bearI have been having trouble expressing myself. It all seems like too much trouble. Yes, I’m depressed.

I’ve missed describing my last two sessions. What they had in common was the last twenty minutes of both was devoted to parts.

I hate that I’m in parts. Sometimes I think it is not true, it’s just a trick of therapy. After all, they speak mostly in therapy. I can hear bits of things on my own, but they only really come out in therapy. So are they real? I didn’t have the kinds of horrifying experiences others with parts have had. Though I did have the SA beginning at a very young age. Is that enough to cause this?

Allowing parts to speak feels good at the time, unless I go into a flashback. But just allowing their opinion to be heard seems fine. But at home, I then fall into a thick and heavy depression. Is it the pain these parts carry? Or what? Why does it make me so depressed?

I feel like I have to just survive the heaviness of it. Ron seems very far away and unimportant. Writing to him seems like too much trouble. What can he do, in any case? I don’t know what’s wrong.

I’m down to doing the basics – cooking so I can stay on the paleo diet, which is a lot more cooking than I’m used to. No toast. Doing chores is a big deal and difficult.

I know I need to express myself, and so here I am posting. It just doesn’t seem worthwhile, but I know underneath that it’s worthwhile.

I hope you are all well or on the path to happiness.

The illustration is to please younger parts. They all want balloons.

Art: Art painting by Byetom

  1. Dealing with parts can be deeply confusing. I guess that if the parts were different entities, then the question of whether they are real would be important, but the parts are a part of you, so aren’t they automatically real, because you are real? I have a question for you: does it really matter if they would there or not without the therapy? If they are useful and help you to express things that you couldn’t otherwise express, and contain difficult emotions at other times, then they serve a purpose for you. I know that I personally find it difficult to tell where the division is between Internal Family Systems style ego states and dissociated parts. Generally, I just need to work with myself, however I need to work with myself at that moment.

    A thought about the depression… Have you noticed a seasonal component to your depression in the past? This is the month when depression tends to become noticeable, if a person has issues with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    Lots of support for the depression, sense of isolation, and figuring out parts…

    • Ellen said:

      I want to argue but at the same time you are making lots of sense Cat. Just, parts expressing themselves is making me feel worse in a way. I feel a lot of shame when I switch into parts, there’s no way around that. Maybe I’m acting, for some hidden reason – but then, why would I do that? I have nothing to gain whatsoever.

      I don’t know about a seasonal aspect, but your comment reminded me of my SAD light. The light helps for regular depression too. I’ve started using it again.

      Thanks for the insights Cat.

      • What I really was trying to say was, “It seems that there must be a very good reason for you to experience the parts, whatever their cause might be. Things are already hard enough; maybe you could let go of worrying about whether or not they are “real.” They are real because they are an expression of you, albeit a very uncomfortable one that you might wish wasn’t there.”

        I probably still said it poorly, but I hope that was a bit better… Sending lots of support… In my experience, it was so hard to learn to accept that my internal reality simply is the way that it is. It didn’t “make sense” to me and I hated that I experienced it that way, but I do best when I just accept it and go with it.

        • Ellen said:

          I should probably paste your words up on my fridge. It’s true. Thank you Cat

  2. Gel said:

    Thanks for talking about it. I’ve missed hearing from you.
    While I connect with young parts of myself, I don’t think I’m split into parts the way you describe, so I don’t know what to say about that.
    The depression rut I do know well. I bet you’ve researched about it a lot – have you? I mean looking at sources of depression like whether it’s from past traumas, or due to a chemical imbalance or season related lack of sunlight, not getting enough vit. D….and the list goes on.

    You mentioned needing to express yourself. Do you think not expressing yourself leads to the depression? or is it harder to express yourself when you are depressed? Right now I’m thinking that part of the need to express ourselves is so we can be heard and understood by others….and feel connected. I know that when I express myself out loud to someone, it seems to transform compared to when it just stays inside me as a thought/feeling.

    Well it seems good that you wrote and maybe doing more of that would be good.


    • Ellen said:

      Yes. I feel like I’ve tried every cure known to woman kind, including vit D, SAD light, exercise….Now I’m trying homeopathy and aromatherapy actually.

      I felt a bit better after writing this post actually. I agree with expressing being a good antidote to depression. I seem to lose the will to do so though, but I need to push through I suppose.

      Thanks for your support Gel.

