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Messages - kdke

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Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: August 08, 2020, 06:21:27 PM »
Had therapy today; I'm so thankful to have a therapist that's willing to have sessions with me on the weekends, as I'm working Monday through Friday right now. In a strange way, the pandemic helps with that, with being stuck at home and such.

My therapist really challenged my parts today, but not in an upsetting way. More like, my therapist is obviously very perceptive and could tell that I tend to speak A LOT from a part that tends to interpret other parts' needs, thoughts, and emotions for the external world.

So my therapist helped me to dive a little deeper by letting this part completely blend and talk. I didn't realize how much hesitation was there, but with some compassion and patience, this part came forth (a bit unsure and nervous) and connected with my T. This part is a huge protector in my system, and honestly blends with me most of the day; she communicates with everyone for parts, making sure she can say what parts are thinking and feeling as effectively as possible.

*, even just doing the dishes, this part takes a key role.

She's very afraid that the outside world will judge my parts, and so she works super hard to interpret and translate everything beforehand so as to protect the WHOLE system from anything that could cause harm to them. She's also afraid of allowing especially intense parts (particularly exiles) coming forth and flooding the system with pain. She's worried about the critical part when this happens, and she has a vast knowledge of all the parts--or at least, she is the first other part to know. She is everywhere, doing all the things.

She's also super tired, emotional, and very considerate. She cares about everyone and just wants our parts and other people to be ok. She doesn't know what it means to let other parts come forth and blend; that scares her, and because she's like this interpreter and gatekeeper for the whole system, she doesn't even know how to step back, or if it's possible.

I feel this part getting worried of even unintentionally getting in the way of other parts as they're trying to blend, as she's just such an essential protector.

It was very surprising, honestly. My T and I talked about this part and just how overwhelmed she feels and is every single day, trying to be this filter between my poor battered parts and the outside world.

I keep getting memories from her from where she felt a strong need to start taking a more prominent role in my system; particularly when I was around 18-19, and realizing how extreme and dysfunctional parts were becoming, and how much pain and disconnect was being created between myself and others as a result.

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Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: July 27, 2020, 04:56:11 AM »
I keep wanting to say this in such a way where it sounds like a mutual thing, but I'm realizing that it is... and kind of isn't.

Anyway, I ended my relationship with Linda. It wasn't mutual in the moment, but it was something she and I have both entertained at different points in the relationship, for the past couple of months. But ultimately, I decided it had to end.

From an IFS perspective, I have parts that are reacting in different ways to this. Mostly, my teen part is both glad we ended it and also seething with some resentful, questions, and doing a good job at realizing all the weird things that happened between me and Linda regarding stuff said and done.

I have another part that is just sad and sometimes left feeling like this is just proof that we're not meant to be with someone; that we're dangerous, or damaged, too broken. I'm not sure if this is my critical part, or just another exile. She is feeling very alienated, othered, and alone right now. Other parts feel badly for her, and uncomfortable.

The last week has been hard for my parts, as the breakup between me and Linda took a while for my system to process. Some parts also felt shame around this because initially, they weren't as distressed about the breakup as Linda was. My system was first very sure about it and just done with everything that kept happening between me and Linda, and so the breakup came as a relief and a necessary.

But now, my parts miss Linda a lot, wish things had happened differently, and also my critical part is just creating a storm every once in a while between herself and other parts. Parts wondering if Linda will ever understand where we were coming from, but then realizing it doesn't really matter and that our reasons are not any more or less valid regardless of Linda's POV. My teen part also keeps doing a pep talk saying, "Our version of ourselves is more important than anyone else's version. Even though Linda's perspective of us isn't invalid, we are the ones that matter more when it comes to who knows us best."

And then parts wanting to better understand and empathize with Linda's POV, not wanting to shut out her experiences. But it's been a battle because during my last conversation with Linda, she said things that left my system feeling very confused, startled, and hurt; Linda's words implied an understanding of me that I don't relate to at all, and that left me feeling very disconnected from her.

I have a part that also wonders if this disconnect has to do with Linda possibly projecting old trauma onto us, because the things she said were very confusing. Either way, it's left me with feeling sad and even a little resentful. I've fought with Linda before about many things, usually regarding intentions and behaviors. For me, I have an understanding of intent and behaviors where I know the two don't always line up; for me, this is due to my own experiences surrounding my mental health and watching others struggle with their own. Intention can be one thing, but actions sometimes don't always reflect that. It happens, and from my POV, they don't necessarily invalidate each other. It's just complicated.

For Linda, she has expressed to me that she believes her actions always reflect her intentions. This became a hot debate between me and her when my parts got brave enough to express some discomfort around Linda's actions regarding my mental health progress, because we felt like Linda was pressuring us to make choices and use resources, rather than letting us come to those conclusions on our own time.

This really upset Linda and she kept thinking that I was accusing her of having bad intentions because I was saying behavior made me uncomfortable--even though I kept explaining to her that I completely understood that her intentions were to make sure I was happy and only wanted the best for me.

In the end, she projected this thinking onto me because my actions didn't meet her emotional needs; and for her, that meant my intentions were also problematic. For me, my intentions were wanting to be with her and be a good partner; at the same time, I was dealing with energy changes and trying to fit new things into my schedule (I'm starting to take Prozac every two weeks or so for PMDD, which has messed with my energy levels, and I'm also looking toward getting some volunteer hours in the psych field).

For her, this came across as me neglecting her, treating her as an after thought, and not actually wanting to be in the relationship. I didn't even have a say in these narratives, which caused my parts a lot of upset--my intent was decided for me, and then Linda gaslighted me when I got upset with her words as she said she was only telling me her "feelings." Which, those are not feelings--those are perceptions of my actions, and they imply things about me.

Either way, I'm sad, hurt, confused, and disappointed by all of it. My parts have felt alone in this relationship for a while now, and this fiasco has only confirmed those fears. This loneliness was discussed in therapy; my therapist and I came to an understanding that my parts, due to complex trauma and attachment style, that it's difficult for my system to feel like anyone outside of my system really understands how we operate. This has been a long-standing struggle.

I realize that Linda had needs that--because of how my parts connect to themselves, others, and the world around them [and not form the stigmatizing POV of being mentally ill, as Linda had tried to squeeze me into that box before]--I just can't meet as a partner, and my parts are trying to figure out how to accept that. We can't meet everyone's needs, no matter how much we would like to, especially when those people mean a lot to us.

