dollyvee's recovery journal

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2021, 03:05:49 PM »
After a fruitful morning of searching online - pieces are falling into place. The mom part in the cave is an inner critic/legacy burden (generational burdens are a thing - this makes so much sense) and it might be that through criticising (protecting) another wounded exile is being activated/triggered.

So, yes to all of the above - looks like I've already skipped ahead to the advanced class  ;D typical
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 09:45:35 AM by dollyvee »

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2021, 10:23:41 AM »
I powered though chapters of Jay Earley's Inner Critic yesterday and a lot of pieces are still falling into place. Just hoping to use this time to get a handle on it because I know I'm probably going to go back to work and it will all get pushed into the background for a bit. Because I have a legacy burden that showed up as my mother, I'm supposed to speak to it like it is my mother. Part of me is scared to go back into the cave and try after the last IFS and have been trying to address that part.

TW

My mother used to lose her temper and hit me with the wooden spoon or with her hands when I did something "wrong." One of my first memories that came up out of nowhere in EMDR was when I was getting in trouble and my mother hit me because "my eyes were smiling." I think I was 7. I don't remember feeling like I was being petulant at all at that time, just that I had to suppress everything I might be feeling afterwards. Not that it was an excuse for her to hit me like that if I was. Perhaps this was the narc part that needed to control things - that I couldn't just be my own person (I might be trying to rationalise things here - interesting). She also one time, when I was a teenager, wrestled me to the ground and pinned me, saying how I wasn't strong enough to take her/best her yet. So messed up.

TW end

I guess it's understanding why I would have some apprehension about speaking to my mom given her history of unpredictable behaviour. I felt a  bit last night like I could be in Self, that the mom I was talking to was this little girl and she was not the other mom doing those things. I think I can also see better where my anxiety about people getting close comes from. It has a face now.

I think the "dumb optimism" I felt before when things were going to work out was my Underminer at work. The Destroyer also resonated with me and how "the self blame allows you to stay attached to the person, so you won't be alone." Very necessary to blame myself and stay attached to my mother as a child for survival, no matter what she was doing.

I don't feel amazing, but a little more grounded after what was coming up in the IFS.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 10:40:21 AM by dollyvee »

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2021, 12:11:07 PM »
Didn't have a great two days at work after this. How do you process this stuff when opening these wounds seems to attract the kind of people/situations that are the root of your anxiety? I hate being at work and feeling like I can't cover this stuff up. I guess it's necessary to be vulnerable about these issues but it's not easy.

Glad T. is back on Saturday from winter vacation to discuss.

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mojay

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2021, 02:16:50 AM »
Dollyvee, it sounds like you have made some really strong self-discoveries  :cheer:

I think what you described about the vulnerability of people getting close coupled with "self-blame to stay attached to the person" would be very anxiety-inducing indeed! Almost like letting someone in could restart the pattern of self-blame. I really feel for you and wish I had something to chip in.
I can see you are working hard at IFS and being vulnerable even though it's difficult. Hoping your session with T is fruitful and wishing you lots of strength in the meantime!!

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2021, 09:19:01 AM »
Thanks Mojay - no need to feel like you have to have something to say. Thanks for just stopping by and well wishes :bighug: that's a good insight - it does start a process of thinking that I will find the "mom stuff" I need - the caring etc, and when it doesn't happen, I self blame.

