Green cell

I quit therapy. Quit quit quit. It is too too painful and I’m not going back. No way.

From an email I thought about but did not write and did not send to Ron. Therapy hurts.

I’m just going to write how I feel. Pretty bad. I can’t stand that I’m in parts. It seems such a huge awful thing. Telling the group about it made it seem more real. But though I felt a jab of it there, once I got home, it seemed OK. Then I went for therapy. We didn’t even discuss it a lot. I mentioned how I don’t know how to describe what I felt at the end of the group. Like an earthquake, I try. Devastated, Ron says. Devastated. Yes that fits.

It’s kind of like a huge emptiness, thin, surrounded by a black border. Like those cells you sliced, coloured and put on a slide in biology class? I feel like that cell, magnified to fill vast regions of space. Then subdivided.  It is tinted green though, a nice translucent deep green, my favorite colour.

Hmm…cells are alive, but not conscious. This one is a specimen for study. Not what I want to be.

When it was just me and Ron and well, yes, this blog, I could be making it up. Parts. Just a manner of speaking. Telling six other people – makes it seem real.

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18 comments
  1. Laura said:

    I wonder why you feel so alone and like a specimen, when the group was relating in varying degrees…I'm sorry, this is a terrible feeling – to feel stamped with a shameful label. I used to get really scared that I was a narcissist. All of a sudden it seemed like everything pointed to it, and I was doomed.Is this a part who thinks it's vital to stay hidden? and was devastated by disclosure?

  2. Ellen said:

    Thanks Laura. It is an awful feeling. And I really am in parts, it's not a fear. I used to be afraid I was borderline, so I know what you mean about worrying that you are a narcissist. Just the fear of being 'a hopeless case'. I don't think you are at all, BTW. Narcissists don't worry that they are, for one thing.I don't know the answer to your questions, I'm just overwhelmed. Yes, of course, there is a part or most of me that thinks being hidden is vital. Yes. That's one reason parts develop – to hide things from myself and from others. Really good point.Yes, the group was fine. Maybe if I'd disclosed earlier in the evening I could have talked longer and maybe processed more, I don't know. Thanks for talking to me – I feel really alone right now.

  3. ((Ellen))I think that an earthquake is a very good way to describe it. I think it is amazing that you could tell the group and feel okay about sharing with them. Whenever I manage to take a big step forward I think the backlash from the step is sudden and painful. The bigger the step the harder the backlash. Take care of yourself this weekend. I'm sure you will be doing a lot of processing in the next few days.Di

  4. Paula said:

    Sorry for feeling so bad. Earthquakes are part of therapy. Some call them break downs, I call them break through. You had quite a big one, its scary, its liberating, its good that you get it out. So much of you was hidden for long. Hiding became "normal, dysfunctional' but normal to you or some of your parts. certain dysfunctions lose their power over you – that is a awful feeling. Comes with shame, guilt, discomfort and the desire to run. During my therapy I have been at this point 3 times, twice I run, twice I returned within days. Third time I acknowledged the desire to run and simply sit through it. I felt so incompetent, not capable, so ashamed and put a lot of pressure upon myself. But I sit it through. very very grateful that I did!Love and hugs up north

  5. Ruth said:

    Earthquake, isolated, specimen under a microscope…all are descriptive. I felt similar feelings. One of the other feelings that may come later is relief because like you said one possibility for the change in behaviors is Boderline. Parts is not hopeless. Parts are parts. You reaction is similar to mine. I am thankful I stayed the course. My counselor once asked me if I would rather have lived in the olden days when they walked across the United States with many going hungry and other hardships or being in counseling. I told him that I would make it easy for him, "I would rather have cancer again than go through what I have with counseling." It is tough. You took a massive step by sharing in group that you function in parts. Sounds like some of the others might also be fragmented. I just want you to know that you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by finding out that you function using a system of parts. Take care this weekend. Ruth

  6. Being in parts is quite normal people it's just people don't notice that's how things are. People don't notice the joins. Jung writes about this a lot as normal aspects of being human. It's a bit like having different outfits that you wear for different situations; you have one outfit for the office and another one for partying with friends and another one when you're out alone and so on. So the choices for any one person to make are either to unknowingly get dressed up -which means that each parts will just appear without you noticing it all – or you knowingly dress up – so different parts of yourself might appear at different situations, so you might be one person at work and a completely different person at home; which is quite normal, or the third option is that you're pretty much the same person wherever you are. Jung thought this was the best option and many people do too but it's not the easy option. It's also not going to be easy if people forced you into different roles when you were with them, so some people might only expect you to be a child for example and not allowed you to behave in any of the way.I've seen this situation personally with a friend when I was buying a car, they were very very insistent on the car that I should buy that would best suit me and they became very very upset and agitated when I insisted I wanted to buy a different car. the problem was that they had a mental image of the person they thought I was and for that image to work I would have to buy a quirky car; but of course I was not that person. Somehow the idea that I got to choose the car that I wanted to buy with my money – that suited my purposes – was one they could not cope with. It was very upsetting for me to try and fight against that.At the time I ended up taking the car they suggested for a test drive but then went on to buy the car actually wanted. If I had been stronger I think I would've had a bigger fight over it and just not even bother the drive the car they suggested.I am deliberately no longer friends with this person because they seem to do this with lots of people – to try and shape everybody to be just as they want – and to get upset when people fight against that.Currently I am also working on bringing different pieces of myself back together because PTSD shattered me in lots of ways. The process is painful and going through it means that I sometimes sleep quite badly and I can be quite emotional on Some days.I'm currently thinking hard about one relationship because I need to work out if in it I will be allowed to be me sufficient so that it can be a relationship. I'm worried that if that is not the case then maintaining the relationship might be harmful for me. The PTSD has made me extremely sensitive to attempts by other people to manipulate or control me and so I have to be conscious that sometimes I might overreact to what others would see as quite normal behaviour. For extroverts; wanting to fit into a group and wanting others to also fit into a group is normal behaviour. I don't know where to draw the line. My instinct is to get enough sleep and work on things so that I can just be myself at least when I'm alone and build strength around that. Then when I'm used to just be myself without worrying about PTSD and everything else. I can just naturally be myself around other people and if they try and force me into any particular mould it won't really work.This has been a long reply Ellen. Please feelings you are feeling can be taken as a good sign that intuitively you know that being like this is not ideal and that there is a better way to exist and that you are capable of achieving it. Being able to recognise the different parts of yourself and being able to manifest them freely or whenever you want are both vital first steps on integrating them into who you more fully are.

