Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #75 on: September 10, 2020, 08:18:11 AM »
10th September 2020
This morning I am feeling as if I have various protectors with me, possibly blended with me to some degree - or at least that's how it feels.  It's like they are trying to protect me, but I am trying to negotiate with them to give me space, as I want my 'self' to be in control right now, and not have a filter on my eyes/senses.

Anyway, I have some paper notes that I've made, and I am going to copy them here, and then tear up the paper - again they are from the Carolyn Spring courses that I'm doing, and I can tell when looking at the notes now, that I've not really made sense of everything, I've just written the odd word here and there, but at least they will remind me of the course, and I have the courses so I can re-watch.

I'm currently nearly finishing the one on Somatization and Dissociation.  It is useful for me.

My notes:
Communicating internally.  Face dissociated trauma.  Feelings.  Emotions were unbearable.  Aim/goal: Integrating what has been dissociated.
Alexithymia.
Helpful/required: Supportive relationship to express emotions.
DID - it didn't happen to me.
DID = dissociative identity disorder.
Peter Levine - PTSD - not discharged the freeze response.
Physiologically habituated to switching straight to a freeze response (a dissociative response).  Freezing is a survival response.
Vagus nerve.  Unmyelinated.  Digestion and heart-rate (drops)  Pain response - numbed.  Freeze state: hibernation.  Flood of endogenous opioids.  Freeze is to the body what dissociation is to the mind.
Recovery is 'shaking out' the trauma.
Breathing re-regulates the autonomic nervous system and stimulates the vagus nerve.
"Trauma & The Body" by Pat Ogden = useful book.
www.headspace.com = suggested useful app to use
Trauma narrative - give a new ending.
Powerlessness.  Learned helplessness.
Explicit narrative memory
Full of holes.
Body, Mind, Different parts - memories.
Hippocampus - explicit memory
Amygdala - implicit memory
Notice triggers - footprints of implicit memory.
Window of tolerance - both think and feel at the same time = aim.

***********
So how am I feeling today?
I feel annoyed, I think I look fat and bloated.  I feel big.  I think I should try to lose weight.  I've been comfort eating. 
I felt triggered by my partner's feet being close to me, and I nudged them away.
My inner voices were saying things like 'Get away from me!'
I am due to meet someone later today, and I feel like I don't want to see them.  I want to cancel the arrangement.  I feel like I will be judged by that person and I feel like I won't cope.  But none of that might happen, but I suspect that it will be difficult, and I'd rather not do it.
However, I will make myself go, and I will make myself hopefully cope.

I think that I feel angry. But I'm not really sure if I do feel angry.  Maybe it's a frustrated feeling.  I am not sure.

***Potential TW mentioning CSA related things, but nothing graphic

I've been experiencing more flash-backs lately, and realising that huge chunks of memory are missing at certain points, and often related to sexual encounters (as an adult) and also situations (as a child), and I've also been thinking more of my reactions to various triggers, and this has been upsetting me. 

End of TW warning...

My partner is getting concerned that he thinks I'm spending too long on my recovery work, and he doesn't like the impact it has on me.  But I tell him I need to do this, as it's important to me.  He does understand, but I think he finds the impact on my mood and emotions to be challenging.  He'd like me to be happy. 

Body memories - there have been quite a few of these - and they often relate to pain in my stomach area.  I don't really know what to do with this realisation. 

I bought a few of Carolyn Spring's courses, and I realise I've left the one about Shame till last - which makes me think that's the area I'm most dreading 'facing'.  I keep getting quite a few thoughts and feelings relating to shame - without even looking at the course yet, and it's as if my mind is apprehensive already that it's going to be a key thing - and it scares me, but I do want to face those areas.

Now my mind has gone blank, so I think I've probably written sufficient for now.  I am going to try to ask the protector parts to stand back and give my self some space today, because I would like to be able to cope with the meeting I have later, without so many defences being present - it should be something that's enjoyable, and not challenging, and I hope that I can experience it as that, by the time comes.  I hope my apprehension and fears will go away...

(I'm noticing that my language seems quite stilted as I write this - that's how it feels to me - even noticing that is annoying to a part of me)

There was also a depressed part of me that woke this morning, and made me feel as if 'what's the point' kind of feeling to the start of the day.  I didn't like that feeling.

I am glad I've managed to write these things today. 
Hope  :)

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Blueberry

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2020, 11:25:20 AM »
I've just skimmed your post rather than read (self-protection after my T session). I note that there's lots going on with you atm and especially that you don't feel as if you want to meet the person you had arranged to meet up with today. So I'm sending you some supportive  :hug: :hug: to help you get through that situation using whatever solution you decide on.

