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Topics - Hope67

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Inner Child Work / How to journal - to honour and befriend my parts
« on: October 18, 2020, 12:44:17 PM »
Hi everyone,
In addition to the Journal I keep here in this forum, I also want to also start journalling on paper - and hoping to do so for the benefit of enabling my different parts to communicate.  So I wanted to ask if anyone could share their thoughts/experiences with regard to this.

I am wondering whether to just have a flowing diary where all  parts can write, or whether to have different books for each of them to write in - but I don't want to make it too complicated.

I have got quite a few different books already - none of them have been written in!  Part of the difficulty is wondering about how best to approach it, and I guess different parts are finding it difficult to let me start doing it.  Hence I haven't done it yet.

Any thoughts or reflections from anyone - I'd really like to hear them, as I feel sure it will help me make some decisions on how to proceed.

Thank you
Hope  :)

Hi everyone,
I just registered for this 2020 Trauma & Attachment Summit, which is from 30th September 2020 to 7th October 2020 - so it's an 8 day free conference.
Just putting the link incase anyone else is interested.  It looks like it could be good.
Hope  :)

Checking Out / A few days of holiday
« on: August 23, 2020, 05:27:30 PM »
Hi everyone,
I am taking a break, to have a holiday, so I am looking forward to that.
Hope  :)

I found this article helpful, and wanted to share it here:

What I found particularly helpful was where it mentioned about survivors having numb legs, and other parts, due to the fight or flight response being re-activated many 100's of times - this is happening to me a lot at night-time at the moment, whilst I am processing more things related to CSA.  But it has happened to me across the years as well, but I didn't realise why.

I also have memories of my legs 'giving way' beneath me when I was younger (during my childhood) and other memories.

Hope  :)

Conferences/Courses / Online Training Courses by Carolyn Spring
« on: August 10, 2020, 11:33:50 AM »
Hi everyone,
I heard about this person (Carolyn Spring) through someone else in this forum, and had a look at what she does.  I have listened to some of the free samples of these online training courses, and am very interested.  I realise some helpful notes I'd written in my journal yesterday were actually from things she'd said in the free samples, and I wanted to share a link to her Online Courses:

My query is whether anyone has completed any of these courses so far, and what their experience was?

I have bought a couple of them myself, as they are discounted this month (August 2020) and I thought it might be quite beneficial to me.

I bought the CSA and the relational trauma ones - I am also considering one of the dissociative ones too - but not sure which one to go for.  Plus I want to try listening to the courses and see what I think.

I hope to feedback when I complete the courses - but in the meantime, wanted to put the information here, incase anyone else is similarly interested, and in anycase, I found plenty of helpful info from just accessing the 'free samples' - they are really good (I think).

Hope  :)

Recovery Journals / Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« on: August 03, 2020, 03:19:32 PM »
3rd August 2020.

Hope’s Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.

WhoBuddy recommended a book to me about Befriending parts, which is by Janina Fisher, and I have been struggling to start this latest journal, so I’ve resorted to copying the notes I wrote from her book, as they highlight some of my aims in continuing this journey:

I hope to:
* Develop and form internal attachment relationships to my young selves
* Be mindful of conflicts, ambivalence, or confusion = manifestations of struggles between parts
* Build empathy and attunement to parts
* Overcome self-alienation
* Mindfully scan my body and feeling states for the communications from my fragmented selves
* Adopt or come to love the hurt, lost and lonely parts
*Develop self-compassion and awareness
* Befriend my parts and earn their trust
* Try to develop the following qualities as antidotes to the painful experiences suffered by exiled child parts: Curiosity; Clarity; Creativity; Calm; Courage; Confidence; and Commitment.
* Aim to help my adult self to grow these ‘C’ qualities listed above, to help the child parts learn to turn to a ‘self-led’ wise adult self who can reassure their fears and loneliness.

Previously, I noted the following from the book, as helpful, and I still feel it is helpful now, so including it:
“Traumatic events – encoded as implicit emotional and physical states, rather than encoded in the form of chronological narrative.  Disowning the “not me” or trauma-related parts and the ability to function without awareness of having been traumatized.  Assume that all distressing thoughts, feelings and body responses are communications from trauma-related parts.”

