DID DID I need some support

Sideways

Sponsor
Switching in therapy, for me, means that I have parts that (a) want to be heard; (b) have decided my T is a potential trustworthy ally to help with that part's issues; and (c) feel that I'm not communicating their side of things effectively (which is oftentimes because I just don't know).

It calmed down for me when I got better at internal communication, which like anything, just took practice. Very regularly in therapy, when my T asks a question, I stop and listen to what different parts have to say about T's question. Sometimes those are really quite long silences while I have an internal dialogue. That works only so long as I continue to represent the whole of me in a fair way.

And that's the struggle, right? These foreign personalities that we weren't even necessarily aware of till therapy now want to participate in my life, and my therapy, and say things that are completely opposite to how I feel.

I think that getting a working, collaborative approach with my parts, which took a long time with a few of them, was essential not just to therapy being more productive, but also really understanding on that celluar level that all of these parts are me. So, if I say "that doesn't upset me and isn't a problem", when it's a huge problem for one of my parts? I was wrong: it is a problem for me, I just haven't been communicating with all of me to realise.

That all sounds very nice. But for me, there was definitely a 'crisis' period when a couple of my parts became self aware, and aware they could take over in therapy, before I'd established a working relationship with them. I was at all out war with one of my parts for quite a long time, and our relationship is still delicate.

For about a year (? not great memory of the period!) I used to wander around saying "I'm completely mad". Because that's how it felt. I was a legit basketcase, textbook mad person, switching like crazy and behaving accordingly. The understanding that "these parts are all me, and I'm not complete without them" really only developed as I worked through those internal fights and found a way to work reasonably coherently with my parts.

Like all stages of healing, it's a process. Your parts presenting openly in therapy means you're further along the process than you were previously. And that in itself, as rough as it is? Is testament to the hard work you've been doing.

Hope something in there is helpful.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
Your parts presenting openly in therapy means you're further along the process than you were previously. And that in itself, as rough as it is? Is testament to the hard work you've been doing.
Yes. When it felt like I was going backwards as parts came up, my therapist said it was progress of letting out the stuff that had been crammed down so hard. As you get used to it, it's possible to communicate with your parts without them taking over. I agree with Sideways that parts coming out indicates trust developing with your therapist.

Remember at the end of sessions, it's very useful to do lots of grounding exercises to bring back the adult you. We also try to find a safe place for the part who was out to stay.

Having parts can be frightening. On the worst of days, life is lonely and painful. How do I make friends that we (my system) can relate to? That's one of the reasons I value this forum. But on the best days, my life has a richness that is very special. I have the ability to experience the world from a bunch of different viewpoints. I still hold the magic of childhood. I get to experience life as a different gender than my body.
 

AnD

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @Wendell_R and @Sideways
I am dissociating in and out of my inner world. Remembering, talking to parts. Thanks for sharing everything. I do need help and advice.

Yeah, I feel insane. I told my t, "I am insane. I can't handle this. Kill me."

I am starting to take the first steps to get help from a psychiatrist. Asking a doctor to reach out to a psychiatrist to see if she can help.

My parts are tired of hiding. They want to be out. We all want to talk a lot. This confusing, I am in denial too.

I have many more parts than I knew. And I need help. I am exhausted and scared.
 

AnD

MyPTSD Pro
Can you advice me on how to deal with my distress?
I don't know how to relate to myself.
I feel a very strong need to talk and get help from others
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I have a journal where the different parts come out on different pages. It is a safe place to explore what they feel and think. Much of the journal is not writing, but pasted pictures or drawings, so it is a good place for the little ones.

I found it useful to start with the parts that I am most comfortable with. Only now am I working with the hardest parts.

A very important point about psychiatrists is that some do and some don't believe in parts. I think you will want to talk this over with your therapist as well as your doctor on how to find the best match.

The parts coming up are pieces of you that are holding old traumas. Your personality fractured to keep you safe. Now you are safe, and you can slowly mend the fractures. You're right--it really is exhausting. I find it useful to make time to listen to my parts, but also make time for self-care.

Big hugs, for all of you.
 

AnD

MyPTSD Pro
I am scared of loss:
My sanity
My kids
My friends
My job
My future

I am scared of
That I don't have time
The feeling of chasing
Of being abandoned
That my needs are too demanding

I am scared of my emotions, of failing to heal, I am scared of living, of being alone and abandoned
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I understand better. Did your therapist get the Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation book? That book is about finding stability in your life when you have dissociation, not about doing a deep dive into your parts. It's possible to get greater stability without stirring up the parts a lot. Some of those skills seem very important right now in your journey. Breathing, safety, self-care, grounding.

I am sympathetic about being afraid of books. I have had to give my therapist several books back that were simply too frightening. Another book that was really useful I cut into separate pages and only dealt with about 10 pages at a time.
 

AnD

MyPTSD Pro
I understand better. Did your therapist get the Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation book? That book is about finding stability in your life when you have dissociation, not about doing a deep dive into your parts. It's possible to get greater stability without stirring up the parts a lot. Some of those skills seem very important right now in your journey. Breathing, safety, self-care, grounding.

I am sympathetic about being afraid of books. I have had to give my therapist several books back that were simply too frightening. Another book that was really useful I cut into separate pages and only dealt with about 10 pages at a time.
Yes, he got the book. And talked about it.
My child part reacted with saying: "you are going to kill me" and crying
He wanted me to try grounding and another part popped up and said "you called for me"

This is very hard for me to wrap my head around. Thanks for being here with me
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
My child part reacted with saying: "you are going to kill me" and crying
Some of my parts were afraid they would die if we integrate. They still feel that way, I think. My therapist has assured the parts that no one will be forced to do anything they don't want to. It's also possible to integrate part way, and be really functional. @bellbird and I are both examples of that. None of my parts have disappeared, but now it is easier for them to pop in and out of my thoughts.

The stabilization phase and learning how to cope with parts and dissociation doesn't involve integration. Maybe you can tell the child that it will help you talk to each other better and help you be closer (which is the truth, and not a lie to the child).
 
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