What’s When You Have A Gay Part?

Gay couple I have often experienced that a multiple has parts that are gay. As a matter of fact, I don’t think there are many people who are either 100% heterosexual or 100% gay. Most people can be located somewhere on a continuum between <gay and straight>.

I can imagine that it feels more absolute and set in concrete for a multiple, because you don’t have instant access to the feelings of all your other parts.

Everyone – multiple or not – has to manage their feelings and attractions. If you or a part of you is attracted to a person of the same sex, what are the consequences of acting on that attraction? If you think it’s alright, you might have a wonderful relationship ahead of you. Managing these attractions, processing with your whole system what it means to have a same sex partner, and getting the support from people around you, is something that can be discussed and practiced in therapy.

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What is Conflict

Most people have a clear idea what conflict is. Most people don’t like conflict. In most cases conflict is difficult and hurtful for all parties involved.

Social theorist Axel Honneth explains the significant role conflict plays for a person’s healthy sense of identity and individualisation as follows: Individuals learn about who they are through interactions with others. Thus they derive a sense of self and identity through social processes of approval and recognition.

Any forms of disrespect, for example rudeness, insult, humiliation, the withholding of care or support, the withholding of rights that are enjoyed by other members of society, discrimination, marginalisation, the lack of appreciation or acceptance for one’s way of life, abuse, rape, or torture cause a threat to a person’s integrity and self-development and could bring the whole identity of a person to a collapse.

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I Don’t Want To Talk About Sexual Abuse

Childhood abuse, be it physical, emotional, mental, or sexual, has a lasting impact on people. Unfortunately, often they are not even aware that they are affected by it. They live out the abuse on a daily basis: by not trusting others or themselves, by being unable to feel, by being unable to regulate their emotions, by being distressed, reacting over the top, having no self-confidence, feeling depressed, anxious, suicidal. And the list could go on and on.

Many people I speak to tell me that they don't want to digg up the past, don't want to talk about it, don't want to open a can of worms, or don't feel able to deal with it. They want to get over it, leave things in the past, leave sleeping dogs lie!

Unfortunately it doesn't work like that. You either deal with it, or you live it. I often hear "I can't afford to see someone and deal with it". My response to that is "Can you afford NOT to deal with it?" People find money for cigarettes, alcohol, cars, mortgages, presents, friends, kids, … but not for themselves, not for their own mental sanity and well-being. This does not seem to be a priority in their lives. Off course, this too is a legacy of child abuse.

Read here how any childhood stress affects you and becomes deeply woven into your physical being, your identity, and your personality. Maybe it helps you to see clearer what your next steps are!

How To Build Self-Esteem

childSelf-esteem is a product of recognition through solidarity. Let me explain what that means. Within a community of peers people experience the expression of appreciation, acknowledge, valuing, and support as a sign of solidarity. When we are recognised in the above ways by people who share our values, concerns, and/or interests it means they ‘esteem’ us.

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How To Build Self-Respect

Self-Respect is a product of being granted rights like anybody else. Self-respect is understood here as the Justice & Rightsability to perceive oneself as a morally responsible individual whose actions are respected by others. Recognition through the granting of rights by legal systems is thus the second form of recognition that is vital for the development of one’s positive self-relations and identity. Without being granted rights self-respect can not develop. This is easy to see in examples of domestic violence for example, where one partner (usually the male) dominates the other (usually the female) through force and through wielding fear. Most victims of domestic violence will testify that they struggle to have a sense of self-respect.

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How To Build Self-Confidence?

Self-confidence is one of these terms that are used by many people in many different ways without there being a clear agreement or understanding what exactly it means. In fact, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth are often used interchangeably.

Caring ParentsI am going to use the concept “Self-Confidence” in the philosophical sense of Axel Honneth’s Recognition Theory. He describes self-confidence as the ability to express one’s needs, desires, and anxieties without having to fear rejection or abandonment. To be able to do so, people need to have basic trust in the world as a just place in which their needs will be met. To say it in TA terms (Transactional Analysis), a person has self-confidence when s/he can say “I am OK and you are OK”.

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Positive Relations With Self – Positive Identity

People derive a sense of self and identity through interactions with others who give recognition and approval to a person’s abilities and accomplishments. How does that work? As children grow up, they are dependent on ‘significant others’ for forming of a positive sense of self.

j0149018Children need the experiences of a ‘human hothouse’. When they are cared for, supported, encouraged, respected, appreciated, and appropriately challenged, children develop the ability to identify, interpret, and realise their needs and desires. This will allow them to become autonomous and self-actualised grown-ups who have self-confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem. Continue reading

Diagnosis and Identity

P1000422  Making a connection with the therapist and equally so being diagnosed with DID have a huge impact on peoples understanding of who they are. Identity is the label of a group or social category that a person gives herself (Charon, 1998), for example ‘I am a woman’ or even ‘I am a multiple’. As such identity is an important part of one’s self-concept that constantly undergoes changes and is affirmed during one's lifetime in interactions with other persons.

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Connecting Through Diagnosis

Breakthrough Making a connection with a therapist had to be followed by making a connection through being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID).  It signaled for the DID clients I interviewed a break through in this first stage of their therapy that I have called 'Connecting'.

We finally seem to have got something so that I can say, we have got something to work with (Sharon, 1/6).

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