Tip: Notice the parts’ distressing emotions and unsafe impulses and regulate them, rather than react to them.

(I’ve had to resort to copying the start of a previous journal of mine, because I found parts have been resistant to my starting a new journal – especially as I’ve been away for a few weeks from the forum)

I am however glad to be back here, as I feel like I need to use this space to move forward in my journalling, and connect with others here. 

I value any replies or comments from others.  It feels very validating to share things in that way, and I am grateful to everyone who has written in my previous journals. 

(I’m aware there are resistant parts of me today – but I really want to write these things right now.  I want to start this journal off).

I feel like I need to say to all my parts, ‘please don’t worry’ ‘I am going to try to ensure you’re all part of my life, and noone will be missed out or neglected, I care about you all.’  (Feeling reassured by this).

Glad to have written something, and started this new journal today.

Hope  :)

I saw this Conference today and just wanted to put a link here, incase anyone is interested.  There is a session in the afternoon by Dr Jay Earley which is an 'Intro to IFS (internal family systems) and is an experiential session - the other talks also sound interesting.

Hope  :)

Hi - just to  say I'm taking a break for some or all of July, but will hope to be back feeling more refreshed and to start a new journal then.   :)
Hope  :)

Back in December 2018, I started a thread called “Book Suggestions – Maybe something calming, enjoyable to read?

Quite a few suggestions were put forward including one by Kalmer who said: The Little Princess? 
Within that same thread, Blueberry said:
“ I love The Secret Garden too. I re-read it ever so often. The story of the little girl in the attic is probably The Little Princess by the same author as The Secret Garden.”

This led me to reading both books by Frances Hodgson Burnett ‘The Little Princess’ and then ‘The Secret Garden’ (both of which I had read as a child numerous times, as they both resonated with Little Hope, and still do).  Infact, Little Hope (maybe aged 8 years or so) wanted me to collate all the things people wrote about ‘The Secret Garden’ - and so:

On June 16th 2020, I wrote in my Journal:

“I noticed that quite a few people talked about 'The Secret Garden' and I really would like to open a topic to discuss it there, because those words that people said about it, they are so meaningful and I might ask if I could collate the comments and put them in that topic, if people didn't mind - I think Blueberry, Notalone and Woodsgnome all mentioned things about it, and I love that book so much - I've still not managed to read it.  I might message them to ask if I can quote what they said, and open that topic up - as I really value that book and related to the characters.

Thank you Notalone, as you replied and said: “Regarding, The Secret Garden, you are welcome to quote me on anything I said about the book.  

Thank you Blueberry, as  you wrote: You're welcome to quote me on The Secret Garden too. I'm sure you could open a discussion on the book as it pertains to you and/or us and cptsd on The Cafe board at least.

Thank you Woodsgnome, as you wrote: “  Yes, you also have permission to reference any observations I've made concerning the book. I only recently read it, then watched a series that BBC originally aired in 1975 based on it. There are others but most reviewers say that the 1975 version hews closest to the original book, an opinion with which I concur.

Woodsgnome continued and said:
“The book made such an impression on me that it became the centrepoint of today's therapy session. Although a voracious reader, I'm rarely as struck as I have been by 'The Secret Garden.' “

So I’ve started a thread in the Cafe section (as per Blueberry’s helpful suggestion for where it could go), and have just been through my Journal and also other areas of the forum where I noticed comments on this subject, and am collating them here:

On 25th May 2020, I wrote in my journal that

I've got a children's book to read this afternoon - 'The Secret Garden' - I'm looking forward to reading it.  So maybe that's what I'll be doing. 

Then later that same day, I wrote:

I managed to read a little of 'The Secret Garden' today - but only a few pages, and didn't feel able to concentrate properly on it.  It seemed quite a dark book - didn't realise it was about cholera deaths causing the young heroine of the book to be orphaned - I've seen the film of 'The Secret Garden' and didn't notice that part.  What interests me about this is that in this book, and in 'The Little Princess' by Frances Hodgson Burnett - there's similar themes - the children in those tales are quite lonely and oppressed and sad in some way, but seem to have a feeling that they are 'special' at the same time, and I really relate to that kind of mixed feeling within myself as a child.  Lonely, misunderstood, oppressed and yet feeling that sometimes I was given gifts and treated as being special. 

