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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: Snowdrop on August 03, 2019, 08:55:24 PM

Title: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 03, 2019, 08:55:24 PM
I'm a bit nervous about starting a journal here, but I wonder if it might help me make sense of things. I've experienced multiple traumas, starting at a very young age. Some things I remember, some things are vague, some things I remember then forget again. I know there's more to remember, and a lot to work through.

=== Possible TW ===

Something new occurred to me today. My half-brother (HB) is older than me, and we have the same father, different mothers. I grew up knowing that HB's mother hated me. I knew that she had a history of violence, and that she'd made threats against me. I'd been warned at an early age how dangerous she was, and that if she saw me, she might attack me. But I now realise that I didn't know what she looked like, as I'd never seen a photo of her. To little me, this meant that everybody was a potential threat. I can see how this could have contributed to hyper-vigilence, as I had to stay alert in case I was attacked.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 03, 2019, 09:04:11 PM
That would have been awful. :hug: to have to always be on the look out at such a young age. I know that feeling. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Deep Blue on August 04, 2019, 01:29:19 AM
Welcome to journaling snowdrop.

I hope you find more and more clarity as you write down those memories and feelings  :yes:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 04, 2019, 04:57:53 AM
Quote
I'd been warned at an early age how dangerous she was, and that if she saw me, she might attack me. But I now realise that I didn't know what she looked like, as I'd never seen a photo of her.

Wow... I'm speechless at the thought of how much strain that put on the shoulders of a little person. Offering tender  :hug: if it's wanted.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 04, 2019, 05:29:19 AM
Thank you for the replies.  :hug:

I think it was a strain, but I didn't feel it as I'd already gone numb. I can remember coming out of school when I was aged about 5, and looking at all the parents waiting to collect their children to see if any of them were about to attack me. It's what I did every day, and I thought it was normal.

In a sense, HB's M was like a trauma generator. She was extremely violent towards F, abusive towards HB, and attacked my M. I think I grew up caretaking M and F's traumas, as well as being HB's scapegoat.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 04, 2019, 07:17:08 AM
I think another factor is that I internalised the hatred HB's M had for me when I was too young to understand relationships and family dynamics. I remember asking what I could do to make her like me, and there was nothing. I internalised a belief that I was hateable, and there was nothing I could do about it. As an adult, I know that the hatred wasn't personal, it was about what I represented, but I didn't understand that when I was very, very young.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 04, 2019, 01:03:46 PM
  :hug: that's more than any child should have to deal with. Big hug :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Human on August 04, 2019, 01:56:02 PM
To have to worry about and watch out for bad people can be very traumatic for a young child. I am sorry you had to go through this.

I hear you in regards to feeling numb. I think many of us go through that as a defense mechanism.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on August 04, 2019, 08:23:22 PM
I remember asking what I could do to make her like me, and there was nothing.
My heart goes out to you here, to you now and to Little Snowdrop then.  :hug:  :hug: I wondered similar things but didn't ask.

I hope you find writing your journal here useful. I've found it immeasurably useful in sorting out myself and my thoughts and feelings, as well as getting support and validation. I hope it's similar for you.

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 05, 2019, 04:57:24 AM
Thank you for all the support. I can't tell you how much it helps, knowing that you get it and validating my experiences.  :grouphug:

I'm probably going to go quiet for a few days. I dissociated quite a bit yesterday, and I have a busy day tomorrow which I need to be present for.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on August 05, 2019, 05:18:14 AM
Go at your own pace  :) We'll be here when you get back.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 05, 2019, 02:18:52 PM
 Hope the day goes well!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 06, 2019, 02:50:27 AM
 :hug: hope you have a good day.  Here for you when you need us. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 06, 2019, 07:13:52 AM
Thank you. I honestly appreciate the support.

I wasn't planning on adding anything this morning, but there are things I need to get out of my system in order to best proceed through the day.

=== Possible TW ===



I had a nightmare last night. I was in my parents house, and HB was looming over me and shouting at me, telling me all the ways in which I was rubbish, a failure, and everything was my fault. This kind of thing happened in real life. When I woke up and calmed down a bit, I visualised myself back in the nightmare, but this time I said "that's not true". White light went out from me, forcing him back, and there was also a wolf defending me. Feeling better now.

I've also had some intruding thoughts this morning, but they're currently fading away. I'll come back to them if I need to.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 06, 2019, 12:37:13 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 06, 2019, 02:14:37 PM
Wow, that's powerful! Glad you could defend yourself like that.  :applause:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 06, 2019, 11:04:19 PM
Strength!!!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 08, 2019, 08:01:32 PM
Thank you, Three Roses and notalone.  :hug:

I've not been feeling that strong today. I spent the morning feeling pretty numb. I could remember traumas, but there were no emotions attached to them, and I found it difficult to do much. This afternoon, the numbness has gone, but my emotions are all over the place. Anger, guilt, sadness... Bit of a roller coaster.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 08, 2019, 08:09:42 PM
Being numb and flooded with feeling are both difficult. Hang on. Take a baby step to bring a measure of calm: hot tea, focus on five senses, meditation, a blanket, etc.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 10, 2019, 02:46:13 PM
Thanks, notalone. I think I'm through the worst of it, and your words helped.  :hug:

I think the main trigger was that a couple of weeks ago, my parents passed along something from HB. HB and I aren't in contact with each other (a good thing), and I know that it was passed to my parents in order for him to get F's approval. It's really just a game I want no part of. But then I start wondering if I'm being ungrateful, and I begin to doubt myself and feel guilty. What if I've got it wrong? But then I remember all of the abuse. I find it difficult to express my feelings about this as it can be so confusing.

One of the confusing things is that lots of people like my HB and think he's charming. Any abusive behaviour towards me is dismissed as "that's just what he's like", "that's his sense of humour" or "all siblings fight". But this is just minimising serious abuse. He was very abusive to me, physically, emotionally, sexually and psychologically. I spent the majority of my childhood living in absolute fear, and any sort of contact, even indirect, can either bring this back, or make me to try and shut everything away again.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 10, 2019, 06:21:05 PM
But then I start wondering if I'm being ungrateful, and I begin to doubt myself and feel guilty. What if I've got it wrong? But then I remember all of the abuse. I find it difficult to express my feelings about this as it can be so confusing.

One of the confusing things is that lots of people like my HB and think he's charming. Any abusive behaviour towards me is dismissed as "that's just what he's like", "that's his sense of humour" or "all siblings fight". But this is just minimising serious abuse. He was very abusive to me, physically, emotionally, sexually and psychologically. I spent the majority of my childhood living in absolute fear, and any sort of contact, even indirect, can either bring this back, or make me to try and shut everything away again.
When abuse is ignored, minimized, or not believed; it is really confusing. It is really good that you are able to name what he did as abusive. Keep speaking the truth. If it gets too confusing, have someone who knows and understands to speak to truth to you.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 10, 2019, 07:37:18 PM
That's a good point, notalone. I can now label the different ways in which his behaviour was abusive, and a while ago I couldn't do that. Progress.  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 10, 2019, 07:47:17 PM
BIG progress!  :applause:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 11, 2019, 06:23:43 AM
 :hug: it sounds like your making huge progress.  I'm sorry your struggling and your family was trying to manipulate still.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 11, 2019, 01:45:53 PM
Thank you, notalone and Tee, for the encouragement and validation. It makes a difference.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 13, 2019, 09:10:07 AM
I'm stepping back from delving into memories for a while so that I can build a more stable base from which I can move forward. I'm setting intentions, and keeping to them. My intentions are:

1. Get some exercise every day. This can be a walk, a run, or housework. Pressing the Clean button on the Roomba doesn't count  ;D.

2. Do energy work every day. This includes tai chi, and releasing trauma energy from my system.

3. Listen to what I need, and act on it. This isn't being selfish, it's retraining.

There's more, but it's a start, and it's important for me to establish good habits.

The daily energy work is particularly important, as I don't just have my own trauma to deal with, I took on my family's traumas as well. I need to release these traumas, and stop taking care of them on behalf of other people. I released a lot of trauma energy yesterday, which made a huge difference to how I feel, and I need to turn it into a habit. Even if it's just 5 minutes a day, it will make a big difference over time.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 13, 2019, 10:24:39 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
I saw your journal entry, and it was helpful to me to read, and I wanted to wish you well with all these items on your list. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 14, 2019, 07:34:29 AM
Thanks, Hope, and I'm glad it helped.  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sunflower38 on August 14, 2019, 12:59:45 PM
Those are really good intentions! I think I might try some yoga to release negative energy today :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 14, 2019, 08:37:47 PM
Sounds like a plan snowdrop. :hug: baby steps
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 15, 2019, 09:41:58 AM
I experienced a major triggering incident late yesterday afternoon, which resulted in flashbacks, fear, panic, massive hypervigilance, forgetting to breathe and other cptsd nasties. I also had more childhood memories of physical threats and violence resurface.

I woke up very early this morning in a bit of a panic, but after I'd calmed down a bit I realised how I could turn the incident into a vehicle for healing. The similarity of the incident to some of my early traumas, along with the corresponding emotions, gave me a direct connection to those original traumas. It amplified the energy behind the original traumas, making them much more apparent in my system, and more tangible. I could tell what the trauma energy was and where it was held, meaning that I could do something about the original problem.

I spent about an hour (?) working on releasing the energy, in particular the fear and guilt. [Slight detour: the guilt may seem like a strange one, but as a child I was told to make allowances for my HB as he'd had a tough childhood, and I felt guilty because I couldn't take the abuse.] There was a lot of stuff to release, but I was able to get rid of a good chunk of it. I then spent an unknown amount of time meditating in order to dissolve a large energy blockage relating to where trauma was stuck.

I think I've done as much as I usefully can for now, but I feel a so much better for it. I will almost certainly see what I can do to release more of the trauma energy later in the day, as it's currently easier for me to get a handle on what it is I'm dealing with.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on August 15, 2019, 12:37:42 PM
Snowdrop wrote:

"...after I'd calmed down a bit I realised how I could turn the incident into a vehicle for healing."

That illustrates a crucial turning point that I know I miss sometimes; and that's the ability to put the healing part in. So many times the EF gets stuck and we forget we now have the option to move in that direction, out of the pain we automatically slip into.

I admire your chutzpah in having the courage to enter into this turnaround phase. The original trauma might still filter into situations, but with this experience maybe you've discovered that you were able to realize there's options beyond just the suffering.

But that's projecting ahead; you deserve the peace you found this time around, but when those future setbacks threaten, perhaps this will remind you that you did 'escape' at least some of the thoughts that zoomed in on you this time.

All of this is hard work, though. Congrats :thumbup: on finding a way to experience some healing this time around. We often talk about steps and don't actually try (or give up on) taking them. Yours is a cool example that we can open the door to heal, at least in increments.

And pardon me for butting into your journal; but your experience caught my fancy. Thanks.

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 15, 2019, 01:06:47 PM
 :cheer: :applause: :hug: that's awesome to take the bad and turn it and use it to help you move forward.  You are so brave and strong.  Get rid of the shame and guilt. What was done to by HB is just that done to you!  Therefore not your fault!  Standing with you I'm so glad you were able to release some of the trauma energy, here's hoping you'll be able to do more when your ready. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 16, 2019, 07:35:59 AM
Thank you, woodsgnome, and you're very welcome in my journal  :wave:.

Yes, Tee, that's exactly it! Thank you!  :hug:

I did some more releasing work yesterday afternoon, and got rid of a chunk more. I felt quite content afterwards, and more solid and grounded. Some of the heat has gone out of the memories too. I'm still quite jumpy about any noises outside the house, but my hypervigilance has calmed down.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 16, 2019, 12:54:03 PM
 :hug:  :cheer: yeah for moving on. Things will get back to normal before you know it. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 17, 2019, 04:00:21 PM
Today I journeyed to spend some time with my inner child. I asked her to tell me about the beliefs that she had learned in childhood. For each incorrect belief that doesn't serve me, I looked in her eyes, taught her a replacement belief, and told her that I loved her. I have more work to do on this, but it was very powerful, and afterwards I felt quite content with a feeling of inner gentleness.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 17, 2019, 04:02:39 PM
Wow, this is great! Wonderful idea.  :applause:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 17, 2019, 05:03:22 PM
 :applause: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 17, 2019, 05:28:51 PM
Very powerful!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 18, 2019, 11:44:58 AM
Thank you, 3R, Tee and notalone. It felt very profound, and I could feel it having a deep impact on me.

I'm going to burble a little bit today, as it feels as though I may be on the cusp of being able to release stuff from another trauma, and let go of things I've been holding on to.

[Edit: I originally posted about HS, and secondary trauma. I don't feel as though I need that to be here any more, so I've removed it.]

Today, I realise several things. The things HS said to me weren't true. I needed time and space to process my own emotions. And she wasn't perfect. I have so much compassion for her, but she wasn't the person I wanted her to be. M had told me that she wanted HS to be someone who was there for me, and I played into that, seeing her as a replacement for my abusive HB. And it wasn't real. I need to let all of that go.

Words are going now, but this feels like progress. I know what I need to release.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sunflower38 on August 18, 2019, 02:48:02 PM
This is really great insight, snowdrop  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 18, 2019, 06:16:48 PM
Snowdrop, what an incredibly painful, complex situation. That is a huge thing to feel about and to process. Your realizations about the relationship are significant. I wish you continued healing for your heart and mind on this.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on August 18, 2019, 11:54:40 PM
You've done great working through this. Take care! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 19, 2019, 01:05:48 AM
 :hug: that's a lot snowdrop!  I'm glad your are finding your way through I'm sorry for your pain. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 19, 2019, 03:04:24 AM
Nothing new to add, only that I think that was an awful lot of burden for you, and totally unfair in the way it all unfolded. Lots of pain there, it sounds like. Sorry that happened to you on top of everything else.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 19, 2019, 10:11:10 AM
Thank you all for validating my feelings and thoughts about the situation. Yes, it was painful, and such a difficult situation.

I think one of the things throughout our relationship was that HS often said that I should be more like her, and if I'm being honest, I felt I should be more like her too. I now realise that I can only be me, and being me is enough.

Yesterday I did some work on releasing the energy and emotions around my HS. This has helped, and also shown me more layers I can work through. There are other things I can do too. I can continue to bolster my inner child, and replace the beliefs I learned that don't serve me. I can revisit the person I was when I first found out about all this, and support my younger self. I can also revisit the person I was when the split occurred, and reinforce to my younger self that the things HS said weren't true. Just thinking about these actions makes me feel better, and I think it will help me let go of the situation.

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 19, 2019, 12:27:20 PM
 :applause: :hug: yes my insightful snowdrop your are enough! I'm so glad your here, thank you for writing and sharing.  Hugs filled with compassion and courage as you continue your hard work. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 19, 2019, 03:46:00 PM
Thanks, Tee, I'm glad you're here too.  :hug:

I did some more releasing this afternoon, and also journeyed to my inner child again to replace some more of my outdated beliefs. I felt that she trusted me more, but there was one core belief that had really taken root and she couldn't let go of. She didn't believe me when I said the belief wasn't true.

I lit a fire, and together we put the belief into the flames and watched it burn and transmute. I must remember to use a fire in this way again, as it worked. I can no longer feel that belief in my system, and I feel very mellow and gentle.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on August 19, 2019, 11:25:58 PM
This little fire ritual I've also found useful. It's very symbolic, not only to watch the flames consume the message about what you're wanting to be rid of, but the warmth projected back from it is like a little bonus message being tacked on. It says: life can be transformed; even cold emotional hurts can be gotten rid of, and warm you in the process of releasing them.

 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 20, 2019, 02:38:31 AM
That's awesome!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 20, 2019, 03:19:33 AM
I lit a fire, and together we put the belief into the flames and watched it burn and transmute. I must remember to use a fire in this way again, as it worked. I can no longer feel that belief in my system, and I feel very mellow and gentle.
Fantastic.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 20, 2019, 05:22:11 AM
...the warmth projected back from it is like a little bonus message being tacked on. It says: life can be transformed; even cold emotional hurts can be gotten rid of, and warm you in the process of releasing them.

I completely get this, woodsgnome. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I felt so mellow afterwards.

The belief I ended up burning was "I must take on other people's trauma". I know this came from my FOO, as M, F and HB had all undergone traumas before I was born, and I had to navigate the fallout. I can see now that I was caretaking their traumas, and they weren't mine to caretake. M would sometimes say that I'd been sent to save her. I'm glad that I gave her life purpose, but I think I also took on responsibility for saving everyone.

I woke up in the night knowing two more core beliefs that I need to jettison.

The first is "I am responsible for how other people are feeling (but only the bad stuff)". I think this comes from F. He often warned me not to make him angry, but I had no idea how to prevent his anger. He'd get scarily angry irrespective of anything I did or didn't do, so I took on responsibility for other people's feelings as a core belief.

The second belief is related. It's hidden deep inside, and very core to me. It's "I'm such a bad person that I don't even realise how bad I am". It's related to F getting angry with me and telling me all the ways in which I was a terrible person. I didn't know what I'd done to provoke him, so my logic was that I must be inherently bad.

My head knows that these beliefs are incorrect, but I'm still holding onto them. I need to release them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 20, 2019, 08:37:35 AM
 :hug: to you Snowdrop, if that's ok.  I relate to the beliefs you expressed there. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 20, 2019, 01:24:20 PM
Oh snowdrop I relate  :hug:. You now the phrase" a child only a mother can love". Mine didn't so I must so be so bad...  I feel you. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 20, 2019, 02:56:35 PM
Hope and Tee, I'm sure a lot of people can relate to these beliefs. I hope you both know how much loved you are on this forum.  :hug:

I went on another inner child journey this afternoon to tackle the core beliefs I mentioned earlier.

I found her waiting for me in a sunny clearing where an ugly looking plant was wilting in the sunlight. We both knew that it was the "I'm a bad person" plant that was now out in the open. I took out a magnifying glass, we held hands, and I used the magnifying glass to burn the plant with the sun's rays. The plant burnt down to the ground and beyond so that all its roots were destroyed and there was nothing left.

In the ashes lay a glowing seed, the "I am enough" plant. We watered it with some sparkly water, and watched it begin to take root and grow. I turned to my inner child, asked her what her beliefs were, and she told me "I am enough".

Next, we went to a room full of contracts. There was a contract waiting for us on a table in the middle of the room. The contract said "I am responsible for other people's traumas", and "I am responsible for other people's feelings". I stamped it with a big red "void" stamp, and my inner child scrawled rude words on it that I can't repeat here without getting banned from the forum  ;D. After we'd finished defacing the contract, I screwed it up, threw it up into the air, and it exploded into fireworks that drew rude words.

After that we went back to the "I am enough" plant, saw how much it had already grown, and hugged. I asked my inner child what she believed, and she said "I am worthy".
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 20, 2019, 02:59:48 PM
 :applause: :cheer: :hug: that's awesome
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 20, 2019, 04:04:57 PM
❤️❤️❤️
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 21, 2019, 03:26:01 AM
 :applause: brave & creative
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 21, 2019, 08:24:58 AM
Thank you Tee, 3R and notalone.  :grouphug:

One thing I forgot to say about yesterday was that right at the end, my inner child looked in my eyes and said to me "you are worthy and I love you". I wasn't expecting it, and it brought tears to my eyes (emotional happy ones). I'm writing this here because each time I remember it, I feel a warm glow inside

I've done a lot of work over the past few days, so I think today is more about consolidation than tackling new things. I want to spend a little bit of time tending the "I am enough" plant, and I'm aware of a couple of little energy blocks that feel like they're ready to be dissolved, but that's about it.

I've actually been quite busy this morning. I've hoovered my office, I've cleaned a couple of windows, and I've done some space clearing. It's sunny this morning with the gentlest of breezes, so I have the windows open to make the house nice and airy. I'm aware that I have a few aches in my arms from doing a bit too much lugging yesterday, but I've sprayed on some magnesium oil which should help.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 21, 2019, 01:06:46 PM
 :hug: have a great day snowdrop
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 21, 2019, 04:58:50 PM
One thing I forgot to say about yesterday was that right at the end, my inner child looked in my eyes and said to me "you are worthy and I love you". I wasn't expecting it, and it brought tears to my eyes (emotional happy ones). I'm writing this here because each time I remember it, I feel a warm glow inside
That sounds very special and significant.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 21, 2019, 05:30:14 PM
You too Tee.  :hug:

Yes, notalone, I thought it was significant too. Up until that point, I'd been the one looking in her eyes, correcting a misguided belief, and telling her I loved her. Her doing it back to me took me by surprise. It meant that she now held worthiness as a core belief, and she also wanted to heal me of my own beliefs in return. It also meant that we'd built a proper relationship with each other, and she was with me, and part of me. Other things as well, which I can't quite put into words, but they're beautiful.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 21, 2019, 05:35:03 PM
Thank you for sharing. Your words brought joy to my heart. When I've read some of your postings I've thought, "I am so far from that." But what you've written about your process and progress has given me hope and ideas for when I am further along in my journey.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 22, 2019, 08:49:51 AM
I wrote some things in my journal yesterday in case they were helpful, but this morning I wondered if they weren't and deleted them. The key thing I wanted to say is that a few months ago, I was nowhere near being able to make the progress I'm making at the moment. It's a journey, and I'm glad that my journal has given hope.

I woke up this morning with more thoughts about my inner child experience a couple of days ago. One major thing I can take from it is that with the sort of energy trauma work I'm doing, I'm much stronger with my inner child present. Having her with me helped me destroy the "I am a bad person" plant because it was core belief to both of us. Having us both grow the "I am enough" plant was vital because it's a core belief we both need to develop. I can feel it growing, and it's as though it's also beginning to be taken on by me in the past.

The other way in which she helped me was by defacing the "I am responsible for other people's traumas and bad feelings" contracts with rude words. I've tried to get rid of things that have felt like contracts before, and it was so hard to do. It took a massive effort, and it never felt as though it had properly gone away. I think involving my inner child was more powerful because it went deeper. Also I thought writing rude words on it was funny, and laughing at it made it so much easier.

I think there are other things where I can involve my inner child. With my HB, for example, it can feel like I'm trapped in a very cruel net with lots of hooks. I periodically do work to remove the net, but it's so hard to do, and the net tends to come back. I think it will be a lot easier and more effective if she helps me with the net. As I think about that, it's already feeling easier and shifting things.

The aches in my arms became quite painful yesterday afternoon, spreading to my neck, shoulders, hands and back. It reminded me of when I was in a car accident a few years ago. Objectively, it was a minor incident, but the impact on me was huge. I've always tended to minimise this to other people so that they wouldn't worry, and I went emotionally numb too. I felt guilty about considering the car accident a trauma, and thought that even contemplating such a thing made me weak. (This attitude stems from childhood.)

This morning, I acknowledged that my injuries from the car accident were traumatic, and within about an hour my achiness has significantly reduced. This may just be a coincidence, but I suspect that the pain was directly related to the unacknowledged trauma. It's given me a chance to tune into the original car accident trauma, so this afternoon I think I'll see if there's anything I can release around it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 22, 2019, 11:22:39 AM
 :hug: I don't have more words at the moment. But wanted you to know I read it... Sending hugs of support :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 22, 2019, 01:41:30 PM
I think this is a great idea, how you're involving your ic in the process. One thing occurred to me, that perhaps it's helpful to have her there because maybe the plant belonged to her originally, and she was perhaps the one who signed the contract?  :Idunno: Just a thought.

When I feel better I may try this type of ic work.  :wave: :wave:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 22, 2019, 02:12:45 PM
Thanks, Tee.  :hug:

perhaps it's helpful to have her there because maybe the plant belonged to her originally, and she was perhaps the one who signed the contract?

That makes sense, Three Roses. I think you're right.

If you decide to try this type of work, the big starting point for me was getting my inner child to tell me her beliefs. Then after each one, looking deep into her eyes, telling her a corrected version of the belief followed by "I love you". It didn't feel entirely genuine at first, but the more she believed it, the more I believed it, and the easier it got.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 23, 2019, 05:03:05 AM
 :thumbup:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 23, 2019, 07:51:23 AM
Yesterday afternoon I found a few blockages relating to the car accident. A couple were on a physical level, a third was on a more energetic level. Dissolving got rid of them.

Later in the day, more memories began to surface about how I was after the car accident. During that time I felt in so much pain, physically, mentally and emotionally, and so lonely. I tried to reach out to a friend, and she said we'd have to meet up after I'd recovered. I couldn't tell her that I needed her now.

As I began to connect with these feelings, I released what I could. I also did some more inner child work, replacing more beliefs. The releasing and the inner child work helped.

This morning I wanted to go back and help the younger me, so I thought about what I hoped to achieve, how I might do it, and set off.

I found my younger self through a trapdoor in the ground that led down some steps into a dark cellar. She was sitting in the dark by herself. It was really grim. I entered the cellar, taking a candle-lit lamp with me, and spoke to her for a bit, telling her that she would heal, she'd mend, she'd find happiness. Things would get better. I asked her if she was willing to leave the cellar, and she was, so I helped her up the steps into the sunlight.

We then went to a healing place to be healed, and after that we visited the "I am enough" plant. I saw the belief begin to grow in her, and I told her she was strong, and I loved her. We hugged, I asked her if she wanted to come home, and she said yes.

I'm a bit emotional after all that. I cried during the journey as it was so distressing to see her in the dark cellar like that, and I also cried because I was so happy she was able to come out of the cellar and that she wanted to come home. I can feel her inside me, becoming part of me. I need to listen to her, comfort her, build her up. My inner child can help with that and she wants to.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on August 23, 2019, 10:18:29 AM
 :hug: :hug: You're doing massive work here.   
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 23, 2019, 04:44:58 PM
So glad she is out of the cellar and receiving comfort.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 24, 2019, 01:01:52 PM
Thank you, Blueberry and notalone.  :hug:

I didn't sleep very well last night, and I felt out of sorts this morning. I think it was partly because my emotions are quite close to the surface after the work I've been doing this week, but mostly because H and I were meeting a couple of friends for breakfast. I feel anxious and hypervigilant in group situations in case I'm verbally attacked, made fun of etc, so my natural instinct is to try and not draw attention to myself  :disappear:. We had a nice time, and I don't think I particularly dissociated, but I did find myself checking for exits and escape routes. At least I'm now aware that I do this.

I'm back home and feeling much better now, but I think I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 24, 2019, 02:00:52 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
I think you did well to make it to your friends for breakfast, especially after having a difficult night's sleep.  It's good to hear you had a nice time, and now you're back home again, and taking it easy for the rest of the day - I hope that plan goes well.   :hug: to you, Snowdrop, if that's ok.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 24, 2019, 03:45:17 PM
wow!  i agree w/ blueberry that you're doing massive work lately.  it's so inspiring as well as amazing.  thanks for sharing this journey/process you're going thru.

yeah, i'm not surprised you're feeling a bit out of sorts.  i hope you can find some time to relax, just be and breathe for a bit.  trauma processing is mentally, emotionally, and physically draining, and we do need to refuel every so often.  down time is healing, too.

sending love and a hug filled with  softness to embrace you while you rest.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 25, 2019, 08:45:06 AM
Thank you, Hope and San.

I had a flashback induced panic attack last night. It was a full flashback with visuals. I'm going to see if I can write about what it was about.

=== TW PV, threats and feelings of terror ===

[Edit: I wrote at length about a major incident with HB that happened when I was about 10 or 11. I've since removed it, as it no longer needs to be here.]
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 25, 2019, 09:07:51 AM
One more thing I will add. When I was about 19 I saw a T for around 6 weeks. This was because I basically fell apart from the age of 16-17. I wasn't able to fully trust him, but I did tell him about this incident. The T said that it wasn't enough to explain how I was feeling. He said that all siblings say they want to kill each other, so it was no biggie.  :Idunno: I disagree but it made me feel minimised and invalidated.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 25, 2019, 11:40:52 AM
There are things I need to say about my previous two entries.

I am not responsible for caretaking other people's feelings.
I didn't deserve those threats. They were wrong.
My feelings were (and are) valid.
It was abuse.
I wasn't responsible for someone else threatening me.
I wasn't responsible for HB being told to leave our home.
None of it was my fault.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 25, 2019, 11:45:56 AM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 25, 2019, 01:21:31 PM
hey, snowdrop,

i've seen that cold, icy look in someone's eyes when threatening me.  that t was absolutely and completely wrong.  not all siblings threaten to kill one another, for one, and the sexual feelings you felt were also real and deserved to be reckoned w/.  i'd go even farther and say that was more than abusive, it was traumatic.  yeah, that t diminished and denied your thoughts and feelings.  sorry you had to go thru that.

i'm glad HB was made to leave, so that you could have some sense of safety again.  and no, none of it was your fault, none of it was your responsibility.  i'm glad you were able to tell your mom and that your parents took steps to eliminate the problem. 

all your affirmations are spot on.  i'm so very glad you were able to realize them.

i'm just sorry you had to go thru that.  it sucks.  but, thanks for sharing.  sending love and a hug filled with safety to you.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 25, 2019, 03:26:18 PM
Thank you for the hugs and validation. I'm sorry you've seen that look too, San. You're right, it was traumatic.  :hug:

I went on another journey this afternoon, this time to meet the inner figure that makes me hypervigilant and sends me flashbacks: my inner hypervigilant for want of a better term.

I found her under a trapdoor. I opened the trapdoor, switched on the light, and went down the steps. I asked her to come into the light where I could see her, and she did so. She was extremely uptight, eyes darting about everywhere and with messy hair.

I asked her what her purpose was, and she said it was to keep me safe and stop me getting into danger. She wanted to warn me about anything that might be a danger, and sent me flashbacks to make sure I knew what kinds of things could happen.

I thanked her for her efforts, and told her that times had changed. I was an adult, in a place of safety, and the things that she thought of as dangers were no longer a threat. I asked if she could tone it down and relax a bit, and she nodded. She seemed quite relieved.

I then asked if she'd be willing to be my inner protector instead of my inner hypervigilant. She could still keep an eye out for danger, but she only needed to let me know about things when necessary. When there was an actual threat that I needed to know about. Again, she nodded, and she was happy to take on this role.

I went back up the steps out of the trapdoor, and my inner protector followed me. I took her over to an outdoor spa under a gazebo so that she could still look out for me, but also relax and be pampered.

This journey was similar to one I had a year or two ago. I was getting a lot of grief from my inner critic, so I met with her, and she agreed to be my inner cheerleader instead.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 25, 2019, 04:00:50 PM
wow, snowdrop, what you're doing is amazing!  you are re-scripting in a different way than what i've known.  i'm loving it! 

i, too, have a protector who shows herself to me when i'm in danger.  i know how very helpful that is, and how powerful it feels.  excellent that you can experience it, too.

keep up the good work.   :thumbup:  well done!  sending love and a hug filled w/ admiration for all you're doing.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 25, 2019, 04:13:01 PM
Thanks, San  :hug:. It will be interesting to see what happens with my inner protector. The last thing I heard she was going for acupuncture and eyeing up the hot stones!  ;D
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 26, 2019, 07:28:51 AM
A slight correction to yesterday. I used the term inner protector, which wasn't entirely correct. She's more of an inner guard, and the journey was literally about relaxing my guard. I know the two things sound similar, but her role is to warn me of dangers, rather than leaping into action and dealing with them. The problem was that she saw everything as a threat, so she was trying to warn me about everything. And when everything is a threat, it's harder to discern real dangers. With greater discernment, I'll be better protected. I think there's work here to do with boundaries too.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 26, 2019, 08:51:25 PM
I had an online meeting a couple of hours ago. It went pretty well, but there was one point where I felt triggered, went a bit shaky, and pushed down my emotions.

After the meeting I felt really upset and wanted to cry. I also had feelings of guilt, shame and despair. My hearing also changed, as though sounds were more hollow. After about 20 minutes I realised that I was having an EF. This is significant, as it's the first time I've realised it's an EF so quickly. Normally it takes a few days of feeling dreadful.

Recognising the EF helped. I sat in a chair and felt the floor under my feet. I consciously started breathing deeper, which calmed me down, and I then looked for the places in my body where the trauma relating to the EF was being held.

I found a large patch of trauma energy in my upper body, so I started breathing into it, and breathing into the emotional energy of the EF. This felt horrendous for about a minute, but then it softened, and after about five minutes, the EF stopped.

There are a few significant things here. I recognised the EF, the EF went when I accepted it and breathed into it, and I found where it was being held in my body. This means that I should be able to revisit where it's being held, and dissolve it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on August 27, 2019, 12:38:43 AM
Very cool, Snowdrop, and as you say, quite significant.  :cheer:

Thanks for sharing the steps -- it's like reading a blueprint of how one person was able to take one significant step in the recovery process. It sometimes takes work to do, but recognizing and then actively dealing with self-care can make a huge difference.

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 27, 2019, 04:59:46 PM
Thank you for sharing your approach to your EF. It's helpful to hear what works for others!  :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 27, 2019, 05:59:02 PM
Thank you, woodsgnome and Three Roses.  :hug:

I think I've been grieving today. But although I felt sad and a bit tearful at times, it didn't feel like a bad thing. I don't think I tried to suppress or get rid of the grief, I just sat with it.

I've also been quite busy. I've been meaning to deep clean the hall carpet for several years, and today I actually did it  :cheer:. It was quite tiring as I had to lug furniture about, but I'm pleased I got it done, and the hallway looks better.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 27, 2019, 10:02:02 PM
 :cheer:

maybe the grief is connected to the work you've been doing.  you're letting those inners transform for you, and change always includes a loss.  i'm glad you're just able to be with it.  love and hugs   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on August 27, 2019, 11:22:28 PM
Sometimes it is healthy to grieve; especially when you can just sit with it, and it does not overwhelm you.

Great job with the hall carpet! You must be so proud having accomplished that. Keep up the good work. Take care! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 29, 2019, 07:41:13 PM
Thanks San and Jazzy  :hug:. Yes, it felt like a good kind of grief, so I think it was a positive thing.

I felt quite scared this morning about a mistake I may have made relating to HB. I felt very scared about possible repercussions, but also weak and pathetic.

Cptsd is horrible. Some days I'm reasonably OK, but on days like today I'm aware of how far from normal my reactions are. On the plus side, I felt OK this afternoon.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on August 29, 2019, 08:53:54 PM
 :bighug: Yes, cptsd is horrible.

Feeling scared is neither weak or pathetic. That is possibly your ICr. speaking? Us feeling scared? It goes back to when we were really really scared, to when the traumatising things happened.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on August 29, 2019, 11:36:24 PM
Yeah, that kind of thing can be really difficult. It's good that you were feeling OK in the afternoon though! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 30, 2019, 05:07:56 AM
Thanks both!  :grouphug:

Feeling scared is neither weak or pathetic.
Interesting. When I read the words "weak" and "pathetic" I hear them in HB's voice. I remember him chanting "weak weak weak" at me. It was usually if I cried or told M after PV, and it felt humiliating as I couldn't escape it. Over time, it stopped me seeking help as I was scared of repercussions. I think it was also something that eroded my boundaries.

I need to see what I can do to get HB out of my head.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on August 30, 2019, 11:32:17 PM
Quote
I need to see what I can do to get HB out of my head.

That's a really big step. Its good you're at a place to recognize it. It will take some work, but you can do it! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 01, 2019, 07:45:02 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
You're making some big realizations, and that takes a lot of courage, and I agree with Jazzy that you can do this.  Sending you a supportive hug, if that's ok.  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 01, 2019, 08:19:38 AM
Thanks both.  :grouphug:

I've made a decision. I need to take myself off a waiting list for a particular T. I'm on two waiting lists, but I have serious misgivings about one of them, and I need to act on it.

The waiting list is with a charity for CSA survivors. The first three quarters of my assessment went well. I was told that my experiences were really serious, and that I qualified for help (I wasn't sure if I would as I tend to minimise my own traumas).

[Edit: I've removed details about my assessment, which left me with flashbacks.]

I know that if I saw a T through this charity, it wouldn't be this person, but it would be in the same building, possibly in the same room, and I might see the assessor while I was there. I don't think I can face that. I also have concerns about the charity given how I was treated. So I think I need to listen to myself and get out of there.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 01, 2019, 03:46:33 PM
 :hug: you're never to blame for rape.  I'm sorry this happened.  Listened to yourself. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on September 01, 2019, 11:04:08 PM
Sounds like a good idea. I hope the other T works out better for you Snowdrop. Take care! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 02, 2019, 07:31:18 AM
Thanks Tee and Jazzy.  :hug:

I've now told the CSA charity to take me off their waiting list, and I feel as though a weight has lifted. I have questions about the T I'm still on a waiting list for, but I'll only really know if he's suitable for me when I get to see him. If he's not suitable, it's not the end of the world by any means, as I think I've been making good progress with the work I've been doing.

I think I've been continuing to grieve over the past few days, and also adjusting to the work I've been doing. I rested a lot at the weekend, and today I feel as though I'm coming out of it. There have also been a number of things going on which I normally find difficult or triggering, but I feel as though I may have come out the other side and I'm ready to move on.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 02, 2019, 12:21:15 PM
 :applause: :hug: that's good keep moving forward.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 02, 2019, 07:19:14 PM
More releasing and integration this afternoon. Some fear, but also emotions and traumas relating to other people that I was caretaking. They were never mine to deal with, and it's not helpful for me to keep hold of them.

I also did some more dissolving this evening. If I focus my intention on a particular trauma (or aspect of trauma) before I begin, the blockages in my system relating to that trauma usually show up pretty quickly now. I think it's also becoming easier to settle my mind on each blockage.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 02, 2019, 09:59:38 PM
wow!  that's some intense work you're doing, not only personally, but also w/ knowing that t isn't right for you, that place isn't right for you.  i echo the others that rape is never your fault, and i'm truly sorry that assessor harmed more than helped. 

i think you're doing great, snowdrop.  you deserve some rest.  the processing of this stuff can take its toll, and can also continue after we did the actual work.  behind you all the way with this.  sending love and a hug full of self-care.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on September 03, 2019, 12:34:41 AM
Sanmagic7 said: "I think you're doing great, snowdrop.  you deserve some rest."

Woodsgnome echoes the sentiment:  :yeahthat:

and hopes you'll keep finding a way forward.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 03, 2019, 07:46:45 AM
Thanks both.  :hug:

I noticed this morning that the car accident part of me that I retrieved from under the cellar now feels pretty well integrated. It doesn't feel like a separate part of me, and the memory of being injured has lost its heat. It just feels like a memory. This is a very good thing.  :cheer:

I did some more energy work this morning. I mentioned that I did some releasing work yesterday, and that was primarily chakra-based. Today I switched to a more Qigong-based approach to clear stuff that I couldn't shift yesterday, and it was very successful. I expelled oily turbid chi through my arms and legs into the ground, and when I'd got rid of it, I replaced it with beneficial energy I could use.

After this, I journeyed down to where the oily energy had formed a pool as it felt as though it was still lurking in the ground. Earth Mother was there, and I told her that I wanted the energy to transform and go to where it was needed. The energy caught fire, and the flames were a beautiful pink/gold colour. I could see golden sparks flying out from it. I then turned my back on the fire, and called my power back. It came back to me from all directions and filled me. Earth Mother was pleased with me, and she told me that I was strong, and following the right path.

Afterwards I noticed that my vision was a lot clearer. My emotional state and traumas have a huge effect on my vision, so the clarity I experienced after doing this work was significant.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 03, 2019, 01:13:08 PM
wow!  that's amazing work, snowdrop.  when those memories can lose their impact, that's a huge shift in your brain.  plus, all the energy work you did is a big deal, too.  i hope you can take some time for rest, let your brain and body process all this, integrate and jell fully.  what you're doing, how you keep pushing yourself can be great, but it can also be exhausting.  i know that part all too well.

and, forward!  love and hugs   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 04, 2019, 12:33:20 AM
wow!  that's amazing work, snowdrop.  when those memories can lose their impact, that's a huge shift in your brain.  plus, all the energy work you did is a big deal, too.  i hope you can take some time for rest, let your brain and body process all this, integrate and jell fully.  what you're doing, how you keep pushing yourself can be great, but it can also be exhausting.  i know that part all too well.

and, forward!  love and hugs   :hug:
:yeahthat:
Big hug and lots of love and support :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 04, 2019, 08:21:41 AM
Agreed, it definitely takes time for things to settle.   :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 06, 2019, 12:46:08 PM
I've had a good few days. More releasing, more dissolving, and more integration. I'm feeling pretty good, and I haven't felt triggered by things that would normally trigger me. I haven't gone numb, I've been feeling appropriate emotions, and I've been feeling calmly in control.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 06, 2019, 01:04:13 PM
Awesome!  :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 06, 2019, 02:06:30 PM
that is so great, snowdrop!  well done   :thumbup:

sending love and a hug filled with continuing integration   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 06, 2019, 09:32:28 PM
that is so great, snowdrop!  well done   :thumbup:

sending love and a hug filled with continuing integration   :hug:
:yeahthat:
Glad things are looking up. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on September 06, 2019, 10:27:54 PM
That's great, good for you! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 08, 2019, 06:11:08 AM
Thanks everybody  :grouphug:

More good news. Went to an outdoor event in a town yesterday where there were crowds, and I enjoyed it. No apprehension beforehand, no looking for escape routes, no hyper-vigilence, no dissociation, and no going numb. There were also a couple of other things that would normally have triggered me, but they didn't.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on September 08, 2019, 11:37:01 AM
 :)  :thumbup:  :applause:  :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 08, 2019, 02:39:04 PM
 :cheer: :applause: that's awesome snowdrop. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 08, 2019, 05:18:39 PM
wow!  look at you go!!!    :applause:  so amazing, the work you're doing, and the results show it.  well done!   :thumbup:  love and hugs, sweetie.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 09, 2019, 06:53:47 PM
Thanks Blueberry, Tee and San. I do appreciate your support.  :grouphug:

I had a conversation today which would previously have been triggering, crashed through my boundaries, and made me leap into caretaking mode. My boundaries are intact, I'm keeping my distance, and I don't think I'm triggered.

There's an echo of past trauma resonating in me from the conversation, but it doesn't feel problematic as such. It's just slightly amplified, making it more noticeable. I'm viewing this as a signpost for what I should work on next. I will do some dissolving this evening to see if any of it will shift using that method.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 09, 2019, 09:12:34 PM
you are doing so much and so well.  i'm very happy for you in that you are dissolving so much that has been problematic for you before, and holding boundaries - quite an accomplishment!  love and hugs, sweetie.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on September 09, 2019, 10:23:13 PM
 :cheer: :cheer: :applause:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on September 09, 2019, 10:56:17 PM
Snowdrop wrote:

"There's an echo of past trauma resonating..." I experience echoes a lot ... and it's important to note -- they're echoes, and dissolving them, as you indicate, at least diminishes their immediate impact.

Your approach to dealing with this is inspiring. Keep it up!

      :grouphug:
 
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 11, 2019, 08:02:00 PM
Thank you san, notalone and woodsgnome.  :grouphug:

I'm continuing to make steady progress. I've been doing more releasing and integration work, and I've not been particularly bothered by cptsd symptoms since I last wrote. I've also been supporting a friend but without caretaking, and without it affecting my boundaries. This is better for me, and I think it's probably better for them too.

I've also been doing dissolving every day, and this has been very beneficial. I don't always know what trauma each blockage I'm dissolving is related to, but that doesn't really matter. It's a blockage, and dissolving gets rid of it, layer by layer.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 12, 2019, 02:58:57 AM
 :hug: hugs
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 12, 2019, 04:12:24 PM
:hug:

Today's energy work was around releasing fear, and the pockets of fear that trauma has left in my system. I then filled the space this freed up with love. I'm pretty certain I have more fear to release, so if fear surfaces over the next few days, I need to remember that it's a good thing. It's merely making my fear more tangible so that it's easier to feel and release.

This reminds me of something else I keep forgetting to write about. Whenever I've felt shaky in the past, I've always tried to stop myself from shaking. If I feel shaky now, I consciously exaggerate the movement and shake more. This helps release the underlying emotions that made me feel shaky in the first place, and I usually feel better after about a minute.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 12, 2019, 05:57:29 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on September 13, 2019, 12:05:55 AM
Wow.  :cheer:

Sometimes I know it's better in the long run to face some of what I could easily pass on as too negative or too hard or something I give in to so often.

Then I read of how you're doing exactly that -- facing the fear, and even diving deeper into the shakiness. This provides motivation for myself when I'm discouraged; and not to so easily give up, just because it's how I've always done things.

It's inspiring to hear of your determination and perseverance to find a way to heal. Thanks for sharing your insights.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 13, 2019, 01:08:12 PM
Thanks both. :hug:

After the energy work yesterday I felt as though my body was vibrating for the whole evening, and I became aware that I was holding deep fear contractions in my belly. The vibrating was more fear being released, so I just let it happen.

This morning I felt pretty good, but still felt the fear being held in my belly. I spent around 15 minutes consciously shaking off deep-seated fear, shaking as deep into my body as I could. I also hummed sub-vocally at a resonance that hit the fear contraction in my belly, and this really helped. I filled up with love energy afterwards, and I felt very happy.

This afternoon I journeyed to change my relationship with fear. It went well, but it was completely different to how I thought it might go beforehand.

I found my fear in the form of a tall, powerful whirlwind. I told it how much I appreciated it, and thanked it for keeping me safe.

I then noticed that the whirlwind was caged. I told it that I had no idea that I was keeping it locked down like that, did it want me to set it free? Yes, it said. So I walked towards the whirlwind with my hair standing on end, and released the chains. The whirlwind swept across the landscape until it nearly blew itself out, and then what was left of it stood in front of me. The fear lost its power when I released it from its chains and let it roam freely.

I told the remaining fear that I wanted to change my relationship with it. Appropriate fear was still necessary, but I wanted to stay present and grounded, and be able to think, act and talk. We agreed that this would be a good thing, and I absorbed the new response patterns.

The fear then left, and I spent time practising appropriate fear responses. Running, staying motionless but alert, fighting, and shaking off any remaining fear. I have permission to act in these ways and more in response to fear.

I then felt a deep vibration inside me, and more fear contractions shook out of me from where I was still holding it. When the energy of the fear contractions left me, they transformed into gold/pink flames. I absorbed the energy from these flames so that the fear was replaced with a deep spiritual love. I stayed this way for a while, releasing fear and absorbing the transformed energy.

After the journey I felt very grounded, steady and relaxed. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day to help the journey take deeper effect.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 14, 2019, 07:20:32 AM
So far so good with the work I did yesterday. It does feel as though my relationship with fear has changed, and is changing.

Yesterday afternoon I realised that I'd make a mistake about something a couple of weeks ago. Instead of freezing, thinking I was a bad person and it taking over my day, I decided what to do and corrected my mistake. The fear was just a flash, and it quickly disappeared. I was aware of the old habit of freezing and holding onto the fear by contracting, but it was just a shadow.

I slept quite well, and felt good when I woke up. I had a flash of random fear this morning, but it quickly swept through me in a few seconds, and it was replaced by a feeling of deep warmth and love.

Another thing I've noticed is that my feet are more relaxed. Before the journey yesterday, my feet would always feel tense, as though they had to hold onto the ground. That's now gone. I have more trust that the ground will support me, so my feet are more open, I have a better connection, and I feel much more grounded.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 14, 2019, 08:33:17 AM
 :cheer:  This sounds like great progress, Snowdrop.   :hug:
Hope :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 15, 2019, 05:27:21 PM
Thanks, Hope. Yes, it's definitely progress. :hug:

I rested a lot yesterday and today, and it definitely feels as though my relationship with fear has shifted. I had a few minor incidents yesterday which tested my fear reactions, such as the smoke alarm going off and a big spider running towards me, but I was fine. In each case I briefly felt fear, acted, and let it go.

I also remembered a few times when I felt fear related to traumatic events. I think this was part of releasing as when I sat with the fear, it went away, and I felt peaceful afterwards.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on September 16, 2019, 01:56:26 AM
Something I learned about fear a few years ago relates to the four letters in 'fear' and how one can regard them to perhaps put a different spin on the immediate sensation of fear.

Basically, the formula was:

f = fantasy. As in imagination, or a could-be scenario; but not necessarily true for a variety of reasons.

e = expressed. How one reacts to, and then pronounces the fantasy or imagined happening.

a = as. Pinning it down definitively; yes -- that is what I think it is.

r = reality. This fantasy I believe in so strongly it's real and will lead to my downfall.

These only relate to the present moment. For instance, in a flashback, I might remember and react spontaneously to an action, person, or behaviour stunningly similar to something that was real and awful at an earlier time. But right now, if one can stay aware (not the easiest thing to do), the people/circumstances that once was so frightening is not here, not now (although it can still be a bad experience). Realizing this might at least lessen the fear's current validity.

