therapy yesterday was really good. we talked about a lot. first we talked about halloween and the triggers surrounding that. i told eileen how worried i’d been this weekend, wondering if she’d be able to see us the week of halloween. i told her memories had come up too which wasnt helping. whose that? she said. whose worrying. i told her it felt like younger parts. she agreed that yes it was probably younger parts. of course they’d be worried, who do they see when they look at you? i had to think about that. i’m not sure, i said. ask them, ask them who they see. so i did. and the answer astounded me. the kids said they see me as a teen. and for years i was. for years i was 14, before i aged some. we talked about tye two parts, the younger me and the older me who is in her late 20’s how old do you feel right now, eileen asked me. i told her i felt very adult. probably late 20’s. notice that, she said. notice how your body feels. how do you feel? strong. strong and capable and solid. and very present. and now notice how you feel when the 14 year old part is here. anxious. anxious and stressed. full of tension. overwhelmed. unable to cope. can you feel into the older part of you and ground yourself back to the present? i think so! i’ll try! so i did. and i was able to do it. then we decided to make a plan. i told eileen i felt we needed a routine, not a daily routine but a routine of having some of the older insiders helping me manage the system. she said your either managing well or not managing at all. i agreed. its either all or nothing. and i did say a couple of weeks ago that i wanted to be more there and more present for the kids. and because i’ve applied for the job as a peer support worker, i want to stay as well as i can. even if i dont get this job, my goal is to get a part time job. so we need a routine. eileen got out some paper and a pen and we started making a list of qualities different adult insiders in the system had. and we started listing out what they could do to help me out. it was a good exercise. immediately i was able to come up with 3 insiders, jade, allison and erin who could help me out. jade is in her 30’s, erin and allison are both in their 20’s. jade is the internal therapist and mother figure to the kids. allison is the calm logical one. and erin is the voice of reason. then eileen talked to me about the window of tolerance. we talked about the different parts of the brain too. she had a flip chart which of course i couldnt see but which she used and explained it to me. she demonstrated about the brain using her hands, and we talked for a while about the limbic system and the frontal lobes and the cortex. she said she thought allison would like to know all that info and that she was doing it already when she was logically reasoning things out. in doing that she was already bringing the frontal lobes back online. at the end of the session liz came out and talked for a few minutes about how she was struggling with two parts of herself, the teen 16 year old part full of ongst and the older more wiser part of herself that wanted to help me. she is also struggling with urges right now, urges to self harm and drink. she told eileen this time of year is just hard for her lots of memories and flashbacks. do you know its over? eileen asked softly. liz, its over. you know how i know? because carol anne has made plans to go away on halloween weekend, you couldnt have done that 20 years ago. thats how you know its 2016 now, not back then. its over liz, your safe, and your ok. come in next week and we can talk more about this. so that is what we’re going to do. i told eileen that i feel good most of the time now, and i havent been as swamped or triggered or overwhelmed, that the trigger i felt this weekend around her not being there on halloween week was the first really big trigger of the week for me. she said that is the essence of therapy, thats what its all about, making you stronger and more able to cope with what life throws at you. and i agree. i feel in a much more stable mindset lately. i just hope that lasts.