Thanks too, I have a great T and over the last few years, I think we've covered a lot of ground. This anxiety is something I've had my whole life and at least now, I can pinpoint the source and not think, "there's something wrong with me." I guess the hard thing is that if I seem anxious or fearful, ppl think i'm just being weak, or that I don't have any confidence, and they can treat me badly.  Meanwhile, I have to deal with the part who has had to go through all those things growing up while ppl around me are behaving like that, and try to be confident. It's not like I haven't tried - I've been going to therapy off and on for 20 years and putting the work in. I guess this is the unique effect of my legacy burden. Very thankful that with IFS now, I understand it better.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2021, 05:51:52 PM »
Still not feeling totally grounded and "myself." Did a legacy unburdening last night and felt a bit unconnected even though I tried really hard to be in myself. Felt like maybe there was a part in the way, even though I tried many times to step back. It was like a part was scared to let it go, but I don't know. Did feel some relief afterwards. This morning driving to work, a lot of stuff came up about just feeling bad and not wanted. Not feeling sorry for myself, just that emotion at that young age of like going through that and not really wanting anyone around me to see that.

Work is tricky. I don't want to deal with competitive women rn after that legacy stuff with my mom. V. over these games that ppl play because they are insecure and want attention, only I feel like a lot of ppl don't see it and are sympathetic.

Spoke with T and she listened and was helpful in advising that I don't have to put all this stuff down again. I think she was trying to allude about the age of my parts and got their defences worked up. I don't want to be demanding and say that this is how it is, but on the other hand I feel like I have to be true to myself and do things a certain way even if ppl don't understand it. It's hard to do that when a part of me feels like I'm disappointing people and I don't want to that. (I guess - see above about being alone and going through it alone)

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rainydiary

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2021, 12:22:46 AM »
What you say about unburdening resonates with me.  I find myself wanting to hold onto what I know even if it isnít (or hasnít ever) serving me.  I hope that you find a way back to yourself and hold onto what makes sense to you. 

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2021, 11:27:47 AM »
Thanks Rainy  :hug: I am hoping to be back to "normal," but I think maybe now what was my "normal" wasn't the healthiest. Unburdening is a part of the IFS process where you listen to what your parts have been carrying and release them. I did this as part of an unburdening for an inner critic who showed up as my mom. There was a "shock" when I reached my great-grandmother and a really angry/jealous (?) kind of energy that "supposed" they would try out IFS. It was very strange and perhaps was the "source" as it was much more dynamic after speaking with my mom and grandmother who sort of appeared as they were in photographs that I think I knew of buried somewhere in my subconscious.

Pretty awful day at work yesterday. I'm noticing "Sally," the part of me that tries to keep busy and keep people at a distance so they "won't see the real me." I realized that the real me is maybe not something bad, but something I do so they won't see the vulnerable parts. Have been working with a new client and we have a good relationship as he's asked me to do 7/8 projects now with him. Came back after the xmas break and it was good, we chatted etc. However, another person on the team had a lot of negativity towards me and felt/pretty sure he was gossiping about me. We were "friends" or so I thought in the past, and don't remember a falling out. The only thing I can think of is they were jealous of the relationship between the boss and I. I find my response to this behaviour is to isolate myself and show that I can do consistent work.

By the end of the two days together, I had a splitting headache around this guy ???, which I never get. I felt the boss's attitude towards me had changed and he and the other team member were mocking me behind my back. He has been around longer and has more of an "established" reputation, so I guess people listen to him. I have other situations like this where the boss will use my work all the time but has to be one of the "boys," and it leaves me feeling like it's me and my behaviour that's the issue. Really just leaves me feeling so unsafe. There is no HR for the self-employed, no standards, and my relationships/contacts are the ones who give me work. Part of me wants to not work with these people again and the other (frozen) part just wants to tell him to you know what. I feel like I've learned that you can't reason with other peoples' egos.

 



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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2021, 09:37:49 AM »
Had a phone call with my grandmother and grandfather last night. It was my grandmother's birthday. She has been trying to talk about giving me her jewellery over the last three phone calls. I don't really want to talk about it, I feel its manipulative and laden with guilt. She has been talking about how she is going to die for the last 25 years and doesn't take care of herself. We are supposed to feel perpetually worried about her while she feels sorry for herself and doesn't do anything to help herself.