I'll quickly add that just thinking that way won't necessarily deflect a fear, but it might help lessen the hold it has. Then again, it might not, per the old adage that different people react differently to this sort of thing.

It's mostly a matter of reaching out for new perspectives, and I hope you can keep progressing with things as you continue to work with turning a corner out of the dark side we're so used to.  :hug:


Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 16, 2019, 03:56:43 AM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 16, 2019, 07:46:48 AM
I hadn't heard that before about fear, woodsgnome. Thank you. It gives me a new way of looking at it.

I think at the moment I have two key things going on: releasing the impact of past fear, and changing my habitual reactions to fear. This leads to a third thing which is absolutely crucial: learning to trust my instincts and act on them. I spent most of my childhood in fear, and over time my instincts were injured. I learned to ignore them, and that acting on them was weak.

I now know that my instincts were correct. I have good instincts that I can listen to. And it's not weak for me to act on my instincts, it's about strength, safety (which I deserve) and taking control.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 16, 2019, 04:06:47 PM
snowdrop, the work you're doing is quite remarkable.  what a creative way to get to some of the gunk that's piled up within, transform and release it.  very clever and so perspective-changing.  that's really what we're about, isn't it?  our perspective is our reality, so when we find ways to alter a neg. perspective, we find ourselves in a more positive, safer, productive one.   isn't that how change comes about? 

the shift you're feeling about fear is all about change.  like wg mentioned, finding a reality and making it work for us in real life, so that we can function fully as our true selves is the opposite of what we've had to do just to survive.  this work you're doing is not only inspirational, but it's moving, touching at the heart and gut of our being.  instincts, to be sure.

thank you for sharing this with us.  you are amazing.  sending love and a hug filled with self-trust.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 17, 2019, 02:47:08 PM
Thank you, San, that means a lot.  :hug:

I think I've gone as far as I can with fear for now without getting out of balance. A lot has shifted. I can feel that I have more trust, and the fear I was holding on my belly seems to have about gone.

This morning I did a bit of work on releasing some anger. It was anger that I had suppressed and was holding on to, and I felt I had to get it out before I could move on.

This afternoon's work was significant as it was to do with healing abandonment wounds, in particular emotional abandonment from my parents. There are several aspects to this, and the biggest is that during childhood, I didn't feel protected by F, and he was emotionally absent towards me. At times I also felt that M was absent. I felt grief as I released these abandonment imprints.

I then created an archetypal mother figure and an archetypal father. They repaired the abandonment wounds, nurtured me, gave me protection, held me and healed me. It was so powerful, and I can still feel them with me now. I feel loved, nurtured and protected. I know that I can call on the mother and father archetypal figures any time that I need to be supported by mothering or fathering energies.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 18, 2019, 07:55:50 AM
Lots of stuff relating to abandonment is coming up this morning. I've been crying and grieving, but I think that's part of the process. Acknowledging the abandonment in order to release it and let it go.

I'm going to burble about some of the things that have been coming up. I don't know if there might be triggers.

=== possible TW ===

One of the most vivid memories was when I was a child living with my parents. I can't remember how old I was, but I was in bed sobbing. I felt so depressed and alone, and I wanted someone to hold me, ask me what was wrong and comfort me. Instead F burst in, and shouted at me for being selfish and for not thinking of anyone other than myself. I was frightened, felt even more alone, and tried to cry quieter so that I wouldn't disturb anyone. F was still angry with me the following day and wouldn't look at me or talk to me.

F giving me the silent treatment was pretty common, and it was usually in relation to me not behaving the way he wanted. I would often get it when HB was abusive to me. F didn't always believe me, so he'd get livid at me, then not talk to me for several days while he was simmering. If he did believe me, he'd tell me that I should try harder to make allowances for HB, and again he might not talk to me for a few days. Either way, it felt as though I was being abandoned for being abused.


[Edit: I wrote about some other abandonment incidents, but I no longer need them to be here so I've removed them.]

There's more, but you get the idea. I feel a mixture of sadness and anger around most of these. Perhaps the key thing is that I received abandonment wounds early in life, and these became patterns that played out into adulthood. I need to let these patterns go, along with the original wounds. I also need to spend more time with my archetypal mother and father figures, and perhaps involve my inner child with this too. I will probably do this later today.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 19, 2019, 04:32:12 AM
Snowdrop, that's a lot to have to deal with. I'm sorry you went thru all that. Here's an understanding :hug: if it's okay.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 19, 2019, 08:18:05 AM
Thank you Three Roses.  :hug:

I'm finding the archetypal mother and father images very helpful. I fell asleep thinking of the archetypal mother's arms around me yesterday afternoon, and again last night. I slept pretty well.

I journeyed this morning to meet my inner child. I looked in her eyes and told her that she wasn't abandoned, she wasn't alone, I was there for her, and that I loved her. I then invited the archetypal mother and father along, held my inner child, and we both received nurturing and protection from the archetypal parents. I felt the holes of abandonment filling up, and I felt nourished and supported.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 19, 2019, 02:20:09 PM
 :applause: Good to hear!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 19, 2019, 03:15:51 PM
that is so great, snowdrop!  you are doing some amazing work!  i love that you fell asleep in the arch. mother's arms - what a wonderful idea.  i'm going to look her up, see if i can find an image that suits me, maybe print it out for my wall of protectors. 

thanks for sharing your process, sweetie.  it's not only so good to hear of your progress, it's also inspirational.  sending love and a hug filled w/ protection.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 20, 2019, 08:01:02 AM
Thank you both. :grouphug:

More memories and realisations this morning.

=== TW sexual assault ===



One thing I now accept is that when I was about 13, I was sexually assaulted by a boy at school. It was easy for me to minimise it and say it was just part of school life, but if I saw it happen to somebody else, I'd be horrified and call the police. My memories aren't clear, and I probably don't have to go into details about what happened, but for the first time I can remember the fear, shame and humiliation I felt. I also felt alone and as though I couldn't trust anyone. I didn't tell my parents because by that time, HB had effectively groomed me not to say anything to anyone about abusive behaviour. It would only make things worse and I'd get into trouble.

I think I only acknowledged that it was sexual assault a couple of months ago, but it felt very distant, as though it had happened to someone else. I can now accept that it happened to me, and feel the emotions. I see this as a good thing. Those emotions are valid and completely understandable, and I think they're coming up now because I'm strong enough to look at them and release them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on September 20, 2019, 12:39:39 PM
That sounds like a lot of progress.
Sending validation and support.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 20, 2019, 03:09:29 PM
Snowdrop it sounds like you are doing lots of work and reaping the benefits. I'm glad for you that the archetypes are helping you. I identify with the abandonment.  :hug: if that is OK.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 22, 2019, 02:43:49 PM
Thank you for the support, Blueberry and SaB. :grouphug:

I've been a bit out of sorts for a couple of days. On Friday a friend tried to cross one of my boundaries by saying something that made me feel uncomfortable and a bit triggered. I didn't completely freeze though, I could still think, and I pushed back. I've been feeling a bit edgy about it though, and let down and angry that my friend thought it was OK. Part of me wonders if I pushed back in too subtle a way. If I learn that this is the case, I will reiterate where my boundaries and be very unsubtle about it. I deserve better.

I journeyed again this afternoon because I thought I could use the experience to grow and heal. I started by using my anger to push anything out of my system that didn't belong there and re-establish my boundaries. I then went to a house of healing where I removed some cords that I felt didn't belong. My archetypal parents gave me nurturing and helped to reinforce my boundaries. Finally, I stood in a pool of multicoloured light, which helped to rebalance my system and even everything out. After leaving the house of healing I reiterated my intentions about my boundaries: I won't allow them to be crossed, and I deserve better.

I'm feeling much better after the journey.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 23, 2019, 06:40:45 PM
A lot of pattern releasing this afternoon.

I started off by releasing shame, and I forgave myself for things I felt guilty about. I found it helpful to involve my inner child, as I could look in her eyes and tell her that I forgave her and I loved her. I genuinely felt easier in myself after doing this.

I then worked on patterns of over-responsibility. I gave back anything I'd been caretaking, and did some more cord cutting to change the dynamics of some of my interactions with people. I felt more at ease after doing this, and more secure in myself.

Finally I worked on reclaiming my power and strengthening my emotional centre.

I've been reading Hope's notes on the trauma summit, and I think I need to do more research on IFS therapy (Internal Family Systems). Aspects of it remind me of the shamanic approach to trauma, with exiles corresponding to soul parts. I have a strong hunch that learning more about IFS would help with my trauma-related journeying.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on September 23, 2019, 11:17:04 PM
Sounds like you had a good day! I hope looking in to the IFS further is fruitful for you. I have been thinking about that too. Take care! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 24, 2019, 07:31:41 AM
Feeling upset this morning. It's hard for me to say much, but it relates to past patterns of over-responsibility. I mentioned that on Friday a friend made me feel triggered. He said things that made me feel he only thought I was there for his benefit and to fix him. And I'm not. A couple of other things have also tapped into this same feeling.

It's probably coming up this morning because yesterday I did some releasing work over patterns of over-responsibility. When I work on releasing something, other things can surface that also need to be released. It will pass, but I'm currently finding it a bit upsetting.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 24, 2019, 08:47:29 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
Just wanted to send you a supportive hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 24, 2019, 02:59:49 PM
hey, snowdrop,

yeah, i'm finding my inner work to be more taxing in some ways even days after.  i hope you can give yourself some time to process and heal from what you've done lately.

sorry you were triggered.  i think it's quite amazing how one thing we work on can then move down to other levels of the same thing, or branch out into different things.  i know there's a standard example of peeling back the layers of an onion, but i think that, many times, with us it's also a sideways journey that pops up and needs to be dealt with.  i don't think this process of recovery is linear in any direction, really.

sending love and a hug filled with some rest and time.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 26, 2019, 08:16:59 AM
Thanks both. :grouphug:

I've been a bit quiet because over the past few days I've experienced several different triggers, and these sparked EFs. I'm coming out of it now.

I may go a bit quiet on the forum for a while as I need to catch up on some work which has a fixed deadline. Sending love and hugs to you all. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on September 26, 2019, 08:43:01 AM
Good luck with the fixed deadline work. See you when you get back.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 26, 2019, 03:23:09 PM
take your time - we'll be here when you get back.  love and hugs, sweetie.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on September 26, 2019, 06:36:19 PM
In our eagerness to find resolution, sometimes we forget the usefulness of just slowing down, creating a space that doesn't hamper the next time we set forth on our trail.

Here's hoping you can step back and be cozy with yourself about it ...
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 27, 2019, 04:41:22 AM
I said yesterday that I'd had EFs, but on reflection I realise that they weren't :doh:. It was a convenient way of expressing that I didn't feel great, but they weren't EFs. I'd been grieving as part of releasing long-held patterns, and while I was grieving, several triggering events cropped up. These were related to the patterns I was releasing. At the time I felt as though I'd been really unlucky with the timing of those events as I would have been OK with just one or two, but I now realise that they helped me to release more than I could have done without them.

I also realise that I faced those triggering events and did something about the ones that I could. Plus I notice that I've said I would have been OK with one or two triggers at a time of grieving. This actually makes me feel more resilient, as I know that it's true.

Lots of insights and realising. Glad I got that out. Feeling good. <runs back to work>
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 27, 2019, 08:49:34 AM
More things coming through. The friend who was trying to cross my boundaries is now being very respectful of them. It's really noticeable, a big change. It honestly feels as though patterns have shifted.

I also have this deep feeling of security, like "I've got this, I can do this".

<runs back to work again>
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on September 27, 2019, 11:57:56 AM
 :applause: :applause: :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 27, 2019, 02:22:28 PM
 :cheer: for shifting patterns!  you are doing so much work, so much movement is going on.  don't forget to take breaks and all that good stuff.  you're doing great!  love and hugs   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 27, 2019, 02:23:30 PM
Huzzah for healthy boundaries!  :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 27, 2019, 06:32:31 PM
Thanks all. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on September 27, 2019, 10:33:50 PM
That's really great Snowdrop. Glad to hear it! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 28, 2019, 09:22:06 AM
Thanks Jazzy. :hug:

I'm taking a break from work because there's something I think I need to write about. It feels as though I'm on the verge of releasing it. I realise that it's something I feel shame about, and I think it's shaking loose because of the work I did last week on releasing patterns of shame.

=== Potential TW harassment and abuse of power ===

[Edit: I wrote about experiencing ongoing sexual harassment from a lecturer while at university. I no longer need these details to be here, so I've removed them.]

I feel shame because I froze and didn't report the harassment. I recognise, however, that I froze as a natural response to previous traumas, and by this time I'd effectively been groomed by HB to react in this way. If I'd reported the harassment nothing would have been done, and there's a fair chance that I would have failed my degree. But I feel shame because maybe I should have done that anyway. I also recognise that the lecturer's behaviour wasn't my fault. I didn't ask for it, and he knew he was in a position of power over me. There's also extra shame because my parents (who didn't know what had happened) shamed me for not proceeding with the PhD, and I wasn't truthful to them about why I'd pulled out.

Feeling a bit vulnerable as I haven't really told anyone about this before, but hopefully putting the shame into the sunlight will help it wither away. I'm also wondering if the situation was abusive due to the power difference. I think it was, as that's what I'd say if it was someone else in my situation. But that's the first time I've thought of it in that way.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 28, 2019, 12:59:18 PM
Hi Snowdrop,  I just wanted to say I read what you wrote, and whilst I haven't got words to accurately reflect what I want to say, I do want to offer you a supportive hug  :hug: 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on September 28, 2019, 10:59:32 PM
Sorry to hear you were put through this Snowdrop. I would definitely say it is an abuse of power. It is abhorrent how people in a position like that behave in this way. It really is a difficult situation, and I think you did a good job to get through it. You also did great in being able to open up and share about this.

Take care Snowdrop! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on September 29, 2019, 12:14:56 AM
Snowdrop,
It was a big step and brave for you to share this with us. The professor definitely used his power against you. He put you in an impossible situation. I know you feel ashamed for not reporting him. I think you were strong to not give in to him.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 29, 2019, 02:00:56 PM
Hope, Jazzy and notalone - thank you. You told me exactly what I needed to hear in order to shake it off.  :yourock: and  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 29, 2019, 03:32:36 PM
snowdrop, may i jump in and say i totally agree w/ everyone.  definitely abuse, both of power and sexually.  those were threats against you to get what he wanted from you.  the shame is with him.

by the by, i believe i would've acted in exactly the same way.  not knowing at the time what might/could happen to you, your program, grades, future job placement - all of it - i would have gone into survival mode, put one foot in front of the other as quietly as possible, just to get thru.  you survived this and that's what's important.  we're glad you did! 

well done, you.   :thumbup:  so glad that prof is in your rear view mirror now.  sending love and a hug filled w/ tire tracks from speeding away from a terrible situation!   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 29, 2019, 03:41:22 PM
Thanks San. That means a lot and made me laugh ;D.  :bighug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on October 02, 2019, 06:24:51 AM
I had dreams last night about the lecturer and also the boy at school who sexually assaulted me when I was about 13. They follow the same pattern, being abused in a situation I couldn't (or didn't feel able) to get away from. There are other events that fit this same pattern too. I think it starts with HB.

Sometimes the number of traumatic events seems overwhelming. I've only talked about some of them, and many would have been enough to give me cptsd or ptsd in isolation. Layers of trauma. But thinking of them in terms of patterns is helpful because many of them follow the same pattern. I need to unravel the pattern.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 02, 2019, 01:55:04 PM
interesting about patterns, snowdrop.  i can definitely see them in the choices of partners (romantic and friendship) i've made.  it's not a good look, but i can see it immediately reflecting my relationships w/ my parents.  emotionally unavailable men, strong but seemingly helpless women.  ugh - makes me nearly gag when i think of it.

sorry you had disturbing dreams.  may i ask what HB stands for?  if it's someone's initials, you don't have to go into detail, but i'm wondering if it means something i'm not understanding.  thanks.

you're doing a lot of work, sweetie.  sounds like your brain is working overtime, too.  take it easy, ok?  sending love and a hug filled w/ self-care.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on October 02, 2019, 02:37:37 PM
Thanks, San. HB stands for half-brother (on my father's side). He's quite a few years older than me, and I couldn't get away from his abuse as he (usually) lived in the same house. I think that set up the pattern, so it's been there for pretty much my entire life.

I think one thing I can do is use dissolving to chip away at the blockages that are part of the pattern. This will take time, but it will allow me to work away at it reasonably gently without stirring too much up.

I promise I'll take it easy :hug:.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 11, 2019, 10:33:53 AM
Glad you're taking it easy, and sending you a hug, if that's ok, Snowdrop  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on October 11, 2019, 10:50:55 AM
Thank you, Hope :hug:.

I'm swatting away at scary deadlines at the moment. I occasionally feel a bit overwhelmed by them, but I can do this.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 14, 2019, 05:00:34 AM
yes, you can.  i really like the image of swatting these things away, chipping them away.  well done.  :thumbup:  i think it's a really pos. way to look at it, and gives you room to go at a pace best for you.  love and hugs!   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on October 16, 2019, 07:54:11 PM
First big deadline out the way. Hooray! Hooray! :woohoo:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on October 16, 2019, 10:34:22 PM
 :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on October 20, 2019, 03:42:11 PM
 :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 23, 2019, 11:00:03 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
Great that you met that deadline!   :cheer:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 02, 2019, 05:15:09 PM
I've been finding it hard to update my journal, and post generally in the forum. I've had a few blocks, which I will try and write about.

In the lead up to my first deadline I was feeling extremely stressed, and it took me a while to stop my nervous system jangling. I think it would have been stressful for anyone, and I recognise that cptsd makes it harder. The work involves doing things that my FOO told me that I wouldn't like doing, wouldn't be able to do etc. Objectively, I can do it and seem to be pretty good at it. A child part of me has been finding it incredibly scary, though, so I agreed to buy a support teddy bear to cuddle when required.

My next big deadline is just over a week away, and I think I'm in good shape for it.

I've been feeling very guilty about posting on the forum and as though I don't belong. A while ago I tried to support someone on the forum, but I inadvertantly used a word that they found triggering. I've been wary about posting since then as I truly care about the people here, and I don't want to accidentally hurt anyone. This also resonates with being told as a child that I mustn't say anything. Feeling upset about writing this.

I've been having EFs today, which isn't helping. I had an email last night which made me feel I wasn't valued, and it upset me.

I'm currently a bit wobbly emotionally, so I'm going to see if I can use this to dissolve some more trauma blockages. The EFs give me a direct connection to the original traumas, making the trauma blockages easier to find.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on November 02, 2019, 06:11:03 PM
Dear Snowdrop,
I am supposed to be on a technology break at the moment, but I couldn't resist popping by today - and I saw what you'd written in your Journal, and I wanted to say to you that I really hope you'll be able to post here as and when you want to - and that the feelings of guilt that you described will ebb away - because I really value what you've contributed here, and all the things you've said here - they are valuable and I am so glad that you've been able to express yourself, and I feel angry at your FOO for stifling your voice when you were a child.  That isn't right. 

I'm glad you've got your support teddy bear to cuddle, that is such a great idea.  I also have something that is a little cuddly toy that I keep nearby - and it really helps.

I wanted to thank you - I hope I'm correct in thinking it was you who talked about the Quigong book.  I managed to get a copy from my local library, and that is partly why I'm taking the technology break - so I can focus on breathing and relaxing and focusing on positive energies within that book.  So thank you so much for talking about your experiences with it.

I am going back to my technology break now, but I really wanted to write to you here in your Journal, and I hope you don't mind my comments, but I wanted to know that I really appreciate your being here, and I hope you'll feel able to express anything and everything - because you are valued.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 02, 2019, 06:22:42 PM
Thank you so much, Hope. Your reply means a lot and brought tears to my eyes. Good ones!

Yes, it was me who mentioned the Qigong book. It's great you found a copy, and I hope it goes well. Please do let me know if there's anything I can help with.

:hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on November 02, 2019, 08:02:02 PM
Yes, I thought I hadn't seen you around for a while, Snowdrop. You do belong on here and I'm glad you overcame your blockages to post again! It's obvious from your posts that you care about other people on here. Triggering others happens on here. I've done it too, others have done it to me.  More or less anything can be a tiny trigger.   :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on November 02, 2019, 09:19:41 PM
Snowdrop,
I'm glad that you posted. You do belong here. As Blueberry mentioned, anything can be a trigger, so you did not do anything wrong by using a certain word. Your care for others comes through clearly in your posts and responses. Glad you are getting a teddy to bring comfort.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on November 02, 2019, 10:48:22 PM
You absolutely do belong here! Triggers are unavoidable for us, the most we can do is try to manage them ourselves. You really can't know what words to avoid for everyone. I'm sorry that made you feel cautious about posting here. But, I'm glad you came back and talked about it!   :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on November 02, 2019, 10:51:13 PM
Nice to see you post again, Snowdrop. Good job on proving your FOO wrong! Hope you're feeling stronger soon. Take care! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 03, 2019, 08:14:58 AM
Thanks everyone for your kind responses. They mean a lot. :grouphug:

I slept relatively well last night. I've had insomnia trouble for the past couple of months, but this week it's improved, and last night was the first where I didn't wake up in the middle of the night. There are several things which I think have helped:

1. Doing more Qigong practice over the past week, including in the mornings.
2. Posting here even though (because?) it made me cry.
3. Feeling less overwhelmed about deadlines. My head knows I can meet them all, but my emotions had doubts. I now know and feel I can do this.
4. Dissolving last night, and using an EF state to connect to trauma blockages.
5. Reading the Paul McKenna sleep book, and beginning to put things into practice. The sleep hypnosis track is fab, but I can't tell you much about it :zzz:.
6. Tapping. I downloaded the 
Tapping Solution app, and there are a couple of free sessions on sleep. I respond well to tapping, and it would be helpful if I did more.

I'm also feeling much better emotionally today. I think I'm out of EF mode, and all the above plus sleep will have helped.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Perplex on November 03, 2019, 08:40:44 AM
Thanks everyone for your kind responses. They mean a lot. :grouphug:

I slept relatively well last night. I've had insomnia trouble for the past couple of months, but this week it's improved, and last night was the first where I didn't wake up in the middle of the night. There are several things which I think have helped:

1. Doing more Qigong practice over the past week, including in the mornings.
2. Posting here even though (because?) it made me cry.
3. Feeling less overwhelmed about deadlines. My head knows I can meet them all, but my emotions had doubts. I now know and feel I can do this.
4. Dissolving last night, and using an EF state to connect to trauma blockages.
5. Reading the Paul McKenna sleep book, and beginning to put things into practice. The sleep hypnosis track is fab, but I can't tell you much about it :zzz:.
6. Tapping. I downloaded the 
Tapping Solution app, and there are a couple of free sessions on sleep. I respond well to tapping, and it would be helpful if I did more.

I'm also feeling much better emotionally today. I think I'm out of EF mode, and all the above plus sleep will have helped.
Way to go, Snowdrop. Looks like you've made a good effort of the day overall!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on November 03, 2019, 12:24:22 PM
That's great Snowdrop  :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: So happy for you. But also: look at the hard work you put into it :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

I was impressed to read yesterday that you'll use an EF to connect to trauma blockages. I tend to flee from my trauma blockages.  :disappear:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 03, 2019, 01:40:14 PM
Thanks both. :grouphug:

I don't always remember to use dissolving to clear an EF, as sometimes I'm too lost inside it. I consistently find, however, that using dissolving on an EF clears it pretty quickly, and can help me clear some of the deeper trauma. I'll talk about this a bit more, as my hunch is that it's relevant to other methods such as tapping.

A lot of my trauma blockages feel like hard knots of energy with a tough outer shell. It's like having walnuts that need cracking. Crack the outer shell of the walnut, and you can release the trauma. Dissolving is a way of doing that, as it's like splitting the walnut into atoms so that the trauma blockage dissolves into space.

There are a couple of challenges that relate to dissolving trauma blockages. The first is determining whether a blockage is related to trauma, as it might be something more general, and dissolving blockages indiscriminately takes a lot of time. The second is that trauma blockages can be so deeply buried they're hard to find. It's therefore helpful to bring them into awareness so that they are easier to access.

There are two methods I use to do this.

The first is to set an agenda or intention over days and weeks to get rid of the blockages that relate to trauma. Thinking about this intention on a regular basis means that when I dissolve a blockage, it's far more likely to be a trauma blockage.

The second method is to use the feelings I have around an EF or trigger to connect to a trauma blockage. By focusing on the feelings as I dissolve, it often brings me straight to the underlying trauma blockage.

With each method, I may not be able to entirely dissolve the blockage in one go. But there's a good chance I'll be able to thin the shell a bit so that I can clear it another time.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on November 03, 2019, 04:39:17 PM
Thanks for explaining dissolving trauma. It's interesting. Wow. You physically feel them. It may not feel that good idk but incredible that you actually feel them.

You seem to be doing the work on your own too. Wow. :thumbup:  When things get hard, I still like to go to my T.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 03, 2019, 05:24:28 PM
I think feeling the blockages can be a useful tool. It's as though my system tried to shield me from traumas by wrapping each one in a hard shell in an effort to lock it away. A bit like an oyster forming a pearl, but less shiny ;D.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on November 03, 2019, 11:00:34 PM
While there's been a setback or two, I think it's great how you've shown resilience paired with perseverance to keep trekking along in the face of all the natural inclinations to shut down and/or flee; and/or panic, all reactions which seem to strengthen the EFs seeking control of all of the shaky feelings.

Instead you've demonstrated that we don't have to be swallowed up every time things seem like they're slipping away again. I've read so much about the best way to unplug the stickiness being to dive straight into the trouble, use visualization and other means to dislodge where and when one can. But I've rarely seen it reporte on so well as you've been doing.

Many congrats  :applause: , even though it's almost a given there might be rough patches left over. The willingness to go into dissolve mode even after the apparent times it hasn't worked perfectly seems to also be helping.

It's great to see a been there/done that example that at has produced some positive vibes, while building hope enabling one to face whatever else -- expected or not -- might come along, but that can be defused. Thanks for pointing this out.

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 04, 2019, 02:10:28 PM
Thanks woodsgnome.

I find that if I use dissolving on an EF or trigger, I can consistently release it. I'm struggling to think of a time when it hasn't worked, and it typically takes 5-10 minutes to get relief and feel reasonably normal. I think it's so quick because the EFs are on the surface; they're happening in the present moment.

Dissolving the trauma blockages takes longer. They're deeper, and can have many layers to dissolve. The first layer might take 20 minutes to get the release, the next layer 1 hour, the next one 3 hours and so on. I don't generally have time to spend as long as this on dissolving, but each time I practice, they get closer to being released.

In a sense, the EFs and triggers are gifts because they give me better access to the underlying blockages. Admittedly I don't always think this at the time! I think the key thing for me is to keep chipping away at them on a regular basis. Over time, they'll get smaller and there'll be fewer of them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 05, 2019, 09:45:51 AM
Hope has inspired me to start reading the Internal Family Systems Therapy book by Richard Schwartz and Martha Sweezy. I'm part way through the introduction, and it makes a lot of sense to me.

I recognise that when I use journeying, it's my Self that's in control. Any other parts are quiet. I think one of the reasons why I find journeying so helpful is that it gives me a means of navigating my inner landscape, communicating directly with parts, and bringing home parts that are lost (exiled?). I think I've been instinctively doing some of the things mentioned in the book, but it's giving me a deeper insight and framework.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 07, 2019, 07:25:42 AM
I've now read the first three chapters of the IFS book, and I'm finding it illuminating. I have had various insights so far. I will try to write about some of them.

The distinction between Self and parts is interesting, and I can feel the difference. I can recognise that when I'm having an EF, a part is in the driving seat, and not my Self.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that when I do dissolving, it typically takes 5-10 minutes to clear the EF. A different perspective is that when I settle down into dissolving mode, it puts my Self back in the driving seat, the part takes a back seat, and so the EF stops.

This makes me think back to my first tai chi class. During the class, my Self stepped forward from the murk, and I could clearly see the crossroads I was at in my life. I could see I was on a path that was taking me to a bad place, so I stepped off that path and onto a brighter one.

I can ask parts to step back so that they're not crowding my Self. This will be helpful day-to-day. It will also help to do this when practicing tai chi, qigong etc, as it will strengthen my Self.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 08, 2019, 06:49:04 AM
The IFS book is really resonating with me. I've just read the following, which mirrors my thoughts from yesterday:
"The practice of yoga, meditation, martial arts, and other mindĖbody healing modalities can all help parts feel welcome and safe so the Self can embody. With these strategies we can access, strengthen, and stabilize the Self in the body, which brings alignment, groundedness, fluidity, spaciousness, and often tingling."

There's also a bit about why things like meditation etc can be hard for trauma survivors:
"Embodying the Self can terrify people who have suffered severe abuse. As mentioned above, savvy perpetrators try to prevent the victim from having access to the Self. ... As a result, survivors of severe abuse risk backlash from their protectors when they try to embody the Self. This backlash might include suicidal thoughts or urges, physical illness, pain, or fear of the therapist and the urge to quit therapy. Thus we make a point of asking the client to check if any protectors are afraid to let her embody before guiding her to do so directly. If any parts are afraid, we address their fears before proceeding."

Another bit in the same section resonates too:
"I also know that my most active protectors hang out as tension above my eyebrows, weight on my shoulders, and clutching in my throat, and Iíll visit those places to reassure those parts. As they release, I immediately notice more spaciousness and calm in body and mind."
The bit about the throat matches my experience. I've spoken previously about being silenced. "Say anything and I'll kill you", that kind of thing. Well, for years, every time I tried to say anything about HB's abusiveness, my throat would close up, and I couldn't speak. It was like I was being choked. I only got past it by doing a *lot* of energy clearing there. Dissolving, pulling stuck energy out, making guttural noises etc. Sometimes it's still there, but less so. Based on what I've read so far, there could easily be a protector part who tries to choke me in order to stop me speaking. Writing that feels true. That part is scared, so it would be helpful if I can comfort and reassure it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on November 08, 2019, 04:00:54 PM
I think I will see about reading this book, it sounds like something I need.... Your posts are always so informative and I've learned a lot from them, so thanks.
 :heythere:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 08, 2019, 05:29:43 PM
Thanks, 3R. :wave:

I'm getting a lot out of reading the book. I bought the second edition on Kindle, and it's worth downloading the sample to see how you get on with it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 09, 2019, 09:55:24 AM
There are a few fundamental things I've learned from the book so far that I want to write down. I think my insight and understanding will grow as I continue to read the book.

Having parts is normal. Everybody has them, but how aware they are of the parts depends on the degree of polarisation. For trauma survivors, the polarisation is likely to be high.

No part is bad, but parts can carry burdens.

There are exile parts, and protector parts. The exiled parts hold uncomfortable feelings and memories, which is why they've been exiled. EFs probably come from exiled parts wanting to make themselves known, breaking through, reacting, that kind of thing. I think I have a high proportion of exiles.

There are two types of protector parts: managers (which seek to control the exiles and keep them away) and firefighters (which seek to deal with the consequences of exiles breaking through). I have prominent managers or a high proportion of them, but a low proportion of firefighters.

The Self is always whole, but it can get blurred with other parts, and protector parts can kick it out the system in order to protect it. The Self has the ability to heal the parts. I can easily connect with my Self, a Good Thing.

Protectors will keep on behaving in the way they do until they know they don't have to. This happens when the exile they're protecting has healed and has unburdened.

Before accessing an exile, you need to get the protector's permission. If you don't get this permission, the protector will get upset and there may well be a backlash. So always talk to the protector first.

[There's a special mention in the book about EMDR. EMDR can bypass the protectors to get to the exile parts, so there can be a backlash.]

An exiled part can overwhelm, resulting in EFs etc. But an exiled part can also agree not to overwhelm if they're convinced that they'll still get attention. This gives protectors confidence in the Self, leading to better cooperation.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 09, 2019, 10:25:35 AM
Now that I've written about what I've learned, I want to talk about things I've noticed.

I've not had any wrist pain for a while. This is unusual. I have RSI, and some degree of pain, lack of movement, lack of strength is pretty constant. I've been doing things that would normally show up, but they haven't. I have no pain, I can grip and 90 degree movement each way. Two explanations seem most likely: the Qigong/dissolving etc I'm currently doing, or rescuing the exiled part of me a few weeks ago (the part that carried car accident trauma).

I've not been thinking of HB very often. I have the memories, but I'm not obsessing over them. Is the traumatised part healing, or is a firefighter part distracting me? I will find out.

One section of the book reminded me of HB:

=== Possible TW physical violence ===

"During the course of that inner work, I discovered that my fatherís rage attacks and spankings had scared the Self out of me, leaving me desensitized. In the grip of my own rageful protector, I wanted to knock people down and was able to disregard physical pain even while my saner parts were screaming at me to stop."

=== End of TW ===

I recognise how this relates to HB. I also recognise that this is not my problem.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 09, 2019, 10:48:16 AM
Something else I need to write down:

"The expectation that people should be able to use willpower, for example, to stop addictions, control anger, or override fear only exacerbates inner polarizations."

"People who do succeed in controlling firefighter behaviors with willpower are relying on managers to sit on their firefighters as well as their exiles."


This makes sense. I used to firefight/comfort myself by eating lots of sugar and chocolate. I gave them up because it messed me up in other ways - mood swings etc. People told me what strong willpower I had. Maybe I just introduced a manager to sit on the firefighter.

Maybe I can instead release the need for the underlying firefighter, which will in turn release the need for the manager. I can ask these parts about the exile they're protecting.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 10, 2019, 08:45:25 AM
Yesterday I tried asking any parts to step aside while I practised Qigong etc. This worked really, really well.

I slept reasonably well last night. I've noticed I tend to sleep better when I practice bagua zhang in the morning. This is something new which I've recently started learning. I don't know if I slept better because of the practice, or because I was able to ask parts to step aside. As I intend to doing both things, it probably doesn't matter.

I woke up once in the middle of the night. The details are a bit fuzzy because I went back to sleep again immediately afterwards, but I remember communicating with a part that was stopping me from sleeping. The part told me about how she felt I had to protect M when I was growing up, and take the place of an adult. I listened, understood, and said how sorry I was that she felt she had to do that. A phrase I was once told kept going through my head: "children can't be children when adults can't be adults".
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 10, 2019, 04:18:27 PM
hey, snowdrop, sounds like you're making a lot of progress.  reading about all those parts is interesting, as well as the jobs they do.

as an emdr therapist, i found it interesting, also, about the idea that emdr overrides some parts, which could cause backlash.  i think, from my knowledge of the process, that those parts could also be recognized and included, and as the healing continues, they'll know when they're not needed in the same way, which would minimize the backlash.  i'll be seeing an emdr t in a couple weeks, so this was good info to have with me.  thanks for sharing. 

you are doing some amazing work for yourself.  inspiring.  wishing you well as you continue.  sending love and a hug filled w/ vibrant energy. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 10, 2019, 04:44:37 PM
Thanks, San. I'm glad it helped. I've just done a quick search, and there are videos and workshops on IFS informed EMDR. I've not watched the videos, but involving protector parts in EMDR so that they don't get cranky sounds really interesting.

I hope it goes well with the t. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 11, 2019, 10:03:42 PM
I'm getting so much benefit from what I've read so far about IFS.

Today was another big deadline day. I was doing something that a lot of people without cptsd would objectively have found stressful, particularly as a few things outside my control went wrong at the last minute :aaauuugh:. But actually I was fine, and I'm pleased with how well I handled it. I was able to tell any part of me that was feeling stressed etc to take a back seat, and they did. It felt different to running away from the feelings, pushing them down or denying them in some way. It was more of a negotiation which allowed my Self to take control. :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snookiebookie2 on November 11, 2019, 10:07:34 PM
Well done Snowdrop  :applause:

Sounds like your having success  :cheer: making progress  :cheer: and dealing with difficult emotions/sensations  :cheer:

I am so pleased for you  :heythere:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on November 11, 2019, 11:34:52 PM
That's awesome; good job! :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 12, 2019, 09:37:23 PM
Thanks Snookie and Jazzy. :hug: :hug:

I was a bit tired today after yesterday, so I deliberately didn't do much in the morning, and rested in the afternoon. I spent some time listening to parts and showing them compassion.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 14, 2019, 08:38:29 AM
I've been reading more of the IFS book, and reflecting on how the things I've learned so far can help me.

I have had success with going to talk to my inner critic and other inner figures. I now recognise these as protector parts. I was able to talk to them, ask them why they were doing what they were doing, and offer them new roles. These are all good things, and in line with the IFS book. What I can also do, however, is ask them about the part of me they're protecting (an exile part), and ask them if I can access that part. If there's any resistance to that, it may indicate another part I can talk to.

When I talk to any protector parts, I can ask them how old they think I am. The IFS book says that they usually think you're still a child. Asking a protector part how old they think I am will help me find the exile part that they're protecting.

I have had success with finding exile parts, listening to them, freeing them and bringing them home. This is good, and something that's in the IFS book. I haven't rescued an exile part until I've felt fully on board with it, and I think that subconsciously I was probably waiting until protector parts felt OK about it. Again, this is good. I think that now, I can talk to protector parts and get their explicit permission before doing anything like this.

Once I've helped an exile part, I can show them to the relevant protector parts. This isn't something I've been doing, but I can see it would be helpful. Once a protector part can see the exile no longer needs protecting, they know they can drop their behaviour, and take on a new role/get some rest.

When I do any energy clearing work, I can ask protector parts if they're OK with it. You can sometimes get a healing crisis in response to shifts, and I now wonder if that may be due to a backlash from protector parts.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snookiebookie2 on November 14, 2019, 02:42:19 PM
Snowdrop it sounds like you doing lots of great work.  It sounds like you're gaining an understanding of yourself and making real changes to how you relate to yourself.

Well done.  :applause:  I'm so pleased for you  :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 15, 2019, 02:57:05 PM
Thanks Snookie :).

This afternoon I went on my first journey since I started researching IFS.

I wanted to help the exile part that felt silenced, so I started by visiting a separate protector part that's been protecting it. It's been doing this by closing down my throat if I try to speak up about past experiences.

I thanked the part for protecting me and asked it what job it was doing. It told me that it had to stop me talking because if I spoke up, I'd be hated and abandoned. I told it what a great job it had done, and whether it was happy in that role. It wasn't, so I asked it how it felt about easing up and perhaps doing something else.

I felt slight fear at this point, which I recognised as another part. This was also a protector, using fear to keep me silenced. It believed that if I spoke up, I'd be killed, so it had to keep the exile away from me for my survival. It didn't like using fear and wanted to rest, but didn't feel it could.

I asked the two parts if they were protecting the same exile, and they said yes. I asked them how old they thought I was, and they thought I was about 5. They were surprised to learn that I'm now an adult, and could make adult decisions.

After some negotiation, they agreed that if the exile part of me was safe, they could both relax, and they agreed to let me speak to my exiled 5 year old. They accepted that I could give the exile part attention without her emotions overwhelming me.

I spent a bit of time with the exiled part, showing compassion and validating her. I told her that it was wrong of HB to treat her the way he had. It was his fault, not hers, and she deserved to be believed and kept safe. I told her I loved her, believed her, and would look after her. She told me some of the things she had experienced. I then took her to a garden where she could climb trees, laugh and shout in the sunshine, and sing with the birds.

I then went back to the protector parts. They could see that the exile is being heard, is happy and in a safer please. They agreed to ease off, and I felt as though they trusted me more.
We all agreed that I would go back to the exile part, spend more time with her, and help her unburden.

Using IFS theory as part of journeying is fascinating. There's still a fair amount of instinctiveness about it, but it feels as though using IFS has refined things. I feel as though I've been handed an upgraded roadmap.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Perplex on November 15, 2019, 08:38:07 PM
Thanks Snookie :).

This afternoon I went on my first journey since I started researching IFS.

I wanted to help the exile part that felt silenced, so I started by visiting a separate protector part that's been protecting it. It's been doing this by closing down my throat if I try to speak up about past experiences.

I thanked the part for protecting me and asked it what job it was doing. It told me that it had to stop me talking because if I spoke up, I'd be hated and abandoned. I told it what a great job it had done, and whether it was happy in that role. It wasn't, so I asked it how it felt about easing up and perhaps doing something else.

I felt slight fear at this point, which I recognised as another part. This was also a protector, using fear to keep me silenced. It believed that if I spoke up, I'd be killed, so it had to keep the exile away from me for my survival. It didn't like using fear and wanted to rest, but didn't feel it could.

I asked the two parts if they were protecting the same exile, and they said yes. I asked them how old they thought I was, and they thought I was about 5. They were surprised to learn that I'm now an adult, and could make adult decisions.

After some negotiation, they agreed that if the exile part of me was safe, they could both relax, and they agreed to let me speak to my exiled 5 year old. They accepted that I could give the exile part attention without her emotions overwhelming me.

I spent a bit of time with the exiled part, showing compassion and validating her. I told her that it was wrong of HB to treat her the way he had. It was his fault, not hers, and she deserved to be believed and kept safe. I told her I loved her, believed her, and would look after her. She told me some of the things she had experienced. I then took her to a garden where she could climb trees, laugh and shout in the sunshine, and sing with the birds.

I then went back to the protector parts. They could see that the exile is being heard, is happy and in a safer please. They agreed to ease off, and I felt as though they trusted me more.
We all agreed that I would go back to the exile part, spend more time with her, and help her unburden.

Using IFS theory as part of journeying is fascinating. There's still a fair amount of instinctiveness about it, but it feels as though using IFS has refined things. I feel as though I've been handed an upgraded roadmap.
This sounds all really enlightening! And a few parts of it really resonated with me too. I'm glad it's working for you in some way! I like your analogy. :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 16, 2019, 07:41:49 AM
Thanks Perplex :).

All good after yesterday. I felt happy afterwards, the 5 year old seems happy, and the protector parts seem to have stood down. I sang along to music while I made dinner last night, and kept spontaneously dancing round the kitchen.
:boogie:

It's morning now, and I slept through the entire night for the first time in just over two months.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 16, 2019, 11:23:41 AM
More journeying this morning, building on yesterday.

I met with two more protector parts who are in conflict with each other. One thinks I must tell the truth and the whole story, as if I don't, M won't love me any more, and I'll be abandoned. A second part says I must lie, because if I tell the truth, F won't believe me, he won't love me and I'll be abandoned. The protector part I met yesterday who was closing my throat up when I tried to speak is also involved with these two. It feels as though it has to keep them both quiet. There's also another part who's very cynical and doesn't trust me, but that part has agreed to not interfere.

The truth and lie tellers are both protecting an 11 year old exile. They let me visit her in my old bedroom where it was quite dark and gloomy (it didn't get much natural light). After a bit she shared a lot of her experiences with me: HB wanting her dead, trying to hide what had happened, being forced into telling the truth, being bullied, feeling friendless and so on. I took her to a bright library with a garden where she could read whatever books she liked, and read them outside.

I went back to the truth and lie protector parts. They are both feeling happier. They accepted that I can decide what to say and how to say it, and that I can look after the 11 year old. The cynic was less cynical.

I then went back to the 5 year old. She was willing to let go of some of her burdens, so we burnt them on a bonfire and watched the flames. She was a bit concerned that I was now going to abandon her, so I reassured her that I wasn't. She then curled up against a great mother bear and went to sleep.

I let the parts protecting the 5 year old see her sleeping peacefully. The part who was fearful said it no longer needed to do the role it was doing, so it's gone off to rest. The part who was closing my throat is much happier too, but wants to keep watch on the truth and lie tellers parts for a bit longer. It's feeling much better though.

I went back to the 11 year old again, and showed her the 5 year old. She was delighted to see her looking so peaceful and happy, as she felt caught up in the 5 year olds problems. The 11 year old wanted pets, so I left her playing with a puppy and stroking a cat.

The truth and lie tellers are now much happier too, and they're experimenting with new roles. The truth teller accepts that I don't need to tell the whole story, and the lie teller wants to start writing creative stories. The cynic is trusting me more.

So, a summary. The 5 year old exile is nearly ready to let go of all her burdens and stop living in the past. The 11 year old is feeling much better, but has more to share before she can start to unburden. The protector parts are easing off. The cynic part started off not wanting anything to do with me, but has improved. It's cynical to try and stop me being hopeful and then let down. I can talk to this part more another time.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on November 16, 2019, 06:33:32 PM
I always feel inspired by these posts! Thanks  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on November 16, 2019, 07:31:36 PM
Wow, Snowdrop! You're doing so much self-work atm :cheer: and making so much progress :yes:  :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 17, 2019, 08:56:59 AM
Thanks both :hug:. These latest journeys feel hugely significant, and involving different parts in this way is working really well.

All good after the journey yesterday. I did quite a lot of bagua/Qigong/tai chi afterwards, and it felt different. I felt I embodied it more, there was more space in me, and it felt peaceful. There was no inner critic or any other part trying to muscle in, and this also felt significant.

I've been thinking back to one of the exchanges I had with the 11 year old exile. She was pleased I'm no longer in contact with HB, but felt conflicted because she felt she had to make allowances for his behaviour. She felt as though one of her responsibilities was to help him heal. I told her that it wasn't her responsibility, and she couldn't help him heal. He had to heal himself, and only he can do that. With HB, his parts are completely in the driving seat, so his Self isn't there. These parts are angry, raging, abusive and more likely to be in control when I'm there, so it's honestly best for both of us if there's no contact. I'm keeping my Self and my parts safe, and it's not possible for me to help HB. This approach helped the 11 year old settle. She felt safer due to there being no contact, and she didn't feel guilty about it. She also felt OK about feeling very angry with HB's parts, and how she'd been treated. I told her she was perfectly entitled to feel angry. She felt better after letting her anger out.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 17, 2019, 05:09:33 PM
Another journey this afternoon to check in with the protector parts I've been working with so far, and the 5 and 11 year old exiles.

The protector part that was blocking my throat has nearly completely given up its role. It trusts me to say the right thing, so it doesn't really feel it needs to step in. The fearful part is still interested in the 5 year old that it's protecting, but it's given up its role. It seems to have gone walking.

The truth and lie protector parts also trust me to say the right thing, and are close to giving up their roles. The truth teller wants to go on bike rides, and the lie teller has already started thinking up stories.

The cynical part has started opening up to me and is beginning to trust me. Yesterday it wouldn't tell me what it was protecting, but I found out today that it's a teenage exile. It's scared of her feeling any hope or happiness because it doesn't think she can cope with being let down. I've told the cynical part that the teenage part won't overwhelm me, and it wants me to help her. We've agreed to leave this for a bit, and I'll come back to her when the 5 and 11 year old exiles are further along.

The 5 year old exile is doing well, and likes me cuddling her. She didn't have anything new to share with me, but she was ready to burn more burdens in the bonfire, which we did. I asked her whether she wanted to leave the past and move into the present. She does, but wants to play in the garden a bit longer, and get used to the idea first.

The 11 year old exile was pleased to see me. She's not ready to unburden yet, and wondered if she'd still exist if she let go of her burdens. I told her that she would. She'd always be a part of me, and I'd always love her. She now fully accepts that healing HB is not her problem. It's not her responsibility.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 17, 2019, 06:28:07 PM
I've decided to copy the unburdening process from the IFS book and put it here in case anyone reading my journal wonders what's going on.

1. Witnessing: The clientís Self witnesses whatever the exile wants the Self to know about its experience.

2. Do-Over: If the exile wants help in the past, the clientís Self enters the scene with the exile and does or says whatever the exile needed someone to do at the time to rescript the experience.

3. Retrieval: The Self takes the exile out of the past and brings it to the present, or to somewhere safe.

4. Unburdening: The exile decides how it wants to let go of burdens (sensations; chronic, extreme feeling states; toxic beliefs) and then proceeds to let go of them.

5. Invitation: The exile invites in new qualities that it wants for the future.

6. Integration: The clientís Self invites protectors to notice that the exile has unburdened and feels healed, then asks if they are ready to find new jobs and helps with this if they need help.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on November 17, 2019, 10:23:25 PM
I'm buying this book on pay day!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 18, 2019, 06:53:16 AM
I can definitely recommend it. I'm finding it life changing.

In the meantime, it's worth searching YouTube for "schwartz ifs" and "schwartz ifs trauma". I've not watched them yet and must, but there's a series of four videos from a lecture Richard Schwartz gave on IFS and trauma. The first one is here: https://youtu.be/2UfmGwENz9M (https://youtu.be/2UfmGwENz9M)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 18, 2019, 02:56:08 PM
Very interesting this morning. I had an email from a friend who usually expects me to caretake his problems for him, and I had no caretaking impulse. I felt compassion, but that was it. This is a big change. It's because there's a caretaking protector part that has spontaneously given up its role.

Another journey around lunchtime to visit the parts I've been working with recently.

