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"Parts" and their SI

Punky143

MyPTSD Pro
I/we have many complex parts within our system. Each one of them having different thoughts, experiences, likes and dislikes. The list goes on so yes, it's a lot to keep up with all of them.
The question I have is: does anyone have parts that in times of struggle they immediately start obsessing/SI. It's really odd because I know it's becoming more of frequent but I myself haven't gone down that road. It's an odd feeling and we struggle to communicate it to our T. Does this happen to others?
Thank you
 
Yes. I don’t have DID, but from Richard Schwartz’s IFS teaching I learned that the SI parts could be inner critic or fire fighter or other types. Usually they are trying to protect you from the pain of facing shit, is how I understand it. Like you might not be ready to stay present with yourself or accept some grief, for example.
 
Yes. I don’t have DID, but from Richard Schwartz’s IFS teaching I learned that the SI parts could be inner critic or fire fighter or other types. Usually they are trying to protect you from the pain of facing shit, is how I understand it. Like you might not be ready to stay present with yourself or accept some grief, for example.
Thank you for responding. Everything sounds familiar and I wish they would cooperate more.
 
For me? Yes, absolutely.

This is distress, yeah? As in, the part that is obsessing, or stuck on SI, is dealing with very high levels of distress. Obsessing and SI aren’t very good solutions, but they are a way of dealing with that distress - it’s a ‘solution’ they have some control over. And just that small level of control can be incredibly reassuring.

For me, that kind of distress by one of my parts has required a whole-system response. One of the very few good things about DID is you have other parts who are coping.

The part that’s really struggling right now may not want to trust them, but for me, getting the system (as much of it as can meaningfully help - of the older parts, not young kids) to really wrap themselves around this part and help them out.

It’s likely that none of your other parts can really put themselves in that part’s shoes, and understand what they’re trying to cope with. But they can absolutely help out.

For me, some of the key steps to that have been:
- hearing the part. Give them a safe time and space to be as open as they’re comfortable with about what they’re dealing with right now, and just like you would for your fellow pstd’ers, validate that suffering. It makes sense that it hurts, and although it won’t always be like this, sometimes there’s no way around those emotions

- assessing what aspects of your daily function that part is fronting for, and how your other parts might be able to step in and carry those responsibilities for a while

- have a conversation with your parts about what kind of comfort you can offer that will specifically speak to that part, and bring that in to the daily routine for a while. For example, while one of my parts needs me to go boxing when she’s distressed, another of my parts needs me to hit the chillout playlist on my earbuds and take a walk in bushland.

- try and find out from that part if there’s anything in particular that is making this distress worse right now. Sometimes that conversation can highlight to other parts “this thing that you’re really invested in at the moment isn’t working so well for someone else in the system”. DID is endless negotiation and compromise, and when one part is struggling, it very often means other parts need to compromise, even for a time-limited period, till everyone’s okay again.

- reassessing my internal safe spaces - idk if everyone with DID does this (doubt it!), but every single one of my parts has an internal safe space, and every one of those spaces is unique. Because it’s the place that just one part can escape to, any time, no questions asked, that feels safe to them.

Sometimes some of my really ‘troubled’ parts have had to take some time with my internal diplomat to revisit how they’ve designed their safe space, because sometimes some of them have actually turned it into a living nightmare.

Those safe spaces have saved me countless times, but I do have a diplomat part, that nearly everyone trusts, who now sticks their head in occasionally to make sure that parts who have withdrawn to their space are genuinely in a space that is bringing them a feeling of safety. And there’s been times where I’ve had a part allow another part to bunk in their safe space because that was required for them to feel safe.

Tldr: like so much of managing DID, for me it’s all about a shittonne of communication and learning to be kind and supportive of each other! Not a small task!!
 
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The question I have is: does anyone have parts that in times of struggle they immediately start obsessing/SI.
Parts? No.

I have a helluva lotta headspaces/rule-sets I operate out of, & shift gears through, but they’re all ME.

Part of me that immediately kneejerks to killing myself as a solution to ANY difficulty? Yep.

Yo. Brain. Stop that.

I DO recognize it’s my brain trying to be helpful, and looking for solutions, it’s just extremely black&white / all or nothing, and it jumps to the most extreme option first. Always. So I ignore it. Or glare at it. And demand better / more nuanced options.
 
I second everything @Sideways wrote.

For me - for a long time I was terrified of my suicidal part. But when I realized she was here to help by reminding me there is always a way to make the pain stop (as such giving me a sense of control over very helpless and painful emotions) I realized that she wasn’t so scary. T recommended I try to befriend this part, so that’s something I did eventually learn to do and has helped immensely.

When my suicidal part comes around now, I see her and acknowledge her, I thank her for trying to help me, but tell her not today.

Then I work on looking for what emotions are living underneath the SI (usually sorrow or fear or anger) and with which other part those emotions are coming from. Because for me the SI is a patterned emotion (a feeling that’s easier for our system to feel that is blocking access to a deeper core emotion). When it’s not safe to have emotions (as is often the case growing up with the kinds of trauma that cause dissociative splitting), the brain keeps trying to avoid them…but we have to learn how to feel the emotions to help the parts and to get better. When I figure out which part is struggling, I try to help that part and work to address the underlying core emotion instead of avoid it.

It’s been a messy, difficult, ongoing process…but, with practice and self-compassion, we are making progress. Wishing you lots of luck with your parts!
 
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