Frustration and anger toward parts work

12birds

Confident
Let me lead by saying parts work has been helpful thus far, but I dislike it. It makes me so angry and I feel incredibly silly (feeling silly also makes me angry, so it's a cycle). I have no idea what to do with how I feel. My therapist is great, but I'm tired of talking about my ~little girl~ right now.

It would be helpful to read what other folks are experiencing emotion-wise while doing parts stuff. And what you do with those feelings in a therapy context.
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
I join you on that as I too do not like, inner child, younger parts reference. for me is that I have no connection, very little memory of those days and get frustrated with something that does not resonate at all. I know we all need to be heard and helped but sometimes it would be better if we could step away from the language of parts and just be helped to get a sense of what is needed.
 

Geopolis

Confident
I'm currently experiencing some frustration with it as well. Just talked to T about it yesterday. Heres whats happening for me.

Anger- swells of anger out of nowhere which makes me incredibly uncomfortable because anger was discouraged as a child and I have no idea how to handle it. T says it shows that the work is working. Writing/venting on paper helps a lot.

Less Shame- this throws me for a loop because I don't know who I am without it. I feel disconnected from the world I once knew. Staying aware, taking notes on my observations and being patient.

Fear- intense amygdala highjacked reptilian fear of...? I just pause and wait it out as best I can.

Compassion for self- a slight protective feeling for my parts is growing more and more.

T keeps reminding me that what I'm feeling is showing me what is underneath and I have to stay vigilant in documenting it so that we know which way to "lean into". You're obviously doing some good work if you're having different emotional responses to things! Stay the course! You're definitely not alone on this journey 🤗
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
I live in a stream of consciousness brain, it is hard to accept those things that happened way back when were happening to another state of consciousness. This is the only one I have ever had and it has always been mine, me, this guy in this room right now.
but it has been helpful to imagine talking to another person, same young age, same horrible circumstances as I found myself in way back then. The only thing I can think of to say to that kid is "come live with me'. I would have gone if it had been offered by someone I trusted, but I trusted no one back then.
Thats as far as I get with the whole "inner child" thing. The inner child died when I started knowing that my adults were assholes and I wasn't and I need to be free of them ASAP or I might become one too. Thats when the inner child died, because it was him or me i guess.
 

12birds

Confident
I join you on that as I too do not like, inner child, younger parts reference. for me is that I have no connection, very little memory of those days and get frustrated with something that does not resonate at all. I know we all need to be heard and helped but sometimes it would be better if we could step away from the language of parts and just be helped to get a sense of what is needed.
Gosh, the language is so weird isn't it. Occassionally it makes sense and other times it sounds patronizing.

PTSD treatments sometimes seem like they're throwing lunchmeat at us and seeing what makes a sandwich. I'm a club, but you're a reuben and that guy's probably a grilled cheese but they haven't invented cheese yet.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
Parts work has been amazing for me. I'm aware of emotions but can differentiate them as coming from different parts.

However, I have a dissociative disorder of some kind, so I'm not sure we are both talking about the same kind of parts. My parts talk to me in a sense. I have more than one child part.

Can you explain what about it is making you angry?
 

12birds

Confident
Parts work has been amazing for me. I'm aware of emotions but can differentiate them as coming from different parts.

However, I have a dissociative disorder of some kind, so I'm not sure we are both talking about the same kind of parts. My parts talk to me in a sense. I have more than one child part.

Can you explain what about it is making you angry?
It's entirely possible we're not. I have not consulted with google about terminology, I've just seen people write about it here and then obviously I'm doing the work in therapy.

My therapist explained that with compounded trauma, especially trauma that occurred over several years in childhood sometimes people get "stuck" at different ages. She's also said that as a protective measure sometimes the brain splits. So I'm working with one child part, a teen part, and an overactive protective part. My diagnosis has only changed from ptsd to cptsd and parts work doesn't come home with me. It just stays in therapy.

It makes me angry because I feel ridiculous doing it. Sometimes I have the sense we're not actually talking about me or relating to my current self, because that is who my trauma impacts. That's where the frustration comes in. It could be I'm only having this reaction because of emotional distress.

If you don't mind my asking, what is communicating with your parts like for you? It's interesting you experience them as responsive.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I get the anger.

For me, the anger is another part trying to stop the exploration of the trauma. The protective part is angry because it has spent all this time protecting you from the pain, and here you are digging up the pain. So it's frustrated as hell. My T says it's about re-purposing the part.

The disconnect to the child/traumatised part and not being able to relate it to you: is again the protective part protecting and shutting off the pain. I felt silly about it too. Childish. But it isn't. That child part could never express itself. It needs to. It's ok. Learning compassion.

So.....learning compassion. Trying to take a step back and creating awareness about what you are feeling, and working out which part is feeling that and why, and then how to help that part overcome it so that you can integrate and heal. Trying to hold a dual state of adult you and your wishes/feelings, and the feeling of the part. Trying not to be consumed by the feeling of that part.

It's a tricky, confusing process!

