I don’t know where to start. Hmm…I’m not working, so I have lots of time. That’s one thing. I’m depressed a lot, but not always. I find I really need to get out of the house fairly soon in the day. That helps me rev up a bit, not get lost in dissociation or fog or whatever this is. I have things I need to take care of at home, but mostly I just ignore all, and leave for a few hours. Otherwise, I’d probably go back to bed. If I stay home, it’s as if I’m a machine that runs down – I move slower and slower, until I’m staring at the wall for minutes at a time.

Now I want to say – that’s ridiculous. I shouldn’t be doing that. How hard is it to wash the dishes and vacuum before going out. But. Although a part feels like that, I am trying to give myself space, to not let that part have its way with me. A part of myself batters the rest of me mercilessly. Sometimes with words – you’re so stupid, you stupid bitch, why are you like this, you have no friends….Nice. Very nice. Other times, it’s more with images of someone beating me with things, or beating child parts. None of this is flashbacks. That is, no one actually beat me, or called me a bitch as a child. But I’ve developed a part, I’ll call her Witch, that does this.

I figure I’m a bit ahead of where I was, because I’m now on to this situation. I can try and protect younger parts. At least give them space, and see that this attacking part is also a part, it’s not the Truth. Too bad just telling the Witch to cut it out has absolutely no effect whatsoever.

Choir went better this week. I’m so happy about this. I’m sure writing about it here, and discussing it in therapy, paid off. One dear commenter suggested taking something that comforts kid parts, and positive messages. I took a small blue plastic frog that fits in the pocket of my jeans. Whenever I felt anxious, I would pull out the frog (hidden in my hand), and it helped tremendously. Who would have thought it would. As well – positive praising comments (silent). That helped a lot also. Why be my own critic? It doesn’t really matter after all. Why not encourage myself, the way I’d encourage a young child who is scared?

The other benefit to being calmer was you sing better when you’re relaxed. I wasn’t super relaxed, and my high notes were screechy, but it was OK. We sounded pretty good I thought. Plus, people respond to you differently if you seem calm.

I got home and did not have an anxiety attack. I was pretty tired and emotional though. But overall, I’d say this choir experience was good. It gives me hope I might be able to join another more permanent choir (this one is just for advent).

Calming down this critic/witch part of myself is huge. It’s a huge job, because that part is so all-pervasive.

  1. leb105 said:

    yes indeed! You’re onto it! Why be your own critic? that puts you ahead! I like that you’re heading out early, because you need to – that’s great! Unless I have an early appointment, I tend to sit and have coffee…. have breakfast…. check email… and quite possibly, never get going. and then the day is wasted, and that feels bad.
    You think the ‘bad witch’ is a part (it “happens”), but the good mother is yourself, and is a product of effort?

    • Ellen said:

      Well, early is relative…it can be after eleven. But still, I figure it counts. Whatever helps sometimes.

      To your question – it does seem like that. I wish I had a ‘good mother’ part, but I don’t seem to.

      Thanks Laura.

  2. I don’t know if this will help you, but I have a part that was pretty brutal to the rest of me. It took awhile, but figuring out what the purpose of that part was (to try to keep me silent and protect me from what might come of sharing the abuse) and working on helping that part to feel safer was a lot more effective than trying to just get her to “stop it.” It turns out that this part that I saw as a real bully is just a frightened child, doing her best to try to help to keep me safe.

    I also admire you for getting yourself out to get going in the morning. That is something that I struggle with, unless I have some sort of appointment.

    • Ellen said:

      I suspect my ‘witch’ is a child part also, though she doesn’t seem like it. My parts are all children after all.

      Well, I have a standing appointment with the cafe down the street. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for sharing your experience Cat.

  3. Dishes can wait until you get home. Hugs. I think you are doing an amazing job at recognizing the part that is critical as a frightened part. I’m still working at accepting myself and that critical tape just plays and plays some days. My sister start responding to the critical tape with “Tell me something I don’t know.” It was interesting to see how changing her response to the internal criticism actually had an affect on the negative thoughts. I’m still working on ideas. Glad to hear you are enjoying choir.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for sharing that Ruth.

  4. Your second paragraph sounds just like me except I don’t call myself names. It took me a long time of paying attention to realize that my inner critic comes out in attitudes and beliefs about myself rather than words or silent inner comments or name calling towards myself…still very harsh and damaging.

    I applaud your self awareness and growth in all this.

    Naming that part is a huge step forward. “this attacking part is also a part, it’s not the Truth”.

    I’ve also glimpsed that even the attacking part has a deeper good intention for trying to “educate” me into a better way of being. it’s just using a very tragic unskilled strategy….that is criticising and shaming me into a different behavior. And that doesn’t work. That’s why it’s tragic. Mostly I don’t see or sense the good intentions at the heart of my inner critic. I’ve just learned to consider that from my studies of NVC. When I do catch a glimpse of the deeper good intention or pain that is driving the criticism I feel a wave of softening and self compassion towards even that mean part of myself. But that is rare.

    Ellen I see so much growth in you in this post!!!

    Ps this is Gel….I don’t have a gravatar anymore.

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Gel – I’d recognize you I think, no matter what – you have your own unique voice.

      I am not seeing the good intentions of the attacking part, but it makes a lot of sense that it’s there somewhere. Thanks for sharing your own experience.

  5. Ashana M said:

    I am so glad it went better. πŸ™‚

  6. Cat said:

    Something definitely changes when we process stuff through therapy. Glad it went better

  7. Hi Ellen,
    Gel here.

    Just checking to see how you’re doing.
    It’s been along time since you’ve written.
    Wishing you well.

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Gel,
      Struggling a bit and finding it difficult to communicate. I am going for lots of walks though. Thanks for writing. Hope your holidays are good!

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