09/08/2023

To start this session we went over where we ended up at the last session. We had come up with the following beliefs:

Negative: I am unlovable when I inconvenience others.

Positive: I am lovable even when I inconvenience others.

I brought up the fact that holding still during the whole session last time made my body stiff and that it would have been nice to have a break to stretch. She said if I am ever feeling stiff or that I need to move around I can interrupt at any time.

Since my last session I had been on a boys weekend campout with my family. My dad, two brothers, grandpa and two sons came. It rained the whole weekend which kinda put a damper on things. The plan was to fish all weekend and catch all the fish. It was getting close to the end of the day on what was supposed to be our longest/biggest fishing day and we had not caught anything. It was starting to get dark so my dad said we should real in all the lines and we could try trolling on the way to the dock. It took my dad a little while to get his pole set up for it and he had finally got it cast out and all ready to go when my grandpa’s line got caught in his. My dad tried to untangle the lines but continued to get more and more frustrated, understandably so. Eventually he gave up and threw his pole down and started swearing and yelling. This was triggering for me and made me scared. I was immediately worried about keeping my boys out of the way so they would not cause the situation to get worse. I really did not like that situation and I did not know how to handle it. Eventually we got to the dock and got the boat out of the water and I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness come over me. I did not feel like I could take time to process my emotions right then because my car was the shuttle car between the campsite and the dock and I needed to get my boys to bed as it was dark and past their bed time. I stifled my feelings and pushed through to finish what needed to be done. Later that night, my dad apologized for losing control and said that my boys were behaving really well and did not make him upset. This made me feel a little better, but I was still upset and frustrated that he had no idea how much this event had affected me.

While I talked with my therapist, I was finally able to process some of my emotions from that day. We talked about how frustrating the situation was and how I was frustrated that I had no control over what was happening. We were stuck on a boat in the middle of the reservoir so we could not leave the situation. We talked about how I was sad it happened and sad I could not process my emotions at the time. I was also sad my kids had to experience that. We decided to do IFS instead of EMDR. She mentioned that it seemed like there was a part of me that was really bothered by this and she thought it would be good to talk to that part.

We did IFS and there was a protector part, I imagined it as a teenage boy dressed in armor similar to the stripling warriors from the Book of Mormon. He said he was protecting me from becoming weak and that emotions make me weak. He shared experiences where allowing myself to experience emotions in the moment made the problem worse and there was more yelling/consequences. And he shared examples where I held in my emotions and the problem was resolved quicker and I got in less trouble. We thanked him for what he had done and explained that I am an adult now and can protect myself. He did not really seem to believe this. but we asked him to step aside and he did. Behind him we saw a young child maybe 3 years old crying for his mom, very sad and confused.

As we tried to approach, I was suddenly surrounded by darkness and I felt the sensation of falling all around me. All of my senses were buzzing and my limbs were numb. This feeling was very disconcerting and I did not feel like I was in control of what was happening to me and that really worried me. Eventually, we were able to get this part to un-blend a little and gather in front of me. It showed as a black undulating cloud. The feeling we got from it was hatred. When we asked what role it has we got no answer. It was time to end the session at this point so we thanked the parts for interacting with us and said goodbye. When we finished she explained that we had met a protector part -the young warrior, and a firefighter part. She explained that firefighter parts step in once the manager stops being able to control emotions and things feel unsafe. As she explained this, I got the impression that this black cloud part is the part that makes me faint when I get squeamish or think I am going to die. She suggested that I check in with these parts over the next week to see how they are doing and to make sure the firefighter part is staying unblended.

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