Last night I told her that what she wants to do with her jewellery is up to her. I also said how I don't like how they went through my grandfather's apartment after he died (I'm pretty sure she was there and/or spoke with my mother about it) and took everything of value and left me to clean it up/didn't support me having to clean everything up and my mother not helping. She didn't say anything to this, there was no change in the tone of her voice. The only thing that happens is she feels sorry for herself that she's upset me, or how I'm mad at her. So, I have to explain how I'm not mad this is just what I'm feeling. I was explaining the situation about having to clean out the apartment to someone recently and never realized before how much it weighed me down. How I have had to suck up this stuff in the past and just deal with it with no support from my family.

I don't know if it was the legacy unburdening or something else, but I felt much more calm and emotionally detached when I was talking to her this time.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2021, 11:25:22 AM »
Long post warning  :no: Just wanted to put it all in one place.

I'm at a bit of a crossroads with how to proceed with the IFS. I guess I can take some solace in knowing there is no "wrong" way to do IFS. Although, Earley does mention that it can bring up things/protectors which might halt further treatment (as I understand it).

Spoke with T about IFS and what was coming up, the issues at work and noticing how it seems to mirror one of my inner critic patterns - the Underminer where you keep yourself small so you're not attacked. Very true growing up in my house with a jealous, narcissistic and critical family who would occasionally respond with physical violence. So, as per T's suggestion, I made a round table (mind map sort of) of my parts and trying to connect their relationships somewhat.

Because of trauma and (probable) dissociation (not DID I think, just a lot of compartmentalisation), I feel like I have conscious and unconscious IFS dynamics or relationships happening. As another layer, I can see how these inner patterns also reflect outer patterns, or dynamics, in my family. I'm not sure if it's more beneficial to work on the ones which are "conscious" and more solid seeming than the "unconscious" ones which are a little bit more veiled but deal with a lot of the trauma I think. By veiled I mean that there might still be another part or protector in the way, even though I have done the initial stepping back etc. What happens:

IFS 1

I went back into the cave where I first saw my legacy burden with my mom to try and find the part which was anxious about speaking to my mom. Wanted to make sure the criticized child was ok with me doing work on the inner critic. The cave quickly turned into a stone room in a castle which was dark but there was some moonlight coming through the window. Was a girl lying on the floor in a heap and tried to talk to her but felt like the inner critic was around. I saw him and he was thin with very sharp sides, quite sly. Put him outside with two very large stone guards at the door. Tried to ask her what her age was and what she thought my role was. I was getting two numbers 40+8 . Tried to step back so there was just the 8 year old. Started getting feelings of my dad's house (I moved there around that age), but also had the feeling of being another age like I was a teenager. Asked her what she thought my role was and she said Self. Felt like she was unburdening after that as I started to get images of my high school at that time, feeling ostracized and just really alone.

Girl sort of felt like a tomboy, which I guess makes sense for the 8 year old and teen part. She kind of had emo hair (and I think there was another part that didn't like this). Asked her if she wanted to get rid of this stuff and we started burning it. Tried to make sure she was doing the burning. Felt like there was an aquamarine light after this. She seemed happier after this and I asked her if she wanted a new role and it was to be something along the lines of an inner champion - that she wanted to be happy for me.

Most of this seemed quite clear, but I have a feeling there is anxiety about it somewhere in my body. I came back later and did another IFS on the inner critic:

IFS 2

Went back to the room in the castle and it was bright and sunny. The girl seemed very happy to see me and had asked her if there was anything she wanted to unburden. I felt lots of movement/shakes in my upper back, shoulders, and neck. (This area was already a little sore, maybe after the previous IFS?). Asked if it was ok if I speak with my inner critic and that it would be safe; I would make sure it didn't come back. Asked her to go into a waiting room. Saw the critic and it was like a little thing in my abdomen. Went down into this dark abyss/ tunnel where there was pink & purply light which didn't really have any shape. I asked how old it was and it said 8 months. Asked if there was anything it wanted to show me and there was this red flash/jolt like anger; some sort of shock. Also noticed another little girl peeking around. I kept thinking she was 2 but she said 4 (?). She was peeking around sheepishly. Asked if there was anything she wanted me to witness and I couldn't see/remember what was there. I spent some time with her but it was like there was something blocking me from reparenting her and that I was at a distance. Pretty sure I tried to step back and make sure I was in Self but there was something there.

