Working in therapy with attachment pain and very young parts

therapy today was great. i feel fantastic after our session. it was hard, but really good too. i’ve never felt so held, so contained, so loved as i did today in the session. we worked today with the very young parts, like infant and toddler parts. it all started out with me telling eileen about last night. about the really intense neediness we felt, how we wanted to reach out to her, we felt that intense attachment pain, and how it scared us. her take on it was that we’re reaching a new level of trust now with her. and so our need for connection is intensifying too. she said thats fine, i felt really embarrassed, like it wasnt ok, but she kept reassuring me that it was. we sat talking for a few minutes. i was talking to her about the intense need we felt, about how it felt like baby parts, like parts without verbal skills or who had no words. so she was talking about what they needed. she asked me, is it ok if I come over and hold you? I said that’d be ok. So she came over and she went behind me and she put her hands on my shoulders, in a sorta holding position, and let me lean back into her. She held us like that for most of the session as we talked about the infant parts and what they might need. we talked about creating an inside nursery for them. and what we might put in there. we talked about what babies need, what they like, what makes them feel safe. it felt so validating. the holding was so grounding. it was also very sootheing. it calmed us down a lot. i didnt even dissociate like i normally do. i think it was mostly that eileen was there, holding me, helping me to feel present in my body. i asked her if she got all the emails people sent last week. she said yes. i apologised and said i was sorry that there were so many of them. she told me that it was ok, that she felt honoured that insiders were trusting her enough to share with her, and that she didnt mind the amount of emails that there had been at all. we talked about the feelings the intense neediness brought up in us. i told her there was fear, and someone wanted to bolt, and more just wanted to be with her, and there was also anxiety and a feeling that we may get in to trouble for this. she said she welcomed all of the feelings in the therapy room. after a while of holding us and us talking she told me she was going to take away her hands now. i liked that she told me she was going to do that and she didnt just do it very suddenly. after she took her hands off my shoulders she handed me a fluffy blanket. here, she said, this is for the very young parts. we took it and immediately the kids wanted to hide underneath it. they wanted to wrap up in it. she wrapped us up in it and we felt so safe. so warm. so loved. we felt comfort and a huge wave of happy swept over us. she said she was going to keep that blanket there for us. that we can use it any time we want to. she said she thought we needed something comforting while we finished up our session. at the end of our session she talked to me a little bit about her training. she said they’d learned a lot about how trauma is held in the body, about tracking it in your nervous system, about trauma in general, and about using touch in therapy. she has two more years of training left, she goes to the UK twice next year and twice the year after, but she also has to do study groups here in ireland, practical work, etc. so its not just that she goes to the UK and thats all. It was really interesting and I liked hearing about what she’s learning. I think its really going to benefit us in our work together.

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Dr. Barry says I have made progress

So yesterday I saw dr. barry. We were discussing how its now been 1 year since Remy came over and did his assessment, met with myself, dr. barry and Eileen. Dr. Barry said she cant believe its been a year already!

I told Dr. barry that I don’t really feel I’ve made any progress in the last year. Of course she disagreed! She said I have made plenty of progress! I told her I think Eileen would say the same, but that I don’t see it!

So then we talked a little about the progress I’ve made.

She said she feels I now know my limitations, and am able to balance things, and am able to know when I need to say no, step back, or when I have too much on, or people are asking too much of me!

Where as before I’d overextend myself, and then that would lead to a crisis, she feels now that I am much more aware, and am in crisis far less due to that!

She also said that I’ve been out of hospital almost a year now, and how that’s so positive!

She also said I have navigated times of very high stress, and huge triggers very well this past year! I guess that’s true, I sorta have!

I told her how I feel like I take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, and how that sorta frustrates me! She said that that’s the nature of healing! And I know she’s right!

She said she’s going to email or call Eileen soon. She hasn’t contacted her in a while now, and when we had that assessment last year they had planned to be in touch more regularly.

Im happy that she feels I am making progress! Just hearing her say that made me feel good!

Having her validation means a lot!

I know a lot can happen in a year. I guess, on thinking about it, I can see the huge progress I’ve made.

Just staying out of hospital for a whole year, now that’s positive!

I hope next year I will keep progressing! Eileen and I are going to fill out some paperwork for Remy when she comes back, he’s going to reassess things now, where their at, and make some more recommendations on where we should go from here.

Eileen emailed us!

