Feeling Compassion for Myself

One of my constant struggles is to find compassion for myself.  Most of the time I’m angry at myself and hating myself for being such a failure.  I’ve treated myself worse than any other human being.

From my journal for August 9, 2021

Trying to remember what else I did yesterday.  Several puzzles, lay down on the couch, don’t think I slept, lunch with Carolyn and the Racusins.  I feel a chill in my heart.  Asking it, what I get is that I’m wasting my time, I should be working on healing.  Doesn’t doing puzzles with enjoyment count for anything?  What about lunch with folks, even though the conversation wasn’t anything special?

I think “What should I be doing with my time?  Maybe talk to God?” sending my attention upward, and then remembering that of god in me.  I think “Inner Teacher” and check my heart.  What I feel is amused affection.  Dear Jenny.  She works so hard, tries so hard to “get it right.”  Anita Moorjani says loving yourself is the most important thing.

“That of God in me” is a Quaker teaching, something I’ve been working on for a long time. Anita Moorjani had a powerful near death experience, and has been teaching about her learnings.

I become aware of Jenny, sitting in this room.  Plants inside and trees outside.  The incredible diversity of nature.  But there are also my painted wooden angels and the Ben Shahn — works of art made by humans — and my little dog next to me.  More amazing things created by the Universe.  The sun has moved on, out of my eye.  What an amazing person to have gathered all these things in her journey, things that she loves, that gladden her heart.  And it doesn’t matter at all that the room is a mess.  Can I love Jenny, who has managed to create this beauty and meaning even while struggling with the pain and difficulty of her life?  Yes I can.

Walking Mocha I began to feel really scared.  Trying to reassure the Little Ones, I realized that part of the problem is that I, Adult Jenny, is having trouble trusting that I am loved, that it doesn’t matter if I don’t get things right, that there is a bigger Universe that holds this small one in compassion.  I look at that terrified Jenny, walking her dog as best she can, and I feel a lot of compassion for her.  

Back from seeing Lisa Blackburn.  Feeling terrified.  I told my Little Ones that Lisa is entirely trustworthy and so is the Universe.  I choose to trust that the Universe is also an unconditionally loving presence.  I choose to trust that grace is available to me whether or not I “do things right.”  I choose to trust that the wider, more inclusive, participatory, sacred cosmos is real, and holds our materialistic world view in a larger context.

Lisa Blackburn is an excellent physical therapist whose office is nearby.

I look around my room and am aware of how happy I am to be surrounded by these beloved objects, and how much I enjoy the color of the walls, and all that went into getting them that color, and I see how all of it is gift.

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The Body Knows, the Heart Knows

I haven’t posted for a long time because I’ve been doing so badly.  When I read this the other day, it described so well exactly how I’ve been feeling.  I even found myself able to cry, which rarely happens in the absence of a witness.
From Matt Licata’s blog for September 8, 2021

The body knows, the heart knows

So many of us feel shame related to our trauma, wounding, and sensitivities, as if they’re evidence that we’ve failed, it’s our fault, that something’s wrong with us, and that we’re broken and beyond repair. Even if we “know” this isn’t accurate, that cortical knowing is no match for the subcortical fires in our limbic and bodily circuitry, where unmetabolized grief, sadness, and rage dwell as the shattered children of our unlived lives.

The emotional pain is tragic in and of itself, but underneath is a psychic homelessness and deep sense that we’re alone, which is really at the root of trauma. Here, we long and burn for the missing companion.

As human beings, we are wired to co-regulate – to rest, explore, and play within a relational field. We were not crafted to “do it all on our own” – the nervous system that goes with this particular star is one designed to flower in a relational vessel.

We can do so much for one another, to transmute personal, collective, and transgenerational trauma and trance: The words we use, the softness in our eyes, our presence when we listen, taking the time and the care to ensure that the other feels felt and understood.

So many of us are living in a way that has been toned toward a felt sense where it’s just not safe to be who and what we are.

If you want to help someone in your life, start by helping them to feel safe.

