Beth

fragmentsMy last session was different once again. I plunged right in with the difficulty I’d had after the previous session, getting stuck in a young part, and also feeling unconnected and alone. Ron as usual asked me what would he be doing differently for me to feel more connected, and I didn’t know. I always feel he doesn’t want to hear about this – like he wants me to tell him what to do differently. I don’t know what to tell him to do differently – it’s just how I feel. We get nowhere with this. Then I suggest maybe the feeling is coming from parts, not me.

So from then on, parts take over and the session doesn’t make logical sense anymore.

The kid tells Ron he never wants to talk to her, because he only wants to talk to sad people. And she doesn’t know sad things. Like he didn’t care when she told him about our Christmas tree. Ron just listens quietly.

Then somehow, a part whom I call Beth comes up. Beth is very shy, and she cries a lot. So somehow, she ends up crying for most of the rest of the session.

Beth seems stuck in the distant past, when we lived in a European country, before I was seven. She remembers bits of our childhood apartment. No memory comes clear though, I just see bits of things, and mostly feel overwhelmed with grief, if kids that young can feel grief. Maybe overwhelming sadness. She also feel tremendous guilt or shame, that she’s ‘bad’.

And that’s about it. Ron asks a few questions, but there are few answers. Just crying.

At then end of session, I’m trying to switch back out, but the attempt is not that successful. The grown-up part of me tries to chat with Ron, as a way of getting back. I touch on work, which is going pretty well, and my son, who is not doing well at all. But in the face of so much grief, I cannot stay adult. Beth talks about Ron’s car, which is one of the few things we know about him, what his car looks like, and that he has kids.

I stop crying enough to leave his office, and drive home OK. But at home, I’m back to Beth who is in pain, and I lie down the rest of Friday and most of Saturday. Sunday I manage to do laundry but not much more.

I don’t really know what’s going on beyond feeling pretty much crazy.

Beth does not communicate well, so she doesn’t get relief from writing to Ron for instance, the way the kid does or I do. I write him a short email Sunday, to which Ron replies (yay), but that’s it for human contact.

Ron wants to know how come her name is Beth. It just feels right I tell him by email. Doesn’t mean I have DID or anything. Just I want to keep the parts straight – hard to do without names.

Art: I cannot find the artist, apologies. I remember only that the piece was painted by a Holocaust survivor.

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4 comments
  1. Gel said:

    That painting is really interesting. At first glance it didn’t appeal to me. But the more I looked at it the more I wanted to look at it. Standing back away from gave it a different look as well.

    Even if there are no specific memories, the fact that you can let Beth cry in the presence of someone you trust seems a healing thing to do. You said that Beth doesn’t communicate well, and by that I think you mean she doesn’t communicate with words well. But I think she is communicating nonverbally very well. She seems to trust Ron and she is communicating her strong feelings clearly.

    This part you wrote about Beth: ” and mostly feel overwhelmed with grief, if kids that young can feel grief. Maybe overwhelming sadness. She also feel tremendous guilt or shame, that she’s ‘bad’.” That sounds a lot like how I felt as a 7 year old. I attribute that in part to being sexually abused. I definitely think a child can carry overwhelming grief or sadness. I did.

    Well it’s not my place to go one analyzing. I just wanted to say that Beth’s feelings seem really valid even if you don’t have memories as to why she feels that way. I’ve sometimes wondered if you can heal a trauma if you can’t remember the actual event(s). Now I think you can if you stay with the feelings and the body sensations and trust them, allow them to be felt seen and to unwind in a safe context.

    Blessings to you.

    • Ellen said:

      Glad you liked the art Gel. To me it really expresses what fragmentation is like.

      You’re right about the non-verbal communication – I hadn’t thought of that but it is so true. Thank you. She must trust Ron to come out and speak with him.

      I am sorry you felt similar – it’s a very tough way to feel. I agree children can feel large feelings.

      I like your philosophy a lot. Thanks for sharing and blessings to you also. 🙂

  2. Just sounds so hard. How long have you been seeing this therapist? Maybe its time to get one specialised in dissociation, and working with parts? Hugs Beth. XX

    • Ellen said:

      This was a really really rough session for me. I’ve been seeing him for three years now. Sometimes I feel like quitting and finding someone else, and then he ends up coming through for me again. Thanks for the hugs Many.

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