When You’re Stuck: Writing a new story for a better life
Your story is an introduction
It happens all the time. A new client sits down for the first session and pours out all the stories no one ever believed, hoping desperately that this time, they’ll be heard. This time, they hope, someone will believe me. This time, I will be validated. And when they finally receive that support and validation, it can feel like rain in the desert. Finally, it’s not just me!
That first session can feel like the gateway to a whole new world. It may even feel so good that there’s something almost addictive about it. Our hurting parts may finally feel enough relief at being heard that they get stuck there. Like a broken record, the needle continually skips back to reliving the painful memories. It’s like scratching an itch until you bleed. There is some temporary relief, but no real healing.
What happens here? How do we get into this place of reliving the painful memories until we become paralyzed?
Your story is an invitation
There is great power in telling our stories. In telling our story, we invite another person into our lives. We give them permission to share space in our hearts. Telling our stories can be a deep form of connection with another soul. Telling our stories may relieve some of the pain of carrying those stories, because we hope to share some of that pain with another.
But sometimes, that deeply personal invitation is rejected. You may tell someone your story, only to be greeted with skepticism, scoffing, or gaslighting. Or perhaps they will flat-out tell you that you are wrong for feeling the way you do. That rejection can trigger old wounds and create new ones at the same time. When a loved one rejects us, we may struggle to accept their response. Sometimes that leads to re-telling the story of their rejection until we become completely stuck, unable to move forward and unable to change the past.
So we keep telling our stories, waiting for the magical moment when the telling will work. When the pain will stop, and we’ll be able to move on.
Your story is not all of you
What makes me saddest for these parts is that they are working so hard to find relief, and at the same time prolonging the pain by constantly going back to the sore spot and poking it. They continuously seek support from friends, family, and others that the hurt they feel is real and valid. If their pain is real, and someone else caused it, maybe they can stop blaming themselves and move on. These hurt parts of us don’t understand that the healing they crave doesn’t come from the outside – it comes from within.
I know, I know – it sounds corny. And to parts that are still angrily waiting in their pain for someone to apologize for hurting them, it may even feel like a brush-off. But the truth is, no matter what your therapist, your spouse, your siblings, or your parents ever say to support or invalidate your hurting parts, the source of true healing lies within you.
There is something inside all of us that has what we need to heal. In the model of therapy I use most often, we call this place Self-energy. Some people resonate with words like soul, life essence, or true core self. It is like a well of all the best qualities we all possess, including confidence, compassion, open-heartedness, love, and acceptance. When we can find this place – and better yet, connect with our hurt places from this one – the world can change in a moment.
As your therapist, my goal is not to be that healing for you. It is to help facilitate you connecting to it within yourself, and building relationships with your hurting parts within. In the space of those healing relationships, miracles are possible. Broken records can be remade, with new music that you get to write. You can bring smooth new skin to life where bloody scratches used to be. And you can release your stuck parts from their paralysis, giving them the freedom to move where they long to be.
Your story is not finished yet
The scary thing for many of our wounded parts is that they only know one way of being: repeating those stories is the only thing they know to do, whether or not it has the desired effect. Gaining the trust of these parts to try something new, to build a relationship with your Self and walk a new path, takes courage and real bravery. And it may take time before a part is ready to extend that faith to you.
But oh, my dears! The skies are no limit to the possibilities that come when a wounded part is ready to do their healing work.
Do you have story-telling parts that have become paralyzed? Be gentle with them. Be curious about them. How are they trying to help you by re-telling these stories? What do they fear would happen if they stopped?
How could your story change if they could heal?
Your story is not finished yet. Together, we can write the story your parts long to live.
If you are ready to begin your healing journey, contact me today to schedule a free phone consultation. You don’t have to do this alone.