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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi Kate, Hope your easter break is going well : ) If you

Customer Question

Hi Kate,
Hope your easter break is going well : )
If you are around I would appreciate some help. I am stuck, i appreciate what ou have said about getting to know the dark voice, its just I feel that its unbelievable that its me, if its me maybe its better not to go near it anyway because its horrible

I dont know how to move in therapy, i feel like not a real person because i in therapy there is no where to go, i dont know anything about this other stuff that goes on and i cant get hold of it and with the dark voice there isnt really any incentive.

I am scared to death that i have to go back and get two more moles removed. I feel so shaky at the moment. I dont know a way to sort this out
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi C! I hope your Easter was nice. I am back from my trip and it went well. Thank you for asking.


It is very understandable that you feel scared about the dark voice. To acknowledge it is to acknowledge a part of yourself that was created to help you cope with some very scary and overwhelming trauma.


The dark voice continues to be there because it is a defense you used to help yourself survive. It has stayed because it may feel it is still needed to help you deal with the trauma. But it is no longer needed, which is why it has become an issue for you. Ignoring it will only keep it coming back to your attention in one form or another. You are a healthy person, C. And with any healthy individual, anything that does not fit will come to the forefront to be dealt with. For example, if you learned as a child that putting a coin in a jar meant that your mother would not hit you. you would do it as much as you needed to so your mother wouldn't hurt you. That is called conditioning. People can be conditioned to do certain behaviors to avoid pain, especially a child because they have little choice. As an adult, you keep putting coins in the jar even though your mother is long gone. Why? Because you fear that if you no longer put coins in the jar, something will happen to you. Your mind tells you that your mother is gone and nothing will happen to you, but that fear is so ingrained that you can't reason your way out of it.


That is what has happened to you with the dark voice. It appeared to help you cope. Now you don't want to confront it because it not only contains parts of your childhood that you didn't want to face, but it would mean moving through the fear to face coping without it. So making it unreal and moving away from it is easier.


But reality is that whatever the dark voice is there for, it will not be as horrible as when you were a child. You are more capable now to cope with it. You have support, you are in a safe place and you have an adult's understanding of the situation. It cannot harm you like it once did.


It may help to look at it this way- you are an adult now and no longer under the control of your abusive parents. You make the choices and you can say stop if things feel too hard.


Did you already have the first one removed? If so, how did it go? Is your fear about what they will find or the procedure, or both?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kate

My Easter was good, thank you. The procedure was fine - its what the biopsy will say and that i have two more suspicious ones, its a week till they go and then 6-8 weeks for the results, i am very scared.

Kate i am sorry , i do get wha you said, i need to chew it over a bit more, but the dark v has no depth
it is not going to be able to tell me anything about my childhood cause there is nothing to tell, and if its me how can i talk to it,

I really long for a mum right now - so so much

I am thinking about therapy and i am worried because i think i go because i need my therapist but i think i am too scared to do any more than get a top up, emotionally if you know what i mean.

thanks Kate
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.



It is always frightening to wonder what your test results will be. I understand that, having had several suspicious moles removed myself. It helps to think about that no matter what results you get, you will be able to cope. And if they do find something, you will have dealt with this early enough to do something about it. You do lose some control over the situation, but you also have some options as well.


It is ok that the dark voice has no depth. It is there for a reason and finding out why it's there is key. No one develops a dark voice for no reason. The best way to find out why it is there is to communicate with it. It is part of you so it belongs there, but knowing why and how to integrate it is important.


You can talk to it by asking questions then "becoming" it and letting it answer. It is like the empty chair technique used in therapy. Here is an explanation of it:


"When you go see a Gestalt therapist, the office will usually have an extra chair--an empty chair. This chair serves an important function. The therapist may ask you to imagine holding a conversation with someone or something imagined to be in the empty chair. Thus, the "empty chair technique" stimulates your thinking, highlighting your emotions and attitudes. For example, the therapist may say, "Imagine your father in this chair (about 3 feet away), see him vividly, and, now, talk to him about how you felt when he was unfaithful to your mother".