While the mind may conclude that a moment of safety is inconsequential, the body knows, the heart knows. If we look carefully, we may see just how that one moment ripples out into the neural circuitry of the world.

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I Choose to Trust…

There are many times when I am unable to trust that there is goodness in the universe. But I can still CHOOSE to trust, set an intention. I found Richard Rohr’s daily meditation for August 6 very helpful. Some quotes:

The goodness of God fills all the gaps of the universe, without discrimination or preference. God is the gratuity of absolutely everything. God is the “Goodness Glue,” the love that holds the dark and light of things together, the free energy that carries all death across the Great Divide and transmutes it into Life. Grace is what God does to keep all things God has made in love and alive—forever. Grace is not something God gives; grace is who God is. If we are to believe the primary witnesses, an unexplainable goodness is at work in the universe.

Death is not just our one physical dying, but it is going to the full depth, hitting the bottom, going the distance, beyond where I am in control, and always beyond where I am now. We all die eventually; we have no choice in the matter. But there are degrees of death before the final physical one. If we are honest, we acknowledge that we are dying throughout our life, and this is what we learn if we are attentive: grace is found at the depths and in the death of everything. After these smaller deaths, we know that the only “deadly sin” is to swim on the surface of things, where we never see, find, or desire God or love. This includes even the surface of religion, which might be the worst danger of all. Thus, we must not be afraid of falling, failing, going “down.”

When we go to the full depths and death, sometimes even the depths of our sin, we can always come out the other side—and the word for that is resurrection. Something or someone builds a bridge for us, recognizable only from the far side, that carries us willingly, or even partly unwilling, across. All that we hear from reputable and reliable sources (mystics, shamans, near-death visitors, and nearing-death experiences) indicates no one is more surprised and delighted than the traveler himself or herself. Something or someone seems to fill the tragic gap between death and life, but only at the point of no return. None of us crosses over by our own effort or merits, purity, or perfection. We are all—from pope, to president, to princess, to peasant—carried across by an uncreated and unearned grace. Worthiness is never the ticket, only deep desire, and the ticket is given in the desiring. The tomb is always finally empty. There are no exceptions to death, and there are no exceptions to grace. And I believe, with good evidence, that there are no exceptions to resurrection. Love truly is stronger than death.

Struggling with trauma, I have had many experiences of going to the depths. Very few of coming out the other side, and certainly very rare experiences of the “wider, more inclusive, participatory, sacred cosmos” that I know is possible.

In an email from New England Yearly Meeting of Quakers, the author talks about “trusting relentlessly.” She wrote of “the god that I have had brief experiences of as the unconditional loving presence” and relentlessly trusting that that presence is always there, even when she is not able to be aware of it.

So I have been repeating to myself: “I choose to trust that the Great Mystery is unconditionally loving, and that Grace is always available to me, even when I don’t ‘get it right.'”

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Trapped in Stone

Tuesday, July 13

Work with Erica was experiential, she asked me to not write during the session.  Passages in italics are from my journal:

An intense session with Erica.  She managed to get me out of being trapped in rock.  Suddenly just at the end of the session I was able to see my plants and the trees outside my windows.  

Wednesday, July 14

I didn’t write about my experience with Erica.  She said not to write notes, just be with the feelings. [margin: grounding first feet & butt]  Intense fear spread from my heart to my whole body, chill down my back, tingling in toes.  Erica kept asking what I was feeling, what I sensed.  I began to feel that I was trapped in rock.  Erica started reaching her hand down from above.  I couldn’t really see it, but then I had a sense of a jackhammer and then it was like the rock just dissolved.  At some point I realized it wasn’t real rock but metaphorical.

Thursday, July 15

Second cup of tea.  I feel like I’m buying into something being real that isn’t.  Like the rock that faded when I imagined a jackhammer.  The image was a baby completely surrounded by rock, which is terrifying, but the truth is that the baby was in freeze, not in rock.  I think one problem is the way I believe my emotions are telling me the truth about the situation.  I think about Deborah believing that she almost killed her baby sister, when it wasn’t physically possible.  Nancy Napier says feelings are to be taken seriously but not literally.