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #77 on: September 15, 2020, 01:42:54 PM »
Hi Blueberry,
Thank you for the supportive hugs  :hug: 

***********
15th September 2020
I have had a difficult few days, but I'm ok.  My emotions had become overwhelming and I'd ended up comfort eating a lot to numb them.  That made me feel bad about myself, and I felt like I was getting into a vicious cycle.  But I think I'm getting out of it again - I've been focusing on CSA and reading information about it which has been helpful. 

I've just noticed a page of notes beside me, so I'll copy them and then tear up the paper:

I think these are from Carolyn Spring's course - possibly the one about Trauma and the body, and then the notes are moving onto the course Trauma and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID):

Movement is the antidote to freeze.
Exercise helps our hippocampus.
Re-growth - Exercise, Novelty, SSRIs.
Healing comes through getting back in touch with our bodies.
Dissociation and DID The Fundamentals.  Dissociation is a normal, natural, automatic response to trauma.

*******
I've been reading the book by Carolyn Ainscough & Kay Toon which is a Workbook called "Breaking Free Workbook: Practical Help for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse"

As is typical for me, I'm reading it through quite quickly, without pausing too long to actually 'do' any of the exercises, but I've noticed that I'm able to focus better, and feel like I've been far more present throughout the reading - whilst also experiencing flashbacks of memory and recalling things.  But what I feel is very positive, is the fact that I am managing to read and comprehend what is written, and that it is much more meaningful and makes sense to me.  I think maybe I'm finally at a point where I can really make some progress in processing things.  I think it helped that I had already done Carolyn Spring's course on CSA, because that had paved the way for me to read this workbook now.

I do intend to 'do' some of the exercises suggested in the book - but I want to read through the entire thing before I go back and do them.  So I'm noting my intent to do that.  I hope I manage to do it.

***Trigger Warning - mentioning CSA

What was incredibly powerful was thinking of the size of myself as a child, in relation to my abuser, and then thinking about my size in relation to them in the here and now, and realising there are differences - I am no longer a vulnerable child, I am an adult.  Somehow this didn't really dawn on me till doing this exercise/considering it in my mind.  It was helpful.

Hope  :)

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sanmagic7

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #78 on: September 15, 2020, 10:54:41 PM »
 :hug:

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #79 on: September 18, 2020, 12:29:25 PM »
Dear SanMagic, thank you so much  :hug:

**********
18th September 2020
I finished reading the CSA workbook, and now I feel like I could perhaps begin to do some of the exercises in that book - but first I want to find a notebook where I will feel safe and secure to write things down. 

Even as I consider that, I realise that maybe my tendency not to 'do' exercises in books is because there are parts of me that are resistant to doing those exercises, and that it's a fear of what I might write, or how I might end up feeling.  But at least I'm acknowledging those fears, and I hope to overcome them, and do some exercises.

Regarding sleep, I found a couple of nights ago that I felt very raw and as if life really felt harsh and devoid of comfort, and I wondered if that's how it feels when the warm blanket of dissociation is lifted.  I thought - do I want to feel like that?  I don't like it.

I've also noticed that when I am watching programmes on TV, that I am feeling more deeply into the emotions portrayed - and tears are flowing easily.  But I'm not fighting it - I'm letting them flow, and then when the programme is finished, I am usually ok - it doesn't linger beyond the programme.

I was comfort eating a lot this past few days, and seeking sweet and comforting things.  I was interested by some things that Blueberry wrote in her Journal, about sugar and comfort and I wondered more about the underlying meaning or function of that - but I've not really come to any conclusions - except that my M used sweet and sugary things as treats/rewards when I was a child, and so maybe I still consider them that way.  (Interesting that as I write that, another part says 'She used them to control you!')

**TW - mentioning coercive behaviour and CSA
I also just got a memory that my F used sweet treats too - as part of his grooming behaviour - I've not really seen that before, but reading about CSA and how abusers often groom the person they are abusing, made me think of ways that he did that.

End of TW***

I didn't expect to write about this just now, but I actually feel angry right now.

Realisation: I've noticed that when I'm coming into contact with other people, that I am feeling a sense of derealisation about the situation - it's like I'm an observer rather than a participant in any interaction, and yet I know that I do interact with them, and very often they seem to value the things I say, and they open up to me and talk to me about things in their life.  I try to reciprocate, but I am always quite careful about what I share.    I'd like to be more open about my thoughts and my feelings, but I am scared to do that.  Yet other people seem to be able to do that - and I wonder whether they are guarded about things too, or whether they just share most things...

Hope  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #80 on: September 20, 2020, 11:50:17 AM »
Just wanted to pop by and send you some warm and happy thoughts.

Sceal wrote this in my other Journal, so I'm pasting it here in this newer Journal, so I can treasure those warm and happy thoughts.  I read your message yesterday Sceal, and it helped my day to be warmer and happier - so thank you.

