Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 456153

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Parts and Pieces

Posted by daisym on February 11, 2005, at 1:26:56

It is hard to explain this, so please forgive me for struggling through it.

I went to therapy today full of anxiety, feeling completely like crawling out of my skin. It actually started last night, that awful prickly feeling in my chest, jaw and throat. Like you can't breathe almost. I left therapy today a lot less anxious, but upset that I seem to have reverberated back so completely into parts and pieces.

I've been having bad dreams, funeral dreams, about my dad and about some of my friends. We talked about which parts of me were being represented by the deaths and about my feelings that I caused the deaths somehow. I told him how anxious I felt and how conflicted I was about continuing to do this work, given all that was going on. He said he could understand that but there was no way to predict the timing of the psyche and if nothing else, he had learned to have great respect for the wisdom of the unconscious. So if stuff needed to come out and get talked about now, there was a reason for that.

I told him that my dad had called to check in about my husband, and it was incredibly hard to match the man on the phone with the one we had been talking about these past weeks. And then I floated away. I had a complete brain freeze. My therapist let me struggle for a little while and then he asked a question leading away from the topic of my dad. It allowed me to come back, and reenter the conversation with him. He pointed this out (said I had to remember this rescue next time I accuse him of "always" leaving me to struggle) and I said I HAD noticed, but I also noticed that by leading away from the subject of my dad, it allowed me to squash little daisy pretty effectively. That it was her anxiety that was making it hard for me to talk because there were too many voices competing in my head.

He got quiet and then said very gently, "She hasn't been able to talk to me this week. No wonder she is anxious. What does she want to tell me?" So I talked about what she wanted and what she had been writing about and all these weird body sensations that were coming up. I told him that it felt like even my shoes didn't feel right yesterday. And I told him about getting swamped with fear while grocery shopping when a man came near me in the store. That has never happened before.

Then I heard myself talking about "her" and "me" and I tried to stop it. I tried to take control of things again. But my therapist observed that the fear we've touched seems to be coming from a deeper level and it must have been scary for little daisy to keep these secrets all the time. And out she came again. She very much wanted to explain that she was afraid that he wouldn't believe all of her stories and that she wouldn't get into trouble for talking about them.

I got sort of upset with him and told him that he needed to stop talking to her directly, or making observations that she wants to respond to. He said he thought she needed to talk, that she needed him to hear her stories and I needed to hear them too. He said he practically has to coax her out sometimes but it is always worth it, didn't I think?

I don't know what to think. I thought I was getting better about all of this being "me" but today it was definitely "her" and "her stories." Maybe it is just easier to allow all of this to have happened to "her" instead of me. Maybe I can own it better in the future. But tonight I feel like I need to apologize for sinking so quickly into talking about this as her and me. It makes me feel sort of foolish on one hand but it feels completely true and the best way to handle it on the other.

I'll talk to him about this too, but I want to know what you guys think. Is it the stress? should I fight it?

I'm also really, really tired.
:(

 

Re: Parts and Pieces daisym

Posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2005, at 7:17:23

In reply to Parts and Pieces, posted by daisym on February 11, 2005, at 1:26:56

(((Daisy)))

I have to run to therapy, but I just wanted you to know I read your post.

My first reaction is: no, you should *stop* fighting it...

Love,
Falls

 

Re: Parts and Pieces daisym

Posted by mair on February 11, 2005, at 7:25:01

In reply to Parts and Pieces, posted by daisym on February 11, 2005, at 1:26:56

Daisy - it doesn't sound to me like you sank quickly and easily at all. It sounds like you tried to fight it off.

It seems natural to me that you would be particularly conflicted about this right now. You're in a period where the adult you has been preeminent and seemingly totally in control. When you're somewhat less stressed, maybe it's easier to accept the little girl as part and parcel of you. When it's a struggle to get out of control mode, maybe you're more inclined to look at little daisy as an intruder.

I understand that he feels the time is right and that you and he have no choice but to address the unconscious now, but what a task to be undertaking with everything else on your plate.

