How to ‘connect with’ a split-off part? (Not DID)

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Ahhh @barefoot, everything you write reasonates with me totally. I felt precisely the same way. It is so frustrating and annoying.

I absolutely get the "I don't want her" feeling. I had that. I was so annoyed with little me. I mean, little me had trauma happen to her. Little me didn't stop it. Little me let it happen. Little me was dragging me down. If only little me didn't exist, I wouldn't be in therapy and feeling all this crap! So yep, I've done the hating of little me.
And then, why on earth would little me speak to me if this is how I treat her! So I had to address my anger and hatred towards little me before little me felt safe enough to talk to me. The way this happened for me is a number of things. Starting to feel compassion for little me.

You will get there. It is a frustrating process. Hugely annoying. But, I think knowing you feel these things is a massive step. Also, exploring these feelings. Thinking what part this feeling might be and being curious what that feeling is communicating. Because that feeling may be a 'part'.
 

Waterbear

Learning
Barefoot, I can totally relate and I really feel for you. Take it steady...one tiny step at a time (even if they are backwards, What surprised me most in therapy was one day suddenly realising that backwards can actually mean forwards!!)
 

barefoot

Sponsor
@Movingforward10 it's just so bloody frustrating, isn't it?! And painful.

I hadn't really managed to get underneath the rattled feeling to know what it was. It felt generally quite angry. And I think there was some disgust in there as well. But now you've said it, maybe hatred is the thing I couldn't quite put my finger on. Maybe hating that part? Or, at least, hating that it exists, which is perhaps slightly different.
The feeling rattled/angry just felt quite general about the whole topic. And then I would also feel angry towards my T and myself. It hadn't crossed my mind until reading your post that perhaps I am angry at the part... Something to think about...

Also hadn't thought that these current feelings (rattled, annoyed, irritated, disgusted) could be another part's feelings, not 'mine'. I'm not very au fait with all this parts stuff!

Hmm...

@Waterbear thank you. Yes, you are right about the way progress works in therapy....'realising that backwards can actually mean forwards' is a good way of putting it!
I must try not to be so impatient and not to get so frustrated.

Patience and calm and self-compassion have all gone out the window for now.
Replaced by being harsh thoughts. And an urge to either do something to cause my body pain or to go and have lots of sex. I've done neither, so I suppose that's good! It's just unsettling to have old feelings and urges back. I thought I was further along the road than this.

Sigh...
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Replaced by being harsh thoughts. And an urge to either do something to cause my body pain or to go and have lots of sex. I've done neither, so I suppose that's good! It's just unsettling to have old feelings and urges back. I thought I was further along the road than this.
You are further along. You're digging into another deeper layer, unearthing some primal stuff, so makes sense it triggers familiar and old ways of coping? (Important thing is you are aware and you haven't acted on those thoughts/urges).

Hope the compassion and kindness comes back....whilst I'm in that little rabbit hole too at the moment, it does seem that being kind to ourselves and giving ourselves that understanding is where the healing lies?

Yeah, it's all very confusing. And painful. But, today I'm in a place about being reflective after a challenging therapy session yesterday. And it's helping me to think : ok , I feel these two opposing feelings/thoughts: ("it's good to finally talk about X" versus "X never happened, I'm making it up"), so they must be two parts in conflict. And adult me can try and figure this out between these two (irritating, annoying and frustrating) parts. No idea what those parts are, but they both feel their view point strongly. It would be very welcome if those parts helped adult me out a little, gave a little clue or something, but they don't as they are too busy with their feelings/roles. It does help to recognise this though. As it helps to distance myself from the feelings of the parts and makes it more bearable. If any of that makes sense.or helps any.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
You are further along. You're digging into another deeper layer, unearthing some primal stuff, so makes sense it triggers familiar and old ways of coping?
That's a really helpful way of looking at it, thanks.

I'm in that little rabbit hole too at the moment

Sorry to hear that. Hope your reflective time today has helped.