The 5 year old's protector parts weren't around. I asked if there were any other parts protecting her, and there weren't, so I went to visit the 5 year old in her garden.

The 5 year old now hangs out in a treehouse, and is happy. She asked me why HB hated her, and I told her that part of him had been treated very badly by his mother, and that part hates everything. She understood, and accepted that. I asked her if there was anything she wanted from me, and there was. I saw an event where HB hit her, and she wanted me to rescript this. As HB went to hit her, I stepped in and blocked the blow with my arm, and HB ran off. I then saw M and F telling her how much they loved her. After this, we went back to the bonfire, and she peeled a bruise from her face and threw it in the fire. We watched it burn. She has some other burdens which she's keeping in a box, but she's not quite ready to burn them yet. I left her getting snuggles from the great mother protector bear.

I then met the 11 year old's protector parts. They were pleased to see me, and happy to let me help the 11 year old.

The 11 year old was pleased to see me. She had a box full of rocks which represented burdens, and she told me she wanted to get rid of them. We took them to a firepit and set them alight. After they'd burned, we smashed them into ashes. I asked if there was anything more she wants right now, and she said she wanted to be better at sports and a book she'd read once but couldn't remember the name of. We ran for a bit, and then I gave her a copy of The Farthest-Away Mountain from the library.

I briefly spoke to the cynical protector part, who isn't very cynical now. It knows I'll be back when the time is right to help the teenage exile part it's protecting.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on November 18, 2019, 03:30:00 PM
I like that you have designated the cynical protector part "it" as opposed to he or she.  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 18, 2019, 03:51:03 PM
This may change! It started off as being a thick black cloud, but it's acquiring a more human shape as I build a relationship with it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Sceal on November 19, 2019, 06:29:07 AM
Glad to hear you're having some progress! Keep up the hard work  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 19, 2019, 10:33:40 AM
Thanks, Sceal. :)

Yesterday I felt angry because I wanted to be heard. I realised it was a part breaking through, so I asked it to step back, and what job it was doing? It got angrier at this point because it wasn't doing a job, it just wanted to be heard. As it wasn't performing a role, this meant that it was an exile part, not a protector. It didn't feel like the 5 or 11 year old, so I asked it how old it was. Eventually, it told me it was 8.

This morning I could still feel the exile trying to break through, so I journeyed to help it.

I started off asking if the 8 year old had protectors. The first one was a brick wall that was hiding her from me, although I could hear her shouting from behind it. The wall was trying to keep her away from me because it didn't want her to overwhelm me. I told the wall that I could give her attention without her overwhelming me. She could choose not to overwhelm. The wall was also distrustful of me when it saw I was an adult as it felt adults can't be trusted, so I told it that I wasn't just an adult, I was my Self, and that meant that I could help her. I wanted to help her if the wall would let me.

The second protector was one that kept making me ill. Being ill meant that the 8 year old was looked after and received attention she didn't get otherwise. I asked if this part would consider not making me ill if I made sure the 8 year old was looked after and got the attention she needed, and it agreed.

The third protector was fiercely critical of the second protector. It hated the 8 year old being ill, and kept saying she was weak and a failure. It put pressure on her this way because it thought this way, F would be proud of her. It agreed that if the protector that was making me ill stood down, it could too.

After some discussion, the protectors agreed to let me see the 8 year old and help her. The wall moved out the way, and I was with the 8 year old in my old bedroom.

The 8 year old was initially very angry with me. Why didn't I listen to her? Where had I been? I apologised, and told her that I heard her, I was here now. She then showed me lots of things she'd experienced that made her feel angry. I'm going to list them here as being witnessed in this way will help. No full details, but they might be triggery.

=== TW ===

[The part has been witnessed enough, so I've edited out this bit]

She wanted me to rescript some of these. I stopped HB being inappropriate, M and F validated her feelings, and M, F and HB's friend told HB how wrong his behaviour was. I told M and F she didn't need an operation, she just needed to be loved and heard. I prevented HB from hitting her, and broke the cane in two.

=== End TW ===

After this, the 8 year old felt much better. Her burdens left her body in a silvery smoke, and I brought her into the present. Her protectors saw her happy and unburdened, and said they were happy to give up their roles.

I then visited the 5 year old. She is now unburdened. She's in the present, but in the garden. She can leave the garden if she wants to, but she's very happy there. I left her playing with the 8 year old.

I briefly contacted the cynical part and the 11 year old. The 11 year old doesn't need anything from me right now, and the cynical part respects me. This part still wants me to help the teenager when the time is right, and thinks that the work I've done with the other exiles has helped her.

This was a much longer journey than usual. I'm a bit sleepy, but I also feel a huge sense of relief and space inside me. I feel heard.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 20, 2019, 11:37:18 AM
All good after yesterday. Very good, in fact. I feel peaceful, harmonious and there's a feeling of space inside. I've briefly checked in with the parts I've been working with, and all is fine. The IFS book suggests checking in with parts that have unburdened on a daily basis for 3-4 weeks after they've unburdened in order to properly integrate, so I'll spend more time on this later.

I had an email this morning which would normally trigger me. No reaction, not even a twitch. It feels as though the part that would normally be triggered has either given up its role, or turned it down a lot. I *think* this part might be the critical one that was protecting the 8 year old, and it gave up its role yesterday.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on November 20, 2019, 12:20:37 PM
I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to say goodbye to your budgie. That would have broken my heart.

I'm happy to hear the email didn't trigger you. Progress!  :applause: :cheer: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 20, 2019, 03:47:58 PM
Thank you, Three Roses. :hug:

A relatively short IFS journey today.

The 5 year old is happy. She now has a paddling pool, so we spent some time splashing in it together. She's been making daisy chains for the great mother bear, and has started exploring.

The 8 year old is very wise and magical. She's been spontaneously unburdening herself.

The 11 year old also seems to have unburdened. She says that the 5 and 8 year olds unburdening allowed her to unburden. I showed them to her, and she was pleased to see them. She has a pet puppy which she's been playing with and training.

I didn't interact with the parts that had been protecting the 5, 8 and 11 year olds as they've all given up their roles.

I did, however, speak to the part that was cynical and protecting a teenage part. He's no longer cynical, and says that the teenager is improving. He thinks I need to wait for a bit until I speak to the teenager, so that the 5, 8 and 11 year olds can completely settle. I asked what age the teenager is, but he doesn't want to tell me yet.

I also met a part who was scared of me speaking to the teenager, but I said that I could talk to her and help her without being overwhelmed by her. The part seemed reassured by this.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on November 20, 2019, 07:55:06 PM
I am so impressed at the healing work you are doing and have been doing in the last while, Snowdrop!  :yourock:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 20, 2019, 09:08:26 PM
this sounds like amazing territory you're going thru, snowdrop.  it's fascinating to see. love and hugs to you, sweetie.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 21, 2019, 04:52:24 PM
Blueberry and San :hug: :hug:. I'm delighted with how well it's going. It's also absolutely fascinating. Learning about IFS and how to apply it has made a big difference to me.

Another short journey today, as there wasn't a lot for me to do. There weren't any protector parts I needed to talk to, so it was really a matter of checking how the 5, 8 and 11 year old parts are.

The 8 year old continues to be wise and magical. I get the impression there are things she can teach me, and I think she'd like this. I need to ask her about this at some point.

The 5 year has gone exploring outside the garden. I found her riding on the back of the great mother bear. I think the bear was taking her to see a waterfall.

The 11 year old did a bit more unburdening. She showed me how the boys at school behaved in a sexually inappropriate way with the girls on a daily basis, and how this was seen as OK. After I witnessed this, the burden lifted from her in a silver mist. She also told me how much she'd enjoyed a book I'd just finished reading.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 22, 2019, 02:30:38 PM
A longer journey today, as I wanted to tackle a legacy burden. This burden was passed down to me by M, and I've been carrying it. It's around putting other people first, which leads to the belief that other people's needs are more important than mine, which leads to the belief that I am worth less, which leads to the belief that I am worthless.

I started by trying to meet the part that was carrying the legacy burden. Another part (protector) stopped me. It was deeply critical of the part holding this belief, and was trying to keep it away from me. Beneath the criticism, it was really scared. There was an incident caused by this burden that lead to me losing a significant amount of energy, and it was scared of me dying if the power of the burden was amplified. I reassured the protector that this wouldn't happen, and thanked it for protecting me. I wanted to help the part holding the burden to release it, so the protector stood aside to let me speak to it.

The part holding the burden looked quite amorphous, and when I tried to speak to it, another part appeared and stopped me. This was another protector part, and it was scared of me releasing the burden. It would be disloyal, and I needed to carry the burden in order to be accepted. If I released it, I'd be abandoned and terrible things would happen. I asked the new protector how old it thought I was. 6 years old, it said. I thanked the protector for helping me survive, and told it that releasing the burden wasn't being disloyal. I could choose to be kind while still taking care of my needs, so I didn't need the burden. The protector was a bit suspicious when I told it I was an adult, but it gave me permission to talk to the part carrying the burden.

The part holding the burden turned into a 6 year old girl. She was another exile part, and I knew this because when I asked her what role she had, she looked confused and said she'd just been told to carry the burden (a big sack of rocks). I asked her how much of the burden wasn't hers. About 80% she said. Would she like to stop carrying it? Yes please. She wanted to dump it in the ocean, so we went to the beach and chucked it in the sea.

I asked her about the remaining 20% that was hers. She showed me various events which I witnessed, and then the burden left her body as butterflies which fluttered away into the sky. I held her, told her I loved her and how worthy she was.

I showed the exile to the two protectors. The one who wanted me to carry the burden was initially concerned, and reluctant to give up its role. I demonstrated that she was happy, and repeated that I was no longer 6 years old, I was an adult and my Self. I could be kind and compassionate without needing a burden to force me into it. The protector agreed I no longer needed the burden, gave up its role, and went off to sit in the sun. This allowed the first protector I met to give up its role too, and together we called back power that I'd previously lost because of the burden.

I then checked in on the 5, 8 and 11 year olds.

The 5 year old was slashing in a pool at the bottom of a waterfall with the bear. She's very happy, and ran over to me and jumped into my arms when she saw me approach. The bear let me scratch its head.

The 8 year released burdens related to her energy sensitivity. She said she was able to do this because the legacy burden had lifted.

The 11 year old released a burden that felt like her part of the legacy burden. The burden turned into a bird that flew off and turned to light.

I spoke to the teenager's protector and thanked him for looking over her. He said that releasing the legacy burden has helped her.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 22, 2019, 04:39:30 PM
amazing work you're doing, snowdrop.  it really is.

it's also amazing how these parts of ours are in there.  that still kind of blows my mind.

sending love and hugs to all of you :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 22, 2019, 05:08:38 PM
Thanks, San. :grouphug:

I think one of the things that really helped me is reading that having parts is normal. Everybody has them, but how aware you are of them depends on the degree of polarity you have between them. Trauma survivors are more likely to have a highly polarised parts, and that means that we're more likely to be aware of them.

My system feels less polarised now, and I can feel the difference. I feel more whole. There's more of my Self, if that makes sense. When I first started reading about IFS, I was a bit concerned about whether working with parts might be fracturing and make my head feel crowded. Actually, it's the complete opposite. Listening to and healing the parts gives me a feeling of more space inside, and my Self is stronger. I've also noticed that my energetic boundaries are much, much stronger because they're being healed from within.

It's absolutely fascinating.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 23, 2019, 03:00:27 PM
All good after yesterday.

I journeyed this afternoon to check in with the parts I've been working with so far.

The 5 and 6 year olds are both fine. I held each of them, and told them how much I loved them.

The 8 year old was interesting. She often looks serious, and she reminded me of how she would be often be criticised or told off if she wasn't smiling. Her grandmother often told her nobody would like her if she didn't smile, and would give a running commentary on her facial expressions, which the 8 year old found embarrassing and overcrowding. She often felt that she had to put on a fake smile and mask how she felt and who she was in order to avoid all of this, and to be acceptable to people. The 8 year old often looks quite serious because she enjoys not having to put on a fake smile. She can smile if she wants to smile, she can frown or stick her tongue out if that's what she wants to do, and all of that is OK. She's entitled to look and feel however she wants to look and feel. While I was there, she released the burden of having to mask her emotions in this way in a mass of butterflies, and smiled at me.

The 11 year old is fine. She told me how one of her teachers would complain if the children in the class didn't have the "correct" facial expression, and that she was carrying a bit of the same burden as the 8 year old. She released her bit of the burden, and then we sat down to read together.

Finally, I spoke to the teenager's protector, and thanked him for looking after her. He said that the younger parts releasing their burdens is really helping her. There's a sense that she knows what's happening, even though I haven't spoken to her directly yet.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 24, 2019, 03:24:59 PM
I've finished reading the IFS book. The final chapter was really useful, as it went into the laws that parts follow, and deeper into the inner world. I was particularly delighted to read about things I'd already experienced on my journeys, and have my experiences confirmed.

I journeyed again this afternoon to check up on all the parts. The 5 year old is happy in the bear's cave, and I took the 6 year old swimming. The 8 year old unburdened a bit more, this time around letting her be a child. The 11 year old is enjoying being in the library.

I met a new protector part today, based on something I read yesterday. This part protects me by taking over and making me feel like passing out if it thinks I'm in a situation I need to get out of. It figures that if I pass out, I'll be removed from the situation, and therefore be safer. We agreed that I'm an adult now and it's approach isn't making me safe. It doesn't like making me feel the way that it does, and it says it would much prefer to go and learn circus skills instead ;D. The part is protecting a teenager, and I will explore this relationship more another time.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 25, 2019, 04:14:30 PM
Today it felt right for me to see if I could help the teenage exile. I didn't want to leave her any longer, and I've also built up experience through retrieving the other exile parts.

I started by checking in with the 5, 6, 8 and 11 year olds. All good.

I then spoke to various parts involved in protecting the teenage exile, who I learned was 15. This surprised me, because I'd thought she was older. There were parts that were scared of letting her near my system, a SI protector part, another part that was scared of the SI part, and talking to all of these different parts took quite a lot of negotiation. Eventually, all parts accepted that I was an adult (my Self), she could choose not to overwhelm me, and that if I could heal her, they could stand down from their roles.

When I found the 15 year old she was very distressed. She was frantically running round in circles with her hands in her hair, unable to escape torment and she couldn't hear or see me at first. I could only get through to her by pushing a letter into her hands. After she read it, she looked up and saw me.

I spent some time comforting her, telling her that it was OK, I was there. When she felt able, she showed me various events, how she felt, what she thought. I had to spend some time with this in order for her to feel properly witnessed. A lot of the events were things I'd forgotten about.

I then needed to do over some of the events in order to rescript them. I told the 15 year old that when her supposed best friend turned on her, it wasn't about her. The "friend" had done this to other people too. The 15 year old accepted this, so I expelled the "friend" from the school and sent her to live in a different city. I stopped a boy from kicking her, stopped another boy from spitting at her, and expelled both boys and anyone else who had ever bullied her. The teachers noticed her and praised her. I gave her another best friend and a friendship group. F told her that she didn't need to work so hard to get good grades, he loved her regardless. He also told her that HB was never going to come back again, so she didn't need to be scared.

The 15 year old was able to release burdens. She chucked a mask into the ocean, and we built a fire pit on the pebbly beach and burnt the old coat she was wearing. I then took her to a house of healing for her to stay for a while. She finds it very peaceful on the balcony because it's high up in the trees and she can see and hear the birds flying and singing.

I showed the 15 year old to the parts that were protecting her. They were pleased to see her looking so much better. They would like me to keep her in the house of healing for a while, so that's what I'm going to do.

I suspect that the 15 year old has more unburdening to do, and there may be more for me to witness/do over. I'm glad that she's somewhere safe. I will continue to check on her and the others every day.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on November 26, 2019, 12:39:44 AM
 :cheer: Good deal for the 15-year-old, for the other parts, and especially for you. I'm so impressed with your diligent efforts at putting this process into effect. And hope it keeps clearing some of the debris off hurts that have resulted from those years.

Thanks for sharing these 'rescue' missions; they're impressive but also daring in venturing back into such hurtful times.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 26, 2019, 05:02:43 PM
Thanks woodsgnome, that means a lot. The process I'm using with IFS is working really well. Helping the parts is making an enormous difference, and I honestly feel so much better for it.

I think one of the things that's made the biggest difference is being aware of my Self, and recognising when my thoughts and feelings are being influenced by a part. The Self is kind, compassionate and unafraid, for example, so if I start to feel afraid, that's an indication that another part has got involved. I can then unblend from that fearful part, and find out why it's upset.

I woke up at about 4am this morning because the 15 year old felt very scared. This worried some of her protectors and made them wonder if she needed to be exiled again. I asked the protectors if I could talk to her, and they agreed.

The 15 year old was terrified that HB was going to come and attack her. I told her that he wasn't, she was absolutely safe from him. I explained that I've not been in contact with him for some years, and I have no intention of changing that. I would protect her and keep her safe. I apologised for previously minimising her experiences. I'd forgotten what she'd gone through, and her feelings, all of them are completely valid. I also apologised for not being there at the time. I assured her that I'm with her now, and I'm not leaving her.

She felt peaceful and safe after that, the protectors calmed down, and I went back to sleep.

I was in touch with the 15 year old for most of the morning, listening to her and witnessing her experiences. There was so much I'd forgotten. Later, she found her old music collection in the healing house, and did a lot of singing and dancing. By midday, she seemed pretty good. She'd found a fluffy blanket, and was wrapped up in a rocking chair on the balcony with a pine marten asleep in her lap.

I journeyed this afternoon to check up on all the parts.

The 5 year old was asleep against the bear. I covered her in a blanket, kissed her forehead and let her sleep.

The 6 year old is much happier for letting go of the legacy burden. I took her to see the "I am worthy" plant that I planted some time ago, and it had grown into a dazzling golden tree. I told the 6 year old that this was because of her unburdening, and she was very happy.

The 8 year old is also happy. She had a look at the "I am worthy" tree, and she told me that all the work I'm doing is rippling out to all the other parts.

The 11 year old is very happy. She spontaneously unburdened some more by taking some rocks she'd collected and setting them on fire in her fire pit.

I spent the most time with the 15 year old. I found her sitting wrapped up in the rocking chair and feeding the pine marten. She was pleased to see me.

We started off by burning a model of her old school. She asked me why HB hated her so much, and I explained that he is driven by raging parts, and I didn't know if HB's Self was still there. She understood, and we agreed that it wasn't our problem. She witnessed me when M told her that she didn't love her, and also when M laughed at her and shamed her for putting on weight. She felt betrayed. I acknowledged her experience and rescripted it. We went out to the balcony, and she unburdened. Her burdens left her as autumn/fall leaves that danced away into the sky.

I held the 15 year old close, told her how much I loved her, and left her in the rocking chair with the pine marten.

I then met the 15 year olds remaining protectors. The ones that were scared of letting the 15 year old seemed to have given up their roles and wandered off. The SI protector spontaneously told me that it didn't need to do its role any more, and it went off for a bike ride. The protector part that was scared of the SI protector said there was no need for it to do its role either, and told me it was going to go and lie down in a flotation tank ;D. After some discussion, a critical part told me that it wasn't really needed now either, and went off to practice juggling.

All is good.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 27, 2019, 04:05:57 PM
All still good after yesterday.

On today's journey, the 5 year old was eating honey with the bear, the 6 year old was playing with butterflies, the 8 year old was fishing, and the 11 year old has decided to leave the library and go exploring. All are well.

The 15 year old is peaceful and content. She's happy in the rocking chair, watching the world go by with the pine marten. She didn't have anything else for me to witness today, and nothing to unburden.

All the protector parts I've been dealing with seem to have wandered off.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Sceal on November 28, 2019, 07:01:22 AM
Happy to hear this!  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 28, 2019, 04:29:27 PM
Thanks Sceal. :hug:

The past 18 hours have been a little challenging, but I'm OK now.

Last night I received an email from someone I'm currently working with. The email was patronising, bossy, and said things that were plain wrong. I felt angry :pissed:. I realised that the anger came from a part. I was able to unblend from it, but the part was quite stubborn, and kept wanting to blend back with me.

This morning I was unblended from the part, and came up with a strategy for dealing with the person who sent the email. Stage 1 implemented.

This afternoon I journeyed to check up on the parts I've previously been dealing with. They are all OK.

Before I finished, I decided to speak to the part that was angry. I asked it what its role is, and it said it needed to defend me by getting angry. I thanked it for protecting me in that way, and I apologised for always pushing it away. The part was surprised. I agreed to stop pushing it down, and listen to it if there was something it needed to tell me. In return, the part must stop overwhelming me. The part agreed. :cheer:

After the journey I felt calm. I still do. I even feel compassion towards the person who sent the email.

I need to come back to this part at some point and find out if there are any other parts involved. There might be an opposing part that keeps pushing it down [looks inward: yes, I think there is]. I also need to find out if it's protecting an exile part. I don't want to do this just yet though due to the number of retrieved parts I'm currently juggling.

So all is still good.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 29, 2019, 08:19:16 PM
I checked in with the 5, 6, 8, 11 and 15 year olds this afternoon. All doing well.

I've not actively done any work on this yet, but I suspect there's another exiled teenage part that's about 18, along with protector parts. I need to go back to the IFS book and re-read the sections that mention putting an exile part in a waiting room (the Room technique). Doing this removes the exile from their painful situation, and gives them a place to wait until you're ready to help them. It also contains the part so they don't overwhelm.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 29, 2019, 11:54:34 PM
hey, snowdrop,

wow, and wow!  the work you are doing is so strong.  well done :thumbup:

i once heard someone say that anger is a result of  a boundary of ours being crossed in some fashion.  in your case, w/ such an email, i think anger would be absolutely appropriate, even from an adult perspective.  how to express that anger can be challenging.  as adults, we don't want to be throwing 2-yr. old tantrums anymore.  i think you and your parts are working together well.

sending love and a hug full of appropriate expression. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 30, 2019, 03:17:52 PM
Thanks San. :hug:

I agree, anger was completely appropriate. A boundary was definitely crossed.

I think the main challenge was that the really angry part was ready to go :blowup:, even if it meant me losing work, money and saying goodbye to an area of work that's important to me. It was also making me feel very stressed. The situation needed my Self to handle it in a proportionate way, and I needed to convince the part that I could and would do that.

Another journey this afternoon to check up on the 5, 6, 8, 11 and 15 year olds. The 15 year old was a bit anxious about Christmas and whether I would see HB at any point. I reassured her that I wouldn't, she was safe, and she was then OK again. All the other retrieved exile parts are happy as well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 30, 2019, 04:13:57 PM
ok, got it.  makes total sense.  glad you're able to see that, know what it is and what needs to be done.   :thumbup:  love and hugs, snowdrop. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 01, 2019, 03:59:29 PM
:hug:

Another journey to check up on the 5, 6, 8, 11 and 15 year old retrieved parts.

I found the 5 year old splashing about in the pool at the foot of the waterfall, so I dived in to join her. The bear was there too, and we played games together. I've noticed that my relationship with the bear has evolved. Initially, the bear clearly belonged with the 5 year old and was quite indifferent to me. Now I have interactions with the bear as well as the 5 year old.

The 6 year old was watering the "I am worthy" tree. I asked her if she felt worthy, and she said yes. She said that her needs count just as much as anyone elses, and she has a responsibility to take care of herself. I gave her a hug.

The 8 year old was in a meadow and playing with energy. She asked me if what she saw and felt was real, and I told her that it was. She looked pleased, spontaneously unburdened her need to conform in a cascade of butterflies.

The 11 year old was in a hammock in the library. She asked me if I could re-read some particular children's books because she'd like us to read them together and talk about them. I agreed.

When I climbed onto the 15 year old's balcony I was greeted by the pine marten (it climbed onto my shoulder). The 15 year old is feeling much more peaceful. She's not ready to get rid of any more burdens just yet, but she's keeping some in a box so that they're out of her system. She says that at some point she'd like to burn them on a bonfire.

Before I finished my journey, I spoke to the angry part, which has calmed down a lot. When I asked it how old it thought I was, it said 18, which means that it's protecting a part that age. There was another part too, which was scared of the angry part. I thanked both parts for protecting me. Neither part enjoys its role, and the angry part would prefer to do some knitting. I will come back to these parts another day.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 02, 2019, 09:08:32 PM
Today's journey was much shorter. All retrieved parts are doing well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 03, 2019, 07:28:10 PM
All retrieved parts are still doing well.

It feels as though there's quite a secure attachment between my Self and the younger parts in particular, but my plan is to keep checking in with them until at least the end of the year. If you don't do this, there's a chance that the part doesn't form a secure enough attachment with the Self, and takes back it's old burden. It generally takes 3-4 weeks of daily check-ins to make sure that the attachment is secure and the part is integrated.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 03, 2019, 08:04:12 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
I admire the work you're doing very much, and just wanted to say that I hope it continues to go well.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 04, 2019, 07:57:25 PM
Thanks Hope. :hug:

I checked in with all the retrieved parts again today. All is well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 05, 2019, 04:16:41 PM
The 5, 6, 8, 11 and 15 year olds are doing well.

The 6 year old unburdened a bit more today. She showed me how devastated she was when her best friend moved away. When she left, the 6 year old had felt very lonely, and found it difficult to make new friends. After I witnessed this, the 6 year old released the burden.

The 15 year old also unburdened. She showed me how hard she worked for exams, but if she didn't get 100%, she was told that it wasn't good enough. Over time, she felt as though she wasn't good enough, and she was tired of having to work all the time. I told her that she was plenty good enough. The 15 year old released the burden as a flurry of leaves, and I felt it leave me too.

I asked the 15 if there was some gift that she wanted, and she said one word: objectivity. I told her she could have that, and gave her a brightly wrapped box. When she opened it, a light went from the box into her heart, and I felt it enter mine as well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 05, 2019, 04:28:59 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
I felt emotional reading your entry here, it is lovely how your parts have been able to unburden and share things, and the fact you felt the light from the box go into the 15 year old's heart, and into your own, that is so special.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 06, 2019, 03:31:49 PM
It really was special, Hope :hug:. I wasn't expecting it to happen, but then I don't really expect any of the things that happen on these IFS journeys. They're fascinating.

Yesterday has had quite a profound effect. I've felt pretty objective about things all day today. It's been a lot less stressful, and I feel as though I've achieved a lot.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 08, 2019, 04:43:44 PM
I went to a Christmas meal a couple of evenings ago with H, his work colleagues and their partners. I knew it would be loud with lots of people I didn't know, but I was quite looking forward to going. This is progress, as normally I feel really apprehensive about it.

Overall, I enjoyed the evening. I felt overwhelmed by the noise and people moving behind me at one point and felt myself going a bit dizzy. It felt like a part, so I told it that I wasn't leaving yet because I wanted my pudding, and the dizzy feeling went away really quickly.

I jumped a bit when something heavy fell on the floor behind me making the floor shake, but I think anybody else might have been startled too. The sound reminded me of HB dropping things on the floor above my bedroom when I was a child, but it felt more like a strong memory than a flashback.

I didn't update my journal yesterday as I was tired from the night out, but I checked in with the retrieved parts, and they were all OK.

I had a much longer journey today.

I started by visiting the part that had made me feel dizzy at the Christmas meal. It had been trying to protect me by making me feel that way so that we'd have to leave early. I thanked it for protecting me, and took it to see my 15 year old part which it had been protecting.

The dizzy protector was amazed when it saw how well the 15 year old looked. The 15 year old thanked the protector for its work looking after her, and told it that she was happy and trusted me (Self) to look after her.

The dizzy protector told me that I no longer needed it, so I reassured it that it would always be part of me, but it could give up its role and do something else if it wanted to. It agreed, and has now taken up meditation.

Next I visited the retrieved parts.

The 5 year old was sitting in a pool by the waterfall with the bear and is happy.

The 6 year old was by the "I am worthy" tree, which continues to grow. It has beautiful golden leaves, and the light dancing off them made the 6 year old glow.

The 8 year old was playing with tree energy.

I told the 11 year old about how the sound of something falling on the floor behind me made me jump, and she shared how noises HB made would make her feel trapped and jumpy. She couldn't escape the noises, and whenever M told him to stop, she'd hear the sound of them shouting. After she shared this, she unburdened.

I went for a walk on a woodland path with the 15 year old and the pine marten. We found an old firepit on the path, so I lit it, and she cast rocks into it which she said were burdens. I watched as they transformed into a phoenix which flew away. We watched the flames for a while, and then I took her back to the cabin she's been staying in.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 09, 2019, 09:23:58 PM
Just a brief check-in with the parts today. All are well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on December 10, 2019, 04:14:37 AM
What you've been sharing is a marvelous illustration of the up-side of due diligence with your parts. Too often my tendency has been to let things slide with some parts I've accessed, to where they begin to feel abandoned again. But you have stuck to the routine of checking up and in on how things are going. Kudos  :applause: for your devotion in doing so.

So yes, there's certainly hyper-vigilance of the negative sort -- I've known that one too well sometimes, resulting in self-hate instead of compassion and self-forgiveness. What you're showing instead is a just-right vigilance, in the best, most caring and patient sense of that term.

Many thanks for reporting on these successes. It's encouraged me to reassess my own approach to healing these parts of my lost inner self. 
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 10, 2019, 04:58:06 PM
Thanks, Woodsgnome. I appreciate your words, and I'm glad this is helping you.

I think checking in with the parts every day is quite key. Here's a paragraph from the IFS book:

Burdens can return after unburdening. They generally do so for one of these reasons: (1) The part was not fully witnessed; (2) the part felt abandoned by the Self in the days following the unburdening; (3) protectors were threatened by the unburdening and brought the burden back; (4) other parts may carry the same burden and need an opportunity to be witnessed and unburdened, too; (5) something scary happened shortly after the unburdening and the part wanted to return to the familiar, or else other parts attributed that fright to the unburdening and brought the burden back; or (6) a legacy burden remains, absorbed from one or more ancestors. If a burden returns, protectors are likely to be discouraged and discouraging about unburdening again. In response, we assure everyone inside that this is not unusual and that we now have an opportunity to make an important addition to the process of unburdening.

I don't want burdens to return, and checking in with the parts every day seems like the best way of mitigating that possibility. Nearly each day I ask them if there's anything they want to share with me, or if they're ready to unburden a bit more.

Today's IFS journey was quite short again. All parts are well
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 11, 2019, 05:03:45 PM
Another short IFS journey today. All retrieved parts are well.

The 5 year old told me that I no longer need to visit her every day as she feels very secure with me. Going back through my journal, I retrieved her on 15th November, which is just under 4 weeks ago. The IFS book says: "the exile usually trusts the Self and feels firmly connected with it after 3 weeks to a month". The 5 year old saying this is in line with these timescales. I wonder if I should keep checking in with her for a little while longer though, just to make sure.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snookiebookie2 on December 11, 2019, 08:47:04 PM
Well done Snowdrop  :applause:

You seem to be making lots of progress. :cheer:

So pleased for you x  :heythere:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 12, 2019, 03:58:40 PM
Thanks Snookie. :hug:

Another short IFS journey today to check in with the retrieved parts. They all seem to be OK.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on December 12, 2019, 09:46:05 PM
snowdrop, it's so wonderful how this is progressing for you.  so glad for you and all your parts.   :wave:  very cool.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 14, 2019, 07:21:40 PM
Thanks San :hug:.

I've noticed some progress. It was the election results day yesterday, and even though the results weren't what I wanted, I was fine. I wasn't triggered and I just accepted it. I don't want to get into politics in my journal. I'm just saying this to note progress.

IFS journey.

The 6 year old told me that she would have loved to dress up like a princess, but she was scared of drawing attention to herself. I witnessed her experiences, and she unburdened. I asked her if there was anything she wanted, and she said that she'd love a princess dress, so I gave her one. I saw her running around wearing it, looking so happy.

The 11 year old also had issues around clothes and her appearance. I witnessed her experiences, and she took the burdens from her body and put them in a box. She wasn't ready to fully unburden today, but will another time.

All other parts are well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on December 15, 2019, 12:37:41 AM
Reading your reports here reminds me of how strong some triggers of mine can easily unsettle me. Thus while I was originally intrigued with the Internal Family Systems therapeutic modes, I also resisted based on just that one word -- family.

I bought a book on it and everything, yet I couldn't get into it. The hangup may sound simplistic, even dumb; but I went cold at the thought of any therapy incorporating the word 'family.'

Now, thanks to what you've discussed here, I still freak a little at the 'family' word -- yet I'm also realizing that by doing so I was trapping my own original 'parts' back in the original trauma where that f word meant danger on all fronts. It was like my consciousness had a trap door; and each time by just hearing that word it was activated, sending me plummeting. Logically, I'm sure this sounds silly, but it's probably just a natural reaction to having had my entire emotional life undone by my FOO.

Now I can still freak out, but in a more minor way, while still choosing to go back to bring forward my own bruised parts into the light of a wonderful new 'family' where healing and love are the key players.

I'm guessing this might sound odd, but I've a ton of 'ordinary' words that can instantly alarm me just hearing them. I know -- hypervigilance, for sure.

I hope this makes sense. Mainly, though, I want to give you this --  :hug: -- for having the courage to share from your own learning process what it's like to make the 'family' word safe again. This has helped in an area -- inner child work -- that I'd had difficulty with. Thank you so much.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on December 15, 2019, 02:52:13 AM
Snowdrop,
Yeah for the six year old in her princess dress.

My Littles also have issues about clothing.

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 15, 2019, 05:51:52 PM
I'm glad it's helped, woodsgnome :hug:. Your words don't sound odd at all. I can completely understand that word being triggering, and it being hard to get past it as a result.

IFS is sometimes known as Self-therapy or Self-leadership. I wonder if thinking about it under one of these names would help? Your burdened parts would still receive the same love, compassion and healing, and the part that freaks out at the f word might find the focus on Self easier and safer. Just something that occurred to me when I read your post.

I can completely understand your Littles having similar issues, notalone. You always impress me with the care and compassion you show to them, and I've learned a lot from you. :hug:

I checked in with the retrieved parts this afternoon. All are doing well. The 6 year old is still running around wearing her princess dress.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on December 15, 2019, 10:29:46 PM
let's hear it for little princess dresses and the little princesses inside them!   :applause:  too adorable!

love and hugs, snowdrop. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 16, 2019, 05:04:30 PM
Thanks San! :hug:

I've had hypervigilant thoughts rattling round my head over the past couple of days. [I removed some details which no longer need to be here]. I think that people here will understand.

At the heart of it, there's a part that thinks I should always do what I'm told, so on today's IFS journey I had a chat with it.

The part is a protector that thinks that if I always do what I'm told, I'll be accepted and kept safe. It said it was protecting the 6 year old, so I took the protector to see her.

The 6 year old was dancing about in her princess dress, so the protector part knows that she no longer needs it's protection. It's not quite ready to completely give up its role yet, but hopefully it will over the next few days. When I left, it had settled down to watch the sun set.

All other retrieved parts are well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 16, 2019, 05:47:52 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
I understand - and well done for self-care in deciding what feels best for yourself in relation to that card. 
Sending you a hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 17, 2019, 03:43:21 PM
Thanks, Hope. That's exactly what I needed to hear. Your words helped my thoughts settle. :hug:

I've been feeling on the edge of stress today. There's family stuff, work stuff, plus it's that time of year. I think that a person without cptsd would also be feeling a bit stressed, so the fact I only feel on the edge of it is pretty good. Also, I'm paying attention to whether I might be blended with a part, and when I am, I'm communicating with that part and asking it to step aside. I can give attention to parts without them overwhelming me.

I am so thankful I learned about IFS.

I've checked in with the retrieved parts, and they all seem OK.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on December 17, 2019, 04:49:26 PM
I've had hypervigilant thoughts rattling round my head over the past couple of days. M suggested to me that I send HB's wife a card for her birthday next year. I'm not in contact with HB or his wife, and haven't been for over five years. Sending a card would make me feel extremely unsafe, as it would feel as though I'm opening the door to contact. I want to keep that door well and truly shut, so I'm not doing it. It's self-care. But then I wonder if I'm being a meanie. So much anguish over a card! But I think that people here will understand.

I for one do understand that totally! Congratulations on your self-care! :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Not in contact means not in contact, whether or not others want to understand. You're not being a meanie, you're protecting yourself!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 17, 2019, 06:50:07 PM
Thanks Blueberry, that helps. You're right. Not in contact means not in contact. I have taken off my meanie badge! ;D
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on December 17, 2019, 09:17:18 PM
 :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :applause: :applause: :applause: :) :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 19, 2019, 10:02:38 AM
I had quite an intense work day yesterday, but days like this are getting easier. Being able to communicate with parts and ask them to step back is so helpful as it means that I can do things from my Self.

There's something I've been pondering. I have read two different things about exile parts in different books: 1. that they are all children, and 2. that they tend to be children. Richard Schwartz says that they tend to be children, and RS is who I have the most affinity with. It's possible that the author who says that they are all children just hasn't encountered any who aren't. I know that I have rescued exiled parts that are adult.

I'm thinking back to some of my adult traumas. When I was bullied at work, I remember thinking that it was just like being back at school. Maybe my experience was to do with a young part who was at school? Maybe that part, or one of her protectors, was in charge? I also remember other adult traumas where I couldn't speak or act. That was almost certainly because of younger parts and their protectors.

I think that at some point I need to explore which parts might be holding adult traumas. I'm going to keep an open mind about whether these parts might be children or adults. It's all about my experiences, and what's helpful to me.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 19, 2019, 09:35:12 PM
I've checked in with my retrieved exiles, and all are OK.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on December 20, 2019, 05:33:42 PM
i agree w/ you totally, snowdrop, about it being all about your experiences and what they've meant to you, how they've happened to you, how they've affected your perspective of yourself, others, and the world.  i think that's great insight on your part that you wonder if the authors of those book may not have found any adult parts of their own. 

if there's one thing i've learned thru all this, the individuality and specificity of how our trauma affects us is most definitely our own.  it may not be like any other trauma survivor's at all, yet it doesn't mean ours is not valid.  best to you with your open-minded exploration - i give you a lot of credit for your willingness to accept yourself as unique. :thumbup:

sending love and a hug filled w/ a sense of adventure :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 21, 2019, 02:21:20 PM
Thanks San. It will be interesting to find out! :hug:

I found out a bit more on today's IFS journey. I asked the retrieved exile parts about any impact my adult traumas may have had on them, and there was some. The impact varied from part to part and from trauma to trauma. A couple of parts carried shame, for example. Another part said that there were repeating patterns of trauma because she'd been hoping for different outcomes. Most of the parts said that the adult traumas are no longer a problem for them because when they released their burdens, the energy of the adult traumas was also released. I think the key thing is that I continue to work with the parts so that they can thoroughly unburden.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 21, 2019, 03:00:02 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
This is great, and I'm glad you're enabling your parts to work towards thoroughly unburdening. 
 :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on December 26, 2019, 04:29:17 AM
It's all about my experiences, and what's helpful to me.
Absolutely. I think it is great that you are open and accepting of your Parts and what is true for them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 28, 2019, 01:45:17 PM
Thank you, Hope and Notalone. I appreciate the support and validation. :grouphug:

This was my first Christmas officially knowing that I have cptsd so I tried to be gentle with myself. Christmas Day was busy, but I had a nice rest the day after.

I was triggered on Christmas Day [I've edited out why]. I felt a mix of emotions. Anger for being put on the spot, grief for the hurt he caused, fear that he might want to be in contact with me, guilt for feeling ungrateful, more anger etc. I acknowledged the feelings, but I also stepped away from them while my parents were around.

I went through a bit of the "Greater than the Sum of our Parts" audiobook by Richard Schwartz this morning. I found it helpful. It made me realise that a part felt angry about HB, another part was trying to push it away as it didn't want my anger to antagonise F, and another part felt guilty because wondered if I'd been wrong about HB and misremembered the abuse.

On today's IFS journey, I communicated with these parts, and they now seem OK. The anger is valid, I don't need to push parts away, and I didn't misremember the abuse so I have nothing to feel guilty about.

I also checked in with the retrieved exiles.

The 5 and 6 year olds felt sad and scared as they didn't want anything to do with HB. They also felt scared that they might be exiled again for feeling that way. I comforted them and reassured them. They are valued parts that I love very much. I'm not going to be in contact with HB and I'm strong enough to protect them.

The 8 and 11 year olds were both OK.

The 15 year old was absolutely delighted that I hadn't seen HB over the Christmas period, and this made me feel happy. I think her delight also helped the 5 and 6 year olds.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on December 28, 2019, 02:43:05 PM
  I comforted them and reassured them.They are valued parts that I love very much. I'm not going to be in contact with HB and I'm strong enough to protect them.

I understand how getting a gift from your HB brought so many intense feelings for you. I thing you dealt with your feelings and your Parts with care, compassion, and kindness.  :bighug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on December 28, 2019, 03:27:32 PM
quite honestly, adult me wouldn't want to have anything to do w/ him either, let alone any younger parts.  it sounds like you dealt w/ a very uncomfortable situation with strength and grace.  well done :thumbup:

these holidays can be difficult.  i hope you can continue being gentle w/ yourself, and it sounds like you are letting your parts know exactly what they need to know - that they can depend on you to take care of them.  it must feel very reassuring.

sending love and a hug filled w/ continuing kindness for you and yours. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 30, 2019, 08:21:39 PM
Thank you, Notalone and San. Your words really helped me. :grouphug:

All the retrieved exile parts are OK again now.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 03, 2020, 02:45:52 PM
I've not posted here for a few days, but I've been checking in with the retrieved exiles every day and they're all OK.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 04, 2020, 08:37:34 PM
I listened to some more of "Greater than the Sum of our Parts" by Richard Schwartz today. The focus of the audiobook seems to be about dealing with protectors, not exiles, but it's still helpful. I realise that through unburdening exiles, a lot of my protectors have given up their roles. Unburdening the exiles also means that the different parts have more awareness that I exist.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 05, 2020, 03:56:48 PM
During today's IFS journey, the 11 and 15 year old did a bit more unburdening. They both had burdens which they'd been storing outside their bodies in boxes, but they hadn't previously felt like completely releasing these burdens.

Each part wanted to release their burdens by burning them in a firepit. The 11 year old wanted to stay and watch the flames of her burdens burning for a long time. The 15 year olds burdens turned into firebirds and flew away.

The 5 and 6 year olds thanked me for protecting them. This meant a lot to me, as these were the parts who felt sad and scared on Christmas Day.

There weren't any protector parts for me to speak to.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 05, 2020, 04:00:32 PM
Glad the 11 & 15 year olds were able to burn some burdens. Good for them!  :applause:  :grouphug: Hugs to all the parts for whom it feels safe.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 08, 2020, 07:58:09 PM
Thank you, Notalone. :hug:

I've become aware of a new part, or group of parts, that I need to work with. There's a protector part that on the surface looks, sounds and behaves like HB :aaauuugh:. It's taken on his energy. I need to get the part to release that energy, find out what its role is and also who it's protecting. I think there may be a 12 or 13 year old exile that needs rescuing, but I need to find out more.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 08, 2020, 08:00:46 PM
incredible to me how you're going about this and what you're discovering.  amazing, just like you.  i think you're making really good progress, sd.   :thumbup:  you are showing your warrior spirit at every turn.  sending love and a hug filled w/ cleansing that neg. energy. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 08, 2020, 09:05:16 PM
Thanks San :hug:. It really is fascinating.

I feel fear when I think of the protector part that's taken on HB's energy. I also want to push it away and reject it. I recognise that it's not my Self thinking these things but other parts. It means that this cluster of parts consists of the part that's taken on HB's energy, a part that's scared of it, a part that wants to push it away, and a possible young exile. There may be others too.

When I unblend from these parts, I feel curious about and compassion for the HB-like part. This is good.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 09, 2020, 01:15:42 AM
thinking about the idea of taking on HB's energy.  i think of how we end up with so many negative beliefs about ourselves that we didn't have when we were born, but that got put on us when we didn't know how to reject them cuz we didn't have the logic, know-how, or life experience to do so.  could that be a possibility with this part of you - that HB energy was pushed onto it rather than it taking it on willingly?  that this was something forced on you that you couldn't get away from?

the parts that are carrying HB's energy, i think they are worth saving, for sure, but i don't think it's a bad thing to want to reject or push away the neg. energy.  it didn't belong to them in the first place - it seems to me that it deserves to be pushed out into the universe, away from your parts that have struggled with holding onto it until it wasn't needed anymore.

just some thoughts, my own opinions.  if this doesn't fit for you, please ignore it.  i feel compassion for the part that's had to carry this burden for so long.  sending love and a hug full of pos. energy for balance. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 09, 2020, 03:02:30 PM
I've just been on an IFS journey to talk to the HB-like part.

The part was initially aggressive and bullying, but it went quiet when I told it that I knew it wasn't HB. I asked how much of its energy came from HB, and it said about 70%. Did it like being like HB? No, it hated it and despised itself for being like that, but it felt it had to. Why was it being like HB? What is its role? It had to be like HB so that I'd do what HB wanted. People might like me more, HB might stop bullying and abusing me, and I might get on better at school. I asked if the part felt able to release the 70% of energy that came from HB, and it got really scared. It was scared of HB punishing it if it let go of the energy. If it could let go of the energy, what might it do instead? It didn't quite know, but something positive and helpful.

At some point, the part stopped looking like HB. It looked young and vulnerable.

I asked the part how old it thought it was, and it looked confused. It said it could see two versions of me, my Self and a 13 year old. I asked if it was protecting the 13 year old, and it said yes. Eventually it gave me permission to speak to the 13 year old.

When I tried to speak to the 13 year old, another part appeared. It was like some sort of maze that made me feel as though I was losing my way. I spoke to the part, and it said it was scared of the HB-like part, and was scared of the 13 year old part overwhelming me with her emotions. I said that the 13 year old wouldn't overwhelm me, she could choose not to. The part then agreed to let me see the 13 year old.

This time, I reached the 13 year old, and I began to witness some of the things she'd experienced. There was a lot, and it was a blur of images. I need to go back to her and properly witness her experiences so that she can unburden. In the meantime, I put her in a craft room so that she could be creative and make things.

I went back to the HB-like part, which had calmed down a lot. It began to give up some of HB's energy, but I need to do more work with it in order for it to properly let it go.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 09, 2020, 03:55:43 PM
just a big WOW!  this is amazing stuff.

i'm curious as to how you feel when you go on such an adventure inside you.  do you feel less damaged?  healthier?  more healed?  this is new to me, fascinating, and it seems really positive for you.  i'm so very glad about that, snowdrop.

well done. :thumbup:sending love and a hug filled with admiration :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 09, 2020, 04:25:59 PM
That's a good question.

I think the key thing is that during the journeys, I'm my Self, so I'm unblended from any parts. I feel calm, confident, compassionate, and there's also this feeling of wisdom or clarity. These feelings continue after the journey for as long as I'm unblended from parts.

There's also this feeling of space as well, as all the parts step aside to make room for my Self. Before I started working with IFS, I wondered if my head might begin to feel a bit full, but actually it's the complete opposite. I feel less crowded.

I think another thing is that it feels very safe. I know that some of the journeys probably sound a bit :aaauuugh:, but as long as I'm my Self, it's fine. If I feel scared at any point, that's an indicator that another part is involved. I can then separate from that part, talk to it, get it on board and all is well.

It's honestly fascinating.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: MoonBeam on January 09, 2020, 07:23:07 PM
Snowdrop, your work is truly amazing. To be able to identify the different parts and roles and feelings. That is really big work. I too am fascinated. I can't imagine having that kind of clarity with my self. I suppose I'm not really sure who "Self" is. There's a place to start.

My T just mentioned IFS to me a few sessions ago and I have read all I can from DS' web page. I learned about it from Janina Fisher's page. I think I'll check out DS' book.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 09, 2020, 07:36:53 PM
You're very welcome, MoonBeam. Thank you.

I can definitely recommend "Internal Family Systems Therapy" (second edition) by Richard Schwartz and Martha Sweezy. It's a great book, and my starting point for finding out about IFS. It's also worth searching YouTube for "IFS Schwartz" and "IFS Schwartz trauma".
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 10, 2020, 02:44:13 AM
Wow. Sounds like a lot of good work; good interaction and care. I love that the 13 year old is in a craft room. I hope she is feeling safe and free to explore and create. Makes sense that there is more work to do. Sounds like a lot of feelings, beliefs and memories with the Parts with whom you engaged today.

Like others, I am amazed and intrigued by the IFS work you are doing. Thank you for your open sharing. I am closer to learning about IFS. I have very strong inner resistance to it though.  :aaauuugh:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 10, 2020, 02:02:19 PM
Thanks, Notalone :hug:. I can understand your inner resistance to IFS. If it helps, the book says that parts can initially feel threatened by IFS because they fear they're going to be rejected in some way. This isn't the case though. All parts are valid and valued.