Linda tried to meet my needs, too, but from an angle that left me feeling a little uncomfortable. She decided to do her own reading on PTSD (which I tried to explain to her how that's a bit different from cPTSD, but she had a hard time accepting that), and then told me that she could only meet my need and understand me by reading about how my trauma manifested and making room for that. It was like... I get why she felt that way, but it also left me feeling a little weird, because it seemed as though Linda was just seeing me in a space where I had to be treated in a special way, and that I was taking up a lot of space. I didn't like it.

Anyway, I'm just rambling at this point. These thoughts keep swarming around my mind, and I'm not even sure what to say to Linda the next time I see her. I have parts that want to say something, but then other parts are just like, "Don't waste your breath--what's the point? She's decided how she sees you and we can't change that. That's not within our control. What are you trying to prove?"

I still care deeply about her; I want us to connect, but obviously that's a never-ending struggle.

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Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: May 19, 2020, 06:03:10 AM »
sanmagic7: thank you for your words <3 yes, my angry child part and I have been doing a lot better. He's been feeling calmer, though sometimes I feel him coming to the forefront from time to time. It's not as intense as it has been in the past.

notalone: it's a compassion I haven't been able to give him for a very long time due to parts who were afraid to do so. I'm thankful my parts have allowed space for that.

Speaking of my angry child part--I had my therapy session earlier today and my T and I did some more involved parts work. Since my last session, my T has noticed a part coming to the front and talking about fairness, of wanting to be heard, and carrying a lot of frustration and anger around needing to feel validated.

This part has been very vocal for several days now, and I've been journaling everything I could about this part was telling me. I started to identify this part as my Outraged part, because she seems very spicy, very forward about her upset feelings, and has a strong need to be acknowledged. My T and I discovered that she's actually a protector--she protects my angry child exile. However, we still don't know if she's just a protector or a firefighter; since she's a part of me that's wanting to interact, we're going to continue being curious with her and exploring her needs.

The alarming thing, though, is when my T asked me to check in with my parts and visualize what they were doing. When she asked me this, I felt like I had about 4 different parts activated lol. I told her, "Well, my Outraged part is like crossing her arms and shrugging. Like, 'I've said what I needed to say.' I have my equalizing part who is confused and doesn't know what to do with the information the Outraged part expressed. She just wants to find balance. I have a third part that seems completely disassociated and giving up on the whole situation; I just envisioned this part wrapping themselves in a blanket and lying down on a couch."

My T asked me what my angry child exile was doing and I said, "Well... he's just chilling out in the corner, but it's weird... it's like he has his back to the other parts, and he's coloring on a piece of paper. Minding his own business. He's calm because the older parts are."

My T said, "Is he calm because the protectors are, or are the protectors calm because he is?"

I was like, "Both? He seems quiet, but he's also listening. Like, there's definitely some part of him that's hypervigilant. I don't think he would be calm if the protectors got upset. But if he gets upset, my Outraged part would be scrambling. She would definitely be upset."

That made me really sad. Though I'm not surprised that I would have a part that has attachment issues, especially a child part.

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Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: May 11, 2020, 12:45:43 AM »
Blugh, I feel like I've been hibernating lol. Sleeping a lot, just getting through each week as well as I can.

Been dealing with parts feeling a little out of control, scared, and worried. Parts feeling super lonely; it's just me and the cats in my place. My partner doesn't live with me.

But recently, I have made connection with my angry child part that has been really making a lot of noise. He (to me, I see an image of a little boy, maybe 2 or 3, when I visualize this part) has been so incredibly angry, confused, and alone. Poor guy... he was up in arms, and in my system just crashing around, screaming and stomping. Unable to say what he needed or wanted.

I meditated for a while and connected to Self enough to talk to my angry part. I wanted to write a letter to him and check in some more--let him know that I'm still here and watching out for him.

*****

Hey big guy,

How's it going? I've been thinking about you, wondering how you're handling everything that's been going on for the past couple of weeks. It's a lot to handle, huh? What are you feeling? What do you make of all of it? It's ok if you don't have words for those feelings right now.

You know, for me... I'm just so thankful to get to know you and have you close by. You're so full of energy and fun. You remind me of how strong and BIG I can be. You're just so awesome and brave, and I can see how you've been trying so hard to show me that. Dang... thank you for doing that. That means a lot to me.

I just want you to know, my big guy--you know who's there for you? Me. I am, and I always will be. You're so important to me and that'll never change. I know you and I haven't always be friends, but that's ok, right? There's always room for a new friend, and I'm glad we can be friends. SO glad. It makes me so happy to talk to you, and know that you're there.

And since I'm your friend, I'm always going to do my best to help you when you need it. Like, when you feel like you can't say something but really need to say it. Tell me, big guy. Tell me, and I will help you say that thing. Tell me when you're angry, you're confused, or when you're sad. Tell me when you just need to shake off some energy, scribble it out.

We can take deep breaths together and throw our fists to the sky. I will sit and listen when you need to cry and show me how angry you feel. I'm right here, big guy. You do what you need to do, ok? I'm not going to ask you to change. You're just right for me. When we can be friends and talk to each other, we can work through the feelings and scary stuff together. I believe in you, and I believe in us. Never alone, never again. I got you. I love you. I'm going to help you. Friends help friends.

Love, your Self.

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Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 22, 2020, 06:38:56 PM »
Journaling while it's still new in my mind: I was able to find a therapist that does IFS, and we did a session this morning.

This new T is fantastic. She's younger and has a newer practice, but she's super sharp and seems very well-versed in IFS. We connected really well and she helped me a lot to interpret and connect with my own parts more effectively.

I talked a little about why I'm in therapy and what I'm working on--pretty much put into context my CSA, and even SA during my teen years and early 20s. I told her things I was feeling and thinking within my partnership, and we just started engaging.

I think I figured out what my disconnect was with how to communicate with my partner, as this was discovered in my session this morning. My new T was hearing two protector parts coming to the forefront; one was carrying this message of, "I want to be heard, made valid, and I am competent and can understand things," and then there was another part that was saying, "We don't want to offend, this is our problem, maybe things are not so bad, let's not put this out into the universe and burden people."

