Piecing things together

HealingMama

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Been having a discussion with my mother the last few days around her critical behaviors. I was shocked at how receptive she was being. Today it crashed and burned a bit. She made my explanation about her. She made me caretake her feelings about my experience of my own childhood.

She can't help it but still. I was getting excited that maybe we could have more of a relationship.

She's so upset with us (adult children) because as she sees it, she sacrificed for us and therefore is entitled to our attention and emotional care now. She doesn't understand that while she did support my material and educational needs, my emotional needs didn't have space.

I had to take care of her emotionally when I was a child. I don't have much bandwidth to do it now, because I did it most of my life. She keeps lashing out at my sister and myself for only giving her what we each feel like we can give.
 

HealingMama

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Have not posted in a bit. Things are going okay I guess. Yesterday had some minor issue with my husband. He was kind of awful to me. Today I was trying to talk about that more with him and was emotionally "stuck" then he went to get our kid from daycare and returned to a totally different me. I guess I switched. I tried to decide should I tell him or not... and I decided to explain, because the behavior and emotional tone of this me is so drastically different from the other me. And he's like "I know, but thanks for telling me."

And I know I should not play favorites but life would be much easier if I could just be this me all the time, this one is so cheerful and pleasant to be around, this one is competent, not overly anxious.

I know that there is a positive purpose to all of them, but I wish I could at least protect my marriage from all the ones that are so insistent on doing things in a way that does not work very well with our partner. I just want to be effective and get our needs met and some of these me's have strategies that don't feel very helpful to the system as a whole and I do not know how to help them change. I guess that's what therapy is for.

I watched an ICAD Youtube today on communication with parts and the advice was the same stuff my T is already doing, help us understand if the part could give up the role they have in keeping us safe and protected what would they want to do and be, and then listen to that. But I was also instructed not to attempt communication with my parts outside of therapy, I guess it tends not to go well and one time I was very judgmental of the part and basically saying it should not exist and i understand that is not helpful and I am sorry to you that I said that about, when you were just trying to give me as host the break I said I wanted.
 
Trying to work on more body awareness and awareness of when my perception or stage changes.

Tonight I was reading a bit about structural dissociation of the personality and for some reason was able to have a felt sense of grief.

I think the parts that hold my pain realize I'm trying to not be so avoidant about it.

Grief really hurts.

Also my experience of my husband is all over the place as usual. Is he safe or unsafe. I don't know. I do know he really hurt me today. He belittled my attachment issues. I told him leaving conflicts unresolved before we go to bed messes up my attachment and he says putting his socks on the wrong way messes up my attachment and "don't give [him] that shit." Such a crappy thing to say.

It's not the first time. Sometimes when we are disagreeing I'm able to link my behavior to the triggering of my father's death and he acts like I'm trying to manipulate him.

He wants to make me think he supports me but then he kicks me when I'm down. And then wants to pretend nothing happened.

Anyway. Back to the grief. Grief is so heavy. It makes me want to just sleep. I am proud of myself for being in my body better. I am used to floating a bit outside of my body.

I joined this forum in 2017 and have been absent for a long time. Avoidance sets in and I stop trying to do my work. Hope I can keep going this time.
I believe in you.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
So this new part coming forward (or old part that's been hidden idk) has this "queen mother" energy. I feel strong, empowered, regal. I feel safe internally. I feel well-nourished instead of hungry emotionally. Tonight I decided to change my phone ringtone to a Queen song, and then realized it's probably related to this part situation ;blank; She showed up for me (again) after I had another unfortunate triggering experience with my partner. I basically gave up.

And then there she was comforting me, letting me know I can be safe in myself and don't need to cling to anybody.

Today in therapy my t was asking how my parts are feeling about my son's birthday party this weekend and my social anxiety/my fear of being judged... and I laughed because I heard a part inside say "f*ck them!" I need more "f8ck them!" energy in my life... That is what I am enjoying about this Queen Mother energy, it's like, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I'm me, I'm strong, I don't need them anyway. It's not reactionary, like punishing kind of "f them" energy, more like just, they do not matter if they are going to hate, because my own internal approval matters more.

Killer Queen (live)

OMG Freddie Mercury and David Bowie 🤩🤩🤩

Because love's such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night
And love (People on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is ourselves under pressure
Lyrics source

I am reading about the Queen archetype (source) because in some sense this part feels akin to that. Came across this bit about the difference between the Princess and the Queen:

The Princess archetype acts sweet and innocent. She patiently waits for the Prince Charming, and she also expects others to do things for her. She has yet to learn to work with her inner power. She foolishly waits for someone or something to save her. Her potential is dormant until it’s awakened by a life crisis or tough, challenging time. Only then she has the opportunity to transform into the queen. But would she?

