Holding

When I can’t stand myself, she perseveres. When I can’t look at it, she bears witness. When I hate every fibre of my being, she finds something to like. When I want to let go and give up, she holds on.

Anna is a transactional analysist and part of her work is looking at the child ego. She explores it in different ways and explains that we all have parts of ourselves – some people’s parts are more fragmented than others. Some people can sense one child self, others can sense many.

I find it easier to explore very painful memories by talking about the part of me that experienced it. So rather than saying ‘I felt….’ I might say, ‘that part of me feels/felt’. I also find it easier when I relate to the age of the part. So we’ve been working with ‘4’ recently. At the moment I feel irritated and annoyed by 4. I hate 4. I want her to go away. But then those thoughts hurt 4 and so I feel her hurt at being rejected. I am conflicted inside. Feeling both the disgust and the shame. The dismissiveness and the neediness.

I am loathed to imagine being loving and kind towards 4. Part of me feels that she is to blame for everything.

During one session months ago Anna asked me to imagine 4 was sitting in the empty chair beside me then she looked pensive and said, ‘actually, no, because then I’m colluding with the critical parent part that wants rid of her, how about we place 4 on your lap… she’s sitting with you just there.’ She gestured towards my lap and I immediately curled my knees up to my chest and turned away. I said, ‘I’m really uncomfortable with that I don’t want her being so close to me.’

We’ve explored this quite a lot over the past two years and I wrote recently that Anna said, ‘I want to scoop her up and hug her.’ In my last session I brought that up. I said, ‘when you told me that you felt like you wanted to scoop that 4 year old girl up and hug her… that was really powerful. It moved something inside me. I can’t imagine being loving towards her yet but I can imagine her receiving what she needs from you, and that feels like it’s a step in the right direction… all week I’ve been imagining her with you and it feels comforting and like it’s softening something inside me.’ Anna smiled and said, ‘that sounds good… I’ll happily hold her just now, until you’re ready to take her back.’

I love the thought of Anna holding 4. That Anna is not disgusted or irritated by 4 and her wild energy and intense need. Part of me thinks that if Anna can love 4 then maybe I can too.

7 thoughts on “Holding

  1. LovingSummer

    Wow Lucy, I found this really interesting to read. I can identify with the alienation you describe, felt towards the 4 year old part.
    I love how Anna spoke so kindly of holding her like that. I can imagine how accepting that must feel towards all parts of you.
    Really good stuff and so helpful to read! Is it strange if I say some of my younger parts yearn for the same? It’s such good progress I’m so happy to hear this is for you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s actually been quite transformative, that Anna said she would hold 4. I have a very vivid inner world and things ‘happen’ up there almost without me making them… if always close doors to 4 and push her away from me in my mind but the past few days she’s been walking around up there holding hands with Anna or getting piggie-backs from Anna which has been strangely comforting. It’s been interesting to feel the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LovingSummer

        I was EXACTLY the same with pushing my 4 away. Not just my 4, but the 4 was the one Guy was concentrating on in a session once. He asked me to link my fingers and consider how we (adult and child) work together, and I really struggled to do it. I felt so miserable because at the end I said I knew I was rejecting that little child. We’ve brushed over it a few times since, like when I showed Guy a photo of the 4 year old, and he gushed “oh she’s an angel”…
        Guy ins’t holding my 4 year old like Anna is caring for yours, but every time he comes across her he is welcoming and accepting, which I find mesmerising! And like you said, strangely comforting. I want to be able to see what he sees but I’m not there yet. It’s great talking to you about this, Lucy. I’ve never talked to someone else who experienced exactly the same like this.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s such powerful work isn’t it! I brought a photo into the last session but wasn’t brave enough to show Anna. Maybe next session! It’s really good to talk to you about it too. Thank you for sharing bits with me 💗

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Making space for the uncomfortable things is very brave. Keep doing this awesome work, 4 will thank you. She’s so young and just wants care and love. She wants to see that others can withstand her storm. You can and you did, so you have much to teach her. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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