I got the impression of some green grass by a stream for the baby (as a safe place) and that that's somewhere it wanted to be. I'm glad I don't have to worry about real world safety  ;D Spent some time with it there. The little girl had some sort of black and white apparatus. I wanted to say puzzle but it didn't seem right for it to be that. Put a light bubble/forcefield around her for protection and she seemed really happy. Told her that I would come back.

At this point I tried to come out of the IFS and write it down but something pulled me back. I thought that maybe it was because I forgot closure with the inner critic. So, I asked if it was happy and wanted to move on in it's role and felt it in my solar plexus. At this point, I started getting impression there was another little girl part that wanted attention. She wanted to eat and felt like there could be a temper tantrum when things didn't go her way. This reminded me of my mom/grandmother dynamic and the part of me that is like that? I guess I had some negative feelings towards this part.

Upper shoulders, back and neck in a lot of pain/tension last night this morning, and guessing it has something to do with this IFS. I suppose I go along in this way, clearing things as they come up but I still get the impression of what is real? That before when the other (Sally) parts came up - there was something in the way, so I looked at what was causing the procrastination to do the exercises in the book. Now it's like there is something in the way after trying to do IFS around the things that came up around procrastination. I guess these things take time. Remembered the anxiety I had at uni (in my very good program) and how I couldn't write the final essays. How I would get insomnia and just couldn't do it, go forward. It was like watching myself have a break down.

It's like the emo girl should be the criticized child but once I speak to the inner critic, there is another level of parts below (which I am thinking is the subconscious). Maybe I have very presentable public parts and other parts that I learned not to speak about growing up. Ie there's the public parts that wear the shame and trauma openly, protecting the other ones that had to go through it??? I'm not sure how the dynamic works. I know that I wasn't allowed to speak about the problems with my mom to my grandmother, and that my grandmother knew what my mom was doing but thought she would make up for it? Yet didn't remove me from that environment. That I was told I had to forgive her, or it was intimated that another, rosier reality had to be presented/believed, that she would save me. In the second IFS as well, it felt like there was a distance between the Self and parts that I was reparenting at times.

I wonder if this is just me intellectualizing. If I'm just dissecting the Sally (for example parts) I first experienced because I didn't know how to handle them purely experientially (that the feeling of overwhelm was too much). If inner critic parts relate to other parts etc. That there's just a fear it's not going to be ok.

Ramble over...I think it's just bringing up a lot of things and I wonder the best way for myself to feel centred in all of it. It just seems complicated.

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2021, 08:26:11 PM »
Today was pretty profound. I think I had my first experience of "PTSD." Not that I haven't been living with it all these years, but the feeling of it in my body, everything that has been coming up with work, with relationships the past few weeks, and being consciously aware that that this is PTSD. I wasn't trying to block it out or ignore it, it wasn't buried and dormant. It was not reactive but coming from somewhere in my body. This happens during EMDR as well, I get involuntary shakes and movement, but this time it was like I was conscious of it coming up and my mind connected to it.

I have been dating someone new for the past month and a half and got a bit freaked out for a couple reasons and tried to remove myself from the situation (flight) and then decided to come back (and fight). I think it's probably finished now. Even though I apologized multiple times and explained where I was coming from (about the CPTSD and all), I feel I look over bearing and fatal attraction. It had a big impact on me in the sense that I realized I need to talk about my "triggers" with people I'm seeing. I'm going to have to talk about them for my sake. I feel like it will be bad either way - to keep it pent up and risk acting out, or to tell someone that I'm a bit messy and don't fit into the nice, little box that everyone seems to want. I guess it's just something I'm going to have to do.

