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Fear of EMDR/parts

Thread starter #1
I have some significant difficulties with disassociation. EMDR introduced me to a bunch of inner parts that have sort of always been around. I just assumed everyone else has this as well. I honestly don’t know if emdr caused it or if this is just me. Today in therapy, my therapist started talking about something that i
had written her in emails this week. Some how this scared me and I wanted to run out of my room (online). I stayed, but shut down. My T guided me to a butterfly hug thing and then we did flash emdr. We are dealing with my teen age part which always seems to be problematic. I need help on what I should do about this part, but I also want to know how rare or common this is. Is dissociation on a spectrum? Does it grow worse over time or is this because we are back to dealing with my big T? How can I turn this off and just be like normal people?
 
#2
Is dissociation on a spectrum?
That's my experience. I score really low on dissociation screening surveys and have a professional job, but Little Wendell has been around forever, and Mrs. W has seen me dissociate and forget experiences.

How can I turn this off and just be like normal people?
Paradoxically, the more I am aware and communicating with the voices inside me, the happier I am and the easier it is to get through life. What I have learned is to listen for a part who is upset, and then console that part and find safety for him or her. When I do that, a lot of internal anxiety is relieved. So again, it's paradoxical--the more attention I give those parts, the less attention they need and the less disruptive they are.

But initially, when a part comes up or an associated trauma comes up for the first time, it doesn't feel that way. For me, it's like a storm inside. I've found that EMDR with that part has calmed their fears. Two things you can do now are a) be sure to give time at the end of the therapy session to get grounded as your adult self, and b) respect the window of tolerance of the part coming up (who may be much different than your adult self in that regard).
 
#4
@Wendell_R I guess I should really just be praising this part for not running out of the room.
Not running out of the room is definitely the first step! Remember that that part's anger probably reflects a lot of understandable fear, and she's doing great by not running away. It is a huge leap of faith when your brain yells "RUN, RUN, RUN" and you are willing to put that aside and trust the therapist that something else is possible, however implausible that seems.
 
Thread starter #5
@Wendell_R thank you for supporting me here. Yesterday was rough. She may have gone back into hiding, but that is where she feels safe, so I understand. This all happened because she told T in an email that she wished that she could have held her after he left. I know we are supposed to be working on me being the comforter, but my part reached out to T. And then when T brought her up in the session she freaked out.
 
#8
Is dissociation on a spectrum?
Yep.

- Absolutely Everyone (except those with certain disorders, IE NOT being able to dissociate at all? Is actually a indication of something seriously wrong with your brain. More typically brain injury than a disorder, but a handful of psych conditions include the inability to dissociate in certain ways, like Autism and other disorders with overwhelming sensory issues.). <<<< Driving on auto-pilot, professional distance, not fallin to pieces over the death of someone you’ve never met, daydreaming, intense concentration / being in “the zone”, being able to switch into & out of different facets of your personality as called for (at work, home, church, lover, friend, parent, etc.), normal memory function, being able to wear an uncomfortable shirt, ignoring low level pain or the ability to push through higher levels of pain, and hundreds of other examples all fall under the normal range of disassociation.

- Pathological / Disorder Specific... This is where dissociation rises to the level of a problem, or a middling level symptom, or both. Like the kinds of disassociation one sees in PTSD, Depression, ADHD, Grief, Artists (might be surprising to people who don’t know artists, but the “creative process” usually scores reeeeeeeally high on the dissociative spectrum // usually indicitative of a problem rather than a symptom, but it can be both. Most artists usually find ways around the problems associated with their dissociation, but it takes time and some never fully master it; notorious for not eating/sleeping for days, demanding the same of their models, going out for a pack of smokes and coming home 3 months later baffled as to why their apartment has been let & their GF/BF dating someone else, etc..), aaaaaand a whole lot more.

- Extremely Severe / At the entire other end of the spectrum... One finds both the functional (think DID or most kinds of psychopathy/sociopathy) and non-functional (think psychosis, some kinds of psychopathy, & delusion).
 