They've been conflicting, but ultimately are protecting the same exile. This exile being one that is burdened with feelings of being stupid, not understanding, having taken on so much criticizing and gaslighting that, that's all she knows of herself. And when she floods me with her feelings, my Inner Critic protector tries really hard to put her back in her place. Learning to love my Inner Critic is hard, but from what my T and I discovered--she doesn't get as mean as she used to, which means she's learning to trust the Self a bit more.

So these two protector parts have the same goal but are kind of tugging back and forth with each other. My "I understand and want to be heard" protector is very loud and tries to drown out my "We don't want to offend/share our burden" part, and vice versa. As my T said, "They're a package deal because they are protecting the same exile. You can't have one without the other, and so we can find a way to help them work together. They're like twins."

My T really helped me to figure out how to listen to them better, pay attention to feelings and be patient (mindfulness! lol). She then recommended You Are the One You've Been Waiting For--which I've already read the first chapter and my T was pleased to hear that. She wants me to reread the first chapter and just allow myself to experience and feel. She mentioned that I obviously have very opinionated parts and to allow these parts to converse freely without judgment--and listen to what they have to say with empathy and compassion.

She then checked in with my two protector parts that I just talked about. She said, "So, how do these parts feel about reading this book, and maybe having a conversation about what the book is about? If you allowed them both to have an equal platform without one getting outweighed over the other, how does that make them feel?"

I thought for a moment and just let these parts' emotions come and go, listened and then told my T, "Well, my 'I want to be heard and be competent' part was just saying, 'YES. Yes, I can do that and that's what I've been wanting this whole time' the entire time you were talking, haha. My 'I don't want to offend' part was a little hesitant at first, saying things like, 'I don't know if this is a good idea. I'm worried this will give us weird ideas and we might make poor choices.' But once you said that each of them will have a voice without getting drowned out, this protector relaxed and was like, 'Oh... ok, I think I can do that. I'll give it a shot, as long as my perspective is being heard.'"

It felt really good to listen and help these parts express themselves. THEY felt good about it lol, and really relaxed. I feel trust building between me and these parts, though I can still feel some hesitance from my "I don't want to offend" protector. She and I are still a little shaky, but I'm not feeling that with my "I understand and want to be heard" part. I'm guessing it's because she's always been a very loud part for me, and has had different strategies in my life in order to always have a voice. As well, I really appreciate her spunk and so I think that helps a lot lol. As for her "twin," I'm learning to give her space and compassion. She's had it rough, has also blended with me strongly many times over, but I have other parts that see her as weak. That's no good, even though I can understand why my other parts might feel that way.

She isn't weak--she's actually very empathetic, considerate, and tries very hard to be respectful of other's feelings. She doesn't want to impose, and never wants to cross that line with anyone. I actually really love her, and she's really looked out for me and for those she cares about. We just need more balance, and I want her and her "twin" to get along better lol.

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Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 22, 2020, 08:05:40 AM »
wow, kdke - there's a lot of stuff going on here!  sounds like you both get triggered by something the other says, make assumptions, and take actions based on those assumptions.  sounds like there are unresolved issues on both sides, especially when it comes to relationships.  have you ever considered couples counseling?  no need to answer if you don't want - just a thought.  i know it's not something that can probably be done right now, but for the future?

i think wanting someone to do something they're not comfortable with, and trying to manipulate them in some way - it sounds like her messages to you about it are inconsistent to me, too, which can be confusing.  and, yeah, i see passive-aggressive as well.  whether she means it or not, it's happening, and that's not a good thing for either of you.  does she acknowledge her issues in relationships?  again, you don't have to answer, just something to think about.

it was also a red flag to me that she brings up the age and 'more experience' stuff to you, like she's holding a superiority thing over your head.  i've had lots of experience with relationships, both professionally and personally, and there are still things i can learn, still mistakes i make.  that kind of statement, to me, can cause self-doubt in you, which is not a good thing, either.

i think you're doing a good job, my dear, hang in there.  i hope you're not being intimidated in this relationship.  you've been working on your issues, you acknowledge where you want to do more work, and you're being kind and patient about her issues.  i hope she can find her way to being kind and patient about yours.  love and hugs, my dear. :hug:

sanmagic7: thanks for having this conversation with me. I'll be sure to think about your suggestions and questions; it really helps me to just sit on something and process without ruminating too harshly. I'm in a much better state of mind now.

And I really appreciate your making sure I'm not being intimidated by my partner. The answer is that I truly don't feel intimidated by her. For me, I look at all of the miscommunication and struggles as frustrating (sometimes almost infuriating! lol), but I have never been in a situation where I felt powerless, or like my partner was trying to take my power away from me.

I think it's a case of  her and me not having all the tools yet to nonviolently communicate with each other--and sometimes not even be aware that we're having that issue! I think for her, knowing her as well and intimately as I do now, she's doing the very best she can. I know that she loves me so incredibly much--yet, we both obviously carry with us wrong perceptions about relationships and what it means to communicate, empathize, genuinely listen, and honor each other's experiences.

I know that I still struggle with those things, coming from a background where I didn't have the courtesy of being given those gifts, and then not knowing how to reciprocate for a very long time in any sense. My partner comes from relationships where she was either terribly abused and gaslighted, or just neglected and gaslighted. Same with me in different situations, so in a way, it makes sense that we both sometimes carry those tendencies. It's all we knew for long periods in our lives.

But it's like I said--I don't think she intends to do anything like that, and so when I hear inconsistencies in her words and see them in her actions, I have a lot of confidence that these things are most likely trauma-related and so I'm wondering how to approach that as her partner. Just like she tries to with me, but yeah lol.

Anyway, I'm just rambling, and I'm sure you know exactly what I mean by all my rambling lol.

I had a thought earlier today about how I could possibly approach her with this kind of conversation. Since the conflicts surrounding these things are usually based on the idea of projecting trauma and concerns regarding treating her like past toxic people, I wonder if there's a way to shift the focus and let her know that I'm just speaking to her in the moment. That I'm not seeing her as a toxic person, or someone I can't trust; rather, I'm just speaking directly to her, the person I love and actually trust a whole bunch, and want to continue being vulnerable with. I feel like the whole, "Kdke is getting triggered by past trauma and past abusers" has become so strong in the narrative between her and me that it might be part of the issue here, if that makes sense?

Like, "Yeah, I'm triggered, but right now, I'm in the present and I want to speak to you, my present partner, and focus on current circumstances." I'm not sure, but I'm going to think on it a bit more. I feel like there's a disconnect there somewhere. Hmm.