My mission on today's IFS journey was to help the HB-like part and the 13 year old.

I started by approaching the HB-like part. It told me that it could now see it might be possible for it to release HB's energy and relinquish its role. I told it that it had a choice. When I asked if I could see the 13 year old, it immediately agreed.

The 13 year old was more settled today. She showed me round her craft room and thanked me for bringing her there. I gave her a cuddle and asked how she was feeling. She said she was glad she was no longer stuck in the past, but she was tired of carrying baggage around with her. She'd had to carry it all by herself because there was nobody she could talk to. I told her I was there for her, she could talk to me, and she looked so relieved.

I asked if there was anything she wanted to show me now. There was. She took me to the old school field.

=== Possible TW ===

She was at school during break time when one of the boys ran at her. She ran away on to the field, but he was faster. He threw her onto the ground and assaulted her.

=== End TW ===

She told me how the incident had made her feel. Feelings of shame, being alone, frightened, humiliated. The way friends had laughed. I told her that it wasn't a laughing matter. She was right to run away, and none of it was her fault. The boy was at fault, not her.

I asked her if she wanted me to do over the situation, and she did. When she ran away, I stepped in front of the boy and stopped him running at her. I shouted at him, telling him how disgraceful his behaviour was, and took him to the Headteacher's office. He got expelled and sent away so that he would never attack any girls or women ever again.

After this, the 13 year old and I went back to the craft room. I asked if she felt ready to unburden, and she was. The burden left her like a black oil slick, which we poured into a basin. We added some drops of some sort to the oil, and it turned clear and pearly.

Some of the pearly liquid rose up from the basin and formed a large egg. The egg hatched, and a huge butterfly came out of it. The butterfly flew around a bit, then landed on the 13 year old's shoulder. I asked the butterfly what it was, what it was doing there, and it said that it was the 13 year old's power. It had been overpowered by the oil, but now it had been released and could support the 13 year old.

The 13 year old continued to release more oil, and I helped her to wash it off. All of it turned to a pearly liquid in the basin, and we washed it away. She released more burdens in the form of rocks, and she smashed these up with a big sledgehammer while shouting and screaming. This made her feel much better.

Before I went I gave her a big hug and told her how much I loved her. I promised I'd be back.

I then went back to the HB-like part. The part told me that it realised that being like HB wasn't what the 13 year old needed, and I agreed. It relinquished the HB energy. I thanked it for letting go of the energy, and for doing it's best to help and protect me.

I feel very calm and peaceful.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 10, 2020, 03:04:18 PM
 :yourock:

what a creative method of healing this is.  i'm a big fan of creativity when it comes to dealing with our issues because everyone is so different in their needs and wants.  setting a part in a playroom, stepping in to help another part w/ an abuser, helping a part release the goo (i've actually experienced that with myself, so i could relate completely) and changing it into something benign - so great.

i'm so glad you found that book and that it's working so well for you.  bravo! :applause:  really wonderful, snowdrop.

sending love and a hug filled w/ continuity as you travel this path. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 10, 2020, 09:23:24 PM
Snowdrop,
Just want to cheer you on in your creative and brave healing journey.  :cheer: for all the Parts.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 11, 2020, 04:47:19 PM
Thanks for the support, San and Notalone. :hug:

I read a chapter last night about using IFS to treat cptsd and dissociative disorders including DID. It was from the book "Internal Family Systems Therapy: New Dimensions", and I found it useful.

One of the things the chapter suggests is using safe spaces so that each part has its own safe space (although parts can share a safe space if they want to). Thinking about my experiences with IFS, each retrieved exile seems to have its own safe space. The 13 year old has a craft room, the 15 year old has a log cabin, the 11 year old has a library and so on. This is good. I can also double-check if the parts that have a less well-defined space feel safe, or if they need something more from me.

Another suggestion is that each part has a container it can use to hold burdens they're not ready to release yet. This is something each of my retrieved exiles produce when needed, but maybe I can make better use of them.

The chapter also describes how multiple parts may be carrying the same burden. This is something I'm aware of, and I've been dealing with it by getting each part to unburden individually. This works, but symptoms and triggers can remain in the system because there are other parts still carrying the burden. The chapter says that another option is to do a group unburdening with all the parts who carry the burden, with one of the parts being a spokesperson for the group. This sounds interesting, and it's something to bear in mind.

Another thing the chapter says is that as you progress with IFS, you can unearth new exiles that you weren't previously aware of because of dissociation. If the other parts don't want you to go near that part, you may still be able to unburden it by asking if a part you already know is willing to take on some of the new part's burden. If it is, you can then unburden that part instead. I find that fascinating, and it's not something I'd previously considered.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 11, 2020, 08:29:53 PM
On today's IFS journey I checked in with all the retrieved exiles and the 13 year old's protector. I needed to speak to the 13 year old's protector to make sure it agreed to me speaking to her, and it was fine. The protector has no hint of HB's energy around it.

I primarily wanted to make sure that all the retrieved exiles felt safe and comfortable in their safe spaces, and they do.

I also wanted to check that they were all happy using containers to hold any burdens they weren't ready to get rid of yet. Most of them didn't feel they had burdens, but knew how to use their container. The 15 year old had some burdens in her container, and said that she'd like to get rid of them another time. The 13 year old hadn't used her container yet, so I taught her how, and she put various burdens into it. I felt a sense of openness and expansion as she did this.

I asked if there were any more parts I needed to talk to, and one surfaced. It felt threatened by my Self, and didn't want me to do any activities that would make my Self stronger such as Tai Chi, Qigong etc. I spoke to it, and it was scared of changes to my system in case it made things worse and I became overwhelmed. I explained the work I was doing, and how the Self can heal parts. Having a strong Self is therefore a good thing. The part was really interested, and agreed that it wouldn't sabotage my Self. I'm curious about this part, and how our relationship develops. It cares a lot about the other parts welfare, and I wonder if it might want to be a helper.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 12, 2020, 01:09:53 PM
I've spoken some more with the new part I spoke to yesterday, the one that felt threatened by my Self. The thing it's scared about is the feelings I had when I was 18-19 coming back and overwhelming me. There's a part holding these feelings, and it doesn't want me to go near that part. I said I understood, and I wouldn't do anything without its full permission. The part was very reassured by that.

Afterwards, the 8 year old retrieved exile wanted to speak to me. I found my Self asking her if she was really 8 years old, and she beamed at me. She said that she had held burdens from when I was 8 years old, but her actual age was irrelevant. Her actual intended role was much bigger, and it was to do with my spiritual and energetic connection and power. She now felt ready to take on this role. Her 8 year old appearance dissolved, and it was as though she was everywhere. I felt a feeling of huge expansion and deep, deep calm and contentment.

Since then, I've been feeling really good. My Self energy is much stronger. There's way more space inside me too, and I have a lot more energy. It feels as though something significant has been released.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 12, 2020, 01:22:37 PM
i'm so glad for you, sd, that you're feeling stronger w/ more space inside, and more energy.  you are doing amazing work here.  well done :thumbup:

even tho i'm tackling my crapola from a different angle, i still admire what you're doing, the strength and determination you're showing, and am truly happy for you that you are making such wonderful progress.  i fully support what you're doing, and thanks for sharing - i'm learning from it as well.  it may be something i look into down the road apiece.  love and hugs. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 12, 2020, 04:00:14 PM
It feels as though something significant has been released.
Just want you to know that I hear you that something big has happened.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 13, 2020, 09:28:51 PM
Thank you for your support and encouragement, San and Notalone. :hug:

I checked in with the parts again today.

The part that had been holding burdens from when I was 8 years old has been a near constant awareness. I've been unblended from the part, but she's never far away. It's delightful. My access to Self has definitely been stronger too.

The change with this part has had a positive impact on most other parts. The 5, 6 and 11 year olds in particular are all extremely happy.

The 13 year old is OK, but needs me to help her unburden. My intention is to spend more time with her tomorrow.

The 15 year old is happy in a mellow kind of way.

The part that had felt threatened by my Self is also fine. I had wondered if my Self being stronger would make it a bit tetchy, but it hasn't. There's actually more trust.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 14, 2020, 04:59:32 AM
well done, sd! :thumbup:  i love how the strength of self is being reflected in other parts as trust rather than defiance or defensiveness.  you are doing a remarkable job w/ all this.  love and hugs to you all! :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 14, 2020, 07:31:30 AM
Thanks San :hug:. The general principle is that parts like the Self to lead as it makes them feel safe. There can be ups and downs along the way, but that's the general pattern.

I woke up early this morning, so I went to see the 13 year old. I witnessed various things she'd been holding such as loneliness, bullying by isolation and being ignored, teachers behaving inappropriately and so on.

I asked her if there was anything she wanted from me, and she wanted her best friend back from when she was younger (her best friend had moved away when her F got a new job). I brought her friend back, and she felt happy.

I asked the 13 year old how she wanted to unburden, and she said with fire. We built a bonfire made out of school furniture, set it ablaze, and while it burned, burdens left her body to be consumed by the flames. Some burdens felt a bit stuck, so the big butterfly (her power) helped her. Eventually, she looked as though she was filled with rainbows and seemed at peace.

The 13 year old felt sleepy after this, so I took her back to her craft room and put her to bed.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 15, 2020, 08:25:23 PM
Quite an intense work day today doing something objectively stressful, but actually I was fine. I stayed in my Self with parts taking a backseat, and this worked well. It's getting easier to do this.

I was particularly pleased that I didn't seem to have critical voices, and the part that used to make me feel like passing out wasn't active either. This is progress. :cheer:

I checked in with the parts this evening. All is well. The 5 year old is wondering about taking on a new role, and I've told her that it's up to her. The 13 year old was feeling slightly lonely, so I took her to see the 11 year old and left them together.

The part that had previously felt threatened by my Self is also fine.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 15, 2020, 10:08:41 PM
 :cheer: :applause: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 17, 2020, 09:32:57 AM
I've been having quite vivid dreams over the past couple of nights. They were possibly sparked by the intense work day I had a couple of days ago, but I think the dreams reflect changes in my inner landscape.

A couple of nights ago, an ex popped up in a dream. I didn't realise at the time, but he was a controlling, manipulative narcissist. I can't remember the circumstances of the dream, but I can recall turning my back on him and walking away. My dream self thought that his words were nonsense and weren't worth paying any attention to. He was nothing to me.

Last night, I dreamt I worked somewhere where a manager was outwardly pleasant, but would abuse people, lock them in a dungeon and other unpleasantries. I started off being scared, but then I spoke up about his mistreatment to someone else. I was fitted with a wire so that I could collect evidence, and I woke up just as the police were about to swarm the place and put him in prison for his misdeeds. It felt quite powerful, and it felt as though I was rectifying past traumas in a symbolic kind of way.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 17, 2020, 06:55:51 PM
i agree w/ you, sd - those are very powerful images!  it really does sound like your mind has made a shift which is allowing you to envision self-empowerment and strength.  well done! :thumbup:  looks like your hard work is coming to fruition.

when i've had dreams of empowerment like that, i was able to wake up with at least a slightly different perspective of myself, and a feeling of strength that i hadn't felt before.  did you, yourself feel better, stronger, more powerful?  like, you could take those attributes into the world of reality and utilize them for yourself?  i hope so - hope it's translating from a dream world to the world of reality.

i'm very excited for you, sweetie.  honestly, i think it's wonderful, and so are you!  i know this stuff can be hard work at times, but dang, things like this seem to show that it pays off and is worth it.  sending love and a hug filled w/ power and strength :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on January 17, 2020, 07:55:17 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Your dreams sound very positive.   :hug:
I have been reading your journal and think you are making such great progress with so many things.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 17, 2020, 08:45:43 PM
If I were to give a title to your dreams, it would be "Empowerment."
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 17, 2020, 09:10:18 PM
San, you asked if I felt better, stronger and more powerful. It's an interesting one, because I think the dreams made me realise that I was stronger. So reality entering dream world, then popping back out again to confirm reality. If that makes sense! :hug:

Thank you, Hope. I appreciate the hug, support and validation. :hug:

Yes, Notalone, empowerment! That's exactly it. Thank you. :hug:

I've been checking in with the parts over the past couple of days. All is well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 18, 2020, 02:36:26 PM
it makes total sense to me, and sounds great!  your mind is making shifts, your perspectives are changing, and with that, to my mind, your reality can change.  love and hugs, snowdrop!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 18, 2020, 06:19:18 PM
I had quite a long IFS journey today.

I started off by visiting the 5 and 6 year olds, who were splashing about in the pool by the waterfall. I spoke to them individually.

The 5 year old told me that she was very happy, and felt complete. She didn't feel as though there was anything really left to unburden, and she was ready to take up a new role. She wanted to help me be more playful. She also told me that I needed to stay in touch with her bear. I told her that I loved her so much, she would always be part of me, and if she ever needed me I'd be there.

The 6 year old told me that she felt pretty complete too, and she wanted to take up her role of helping me to feel more joyful. I told her that I loved her, and she would always have a place in my heart. It felt as though the playfulness of the 5 year old and the joyfulness of the 6 year old joined forces and entered my heart. I can still feel them there now, and it's delightful.

The 11 year old was pleased to see me, and delighted about the 5 and 6 year olds. When I asked if there was anything she needed to unburden she said there was, but she didn't know what it was yet. I asked if she could take it out of her body, and she could. She reached inside and took out some black, oily slime. She said that it was the root of her despair and sadness, and she commented how odd it was that when she took it out of her body and into the light it didn't seem as large as she'd imagined. I asked what she wanted to do with it, so she placed it on an unlit fire pit. She released more of it from her belly, put that on the fire pit too, then put white sage leaves around it to purify it. When we set fire to it, it smelled wonderful, and I could feel the release.

After it had finished burning, we took the fragrant ash, put it around the "I am worthy" tree and watered it (the tree is quite large now, and has ribbons tied round some of the branches). She felt quite tired after this, so I took her back to her library and wrapped her in blankets in a hammock so that she could sleep.

The 13 year old was in her craft room. She'd been making toys. I asked if there was anything she wanted to unburden, but she didn't think so. I asked her if she'd seen the "I am worthy" tree yet, and she hadn't, so I took her there.

When she saw the tree, the 13 year old spontaneously unburdened. A kaleidoscope of butterflies left her upper body and landed on the tree. It was such a joyful sight, and it gave us both an enormous sense of freedom. We watched the butterflies for a while, and then I took her back to her craft room.

The 15 year old is well, and I spent some time with her. She didn't have anything to unburden this time, but she was very happy.

I then went to meet the 13 year old's protector (the one that had taken on HB's energy). I showed it the 13 year old, and it was delighted how well and happy she looked. I then showed it all the butterflies on the "I am worthy" tree, and it was stunned. It told me that it didn't feel it needed to be her protector any more, and it set aside its role. I asked it if it wanted anything else from me and if it wanted a new role, and it said that for now it wanted to rest. I thanked it for its protection.

Finally, I spoke to the part which had felt threatened by my Self. It's now fully on board with me being Self-led, and it feels safe.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 18, 2020, 08:16:27 PM
what beautiful images these are, so full of strength and power.  i admire your determination, the time and energy you're utilizing to continue on this road.  well done, snowdrop! :thumbup:  love and hugs! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 19, 2020, 08:41:55 PM
Thanks San. :hug:

All well after yesterday. All parts seem OK, and I've been feeling good.

I've been listening to more of the audiobook "Greater than the Sum of our Parts" by Richard Schwartz. I like the book, but I can't listen to much of it at a time because I often fall asleep while listening to it. It's not that the book's boring (it's not, it's fascinating), and it doesn't feel as though I'm dissociating. It's more that when I listen to it, my parts seem to settle down, they feel all safe and cosy, and I end up asleep.

I've just heard a couple of things in the book that are worth remembering.

1) You can ask a part (such as an exile) to not overwhelm you before you deal with it. Once a part has agreed to not overwhelm you, it won't, and this can make it easier to help it.

2) Nothing inside can hurt you if you stay in your Self and are unafraid. Some parts might look scary, but they can't hurt you. When they realise that, you can talk to them and find out what's going on.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 19, 2020, 11:57:17 PM
Snowdrop,
Thank you for continuing to share your intimate and beautiful journey with your parts.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 20, 2020, 05:29:35 PM
You're very welcome, Notalone. I value your support. :hug:

I've noticed some curious changes since I've started working with IFS.

The first is something I think I may have written about before. When I practice Tai Chi or Qigong, it's very much a practice for my Self. Parts either step back, or I ask them to step back, and it feels very quiet, peaceful, open and expansive. It helps to strengthen my Self, and better embody my Self.

If, however, I'm listening to any guided healings, it's completely different. It's like it's the parts being healed, and my Self is a facilitator. I can no longer simply follow along, as I did before. I have to check that parts are on board every step of the way so that no part is doing something that upsets them. I also need to get permission from any protectors too. It feels like a group activity where individual parts have permission to opt out, and sometimes I even feel or see the parts being healed. I think this leads to a deeper healing, and as I'm careful to involve protectors, it feels as though there's less risk of some sort of healing crisis.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 21, 2020, 02:43:59 PM
interesting revelations, snowdrop.  it's amazing to me how many facets of our minds there are, their functions, and the individuality with which we can reach and heal them.  we are wondrous beings, all.  love and hugs, my dear. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 24, 2020, 12:35:40 PM
 :hug:

I have a couple of things to talk about, or to at least try to talk about.

The first is that I had another intense work day this week, and I was fine. I actually felt at the point where I could take everything in my stride, and it was normal, not :aaauuugh:. This is huge progress, as the work is objectively stressful. I'm pleased with how well I'm handling it. :cheer:

The second is that there's a challenge I have to face. I don't think I can write about what that challenge is, but it's related to my work, and I find it triggering. The thought of it upsets some parts. It's triggered flashbacks of being stalked by an abuser. Feelings of fear, shame, wanting to hide from the world, not be noticed, being noticed is scary. Shame over my appearance, being judged, humiliated. Tears. That's when I'm blended with parts. But when I'm unblended, when I'm my Self, the fear, shame and tears go away, and I have so much compassion for the parts that are finding it hard. I want to help them.

I could turn my back on the challenge and walk away. Is this an option? Yes, but I might end up losing work, which would be bad. I would also have the fear of losing work hanging over me, and it would activate an inner critic. I'm pretty certain that I'd regret it.

A deeper factor is that I sense facing this challenge would help me to heal. A cluster of parts is activated, and these parts are valuable. They deserve my attention, and they deserve to be healed. While it's currently a challenge for me, I can use it to give those activated parts the healing and peace that they need.

So. Onwards and upwards.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 24, 2020, 05:27:10 PM
no advice or suggestions, just know that i'm with you and wishing you the best with all this.  i guess sometimes, while those challenges are just that, a challenge, they can, as you say, lead us to something different, something more positive.  love and hugs,  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 24, 2020, 07:03:02 PM
San :hug:. I can feel that you're there, and it helps.

I went on an IFS journey earlier.

I talked to a few parts, in particular a critical one who kept repeating hurtful things I'd been told about my appearance. After some discussion, it told me that it did this because it was carrying the energy of other people. Some from HB, some from bullies. It was tired of carrying this energy around, so it packed it up in a FedEx box, and the box was taken away.

Afterwards, the part felt really guilty and upset about how it had behaved. I comforted it, told it how precious it was to me, and when it recovered it agreed to be a cheerleader for me. It's currently very tired, so it's gone to sleep in a forest.

There's a lot more work to do, but this feels like a good start.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 25, 2020, 08:25:37 AM
I wonder if me referring to it as a challenge is minimising it. In practical terms, it means me facing a trigger that has been with me for as long as I can remember, and that weaves it's way through a number of traumas. I have to not just tolerate this trigger, but be comfortable with it. That's huge. But I don't want to be intimidated by it, so I'm going to go back to viewing it as a challenge to be tackled.

I woke up early this morning. Parts were activated. Thoughts of "I can't do this". A flicker of SI. I unblended, and comforted the parts. They settled. I'm so thankful I learned about IFS when I did. This would be so much harder without the experience I have with it.

I went on an early morning IFS journey. It started off differently. There was a huge presence, as big as the sky. Rumbling words of "You are protected" that filled me. I felt my eyes welling up. Could I do this? "Follow the path. Your Self can heal."

I visited the 11 year old part. She was quite distressed. I witnessed various events relating to the trigger. Things she'd been told. Things she'd felt. I told her I understood. I stepped in and did over some of the events, and she unburdened. It was like fire blasting out of her body but without the heat. We both felt a sense of relief afterwards. I comforted her, gave her the gift that she asked for, and then put her to bed because she felt exhausted.

Next I visited the 13 year old, but as I did so, I felt something welling up elsewhere. I tried to talk to the 13 year old, but she told me not yet. I had to go back. There was something else to deal with first.

I turned back, and went to the place where parts tend to hang out. There was a huge dark fog. Who are you? No answer. What are you? No answer. What's your role? No answer. Then it gathered itself up and rushed at me.

When it was a couple of metres away from me, it bounced off as though there was a forcefield around me. I told it that I was my Self. It couldn't hurt me. It coalesced into a much smaller black cloud, and it started to respond to me.

It told me it was a part that was holding my shame. I'd pushed it away for so long. It hated being pushed away. I asked it about the shame it held, from what age, and it said it held trauma for all my life. From when I was about two. I told the part I was sorry for pushing it away. I didn't know. I hadn't understood. But I was here for it now, and I would help it. I asked if there was a safe space it wanted to go to, but it couldn't think of one.

I went back to the 13 year old, who thanked me for going back. She said she was less affected by the trigger than the 11 year old.

I visited the 15 year old. She didn't want to talk about the trigger just yet, but she knew I cared about her.

I also met a SI part. The part said it knew I cared, and that it trusted me. It seemed quite settled.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 25, 2020, 09:38:45 PM
Following the IFS journey, I've spent the day being able to think rationally about facing the trigger. It feels as though it might be possible. This is progress. I have more work to do, but I'm encouraged.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 26, 2020, 12:07:20 PM
The part holding shame said that it had been holding it since I was two years old. I don't have memories of this time, but there's a family story that HB uses to humiliate me. I think I would have been about two, as I've seen HB act out the story to make it extra humiliating.

What I've been told is that my parents, HB and I were on a family day trip. There was an accident where I tripped and fell into something, and I ended up in a mess. HB tells people that it happened because I was being an obnoxious brat. I caused the accident, it was my fault, I asked for it, I deserved it. Stepping back, I was just excited because we were on a day trip, and it wasn't something I could possibly have caused. Besides, I was extremely young. How could it possibly have been my fault?

My parents tell me that I was disgusting. They didn't want to go near me or be seen with me. Other people were disgusted by me, were pointing at me, laughing at me etc and it was humiliating. Apparently I was crying very loudly. Of course I was. I was extremely young and distressed. It doesn't sound as though I was comforted. I was too disgusting.

It sounds as though I was in that state for the rest of the day, as F says he had to clean the car out after we got home. I wonder why I wasn't cleaned up on the day trip. There would definitely have been facilities available, and staff who could have been asked for help.

Thinking about how we develop belief systems at a young age, I think it's likely I took on beliefs from this incident. Things like I am disgusting, I disgust people, I disgust my parents, I deserve bad things to happen to me, I need to be kept at arm's length, I'm not wanted. I probably picked up feelings of shame and abandonment amongst other things. Does this sound reasonable? It does to me.

I wonder if the part holding shame is two year's old, or if there might be a two year old exile who's still distressed and needs help. This is something I can find out.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on January 26, 2020, 02:02:08 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
You asked part way down what you wrote 'Does this sound reasonable? It does to me' - I would like to concur that it sounds perfectly reasonable to me as well.  I relate to so much of what you wrote.  Well done for writing about those things, and I want to extend a hug of comfort  :hug:
I also feel compassion for that part of you that has had to carry that shame, to protect that young 2 year old you - none of it was your fault.
 :hug: to you Snowdrop.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 26, 2020, 03:01:24 PM
Lovely Hope, thank you. Reading your words brought tears to my eyes. Good ones. The parts feel heard and understood. Thank you so much. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 26, 2020, 06:04:01 PM
IFS journey.

I started by visiting the part holding the shame. It looked like a ball of black fog, but smaller than yesterday. It didn't try to attack me. It knew I was there to help it and listen to it. I told it that I understood more about what it had gone through, and thanked it for protecting me from all that shame.

The part shimmered its appearance into a young girl, and she showed me the events I described earlier. The pain she felt. The rejection. The humiliation and shame. I witnessed her.

[Thought: Did the part originally look like black fog because she didn't want me to see what she looked like? Was she effectively cloaked in her shame? I think she may have been.]

I asked the part if she might be willing to unburden some of the shame, and she agreed to give up 10% of it. It left her like black smoke, and we both felt relief afterwards. I gave her a padlocked chest which she could use to hold the rest, and she took the remaining burden from her body and put it in the chest.

I asked her if she'd like to go to a safe space. She agreed, so I took her to a cave with a fire burning in its entrance. She feels safe in the cave because she can leave whenever she wants, but nobody else can get in. I gave her a hug, and left her watching the flames.

I visited the 11 year old next. She told me that she couldn't cope with the other part's shame, so she'd pushed her away and exiled her. It was only now that she could begin to face it. She said she was sorry for exiling the part.

I held the 11 year old, and told her it was ok, I understood. I told her I was helping the part, she'd started releasing the burden, the rest of it was contained, and she was now in a safe space. The 11 year old was grateful.

The 13 year old was ok. She says she doesn't know much about the shamed part, but I wonder if she might be in denial about that part.

The 15 year old was ok. She vaguely knows about the shamed part, but wasn't ready to talk.

I briefly met with the SI part too. This part seems to be a firefighter protector of the shamed part. When the shamed part becomes activated, the firefighter goes into SI mode to try and distract me from the shamed parts feelings.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 26, 2020, 09:46:35 PM
i don't find you disgusting, not now, not when the accident occurred.  accidents happen w/ kids and it's the adults who are responsible for cleaning up the mess as kindly and quickly as possible.  it wasn't your fault.

love and hugs, sweetie. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 27, 2020, 02:33:06 AM
Snowdrop,

As a mom (and just as a human being), the little two year old should have been kindly, quickly, and gently cleaned and reassured that she did nothing wrong.

I understand her shame. (Can't say more now, but my heart goes out to her and you.)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 27, 2020, 08:49:07 AM
Thank you, both :hug:. These comments are really helpful. They confirm my thoughts, and have also made me realise how I can do over this incident. I can step in and either prevent the accident happening in the first place, or take care of the two year old how Notalone describes. Which option is best will become clear. I can ask parts which would be best.

I'm aware of two parts this morning. The part holding shame, and another part that feels angry that I wasn't treated with kindness. It also feels angry that HB uses it to humiliate me and assert dominance, and my parents let him. It's also angry that my parents don't understand the impact that it had on me. The part's feelings of anger are valid and completely understandable.

I can now remember a bit of how excited I was about the trip out. I remember the song I was singing. Also a belief that if I look forward to things, it will all go wrong. Another part?

I'll explore these things later on.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 27, 2020, 12:54:23 PM
A couple of other thoughts.

HB would have been about ten at the time this happened. He was getting into trouble at school, things like bullying. F has often said that he found his behaviour funny. I don't currently have memories of how HB treated me when he was this age, but I can imagine. It's something to bear in mind when I meet with parts.

Another thing to throw into the mix is that HB's mother made threats against me when I was a baby and was aggressive towards me. I can't remember it, but it's something I was repeatedly told about. By the time I was two, these threats would have been in the marinade.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 27, 2020, 04:32:05 PM
IFS journey. Some of this might be tough to read, but it has a happy ending.

I started with the SI part. This part was very relaxed. It said it trusted me, and it didn't just give me permission to help other parts, it actively encouraged me to do so.

Next I spoke to the part who was angry about how the 2 year old had been treated. I said feeling angry was completely justified. Wasn't I going to push it away, it asked? No, I wasn't. I understood why it felt angry. It said that it had to protect the 2 year old. When I said I understood, it agreed to let me see her.

The next part I had to negotiate with was a scared protector. It told me that people wanted to hurt the 2 year old, and the world was a dangerous place. It had to keep the 2 year old locked away to keep her safe. I told the protector that I wasn't a part, I was my Self, and told it how old I was. It was surprised. I told it that the people who wanted to hurt the 2 year old weren't around any more. I was here now. I could keep her safe and protect her. The part believed me, and agreed to let me see her.

Next I spoke to the part that was holding shame. It was feeling much better. The partial unburdening yesterday was very helpful, as was containing the rest of the burden in the padlocked chest. It agreed to let me see the 2 year old.

I asked if there were any other parts protecting the 2 year old who I needed to speak to. There weren't, so I went to the 2 year old.

She was extremely distressed. She looked like she was absolutely covered in tar, with more dripping down her face and hair, onto the rest of her body. [The original incident hadn't involved tar, but I can imagine that it felt as bad that to her.]

I comforted her, told her it wasn't her fault, it was OK, I was here. I gathered her up in my arms and cuddled her. I then took her to a bath, cleaned her up, told her how pretty she was, how much I loved her, and put her in a beautiful new dress. The dress had fairy wings on the back, so she asked me if she was a fairy. I told her that she looked just like a fairy princess, and she smiled at me and giggled. I gave her a big cuddle.

We played with some guinea pigs for a bit, and then I took her to a safe space. Her safe space is a play area with a ball pool and other things to play with. I told her I'd come back and see her.

Next, I met the 11, 13 and 15 year olds. These parts are all delighted that I retrieved the 2 year old. They feel better for it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 27, 2020, 07:08:08 PM
 :hug:you are doing tremendous work, snowdrop.  i couldn't read all of this, but sending you love and a hug filled w/ admiration :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 28, 2020, 02:56:11 AM
Beautiful.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 28, 2020, 04:35:46 PM
Thank you, San and Notalone. :hug: :hug:

After yesterday, my intention today was to go on a lighter IFS journey as I wanted to let the 2 year old rest before unburdening her. A few things still happened, but with some of the other parts.

The SI part is fine. I thanked it for doing it's best to protect me, and it appreciated that.

The part that was angry was thankful that I hadn't pushed it away, which is what I normally do with anger.

The part holding shame said that it felt ready to unburden more after the work I did yesterday. As I witnessed it unburdening, the angry part got angry about the shame that the part had had to carry. I asked if the angry part wanted to unburden some of its anger at the same time as the shamed part unburdened it's shame, as the anger and shame seemed to be linked. It agreed, so the two parts held hands, and unburdened into a fire. When they'd unburdened all they could for today, they hugged each other, and I wrapped my arms round both of them.

The 2 year old was asleep, so I sang her a lullaby while she was sleeping, and told her how much I loved her. I know she heard me.

When I saw the 11 year old, she was spontaneously unburdening by stamping around, shaking off energy and sending it into the ground. It felt as though this unburdening was a result of the work yesterday, and also the shamed and angry parts unburdening.

The 13 and 15 year olds were both fine.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 28, 2020, 04:50:22 PM
i find it amazing that you're doing this work nearly every day!   :)  you're showing your courage and strength time after time.  love and hugs :grouphug: to everyone involved!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 28, 2020, 05:34:53 PM
Thanks San. :hug:

When you retrieve an exile, it's recommended that you check in on them every day for about a month so that the part can form a secure attachment with the Self. This is good for the part, and also minimises the risk of the parts taking old burdens back on.

When I check in on parts, I usually ask them if there's anything they feel ready to unburden or that they need help with. Some days they're just pleased to see me and that's it, and other days there's a whole lot more going on! I find that when something happens, such as retrieving a part or a part unburdening, this can have a knock-on effect on other parts. It helps other parts to unburden, which helps other parts to burden, and this can go on for a few days.

I try to unburden parts on the day they say they're ready for it, but they're happy to wait for me if for some reason I can't :).
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 29, 2020, 09:28:47 AM
I've been reflecting for a while on my usage of IFS, and I think it's worth me writing a few things down. I guess the main thing to say is that I don't think I'm using "true" IFS. I'm good with that, but it felt like something I should say.

In the "Greater than the sum of our parts" audiobook, there are sections on mapping parts so that you can build up a picture of what parts are there. I don't feel I can do this. I seem to have a lot of exiles and protectors, and finding out about them all in one go makes me feel :aaauuugh: so I'm not doing it. Instead, I'm focussing on clusters of parts, where each cluster is made up of one exile and its protectors. This feels more manageable.

I guess the key thing is that I'm using IFS in the context of shamanic journeying. I started journeying a few years ago, and things in the IFS book resonated with me in that context. It felt like two methodologies looking at a common thing. I get the best results if I use the IFS approach within a journey. It gives me a framework to work within, with rules I can understand and follow.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on January 29, 2020, 03:53:09 PM
 :thumbup:

Good summary of what's involved in diving into any approach as we look for ways forward. Two other keys that seem apparent to me when I read of your IFS explorations can be hard to come by -- Patience and Perseverance. So here's to your willingness to embrace those qualities as you continue traveling in the land of recovery. 

:hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 29, 2020, 04:55:11 PM
Thanks, Woodsgnome. Your words always mean a lot to me. I hadn't really thought of it in terms of patience and perseverance, probably because I find it genuinely fascinating, but you're right. :hug:

I've just checked in with the parts. The protector parts are all fine. The 2 year old needs more sleep and cuddles, but seems generally ok. The 11 year old seems to have more Self energy :cheer:. The 13 year old shared some more details about yucky school body-shaming stuff, which she'll probably need to unburden at some point. The 15 year old is fine.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 31, 2020, 08:31:39 AM
Well this is really curious.

A week ago, I posted about having to face a trigger. The prospect of this was giving me flashbacks, and I felt upset, anxious, shame and other nasties. I felt I had to face the trigger because I was concerned that if I didn't, I might lose work. I also saw it is as something that might help me heal.

I was offered more work this morning, and this is irrespective of whether or not I face the trigger, and my reaction is curious. I don't feel relief, like a weight has been lifted or anything like that. Instead, I'm wondering about facing the trigger anyway because it might enable me to do a better job. I'm actually feeling pretty neutral about the trigger, and thinking it through in practical terms.

My feelings about the trigger might change, but I'm greatly encouraged by how I feel about it today. It feels as though something significant has shifted. :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 31, 2020, 02:30:25 PM
it sounds like something has shifted, with what you've said about how you're feeling about the trigger.  sounds positive.  keep up the good work!  love and hugs! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 31, 2020, 03:39:18 PM
Thanks San. :hug:

Today's IFS journey had lots of unburdening.

The SI part has gone part-time. I found it on a sun lounger wearing sunglasses and sipping a drink. :sunny:

The protector part that carries anger is grateful that I listen to it. It would like to get rid of some of the anger, but can't on its own. It told me the anger it carries is linked to burdens other parts carry, so it can only release the anger when other parts release their burdens.

The part that carries shame was feeling much better, and was ready to unburden more. The part that carries anger joined in so that they released burdens together. The burdens were released through fire. As the burdens burnt, pure, transformed energy went out to various other parts. It may have gone to heal parts affected by the shame and anger, but that's just a theory.

The 2 year old was awake, and pleased to see me. The 5 year old playful part turned up as well, and the three of us went to see the bear.

The bear agreed to look after the 2 year old, and they hugged. The 2 year old then showed me HB hurting her. I witnessed this, and told the 2 year old that she'd done nothing wrong and didn't deserve it. I did over the event by stepping in, and stopping him from hurting her by getting HB's parts to stand down. The 2 year old unburdened by releasing sand which was taken away by the wind. I left the 2 year old in a playground being watched over by the bear.

The 11 year old let go of some burdens through fire.

The 13 year old released burdens around a male teacher at school who had asked her to kiss him. She wouldn't, and he'd shamed her for it. I told her that the shame was his, not hers. He should never have put her in that position. It wasn't her fault. She'd done nothing wrong. She unburdened by releasing a black oily substance which was taken away by the ocean. She submerged herself in the ocean to clean herself off, and she felt healed and revitalised when she resurfaced.

The 15 year old released more burdens too, also by setting fire to them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 31, 2020, 08:51:34 PM
 :fireworks: The fireworks emoji came into my mind when I read about all the unburdening you did today. The shame, anger, etc. going up into the sky in brilliant colors, then dispersing.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 01, 2020, 04:11:18 PM
It was very like that, Notalone. I very nearly put the fireworks in my original post due to the similarity, so I'm delighted it came into your mind. :hug:

Today's IFS journey was much shorter.

The SI part is enjoying life in the sun lounger.

The parts carrying anger and shame are happy and calm. They practised putting burdens they're not ready to release yet into boxes.

The 2 year old ran over to me when she saw me. I hugged her and told her how well she did yesterday. She shared how confused she was growing up, as she got mixed messages from people about how she should think, act, feel and be in order to fit in and be accepted. I told her that being herself is plenty good enough. She wasn't ready to release this burden yet, so I taught her how to use a container so that she doesn't need to carry it inside her any more.

The 11 year old seems close to being healed. She asked if she'd still exist if she gave up all her burdens, so I told her that she would. She'd always be a valued part who I dearly love. This reassured her.

The 13 has been making toys in her craft room. She wants me to start doing craft projects again, so I've told her that I will.

The 15 year old is happy.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 04, 2020, 08:59:22 AM
Parts are slightly unsettled this morning. I'm having some work done on the house today, so I feel a bit tired from lugging lots of stuff out the way, and I don't enjoy having strangers in the house, particularly when I'm by myself.

Another factor is that in the process of lugging stuff about, I also decided to get rid of things that no longer serve me, and this has stirred things up a bit emotionally. There are some things that I was keeping out of guilt or some sense of duty. I'm reminded parts that if I throw something out, I'm not throwing out the person who gave it to me. There are other things that were given to me by abusers. I feel fear when I think of getting rid of some of these things. [To the part who's scared: we're not obligated to keep these things, and we won't be attacked because we're throwing something out. It won't bring them back into my orbit. It's not being ungrateful. All this is a burden that you're carrying, and you can stop carrying it whenever you want to. Just imagine how good that will feel! Everything's OK.]

I've not thrown everything out yet that I think I should. I think I'll do this when I move everything back again. I will also go on an IFS journey when the work's been done so that I can properly settle any parts that are still unsettled. I may also be able to use being unsettled as a way of doing more unburdening.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 04, 2020, 03:42:03 PM
Work on the house is now complete. All parts seem OK.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 05, 2020, 02:10:24 AM
Stuff can have so many emotions attached. You are doing well at being aware of your feelings (and the Parts' feelings) and honoring those thoughts and feelings.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 05, 2020, 03:50:24 PM
 :yeahthat:

there have been several things i'd kept that reminded me of abusers - especially pictures - and i finally decided to pack those away so i don't see them anymore.  pics that i'd cherished for a lot of my life, especially of my F and narc D - but i'm truly glad i got them out of my sight.  what went with them was the judgments, etc. that have hounded me for most all my life.  i feel freer without them now, but it was a very tough decision, like i was betraying them, to make and then to follow thru with.

good for you for honoring your parts and all their feelings, discomfort, etc. as you 'clean house' in more ways than one.  love and hugs! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 06, 2020, 02:57:38 PM
Thanks both. :hug:

I've noticed that clearing stuff out mirrors the unburdening process, if that doesn't sound too weird. Some things I can just get rid of, and this is like unburdening. But other things I can't yet, so I've been putting them out the way until I'm ready. This is like parts putting the burdens they're not ready to release yet into a separate container.

I've been quite tired over the past couple of days, probably because of all the lugging I've been doing and clearing stuff out. I've been checking in with parts, though, and making sure they're ok.

Earlier today I went on another IFS journey. It was quite short, but some parts were significant.

The SI part is still relaxing on the sun lounger.

The angry part has been feeling angry at times. She didn't want to unburden anything today, because her anger concerns burdens that other parts are carrying. I told her that I accept she has things she feels angry about, and her anger is justified. Understanding and accepting her anger makes her feel less angry.

The shamed part was feeling some anxiety. She wasn't ready to unburden this, so she put it in her container for later. This made her feel better.

The 2 year old was in the playground with the bear. She ran over to me, and told me that she now knows that the things HB told her weren't true. I agreed, and praised her. She immediately unburdened, the burdens shooting upwards out of her.

The 11 year old said she felt ready to move to a different role. She unburdened like fireworks, and I felt her enter my heart. I can feel her love of reading there.

The 13 and 15 year olds were both ok.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 06, 2020, 03:16:52 PM
I've noticed that clearing stuff out mirrors the unburdening process, if that doesn't sound too weird. Some things I can just get rid of, and this is like unburdening. But other things I can't yet, so I've been putting them out the way until I'm ready. This is like parts putting the burdens they're not ready to release yet into a separate container.
Makes perfect sense to me. Clearing stuff out is an emotional, visual and kinesthetic picture of unburdening.
The 11 year old said she felt ready to move to a different role. She unburdened like fireworks, and I felt her enter my heart. I can feel her love of reading there.
Beautiful
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: MoonBeam on February 06, 2020, 06:29:53 PM
Snowdrop, Wow. You are amazing. I have been working on clearing too, literally cleaning my garage--boxes unopened for years. It is exhausting as there is a lot of unseen baggage that needs unpacking loaded into each box as well. I love how aptly you stated "I've noticed that clearing stuff out mirrors the unburdening process..." It really does.

I am so inspired by the way you are able to check in and listen to the parts of you, identify feelings and love and support them all so compassionately--doing the physical work and the emotional work hand in hand.

Thank you for sharing your journey.  Big  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 07, 2020, 08:08:00 PM
Thank you, Notalone and Moonbeam. I hope you know how much your support means to me. :grouphug:

I have a couple of things to write about today.

The first is that I had a work meeting with someone today, and I was emotionally honest. I was asked how I feel about the thing that's a trigger for me, and I briefly explained that it made me anxious and why, without going into details.

The person I told was wonderful. She understood, and told me that I didn't need to do anything that made me feel uncomfortable. I wouldn't lose work over it. Everything was OK.

I felt a bit shaky during and after the conversation, but I'm glad I spoke up. She's someone who I trust, and being honest about it felt like the right thing to do. I may still decide to face the trigger, but the heat is off, and I can take things at a pace I feel comfortable with.

The second is that I have unearthed a part that says it hates me. I've not really worked with it yet, but I recognise it as a part that's acting like HB and carrying his energy. It thinks I'm very young. Possibly even a baby. It makes me realise how damaging it was for me to grow up surrounded by his hatred. It also makes me wonder how many other parts are carrying this energy, as this is the second one I've encountered.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 07, 2020, 10:06:39 PM
Sounds like you handled the work situation really well.  :applause: Glad the other person heard you and reacted with kindness.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 08, 2020, 03:35:43 PM
Thank you, Notalone :hug:. I couldn't have wished for a better response from her. Interestingly my throat didn't tighten when I started to speak about it, which means something has definitely shifted. I also felt in control of what I said, and what I didn't say.

I've been on two IFS journeys today! I will write about both of them.

Journey 1 took place this morning when I woke up early.

I went to see the part I mentioned yesterday who said it hated me. The parts carrying anger and shame are both scared of it, but the key recipient of the hatred is a baby part. The hating part said that it hated the baby being born, she had ruined its life, it hated her, everything was her fault. I asked how much of its energy belonged to HB. It said pretty much all of it, and became really upset. I told it that it didn't need to carry this energy, it could let go of it, I was here now. It let go of the energy, and it looked like the Doctor regenerating in Doctor Who. I then asked if any other parts carrying that energy felt ready to release it. Quite a few parts did, and they released the energy in the same way.

I became aware of the baby part, and fell asleep while I was cradling her.

IFS journey 2 took place a few hours later.

The SI part seems to have wandered off. I think it may have given up its SI role, but I don't know how formal this is.

The parts carrying anger and shame unburdened some more. As before, it was like pink fireworks, and transformed energy swirled away to heal various parts.

The part that was carrying hatred had a bit more to unburden. It said that it absorbed the hatred from HB because that was it's normality. I told it I understood, and that I was here now. The part recognised my Self, and unburdened. I invited any more parts carrying that energy to unburden too, and the ones who were ready to did. If there are more parts still carrying this burden, I guess I'll find out later.

I spent a lot of time holding the baby part. She showed me when threats were made against her by HB's mother, and HB being nasty to her. Burdens left her as a black cloud, and I bathed her in healing water. An angel gave me a blanket to swaddle her in, and said that it would stay with her. I held the baby part and gave her the gift she wanted: safety. As I left, I could see her being protected by the angel in a glowing bubble of golden light.

There was another part who had pushed the baby part away as it hadn't known how to deal with her. I told the part that it was ok, I understood, and I was here now. The part relaxed, and said it was happy for me to work with the baby part.

The 13 year old was ready to unburden some more, and we did this by a healing lake. Black oil left her, and was purified by the water. She also submerged herself in the water, which helped wash more burdens away. She wanted a gift of peace, which I gave to her.

The 15 year old was ready to fully unburden, which she did using fire. She became very expansive so that I could feel her presence everywhere, and I then felt her enter my heart.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 08, 2020, 04:24:58 PM
wish i could read more, but i've got to take a break.  just want to let you know i think you're doing amazing work and i'm with you all the way.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: MoonBeam on February 08, 2020, 08:08:25 PM
Snowdrop, the work you are doing is so amazing, your journeys with your parts and the resolution and healing, the unburdening you are able to experience is so beautiful! And, so inspiring.
 
Also, wanted to say a big Yay! for being able to speak for your Self in your work situation. I'm so glad to hear you were met with compassion.  I think this is a fairly common thing that happens, yet for so many of us we are so prepared, expecting from years of training perhaps, the absolute worse. 
i believe each time we have an experience like this, a positive experience related to caring for ourselves, it really contributes to literally rewiring those pathways. When we just know in our being that we are worthy of feeling safe and honored in that.  When our bodies no longer hold that sense of panic, for me related to being seen.  I look forward to that being the anticipated experience.

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing journey. You are so strong, walking with compassion for the parts of you and it seems, finding peace and healing in that.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 11, 2020, 05:00:35 PM
Thank you, San. I appreciate you being there. :hug:

Thank you, Moonbeam. Your words meant such a lot to me, and brought tears (good ones!) to my eyes. :hug:

I had more practice with trust yesterday. While messaging my oldest friend, I told him about a few of the things that had happened at school which he didn't know about. He was compassionate towards me, outraged on my behalf, and said that I'd handled it really well.

I had a bit of an EF this morning. I felt guilt and fear, but as soon as I recognised that these emotions came from a part, I stopped feeling overwhelmed by it. I comforted the part, and told it I understood why it felt that way, but that I'd done absolutely nothing wrong. The part quickly felt better.

Apart from that, all parts have been fine. The image of the baby part in a cradle, glowing with golden light and being watched over by an angel, has been very strong. I can feel it inside me most of the time, and it feels deeply healing.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 13, 2020, 08:36:47 PM
The parts holding anger and shame unburdened a bit more today. All other parts are ok. The baby part is still glowing in a golden light.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: MoonBeam on February 13, 2020, 08:38:12 PM
Snowdrop, how brave for you to share with your friend. To hear about his response was really heartening for me. I remember sharing some hard things with a friend and them being so compassionate, even crying with me, for me really, as i wasn't able to at the time. But truly just loving me in it. When others feel outrage for the injury that happened to us, and share their love for us, it really speaks to our value as human beings, worthy of compassion, care and a right to live without harm.
I totally get the EF too. Guilt and fear, for me usually in the face of being seen. I appreciate how you were able to check in and comfort that part. Really amazing work.

Apart from that, all parts have been fine. The image of the baby part in a cradle, glowing with golden light and being watched over by an angel, has been very strong. I can feel it inside me most of the time, and it feels deeply healing.

This is so beautiful! I've been thinking deeply about connection. About how trauma separates us from other people, separates us from ourselves, separates us from spirit--whatever that looks like for us, separates us into shattered pieces.  This is such a beautiful image of connection, of knowing. Thank you for sharing.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 14, 2020, 06:51:35 PM
Thank you, Moonbeam  :hug:. Sharing with my friend was quite scary, but I'm glad I did it because he responded so well. I tried speaking up about some traumas a few years ago to someone who I considered a close friend, but she minimised what I was saying and shut me down. Being listened to by my oldest friend, validated and treated with compassion undid a lot of that damage, and I'm so thankful.

Quote
I've been thinking deeply about connection. About how trauma separates us from other people, separates us from ourselves, separates us from spirit--whatever that looks like for us, separates us into shattered pieces.  This is such a beautiful image of connection, of knowing. Thank you for sharing.  :hug:

^^^ This makes a lot of sense. I think I went for years not knowing I'd been shattered into pieces. Not knowing what it was to be whole. I think I'm finding those pieces now, and beginning to heal them and welcome them home so that I can come back together again.

