The Loophole?

When therapy was a relatively new concept to my insiders, they found it uncomfortable to share with someone outside of our system. They struggled with the concept of “why do they want us to talk to them?” For a while, we had sessions with our primary therapist that were totally silence. It was quiet on the outside but defiantly not on the inside. There was chaos erupting with the insiders.

This “no talk rule” is said to be common with ritual abuse survivors. Mostly because they are told to keep the secret by their abusers, and if it is ever told bad things would happen. These tactics are used to prevent the RA survivor from ever escaping their abusers. The “no talk rule” can cause your therapy to become stuck. I encounter this when we are working on newer memories.

Therapy is hard, especially cognitive talk therapy. Sometimes talk therapies approach is too direct for me and many of my parts. Sometimes my parts or I just do not want to do therapy.

As I thought about this, I received a comment from MFF telling me about expressive therapy. I also go to expressive therapy as well as formal talk therapy. Many people usually experience art/expressive therapy within a hospital setting. One of the specialized trauma units that I was on had both art therapy and occupational therapy. I really enjoyed both.

However, what is it that I liked about those kinds of expressive therapy. I really did not realize this at the time but I figured out that parts could tell their story without actually talking about it. Art let alters who never had talked in therapy before finally have voices, without actually speaking. Kind of a loophole. Insiders feel like they are not breaking their promise of not talking. At the same time, they are doing therapeutic work. Art therapy can be a very good idea if you are working on tough stuff.

My art therapy does not just consist of crayons and paper. Its way cooler, we do spatter painting, collages, and sometimes finger-painting (for the littles). Sometimes we talk, but not like regular therapy but we talk about why we drew certain things or whatever. Art therapy does not feel like it is as forced as formal talk therapy to us. It is much more lax.

The only thing that everyone disagrees on is who is going to go. There is a lot of fighting because all my insiders always think it is their turn to go. All of the insiders really like our art therapist. Nevertheless, other than the little bit of fighting art therapy is beneficial for all my insiders. They talk about what they did at art inside for days after. Art therapy can be an enjoyable experience for some, but not always as everyone is different.


7 thoughts on “The Loophole?

  1. Hi Hope,

    I like art therapy as well. I have taken a couple of short classes with an art therapists and think often of that work and how much I learned through the process of thinking, doing, and creating. I have some art therapy books as do some projects with them as well. I also find ideas for art therapy projects from other things that I read. I’m glad that you have an art therapist and that so many inside like her. Good and healing thoughts to you.


    • Hey Kate,

      Thanks for the comment. It is really fun to do art sometimes. I like collaging and my friends and I sometimes do it together.

      I think also art therapy can show you that you can make something beatuiful out of nothing. I think it’s my life story. I am trying to make something good from my abuse and someday after a looong therapy process I may find beauty or purpose.

      Take Care. Be Well.

  2. Seems to be a blog for stories of me. Stories are a big part of my life.

    I used to go to a restaurant every morning. There was a waitress there with whom I connected. Out of the blue she said “You much have had a horrible childhood.”

    She was doing the menu on the caulk board. I took a piece of broken purple caulk made and X with the side of the caulk I then took a piece of green caulk and made three lines. I then told the waitress that I made her a flower and walked out.

    The next day I did not know I had drawn the flower. There was a space on the board and my own big box of caulk to draw a pumpkin on. I came home bought a caulk board and figured out how to do a pumpkin. It came out really well and I decided to take an art class. Walked into class and could not speak. Lucky this class was a tour of a local exhibit. So I made it through without bolting.

    In therapy I have done, sand box, colored pencil drawings, (Note: Blick art has there own brand and they are cheap and nice pencils, Michael’s Arts and Craft has 50% sales sometimes on art supplies.) I brought in some clay to therapy, all sorts of puppets, I type on my therapists computer, I make stuff out of blocks, I made a flower out a piece of paper. Once I took in a bunch of brass paper clips and bent them all up and then it unfolded into a sun. That is hanging in my therapists tree in her office.

