Discounting the Past

Today I would like to respond to comments made earlier this month on the ‘home’ page here. My first impulse was being saddened by the confusion and despair readers felt by some of my latest post. However, it didn’t take long for me to get excited. Every time someone presents a challenge it gives me – and I suppose everyone – the opportunity to widen our understanding and deepen our insight. So I am very grateful for people to take the time and formulate their opinion and point out that what they are reading is not gelling for them.

It’s a tricky topic, the topic of “it’s just thought”, isn’t it? It’s hard to get one’s head around the fact that the world we experience is rather more a hologram created by our own thinking then a representation of what’s really OUT THERE. Especially when we end up with a badly bruised body or mind by our encounters with “out there”, be it objects or people’s’ actions. That’s however how it is – it’s a biological reality that we can’t grasp what’s out there without processing and interpreting it through our mental filters (history, beliefs, values etc.), through what’s ‘IN HERE’. It doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong or something bad. Experiencing your personal hologram as real is doing exactly what mother nature designed you to do: thinking that your thoughts are real. Everybody operates like that – nobody gets spared! Continue reading

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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Achieving Co-Consciousness: Trauma Work

Th_ParisTripwiththefamily004

Most people would agree that working through the traumatic memories of abuse and neglect is one of the main pathways that lead to co-consciousness. However, trauma work does not stop once a memory has been shared with the therapist and its meaning has been interpreted in a new way. Trauma work also means to restore self-capacities that were arrested or did not develop. Take for example a memory that led to the part holding it coming to the conclusion “You can’t trust people” and acts accordingly.

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Achieving Co-Consciousness: Self-Acceptance-And-Love

Soulmates

On the first glance people may ask “What has co-consciousness to do with loving yourself and accepting all the different parts of you?” My answer to that is “Everything!”

If there is a part of you that you dislike, are afraid of, or even feel disgust for, you will stay away from that part ‘full stop’. If co-consciousness means to know to a large extend what other parts know, feel what they feel, and be able to act as they act, staying away from a part of you will increase the walls that divide you and prevent co-consciousness, not decrease them.

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The Body Pays The Price

Woman at beachLeonie was very tired. Her shoulders have dropped and her head had fallen forward resting on her chest. Unable to muster the strength needed for balancing her head upright on her fatigued body, Leonie feels the floor opening and becoming a vortex inviting her into the never ending downwards spiral.  She hears a seductive whisper beckoning her to succumb, “Let go, let go. You have fought long enough. You can rest now!”

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Thoughts about DID, Diagnosis, and Parts

Faces You might have noticed that I started telling the story of Anna, a person with multiple parts to her personality. If you want to know how Anna’s parts came to exist, and why, you will find many books, websites, and articles that talk about DID and alternate parts. I am getting a bit tired of all these clever explanations like the one in Wikipedia: “a single person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities (known as alter egos or alters), each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment. The diagnosis requires that at least two personalities routinely take control of the individual’s behaviour with an associated memory loss that goes beyond normal forgetfulness”.

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Finding a Safe Place

Treeoflife 130 When the woman turned around and started walking back to the house, Molly starred at her in disbelief. She wanted to call out to her ‘Don’t leave me here, please Mammy, take me with you’, but she couldn’t make a single sound. Caretaker had quickly put his hand over her mouth and hissed ‘Quiet. No sound.’ He knew the punishment would even be harsher if she protested. Although Molly was glad that she was not alone in the garden, she was unable to stop her little 3 year old body from shivering of fear and of cold. As she tried to put her arms around herself she noticed that she was tied to the tree. She looked around in panic to find her friends. ‘Where have they gone?’ Her eyes tried to penetrate the darkness in the hope to make out the familiar faces of the other Tree People. 

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The Leap Of Faith When Starting Therapy

Multiplepersonalities Trusty
knew better than to waste time when he traveled to the little seaside village
of Shelly Bay. His dark eyes concentrated on the narrow road winding down the
hill that enclosed with loving arms what was once a little settlement but had
become a township with many new houses, businesses, and shops. He didn’t notice
the little pearls of sweat running down his forehead or the breath-taking heat
in the car. He concentrated on the traffic because the worst thing that could
happen would be having an accident or being stopped by the police. The panic it
would cause the Tree People would be horrendous.  He was glad traffic has not been as busy as
it was in the city. He hates it when people compromise his safety by driving too
close or cutting in  in front of him. 

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The Ebb and Flow of Integration

Girl heart Anna has been in therapy with me for 3 years when she and I came
to understand that it would not be necessary to come weekly anymore. She had
been diagnosed with DID many years ago. Some of these years she’s been with
other therapists, some of them barely surviving (in) the public mental health
system. That has all changed now. Indeed she was doing brilliantly. ‘I would
never have thought that I could ever feel this good’ she shared with me with a
wide smile on her face. She was quite eager to prove to herself, her family, and
maybe to me that she could manage without our weekly sessions. And manage she
did. Long forgotten are the times of nightly support calls, emergency
admissions to the hospital, crisis team visits, or days in respite care. ‘It
feels unreal when I think about how that was’ Anna starts her session.

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