It relates to something else as well. A couple of years or so ago, I started a course on Soul Recovery, and one of the first journeys was to ask myself "Where is the rest of me?" and see what images and insights cropped up. I saw flashes of a whole bunch of traumas I'd experienced, and I had the sense that I'd lost pieces with each one. A couple of weeks ago I decided to retake the course, and this time I don't see the traumas. I see the parts. This feels like a hugely profound shift.

More IFS journeying today.

The parts holding anger and shame are continuing to unburden, as are the 2 and 13 year olds.

The baby part is still glowing in a golden light, watched over by the angel. When I hold the baby part, she giggles, and the glow encases us both. Sometimes I feel that glow emanating from my heart, and I feel so peaceful and connected when that happens.

I also found a 9 year old part on a mountain. I don't know this part very well yet, but she's beginning to share with me. Today, I witnessed how she sometimes used to hide from HB under her bed.

At one point in today's journey, I met a gatekeeper. The gatekeeper said that I could pass, but only if I released the cloak of trauma I was wearing. I said I was willing to try, and I let the cloak (which I hadn't been aware I was wearing) drop to the floor. I felt oddly vulnerable, but also as though a weight had dropped from my shoulders.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 14, 2020, 08:12:03 PM
It relates to something else as well. A couple of years or so ago, I started a course on Soul Recovery, and one of the first journeys was to ask myself "Where is the rest of me?" and see what images and insights cropped up. I saw flashes of a whole bunch of traumas I'd experienced, and I had the sense that I'd lost pieces with each one. A couple of weeks ago I decided to retake the course, and this time I don't see the traumas. I see the parts. This feels like a hugely profound shift.

Significant change.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 16, 2020, 11:01:47 AM
Notalone :hug:.

I've been feeling shocked and upset about a celebrity death that's currently big news in the UK.

=== Possible TW, as I spent time with the SI part. If you skip the rest of this post, it ends well and I'm ok. ===



Parts have felt affected by the news, and while the SI part hasn't been activated, it's been watchful out of recognition.

This morning I decided to talk to the SI part. I heard its pain, and its anger towards those who caused the traumas, and those who wouldn't listen. I properly listened to the part and witnessed it. Then I thanked it for being my companion during the hardest times, for caring, and for doing it's best to protect me. I told the part I loved it, and how much I valued it. I then hugged it and held it close.

After I'd held the part for a while, comforting it, it stood away from me and unburdened. It released the SI burden as a shower of beautiful flowers, which were carried away by the wind.

=== End TW ===

I feel quite emotional after this unburdening, but in a good way. It feels freeing.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 16, 2020, 12:22:57 PM
wow - that sounds truly emotional, snowdrop.  letting go of all that in the form of flowers speaks to my flower child self.  what a lovely image, and a wonderful way to release the stuff that doesn't serve you in a healthy way. 

i, too, am touched on occasion by celebrity passings.  certain of them have contributed greatly to my life in positive ways, even if i'd never known them.  i still remember exactly what was going on when john lennon died.  the beatles represented freedom to me after the repressive '50's.  they helped form my spirit on many levels, helped me become who i am today.

your ifs work continues to be amazing and powerful.  i admire it and you for continuing to address your parts as you have.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 16, 2020, 07:16:01 PM
Thanks San :hug:

I didn't tend to watch anything the celebrity appeared in, but her death shocked me because of the circumstances.

=== Possible TW ===

She had mental health problems, had months of negative press coverage and took her own life. That's why the SI part was watchful.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on February 17, 2020, 07:47:31 AM
Snowdrop, I just want to say that your well deserved progress is inspiring to read. You're doing so well. It's great to read. Also, I have been touched by this particular celebritie's death, I guess for the same reasons you are, because I didn't watch her TV shows either and I still felt a deep sadness for her.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 18, 2020, 09:53:13 AM
Thanks S&B  :hug:.

I've had some more memories surface, possibly from the 13 year old part I've been working with.

When I was a child, M had a part-time job, and at one point she started being bullied at work. I've remembered that she discovered HB (who would have been in his twenties at this time) had been telling stories to people about how awful she was to him. She wasn't. She just did her best to stop HB abusing me. One of the people HB told was the son of someone at her place of work. Stories went around, she started being bullied, and this added to traumas she'd already been through. F wasn't sympathetic, and wouldn't ask HB to stop telling stories. It felt as though he was taking HB's side.

It would also be around this time that HB's friends started making anonymous abusive phone calls to M at work.

I think this had a few effects. First, I had to support M, so I was parentified. I couldn't be a child. Second, it was further evidence that F favoured HB above anyone else. Third, if an adult couldn't get out of this web, how could I, a child, ever expect to do so?

I need to spend more time with the parts today, as it sounds as though some more unburdening is on the way.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 18, 2020, 02:39:37 PM
IFS journey.

The SI part has given up its role. When I asked it about taking on a new role, it said it was going to spend some time relaxing by the pool.

The part holding anger is ok. It didn't have anything to unburden, but we talked about how it important it is for me to acknowledge feelings of anger, even if I don't act on them.

The part holding shame released more burdens.

The baby part unburdened. I also did over an incident where HB hit her. I stepped in front of him and stopped it happening.

The 2 year old was ok.

The 13 year old unburdened the things I mentioned in my previous post. After she unburdened, she started glowing with a golden light.

The 9 year old wasn't ready to unburden, so I showed her how to remove burdens from her body and put them in a container.

There were no other parts I needed to see.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 18, 2020, 07:44:18 PM
this is fascinating to witness, snowdrop.  thanks so much for sharing.  you are doing tremendous work.  layers w/in layers.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 19, 2020, 08:12:30 PM
Thanks San. :hug:

All parts are doing well after yesterday.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 20, 2020, 10:33:19 AM
Well this was an interesting one.

=== TW because some people might find it a bit disturbing, but it ends well and I'm feeling really good. :yes: ===

Yesterday I did a bit more of the soul recovery course I'm redoing. The session involved going inside and meeting my chakra guardians. My sacral chakra was a bit blocked, so I did some work to clear it.

Last night I had a vivid dream. I can't remember all of the details, but there was a child on the shore of a river or ocean that appeared to be dead, and I had to bring her back. When I woke up I knew that it was a part I had to heal, and that it was linked to my sacral chakra being blocked yesterday. The part appearing to be dead might sound a bit freaky, but I read in the IFS book that parts can sometimes seem dead until they unburden.

I went on an IFS journey this morning to find and heal the part.

I started off by going back to my sacral chakra. The chakra guardian seemed emotionally injured, so I carried it into the healing lake I sometimes use. The chakra guardian transformed into a different shape and was healed.

We then went back to the sacral chakra, and found the part that appeared to be dead by the side of the river that flows there. I honoured her, put flowers around her, washed her face in tears, and told her I loved her.

I remembered how I lost her.

=== TW SA and SI ===



I was sexually assaulted on a beach while on holiday with my ex. I froze and could do nothing. My ex was there, turned his back and pretended not to see. Other holidaymakers were there, and did nothing. Afterwards I walked into the sea to try and wash the shame away. I swam out a long way. The part that appeared to be dead kept swimming and didn't come back.

=== End TW ===

I scooped the part up, and carried her to the healing lake, along with the chakra guardian. I asked if the formerly SI, angry and shamed parts were OK with me helping her, and they said of course they were. The shamed part said that it had healed enough for it to allow me to see this part.

I witnessed the events I described above, and the part came back to life and started spluttering. I held her close and told her I loved her so much. None of it was her fault. It was the fault of the perpetrator, and the ex who had put her in that position, turned his back and even made a joke about it afterwards :pissed:. I asked her if she wanted me to do over the event, and she said yes.

I went back to where it had happened. I saw the perpetrator being bundled into a police van before he could get to me. My ex was also put into the police van for enabling it, and being a narc.

The part that had appeared to be dead unburdened. It looked like a kaleidoscope of butterflies. I asked her if she wanted to go to a safe place for a while, and she agreed. I put her in a little house next to a beautiful waterfall.

I visited the other parts. They are all OK, and I had a sense of warmth coming from them that wasn't there before. I then took the chakra guardian (who'd come along for the journey) back to my sacral chakra, and came back.

This journey was really significant. After the event I described, it felt as though part of me had spiritually died. I had bad PTSD symptoms, and sank back into depression. It took months to get back into a state that felt even remotely normal. Retrieving the part that had experienced that spiritual death feels healing in a very deep way.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 21, 2020, 01:36:16 AM
Profound and beautiful.  :grouphug: I feel angry at the perpetrator and your ex and the others who shamefully did nothing.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 22, 2020, 06:05:36 PM
Thank you, Notalone. I appreciate your anger on my behalf. :grouphug:

It's been a couple of days since that journey. For the whole of that day, I felt more alive than I've felt in a long time. Very grounded and full of Self energy. Full of energy in general. I felt more motivated to look after myself, so I made fresh soup for lunch, and put more time and effort into the evening meal as well.

Yesterday I was still buzzing, but I was also a bit sleepy, and puzzling over a work problem. I elected to have a short work day and have a snooze, and that did me the world of good. I think I needed the extra sleep to help me stabilise from the work I'd done the day before.

Today I feel good. More energy, more Self.

IFS journey. All parts are ok.

The part that was holding shame unburdened a bit more. It felt really calm, and I thanked it for letting me help the part that was brought back to life.

The baby part is still being looked after by the angel, and still glowing with golden light. She didn't need to unburden, so I took her for a walk to see some ducks in a park.

The 2 year old is very well. I asked her how she was, and she said "I feel alive!". She didn't need to unburden, so we ran around for a while.

The 9 year old is ok. She hangs out at the top of a mountain, so we went for a walk around the mountain top for a while.

The 13 year old showed me one of her school friendships. It was a friend who used to continually try and shame her and others, and the 13 year old used to put up with it because she knew the friend had problems. I told the 13 year old that she didn't deserve to be treated that way. Yes, the friend had problems, but her behaviour was inappropriate. The part had nothing at all to be ashamed of.

The 13 year old unburdened as thick black smoke which was carried away by the breeze. When I asked her if there was any gift she wanted, she said "strength and independence". I watched as those gifts filled her.

Finally, I spent with the part that was brought back to life. She didn't know how old I was, so I told her my age, and said that I was in a safe situation and healing. She didn't feel ready to unburden any more just yet, so I showed her how to remove burdens from her body and contain them. She put a lot of stuff into her burden container, and feels comfortable using it.

I asked the part how old she is, but she didn't know. I was 29 when the incident happened, but I think the part is quite young, a child. She told me that she took on some of my pain from the incident so that I'd survive. She was then exiled as a result. I thanked her for saving me, held her close, and told her how much I loved her and how precious she is to me. I then left her back in her safe space.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 22, 2020, 10:29:30 PM
as i continue to read about your journey here, snowdrop, i find it amazing how intricately layered these parts can be.  having a younger self take on the pain of what happened to an older you is remarkable.  we humans are fascinating to me.  all the ways our minds have worked on our behalf in order to keep us alive and sane - well, and i don't use this word very often, it's awesome.  as in, i'm in awe of how our minds have taken care of us.

keep up the good work.  i'm glad you were able to get a bit of extra sleep for yourself - i know that sleep is my best medicine most of the time.  sending love and a hug filled w/ encouragement to keep going! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 23, 2020, 04:10:09 PM
Snowdrop,
Thank you for sharing so openly about your journey. Your experience has helped me to look at things in a new way. When I read the IFS book, there were things that I didn't (and still don't) agree with and things that felt frightening and dangerous. Although I am still cautious, I am more open from knowing about your process/journey. When something shifts inside of me, I think about sharing it, but it feels too vulnerable. I think you are really courageous. Your sharing is helping me.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 23, 2020, 07:31:43 PM
amazing to me how much we fear making mistakes.  as if it's a major blot on our personhood to not be perfect.  and, then, the fear of repercussions.  i've done that so many times even just writing on this forum!  i totally agree w/ you that c-ptsd is horrible - it's a beast that we're battling day in and day out, taking up so much of our strength and energy over and over.

i'm standing beside you all the way, sweetie.  we're in this together.  glad you felt better this afternoon.  love and hugs. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 23, 2020, 08:08:54 PM
Don't worry San, I was looking at posts from months ago, and somehow one of them reposted here! I think I accidentally clicked on the "Insert quote" action. I didn't notice until I saw your post, so I've now removed it. But thank you for being lovely. :hug:

I'm actually fine, and looking back at my old posts showed me how much progress I've made. A few months ago, it felt as though I would make progress, and then have setbacks. In hindsight, I think it was protector parts getting twitchy. Knowing about protector parts and how to deal with them has made a huge difference. It's a much steadier path for me.

You're right, the layering of the parts is fascinating. And parts can also have parts and a Self! I don't generally have to get into this level, but I find it really interesting.

Notalone, I'm so glad that me sharing is helpful to you. I find that sometimes writing about what's happened with parts on a journey helps them feel witnessed, and being witnessed helps them to unburden. I think there were things in the IFS book that didn't feel quite right for me either. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 24, 2020, 08:29:16 PM
I released some legacy burdens this afternoon. These were burdens that I'd inherited from my parents, and they weren't my responsibility.

All other parts are ok.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 24, 2020, 10:28:03 PM
wow, what a great release!  those legacies can be daunting, enough to keep us far away from our true selves.  well done! :thumbup:  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 25, 2020, 08:28:45 PM
Thanks San. :hug:

I think I'm healing.

There were multiple phone-ins on the radio today about the impact of CSA due to something in the news. I listened for some of the time, and I wasn't triggered. I recognised callers cptsd symptoms, I shed tears of compassion, but I didn't have EFs, I wasn't overwhelmed and I didn't dissociate. I also felt heard and validated, as the callers were able to speak of their experiences, and were treated with so much care, sensitivity and respect.

I've checked in with my parts, and they're all ok.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on February 26, 2020, 12:07:56 AM
Sounds like really good steps forward in healing! :cheer: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 26, 2020, 06:57:12 PM
Thanks Blueberry. :hug:

I wondered if I might get nightmares last night as a backlash from listening to the calls yesterday, but I didn't. I actually had a pretty good night's sleep. This is encouraging.

I'd been wondering what to do for Lent. I normally give something up, but that's not feeling right this year. I really like the following idea, which Notalone wrote in Blueberry's journal, so I think I'm going to do this instead:
Quote
I was thinking of the Bible verse that says that the KINDNESS of God leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). Maybe if you want to practice Lent, instead of giving something up, you could think of a small kind thing to do for yourself each day, and consider that a kindness from God.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 26, 2020, 08:12:03 PM
IFS journey.

I checked in on all the parts. The parts holding anger and shame are both ok, as are the baby, 2 and 9 year olds.

The 13 year old showed me a time when she was crying in bed one night. She couldn't sleep because she felt so miserable. F stormed in and shouted at her for crying. Also threatened her if she didn't stop crying. She now felt shame, fear and abandonment on top of feeling miserable, and she tried not to move or make a sound for the rest of the night.

I did over the event so that I came to her. I held her and comforted her. Doing over the event allowed her to unburden.

The part that was brought back to life was ready to do some unburdening, so she started showing me things about the ex who had turned his back on her. Another part tried to stop her, so I talked to this part, and discovered it was scared of consequences. I told the part it was ok, it was safe, I wasn't in contact with him in any way. It stepped back and agreed to let me continue with the unburdening.

The part that was brought back to life showed me certain incidents involving the ex. She felt angry with him, and I said she was right to be. He was narcissistic, misogynistic, controlling, and was wrong about many, many things. She unburdened, and the burdens left her like birds of fire.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 27, 2020, 12:50:26 PM
I went to the dentist's today, and I didn't get flashbacks :cheer:. Last year I had quite intense flashbacks, so this is progress. I dissociated a bit at one point, but I don't think it was for very long.

Yesterday I mentioned a protector part that tried to stop the part that was brought back to life from showing me things. I think my next step needs to be to spend time with this protector part. It's scared and needs more reassurances before I can help the other part some more.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 27, 2020, 04:31:32 PM
ugh - i have the dentist coming up.  not my fav!  i don't get flashbacks, just apprehension and fear of pain.  when i was young, they didn't automatically numb your gums, so the whole thing was quite awful and i can't get past that.  but, congrats to you for making it thru in stunning fashion! :cheer:

best to you with sorting these parts out, working thru all the issues involved.  you're doing such great work!  love and hugs! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 27, 2020, 11:30:02 PM
 :cheer: For the dentist. I don't think I've been to one in about 10 years.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 28, 2020, 08:43:01 PM
Thanks both :hug:. I think taking Rescue Remedy beforehand helped. I also kept thinking "I am my Self" on a loop, which I think helped me to stay unblended.

I've been spending time with the protector part today. It's feeling less scared now, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to do more unburdening over the next few days.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 02, 2020, 05:47:19 AM
Fighting off a cold and feeling a bit grotty.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on March 02, 2020, 09:58:06 AM
Hi Snowdrop, Sorry to hear you've got a cold - and I'm sending you a lovely warming drink of your choice - plus a comforting and gentle hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 02, 2020, 02:50:23 PM
Thank you Hope, that's very kind of you. I'm glad you're recovering. :hug:

I think having the cold has brought back a few things that I can unburden. Some things relating to the part that was brought back to life and her protector. Also things relating to F. I don't know if I'll unburden today or later in the week. I'll see how I'm feeling.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 02, 2020, 04:18:30 PM
IFS journey. I was able to do some unburdening.

The part holding anger is ok. I'm not sure how much anger this part is still holding.

The part holding shame unburdened using fire. This part seems much lighter and happier now. I think most of her burden has been released.

The baby part unburdened a bit more. Black smoke left her body, and a second angel flew down to take it away. The second angel also helped to remove more black smoke from her body. She went back to glowing with a golden light.

The 2 year old unburdened feelings of being a nuisance to F when she felt poorly.

The 9 year old unburdened F being angry with her if she was ill. She remembered being accused of making it up.

The 13 year old unburdened too. She also showed me F being angry with her. She remembered feeling uncared for.

The protector part for the part that was brought back to life was much, much better. It agreed to let me help the part, and realised how much unburdening would help her. It had been scared of the ex, but it said it realised that he could no longer hurt her. It's good to have this part on board.

The part that was brought back to life also unburdened. Lots of things to do with the ex who'd turned his back on her. There was PA, SA and emotional abuse that he blamed on her. Spiritual abuse too, manipulation and gaslighting. He also cut her off from her friends, and made her distrust everyone.

She put her burdens in a pile near the waterfall, and set fire to them. The flames were a golden-pink, and sparks flew into the mist of the waterfall like little firebirds.

I asked her if there was a gift she wanted, and she said "belonging". The gift filled her with white light. I held her close, and when I let go, the pine marten that used to be with the 15 year old part came running over to her, and wrapped itself round her neck.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 02, 2020, 05:00:45 PM
Snowdrop, suppport to all the parts who unburdened today. To the parts who were treated as a burden when they were ill: I am a Mom. Yes, it is hard when kids are sick. It is more work. MOSTLY, though, it is hard because the children aren't feeling well and I want them to be okay. It is also a time to shower even more nurturing and love on them. As for being accused of making it up; even if a child was making it up (and I am NOT saying at all that you were), the question would be why? What is the child needing? The answer is still more care. When you say you are sick, I believe you.

Snowdrop, I hope you feel better soon. As much as I can virtually, sending nurturing and care.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 02, 2020, 06:14:12 PM
Thank you so much for your words, Notalone. It's helped the affected parts feel heard, understood, cared for and witnessed. :hug:

I think there were a few things going on. Some of the time it was germs. Other times it was because I was injured because of HB's PA. F didn't want to believe the PA, so he didn't want to believe I was hurt. And I think other times it was the physical effects of trauma.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 04, 2020, 11:37:43 AM
I was feeling a bit better yesterday, but I'm feeling worse again today. I'm busy at work and need to be well next week and the week after, so I've elected to take today off and rest. I have a hot drink, a fluffy blanket, and I've put eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils in a diffuser.

I wonder how much of feeling grotty is due to parts being activated over coronavirus. I can talk to parts about this, as there may be burdens that can be released.

I had a nightmare last night.

=== Possible TW physical violence ===

HB was trying to break down my door in order to attack me. The details were different in the nightmare, but it was based on a real life event that happened when I was 5 or 6.

=== End TW ===

The nightmare was a bit disturbing, but I think I can use it as a tool for recovery. I can go back into the nightmare and do it over. It's also possible that a part used a nightmare to show me something they experienced so that they can unburden. I can talk to parts and find out.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on March 04, 2020, 01:36:11 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Glad  you're taking time off to rest and wishing you the best for recuperating today - the Eucalyptus and tea tree oil in your diffuser sounds very healing, and sending you a hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 04, 2020, 01:50:04 PM
sounds like you're doing what you need to do, snowdrop.  sorry you're suffering, tho.  holding your hand, sending you lots of support.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 04, 2020, 02:50:57 PM
Thank you, lovely Hope and San. :grouphug:

I went back into the nightmare. While HB was destroying my door, I phoned the police. They turned up within seconds, put him in the police car and took him away. They said that he'd be locked up, and they'd also arrange a court order so that he wouldn't be able to contact me or come near me ever again. They also said that they'd send him for therapy, and I told them that was nothing to do with me, it wasn't something I needed any involvement with. The police also arranged for me to have a new door, which was better than the one I'd had before.

I feel much better for going back into the nightmare. I feel safe.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 04, 2020, 06:40:48 PM
IFS journey.

I started by asking if there were any parts carrying burdens related to the nightmare I had. I couldn't find any. I think this may have been because doing over the nightmare helped parts release burdens from the trauma it was based on.

Next I asked if there were parts who were worried about the coronavirus stuff. Several were, so I talked with them as a group, comforted them, reassured them, and told them I'd look after them. They were mostly concerned about getting into trouble, and I told them that they wouldn't. I was there, they'd be fine. This were able to unburden.

Nothing really happened with the parts holding anger and shame. I wonder how much work I have left to do with these parts, particularly the angry one.

The baby part isn't glowing quite so much now. It's like the glow is more inside her now, and less on the outside. The angel who protects her told me that she's doing well.

The 2 year old part unburdened a little bit more. She still spends most of her time with the bear.

I had a lot of witnessing to do with the 9 year old. Mostly around being bullied at school, feeling she didn't fit in, loneliness, and being shamed for telling lies when she was being completely truthful. I held her close and told that she didn't deserve any of these things. None of them were her fault. She unburdened.

Not a lot happened with the 13 year old.

The protector part for the part who was brought back to life was happy for me to work with that part.

The part who was brought back to life had quite a lot of things for me to witness. She started by showing me lots of things to do with the ex. One thing in particular related to the coronavirus stuff. He caught a cold, and blamed it on her in a very deep way. She'd brought it on him because she was spiritually unclean or something, and she had to make amends as it was all her fault. She thought all this was nonsense because it was just a cold that was going round. She felt manipulated into doing things for him, however, as if she didn't, he'd get even more angry and nasty with her. There were other things as well, this was just one example.

I agreed with the part how ridiculous and manipulative he was, and how she deserved better. She unburdened by putting the burdens into a cannon and firing them into the distance. We both thought this was really funny, so we did it again and again ;D.

The part then began to show me some of the incident that had led to the part dying. After witnessing what she wanted to show me, I comforted her, told her it wasn't her fault and that she'd done what she could to avoid it. What had happened wasn't on her.

The part released burdens from the incident  by standing underneath the waterfall that's near her safe space. The waterfall washed the burdens away, and made her feel clean again.

The part has a lot more to unburden, but she couldn't do any more today. I reminded her that she can remove burdens from her body and put them in a container, and that's what she's going to do.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 05, 2020, 07:53:51 PM
I felt better this morning, went downhill this afternoon, but I'm feeling better again this evening.

I followed a guided healing this afternoon related to ancestral shame, beliefs and also worthiness. Part of the way through, I noticed that the part holding shame was following along and releasing burdens. I found that fascinating!

I felt a bit of anxiety this afternoon, but I think that was because I was a bit congested. I wasn't breathing as deeply because of the cold, and my body interpreted this as anxiety.

All parts seem fine.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 05, 2020, 08:49:02 PM
get well soon, snowdrop.

i'm just beginning to hear about the idea of going back into nightmares and rewriting the ending.  if i can remember, i want to do that the next time.  it sounds very powerful and taking back control.  well done! :thumbup:  love and hugs! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 06, 2020, 05:39:55 PM
Thanks, San. I've consciously gone back into dreams and nightmares a few times now, and each time it's been helpful. :hug:

I felt a bit low last night and today, and cried a bit. The main trigger for feeling low was a call I sat in on. During the call I started feeling inadequate and not good enough, even though the call didn't directly concern me. I think I also felt a bit low from having a bit of a cold. Also, the previous day I accidentally bumped my head, and the bruise reminded me of HB's physical abuse. Quite a bundle of triggers to contend with, and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

This morning, I realised that there was an inner critic behaving like F, telling me I wasn't good enough etc. I realised that I needed to talk to this part. I also thought that I ought to talk to parts affected by the bruise on my head as they might be willing to unburden.

I went on an IFS journey this afternoon.

I started off by talking to the part that was behaving like F. It behaved like that because it wanted me to be successful. I thanked it for protecting me and having my interests at heart. I told it that I was already successful and self-motivated, and it's behaviour was hampering me. The part understood.

I asked the part how much of its burden came from F. About 60%. Would it be willing to release the burden that didn't belong to it? Yes. It was wearing a bodysuit that made it looked like F, so it unzipped it and stepped out from it, leaving it on the floor. It then cut the bodysuit into little pieces, put them into a firepit and set fire to them.

The F-like part agreed to let me meet the part it had been critical of. This part showed me lots and lots of instances where F had told her she wasn't good enough. If she got 90% in an exam, for instance, F would focus on the 10% she didn't get, so some of the time it didn't even feel as though it was worth trying. I did over some of these instances so that F congratulated her, and told her how well she'd done. She then unburdened by tearing up all her exam certificates and school reports and setting fire to them. I told the part she was brilliant.

I went back to the F-like part, and showed it the part it had been critical of. It agreed that it's approach had been counter-productive. It said it wanted to give up its critical role, and help me by encouraging me instead. It tried this new approach with the part it had been critical of, the part appreciated it, and they hugged.

Next, I visited the 2 year old, as the bruise on my head had affected her. She unburdened really quickly. I then asked if there were any other parts affected by my bruise, and a whole load of parts appeared! They were also willing to unburden. I told them all how much I loved them, and that they were safe.

Next I did a similar thing for any parts who felt criticised by F. They unburdened en masse, and the formerly F-like part encouraged them.

I think unburdening as a group is something I need to bear in mind for future IFS journeys as it's really effective. It's something I read about in the IFS New Dimensions book, and I think it would be helpful if I went back and read that chapter again.

I'm feeling like my Self again now. Much calmer and steadier.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 07, 2020, 10:39:31 AM
There are other things I'm contending with too. Next week, I need to face one of my triggers. And I'm scared. I don't know if I can do it.

About a month ago, I trusted someone enough to say that I felt anxious, and they told me that I didn't have to do it, they'd speak to the person who said that I did. I feel let down because since then I've heard nothing. She's not responded to me asking if she's spoken to that person. I feel minimised, and as though I was wrong to trust, and I have nothing in writing to say that I don't have to do this, only that I should.

I'm currently finding this hard.

And breathe. OK, let me read back through what I've just written.

Paragraph one: I was blended with a part who feels scared, and doesn't feel that she can do it. [It's OK, I'm my Self, I'm here.]
Paragraph two: I was blended with a part who feels as though it was wrong to trust, let down and minimised. [It's OK. I understand why you feel that way, but it's OK, I'm here. I'm my Self.]

This has helped. I feel calm again, more in control. I think I have a lot going on over the next couple of weeks that would be hard for someone without cptsd. I recognise that I'm at a disadvantage. I need to do whatever I can to soothe the parts who are upset. Maybe some of this can be a vehicle for unburdening.

I will be gentle with myself, and do whatever I can to take care of myself.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 08, 2020, 03:47:55 AM
Yes, be gentle with yourself and take care of yourself.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on March 09, 2020, 04:59:48 PM
This has helped. I feel calm again, more in control. I think I have a lot going on over the next couple of weeks that would be hard for someone without cptsd. I recognise that I'm at a disadvantage. I need to do whatever I can to soothe the parts who are upset. Maybe some of this can be a vehicle for unburdening.

I will be gentle with myself, and do whatever I can to take care of myself.

This is great Snowdrop, I want to say  :cheer: and also extend a hug as well  :hug:  I also wanted to say that reading your processing in your journal helped me to feel brave enough to post my own, and it was helpful and feels ok to have done that.  So thank you!

I know you're having a challenging week - with the things you mentioned, and I hope very much that the situations you need to deal with will go ok. 

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 09, 2020, 05:30:33 PM
Thank you so much for being there, Notalone. :hug:

Thank you, Hope. I appreciate the support, and I'm so glad that what I wrote helped you. :hug:

I'm feeling better today. It's been a tough few days with activated parts, but I'm now feeling much more my Self.

I've been practicing facing the trigger. The first time felt awful, but the second time (today) I was ok. I'm pleased with how well I did.

I decided yesterday to seek direct clarification about whether or not I have to face the trigger. Good news, I don't, they understand and value me. This is a huge relief and means a lot. It's now completely in my control, and I can go at a pace that's right for me.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 10, 2020, 09:31:09 AM
Feeling emotionally fine today :cheer:.

Thought: I wonder if I had a bad few days emotionally as a reaction to eating or drinking something that disagreed with me? It's happened to me before. I've eaten something, and it's triggered really bad EFs. The more I think about it, the more this makes sense, as I tried something new at the end of last week when I started feeling bad.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 10, 2020, 02:35:59 PM
glad you're feeling better.

interesting realization about food/drink intake and how it can possibly upset your mental well-being. 

keep going, snowdrop.  you've gone thru a lot, and i'm just glad you've come out the other side.  love and hugs! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 10, 2020, 03:11:31 PM
Thanks San :hug:. The weirdest one I know of is that I'm fine with cheese except if it comes from one specific creamery! Cheese from there gives me nightmares and EFs for a couple of days. Yet I'm fine with the same type of cheese if it's made elsewhere. :blink:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 11, 2020, 07:53:46 PM
Today was a day when I could have faced the trigger. I decided not to, and this was ok. I took steps towards facing it, which is progress, but I think doing any more would have been too much at this time.

All parts seem ok.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 11, 2020, 09:43:03 PM
Good job listening to yourself and going at a pace that seems right to you.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 13, 2020, 11:07:48 AM
Thank you Notalone. :hug:

=== TW covid-19 ===

I didn't say anything at the time because I felt very anxious and didn't want to talk about it, but earlier in the week, I developed symptoms suggestive of covid-19. I will quickly say that my symptoms were mild and I'm now feeling much better. I don't fit the criteria for testing so I will never know if it was that, but I was two degrees of contact away from someone who recently returned from Italy.

I've been taking things easy and treating the symptoms, and this morning it feels as though I've turned a corner. There's plenty of food in the house, and it turns out that my cptsd is a superpower when it comes to self-isolation ;D. I've also found tapping really helpful for relieving the anxiety.

=== End TW ===

IFS journey. The parts seem reasonably settled and OK. I've reminded them that I'm here and that I care about them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 13, 2020, 11:47:48 AM
oh, sweetie, i'm so glad you're feeling better.  thank you, god and all the stars looking down on us.

lots of love and continued healing to you :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 13, 2020, 05:45:37 PM
Glad you are feeling better. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 14, 2020, 06:44:35 PM
 :grouphug:

IFS journey.

When I held the baby part close to me, the angel that protects her came forward and put their wings around both of us. I felt protected.

The part that was brought back to life said she wanted to unburden, but that today wasn't the right day for it.

All other parts are ok, and they were all pleased to see me. I felt connected to them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 15, 2020, 05:09:29 AM
so glad this is going well for you.  i tensed up when i read your first sentence - seems like i've got some stuff going on there, too.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 15, 2020, 08:02:28 PM
That's interesting, San. I wonder if that tensing up might come from a protector? Just a thought. My suggestion is to take things very gently, and if possible, see if you can be curious about it all. I'm here if you need me. :hug:

I've been doing things to help my lungs over the past few days. Things like using anti-viral essential oils, paying attention to how I breathe, and Qigong sets that help my lungs. I've found the following Qigong video helpful: https://youtu.be/VKRdUe2_SB0 (https://youtu.be/VKRdUe2_SB0). My lungs feel about back to normal again now, thank goodness, but I'm still keeping an eye on things.

I had a nightmare about the ex last night. I'm pretty sure it came from the part that was brought back to life.

IFS journey.

The key things with this journey happened with the part that was brought back to life. When I met this part, we started by revisiting the nightmare. I saw her being physically and emotionally hurt, so I stepped in, and stopped it happening. I told the ex he was so very, very wrong, and left him.

The part that was brought back to life showed me things relating to the ex. Things relating to physical abusiveness, shaming, and emotional cruelty. The part unburdened by putting the burdens in a fire pit and setting fire to them. She found this quite tiring.

All other parts seemed ok.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 15, 2020, 11:11:10 PM
It makes sense that she found it tiring. Burning the burdens was a big, emotional thing to do. I wish gentleness and rest for her and all the Parts.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 16, 2020, 04:55:05 PM
Thank you for your care and compassion, Notalone. You're right, building up to unburdening in that way was huge for her. :hug:

IFS journey.

The key thing from this journey was that the baby part unburdened as smoke. I gave her a gift of safety.

The part that was brought back to life was still quite tired after yesterday, but she's glad I'm here.

The 2 year old and 9 year old wanted to run about outside. I've explained that I can't run about in the real world at the moment (self-isolation) but they can run about as much as they like during the journeys.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 17, 2020, 09:41:07 PM
I've been aware of another part today. It's been with me all day, over on the right, and it's like a large black scribble monster. There have been feelings of horror, despair and not being able to escape that the coronavirus stuff has activated. I think these feelings might come from another trauma, and I think the scribble monster is a protector, possibly a firefighter.

I've been acknowledging the scribble monster, and seeing it as a part who wants to protect me in some way. It cares enough to be with me during these times. Later in the week, I'll go on an IFS journey to properly meet the part.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on March 18, 2020, 01:44:22 AM
Whatever you find per the scribble monster's mysterious and sudden presence, I hope you are right in your assessment that it's probably not there in a spirit of harm. Sometimes even our protectors wear disguises, it seems.

 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 18, 2020, 08:18:43 AM
Thank you, Woodsgnome :hug:. I've encountered quite a few protector parts who initially look like something else, things like walls, whirlwinds or other people. When I begin to work with them, their appearance often changes into that of a young part. It's quite fascinating.

I've just gone on a brief IFS journey to meet the scribble monster. Yes, it's a part, and it told me that it's there to try and stop me seeing the exile part it's protecting me from. The feelings I described are coming from that exile part. The scribble monster isn't taking any extreme measures to shut the part away because it knows I've been successfully helping and healing other parts, but it's made its presence known because the exile part is feeling activated over all the things that are going on at the moment. I asked the scribble monster part if I could speak to the exile part and it agreed.

A part that was scared of the exile part's emotions surfaced. I explained that the exile could choose not to overwhelm me if I asked it, and this satisfied the scared part.

I then saw the exile part. I said it was ok, I'm here, it's safe, and asked her not to overwhelm me. I could still give her attention without her overwhelming me. The exile part agreed, and I felt much better.

I handed the exile part a bag which she could use to temporarily contain any burdens, and she was able to do this. I then took her to a safe space, a house made out of willow that's filled with bird song.

When the exile part is ready, I will start helping her to unburden. For now, I'm just glad that she's in a safe place.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on March 18, 2020, 02:23:55 PM
Beautiful imagery - once again I'm inspired.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 19, 2020, 04:40:27 PM
i love your creativity with your parts, snowdrop, in how you help them take care of or get rid of whatever might be around that's bothering them.  well done :thumbup:

sending love and a hug filled with continuing clarity and creativity to you and all your parts. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 21, 2020, 04:14:22 PM
Thanks both. :grouphug:

I'm feeling better today. I was able to run for a bit this morning, and my lungs felt ok. On Wednesday, walking for just a few minutes was too much, so this is good :cheer:. I'm also officially out of quarantine. This is psychologically good, but I still have no intention of going out anywhere or seeing anyone.

I went on an IFS journey.

The part holding anger has about finished unburdening, and is ready to take up a new role.

The part holding shame unburdened a bit more.

The baby part was lying in a cradle, giggling and gurgling. I held her to me, and the angel that protects her blew the part into my heart. The angel said that it was still there protecting me.

The 2 year old wanted to play.

The 9 year old unburdened a bit about not feeling as though it was safe to go outside, but also not feeling safe inside in case HB attacked her. I told her she was safe, I had her, and she unburdened.

The 13 year old was ok.

The part that was brought back to life showed me a lot of things. I witnessed them, and reassured her that she hadn't deserved them, they weren't her fault in any way. She unburdened.

The scribble monster part was greatly diminished. I asked it if I could continue to work with the part it protected, and it agreed.

The part it was protecting was ready to unburden.

=== TW SA ===

This part holds traumas relating to when I was repeatedly raped by someone who I thought was a friend.

=== End TW ===

The part showed me how alone she felt as she couldn't talk to anyone about what she was going through. I told her that I knew what she went through, I understood how difficult it was, and it wasn't her fault. I'm there now, she has me. She was able to release part of her burden.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 21, 2020, 06:19:26 PM
This part holds traumas relating to when I was repeatedly raped by someone who I thought was a friend.
Please let that Part know that I hear that she was repeatedly raped by a trusted person. My heart hurts for her. If it would feel safe, I would like to give her a safe, gentle hug.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 21, 2020, 06:21:26 PM
so glad you're feeling better and your lungs are responding well.  yay!  i'm still self-isolating - it'll probably be a month.

keep doing such wonderful work.  i talked to my t about ifs, she says she's familiar, but we're gonna wait till i can see her.

that part of you, well, how horrible.  my heart is with her and you.  no one should have to go thru that, and i hope she knows it wasn't her fault.

love and hugs, :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 26, 2020, 04:06:50 PM
Notalone and San, thank you for your kind words of support. :grouphug:

I've not written much here recently because I've been busy. I need to make sure that my parents are ok during the current health crisis, so I've been busy organising things.

I've generally been ok. I've not had much chance to go on any full-blown IFS journeys for a few days, but I keep checking in with the parts I'm working with, and they seem fine.

Richard Schwartz gave a free webinar yesterday on IFS and the current world situation. I wasn't able to attend live, but I'm looking forward to listening to the replay.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on March 26, 2020, 06:43:06 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Glad you've generally been ok, and that your parts that you're working with seem fine.  I also haven't attended Richard Schwartz's free webinar yesterday yet - I hope to listen to the replay too.   I know you've been busy organising things for your parents, and hope that went ok.
Sending you a hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 28, 2020, 05:10:27 PM
Thank you Hope. :hug:

I've just watched the webinar (https://youtu.be/aDyj0EWscqk (https://youtu.be/aDyj0EWscqk)) and I found it helpful.

During the webinar, I noticed two parts who were highly activated: the 9 and 13 year old parts.

The 9 year old part showed me the summer she was too scared to leave her bedroom. She was scared to be elsewhere in the house because of HB, and she was scared to be outside because of the kids next door bullying her. The only place that felt safe was a small patch of carpet where she couldn't be seen through the window.

The 9 year old let me do over the event by getting rid of the kids next door. I reassured her that the current lockdown isn't the same situation. She unburdened and asked for a gift of strength.

The 13 year old was activated because she often felt forced to take on responsibility that wasn't hers. She had to caretake and was parentified. I'm aware that I'm currently doing a lot of caretaking. I need to make sure that I take my own needs into account. Saying this has made the 13 year old feel more relaxed.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 28, 2020, 06:06:34 PM
 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 29, 2020, 09:06:03 AM
 :grouphug:

I've been thinking some more about the IFS webinar I watched yesterday.

This morning I tried telling my parts the following: I'm with you in this, whatever "this" turns out to be. You're not alone, I'm with you.

The response from my parts has been good. I can feel them relaxing inside me, giving more space for my Self.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 30, 2020, 01:28:22 PM
very nice!  i love that they responded by being able to relax a bit.  well done! :thumbup:  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 31, 2020, 12:02:19 PM
Thanks San. :hug:

Parts are still reacting well to me telling them that I'm with them in this, And this allows me to be more in my Self. This is good in various different ways.

Primarily, being in my Self is good for me. It makes my parts feel more reassured and relaxed, so I feel better.

Another aspect is that I think things are now getting to F, so staying in my Self is a Very Good Thing. Yesterday I felt he was at the point of lashing out and getting angry with me for no reason, but I didn't really react to it. I think that his angry parts are activated by the current situation, but me staying in my Self had two effects. First, it meant that my parts didn't really get activated in turn because they knew that my Self was handling it. Second, Self energy is like a field, so me staying in my Self helped his angry parts to calm down.

I'm so thankful that I learned about IFS when I did.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 31, 2020, 05:00:52 PM
sounds like it's doing a lot of good for you, snowdrop.  i'm really glad about that.

one other thought that came to mind is that when you're more in your Self, you can feel more of your own personal power. not power to attack, not a neg. kind of power, but a power to be able to be you, know your own truth, deal with your reality in an adult way.  am i getting this right?  that's just how it feels to me, and from my perspective, it's a really good thing.

keep up the good work! :thumbup:  love and hugs, my dear. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 31, 2020, 05:49:03 PM
Quote
one other thought that came to mind is that when you're more in your Self, you can feel more of your own personal power. not power to attack, not a neg. kind of power, but a power to be able to be you, know your own truth, deal with your reality in an adult way.  am i getting this right?  that's just how it feels to me, and from my perspective, it's a really good thing.

There are several qualities you can use to recognise Self: confident, connected, courageous, curious, compassionate, clear, calm, creative. I'd say that the sort of personal power you're talking about falls within these qualities too.

Thank you, San. Love and hugs back atcha! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on April 05, 2020, 01:24:18 PM
I want to acknowledge that things have been tough recently.

I've been getting over covid-19 symptoms, which made me feel yucky for longer than I wanted, and which made me feel really scared.

I've also been pushing down a lot of fear and worries about F. He had to go to hospital a few times last month because of suspected cancer. On top of the fear he might have it, I've been scared that my parents might pick up covid-19 at the hospital, also that F might be denied treatment because the health service is so stretched.

An extra pressure I've felt is that friend on immunosuppressants told me that he had covid-19 symptoms, but that he wasn't going to follow his doctor's advice regarding medication :stars:.

All of these things, have added to the stress I've felt about the current situation. I've hardly been sleeping, and found it nearly impossible to work, which has been adding more stress.

I think that things are turning round. My health feels better now. F has been given the all-clear. My parents haven't developed any covid-19 symptoms. My friend seems to be feeling better, and I accept that if he decides to ignore his doctor's advice, that's on him.

I slept better last night, and it feels as though some of the weight has lifted from me. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll find it easier to work again.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on April 05, 2020, 01:37:35 PM
Dear Snowdrop,
You've been dealing with so many stressful things, and I wanted to send you a heartfelt hug  :bighug:

Glad that you are feeling a bit better, and that you slept better last night.  Hope you are able to relax for the remainder of today, if that is something you want to do, and wishing you the best for tomorrow, as I know you face work again then - thinking of you.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 05, 2020, 03:26:21 PM
so glad to hear that it seems like everyone is ok in your life, and especially happy that you're feeling better.  whew!

you made it thru, and for that i give you all kinds of credit.  well done, snowdrop! :thumbup:  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on April 06, 2020, 12:49:05 AM
Snowdrop,
That all sounds really stressful and scary. Glad to hear that your father does not have cancer. Also that your parents are not showing any symptoms for covid-19. It is true that it is your friend's decision about his own health. It is hard when someone we care about acts in ways or neglects care that we think would be healthiest for him.

I wish you and all your Littles peace and rest.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on April 06, 2020, 02:30:35 PM
Thank you Hope, San and Notalone for your words of kindness and validation. It's truly helped me to feel more at peace.

IFS journey.

The 2 year old was happy.

The 9 year old was slightly concerned that she wasn't allowed out because she was being punished for something. I reassured her that this wasn't the case.

The 13 year old asked about not being allowed out too. I explained that it wasn't just her, it was everybody, and how her independence was a huge strength.

The part that was brought back to life was ready to do a lot of unburdening. She built a pile of objects that she associated with the ex who'd turned his back on her, and set fire to them with her anger. She then kept throwing more objects and emotions into the fire because she wanted to get rid of anything to do with him. This felt healthy and freeing, and afterwards I told her how much I loved her. I find myself wondering if I have anything left in the house that I associate with him, and if I have, I'll bin it.

The part holding rape trauma showed me some events where she felt that what had happened had been her fault, that she'd "asked" for it. I told her that she hadn't. He'd been extremely manipulative, and her freeze response was natural and completely understandable. I told her I was sorry I wasn't there at the time, but that I'm with her now. The part was able to unburden a bit, and I held her close.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 07, 2020, 04:25:34 AM
 :hug:  here's an extra hug for her - no, it wasn't her fault.  not for a minute. 

love and hugs to you and all your parts, snowdrop :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Sceal on April 07, 2020, 05:32:49 AM
Hey Snowdrop,

I am glad you're feeling better after the Covid-19 symptoms and that your F is getting better too.
it's hard worrying about the people you care about, especially when you can't do anything to change a situation.

It also sounds like you've been doing alot of inner-work. Taking care of your self and working through alot of things and being kind to yourself. I sounds like alot of progress.
It's so important to keep working, even if it is hard. And it's also really important to acknowledge the things that's been difficult.

I'm cheering you on! Wish you a wonderful week.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on April 07, 2020, 03:52:44 PM
Thank you San and Sceal.

The news about the PM being taken into intensive care last night really hit me. I didn't vote for him and have major misgivings about his politics, but it felt like it had happened to one of my own. It didn't overwhelm me though.

IFS journey.

The 2 year old was very happy, and playing outside.

The 9 year old shared a lot of experiences about being unhappy at school. She unburdened by putting burdens in a pile in her old school, and then blowing it all up! She felt much better afterwards.

The 13 year old also unburdened some school experiences by blowing up her school. It felt very satisfying.

The part who was brought back to life showed me the moment when it was like she'd experienced soul death. She told me that she was pleased I'd found her, and glad that she was no longer dead.

The part also showed me more experiences to do with the ex who turned his back on her. More and more, I realise that her soul death hadn't just occurred because she was assaulted, but because of the ex. The part was able to unburden a bit.

=== TW rape ===

The part holding rape trauma needed me to witness more things. She showed me how the man who did it had told people they were having an affair so she wouldn't be believed and would have nobody to turn to. She also showed me his wife waiting outside her house, and his daughter turning up at the front door. She didn't feel safe anywhere, and particularly not in her home.

I told her that I understood why she didn't feel safe. What had happened was unfair. She didn't deserve it. She felt some relief at me telling her this, but she still felt it was all her fault.

I asked the part if she wanted me to do some of this over, and she agreed. I sent the people away and told them never to come back. I also told the man what I thought of him and told him to go away.

The part felt a bit better after this, and was able to unburden a bit, but she still felt really messed up. I decided to teach her about IFS, and how she had a Self and parts, and how her parts were upset and activated. She found this helpful, and was able to unblend from her parts and settle. She said that she'd work to heal her parts with my help.

Finally, I took her to a new place where she'd feel safe and where she could rest.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on April 08, 2020, 03:02:43 PM
Yesterday's IFS journey really helped to shift things. Things seem to fall into place for me this morning, and it feels as though I can work properly again and move on.

IFS journey.

The 2 year old was happy. She unburdened a bit more, and got rid of the feelings she had of not worth being cared for. She told me that she should have been cared for, and not shamed.

The 9 year old was happy. She didn't have anything else to unburden, and I felt her being blown into my heart.

The 13 year old was happy too. She can remember enjoying school work, and feeling motivated.

The part that was brought back to life unburdened some more, largely anger about people who had let her down and betrayed her.

Big progress with the part holding rape trauma.

I found her sitting on a picnic blanket making a daisy chain. She said that she'd been working with her parts, and told me about some of her protectors. She said that knowing more about them enabled her to be her Self, and that me being in my Self helped her to be in her Self too. I recognise that her being her Self helps me to be unblended too, so it's a virtuous circle.

I talked to the part about unburdening, and she said that her parts had been unburdening, and she could carry that unburdening forward so that she could unburden too. (I hope that makes sense! A multi-level unburdening.)

The part put her burdens in a pile, then brought forward her parts so that they could unburden too. They built quite a large pile of burdens with lots of depth. We then used a beam of sunlight to set fire to the burdens, and we watched the flames together. I held her close, and told her how precious she is.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on April 08, 2020, 11:01:52 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on April 11, 2020, 03:27:59 PM
:hug:

IFS journey.