Look what eileen wrote us! She always knows just when to email us! She usually doesnt but sometimes, occasionally she will, if she thinks its needed! And today, when we looked she had emailed us! Yay! Im so so happy to get this from her!
butterfly hugs
Loves you,
emily

Hi Everyone,
I noticed that some of you young (and not so young!) insiders are upset at the thought of my being away next week. I know you are angry and sad, and also that it was unfortunate that you couldn’t come for your session this week, which probably makes the break seem longer. The adults may have more of a sense of time maybe than you, and perhaps more of an understanding that I go away for either work or a holiday, and that I always come back. It would be important that you could go to the adults if at any stage you feel uncertain or lonely. Times have changed, and you are not on your own with those feelings any more. I will be learning loads of new stuff about feelings, and how to manage them, and will be happy to show you all I have learned when I come back.
Will see you on the 19th,
Keep well,
Eileen

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LIZ: WORKING HARD IN THERAPY

SO TODAYS SESSION WAS INTENSE. I HAD MOST OF IT. I WORKED WITH THE PULSERS. WE WORKED WITH A MEMORY. IT WAS A MEMORY OF THE FIRST TIME WE WERE ABUSED AT A RITUAL. IT WAS SO SO HARD. I DONT THINK I’VE EVER HAD TO WORK SO HARD AS I DID TODAY. THE IMAGES THAT WERE COMING UP WERE SO AWFUL. SO RAW. I WAS FEELING INTENSE FEELINGS. FEELINGS THAT I HAVE NEVER FELT. EILEEN KEPT ASKING ME WHAT WAS THE PICTURE, WHAT WAS MY BELIEF ABOUT MYSELF BACK THEN, AND WHAT DID I WANT TO HAVE AS A BELIEF NOW. ITS ALL PART OF THE EMDR. PLUS SHE HAD ME IMAGINE I WAS ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE LIGHTS, EVEN THOUGH I CANT SEE THEM. SHE TOLD ME TO IMAGINE THAT I COULD. IMAGINE MY EYES GOING OVER AND BACK AS IF I WAS LOOKING AT THE LIGHTS ON THE PULSERS WHILE THEY VIBRATED IN MY HANDS. I COULD DO IT BUT BOY WAS IT HARD! SO I GOT IN TOUCH WITH AN 8 YEAR OLD PART. SHE WAS STUCK BACK IN THE PAST, BACK IN THE MEMORY. SHE WAS SO FEARFUL, TRAUMATISED, JUST PANICKING. EILEEN KEPT ASKING ME HOW I FELT TOWARDS HER. AT FIRST I SAID I WASNT SURE. BUT THEN I SAID I FELT PROTECTIVE OF HER. I FELT LIKE I WANTED TO TAKE CARE OF HER AND BRING HER OUT OF THAT PLACE. SO EILEEN SAID WE COULD. SHE SAID IT WAS SAFE FOR HER TO COME OUT OF THERE NOW. IT WAS SAFE FOR HER TO COME WITH ME. SHE ASKED ME WHAT I THOUGHT SHE NEEDED. THAT WAS A HARD QUESTION. I KNEW WHAT I WANTED TO SAY BUT COULDNT FIND WORDS. LUCKILY EILEEN IS VERY GOOD AT HELPING ME TO FIND THE WORDS. SO SHE DID AND I WAS ABLE TO TELL HER THAT I THOUGHT SHE NEEDED REASSURANCE THAT SHE WAS SAFE, THAT IT WAS OVER, THAT ITS IN THE PAST. I TOLD HER I THINK SHE NEEDS TO BE SOMEWHERE SAFE ON THE INSIDE, WHERE SHE CAN REST, STAY WARM, COMFORTABLE, AND RELAX AND BE CALM. EILEEN AGREED THIS WAS ACTUALLY A REALLY GOOD IDEA. SO THEN WE WORKED WITH THE PULSERS. I WAS ABLE TO BRING UP A SAFE PLACE INSIDE AND VISUALISE HER GOING THERE. YEAH…I TOLD YOU WE WORKED HARD. I WAS SO DRAINED AT THE END OF IT! I CAME HOME AND I SLEPT FOR THE AFTERNOON! EILEEN HAD TOLD ME TO REST WHEN I GOT HOME. SO I ATE AND THEN I RESTED. I DREAMED WHEN I WAS SLEEPING, BUT EILEEN HAD SAID I MIGHT. SHE SAID DREAMING IS ALSO PART OF THE EMDR AND THAT IS THE EMDR WORKING, IT IS US PROCESSING THE TRAUMATIC experiences AND THE SESSION. I’M HAPPY WITH HOW IT WENT, THOUGH. REALLY, REALLY HAPPY WITH IT.
LIZ

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