Exposure therapy was awful and even now thinking about it makes the butterflies in my stomach do flips. It was such a battle to have parts who were silently screaming to tell the bad things while others felt threatened and sure the world would end if the truth ever came out. Then there was a few that never spoke and sat frozen, trying to be invisible until they could get out of the therapy office and the others…who knows? Finally, there was me. I really wanted to get better but I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. I was completely unaware that I had parts until I had been in therapy for years. Then once I met a therapist that understood dissociative identity disorder, it would still be another year before I could be present enough to hear the parts for myself. Although I did not hear them or have awareness of them fighting, it certainly took a toll on my body and I often felt very disoriented when it came to exposure therapy. I didn’t have to participate in the session to carry the physiological after effects home with me. It was difficult but it was worth it!
I know a lot of people don’t believe in exposure therapy but for me, it was very healing. I’m the first to admit that I felt worse before I got better. It was NOT easy but I did get better! It was impossible to bring Jesus into the healing without going back and being exposed to the memories. I could not heal without facing them.
Every single time we brought Jesus into the memory, He healed it.
Cassie was eight-years-old and the most prominent part of my therapy sessions. I think she was the most willing, and I know she was the one that had no filter and told everything. It took me a long time to discover her worth and stop hating her. Anyway, she was present for much more of the exposure therapy than I was, but now that I have integrated her, I share her memories.
Exposure therapy usually had a similar format but many lessons and blessings.
During a session, Cassie was in the front talking to our therapist. She closed her eyes and went back to a trauma memory. She had to describe the room then she listened to her therapist describe it back to her in detail, only this time she was hearing it described with Jesus standing in the corner by the window weeping. She had to go through the pain of bearing the memory of the abuse for a couple minutes and then Jesus came and sat beside her on the bed and they both cried. Cassie climbed up on His lap and He rocked her to sleep. As He rocked her, He was healing her in a deep everlasting way.
I realized that day that yes, God gave man free will and yes, they chose to use their free will to hurt me but that wasn’t His fault. And just because He can’t go back on His gift of free will does not mean that it didn’t hurt Him.
IT BROKE HIS HEART!
We rewrote the story, Jesus picked her up and carried her out of that room to a big green meadow with fresh air, flowers, and butterflies everywhere. He boarded up that room and the memory lost all it’s power that day…so did the enemy. Every time Satan tried to bring that memory back up, she felt the safety of Jesus’ arms. It was amazing!
It’s still amazing!