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#452576 - 11/05/13 09:32 PM Re: Chest tightness [Re: Harvey Dent]
Harvey Dent Offline

Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28

In Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), there is a very similar exercise to what you suggested and what I enacted. It involves imagining yourself in an auditorium or conference room with every part of your personality. You, speaking as yourself, call upon different parts of yourself and have conversations with them, making sure to honor and thank whichever part of you is currently causing you issues. I have done this process many many times previously to overcome fear, shame, and it even cured me of migraine headaches that I used to experience daily.

However, I had never thought to address the little boy that was abused.

And I didn't even see the parallels between your exercise and what I was doing from NLP until much later. So, I decided to integrate the two exercises. I spoke to the personas that resulted from the different incidents in my childhood, for they had different representative personas.

Let me interrupt to describe something that happened that wasn't abuse, but had as nearly a profound impact as my abuse.

When I was 8, my mother and her best friend decided it was time for me to hear "the talk". (This was due to being caught acting out with some girls in the neighborhood, a not uncommon situation for me or my peers.) Mom's best friend let my mom give me the biological facts, but also took the opportunity to caution me about my power as a male. She described that for women, every sexual act was a gift, given female to male, that was irrevocable. Furthermore, this gift was a woman giving a piece of herself. And if I weren't careful, I would become a thief who was stealing pieces of women's souls.

That was a helluva guilt trip to lay on an 8 year old. Although in retrospect, I know that she was attempting to make me into something other than an abuser or "player", at the time, all I heard was that I was inherently a thief or rapist. I carried that guilt for a long time, and it wasn't until I met and married my wife that I began to resolve that issue.

Fast forward to this morning. When I was doing the exercise originally, I was interrupted by my boss. So as soon as I could, I went back to the exercise, picking up where I left off. At this point, the persona of the 8 year old Harvey Dent stepped forward to speak. I immediately cried. But I told him I loved him and that it would be okay. After a few minutes, the next persona stepped forward.

It shocked me back to awareness. I stepped out of the exercise, because the persona that stepped forward was shocking. It was a pustulent, scarred, repulsive version of Harvey Dent. It was TwoFace...but without the positive half that struggles to overcome. I was immediately struck with a headache and became nauseated.

I had to stop and pray. I must have prayed for 10 minutes, crying the whole time. I am crying now just trying to type this out.

I called my wife. Spoke to her for a few minutes. Once I was calm, I went back to the conference room. And I told that persona that I loved him. That it would be okay. That it is okay. That I loved him for who he was and who he represented.

And scabs fell away. The pus receded. He was no longer disgusting to look at. He was still scarred and ugly, but I was no longer revolted.

Usually, when I'm in the conference room, I can determine which part of my personality this persona represents. In this case, he wouldn't tell me. He wouldn't speak at all.

So here I am...I am finally home after being gone for a week, sitting next to Mrs. Dent, crying as I try to figure out what the heck is going on.

Any words of insight or wisdom would be appreciated.

Finally, the "angina" is completely gone. I no longer feel any of the physical symptoms. So, thank you once again.

I pray that God bless you richly...because you have blessed me richly already.

Much love to you, brother.

I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story:

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

#452590 - 11/05/13 11:05 PM Re: Chest tightness [Re: Harvey Dent]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070

You don't know this because you're new here, but I have been away from MS since June, and you are basically the first person I have responded to here in a meaningful way for months.

God brought me back because I had something in me that you needed to hear. It's caused me to be emotional too, as I have been forced to take my own advice and tell my defensive self (I call him Izzy, but he is your TwoFace) that I love him too, and that it will be OK and *is* OK.

And so I've been crying some. Maybe he's giving me permission to cry.

Feel free to PM me if you would like.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

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