dollyvee's recovery journal

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Snowdrop

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2020, 07:32:14 PM »
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I'm confused by this journey as I thought these things were supposed to be loosed and let go, not frozen. Perhaps my protectors are refreezing them to keep me safe. I'm not sure if I got through to the angry voice about the Self being in control.

It can take time to get through to parts. They've been used to things being a certain way, so they sometimes need a bit of time to adjust. I think you're doing well. :hug:

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owl25

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2020, 02:45:23 AM »
I just read your journal, dollyvee, and your mother's reaction to you moving to your dad's really struck me. Withholding love and affection like that is deeply wounding. I am so sorry that happened to you.  :bighug:

I could be wrong, but from how you described your latest IFS journey, it almost sounds like you weren't in Self, but were speaking from a self-like part. These are tricky to distinguish and may take some practice. Self-like parts are different in that they seem like Self, but have an agenda. I think I have at least one but possibly two self-like parts, and for me they basically want to move ahead and fix things right away.  When you are in Self, whatever another part does or doesn't do doesn't matter, it's all ok and accepted. There is no pressure on other parts to change or interact, and Self is in no rush.  Parts always know if there is an agenda at play or not, and if they sense one, they shut down rather than open up. I'm wondering if in your journey the angry part sensed you were a different part rather than Self, and as a response got more protective.

I am by no means an expert, and am very much a beginner in IFS, so if all of the above does not resonate, please disregard! It does take time for parts to start to trust, regardless.

If you are interested, I recently started reading Jay Earley's Self-Therapy book. I am finding it a really good resource that explains how to approach parts and why. This is where I learned about parts knowing if it's another part or not.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2020, 10:00:35 PM »
Thanks Snowdrop  :hug: I also went over it again and kind of laughed because it's not like these things are going to change because of one IFS journey. It struck me how strong the voice was and I feel like I do know that part. It was like Danger! Danger! Alert! and maybe this is why we went into the cement bunker (Cherynobl  :)) )

Thank you Owl  :hug: What makes it, or made it, even trickier is that once in a while she would tell me she loved me or say, you do know I love you right? This was a real mind bender and made think of gaslighting in your situation and how it's sometimes very hard to unpack what is actually happening.

Thanks too, for the feedback on the book. That sounds like a good resource  :hug: I think it would be really helpful to distinguish what is a part and what is Self. I did another IFS journey last night and I think there's some things coming up. Some are familiar and some I'm not sure where they fall in the IFS spectrum yet.

IFS

I tried to get in touch with the part that was angry before but it didn't come out. I was in a very calm forest. It seemed like it didn't want to come out or was calmer now. I tried to get in touch with my Self energy and ask if it wanted to show itself. I don't know if I was forcing this. It was almost like my insides/mind wince in pain. My body shook and it's like a fear it comes out. This happens in EMDR too. (I get really strong body reactions).

Then my thoughts went all over the place. I felt a bit like I'd always be alone and this is what the part as angry about - that I have to fit in/be someone else so I wouldn't be alone. Because my thoughts were going all over the place, I thought about my reality compass, and realized that maybe I'm dissociating. So I asked if there was someone behind this and there was this youngish-teenage part that came out. She seemed very familiar as well. She was quiet and just wanting to help. A bit of a loner. I noticed a lot of worry if I doing this right, and am thinking there's another part behind that.

I'd like to unpack the wincing at the Self energy some more. I've been trying the Peter Levine exercise, but feels like there's layers of stuff to get through before I get to the Self, which seems strange but I don't know.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 11:04:55 AM by dollyvee »

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2020, 09:28:48 PM »
Have been congested/ busy with work. I'm finding this job environment really passive-aggressive and a bit of a challenge. Someone mentioned about narcissists and how they like to control things. I think this is why I get triggered so much by that behaviour because it feels like ppl are trying to manipulate and control me. It also bothers me that part of the reason I took this contract/job was because it helps ppl who are in a difficult place because of covid and I feel like everyone at this workplace is very stand-offish. I guess I feel like I tried to do something nice and it back fired. I think both of these are "old stuff." I just feel like walking away and saying never again. Everyone else only seems out for themselves, why shouldn't it be me too? I know that sounds harsh but I honestly believe it at this point.