But it's great you recognise your emotions.
You're on your journey of healing.
 

Geopolis

Confident
@12birds my parts work started when my T suggested we do a meditation and meet a younger version of myself. I totally get the skepticism side of this work. Had he asked me any other day I would have been distant but I was desperate and completely open to it. My diary starts at this point and explains the whole process.

I usually bring the intense feelings I'm having to him and we meditate to see what we can find. I usually find another "part" or "child" and get frustrated because I mean.... come on.... I'm trying to get help here not find another freaking kid I have to tend to. Then I feel ridiculous for even entertaining all this sh*t.

But there's one thing that brings be back to kinda believing in it. When I'm communicating with these parts it "feels" true and I'm having results emotionally handling life.
I have the benefit of a T who previously did emdr with me and who specializes in guided meditation so without that idk if I would have fully subscribed to the whole notion of younger versions of me protecting/needing me otherwise.

We all meet in a safe place (a big nest in a field) and I listen to them. I also do non-dominant hand writing to them. Sometimes I can't believe this is my life 🤣
 
I understand the anger and feeling silly around parts work. I did parts work for awhile. I had to identify and name all my parts. I feel like I spent most of my time doing that instead of working with them.

I'm nowhere near DID, but I do understand the theory that everyone has aspects of their personality that will front in certain situations, and that this fronting may be a lot more pronounced in trauma survivors. I did find the concept of the inner child, teen, etc. useful, but making up different personalities based on my feelings ultimately just didn't work for me.

No modality will work for everyone. On the other hand, if you feel like it has been helpful, you might want to explore why it makes you feel so angry and silly.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
It's entirely possible we're not. I have not consulted with google about terminology, I've just seen people write about it here and then obviously I'm doing the work in therapy.

My therapist explained that with compounded trauma, especially trauma that occurred over several years in childhood sometimes people get "stuck" at different ages. She's also said that as a protective measure sometimes the brain splits. So I'm working with one child part, a teen part, and an overactive protective part. My diagnosis has only changed from ptsd to cptsd and parts work doesn't come home with me. It just stays in therapy.

It makes me angry because I feel ridiculous doing it. Sometimes I have the sense we're not actually talking about me or relating to my current self, because that is who my trauma impacts. That's where the frustration comes in. It could be I'm only having this reaction because of emotional distress.

If you don't mind my asking, what is communicating with your parts like for you? It's interesting you experience them as responsive.
Oh yeah that might be a protector part getting angry. My T tells me when I'm getting ready to have parts communication I invalidate it somehow "this is crazy" or "I'm making it up" or something like that.

Mostly they communicate somatically with sensations or emotions. Lately I'm also able to "hear" some internal thoughts also. It's my voice but not "my" thoughts.

Some of my parts are "trauma holders" and when I am connecting with them they feel awful, very depressed or ashamed or panicky. They carry that stuff so I can function in my life otherwise. So even though trauma impacts me now, talking to them is eventually part of healing the trauma because they carry emotions, sensations and needs that are part of my experience of the trauma and reaction to it. I may never have "play by play" memories of my trauma to process, not all of it. But I may need to integrate these parts better to be able to accept what they carry as part of healing from it and how it impacts me now.

I saw this therapist specifically for attachment problems from my trauma stuff. It's been helping.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Sometimes I have the sense we're not actually talking about me or relating to my current self, because that is who my trauma impacts.
Do you feel something similar when you're talking about your trauma in any detail? I mean, when you go into painful trauma stuff, does it feel like you're talking about someone else's life in a way?

If so? Then it makes sense that talking about your inner children would feel similarly dissociated from your identity.

Compartmentalising is a way that we cope with our traumatic past (no news there). For some people, it's a lot like "stuff that happened when I was 6 goes in the 6-year-old Box", and on and on, separating out our lives into compartments, then locking them away where we don't need to deal with them. And that's how we continue on with each day.

That doesn't always translate well for everyone when you talk about those boxes as 'inner children'. But, one of the therapeutic benefits of doing it that way, is you approach the trauma from the perspective of the person it happened to: a 6 year old (for example), rather than an adult, with adult emotions, sense of self, and understanding of the world and our relationship to other people in it.

The other benefit (for a smaller number of people) is that their development can, quite literally, get emotionally arrested at younger ages as a result of trauma. My sister, for example, is the emotional age of a teenager. That's less likely to be why your T is approaching it this way.

It's possible that anger? Is a perfectly appropriate reaction to addressing your inner child. Is it possible there's part of you that is angry or resentful to the child that experienced your trauma? I often feel like "that child" kind of screwed up my life, and yeah, that can make me pretty angry. And dealing with that anger (anger at myself), is actually a significant stage of my healing process.

So, in itself, anger may be exactly how you're 'meant' to be feeling right now.

Alternatively? Inner child work may not work for you. And that's totally okay too.

If you'd like to work more on the 'here and now'? It's okay to tell your T that. Or at least, it better be, because it's what I told my T last week. "We aren't gonna do more digging at trauma right now". Because it's not the right time for me to do that.
 
Top