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Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 20, 2020, 10:48:57 PM »
hey, kdke,

from what you wrote, )and this is just my impression, so if it doesn't work for you, please ignore, ok?) it sounds like both you and your partner are working on issues, both personally and in the relationship.  that can always put a strain on the relationship in and of itself, and i've seen it too many times where people begin pointing fingers and accusing, shifting the blame.  actually, this was a little confusing to me because it seemed like you two had resolved an issue, then it started up again?

at any rate, in any relationship, there is usually something that both people could have done differently, including basic communication of what they need, want, or are looking for.  with wounded people, there will probably be barriers of some kind, walls of distrust and protection, that don't allow for true vulnerability.  in my experience, both people often add something to the problem, and that's what is important to realize and take responsibility for.

rarely is it all one person's fault.  we've been trained, tho, to acquiesce, to shoulder the blame for the sake of peace in the relationship, but it leaves us with a bad taste in our mouth, so to speak.  that sounds like what you're going thru right now.  just my opinion, of course.

i do hope the two of you get thru all the mish mash in this. keep hanging in, ok?  standing with you, my dear.  sending a hug filled with love and clarity. :hug:

I appreciate your insight so much. This conflict started regarding something that my partner and I haven't been engaging in, and I've been feeling a bit uncomfortable even approaching the topic. Basically... long-distance intimacy lol. She's a high-drive person, and I'm not. As well, parts of my past trauma surround prolonged periods where s**ual trauma existed on the internet, and so cyber intimacy--of any kind--makes me feel kinda gross. It taps into a part of me that goes into a child-like headspace, one that is trying ti appease an adult's desires, and yiiiiikes it is a terrible part to be in!

I explained this to her and I also told her, "I know this has nothing to do with you, and I have no intention of projecting that onto you. It's just that this is an avenue of intimacy that has a lot of complexity and bad feelings for me, and maybe I need to work on that. For now, I can't offer that to you, and I'm very sorry because I know this part of you is really important. I wish I can honor that better in these circumstances."

Tbh, I think the way she responded to me kind of upset me. It felt a bit inconsistent, and almost a little passive-aggressive... even though I truly don't believe she was trying to be that way, if that makes sense.

She said, "You're right, I don't want to be judged or treated like those that harmed your psyche," and also, "it may never be something that you can put behind you"; but then would say she'd never force me to do something that would put me in those headspaces, and that it's not actually important for her that I can't connect with her in this way.

I guess a part of me just really felt a little backhanded by it, even though it's like I said--I don't think she meant it to be. It just made me wonder if some part of her thinks that by my getting stuck in trauma reactions, I'm somehow treating her like the one who inflicted it upon me? It's really not the first time this has happened between us, me trying to enforce that I don't believe, for one second, that my trauma reactions have anything to really do with her. I am aware enough to understand, even in the moment, that something she might say or do can trigger an EF, but that she herself isn't the issue. I don't ever feel that way about her.

However, a part of me really picks up on this energy from her that is taking it really personally, and I start to feel extremely badly about that because yeah--I have cPTSD and certain things are going to hit me in visceral ways. I'm doing much better, but I still have periods where it just hits extra hard.

Then there is this struggle of trying to connect with her about certain things that she doesn't appreciate being done, but then she will sometimes do the same thing to me. Such as, assuming each other's needs. I will sometimes feel very unworthy (again, there's honestly nothing she does that makes me feel this way; it's just my cPTSD) and I will distance myself because I don't feel like I deserve to offer intimacy, or I might be afraid my partner doesn't want it from me. For her, she takes this as me assuming what she needs or wants, and me taking choice away from her. It triggers her very badly, and I try to honor that by being more clear about why I might not always feel right about offering it.

But like, a few months ago, she interpreted me as wanting to be alone, and just left my apartment even though I kept telling her that I didn't want her to go lol. And when I brought it up and I was like, "So like... that really was the same idea. You took away my choice in that moment. I was upset, even though I even told you I was going to be ok and wanted you be there, but you kept denying me that and left anyway. Which it would've been one thing if it was just about you NOT wanting to be there, but it wasn't. You told me you left because you assumed I didn't want you there, and you decided to make that choice for me to leave, regardless of what I was saying to you."

It really seemed like she either didn't understand it was the same thing, or she didn't want to own it. I think she and I struggle a lot with being told that we're sometimes inconsistent. I also think that, because she is 12 years older than I am, there is this air of, "I'm older than you and therefore have gone through these things and know better" mindset she will go into. I get it and definitely agree she has more experience than I do at many things, but it sometimes feels a bit patronizing, and I worry that it sometimes shuts down connection and listening.

There's just some things getting lost in translation in our conversations that I'm having to look over in order to understand. A lot of these conversations are happening over private messages, so I can revisit them--and I really only allow myself to do that when the intention to interpret and empathize is clear enough inside me. I always want to make sure I see things within correct context, rather than cherry pick. So I look over the conversations to help me process them (thank goodness for them being written down, in that case, though we tend to have most of our conversations in facetime), and I'm seeing these hiccups where we are not connecting very well during conflict.

She will complain that she has to explain herself at times because she feels I'm misunderstanding, which is fair; but it's said with the caveat of her not wanting to have to do this because it makes her feel like my misunderstanding is a form of distrust against her. And so for me, that sends a message of needing to always understand what she's saying the first time around, lest she feels like I just don't trust her and that will cause conflict, and therefore it will be my fault? I guess for me, I can anticipate that I might not understand something and interpret it incorrectly, but it has nothing to do with how I actually feel about that person. And I also try to take into consideration that my own headspace can make understanding a bit difficult.

I also start to get upset when this is brought up, because I will also have to clarify myself a lot with her, because she sometimes misunderstands what I'm saying, too. And for me, I will get frustrated by this sometimes, but I don't see this has her distrusting me. I either chalk it up to, "I must not be explaining myself well, so I'm going to try again," or, "she's obviously triggered and so I'm going to attempt to explain this differently." I don't come at it from an angle of thinking her misinterpretation of my words has to do something with me as a person. I'm not sure if she's aware that, that's how I view her misunderstandings, though.