I haven't done another IFS journey but I have been thinking about the "self-like part" which winced in my previous IFS. I got the impression that there was a lot that I had to witness from a young age that I didn't know how to explain/ verbalize. With my mom being a narcissist, I'm sure there was behaviour towards me since i was a baby. I've been trying to be really nice to that part, treat it with kindness and say that I'm an adult now, looking after it.

After a long ordeal trying to get an appointment at the doctor, I finally got one and it's not serious  :cheer: It's wild though that I still have to fight to feel like I'm looked after/ok. Maybe that's what it's bringing up in me. I ordered the Self Therapy book and am looking forward to reading it over the xmas holidays. I'm not going to see family and always enjoy a quiet Christmas.

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owl25

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2020, 01:43:53 AM »
I hope you have a relaxing Christmas  :)

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2020, 07:45:29 PM »
Thanks Owl, I hope you're having a good Christmas as well  :hug: I have now eaten too much and am enjoying a glass of wine.

Things have been kind of stuck the past week emotionally. Found it really difficult to connect to my parts. I guess freezing them over and putting them in a bunker did the trick. I also feel like I've been observing things from a distance though - and am aware that these parts are frozen where before I think they would've just been hidden in my subconscious.

I had a v. positive and healing dream (as my T called it). Maybe as a result of doing this work on my parts now. I think perhaps it's my reaction to it that made me freeze even more? That when I feel like things are going to be ok, I get this kind of dumb optimism? I don't even know what to call it but it's something I know well. It's like ok, cool good things are coming and I feel really open to the world but also like I'm not protecting myself, and I feel like the glasses are maybe a little too rosy I'm seeing the world with. Also, when I interact with ppl, I think it's not really open.

I don't know if that makes sense but it's a really strange part and I'm trying to figure it out. It's not a part that feels empowered etc if things were going to be good/work out, just kind of floating along, blase. I just wanted to put it down, hoping that giving it a little form might also give it some life to show me more about it. Maybe this part thinks that someone is going to come along and rescue her, do things for her like a parent would've? Or that having things go ok meant other ppl made decisions for me? I don't know.




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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2020, 10:10:00 PM »
Having some time off and reading through Self Therapy by Jay Farley. Had a lot of anxiety/busyness the past few days so I finally started in on it. Having been feeling kind of walled off from my parts, even though things have been coming up in dreams lately. Even reading other ppl's examples of IFS journeys is exhausting. Am finding the book v. good as a kind of map to get to know parts/as an outline of how journey's might look though.

Tried an exercise today where you were supposed to just check in to see what parts were active. Wow, did I take a trip. I'm not really sure where I ended up however.

IFS

This youngish teen, Zoomer, was there who was so busy kind of like the guy who used to speak really fast in commercials - like gotta go, gotta do this, gotta do that. Tried to ask what it wanted to be called but couldn't get it to settle. "Scattered Sally" came up and I immediately had all of these negative connotations (felt like all these stereotypical things men say to put women down - she's not that smart, or as if they were pointing to me as the dumb blonde etc). Got the feeling that she wanted to make jokes and not take herself seriously. Her positive intent for me was that she wants ppl to like me.

Thanked part for all it's done - I know this part and it has tried so hard to keep me included and related to other ppl. As I was thanking the part, this sadness came up. Scattered Sally felt small, and like she didn't have a lot of power. When I asked for permission to talk to this other part, I got a flash of manipulation, and saw in the face vindictiveness and someone who delights in others' misfortunes. A feeling of my mom came up at this time and I saw that this part was big, like it couldn't be contained. Sally was worried about it getting out and that it will take over. So, I asked what will happen if it gets out? What came up is: ppl will see who you really are.

This is where I think it gets tricky and I don't know if this part is me (I guess they're all me really) or something I am carrying for my mom, or perhaps this was a few parts blended together.

The feeling that was coming up behind Sally that she didn't want to get out was an imprisoned queen/princess who was sobbing znd wailing. It was such a loud pain. I got the sense that this was my mom and I had to carry this burden for her. I remember when I met my biological grandfather for the first time and she was there, she went off about how could he leave her. This princess was like this - unreasonable and stomping around, drawing a lot of attention to herself. I got the impression that I was upset that I had to comfort this queen and be the parent. It felt like a huge burden and made me feel tired. I tried to get rid of her unhappiness by bathing her in light. The image of a handsome guy kept popping up. So, I asked (?) and married her to the handsome prince. They were going to live in a castle and I told her that I would visit and she seemed really happy.

