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I don't have PTSD, so I hope it's okay to post here.

 

My child heart is in serious pain right now. How do you soothe your child heart / voice? How do you reassure your child heart that everything will be okay? Everything is okay now, but she is still hurt and afraid. 

 

I used to soothe by cutting. That would make my heart pain seem manageable. Do you all get the heart pain? Right in your chest, and it hurts to breathe? 

 

My adult heart is strong and loving, but it can't seem to get through to child. I am at a loss about what to do. I am in so much pain right now, all I can do is cry. 

 

I'm feeling better today than I was last night. A dear friend was able to distract my child voice from the pain. But what can I do on my own? I have no one to turn to. I have no tdoc, I can't tell my family, I don't want to worry my bf. With the exception of 2 friends, I have no one to tell. But, I don't want to burden them.

 

Some things have been triggering me lately, and usually they don't trigger me this bad. I think my child heart has been quiet/repressed for so long that now she's screaming with hurt. 

 

I hope this makes some sense. I don't know why I am posting this. 

Edited by Parapluie
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Hey -

I am sorry that you are hurting so much right now.  It's a hard problem.

 

I recommend this book to a lot of people - but have you ever read Getting Through the Day, by Nancy Napier?  I like it for a few reasons - I like it because it isn't exclusive to people diagnosed with PTSD and it is very inclusive to all kinds of childhood trauma.  I also like it because it focuses a lot on dissociation and talks a lot about techniques for soothing wounded inner children.

 

One thing that I have been practicing - that actually does get easier with practice - is building a "safe place" inside for children to go to.  Mine is a basement in a house that I lived in before everything went really bad.  At first I couldn't hold it in my head well and it was just a single room.  Now there are a few rooms, a hallway, some stairs with a door that locks, and outside there is a waterfall and a stream and a tree and some grass.  That is where my inside children mostly stay and if I am feeling like they are getting very close to the surface, I will go down there and talk to them and cuddle them and try to reassure them.  If I have to do something really triggering, I will get them to stay down there and lock the door.  It doesn't solve the problem, but it helps me function better when I have to do things that are very triggering.

 

Journaling and especially drawing can also be a big help.  I find that drawing makes it easier to access the smallest/youngest parts of myself.  I often use crayons or paints, or even clay.for younger parts.  For the slightly older ones, I will get a pen and paper and write down everything that they want to say, even if it is incoherent.  I used to cover pages with their voices.  That helped too.

 

Over time they have collapsed into me a bit and into each other.  There used to be four and now there are most often two because a couple of them merged.  And most often now they stay inside the space that I made for them and don't get into things the way that they used to.

 

Sometimes though, even though it's agonizing, all you can really do is bear witness.  These voices have been silenced for so long that when they come to the surface, sometimes there is nothing to be done except to listen to them and try to ride it out and soothe yourself the best way you can with comforts like good food and hot baths, and nurturing things for your body and mind.

 

I am glad that you have a couple of good friends you can share with.  Sharing often helps me.  Even though you worry about burdening people, I suspect that you are able to share at least some.  Good friends are able to tell you when they are overloaded.

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The room sounds like a good idea. Thank you for telling me about your safe place. It sounds really beautiful, and your children sound well cared for. 

 

I think I could probably build a room for her, but it would be hard. I have only one inner child, she's older, like maybe 8-10. I know where she is now, she's alone on a rainy street at night. I think I did that to her. To try to keep her quiet. She sometimes screams for mommy but mommy doesn't come. Mommy will never come. Mommy never came when we needed her. I think that's part of the reason she exists. 

 

Drawing is a good idea, she draws like me, with pencils. She is a great artist. I will try that.

 

I just can't comprehend how to cuddle her? She wants desperately to be held in someone's arms and told everything is going to be okay. But I feel so distanced from her, maybe she doesn't even trust me. 

 

I have never told anyone about her. Thank you for letting me tell you about her.

 

Edited to add: I think I'm going to get that book you mentioned. I just looked it up and it looks really good. 

Edited by Parapluie
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I just can't comprehend how to cuddle her? She wants desperately to be held in someone's arms and told everything is going to be okay. But I feel so distanced from her, maybe she doesn't even trust me. 

 

 

You are already cuddling her just by letting her voice free.  You listen and she is held. You cry and she is held.  She will always trust you because she is you. The little you that never ever left, that stayed right there with the adult Parapluie, through everything.

 

All I can do is repeat everything that Tryp already said.  Share your pain with your friends, they can handle more than you think.  Listen to your little child's voice.  Let the feelings, emotions out. Perhaps start a blog just for the child heart to release.  

 

I am so sorry for your pain.  I know that child heart, that voice that is so hurt and longing and little and afraid.  That heart is inside of you.  Take your arms and put them around your body and hold tight, let the little Parapluie cry.

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It's hard at first to build the safe place in your head, but it gets easier with practice.  At first I tried to build a totally new one, but I couldn't get the hang of it, so I co-opted the basement of a house that I actually used to live in for the "base" of the safe place, and that made it easier to hold.  Once I had that, I expanded it into some outside stuff that never existed in the real world.  The outside stuff is mostly for my adult self, though.  The younger ones just stay in the basement, but it's pretty decent in there.