I just... argh lol. I love her a whole bunch and I know these things are just part of a partnership. For the most part, I put these recent conflicts into the context that this pandemic sucks and it really is eating up at people's mental health. For many of us, it's bringing up a lot of trauma--I do believe I'm on that boat. Overall, I think my partner is an amazing person who's done a lot of work for herself and her state of mind; at the same time, I'm noticing some things that really need resolving between us because I don't want to keep carrying those barriers throughout the entirety of she and I being together. We ain't perfect, and while I don't think she believes she is for a single second, I think sometimes she projects and doesn't always realize when she's doing it. Don't we all lol.

8
19th April 2020
I've been comfort eating quite a bit - on and off today - I feel a lot of surfacing emotions and feelings, and I guess there's a part of me that wants to bury them, or numb myself, hence turning to the comfort of food.  I really hope that I can tolerate things better tomorrow, and not reach for food as a comfort. 
Hope  :)

I've been comfort eating a lot, too. Lucky for me, with the pandemic, my comfort eating part is OK with compromising certain treats lol. Other ones, though--well, we're working on it! Here's hoping your part and your Self will find a better balance, too.

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Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 19, 2020, 11:42:48 PM »
Last few days have been hard for me. With the pandemic, the feelings of uncertainty, instability, and not having my partner with me, I just feel as though it's amplifying all those parts that represent those things.

My partner has been telling me that I've been bringing this bad juju into the relationship, and treating her love harshly. She feels like I'm trying to trigger this self-fulfilling prophecy of ruining the relationship, and that she keeps on giving to me, and that I'm just shutting her out. She feels as though I'm treating her like someone I can't trust, and that my struggles are my own fault right now.

I can't say I blame her for feeling that way, and I certainly don't want her to feel like I need her to chase me or save me. Tbh, there have been times where I wish she'd leave me alone about it and just let me process. I also just wish she was here, but like... not bothering me as I try to sort out my feelings lol. If that makes sense.

I usually don't cry on my own; my parts won't let me most of the time, to just let go and let the tears roll. But right now, I just find myself crying, I feel so badly. I can admit that I misunderstand things when I'm not in a part that allows me to interpret things well, but has it all been that bad? The conversation between me and my partner only settled down once I was like, "You're right, I need to step things up with helping myself and this is my fault. You've not contributed to this and I need to fix that. I'm sorry." Only then has the topic finally settled down. She accepted that response and is enforcing it.

And perhaps it all is just my fault. I feel very alone right now in how I'm struggling, and wondering whether I've been this horribly problematic partner dragging my girlfriend down weighs super heavily on me. I never wanted this; I just feel depressed and scared, and so lonely.

I'm seeing that there's a part of me that also doesn't want to be alone in this blame; I can tell it's been there for a while, and is covering an exile that honestly just blames herself for everything, including destroyed relationships. She carries actual memories of people blaming her for failed relationships that weren't even hers, or of trying to destroy relationships in general. She's been called a "plague," a disappointment, and told if she had only done A or B, these terrible things might've not happened. It's all her fault that people are unhappy and feel broken, it's her fault that people can't feel loved or stable. All her fault, she always makes bad decisions, she's always to blame for these things.

This protector shielding it is just like, "NO. It's either your fault AND the other person, or it's just their fault!" It's like... if I'm going to be blamed, this part wants to make sure I'm not the only one getting thrown down this pit.

I know this protector is blended with me right now, and I am having a hard time unblending with it because I can feel it still wanting to look at my partner and find blame in her actions. It's desperately afraid of letting go, of allowing the Self to accept that maybe I am at fault here and just need to take responsibility for that.

Or... even if I'm not 100% at fault, to be ok with just stepping down and taking care of what I can. Let it be--if someone wants to say it's all our fault, then fine. Let it be; after all, we can only do what it's truly in our control to do, regardless of the truth.

*****

I was able to unblend with this part enough to connect with it and come to a better place. I was able to get an image for this protector--she looks like me, but she glows this lovely golden color. Her hands are always out in a gesture of wanting to give me something and she just says, "It's not your fault. You're good, and it's not your fault. Please don't think this is your fault."

I was able to connect with her a bit more, let her know that I'm not as vulnerable as I was many years ago, but that I think she's beautiful and I'm so incredibly grateful for her. She's worked so hard to protect me from accusations, from lies meant to make me seem like a bad person, or from being hurt by others trying to blame me for things that are just not mine to own. She's been this golden, radiant protector coming forth to stand up for me, to make sure I'm safe and that I never believe that I'm bad and destructive and a monster. She believed in me, for so so long, and she's tired. I see her wearing a crown, way too heavy for her, but she's like a queen--a mighty guardian within the realm that's my system.

Even though I've unblended with her a little, to just connect with her a bit, she still holds her hands out to me, wanting me to believe her and not tear myself apart. Other times, when unblended, it seems like she doesn't know what to do and just stands there, confused. There's a lot to work on as far as connecting with the exile behind her and then finding her a new way to function, but I'm so glad she knows the Self is there and is willing to communicate. At first, she wasn't sure and hesitated; but now, there's some trust, and I'm so happy about that.

10
Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 15, 2020, 08:32:15 PM »
sounds like a rough patch. i'm rooting for the two of you.

by the by, key lime is my absolute favorite!  glad you celebrated!  love and hugs - hope everything smooths out as quickly as possible. :hug: :hug:

I appreciate your hopes for me and my partner. We were able to smooth things over, thankfully. It seems like some things were being miscommunicated between us; I offered some boundaries regarding focusing on the different IFS book and also doing the exercises separately, and my partner got really activated and took this as me shutting her out. She really panicked and even started to fear that I was closing her out for good  :'( Poor girlfriend.

She was also very defensive about these feelings, and I was hearing a part coming from her that was blaming me for all of the distress we've been going through for the past few days. My protectors wanted to throw down the hammer on this, but I realized that my partner was just really triggered, and I clarified my intentions with her. I felt that it was important for us to do the exercises on our own times so each other's parts are not dictating/interjecting/objecting against parts that they don't like--so we can allow our parts to have a safe space to come forward and express themselves in healthy ways without any of the extra conflict.

I offered that to see how my partner felt about it, and I watched her visibly relax and start to smile. She just felt so much better and relieved that I wasn't coming from a place of closing off, but from trying to protect one another in this process so we can grow and be happy together. My intention was to establish healthy boundaries, not create brick walls or obstacles. She told me that she wanted to honor that boundary with me and felt it was a good idea, and that we would explore this new IFS text together, since it was made more for couples, anyway. It seemed more relevant to us, and safer to explore right now with everything we're healing from.