Deborah is the protagonist of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.  She had a “memory” of trying to kill her younger sister, but her therapist asked her for details of what she remembered, and deduced that it was not possible for a child to lift a baby out of a bassinet that was taller than she was.

A hit of fear.  I tell the little one that the danger was real then, but it’s not real now.  You survived then, and in now you are taken care of.  Letting my head & shoulders shake.  I’ve felt some moments of deep relief.  A small niggling fear rises up.  I pat it and say there there, this is what is real now.  I look at the plants and my room and it feels very present, and then I lose that feeling.  Am I always a little dissociated, always partly in the world of traumatized baby?  Another subtle hit of fear.  This is so confusing.  I go back to my feet on the floor, my butt on the couch.

We are here, now, in this room that I created, with the beautiful color on the walls, and my familiar and well-loved paintings, prints, books.

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Working with Scared One

from journal for Monday, August 2

Yesterday was pretty miserable.

I realize that in some ways the misery of the day matched the metaphor of being trapped in stone. Trapped in a narrow point of view. Unable to imagine anything bigger. I started reciting the words “wider, more inclusive, participatory, sacred.” At first they didn’t mean anything, then gradually I began to sense that such a world was possible, tho not to move into it.

Second cup of tea. Watered plants. Haven’t felt really scared this morning. — an immediate chill in my heart — there, there, Scared One. Can you communicate anything about yourself? I was made wrong so many times & I never understood why something was OK one day and not OK the next. Dear One, it had nothing to do with you. Your Mother was incapable of being pleased. Remember when you picked up lotion for her at the drugstore. Did she thank you? No, in a nasty voice she said “They weren’t going to deliver it, were they.” I, the older one, saw through that one and wasn’t hurt, but you were hurt that way too many times, you were completely dependent on your Mom. You were too young to be on your own, so you couldn’t afford to see that she was inconsistent. Also, because of the early trauma, you were more vulnerable to threats of being left alone, “sent back to Sears & Roebucks.” I am the person you grew into, and I still struggle with trying to get it right, even though I stopped trying to please Mom a long time ago. I also stopped trying to have a real relationship with her, and she took credit for what she saw as an improvement. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Dear One, there is a Jenny of the future, an older one who has learned how to live as her true self. We were in her all day Saturday which was a good day. We can get back there again, but not by trying to “get it right.”

A chill of fear. Scared One says “I don’t know how to stop trying to get it right!”  O Dear One — I put my arms around her — you don’t have to get it right to be loved. It doesn’t matter what you do, you are already forgiven. I feel such compassion for her, trying so hard to get it right. And there are all those people who were at Neskaya yesterday, and they love you, just as you are. It’s OK to relax and stop trying. or not. If you keep trying that’s not the end of the world. I realize that I’m asking you to trust me, as I trust Higher Self, and I know that your experience is that there’s no older and wiser being who is trustworthy. That’s just really hard. But even if you can’t do it, I still love you, and I will stay with you no matter what.

Remembering the trip with Ricky and what a disappointment it was, and how the Universe kept sending new people when people I could talk to left the trip, and I failed to see it until long afterward. O Dear Jenny, you were up against so much. Severe depression, early trauma, gaslighting. It’s so amazing that you survived and got this far. A tribute to your courage, your intelligence, and your persistence.

Help arrives via email, friends responding to requests for visits, Rohr’s daily meditation on Job. I think I’m being asked to get in touch with my grief.

3rd cup. water. Walking Mocha I was aware that the fear was frozen fear. My legs were weak as in those dreams of trying to run from bombs.

Teeth chattering.  They stop chattering when I write.  Feeling compassion and love for the Scared One.  Also understanding that it may take her awhile to be able to trust any Older Jenny.  At least I am able to “offer myself to the process” again, with trust.

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Working with “Stuck Heart”

from my journal for Friday, July 30

Woke at 5.  Intense heat.  Some fear, but mostly stuck heart.  Feeling desperately discouraged, unable to tune in or figure out what is going on with my heart.  Unable to get any compassion for it, stuck in this painful place.  Trying to be “good” so whatever is punishing me will stop?