 

My youngest child voice (I suspect that she is 9 or so - the other is around 15 - I think that each one split off around one of the major traumas in my life) really didn't like or trust me for a long time, which made the imagery really difficult.  A lot of "no no no no NO!".  The older one was also pretty pissed with me for a long time.  But I continued to work with it and tell her that I am sorry that she had to do so many scary things alone when there was nobody else there, and that it wasn't fair, and that I'm sorry I couldn't be there, but that I am here now, and I will never leave again.  Now she will let me hold her and stroke her hair most of the time.

 

I also gave the older one the "job" of keeping everything safe down there.  I told her that if Abuser ever came down there, she could kick him and poke out his eyes, because since it is our inside space, she would be much bigger and stronger than him, and that made her happy, so now she mostly just stays with the younger one and protects her.

 

It also helps to be able to have a stable inside model of your adult self, which I also didn't have for a long time.  I had to try a lot of different kinds of imagery and comforting before I ended up with a pattern that would stick.

 

Your little girl must be so sad and hurt.  It would be horrible for a child to be stuck out in the rain calling and calling.  I bet that you will be able to help her find a way to come inside.  She is lucky to have you around now.

Edited by tryp
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Safe places Inside is super-important.

What some people do, because it can be hard to build one in your head, is to take a picture of a place that you think that she would relate to (for some, that might be the Disney castle, or a nice peaceful house, or a cottage, or, for me, we have a Victorian manor house). Carry that picture with you, and when you have a spare minute or two, just look at the picture. You can imagine yourself there if you want, or her there, but I'm not sure that that's mandatory. Eventually you'll be able to picture the place without having the physical picture in front of you.

 

Another thing that you might want to try doing is going Inside to where she is and taking an umbrella with you. What would happen if you offered it to her? Or took her to a porch or a bus shelter, or into a tea house (or wherever) and said something like "you can stay here for a little while"? Might she take you up on it? Be prepared that she might fight you, too. Which is okay, and understandable, since she's likely wet and cold and hungry and cranky for having been rained on for a good long while. But, maybe not. And, even if she fights you at first, that doesn't mean that she'll fight you for ever. People can change, and Insiders can, and do, too.

 

In terms of reaching people, drawing is good. Kid-movies are good. Colouring books are good. Cookies are nice. Having stuffed animals and blankets that are warm and soft is nice. Tdoc gave one of our kids a corner full of pillows once (she shares a room) and that little one has been much more accepting ever since.

 

Even if she's mad at you right now, it's okay to talk to her and to see if you can eventually coax her somewhere drier. Maybe she'll feel better for it. Maybe you will, too. If you can't talk to each other, that's okay. Writing or drawing works, too.

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Thank you so much, Water, Tryp and Rosie. 

 

I am going to try to go inside and get her out of the rain at least. I have a beautiful house that I once built inside (for other reasons, for a school project actually) and maybe she'll go live in that one day. There's a fountain in the back, and a plastic red cup for her to drink from it. There's a table full of thanksgiving dinner, too. You're right Rosie, she probably is hungry. 

 

Right now though, all she does is cry. Just now I tried to go inside and I felt a lot of resistance. All I can do is cry and listen to her. She wants mommy. Maybe I can convince her that I'm here for her, because truly, mommy never will be. That kills me, to know that mommy can never be there for us. I love my mom now, but my young mom, the one my child wants, will never be available. 

 

God, it hurts so much. I feel like I'm being stabbed. This pain is nearly unbearable. 

Edited by Parapluie
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When I used to have this strange feeling in my heart, like I was hurting so much that my heart was struggling to beat, the most therapeutic thing for me to do was to go hiking with my girlfriend.  It was the combination of being out in nature, walking, and also being able to talk to her about what was bothering me at the same time.  I wonder if it would help for you to talk about this with your boyfriend, if you think he'll understand.  As they say, a problem shared is a problem cut in half (although that isn't always true.)  I'm sorry you are in pain.

 

Is there something you're passionate about, something that grounds you?  If there is you could try doing that.

 

Sorry if this wasn't remotely healthy.  

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We have someone here who all she does is scream. Sometimes it tones down to moaning, or whimpering, but that's really just about all she does. Thankfully her cell is quite insulated, but when she's nearby it is very distracting for me, and I have huge difficulties getting through the day. I understand how hard it is when Inside is in turmoil.

Is there anything that you can do to make things easier for you? Is there something that you find calming, grounding, or relaxing? Now would be a good time to do it. Heart-ache is just as real as a physical pain, and while you're feeling wounded, you deserve tenderness, kindness, and understanding; even if only from yourself.

 

Do you think that you can you work with your little girl inside to convince her that while mummy won't be around, you can be a big sister or an aunt (or whatever) for her?

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Maybe I can convince her that I'm here for her, because truly, mommy never will be. That kills me, to know that mommy can never be there for us. I love my mom now, but my young mom, the one my child wants, will never be available. 

 

This is the excruciating moment for me.  Knowing, feeling, hearing 'the child' cry and despair for the mommy that never was.  As an adult with a child, knowing exactly what my 'child inside' missed & is crying and crying for, and knowing that this precious child heart can never be unbroken.  This is unspeakable pain.  Unbearable.  As much comfort as I can provide to my little child inside, she can only be soothed so much until it is time for her to go gently back to sleep.

 

I am so sorry for your pain.  KNow that you are doing whatever you can for your 'child heart' and whatever little comfort you can provide, a path into the beautiful house with the fountain and cup to drink from, that is enough because it has to be enough.

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