I facetimed her earlier today and she was still sleeping; she hasn't been sleeping well for the past two days because of the conversations we've been having, but now she's finally resting. Makes me happy.

11
Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 14, 2020, 06:38:55 AM »
sanmagic7: Thanks so much! I had a couple slices of key lime pie to celebrate lol.  :hug:

Quote from: Snowdrop
I don't know if this helps, but when I'm working with parts, it's very important for me to get permission from every protector part that's potentially involved before going near an exile. This may take a few days, but it means that my protectors are less likely to get activated. Please ignore this thought if it's not helpful, it's just what occurred to me when I read your post.

This is very helpful because I know when reading Self Therapy, my partner and I can feel a lot of exiles and just want to jump to them. I don't want to speak for my partner, because I am getting a feeling she wishes to approach these situations differently--but for me, I know that if I try to rush to my exiles because I feel them and know what they're expressing, I can be met with resistance, especially from my protectors. So definitely, I hear you on that one. I understand now why when I feel blended with an exile, it can be so incredibly hard to feel compassion, calmness, and connection to them.

*****

Well, my birthday has ended on a bit of a sad note: the incident that I wrote about in my last entry, along with its second conversation, has left my partner feeling a bit despondent. She wants to be left alone to work out her feelings and come to a better headspace, and I respect that.

This isn't the first time she and I have had this kind of conversation, where she expresses a kind of hopelessness when my parts are activated and start flooding me with a lot of thoughts and emotions. But from what I've gathered in our last conversation is that maybe there is a need for boundaries between her and me regarding mental distress and monitoring those moments.

I understand the feeling of watching a loved one become upset and not being able to stop it. It's one of the worst feelings in the world. But what I've learned from so many of those encounters is that I can't save anyone from themselves. I can stand with them, be with them as they come to a better place, but I appreciate the boundary of not being the one to save them from the depths of themselves. I don't think that's healthy, as I've tried to do that for others and they for me, and it's always ended in despair and bitterness.

When Linda was talking to me about how she felt when I got upset by certain topics, she said things that really suggested that she had some urge to pull me out of these "dark places," and not being able to do so made her feel really distressed.

I listened to her, and I told her, "I understand that as my partner, it really upsets you to see me experience my emotions and thoughts the way I do when I'm distressed about something. I get it--I feel it, too, and part of my distress is knowing you're there to watch it happen. It hurts me a lot to know you see me in those moments. I want to say that I'm in the process of allowing myself to feel these emotions without attempting to silence them, repress them, or hating them, and through IFS, I'm learning to do this in a healthier way. It's going to take time and patience.

"As far as I'm concerned, all of that is my responsibility and not yours. I don't want you to feel like you have to pull me out of anything. I appreciate you being here with me, to wait with me as I process my feelings and internal dialogues, but it's not your job to make it right and I don't feel it would ever be right for me to give you that job. I have to learn how to do these things myself, and it's a terrible struggle. It's already so hard to look at my emotions and thoughts and let them exist without hating them, but I know it's the best way for me to heal.

"So all I ask you to do is just give me patience and trust me to do what's best for me, and to allow me to process my feelings instead of constantly trying to avoid them. If you don't want to talk about certain things because you think they'll make me upset, and that worries you, I understand. You tell me it's because you don't want to see me hurt, but I'm realizing that in order for me to get through the pain, I have to feel it and accept it for what it is. I have to listen to it, not do everything I can to avoid it. I can't do that anymore, I'm done trying to reject my parts."

I told her I loved her and that I know she's on my side, and that I will always be a partner willing to work on herself so that she can work on the relationship. I want this relationship, and I want Linda to be in it with me. That's all extremely important to me.

But I knew she was exhausted, because she and I had a tense conversation, trying to communicate and clarify our stances on things. She was crying, I was crying (but trying not to because my crying part and I don't have a good connection right now lol. Working on it!), and it was a lot.

I don't know where she stands; she said she needs time to rest and is happy to talk about things tomorrow. I just hope she feels ok tomorrow. It's all hard stuff, and I'm still processing things, myself.

12
Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 13, 2020, 10:59:02 PM »
TODAY'S MY BIRTHDAY WOOOOOO. The big 33, and it feels good lol. I think that's an excellent number to sit on for the next year.

Anyway, I have a fun event to talk about... maybe not so fun, but a good, hard lesson.

Linda, my partner, and I are reading through Self Therapy together via FaceTime. Last night, we read a chapter, reached a trailhead exercise, and I had several parts (and at least one exile) that maaaajorly activated.

I couldn't even finish the exercise because the parts I was feeling were either trying to get a hold of the situation (poorly, of course) or were flooding me like crazy. I was attempting to think of a trailhead and at one point even offered my partner to think of one. Then one popped into my head and I was like, "Oooh I got one! I'll use this one."

Then Linda said, "But what about this other one?"

I said, "But I'm going to the one I just thought of."

I really, really wish I can properly remember what Linda said because I don't want to misrepresent her, but all I can say is a part of me thought she was trying to not just get me to use her idea, but also to poke at me about it.

Like, "This trailhead is one I think you struggle with more, that's why I remember it, and I think you should use it," type of approach. That's how my part took it (even though I know now that's not what my partner said), and it went wild over this. Very activated, defensive, trying to move attention back to the trailhead I already thought of. I felt the ache of panic in my chest tighten up, my arms and hands started to tremble.

I had another part that was trying to come in and make me stop talking. Another part was trying to help me think more reasonably. Another part just wanted me to apologize for getting upset and comfort my partner. And of course, the first part was still very upset, and then even another was trying to passive aggressively blame the whole thing on Linda. That part worried other parts a little bit, and was being override by my "apology" and "let's be reasonable" parts.

Lots of protectors freaking out lol. Unfortunately, the exiles finally came forth and flooded me. One exile that felt like a child, helpless, and scared all the time. Another that felt like a monster who didn't deserve the time of day.

And then a protector came forth to try and put these exiles back in their places: an inner critic that had a lot to say about all of these parts.

It left me feeling so ashamed and disappointed. I couldn't focus on the initial trailhead or calm down. I was just crying, felt so vulnerable and worried. My partner was also sad for me. We ended the conversation with me crying a river because I just couldn't face my partner any longer.