**********
20th September 2020
I am experiencing some warmer and happier thoughts today, as well as yesterday.  Somehow I feel that part of me has been reassured by something, and I'm not sure exactly how that happened, but it's like a part has settled and feels a bit safer somehow.  So I'm celebrating that fact, and enjoying the feeling I've had since that realisation.  I hope it stays with me for a while. 

I recognise that I was in some EF's in the previous few days, and I didn't like how I was feeling for large chunks of time, but thankfully I seem to be through that now, and I do feel more settled, and calmer, and also happier.

Hope  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #81 on: September 22, 2020, 06:25:09 PM »
22nd September 2020
Something has triggered me, and I don't know what it is.  I thought it might help to come here and write some things down.  I'm taking some deep breaths just now, and trying to centre myself.  Just typing this is helping.  Knowing that I'm here in this forum, that also helps.  I know it's a safe place. 

Just looking at the little emoticons jumping about above this writing box, that also helps.  But seeing the long hugging icon  :grouphug: that one brings a lot of emotion to my mind - I feel upset inside.  I feel like I want to cry now.  My throat makes me swallow.

As I try to think about what triggered me, I realise that all thoughts seem to drift away, like they won't allow me to see what it was.  Thinking about that now, I feel tightness in my stomach. 

The emotion I was feeling just now, the thought that I wanted and felt like crying, it's gone away now.

I remember now that I'd been reading some posts here in the forum - and someone had mentioned that they have found out how to receive notifications here - and I think I felt ashamed that I don't have the first idea how to do that.  Then I feel some shame that maybe I've missed things that people might have said.  It makes me then think of the numerous times that I feel like I can't do things. 

That upsets me.  I feel like I was quite competent at so many things in previous decades of my life, but somehow since I stopped my working career, I feel as if I can't do so many things. 

It's like I'm in a waiting room, waiting to be allowed to do things.  Yet I do have choices, and I could do things.  But yet I feel as if I can't. 

I dreamed last night that my M had dementia.  That was upsetting.  I am estranged from her, and have been for quite some time now, and yet I still worry about her.  She entered my dream in that way. 

I worry about what might happen if the phone rings and it's one of my parents.  What would I do?  I don't know.

I wonder why I don't change my phone number - but I think that part of me doesn't want to do that.  I realise there are conflicted parts of me, they think different things.

I feel like I'd like to start processing more of my feelings, and writing more about them - I wonder if poetry or some way of doing that might help me.  I can express things that way.  Sometimes I am shocked by the intensity of my feelings if I try to write them in poems.  Or maybe writing a 'letter to' - yet I've not managed to do that for ages now.  But then, I've not really tried.  What is holding me back?

I see a theme that I tend to read a lot, and intellectualise a lot, and then don't feel as if I'm 'doing' any exercises to process things.

As I write that, another part of me says 'But you ARE processing more, and you are FEELING more' - so I know I am - but I also feel critical of myself.

I felt guilty today about the things I've eaten.  I am comfort eating more.  I don't want to do that, but it's hard not to.

I feel stressed by what's happening in the world - the news, stuff like that, and I also feel stressed that I feel I'm waiting sometimes, rather than living my life.

I am living my life though. 

I enjoyed that feeling of safety I felt in my last entry here - it lasted a while, and it felt really nice.  So I hope to re-gain that.

I do feel better for writing this.  I'm glad I came here and got these thoughts and feelings out.  I feel better for writing.

Hope  :)

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Blueberry

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #82 on: September 22, 2020, 08:13:05 PM »
Hi Hope,
I've haven't read your whole post but the bit about 'notifications' caught my eye. If it makes you feel any better (which it might not if your feelings are there on account of an EF), when I read about the notifications, I didn't even have a clue what the mbr was talking about, never mind how to set it up ;)   I think it's a tool you can use if you don't come on the forum very often, so you get notified about a response. I don't need anything like that myself. I'm either on here or not.

I'm glad you feel better now for having written.  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #83 on: September 23, 2020, 10:03:01 AM »
Hi Blueberry,
Thanks so much for what you wrote, because I'm not going to worry about the notifications thing now - I realise I was in an EF yesterday.  I am glad that I was able to come here to write though, as it really did help me to feel calmer, so it helped.

I feel quite a bit better today. 

