Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts

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Hope67

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Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« on: May 12, 2018, 06:46:09 PM »
I decided when my first journal reached 30 pages, that I'd start a new one, and here it is.  I'm calling it 'Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts' because I am currently highly influenced by a book that WhoBuddy recommended to me, which is by Janina Fisher and is about Befriending Parts that are fragmented and hurt, and I relate so much to the book - and think it is the key for me to move forward and hopefully make some progress.

So, for the start of this Journal, I am going to highlight some of my aims, which are basically notes I've taken from Janina's book, and are as follows:

I hope to:
* Develop and form internal attachments relationships to my young selves
*Be mindful of conflicts, ambivalence, or confusion = manifestations of struggles between parts
*Build empathy and attunement to the 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 those '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.

I am also noting the following from the book, as helpful:
"Traumatic events - encoded as implicit emotional and physical states, rather than encoded iin 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.

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Journal Entry for 12th May 2018
So I've started my new journal, having decided on the title, and written a few key points at the start, to remind me of my aims and hopes.  It feels good to have done that, and I feel like I have already begun to make some progress on this process - but I know I've got a long way to go.  But at least I feel I have some structure and some aims, and I also know that the people in this forum, with whom I've grown to feel some compassion with, and some empathy and understanding, will be alongside - and I hope that I can also be as helpful to them as they have been to me.  To think how hesitant and how long it was before I could even write something in this forum when I first joined it - I was scared - very scared.  But my confidence has grown and I've managed to quieten my inner critic to allow myself to write much more - and now write fairly regularly - because it is so beneficial to do that. 

If you're reading this, and wondering whether to write anything yourself - and haven't yet felt brave enough to, then I would say, try it - because people are so kind, and they really do understand.  There is true compassion and kindness here. 

Hope  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 12:49:33 PM »
Journal Entry on 13th May 2018
I had to come here to write about this, as it has made me feel very queasy and uncomfortable - like there's a horrible amount of 'angst' inside.

***Some trigger warnings regarding mentioning coercion to eat and abusive stuff
I was reading Torey Hayden's book "The Silent Boy" and I've got to p.89 and the boy (Kevin), who had finally begun to talk to Torey, admitted that his father used to force-feed him on oatmeal that was actually mouldy as it had been kept back for days.  The thing is that my sister told me that our parents used to make her eat food - and that they would force-feed her from a large bowl, with food that she'd refused to eat earlier in the week, and which they apparently kept in that bowl, all cold and congealed and awful.  Hearing the boy, Kevin, talk about this, and thinking about how my sister must have felt to be facing this kind of abuse - it has really raised my emotional awareness of what she must have gone through.  I don't remember them doing this to me, but I know that I was always careful to try to do the 'right thing' - so maybe I didn't upset them in that way, because I was just too frightened to have a similar fate to my sister.

Like the 'Silent Boy' - my sister was also electively mute - choosing not to talk to our parents, and she averted her eyes - I do have a memory of them talking about her and saying how she looked away from them, and that it was a sign she was lying.  Not telling them the truth.

This is a very sketchy memory, and I don't know how old I was, but I never saw her after the age of 8 years, and I don't think I saw her after the age of 6 years - for any length of time.  So I was quite small.

She told me that she was quite anorexic, very very underweight - when she was a teenager.  I have been feeling some very strong and queasy feelings - I guess reading that part of the book has awakened my ability to feel some things in relation to that.  It's a very visceral feeling.  I wanted to write about it - get it out.

I don't know how I feel.

I'll stop writing for now.

Hope :)

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sanmagic7

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2018, 12:48:51 AM »
i think that when those feelings come to us at such a visceral level that they're not always readily available to be recognized right away.  when you're ready, i have no doubt they'll make themselves known.

i know you've already begun this process, hope, and you've been doing a really good job of it, from what i can tell.  congrats to you.  that mindfulness stuff has been something that's been very helpful for me with all this.  engaging my mind, connecting it to where i need it to go, and experiencing what's there has been so new to me on so many levels, but i like it.  it makes me feel like i know myself a bit more clearly and intimately.

well done, sweetie.  i give you all kinds of credit for starting afresh.  another path to explore, more discoveries to make.  love and hugs to you, hope.

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 12:55:44 PM »
Hi SanMagic,
I am glad to hear that the mindfulness stuff has been helpful to you - and that you know yourself a bit more clearly and intimately - and I hope to do the same - over time, and get to know myself, and also my inner children and wounded/fragmented parts - it's a learning process, but it's a good one. 

I like what you write in terms of saying 'another path to explore, more discoveries to make' - it sounds like an Adventure that way, and I am going to view it as such. 

Thank you for the love and hugs, and sending you a warm and loving hug back  :hug:

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Journal entry on 14th May 2018

This morning I attended an appointment with a specialist, and I had been worried about it - not knowing whether I'd cope - whether I'd cry - whether I'd stay calm or not.  My partner gave me a lift there, and then dropped me off, as he was off to his work.  So I went in to see the specialist by myself.  He was nice.  Made it easy for me to talk to him.  I was relieved.  I had some test results which he shared with me, and I am relieved that all was fine.  I am very relieved as I had been worried.