#10
I have some significant difficulties with disassociation. EMDR introduced me to a bunch of inner parts that have sort of always been around. I just assumed everyone else has this as well. I honestly don’t know if emdr caused it or if this is just me. Today in therapy, my therapist started talking about something that i
had written her in emails this week. Some how this scared me and I wanted to run out of my room (online). I stayed, but shut down. My T guided me to a butterfly hug thing and then we did flash emdr. We are dealing with my teen age part which always seems to be problematic. I need help on what I should do about this part, but I also want to know how rare or common this is. Is dissociation on a spectrum? Does it grow worse over time or is this because we are back to dealing with my big T? How can I turn this off and just be like normal people?
Dissociation, like most things, is on a spectrum I believe. When actively traumatized....dissociation for me was at it's worst-it was like moving through a thick fog, and I was clumsy, preoccupied, and I had shit for brains, poor reading comprehension, poor decision making skills, lacked confidence, resulting in a crappy memory.....Lists were everywhere.....I was totally disorganized. When the threats/triggers were not present...things got better. Now, I rarely dissociate and usually that is set off in T's office. It was so bad at first, when I went to this new T, she said we had to step back and walk around the trauma instead of barreling through it....touch on it...and step back, then circle back next time-so I stayed grounded and didn't take off for another dimension...dissociate. MY first T didn't modulate conversations, and didn't teach me to stay grounded.....so I kinda head on through the barn, lets talk about it......get it out in the open...and that's success but all it did was create some serious dissociation and lots of fear/terror and anger........which was over the top, and that approach tore me the hell up. It's working better to modify how much I talk about...build up a tolerance so to speak.

I am grateful now to wake up clear headed/clear vision, with no immediate thoughts of family crap-I know it's a bad day starting if the first thing in my head has to do with social/family issues/traumas. I used to wake up every day like that....wake up in a fog, even after getting some sleep. So, yes...there is a lot of correlation of symptoms during active trauma and as well, when triggered by something.

Parts...I got and get parts. I talk to my parts and try to be nice to them now than I use to...I just ignored them before....find something that soothes your teen part....do you remember doing anything that was comforting when you were a teenager (music, art, sports, photography, exercise, clothes you wore, etc.? I found that teen part of me that was traumatized does well with calming activities like art, photography, and jigsaw puzzles and some shirts that are out of character feel good. Certain non-drinking/drug movies are also well received by what feels like that younger part of me. Popcorn.......the taste, superheroes and sci-fi movies are also comforting. So, find something fun, what works for that teen part .....and go do it. Communication with parts slows the dissociation, and over time, you will gain the ability to stay grounded.... when the scared parts of you start to trust yourself.....dissociation will slow, memory will increase as you communicate with the parts. If I forget, I know a part of me knows where I put the keys, my soda, my glasses, credit card, purse...etc.......even if I was dissociative at the time. Stop and ask your parts for help.......and this helped me work with parts....and now....if I do put something down, I can usually close my eyes....ask inside....and remember.

Working online can be hard when dissociation is involved. There is no way I'll have therapy online. My parts won't have a therapist or negative juju/therapist/trauma related talk in my house. My home is my safe space. You might consider talking about the value of an in-person visit every so often....or going more often as the opportunity presents itself.
 
Thread starter #12
@TruthSeeker everything you wrote feels so familiar, even the differences in therapists! My current therapist sounds much like yours. She scared me and made me very angry; I was even convinced that she blamed me for my traumas. My current T is gentle and cares about all of me. She backs off if she pushes to far and cautions me if I do. I actually am finding that I can open up more when we are online. I feel safe talking to her from my home. I like curling up in my bed afterwards. I like seeing inside her home. I met her dog. It’s nice to see that she is a person too. It’s not safe to go in person right now. I do look forward to that, too. My little parts miss her hugs. Hugs used to bother me, so I’m glad she helped on that.
 
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