Erica said I needed to reassure the baby that it was OK to be scared, but I also needed to contact the ones who don’t want to be scared. One of those is upset because she doesn’t know if her fear drove Mom away, and what she can do to get her back. I realized while driving to Cory’s that I had imagined two parts that didn’t want to feel fear. Talking to Cory about the fear I said it’s not like ordinary fear, it’s frozen. Thinking about it more, I see that fear is “overcoupled” with helplessness. The second one doesn’t want to feel helpless. So I’ve been talking to all three of them.
“It’s OK to be scared. You have good reason to be scared, but what happened was in the past. It can’t happen again, I am here and I’m not going to leave you. I know I disconnect at times, but it’s my intention to always be here for you.”
“I know you don’t want to feel fear. You were protecting me. I couldn’t afford to feel back then. You were trying desperately to understand what made mother go away, and what would bring her back. Dear Baby Jenny, you had nothing to do with it. Whether you cried or didn’t cry, whether you were scared or angry, it wasn’t about you. Your mother was an alcoholic and she was focussed on herself, on what she needed, not on what you needed. You were a beautiful, intelligent, creative child, and she had absolutely no ability to be a mother, to pay attention to you instead of herself. Thank you for protecting me. You don’t have to worry about trying to get Mom to come back. I’m here now and I will pay attention to your needs.”
“You don’t want to be afraid because it makes you feel helpless. This is the result of trauma. Normally fear makes you want to run away or back off, but for you, fear immobilizes you. Being both terrified and helpless is one of the most horrible feelings a person can feel. Of course you don’t want to feel it.”