Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: REFUGE (08/29/19)
- TITLE: D.I.D./ Did not
By Joanney Uthe
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“Anything you have to say to Brenda, you can tell me.” Lexi stiffened her back and stared at her.
“I know you believe it’s your job to protect her, but I need to talk to Brenda. Can you let me talk to Brenda? I promise I won’t hurt her.”
The young lady in front of her stared back as if trying to decide how to answer. A deep breath told Alyce that she was trying to keep calm.
“You can talk to me,” the gal repeated.
“Okay. Lexi, right? Can you tell me how Brenda’s week went? Any setbacks or victories I should know about?”
“We kept her safe.”
“Safe from what? What happened this week that she needed to be kept safe from?”
Lexi glared at the therapist and pursed her lips shut.
“I see. Did she have contact at all with her family? Is that what she needed protection from?” Typing on her tablet as she asked, Alyce almost missed the subtle change of posture and the hardening of the face on her client.
“Don’t mention her family!” Brenda’s purse flew across the room. “You care nothing about Brenda or what she’s been through. All you do is pry for more information. Why? So you can use it against her?"
“Hello, Vivian. You know that I do care deeply about Brenda. I want to help her, just like you do. We just believe differently what will help her. You protect her from her past. I want to help her heal from her past.” Alyce walked over to the cabinet and grabbed a few items. Handing them to Vivian, she sat and waited.
Vivian squeezed the cupcake squishy that Alyce had given her so that it was less than half its size and let it out again several times without saying anything. After calming down, she responded. “You say that every time. I just don’t see how it helps.”
“I know you don’t. Can I talk to Brenda?” Alyce found that sometimes after Vivian calmed down, she had a better chance of talking to Brenda. She watched as the hard, angry look of Vivian changed to a softer, more vulnerable look of confusion.
“Umm, it happened, didn’t it?” Brenda’s voice shook. “Why does this happen to me? I feel like I’m crazy.”
“D.I.D. is a mental disorder. As we’ve talked about before, you had a horrific, traumatic experience as a young child. Something that most people can’t imagine even exists. You survived by taking refuge in shutting off your mind, by dissociating. Tell me what happened this week that Lexi said you needed protecting.”
***Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D) is a mental disorder likely caused by severe trauma before the age of six. Dissociating is a coping mechanism common in extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
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