Mair

 

Re: Parts and Pieces daisym

Posted by Pfinstegg on February 11, 2005, at 11:11:09

In reply to Parts and Pieces, posted by daisym on February 11, 2005, at 1:26:56

Daisy, I am having exactly the same experiences as you are! Adult me and 6-year-old me are struggling with each other for time with our T; whichever one is there at the moment also tends to forget that the other one exists.The tricky thing about dissociation is that one doesn't always know it's happening, don't you find? Each part has completely different tranferences; the adult is quite secure, and has meaningful, often humorous interactions with our lovely analyst, but the 6-year old thinks he is HUGE in size, and may even be menacing or dangerous (a reality check:I'm 5'11" in real life, so nobody is huge!). We have been trying our best to make each part more accepting of the other one- and just to make sure each part doesn't forget that there IS another one. I've now started to practice being aware of the other part when I'm by myself. If I feel fairly relaxed and happy, I try to remember how terrified and heartbroken the girl feels- I try to remember her memories. When I am feeling just awful, I can assume it's the girl. Then, I try to remember that there is a more grown-up part who doesn't feel that terrible about everything - just trying to practice getting these two to know each other better. I think it is helping- the girl can partake a little better in the good transference the adult has, and the adult is getting used to hearing about the csa (not remembered before analysis) without denying it or feeling quite as hopeless or ashamed about it. I have to say that I feel as if I do really know just what you are struggling with! As always, I wish you the very best, and hope this very difficult time gets better very soon.

 

Re: Parts and Pieces daisym

Posted by Aphrodite on February 11, 2005, at 11:27:19

In reply to Parts and Pieces, posted by daisym on February 11, 2005, at 1:26:56

It is all so very tiring, even without additonal life events in the way, to work with two different selves needing entirely different things. I know it's so exhausting. It sounds like little Daisy is not going to allow herself to be stuffed, and I say good for her! I think your T is so, so right about the unconscious bringing forth whatever is needed regardless of the events of the day. Just lean on him and take it minute by minute.

Anything you can do to get some much needed rest? (((Daisy)))

 

Re: Parts and Pieces Pfinstegg

Posted by Aphrodite on February 11, 2005, at 11:29:03

In reply to Re: Parts and Pieces daisym, posted by Pfinstegg on February 11, 2005, at 11:11:09

That is wondeful advice regarding how to get the various parts to know one another. Thanks for sharing that. I can't tell you how many times my capable adult self drives to my T's office and I say to myself, "Why am I here again? There's nothing wrong with me. I'm too busy for this nonsense." Then I go in and he speaks to the wounded parts, and I remember how much the work is needed.

 

Re: Parts and Pieces daisym

Posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2005, at 11:42:08

In reply to Parts and Pieces, posted by daisym on February 11, 2005, at 1:26:56

>I don't know what to think. I thought I was getting better about all of this being "me" but today it was definitely "her" and "her stories." Maybe it is just easier to allow all of this to have happened to "her" instead of me. Maybe I can own it better in the future. But tonight I feel like I need to apologize for sinking so quickly into talking about this as her and me. It makes me feel sort of foolish on one hand but it feels completely true and the best way to handle it on the other.

>I'll talk to him about this too, but I want to know what you guys think. Is it the stress? should I fight it?

>I'm also really, really tired.

Little Daisy is (an ingenious) coping mechanism that allowed you to survive. There is nothing shameful in using this coping mechanism - it is a shame that you *need* it, but not shameful to *use* it. You are at a point where you realize that, while it served you well in the past, that it isn't the best coping style for you right now. Hence your desire to "own it all". But they call them "coping *SKILLS*" for a reason. They really are skills. A skill is something that you learn to do (i.e. it isn't a reflex). A skill is something that comes easier or works better with practice.

Think about driving a car. When you first learned how to drive it took all of your concentration to keep the car going in a straight line. You couldn't read the signs or figure out where to go, all you could do was stay on the road. But as you practiced, the ability to "stay on the road" was learned by your subconscious. So then your subconscious could keep you on the road, and your conscious was free to start reading the street signs, and drink your coffee, and talk on your cell phone, and break up the fight in the back seat. But there ARE times (even now), when for some reason your subconscious can't quite do it's job (maybe it is raining so hard that you have to really concentrate to see the road), and you have to consciously work on that aspect of driving again. You don't have to do this very often now (but you *do* have to do it sometimes), but you had to do it a lot more when you had only had your license for a year. You have *learned* how to drive.