So, here I am this afternoon, and I'm just feeling a sense of calm - just to know I'm ok. 

I'd been dreaming a lot last night, but I can't remember the content of the dreams now. 

I re-read some of my first Journal the other day - and I was struck by some things I'd written there - especially something that John Bradshaw had written in his book - where I think he said that it was important to do the 'feeling kind of work' - rather than intellectualise about things, and I think he mentioned that if there were 2 doors available labelled as 'Heaven' and 'Lecture on Heaven' - he said most people with C-PTSD would line up outside the second door - to hear the lecture on heaven.  I can see myself in that, I would choose that door too... I'd want to read about it, learn about it, study it - rather than 'experience' it.  I need to 'experience' things more - truely feel them - be more mindful and in the moment.  That's what I need to do - to feel both the positives of life and also the more emotional things too - because unless I can feel them, I won't be living.  Not in any authentic way.  That's how I feel.

I'm keen to try doing some Meditation daily - the Meditation circle that Janina introduced me to - to meet my fragmented and wounded parts - the inner children - I did it yesterday, and I wrote a few notes in a diary - just noticing what thoughts, images and feelings came up.  It was a good experience and it was interesting.  I will share some themes in this diary - when I am more sure of them - currently it's typically fragmented and not necessarily making sense to me, but I am sure it will become easier and hopefully make more sense to me.

Hope  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 03:25:44 PM »
I'm back to write a little more - it's still 14th May - and I'm feeling 'guilty' right now.  I was going to support my partner in a visit to see one of his family members in hospital, and I just didn't feel up to going there with him.  So I haven't.  But now he's gone - and I feel guilty for not feeling strong enough to be there - but the situation is quite a triggering one for me, and I've been doing my best to cope with visits over the past couple of weeks - as and when I'm able to - but today - I just felt I couldn't do it.  I rarely say 'No' to things, particularly if I feel that my partner needs my support - I like to be there for him.  I guess that's why I feel bad about letting him down today. 

Although he was fine about it, and said it was fine that I wasn't going.

I'm feeling anxious now - I had been enjoying a sense of calm after finding out that my test results were ok this morning - and I liked that feeling of 'calm' - but anxiety has made its way into my psyche just now - and guilt.  Anxiety and Guilt. 

But why?  Why should I be anxious and guilty when I have chosen NOT to visit someone - this ONE time - actually I feel annoyed with myself for allowing myself to end up feeling this way. 

I think it's because 'I made a decision that met my needs' - i.e. I chose not to visit, as I felt it was 'too much' for me today - and yet now I'm beating myself up about it - like the inner critic is hammering on my door, and telling me I'm pathetic - why can't I just suck it up, and get over myself...  Do the visit - do your duty... 

I'm tempted to binge - I reached for some cheese - but thankfully I only cut a fairly small piece.  I won't eat anymore. 

I also wrote some things in other parts of the forum today - and ended up feeling a bit embarrassed by the fact I'd written them.  But they're out there, and I'll leave them there. 

Anyway, it is what it is...

Hope  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 08:11:10 PM »
I think I was definitely in an EF, in relation to feeling the guilt about not making that visit with my partner today - it was like I felt like a naughty child, and that I'd done something really bad.  I wanted to binge and take the guilt away.

Thankfully I feel much better now, and can look back on the feelings and realise they were more of an EF than anything else.  I am relieved.

I have a right to choose to make certain decisions, and today I looked after my own well-being - choosing to do something I wanted to do.  I think it's a pity I wasn't able to then savour the time I had available - but ended up giving in to my inner critic - but it's a learning curve - each and every moment, and each and every day.  Moment by moment.
Hope  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 03:31:17 PM »
Journal Entry on 15th May 2018
Just about to write in my diary, and then another unexpected thing - so I'll have to stop and hopefully write later.

Hope  :)

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 07:13:51 PM »
Back again, after sorting out an unexpected event - I feel like I'm being 'tested' this week - but thankfully I've managed to cope - so far so good.  But I feel very tired now!  Hopefully I'll get an early night tonight - and hopefully sleep.  I had some dreams recently, but thankfully no 'night terrors' - I've not had one of those for a while now, so that's a positive thing.

Now that I'm back here, I can't think of anything to write - so maybe that's because I'm tired.  I think I'll try to watch something pleasant and 'easy to watch' on TV - and then have an early night.