The 2 year old was having fun playing in the sunshine. She's ok.

The 9 year old told me how peaceful she felt. I could feel her peacefulness.

The 13 year old was happy. She's been enjoying the work I've been doing over the last few days.

[Thought: I've been getting on well with my work over the past few days. I wonder how much of this is coming from the 13 year old? I don't need to know the answer, but it's an interesting thought.]

The part that was brought back to life seems settled.

The part holding rape trauma has transformed. She's been using IFS to work with her parts and heal them independently of my IFS journeys, and the difference in her is astonishing. She is in her Self, and her parts are unburdening under her supervision. She knows I love her and I'm there for her, but she doesn't need me to do anything for her right now.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on April 15, 2020, 07:32:14 AM
I've been checking in with parts over the past few days, and they all seem ok. The part holding rape trauma is continuing to work with her parts and heal. She knows I'm here, and supporting her.

Yesterday I did a soul recovery journey to find a story that's relevant to my current life now.

I started off in a bookshop, and when I said I was looking for the story, I was directed to the children's section on the ground floor. When I entered this area of the shop, I found myself on a ship sailing on the ocean with big white sails. It was manned by a crew of children of different ages - my parts. It was night, and the sea was a bit choppy, but the parts were working together well as a team. There was no fighting over control, no fear, and they saw it as a big adventure. Each part had a role, and everybody knew what that part's role was.

I think I need to return to the ship with the big white sails sometime. Maybe I could use it to go looking for more parts that may have got lost along the way.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 15, 2020, 03:53:37 PM
what a great image, all those children working together to make that ship sail!  brilliant!  as soon as i read it, it resonated deep inside me, for some reason.  it was a very profound feeling - exactly like a soul being touched in a meaningful way.  also feels a little odd, but i can tell you that it did mean something.

thanks for sharing, snowdrop.  i'm smiling now.  love and hugs  sweetie. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on April 15, 2020, 09:08:36 PM
I started off in a bookshop, and when I said I was looking for the story, I was directed to the children's section on the ground floor. When I entered this area of the shop, I found myself on a ship sailing on the ocean with big white sails. It was manned by a crew of children of different ages - my parts. It was night, and the sea was a bit choppy, but the parts were working together well as a team. There was no fighting over control, no fear, and they saw it as a big adventure. Each part had a role, and everybody knew what that part's role was.

I think I need to return to the ship with the big white sails sometime. Maybe I could use it to go looking for more parts that may have got lost along the way.

Beautiful.  :waveline: :bighug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on April 16, 2020, 04:48:39 PM
 :wave: I so love imagery and metaphor, and especially those with a nautical theme. Perhaps this goes back to my younger days when, just out of my abusive start to life, I discovered and fell in love with canoeing -- both as an activity and in sharing what was sort of a natural feel for it with others (one of my first discoveries that I could matter to other people).

So okay, didn't mean to turn the focus to me; just ruminating a tad, I guess. Mainly, though, I just wanted to salute  :applause: this insight per your progress across your own inner seas. It means lots to have that crew you spoke of -- and how the parts can share from their own instincts that they will somehow find and know the way, guiding you to safety. Good for them, and good for you.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on April 27, 2020, 07:49:28 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
I like your imagery and hope that you're navigating your way safely - I've missed you, just wanted to send you a hug.  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on April 27, 2020, 02:27:07 PM
Thinking of you, Snowdrop.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on April 27, 2020, 06:08:19 PM
I've been quietly reflective since I last wrote in my journal. I've found the ship/parts image deeply helpful, and I've been letting the feel of it seep into me.

San, I'm glad the ship resonated with you. I found it very profound too, and I'm glad it made you smile. :hug:

Notalone, thank you for the :waveline: and thank you for thinking of me. It means a lot. I've been thinking of you too. :grouphug:

Woodsgnome, I smiled to think of you canoeing. Thank you. :hug:

Hope, thank you for the hug. Your words touched my heart. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on April 30, 2020, 07:35:00 AM
I have the potential to be overwhelmed at the moment. A vulnerable family member is now in hospital with suspected CV19. I'm also going through another intense time at work, with quite a few deadlines over the next few weeks which I need to meet.

I have the tools to get through this, but I want to acknowledge that it's objectively hard.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on April 30, 2020, 08:49:08 AM
Dear Snowdrop,
Sending you a supportive hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 30, 2020, 04:07:29 PM
sending healing energy to your family member - i sure do hope it works out well.

one step at a time, ok snowdrop?  we're here with you.  sending love and a hug filled with strength to get thru it all. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on May 01, 2020, 01:26:58 AM
That is a lot to carry.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on May 01, 2020, 02:09:16 AM
Sending greetings of peace for you; please accept this  :hug: and know that we are supporting you.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 01, 2020, 02:49:21 PM
Oh Hope, San, Notalone and Woodsgnome, thank you. Your words of care are just what I needed. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 05, 2020, 05:52:06 AM
The past few days have been bleak. My relative isn't expected to make it. Not being able to visit is hard.

I've been checking in with parts, listening to them and comforting them. I still have access to Self, I can still unblend from parts, so I'm coping.

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on May 05, 2020, 01:12:36 PM
Snowdrop, that is so heavy. So sad.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on May 05, 2020, 02:37:08 PM
Standing alongside you in this difficult time, Snowdrop.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on May 05, 2020, 09:58:15 PM
 :hug: This is all I can muster for you, and your parts, right now.

I know it's not enough, but it's heartfelt, so at that level perhaps you can at least sense the support you need.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 06, 2020, 03:43:42 AM
 :grouphug: to all of you!  and, lots of love and support to help you cope.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 12, 2020, 08:31:34 AM
She's passed on. Thank you all so very much for being there. Love you all. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Panda on May 12, 2020, 09:07:23 AM
We don't know each other yet but I wanted to say my condolences to you and your family. May your relative rest in peace


 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on May 12, 2020, 10:29:32 AM
For you --  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on May 12, 2020, 10:54:51 AM
Dear Snowdrop - for you  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on May 12, 2020, 12:00:41 PM
 :hug: for you Snowdrop, and thinking of you at this time. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on May 12, 2020, 01:41:44 PM
So sorry, Snowdrop.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on May 16, 2020, 09:21:54 PM
Hello Snowdrop, I'm new so we haven't met yet, but I wanted to say I am very sorry for your loss. These are very difficult times, I am so sorry this has happened. I hope you have a lot of support around you.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 18, 2020, 09:32:43 AM
Thank you Panda, Woodsgnome, Blueberry, Hope, Notalone and Owl25. Your support and care means so much to me. :grouphug:

I've been finding things hard. Tears are never far away, and I spent some of yesterday just sobbing. I feel overwhelmed, various things all piled onto me. I'm going to randomly burble and see if that helps.

I feel guilty. I didn't go and visit my relative when I knew she was ill. I know that objectively there were good reasons for this. She almost certainly had CV19, and if I'd gone to visit, there was a risk that I might have passed it to H and my parents. Also my visit would have put care home staff at more risk and made their job harder. One thing that preys on my mind is that I was offered the chance to visit, but I declined for these reasons. I know that logically I made the right decision, but I feel awful that I did.

I knew at the start of all this that not everyone around me would make it. I knew that my relative was the most vulnerable. Staying away was the best way of keeping her safe as she was being looked after, but I don't feel great about it.

I'm scared of losing anyone else to it. I've been doing my best to try and keep H and my parents alive. And I feel angry, scared and horrified by the reckless attitude some of my neighbours are taking. While I was waiting for news about my relative, there were VE Day parties going on as though the virus had gone away. :pissed:

I've been so scared that my relative passing away might mean me having to see HB. In spite of all the work I've done, the thought of being in contact with him terrifies me. Particularly while in lockdown where there's no escape. Thankfully this hasn't happened, but I'm still scared of it.

I've been finding work difficult. Hard to be motivated. It makes me feel useless. Lots of things making me feel useless.

There are self-care things I could do, but I just don't feel like doing them. I don't feel I have the energy.

It's hard to be in my Self, and I know that's a key thing behind how I'm feeling. There are various parts having a hard time, and I need to try and muster up the energy to use an IFS journey to help them. There are the parts who feels guilty that I didn't go and visit. There are the parts who are scared of HB. There are the parts who feel useless.

Thinking in this way is helping me to be in my Self more, and I realise that the lack of motivation, lack of energy, lack of being able to do anything is coming from a protector part. A firefighter? Yes. I need to meet this part and find out what's going on.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on May 18, 2020, 10:09:03 AM
 :hug: to you Snowdrop. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on May 18, 2020, 10:09:54 AM
I've been finding work difficult. Hard to be motivated. It makes me feel useless. Lots of things making me feel useless.

There are self-care things I could do, but I just don't feel like doing them. ...

It's hard to be in my Self, and I know that's a key thing behind how I'm feeling.

This really resonates with me atm so I just want to let you know you're not alone. Some of the reasons and explanations are different in my case, I think, and probably even some of the solutions. :hug: :hug:

 What I don't have are all those other things you're dealing with like a relative passing away during lockdown and fear of contact with HB. That has got to make things much harder for you. Sending support, it's all I can do  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 18, 2020, 12:25:19 PM
 :hug: :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on May 18, 2020, 04:45:04 PM
Your relative passing away, fear of other loved ones in your life catching covid-19, and fear of having to interact with your HB is a LOT to hold. It would be for anyone. No wonder work is hard and you're lacking energy.

It sounds like you made the wisest and most compassionate decision for your relative and your family by not visiting her.

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 20, 2020, 03:54:01 PM
Thank you Hope, Blueberry, San and Notalone. It helps to know that you're there.

IFS journey.

Some prominent parts were feeling unsettled and upset because if my relative and the general situation. I acknowledged their pain, and told them I'm here with them. They're not alone.

I met with a couple of protectors. One is trying to keep me away from making decisions. It realises that the decisions I had to make were painful, so it's trying to save me from them. I thanked it for caring about me, and reassured it that I was ok. It doesn't need to stop me from making decisions.

My head was feeling a bit woolly, and I realised that there was another protector trying to wrap me up in cotton wool to protect me. I thanked it, and reassured it that I'm ok. It's ok for me to think and feel.

I realised after the journey that when I was around 8-12, I saw my relative as a potential escape from things at home. My parts haven't just been grieving the loss of the person, they've been grieving the loss of the safety net. I want these parts to know that I understand, but it's ok. I'm not a child any more. I'm an adult, I'm in a safe place, and I will keep them safe.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 22, 2020, 06:07:19 PM
I've felt much better yesterday and today.

I've been checking in with parts. In particular, I asked the part wrapping me up in cotton wool what it was afraid might happen if it stopped protecting me in that way. It thought of me as a child, and was afraid I'd get hurt. We had a conversation, and it now accepts that I'm an adult. It also recognises that making me woolly in that way made it hard for me to think and make decisions, and I need to be able to do these things in order to stay safe. It's agreed to step back.

Since having that conversation, I've felt much more my Self. The woolly feeling has about gone, and I've been able to think, plan and act again.

I'm curious about this protector. It thought I was a child, so maybe it's protecting an exile? That's worth exploring.

I've been aware of another part who is very well-organised, but has been finding it hard to cope with so much chaos and uncertainty around at the moment. I decided to buy this part a new planner to help her feel more in control of things, and this has really helped.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on May 22, 2020, 07:16:47 PM
Hi Snowdrop. I hope you've been doing alright recently. Its good to hear that today is better than yesterday, and that you're able to identify these situations and come up with solutions for them. That's excellent!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on May 22, 2020, 11:04:16 PM
I've been aware of another part who is very well-organised, but has been finding it hard to cope with so much chaos and uncertainty around at the moment. I decided to buy this part a new planner to help her feel more in control of things, and this has really helped.

Awesome!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 23, 2020, 06:29:13 PM
Thank you Jazzy. :hug:

Notalone, my new planner has stickers! :cheer:

I slept much better last night. I think checking in with parts helped. I also took some Rescue Remedy Night drops before going to bed.

I've managed to get a lot done today. The well-organised part has been helping me make to do lists, and track what I do. She's been feeling calm, happy and in control because my day has had more structure.

I went on an IFS journey this afternoon to meet the part who wraps me in cotton wool, and the part who doesn't want me to make decisions.

The part who wants to wrap me in cotton wool told me that it was protecting a 5 year old part which had been exiled. That part is no longer exiled because I helped it to heal a few months ago, but the cotton wool protector hasn't given up its role yet. I think I probably need to show it the 5 year old part it was protecting so that it knows it's safe.

The part who doesn't want me to make decisions is very young, and she became scared and upset when I asked her why she didn't want me to make decisions. She showed me how she felt she was always wrong and could do nothing right. I witnessed various events, and asked her how she felt about giving up the burden she was carrying. She found this question difficult as it involved making another decision, so I suggested she try putting the burden down and see how that felt. She liked not carrying the burden, and released about 50% of it by burning it. I'll continue to work with her on releasing the rest.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 24, 2020, 06:27:18 PM
Feeling good today. I slept well, and felt enthusiastic about getting things done.

IFS journey.

I first met the part who wanted to wrap me in cotton wool. We talked about why it wanted to protect me in this way, and then I showed it the 5 year old part it had been trying to protect. The cotton wool part saw that the 5 year old was happy and healed, which made it relax. I asked if the part still wanted to have the role of wrapping me in cotton wool, and it said no, it wanted to take up trampolining instead ;D. The part started jumping on a trampoline, and then wandered off.

Next, I met the part who was scared of making decisions and felt she was always wrong. She seemed better today. She showed me various incidents which she felt were her fault because of decisions she'd made. I told her that none of them were her fault. The fault was with other people, and she wasn't responsible. I also explained that sometimes other people were wrong and made mistakes. If she disagreed with someone, it didn't mean that she was wrong. Her opinions and feelings are as valid as other people's.

After this conversation, the part felt able to fully unburden. She put the burden down, and when I asked her what we should do with it, she suggested putting it in water. When we did this, it turned into a gigantic bath bomb which started to dissolve. We watched it dissolve, then washed it down the drain.

Finally, I met the part who likes to be well-organised. This part is currently very happy. She loves the new planner, and is enjoying writing daily to do lists. It's making her feel very safe and productive.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on May 24, 2020, 07:16:06 PM
Its great that you're feeling well and being productive. Keep it up!  :applause:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 24, 2020, 08:36:43 PM
 :yeahthat:

love and hugs, snowdrop, to you and all your parts  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 25, 2020, 06:43:43 PM
Thanks Jazzy and San! :grouphug:

Still sleeping well, still able to get a lot done. I've been feeling more and more my Self too. My Self hasn't been as prominent recently with everything that's been going on. Over the past few days I've been making a special point of doing things that give me a stronger sense of Self such as Tai Chi, and this seems to be really helping.

IFS journey.

The part who wanted to wrap me up in cotton wool is still jumping on the trampoline. She said she'd like to look after some more vulnerable parts if they need it, but only as much as they need. It feels like a different relationship to before.

The part who was scared of making decisions is happy. She didn't have anything more for me to witness.

The part who likes being organised is happy. She told me that helping me to be organised is her role. It's not in reaction to trauma or anything, it's what she likes doing. She knows how much I appreciate it.

I decided to check in with the part holding rape trauma as I haven't met with her for a while. She was pleased to see me, and is getting on well. I taught this part about IFS, and she has been using it to help heal her parts. While I was there, she put a lot of rocks (burdens) in a fire pit and set fire to them. We watched them burn together.

Finally, I caught up with the part holding sexual assault trauma. This part is also doing well. We talked about the ex who turned his back on her, and she told me how wrong he was about many things. She said she felt ready to let him go, so she released various burdens relating to him and set fire to them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 26, 2020, 11:28:07 AM
I've been finding things hard this morning. The Government are saying that someone who broke lockdown rules in a very spectacular fashion was reducing the risk of the infection spreading and protecting his family :stars:. I wasn't able to see a relative who was dying because of the lockdown rules. This was to stop the virus and protect my family. Hearing the Government defend this person's actions in these terms makes me feel angry and brings back the guilt and hurt.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 26, 2020, 11:50:06 AM
snowdrop, the messages we are getting are confusing in the least, mind-boggling at times, and absolutely crazy-making at the worst.  i'm sorry about not being able to see your relative, but i personally don't believe you have anything to feel guilty about.  during different circumstances you would have been there.  this is not your fault. 

i think your own sense of protection for yourself and your family wins the day in the end.  there has been nothing like this to my knowledge in my lifetime.  my d won't allow me to go into a store because i'm vulnerable and older, yet there are times when we need groceries, and her anxiety level goes off the chart for having to be around people, not just for herself, but so that she doesn't bring something home to me.  these are more than trying times indeed.

we're in this together, never forget that.  you are not alone.  sending love and many hugs filled with caring and compassion :grouphug:

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on May 26, 2020, 12:03:19 PM
Dear Snowdrop,
I am also finding that situation you mention difficult to be difficult and shocking, and I agree with what Sanmagic said in her reply to you about how crazy-making it all is.  I just wanted to send you a hug  :hug: and stand with you in this, I think you are a wonderful caring and compassionate person, and you did your best in these very challenging times. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 26, 2020, 07:01:13 PM
Thank you, San and Hope. You are both wonderful. I needed to hear what you said. :grouphug:

Feeling better this afternoon. I decided to email my MP, which probably helped.

I checked in with my parts this evening, and spoke to the ones that were activated. I explained that nothing has changed about my decision. I did the right thing, and they accept that.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on May 26, 2020, 11:39:40 PM
Glad you are doing better. That message sounds very confusing, and as San said, crazy-making. You did make the right decision. You are a very caring person and you made a decision that was wise and compassionate.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on May 31, 2020, 11:52:12 AM
Thank you, Notalone, I appreciate your comments. :grouphug:

I've been feeling good over the past few days. Settled, happy, and able to do things. :cheer:

Getting to know the well-organised part has been tremendously useful. She's been making lists of things I need to do each day, and this structure has been working well for me. It allows me to see how much I actually get done, which has made it much easier to be kinder to myself.

One of the big things she's introduced has been explicitly adding time for Self and parts every day. Time for Self can be anything that allows me to cultivate and embody my Self, usually Tai Chi and Qigong. Time for parts is anything that involves me listening to and helping parts. Adding these things to a daily list which I can mark off has been really useful.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 01, 2020, 04:52:42 PM
I realise that things I was told as a child set me up for abuse. When HB was abusive, I was told I had to make allowances for him because his M had been abusive to him. The message I got was that it was ok for people to be abusive to me if they had issues of any sort. I should just accept it and not complain.

I want all my parts to know that the message I was given as a child is wrong. It was wrong that HB treated me in that way. Abuse of any sort, at any age, is unacceptable. It's not my job to be the scapegoat for other people's problems. I deserve better. My parts deserve better. I/they deserve kindness and respect.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 03, 2020, 06:34:10 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
 :hug: to you and your parts.  I agree that abuse of any sort, at any age, is unacceptable, and all the things you said to your parts, I second them, and stand with you  :grouphug:  You deserve better.  Your parts all deserve better.  You deserve kindness and respect, and I will say the same to my parts too.  Your words are strong and meaningful and true!
 :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 04, 2020, 02:10:52 AM
I want all my parts to know that the message I was given as a child is wrong. It was wrong that HB treated me in that way. Abuse of any sort, at any age, is unacceptable. It's not my job to be the scapegoat for other people's problems. I deserve better. My parts deserve better. I/they deserve kindness and respect.
Yes!!!!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 08, 2020, 09:38:58 AM
Hope and Notalone, thank you so much. :hug:

=== TW various types ===

I read an article this morning about how damaging it can be when a relationship with a therapist crosses boundaries. Reading this article has really helped a part that had been exiled, She showed me lots of things, and she is getting ready to unburden.

The part is the one whose ex turned his back when she was sexually assaulted. She had been in a therapeutic relationship with the ex, and one day he moved towards her and started kissing her. She froze, and didn't know what to do or how to act. Even if she had known, I doubt she'd have been able to move. He blamed her for making him act in this way. This was manipulative. It was inappropriate. It was an abuse of power. It wasn't her fault.

She didn't feel able to get away from the relationship, so she pretended that she was happy with it. This was understandable.

The ex was manipulative. Over time, he separated her from her friendship group. He began trying to separate her from her parents. Trying to control her and leave her without support. He tried to brainwash her. Coercive control.

He eroded her sense of self-worth. There'd be conversations where he'd say "what do you want to do today?" She'd say "I'd like to do this," and he'd say "well let's do something else instead.". That's a small example of how he'd disregard her, but there are plenty of others.

I see now that he was physically abusive. He'd make her bleed, and then say it was her fault because she wasn't strong enough. This was very, very wrong.

He was emotionally abusive. One example was after the relationship ended, and he sent her a postcard. It said how much she'd like the place he'd sent it from, as it was very like [place] -- which was the place where she'd been assaulted and he'd turned his back.

The last time she saw him, he told her that she needed to let out her inner physical abusiveness. She refused. She didn't see herself as abusive. She didn't want to be abusive. She didn't want to conjure up feelings of abusiveness to please someone else. It felt really dangerous. She walked away. She cut off contact.

There are other things I could say. The key thing is that I recognise how narcissistic, manipulative, abusive and dangerous he was. Perhaps more importantly, the part does too.

The part feels shame that she didn't end things sooner. I think she was manipulated and trapped. She has nothing to be ashamed of.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 08, 2020, 11:51:03 AM
 :hug: :hug: :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 08, 2020, 03:58:48 PM
I want to validate the feelings of your part who is getting ready to unburden. You said
Quote
The part feels shame that she didn't end things sooner. I think she was manipulated and trapped. She has nothing to be ashamed of.
and I totally agree that she has nothing to be ashamed of. Contact was broken as soon as she was able. Supportive and safe hugs to you.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 08, 2020, 06:23:47 PM
Thank you for the hugs, Hope. :hug:

Thank you for validating the part's feelings, Three Roses, and for the hugs. Your words added an extra piece which helped her to unburden. :hug:

I went on an IFS journey this evening to help the part and see if she was ready to unburden.

When I met her she was furious about the ex. I told her that her anger was justified. She shared lots of experiences with him, more than I wrote about earlier. Different types of abuse. As she showed me her experiences, I validated her feelings, and her anger started to fade.

I asked if she was ready to let go of the burdens, and let go of the ex. She said she was. So she opened herself up along her front, and lots of thick smoke came out of her, and formed a large blob of black yuck. She washed herself out with water from a healing lake, then showered off any remaining bits that were sticking to her in a shower of golden light. She seemed whole and alive afterwards.

She then set fire to the blob of black yuck that represented the burdens she'd been carrying. It crackled and sparked, and eventually it turned to a pink/gold ball of light and dissipated.

I then saw the part being wrapped in angel wings. She was glowing with a golden light and I felt very peaceful.

I asked her if there was any gift she wanted from me, or any role she wanted to take up. She said not yet, she wanted to enjoy feeling peaceful for a while. We hugged.

Afterwards, I was lead to a crystal cave, and all my parts were invited too. They watched while I walked into the middle of the cave. There I found a contract. It said something like "I must always make others feel better, even at the expense of myself". I showed the contract to the parts, and then I told them in a strong voice that the contract was void. I put it in a paper shredder so that it was chopped into tiny pieces. The contract was destroyed, and the shredded bits of paper transformed into healing energy which went into each part.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 08, 2020, 07:03:05 PM
Beautiful ❤️
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 09, 2020, 02:58:00 AM
I want to validate the feelings of your part who is getting ready to unburden. You said
Quote
The part feels shame that she didn't end things sooner. I think she was manipulated and trapped. She has nothing to be ashamed of.
and I totally agree that she has nothing to be ashamed of. Contact was broken as soon as she was able. Supportive and safe hugs to you.  :hug:
:yeahthat: I agree with that.

I'm glad that part has been able to unburden and is feeling peaceful.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 09, 2020, 06:18:57 PM
Thank you both. :hug: and :hug:.

I went on another IFS journey this evening to do a bit more work with the part that unburdened yesterday.

I explained to the part that I'd read a few articles about narcissism, and the ex was a very strong fit. I explained why, and the part agreed.

The part and I found a statue of the ex on a big pedestal near the sea. The part took some red paint, and wrote "is a narcissistic abuser" next to the ex's name. Then she tied ropes round the statue, pulled it off the pedestal, and dropped it into the sea where the water was particularly deep. We watched as the statue corroded and fell into tiny bits. Then she fetched a grab lorry with a hydraulic arm, picked up the pedestal, and dropped it on top of the statue. It destroyed what was left of the statue. We watched as barnacles, coral and seaweed started to form on the pedestal. We then walked away, arm in arm and didn't look back.

The part told me that she felt healed. I gave her a big hug, and told her how much I loved her. How precious she was to me.

I feel very content after that journey. I feel free.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 11, 2020, 05:57:37 PM
I feel as though the work I did earlier in the week has lifted a layer of trauma off me. If the ex crosses my mind, I immediately see his statue disintegrating.

I'm aware, however, of a new cluster of parts that I need to work with. They were quite deeply submerged, and now they're coming to the foreground. This may be because they're ready to be helped, also I felt under stress with other things yesterday which may have activated them.

=== TW SH ===

The most prominent part in this cluster is one that has thoughts of SH. She's a protector, probably a firefighter. I've been acknowledging her existence today, which has surprised her. She's used to me denying her existence and burying her away.

There's another part, a protector who's a manager, who tries to keep the SH part away from me. This aggravates the SH part.

I get hints of another part who's scared of the SH part.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 12, 2020, 03:50:11 AM
I feel very content after that journey. I feel free.
Warmth thoughts of you and all your Parts and the amazing work you are doing.

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 12, 2020, 04:23:04 AM
Thank you, Notalone. I can feel the warmth in your words. :grouphug:

I woke up early this morning so I reread an essay in the book Internal Family Systems Therapy: New Dimensions that discusses IFS with complex trauma and DID. It says: "Parts tend to be more dissociated and may seem to have no connection with each other; parts are often phobic of each other and do not want anyone, including the therapist, to know about them and treatment is further complicated by the possibility of the inner family having layers of dissociated parts who reveal themselves only as progress is being made." I think this is the situation with the new cluster of parts.

=== TW SH but no details ===

Before going to sleep last night, I communicated with the SH part, and the part who keeps her clamped down. The parts have agreed to settle down so that they're less polarised. The SH part feels under less pressure from the clamping down part, so is more relaxed and can ease up. This makes the clamping down part feel more relaxed.

The SH part thinks I'm still a child. I don't know how old yet, but quite young. I can now remember having SH urges as a child, which I'd completely forgotten about. Maybe from about age 7? This suggests there might be an exile for me to help too.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 12, 2020, 07:39:00 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Sending you a warm hug  :hug:   

I related to the quote you put there - glad you were able to make progress and find that there might be an exile you can help - that's really positive progress, and I hope you don't mind my saying that.

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 13, 2020, 09:59:39 AM
Thank you for the hug, Hope. I don't mind you saying that at all. I always appreciate your thoughts, insights and support. :hug:

Last night I checked in with the part who demolished the ex's statue. She's doing really well.

I also spent some time with the SH part. She's calmed right down. She has a safe space, and she understands that being there isn't rejection or punishment in anyway, but a place where she can feel relaxed and secure. She knows I'm going to help her, and she welcomes that.

I had a bit of a memory surface last night, and more this morning. I'm pretty sure it relates to the exile, who I think is very young.

=== TW PA ===

I think I was somewhere between 2 and 4 years old. HB would have been around 10-13 years old. He'd taken something from me and was taunting me, holding it out if reach so I couldn't get to it. He wouldn't give it back, and I remember him holding my head so I couldn't get near him. This went on for a while. Eventually I had a bit of a tantrum and tried to hit him in frustration. Describing it as a hit makes it sound worse than it was. It was more of a scrabble. Not hard. Not a punch. How could it have been anything else when I was so tiny? But it was enough for him to justify hitting me, and he hit me hard.

I remember M telling him to stop hitting me and to give back whatever it was he'd taken. I vaguely remember F telling me when he got home that I musn't be aggressive. It was naughty. I tried to explain. F got angry.

I need to discuss this with the parts, but I suspect that after this I started turning anger and frustration inwards. Hence the SH part.

M told me a year or so ago that when I was little, she walked into the room and HB was beating me up (her words). I wonder if this was the incident she was talking about?

I practice Tai Chi, and I'm aware that I have a real disconnect when it comes to fighting applications. I freeze. I wonder if this is because of this cluster of parts? I wonder if the exiled part holds my ability to fight back, even in self-defence?

I have more work to do with this cluster of parts, but so far things seem promising.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on June 13, 2020, 02:40:19 PM
 :hug: sounds like you are making progress, Iím glad your parts allowing you to work through the things you need to.   :hug: A gentle hug of understanding.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on June 13, 2020, 04:29:26 PM
You are doing such good work with your parts. It makes sense that your ability to fight back got exiled when those things happened. How terrible that got taken away from you. It will come back to you, it's waiting to be reclaimed.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 14, 2020, 08:31:43 AM
Thank you for the hugs and support, Tee and Owl. :hug:

Following recent conversations, I've been reflecting on things I did prior to IFS which may have helped me. I thought I'd write about them here in case they're helpful. They might sound a bit weird to some, but that's probably the case with most of my journal! ;D

Before learning about IFS, I followed various guided meditations / healings from Wendy De Rosa. The earlier parts of my journal used these, and I found them really helpful. They helped to clear stuck energy, release patterns and build my Self. The guided healings around being an empath were particularly helpful as they focused on clearing early patterns and traumas. These were extremely relevant to me. Wendy has many free videos on YouTube, Facebook and her website.

Learning about shamanic journeying was tremendously helpful. Going on journeys helped me to build my Self, and get used to exploring strange worlds. I used resources from the Shaman's Way, Sandra Ingerman and Robert Moss.

When I read the Internal Family Systems Therapy book, I noticed a lot of commonality between shamanic journeys and the IFS case studies. All of my journal entries marked as IFS journeys use shamanic journeying techniques to go and meet parts. These experiences are much deeper than when I check-in with parts outside of a journey. They're much more vivid, it's easier to be my Self, and it's also easier for me communicate with parts and help them. When I was going through a hard time last month, I found it hard to be my Self until I went on an IFS journey.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on June 14, 2020, 11:55:06 AM
Thank you so much for sharing this, Snowdrop. I am very curious about the shamanic journeying you talk about. It really strikes me how you say there is a commonality between that and IFS. I know Richard Schwartz talks about how when he was discovering IFS and trying to figure things out, that at one point he started to look at various religions and spiritual practices (Western and non-Western) as well, and was discovering things in there that were relevant/overlapped. It's a bit fuzzy right now what exactly he said, I'd have to look it up again, but what you wrote made me think of that.

What do you mean by the experiences being deeper than when you check in with parts outside a journey? Do you mean they are deeper because you use the shamanic techniques? Or it's deeper because you go inside to really talk and meet with parts, rather than a cursory check-in?

I'm wondering if the shamanic techniques facilitate the journeying even more than just going inside, as Richard Schwartz calls it. I'm still at the very beginning of this, and just started reading Internal Family Systems Therapy by him and Martha Sweezy, so I expect to start learning the techniques a bit better. I am curious if your shamanic approach is different from how they describe going inside?

Hope all the questions are okay, I am really curious and think this could be tremendously helpful for me.  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 14, 2020, 01:31:35 PM
I'm happy with questions, Owl :).

Quote
What do you mean by the experiences being deeper than when you check in with parts outside a journey?

I guess it's a bit like the difference between meeting up with someone in real life, and talking to them over the phone. One experience is much richer and immersive than the other.

I think the book talks about quietening the mind, tuning into Self characteristics such as curiosity, compassion etc, and then scanning inside for parts which you can then communicate with. This is what my check-ins tend to be like.

My IFS journeys are more structured and intense. I put on a drumming track, usually for 20 minutes. I settle myself, and then I imagine that I'm walking down a path to a gate, which I walk through, then close behind me. Once through the gate, I'm in the place where all my journeys begin.

I ask to meet any parts I need to speak to. An Animal takes me to where they are. I usually get taken to a plain, and find parts there, usually protectors. Once there, I can speak to them and interact with them.

How I speak to the parts is like the case studies in the book. I ask them how old they think I am, what their role is, that kind of thing. In the early days, my Animal would help me, which probably gave me added reassurance and Self-energy.

Exile parts tend to be elsewhere. Again, my Animal can take me to them. Each exile tends to have its own safe space, which I visit, and my interactions are like the book case studies. I witness events they show me, and I help them unburden when they're ready. One thing I find fascinating is that my exiled parts often seem to have their own Animals.

Once my time is up, my Animal takes me back. I go back through the gate, along the path, and I'm back in the real world.

I hope that helps to explain things. If you're interested, you can find out more about the journeying side of things here: https://shamansway.net/journey/ (https://shamansway.net/journey/)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on June 14, 2020, 04:25:27 PM
That sounds amazing, Snowdrop. How long do your IFS journeys usually last? It almost sounds like you're doing some kind of meditation, to allow you to fully focus and be able to really go inside. I can see how the drumming can help with that.

Thank you for the link, I will be checking that out for sure. I wish I had time today, but we have a busy day today and tomorrow.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 14, 2020, 05:03:00 PM
Most of the time I put on a 20 minute drumming track (YouTube) and that works really well. I've usually finished what I need to do when I hear the return call. Sometimes 10 minutes is enough. A couple of times I needed an hour! This happened when I was working with several exiles, and they all wanted me to witness things and unburden in that session.

I find the combination of using IFS with journeying works really well for me, and it's absolutely fascinating. If it's something you think might help you, my suggestion is that you become comfortable with the journeys in the link before trying an IFS journey. They will help you find an Animal, and get used to journeying in general. Also finish reading the book, as this will teach you about the rules that parts work to.

Be gentle with yourself, take things slowly, and I'm here if you need me. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 14, 2020, 11:03:25 PM
Snowdrop, one of my Protectors wants to send you a BIG shield to keep you safe from your brother. (In truth, she wants to punch him too.) Sending you love.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 15, 2020, 03:31:45 AM
Please thank your protector for me, Notalone. I might use her shield when I go and retrieve the exile part. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 15, 2020, 03:53:52 PM
IFS journey. A lot of significant things happened.

I first met the SH part, and the manager part that was applying pressure to her. The SH part was feeling calmer, and appreciated the manager part stepping back. The manager part said she felt able to step back because the SH part was so much calmer.

I asked the SH part if she knew I was my Self, and she said yes. She didn't when I first met her, but now she did. I asked if she was protecting a part. Yes. A three year old exile. The SH part confirmed that the PA memory that recently came back was from that part. Would the SH let me see the exile, talk to her and help her? Yes, she was hoping I would.

=== TW PA ===

The three year old was stuck in the past, in that memory. She was cowering in a heap on the floor. HB was tormenting her, and hitting her. F was telling her she mustn't fight or be aggressive, that was naughty.

I stepped in, and held up the shield Notalone's protector gave me. It shielded her from the blows, and turned into a protective bubble that surrounded the part and me. HB and F disappeared, and the part looked up, astonished.

=== End TW ===

I told the part that I'd come for her. How much I loved her, how much I missed her. There were tears of happiness running from my eyes as she ran towards me and I held her tight.

I asked if she wanted me to witness anything. She showed me the memory again. I told her how brave she was. How fearless. It was wrong of HB to take her things and torment her. He was wrong to hit her. She believed me and looked delighted.

=== TW PA ===

I asked if she wanted me to do over the event. Yes. So when HB went to hit her, I prevented it with the shield, and took the toys back from HB which he'd taken from her, and gave them back to the part. I told HB that I understood that his protectors were fired up, but it was wrong to take things out on the three year old. I told him I knew his mother was abusive, and that she'd been poisoning his mind with lies. I was sorry this was the case, but it didn't excuse his behaviour. His abuse towards the three year had to stop. Now.

=== End TW ===

The three year old unburdened. Her burdens came out of her like energy leaving her fingertips, and were taken away into the air.

Next I gave the three year old gifts. A medal for bravery. The shield. A Tai Chi sword. I told her how much I admired her fighting spirit. She was delighted.

I asked her if she wanted a safe space to stay in, and she said yes. Her safe space is amazing. It's a martial arts training studio, and there's an area outside under a bamboo roof with a rectangular pool. While I was there, she started practicing martial arts forms. A crane (the bird!) appeared next to her and began training her.

I asked if the three year old was happy for us to go and see the SH part protector and the manager part that had been pushing her down. She was. As soon as they saw the three year old, they realised she was healed.

The SH part gave up her SH role. She said her new role would be to help me stand up for myself and fight for my rights.

The manager part also gave up her role as it was no longer needed. She started crying, because she felt so guilty about how she had treated the SH part. The SH part comforted her, and forgave her. The manager part felt a bit better and unburdened some of the guilt.

I returned the three year old to her safe space, and checked up on a couple of other parts.

The part who pulled down the statue of the ex was really happy. She seemed healed. She told me that there were other statues of people who had been put on pedestals, but not all parts were ready to pull those statues down yet.

=== TW SA ===

Finally, I visited the part who'd been raped. I witnessed some of what happened, and she unburdened a bit more. I told her that she hadn't been able to fight back because the part who was able to (the three year old) had been exiled. This made a lot of sense to the part who'd been raped. She unburdened more feelings of guilt and shame, and said she'd like to meet the three year old and spend time with her. I told her I thought the three year old would like that too.

=== End TW ===

Feeling really good after this journey. :boogie:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 15, 2020, 04:11:02 PM
Notalone, I told the three year old that the shield came from one of your parts. She was delighted and says thank you. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 16, 2020, 06:02:19 PM
I was buzzing with energy after yesterday's journey, and hungry! Not in the comfort eating sense, but as though my body required fuel. I think it was probably the three year old part as she seemed really happy and excited. It made me wonder how much of my energy it has taken over the years to keep the three year old exiled, and the SH part pushed down.

I didn't sleep particularly well last night. Part of it was that I was still buzzing, but also there were thunderstorms here in the night, and it was hot. In hindsight, I should have tried asking the three year old part to let me go to sleep.

I've been a bit sleepy today, but apart from that, I've felt pretty good. By retrieving the three year old part, it feels as though I've got a significant part of myself back.

I checked in with parts today. All are doing well. One part was scared of getting into trouble for bringing the three year old part back, so I spent some time reassuring her. She's now ok.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 16, 2020, 09:48:03 PM
We are so glad that the three-year-old was protected by the shield. She is brave and precious. She deserves to be protected and safe.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 17, 2020, 09:35:08 AM
Thank you Notalone  :grouphug:

Curious. I'm getting the same sort of effects as when I've made a big step forward with Qigong, except that I think it's because of the three year old part retrieval. This is really significant.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 18, 2020, 09:33:24 AM
I wasn't planning on doing an IFS journey today as I have an intense work day ahead of me, but the part who tore down the statue started sharing memories and insights with me. It felt important for me to witness her now instead of asking her to wait until tomorrow or the weekend, so I went on an IFS journey to visit her.

=== TW SA and misogyny, in white ===

It happened in a country which didn't have a great reputation for women's rights. The part told the ex that she was hesitant about holidaying there. He said it would be fine because he'd be there. For context, she'd been raped the year before.

While there, the ex kept telling local men that he'd seen the part on a TV channel that sold/hired out women and bought her. She couldn't speak, she felt so shocked, shamed, dehumanised and triggered. Some of the men believed him and looked at her like she was prey. One offered money. Other men realised it wasn't true, but also realised that his attitude meant she was vulnerable and fair game. One man saw he was dangerous, and warned him off his sister.

She challenged the ex. He said it was a joke. She took things too seriously. She was overly sensitive. He had to toughen her up. He kept telling men the same story. If she spoke up, he told them to ignore her.

She was sexually assaulted by one of the men, and the ex turned his back (I've written about this before). He later said that he turned his back because it was hurtful to see. I know he did it for plausible deniability.

[I wrote something else here but I've deleted it.]

Afterwards, various firefighters were activated. I went numb. I was extremely hypervigilant around men. I sank into depression. I'm grateful to the firefighters for caring about me.

=== End TW ===

I witnessed the part. Each step of the way, I told her it wasn't her fault. She'd been set up, betrayed and dehumanised by the ex. The man who saw he was dangerous had got it right. The ex was dangerous. She was right to feel angry. She was right to feel outraged. His words, his actions had put her in a dangerous situation and she'd suffered. He'd thrown her to the wolves.

She unburdened by putting burdens into a fire pit and setting them on fire. Part way through, the three-year old part turned up. She said to the other part "I will fight for you".

At the end of the journey, I felt a huge presence. I felt it calming me and the parts. It told me everything's ok.

The part wanted me to write the stuff in the TW as it would give her extra witnesses and help her unburden. I may delete it later.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 18, 2020, 10:26:09 AM
Dear Snowdrop,
I read everything you wrote there, and I wanted to offer you a supportive and gentle hug (if that's ok)  :hug: 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 18, 2020, 12:45:36 PM
Thank you Hope. It helps knowing that you read it. It helps the part feel more witnessed, which is helping her to unburden more. :hug:

Theory: The three year old part holds my ability to fight back, so retrieving her means that other parts who were traumatised and unable to fight back can now release their burdens. That's what it feels like, anyway.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 18, 2020, 07:16:17 PM
More memories surfacing from the part who tore down the statue. I'm witnessing the memories, and the part is unburdening. The memories are uncomfortable, but they're not overwhelming me. It feels like healing.

Work went well. I asked this part and others not to overwhelm me, and told them that I could give them attention another time. The parts gave me lots of space, and it worked well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 19, 2020, 05:26:32 AM
The part who tore down the statue woke me up in the night. She was absolutely furious about how she'd been treated by the ex and the man, so I witnessed her fury. She screamed in their faces, and kept hitting them. I told her that her fury was valid. Eventually, her fury passed, and she unburdened some of it. I felt peaceful afterwards, and went back to sleep.

I feel ok this morning.

Things have been quite intense with this part over the past few days, but I feel that it's bringing deeper healing. I also note that while the part's memories that are coming back are unpleasant, they're not flashbacks. They're not all-consuming, I'm not pushing them away, and I'm not overwhelmed by them. It's important for me to witness them.

Yesterday, I wrote that after the incident, various firefighter parts had been activated. I had quite bad symptoms that I associate with PTSD, as well as the CPTSD extras. It felt like getting PTSD on top of CPTSD, so I'm not really surprised by the intensity of this part.

It also makes sense that this is happening immediately after retrieving the three year old. The part who tore down the statue was unable to fight back. Now she is. I have so much compassion for her, and I'm grateful that I have the chance to help and heal her.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 19, 2020, 08:25:25 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
I'm glad you're feeling ok this morning.  Although you've had a quite intense time this past few days, I'm glad that you feel that it's bringing deeper healing .
 :hug: to you Snowdrop.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 19, 2020, 09:28:19 PM
Snowdrop, I read all of your posts. I am angry at Ex. He totally set you up. Urrrrrrrr.  :pissed: 

It's great that the three year old is able to fight back. She and all your Parts deserve to be protected by others and to protect themselves.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 20, 2020, 07:56:11 AM
Thank you, Notalone. Your words helped the part to unburden more :hug:. You're absolutely right, he completely set me up. That's a good way of putting it.

I didn't see it at the time, but he was very cruel and manipulative. I think tearing down the statue has helped me to see this. There were various times where he'd say or do things that I found immensely triggering, and he'd say it was to toughen me up because I was "too soft and sensitive". When I think about it, it was like he was putting me through deliberate exposure without asking me, without my permission and without safety mechanisms. When I put it in those terms, it's horrific. It's like he was experimenting on me.

Ugh. I really feel for the part who bore the brunt of this.

I went on an IFS journey this morning to visit the three year old and the part who tore down the statue.

The three year old is doing really well. I found her practicing martial arts in her studio, and when she saw me, she bowed and ran over. She's happy. She said she didn't have anything else for me to witness or unburden. I held her, told her how much I loved her, and how delighted I was to have her back.

The part who tore down the statue was calm and peaceful. It was like the calmness you can get after a fierce storm has passed and the sun's come out. She said she felt much better.

She showed me a big pile of burdens she'd gathered together which she wanted to get rid of. She carried them out to a big fire pit, and it looked like a pile of old furniture. She took some cobwebs out of her head and added those to the pile. She brought out a costume that looked like a Frankenstein's Monster suit and added that to the pile, saying "I am not his experiment". She unzipped herself as though she'd been wearing a second skin, and put that on the pile too, with "I am not what he made me".

I asked the part if she was carrying any burdens that he'd put on her. Burdens that weren't hers to carry. She was, so she let go of those and added them to the pile.

She then set fire to all these burdens, and we watched them burn. Pink and gold sparks flickered in the air, as the energy of the burdens was carried away.

I held the part and told her how wonderful she was, and how much I loved her.

After the journey, I feel peaceful. Deeply peaceful. Deeply my Self.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 20, 2020, 01:10:41 PM
Feeling warmth in my heart for you, three year old, statue destroyer, and all your Parts.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 20, 2020, 03:16:21 PM
Your IFS journeys are so helpful and inspiring to me.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 21, 2020, 04:31:36 PM
I can feel the warmth, Notalone. Thank you. :grouphug:

Thank you, Three Roses. I'm so glad they help you. :hug:

Feeling good today. All parts seem calm and peaceful.

I'm noticing that whenever I do Tai Chi or Qigong, it's like the three year old joins in. She's not blended with me, but I get a sense of her doing it alongside me.

I've also noticed that if a stray thought about the ex crosses my mind, I immediately hear the statue destroyer telling him to * off ;D. Not in an angry way, and not because she wants to push memories away or dissociate. It's more that she doesn't think he has any right to be in my head, he doesn't belong there, so she orders him out.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 23, 2020, 08:01:18 PM
All still good.

I went on an IFS journey this evening. The three year old and statue destroyer are both doing well.

The three year old was very happy and settled when I saw her. She didn't have anything to share or unburden. I told her that the statue destroyer would like to see her, and she agreed.

The statue destroyer said she had nothing to share or unburden. After I'd finished speaking to her individually, the three year old came to see her. She put her hand against the statue destroyer's heart, and she and I were filled with the three year old's fighting spirit.

I then met an angel, who wanted to meet the statue destroyer part. The part told the angel that she was concerned the ex was still invading her. The angel scanned her, some black smoke floated out of her, and then the angel said she was clean. The ex would never be able to reach her again. She was protected.

She then told the angel about some spiritually abusive things the ex had told her. The angel told her they weren't true. This was a big relief to the part, and she unburdened in the form of more black smoke.

The angel took the black smoke, and flew into the sun with it. It transformed into a golden ball of light, which the angel gave back to the statue destroyer. The golden light filled and healed the part. I could feel it spreading through me as well.

This journey was interesting. It felt like a deeper level of healing.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on June 23, 2020, 11:28:52 PM
 :hug: thatís awesome snowdrop
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 24, 2020, 03:09:15 AM
I've also noticed that if a stray thought about the ex crosses my mind, I immediately hear the statue destroyer telling him to * off ;D. Not in an angry way, and not because she wants to push memories away or dissociate. It's more that she doesn't think he has any right to be in my head, he doesn't belong there, so she orders him out.
Excellent!  :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 24, 2020, 12:25:11 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Your IFS journey sounds like it went very well.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 25, 2020, 08:55:40 AM
Tee, Notalone and Hope, thank you all. :grouphug:

All parts still good. I've been feeling peaceful, settled and happy with lots of energy.

There's a heatwave here at the moment, and I've found it hard to sleep the past couple of nights because it's been so hot. Last night I decided to relisten to Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts, an IFS audiobook designed for self-help, and it made me feel so relaxed I fell asleep. The book focuses on calming down protectors so the system is less polarised, and it's like my parts treat it like a bedtime story :zzz:.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on June 25, 2020, 10:40:29 AM
 :hug: thatís great snowdrop Iím glad you were able to sleep. I hope you are able to a good summer day my friend! Sending a hug if thatís OK of peace and understanding :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 26, 2020, 05:57:57 AM
Thank you, Tee, your hugs are always welcome. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 27, 2020, 06:27:05 AM
A couple of things have happened this week which have made me realise how much progress I've made over the past year. I'm pleased with the progress I've made. I'm also pleased that I can see that progress.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on June 27, 2020, 12:57:25 PM
You have made a lot of progress. You've also helped me make progress. You have been such an example and encouragement with IFS and also just personally to me. Thank you. Your progress is more than a tree trunk going upward; the trunk has branches.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 27, 2020, 07:47:02 PM
I'm so glad I've helped you, Notalone. You've helped me a lot too. Before I started using IFS, I was scared of parts. You showed me how to treat them with care and compassion, and that was the key which unlocked a lot of things for me. I also value your support and encouragement. Thank you. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Bach on June 27, 2020, 07:59:00 PM
 :wave: I just wanted to say Hi! :wave:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 27, 2020, 08:06:46 PM
:wave: I just wanted to say Hi! :wave:

Hi! :wave: You just made me smile :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on June 27, 2020, 10:34:52 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 03, 2020, 08:06:26 PM
Thank you for the hug, Tee. :hug:

I've been checking in with parts each day, and they're ok. I've had a bit of covid-related anxiety from some parts, but they relax when I tell them "I'm with you in this, whatever this is".
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on July 03, 2020, 09:55:59 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 07, 2020, 09:24:19 PM
it sounds like you're really moving forward, snowdrop, and i'm so glad for you.  love how you can calm your parts down - that, to me, shows a great amount of trust having been built within yourself.  well done!   :thumbup:

keep going - you're doing great!   :applause:  love and hugs, :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Bach on July 08, 2020, 08:42:27 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 09, 2020, 06:59:33 PM
Thank you Tee, San and Bach. :grouphug:

Until today, things have been pretty good. I've been in good spirits, been able to get a lot done, and my parts have been ok. Today has been rocky because parts were activated, but I'm feeling better at the moment.