In a nutshell, this does seem to be pretty much like my relationship with my mother and how I carried her burdens and had to parent her, but I'm not sure how this relates to "my" parts and self. I did try to check in and see if I was in Self, but maybe what I think is Self is actually the compassionate part that used to parent my mother. I don't know. I'm looking forward to reading the upcoming chapters on blended parts.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2020, 10:23:51 AM »
I also wanted to add that I'm having a lot of confusion (?) around if that part is me and not a burden I'm carrying for my mom because I don't like that shadow part of myself? Maybe this is akin to when you see narc parts in yourself and you think it's you that was the problem. I know I have had moments of stomping around and being the princess but I feel like this was something I learned so I could relate to my mother. There just wasn't a reasonable way to get through to her.

I guess the most confusing thing is that the Self felt burdened and tired to parent this part. So, am guessing that there is another part in there, hidden in all this perhaps.

IFS really is incredible - that all of this is present in my psyche and shows such a succinct (or succinct but hidden  ;)) road map to what is going on is amazing. Have been feeling like it's exhausting to look at all this but still all v. in awe and at the fact that there is another way to look at all my trauma which is positive and healing.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2020, 10:45:32 PM »
Going through the exercises and getting a better understanding of blended parts and trying to discern when I'm blended. I felt like this previous IFS was looking at a dynamic of my parts and how they relate to each other? Or an understanding of a generational dynamic playing out in my family?

I don't know if it's the exercises in the book, but when just tuning in to the parts that are activated it seems to turn up dynamics, or the feeling that I'm just overseeing which programs are running if that makes sense. Things get kind of fuzzy and it seems like there's a lot of blending going on. Before when checking in with a certain issue the experience was much more defined and easier to visualize. I wonder too if maybe I'm in an EF and not aware which is why the blending is going on.

I had another IFS journey yesterday just checking in with my parts as one of the exercises suggests. It was a bit emphemerous and all over the place, almost like a dream. There was someone who felt like they were a reflection of Carrie Bradshaw, and I wondered if this was just because I was watching Sex and the City again. It feels a bit tiring to write it, so I'm not going to. I don't know if that's because the parts are shy. One of them seemed reluctant to come out.

While I was journaling today, and have been thinking a lot lately about how I was told to "be more lady-like' growing up, I started getting upset about why I couldn't just be me. How, even at my dad's house, they couldn't just stand up to all the stuff that was happening with my mom (it was my step mom who said I should be more ladylike). That I had to be someone else and it wasn't like I was being heard. I sensed a part was really upset about this and so decided to check in.

IFS

There was a bright white/blue angry part that was speaking - shining bright. I guess this is white hot rage. It was really angry about having to deal with this growing up, that I had to parent myself; that no one was standing up for me. I asked that part to step aside and another little girl part came out (she might have been the same Ewok girl from before), and she was worried about getting sick. When I was trying to comfort the little girl, I got the feeling like how could I be condescending, that I wasn't treating her right. Asked that part to step aside and there was an older woman in a navy suit with dark hair, pearls and glasses. She looked like a senator and someone who campaigned on behalf of other ppl. I get the sense that she was there to watch over what is authentic and make sure the little girl is being treated well. Wanted to do something for the little girl and gave her a glowing flower which she liked very much. Soon there were lots of glowing balls which changed into mushrooms which she thought was fun. Wanted to put her somewhere safe and thought of a hospital but that didn't seem right. Asked her but didn't get an answer. We ended up in a room with curved, smooth walls and a warm soft pink glow. Seemed comforting and I felt a release/calmer.

The little girl made me remember how I met a little boy who had severe asthma once while I was temping in elementary schools. As soon as I saw him with his mother, I felt like his asthma was brought on by his environment. I looked up ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and their relation to asthma and there is a strong indication that stressful environments bring this out in children. It makes me think of the little girl/me who had to go the hospital at night because she couldn't breathe and how difficult the environment must have been that caused that.