There are innumerable other people, objects (your car or wedding ring), parts of your personality (critical parent, natural child, introversion, obsession with work), any or your emotions, symptoms,(headaches, fatigue), any aspect of a dream, a stereotype (blacks, macho males, independent women). and so on that you can imagine in an empty chair. The key is a long, detailed, emotional interaction--a conversation. You should shift back and forth between chairs as you also speak for the person-trait-object in the other chair. This "conversation" clarifies your feelings and reactions to the other person and may increase your understanding of the other person."


By using this technique, it allows you to communicate with the dark voice and find out why it's there. Since it is part of you, it triggers your thoughts and feelings about it and works it out.


Can you suggest to your therapist that you work on the dark voice in therapy?


It sounds like you feel the need for nurturing right now. That is understandable. You have been under a lot of stress. Is there anyway you can either turn to someone who is nurturing or nurture yourself?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Empty chair thing is interesting. My therapist sas that the dark voice is what we shouldbe working on and she is a bit fed up that I keep running a mile.

We did do this ting once, I think i told you where we build a house, I didn't tell my therapist (because we didn't do it again) inmy house there is a big table in a meeting room and i was supposed to something there I couldn't but when i just did the seats once the chair for the dv was an electric chair with al the straps to lock him in place and a mouth guard like hannibal the cannibal. and also there were loads of doors in and I have theis thing (his is so so embarrasing) that i call the fairy nurse princess she kind of comes to me when things are bad and i know this sounds mad but she kind of counts me backward in like a faint, i only notice the talking/counting and kind of reassurance about six months ago but (and i know this is non sensical) i didnt know she was there but i have known her for a long long time ? any way when i switch off when things are pretty bad she takes me away. but anyway in the room with the table i saw her come and take a chair ( A standard one) and then the door opened and this little girl ran in and sat on her lap but i never really went there after that. apart from to the middle floor where i just would think about sitting by the fire there with my therapist, I am blushing typing this. it is very strange at the moment because everything feels so distant, i am kind of watching this stuff unfold for me and i have a head full of vocal dissent about what is what its very tricky.

As for nurturing - I try. I am trying to focus on diet as well, more fruit and vegatables, many days i find i fall away from myself and it is tricky for me cook.
thanks Kate
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.



I do recall you telling me about the house, the dark voice and the fairy nurse princess. That is a wonderful example of what I am talking about. If we could work on this more, I would ask more about the dark voice in the electric chair. What is it doing there? And if you could give it a voice, what would it say? By asking those questions you could find out more about it and see how it fits.


Also, the fairy nurse princess represents something to you. It seems very nurturing, which is something you did not get at all as a child. The fact that you didn't know she was there but have known her for a while could be that part of you that is ok and comforting but that you have ignored or not had access to with all you went through as a child. But making yourself be the princess and letting her talk about herself would provide more answers.


Is there a way you could work on this with your therapist? Either telling her or writing it down and going through it one section at a time would help you discover more about what this means. I think it is very significant and could push your recovery forward. You and I can also work on it together.


Thank you for sharing it with me. I know you felt embarrassed, but I think what you said is very normal. I would be happy to help you with it.


Here is a link to help you nurture yourself and mother yourself:


It may help you learn ways to take care of yourself when you don't have a mother to be there for you.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kate,
Thank you that is all helpful, i have speed read through the article - i need to read it again and spend more time with it.

Kate, just one more thing before i go! If everybody has this stuff going on inside does that mean that maybe i am ok and maybe the diagnosis is just a bit much?
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

What you are experiencing is appropriate for what you went through. Not everyone who experiences trauma has alters, but it does happen more frequently with severe trauma. There is a chance that the DID diagnosis is a bit much, but without being able to see you for an evaluation myself, it's hard to say for sure. Even if it is a bit much, the treatment for the trauma you suffered should still be effective. In other words, it is working through the trauma that is more important than the diagnosis they give you.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Kate,
Its hard to be clear about all this stuff ! That helps, That is me for now, thank you for tonight
speak soon
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

You're welcome, C! This is not easy to deal with and anyway I can help, I will.


Have a good night! Talk with you soon,