So why has today been rocky?

It started a couple of days ago. I had a call where I was asked to do some work that would almost certainly be triggering. This activated some parts. I've decided not to do the work, but one part in particular has been quite hypervigilant about it and looking for threats.

Yesterday I had another call. The agenda I received beforehand made one part feel under attack, as it was factually inaccurate and thoughtless. This activated an angry part. The call itself was positive and went well. I was apologised to and told what a good job I'm doing, but the part who'd felt under attack still felt upset afterwards.

The part has still been upset today, which is why I've felt rocky. I've not managed to get much done as a result.

I want the part that's been upset to know that it's ok. I understand why she felt so crushed and upset, but she's safe and I've got this.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on July 09, 2020, 08:07:01 PM
I might be misinterpreting, and if so, feel free to ignore. I am wondering if that part that's upset isn't quite feeling heard by you and therefore having a hard time settling? I may be misreading, but just wondering if there's a part of you that's feeling irritated or annoyed that this part doesn't know it's safe?
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 09, 2020, 08:28:19 PM
It's an interesting thought, Owl, but the part was upset because of the outside stimulus, and the angry part was trying to protect the upset part. I think normally these two parts wouldn't have been so activated, but things were amplified because of the previous day.

In a sense, this is an opportunity, as it's highlighted that the upset part is almost certainly carrying burdens which she might be able to release. It also teaches me that I should avoid having calls like that on consecutive days so that I have time and space to work with any parts that might get activated.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on July 09, 2020, 09:43:54 PM
Looks like I misinterpreted, sorry about that! It does make sense that there are still burdens for that part. That sounds like good self-care to make sure there's extra time between calls.  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on July 09, 2020, 11:43:54 PM
I admire you for seeing this as an opportunity. Your statement about avoiding those type of calls on consecutive days helps me in some things I am working through. As always, thank you for sharing your journey.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 10, 2020, 05:26:57 AM
No worries, Owl, I appreciate you commenting. It also helped me to write more, which helped Notalone. :hug:

Thank you, Notalone. I'm glad it helped you. :hug:

One extra thing I should note about yesterday is that the part who felt upset didn't seem to be an exile. This feels quite significant. I will no doubt find out more today.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 10, 2020, 02:27:31 PM
i think the idea of spacing activating calls is solid.  seems like it would help everyone have enough time for processing and settling.  well done!  love and hugs, snowdrop. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 10, 2020, 06:01:45 PM
Thank you San. :hug:

All good again today. I slept better, all parts have felt calm and settled, and I've been happy and productive. :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 10, 2020, 08:02:28 PM
IFS journey.

The three year old fighter is still very happy in her martial arts studio.

The statue destroyer unburdened a bit more.

I met the part who was hypervigilant because of the first call this week. She was concerned about me taking on things I couldn't handle that might destabilise me. I told the part that I would listen to her concerns, and I would only take on new types of work with her agreement. The part completely relaxed and calmed down.

I met the part who'd been angry about the second call. I told her that the angry was valid, and thanked her for protecting me. Her anger had been helpful.

Finally, I met the part who'd been upset. She told me that she'd often felt crushed, and she was scared of being crushed yet again. I told her that she was brilliant, and she was carrying a burden that had been put on her. I asked if she'd like to stop carrying the burden, and she said yes. She put some ton weights she'd been carrying in a pile, and as we watched, they turned into dust which was carried away by a breeze. We both felt much lighter afterwards.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on July 11, 2020, 02:16:43 AM
 :wave: I I like how you talk to to your pparts. Hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 11, 2020, 03:03:46 AM
Thank you for the hugs, sweet little one. I genuinely care about the parts, and value each one of them. They're important to me. Hugs to you :hug:.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 11, 2020, 05:36:33 AM
your work with your parts is amazing.  i can't imagine doing that, at least not right now.  beautiful! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Bach on July 11, 2020, 03:39:23 PM
:wave:

I wish Bach would talk to us like you talk to your parts!  I also wish she would keep her promises.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 11, 2020, 07:09:22 PM
Thank you San :hug:

Hi! :wave: My parts like it when I spend time with them and talk to them. It sounds like Bach is dealing with a lot right now, but I know that she cares about you a great deal and values you.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on July 12, 2020, 12:21:43 AM
No one ever spends ttime with mme. Ttee is sad and jjust leaves. :'( :spooked:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 12, 2020, 05:51:19 AM
I'm sorry Tee is sad, sweet little one. I know that she cares about you. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 12, 2020, 01:27:08 PM
i wish all the adults could always spend all the time needed for their parts.  i wasn't even able to do that with my daughters because of what i had to deal with in the rest of my life.  to all the little parts of tee and bach, i know they're doing their best, and that it's hard to be patient or understanding.  we all love you, tho, and are lending our support to both bach and tee so they can get back to spending more time with you.

snowdrop, you are such an inspiration here in the work you are doing.  thanks so much for sharing it all with us.  i can see your healing progress and it's so wonderful how your parts are becoming integrated, soothed, trusting again, and cared for as they never had the chance in the past.  what a lovely person you are on so many levels.  love and hugs, dear snowdrop.   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 13, 2020, 09:45:49 AM
Thank you, San, that means such a lot to me. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 19, 2020, 02:53:41 PM
Through this week, different parts have been sharing memories of times my parents weren't there when I needed them to be. I realised today that this was a burden shared by many parts, so I went on an IFS journey to see if I could unburden those parts in a group.

I called all my parts into one place, and asked which ones were carrying this burden. A group of parts stepped forward. I asked if they felt willing to release the burden, and they were. They shared memories with me, which I witnessed, and they each put burdens in a big pile. When they'd all done this, they threw matches at it until it caught fire.

I told the parts I was sorry they'd been let down. They'd deserved to be protected. I'm there for them now, I love them and they're safe.

Sparks from the bonfire formed rainbows. The rainbow energy entered each part's heart, and also mine. It felt good. I feel at peace.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on July 20, 2020, 12:13:17 AM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on July 20, 2020, 01:27:05 AM
Snowdrop: "Sparks from the bonfire formed rainbows. The rainbow energy entered each part's heart, and also mine. It felt good. I feel at peace."

Thanks for sharing this tremendously powerful description. By doing so you've expanded those rainbows to where we all could share in the peace with you.

 Watching the rainbow:  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on July 22, 2020, 08:17:47 AM
Tee: :hug:

Woodsgnome, I'm glad you were able to share the rainbow. :hug:

The IFS journey the other day was really helpful, but I have more work to do with another part. She's felt hurt and angry over the past few days because of something that happened last week. I found out something important that F had forgotten to tell me about. He spoke to HB about it at length, but he forgot about me. He forgot about me.
 :bawl:, :pissed: and :blowup:

Being forgotten hurt because it resonated with being ignored over HB's abuse. Being told she had to make allowances. Being told that if she said anything that made F think badly of HB, he'd resent her for it. Being given the message that HB could do whatever he wanted. This part's hurt and anger are completely valid. She deserved and deserves better.

I've spoken to H and a friend about what happened. They validated me. Their reaction helped the part feel witnessed.

I was blended with the part for a bit this morning, and had a big cry. I was aware of the part that used to carry SI coming over and wrapping me in its arms. This part no longer tries to protect me using SI, but it's a part that cares about me so much that it's been with me in my darkest times.

I wasn't blended with the hurt part for very long. When I unblended, the formerly-SI part stayed with the hurt part, holding her and comforting her.

The hurt part is feeling better at the moment, but I need to go on an IFS journey to see what I can do to help her.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on July 22, 2020, 01:41:41 PM
 :hug: I like the way you explain your journeys. I hope you are able to calm all. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on July 22, 2020, 09:02:27 PM
She has every reason and right to feel hurt and angry. Hug for all of you.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 05, 2020, 08:12:02 AM
Tee and Notalone :grouphug:

I've not posted here for a little while. It's mostly a time thing because I've been attending a virtual Qigong training camp over the past few weekends, and I've needed to focus on it. I'm finding it hugely beneficial. One of the things it's doing is relaxing and releasing my nervous system, which feels great. My three year old fighter part is loving it too ;D.

Love you all :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on August 05, 2020, 12:48:14 PM
 :hug: thatís great Iím glad things are going well and you found something that is helping you move forward!  Here if you need anything! Big happy hug for you :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Bach on August 05, 2020, 01:16:43 PM
Hi Snowdrop  :heythere: Is qigong martial arts? Relaxing and releasing the nervous system sounds like heaven.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 05, 2020, 07:43:21 PM
Thank you Tee, I like big happy hugs. :hug:.

Bach, Qigong is a form of gentle exercise that lets you work with the body's energy. It uses the same principles as Tai Chi, but instead of having lots of different movements strung together, it uses repetitions of simpler movements. Tai Chi and Qigong are both wonderful. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 07, 2020, 12:56:05 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Glad you're enjoying your Qigong conference - you inspired me to get a book out of the library about it, and I tried a few exercises, but haven't managed to keep it going.  But I liked it, so might try again sometime.

Sending you a big hug  :bighug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 14, 2020, 04:01:25 PM
Thank you for the big hug, Hope. Sending one to you too. :bighug:

The training camp was excellent. It's let me heal some of the deeper injuries from when I was in a car accident a few years ago, and has given me much, much more as well.

I think it's also helped some parts unburden at some level as well. I've been aware for some time that the sort of releases I get from dissolving blockages and unburdening parts often feel the same or similar. I have a theory that even though the approaches are different, they do, or can do, similar things.

On a different subject, I'm thinking of drifting in to complete NC with HB. I've not been in direct contact with him for years, but even the limited indirect contact I have makes me feel anxious. Even writing about the indirect contact makes me feel anxious! I know this will sound a bit vague, but it feels as though I currently have an opportunity to go full NC with very little fuss, so that's what I'm thinking of doing.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 14, 2020, 06:50:26 PM
 :bighug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 15, 2020, 10:38:40 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
Those big hugs always make me smile  :bighug:
Sounds like your training camp was really good at so many levels. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 22, 2020, 01:48:46 PM
Thank you Notalone and Hope. :grouphug:

I tried posting here yesterday, but ended up deleting my post before anyone replied. What I wrote sounded silly, but it was about things that were triggering me. I'll try and wrote about it now, and see if I keep it. I can always change my mind and delete it again.

I've had two parts that have been activated this week over my thoughts around reducing the contact I have with HB [I wrote more here, but edited it out]. But one part has been terrified of repercussions, and another part has been really angry. It says I should make allowances for him, make more of an effort... all things that F used to tell me. This week it's like I've been overhearing these two parts, and it's been :stars:.

I went on an IFS journey last night to talk to the parts, and it was really helpful. The scared part knows that it's safe, I'm there for her. I was also able to negotiate with the angry part, and it released some of its angry burden. There's more to do, but it felt like progress.

I read an article in the night about sibling estrangement, which I found helpful. It made me realise that neither HB nor I want to be in touch with each other, so it's probably best all round if we're not. He ghosted me some years ago, before I knew I had cptsd, and that's a pretty strong signal that he wants no contact with me, irrespective of how I feel. The article also asked why I would want to be in contact with him, and there's nothing. Just plenty of reasons why I don't want to.

I feel more settled about the whole thing today.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 22, 2020, 02:38:49 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
I relate to what you said about two parts being activated and overhearing what they say - and I agree that is  :stars: - but I also think it's understandable, as those parts obviously feel strongly about things, and want to have their say.  I'm glad you were able to go on the IFS journey and that you feel like there's been progress. 

I found it interesting what you wrote about the sibling estrangement article.  I wonder if you have the reference for it, I would love to read that too.  I am estranged from a sibling too.  Please only share the article if you want to, I thought I'd ask.

I'm glad you feel more settled today, but however you're feeling, know that you are cared for.  Sending you a hug of support and caring  :hug:

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 22, 2020, 03:13:54 PM
Thank you, Hope. I appreciate your hug, care and support. :hug:

The article I read is here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/aug/21/my-sister-doesnt-want-to-see-me-should-i-give-up (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/aug/21/my-sister-doesnt-want-to-see-me-should-i-give-up). It's actually a letter about someone's situation, and part of the response includes comments from a sibling specialist. I couldn't relate to all of it, but some of it resonated and helped me.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 22, 2020, 06:56:13 PM
hey, snowdrop,

interesting to note all the reasons why not to be in touch and how they overwhelm those old messages that want to guilt or shame you to keep putting in the energy and effort.  good for you for figuring this out - it's a real fighting spirit you're showing!  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 23, 2020, 02:15:35 PM
I think that's what it is, San: guilt and shaming. Thank you for naming them for me. :hug:

Right now, I can see that I'm actually pretty fortunate in that HB clearly wants nothing to do with me. It would be so much harder if he kept trying to contact me, but that's not the case. He doesn't want to, and I don't want him to. Neither person wants to be in contact with the other, so it's best to just let it go.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 23, 2020, 10:52:19 PM
i'm with you on that, snowdrop, the idea of letting it go.  it took me many, many years to learn that one, but what a relief once i did.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 29, 2020, 07:11:44 PM
Thanks San. I've found it a huge relief too, and have actually felt pretty settled about it over the past week. :hug:

I've had a very busy work week with a couple of high-pressure days. I've copied with it pretty well though, and I've mostly felt relaxed about everything. The parts that were upset last week have felt calm and settled, and I've been able to stay in my Self well. I'm so pleased about this week, as it's felt like real progress.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on August 30, 2020, 10:02:34 PM
Snowdrop, I caught up on reading your journal today. Sending care to you.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 31, 2020, 02:41:32 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Thank you for sharing that article, I found it interesting to read it. 
I wanted to send you a hug, and also say that I'm glad that you are feeling some real progress this week, that is great news.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 31, 2020, 06:31:20 PM
Thank you, Notalone and Hope. :grouphug:

I was a combination of :stars: and :pissed: for a bit this morning but I'm ok now. [I edited out why I felt so triggered]
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 06, 2020, 08:29:56 AM
Glad you're ok Snowdrop.  Sending you another hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 07, 2020, 07:33:40 PM
Thank you Hope. :hug:

I've been feeling a bit low over the past couple of days. I had indirect contact from HB a few days ago, and it's made me feel under threat. It's like he's playing games.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 07, 2020, 07:38:31 PM
hey, snowdrop,

i do believe if you feel it, it's real.  please be careful of HB, and gentle with yourself, ok?  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 07, 2020, 07:57:54 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 08, 2020, 11:52:32 AM
Thank you San and Hope. :hug: :hug:

I've been thinking about why I've been so rattled, and I think there are various reasons.

First, any mention of him or indirect contact rattles me. It's hardly a new thing.

Second, I'd been hoping that I had an opportunity to drift into NC. I'd got used to it. And then this. It meant that it came as more of a shock.

Third, it's the first time I've had any form of contact since the start of the pandemic, and since my relative died of covid. I think this amplifies things.

Fourth, getting indirect contact while still being fairly locked down has made me feel trapped and cornered.

I think this last point is significant, because I can feel it taking me back to when I was a teenager and living in the same house as HB. I felt trapped then, as though I couldn't escape. Lots of fear. Also feeling that I couldn't do anything right because I'd get abuse no matter what I did. I also found it really hard to talk to anyone, and this resonates with me too. There have been lots of times over the past two or three weeks where I've tried to say something in my journal here, but deleted it.

I think that a part that's been holding on to teenage trauma has been quite activated. I need to find that part, and see if I can help her.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on September 08, 2020, 09:20:04 PM
Snowdrop, I feel compassion for you and teen part who were trapped in an abusive house, and unable to talk to anyone. I'm angry at HB and family  :pissed: and feel care for you.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 09, 2020, 03:59:48 PM
Thank you for you care and compassion, Notalone, and the anger on my behalf. I found it so helpful, and the teen part did too. :grouphug:

I went on an IFS journey this afternoon to see if I could help the teen part.

The first part I met was a protector who was initially scared about me talking to the teen part.

=== TW physical violence ===

The protector said HB was a violent psychopath who had threatened to kill the teen and M if she said or did anything against him. He had a machete, and would go out at night looking for people to fight. The protector was scared that if I spoke to the teen part, it would make things worse, and might put her life in danger.

=== End TW ===

I told the protector that things are different now. I no longer lived in that house with HB. I have a place of my own where I'm safe. I'm not in direct contact with HB, and I don't want to be. I said that I'd like to talk to the teen part, and take her out of that situation. I'm old enough and strong enough to look after her.

The protector agreed to let me meet the teen part, and I found her in my old bedroom. She was scared to move, scared to speak. I told her things had changed. I was no longer in contact with HB. I could protect her. She didn't have to stay there.

I asked the teen if she was willing to leave the house, and she was. She removed lots of heavy weights, walked out her bedroom door, and out the front door.

I took her to her chosen safe place - a beach house with a hammock outside where she can laze around and watch the sea. I told her she was safe there.

She shared some of what she'd been through with me. Events, thoughts, feelings.

The teen part was ready to let go of some burdens. Burdens of not being able to escape, not being able to talk, not being able to do anything right. She piled the burdens up, and we watched them burn.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on September 09, 2020, 09:08:50 PM
Please tell teen that she has been very brave. I am really glad that she has been heard and that she is now safe.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 10, 2020, 07:29:39 PM
I've just been on an IFS journey, Notalone, and told the teen part how brave she is, and that you care about her. It made a big difference to her, and she says thank you. She appreciates and values your care, as do I. :grouphug:

I visited the teen's protector first. The protector is more settled, and pleased that I'm helping the teen. The protector told me that HB enjoyed tormenting people, including the teen, and despised her. I hadn't thought about it in those terms before, but the protector is right.

After getting the protector's permission, I visited the teen part. She was pleased to see me. I told her how brave and valued she is, that people care about her. She shared various things with me, which I witnessed. Part way through, she said she didn't want to overwhelm me. I said that I could pay her attention and be a witness without being overwhelmed. This made her feel better.

The teen unburdened by putting burdens into a fire pit and setting fire to them. We absorbed the transmuted energy from the fire.

I gave the teen a hamper which she could use to store any burdens she didn't want to carry, but wasn't ready to completely let go of yet. She asked me if her parts could use it too, and I said that they could. She told me how her parts sometimes overwhelmed her, and how she felt as though she'd lost her Self. I told her that she had a Self, and I'd help her find her Self again. This delighted her, and made her feel more her Self.

After I'd finished with this part, I had some extra time left, so I visited the statue destroyer and three year old fighter. Both are doing well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on September 11, 2020, 01:11:23 AM
 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 14, 2020, 07:31:46 PM
I've felt a lot more settled since I started working with the teen part. Retrieving her, and helping her to unburden, has been very helpful.

I've also started doing something slightly different with meditation that has been helpful. Without going into details, it involves dissolving polarities, and I can feel it bringing polarised parts into balance. On Saturday, it felt as though it helped the statue-destroyer part integrate with me.

I did a short IFS journey this evening to check on the teen part. She's doing really well, and was willing to burn some more burdens.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on September 14, 2020, 11:35:51 PM
I wish I could do all these things you are doing, snowdrop. It sounds incredibly healing.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 21, 2020, 09:22:30 AM
It really is, Owl. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I'm so thankful I've found something that works for me.

Lots of anxiety yesterday and today about the incoming second wave. I think I'm quite hypervigilant too. I'm doing my best to help parts relax and calm down. I'm there with them through this, whatever this is.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 21, 2020, 12:51:45 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 23, 2020, 10:04:50 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
Sending you a hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 24, 2020, 01:02:33 AM
Thank you for the hugs, San and Hope. :hug:

I've not mentioned it elsewhere on the forum, but I'm really looking forward to a session of the Inner Warrior summit on Friday. Richard Schwartz (IFS) is being interviewed by a shamanic practitioner, and as I use IFS with shamanic journeying, I wonder if it might be useful.

If anyone's interested, you can sign up for the summit here: https://www.innerwarriorsummit.com/ (https://www.innerwarriorsummit.com/). I will post a link to the session when I have it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 25, 2020, 07:59:42 AM
The link to the Richard Schwartz session is here: https://www.shamanichealingwork.com/iws20-day-12/ (https://www.shamanichealingwork.com/iws20-day-12/). I've not watched it yet. I may post notes here when I do.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 27, 2020, 03:33:27 PM
I've listened to the session, and it was fascinating. Richard Schwartz spent some time demonstrating IFS by taking the interviewer through an IFS session. This involved identifying a part that was troubled, listening to it, understanding it, bringing it into the present and helping it to unburden. I found it interesting because I don't think I've ever observed an IFS session before. When I first started learning about IFS, I found it helpful to read session transcripts, and listening to this added another layer.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 27, 2020, 03:42:57 PM
I'm excited about an upcoming IFS event, on Oct 1 being held in Dublin. If you're not already signed up, Snowdrop, I can send you the info.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 27, 2020, 04:15:50 PM
That sounds very exciting, Three Roses. Please can you let me have details?
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 28, 2020, 06:41:12 AM
I don't remember how I registered for just the October 1 session with Dr Schwartz  :doh: but here is a link to the entire summit on trauma - https://collectivetraumasummit.com

Let me know if that doesn't work, I can try emailing the contact in the registration they sent me. (It's free btw)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 28, 2020, 06:56:09 AM
Perfect, I've signed up. Thank you!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 29, 2020, 09:00:32 AM
I've had an insightful week.

We seem to be facing a second wave of covid, with more measures being put in place. I'm worried about it spreading again, worried that the measures won't be enough, and my sleep has been affected. I recognise that over the next six months, looking after my mental health is going to be very important. I need to make sure that I don't overwork, and do what I can to keep my parts calm.

H has been very stressed this week too. I've been concerned about him, and doing what I can to help him. The past couple of days have been interesting. Up until now, H has been very dismissive of IFS. Probably a mix of fear, and something that's beyond his experience. This weekend, he realised that he had a hypervigilant part that's a bit out of touch with reality, and this has changed his whole attitude towards IFS. We've used IFS to calm the part down, help it, and put H's Self back in charge, and H is much, much better as a result.

I'm pleased that H is feeling much better, and that I have enough experience with IFS to be able to help him. I'm also pleased that H now accepts that parts exist, and working with them is helpful. It helps him, and it makes things much easier for me.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 29, 2020, 10:20:37 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
This is great that your H found your help with IFS to be beneficial, and that he understands it more now, and is on board with it more.   :cheer:
 :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on September 30, 2020, 02:14:27 AM
Your husband accepting that Parts exists is a big thing. Wonderful that you were able to support him. I hope this leads to him being able to support you more.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 30, 2020, 04:00:57 AM
Write, that's huge! Good job  :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on September 30, 2020, 04:41:06 AM
 :hug: yes self care is important snowdrop.  I'm glad you are able to help your H.   That's awesome that he's more accepting now.  I've been wondering how things were going for you.  I have been thinking about you.  Sending a big hug of understanding, support and love :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 30, 2020, 12:15:38 PM
Thank you Hope, Notalone, Three Roses and Tee. :grouphug:

H accepting parts has felt really significant. Up until now, I've not really been able to talk about any of the stuff I've been doing because he wouldn't have understood. Now, I can mention parts, and he accepts it. I think this has further helped my parts feel witnessed, and helped with their burdens. They feel accepted.

It's also been astonishing and beautiful just how well he's been getting on. He can tell when he's blended with the part, and asking the part to step aside and give him space seems to be working really well. Also me being my Self helps him, and him being his Self helps me (if that makes sense ;D)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 30, 2020, 03:39:39 PM
total sense - a good collaboration, it sounds like.  love and hugs, snowdrop :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on October 01, 2020, 02:08:06 AM
 :hug: that's great! :hug: big hug
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on October 10, 2020, 08:14:53 PM
Thank you San and Tee :grouphug:.

I've been working with a couple of activated parts, a teen part and one that's about 7.

The parts were activated because we needed to get someone in to make a repair. Nobody else has been into our house since we went into lockdown at the beginning of the year, and the parts felt threatened, fearful and anxious. It reminded them of HB trying to get into my bedroom, and my safe space being invaded.

=== Possible TW ===

The young part shared a memory of her trying to hold the door shut while HB shoulder-charged it, trying to get in. She was scared, screaming, and it hurt her to try and keep him out like that. She was also scared he'd break the door down, and she'd be blamed.

The teen part shared that HB used to barge into her bedroom with no warning. She was scared he'd catch her changing, and when she had the door locked, scared he'd break the door. She tried raising with F, and remembers him saying "why, what were you doing in there". Putting shame on her. Also F saying that if she stayed locked up in her bedroom, he'd remove the lock.

=== End TW ===

I've told the parts that what they experienced was scary and wrong. They deserved to feel safe and secure, and HB was completely in the wrong. They were entitled to boundaries. Also F's response was completely wrong. He put shame on the teen part which was never hers to carry.

I also shared the memories with H, who helped to validate the parts.

The parts have been unburdening.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on October 11, 2020, 03:08:06 PM
 :hug: that's awesome snowdrop.  That's great work. I'm glad you are making progress.  I hope it continues for. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 11, 2020, 05:31:37 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Your work with your activated parts is great.   :hug:
I agree that your parts deserve to feel safe and secure, and they are entitled to boundaries.  It's great that your H heard those memories too, and helped to validate the parts as well.  That is so supportive and validating. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 11, 2020, 07:10:54 PM
Thank you, Tee and Hope. I always value your input and support. :grouphug:

I've not posted here for a while, and need to catch up on everyone's posts as well. Even though I've not been here much, I've been thinking of you all and sending you my love.

I've been feeling quite withdrawn, which is probably why I haven't posted. It feels as though there's been a lot going on which I've had to make sense of. I've kept thinking I should post here, but then haven't.

One of the big things was that I was triggered by M. She tried to cross one of my boundaries, and I had to keep telling her not to. I didn't like doing that, but I felt I had to. I wasn't really allowed to have boundaries when I was growing up, so maintaining them now feels extra important. It also made me wonder if parts are carrying burdens relating to M crossing boundaries when I was growing up.

I was also contacted by a friend who I've not seen in a few years. I'm not sure how I feel about this. The last time I saw her, I tried to speak up about HB, but she minimised it and said I was overreacting. I found that so hard to deal with. Do I want to be in contact with her again? I don't know. Probably only to a certain degree, and that's ok.

I was quite badly triggered last weekend. A young exile had a hard time over a comment H made, and two protectors stepped in: a dissociative part and a SH part. I need to see what I can do to help this cluster of parts.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 13, 2020, 05:23:07 PM
 :hug: I'm glad you are doing ok I've been thinking of you and sending love. I'm sorry you were triggered so badly.  But glad you were able to maintain boundaries with your M that's great. :applause: I hope you can give your parts the time and attention they need to put to rest their need to rescue you now.  Big hug that's easier said than done.  Sending love and encouragement. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 13, 2020, 09:20:32 PM
hey, taking it slow or only to a certain point w/ that friend sounds like a wise idea.

and, i'm with you on the whole covid thing.  better safe than sorry. the only person i really interact w/ is my D, and that's cuz i live with her.  otherwise, i'm staying away from everyone else.  i've got enough of my own health and wellbeing issues to deal with, too.  love and hugs   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 13, 2020, 09:38:35 PM
Thank you, lovely Tee, for the support and encouragement. :hug:

Thank you for the validation, dear San. We're on the same page. :hug:

=== TW SH part ===

I decided to go on an IFS journey this evening to meet the SH and dissociative parts. These are two firefighter parts that became activated when a young exile became very upset and broke through.

I started with the SH part. It was hard for me to see this part at first, as I was largely in denial that it was there. I felt scared of it. I realised that this fear was coming from another part. I asked that part to step back, and then I could see the SH part.

The SH part looked like an angry dragon. I told it that I was sorry for ignoring it, but I hadn't known it was there. At this point, the dissociating firefighter part popped up, and said that was because it didn't want me to know about the SH part.

I thanked the parts for caring about me, which settled them down. I talked to them about their relationship with one another, and they both said that each part made the other more activated. The SH part activates the dissociating part, which makes the SH angrier and more fiery, which makes the other part dissociate more, and so on. I asked the two parts if they could both settle down, and they agreed.

I asked them why they behaved in this way in the first place, and it was because they wanted to distract me from the young exile. They felt that her anguish was too much, so I needed to be protected from it.

I told them that I understood, but that I was concerned about the exile and her pain. If I could help her, if she could unburden, would they be willing to step down? They said yes, and agreed to let me work with the exile. I thanked them.

=== End TW ===

I didn't take it any further this evening as I wanted to make sure that the firefighters felt comfortable. I'll keep checking on them, make sure that they're still ok, and then see if the exile has any other protectors I need to negotiate with before helping her.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 14, 2020, 07:34:28 AM
There's one extra thing I should add about the journey yesterday.

When I journey, I meet a guide which takes me where I need to go. It gives me help if I need it, and extra backup.

When I met my guide yesterday, it gave me an unprompted message, something that doesn't happen very often. It said that I hadn't journeyed in a while, and had been withdrawn and absent. This was because I'd felt overwhelmed. When I feel the need to withdraw in this way, it's a sign of overwhelm. I need to make sure I journey during those times, keep looking after my Self, keep posting here and stay in touch with people.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on November 14, 2020, 11:09:35 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
I think it's great that your guide gave you that unprompted message, and I'm glad you're back, as I missed you.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on November 15, 2020, 01:40:09 AM
 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 15, 2020, 01:48:48 AM
 :hug: snowdrop I think it's really neat how you work with your parts.  I'm glad that your back.  I hope that you listen to your guide and seek strength and encouragement from your friends here. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Bach on November 15, 2020, 04:09:10 AM
Hi, Snowdrop  :wave: I'm glad you're back and encouraged to read about your recent positive steps! Much love :hug: :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 15, 2020, 02:53:19 PM
hey, snowdrop, so glad you're here, letting some of this out.  i've heard of guides before, and how beneficial they can be.  very happy to hear about yours.  sounds like a message worth listening to.  i understand overwhelm, tho, and sometimes it just takes a while to get out from under it.  please, do what you can when you can.  we are not going to be perfect with this beast.

smiling for you while sending love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 15, 2020, 04:07:23 PM
Hope, Notalone, Tee, Bach and San: thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words mean so much to me. Love you all. :grouphug:

I decided to go on an IFS journey this afternoon to help the latest exile. It felt safe to do this as the firefighter parts have been calm, and still seem on board with me helping her. I've also had a sense of the exile being in a deep, dark pit, and I wanted to do what I could to get her out of there.

I began by meeting the firefighters. I thanked them for wanting to protect me. They agreed that a good way forward was for me to help the exile. If the exile didn't overwhelm me and could be healed, they wouldn't need to step in. They agreed to let me help the exile.

=== Possible TW? ===

I walked towards the edge of a dark pit, and as I approached, another part appeared in front of me. It was another protector part, and it told me to stay away. It said it had thrown the exile part into the pit and it had to keep her down there. I asked why, and it said the feelings she had were too much, so the protector part had thrown her away. I asked if the protector part liked keeping her down there. It didn't, it hated having to do that, but it felt there was no other way. It couldn't let the part overwhelm me as it was too much.

I told the protector part that there was another way. I was an adult now, my Self, and in a safe place. I could help the exile without her overwhelming me, and I could help her to unburden. She could heal. She could be cherished.

The protector part agreed to let me try, but warned me that it would only let her come out of the pit if things went ok. I thanked it, and it stood aside.

I called down to the exile part not to be frightened, I was coming. I then abseiled down into the pit until I reached ledge that the exile part was sheltering on. A firefly came down with me to light my way. My guide (an animal) stood guard at the top of the pit.

The exile part was young, and very frightened and distressed at first. She wouldn't show me her face and she was scared of the light in case people saw and attacked her. She asked if I was there to hurt her, and I said no, I was there to help.

I told her how sorry I was that she'd been kept down there. She didn't deserve it. I cared about her, and I wanted to help. I was an adult now, and it was safe. She didn't believe me.

After what felt like a very long time, my guide came down into the pit, and this helped. The exile part put her arms around my guide, and let herself be comforted.

The exile part began to trust me, and started sharing some of her experiences. I witnessed them. As I did so, the pit started to get lighter, and parts of it began to fall away.

=== End TW ===

After a few minutes, I realised that we were no longer in the pit. Instead we were in the opening of a cave towards the top of a mountain or cliff. The sky was a deep pink-gold as though it was near sunset, and we could see the land below.

I told the part that she hadn't deserved any of the things she'd shown me. We built a big bonfire out of the burdens she shared with me, and set fire to them.

I spent more time with the part, just being with her. I told her she was important, I valued her and she was safe. I was there for her. Eventually, my guide and I left her at the cave entrance while she looked at the view. The firefly stayed with her.

We went back to the protector part that had put her in the pit. It said how sorry it was for doing that. I told it that it was ok. It hadn't known what else to do, and it was only trying to protect me. It felt relieved that I wasn't angry with it, and it agreed to watch over the young exile in a caring, nurturing way.

I checked in with the firefighter parts, and they seemed happy.

I'm so pleased the exile part is no longer in the pit. When I think of her, I experience a warm glow inside, as though she's watching the sunset with her firefly.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 15, 2020, 05:22:42 PM
 :hug: that's awesome snowdrop.  I love the imagery you give to you journeys.  I feel these ways at times but can't find words to describe them.  Unfortunately I tend to see flashbacks instead of images of my parts. It makes it hard to help the fractures when all I can see is the horrors. I'm glad you were able to help the exile.  What a big step!  With you sending love and support! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 15, 2020, 09:52:17 PM
Thank you Tee :hug:. I agree, helping this particular exile feels really important.

I've been reflecting on what you said about the visuals of my journeys, feeling similar things and also flashbacks.

When I get flashbacks, I'm blended with a part and not my Self: the part has taken over, and I'm seeing its experiences.

When I'm my Self and not blended with a part, I get a sense of where different parts are and what they're up to. I might get glimpses of images, I might not.

When I sit down for a dedicated journey, I usually get quite rich visuals. I know that different people experience journeys in different ways, and this is how they tend to work for me.

I don't know if any of this is useful, Tee, but thank you for making me think. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on November 15, 2020, 10:16:35 PM
I am so glad that exile Part is no longer in the pit and that she is watching the sunset with her firefly. My love to her, her Protectors, and you, Snowdrop.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 16, 2020, 02:21:25 AM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 16, 2020, 04:39:33 PM
Thank you Notalone and Tee. :grouphug:

Feeling good after retrieving the exile yesterday. I've felt much more relaxed, also buoyant with more confidence. A feeling of assurance, groundedness and "I've got this". I've been my Self. I've also had a sense of the exile watching the sunset all day, and it's been like the light of that sunset has been filling me.

I've just been on another IFS journey to check on the parts.

The two firefighters are feeling pretty chill. They're happy to let me get on with things and continuing to help the exile.

The protector part that put the exile in the pit (a manager part) told me that it felt so guilty for keeping her in the pit all that time. I told it that it was ok. It hadn't known there was another way, and I hadn't been there to help it. But I'm here now. I invited the manager part to unburden it's guilt, and it did so by releasing it into the air.

The exile was pleased to see me, but nervous. She didn't know if I was going to put her back in the pit, and I reassured her. I said I valued and cherished her, and I wasn't going to let her go back down there. Also the part who had exiled her down there was very sorry and regretted doing so. She forgave that part.

The exile and I sat down together at the front of her cave watching the sunset and a fire she'd built. She shared some experiences, which I witnessed. HB always laughing at her and taunting her, seemingly for just existing, and making other people laugh at her too. Her parents laughing at her for playing with toys she'd been given. Her boundaries being torn down. Not being able to escape the shame and humiliation that was put on her. I recognised how triggered she must have felt by things going on in my current life.

I told her that HB was very cruel to her, and any shame was on him. Also her parents were very wrong for laughing at her. She was a child and had every right to be a child and play with toys.

The part unburdened feelings of shame and humiliation into the fire. We watched them spark upwards.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 16, 2020, 06:35:46 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 16, 2020, 08:19:17 PM
 :hug: that's really great! :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 17, 2020, 07:45:52 PM
I didn't sleep very well last night. I think a part was feeling restless, and that kept me awake. Apart from that, all is going well. I noticed today that as I was doing some work, a part was cheering me on. I've also had a sense of the retrieved exile watching the sunset.

IFS journey.

I met the firefighter parts first. They were very pleased with how it's going with the exiled part, and they told me that they'd been the ones cheering me on. I thanked them, and told them what a difference that had made to me. I like them doing that, and I'd love it if they continued.

I sensed a part that was feeling uneasy and a bit doubtful, so I asked that part to appear, and spent time talking with her. She said she was scared of things going wrong with the retrieved exile. Scared of being dragged down into the pit. I told the part not to worry, and explained what I was doing. I was my Self, which meant that I could heal the exile. Nobody was going to be dragged into the pit. It wasn't going to happen. The part felt better about this, and I put her into a safe space where it would feel more relaxed.

I briefly met the manager part who had put the exile in the pit. This part seemed well today. I told her that the exile understood what had happened and forgave her.

Next I went to see the retrieved exile. She was pleased to see me, and very excited to see my guide as it was different to the one she met before. My guide flew both of us into the sunset and into a rainbow. We both felt the colours filling and healing us. It helped her to release more of her burdens.

When we went back to the retrieved exile's cave, she mentioned a teen part, one I've worked with before. She said that the teen had anchored her so that she didn't fall any further into the pit, but this meant that the teen part had also felt the pull of the pit. She wanted to see the teen.

We went to meet the teen part, who was delighted to see the retrieved exile. The two spoke about the pit, and both parts unburdened energy relating to it. The energy they released was like golden, swirly light.

I took the retrieved exile back to her cave and held her close. I told her how much I loved her and how valued she was.

I then went back to the teen part by myself. The teen told me how she'd felt the pull of the pit through her connection to the other part. She was so pleased that I'd retrieved her from that place, and unburdened a bit more. The teen seemed more open with me than before.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 18, 2020, 06:14:07 PM
 :hug: I'm glad you were able to move through more of your journey. :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 18, 2020, 08:11:44 PM
Thank you, Tee. Love the hugs. :hug:

Today I wrote a letter to a friend in the letters of recovery section of the forum. I think it's helped me to voice things I've been holding on to. I felt a bit jittery after writing the letter. I think this was because I'd dared to speak my mind, something I was conditioned not to do. Also some fear relating to what I wrote. What if my friend was right in what she said? I recognise that these thoughts are all parts-related, and if I want to, I can delete the letter.

IFS journey.

My guide had a message for me at the start of my journey: there's still hope of friendship with the person I wrote the letter to. My guide took me to the part that feels upset about what happened with my friend, spoke to the part, and helped her settle down and unburden. I felt myself relax inside.

Next I met the firefighter parts. The SH part was feeling quite euphoric. It loves cheering me on, and no longer wants me to SH. The dissociative part is also happy, but isn't ready to give up that role yet.

The manager who exiled the part in the pit was happy too. She showed me that she has started growing flowers in the pit, and it's no longer dark. She said that she wanted her new role to tend and nurture the pit so that it's no longer a dark, scary place. I briefly showed her the "I am worthy" tree I planted about a year ago, which is now in full-bloom.

I visited the retrieved exile next. She's doing really well, and was pleased to see me. She was still filled with the light of yesterday's rainbow adventure. She shared a couple of experiences with me which I witnessed, and then unburdened them into her fire. I held her close and kept telling her how precious she was.

Finally, I visited the teen part. This part is also doing well, and was delighted to hear that the pit us now being filled with flowers. A few days ago, this part was quite cagey and suspicious towards me, but she feels much more open to me now. She shared a couple of experiences with me which I witnessed, and she then unburdened.

I'm feeling pretty good after the journey. Relaxed and my Self.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on November 19, 2020, 03:20:58 AM
The manager who exiled the part in the pit was happy too. She showed me that she has started growing flowers in the pit, and it's no longer dark. She said that she wanted her new role to tend and nurture the pit so that it's no longer a dark, scary place.

Love this!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 19, 2020, 11:54:40 AM
I loved that bit too, Notalone. :grouphug:

IFS journey.

I first met a part that was angry with a friend for minimising my trauma. The part shared her anger, and underneath it, she was scared that other people thought the same way. I told her about two other friends I'd told about complex trauma, and how supportive they'd been. I also told her about my friends here. This helped. I asked the part if she wanted me to do over the episode with the friend. I told my friend the things I wrote in my letter of recovery, and my friend apologised. She would support me in whatever way I needed support. The part was able to unburden.

Next, I met the teen. Earlier today she'd been sharing experiences with me, and meeting her in a journey let me witness them properly and validate her. The part unburdened.

Next up, the manager part who now tends the pit. The pit is starting to look great! It's filled with flowers, trees and wildlife. There's a flowing river at the bottom, and there are paths so that parts can explore if they want to, pick flowers, play with the animals, and come out whenever they want to. I told her how happy I was with the work she's doing.

I moved on to the retrieved exile. She's doing very well. She unburdened a little bit, and then told me that her, the teen and the part who was angry with the friend carried a shared burden. They needed to unburden together. I brought all three parts together, and they let go of the shared burden. We shared a group hug.

Finally, I met the formerly SH firefighter who is now a cheerleader. This part was very excited about work I'm doing at the moment and danced me around ;D.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 19, 2020, 03:42:01 PM
 :cheer: :hug: you're a rock star snowdrop keep working hard and moving forward. I love reading your journeys.  I can imagine the I'm right beside you meeting your parts and giving you support. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: marta1234 on November 19, 2020, 08:27:07 PM
Snowdrop, sending you love and support  :hug: The work that you do with your parts always amazes me, and it soothes my doubts too that it can be done. I sometimes like reading your IFS journeys like a little story, it helps (in some way) to reassure my parts if I ever choose to do this too.
Sending you a hug too  :hug:  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Bach on November 20, 2020, 03:48:00 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on November 20, 2020, 07:19:58 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
Your IFS journeys are soothing and also inspirational to read - and I think the fact that the pit is now being tended and has flowers within it, it is a more welcoming and safer place.  I agree with Tee that you are a rock star.  I also enjoy reading your journeys, and I try to bring that to my own IFS thoughts. 

Sending you a hug.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 20, 2020, 08:17:33 PM
Tee, Marta, Bach and Hope - thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words, support and hugs made my day. I'm so pleased that you find reading my journeys helpful too. It means a lot to me. Love and hugs to you all. :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:

I had some stressful work to do yesterday but it went pretty well. There was one point where I had some self-doubt, and I immediately felt the former-SH part who's now a cheerleader dancing around and shouting "AWESOME!!!". It was soooo funny and made me smile ;D.

IFS journey.

The part who was angry with my friend was fine today. She told me that in hindsight, she's glad it happened when it did. It was far better to find out that my friend couldn't give me that support early on. I told her that was a very good point, and thanked her for making it.

The teen part was happy. She didn't have anything to unburden.

The former-SH firefighter who is now a cheerleader was very excited. She kept running round in circles crying out "AWESOME!"  ;D. I told her I loved her cheerleading, and how helpful it was.

I met the dissociative firefighter, as I felt aspects of her yesterday. She hasn't given up her dissociation role yet. I asked what she was scared of. She said that I wouldn't be able to cope. I told her how well I'd got on yesterday when I was able to focus, and she agreed with me. I asked her if she'd consider helping me to focus instead of dissociating, and she's open to this. She's going to try it out.

The part who's tending the pit is getting on really well. There are so many flowers there now, and it's buzzing with life. There are dolphins in the river at the bottom, and a little boat for going on boat trips.

The retrieved exile is well. She said she wanted to see the part who's tending the pit as this was the part who had kept her exiled, so I took her to meet her.

The part tending the pit immediately told the retrieved exile how sorry she was for putting her in there, and gave her a bouquet of flowers she'd picked especially for her. The retrieved exile was touched by the flowers, and said she understood. They held each other and released burdens: the retrieved part about being exiled, and the other part about having put her in there.

After the retrieved exile and I went back to the cave, she said that she was still wary of the part who had exiled her, but she felt better for having met her. I told her that feeling wary was completely understandable. She told me some of what it had been like in the pit, and unburdened a bit more. I held her close and told her how much I loved her. She said my name, and told me she loved me too.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 21, 2020, 03:19:55 PM
 :hug: I'm glad that the fire fighter is going to give it a shot. And the exile met tender of the pit.  It sounds like you are making great strides to put yourself and parts back into harmony that's great. Sending a hopeful hug of encouragement. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on November 21, 2020, 06:53:55 PM
The pit seems like it has become a lovely, safe place. I think that is beautiful.

The former-SH firefighter who is now a cheerleader was very excited. She kept running round in circles crying out "AWESOME!"  ;D. I told her I loved her cheerleading, and how helpful it was.

I think the former SH firefighter is awesome!  :cheer:            :applause:                :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 21, 2020, 07:18:24 PM
the work you're doing with your parts, the imagery you describe - i'm so impressed. :yes:  thanks for sharing - it's just wonderful to follow this, even tho i don't do the same kinds of inner work.  it feels like you exude strength and determination and that stuff jumps off the screen and into my essence.  it just gives me that much more for myself, for some reason.  thanks for sharing.  love and hugs to you and all your parts.   :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 22, 2020, 04:08:47 PM
Thank you for the encouragement, Tee. Yes, it all seems to be going well. :hug:

I'm really pleased with how the pit has transformed, Notalone. It's no longer a place of dread. Quite the opposite. The former SH firefighter says "Awesome!!!" ;D :grouphug:

Thank you, San, I'm glad you find it helpful. I wonder if when you read my journeys, you pick up on my Self, and that helps your Self? It's like Self energy is catching. :hug:

Richard Schwartz is giving another talk on December 11th, this time as part of the Shift Network's Enneagram summit. The link's here, but I probably won't post it elsewhere as I'm not sure how relevant it will be to trauma: https://enneagramglobalsummit.com/program/40931 (https://enneagramglobalsummit.com/program/40931). I don't know much about the Enneagram, except that it's to do with personality types. It might be interesting for me to watch, because I find personality tests really hard. It's like for every question, there's a part who leaps up and says "Yes, that's me!"

I went on an IFS journey this afternoon. All parts are well, but nothing much happened in it. It felt like more of a journey for consolidation than for change and this is perfectly fine.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 22, 2020, 05:03:34 PM
interesting idea, snowdrop.  that could very well be, altho i didn't think of it that way.  still, energy transfer is real, and, to me, magic is real - i'm open to a combination of the two.  whatever it might be, it was a great, helpful and healthful feeling.

i think consolidations can be extremely important while we are healing.  not only for parts, but for Self.  i'm very glad for you that every part seems ok right now, and that you checked in on them to make sure they were.  well done  :thumbup:- healthy parenting is the phrase that came to mind for this.  protect, guide, check in on how everyone's doing.  and, of course, love.  you're checking all the boxes and the results are showing. 

you are exuding some major vibes again - i sat for a few minutes after writing that last sentence, and just felt happiness course thru me because of what you're doing.  thank you, again.  you're a blessing.  love and hugs to all :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 23, 2020, 08:47:52 PM
Thank you, lovely San. I'm delighted. Big, warm, happy hugs to you. :hug:

IFS journey.

I checked in with all the parts I'm currently working with.

The part who was angry with my friend seems happy. The first thing she said when I saw her was how grateful she is for the friends I have here. I agreed with her. :grouphug:

The teen is content, and didn't have anything for me to witness or to help her unburden. I told her I'm delighted with how she's come on, and how much I value her.

The former SH firefighter is still running round excitedly and shouting "awesome!". It makes me smile so much every time I see her.

The dissociative firefighter has been thinking about our earlier conversation about helping me to focus instead of dissociating, and she seems to have taken this on board. She says it's not just about focus, but awareness too. I wasn't able to say much more to her because the formerly SH firefighter ran over and started dancing us around ;D.

I met the pit tenderer next, and she's doing well. The pit looks glorious.

