This morning, I was reading a daily affirmation about excessive worrying. In a nutshell, the affirmation said excessive worrying is a common trait of survivors. That it’s okay to feel worry–but that we can work towards being grounded and present in the moment and feel positive about ourselves.
Meg, one of my teen parts, snorted, slammed the book shut, and shoved it to the side of our kitchen table. What a bunch of crap. She folded her arms across her chest. Like it’s that easy.
I could see where she was coming from. In working with many of my child parts, it’s super hard to decrease their anxiety. Some of my parts are so firmly locked in “trauma time” that they’re in a perpetual state of terror. Even those parts that are grounded in the present balk at K., our therapist, and her attempt to ground us: “It’s 2018. You’re safe.” What happened to us is real. It happened many times. It could happen again!
To be clear, we aren’t in any danger of being abused. It’s just so hard for my parts and I sometimes–even when we know we’re okay–to truly feel safe.
Within the ritually abused parts, there are some who still throw out programming and flood us with terror on purpose (for talking in therapy). I haven’t the slightest idea how to even begin with those parts.
I have this baseline of anxiety all the time, and I guess we have a lot to be anxious about. Besides going about being a “normal” adult with a full time job, a fiance, a family, friends…I’ve got a second full time job and family inside that constantly needs redirecting that we are safe. We are nowhere near perpetrators. Then the backlash comes when parts who want to be near perpetrators trigger off programming.
In my last session, I was crying to K. (which I rarely do–actually cry in front of her). “I haven’t been in my body in months.” I sobbed. “I hate this feeling. I hate only being half-present. The last time I felt in my body was at Sheppard Pratt. What do I have to do? Go inpatient every time I want to feel grounded again? I can’t keep going inpatient.”
“What do you do?” K. paused. She waited until I looked up at her again. “Internal communication.”