It does make sense and help, yes. Thank you. Inner conflict is something I find so stressful and difficult to deal with sometimes. So, looking at the conflict in terms of parts being in conflict could be a helpful thing for me to keep in mind. It can be so head f*cky to so strongly think/feel/believe X but then also so strongly think/feel/believe Y especially when those things are polar opposites. I know Janina Fisher speaks to this in the book you recommended. Thinking on it, I think so much of therapy has been, for me at least, a major exercise in holding paradox!
 

barefoot

Sponsor
No problem @Movingforward10 - to be honest, I forget that I’ve posted here half the time!

Have parked this for the last few days as have just started a new work engagement, which is quite full-on and I want to be fully focused on it. I’m having fortnightly therapy at the moment (not really what I want but I’m trying to save some money) so I’m taking a break from it this week. Or perhaps I’m just avoiding it…! 😉
 

Missycat

MyPTSD Pro
@barefoot , just seen the post. I took a bit of a break from the site as had a lot of stuff going on and i felt i couldnt add value (
Just me giving myself a hard time). Anyway i read your post and I honestly felt as though i was reading about myself, how you feel sometimes , particularly at end of session. Ive not been diagnosed as DID, i used to dissociate/ disappear a lot but as therapy has progressed im a lot more present - this is when ‘my other part’ showed up - the angry part, the one who holds all the awful memories but also the part of me that fought back too. Ive worked with my t at trying to listen what angry (my name) is saying - i do have conversations in my head that
Ive always called ‘noise’ - it doesnt freak me out any more i now join in the conversation! I didnt want to give ‘the noise / angry me’ any space or room but have realised i need to listen or find a way to work alongside her. What works for me is journaling or when i feel that part of me coming to the forefront i doodle / draw/ write down all the stuff going on in my head - it doesnt matter if it makes sense or not - i then share it with my T, we then discuss at session. It is small steps and its bloody hard but im confident i will get there and i hope you do too.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Does anyone have any thoughts, experiences, insights or tips to share about doing this type of therapeutic work? I feel really stuck with it. How do you connect with a part like this? A part that’s split off, dissociated, largely ‘unconscious’?
And then, at the end of today's session, I had an instant feeling of longing for my T. Of missing her. Of not wanting to wait two weeks to speak to her again. I felt a bit...abandoned
I don't think you need to have been abandoned to have attachment issues. Pretty sure this feeling may be significant.

So for me, what I eventually figured out was that there was helplessness/hopelessness attached to my split off part. Disorientation triggered me into the helpless/hopeless state. Any feeling of being disoriented had me instantly regress into a 2 year old or younger state. It destroyed my life.

Now I know that in order to go places where I may get disoriented, I need someone with me who is aware of my issues so I can ground to them. Luckily, I have a few people in my life who would be willing to do this with me.

The work involved in figuring this out is logged in a thread I made about tracking emotions. Opened the whole thing wide up for me. After over a decade of trying to figure out WTF was happening to me to throw me into these states I recognized that it was disorientation or not knowing where to go 'Where do you go when there is no place to go' that fit right into my trauma from 0-2 years old while shuffled around between 20 foster homes that were both abusive/violent/terrifying to me as a young child. Disoriented is what T's and I think would have had to have been walled off in my psyche until the Domestic Violence 43 years later triggered that dissociated part of me back to the 'front' of my psyche.

Oh, also, any type of overt arguing. That throws me into the state as well.

Does that make any sense to you at all @barefoot ?
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Thanks @Missycat - it’s good to see you here again.

Sounds like you are doing really well with this stuff.

I journal sometimes too but not for a while and I haven’t journaled about this, for some reason. Perhaps that’s something I need to try…
 

barefoot

Sponsor
You have done so much work on this @shimmerz - I’ll check out your other thread.


I don't think you need to have been abandoned to have attachment issues. Pretty sure this feeling may be significant.

I guess not. Attachment wise, I tend to be avoidant. Though with my T I toggle wildly between resisting closeness/wanting to run and feeling clingy/like I want to be with her all the time. The push pull is exhausting and painful and it doesn’t really show up with anyone else. Feeling clingy/wanting to be close/finding it difficult at the end of sessions/feeling piney for the days after sessions…I find it so mortifying.

there was helplessness/hopelessness attached to my split off part

The helplessness resonates with me too. I’m going to think about that.

Thanks. You always provide food for thought!
 
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