To explain to people I trust when they ask how I am, I’ve been saying: “I’m dealing with flashbacks to early trauma, and I often feel terrified.” The reality is that I am overwhelmed with very young parts who are terrified, and working with them can be tricky. Slightly edited notes from my journal for today, Wednesday, June 9.
Woke at 5, burning heart, heat all over body. It was a real struggle, but I finally managed to connect with young one and to convince her that she should not have been left with younger ones to care for, that she was much too young. She had a really hard time getting it. I just realized that she might have thought that she just wasn’t good enough. NO. You were too young. It’s not that you could have done it, but you didn’t try hard enough. It’s not that someone else your age could have done it but you weren’t good enough. It’s wrong that you were left alone with younger children. Young one asks “Then why did they do it?” Because they were irresponsible parents. It was too scary to see that when you were a child, so you had to make it be that you were the one who was not good enough. I feel her relax with a big sigh. I tell her I am the older one now, and I will take care of her and not ask her to do things she can’t do.
My heart gets cold. I think it must be about the phone and all the other devices I don’t know how to take care of because I’m caught in a younger part. I feel “I can’t go on” get big again. I tell her she doesn’t have to, that I can find help.
Just had to reassure another little one, or a bunch of little ones, that I want to be present for each one, but if I’m overwhelmed I can’t be present, so I need them to dial back. They do, and I feel a gush of gratitude. Good work, you guys! We’re managing together.
Looking for help yesterday, I went to see the Doctor, and she said it was OK to raise my dose of Buspar to help with anxiety.
I took 2 buspar at bedtime. It felt like it took a while to go to sleep, and then I woke at 5, did all that inner work, and felt very sleepy when I finally got up. It ’s like I’m too relaxed to function, but still terrified.
Dear little ones who are scared, you can go to the Bodhisattva of Compassion — I look at my statue of her holding a baby — if you need help. I don’t want to send you there because you might feel rejected, but if you want help, she’s available. I will still be available when it works out for me to be with each one of you.
It seems to me there are some major categories. There’s the tiny baby who’s been left alone and is in a state of frozen terror. There’s the one trying to protect me from Mom, but who shuts out everyone else too. There’s the one who feels responsible to take care of younger ones. Reassuring her is tricky. If I tell her she doesn’t have to take care of younger ones any more, she might feel rejected, so I have to reassure her that I still want to be connected to her. I also have to make sure that she understands that she is too young to care for younger ones, not incompetent.
This is such hard work!
O yes, there’s also the one who can’t go on. I have to reassure her that Erica and I can take care of the younger ones, that I have help, that she can relax and rest, and that I still need her as part of myself. Maybe she’s the hardest one. To reassure without rejecting. Well, I managed to reassure the one who is too young, that she is truly too young, and not incompetent or a failure.
God. No wonder I’m exhausted.
Having trouble with things seeming very strange when I walk around, and feeling so overwhelmed. I asked the little ones to use their venetian blinds. I realized why I’ve been feeling so odd, even tho I’m doing better. It’s because younger parts are awake in me, and they are seeing this world for the first time.
“Venetian Blinds” was a suggestion made to me as a highly sensitive person, to help me cut down on sensory input.
Sometimes I think it must be hard for these young ones to wake up in an old body and realize they never got to live the life in between.
When I think about this, I feel enormous grief.