An update. Work is not bad (for a change). The manager is nice, normal and positive. I’m working from home a lot, which really takes some pressure off of me, because going in to a corporate environment day after day takes such a toll on me. On the downside, it can be tough to motivate myself sometimes, as the work is often not engaging. And I’d like co-workers, but don’t have any on this contract. But – I’ll take it. So relieved to have paying work once again. It’s like a little bit of peace inside, just this knowledge that I have money coming in and don’t need to worry, at the moment anyway. So yay! Focus on the positives.
I continue to go to therapy. It’s so painful and confusing that I’m not sure how much I want to share about it. I haven’t felt like quitting since that session three weeks ago, so that’s positive.
I had been having sessions that focused on the adult, as if I didn’t have any parts. Which was OK. Just I’d feel, in parts of myself, that some essential things were missing. Which I suppose is the parts that didn’t get time or attention. Then I hope that I don’t actually have parts and am more normal. But it’s also painful.
Last session I went in and didn’t want to chat about my life. I’d had a massage, so talked about that. Then some exercise I did stopped me from sleeping. And I stayed with the parts of me that don’t function well. And that led back to different parts expressing themselves. And I don’t really know what to say about it. These child parts are definitely there and I think now are the source of a lot of the feelings I have – the shut-down feelings, anxiety, sadness…But also, a child part seems to hold a lot of playfulness and feelings of OKness.
It’s hard to switch back at the end of the session. I kind of manage though.
After, I felt that the adult had been missed. I had a sense that the session passed in about ten minutes, which is disorienting. I can remember it, but somehow still I have the sense that no time passed.
I’ve forgotten anything Ron said. Surely he had points to make, but I can’t remember. Mostly I’m left with the strangeness of being in all these parts. I really really don’t want to believe it.
I also re-read today a paper I had downloaded to my desktop previously –
The Treatment of Structural Dissociation in Chronically Traumatized Patients
Janina Fisher, Ph.D.
And the reason is, I desperately want some kind of roadmap as to what to do if you’re in parts. OK, I can see that I am, but I need some kind of plan. Something. Ron is kind of exploring what the situation is, but he’s hazy on what an approach might be to help this situation.
I love this paper by Fisher. Especially the last third of it, where she discusses how to treat dissociation. Her approach is all about strengthening the adult part, who then builds bridges and cares for younger traumatized parts. To me this makes a boatload of sense. I’ve always been weak on keeping the adult in charge, sometimes approaching life as if I were a child, which works badly.
Therapy sometimes seems to encourage child parts to take over. I then get stuck in a traumatized part and can’t function until that part recedes, which can take days. According to this article, this is not helpful. I also just think this is not helpful. The idea of the adult taking steps to try and soothe the parts makes a whole lot of sense.
It’s different from other therapies which encourage sitting with feelings. Fisher says that right out also. You are trying to refrain from shutting down feelings though, but you’re also trying to soothe and comfort so you feel better. Just switching into the part with the feeling doesn’t necessarily help by itself – you don’t move through it, the way you might for a feeling that’s not dissociated.
I’m considering sending Ron the article but also hesitating. He very much dislikes any kind of medicalization, so I’m worried he will reject this for that reason. She does have a kind of medical type style, with vocabulary for symptoms….My own view is that when you reject a whole category of work because you don’t like anything that seems at all ‘medical’, you throw out a lot of helpful information. No need to adopt the vocabulary of this to find it insightful.
I’ll see. I’d be so pleased if Ron read this and wanted to try the approach. Even if he just read the second half, where she discusses treatment approach, and skipped the first part, which is more theoretical, with ways of speaking that may be irritating.
Being in parts is a big problem. I really want to be working in some way that might help.