the parts used to the EMDR process, because it was very frightening to begin with. Now, it is not so bad. Sometimes we work on specific events, other times we'll think of a mental resource and use EMDR to solidify that. Other times, when a bad flashback happens, a part will do EMDR while pulling together safe spaces and resources to regain peace.

The clappers (my therapist and I call them tappers) are like little buzzers that we hold in our hands. They feel like a phone on vibrate, with the vibrations having the same alternating beat as the sounds in the headphones that we use. Yes, they are nice because they allow a part to open or close eyes.

One of my protectors (Big Wendell, the writer here) needed to learn that the other parts were stable enough that he did not need to interfere all the time or block memories. The other parts, in turn, have learned to ask him not to intrude, or just to intrude briefly.

I agree that to start this work it would be best to be in person.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
It really helps to know where they are coming from, self compassion and empathy if you want them to come to your conference table

One of my protectors (Big Wendell, the writer here) needed to learn that the other parts were stable enough that he did not need to interfere all the time or block memories. The other parts, in turn, have learned to ask him not to intrude, or just to intrude briefly.
Yeah, it hard as they front when they want to. I don't have any control of it. I've learned that my protector is the part that writes here. I want more control of who fronts clippers.

So, maybe my protector doesn't believe the other parts are stable enough? I know my youngest part, age 7, isn't and I also know that when my dad was here my anger part would be the one that had blind rage explosions. My dad said I had a demon in me as I would be perfectly fine one min and explode the next and that was my angry part fronting. She's a teenager. Rebellious. My dad doesn't know about the OSDD nor would he understand but that was my parts switching around.

I wish I could talk to my parts on purpose. How does one do that? Knowing my parts are there and being able to feel them is rather new to me. Within a few yrs. Being able to talk to them is almost blocked. On purpose anyway as I do catch myself having conversations with myself. I used to move places without memory of it and the 10 yrs previous I just was always numb and drugged up.


The clappers (my therapist and I call them tappers
He may have said tappers and I heard it as clappers.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
@lostforgottensoul have you ever considered that “talking to yourself” is talking to your parts? It’s like I said, everyone is made of parts. We all have conversations in our head. Maybe you are already doing what you are trying to figure out how to do?
No, what I mean is I can't purposefully talk to them. So if I wanted to say something to them, I can't. I know the conversations of talking to myself is us interacting. It's just mindless talking. Not on purpose. So if I wanted to say have a round table discussion on purpose, I can't. Does that make sense?
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I wish I could talk to my parts on purpose. How does one do that?
I think the process for me was for some of the most comfortable parts to begin to talk to my therapist. With time, I learned to talk to one at a time. The roundtable idea for me came much later, and although I can cycle through my parts now, it's exhausting.

I found it useful to make pages in a journal for the different parts. Not all at once, though. Typically, I've had one part come out more in the open one at a time, and that has been an arduous few months for each part.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
I think the process for me was for some of the most comfortable parts to begin to talk to my therapist. With time, I learned to talk to one at a time. The roundtable idea for me came much later, and although I can cycle through my parts now, it's exhausting.
I bet it is exhausting! This is exhausting as it is.

I think this is what my therapist is thinking. He said that with time of us working with the alters comes awareness and then at least more integration then currently. I think the awareness is what I'm thinking with being able to talk to my alters and have a bit more control over them.
 
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