March 20, 2007


Broken to Pieces

So much has been going on during this intense phase of therapy and recovery that I can't keep up. I haven't even been able to keep it all up to date in my paper journal, let alone here on my blog.

I'm going to be out of town for Spring Break next week. I had a new part emerge that scares me to my core (way more than Sentry did in the beginning). I think she's very identified with my perpetrator parents. I decided to put working with her and my therapist on hold until I get back into town. I just don't want to be left hanging in the middle of something huge and scary while I'm out of town and away from my therapist.

So, yesterday, at my T appointment, I ran this past my T and we moved on to "lighter" topics (are there really any light topics?). I decided to run a few physical complaints by her. I've mentioned these to mental health providors in the past and never really gotten anywhere with it. I think I've mentioned these trouble makers on my blog. One is the annoying problem of not being able to swallow food sometimes (unfortunatley, this has not led me to become thin).

My other physical problem is really causing me to lose sleep lately. When I sought advice from a medical doc about it, he wanted to do surgery so I walked out of his office. It's the old complaint about my arms falling asleep and going dead on me again. When I think about the assaults where my arms were pinned down, I can't help but think that this complaint has a trauma component. I seemed to get some relief from this for about two years when I was going to another therapist twice a week and doing a lot of trauma processing. My current T suggested that I inquire within myself as to what this symptom was trying to tell me.

So, this morning after about the millionth time that the rest of me was awake because my arms were asleep, I asked for the message. What came to me was loads of grief--not fear as I would have suspected.

We've all had our hearts broken at least once, right? I know I've been through that kind of "lost love" grief more than once. But, how do you mend the broken heart of a child? How do you pick up the pieces after the ultimate betrayal by the parents who were supposed to love and care for you?

I feel like the proverbial Humpty Dumpty. My heart is broken to pieces, as well as my mind. And all the king's therapists and all the king's doctors will never be able to put all my pieces back together again.

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the pieces can be put together again and over time you will see that, but a word of warning not all parts will want to be put back together
Dear marj

I have been trying to put little keepers hearts back together again ever since I found out they existed, so for over 20 years. At times it is successful to a point, they know how I feel about them, but all it takes is a trigger and they are back there again, feeling the hurt and pain all over again. Keepers bigs had to accept the little keepers to alieve some of the hurt also. I wish I had better insight, after 20 plus years you would think I would. I try to give them what they never had, birthdays, Christmases, gifts for them, gists they will still play with, heck me and littles play games, read stories, etc all which helps them and me too. Be kind to them, be supportive to them and love them, they are a precious part of you and always will be. Cherish them always.

thinking of you and your littles

I can always count on you guys to come 'round and read when I finally get a new post up...commenting with your insights and support. Thank you so much!
I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in the physical symptoms you describe. I call the swallowing inability a gag reflex. LOL on the not leading to being thin part. I find that liquids are easier on those days and can live for days on smoothies if I have too.

I can also relate to the arms going numb. Do you know that numbness of the extremeites is a symptom of a panic attack that actually has a purpose? PAs are a part of the fight/flight condition - your body pulls blood into the areas that need it most (heart) and away from the extremeties. The extremeties - arms, fingers, toes are the most vulnerable to predators and most likely to get hurt. That pulling back of blood flow can cause tingling similar to if your arm falls asleep.

I'm glad you are getting away for a few days. ENJOY and RELAX.
Enola: thanks for visiting and for the insights--that all makes sense to me. I couldn't live on smoothies, tho. cold things just seem to make my throat tighten up even more--sometimes all I can get down is some hot tea and then that loosens things up a bit.
You can and will mend these broken hearts!!! Have you discussed "renurturing" with your therapist? I enacted a renurturing session with a young alter named "Key" Who held the memory and physical symptoms of molestation episodes that occurred from age 2-5. It was an amazing success for her, and ultimately for e. (the main outward personality). Google it, talk to your therapist, and if you would like to know more about this particular and very personal experience, stop by my BLOG or email me. I'd be happy to share my experience.
Wow, cool! I'm gonna look into that when I get back into town, thanks. I'm gonna check out your website some more, too. :)
Hi Marj,
I can identify with the arms going numb thing, but until I read this post I never thought of it having anything to do with my childhood. This bears some serious thinking. Thanks for sharing that, you've given me some good insight.

I know what you're going through is extremely hard right now, and there are no easy answers. I'm not good at nurturing my parts, and I say this to my shame. I wish I were better at it!

