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On my blog entry entitled Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Alter Parts: Understanding Sad Parts, a reader posted the following comment:

I keep having this huge need to just sob LOUD and long, and it’s accompanied by stinging behind my eyes like I’m about to cry, but I can’t do it. That doesn’t feel like “mine”, do you know what I mean? It feels like I’m faking it, like I’m doing something I don’t feel. It’s spontaneous and I’m trying to make it go away, actually! … I want to try to help that younger part; these waves need to go away. Is there anything I’m missing here? ~ Mamarosebud

A sad alter part is a part of you, but you split off the sadness because you couldn’t handle the sadness when you experienced it. You need to grieve, but it feels odd because it doesn’t feel like you, but it is you. Yes, I understand this because I have been there.

The first time I really let all of the tears spill out was a bizarre experience. I began sobbing, and I kept experiencing “loud thoughts” that I was just putting on a show and crying for attention. I felt shame for crying. However, I fought back, thinking, “There is nobody else here, so for whom am I putting on a show??”

I have had sad alter parts that desperately needed to weep, but I could not bring myself to access those tears. I had to keep coming back to that part of myself before I could release the pain. I could feel the weight or heaviness of the sadness, but I did not feel sad because that part felt so separate.

What worked for me was listening to a sad song and invite the alter part to come out and cry. It took several passes before I was successful. After I finally did reach that part, I sobbed and sobbed. It felt miserable in the moment but much, much better afterward.

The only way for the sadness to “go away” is for you to give the sadness a voice. You don’t have to experience the tears as “mine” yet. Just invite the sad part out to grieve, and comfort that part of yourself, even if it feels foreign to you. Fighting it is useless because it is just going to keep coming back and might even become more powerful. Instead, invite that part of yourself to grieve, and love that part through it.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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