“Stuck heart” is very hard to explain.  It’s not fear, but as uncomfortable as fear.  My heart feels squeezed and defended instead of relaxed and open.

Tutu talks about the fear of not being good enough.  “Our perfection is the price we imagine we must pay for the love of God.  So we strive endlessly to ‘be good’ or to ‘do good’ instead of realizing that we are good.” p23  “We need to simply live out of the joy and generosity of our own goodness.    It doesn’t matter if we fall short, because it has no effect on God’s love for us.”  p24

Desmond Tutu, Made for Goodness

So much of my life was spent trying to “prove that I deserve to live despite the fact that my parents were disappointed in me.”  But when I built Neskaya, I wasn’t thinking about deserving to live.  And when I teach the dances and create ceremony I do it because I love the dances and want to share them.  When I go to Grief Group, I can share my pain safely, and I can witness another’s pain and feel honored by the gift.

I think I must be imagining, as I struggle with the fear, and the blocked heart, that if I could do it “right” the fear would stop, my heart would ease.  Can I forgive myself for not being able to do it “right”?

Tutu’s book has a chapter called Stop “Being Good”

The belief that I am somehow making myself miserable, but I don’t know how to stop doing it.  Is it the trying so hard to “get it right” that’s making me miserable?  I realize that I am beginning to trust myself to know when to do something.  I did manage to cancel Ferry Beach.  I haven’t ordered the substitutes Vreeland suggested from Wellevate because it hasn’t “felt right,” not because I am scared.  I realize that despite being scared, I did continue writing big checks while Neskaya was being built.  Despite being terrified, I did make the travel arrangements and go to the West Coast for the Francis Weller workshop.

I think what I need to do is “take a big step back” and look at the Jenny with the stuck heart.  I see a child desperately trying to make her mother happy and failing and feeling desperately discouraged and wrong and bad.  Like someone in Grief Group.  What did I feel for her?  Enormous compassion.  I put my arms around Little Jenny, and tell her that nothing she does will ever please her mother, not because she is wrong and bad, but because her mother is not capable of being make happy.  It’s not little Jenny’s fault.  I remember hugging Mom when she said “I’m not feeling good about myself right now.”  But most of the time she was not willing to be vulnerable.

I’m vaguely remembering a time when I treated her very gently — could it have been after Dad’s funeral — and she said “That terrible person won’t be around any more.”  But I didn’t see that my being kind had anything to do with it.  Now I wonder, if I could have managed to be kind might she have been able to stop drinking?  But I realize she would have needed the support of the AA community to be able to stop drinking.  And at the same time I sent out to Mom a plea for forgiveness that I didn’t see that continuing to be kind would have been a worthwhile thing to do, even if it never got mother to stop drinking.

See previous post for journal entry relating this time with Mom

Sending a plea to Mom for forgiveness was the first time I felt a positive connection to Mom since she died.

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Need for Forgiveness

This morning I wrote a long piece about the constant stuck pain in my heart, and trying to figure out what it was.  It came to me that it might have been about this incident with Mother.  Reading it earlier this year, I saw that my behavior might have made a difference, and that I had failed to keep it up.  I actually copied the journal from 1986 into my document of material for my blog, but didn’t use it then. The parts in brackets were added the first time I typed it up, probably back in 1987.

From journal for 1986, after Dad’s funeral:
I did much better with her this evening.  I realize that last night I was really angry and disappointed that she was drunk and I got very cold and abrupt and fast and efficient.  No wonder she was so nasty and complained of not getting any comfort.  So tonight I just jollied her along like a problem child.  [Actually I felt like someone with a parent they had loved, but who was being destroyed by senility.]

July 29    Tuesday morning: Sober Mom
[I went down to breakfast and was greeted by:]
A normal person:  I’ve made a few decisions.  I’m going to be all right. For a little while it didn’t seem to matter but now I’m going to be OK.

I said  O good ma   (teary)
What decisions did you make?  [I wanted to hear her say explicitly that she was going to stop drinking.]

