Catching up

DarfieldChurch copyIt’s bone chilling out there. I only dash outside to get groceries and pick up dry cleaning, then right back inside. Tomorrow I’ll have to go in to work, and I’m not looking forward to the commute.

I’m feeling better. Still with issues, but the depression has receded somewhat. I no longer think about killing myself first thing in the morning, at least. That sounds a little harsh, but it’s good to remind myself that when I feel like that, that is depression, and it will get better and I’ll think differently again.

I’ve been trying two activities – church, and salsa dancing. Neither is going that well, so they may not be activities for me, but it’s good to try things. I may not be a churchy kind of a gal. I am looking for God, it’s true. I want to develop my spirituality. And church is easy to go to, no special planning is required, and it’s somewhat social, which is what I want. Just….

Sometimes it seems a set-up for hypocrisy. Talking about being loving and kind to all. What if your real self isn’t loving and kind to all? What to do? You hide your real self away anxiously. Plus…my social anxiety really kicked in at church. I’m worried about how my voice sounds, singing, and saying the prayers and readings. I’m worried I screech those high notes.

Then I’m anxious at coffee time. People make an effort to talk to me. I don’t know. Last time, the whole deal gave me severe anxiety. I imagined I seem mentally ill, that they could all see it and felt sorry for me. Or scared of me. Or something.

Still – I like some things about it. I like that it’s open to all – a way to be with many kinds of people, older, children, etc, not just a few women my age. And like I said, I am looking for God. Not a bad idea to learn from others who have looked before me.

I’ve been to salsa dancing to keep a friend company. I am not a good salsa dancer. But I kind of like it. But….I end up dissociated. That is, feeling two dimensional, unable to sleep or to relax. It makes me so angry, that I can’t enjoy something simple like taking a dance class because of this automatic mechanism that kicks in.

As to therapy. I’m working with parts. Last session started out very anxious. I was worried about saying anything, in case I felt as bad as I did after the previous session. So I sat, maybe five minutes, at one point getting up to go. But I ended up talking about it instead.

I ended up feeling connected and supported that session. Different parts spoke with Ron. They long for contact with him, like kids who are drowning and see a grown-up out there. If I don’t let them speak, they feel so abandoned I can’t stand it. I tell Ron I could spend the session talking about my problems in an adult manner. Just I would get beat up once at home.

I am learning not to be angry with Beth. I’ve always hated this part, without being quite conscious of that. She is so shy and so sad. In my family, shy and sad were not acceptable ways of being. Maybe that’s why I disliked her so. It’s very difficult, being kind and accepting to a part I haven’t accepted before. The thing is, her pain is so deep, it stops me from getting on with my life. So I’ve felt I have to push her away.

It’s true, if she takes over, I will not be able to function.

But being kind to her also feels good. It’s a day to day new way of navigating. Trying to be a good mother to very damaged parts. It means allowing them their feelings, but also moving away from them so I can offer comfort and do things they need done.

Art: Darfield Church, Steve Greaves

  1. weareonebyruth said:

    It helped me to nurture the young parts. I hope it helps you too. Ruth

    • Ellen said:

      I know it helps me too and will help me more if I can do more of it. 🙂 Thank you Ruth.

  2. Gel said:

    This post seems full. There’s a new energy here.

    Where you wrote: “Talking about being loving and kind to all. What if your real self isn’t loving and kind to all? What to do? You hide your real self away anxiously”.
    I would question that it’s your real self that isn’t loving and kind….That would be the wounded self lashing out (IMO). And that part is not good to unleash at church or other social activities. But is it your real self? I don’t think so. .I believe that the essence of our real selves…..that when we are unencumbered by wounds and mistaken beliefs, that we naturally are kind and caring about ourselves and others.

    Can you give Beth a structured time all for her? You said her pain is so deep it stops you from getting on in life. That sounds like your adult you that has needs that matter too.

    Maybe you can find a compromise. Maybe tell Beth you will give her your undivided attention for an hour (or 15 minutes, or 5 minutes or 2 hours – what ever you feel truly capable of giving). Then do that. but stick with the time limit so your adult self is assured that her needs are met too. Maybe Ron could help with that in a session to help have clear boundaries.

    Maybe if the parts know they will be heard and have their time, then they will accept some limits so your adult self can still function. Do you think boundary setting is important in dealing with parts?

    Your last paragraph says it all.

    It seems like a lot of progress comes through in this post.


    • Ellen said:

      I’m glad you noticed that there seems to be progress Gel, despite some negatives. I’m trying things and doing positive things, I think so also.

      About the church comment – I didn’t express myself very well on that. And I would not lash out at all – never socially. Sometimes at work I’ve been aggravated by some stupidity, but socially, I’m very shy and polite. You may have got a different idea from my descriptions of group therapy, but that isn’t how I am at all normally. Anyhow. I meant something different – this having such high ideals, that are really impossible, it can create guilt and it can create kind of ‘shadow sides’ – where people suppress too much of what they are. But it’s such a complicated topic anyhow.

      Maybe I can make time for Beth – not sure. I’m working things out currently. Not sure about completely switching either, if I can then get back. It’s not straightforward – I could get stuck, which is what happens after therapy. But it’s a good idea to experiment.

      The part about parts having their time – that’s exactly what Ron says. Yep. I’m not sure about boundaries – it’s more like setting up inner communication I think. I’m just not sure about things to tell the truth.

      Thanks for your comments and suggestions Gel, very thought provoking.

      • Gel said:

        Oh I didn’t think you would actually lash out in church or anywhere. I don’t think I got a wrong idea about you from what you have shared about being in therapy group either. I thought you were referring to inner feelings that seem far from the ideal of being kind to others. Even if you aren’t expressing those parts they can feel icky. I mainly question that those are the ‘real’ self.

        Inner communication between parts sounds good. Maybe by ‘boundaries’ I mean having a clear time frame that is just for a part so she knows she’s getting her time. I don’t mean ‘boundaries’ in the sense of walls. It’s funny how words can have different meanings.

        I forgot about sometimes you get stuck in a part.
        Thanks for listening to my rambles.

        • Ellen said:

          Well, those parts of me are there, so they’re real enough. I agree they could be healed at some point in the future. I’m glad you didn’t get a bad idea of me from those posts. 🙂

          The clear time frame – it’s good for therapy time. At home….maybe. Parts aren’t really like people, though in a way they are also. Having a time for any part that wants to come forward might be doable. Thanks.

          Thanks for thinking along with me so closely, I appreciate that.

  3. candycanandco said:

    Hi Ellen, I lost you for quite a while so I was interested in your update. It’s great that you are in touch with your parts and still working with Ron.
    Keep warm,

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Candy, nice to hear from you again. I think you stopped blogging? Hope you’re doing well. I’m going on very similarily as you see, except with more knowledge of parts now. It’s still the big chill here! Thanks for commenting again. take care.

  4. candycanandco said:

    Hi Ellen, I lost you for quite a while so I was interested in your update. It’s great that you are in touch with your parts and still working with Ron.

    Keep warm,


  5. Cat said:

    Sometimes I imagine people are thinking I come across as being mentally ill. It can hold me back from mixing in social situations.. Of course, it’s not true. I am encouraged by your determination to overcome your “anxieties” and attend church and the dance classes. There is a real process of change going on there

    • Ellen said:

      So you know the feeling then. For me, sometimes it really flares up, and I’m never sure if I am acting in any way strangely, or if it’s my mind running away with me. Thanks!

      • Cat said:

        I find when my paranoia flares up, it makes me behave in strange ways and that just makes the whole episode more distressing.

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