Noticing Parts

LittleBigFoot

MyPTSD Pro
So my IFS homework this week is to notice my emotions and correlating parts but I’m struggling with it.

Is dissociation a part?

When I was in that other thread, there were things I disliked of course but I wasn’t angry or triggered. I felt pretty neutral about it. Is that a part?

When I binged last night, I tried connecting to my binge part but couldn’t seem to get anywhere beyond just feeling the need to binge, it’s all I could focus on and wasn’t able to grab any rationalization. What was happening there and how could I find that part again?

When I feel the need to restrict my food intake, so opposite of bingeing, is that it’s own part or is that still my bingeing part?

Everytime I try to go back into that room I created I seem to bounce right back out and can’t connect with anything, am I doing something wrong?

How does everyone else who do parts work notice their parts?
 

ruborcoraxxx

Sponsor
I started to notice the part I call Lassie after I started doing DBT and identifying sequences of events that would set off always in the same way, and would result in me behaving in dynamics that were/are very rigid and out of character. They asked to name the sequence of behaviours, and it already had to do with a dog, that I was envisioning as… Lassie, without it being very clear why until later.

But when I started IFS just journaling to be true, it just started to be that sort of general assembly in my head with everyone wanting to say something, which was bizarre but not unfamiliar, it’s difficult to explain. They didn’t wait for a room. Some parts also don't talk, but "send", feelings, images, sensations, whatever.

Perhaps to begin with you can start with trying to identify sets of behaviours and see what are the feelings, passing thoughts, impulses, needs linked to it. Or catching moments you’re having fleeting and a bit "weird," yet recurrent, patterns of thoughts. I don’t really know as I didn’t struggle that much to find the main structure. I had visions of myself doing this or doing that in the form of the part. I found it was easier to give voice to them writing than just waiting for something to manifest.

Sorry I don’t know if this is very useful as I didn’t struggle at all to find them, but some of them I did struggle, and some only came out as others did manifest. I’d say it’s possible to have layers of it. You also don’t have to necessarily see them as "versions of yourself" or "child self", some people might identify more easily other genders, other people, animals, plants, inanimate objects or disembodied consciousnesses. There really are no rules but finding out what makes sense for you and feels right.

But what I felt is that the parts linked to behaviours, and not ratiocinations, they typically aren’t very verbal. So if the binge part doesn’t want to speak, it’s probably because it’s not the right way to connect to her, or that the method isn’t familiar.

It might be difficult noticing the actual real stuff as your brain basically is doing what it can for you to avoid or even full stop block thinking of it. So that if doesn’t come off easily it’s alright as well.

This said bearing in mind that I couldn’t find a therapist who would do IFS so I just started from scratch because I really felt it was something that could work well as I used to write fiction a lot.

Did your T give you any guidance?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Some parts also don't talk, but "send", feelings, images, sensations, whatever.
This ^^ second this. I tried talking with parts bit initially it didn't work. This was partly because some parts are not cognitively developed to use words (very young parts), and also my T said those parts don't know adult me exists for them to communicate with.

It's a mind field starting out with the parts thing recognising what is a part and what is 'you'. And being blended with that part, or being able to hold that 'dual' state of feeling what the part feels but also being present day you. Total mindfield.

Maybe start with something smaller? I don't know because, but maybe the binge/restrictive food behaviour is a big thing to tackle immediately with parts and maybe there is a more gentle way in? I can imagine that the part that decided that was the way to protect you, might need a lot of encouragement to 'repurpose' itself. And there might be work to do before that is possible? If that makes sense?
 

LittleBigFoot

MyPTSD Pro
Both of you make a lot of sense and I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. T is guiding me and we’ve only had one session where parts were introduced as even a thing so I can imagine these questions will ultimately be answered later. But with my homework being to notice parts or emotions and stuff and with my tendency to jump into something head first and try to immediately conquer it . . . Ugh.

I haven’t had any part say anything yet, it’s just been feelings they give off. And I’m trying to recognize what’s a part coming up and what’s not. I think I may have kind of accomplished a bit of that today. I had a deep sense of abandonment wash over me due to some things and so I did my best to visit my little den and I could see another character showing up with that feeling attached and was able to glean a little more. So I guess that’s progress.

The binge part frustrates me because I really really want that part just gone. But T says we aren’t actually going to try to get rid of her at all and I don’t know how I feel about that. I want her gone. But you could be right that it might be too big for being so new to it.
 

ruborcoraxxx

Sponsor
The binge part frustrates me because I really really want that part just gone. But T says we aren’t actually going to try to get rid of her at all and I don’t know how I feel about that. I want her gone. But you could be right that it might be too big for being so new to it.
Normally, the more you’ll work with it, the better the situation will get. Remember you want to get rid of a behaviour, not of a part of yourself. If you have in mind you’re searching for destroying, and her behaviour has been so repressed because it triggers shame, actually it makes sense she doesn’t manifest.