Hope  :)

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Three Roses

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #84 on: September 23, 2020, 03:51:12 PM »
 :hug:

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sanmagic7

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #85 on: September 23, 2020, 06:26:41 PM »
i noticed alexithymia on your list, hope.  you know i suffer from that as well, and can totally relate to wondering if a certain emotion is going on, do i feel angry?  i think i should feel angry but i don't, not really.  still, the disturbance is there, inside us, so we know something isn't quite right, and it can get overwhelmingly disturbing because we can't feel the actual emotion!

yep, i've eaten, drank, smoked thru all those disturbances.  just trying to numb them, or calm myself down, or even something i can't really explain.  somatization - definitely!  my body is full of pain (firbromyalgia) from holding onto the hurt and pain i never felt.  i don't even know where my fear has been kept, but i do know i rarely felt it in real life.  it's only been maybe the past 3 years i've even been beginning to be able to feel the emotion, sometimes days or weeks later (if ever)  that everyone else would be able to label and feel nearly immediately!

so, thanks for sharing.  it's nice to know someone can share that part that can be so annoying, irritating, frustrating, angering - whatever it might be that i'm not sure of.  love and hugs, hope. :hug:

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Snowdrop

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #86 on: September 24, 2020, 12:38:54 AM »
I'm glad you're feeling better, Hope. :hug:

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #87 on: September 28, 2020, 06:59:01 PM »
Hi Three Roses - thank you for the hug  :hug:
Hi SanMagic - I appreciate what you said and I appreciate your sharing your experience - it makes me feel less alone with my own experiences.  Thank you also for the love and hugs, they mean a lot  :hug:
Hi Snowdrop - thank you  :hug:

*********
28th September 2020
I have had quite an emotional few days, as I was reading a book by Cathy Glass called 'Damaged' and it was incredibly emotional and the content was very pertinent and raw.  The book is part of a trilogy of books (all within a hard-back book that I bought) and so there are 2 more books about fostered children that I can read.  But I need a break before reading another one - as 'Damaged' resonated so much and caused me to cry quite a few tears. 

I think it was therapeutic to read it, and somehow it's helped me to process some things more.  Cathy Glass fosters children, and she spoke about the different care workers involved with her fostered child, and how a Social worker hadn't been particularly helpful or even very professional, almost as if she was burned out - and it made me wonder about the Social worker who came to visit me and my family - and how she overlooked my needs, and saved my elder sister.  I feel guilty for even saying that - because it looks like I'm being selfish for considering my own needs, but I do think that nobody thought about my needs.  They seemed to think about themselves, and expected me to keep their secrets, and look after their needs.

I've had some body memories surfacing more lately - I am not sure what those mean, but they are tending to focus in my stomach area.  Not all the time, but now and again, and painful when they happen. 

My throat is another area where I feel constricted.  My left side of my head has been hurting too - but I think it was due to my tearfulness.

I also watched a film about the life of Judy Garland, and it had me in lots of tears - it was very upsetting to part of me.  Renee Zellweger played the part of Judy, and she was very convincing in the part (I thought).  I found it really upsetting.

My partner thought that my being upset on the weekend was due to that film, but I did tell him that I'd also been reading the book 'Damaged' and had found it very upsetting as well - so it was likely to be the combination of the two things.

Today I've been sorting through some papers and tidying and cleaning things - and I found a lot of notes I'd written about my family of origin (FOO) and I thought to myself, 'Is there really any point to doing more digging on this?' because I thought that I essentially know that my FOO are dysfunctional, and so I can't find more stuff out - as I can't speak to anyone about it - I've tried to contact my cousins but never get any reply from them.  So noone says anything.  It's like I'm alone with that.  I guess I wanted to hear other perspectives on things, from someone else - to see what they could share, but I don't think anyone can tell me anything.  I know things weren't right.  I know I've been affected big time by everything. 

But I am a survivor of all those things, and I am functioning and have been functioning so much better than I would have imagined that I could have done.  So that is good.  I have come out of things, and I am ok.

What I wanted to say today - here in my journal, is that I think expressing so much emotion (crying my tears) has been helpful to me.  I feel better for doing that.

Hope  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #88 on: September 29, 2020, 10:28:09 AM »
29th September 2020
I am relieved that I've got rid of the headache - it felt a bit like a migraine really, but I wasn't sure if that was what it was or not.  It was on the left-hand side of my head.  But today it is gone, so that's good.

My plan is to be kind to myself today - not put pressure on myself to do any particular thing.  Although I do have things I want to achieve today - so I guess I have structure, which is a good thing too.  But I can choose how much, and what I do, so I can put some things in the day that will be kindnesses to myself, and I hope to do that.

I was having quite realistic dreams last night, but I can't remember the content of them.  I just know they were quite strong ones.

I'm starting Carolyn Spring's course about 'Shame' at the moment, and already I think it's going to be very useful for me.  But I need to pace it, because I don't want to over-whelm myself.

Hope  :)

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Snowdrop

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Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« Reply #89 on: September 29, 2020, 12:02:10 PM »
Quote
But I am a survivor of all those things, and I am functioning and have been functioning so much better than I would have imagined that I could have done.  So that is good.  I have come out of things, and I am ok.

Yes!  :yes: You are. All of these things come across in what you write.

I'm glad your headache/migraine has gone. Having a day of self-kindness sounds wonderful. :hug: