Younger Parts of Me

In my therapy session for January 15, one of the things that came up was that the only thing that would have made Mother happy would be to not be my true self.  Younger parts of me are bewildered by this.  The cost to me was to not be able to hold on to positive things about myself.  All the anger I feel is at myself, for not being able to do better, which actually means live up to a more conventional idea of what a life should look like.  I end up feeling stuck in a young one, there’s no awake adult anywhere around.

Erica asks me to pay attention to how my body feels to identify which part I’m in.  First: feeling my arms reaching out for help, “I’m really struggling”— this is a baby.  Second: hands up to push away, “I don’t want anything to deal with it,” — this part is 3 years old.  Third: heart soft but shielded, a sense of “almost compassion” for 3-yr-old — this part is 5 years old. O poor little things, my heart softens and tears come.  I pick up the baby, offering safety, she starts to cry.  I sense that any attempt to help 3-yr-old might put her off, so I think about just sitting next to her. The 5-yr-old is confused, but I remember having an honest discussion with her in the past.

The discussion was in 2006, and I did a blog post about it. This 5-yr-old is hurt and angry, which may be why she feels “almost compassion” for the angry 2-yr-old.

From my journal for January 15:

I wanted to work more with these younger parts of me, but too much has been happening.  today in reading through my blog, I came to one titled “Finding Compassion,” March 2014. I write that my friend “Elizabeth saw a dynamic of a mother hating a helpless frightened baby, which sounds very accurate.”  I start to feel compassion for my mom, and go on to say: “As I paid attention to this mother, I could feel her hating her baby, hating herself for being a bad mother, hating her baby because the baby wouldn’t be comforted and that made her feel like a bad mother….  and having no resources at all to deal with it.  So there’s no way she could be conscious of any of it.  What an intolerable bind.  No wonder she drank.”

OMG what a tangle of conflicts.  The baby is unhappy, the mother has no skills to comfort (too immature, and her own mother wasn’t much good) but she can’t face that, so she blames the baby instead of seeing that she’s failing as a mother. This is what 3yo is feeling, angry at the baby, 5yo is picking up the misunderstanding and confusion, but doesn’t have any way to understand what’s going on.  What I see, only now, is that I introjected the angry mother at a very young age.  I have always treated myself worse than I ever treated anyone else, and I have continued to get angry at myself for “not being able to get out of a bad mood.”  Even now, I’m still cross with myself because I have so few moments of happiness.

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