Hope  :)

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sanmagic7

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 09:41:18 PM »
wow, hope, what a lot you have gone thru in the past couple of days.  i'm so impressed with how you figured out that it was ok to take care of your needs first.  that's tremendous.  and stopping that urge to binge in its tracks.  well done, sweetie!

i thought that bradshaw thing was interesting.  i have to admit, when i first read it, i immediately wanted to go thru the first door, didn't even cross my mind to learn about it first.  that may be because i've experienced what i believe is heaven several times in my life, and it's really all good - better than good, actually.   so, i have no desire to hear a lecture on it.  i'd just want in.

different for different people, as always.    keep on keepin' on, hope.  i think you're doing great.  love and hugs to you.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 12:08:41 PM »
Hope,
I often read your journals but do not post.  In this case, I just wanted to pop in and say what an amazing job I think you are doing.  Putting yourself first can be so hard.  Yes the inner critic wants to beat us up over it, but the inner critic is wrong.  Way to take care of Hope.
Much love,
Deep Blue

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 07:47:05 AM »
Hi SanMagic - Thanks so much for your lovely reply, and I am happy to hear you'd take the first door of the Bradshaw example and explore Heaven straight away - it's great that you've experienced what you believe is Heaven several times in your life - that sounds a wonderful experience.  I have to admit, I would be listening to the lecture on it first though - just incase their idea of 'heaven' is something different... lol  Maybe I am just very cautious!  Love and hugs to you - and I appreciate your kindness.

Hi Deep Blue - Thank you so much for popping in today and commenting in such a lovely way - I have also read some of your posts too - and I have related to what you've said - so it's nice to connect and I appreciate what you said about the inner critic - and I'm trying to build relationships with all my fragmented and wounded parts now, including the inner critics - because they have served their purposes over the years - and I don't listen to mine as much these days - or at least I try not to - but at the same time, I'm getting into more of a dialogue with it/them - as that helps me to work out why they/it are saying things, and where it comes from.  Seems a bit of a minefield sometimes, but I do think it's getting easier - sometimes.  Much love to you too, Deep Blue - and I really like your name. 

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Journal Entry on 17th May 2018

I wasn't able to come here to write yesterday - even though I wanted to - but I was experiencing quite a bad EF for most of the day - I can't even bring myself to write about the circumstances, as I don't want to end up wiping out the whole of today as well - so I'm going to try to keep focused on what I need to do today, rather than reflecting any further on the events of yesterday.  The positives are that I am managing to cope, and I feel sure things will get better - so that's a 'hopeful thought' - and I'm holding on to that thought.

Hope  :)

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sanmagic7

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 01:42:36 AM »
hope, i love that you are using your ICr voices as tools for learning and understanding.  what a great idea.  it makes so much sense to me that we might make further progress not by fighting them but by kind of befriending them.  brilliant!

sorry about the ef.  we'll be here when you're ready.  love and hugs, sweetie.

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DecimalRocket

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 06:07:49 AM »
I think the inner critic thing is a good idea hope. Lots of our inner critics have good intentions behind them and are trying to protect us from harm weíve gotten before, so I hope the best for that. Itís a pretty hard thing to be able to listen to something thatís been hurting you, but thereís a lot of value in listening.

 :hug:

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Hope67

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 04:00:37 PM »
Hi SanMagic,
Thank you!  It was Janina Fisher who gave me the idea to use my Inner Critic voices as tools for learning and understanding - and indeed all 'parts' of me that I can recognise, and it's a refreshing way to view things, and makes sense to me - most of the time.  Thanks for the love and hugs, and I always appreciate your lovely replies, thank you SanMagic. 

Hi Decimal Rocket,
Thank you so much for your reply - I appreciate it, and I agree that there's a lot of value in listening - and I do try to do that - regarding the inner critic and other parts that communicate with me.   :hug: to you, Decimal Rocket.

***
Journal Entry for 18th May 2018
I feel sooooo tired today!   It's been a long day.  I have done a lot of things - many practical things, and it's taken its toll.  I've had to 'step-up' and sort out a few things, because basically there hasn't been anyone else to do the things that have needed doing, and my partner is away again.  But I've coped, and that's a good thing!

My massive EF that I had the other day, has thankfully not re-surfaced - I managed to ride it out.  I feel more like an adult today - during the EF I felt incredibly vulnerable and scared and anxious.  At times I thought I wasn't going to pull out of it, but thankfully I did.  What helped was forcing myself to talk about it to my partner, and gaining a fresh perspective - having shared it.  I could have easily burrowed into my own world on it, and then it would have intensified the fear - but sharing it - it definitely helped.

I finished reading 'The Silent Boy' by Torey Hayden yesterday - and found some parts of that very emotional - especially any parts where there were endings, and that's a recurrent theme for me in terms of not coping with 'Goodbyes' or transitions - I find them incredibly triggering, and emotive. 

Hope  :)

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sanmagic7

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Re: Hope's Journal: Befriending My Parts
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2018, 01:52:27 AM »
so very glad to hear that sharing with your partner was a pos. experience for you, hope.  nice step forward! 

i hear you on the transitions.  because i'll be moving soon, i'm finding it more difficult than i anticipated.  i know i'll be extremely emotional, and i really didn't think that was going to happen.  sucks.

forward, hope.  it's all worth it - i've got to believe that.  if i don't, i have no idea what might happen.  love and hugs, sweetie.