Whereas the queen is wise because she has learned from her own mistakes and has faced her inner demons. She has looked deep within herself and, as a result, she has become stronger. Her power doesn’t come from her credentials, unlike the princess, her power is based on knowledge of her heart and mind. She has mastered the art of aligning her burning desires with her acts and clarity.

The strong and wise queen is one of the most potent archetypes because there is nothing that can stop her.
 
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HealingMama

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Update: I bought a journal for DID. My system was really excited about the idea of this and I figure it's a way to put some structure into learning about this side of myself which makes it feel safer.

(I'm not diagnosed with DID still. My therapist is discouraging formal diagnosis and I don't disagree with her reasons.)

So I used the "get to know your parts" pages the first day. I spoke to Attic again. He made me laugh when I asked what he dislikes and he said "listening." Ha he's a teenager alright. I also met a very social part named Daisy, and then I met a young girl fragment that I started to name "panic" then changed her name to "mouth" in case she clears the trauma she is holding I don't want her to keep a trauma name.

She came with a feeling of being suffocated like I could not breathe, hence the name mouth as it's like my mouth was forced closed. Not unable to breathe from panic but unable to take air in because the ability to do so has been blocked. And then an image of a penis shoved into a mouth flashed in my mind.

When I was working with Attic I had a thought that he may be connected to a cousin on my mother's side of the family named Jim whose name came up again when this image popped into my mind.

I tried to just sit with this experience for a few minutes. Then it was time to get my kid from school and it all got sucked back into a box somewhere.

I had therapy yesterday. I'd emailed her about this but we didn't talk about it in specifics more just general "what do I do when sh*t like THAT comes up" and she normalized how this is what often happens, things come in bits and pieces.

The fact that I can't know if this is True or figurative or my mind playing tricks on me because I somehow need to be so f*cked up is difficult.

I know that this cousin ended up in jail several times. I think he was into drugs or something. My other cousin from that side of the family was sexually abused by a family friend or her dad, can't remember now which. So the context fits. But not really knowing knowing is annoying.

On the other hand that means I can tell myself I'm making it all up if I need to I guess.

Last night I tried to have intimate time with my husband but all this sh*t kept trying to creep into the moment. I could feel it building on the other side of a mental wall and I was too distracted by keeping the wall up to enjoy myself.

Then I tried to just make my husband feel good bc I couldn't really get into it like I wanted to, but the things that I wanted to do for him kept stirring up these images and that didn't work out so well. He stopped me and said he wants me to feel safe and be well and I shouldn't do anything that doesn't feel safe.

(The day I had that image intrude on me, I told him in passing a general version of what had happened and said please be nice to me bc that was really hard. So he had some context for why I was having a hard time.)

So we just laid there for a bit and eventually I said he should go do his alone time stuff he likes to do and as he was leaving I felt a huge wave of sh*tty emotions overtaking me. It felt like the emotions from memories tied to this other stuff maybe, lots of fear, shame, disgust. I tried to feel it. But another part kept coming in trying to block it with more positive feelings. Which I'm sure was meant to be for my benefit.

This sh*t is hard.
 
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HealingMama

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Today I have a lot of joint pain, depression and now also pelvic pain. I don't have any medical conditions that would cause it so I assume it's either a body memory or psychogenic.

I am trying to integrate information related to my history, so I don't know that avoiding or distraction will be helpful. Pain alternating with desire. Weird.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
Woke up feeling much better today.
Then I got an unexpected phone call about a legal matter that I am not directly involved with, but experience some of the impacts which are incredibly unpleasant, and I am panicking now. Self talk...

I can only do what I can do.
This too shall pass.
I am always in the right place at the right time.
If I can't do anything about it, I might as well let it go.
If I've done all I can do about it, then I might as well let it go.
This shame is not my shame. I didn't do anything wrong. All I did was give people a chance to show who they really are.
 

HealingMama

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I am back, got some parts stuff, very squirrely. Writing here to remind myself to write here bc they want attention and I want to give them attention when I can bc that is what is fair and respectful.
 

HealingMama

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It's really hard to be a safe person when my person is not being safe for me. That's kind of a cop out. I used to have avoidant attachment. Fudge EMDR for changing that. Life was so much easier when I didn't feel.