But as @Movingforward10 said, it might be a big difficult work, that one. And perhaps with more than one part involved.

I think I mentioned it in another thread, but something that Gabor Maté said (talking of addictions) was that as long as you repress the addiction and the part of you that is doing this, as long as you identify it as doing bad and being bad for you, you’re gonna be in a war with yourself, and that part will come up angrier and needier than ever. It’s once you accept that even these parts, they’re trying to do something for you (eg, compulsion/addiction working as pain distractors) that you can make friends with them and help them to bring the similar protection and improvement, but with other patterns. If that makes sense. I think he said that with much more clarity!
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Totally second what @ruborcoraxxx said! And this also shows how hard all this parts stuff is.
Because logically I totally get why you want that part gone. It's not helping you at all (now). Of course you just want it out of your life. But.....that part took that job for a reason. That part has its own logic in there and it's helping that part, with kindness and compassion, understand that that reason isn't needed any more.

My T said (because I struggled with this feeling of being frustrated, angry, ashamed, of certain things I/parts did) that I need to say to parts "thank you for doing what you did to protect me then, that got me through, but now I have me with all these adult skills to protect me, so you can now retire your way" . Something along those lines.

It's not about getting rid of parts. But integrating us into a whole person.

But what is really good is that you have recognised you want this part gone. You can explore why that is, and see how you can become compassionate to yourself (which that in itself is a massive thing to do!). And once you have that compassion for that part, things will start to slip into place.

It's a long process. Lots of deep layers to it (oooo how I hate discovering another layer to work through!). And I totally get the "I need to fix all this now". - I am exactly the same (trauma brain saying: I need to be in control of everything and fix it as otherwise terrible things will happen?). I hope you can find a way of accepting and being ok with this taking a bit of time.

I keep recommending "healing the fragmented selves of trauma survivors" by Janine Fisher. It helped me to understand.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Normally, the more you’ll work with it, the better the situation will get. Remember you want to get rid of a behaviour, not of a part of yourself. If you have in mind you’re searching for destroying, and her behaviour has been so repressed because it triggers shame, actually it makes sense she doesn’t manifest.

But as @Movingforward10 said, it might be a big difficult work, that one. And perhaps with more than one part involved.

I think I mentioned it in another thread, but something that Gabor Maté said (talking of addictions) was that as long as you repress the addiction and the part of you that is doing this, as long as you identify it as doing bad and being bad for you, you’re gonna be in a war with yourself, and that part will come up angrier and needier than ever. It’s once you accept that even these parts, they’re trying to do something for you (eg, compulsion/addiction working as pain distractors) that you can make friends with them and help them to bring the similar protection and improvement, but with other patterns. If that makes sense. I think he said that with much more clarity!
Your quote from Mate is simplistic and profound. I used to say feeling bad or being afraid to feel bad was the only motivation I ever had for doing anything, where’s the good in that? The worst possible scenario is I take it out on me.
 

StillPen

Confident
A couple of things for me. I went into a trauma center where they were open to DID (some/many are not in the US). My therapist had me ask questions to my parts, like "what would you like me to know"? I had to write it with my right hand. Then, with my left, I would write the answer from that part, even if it was, "I don't know" or if I heard a grunt, or got a pic in my head. It really helped my parts begin to communicate, even a little. All my parts are me at different ages (so far). That is not the case for many others. Parts may express themselves in many ways as others have said. Another thing I've done is document a list of what each of my parts is "in charge of", from getting dressed to choosing the music I listen to, who makes the bed, who chooses what to watch. I figure as each part gives up their unhealthy coping tool, they can pick up a new "in charge of" task. I specifically use that language to give my parts the "control" they never had growing up. They are "in charge" of, and they get to "choose" (My 8 year old gets me dressed every day. She donated all the clothes in my closet she did not like...it was very empowering for her). The list can change and parts can switch tasks as I get a better grip of my internal world. I too, hear my parts communicate in different ways; internal thoughts, pictures, voices, headaches, or some days, no communication at all. I am just now, somewhat, hearing them speak to one another. My hope is that you realize that all parts,no matter how they present, are working to protect you, the best way they know how in the moment. Give them grace and I believe they will work to change their behavior as you contine to work with your T and on yourself.
 
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