Be brave enough to heal yourself even when it hurts-Bianca Sparacino
I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression by my therapist. I told myself that those were just medical titles that really didn’t describe me. However, after much thought I decided to work with my therapist to help myself heal from my past traumas. I decided that I didn’t want to be anxious or depressed anymore. I want to be the best version of myself possible.
My therapist and I decided to start an intensive form therapy called EMDR to start the healing process. EMDR therapy “is a phased, focused approach to treating traumatic and other symptoms by reconnecting the client in a safe and measured way to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and body sensations associated with the trauma, and allowing the natural healing powers of the brain to move toward adaptive resolution.” My therapist advised me that we would be creating a timeline of my life starting from my earliest memories to find out how my past traumas have affected me, and to start the healing process. I must admit digging old wounds that I had previously buried was not something I was looking forward to, and I was a little nervous.
My therapist also introduced the concept of “parts” to me. She advised me that we all have three parts the exiles, managers, and the distractors. The three parts main goal is to protect your true self. The exiles hold the pain, and shame of the past. The exiles are the vulnerable part that often hold negative beliefs based on painful past experiences.
The managers run daily life, are proactive, and work to contain the exiles by staying in control of events and relationships. The managers protect our inner world. Mangers control every relationship and situation in order to protect us from feeling hurt and rejected.
The distractors (also known as firefighters) are reactive and will work to put the fire (pain) out when a triggered exile erupts past a manager. The distractors also protect the system, but often to soothe or distract vulnerable parts of our being.
The true self is the center or core of our being. Our divine essence. In other words, the true self is the best version of our self who we are meant to be. It is scary to me to this that at almost 30 I have not become my true self.
Often the exiles hold shame, grief, loss, rage dependency, and loneliness. My exile part holds my depression. I realize that I often feel like I am not good enough, or like I am an outsider. I feel unprotected in the world and in my life. I realized that all these feelings that I hold inside are because of my exiles. On the inside I am a hurt little girl that just wants love and I just want to be able to fit in and not always feel like an outsider.
The manger part is also known as the warrior or the planner. The mangers are the inner critic and judge. The managers are also the caretakers, controllers, striver, and passive pessimist. My manger side is very controlling, extremely critical, and paranoid. My manger part is also a go getter, and goal driven. I am never satisfied with anything in life, and I always feel like I can do better. I noticed this more in college when I would be angry with myself for earning A’s or B’s. I always want to get a perfect 100 or a A+. While I work, I noticed that I always must be the best. During my last work evaluation my manger ranked me as “exceeds” after my first year of work. Still I left that evaluation wondering how I could improve or be better. Good is not good enough for me I must be perfect. I strive for perfection and sometimes that is a draining way to live.
The distractor part is also known as the firefighter and is reactive. The distractor part is often the part that displays addictive behaviors or dangerous behaviors. For example, obsessive shopping, binge eating, extremely drug or alcohol use, or dangerous sex practices. My distractor side is combative, defensive, vindictive, devious, and non-compromising. I also have a pretty bad shopping habit I’m addicted to shoes and new clothing. I am also addicted to buying different help products like vitamins and supplements. I realize that I am defensive and have a block up to protect myself in my everyday life. My distractor part is always in overdrive trying to stop me from getting hurt. I realize that I am noncompromising combative because I don’t want to feel weak. I always want to be in control of my life. I realized that underneath my tuff exterior I am just a girl who is afraid to get hurt.
Although this whole process is a bit scary, I am excited to find my true self. I am excited to drop all my emotional baggage and become the best Janay I can be. I would encourage everyone to go to therapy. I hope that everyone reading this will start their journey to find their true self.
Below I attached my parts chart. Create one at home to see how your parts play a role in your everyday life.
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