=== Possible TW ===

Finally, I met the retrieved exile part. She shared memories of when she'd started school and hurt some friends in the playground. She felt ashamed of this. I told her that I knew she hadn't meant any harm. She'd done it because HB's behaviour had been normalised, so she thought it was normal. How could she have known any different? And as soon as she learned it was wrong, she stopped. I went back to the playground with her, and watched as she apologised to her friends for hurting them. They forgave her, and gave her a big hug.

=== End possible TW ===

After this, we went back to the retrieved exile's cave, and she unburdened. She placed a ball of burdens in the fire at the front of her cave, and they turned into butterflies and flew away. I held her close, and we watched the sunset together.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 23, 2020, 09:16:03 PM
 :hug: that's nice
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 24, 2020, 08:50:09 PM
Tee :hug:.

IFS journey.

The teen had stuff to unburden today. It was related to something else I posted on the forum today (about an illusion of choice) and it reminded the part of feeling trapped. We tried talking about it, but that didn't really help, so she tried venting her anger and frustration by smashing stuff up. It ended with her demolishing her old bedroom with a sledgehammer. After she'd smashed it into tiny pieces, I reassured her that she wasn't trapped, and it wouldn't happen again. I wouldn't let it. She unburdened and felt better for it.

The former firefighters are both doing well.

The part who's nurturing the pit wanted me to know that the pit is no longer a place where parts can get trapped. She said the river of life flows through the pit, and comes out the other side.

The retrieved exile also needed to release stuff around feeling trapped. She screamed into the sky, and unburdened a bit. We then went to the teen part, they held hands, looked up at the sky, and released jointly held burdens.

Afterwards, I took the retrieved exile back to her cave, and we sat and watched shooting stars together.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 24, 2020, 09:49:45 PM
i love the imagery of smashing that old bedroom to smithereens.  it must have felt very freeing.  feeling trapped is just a horrible thing to feel, whether it's physically, emotionally, mentally  . . . whichever way it makes itself known.  i've been going thru a lot of that lately - it's a terrible way to feel out of control over yourself and your life/being.

you're doing an awful lot of great work, snowdrop. (i feel the same way about the flower - hope against all odds).  much love and hugs filled with strength and perseverance to keep moving forward. :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 24, 2020, 11:02:21 PM
 :hug: I'm glad the teen was able to break free of her trap and release her anger.  Good job. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 25, 2020, 08:21:24 PM
Thank you San and Tee. Yes, it's good that the teen was able to let go of those feelings. :grouphug:

IFS journey.

I spent most of my time with the teen part today. She said she was feeling quite peaceful after yesterday, but she had a sinking feeling whenever she thought of the pit. It was as though part of her was left in there. Could we go and visit the pit?

We went to the part who has been tending and transforming the pit. The teen asked if the pit tenderer could take us into a little bit, so she did. The teen said again that it felt as though part of her was left in there, so I asked if it might literally be that one of her parts was in the pit? If so, maybe we could find her. [For anyone who's reading this, parts can have parts too, and it occurred to me that the teen might have her own exiled part.]

We quickly found a tiny part in part of the pit. She wasn't one of my parts, but belonged to the teen. I helped the teen connect with her and hold her, and the teen carried her out of the pit.

When we reached the top of the pit, I blew the tiny part into the teen's heart. The teen said she felt more complete and whole, and I did too. I told the teen to look after her tiny part, and she said she would. She said she'd nurture, protect and heal the tiny part.

After this, I visited the former firefighters, who are both well. I then went back to the pit tenderer, and she said she'd let me know if she encountered any other parts in the pit.

Finally, I went to see the retrieved exile. She was delighted that the teen had her tiny part back, and said she could feel the difference. She didn't have anything to unburden, so I told her how wonderful she was and gave her a big hug.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on November 26, 2020, 12:31:06 AM
You are doing wonderful work, snowdrop. It is such a gift to yourself.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 26, 2020, 02:37:10 AM
 :hug: hugs snowdrop.  Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving in thankful for your friendship and encouragement :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 26, 2020, 04:44:34 PM
Thank you, Owl. It takes time, but it's worth it. :hug:

Thank you, Tee, it's mutual. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 26, 2020, 07:55:37 PM
Just a short IFS journey today.

The teen part told me she has been working with her tiny part, and how precious she is. She feels much more complete now, and is doing what she can to nurture the tiny part. I told the teen part how beautiful that is. Also, how she feels about the tiny part is how I feel about her. The teen part said that she gets it now.

All of the other parts are well. None of them needed me to witness anything, and they didn't have anything they needed to unburden.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on November 26, 2020, 08:40:11 PM
You and your parts do such fun things together. How lovely it must've been to watch the shooting stars.

You've let your teen grow into her own person with love, what a good mother you are  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 26, 2020, 10:58:27 PM
 :hug: glad your having a good day!
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 27, 2020, 08:04:40 AM
Thank you, Dollyvee. It's not a mother-child type of relationship, but I'm glad that she's healing. :hug:

Tee :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 27, 2020, 04:03:33 PM
you're an inspiration, snowdrop.  what wonderful work you're doing, finding parts, integrating them to where they belong, and making it a safe place for them to become more whole.  well done!   :thumbup:  love and a hug filled with continuing courage :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on November 28, 2020, 09:32:02 AM
Ahhh fascinating...I'm interested in how this dynamic works. Maybe I projected based on my own n mom or usually you read how you should parent your inner child. I guess IFS changes that  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 28, 2020, 07:33:24 PM
Thank you, San. I appreciate what you've written, as always. :hug:

With IFS, Dollyvee, I've found that it's best to just focus on being my Self, and look for those Self qualities. It's the Self which enables parts to unburden and heal.

IFS journey.

The teen part is doing well with her tiny part. She seems more and more complete each time I see her. She says that the tiny part has been unburdening, and as she does so, the teen feels the benefit and so do I. I asked if the teen had anything she wanted me to witness and she didn't. She did, however, have a box full of old burdens that she thought she might as well get rid of, so we put them on a fire and they turned to smoke.

The former-SH firefighter is still running round shouting "awesome!" ;D

The firefighter that made me dissociate us still interested in helping me focus. We talked about some times when this was useful.

The part tending the pit is doing well. She says she hasn't found any other parts in the pit, but she's asked some tiny hummingbirds to go and search for any, just in case.

The retrieved exile was pleased to see me. She shared some experiences with me, which I witnessed. At one point I became aware that I was dissociating, so I asked the dissociation firefighter if it was her. She said yes, she forgot, and stopped doing it.

After the retrieved exile had shared her experiences, I reassured and validated her, and she unburdened.

In my next journey, I think I need to show the retrieved exile to the dissociation part. If this part can see that the retrieved exile is healing, this will help her give up her dissociation role.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on November 28, 2020, 11:01:43 PM
Snowdrop, caught up on your journal today. The work you are doing is beautiful.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 28, 2020, 11:21:37 PM
 :hug: that sounds like a good idea.  To introduce the two.  Maybe they will be friends as well. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 29, 2020, 05:05:55 PM
Thank you Notalone and Tee. :grouphug:

IFS journey.

The teen part wanted me to witness something today: F knowing that she had depression, but warning that she mustn't say anything that made him think badly of HB. She told me that this pushed the trauma she'd experienced deeper down, and added extra fear and shame on top of it. She was able to unburden some of this. [Thought: I wonder if this has anything to do with the teen's tiny part that she's been working with? I should ask.]

The former SH part was still excited. I told her that I had a busy week ahead of me, and would appreciate some extra cheerleading.

The retrieved exile needed me to witness some stuff, and unburdened. I reminded her that if she wanted to get any burdens out of her system but wasn't ready to unburden, she could put them in a box for safekeeping.

I took the retrieved exile to meet the dissociative part. The part was pleased with the progress the retrieved exile is making. She's closer to giving up dissociating, but isn't quite there yet. The former SH part and the pit tending part also met retrieved exile, and are happy.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 29, 2020, 06:37:56 PM
I was curious about the tiny part, so went into another IFS journey.

The teen's tiny part was exiled into the pit because of what F had said. He'd chosen HB over the teen. The teen felt rejected, her system couldn't cope, so her tiny part was exiled. I witnessed the pain of this, and the ramifications. The teen part and the tiny part were then able to unburden. The unburdening felt neverending. Eventually, angels took the burdens away, then came back to hold the teen and her tiny part in golden light.

I went back to see the dissociating part, who had witnessed this. She gets it more now. In order to heal, parts have to feel witnessed, and if she takes me into dissociation, I can't witness the parts so much. She said that part of the problem is that I've not been sleeping that well, I get tired, and that makes me slip out of the present more. She says that she would like to help me sleep better so that I'm more rested, and this should keep me present and focused. This would help my Self, and my Self could do more healing and unburdening work with parts. I told the part that this sounded fabulous, and I'd love her to do this.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on November 29, 2020, 06:58:48 PM
 :hug: I'm glad you're parts work so well together.  Mine are at is right now and it's getting hard to function.  Hugs glad they are able to unburden. Hope your week goes well. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 29, 2020, 07:05:13 PM
Thank you, Tee. I will put a soft blanket round your shoulders, and hold you together with big hugs. :hug: :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 01, 2020, 08:45:43 PM
I had a heavy work day yesterday, but it went pretty well. The former SH part delivered on the cheerleading: I kept hearing her shouting "awesome!" at regular intervals ;D.

The part that was making me dissociate has been helping me sleep. A couple of nights ago (after my last journey) I slept really well. I slept less well last night, but that was because of what I was doing at work yesterday.

One thing I noticed yesterday was that there was a part who had taken on some of F's words and energy. It kept asking me what I'd do if various things went wrong and coming up with doomsday scenarios. I told the part that these things hadn't happened before and wouldn't happen now. The former SH firefighter then joined in and told the part everything was awesome. I love this part.

IFS journey.

The teen was well, but wanted to talk about the things I wrote about above relating to F's words and energy. I told her that F wasn't always right, and sometimes said things that weren't helpful. I said that she could let go of those words and that energy, and not be held back, so she did.

I then asked if any other parts were also holding onto this and carrying it as a burden, and a large group of parts turned up. I told them the same things that I'd told the teen, and invited them to unburden.

The parts made a huge pile out of the burdens they'd all been carrying, probably a couple of storeys high. They then started chanting together, and I could feel the vibration of their chants pass through me. As the vibration touched the pile of burdens it caught fire, and the burdens transformed. I felt a sense of freedom. Of not being held back by limiting beliefs. Of possibility.

After this, I spent more time with the teen. I reminded her that if she ever wanted time to herself, she could go into her safe space, shut the door, and nothing would disturb her. She asked me if she was allowed, and showed me how she was told not to have her door shut when growing up. I told her that she was totally allowed. She was entitled to have privacy. She unburdened a little bit more.

Next, I visited some more parts. I thanked the former SH firefighter and told her how much I appreciated her support. I told the part who had been making me dissociate that I welcomed her helping me sleep. I felt more rested and able to do things. I noticed that the pit is now full of butterflies and bird song, and I told the part who tends it how beautiful it is.

Finally, I met the retrieved exile. She's doing well.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on December 01, 2020, 10:06:45 PM
This is really beautiful, snowdrop. I love that you now have an inner cheerleader! Just amazing  :cheer:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on December 02, 2020, 10:58:58 AM
This sounds like you're making so much progress Snowdrop, great work  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 02, 2020, 08:31:13 PM
Thank you, Owl and Dollyvee. :hug:

I slept really well last night and didn't wake up until morning. I thanked the part who's taking on the role of helping me sleep.

Some parts have been sharing memories of F saying things in order to make me behave or not behave in a certain way. I told the parts that this was controlling of him, and it was actually gaslighting. Putting it in these terms shocked some parts. I thought there might be burdens around gaslighting which I could seek to let go of.

IFS journey.

The teen was shocked that things she'd experienced were gaslighting. She shared some incidents with me, and was angry. I let her express her rage, and then we talked about what gaslighting was, and the impact it had. I told her that she'd done nothing, and asked if she wanted me to do the incidents over. She did.

We went back to one of the incidents, and I stepped in and spoke to F. I told him why the things he'd said were gaslighting, and how serious it was. What damage it causes, and what damage had been done. F looked shocked. He said he hadn't realised. He apologised.

The teen part and I went back into the present, and talked some more about the incidents. She was able to unburden.

I then asked if any other parts were carrying gaslighting burdens, and they were. I went through a similar process with them, and they unburdened. They released a lot of anger, and at one point I remember telling them "I create my own reality".

After this, I visited some other parts.

The former SH cheerleader is doing really, and I told her how much I appreciate her.

I thanked the part who was making me dissociate for helping me to sleep, and I told her what a difference it had made to my day. She was delighted. She wants to keep doing that.

The part tending the pit is also doing well.

The retrieved exile was angry about the gaslighting, but was able to unburden.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Bach on December 02, 2020, 09:56:27 PM
Snowdrop, thank you always for sharing these journeys.  I wish I understood the process the way you do.  I've done some reading but I find it really confusing.  I wrote to an IFS therapist enquiring about possible treatment, but I have not heard back.  I know that I should not be discouraged by that and should try again or see about finding someone else to enquire of, but one thing I do understand about parts is that I've got some that take absolutely everything as rejection. 
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 03, 2020, 07:59:13 PM
Quote
I wish I understood the process the way you do.  I've done some reading but I find it really confusing.

For me, Bach, it was about finding the right book that I could connect with and apply. The Internal Family Systems Therapy book by Richard Schwartz and Martha Sweezy worked really well for me, as it gave me a set of rules and principles to follow. It might be personal preference because I've found other IFS books hard to get into.

I can understand parts taking things as rejection, and they might feel disheartened that you didn't get a response. I do wonder if it's worth trying again, though, and perhaps asking someone else as well? With you whatever you decide, Bach. :hug:

IFS journey.

I met the teen part, who is doing well. She said she had some burdens to get rid of relating to my maternal Grandmother. I asked if these were legacy burdens, burdens which had been placed on her, but weren't hers to carry. She said yes.

I asked if any other parts who were carrying the same legacy burdens could come forward too, and they did so. I put a big FedEx box on the ground, and the parts put the burdens in there. I noticed that there were lots of "shoulds" and "should nots". Then I shut the box, addressed it to GM, and sent it on its way.

I noticed that there were cords relating to GM attached to me and some parts. These cords didn't belong, so I cut them off, sealed where they'd been, and released them into fire.

The teen felt content after this, and so did I. She told me that she'd been continuing to work with the tiny part, and she was doing well too.

Next, I visited the former SH firefighter who's now a cheerleader. I told her how she'd helped me work today, and how much I appreciated her.

I then visited the part who was making me dissociate. I thanked her for helping me sleep so well last night, and told her how focused I'd been during the day and how much work I'd got done as a result. She was very happy, and told me she's thinking of giving up her dissociation role. :cheer:

I next visited the part who tends the pit, and I thanked her for turning the pit into such a peaceful, calm place. The part was delighted. She said she'd been looking out for stray parts, but hadn't found any more.

Finally, I met the retrieved exile. She's doing really well, and didn't have anything more to unburden. I told her how much I loved her.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 04, 2020, 02:57:52 PM
Hi Snowdrop,
I am just popping by to give you a hug.   :hug:
I like that your former SH firefighter is now a cheerleader, that sounds really good.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 05, 2020, 07:05:24 PM
Thank you, Hope. It's making a big difference. :hug:

I've had a couple more nights of sleeping well. I thanked the part who's taken on the role of helping me sleep. Since she took on this role, I've slept well nearly every night.

IFS journey.

The teen is doing well. I helped her bring her tiny part more into the present, but there was nothing she needed me to witness, nothing to unburden. The teen said that she's feeling quite complete.

The former SH firefighter who's now a cheerleader was as enthusiastic as ever.

I met the part who was making me dissociate who's now helping me sleep. I told her what difference it's making to me. She was very happy.

I heard lots of birdsong coming from the pit, and it sounded so lovely and inviting that I went down into it. It was beautiful, and felt full of life. I told the part tending the pit that I no longer have a feeling of dread about it. It's like having space, light and life at my centre.

I met the retrieved exile. She is also doing well.

Finally, I met another part who I haven't mentioned before. I became aware of her a couple of weeks or so ago. She's a part who was denying my trauma and minimising it because she didn't want me to be traumatised. I decided to talk to her a few days ago, and told her that I didn't want me to be traumatised either, but denying it wasn't the answer. It just pushed it down and made it fester. I told her that the quickest and most effective way out of the trauma was to address it and heal from it by healing my parts. This made a lot of sense to the part, and today she said that she was on board with what I'd said and would help.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on December 05, 2020, 07:25:34 PM
That's wonderful that the dissociative Part is now helping you to sleep.

I love that the pit has become such a place of beauty and serenity.

Finally, I met another part who I haven't mentioned before. I became aware of her a couple of weeks or so ago. She's a part who was denying my trauma and minimising it because she didn't want me to be traumatised. I decided to talk to her a few days ago, and told her that I didn't want me to be traumatised either, but denying it wasn't the answer. It just pushed it down and made it fester. I told her that the quickest and most effective way out of the trauma was to address it and heal from it by healing my parts. This made a lot of sense to the part, and today she said that she was on board with what I'd said and would help.
I'm sure there were time periods where she helped you to function and survive by denying the trauma. I'm glad she is seeing that denying it is no longer necessary and that she is on board with addressing and healing the trauma.

Good work, Snowdrop.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 05, 2020, 07:51:26 PM
Thank you, Notalone, that's really helpful. It's made me realise that the part who was denying the trauma is probably carrying burdens of her own. I can spend time with her and help her heal. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Jazzy on December 05, 2020, 11:08:05 PM
I'm glad to hear you have been sleeping well Snowdrop, that is a big help. Its great to see you continuing to make progress. It sounds like you have done a lot of good for yourself.  :applause:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 07, 2020, 05:18:04 PM
Thank you, Jazzy. The sleep is very welcome! :hug:

Since the part has been helping me sleep, I've been getting vivid dreams. Mostly about past abusers. I decided that during today's journey, I'd ask the part about them, and if it seemed appropriate, I'd then go back into the dreams and do them over.

IFS journey.

The teen is well. Nothing to witness or unburden.

The former SH firefighter who's now a cheerleader wanted me to witness some of her SH behaviour, and then unburdened.

The part that was dissociative and now helps me sleep is well. She unburdened part of her dissociative burdens. I also asked her about the dreams I've been getting since she's been helping me sleep. She said to me "you know what to do", and I took this as a sign that I should go back into the dreams and do them over after visiting all the parts I'm currently working with.

The part tending the pit is well. She showed me a shrub she particularly liked. It looked bright orange and pink, and was glowing.

The retrieved exile us well. She told me she felt complete.

I then met the part who was in denial about trauma, and she's well. She said she did it to try and fit in. Everyone kept telling her how great HB was, so she began to think she'd got it wrong, it was her, and pushed everything away. She actually very relieved to know that it wasn't her.

Finally, I tackled two of the dreams.

For the first one, I faced up to the abuser. I told him he was abusive, controlling, manipulative. I showed him a statue of himself that a part had destroyed. The statue was in deep water, broken in pieces with barnacles growing on it. I told him he wasn't welcome, go away, and he left. I then comforted the version of me in the dream, and told her how much better her future was without him.

For the second dream, an abuser was at a picnic and threatening to tell everyone a secret about me. I faced up to him, told him he was abusive, any shame was on him and he'd abused his power. I told him he wasn't welcome, and he left.

Finally, I wrote out eviction notices for the two abusers and more, telling them that they were no longer welcome inside my head. I felt a sense of freedom as I posted them.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on December 07, 2020, 08:59:55 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on December 08, 2020, 11:45:17 AM
Good work Snowdrop - I like your eviction notices. It's great that your dissociative part has trust in you and that you know what to do  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 08, 2020, 08:22:49 PM
Thank you, Tee and Dollyvee.

Just a short IFS journey today. All the parts I'm working with are well. None of them had anything they wanted to unburden.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on December 08, 2020, 10:10:11 PM
You are doing amazing work, Snowdrop.I love that the pit was transformed into a source of life and joy. It never would have occurred to me that such a transformation could happen. Thank you so much for sharing your IFS journeys. They give hope and are beautiful.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: marta1234 on December 09, 2020, 06:15:44 PM
I also wanted to pop by and send you lots of support for all the work youíve been doing. I really like that you were able to issue the eviction notices. Sending you love, Snowdrop and lots of warm hugs!  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 16, 2020, 09:14:29 AM
Thank you, Owl and Marta. :grouphug:

I've had flashbacks and EFs over the past few days. Someone I used to work with contacted a group of us about meeting up on zoom before Christmas, and I got triggered. There were a few reasons for this.

First, I find groups of people scary. If I was in a group when HB was there, he'd attack me to show off and demonstrate his superiority. It wasn't usually physical stuff as if people there disapproved, it would backfire on him. It was usually emotional and mental stuff.

Another factor is that HB used to say that the person who contacted me was one of his friends. This was another trigger. I decided to ask a friend who I trust if they have any recollection of this being the case, and they said no. It's likely HB was claiming this in order to control and manipulate.

I've been having flashbacks relating to PA and threats, and I think I need to write about them.

=== TW and PA ===

I've had memories coming back from when I was about 5 and HB was a teenager. It was in the school playground and I hurt a couple of friends. It's something I've been carrying shame about. I honestly didn't know what I did was wrong because by that point HB had done it to me so often that I thought it was normal. He said we were playing, so that's what playing was. I think one of the parents told my M because she told me it was wrong and I mustn't do it. She was furious with HB because she knew how out of character it was for me to do something like that; it was pretty obvious he'd done it to me so many times before that it had been normalised. HB kept shouting that he hadn't done it, he hadn't touched anyone. Strictly speaking, no, he hadn't been in my school playground doing that, but that wasn't the point. He'd normalised that sort of abuse.

Another thing is from when I was a teenager and HB was in his twenties. M was getting threatening phone calls at work from friends of HB. I have a vague memory of getting them at home too. I answered the phone once, but I can't remember anything about it. I don't know who the friends were who made those threats, but they were probably people I knew. I don't honestly think that the person who contacted me about zoom would have been one of them, but there's a part who feels very hypervigilant about it.

There's a final thing that has me rattled, and it's been intruding on my thoughts. When I was a teen, HB (twenties) called me into his bedroom and showed me that he had weapons. Evil looking things, and I've since seen photos in the news of similar things in relation to knife crime. He showed me them, wanted me to admire them, then said if I told anyone he'd kill me. I have a vague memory of him saying he'd get M too. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't say anything, yet saying nothing felt wrong. I was terrified of him, and having those things in the house. I think I asked M if she ever went into HB's cupboard. She said no, but later on, she did. I remember shouting from M and F. HB shouting how dare she go into his cupboard. I remember HB looking at me like he wanted me dead. It was terrifying, and I did whatever I could to avoid him, and avoid being in the house alone with him.

=== End TW ===

I want to thank the parts for sharing these things with me. For trusting me. It wasn't their fault. They're safe and I'm safe.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 16, 2020, 10:13:47 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
I'm glad you were able to write about your flashbacks, and I wanted to send you a gentle hug of support  :hug:  The fact your parts shared those things with you, and trusted you, that is such a big thing, and I also want to say that none of that is their fault, and I also want to say that you are safe and they are safe. 

I have always avoided any kind of Zoom situations, because of fears.  I think you're brave to think about the issues and check through some things relating to those triggers. 

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on December 16, 2020, 10:27:33 PM
It's hard to be in that position as a child not feeling like you can defend yourself and having to be around your HB, knowing they are manipulating themselves into your life and you can't separate  :hug:

You're away now, safe as an adult.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on December 16, 2020, 11:06:57 PM
Snowdrop, I relate to things you wrote about what HB did to you. I'm so sorry you grew up in such a frightening environment.  :hug: :hug:

I also relate to your feelings of shame. I hurt friends or other people in my past because I simply didn't know it was wrong either. Just thought it was a joke or something because that's what FOO did. I no longer feel shame because I think acting or reacting that way as a child comes as a result of what was done to the child, abuse or neglect or ... You'll be able to throw off the shame too when you're ready. You are doing such hard, brave recovery work! :thumbup: :applause:

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: marta1234 on December 17, 2020, 08:23:46 PM
:bighug:
Snowdrop, sending you all my love and support  :hug: I also relate to mistreating people in the past and the shame that comes from it. Youíre not alone, and I hear you.  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 28, 2020, 10:55:47 AM
Thank you so much, Hope, Dollyvee, Blueberry and Marta. Your words and support really helped me. Sometimes walking the trauma path feels lonely, but I recognise that so many of us share common experiences. :grouphug:

I've been busy over the Christmas period, so haven't had much chance to write. The past few days I've felt extremely tired. I think it's things catching up with me.

There's something I'm currently facing up to, which I'm finding difficult. That F's response to my abuse by HB was in some ways just as damaging as the abuse itself.

There's one thing in particular I'm wrestling with. When I was a teen, I struggled with depression and SI, and eventually I was referred to a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with depression, put on anti-depressants, and referred to a psychologist.

I struggled to speak to the psychologist and tell him things that had happened. I think there were a few factors. Things had been normalised, so I couldn't say what wasn't normal. I had difficulty trusting. Also my parents took me there and back, and I was scared that they might hear things I said, F in particular. I think I was scared of F turning on me.

I think the psychologist realised it was trauma, and he said that I really needed to tell F what had happened with HB. I think he was trying to give me a support network to help me heal. I was reluctant, but he said I really needed to.

One evening, F told me that he thought he should know what it was all about. He was taking me there and back, so he deserved to know. [When I think of this now, I feel outrage. He deserved to know? Like it was a trade-off? Saying that instead of he wanted to help and support me? :pissed:]

I was scared, but I said to F that if he really wanted to know, I'd tell him. And he went quiet. Then he started taking about HB, how tough it had been for him growing up. And that I could tell him what it was about if I wanted to, but if I said anything that turned him against HB, he might resent me for it.

I decided not to tell him, and I think the psychologist was shocked at F's response.

In hindsight, F's reaction was incredibly damaging. It meant I had to choose between survival and healing, and so I chose survival. In fact, it probably made healing at that time impossible, as if I'd told him and he'd turned on me, it would have made things worse. But there's another thing. F has always been insistent that he would never choose between HB and me. But he did. At the point when I needed him most, he chose HB. He chose my abuser over me. And that's hurtful, and rubbish and so unfair. Those words aren't enough for the damage it did.

Shortly after that, I had to stop seeing the psychologist. F didn't want to pay, and I couldn't afford to as I was a teenager. I think the psychologist was concerned, and he kept saying that I needed to go to university. In hindsight, I suspect he thought my best chance of healing was to move out the family home, move away, and find support elsewhere.

I have memories after this of F telling people how manipulative I was. This confused me, as I wasn't, and it hurt that F had this opinion of me. I wonder now if he was trying to justify his actions, or inactions. Like I deserved it, which I didn't.

So that's kind of where I am at the moment. That F's response to my abuse was possibly just as damaging (maybe even more so?) than the abuse itself. I'm flitting between feeling upset and angry about this. There's a part who's upset. Another part who's outraged and angry. Another part who's scared. Tied in there, there's this feeling of guilt that I'm being disloyal to F, which may be a legacy burden.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on December 28, 2020, 08:34:49 PM
 :hug: hugs snowdrop.  The words or parents say are so damaging.  Especially when we are trying to be vunerable and share our problems to have them say or do the wrong thing is paralyzing.  I'm so sorry this happened to you.  Sending a caring hug. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on December 28, 2020, 09:16:45 PM
I'm sorry Snowdrop  :hug: it was v. upsetting to read what how your dad treated you and allowed the abuse to continue and didn't step in to protect you the way a parent should. You're right, it's even more damaging for this to happen than the treatment from your HB. In my experience, having my grandmother try to excuse my mom's behaviour and not stand up for me, and then tell me she loved me, had such a lasting affect on my sense of reality and self.

I'm glad you had the T there who saw what was really happening and left an impression on you. Hopefully you have had a relaxing holiday and not had to face them.

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on December 29, 2020, 12:49:15 AM

In hindsight, F's reaction was incredibly damaging. It meant I had to choose between survival and healing, and so I chose survival. In fact, it probably made healing at that time impossible, as if I'd told him and he'd turned on me, it would have made things worse. But there's another thing. F has always been insistent that he would never choose between HB and me. But he did. At the point when I needed him most, he chose HB. He chose my abuser over me. And that's hurtful, and rubbish and so unfair. Those words aren't enough for the damage it did.

There really are no words strong enough to express how horrible what your F did was. I hear the many feelings you and your Parts are experiencing: upset, outrage, anger, fear, and guilt. All those feelings make sense and you and your Parts deserve to be heard and cared for.

I feel angry at him that he took your HB's side and did not protect you. Also that he set you up by pushing you to tell him what was going on and then solidly closing the door in your face by making it clear that it was not okay for you to talk negatively about HB.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 30, 2020, 08:53:29 PM
Tee, Dollyvee and Notalone: thank you. For listening, for hearing me, for your validation. :grouphug:

Quote
I feel angry at him that he took your HB's side and did not protect you. Also that he set you up by pushing you to tell him what was going on and then solidly closing the door in your face by making it clear that it was not okay for you to talk negatively about HB.

Thank you for saying this, Notalone. I hadn't thought of it in terms of being set up, but you're right. I was. Your anger on my behalf helped me feel appropriate anger. :hug:

I went on an IFS journey this evening to see how the different parts are.

I met one part who's been feeling a bit overwhelmed. I told her that I'm there for her, and comforted her. We thought of things that might help her.

I spent most time with a group of parts who were affected by the incident with F I wrote about last. I witnessed the parts feelings on this, and I told them what my friends here had said, which helped. I then found myself digging in the ground, and unearthed more parts that had been buried / exiled. The parts were tired, so I took them to a safe space where there were warm baths, fluffy towels and soft blankets.

I think the episode with F caused lots of stuff to get buried, and parts to get exiled. It's not good that it happened, but it's completely understandable. My hope is that recognising this happened takes me further along the healing path. There are more parts I can help and heal.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on December 30, 2020, 10:07:37 PM
I think the episode with F caused lots of stuff to get buried, and parts to get exiled. It's not good that it happened, but it's completely understandable.

Very understandable. You were told by your father not to talk about it. What could a child do but bury things and for Parts to get hidden away?

The parts were tired, so I took them to a safe space where there were warm baths, fluffy towels and soft blankets.

May I add a big, fluffy, stuffed bunny for them to hold?
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on December 31, 2020, 03:26:55 PM
 :hug: I just bought a toy for one of my parts cause she's scared to sleep hoping it helps. She hasn't gone to bed before 3 this week.
The bath and soft comfy towels sound nice I hope it helps your parts and your healing on this journey.  Hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on December 31, 2020, 07:33:44 PM
I'm glad your parts felt comforted. If they ever need to know, there are others out there who understand some of the things they had to go through.

It's not good that it happened, but it's completely understandable. My hope is that recognising this happened takes me further along the healing path. There are more parts I can help and heal.

Lots of good thoughts to your parts and wishes that they know they were just living their life and had no reason to be treated like that or put in that position  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 31, 2020, 08:29:02 PM
May I add a big, fluffy, stuffed bunny for them to hold?

That's so lovely, Notalone. Thank you. They love the bunny. Some of them are nestling up to it. :grouphug:

:hug: I just bought a toy for one of my parts cause she's scared to sleep hoping it helps. She hasn't gone to bed before 3 this week.

I hope the toy brings comfort to your part, Tee, and helps her sleep. About a year ago, a very young part was finding things a bit difficult, so I bought her a teddy bear. My H and I refer to it as a support bear :). Love and hugs to you. :hug:

Lots of good thoughts to your parts and wishes that they know they were just living their life and had no reason to be treated like that or put in that position  :hug:

Thank you, Dollyvee. They're still feeling quite sleepy, but I think they're beginning to realise that they're in a safe space. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on January 02, 2021, 03:27:12 PM
 :hug: to you and your parts Snowdrop.

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on January 26, 2021, 01:33:47 PM
Hope you are doing well in the New Year   :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Tee on January 28, 2021, 04:06:53 AM
 :hug: thanks for helping me not feel crazy.🙂 I hope you are having a better time.  Big hug to comfort you and your littles. :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on January 29, 2021, 03:23:05 AM
Snowdrop, I hope you and your Parts are okay. Sending care and hugs to all of you.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 16, 2021, 07:03:57 PM
Hello everyone! :wave:

So sorry for not writing or responding for a while. I think I went into hibernation mode after Christmas, while simultaneously being very busy. But I'm ok, and I'm back.

I will respond properly to you all over the next few days, but first there's a couple of links I want to post.

A few people have mentioned vision problems that might be related to trauma. I've found natural vision improvement of immense value, and there's currently a free summit. You can register here: https://naturalvision2020.com/register (https://naturalvision2020.com/register) and the program is here: https://naturalvision2020.com/program (https://naturalvision2020.com/program). I'm particularly interested in the Greg Marsh session on Day 4 (Friday), as I've heard him speak before on the connection between vision and trauma.

If I get a chance, I'll post these links elsewhere in the forum.

Janina Fisher (author of healing the fragmented selves) is also hosting a couple of webinars that look interesting. I think I saw that Hope has posted a link to these.

That's all I've got time to write just now, but please know that I've been thinking of you and love you all. :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: woodsgnome on February 17, 2021, 04:37:57 AM
So great to see you are still roaming along recovery's trail.  :) Due to some things you've written, I've begun probing deeper into IFS sorts of approaches and finding them to be helping my own rather fragile trail seeking to get beyond the surface hurts.and all that still seems to hol me back.

Also -- great thanks for the link per the vision connection -- I've had glaucoma and feel there was a connection there as well -- like I really didn't want to see what I was seeing -- I used to even vigorously rub my eyes due to what I didn't want to see about being in this world.

Enough of my  rattlings -- mostly I just wanted to welcome you back here and, if okay, express it this way  :hug:.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 17, 2021, 02:01:49 PM
I've missed you. Nice to have you back and glad you are doing okay.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on February 17, 2021, 03:49:54 PM
Welcome back Snowdrop! :wave:  It's good to hear you're doing OK  :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 18, 2021, 08:45:40 PM
Hope, Dollyvee, Tee, Notalone, Woodsgnome and Blueberry: Thank you so much for your care. As I read your posts, tears came to my eyes. They meant a lot to me. I've not caught up with your journals yet, but I will do. :grouphug:

Woodsgnome, I'm glad you're finding IFS-type things helpful. Also, when you say "...like I really didn't want to see what I was seeing" that makes a lot of sense. I tuned into a webinar Greg Marsh gave recently, and he said that there's often something in the background that the person with vision problems doesn't want to see. There's a replay of the webinar here: https://www.bettereyesightnow.com/webinar-replay-2021-02-04 (https://www.bettereyesightnow.com/webinar-replay-2021-02-04). And older webinars are here: https://www.bettereyesightnow.com/webinar-archives (https://www.bettereyesightnow.com/webinar-archives)

===

So, what's been going on with me over the past few weeks?

In the last IFS journey I mentioned, I said that I unearthed some parts that had been buried and exiled. They spent a long time just wanting to sleep in a safe space, so I pretty much just let them. In a way, it felt as though we all went into hibernation for a bit, and it felt right to do so.

Some parts felt upset over the goings on at the Capitol on January 6th as it reminded them of HB. I was still able to function reasonably well though, and it was helpful to hear lots of people say that such behaviour was unacceptable. The parts felt a lot more settled after the inauguration.

Over the past week or so, it's felt as though some of the parts who were hibernating have been waking up. I've had some more memories surface, largely interactions with kids I went to school with. These memories are things the parts want to share with me, so I've been listening to them, and putting them in context. It would be useful for me to do over some of these memories at some point, but I'm mulling over the most appropriate way to do this, and what would most help those parts.

Another factor with the parts waking up is that I stepped up my Qigong practice a couple of weeks ago. One of the things I'm doing is known for bringing stuff to the surface in order for it to be healed, and I wonder if this has been happening. I've also been aware of more Self energy, which may well be another factor.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on February 19, 2021, 05:46:31 PM
Snowdrop, thank you for sharing. When I read that you had parts who wanted to sleep for a long time and that you let them do that, I felt the kindness and relief in that.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on February 19, 2021, 07:15:40 PM
Welcome back Snowdrop. No worries, just wanted to stop by as you had some pretty big insights and then disappeared. Glad to hear everything is ok.  :grouphug:

Thanks for the Janine Fisher info - I came across her recently and had some good points about trauma and loneliness. Also helping me a bit with understanding dissociation.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 19, 2021, 08:35:32 PM
Notalone and Dollyvee :grouphug:

Two of the parts who were hibernating have been sharing shame with me this week. I think this is progress, as shame is something I've previously buried. I'm glad that the parts have felt able to trust me.

The bigger picture of this shame has been unveiling itself bit by bit. The first part, for example, felt shame because when she was about 6-8, she said things to a friend that were a bit mean. The day after, I was shown how mean that friend had been to her, and she was responding to that. The day after that, I was shown how someone else had set the two of them up, and played them off against each other. Underneath all of this was HB's abuse, and how this normalised some things, and warped others.

There hasn't been a critical part involved in all of this. Just my Self seeing the context, acknowledging what happened, and helping the part that felt the shame. It's felt very calm.

Last night, I stepped into the memory to help the part. I apologised to the friend, while acknowledging how much she'd hurt me. I explained that we'd both been set up, and I was willing to rebuild our friendship.

I think the part has unburdened a lot of the shame through this.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 22, 2021, 04:23:00 PM
All going well after my last post. The part I was working with seems quite settled. It's like she has closure.

I still need to help the second part and do over something she felt shame over. I'm listening to parts and waiting for more pieces to come together before I do this. There are various facets I need to take into account.

It's sunny today, the snowdrops are in full-bloom, and this morning I saw a crocus. Spring is on the way. :sunny:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 26, 2021, 05:02:11 PM
I've been unpicking a lot of things to do with the second part. She's 13.

She initially came to me with feelings of guilt and shame over a boy at school. One of his friends asked if she'd go out with the boy, and she absolutely froze. She couldn't think, couldn't feel, couldn't speak. Fear, wanting to escape, shame, and guilt that she was messing the boy about. But she couldn't help her reaction. It was completely understandable.

=== TW SA ===

When I was 12 years old, the boys at school used to sexually assault and harass the girls. It happened every day, every break, between lessons, walking home from school, even in lessons when the teacher's back was turned. Nothing was ever done about it, and it was just normalised.

=== End TW ===

I now recognise that this happening (and the fear of it happening) every day was traumatising. Particularly on top of all the stuff relating to HB. So of course she froze. She was scared of the boys at school. She was scared back home. She was scared of being noticed and seen, because that usually resulted in HB attacking her.

The part understands all of this now. She realises she did nothing wrong. She's beginning to let go of the guilt and shame.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 27, 2021, 04:42:17 PM
I've been feeling very settled after yesterday. More my Self, with a feeling of space. It feels as though parts have unburdened, relaxed and settled down.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on February 27, 2021, 05:12:49 PM
That's a terrible school environment. I wonder what is wrong with people to allow stuff like this in schools.

 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 07, 2021, 03:07:38 PM
It was an awful environment, Dollyvee. It was probably allowed because that was the "easiest" option. It was so widespread that they couldn't just give detention to a couple of boys. Doesn't make it right though. :hug:

I've had a big insight into a critical part. H has been grumpy this weekend about something, and even though I know it was nothing to do with me, a part has been anxious, fearful and self-critical.

As a child, F was often angry with me, and I didn't know why. I remember him saying "you don't even realise what you've done wrong" and getting angrier instead of explaining. It began to feel as though *I* was wrong, and a terrible person. The critical part tried to stave off some of this anger by looking things I'd done wrong, or that was wrong with me. Maybe if I knew why I was so wrong, F wouldn't be so mad at me.

Now that I know why this part has this critical part, I'm hopeful I can work with it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 07, 2021, 07:49:42 PM
The situation at your school makes me angry. What a horrible environment.  :pissed: To the 13-year-old, you absolutely did nothing wrong. I'm glad you are beginning to know that.

It is an awful situation to feel responsible for someone else's feelings and to feel like you did something wrong/something to cause those feelings, but you don't know what you did. It is a heavy, scary weight that I am familiar with.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on March 10, 2021, 11:07:43 AM
It was an awful environment, Dollyvee. It was probably allowed because that was the "easiest" option. It was so widespread that they couldn't just give detention to a couple of boys. Doesn't make it right though. :hug:

You're right and what is even more infuriating for me, is that it probably means some of the parents were complicit or gave their implicit agreement in allowing it to happen, thinking that it's normal. I know I would be a parent that they wouldn't hear the end of if something like that happened to my child.

That sounds like a really good insight  about your critical part :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 11, 2021, 08:48:26 PM
Notalone, thank you for sharing your anger on my behalf. It helped me to feel the anger, which helped the part. The 13 year old hears your words and appreciates them.

It is an awful situation to feel responsible for someone else's feelings and to feel like you did something wrong/something to cause those feelings, but you don't know what you did. It is a heavy, scary weight that I am familiar with.
It's :stars:, and I'm sorry you're familiar with it. You shouldn't have been put in that position and made to feel that way, which helps me recognise that I shouldn't have either. Thank you.

Dollyvee, when I read your words, I imagined the behaviour at my school written out in a school prospectus. It helped me to recognise how bad it was. Thank you.

=====

I went on an IFS journey this evening to help a couple of parts.

The first part was about 12. She was very frightened about speaking up about things or asking for help in case she got into trouble. In case it was seen as "telling tales", which she was told was wrong. She was told she had to make allowances for HB's behaviour, and this made her believe she had to make allowances for everyone's behaviour, no matter what.

I told her I was an adult now, and she should absolutely tell me if anything was wrong. She deserved to be heard and taken seriously. How she'd been treated was wrong.

I did over F telling her to make allowances by picturing him telling her that if ever anything was wrong, she could tell him. He cared about her and wanted to know. And if she couldn't tell him, she could tell M, or a teacher, and she'd get help. The part unburdened.

I also met with the protector part who tried to stop F being angry with me by looking for everything that might be wrong with me. She now realises that F was very wrong to put this on me. She said she was willing to give up looking for faults, and unburdened.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 12, 2021, 02:31:41 AM
 :bighug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 12, 2021, 09:27:02 AM
Notalone :grouphug:

Thoughts/beliefs from a teenage part have surfaced. Putting them here until I have a chance to deal with properly.

=== TW  :Idunno: ===

Very very isolated. Had to keep people away who were possible threats, and had a very low threshold. HB had hit my friends. Made threats against my friends. Charmed other friends so they wouldn't believe me. I had to protect my friends, and could only do that by keeping them at a distance. I had to protect my friends by not being their friend :stars:. There was nobody there to protect me.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 12, 2021, 02:31:14 PM
I hear the weight of needing to protect others and the darkness of isolation. I'm so sorry.  :'(     :'(      :'(
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 13, 2021, 02:25:58 PM
Thank you for hearing that part, Notalone. :grouphug:

I had headaches yesterday after writing things relating to the part. This might be a protector part trying to distract me.

More stuff from the part which I'm putting here.

=== TW ===

When I was about 11 (making him 19), HB said that I'd destroyed his life. By being born. He hated me, wanted me dead. Looked into me with cold black eyes. Terror. HB had to live elsewhere for my safety. But he came back a few years later, and that destroyed my life. I was supposed to move away from home. And I couldn't leave M with HB in the house. He'd made threats. He had the weapon. I had to protect her. A part self-sabotaged me so I had to stay.

===

This teen part went through such a lot. Too much. I want her to know that I'm here. I'm sorry I wasn't there back then, but I'm here now. Here for her. She's not alone any more. I will protect her. She doesn't have to carry this weight.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 14, 2021, 08:32:53 PM
It's been quite a hard week.

Early in the week, I was affected by the Meghan Markle interview. In particular, having mental health problems, not being heard, and being told she couldn't get help.

Then came the news about the woman who was killed. Lots of women shared their stories of abuse, violence, harassment. What happened to her could have happened to any of them. To my loved ones. To me. The shared stories helped me realise more that things that had happened to me weren't my fault, but the perpetrator's.

Then a friend asked for my help with something. I helped them, but doing so triggered the teen part I mentioned in my last few posts, and brought her to the front.

Then there was the vigil for the woman who was killed. I lit a candle for her at home and told her how sorry I was. She did nothing wrong. It could have happened to anyone. I saw images of violence from the vigil that shocked and angered me.

This evening I decided it was the right time to help the teen part.

=== IFS journey ===

I started off with the protector part that gave me a headache. The part said that it gave me a headache to distract me from the teen. It didn't like hurting me, but felt it had to. I thanked it, and asked what was it scared of? The teen part taking over, it said. It didn't want her feelings and experiences to overwhelm me. I explained I'm an adult now, and my Self. I could make sure she didn't overwhelm me. Instead, I could help her so she wasn't carrying those burdens any more. I asked the part if I could speak with the teen, and it agreed.

Next, I went through a similar thing with a dissociative protector part. It too wanted to keep the teen at a distance, but agreed to let me help her when it saw I was my Self.

Finally, I spoke with a part that was fearful of the teen part. That part agreed to let me speak to her as well.

After this, I went to the teen part. "You're here!" she cried. "You came!". I said yes, I'd come for her. I apologised for taking so long, but I hadn't known about her. But I was here now.

I witnessed the teen's feelings. She was in anguish and despair from everything she'd been through. The constant fear. So lonely. Having to protect people, but not having anyone to protect her. I let her cry and wail and scream.

When she was calmer, I asked about witnessing events. She showed me a lot of things. The key thing was her having to protect others from HB, which also led to self-sabotage and isolation.

I thanked her for sharing, and took her out into the countryside. I told her that the feeling of having to protect others at her expense was a burden that had been put on her which she didn't need to carry. She hadn't realised that she didn't have to carry it. I told her that it was ok to think of herself. Protect herself. And I was here now to protect her. After a lot of discussion, and with help from my Guide, the teen removed the heavy weights she'd been carrying and threw them in a pond.

After this she felt very tired so I took her to a place where she'd be safe, and tucked her up under a duvet.

===

Helping this part is very significant. I completely understand why she surfaced this week. And being aware of her in this way means that I can help and heal her.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: notalone on March 15, 2021, 12:53:58 AM
Beautiful.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 15, 2021, 08:43:54 PM
Thank you, Notalone. :grouphug:

IFS journey.

I checked in with the teen parts protectors. They are still happy for me to work with her.

When I went to see the teen part, she was still very sleepy. She told me that she welcomed being able to relax and rest in safety, and wanted to continue sleeping for a bit longer. I gave her a hug, told her I loved her, and wrapped her in the soft duvet again.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on March 17, 2021, 09:58:30 AM
Then there was the vigil for the woman who was killed. I lit a candle for her at home and told her how sorry I was. She did nothing wrong. It could have happened to anyone. I saw images of violence from the vigil that shocked and angered me.

This has been very hard for me as well. It's even hard to articulate having to deal with the everyday sexism when there can be consequences like this and how triggering that is. Especially with the police response at the vigil and now the anti-protesting ban that was pushed through commons. I feel anger and powerlessness.

It's a great to wake up after a good night's sleep. How nice your part is going to be so refreshed when she wakes up  :hug:

Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Snowdrop on March 19, 2021, 06:36:17 PM
I agree, Dollyvee, that anti-protest bill along with everything else is just :aaauuugh:. It looks like it's been pulled for the moment, which is something at least. :hug:

I went into a bit of a panicky EF yesterday evening. A car parked up outside our house for quite a long time with the lights on. It took me back to being stalked, and some parts were terrified. There's more I could say, but I can't right now.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Blueberry on March 19, 2021, 09:31:39 PM
Standing with you both, Snowdrop and Dollyvee, about your feelings around the vigil, the young woman who was killed, the anti-protest bill. I read about it but I don't live in the UK anymore, I haven't for a long time, so it's not so disturbing to me as it might have been in earlier years. So I'm standing with you both and hope there are no more scary situations for you, Snowdrop  :hug: :grouphug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Hope67 on April 01, 2021, 08:02:25 AM
Hi Snowdrop,
Sending you a supportive hug  :hug: and hoping that you are ok after that event you talked about - I hope your parts are feeling calmer. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: owl25 on April 02, 2021, 11:17:30 PM
You're doing such good work snowdrop. I know I say this every time I read your journal, but you do and it is amazing to see. I love that your teen is sleeping under a fluffy duvet, safe and sound.

I haven't followed what's been happening in the UK, in part to protect myself from all the bad news that's always out there, so I've only picked up bits and pieces about what happened to this woman and the aftermath. I know enough to know it's bound to affect people. I hope you are managing ok with it.
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: Bach on April 03, 2021, 02:12:36 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Snowdrop's journal
Post by: dollyvee on April 04, 2021, 07:46:28 AM
Hope you're feeling better  :hug: