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Re: Younger parts/selves Wittgenstein

Posted by twinleaf on September 9, 2007, at 9:42:23

In reply to Younger parts/selves, posted by Wittgenstein on September 9, 2007, at 5:39:46

No, it's a wonderful question. I think we all mean slightly different things when we are speaking about younger selves. Daisy (I hope you'll speak for yourself, because I may not have understood it correctly) spoke about feeling that a younger, traumatized part of herself was on the ceiling, and then came down and was more unified with her, and able to speak- through Daisy's voice, of course- about some very painful topics.

I am more like you, I think. I can describe traumas that I endured as a child, without re-experiencing the tremendous pain I felt as they were happening. In the present, I feel a lot of anxiety, instead. So, my task is to become more in touch with what the REAL feelings were. The "moments of meeting" seem to occur when I am able to feel those feelings again, while I am also feeling understood by my therapist. He describes his part in this as "bearing witness", with his mind and his heart.

I think these things are all different forms of dissociation- the mildest forms of them. The worse the traumas have been, the more one tends to dissociate. More intense forms of it involve feeling that you really do have separate parts, even to the point of naming them. It's a wonderful survival system for traumatized people, but you are left with a lot of pain, and an unintegrated self which isn't able to meet all the challenges of being an adult
as well as you would if you hadn't had to form some degree of dissociation. So the work of therapy is to sort of get everything back together. I don't think any of us could do it ourselves, but we can in the presence of a caring therapist who gets to know about these dissociated parts of ourselves, and who treats them in a caring and accepting way. Then we can do it, too.

 

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