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Re: The Little Girl Inside - long again

Posted by sunnydays on November 4, 2006, at 22:15:26

In reply to The Little Girl Inside - long, posted by Daisym on November 4, 2006, at 15:47:56

> I've been thinking about what to write about this in a way that doesn't sound sort of nuts. Sunny asked if thinking about certain feelings was easier or harder if we let them belong to the little girl inside. For me it has been both. If I could simply think about these feelings as young, and then classify them as "the little girl" it might be easier. Problem with me is, I FEEL young -- I can speak from that place.

**** I think maybe I know what you mean. Sometimes in therapy when go to say something, I stop myself -- well, actually most of the time when I go to say something I stop myself. My T says that's the little girl thinking she's going to get in trouble for saying something 'wrong'. But most of the time I am able to push myself and say it, with my T's help. But it always surprises me because I mean to say it in my normal 'this doesn't bother me' voice, but it always comes out very soft and in my opinion my voice sounds kind of childish when I talk in therapy. Is that kind of what you mean? Or am I way off base?
> So I think there is a huge difference between inner child work, and frozen age states. I think all humans have an inner child - young feelings that come up when we feel particularly playful or silly, or scared or lonely or sad. We carry around the need to be nurtured, and that is a healthy need. It allows us empathy to other people's need to be nurtured. I think for most people they accept these young feelings as part of who they are because the feelings don't take over, at least not very often.

***** My T was saying something like this, about how everyone has a little kid part of them, but that mine has been so wounded that she comes out a lot when I feel scared and can't say things or feel really sad or things like that.
> I think therapy calls out these youngish feelings in a way that almost nothing else does -- especially that need to be nurtured.

**** Yes, I wish so much that I could just curl up next to my therapist and cry and have him hold me and stroke my hair.

>And in therapy we examine our feelings, so we might be more in touch with our inner child, and which feelings belong to her, than we would otherwise. So many of those childlike feelings make us feel ashamed, wasn't the goal in life to "grow up?" How many times have we all heard - "stop acting like a child. Grow Up!"

**** I'm not very good at identifying which are parts are childlike. I used to feel kind of hurt when my T would say, that's the little girl part talking, what would the adult part say. But I couldn't tell him at the time because I just wasn't at the point where I could say something like that to him. Because whatever I'm feeling I'm feeling right then and it feels so real, like that's the only feeling there is. And my T and I had talked about how hard leaving was the other day and so before I left he stopped me and said, "Remember, when you leave you're still in my head, you're still with me, and I still carry you around and think about you." (he did say another day that he does think about me sometimes, obviously not every second of the day, but he does think of me sometimes). And he touched my upper arm very gently as I was leaving, which I just loved. It felt like I was so close to him and I could really feel how much he cared about me. I've been wanting a hug for a while and am too scared to ask because he'd probably say no, but it was so nice that he was willing to spontaneously touch me. And it felt totally safe and appropriate.

>And yet here we are, sitting with someone who is telling us that we need to love and care for this part of us. Especially if that part is wounded. It makes sense that we would be conflicted and want to squash that part of ourselves. It also makes sense to resist that urge and see nurturing that part as self-care. It takes some work to get comfortable with that. IRL you just do it privately. But in therapy you are doing it in the presences of someone else. So it feels like it could be judged -- because most of us have experiences of childlike behavior being judged as bad. It is just darn hard.

**** Yeah, I am so judgmental of these feelings that my T says are the little girl parts. And he tries to get me to see that feelings just are, there is no right or wrong about them, but it's very hard to internalize that.
> Ego states are different, imo. I have at least three major ego states, in addition to my adult self. I can be 5 or 9 or 11/12ish. That doesn't mean I lose contact with the rest of myself, but if I let myself sink into just being 5, like if I'm talking about a memory, I really enter all those feelings and it feels very "in the moment." I often don't have the vocabulary to explain what I'm trying to say, I ask questions from that place and I want things that my adult self would never, ever want - like wrapping myself around my therapist's leg and never letting go, or hiding under his desk. I use to be furious with my therapist for talking back directly to these younger parts, or even asking if I could let that part come forward. It is very powerful, this connection between my younger parts and my therapist. And very healing, because he is so accepting and to most of these parts he feels very safe. There has been a consolidation of skills and strength as we allowed these parts time in therapy. But it is very, very scary sometimes. If I don't get put back together, I often have no idea what to do for a while. So I think if you are going to work like this, you really do need someone who can handle how demanding these ego states can be and who can recognize when and how to back off.

**** I don't know if that's what my therapist was talking about or not. He always refers to these feelings as coming from 'the little girl part of you', but we haven't really talked about it except for a little at the end last time. He did say that it can be a useful way to conceptualize things, so I'm not sure if he was talking about an actual part that exists separate. I'm sort of confused about what he meant because I sort of know what you mean, but I'm not sure what he meant. He may have been trying not to scare me though by saying it the way he did. I just don't know on that one.
> All that said, I have a hard time nurturing my younger parts. Sometimes I can do it. But they carry so much pain and I get so mortified about being in parts and pieces. It is hard for me to admit that I can't just "own" all my memories and handle stuff - that I have split off like this and I still need to think about it as having happened to "her" not "me."

***** See, I know things happened to me, but at the same time it doesn't seem like me. Were you always aware of these frozen ego states, or did they become more pronounced or well defined as you were doing this work? Did it always feel like it happened to a different part of you? And do all these parts still feel like you to some degree? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to understand.
> I don't know if I helped at all or just made things murkier. Pfinstegg is a lot better at describing frozen ego states and what it feels like, than I am. I hope she is around and can help you with this question.

****** You helped lots, daisy, and definitely gave me lots to think about. Thank you so much for responding like this. I never feel like I deserve such long responses from anyone. Thank you.





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