After I ended the FaceTime call. My exiles calmed down and I stopped crying. My protectors were still a little activated, and I just felt exhausted and wired all at once.

Linda and I talked about what happened last night and she expressed a lot of interesting thoughts coming into her head.

She said things like, "I bring up certain topics and then you go to this really dark place. I try everything in my arsenal to get you back and then I can't. How am I, as your partner, supposed to handle a situation like that when you're so upset?" Linda was crying and mentioning things I've done in the past when I was upset. There was one time I got so blended with an exile and some protectors that I just completely isolated for a few days. It was so hard for me to unblend, just enough, to come out of it and finally communicate what I was going through. Even then, I was heavily blended with an exile and just felt like this scared, beaten up little girl.

It was times like those when Linda's words made a part of me feel like Linda wasn't understanding what I was dealing with, not really. Luckily, today she revealed to me how she was perceiving these experiences, and it told me a lot about her own trauma regarding uncomfortable interactions between her and past partners.

She felt like, any time I got defensive and really upset during a topic that was activating my parts, that I was also perceiving her as an enemy.

I was having a hard time understanding that at first, but then when it clicked, I was thought, ooooh, it would make sense that she would come from that POV since her past partners had such polarizing feelings toward her. Her past partners were very abusive to certain degrees, and would genuinely either lovebomb her or treat her like trash for even looking at them funny.

Once that clicked, I was able to connect with Linda and soothe her a bit, let her know that my thinking wasn't so black and white like that. I told her, "I've worked really hard to have some awareness of myself when I'm defensive and upset, so even though it can look really bad, I'm already working on trying to calm myself. It just takes me some time. And it's just the reality that our loved ones will make choices that we either perceive to be poor or actually are. If you made a choice toward me that I just thought was poor or actually was, that doesn't change how I feel about you, even in the moment. I love you, and we're human. I don't think you're my enemy, and never would. I know you love me and always do your best for me."

I let her know that I really needed her to trust me to process my feelings, even when my emotions and thoughts are really intense; that I'm doing my part to learn how to connect with my parts and feel healthier and happier.

And that I trusted her to do the same for herself, so we could meet in the middle and help each other within healthy boundaries.

I think the way I feel and how that manifests just makes her nervous and she goes into EF's about it, if I'm totally honest. I feel so badly about it because she's been battered by her former partners, emotionally or what else. I don't even want to say it. I'm grateful that I only cry a lot and just get a little defensive--and even when I'm defensive, now I'm very good at saying, "Sorry, this isn't your fault, I'm just feeling really defensive right now and need a moment." LOL

I even gotten really good at owning when I misunderstand something, even though I have a part that really hates saying it lol.

But I told her about this other book written by Richard Schwartz, it's called You Are the One You've Been Waiting For. I told her that I'm wondering if maybe it's more appropriate for her and me to read as a couple, as it's designed for creating more intimacy in relationships. The Self Therapy book is designed for people to help themselves AND with a partner, but maybe not one as intimate as a romantic partner. I'm also having to own that maybe it's best to create that boundary for my own peace of mind, between me and Linda, and stick to what's designed for our partnership instead. I wanted to connect with her better, either way. That was always the goal.

13
Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 12, 2020, 08:31:22 PM »
sanmagic7: I love EMDR and the potential it has to heal so many people. My trauma T, back when she and I were working together, tried EMDR with me; unfortunately, my schedule at the time was proving too erratic for proper EMDR therapy (considering a lot of the unresolved trauma I was dealing with) and so she moved me to DBT, which then sparked the idea behind IFS with her and me~

Snowdrop: YES! I think we all have a therapy that works well with our psyches.

********

So today I wanted to write a letter or two to one/two of my parts that have been particularly activated right now. I figured I'd write them here in my journal because let's face it: I'm a Millennial and I haven't handwritten pages' worth of words in probably a decade lol! My hands are just not muscled right for it anymore, if that makes sense.

Anyway, so this letter is for a protector part, a manager part that I can feel trying to categorize and psychoanalyze my parts. This part has obviously been around for a while; she's young and very smart, likes to figure things out and put things in their place. She enjoys organizing, prioritizing, and labeling the psyche for all the ways it exists. She became particularly activated when I started understanding psychology more, and she really comes to the forefront when I'm doing logical things.

She likes math, symbolic logic, proofreading, editing, solving people and my mind like a puzzle. She's like a Sherlock Holmes!

So here's my letter to her. I hope she will hear me.

*****

Dear little Miss Sherlock,

I just wanted to tell you how much I absolutely adore you. You're so incredibly sharp and you help me to deep focus during work, when doing anything that requires me to calculate, pull things apart to understand their meaning, and put them back together.

You've been at the forefront every day when I'm at my job, making sure I take in every detail so that every piece of work I do is meticulously completed and just right. You've helped me when I would tutor, back in college, and when I would create my own work to get my degree. You enjoy medical coding, test coding--just anything that involves categorizing and problem solving. I love it!

You bring me good vibes, a feeling of control, and deep focus. You are the energy that hones in on trying to find out what is most essential for me or anything I try to understand. You notice people and want to solve them like puzzles, to help me understand them and maybe help them understand themselves.

At the end of the day, I can tell you're the biggest problem solver I have, and you try so incredibly hard when you're blended with me. You put in an amazing amount of energy, and I appreciate you so much for that. It makes sense to me why these things are important to you, because solving issues and finding out the best way to do and perceive problems makes life easier for me, and helps me to understand my world a little better. That gives me relief when I feel I have a good grip on why something functions the way it does, and I feel really good when I can do something just right.

I can see now that you are looking out for me a lot, and I have always noticed you to some capacity. Thank you for being with me, with my system, and for taking care of my ability to understand. You mean so much to me, and so I know how this new process of understanding the psyche might be a little hard for you. I'm sensing some resistance because we're now having to wait, be patient, and not categorize and prioritize so much. We're having to look at parts and see that there's not necessarily a problem to be solved, but that we need to connect and just listen, not analyze.

I know that's hard for you, to accept parts and not try to figure them out like they're a problem to be solved. I can see that now.

I don't know if you're entirely aware of me yet, but that's ok. I'm going to leave this letter here and we will keep revisiting it. We'll find a way to sit together, you and me, and connect and listen to one another. Like I said, I just adore you and think you're amazing. I just want you to know I'm here, that I'm listening, and that I hope you come to trust me when I say it's going to be all right. We don't have to solve everything.