  3. Ashana M said:

    The parts are real in the sense that they are our best approximation for what it feels like to be us. So there are things about yourself that you do and feel and ways you see yourself that seem to be very different from the self you are most of the time. These things are also you, but talking about them as being parts captures that sense of not-me-ness that they have. So they are both real and not real, I think. They do exist, but it’s hard to talk about them or understand them, so we may not be entirely accurate in what we say about them. We do need to talk about them, even if we don’t have it all quite right. That not-me sense is deeply mysterious and puzzling. But if part of you wants balloons, they should have balloons. It may not take much to create a sense of being in parts, so I wouldn’t worry about that. The kinds of things I’ve been through usually create DID. I don’t know how I lucked out.

    I’m glad you posted. I’ve been waiting on your next update.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah….I guess. For me the parts are really immature young child parts. They see things like a tiny child might. Or they’re stuck off in some past event that happened decades ago. They don’t make a lot of sense mostly. So the sense of not-me is very strong. I am a middle aged woman who can cope with the world, not a child.

      I am glad you escaped DID. You are an example of someone who experienced extreme horrors which I just didn’t, yet here I am with parts. Maybe it’s constitutional – I had a strong inborn propensity to dissociate.

      Thanks for thinking about this with me Ashana.

      • Ashana M said:

        Thank you so much.

        I’m sure your parts will eventually make sense to you.

  4. i know you are trying to push through, and try the many alternatives out there, but when depression becomes debilitating (and not being able to cook/eat/feed yourself sounds pretty debilitating) would you be open to considering meds again? i have always been very skeptical about meds, and the psych industry as a whole, but the right meds have turned my moods around and sometimes quite dramatically. i’m not really sayign anything you haven’t considered, but maybe a more general comment woudl be that to even attempt that route you have to have a great doctor… not just a pill pusher and a non-listener. and for me meds don’t replace therapy one little bit… it just gives me the energy to do therapy. otherwise i’m just too devastated. here’s hoping the SAD light helps! c.

    • Ellen said:

      Natural remedies / homeopathy / meds….it’s all the same principle really. I’m not philosophically opposed to meds. If they worked for me, I’d take them. The thing is, they don’t work for me, and they make me feel sick. The only ones I find helpful are the benzos, but those are addictive, so I use sparingly. It’s true, I had a pill pusher, but I’ve tried a lot of the ADs. I’m glad meds help you.

      I do feel there’s a chemical basis, after a certain point with the depression.

      Thanks for your concern Catherine.

  5. weareonebyruth said:

    I tried leaving a comment yesterday and my computer totally trashed the comment. Trying again.
    Sharing how I feel and hoping it gives you a different perspective. My counselor asked me which one of my parts was real. I was furious because I am all real. I knew that part of my anger was from the many times I was told that my emotion, whatever it was, wasn’t real. Not real made me invisible. So my counselor stumbled on a massive hot button. My parts did not grow up before counseling. I am not sure how I measured growing up when I didn’t count the years. I just know that when I let my parts have their say, feel their feelings, and share their fears and frustration they grew up until I integrated and we were all together. Took me a long time to accept that the parts didn’t diminish me but enriched me with memories, feelings and experiences. I hope this doesn’t sound totally caotic. Depression is still a struggle after integration. I keep working on it.

  6. Ellen said:

    I’m sorry your comment got trashed – I hate that. Thanks for reposting it.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with parts. I hope that will happen for me also. I just seem to stumble into so much pain when I let them speak, it’s very difficult. It does make sense though. I’m sorry you still suffer from depression, though of course I can relate also. I wonder if my parts will mature – so far they haven’t, but then, I haven’t been working with them long.

    • Ruth said:

      It was hard for me to tell they were maturing….I knew it was gradual but then they were more mature…It was like they were changing but I didn’t notice until there was a large difference in how they responded. Thanks for understanding.

  7. Hello 🙂 I found your blog through random therapy-blog-hopping.

    I can identify with this a lot. My situation is different; I have ‘parts’ too, they are definitely distinct parts of me, but not as separate I guess? They don’t have their own voices or anything. It’s more just parts of me that were neglected or abused at a certain age I guess, split off but not to the same extent, but still needing to be integrated. So it’s not quite the same. But I know about the heaviness, and I know about doing just the basics. And although it is different, I know how scared I’ve been when I’ve felt very young, or been coming from a place I’m not familiar with – it’s terrifying sometimes and that brings on huge feelings of shame. For me, I felt like I was disintegrating, or going mad. I hope you can work through this. Ron sounds great from what I’ve read so far 🙂

    And I love the picture!

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Blithely, great to meet you. Thanks for sharing how you experience parts – it sounds similar to me. I think parts are different for everyone. I tend to feel unique in terms of parts because I don’t have DID – my parts aren’t separate enough for that, yet I still have them. A lot of blogs I follow are written by folks with DID. Anyhoo – it’s a continuum. Ron is great, most of the time, though I’ve also had my struggles with him. This is a blessedly calm period for our relationship, lol. Thanks for understanding.

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