I found this post that I wanted to share. I think it sums up so well the feeling of what is going on inside, how we had no control over our circumstances, and how people can react to our behaviour and take it badly or be judgemental. It's not our fault that we weren't designed to fit in boxes. Not that it excuses bad behaviour or personal responsibility.

https://www.quora.com/How-can-you-explain-a-PTSD-trigger-to-someone-who-isnt-familiar-with-PTSD
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 10:01:26 AM by dollyvee »

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2021, 08:34:08 PM »
Feeling a bit disconnected this week that something is in the way and I'm not "in my body," that stress/disorganized thinking is has the seat of consciousness. Familiar feeling that I don't want to get close to ppl and am smiling but could never tell them what was going on, that it's like leading a double life with this stuff.  Was trying to check in what parts are active and it doesn't seem possible to connect.

Had a revealing session with T this week. After telling her about the phone call with my grandmother and the jewellery, she told me she thought of it as a ritual, the passing down. I had to maintain that I think it was given with the intent of my grandmother wanting to keep me close (narcissistic supply) because she's scared. T told me that she realized she was trying to save me from my grandmother's narcissism, by giving her actions meaning outside the narcissism so I would have something to hang onto. I appreciate that she was open how and reflective about her intent. The tricky part is that most ppl dismiss my grandmother's behaviour and see her as a sweet, old lady or someone who really loves me and I'm stuck trying to stand up for myself and the only one who is there for me. This leaves me feeling like I'm wrong or there's something wrong with me for feeling this way. I think it will be good to discuss further with T. The description death by 1000 cuts is so valid...it's so hard to point out these tiny narcissisms to ppl when most ppl don't think this way.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 08:34:31 AM by dollyvee »

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2021, 02:29:31 PM »
Lots to unpack around my relationship with my grandmother and has been one of my biggest sticking points I think, in terms of feeling cared for and wanting to give everything back to have a good relationship. Also, in terms of what is really real.

TW
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

All throughout my life my grandmother has always told me she loves me and would do anything for me. So, to the little me growing up she was a source of comfort and someone I could depend on in difficult times. At least that's what a part of my emotions think. She would also tell me we would feel guilty when she died and how we would miss her when she's gone etc but I guess that's a different thread. However, I also remember a lot of other things from that time - that I wasn't allowed to feel "angry" at my mom for the things she did, I would have to tailor who I was to fit in with her idea of the world and what was "acceptable." That she stopped the doctor from calling social services when my mom was leaving me alone to do drugs because she told him she would be there for me, yet I still remained in my mom's care and had to go through living with her and my stepfather and how they mistreated me. Recently, after my mother died, when the doctor told me about her problems with drugs and alcohol, which we all knew about and did nothing for her, I confronted my grandparents about this and how we did nothing. Her response was that she didn't know and I had to say what are you talking about? We all saw her passed out at previous Christmases and knew she was drinking. This then becomes, oh she did have a drinking problem later on. It's a constantly shifting line as long as she does not have to face anything and if I do bring this up, I'm mad at her and she goes into victim mode. It also makes me feel as if those things that happened to my mom weren't so bad, that this was normal for her to behave like that.

So, for me it's really hard to separate the parts of me that remember the good times with my grandmother growing up and the reality of what was/is going on, and the part that wants to care for her because she is my family. It's like being caught in a circle where I feel like she cared for me but then I have to think about what were her intentions for doing so at the time and if it was only so she could feel better about herself. Not a great place to be in.