Notalone said:

I like "The Secret Garden," but it does have some parts that could be disturbing.

I replied to Notalone:
“Hi Notalone - yes, I think there are heavy parts in that book 'The Secret Garden' as well - but I know I like the story - and the freedom of escaping into the Secret Garden itself, so I'm hoping it will be like that when I read it. 

On 26th May 2020, I wrote:

So I'm reading 'The Secret Garden' and two parts really resonate with me, from the perspective of the young orphaned girl - and I wanted to quote them, to remember them "...she had begun to feel lonely and to think queer thoughts which were new to her.  She had begun to wonder why she had never seemed to belong to anyone even when her father and mother had been alive.  Other children seemed to belong to their fathers and mothers, but she had never seemed to really be anyone's little girl... no one had taken any notice of her."  and then another section which is "She frowned because she remembered that her father and mother had never talked to her about anything in particular.  Certainly they had never told her things."

I imagine how this must have felt to me, when I was Little Hope, and the fact that this character in the book I liked was similar to myself - in terms of feeling lonely and isolated and having no feeling of bonding with her parents - really like they just didn't care about her/me.

On 29th May 2020, I said about the book:

  I realise that in reading and empathising with the lonely orphaned girl in the book, that I am connecting with that part of myself that was lonely and isolated in my early childhood, and I have been reminding myself that people do care about her, and therefore people do care about me.  That is helping me in my attempts to re-parent myself and bring all my parts along to know they are all valued. 

Blueberry said:
“Hope, I loved "The Secret Garden" as a child. I still have the book and re-read it often. Idk if I saw myself in Mary as a child, I don't think so, but I loved the mystery and the garden awakening.”

I replied to Blueberry and said:
I am enjoying reading 'The Secret Garden' again - I think it's a long time since I read it.  Thanks for what you said, and I'm looking forward to the garden awakening - that's a lovely way to describe it. 

I've been thinking about what aspects of the character's situation resonates with me, and I think it's the fact that no one in her family had communicated anything meaningful to her - and I relate to that.  Also, I notice that I must have been looking at her experiences as a young child and thinking that I could emulate her - i.e. I think it was the gift of the skipping rope she got that made me seek to have a skipping rope to play with myself.  I can't be sure of my memories about that.

I'm finding it helpful as I read the book, and when I feel the younger parts of me responding to the content of the book, and then I can use my adult self to reassure and protect the isolated younger part of myself - and that's been helpful. 

Thanks Blueberry, for commenting as it made me more thoughtful about the character in the book, and my empathy with her. 

Notalone said:
I think that I like The Secret Garden so much because the thought of a pretty, safe place sounds wonderful. Also, the three children in the story are very unique and they come together and are accepting of each other just as they are and develop special friendships. I am looking forward to hearing any thoughts you choose to share as you get further into the book.

It wasn’t until June 11th that I was able to mention that:

“(I also want to write a note to remind myself that I wanted to write something more about the book 'The Secret Garden' as I know that Notalone had said about the characters, and I wanted to talk more about them, and how I'd felt reading that book - I've nearly finished it, so maybe in a day or two, I can reflect and comment on that, as I wanted to do that).

Notalone, it strikes me as really thought-provoking what you said about the three children being unique and coming together and accepting each other – that stayed with me in my mind.  For some reason whilst writing all of this out – and seeing what was written, I find I can’t move into any further thoughts, as I’m feeling ‘stuck’ with the thoughts I’ve expressed – and somehow I felt I wanted to gather everything everyone had said about it here – and that doing this in this thread, it feels important to a younger part of myself – hence I’m doing it, but feeling as if other parts think I’m a bit crazy – however, what I know is that within this forum, people understand and accept. 

In other areas of the forum, these are comments I found about this subject:

Woodsgnome wrote:

“My best current gratefulness vibe originates from this forum, actually. A voracious reader, I recall several people here having mentioned an old novel titled The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, as having been meaningful both when they first read it, and again when revisiting it later.