I have a part that has been trying to get my attention! So much! For like two days! And I don't know what he wants!
I have a pocket of great sadness hovering right outside my body trying to click into place to be felt. I don't want to feel that shit.

Last week my therapist noticed how different I seemed. I was numb. I said this is familiar, this is how I spent most of my life before getting EMDR. This is safe. It is not safe to feel. It hurts me and it hurts people around me.

I have a crappy wooden relationship with my stepdaughters because I am too afraid to get close to them, I worry that I will cause issues for them and they don't deserve it. I also only know how to get close my own way, and that is not their family culture at all. They do not really ever get close. Probably bc their dad doesn't get "close" with people. Being in the same room, watching something, talking about it and having a shared emotion, that's close for him. Nobody talks about themselves. Nobody shares their feelings, their hearts, nobody is direct about their emotional needs. I don't really understand having an experience of closeness without those things. Everything is indirect.

I am feeling shamed right now. Exposed. Defensive. I just want people to be safe so I can feel safe and be safe. I want to be able to act safe no matter what but I do not have enough control over my system to do that. I am responsible for all these train wrecks no matter how they come about but shit it's really hard to be working so hard, and it feels like it doesn't count.

***
Husband sought me out for a repair/problem solving conversation. Lost my train of thought. Exhausted now.
***
When I get into this combative self-righteous space, it tends to drown out the needy parts that do not want to be left all alone. I think that's what was pinging me the last two days. The neediness, the sadness, because I had gone all hard, cold, stiff. F everyone. Let me ask the internet til I find enough people to say I am right. I don't know that I was trying to be "right" exactly. But reasonable. I need to hear someone somewhere tell me my needs are reasonable, because I've been told so many times that they aren't. And at one time most of my needs probably were not reasonable to expect to be met the way I wanted them to be met. But I really have done a lot of work on myself, and I believe that most of my needs now ARE reasonable. He says that too, when he isn't acting like a jerk.

Ugh I felt so called out here earlier, I do need it but man, I want to just slink away and never return to this place. I get so f'n triggered by mod interactions :(

My therapist is not going to take my insurance anymore. I was thinking of changing my plan so I have some out of network benefits. Tonight I am trying to help my husband find a therapist, and saw on the app some of the people listing dissociative disorders as a specialty. I was considering "shopping around" because hey if I can find someone affordable who knows what they are doing awesome but so far everyone I see that lists it as a specialty, somebody inside says hell no, so here we are.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @HealingMama I only got a glance at your other post, I don't think you have to be ashamed. Even if you see it now as not an emergency, it might have gone better if you had said something like, ~'I really feel stronger and more hopeful when I have a chance to talk to you (H). ' But still, he has needs for rest too, and other needs. He sounds burnt out. Alongside it, it is reasonable he rests, as is hoping he'd be responsive or supporting. But it comes with no guarantees, and I think that's where (with all people) we realize we fit or not. You would also have probably felt a lot better if you had framed it for yourself (and him) as, ~'Terrific, no terrible or life threatening side effects!' (Glad you completed it btw. 🤗 ). Then you could have been happy for that. But just as equally, he may not have wanted to share in your joy either. I think that's where coming in to yourself without blaming (yourself or others) is handy. But I understand, it feels like even if it is not personal (and it may or may not be), there is a reason. At least he told you some of the reason, and so you can work together on that. But knowing there is a reason is destabilizing on it's own. I would imagine you would hope to be a partnership, not just 2 individuals in the same house.

I don't think dismissive attachment means there are no feelings, just that attachment is not safe. It reminds me of some (pretty cold it seems, frankly) co-workers of mine who just went out to butcher roosters, and filmed it. They said it's hypocritical to eat meat but not be able to do it. I get it but I said I can't hug/ talk to an animal mon, tue and wednesday and then kill and eat it thursday, let alone raise it for months/ years. Maybe if I had starving kids, but not if I alone was starving and none of us there are. (The owner is always saying ~'She loves them!', and what this one or that does , or their personality. I said, 'Hope you never love me (x)!') Maybe I could do it without attachment. And so, it is tempting to return to I will recognize and not react innordinately to something trauma triggered, but also recognize to feel not receiving a reasonable response makes attachment itself feel undesirable. And I would say that includes any example, even family, and unfortunately even tempting about one's spouse. Because people have to invest in each other or their relationship for anything to be of value. Or it can feel superficial as it may with your step daughters. Yet, it is also necessary to meet your own needs. I think a balance. You should not be strangers or adversaries or forget to love. But it will end up a choice- many choices, probably.

JMHO. Good luck finding your own T. 🤗
 
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