March 20, 2015
Therapy Day 2
I’ve had some strange dreams this week – one in which I was in a church-like place with a lot of people. It was so crowded. My mother was near the front of the church and I saw that she had brought her ex-boyfriend, the one who sexually abused me for years. I was angry and hurt and approached her, but then I turned to him. In the back of my mind I had the idea that I was going to make a scene in front of all the people, but I didn’t care. I felt that everybody needed to know. I was furious and started screaming at him ‘you’re a pedophile!’. The problem was that when I screamed at him, I didn’t have a voice. Where was my voice? Why couldn’t I confront him?
Well, yeah, makes sense. I was silent for over 30 years. Voiceless. Ashamed. Keeping his secret.
In my dream I put everything I had into it and I screamed over and over at him, willing my voice to come. At first, it was barely audible. But I didn’t stop.
That’s when my husband woke me and said I was screaming.
Hmmm…finding my voice. I don’t think I need a therapist to figure that one out, however Stella (my therapist) did suggest that perhaps I created a church to confront him in because they are known to be safe places.
So…we discussed dreams and the people who have written to me because of this blog, and how wonderful that feels. It’s a frightening thing sometimes, to ‘expose’ so much of myself here, but perhaps I am helping others who are learning to find their voices.
I really hope so.
I like that I am finding my voice. It’s about time.
Stella then said she’d like us to do some parts therapy.
What the heck is parts therapy?
We all have separate parts of our personalities. Very often different parts of ourselves are in conflict. Have you ever said ‘part of me wants to do this, but another part doesn’t’? Why would different parts of ourselves be in conflict? Hypnosis can help us understand the answer to that question, or it can help us see why a part has been ‘exiled’. The hypnotherapist acts as a mediator whose job it is to try to have each of the parts come to an understanding.
I have to admit to being a bit nervous before the hypnosis. What if nothing happens? What if too much happens? What was going to happen?
For those new to hypnotherapy, and who worry about not having control, I want to say that you are consciously aware of your surroundings the whole time. You remember everything that happens and you know where you are and who is there.
Most of us know what the conscious mind is – the mind that is aware. It makes up about 10% of the mind. The subconscious is about 90% of the mind. It stores our memories, our beliefs, and basically runs the show. Hypnotherapy is a way to reach our subconscious and bring things to our conscious awareness. It enables us to become aware of the deeper us, the reasons we do the things we do and think the way we think.
Speaking directly to our subconscious is very effective for healing old traumas and wounds.
Stella has a soft, calming voice. Perfect for relaxing me into a deep hypnotic state. I felt tense at first, my muscles were a little tight, my breathing was shallow and my heartbeat was too fast. But it didn’t take long before I was melting into that reclining chair with the soft teal blanket over me. My muscles relaxed as Stella guided me to the ‘safe place’ we’d created in my first therapy session. I let myself go and drifted into that beautiful room with the cloud-soft daybed. Then she took me deeper and deeper still, until I felt as if I were floating.
Once I was in a deep hypnotic state, Stella asked if there was any part of me that wanted to speak.
Anger is in the fore of my life at this moment, so I wasn’t surprised that the part that came out first was anger.
This was the session as I remember it:
Stella: Anger, what shall I call you?
me: I am Fire, I am strong, I am huge. (what I saw was a monster-type being crouched down in a corner with a massively thick steel-like structure above it, so that it had no room to move or stand.)
Stella: Fire, thank you for talking. What do you do for Debbie?
me: I protect her.
Through some gentle questions, Stella found out that “Fire” actually was afraid, stuck and desperately wanted out. She then asked if any other part wanted to speak. In a minute or so, I felt the most incredibly peaceful feeling and saw a radiant shimmering essence. I didn’t see it as solid, like I did anger. Stella asked what this part would like to be called. “Light”, I answered.
Stella: Light, what do you do for Debbie?
me: I’m the one who protects Debbie. I am love.
Stella: Light, did you hear Fire? Fire said it protects Debbie.
me: Fire thinks it protects Debbie, but it doesn’t.