Coping skills are no different. At first it takes a lot of effort to use them, but as you keep practicing they become second nature - most of the time. But your ability to use them will go up and down (but go up over all - because the "ups" will be higher than the "downs" are low). This is just a slightly bigger "down" than you are used to. Seems perfectly reasonable to me, given what you have been through.

It *doesn't* mean that you have failed in learning your new coping skills. It just means that you are *still learning*.

Little Daisy has taught you important things about yourself. Resolving her issues is different from burying them. But resolving them takes time and effort and pain.

If you "fight it", your subconscious will not learn the new coping skills, and you will be left with only the old ones.

Of course you are tired! All this learning is exhausting! Plus everything else you have going on. Can you say "I'm tired because I'm working really hard on really hard things", and accept that being tired is reasonable?

(((((Daisy)))))

 

Re: Bravo, fallsfall, daisy?

Posted by sunny10 on February 11, 2005, at 12:16:24

In reply to Re: Parts and Pieces daisym, posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2005, at 11:42:08

Don't fight it. Fighting will lead to statis; it is the oppposite to growing.

I'm so happy to hear that your T is so so so supportive of BOTH daisys.

big hugs, daisy, you are an inspiration to me,

sunny10

 

Re: Parts and Pieces daisym

Posted by Dinah on February 11, 2005, at 19:12:13

In reply to Parts and Pieces, posted by daisym on February 11, 2005, at 1:26:56

God, I'm starting to sound like a broken record, so I promise I won't repeat this again after this time.

I can't believe I'm offering myself as an example of cooperation, but I am. It is possible to come to an amicable arrangement that takes into account all needs. It needn't be done with good humor or grace, but it's a lot more convenient to all involved if it gets done one way or another.

If it were me, and believe me it has been, I'd put the problem to little Daisy and ask for suggestions for a solution that meets all needs well enough if not perfectly. The first question might be what little Daisy's most pressing needs are. Is the most pressing need to tell her story, or to see your therapist, or something completely different? You know what your most pressing need is. Then you can brainstorm, with your therapist's help if need be, compromises that meet all needs adequately, if none perfectly.

And now I'll shut up about intraself cooperation. I promise. :)

 

Re: Parts and Pieces

Posted by daisym on February 11, 2005, at 21:08:24

In reply to Re: Parts and Pieces daisym, posted by Dinah on February 11, 2005, at 19:12:13

No don't shut up! I need to keep hearing this. Thank you all for your insight and replies. In reading over the responses I was able to recognize a couple of things. I think pfinstegg's thoughts on one side informing the other of the transferences is a good one. In my case it is reversed, the younger parts are completely attached and want to be there, the adult isn't so sure that we should be talking about all of this.

What I told my therapist today is that I'm worried that letting little daisy be the keeper of the memories is a cop-out somehow, like I don't want to face up to them. He said that I'm still uncomfortable acknowledging the split, and that I might (unconsciously) be hoping that if I can make it "wrong" to have this younger part then I can silence her. Hmmmm...

I told him it felt a little manipulative -- like I let her come out in order to feel attached to him. Because not being attached feels so bad. He said it wasn't manipulative, it was healthy but again, uncomfortable for the adult to have these needs and admit them. He said he wants me to talk about myself in whatever way I need to but he thinks this is an authentic part that has a lot to say.

He asked me if the fear had come up again around the power of this attachment -- was I worried that he would use the power to take advantage of me? I said that wasn't it,I wasn't concerned about physical stuff. Rather, it was more about his ability to hurt me -- I'm very sensitive right now to the wrong word, and I'm likely to misinterpret stuff and I feel like such a pain in the a**. He said we needed to talk about this more, because he wondered if this is what little daisy is really afraid of. He thinks she finds him scary right now but it is too embarressing for the adult to admit that...after all, what would that mean about the fantasies or thoughts that go with all of that?

I did what I usually do with these sorts of discussions....retreat into silence!


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