Mom:  I don’t know, I just woke up in the middle of the night and
decided it was worthwhile. That horrible person won’t be around any more.

Me:  that makes me very happy.

When I wrote this, I didn’t see the possible connection between my treating her with kindness and her decision.  I don’t think I saw it on rereading until just recently.

Today I wrote:

I’m vaguely remembering a time when I treated her very gently — could it have been after Dad’s funeral — and she said “That terrible person won’t be around any more.”  But I didn’t see that my being kind had anything to do with it.  Now I wonder, if I could have managed to be kind might she have been able to stop drinking?  But I realize she would have needed the support of the AA community to be able to stop drinking.  And at the same time I sent out to Mom a plea for forgiveness that I didn’t see that continuing to be kind would have been a worthwhile thing to do, even if it never got mother to stop drinking.

It actually took a whole long journal entry to work through this.  I plan to publish it next.

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Order — Disorder — Reorder

This is from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation for today, July 25

Living in a transitional age such as ours is scary: things are falling apart, the future is unknowable, so much doesn’t cohere or make sense. We can’t seem to put order to it. This is the postmodern panic. It lies beneath most of our cynicism, our anxiety, and our aggression. Yet, there is little in the biblical revelation that ever promised us an ordered universe.     

Chaos often precedes great creativity, and faith precedes great leaps into new knowledge. The pattern of transformation begins in order, but it very quickly yields to disorder and—if we stay with it long enough in love—eventual reordering. Our uncertainty is the doorway into mystery, the doorway into surrender, the path to God that Jesus called “faith.” In her work on “crisis contemplation,” CAC teacher Barbara Holmes confirms what we and others have long suspected—that great suffering and great love are the two universal paths of transformation. Both are the ultimate crises for the human ego. Barbara writes:

The crisis begins without warning, shatters our assumptions about the way the world works, and changes our story and the stories of our neighbors. The reality that was so familiar to us is gone suddenly, and we don’t know what is happening. . . .

If life, as we experience it, is a fragile crystal orb that holds our daily routines and dreams of order and stability, then sudden and catastrophic crises shatter this illusion of normalcy. . . . I am referring to oppression, violence, pandemics, abuses of power, or natural disasters and planetary disturbances. . . .

We can identity three common elements in every crisis: The event is usually unexpected, the person or community is unprepared, and there is nothing that anyone could do to stop it from happening. Even if there are signs everywhere that something is not right, we tend to ignore the warnings and the signposts.

Rohr often talks about the process Order — Disorder — Reorder.  Francis Weller also talks about three stages in both trauma and initiation.

In any true initiatory process, there’s three things that happen. First, there’s a severance from the world that you once knew. Then there’s a radical alteration in your sense of identity. And then there’s a profound realization that you can never go back to the world that was. In true initiation, you don’t want to go back to the world that was. Initiation is meant to escort you into a wider, more inclusive, participatory, sacred cosmos.

Trauma, on the other hand, has the inverse effect. The same three things happen. There’s a severance from the world. There’s a radical alteration of the identity and in a sense, you cannot go back to what was. But what trauma does to the psyche is it reduces it down to a singularity. I become cut off and severed from that sense of being engaged with a wider and more encompassing sense of identity. I become isolated in the cosmos. If you talk to anybody who’s gone through trauma, that’s the effect that it has on the body and on the psyche. You are torn out of that sense of being a part of the cosmos.

Many people now want to get back to the old normal.  Many others recognize that the old normal was extremely unhealthy and unsustainable.  As Weller says, we need to open ourselves to a “wider, more inclusive, participatory, sacred cosmos.”  I have been reciting those words “wider, more inclusive, participatory, sacred cosmos,” and beginning to find them very comforting.  I have gotten back to my vision of the Universe as a profoundly intelligent, profoundly complex, sacred process.