 


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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2021, 01:28:23 PM »
Hibernating the past few days, going through the Self Therapy book and reflecting on what's coming up and the IFS's I've had. Skipped ahead to the the Detecting Parts chapter and probably have Avoider, Intellectualizer, Inadequate, Skeptical and Judgemental parts all popping up in these sessions  :party:

I also think that perhaps the little girl part might be an exile because she is sometimes afraid. I didn't realize that they just come out like that...she marched right through before. It's sweet that she's so confident and warm, willing to explore like a toddler would. It also reminds me of myself who just puts everything out there and then gets hurt, who is worried that I have no protection in the world. Will continue reading and try to learn more about this.

I really feel it when he writes that our psyches are complex. This guide is helpful but I think my psyche might colour outside the lines in the way that I always seem to have two answers to questions that come up in therapy and that I can see some of these IFS "dynamics" happening being relative on a few different levels. Anyways, did a brief check in the other night to try and get to know the Avoider who wants to put all this off. Have been feeling like I am I'm a little more mentally clear, less resistant to be in the kitchen making food that's good for me among other things. Realizing how much pressure i put on myself to be/look a certain way and that maybe there's another way to think about this.




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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2021, 11:26:36 PM »
Really grateful to have some time off work and focus on IFS. Have been doing some sessions and seem to be getting an overview of what's going on. Some things are coming up that I don't quite understand but I have a feeling they might make more sense at another time. Maybe not. Have done one where I felt the chaos of what it can be like inside. There was a small cinder-rock pokemon stomping around not listening. Afterwards, I could stand back and see how I had to try to make sense of everything that was going on that I didn't really have an adequate way to process it at the time.

i'm noticing that I've been putting off doing exercises in the book. Checking in just seems exhausting to do as well. So, I've been trying to focus on avoidance and put my attention on what might be behind this. I think this is a feeling I know well - there's lots of things I put off in my life. Sometimes it's eating or doing things to take care of myself, leaving them until the last moment.

IFS

When I focus on putting things off, I get The Black. It's just a black shadow. (Before in an IFS it was like there were black faces like those Inuit rock sculptures in there and a calm presence like the sound of rain on the West Coast). But it's just the Black. I try to see if it's a protector and asked what it was afraid would happen if it let go. I don't know if I was intellectualising but I started getting images of my dad's house and wondered if it had something to do with the loss surrounding his death (I have always had a feeling like things were "stuck" at that time from my dad's house. I don't know if this is something sudden death or suicide does). Felt like all this stuff was coming up and I didn't know if it was "real" (or if I was intellectualising etc). As soon as I thought that I felt a shock in my body and I got the image of this vast, black cave with this little girl staring into a bright white orb.

I asked the protector if I had their permission to interact with the little girl. They seemed hesitant at first but I explained that they could watch what was happening and take over after the session and they seemed ok with this. (I do feel a bit if back and forth about being in the self. I try to check in and see if I am acting with a warm heart, open and curious, but when I do I feel like maybe I am putting this on? Maybe that is another protector who is skeptical?)

She doesn't seem like she knows I'm there so I ask her if she's aware. She looks up and seems really happy to see me. Thought came up that she shouldn't sit so close to the tv and then all these feelings started to come up. I asked her not to flood me and tried to get some space. I got the impression of a face at my grandfather's annual work picnic and the memory of my mom telling me I was chubby. I told the little girl that it wasn't very nice of her to say those things and that I'm an adult now and we don't have to listen. But it was like a little, young version of my mom (the same age as the little girl?) was there over my right shoulder and she wouldn't stop saying those things. I didn't know what to do about it to keep her away from me and the little girl so I walled her up and contained her. When I did, I felt an immediate release down my arm.

I don't know if I have to go back and speak to the walled up little girl mom or just leave it. It's definitely brought up some things to think about.

 Noticing a bit of a difference after going through these IFS sessions the past week or so. I feel a bit more grounded.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2021, 10:46:29 AM »
So I think the last IFS took a bit out of me. Feeling quite tired in the head.