    Outside of therapy I have done pottery. I walked up to two potters and said. “My name is Michael and I am a multiple one of us wants to make a vessel. One of the potters said. “We can help you with that.” I made an appointment and they gave me a lump of clay. I looked at it and they asked if I needed any help. I looked at the clay for a while and said “The clay knows.” Off I went the vessel is where things go when I am done with them. I have a clay bowl where things go that I might need to work on later that my therapist gave me.

    I did a consultant job for a different potter on a court case and he was so pleased he gave me 5 free lessons. He is a Buddhist.

    I have taken a pen and ink class and some colored pencil classes. I am taking a pastel class right now. After the first class I walked in with a big piece of black paper and the instructor asked what I was going to do. I told her I do not know I am not done yet. It seems I am drawing the portal to the point not in time where the castle is with the King, Queen, Jester, Wizard, Guards, Knights, and the little boy who brings flowers into the castle. Opps I forgot the Falcon. There is also the boy who is in the corner with his head on a desk. That is who is doing the work of therapy right now. He is 7 to 8 and is from the school run by the MKULTRA people. He is the Dragon. One chapter of book I have written to my therapist is called the Journey of the Falcon and the Wizard the first chapter is The Dragon Flies.

    I kayak, swim, ski, play racket ball, golf which is expressive therapy. It has got so that if I am moving it is expressive therapy. I hope no one ever watches me mow the lawn. Smile.

    I a putting on a roof that a tree went through last winter in an ice storm. That is expressive therapy. That would be Red Beard and he is having fun with such a small project. He has built high rises.

    Writing this comment is expressive therapy.

    I forgot I do Mandela drawing in Acad all very geometric and such. I call them my 50 min Mandelas.

    I forgot this all started in Mclean’s Hospital. I was bored and went in the kitchen and started coloring.

    All of this is not without its huge probloms. My left and right hemisphers are not connected normally. I have ended up in the hospital many times from the expresive therapy. I have been in my kayak and remembered being taken to a paramilitary camp in a canoe.

    I draw maps and that always brings back memories. For some reason drawing is a winter thing.

    • Michael,

      I’m not sure how you meant this is a blog about you but as you know this is a blog and whatever you choose to comment it your choice. Just wanted to remind you of that. You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to. But in all acuallity this blog is about me, my life, my struggles. Esentially you and others are just reading it. I’m not angry at you I’m just making sure you understand in case I was mistinterpreted.

      But everyones life is made up of stories. Even people w/o a trauma history. Life generally speaking is a novel we write through experineces. There’s lots of chapters in peoples lives. There may be some we wish we could skip.

      Take Care. Be Well.


  3. It is actually a misspelling I met it to read. Seems to be a blog for stories for me.

    As I was writing I was surprised there was a story that is all.

    Sorry for the mis-step.


  4. Hi Hope :) Thanks for adding me to your blogroll.

    “Loophole.” heh Indeed. Absolutely! Never thought about it quite that way but that’s exactly what it is!

    Gotta say creativity/art has been a really important outlet for me over time. Dunno where a lot of it could’ve gone if not into something ‘outside the box’ like that.

    • Catatonic Kid,

      Thanks for commenting. Its good to hear from you.

      I’m always looking for ways around things, acually doing something without doing it. It seems like art/creativity is something I can do and no one inside gets punished.

      Most of the time insiders think of it as someone is being a “tattle tale”. I guess they see using words as the only form of communication.

      I’m also thinking about something. I am thinking of going to a play therapist. Because right now I am stuck therapy wise. Some but not all memories are held by younger childparts. I don’t know how it would acually work but I think its an intresting concept.

      I think its awesome that art can be an outlet for you. I find it important to find differnt ways of doing therapy. I don’t think trauma therapy is a one size fits all thing. That may be why so many therapist don’t work with trauma survivors. It is not ridgly defined, thats what makes it difficult.

      Keep doing things that are “outside the box”!

      Take Care. Be Well.

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