In Quaker Meeting this morning, someone gave us two quotes: “Man plans, God laughs,” and “Either you live like nothing is a miracle, or you live like everything is a miracle.”  I thought about Hydrogen burning into Helium, Lithium, Boron, Carbon, Oxygen, etc and making possible this incredibly beautiful diverse and complex world we inhabit…  I looked at Pleiades and thought — can you make luck happen?  can you break the law of gravity? Something about Rohr’s daily meditation suggested that god’s universe is a complex adaptive system, that very well might not behave like our predictions.  We simply don’t have enough information to make accurate predictions.  Anything could happen.  Every little thing we do to help direct things toward “a wider, more inclusive, participatory, sacred cosmos” makes a difference.

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Blow by Blow Description of Work with “Parts”

This is an attempt to illustrate what my work with parts is like.  I wrote in my journal exactly what was going on, when it was happening.

Sunday, July 18

I think if I can’t do anything else, maybe I should try to work with my parts.  I felt “can’t go on” earlier, so I turned that way and immediately got burning and fear in my stomach.  What’s going on for you?    I am terrified! I’m exhausted!     Sounds pretty bad.  No wonder you feel exhausted.  Do you know what you’re afraid of?      Something terrible!        Now listen to me.  what you are afraid of did happen, you did get left alone, but you survived.  You are still here.  I am the you that’s grown older.  You’ve been stuck in a pocket of time, while I’ve gone on living and growing.  I don’t like being alone much, but it hasn’t killed me.  Does that help?     Can’t go on is stopped with surprise.   Deep breath.  Stomach gurgle.  I ask would you like a hug?   The part is in a place of astonishment.    I won’t hug you until you tell me it’s OK…   She flings herself into my arms.  I hold her saying Welcome! Welcome!  She is crying tears of relief like waking from a bad dream.  I think of Edith confessing to Mary that she stole the Little Things.  Redemption.  I feel another slight chill of fear.  I think it’s not “can’t go on” but another one wanting the same.  I tell it I’m sorry, I can only manage one at a time.  I ask it to dial back and it does.  Thank you.  I want to give my attention to can’t go on.  Somewhere in there I had a big burp.

“Pocket of time” is a term Nancy Napier uses to describe the experience of a part. “Stomach gurgle” something my therapist told me is an indicator of trauma release, like a yawn that mens the nervous system is shifting from activated to relaxed.  “Burp” is another one, that’s why I write them down when they occur. “Dial it back” is asking the parts to lower the amount of emotion so I can function.

I named this part “Can’t Go On.”  Edith and Mary and the Little Things are from a novel by Elizabeth Goudge.

Now an ache in my heart, turns into a chill, I think it’s grief for all the lost parts, that there are so many of them.  Listen, dear ones, you have to dial it back.  I want to be able to be there for each of you, just as I was there for can’t go on.  I have to go on and check email, have breakfast, walk the dog.

Monday, July 19

Thinking about what happened with D.  She says I yelled at her on purpose.  I tried to explain it was a part of me that was triggered, but she doesn’t get that the part is not here now, but there then.  Maybe it was “fight” energy not flight, and she was right to say I had a lot of anger — maybe that’s even what the heat is — but that’s the reptilian brainstem, not the neo-cortex.  The only thing the neo-cortex could have done would have been to recognize the anger right away and choose not to act out.  But it’s something that happens so rarely that I don’t have any practice in catching it in time.  I remember as a child something I called “red rage,” going up the stairs in Maine, saying “Rugs, Rags, Rhubarb and Rhinoceri!”

I remember using all these R-words as swear words because the usual Damn and Hell didn’t express my feelings.  I was probably a teenager.  When we were traveling together in Europe, my friend Bettie told me I didn’t have to lose my temper.  I think I must have learned from my father because he did have explosions of temper.  But after Bettie said that, I found I didn’t have to do it.

It’s so amazing.  I’ve been continuously in my adult since I started writing — except that my handwriting is badly deteriorated.  It’s pouring rain.

I thought about parking outside 45 Lyme and felt a swell of “fear” — maybe it’s more complex than that. I started to say “What you are afraid of never happened” and realized that this was probably a different part. I asked “What are you afraid of?” Got no answer but when I started writing the feeling faded. I’m getting that this one is afraid of doing something wrong and getting rejected. I remember that Lisa was more amused than angry when I said I had trouble with the scheduling, and was totally willing to do it for me, instead of insisting that I “shape up.” I can feel scared one relax.

