When we went in-patient for the first time almost five years ago, we wanted goals.
Context (short version): We were drowning in shame from childhood trauma memories. Being productive while away from home for five weeks seemed important.
Maybe from authors we read and therapists we had, we got the idea that we must love ourselves in order to heal and in order to have capacity to love others. The hospital seemed to reinforce that notion.
So “love ourself” became one of our first primary goals.
During the last five years, we have continued to meditate on self-love and hope for it by trying to practice self-compassion.
The different me’s inside us do not all get along and some can be outright hostile to one another. This complicates compassion and self-care.
Well, T2 blew our minds recently. We were describing inner-conflicts and lack of compassion and self-care when T2 said, “You don’t have to love all your me’s in order to provide them care.”
Trying to feed and comfort and give choices, such as going to a safe place inside instead of having to go to doctors or see parents, is the true immediate goal. So maybe self-love is not a pre-requisite or a necessary goal.
That would be a relief! Perfectionism has caused worry. Guilt over not feeling self-love has been a weight on our chest.
Arguments inside are more recently about how to care for us. New T was gone for a week (again), and we reverted to old methods of coping. Resourced insiders do not appreciate or condone violence. But AJ is a protector and causing us pain in order to be in charge of our suffering is an old script.
AJ is a little kid. It is not resourceful or effective to have a small child making these decisions and inflicting pain on us.
And more resourced parts cannot stop or control AJ and refuse to use violence themselves. Nonviolent Communication says you can use violence to protect from violence. But we will not. AJ and all the inside kids have suffered enough violence. This is why we want AJ to stop harming us. And also why we won’t restrain AJ.
New T wants to find new options for AJ that aren’t violent. The hospital tried that in 2019. We were still working on it when pandemic occurred. Maybe we can try again.
We feel stress, worry, dread. This is our experience often. But there must be breaks. We must try to be present for those breaks.