I did an IFS yesterday hoping to look at the anxiety I have around making decisions/this low level anxiety - kind of like the one that was present in the cave with the inner critic - the fear of what might happen/ something will get me that I always seem to have. It wasn't an incredibly clear IFS, but got the impression of my grandmother's presence behind it. It didn't seem malevolent, but I did notice that it was hard for me to unblend from this part and it seemed very fused to me. When I did try stepping back, I started getting painful sensations (I call them "shopping with my mother"). When I tried to ask if there was a protector involved, I got the impression of "zodiac Capricorn," which is my astrology sign  :Idunno: I didn't really want to push this and was just kind of observing, even though it didn't make total sense.

Coincidentally, I watched a talk by Gabor Mate this morning on How Emotions Affect our Cognitive Functioning and the IFS began to make a little more sense intellectually. The talk revolved around "stressed parenting" and how it will affect the child's cognitive development, including dissociation and "acting out." From spending a lot of time with my grandmother when I was very young, I learned emotional attunement through her and her response to me which I needed given the stressed relationship with my mother (narcissist) and the stressed relationship between my parents (they were going through a divorce at the time). So, I can understand how this "grandmother part" is very fused with me. I can see how it regulates my response that things are going to fall apart (but also that it aggravates that, or another, response with my grandmother's disaster thinking - she was born in the Second World War.) I can also see how I would do anything to protect the relationship that kept me safe when I was younger, and would believe the things she told me like you can never trust men (I find it difficult to do so), don't get pregnant (I never have), and you can only ever depend on your family (I still have issues trusting ppl), which keeps me close to her in a way (??). So, it's tricky trying to navigate the "right" way to care for my family, and be there for myself, and the guilt over not being there for them, which I think is human. How do I deal with a part (and person) who helped me survive but perhaps had narcissistic intentions for doing so? I don't even know if I can fully wrap my head around that (betrayal). I guess this is what my T wanted to "save" me from and I guess I really do feel a part of me is kept as this dependant little girl through all of this.

If anyone is interested, this is the talk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYvxlkCGmbQ&t=317s



« Last Edit: February 10, 2021, 05:41:57 PM by dollyvee »

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dollyvee

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2021, 12:25:18 PM »
Some odds & ends, processing this stuff this week. Maybe things to explore further.

Noticed today doing my weekend paper sudoku that it was very difficult for me to complete. Not to brag, but it usually isn't an issue and find the process of going through it relaxing. Patterns that I would normally see didn't jump out and was mentally scattered. Reminded me that maybe I am still triggered/going through an EF. When I tried to "put my brain back together" in the way it would be to be to solve this, I felt a lot of emotions going on underneath, which I didn't recognize was happening. Not necessarily ones I want to look at and reminded me of the chaos growing up.

Have been going through a bit of an 80's movie phase and watched Working Girl (love - relate so much to Melanie but also thinking where's my Hollywood ending?) and Baby Boom (with Diane Keaton) recently. A scene where DK is interviewing nannies really jumped out at me. One woman is just recounting a traumatic experience where she witnessed her father trying to kill (??) her mother. She was just talking about it, not overly distraught, and DK passed on her like this was something to be ashamed of or something that made her a liability. It really made me stop and think about how much of ppls' reactions I internalize about myself and make a fiction of what I'm supposed to be like. Not just my family, but how ppl in the world see this stuff and how I have to "watch out for my safety" by disclosing it. It makes me a vulnerable person and people at work and in the world can discriminate against it. I'm sure there is a manager in here dealing with it.

Was defensive with my T this week. Could be the 18 hour work day I had and the three hours sleep before the session but also some lingering feelings about the grandmother chat we had I'm guessing. It's a sore spot.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 12:30:05 PM by dollyvee »

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Snowdrop

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Re: dollyvee's recovery journal
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2021, 04:42:08 PM »
It sounds like you have lots going on, Dollyvee, and lots to unpack. :hug:

Some of the things you've said reminded me of my own experiences with IFS. In particular, I've sometimes had parts carrying energy/burdens that weren't theirs to carry. The burdens belonged to other people, and my parts didn't realise that they didn't have to carry them.