Well, I didn't have the first childhood encounter with it, and I read mostly non-fiction anyway. But I couldn't resist taking a look -- and I was blown away. It spoke directly to my experience and how I came to interpret life based on early abandonment, rejection, and loneliness.

Then delving into the storyline of The Secret Garden what I found at first to be somewhat intriguing grew into seeing between the lines via the main girl and eventually the boy whom the tale centers around. Like any story, some might not find this sort of tale relevant; I had some hesitation wandering into it myself, but it grew on my heart once I shook off my resistance.

The eventual outcome -- rediscovering the long-lost garden itself, but deftly celebrating the human effect this had on the characters lives -- well, suffice to say it spoke volumes to my current needs.

In a way, I live in a secret garden of my own making, but I've forgotten that aspect over the years. Now I'm reminded of it, thanks to the suggestions to check this out by other OOTS forum people Thank you.

There've been some film productions that are based on the book. The best one is a 1975 BBC series (7 30-minute episodes) which follows the book closer than later versions do.

Very grateful I found this, and especially to those on this forum who pointed it out.  

Blueberry replied to Woodsgnome and said:

“As one of those who recommended The Secret Garden thanks for commenting on your reading of the book and what it means to you!  I'm grateful for your information that the 1975 BBC series is the one that follows the book most closely; in addition to knowing that, your pointing it out might propel me to try and watch it somehow on my computer,  something I've been interested in doing for years. My childhood copy of the book even has a pic of the film, possibly even the series you mention, on the back cover. 

It’s 17th June 2020, and I’ve spent some time looking through the comments and collated them, as best I could, in this thread.

I think I did this for Little Hope, as that part of me (likely aged about 8 years or so) – wanted me to do that, and would love it if anyone wants to add any further comments about what this book has meant to them.

I still haven’t quite re-read it to the end, which replicates a theme for me that I find endings quite hard, and maybe I don’t want to finish it – but once I have, I will hope to return here and write more.

Apologies for such a long thread.  I realised as I went along, that people had written quite a lot – and I wanted to capture it all… as it felt precious and important to do that.

Hope :-)

I looked around again, and found that Notalone wrote:

I just watched "The Secret Garden." Thanks, Tee for recommending it. It is such a good story. I enjoyed it, but some of those people really need therapy.  

“I thought about all of us being in a secret garden. We could all be there and play and dig in the dirt and pull weeds. Little B could be there, blowing bubbles, with Poor Richard. Little M, I know you have your own garden, but maybe you could come to this one too and teach us about how to take care of the flowers. Tee, Little Elpha, Three Roses, Blueberry, Snowdrop, Human, and anyone else who would like, come to the garden!

In the story, the garden and friendships brought healing to Mary and Colin. Maybe this garden and our friendships will help to bring healing to our hearts. 

Notalone, that is such a lovely idea.  I really like it.

18th June 2020
Thanks to everyone who mentioned things, and for giving me permission to quote you in this thread.  I hope that anyone who wants to comment about the book will enjoy doing so in this thread, if they want to of course! 

Hope  :)

I have found an article by David M. Lawson, in Counseling Today, which he wrote in 2018, and it is very informative and helpful - it is called "Understanding & Treating Survivors of Incest" and a link to the article is here:

Hope  :)

Poem to Express My Anger and My Hope:

I wanted to feel my anger, direct it where it needs to go,
But it’s elusive and something rarely felt,
Flashes of contempt rise up within my body,
Constricting my throat and blocking expression.

I feel a battle of wills between ‘shoulds’ and ‘if only’s’,
Pressure builds within, bursting to be free,
Let me shout things out – let me speak my truths,
You kept me silent for so many years, often hiding behind tears.

I want to break free from the cage that binds me within,
Tear my freedom, limb from limb,
Hiding all my fears – hidden across all the years,
You stole so much of my expression.

I hate what you took from me, my innocence, my curiosity,
You manipulated, you stole so much,
I cannot bear to feel your touch,
I want my space, I want my freedom.

Just breathe, and let the emotions flow,
Letting out all forgotten woes,
Casting aside previous cares,
I wonder if I really dare.

Where once I was so small and cute,
You ensured I lost my integrity,
You took away my faith
But you will never take my hope…

That things will get a whole lot better,
Once I can make my body heal,
There is a lot of life and joy,
I hope to find it daily now.