Blessings to you as you continue the much needed (and sometimes agonizing) work of healing. We're all out here rooting for you!
Have faith. Healing is a slow process. A couple ideas for you: acupunture has been really healing for me in all sorts of areas. You also get to do it generally clothed, and it can even help with mental health issues. Second idea: for your arms, consider seeing an osteopath who focuses on neuromuscular skeletal issues. This has been especially healing for me because it means laying in an office with a man for an hour and having him touch me in order to heal me - scary and hard, but it helps to have a man acknowledge the pain areas....anyway, write to me if you have questions about either of these.
I don't really have much to add to what the others have said. I don't want to throw the old cliqches at you about "time mends all" because I don't think it does mend all but we can learn to live with the past and that is what I am working on. I will keep you in my thoughts
I'm back in town. It will take me a while to get caught up...let me at least post these comments. Thanks for leaving them, kind peeps.

For me, the most powerful technique was to imagine holding and rocking the child I once was. I let her tell me what hurt and why and how she felt. Then I reassured her that NOW she was safe, that she was loved (by ME!), and that she had always deserved to be loved and safe.

For a long time, every time I tried to talk about what happened, my throat closed up so that I could barely breathe--much less speak. Fortunately, the more I found ways to heal, the less common that became until now it never recurs.

Hang in there. Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))).
Marj...don't have anything to add to what other have said, but wanted to let you know we are checking in on you! :)

I understand where you are coming from. Just don't give up. Yes we are a puzzle of may pieces. It just takes the right people to work on. (((HUGS)))
I'm really strugglin right now. Your support means so much. thank yoou all somuch.
Sometimes the pieces take time to find their way back to whole. You will do it. Just move slowly and make sure you feel safe.
just trying to make it through Easter--see ya'll after. ;)
happy easter marj
just checking in to say hi
hope all is well


Easter, another holiday, another obstacle for most multiples and survivors. Unlike most people we dread holidays and cannot wait for them to be over.

hope to hear from you soon and that things are getting better for you.
there's a line in one of my favorite novels - the salt eaters -that goes something like "if you want to heal make sure it's something you really want because healing hurts. really hurts." The pain of a broken heart is also the mending of it.
Easter's over and I'm still alive. Dealing with some very scary new parts and I'm overwhelmed...but I'll try to get a new post up soon. Thanks for not forgetting about me.
We are proud and (yes) envious or your journey, painful tho it may be.There have been times in our existance where the breakthrus have been so amazing that they almost quench the daily ache; there are times (now) where nothing makes sense, where there are no light topics, where the day is filled with noise and voices and sadness.
Meds help, but as a diabetic, I cannot use some (seroquel, ambien) too frequently.
Got to hang on, Iguess.
Thanks so much for your honesty and agile writing
hi, i think that you can credit me for that line about the pain of broken hearts being the mending of them as well. i'm glad you liked it, i've taken great comfort in that idea. i've also been inspired to be braver and feel my way through healing by the notion that allowing yourself to experience the hurt is the path to healing.
much respect, thanks for visiting my blog.
My friend, try yoga for at least a month or so for those arms. And or also, try a stretch that helped me with the same problem. Take the right arm and stretch it to the 10 o'clock position. Make sure the shoulder stays flat to ground at all times. Lay on the floor with both knees bent to left side(almost like your sitting postition). 1st time try for minute. Than do left arm bending knees to right side. Arm would be in 2 o'clock postion. Slowly work your way to 5 minutes. Your arm may go numb while doing this. A good yoga book is "RICHARD HITTER'S YOGA 28 DAY EXERSICE PLAN".... wiz man
Crises and difficult times aren't easy for us all to accept. Talking about why things couldn't have been different is less productive than focusing on what has been learned and gained. Jumpinginpuddles makes a good point that you may not wish life to be as it was. You're a new person now. Change your beliefs and embrace the positive that will come out of the hard times.
Have you noticed that even with clogged arteries a heart can beat? A heart may be in pieces but if the right pieces are put back together it can and will beat, it can and will allow the holder of the heart to enjoy life as much as possible. Pieces are just that, parts and it is when we take those parts and construct something we can work with that we begin to focus less on the parts we can't work with. Build something good with the workable pieces.

Austin of Sundrip
Austin: thanks for stopping by with your wonderful analogy. I know that some of these recent posts are hard to read, so I doubly appreciate it. You're right, I have enough sound pieces to work with...and I'm going to keep building best I can.
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