  7. Laura said:

    How are you feeling this morning? Your parts saved your life and continue to do so – that's my understanding. They're part of your innate life-loving wisdom, as is sharing them with us, sharing them with Ron, and now, the group. Shame is the enemy, not parts, or even the trauma.

  8. gniz said:

    Hi Ellen. Much respect for the hard work you've been continuing to do. Recently had a phone call with my niece. Things are bad, she's now been hospitalized twice in the last month. Her parents are actually doing what's called a CHINS petition (Child in Need of Services) that puts her into the court/legal system.In some ways this is good because a judge will be in control of her case, but also its bad because she just gets more labels. She's been diagnosed as having ODD (oppositional defiant disorder).After speaking with her I was enraged once again at how nobody in my family advocates for her at all or even cares what she's going through. When I think of you, I think of her. How it is to be shunned and marginalized by the adults who are supposed to protect us.I know something–a little something about it. It is very destructive, it is absolutely devastating. And yet here you are still doing the work and coming back from the very brink. These people nearly destroyed you but they didn't actually finish the job, which is why you are putting the pieces together and coming back to a whole.I hope against hope that my niece will one day be so lucky.

  9. upsi said:

    Thinking of you and honoring your courage. it's hard to feel alone and broken and hopeless, hard to try to heal bc we have to tear open wounds and thrash painfully there. I'm sending you tons of love, you are worth fighting for.

  10. Ellen said:

    Thanks everyone for your comments encouragements and stories. It means a lot to me. I can't seem to reply right now but will soon.

  11. Ellen said:

    @ di – backlash – that's a great way of describing this feeling. At first I felt great, then horrible. Thanks di.@ Paula – I think for me there's a lot of shame involved here. I still really want to run. I'm still thinking about it. Your story is hopeful, thanks Paula@ Ruth – Thanks Ruth. It seems kind of hopeless but I suppose it is good to accept the truth. I don't know if having parts is better than borderline….not better, but more healable. It's just a difficult road, like in your T's example, just internal not external.

  12. Amanda said:

    The truth is, this is you and there are many parts. And that is more than okay. You are who you are based on the experiences in your past. When we put ourselves out there for others to know, we are being vulnerable – and are leaving ourselves open to potential hurt from others (and how they'll perceive us).Don't doubt that you did the right thing – it took great courage to do what you did and to open up who you are and let others know. You are brave and I hope you realize that soon. I know that the "aftermath" can be difficult to sit with … keep writing (even if you don't publish or send it), draw, etc to release your feelings. What I try to do in situations like this (after "revealing" myself to others) is to imagine someone else telling me the same things. Imagine the courage and vulnerability it took. What would you think of that person? How would you help that person cope?Sending you many hugs …

  13. parts = pain, there was lots of pain. so much pain, it fragmented the mind

  14. Ellen said:

    @ Mike – That's a real interesting perspective Mike. PTSD is certainly shattering. Very odd behaviour by your ex friend – sounds very controlling. My parts are actually not roles. They're parts of me stuck back in time. Ron always says parts are a continuum, and I'm on the more severe end though. I don't know. I do feel like a freak I have to admit. This can happen when you are traumatized at a very young age. I keep hoping it's not really true. I worry about friendships also – I have much more desire to be the real me, and not just pretend in order to have friends, than I used to have. Great to hear from you Mike and learn a bit more about your healing efforts. Thanks for the comment.

  15. Ellen said:

    Thanks JBR.@ Laura – I was depressed all weekend. Or maybe processing is a more hopeful word. At least now I can write again. Wise words – shame is the problem, you are right about that. Cheers@ gniz – Sorry to hear things have been going so badly with your niece. Sometimes I wonder though if it's not better for things to really fall apart when you're young, and you then can get some help at that point and have a chance for a decent life? Maybe not. But a lot of my life has passed and it's been completely driven by trauma. Your niece does have you also, which is a great thing. I think in abusive families, the denial is so strong, anyone who threatens that, like a victim speaking, is shunned and silenced. That's how it works. We've talked about this before of course. I'm betting your niece will find her way. Having even one person believe in her is going to be really helpful. Thanks for the kind words Aaron.

  16. Ellen said:

    @ upsi – Thanks upsi. It is painful, and the support helps. Appreciated.@ Amanda – It's true, I would have compassion for someone else in the same situation. It's good advice to write etc, but all I was able to do was survive actually, it was just so tough, and still I'm emotional about this. Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs@ UC – Hi UC! Nice to hear from you again. I popped over to your new blog and I'll be back. That equation does sum it up.

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