Under the Waves

This is a piece of work I did with my therapist.

I have been dating a man who cannot access his emotions and had a huge trigger come up for me. I was done DONE with him. I contacted his ex then backtracked. I contacted other people who could give me confirmation of a lie he’d told. My anger kicked in and I felt a little crazy and out of control.

But I laid it in the arms of my sweet therapist, the one who is strong with me and can take me to the God of grace instead of the many gods of the Lie.

We started with an IFS practice of going inside and separating from a part. Because my child was in so much pain and in so much need of the adult in me, she immediately separated from me and showed herself to me, huddled on some kind of pavement. I noticed she felt rather ambivalent towards me but could tell she really wanted some love. I mustered up the sympathy and love I always have towards children and met her softly as she folded into my arms. I have struggled with the parts of me that have hated the child, just as my caregivers were hated and shamed as children and they passed this shame on to me. While I struggled with that a bit, I was able to connect with her and find out how she felt.

“Unwanted,” she said. I felt that with her and quietly sobbed into the feeling. She remembered the times her dad was violent and how powerless that felt. My therapist asked me to go in with my adult and correct the situation. My adult sent in a policewoman who restrained my dad and took him away in handcuffs. My little girl watched as he was taken away in the police car. My therapist instructed me to take her someplace nice and safe.

We went to the beach, a particular beach that is special to me. While at the beach, we were looking at the message of “unwanted” and what we were going to do about it. My little girl wanted to dive into the ocean.

In the past, whenever I’ve shaken off a shame message, it’s been about separating the “black stuff”- literal black stuff-tar, metal, goo- from my body parts. It represents the shame that coagulates inside and can be pulled out with a magnet or an adult’s hand. But for some reason, I felt that wasn’t enough. I have written about how patriarchy was literally beaten into my bones, and I have this belief that shame inhabits your very cells. So, in this particular unburdening, my child went into the water and let the salty ocean pick her bones clean of flesh, hair, blood, and eyes. She was a skeleton in the water, being bleached by the sun, its rays searing the toxic sludge from her bones. Mother Whale, a part of her that is a fierce protector, came and she held on as Mother Whale swam faster, free-er, to cleanse everything out of her that was unwanted, to clear her completely.

Mother Whale started back for shore and as she did, fish and sea creatures placed flesh on my child’s bones, created for her a body and blood, and returned her, shining, naked and clean to the shore.

My new, joyful inner child ran to me, knowing she was wanted and loved. She ran to me with the sun in her smile. Another piece of healing was therefore completed.

Meanwhile, back in real life, I was able to see the wisdom of other parts who acted out to get attention and to make sense of a shitty situation. Even my adult is meditating on compassion and what it means to love someone who can’t do feelings and takes me for granted. Honoring my worth and capacity to stand up against disrespect is compassionate. I’m also looking at it through the lens of “he cannot tolerate love.” I think doing this work where I model through words and actions that *I* am able to tolerate love and opening to receiving love is compassionate to him.

3 thoughts on “Under the Waves

    1. IFS= Internal Family Systems. selfleadership.org Also see the chapter in “The Body Keeps the Score” about IFS- Bessel van der Kolk


  1. I have a tough time making sense of your posts. I can easily pick them out from the other anon bloggers on this site. You seem to have some disorganization of thought and other characteristics of an axis 1 dx. I wish you well, and am so hopeful for your healing. Stay strong.


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