I'm wondering if maybe we can find ways to connect by doing more puzzles together, things that you really like. We'll have to see!

I appreciate you, little Miss Sherlock.

- kdke

 :hug:

14
Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 08, 2020, 05:37:19 AM »
sanmagic7: hugs all around lol  :hug: and yes, more and more parts are being recognize for how the operate, and it's a little overwhelming tbh. Not in a bad way, but I'm amazed at how many I can pin point!

Hope67: Thank you, so much. I appreciate your insight a lot. Hugs  :hug:

notalone: Isn't it amazing? I've had college counselor (when I was in college) do that for me when I was feeling incredibly angry. She allowed me to voice what that part was feeling without judgment, even validated its anger--reveled in it. I was confused at first and eventually calmed down, and she helped me to understand why that part probably felt the way it did, and how it's not coming from bad intent. It was hurting, and was trying to defend me. That and anger is just energy; its purpose can be used in however way you choose.

*********

It's been interesting so far with IFS. I'm finding myself noticing and embracing protectors and exiles as memories are revisited. I'm in an online IFS group, and someone brought up "two-faced" behavior. This person wasn't in Self when talking about it (which I don't blame them one bit, considering the topic), and I felt courageous enough to talk about my own experiences with two-faced behavior.

The fact being, I believe it is a protector and that I've had this protector in my life for a long time. Being "two-faced" was something I did a lot, mostly in my younger years. I would fawn to one person, and then turn around and fawn to the person the first one had an issue with. I would get caught in lies, in appealing to both persons in way or another. I would sometimes even throw one of them under the bus to make the other happy.

I now have a better way to communicate with that protector, and better understand why it behaved that way. It only wanted me to feel accepted, loved, valued, and wanted. I did anything I could to get those things from people I didn't even really like, but feared retaliation from. I didn't care who it was; the urge to be accepted and loved was so strong that I didn't discriminate who I fawned to.

I just wanted to be seen, and so this "two-faced" protector came to the rescue. It was shielding a very rejected exile who never felt accepted for exactly who she was; and little one who felt dismissed, undervalued, even worthless. Constantly bullied, constantly judged and ostracized. I feel her now and realize how blended that exile is with me.

I can look at my protector and see that she wasn't trying to be malicious or even be dishonest. She was just trying to find me a place in the world where I felt I belonged to something, had a social circle, and celebrated by others. She tried to make me feel relevant, not a waste of space, not an outcast. I'm so grateful for this part.

I shared this with the person in my group, and it felt easy. IFS really seems to remove the shame I've felt for parts of me that I judged as bad, harmful, or deviant. Instead I can look at them and genuinely know they're doing their best, and I have the power to help them find a better way to function.

EDIT: I also wanted to add that I slept for about a day and a half the past two days. I had this terrible headache that was making me extremely nauseated; I almost thought I was going to toss my cookies a couple of times. My body just keep telling me to shutdown--sleep it off. I was so frustrated with myself because I wanted to feel productive, energetic, but my head and my stomach weren't having it.

But today I feel a whole lot better. I think going to work helped some, even though with the epidemic, I'm only working two days a week. I wonder if this headache was both allergy and stress related. I'm also not looking forward to logging job applications for partial unemployment lol.

15
Recovery Journals / Re: kdke's journal, part .o2
« on: April 05, 2020, 08:26:25 AM »
sanmagic7: you don't know how much I've thought about you during these past months when thinking about the forums! You're amazing and I'm glad to see you still going strong, even though we've all gone through our struggles. I appreciate you so much.   :hug:

Three Roses: same to you! I'm so happy you stopped by to say hello. Thank you for being such a lovely presence here. You're valued  :hug:

I've taken yesterday and today off from reading Self Therapy just because I've been marinating myself in IFS all week lol. I've listened to a podcast about IFS, and read about it, and have been interacting with others on Facebook about it--I'm just surrounded!

I also talked to Linda about maybe practicing it with me, since in Self Therapy, it's encouraged to find a partner to practice the method with. Linda said she would look into it and once she did, found it interesting. I think if I nag her a bit, she'll follow through with me and we can try it out. Anything to more deeply connect and communicate more effectively.

On my own time, I'm starting to feel a lot of different parts that blend with me throughout the day. Some seriously clever ones that have been trying to protect me from a lot of uncomfortable feelings--exiles that bring a lot of burdens and pain with them when they float to the surface.

There is one, very prominent protector that tends to get me several times a day. I've called him the Crow. He's very clever, quick, and enjoys shiny things. Whenever I'm faced with having to do something essential--be it self care or doing a chore--Crow comes forward and says, "That's too overwhelming and time-consuming right now. Look over here at this thing! Let's do that instead." And so there I'll go, led by Crow to do the shiny thing that makes me happy and lets me disassociate. The essential thing is forgotten until later.

I think I really need to connect to Crow and let him know that sometimes, a distraction is really nice and helpful, but essentials are incredibly important and do need to get done. I'm trying to access Self so I can talk to him about this.

Another protector of mine that reared its head today is my "I want to be heard and you will hear me NOW" protector. She fights to have me validated when I feel unheard, patronized, and/or misunderstood. She's a fighter and will talk and talk and talk--she is the head against the brick wall, even if the other person does actually get it. When she's blended with me, she can't tell the difference, and she will push without limits.

I can see that she has been around for a long time, doing her very best to protect me from people who've either genuinely treated me badly and dismissed things I've said, or that I've perceived to be doing so. She gets upset and irritated, very frustrated, and will snap and get loud. My voice will get higher and faster, my eyebrows will furrow, I'll frown a little, sigh a lot, and I start to feel tension in my upper chest and the crown of my head. Maybe not tension... but energy. A very raw, red energy.

Sometimes anxiety will cause an ache in my stomach, too, and knots, when she's ready to brawl, but I don't think that's her causing that discomfort. I think that's another protector in conflict with her; one that doesn't want to be confrontational, and is afraid of retaliation, and even of me getting TOO out of hand.

All of them protecting me from exiles that I have a good idea about, after having been in therapy for a while. However, it's really hard for me to not analyze my parts and their purposes. I can be analytical to a fault lol.

Since right now, essentials are a huge part of my general sense of care and stability, Crow and I are going to connect. I communicate best in writing, so maybe that'll be how I do it? I have the handbook for Self Therapy and so I will look to that, too.

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