Woke up this morning wondering if I did the right thing, walling up the other girl/mom and if this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Another part came and felt that whatever I did, I handled the situation in a way that protected me and the girl. I'm thinking this is Self. Also, that I know there's a part of me that would've done anything for my mom, for her to be happy. This part makes me feel sad to connect to. It also brings up ideas of people who would think I'm a weak person for wanting to do that after the way she treated me. I guess this is another part.

It's interesting that there were two parts in there. I don't think the mom part was a protector. Maybe she was another exile that I have. Their dynamic mirrored the dynamic I had with my mom and the lack of psychic protection I feel around people. It's really hard for me to shut out the things ppl say and not pick up their negativity etc. Although, that's not entirely true. I've gotten better at shutting it out, but I think it's just a shutting down.

Another thought also came up this morning, that "nothing is ever good enough." This is an old feeling and given the dynamic between the two girls, makes sense. It's one I looked at and thought, I can't hold onto. Also, interesting that my mom part is the same age as I was the one who had to parent her.

TGIF *wine emoji*  **in a non explicit, not firefighting way


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mojay

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2021, 09:08:37 PM »
Hi Dollyvee, thank you for sharing your experiences. I found myself relating to a lot of what you are saying.
This is the first time I've heard of IFS. I'd like to learn more about it but felt very scared at step one. Had to laugh at myself for not even making it past step one without feeling afraid :doh: Will definitely be researching more!

I just wanted to take a moment to really thank you for sharing and for bringing this new approach to my attention. I appreciate your honesty and bravery.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2021, 09:32:27 AM »
Thanks Mojay  :hug:

I came across it via the forum in November. Three Roses posted this video series by the creator of IFS, Richard Schwartz, and it felt right for me. There are some other people on here posting their journey's/experiences with IFS as well. Also, at Owl's suggestion, I tried out the Jay Earley Self Therapy book and it's a good introduction. I've had a lot of therapy as well as EMDR, but I feel like this is the first thing I've tried that allows me to explore my emotions in a way that can connect to. Hope you find it useful as well.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2UfmGwENz9M&t=2297s

I tried this morning to go back to the cave and connect with the mom part as I wanted to find out more of who they were and if there was any more insight.

IFS

I went back into the cave and the walled "room" I had put the mom part in. It had mud walls  and no roof. When I tried to get in there was no way in. I guess I imagined a door and got an image of my mom as a little girl. I tried to ask her questions about who she was/ what was she afraid of but it was like she was frozen. I tried to make sure I was in Self and grounded, and asked other parts to step back. I got this feeling of anxiety in my chest. I tried to step back from it and come back into Self. When I tried to come back into Self and talk to the part again, I heard that I had to be separate. Anxiety kept coming up when I tried to unfreeze the part and get more information from it.

I feel like I'm in Self when talking to the part and I don't understand the anxiety. No part is stepping out when the anxiety comes up and I ask it to step back. Is the anxiety another exile or concerned part? I don't understand if I'm supposed to be talking to it to reparent it, or just leave it walled up.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2021, 10:41:24 AM »
The IFS continued to have an impact on me yesterday and today. I woke up early (like 4/5am) something that happens usually before work and there's some unexplained, underlying anxiety. The feeling like I couldn't be around ppl, that I felt unprotected was also quite present. Super upset about interacting with a guy I went on a date with recently (that I'm going to be rejected and tuned in that the wailing princess part was activated). I feel like the underlying reason was "I don't know what's going on; I don't know if I'm doing the right thing; I could be hurting someone" was there and keeping me stuck, which fits with the IFS and my IRL mom dynamic.

Still not really understanding what the IFS "meant," I came across that "sometimes your parts have parts." It occurred to me that what if my mom part was an idea/part that I adopted to keep me safe (protector) and that on some level I mimicked my mom's behaviour, but that this is happening outside of my consciousness? So, I have an exile looking at an orb but there's also another exile there behind the mom part and that's where the fear/anxiety about it is coming from? So, a conscious IFS (where I have the exile who had to go through the trauma of my mother saying those things to me) and another subconscious IFS  "dynamic" where that "mom part" believes I have to say those things to myself to keep me safe and is protecting another exile? Wow, that feels complicated  :fallingbricks:

It makes sense about fitting in with the other dynamic where there's a part of me that I can't let out because I can't let people see the real me. Not quite there yet with this one but something to think about.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 11:38:45 AM by dollyvee »