Anger still needs release,
But finding it – takes time,
I hope also to find happiness,
Nestled amongst so many moments.

Hope  :)

Inner Child Work / LIttle Hope Wanted To Say Sorry to the Bumble Bee
« on: April 02, 2020, 11:45:48 AM »
Whilst I was walking today, I saw a bumble bee on the ground, and it was then that Little Hope showed me flashbacks of her experience when she was very little, when she was playing on her bike, and saw a bumble bee, and she played a game where she drove her bike very close to the bumble bee, and she has felt so guilty and ashamed of that, and often shows me that flashback in my adult life, and today I was talking to her (silently in my head) as I walked and telling her that she didn't do anything wrong, the bumble bee was ok, and she didn't mean to play a game with his/her life in that way - because she had always shown caring to birds and insects as a child.  I reminded her how she had cared for a little bird who had fallen from a tree (although another adult part of me realises that maybe helping a baby bird isn't the right thing either, as their Mummy would look after the bird hopefully).

Little Hope was wailing and upset inside my head whilst I walked, and I tried to comfort her, and I told her I'd write about it here, where she has lots of friends who care about her, and that we'd share what she did and how she felt, and that they would be caring towards her too.  Just as I am.  She hasn't done anything wrong. 

Another part of me told me that I'd 'feel silly' to write this here, and nearly stopped me from doing so, but I said to that part that Little Hope is ok for me to write it, and I am doing so, because I care about Little Hope's feelings and if I say I'll do something, then I will NOT let her down, I'll do it.  So here I am, and I'm writing it.

Part of me is emotional as I write this, and I wonder if Little Hope can see that there is care for her here, and that when I read this back some other time, that she'll see that she matters and that I care about her.

Hope  :)

This is an article by Vicki Peterson, and is called 'Why No Contact is Essential if You Love Your Abuser' and it is under the label of 'Complex Trauma, Resources for Survivors', and I really found that Vicki said a lot of things that I really related to.  I hope it's helpful to others too.

Hope  :)

I seem to be developing more understanding of some of my triggers - or at least, I think so.  I have some kind of trigger about animals wearing clothes in children's stories and films, and there are certain ones I tend to avoid watching for that reason.

I watched Toy Story 4 last night, and I was ok for most of it, but what triggered me was when one of the Dolls spotted a little child who was lost in the fair ground, and was crying, and the doll wanted to help the child, and recognised the distress, and came to her to comfort her.  That caused me to react in a very visceral and emotional way.  But what I found interesting was that it was the recognition from the doll of the emotional needs of the young child, that is what really touched me emotionally - and I find this happens whenever anyone appears to notice my emotions and shows any kind of caring towards them.  It is incredibly emotional for me.  I just wanted to say that today - and write it down somewhere, so I don't lose the connection.

Hope  :)

I wasn't sure which place to put this query, but I realised whilst I was watching TV this evening, that I kept getting flashbacks or feeling related to emotions that are connected to feeling 'as if I'd be chastised' or 'told off' or as if I've done something really bad - it's like the feeling you'd get when you're younger, but I find I'm carrying these thoughts/feelings often, and it's like I'm in a waiting room awaiting punishment.  But what for?  For living my life, and trying to be independent of my FOO, for trying to be an adult and live my life.  Yet many parts of me feel as if there is going to be some kind of retribution for living that life, and the punishment is going to happen sooner or later.  I don't like it, and I want to try to escape from that feeling - I tried to get agreement from whatever part of me is communicating these things, to write this here - that part agreed, but even as I write this, I feel another part is very upset, and makes me feel very tearful and scared about writing it here.  But I am writing it, as I would like to hear what others think, and whether people relate to this - and what you've done to try to change it.  Are there things I could do.  I feel like I should ask the part directly what would help - as I know that Snowdrop does that with her parts, and is doing IFS to do that.  But there's a fear in me that I'm not sure what will happen if I ask the part that is feeling this way - so I guess that means it's another part, and not my Self. 

Already this whole paragraph above looks unwieldy and overly long.  But I'm glad I've written it.  Thank you, if you're reading it.  Any thoughts or reflections welcomed. 

Hope  :)

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