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Archive for May 7th, 2009

On my blog entry entitled Connecting the Emotion Back to the Source, a reader posted the following comment:

My therapist recently suggested that I spend some time trying to connect with the 2-year-old that I was when some particular things happened. I know what occurred because of having been told about it. But I don’t really remember. And I feel an internal resistance to “going there”, while at the same time really longing to move forward in healing. How do you deal with it when you are partially resistant to engaging emotionally with something like that? I’ve done the power struggle between parts of me, and I know that doesn’t work too well. ~ blueorchid8

Over on Isurvive, my favorite message board for healing from child abuse, a member offered the advice of only healing as quickly as the slowest part of yourself can handle. While I believe this is excellent advice, I have never been particularly good at following it. LOL

I have never been very good at dealing with internal conflict. One of the perks of having dissociative identity disorder (DID) is that you do not have to pick a side. For example, I had one part of myself that supported abortion and another part that was anti-abortion. I actually signed two petitions for opposing views in the same year without feeling an ounce of conflict over it!

As I have healed and integrated, I have had to deal with conflicting emotions. I found that parts of myself loved my husband deeply while other parts did not like him very much. I did not know what to do with that internal conflict. A friend helped me immensely by explaining how conflicting internal feelings are a normal human condition. The example she used is how I can be extremely angry at my son for coloring on my furniture with a permanent magic marker while, at the same time, love him enough to give my life for him. I don’t have to choose between the two feelings. It is okay to feel both at once.

I have done the internal power struggle, so I understand the cost. I did this when I chose to trust a friend for the first time. I decided to tell her that she was becoming a good friend. Parts of myself were not ready to do this, so I spent the morning with panic attacks, hyperventilating, diarrhea, etc. I pushed through it and did it, anyhow. My courage to push through the resistance opened me up to a whole new level of relationship. The process of getting there was not fun, but it was worth it.

These days, as I have become more whole, I no longer have a need for power struggles. I will feel resistance, but I am much more in control over whether I choose to “go there” or not. I try to give myself permission to wait if I am not yet ready. If I wait too long, though, I will find myself getting triggered more and more frequently as the part that wants to heal seeks an end to the internal pain.

I am a big believer in ripping off the band-aid quickly, so I use this philosophy when choosing to face the painful stuff. I remind myself about how much healing I experienced when I faced the pain head on. I also remind myself that I am choosing to keep poison inside of my soul whenever I procrastinate. Yes, it is going to hurt like h@#$ for a little while, but then I am going to feel much, much better. By choosing to face the pain today, I am investing in the rest of my life without that pain in it.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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