Lisa is a Physical Therapist who works at 45 Lyme.

I think I went back with Jeanne to her apartment…

Thinking about resilience, how she has managed.  Listened to gsig-tana-mook’s TED talk where he says how amazing that he could still speak the language his ancestors spoke.  I think how amazing that I have survived everything that happened to me, and how lucky that I had money and could afford the therapy, and maybe that’s why I am called to do this deeper work.  A wave of hope in resilience swells in my heart,  — burp —  a knowing that we are going to make it.  Maybe not save the planet but at least create a community of everyone.

Jeanne is a friend dealing with Post-polio syndrome.  She pretty much lives her life from a wheel chair.  She needed help packing to go to Maine.

gkisedtanamoogk is the correct spelling of the name of the man I learned about in the film Dawnland, and who was one of the writers in The Gatherings.

Back from walking Mocha.  While I ate breakfast I read more in The Gatherings, working to strengthen and return to the Resilient One in me.  Getting ready to walk Mocha, another big surge of fear.  I said “I have to take Mocha out, but I’ll pay attention to you.  Please tell me what you need.”  I get that it needs reassurance that it is not a weakling and a coward.  I tell it/her “NO.  You are facing and dealing with issues that D, strong as she is, has refused to face.”      — teeth chattering —      I’m wearing my Journey T-shirt and remember that I say in my monologue that I’m a weakling and a coward.  “If I weren’t I could get somebody to listen to me!”  O yes!  get somebody to listen to me.  That in some ways was the worst of my abuse.  Neither Mom nor Dad listened to me and validated what was going on for me.  I tell that one now “People don’t listen because they don’t want to face the things you are courageous enough to face.”

Resilient One is an older self, older than I am now, who has learned to live after initiation.  Teeth chattering is a trauma release I learned about from Somatic Experiencing.

Tuesday, July 20

Terror got big before I even started cooking breakfast.  I realize I hadn’t responded to C’s email about scheduling a day for her to come and help me, and I also got a bunch of emails from A about the Perseid meteor shower and other sky-watching.  I realized that I’m afraid both of them will judge me for falling apart.  So I have a part who’s terrified of judgement, and a part who’s angry at me for falling apart.  Yesterday started out with me feeling so good and solid in my real self.  The sense of resilience in my heart.  And now it’s all gone.  “Don’t think you’re so great!”  That part is angry at me for feeling good.

“Falling apart” essentially means that I can’t do something that would probably help if I could do it.  It’s the triggered fear that stops me, not the fear of actually doing the thing.  At least if it’s a thing I know I can do.  Stage fright never stopped me.  I don’t know why this fear does.  Maybe because part of it is “freeze,” and what’s triggered is a very young part not an adult.  Gosh that’s hard to explain!

Posted in Healing, Journal, Present Day, Trauma | Comments Off on Blow by Blow Description of Work with “Parts”

Rescuing Young Parts

My therapist and I are working with Richard Schwartz’s ideas, developed over the last 20 years as Internal Family Systems.  Instead of being able to deal with parts who can talk individually, I get flooded by parts who are desperate and terrified. I suspect that these parts are pre-verbal and so I have to “tune in” to what’s going on for them. It is very hard work just to be able to cook breakfast and walk the dog, and almost impossible to do things like call Toyota and make an appointment for a badly needed checkup for my car — which I did manage to do.  I have not yet been able to make an eye appointment.  Someone suggested I call Kirsten for help, but I haven’t even been able to do that.  I have posted about a couple of parts, and also about rescuing babies, one from as long ago as 2016.  Don’t even remember how I knew about that technique of soul-retrieval.

Here are some relevant earlier posts:

Rescuing another little jenny   oct 2016

A new part of me    feb 2020

Work with parts in the IFS model:

Work with Younger Parts of Me       June 9, 2021

Work with Stuck Energy      June 18, 2021

Angry One     June 24, 2021


Posted in Present Day, Trauma | Comments Off on Rescuing Young Parts