Stella: Light, would you be willing to help Fire so it’s not trapped?
Stella: Light, I’d like to speak to Fire to see if it would be willing to accept your help. Fire, did you hear Light? Would you accept Light’s help?
me: Light can’t help me. I’m trapped. No one can help me. There is a tiny hole through all the layers above me, but it’s too small. I can’t get out and Light can’t get in.
Stella spoke back and forth to Fire and Light. When Fire said it is only destructive and kills, Stella reminded it that it is also very useful and, like the mountain fires that we have, can clear away old growth so that new growth can happen. She said that fire helps in many ways, and that it is very important. She asked Fire again if it would try to accept help from Light. Fire said yes.
She told Fire that she would like to speak to Light again.
Stella: Light, Fire said it would accept your help. Can you make the hole through the thick layers covering Fire bigger?
Light: It doesn’t have to be bigger. I can go anywhere.
Stella: Thank you Light. I would like to speak to Fire again. Fire, did you hear Light? Can you let Light in to help you and to amalgamate with you? Together, you will be much more useful and will be able to help Debbie so much more.
Fire: Yes. It can try.
Stella: Light, Fire said you can go to it.
Fire: I see Light coming in, but I can’t fuse with it. I will hurt it if I touch it. I will destroy it. I am only destructive. I kill everything. Tell it to stay away!
Stella: Fire, Light says you won’t hurt it. You can go ahead and touch Light. Take your time and nod to let me know when you have allowed Light in.
At this time, I felt that the fiery monster was very afraid, but wanted to reach out. I had a feeling of deep sadness. I felt sorry for it, all crouched down for years and years.
I saw the thick steel-like slab above it with a tiny hole, and through the hole, I saw light come in, a radiant glow. I felt that it took Fire a huge amount of courage to reach out, but it finally did. I could see not so much a mingling, but of the light surrounding the monster and shrinking it. Then I saw it blending together until Fire was not a huge monster, nor was it so much crouched down, but was lying down, curled up, floating in a cocoon or womb-like area inside the glowing light. I don’t know if the steel-like layer was still there. I didn’t see it.
I nodded to let Stella know Light and Fire had melted together as much as they were going to.
Stella: Good. Thank you Fire, for allowing Light in and amalgamating with it.
me: I am different, but I am still here. I’m as a fetus floating in a womb. This is as much as I am going to blend with Light now.
Stella: Good. That’s good. Light, thank you for reaching in and mixing with Fire. Now that there’s another part, a mixed part, can I speak to that mixed part?
Stella: What shall I call you?
me: Firelight. I am Firelight. (I could feel myself almost smiling.)
Stella: Good. Firelight, thank you.
I can’t remember all that Stella said, but it had to do with how much more healthy and helpful both Fire and Light together will be for me and she spoke to all the parts and told how they each were very important to me, and how none were bad, even Fire.
When I came out of the hypnotic state I wondered how those images had come to me. When I considered them and we spoke about it, it made so much sense…especially the rage that I’d pushed down so deeply.
I came home and Googled parts therapy. There’s quite a lot online about it, and I found it very interesting how my mind found these two nearly opposing parts and chose to bring them up.
I’ve thought a lot this week about my second day of therapy and my different parts and how I’d like to do more parts therapy. Apparently your parts are not necessarily only our emotions, but nearly anything from different ages you experienced trauma, to separate personality types, as in one might be thrifty and frugal and the other loves to spend, one might be outgoing and the other very shy, and on and on.
Here’s an interesting blog post by Mary-Anne Johnston…’Working with our Inner Parts‘
Can you identify different parts of yourself? Have you been hypnotized, and if so, are you like me, where you see things and scenes clearly?
When I left Stella she gave me a photograph of a woman in the dark, , her face aglow from a jar of fireflies she was holding. It had this saying:
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”
And, for no reason at all other than I’m a huge Tori Amos fan, here’s one of my favorites…’Silent all These Years.’